the Swirling Chaos . . . a spiral . . .

Such a time of dark swirling whirlpools of chaos . . .

it is impossible to hold on to
WHAT IS IMPORTANT
in the midst of
constant “info” dumps . . .

there are new/old interpretations
of words and
no more easily identifiable
STANDARDS
for behavior . . .

redefining societal acceptable
RULES:
rudeness, disrespect, and
belittling of those who hold differing OPINIONS instead of
respectful discussions and
exchanges of ideas . . .

so many endorse or at least
do not object to VIOLENCE
as the ANSWER
to any disagreements . . .

lumping others
who do not agree with me
in the category of “enemy”—
the US VERSUS THEM
mentality that
ultimately leads to
DEFEAT for everyone . . .

selfishness . . .
hatred . . .
intolerance . . .
divisiveness . . .
closed minds . . .
disregard for truth . . .
rationalizing untruths . . .
spreading fear . . .

Love . . . Tolerance . . . Unity . . . Open minds . . . Integrity . . . SELF examination . . . sharing Life . . . can bring us back to a world where ALL can Live and Peace can be shared

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Life Cycles . . . seeds . . . stages

Life cycles start with seeds and continue through stages
that we can see in plants . . . interesting

As I have walked my path through varying shades of dark and light, I have always felt it was the small things (seeds) that can make a major difference in the direction of my life.

Algebra brought the idea to me early in my life.
Algebra, I loved that subject for four years in high school – I know, it sounds crazy, but the part of algebra that intrigued me was that there was logic that could be observed and
formulae that could help identify unknowns—
but it also taught me that a small mistake at the beginning of trying
to find an answer could take me way off into a place nowhere
near where I needed to be . . . and so it was in my life.

Plant life cycles recently called me back to the idea that
small things in the cycles of the life of plants could give me
insights for my path . . . look at the plant life cycle—
it starts with SEEDS and
the last step in the cycle is spreading SEEDS . . . WOW!
SEEDS . . . small things . . .
a process in plant life . . . a process in my life

Perhaps I will reflect on this a little more, see what “seeds” it plants in my thoughts and check out the process of Life . . . SEEDS . . . I may want to look deeper at the meaning for me in the process . . . what kind of ground does my seed fall on, what is the source of warmth and water, light or other “food” for my seeds. Since the cycle is repetitive, what stage am I in right now and does that change how I look at my past if I consider what stage I was in and what moved me on to the next stage in the process? How do I define each stage and what it means to me? Seeds . . . . life path seeds . . .

Plant Life Cycle:
seed stage—>germination—>growth—>reproduction—>pollination—>spreading seeds

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My Bubble World

I guess I have mostly lived in a bubble of my own making for most of my life . . . bubbles can exist side by side without ever interacting except to bump into each other and not even be aware that there are many bubbles around or different size bubbles, etc.

73 years is a lot of years to just be coming to the conclusion that I created and accepted unquestioningly my own filtered view of everything that went on around me and that helped me put labels on people and events and make it all fit comfortably into my own “reality show,” my bubble defining right and wrong through my own tiny, unseen filters.

Born in 1946, I lived
• before television was common,
• before personal computers,
• before cellphones,
• before many common appliances that exist today . . .
BUT I did not live
before
• racism,
• sexism, or
• hatred that could lead to men committing unimaginable horrors against their fellowman

AND NOW I live in the year 2019 and remember a history (1960s) reflecting hearts that some of my generation recognized as “not good” and there were protests and cries for changes and protections we put in place for all after many battles, even recognizing the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” by those we did not agree with or whose lifestyle was different than ours.

BUT NOW
silence in the midst of
• racism,
• sexism, or
• hatred that leads to men committing unimaginable horrors against their fellowman or endorsing others who do violence
• harsh words for those who point out the “not good” parts of our society
• acceptance and justification of acts and thoughts previously condemned as unacceptable, especially distressing when supported by our religious organizations or their leaders

There are very few
• beating a drum called “Truth” (chaos often drowns them out),
• riding a horse called “Courage” (ridiculed by many), and
• shouting a message called “Common Good” (“answered” with new or made up words and definitions to avoid living it out)

We live in a society making many attempts to somehow convince us that
• dark is light,
• right is wrong,
• winning through intimidation, and
• looking out for number one should be our path . . . so sad, so very sad.

Our world can only survive if I realize my responsibility to examine myself, my thoughts, my words, my motives, my heart and accept my part in making or breaking our world. Do I know what I believe and why, what standards I demand of myself and others or do I demand any standards any more?

Truth: the world was created out of Love that reflects itself in diversity and is made stronger by that diversity through cooperative efforts and confronting selfishness

Courage: confronting myself and accepting responsibility for my actions and my words, speaking out against harm to any, and demanding change of what is SELF serving to pursue the common good

Common Good: the best answer to all challenges we face after respectfully sharing insights, thoughts, and opinions from all impacted by the answer—always remembering “united we stand, divided we fall” and a multi-strand cord is stronger than a single thread

TODAY I NO LONGER live in a bubble of my own making — I pay attention moment by moment in an attempt to avoid falling back into that fantasy mentality that says I know everything and I can judge others without any real information . . .
and
I REMEMBER when some young people refused to accept the mistreatment of other human beings just because of their skin color and, after much hard struggle, I saw laws passed to protect those human beings who were judged unacceptable by many loud voices and, just as today, the abusers of that time were also supported by many claiming religion as a justification . . . and that gives me some hope for today as I pray that the eyes of my heart will be opened to myself and I will be drawn back to the “higher way” . . . out of my bubble to walk the challenging path of Life by the “golden rule,” the path of Hope, the path of Love!

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ISM – I Sell Myself

-ISMs . . . we most often identify an “-ism” as something negative, harmful, or downright evil to ME!

Over the years, I have heard “communism,” “socialism,” “terrorism,” “paganism,” and many other fear-filled “-isms” to identify what I must fight against to protect myself, my family, my country, my very existence. The fear drives me to ignore the simple fact that I only know what I have been told about these “BAD -isms”—I don’t really know what they are, I only know what I have been told they will do to harm me or that they will take something away from me!

And these, and many other “-isms” have been used to:
• “sell” me on political candidates (ignoring the politician’s flaws in exchange for protection from one of these “-isms”),
• “selling” me on supporting laws to “protect me” while giving a huge power increase to some others (ignoring the potential for abuse by them), and
• “selling” me on the idea that I must focus ONLY on protecting myself and that others will have to do the same for themselves (others are not MY problem, I only have to look out for me or my group).

It is SO easy to buy into this fear-filled rhetoric, to be so totally focused on protecting myself that I don’t see anything else, to find myself crossing a line that I can’t even see . . . my own standards, values held dear by my parents or grandparents or others that I respected in the past.

It seems simple to identify those older beliefs as “outdated” and “it was a different world” or “they didn’t really understand,” but that is just an attempt to defend what I want to believe, a human nature response.

Do I know what I believe and why or what my values are, or what I consider important enough to die for? Or do I just ride along on the wave of fear and bow to the latest “-ism” being put out as my “enemy”?

I remember when John Kennedy ran for President of the United States of America and the loudest talk was how electing a Catholic would bring the Pope to power in our country and our “Christian” nation would all become Catholics . . . we elected him and none of the feared things came about.

Today I am still “selling myself” when I listen to and repeat fear about some group that I really don’t even know and I give power over my life to those selling that fear in some false idea that it will bring me what I want . . . protection, promotion of my beliefs (shutting down those who don’t agree with me), or something else I see as a gain for me—I sell myself. Like Esau I trade for a bowl of porridge because I am hungry and that bowl gives me what I want. I never really stop to think about what I am trading . . . ME!

Values seem to be unpopular today and voicing a need to live by standards draws ridicule and often harsh, defensive remarks. The idea that “the ends justify the means” seems acceptable today and, I believe, has served to draw many away from the need to walk the “higher road” when others choose to wallow in the mud to get their way.

My hope is that
• each of us will examine ourselves to determine what we believe and why, that
• we will realize not one of us possesses the ONLY or all of the truth, that
• we will try to inform ourselves about other groups and what they believe not just accept the fear-filled misconceptions spread about them—did you know early Christians were accused of cannibalism (see the -ism?) because of the Lord’s Supper? that
• we will view an “-ism” as a call to do objective research not accepting “exposes” or “conspiracy theories” without checking multiple valid sources (not just copiers), that
• we will come to see that working together we can create a world united in pursuit of the “common good” for ALL without identifying “-isms” as a way to get me to “sell myself” to a fear-filled cause . . . do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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Perspective . . . a beginning

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Exposing Shadows . . . Removing Masks

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Bowls . . . FULL of memories

 

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LIGHT . . . light . . . or

My heart was stabbed with a deep, icy fear when I read some posts by a family member that were using Scripture from the Christian Bible to support a politician and a political view that, in my mind, borders on blasphemy because its message is so opposite of Truth of GOD!

NO POLITICIAN is my “savior”. . .
NO POLITICIAN can justify mistreatment of other human beings . . .
NO POLITICIAN will convince me that Christian Scriptures relieve me of my responsiblity to “love my neighbor as myself” . . .
NO POLITICIAN should bask in distortions of Truth to gain riches at the expense of the poor, the elderly, or the downtrodden . . .

HOW did we get to this point of blindness and willingly embrace it?

HOW did we walk to the place where we can distort Scriptures to support the mistreatment of others and “preach” the message of selfishness marketed by a despot?

HOW did we reach this precipice on the edge of such darkness?

HOW did we become deaf to calls of conscience to return to the path Jesus walked and claim instead that a path of prideful, hateful, self-centered rhetoric is the path of Jesus–it seems so obviously out of line with the Life lived by Jesus?

Fear drives me to consider a “conspiracy theory” originating in the far reaches of time . . . power, greed, and worship from those who are convinced they will share in the spoils of winning that war—how sad it will be when those “worshippers” see that their role as pawns was only to build the empire for darkness, never to be participants in its bounty . . . how sad it will be when they see they traded themselves for an empty bowl of porridge, getting nothing in exchange . . . such weeping and gnashing of teeth . . .

“has a nation ever exchanged its gods
(and theirs are not gods at all!)?
Yet my people have exchanged their Glory
for something without value.
Be aghast at this, you heavens!
Shudder in absolute horror!” says Adonai.
For my people have committed two evils:
they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water,
and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns,
that can hold no water!”
Jeremiah 2 :11-13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

GOD, open the eyes of my heart . . . help me be YOUR LIGHT in the darkness . . .

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GOD not “church” . . . my thoughts

I agree with the thoughts in this article . . . a major time of pain and trauma was capped by an incident I used to view as my “reason” for walking away from “the church.”—I was 19 years old … hurting … disillusioned by horrible things that had happened to me; I was SO traumatized that I found facing each day more and more overwhelming. All the things I had believed to that point in my life had been destroyed – wiped out – totally obliterated and I did not know which way to turn—so with a raw and bleeding heart, I walked in to the Sunday evening service where I had been attending and the wife of an elder told me I was not welcome there because the “scriptural” justification of my marriage failure was not part of my official court document. I walked out of that building crying in pain and anger . . . at 19 years old, I said “if that is the way God’s people are and that is the way God is, I don’t want anything else to do with Him or them” and for 12 years the only way I used the name of God was in profanity and I did not set foot inside a church building.

Over the next several decades, I came to realize that my relationship had been with an organization, a “church,” a group of people, and not with God Himself. I doubt that I would have ever come to realize the difference if I had not had the “toxic words” thrown at me, if I had not been driven out of the “safety” of that organization and that would mean I probably would never have come to seek God as His Word repeatedly commands me to do . . . God tells me to seek HIM – He wants relationship with me!

God knows if I put my faith in people, they will fail me—just like I will fail them. BUT, God will never fail me nor forsake me. I can judge people and some of them fall short of the standards I require of my self, BUT God does not. So, bottom line is my relationship must be with God, not with an organization. “The Church” is not organized religious groups, it is simply individuals who are in relationship with God and that automatically connects them all THROUGH GOD . . . God is the connector! Meeting with others of like mind can be encouraging and strengthening, but it should not be a substitute for a relationship with God—no one should stand between me and God.

THE answer: GOD . . . only GOD! Open the eyes of my heart that I may see only GOD, HIS perfection within the perceived flaws of HIS creation, HIS life within a world seemingly filled with death, HIS image within every soul as HIS Love completes HIS creation . . . only GOD!

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/12/01/my-emancipation-from-american-christianity/
My Emancipation From American Christianity
DECEMBER 1, 2015 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

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UNITY – not just about politics

the uproar over Biden’s statement illustrating the need to overcome divisiveness by working with people we may strongly disagree with to get laws passed and policies changed . . . the uproar shows those critics missed the entire point of Biden’s statement: the POWER of UNITY —

Our current environment seems to be one which divides over almost every point that is raised . . . why?

Because UNITY IS STRENGTH and, if you want to defeat those supporting a certain issue, you need to divide those supporters so that they will not work together to promote their position–SO YOU “win.”

What if I said: “I could work with Hitler to get some important things done like feeding the hungry, giving health care to the elderly, or bringing healthy babies into our world.”

Would you claim that I was endorsing the Holocaust or genocide or any of the other atrocities of Hitler? NO, absolutely NOT! It simply shows the ability to WORK TOGETHER with anybody if you focus on the COMMON GOOD.

UNITY FOR THE COMMON GOOD . . . working together to confront issues facing our world can bring us closer to the best solution to many difficult, seemingly unsolvable, issues.

UNITED WE STAND . . . divided, we fall!
The United States of America was founded on this basic concept–the way to bring small states with many diverse issues they did not agree on to the bargaining table to work to compromise for the COMMON GOOD and that is still the best way to move forward.

As changes happen in our world, as everyone has a different perspective, as our world must interact with the larger world we live in, as demographics change–CHANGE demands that we, more than ever, WORK TOGETHER for the COMMON GOOD!

UNITY . . . it’s not just about politics . . . it’s about STRENGTH . . . it’s about “divide and conquer” . . . it’s about issues being more important than disgusting personalities or murderous philosophies . . . it’s about working with doves and hawks and snakes for the COMMON GOOD!

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