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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Joy on a Library Shelf
I allowed myself 15 minutes to wander aimlessly in the biography section of the library. Shelf after shelf of, "naaaaaaah". Finally, a glimmer of hope: Seeking Englightenment... Hat by Hat (A skeptic's path to religion)
I think I broke out in a squeal before I could contain it!

Allow me to quote from the chapter on "turning the other cheek":

"A rude driver cutting me off in traffic made me bitter. Striking back, I'd snap at a slow salesgirl and watch her turn sullent and angry, ready to pass the ugliness on to her husband, her child, the next customer. As I watched this process unfold again and again, pieces of an new/old concept began to appear on the edges of my mind.
...turning the other cheek, taking the hit, absorbing it, not striking back with your body or your spirit, effectively says, "The violence stops here, with me. I take it. I hold it. This stream of hate will flow no farther."

And from the chapter on "prayer":

"Accepting that the material world runs itself and God is of the spirit --a spirit that dwells in and acts through living things -- the question of why God lets bad things happen to good people even when we expressly ask Him not to became moot.
Things of the world are by, for, and of the world. Those of us in the world, coupled with the laws of physics and meterology, make things happen. We build and destroy. We grant wishes and smash dreams. God may watch, may even be interested for all we know, but the corporeal stuff of life - money, cancer, food, shelter, skiing -- doesn't seem to be His bailiwick. Near as I can tell, He pretty much leaves this stuff to us.
He is the realm of the spirit.
Now I pray for things OF the spirit: compassion, strength, guidance. I pray for the spirit to sustain me when the world sucks and to grace me with humility and generosity when I hit a winning streak."

I was just so excited -- that made sense to me. Something actually made sense that didn't wind up causing me yet more doubt! What a relief that was.
Any comments?
posted by One Voice of Many at 8:17 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 10/13/2007 07:05:00 AM, Blogger Anne

    I loved the excerpts you quoted here, and am off to Amazon to wishlist this. Thank you!

  • At 10/13/2007 08:31:00 AM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    I connect with this on some level...my issue is that even "spiritual" qualities have a biological/physical basis, and "material" things also have at least an energetic, and I would even go so far as to say spiritual basis...

    also, occasionally miracles DO happen, so I can't get on board 100% with a diestic type of God, nor can I buy a conventional understanding of how prayer works. I think maybe prayer is like a spiritual principle that taps into God's energy, as opposed to God being the acting one in the situation. Kind of like, "help yourself to the fridge" maybe?

  • At 10/13/2007 09:30:00 AM, Blogger One Voice of Many

    I'm not sure if the prayer thing exactly points to a diestic type of God. In my scope, her explanation makes sense of why the evil might enjoy good health and win the lottery while an innocent child might suffer from cancer. I recognize that God can choose to provide a miracle at any time but there are just SO many times that He doesn't.

    Interesting thoughts either way. :-)


  • At 10/17/2007 10:07:00 PM, Blogger Nancy

    I have kept returning to these excerpts from this book since it was posted. I guess I am going to have to buy this one soon because it has plunged into something that needed a good nudge and it has soothed an anxious wave building deep inside me. Thank you for sharing this seemingly exceptional find!


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