Religion as Idolatry…

This is from Richard Rohr’s archives:

Idolatry Is the Only Sin

Meditation 2 of 49

Almost all religion begins with a specific encounter with something that feels “holy” or transcendent: a place, an emotion, an image, music, a liturgy, an idea that suddenly gives you access to God’s Bigger World. The natural and universal response is to “idolize” and idealize that event. It becomes sacred for you, and it surely is. The only mistake is that too many then conclude that this is the way, the best way, the superior way, the “only” way for everybody—that I myself just happen to have discovered. Then, they must both protect their idol and spread this exclusive way to others. (They normally have no concrete evidence whatsoever that other people have not also encountered the holy.)

The false leap of logic is that other places, images, liturgies, scriptures, or ideas can not give you access. “We forbid them to give you access; it is impossible,” we seem to say! Thus much religion wastes far too much time trying to separate itself from—and create “purity codes” against—what is perceived as secular, bad, heretical, dangerous, “other,” or wrong. Jesus had no patience with such immature and exclusionary religion, yet it is still a most common form to this day. Idolatry has been called the only constant and real sin of the entire Old Testament, and idolatry is whenever we make something god that is not God, or whenever we make the means into an end. Any attempt to create our own “golden calf” is usually first-half-of-life religion, and eventually false religion.

~ June 2012

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New Art from Lily

New Art from Lily

Spring in Texas

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A dear friend wrote this. It speaks eternal simple wisdom.

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Can we draw the image of God?


  Discover God ATOM through Bible Codes


Discovery of God is easier when we know what is God, so that we are sure when we see God and do not mistake something else for God.

God is discovered by a handful, as the ancient documentation on the process is difficult to understand.

There is a fundamental difference between all other discoveries and discovery of God. Power of God is accessible by the discoverer alone. Real benefit of God for humanity gets bounded to post discovery life span of the discoverer.

God has,  remained at best a phenomenon of super power, with minor fringe benefits for unguided explorers and peripheral benefits for the humanity.

Ancient documentation on  the process of discovery of God, shall be  understood only by a person who has discovered and experienced God, firsthand.

Anyone with access to  modern documentation of the process, of discovery of God, can discover God easily.

There are important differences between all…

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Just another day it seems…

Just another day it seems…

Today ten years ago I awoke to a phone call from my father, 2000 miles away in Texas.  My temporary place in the world was a basement apartment in a friend’s house in Seattle at the time.  I had awoken from a drunken sleep after days of packing to move my art studio, my personal belongings and my 25-year-old daughter into a condo that I had purchased in a bedroom community of the Big City.  It was three days before I was to turn 50 and I was finally moving up in life.  My new three bedroom condo perched in the shade of the Cascades signified my arrival into successful adulthood, both as a ten- year veteran business owner and as a single woman.  I was on top of my world it would seem.  Little did I know that real estate would prove to be a shaky foundation on which to base my new-found value.

The voice at the other end of the line cracked and faltered, “Suzanne, I have some really bad news…your mama had a heart attack last night.  She didn’t make it.  She died this morning.” 

It’s strange how death of a parent changes us.  Truthfully, the change in me had started when I was able to see my mother as a mirror of my own faulty assessment of How Life Works.  Our alliance had been tumultuous for almost fifty years.  Somewhere in heaven there had been an agreement made that we would be working out several life issues on each other’s dime.  We had come to the realization some seven years prior to this date of April 3, that  we had made the right choice in learning to forgive each other and to be mothers to each other from that day forward. 

A mother teaches her daughter how to be a mother.  But when a mother has had her own childhood innocence assaulted by a trusted adult, the willingness to trust again is forever sacrificed.  I grew up with such a mother.  She at once did not trust others and obsessed about protecting me from the certainty of their exploitation.  I grew into an adult that wanted desperately to trust everyone, knowing deeply that it was folly to do so.

At an early point in my life, I stopped believing everyone who told me that I was loved.  It would not be until my third divorce from some doomed marriage that I would discover that I was indeed very loved.  You see, I had a life-changing experience one night.  It was during the Jewish Passover right before Easter as it would happen.  I had not been a religious person, but I had been an explorer of sorts, of civilization’s belief systems.  I think therefore I AM...I had reasoned out the meaning of God…


so I thought.  

But on this one night, in my loss and self pity, I had fallen to my knees and begged for one night of peace and blessed sleep.  I asked for it through Christ, I don’t know why exactly,but

I did.  What followed in the early hours of the next morning changed everything that I knew. I can’t describe it exactly because it was an “all- as- one eternity experience”…I WAS LOVE, and bliss and spiritual connection became the reality in that eternal moment of blessing. God and I were indeed ONE.  Christ had initiated my birth and the recognition of my true being.  The earthly values that I cherished were not important at all… I was to forgive all and live a loving life…however that presented itself.  Was I to strive to be more perfect in the world’s eyes?  Impossible!  I was to be free in Christ’s love.  All else would form from that new foundation.

Being human, I rapidly forgot about this message when it proved inconvenient to me.  I allowed worldly concerns to edge in as we all do. 

But, the message was in my heart and it quietly asserted itself daily.  Was I a saint?  Hell no… I got angry and petty at times.  I took advantage.  I made excuses.  I almost quit on myself and God several times.  

But then, my mother died.  

Ten years ago today, I found myself through the eyes of a dying mother.  An old picture of a special day captured the two of us together.  It was lovingly placed under her bed cover the night that she was reclaimed. I know this.  She told me in a dream that night where to find it.  

Today, after the loss of everything of worldly value slipped away from me during the 2008 economic debacle…

I find myself to be a very rich woman.  Yes, I live again in a temporary situation.  A small apartment, half of which serves as my art studio, is now my home in Austin,Texas.  But I know who I am.

I am my own Mother. 


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New Art from Lily

New Art from Lily.

Chilly Saturday morn

Inner city unadorned

Chance to meet

Gretta with her Beet

Burma Shave

Never this much gave.


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New Art from Lily

New Art from Lily

Gretta’s Beet
Prismacolor pencils
8″ x 10″ original

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Gretta’s Beet

Gretta's Beet

Gretta’s Beet 2013
Prismacolor pencils
8″ x 10″ original

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“Your True Self…

“Your True Self is who you are in God and who God is in you. You can never really lose your soul; you can only fail to realize it,which is indeed the greatest of losses: to have it but not have it (Matthew 16:26.) Your essence, your exact ‘thisness,’ will never appear again in another incarnation…”

John Duns Scotus (1265-1308), the Franciscan philosopher…called each soul a unique “thisness” (haecceity), and he said it was to be found in every act of creation in its singularity.  For him, God did not create universals, genus, and species, or anything that needed to come back again and again to get it right (reincarnation), but only specific and unique incarnation of the Eternal Mystery — each one chosen, loved, and preserved in existence as itself — by being itself.  And this is the glory of God!

Christ is risen.  Grace is for all.  

Happy Easter

   Exerpted from Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self, pp. 16-18

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