Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wake up to breathe fresh air of the kingdom

"Come Out, Lazarus – An Invitation to Life" describes a book study group's reflections of Thomas Moore's Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels. David Elliott summarizes this week's meeting about shamanism and the story of Lazarus:
"Thomas Moore’s knowledge of world cultures and the history of religions makes this chapter come alive. It was Joseph Campbell who, for me, first described the role of the shaman in cultures all around the world. From a modern view they were strange folk with rituals and habits far from the conventional. But they lived in 'two realities at once – the ordinary world we all know well and a deeper, higher reality, both transcendent and profoundly interior, where everything had a spiritual meaning… With his visionary ability to see the spiritual nature of an illness and perceive deep stories hidden within events, a shaman heals and advises his people.'" (p. 138)
Elliott writes about waking up to and in the river of life with Moore's description of Lazarus:
"'The teachings of Jesus tell how to come to life, how to be born in the spirit and how to resurrect. The word used for dead, nekron, doesn’t always refer to actual death but to a state of soul… Jesus’ teaching is all aimed at the resurrection of life in its fullness. Lazarus is the archetype of coming to life after being dead, and his story is about breathing the fresh air of the kingdom instead of the smelly atmosphere of deadly materialism.'" (p. 146)