March 17, 2013 – Friendship

I’ve been fortunate over the last week. Very fortunate, actually. I’ve made not one, but two substantive friends. One of which I’ve made as result of blogging here, thereby making the effort here very worthwhile, the other through a friend whom I’ve not seen in over two years. I don’t believe in fate driving things, or some other spiritual or cosmic force causing things to happen. I know I’m in the minority with that notion. Regardless, I’m very happy that our paths crossed by whatever chance or forces that may be. I’m truly fortunate to have met and befriended such a diverse number of people in my life and I’ve never once thought to myself that I’ve simply too many friends. 🙂

As far as faith and spirituality, as a side note, I’m not completely firm in that stance. The older I get, the more my opinions and views change on so many things. This is but one I’ll be willing to accept if things seem to point clearly in that direction.

Anyway, I hope for the very few that follow my blog or come to find it in some way that your weekend was good. Mine has been exceptional so far. It’s a shame that my wife has to work tonight. The only sounds I hear right now is the dog lightly snoring and the breeze in the trees. Once I get a few things taken care of, I think I’ll put some music on quietly, lay down and just listen to the breeze and remember some good times spent in the woods and forests back west.

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3 thoughts on “March 17, 2013 – Friendship”

  1. “As far as faith and spirituality, as a side note, I’m not completely firm in that stance. The older I get, the more my opinions and views change on so many things. This is but one I’ll be willing to accept if things seem to point clearly in that direction.”

    I find this to be very true.

    There is a quote I admire. I am not sure who said it first.

    “Religion is for people who are afraid of hell; spirituality is for people who’ve been there.”

    I am not looking for a soft place to land. I’m looking for things that reminds me to look for the truth within and the goodness I possess (even though I have had trouble believing it). Anything that points to my own Higher Self, which some have equated with the Buddha nature or the Holy Spirit of God, Atman, or soul.

    I am definitely for soulful experiencing the world and everything in it.

    There is something about quantum mechanics that shifted the entire perception of reality and in many ways, physics has given us the clear idea that we are all connected in ways that no mere human really can explain.

    I can’t get into it now, but there have been so many instances in my life where I consulted “The Universe” in times of distress, and found something come into my life that helped me form workable solution. Resources, a place to stay, a new job opportunity. Some would call this “luck” I call this the Universe’s response to my asking.

    It’s kind of like what Goethe’s said about “providence”. It may not refer to God, but this connection of all of us in the Universe.

    “Until one is committed there is hesitancy, a chance to draw back. Always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary proof – the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. This is, that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one, that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has power and magic in it, begin it now.”

    1. I agree with your take on things. I’m at somewhat the same point, or at least warming to the idea. I do believe however that all things are connected. It’s in a way I can’t articulate in words, but it seems very clear to me.

      “Well, my little girl, who will be nine next month, was an infant. I was watching the evening news. The Hutus and Tutus were returning from Rwanda to Uganda, and Peter Jennings was doing a piece on it. Now, Majeste was in my lap, my little girl. I’m eating the meal, and I’m watching these little kids with swollen bellies. And it looks like their skin is stretched across their little skeletal remains. Their hair is kind of red from malnutrition. The babies, they’ve got flies in the corners of their eyes and of their mouths. And they reach for their mother’s breast, and the mother’s breast looks like a little pencil hanging there. I mean, the baby’s reaching for the breast, there’s no milk.

      And I, with my little fat-faced baby, and a plate of food and a big-screen television. And I said God, I don’t know how you can call yourself a loving, sovereign God and allow these people to suffer this way and just suck them right into Hell, which is what was my assumption. And I heard a voice say within me, “So that’s what you think we’re doing?” And I remember I didn’t say yes or no. I said, “That’s what I’ve been taught.” “We’re sucking them into Hell?” I said, “Yes.” “And what would change that?” “Well, they need to get saved.” “And how would that happen?” “Well, somebody needs to preach the Gospel to them and get them saved.” “So if you think that’s the only way they’re going to get saved is for somebody to preach the Gospel to them and that we’re sucking them into Hell, why don’t you put your little baby down, turn your big-screen television off, push your plate away, get on the first thing smoking, and go get them saved?”

      And I remember I broke into tears. I was very upset. I remember thinking, God, don’t put that guilt on me. You know I’ve given you the best 40 years of my life. Besides, I can’t save the whole world. I’m doing the best I can. I can’t save this whole world. And that’s where I remember, and I believe it was God saying, “Precisely. You can’t save this world. That’s what we did. Do you think we’re sucking them into Hell? Can’t you see they’re already there? That’s Hell. You keep creating and inventing that for yourselves. I’m taking them into My presence.”

      And I thought, well, I’ll be. That’s weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. That’s where the pain comes from. We do that to each other, and we do it to ourselves. Then I saw emergency rooms. I saw divorce court. I saw jails and prisons. I saw how we create Hell on this planet for each other. And for the first time in my life, I did not see God as the inventor of Hell.” – Carlton Pearson (Excerpt from This American Life – Heretics – http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/304/transcript – I truly suggest listening to this to anyone, faithful or not).

      This is how I’ve felt in regards to the concept of hell for nearly my entire life.

      My lunch break is over, but I wanted to share this snippet with you. I hope the day finds you well.

      1. I will have to listen to the program and soon.

        We do create hell on earth for each other. I know this first hand. And, I’ve created some hell for others too. But I’m trying very hard to overcome that.

        My feelings though, on other cultures – they have a right to be left alone, and not be converted to anyone’s belief system. We shouldn’t help others in order to convert them either. We should help others because it’s the right thing to do. I like Buddhism, because it is more all-encompassing and compassionate and it does teach that we are connected. It also teaches ‘what goes around comes around’.

        A friend of mine and I would have long email discussions about how civilization has actually harmed humans. We’ve taken natural, healthy lifestyles and used technology to give ourselves a life of ease and comfort and have extended the lifespan of humans. However, they did so at a tremendous cost to the environment. That people or disease wipes out vast numbers of our population is sad, but as a biologist, I’ve always seen as necessary in some respects. The way the Western civilized world lives is not sustainable over the long haul. Mother Nature, with her extreme climate patterns of recent years, is certainly showing us that. We may have another dust bowl with the way things are going with the lack of rainfall. Last year, we already had crops affected by drought. 2013 is predicted to be worse.

        My husbands church DOES have a ministry team that goes to Rwanda for community development. I know, for the Haiti Earthquake, the church packed a lot of care packages and a teams are still sent over there for continued community development. There is another one in Ethiopia too.

        So, while there are many things I kind of disagree with in the church, I am glad to see my husband’s church taking a more active role in world problems. I really wanted to go to Haiti to help out…however, I could not leave my daughters to go do something like that. Maybe when they are older I will try to do something like that again, and involve them too.

        Still…I see more problems coming our way. I don’t have any answers to those. But I don’t take comfort in conventional religion. I take comfort in the fact that there have always been problems in the world and there are some who have left behind their wisdom. I learn from different sources. I keep having to learn some of the same lessons though. I wish I didn’t have to, but the same kinds of problems keep coming my way, so…yeah, obviously I’m not getting the message.

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