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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 7/01/2012 -- POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEF  (Read 3072 times)
Alan
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« on: July 01, 2012, 07:36:25 AM »

July 1, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


Lenin is supposed to have said, shortly before he died, that if he had to
do his Russian revolution over again, he would have asked for ten
Francises of Assisi rather than more Bolsheviks. He realized that
something imposed by domination and violence from above only creates the
same mirrored response from below. It is just a matter of time. He
realized that the only communism that would ever be helpful to the world
was the voluntary and joyous simplicity of a Francis of Assisi. (As a
Franciscan, I am indeed a “communist” as we share all things equally
and from a common purse.) That element of the practice of the early
church (Acts 2:44 [1]) and of Jesus (John 13:29 [2]) was never taught
with any great seriousness. It was never expected of the
clergy—certainly not of the higher clergy—and therefore why would
we, or could we, ask it of the rest of the church? Jesus was training
the leaders, because you can only ask of others what you yourselves have
done first. He was initiating them as spiritual elders, much more than
ordaining them as “priests” (which is an Old Testament word never
used for his apostles).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2:44&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV
[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+13:29&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Once we saw the clerical state as a place of advancement instead of
downward mobility, once ordination was not a form of initiation but a
continuation of patriarchal patterns, the authentic preaching of the
Gospel became the exception rather than the norm—whether Orthodox,
Catholic or Protestant. The first human “demon” that normally needs
to be exposed is the human addiction to power, prestige, and
possessions. These tend to pollute everything.

Once we preach the true Gospel, I doubt if we are going to fill the
churches.

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 06:22:52 AM »

July 2, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


If we look at history, I think we can see a constant swinging back and
forth between two poles, Right and Left, representing two necessary
values. Those two necessary values have something to do with the first
task of life and the second task of life, but they also need and feed
one another.

The first value seeks order, certitude, clarity and control. It is the
best way to start. But whenever that pattern is in place for too long or
is too overbearing, what will eventually emerge is a critical alternate
consciousness. Whenever the law-and-order thing is overdone, another
group of people will react against it. Once you have an establishment,
you will eventually have a dis-establishment. When some have all the
power, those who don’t have power ask very different questions, and
the pendulum swings back again—eventually. That has been the story of
most of history and the sequencing of most revolutions. It is
understandable and predictable, although the extremism on both sides
could be avoided if we had more initiated elders who held the middle.

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 07:30:20 AM »

I find it interesting thinking about my own progression through the years. As a young person, like many others, I was a wild-eyed idealist who really thought I could help change the world. I was unabashedly "liberal" in my politics since I heard there what seemed like possible solutions for some of the suffering of the world. By my early thirties I had come to the conclusion that the conservative side had the answers since the world seemed to be going to hell in a handbasket and order needed to be restored. Correspondingly I was at that time in the process of "climbing the ladder" and appreciated the fact that the conservative side seemed more interested in helping keep more of what I was earning. I was at that point quite cynical and tired of what I saw as "enabling" behavior on the part of government that wanted to take my money to support those who were just too lazy to work for a living and had figured out how to game the system.

Some time around my turning 50 I found myself in another swing toward what I would call a "practical idealism". Coincidentally it paralleled the beginning of my spiritual journey after coming in contact with Richard. As I discovered and acknowledged my own woundedness I found myself able to deal much better with other wounded people. I wasn't going to change the world but I might be able to make a difference in the lives of a small handful of people, who in turn were helping me carry my own cross.

It took quite a while to come to a point of withdrawing my faith from political ideologies, and even today I find myself drawn toward finding one or the other of them to be the devil himself who needs to be defeated and who will take the country to the brink of ruin if he/she is elected or reelected. In the end though both parties are only about one thing: conserving power. The only difference is in who they are going to conserve it for. One side is all about keeping the well-to-do able to do as they please, doing so by seeming to offer the hope of becoming one of those to everyone and giving them enough to make that seem possible. The other side seems to be about keeping those in the power structure itself in power. They do so by convincing people that they will take care of them without their having to work hard and try to accomplish this by redistributing what the well-to-do have to those who have less. With each election cycle the goal becomes to find the popular cause that will convince the swing voters that they'll be better off, or more likely to see their personal dreams fulfilled, if they choose the right political party.

In the end though the political system is very much like TV. It's all about "selling soap." Commercial TV, and radio for that matter, is nothing more than a vehicle to put advertising into so people will buy products. Sponsors "bet" their money on shows that will attract the largest percentage of viewers that will look favorably on their products. Politics is just another system to allow the big donors to the party to get their "product" sold to the people. On one side you package your product as "the American Dream" and show how you too can have that house in the suburbs with 2 cars, a pool in the backyard, and a yearly trip to Europe. What isn't explained is that it is coming at the expense of supporting those who truly are in need and not just "lazy." On the other side you package your product as "fairness" and show that you too are entitled to that house in the suburbs with 2 cars and a tax refund even if you pay no taxes. Unlike the initial side that tries to hide where the money is coming from, this side brazenly admits to being Robin Hood and taking the money from the "rich"to redistribute to those who are less rich. The part that they don't explain is that the truly poor seldom get any more of it than they did from the conservative side as the truly poor have no resources to make their voice heard or exercise any power. Either way the real product is "power" and all the rest is just the advertising and packaging to get you to go for one over the other and believe that it will be in your own best interest.

Interestingly there is a similar system in place even within the Church, but that's a whole 'nother story.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Alan
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 08:33:34 AM »

link

Some time around my turning 50 I found myself in another swing toward what I would call a "practical idealism". Coincidentally it paralleled the beginning of my spiritual journey after coming in contact with Richard. As I discovered and acknowledged my own woundedness I found myself able to deal much better with other wounded people. I wasn't going to change the world but I might be able to make a difference in the lives of a small handful of people, who in turn were helping me carry my own cross.

Nice.  Smiley  Here's my Enquiring mind on it:  Focus a bit.  Specialize v. generalize -- you probably get enough shallow contact with people at work?  Makes the small group approach toward important things even more attractive?  Like WF, ultimately?

Either way the real product is "power" and all the rest is just the advertising and packaging to get you to go for one over the other and believe that it will be in your own best interest.

Exactly.  Having rubbed elbows with guys and dolls on both sides, I'm here to tell you ... neither side has a corner on insanity or evil.  Angry

Interestingly there is a similar system in place even within the Church, but that's a whole 'nother story.

I'd love to hear about it!   Grin

Alan
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 06:23:15 AM »

July 3, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


It is interesting that these two different powers took the words Right
and Left from the Estates-General in France, where on the right of the
throne sat the nobility and the clergy (what were the clergy doing over
there?) and on the left sat the peasants and 90 percent of the
population. Those are now commonly used terms in the global political
world. The Right is normally concerned with maintaining some status quo,
stability, continuity, and authority; that is a legitimate need and
without it you have chaos. Those on the Right are normally considered
innocent until proven guilty.

Those on the Left are presumed, for some reason, to be guilty until
proven innocent, at least in the minds of many. (Note how even the
Vatican goes to great length to reconcile “heretics” on the Right,
but never the opposite.) The powers that be have tended to write history
from the side of authority and power, and those who protect it. Once we
see this, we wonder why we never saw it before. But some form of the
Right is necessary for authority and continuity in a culture, and some
form of the Left is necessary for truth and reform in a culture. And
thus the pendulum swings, and I guess we all hope we are living at the
appropriate time when it is swinging toward our preferred side.

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 09:36:01 AM »


July 3, 2012

But some form of the Right is necessary for authority and continuity in a culture, and some form of the Left is necessary for truth and reform in a culture. And thus the pendulum swings, and I guess we all hope we are living at the appropriate time when it is swinging toward our preferred side.


I think we have plenty of authority and continuity.  I'm really not as concerned as I used to be about how the Church is doing.  I think it has major problems, but I'll do what I can do and take no responsibility because I have no authority.  And that's OK with me now.  I'll talk to people who want to hear what I have to say and shake the dust off my feet from the others.

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 09:37:33 AM »

you probably get enough shallow contact with people at work?  Makes the small group approach toward important things even more attractive?  Like WF, ultimately?
Yes, ultimately any raising of consciousness is going to happen in the small group or "home church" setting where you can be vulnerable and free to express your thoughts without fear of judgment. WF has been the ultimate source of that for me. Smiley

Quote

Interestingly there is a similar system in place even within the Church, but that's a whole 'nother story.


I'd love to hear about it!   Grin

Alan

I think you've certainly seen the results. One need only visit that other site and look at a few of the threads particularly in the traditionalist subforrum. We have two very different visions of the future of the church competing for power at the highest levels. The little wars we see going on at CAF are simply the followers of the two "parties" doing the exact same thing that the followers of the political parties do. One would hope that the ultimate objective within the Church is the same and it is just two different visions of how to get there but human nature being what it is, I'm guessing it is still predominantly ego-driven and about power more than how best to bring God's children closer to Him.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 10:28:06 AM »



The little wars we see going on at CAF are simply the followers of the two "parties" doing the exact same thing that the followers of the political parties do. One would hope that the ultimate objective within the Church is the same and it is just two different visions of how to get there but human nature being what it is, I'm guessing it is still predominantly ego-driven and about power more than how best to bring God's children closer to Him.


No doubt it's ego driven, but even when I was learning to think non-dualistically I got ego-driven about that.  I was one of the parties, "I think more non-dual than you."  Maybe it's part of the self-training process.

Anyway you might want to check out this guy I recently heard of, "Mooji," talking about how duality is not a mistake.  He gives some great advice I say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eul1C-Ytxo

Alan
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 07:29:42 AM »

July 4, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


In the biblical tradition, the power on the Right and the power on the
Left are symbolized by the kings and the prophets, respectively. There
is almost a necessary tension and even opposition between them. There is
only one time in all the Hebrew Scriptures that those two ever made
friends, and then only barely. That is when David the King accepted the
critique of Nathan the prophet, after Nathan accused him of his
sinfulness and David had the humility to say that he was correct: “I
have sinned against the Lord” (see 2 Samuel 12 [1]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Samuel+12&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

The Right always considers itself the product of rationality, experience
and civilization. The people on the Left are always the product of these
“silly” people’s movements arising out of high-minded ideology,
unbearable injustices, or both. Neither of these currents is totally
rational (even the Supreme Court disagrees on what is rational).
Movements from the Left are normally not well-planned at the beginning.
They are intuitive and come from what is suffered by the little people,
who at that point are of no account and have no press or status. Thus
they rely on symbols, songs, slogans, and momentary charismatic leaders
to get off the ground. Remember when white people laughed at black
people for singing, “We Shall Overcome”? Today we can remember those
naive English colonists on the East Coast of America who said “No
taxation without representation.” The pattern is always the same:
“kings” (power) versus “prophets” (truth).

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 06:11:00 AM »

July 5, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


The point that must be remembered is that most of political and church
history has been controlled and written by people on the Right because
they are normally the people in control. One of the few subversive texts
in history, believe it or not, is the Bible. The Bible is a most
extraordinary text because again and again it legitimates not the people
on the top, but invariably the people on the bottom—from Abraham to
Moses to Jeremiah to Job to John the Baptist to Jesus.

After a while you might get tired of the rejected son, the younger son,
the barren woman, the sinner, the outsider always being the chosen one
of God! It is the biblical pattern—which we prefer not to see. It
takes away our power to exclude “the least of the brothers and
sisters” because that is precisely where Jesus says he is to be found
(Matthew 25:40 [1])! If indeed women, blacks, other religions, gays, and
other “outsiders” are “least” in our definition, it seems that
gives them in fact a privileged and revelatory position! They are not to
be excluded, but honored. Jesus takes away from us any possibility of
creating any class system or any punitive notion of religion.
Unfortunately, thus far, it has not worked very well.

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 04:14:50 AM »

July 6, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


Except for the Bible itself, it took till until the second half of the
twentieth century for the Left to begin to have a wide, public and
legitimate voice. I do not think that is an overstatement. In any swing
of the pendulum in the direction of justice, the masses, the bottom,
were always considered subversive and traitorous, up tilluntil the last
century. Why not, when even the church was looking down from the top and
the Bible had been made into establishment literature—which it clearly
is not. The Bible affirms law, authority, and tradition, as most
writings in most of history have done, but then it does something beyond
and more: it affirms reform, change, and the voiceless—and makes them
even stronger. This is what makes the Bible an inspired book. It affirms
both sides, but against the usual pattern it also affirms the currents
of change, reform, the poor, and justice.

The biblical Biblical bias toward the bottom has been called by some
"the preferential option for the poor.” But it is an option, an
invitation: it is a grace, and it emerges from inner freedom—or else
it would not be from God. In the last analysis, the Bible is biased; it
takes the side of the rejected ones, the abandoned ones, the barren
women, and the ones who have been excluded, tortured, and kept outside.
This is all summed up in Jesus’ ministry: look at those he clearly
prefers, heals, and includes—without rejecting the people of power on
the Right, but clearly critiquing them.

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 07:07:05 AM »

July 7, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

POWER AND POWERLESSNESS / RIGHT AND LEFT


Why does the Bible, and why does Jesus, tell us to care for the poor and
the outsider? It is because we all need to stand in that position for
our own conversion. We each need to stand under the mercy of God, the
forgiveness of God, and the grace of God—to understand the very nature
of reality. When we are too smug and content, then grace and mercy have
no meaning—and God has no meaning. Forgiveness is not even desired.
When we have pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps, religion is
always corrupted because it doesn’t understand the mystery of how
divine life is transferred, how people change, and how life flows. It
has been said by others that religion is largely filled with people who
are afraid of hell, and spirituality is for people who have gone through
hell.

Jesus is always on the side of the crucified ones. He is not loyal to
one religion, or this or that group, or the “worthy” ones—Jesus is
loyal to suffering itself, wherever it is. He is just as loyal to the
suffering of Iraqis or Afghanis as he is to the suffering of Americans.
He is just as loyal to an oppressed gay man as he is to an oppressed
married woman. We do not like that! He grabs all of our self-created
boundaries away from us, and suddenly all we have is a free fall into
the arms of God, who is our only and solid security. This seems to be
God’s very surprising agenda, if I am to believe the Bible.

Prayer:
I am powerless without You.
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 08:31:26 AM »

July 7, 2012

... religion is largely filled with people who are afraid of hell, and spirituality is for people who have gone through hell.

I just made that my signature at CAF.   Cool


Jesus is always on the side of the crucified ones. He is not loyal to
one religion, or this or that group, or the “worthy” ones—Jesus is
loyal to suffering itself, wherever it is. He is just as loyal to the
suffering of Iraqis or Afghanis as he is to the suffering of Americans.
He is just as loyal to an oppressed gay man as he is to an oppressed
married woman. We do not like that! He grabs all of our self-created
boundaries away from us, and suddenly all we have is a free fall into
the arms of God, who is our only and solid security. This seems to be
God’s very surprising agenda, if I am to believe the Bible.


Excellent!!    Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 10:34:46 AM »

That really is a great point Alan and I too have made it often: that those who haven't had to suffer are pretty much incapable of understanding or extending mercy because they have never felt they needed it. For far too many it's all about believing the right things and being seen doing the right things, and then making sure everyone else does the same!

Richard stated it very well: "When we are too smug and content, then grace and mercy have
no meaning—and God has no meaning."
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 11:22:01 AM »


For far too many it's all about believing the right things and being seen doing the right things, and then making sure everyone else does the same!


Note that a delusional person believes their delusions as much as anyone else believes what they believe.  That's why they're called delusions instead of hallucinations -- they are of the belief system and not of the perception system.  Of course the two work together to determine current state of mind.

For that matter, what is "delusional" is 100% subjective.  In the medical world I think "delusional" basically means someone is not within the norm of beliefs for whatever group they represent.  So if you aren't a conformist you're delusional.
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2012, 05:38:00 PM »

So if you aren't a conformist you're delusional.

Oh oh.....

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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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