Ego and the Spiritual Path

We are an extremely competitive society. We can turn anything into a competition - to our detriment, I am afraid. If you can measure it, we can fight over who does it best. If you can quantify it, I guarantee you mine is bigger - unless being smaller is better, but to be honest most males…

Not Going Away

Many people have one or more chronic concerns. These may be things from their personal or health history, newly arisen medical issues, or simply things they worry about. If I had a nickel for every person who described themselves to me as a "worrier," I'd have a lot of nickels. Other people believe that if…

Evil

If the exercise of your "rights" harms others, then you are not exercising "rights." What you are doing is evil. Like many progressives, I'm not big on the idea of any person being evil nor do I believe in a personal devil, with or without red pajamas. I do believe that actions can be evil,…

Action vs. Meaning

The problem with how most people approach scripture and other mythical stories is perhaps best illustrated in the clip below from The Bird Cage. Anyone can read a selection from any written account and parrot back what the action was in the story. The problem is that action doesn't always convey the meaning that lies underneath…

Labels

Very often, we label ourselves - tall, short, fat, thin, conservative, progressive, smart, dumb, wealthy, middle class, poor, successful, compassionate, empathetic, competitive, and dozens of others. Then we only pay attention to people who carry the same labels we do. Are we that afraid of being challenged, that afraid of having our opinions changed, that…

Life in the big city

I happened on a young couple the other day. In front of their building were several shell casings accompanied by evidence markers, several police cars, and a liberal application of yellow crime scene tape. It was about eight-thirty in the morning and the police had been there a short time. The shooting happened at one…

But he’s not up there anymore!

I can't tell you how many people, confronted with a crucifix or other image of the crucified Jesus, say to me, "...but he's not up there anymore!" Of course, part of the reason they are saying that is they can't deal with the idea that Jesus ever was "up there." It was a great problem…

Avoiding Self-Sabotage

If you are anything like me, you have experienced more than a few incidents of self-sabotage over the course of your life. At the time, you thought what you were doing was perfectly reasonable. You just wanted to think things through, develop a plan, avoid mistakes down the road, make sure you don't embarrass yourself,…