Saturday, January 13, 2018
I was reading the Washington Post today and encountered Trump’s comment about "shit hole" countries, anti-immigration comments and reductions in healthcare to the needy. Those comments are not very loving and a long way from the realization that we are all connected, but also very human and understandable. They bring to mind the comments of Benjamin Friedman "When material progress falters........people become more jealous of their status relative to others. Anti-immigrant sentiment typically increases, as does conflict between races and classes; concern for the poor tends to decline." as quoted in (Healing The Heart Of Democracy: The Courage To Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, by Parker J. Palmer). The question that comes to my mind is "where do we go from here".
Friday, January 12, 2018
This evening I was having a substantial amount of mouth pain and a small amount of back pain and I chose to be angry and self-pitying about how difficult my life is. I do have some challenges but what I wish to emphasize is that I chose to be angry and disgruntled since it felt like a useful release of those feelings. I wanted to be angry for a while. Having gone through that for a few hours, it is now gently raining outside and I can hear and feel the rain hitting the roof and the deck. I am at peace and life feels like a wondrous experience. I still have some pain but it doesn’t seem to matter much. As St. John of the cross said "He should learn to remain in God’s presence with a loving attention and a tranquil intellect, even though this seems like idleness to him. Soon he will find little by little that a divine calm and peace with a wondrous, sublime knowledge of God, enveloped in divine love, will be infused into his soul".
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Today I feel like I do not know which way to turn other than continuing on my path and to keep doing what I have been doing. In the words of Rufus Jones; "Our moral grandeur springs from, this capacity of ours to live beyond and to outrun anything which the world of experience gives us, and with this idealizing capacity — the power to look before and after — is linked an inevitable sense of obligation to act in conformity with what the soul sees ought to be." I have taken what the "world of experience" gave me (severe physical, emotional and spiritual limitations) and created a wonderful or ideal life, through spirituality. I now wish to be an inspiration to others, to be of service. I have not figured out how yet. I have some idea what "ought to be", but need to work on that.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
I take note that all around me and in everything I do there is the, often attractive, opportunity to choose a path of worldly pleasures, entertainment and distraction rather than the path of truth, spirituality and day to day reality. I choose not to refer to the worldly pleasures, entertainment and distractions as evil but they do, in many cases, take me away from my ideal goal or God. It is a daily choice that I need to be cognizant of in my chosen path of spiritual growth. "These chapters [1st 3 of Genesis] tell a story, and through that story is revealed the agonizing discovery of our human freedom— our freedom to choose between god and evil, and not only freedom to choose but the imperative laid upon us to choose the good daily, or inevitably fall into evil."
Monday, January 8, 2018
Several years ago I was diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration by a neurologist at Johns Hopkins hospital and because of that neurological disability and the related physical pain I was forced to look beyond my worldly experience and what the doctors were telling me. I turned to the power of unconditional love and additional development of my budding spirituality. I found pain to be a powerful motivator! I found the internal discipline to develop what I knew to be there an I am now extremely grateful. "Our moral grandeur springs from, this capacity of ours to live beyond and to outrun anything which the world of experience gives us, and with this idealizing capacity — the power to look before and after — is linked an inevitable sense of obligation to act in conformity with what the soul sees ought to be."(Rufus Jones)
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Today I have been contemplating the words of George Fox, the early Quaker, that ‘I saw the infinite love of God. I saw that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love which flowed over the ocean of darkness." There are many people who believe that we are now in a time of "darkness" others not. I don’t think it makes much long term difference, though there certainly is right now the possibility of heading into some unpleasant times. What has been dominating my thoughts is that the period of darkness spoken of by Fox is temporal, human caused and limited, while the light is from God and eternal. It is also clear to me that the darkness is needed if we humans are to grow toward the light. I find peace in the thoughts.