Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

winning and sinning

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.
[Verse 223]” ― Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada

Do not over come evil with evil, but overcome evil with good.
Paul the Apostle

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

It is not as though I can do it
But there is a higher path for us to take

We tend to repay in kind

Anger for anger
Hate for hate
Cruel act with cruel act

Whatever it is that causes us dis-ease
We believe the solution is to jump in with both feet
Right into the middle of the swamp

If I am surrounded by greed the only solution is for me to become greedy myself
To hug to myself all the resources I can
After all, if I don’t, those who will
Will win

Ah, there is that word
Sounds a lot like Sin

And there is probably a reason

Logic tells us this is indeed how it should work
We should respond to power with more power
We should overcome

And if people get hurt?
Well, they should have thought about that in the first place

But then along comes Jesus, and (I suspect) his friends Buddha and Paul
(there’s a joke in there someplace, Jesus and Buddha and Paul walk into a bar)

And tell us we have it all wrong
They tell us that answers which involve placing ourselves “over
Are really not what it takes

To change the world
To make it safe
That such responses do not the “Kingdom of God” make

What kinds of strategies work in the Kingdom (in the place where Sacred “rules”)?

Genuine sorrow for the wounds of others
A willingness to stand alongside the poor, and hungry, and homeless
An ability to include those others would reject
And the strength to be excluded oneself, for the sake of love

It is time, my friends to stop winning
It is time to say “no” to cruel people in high places
No matter what they promise us
No matter, at some level, what benefits the create
(for those benefits will come at a terrible cost to our souls, as individuals and as a nation)

It is time to stop winning
Because it looks way to much like sinning

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