Realizations

Philosophy in the Middle of the Desert

Zen Christianity October 3, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 1:11 pm

Zen Christianity vs. Common Sense Christianity

6-9-16- Tonight I realized my phone was about to die so I got up to get the charger, and when I arose from my seat I was suddenly surprised by my perspective of the room. For some reason, I felt taller than usual, and looked around the room realizing how tall I was, and what it’s like to see things as an adult. I looked down at my feet to make sure nothing was out of place. Then, somehow while I was standing there, I felt compelled to close my eyes and have a heartfelt prayer, standing under my blowing ceiling fan with the light coming down on me. It was a moving prayer time and I felt love for God which compelled me to sit down in quiet, humble submission before the King. As I sat there, I genuinely felt a strong feeling of worship and love for Jesus, and then I felt Him there in the room before me, more so than I have all year. With His presence so clear before me, I talked to Him as if He were really there in the room with me — talking to God in bodily (though resurrected) form, aka the Word, who was with the Father in the beginning, and was the creative agent of planet Earth.

Recently, I’ve been going through a spiritual paradigm shift, forsaking the Zen Mystic Christianity tendencies I’ve had for the last several years (that is, clearing my mind and listening for the Spirit, which trumps all logic and whatever I previously believed) for a more practical, commonsense, logical, self-focused approach to Christianity — the kind of Christianity that uses our bodies and intellect and logic that God gave us, combined with the truth that mankind has learned in its history, to analyze ourselves and determine what is the best logical way that we can advance the cause of Christ (within the boundaries of the truth of the Bible).

However, because my Zen Christian approach was so engrained into my psyche (and reinforced by many of my Christian peers who are convinced it is the highest, purest approach), I couldn’t feel totally at peace that I was doing the right thing by focusing more on what I think makes sense instead of opening my mind for whatever leading I feel. So naturally, part of me was feeling guilty that I was putting God on the back burner, and instead trusting in man. So when this surprise feeling of intimacy with Jesus Himself came up randomly out of nowhere, I rolled with it, desiring to see where it would lead and if I could confirm it was the best approach, once and for all.

It lead to this: I thanked Jesus (in front of me) for dying for me and loving me. I told Him I loved Him and would do anything for Him, trusting that He loves me and would give me whatever I need to be obedient to Him. I said, “I love you, Jesus,” and I felt a strong impression that He was saying back to me, “Do you love Me?”
I said genuinely from the heart, “Jesus, You KNOW I love You,” and He said, “Then feed my sheep.”
Then while thinking about how I might do that, something instantly flashed in my mind. It was the concert that I had marked in my calendar tonight to go see — a local band whose music is really good, but has a dark, weird, possibly satanic influence. I was invited and had planned to go, but canceled my plans when a previously-scheduled Skype meeting with two close friends fell into place tonight. I had dismissed the concert plans, knowing my night would be filled. But now, so strong was this impression that this was Jesus’ sign of how to feed his sheep (based on me, my giftings, and my sphere of influence as a musician) that it ended the conversation and experience, and I was left with a clear resolve that this was what I was supposed to do.

I thought, “Wow, I haven’t felt such a strong, clear impression from the Spirit like this in a long time,” and I thought maybe it was too late to still catch the concert — but that was just me trying to get out of doing it. The band I knew was the last one playing, and I discovered it was only 9:30. Since that was even more time than I thought I had, that settled it for me. I felt guilty for how my spiritual approach had shifted recently — putting God on the back burner, distancing myself from Him as I tried using my own intellect to determine how best to serve Him. But now I was back to where I was supposed to be, back to being open and led by the Spirit, and it felt amazing to be back and so connected with God again. With a strong resolve and as clear an indication from the Spirit as ever, I determined to follow through with it. I said, “You know what? I’m just going to try this out and test if this is really Jesus leading. This will settle the score once and for all between Zen Christianity and Common Sense Christianity. If there was ever a leading from the Spirit, it would be this — with this strong presence, and my feeling of the Spirit’s leading. This will show me once and for all how I can distinguish between mere emotional impulses and the Spirit, if God uses me tonight.” I truly believed that it was the Spirit and that I was about to experience something supernatural.

I was feeling tired and didn’t want to go out, as late as it was. But I knew God would show up, so I drank a 5-hour ENERGY to wake me up for whatever was in store for the long night to come. Then, filled with faith, I stepped out onto the waves — following Jesus’ calling, feeling great about this like I was finally giving up my doubts and hesitancies to live the Spirit-led life of a Christian.

With excitement and expectation, I went to where the address on Facebook said to go. I found a parking spot and then walked around trying to find the location, expecting supernatural signs and encounters to guide me there. It turned out to be an apartment building, and I thought skeptically, “There’s going to be a heavy grunge show in an apartment?” But, in faith, I walked into the building. No one in sight, so I searched around. I went up the second floor and walked past the apartment doors, quietly, so as to listen for the distant sounds of grunge. Nothing. I went up the third, then fourth, then fifth floors. Nothing. I came back down, quietly listening, and after 30 minutes of searching, with nowhere else to look, I got back in my car and drove home. On my way home I thought, “Okay, so maybe Jesus’ plan for me wasn’t at the show but maybe the whole point of that was to get me out of the house for a certain reason.”  So I pulled over to a gas station, looked around to see anything in particular. Nothing abnormal. No leadings. So I drove home cautiously, and pulled up to the house looking around. There was no one on the street to talk to. Nothing. So I went inside, took a shower, and went to bed, confused and dismayed.

What happened?

Two Options:

  1. Somehow my complicated mind had produced a hallucination, and conjured up a tangible feeling inside of Jesus’ presence and voice.
  2. I really did have an encounter initiated by God, but it was His way of showing me that I should stop looking for some spontaneous, mystical experience to determine my decision-making, and instead use my God-given intellect in response to God’s definite, clear voice in the Bible.

Even now while writing this I find it hard to believe that my experience was a mere hallucination, as real as it seemed. It seemed very clear and tangible, as tangible as I would expect it to feel to St. Paul. And, it was just as tangible as times in the past when I felt something similar when it seemed that God DID do something supernatural following an experience that confirmed it actually was from God. But for now, in conclusion to my inner-wrestling of the best approach to Christianity (Zen Christianity vs. Common Sense Christianity), and true to what I said was at stake when I gave Zen Christianity one final, earnest shot tonight, I have finally come to a firm resolution:

I haven’t yet figured out a way to determine what is the Spirit’s voice and what is simply an emotional impulse concocted mysteriously by my unfathomably complicated brain. I know that the Bible talks about the Spirit speaking to the early Christians, forbidding them to go certain places in their journey, etc., but I haven’t figured out what that actually feels like, so all I have to go by is my intellect (what makes the most sense for how best to serve God), so I’m going to go by that and use it to the best of my ability until God, in His supernatural providence, changes my mind. And this had already been my conclusion before this spontaneous change of plans. I realized I just wasted an hour that, up until the point of this spiritual detour, I had planned to be spending on seriously and strategically thinking of steps I can take to overcome my greatest weakness of being a people-pleaser and the fear of rejection.

Let me make myself perfectly clear, I think that every finite human should pray and meditate every single day, asking the infinite, omniscient God to show him His will or any error in his short-sighted thinking. I’m just saying whatever pops into your head should be tested by your own intellect, and a funny feeling shouldn’t trump everything else you’re doing and everything you think to be true. In my case, a funny feeling distracted me from sitting down and getting serious about overcoming my great sin of people-pleasing, and instead of going to bed at a healthy hour and getting rest for my body, I drank a 5-hour ENERGY in misguided faith.

God is greatly using me in my life right now, supernaturally using me to help people come closer to Him, blessing my attempts to serve Him and do His will. However, none of it is the result of me clearing out my mind and waiting for some image or impulse to pop into my mind, or what people associate with “listening to the Spirit.” I’m just doing what makes sense to me based on what the Bible says I should do. And, for maybe the first time ever, I’m trying to bring my personal potential to its pinnacle, so as to serve God to the best of my personal ability. I have been focusing on physical means: strengthening my body; training my brain to be motivated; keeping optimistic, focused, and disciplined; and devising a strategy to best implement my talents in order to serve God maximally. This is the common sense approach to Christianity, as advocated by people like Tony Robbins (www.tonyrobbins.com or Day 1 of his Program), and I’m already seeing results, so I’ll see where this takes me.

Thank you, God, for using this experience to put to rest my inner-wrestling and conflicted convictions of what the best approach to the Christian life for me is. And, help me now to go to sleep after taking that unnecessary 5-hour ENERGY, because it’s 3AM and I don’t want to get sick…

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The Curse of Canaan January 24, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 12:05 pm

About 4000 years ago there was a country called Canaan that was full of evil people who practiced perverted sexuality and even killed their children as a sacrifice to the gods. Finally their evil got so bad that the god Yahweh decided to destroy their entire civilization off the face of the earth. So he looked around for an army to destroy them and he found a large people group in Egypt who had been slaves to the Egyptians for hundreds of years. He thought he would do two great goods: administer justice on the evil people and at the same time free these poor, innocent slaves from their oppression. So Yahweh appeared to the slaves and cursed their Egyptian captors with plagues until their leaders let the slaves leave. He then led the slaves to Canaan and told them he would give them their land if they would utterly destroy everything living in the land: men, women, children, and animals. And so the slaves conquered the land with the help of Yahweh and dwelled freely. However, they didn’t destroy all people from the land as Yahweh commanded, but kept some alive. Thus for centuries in the midst of their freedom there was constant warring with the remnant of the original people still left in Canaan. Over time, the evil customs of the remaining Canaanite people gradually influenced the slaves until one day the slaves became just as evil as the evil people they had been told to destroy, and so Yahweh found another army to come into the land of Canaan and conquer the slaves just as he had first told the slaves to conquer the evil people of Canaan, and the slaves were taken from their free land and brought into another country to become slaves again.

That is the story of the Old Testament.

 

Hope June 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 9:23 pm

Hope.  I need hope, every single moment.  For to be hopeless is the worst torture possible.  Indeed hopelessness is Hell, and what makes Hell the worst torture.   But if I have hope, then I know that all pain is temporary, and torture is bearable.

I have hope.  Wow.  What statement could be more vulnerable than that?  I feel naked just saying it.  There is something inscrutably powerful there.  As if I just let go of all the circumstances, all logic, what seems realistic, and fell into the hands of God, at His mercy, hoping He’ll catch me, trusting those hands are loving.

It’s not “I hope He’ll catch me”; it’s “I have hope that He’ll catch me.”

[21314, written with left hand at Abbey of Gethsemani]

 

The Thing I Love The Most January 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 6:19 pm

This is probably my friend fearandmere’s most profound post. Let him know what you think!

fearandmere

What if I gave up the thing I love the most to completely and wholeheartedly serve God? What then could I become? Oh the possibilities! My Father and I could become one. I could finally have the eyes to see that this is all an illusion. I am a shadow of the real but only because I hide in the shadow. And you cannot be in the shadow without being in darkness. Kierkegaard said, ‘The purity of heart is to want one thing.’ And that one thing is God. He should be all I want because ultimately he is all there is anyway. Why not gouge out the eyes of periphery? Only God and only purity! But I hold on to the thing I love the most. Don’t we all? I clutch it with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all…

View original post 120 more words

 

Crisis Philosophy October 28, 2014

[as originally typed up on my iphone from 4:30-6am, 101714, after waking from a nightmare, terrified by the disgusting abominations I saw and felt, as if they were really happening]

 

The disgusting, demonic nightmare:
The old, placid doctor talked to his assistant (a pretty, young blonde in a labcoat), as if another routine day on the job:
“Yes, my dear. We’re going to rape you and burn you and chop you up and freeze you.”
The young lady was standing very routinely, but with a sudden look of surprise and confusion. Then two men came up from behind and grabbed her, put her down on the ground, and put a large ice bag on her neck.  She screamed as they started chopping her ankles with a butcher’s knife. But the scene cut right before the blade touched her flesh. And I thought, well that’s a relief the scene was cut, otherwise it would have been inappropriate.
Then I was on a bus and this same scene was playing as a movie on a screen. I was watching it again with the other people on the bus and when it got to the point of chopping her ankles I knew the camera would stop again just in time before the blade cut, otherwise it would have been inappropriate for a public place like that. But there was sitting in front of me a pretty young blonde, similar to the young nurse in the movie, and she turned her head away right before the chop, in horror, unable to watch anymore. Then the movie showed the nurse’s head on the ground next to the opaque freezer box which contained her chopped up body. And that’s when I woke up, full of terror and overcome with disgust at the darkness of that movie. And yet I already said in the dream that “at least it wasn’t inappropriate”, though that same “appropriate” movie caused the girl in front of me to turn in disgust, and was enough for me to wake me up in a terrified panic. What symbolism there is all throughout this dream!

And, as only a dream can do, my mind and heart were suddenly opened, and I could feel the fear and pain that blonde nurse experienced, and all my first world problems vanished. I realized that intense human suffering like that was going on right now in the world; it didn’t end with the Holocaust. And being in that fatal doctor’s office with that nurse, I felt her panicked desperation as she thought “Surely there is someone who can save me! Surely there is someone coming for me, or at least working or fighting to get here and rescue me!”

 

Then this dialog played in my mind while I was recovering from the dream.
Old European gentleman: “Oh come now. Eat. Drink!  Be merry. There is much to do, but there is also a time to enjoy life!”
Neo: “No. You don’t get it. You don’t realize how evil evil is. If you did you wouldn’t be able to put that food down. You would be staying up all night thinking and working to save these innocent people right now. The hand is cancerous and its spreading faster than a venom, but because of the remaining good in it we ignore the bad for a little bit longer, hoping it will get better… Hoping until it’s too late.”
Gentleman: “You can’t just throw away the good with the bad, the baby with the bath water!”
Neo: “But I say, yes!  Throw it out!  Better to enter life with one hand than to burn in hell with both.  The thing that’s keeping this kind of evil active is humanity’s existence. As long as we’re still around there will be immense suffering, because there will always be demons to put evil emotions and ideas in our hearts, and just enough lazy, complacent good people to keep the world good enough, and not altogether bad enough to cut off. Good enough people are the problem. It’s the hardworking man in Iowa who works an honest job and comes back to a wholesome meal with his family and settles in for a night in front of the tv. This is the problem. This is what’s allowing more time for the evil in the world to go on betraying and cheating and lying and piercing and burning. This is what’s keeping the stew just lukewarm enough to not be thrown out.  Oh, you don’t understand the evil that exists!”

God, destroy this Sodom even though there be 10 righteous in it!

 

I think about the horrible, utterly disgusting depravity of this world with its inhuman media, making movies like Human Centipede. Not only are people given opportunities and incentives to let their minds wander to such dark corners, inspired by the dark boundaries surpassed by those before them, but then they invest time and money to not only make their evil imaginations visible, but to put them in other people’s heads, into the minds of people that might not ever think of these evil things otherwise. Such is the cancer of pornography and MTV and Hollywood, who makes inescapable commercials that are literally filled with the same scenes that made movies in the 60’s rates R, and in the 50’s rated X.  And yet most Americans think this is … Wait for it… GOOD!!!  We have been so numbed to the evils of pornography that we have also been numbed to the good of innocence and virginity. Numbed to how good it is seeing a young woman as a soul, created in the image of God, and the beautiful work of art she is within, and thus is our desire to protect her from pain and devaluing numbed. The hardworking family man in Iowa is doing nothing to stop this genocide, but instead embraces it, even if only subtly, and subjects his family to it as acceptable prime time tv!  He is the problem. He is in the way of justice and mercy. He is no better than the passive Germans who kept living everyday life when there was a concentration camp in their backyard. Oh that you were hot or cold, holy or evil, but you are lukewarm, and even though you are not altogether bad you will be thrown out, and cause the rest of us to be thrown out with you.

 

When we were children our eyes were still open to see the gravity of evil and it could make us vomit, but today we have been so numbed to how great this evil is, that instead of vomiting out the poison we laugh at it, ingest it, spread it, and it kills us all. America could very well be the most wicked nation on Earth, for we are a Great Whore seeking out nations to invite to drink our cup of adultery, and so make them guilty also. And as if our rated R movies and pornography and sex slavery wasn’t bad enough, what’s even worse than all of that is that we stamp “In God We Trust” on it. I assure you God doesn’t take that blasphemy lightly.

 

Right now, somewhere in the world, someone is being tortured just as bad as the horrors of the Nazis and their Holocaust.  Like what’s going on in Iraq at the hands of ISIS right now.
If I live a good, comfortable life but someone else is living in Hell as we speak, then may both our lives be snuffed if it stops their suffering; for pain is more tangible than joy. Until then let us fight this horror with whatever time and energy we have left.
I pray God would have mercy on us, as in the days of Noah, and wipe us all out for the sake of the suffering that we have allowed to become this unimaginably horrible. I don’t care about justice, all I care about is ending the pain. With people going through this kind of intense pain right now, how can we do anything but be constantly working to rescue them? I mean, we’re in a state of emergency crisis! Put on hold your job, your marriage, your parenthood! Don’t you dare waste any more time on entertainment and recreation when you could always be doing something to help in the fight against the suffering of the innocent. I know you’d wish people would give up entertainment to fight for you if you were in that kind of pain. If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.
Better to err on the side of righteousness and holiness than on the side of blasphemy, apathy, laziness, lust, and violence.

 

———————–

The next morning I knew I had to do something. And while I’m limited at helping to fight the genocide of ISIS (you can support Voice of the Martyrs as they are actively helping those victims), I knew that there were plenty of horrors happening in my own backyard, and so I signed up to volunteer myself (not just my money) with End Slavery TN. Even if all I can help with right now is sorting papers or doing data entry or writing essays, I’m at least part of the solution to bring relief to the suffering. Even if I can do nothing more than menial tasks right now, so that more active people in the organization aren’t tied down doing them, then I will allow more time/energy/attention to be directed to help the suffering.  In whatever we do, we need to live like we’re really in a state of emergency crisis, because we are.

 

Crisis Philosophy: Symbolism of Dream

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 10:44 am

Symbolism:
Dreams show you the utter transparencies of your heart, make you watch how you would react to certain situations in real life. The scene I watched in private was disgusting enough in and of itself, but, since my heart and mind have become so numbed by the immoral norm of American entertainment, in normal life I would have thought that talking about raping, chopping, and burning an innocent young woman wasn’t inappropriate, nor even when they force her onto the ground showing what’s about to happen, that’s not inappropriate either. And not even when it’s in public, on a bus when people are forced to watch it, do I think it’s inappropriate. But the blonde girl in front of me obviously thought it was inappropriate. Perhaps she was especially offended, identifying with the blonde girl in the movie, putting herself in her shoes, feeling vulnerable and threatened.

 

The god of Embarrassment October 22, 2014

Filed under: Christianity/Theology/Spirituality — milesprowers @ 1:48 pm
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I worship the god of Embarrassment.  Not in the same way I worship Jehovah.  For I worship Jehovah in praise and great joy and love and gratitude and rest.  But I burn incense on the altar of Embarrassment in great fear, so as to appease his spirits, to pacify him a little longer that I might have partial relief.  And yet Jesus said, you cannot serve two masters.  For you HAVE TO love one and hate the other.  You cannot serve both God and Mammon.  But I don’t serve Mammon; I serve Embarrassment.  And that HAS to change!  For right now I’m not open to doing ANYTHING God tells me to do, only those things which don’t conflict with my previous commitments to Embarrassment.  And so I bind the hand of God from healing this suffering world.  Just so I can live in an illusory comfort zone, hiding behind my rituals and tradition, trying to worship a man-made idol.

 

On the Tips of our Tongues April 24, 2014

Father, order my thoughts and make them words.

There is something on the tips of all our tongues.  It’s the look on the face of a dying man, just released from the hospital, sitting with his eyes closed listening to his friends read a book with him, resting in the gift of that moment.  There’s something there. Something so powerful that I’m speechless, and I don’t dare to interrupt the embrace of that bliss. We all felt it but we couldn’t grasp it; we didn’t know what to do except savor it before it was gone. There are no words for that feeling. We just don’t get it. It’s on the tip of our tongues but we can’t say it.   On the tip of our hearts and souls but we cannot comprehend it.

It’s when a random song starts playing and it unexpectedly brings you to your knees, brings tears to your eyes, and all you can think to do is stretch out your hands to praise God, the only one you can think to attribute such euphoria to.  We don’t understand why or how, but it’s there. There’s something there which we just can’t get at.

But very soon all will be complete and we will see it as it truly is. We will become real and experience reality. We will sense with maximum perception.  For we will no longer glimpse the divine with fleeting experiences, but we will live the divine.

When you smell a fragrance you haven’t smelled since childhood and the nostalgia overwhelms all your senses and melts you inside, bringing you close to unconsciousness, it is a taste of what is to come.  Though right now we can only taste it on the tips of our tongues.  There’s something happening in our midst that is deeper than anything we can ever know right now.  Something is about to burst at the seams.  And when it does we will look back and laugh at our finitude.  But until then all we have are snapshots into the Director’s commentary, glimpses of the divine.

photo (2)

 

April 8, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — milesprowers @ 10:59 am

“Why are you asking Me to give you trust in Me?  Do you trust Me?  

And why are you asking Me to give you love for Me?  Don’t you love Me?”

 

A Man After God’s Own Heart March 6, 2014

I think of a child running through the meadows, wide-eyed with wonder, a radiant smile, hands outstretched to Heaven, spinning around, throwing up flowers to the sky, to God.  Taking in the mountains and fields, loving life, rejoicing in it.  Loving God who he can feel there with him, who he knows intimately, talks to and praises openly, with all his heart, thanks God for the beauty of nature, which he knows are God’s gifts to His children, fruit of His love.

And God responds to this innocent boy, perfect in heart, by coming alive around him.  As the boy runs, the flowers around him open up, the clouds part to reveal a beautiful sunset, a breeze blows his hair, light shines down on him, birds fly by, deer appear.  It’s the manifestation of God smiling and hugging the boy, telling him how much He loves him.  And likewise, as if trying to hug back just as hard, the boy shouts at the top of his lungs, “LORD!  I love you with all my heart!!!”

And being overwhelmed with this euphoric experience he falls backward into a soft bed of flowers, eyes closed, no longer focusing on the manifestation of God, but rather God Himself, there beyond the senses. He doesn’t know what else to do except whisper over and over, “I love You.  Thank You.  I praise You.”  Then his joy reaches the next level where his smile turns into a frown and tears of supernatural joy freely flow from his face.  The boy doesn’t care who sees or about anything else going on, because all he cares about is loving and worshiping God as much as he can.

[written with my left hand, while my right was sprained, on 1/16/14]