Become a Follower of the Big Dude!

Meet the divine Dude in this blog. This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sprituality and Jerry Sandusky

All the great ones forgive. They forgive everyone. How can that be? Who can forgive Jerry Sandusky? or Hitler? Who can forgive everyone?

Perhaps it's not about forgiveness. If we think of forgiveness as an action that we have to take, almost against our own judgement and will, then it's tough. Maybe the spiritual equivalent of forgivess is actually moving ourselves to a higher plane where the actions and choices of others are just that: actions and choices. Maybe we get to a place where they're not BAD actions or BAD choices, just the choices of a fellow human.

I'm not there yet but I did find myself oddly conflicted about Jerry Sandusky. I was outraged during his trial feeling that he was a monster and needed to be locked up forever. On the one hand, I still think that. On the other hand, I hear the voice of Jesus saying, "Visit the imprisoned."

Now that he is safely locked away and I know no more children will be hurt by him, I feel compassion. He is, after all, just a lost dog in a way. A happy-go-lucky pit bull who thirsted for children. As a culture, we didn't restrain him. I didn't know him to be able to intervene personally.

Whom DO I know? Who lives in my world unrestrained and doing damage while I turn a blind eye? Me! What parts of me fly out and hurt others while I deny them and the damage they do? When I respond impulsively to another person or situation, without reflection, I risk doing damage. Freud said we, humans, have an Id capable of great creativity and great destruction. Our task is to use spiritual pratice to guide this impulsive force towards the greater good.

When asked if he was sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky said, "I enjoy their company. I like to be with them." This positive impulse created a camp for children. Unrestrained, buoyed up by status and power and admiration from the community, this boyish enthusiasm turned into destruction and perversion.

The ancients knew too much enthusiasm and too much power would destroy us. Icarus with youthful imagination and drive flew too close to the sun and fell to his death. Shakespeare alludes to the wheel of fortune whereby those who rise to the top of the wheel surely shall also sink to the bottom.

In 12-Step terminology, addiction to any substance or action that keeps us from facing our true and spiritual nature will eventually bring about our destruction. So, turn off electronic devices, stop drinking or using, stop gambling or indulging your sexual impulses. Invoke a higher power and a higher vision. Forgiveness becomes moot.

Jerry Sandusky and all of us are on a spiritual journey. Maybe he has to be locked up all his life so that he can take the next step. (Let us hope that some higher being is protecting and guiding the children he harmed.) Maybe I have to be chained to an aging body that doesn't work so well so that I can take that step. Maybe we have to lose jobs, have heart attacks, get cancer, lose children, and face death before we see our own deadly sins and let them go.

It's easy to be spiritual on the ocean or in the mountains. We feel a larger presence. We also need to see the spirituality in the fall, when the wheel of fortune throws us down. Roxie

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mea Culpa and My Higher Power!

It's been awhile since I've posted. The Big Dude seems to have his back to me, arms folded, attention going elsewhere. Or, maybe that's me standing with my back turned, arms folded, and looking elsewhere.

Spirituality has been coming to me from 12-step rooms. My higher power has been knocking on the door and I confess I'm leaning against the door some of the time trying not to let it in. Why is that?

A higher power is probably the most appealing of all spiritual concepts. First of all, it's more like a guardian angel than a god. Each of us, they say, has a higher power of our own. I think of it as me rising to my highest self, joining with a power or energy greater than myself. This higher force is in touch with a vision and design beyond what I can see. That's such a reasonable, mystical essence. It's the best of both worlds. A human mind devoting itself to the best development of humans hand-in-hand with a guiding light that is leading the human to its greatest potential.

How bad can that be? Well, it is kind of scary. Part of the deal is that you surrender your will. Yes, it's reassuring to be joined with a higher good. And it's terrifying. In this form of spirituality, the emphasis isn't on free will or choosing the good. The emphasis is on surrender, giving your will, your WILL over to an unknown force.

Most of us have fought hard to grow up and survive. It took a lot of character and will to get where we are. Granted, where we are is not always that great, but still giving up what little control I have over my own destiny scares me. How about you? Can we all surrender our wills to a higher being despite our doubts that such a being exists or has our best interests at heart?

Can we accept that our personal best interest, what we would choose for ourself, might not be in the greater vision? That's hard and yet I think it IS the path embedded in almost every spiritual tradition. So, I've been busy working my way through the 12 Steps and finding comfort in the infamous fellowship rooms.

Those rooms are incredibly spiritual. There's something about 30 people sitting together speaking their truths and their struggles. Listening to each other. Saying the Serenity Prayer together. Agreeing not to interrupt each other or to judge each other. Agreeing not to share anything about the people who are there. Agreeing that the most recent newcomer is as important as the most seasoned veteran (the last shall be first?) or even more important. There emerges a quiet and a serenity that surprises me. Roxie