Posts tagged with “God”

October 30

I'll be the death of him!

DO DOGS HAVE SOULS

Be careful son, my father would say I tell a lie

If I died he would not cry

When his dog dies I watch him cry

When his dog dies I hate myself for crying

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But the dog, what of him?

He just sees two lost souls

and, for pities sake, when the dog dies

I see three.

What about you?

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PAW ALL SOUL's EVE 2011

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Poetry, doggerel, or therapy, you decide.... All comments welcome and, if I know you, I'll take it up with you in the appropriate manner.

Yes, father I am perfectly serious - you are old enough to die of shock now.

Over and out

01:28 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,
July 30

Unexpected humour

I am not sure if these are really funny, particularly as the first is something of an "in" joke, but being aware of the absence of any June posts and being the last day of July I wanted to make another.  Also I wanted to broaden from the literary theme of the blog a little and am even thinking maybe there should be a humourous category, except that it makes me want to add a "serious" one to balance things out!

I well remember this post from the past (2008 in fact, which amazes me when it feels really quite recent) where I made some longer jokes and wondered which would inform me best if someone were likely to be spiritually along similar lines to myself.  I have now come up with one of my own - if you can call it a joke when it is a bit self-referential

Anyway - the jokes, if they can be called that:-

q. How many Quakers does it take to change a lightbulb?

a1. They're very discerning, and all have to stand in the light.... but any one can do it

a2. "God Knows!"

 

And I am wondering at this point how to refine the joke with a play on light and god (small G).  If you have any ideas to improve on this then please comment, by all means (And what the hey, add your own "lightbulb joke" if you wish).

05:04 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , ,
July 23

Perfect Love

I was recently listening to "prayer for the day" on Radio Four and heard that Aung San Suu Kyi has been quoted as saying "perfect love casts out fear" and that there is a campaign to wear masks with her face on one side and these words on the other.

Then someone corrected me on the attribution and told me that in the words of Saint John

 James Bible
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

I've been pondering if this saying can be applied in all contexts, not only spiritual, and still reflect the truth I feel it represents...

07:47 AM | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , ,
April 19

Evil Haiku

The Quaker meeting which I attend has been doing a series of workshops along the lines of "Twelve Quakers and ...." where the ellipsis might be various things including God, Jesus, Equality, Simplicity, and, this month, Evil.

During the closing session on "evil" we were invited to write Haiku and although many felt the form could only be used in the traditional Japanese way to describe natural beauty, but I had no issues with taking the verse form and mocking the traditional Haiku stereotype with these efforts to capture something of the subject of evil.

There are four, each standing alone, and alternating the traditional with the free format form of Haiku.

 

Bloody splash

Taking life

Maliciously

No love

Just hurt


Abandon hope you

Held in the thrall of

All that is not love


Child eyes

Behold

Obscenity

Innocence lost

Forever


Mass graves were filled

Without thought or care until

Evil stared back

 

Addendum

I was concerned with the etymology for clues; which I now realise is really a red herring since the exploration of the spiritual meaning to a Quaker only concerns the modern udeage really.  However I did find what I turned up interesting, and I learned that any ideas of derivation involving "devil" or "Eve" are mistaken.

"Evil" has gotten distinctly worse over the millenia. Originally it seems to have signified nothing more sinister than "uppity," and in the Old and Middle English period it meant simply "bad"; it is only in modern English that its connotations of "extreme moral wickedness" came to the fore. It probably comes ultimately from "upelo-", a derivative of the Indo-European base "upo-, under (source of Greek hupo, under, Sanskrit "upa", at, to, and English "up" and "over"), and so its underlying connotation is of "exceeding due limits, extremism. Its Germanic descendant was "ubilaz", source of German übel, evil as well as English evil."

It seems this finding by John Ayto lines up perfectly with Scriptures. An example of this is found in Ezekiel Chapter 16 verse 49. When most Christians think of the sin or evil of Sodom, they usually think of the immoral sexual sins of Sodom of which homosexuality would be considered the height of their depravity. Yet this is how the Creator describes Sodom's condition:

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominations before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit.

This passage seems to line up very nicely with the original meaning of the word "evil." The modern church generally teaches that the "evil" of Sodom is the height of wickedness and that its fate of destruction by fire is an example of the destruction of the world which has not become a part of the church. However, the Creator says there is a worse condition of "evil" than that of Sodom's. Jerusalem is a type and picture of His own people, the "apple of His eye." Here is how He describes the condition of His own people, those who certainly would not consider "Sodom" as their own sister. Speaking to His own "chosen" people He says:

Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done. You who judged your sisters bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame because you justified your sisters. When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. When your sister Sodom and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.

It seems the word "uppity" seems like a good definition for the word "evil." It also seems like the "chosen" people are more "uppity" than Sodom and Samaria. It seems almost blasphemous to think that the wickedness of the Creator's own people will justify the likes of Sodom and Samaria and that they will be restored to their former state. That Sodom, in the eyes of God, is a sister to the "chosen" people. It certainly is not a sermon I have ever heard preached in the 200+ churches I have attended. But then I never heard that Sodom's primary sin was "uppityness," fullness of food, and abundance of idleness, and not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy. I have been in many churches that are exhibiting the very sins that are ascribed to Sodom. I have never heard a preacher describe their congregation as "sisters to Sodom." Can you imagine what would happen to all the hot air evangelists spew out if we actually believed the plain Word of God that the "uppityness" of God's own people have "justified" the worst sinners in the world? Why, it would completely stop all the hot foul wind coming from these "last days revival" messages preached by thousands of "ministries" trying to raise millions of dollars to save a few more before God finally destroys this "uppity" world. We just might repent of our own "uppityness" and let God restore this whole fallen mankind to its former state. We might then find the time to "strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy."

 

Credit to Gary Amirault for the above

 

09:53 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,
October 19

A little light religion

Yes, maybe that is a touch tautological, maybe antonymic (bit of a contradiction in terms) but then that depends on where you are coming from spiritually.  For many faiths light and religion go hand in glove anyway.  In any case, it's Sunday and I'd like to try to lift my head above the domestic disharmony that overshadowed the weekend (nothing serious, just seven year old tantrums and stuff) so for better or worse here is my stab at a post aimed in a vaguely spiritual direction.

A little while ago I "dugg" this article which I somehow googled towards (Disclaimer; that is not my newspaper of choice, and I have no recollection how I chanced on the article).  It prompted me to muse a little on human nature and how Religion and society interact.  I'm participating in a series of Sunday sessions entitled "twelve Quakers and..." which tonight is dealing with "... and God". No doubt that played a part in my looking into the article.  Quakers often have issues with the big G in God and the big R in Religion.  Although Wikipedia defines Quakerism as fundamentally a Christian faith there's actually a bit of a schism over that, with the Universalist Quaker Fellowship at one end of the spectrum and "evangelical" Quakers at the other.  I'll confess I once made a wiki edit to remove Quakers from the Christian category of religions, but it did not even last 12 hours!  Guess that tells you which end of the spectrum I am at (either that or I'm a bit of an anarchist)!.

Coming back to the article, it seems Dorothy Rowe has quite a back catalogue of self-help psychology publications, but this is surely a piggie back on the Richard Dawkins book.  I was most provoked by her assertion that "No religion accepts us as the person we know ourselves to be" because I cannot think of anything that jars more with my Quaker faith!  Of course there does remain the question of how far I "know myself", but setting that to one side I do feel accepted as I am within the Religious Society of Friends.  It is interesting how something has to be provocative to get the thought process going.

I know what she is referring to and I can recognise it in many faiths, particularly fundamentalist ones, but to me this is almost the antithesis of religion.  At the very least it surely shows sloppy thinking on her part?  I do enjoy examining religion from a polytheist or atheist point of view though.  I find it more spiritual and thought provoking than any belief in certainties.

When I tell people I am a Quaker I have to prepare myself for questions like "are you a Christian?" and "what do you believe in?" and "Do you believe in God?" and my responses have evolved and are always changing.  I've never really tried a silent response, the Quaker silence can freak some people out and in this context would be misconstrued.  Early on I might proffer a few Fox quotes like we believe "in that of God in everyone".  I have cited the example of a Quaker who got into a heated parking space dispute before Meeting and when asked - "But how can you fight with me over this space, you're a Quaker?" replied with - "Yes!  That's WHY I'm a Quaker!".  I have tried talking about the sharing of common values (like peace, simplicity, community, discernment, charity).  I have been prepared not to snigger or take offense when people think I am Amish or that I can be polygamous (both have occured!).  People become confused by our lack of sacraments, it seems they need a certain amount of "smoke and mirrors" before they can regard something as "religious".  I think Quakers hold the totallity of life as their sacrament, and since that makes religion somewhat all-pervasive it becomes hard for others to recognise.  I guess it makes Quakers particularly sensitive to Ellas position rather than Siegfrieds?  But the majority of Quakers are very much empowered and driven to aspire to change things in this life, so I think the comparison with Ella ends there.

I am now considering remembering this quote and citing it as the antithesis of what Quakerism means to me.  Perhaps the approach of telling people what Quakers are NOT, whilst exhausting, might be more productive in the long term than trying to sum up what we ARE?  I already see a pitfall though, because the mis-conception that I find the most irritating about Quakers is the commonly held belief that we are "wishy washy" or somehow will not commit or be pinned down on what we do believe.  This misconception is even harder to correct because, believe it or not, Quakers are highly mistrustful of words when it comes to spiritual matters.  If you look into Quaker history you'll soon see they are people of action not afraid to commit and usually highly principled (EG if called to "take an oath" in court Quakers would refuse, George Fox having set a Quaker precedent).

This has probably been one of my longer posts.  I hope it did not seem like a sermon!

I have not adopted one of those blogging "code of ethics"; so I'll say here that any comment other than spam will be allowed to stand.  You can even say "God's a s**t", but that will not be very original in this context!.

You will sometimes find me indulging in a little light word play (as when I began this post).  That is part of the reason I added Wordie to the sidebar.  Similarly the Digg flash widget is partly there so that I can "Digg" things I want to flag as possible future post material.  I would appreciate feedback if anyone finds the site becoming too cluttered - already I think I have reached the limit and possibly exceeded it.  My thinking on that subject is that since many of the extras are there to be handy for me as much as any reader I may have two different sidebars and only load the "bloated" one when someone is logged in - that way first time visitors and casual readers will not be troubled by my twittering or "Digging" etc.  Those that want the extras can log in to get them.

Right - well that will give me some coding to play around with tonight, after me and my Friends have discussed our views on God!  Incidentally God is big enough that we do him for two months in a row!

By the way (if any readers are left!) I'm also aiming to upgrade my Chyrp! Blog software to v2rc2 this week - I'll try to put up a "back soon" page while the work is in progress... But I know I don't have THAT many readers just yet!

12:12 PM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,