Showing posts from April, 2009

Calm down

When thoughts spin out of control, there's relief in turning to the inner observer, the Self inside that's removed from the outer world and quiets us down if only we allow it room in our lives. This Self is easily available in the middle of the night when I wake up, as I often do, but only if I've established the habit of going to it during the day. I hope every reader establishes a schedule of spending quiet time with this wiser Self. How and when you spend the time is up to you. A mantra doesn't work for me. I've tried dozens of formulas for quieting my thoughts and always come back to realizing that I have my own way of doing it. For me it's usually reading—not just anything for escape but inspirational words—and I continue to read until something leaps out, grabs me and tugs me into the quiet zone. Every individual has to find her own way—some in exercise, some in church, some in music, some in transcendental meditation, some in traditional prayer—but fi

Dogs, literalism & synchronicity

I’m speaking to a high school class this afternoon, and fortuitously—I’ll say it was synchronistic ( Click on paranormal posts to read about synchronicity )—someone sent me this wonderfully comic debate on the marquees of two churches facing each other on a busy street in Colorado. It’s a perfect illustration of religious literalism. I’ll see if the high school students get it. All dogs go to heaven Only humans go to heaven Read the Bible God loves all his creation Dogs included Dogs don’t have souls This is not open for debate Catholic dogs go to heaven Presbyterian dogs can talk to their pastor Converting to Catholicism does not magically grant your dog a soul Free dog souls with conversion Dogs are animals There aren’t any rocks in heaven either All rocks go to heaven Dogs & literalism I was happy to see that the Catholic one showed a whimsical appreciation of literalism and had fun with it—dogs and rocks go to heaven. One email responder, a fully alive Catholic, wrote

Holy Mother

“ Although the symbol of Christ is withering in power, it is still the most evocative myth of Western culture .” God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky There’s no doubt that Jesus Christ still serves as the dominant sacred symbol for Americans. Mohammed and the Buddha lag far behind. Before technological progress brought foreign cultures to us, the only mental frame conceivable—the Spirit world “everybody” imagined—had a Garden of Eden, Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, the cross, heaven and hell, Resurrection, Trinity, and an end of the world with Second Coming. These filled the Western mind and satisfied most people spiritually for many centuries. With the coming of pluralism comes the realization that one exclusive image for the holy mystery beyond human comprehension amounts to idolatry. The only way to avoid it is to mix the images. To that end, I provoke you with alternatives here. • The god Attis died on March 22 and rose on March 25. Observance of his dying and rising, like Christian rites,

Taming testosterone

Since the emergence of agrarian societies—the shift from hoe to plow—we have seen “the single, great, enduring, and nightmarish task of subsequent civilization: the taming of testosterone. Fuck it or kill it . . .” Ken Wilber One of my volunteer activities is helping to plan an annual Gather The Women program. This event is local, but GTW is international, with members working at the UN and in other countries to enlarge awareness of what are called women’s issues and are essentially human rights issues. In the words of Marilyn Nyborg, whom I call the mother of GTW, We gather women together for the opportunity to connect and support one another, to inspire and be inspired. . . We invite women to bond in sisterhood, to end competition and mistrust. We invite women to create a new model of feminine leadership that will bring our gifts to the world in full partnership with men and not hiding behind a man’s way of doing business. Our St. Cloud area event takes place at St. Ben’s. The prio