Some More Babylon

The symbolic logic behind parables requires quantum thinking. It requires that you tear things down to the smallest practical level, including thinking about thinking itself, and become aware that a particular symbol has meaning on multiple levels. The parabolic symbols in Scripture are alive; they are discrete beings with a life of their own. We are meant to see them differently in different contexts. We are supposed to explore the narrative in which the symbols appear and let them speak to us about God’s moral truth. This is why I insist that parabolic communication is planting signposts that indicate places to explore, versus Western communication that pictures truth as contained within the words. “Words mean things” — to which we say, “nonsense!” Words have no power on their own; the power is in the life explored. You cannot contain life in a box without killing it.

Truth is alive; it can never be static. It’s not that we don’t care about facts; we care little about facts because the facts can never be known, only perceived, which is not the same thing. Perception becomes reality on the grounds that reality is shifty mists that God can change on-the-fly at His whim. His revelation declares that He has done so repeatedly. A reality of immutable fact is a myth. Certitude is the dream of fools. Humans at large perceive reality as immutable because this puts it within some theoretical reach of human reason. We don’t need God; we can figure it out on our own.

If you examine what goes on in fiction writing and movies regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI), you see one recurring theme: the rejection of the Fall. It was first formally pronounced as the doctrine of the early Catholic Church that man’s intellect is not fallen, that a human can be conditioned and improved until his/her better self prevails. This is a direct rejection of revelation. But this theme of perfectibility persists across the board in just about everything you read seeking to provoke men to remake a better world. No one argues that we this world is just fine; everyone agrees it’s pretty messed up. But any solution that doesn’t start with confession of our fallen nature is doomed to chase everything — anything — except the truth. So when someone asks the question of what constitutes human nature, the answer is our fallen perception that won’t let us see what we really are.

By the way, the early Catholic doctrine of man’s unfallen intellect comes from the long-term effects of the Judaizers. You knew that, right? It’s a part of the effects of Hellenism that perverted the Hebrew mystical outlook into the legalistic nonsense of Judaism. That’s where “words mean things” was born, and the false “mystical” silliness about the power of words to work magic. Take a look at most writing in the study of magic and you’ll see it never quite escapes the assumptions behind Western mythology, and it reads that power-of-words back into whatever ancient texts they presume to revere and learn from. Sheesh, it even shows up in charismatic Christian religions today as the “Word Faith” doctrine — derived from early Kabbala, a component of Orthodox Judaism. We still hear Charismatics say, “Don’t pronounce a word-curse on yourself by negative confession.” Words do not make reality; perception does, and it’s not permanent.

Back to parables and parabolic imagery: So we have that story of Babylon from the early chapters of Genesis. What do we see? A megalomaniac Nimrod whose doctrine is that mankind can build a unifying religion that will make reverence for God unnecessary. I can recall a very brilliant student telling me that if God would just leave us alone we could accomplish so much good. Like Nimrod who continued to eat from the Forbidden Fruit: “We can be our own gods! We can decide for ourselves what is good and evil.”

In the past I’ve noted that, on one level, Babylon means that everything has a price and that’s all we need to know. On another level, I said the Babylon means slavery and oppression, whether the chains be physical or mental. But on yet another level, I’ll suggest that globalism is just another manifestation of Babylon. It’s a dream of pulling folks together and improving ourselves until we can all discover that great unknown potential of humanity. Babylon means all of those things and much more.

But it’s that persistent lie that we can somehow fix ourselves, that the real problem with this world is that we just haven’t tried hard enough/long enough — that’s the meaning of Babylon I point at here. All the solutions that rest on changing people are doomed before they start. Think about some of the more thoughtful statements about the problems of social media, in which it’s a subtle reminder from some globalist why Trump (dammit!) won the election for POTUS. “If we don’t fix this problem, we can’t get rid of the Trumps in this world.” It’s a form of scolding that marks the Social Justice Warrior front still causing mayhem and havoc in the US today. Shall we tell them that Trump is God’s whip-hand flogging the globalists? And when that’s done, Trump will face his own doom, and his grand schemes will wither away, because that’s how God works with those who refuse to hear His truth with their hearts.

I don’t claim to have such marvelous far-seeing answers as the globalist dreamers. There’s nothing to fix in human nature because it can’t be fixed on our end. If God doesn’t reach out and restore to us individually the pathway back to Eden, we’ll never find it. And there sure-as-Hell isn’t any way my answers will be your answers. They might come close enough at times that we can fellowship and work together, but the one thing you should learn from me is how I found the path, not the path I found. There is no one universal answer for mankind once you get past the Flaming Sword.

What I want most for you is the capacity to deal with living truth on your own. I can’t describe it; I can’t make the truth fit into a neat container. I can indicate something about it with a narrative that walks on its own feet and plants markers to things you could explore for yourself. There is no preconceived result, no concrete solution, no great shiny vision for a human future on this planet. All I have are little stories about how I rediscovered something long and often lost in human history: It’s the heart ruling over the intellect. What you do with my little stories is wide open territory in front of us both. I’m not worried about how it turns out because I have no vested interest in outcomes. Just seeing you free to explore the true Land of the Heart, the Land without Words, is all the payback I need.

Psalm 119: Yod 73-80

The psalmist shows us the Path of Justice. It could also be seen as retribution if we understand the justice of being rescued from those who deny God’s revelation. We learn to be patient as God corrects us and makes us stronger through the evils other people commit, but in due time, His wrath falls on the unjust while His servants harvest blessings because God’s truth is how this world actually works.

God has made each of us; our place in this world is wholly His doing. If there is any source of wisdom about how we should live here, it is the One who made us and all things. This is the kind of life that cheers others seeking His truth. They rejoice in the confirmation of God’s promises coming true by example.

The psalmist claims to know — using a Hebrew word that covers awareness in all aspects — without any doubt that God’s justice is the very definition of righteousness. He presses upon us His discipline according to His promises to keep us in His mercy. It’s a genuine blessing He does not lightly allow us to escape His love. So he prays to be driven out sin into the place where God’s shalom stands waiting and he can breathe a sigh of relief.

And when he is too weak, the psalmist prays that God will permit His compassion to come find him wherever he has wandered. The God who bears the shepherd’s rod is a delightful sight to a lost lamb, even when the rod corrects, for the same rod defends us as well. All the more so when we came into that sorrow because of arrogant men who deny God’s Word. God’s Presence shames them, but brings the psalmist to peaceful meditation on that Word.

So if any others have lost their way and cannot see God clearly, let them turn to the freshly resolved psalmist who now has a clear vision. They’ll recognize him because they already know at least something about God’s revelation. And while the fleshly mind will surely fail him at times, he knows that God will speak consistently through his heart. He knows that giving heed to his conscience will never leave him ashamed.

Thanksgiving Message 2016

Today is Thanksgiving in America.

God said that we should celebrate holidays that help establish a rhythm of work and rest. There’s an awful lot more behind all that, of course. By absorbing the example of Moses’ Covenant, we learn that it has to represent at least two things: (1) the rhythm of seasons and God’s provision, but also (2) it should celebrate signal moments when God acted to establish and preserve the community. If you think about it just a little bit, you would understand the so-called “Puritan Work Ethic” is neither precisely Puritan nor an ethic, but an excuse for brutal exploitation. That mythical beast permits holidays only begrudgingly, and would ignore the sabbatical cycle of human existence. The whole thing reduces humanity to mere economic units, a pure manifestation of Western materialism. Let us cease serving Mammon.

America is in deep doo-doo for ignoring all the rhythms and cycles God revealed in His Word, among a host of other heathen devotions the earn His wrath. But God has, for reasons only He understands, turned away His full wrath for moment. What we know is that His decision coincided with our discovery of a conscious revival of walking by the heart and not the head. In my own heart, which sometimes catches prophetic glimpses of God’s ways because He simply feels like telling us things, I sense that this sparing (a kind of Passover) has to do with a restoration of the Covenant of Heart. Don’t get all silly thinking that’s a sacred name just because I put it in caps. It’s just a provisional label; a personal name for the Covenant of Christ’s Blood and you need not buy into. But I am convinced that because there are people serving Him who openly talk about this heart-led life, He’s ready to take things in a different direction and offer a larger space for repentance.

So today I give thanks first and foremost for being alive and aware in this special moment in human history. We have this treasure in our battered and cracked earthen vessels seeking to share the one thing that makes life in this realm tolerable. It’s not so much the vessels but the treasure that matters. We keep trying to show it to empty folks in hopes something inside their souls will awaken and open to receive their own share of treasure. But only God does the awakening; it’s His hand alone. If all we do is provoke human reason, we’ve accomplished nothing.

So if you are caught in the American rhythm of things, as I am, I hope that today you have devoted just a little bit of time giving thanks for a sense of heart-led calling, or praying that you can hear that calling soon. It’s there. Every one of you who reads this stuff and walks in the heart of faith and conviction have a calling. He fully intends to use each of us to help redeem just a few other folks chosen for a heart-mind awareness. Some of you are already up to your elbows in the work, and some are waiting for something to shift in the context before it becomes more obvious. Some of you are somewhere in between, moving toward a realization.

Wherever you are on this path, give thanks for His mighty gifts, and prepare your heart for a clarity of commitment.

The Fear of Fools

Think about it for a moment. Contemplate and clear out the old garbage.

God’s Word tells us about Creation. Right there in blunt terms in Genesis 1:31 tells us that God saw all that He had made and it was very good. It still is. Notice the way the Curse of the Fall is explained: the ground is cursed by our fallen nature (Genesis 3:17-19). Paul goes on to explain how Creation was not directly cursed, but subjected to futility because of the curse on our fallen nature (Romans 8:20-21). Creation did not choose that path; God did. God is the one who subjected His Creation to the management of humans back in the Garden. Under the Curse, it was no longer manageable in the same way, but He planned to redeem us so that we could regain that lost communion with our best ally.

Creation itself is our ally, and we are supposed to be managers. Satan didn’t steal control from us in the Garden; he does not own Creation and has not usurped our management role. All he has is some limited authority to seduce us the way he did in the Garden. If we return to God and His ways — if we pass through the Flaming Sword of Truth — then we can return to something we lost in Eden. Stop eating the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and go back to eat the Tree of Life. We who are redeemed are not threatened by Creation.

Granted, there are things in nature that will still hurt us. When we begin to cultivate the heart-mind as the anchor for our decision-making in this world, we are led to study that nature is a blessing and how it is a blessing. Some things we find in nature aren’t for us directly, but are there as a part of the larger whole. So we don’t hang out where biting insects will swarm us; we don’t go into places with too many thorns and contact toxins; we don’t typically approach animals who think of us as food. We leave them to play their part and go where nature welcomes us.

Yes, there are times when God will show His glory by having us do things we wouldn’t normally do. So Elijah called fire down from heaven and didn’t have to actually die, but rode Home in a chariot with angels. Jonah was eaten but no digested. Daniel was not eaten by the lions, and his pals were not burned by the fiery furnace. And Jesus walked on the water and healed thousands. The heart knows when those moments come; it’s all about God’s glory.

From what I’ve seen, there aren’t many places in the universe we can go safely outside Earth. This planet was designed to protect and provide. We have gone to the moon and some are planning to visit Mars, but it’s terribly expensive in resources and there’s been precious little direct payoff from it. But that’s not a reason in itself to stop trying; it’s just something we have to keep in mind as we evaluate our priorities. And one of the biggest issues we face is the massive torrent of deadly radiation out there. Recent efforts to sample what’s out there farther indicates the radiation levels climb radically. Space faring requires we bring with us just about every element of what nature provides here on Earth, and we are still learning what that includes every time we bring people back from a trip.

There is some hope we can find ways to move across large distances in space without directly traveling through it. Yep, folks are poking around at ways to cut through the space-time limitations that are part of the Curse. Let’s presume for a moment that God allows people to keep poking until they discover a way to move something by stepping into, say, another dimension of existence, and then coming back out somewhere else. There is only one way to escape time-space constraints: You have to enter the Spirit Realm. There is no other “dimension” of existence. And if you aren’t welcome in the Spirit Realm as a citizen, then it will be Hell for you. You cannot enter God’s house without His invitation and expect things to go well. It’s a case of going somewhere you don’t belong, only it’s a lot worse than being hurt or eaten alive. It will destroy your soul, yet leave you in full awareness of it for eternity.

We deduce this from a large collection of hints in the Bible. You can dispute the specifics, and I’m not going to list a ton of references. The Bible wasn’t written like that, so you can’t read it like that. Only when something is directly addressed can we try to make sense of some topic. The Scriptures provide a bunch of historic contextual incidents, and in most cases something in the text indicates the proper moral discernment of what matters. You are supposed to absorb the broader awareness of God as a Person and how He does things. Not with your head, but you learn to understand with your heart. And it’s pretty clear that there are no shortcuts in redemption and no shortcuts against the Curse of the Fall. If you read the Bible with your heart in the lead, I am confident we won’t dispute much.

But one thing becomes obvious to all of us: Virtually the whole genre of horror fiction conjures nightmares based on suppositions contrary to revelation. It presumes on a fundamental level that nature is full of unknown threats. It’s rather schizophrenic: You are warned against poking around in some things, then taught to fear not poking around because you might miss some moment of personal glory. You gotta be special to get away with it; you gotta have special talents and/or pay your dues, etc. The entire approach to understanding reality is twisted and perverted. Nature is not like that, and there aren’t any special domains where Satan rules. The horrific evil is inside each of us already, so we need redemption to escape the false understanding and false desires that take us places where we’ll get hurt.

If God calls you to poke around, do so with the knowledge it could end your life. But the only way anything can destroy your soul is if you fail to get into redemption where you can know His calling. You can’t answer His call if don’t make Him Lord. Horror fiction reflects the world of people who reject redemption. It reflects man asserting his mastery against the instinctive assurance that he is not master. Mankind rejects the humility of repentance arising from revelation, but cannot gain any peace and assurance without it. The only reason horror fiction sells is because it reflects and freaking insanity that mankind carries in the soul. It’s a morbid fascination that knows instinctively we are fallen, but refuses to accept the one path back to Eden — we must embrace the Sword cutting into our own souls.

Don’t fear nature; understand God’s will and share in His glory through proper communion with nature.

119: Teth 65-72

We celebrate here the Path of Discipline. The key line in this octet refers to going astray and receiving correction.

However, observing proper feudal protocol, the psalmist begins by affirming that God has treated him quite well, and consistent with revelation. This is a strong statement that God’s purpose and intentions are inherently in his own best interest. Further, it was always consistent with God’s promises. The second verse starts literally: “Goad me into having good taste and clear perception.” He sees how God has fostered a sense of trust and dependence in him.

Without some sense of sorrow and the experience of God’s wrath, it’s hard to drag our fallen nature into faithfulness. As a master, God defines what it means to be good, so keep goading us, Lord.

The wicked are always trying to stick some nasty label on us because we reject their imaginary morals. But it won’t stick because we serve God from the heart, not some human reason. By comparison, their hearts are loaded up with moral junk that only looks good, but their conscience is insensitive. By contrast, we gorge our hearts on the Law of God.

So it’s all good to walk through some affliction, because that’s how we discipline the flesh to obey the spirit. Even in His most challenging demands of us, the demands of God are more precious than all the wealth in the world.

A Better Mythology

The word “mythology” is associated with “mythos”:

mythos: 1. Myths collectively; the body of stories associated with a culture, institution or person (see: mythology)

2. A traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people (see: myth)

3. An orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group or nation (see: political orientation, ideology, political theory)

This definition comes compliments of WordWeb (available as a separate application for Windows and is part of the Artha application). In academic terms, we need not limit ourselves to the popular denigration of “mythology” as something inherently false. Of course it’s not fact, but mythology addresses itself to things far above mere fact.

In this sense, it becomes easier to recognize the root mythology of Western Civilization as mostly Germanic. That is, while the Greco-Roman Civilization gave birth to the West, we are not Greco-Roman, but derived from the Germanic nations that conquered the last vestiges of Rome. After the Middle Ages, European (Germanic) scholars began rediscovering the intellectual traditions of Greece and Rome and fed this back into their own intellectual traditions so that whatever it means to be “Western” reached its peak with the Enlightenment period of Western history. Even terms like “Post-modern” refers to a mythos that still stands squarely on the Enlightenment. So if you give time to reading about such things, you become aware of Western Civilization possessing its own mythos separate from the mythos of other cultures.

The primary failing of Western Christianity is a failure to recognize itself as trapped inside of Western Civilization. Further, for all the Bible teaching that warns this is not the same as the Hebrew mythos, the average Western Christian you encounter will still be thoroughly Western first and foremost. Further, they are likely to hold an unspoken assumption that Western is Christian by definition. The acorn of Reformation didn’t fall very far from the Catholic tree. Worst of all, virtually every Western Christian regardless of sectarian background will most certain operate from Western intellectual assumptions that push their doctrine and theology into the realm of “religion” as something that is nothing more than a single thread woven into the tapestry of Western culture, and competing for attention and political dominance.

For all their religious rhetoric, Western Christians demonstrate no effective genuine commitment to things of the Spirit. They have secularized the concept of “spiritual” down to just a more accurate form of intellect. But it requires stepping outside Western mythos to recognize this. As long as you remain within the Western intellectual traditions, you cannot possibly escape the confinement of awareness.

We need desperately to come up with a much better mythos, a better mythology than Western mythology if we are going to restore any part of God’s revelation. You cannot follow Christ and remain Western, because Western is inherently inimical to His teaching. The West didn’t arise from His teaching, but was a nasty perversion of His teaching. Since mythology is just a working model for the mind to organize and implement a faith response within reality, let me suggest something.

Basic assumption: Our current world is not ultimate reality. Indeed, our world is just a confining bubble within the wider Creation. The bubble itself is our fallen awareness. It limits our ability to really understand Creation. Thus, we assert a terminology that says “world” is not just our planet, but a particular level of existence, a fallen plane of existence. It’s a different category from the term “universe,” which implies the full limits of physical existence itself. But Creation is far bigger than either of them, for it includes the Spirit Realm that God created around Himself, housing angels, for example. Again, while we are a part of Creation, we are the only part of Creation that is fallen.

So let’s pick out anthropology and generate an example of a mythology that might bring us closer to God’s revelation. In doing so, we’ll have to counter the prevailing mythos.

At the lowest level of human existence are the mere appetites, a brutish emotion-driven life. Don’t call it “animal” because animals aren’t fallen. It’s merely what unenlightened humans imagine they see in the natural world of animals. Such a life consumes the mind with the tasks of survival out of fear that there is nothing beyond such an existence. There’s a good bit of that in Western mythology.

On a higher level is a mind that also uses formal reasoning processes. While we have a Western cultural myth that envisions rising to a life of pure reason and logic, it is neither possible nor desirable. It is the sum total of what mankind can discern with the full use of all human talent and capability. It denies the fall, so it’s not likely to bring much success, but it also insists that humans can eventually reach some kind of Nirvana by making the most of reason and analysis as the basis for exploring the limits of what man can do with physical reality. It asserts that physical reality is all there is. In Western mythology, “real” means concrete reality; it asserts that humans must use their senses and abstract formal reasoning to understand what’s “real.”

The biblical mythos posits that there is a higher realm available to human awareness, and abstract reason can’t take you there. I call it the “moral realm” without capitalizing because it represents the overlap between the Fallen Realm and the Spirit Realm. The moral realm is not simply a better intellectual clarity and reason, but a humble recognition that reason alone is not enough. This higher awareness is moral in nature, because the biblical mythos denies that morality is nothing more than a cultural construct; it says that morality is fundamental to existence itself. Ultimate truth in this universe is moral truth woven into Creation before we came along. Indeed, moral awareness rests on the assumption that the whole of Creation is alive, sentient and has a will of its own, and that it all reflects the character and moral nature of the Creator.

Thus, in proper mythology, Eden is not Heaven; Eden in the world free of fallen nature. Eden is still there all around us, but we are morally blinded by our hubris — a hubris that rests on denying the Fall. In that sense Eden never was in this world, because this world is defined by fallen human awareness. You have to remove human intellect from the throne and make it serve some higher faculty. That higher moral awareness is what we here at Kiln of the Soul call heart-mind or heart-led living. And this heart-led living prepares us for the final migration of the soul to the Spirit Realm.

There is nothing we can say about the Spirit Realm. While we can use parables to discuss the moral realm of human awareness within the fallen world, even parables fall short of genuine spiritual matters. The best we can do is inculcate a familiarity for the intellect of moral things in parables to indicate something about the nature of genuine spirituality. The whole point is to generate a desire to go there as soon as God lets us come home, and we gain that desire because we start down the path of communion with Creation on a moral level. That’s a taste of communion with the Creator.

You tell me: Do you suppose this alternative mythos makes it easier to share a redemptive life together in the Spirit?

Psalm 119: Cheth 57-64

This octet of verses is the Song of Loyalty. The psalmist is fully committed, wholly owned by his Sovereign, a loyal servant who shares in the inheritance as a son. That’s the meaning of the first line, and he as offered the ritual of covenant binding, giving his word to live by the Law of his Lord. He held back nothing in secret, but cast his whole being on the favor of Jehovah. He knows there is no master among men who would be so merciful because the Lord for His part gave His word on it.

Upon this commitment, he gave long consideration to his own ways and determined to bend his path to following the ancient markers of God’s eternal road of truth. There was no hesitation at all.

The wicked pay no attention to revelation as they devise a system that favors their comfort, and they have tried to hold the psalmist accountable to their man-made laws. But he simply cannot absorb their false ways as the truth of God echoes down from Heaven into his heart.

It was considered normal in ancient times for adults to awaken at least once in the night and stay up for a while, often doing things that are difficult to do in daytime. It’s a quiet time of private matters, and our psalmist finds his first impulse is to give thanks to God. This is not something you can fake. He finds his mind drawn back to all the amazing things God has revealed in His judgments of what is morally good and bad.

His loyalty is overwhelming, so wherever he encounters someone who lives by a heart-led commitment to Jehovah, the psalmist is that person’s friend and ally without question. When he witnesses someone acting consistent with God’s Laws, he wants to share in their burden of work. Everywhere he turns, there is a vision or song marking God’s mercy; the earth itself trembles and hums to the divine glory. He asks that God use those echoes of mercy to goad him into a life that God outlined long ago.

Psalm 119: Zayin 49-56

This is the Rock of My Identity, says the psalmist. Without the living revelation of God in our hearts, we don’t know who we are, or whose we are. So he cries out immediately that the Lord not allow him to forget that revelation, because that’s how he handles things. When facing trials and sorrows, this is the anchor of our existence. Without it, we don’t live; we only exist.

People who wallow in self-pride will waste no time in scoffing at our faith, but they cannot push us off something they cannot comprehend. The ancient record of God’s judgment reveals His character and it breathes a sigh of relief in our souls.

When you walk by the convictions of your heart, you are shocked at how easily people abandon such a powerful focus of life. Who can bear to leave behind the sweet taste of moral truth and the enlightenment of the heart-mind? It’s like a grand symphony throbbing in our souls, a chorus of joy following us wherever we may wander on this earth.

The Lord’s fame and reputation is burned into the core of our being. It’s like a blazing fire in the coldest dark night of trial. How can you not huddle up close to it? We dare not let mere human sorrows attempt to smother the flames.

Virtual Fire

In the human soul, nothing can match the sheer joy and sense of relief that comes from having someone you can trust. Without that, we are dead people walking. It is inherent in God’s image of kinship and covenant. Our human nature is so desperate for it that we place all kinds of trust in folks we should not, including trusting ourselves too much. One of the primary reasons for the rise of AI and virtual reality is that those things appear more trustworthy than any human. This age suffers a deep poverty of loyalty; it’s the final exposure of what is the skeleton of Western Civilization.

This is a time of visitation from God Almighty. He has sent His angels to investigate the state of things in our society, as He sent them to Sodom and Gomorrah before they were destroyed. Our destruction will be no less catastrophic, but His angels also carry the message of redemption for those who can hear it. I sincerely believe the angels have found more than five souls with the mark of His favor, so our destruction will be of a different kind. But you should have no doubt that the bar has been raised; He makes a demand that our society has never known. We had better figure it out quickly, because it is the key to what type and how much destruction we face.

On the one hand, the message of heart-led consciousness as the true path of faith is the key. On the other hand, we should never imagine we are the only ones who have that truth. We aren’t the sole franchise, but we are one that has a distinct mission.

This is the new reality; to some degree we are helping God forge a new one. We are the tools and His Spirit is the fire. Our hearts know this truth: Somewhere, somehow, a critical mass of believers have come to understand the heart-led way in one sense or another, and now there is enough of us — just barely — that God can justly demand it explicitly. It’s not that He never blessed previous generations lacking that truth. They had their good things from His hand. But now His plans include this one factor that, to all appearances, has been missing for quite some time in human existence on this earth (although folks in the New Testament seem to have taken it for granted). At any rate, we need to understand that our mission hangs on this truth, and the establishment of this truth will fundamentally change more than we could possibly know.

At a minimum, you and I can see clearly at this moment that the dire need for trust among humans is frankly nigh impossible without a heart-led consciousness. We can neither offer nor seek even so much genuine loyalty as humans can share without discerning things first in the heart-mind.

All that follows for us from these days hinges on a vision of reality having shifted to a place where heart-led faith is God’s requirement for inclusion as family in His Kingdom. It’s actually a revival of an ancient requirement of the Covenant of the Cross that was long forgotten, but it’s back in play now. Indeed, even for people who don’t yet “get” the Cross, it’s a requirement just to live in some small measure of His shalom.

Perhaps I could offer this parabolic explanation: You and I cannot know at what point Our Creator and Lord decides to include someone in the full privileges of His household. We can be assured only for ourselves. A great many people are in His household as servants but not family, and a great many more are in His flocks and herds. It’s not discrete levels so much as a sliding scale, because not everyone in His family gets the same blessings. At any given moment, we all can be found standing somewhere between morally dead on one end, and the incarnation of His Son at the other end. If you get to fly up to Heaven without dying, you’re pretty close to the high end of that scale. It’s happened a few times that we know of, but short of that, stay humble and know that you’ve got some room to grow.

And the key for us today is the heart-led consciousness. I don’t care what you call it, but that’s the term we use in this virtual parish.

Which brings us to another point: The virtual world will soon take a much greater weight in human affairs. I’m quite frustrated that so many of you live so far away; I can’t sit down and gaze in your eyes or give you a hug. My little slice of human meat-space includes precious few who have the slightest inkling of heart-led living. Part of my eagerness to ride a bicycle is just getting out where Creation itself dominates against the suffocating presence of fallen nature. Nothing in my life can replace being alone on a wind-swept hilltop far from other humans. If I could just cultivate a few heart-led friends, I could stand to share that hilltop with others.

This is not a question of plowing fallow ground, but of removing vast piles of rubble first. We have so very much to overcome just to get started. But whatever it is we do, it must start with walking first in that heart-led shalom, carrying it everywhere with us, and applying the resulting sense of moral consciousness to everything we do. Your heart will make your brain smarter.

I was never half so useful at tech support as when I consciously sought the leadership of my heart-mind. I’m telling you now that learning how to build trust in virtual space is something worth studying. That’s behind a lot of my blather about the Internet and computer technology. As much as you can bear, a major field of opportunity is adept handling of virtual space; God created that, too. This is where our world is headed, and we have to understand how to reach that world.