All my life, I’ve been fascinated with things that glow in the dark. Where does the light come from? This is now fundamental to my understanding of prayer, and of my vocation.
The picture shows what I take for the latest advance in the world of fluorescent materials. Here are germanium nanoparticles in a colorless colloidal (gelatinous) suspension, being irradiated by ultraviolet light. By virtue merely of where they are and what they are, the invisible light that shines on these particles is changed into visible light.
The nanoparticles catalyze that process: they do no work of their own, expend no energies of their own, and take no active part in the process; but it won’t occur without them.
Continue reading Prayer primer
Came across this FB post from 2017:
Although I constantly refer to “silence” and “presence,” I have put off posting any how-to here about meditation, since there are innumerable resources out there and I don’t want to re-invent the wheel. I may eventually post a how-to here.
In the meantime, Brian Williard sent me the below link that I can’t ignore.
I’d urge anyone who’s interested in meditation, or in learning how to meditate, to read it. Actually, I’d encourage anyone who’s not engaged in meditation now, to read it.
Emmet Fox’s “Your Heart’s Desire” begins:
“An old adage says, ‘God has a plan for every man, and He has one for you,’ and this is absolutely correct. Your real problem, therefore, in fact the only problem that you ever have, is to find your true place in life. Find that, and everything else will follow almost automatically. You will be perfectly happy; and upon happiness, health will follow. You will be really prosperous. You will have all the supply that you require to meet your needs, and this means that you will have perfect freedom; for poverty and freedom cannot go together. Until you do find your true place in life, however, you never will be really happy, no matter how much money or distinction you may acquire; and until you are happy, you will be neither healthy nor free.”
Later in Fox’s piece comes what I regard as the premiere text about right and wrong use of the life force:
“There is only one Fundamental Energy in the universe, but this energy may be applied by us either constructively or destructively, because God has given us Free Will. When we use it constructively, we are acting in harmony with the Will of God, and we are improving ourselves and our lives in every possible respect, and we are helping the world in general, too. When we use it destructively, we damage ourselves, retard our progress, and waste an opportunity of helping mankind at large.
“We use our energy destructively whenever we think or talk fear and limitation; whenever we grumble, or give way to self-pity, or indulge in useless regrets, or, in fact, in any form of negative thinking. Most of all do we use our God given energy destructively when we hold thoughts of criticism and condemnation of others. All bitterness, resentment, spiritual pride, and self-righteousness, are peculiarly disastrous methods of misusing the Great Power, and that is why such thinking causes the terrible havoc that it does in people’s lives.
“When we are in a condition of fear, anger, or worry, our Divine Energy, instead of flowing, in some positive, creative work, becomes dammed up within ourselves, like the water in the garden hose, and produces all sorts of trouble in soul and body. Meanwhile, our true work in life is either missed altogether, or, starved of the supply of Life Force which it should receive, it languishes accordingly, and we get mediocrity, poverty, and failure.”
One’s “true work in life” refers to what Fox calls “your heart’s desire:” the unique way you and you alone can “let your light so shine” as to maximize benefit to yourself and others.
Mis-use of the life force creates poverty.
Wealth doesn’t create happiness; happiness creates wealth.
We will explore this more in subsequent posts.
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This is the second in a series of five posts:
“Just how bad do you think you’ve got it?” – September 27, 2018
The Life Force: Use and abuse – Today
Co-creators with God – October 11, 2014
The wandering will – October 18, 2014
The path of presence – October 25, 2018
(Originally posted 05/17/14.)
On one occasion sometime between 1983 and 1990 — I can recall where I was living, but not where I was working — I came home from work and became suicidal. I don’t recall the basis of my agony, but it almost certainly pertained to certain foibles of “the flesh” that my “spirit” seemed powerless to overcome.
A former student had left a cassette tape at my door that day, full of music he wanted to share with me, beginning with “Bad” by U2. I had a second floor apartment, and had sometimes heard this from the boom boxes of people who walked by outside; and I knew what effect it would have on me, particularly the opening section, with the bells. Given my state, for that reason I intentionally delayed playing it.
When I couldn’t bear the pain any more, I put it on, and was at once transported from the pit of despair into a place of perfect peace. I count this as a case of divine intervention: by means of that young man and that music, God saved my life.
Continue reading A short route to agony
(Originally posted 02/08/14.)
Adam Grant, The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, An Antidote to the Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence
Dilemma: a hammer can be used either to build a house or to destroy priceless heirlooms. Possessing the tool of emotional intelligence does not mean one will use it favorably. What makes the difference?
In anticipating this post, I searched for a traditional term for “emotional intelligence.” I decided that the traditional term for it is wisdom. The Old Testament consistently refers to people who have emotional intelligence as “wise.” Those who lack it, it calls “fools.”
In the previous post, we saw that emotional intelligence, or wisdom, is a major determinant of personal effectiveness and success in life; in short, of prosperity. To the extent one wishes all people to prosper, it seems desirable that all people be wise.
In short, the wise prosper.
But the wise aren’t necessarily good, and the good aren’t necessarily wise.
Continue reading The dark side of EQ
Late in the day Tuesday, it came to me that the older I get, and presumably the more mature and the wiser I get, the more likely people I meet are to do and say things that strike me as immature or foolish.
(1) The elder has a duty to offer her or his wisdom as needed.
(2) I must keep in mind: that person is the me I once was. I used to act that way. I used to think that way.
The William Tell Show faces an uphill battle.
In any marketplace, one can only buy what’s made available for sale. Someone makes decisions about what’s made available for sale. In the marketplace of ideas, if the decision-maker is lacking in wisdom, emotional maturity, or emotional intelligence, then ALL that’s made available for sale is likely to reflect those same deficiencies. And such is the situation in the media today: Americans have few good role models for responsible, adult free speech.
Phrases like “mindless regurgitation” have no place in a serious piece that desires to be taken seriously.