DISCONNECT - Part Four
by Roger Hahaway, April, 2012
The following will be a rambling discussion of that command of Jesus to follow Him, which I understand as meaning one must follow Him to death, and not just any natural or accidental death, but one "in His name," willingly, enthusiastically, and done as an obedience to His command. To my knowledge, no one has yet tried to be fearlessly honest about this subject. If one gets serious about this, he must ultimately question whether self-sacrifice might be what Jesus is commanding. I want to consider this topic that seriously.
Is radical Roger venturing beyond the limit here? Seriously? I ask myself that question, and then step back to see if I can be objective about it. I wonder that many people must think Iím crazy, and also wonder if they are right. Everything which seems right for me is anti-world. Often I try to imagine how Jesus lived, ate, and slept day after day; He is the one who commands us to leave this world and to follow Him, yet He did eat food and sleep, probably at the family home in Capernaum. He drank enough that some considered Him a drunkard. So, how shall I consider His instructions to virtually die to this world?
I donít know how many years ago that I began to feel this "disconnect" attitude so intenesly. Many articles on my website have addressed this subject specifically, and from many different perspectives. I often work out my thoughts through the keyboard to see how they look in print.
A few of Jesusí statements on this subject are quoted on my website index page; this seems to be a major theme in my writings. Taken seriously, one knows that Jesus calls us away from this world and all attachments to things, people, hopes, desires, fears, and even ego identification. Essentially, one is to forgive everyone everything, forget the past, get free from any relationships, take up his cross, and follow the Lord up the difficult path to Calvary.
That word, "seriously," is a loaded term; at what point can a seeker feel that he is taking Jesus seriously? Must one take any action to validate his beliefs or is this subject just hypothetical conjecture?
My problem is that I am an idealist - to the core of my soul. Iím an extremist, a radical, an individualist, a rebel against any tepid norm. I canít even force myself to take Jesusí words lightly. For me, if there really is a God, and if Jesus is the anointed Son, and head of the Christ body, then His words must mean something!!! If the Bible is valid at all, then it must have some purpose beyond that of vapid religion.
When Jesus told some fishermen to follow Him, they simply walked away from their jobs and followed. His words affected their personal lives dramatically. He didnít promise them anything; He said that while foxes have holes and birds have nests, He had no place to lay His head. Yet, they followed. Why? I suggest that it was because they were genetic descendants of Israel,hence born from above with Godís indwelling Spirit, and that Jesus resonated with their spirit-selves at a level far above worldly cares. Once one has experienced that dimension of conscious reality which Jesus called "heaven," then he suddenly knows the Truth of it. It is then easy to walk away from a world which holds no more value to him.
Alas, when oneís body gets hungry again, he can so easily shift back to the conscious dimension of flesh, blood, and world. We all tend to do that, but once the hunger is satisfied, one feels remorse that he slipped back into serving such base needs. He had seen something of Godís reality and he yearns to see it again, even to have it permanently. The question for one of Godís spirit-children, who is trapped in a flesh body, is how to do that.
As you look for a dominant theme in Jesusí words, I suggest that it can be stated in the word, "Disconnect." Since flesh and blood cannot know heaven, one must leave them behind and cross some kind of misty chasm as a spirit-being. Forget, even, a coin for Charon!
As I have contemplated this subject of "disconnect" over the years, I find it not so easy to do. I decided that I must take some real actions toward that goal by releasing things which anchor my attention here.
Here are some things I have done. It was late 1990's that I had collected several hundred VHS tapes of old movies, classics which portrayed our traditional values. One day there at our cabin in Eagle, Alaska, I loaded box after box of the tapes and fed them to the burn-barrel until they were gone. My feeling was euphoric as that worldly focus of attention suddenly existed no more. I learned something important that day: the spiritual reward for such action was wonderful.
Recent years have brought to me blessings beyond my desires. I became totally involved in this little farm in the mountains of Virginia. My Jersey milk cow, Pretty Girl, held my attention for several years; oh, how I loved her and the milk, butter, cheese, etc. We tilled a large garden which I fenced to protect from marauders. We had never had a garden before; it was a lot of work! Lisa put-by lots of canned goods. I stocked the fruit cellar with my homemade cherry wine. Our attachments to this world increased greatly during the past few years while we seemed unaware of the extent of it, just trying to make the best of a simple life. Now, for the past couple years Iíve been writing ever more seriously about disconnecting.
In January, 2012, I sold my library to one person. He needs about eighty feet of shelf space for it. It brought me a little heartache to see all my beloved friends gone, but it also brought a surprising feeling of release of the past, of world history, reference works, languages, dogmatics, and literature. Iím 73 now, and without books, I donít really know what lies ahead for me. In January we also had the Auction House load its large truck with so many things: my power tools, wrenches, air-tools, DR brush-cutter, snow-blower, cider-press, wine-press, some furniture, boxes of collectibles of all kinds, pressure canner, meat-grinder, barn equipment, garden tools, mantis-tiller, and so much more!
Jesus told a rich man to sell all that he had, give the money to the poor, and come follow Him. So, we gave twenty percent of the proceeds to local poor-folk and then burned a few hundred-dollar bills to demonstrate our willingness to follow Him. We have no savings or investments, but live month to month on Social Security; our 1995 Cutlass gets us to town each week. We feel somewhat like the Israelites in the wilderness when they had to depend on God for any provisions. We have no medical insurance, take no pharmaceuticals, and very rarely go to a doctor. We havenít watched a TV show since the day Obama was elected when I disconnected the antenna and trashed it. Last September, we had the power company remove the Smart Meter so we have no electricity except for an occasional use of a small generator to keep the chest freezer cold. We have propane gas lamps in the house along with a bank of batteries for 12vDC lites and an inverter for 120v computer monitor and printer.
We are trying to Disconnect by cutting all the umbilical cords which anchored us to others who thereby held power over us. Admittedly, we still depend on LP gas for some things, and we need gasoline for the small generator, and we buy a few groceries occasionally but not much of that. For several years now, we eat one main meal mid-afternoon, usually a single item like a piece of meat or bowl of soup. Mid-mornings we sometimes have a light breakfast, but not always. Evenings we usually drink wine, sometimes with crackers. Thatís about it, with occasional exceptions.
For me, Disconnecting means to estrange myself from any care about world politics and business. Having been a news junkie, I pay little mind to it anymore. Satanís representatives will do their wickedness regardless of my interests. Iíve always considered political philosophy, moral values, ethics, justice, reputation, self-sufficiency, and integrity to be very important to my life here. Now, I donít care who is president or what wars are in play or what plagues, famines, or disasters are happening, nor do I care or fear what happens to this sorry piece of flesh known as Roger. I will try to live as Godly as possible, but I cannot answer for anyone else. God will NOT lose any of His own Family, so it is not my concern how He draws them to Himself, which is usually through terrible struggles. I can feel compassion, but I should not intervene to help anyone to avoid the trials essential to his own path. So, I am free from attachments to politics or people; free to focus on my own path, which probably needs even more serious attention that Iíve yet given it. I accept the brutal truth that no one can direct or save another, but the Holy Spirit is the guide and teacher who dwells within and empowers each of Godís own, to the extent that He is not blocked by worldly concerns, of course. Each must work out his own salvation "with fear and trembling."
Recently, I explored the idea of self-sacrifice in order to follow Him seriously, and I wrote about it in an article "Going Home." How serious can I really get if I want to obey His command? My plan was not a sham; I really wanted to leap through that door into that great unknown where so many have gone before me. I still do feel that exciting compulsion to "just-do-it" but I reneged on my initial plan. Now I wonder how else I might disconnect without an actual sacrifice of my body.
My point in telling you all this personal information is that Iím convinced one must put forth serious effort toward obeying Jesusí command to follow Him. World is a dimension of consciousness where we feel trapped and unable to see that heaven-dimension which is a higher level of conscious awareness. We have all gotten very attached to things that we see and touch, believing that they are "real" while heaven is just in the imagination. All of us believe that we want to end up in heaven, but we donít know how to get there. So, preachers simply tell us that it will happen after we die. But, Jesus said that one must obey His commands in order to see it. Most of His commands direct one to disconnect himself from all loved-ones and all things. Preachers wonít rail about that or their collection plates would be empty. Yet, our Lord hints at no other path toward Himself than a serious Disconnect from all worldly anchors. Prosperity preachers who tell you that God wants you to have the "good life" because He loves you, are working for Satan. Jesus commands His followers to deny themselves, to take up their crosses and to get serious about leaving this world dimension behind. He tells us explicitly that there is no other way!
I am sharing personal information about my life and my struggle because Iíve let go any need of secrecy or privacy, and because it might help another seeker toward his own path. Perhaps my most serious "disconnect" will be loss of my vision; I havenít been able to read book print or drive a car for several months, and things are looking ever more foggy to me. Friends urge me to have the simple cataract surgery, and Iím not fearful of doing that at all. But, vision loss is proving to be a severe disconnect from my world. While I am writing about the importance of disconnecting, how can I justify restoring my vision? Vision failure is not something new to recent centuries, but has been natural to the aging process for thousands of years; it must be part of Godís design that one becomes gradually separated from the world he has seen, perhaps to learn a new kind of sight, an inner-vision or "insight." Should I not welcome this natural change of life as a blessing? Strangely, from the very onset of vision-loss, I have felt a warm attraction to it, even while admitting that of all my senses, vision is the one I value most. At this time of April 2012, I can still see large text on my large-screen monitor, so I am content to spend more time at it than ever before. When I canít see well enough to use the computer, then what? Aaaaaagh, that does scare me. Will I renege and go for the quick fix? I sure hope not, but I think I weaken easily.
Well, that "disconnect" problem is still foremost in my mind, and above are my thoughts at this time. I must learn to relax and go with the natural flow, permitting my Father to direct my path.
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