‘Phobia’ in Homophobia obscures simple hate

Playing devil’s advocate: “but I don’t ‘fear’ homosexuals”.

I would reply: what are the different words for “love” in the original Greek of the bible? One of them, agápɛ, was more of an attitude that translated to intentional actions that promoted unconditional well-being. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

But that’s not what they’re practicing. It’s quite the opposite: agápɛ ≠ mísia. They can say “love the sinner; hate the sin” all they want. But how that translates is deflection off the sin and onto the sinner. “Tough love” – for my “own good”? The ends justify the means?

I’m thinking that the primary command to “love thy neighbor” and “the greatest of these is love” was meant to show Grace – the very foundation for getting into Heaven – not “toe the line” to spare us sinless-righteous from countenancing your sinfulness and forcing us to live among it.

This is the “Christ” part of christianity. Without it, it’s christianism and its followers christianists. Anything you add to Love becomes a condition; if you condition Grace in anyway, it ceases to be Grace. The light is out.

So, if not agápɛ, then what? Mísia, as in homomisia, homophiliomisia and/or misohomophilia for the perspective and misohomophiliac or misohomo for the person exhibiting it.

I can see hate being how a deep fear is expressed. But I see actions born of fear more like reactions to create barriers. (For example, fear of being invaded would compel deliberate construction of defenses.) Premeditated actions and false-witness based on “tradition,” disapprobation and personal disgust, that’s hate. Seeing dragons in the windmills, that’s disease. Tilting at windmills, that’s a choice.

Let’s call it what it is: hate.

Go Outside by Letting It In

I was talking to my soul brother and dear, dear friend the other day that the hardest thing about a spiritual path is the opposite of clutching and clinging: letting go, letting fall away, letting fear of losing one’s identity not matter, if only for 1 minute at a time.

Opening your hand in total relaxation is not the same type of effort as contracting your muscle to cling. Letting yourself ‘be’ amid the elements around you is not the same as struggling to manage all the elements around you to define your being. Being part of the harmony is not the same effort as trying to orchestrate it.

Really, the effort focuses on the continual choice to turn off the knee-jerk, fear-of-falling tendency to cling and grasp. Disconnecting the power to judgment is not the same as stifling judgment. Opening up is not the same as self-annihilation.

I ran across the following reflection on Contemplative Druidry entitled “Entering Silence.” I really liked it because it touches on finding the silence in being part of the stillness; being conscious of the spaces between without forcing meaning on the patterns that you might perceive.

The process is one of self-emptying, but not in a self-wounding spirit of renunciation, of holy war on ‘ego’, of pushing away the immature self-sense like an unwanted child.

Self-emptying is simply the will to let things come and go without grabbing on, making room for something else to be. Warmly spacious, it invites a more expansive way of being. We do not let go in order to get something better. The letting go is itself the something better, freeing us from our habitual self-protectiveness and contracted activities like taking, defending, hoarding, and clinging.

Our identity is a collection of dust we have encrusted onto our consciousnesses, dust to which we have ascribed value.  We’re so afraid of chipping off the crust for fear of “not being me any more.”  But the “me” is trapped into a single statue of form, where in reality, there can be a continuum of me’s.

Entering the silence is simply being amid a world of being.  Instead of self-annihilation or becoming one with Brahman, entering the silence highlights one’s being amid being.  Add to that the consciousness you can bring to the silence, and you have a type of unifying magic with you as a vital component — where the crust of identity does not matter.  Human judgments on the value of traits and behaviors and other externals do not matter: the silence proves it.

In silence we find our core.  When we take the next step of exploration in the silence, we find affinities, or harmonies, with what fills us with the most sense of life.  Instead of taking our egos for a walk outside, we let the outside inside — we open the walls to the Id to not just perceive the whole, but be part of the whole.

buddah and what meditation does

Basic Pathwalking, revisited: Without challenge, there is no growth

A major feature of pathwalking is to make the best spiritual decisions you can in what you encounter within new or even familiar contexts. In that way, one “grows”.

Challenges can be unexpected or they can be anticipated, new or similar to previous.  They can be hard or easy. But whatever a challenge’s form and intensity, it is there to expose assumptions, presumptions, stagnation, and complacency.  If we only ever operated within what we know, we wouldn’t need to know anything else — hence complacency. We’d never learn what we don’t know.

Experts are experts because they learned past the easy, basic surface of a skill or knowledge base and into the atomic details.  In this way, the more they learn of their specialty, the more they know it.  Their familiarity grows ever intimately.  They’ve seen their subject from a wide variety of angles (challenges).  They’ve tested their previous knowledge (challenges) and refined their knowledge.

New contexts. New angles. New twists and turns.  New tests.  New applications.

Accumulated, refined knowledge.  Fulsome intimacy.

Spiritual Expertise is ever increasing knowledge of the Divine, the Creator, God.   And since the Divine is infinite, knowledge of Him has no stopping point.  Our efforts have no stopping point.  Our challenges never run out.  And I don’t mean the same challenges over and over again.

Increasing knowledge is “growth.”  Without challenge, there is no growth.  Continue reading

Fallacy can make for bad signposts

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The assertion that the Bible got something “wrong” is a pre-assumed conclusion using our modern-day perspective on slavery. I think it is better to assume that a journey toward the divine starts off with infancy and continues to mature (which is what so many Christians have “wrong” themselves thinking nothing can change).

That the Bible addressed the mores of its time does not mean the practice was condoned, but rather it was an attempt to find the spirituality available in the moment.

It’s also a fallacy that is used by Christians and non-Christans alike to say what wasn’t condemned was therefore condoned (as easily as what was mentioned is all there is).

Confusing the *method* of conserving with *what* is conserved

I just saw a clip of Santorum saying how the media “elite, smart people” and the universities would “never be on our side” (which he alludes to a little later, but does not define) because these people and institutions want to “tell you what to do” (like he doesn’t).

First off, he creates the strawmen of people & institutions wanting to tell you what to do as though such a thing  only exists in smart people and universities, or that these two things only want to tell you what to do (which he apparently confuses with the teaching of critical thinking).

He says: Continue reading

From Guidelines to Religion

Guidelines are not the same as rules. When a guideline gets narrowed to a requirement, it becomes a rule. A rule becomes dogma when it is enshrined into a belief system, which becomes religion when applied externally, to others.

Lately, when I’ve been thinking about path-walking, I have wondered: how does a guideline become a rule?

It helps to start with taking the word guideline apart. Guide + line. A boundary that lets you be aware of when you have wandered into an area or direction that will not result in the destination you intend.

At some point in being channeled by a guideline, we begin to apply measures to how well we’re operating within it. Measures give you a sense of the current trajectory of your path — how far you are from the ideal center of the trajectory you want.

When we rest on the measures, they solidify to rules. We replace general with specific. We confuse direction with plotted itinerary. We learn to place our steps in a specific way in order to say we’re on track.

You replace learning of the Divine with learning the skills involved in placing your feet in a certain way in order to be called The Way to the divine or to divinity. You obey the rules rather than get the most from what the landscape and obstacles in your course teach you.

You read the words of the specific road signs without understanding the terrain they point you through.

This result is mostly a combination of memory lapse and not understanding what a guideline is. Memory lapse plays its part in not remembering that the rule you derived from a guideline is merely a memory aid of what the guideline is meant to do. It’s a snapshot of a passing landmark as you travel down the path at speeds where you barely notice details.

It’s not understanding that a guideline is a recommendation or general definition of what it means to accomplish thus and such. It is easily confused with rules when we want to codify specific elements of the guideline – create a recipe of landmarks and formalize particular pathwalking navigation skills.

You cannot fail at pathwalking if you maintain a divine-ward trajectory defined by guidelines that allow you to perceive the core.  You can fail if all you’re tracking are the surface rules at the expense of consciousness of the core.

Amazing Grace, Legislated

From Strong’s Concordance: “Grace, the state of kindness and favor towards someone, often with a focus on a benefit given to the object.”From the Greek word Charis (xάρις), related to Charisma (gracious gift). Both these words originated from another Greek word Chairo(to rejoice, be glad, delighted).

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

It is understandable that people believe that any tie they have to a perceived immoral action is equivalent to doing the action, condoning the action, or enabling the action be done.  So, tax money being used to fund an abortion is seen negatively.

This really is not such a stretch, because — from a nationalistic perspective — when the US Govt (including the Courts) does something internationally (or even nationally, but observed by the international community), I can feel proud or ashamed, elated or appalled.  In the same vein, I’m not happy that the money I have contributed as a citizen has been used to used to start & conduct wars in the name of supposed safety, spreading democracy, or pushing other national “interests” that negatively impact other peoples.

It is also understandable that people want to change, structure, or institute laws and policies that minimize or remove immoral connections.  There is a push from religious or other moral perspectives to do that under the banner of re-establishing the US as a Christian Nation (Dominion), taking back the country from Godless forces, and turning back progressive (ever changing and evolving) agendas that foist upon them both immorality and connection to it.

For individuals with this perspective, when it comes to voting or participating in national issues (such as by voting or debating), decisions & viewpoints need to be “biblically informed.”  For instance, “From God’s ethical command not to murder, flows, in the minds of many people, the obligation to protect the lives of unborn children. Therefore we campaign—sometimes very aggressively—for laws that protect the lives of unborn infants.”

There exists an underlying pressure to “be Christian,” and to be Christian, you have to do and think Christian things, in every context.  If you help to enact a law that is Christian-based (presumably), then you are both being Christian and … that’s the question here.  You are obviously attempting more than just “being Christian” because your actions result in larger things that affect more than just you.

There is more going on here than merely distancing oneself, for example, from abortion ties.

Continue reading