take stock & regroup

When I undertook this format for writing several years ago, it was with the intent to share my experience, strength, and hope in my personal quest for sanity and serenity as a recovering alcoholic.  I had no aspirations for a blog that would draw thousands of readers or ambitions for a post that would go viral.  And, I have not been disappointed.

The events of the past year have tilted my concerns and attentions to the political arena.  Certainly my personal opinions are valid, my voice needs to be counted, and my vote will continue to be registered, but, continual attention to a situation which is beyond my control exacts a toll on serenity and composure.

Today, I realized that common sense will ultimately prevail, that goodness and mercy will prevail, and that life will go on with or without my input.  But, I also came to understand that our culture ( Western, specifically American) is driven not by a sense of spirit, but rather by a sense of self.  We are a culture of egoism and self-absorption.  It is the only explanation for the politicians we have installed as leaders of the free world.

A wealthy friend, let’s call him Joe, is a minor millionaire who spends more money on a pair of shoes than I can spend on monthly groceries.   Joe has called our current President a pig.  He has questioned our President’s shady connections.  He is one of the voters who voted for the least worst of the worst candidates in decades.  Yet, Joe confided that the stock market is doing great, he is making money and therefore he is happy with the pig with shady connections who is currently posing as POTUS.  Another pair of designer shoes for Joe and maybe a Rolex are in his offing.

Yes, today has been a time of refection and redirect.  I know who I am in God’s world, I intend to strive on for a compassionate, caring, communing interaction with the world’s peoples, creatures, and environment.  This is the only wealth which is worth chasing, it is the eternity detailed in the chapters of the great scriptures, it is that which the greatest of God’s messengers have attested as truth; it is the way of Jesus, the path of Buddha and it is available to all who will subdue themselves to the greater power so simply presented in the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Oneness which we call God, or Allah, or Brahman will continue with or without us.  The universal, omnipotent power of the Oneness will do this…with or without us.  Our reason for being here on this earth in this life is to promote and assist the physical/spiritual welfare of our brothers and sisters, to cherish the creation and to protect the environment.  We are not here to promote our version of God, to defend our version of God, or in any way assist our version of God.  The one you name as God, the one I name as God is perfectly capable of handling those details.  Let’s appreciate the simplicity of our solidarity.

rainbow-solidarity

 

 

the Sword vs ego

Jesus of Nazareth was a man depicted by the early writers of Christian scripture as peaceful, compassionate, yet revolutionary.  His followers, calling themselves “the Way”, lived communally, healed the sick, and preached love.  In today’s society they would be  labeled a band of misfits and rabble-rousers, a gang of runaways and losers.  They did not fit into the religiosity of the Jews nor the submissiveness demanded by the Romans.

The book of Matthew attributes the following words to Jesus:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace , but a sword.”  Matthew 10:34

Those who translate the Bible literally as the inerrant and infallible word of God have great difficulty explaining this “violent” Jesus who is described in other verses as “the Prince of Peace.”

We can, however, better understand this verse when studied in the context of Jesus the spiritual essence of God rather than Jesus the man.  The stories, the parables, attributed to Jesus convey a veiled spiritual axiom which is the intended message to his followers.  Others, the Romans and the Jewish elite, could not grasp the meaning because they did not see this simple, Jewish peasant as a messenger of God .  This verse of Matthew in terms of the mystic’s experience does not propose a sword to inflict physical wrath but rather a figurative sword to slash away the restraints placed by human ego upon the brotherly love and compassion inherent in the Spirit.  It is a sword of soul liberation.

Also to be considered are the meanings lost or misinterpreted  in translations.  Consider the following:

The Book of Kells, a Celtic illuminated manuscript copy of the Gospels, uses the word gaudium, meaning joy rather than gladium which means sword, rendering the verse in translation: “I came not [only] to bring peace, but joy”.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_peace,_but_a_sword