Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Counterfeit Spirit

As I have become more comfortable in my own heretical skin this last year, embracing all of who and what I am as wholly Holy, I had begun to doubt how seriously I would have been spiritually annihilated as a child if I had come out of the mystical closet.  I castigated myself for hiding in that closet for 40 years.  I reprimanded my self with “See?  It hasn’t been that bad coming out! What were you so afraid of?” 

The writing of someone who had embraced everything that I have spent a lifetime struggling to integrate before she threw it away on a limited, exclusionary, superstitious Christianity.  Her words are echoes, resounding gongs, screeching nails on the blackboard of my memory, of the teachings I heard over and over in my childhood.  Everything I was trying to convince myself was overblown, childish hyperbole is right there calmly damning me from my computer screen.

Even the calmly logical, condescendingly simple explanations of how Satan takes over the mind and will of the unsuspecting mystic who uses prayer beads, walks a labyrinth, prays with imagination, or meets with a spiritual mentor sounds like the patronizing, self-righteous, religious know-it-alls of my childhood.   Did I risk a verbal, emotional, if not literally physical, stoning as a witch, a dupe of Satan, evil incarnate, if I had freely shared my psychic knowledge, my awareness of mystical union with God?

Hell, yes.


  1. I love you, Sandra. We know these people are addicted to their religious platitudes, and in many cases, I doubt they have had any personal experience with the mystery of Divine Love that I know as Jesus. I've come to that conclusion about my husband's fundamentalist parents anyway. The reason they deride actual mystical experiences is that they have had none. Now since Jesus described being "born again" in very mystical terms, I would say that have not honestly experienced that event. They have merely come to mentally ascribe to set of beliefs that they promote as the real thing.

    You have the real thing. Yes, you had to keep it hidden or be crucified. Don't be down on yourself at that. Look at it more like Mary sojourning in Egypt to hide Jesus from those who would seek to destroy him until he was sufficiently grown. You needed to keep that part of yourself hidden away to protect yourself. Now that you are grown beyond their power to destroy, you can be public with your gifts.

    It's easy to talk trash about what you don't really know. Lots of these "sheep" are going to find out they were goats all along. Until that day, just stick with the shepherd and do your thing, pretty lady. We're going to be okay. =)

  2. Hehe. It's funny, I thought your post was going to be about the counterfeit "holy" spirit that so many followers of Christianity seem to latch onto. And in too many cases it seems to be merely an extension of their own ego.
    I disagree with lots of where you're going these days, but I still value your words. I am not a mystic, or a clairvoyant, and my husband insists that is the fundamental difference between us. I don't feel that way, but I wonder. I've become interested in many of the early saints who were also mystics. Particularly St. Theresa of Avila. And even then she met with much opposition from other church peers who did not believe God and mysticism could coincide. I wonder how much has been lost by the insatiable search for answers that we simply are not given.

  3. I read the linked post. It makes me sad and angry.

  4. That was on sad post. I cannot be Sola Sciptura because that closes the door on the move of the Holy Spirit and limits GOD severely. I can't be Sola anything because of that. Who am I, a mere human, to tell GOD how he can move/reveal in the world? I can't and I won't.

  5. This post has been sitting in my files for about a year. I found the Sola Sisters when I was working on a post (also not published) about Bibliolotry and I was so traumatized by their writing that I stalled on my own writing for months. For several weeks, I felt compelled to go back to the site countless times to re-read the post or other posts--like worrying a rotten tooth with my tongue--until finally I just shoved it all into a file and tried to forget about it.

    When I dug it out again this week, after all the healing I've experienced in the last year, I was so gratified to find that the Sola Sisters only exasperated me now instead of sending me into a post-traumatic self-hatred. Finally.

    It is so beautiful to know that healing is really and truly happening for me, at some deep and hidden places. It may be taking eons longer than I or my family was prepared for it to take, and it may not yet have trickled to visibly to the physical level, but--glory, hallelujah!--it is good to be so comfortable and secure in my own communion with the Divine that those old fear-and-hate-based dogmas don't affect me where it matters the most. Such a blessed relief!

  6. There's no way I'm wasting my time reading that whole article you linked. But at least I got a few more authors to add to my reading list!!

    Rick Warren
    Rob Bell
    Brian McLaren
    Doug Pagitt
    Shane Claiborne
    Tony Jones
    Dallas Willard
    Richard Foster
    Dan Kimball
    Donald Miller
    Erwin McManus
    Brennan Manning
    Laurie Beth Jones
    Phyllis Tickle
    Ruth Haley Barton
    Tony Campolo

  7. Lolz Rocco, that's how I get my reading list too! Any author that send the sour-faced self-righteous into "warning" the church not to read, I add to the list.

    Manning's "Ragamuffin Gospel", Bell's "Love Wins" and Campolo's books (so long ago don't remember the title) were true winners. I am surprised Young's "The Shack" isn't on the list. It's truly inspiring. And "The Inescapable Love of God" By Talbot is what I'm reading now.

    My life is so enriched by these lists. Thanks for the new names!