Friday, May 31, 2013

Love Our Land or Leave

"Government Angreizi aur Jihad is an Urdu booklet written in 1900 by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and the Founder of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama‘at. In this booklet, he refers to the Holy Qur’an and the ahadith (sayings) of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa in order to explain the true nature of the Islamic concept of jihad.

The author points to the peaceful nature of the Islamic faith and explains that Muslims resorted to defensive war early in their faith’s history only after suffering thirteen years of brutal oppression. Divine permission to retaliate was granted for the specific purpose of self-defense, to punish aggressors, and to uphold freedom of conscience."

Munir-ud-Din Shams
Additional Vakil-ut-Tasnif
London, March, 2006

This seems to be the justification all three Abrahamic religions have for continuing to kill our brothers, sisters, and babies, "They did/do it to us." Is this not the time to finally put an end to retaliation by one generation for the persecution of a previous generation?

My grandmother used to have a saying when we children were fighting, "I don't care who started it; I'm finishing it." Who among us has the authority and willingness to stand on the battlefield and say, "I'm finishing it," even at the threat of his/her own death. I thought that Jesus had done this, but Christians continue to kill in the name of "Christ." This says to me that they don't actually follow Jesus as their "Christ."

It is so much easier to hate those who are different than we are than it is to learn about them and decide how we can live, in peace, as neighbors. It takes great respect to do this. I can't imagine that a Muslim woman would be happy to visit a nudist colony, nor have one next door to where she was bringing up her children.

This does not necessarily mean that there is anything intrinsically wrong with nudism, but it does create stress for imparting her values in rearing her young. For this reason, in multi-cultural society, parenting takes great commitment to one's own beliefs and very close bonding and monitoring of one's children. In the United States of America, we have been working this out for a couple of centuries.

We have a saying by Robert Frost, "Good fences make good neighbors." The same could be said for solid walls. We live in nuclear families, that presumably, share a set of values. We have the right to offer hospitality only to those who will adhere to our values on our property. We do not have the right to dictate what our neighbors do in their own homes, unless it is infringing on our own property or rights.

The United States of America, long ago, adopted a language as our common language. We have a set of rules prohibiting any one religion from setting the rules for our nation, even though there are many who have attempted to apply their own religion to the law of the land. It is time that all in the United States of America insist that we focus our energies on living our values in our own homes and minding our own business when other "children" want to fight.

The United States is our home with our set of values, which includes multi-culturalism and freedom from religious oppression. Those who break our laws should not be welcome in our home, as guests or otherwise. This is our home where we live by the laws of the land. Love our land by obeying our laws or leave.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

True Church

Cruelty does not go away; it is simply passed on to others. These acts become the demons seeking to destroy The Sacred Spirit inside of ourselves. Without enough strong support for the goodness in us, we may have too many demons to fight at one time. This can lead to despair.

When we despair, it is our own personal "End Times." All the horrible predictions in Revelations visit us in our waking and our sleeping lives. All the things that gave us joy and brought us beauty suddenly look like ashes covering all the earth. We are reduced to bodies without a living spirit. Only through allowing others with intact extra spirit can we hope to survive, and yet these are the very people that most hurt our eyes and our insides. We can't stand to be in their light while in our stripped naked state. It seems to burn our very souls.

We must allow ourselves to be sheltered while we die by the "hands" of our own demons. This entails allowing the demons to finally stop eating us from the inside and have their ways with us on the surface of our lives. When we expose them to the light from which we have been sheltering them, because of our own shame in knowing they are parts of us, they will eventually burn themselves out.

Mental hospitals are not safe places, as there are few with living spirits, and many who will share their own demons which you previously didn't have. Medications simply quiet the demons while they continue to eat the spirit inside you. This is often necessary to allow you to fight one demon at a time. But who will hold you as the demons fight against their own deaths?

Avoid those who fear you or want to rush your recovery. There are many that will bring your demons out to fight. They must be strong fighters, with a strong support system themselves, or they will simply drown with you. Do not be afraid of confrontation of your demons (not confrontation of you, but of your demons) by those who have fought the same battles. They can help you to recognize the pitfalls of engagement with them. They can often show you the path to a new peace.

Surround yourself with those of strong, safe, Sacred Spirits. They will wait and watch with you. They will breathe new life into you when you stop fighting and surrender to their ministry. This is your true family, your true church.

I am blessed by many in my life who are strong demon slayers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Super or Simple Heroes?

We all seem to want super heroes instead of being ourselves simple heroes. We look up to others on earth as gods, rather than looking inward for the energy of The Sacred Spirit inside of ourselves. It is easier to dismiss our own inaction and evil action if we continue to pretend that we have no godliness in us right here on earth. We are to use that godliness to help bring heaven to our own earth, not for some future super being status that we will enjoy in an afterlife.

I don't care by what action a child is conceived. I care about how the child is brought to recognize the godliness in him or herself and use it to improve life on earth. I don't care about great miracles on earth. I care about the everyday acts of selflessness and responsible compassion shown to me and others every moment of every day. I care more about how heroically a person lived than how horribly, and possibly heroically, he or she died.

It is in doing the very things at which we feel least able, for the sake of peace on earth, that we expand The Sacred Spirit inside of ourselves to the point that it "infects" others. "God" needs nothing from us, but the earth needs so much that we can give. We are all called to be simple heroes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Heaven on Earth -- When Will We Listen?

“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2)

From the blog

We are told, over and over, to create heaven on earth. When will we listen???

Monday, May 27, 2013

Poached Eggs and Pentecost

I was blessed by having breakfast with my best Jewish friend, and one of my dearest soul sisters, Susan, at Russell's Marina Grill in  New Orleans. Not only is the food pure New Orleans (I had crab cakes with poached eggs and shrimp hollandaise.), so is the coffee and the wait staff.

It is important in New Orleans restaurants that the place really welcomes children, especially if one has a two-year-old in tow. Russell's fit the bill as well as, or better than, Shoney's used to when my children were small. But so much better coffee and food, Oy Vey! You can't imagine.

Susan's granddaughter is an absolute angel with beautiful blue eyes and Titian gold angel curls. (She and her mother, Katy, got curls from Susan, just like princesses in fairy tale books.) Audrey's an active angel, but and angel, none-the-less. For the first half hour she hid her sleepy eyes on her mother's shoulder. When her sweet potato pancake came, she gladly sat in her high chair. This was good for another hour of in-depth conversation.

Susan and I are always deeply involved in discussions of how our faith views fit into our family lives. When   I said, "Well, Katy, I guess you didn't know you were coming to a Bible study," Susan didn't miss a beat before she quipped to Katy, "Well, that's just how we roll."

Remembering my grandmother days, I had come equipped with something for Audrey's entertainment, sidewalk chalk and a Mickey Mouse spatula. It was an absolutely perfect spring at the New Orleans Lakefront kind of morning, so we adjourned outside. Not to worry, we over-tipped both the waitress who had to clean up after Audrey spilled her whole cup of milk in the restaurant and the waiter who had to continue climbing over her as she decorated the patio with baby graffiti.

I wrote fifty prayers for Pentecost, hoping to get other views on the meaning, of this season of the year. Susan is, not only a very devout Jewish wife, mother and grandmother, she's also a professional journalist. I figured it was fair to ask why she hadn't given more feedback on the subject. After explaining her faith's (and I assume her personal) meanings, she suggested that I'd get more response if I asked specific questions in my blog. We also discussed a longing to hear from the third leg of our family tree of Abraham, Muslim, point of view, in addition to the faith backgrounds that already participate.

I am now asking, "What, if any, rituals do you perform during the season of Easter/Passover/Spring? Are there any rituals following this beginning spot to count the days until a specified end point? How many days does this last? What is the meaning of the end point of the counting of days process?"

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Empowering Play

So many are now earning political points by asking , "What world are we leaving to our children?" We would be better off asking, "What world are we now offering our children, and the children of others?"

What we have to offer our earth is our time and our attention to the tiny details of life. Only by slowing down and being fully in each moment do we come to appreciate anything, and only in this aware way can we pass on our ethics of what is important. Are we even overloading ourselves with children to where we have no time for each of them as a uniquely gifted (and challenged) individual?

Observing the universe without disturbing it is the only way to learn the true nature of a person, place, or thing. How many of us are willing to observe without adding our input? How many of us actually want to know The Sacred Spirit of anything on earth?

When my grandson was a toddler, he ran to touch the big red ball, as he called the setting sun. In his beautiful baby mind, he was absolutely certain this could be done with his tiny reaching hand. Perhaps he will be a cosmologist and learn to actually touch the sun. He loved listening to the seagulls, and would turn to me and say, "Listen, Granny, the seagulls are laughing." It turns out that they are called "laughing gulls." Perhaps he will grow up to be an ornithologist and identify species of birds. This is the magic in a child's heart that we attempt to explain away with our greater "knowledge." Parents are to assist them in learning, not squelch their curiosity and wonder with our limiting "facts."

Why must we always choreograph every moment of our lives and those of the world's children? Would we be wiser to learn attentive appreciation from them? A small child needs nothing more to play happily than his or her own powers of observation and his or her own imagination, with inclusion in our work. Most of what I know of The Sacred Spirit, I learned watching small children simply live.

Touching the warm, wet earth and tasting blades of grass are too often interrupted by an adult's disgust or calls of danger. Can we not teach them science as easily by letting them experience it out in the fields among nature or in the great science labs of our own kitchens? And wouldn't the questions they asked bear more interesting answers that what some scientist put in a dusty book?

Some of the most remarkable memories I made with my children and grandchildren were catching, growing, and cooking our food, building a brick and board bookcase, painting a door, and identifying edible wild plants. In each endeavor, we all learned much from each other and from the effort itself, not the least of which was cooperation and appreciation.

To watch as a child learns is the best way that I have come to know what's sacred. Unchain them from their desks. Help them plant a field or milk a cow while we teach them about what they ask. Teach them to count as they walk beside you, carrying groceries or laundry. Let them learn colors from the earth's beauty. Help them play at important empowering work for themselves. The lessons will be forever placed in their very spirits, not only in their brains. That on which we expend our energy, we won't soon allow to be destroyed. Stop protecting them from what is most precious in life, wonder at being open to whatever is happening around us, in the here and now, and their power to affect it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hoping to Define Humanity

I wish humanity would realize that we're still following wild animal paths
Instead of honoring The Scared Spirit of our special powers, at last.
In the wild animal kingdom, it is survival of the physically strong;
We have the ability to push for survival of those who reject wrong.

We continue to offer our young males as animal breeders,
And elevate them, without judgement, to act as our leaders.
The excess males in the animal kingdom were sacrificed;
War and killing is the way we continue paying this price.

The birthing bed was changed to an altar for sacrificial virgins,
As a way for society, to the gods of war, make societies' amends.
It is time that we come to universal definitions of personhood,
Through common definitions of what separates evil from good.

Why do we continue procreating, when we have naught to give?
Do we believe it's a gift to share lives even we don't want to live?
The birth of an innocent child to a known abusive parent
Is collusion with the abuser, to the innocent child's detriment.

My angry outbursts at my baby girl had naught to do with her;
They were frustrations that abuse of my spirit did spur.
I sought counseling and began seeking paying work,
But my pregnancy with a son, my duty to my children, shirked.

I was becoming the abuser; this was very clear to me.
I ran to where I thought my spirit and children would be free,
But the opportunities presenting themselves in that social clime
Made no provisions for our most important family time.

We struggled as family, and we did make it through whole
It's time that the story of the complicity by me be told.
I was not strong and ready to lead before I became a mother;
This is why I could be destroyed by the opinion of another.

Children deserve to be born to mothers who will protect them.
Unless a woman has become able to stand eye-to-eye with men
She is not ready to take the reins of another's motherhood.
A child is not a puppy to make the community feel good.

I see too many women living in abject poverty
Showing off their offspring as a prize for all to see.
Society has no compassion when we have none ourselves;
The Sacred Spirit is the free will that, in humanity, dwells.

Responsible compassion for all life in the universe
Is a topic on which humanity may want to converse.
We have come to a point in competition for tribal territory
That we are in danger of ending, forever, the human story.

I am old, and I would gladly give my last earthly days
To mediate the discussions in which our leaders engage.
Continued life, without peace, seems pointless to me;
Beings without compassion are not my vision of humanity.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sacred Spirits that I See

What if we saw the mission of humanity to, first, do no harm?
Would this serve the purpose of getting nations to disarm?
What if we saw the purpose of humanity to protect
The vulnerable that others of the animal kingdom reject?

What if we saw each other as collections of sacred talents,
Instead of looking for ways to perfectionism's pretense?
Would we then seek, on earth,  to incorporate everyone,
Instead of teaching our children, from the different, to run?

It is one of the earth's greatest sadnesses to me 
That so many have taught their children false humility.
As long as we know where our talents come from,
We should celebrate what eternity allows us to become.

It destroys The Sacred Spirit to deny special gifts;
To act as we deserve them also forms human rifts.
Seeing gifts as sacred duties to improve the universe
Is a value system that, to many, seems perverse.

I was told not to see the gifts by which I'd been anointed,
And told to hide them, as if my parents were disappointed.
I was offered up in marriage, to supposedly protect me,
But, he too, was threatened by what he could clearly see.

I thought my mission as parent was that my children exceed
The apparent values of the time, that seemed to be greed.
Perhaps I erred in my pursuit; maybe it was arrogance;
Perhaps many generations will suffer from my pretense.

My children are long-since adults, with their own families;
They have made it clear that they no longer need me.
Though my mother thought me arrogant, as do many;
I am long-since ready to give myself over to eternity.

My continued input into my children's families does harm;
This is not in keeping with my living faith's earthly form.
I put my wisdom and my wit out for the use of those
Who have not, to a sacred mission, been exposed.

In this way, I feel that I remain on earth without attachment.
The unlimited universal time requires this detachment.
I feel that I have fulfilled my primary responsibilities;
What my progeny do from now on, I may not ever see.

In the universe of The Sacred Spirit, we cannot ever tell
In what people and places our eternal energy will dwell.
I have done my best, in my life, to offer the positive;
I believe that this is all we humans are expected to give.

The prophets weren't fortune tellers; they were observant
That many generations, in their arrogance, would not relent.
Those who warn of danger are often seen as danger's source;
I cannot stop the sights, but I cannot feel remorse.

Many are energized by fear and anger, leading to death.
This is the greatest source of my deepest life regrets,
My anger at injustice frightens many away from me.
Is a resigned spirit to the world of old all that's left to be?

I can't seem to quiet myself when I see cause for celebration
This also seem to lead to others' great intimidation.
My passions, I now put on paper, rather than create dissension.
Finding words that help bring peace is my fond intention.

I will go to my grave sad that my children are disappointed
By the path to which, in my earthly life, I have been anointed.
I hope that in some incarnation of their memories of me.
They will accept the greatness of their spirits that I see.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 50

Priests have no place in our parenting;
Ministers aren't made to mold minds.
With the advent of human reason,
Superstition should be left behind.

It is more difficult to think for oneself
Than to call upon magical beings.
It is difficult to step back from childhood,
And think about what we're truly seeing.

We're each given our own experiences,
And the collective wisdom of community,
To assist us in framing our goals and paths
On which we're called by The Sacred Spirit to be.

I only do what my gifts and time allow me;
If each of us does, with our gifts, the same,
We will eventually have no more greed;
Our human family, we'll then fully reclaim.

When will human males honor their spirits
In the process that gave humanity birth?
Or, is what the Dalai Lama says is the truth,
Women are the future of peace on earth?

The spirits of men should not be less sacred
Than those of the wombs from which they came.
I believe more must be written to guide them
Back to The Sacred Spirit which they can claim.

My Sacred Son, embrace the honor of your spirit;
I have been holding the flame of your spirit high.
When will you stop being ashamed of this?
Your greatness of spirit you continue to deny.

I am old and cannot continue to be your beacon;
You must choose to go forward or go back.
I will die knowing that your sacred spirit
Was meant to lead others in a righteous track.

I cannot force you to honor the sacred path
For which you were placed upon this earth;
I only know that the spirit you have shared
Will, for eternity, light this physical universe.

I so hoped you would take your ability
To lead others in your strong human wake;
That those who knew and enjoyed you
Would, of your sacredness, partake.

To change the direction that we were given,
Maybe wasn't meant for us, in my limited life.
I still hold out hope that the answer to peace
Is defined by example of husband and wife.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we accept The Sacred Spirit as something to which we, as humans, can choose to aspire.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 49

What if we decided that the only morality was protecting innocence,
Instead of hunting for children's mistakes, to exact recompense?
What if we each decided to remember when we were each young,
And then offer to the next generation our glories that went unsung?

Would we create a world where we would all believe in peace?
Would all the competition with, and hatred of, others cease?
I see outside my door, children of every color and family,
Lesbians and single fathers who look like loving parents to me.

How can we continue to find fault with those committed to protect
The sacred, innocent souls that our society often rejects?
It has been a stain upon us that young males of a certain age,
No longer, in the mothering impulses of nature, engage.

Who is to claim these young men after their male selves emerge?
Their masculinity seems to set off less than compassionate urge.
Even the young men deserve protection until they come of age;
Otherwise, their fears are turned into unfocused actions of rage.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we learn to honor the innocence of all instead of seeking to destroy it with our own disillusionment.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 48

Rest, Old Mother, you have done what you must do;
It is now time for those you taught to help lead you.
Don't think they don't honor you because they do differently;
They have handled things in their lives you couldn't foresee.

Just as they bowed to your knowledge when they were young,
Please listen to the songs of experience they have since sung.
They want to hold you gently as you may have done to them,
But you continue to fight them, as you would not a friend.

It is time to honor their adulthood and their life's ways;
In peace, let them care for you in your waning days.
They do have your spirit; perhaps what you don't like
Is they, like you, can also speak with your own bite.

Be gentle with them as they do the best they can;
They have the same problems as every human.
Just like a lifeguard they can't help one still fighting;
When you stop, your depression will be lightening.

You cannot change the past, so celebrate it with others.
Responsible citizens are raised, not by weak mothers.
You have been strong when they needed you; now rest.
After you're gone, the universe will still carry on your best.

The spirits of your husband and your deceased son
Remain inside your family until the universe is done.
Your spirit, too, will stay to give others strength,
When the next phase of your life is called to commence.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we learn to rest our bodies and minds as we allow our souls to impart to others our spiritual strengths.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 47

It's not that I want my progeny to be like me; I've often prayed for the opposite.
Both of my children, I prayed, would best of their father and my composite.
I preached at them that they had choices about which traits they'd incorporate.
I came to this knowledge little by little; I hope I wasn't, in teaching it, too late.

My religion and some religions before said we are programmed by our parents;
The mistakes they and their parents made have haunted humans ever since.
But there are other beliefs that celebrate the individual talents and gifts,
Rather than setting all who are different, from community of the tribe, adrift.

Some are born to be warriors until all earthly evil comes to an end
Some are born to be interpreters, so that all human voices can blend.
Some do the work of the body; others the work of the mind.
There can be no human progress unless all efforts are combined.

Damn the religious leaders that relegated the dirty work on earth
To positions of disrespect and scorn to which others are given birth.
The work of blood and dirt, as well as the work of the philosophers,
In balance to all needs, is that to which our survival as humans defers.

My children have a balance of my thoughts and their father's skills;
I wish that the honor of both was something our society instilled.
A thinker without those who can bring visions to fruition,
Leaves all physical parts of nature in untenable positions.

Will we stop the competition of those who plan and those who do?
The people who do both well is reflected in only a few.
It is time that we honor partnerships of opposite gifts,
Before we send all of humanity's progress to, backwards, drift.

Many men have been shamed for reflecting any feminine traits;
Though this is the balance that our world, in humans, awaits.
Women have been log-tasked with performing as both parents
When off to industry and war, the male parent was sent.

It is time that we begin to prepare our children and ourselves for peace;
Only with equal strengths, will our progress toward unity increase.
Respect and celebration for different approaches to success
Will keep humanity from our tendency, in fear of change, to regress.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we come to understand that humans can choose what gender roles they play after their own births. Male and female are equal, no matter what came first; our gifts and weaknesses are interdependent.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 46

I read a post today explaining the ecstasy of relationship with Jesus/God.

The relationship with The Sacred Spirit is described often in the Bible as comparing in ecstasy to sexual love between man and wife. Clearly, we are supposed to reach a higher plain of spirit when involved in either pursuit. Ecstasy on earth, I believe, is a bit of heaven on earth. But, ecstasy  like the drug named after it, is highly addictive, even when it comes through our religious rituals and practices.

In marriage, we must not ignore our responsibilities to earthly endeavors, like dirty dishes and diapers, in order to endlessly experience ecstasy. So, too, can earthly relationships frustrate us in the pursuit of this spiritual high. We must, in order to be fully responsibly compassionate humans, choose when to turn in and when to reach out.

The Sacred Spirit needs nothing from us other than to honor The Sacred Spirit in all of the physical world. To believe that The Sacred Spirit needs our worship is to diminish the infinite energy of The Almighty. Prayer is sitting in the presence of The Sacred Spirit in whatever is going on in our lives at the time and listening closely for what is sacred about this moment in our own lives on earth.

Pursuit of the next big moment of ecstasy takes away the joy of the small things in our spiritual lives. It invariably leads to the balance of agony. This is a bipolar way to live our lives. "Go with the flow," is much more than an old Hippie mantra; it is a spiritual exercise.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we accept both the fire and quietly burning embers that can be made to flare when the time is right in our earthly and spiritual relationships.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 45 Becoming a Baby Again

I read a post today at in which the author talked about waiting in prayer while we await Pentecost. "Wait" was my daughter's favorite word while she was under my care. Waiting seems to be the hardest thing many of us can do. We don't want to wait; we want to participate.

My daughter was always very methodical in her actions; she didn't toddle and fall. She waited and watched until she felt sure that she had figured out this walking thing. She then got up and walked up our driveway. I wasn't asked or expected to participate in her efforts. I was simply to wait while she did it herself.

When my first grandchild was born, she was a very hyper-aware baby. She was extremely excitable; I say that she moved like a little ferret.  I took great delight in seeing and hearing her hearty laughter. When she was fussy, my way was to try to "cheer her up." My daughter would envelop her in her bosom and say to me, "Mama, stop. Wait. She needs down time, not more excitement." I would watch my daughter absorb all her daughter's anxiety into herself as the baby drifted off to sleep. It was beautiful to behold, but I had no participation on the process.

We want everything to happen on our own time, not in eternal time. Often, especially in relationships, all we are asked to do is wait and watch. Pentecost is a state of being, not a series of actions. We want to go out and infect people with it, but it is usually best to simply wait. Opportunities to share The Sacred Spirit will come to us, just as plants grow toward the sun and animals draw near to a source of warmth emanating from each other.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we learn to watch and wait.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 44

I was blessed by being with my dear friend and her family as she struggled with her fear of illness and death during a recent hospitalization. It isn't every friend who is allowed to help a leader in her most weakened state. I have been asked to sit by the bed of several giants as they confronted their own fears.

I still grieve that I was not strong enough to hold my mother-in-law as she passed from the physical world into the spirits of those whose lives she had touched. I was, however the person who held her hand all night as she wept in fear before the exploratory surgery that announced her fate. I was also in the room when she breathed her last. I like to believe that much of her Sacred Spirit went directly into my womb which was sheltering her first grandchild, a girl. Her granddaughter carries in her a huge spirit and strength that I recognize as much stronger that that of myself and her father.

It is a gift to be able to attend at the illness or death of a person who carries such a huge spirit that others greatly fear their loss. I believe that we must get past our own fears and assist the weakened person to open their souls to a peace with whatever they have sown, while they were strong, carrying on in others for all of eternity.

I certainly don't want to spend the last days of my life using up the energy that I worked so hard to impart to others. I believe it is a merciful gesture to soothe others while they let go of their physical selves.

My Pentecost prayer is that we truly begin to see life as a continuum that began before our physical births and continues in all we have touched in any way.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Evil Incarnate

My niece's social worker called me today. I was not available to answer her call, but I assume it was made because me niece has, once again, checked herself into a mental institution to escape the consequences of her abhorrent actions. My deceased little sister, who fought me and our mother for matriarchal influence over our family, did much the same thing whenever she was in trouble with her support sources.

I have cut off all ties with most of my siblings, as I did with my mother when I was fourteen years old. I struggle daily to retain my sanity in a world where we are asked to believe in opposing truths simultaneously. My family seems to like to live in the abyss that our pseudo-spiritual, religious society creates, pretending that they don't experience the cognitive dissonance.

Our culture is afraid of evil intent, so we have now labeled all evil as mental illness. The question we're not asking ourselves is, "Which came first, the evil intent or the illness of the mind?" I, my siblings, and their children were brought up by a woman who believed that even thoughts had to be purified by punishment. When the judge, jury, and executioner, all in one mother figure, sought to become more humane, she decided that all evil in her charges was the work of demons that could be exorcised by her holiness and that of her priests.

In attempting to explain the explainable, we have created even greater evil than that which already existed in humanity. We often speak of Adolph Hitler as the greatest example of human evil in our time. The social work system would have us believe that Hitler only acted evil because of his low self esteem. Where did we lose the idea and acceptance that the greatest evil is too much esteem of oneself?

There is certainly more evil done in our society by those who set up themselves, or are set up by others as gods, than there has ever been done by those who feel inferior.

Pentecost Prayer Day 43

Often the choice is between peace and our perceptions, what we like to see as universal truth.
The scriptures are read with different translations and eyes that see through varying lenses.
Does one's child see the world through the parents' eyes, or through eyes that are unique?
We must accept the same of people seeking The Divine, and gifted with many manifestations.

Where one may find a path to inner peace in one passage of one "prophet's" perception,
Another may find nothing but fear in the way life's lessons are described by their priests.
Seeking The Sacred Spirit's truth of existence has reigned as long as has humankind;
We must not discount anyone's vision of the path to earthly peace and harmony.

Because you may not experience broccoli as a delicious addition to your dinner,
Doesn't make one who experiences it as nectar of the gods an infidel.
It is true that all nature is stressed by change introduced too quickly,
But we've had thousands of years of killing only leading to more of the same.

Our children in public United States education are being exposed to multi-cultures,
The foods, the friends, the families, and the faiths of their many co-classmates.
I'm sad for those who are sequestered from what public education has to offer;
They receive no inoculations to be strengthened in their families' faiths.

Unless a child is given a strong refresher in example at home and community,
In every encounter with one's family of responsible compassionate authority,
There is little chance that the child will grow true to his or her family's core values,
No matter what fear of reprisal may be threatened by family and tenants of their faiths.

What are the core shared values of those seeking The Sacred Spirit?
How do we educate ourselves and others without resorting to a focus on fear?
My prayer for Pentecost is that we open our eyes and ears to the small children,
Who will suckle from anyone who nourishes their  innocently sacred bodies and souls.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 42

At the end of life we get greedy to create better memories of each other,
But in the process we are often robbing our sisters and brothers.
Unless we are using the extra time to bond our spiritual selves,
We are only killing The Sacred Spirit that continues to indwell.

Why preserve a body that has long ago ceased to give
The positive energy on which our universe continues to live?
Why can we not accept that all energy has a cycle of life?
Knowing that all energy is eternal should, for us, suffice.

The day that I am sure that I'm no longer able to give,
This is the day I want my body to cease to live.
Energy that could be put to keeping me breathing
May be the energy that keeps another from conceiving.

My life has many times felt it's run its assigned course;
I have only come to new life after years of remorse.
Whenever it is time for me to breath my body's last,
I hope the positive is that to which my family holds fast.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to accept physical birth and death as simply transformations of life and The Sacred Spirit.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 41

Pain as punishment has made us afraid to hold each other as we suffer and die, as if the bad karma is contagious. This idea that we, or someone we were born through, acted in ways that deserved the purging that only pain can produce has made us turn away from each other in an attempt to bar the evil humors from our own physical forms and Sacred Spirits.

How often we are given medicine in an attempt to release us from the pain that only the warmth of another's physical being can impart to us. It is my experience that the only way to save the souls of ourselves and of others is to bond with them in their joys and their sorrows, sharing on a level of The Sacred Spirit. How much more beautiful it may be for those dying on the battlefields to be asked whether they want to be put back together like broken dolls or whether they would prefer to be held as their bodies release The Sacred Spirit to simply float home to the hearts and souls of others.

The message often seems to be, "Hurry and heal because your pain makes me nervous," rather than, "Come, let me hold you and absorb your pain as long as you need me to be your balm." It is not only morphine that releases endorphins enough to take us away to a state of spiritual connection with "The Sacred Spirit" of the whole universe. The physical manifestations of love also have this ability.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we open ourselves to the celebration of sharing life up until the very end, when we may be fortunate enough to absorb some of The Sacred Spirit of those with whom we have shared the celebration.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 40

Good big brothers and sisters don't ridicule, torture and reject siblings who are slower in ares than are they. Good older siblings are taught to admit their own strengths and weaknesses and share abilities with the whole family. It is true that there is often fear and resentment of the new addition, but when responsible compassion is the way of a family, this is soon overcome by the sense of belonging to a safe society. The ways of the newcomer don't threaten the ways that are firmly established in a fruitful family; they actually enhance it.

In many poorly functioning families, the adults regress to earlier states of childhood rather than stand firm in their own values. I suspect this is because the family hasn't set a clear mission or vision, much less a plan for the accomplishment of such. All are drowning together, but nobody has courage enough to step out and learn to lead.

This is how I feel about multiculturalism and the United States of America. We have a stated vision and mission, and we have a constitution that is supposed to keep us on the path to justice on earth for all. We continue to allow rules of religions to contaminate our constitutional rules. When we stand firm in our commitment to the constitution without fear of failure because of one segment of society or another, we will become a true constitutional democracy.

America has already suffered through the same infancy of self absorption that so many other countries are just experiencing. We must stand firm in our separation of church and state, which will ultimately strengthen both because we have intimately examined each of them. I see our country's challenge as being the good big brothers and sisters to the emerging adults, no matter how early on they are in their growth.

We do have to be careful not to backslide in our own progress toward our fully human, responsibly compassionate goal as we continue to walk the walk of our values. My prayer for Pentecost is that we stop being afraid, and beginning being in awe, of the challenges that accompany change.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motivational Mothers

In honor of Mothers' Day, I'd like to thankfully
Acknowledge all the women of wit and wisdom
Who have helped me to form my impressions of me.

I had a sister, long deceased, who thought me magic,
And one who thought me to be a funny clown,
Also a younger sister whose wiles I could never lick.

My baby sister, who I thought was a bore,
And who later was called much like me,
As well as the aunts whose humor I adored.

I had teachers who honored my many gifts,
And accomplished women who craved my light,
Some with whom jealousy has since caused a rift.

It hasn't been easy for we women with new freedoms
To find a common set of values for our homes.
Faults seen by many were honored as courage by some.

Women must mother each other in our efforts to succeed;
This is the only way we can survive physical force.
We must fight the fear of comparisons that lead to greed.

As a mother who sees her deformed child's face
Through eyes that color all with her compassion,
We must see other's struggles as those of all the human race.

This is not to say that we should support those who use
Their weaknesses as ways to manipulate others.
These manipulators lead themselves and others to abuse.

A strong woman leads through compassionate example;
Motivation seeks good for all concerned in the effort.
Observation leads to discerning how gifts are channeled.

We must give up territorial marking in order to live
As a universal community of The Sacred Spirit.
Mothers have a history of balancing all a family has to give.

Pentecost Prayer Day 39

It is very difficult for me to actually accomplish the missions on which I set out. I use so much energy in the visualization of reaching the goal, and so much more energy explaining to others where I'm going in ways that may entice them to accompany me, that I'm often exhausted before we even set out on our adventures. The bad part for me is that I've gotten others so excited about getting where we're going that they then proceed without me, and I feel abandoned, as do they.

I am trying to tone down my enthusiasm, but I'm always afraid that we will stay stuck if I don't lead the charge to promised territory, or even worse, we'll backslide to the perceived safety of earlier influences. My experiment for Pentecost is to simply lay out my vision and see if anyone can see what I see so clearly. Surely others are leading the way in which I can simply proceed along with them on their path of delight and discovery.

My prayer for Pentecost is that my dream comes true.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dear Dead Mom

Dear Dead Mom

I'm sorry that when you were living, you denied the beauty of my soul;
Perhaps this was because you denied all people who made you whole.
You had little regard for physical manifestations of The Sacred Spirit,
Denying the true earthly joys of your life, so that all could hear it.

You were so determined to be the girl who was considered best;
You set up embracing pain as a competitive religious contest.
Encouraging the use of our skills was seen by you as arrogance;
For our every honest mistake, you imposed a sever penance.

You saw all men, except the priests, as little more than beasts;
The more any tried to please you, the more your scorn increased.
Your greatest complaint against me was that I was like my father;
I wished that were true; knowing I most favored you, my mother.

My father was unsentimental, save toward his wife and  family;
You hardened your heart against all you had made to come to be.
I have struggled mightily as a mother to my beloved children,
Knowing that on neither example of parenting I could depend.

My children see me as defective, as you wished they would;
You are honored by others as saintly, as you thought they should.
Has the hell on earth you put your children through, cleansed us of sin?
When we knock on heaven's door, will you tell your God not to let us in?

I may have been born of your flesh, but not of your Sacred Spirit;
The physical manifestations of grace, in your world, had no merit.
Much of my earthly manifestation, I derived from your soul,
But your denial of my Sacred Spirit kept me from feeling whole.

I'm not the only person I know who was born to a resentful mother,
Who has found some peace on earth in the eyes of admiring others.
Your version of God and heaven is not my vision of eternity;
My vision is The Sacred Spirit celebrating all that I came to be.

Pentecost Prayer Day 38

What if we, instead of posting "thou shalt not's" on our walls and front lawns, posted instead, "we shalls"? This way we'd be stating which commandments we follow in our own homes. We could establish and enforce our rules in our own homes, and know which homes are in our committed networks. I believe this would serve to create more peace than continuing to post directions for everyone else to follow. 

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all commit to defending what we believe in through giving good example by our own behaviors.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 37

Prejudice is a religious value in all the Abrahamic religions.The demand to be like "us" is cloaked in "concern" over the immortal souls of others. Those who demand that we reject others because of their religions are spreading destruction, not redemption. At what point does an innocent baby become an "other?" At what point do we turn their sacred souls into cesspools of fear and hatred?

I believe we are conceived infused with The Sacred Spirit when we are conceived in responsible compassion for another human being. I don't believe that infant baptism is washing anything off a baby's soul; rather it should be a commitment ceremony where the community binds themselves to walking in the way of The Sacred Spirit of responsible compassion. This includes a commitment to hold each other to the promises made.

Why is the Sunday worship hour still the most segregated hour in America? Are we so weak in our individual commitments that we must flock only with those who believe as we do? If religions exist to spread responsible compassion, how is it that we are still using taxpayer funds to do charity work? And why are our public schools still more inclusive than our religious establishments?

My prayer for Pentecost is that we see the child's soul in every human being, and begin to connect to The Sacred Spirit of everyone we meet.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 36

No nation, no religion, no family, nor friends can legalize responsible compassion.
"Love" has been used to convey many meanings that suit society's current fashions.
Compassion in action is what I believe is love; without responsibility it's sentiment.
We're not sent to enable another's weakness, but to support the missions for which we're sent.

Jesus didn't speak the golden rule that we profess, 'Do unto others as we'd have them do."
The message that we are to honor, first The Sacred Spirit in all, seems to be known by only a few.
The Sacred Spirit doesn't share drugs in order to curry "friendship" and tribal acceptance.
The Sacred Spirit hasn't ridiculed or punished weakness, in the beginning or ever since.

The Sacred Spirit has always manifested in the ways that foster universal growth,
Not hurrying to reunite all the energy of which The Sacred Spirit could boast.
Compassion without responsibility may follow the short-lived human golden rule,
But this does not lead to the universal, eternal harmony of any beings but fools.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we begin to honor the differences between humanity and animal instincts.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 35

I am thrilled that our individual and collective beliefs are being challenged on an international scale.

The greatest thing about the gift of freedom of speech and of religion is that it gives us the opportunity for personal heroics. I believe in the freedom of speech, and I also know that humanity is dependent on freedom of will. These are two responsibilities of each individual in society. If those espousing religion would truly follow their own creeds, all "charity" would be carried out within communities of believers without intervention of the taxpayer. If we stop supporting religion and civil rights efforts with tax dollars, perhaps all individuals would think in terms of the consequences of their own free choices.

It is difficult to stay true to one's own values in the face of opposition and possible persecution. It is more difficult to stay true to our beliefs and to hold our children to those values when the neighbors may be doing something different than that which is allowed in our home. Modeling and bonding, not fear of persecution and punishment, are what make others adherents to our wishes. This takes time and dedication. Making what the religious deem immoral available to all is not the same as forcing these actions on people.

We, in the United States, honor the sanctity of family bonds, be they biological or simply legally approved. This is a double-edged sword. While we assume that all children are wanted by their parents, we actually know that this is not the case. Because we are not sure what traits are genetic and can't be corrected with either medical intervention or responsible compassion, we hesitate to supersede the accepted "rights" of the parents to procreate with the absolute rights of the children to be cherished. I submit that we have adopted this policy because we don't have the ability to truly control The Sacred Spirit in the many physical manifestations on earth.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all examine our our values and practice them, rather than preach them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 34

I am Eve, always seeking the knowledge of good and evil,
And suffering greatly with each revelation in myself and others.
I am Sarah, the mother of a new generation of leaders in their tribes.
And I am Hagar who is turned away by other mothers
For fear that I will turn from handmaiden to matriarch.

I am the mother of Moses, sending my boy off to his destiny;
Though my womb bore him, and at my breasts, he nursed.
I became the handmaiden to those who claimed him.
And I have been called a warrior and judge, as was Deborah. 

I am Martha and Mary, both serving and observing,
Wanting to feed many with warm milk and with wisdom,
Knowing that there are many not open to mothering.
I am Mary Magdalene, scorned and scourged as a whore,
And I am the mother/wife of men who honor my motherhood.

Though I cry bitter tears of blood for human suffering,
I know that I can’t turn others from their sacred missions.
If I was able to be stoic as I follow in others’ footsteps,
Perhaps I would be allowed to stay at the foot of the cross.
Barring that honor, I will continue to observe and speak out.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all have the courage to speak of what we observe.

Pentecost Prayer Day 33

It seems that the hijab is considered a justifiable reason to persecute the wearer. I grew up Roman Catholic; in my youth, women weren't allowed to enter churches without head coverings.  Even non-orthodox Jewish men show respect in their temples by covering their heads. As an adult in sales, I used to wear a large hat whenever I was making sales calls, and was picked up by a policeman under suspicion of being a prostitute. Talk about jumping to conclusions!

Not all passionate displays of belief are suspicious. Is the horseback enthusiast suspect for donning a cowboy hat and western boots? Is the blue-collar worker less a fellow citizen for wearing a “Cat” hat? Is the sports or school fan a heretic because the colors of the team are worn? Do we have to confine our displays of our beliefs to homogeneous groups in order not to be persecuted?
We could do with more modesty in our citizenry, but America has a way of using desensitization by over-exposure as the way to bring ideas and practices into the mainstream. Maybe we women should all start covering our heads in solidarity with those wearing the hijab. The plus side for many of us would be no more “bad hair” days, and possibly less skin cancer.
America was founded on pluralism and freedom to express our differing beliefs. In my opinion,  the continued knee-jerk prejudice in place of attempts at education about others is un-American.
The eyes and actions are truly mirrors of one's soul.  We must stop mindless hero (and clergy) worship, as well as knee-jerk prejudices. My prayer for Pentecost is that we learn to see the humanity beneath the skin, headgear, uniform, occupation, profession, and religious words.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 32

"Not in our family," should suffice as a rule,
Instead of changing behavior through ridicule.
Then offering examples of acceptable behavior,
As did the man Christians call their savior.

If we truly bond with the soul of another,
We work toward staying bonded as brothers.
To truly say, "Through all trials, I'm there for you,"
Is something meant by only a very few.

This assumes joint committed responsibility
To continue to strive for the best we can be.
My prayer for Pentecost is that our example
Of responsible compassion will become ample.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pentecostal Prayer Day 31

Language is important, but more than that is the intent;
Sometimes words don't translate to what the speaker meant.
Does it really matter what we call The Sacred Spirit
If we use any name that causes others to fear it?

Healing conversation requires compassionate sharing;
This must be the root of all faith's proof of caring.
The religions that speak much without listening
Are, the purpose of community of faith, missing.

It takes great courage to hear with respect, silently,
The pain from which another yearns to be free.
My Pentecostal prayer is that we will support
Conversing in community, rather than in court.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 30

I am energized by all the religious conflict being brought out into the open after the 9/11 bombings. We have long needed this international exchange to define our values vs. our religious rituals. It is challenging all of us to personally define what we individually believe.

These discussions may be difficult and divisive in the short term, but I believe they will bear very rich fruit. Many families in many cultures believe in the same values for their communities and family lives. If we continue to prosecute all those who use killing instead of conversation as a form of conflict resolution, we will eventually reach a consensus on creating peace on earth.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we will realize that all peacemakers are, in fact, parts of the earthly body of The Sacred Spirit.

Pentecost Prayer Day 29

There are some with whom I am comfortable discussing "God," but this is a limited comfort zone. Mostly, I ask people to tell me about their manifestations of "God." Even those who seem to share my values are often limited in their abilities to assume these same values in people of other faith tribes.

My hunch is that all who feel responsible compassion for their own families are capable of feeling the same for the families of others. We have been fed fear by many generations of wayward humanity, but it all comes down to all of us being made from the same "stuff." Cosmologists now say that all of creation is made of stardust. I love this belief system, and it only increases my sense of the sacred.

I am perfectly at peace believing that I was born of the most magnificent body in the universe, and that I am destined to return to being part of that great celestial "star."

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all see ourselves and all others as parts of The Infinite Power with bits of The Sacred Spirit instead of attempting to bring infinity down to our own limited levels of understanding.