The Reality That Is Making Me More Liberal (theologically)

Crowd of People -- working with people

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People who don’t work with people day in and day out, in the trenches of their lives, can afford to philosophize about people, to make up abstractions, and talk about the rightness/wrongness of people in philosophical terms, holding people up to their abstractions and deciding who fits and who is lacking and how so.

But in all my years working with people, for example, I’ve never seen “homosexuality.” Never once.

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How to Get Off of Your Hamster-Wheel

hamster-wheel existence

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Meditation and the Hamster-Wheel

The only hope for humanity to get off the hamster-wheel of existence is for every person to take up the discipline of meditation.

It is the only pathway to move beyond human ego, constant want, and inability to see one’s self and one’s motives clearly. Without it, a person will always live half blind, no matter how well-intended their other spiritual pursuits may be.

Without it, there will always be only your side and my side. There will never be an end to the relentless back and forth we see modeled on a global scale between Israel and the Palestinians, and here at home between Republicans and Democrats, and more personally between spouses, partners, and friends.

Without it, there is no way to really fully forgive ego and intransigence in another person because without it you have not yet fully seen it in yourself. Through meditation, you come to see those qualities in yourself more and more clearly, and as this happens you learn to forgive it in yourself. As you see it more clearly in yourself, you see it more clearly in others, and find it easy to forgive it in them as well.

But every person must come individually to this conclusion.

It is deep and substantial work, and no one can or should force it on another. It must be taken up freely by every individual, as each person realizes they are their own worst enemy, and that the duplicity in themselves is perfectly reflected in the duplicity we see in politics and diplomacy at every level, and in all of our personal relationships.

That is the good news.

And that is the bad news.

It really is as simple as that.

But it is not easy at all.

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What does the world really need?

I heard a good, well-meaning person recently say that prayer is the only thing keeping things in the world from being worse than they are. I disagree with this. Whether or not such people are praying or not, God works through human beings, and it is only as each human being works from a place of peace and gentleness (aka, “God”), combined with education about the complex realities around us, that we can be the channels of God’s healing that are needed in the world.

Shouting, blaming, continual conflict and confrontation, put-downs, hostility, fear-mongering — these methods used as techniques in our political process, in large part, ARE the problem. They come out of human fear, out of anxiety, out of a sense that if the world isn’t as I want it to be, I can’t be okay.

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Your Truth and My Truth

Look at others and their truth.  Do you like a part of their truth?  Then put it in your world and make it part of your truth.  Don’t like their truth?  Say to yourself, “It’s okay for them but I want something different.”

The point here is to live YOUR life and YOUR truth the way you want to so that you wake up excited and ready for each moment of every day.

There is no right and wrong here.  YOUR truth is just as real as someone else’s truth.  We are all unique to what we desire….

Source: Beth and Lee’s Blog

Vacuous: 1. Devoid of matter; empty. 2. a. Lacking intelligence; stupid. b. Devoid of substance or meaning; inane: a vacuous comment.

The idea above is vacuous, and my main intention here really is definition 2b, although I would say as gently as possible that it fits 1 and 2a as well.  One of the strangest, goofiest, and most backward ideas that is currently accepted in mainstream thought is the notion that you can have one truth and I can have another truth, and yet our two different truths can both be true, even if they completely contradict each other.  Of course in such a strange way of thinking, that obviously false idea can be true by the simple act of my declaring it so!  The problem is that truth itself doesn’t work that way.

“There is no right and wrong here.”

If what you are talking about is actually truth, then there most certainly is a right and wrong.  By definition, truth is about what is right and what is wrong.  If I say, “I have wings and can fly to the moon,” that statement is false because the reality is that I do not have wings and therefore cannot fly anything except maybe a kite.  If I say, “I have three daughters, age 16, 14, and 13, that statement is true because the reality is that there are three girls in this world of that age, who have my last name, and half of my chromosomes.  Falsehood is that which is wrong (does not align with reality), and truth is that which is right (aligns with reality).  If I say I have wings, that is false and I am wrong.  But I am quite right in saying I have three girls – one might even say I am being truthful in making the claim.  So if one is actually talking about truth, one is by definition talking about right and wrong.

If one is not talking about right and wrong, one is not talking about truth but something entirely different, which I suspect is what Beth and Lee are actually doing in their post.

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More About Truth

G.K. Chesterton, in his book “Heretics” says we are like people standing under a street lamp who begin to demand, each for his own reason, that the lamp be torn down.  A monk in the crowd suggests that before destruction commences, there should first be a discussion about the value and purpose of light.  But no discussion ensues. The people simply rip the lamp from the pavement.  Upon doing so, they congratulate themselves smugly.  Then they realize they cannot see.  They are in utter darkness.  They do not know how to get home, and cannot find those with whom they came.  They begin wildly clawing in the dark, which turns to panic, and comes to blows – people striking out in the dark, not knowing who they are striking.  Eventually everyone is tired from fighting and it dawns on them one at a time that a bit of light might be useful for various reasons (values and purposes).  Only now the lamp is torn down, and what they might have discussed before under the light, they must now discuss in the dark.

It is not just intellectuals who are interested in truth.  Normal, everyday, non-intellectual people live their lives in the pursuit of truth.  About a thousand times a year, such people come to me and ask the question, “What should I do?”  People who want to know what they should do are people who are seeking truth.  The “right” course of action is the one that aligns with the reality of the situation.  If my daughter has a horrible toothache, and I choose to take her to buy peanut brittle instead of to the dentist, I have made a wrong choice – one that contradicts the reality of the situation.  In light of my daughter’s toothache, what is the right thing to do – what is the thing that corresponds with reality as it actually IS?  Going to the dentist.  Truth is the thing that aligns with reality.

Truth matters to you in the way you live your life moment by moment.  There are realities in your marriage, realities at your job, realities in your personal and emotional life.  Those realities must be understood so that you can make accurate choices based on them.

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