Monday, December 04, 2006

Spiritual Ruminations for the Commission

25 December 2005

I've been thinking a great deal about the faith I have in life, and precisely where it is applicable. It's a faith which transcends the physical, compressed world. I've noticed that the more my life seems to be unfair and less pleasant, the more focus I have on matters of spirit. And it has been this way decade after decade after decade in this proverbial closet; that every instance of sorrow and grief has brought me a clearer understanding of God's lighted realm, or the Kingdom of Heaven. I have subsequently come to believe that it is the true point of my life — the only real, lasting and passionate objective. This Divine reality is something I see, something I can feel and touch and know intimately.

Faith is my only true success in life. Everything else is vulnerable to physical interference, to natural catastrophe, to politics, betrayal, greed, jealousy, decay, corruption and loss. And all this — everything — is nothing in the end. The transcendent reality most call God is the only thing completely fulfilling and lasting; everything else is impermanent.

I have talked with many people in prison who consistently report that life is unfair. Admittedly, it is also my experience in this physical reality — especially where the systems of man are concerned — that life is, indeed, unfair. The best I could offer them was to learn from those who have learned to suffer gracefully through the unfairness. Jesus did, and did so in ways that people are still learning from. He demonstrated the impermanence of physical life and the fact that nothing lasts except God and God's Christ — the lighted reality about and in us. Jesus showed people the difference between being in this world and being of it. He demonstrated the failure of the people when crucifying him; by coming back three days later and calmly saying, "Even death is not final in my Father's Kingdom." In God's lighted Kingdom not even death is permanent. Moreover, everything in God's lighted realm is so good, so wonderful and impossibly joyful and free that, by comparison, even the worst and most horrible suffering is small and even trivial.

The book The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis, illustrates the imagery of size. Standing in the area of Heaven he teaches a new soul that all of the physicalness of Earth — all of time and humanity — exists in a tiny crack beneath their feet. Life in this tiny crack is compressed and stifling, whereas the area of Heaven is unbounded and vast. The greatest joy or worst sorrow in worldly life only exists in that little crack of Heaven. Even the death of a newborn baby, the execution of an innocent man, the death of a drug dealer, the starving of millions of people, or the intentional slaughter of millions inert-, or the calamities of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and pandemics which claim even acre millions of lives, all are profoundly negative in the little crack, but that doesn't make them any bigger. It is all part of the little compressed world we inhabit. And most cannot even conceive of the vastneas of the Heavenly realm, nor the Divine freedom of inhabiting that realm. A physical coiiiparieon might be as we gaze through the Hubble telescope and see deeper and deeper into the vastness, and realising what an insignificant pebble this entire planet is. Same thing differentiating Heaven from Earth. Even a quick glimpse of the vastness of Heaven is billions of times more positive than all the negativity on Earth. It's not even close to being balanced because what is positive in the light is infinite and unceasing, whereas the negative is compressed and constantly changing. All of the evils of physical life are but an annoyance with a lifespan of a few seconds — or the twinkling of an eye — in the realm of Heaven.

Heaven is so vast, complete and free, that when some of us experience it there is nothing in the physical compressed world that ever holds much fear for us again. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called it the "Promised Land." Even when he knew he was going to be assassinated it didn't change his mission because he realized his assassination was trivial after seeing what he saw. Jesus went the same route after realizing his plight. Likewise, once I saw the larger spiritual reality I discovered it is so much larger than the compressed world, of all my hopes and fears it holds no power over me after that point. Jesus illustrated that point when Pontius Pilate screamed at Him, "Don't you know I can crucify you or set you free??," and Jesus replied calmly, "You have no power over me at all." The instruction is not to focus time and energy on the world that does not last. It is not our's.

Same, too, is the situation I have found ciyself in annually with the parole commission. The analogy is profoundly similar where the commission has me looking for the keys to freedom under the bright streetlight instead of in the dark alley where they were actually lost 30+ years hence. Dark or not, even if it takes all night, the alley is the only place where the keys will be found. My keys, my joy, my peace cannot be found in the- mundane world even if I become the wealthiest or most powerful person in the world, or head of the world's largest charity, or the new Gandhi who brings peace to the Middle East. The eternal cannot be found in the mundane. The absolute cannot be found in the relative. It is not mine.

The lighted treasure of Heaven is awaiting each and every one of us, and it is closer than our own breath. It is vital to maintain faith in what is worthy and lasting. I am blessed with the opportunity to know the difference between living in this world but not of it, as Jesus taught. This blessing also incorporates an opportunity to respect and deal responsibly with the problems and limitations of this worldly life without being overwhelmed by them.
And herein lies the only value in separating the worldly arid Divine or, as Jesus put it, "Mammon" and "God." There came a point when I ceased to see or respond to two worlds at all. Jesus said, "When thine eye be single, thy body will be full of light." I awakened to the reality that it is all about Spirit alone; there is no second thing. I discovered the mundane arid compressed world is but a shifting embodiment of the lighted realm. Lewis points out in The- Great Divorce- that once we reach Heaven and look back, we see our lives were never anywhere but in Heaven. Tne whole thing, my life, my tragedies, betrayals, depression and suffering is all like a compressed arid brief moment of annoyance in the realm or God. Likewise, ail of the good times, composing music, creating and writing songs, authoring various writings, inventing numerous gizmos and gadgots, fathering children, knowing love, saving lives, it is all but a product of the minute compressed world. Good or bad, it all amounts to little or nothing in the little crack in the vastness of Heaven.

Interesting, too, that in light of this not only does my future change, but my history changes as well when ray vision clears and I see life for what it really is, as well as for what it is not. I experience this in little ways all the tine. All the senseless ancl unfounded parole deferments since 1987, rendered without consideration of the merits or substance of what I am about today, nor concerned with fairness,or justice; it is all nothing when viewed from such a positive and enlightened state. The past 30+ years of torment is nothing in comparison to the enlightened end of it and, in fact, if the truth were known it probably resulted in my becoming so enlightened. Being betrayed by a so-called Christian woman is nothing in light of the bounty of Heaven. The world falling apart at the seams and about to destroy itself is nothing either.

It is far too easy in this day and age to let the distractions in life take our eye from God. I have made it a high enough priority to where I have the opportunity to walk through this valley of the shadow ol death with a rod and staff that profoundly comfort and empower me. I can be in the world of bad news and decay, but not be of it. I must function in this world, it is my sacred duty to help and comfort and solve problems and make peace and feed as many people as possible on the lighted spiritual realities I have discovered in life. But, still, I do not belong to any of that; it is rnot mine. I belong solely to God. None of that can harm who I really am; it can only affect the material world; it can only effect the part of me that is physical and temporary. That's why Jesus said that what is born of flesh must die of flesh, and we need to be born again in Spirit to find our eternal nature. That is mine. I have found it was right here in front of me all along, always waiting for me to awaken to it.

As this reflects on the faith I find in life, it is not only the most important thing, but the only thing that really matters. It has afforded me strength to stand against the evil and courageously do the right thing. It has strengthened me enough to rise up to the enormous injustice; and corruption in the system; to expose how it can be s0 easily corrupted by the whims of alternate parole commission members who are related tc the victim's families, who don't even have a clue about who I am today, or what transpired the day their relative died; to expose how unfair it is to even allow them to sit in positions of power on the commission and unjustly influence the decision with their vote.

Having said it before, I strive more than most to have the system function fairly and with some semblance of justice, fair-play, compassion and consideration of merit. There appears no consideration to the many people who could benefit in large ways by having me on the streets, working, paying taxes, spreading the message of God's lighted reality through song, and publishing books on the matter, or how the many inventions I could build prototypes for and market would make the lives of many people quite a lot easier. There is no consideration of the many positives this situation presents, because the parole apparatus is inherently entrenched and stuck in the compressed and faithless world; where there is more consideration given to a minor conduct report for not chewing food fast enough with the few teeth I have left.

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