The human spiritual crisis in a nutshell:

The social condition we have built for ourselves on this planet, the same one that everyone associates with what is “normal”, is the least conducive social condition for spiritual advancement available to our species as well as to the development of any sense of perennial awareness. Those that are spiritually inclined typically fall into the trap set by the pitfalls of religious and philosophical belief, becoming more deluded with every theological step they take. Those that are not spiritually inclined immerse themselves in the indulgence of material pleasure, pushing off the fear of death for as long as their biological health will allow. So pervasive is this situation that nobody is able to effectuate change because nobody can recognize the formula for change, even when it is given to them. The lies are so much easier to believe. When you do offer someone an infinitesimal taste of the Actuality of the Cosmos, they either speedily ignore you or label you unstable, quickly returning to the insignificance of their meaningless life activities.

Ahhhh….Samsara!

The Stupidity of Shoes

I don’t understand shoes at all, I’m not sure I ever did. Can you imagine if we went around everywhere wearing gloves on our hands any time we were out of our homes? How stupid would that be? The human foot is a lot tougher than we give it credit for. The problem is, we don’t give them a chance to strengthen to a point where people in a first world society can believe that shoes are entirely superfluous to most situations. Like gloves, there is a time and a place for shoes. Society needs to catch up and shed these silly notions of wearing shoes for nearly everything we do that probably spawned from a fear of looking poor.

I cannot believe that both Israel supporters and Hamas supporters are still claiming media bias against their own points of view! Like it fucking matters!? Let me make this real simple for everybody. You kill civilians (especially children), you are shit. It doesn’t matter if you warn people to get out first or if the other side isn’t doing what it should be doing to protect their own civilians. It doesn’t matter if you have killed one or a million. The leadership of both sides are shit and shit should be flushed.

Who Is This Guy Anyway?

It is never more amusing to me than when it is assumed that my theology must be the most liberal Christian theology on the planet! I guess they assume this because A) I was consecrated a Christian bishop, B) I was consecrated by a wandering bishop, and C) I’m occasionally unorthodox and brash in my ministerial approach. Perhaps, it is even more amusing when these same individuals discover that I practice [perhaps] the most conservative form of Christianity on the planet. I am then usually (quite expeditiously) ostracized, perhaps mostly out of their own shame for their serious lack of judgement? One can only imagine when personal bias is involved!

Let’s clear the air!

No, I am not a liberal or a conservative! I am not a progressive or a heretic! I am not a Papacy critic or a fundamentalist!

BUT!!!

If you must give me a label, you would do well (or at least better) to call me a Perennial Mystical Esotericist. What this means is that A) I don’t bastardize traditions for my own selfish agenda or pick and choose only the pretty, clean, feel-good parts. B) I practice far more than one religion. C) I walk the most careful balance between any and all social extremes unlike most everyone else in the world. Why? Because I (again, unlike most everyone else), understand cosmic balance, how it plays out consequentially, and how failure to grasp its basics adversely disrupts the course of our evolution.

If this realization damages your opinion of me, that’s perfectly acceptable to me. I don’t need your friendship, just your commitment to evolve.

Jesus gives us an example of reckless abandonment in the rawest sense possible. The message of the Cross is a complete release of everything we hold to be important. It is the death of the ego-reality. Without the sacrificial death of Jesus, Christian teaching transforms into a bland collection of feel-good nonsense. True Christianity is a bloody, provocative, politically incorrect spirituality, and it is this way because the mystical life is a bloody, provocative, politically incorrect reality. The feeble-minded need not apply.

Jesus gives us an example of reckless abandonment in the rawest sense possible. The message of the Cross is a complete release of everything we hold to be important. It is the death of the ego-reality. Without the sacrificial death of Jesus, Christian teaching transforms into a bland collection of feel-good nonsense. True Christianity is a bloody, provocative, politically incorrect spirituality, and it is this way because the mystical life is a bloody, provocative, politically incorrect reality. The feeble-minded need not apply.

A Letter to CobbEMC

To Whom It May Concern:

It came to my attention this week that my monthly service bill was being rounded up to the nearest dollar with the excess monies going to local non-profit organizations. I was told by customer service today that this practice started in February and that notices went out with our bills. Regardless of the notification, I did not authorize this excess in my payment to go to non-profits that I am unfamiliar with. Unless you can furnish such authorization where I signed to agree to give extra money to you to be distributed to said organizations, I am requesting a refund on my account in the full total of the excess going back to when this started.

A proper way to have handled this would have been to send out notices asking customers to opt in, but the fact that you decided to automatically make the deduction tells me that you anticipated people not noticing the policy change and that you could collect more money this way. This is unethical and very disrespectful to your customers. If you, as a company, wish to donate money to local non-profits of YOUR choice, go ahead and do so on YOUR own profits, not your customer’s!

Anyway, I expect a full refund. Please contact me ASAP about this matter.

Sincerely,

Bryan Ouellette

UPDATE 07/14/1973: Cobb EMC contacted me and refunded the full amount requested.

What Hobby Lobby Taught America
This thing with Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court has really demonstrated just how incredibly stupid the American public is when it comes to social responsibility and its associated hypocrisies. Once again, partisan politics and extremism have triumphed over reason.

On the liberal front we have people making this ruling out to be a blatant example of sexism, a violation of women’s rights, as if employees have a “right” to receive a “benefit” that an employer does not wish to give. And just to be clear, the last time I checked my insurance package, vasectomies were not covered. Does this mean I should take to picketing the streets, proclaiming how the world treats its men unfairly?

On the conservative side of the issue we have people calling this a victory against Obama’s socialism. Anything, even something socially harmful to themselves, is called a victory if one of Obama’s policies are damaged in the process. That’s just par for the course when it comes to conservative rationalizations. And don’t even get me started on the subject of abortion!

To be blunt, both sides are fucking stupid! 

This is a victory for ANYONE who values religious freedom! I don’t give a damn what bullshit political ideology you’ve ignorantly chosen to adopt as your own just so that you can feel a part of a system that really could give two shits off a rat’s ass about you. That should be a given to anyone with half a brain, but then again, half a brain seems to be a commodity in most skulls these days.

The problem is, everyone is so consumed by their own egocentric biases and agendas, they’ve neglected to see the real evil of the situation, that is, corporations being given rights that should be reserved only for actual human beings! Americans have no clue what the difference is between a right and a privilege or between entitlement and merit. It has all become one and the same in this ‘everybody gets a trophy’ society and it has made the people of that society painfully dim.

My wife and I had an important discussion last night about this. She brought to my attention something I had not considered before. It was an insight that demands that this country sort out all of its priorities once and for all. On one level it wants to force-feed its citizens its own delusions of free-market democracy, all while on the other, raising its children to become communists. And you know something? The so-called conservatives with their hypocritical notions of “Family Values” are the worst offenders! While duking it out to squander whatever valuable resources they can sell their souls for within the whorehouse of Corporate America, they come home and teach their kids to share, to not fight, and to be fair, while also demanding this of their school districts, daycare centers, and summer camps.  And make no mistake about it, all of this is being regulated under the dictatorship of the supreme parental unit. Children have no rights in these situations, that is not unless their parents give them rights. And since their parents have complete and total control over any and all available resources for that family, the parents decide how it is distributed, usually being sure to reserve the most security for themselves; because watch out when you turn 18, those living in an upper to middle upper class lifestyle will suddenly be thrown into the depths of poverty, carrying only utterly useless  ingrained skills of ‘share and share alike’ with them so as to find a way to survive. These same parents will bitch and wonder why their country is looking so socialist and fail to recognize how they have contributed to it.  So when these same people ask me why is this country the way it is, I can only be truthful and tell them, “because you raised your kids to be communists and now that they are adults you expect them to immediately transition to become ruthless free market capitalists, you morons!”

Isn’t it funny why a society that is obsessed with the preservation of childhood innocence would find socialist/communist idealism to be the model upon which to build their parenthood? Is it because supreme control over resources has its privileges? Especially when you want to assure your citizens (or in this case, your children) do exactly as you tell them? Or maybe it’s because inherently, our universal instincts truly understand how unethical and immoral free-market capitalism really is. After all, Jesus was a socialist.
The reason why this world fails at peace is simple.

A Christian looks at the world and says, “if we fight for everyone to become a Christian, the world will be better.” And the Muslim looks at the world and says, “if we fight for everyone to become a Muslim, the world will be better.” And the Republican looks at the world and says, “if we fight for everyone to adopt conservative values, the world will be better. And the minority looks at the world and says, “if we fight for civil rights, the world will be better”. And so on and so forth.

The mystic does not fall into this error. The mystic looks at the world and says, “if we stop competing for philosophical, ideological, and environmental resources, surrendering to each individual’s highest authenticity by replacing deficits with abundance, the world will have no other choice but to be better.”

Competition is cruelty. Peace is attained not by fighting for it, but by holding the entire world ransom until it surrenders to abundance.

Reflections on Holiness
As I regularly contemplate and reevaluate my struggles through the spiritual life (and they are most certainly struggles, however much I wish I sat around in bliss all day), I am finding it easier to understand why the Old Testament writers were more concerned with Divine wrath than with Divine love. There most certainly is a fundamental ‘unpleasantness’ associated with some of the deeper moments of my interactions with God. It is, of course, not a wrath born of punishment, but rather one firmly rooted in the consequential motions of cosmic balance.

The universe is a hostile place and the earth, this inconsequential bubble of life floating through a seemingly infinite sea of virulence, is without any doubt, a tangible expression of God’s Grace.  Yet, standing in the shadow of such a Grace, as humanity would find itself, is not completely safe. God’s love (or better yet, compassion), perhaps, is a violent, passionate love (compassion). It causes pain as well as remedial pleasures. It compels us to move further, even though most won’t, even though those that try will most usually fail.

Engaging the Mystical Life, then, is an exercise in morbidity. One must become immune to the stench of death and bask in the darkness of the macabre. What I speak of is far and beyond any Dark Night of the Soul. What this is will test one’s suitability for Sacrifice. You must become a living victim. You must be capable of total surrender. You must be comfortable with each and every fear that you now possess or will possess. Holiness is not a behavior. It is not humility nor is it accomplished by appearing humble or pious or austere. Holiness is merely a willingness to relinquish all worldly conceptualizations. Done correctly, holiness will not make you a great person. Chances are, you won’t be heralded a “saint” by your peers. Holiness is a clandestine event. Its proper implementation will go (and should go) unnoticed by the world.
 
This is not Sunday School. This IS the Divine life. It hurts, it’s painful, and it’s so damn wonderful, the mystic goes on ahead anyway.
 

Dr. Bryan D. Ouellette announces his plans to establish an inter-spirituality center.

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