Posts Tagged ‘kingdom of heaven’

from contempt to humility: the key to The Kingdom of Heaven

November 20, 2012


Imagine saying to a nursing infant that “you are so selfish in drinking all of that milk from out of your mother’s breast! Why are you so mindlessly destructive of your mother’s total nutritional resources like that? You should be ashamed of your egotistical arrogance!”

breastfeedingvirgin mary breastfeeding baby jesusbreastfeeding
That is the nature of all shaming. That is the nature of all condemning of selfishness, of arrogance, of egotism, of desire, etc….  It is a panic, like a fright.

Shaming is a form of selfishness and competitiveness, which are all unavoidable manifestations of the normal and universal desire to receive (the egoic desire). The maximum extreme of competitiveness or divisiveness is to condemn others for competitiveness (for their egoic desire to receive).

In other words, condemning competitiveness is a form of competitiveness- a focus on what “the other” should not be doing (or should be doing). That is jealousy. The reason that someone else’s normal and innate desire to receive is perceived as a threat is because of one’s own desire to receive being unfulfilled. That jealousy or envy can lead to arrogant shaming.

“My way is the only right way! Your way must be wrong because it is only 93% alike with my way. Wait- no, holy mother of God, your way is like only 87% alike with my way. That is just disturbing and disgusting and totally unacceptable!”

mother nursing infantbreastfeeding

This is also called both arrogance and naivete. All arrogance is inherently naive (innocent, ignorant, immature). Condemning arrogance, again, would just be another instance of arrogance. Condemning naivete is itself an instance of naivete.

(Just as the condemning of any instance of condemning is itself another instance of condemning. Societies shame. Get over it. Some of them even have legal systems to punish “anti-social” behavior. Get over it. Some people even protest how a particular societies regulate behavior. Get over that, too. If some people shame other people for protesting something, get over that as well. In the famously concise words of Jesus: “Condemn not.”)

breastfeeding protestnursing breastfeeding

protester arrestedwomen strip

activist arrestedspraying milk on cop

Humility is the gateway or key to The Kingdom of Heaven. However, humility is impossible until arrogance has manifested. Arrogance is the branch from which humility grows. Without the contrasting pattern of arrogance, humility is not distinctly recognizable.

Another word for humility is repentance, as well as the word forgiveness. Can we forgive others for their condemnations, their terrified shamings, their panicked animosity, their insecure arrogance, their sinfulness, their offensiveness, their trespasses?

Another word for arrogant naivete is sin (as well as guilt). When there is a guilt for the egoic desire to receive, then there may be an outward or externalized/projected condemnation of others for the universal human quality of the desire to receive.

court gavel

That condemning is also known as contempt. There can be dramatic consequences for the practice of contempt, especially contempt for well-organized operations of violence and coercion. In fact, disobedience (non-compliance) even without contempt can result in various types of punishment.

spankingnun ruler

jesus whippedcrucifixion

Systematic punishment for violations of social norms (as dictated by local warlords, gang leaders, judges, legislators and so on) are not considered contempt, though there can be tremendous violence in such systems of punishment or “correction.” These systems of organized aggression monopolize the use of coercion and extortion (to collect tax claims which are dictated “out of thin air”). What gives purchasing power to the currencies declared by those court systems to be acceptable in payment of the invented debts of the taxpayers/underwriters) is the unmitigated threat of violence made by the armed officers of the court systems of coercive justice.

Is there a reflexive reaction of contempt for all “fiat currency” systems and the court systems behind them, for all governments, all armies, all operations of violence? Can there be a simple recognition of what they are, of how common they are throughout the last several thousand years, of why so many people continue to create them and sustain them and participate in them by “consenting under duress to their coercion?”

Thousands of years ago, court systems mined from the earth rare minerals like gold and silver, then demanded that the masses use that specific currency token (the coin of the realm) to pay the invented tax debts of the masses. This stimulated demand for gold and silver, as well as for fiat currencies today. Because the court backed that “casino token” with acts of premeditated violence, people used that token and were willing to accept it from other civilians, knowing that later they would be forced to pay taxes (using that form of currency) by the thugs or soldiers of the court system.

cops in blockade

gaza bombingiran missiles

Beyond the extremes of contempt, a total humility is possible. Contempt, sin, arrogance, and guilt are great allies in the developing of humility and the desire to bestow. This is the origin of sayings like “it is better to be generous than to be so terrified that one is greedy” or “it is better to give than to receive” or “if you are willing to receive, then give.” However, to abuse or bash or shame people with the idea that they should be more giving (or less shaming, less violent, less competitive and more cooperative) is, again, the hypocritical extreme of contempt, of guilt, of sin, of divisiveness, of competitiveness, of inner distress, of panic, of hysteria.

You cannot shame a hurricane in to becoming a breeze. You cannot shame an army in to pacifism. You cannot shame a missile to not detonate. You cannot shame an empire in to a truce.

iran coverage - shock and awe

Or can you? Demoralization of enemy combatants is the first principle of psychological warfare, right?

police beating civilianprotester injured

gaza violence

See also: 

Madonna of humility by Fra Angelico, c. 1430.

Madonna of humility by Fra Angelico, c. 1430. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A meeting of the North American Compe...

English: A meeting of the North American Competitiveness Council. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

prostrate to pope


good friday

cross bloody

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


many words, but only one reality

June 29, 2012
English: basmallah , , in the name of Allah (God)

English: basmallah , , in the name of Allah (God) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is only reality. Can you name anything that exists that is not part of reality? Can you name any part of reality that does not exist?

Language is just an aspect of reality. Myths and lies and fiction and jokes and pretense and denial are all actual patterns of reality. Words are real words. Dreams are real dreams. Hallucinations are real hallucinations. The words “unreality” and “realities” are real words, but there is no such thing as unreality and there is not more than one reality. There is only reality. There is only one reality.

There is no reality except for reality. There are not two or more isolated realities. There is only one reality, which is eternal and continuous and boundless and omnipresent and omnipotent.

There is not one reality in conflict with another. There is only one reality.

Now, while all of that is relatively simple logically, lots of people can be very confused about the sheer simplicity of reality. Of course, confusion is also a real pattern in reality.

Spirituality and religion are about resolving basic confusions about language. However, many people may not be familiar with that idea and may confuse spirituality and religion for something that they are not. Or perhaps spirituality and religion are about creating confusions about language, but there are some major exceptions to that premise.

Holy Trinity by Fridolin Leiber (1853–1912)

Holy Trinity by Fridolin Leiber (1853–1912) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s review one of the most common spiritual words: God. I assert that God is actually just another word for reality, even if people may confuse the word God to refer to something else. In considering this idea, let’s review three simple statements about reality:

“There is no reality except for reality. There are not two or more isolated realities. There is only one reality, which is eternal and continuous and boundless and omnipresent and omnipotent.”

Now, let’s replace the word reality with the word God and notice if any of this sounds familiar to you: “There is no God except for God. There are not two or more isolated Gods. There is only one God, which is eternal and continuous and boundless and omnipresent and omnipotent. God can be represented in multiple aspects, such as the three metaphorical archetypes of the Holy Trinity, but that is still monotheism, not polytheism, including the Holy Trinity of Vishnu, Indra, and Brahman.”


If none of the above sounds familiar to you, you may not be familiar with the major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Let’s try the same idea with a few eastern religious terms:

“There are not two or more isolated Buddha Natures. There is only one Buddha Nature and it is eternal and continuous and boundless and omnipresent and omnipotent.” That is, generally speaking, the Hindu teaching of Advaita as well as the primary meaning of the word Yoga.

Here’s another similar variation: “The Tao that can be spoken of is just a labeling of the Tao, not the actual fullness of the Tao. There is no Tao except for the Tao.”

hebrew heaven

Let’s do the same thing with another familiar spiritual word: heaven. “There is only one heaven, which is eternal and continuous and boundless and omnipresent and omnipotent. There are not two or more isolated heavens. There is no heaven except for heaven.”

We know that ancient people used the term heaven in two distinct ways: to reference the sky and outer space where clouds and the sun and moon and planets and stars can be seen, and to reference some place or experience of total acceptance and bliss. The sky is also boundless and eternal and so on, but the basic idea of astrology is that heavenly activity (such as sunlight or the phase of the moon) influences earthly phenomenon, such as the varying warmth of the cycles of day and night or of the seasons, as well as the cycle of tides and menstruation.

Now, let’s consider another two phrases common to Christianity: the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The English word Kingdom is also easily replaced with “realm” or “reality.”

The realm of reality is like a mustard seed or a vine. The small seed produces a huge tree with many branches and limbs. There is no part of the realm of reality that is outside of reality. Reality is inclusive, like every branch of a vine includes the vine and the vine includes every branch. Reality abides in each of us and we each abide in reality. We cannot be separated from reality, so it is meaningless to speak of reconnecting to reality. The realm of reality is within you. The realm of reality will not approach you from the outside. You cannot enter in to it like a man walking through a doorway. I am reality and so are you. Before Abraham was, reality exists.

Jesus was asked which teaching is the greatest, and he quoted the Old Testament, saying “Hear ye, O Israel, reality is continuous, whole, holy, unending, perfect, pure, complete. Study reality with all of your heart and all of your might and all of your life.”

The one who had questioned Jesus then said, “Rabbi, you speak the truth. There is only one reality and there is nothing outside of reality.”

For those familiar with the New Testament, they can find the common mistranslations of the simple ideas of Jesus. Note that any translator who did not understand the simplicity of the teaching would not be able to use a modern English word like reality and would likely use a much broader translation. This would be like someone translating all of the following three Greek words (agape, eros, philos) in to the same English word (love).

Imagine someone trying to translate the words calculus, trigonometry, and algebra when they do not really understood anything but arithmetic. In that case, they would call all forms of math by the single label “math.”

Likewise, in any language, there are many names for different aspects of reality. Brahman, Allah, Yahweh, and God are not referencing different ideas. They all reference the boundless reality which includes all the forms or identities referenced by language. All of the branches of reality are reality already.

Heaven (or Nirvana) could be a reference to the direct experience or realization that reality is an infinite, continuous, living process. Language, which a a function of reality, only labels different qualities of reality. Language does not divide or isolate the continuous unity of reality in to multiple, disconnected “realities.” Identifications in language are just real identifications in language.

In the beginning, reality spoke language in to existence. Language was with reality, within reality, and of reality. Language was not separate from reality.

Compare the simplicity of that statement with the common mistranslations of  John 1:1. It is through a fundamental confusion about language that naive people can innocently but foolishly or vainly believe in a schizophrenic or broken reality.

Reality cannot be broken. There is nothing except reality, so there is nothing to break it.

God cannot be divided. There is nothing except God, so there is nothing to divide God. Even language (Logos) is an aspect of reality, of God, of the branching of the living process of the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent One.

the most essential distinction: being content or being contentious

April 6, 2012

Now, how I am is serene, at ease, at peace, calm, steady, empty, open, pure, content. Perfectly content, I am the witnessing of all perceiving, including the perceptions of all contending and all contentiousness and all contention.

I am the witnessing of the operating of language. I am witness to the contrast between being content and being contentious. However, to say “being contentious” is actually a new labeling of some other distinct activity or process as the contentious activity or process or behavior. The new labeling of something else as contentious is itself a distinct activity or process- the process of labeling. I can witness the arising of the activity of labeling in language, such as the labeling of “contending” and “contentiousness” and contention” and “being content” and “I” and “serene” and so on.
Contending is something that I can witness. Contending is also something that I can do.
How can I do the activity of contending? I can label something as contending or contentious or contention. That labeling of something as contending or contentious or contention could be contrasted with me as the one who claims to be content. However, without the operating of language, is there a labeling of a someone who claims to be content in contrast to some process of contending, some activity of contention, some pattern of contentiousness, some claiming of discontent.
Labeling of different parts of a neuron

Labeling of different parts of a neuron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Witnessing the operating of language, I am contrasting the labeling of content with the labeling of discontent and contentiousness and contending. When the operating of language is present as the labeling of something as contentious, is there also an operating of language present as the labeling of someone who simply is serene and content?

When the language of contentiousness is present, is there also a contending against that language of contentiousness? Is there a process of claiming to be someone who is content in contrast to the something which is labeled as the contentiousness or the contending?
When I am simply being content, I can be content even with contentiousness. The operating of the language of contentiousness can be or not, and, either way, no one even needs to be claimed as being the one who is content with any of that or not.
When the witnessing of the operating of language is happening without any additional identifying of someone who exists in contrast to that observed operating of language, then perhaps all that is happening is that operating of language. However, when the witnessing of the operating of language is happening including a specific additional distinct identifying of a someone who exists and who labels their existence or being in a stark contrast to a contentiousness that is labeled as external to them, that is still just the operating of language.
Werner Erhard and Associates v. Christopher Co...

Werner Erhard and Associates v. Christopher Cox for Congress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, to paraphrase an ancient Zen koan, consider that when a tree falls in a remote, isolated, abandoned forest, but there is no one there to ask whether or not a tree has fallen, then all that has been happening in the asking of the question is the operating of what? Now, what am I except for the operating of language? Now, the operating of language is serene, at ease, at peace, calm, steady, empty, open, pure, content, contentious, contending, contrasting, labeling, operating, witnessing, simply being.

Be still and know the kingdom of heaven within. Simply remain as you are already.
By the way, faith is the fruit of being in heaven already. Striving to get faith as well as striving to be perceived as having faith or as being faithful is the height of agonizing and vanity and idolatry and heresy and blasphemy. Striving is also required in order to be clear about the absence of the behavior of striving.
the devil's pitchfork?

the devil’s pitchfork?

Language can form anything (the new “realm of possibility” or “kingdom of heaven”)

March 17, 2012

Language can form anything

The sequence of how this proceeds simply flows from nothing. There is no “getting to nothing” first. There is no clearing other things away and only then beginning. There is simply nothing.

When there is already nothing, then there is nothing to fix or change. There is no standard for how to judge or evaluate success or failure. There is simply a sequence of proceedings, with no particular boundary between one proceeding and the next.

However, there is clearly language happening. If there were not already language happening, then there might actually be nothing to do, and, without language already being here, there would certainly be nothing to say about the fact that only nothing is already here (along with language, obviously).

So, here is nothing and part of that nothing is language. By the way, language means nothing. Language is not going to eventually mean something. Language is just a sequence of codes for the directing of attention. By the way, attention is also nothing. Attention is simply a context in which for the perception of something to arise. Language, of course, is simply one form of something, and all forms of something are still essentially nothing.

Nothing simply means “no thing in particular.” Nothing, in this case, does not mean the absence of something. That is mere somethinglessness. Nothing is actually beyond the realm of anything- of any something- and yet nothing includes not only every single something of perception, but the possibility of perception itself and even the possibility of anything.

Any something is only nothing, too. Different words are distinct, just as are different letters. However, even though other words can be used to describe words- like sound and shape- those are all variations on nothing at all.

A word, like “shape,” only means something in particular through perception. Perception, however, is a concept. Concepts are linguistic formations. From out of nothing, linguistic formations are happening.

Nothing itself is the capacity for linguistic formations to simply happen by themselves. Linguistic formations just proceed in a sequence of expressions of nothing. Language is the expression of nothing.

From out of nothing, nothing expresses itself through language. The language is still the nothing, however any language is also a specific set of distinct, isolated formations. By the way, language itself is infinite, though any particular language might distinguish itself from other finite languages.

Distribution of language families and isolates...

Image via Wikipedia

Of course, the particular boundaries between languages are actually nothing. One language evolves into another, with perhaps an entire family of languages being similar to each other.

Languages mix and influence each other. Languages may be called distinct, but the boundaries between them shift. If the boundaries shift, then the boundaries are arbitrary. In fact, the alleged boundaries between various languages are alive, existing only through the declaration of language.

Language can divide itself into dialects. Different dialects can be subdivided further. All of them are variations of nothing at all.

Is Creole a language? Clearly it is entirely composed of other languages. However, it is also not a dialect of any particular language. What is it? It is whatever it is called!

Many words in one language have roots or ancestors that pass through a set of other languages. One ancient word can have a huge number of descendants in a variety of languages that formed subsequently as variations and expansions of the single ancient language.

Language is the mechanism by which the various expressions of nothing can be distinguished. Without language, everything is the exact same nothing- that is- there is only nothing and not a single other thing (a concept of an isolated something). That nothing is somethinglessness, but to even use a term like somethinglessness- or to use language at all- is no longer “only nothing.”

With language, while there is still nothing of course, there is also anything and everything- any number of particular somethings. Those particular somethings are all expressions of nothing.

These somethings do not eliminate nothing. They are in fact nothing itself, but with distinct forms recognizable in language.

English: Repartition map of the languages over...

Image via Wikipedia

For instance, is there such a thing as “I” (“me”)? In many languages there is such a thing as “I” or similar concepts to the concept of “I.”

However, “I” is fundamentally a concept, a construct of language, merely a thing. “I” is not itself fundamental (which is the ancient teaching called anatma). Only nothing itself is fundamental.

“I” is just a particular pattern of perception, that is, a structure or habit of language. “I” is a subcategory within language. Language is more fundamental than “I,” and nothing is more fundamental than language.

<December 4, 2009>

My related articles

practical spirituality 101 – forgiveness & the introspective noticing of the arrogant pride of condemning reality

March 1, 2012





[Note in 2013: In this old article, I used the term “proud” and “pride” not as a term for gratitude (as I do more recently), but closer to how I now use the term “arrogance,” as in a form of self-conscious, terrified, angry envy.]



What have I been proud of condemning?

It is possible to discontinue any momentum of condemning anything. Such a possibility can involve a long series of recognitions of my own acts of condemning.

I have condemned governments for governing. I have condemned liars for lying. Further, I have also lied (and governed).

So, I could give a long list of things that I have condemned, at least a few of which I have also done. Making a list may be useful. However, I am thinking not so much of making a comprehensive list as of keeping the general question in mind, like with the expectation that I might in the future condemn something (proudly) without that behavior really working for me practically. I’d like to have the question available in case it is ever in the future useful to explore that inquiry: “what have I been proudly condemning?” If I were to experience distress, I might ask, “what have I been proudly condemning?”

Here is how I got to that question, which I “just made up.” I trust that you may find the following also useful.

Last night, I had been talking with someone about the term “heaven.” I had mentioned heaven as an eternally available “realm” (or “kingdom” or “world”) of experience. In a song of mine, which I could also share with you (from Youtube), I distinguish that heaven is a realm in which “all sins are already forgiven,” that is, in which one does not experience blame or guilt, but such things as peace.

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Not practicing blame is perhaps under-emphasized in many churches. However, Jesus preached forgiveness with particular emphasis (as in these verses of Luke 17).

“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ [then] forgive him.”

He went on to add, a few verses later:

20Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

So, how is forgiving others related to “the kingdom of god” or “the kingdom of heaven?” Isn’t it?

Other famous sayings of Jesus include “condemn not” and “resist not evil” and “turn away from evil” and “I did not to come to judge the world” and (paraphrasing) “if you perceive sin in another, remove the obstacle to your own perception first, rather than focusing on removing or fixing the misperception of another,” which is popularly translated like this:

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Given that many of the sayings of Jesus are parables, but with commentaries and summaries, like “condemn not,” we can learn from the examples in the parables about the meaning of the words translated into English in the summaries and commentaries. When Jesus says condemn not, he also says “rebuke sins, but forgive those who repent,” and perhaps all three statements go together.

In “baby talk,” condemn simply means to stay mad or “upset” (and, generally, to say so). It is related to hate and contempt and shaming and pride. I have condemned or hated many things, many people, and many actions. (There is the background of the question “what have I proudly condemned?”) Condemning and hate are related to fear.

So, Jesus rebuked condemning. He criticized it in the sense of pointing it out and calling attention to it as a behavior and behavioral habit.

English: Jesus disputes with the Pharisees. Fr...

Image via Wikipedia

20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law [the mainstream religious leaders of Jesus’ time], you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

21“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,a and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherb will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘[scoundrel],c’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Again, that is Jesus rebuking condemning (rebuking the sin of condemning). So, we could say that condemning is sinful. Condemning is certainly a distressing experience- like resenting- which can be a “persistent complaint,” and thus a behavior that we might be grateful to complete and do no more.

Jonah 4:4

4Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

(i.e. “So, how is that working for you?”)

What many people, even who call themselves Christians, may not understand is how Jesus connected condemning to vanity or pride. We may condemn others to glorify ourselves (by comparison). We may even resent others to justify our own ongoing suffering. That could be called folly/foolishness/silly/sin.

So, condemning and resenting (and justifying those behaviors) could all be sinful. For example, “I know how my sister/mother/son/boss is, so that is why our relationship sucks and they really need to do the Landmark Forum to fix them so that they can be more like me, going on and on about how the quality of their relationships (or lack thereof)  is justified by the shortcomings of the other people.” That is what I mean by pride.

Condemning someone for their shortcomings implies pride, like justification. You may have said things like that and I might have too and we might have a lot of company.

Now, one can rebuke the “sin” (ineffective behavior) of another without any antagonism or pride. One just distinguishes the pattern of behavior, including a questioning of the effectiveness of that pattern (questioning the products of that behavioral pattern).

Remember: “be humble as an innocent child, condemn not, rebuke sin, and forgive those who repent.” I just now added that first one to the sequence, and here is a saying of Jesus about it. Note that being humble is related to what I was saying about pride before.

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus did not teach that the humble one WILL BE the greatest in heaven, but IS. When is heaven? (Hint: it’s eternal, right, so when is it?) Also, where is the kingdom of heaven/of God (at least according to Jesus)? Again, he said not to look for it coming from “out there,” for it is “within!”

So, there is the teaching of Jesus, and I do not know how many churches teach it or how well, but many churches may emphasize other things. He simply and clearly instructed his followers to be humble, to discontinue the practice of condemning and antagonism, to rebuke sin, and to forgive those who repent. Let’s review the last one as our concluding step.

Here is someone else’s commentary on repenting:

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Repentance is more than a sorrow for sin; it is a determination to abandon it and live a new life. It means a change of heart, of the will, new purposes, a determination to leave off sinning. Sorrow is not repentance, but godly sorrow worketh repentance (2Co 7:10).

So, repentance is not to be confused with guilt or shame. However, repentance could be related to a brand new context for language and behavior, a new declaration, one that might even redeem or re-frame the past.

The new declaration could be “I have been condemning you for ______, and I now recognize it and I am open to new results and new ways of interacting.” Beyond just “opening one’s heart,” there can even be a commitment or promise.

However, many people, including Landmark Education graduates, may think of making a new commitment as a “fix.” A fix implies that something was or ever could be “fundamentally wrong,” like making one’s self wrong for condemning. That indicates to me an absence of repenting!

Repenting is not turning condemnation from someone else toward one’s self. Repenting is turning away from condemning itself, turning away from the whole realm of shaming and justifying and self-glorifying (pride).

Repenting is not “I was wrong and you were right and thank you so much for enduring a horrible person like me.” Repenting is more like this: “I acknowledge that what I have been doing has not been working lately, at least not for me- and has not been fulfilling my own inspirations.” Repenting thus does not require saying anything to anyone, but that may be relevant often.

What to me indicates repenting is the giving of a blessing. If I previously condemned someone (silently or verbally) and then I can bless them- like simply acknowledging them, like even for enduring my antagonistic condemnations- that could create a new pattern of relationship right there.

That is not a promise of a future new way of interacting, but a new way of action now. It could include an expression of gratitude or a compliment or anything else inspired. Again, it may not even be communicated to them, though that is again often relevant.

Jean Béraud The Magdalen at the House of the P...

Image via Wikipedia

Repenting may not be based on a particular model. It’s not just “filling in the blank” of a statement: “I was a jerk by ____. Now I create _______.”

Is that authentic? It could be. However, what matters most may not be the content, but the spirit. “I have been proudly condemning ________.” That itself can be enough.

One simple thing that Landmark Education has not emphasized (to my knowledge) is that model: “I have been proudly condemning _______.” That is perhaps too simple of an access to freedom and power for a commercial operation to publicize: “what have you been proudly condemning?”

Would people think “oh, now I have THE secret” and yet still keep coming back and paying to take more programs? (Of course, if it keeps fulfilling on what is valuable to them, why not?)
To review: “be humble as an innocent child, condemn not, rebuke sin, and forgive those who repent.” Jesus also taught: bless even those who curse you and call you their enemy. He was a radical, a revolutionary.

He emphasized the foundations of questions like “what have you been proud of condemning?” In other words, he set a foundation of what works (a very practical spirituality).

As a final comment, note that I am not saying to maintain a relationship that does not work for you. To stop reacting to someone with condemnation may involve being compassionate with one’s self (and the other/others) by withdrawing. If something does not work for you, why pretend that it does?

Just as we can ask, as an access to fulfillment and inspiration, “what have I been proudly condemning,” we can reverse part of the question: “what have I been proudly glorifying?” In other words, what have I been pretending is working well, perhaps just to seem good enough to “earn my way into a future heaven?”

What have I been struggling to fix, like because I pretend that it SHOULD be working better than it actually does? Condemning is just an act of repulsion (causing two things to move apart), but with an attachment lingering! Condemning is not simply moving back or pushing something away, either of which can work well, but it’s a form of suffering.

Idolizing (idealizing, glorifying something PROUDLY) can also be an expression of suffering (or cause of suffering). When I glorify something proudly, it could actually be a naive attempt to associate myself with something, perhaps something that I pretend is working better than it does.  Pretending without knowing it… is naivete, foolishness, folly, ineffective, sinful. 

published July 15, 2010

posted 3/1/2012

Related articles
The Pharisees and the Saduccees Come to Tempt ...

Image via Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: