15 April 2017

It's Getting Late

There is a journey before me but,
The destination is not at all clear.
The best part of me may already be there,
And what is left is mostly my memories.
I will leave with nothing in my pockets.
I cannot tell the reason for my journey.
My heart has yet to reveal it to my mouth.
Why does my body feel light and airy?
I am floating away like a child's baloon,
Tethered to Earth by a single thread.
A fortune in bribes can't stay my departure.
When it's time to go you really must go,
And something tells me it's getting late.

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28 March 2017

What I would say

If I could give a short admonition to congress and the current administration, this is what I would say:

In 1864 Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection in Darwin's evolutionary theory. If the term "survival of the fittest" truly implies a war of man against every other man, then it follows that the first rule of nature regarding civilization must be "to seek peace." The followers of this rule are said to be "sociable" and those who are always contrary for superfluous reasons are guilty of tension and strife because of their disregard for this fundamental natural law. The second rule is that all men and women should do unto others as they would be done unto, or, in other words, the golden rule. Following close behind this are the societal rules that covenants must be kept, that people should have no reason to repent of their good will, and that every person strive to accommodate themselves to the rest.

With the object of these natural laws of civilized people in mind I am asking our elected government representatives of all parties to extend their hands in fellowship with one another and resolve to avoid petty grievances. I remind them also that lies are akin to murder because lies are intended to murder truth. I ask that they seek truth and harmony to the greatest extent possible in the interest of peace and to invoke God's blessing upon us and our posterity. Amen!

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21 March 2017

For the Greater Glory

Abraham Lincoln once recited a line from the Gospel that has been quoted often over the years and especially recently. Lincoln delivered that line in a speech that he gave on June 16, 1858 as he accepted the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois that was held by Stephen A. Douglas. This speech is most remembered for Lincoln's quotation of the biblical phrase, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (Mark 3:25, Matthew 12:25)

The Republican Party was being newly formed at the time by an odd coalition of folks whose only unity consisted in their abhorrence of slavery. The new Republican Party contained former members of the Whig Party who opposed slavery, members of the Free Soil Party, Democrats who opposed the Kansas Nebraska Act, former members of the "Know Nothings Party who viewed slavery as a threat to political freedom, and abolitionists who sought a political outlet for their hatred of slavery. It was Lincoln's task to pull these different groups together in order to build a consensus strong enough to hold the Union together. We are now at another point is history when our Union is becoming divided against itself, but what is the solution to save us from so much civil strife?

I believe that the solution can also be found in scripture.  Jesus says in Mark 12:31 and Matthew 22:39, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Yes, of course, that is easy for us to say, especially when we speak from a high horse or a high pulpit. As a practical matter, however, what might be the mechanism for the change in thinking that could result in such a change of heart? I found an answer in something written long ago by St. Augustine. Who wrote: “Love men, slay error; without pride be bold in the truth, without cruelty fight for the truth.” (Diligite homines, interficite errores; sine superbia de veritate præsumite, sine sævitia pro veritate certate.)

We must remember that we all make mistakes and that we will be judged by God as to whether the mistakes that we make are just errors without malice or if they are sins of omission or commission. In the meantime whatever mistakes that we perceive about others by using our five senses are either violations of societal laws or common errors, both of which may or may not be subject to temporal punishment depending upon the power and authority of the court that does the judging including the court of public opinion.

Time and again we see people who worship the same God yet hate each other. We also see patriots from various political parties who profess to love their country but do not love people who are not just like them and so there are people of different races and denominations who hate each other. The solution therefore is to hate error but love people. How? Through empathy, education, and charity toward all. By understanding that most hatreds are rooted in humiliation, envy, and fear brought on by ignorance. If the United States is truly “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” then it should carry the seal of God which is Truth. Our task is not to tear down but to build up, to build a consensus based upon unity in spirit, “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” - “For the Greater Glory of God” (the motto of St. Ignatius, The Jesuit Order, and Pope Francis).

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14 March 2017

Of Parousia and the Divine Milieu


“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” (Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man.
Born: May 1, 1881, Orcines, France
Died: April 10, 1955, New York City

Teilhard de Chardin wrote a book called the Divine Milieu in which he addressed evolution in both scientific and spiritual terms. He is endorsed by both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. The following are some of my notes from "Teilhard De Chardin - The Divine Milieu Explained: A Spirituality for the 21st Century" by Louis M. Savary.

Evolution is happening continually on every level of being and has a direction.

The Law of Attraction, Connection, Complexity, and Consciousness

As elemental things are attracted they combine to form connections. They join together. Their connection or union is always a bit more complex than the separate parts. Since things never stop connecting because of attraction, the complexity of unions that are being created keeps growing. In this way complexity leads creation into consciousness.

At the physical level, the law of attraction is continuously expressed in four forces:

1.) Gravity
2.) Electromagnetism
3.) The strong and the weak nuclear forces
4.) Dark Energy

At the chemical level it is revealed in those attractive forces that bind atoms and nuclei together.

At the biological level, attraction is manifested in forces that keep bringing insects to plants to pollinate them, and bring animals in heat together to keep their species reproducing.

At its highest manifestation at the spiritual level attraction is expressed as love that brings humans together in friendship, marriage, and family.

Attraction, connection, and complexity eventually gave birth to movement, sensation, perception, awareness, and finally consciousness.

Evolution's trajectory is urging humans toward higher and higher levels of consciousness. We are at the apex of evolution's pyramid.

"Spirit is the indestructible secret at the heart of the world. Evolution is based on spirit and not on matter".

"The success of humanity's evolution will not be determined by 'Survival of the Fittest' but by our own capacity to converge and unify".

One of the most important characteristics distinguishing man from all other forms of nature is his knowledge of transitoriness, of beginning and end, and therefore of the gift of time. In man, transitory life attains its peak of animation, of soul power, so to speak. This does not mean man alone would have a soul. Soul quality pervades all beings. But man’s soul is most awake in his knowledge of the inter-changeability of the terms “existence” and “transitoriness." To man, time is given like a piece of land, as it were, entrusted to him for faithful tilling; a space in which to strive incessantly, achieve self-realization, move onward and upward. Yes, with the aid of time, man becomes capable of wresting the immortal from the mortal.

All of Creation from the beginning of time forms a single whole - a single immense system.

Merge yourself with the Divine Milieu in everything that you do until it becomes a habit.

Three Spheres of Creation:
Inner Sphere - Non-living Geosphere
Middle Sphere - Mass of Organic Matter - Biosphere
Outer Sphere -  Noosphere - Sphere of spirit and mind

 "The guidance provided by the clergy to the flock is being confined to a little artificial world of ritualism, of religious practices and pious extravaganzas that is completely cut off from the true current of reality."

"The true struggle that we are witnessing is not between believers and non-believers but between to types of believers. Two conceptions of the Divine are confronting one another. A secular religion of the Earth is fighting against a spiritual religion of Heaven."

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

In order to have free will it would be impossible to have a universe based upon evolutionary processes without conflict, confusion, competition, struggle, violence, failure, loss, sadness, grief, death, and all the rest of the diminishments because the world is populated with billions of people, each of whom are struggling to achieve different and often conflictiong personal desires.

Diminishments are inevitable like the diminishment you receive from a female mosquito that sucks your blood for her own nourishment. Figuratively speaking, this world is full of "bloodsuckers" of one type or another.

You must acknowledge that the fact earth itself and everything on it is still incomplete and still in a state of process.

God is capable of making good out of evil. The higher good will be accomplished in good time. It isn't necessary an instant transformation.

God transfigures our diminishments, our partial deaths, and even our final death by integrating them into a better plan, providing that we lovingly trust Him.

Evolution's direction in the Divine Milieu is always meant to move in an upward trajectory, from separateness to union, from complexity to higher complexity, from consciousness to higher consciousness, from matter to spirit.

All of the diverse elements of creation are living in the divine milieu and are driven by the law of "attraction/connection/complexity/consciousness". Every fragment of creation feels the impulse and the longing at some incomprehensibly basic level of consciousness, to become greater. Grains of sand that had been lying on the seashore for centuries have become "greater" as scientists have used them as key components in a computer's silicon memory chip. Through the human impulse to evolve, sand has become more than mere matter. It has tasted spirit.

Implanted in us is the law of attraction, connection, complexity, consciousness, that is the impulse to climb upward toward the light. We are, in effect, suspended between the pull of gravity downward and the bottomless pit below us and the sunlit peak of the resurrection of the body and eternal life. Every step of the climb is a continual crucial moment of decision for the hiker. There is always a temptation to rest.

Realize that the frontier between the material and the spiritual is essentially relative and shifting. What is good today can be bad tomorrow or good for one person and bad for another. Everyone must find their specific path in regard to dealing with the material.

It is not our business to withdraw from the world before our time, before we reach our spiritual destination.

From the material perspective matter seems to devolve us toward maximum pleasure and minimum effort and from the spiritual perspective in its evolutionary potential matter emerges as the principle of minimum pleasure and maximum effort. Instead of being subject to entropy matter becomes subject to synergy.

Synergy is part of the complexity in the law of attraction, connection, complexity, consciousness.

The Law of Attraction, Connection, Complexity, and Consciousness is constantly urging humans to raise what is inert matter into a more spiritual form from that which is started.

When all matter has been reclaimed by spirit, then our world will be ready for "Parousia" - the summary and fulfillment of the world, or in other words, the Resurrection.

Divine Mileu is a concrete transcendence which is a paradox because all life is united as one being but we still retain our own individuality.

Growth in spirituality and growth in deeper awareness of God run a proportional path.

God reveals himself everywhere as a universal milieu, only because he is the ultimate point upon which all realities converge.

The Divine Milieu is like the radio, television, and cell phone signals - omnipresent, always acting, always operating. However, the omnipresence of God is never out of range unlike electronic waves.

The next great advance in evolutionary transformation will be the gradualization of mankind. Humanity will converge towards a single society. It will occur by means of progress in technology, urbanization, multinational corporations, and globalization, and through ever expanding improvements in health, education, communication, transportation. Politics, economics, culture, tradition, language, symbols, and habits of thought will converge in one body of humanity in an upward spiral of progression.

At the present time "evil" is a suitable label for the present disorder that will eventually be resolved by synthesis into order. We talk of the need "to put our lives in order." This is a collective progression that is constantly evolving from disorder to order albeit with some fluctuations along the way.

28 February 2017

The Story of Day Seven

It is said by the ancient Jewish Rabbis that quite alone was the Sabbath among the measures of time. Every other day had been paired with its fellow, but not so the Sabbath. When the Sabbath complained to God that of all days, it alone stood solitary, God wedded it to His people; and this holy union God hath bidden His people to remember.

Background note: The days of creation were paired as follows:

Day one, light and dark are separated.
Day four, The heavenly bodies are created.

Day two, The firmament is established and the sky and the waters are created.
Day five, the birds of the air and the fish are created.

Day three, the land and the sea are separated and vegetation is created.
Day six, the land animals and the humans were created.

Day seven, God created the Sabbath and He rested.

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08 February 2017

Absolom and the Art of the Deal

Politics wasn't much different 3000 years ago during the reign of King David of Israel when he and his son Absolom were quarreling and Absalom needed a political base from which to practice the "Art of the Deal."

Here is a excerpt from what is called "Absolom's Conspiracy, the first six verses of 2 Samuel Chapter 15 that might seem vaguely familiar:

1 "In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him.
2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”
3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.”
4 And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”
5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him.
6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel."

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04 February 2017

Your Perspective, Mountain or Molehill?

It is said by the ancient Jewish Rabbis that in the age to come (Athid Labho) God would bring out the "Evil Impulse" (Yetser Hara), and slaughter it before the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous, the Evil One would appear like a great mountain, but to the wicked, the Evil One would look like a small hill. Both would weep. The righteous would weep for joy, that they had been able to subdue so great a mountain and enter Paradise and the wicked would weep for sorrow, that they had not even been able to conquer such a small hill and must enter Hades.

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03 February 2017

Eirenicon

What we need right now is a political "Eirenicon".

Eirenicon - form of the Greek word, "eirēnikós" (from the root "eirḗnē" meaning “peace”).

An Eirenicon is a proposal to resolve disputes and reconcile differences in order to advance peace, strengthen or establish unity, or foster solidarity, usually in a modus vivendi, "a way of living," especially a working arrangement to allow for peaceful coexistence between two parties in spite of differences or unresolved disputes.

This is a great word. Now that I found it, how can I bring it into common usage? Perhaps I could suggest it to congress or form the Eirene Party
(Pronounced ay-REE-nee).

In Greek mythology Eirene is the personification of peace. She was depicted in art as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia, sceptre, and a torch. Her Roman equivalent is Pax.

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31 January 2017

A Sermon for the News

What would Jesus say if He turned on the news today? Probably He would repeat what He has already said to those who have ears to hear at the "Sermon on the Mount". The subject matter of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, Luke 6) is neither righteousness under the law, or under a new covenant. It is about people belonging to the Kingdom of God and united with their Creator in Spirit. It is about people being children of God in addition to being mere creatures of God. It contains no detailed systematic doctrine, nor any teaching of rituals or forms of outward observances. Christ came to found a Heavenly Kingdom, not a school of thought or a political party. He came to institute a fellowship of love and camaraderie and not to propound a system of government. By grace we are saved through faith and not by our level of education, skin color, gender, ancestry, point of origin, or point of view. Through faith and the inclusion of all human beings we learn humility, tolerance, and the sacrifice of charity that is "brotherly love". Through our faith we receive God's forgiveness and mercy and we become forgiving and merciful. Jesus Christ stands between our present and our future and He opens the Kingdom of Heaven to all sincere believers in God who can be identified not only by what they say but what they do. The Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are the New Testament counterpart to the Ten Commandments. They represent not the laws written on stone tablets but the realization of the laws as they are written by the Holy Spirit on the human heart. This is the basis of morality and the altruism which is at the heart of all religions.

09 January 2017

A Tidbit for the Political Pot

"Ya gotta be for the people.
If you aren't for the people,
you can't buy the people!"
(Big Boy Caprice - "Dick Tracy", the movie)

"And Virtue, who from Politics
Has learned a thousand cunning tricks,
Was by their happy influence,
Made friends with Vice,
And ever since, the worst of all the multitude
Did something for the common good."
(The Fable of the Bees - Bernard Mandeville)

When an ostrich buries its head in the sand as danger approaches, it very likely takes the happiest course. It hides the danger, and then calmly says there is no danger; and, if it feels perfectly sure there is none, why should it raise its head to see? (Charles S. Pierce)

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.