that sanity will prevail and that all those suffering through the terrible conflict in Ukraine will find the comfort and resources they need.
A Pocketful of Sundays
EAS c. 2005
The image of Jesus transfigured is both a mystical event and an everyday possibility. What the disciples saw on that high mountain (a different plane of consciousness?) was as dazzling white as light itself; what they beheld, however, was not so much something that "happened" to Jesus but rather something that briefly transformed their way of seeing. Peter, James and John saw what was already there --radiating love, goodness and peace. Those qualities did not suddenly manifest themselves, but were there from the beginning. The disciples,
however, may have been so dazzled by Jesus' teaching and miracles that they failed to see his "essence" or his "aura." Instead, they were blinded by their own inability to understand his mission and by their own egos. They looked at him without seeing who he was.
There is an image in Sufi tradition of the 100,000 veils which separate us from the Divine Presence; as we learn to see spiritually, we begin to penetrate those veils until, ultimately, we can behold God.
The disciples' experience of Jesus' Transfiguration represented the beginning of this process of learning to see. It was also an "auditory" experience as evidenced by the voice from the cloud: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him"(Mk 9:8). The total experience, then, was a profound Epiphany moment in which mystery was unveiled; needless to say, the human response was complete terror.
The Transfigured Jesus invites each of us to put on a "new self" and to leave behind all that weighs us down -- anger, resentment, fear, apathy, greed indifference, hatred, negative attitudes, competitiveness...
If we do this, then, we, too, will be "dazzling as light." Sadly, few people are willing to commit themselves to the necessary inner work, and, as a result, the world is filled with violence, Only by undertaking our own work of trans-formation/ transfiguration can we save our planet from destruction; to do this, we need a radical change of heart.
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- Have you ever experienced 4D consciousness and what was that like for you?
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- What blocks you from having greater spiritual awareness?
- What spiritual practices could help raise your level of consciousness?
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Despite the carnage happening in Ukraine -- or perhaps because of it-- a new world order does seem to be emerging. As always, new consciousness comes at a price: for some, this might mean inconveniences such as delays in the supply chain or higher prices at the petrol pump; for others, it might be much costlier -blitzed homes, catastrophic injuries, death. As Pope Francis declared so passionately, "In Ukraine, rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not just a military operation but a war which sows death, destruction and misery." Levelled cities, targeted civilians, bombed hospitals and maternity wards, attacks on the hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to flee the mayhem -- this is Ukraine's horrific price tag. At the same time, Ukraine's heroic refusal to cower before Putin has rallied the rest of the global community. Economic sanctions, a ban on Russian energy imports, the freezing of oligarchs' bank accounts-- all this has put the squeeze on Russia. Meanwhile, aid pours into Ukraine from all over the world, not only in the form of armaments and humanitarian assistance, but also via the heroic women and men who cross into Ukraine to take up arms, help with rescue operations, provide medical care or document the genocide through photography or live reporting.
Something has shifted. The world has awakened to the plight of Ukraine and whether propelled by fear (Ukraine first, us next!") or altruism ("We are all inter-connected"), people everywhere have rallied in opposition to the war, calling on governments to end their reliance on fossil fuels -- and, by extension, Russia-- and to develop new sources of renewable energy.
Sanctions levied at Russia will hit some countries harder than others. A Google search revealed that Belarus, Cuba, Curacao, Kazakhstan, Latvia import 99% of their crude oil from Russia, while Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Pakistan are major consumers of Russian and Ukrainian wheat. Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and the United States stand to lose billions of dollars of exports to Russia-- mostly cars, planes, medication, vehicle parts and broadcasting equipment. Then there are those countries that will miss out on the presence of Russian tourists, especially Turkey, Cyprus and Greece... Not every country will, of course, participate in enforcing the sanctions, but the exchange of goods and services with Russia will become much more challenging, even for a friendly neighbor like Belarus.
What the world's leaders have discovered is that their citizens are no longer willing to ignore atrocities being perpetrated in other countries, even if it means that they themselves will incur economic hardships. They have also learned that when they share a united front with common goals, economic weapons can be just as effective as military weapons. It is "soul power," not bombs that will ultimately topple the mighty from their thrones -- let this be our hope and our prayer!
Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
Peter, James and John were clearly out of their depth -- or, to be more precise, they had climbed to heights that were totally unfamiliar and beyond comprehension. Like most mortals, they were accustomed to living in what some writers describe as 3D reality -- that is, the "material world." Their consciousness had been shaped by simple needs -- or, as Richard Barrett would say, their ego needs of "staying alive, safety and security." Keeping out of harm's way and providing for their families were the primary drivers in their lives, until, that is, they met Jesus. Then something tugged at their hearts, awakening the sense of another dimension of living, though they did not understand what this could be. The world of fishing boats, hauls of fish, village life and family responsibilities suddenly seemed inadequate; in an instant, their soul needs were activated and they hungered for the "something more" that Jesus represented.
This encounter primed Peter, James and John for discipleship but they were caught between two worlds -- the world of the ego and the world of the soul. Although they had observed Jesus' miracles and listened to his teachings, they still had a 3D consciousness. Like the crowds, they were amazed but were unable to see beyond externals; they interpreted what they witnessed through 3D lenses, evaluating what was in it for them rather than focusing on the deeper implications of Jesus' words and actions. Jesus, on the other hand, was inviting them to shift into another dimension of knowing -- the world of mystery, of soul, of transcendence, a world in which they could directly experience God. The ascent to the mountain peak to pray was a symbolic journey from 3D consciousness into that higher level of consciousness sometimes described as 4D. There, on the mountain, high above the flatlands of humdrum activities and prosaic goals, Peter, James and John could now behold "the essential Jesus"-- not just a miracle worker and guru, but a manifestation of the Divine. In addition, now that they were fully awake, they could see Moses and Elijah and could hear God's voice, "This is my chosen Son; listen to him."
The Transfiguration of Jesus invites us to move beyond a conventional approach to religion to a transformational engagement with all that is holy. It wakes us up to God's omnipresence, not as a watchful judge but as a limitless energy field of love that seeks us out, desiring union with all 7.9 billion of the world's inhabitants, regardless of creed. It calls us to an awareness of Presence that is so profound that our lives will never again be the same.
This invitation also extends to the religious institutions and organizations that are so often mired in "red tape" and ante-diluvian thinking-- in other words, in a 3D dimension. Barrett identifies the needs of the soul as "self-expression, connection and contribution" but, too often, our religious institutions focus on rules, obligations, dogma and orthopraxis. Sadly, there is little to attract dreamers, thinkers and those committed to saving the planet. 3D institutional thinking welcomes conformists, not rebels and ostracizes mystics and prophets. On God's Holy Mountain, however, there is room for all who dare enter the cloud of unknowing to satisfy their souls' deepest desires.
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