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Brains, Minds, and the Sacred Silence
My Experience
The Brain
The Sacred Silence
Conclusion
Biboliography

Personal Experience

Since I was in high school, I have been fascinated with the Most Ancient Church and its seemingly supernatural qualities. Many of my papers, projects and adventures have been born from an interest in these ancient ways of perceiving and living. In the writings there is a sphere of mystery around the whole subject of the Most Ancient Church and there seem to be many gaps in my understanding of how these ancient people worked. I was mostly interested in the most ancients ability to freely converse with spirits from the next life. We are told that any attempt to contact the spirit world is a very dangerous matter. This is because devils are the most interested in making contact with man while angels value mans freedom so rarely make contact nowadays. This made sense to me, but I still wondered if there was anyway we could reopen this connection without causing problems. The writings also seem to be broad in making statements about all magic being bad and that it is not possible for our eyes to be open on a spiritual level until we die. Although this danger was part of my fascination at first, I learned to respect the things I should not go chasing after, from the experience of others who ended up hurt from their youthful curiosities. I learned to look at magic, spiritual sight and spiritual contact as something that would come to me and not me to it.

Divine revelation has consistently warned against this attempt of man to pry open the gates of the unseen world… 'There shall not be found among you any one… that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer' Such were to be punished with death. But this prohibition soon proved to be ineffective. Israel could not resist the pressure of the combined superstitions of the East!

"But those who have not only been in self-love but have been crafty also, and have raised themselves to honours by means of crafty practices, associate themselves with the worst of spirits, and learn magic arts, which are abuses of Divine order, "
HH 508

"Since the representative rites of the church, which were correspondences, began in the course of time to be turned into idolatrous practices, and also into magical rites, the Lord's Divine providence ensured that the science should be gradually lost, and among the Israelite and Jewish people totally wiped out. This people's worship consisted purely of correspondences"
TCR 204

"Gone were the days… the celestial man knew spontaneously, the correspondence of every flower and fruit, every leaf and tree… Evil blighted mankind through heredity; and not only this it blighted nature, too."
From a sermon by Rev. Geoffrey Childs

This interest in the Most Ancient Church led me to a love of researching ancient tradition in native cultures, like the Native Americans. In these I hoped to be able to find some remnants of what might be ancient or even most ancient practices. While in high school, I got a job at the Glencairn museum studying Native American pipe ceremony and other religious ceremonies. Much of what I read seemed to correlate with the teachings of the Writings like. This excited me. Some things that correlated were a belief in the symbolism of nature, humility of the heart, the cyclical nature of mans life, the seasons, and the directions and a Divine flowing Providence that guides every man individually. While much of what was said struck me as true, much seemed to disagree with the writings. Some tribes believed in many Gods while others practiced human sacrifice. Many were generally not what you would call the most moral of people. While this was true I found a particular interest in a ritual that young men would go through to enter adulthood, called the vision quest. This ritual was common to most of the tribes, but differed in form. The basics of it, was that a young man around 13-14 would be sent off into the wilderness alone, with no food, water or clothing and he would sit in a circle from 2 days up to a week waiting for a vision. At first I was hesitant to think that this ritual would have anything to offer. I learned more about the ritual, but slowly moved to other topics in my research.

I moved into researching dream interpretation. I learned about the science and spirit behind dreams and also what some Native Americans thought about certain dreams. I had been having a reoccurring dream of some shadowy animal chasing me for the last year and I was very interested in what this meant. I found various interpretations of my dream, in different books, but did not really get any ideas about what the dream meant. I decided that I would confront the animal in my dream to see what it was. That night I prayed to the Lord to give me strength to face the creature and closed my eyes and went to sleep. I dreamed that I was climbing the inside of a huge hollow building with my friend. When I had almost reached the top, I looked up and saw a blue-green glowing ceiling and I also saw that the rafters stopped 20 feet from the top. I knew that the ceiling was what I was after and thought that it would bring me pure oneness if I touched it. I considered flying, but looking at the ceiling, I felt that there was something fake about it. I turned to my friend and watched him let go and drop. I immediately did the same thing and found myself flying down a snow covered mountain that led, into a brown jungle like stream. I rolled down a muddy bank and started to here footsteps walking behind me. I turned to see a lion ready to pounce. I jumped at the lion and started to wrestle. After a few moments I realized it was tame, so I laid down on top of it. A mother lion and 4 cubs came over and laid down on me. It was one of the most peaceful moments in my life. After a while I saw people coming and was embarrassed that I was laying down with these lions so I got up and walked away a distance. Suddenly the people started to pick up the baby lions and fling them around. A little black lion fell at my feet and turned into a little baby. The dream went on for what seemed hours, but I think I'll stop there.
I was baffled by this dream and also was left in awe at its power. I knew I had received a gift and at the time I decided it wasn't important to figure out the meaning. I wondered though if dreams actually represented things anymore, so I turned to the writings. I found that for the most part they said correspondential dreams had been discontinued, but seemed to leave some room for the occasional meaningful dream.

"Indeed, behind all these traditional views of dreams there lies a substratum of truth. Dreams do touch the fringe of the spiritual world… Robsahm writes in the memoirs: 'I asked Swedenborg whether, in our times, it was worth while to pay attention to dreams; upon which he answered that the Lord no longer at the present day makes revelations by dreams, but that nevertheless it may happen that one who understands correspondences my derive advantage from his dreams: just as a person who is awake may examine his own state by comparing his own will with God's commandments.'"
From Spirits and Men

"In a word, very many dissimilar dreams might come down and be presented from the same discourse, and thus from one origin; because, as has been said, the things that are in a man's memory and affection are recipient vessels, in which ideas are varied and received representatively in accordance with their variations of form and changes of state."
AC 1980

In my senior year, I happened to watch a movie that showed the Lord going out into the wilderness to be tempted. Watching this affected me very deeply. I saw the Lord portrayed as a troubled man seeking clarity about his mission in life. At that point in my life I was very lost as to what I should be doing with my life and realized that I wanted some clarity as well. I also discovered that my friend Edmund Brown had just taken part in a vision quest and said that he found a lot of clarity and a sense of direction when he did his. I decided I had to try it. The next three months I prepared myself to go out that summer. I read through the writings to see what they had to say about dreams and visions and found that the Most Ancients were actually taught through visions and dreams. I also found that spirits took a part in affecting all people dreams. Another quote seemed to counteract some of what was said elsewhere, and spoke of visionaries of today as people who make up hallucinations in there minds not really seeing anything. With that in mind, I decided that whatever I got out of this Vision Quest might or might not have something to do with what the Lord wanted to tell me, but I knew I still had to go.

"There are three kinds of dreams. The first kind come from the Lord mediately through heaven; such were the prophetic dreams that are treated of in the Word. The second kind come through angelic spirits, especially those who are in front above at the right, where there are paradisal scenes; from this source the men of the Most Ancient Church had their dreams, which were instructive (see n. 1122). The third kind come through the spirits who are near when man is sleeping, which are likewise significative. But fantastic dreams come from a different source."
AC 1976

"It is also foretold by Daniel xi. (A.V. ix) 24, that these visions would cease when the Lord came into the world. However, infernal visions have sometimes appeared, induced by fanatical and visionary spirits who, from the madness which possessed them, called themselves the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, conversation with spirits, though rarely with angels of heaven, is allowed and has been granted to many for ages back. When it is granted the spirits speak with man in his native tongue, but only a few words. Those, however, who speak by permission of the Lord say nothing whatever that takes away the freedom of the reason, nor do they teach; for the Lord alone teaches man,"
DP 134-135


Upon entering the woods I found a place that felt right to sit. I was in the Pocono's at Clark Pitcairns 900 acre land. I hadn't brought any water, food or clothing, only a sleeping bag to keep me warm in the night. All through the day I saw many animals and thought about my life at the moment. At first it was very peaceful, but slowly I began to want to return to the comfort of my pickup truck that waited for me back on the driveway. Slowly I worked my way through the boredom and discomfort of the woods and found my peace. This all change when night fell. I had never felt so alone in all my life, and not only that, I knew that bears, mountain lions and coyotes lived all through the area. Whereas before I battled frustration at the discomfort, now I was battling fear that my life was in danger and I would never get to see my family again. This agony lasted for many hours and many times I stood and shouted into the woods that I wasn't afraid. This would bring me some peace for a moment or two, but fears would slowly creep in over and over again. Eventually I just sat quietly and waited. I began to hear howls in the distance. They would start and stop again sometimes close and other times far away. I started to nod off to sleep, but was woken up by some heavy breathing. Standing on a rock above me was a big black shadow. It smelled the air and walked off into the woods. I sat for a while frozen when a white animal started crawling from my right towards my leg. When it was about 2 inches away I jerked my leg and it ran off into the woods. Still frozen with fear I laid down and closed my eyes. By this point I had been scared for so long that I kind of gave up and let go of the fear. As I did this I heard footsteps coming from my right again. My sleeping bad was covering all, but the stars above me and the tops of the trees. As the footsteps got closer I started to hear the sound of heavy breathing with it. It got closer and closer until I could feel its breath on my forehead. At this point fear was gone, but I felt a little bit of sadness knowing that I might not be going home. Right then the animal breathing above me dropped a small leaf or twig on my forehead and walked away a few feet behind my head. I sat up and turned around to see a white coyote who looked at me and then trotted away to join its pack that I could hear a little ways off. After that it started to rain and all the sounds of the woods were drowned out by the rest of the night until morning. When I left I wasn't sure what I had gotten, but I knew that my life was a gift and was very thankful for that.

After I had gone through my vision quest I continued to read books from native cultures looking to see what I could find out about them. I read one book about an African who had spent his childhood from 5 years old to about 20 in a missionary school after which he returned to his people. When he returned he was initiated back into their culture. The initiation consisted of many rituals I found very hard to take as the truth, but could see elements of truth mixed within. Most of it seemed way to supernatural for my white-american mind. One element of the ritual that stuck out reminded me a little of the vision quest. The young man was asked to sit and look at a tree until he saw its true nature. After about three days of frustration and sitting the boy looked at the tree and saw a women staring back at him. He sat with the women for a long time before he was rudely brought back to his senses with a cold bucket of water by the leaders of the initiation. This reminded me somewhat of what the most ancients might have seen in a tree. We in our modern times look at the world through natural eyes. Now when I say natural eyes, I don't necessarily mean our physical eyes, but eyes that focus on see things for their natural use. Through temptation or what other cultures might call denial of the self, maybe our sight can be cleaned enough and concentrated in one space of time that we can see the spirit in something. I would compare this spirit to the correspondence of something or even the society in heaven which shines though it. On the deepest level the Lord is the one that shines through. When animals are said to talk to people in other cultures, maybe this really happens in the spirit. Maybe nature speaks to us all the time and we don't have spiritual enough ears to hear. This sparked in me, an interest in African Traditional religion.

"In contrast, one who knows how to raise his mind above concepts drawn from space and time passes from darkness into light, and he discerns matters spiritual and Divine, and finally sees the components in them and effects springing from them. Moreover, from the light in which he is then, he dispels the darkness of his natural sight and banishes its misconceptions from the center to the peripheries"
DLW 69

I got a chance to feed this interest when I went on a trip to Ghana with the college in the spring of 2001. While I was in the town of Asacraca I heard about a group of traditional priests in the area. One of my friends there told me that he could take me to see them dance as part of one of there religious ceremonies. So the next day we caught a ride to the next town over where they lived. After traveling through a maze of different little mud houses, we found where they were living. It turned out that they weren't going to do a dance that day, so we sat and talked to them for a while about their religion. They told me many things that I found hard to believe, and many of the things I learned didn't seem very spiritual to me. They told me that people would come to them with money and they would use magic to make things go well for them or get something done for them. We also took part in a ceremony of pouring libations to honor the ancestors who went before. I found this ceremony very interesting. They also made an attempt of interpreting a dream I had just had while in Ghana and also the vision quest I had taken on when I was a senior. Overall I didn't find much value to anything they could tell me about them, on the other hand it might have been my inability to understand. Before I left they said that they would put on a dance for me the next day.

The next day I came with a different friend to watch the dance. As we were walking to the house, I was surprised to find other people carrying drums and walking towards the same house with us. When we got there, I found a whole bunch of people walking around playing different instruments, mostly drums. They sat me down and I waited for about an hour. While I was sitting many people gathered for the ceremony. They started to practice with there instruments. I was enjoying listening to music when four partially robed people covered in some white powder walked into the yard. At first I was kind of spooked, and then I was really spooked when one of them, a large well rounded man, ran over to me and started embracing me and holding me. The people around me quickly pulled him off and they told me that these four where priests who would be dancing today. Soon after the dance began. I was surprised at the casual way that they danced around and I started to enjoy myself again. The next thing I saw, was a women lying on the ground with a bunch of people gathered around her shouting. I was told that they were calling this women a witch. Also that they were telling her that she had been doing some bad stuff with magic and that if she didn't confess, she would be killed. This scared me, but my friend said that they would wait until the end of the ceremony to get the information out of her and that she would most likely tell them what she had been doing. As the dance went on the leader of the shaman, who I had been talking to the day before, put on a new robe and put white powder on like the others. As I sat and watched, one of the dancers fell over and started to convulse. This scared the bejeebers out of me and I was told that a spirit was entering the person who fell. The people quickly grabbed the women and lifted her back to her feet. This slowly happened to all the dancers. When the leader fell and was raised back up to his feet, he asked for a cigarette. I was told that the spirit who would enter this man liked to smoke. By this point, a few hours had gone by and the man who ran over to me in the beginning, had made a few more trips to embrace me once again. I was ready to leave, but wasn't sure what I really got out of this adventure yet. As I was debating whether to leave, the chief preist told me to take off my shoes and come out to dance. After thinking it over for a while, I decided it wouldn't hurt to dance a little. I went out and started to dance. The leader was the only one with me at that point and he would circle me as we danced. He would come up and hug me, also tap me on the back with his horse tail whip, that he carried on his left hand. He whispered to me that I would find the power of my vision quest in the dance. After a while of dancing three of the other priests came up to me and ripped off my shirt. One carrying some white powder, came over and covered me head to toe in the white powder. The next thing they did was carry out a small African sword and told me that I could dance with it. I was told it was a very sacred sword that belonged to their people and I didn't want to insult the people so I kept dancing. After a while I grew tired and decided that I needed to leave. They asked for my address and the leader, who was previously named John and now told me his name was Ateewiel, said goodbye and I left.

This experience took a few days to really settle in. After talking to some of the New Church men from the town, I got a clearer picture of my experience. I was told by one of the ministers that what the shaman was saying about the magic that he could do was probably true for the most part. He also told me that he had known a person that was out walking on totally cloudless day, and it a bolt of lightning came from the sky and killed him. He believed that the shaman of Africa had much power, but more importantly he told me that anyone with a strong devotion to Christianity would not be affected by the magic. This for cleared a lot of the fog that was in my head.

When I look back I think I experienced some of what would be called "the fallen Most Ancient Church". These priests actively were seeking the help of spirits for the sake of power. When paid I was told that they would go as far as kill a man. I believe there was an ability of these people to see into the spiritual world and even perform mystical feets, but for the most part this was for the sake of there own gain in power and money. The most ancients lived in a way that they could naturally communicate with spirits in heaven. They didn't go out of there way to guide there own lives; they were simply vessels, pure vessels that the Lord could flow into. The most valuable lesson I learned from this experience was that my interest in the spiritual world should be guided by the Lord, and also I learned the huge distinction between magic workers and miracle workers. Miracle workers being like the prophets in the word. The Lord is the only miracle worker and I'm sure that He protected me that day in my experience.

After returning from Ghana I felt blest having spent time with such a great culture, but also a little tired in my pursuit for the truth. After a while I picked up a Native American book that I had read bits and pieces of, but had never quite completed. It was a book by a man named Tom Brown called "Awakening Spirits". In it he talked about the life of his mentor, a Native American Apache named Stalking Wolf. Stalking Wolf, when he was a child, had received a very powerful vision in his initiation involving a white coyote. The vision was throughout the book called the coyote vision. In this vision, Stalking Wolf, who Tom referred to as Grandfather, had been given three missions that he would have to accomplish in life. The first was that he must leave his people, live off the land and travel to other lands seeking out the truth of all religions. The second was to find ways in all these different lands to live closer and more purely with the earth. The third was to mentor a little boy, who he would later find to be Tom Brown, in all the ways that he had been taught in youth and learned abroad. Now I won't speculate that my coyote vision had any connection to this vision, but I was moved when I read this.

In my life I have always felt the urge to really know the truth and have been seeking it out in many ways. I think for the most part this passion was instilled in me by the Writings. Although I see the Writings as containing the most truth I've ever found, and although the New Church has and will always be my religion, and although my way of looking at life has always been from the point of view of the Writings, I have felt an emptiness. This emptiness has stemmed from a lack of physical forms. We have not, as of yet, created a way of life that involves the abstract concepts of the Writings in each piece of our lives. The Writings seem to indicate that religion should be in all of life, not just in church on Sundays. Although the Writings seem to call us to this higher lifestyle, they don't spell out the physical forms of this lifestyle. Besides a few practices it has left application pretty open as long as it adheres to the spiritual truth.

I have been drawn to Native cultures because everything they do has some spiritual significance. The Native Americans view each of these actions and the physical forms involved with them as being alive with spiritual representation. This seems to be a reflection of what life was like in the Most Ancient Church. The Most Ancient Church saw everything as alive with spirit. The culture I live in, at least for me, doesn't provide a place for this type of life. It's understandable seeing that most of the world still belongs to and is set up by a church which has fallen. In fact, our world has fallen far enough away so that we cannot see the world as living at all.

After reading Awakening Spirits and some other books written by Tom Brown, I began to see a picture of a different kind of life painted before me. I saw a life closely connected to the earth, through native American survival techniques. I found a way of looking at the natural world which contained both spiritual and natural aspects, as well as the means to achieving a higher lifestyle. Stalking Wolf on his journeys found that all religions he came across, from Christianity to African Shamanism to Zen Buddhism, held a few similar beliefs. The most important to him was the belief in a sacred silence. The sacred silence to him was the quieting down of ones natural sight and wants, and through this emptying process, a more pure substance would take its place. Almost everything Stalking Wolf taught from survival skills to spiritual practices, had some aspect of the sacred silence within it. What I found so striking about this teaching, was that this sacred silence seemed to mirror the reformation, which the Writings call the first of religion. Now I won't claim that the spiritual laws which Stalking Wolf followed in life, exactly mirrored the ten commandments, but what was important to me was that the sacred silence applied to everything a person did.

Within the sacred silence Stalking Wolf spoke of four states. These states were degrees in which one could quiet his mind and body. Tom brown later labeled these states according to scientific research he did on brain waves. He called them beta, alpha, theta and delta states. Stalking Wolf talked very poorly of beta state and said that most men of today dwell in beta. He called the three other states those of a healthy man. I immediately connected these states to the levels of one's mind talked about in the Writings. In the Writings, there is a purely natural level of the mind with a natural sight, a spiritual-natural level of the mind, a spiritual level of the mind, and celestial-level of the mind, all containing their own particular sight. After doing some research on brain waves, I found that these states of the mind related also to the stages of growth in a person. I found that infants most of the time were in a delta state, and also that celestial angels are present with them in that time of life. In childhood we are in theta state and spiritual angels are said to be present with us.

"Every infant born into the world, besides having a soul and body, has a basis in real spiritual substance for the development of a human mind. This spiritual substance is of three degrees. The lowest degree is that in which the natural mind can be formed; the middle degree is that in which the spiritual mind can be formed; and the highest degree is that in which the celestial mind can be formed."
The Natural mind

"Man thus has a physical mind which only knows the things of the flesh, and man has a spirit mind that dwells in the realms outside the flesh… Any time the physical mind is present, the communications of the spirit are at best obscure or do not come through to us at all. So then, this pure mind, the spiritual mind, must be nurtured and grow as strong as the physical mind. Eventually, for those who wish to walk the spiritual paths of life, the spirit mind must become the dominant mind."
Grandfather speaking in the book Awakening Spirits

"That these things are signified by "Reuben," follows from his being named from "sight," and spiritual-natural sight is science, spiritual sight is intelligence, and celestial sight is wisdom."
AR 351

"What flows in from the Lord is received by man according to his form. Form means here man's state in respect both to his love and to his wisdom, consequently in respect both to his affections for the goods of charity and to his perceptions of the truths of faith… That the recipient form or state induces variations, can be seen from the life of infants, children, youths, adults, and aged persons; in each there is the same life, because the same soul, from infancy to old age; but as one's state is varied according to age and what is suitable thereto, in like manner is life perceived."
TCR 366

Not everything Stalking Wolf said connected with the Writings, but I was still interested. I was interested enough that I decided that I had to attend a class at the Tom Brown Native American Tracker School.

In the week we learned mostly about Native American survival. Lessons like how to find food, build shelter, find water and build a fire all of which I was interested in, but not exactly what I was hoping to find. On the last day Tom Brown started his talk on the sacred silence. Most of what I heard I had already read, but I was interested in the different ways in which he presented how to practice the sacred silence.

One practice was the stalk walk. This involved a special type of walking in which you take 2 steps every minute. Another was wide angle vision. You can do this by placing fingers at the side of your eyes and make sure you can see both at the same time. This uses your peripheral vision. Later I would learn that this skill would serve as a good tool in temptation for me. Whenever I would get angry I would go to wide angle vision and the anger would seem to pass. Also when I was stressed out I could turn to this to tool and let go and trust in the Lord.

Another was the sweat lodge, a meditative process in which you could move into low states of theta in under 20 minutes. Another practice to find the sacred silence was the "just living out in the woods method". He found that you could reach a constant state of alpha after two days of living off the land. Although all these practices had connection to meditation he frowned on meditation by itself if it couldn't be practiced in life.

Lastly he talked about the vision quest. He described a different kind of vision quest than I had read about in the past. It was highly active version of the vision quest, in which you still didn't eat, but did menial tasks over and over again out in nature. He said that the common root in all these practices was sacrifice. Sacrifice to him was the turning off of our inner dialogue. He spoke about getting past the selfish thoughts and wants and through this, we could quiet the mind. He said that through this quiet mind, we would see the world in a different way and approach, the Creator, the spirit that moves within all things. I connected this to the process of reformation, which is man's fight against falsities and evil. Through this, it is possible to approach the creator, for then the Lord can regenerate us and implant a new will and understanding.

Man is like an island, a circle within circles… The place of man, the island of self, is the place of logic, the 'I' the ego, and the physical self… It is a world of ignorance where the flesh is the only reality, the only god… Beyond man's island of ego, his prison, lies the world of the spirit-that-moves-in-all-things-…it is the world that brings man to his higher self and to spiritual rapture… It is the place closest to the creator.
Grandfathers words in Awakening Spirits

After his talk on the sacred silence, we left the room and prepared for a sweat lodge. Hearing so much truth come out of this mans mouth, I decided to see what I could get out this ceremony. The ceremony he performed was called the 7 arrows and it was split into seven sections. The first section he talked about the creator as the guiding force in life and as the sun that shined over our heads. He also called him "He who is known by many names". The next four arrows were the four directions the east symbolizing new birth, and new beginnings, the south symbolizing work and joy, the west symbolizing spiritual death and change and the north symbolizing clarity through pain and sacrifice. The sixth arrow was mother earth. This brought up issues for me. So often I had heard the mother earth honored as holy, along with the creator in the teachings of Stalking Wolf and I wondered if this fit with my beliefs at all. Is the earth holy? When he spoke he called the earth the manifestation of the creators love and said we were all part of this. He spoke about being a relative to everything that exists and that we were part of this manifestation of the Creators Love, if we chose to be. This made a lot of sense to me and I thought about the writings teachings of the earth being a symbol of the church and the bride of the Lord. In the last arrow we returned to the creator, and he spoke some more words about Him.

When we finished, we were asked to walk somewhere alone to sit in the silence. I went out in the woods and sat. I soon felt the urge to smoke a cigarette and I pulled one out of my pack. As I did this I was thinking about the sacrifice that Tom had talked about. He said that the gate to the sacred silence was the process of losing the self. I decided that I would rip the cigarette and give the tobacco back to the earth. As I did this I began to feel different than I have ever felt before. The world around me suddenly started to come alive. Nothing looked any different than usual, it was just a pure feeling of peace flowing forth. I could feel the earth beneath me and all around me as one gigantic being holding me in her arms. It was as though I was being held in the arms of my mother and I could see it in everything around me. As I walked back into camp, I was embarrassed to be feeling this way in front of other people, but the feeling stuck with me. I wanted to tell someone about it, but knew that I could never really find the words and that nobody would really understand anyway. I sat in the feeling for the rest of that night and when I awoke the next morning the feeling was gone.

I don't think the sacred silence is holy in itself. I believe that it is a state of mind in which there are three levels. In my religion I call these spiritual-natural, spiritual and celestial. That night I think I was blessed by the Lord with a state, I believe to be similar to that of the Most Ancient Church. I don't think I became celestial or even really permanently changed my mind-state, but I think I was given a taste of what could possibly be. To have a clear mind is not to be spiritual. As we know the fallen of the Most Ancients had abilities similar to those of the unfallen. It is possible to raise our minds into heavenly light even when we are evil people. Through sacrificing natural wants for a spiritual purpose though, we find the true light and heat of heaven. If we do it for a natural purpose we won't. I believe that the shunning of the natural wants of our bodies and the broadening of our awareness, can help us enter into what science calls alpha, theta, and delta states. These in many ways seem to be the natural counterpart to spiritual states of the natural, spiritual and celestial mind.

When I came back from the class, I had learned a lot of new things and also saw that there was much of what was said that just wasn't true. What was most important was that I found out what I was missing in life and had been blessed with a small taste of what life could be like for me. We live in a culture that has been created by a vastated church. We experience religion periodically in life. We are in a society that worships comfort. Almost everything we run after is something to make my life easier. Drugs are constantly being pumped into us. The TV puts our minds to sleep. Our computers give us instant connection to any natural love or idea that we want to find. We spend most of life worrying about money to make sure we can buy that new CD player. We are constantly tunneled in focus and jumping from one particular of life the other, trying to make them fit into one system. We constantly run to our magazines, books and newspapers to overfeed our brain with facts. We never slow down enough to make a space for the Lord to come into our lives. We are constantly looking for bigger, better, faster and our brains are going haywire. We are constantly thanking the Lord for my new conveniences and forgetting to be thankful for water, food and shelter because we are never without them.

What I have learned is that I in my own life, I have not experienced mother earth. There has been an emptiness in my life without her. The writings in my life has been a good Father to me. He has taught me great things which I will forever be indebted to him for, but for most my life I have been the seed that fell within the thorns and on the rocks. The truth has not been able to affect my life because I haven't had the means to receive it. I have put time and effort into facing temptations in my life, but this is like pulling a twig out of a raging fire. Can I find a way to practice the sacred silence in every part of my life? I hope so. I believe in the Lord God Jesus Christ and his laws given in the ten commandments, but do we really know the real nature of what the Lord is offering us in this sacred covenant. I don't think I should run from culture and return to a solitary life of living in nature. I don't think we are capable or even should seek to be like the most ancients and I don't believe that through meditation I will find spirituality. What I do believe is that life can be lived in a quiet inner meditation which can be applied to every detail within. I believe that we can slow down the pace and let go of some of the comforts we have begun to see as necessities. I believe that we can learn to incorporate more of nature, which is the manifestation of the Lord's love, into our everyday lives. To say that we are moving in a direction that will lead us toward this, I think would be foolish. My hope for the world is that we start to honor the silent and loving feminine energy, and that we all might one day see like the infants. Through a rebirth of our church, the earth will be seen as alive and as a loving mother holding us in her arms.