December 24, 2015

Day Twenty Four ~ The Cosmic Christ Is Coming To Town

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." 
                                                                                                            The Gospel of John 14:6
                                                                                                            Jesus Christ

Over the centuries the above quote from the gospel of John has been used by some followers of Christ to legitimize their misguided sense of religious superiority. If the truth be known, up to date scholars doubt that the historical Jesus actually said these words. Furthermore, evidence points to the likelihood that this gospel was written by a number of authors rather than a single person. Nevertheless, we do have this book in the New Testament because a group of ancient people wanted to tell us something important  about the Jesus phenomenon.

Jesus came bearing a message that has the power to alter the destiny of humankind. His message has universal significance because it is all about the human primate learning to tame the beast within. It matters not if you are a Jew, Muslim, Sikh or other as we are all children of the living father. Our species is on an evolutionary trajectory which requires all of us to make the holy wisdom of Jesus the Christ a part of our consensual reality. 


Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
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December 23, 2015

Day Twenty Three ~ Fulfillment of Prophecy

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
                                                                        The Gospel of Matthew 5:17
                                                                          Jesus Christ

Those gathering around Jesus wanted proof of his divine power. Hell, if he could change the laws of God then he must be divine. Right? Jesus had a different take on it.

Jesus understood the Law to be good. After all, cohesiveness of a human society is dependent upon our ability to abide by some kind of social contract. However, Jesus also understood himself to have a special relationship to the Law. The laws of nature responsible for maintaining the harmonious organization of the universe somehow came together, to birth within him, an evolutionary impulse. And, Jesus knew it.

Jesus Christ was well aware of his function as a change-agent for the Creator. He knew that his message about our bestial nature, if understood by the masses, could have a powerful impact on the evolutionary ascent of humankind. In this sense then, he really was God's word made flesh.

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks


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December 22, 2015

Day Twenty Two - Children of the Living God

".... it is you who are children of the living father. But if you do not become acquainted with yourselves then you are in poverty, and it is you who are the poverty."
                                                                                                   The Gospel of Thomas 3:33
                                                                                                                                  Jesus Christ

The Thomas Gospel is not so familiar to the average churchgoer. Although it was discovered over a half century ago, it dates to the very beginnings of the Christian era. Scholars now think that it is a forerunner to the traditional canonical gospels. Another of its features is that it was hidden away in the desert so censors did not have their way with it.

In this gospel Jesus declares humans to be "children of the living father". Essentially, Homo sapiens is a species immersed in an unfathomable sea of quantum particles. Some kind of creative principle has been responsible for sculpting humankind out of this quantum soup. As a result, we really do have the living father dwelling within each one of us.

To get a glimpse at the majesty of the Almighty moving in our own life, Jesus advises that we become acquainted with our own selves. In order to do so we have to refocus our attention to the inner kingdom of the self. We need to develop a conscious awareness of our own mind stuff. With practice we can even put aside our bestial inclinations enough to tune in to the faint voice of the living God within. All humans have a birthright to this genuine spirituality but they first must develop the level of self-awareness it takes to reach this stage in evolution.

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks

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December 21, 2015

Day Twenty One ~ The Cross You Must Bare

"And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."
                                                                                                    The Gospel of Luke 14:27
                                                                                                     Jesus Christ

To follow the path laid out by Jesus can be unsettling. There is no clinging onto illusions about our own virtue while neglecting to love one another. Self-justification for one's own shortcomings is not allowed. This Christ demands that each one of us wrestle with the beast within.


Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks




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December 20, 2015

Day Twenty ~ Primates On A Learning Curve

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
                                                                                           The Gospel of John 8:7
                                                                                                 Jesus Christ

It is so easy to be judgmental towards others. But the truth is we are all primates on a sizable learning curve. We have all made mistakes because life is about progress not perfection. But, there can be no progress without humility. 

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks


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December 19, 2015

Day Nineteen - What kind of beast are you?

"Truly, do not consider those people to be human beings; rather, count them as
 domestic animals - for just as animals devour one another, 
so also human beings of this kind devour one another."
                                                                                   The Book of Thomas the Contender
                                                                                    Jesus Christ



Some days after listening to the news I feel as if I am about to get post-traumatic stress disorder. What some humans are up to is mind-boggling. I can't put a knife into a piece of cooked chicken, let alone record a beheading of the human I have been torturing for weeks. 

Jesus had it right. There seems to be two different types of hominid cohabiting the planet. There are the conscious ones and then there are those that are merely domestic animals ready to devour one another.
   
Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
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December 18, 2015

Day Eighteen ~ Nothing But The Truth

"If your love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. 
                                                                                        The Gospel of John 14:15-17
                                                                                     Jesus Christ

With an honest examination of our own attitudes and actions, we can determine the extent to which we deviate from the extraordinary humility and love that Jesus has modeled for us. And, if we take seriously the feedback that we get from this evaluative process, we are in a better position to manage our own egocentricity.

With this spirit of truth as our counselor and reformer, we get to expand our awareness beyond a mere bestial self-centeredness. As more and more of us learn to respect this spirit of truth, self-awareness is promulgated throughout our species. 

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
Hugo Rheinhold's Philosophizing Monkey
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December 17, 2015

Day Seventeen ~ No Time To Waste

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
                                                                       The Gospel of Matthew 7:6
                                                                         Jesus Christ


If you are following the way of Jesus you will have a generous spirit. This charitable disposition may be construed as weakness to those humans still governed by a predatory instinct. Therefore, discernment is required as your time and energy are valuable. 

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
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December 16, 2015

Day Sixteen ~ On the Road to God

"No one is good - except God alone." 
                         The Gospel of Mark 10:18
                        Jesus Christ


Many want to view Jesus as God but he knew his subordinate relationship to the Almighty. There is great danger in the belief that you are God. God is perfect. So, if you are the Almighty what motivation is there for working on your shortcomings? Only with self-development is there self-actualization, and with that, the liberation of a god within. 


Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks

                                                                                        Pic:S. Banks
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December 15, 2015

Day Fifteen ~ The Things of God and Man

"You do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men"
                                                                             The Gospel of Mark 8:33
                                                                                 Jesus Christ



Through out the gospels we see Jesus chastising people for following the traditions of men instead of God's commandments. The traditions of men such as our greed, aggression and lust are deeply connected to our primate waysWhile the things of God are self-restraint, cooperation and love.These are the traits that help human societies to thrive and evolve.

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
                                  Pic: Kim Lee design

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December 14, 2015

Day Fourteen ~ Eyes To See

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
                                                                                                        The Gospel of John 3:3
                                                                                                         Jesus Christ

At this stage in evolution the human primate can monitor his own self-centeredness in order to best consider others. This means that people like you and I, in a very real way, can have an impact on the actual workings of our cerebral cortex. In a very real way, we can liberate our own selves from those territorial imperatives brought on by our animal origins.

Graced with this faculty of self-consciousness, we humans have the opportunity to expand our perceptual acuity. This transformation of consciousness can unfold in such a way that some even get to perceive the kingdom of God.



Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks

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December 13, 2015

Day Thirteen ~ Money Can't Buy You Love

"No one can serve two masters.  ..... You cannot serve both God and money."
                                                                                              The Gospel of Matthew 6:24
                                                                                                  Jesus Christ



Evolution has plans for Homo sapiens. After all, the converging conditions of the global village are shaping a new reality to which our species has to adapt. If our species is going to thrive, we must find peaceful ways to sensibly manage and equitably distribute the globe's resources. And, to stay on this path of love, a generosity of spirit will be a must. 


Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks

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December 12, 2015

Day Twelve ~ Don't Worry About A Thing

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
 Each day has enough trouble of its own."
                                                                                          The Gospel of Matthew 6:34
                                                                                            Jesus Christ


All creatures are wired up in such a way that they instinctively operate to ward off any perceived threats. We humans also have our insecurities and deep-rooted animal angst that have us feeling vulnerable. This bestial defensiveness coupled with our faculty for thinking about the future is likely a big contributor to our high rates of anxiety, aggression and depression.

But there is good news. We don't have to identify ourselves with the transient emotions and impulses that constantly affect our thoughts. Rather, we can be at the steering wheel guiding  each day's thoughts and action according to some kind of moral compass. Then, it becomes a matter of having done one's best to do good, and just trusting the universe to unfold accordingly.

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks

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December 11, 2015

Day Eleven ~ The Pure In Heart

" Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God."
                                                   The Gospel of Matthew 5:8 
                                                     Jesus Christ

To consider what is best for others in spite of our own wants and needs takes purity of heart. To love like this, there must be minimal interference from our self-centered inclinations. We must become less of an animal so to speak.

Fortunately we can loosen the grip that egocentricity has on our perception. At this stage in our species' ascent we have been graced with a trans-formative capacity. We can learn how to tune into and negotiate the workings of our inner world. We actually can trigger transformations in our own consciousness that help to shape us into a more loving creature. And, for the lucky ones, they get to meet within, this evolutionary force in action.


Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks



                                                                                                          Pic:Elen/Dreamstime.com


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December 10, 2015

Day Ten ~ The Truth Really Does Set You Free

"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
                                  The Gospel of Matthew 7:20
                                   Jesus Christ


Let's apply the above quote to our own situation. If we think we are gentle yet bark harshly at our kids twenty times a day, we do not truly know ourselves. Self-awareness comes about by looking at the evidence as revealed in our own thoughts and action. 


Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
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December 9, 2015

Day Nine ~ The Last First?

"But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
                                                     The Gospel of Mark 10:31
                                                   Jesus Christ


Humility plays an indispensable role in our growth. What incentive is there to improve if one has to think of himself as perfect? Those who recognize they have room for improvement are more likely to make the needed changes. And, these are the lucky primates who are on the road to self-actualization.

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
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December 8, 2015

Day Eight ~ Breaking On Through To The Other Side

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than
 for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God"
                                                                        The Gospel of Mark 10:24
                                                                           Jesus Christ


In order to bring about a spiritual mode of existence, we humans must purposely deal with our own egocentricity and its effects on our perceptions and actions. By confronting this beast within we can trigger actual transformations of consciousness which allow for inner contact with the Almighty. Be warned though, this kind of radical self-confrontation does not come easy, particularly for egos puffed up with pride about possessions. Awe of one's own money, status, fame or beauty keeps the focus on the outer when all along it should be on the inner.  

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

                                               Pic: S. Banks

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December 7, 2015

Day Seven ~ A Matter of the Heart

"What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean."
                                                                   The Gospel of Mark 7:20
                                                                  Jesus Christ 



Unlike some of his peers, Jesus did not believe adherence to dietary restrictions handed down from ancestors made a person pious. He was keen to see humankind develop into more than domesticated primates. After all, our task is one of cultivating a conscience by thinking about what is going on in our hearts. 

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks
                                                                      Pryzmat/Dreamstime.com
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December 6, 2015

Day Six ~ Fishers of Men and Women Too

"Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
                                                            The Gospel of Mark 1:17
                                                       Jesus Christ

For millennia now humans have been proclaiming they want peace. Yet, we are still hurting and killing one another. It is going to take an evolutionary leap in the human primate to put an end to this war machine. And, in order to make that ascent happen the critical masses will need to renovate their thinking with an actual shift in paradigms.

We need to recognize our lowly status as a primates. Our task is to gain insight into and greater control over our bestial inclinations. Our species' ascent then, actually depends on our humility. Jesus was right; evolution dictates that the meek will inherit the Earth. Now, it is up to us who know, to share with those who need to know. Or, likely it's game over for Homo sapiens.

Happy Holy Days 2015

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks



                                                                                   Chloeclogs/Dreamstime.com


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