|Just in case there are those who refuse to be caught forever by ugliness and seek some alternative, the evil of cruelty makes its claims. Cruelty is something we recognize so easily as a physical activity, yet find so hard to identify in its finer but no less dangerous forms. It is essentially an intentional misuse of power by a strong entity toward a weaker one on the same plant’ of action. For instance, a helpless cripple could scarcely be physically cruel to a strong and healthy person, yet could very well be diabolically cruel mentally to the same person if he were intellectually vulnerable. Cruelty is only possible as a calculated discharge of destructive energy directed at feebler creature unlikely to retaliate effectively. Thus cruelty automatically implies cowardice as well.The motivation of cruelty is commonly again the artificial ego-enlargement resultant from its practice. It makes the little boy feel bigger when he kicks his baby brother. If we can make others frightened of us we seem larger by comparison to their shrinking. That is the secret of cruelty. A false sense of boost because of aggressive action which appears to avoid injurious reprisals. To hurt and kill some helpless and defenseless creature makes cruel people feel enormously powerful by contrast. They may even delude themselves for an instant that they are acting like gods. Taking their pathetic little share of life energy, they are willing to expend this on damaging the lives of weaker beings for the sake of supposing themselves more powerful than they truly are. None cry louder than such cowardly criminals when justified retribution rebounds on them. Nobody hates being hurt more than those who hurt with hate.
We need not always look for evident violence in order to recognize cruelty. It is possible to be extremely cruel in the “nicest and sweetest” ways. Staging little scenes deliberately to humiliate and hurt someone’s feelings while remaining righteously on the side of conventional virtue meanwhile. With the aid of a little intelligence people can contrive all sorts of cruelties yet themselves keep in the clear so far as rule books apply. Attendants in mental hospitals, for instance, have ample opportunity on these lines. So has anyone in charge of children or animals, or whoever is unable to hit back where it hurts most. Let those who think they could not be cruel examine what conscience they have within their own life-frameworks If we are still in human bodies then we are yet capable of cruelty in some degree or another. It is well to see this and convert our energies otherwise as we can.
–William G. Gray (Exorcizing the Tree of Evil)
January 16, 2014
Reflection for january 16, 2014: Cruelty is only possible as a calculated discharge of destructive energyPosted by BB BAUM under Abadon, Abraxas, ayn rand, bible, Bigot, buddhist, catholic, Christ, christian, conflict, dharma, divine union, empowerment, environmental, esoteric, evil, Gnosis, Gnosticism, God, golden rule, hope, Ignorance, illusion, kabbalah, klipploth, left hand path, LHP, Lies, Love, Materialism, mindfulness, misanthropy, monad, mysticism, objectivism, Paradox, peace, Perception, philosophy, polarity, qlipploth, religion, selfishness, Stupidity, Truth | Tags: Abadon, Abraxas, ayn rand, Bible, Bigot, buddhist, catholic, Christ, Christian, conflict, dharma, divine union, empowerment, environmental, esoteric, evil, Gnosis, Gnosticism, God, golden rule, hope, Ignorance, illusion, kabbalah, klipploth, left hand path, LHP, Lies, Love, Materialism, mindfulness, misanthropy, monad, Mysticism, objectivism, Paradox, peace, Perception, philosophy, polarity, qlipploth, religion, selfishness, Stupidity, Truth |
Leave a Comment
January 15, 2014
Leave a Comment
If only this did not relate to numerous people in my life at the moment… lol oh well, can’t change them, when it is their own internal battle, their own lack. A baby will eventually soil it’s diapers, a hateful, spiteful, ungrateful, manipulative personage will soil their diaper too…although as they are so oblivious they’ll probably sit in their own feces and not notice the difference…..
Sometimes kitty’s are so honest… at least their malice is only over kibble, belly rubs and how much wool you dangle in front of their face….
We and God are not two separate existences; therefore the will of God is also our own will. If we want to change, then God will not stop us from changing. The poet Nguyen Du put it like this:
“When necessary, the heavens will not stand in the way of humans.
The result of past actions can be lifted,
future causes and conditions can be created.”
The real question is, do we want to change or not?
Do we want to hold on to the lure of suffering and let our minds wander around in dreams? If in your heart you want to change, then whatever spiritual being you believe in will also be happy for you to change.
Families work the same way; no person is completely separate. If the son or daughter changes, then the father and mother will also change. If the energy arises from the son or daughter and effects a change in them first, then it will also produce a change in the heart of the father and mother some time later. Families are not made up of completely separate entities. Even if God has predisposed things to be a certain way, we can still change because, as the Bible says, “we are children of God” (I John 3:2).
What is the relationship between the creator and the creature? One has the ability to create and the other is what is created. If they are connected to each other then we can talk about them as subject and object. If they are not connected to each other, how can we call them subject and object? The subject that creates is God; the object created is the universe in which we live. Between the subject and the object there is a close relationship, just as there is a close relationship between left and right, night and day, satisfaction and hunger; just as, according to the law of reflection, the perceiver and the perceived have a very close link.
When the angle of incidence changes, the angle of reflection will change immediately. What we call the will of God is linked to our own will. That is why the retribution of our past actions can be changed.
— Thich Nhat Hanh (The Energy of Prayer: How to Deepen Your Spiritual Practice)
March 6, 2009
Leave a Comment
Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.--Kahlil GibranOnly crime and the criminal, it is true,confront us with the perplexity of radical evil;but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.--Hannah Arendt
"Jesus said, `Blessed are those alone and chosen, for you will find
the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return'" (Gos.
In our Yahoo chat room the other day, someone asked me about this
verse, and generally what it means to talk about "the chosen"
or "the elect" in a Gnostic context. This concept has been another
of the many subjects through which Christianity has attempted to
denigrate Gnosticism, in this case by suggesting that we Gnostics
believe that only a certain (small) class of people are capable of
gnosis, creating a kind of fundamental soteriological hierarchy. In
other words, this would mean that being "chosen" would be a kind of
volitional and constitutive act, presumably by God, without which
one cannot enter through the gate of knowledge.
There may indeed have been some Gnostics in the past who believed
this, and who suggested that initiates into their religious groups
could only be drawn from a very small "gnosis-capable" part of the
human population, so to speak. However, the earliest articulations
of Gnosticism, and pre-Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Thomas,
suggest in contrast a radically inclusive version of "the chosen," a
version that is flowering again today in our neo-classical Gnostic
Renaissance. I would like to take a few minutes here to suggest the
outlines of this understanding, which I hope may be helpful for you
in considering the history and theology of Gnosticism, and your own
personal spiritual outlook.
While the limited, exclusive theory of "the chosen" is attributed to
Gnostics by mainstream Christians, it actually is far more clearly a
part of THEIR religious traditions. The notion of predestination,
in particular, has made this idea of "divine election" profoundly
volitional in its metaphysical origins and constitutive in its
metaphysical effects on human beings. What many do not realize is
that a fairly robust form of predestination continues to be
theologically present in the belief systems of many denominations
that no longer emphasize it publicly, such as the Catholic Church –
in the case of Catholicism, as recently as the Council of Trent that
followed the Protestant Reformation, a Catholic doctrine of
predestination was solemnly affirmed. I say this only in passing to
provide you another example of the many inconsistencies in Christian
denunciations of Gnosticism – although, as I have said before, we
should not expect to find any consistency, because Christian polemic
against Gnosticism is not fundamentally concerned with being either
rational or coherent, but rather with foisting off on Gnosticism all
the difficulties, repressions, and forms of guilt that have
accumulated over the centuries in the massive social and cultural
edifice that calls itself the Christian church.
Now, on to the contrasting INCLUSIVE theory of "the chosen." What
in fact does it mean to be chosen or set apart? Is this setting
apart purely self-referential, or does it have an object? In other
words, are we just chosen, or are we chosen FOR something? This is
the key distinction that allows us to make sense of the whole
concept. When we embark on the path of gnosis, we are responding to
the basic call of the spirit within us, and the spirit beyond us
that ultimately is God. Because of this response, we are chosen by
God and set apart to be as it were the avatars of the spirit in the
world. As we move forward toward enlightenment, we have more and
more responsibility for the actualization of our own spirits but
also for true spiritual compassion of those all around us. We
are "the chosen" not indeed as if those around us are incapable of
gnosis, but in fact to be the instruments by which their gnosis can
come about as well! This is, of course, not at all the same as the
mainstream Christian notion of conversion, because that is about
dominating the other, about forcing the other into your own
prefabricated "truth." Being called and chosen, we are to form a
kind of sacred river, flowing through the world with what looks to
those outside to be passivity and even surrender, but gently picking
up the salt of the spirit as it were on our way to the sea.
So, the idea of a certain "chosen" group does not necessarily mean
in any way that other individuals are incapable of gnosis, for it
seems certain that other human beings, who share the basic
experiences of life with us, must have those experiences rooted in
the same kind of spiritual nature. Rather, being chosen, or
constituting an "elect," is in many ways a practical description,
since most of the people around us, fully capable of gnosis as they
are, are held back by many painful and frightening things from
taking those first steps that set us apart at the very beginning.
This point is made clear by another saying from the Gospel of
Thomas, which is included in the canonical New Testament as
well: "Jesus said, `The harvest is great but the laborers are few.
Beseech the Lord, therefore, to send out laborers to the harvest'"
Look around you: how great is this harvest, how ripe the fruit of
human beings standing just on the front porch of enlightenment,
ready to take that first step through the door! How late the time
is, my dear friends, and how quickly the sands of time are falling;
look at the darkness descending and the blood-red sun sinking low on
the horizon, as our world is weighed down ever more by the pain of
violence and hatred. How many sit in the lingering twilight,
yearning for the night to come – for the pain of living in this
world without joining in the life of the spirit has become
unbearable without drugs, and distractions, and addictions that ease
We have been called to be those laborers, to be those shepherds, to
live not only for ourselves, but for all. To be chosen is to be set
apart as a gift to others, not to be elevated above others. Pride
is extinguished in love, and the ultimate love leads us to the
sacrifice of the bodhisattva, to the sacrifice of Christ. While the
light is still with us, before the clock strikes the closing of the
day, let us seek love and the fruits of love. For truly "there is
light within a person of light, and that person lights up the whole
world" (Gos Thom. 24).
In Christ and Sophia,
October 10, 2008
Leave a Comment
“To unify your life unify your desires.
To spiritualize your life, spiritualize your desires.
To spiritualize your desires, desire to be without desire.”
–Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude, p56)
“In the Jewish mystical discussion of Creation, the Creator’s act of tzimtzum—making space in the All-God Presence for the existential possibility of Other—was followed by shevirat hakelim, or the shattering of the vessels (the big bang?). As the God-Will to create filled the space formed by the vacuum of stepping back, of tzimtzum, the resulting universe became a vessel that was capable solely of receiving but not of giving. And so it became filled with so much God-Light that it exploded, and in so doing became a vessel capable of receiving as well as yielding, of containing as well as pouring forth. It is in that universe that our world was conceived. A world of give and take, of inhaling and exhaling, of to and fro, of back and forth, a universe in which there could be dance, where life could be dynamic rather than static. In such a universe there is room for receiving only when there is also the capacity to give, of feeling loved only when there is also the capacity to love.
Shevirat hakelim is experienced by the average person at least some of the time. When you are the recipient of potent dosages of loving from someone and it is coming from a place of authenticity and altruism, you may experience an ‘explosion,’ a bursting-forth transformation in your heart that leaves in its wake amoebic stages of evolving love for the Other, the very beginnings of a wholesome partzuf (countenance) process.”
– Gershon Winkler (The Place Where You Are Standing is Holy)
Tat: But now tell me this; how are the castigations of darkness, which are twelve in number, driven out by ten forces? How does this come about, Trismegistus?
Hermes : The tent dwelling which we have left, is composed from the circle of the zodiac which, in turn, consists of twelve elements; one nature, but manifold of conception, in keeping with man’s erring thoughts. Among these castigations, my son, there are some that act in combination. For instance, undue haste and thoughtlessness cannot be separated from anger. They cannot even be distinguished. That it is understandable and logical that they will disappear together when they are driven away by the ten forces. It is these ten forces, my son, that give birth to the Soul. Life and light are united. And so the number of unity is born out of the Spirit. Likewise, according to reason, the unity contains the number ten and the number ten again contains unity.
Tat: Father, I perceive both the entire All and myself in the Spirit-Soul.That is rebirth, my son – one cannot form any three dimensional concept of it. You know and experience it now thanks to this Discourse on Rebirth, which I have put in writing solely for your benefit, since we would not divulge all this to the multitude, but exclusively to those whom God has chosen.
It’s not just enough to change the players. We’ve gotta change the game.
“Lord, those are Your best servants who wish to shape their life on Your answers rather than shape your answers on their wishes.”
–St Augustine (Confessions 10, 26)
April 19, 2008
Leave a Comment
The Oklahoma Dominionist Crisis
Wikipedia defines ‘Dominionism’ as “a tendancy among some conservative politically-active Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action….” The following is a statement which confirms the movement in the American culture.
”Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the ‘Vice Regents of God,’ we are to exercise Godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”http://www.theocracywatch.org/about_us2.htm
In describing Dominionist Theology Wikipedia states….
“All strains of Dominion Theology are small minorities, and are rejected by most mainstream Christians.”
According to an accumulation of information by me from members of several political activist groups, Oklahoma’s mainstream Legislators are selling out the state and federal Constitutions in favor of funding, and making laws which reflect Dominionist activities. So much so Dominionist Theology is no longer a minority, it has become the ruling force.
Several books are available about the methods of the Christian Dominionists to dominate politics like, ”Tempting Faith,” by David Koa. ”American Theocracy,” by Kevin Phillips, and ”Faith and Politics,” by Senator John Danforth. All outline the political goals of the religious right to influence aspects of American life. All confirm the corruption of the Faith Based Initiative programs….
In Arnold Hamilton’s March 25th article, “Church-State, Separation In Peril, Wall’s Tumbling Down?”, the editor of the Oklahoma Observer, points out prima facie, some of the felonies being committed in regard to criminal violations as to Oaths of Office, to protect both the Oklahoma State Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution. Hamilton’s article points out specific Legislators and their actions, as did an entire conference I attended on March 29th of supporters of the Oklahoma Americans for the Separation of Church and State.
I’ve been collecting information on Dominionists for several years. I have on a regular basis shared this information with the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma, The Drug Policy Forum of Oklahoma, the National Judicial Conduct Disability Project, and several other political activits, and organizations. I currently serve as the Field Investigator, on the Board of Advisors for The Congress Against Racism, and Corruption in Law Enforcement.
One of the big parts of the Oklahoma crisis for me is that none of the organizations mentioned above can officially endorse any legal action against any of the Legislators they have documented proof against. This seems to me on one hand to be a little too ‘Catch-22.’
One of the ways in Oklahoma for people to seek indictments is to petition the Oklahoma Grand Jury. None of the Organizations I mentioned above, could officially endorse steps to present evidence and circulate the needed signatures of the electorate. One of the reasons for this is none of these organizations can stand up to any liability in case they are sued. There primary mission as they see it is to raise public awareness.
This means the only viable solution to put together a petition for the Grand Jury is to do it with a force of individuals who need to meet the criteria of proofs, and collect the signatures for the required petition. Then it has to be submitted and reviewed by a District Court. It has to be done so no organization gets involved. Very tricky, but other Oklahomans have done it. According to one of my attorney friends people in Florida (clients) have been murdered going up against the Dominionist forces.
If the Dominionists see a Grand Jury action comming there is a chance they could stop it, due to the last provision of the Oklahoma Grand Jury section of the state Constitution which allows citizens to petition. The last sentence of the Section II-18 provision of the Oklahoma State Constitution…. “The Legislature shall enact laws to prevent corruption for convening a grand jury.” There is little question the Dominionists would interpret such an action as an unlawful insurrection of sorts. There are ample horror stories of violence, and outrageous abuses against people who have stood up to the Dominionists.
I have spoken with Mikey Weinstein the Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and I know he, his supporters, and family have been shot at, threatened, and abused by minions of the Dominionist movement. There is no doubt that Dominionists see Mikey and his organization a serious threat. Mikey has documented the infiltration of the Dominionists into the United States Military, and they have created the same kind of crisis there as in the Oklahoma Legislature. Mikey’s experiences as an activist are proof the Dominionists will use any means.
Those that take an ‘Oath’ to defend the Constitution need to know, this is a serious commitment, and subversion of it, is a serious crime. Few politicians in the state of Oklahoma have much regard for this obligation. The Dominionists have taken over the Legislature and their abuses have become a matter of public record. The ‘Americans United’ presentations at the March Conference, disclosed a number of serious violations of the state and federal ‘Separation’ clause, and the state mandate…
Section II-5, of the Oklahoma State Constitution…
“No public money or property shall ever by appropriated, or used directly or indirectly for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such. ”
This provision of the Oklahoma State Constitution makes it clear that no money ‘directly or indirectly’ should go to any religious organization. There can be little doubt this provision is related directly to the Separation clause of the First Amendment. This is only one of many concerns which involve the criminal negligence to protect constitutional mandates.
It has become a matter of public record that Oklahoma State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton diverted funds to her own church. The anti Gay outlawing and rantings of Rep. Sally Kern, have become as much a national embarrassment as did the rantings of Florida’s Rep. Katharine Harris. The Dominionist movement has permeated the entire Oklahoma government, at all levels. Dominionist legislation that has to be challenged in courts is costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
One of the claims of the Dominionists is that they are distributing federal money, and does not apply to their state obligations. I ask, “If I claim to ‘indirectly bitch-slap’ you upside your head does that make me ‘not quilty’ of battery, or manslaughter?” I don’t think ”Barbara Jean” on “Reba” is stupid enough to believe that theory.
The question is how would an Oklahoma Grand Jury look at this problem? Perhaps an entire Grand Jury of Dominionists has to be a consideration, by anyone who might use this method for the redress of grievances, or the fair reporting of crimes. Taking on Dominionists is a nightmare no matter how you look at it.
February 5, 2008
Leave a Comment
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)
Humbleness and meekness create in man a bottomless receptacle of recipiency to hold Truth. A proud irascible individual, like the proverbial rolling stone, rolls down the hill of ignorance and gathers no moss of wisdom, while meek souls at peace in the valley of eager mental readiness gather waters of wisdom, flowing from sources human and divine, to nourish their flowering vale of soul qualities.
The imperious egotist is easily riled, defensive, and resentfully offensive, repelling emissaries of wisdom who seek entry into the castle of his life; but the meek and humbly receptive attract the unseen assistance of beneficent angels of cosmic forces proffering material, mental, and spiritual well-being. Thus do the meek of spirit inherit not only all wisdom, but the earth, that is, earthly happiness, along with it.
–Paramahansa Yogananda (The second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the Christ within you)
The intrinsic definition of Limitlessness is that It lacks nothing and can receive nothing, for It is everything. As It is everything, theoretictically It is the potential to be an infinite source of giving.
The question arises, however, that there is nothing for It to give to because It is everything. It would have to give to Itself. This has been a major creation. conundrum in philosophy and theology for thousands of years.
Kabbalah suggests one way of dealing with this issue. It says that as long as the infinite source of giving has no “will” to give, nothing happens. However, the instant It has the will to give, this will initiates a “thought.” Kabbalah says, “Will, which is [primordial] thought, is the beginning of all things, and the expression [of this thought] is the completion.
That is, the entire creation is nothing more than a thought in the “mind” of Ein Sof, so to speak. Another way to express this idea is that the will to u give instantly creates a will to receive. The idea that an infinite giver can create receptivity in Itself is what Kabbalists call tzimtzum (contraction). It has to make an opening within Itself for receiving.
That which is given is called light. That which receives is called vessel. Light and vessel are always in balance, because light comes from an infinite source and thus will fill a vessel to its capacity. If we put a bucket under Niagara Falls, it instantly fills. If we put a freight train there, it also instantly fills. Imagine that the entire universe rests under a Niagara Falls of light, continuously being filled.
According to Kabbalah, the interaction between vessel and light is what makes the world go around. Everything in the universe is a vessel that “wills” to receive the light of the infinite bestower. Each molecule, plant, animal, rock, and human is a vessel; each has the “will” to be exactly what it is.]
Human consciousness is unique in that it has the quality of being “in and the universe. If we the image of God.” This quality is expressed by what we call free will, and free will at its core is nothing more than the ability to bestow light. That is to say, human consciousness has an inherent will to give. This human capability of acting like God in being a bestower is the fulcrum upon which the entire universe is balanced.
The reason this is so important is that if there were a will only to receive, as described above, the universe would be completely predictable. Everything would be predetermined, all receptivity would find shape in its implicit design, and every aspect of the unfolding of creation could be anticipated. The wild card introduced here is the premise that human consciousness is informed by a soul force that gives it the capacity to emulate the infinite Bestower.
Thus human beings have an extraordinary capacity to influence the direction of creation. Each time we make use of our free will by giving, we are in copartnership with the infinite Bestower. When this is accomplished, with clear awareness of what we are doing, we raise the consciousness of creat1on.
–David A Cooper (God is a verb)