Wednesday, October 28, 2009

do we need a hero?

do we need a hero to help us get through each day of our abyssmal lives? or
do we need to be distracted so we can forget how abyssmal we think it is? or
do we need to continuing learning, growing and building long after we have left the school system such that we come to find our authentic self within the lives we have made and make the most of ourselves, the relationships and opportunities that exist?

I fear that too many simply choose the path of distraction through entertainment in our current western world society. the consumer model supports it quite well. could we have gotten away with this model 1000 years ago?

the hero path still exists however with people pledging allegiance to brands, religions, celebrities and ideals so much so that they forget that they need to be learning and not following blindly.

Not staying on topic, like I ever do, I ponder the statement "Dodge trucks are the best there is" or some other like comment about a vehicle or any other material good for that matter. I have witnessed people defend their position so strongly as to damage relationships with others. How is it we latch onto an allegiance so strongly that we would rather give up relationship and community in its defense? To some an allegiance to a brand is so unsofisticated that they easily dismiss it with the person who is saying it. But if we consider religion, human rights, ethics, morality and justice (to name a few) then the level of complexity rises and we only easily dismiss the fundamentalists who are on the fringe and look like lunatics and so are easy to label. The moderate, however, is not so easily dimissed because like you and your position they believe their position to be true due to their information, their conditioning, their community and so to attack their position means to have your own equally convincing position on matters, or does it? Does the lazy atheist care if he cannot disprove Christianity, not really, it is entertaining to suggest the Chrisitian cannot absolutely prove it. Does the person who belives the death penalty is the answer to violent crime need to prove statistically and beyond a shadow of a doubt with empircal evidence that the fear of death will make crimiinals who can change do so? We take positions on the world for a variety of reasons and I wonder whether we are doing ourselves any good by doing so while ignoring our opportunity to live intentially instead of watching the world pass us by.

- dale

metaphors

"The price of metaphor is eternal vigilance."
Norbert Weiner

Metaphor erodes as we are distanced from the cultural and chronological context of the original statement. The Bible is shackled so. This week I read Luke 6 and 7. The Father, The Son of Man, Elijah, Israel, Heaven all lie heavy on the page.

Perhaps erode is the wrong word. The metaphors have been "fine tuned" over the last two millenia. Knowledge of the fine tuning is essential yet forgotten. Never eating the soup to the bottom, we drink the broth and wonder why we're undernourished.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

amazing people

I love reading, you discover about a lot of amazing people that way. This evening while I was waiting for the kids in their program I began reading The Authentic Leader by David Irvine and Jim Reger. Truly enjoyable in the first 50 pages anyhow.

I wanted to share a few quotables from the book so far:

"My need to prove myself to the world has been transformed into a desire to express myself in the world"

Wow, I love that, it is something I really would like to grow into.

and also...

"The path to nurturing the soul is not linear. Sometimes, moments of being utterly confused and disheartened , and unable to grasp any degree of clarity , occur in the midst of a quest. Yet, these moments being lost provide opportunities to simply 'sit still' and wait - wait for discovery, wait for clarity, and wait for answers"

wow, I can so relate to that as I reflect on my journey, linear it is not but my training in many ways trys to keep me thinking that it can be and that when I stumble I am somehow broken. It is authors, like these two, that convince me that stumbling and reflecting gives us more than not stumbling at all.

and the last quote is their quote of Scott Peck

“Spiritually evolved people, by virtue of their discipline, mastery and love, are people of extraordinary competence, and in their competence they are called on to serve the world, and in their love they answer the call. They are inevitably, therefore, people of great power, although the world may generally behold them as quite ordinary people, since more often than not they will exercise their power in quiet or even hidden ways. Nonetheless, exercise power they do, and in this exercise they suffer greatly, even dreadfully. For to exercise power is to make decisions, and the process of making decisions with total awareness is often infinitely more painful than making decisions with limited or blunted awareness (which is the way most decisions are made and why they are ultimately proved wrong).”
P. 75, from Scott Peck, Roads Less Traveled.

I know this to be true, to all of my friends out in the world quietly helping the world get by in the midst of its troubles I raise my ale to you and toast your silent contributions. Thanks.
- dale

Monday, October 26, 2009

the riddle

why do we seek, ponder or wonder about these things:

spiritual inspiration
spiritual exploration
spiritual connections
spiritual commitment

why do I think we do?

spiritual inspiration
the mystic moments, the ineffable that causes us to collapse reasonable possibilities and seek the unknown

spiritual exploration
curiosity, knowing that reason cannot explain everything

spiritual connections
a desire to share in the above with others

spiritual commitment
I don't know? perhaps to have a sense that critical human needs can be met. needs such as satisfaction (praise, to be needed, to be alike, to be different, to see results) and stimulation (entertainment from the outside in)

does it come down to what we want out of life, or
what do we want out of the next moments?

- dale

Sunday, October 25, 2009

bugs are bad and chlorine is good?

my contributions here is a means to think out loud about how I want to be involved in the shaping of the world. My inspiration has come about largely through small realizations of the past year (2009). One, as noted in the title, is my surprise at how society (albeit mostly the urban portion) have come to accept that chlorine in its extensive uses is more acceptable to humanity than are bugs. Bugs, which are part of the fundamental frabric of our natural world are often seen as an enemy, even those perfectly harmless lot that cause no damage, do no harm but just look creepy. I found that particular development of what is good and evil to be disturbing and felt an inner (or outer, one could easily argue) push to try to communicate those thoughts. This task, in the midst of the mayhem and joy that is my life felt in surmountable. And then the little voice inside my head pinched me and I slowly cast off from my safe harbour which I have been anchored in for some time to once again explore.

My idealistic hopes are that we could somehow work together and make good things happen that are an integral part of our future. I will in the weeks ahead (I hope) further expand on the fragments of ideas I have below, but I wanted to get them out there to share amongst my friends for their ideas too.

Topics:

** A community that draws us out and then together in a non-competitive, non-monetary, non-evaluative group of connections

We enjoy a balance of time with others and time alone. Each of us has our unique balance and it varies from day to day, hour to hour. Sadly as we have become most valuable to the world economies' as a consumer, we are drawn more and more into private moments with our stuff, despite the craving to be with others out in the world, at least some of the time. Our challenge however is that when we do venture out we are sometimes thrust into a world that is clearly a reflection of the consumerist vision of who we are which relies heavily on comparison. We need to strenghthen communities that are not based on comparison for what we have, how much we make or who we are on the outside.


** Restoration of stewardship of the commons as a fundamental belief


The commons, is those space, places and concepts that we share with everyone else. Whether it is a park, water, a library, software, our laws they are all shared amongst us. If they are maintained, we all have the opportunity to enjoy them, if they are not maintained or are abused we all lose the possibility they presented. Humans cannot each own a piece of the world sufficiently large and diverse as to each privately enjoy all the world has to offer. Thus the commons are those things we share for the good of the all towards those goals of enjoying all the world has to offer. I have found however that people do not consistently respect the need for the common good. Take for example the common public washroom, it astounds me how much graffiti is found there. More importantly however is the damage we do to the natural places around us. Parks, streams and so many elements of life on the planet that we cannot see with our eyes make up the infrastructure of that which we do enjoy. We need to stop believing that the free market will regulate and is most efficient

** protection and restoration of wild spaces
there are places on the world where we should not go unless we can go without a trace. these places are shrinking and dying. we need to continue to ensure that those who venture there do so without a trace and that those who would threaten our human expansion upon those spaces are stopped.

- protection of the environment impacted by the urban expansion and human consumption
only a minority of the human populace actually wants to leave urban areas but their reach goes well beyond their urban borders as a result of their consumption, political support and apathy.

- transparency on how and where things are made with context
we purchase, we consume, we enjoy but we have no idea how the things we buy got to us. in more recent years certain sectors have tried to inform us of the perils of not buying local, but we know so little.

the meaning of life
It has become difficult to remember a time when thinking about spirituality and the presence of God in the universe was not a part of my thoughts. I often thought of myself as spiritual, but not religious when I considered my inner thoughts.

I remember as a young teen staring at the ceiling in my bedroom pondering the question of whether we (humans on earth) are really alone in the universe. Our collective creativity has created stories of life on other planets and throughout history in response to our awe at the universe man has created gods and structures around them. I have never wholly bought into any of the religious concepts, for a number of reasons. I think the most important of the reasons that I tended to reject religion was the religious body's need to hold true to historical references on the awesomeness of their god. I have never understood why it is so important to defend, project and sell a concept based on historical witness of the events. As a result my instinct was to challenge that initiative which got me thinking that perhaps I was an atheist but based on years of considering this and reading what organized atheists have to say about the world I can honestly say I am not. It it interesting that while I enjoy being part of a community and sharing in discussions and the advancement of common morals, values and ethics I do not share an interest in needing to agree on sprititual, conceptual or creative matters. I struggle with the need to publiclly pledge allegiance to a belief and think that as we escape the clutches of the modern age's influence, needless rules, formulas and a catalogue based structure to our lives we in fact need to evaluate the delinking of the public declaration and pledging of allegiciance too a belief from the fellowship, community and common good derived from it.

It it interesting that while I enjoy being part of a community and sharing in discussions and the advancement of common morals, values and ethics I do not share an interest in needing to agree on sprititual, conceptual or creative matters.

human rights and equity
how do we restore the lives of those without? is the only option truly just to level the playing field?
how do we reign in the impact of greed? How do we deal with the outcome to our rich way of life?

- dale