Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Are we to blame for everything?

"A man will always draw to him just what he is..." ― Ernest Holmes

One of the things I love about my spiritual practice, at least as Science of Mind (SoM) is practiced at our center, is the emphasis it places on accepting contradiction: we live in abundance, but people in our spiritual center are getting their home foreclosed upon, is one example...

You can be of any religion and practice SoM even though those religions deny each other by definition. That's because SoM is a philosophy, a practice, not a religion.

Christianity is a religion. In John 14:6 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me...." Yet you do not have to be Christian to practice SoM. SoM, as a philosophy, tolerates differences in concept of God, it has to or it becomes a religion.

When you say, "I have the answer and if you don't agree with me you are wrong," that is a religion and you have substituted one religion for another. The new "truth" becomes Ernest Holmes is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Ernest Holmes...."

I do not totally agree with the duality concept of spiritual vs. ego and the concept of good vs. evil that it implies. Words are just labels and reducing the complexity of human existence to two forces fighting each other does not work for me.

In 1976 when my oldest was born he was a tiny premature baby and he was moved to an infant intensive care unit. In that ICU was a baby who had been scalded almost to death. This baby boy was in agony, screaming. He was anchored in a brace that held his hands and feet in a locked position. This literally prevented him from any movement at all as his skin very slowly healed. I never saw any parents there with that baby and I have no idea of his story...

If a man will always draw to him just what he is. By this definition was this baby a man? What could this baby have been to draw such a fate to himself?

The reason I reject that "a man will always draw to him just what he is" as a singular truth is it has the effect of blaming the victim. No, no, no! Did every single Jewish person in Eastern Europe in the 1930s draw the Nazis to themselves?  No, no, no! Did every single person in the world trade center in 2001 draw the terrorists to themselves?  No, no, no!

You can live a good life and terrible things can happen. Just being a good spiritual person does not prevent bad things from happening. Life is more complex than that. Life is more complex than an experience that reduces itself to a binary struggle between two forces.

We are spiritual with spiritual truths, and we are ego with ego truths, and we are animal with animal truths and we have genetic natures and orientations that are hard wired into us and that in my opinion no SMT can change; nor should we attempt to change them.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

Within the human experience there are many truths and these truths do not always agree. Life may give us a cactus. But, we chose whether or not to sit on it.

In the Buddhist tradition, the first noble truth is the truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering. In my opinion suffering is a fact of life, not a flaw on the part of the person who suffers.

I reject that "a man will always draw to him just what he is" as a stand alone truth. Even Ernest Holmes followed that statement with the word, "But..."

I am not saying the Holmes quote is not true, but that it is one truth and not a singular truth. Shit indeed does happen I believe. We choose how we see the world and that influences how the world sees and responds to us. I believe in the law of attraction. But, I also believe in the principles of inevitability, impermanence, the possibility of randomness and the principle of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. I do not believe that we are the cause of every bad event in our lives. I do not believe in blaming victims for violent acts committed on them.

I prefer:  “He who kisses joy as it flies by will live in eternity's sunrise.” ― William Blake

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