I cannot believe that both Israel supporters and Hamas supporters are still claiming media bias against their own points of view! Like it fucking matters!? Let me make this real simple for everybody. You kill civilians (especially children), you are shit. It doesn’t matter if you warn people to get out first or if the other side isn’t doing what it should be doing to protect their own civilians. It doesn’t matter if you have killed one or a million. The leadership of both sides are shit and shit should be flushed.
It is never more amusing to me than when it is assumed that my theology must be the most liberal Christian theology on the planet! I guess they assume this because A) I was consecrated a Christian bishop, B) I was consecrated by a wandering bishop, and C) I’m occasionally unorthodox and brash in my ministerial approach. Perhaps, it is even more amusing when these same individuals discover that I practice [perhaps] the most conservative form of Christianity on the planet. I am then usually (quite expeditiously) ostracized, perhaps mostly out of their own shame for their serious lack of judgement? One can only imagine when personal bias is involved!
Let’s clear the air!
No, I am not a liberal or a conservative! I am not a progressive or a heretic! I am not a Papacy critic or a fundamentalist!
If you must give me a label, you would do well (or at least better) to call me a Perennial Mystical Esotericist. What this means is that A) I don’t bastardize traditions for my own selfish agenda or pick and choose only the pretty, clean, feel-good parts. B) I practice far more than one religion. C) I walk the most careful balance between any and all social extremes unlike most everyone else in the world. Why? Because I (again, unlike most everyone else), understand cosmic balance, how it plays out consequentially, and how failure to grasp its basics adversely disrupts the course of our evolution.
If this realization damages your opinion of me, that’s perfectly acceptable to me. I don’t need your friendship, just your commitment to evolve.
Jesus gives us an example of reckless abandonment in the rawest sense possible. The message of the Cross is a complete release of everything we hold to be important. It is the death of the ego-reality. Without the sacrificial death of Jesus, Christian teaching transforms into a bland collection of feel-good nonsense. True Christianity is a bloody, provocative, politically incorrect spirituality, and it is this way because the mystical life is a bloody, provocative, politically incorrect reality. The feeble-minded need not apply.
To Whom It May Concern:
It came to my attention this week that my monthly service bill was being rounded up to the nearest dollar with the excess monies going to local non-profit organizations. I was told by customer service today that this practice started in February and that notices went out with our bills. Regardless of the notification, I did not authorize this excess in my payment to go to non-profits that I am unfamiliar with. Unless you can furnish such authorization where I signed to agree to give extra money to you to be distributed to said organizations, I am requesting a refund on my account in the full total of the excess going back to when this started.
A proper way to have handled this would have been to send out notices asking customers to opt in, but the fact that you decided to automatically make the deduction tells me that you anticipated people not noticing the policy change and that you could collect more money this way. This is unethical and very disrespectful to your customers. If you, as a company, wish to donate money to local non-profits of YOUR choice, go ahead and do so on YOUR own profits, not your customer’s!
Anyway, I expect a full refund. Please contact me ASAP about this matter.
UPDATE 07/14/1973: Cobb EMC contacted me and refunded the full amount requested.
On the liberal front we have people making this ruling out to be a blatant example of sexism, a violation of women’s rights, as if employees have a “right” to receive a “benefit” that an employer does not wish to give. And just to be clear, the last time I checked my insurance package, vasectomies were not covered. Does this mean I should take to picketing the streets, proclaiming how the world treats its men unfairly?
On the conservative side of the issue we have people calling this a victory against Obama’s socialism. Anything, even something socially harmful to themselves, is called a victory if one of Obama’s policies are damaged in the process. That’s just par for the course when it comes to conservative rationalizations. And don’t even get me started on the subject of abortion!
To be blunt, both sides are fucking stupid!
This is a victory for ANYONE who values religious freedom! I don’t give a damn what bullshit political ideology you’ve ignorantly chosen to adopt as your own just so that you can feel a part of a system that really could give two shits off a rat’s ass about you. That should be a given to anyone with half a brain, but then again, half a brain seems to be a commodity in most skulls these days.
The problem is, everyone is so consumed by their own egocentric biases and agendas, they’ve neglected to see the real evil of the situation, that is, corporations being given rights that should be reserved only for actual human beings! Americans have no clue what the difference is between a right and a privilege or between entitlement and merit. It has all become one and the same in this ‘everybody gets a trophy’ society and it has made the people of that society painfully dim.
My wife and I had an important discussion last night about this. She brought to my attention something I had not considered before. It was an insight that demands that this country sort out all of its priorities once and for all. On one level it wants to force-feed its citizens its own delusions of free-market democracy, all while on the other, raising its children to become communists. And you know something? The so-called conservatives with their hypocritical notions of “Family Values” are the worst offenders! While duking it out to squander whatever valuable resources they can sell their souls for within the whorehouse of Corporate America, they come home and teach their kids to share, to not fight, and to be fair, while also demanding this of their school districts, daycare centers, and summer camps. And make no mistake about it, all of this is being regulated under the dictatorship of the supreme parental unit. Children have no rights in these situations, that is not unless their parents give them rights. And since their parents have complete and total control over any and all available resources for that family, the parents decide how it is distributed, usually being sure to reserve the most security for themselves; because watch out when you turn 18, those living in an upper to middle upper class lifestyle will suddenly be thrown into the depths of poverty, carrying only utterly useless ingrained skills of ‘share and share alike’ with them so as to find a way to survive. These same parents will bitch and wonder why their country is looking so socialist and fail to recognize how they have contributed to it. So when these same people ask me why is this country the way it is, I can only be truthful and tell them, “because you raised your kids to be communists and now that they are adults you expect them to immediately transition to become ruthless free market capitalists, you morons!”
Isn’t it funny why a society that is obsessed with the preservation of childhood innocence would find socialist/communist idealism to be the model upon which to build their parenthood? Is it because supreme control over resources has its privileges? Especially when you want to assure your citizens (or in this case, your children) do exactly as you tell them? Or maybe it’s because inherently, our universal instincts truly understand how unethical and immoral free-market capitalism really is. After all, Jesus was a socialist.
A Christian looks at the world and says, “if we fight for everyone to become a Christian, the world will be better.” And the Muslim looks at the world and says, “if we fight for everyone to become a Muslim, the world will be better.” And the Republican looks at the world and says, “if we fight for everyone to adopt conservative values, the world will be better. And the minority looks at the world and says, “if we fight for civil rights, the world will be better”. And so on and so forth.
The mystic does not fall into this error. The mystic looks at the world and says, “if we stop competing for philosophical, ideological, and environmental resources, surrendering to each individual’s highest authenticity by replacing deficits with abundance, the world will have no other choice but to be better.”
Competition is cruelty. Peace is attained not by fighting for it, but by holding the entire world ransom until it surrenders to abundance.
The universe is a hostile place and the earth, this inconsequential bubble of life floating through a seemingly infinite sea of virulence, is without any doubt, a tangible expression of God’s Grace. Yet, standing in the shadow of such a Grace, as humanity would find itself, is not completely safe. God’s love (or better yet, compassion), perhaps, is a violent, passionate love (compassion). It causes pain as well as remedial pleasures. It compels us to move further, even though most won’t, even though those that try will most usually fail.
Engaging the Mystical Life, then, is an exercise in morbidity. One must become immune to the stench of death and bask in the darkness of the macabre. What I speak of is far and beyond any Dark Night of the Soul. What this is will test one’s suitability for Sacrifice. You must become a living victim. You must be capable of total surrender. You must be comfortable with each and every fear that you now possess or will possess. Holiness is not a behavior. It is not humility nor is it accomplished by appearing humble or pious or austere. Holiness is merely a willingness to relinquish all worldly conceptualizations. Done correctly, holiness will not make you a great person. Chances are, you won’t be heralded a “saint” by your peers. Holiness is a clandestine event. Its proper implementation will go (and should go) unnoticed by the world.
This is not Sunday School. This IS the Divine life. It hurts, it’s painful, and it’s so damn wonderful, the mystic goes on ahead anyway.
Dr. Bryan D. Ouellette announces his plans to establish an inter-spirituality center.
When I explain to people that I believe in Santa Claus, they usually respond in such a way that tells me that they either think I am joking or that I am intentionally misdirecting them while actually referring to something else. But when I tell them that Santa Claus is more real than ‘we are’ and that I can prove it, these same people often think I’m a bit crazy, or at least somewhat unbalanced. It will probably be useful that I now take the time to validate this point.
First, take a moment and explore your life. Take notice of the things that you do from day to day. Look at your job or career. Observe your home life, your daily chores, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, people you need to call, hobbies that require some attention. Look at all of it. When finished, explore how these things make you feel. How deep do the feelings go? Is your mundane life provocative to your feelings and emotions or are they somewhat neutral? Do you go about completing the tasks of daily, ordinary life, with passion or is most of it accomplished on some sort of mental autopilot? If you are like most people, chances are good that these daily events instill little passion in your mind and cause you to feel even less in your heart. If there is an emotional response to some of it, it is probably a diminishing sense of dissatisfaction or contentment, but hardly anything that will excite the feeling center of our being for any meaningful duration.
Now, take a moment to explore any works of fiction that resonate with you. Perhaps it was a book you read, a movie you saw, or something related to the realm of good story telling. Consider how powerful these emotions and feelings were in relation to your ordinary life. How frequently have you cried or been greatly moved by your ordinary life as opposed to the same frequency of occurrence found in works of fiction? Again, if you are like most people, the drama of theater, music, literature, or any of the arts will inspire a deeper reaction to such content than to that of the mundane. Have you ever wondered why the drama of a story feels stronger than a similar event in our own “real” lives?
We might see two people kissing on a park bench and become annoyed, thinking to ourselves that their lack of discretion in showing us a vivid public display of affection is quite soppy or mushy at best, or we might think , “get a room!” at worst. Yet, if we go to a movie and watch a passionate love scene between two people who are hopelessly in love with each other in much the same way as our “real-life” counterparts, we may identify with the characters, finding the similar display (which may be quite a bit more sensual and graphic than two lovers on a park bench) beautiful, enriching, or exciting. Many people love love-stories, yet when the same love-story enters the realm of the mundane, these same people will often look away from it and not want to see it. Ever wonder why?
The causality of this experience is much deeper than it might appear on the surface, yet the answer is painfully simple. We respond to fiction more passionately, more willingly, and more wholesomely, because at our core, we recognize the archetypal language built into the dramatic act on display in works of art. These archetypes feel stronger than ordinary experience because we know, at the most rudimentary level of the universe, that what is being portrayed is spawned from something much larger than our ordinary world. Archetypes are the language of the Divine. They are the actual “Word of God” that brings everything into creation and they are the elemental building blocks of the spiritual world. Quite simply, we feel them more strongly because they are more real (even though it does not appear this way to our brains) than the illusory facsimiles apparent in our limited mundane range of experience. In a sense, the archetypal language is properly attuned to our souls; not our brains. What we term “ordinary life” has no compatibility with our highest authenticity.
Santa Claus is archetypal. While there may not be a man coming down your chimney each Christmas to bring your children gifts before he takes off into the sky with his flying reindeer to enter some other house, the reality of Santa’s essence lives far and beyond this. Within the cosmic archetypal structure, these events do, in absolute fact, take place. They can be witnessed in art, naturally, but for the mystic, they can be experienced directly. There is a very real world unlike our own world of shadows where heroes like Gandalf conquer evil and lovers like Romeo and Juliet acquire a love eternal. This is a world where what we dream is what is authentic and it can be validated by what we feel and how strongly we feel it.
The Hindu maya is true. Our world is illusory and does not exist in the way we think it does. It is a shadow realm and one that is a poor copy at that. This true creation can be recognized by feeling. The window into this world is art, but in order to pass through the threshold and enter into this world [forever], so as to become a part of it, requires a sacrificial act of total surrender. The shadow will only cease to be cast when the authentic object in question turns away from the reflection and looks into the light.
As long as we live life through our shadows, seeing the shadow as the real world, we are pawns and slaves, with ‘meaninglessness’ taking the role of the slave driver. But when the sun shines everywhere, shadows cannot be cast. Nothing is hidden. So it is with the archetypal stories that make up the entire foundation of our thinking. In order to connect with this reality, we must be prepared to leave our ordinary faculties of perception behind. We must remove ourselves from all bias, all neurological stereotyping and see with perfect clarity that we and the people in our lives are merely crude doppelgangers expressing the archetypal operations of the cosmos.
So what is real?
Real is what affects you. Real is what you feel, not what you do or what is done to you. Real is that core feeling underneath the emotions that emanate from this core. Get in contact with that center, learn the language of God, and you too will see how Santa Claus is far more real than the chilidog you had for dinner last night or the laundry waiting for you to clean in the hamper…Or the ‘self’ that does all that me, myself, and I talk in your head.