The Price of Being Right

 

When I think about my beliefs on how society functions and what I would like our world to look like, I get this wish to make it happen. Visionaries in our society have often been glorified and sometimes rightfully so. I think of Martin Luther and Mother Teresa who have freed many from the bondage of religious beliefs. There is a balancing act. Churches exist to help the needy. To give strength to the weak. To feed the poor. Somewhere in the process, they become the cripplers, the takers, and the tyrants.

I was speculating recently about my perfect society. The one where we all live together in harmony. The one where goods are shared and all are fed. All are honored. Can’t we all just get along?

Mother-Teresa-collage

I was curious about my hopes for society, how they compared to earlier beliefs and social systems. Marxism was one that stood out to me. And that is disappointing to me since the results were nowhere near what I had dreamed. The dreamer in me, that blonde-haired idealist, wants peace, but so much more. I want children to grow up strong and whole. I want parents to have what they need to raise those children. I want teachers to have tools to teach and children to have the access to learning. I love growth.

It’s not peace I want, not mere contentment. It’s boundless joy and ecstasy for me. -Kugell

Before we all start singing ‘round the campfire and holding hands, fan away the smoke from your eyes. Here is my issue. Yes, I want these things. What I don’t want is another Stalin or Jim Jones. So for a reality check, I have to take a step back. What makes a monster like Hitler? What causes a leader to brainwash his followers? They are RIGHT! They have The Truth.

Leaders take note. If you are headstrong and charismatic, people will follow, regardless of any truth or you even having the people’s best interest in mind. I find this sad. There are many helpful people in our world. These kind folks don’t have the charisma of David Koresh. There are hordes of people running to listen en masse.  Does this devalue their truth? Absolutely not. I think our issue is more that we want a Messiah. We need our white horse riding, strong-armed warrior. We want and crave a leader who is elegant and fierce. And why?

Why do we crave a hero? For the same reason, social systems such as Marxism swerve away from their origin. Social Equality is an important idea. And there are those who could work with each other and make a village style society work. On the other side of that argument, others are afraid without guidance. Not everyone has grown up. Many still believe that we need a church or a government instructing us, or else we would end up in chaos and violence.  Possibly, they are right.

Tweet: The price of being right is tyranny. It’s Jim Jones and his mass suicides. Truth is never forceful.

I don’t wish to push my ideal society or my ideal lifestyle on anyone. The price of being right is tyranny. It’s Jim Jones and his mass suicides. Truth is never forceful. Love is kind and patient. It doesn’t need to use charismatic persuasion to make you believe. And it refuses to allow others to follow blindly.

If there is no savior what will we do? The end of the world didn’t come. The pot of gold was not where we thought it should be. Now we stumble along until enough people wake up. When enough wake-up and realize that maybe it’s time we take care of ourselves, then it’s possible we can discuss this around the table. Then we can treat each other with the respect we all deserve. We are all equals. No one man or one government is RIGHT. Not even ourselves. It’s very tempting to believe that an angel on high gave us the answers, but what made us so special? Isn’t that the beginning of madness? My next question would be, why do I need to feel that special?

The Path That Leads to Nowhere

Statue representing Siddhartha Gautama.I am a seeker. A learner. A teacher and a follower. Although I’m only proficient in a few, I have attempted to become familiar with many paths. There’s the path of the Buddha. The path of Kabbalah. The Way, Jesuit, Gnostic, the Serpent’s path, Tao, Zoroastrian and the list goes on. There are enough paths that a person could get really lost. So far I haven’t, well at least I don’t think so. Some would say that I am. I wish I could say if I am lost then the world is my home. I’m not quite that far yet. Probably never will be. The truth is that some of these paths or religions are so similar that an outsider couldn’t tell them apart. But I guess that’s the normal thing isn’t it? Until you get to know a group it’s difficult to see the distinctions.

What strikes me at this moment is the distraction that these paths and their own nuances offer. They keep us busy. It’s similar to the beads on the rosary which a Catholic will use as a prayer connection. It serves its purpose to keep your mind on your prayer. It reminds you that you are not merely a man or a woman standing alone, but you have access to a higher power. And that’s where these things should stop.

The simplest form of the Sun Cross, often call...

A woman looks in her closet for clothing to wear. She decides what to wear based on what type of day she will have. If there is a lot of walking, she will wear comfortable shoes. If she is appearing before important people, she may want to dress more dazzling. At one time, we did not choose our path, it was chosen for us like our clothing was and even our spouses. This is the time of choice. Independence. Freethinking. We can choose our path as well as our clothing. We are not limited to corsets and parasols. No more breaking and binding of our feet to make us appealing. The proper husband or wife is not picked out at birth for us.

It’s also a time of uncertainty as well as opportunity. Those two go hand in hand. The same with the fear of the unknown and it’s counterpart, paralysis.

 

When I look at some of these paths, I can feel the devotion. It’s like running my hands over a soft cashmere shawl. Or the feel of a silk scarf around my neck. The scent of a rose petal. The kiss of a child. The love of the pursuer and the hug of a friend. Comfort. Home. We belong and find rest.

Along with this new frontier we are all on, is the desert or wilderness in front of us. The unknown. The “not home” or otherness of it can make us wish to hide. But we left it for a reason. Do you remember? Stifled? Mine didn’t fit anymore. Do I still believe? Yes and no. Part of my beliefs I am even more adamant about, but others are added in at the last minute and cluttered up the purity.

If you want a path to follow, there are many out there. If you want a life to live, you have one. No one needs to give you a map for it. Walk. You don’t need to know where to go. Walk. Each step you take is your path. Your path is enough. So you left your home, keep going until you want to stop. Have you read the story of Siddhartha? Siddhartha_(novel) It’s a story told of original Buddha. He left his home and his family and his friends. He didn’t know where he was going, but he had the need to go.

Green Light

There’s a phrase I’ve heard often, If you meet the Buddha on the way down the mountain, kill him. http://www.dailybuddhism.com/archives/670

Whatever your conception is of the Buddha, it’s WRONG! Now kill that image and keep practicing. This all has to do with the idea that reality is an impermanent illusion. If you believe that you have a correct image of what it means to be Enlightened, then you need to throw out (kill) that image and keep meditating.

Most people have heard the first chapter of the Tao, “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” (So if you think you see the real Tao, kill it and move on).

Since we are away from our home, let’s not start a religion of Not Being Religious. We are free of prescribed paths. And since we are free, we need to stay free. I hope that I never trash another’s rosary beads.  http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/8-9.htm

But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.There could easily be a day that I will need them.

http://bible.cc/romans/14-1.htm

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

Change It Up!

So you’re tired of telling yourself that you never win anything. That you’re always the last to know. The loser. Stupid. Have to get everything the hard way. If you get any extra money, something will break. Or any other hysterically depressing life script. It’s not a laughing matter at all. Things can change for you. If you want them to.

Why are you jealous? This is a great navigation tool. We get jealous, irritated and mean if someone gets an opportunity that we wanted.

Someone’s bragging about their perfect marriage? An opportunity to go back to school? A moment in the limelight? Yep, we all know the feeling. I get really irritated when I hear that some celebrity has published a book. And it’s a children’s book. I pull out my collapsible podium and go at them. How dare they? What qualifies them to write anything? They are a celebrity, they didn’t need introduced to anyone. No technique or craft skills. That’s not fair! Probably never read a book themselves. Yeah, I hope you like the ugly side of me in a jealous fit. Like it or not, we all take a trip down that road. Your sister, your sister-in-law or just an acquaintance has a baby and their baby is absolutely adorable. Cough, cough, gag.

Tell your new story

I know that we can’t control what happens in other people’s lives. We do have some ability to work with own life and outlook. If the story of a friend’s vacation makes you want to punch her, take a hint. Ding ding ding. Are you wanting a vacation? Do you feel you deserve one? Or do you feel you’ve worked harder than her and didn’t take one? Investigate your envy. Develop a method of investigating your irritations instead of ignoring them. The “Not Fair” flashing alert sign comes on for me at times. And now with the anger comes the question, “what am I missing in this?” Am I wanting what they have? Or the ability to have a choice?

Old depressing life script: I have to work hard to get anywhere. I would get extremely upset when I notice someone get a promotion or the limelight when I felt they didn’t work hard enough for it. She only got the job because her family was friends with the boss. And I can roll around in the pain and anger or I can get up and live my life.  So I chose to live my life. I decided to change my story.

New life script: I live my life, my path. Sometimes I work hard and sometimes helpful people give me hand up.

Old: I need to catch up. I need to go faster or I will get left behind.

New: I am going at my speed. Life has different speeds. This is not a timed race and there’s no finish line.

Find proof in your memories of your new story. You’ve done the hardest part. You’ve identified what makes you jealous. You’ve turned it into a new story, the story you want to develop inside of you. Now let’s give it some life. Find a memory that supports your new story. For example, my new story, sometimes I work hard and sometimes helpful people give me a hand up. Well I’ve been given opportunities that others didn’t get because they knew I would do the job. They saw my hard work. I earned the opportunity, you might say, by being a steadfast person. I know the people. I know in life, because I put one foot in front of the other even on days that I felt like sitting at home. This does not mean that I’m always perfect or deserving. I am certainly not wanting to gloat because, I am extremely thankful for all the help and votes of confidence. I am thankful for the pilgrim who founded my country with a document stating our rights to freedom. I am thankful for pioneers who braved harsh climates and loss and death. It gives me courage to keep trying even when the future looks bleak. I am thankful for women who demanded equal rights.

I am thankful for every challenging and difficult woman or man who refused to sit down and shut up when their rights were challenged.

This is what I am talking about. I am blessed. I am blessed with choices and opportunities. My parents gave me a solid foundation of love and helped me grow. the list goes on. I am building on a foundation laid by generations of people before me. Champions. I live my life, my path. Sometimes I work hard and sometimes helpful people give me hand up.

Energy flows to where your attention goes. If you are driving in the fog and it’s difficult to see, maybe all you can see is the car in front of you. That’s your focus, your guide. Otherwise you may drift off the road. Your life-script is your guidance. When the times are tough you have to remember that this doesn’t last forever. That a new day will come. When someone else gets the job you wanted, you have to remember that you are just as blessed. Maybe they did get it because their boss favors them. But tomorrow is a new day. That boss may not last another week, you don’t know. I’ve seen it happen. That sure thing can fall through and what do they have to fall back on? What do you have to fall back on? You have your life story.

Find your jealous flashing lights. Turn the story around. Build the story with examples you highlight from your memories. Keep doing this all of your life. I guarantee you will not regret it. When you are in your olden years you can say, I lived my life and I am blessed.

One Foot in Front of the Other

English: Fog in Wayanad

No one looks at the middle. We see beginnings and we see endings, but it’s the stuff in the middle that really counts. Without the actual journey there would be no adventure. It’s the best part of the story. Yes, the warrior’s calling is exciting. The moment of realization, that mission to complete, gives you a burst of energy. And the promise of the happily ever after keeps us going. But we all know where the true tale is. The place in the middle. It reminds me of the classical poem, Ithaca.

When you start on your journey to Ithaca,
then pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
-K. P. Kavafis (C. P. Cavafy), translation by Rae Dalven

I have the bad habit of forgetting about the journey and just remembering the result that I want. Even thinking that I’ve messed up, when really I just need to keep walking. It’s difficult to recognize the path when you’re travelling. Obviously you know where you started. You gathered your supplies, you’ve gassed up your car, bought new tires and began your journey. You have your maps and your GPS programmed, so you know your destination. What about the middle? Stop at a rest stop? How do you know you’re still on the right path? That’s the moment I often panic. There’s a blank, somewhat boring, unscripted moment that comes after I’ve started. I look around at the scenery and don’t recognize any of it. Probably because I was sidetracked. I was off smelling the flowers and petting the dogs. I forget to set up mile markers for myself. Rest stops. Ah, but the flowers and the dogs are all part of my journey.

If the journey is the thing to enjoy, what would that look like? It’s not all about the destination. It’s not just about the rest stops and the progress markers. What does enjoying the journey look like? I do think I’ve missed the point in life. Life is in the living they say. If that’s the truth, then I want to know what it is that I’m missing. When you have a baby you certainly aren’t thinking about their end game. You enjoy the baby with the soft skin and chubby cheeks. Yes, there are dirty diapers, but we usually don’t dwell on them. We enjoy the process of them growing up. Is that the way it should look?

What about the Zen Buddhist way of thinking? They talk about experiencing the whole process. Not just the good but also the “bad.” Actually they teach not to label any of the experience. Don’t label anything as either good, bad, pretty or ugly. That’s difficult, but I think I understand. While a dirty diaper is unpleasant, it isn’t a bad thing that’s avoided. It’s part of a healthy digestive system. Sickness is unpleasant but it’s a part of life. An experience as much as childbirth.

So my journey, if it is long or slow, short or fast, will be my journey. It may include writing, flowers and petting puppies. If we catch up on the other side, when we finally make it out of this dark forest, I’ll listen to your journey and you can listen to mine. Good times! Check out I Walk.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Do you ever wonder about your own weirdness? Those quirky things we do, like the way we cheer for the underdog. Or we want the crook caught. I wonder about mine. I know I’m not alone with my quirks. So I thought I’d mention some that I’ve noticed in myself as well as others. Our quirks in common.

PUPPIES 50% OFF

Why do women try to fix people? Men especially. We see a disheveled boy/man and we want to take him in. Just like a lost puppy. And then we feel disappointment when he pees on our carpet. It’s a crazy world out there. The sooner we realize our tendencies, the healthier we are. If we don’t want the puppy chewing up our new red shoes, maybe we shouldn’t let him follow us home. I guess that would be the wiser thing to do. But we enjoy the cuddly phase. And that puppy smell is intoxicating. The moment we find him all splattered with mud, we pick him up and carry him home. We bandage him and hold him tight. Our love rescues him. Once again we see our worth. We show our strength. Our love conquers all. But maybe that’s an oversimplification. Not all women have this complex.

We all love stories. The sadder, the more outrageous, the better. We can listen to someone’s ailment or how they feel mistreated by their spouse. We get involved in the other’s life and story. We feel their pain and their joy. What makes us addicted to sad stories so much that we’ll get just as outraged at another’s injustice even if we just saw it on the news? Do you find it silly? I find it draining.

Intelligence impresses me and I often mistake the spouting of facts as intelligence. Most of us idolize people who comb their hair just right or say clever things. And we know it’s all fake. We get advice from people just because they made a TV show. Are we that lost? It’s difficult to believe that the Dugger family know any more about child rearing than any other parent. Or the Kardashians can give me beauty advice.

puppy

The only way I see to stop repeating the same tendencies is to recognize that they aren’t working. I could resist kissing on the cute puppy. NO CUTE PUPPIES. I could refuse to acknowledge my attraction to people who need help, but resistance will just create a bigger need inside. It is better if can take a good look at my attraction. See it for what it is. It’s my craving. Whether I give in or not, is not important. I think it’s worse to walk into a relationship blinded by your romanticism and think it’s the guy of your dreams, the one who will save you from your despair and loneliness. And when you wake up and see his attention wandering or like the puppy, peeing on the carpet, you act surprised. He was that person from the start. You just put a hero costume on him, because you needed him to play the hero for you.

It’s difficult to remember these things in the middle of an enchantment. It’s so easy to get caught up in the thrill of dating and weddings. There’s so much energy. So much excitement. Sparkle and shine. And all the friends and family encouraging you,  keep you from noticing the flaws. Cracks in the wall. Chipping paint. Mold growing along the baseboard. We’ve found our perfect man. Our hero is a fixer-upper. How long until we wear out  from constantly repairing the leaking ceiling?

Re-framing

English: through the frame

A while back, out by the communal dumpster, I found a big wooden frame. A heavy one. The gilding had mostly worn off. It was perfect! I took that baby in and cleaned, primed, and painted it white. Semi-gloss white. I put some wallpaper as an insert and hung it up in my dining room. Beautiful. I love finds. I love to dumpster dive. Well mostly only when I have a great find. I absolutely adore finding that long forgotten treasure. The item that someone threw away not knowing how perfect it was.

Re-framing your life, becoming Cinderella for yourself, what is it? There’s a moment in all of our lives that we stop and wonder, how did I get here? We live our lives without a plan. We are born and we die. The life in between just seems to happen. School, marriage, family, illness, work. The boy who starts out washing cars and ends up with a chain of auto detailing shops didn’t become the speed racer he dreamed of as a child, but he’s not the failure he thinks he is. He just needs to take another look.

Frames

Why do you need to update? Do you really need to change? Aren’t you just fine as you are? Yes. Absolutely. That’s the deal. You don’t change. It’s you changing how you feel about you. That picture frame didn’t change. It just received a whole new attitude.  Just a coat of paint. There was no restructuring. Someone had given up on it and I brought it in because I saw what it was. A beautiful piece of craftsmanship. In the same way, you can look at yourself and know that you are too.

Where to begin? Starting over? Are you depressed? Hate your life? Or maybe you are in the middle of changes which are frightening. Life is step by step. It’s also taking another look. Get a new perspective. Open the curtains and let in the sun. Using metaphors and analogies is a great way to re-frame, re-picture, recapture what was lost. What went wrong that you wanted to go right? Take the part of yourself, the energy that you feel you wasted and rebuild yourself. Do something that is not requiring anyone else to show up.

What can I re-frame? Your job, your house, your friends, your life, your family. Maybe you aren’t the typical household or the lovey-dovey family. So? Find the good stuff of your family and cherish it. Make a collage of the aspects of your family that you adore. The trip to the mall with your kids? The double-dip ice cream cone your son had to have. The outrageous science project your daughter and her dad made together. This is your life. Cherish it.

Where the Wild Blooms Begin

English: Tree in winter. Part of a sequence of...

Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.

They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.

Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.

Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.

Lies, Illusion, Truth

I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.

When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.

It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.

Behind the Picture Screen

A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.

I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.

Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.

Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.

Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.

What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.

Life expresses itself

When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.

I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.

800px-klimt_tree_of_life_1909It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.

The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.

It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.

Assume At Your Own Risk


Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

Assumptions are everywhere. Like flies over roadkill. And they are sneaky. You don’t realize one is staring you in the face until something doesn’t work the way you expected. Something is out-of-place. But it’s not really. Your assumption, your assumed script, is wrong.
I think of the little old couple you see walking hand in hand in the park. We are quick to assume. He hands her an ice cream cone and we melt. Isn’t that sweet.  Until you learn the truth, that possibly they just met in person after online dating, you will see what you want to see. It’s like those pictures that shift. At first glance you see the face of the crone but take another look and you see a senorita dancing.

The first magazine article I ever sold was about something I had seen and had to do a double take. An older man walking his dog. A little black dog. I was driving to the library in the small town that I lived in and there on Main street, suddenly the dog ran up a tree. The man was still holding the handle of the leash and my mouth dropped open. I slowed down. Not a dog at all. It was a black cat. The man was walking his cat. Please remember, this is small town america, 15+ years ago. I had to tell someone. I was so flabbergasted when I went into the library, I hurried in to speak with the librarian who told me quite a story.

They say when you are piloting a ship, you must stick to your coordinates. If you are off just a pinch, you’ll miss your destination completely. Won’t even come close. Pilots of large aircraft don’t fly by whim. Charts, gauges, coordinates and lots of practice. They don’t assume.

First Ice Cream Cone

We know how easy it is to be influenced in our perceptions, although we’d like to believe that ours are not so easily swayed as the common person’s. Detectives say you can ask different people who saw the same crime or accident and get completely different stories. I can see how that would be possible. According to a podcast on Radiolab, our perceptions are malleable in the beginning. After retelling your version of the story a few times, then it becomes a more solid memory. So if you were at the scene of an accident and suddenly someone runs up to you and asks if you saw the red Camaro that drove off, the image of the red Camaro would be formed into your memory. So cleverly insinuated into the memory that you think it was something you saw with your own eyes. But you didn’t.  There never was a red Camaro.

Expectations and perceptions develop throughout our lives. Our family and teachers help form our view of life, along with events that happen in our childhood. What we expect, what we believe can happen, becomes ingrained. Somewhere back in my history I developed a fear of stop lights and crossroads. I’m not sure when, how, or why it developed, but I did see it in action one morning. While stopped at an intersection, on a busy street, I was waiting for the light to turn green. The lane to my right was a turning lane and it was empty. There were no cars behind me. I keep watch (training) while I’m sitting still. What am i watching for? Collisions. Impending doom. I feel it and I’m glancing in all my mirrors and watching to my left and my right. I’m not sure what I’d do because I’m stuck at that spot until the light turns. I glanced one more time in my rear view mirror and noticed a delivery truck coming up behind me, but he seemed to be slowing. I’m still watching all around me, so my eyes left him to check to the left. Then I heard the sound of a rushing vehicle. At that moment, I there was a collision of false perception and paranoid expectations. The sound of a rushing vehicle coupled with the truck behind me slammed my panic button and took my breath away. I just knew I was going to be rear ended and smashed into the car in front of me. But nothing happened. The panic turned into a question. What just happened? I looked behind me and there was the truck with plenty of space between us. The reality struck me. my aha moment. A car had sped into the right lane. A non-event that took my breath away. What am I? A trembly old woman? Seriously, I felt 10 degrees of silly.

Rear View Mirror

If you look at a situation, a freeze framed moment, without putting it in perspective you will most likely read it wrong. For example, if you have a person who owns a  broken down old house, what are your assumptions? It could be a person who is down on his luck. Job loss, medical bills, termites, basically can’t afford to pay for repairs. Or it could be someone who purchased the house to fix it up. Are they waiting for a loan to come through and then they will repair the roof and replace the broken windows? A snatch of a photo gives you such a brief glimpse. How would you know? Then again, you are still predicting the future with either one of those scenarios. The man who lost his job may find one again. It’s possible that even tomorrow he could receive a big bonus or help from a friend. The one waiting for the loan may get hit by litigation or they could have a string of bad luck. Ever see the movie Money Pit?

Assumptions and future forecasting is a precarious slope. You may end up being right and glow in the glory of your own wisdom. But then, you could be completely wrong. I still say God has a sense of humor. Sometimes it borders on the ridiculous.

Which is why I hate stereotyping and racial profiling. Also I’m blonde…and I’ve met just as many ditsy brunettes and redheads with IQ’s lower than mine. So assume at your own risk.

It’s not about the colors.

 

When I was around ten years old, I was very concerned about Hell. I tried to do right and not wrong. I was careful not to lie or to steal. I wanted to do good things because I truly believed in Hell and God and punishment. I believed there was a definite right and wrong.

Like many in America, I believed that only Christians went to heaven. My faith was, even more, extreme. We also taught that only those of our belief, Pentecostal, followed the true path. Certainly not Catholics or Mormons or any other faiths. Baptists and Methodists were questionable. And that scared me. How did I know which belief was right?

There were definite steps my religion taught me that insured salvation.

  1. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
  2. Confess your sins.
  3. Believe that Jesus was the only begotten son of god. And he grafted us into his vine.

This was my only way of confirmation. This took away any rights I might have of interpreting for myself, any twinge or spark I might feel is true. My thought, my belief was always wrong if it didn’t meet the 3 requirements above. So there is a right and a wrong at that point.
This lead the 10-year-old me to wonder, what if? What if my religion got it wrong? What if we were the religion that was incorrect? How would I know? Mormons believe their faith just as strongly as I do mine.
If you think any religion is right or wrong, you are entirely missing the point. The Pentecostal aren’t right or wrong with their extreme exclusiveness and certainly the Unitarians aren’t right or wrong with their extreme inclusiveness.

You may come to think of all the colors of the rainbow are good. They are all okay. We are all okay. But that’s not the point. It’s not about the colors of the rainbow. It’s about the rainbow. It’s also about what makes the rainbow. We perceive the colors, but they are not colors. They are light, refracted through the water particles and the dust in the sky that is light pulsing into your eyeball, and your brain interprets it as color. Keywords are perceived and interprets. When you get that, take another look around you. At ten years of age, I had no understanding. I was 10. A child has no skill to interpret an act committed by someone. I translated others intentions and put them into boxes that were provided by those around me. Right, Wrong, Saved, Damned.

It’s not about the colors. Red is right, and Green is wrong. It’s not that all the colors of the rainbow are all right or all wrong. Inclusive or exclusive. We are all one light shining through the water particles, creating the beautiful rainbow. It’s all about the light.

There is No Savior Coming

There is no savior coming. The world didn’t end and the planet is still spinning. We waited. We went to our rooftops and waited. Patiently. We looked up and knew our salvation would come. Our justice. Our time of redemption. Our toils and hard days are over. Finally there was a reward for our long labor. Surely, it wasn’t in vain.

Ha! Nothing happened. But what does that mean? No Santa coming down the chimney? No Peter Rabbit? What about Jesus? Or the Saints? Surely someone is coming. They do know we are looking for them, right?

Why has there been no savior? Where is our hero? Better yet, have you looked at ourselves lately? We are acting like children. We are acting like teenagers whose parents are out-of-town. We have the house to ourselves and we’ve wrecked it.

I was thinking about this in the light of Santa and childhood stories and it dawned on me. What if no saviors are coming because they want us to grow up? It’s entirely possible that if there are gods watching over us, they are using tough love. When the fridge is empty, we might have to go to the store ourselves. We might have to wash a dish or mow our own lawn. Jiminy Cricket! Has it come to that?

Yikes! God can’t be that cruel could he? This is all speculation on my part. I don’t have a divine link or anything mystical like that. I do know child development. When a child is on the floor throwing a tantrum, the most effective method is to walk away. We want, as parents, to grab the child and stop the noise, but that’s not the best way for a child to learn. People learn experimentally. Or, in the words of science, empirically. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Empirical

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We learn by trying. We learn by failing. We learn not to stick our hands on the hot stove because we have done it. Ouch. Hot. Parents that protect their children from failure aren’t really helping them at all. They are crippling them. Children allowed to explore and grow can make better decisions. They aren’t innocent but they are wise. There is a sense of fullness to their energy.

If I were a god, if I were in charge, I would wait. I would not jump in to rescue us. We have not come to the fullness of our learning. We need to experience our own strength. This is not to show us how inept we are or how much we need a big strong god. This is how you grow a strong person. You let them make choices. You let them try.

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