Contemplation, the Demonic, the Shadow, and Original Sin

Consider these two quotations, found after only the briefest of Google searches. The quotes are verbatim, but the emphasis has been added: And I know that Scientology, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, and even some strands of “Christianity” offer techniques for you to control your mind: auditing, “mind exercises”, contemplative prayer, meditation, chanting, yoga, etc. What you are actually doing with these is giving full control over your mind to evil spirits that allow you to THINK that you are in c … [Read more...]

Training Your Dragon

We went to see How to Train Your Dragon last night, and were delighted. It's quite a fun movie, filled with action, but good for kids aged about 7 up; it's got a wonderful storyline about learning to think outside the, er, dragon's nest and looking for solutions to problems that don't involve violence. It portrays disabled characters with dignity and grace. But perhaps the most important message of all has to do with fear. The hero, Hiccup (gotta love his name) is a runt of a Viking, a scrawny … [Read more...]

The Places that Scare You

The American Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön has written a book called The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. I haven't read it yet, although I like her work and so I hope to one of these days; but I'm mentioning it because the title alone is, for me, provocative. Sooner or later meditation or contemplation alone will take us to the places that scare us. Indeed, life will take us to the places that scare us. We lose a job, a relationship, a valued possession, our h … [Read more...]

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it…”

Check out this article about the resurgence of the survivalist movement.Survivalists have been with us for a long time now — I suppose the impulse to hoard, fortify, and defend is as old as humankind — and certainly it is no surprise that our rapidly rising energy and food costs would inspire a new generation of folks with bunkers filled with freeze dried foods. To be honest, I haven't even thought about the survivalist mentality in years, not since I lived in rural Tennessee (it seems that the … [Read more...]

I John 4:18

There is no need to be afraid. — Matthew 10:31 Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid. — Matthew 14:27 Stand up, do not be afraid. — Matthew 17:7 Do not be afraid; only have faith. — Mark 5:36 Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. — John 14:27Yes, that's Jesus talking. And when he wasn't encouraging people to be fearless, others — even his critics — were acknowledging that he himself was afraid of no one, "because human rank means nothing to you" (Mark 12:14).If there's one thing I'm attra … [Read more...]


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