Aphorisms: an original thought, written in laconic and memorable form.
by David Norling
When you have enough money that you can pay people to do immoral things for you, your money is killing you.
The kin-dom of God is an anti-Theocracy, which is why it's a stumbling block.
There is no greater question to answer than, How does God accomplish Shalom without violence or coercion?
If Presence is the answer (and I'm more convinced of it every year) then autopilot is the enemy.
Autopilot runs on autopilot, I have to use manual override ten times a day, at least.
Hubris and certainty die when confronted by scholarship. They grow like cancer when fed apologetics. People deserve and advocate, ideologies an interrogator.
The root of all evil is the refusal to struggle.
Fundamentalism is about providing answers to questions, whether they be religious or scientific.
A lot of people are questioning science and religion. I think this is revealing. I think that people need questions just as much and maybe more than they need answers.
What if "God is holy" means that God is so unfathomably beautiful and creative, joyful and alive that to be stuck at the sullen kids table at the great feast feels like Hell.
There's a difference between extremists and radicals.
Extremists move to opposite poles and can only imagine a zero sum, win/lose game.
A radical moves towards the radix, the root, the source from which everyone emerged, and all return, the place where all are connected. The root is where the new can be imagined.
A Christian Libertarian is a Kenotic Libertarian: someone who acknowledges the rights and freedom of others without demanding them for him or her self.
Life can be defined as that which occurs on the precipice of chaos and order, so those who sacrifice all for order are effectively death eaters.
Re-frame the story and we're all embarrassed.
To pay attention to the unique particularity of every thing
Is to exist in an alternative reality
The image of a capricious god survives in spite of convincing evidence of God as love and light working towards ultimate reconciliation through creativity beyond our current imaginings...
(He) survives because of a deep instinct for preservation, not because of faith. Self preservation is best accomplished through preparation. Prepare for the worst.
It's an extension of Pascal's wager: assume the existence of God, what have you got to lose, adding the caveat, be prepared to do a deal just in case his sense of justice is more severe than ours, after all, in this scenario, you've got a lot to lose...
How can the endlessly knowable mystery disappear when more is known?
God applauds all the scientific discoveries that fill in "The Gap" where we once quarantined him.
Every injustice and all misconceptions are the result a preference for simplistic narratives.
To be humane is to be humbled by the complexity of the human condition.
Faith is living as if only love can defeat evil.
And leads to freedom from the illusion that violence can defeat violence.
Yes it's foolish, and so Paul identified himself as a fool for Christ.
Some people are temperamentally disposed to defend their tribe. This is a valuable quality for that tribe. But the "defender" is rarely gifted at recognizing illusion or the misuse of power within his or her own tribe.
If I really want to open a closed mind and heart, I must know and understand the other's experience even better then they do. Then, because I have both inside knowledge and emotional distance, a way will appear for me to expose the fear or misconception that drove them to hide in a closed system.
This is divine incarnation. I wish there was a short cut, but not even God could imagine one.
Thoughts and feelings are like lanterns
If you stare at them you go blind
But if you let them be lanterns
They can illuminate
That which is hidden from ordinary consciousness
The mysteries of the faith should be held in our imaginations so that they can re-form us, not merely held there until we can reduce them to something comprehensible.
I'm thinking that the greatest sin is to trust in fear rather than love. And that this is where religion goes off the rails and must be rejected.
The results of fear are relatively predictable. Love, on the other hand, is a big risk. We trust in fear when we over value results. We trust in love when we give ourselves away because it's good and beautiful to do so even though there are no guarantees.
Everything is an interpretation does not mean that all interpretations are equal, it means that we need one another.
No wonder fundamentalists can't find Christ in broken, peculiar, unpredictable humanity, much less in their enemy. Fundamentalists of every religion and ideology insist on inerrant scriptures or methodology. If you can't find the Imago Dei in imperfect scriptures, it's impossible to find it in imperfect humans.
Preachers shouldn't be arbiters of theological truth, it's presumptuous and dismissive, not to mention misleading those who come under their authority. They should act more like journalists, recognizing the illusion of objectively, but offering as fair a description as they can of the different views of the faithful scholars and practitioners that have wrestled honestly with the text, tradition, and experience.
Religion is not revealed truth, it reveals truth. One practitioner opens a homeless shelter, the other blows up a building.
What is revealed?
Good questions expose hidden ignorance, illusion, misconceptions. They inspire humility and curiosity, and bring people together in a search. Ignorance owned is better than certainty. Illusion revealed is the beginning of clarity. Deconstructed misconceptions can be conceived anew. I'll take a good question over an answer any day.
If that's too hard, at least make the answers provisional. Leave some room for the human divine dialog.
"Violence is a failure of the imagination." To think that God would resort to violence is a great insult, a human projection, a blasphemy.
Modernity is like the light pollution that it created, it blinds us to the starry night sky. We eventually forget the most obvious things.
Even when attacking ideas rather than people, beware of what logic and data can conceal when used as a weapon instead of a light.
Fear of slippery slopes is the slipperiest slope of all.
When you find that the people in your life are asking questions that are better than your answers, then you know that you are on the road of solidarity.
I can't fix the world. But by loving the world just as it is the world fixes me.
Peace is consenting to the unending struggle of being in process.
Being the beloved of God is a slippery slope and the narrow way.
Every generation emphasizes a different set of virtues inspired by the unacknowledged shadow of the previous generation. Why not enjoy the freedom of growing old and let the young be mirrors? Our bodies might be shrinking, but our souls are expanding. Cultivate curiosity and feed your soul.
To continue on my own anonymous path without praise or encouragement is the surest, straightest route.
You don't have to make your enemy into a friend, but you can let him be a mirror.
You're not really choosing until you wake up.
You can't really see something until you are free from the need for it to be different than it is.
The ego won't prostrate itself at the feet of Grace until it experiences it's powerlessness.
Vision is destiny and we spend our time on sin management?
Theology without poetry is caricature.
The truth sets you free to the degree that it informs your imagination, changing the way that you see.
If we knew our own story we wouldn't treat ourselves like we do.
Most of our coping strategies are like governors on our horse power.
The protection that we are promised in the New Testament does not begin before life enters my body but once it enters the kingdom within my body.
Judgment limits awareness, awareness limits judgment.
Transformation is about proximity not strategy.
Perhaps our power lies not in control, but in consent.
The way of awareness is a battering ram, or the gentle hand of God, depending upon how you want to look at it.
Sometimes the information is inseparable from the feeling.
It takes time for the sticky stuff to lose it's stickiness.
It's easy to apologize when you already know it's true.
We spend most of our time trying to find ways around difficulty and suffering when the only way is through.
There is a sort of goodness that is intentional, it is acted out, an obedience to moral law or common consideration. But there is another type of goodness that comes from presence. It tends to be less obvious, it doesn't draw attention to itself because it is not coming from intentionality, which is rooted in self-consciousness. It is more responsive and creative in its manifestation. It often takes time in the context of a relationship for presence to be recognized as goodness.
Find your balance with each step and you will never fall.
The enemy of my ego is the friend of my true self.
Resistance is the material of spiritual growth.
Boredom is caused by spiritual blindness and is at least an ingredient if not the cause of most modern evil. (See Pascal)
Forty years in the desert has a way of giving one eyes to see the creative fire hidden in mundane reality.
As far as I can tell, the purpose of the world and our lives is to make of us compassionate, joyful, worshippers. Our primary job is consent. Only after we see and submit to reality can we begin to join God in God's work.
Submit to time, God's design.
God says, "I don't want you to reject yourself, I want you to introduce yourself."
Awareness is more powerful than analysis.
The false self feeds on noise, but is starved by silence.
Say both things.
Be here now or you won't be there then.
Let your doing be a gateway to peace.