Archive for category Excerpts; Essays

Rigorous Honesty?

An interesting post from another blog. How many of these reasons can you relate to?

7 Honest Reasons Why Addicts Lie | Addiction Recovery.

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Uncertainty is Certain

“He explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer… Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, he liked to say.”

- Excerpt from ‘Night” by Elie Wiesel

“Computers are useless. They only give you answers.”

- Pablo Picaso

I’ve always felt the necessity to know. I believed that if I had enough answers I could then ensure that my needs would be met. The fear that I wouldn’t get what I needed to be happy drove me to become controlling and manipulative. If I just controlled everything around me I would finally feel safe. But then the unexpected would happen and the fragile sense of security would disappear to be replaced again with fear. I would try even harder to control the uncontrollable. I believed the power I sought was in the answers. This was a damaging and hurtful cycle which left my spirit parched. It isolated me from those I tried to love.

 A large part of my spiritual growth has been letting go of the need to know. I don’t and can’t know God’s will but I can seek it with willingness and an open mind. I don’t and can’t know what the day will bring but I can greet it with curiosity, interest and acceptance. I can allow pain into my life like an old friend who’m I’ve known too long but still visits me anyway, always leaving behind an unexpected gift if I look for it. I can trust that an opened mind and heart will receive the grace of gratitude and acceptance even when I don’t see them on the horizon. The ocean often seems large and dangerous, my boat small. Fear recedes when I have faith that all I need are questions. The faith that only in questions lies the power I seek.

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The Last Temptation

One of the most profound writings I’ve found is the Prologue by N. Kazantzakis to his novel, The Last Temptation of Christ. It is a moving statement of the struggle man experiences between the flesh and the spirit. It speaks to the spirituality upon which the Christian religion stands…and all too often hides from view in favor of its dogma of power and control. But I digress…Click here for the full text of the Prologue. Below is a brief excerpt:

My principal anguish and the source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh.

Within me are the dark immemorial forces of the Evil One, human and pre-human; within me too are the luminous forces, human and pre-human, of God – and my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met.     More

 

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Shared Weakness

an excerpt from “The Spirituality of Imperfection” by Ernest Kurtz

This sense of shared weakness creates what is truly a community. Participants in such a setting learn to appreciate rather than resent the strengths in others because they know that, at bottom, they are the same – flawed and imperfect. Those who do not share weakness find in others’ strengths a threat. But those who recognize shared weakness see in others’ strengths a hope: the hope that your strengths might also support me. With shared weakness as our common bond, we can rejoice in another person’s strengths rather than be threatened by them.

Spirituality begins with this first insight: We are all imperfect. Such a vision not only invites but requires Tolerance: active appreciation of the richness and variety of human beings on this earth, along with the understanding that we all struggle with the same demons, we all share the same fears and sorrows, we all do the best we can with what we have.

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Thomas Merton on St. John of the Cross

Thomas Merton was a Columbia University educated Trappist monk. In the mid to late 1930′s, the same time Bill W. was writing the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, Merton was having a spiritual crisis. His all night carousing and drinking was finally silenced by a spiritual transformation within the Catholic Church and a Trappist monastery. His experience is familiar to everyone working the 12-Steps. He became one of the best known spiritual thinkers and writers of our day until his death in 1968.

This is an essay on St. John of the Cross a 16th Century Catholic mystic. I found it to be very enlightening. Highly suggested.

Located on Download page or click here.

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Letting Go Into Our Freedom

an excerpt from Jack Kornfield

Letting go allows us to live wisely. Life is inevitably a process of letting go into greater and greater capacities of being, from infant to child, adolescent to adult. Letting go of our fears and habits allows a more spacious wisdom to emerge. Mov­ing through this changing world and letting go of the be­liefs, the attachments, the fixed sense of ourselves one day at a time is to travel with a graceful and spacious heart. To release the old is to allow the new to be born. This is freedom.

Read the full essay here or download from the Downloads page.

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Living Our Truth

an excerpt from Jack Kornfield

How to make our lives an embodiment of wisdom and compassion is the greatest challenge spiritual seekers face. The truths we have come to understand need to find their visible expression in our lives. Our every thought, word, or action holds the possibility of being a living expression of clarity and love. It isn’t enough to be a possessor of wisdom. To believe ourselves to be custodians of truth is to become its opposite, a direct path to becoming stale, self-righteous, or rigid. Ideas and memories do not hold liberating or healing power.

Read the full essay here or download from the Downloads page.

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