Dealing with difficult persons…

„Think you’re too spiritual to have someone challenging in your life? Not even that one difficult person? Perhaps someone in your office, a friend, professional colleague or, most likely, a family member? Most of us have at least one testing person that keeps us on our toes, or perhaps flat on the floor! Before you try to minimise and sugarcoat Uncle Bernie’s invasive behaviour, or Jane’s put-downs, let’s get real, up-close and nakedly honest. Some people are damn difficult. As much as you’d like to smudge, bless and breathe them out of your aura, people will push your buttons and rake up your shadow. They will ignite the embers of wounding in the volcano of your past, sometimes with as little as a throwaway comment.

Let’s face it, the world has difficult people in it, and no doubt sometimes you and I are problematic too.

As much as we like to say all people are good, kind and loving, unfortunately these good people often show up as irrevocably trying. There are bullies, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists, and people who really don’t care about others, the environment or creating a better world. We’ve all met these types of wounded people. Maybe we’ve even been them at some point.

Truth is, the world is filled with wounded people, some more so than others. And unhappy people cause problems. We can often find people who are not as evolved as others. There, I said it! There are genuinely some people who have no problem stepping on others to get where they want to in life. Or who don’t understand why it’s wrong to get ahead by causing suffering to other people, the environment, or animals. People who live from a place of extreme individuation, truly thinking of only themselves.

If you’re human, you’ve been at the receiving end of games, criticism, and no doubt been baited, reacted and then regretted it afterwards. But, there are ways to eradicate drama from your life and create greater wellbeing.

The Cycle of Human Relating

The Drama Triangle created by psychiatrist Steven Karpman, is a fantastic resource for explaining most of our dysfunctional relating. The triangle consists of the archetypes of persecutor, rescuer and victim. If you’re in one of these spots, you’re fuelling drama in your life. We have no doubt all been part of this triangle at some point. Interestingly the archetypes move around the triangle. So the rescuer becomes the persecutor, the victim becomes the persecutor, or the persecutor becomes the rescuer, and the rescuer the victim. But all three positions feed and perpetuate each other, creating drama. Participants in a drama triangle create misery for themselves and others. The only way out of this self-perpetuating craziness, is to step up, be responsible and an adult in your relating. No small feat sometimes!

So how do we deal with potentially volatile situations and difficult people? We all want to walk away from a disagreement feeling good about ourselves, and not because we ‘won.’ Perhaps it’s time to redefine winning. If you can walk away from a difficult encounter with your dignity, inner calm, hair and clothes intact, you’re doing well.

The art of dealing with difficult people is really about feeling good about yourself. If you react, erupt or dump a scathing retort on a difficult person in your orbit, you will no doubt regret it. You could permanently damage a professional or personal relationship and end up beating yourself up, riddled with guilt or having to deal with an irrepressibly self-righteous relative or colleague for the rest of your days. And yes, that applies to the narcissistic boss, helicopter grandparent, vulture colleague that’s after your job, irrepressible gossip, or brutal ex-partner, and tormenting in-law. So, best to be dignified, calm and responsive when dealing with difficult people.

It’s far more powerful, and ultimately healing for all, if you can come from a place of clarity, power and a clear heart. Yup, be the bigger person. But not from an arrogant, ‘I’m better than you’ kind of a place. From a genuine desire for your own equanimity and the intention to prevent creating more problems for yourself and others.

Seven Sacred Tools

Here are seven sacred tools that could save you from escalating conflict and lighting the fires of anger within yourself and others, when dealing with difficult people and situations. I find they help me keep things in perspective, and to connect to the great ocean, instead of inhabiting the ripples on the surface of life.

1. Keep to your Own Business

You don’t have to fix, change or make everything right. This is not your job, it’s not for you to do. You are in charge of your own life, have responsibility over how you live and how you show up, that’s it. Life becomes really simple when you follow this great wisdom teaching by Byron Katie:

I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s. For me, the word God means ‘reality.’ Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control, and everyone else’s control–I call that God’s business.

2. Presence

The presence or space you bring to a situation either magnifies the issues, or dilutes them. Bringing a peaceful, empowered, clear presence to a fiery situation can transform it. Having a heart uncluttered with hatred, anger and the desire for revenge is your best sacred weapon. This is why taking each interaction with that difficult person as a training ground for deeper empowerment, open heartedness and personal growth, is vital. If you’re being curious, open and aware that you’ve made a sacred contract to engage with life as a playground for being the best person you can be, and taking each opportunity as one for your greatest development and healing, the way you respond to situations will be completely new.

3. Focus on What is Real

It’s about realising the difficult person is trapped in a way of being, in belief systems, in hatred, in grief, in fear. You can help free yourself, and them, by not engaging with the monster of unexpressed emotion and trauma. Instead, remain connected to your own heart, inner strength and the spiritual truth, that we are all connected and, at the core, innately good. Training yourself to stop reacting to other people, and to look within to the charges igniting your reactivity, is the most effective way of dissolving ego in yourself.

4. Having Resilience

This is by no means being naive or weak. It takes great courage and strength to be able to bypass poor behaviour without taking it personally and to be able to drop judgement and keep an open heart. Dealing with difficult people does not mean accepting bad behaviour. It means responding powerfully with strength and courage, and sometimes it means standing up. But we remain victims when we react to bad behaviour, are overly influenced and impacted by someone else’s wounding, projections, nastiness, vilification, put-downs and attempts to destabilise us.

5. Clear Boundaries

It’s not spiritual to let people get away with bad behaviour. You can head off much conflict and drama in your life by having clear boundaries, knowing yourself, walking away when you need to, not letting people dump on you and having a strong respect and love for yourself. This is not about putting up with negative behaviour, it’s about transforming its effect on you. You don’t need to join someone else’s drama party and let them suck you dry because they need attention or want to dump their negative emotions.

6. Moving Beyond being a Victim

You always have a choice in how you respond to situations. Even in the most severe of places, Auschwitz, people responded in powerful ways, when they chose to help others, or bring hope to the most extreme circumstances of the concentration camp. Choice is power. Use it well. Seeing situations for what they are, with wisdom and clarity, and staying unaffected is truly the journey from the victim to the powerful one.

7. Being an Extraordinary Human

Living with an intention to have heartfelt interactions, and to spread love and peace in your wake, is a powerful way to move through the world. When you have the underlying intention in your life to grow and evolve through whatever life throws at you, you have some power. The power of choice. This can truly transform any situation you meet with. Creating a mantra as a guiding light for the way you live your life, and reminding yourself of this agreement you have with yourself, particularly during conflict, will help you stay on course and ultimately ensure you have greater happiness.

If you hold grudges and grievances against people, given some time they’ll become part of your personality. Sometimes we can become addicted to being indignant and angry; it strengthens the ego and can give the illusion of having power. We’ve all witnessed that person in the restaurant who complains about every little detail. We don’t want to be that!

Learning how to deal well with conflict and difficult people is a vital life skill that can support you to be a powerful, conscious and compassionate human being. I think it helps to be mindful of the truth of the potential for good and evil within each one of us, and to cut yourself and others a little slack too. We all have bad days, and we all have multiple personalities living inside our head. Let’s just make sure we let the good ones out, well at least most of the time, and most certainly when conflict enters our orbit, as it inevitably will.”

From Azriel Re’Shel’s blog

Azriel Re’shel is a Writer, Editor and Yoga Teacher. A former SBS Radio and BBC World Service Radio and TV News Journalist, Azriel loves words, travel and people. A skilled writer and editor, and former PR and Events Coordinator, Azriel edits and writes for individuals and businesses working in the healing and creative arts. She has an Arts Degree in Psychology and English, a Journalism Diploma and has studied Psychotherapy and many other healing modalities as part of her own spiritual path.


„Pute, pute, da-i caldut”

„Prost-crescuți, necultivați pînă la bădărănie, incapabili să vorbească normal românește, majoritatea politicienilor noștri sînt, la ora actuală, o sumă de agenți patogeni, cu efecte dramatice la nivel național. Sugrumarea adversarului e singurul lor program, țara e ultima lor grijă, dacă nu simplă materie primă pentru o dezmățată demagogie. Nu par să-și mai aducă aminte de purtarea nobilă sau măcar decentă, de imperativul ținutei, de demnitate și civilizație. Gazetarii, la rîndul lor, nu se lasă mai prejos. În emisiunile „moderate“ de ei, invitații proferează nestingheriți, la adresa „colegilor“ de platou, „vorbe grele“: „ești bou“, „ești prost“, „ești cretin“. Un comentator faimos cere „dușmanilor“ săi „să moară în chinuri“. S-a ajuns pînă la încăierare fizică, iar în Parlamentul țării, la obscenitate de gang și la bășcălie de măscărici.

Nu pot decît să sper într-o ultimă tresărire de umanitate în sufletele lor adormite. Nu pot decît să le cer tuturor, indiferent din ce tabără fac parte, să pună capăt, pînă nu e prea tîrziu, carnavalului insalubru pe care îl ilustrează. Ar trebui să-și dea seama că au, printre altele, datoria de a nu strica echilibrul comunității (atîta cît mai e), de a nu destrăma conștiințe, de a nu sminti lumea, de a nu impune modelul unui tip uman strîmb, spasmodic, purulent, inarticulat, obsedat de reușita proprie, pe socoteala tuturor. Nu pot decît să le spun: opriți-vă! Altfel vom dispărea cu toții, sub iureșul devastator al iresponsabilității voastre. Veniți-vă în fire! Treziți-vă! Opriți-vă!”

Andrei Plesu

Subscriu întru totul la îndemnul final.

Veniți-vă în fire! Treziți-vă! Opriți-vă!

… ascultati putina muzica buna…

… nu va pierdeti cu firea, cultivati rabdarea si recunostinta…

… bucurati-va nu de ce aveti sau sunteti ca pozitie sociala, rang, ci de ce tot exista, fara pret, in voi si-n jurul vostru. Pace. Vara. Flori. Dimineti. Seri. Nopti. Verdeata. Vrabii. Pisici. Munti de urcat, sau de privit din vale. Copii pe plaja. Valuri. Nori. Aerul curat, zumzetul albinelor.

Acum, aici, singurele lucruri reale si adevarate.



„Practice Self-Compassion With Forgiveness”

„Practice Self-Compassion With Forgiveness”

by Sharon Salzberg: We cannot force ourselves to move on from a painful situation…

expecting forgiveness to be quick and voluntary can have negative effects. Explore this mindfulness practice for creating space for ourselves to forgive.

We’ve all heard the idiom “forgive and forget,” as if processing pain inflicted upon us by others is a quick and easy job. The phrase is an imperative and renders the idea of forgiveness compulsory; in order to heal, we must enter a state of denial and effectively avoid the pain that we have been experiencing.

But, of course, forgiveness is a process, an admittedly difficult one that often can feel like a rigorous spiritual practice. We cannot instantaneously force ourselves to forgive—and forgiveness happens at a different pace for everyone and is dependent on the particulars of any given situation. What we can do is create space for ourselves to forgive—and, perhaps ironically, part of that involves allowing ourselves to wrestle with our feelings of anger and pain to begin with. Once we are honest about our feelings, we can invite ourselves to consider alternative modes of viewing our pain and can see that releasing our grip on anger and resentment can actually be an act of self-compassion.

Accepting forgiveness as pluralistic and as an ongoing, individualized process opens us up to realize the role that our own needs play in conflict resolution.

Telling the story, acknowledging what has happened and how you feel, is often a necessary part of forgiveness. Without that, we live in an artificial reality that is frozen in time, and sometimes woven from fabrication. I have a friend who believes that a central reason for her divorce is that she spoke the truth after her ex-husband’s parents died and he waxed on about his perfect, idyllic childhood. “But you put your drunken parents to bed each night,” she would point out. “You dropped out of college to do that.” Her words undermined the story he was telling, and his need for a rosier past took precedence over the love between them. It also took precedence over his ability to forgive his parents, and the chance for love alongside the pain of his broken dreams.

At times, reality is love’s great challenge. When our old stories and dreams are shattered, our  first instinct may be to resist, deny, or cling to the way things were. But if we loosen our grip, often what fills the space is a tender forgiveness and the potential for a new and different kind of love.

Helen Whitney, director of the documentary Forgiveness, has said, “We talk about forgiveness as if it were one thing. Instead, we should talk about forgivenesses. There are as many ways to forgive as there are people needing to be forgiven.” In other words, there are an incalculable—even infinite—number of situations in which we can practice forgiveness. Expecting it to be a singular action—motivated by the sheer imperative to move on and forget—can be more damaging than the original feelings of anger. Accepting forgiveness as pluralistic and as an ongoing, individualized process opens us up to realize the role that our own needs play in conflict resolution. We cannot simply “forgive and forget,” nor should we.

A Forgiveness Meditation

Meditating on forgiveness is not terribly different from a loving-kindness practice, as both invite us to be with our emotional states without judging them and to use the meditation as the anchor of our attention. These practices require courage, as we are not denying our suffering or the harmful actions we’ve taken.

Forgiveness demands presence, reminding us that we are not the same as the feelings we possess in a given situation, nor is the person who we’ve harmed or who has harmed us.

Forgiveness is not passive, but an active gesture of releasing feelings like anger, guilt, and resentment, all of which deplete us if we become lost in them. Forgiveness demands presence, reminding us that we are not the same as the feelings we possess in a given situation, nor is the person who we’ve harmed or who has harmed us.

Traditionally, the meditation is done in three parts:

  • first, you ask forgiveness from those you have harmed;
  • next, you extend forgiveness to those who have harmed you; and
  • the final practice is that of self-forgiveness, for all of those times we harm ourselves with judgmental habits of mind.

1) Sit comfortably, and allow the breath to be natural. Begin by silently (or audibly) reciting phrases of forgiveness for those you have harmed. You may try, “If I have hurt or harmed anyone knowingly or unknowingly, I ask their forgiveness.”

2) Notice what comes up. You may find that offering forgiveness to one person may catalyze memories of another tough situation or person. Don’t push these feelings or thoughts away—but maintain your focus on the practice, and don’t get lost in guilt or self-blame about your distraction. As other thoughts arise, send your forgiveness in these new directions.

3) Next (after however long you want to spend on the first part of the reflection), you can begin to offer forgiveness to those who have harmed you: “If anyone has hurt or harmed me, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive them.”

4) Once again, thinking about past painful experiences may trigger emotion. As these feelings, images, and memories bubble to the surface, you may simply recite, “I forgive you.”

5) Finally, we turn our attention to forgiveness of ourselves. Most of us have experienced self-blame—at work, in relationships, or simply because we have habitually kept ourselves in cycles of perfectionism. “For all of the ways I have hurt or harmed myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer forgiveness.”

Source: Mindful

Love what is difficult!

‘Find Your Passion’ Is Awful Advice

Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, remembers asking an undergraduate seminar recently, “How many of you are waiting to find your passion?”

“Almost all of them raised their hand and got dreamy looks in their eyes,” she told me. They talked about it “like a tidal wave would sweep over them,” he said. Sploosh. Huzzah! It’s accounting!

Would they have unlimited motivation for their passion? They nodded solemnly.

“I hate to burst your balloon,” she said, “but it doesn’t usually happen that way.”

What Dweck asked her students is a common refrain in American society. The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance.

But according to Dweck and others, that advice is steering people wrong.

“What are the consequences of that?” asked Paul O’Keefe, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale—NUS College. “That means that if you do something that feels like work, it means you don’t love it.” He gave me the example of a student who jumps from lab to lab, trying to find one whose research topic feels like her passion. “It’s this idea that if I’m not completely overwhelmed by emotion when I walk into a lab, then it won’t be my passion or my interest.”

That’s why he and two co-authors—Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford—recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue. They’re developed.In a paper that is forthcoming in Psychological Science, the authors delineate the difference between the two mind-sets. One is a “fixed theory of interests”—the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered—and the other is a “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time.

To examine how these different mind-sets affect our pursuit of different topics, the authors performed a series of studies on college students—a group that’s frequently advised to find their passion in the form of a major or career path.

First, students answered a survey that would categorize them as either “techy”—slang for interested in math and science—or “fuzzy,” meaning interested in the arts or humanities. They also filled out a survey determining how much they agreed with the idea that people’s core interests don’t change over time. They then read an article that mismatched their interests—a piece on the future of algorithms for the fuzzies, and a piece on Derrida for the techies. The more the participants endorsed a “fixed” theory of interests, the less interested they were in the article that mismatched their aforementioned identity as a techy or fuzzy.

The authors then repeated a similar procedure, but they had students read first about either the fixed theory of interests or the growth theory. Again, those who learned that interests are fixed throughout a person’s life were less captivated by an article that mismatched their interests.

The authors believe this could mean that students who have fixed theories of interest might forgo interesting lectures or opportunities because they don’t align with their previously stated passions. Or that they might overlook ways that other disciplines can intersect with their own.

“If passions are things found fully formed, and your job is to look around the world for your passion—it’s a crazy thought,” Walton told me. “It doesn’t reflect the way I or my students experience school, where you go to a class and have a lecture or a conversation, and you think, That’s interesting. It’s through a process of investment and development that you develop an abiding passion in a field.”

Another reason not to buy into the fixed theory is that it can cause people to give up too easily. If something becomes difficult, it’s easy to assume that it simply must not have been your passion, after all. In one portion of this study, the students who thought interests were fixed were also less likely to think that pursuing a passion would be difficult at times. Instead, they thought it would provide “endless motivation.”

Dweck, one of the paper’s authors, has previously studied different types of mind-sets as they relate to intelligence. People who have a growth mind-set about their own intelligence tend to be less afraid of failure, according to her research, because they believe smarts are cultivated, not inherent. Interests are related to, but distinct from, abilities, the study authors told me: You can be interested in something but not very good at it. “I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years, but I can’t say that my abilities have gotten that much better in the past 10 years,” O’Keefe said.Dweck told me that “find your passion” has a laudable history. “Before that, people were saying, ‘Find your genius,’ and that was so intimidating. It implied that only people who were really brilliant at something could succeed,” she said. “‘Find your passion’ felt more democratic. Everybody can have an interest.” But this study suggests that even the idea of finding your “true” interest can intimidate people and keep them from digging further into a field.

The authors also had students learn about either fixed or growth theory and then exposed them to a new interest: Astronomy. First, they had them watch a video made by The Guardian for a general audience about Stephen Hawking’s ideas. It was easy to understand and entertaining. Then the authors had the students read a highly technical, challenging article in the academic journal Science about black holes. Despite saying just moments ago, after viewing the video, that they were fascinated by black holes, the students who were exposed to the fixed theory of interests said they were no longer interested in black holes after reading the difficult Science article. In other words, when you’re told that your interests are somehow ingrained, you give up on new interests as soon as the going gets tough.

This study was a preregistered replication, meaning the authors stated at the outset what their hypothesis and methods would be. This process is meant to prevent p-hacking, a shady data practice that has cast a shadow over many psychology studies in recent years.

K. Ann Renninger, a professor at Swarthmore College who was not involved with the study, has researched the development of interests and said that “neuroscience has confirmed that interests can be supported to develop.” In other words, with the right help, most people can get interested in almost anything. Before the age of 8, she said, kids will try anything. Between the ages of 8 and 12, they start to compare themselves with others and become insecure if they’re not as good as their peers at something. That’s when educators have to start to find new ways to keep them interested in certain subjects.

Though the authors didn’t examine adults, they told me their findings could apply to an older population as well. For example, people’s interest in parenthood tends to escalate rapidly once they have a real, crying baby in their house. “You could not know the first thing about cancer, but if your mother gets cancer, you’re going to be an expert in it pretty darn quick,” O’Keefe said.

A different study done on adults’ views toward passions suggests that people who think passions are found tend to pick jobs that fit them well from the outset. They prioritize enjoyment over good pay. People who think passions are developed, meanwhile, prioritize other goals over immediate enjoyment at work, and they “grow to fit their vocations better over time,” the authors of that study write. “In conclusion,” they add, “people who have not found their perfect fit in a career can take heart—there is more than one way to attain passion for work.”How to cultivate a “growth” mind-set in the young, future-psychology-experiment subjects of America? If you’re a parent, you can avoid dropping new hobbies as soon as they become difficult. (Your kids might take note if you do, O’Keefe said.)

Beyond that, there’s not a clear way to develop a growth mind-set about interests, other than knowing that it’s a valid way to think, and that your passion might still be around the corner.

“We’re just trying to pull the veil back on the hidden implications of things like, ‘find your passion,’” Walton said. “Is that really how things work? A little bit of knowledge is power.”

The Atlantic, July 12, 2018, By
OLGA KHAZAN is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

„Service Instead of Domination”

By R. Rohr, A Thought for Monday, July 16, 2018

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. —2 Corinthians 13:13

Without the nondual mind, it’s almost impossible for us to find another way of doing politics. Grounding social action in contemplative consciousness is not a luxury for a few but a cultural necessity. Both the Christian religion and American psyche need deep cleansing and healing from our many unhealed wounds. Only a contemplative mind can hold our fear, confusion, vulnerability, and anger and guide us toward love.

Contemplative Christians can model a way of building a collaborative, compassionate politics. I suggest we start by reclaiming the wisdom of Trinity, a circle dance of mutuality and communion. Humans—especially the powerful, the wealthy, and supporters of the patriarchal system—are more comfortable with a divine monarch at the top of pyramidal reality. So Christians made Jesus into a distant, imperial God rather than a living member of divine-human relationship.

Spiritual power is more circular or spiral, and not so much hierarchical. It’s shared and shareable. God’s Spirit is planted within each of us and operating as each of us (see Romans 5:5)! Trinity shows that God’s power is not domination, threat, or coercion. All divine power is shared power and the letting go of autonomous power.

There’s no seeking of power over in the Trinity, but only power with—giving away and humbly receiving. This should have changed all Christian relationships: in churches, marriage, culture, and even international relations. Isaiah tried to teach such servanthood to Israel in the classic four “servant songs.” [1] But Hebrew history preceded what Christianity repeated: both traditions preferred kings, wars, and empires instead of suffering servanthood or leveling love.

Since this is so ingrained in our psyche, we must work hard to dismantle systems of domination. I emphatically state, together with my fellow Christian elders and leaders:

We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. . . .

We reject any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. . . . Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority. [2]

What if we actually surrendered to the inner Trinitarian flow and let it be our primary teacher? Our view of politics and authority would utterly change. We already have all the power (dynamis) we need both within us and between us—in fact, Jesus assures us that we are already “clothed” in it “from on high” (see Luke 24:49)!

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.

[1] See Isaiah 42:1–9; 49:1–13; 50:4–9; 52:13–53:12.

[2] Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis,

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Rebuilding from the Bottom Up: A Reflection Following the Election,”;
The Shape of God: Deepening the Mystery of the Trinitydisc 5 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2005), CDDVDMP3 download; and
Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 95-96.

„A Visit”


By Margaret Atwood

Gone are the days
when you could walk on water.
When you could walk.

The days are gone.
Only one day remains,
the one you’re in.

The memory is no friend.
It can only tell you 
what you no longer have:

a left hand you can use,
two feet that walk.
All the brain’s gadgets.

Hello, hello.
The one hand that still works
grips, won’t let go.

That is not a train.
There is no cricket.
Let’s not panic.

Let’s talk about axes,
which kinds are good,
the many names of wood.

This is how to build 
a house, a boat, a tent.
No use; the toolbox

refuses to reveal its verbs;
the rasp, the plane, the awl,
revert to sullen metal.

Do you recognize anything? I said.
Anything familiar?
Yes, you said. The bed.

Better to watch the stream 
that flows across the floor 
and is made of sunlight,

the forest made of shadows;
better to watch the fireplace
which is now a beach.

„Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.” —Charles Péguy

From Mysticism to Politics, by Richard Rohr
Friday, July 13, 2018

Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics. —Charles Péguy (1873-1914) [1]

In last fall’s issue of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s journal, Oneing, Wes Granberg-Michaelson, our good friend and neighbor here in New Mexico and the former General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, traced the path between mysticism—which is actual experience of God or Universal Love—and politics:

„Transformative change in politics depends so much on having a clear view of the desired end. Where does that vision come from? Possibilities may be offered by various ideologies, or party platforms, or political candidates. But, for the person of faith, that vision finds its roots in God’s intended and preferred future for the world. It comes not as a dogmatic blueprint but as an experiential encounter with God’s love, flowing like a river from God’s throne, nourishing trees with leaves for the healing of the nations (see Revelation 22:1-2). This biblically infused vision, resonant from Genesis to Revelation, pictures a world made whole, with people living in a beloved community, where no one is despised or forgotten, peace reigns, and the goodness of God’s creation is treasured and protected as a gift.

Such a vision strikes the political pragmatist as idyllic, unrealistic, and irrelevant. But the person of faith, whose inward journey opens his or her life to the explosive love of God, knows that this vision is the most real of all. It is a glimpse of creation’s purpose and a glimmering of the Spirit’s movement amid the world’s present pain, brokenness, and despair. This vision also recognizes the inevitable journey of inward and outward transformation—the simultaneous, continuing transformation of the inward hearts of people liberated by God’s astonishing grace and the outward transformation of social and economic structures liberated by God’s standards of justice.

So, for the Christian, politics entails an inevitable spiritual journey. But this is not the privatized expression of belief which keeps faith in Jesus contained in an individualized bubble and protects us from the “world.”. . . Rather, it is a spiritual journey which connects us intrinsically to the presence of God, whose love yearns to save and transform the world. We are called to be “in Christ,” which means we share—always imperfectly, and always in community with others—the call to be the embodiment of God’s love in the world. . . .

The necessary detachment from this ugly and injurious present political climate depends upon our inner attachment to the mystery of God’s unbounded grace and divine, creative love. That is the foundation from which we can witness to truth, nurture community, and build essential bonds of solidarity with those who suffer. More than ever, politics which offers redemptive hope will begin with mysticism.”

[1] Charles Péguy, Notre Jeunesse (Paris: Cahiers de la Quinzaine, 1910), 27. Original text: “Tout commence en mystique et finit en politique.”

Wes Granberg-Michaelson, “From Mysticism to Politics,” “Politics and Religion,” Oneing, vol. 5 no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2017), 17, 21.

Some good news

„How did they survive so long with so little food, and lose so little weight?

The boys were in the caves nine days before they were found. They may have had a little food from what they bought to celebrate Night’s birthday. They are passionate football players, very fit, and with the training they have had a tight-knit team.

This would have helped them ration their food carefully and support each other, perhaps with songs.

Image caption Rescuers brought them food, light and letters from their parents to help them cope

„The entire operation was complex, innovative and very bold. Nothing like it has been attempted before. Some of those involved described the tasks undertaken by the core divers, who carried the boys out, as superhuman.”

„Despre adevar si minciuna”

Final articol Ana Maria Sandu

„Recitiți interviul acesta cu Ciprian Mihali de pe, pentru o mai bună contextualizare a lumii a post-adevărului în care trăim. „Pentru ca minciunile să poată fi înghiţite uşor, adică să nu-i trezească din somn pe cei care le aud, e nevoie ca ele să fie formulate în cuvinte cît mai puţine şi cît mai des repetate, dar rostite teatral pe scenele publice oferite cu atîta generozitate de industriile mediatice, ele însele complice şi supuse acestui spectacol (…). O afirmaţie absurdă spusă o dată poate fi percepută ca absurdă, deci necredibilă. Repetată însă de o mie de ori, ea nu este în fond mai puţin absurdă, doar că devine credibilă. Iar credibilitatea ei se obţine prin credulitate, expresia cea mai înaltă a abandonării oricărui simţ critic”, spune Mihali.

Exact acesta a fost unul dintre reproșurile aduse opoziției de actuala putere, maestră absolută la capitolul manipulare: „Prezentaţi răul ca fiind bine, iar binele ca fiind rău. Am credinţă în puterea adevărului, în inteligenţa acestui popor, care a dovedit în nenumărate rînduri că nu se lasă manipulat şi e capabil să distingă între adevăr şi minciună. Ecuaţia va fi cît se poate de simplă, dvs.aţi tăiat, noi am majorat pensiile şi salariile”, a mai spus Dăncilă.

Philip Roth credea „că trăim într-o lume în care minciuna e regină”. S-ar putea ca în curînd marile bătălii să nu se mai dea pe resurse, ci pe alchimia transformării adevărului în minciună și invers.”