Sunday, April 25, 2004
Names, names, so many names.

- posted by Eva @ 9:37 AM | | 0 rocks in pond

Saturday, April 24, 2004
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Where there is charity and love, God is there.

- posted by Allie @ 10:31 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

So what is sin to you?
My grandmother likes to repeat something told to her by a visiting pastor to her church: 'Sin is not bad behaviour, it is broken relationships.' If Rick Santorum gets a divorce, does that make me closer to God than him?

What is freedom? Is it freedom from or freedom to? Is freedom the absence of restraint, or the presence of capability? If there is nothing to prevent me from pursuing my dream of being a world-class marathon runner, but I'm missing a leg and can't afford a prosthetic, am I truly free? Or will the Universe provide?

Is God inherent in that certain way in which things come together and people fall in love? What if that's God? Does God need to have a face to be worshipped? What if living is worship itself? Perhaps God isn't 'out there', he's here, and you can call him by a name or not, but he/she/it is there nonetheless and there's nothing to be done about it. God is a law, something perfect that cannot be broken; things like the Geneva Conventions and US Code are simply suggestions backed up (sometimes) by force. There is no rule of law if humans write the law; the only laws we need obey are those inherent in our nature. Whatever law it is - probably we cannot ever put it into words, because words are just suggestions - has been followed so long as there has been anyone or anything to follow it, and it will be followed for as long as there is anyone or anything to follow it. It is, I think, impossible to break the true law.

- posted by Eva @ 5:45 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Saturday, April 17, 2004
A Question of Liberty
Liberty is ours by virtue of our limitation and misere; the fact that we die and know we are to gives the transcendence; 'sin' is a refusal of freedom and freedom is attained by engagement in the world, by chaining ourselves with responsibility. I concede the absurdity of man's reason in a universe which can never be explained by reason; yet freedom of the will is defended on grounds that are both secular and religious. The right and left most definitely have something in common here. One of our recurring purposes for self-enlightenment includes the discovery or realization of available resources for living in the face of the worst that the world can do to us. Freedom is not stepping away from this discovery. Am I free? Yes and no. None are as hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. I fear little now. I am free of fear - until I meet something frightening. In my comfortable state, I am free. Remember the toothpaste tube. I have not yet been squeezed to the point of getting at what is really in me. I embrace a theology of suffering, but I am not sure what suffering is.

Imagining Possibilities
Many conversations in homes or at dining places are filled with the loud silences that are subjects not discussed. Is it ever possible to exhaust all conceivable topics? All things are possible, but 'All' 'Ever' and 'Exhaust' are universal quantifiers constantly in danger of exceptions. We are limited by our knowledge, experience and imagination. We do not know what we do not know. What are the topics of those loud silences I wonder? Are you bold enough to breech them? Will it be worth it? We have not yet broken decorum and discussed the taboo. What is taboo? By what standard do you tell if your thoughts, actions and words are trivial or brilliant? Yes, all conceivable topics can be exhausted in conversation if we choose not to acknowledge new understanding of select topics. In the exchange of words reflecting insight, we may gain new insight. We may also generate extreme boredom, but for a curious mind this is less likely. Surround yourself with interesting minds as a safeguard against boredom. When this is not possible, be kind.

God - No God
If you believe you are endowed with some gift or talent or pleasure, who is the endower? There is no rapacity equal to that of the privileged who feel that their advantages are conferred upon them by some Intelligence and no bitterness equal to that of the ill conditioned who feel that they have been specifically passed over. These are extremes of emotion mixed with just enough reason to make the sting noticeable. I contemplate freedom in this context. To value the opinions of others to the extent that it directs your actions is to be a slave to those opinions. How easy it would be to live if we were certain that there was no greater mind behind what we do. How terrifying and vain would be the role of leaders if, indeed, without guidance and consolation they must create from their own vitals the meaning for existence and write the rules whereby they/we live. There is only one way, however, to know what we know, and that is to risk our convictions in an act, and to commit them (our convictions) to responsibility. What do you know? What do you do?

Guided Freedom
I take such pride in the exploration of my mind that I forget there are laws governing that exploration. Those laws, whether they be defined as religion or ethics or mere judgment, must be found and respected. Otherwise the mind leads to self-destruction. To be so well established and mentally enlightened is a danger. It is a liberty that leads me to forget to allow the exercise in freedom to others. Liberty is an accumulating discipline. People must be given practice in choice. What laws govern your thinking? What are you trying to say? Who are you trying to say it to? To what end? Are you free? What enslaves you? Is freedom embracing responsibility? Is all this chatter a device to avoid the responsibility of daily living? Forgive me then. Write to alter all thought to self-awareness and enlightenment. Write for self.

- posted by -g @ 11:16 AM | | 0 rocks in pond

Friday, April 16, 2004
someone recently sent this to me, and although i mostly chuck my chain mail, i liked this.

I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No. You must grow on your own! , but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me. God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

then the email said:

"If you love God, send this to ten people and back to the person that sent it. "

what a way to ruin a nice email....

we ask ridiculous things of God to prove that He loves us, and then we ask ridiculous things of each other to prove we love God. i hear a rendition of the lambchop song running through my head.

--posted by Da

- posted by Julia @ 11:56 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

Friday, April 09, 2004

What does it mean to have freedom? Is it the ability to do what you want whenever you want? Is it the priviledge of living in a democratic country? Perhaps it's the choice of your own career, school, or trade, and the ability to make your own way? The problem is that we can have all these choices and yet not be free. We can still be held captive by our own needs, wants, desires, and lusts. Is this freedom? To be controlled by our needs? To be driven by our wants? To be led around by our lusts? To be captivated by our desires? The one who would conquer the world must first conquer himself. But nobody is able! Who will rescue us from this terrible tyranny? There is only one who has ever conquered himself, and he did that on a Roman cross two thousand years ago. As we kneel before him we become free from ourselves. To give up your life to the one who has already given his life for us is the only real freedom. Choose Jesus, the rest is just slavery by a different name!

- posted by Bruce @ 12:49 PM | | 0 rocks in pond

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