Archive for August 2011


August 31, 2011

The bible says “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. This is usually misheard. Instead of offering a panacea, God calls us to confront an unwelcome reality; we are responsible for who we are and what we do. This is indeed the beginning of wisdom, but only the beginning.–me

One way to hear this is: We are to live our lives in fear of judgment, in fear of the fires of Hell. Our only hope is rigid obedience, doing exactly what the Bible tells us to do. I think that’s wrong, to me that reading is entirely hopeless without any possibility of joy. When God created creation he called it good. I think it still is. I do not see humanity as God’s only mistake, his only flawed creation.

So, fear is a starting point so long as it drives us toward accepting responsibility for who we ar and what we do. But, it is only the start; Paul tells us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. We are to transform ourselves into people who dwell in the Kingdom of Heaven which lies within us all. That is wisdom.


August 30, 2011

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.–Albert Einstein

Such is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It’s all about playing God, about developing godlike powers. It’s also about refusing to be limited by the world around us. We have the ability to limit our destructive power and often we do not. We have the ability to limit our population but we simply refuse. I don’t know whether we will survive either of these choices.

Of course it’s all Eve’s fault (because men wrote the story), or it’s the serpent’s fault for tempting us. And that’s the problem, we haven’t learned to take responsibility for our choices and actions. We’ll get what we get which may or my not be what we deserve.

Hope still exists for us, as do faith, love and wisdom. They are part of who we are even when we do not use them.


August 29, 2011

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen–Truman

Wow, what a quote to have pop up today. It’s so fitting in the context of my hospice class Saturday. I don’t really know how to respond directly so, I’m going to use “Active Imagination” for this one. Here goes:

Me: Lord, I am afraid.

I know, child.

Me: What shall I do?

That is for you to decide. You must choose who you will be in this life. I cannot, will not chose for you. That would damage you.

Me: I know.

So face your fear or run from it.

Me: I intend to face it but I’m not sure I’m up to the task.

If you are not, I will forgive you. The question is, will you be able to forgive yourself.

Me: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Do not hesitate to return to this place child. If you need help I will be here. And always remember, I will catch you if you fall; I will help you heal if you are wounded.


I’m labeling my side of the conversation “Me”. I’m not so sure about the other side, it seemed different from my usual inner voice, the one I’ve called Jesus. When I asked who was speaking the answer I received was “I am who I am”. And yeah, I’ve heard that “name” before in connection with Moses.

So, I’m going to leave the other side of the conversation unlabeled. That seems to be the most appropriate course.

For more on “Active Imagination” see:

    Inner Work

by Robert Johnson

For additional examples see:


August 28, 2011

No one life is inherently more valuable than any other.–unknown

It’s not that a human life is necessarily more valuable than some other form of life, I’m in no position to make such a judgement. But I am human and therefore I’m biased in favor of human life. So, for me no human life is any more valuable than another.

That is not to say, that all “men” are created equal. Clearly some are more intelligent than others, some are more motivated than others. Both intelligence and motivation count for something; what they do not count for is value. The problem comes when we equate value (being) with ability to contribute (doing).

See page: What Must I Do to Be Happy.


August 27, 2011

Someone’s boring me. I think it’s me.–Dylan Thomas

Yeah, it always is. I like to pretend that my feelings are somebody else’s fault, but I know better. Boredom is a feeling born of impatience, a feeling that I could or should be doing something better. That is, if I had the initiative/courage to actually do something better. But I don’t.

The thing is, failing to choose is a choice and I am ultimately responsible for my choices and my actions. I am responsible even when I choose not to choose, even if my action consists of inaction.


August 26, 2011

I am death and the deathless, all that is or is not.–(Krishna) Bahavagad Gita, S. Mitchell tr.

Words create boundaries, boundaries between what is and is not being described. We tend to treat these boundaries as real whether they are realistic or not. In this quote, Krishna observes that God is not limited by the artificial boundaries our words imply. Even saying “God is” creates a boundary in our minds, when in fact no boundary applies.

The Gifts of God

August 25, 2011

Many years ago I had a dream. In my dream, I was visited by, well Someone. If I were Hindu I might call her Kali. But thinking about her now, I’m inclined to think it was Kuan Yin the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion. She offered me two gifts, the gift of healing and the ability to travel anywhere at will. I prayed that these gifts be withheld; I said that I was afraid that I would become proud. Actually I was just afraid.

Turns out, the gifts of God can be buried in our dark sub-basement, but not refused. I’ve been trying to figure out how best to use these gifts ever since.