Letting Go, Part 7: Earthly Attachments

Posted on 05/03/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


*** there are no public prayer requests this week ***



*******

Please click one of the offering plates in Second Life or at http://almcyberchurch.org, and give as the Lord leads.

*******


HIS BANNER OVER ME

He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!


MIGHTY IS OUR GOD

Mighty is our God
Mighty is our King
Might is our Lord
Ruler of everything

His name is higher,
higher than any other name
His power is greater,
for he has created everything


TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE

To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb
To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb

Be blessing and glory
and honor and power forever
Be blessing and glory
and honor and power forever


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


For the past few weeks,
we've talked about
Letting Go of:

Fear
Guilt and Blame
Shame
Grief
Lies and
Illusions

And today,
let's conclude this series
by talking about

Letting Go, Part 7:
Earthly Attachments


Let's start by reading from
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (TLS)

29 But this I say, brethren, time is coming to an end. In the present, those who have wives should be as though they had none;
30 And those who weep, as though they wept not; and those who rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;
31 And those who borrow this world, as though they did not own it; for the form of this world is passing away.


Personally, I can remember
hearing this passage
on many occasions,
and feeling holy
for just hearing it.

But it's not just poetry.

Rather, it is instructions.

And,
rather strange ones at that.

Are you married?
Be as though you aren't.

Are you crying?
Be as though you aren't.

Are you rejoicing?
Be as though you aren't.

Kinda weird.

But let's get a
clearer understanding
of what this means
for us today.

Verse 31 ends with
these words:

"For the form of this world is passing away."

The word
translated there as
"form" means
"circumstance," or
"external condition."

Take water as an example.

Have you ever seen
a geiser?

It's water that is
shooting up in the air.

Some of them can be
quite impressive,
in terms of
our human reactions
to them.

But when
the pressure stops,
and
the water stills,
where is the geiser?


"For the form of this world is passing away."


Consider
a wave on the ocean.
The wave rises,
it can grow very great,
it can sink ships,
and churn oceans,
and dash sailors
upon the jagged rocks
on the ocean floor.

But the wave
is not forever.

And when the force
that moves the water along
in the form that
we call a wave,
where is the wave?


"For the form of this world is passing away."


We get so lost
in the temporary form
of this world,
and the things in it,
that we lose sight
of that which is lasting
and real.

The geiser is real.
The wave is real. and
This world is real.

But all of them
are merely forms,
TEMPORARY forms,
which are not solid,
are not forever,
are all passing away.

And this world
is a temporary circumstance,
an external condition,
like a wave on the ocean.

And speaking of waves,
consider with me for a moment
the nature of a wave.

As we watch a wave approaching,
we are fooled by its appearance.

It LOOKS like a single wave,
like a separate entity.

But it is not.

The water simply ripples,
and what we call a wave
is just a really big ripple.

As it moves,
the water rises and falls.

When it reaches you,
it's not the same water
that you saw
just a moment ago.

It is constantly
being created.

The wave as a separate form
is simply an illusion.

It is a circumstance of the water.

It is an external condition.

Just like the world.

Just like something
you buy, such as

a car.
a house.
a boat.
a television.
a household appliance.
a grave plot.
a tombstone.
an urn for your ashes.

They are all waves.
Circumstances.
External conditions.
Temporary forms.


As Psalm 33:6 (TLS) says,

6 By the word of the I Am were the heavens made; and all their hosts by the breath of His mouth.


This is not something
that happened once,
long long ago,
and then stopped,
whose after-effects
are the random events
and unpredictable chance
that we call reality.

Rather,
the word of God
is alive.

Right now.

Just like the wave
in the ocean
is evidence
that the water
is moving
right now,

so the earth,
the stars,
our bodies,
and what we call
material reality,
are evidence
that the Word of God
is in action
right now,
and the Breath of God
is breathing
right now,
taking the
temporary shape
of what we call
the world,
and this life.

But those things
are not the Breath,
nor are they the Breather.

But only
a temporary form
which
constantly reminds us
that
He is here.


"For the form of this world is passing away."


So,
what are the things
of this world?
What are the
temporary forms?

Whatever will pass away,
that is temporary.

Here are just
a few examples:

The human body.

The human mind.

The self that is
made up of
past, and stories,
and personalities,
and time.

Material posessions.

All circumstances.

Belief systems and Religions.

The roles you play, such as
mother,
father,
son,
daughter,
husband,
wife,
pastor,
missionary,
evangelist,
supervisor,
employee,
entrepreneur,
student,
teacher,
healer,
prayer warrior,
Christian,
male,
female,
widow,
master,
slave,
victim,
seeker,
guru,
animal,
human.


Ecclesiastes 3:19 (TLS)
says this:

19 For that which happens to the sons of men also happens to the beasts; the same thing happens to them both. As the one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, so that man is not superior to beasts, for everything is passing away.


They all have the same breath.

and

Everything is passing away.


"For the form of this world is passing away."


When the leaves russtle,
and the branches sway,
we know the wind is there.

And when a baby laughs
or an animal cries,
we know God is there.

What is not passing away?

The Eternal One:
the Word,
or the Creative Power,
that is God.


For the past several weeks,
we've talked about
Letting Go of
six more specific things.

All of those things
are things of this earth.
Things that are
passing away,
or things that are
the results of
our attachments
to things that are
passing away.


FEAR.

When we take
the temporary forms
too seriously,
our bodies,
the thoughts in our heads,
the self the mind thinks is us,
the things we think we own,
the future we think is real,
the mind that thinks WE
are the ones thinking
these things,
the circumstances in the world,
the thought-based finances
we think we do or don't own,
and so-on,

when we take these things
so seriously,
getting lost in them
and forgetting
they are just vapors,
just temporary expressions,

THEN we experience fear.


But the form of this world
is passing away.


GUILT AND BLAME.

When we take the past
for something that
is real right now,
rather than just
a memory trace
in the head,
we assign blame
either to the self
the mind thinks is us,
or the self
the mind thinks
is another.

When we get lost
in the temporary circumstances,
in the temporary forms
that come and go,

we feel guilt,
or assign blame.


But the form of this world
is passing away.


SHAME.

When we forget
that the past
no longer exists
except as a memory,
and we relive that memory
as though it is real
right now,
and we get lost
in the illusion
that God has
NOT, indeed,
wiped away the past
like He SAID He has,

then we experience shame.


But the form of this world
is passing away.


GRIEF.

When a temporary form
of the Word and Breath of God
dissolves,
we experience grief.
And when we hold on
to the illusion
that we are now incomplete,
or we have been robbed,
because a temporary form
has returned to God,
like a temporary wave
returns to the deep,
then we start dwelling
in grief.

If the truth be told,
grief would quickly dissolve
if we were not attached
to the temporary forms
of this world.

For the form of this world
is passing away.


LIES.

When we lie,
whether
to ourselves or
to another,
and whether
consciously or
without even know it,
it is because
we are lost in
the temporary form
of this world.

What others think of us,
what might happen to us,
whether someone's feelings
might get hurt
(or rather, whether
someone's mind
might hurt its self
in response to
something you said)...

these are all illusions,
temporary forms,
external circumstances.

And we lie to ourselves,
or rather
we believe the lies
our mind tells itself,
to protect the self
that it thinks we are.

These are all
temporary forms.

Waves on the ocean.

Clouds in the sky.

They come,
and they go,
and their form
is just a
temporary illusion.


ILLUSIONS.

We label things
with nice-sounding words
to cover up
what their true nature,
when the reality
of something's form
challenges our choices
or our sense of self.

"Abortion"
instead of
"The Murder of
an Unborn Baby."

"Filet Mignon,"
instead of
"The corpse of
a slaughtered animal."

And we also cover up
the truth of the
temporary nature
of the person
we think we are,
the mind-made self
composed of
likes and dislikes,
things that happened
in the past, and
things that the mind
in us and in others
says about
this temporary body,
this temporary person,
this temporary self;

we believe that
it is eternal;

and because,
deep down,
we know that
it is passing away,
we fear death,
and we hold on
to salvation,
not as a means
to deny the self,
but as a means
to preserve it
from its
inevidable
passing away.


But the form of this world
is passing away.



Out of deep inner fear,
we feel the compulsion
to cling,
to be attached.

"But if I let go
of all these things,
what do I
hold onto?
I CAN'T just
float around
in mental space!"

That is the
earth-bound mind,
thinking that
IT
has to wake up;
IT
has to be
YOU.

The earthly mind
is passing away.

That mind
that you trust
to make your decision,
to tell you right from wrong,
to lead you to salvation.

It thinks it got saved.

It thinks it has
a relationship
with God.

It thinks it will
live forever.

And it becomes
offended
at the idea
that it is not
the real you,
but is,
instead,
a temporary form,
a temporary tool,
a temporary expression,
of the Life
you are,

and its time
will come
to an end.


For the form of this world
is passing away.


And so,
those who are married,
are as they are not married.

That doesn't mean
you don't play the role
of a husband or a wife
to the best of your ability.

It simply means
that you KNOW
it is only a
temporary role, and
NOT who you are.

Are you weeping
or rejoicing?

Today's passage
does not mean
that you pretend
those feelings
are not there.

But you do not
identify with them.

They are just forms.

And just as surely
as they came,
they will also
pass away.

They are just forms
on the stage of life.

"And those who buy,
as though they
did not possess."

You think you own something?

Ownership is an illusion.

It's just a temporary form.

Can you own a cloud?

It is just a vapor
that is here for an instant,
and then vanishes away.

Can you own a possession?

It is just a vapor
that is here for an instant,
and then vanishes away.

It cannot add to
who you really are;
it can only
build up your
false sense of self.

God owns everything.

We merely
borrow it
for awhile;

like borrowing a cloud.


"And those who
borrow this world,
as though they
did not own it."


We act as though
we own the world.

If land is unclaimed,
at least on paper,
we claim it
as our own.

We buy it.

We sell it.

We poison on it.

We own other
living beings,
because
their skin is another color,
their gender seems weaker,
their minds are not as clever,
or they moo or cluck
instead of speaking
the human tongue.

But this is an illusion.

We own nothing.

We are only
borrowing this world.

We are only
borrowing the clouds.

We can handle it
with care and compassion,
or pollute it
with flippancy and greed.

But it is only
a temporary form.

And the CAUSE
of that form
is always underneath.

If the veil were to be
suddenly taken away,
and we saw the I Am
underneath,

underneath this planet
as we poison its air and
pollute its waters,

underneath other people
as we put them down and
think evil thoughts about them,

underneath the animals,
as we treat them like commodities
and abuse and kill them
to entertain our eyes and tongues?

underneath what is right now
all around us in
this present moment,
as we reject it for
some other time and
some other story?

If all those forms,
of the earth,
of other people,
of the animals,
of the present moment,

if their forms
were taken away
and the Word of God
and the Breath of God
that animated them
was revealed,

would our actions
toward those forms
seem appropriate?


For the form of this world
is passing away.


When you learn to
look past the forms,
not with the mind
and conceptual thoughts,
but with
the Life that You Are,
and with that Presence,
you look beyond form
and see the timeless,
formless, Eternal
underneath,

You will see God everywhere.

You will experience Love
at all times in all things.

You will feel His Presence
as You are Present,
just as a fish is in the water
that fills the sea.


Isaiah 11:9 (KMV)

9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


How can you
pollute for convenience
or kill for appetite
or belittle for ego,
when you are
so fully Present
and so unattached
to temporary forms,
including the mind's
thoughts about
those forms,

that you become
fully aware
of the Timeless Life
of the Life Breather
as the cause and animator
of these crashing waves
and vaporous clouds
that we call
our posessions
and our stories
and our life?

And in that place,
you are fully immersed
in the knowledge of God,
or the awareness of God,
as a palpable Presence,
a tangible Flood
of the Love and the Life
that gives all things
movement and form.

And you can do no harm,
for the knowledge of God
covers you --
you move in it,
you breathe it --
as the waters
cover the sea.


A fish lost
in a thinking mind
could argue
there is no water.

Just like
a man lost
in a thinking mind
could argue
there is no God.

But when these
temporary forms
we think are real
all dissolve,

The I AM
will be all
that remains;
and whatever forms
with which
His Life adorns itself
next.


The sunshine and the rain,
the flowers and the trees,
the song of the birds,
the breeze through the rushes,
all these things are beautiful
because He is there.

The streets in the city,
the busy city sidewalks,
the sound of footsteps
and honking of car horns,
these things are beautiful too,
because He is there.

Whatever form He takes
right now where you are,
that form is beautiful,
because it is His.

So choose the Life
that causes the form.

Let go of the dillusion
that forms are what matter,
and thus let go
of your attachments to them.

For the form of this world
is passing away.

You can fight that fact,
and try to preserve them,
hold on to them,
make them last forever,
and make yourself suffer
as a result;

or you can
FULLY SURRENDER!

Right Here, and
Right Now!

Not fighting
the Present Moment
by dwelling in the past
or dwelling in the future,

not fighting
the gift of Now,
which is the only time
that Life ever happens,
by comparing it
with yesterday
or with some ideal,

but instead,
dwelling in gratitude,
dwelling in Presence,
dwelling in Life,
beyond concepts,
beyond beliefs,
beyond things,
beyond thoughts,
beyond stories,
beyond time.

And when you
LET GO
of everything
that is passing away,
all that's left
is This.