Sunday, January 24, 2010


I know what your problem is. Your problem is that you aren’t getting what you want. If you were getting what you want, you wouldn’t have any problems. Isn’t that right? The only thing wrong with you is that you don’t have enough people in your life handing you what you want. The only thing standing between you and complete happiness, to the point of gleeful squeals and jigs of joy, is knowing the secret to having what you want. Well, you have come to the right place this morning! I am here to fix you up for the rest of your life: STOP WANTING! Wanting is ruining your life! If you didn’t want anything, you would be deliriously delighted with how things are right now.

We have painstakingly established the fact that if you didn’t have anything to want you would be serenely enraptured and blissful to the core. The quickest way to that happy land is to stop wanting. Instant bliss. There. That takes care of that. I would ask you if there is anything else I can do for you while I’m in the mood and we’re all here, but there couldn’t possibly be. Once you’ve stopped wanting, there is nothing else to ask for, nothing more to have. Life is good. And religion is now of no use to you whatsoever.

People have traditionally used religion as a tool to pry what they want from God. We are told that if we give ten percent of our annual income after taxes, deductions, exemptions, exclusions and expenses to God, in return, God will give us everything we ask for. It’s a very good deal. Where are you going to beat it? Give to Get. And to hear those who are selling it tell it, it works every time.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this little detail, but those selling the Give to Get deal are always those who handle our ten percent on its way to God. They are the middle persons, overseeing the transmission of our withdrawals to their deposit in the heavenly coffers. I’m not suggesting that that would be any reason for them to lie about how well the idea Giving to Get actually works, but it does sound a bit like bribery, inducement, enticement, or “priming the well” as they say in the deep south. I’m only pointing out that religion’s primary function is to position us to get what we want from God, and that if we didn’t want anything, where would preachers be?

Or advertising agencies? Or manufacturing conglomerates? Or, well, Wall Street? We’ve started something here, haven’t we. This is revolutionary. Radical stuff. There is no end to the implications. It could transform life as we know it. End life as we know it. If we didn’t want anything, there wouldn’t be anything. Where would that leave us? Desire-less living wouldn’t offer us anything to live for. The Buddha put forth desire as the origin of suffering, but the blessed state of desire-less-ness isn’t all that pain-free considering the mess things would be in if we stopped wanting.

We can't not-want! Wanting is the ground of existence. The economy is based on wanting, and everything is based on the economy. If we stopped swapping money around the table there would be very little eating, or anything else going on. So, never mind about the bliss of not-wanting. The Yogis can sit not-wanting, but somebody has to fill their rice bowls. Has to want to. Has to want to care for those who want-not. Religion is safe, and I have a job. Thanks for your part in filling my rice bowl.

But. Wanting does get in the way. What a tree wants doesn't matter. With the proper amount of light, water and nutrients, a tree is going to be a tree. What we want matters most. Why live if we can't have what we want? What's the point if it isn’t getting what we want? What a tree wants doesn't matter. What we want is the only thing that does matter. A tree will thrive with the right amount of water, light and nutrients. Not us. We have to have what we want or why live? A tree never asks, “Why live?” Trees live wherever they can for as long as they can, glad to be alive. Not us. We have to have what we want or else.

You’ve heard me say that the only thing standing between us and God is us. The only thing standing between us and the way that is The Way is us. And the thing about us that is in our way is our wanting, willful, way. So, what to do? We can’t want and we can’t not-want. It’s a pickle. The only way to move forward when you are in a pickle—when you are caught between two mutually exclusive options—is to do one thing with your eye on the other. You must not forget that you are in a pickle, and you must not let being in a pickle incapacitate you, immobilize you, and keep you from doing what needs to be done. When you are in a pickle, you must BE in a pickle, consciously, intentionally, deliberately—maintaining the tension of the opposite poles and bearing the pain of not being able to do either because of the other AND DO ONE with an eye on the other one.

We have to want wanting to not want.

Here’s how it works: There is wanting, and there is knowledge of wanting, knowing that we are wanting. Spend more time knowing you are wanting than wanting unknowingly. Don't just want, know that you are wanting. Be interested in the wanting. What does wanting keep you from facing, doing, thinking about? How does wanting insulate you from the life that is waiting to be lived? What role does wanting play? How does wanting keep you from living? How does wanting enable you to live?

The role of wanting in enabling life and preventing life is the heart of the matter. It revolves around the question, “Whose side are we on?” Wanting, when it is aligned with life and exercised in the service of life that is the heart and soul of life, what life is all about, is, as it has been phrased in the church of our experience, “obedience to the will of God.” Wanting that is opposed to life and contrary to the heart and soul of life, of what life is all about, is, as has been phrased in the church of our experience, “disobedience unto sin.” We can want what is right for us and we can want what is wrong for us. So, alongside of the question, “Whose side are we on?”, we place the question, “What do we want and how does that serve life or oppose life?”

In order to answer these questions, we have to answer the other question, “Of what does LIFE consist?” We don’t spend enough time with this one. It’s taken away from us by the ad agencies and cultural trends. LIFE consists of the lights and action of Gay Paree, or whatever the current equivalent is. But we can’t trust the commercials or the culture with this one. It’s the biggie. No one can tell us of what our life consists. That is ours to divine on our own.

The spiritual journey, quest, task is knowing and doing what is life for us. The church as it ought to be would be equipped to help you know what you are here for, to discern what is yours to do, to find the path with your name on it and live the life that is your life to live. We are talking that word you hate destiny here. We can’t escape it. And trying to puts us nose to nose with the essential question, “Whose side are we on?”

Here, we cannot avoid thinking about what we want. We have to think about what we want in order to want what is right for us, in order to live the life that is ours to live. We are not free to live any way we choose, to do whatever strikes our fancy. We cannot live any way we choose and be at home with ourselves, at peace with who we are. We can choose to live in ways that are at cross purposes with our destiny.

We know when things are right and when they are not right. We know when we are working with ourselves, when we are working against ourselves. We know when what we want is serving ends worthy of us, is aligned with the life that is our life to live, and when it is not. We know when we are kidding ourselves. IF we think about it. We avoid the pain of realization by living too fast to listen. Immersing ourselves in the lights and action of Gay Paree, we numb ourselves against the knowledge of having taken a wrong turn, again. We run from emptiness and seek to find a meaningful life in the catalogs, at the resorts and on the showroom floors, while destiny waits.

The good news/bad news is truth does not go away. Truth taps us on our shoulder with symptoms and a nagging sense that things are not right somehow. Emptiness, boredom, restlessness, anxiety all suggest that Paree isn’t it, and it is only a matter of time until we wake up or die with a withered soul. On the other hand, an indication of living in the service of our destiny is passion for life. Passion, enthusiasm, zest, zeal suggest destiny in the making. We cannot be connected with our destiny without being passionate about it, but passion is only an indicator, not evidence, of alignment with our destiny. Lethargy, emptiness, ennui, on the other hand, are evidence of life unlived, of destiny not served. We can be passionate about that which is not destiny. So, we have to think about what we are wanting, and keep an eye on ourselves at all times. Because shooting ourselves in the foot is what we do best.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Invisible World

If you are going to believe anything, believe there is more to you than meets the eye. If you are going to believe anything else, believe that there is more to everyone and everything than meets the eye. It all starts with the presumption of The More, The Invisible, The Unknown, The More. The fundamental spiritual assumption is that the visible world rests on the invisible world. If you aren’t willing to make that assumption, there is, for you, no such thing as spirituality. All that is real and true is material, physical, logical, rational, concrete, actual, tangible, measureable, weighable, countable, objective and verifiable. Spiritual is immaterial, “of the spirit,” beyond the physical senses, a world apart from the world of ordinary, apparent reality. So, if you think there is more to it all than meets the eye, you belong here. If you don’t, you’re welcome, of course, to stay, but why?

The work of the church as it ought to be is the work of connecting its members with the unknown, invisible, world, with The More than meets the eye. Faith is actually trust that the invisible world, The More, exists and can be approached, apprehended, intuited, experienced, expressed and incarnated within the visible world of ordinary, apparent, reality. This kind of trust, the willingness to trust ourselves to the truth of the invisible world, is the only kind of faith we need to have. Everything flows from there.

Spiritual reality has a physical dimension. Physical reality has a spiritual dimension. There is a point, on the boundary between yin and yang, between spiritual and physical, at which both are one. If you experience the purely physical at a sufficient depth of awareness and appreciation, a doorway opens, a threshold is crossed, and you are awash in the spiritual. And, on the other hand, if you meditate in the darkness to a sufficient depth of spiritual realization, you will have to give that sense of The More some manner of actual, tangible, concrete physical expression in your life. The one calls forth the other. Neither exists apart from the other. Both are functions of reality becoming real through our experience, through our conscious awareness. We see, say, sing the universe into being. Where would either world be without our awareness of both?

We are the bridge between worlds, connecting worlds, blessing worlds, and we, in turn, are graced and blessed by our association with each. Or, we have the potential of being so blessed. It’s realization depends upon our willing, conscious, participation in the process of bridging the worlds. This process requires us to represent the physical world to the spiritual, and the spiritual to the physical. We translate, interpret, and accommodate each world within and unto the other. For instance, we understand that each world comprehends time differently. In the physical world, time is linear and sequential in a way that can be scheduled and planned. In the spiritual world, time is pregnant with meaning and wonder but the when of birth is “in its own time,” and impossible to pinpoint beyond “in the fullness of time,” or, “when the time is right.”

We have to appreciate the differences between the world of spirit and the world of matter in order to bridge the worlds and represent one to the other. We can deepen our awareness of the differences between the worlds by looking at the research being done in the area of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. If we think of the right side of the brain as being the spiritual hemisphere, and the left side of the brain as being the physical hemisphere, we will have a metaphor for how the two worlds compare and relate to one another.

Critical to our relationship with each world, to our ability to bridge the worlds, is the realization that there is nothing in it for us. We, as a species, have the age-old idea that the spiritual world is ours to plunder and pillage to benefit our life in the physical world. We think that once we learn the secret of access, within the spiritual world lie the keys to the kingdom and that, by becoming spiritual, we will have the wisdom and insight necessary to manage our affairs in the physical world to our maximum advantage. Or, we have the other idea. We think that by subjecting ourselves to the power and control of the spiritual world, by being spiritual and pure, aloof, and unscathed by the sinful “world of the flesh,” we will be kept safe until the day of resurrection when we will rise with the saints in light and be accorded royal robes and high places in the kingdom of heaven, and enjoy eternal life there to our maximum advantage. Either way, it’s the same deal. We think the spiritual world exists for our enjoyment, benefit, and glory. The truth is that is not so.

We are the bridge between worlds, the boundary between yin and yang. As such, it is our place to collaborate and cooperate with each world for the good of both. We compensate for and counteract the deficiencies of the one with the strengths of the other and so make peace between the two. We live within both worlds for the sake of each and work for the reconciliation of one with the other. We do that by perceiving, engaging and incarnating spiritual reality within the world of physical reality. There is no advantage, no benefit, no immunity, no special treatment for those who take up the work of being citizens of both worlds. What we get for our trouble is an interesting and meaningful life.

Jesus was recognized by the centurion as the son of God. The disciples understood him to be the Anointed one of God. He was hailed as Messiah (Christ): The One Who Makes God Known. This is living as a citizen of both worlds, so that those who see us see the spiritual through the physical. Now, we only come close to this in our best moments on our best days, but we all have given the world a glimpse of grace, and mercy, and peace. We have shown what we are capable of. And, of course, we have shown what we are also capable of! We have been as petty as we have been gallant, as mean-spirited as we have been gracious, as snarly and rude as we have been kind and generous. We are, indeed, citizens of both worlds, exhibiting the qualities of each in a tangled mass that makes more for confusion than for fusion, more for chaos than for peace. Our work is cut out for us.

The work is that of becoming conscious of who we are and what is ours to do, and being intentional about doing it. That work involves us in learning all we can of the invisible world in order to be agents, envoys, of that world within the visible world of normal, apparent, reality. In this endeavor, research into the right hemisphere of the brain can help us access the spiritual world. Intuition, instinct, resonance, synchronicity, numinous awareness, dreams, symbols, Freudian slips, and the like are “thin places” where the invisible world can be apprehended if not studied. We become students of these things in order to know as much as we can know of the invisible and unknown.

Okay, whoa, time to stop. Time to say right out loud that no arena of human endeavor is more replete with charlatans, swindlers, imposters, liars, cheats, cranks, creeps and ne’er-do-wells than the invisible world. Here, we move into the area of metaphysics, cosmology, parapsychology, astrology, and la-la-everything. We’re swamped, stampeded, bowled-over and undone by the kooky hoards. We don’t have a chance. This is why Orthodoxy is so comforting. There, lines have been drawn between revealed truth and speculative thrill seeking. The church of our experience may not have been all that welcoming of new ideas, but at least there were standards in place and the people were all normal. We can’t get very far from that without reaching an edge we don’t want to step over. How can we talk about knowing the invisible and unknown world without risking the loss of all bearings and coming out, if we come out at all, wearing crystals and chewing peyote?

So, here’s the first rule: Don’t take anyone’s word for anything ever, including mine. I trust Carl Jung because of his training and his experience with the unconscious world of so many people over the course of his life. He put his theories forward as theories, not facts, and he doesn’t stand to gain anything personally from our allegiance or interest. But. He said no one knows what they don’t know. Bear that in mind. And don’t take anyone’s word for anything ever when they are talking about what cannot be seen, or known.

Here’s the second rule: Question everything (Also known as: “Let the buyer beware!”). This is an area of complete and total speculation. No one knows what is unknown! No one sees what is invisible! Do not believe anything you hear! Critique! Critique! Critique! But, here is where it gets interesting. The third rule is: Keep an open mind! Be interested, alert, awake! Wonder a lot! You will find yourself on paths you can’t begin to imagine, in places you could never predict, doing things you could not have foreseen. All because you know you can’t know what you don’t know, trust yourself to the unseen, unknown, invisible world, and allow yourself to be led without a map or a compass along the way. Amen! May it be so!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rise to the Occasion!

The movement to shift money from the big banks to credit unions and community banks is a beautiful example of how we don’t have to depend upon the government to solve the problems of bad financial management with regulations and stimulus packages. The people are savvy, and there are lots of ways to wage revolution. We have to understand that we are engaged in revolution and get with the program! Any program! Just pick a place and get to work!

The Peace and Justice Network of the Triad is a clearinghouse for information of all the local groups working the peace and justice side of the street. You’ll find their web site at, and it won’t be long before you have more avenues for engaging in revolution than you can take on in one lifetime. It will be like selecting orange juice, or ice cream, at Harris Teeter. Too many choices, but solid evidence of how much is wrong with the way things are in the country and world, of how much needs to be done, and what people are doing in response to it. The time is always ripe for revolution!

Revolution is the work of consciousness. And it is a spiritual practice. There is nothing more counter-cultural, more subversive, than waking up, seeing, hearing and understanding—than taking on the work of squaring ourselves up with how things are and what needs to be done about it. This is the spiritual journey, task, quest: Asking What is happening? What needs to happen that is not happening? What response do we make to the situation as it arises, unfolds?

The moment is always barging into our lives to disrupt and decimate and disintegrate our cozy little world. What response do we make? As we form our response, we shape ourselves. This realization is crucial to our spiritual development. Our being flows from our doing. We are who we show ourselves to be in the responses we make to the moment of our living. What is the moment asking of us? How do we respond? There we are.

We stand naked before the world in the response we make to each moment of our living. Who we are is expressed in how we respond, how we live in response, to the moment of our living. We cannot bring forth in the moment anything that is not already within us. By bringing it forth, we make it visible, but we do not make it up. We cannot produce something that is not there to begin with, that is not within us, available to us.

If the lights go out, I have to call an electrician because I do not have what it takes to do more than flip the light switch. But, there is more within me than I know is within me, and I make amazing discoveries by getting out of my own way and allowing myself to show me what I am capable of in responding to the impact of the moment of my living. I shape myself in rising to the occasion presented by the moment. So do you. And, in this way, we become who we are over the course of our lives. We do not think our way to being who we are, we live our way there. The more consciously and thoughtfully we live, however, the more fully we become who we are.

The spiritual law at work here is this: Rise to the occasion! Be what is needed! In so doing, we will be bringing forth qualities and characteristics and abilities we don’t know we have. We have latent powers for transforming the world that languish because we will not use them, because we will not rise to the occasion, because we think we cannot do what needs to be done. We owe it to ourselves to find out what we can do and not decide without trying what we can and cannot do

We have to throw ourselves into the situation and see what we are capable of. We all suffer from an inaccurate assessment of our abilities, and with most of us, that comes out in not trying to do anything that pushes, stretches or challenges us in the least. “Oh, no,” we say, “I couldn’t do that!” And we don’t do anything, ever. We don’t think we can do anything, and don’t. We don’t know what we are capable of, and will never know if we do not begin to trust ourselves to rise to the occasion and find out, thereby, what we are made of.

So the questions: What is happening? What needs to happen that is not happening? What is the occasion that is presented by the moment as it is unfolding before us? What response shall we make in rising to the occasion? These questions throw us into the work of spiritual development which is the work of becoming conscious, the work of seeing, hearing, understanding, the work of knowing what needs to be done and doing it, the work of discovering who we are through the process of living our lives.

In this work, we square ourselves up with they way things are and also are within and without. We recognize the incompatibilities, the incongruities, the contradictions and contraries, and come to terms with them. This is true and that is also true so what response shall we make to them? What is being asked of us by the moment as it unfolds? What shall we do? What is the occasion to which we must rise?

Oh wait, don’t tell me, it’s overwhelming, right? We don’t know where to begin, right? Easy. Begin with the Peace and Justice Network of the Triad. Or join the Sierra Club. When Alan Watts asked Joseph Campbell what form his yoga took, Campbell replied, “I underline passages.” Underlining passages can be your form of revolution if you underline revolutionary passages with a revolutionary spirit! If you are overwhelmed, put that on the table along with everything else and DECIDE WHAT RESPONSE YOU WILL MAKE! Distracting yourself with addictions and diversions is not acceptable!

Consciousness stirs to life with the experience of the not-right-ness of things. Once we recognize that things are not right somehow, we can never go back to sleep. From that point on, we take up the work to square ourselves with the way things are and put things right. And our only tool in that work is consciousness, awareness.

To be conscious is to see, hear, understand, know—exactly how things are within and without. We do not hide or look away. We see what we see, hear what we hear, feel what we feel, taste what we taste, smell what we smell, sense what we sense, intuit what we intuit—we take in all that is to be taken in with every receptor we have and bear it all consciously, knowingly, in its entirety. We do not close ourselves off from or deny any aspect of our experience. This is the way things are. This is what is happening. This is what we wish were happening instead. And this is what needs to happen in response to all of these considerations.

Once we see, once we hear, once we understand, once we know, we do. Action flows naturally from knowing how things are and what needs to happen in response to how things are. Seeing is doing! Seeing and doing are being! We are as we do! Our doing, our action, shapes our being, forms who we are! We become who we are in the act of responding to what is happening in the moment of our living. Our living elicits our being, our becoming, who we are, who we are capable of being in response to what in happening in our lives. We are made, you might say, by the occasions to which we arise.

If we lived a life in which nothing happened, there would be not much to us, which is what was true of us as a species for thousands of years. There was not much to us because not much happened in our lives. Not much different anyway, not much that hadn’t always happened, that didn’t always happen. Who we are is a reflection of what is happening in our lives and how we respond to it. We are what we do, how we live. By changing the way we respond, we change who we are, we become who we are capable of being. We expand, deepen, enlarge ourselves by doing what needs to be done in response to what is happening in our lives. This is the work of consciousness, of being conscious, of seeing, hearing, understanding. This is our spiritual practice.

Our spiritual practice is revolution. Transforming ourselves and our situation in life by seeing what needs to be done and doing it. By rising to the occasion and showing ourselves who we are. There is much that is wrong with the way things are in the country and world. What are we are doing in response to it? Pick a place. Get to work. Do what needs to be done, as true revolutionaries.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

God Is Always Dying!

When Jesus died everything the disciples believed about God died with him. For them, God was dead. Who the disciples had understood God to be was no more. A new understanding of God, a new God, had to come forth in their lives. With the resurrection appearances, the disciples began the work of forming a new understanding of God, of choosing a new God to serve. When the old God, the old understanding of God, dies, we must choose a new one to carry our lives forward, or we die with the old God. Enabling us to choose a new God in place of the old is the work of hermeneutics, the work of reinterpretation. Everything depends upon having the right spokespersons for God to help us find the way to the God that is God NOW.

History is weighed down with examples of tribes and civilizations that did not have such spokespersons, that did not survive the death of their god. When our understanding of God fails us, when the circumstances of our lives rule out the possibility of God as we have understood God to be, then that idea of God is dead and must be replaced with a new understanding of God for a new world. The Biblical image that applies here is Jesus’ teaching about new wine in old wineskins, and the idea expressed in the 21st chapter of Revelation: “The old has passed away, behold, the new has come!”

When K Misenheimer says, “God doesn’t have any grandchildren,” he is saying that God only has children and that the children’s God is not the God of their parents. Thelma Foster said, “Each generation must find its own way to God.” And the God it finds its way to is not the God of the previous generation. Each generation may pay lip-service to the God of the previous generation. Each generation may sing the old hymns and recite the old creeds, but their lives are carried forward by new gods which reflect the deepest values of that generation in spite of what they may profess and declare.

Think of God as the deepest, the highest, value, or system of values, that we are capable of imagining, perceiving, serving at any particular point in our lives—the value which sets our course and directs our living, for which, and toward which, in light of which, we live. God is the personification of the highest value of a person, or a nation, or a culture. We invest ourselves in the service of our highest value, or values. In this way, we invest God with our lives. Our lives are intertwined with our values, ARE our values. Our life is the reflection, the expression, of what we value most. When you look at us, at the lives we are living, you see our God even though we may say we believe in a different God, in the God of previous generations. Or say that we have gotten rid of the God of previous generations, and do not believe in God at all.

The catch is that we must consciously CHOOSE our values! We cannot let them be handed to us, be given to us, by the church of our experience or by the culture in which we live! We cannot embrace someone else’s values as our own and serve them without examination and reflection. In that case, we become the cult of an unknown, unrecognized, God, and lose our way in the service of a God unworthy of us.

We must not think we have dumped God just because the God of our ancestors (and the church of our experience) no longer carries our highest value. Some God does. And if we do not consciously give ourselves to the God that is worthy of us—if we do not consciously serve the values that we believe are to be revered with the highest esteem—if we do not consciously choose and serve the God whose claim we recognize and to whom we declare allegiance, we will drift into the service, and will live at the mercy, of lesser gods.

This is not some new brand of theology. Paul, in Philippians (3:19) talks about those “whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” All the rave these days, which is not unlike that of other days, is on wealth and prosperity and “creating the destiny of our dreams” (as if), and attracting the kind of life we find to be attractive. “What do you want?” is the operative question which directs our lives. Not, “What does God want?”, but “What do you want?” which elevates us to the position of God of our own lives, creating our own destiny and doing what we want. But we are not God. And the level of depression, and despair, and drug abuse, and addiction, and emptiness, and lost-ness, and meaninglessness running through our lives is testimony to the truth of our having chosen poorly “whom we will serve.” We pay a price for serving ourselves!

We cannot imagine a value beyond our desires and ambition. But, in living in light of what we want, we do not take into account the conflict of interests which torpedoes our lives. When what we want conflicts with what we also want, how do we determine what to do then? What do we want when our wants are mutually exclusive? Or when we get what we want and are not pleased? We flounder and cast about and do not know how to proceed. We sink into depression and cannot go on.

Our God has died again (as gods are wont to do when our lives do not go as we wish) and left us in the lurch. But, this god of our wants and wishes never had a chance. What we want turns out to be no god at all. Every god which is not worthy of our highest esteem always disappoints and disappears. And so, we must choose carefully the values, the God, we serve. For God is not mocked, we reap what we sew (Galatians 6:7), and bear the cost of the associations we keep.

And thus, I’m offering for your consideration, the God of the moment, the God of the here and now, because nothing is more important than the moment in which we live. When we do right by the moment, each moment, we create a foundation for the future that is built upon our service to what is right, one moment at a time. I am offering for your consideration the God of what needs to happen in the situation as it unfolds—beyond our desires and ambitions, beyond our advantage and interest, beyond our wants, wishes and happy fantasies. Here is the God that is worthy of the title, calling us to a destiny that has nothing to do with our dreams for ourselves, but was shaped for us before we were born by forces we cannot imagine, and which comes to life in the moment of our living, urging us to see and to do what needs to be done there and go where it leads, and see where it takes us.

The stakes are high here. Everything is on the line, riding on our understanding the importance of choosing values (like living aligned with our destiny) that engage us with Mystery and carry us into the hum-drum of the daily grind as though it is the stuff of myth and fable, because it is. Our task is the recovery of the sense of meaning and purpose of the moment and of our own life that lifts us above the emptiness of buying and selling, and provides us with confirmation of the special nature of our life and our place in the lives of others.

We have a calling, a vocation, a destiny! We are built, created, for a role in the salvation of the world! And, if that seems grandiose to you, what better antidote to the barrenness of the current wasteland of our souls? As it is, we have nothing but money to live for, nothing but safety and security to pin our hopes on. But ply us with luxury behind high walls and locked doors and it is not enough. We will drink ourselves to an early death or live a long miserable life around antidepressants and bridge games. We cannot give ourselves anything worthwhile to live for. All of our bright ideas come up short. Life, it turns out, is a gift from beyond!

We have a life to live that is waiting on us beyond all our ideas and dreams and wants and desires for life. We have a destiny to embrace and to serve. There is that which is right for us and for which we are right, and it may have nothing to do with what we want or with the life we have in mind for ourselves. If you are going to believe anything, believe you have a purpose beyond what you are capable of thinking up on your own!

In this, YOU are of value to God! YOU are God’s value! Your life is valuable beyond estimation when lived aligned with the destiny that is your calling, your vocation. And you cannot find your way there by yourself. But. We all know what is right for us, and what is wrong. And simply being open to what is right for us and being willing to do what is right for us puts us on the path to what is right for us.

What is right for us is what we are right for, what we are built for, cut out for. It may not be what we want for us. The difference between what is right for us and what we want for us is the fulcrum upon which our future rests. Turning away from what is right for us in favor of what we want for us puts us on a track to dissatisfaction, fragmentation, despair and death. What is right for us is often inconvenient, fearsome, difficult, and crazy. But it’s right for us. I'm not suggesting that you quit your day job and become a poet. I'm suggesting that you write poetry, if that's right for you. And I’m not suggesting that your destiny will reward you with wealth and splendor, but your life will be meaningful and interesting, and you can’t buy that with all the wealth in the world.

In taking up the path to our destiny, in doing what is right for us, we don't force anything but are open to everything. Openness finds a way. Being impatient with the process reflects a misunderstanding of the process. There is no hurry. There is no place to be by a certain time. Our destiny is more of a frame of mind, a perspective, a way of being, than it is a destination, an achievement, an accomplishment, a place. Our destiny is the path to who we are. It is who we are. There is no arrival point. We are always becoming who we are. Knowing and doing what is right for us is the way to integration, peace, wholeness, meaning, purpose, and life. And, believe it if you dare, it is the way to the salvation of the world.