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Our Divine Spark
Life includes an instinctual desire to survive both as a species and as an individual. Whether this instinct is divinely based or not, had we (and all other species) not had it we would have died off long before our time on earth. The importance of this instinct is highly respected in our theology.
The idea, most common to Gnosticism but also present in most Western Mystical Traditions such as Kabbalah and Sufism that all of mankind contains within itself the Divine Spark of God which is contained or imprisoned in the body. In these cosmologies the purpose of life is to enable the Divine Spark to be released from its captivity in matter and reestablish its connection with or simply return to God who is perceived as being the source of the Divine Light. In the Gnostic Christian tradition (e.g. the Valentinian Church, the Cathars, the modern Lectorium Rosicrucianum etc.) Christ is seen as an Avatar of the Light which has taken human form in order to lead humanity back to the Light. The Cathars in particular saw this idea expressed most powerfully in the opening words of the Gospel of St John ~ (Wikipedia)This instinct is the foundation for our pursuit of all that is essential to our survival including food, water, oxygen, rest and sexuality. Each of these pursuits is taken for granted (without drama) with the exception of our sexuality (around which we've developed immense drama). But it is an undeniable fact that this desire has led man to most of the magnificent works done in the fields of art, industry, literature, culture and civilization.
|Preservation Of Order||Beloved Community||Stretching Boundaries|
Order "Above all the other necessities of human nature, above the satisfaction of any other need, above hunger, love, pleasure, fame even life itself what a man most needs is the conviction that he is contained within the discipline of an ordered existence." (recalled by David Brooks in "The Culture of Nations")
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Beloved Community Dr. Martin Luther King's Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict. ~ July 13, 1966, The King Center)
Compassion The "Charter for Compassion" is a 300 word statement urging that we learn and teach peace. Over 90,000 people have signed it and over 78,000 people have "liked" it's Facebook page. Please check it out and sign it: webpage: http://charterforcompassion.org/ or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/CharterforCompassion and let's live it every day.
Sufficiency Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for empathy and solidarity, and ultimately for love. We are part of the same whole and so are part of each other. ~ (Ervin Laszlo)
Energy "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer
Women We have a growing awareness that whereever the world is growing more peaceful, whereever it is healing, women are playing an important role. Some of us are concluding that the empowerment and protection of women in places that are hurting should be a very high priority. We haven't been able to stop violence and abuse in Darfur, in Rwanda, in the Congo, in Somalia, in Zimbabwe, in Haiti, in Syria, in Nigeria; maybe our effort should go to ensure that those who are likely to have the will for rebuilding can do so.
Meaning For Abraham Heschel, man experiences his life as meaningful when he lives in God's presence - not simply by encountering God in the world, but primarily by serving God in everyday life, infusing every moment with the spirit of God, and by dedicating himself to ends outside himself. For Viktor Frankl, meaning is experiencing by responding to the demands of the situation at hand, discovering and committing oneself to one's own unique task in life, and by allowing oneself to experience or trust in an ultimate meaning - which one may or may not call God. (source: Tracy Marks: The Meaning of Life and Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (quotes))
Imagination I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. ~ Robert Fulghum
Passion Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead. ~ Joss Whedon (by way of Melanie) There should be a passion flowing between you and your work. When really you have found your vocation, it is a love affair. It is not that you have to do it. It is not that you have to force yourself to do it. Suddenly you do it in a totally different way you had not known before. Your steps have a difference dance, your heart goes on humming. Your whole system functions for the first time at the optimum. It is a fulfillment. Through it you will find your being --it will become a mirror; it will reflect you. Whatsoever it is -- a small thing. It is not a question that only great things become vocations no. A small thing. You may be making toys for children, or making shoes, or weaving cloth -- or whatsoever. It doesn't matter what it is, but if you love it, if you have fallen in love with it; if you are flowing with no reservation, if you are not withholding yourself, if you are not dragging -- dancingly moving into it -- it will cleanse you, it will purify you. Your thinking by and by will disappear. It will be a silent music, and by and by you will feel that it is not only work, it is your being. Each step fulfilled, something in you flowers. And richest is the man who has found his vocation. And richest is the man who starts feeling a fulfillment through his work. ~ Osho
Original Blessing Original Blessing makes available to the Christian World and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated. ~ Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story --- Original Blessing
Thanks to Melanie Rogers Jimenez, Alan Clapsaddle and Karen Kelly for their inspiration and/or ideas for the development of this page. We're not finished here yet and your ideas are invited. We highly recommend this video which portrays our planet earth as a vibrant being deserving of our care .