Radical Christ 28 - Good Friday Recipe: Roast leg of Scapegoat
I love pourquoi stories. They are tales we have told through the ages to explain certain phenomena. Pourquoi (pronounced pork-wha) is French for “why?”, any pre-schooler’s favourite word! You know the story of the family that always cut the end off the lamb roast, before cooking. No one knew why. On consulting great granny they discovered that in her day she had a small roaster and had to cut the joint to make it fit! Pourquoi stories are the way cultures, religions and families pass on their rituals and sadly, their biases too. The Crucifixion of Jesus is a multi-layer pourquoi story which like the mythical Urobouros swallowing its own tail, circles around and challenges our comfort zones. The most common level of the story tries to explain why a peaceful prophet from Galilee was cruelly killed at the hands of Rome and the religious establishment in Jerusalem. This orthodox answer is an extremely unhelpful one, "God planned it to be this way." What! That’s a disgusting image of God! What father would kill his own son? How the church came to this brutal understanding of the horror, requires some questioning. The Church was trying to make sense of Jesus’ unfair death and rationalised it back to animal sacrifice which was the religious forgiveness ritual then. But why animal sacrifice in the first place? Pourquoi? Well, it's preferable to sacrificing humans! The Bible story of Abraham wanting to sacrifice Isaac, but God substituting a ram, is another pourquoi explaining the transition from human to animal sacrifice. The pre-schooler in me continues - Why human sacrifice? The answer to this one lies in our collective unconscious, and long before the bible was written. Paleo-Anthropology studies these ancient myths and Rene Girard was one of its great scholars. Studying ancient pourquois, Girard discovered that as humans began living in groups, they had to deal with troublesome people who didn't fit in and disrupted the status quo. The easiest, primitive solution was to demonise these characters, which then justified killing them. Individuals and groups were treated this way in times of stress. Medieval Jews were blamed for Bubonic plague just as recently, some blamed the Chinese for COVID19! Ironically, right now the Christian church itself is being scapegoated for all the troubles in the world from paedophilia to colonisation. Yet in a strange anomaly within our mental processing, a residue of remorse lingers toward those we have scapegoated and destroyed. So the Greeks took Oedipus who killed his parents and they made him a god. Many of the Greek gods were rebels who achieved divine status. We scapegoat our suspicious ones then remorsefully deify them. Preachers proclaim that God killed Jesus, but if that’s true, we’ve been exonerated from our collective culpability in the greatest scapegoating crime ever committed! Humans, not God, kill and destroy those who challenge and threaten us. Jesus broke no taboos. He taught only an inclusive path of love, yet we killed him for it. Why in God’s name do that?
April 01, 2021
Radical Christ 27 - The Decolonial Christ
Colonisation has been a hot topic for a while now. Traditionally understood, colonisation was the process whereby European powers, mainly in the 16th and 17 centuries, expanded their reach into newly "discovered" continents, subjugating the indigenous populations and replacing their cultures and religions. Colonisation had happened before during the Greek, Roman and Crusading eras, but not on the scale of the European waves. The human rights atrocities and destruction of human lives, communities and environment that accompanied this process are well documented. It would be erroneous however, to assume that colonisation has ended. Slavery, as well as religious and cultural hegemony, may not be as blatant as those dark days, but a mutant form of colonial expansionism is currently in full swing. No longer territorial, this colonising does not redraw the world map, but its impact is every bit as life changing and oppressive. Continents like Africa and South America and the subcontinents of India and China, have been colonised in this process, and this time the colonists are Americans. The USA has been amazingly successful in propagating its culture globally. One example is that South Africans born after 1985 now speak American English and not UK English as my generation does. Not only our language, but our eating habits, portion sizes, and fast food culture is decimating populations with diabetes, obesity and sedentary lifestyles as we sit slumped in front of the Americans’ most powerful vehicle of colonisation, our television sets. Coupled with a rabid global consumerism of chasing the American dream by those unable to afford that dream, and we understand how families and communities have been captured in debt bondage every bit as vicious as the shackles of the old slave traders. And if that weren't enough, the American fundamentalism of certain churches, has added yet another a layer of unthinking anti-intellectual brainwashing to the spirits of colonised people. We are so brainwashed we don’t even realise we have been colonised! And none of this is new. When Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which the church commemorates this weekend, he was entering a completely colonised city. John 12: 12-19 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=285872162 Zechariah 9:9 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=281806143 At all the levels described above, including religious power mongering, Jerusalem had been colonised by Rome. So Jesus arriving as a humble king on a donkey and not on a Roman war horse or chariot reenacted ancient Jewish tradition and made a rebellious statement. He was protesting the physical and mental colonisation of Rome. His parade was one that recalled the servant kingship of David the shepherd, and the estimated 600000 citizens of Jerusalem loved it. “Hosanna” they cried, seeing Jesus as a new David, a liberator from the Roman tyranny that so controlled and consumed their lives. But by the end of that same week, in fact by the Thursday night, that same crowd had been flipped by those in power. The colonists had won the battle for hearts and minds. Jesus had been called out and cancelled, skilfully scapegoated to be crucified on the Friday morning.
March 27, 2021
Radical Christ 26 - Dying to find Paradise
Lets face it, we all want to go back to paradise. That idyllic, virus, tax and crime free place, where we can walk with God in the cool of the day. Where a heavenly being caters to our every need and all we have to do in return is not think for ourselves and blindly follow the rules. If you study the Judeao-Christian story, living in paradise meant living forever too. What a bonus! Philosophers, psychologists and all students of human consciousness have speculated on this universal human desire for paradise. Perhaps it’s a primal memory of the carefree nine months we all spent in our mother's wombs, when all had to do was feed and grow. Until that terrifying moment of contraction and constriction when were thrust headlong into the life we are living now! The tipping point for our mythological proto-parents Adam and Eve, was when they chose consciousness and independence over unconscious dependence on God. By eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they set themselves up to go it alone against the harsh and life-threatening environment outside the gates of paradise. In the story it is only after their expulsion, that human life is bounded from an eternal to a fixed term deal. Yet despite it seeming a curse, our limited lifespan is actually a gift for those who still choose consciousness over an unthinking life. Sages throughout the ages have realised that our mortality is a blessing and inspiration, not not a curse. Pema Chodron a Tibetan Buddhist uses a simple three phrase statement as her ethical measure for skillful action, "Death is certain. The time of my death is uncertain. Knowing this, how should I live now?" A simple focus on reality. Jesus knew this secret too. He said, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Medieval thinkers used the phrase, "Memento Mori - Remember your death” as similar inspiration. Life coaches recommend we develop our "Future Self", and I understand the intention. Goal setting and visioning are critical life disciplines. But I would offer one essential condition. Please bear in mind that your ultimate Future Self is a corpse! Our present self is that grain of wheat Jesus spoke about. Filled with life and generative potential, we thwart our destiny if we cling to self preservation above sacrifice. We are designed to die with all other seeds so that our species, our children and their children's children may continue the cycle of life, death, germination, fruitfulness and harvest. Paradise is forever lost and we cannot go back. Life in this present is all we have. It is our greatest legacy, well worth living for, and then, worth dying from when our time is complete. Ultimate fruitfulness is to live sacrificially for the future, but in this moment. That’s the true, accessible paradise.
March 20, 2021
Radical Christ 25 - Nicodemus and The Great Reset
The Great Reset, was the theme of the World Economic Forum in January 2020. At this meeting IMF director Kristalina Georgieva, listed three key aspects of a sustainable response to the current global crisis: green growth, smarter growth, and fairer growth. With the gap between rich and poor continuing to widen everywhere, the world could do with a reset. Anne Lamott - an American novelist, Christian, recovering alcoholic, single parent and political activist known as “The People’s Author”, has said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Nicodemus would have agreed with the Great Reset, and with Anne Lamott. Nicodemus who? You ask… An interesting bible character, Nicodemus only appears in John’s gospel where he is introduced as a Pharisee and Jewish ruler. Nicodemus makes three appearances, all of them at night. He comes to ask Jesus about a new way of living in John 3. He advocates for Jesus with his fellow Pharisees, asking he be given a fair trial in chapter 7, and finally appears in John 19 when he joins Joseph of Arimathea in preparing the body of Jesus for burial and donating 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes for the process. The usual amount of spice required was 5 pounds, so the excessively generous gesture of twenty times the norm, demonstrates the love of Nicodemus, and echoes the extravagant love of Mary who “wasted” a pound of rare perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus in John 12. Nicodemus’ Greek name means “victory to the common people” from nike = victory and demos = common people. In New Testament Greek usage demos is associated with the rabble. As in "democracy"? So Nick, the representative of the victorious rabble, is recorded by John’s gospel, consulting Jesus about the Greatest Reset ever, the switching off and on of our very identities. In a discussion completely misunderstood by many Christians, Nicodemus, whose nighttime appearances symbolise the shadowy internal nature of The Greatest Reset; is informed by Jesus that no one can see the reign of God unless that person is “born from above”. Jesus makes clear the imperative. A complete transformation of the way we look at the world, and behave in it, is required. Our natural survival drives and selfish interests, our power plays and perpetual domination of those weaker or poorer than ourselves, have to be reset in a radical transformation that is every bit as dramatic as being born afresh. This is not some arrogant rank of spiritual superiority that “Born Again” has come to mean for some fundamentalists. It is rather a deep inner change process that happens in the depth of our beings, most often in the dark despairing nights of our souls. We are ready for this rebirth when we know the taste of defeat and failure, and can advocate and attend to the crucified and broken ones as Nicodemus did for Jesus. So don’t tell me you’re Born Again, show us all by the sacrificial service of your life.
March 14, 2021
Radical Christ 24 - Wrecking his Father's House
They say, there's no place like home. If only we knew what our home was called! Once the Mayor and the Ministers have agreed, maybe the Mlungu’s will learn to pronounce Gqeberha ? It’s clearly karma for making second language English speakers struggle for decades with Fort Beaufort! Yet, despite the name, there’s no place like home, as young lockdowners from all over the planet discovered as they returned to their parental nests. If you are a Christian in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, this Sunday you will hear the gospel reading of how Jesus went to his Father's House and wrecked the place! John 2:12-22 records that Jesus went to the temple to celebrate the passover, but found a lucrative business in operation. Jews from all over the known world dreamt of Passover, "next year in Jerusalem", and like Muslims to the Haj, or Christians to the Camino de Santiago, they pilgrimaged to Jerusalem. The business of the temple had two profit centres - foreign exchange, to convert the pilgrims’ currency into Tyrian shekels (the only currency permitted in the temple, because it had no engraved image on it), and the second business arm - the sale of bulls, sheep and pigeons (for worshippers on a tight budget). It is estimated that in Jesus' day the entire economy of Jerusalem was based on the sacrificial throughput of the temple. Finding forex stalls set up in the only space where non-Jews (Gentiles) were allowed to stand during rituals so enraged the inclusive Jesus, he chased the livestock out of the court and upended the workstations of the money changers. “Do not make my fathers house a place of business”, he shouted. "Father's house" is the conventional translation of "Oikon tou Patros" and “place of business” translates "emporiou" (the English emporium), so “shopping mall”, would a be a fair translation. Jesus had clearly lost faith in the temple, which is why when interrogated by the Jews about his permit to do what he did, he said "Tear down this temple and I will build it up in three days". John records how the disciples later realised Jesus meant his body and not the building, which suggests the home of God is no longer a building. The temple is wherever our heart is. There's no way to make money from that, Jesus' priority was people not profits, so religious businessmen killed him. Interestingly the next time Jesus speaks about his parent's house it’s in John 14, where he says “In my Father's house there are many rooms”. Again a little digging reveals that the phrase "many rooms or monai pollai” in Greek can also read "multiple abidings". So it’s not a building, and not a business, neither an exclusive, mono-cultural, single room; but a diverse, multiversal home of tolerance and hospitality. Jesus also says in the very next chapter 15, "meinate en emoi", Greek for, “Stay here with me.” That’s ultimate hospitality. Welcome home everyone! No exclusive identity, nor tongue testing language skills required!
March 06, 2021
Radical Christ 23 - The Transfiguration Pivot Point
The Transfiguration of Jesus is the turning point of Jesus' ministry. From preaching, teaching and healing in Galilee, after the Transfiguration he heads south to Jerusalem to confront the oppressive and exploitative religious establishment there. The transfiguring light of Mt Tabor will progressively dim to the darkness of a cold tomb where Jesus' dead body will be sealed after the crucifixion. The disciples want to stay on the mountain in the glow. Who wouldn't? But Jesus insists they must go and confront the darkness.
February 27, 2021
Radical Christ 22 - Integration practice for Raising Lazarus - What are Miracles?
There is so much information around us, and we who live in the information age can so easily mistake information for transformation. For this reason, the Radical Christ series, from time to time, inserts Integration Practice sessions to allow the information about Jesus, the Map for each of our lives, to become an integrated transformation of our inner life. I trust this will be of you to your journey. Peter Woods email@example.com
December 13, 2020
Radical Christ 21 - Raising Lazarus : What are Miracles?
Miracles have been largely trivialised by Literalism and Fundamentalism. Remembering that Scripture is best understood on the mythical level which enables it to be accessed in any age and context, we begin to grasp the life and actions of Jesus as a Map for our own lives. The Raising of Lazarus illustrates some powerful truths which may help us in our daily dying and coming back to life? Scripture reference : John 11. http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=358175470 What miracles are not! Crazy Pastor of "Doom" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWWz7hhstX0
December 07, 2020
Radical Christ 20 -Lost and Found - 3 Ways
Jesus often spoke about seekeing and saving the Lost, In this video Peter unpacks three parables of lost things from Luke chapter 15. The Lost Sheep, Coin and Son. Linking these to phrases from the Prayer of Confession from the Communion liturgy opens an interesting coice of how to seek for the lost and is dependent on how the lostness occurred.
October 26, 2020
Radical Christ 19 - Integration Practice 3 - Using the Breath as a Metaphor for Balance in the Storms
The breath is a useful and ever present symbol of balance and rhythm in life. In this episode Peter introduces the Integration Practice of being mindful of the breath to assess what is needed next for balance. After all to walk headlong onto a stormy sea requires a fine balance.
October 10, 2020
Radical Christ 18 - Strolling through Storms
Jesus walking on water, and then inviting Peter to join him on the stormy surface of Lake Gallilee makes our Western minds reel with incredulity. This story cannot be taken literally. Humans cannot walk on liquid water. So as with all deep truths, we need to investigate the narrative as myth. Myths are thos true stories that probably nenevr happened historically or scientifically but remain true. The walking on water miracle is an interesting study in overcoming fear and balancing our lives. Join Peter as he unpacks this part of the archetypal life of Jesus as a map for our own journey in life.
October 05, 2020
Radical Christ 17 -Compassion takes Guts
Ram Dass spoke eloquently of developing a spiritual practice that enables you to keep your heart open in hell. Mahayana Buddhists have the notion of Bodhisattvas, enlightened being who after countless rebirths are ready to enter into the bliss of Nirvana, but who vow not to cross over until they have assisted all sentient beings, to cross over before them. Once in conversation with a Zen monk, and referencing the Boddhisattva concept, the monk smiled at me and replied, "Yes, but Jesus also was a great Boddhisattva." In that moment my entire life changed as I realised we are all just 'walking each other home', another Ram Dass saying. Compassion lies at the heart of all spiritual practice, in fact is the absolute validation of our journey. If my journey, religion and practice does not increase my compassion, what's the point. If my religion makes me cruel, fearful and judgemental what's the point? This episode explores the way Jesus eacperienced compassion and unpacks some of his crazy wisdom that enabled his to say to marginalised and dispossessed people that they were "Blessed". This isn't what you may think. Karl Marx misread this ascpect and called releigion "an opiate". He was wrong, It isn't opium, correctly understood this crazy wisdom is dynamite! Bodhisattva Vows https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva_vow Ram Dass on keeping our hearts open in Hell https://www.ramdass.org/dealing-with-suffering-and-seeing-it-as-grace/
September 13, 2020
Radical Christ 16 - Integration Practice 2 - Using the Cross for personal understanding of our psyche
From the times of Emperor Constantine and the Battle of the Milvian bridge 27 October 312 CE, the cross has come to be associated with expansionism, triumphalistic Crusades, patriarchy, and at some level denotes everything that is wrong with the world right now. It would be sad if we missed the fact that the cross is more than a religious image. It is a deepy archetypal symbol embedded in the human unconscious, and can be wisely used as a symbol of intersection and integration. This video looks at the human cruciform expansion of the healthy ego in the first half of life as we move from the Alpha point of concetion and birth. In the second half of life, the cross invited the ego to slowly merge with the higher IAM of the true self which is the essence of LIFE that awaits us at the omega point of our dying. Links: Vision of Constantine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Milvian_Bridge#Vision_of_Constantine Useful list of Jungian Quotes on the Christian Archetype https://thesethingsinside.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/jung-on-the-christian-archetype/
August 31, 2020
Radical Christ 15 -Follow me with YOUR Cross
The Cross as a symbol has become unanimous with the Christian Church. In this video Peter explores the cross not as a Christian Brand mark or even as a Colonial Crusading Emblem, but rather as a integrative symbol of psychological healing. The cross is not intended to be expanded as a symbol of global dominance, rather is it intended as a symbol of contraction and convergence to the centre point where the four axes converge. It is the centre of the cross that is most redemptive. It is also clear that we cannot take up the Cross of Jesus in this process. We are told explicitly by Jesus to take up our OWN cross. (Mt 16)
August 22, 2020
Radical Christ 14 - INTEGRATION PRACTICE 1 - Self Enquiry - "Who am I?"
Accompanying the Radical Christ Journey - Peter offers a series of Integration Practices to help move Information, through integration, to personal transformation. In the first practice we travel to India and the little town of Tiruvanamallai https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruvannamalai the home of Ramana Maharshi who taught the Advaita method of "Self Enquiry" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-enquiry_(Ramana_Maharshi) Simply investigating "Who am I?" can bring us to a transforming encounter with the Divine Witness that is in us and IS us. The name of God is I AM is it not? Happy exploring...
August 16, 2020
Radical Christ 13- The Only Commandment
"Love God and Love your neighbour" is for Jews and Christians the Greatest Commandment. This Video Explores the Radical New Ethic proposed by Erich Neumann in his Book Depth Psychology and the New Ethic. (1990) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Neumann_(psychologist) Using ancient Rabinnic Midrash methods in Hebrew Translations Neumann came up with an amazing insight into what neighbour can also be translated to mean. No longer a dualistic and shadow projection onto an external enemy -which justifies: wars, genocide, racism and self-righteousness. The new ethic invites us to love our own inner evil and enemy and thereby heal and save the world by saving ourselves. Please like and subscribe this video to help get it out there. Thank you!
August 07, 2020
Radical Christ 12 - Saviours and Scapegoats
Early on in the narrative of Jesus' ministry, the crowd want to make him King. Both occasions are after he has miraculously fed them (John 6:12-15) and extravagantly made wine from water. (John 2:23-25). In a publicist's nightmare, on both occasions Jesus withdraws from the projection and idolization, "because he knew what was in people's hearts". What was it that Jesus knew? Carl Jung in his work Aion, has helped us understand the psychology of projection which I unpack in this video. Understanding how we project our own gold out of the shadows of the unconscious can help us understand if not desist, from falling in love, worshiping the wrong objects, and even from falling prey to scapegoating others when they don't meet our unrealistic expectations of them. We cannot blame the devil, nor make Jesus responsible for our salvation. As the poet Mary Oliver says, "You are the only person you can save."
July 21, 2020
Radical Christ 11 - Parables of Jesus and Life
The Parables were stories Jesus told about God. Could the Gospels be Parables the Church told about Jesus? Dominic Crossan thinks so. What if all our lives are parables we are telling the world and ourselves about LIFE? What is the parable that you are living?
July 11, 2020
Radical Christ 10 - The Miracles - Signs, Wonders, Power
In this episode we continue to explore the public ministry of Jesus as part of his whole life which left us an orienting map for our own journey. What we regard as the miracles of Jesus life were not intended to be the extraordinary and illogical events we have come to believe miracles to be. Instead these moments were the symptoms of an integrated and inclusive life that empowered ordinary people with wonder at their own being and belonging in the world.
May 14, 2020
Radical Christ 9 - Wilderness - Ravenous Hunger and Test
Last episode we explored the wonderful Baptism of Jesus, the dove, the voice, "You are my agapeitos" (beloved child). Why, Jesus could have been the proto Trust (fund) Kid! How then does the same Spirit, (can you still see the dove?) "offer him up" to the Wilderness where the Devil and the Ravens rule? This episode explores how our Wilderness times are essential counterpoints to our Baptimal blessing moments. One without the other leads to rampant, inflated egos behind picket fences, or conversely to despairing dark depressions when we recognise we can't be love and light all the time. Thanks to Stephen Jenkinson for some of the insights used in this talk. You can listen to his work here https://orphanwisdom.com/listen-stranger-days/
May 03, 2020
A Radical Christ 8 Jesus at the Jordan river
Moving into the second phase of Jesus' life, the public ministry once more through the lens of it being an archetypal map for ours, Peter considers the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The Jordan is a pivotal symbol in the Abrahamic faiths, and water is a universal religious symbol for humankind. This episode explores those themes as well as looking in the end at what parental acceptance may do to transform our lives, and if witheld do the opposite.
April 26, 2020
A Radical Christ 7 - Three Glimpses of Jesus' Childhood
Concluding the Preparation Phase of Jesus life, this video looks at three moments before Jesus begins his public ministry: 1. The deaths of all the children younger than two years, in and around Bethlehem caused by Herod's paranoia at the news that a king had been born there. How did that story impact Jesus'understanding of his own life. How does it impact us to know that we are still alive and others are not? 2. The finding in the temple when Jesus is twelve years old. Was this really only a Bar Mitzvah? 3. The mission eighteen years. Did Jesus exotically got to the east for enlightenment and return to Israel with secret wisdom? Or did he, quite ordinarily simply go and grow into himself and his destiny in the humble home of Nazareth?
April 15, 2020
A Radical Christ 6 - Incarnation vs Excarnation
In the sixth talk on "A Radical Christ", Peter examines the Incarnation of Jesus and how this symbolises the return of divinity to indwelling humankind. From the dawn of consciousness humans have projected their consciousness outwards further and further from access. A kind of EX-carnation. Less and less embodied and more and more intellectual and philosophical. In the Incarnation this process comes full circle, as the divine returns to the consciousness that is the reality of all Life here and now. Jetsumma Tenzin Palmo offers a useful illustration from her talk on Lojong practice. See her full talk here https://youtu.be/gS38s8prqQU
April 05, 2020
A Radical Christ 5 - Phase 1 -Annunciation
Getting into lock down with Jesus. After four introductory sessions setting the scene, we are now ready to enter the life of Jesus as an Archetypal map for all of our lives. Yes, of course, he didn’t have to deal with the Corona Virus COVID-19, but he experienced his context and time and the challenges then, which offer us critical reference points for our own healing, and dare I say “survival”? In this first episode relating to the Preparatory Phase of Jesus’ life, Peter explores the role of angels in Jesus’ birth and also what the symbolic meaning of an angel could be for us psychologically. Far from being an esoteric consideration of how many angels can fit on a pin-head, this episode is an investigation of how the humanly created idea of angels can explain our own mind, to ourselves.
April 04, 2020
A Radical Christ 4 - Pivotal Life Stages for Jesus and for Us
In this fourth talk of the Radical Christ Series Peter maps the Life Stages that Jesus, with every hero in mythology, and our lives follow. Myth is understood as an “Absolutely True Story that probably never happened” Jesus as the proto-typical (arche-typal) human life has in the stages of his life the experience and the cure for every human condition. The key lies in being able to connect where we are in our life stage, with the corresponding stage in Jesus’ life.
April 04, 2020
A Radical Christ 3 - Jesus a Map for Every Human Life
In this third foundational talk for the Radical Christ series, Peter examines the role of Archetypes in Mythology, and explains why Jesus is the most accessible Archetypal Map for Western minds You can schedule one on one Skype or Zoom sessions with Peter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
April 04, 2020
A Radical Christ 2 - I AM Conscious, that I AM
Setting the scaffold for understanding the Radical Christ, in this talk I explore the origins of religion as a consequence of the consciousness of Homo Sapiens. Animated cave art, abstract thinking, projection and the return of God to the flesh of human being are all markers on this fascinating human unfolding. There is no religion that didn’t begin as a human conversation trying to explain the mysteries of a conscious existence.
April 04, 2020
A Radical Christ 1 - Gnowing not Believing
In a joint venture with Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat and in the face of rabid fundamentalism and tired Christian ritual, Peter is launching a series titled “The Radical Christ”. Just under a year ago whist on a visit to Dharmagiri, Thanissara “downloaded” an insight during her morning practice which she wrote on a notelet and presented to me at breakfast. “PW” she said, “This is your next work”. The note read simply, “A Radical Christ”. There was an immediate resonance with Thanissara’s words. They made sense at all levels I have spent most my life speaking about Jesus in one way or another, and though I no longer preach, (over 1500 sermons done, many on this blog still getting hits late on Saturday nights): I do love Jesus. Not in the way that most angry fundamentalist Christians say they do, but in a way I would like to unpack in this series. This offering is the product of my acceptance of Thanissara’s shamanic ancestral download (I am a Jungian and an African after all), and some months of reading and dalliance with video production software. In these conversations we will explore a new understanding of Jesus the Christ. Using the insights of philosophy, culture and psychology we will dig into the archetypal significance of a God-Person interconnection that could lead to global engagement and human transcendence at this time of ecological crisis.
April 04, 2020
5-Grief Gate Five-Ancestral Grief
This week as we consider Ancestral Grief, we conclude our study of the Five gates of Grief outlined by Francis Weller . Looking at our family trees or our clan origins, we realise that along with their DNA we may have inherited our ancestors’ grief. One of the realities of diverse South Africa is unless your heritage is Khoisan, most of us descend from ancestors who arrived from somewhere else. They were either displaced by the expansion of other tribes who squeezed people further and further south, or by colonial forces that promised struggling Dutch, British and German peasants a better life in a foreign land. Some of us may have servitude and slavery in our heritage, our families brought here simply as units of labour. And despite the hopes and dreams they brought, they must have carried a deep grief at their loss of land and roots which they had to leave behind. We are the descendants of aliens and immigrants, those people who arrived here on unfamiliar soil, and whose grief and sadness has found its way into our beings. These ancient unknown characters also had a part in shaping the world we inherited. Most people believe there is some form of afterlife where those who have gone before find themselves “in a better place”. This Valhalla, Xanadu or Heaven is imagined as a place where the ancestors share perfect knowledge and insight they never had while alive. In my Gates of Grief workshops, I encourage participants to imagine their ancestors in this place of full insight, writing a letter of apology to us living now. We owe it to ourselves and them to recognise the many untruths which we drank in with our mother’s milk and made our own. Our task in this generation is to examine those beliefs and decide which of them are no longer true nor valid. Then for the sake of our own health we must let them go. Consider for example the prejudices, suspicion and bigotry they passed on to us. Their violence, sexism, racism, exploitation of women and children and of the earth in general. Their promotion of tobacco smoking, slavery, child labour, and corporal punishment. These misconceptions, errors or deliberate strategies have scarred us and are part of the deep sorrow we carry in our collective unconscious. Along with the ancient grief in our bones, there may also be our experiences of the grief and loss of our immediate parents and grandparents which we are required to mourn. The Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung wrote, “The greatest burden a child can bear is the unlived life of its parents.” Perhaps our own lives were stunted because our parents projected onto us their unfulfilled agendas and could not allow us to become who we were born to be. These deep ancestral memories invite us to create rituals of mourning from a past that is asking to be redeemed. To mourn these ancient griefs is sacred work. You can schedule one on one Skype or Zoom sessions with Peter by emailing email@example.com
April 04, 2020
4-Grief Gate Four -What we Expected but Didn't Receive
When we arrive into our lives we bring in our bodies the DNA and unconscious memories of tribal people. Humans are tribal and therefore social – constantly longing for connection. Yet despite our media and connectivity we are more isolated from each other than ever This talk explores grieving the primal and yet unmet needs we carry. You can schedule one on one Skype or Zoom sessions with Peter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
April 04, 2020
3-Grief Gate Three-The Sorrow of the World
St Paul wrote,”We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now..” Romans 8:22 What he didn’t know was how much additional pain we humans would cause to this planet since he penned that line! In this talk we explore our grieving, “The Sorrow of the World” and how this grief can become a resurrection for us and the planet.
April 04, 2020
2-Grief Gate Two- The parts that never knew love
ollowing the outline of Francis Weller’s “Five Gates of Grief” this video invites us to locate and mourn the parts of our lives that never knew love. This is sacred and soulful work. As we examine the deficits and voids in our selves, as we see where our lives were Bonzai-ed by circumstances or the unskilful acts of others. Now we can begin to allow the light to enter us through those very cracks and fissures. The video also introduces the Japanese art of Kintsugi as a metaphor for the integration of our loss.
April 04, 2020
1-Grief Gate One- Everything you Love you Lose
Using the headings of Francis Weller as an outline, Peter explores the first of what Weller describes as the “Gates of Grief“. Gate 1:Everything you love you will lose. Gate 2:The places that have not known love Gate 3:The Sorrows of the World Gate 4:What we expected but didn’t receive Gate 5:Integrating our Ancestral Grief Knowing the impermanence of everything is not as depressing as it sounds. If skillfully integrated into our understanding, knowing that “Everything we love, we will lose“, is a liberation to love and live in the moment that is with us now. You can schedule one on one Skype or Zoom sessions with Peter by emailing him
April 04, 2020