Theme for Our Church This Week is Blessings

A Prayer

The blessings, the beatitudes of Jesus. God bless those who become blessings. You await our blessings.

Blessings to you for earth, sky and sea. Blessings for those who have saved rather than squandered.  Blessings for those In need.  Blessings for those who loved. Blessings for those who Have turned from judging, who chose not to hate.

Love, with all its blessings, let that be us. Let that be here. Amen

How Do You React to Darkness?

Stand outside In your backyard on a night of a new moon.  Preferably a cloudy night too, No stars, pitch black, dark

If artificial light disturbs the darkness go to your basement.  Decide on which place is the darkest and stand there for a while taking in the blankness of its attributes.

How does it feel? Absorb the feeling. Is it one of peace or fear? What is it? Why is it? Which have you defaulted to?

Oscar Who?

Oscar Levant said to George Gershwin, “Tell me George, if you had to do it all over again, would you fall in love with yourself?”

It must feel good. Who am I kidding, it does feel good. Don’t all of us fall in love with ourselves at least once?

When does this become  a bad thing? Ever? I suspect if done in excess it would be a problem. A constant demonstration of it and we would appear selfish. When is confidence self love? Can we be confident without falling in love with ourselves?

At least with Gershwin, the result is that most of us know who he is. But who is Oscar Levant?

The Place In-between

James Hillman writes, “The place that analysis and theology have in common is the soul. But the soul is a ‘non-place’ for neither theology or dynamic psychotherapy regards it as its main concern. The one studies God and God’s intentions, the other studies men and women’s motivations, while the place in-between is too often left unoccupied.”

From Hillman’s book Insearch:psychology and religion.

In the Monadnock area of New Hampshire, we have group called Monadnock Area Psychotherapist Services (MAPS). They are a group of psychotherapists whose aim is to include in their therapy practice the place in-between.

How appealing is that to you? Do you feel an in-between place?

 

Listening

I didn’t bother to look back at my other posts to see if I have used this heading before. Listening, I think it is the most important contributor to healing our world. I also believe it has to start long before the listening of diplomacy. Listening at a diplomatic level is as essential as an other listening, but at that level the stress is so high that the risk of failure is much greater.

Robert Johnson in his book Owning Your Own Shadow writes, “You can give another person a precious gift if you will allow them to talk without contaminating their speech with your own material.”

Less of us can be a very good thing, but we must remain present.

Speaking of Arts

From the book Insearch: psychology and religion by James Hillman

“A solution that keeps the intentionality of consciousness yet forgoes its active thrust has been called the art of listening. This art has perhaps fallen into decline along with that of conversation.”

The Kindle edition I am reading was last updated in 1994. Bringing the statement forward and making it as if written in 2014 I ask, “Do you think”

A projection of sort. In 1994 I listened little. Today I feel I do more, but not enough. Still, as I project onto the world my own failings, I claim progress.

Can the world claim the same, even if a little? I think not.

Conversation on a public stage is in remission. My readings tell me that humans do worse in groups. Whatever darkness we have individually are disproportionally multiplied when ever two or more gather as one.

I propose we make listening a graduate degree. I bet those who earn it will become more valuable to corporations than lawyers.

An Edge in the Prophetic

In “On Art”, an essay by Edward O. Wilson in the anthology Biopoetics, Wilsowrites, “I emphasize the expansive role of poetry to argue that whereas art and science are basically different in execution, they are convergent in what they might eventually disclose about human nature.”

How does that happen? Does it happen? What do they disclose about human nature?

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