So, you think you are enlightened? 2015-01-07

By Chuck Robison 20120220-_MG_6032

This article appeared in the January 7, Hill Country News.

My Daddy always told me: “You are allowed to choose your friends, but God gives you your family.” That makes pretty good sense. It also may be true that we choose our parents and siblings from a list of candidates presented to us by God. In either case, our family of origin is not a haphazard affair. Looking back, you may be able to see that your family provided your soul some of the most powerful lessons it needed to learn this lifetime.

Soul lessons are the reason we are here. This is the big classroom where we are free to create as we wish and also experience the consequences of our creations. Generally, we see that soul lessons are not exactly easy, but are always profound.

Looking back on the past six weeks, you may easily see why Guru Ram Dass said: “If you consider yourself enlightened, spend your holidays with your family.” I know, I laughed too! Our families are the very people who know exactly and precisely how to push our buttons and act like nothing of the sort just happened. But they know their history with us and they have no more revised their history of us than we have revised our history of them.

Often a trip home, for any purpose, is a refresher course in living through old and oft times pain-full memories. One thing is for sure, our families almost always fail to see the person we believe we have become. Too much history and too many old habits get in the way. That may explain why many of us do not look forward to family events.

But there they sit at the dining room table ready for the Great Meal and the “conversation” that feels like we memorized it back in high school. Looking back over the past six weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may have wondered why Ozzie and Harriet and the Brady Bunch and all the families we grew up with in the media of our day seemed so ‘normal’ and so happy. Just remember, Normal is basically a setting on a clothes dryer, not a measure of social or spiritual progress.

The Lord Jesus, Ram Das and the myriad of history’s spiritual teachers have all said that we are here to learn who we are and to lay up treasures in heaven, not worldly success and other peoples’ judgment of us and our progress.

So now that we have once again passed through the family lens of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it makes sense to ask yourself: “What Have I Really Learned?” and “Where should I look for the next lessons I most need to learn?” You may even have gotten a glimpse of the reality that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and not the other way around.

An old friend of mine, reminded me back in the 70’s of this simple rule: “The Great Way is easy for those with no expectations.” Releasing expectations, positive or negative, frees us up to experience reality without knowing in advance, what any situation, person or event has to teach us.

Early on, The Course in Miracles Workbook has this lesson: “I have given everything I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place) all the meaning that it has for me.” Once you are ready to release your expectations and let God show you the real lesson you are about to learn, you are ready to accept what your soul, and not your ego, needs to experience to aide you on the path to your enlightenment.

In a later lesson in The Course, we learn that in any given instant, we can release our hold on reality and say simply, to God: “This Holy Instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, Certain that your direction gives me peace.” This is the path to forgiveness and to enlightenment. Perhaps you might like to look up The Course in Miracles. I assure you it will create a change for the better in your life.

Your Life and Death Situation!

20120220-_MG_6032Chuck Robison

Palm Sunday is a time of great celebration, at the first observance and also in 2013. The child who grew up to be God was recognized, after all those years, as the one who would save the Jews. Or, so many people thought. In a way, this was the biggest parade ever because it was propelled, not by a donkey, as some saw, but by the expectant hearts of those who believed what others thought impossible: The one who would save them was here at last.

The debate raging in Jerusalem that week continues to rage in Jerusalem and all the world’s capitols today. It also tugs at the hearts of all who are in pain. Pain of a beautiful past lost and the likelihood of a darker future, and no Savior in sight.

Here in Texas, we feel the stirring of spring and the new life we have longed for. We also feel the pain of dreams never realized, dreams that rode into our lives in a parade of hope……..A Savior is coming to alter our future for the better! If only we can find him.

Days later the hope of Palm Sunday was shattered by the execution of the child who grew up to be God. The Savior who was coming was now gone and the people who paraded so hopefully days earlier were locked in the darkness of a tomb with their pain.

We hear tell that Jesus will come again. However, The Christ never left. As promised, He has been right here with us all along, and in his own words, he will be here with us “until the end of the age”. The child Jesus who became God left his body with us on that Friday and used his much larger spiritual body to convince those who believed that he was still right here.

Today, like the participants in the first Palm Sunday, we seek to follow one or anyone who we think can save us from the pain and gloom many feel in sickness and loss and fear of the future.

We are told to work out our own salvation, in many cases with fear and trembling. But whenever God appeared to men in Bible times as an angel, the first word the angel always said was: “Fear Not”.

When we look outside ourselves for a Savior, only to discover he is not there, fear is an understandable reaction. The historic church used that fear to convince us we were sinners who should fear God. Jesus, The Christ, did not concur. In all the gospels, Jesus used “sin”, “sinner”, “sinning” only twenty-two times. Love, forgiveness, our being totally loved by our Creator-Father and our unconditional access to His power are much more common themes than sin. As classically defined, sin is simply missing the mark. Aiming for something and hitting something else.

There was a thief. Perhaps he deserved to die, but according to the Commandments we have received and say we follow, we are to kill no one….guilty or not. And at the last moment, when there were no options left, this thief chose to do something very simple. He changed his mind. Using that change of mind, from the deepest part of his heart, he asked the child who grew up to be God to remember him when he came into his kingdom. And the child who became God, who had always been in his Kingdom, spoke the sweetest words in the entire Bible: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

With God, there is no wait. Change happens at the speed of thought, (the New Scientists call it Superluminal Speed) which is much faster than the speed of light. The thief worked out his own salvation instantaneously by changing his mind and asking The Christ for it.

Doubt not this can happen to you, right now, today. By changing your mind you can experience the paradise that Jesus, The Christ, promised he came here to give you.

What I Gave Up For Lent

20120220-_MG_6032Chuck Robison

In two years we will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing the 95 Theses on the door of The Castle Church in Wittenberg and the beginning of The Protestors Re-Formation of Christianity. There have been many 500-year cycles in History and we use the myth of The Phoenix to remind us of that. And each has ended and been replaced by the next 500 year cycle. But breaking up is so hard to do!

In my religious career, spanning the last forty-five years, the Protestant focus has been and still is…..the past. We tend to judge ourselves, especially our clergy, on how well they profess to believe what used to be true. But that’s History and that was then and this is now. Even so, for many, the past is still more alluring than what is happening right before our very eyes. By that I mean: we are squarely in the middle of the greatest trans-formation of our understanding of our place in the Universe in known History.

Religions seem to change more slowly than anything else we experience. In fact, where religion is concerned, change happens one funeral at a time! Yet, we are all experiencing time speeding up more and more every day. We no longer have the luxury of going slowly with anything, including our historical religions.

One of the great issues during the early part of the Re-Formation was that of Science. The Holy Roman Catholic Church simply refused to allow new science any room in its’ pulpits or its’ pews. But science persisted despite the fact that as recently as last week some of our fellow Christians thought that science was against our spirituality and run by atheists. But the New Science is not against discovering how spiritual truths and scientific realities are completely harmonious with, and a part of, a much larger whole.

Today, as Einstein predicted, science and religion are approaching the top of the mountain where they will shake hands and congratulate each other for having reached the summit, by two separate paths. And strangely enough, the scientists are beginning to discover that Consciousness is the big picture that encompasses objective reality and the world of Spirit. Some religious people are discovering that the restrictive World View of the Re-Formation simply no longer works. The Re-Formation, as important as it was, took place in a world that was flat, where atoms were solid and Earth was the center around which the sun journeyed every day. Five hundred years later, we see ourselves out here on a small planet, in a small solar system on the outskirts of a small galaxy amid billions of other galaxies. Our Hubble telescope allows us to see far, far across this Universe.

I have joined Pierre de Chardin, the brilliant Catholic Theologian and Tom Campbell, the brilliant NASA Physicist, and many others who have experienced our ability to live our lives as eternal spirits having a brief human experience. And herein lies the future.

Our new Re-Formation / Trans-Formation is taking us to heights we could scarce believe even as the last century ended and we were propelled, ready or not, into this 21st century. With the publication of our Astronauts’ picture of Earthrise from the Moon, we clearly left behind the notion of national boundaries, separation by skin color, language and gender and, yes, even religion. Today, we can no longer pretend each of us is an island in the Sun……we are all ONE…….and lo and behold…..we are ONE with the entire Universe. The past, which saw so much separation, is now rapidly being replaced by a global Trans-Formation that sees and celebrates our connectedness to the very end of the Universe. From the circulation of the stars within the largest galaxy to the spinning of the smallest atomic particles in our bodies, it is all one. And one Historical insight is even truer: God is Omnipresent. Welcome Home!

So, for me, right now, this year’s Lenten season is a celebration of our complete unity with God and all of his Creation. There is only one God, to whom we have assigned many different names in many different religions, just as there is only one Humanity, one Universe and one time……NOW! This year I have chosen to sacrifice the past and embrace the future…..and God is as surely in the center of this Trans-Formation into the future as he appeared hidden in the separations of the past.

As a result of working with religions from all over the world at The United Nations, there is one thing I know for sure: we are all longing to discover that God is bigger than any of our false separations or antique beliefs. All 7 billion of us are about to discover that we are spiritual beings traveling all over the Universe free to create and learn the lessons God wants us to experience. And once you discover how easy it is to travel across that Universe and between dimensions, as String Theory begins to explain, you will discover God has not only created you his Child, he has given you an inheritance that bestows upon you the very power of the Universe itself….and you have had that for all eternity.

So this year, I am choosing to give up the Re-Formation, the past and our littleness, in exchange for experiencing the Power and the Glory that God has freely given each of us as his Child.

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Chuck Robison is the former Adjunct Protestant Chaplain at The Church Center of The United Nations in New York. He and his wife Karen now produce a weekly Internet TV show at their website www.whatifitreallyworks.com where they interview students of Consciousness, New Science and Spirituality. Chuck is a graduate of Austin College and Princeton Seminary.

Photo: David Saenz