Compassion

Compassion is one of the ‘abilities’ that most of us believe we possess. What we generally mean by it is that we can experience an emotion ‘as if’ we are another person. But there’s a trap: it is rather easy to reflect what we, ourselves would feel, if we were in the position we perceive another to be in. Technically, that would be ‘sympathy’, rather than compassion. We imagine that it’s what the other person would be feeling, and although that assumption is often correct, sympathy is a ‘projection’ rather than a perception.

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Prayer

For some, it is an axiom that prayer is always answered, even if you don’t appear to get what you requested. And of course for others, prayer is a pointless exercise, because ‘there is nobody listening’. Well, I, too, don’t believe there is anybody – or anything – listening; or not in the way we would usually understand that. And yet, I do believe that prayer is always answered. How so?

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Coping Mechanisms

Before a person properly ‘wakes up’ – shifts the centre of gravity of their being from acquired / externally-driven personality to internal ‘essence’ – their life is necessarily filled with tension. Not all of the time, of course, but most of the time. It can even fill their dreams with unresolved issues, so that they wake up feeling drained, instead of rested. One answer is a holiday – a break from the usual routine of concerns. It’s just one of many ‘coping mechanisms’.

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Son Of God

One of the key differences between the religion of Islam and that of Christianity is the status of their respective prophets. In Islam, the prophet Mohammed is taken to be the last, and therefore most correct of the line of God’s chosen: the ‘seal’ on the line. In Christianity, the prophet Jesus is given the role of ‘Son of God’ and therefore highest of all the prophets. He is even called ‘Saviour of the world’ (Messiah) – which Muslims and Jews both dispute. But what is a ‘Son of God’?

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Serenity

There are two ways to reach a state of inner serenity. The first – and seemingly easiest – is to abandon all desire: to float like a leaf, on the breeze of the world. This is not enlightenment; you merely choose not to be involved. The second – and seemingly harder – is to seek to understand the world, in toto, for with understanding comes agreement: lack of division.

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Colossians 2:8

In the King James version of the bible, this verse from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, reads as follows:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

It may seem odd, given the rest of this blog, for me to be taking on a verse that appears to tell devout Christians to stay away from ideas such as mine, but actually it bears examination.

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Inner Space

My last post was about how we humans might be turning the corner from a society of self-obsessed children – along the lines of “Lord Of The Flies” by William Golding – to one that has grown up and started to take collective responsibility for its home. If that is to happen, it must be an ‘organic’ change, and it has to begin with education. Education has the potential for forming or deforming our connection to spirit, and connecting to spirit in a healthy way is – or should be – part of the preparation for life that we give our children.

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Age of Wisdom

There is a fond belief – in many cultural contexts – that at some point in the (probably near) future, a wise avatar – an ascended spirit – will descend or return to the material world and trigger an Age of Wisdom. Somehow, the obvious truth that this being brings will undo all of the current folly of mankind, and unite people through compassion. Some, of course, believe that this ascended spirit will actually be a member of an ancient, alien race. Others that it will be a ‘Son of God’. I have even encountered the idea among Fourth Way students, where this avatar is called ‘Man number Seven’. But I wonder, would such a person even be heard in the cacophony of the world, today?

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Leaving Home

Most people go through their whole life merely ‘making home’. Even those who are physically homeless make that state their new home – or try to. Home is where you feel safe. Home is where you can feel ‘you’; where you’re not always acting, to please someone else. Home is where you can chill, and let the world drift past, without having to worry where you might wash up. Home is a mental rock of certainties. Home is a little palace, decorated with things that are expressions or mementos of ‘you’. You go out of your home to make home better – and, of course, to make contact with friends. And when you start to fear the outside world, you retreat to your home, and worry what may happen to it.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

That’s the adage that older people try to teach the young, to help them to deal with a world in which chaos often seems to overwhelm their best laid plans. It comes from experience, knowing that “This, too, will pass.” But when you’re caught up in events, seeing a valuable opportunity falling apart, it can be hard to remember to keep calm. But why is it that some people can dance on the wind of life, whilst others can’t seem to get the phrase “For f**k’s sake!” off their lips?

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