Thank you for the honor of being able to share in such an intimate subject together.
Grappling with the One Deepest thing, upon which All else depends, can be triggering and overwhelming for many. I hope that we can begin a long journey of helping one another, learning together, and discovering with ever greater clarity how to rightly relate to One Another, the world around us, and the Source from which it all flows.
If there is one thing to know about me, which would help everything else make sense, it is that to the best of my ability, everything that I am doing is flowing from my direct personal relationship with the eternal and universal "I Am" that is the Source and Sustainer of my being and consciousness.
From the mysteries of how the universe was brought into being, to the dawn of humanity and our earliest glimpses of consciousness, to the legends of those who wrestled with God, to the burning bush that demanded Moses liberate God's children from slavery and oppression, through the epic saga of the nations and peoples of the earth struggling to grope and feel their way forward, to the life of Jesus, and the hope that one glorious morning, every prophesy would be fulfilled and all the nations and peoples of the earth would dwell together in harmony and right relationship with the One true King of All...
This is the great mystery and romance that informs all that I do and am.
For me, this journey is rooted in Love and in my personal, direct relationship and connection to That Which Is Creating and Sustaining me, which I often call God, Father, Source, or One.
This personal quest to align the depths of my being as closely as I can with the Source of Being, with God, is by far the most profound and important part of my existence.
It is my purpose, my destiny, and my Why.
I do not contextualize or experience my spirituality through the lens of religion. I experience it as a embodied reality that is a direct personal relationship.
It has often been said that one of the most important steps on our spiritual journey is the liberation from our childhood religion.
While this is a scary statement for parents or spiritual leaders, it is true in the same way that every parent longs for their children to ultimately surpass elementary educational and disciplinary structures to achieve their own unique, creative mastery.
Liberation from our childhood religions does not mean that we necessarily leave them behind. We can still identify with them as long as they are useful. However the true and ultimate security that cannot be faked or substituted comes from direct personal experience with and knowledge of God.
Religions are often good. They are often useful. They are often necessary to provide the disciplinary structure, starting point, and basic practices of spiritual life.
Yet they also often grow corrupted and harden into stifling forms of false authority, corruption, control, and rigid structures that actually prevent people from experientially understanding and embodying what it means to draw into ever closer personal relationship with God.
Jesus spoke to this when he railed at the religious leaders and teachers of his day, saying
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter it yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you... hypocrites, who travel around on land and sea to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice a much a son of hell as yourselves."
When someone is so full of the Spirit of Truth, it inevitably collides with the corrupted religious and political structures of their time, and changes the course of history.
The most pivotal figures in history seem to have universally had this experience.
Jesus is a great example of someone who is now the single most widely admired and emulated figure in history, who at the time was continually criticized for hanging out with people that the prevailing religion of the time would reject as unclean or unholy.
At the same time, he spoke out Truthfully against the corrupted religious structures of his day, ultimately resulting in his character being slandered and his physical body being murdered.
My family was deeply steeped in this Judaeo Christian tradition that undergirds much of the thought of the Western world. My father was a builder, who left that profession to start a non-denominational Christian church.
I also had the deep honor of getting to explore Christian perspectives around the world that, while generally agreeing on the Deepest things, differed greatly in their understanding, ideas, and application.
I was quite surprised, growing up in the United States, in a Christian home, surrounded by primarily Republicans, when I was abroad and discovered wise good-hearted people who looked at the American / Political / Religious complex with confusion and could not understand how anyone proclaiming to be a follower of Jesus could support what they viewed as an unholy and corrupted religious nationalism.
The more Christians I met who accused other Christians of not being "true Christians", and the more Muslims I met who accused other Muslims of not being "true Muslims", and the more I discovered how internally inconsistent and contradictory different denominations and sects of various religions were, and the more I discovered how wrapped up into unholy alliance with political structures many religious denominations and leaders were...
...the more and more my Faith became an intensely personal Quest to directly experience right relationship with God and those around me.
At the core of Christian teaching are the ideas that:
I continue to strive towards this Ideal, and it is my deep personal relationship with God that, to the best of my limited human ability, is the sole driving force for all that I do.
What would happen if we were to all actually act as if those stories and scriptures and encouragements and paradigms we read growing up were true?
What if we truly were created in the image of God? What if the Spirit of God was truly alive within us? What if we were All truly capable and called of heeding the words of Jesus and doing evern greater things?
What would actually happen if we All acted as if the sacred and epic stories were True?
The Spirit of God, since my waking consciousness, has compelled me to try to discover and find out.
When I was just beginning to read decently as a child, I was reading the book of Proverbs from the Jewish tradition that undergirds Christianity, and the words of Solomon gripped me, thrust me onto an epic Quest, and have never let go.
"Wisdom cries out in the streets.
She lifts up her voice in the public square.
At the head of the noisy streets she calls out.
At the entrance of the city gates she declares her sayings:
How long, you naive ones, will you love simplistic thinking? And how long will scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, and fools hate Knowledge?
Turn to my rebuke, behold, I will pour out my Spirit upon you; I will make my words known to you.
For if you cry out for Understanding;, and raise your voice for
This set me off on a life-long search to discover and follow the Golden Threads of Wisdom and Truth, no matter where they led.
Extensive travel brought me into dialogue and relationship with amazing people from many different faith traditions, and I was delighted to discover that if I listened and got past the words that were being used, so much wisdom, principles, and values were shared in common.
Extensive study of martial arts ultimately resulted in a deep body of knowledge being entrusted to me that taught me a tremendous amount about the deeper ways of being and rightly relating to Nature and its Source that had been lost to many of my Western teachers.
This is all to say that while Lionsberg very intentionally does not adopt or mandate any Current Best Understanding is that the concepts are entirely consistent and in harmony with the scriptures, the words of Jesus, and all that has been spoken by the various messengers of God throughout the millennia., my
Because they are not attempting to conform themselves to the langauge of one religion or ideology, it creates the freedom to speak as truthfully and as accurately as I possibly can. This has been both an immense challenge, and an immense gift, as it has forced me to grapple with the Most Important Things and absorb them as my own to the point of being able to freely express them using entirely different words. It has been among the greatest tests and challenges of my life.
While the corruption of the religous systems of Old World sometimes obscured the purity of the message that was spoken, the Spirit and the Heart of it is simple, true, and living within us.
And when the abstract notion of God gets hard to relate to and we are struggling to find our Way, we can individually and directly relate to the very best and most pure examples that ever lived, like the person of Jesus and each of the Prophets in each of the sacred stories, to see how the Spirit lived out the principles and values in a particular time and place.
All that we are attempting to express is not a new teaching or revelation in any way, but a rememberance, reassembly, and return to the Golden Threads of wisdom that cause people, societies, and living systems to flourish in harmony with one another and their Source, which I call God, and the One.calls
It is also an attempt to see if we can finally operationalize and embody its Spirit in our individual and collective Way of Being, so that All creation can flourish in harmony and right relationship with One, One Another, and All.
Who knows if we were not born for such a time as this!
So with that background behind us, let's dive into an introduction to the Language and Concepts of the mythical New World of Lionsberg.
With Love, In Community,