At the end of Genesis is the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph goes on a long and arduous journey, sent out from home, betrayed by his brothers, taken as a slave in Egypt where he rises from the lowly shepherd-servant to the great vizier in Pharaoh’s court, second only to Pharaoh in power. Joseph grows from wounded to wisdom. If you read the story carefully you will see that Joseph’s journey mirrors our own. Each event in his life is a place that we too pass through on our own journey’s to wholeness and maturity. This is a very human paradigm, which coincides with the passages that we make in this adventure called life. In Joseph we see the sacred design we are enacted in the drama of this one person’s life as the story of creation closes.
Because Joseph is in Egypt and in charge of the management when a famine comes, he will be able to send for his family and save the ones who betrayed him from starving to death. Save the family of Jacob-Israel to become a nation with a far reaching destiny. Like our lives too, Joseph’s life is informed by dreams, dreams Joseph knows how to interpret. For he is not only shepherd, but also the wise dreamer. Near the end of the story when Joseph’s brothers finally recognize who he is, they are fearful that he will retaliate for the evil they did to him. But, now knowing that it is the hand of Yahweh that has led them all to where they are, he tells them: You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
There is another well-know story of a journey, that ends with much the same words Joseph spoke to his brothers. It is the journey that Jesus makes and the words the risen Christ echoes to those he met along the road, by the lakeside in the Upper Room. For God sustained and journeyed with Joseph throughout his life. It is this same God, the God of Israel, who sustained and brought Jesus beyond (even) death. At the close of Genesis, out of the garden, from tree of life, to the tree of death, to another garden, at the close of Jesus’ earthly life, we are reminded once more, that the gift was not lost when we left the garden, but continues in unhampered freedom as the good will of God to all of his creation, to all of us.
On my Home Page for this site and in my Letter to Reads you will read not just what this blog is about, but also my sensibilities about the changing face of religion and spirituality today.
I wish to bring a renewed perspective, fresh language and way of speaking about our faith-life that might reach a broad audience of believers, seekers and sojourners. From here to chart a faith-life that is truer to the fingerprint of the Creator upon our lives and follow the footfall left for us in the journey of those entrusted to tell the story of the deity along with their own.
I see in the stories of the scriptures of all faiths, our humanity mirrored there, the why and wherefore of the journey through the symbols and images employed to convey, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and socially, a way to enrich and edify our lives and deepen our understanding of this journey to wholeness and well-being we are all on together. To search the ancient texts and what we have come to know about the human person, psyche and spirit, heart and soul, for what it really means to be a spiritual being no matter what faith you make your home in, no matter where you find yourself, worshipping in traditional or non-traditional ways.
With this approach to the bible in mind, I have written and just had published my first book. It is entitled I Am Joseph: Shepherd, Dreamer, Savior.
It follows the story of Joseph’s journey, told in the final chapters of Genesis, from one of twelve brothers to the great vizier of Egypt. This new reading introduces a way for contemporary readers of the bible to empower faith today and arrive at a healthy and balanced spirituality. Through trials of the heart and tests of endurance Joseph goes from shepherd boy lording his dreams over his family to a wise and compassionate man who will shepherd his family to safety and save a hungry world. As we read along we learn how to read our dreams, the language of the soul. In this tale of love and hate, betrayal and forgiveness, Joseph shows us how to navigate the challenges life throws up in our path and how to become wise and heroic.
You can purchase this ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and ebooks2Go.
All the writing, quotes, artwork and photography are the work of the author unless otherwise stated. Scripture readings are from the Jerusalem Bible.
This work, including its contents, may not be used, reproduced, duplicated, displayed or distributed without the express written permission of the author.
In St. Paul’s letters Christ is the images of a person human, whole and sacred. To live in Christ is to live in one’s depths, in one’s creative depths. To live In Christ is to activate the creative energies of the spirit. Then to live within the Reality that is the Christ-self that Paul says ‘hides’ within us is to come into the environment of grace, the environments of the spirit of Christ. As we come to this awareness in our lives we are paying attention and enabling its growth within us. Jesus as the Christ is our image of the sacred self. The sacred self that we are. That we all have within us. We have only to tap into it in order to make its presence known in our lives. One place we find the sacred self in our dreams.
We have invented language, some say we have invented God, But we cannot invent our dreams. They invent us. Like the stars and moon, the sacred self, that becoming thing within us, shines out from our nightly dreams, pointing the way, with the promise of inner harmony, synthesis and integration. The Self has a passion for wholeness, inclusion. In dreams it gives inklings of what can be realized, a hope for that which is not yet seen: one’s true identity. By the promptings of the dreams, we embark upon the adventure of self-discovery and trust the leadings of the sacred self, both as guiding spirit and goal of our becoming. It is the task of each individual to become who one is meant to be. To discover oneself as both sacred and human, and shrink from neither. We do this with the resources bestowed upon creation, and forge into consciousness our unique identities in the world.
This is what is truly worship. A life devotion to the whole-making energies within us. Paying attention to the sacred self, the Christ-self, within. Writing or musing over one’s dreams is a way to enter into the dreams as the language of the soul. Just like the stories of the scriptures are the language of the soul; the way we read them today so that we might enter into the sacred ground. A devotion to the sacred self as it is ever emerging within us and as it comes into view before us. If we can but attune ourselves as it shows itself in the world of nature and other people. We just need to be paying attention. It is a life worth worthy of all our attention.
Creative spirituality sees life as a journey. On that journey, which we all undertake one way or another, aware or unawares, to go on this journey asks that we learn the language of the soul. The language of the soul provides markers along the way. They provide provisions for the journey. The means by which we chart the course, get our bearing, choose a path and seek the counsel of the sacred as we go. The counsel of the sacred, what some might call the will of God. Yet it is not such a big thing as that. It is that still small voice that is all about us if we just listen and are watchful. When we travel we learn about the place we are going. If another country we learn all or at least some of the language, some of the essential words so we can navigate, get some of our needs met, not get lost. At some point in our lives, the soul makes its claim upon us. When it speaks it would be well if we know its language, what it is saying to us. We are seeded with markers, symbols and images, planted along the path, in our psyches that incarnate in our dreams, the stories we tell of ourselves, the stories that have been told to us, both ancient and new. In the very lives we lead. In the story that we are. The chartings are all about us. All that is required is to pay attention. To have some intentionality. Then the universe shows up. Shows us. Lights the way. This is where the moments and mysteries of our encounters speak for us, speak to us and sustain us. Here we come to the threshold of revelation. The only hermeneutic we need is our humanity. Creative spirituality is the grace to hear the voice of our souls and discover our sacred humanity imaged there. Creative spirituality is the Word taking flesh in our lives.