Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one. - Voltaire

We all face seasons of profound doubt where our belief systems are called into question and the so called reliable sources that had previously influenced our convictions no longer seem to make sense anymore.

Doubt is not an enemy that tries it undermine all that we have known to be true or right but rather the flip side of faith which challenges us to move on from our old ways of certainty. In the gospel of St Mark Jesus says to a man who is desperate to see his son set free from some kind of spiritual malady, “If you can believe, all things are possible for those who believe”, to which the man replies “I believe; help my unbelief!”

It seems that the journey of belief must pass through the valley of unbelief in order for it to be an authentic mystical experience. Belief is not some kind of mental ascent or positive self talk but an acknowledgement of our cynicism, suspicion, and uncertainty as it pushes to the surface of our life like dross that is emerging to make way for the gold.

I have been told that unbelief is primarily something that needs to be eradicated from our consciousness but unfortunately, dare I say it, we need it in order to help pave the way for an authentic version of faith that understands the paradoxical nature of spiritually.

‘The incredulity of St Thomas’  - Caravaggio

‘The incredulity of St Thomas’ - Caravaggio

One of my favourite disciple moments in the gospel story is when Thomas is told that Jesus has resurrected. His refusal to play to the script of the so-called hyper-faith spin doctors is evident in his reply, “Unless I seethe nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” [John 20:19] This is where the term ‘doubting Thomas’ originates, a testament to the reality of what we all experience when confronted with ridiculously outlandish or preposterous situations. Thomas becomes a honest voice for humans who struggle to cope with a belief structure that doesn't leave room for questions or skepticism.

The Italian baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio recreates the scene in his masterpiece, ‘The incredulity of Saint Thomas’ where Jesus invites Thomas to put his finger into his wounded side as if seeing him in person wasn't enough. For him, belief had to be a full sensory experience in order to be genuine. 'Seeng is believing’ entered into the human vocabulary as a mantra that would guide future generations on the journey of trustworthy and authoritative religious practice.

I am a mix of belief and unbelief, a beautiful conundrum that is ok with my humanity even if it means going against the upwardly mobile mindset of ever increasing faith that tries to suppress any doubt. Certainty has become the slogan for those who are afraid to acknowledge or embrace their 'doubting Thomas’ self, secretly nervous of somehow disappointing God or worst still restricting that Gods ability to bless or pour out divine favour.

I would like to suggest that ‘doubt or unbelief’ while a seemingly unattractive part of the human condition, the Divine does seem to find it irresistible. Jesus doesn't rebuke Thomas as much as he invites him into a mutual place of interpenetration, a cocktail of doubt and faith, belief and unbelief forever negotiating together in order to produce an intoxicating non-dual consciousness for us all to aspire to. In an ironic twist of events many historians believe that Thomas courageously travelled to India to share his faith with foreign peoples, something we would all struggle to do without a strong sense of conviction and passion.
Doubt is one of the most endearing qualifications for those who want to have a bona fide relationship with the transcendent. In fact it probably enhances and deepens our reliance on what it means to be truely spiritual beings.

Maybe this statement by Richard Rohr about gift and sin also applies to faith and doubt?

‘Your gift is the flip side of your “sin” and your sin is the dangerous side of your gift. You must accept and recognise both, which will always keep you both humble and wise.’ - Richard Rohr


“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

― Michelle Obama, Becoming


The evolution of our personhood is the inevitable reality of our natural human disposition. This mystical and magical calling peels back the layers of our emerging selves exposing us to a fresh version of our becoming. Sometimes I like the new revealing and at other times I am a little perplexed by it, especially when I have to face my discomfort with the effort required to process the change. While transformation is unavoidable we all grapple with our universal refusal to accept and comply with certain aspects of adjustment and adaptation. We are tortured wonders who are grappling with the complex nature of our mortality often aware of something really special - divine, hiding deep within that is trying to push its way to the surface of our lives.

Around this time of the year we find encouragement in the Easter story, this historical religious tradition that has had a profound impact on human consciousness and underlying agenda for human flourishing.

‘Jesus dying was archetypal metaphor for transformation’ - Marcus Borg

It is a reminder of how life and death are interconnected, constantly negotiating on our behalf as to the best way to advance our maturation. Every little death we experience makes room in our lives for the obligatory resurrection, the divine resuscitation that reminds us that immortality is not finished with us just yet. The kind of dying I am talking about is the surrender of my wilful temperament to the possibility of a ‘bigger’ me, a more extensive ‘becoming" of myself.

‘Becoming is my present me being introduced to the possibility of my future me’ - GB

The trajectory of the Jesus narrative inevitably leads us into the passion week. Passion for Jesus is not just an animated and heightened enthusiasm for God but a deeper surrender to follower-ship. That follower-ship is enriched as I lean into the storyline of Jesus’ companions who example a vast array of inter-relational responses and challenges around their commitment and love for the cause of Christ. That commitment or lack thereof helps to encourage and challenge my own allegiance issues.

One of my favourite characters in the Jesus plot is Judas, the proverbial bad-guy who everyone loves to hate, a larger than life reminder that we are all capable of taking matters into our own hands when things don’t go our preferred way, betraying the very things we love.When we can't see past our own bias we end up betraying the very thing we love the most. The etymology of the word betrayal, ‘hand over’ suggests that we can easily end up relinquishing the greater good for our own version of preferred outcome.

Judas has an idea about messiah-ship that was the antithesis of the Jesus way, a triumphalistic and dominionistic mindset that proposed the complete demise of the dominant empires rule and the repositioning of Gods remnant people as the superior overlords. Jesus was a new kind of messiah that came to deconstruct the old ideas of the so-called divine agenda, especially ones that put a certain group of people at the top of the food and favour chain. Judas was driven by his own nationalistic agenda, a reminder to us all that we must face our own partisanship or we will betray our own becoming.

Earlier in the gospel narrative Jesus reminds his disciples that when he comes into his kingdom they will all (including Judas…Matt 19:28) be seated on thrones with him, a reminder to us all that our betrayals are not the eternal death knell that we often considered them to be.

The challenging idea of Judas as compelling analogy for ‘becoming’ is a reminder that in order to evolve we need to let deconstruction do its work in us lest we deny all that we believe in on the way to an untimely death. Rather than betray our faith, it is probably better to betray (hand over) some of the old ways of understanding God in order to make way for a new emergence of theological thinking.

I wanna love you, But something’s pulling me away from you

Jesus is my virtue, Judas is the demon I cling to, I cling to.

I’m just a Holy Fool, oh baby he’s so cruel

But I’m still in love with Judas.. - Lady Gaga: ‘Judas’

Becoming demands that we face our demons in order to keep the work of constructive transformation going. Just like Judas we will all mess up, jump the gun and experience the depressing nature of regret that highjacks the life we all live. I am learning to manage my Judas self, those impatient and impulsive urges that try to take advantage of the immaturity that restrains and restricts my becoming. This love hate relationship is fickle and annoying but one that I must endure if I am going to enjoy the reward of any kind of personal accomplishment.

The 'future me’ has been secretly working in the shadows of plain sight giving me a glimmer of hope if I can be bothered to notice. If I open my eyes I will truely see who I am and who I am becoming.

“It's okay to Evolve and Change, and become more of who you really are. It's okay to Become More Yourself.”

― Jeanette Coron


kenosis: to make empty, to lay aside, cause a thing to be seen as empty or void, a self emptying

“The way of kenosis, is the revolutionary path that Jesus introduced into the consciousness of the West. Jesus’ entire life demonstrates how God loves unconditionally and selflessly. What makes this mode so interesting is that it’s almost completely spiritually counterintuitive. For the vast majority of the world’s spiritual seekers, the way to God is ‘up.' Deeply embedded in our religious and spiritual traditions—and most likely in the human collective unconscious itself—is a kind of compass that tells us that the spiritual journey is an ascent, not a descent. . . Jesus had only one 'operational mode. . . in whatever life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of self-emptying—or to put it another way, of the same motion of descent: going lower, taking the lower place, not the higher." - Cynthia Bourgeault

The journey of Lent is a pathway of descent towards a renewed way of being in the world. It is a reconstitution of life as we know it, a necessary dying that uncovers the new life that hides below the surface of our evolution. Kenosis is not just the denial of ego or the letting go of the ‘unnecessary’ but the deconstructing of a 'thinking way’ that has pervaded our consciousness from the onset of institutionalised spirituality. Humankind has been guilty of creating models of certainty around mystical matters by positing institutional religion as the primary narrator of our spiritual maturation.

We have created a hierarchical pecking order of spiritual attainment that places God above us as at the top of the tree so to speak, calling us to climb to higher consciousness. This vertical mindset has produced a kind of spiritual vertigo, disillusioning many a seeker as they became somewhat disconnected from a grounded way of being.

If down is the new up then gravity becomes the mysterious presence of the divine that magically grounds us in the will of God, the very place we find ourselves in.


Kenosis asks us to let go of our preconceived ideas, the notions of separation and detachment that keep us alienated from the divine. The real emptying that God reveals in Jesus is a departure from the distant deity mindset and an invitation into a fully human incarnation of Theosis, a discovery of what has always been hiding in our very DNA, the image bearing likeness of divinity.

Kenosis as my divine muse asks me to rethink my paradigms by letting go of my certitude in order to learn the art of trust, a renewed confidence in providence. Trust is the difficult pathway of believing in others in ways that defy the logic of my pain and disappointment. Facing my trauma and relinquishing victimisation is a lifelong challenge. I flipflop backwards and forwards on this, often afraid to admit that I have become addicted to my mistrust as a way to vent my anger and frustration with justified permission.

The Jesus narrative reminds me that kenosis is leading us to forgiveness and ultimately freedom from the need to hold things against the world around us. The last acts of release from the old me, in the words of Jesus is ‘forgive them’ and ‘I commend my spirit’ to the one who holds all of life in her hands... which is easier said than done. Then and only then will I experience a possible resurrection and ascension to eternal immortality. Even though I am a little agnostic around this big idea hopefulness restrains my skepticism.

In order to ascend to higher levels of consciousness I must follow the downward trajectory of kenosis that emblazons a path to the tomb of the dead where new life hides ushering me into a future with my ancestors.

(Christ)…who, being in very nature* God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature* of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Panentheism, in it’s simplicity suggests that we are all in God and God is in all of us yet it is crucial that we take the time together to consider what that really means.

The word pan-en-theism has been one of contention. Suspicion often emerges around any words that cause us to fear relinquishing control of the old ways of understanding that have ungirded a cultural bias that helps us maintain our status quo. Fr Richard Rohr says that Western theology in its attempt to preserve the transcendent end of the spectrum, (God is beyond or above the range of normal or physical human experience), invariably insisted on God as being separate, utterly beyond and different from creation.

This thought was prevalent in the monotheistic religions until a more immanent, or present consciousness started to emerge in the evolutionary thought of the new testament witness. This can be seen for example in the gospel of Luke where the idea of a distant Deity is demystified, as presented in the words of Jesus that the ‘kingdom of god is among you…even in you’

'Panentheism restates the sacredness of all things, the Divine in-ness in all things, the presence of God in all things, creation (Gk: basileia) as a Kingdom or Reign of God. Recovering this sacredness is to recover the relationship with this 'holiness of being’ - Matthew Fox

Growing in this relationship will mean redefining holiness as moving away from an extrinsic behavioural construct to a more intrinsic wrestling of becoming. The real transformation that defines me will be how I uncover the 'holy' treasure within.


Panentheism is a reminder that the ‘indwelling presence’ is a call to share in the divine nature, a pathway to Theosis (divinisation). Don't be intimidated by the idea of what that could mean. When someone talks about 'union with the divine' our minds move to some kind of ethereal hyper-spiritual reality, when in fact it just means becoming more human, more fully alive, participating in the presence of God that resides in all things, after-all, were we not created in the Image of God?

The transcendent and the immanent are two sides of the same coin, so closely aligned that they cannot and should not be distanced by the need to minimise our humanity or maximise our God. Learning to become comfortable in a more unitive consciousness is the goal of a panentheistic theology; God in us and us in God

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are—I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one." - Jesus


God is in all things; not indeed, as part of their essence, nor as an accident; but as an agent is present to that upon which it works. -Matthew Fox


Every now and then a word comes along that revolutionises our understanding around long held traditions and customs that have dominated the beliefs and practices that we have deemed to be set in stone. The power and beauty of language offers our imagination and intellect the active resonance we need to move the conversation into new arenas of evolutionary elucidation.

Words that awaken new meaning in our lives are the whispers of an eternal muse that is committed to our growth and maturation. This inspiration is a reminder of the divine influence at work in us.

One word that has reshaped my understanding of "God”: or whatever word you choose to use to metaphor your concept of the divine mystery is PAN-EN-THEISM. The reason for the breaks in spelling are to alleviate the obvious misunderstanding that seems to surround its apparent link to ‘pan-theism'. In crude terms Pantheism says that everything is God whereas Panentheism suggests that everything is in God and God is in everything.

Matthew Fox uses the analogy of a fish swimming in water…the water surrounds the fish as a sustaining environment and the fish breathes IN that water in order to sustain its existence. Panentheism suggests that all life is infused with the mystery of God and that transcendence is immanently revealing itself to us in all of its many forms.

The suspicion around some words can be due to our fear of relinquishing control of the old ways of understanding that have ungirded society for generations. Panentheism suffers from the over bearing influence of dualism that posits God as a somewhat distanced deity who is committed to maintaining a holy stance of separation due to the infraction that has occurred in our behavioural conduct. Sin and holiness as the conservative dualist would say still have compatibility issues? In a strange kind of way we need them both if we are to understand our need for some kind of divine support and reliance. Panentheistic otherness helps us to see that when we think we are the centre of the universe so is everything else. It takes everything to make up the whole.

According to St Paul there is nothing that can seperate us for the love of God? Not life or death, any kind of power structure, our present predicaments or the future dilemmas, no feelings of elation or despair, even the attempts of other people to disturb our health and well-being. This suggestion is the heart of panentheism, the unavoidable inclusion in a greater purpose regardless of our behaviour or religious status in life. This changes everything about how we value our worth in God and alongside others, a subtle reminder that the life we have been given is a gift that needs to enjoyed and honoured.

If we can never be separated from the divine then what is the point of adherence to some kind of religious affiliation? Why go to church or even pray if providence has our best interests at heart?

Panentheism suggests that we are all in God and God is in all of us yet it is crucial that we take the time together to consider what that really means. Gathering with others in some way to discuss, reflect and contemplate this rich mystery suggests that true meaning and understanding in life is a meal best shared with another. What resides in the other could very well be the transformational balm I need. The result of this reciprocity could potentially help the human race to start caring and taking responsible for the world better while advancing good and confronting the systemic evil that we so often project on to some kind of d-evil.

Panentheism is a call to honour who you are and honour the wonder of God that resides in all otherness.


In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened. - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We all have deep questions that find their way to the surface in times of tragedy and trauma.

Why did this happen?

Why do people do the things they do?

When will we start to act like the best versions of ourselves?

Where is God in all of this?


As much as I have faith in humanity’s ability to go above and beyond for their fellow citizens, I am also aware that in a moment of insanity we are capable of the most heinous acts.

In these times we search for an explanation, often reverting to the age-old blame game of victimisation by playing the ‘totally depraved’ card or finding a scapegoat in the form of a Demonised other. While this can help us find some relief in the moment it is only temporary, as there is no absolute or satisfying answer as to why bad things happen. Sometimes you just can’t explain away an unimaginable tragedy.

A selfish evil hides in all of us. A healthy dose of morality and common sense restrains our willingness to act on it, but when our conscience fails us, the damage that we can do is deplorable. As far back as the Cain and Abel story we see our potential to take matters into our own hands without any kind of rational consideration for the ramifications. As Martin Luther King said, there is both good and evil in all of us - and it seems that we are all hardwired in some way to betray that good in a selfish, broken society.

But goodness remains, the very best of human endeavour that seeks to work for the betterment of humanity. When evil happens we can become bogged down in the complexities of injustice or we can step up and do some good despite our lament.

Of course, these altruisms are often easier said than done. Someone needs to be punished for the pain we are feeling. But retribution and vengeance, both perfectly acceptable feelings in times of mourning, will never give us the healing we need.

Yet we still need to be able to air our distress and grievance in the company of our fellow mourners with the honesty and rawness the situation requires.

Maybe hope and radical acts of goodness will be the therapeutic encouragement we need on the journey back to a new normalcy.

The ancient songwriter reminds us that goodness will have the final say and that if we stay with our questions long enough we will see the very best of life push through.

I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness in the exuberant earth.

Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don't quit.

I'll say it again: Stay with GOD

- Psalm 27

May peace and grace comfort you in your time of 'why'


‘Every orientation presupposes a disorientation’   -Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Disorientation comes when we least expect it, its perplexities a timely reminder that life is mysteriously unpredictable and confusing at the best of times.

Discomfort and uncertainty arrive on our doorstep as the uninvited guest who is intent on disturbing the self prescribed equilibrium that we understand as normative.

The purpose of this interruption is to reset our understanding of stability as a static reality. It would seem that the journey of maturation and evolution is one of constant interruption, a pilgrimage that flexes and bends to suit the current emerging reality.


As providence moves me towards the best version of myself there is a need for some deconstruction which is the precursor for the new-orientation that is lurking in the shadows. The old ways of being that were previously helpful have become more restrictive as the approaching grace for change appears.

Unlearning those old habits and behaviours is the hidden agenda of disorientation as it moves me through the liminal territory of transition. That which is ingrained in me as an old habit becomes a blind spot if I do not open my eyes and embrace the emerging divulgence.

The cultural environments that have defined our reality play a huge part in shaping our perspective on life. Our familial interactions can often get in the way of moving us into the next chapter of our unfolding story or conversely they can encourage us to take the plunge into the new unknown. The projected fears and fascinations of our fellow humans are our greatest ally or contrastingly our adversarial foe.

When we are in a state of disorientation everything is up for grabs and open to new interpretation, a hopeful forerunner of the possible newness. Learning to embrace the difficulty of this intermediary space will help determine your preparation for the next stage of your journey. The darkness that we feel as we move through the valley of the unknown is an invitation to embrace the mystery of trust as it does its work of kismet in our life.

The new coping mechanisms of trust that we adopt in the time of disorientation comes from the comfort and consolation that serendipity brings to our pilgrimage, the timely reminder that what we see or become overly anxious about is not all that is going on.

In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word. - Walt Whitman

The valley of disorientation is not a fast sprint but a slow walk. We often try to move through discomfort rather quickly due to the perfectly legitimate aversion to pain that is hardwired into our system. Unfortunately the protracted nature of change works to its own rhythm and time frame.

While keeping one eye on the road stay alert and attentive to your fellow pilgrims who might be on the same path, a reassuring reminder you that you are not alone in experiencing excessive anxiety unaccompanied. In a strange kind of way we all like to think that others are struggling with the same things we are…maybe misery does love company after all? When I hear the travel stories of others who have gone before me I find the courage to continue and confidence to know that things may well work out in the end.

Be patient the new-orientation is coming...


The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men That They Were Fair , sculpture by Daniel Chester French.

The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men That They Were Fair, sculpture by Daniel Chester French.

“Life is full of permutations and combinations. Sometimes the order you do things matter sometimes it doesn’t, but in order to find the solution in life you must work through each possibility presented to find your opportunity.” ― Gregory Willis, Birth of a Nephillim

They (whoever ’they’ are) say that the only constant in life is change. Unfortunately our resistance to it has caused more fear than is often reasonable. I think it is realistic to expect a certain kind of internal antagonism to change as it suggests that a new permutation of me is emerging which can mess with my sense of stability and certainty. The prophets, sages, and mystics have all rallied around the idea of evolutionary consciousness, an emerging becoming of our existence that moves through the various stages of life with nervous curiosity and tentative reluctance.

Looking back on my journey can help me  recognise the subtle changes that have occurred and contributed to the upgraded version of the new me. I have often wondered, a little over anxiously if the various dispositions of thinking that I have moved through have been permissible, especially in the light of the rich historical backdrop of the great thinkers and innovators that went before me.

When I began my spiritual journey (institutionally speaking) I was introduced to an idea of God that I have since come to recognise as distorted and distasteful. The first permutation of my idea of God was one that posited all people as depraved and somewhat of a disappointment to the creator, hence the need for a rescue narrative that assured them of an afterlife paradise. Without that reassurance there would be dire consequences of a hellish kind. I started my religious vocation as a hell fire and brimstone preacher who sought to cast out the darkness by offering a light lunch of gospel truth. First stage naivety no less. 

After many years of seeming success I came to realise that this was not the ‘whole truth and nothing but the truth'. TRUTH is a journey into greater awareness and that awareness is still unfolding. 

The second permutation of my understanding of God came as I became disillusioned by the lack of interest or response from my fellow humans even when I wielded the big stick of fearful afterlife threatening. I heard a prompt inside that said, instead of constantly trying to cast out the darkness of homo sapiens why not just speak light and life to people, which awakened a prophetic interest in encouragement and divine providence. I still thought people were fundamentally depraved but this permutation came with a new twist of hopefulness and an imaginative permission to speak to people about the gospel in new found light.

‘Heaven and Hell are states of consciousness’  - Pope John-Paul II

When I began to question the geographical plausibility of heaven and hell, of which I am still a little agnostic ( not fully know), it thrust me into the possibility of seeing everything I had believed differently. This is a huge subject and one that I am not at liberty to unpack in this blog, suffice to say you owe to yourself to question the rhetoric and anecdotal evidence that has dominated religious thinking over the Centuries. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions ….

This led me to my current permutation of God which is centred in a loving deity that has never really been angry or bitterly disappointed in humanity,  just deeply and profoundly committed to our wellbeing even when we are not walking the right path, behaving the right way or subscribing to correct doctrines. Light and darkness are not opposite realities at work in the human genome but complimentary energies that the divine works with to guide us. The light and darkness that resides within us is the chaos and order that reflects the genesis poem of beginnings, the working platform for the transcendence that articulates our emerging immanence.

This permutation says we are all children of God, and that God is committed to helping us live fully alive even when we reject the most basic moral constructs of decency. God seems to believe in us even more than we believe in ourselves, and that extends to any afterlife existence…in my opinion. Whatever permutation of God you find yourself in know that change and evolution will have their way in your life, just wait and see.


P.S. For those who would like to remind me of the Noah Story that mentions 'God regretted making humans'…can I suggest that there might be an alternative interpretation of the narrative that centres on how the flood story, that also features in many other ancient stories is overlaid by a primitive consciousness that saw the gods as angry with humans behaviour, and most natural disasters were seen as deliberate acts of divine retribution.  Our insurance policies still call them ‘acts of god’. We all know that floods are a feature of inclement weather conditions that cannot always be linked to supernatural causality.


‘We tell ourselves stories in order to live’ - Joan Didion

Recently while at a story telling retreat we were asked the question. “If you right now were to tell the story of your life what would be the first sentence be”?

The narrative of our lives is a collection of memories drawn from experiences that have contributed to our present reality. Those recollections are a mixture of pain and pleasure, highlights and low-lights drawn from a broad spectrum of occasion that have all weaved their way into the sub-plot of our ongoing drama.

When we look back at how things have unfolded we all tend to reminisce the good old times and yet the truth be told a huge proportion of us suffer from regret and rue the day things happened the way they did. We ponder questions like, what would life had been like if I was born into a different family or if I lived in a different country, had chosen an alternative career path, met a certain someone..would any of that have taken me down a different path and made my existence more fulfilling?

Our Stories are at the mercy of providence, the transcendent author of destiny who smiles or grimaces on our journey depending on what she deems best for us. For the sensitive, anxious, and highly strung, trusting this muse is a daily conundrum, but for the overly pragmatic types amongst us it is a purely practical exercise in control and expediency. Learning to interpret our responses and reactions to providence will be our lifelong challenge.

‘We tell stories not as they are but as we are’

The way we see the world defines how we tell our stories. My perspective is my reality even if it skews the lines and reconstitutes the facts. The old adage, this is my story and I will tell it how I like is still as true today as it was when the first writers penned their view of history and the evolution of mankind.

Myth has always guided our thought processes, the creative imagineer inside that is constantly searching for the truth in all of her nuances. Myth exposes that which hides in our unfolding narrative, the emerging storyline that is helping us be honest about how we arrived at the place we now find ourselves in. Truth is not about clearly definable facts that are accurate and absolute, that end up shaping a universal code of conduct, but more so an awakening of meaning that appears or arrives to help us realise who we are in the bigger story of life….because myth is more than truth.

My story is just a small part of the grand narrative, a minuscule and seemingly insignificant consideration when compared to everything else, but even the extras in a drama have a role to play in order for the whole thing to make sense. Whether I fully understand or don’t understand my own personal significance the fact remains that I am here for a reason and that reason matters. When we watch a movie or read a book we are often drawn to the larger than life characters who dominate our imagination and consciousness, but in actual fact it is the support cast who hold things together and give the main players the permission to be true to themselves. The little voices have just as much to say as the big noters, so know your lines and stick to them or the story doesn’t get told in a way that benefits all concerned.

I am happy to be a small voice in greater cacophony of racket blaring all around me, a back-up cast member perhaps, or maybe even an extra or body double because it all is important. After all is said and done don't we all just want to feel included and valued for who we are.


My life matters and my ‘happily ever after’ is more about learning to enjoy the moment than engineering a wonderfulI outcome.

So back to what the first sentence of my life story might be?

‘I was born on September 19 nine months after the holiday season festivities that underpinned my conception…Is that the real reason my parents ended up getting married?

Pause and ponder your opening story line because your life matters, regardless of how or why it started.



The heretic is always better dead. And mortal eyes cannot distinguish the saint from the heretic. - George Bernard Shaw

Whenever we are confronted by the bias and prejudice of a system whether it be political, religious, scientific, or philosophical it reminds us that we can all fall prey to the limited scope of understanding that is available to any of us at any one time. Admitting to our limitations and choosing the path of humility is far better than labelling someone else as a heretic because they offer an alternative theory or train of thought to your default stance.

The etymology of the root word ‘heretic' is ‘able to choose’. The fact that we have all been given the freedom to choose does not put us at odds with the truth but merely suggests that ‘truth’ is a very subjective actuality that is rooted in the current experience of one’s reality. What I choose today may not be what I choose tomorrow.

st francis.jpg

For instance, we are now being confronted by new research that suggests we need to be making better choices around what is deemed to be sustainable living, as our excessive lifestyles are having an affect on the environment, contributing to the phenomena called global warming. Some of us are still in denial about this due to the long held belief in a divine exit strategy that absolves us from all responsibility. I remember when I first went to church in the late 70’s I wasn told that you didn’t need to think about buying a home because the rapture would happen soon, so just get on and proselytise as ardently as possible so no one misses out on the return trip to heaven. Those of us who were subjected to this ridiculous rhetoric have hopefully come to realise that our choices in this life matter, and that the kingdom of heaven in engaged in all that we do here and now.

“All the heroes of tomorrow are the heretics of today.” - Yip Harburg

In religious circles we throw the word heretic out as a critique of certain peoples stances in order to protect ourselves from some kind of divine disfavour or judgement. This kind of vitriolic labelling is most often rooted in the fear of man more than the fear of God.

Recently a movie was made called ‘Heretic’ about author and speaker Rob Bell, which explored the journey of his spiritual maturation. The producer who was Rob’s friend used the word ‘heretic’ not so much as a critique of his ministry but rather to ironically point out that all new thinking and THE crafting of ideas is initially seen as a heretical lean. “HERETICS” are often responsible for the fresh revelation that appears on the scene to break us free from our limited or restrictive orthodoxy. Rob struck a nerve in the fundamentalist camp and became a new kind of hero to so many. Orthodoxy is not bad but it's not a fixed set either.

History is on the side of those who have challenged the status quo and thrown caution to the wind, often charting a new path forward.

Imagine if some of the great spiritual or scientific pioneers of history hadn't dared to confront the old paradigms of thinking, we might still believe that the earth is FLAT and the centre of the Universe, or worse still that men are meant to rule the world…LOL

“Heretics are the only [bitter] remedy against the entropy of human thought." ("Literature, Revolution, and Entropy")” - Yevgeny Zamyatin

When we let certainty be our absolute guiding principle the minds of humans begin to experience a type of entropy that strips us of our imagination and creativity. The ancient prophets would constantly cry out ‘fear not’ as a clarion call to the explorers and pioneers who would push the limits and challenge the status quo. Fearlessness is the courage to push the boundaries and try new things.

The heretic in me is fuelled by the God given right to choose a bigger way of being. Being true to this path is about following your heart and trusting that something greater than you is guiding your way. Some people will be nervous of your choice selection by labelling you as gullible, naive, or a romantic idealist, which are all potential pre-cursors for the heretic characterisation.

Remember, those who never face criticism never grow strong enough to hold true to the path of their emerging beliefs.