August 05, 2021

01

Blue Ridge Sunrise 10/07/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Thunder Hill Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
We like our heroes 
to be without vulnerability.
How heroic is that???
You couldn't help being a hero
without vulnerability!

Anybody could be Jesus as God's only son.
Try it without those super genes!
Different story.

And while we are on that story,
what is it about God demanding the sacrifice
of (his) only son
in order that (he) might be appeased?
Does anybody else see how crazy this is?

This is the story the church invented
to give it the power of mediating
the forgiveness/grace of God upon those
it deemed to be worthy,
as it played the bribery (heaven),
extortion (hell) hustle
from that point on to this very day.

Another reason to ditch the church
and become Jesus without the genes!

Becoming Jesus without the genes
is embracing vulnerability 
as did the one who was born in a manger,
came from Nazareth of all places,
(Nothing good came from Nazareth, you know.
Nazareth was at the bottom of
all of the shit-hole places of the day),
and died on a cross.

That is the kind of hero the world needs more of! 
That kind of hero simply goes through life
doing what needs to be done,
when and where it needs to be done
(Which is always here and now!),
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
with no idea of profiting in any way
from having done it.

Doing that throughout our life is the heroic task!

Think it's easy?
Hop on its back
and tell them to open the chute.

See how long you last 
before you start looking
for what's in it for you.

–0–

02

Smoky Mountain Twilight 11/06/2007 — Clingman’s Dome (Parking Lot), Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, North Carolina
People have ideas for my life
that don't dovetail
with my ideas for my life.

My brother leads the way
with the perfect response
to that situation.

He says simply,
"That's a terrible idea,
and I'm not going to do it!"

Beautiful.
Of course, he is well-grounded
in who he is,
and isn't concerned about
taking care of people 
who are old enough 
to take care of themselves,
and isn't interested 
in being moved beyond himself
without good cause,
like, "The building is on fire,
and we have to get out of here!"

And, it helps to be well-suited
for the life you are living,
and at peace with your particular
order of the day
in a regimen that serves
your balance and harmony,
and sustains your 
spirit, energy and vitality.

Anything that disturbs the order
and disrupts the flow,
is a terrible idea,
and I'm not going to do it--
without exceptionally good cause.

–0–

03

Smoky Mountain Fall 27 10/20/2017 — John Oliver Cabin, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
Blackmail, extortion and bribery
are the three most popular ways
of forcing people 
to do what you want them to do.

The mob uses all of them
as the occasion demands.

So does the church.

"If you don't do what I say do,
I'm going to tell God,
and ask him to punish you
with the Plagues of Egypt."

"If you don't do what I say do,
you are going to hell
where you will burn forever."

"If you do what I say do,
you will go to heaven when you die
and enjoy all of the pleasures
of the realm forever."

And then there are the tools of
excommunication,
shunning,
the rack,
and burning at the stake
tucked away in its repertoire,
just for good measure.

The church is a formidable force for good
in the world.
You wouldn't want to mess with the church,
any more than you would want to cross ways
with the mob.

I recommend keeping your distance,
and hope it doesn't come knocking on your door.

–0–

04

Ridges at Sunset Oil Paint Rendered 11/06/2011 — Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Carl Jung said, “The development of personality 
means fidelity to the law of one’s own being.” 

And, “It is the individual’s task to differentiate themselves from all the others and stand on their own feet.” 

And, “Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own.” 

We wake up by realizing there is the Me and the Not Me,
and that we are here to serve the Me
in ways that take the Not Me into account,
harmonize the opposites,
integrate the contradictions,
compromise with the mutually exclusive options
before us 
in the moment-by-moment
situations of life as they arise,
and make the peace
by being what is called for,
when it is called for,
how it is called for,
and consciously bearing the pain/agony/anguish
of the contraries
our whole life long.

We are the point at which
Psyche/Soul/Mind/Tao
meet the world 
of concrete, actual, tangible, factual, apparent reality.

It is our place to make it work.

This is the task of being human.

And we think it is about getting our way
and having it made.

The law of our own being
has to be acknowledged,
honored,
revered
and served.

All of the symbols of mythology and religion
fit into this scenario
to assist us with the work 
that is to be done.

It is our place to translate them
into the language of the times,
finding the equivalencies
and honoring the wisdom
lodged in them
through time immemorial. 

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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