Decorative frame for class description
Thursday F​eb. 14th 2013
The Ground of Your Being and Your Own Personal Name of God

Religion and its more distant cousin, Spirituality, have, I think, for a lot of people always felt like this "alien matter" or "foreign substance" that you had to learn about, figure out and follow some complicated set of rules to satisfy its requirements. But your spirituality lies at the very root of your being, quite interlocked with everything else about your existence. Years ago, before I ever got out of traditional religion and was still at boarding school (although, lucky enough, I might add, to have wound up around the far less dogmatic minds and teachings of the Quakers), a book was published in England called "Honest to God", which I got quite excited about, written, if I remember correctly, by the then Bishop of Woolwich. I don't remember much else about the contents of the book, except this one thought: "God is the ground of your being. How can you deny the ground of your being?" Amid all the isms and schisms of religion, then add to that the confusion of teen years, that idea still actually made sense to me then. Still does! I might emphasise the"YOUR" of "your being" much more now than I did then, having a bit more confidence about and awareness of individuality. Your flavour or piece of God or the Big Universe isn't quite the same as mine, or the Bishop of Woolwich's (whoever he is now), or even Pope Benedict's who must have consulted the "ground of his being" to make this recent, dramatic decision, as well as the annals and traditions of the Catholic Church. I personally think that he might have been aided by a good, Italian movie we saw last year called "Habemus Papem"about> a pope who had well.... issues, and... this is not to be a spoiler alert! The movie has subtitiles, is also good for anyone wanting to brush up on a bit of Italian, as well as have their mind stretched a bit about things papal and catholic, with a good sprinking of humor as well as pathos.

The "ground of your being" is in you and is you. Popes are no more or less "infallible" than anyone else. Jesus took on physical life too and, from our perspective, many times, jus abot like the rest of us. The nature and the dimension of the physical plane involves a physical exploration, journey and body, or what you might call a vehicle for experience. But you don't have to confuse that which is physical and temporary with that which is not temporary and time-less i.e. outside of the dimension of time. There is a quote being passed around now, attributed to CS Lewis but is in fact by his mentor, George MacDonald that says "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body". The "ground of your being" is not physical, which most people actually know. Take a look at your thoughts, beliefs and emotions! Take a look at your mind! They are not physical. There's a lot more going on in there, whatever it is, that has a lot more to do with you and "the ground of your being" than what is going on on the outside. That's not to undermine all the confusion and drama that is going on on the outside. But, in any case, it's your "insides" that have to deal with your "outside". And the inside is much, much bigger than the outside. In Qabalah JHVH or Jod, Heh, Vau, Heh is considered to be a representation of The Name of God. Each letter stands for an aspect of God. These four aspects are the same as the four elements of Astrology (fire, water, air and earth) and the four suits of Tarot (wands, cups, swords and pentacles). In Tarot we calculate your four birth cards i.e. one for each element or suit. We call these birth cards your Personal Name of God. Only one of these elements or suits is physical (earth or pentacle); the other three are all inner....which makes life three parts inner and one part outer! Or, if you go to the traditional iceberg image where you only see 1/10 of the iceberg at the top, then life is 9/10 inner and hidden, and 1/10 outer or visible!

Temperance Tarot Card Ryder Waite deckIt is the Temperance card in Tarot that pictures relationship between the inside and the outside. The Angel has one foot in water (spirit/inner) and one foot on land (physical/outer) and pours or juggles between the two. The card teaches you to look inside in the deepest way you know how and learn to channel that awareness into the world and your physical life. And on the other side, to observe what the physical world is showing you in your experiences of it and ponder that inwardly. This is Alchemy. You take the so-called "base matter" of your outer experiences and, through awareness and meditation, these experiences become the "gold" of your spiritual awakening. Temperance also has some images of "hot" and "cold" associated with it. Traditionally sword makers tempered the steel by getting it red hot and hammering it, folding the steel and rehammering it, repeating this heating and hammering process many times and then finally dunking the sword in ice cold water. Only then was the sword considered ready for use. Life is going to temper you. "Hot" and "cold" need to be balanced. You will experience a lot of heating and hammering to find your quality. Too much withdrawal and passivity about life might need some "hot" feelings to move you. In Qabalistic Tarot, Temperance is associated with anger. And anger usually arises when the mind perceives some block in expression or activity. Anger can be recognised as  blocked fire, so that it can be channelled into creative and constructive outlets and move the "cold", blocked or shutdown parts of self. It is much more likely to blow up if not recognized for what it is and shown a valid expression.

Take a look at yourself and take a look at your life, and tell yourself that God/Spirit/Big Universe/Higher Self is right there showing Itself to you and teaching you right in the thick of it all. Ask It or Your Self what is going on. Your mind, or some part of it at least, is still quite sound. Any unsoundness comes from guilt, fear, misperceptions and the subsequent traumas emerging from all of that. And yes, traumas can of course be huge, a product of years and lifetimes of fear and ignorance. But remember always, as one of the lessons in A Course in Miracles states, Lesson 35, "My mind is part of God. I am very holy". We would add to that "I have my own Personal Name of God. I am very holy." Spiritual tools are there to help you find or refind what is an inherent part of  you. They are not a set of rules to follow, nor to trip you up.

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