Today, let’s take a stab at de-charging Christian Church teachings. I am bound to step on some toes today, as I often do, yet it is important to speak our truth, as kindly as possible.

So allow me to simply give my personal opinion as to what a sampling of the traditional Christian church and biblical expressions might mean, from a more mystical or metaphysical perspective.

First, the word repent. This simply means to change our erroneous ways, make amends, not to a punishing God, but to our inner god, to set ourselves straight, to apologize, and to forgive our self. This brings us to the next word: sin.

First, let’s get the shame out of sin. To sin is simply to miss the mark, to error in our ways, to create negative karma by moving out of our integrity, operating out of our small self or ego, harming with our words or actions. No need to add blame and drama to this. We all miss the mark at times. We are human. WE can see where we have strayed from the path of love, out of line with our Divine, and get back online.

When we look at the biblical stories, sometimes the true meaning gets hidden. Let’s look at one, the Prodigal son. This story talks about how when one son goes off and misbehaves and wastes his inheritance, while the other son is working hard and dedicating himself to his housework and the family, the father still throws a party when the errant son returns. This simply shows that our deepest Divine, or God, never judges, but always welcomes us back with open arms after we mess up. There is no judgment or punishment, although we may punish our self or create some negative karma to make amends for.

Heaven is the permanent reality. It exists mainly on the other side of the veil, the veil of illusion that separates us from the deepest love. Yet what the masters have reminded us is that heaven is here, now, and heaven is within us. It is not in another time zone or another planet or reality, but it is the true nature of everything, and all we have to do is allow it, recognize it, stop pretending life is not heavenly, even when it appears hellish, which brings us to the next word.

Hell is an illusion, or maybe hell is believing in the illusion, identifying with the small self and the earthly drama. Hell is resisting what is, moving out of the present moment. We can make life hellish by judging and warring and resisting and blaming, but as for a permanent hell where people are vanquished and punished forever, there is no such thing.

Be a child means be innocent, be spontaneous, be honest. Have what the Zen folks call beginners mind. We are asked by Jesus that to get to heaven, which is joy, we must return to this refreshingly childlike, innocent and loving state.

When we talk about our Father in heaven, we are talking about our deepest Self, our inner God, which always exists, but we sometimes hide or forget it on the other side of the veil. This Father in heaven is not male or female actually, but is the Source of both genders, and everything else. Everything comes from this Source, and we are wise to listen to it, talk to it, get to know this bigger part of ourselves. This is the heaven within, and we do not need a special book or special authoritarian figure to access this loving, all knowing Divine presence, as it is always available to us, anytime, anywhere.