Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Way of Mastery

Greetings, Spiritual Bunnies of the Cosmos.

Wow. I gotta tell you, weird stuff starts to happen when you open yourself up to the Divine in All Its Forms. I'm pretty open these days. In fact, I'm kind of a Cheap Easy Date when it comes to anything wrapped in a "spiritual" package. This occasionally has its downsides. For example, I really don't want to talk about the multi-level marketing spiritual transformation system I purchased for only $1,595 plus tax. But mostly, it just makes life more and more fascinating.

Granted, I am fairly easily fascinated. I really enjoy restaurants that have large selections of sugar packets and liquid creamers waiting on the table so I can make condiment sculptures. We all have our personal muse, do we not?

I met a new friend through the internet who invited me to a Mastery Group. I accepted the invitation eagerly because I thought it was a Master Mind Group. My vague impression is that Master Mind Groups are where people get together for the purpose of communing with other like-minded, goal-oriented souls who want to achieve stuff. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe they're just groups for like-minded, goal-oriented people to get together and play that game with the little multi-colored pegs where you get ten tries to guess right. Oooo, I love that game! But I digress.

When I arrived, I discovered that this particular gathering is actually a "Way of the Mastery" study group. The Way of Mastery is, among other things, a book, and the group is, among other things, a book group that studies this book. Here's what the book has to say about itself:

"A Guide to Awakening in Christ Mind: This volume contains the extraordinary teachings of Jesua ben Joseph (Jesus) as given over a three-year period through Jon Marc Hammer. These teachings were originally published in 1997 and known only to a small number of people. For the first time, The Way of Mastery is available as one volume, beautifully presented, to be read and cherished for a lifetime as that "way home" taught to Jesua Himself and now offered to the world."

Indeed. Well now. At this point I hadn't started to read the book, and I don't know anything about Jon Marc Hammer, but I am already burning with low-grade envy. Oh, and skepticism, let's not forget that. Really? REALLY?? You're just sitting around, Jon Marc, and JESUS shows up to tell you a thing or to? Of course, Neale Donald Walsh has a whole series called Conversations With God, where he, you know, converses with the Big Kahuna, but somehow that's easier for me to swallow. Even a very brief look at world religions will tell you that there seems to be quite a few different versions of God. In effect, you could say that everybody's got his or her own version. Like God is one of those ceramic lawn geese you see in the American midwest. People dress their lawn goose up in all different kinds of costumes, depending on season and holiday, but underneath, it's pretty much the same goose all the time. Jesus, though, somehow he seems more personal. More specific.

I am amused to observe that my first reaction is vague Puritan outrage. What happened to the good old days when we could just send these jokers to the Dunking Stool? I am even more amused to observe the secondary reaction of envy. I am so positive that IF I am ever chosen to receive the teachings of a non-physical energy, it's not going to be anyone like Jesus. I would probably get someone like. . .like. . . I don't know, what's that Mormon dude's name? I'm not bagging on the Mormons, mind you, but it would suck for me because I am very fond of my fully caffeinated Diet Coke each morning.

Okay. So, this isn't my first time at the Self Awakening Circus. So I know that those two emotions--envy and outrage--are the dubious gifts of Ego. And while my ego-self feels momentarily threatened by this book, this group, my True Self just sits back and crosses its legs in the shade, laughing at me. "Well, what are you going to do now?"

I sit with the group, and for two hours I participate in one of the best philosophical discussions I have ever experienced. And it's not just the verbal wordplay that's ringing my bells. There's an (Oh God, how I have grown tired of this word, but still!) ENERGY that's whipping round the room like a. . . like a. . . shit, I don't have the right metaphor handy. But it's powerful, this feeling. I'm watching the faces around me in the dusky light, and as these people read aloud and talk and laugh, they are starting to glow.

Someone reads a passage from the book's first chapter, and I feel strange things happening inside my chest. I feel like the plates in my brain are shifting. Until next time, I leave you with this passage. And no matter who you think it's from, I hope it does weird and wonderful things to you, too.

"Take a deep breath into the body and let it go. As the breath leaves the body, hold the thought that there is nothing worth holding onto any longer that keeps your peace and happiness at arm's length. Become committed--fully committed--to the experience of happiness, even as you have been fully committed to unhappiness, limitation, and lack. Give your Creator full permission to sweep the basement clean. There really is not anything down there worth defending or protecting."

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