I’m really glad I don’t live in the 16th century. Or even a hundred years ago. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t be able to share my thoughts as I am now — at least not without getting burned at some stake. Here’s why.

I’ve been asking God to reveal the truth to me about Jesus. Who He is. How things work.

Last night, I had a dream that was very disturbing.

In the dream, I lived in dorm with a bunch of other girls. Everyone was happy and well-cared for. It came time for me to get my hair dyed. The tradition was that the girl’s father would take care of this matter for her.

To have my hair dyed, I had to stand underneath an platform while an innocent child’s blood dripped on me. I was appalled. I thought, “How could the child’s mother have made this deal with my father to allow her child to be killed for me?” I was enraged. I stepped out from underneath the platform and went back to the dorm.

I was ratty-looking and uncared for. The other girls all had gorgeous hair and were happy and enjoying life. I was miserable because of my unbelievably cruel father.

I returned to the platform. There was the boy who had been sacrificed on my behalf. He was lying there, almost dead. Next to him was an almost identical boy. Whenever I tried to ask the hurt boy what had happened to him, the other boy would answer, “They hurt me,” and go into details of the torture as if it were his own. He seemed spaced out, brainwashed.

Again, I was appalled at the cruelty of the boy’s father. Not only did he intend to kill the boy, but he was using the boy as a whipping boy for the son he truly loved. And even that love seemed twisted, as that boy was not a shining example of happiness and mental health.

An odd element of this dream was that on the platform next to the child who was being sacrificed was a big pile of bacon.

So here’s what I think it all means:

First of all, I think the bacon symbolizes something unholy. While lamb was an acceptable sacrifice back in the day, pig was most definitely not. It would have profaned the alter. So whatever was happening there was unholy. On the surface, this seems obvious, like DUH — of course a father torturing his son for someone else is an awful thing to do!

I think the whipping boy is Jesus. I think the father is a false idea of God. And the boy who was spaced out is the brainwashed person who thinks that God would torture his son on his behalf. And me, well, this dream was a pretty good representation of my spirit’s grief at considering the idea that I might have such a father.

I mean, God is my strength. My healer. My provider.

My rock. My shelter in times of trouble.

He is living water.

His love is enormous.

Yes, I doubt the atonement theory of the crucifixion. My conscious mind becomes frightened when I question orthodoxy, but apparently, my subconscious (spirit?) doesn’t have an issue with it.


Dandelions, the Ego, Karma and Jesus


This morning, I took the latest clothing that I sold out to the mailbox and was simply astounded at the beautiful day. So I plopped down in my front yard and laid there for a while. While I was down there with a bug’s-eye view of the dandelions growing in our yard, I felt thankful not to be rich in the typical sense.

I mean, I’m sure the overgrown yard with the dandelions and the woman with dirty bare feet lying in the front yard would go over really well in a ritzier neighborhood. I like not worrying about these things.

I feel really rich in the sense that matters, though. I am abundantly blessed. I cannot think of one way in which I am not blessed.


Sage had a horrible dream last night. It was his brain torturing him again. I’ve noticed a pattern in his life and my own. Whenever we are glorying in the beauty and goodness of God, the ego throws a fit. The more the ego is denied its way, the more it behaves like a small, evil little child. It’s freeing to step back and simply watch while it has its tantrums instead of thinking that’s who I am. I think I got that point across to Sage as well.


I’ve been reading Sikh scriptures the past couple of days. They’re really beautiful.

Endless are His Praises, endless are those who speak them. Endless are His Actions, endless are His Gifts. Endless is His Vision, endless is His Hearing. His limits cannot be perceived. What is the Mystery of His Mind? The limits of the created universe cannot be perceived. Its limits here and beyond cannot be perceived. Many struggle to know His limits, but His limits cannot be found. No one can know these limits. The more you say about them, the more there still remains to be said.

I know God is in those scriptures.

There’s a lot about karma there, as well. Karma makes sense, but ultimately, the whole idea bothers me. If I am being nice only in an effort to increase my own karma, then my actions are not coming from my heart. And if I believe that an abused child was an abuser in another life, then that thought kills compassion.

I’ve wondered if Jesus came to obliterate karma. After all, we no longer have to sacrifice lambs to pay for our sins. I was sitting in the yard thinking about this, when the parable of the vineyard workers came to mind.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

To me, this sounds like Jesus might be saying that there never was karma in the first place. After all, he told this story about the Kingdom of God before His death. Karma doesn’t exist if a worker for the Kingdom can be hired at the last minute and reap the same benefits.

I like the idea of no karma for me or anyone else. No karma…only open eyes.


No One Knows Anything and We Are All One

sheepOne of the things I like about the book of Job — in fact, the ONLY thing, really — is how God chews out Job’s friends at the end. He tells them that they have no clue how the Creator made the universe, and that their attempts at offering an explanation to Job for his travails was pretty much pathetic.

So in light of this story, it’s strange that so many people are absolutely certain about God and how He works. To some extent, I am one of them, since I am convinced of His love.


I had a dream the other night that hammered home how much I don’t know.

What happened is that I was protesting the Westboro Baptist folks. Then, God told me that I was exactly the same as they were. It was like I was looking at them, only it was really a mirror and I was seeing myself. The whole idea was that neither I nor the Westboro folks knew much of anything.

The other point that was embedded in this dream was that we are all one. Me and Fred Phelps — ONE.

When we commit violence against another, we are committing it against ourselves. Think about it. How much Fred must have hated himself.

Sometimes, it’s like I approach God as a hobby, hoping to become more proficient in time and learn completely what he is about — much like I might eventually become good enough at knitting to create an intricately cabled sweater. This is just not possible, though. Not knowing God to that extent, and in my case, probably not learning how to knit that well, either.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about some anger I have tucked away toward those people I perceive as blinding others to the Kingdom of Heaven. I’m thinking that God is telling me to drop the anger and just love them instead. Because they are me, and I am them, and God loves all of us.


From Animal Consciousness to God Consciousness

michelle and biddlesworthFirst of all, I know this post is weird. My mind runs around in all kinds of directions. This is the kind of thing that can happen to a person when she is working at home all day instead of being distracted by coworkers and work drama.

I want to tell you about the mind-meld that I (inadvertently) did with my cat Biddlesworth. Seriously.

For a few months, Biddlesworth would go absolutely nuts every time I put on my pajamas and got in bed. Before I got the idea of putting him in a time-out room when necessary, I would put up with his racing, jumping and clunking around until he wore himself out.

One night, I was particularly tired, and he Just. Wouldn’t. Stop. I must have lay in bed listening to him race around for 45 minutes before I drifted off. When I did, I had the most bizarre “dream.” In the dream, there were claws, the glee of torture and lots of lizard guts. The claws were mine. It was unlike anything else I had ever dreamed before — very, very real (and more gruesomely disgusting than words can convey).

I think, that in the semi-conscious delta wave state I was probably in, that I tapped into his little kitty consciousness. When I considered that, I was alarmed. Really? THIS is what goes through my little furry kitty’s mind?

After waking up from that five minute interlude of altered consciousness, I felt a bit uncomfortable when Biddlesworth climbed up on the bed and snuggled next to me. Then I deliberately put what had happened out of mind, at least for the time being.

I think of God as consciousness. You know how people say hell is separation from God? And that God can’t be around evil? Well, it makes sense, in a way. I am too uncomfortable with my kitty’s consciousness to ever want to mind-meld with him again. I can see how it would be the same way with God. I mean, if I’m a selfish jerk to people, God is probably not going to want to connect with me. If He does, he might feel that same shuddery ickiness that I did after the kitty incident.

So to be part of God consciousness — what I think of as the Kingdom of Heaven — I have to BE God consciousness. Not killer kitty consciousness, or selfish jerk consciousness, or whatever. Living and walking in LOVE is God consciousness, at least the way I see it.

A simpler way to say this is that it is probably a good idea to raise our vibe so that we can tune into the channel that we want to participate in. I mean, personally, I’d rather be hanging out on channel 95 listening to an amazing jazz concert than watching the horror movie on channel 3 or the low-budget game show on channel 15. Or, in the case of Biddlesworth, whatever channel Animal Planet is on.

Another thing. Do I know anything? Maybe yes, maybe no. And I don’t trust anyone who says they are certain about it all. I feel like I am a blind person grasping on to an elephant’s tail and thinking I’ve found a snake. No, make that a blind person grabbing on to a hair on the elephant’s tail. Maybe.

So what I wrote may or may not have a grain of truth in it. You’ll have to decide.


Why I am unChristian

I find myself at theological odds with almost every Christian I know. So much, in fact, that I question whether or not I should continue to refer to myself as such. In our culture, there is very little similarity to what I believe and to the cultural baggage that the word carries.

Here are some beliefs that seem to make me unChristian in today’s world:

    Violence is wrong under any circumstances. Jesus didn’t fight the oppressor Rome. Rather, he continued to try to open everyone’s eyes until they killed him — a death to which he submitted peacefully, forgiving his killers. Until Constantine legitimized (Romanized) the Christian religion, all Christ followers believed in non-violence. This is so far from the truth today, where we are perfectly comfortable supporting war in the name of our religion.

    Pointing out other’s moral failings is not the way of Christ. The only people who Jesus condemned were the folks who were criticizing others. Calling gay people “unrepentant sinners,” criticizing the movie Noah for not being Christian enough and looking down on others in any way is a distraction from the love and peace that is present in Christ. Culture wars — yuk.

    Many of the writings in the Old Testament are not literally true. Christ shows us what the spirit of God is actually like. I don’t believe, in the story of Noah, that God is a regretful killer who exterminates mankind. That is not the God I know. I think that story, and many like it, consist of layers of historical, cultural and philosophical meaning, some of which are obscured due to lack of context. For example, perhaps the story of Noah is about the death of the ego. Who knows. On the other hand, when the prophets cry out against injustice against the poor, I do indeed hear the actual voice of God speaking through them. How do I pick and choose what I think is true in the Old Testament? It’s simple. If it matches up with Jesus’s words, then I believe it. I am a Christ follower, not Jewish or a hybrid of Jew and Christian.

    Religion holds us captive. Jesus came to set the captives free, but religion puts chains on our minds. Why is it so scary to contemplate that our sacred writings might not be the actual words of God? Because we’ve been taught that to question is to be condemned. This is not freedom. Jesus continually referred to the Jewish canon as “your scriptures.” He didn’t call them “my word” or anything like that. He wanted people to open their eyes and be free.

    I’m not really worried about anything Paul said. I like the apostle Paul, especially what he says about the fruits of the spirit. But I don’t fret anymore over trying to figure out his writings. I don’t think he ever fully released the bonds of his culture, and this is reflected in his writings. Whenever there is a conflict between something he wrote and the freedom I find in the words of Jesus, I choose Jesus.

    I think sin is a lack of love. For example, promiscuity is wrong not because of the act, but because it’s not loving to sleep around. Not to the resulting child who will then likely grow up without two parents or to the broken-hearted partners that one leaves in one’s wake. Selfishness is a sin because it ignores the needs of another. The only cure for a lack of love is to show love, not to point it out in a self-righteous manner.

    I’m sure there’s plenty more things that disqualify me for Christianity in many people’s books, such as the fact that I can’t stomach attending a church that doesn’t believe in female clergy, for example. I am definitely at odds with American Christianity.

    I am content to not label myself at all, but if someone asks, I suppose I’ll keep saying that I’m a Christ-follower and leave it at that.