8/09/2012

Casting Out Demons


Jesus went from village to village exorcizing demons. Presence exorcizes the past.

Each of us accumulates our ghostly past in the form of a story called "me." We carry this ghost around inside us: it feeds on us and takes all our energy, u
ntil we are possessed by the past. We keep repeating our story in an endless loop, which prevents us from ever getting to the present moment.

Some very common story lines include:
  • "Why does this always happen to me?"
  • "How come they get away with it when I try so hard to be good?" 
  • "I'm always right: why doesn't anybody listen?" 
  • "It's not fair that I have to work so hard and they don't." 
  • "My suffering is worse than your suffering."
The past is my demon. The past can be honored as an angel, and consulted for guidance from time to time. But when the past controls and possesses me, it becomes my bondage.

When Presence awakens, the story of the past vanishes like a dream. Free from regret and desire, the clarity of this moment drives the old demon from my body. Now I am free to celebrate a life that is never one moment old.

The Gospel is Presence in the form of a new story, a special kind of story that casts out stories. This kind of story is also told by Zen and Sufi masters to stun the mind of the listener into silence.

The purpose of the Gospel is not to recount the literal events of history. Quite the contrary: the Gospel casts out time itself. That is why Jesus always speaks in the present tense: "Before Abraham was, I Am."

Jesus is the clarity of my pure awareness. The demon he casts out is the old Adam, the pattern of my past. In Christ, I am a new creation, born again with every breath. And every breath is the anointing of the Spirit.

This has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with the sacrament of breathing in the temple of Now.

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