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THE WAY OF PEACE
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In the beginning, I claimed that all Jesus’ teachings have the goal of enabling a person to attain and maintain a state I said he called “the Kingdom,” which I call peace of mind; and that the principal means thereto is the practice of presence, keeping one’s attention on the here and now and on what one, oneself, can do.
The time has come to test that thesis. Continue reading 12. An examination of the Sermon on the Mount
THE WAY OF PEACE
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|“The end of all things is at hand.”|
|— 1 Peter 4:7|
The first time I was told, “Jesus is coming soon,” I was twelve years old, in seventh grade. My friends and I had no reason to doubt it. We thought, “He might come tonight. Or tomorrow. But it could be tonight.” We lived in breathless anticipation.
For me, it all began to unravel seven years later, albeit it hasn’t finished unraveling yet.
A Friend posted this on FaceBook:
Someone commented, “I don’t know how to stop thinking. Not until I lay down at night. Brain is always busy with something. Wish I could turn it off.”
Here I will seek to meet that person’s need.
As of Monday, 04/27/15, let me say this. We had five days of completely orderly demonstrations. Only after that did the interlopers arrive, and only after that did any trouble begin.
Everybody, I think, wants certain things. We want to find out the facts. We want appropriate prosecutions, if warranted. We want …
I’ve just read this article, which indicates interlopers were indeed allowed to address the crowd at the original gathering Saturday 2015-04-25. They said things I do not believe any native Baltimorean would have said. They had to rationalize their presence, and in my judgment, failed.
From my diary for Friday 2015-05-01:
Ta-Nehisi Coates has had two “provocative” HuffPost columns in two days. Wednesday she decried calls for calm in Baltimore. Yesterday she used the incident of Toya Graham’s confrontation of her son, to blame white people for every incident of violence among blacks. [P.S. 12:00. Correction: The latter was by Stacey Patton.] I may yet respond to the latter, but it’s best I not do so today. I need to direct my thoughts and choose my feelings, and I feel immeasurably better when I focus on my own affairs than when I allow myself to get engaged with her turmoil. Today’s task is to prepare materials for the prayer course; and it will be no excuse if I tell my students I came unprepared because she distracted me.
Originally posted 2015-05-02.
In recent weeks it has been a matter of some chagrin to me that my Yahoo! News feed keeps bringing articles from major outlets that prove in my estimation to have far less merit than my own; while my own work continues to be ignored.
Frankly, it seems to me that my work is on a par with that of the Washington Post columnists. I see myself as in that league. If I can find my way there, my goal would be not so much to set forth my own views, as to alter the direction of public discourse; to influence, perhaps even at a national level, the way people talk about the great questions of our time.
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The Serenity Prayer does not depend on belief in God, but rather expresses basic principles of life:
God, grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
This pertains to where one directs one’s attention, how one chooses to feel, and where one focuses one’s desires. These are acts not of the mind, but of the will.
Jeffrey Tayler says, “Given the possibility that terrorists may acquire weapons of mass destruction and nuclear states with faith-based conflicts may let fly their missiles, religion may be said to endanger humanity as a whole. No one who cares about our future can quietly abide the continuing propagation and influence of apocalyptic fables that large numbers of people take seriously and not raise a loud, persistent, even strident cry of alarm.”
Fact: those who direct Iran’s nuclear program aren’t likely to listen to an atheist American Islamophobe.
In a blog post of July 19, 2014, I declared my ambition to become the “Nemesis of the morning glories” in the garden out behind my church. My plan was to spend four hours per week specifically weeding the morning glories in that garden.
On Monday, October 20, 2014, I wrote, “The morning glories are vanquished. As of today, they are under control throughout the entire garden.”