Friday, February 15, 2019

IMAGE II

                




      Hi There !

So, straight from the

  Blog Notebook

      
      to you

  we continue

 what we began 


    last week:

notes and notions

          on

      IMAGES

      OF THE

   
   IMAGELESS.



These jottings are UNEDITED,

random, incomplete, 

right from the Blog Notebook

as is for you and The Spirit 

to sort and shape.

A different take on 

what is here to take.


.

   Our spiritual lives 


   are conditioned

   by our images 


        of God.

     Stand by for

   more and more 

       paradox. 



        
          IMAGES I 

is available by scrolling down 


            or at


       Blog Archive


            *****






We continue from

The Blog Notebook:

 

- Interestingly, of the three

   monotheistic religions,

   only Christianity has

   images of God

   such as statues, icons,

   paintings, stained glass.

- What do the Jews

   and the Muslims

   know that Christians don't,

                  or

   what do Christians know

   that Jews and Muslims don't?

- Or do all three come

  at the same thing

  variously because of our limits

  and God's unlimitedness?

- Yet the three do have all sorts of,

   and voluminous at that,

   word images of God,

   necessarily and limitedly so,

   given the human

   condition and capacity

- It is crucial to get lost

   in The First Bible

- Nature is just that.

   Before any religions

   or sacred writings,

   God was and is

   reflected, revealed,

   indeed present in nature.


  
- See Genesis.

- Check out the life and sharings

  of Francis of Assisi -


  he met God in nature

-Get immersed in the sayings

  and rituals of nature religion

- The spirituality of

  The Original Americans

  is especially helpful here.

- Get into biology, archeology,

  geology, anthropology,

  chemistry, cosmology,

  so much of God imaged there

- Have a pet

- Grow a garden

- Farm

- Most of all, get outdoors!!


- Images and presence

  of God all over the place!!





-  A principle:

      "As the image,

       so the relationship."

- True re. our relationship

  with self, other, all of existence,

  and  indeed with God.

- Images: how we see,

  feel, sense, understand 


  self and other.

- Images made up of sensations,

  experiences, ideas, associations,

  emotions, thoughts, feelings,

  instinct and intuition,

  and who knows what else.

- A negative image leads

  to a negative relationship.

- A positive image leads

   to a positive relationship.

- RE. Image of God:

  
  consider the image of God as 

  judge, police officer, record keeper,

  a universe or many away, warrior,

  creative and inclusive ( see Genesis ),

  merciful and tender ( see psalms )

  lover ( see Song of Songs)  , 

  "daddy" (literal meaning of "Abba" -

  the image of God Jesus shared )

  and the kind of relationship

  with God they cause and foster.

 
- God, like everything

   and everyone else,

   is "imaged"  for us by others

  
   ( parents, teachers, peers, )

   as well as by ritual, text, 

   teachings, cultural coloration .

  That imaging is done

  in terms of the imager:

  their maturity, depth,

  level of consciousness,

  not exhaustively in terms 


  of what is imaged.

  We don't get God from them.

  We get a thought/feeling/


  perhaps experiential

  picture of God composed

  from other peoples' experience base.

- This is true of biblical images of God.

  They are toned by how evolved

  that biblical writer,

  and that writer's culture was.

  Thus the vindictive,

  violent God imaged in some

  Old Testament portrayals.

  They often say a lot  more

  about the writer

  and the consciousness level

  and culture of the times

  than about an accurate and fuller

  portrayal of God.

-They and we "speak" God

  and attribute to God

  how we are and what we know.

- Evolving consciousness

  ( personal/societal ),

   evolving images.

- They and we talk about everything,

   including God, in our limited,

   often cockeyed terms.

 - "Our idea of God says more about

     ourselves than about Him"

           Thomas Merton

          (That's for sure !! )



-Always consider your source

-So critical in scriptural "revelation."

-Approach scripture as Jesus did -

 selectively - employ Jewish Midrash:


 types/levels of understanding

     - literal


     - deep meaning: symbolic


       or allegorical applications


     - comparative: combines different texts


       to explore entirely new meanings


     - hidden: gets at the Mystery itself


- "Jesus consistently ignored or even denied 


  exclusionary, punitive, and triumphalist 

  
  texts in his own inspired Hebrew Bible

  in favor of passages that emphasized


  inclusion, mercy, and honesty."

  Richard Rohr, 01-07-19, daily email,

 Center For Action And Contemplation

-Jesus: " You have heard it said,...


 but I say unto you..." ( Matthew 5:38-42)

 Jesus rejected Exodus 21:23-24,

 Jesus actually rejected sections of scripture -

 that is is not commonly known, 

 and knowing it is critical

-Early Fathers of the Church encouraged

 as many as seven "senses" of scripture


 seven "takes", as in take on scripture -

 prominent were:
   
     - literal
  
     - historical

     - allegorical


     - moral


     - symbolic


       - eschatological

- Great help here:

   "What Do We Do With The Bible?"


       Richard Rohr, 2018,


      CAC Publishing

  It is a gem!! 

  If image and meaning are concerns, 

  this little book is probable the best help 

  for the general reading public


- " If you can comprehend it,

             it isn't God."

             Augustine

   ( That's for sure for sure l!!)

- Need to pry free

   the core insight/revelation

   from its cultural coloration,

   how it is imaged.

 - See "A Testament of Violence?",

   Christian Century, November 8, 2017.


That's it for today.

Next week we'll continue all this.

Our whole spiritual life is so dependent

on our image of God.


    All the best !

Holding one and all in

God's Dear Love,

     John Frank

         *****



It is so good of you to recommend

       "frankly speaking"

  in conversation and through 

your connections on social media.

        It's a big help 

               and 

   it's greatly appreciated.


A sincere word of welcome

to those joining us for the first time.

This week we greet new participation 

from Turkmenistan.

Thank you for your good company.

Please see

        WHAT'S GOING ON HERE ?

                      and

        CONSIDER YOUR SOURCE 

            ( to the right online )


       for a bit of orientation to what 


             we are all about here.

                       *****


            "frankly speaking"

         spirituality for the street



-Is posted online each Friday at

     johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

 and can be bookmarked for ease

 of weekly access


-Is available by automatic email

  each Saturday - sign up is at the top

  of the online version.


-Past Postings are available at

              Blog Archive


     located at the lower right 

        of the online version.

             Thank You 

*********************************************************************************













Friday, February 8, 2019

IMAGE I



             
       

Hi There !

So, I think of you a lot,

and a lot of you.

Every day,

and many times a day,

I wonder what might


be offered here in 

" frankly speaking " 

to help, to encourage,
  

to clarify and to support us

in our spiritual journey out on


the street of everyday living.

That wonderment eases into

a gentle notice of good concept,

a seeking for clear insight,

trying to pinpoint helpful practices

and certainly a search for

examples that clarify and encourage.

It happens in bed at 2:00 AM
 

It happens in the shower,

when "people watching," 


reading, slugging through 

the "news" of the day,

driving, in the supermarket,

at concerts, in prayer  -

pretty much anytime,

pretty much anywhere,

    certainly much.



Early mornings it's

 "Coffee Prayer"

   over all this,

  jotting down

all sorts of elements,

reflections, references,

   expressions in

the blog notebook


(hot coffee at hand and lip).

Then it's just let it all

be still in The Spirit

for a goodly while.




Stirring sensed,

time to sort and shape

those jottings

over a few days

in mind and heart,

letting them form as they will

Where it starts is never

where the blogs ends up.

Always Spirit Surprises.



Well, this week


and the following two,

there's a twist to all this.
 
   "frankly speaking"

  will be not so much 


         composed

          but be a 


        compilation 

of the actual jottings on

    
     IMAGES OF GOD.


These jottings are unedited,

     random, incomplete, 

   not yet fully marinated
     
               in 
 
          The Spirit.
 

Unfinished, unarranged,

right from the blog notebook as is,

here they are for you

to prayerfully ponder and puzzle

as you and The Spirit will.

Hopefully a different approach

this time round might help and refresh

what we do together here each week.

Please let The Spirit sort them out,

shape them for you, with you,

in your unique setting

over the next few days

while relaxing in your own

"Coffee Prayer,"

         or,

  if you prefer
 

  in your own

 "Tea Prayer."

  Here goes !!

    
     *****



     
    Note and Notions 

           from 

THE BLOG NOTEBOOK




"IMAGES  OF THE IMAGELESS"




- Our image of God

  conditions, effects, directs 

  our spiritual lives,


  and that for better or worse,


  depending on the image


  of God present and operative





- Always a paradox:

  an apparent contradiction

         that isn't!

-  God is beyond image

-  yet we need images

   to connect with anything,

   including God,


   at least for starters

-  Always paradox

-  image contains

 - God can't be contained

 -  yet, we need images

    to "picture" anything

    a millimeter beyond our nose,

 - we need images to


         "picture"

          Reality 


          for us.

- God is Reality

-  our images of God 


   are like what

   Matthew Brady did

   with Abraham Lincoln

-  they do connect us with a picture

   but not with the actual one pictured.

 - images are helpful, limited, partial,

   certainly so for images of God

- that all changed with Jesus

- he is not only the best image of God,

  he actually is the presence of God,

  God not only "pictured,"

  but  God "personified,"

  personalized, humanly present,

  but God not limited

  and yet in a way,

  our human way, limited -


  Jesus had to grow up, 

  was localized geographically, 

  culturally, religiously, bodily.


- Paradox again and always

- Emmanuel, God with us

- Always paradox

- Always paradox

- it's like lovers

- we have ideas, feelings

   about the beloved - images

 - those images fall off

   as do our cloths

   when we get between the sheets,

   and merge in love's oneness

 - we don't contain the beloved,

 - we let lose and and

    get lost in the beloved.

  - so with God.

  - Jesus is not only

    an image of the imageless

    ( Always paradox ),

         better yet,

     being personally 


       one with him

       immerses us

  in the limitless ocean 


   of love we call God

 - after a while,

   lovers are so busy being one

   they don't have time for images!

 



And the image on my phone 

   indicates we are about

          out of time.
 

More on  Image next time.


 

All the best to each and all.

      Holding you in

    God's Dear Love,

        John Frank
     

           *****


  Please continue to share 

      "frankly speaking"

        with others by 

word of mouth and through

      your social media.

            THANKS !



    For those new to

    "frankly speaking"


 spirituality for the street,

  please give a touch of

   time and attention to

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

                and

CONSIDER YOUR SOURCE

    (right column online).

Hopefully they will provide


an orientation to what we are


all about here each week at

    
      "frankly speaking"

- It is posted online

   each Friday at

      johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

   and can be bookmarked

   for easy access


- It is available by automatic email

  each Saturday - sign up at

  the top right of the online version


- Past Postings are available at

  Blog Archive, lower right side,

  online version.

                WELCOME !


***********************************************************************************************






Friday, February 1, 2019

DEEP DOWN


       

Dear All of Us,


Speeding may get us from

here to there in a hurry,

but we miss all the

here’s and there’s

in between.



Skimming the surface

zips us along,

but we miss

most of much –

the depths of it all.



So much the better to

       slow down 

           and
     go down deep 

   plumb the depths,

     those beneath 
      
           and 
   
      those above,

   those in between 

    



Slowed to depth, 

we get more than

a nod with God.

In the depths

of the moment

we meet God

 DEEP DOWN.





DEEP DOWN EARTH:

A haven and heaven of

precious metals,

crystals and stones -

waters pure,

gravity’s pull,

pulsing heat,

energies growth imbedded,

remnants and art

of peoples past.





DEEP DOWN PSYCHE:

“Mind-mine”

of stunning

connections,

consciousness,

creativity.





DEEP DOWN SOUL:

      Opens to 

   Spirit Sprung

where our very being,

  indeed all being,

     flows from

    Being Itself.





     “There lives

the dearest freshness

  deep down things.”  (1)





So much the better

   to slow down

and go down deep,

plumb the depths

  DEEP DOWN





DEEP DOWN DAY:

-be texture touched 

-hear toned amplitude

-smell scents and aromas

 kaleidoscopic

-see all the way into things

-taste flavors subtle and strong

-read into depth

-get lost in your lover

-be an artist of the moment

-listen as the brook babbles

 and the wind whispers

-be taken captive by

 that starry sky

-engage work, 

 get all the way into it

-cycle into air and space

 on two wheels or on

 the skateboard of science

-microscope all the way in,

 telescope all the way out

 to deepest spaces

-strip spirit naked

 and be ravished by Love

-notice everyone and everything –

 see self in other – kin –

 all one in One

-savor food and drink unto a

 holy communion

-open to God’s fusing embrace

 in each and all.





           DEEP DOWN

Attentive, deliberate, sensitive,

total, present, delighted, grateful,

distilled to sacred, a child playing,

deep digging in a universe of universes

right there in Hoboken or Hong Kong,

right there in

                  every-here

                  every-there

                  every - in between

                    DEEP DOWN.





Thanks for slowing depth,

  God embraced together.

     Holding us all in 

        God’s Dear 

            and 

   Ever So Deep Love,

       John Frank



(1)God’s Grandeur,

Gerard Manly Hopkins

               *****





Many thanks for sharing

    “frankly speaking”

by word of mouth and by way

   of your social media.





A delight to welcome those new

to our weekly sharing here.

Please do spend a bit of soul sense with



      WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?

                     And

       CONSUDER YOUR SOURSE

             ( right column )

for a bit context and orientation to

           “frankly speaking”

       spirituality for the street



-It is posted online each Friday at

    johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

          (easy to bookmark)

-It is available by automatic email delivery

 each Saturday - sign up top right column


-Past postings are available at

 Blog Archive – online right column.



         THANK YOU!



*********************************************************************



                      

                     

           
























Friday, January 25, 2019

SELF III








         
                  FRIENDS,


      THIS IS THE LAST OF OUR

       THREE PART SERIES ON

                     SELF.

             PARTS I and II

          ARE AVAILABLE

 BY SCROLLING DOWN HERE

                    OR

       AT BLOG ARCHIVE

           TO THE RIGHT

          ( online posting ).

                *****


    


Hi There !

So, "Smores" on

         Self.

This time round,

let's see if we can

put some flesh on the

conceptional bones of

     TRUE SELF

     FALSE SELF.





What's it like out here

on the street of everyday life

to embrace and live out our

        True Self

and do that with delight?

   - It takes clear thinking

     and gutsy freedom.

   - It often calls us

     to be counter cultural.

  - It takes regular

     reality checks.

  - They depend on

     naked openness to God

     and being energized by

     The Spirit of Truth.

   - Being based in a

     truly spiritual community

     for sharing and support

     is a tremendous help.

    - So, too, is having

      a seasoned, spiritual

      Spiritual Director -

     great care is

     imperative here -

     many so called

     spiritual directors

     get minimal training

     and are credentialed by

     less than sound sources

    - Savoring Sacred Texts

    - Prayer and meditation

    - Living from the inside out

      is essential.

    - Otherwise we fall

      into the foul of the

         False Self,

      we are wasted

      and we waste

      our endowments,

      the gifts meant

      to be shared .

    - In prayerful reflection

      The Spirit shows you

      to yourself

      and gets you,

      not down right, but

          " up right"

      excited to be you

      and about having

      treasures  to share.

   - Let God happen in you

     the way God wants

     to do that.

   - Get "juiced" by

     the electricity of divinity

    flowing through you,

    and that through

    your one of a kind circuitry.

 - Get really turned on

   by turning over

   to others the gifts

   God gives you

   to give away.

Living out our

    True Self

takes things like:

 - being pleased with and

   proud of your body,

   being comfortable

   in your own skin,

   whatever your body type,

   toning and coloration,

   being tall, short,

   of medium height,

   being slender, full figure,

   any wonderful sizing,

   having lots of hair

   or hardly hair,

   very muscular or

   just muscular enough

   to move and

  on a good day be able

  to make a cake,

- to relish your body

  as the unique

  Temple of the Holy Spirit

   that you are,

 - to give your body the chance

    to be and do what it is,

    not what social pressure dictates

            ( as in "dictator" ),

    e.g. diets, weights, abs,

    tattoos or not,  rushing 24/7,etc.

  - to share your body as appropriate

    in real relationships

    and genuine love,

    one way at work,

    another with a child,

     another with a neighbor,

    yet another with your life partner,

  - to use your physical powers

    in the service of people and nature
       
            - tending a garden,

            - working a part time job

              after your full time one

              to help get your child

              through college,

             - serving at a homeless shelter

            - staying up all night

              with a sick relative or friend,

           - volunteering at

             an animal reserve.

          - whatever your intellectual

            and artistic endowments,

            function on all eight cylinders,

          - being curious -  notice, appreciate,

            be inventive and creative,

            share and serve:

                 - keep the team's score at

                   a baseball game,

                 - write poetry,

                 - be a leader in government,

                 - further the work

                   of Stephen Hawking

                   and go beyond his

                   limited understanding of God

                   with a full, zesty sense that

                   Being, Existence, Reality, Goodness

                   are coded as "God."

                 - show Shakespeare

                    how to write a play,

                  - be fully applied at work,

                  - sing barbershop.

                 

Whatever your endowments and talents

 let them be treasures of creativity

 generously shared.

 Whatever your

  temperament/personality,

  be true to it it.

  It is the channel

  through which your spirit

  flows and communicates.

 To violate it under social

 or other pressure

will thwart your way of being

and your way of being with others.

The American culture is noisy

and  highly interactive.

Extroversion  predominates.

Introverts need

a power plant of courage

to be true to their unique

God given manner

of socializing/relating.

To cave to

cultural preference and pressure

causes an unnaturalness that drags

an introvert into

the lie of a False Self.

It would be like

trying to fly a plane

through a railroad tunnel -

crash and chaos.

I know of what I speak here.

On the Myers Briggs

Personality Profile

I am an INFJ,

and each to the extreme.

We INFJ's account for

a whopping one percent

of the population,

a real minority.

It's taken a lot of

gutsy courage

TO THINE OWN SELF

       BE TRUE

        for me!!



In the spiritual realm there are

 "a variety of gifts...

   services...activities "

 I Corinthians 12:4-6.

One size does not fit all.

For me that means

connecting God and people

through preaching, pastoring,

teaching, spiritual direction,

writing.

Could have made

a lot of money otherwise,

but it just didn't add up.

How about you?

What are your gifts of soul?

A good help here is the free, online:

      Spiritual Gifts Assessment -

      The United Methodist Church.



PONDERABLES:


 "You do you."

        *****

"Your time is limited,

  so don't waste it living

  someone else's life."

       Steve Jobs

         *****


"Here is where

our real selfhood

is rooted,

in the divine spark or seed,

in the image of God

imprinted on the human soul.

The True Self

is not our creation,

but God's.

It is the self

we are in our depths.

It is our capacity for

divinity and transcendence,"

    Sue Monk Kidd



"Each mortal thing does

one thing and the same;/

          Selves-

        goes itself;

myself it speaks and spells,/

Crying what I do is me:

        for that I came."

  Gerard Manley Hopkins

"As Kingfishers Catch Fire"





          Here's to you,

          the real you,

               your

           True Self.


   In God's Dear Love

        John Frank

          *****



It would be greatly appreciated

if you would share word about


        "frankly speaking"
 
     spirituality for the street


with family, friends, associates

              in person

            and through

 your preferred social media.

              Thanks!!



New folks have recently joined in

with us from The Seychelles

and the United States.

                 Welcome !

Thanks for the gift of your company.




        " frankly speaking "

     spirituality for the street

                      is

- posted each Friday online at

     johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

 (easily bookmarked for ready access )


- available for automatic email delivery

  each Saturday. Sign up at

  the top right of the online version


-Past Postings available at

 BLOG ARCHIVE,

available at online version


   THANK YOU !


**********************************************************************************