"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism

02 June 2014

Word of the Day: Spirituality

Twelve Commandments of Conservative Spirituality, or My Early First Love
  1. I learned - Unquestioned obedience of authority
  2. I learned - How to be afraid
  3. I learned - How NOT to overcome fear
  4. I learned - How to live with disapproval
  5. I learned - To be a constant disappointment.
  6. I learned - To be ‘not good enough’
  7. I learned - That my own worse enemy is me
  8. I learned - Judging others is totally, in fact 'perfectly', okay
  9. I learned - Being better than others is normal
  10. I learned - Not to ask the wrong questions
  11. I learned - Not to feel good about myself
  12. I learned - To follow a commitment to a life long quest, that keeps all previous commandments intact
But this all seemed rather glum. So, for a number decades, I’ve been putting together my version of spirituality. My trail started with science fiction, and my new gods were people like Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein and Stanislaw Lem. Eventually, I  started considering things like this:

Believing in or taking it from any number of Spiritual Advisors
  1. “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet."
     - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” - Anna Lamott
  3. “The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God.” - Rob Bell
  4. “How hurtful it can be to deny one's true self and live a life of lies just to appease others.” - June Ahern
  5. “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” - Joseph Campbell
  6. “The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That's where you need to go.” - Elizabeth Gilbert
  7. “Folks, it's time to evolve. That's why we're troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything's failing? It's because, um – they're no longer relevant. We're supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?” Bill Hicks
  8. “It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” -Philip K. Dick
  9. “With me, illusions are bound to be shattered. I am here to shatter all illusions. Yes, it will irritate
    you, it will annoy you - that's my way of functioning and working. I will sabotage you from your very roots! Unless you are totally destroyed as a mind, there is no hope for you.” - Osho
  10. "The nice thing about citing god as an authority is that you can prove anything you set out to prove.” - Robert Heinlein
But even God is troubled by that one, Mr. Heinlein. 

 “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.” - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Finally, I started to make up my own, more or less.
  1. Art can save you from your sins, unless it makes you worse. 
  2. The thing about Taoist and Zen paradoxes is their simple and infuriating way of making no sense whatsoever... except when they do.
  3. When you're left-handed, it isn't all that hard to admit that you're not right.
  4. "Slow & steady wins the race." - Aesop
  5. Here and there we've somehow managed to get a few things just a little bit backwards.
  6. Sometimes I am certain I belong somewhere. But then uncertainty lights the way for me, once again.
  7. An open heart, an open mind are the two most important qualities we can have.
  8. Fall in love with Love. Hold tight and don't let go.