Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
The Soul rises with us, our Life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness.
But trailing clouds of glory do we come, from God who is our home.
Heaven lies about us in our infancy
Shades of the prison-house, begin to close upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows. He sees it in his joy…”
William Wordsworth “Ode on Intimations of Immortality” from Recollections of Early Childhood.
Do you see it? Feel it? Know it? Our forgetting and our remembering? Both at the same time. We come here with a dull sense of something more, because something within us knows there is much more than what we can see with the physical eyes we use here.
We long for peace, because there is something within us that already knows peace. We seek for joy and meaning, because something within us knows of that too. We long for love, in a kind of vague homesickness that helps us remember that we came from Love. Love IS home.
We see it so plainly in the little ones. Their connection to home: “the growing boy, he beholds the light, and whence it flows, He sees it in his joy.” They remember in their delight and simplicity.
A dear childhood friend of our daughter Sarah, once meant to say “I forgot.” But in her sweet way she said instead, “I forgot to remember.” That phrase became part of our family language.
And so Jesus, in the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, helps us to not forget to remember where Home is. While we get lost in our forgetting. So, here we go……
*** Sidenote: In this series, I will first include the Aramaic. Then the English translation we are familiar with. And then an English translation of the Aramaic. The translation you will see here is slightly adapted from “Prayers of the Cosmos”, by Dr. Neil Douglas Klotz, Aramaic scholar. I refer to this wonderful, little book for the Word Study portions of this series. In Aramaic, words have many meanings. And there are various translations out there of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer. I offer you the one that I have found to be the most helpful in my spiritual journey. The one that my soul leaps at. The one that for me best summarizes the wisdom provided both in the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, and in the whole of Jesus’ teachings. I also capitalize certain words in the translation where my soul wants to emphasize the Divine origin/Source of what is being spoken.
The first petition of the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer:
Our father in heaven
O birther! Mother and Father who is everywhere. You birth all things in Unity. Your One light, breath, and vibration Flowing within all that moves and changes.
O birther: God is a birther. God gives life. The Aramaic Abwoon does not specify a gender, and could be translated “divine parent”. Dr. Klotz, in Prayers of the Cosmos”, writes it “points beyond our changing concepts of ‘male’ and ‘female’ to a cosmic birthing process”.
Obviously in a birthing process, it’s perfect to call God mother. There are many reasons why there is only “father” in the traditional, English version of the Lord’s Prayer. One reason being, the Middle Eastern root Ab, came to be used in the Aramaic word for personal father (abba).
But Ab actually refers to everything proceeding from within the source of Unity. So there is an innate reason why women feel left out by the patriarchal language of calling God He. Something feels viscerally wrong. Of course it does. With everything in Unity, nothing is left out!
A woman recently wrote me who read this blog. She said, “I’ve never understood the whole Trinity thing of the Church. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It sounds like a dysfunctional family to me. Where’s the mother? Where are the women?” I love it! Amen sister!
dbwashmaya: “who is everywhere”. The Church will often give you the impression that God is separate. A separate Being from us and the world. This is reinforced by the English Lord’s Prayer. After all, God is “in heaven.”When in reality, God is everywhere. God is a Spiritual energy, a vibration Flowing within everything. You and I are closer than close to God/the Flow. Everyone is both a part of it, and IS the flow.
There is an innate, inner knowing of this in the soul. This is what has united us to Ukrainians, in their horrific time of war. This is why the rest of the world has become so united through them. The underground Flow coursing within everyone and everything, naturally causes us to feel the deep urge to reach out and help.
But the more time we spend here as human, and the older we get, the more we gradually forget. The illusion of separation settles in. Shades of the prison-house begin to close on the growing boy. Truth gets covered over even as the innate, inner knowing of Oneness remains in the soul.
So we feel this conflicting despair at the disunity of this world. Something within us knows something better than the suffering and horror the disunity creates.
We can easily look at the disunity and say, “THIS is reality.” But here’s the Truth: the disunity and its consequent suffering, is an experience WE have created. It is not inherent reality.
And if we have created it, we can UNcreate it. We can stop being a creator of disunity and suffering (our own suffering and that of others).
Ours is only to let go of our hold on what we have created in our egoic mind, and fall into true reality. Just as James Clear wrote in the quote I shared earlier from his book, “Letting Go Of Nothing.” We drop that rock we have in our hand, by the ceasing of our holding onto it. And the rock naturally falls…….
The 14th Century Poet, Hafez, said something magical that I’m mindful of here: “Pulling the chair beneath your mind and watching you fall upon God. What else is there for Hafez to do that is any fun in the world.”
Now, I know what you’re first thought may be. Having your chair pulled out from underneath you would be terrifying. But think here of the mind in just a total free fall. A total letting go of control. That is what can bring us home. A complete falling into the grace of what already is. Nothing of this world can compare to that!
We don’t have to be sitting in a quiet room by ourselves, and “praying” in the conventional way we often think of . We can get there when we totally fall into the grace of what already is in nature.
So when we get lost in the disunity of this world, and let it drag us down into its rabbit hole of despair, Jesus says “Don’t forget to remember this: “Your One light, breath, and vibration within everything that moves and changes.” Remember the divine Flow coursing within everyone and everything. Remember. THIS is inherent, ultimate reality. Marinate in this Truth.
And we can feel it welling up inside of us and saying, “Yes. THIS is Home. This is Truth.” The love, peace, hope, and joy we seek has always been home. Now it is being invited to come out and live in the world.
We’re like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. After journeying off into an alternate reality (dream), her waking up is only a return to where she had always been. Kansas. Aw Kansas… Though she thought she had, she really never left Kansas. And Home had never left her. “There’s no place like Home!”
From this Home within. Live.
Pastor Tim Tengblad
I welcome your story, comments, and questions. email@example.com