Monday, October 29, 2007

Talks about healing through body, soul, spirit

Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles offers recent sermons by Rev. Frank Alton, pastor:
October 14: healing through the body,
October 21: healing through the soul,
October 28: healing through the spirit.

In this series, Alton refers to writings by Thomas Moore and James Hillman. He introduces the third sermon in this series by saying, "This morning our healing journey moves from soul to spirit. There is an important shift here, and it involves a change in direction. Thomas Moore summarizes it: "In our soulfulness, we endure the most pleasurable and the most exhausting of human experiences and emotions; in our spirituality, we reach for consciousness, awareness, and the highest values." (Thomas Moore, 231) In other words, soulfulness makes sure we are grounded in the earth, while spirituality makes sure we are connected to heaven. Both are essential in order to be whole people."

Alton then refers to chakras or energy centres within the human body and focuses on those above the heart: "The energy centers below the heart involve self esteem, money, sex, power, and connection to family and tribe. All of that seeks to be rooted in the earth. The energy centers above the heart involve love, forgiveness, self expression, intuition and wisdom, all of which seek connection with the divine. Today we are going to focus on this latter group as we focus on healing through the spirit."

Alton concludes,
"The healing of the Spirit is not a gentle healing. It involves scary change. Jesus said, "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." Peacemaking involves entering the fray to work for peace where there is no peace. Almost everyone wants peace. But often we seek cheap peace. We want it at no cost. We want it by ignoring or denying or escaping conflicts of which we are a part. That is not Spirit-infused peace.

Thomas Moore makes this connection clear: "The Jordan is the archetype of our willingness to live fully, to have our own work and mission, and therefore to be blessed, as the Gospel story tells, by a higher parent and a protecting spirit. The Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca painted this scene at the Jordan, showing Jesus standing straight in his full dignity, while in the background another man is about to be baptized – any of us taking our turn – has his garment almost off, lifted over his head in a posture of exquisite ordinariness. It’s an inspiring image of the willingness to step courageously into the river of existence, instead of finding ways to remain safe, dry and unaffected."
(Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore p. 243)