Saturday, December 23, 2017
I had a person with newly diagnosed cancer approach me the other day asking about the holistic approach to healing which I use. I asked them if they believed in the holistic approach and they replied "anything that works". Their answer to my query struck me as quite reasonable but the response also bothered me since the holistic approach requires effort and focus and I wondered if their answer reflected the necessary commitment. In order to use the holistic approach I have used, one has to join with the problem through meditation or contemplation and then do anything and everything that is called for. "Physical symptoms may tell us that we are going in the wrong direction or they may be evidence of something in the unconscious which will undermine the whole enterprise unless countered psychologically as well as with aspirin." (Claremont deCastillejo)
Friday, December 22, 2017
There is a part or seed within me that is totally peaceful, loving, powerful and present, a part that is connected to the force I call God. I call that part "I am" and strive to go to that part several times a day when I meditate. That part or seed is strongest when I meditate in the middle of the night and during the Friend’s hours of silent worship. In order to get there I have to quiet my intellect, cease my worldly longings and attachments. With consistent practice and focus I find I can do that with minimal effort. If I relax, even for a day or so, I cannot, at least readily. "The decisive step toward God consists of letting go of all worries, that is, all fears and attachments. This step requires a foundation of complete and unreserved trust. We can only release our fears in proportion to how much our trust in God has grown, deepened, and ripened into an unshakable faith. The more we abide in living faith, the more we abide in divine love. And where this is, there is no room for fear."(Kopp)
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
The topic for today’s recovery meeting was loving action, particularly unconditional love and the fact that we frequently fall short of that ideal. I find that for me that, I can, and usually do, behave unconditionally, but that I also have brief thoughts that are very conditional or selfish. For example, when interacting with my wife I might have passing judgmental and self-centered thoughts which I do not act on. Another example is that when dealing with a young woman I might have momentary sexual thoughts which I do not act on. I find it difficult to admit even the passing thoughts but acknowledging them takes away their power and allows me to act unconditionally. According to the Thomas gospel Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
The other day, during my reading, I ran into a comment that Rufus Jones made several years back which applies to today, that "the democracy I want will treat every human person as a unique, sacred, and indispensable member of a spiritual whole, a whole which remains imperfect if even one of its "little ones" is missing; and its fundamental axiom will be the liberation and realization of the inner life which is potential in every member of the human race." I would also like that ideal and it is certainly possible, but we seem to be getting farther away from that ideal as a reality. Following the thoughts of past spiritual leaders, that ideal would be important for people to lead complete and fulfilled lives. I agree.
Monday, December 18, 2017
Today, I sent out another query e-mail to a literary agency in my continuing effort to gain a literary agent for my writing and I find that I am scared because, for some reason, I think this effort will succeed. I am scared that I am not up to the task it represents in terms of my own behavior. I have followed what I call the "Rainmaker Ideal" for years and found its impact on me and everyone I contact to be amazing. Irene Claremont deCastillejo originated the ideal and describes it well; "In those rare moments when all the opposites meet within a man, good and also evil, light and also darkness, spirit and also body, brain and also heart, masculine focused consciousness and at the same time feminine diffuse awareness, wisdom of maturity and childlike wonder; when all are allowed and none displaces any other in the mind of a man, then that man, though he may utter no word is in an attitude of prayer. Whether he knows it or not his own receptive allowing will affect all those around him; rain will fall on the parched fields, and tears will turn bitter grief to flowering sorrow, while stricken children dry their eyes and laugh." My book and writing reflect the rainmaker ideal as does my life in general and I don’t want to lose that. She expresses my concern nicely when she goes on to write "If we can resist the compulsive pressure of our logical thinking, without relinquishing our precious heritage of lucid thought; if we can hold our ground with our own hardly won ego personalities, yet bow our heads and say, 'Thy will not mine be done'; if we will but notice the reactions of our bodies; and heed the behaviour of the world towards us; if we can learn to listen to the voices within and to the whisper in the wind, with trust as well as with discrimination, we may be able to follow the road where the Rainmaker walks."
Sunday, December 17, 2017
This morning, rather than attending the Sandy Spring Quaker meeting we usually go to, we went to the Patapsco meeting which is half the size and they meet at a Presbyterian house adjacent to the church, rather than their own building. There was quite a difference in the way the meetings felt, though they are basically the same. The Patapsco meeting felt pure, clean and the worship was deep. The Sandy Spring meeting is a bit chaotic and the worship is struggling. The Sandy Spring meeting is larger, has its own building and numerous other possessions and distractions. I am reminded of what St. Augustine and numerous other spiritual leaders say "we cannot serve two masters. But a man does try to serve two masters if he seeks both the kingdom of God for the great good it is and those other temporal things." This is a warning I need to keep in mind. We lead a very simple life - and need to keep it that way.