so what !?! January 23, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
Tags: divine purpose, high god, personal fulfillment, predilections, religious affiliation, vantage point
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An article in a recent US newspaper struck me as quite perspicuous. It was titled “God, Religion Atheism. So What!?!” It seems that many government and private market forms, when asking for religious identification encompass a variation on this article’s title— “Christian, Jewish, Muslim, NONE.” The article pointed out that more and more, Americans are selecting NONE as their category of choice. It’s not that we are not religious; we just don’t want to identify with any “organized religion.” (From my observations there’s good news then; religion isn’t that organized anymore.) The article certainly did not reveal anything new when it noted that there is a growing number of us who not only have NO religious affiliation, but believe that there is no god, no higher principles, no magnificent scheme, no metanarrative, no purpose-for-living to which they should dedicate their energy and allegiance. Their life’s significance and direction are set solely by their own desires, skills, decisions, and preferences. It is the enjoyment of life’s predilections & pleasures that determine their direction. They are NOT concerned with fitting in with some divine purpose or search for meaning. Selah.
From the vantage point of a person (ok, me) who has lived as a servant of the Most HIGH GOD this seems an evasion of both societal and spiritual participation; choosing, instead, to place the desires of the moment and a penchant for personal fulfillment above any need to be included or concerned in the lives of the people of this planet. It is not arrogant self-centeredness: it is irresponsible self-absorption. It flies in the face of all the sacrifices and efforts made to forestall a global Armageddon. Government isn’t all bad: but at least it’s trying. Religious people don’t always agree: but at least they are endeavouring to make a difference.
The non-religious, non-caring, so-whats!?! of our culture are wrong. Inherent within us all, cognizant of it or not, lies a deep sense of purpose and meaning for life. Their arrogance asserting a belief in self as the ultimate determiner of meaning is unfathomable. None of us would be here today had not some of us dedicated our lives to making a difference. Then again, a world without God is as devoid of meaning as it gets; created or imputed meaning leaves much to be desired. The world and the universe do not revolve around us. It is not about So what!?! It is about what if, I can, I’m sorry, together, & making a difference. So be it!
Have a nice week,
temporal distortion January 17, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
Salvadore Dali’s 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory challenges us to reconsider the solidity of time. Dali saw time as “soft” vs something that is “hard.” Einstein postulated that time would slow down as a traveler reached the speed of light. This is a type of temporal distortion. So although the velocity of light is a constant, the measurement of time becomes a variable. It distorts.
In a sense, the faster humans go, the more our sense of time distorts. We try to pack so much into a day, a week, month or year, until we confuse the value of the time we have. We begin to live in separate “universes,” crossing between them as needed, to keep pace with ourselves and the impossible schedules we attempt to keep. The result is that we lose the ability to properly perceive ourselves in the real universe: we also lose our ability to perceive the real universe accurately as well. Our vision becomes skewed proportionately with the velocity of our lives. More simply— run ahead of reality, miss the small stuff. Critical details are not so designated capriciously. They are important to grasp in the grand scheme of things.
Our personal, temporal velocity will distort our grasp of real reality.
Time is measured out to each of us to use with delicate touch. None of us know how much of it we have in this life-span. So, in an effort to prevent a distortion of it, I offer these challenges to you—
In broad strokes, chart the next year; vacations, holidays, work commitments, family times. Do the same in more detail for the next month, for this upcoming week. Then ask these questions of yourself—
- What is important to you? What % of time does that get?
- What is the balance of time between work and family? Remember, it’s quality and quantity time.
- How long does it take you to STOP? [You do stop, don’t you?] Relaxing cradles refreshment within.
- How much time do you spend staring at the ceiling when you go to bed at night? Get help. OR, just STOP your day one hour earlier. One hour earlier. “Sleep…, don’t leave home without it.”
Do not be deceived. Temporal Distortion does lead to warped comprehension in adjacent areas of life. Given enough time distortion evolves into perversion; and perversion lapses into blindness to the truth of any reality other than the one solely inhabited by you. God set up this universe to run smoothly according to His principles of time & space, of relationships within reality. Don’t mess with it. Adjust your life to run in time with the Universal Clock; and I don’t mean the one in Greenwich.
Have a nice week,
holy January 10, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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Holy cow! Holy mackerel! Holy Father. Holy Toledo! Holy moly! Holy @#%$! Holy Spirit. Holy Bible. Holy ground. Holy terror (usually reserved for toddlers). Holy Grail. Holy Qur’an. Holy rollers. Holy Sutras.
Holy. The word is sprinkled throughout our vocabulary. In different forms it is found in most of the world’s languages. It appeared first in ancient Semitic form as Q-D-Š (–), to designate something set aside for sacred use. The Hebrew qudosh (קֹדֶשׁ) was used in reference to holiness. In modern English we have a remnant of the original QDŠ through the Greek in the form of kudos. Yes, kudos, from an ancient Semitic root.
But what does holy mean? What does it look like? Looking within ourselves we can see that which is not holy, not good, not right. Yea, verily, many of us are certainly good; but holy? Not likely. Examining human history grants us further illustrations of that which is not holy. Ask any parent and they will inform you about their two year old from hell. Ask any parent of a teenager about half-truths, deception, secrecy, and “attitude.” Or sit in on a session of Congress, or a corporate “merger,” or international negotiation to avert a crisis. Holy would not be the first descriptor that would come to mind. On a deeper level, humanity seems rife with a characteristic we all understand and perceive to be definitively e-v-i-l. And evil needs no definition (the Plague, Vlad the Impaler, the Holocaust, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Mao Zedong, Idi Amin, transAfrican genocide & starvation; whether we believe it to be of human or spiritual origin, there is little doubt in the human history, and within the human psyche, these individuals and events were (are) truly evil. The opposite of all that would be considered holy, in both nature and effect.
So how do we comprehend the holy? How do we even begin to define it? It is not evil: it is untainted, pure, safe, and complete unto itself. Through our world’s religions we can look at various definitions and interpretations of holiness, but can we ever really examine something that appears to be completely outside our realm of experience? Whatever it is, it is something totally other than what is normally familiar to us.
Or is it?
Is there, imbedded deep within our innate human consciousness, a sense, a knowledge, of that which we call holy? How is it that we possess a sense of reverence for holy things, holy places across the globe? Why do we consider certain practices or rituals holy? At one time or another we have all known fleeting glimpses of a holiness beyond ourselves which we intrinsically recognize within our souls. How can this be?
Allow me to suggest that there is within us all a holy presence who is intimately familiar with us, who seeks us, and desires that we seek him as well. Do not shy away from this quiet voice within. It just may be He who offers you a way beyond the rest of the evil we bear, and which we encounter each and every day of our lives. Maybe it is time we thought of holiness as more of a foundation, offered us as a basis for our lives than as an eventual reward for being good.
Have a nice week,
new January 2, 2012Posted by needinc in emPulse.
Tags: happy new year, joy joy joy, lord of the universe, new babies
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Do you like new things? New babies (a-w-w-w), new clothes, a new car, a new job, or a new start. All cradle the sense of a new beginning, another chance. Unless you are an antique dealer you probably like something new. New signifies freshness, unspoiled, unused by another, not tainted, innovative, bright. New things grant the possessor hope, expectation, joy, confidence, a sense of completion (if only momentary), and power (if only illusory). New is good for us, if not always advisable. New always costs more than we think it does.
So when you find yourself jealous of someone else who has something new, and you don’t…, give it up. Whatever they have that is new, that you do not have, is good for them; it may not necessarily be good for you. Instead rejoice with them! Celebrate the new baby, the new job, the new car, whatever it is! [I know that surreptitiously, underneath the celebration, you secretly still wish it was you possessing the new_____. But…, really, are you that covetous, that greedy, that envious, that you cannot let it go; that you cannot genuinely join in their merriment, their elation!?!] It is part of life’s enjoyment to rejoice with other people in their joys. Joy, joy, joy, joy!
Even the Lord God of the Creator has said “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11, Bible). If the Lord of the Universe wants to give us His joy so that our joy may be made full, shouldn’t we be able to join in the joy of someone else’s new ______?
O yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Have a nice week,