April 18, 2014

Resurrecting The Resurrection

In some Christian circles, there is the belief that Jesus will reappear in the human arena. However, this son of God clearly told us that he would ask the Father to send us another counselor who would stay with us forever. In John 14:17 we are told that this counselor is the Spirit of truth. Yet, there are still those Christians who insist Jesus, the man, will arrive on the planet and save us all from our own folly. Let me offer you an alternative interpretation of the resurrection that takes into account our  human predicament.

There are two aspects to Jesus: the human and the divine. The human part of Jesus, the
man, was immersed in his own culture and religion (Jewish) just like the rest of us human primates. But, the divine aspect of Jesus, the Christ, is not so easy to comprehend and needs more explanation.

The Almighty's evolutionary agenda for our species requires a further distancing of humanity from bestial origins. Evolution, then, demands that people like you and I undergo transformations of consciousness. Yet, in order to set in motion this transfiguration of humanity, the Creator needs a change-agent to work through, acting as an evolutionary catalyst. This is the function of the Christ.

Jesus knew that he was acting as that change-agent for the Creator. "It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.", he says in John 14:10. His role is to help us recognize the truth about our humble position within the scheme of things. By virtue of being a part of the emergent universe, our species truly is an animal in the throes of transformation. Our evolutionary ascent actually demands radical self-development from us. We need to learn how to temper our animal aggression and to manage our bestial instincts. First, however, we must recognize our need to do so. We need humility.

Jesus Christ's message speaks to something other than religion; He is on to something more fundamental. He wants his species to come to grips with its lowly status as a primate. He hopes to shift our paradigms to such an extent that we get greater clarity about the organic predicament in which we are situated. We too are subject to the Law that governs all of creation.

Jesus, the man, will not be coming down from heaven and saving us. Rather, our salvation lies in answering this Christ's call for a profound humility. By resurrecting the evolutionary message of the Christ in our hearts and minds we, like Jesus, can become channels for adaptive change.  Now that's a resurrection that contemporary minds just might find more worthy of looking into.

Happy Easter.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 
                                      Pic: M. Wisniewska-Dreamstime.com

March 14, 2014

New Age Claptrap

Please note:
I have amended this post to include the actual scripture quoting Jesus rather than my reinstatement of it. 

It's the same old story but now it is in the Ukraine and in Venezuela too: human primates everywhere can't get along with their neighbours; and, the alpha males of our species keep trying to lord over the masses. But right now I don't want to go on about the similarities between this and chimpanzee societies. Those who have been following my work can guess my take on it. Rather, in this post I am going to speak to the New Age claptrap to which I keep being subjected.

Listen folks, you can chant "I am God, I am God" or for that matter any other mantra all you want as some of these New Age gurus suggest. But, don't expect this to bring you self-realization. An evolution in consciousness requires a hell of a lot more from a human primate.

When Jesus was called Good teacher he replied: "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone" (Lk:18:19). By insisting that you are God, you are actually setting up a huge roadblock to your self-actualization. After all, if you are God and God is perfect then what motivation is there for you to pursue self-development? What motivation is there for you to observe and negotiate your inner kingdom of thought and emotion in order to tame your animal nature? The ancients tried to warn us about the dangers of this kind of self-righteousness.

"The body is a domestic animal. Therefore, you must go about perfecting yourself", Jesus said in the Book of Thomas (The Contender). He knew that a deep humility is the key to self-realization not self-aggrandizement. When we truly understand ourselves to be one of God's creatures we are more likely to relinquish our delusions of grandeur and face up to our imperfection. With this humility we are more motivated to work on expanding our conscious awareness beyond a mere animal self-centredness.

It is only when we have done the tough psychological work of cultivating virtue that we get to liberate ourselves from the mental slavery brought on by our bestial origins. It is only through such an effort at self-actualization that we get to ascend the evolutionary ladder and come to truly know the realm of the divine Creator within.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


 
 
 
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December 16, 2013

To End 2013

Those who have been following my blog will notice that I have removed all posts prior to September 2013. I will be expanding upon these essays with further thinking and research. My plan is to put the polished versions into my next book.

Also,  I  am currently in the throes of a major life transition. That is why I have been posting with less frequency. My plan is to position myself in a lifestyle conducive to more contemplation and writing. While making this transformation, I will do my best to post when the Spirit moves me.

I certainly am looking forward to 2014 and wish you all the very best for the coming year.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

With so much trouble in the world and Christmas 2013 soon to come, I thought I would share the following poem from Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast: The Paradigm Shift for the New Millennium.


Waiting on the Cosmic Christ

Too many Homo sapiens thinking
that they are the king of the jungle.
It's a sports arena waiting for a fight to break out.

It's a lack of compassion waiting to pounce on
an innocent child in a dysfunctional family.

It's self-righteous judgment sealing tight any
 possibility for apprehension of the truth. 

Too much delusion in too many beasts;
It's a time bomb waiting to explode.

As we sink deeper into this morass of
moral decay with no saviour in sight,
keep your eyes set on the heavens
and your gaze fixed on the kingdom within.
 

Pic: M Wisniewska/Dreamstime.com   

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November 20, 2013

The Big Reveal

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed
 and nothing concealed that will not be known or
brought out into the open.     Luke:8,17, Holy Bible
 
 
Everyday we are receiving more news about another scandal, skirmish or corruption case.  Across the planet and in every sphere the stories are mounting. If it's not the Fundamentalists subjecting more victims to their tyranny, it is the economic collapse of southern Europe. Also, there has been the out of control surveillance tactics used by the USA and Australia that have their allies very upset with them. And, in Canada we are being subjected to major scandals on all three levels of government at the same time. With all of this corruption coming to light, it really does feel like the two thousand year old prophecy written above is coming to fruition. 
 
What has been hidden, now is being disclosed. And, the time has come for us to face what is really being revealed. We have been coveting illusions about humanity's superiority for long enough. With all this corruption and destruction made explicit by the media, we can see for ourselves just how insidious our animal ways truly are.

The time has come for us to recognize the truth about our humble position within the scheme of things. By virtue of being an imperfect primate, each one of us needs self-development. If we are to build healthy relationships and ethical institutions then we must be willing to consciously cultivate such virtues as patience, kindness and integrity. Then and only then will we have begun to address the evolutionary agenda that has been entrusted to us.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


                                                                                             Pic: Kim Lee Design
 
 
 
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November 5, 2013

Babylon Arising

Here's a little poem that came to me after hearing the mayor of my city finally reveal that he had smoked crack after taking public office.
Faithfully yours,
 
Sheila Banks
 
 
 
Babylon Arising
 
We've got a crack-smoking mayor
and too few who care
about the oil-slickened seas
and the chemical-laden breeze.

Don't tell me that Babylon is not arising.

We've got forked-tongue leaders
and all kinds of cheaters,
sex predators galore
and the down-trodden ignored.
 
Don't tell me that Babylon is not arising.



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October 21, 2013

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

For me, science and religion complement one another. The two are not at odds with one another. The following poem speaks to this. It can be found in Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast: The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks
 
 
 
No Escaping From Your Self
 
Science you blame
for our degenerate ways.
Too much knowledge,
you say is the culprit.
 
How can this be?
Science is a mere tool.
Layers upon layers of delusions,
we must sift through,
to get to the Truth of the matter.
 
But no matter
how much fruit you eat from
the tree of knowledge,
you will always remain
a subject in the kingdom of God.



               Pic:Nikitu/Dreamstime.com

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October 14, 2013

Science and the Ascent of Humankind

I was shocked to hear that the Canadian government has been muzzling our scientists. Apparently those who are driving the economic engine of my great homeland do not want to be inconvenienced by the truth about climate change and its relationship to the oil sands. When money trumps the truth you know that we are in dangerous times. In no way should we allow greed to thwart our efforts at truth-seeking. Not when there is so much at stake. The very adaptation of our species is dependent upon our efforts to understand what is really going on.

Humans have been operating with a lengthy list of cognitive distortions passed down from one generation to the next for possibly thousands of years. Slowly we are weeding out the ignorant and superstitious aspects of our thinking. But, the unleashing of a species like ours from primitive thinking will continue to be a slow grind. Consequently we still carry out many anachronistic yet harmful behaviours such as female genital mutilation, circumcision and baptismal swims in the polluted Ganges river.

Fortunately there have been beacons of light along the way. The intellectuals of antiquity like Plato and Aristotle and the many other thinkers leading up to the age of the Enlightenment questioned traditional ideas and ways of doing things. Their contributions to the advancement of human reason laid the foundations for the scientific approach we have at our disposal today.

The scientific method with its systematic way of observing and measuring phenomena operates to reduce biased interpretations. Scientific investigation is supposed to be as objective as possible. Potentially then, science gives the human primate a chance to loosen the stranglehold that his subjective frame of reference has on his perceptions.

Those devoted to science and reason accumulate information and knowledge. They are after evidence. They employ systematic methods of observation to make sure they are not fooling themselves with unsubstantiated claims just like our ancestors did. I am not saying that current methods are flawless. However, science provides the best chance for our species to discover reality; that is, the Law that governs our organic predicament.

The scientific method, then, is merely a tool to help the human animal sift out the facts from fantasy. Nevertheless, science is a very powerful tool. With the shedding of the old superstitions and delusions, the psyche of Homo sapiens sapiens is transformed and our species once again gets to ascend the evolutionary ladder.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 


                                                                                        Pic: Courtesy of NASA


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