August 21, 2017

Puniness in the Awesome Scheme of Things

Fortuitously the cosmos has lined up a celestial event that speaks to the puniness of humankind. Hopefully this amazing event will spawn a lot more humility on Earth. In recognition of the solar eclipse of August 21st I am posting a poem I wrote years ago. It gets at that feeling of puniness in the awesome scheme of things. It can be found in my book Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast.
Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

In the Ever-flowing Universe

Exterior to all the clamour and the glamour
a sliver of a silvery moon hangs in the balance.
Where the hills kiss the night sky,
the crimson glow of the horizon
declares the position of the setting sun.

As the Earth turns,
that great ball of light and heat
suspended in a star-studded void,
plays out its part in the cosmic fire dance.


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August 3, 2017

Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt

" That repose (new world) which you are waiting for has come,
 but for your part you do not recognize it. "
                                  Jesus Christ - The Gospel According to Thomas

I am astonished at those who dismiss the importance of Thomas' gospels. I guess they don't know that scholars now believe these documents do in fact date back to the very beginnings of the Christian era. These gospels, along with other Gnostic scriptures, were tucked away safely in the Egyptian desert (Nag Hamadi region) for nearly two millennia. It was not until 1945 that jars housing these leather-bound papyrus codices were unearthed by a farmer.

Until this find these ancient manuscripts, that were buried about 45 years after the murder of Jesus, had not seen the light of day. What this means is that no one had a chance to put to flame the parts of this collection that they did not like. No one had the opportunity to censor any of the ideas that didn't fit with particular views. And most fortuitously, no one had a chance to send into obscurity important insights Jesus shared with Thomas.

Thomas, one of Jesus' apostles, has been portrayed as a skeptic of sorts. However, his doubts about the resurrection didn't stop him from making important contributions to our knowledge about Jesus. After all, it was through Thomas' gospels that I came to see that Jesus' take on things was very much in line with what I had a glimpse of during my mystical union.

During my encounter with the Almighty I came to the realization that the human body is in fact a domestic animal. In my mind's eye I could see that our species is barely domesticated and in need of an upgrade. So you can imagine my surprise to discover later that Jesus, two millennia ago, preached these facts to his inner circle. 

What astonishes me even further are those I meet who can't grasp the fact that we humans are primates. "I have been created in the image of God" or "I am an animal plus"say the many. There is this tendency to focus on how evolved our species is all the while ignoring the obvious about our bestial origins. We need to realize that we are animals in an ecological context.  

In fact, right now we need a global acknowledgment of our species' humble status within the scheme of things. If ever we are to emerge from our current chaos we must have a rethink about our place in the universe. There is no escape from the Law that governs our organic predicament. When we pollute the water there is nothing to drink. If we traumatize children we get maladjusted adults.

At this juncture in Homo sapiens' evolutionary ascent  we humans are being called to undergo a transformation of consciousness by making a shift in our paradigms. The peace and harmony we all long for will remain a pipe dream as long as we neglect to cultivate the kind of genuine humility Christ prescribed for us two thousand years ago. 

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

                      Pic:Chapel at Magdala, Israel

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