Life is like a game of chess.To win you have to make a move.Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHTand knowledge, and by learning the lessons that areacculated along the way.We become each and every piece within the game called life!
Life is like a sandwich!Birth as one slice,and death as the other.What you put in-between the slices is up to you.Is your sandwich tasty or sour?Allan Rufus.org
Try to put well into practice what you already know. In so doing, you will, in good time, discover the hidden things you now inquire about.
We are among the first peoples in human history who do not broadly inherit religious identity as a given, a matter of kin and tribe, like hair color and hometown. But the very fluidity of this—the possibility of choice that arises, the ability to craft and discern one’s own spiritual bearings—is not leading to the decline of spiritual life but its revival. It is changing us, collectively. It is even renewing religion, and our cultural encounter with religion, in counterintuitive ways. I meet scientists who speak of a religiosity without spirituality—a reverence for the place of ritual in human life, and the value of human community, without a need for something supernaturally transcendent. There is something called the New Humanism, which is in dialogue about moral imagination and ethical passions across boundaries of belief and nonbelief. But I apprehend— with a knowledge that is as much visceral as cognitive— that God is love. That somehow the possibility of care that can transform us— love muscular and resilient— is an echo of a reality behind reality, embedded in the creative force that gives us life.
Regard those who respect you.Esteem those who honor you.Cherish those who love you.Reward those who adore you.
If you are too busy to love, you are too busy to live; if you are too busy to live, you are too busy to love.
We’ve made it private, contained it in family, when its audacity is in its potential to cross tribal lines. We’ve fetishized it as romance, when its true measure is a quality of sustained, practical care. We’ve lived it as a feeling, when it is a way of being. It is the elemental experience we all desire and seek, most of our days, to give and receive. The sliver of love’s potential that the Greeks separated out as eros is where we load so much of our desire, center so much of our imagination about delight and despair, define so much of our sense of completion. There is the love the Greeks called filia—the love of friendship. There is the love they called agape—love as embodied compassion, expressions of kindness that might be given to a neighbor or a stranger. The Metta of the root Buddhist Pali tongue, “lovingkindness,” carries the nuance of benevolent, active interest in others known and unknown, and its cultivation begins with compassion towards oneself.
You are no greater than the friends you keep, the books you read, the heroes you admire, and the obstacles you overcome.
At ten, you are foolish. At twenty, you are naive. At thirty, you are alert. At forty, you are experienced. At fifty, you are wise.
If you live in the desert, view the sun not as your enemy, but as your friend. If you live in the wilderness, view nature not as your adversary, but as your companion.
If you can stay positive in bad situations, you are strong; if you can stay positive in hopeless situations, you are mighty; if you can stay positive in impossible situations, you are great.
Be merry, because it confuses your enemies; happy, because it annoys them; cheerful, because it angers them; and joyful, because it kills them.
Be so warm that people mistake you for the sun, so bright that people mistake you for the stars, and so accommodating that people mistake you for the universe.
Be happy when you work, thankful when you earn, cautious when you spend, shrewd when you save, and charitable when you give.
To be happy: the simple pursue pleasure, the common pursue riches, the uncommon pursue knowledge, and the exceptional pursue wisdom.
I’m strangely comforted when I hear from scientists that human beings are the most complex creatures we know of in the universe, still, by far. Black holes are in their way explicable; the simplest living being is not. I lean a bit more confidently into the experience that life is so endlessly perplexing. I love that word. Spiritual life is a way of dwelling with perplexity—taking it seriously, searching for its purpose as well as its perils, its beauty as well as its ravages.
John O’Donohue gave voice to the connection between beauty and those edges of life—thresholds was the word he loved—where the fullness of reality becomes more stark and more clear. If you go back to the etymology of the word “threshold,” it comes from “threshing,” which is to separate the grain from the husk. So the threshold, in a way, is a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness. There are huge thresholds in every life. You know that, for instance, if you are in the middle of your life in a busy evening, fifty things to do and you get a phone call that somebody you love is suddenly dying, it takes ten seconds to communicate that information. But when you put the phone down, you are already standing in a different world. Suddenly everything that seems so important before is all gone and now you are thinking of this. So the given world that we think is there and the solid ground we are on is so tentative. And a threshold is a line which separates two territories of spirit, and very often how we cross is the key thing.
The mystery and art of living are as grand as the sweep of a lifetime and the lifetime of a species. And they are as close as beginning, quietly, to mine whatever grace and beauty, whatever healing and attentiveness, are possible in this moment and the next and the next one after that.
God is that force that drives us to really see each other and to really behold each other and care for each other and respond to each other. And for me, that is actually enough. That cultivating it, that thinking about it, worshipping it, working towards it, taking care of it, nurturing it in myself, nurturing it in other people, that really is a life’s work right there, and it doesn’t have to be any bigger than that. God doesn’t have to be out in the next solar system over bashing asteroids together. It’s plenty, just the God that I work with.” Kate Braestrup
I’m drawn to the Jewish notion of the soul, nephesh, which is not something preexistent but emergent—forming in and through physicality and relational experience. This suggests that we need our bodies to claim our souls. The body is where every virtue lives or dies, but more: our bodies are access points to mystery. And in some way that barely makes sense to me, I’m sure that we have to have feet planted on the ground, literally and metaphysically, to reach towards what is beyond and above us.
Just as writing can become calligraphy when it’s creatively, skillfully, and consciously performed, so can all other activities become art. In this case, we are reflecting upon life itself as an artistic statement—the art of living.
My life of conversation leads me to reimagine the very meaning of hope. I define hope as distinct from optimism or idealism. It has nothing to do with wishing. It references reality at every turn and reveres truth. It lives open eyed and wholeheartedly with the darkness that is woven ineluctably into the light of life and sometimes seems to overcome it. Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory.
The conundrum of the twenty-first (century) is that with the best intentions of color blindness, and laws passed in this spirit, we still carry instincts and reactions inherited from our environments and embedded in our being below the level of conscious decision. There is a color line in our heads, and while we could see its effects we couldn’t name it until now. But john powell is also steeped in a new science of “implicit bias,” which gives us a way, finally, even to address this head on. It reveals a challenge that is human in nature, though it can be supported and hastened by policies to create new experiences, which over time create new instincts and lay chemical and physical pathways. This is a helpfully unromantic way to think about what we mean when we aspire, longingly, to a lasting change of heart. And john powell and others are bringing training methodologies based on the new science to city governments and police forces and schools. What we’re finding now in the last 30 years is that much of the work, in terms of our cognitive and emotional response to the world, happens at the unconscious level.
Spiritual humility is not about getting small, not about debasing oneself, but about approaching everything and everyone else with a readiness to see goodness and to be surprised. This is the humility of a child, which Jesus lauded. It is the humility of the scientist and the mystic. It has a lightness of step, not a heaviness of heart. That lightness is the surest litmus test I know for recognizing wisdom when you see it in the world or feel its stirrings in yourself. The questions that can lead us are already alive in our midst, waiting to be summoned and made real. It is a joy to name them. It is a gift to plant them in our senses, our bodies, the places we inhabit, the part of the world we can see and touch and help to heal. It is a relief to claim our love of each other and take that on as an adventure, a calling. It is a pleasure to wonder at the mystery we are and find delight in the vastness of reality that is embedded in our beings. It is a privilege to hold something robust and resilient called hope, which has the power to shift the world on its axis.
In human life and in the history of faith, I think, love has a quality of a bedrock reality we discover— adventurers, travelers, each of us, only fitfully apprehending its potential. I take some solace in the fact that I’m not alone in this intuition that the reality of evil, of injustice, of suffering notwithstanding, “at the center of this existence is a heart beating with love.” That’s how Desmond Tutu put it to me, with greater authority than mine from a life that has known extremes of human cruelty one to another.
..moments of transport, and of comfort, and of a bracing vastness of possibility. That was all there for me sometimes when I plunged my mind into the Bible’s puzzles; and it was always there in the music of church. I wouldn’t have said it this way then. But I would feel all the cells in my body as I sang hymns that connected my little life with the grandeur of the cosmos, the Christian drama across space and time. This was my earliest experience of breath and body, mind and spirit soaring together, alive to both mystery and reality, in kinship with others both familiar and unknown. That’s one way I’d define the feeling of faith now.
Note and Quote to Self – What you think, say and do!Your life mainly consists of 3 things! What you think, What you say and What you do!So always be very conscious of what you are co-creating!
NOTE TO SELF – BOOMERANG EFFECTMy words, thoughts and deeds have a boomerang effect.So be-careful what you send out!