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Dustin LindenSmith

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Guidelines to Reading Scripture, by Susan Dane

The following summary is taken from the excerpt of Susan Dane's work outlined by Jerry Katz in Issue #2374 of the Nondual Highlights. Jerry's description of her overarching philosophy drew me in immediately to keep reading:
-- Formulas and systems lead us away from spirituality, not toward it.
-- We don’t create reality. What is real is created by something other than us.
-- There is a way, but it does not lie within any of our methods and systems.
The article Jerry excerpted from Dane discusses how to get the most out of reading scripture. It might be described as a sort of meditative/mindfulness technique to apply to the reading of scripture. (In my read, scripture means words of wisdom from the ancient (or authentic modern?) sages.) My favourite selections from her instructions are below, but the whole article along with her discussion on each point and others can be found in Issue #2374 of the Highlights.
Guidelines to Reading Scripture, by Susan Dane

Go slowly. Take it word by word.

“Knead” the text. Work it through and through by asking yourself questions.

When you start asking these questions of the text, don’t fill in the answers. Wait!

Don’t bring your understanding to the page. Don’t “recognize” verses with a “yep, yeah…I know this one.” You actually don’t. You aren’t the same person who read that verse, even if you just read it 5 minutes ago! And until God speaks to us, whatever we know about it is old hat. It has no power to effect root change in our life.

If verses remind you of past inspirations, or the healing your best friend had, or some inspiring article or commentary you read about it, just thank your mind for “sharing.” Then tell it to be a good student and sit down and be quiet. You are waiting for the teacher to speak.

Don't be too quick to "get inspired." The quicker we get that inspirational “high,” the more likely it is just our own mind interpreting these revolutionary words through the "same-old-same-old." If something major hasn’t shifted inside you, if you’re not shaken up, if your life isn’t actually changed in some way, then it is probably just more human insight which will be stale by noon.

Do not try to apply the verse to your problem (or your list of problems.) Leave the list at the door. Let God do both the interpeting AND the "applying." The more we let the page inform us and the less we inform the page, the more radical will be the evidence of God’s power in our lives. You will be surprised to see what has happened to the list when next you check—if you even remember to.

If it goes down easy, like a favorite pop-song, this is a bad sign! In the case of Jesus, the only one who didn’t have a problem with his words was pretty much Jesus himself. Are we right up there with Jesus? Or have we perhaps not even heard him yet—or not heard him at the level that really counts? A tough question. One we shouldn’t be too quick to answer.


(x-posted to nonduality)

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vyus January 25th, 2006
are we gonna start seeing phrases like "formulas and systems lead us away from spirituality" a lot more?

iamom January 25th, 2006
I dunno -- do you find it a bit trite? Or catch-phrasey?

vyus January 25th, 2006
More like. . . I suddenly had a vision of it catching on with the die-hard religious folk. I admit, that takes it out of context :)

whonowz January 27th, 2006
"We don’t create reality. What is real is created by something other than us."

Q physics shows us that our perceptions shape 'reality' much more than we can even comprehend. I'd say more but it'd be pretty incomprehensible. ;-)

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