Background to My Interest in Teaching Children with Autism

A Meditation on the Lord’s Prayer
Having touched on both religion and mythology in previous postrings, I want to share with you a meditation on one aspect of both, the Lord’s Prayer:
“Teach us how to pray,” Jesus’ disciples said to him. (Luke 11, 1), and he answered by teaching them the prayer we call The Lord’s Prayer or, sometimes, the Our Father.
Our Father
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” “All things exist and have their being in God.”
God, You choose to reveal Yourself to us – and we will leave for the moment the meaning of “God” – and we understand You to be omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, eternal and unchangeable, the Creator and Preserver of the world, a morally perfect Being, righteous and loving. Your Son, Jesus, who lived in a very patriarchal society, spoke of You as Abba – Father. Moses, is said to have spoken to You face-to-face: “If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face.” Others have found You in nature, (as illustrated by the poem, Vestigia, by Bliss Carman), and some hermits, in withdrawing from the world, claimed to have found You within their inmost souls. Perhaps that is what is meant by omnipresent.
The Muslim mystic, Rumi, wrote: “A seeker knocked at the door of the beloved – God – and a voice from inside asked: ‘Who is it?’ The seeker answered ‘It is I’; and the voice said: ‘In this house there is no You and I’ (and I note the reference to the abnegation of duality). The door remained locked. Then the seeker went into solitude, fasted and prayed and, later, returned and again knocked at the door. Again the voice asked: ‘Who is it?’ Now the believer answered: ‘It is You.’ Then the door opened.” Slavinski (Spiritual-Technology.com) has written extensively about the return to oneness. Or is that Oneness?
Unlike most of the major religions, Buddhists don’t teach a personal God, but some have experienced a love that permeates the universe, and we remember that You are that love – our heavenly Father, Mother, Parent – as it says in the Bible (“God is love.”).
who art in heaven
In the King James translation of the bible, this is given as “which art in heaven”? In Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version, this phrase is given as “who art in heaven.” The New Jerusalem translation avoids the distinction, the choice between the personal “who” and the somewhat more impersonal “which,” by simply saying “Our Father in heaven.”
And where is heaven? Metaphorically, it is in the heavens, up above us, as in the old saying, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” But in another sense, it is around us and potentially within us, just as God is omnipresent, around us and within us. “For the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit “(Rom 14:17, NIV).

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