December 17, 2020


The Fire Place 04/03/2011
The fire pit where the family gathers periodically to sacrifice marshmallows
and offer thanksgiving for chocolate bars and graham crackers.
Happy is a state of being,
an aspect of mind.

A perspective,
an outlook,
an orientation,
an attitude,
a point of view.

It is the way we look
at what we see.

Joseph Campbell called for
"The joyful participation
in the sorrows of the world."
And invited us to
walk right into life as it is
and embrace without hesitation
the full pathos of 
the Mystery at the heart of Life and Being.

He said,
"The Cosmic Dancer, declares Nietzsche, does not rest  heavily in a single spot, but gaily, lightly, turns and leaps from one  position to another. It is possible to speak from only one point at a  time, but that does not invalidate the insights of the rest."
(The Hero with a Thousand Faces p. 196)

And advised that we "Say 'Yes!' to it all!"

We live as full participants 
in the moment of our living
no matter what that entails.

We are here/now for the good
we are able to bring forth
in response to what is being called for
by the situation we find ourselves in--
one situation after another,
all our life long--
without being overwhelmed and undone
by what we have to work with.

We step up and do what needs doing
as the Cosmic Dancer we are,
bringing blessing and grace,
compassion and justice
to bear on where we are,
no matter what.

We live as vehicles of hope and mercy,
anyway, nevertheless, even so--
drawing our strength from,
not the results and outcomes
of our living,
but the foundation,
of our life.

Zen Master Yun-Men said it like this:
"You should withdraw inwardly
and search for the ground
upon which you stand--
thereby you will discover
what truth is."

And live from there
in the joyful embrace 
of all things.



Christmas 12/31/2013
Fear (Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, Ruthlessness, etc.) ,
Desire (Greed, Lust, Passion, Obsession, Compulsion, etc.),
Duty (Responsibility, Obligation, Subservience, Obeisance, etc.),
are forever (since the Buddha's and the Christ's temptations)
listed as our primary motivations,
as the heart of human-being-hood,
and the things we must escape
by taking refuge in illumination (enlightenment, realization, etc.)
and not-caring about the diversions and distractions
of the world.

That pisses me off.

It places "I Want More Now!"
("And Will Do Anything
To Get It,
Have It,
Keep It, 
Increase It!")
at the center of who we are.

And misses entirely the grace
and wonder--
the salvific mystery--
of laughter and tears,
of joy and sorrow.

I watched four episodes of Mandalorian
before quitting at the prospect of
more of the same forever.
The man behind the mask
never laughed or cried.
He just killed whomever 
wasn't doing it his way (The Way It Is).
He was/is a weapon
in the hands of Fear/Desire/Duty.
A non-human being.
A non-sentient being.
No actual non-human being kills everything
that doesn't do it the Right Way.
Only human non-humans do that.
Or thinks it can only be happy
when all threats to happiness are destroyed.

Happy is not what we have,
it is who we are.

For. No. Reason.

Happy. Here. Now.

How about that?

It is a different way of thinking
about motivation,
and life.

We don't have to kill anything,
or possess anything,
before we can be happy.

We can just be happy now. 
With things as they are.
Why not?

What is stopping you
from being happy to be here, now,
with things exactly as they are?
Laughing and crying as is appropriate
to the occasion?

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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