“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually inside the arena … who, at best, knows in the end the truimph of great achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Leonard Sweet recently did a video with The Work of the People. Len laments the fact that our churches has been known to whack down right-brained, creative people — the artists. Fittingly, the video is entitled Bastions of Boredom. Is there anything we can learn from this? Can we move to more embracing ways of being the Church in this world?
What does this opinion have to teach those who are not part of the church, but still believe in Christ? How does this re-orient their modes of being in the world?
Enjoy the video! This is just a preview — full-length videos can be downloaded from the TWOTP website. Feel free to leave your thoughts as a comment below. Let’s start a discussion…
Life has some sad and painful days, and today is sad and painful for me. My maternal grandfather passed away just after midnight this morning. He had a long and impressive life. We were very close…
After lots of tears and phone calls I watched some of Walk the Line over breakfast. You’ve certainly seen the movie… It’s awesome. Johnny Cash is a true inspiration. Here’s a man who boldly lived life, followed his dreams, created some true art, made mistakes along the way, had tough fights with attachments and addictions, but finally found that all eluding peace that we all strive for… Something that still eludes me most of the time.
What struck me this morning is the speech made to Johny Cash and the Tennessee Two by Sam Phillips, the owner of a small recording studio and record label. After Cash and his two music-mechanics sang him a gospel song in the hope of getting a record deal, Phillips stopped them. He wanted to know of they had anything else…
I’m not going through the easiest period of my life currently. When I read books on the Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross himself, or by later writers like Gerald G. May, I suspect that I might be experiencing what they describe there.
This quote by Charles Spurgeon from one of his sermons helps me cope:
“Though the harrow go over and over thy soul, and the deep plough cut into thy very heart; though thou be maimed and wounded, and left for dead, yet if the Spirit of God do it, it is a blessing indeed.”
Can I know for certain that I am suffering due to God working in my life? No. Can I hope so? Yes. And that’s the only choice I have.
For a long time I was not aware of something really important: Awakening was the main point of the teachings of Jesus. A follower of Jesus not aware of his central teaching? Wow. Thankfully, I became aware of this truth through the teaching of my friend and mentor, Ron Martoia.
More recently, it was reconfirmed in a strong sense by something I read. “Wake up!” was the message that greeted me on the back cover of Anthony de Mello’s amazing book, Awareness. As I progressed through the book, it became more and more clear that most of the Church still have not fully seen what Jesus pointed to.
De Mello explained it carefully and thoroughly. As I now read the gospels, it is clear that there is a deeper meaning to most of the things Jesus did and taught.
It all starts early in the gospel story where Jesus commands us to ‘repent’ and ‘believe the message’. The Greek word for repent or repentance is metanoia (μετάνοια). It is often translated as repentance, but it literally means to ‘change your mind.’Meta – higher or beyond, noia – mind.
We need awareness. Without it we cannot see or enter the kingdom of God… Which was Jesus’ term for this heightened state of being or consciousness — right here and now.
“Prayer is not a request for God’s favors. True, it has been used to obtain the satisfaction of personal desires. It has even been adopted to reinforce prejudices, justify violence and create barriers between people and between countries. But genuine prayer is based on recognizing the Origin of all that exists, and opening ourselves to it… In prayer we acknowledge God as the supreme source from which flows all strength, all goodness, all existence, acknowledging that we have our being, life itself from this supreme Power. One can then communicate with this Source, worship it, and ultimately place one’s very center in it.” — Piero Ferrucci, Ineffable Grace (p.254)
“Listen. Can you hear it? The music? I can hear it everywhere. In the wind. In the air. In the light. It’s all around us… All you have to do is open yourself up. All you have to do is listen.” – August Rush
There is a rhythm of life going on all around you. If you become aware you’ll even sense it inside you. To be in tune with this rhythm is to be truly alive. To have true abundance, happiness and peace, despite your physical circumstances. But, this rhythm does not force itself on anyone. It is an unforced rhythm.
Can you hear it? Can you see it happening around you? Can you feel it? As with an army of marching soldiers or a grand orchestra, it takes discipline and presence to become aware enough to remain in tune with this rhythm. Sounds like work? Nope. It is like waking up, becoming alive. How can being truly alive not be enjoyable?
"Love springs from awareness... The most painful act is the act of seeing. But it is in that act of seeing that love is born." — Anthony de Mello
The ReMystic blog is about the ancient wisdom, disciplines and practices of the mystics. A relearning of mysticism. A mystic is someone who has, to a greater or lesser extent, realized union with God, or... who believes in such union and actively pursues it.