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Rev. Calli

What does your belief system require of you in these times?

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3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

The big picture is out of my control.  I don't focus on it because there is nothing I can do about it.

I hear you. Me, I see a windmill, I raise my lance. Probably not the best role model....

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3 hours ago, mererdog said:

I hear you. Me, I see a windmill, I raise my lance. Probably not the best role model....

Funny.  No.  The Man of LeMancha does not work for me.

I choose a different role model  I choose the Lotus.

The lotus is a beautiful flower that floats on swamp water.  The swamp water rises, the lotus rises with it.  The swamp water goes down, the lotus floats down with it.  A presidential candidate promises to drain the swamp, the lotus knows that he's a lying bag of sh*t.

The tide rolls in.  The tide rolls out.  "The Dude abides."

 

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On 2/26/2017 at 5:34 PM, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

An interesting view.  I thank you for sharing!  It does lead me to one question, asked only for clarification.  When you reach out to assist others, do you find yourself more inclined to help individuals on a one on one level, or giving of your time and money to groups that help multiple people, like the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?  

One of the current debates among the clergy, at least in Milwaukee, is how do we best help people who come to us asking for financial assistance.  There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  They  ( my clergy brothers and sisters) believe that the limited financial resources we have are better spent on programs that benefit the most people, like the different meal programs and shelters around our city, and that people who come to us asking for assistance are best served by directing them to places that can provide long-term assistance.

Then there are those who try to help each individual who comes to their door by providing what small financial assistance they have available, feeling that direct aid is the best, most biblical approach.  The thought process behind that being that as Christ also gave freely, so should we.  I realize of course that you do not share a faith in Christ, but as a non-Christian, in your own giving, what do you find to be the best approach?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Sorry for the late response, been moving to Georgia this week.  I can understand both views.  In a Christian sense, if I may make a point in such a way...by refusing to aid others in a one on one basis because a person might buy drugs etc...that comes across as judging others in my opinion.  I give to others as I can, and leave it up to them to determine where the gift goes afterward.  I have done my part, which is the giving.  It is up to them to do the right thing with that gift, or not.  In no way do I feel responsible for giving to someone who spends it on drugs or other things I might consider a vice.  For example, and I have a recent one...on my move to Georgia I stopped at a gas station to fuel the U-haul.  The person in the car next to me asked for help, as they were trying to visit a dying grandparent and just put their last 10 in the tank, but didn't think they would make it.  I gave the fellow a 10 and told him to have a safe trip.  If he was simply pan handling, if he was going to use that on alcohol or drugs, it doesn't concern me.  I acted in good faith(funny thing for an atheist to say, isn't it), in giving a gift to someone, based on the information I had available.  

That said, mostly I give to larger charities.  Mostly, things that help with kids, or kids hospitals.  That's simply a personal choice, as I had a little one pass away in a Children's hospital and another who had an extended 5 month stay, and while those events were happening I got help with gas money from the hospital charity.  I lived two hours away, and the trip wasn't easy as I was on welfare at the time.  I saw a lot of parents there in similar circumstances, and I fully understand the hardship of having other kids in school two hours away while trying to afford gas to go see the sick child, balancing time at home for the other kids with time at the hospital for the kid in need.  It's very demanding.

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

The lotus is a beautiful flower that floats on swamp water.  

I've tried that one, but found it boring. Just as conflict is the soul of every story, life without strugggle feels pointless to me. I suppose I could focus on my internal conflict with my own boredom... Never really tried that... 

Edited by mererdog

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3 hours ago, mererdog said:

I've tried that one, but found it boring. Just as conflict is the soul of every story, life without strugggle feels pointless to me. I suppose I could focus on my internal conflict with my own boredom... Never really tried that... 

Clearly, we have different inclinations.  I like to use meditation to find that quiet place within.  I'm guessing that this does not appeal to you.

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15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Clearly, we have different inclinations.  I like to use meditation to find that quiet place within.  I'm guessing that this does not appeal to you.

I've tried to try it but never really let myself give it an honest shot at producing any sort of result. This may be because my earliest exposures to meditation were my mother doing mantras every day. While it did seem to help her be happier, it seemed to do so by helping her avoid guilt for the bad things she did. She became a Buddhist to try to become a better person. Once she started feeling better about herself, she stopped trying to be better, you dig? And we needed her to be better.

Now, that might not be a fair assessment of what happened. I was like eight years old, so my ability to understand this sort of stuff was suspect, at best. But it colors my perception of the subject. We all watched our parents (or whoever raised us) and try not to repeat the mistakes we saw, no?

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56 minutes ago, mererdog said:

I've tried to try it but never really let myself give it an honest shot at producing any sort of result. This may be because my earliest exposures to meditation were my mother doing mantras every day. While it did seem to help her be happier, it seemed to do so by helping her avoid guilt for the bad things she did. She became a Buddhist to try to become a better person. Once she started feeling better about herself, she stopped trying to be better, you dig? And we needed her to be better.

Now, that might not be a fair assessment of what happened. I was like eight years old, so my ability to understand this sort of stuff was suspect, at best. But it colors my perception of the subject. We all watched our parents (or whoever raised us) and try not to repeat the mistakes we saw, no?

I don't do mantras.  Too religious for my taste.  I do breath work.  It's good stress relief.  Much better and safer than drugs.

I'm not a Buddhist.  I have been influenced by some Buddhist ideas.  In particular, letting go.  It's useful.

For my taste, Buddhism also has weaknesses.  A key point of Buddhism is that it's a path of enlightenment for everyone.  It's been 3,000 years.  Where are all the Buddhas?  By this time, they should be everywhere.  

I also question the value of Buddhist influence on society.  Japan has certainly been under Buddhist influence.  Is Japan a model of superior spiritual development?  

Buddha said to be objective.

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I do breath work.  It's good stress relief.  Much better and safer than drugs.

I walk. Three or four miles, most days. The semi-retirement also helps.

And I doubt I would recognize a model of superior spiritual development if I saw one. Spiritual stuff ain't my bailiwick.

Edited by mererdog

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7 hours ago, mererdog said:

I walk. Three or four miles, most days. The semi-retirement also helps.

And I doubt I would recognize a model of superior spiritual development if I saw one. Spiritual stuff ain't my bailiwick.

Walking is good.     :thumbu:

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15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I don't do mantras.  Too religious for my taste.  I do breath work.  It's good stress relief.  Much better and safer than drugs.

I'm not a Buddhist.  I have been influenced by some Buddhist ideas.  In particular, letting go.  It's useful.

For my taste, Buddhism also has weaknesses.  A key point of Buddhism is that it's a path of enlightenment for everyone.  It's been 3,000 years.  Where are all the Buddhas?  By this time, they should be everywhere.  

I also question the value of Buddhist influence on society.  Japan has certainly been under Buddhist influence.  Is Japan a model of superior spiritual development?  

Buddha said to be objective.

 

 

well, there is me. But I am the only one going to the meeting, so... 

 

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9 hours ago, kokigami said:

well, there is me. But I am the only one going to the meeting, so... 

 

 

Just so.  As Groucho Marx said -- "I wouldn't join a country club that would have me as a member.".

I see that there are still standards.

:thumbu:

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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On 3/1/2017 at 9:00 AM, cuchulain said:

I acted in good faith(funny thing for an atheist to say, isn't it), in giving a gift to someone, based on the information I had available.  

 

Just so you know, it is annoying when you express my thoughts better than I did. ;)

I think that word "gift" is the key.

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On 3/1/2017 at 10:00 AM, cuchulain said:

Sorry for the late response, been moving to Georgia this week.  I can understand both views.  In a Christian sense, if I may make a point in such a way...by refusing to aid others in a one on one basis because a person might buy drugs etc...that comes across as judging others in my opinion.  I give to others as I can, and leave it up to them to determine where the gift goes afterward.  I have done my part, which is the giving.  It is up to them to do the right thing with that gift, or not.  In no way do I feel responsible for giving to someone who spends it on drugs or other things I might consider a vice.  For example, and I have a recent one...on my move to Georgia I stopped at a gas station to fuel the U-haul.  The person in the car next to me asked for help, as they were trying to visit a dying grandparent and just put their last 10 in the tank, but didn't think they would make it.  I gave the fellow a 10 and told him to have a safe trip.  If he was simply pan handling, if he was going to use that on alcohol or drugs, it doesn't concern me.  I acted in good faith(funny thing for an atheist to say, isn't it), in giving a gift to someone, based on the information I had available.  

That said, mostly I give to larger charities.  Mostly, things that help with kids, or kids hospitals.  That's simply a personal choice, as I had a little one pass away in a Children's hospital and another who had an extended 5 month stay, and while those events were happening I got help with gas money from the hospital charity.  I lived two hours away, and the trip wasn't easy as I was on welfare at the time.  I saw a lot of parents there in similar circumstances, and I fully understand the hardship of having other kids in school two hours away while trying to afford gas to go see the sick child, balancing time at home for the other kids with time at the hospital for the kid in need.  It's very demanding.

 

Greetings to you my brother,

Thank you for your response, better late than never as some say.  

You come to this discussion with an interesting perspective as one who has both been the giver and the recipient of the gifts of others.  It is indeed a paradox to hear an atheist say he acted in good faith.:)   I do fully understand your position and in general, agree with you.  However, I do not feel that your statement about judging others here is quite what is meant in Scripture when Christ says "judge not least you be judged."  (This by the way might make a good topic in and of itself).

Judging, as I understand it in the Christian context, is looking at someone, and holding them to contempt and scorn, or elevating them depending on things like their wealth, sex, race, education, etc, etc.  It does not mean that you cannot look at someone's actions, and say the action is wrong and you will not support it.  Not does it mean that people cannot be held accountable for their deeds.    It does mean that even the worst sinner cannot be held in contempt, cannot be treated as anything less than the child of God that they are.  All people are deserving of being treated with dignity and compassion, but that does not mean that people are to be given a free ride to do whatever they want if their actions harm another or themselves.

If I may, tonight in my own devotions, I will light a candle in the memory of the child you lost.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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On 2/14/2017 at 9:01 PM, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you all my sisters and brothers,

I have heard it said that there is an ancient Chinese curse that goes "May you live in interesting times."  The times we live in are interesting indeed.  For those of us in America, we have a new President who is totally unlike anyone we have chosen to lead our nation in our countries history.  Our views toward being a haven for immigrants seems to be shifting.  Our views on caring for the poor and oppressed, on sexual morality, on dealing with crime, on relations with other nations, all seem up for radical change.

The question I offer is this, what are your personal views, whether they are influenced by a religious faith or your personal sense of right and wrong, on the state of America, indeed on the state of the world?  If you were able to make changes to how things are, what would you like to see?  I would ask that in your responses, you propose some concrete ideas instead of generalizations, on how things could be made better.  But, I would also ask that if you think things are fine the way they are ( as indeed I would suspect some do) explain why you feel the way you do.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

Rev, I think the world is standing upon a precipice of its own making. 
It is a world or society in desperate need for change, but controlled by a collective of individuals who are ever resistant against new ideas.  Now, I understand that all I've thrown at you are generalizations, but there can never be any concrete ideas capable of making positive change, without impeding opposing thoughts or opinions. Some may be okay with this, but I am not.

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On 3/27/2017 at 2:46 PM, scottedward said:

Rev, I think the world is standing upon a precipice of its own making. 
It is a world or society in desperate need for change, but controlled by a collective of individuals who are ever resistant against new ideas.  Now, I understand that all I've thrown at you are generalizations, but there can never be any concrete ideas capable of making positive change, without impeding opposing thoughts or opinions. Some may be okay with this, but I am not.

In every generation, there are people who think that they are the last generation.  Be patient.  Maybe they're wrong again.

:thumbu:

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