Why Such Accolades?

Why heap upon me such undeserved accolades in shades of praise,

When this man is but man, and just as imperfect in all his ways?

Does this human deserve such high appraisal at the heavenly table?

His life is not stable enough to enable him to live to such standards,

And when you truly know him he will show you how he panders

To the pantheon like a prawn drawn from brackish waters unadorned,

Then he will be what he really, truly is as no more than flesh and blood.

Forever Free in Atman

Fierce, fiery life freely flowing in me, through me, into you, through you

So new, so true, so pure to ignite in the soul an unadulterated coup

Meant to liberate from desolation, privation and divine reprobation,

So we feel overwhelmed and compelled to kneel, to heal in life so surreal,

So very serene, across the ravine of space and time to an unseen union

Of heart, mind and soul, combined into one chi forever free in atman,

To wander ever together in cosmic pastures of endless delight in sight

Monday Musings: An Adventure in Anthropology

This poignant question from Alden Tan of Little Buddha seems particularly appropriate at this juncture in my life:

A lot of people go through the motions in life, not doing what they love. They end up constantly looking back, asking themselves, “What if?” Whether people support you or not, do you really want to look back in regret one day down the line? To not know what could have happened if you tried to do what you really wanted to do?

I have decided to further my education, specifically working toward my second Master of Arts degree, this go-round in Theological and Cultural Anthropology. Now, this might at first sound both heady and boring, but it’s really an exciting adventure. Anthropology is simply the holistic study of people, and as such incorporates many other disciplines, like: History, Archeology, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, and the Cultural Areas of Art, Literature, and Music. So anthropology is actually very fascinating because you’re getting to know group of people rather intimately! Here you Cross the threshold of mere academics into deep knowledge and understanding … which is always beneficial!

Really, this came as quite a surprise to me. I’d always heard of anthropology, of course, and vaguely knew what it was about, but never imagined that this has really been my passion all along. Last year, for example, I was foolhardy and pretentious enough to write and publish a book entitled, On Being Human: A Multidisciplinary Approach. After analysing and pondering the final product, I was very disappointed and concluded at the time that it had been an impossible project to begin with … one I should never have tackled. But lo and behold, I’ve now understand that what I was trying to do (albeit in a much too vague and general way) was really an anthropological venture, or project!

Ah, then there is no need to be ashamed. Point in fact, there are many others like me in the world, who are pursuing many of the same questions, and they’re doing it in a holistic, multidisciplinary way! And I could not be more pleased, so I am going to be entering the Theological and Cultural Anthropology program at Easter University (in Pennsylvania) with which, thankfully, I can take online classes. So this will be a challenging quest, yet surely quite rewarding, too. Most folks I’ve shared this with have been quite happy for me (thankfully), except most of my immediate family. (Tragically, this is not at all surprising, as most family members have been quite negative, pessimistic and discouraging throughout my life … never encouraging!)

So, we shall see where this all ends up, but at least I won’t be looking back in old age, asking myself, “what if?” Or “why didn’t I . . . ?” And who knows (but God alone) what doors this may open? Perhaps even a kind of new life! Obviously, and despite the silence and/or discouragement of family, I am thrilled!

So Close Yet So Far Away

So sad to be so close yet so far away, only one phone call

And we had to say goodbye, then cry, then again to fall

While still uncertain who would bring the curtain down

To cause another frown on my face at your unsure pace

In leaving with an intention of staying gone long enough

But now what are we to do when too few days remain

And the rain keeps falling and washing away my hoping

And my longing to belong to you yet again even in sin

Because you just mean that much to me ever to be free

But you simply will not pick up the phone to call home

And so I’m alone and weary, so close yet so far away

Ode to Light and Life

So often haughty and arrogant under the guise of humility,

Wayward in my soul and mind, and anything but sublime,

Chasing empty dreams, cream of fantasy, so unfulfilling,

Entrapped by my own futile imagination in utter rejection

Of truth in the light of eternity shone by God, who is life,

To only exist in pain, lame in spirit, dying without living,

Not having courage for honesty, nor bravery for sanctity,

Weeks and years have been awash in meaninglessness,

Yet now is the precise time to believe, to trust and to work

As if there is no longer any tomorrow to happily prepare

With complete lack of despair, yet with intention to repair

So carefully what was nearly undone so very long ago,

And so now, too, there is hope within griping darkness

As the Light finally begins to shine, first through a crack,

Promising daylight when rises the everlasting Son of Life

To give life to this self-wounded soul to make it whole,

And the adventure continues on . . . 

Good to be Me

⊕  Septanelle Saturday  ⊕


 

Good to be me

Upon the rolling waves

Of this sea of life by divine decree

With much to save

Till I come home at last

Leaving behind me the withering past

All to be free

 


Note: The Septanelle is a verse form in seven lines with a syllable count of 4, 6, 10, 4, 6, 10, 4 and a rhyme scheme of a b a b c c a.  

Burn to Learn

Continue burning to learn in order to discern
Taking now the whole world as the classroom
With so many erected, accepted lies to overturn
While pushing out the cold darkness of gloom

Ah, never more to look over the shoulder
While he gently guides each and every footstep
To change my weak self into something bolder
And never more along this long way misstep

My guide, my guardian and companion true
Delights in love with wisdom in bright light
Exposing life to be little lessons long overdue
But learned over years will stand me upright

Admiration of Creation

Sunday Soliloquy 8.4.2019

How is it I can see so much beauty in mystery while others are bound to the sound of their own voices and the choices they make in life, which seem to blind them to so many wonders?

Of all the blunders I’ve made in life, and despite my faults and failings and shortcomings, my soul has never failed to contemplate Life and appreciate this grand Cosmos that forever demonstrates just how we are really very small.

All in all we only stand tall in our own vain imaginations in some insane notion that the whole of the Universe revolves around each of us, as if our petty determination might somehow alter the very course of stars and moons and planets.

Yet when I peer deeply inside my own self there is something very unique, invaluable, even priceless ~ certainly not weak ~ wrapped in eternal mystique, and in truth something purely divine.

So again I look into the Cosmos in awe ~ to reverence, to be blessed, to learn ~ and my passion burns, yet it is to my own soul that I turn to discover what is most fundamentally true and to uncover the simplest answers to the simplest, most profound questions.

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon,” said Mahatma Gandhi, “my soul expands in the worship of the Creator,” and I might only say, too, that when my soul expands and my worship deepens, so also does my wonder and admiration of all of creation.

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Infection and Random Thoughts

Well, as said before, my hernia surgery went well enough, but then yesterday (August 2nd) the doctor/surgeon informed me that the area of surgery has become infected with some fluid build-up. Of course, I knew something was not quite right because the surgical area had reddened considerable and the incision was beginning to ooze … not to mention increased pain and burning. Anyway, my doctor/surgeon prescribed a fairly strong antibiotic and scheduled me to return Monday morning. She said she might have to drain the fluid and also run a couple of tests … Possibly!

Encouragement or Not

Why would anyone discourage someone from continuing their education? Most everyone in my immediate family has taken the opportunity to try to convince me not to take online courses in pursuit of a Master of Arts degree. I truly fail to understand, but my eldest sister told me the other day that it was only because they love and care about me… Huh? I don’t get it!

Yes, I already have an M. A., but it is in an area that is rather obscure and really doesn’t amount to much more than one bright spot on my resume. In other words, I really can’t do very much with an M. A. in Christian Studies. I know because I’ve tried. So, yes, I’m quite pleased that I obtained that Master’s degree. It’s a symbol of accomplishment; however, it doesn’t really qualify me for very much at all.

No, I’m not shaming myself or belittling the degree, but I’d like to move into some truly rewarding profession, be it counselling or teaching (on the college level) or whatever… Consequently, I’ve decided to retool, plain and simple. And this is a good, healthy goal, so if I have the time and obtain the necessary financing, why should my own family come around telling me I don’t need to do it, and therefore shouldn’t go for it???

Come 2020 It’ll Hurt: Talking Impeachment

More and more Democrats are yelling for the impeachment of Donny Trump, and there is certainly good reasons for this; however, it’s unrealistic to think he’ll actually be thrown out of office. On top of this, the American people, by far, are really quite tired of hearing about it, and just want to move on. The Dems would be better off focusing on important issues, offering the American people a sensible, well-balanced agenda for the coming decade. Getting bogged down in the quagmire of possible impeachment might just cost them come 2020.

On Leviticus 19. 33-34

The word “alien” is also sometimes translated as “foreigner” and “stranger,” with the clear idea being that such a person is not a member of the community of Israel. Consequently, divine laws are established regarding foreigners (singular or plural!) who either visit, pass through, or reside within the land. Generally speaking, the same Law was to apply to both native-born and aliens (or strangers); however, when the Law did make some distinction, “the obligation to love and treat aliens like fellow citizens is a striking aspect of the Mosaic code.” (Revell Bible Dictionary, 44 – 45)

Along these lines, it is important to note that over and over again, “no fewer than 36 times,” the Hebrew scriptures warn Israel about the just treatment of foreigners, as well as orphans and widows, which ought to be especially inspired by their collective memory of having been strangers (or aliens) in the land of Egypt. (A. Noordzij, Bible Student Commentary: Leviticus, 207). The point here is really rather clear and simple: Israel endured oppression and injustice in Egypt. They ought to remember this “and seek to overcome” oppression and injustice “in (all of) their relationships …” these ethical demands “flowing from … concern for the weak,” the marginalized and disenfranchised, “such as the resident alien.” (W. H. Bellinger, Jr., NIBC: Leviticus, Numbers, 120; NISB, 174)

Good, solid research goes much further in fostering good, solid understanding than memes and/or opinions any day. The implication(s) of the Word of God regarding foreigners, strangers, the oppressed and marginalized, orphans and widows, and the poor is very, very clear and straightforward. It’s simply up to us as Christians to decide whether or not we will follow the divine mandate so forcefully laid out in Holy Scripture.

Surgery and Recovery

Hello to everyone! I haven’t been into the blogosphere for quite some time now, but I had hernia surgery last week. All went well, thankfully, and I’m doing fine. There is still some pain in and around the area of operation, but that’s to be expected. Anyway, I’m doing well enough now that I should be back to blogging on a regular basis. Blessings to one and all!