In praise of Pastor Jay Hernandez — Colossians (phonetic pronunciation: kuh-LAH-shuhnz) 1:20 – And having made peace through the blood of the cross, that all beings in heaven and on earth would be reconciled or brought back to God.

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Jay tells us about one of his dreams he had while sleeping.

Jay and Angie Hernandez  phones (714) 418-3013 / (714) 866-6870

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=SPgrxhna-MdUcbYWBD8pDLPYGN6Ba3ypxd&v=LQrCTd5alpI#t=17

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http://www.hiloicc.org/church/

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Pastor Jay Hernandez’ blood of the cross testimony recounts that 

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The Last Shall be First   — from Jesus

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Devoting oneself to others is at the heart of Christianity.

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If we are devoted to a higher purpose, love and compassion become the whole point and our goals become more important than what we get in return for them.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-a-georgescu/the-last-shall-be-first_b_4683340.html

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Jesus’ mind-blowing “huli ‘au” (upside down) overturning of this world of our flesh   —  Jesus violated every conceivable tradition when it came to His associations with the marginalized of Jewish society. He infuriated the Pharisees with every compassionate touch. The Qumran community of the Essenes had an unconditional law: “No madman, or lunatic, or simpleton, or fool, no blind man, or maimed, or lame, or deaf man, and no minor shall enter the community.  “Jesus came to shatter these man-made laws with the vengeance of Heaven. It was these very rejected ones whom He had come to save. To the Pharisees He declared, ‘But go and learn what this means, “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,” for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ The Pharisees surrounded themselves with the rich, the wise, the educated, and the elite of society. Jesus, conversely, surrounded Himself with the poor, the uneducated, the rejected, and the outcasts of society.”   — Don Milam

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I stand incredulous before the sheer number of people reporting/experiencing symptoms of depression. I say again, I don’t believe our ancestors experienced the same proportion of depressive symptoms.  Possible explanations for this phenomenon:  Crisis of meaning, for example. An increasingly vacuous culture, with significant evidence of devolution. Or, perhaps depression/depressive episodes is in part provoked by the emotional self-absorption of moderns – the observable, inexplicable delay of real emotional conversance and maturity in modern people. — Steven Kalas

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Jesus attacked and confounded the conventional wisdom of His day—the accepted psyche of the Jewish community.

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He reversed religious order, violated accepted social practices, and challenged the motivations of men’s actions.      Scripture does not say that God helps those who help themselves, as the elite of society falsely believe.   Instead, just the opposite is the case.   God helps those who help others, and God helps those who cannot help themselves!      [secular naysayers intone that forgiveness and closure are imaginary “nothings”]

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In His stories He made the “bad guys” the “good guys” and the good guys were made the bad guys.

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The less honorable were made heroes in the stories of Jesus.

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The religious and the rich were always the villains.

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The only judgment to be found in His stories was against the righteous and the rich. What was that judgment? They were judged by the Father’s love. The compassion of their heavenly Father exposed the hypocrisy of their lives.

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Be careful what you wish for—the recognition of others, the riches of success, and the rewards of religion.

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In your attempts to move up the ladder you are actually descending. Pursuit of the first place will put you in the last place.

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Jesus challenged the established precepts upon which Jewish society was built.  So-called notions like “hard work brings its rewards. Everyone gets what he deserves. The righteous will prosper. No rest for the wicked. Life is about rewards, requirements, judgments, and success.”     –

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These precepts never prevailed in the stories of Jesus. They always ended up taking the brunt of the story. They were relics of the old ways of religion and just did not fit in the coming kingdom.

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Jesus created paradoxes and reversed religious rules: the broad way, enemies, rules, synagogue, religious ceremony, and the way less traveled; the internal over the external, relationships over knowledge, mercy over judgment, last before the first.

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The paradoxes’ main purpose is not to present the gospel, but to defend and vindicate it; these are controversial weapons against  critics and foes who are indignant that Jesus should declare that God cares about sinners, and who are particularly offended by Jesus’ practice of eating with the despised. (Joachim Jeremias)

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Forgiveness, compassion and mercy are the golden threads of the gospel that Jesus wove through His every story as proclamations of the Good News. To sinners He extended gentle invitations. Come to Him and receive water, come and eat to never hunger again, come receive forgiveness, come receive life, come follow Me.

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His critics, those who rejected Him, did not understand the gospel parables because Jesus gathered the despised around Him.

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Because the overproud pharisees were expecting a day of wrath (against society’s “throw-aways/reh-fuse”), the religious elite closed their hearts to the Good News Jesus was proclaiming in His stories. It was pharisee cheap grace. Sloppy agape.

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To the overproud pharisees & mammon men/women, no one pleased God by simply being needy and willing. Otherwise, why had the elites of society spent their whole lives training for and toiling in the ministry. What was the use of unfaltering piety? The religious authorities had too good an opinion of themselves. To these men the gospel was an offense because it exposed them—their religiosity, hypocrisy and pride—and that was intolerable.

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The aphorisms and parables of Jesus function in a particular way: they are invitational forms of speech.

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Jesus used them to invite his hearers to see something they might not otherwise see.

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As evocative forms of speech, they tease the imagination into activity, suggest more than they say, and invite a transformation in perception.

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Drawing pictures from their own familiar world, He arrested their minds, captured their imaginations, and opened them ever so gently to the stirrings of the ancient language deep within them.

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Jesus liked to put His listeners in almost everything He told,

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and by the way, you and I were there as well—

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the least, the last, the little and the lost.

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These were the objects of His loving attention in those stories He told.    –

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“But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.”

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“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

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“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

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And said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me;

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for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”

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Drawing back the metaphoric curtain, Jesus revealed to the world the hidden language of God—the secret messages that unlock the gate of Heaven. “ ‘I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world’ ” (see Matthew 13:34-35). Understanding the secret meaning behind these words is at the very core of hearing God.

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This is why Jesus was so insistent that His apostles decipher His words and not just listen to the literal stories, encapsulating what He had to say.

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“And He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?’ ” (see Mark 4:13-14).

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Interpreting Scripture requires an understanding of spiritual language, the hidden truth that lies just beneath its surface.

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The Penetrating Questions of Jesus Jesus manifested a profound ability to ask the right question at the right time.

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He knew what lay in the dark corners of men’s hearts.

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Through the use of questions He exposed the motivations of the hearers—not to shame but to heal them.

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Through the use of the poignant question, Jesus gently uncovered the realties of our inward life, the life seen by no one.

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But Jesus sees it.

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He knows what is in the heart of man because He has traveled the corridors of every man’s heart.

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In fact, as many of us have discovered, sometimes to our chagrin, He sees our hearts better than we do.

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By the power of the query He turns the light on our inward parts.

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The questions of Jesus were much different from the interrogations of the religious leaders: The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax- collectors and sinners?” Luke 5:30

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Some of the Pharisees said, “Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” Luke 6:2 “Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” Luke 20:22

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The questions of religious men are crafted that they might expose for the purpose of judging and condemning. In contrast, the questions of Jesus were specifically designed to reveal for the purpose of healing.

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Most of us live in the external world rarely examining the inward way of the soul. We are more comfortable with the light turned off in our inner life because we know there are things buried we’d rather not have to confront.

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Questions force us to look inward, examining our motivations, fears, desires, and aspirations.

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Jesus had mastered the art of asking questions, and through the effective use of a question He opened a door to the inward world of man and led him to places rarely visited.

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Many are the questions Jesus posed to His enemies and followers. Lifted out of their ancient setting, these questions can still challenge us to look into our hearts.

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“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!” Matthew 11:8 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” Matthew 12:48 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith? Mark 4:40 “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” John 5:44 “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:47

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Questions such as these test our ability to look deeply at spiritual reality while they also force us to peer beneath the surface of life.

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They will also unlock the door to the ancient language.

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Our attempts to look for the answers to the questions and the struggle to express those answers open new pathways of personal and spiritual reality.

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We will either answer with a quick knee jerk religious reaction, or we will wait and let the question probe deeper into our inner self, shedding light on the things we have shoved down because we could not face them.

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If we allow the question to do its job, it will search us and reveal the hidden, broken places in our hearts that it may accomplish what Father intended.

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The religious rulers avoided the “unclean” in the Jewish community, but Jesus made them His friends. This attachment to the “common” man was a thorn in the side of the religious community. It was unsettling to their beloved positions. It exposed their hearts hardened by religious tradition and pride.   — Don Milam

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His actions were in perfect harmony with his words. No contradiction existed to create confusion or disappointment in those who followed Him. His life was a living symbol of the very words He spoke. He was a book read of all men. The love of the Father was fleshed out in His daily associations with the very lowest in the caste system of society and religion. He ate meals with the untouchables, defended the prostitutes, healed the afflicted and pursued the oppressed. And He didn’t do this to make a statement. He preferred these people. He truly enjoyed their company. And they all in turn were at ease in the Jesus’ presence; all, that is, but the religious leaders who despised this reversal of established order in their precious community.  Personally, I think they would have liked to be at some of those parties with Jesus, but they couldn’t bear not being the guests of honor. It was unthinkable for them to have to take the lower seats with the riff raff.   — Don Milam

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/jesus-mind-blowing-reversalfrustration-of-all-expectations-turning-common-sense-ideas-upside-down-confounding-us-all-spark-our-deepest-imaginative-oppositesimpossibilities-to-say-the-least/

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Jesus’ mind-blowing reversal/frustration of all expectations — turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding us all — Jesus sparks our beautifully deepest, imaginative “opposites/impossibilities of thought,” to say the least!!

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+reversal+of+convention&qpvt=images+jesus+reversal+of+convention&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=9EF4AAA10E5B8D979C0EEC6679EFE94C64BB169F&selectedIndex=90

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+reversal+of+convention&qpvt=images+jesus+reversal+of+convention&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=42B6D5577B65F90809FD8893586B9AAEEAFB2100&selectedIndex=272

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http://collaborativewriter.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/healing.jpeg

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/aquinas-is-equidistant-to-early-church-father-augustine-400-yrs-before-aquinas-and-to-us-400-yrs-after-1200-ad-aquinas-yet-nothing-has-changed-in-us-we-still-are-as-depraved-today-as-we/

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We depraved humans are steeped in immense despair, to say the least —  nothing has changed in us — we still are as depraved today as we were when we crucified Jesus in our senseless mob hysteria  —  Aquinas is equidistant to early church father Augustine 800 yrs. before Aquinas  — and to us 800 yrs. after 1200 AD Aquinas  —  so what?    We still muck in depravity & despair, Pancho!!

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We, in our mob hysteria, believed ourselves to embody Jesus’ purity.

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We, in our mob hysteria, refused to expose our unlovely true selves (money changers in the temple), as Jesus  had shown us.   Thence, we killed Jesus.

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+fickle+human+nature&qpvt=images+fickle+human+nature&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=842EB17B17506555C2BA9A91E2C9A01CF6F24906&selectedIndex=47

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Jesus, our mob hysteria’s  Fall Guy

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+fickle+human+nature&qpvt=images+fickle+human+nature&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=B95A5554FFE4ADB8BC33B49967C2F2727CFDF96F&selectedIndex=119

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/we-depraved-humans-are-so-fickle-to-say-the-least/

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We depraved humans are so fickle, to say the least  — my recount of Jesus’ exposure of our mob hysteria 2,000 yrs. ago — nothing has changed in us since then — we still are a mob in senseless hysteria

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/so-jesus-exposed-our-unlovely-selves-jesus-cleansing-of-the-temple-by-ridding-it-of-our-money-changers-we-didnt-have-to-kill-jesus-we-could-have-sublimated-our-primal-fears-about-our-hypoc/

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So Jesus exposed our unlovely selves (Jesus’ cleansing of the temple by ridding it of our money-changers) — we didn’t have to kill Jesus — we could have sublimated our primal fears about our hypocritical nature — and instead unconditionally surrender ourselves to Jesus!    Our ambivalence (push-pull Jekyll/Hyde schism/fracture) really sucks, heh??!! :-)

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+ambivalence&qpvt=images+ambivalence&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=08CF648696B8963DE99C37F8B340EA85572DD2B5&selectedIndex=42

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+sublimate+bad+to+good&qpvt=images+sublimate+bad+to+good&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=2FBA5F181CB95CDB3A3E5FB179A19DD7D26DC924&selectedIndex=0

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(psychology)#Psychoanalytic_theory

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to love and to be loved, baby, are what existence is all about              ;-)                         –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/to-love-and-be-loved-are-what-life-is-all-about/

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_YlLY3SSBs

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/musica-amore-celebrate-77-years-of-great-vocalistpianist-mickey-gilley/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/and-how-can-man-die-better-than-facing-fearful-odds-horatius-the-phrase-romans-on-the-bridge-is-used-to-refer-to-a-valiant-defense-against-impossible-odds/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/love-hate-dynamic-of-mob-hysteria-in-praising-then-killing-jesus-all-within-a-weeks-time/

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Love-hate dynamic of mob hysteria in praising, then killing Jesus  — all within a week’s time

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+love+hate+relationships&qpvt=images+love+hate+relationships&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=BB404132B0F297F3F2CE83543045044BC90381E0&selectedIndex=14

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+love+hate+relationships&qpvt=images+love+hate+relationships&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=A195632BDDCBBF98732A24571AEB0F309124CB59&selectedIndex=202

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love%E2%80%93hate_relationship

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Love–hate relationships can result from poor self-esteem.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/conscripted-into-someones-crises-of-fear-ego-defense-and-smallness-arroganceself-important-movie-the-way-way-back-trent-is-awful-utterly-purposely-oblivious-to-anything/

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Narcissists (Pharisees) are particularly prone to aggressive reactions towards love objects, not least when issues of self-identity are involved.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambivalence

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One or other of the conflicting sides is usually repressed. Thus, for example, a son’s love for his father might be quite consciously experienced and openly expressed – while his “hate” for the same object might be heavily repressed and only indirectly expressed, and thus only revealed in psycho-analysis.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/ambivalence-the-hair-thin-line-between-being-thrilled-jesus-our-savior-comes-to-our-town-jerusalem-and-being-threatened-our-own-ambivalence-jesus-cleanses-the-temple-of-everything-evil-about-o/

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Ambivalence:  The hair-thin line between being thrilled (Jesus our savior comes to our town Jerusalem) and being threatened (our own ambivalence — Jesus cleanses the temple of everything evil about ourselves — we feel threatened by Jesus revealing our own unlovely nature — so we kill Jesus to purge us of our unlovely aspects of ourselves)

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+ambivalence&qpvt=images+ambivalence&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=C9D7E66DEE26AC384785D12842690F01A4FA0C6E&selectedIndex=9

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/ambivalences-approachavoid-foggy-manifestation-there-always-are-reasons-for-errorsomissions/

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our own ambivalence (Jesus cleansed the temple of everything evil about ourselves) killed Jesus   –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/then-jesus-cleansed-the-temple-of-everything-evil-about-us-then-in-typical-mob-hysteria-we-cleansed-ourselves-of-jesus-via-his-crucifixion/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+mob+hysteria&qpvt=images+mob+hysteria&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=13E7E2BCDB77B4830143F33154768F7578D2ACA2&selectedIndex=19

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+mob+hysteria&qpvt=images+mob+hysteria&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=9F6DD63501A7D1273232A9FC1112E1A23711857A&selectedIndex=2

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+crucified&qpvt=images+jesus+crucified&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=59A1E90056CC6F02D969758FE9856283866F2E61&selectedIndex=16

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/jesus-death-becomes-even-more-powerful-when-this-particular-messiah-also-carries-your-personal-projections-that-is-the-celebritys-life-mirrors-important-pieces-of-your-own-psychic-journey-your/

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Jesus’ death becomes even more powerful when this particular messiah also carries your personal projections. That is, the celebrity’s life mirrors important pieces of your own psychic journey. Your own life dramas. Jesus did this for me with his transparency. His naive nakedness. He was the first “icon” to recognize egotistic “discernment” as insanity, to rightly despise it, and to distance himself from it. Unlike Jesus, celebrities of the flesh like John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, & Judy Garland  couldn’t stop seeking it.  If one says that a weeping fan’s grief is “unrealistic (and therefore annoying) at a time when so many are struggling with foreclosures, debt, disappearing jobs and other miseries,” I would say quite the opposite — that the sting of this grief is made more acute during these hard times, because we will miss the beauty, the passion, the inspiration and hope that pour through these artists and into our lives especially during times of social misery.  Celebrities, and especially artists, provide us a deep mirror into the celebration of being human. Some celebrities become iconic. That is, the mirror they wield reaches into the collective human experience of a culture and sometimes across cultures (such as Waikiki’s Bruno Mars). And the death of an icon is felt painfully and powerfully in a human psyche. The loss is real and meaningful. And so is the grief.  John Lennon was a celebrity. In Latin literally “the one who helps us celebrate.” And did he ever help us celebrate. And the price he paid was the burden of fame, fame in Latin meaning “rumor/gossip.”  Celebrity is a calling. Fame is simply nuts. In the end fame killed him.  If anybody needs forgiveness here, it’s us.   Just as fame killed Lennon, we killed Jesus (mob hysteria after Jesus cleansed the temple of the mammon money changers).  For then are when we need our artists most.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/but-these-reactions-are-not-really-about-batman-theyre-about-us-and-our-relationship-with-narratives-stories-and-mythology-the-primary-way-we-encounter-and-make-sense-of-the-world-is-through-sto/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/shakespeares-great-prodigyera-peer-john-miltons-poem-paradise-lost-is-about-the-fall-of-man-the-temptation-of-adam-and-eve-by-the-fallen-angel-satan-and-their-expulsion-from-the-garden-of-eden/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/to-be-or-not-to-be-real-dear-hamlet-tis-the-question-in-praise-of-grace-mercy-full-of-redemptions-greatest-emotional-therapist-shakespeare-who-incredulously-not-to-christians-whence/

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French-Swiss John Calvin reacted against Martin Luther in more conservative terrains far south of Frankfurt’s latitude.       John Calvin was 26 years younger than Martin Luther, and for the most part Calvin was the “yang” to Luther’s “yin,” so to speak.    

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Shakespeare actually is a product of Martin Luther’s Reformation, with Grace & Mercy “full of redemption” replete thruout Shakespeare’s Morality Plays.  

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Word out, so to speak, Shakespeare plagiarized Scripture thru and thru, Daddy-O!     No Scripture, No Shakespeare!

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Remember that just 30 yrs. before Shakespeare was born, Latin to English Bible translator  William Tyndale was

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burned at the stake by the Papacy for making the Bible readable

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by the English commoners.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tyndale

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No matter the rather undeserved propping up of Shakespeare on the backs of  our Gospel Authors.     Kudos to Shakespeare for Shakespeare’s own search for the mystery and the Truth of Jesus!

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Which, by the way, says a lot about shunned predestination pariah John Calvin, who is Shakespeare’s total opposite on salvation.   

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Looking at the frayed Calvin proselyting about Man’s venality & depravity amid predecessor reformer Martin Luther’s Reformation in the north latitudes, one easily accepts Calvin’s admonition about the evil of Ego/overpride as our worst affliction/contagion.    

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/the-take-away-which-is-a-huge-lesson-to-learn-from-some-contemporary-evangelicals-is-that-calvin-did-not-impose-onto-the-gospels-a-view-of-how-the-bible-ought-to-work-as-gods-word-rather/

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Calvin correctly says that the best Man can hope for is a release from Hell’s Iniquity by choosing Jesus as our Lord & Savior.

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Has anything changed from early Church father Augustine to intellectual Aquinas (Summa Theologica) 800 years after Augustine, to us today 800 years after Aquinas???    1200 AD Aquinas is equidistant by 800 yrs. after Augustine & 800 yrs. before us today   — yet nothing has changed in our depraved nature from 400 AD Augustine to us today, not to mention from Jesus’ crucifixion to Augustine 400 yrs. later.

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No, not in our own mental/intellectual gymnastics/tortuous rationalizations on predestination vs. free will.

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And certainly not in our innate venal toxic nature.

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We are as detestable today as we were when we crucified Jesus in the mob hysteria of those 6 days 2000 years ago.

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Imagine, we sing Hosanna, even the stones shout Hosanna, as Jesus marches into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt.

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And no later than you can bat an eyelash, we crucify Jesus because

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Jesus cleans out the temple of everything evil about us.   

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No, we are no better today than that week when Jesus died for our sins.    Like I say, John Calvin has something here, baby!!        ;-)

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A man is

no more a Christian

by being in church

than I am a car

by being in my carport.

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+postive+life+examples&qpvt=images+postive+life+examples&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=EE48C9E8A7D71CDBF24E8814DF61CE42C5A97F1B&selectedIndex=67

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+postive+life+examples&qpvt=images+postive+life+examples&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=2FD47DC627689D925978551A579D8D519C479479&selectedIndex=130

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+postive+life+examples&qpvt=images+postive+life+examples&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=8AF4A062EF89304E329282E4AFB33F9A34D8CB3C&selectedIndex=138

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+postive+life+examples&qpvt=images+postive+life+examples&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=A00F3A99E83AF5802DD92E3C2D3FEF0A4BD3F879&selectedIndex=134

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Ships in harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+postive+life+examples&qpvt=images+postive+life+examples&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=5AADE11FADCEF0AF28E38F42DD4999A26D1ED3D3&selectedIndex=559

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+postive+life+examples&qpvt=images+postive+life+examples&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=AF0336AEF6E5049C386037631CA360AC5B951BAF&selectedIndex=642

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My spin-0ff expressions in article title above from sage Steven Kalas  –

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/grieving-celebrity-natural-response-contribution

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/lennon-struggled-fame-even-he-looked-it

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/steven-kalas/jacksons-journey-through-pathos-painful-trip-everyone

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/people-dont-need-much-time-change-our-lives

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I remember when Mary Poppins conjured a strong wind to literally blow away the queue of applicants for the position of nanny to Jane and Michael Banks. One moment, there were 20-plus proper English women standing in line, waiting to be interviewed. Then there was only Mary Poppins, who promptly bulled her way into the job.

If you’ve ever read the original 1934 book by P.L. Travers, then you know that Mary Poppins is … a witch. A good witch. Eccentric, vain, uber-English, stuffy, well-mannered and impatient (“Spit, spot!”).

She didn’t come to help the children. She came to help the doofwad father.

The children adore her. “Won’t you please stay with us forever?” Michael pleads. “I’ll stay until the wind changes,” is the magical nanny’s cryptic reply.

Until the wind changes. Meaning, no, I won’t stay with you forever. Now is the time I’m with you. Nothing and no one has forever. Impermanence reigns.

And, true to her word, when Doofwad Dad pulls his head out of his nether-regions and is transformed into a joyous, loving, present father flying a kite in the park with Jane and Michael … the wind changes. And Mary Poppins leaves. Just like that.

Look back upon your life. Most of us can count relationships with people who have walked with us from the beginning. And, in some cases, are still there walking with us. Our parents, probably. Perhaps siblings and extended family members.

Though rarer in this mobile and isolating world, you might even still count as life companion a mate you met in early elementary school. Or maybe you still have an active friendship with one or two high school buddies or college friends. Relationships enduring over time.

But, if you are much older than 21, then you likely also can count another kind of valuable relationship. These are people who appear in our lives, change our lives forever, and then leave. The whole turnaround might be just a few years. Or 12 months. Or six months. Or six days. Or 26 minutes.

And you’re never the same.

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And you’ll never forget them.

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And, at once, you are so grateful,

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yet it seems so unfair (not really).

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How could someone be so powerful, so magical, so utterly important and life-changing for you …

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and then leave?  

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Nothing and no one has forever, baby.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/ultimately-i-was-fascinated-by-gatsby-as-a-character-i-was-moved-by-him-it-no-longer-became-a-love-story-to-me-it-became-a-tragedy-of-this-new-american-this-man-in-a-new-world-where-everything-i/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/in-obliquity-john-kay-argues-that-the-best-things-in-life-can-only-be-pursued-indirectly-i-believe-this-is-true-for-happiness-if-you-truly-want-to-experience-joy-or-meaning-you-need-to-shift-your/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/ambivalence-killed-jesus-the-people-waved-palm-branches-on-sunday-singing-hosanna-hey-come-friday-they-shouted-to-free-barabbas-same-crowd-when-you-stand-too-close-to-beautiful/

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Ambivalence killed Jesus. The people waved palm branches on Sunday, singing “Hosanna hey.” Come Friday, they shouted to free Barabbas. Same crowd. When you stand too close to beautiful, bright lights, you find yourself deeply ambivalent about the way that light shines on parts of yourself, not so beautiful, not so bright.  — sage Steven Kalas

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Astrid Preston

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/acknowledging-ambivalence-is-best-way-to-cope-sage-steven-kalas/

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http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/kalas/Ambivalence_challenges_most_close_relationships.html

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The word we toss around in therapeutic circles for this universal phenomenon is “ambivalence.” Meaning “mixed feelings.”

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Whenever we find ourselves in love or loving someone, or whenever we find ourselves deeply, emotionally attached to anything — an institution, a value, a cause — we invariably stumble across the experience of ambivalence.

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The reason is obvious, but you won’t ever find it in a Hallmark card and rarely in a film or novel. Rarely do people talk about ambivalence as the unavoidable companion of love, nor is it common for parents to teach us how to handle it when you are growing up.

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Simply put, to offer your heart to someone necessarily includes giving away a tremendous amount of power and no little degree of control.

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You simply can’t love deeply and stay completely in charge. Oh, people try it all the time. Some folks even normalize this ever-cautious, carefully calculated “ration stamp love.” Like someone sitting on the edge of a pier with one toe in the water, who then says convincingly, “I went swimming today.”

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Nope. Swimming is when you let go of the pier in water so deep you can’t touch the bottom. Only swimming is swimming.

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Love means giving someone the power to break your heart, to hurt you deeply. The subject of your heart’s affection is free to be present, faithful, creative and attentive to the relationship, to cherish you. He/she also is free to neglect you, to be inconstant, or mean, or even to betray you and leave you. Not to mention the inevitable pain: Your beloved is going to die. So are you.

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You can see why Hallmark isn’t jumping all over this.

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In the Ron Howard film “Parenthood,” the family patriarch, after years of distance and antipathy with his now-adult son, finally confesses his ambivalence. He recalls to the son that, as a child, the boy was stricken with a life-threatening illness.

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“I hated you for that,” the elder man says simply. Meaning, of course, I hated that loving you so deeply dangled me over the fires of so much pain and anticipation of pain.

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Ambivalence is why, when parents scream watching their toddler almost get hit by a car in the parking lot, they will run up and fiercely hug the toddler … and then fiercely scold or even spank the toddler. How dare you make me see clearly the vulnerability of my love for you!

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Ambivalence killed Jesus. The people waved palm branches on Sunday, singing “Hosanna hey.” Come Friday, they shouted to free Barabbas.

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Same crowd.

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When you stand too close to beautiful, bright lights,

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you find yourself deeply ambivalent about the way that light shines

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on parts of yourself,

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not so beautiful,

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not so bright.

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Ever observe sisters? Those relationships tend to be cyclically incendiary, especially in childhood.

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They will, in turn, be ready to die for each other … and then hate each other to the point of metaphorical homicide.

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You see this in brothers, too, but Freud observed — though never explained why — ambivalence is given its freest rein between sisters.

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An accepted bit of “wisdom” in our culture is that, in marriage, being “in love” and hot sex must, of necessity, “wear off.” The elders ask us to accept that. Comedians have a field day with it. But this bit of wisdom isn’t so wise. In fact, it’s crap.

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It is ambivalence that erodes love and sex. Nothing more. Nothing less. The human ego finds the experience of great vulnerability — great love — both compelling and intolerable. So we seek it, find it and then promptly begin to erode it, starve it and stonewall it so as to protect ourselves. This almost always is an unconscious process.

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In fact, that’s the rub: Ambivalence begins unconsciously. And we can’t manage it well unless we are willing to make it conscious. When ambivalence is made conscious, then we have choices for bearing it creatively, usefully, sometimes even playfully.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/dedicated-to-jesus-disciple-lester-chun-lesters-lifetime-journey-of-authentic-living/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+authentic+journey+of+selfhood&qpvt=images+authentic+journey+of+selfhood&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=B6CB3A603214C5CBBED47B65867E62AB7654FB7E&selectedIndex=6

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+authentic+journey+of+selfhood&qpvt=images+authentic+journey+of+selfhood&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=AECDD4D657ACE164DCEEC017E717C6A0E3C1EDEE&selectedIndex=7

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/for-me-theres-hardly-a-gnats-whisker-of-difference-between-the-psychological-idea-of-healthy-individuation-and-the-christian-idea-of-salvation-both-include-the-lifetime-journey-o/

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“For me, there’s hardly a gnat’s whisker of difference between the psychological idea of healthy individuation and the Christian idea of salvation. Both include the lifetime journey of authentic living.”

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Title quote from Steven Kalas       http://www.lvrj.com/living/living-authentically-a-challenge-worth-embracing-89350462.html

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The more practiced you become at living authentically, the more often you’ll have to make friends with Alone.

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If you take seriously a commitment to authentic selfhood,

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you find that you regularly must sacrifice belonging.

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Living authentically includes regular re-negotiations of how we belong to family.

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In some extreme cases, whether we will belong to family at all.

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Likewise, adjustments in friendships,

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and sometimes distancing and even discarding friendships.

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There are journeys of selfhood and wholeness that must be walked alone.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/thriving-learning-having-wisdom-are-about-getting-up-each-morning-with-intention-clarity-commitment-to-seek-nurture-connection-along-lifes-healthy-healing-path-of-inner-nouris/

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Valentines Day One Billion RisingWorkout Music PlaylistMindfulness Practice

http://www.lvrj.com/living/you-don-t-have-to-die-to-go-to-hell-but-trips-there-hurt-190578441.html

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Sometimes you have to go to hell [deepest self-reflection, unlovely as well as lovely].

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Oh, I’m NOT talking about religion here.

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In fact, I don’t use the word “hell” very often to describe some afterlife place of deliberate torment as punishment for not belonging to the right religion.

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Writing on Man's Stomachhttp://www.andilit.com/2010/05/20/writing-as-therapy-or-the-bum-rap/

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No, when I say you sometimes have to go to hell, I mean a very immediate, very real, “here and now” experience [existential introspection].

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You don’t have to die to go to hell. Though going there will feel like dying.

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Hell paralyzes normal thinking and feeling. Sleeping and eating become less necessary. It is dark and empty down there. In hell, some people cry and wail and clutch carpet. Others sit, dazed, in unlit rooms for minutes or hours on end. Not much use for words in hell. But, if you’ve ever been there, you know. You remember.

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You cannot take any prior learning, wisdom or life experience into hell with you. You can’t even take what you learned the last time you were there. If you could, it wouldn’t be hell.

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We go to hell with nothing. We go to hell to be nothing, for a necessary while, because hell burns down the identity in which we have heretofore reveled in supreme confidence [leave behind your inflated ego!].

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A variety of circumstance and happenstance can summon us to hell. But the different occasions have in common a grief beyond knowing.

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Beyond words. A loss beyond measuring. Someone dies. Someone betrays you. The one and only love of your life … leaves. Maybe you have a random, capricious, could-have-happened-to-anybody accident that leaves someone dead. Disfigured. Permanently disabled. Or maybe you are confronted with the consequences and humiliation of your own egregious dereliction. Grave moral failure. You burn down your life, reputation and important relationships in an act of wanton, desperate stupidity and selfishness.

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Hell is the place we go to face eviscerating, sledgehammer loss. Loss that changes you. Forever you’ll be different.

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When life demands our descent into hell, we have two choices.

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We can go.

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Or we can refuse to go, at least for a while. Sometimes for a long while. But woe to the person who puts off this journey.

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Because every strategy for putting off this journey leads to … hell. But it’s a different hell than the life-changing (if terrifying) descent described above.

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The hell we enter by putting off hell is “mere suffering,” as opposed to a meaningful suffering. It is a pathos. An absurdity, as opposed to a redemption.

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Alcoholism, for example, can be seen as a strategy for putting off hell. I’ll never forget my friend who, 20 years sober, said: “There should be a sign on the door of AA meetings that says ‘Sobriety is Hell.’ Because the first thing that happens to drunks who stop drinking is … it gets worse. And then it gets better.”

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There are treasures in hell. My spiritual director spoke of two treasures, specifically: “In hell you will meet your True Self,…  and you will meet God as you have never known him before.”

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No one can accompany you to hell. If someone could go with you, it wouldn’t be hell. Friends, family, beloved mates – these people can walk you to the entrance of hell. They can wait for you on the rim of hell. But hell, by definition, is a place we go alone.

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Twice in my life I’ve been to hell. It changes everything. Both times the experience made for more of me. That is, my True Self. I had more depth. More humility. I learned more about love and gratitude.

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But that’s not to say the journey is without cost. One of the costs, of course, is the way the journey changes the names and faces in your innermost trusted circles.

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When you come out of hell, there will be people standing there with you and for you who you never would have imagined would still be standing there.

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And, likewise there will be people not standing there any longer who you would have bet your life would still be standing there.

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The former will surprise and delight you. The latter will break your heart.

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Those relationships will never be the same. And you’ll never understand either list. It will always be a mystery.

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I’m saying there’s nothing like going to hell for showing you what friends, family and soul mates are made of.

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Hell sifts through the pretenders.

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Who, in your life, was still standing there when you came out the other side of hell?

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/writing-and-eventually-dying-a-good-death-expressing-sharing-love-to-the-end/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+of+a+writer+in+deep+thought&qpvt=images+of+a+writer+in+deep+thought&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=FC4083F995FD47F1E3C39EAC4D1A970867E60C12&selectedIndex=89

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

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sharing grief puts a healing distance between us and the pain — this is why storytelling matters

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Share the suffering. The opportunity to tell the story of our suffering to a compassionate and skillful listener is helpful beyond measure. Simply in the telling and retelling, we begin to shift perspective, to put a healing distance between us and the pain.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/10174701.html

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Great journeys in emotional maturity are walked alone

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When another man’s life forces you to behold your own smallness, all you have to do is retro-narrate pathologized stories about him. Just like that, your world is a safer, happier place.

Your friends who are simply gone? You force me to behold, J.K., something I hate to think about:

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All great journeys in emotional maturity are ultimately walked alone.

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The archetypal picture here is probably Jesus, whose friends agreed to accompany him into the garden of Gethsemane that night to pray. Jesus is scared. Anxious. Asking God if there isn’t some other way. He looks to his friends for support and encouragement.

And they are sound asleep. And Jesus asks a rhetorical question into the silent night air: “Will no one stay awake with me?”

As a matter of fact, no. Tonight Jesus will suffer, and he will suffer alone.

How to maintain some sense of respect and optimism for humanity? I can only tell you what I do.

When I’m feeling low, when I’ve lost track of why I keep putting one foot in front of the other, when I am sick and tired of paying the price for living out values about which no one else appears to have much if any investment, when I can no longer argue with Protestant theologian John Calvin who used the word “depraved” to describe the essential nature of human beings …

… well, J.K., that’s when I think of people like you [who suffers alone in ennobled integrated fashion to care for his incapacitated wife].

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9380491.html

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Mystery surrounds deep connections we make with others [making friends with “Alone”]

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An old friend writes from far away. Oh, not that old. She’s 48. I mean we’ve been friends a long, long time.

There’s this bond between us. A connection. I felt it the first time we spoke, which is funny because the first thing she ever communicated to me was disdain. I was 23, so I reached into my repertoire for managing repartee with beautiful women and selected “boyish cockiness” for my retort.

When you’re 23 and male, boyish cockiness is pretty much the extent of your repertoire.

But that was it for us — bonded. A connection that has survived time together, protracted times apart, even years of no communication whatsoever. The friendship has survived love affairs — not with each other — marriages and becoming parents. We’ve been drunk together. And sober. It occurs to me that I’ve never seen her cry.

She was 20 when I met her. Once, on a whim, she sent me a picture of herself at age 5. I smiled. Somewhere inside myself I knew her then, too. Recognized her. In some alternative past, she and I played together in a sandbox (until she made me cry because she was so bossy). Like the bond between us contains secret passages that defy time and space.

She writes to me: “I get you, Steven Kalas.”

Her words strike me like thunder. Truly awestruck, like the way you fall into a spectacular sunset, or the way you stop breathing when you’re standing in a barn at 2 a.m. watching the birth of a calf. I’m focused in a point of time, staring at my monitor. It’s like she’s right here. Right now. I have a friend who gets me. She sees me. I jumble a few words and she says, “Oh yeah.” She not only understands, but understands why and how things matter to me.

Amen.

Then I have this other friend. Or did. Or thought I did. Could’ve sworn we were friends. Soul mates. Years we were friends. Across passion and victory and folly and failure. Across celebration and loss. This friend knows me. And doesn’t know me at all.

We’re not connected anymore.

And I know as much about why we’re no longer connected as I do why I’m still connected to the other friend. Which is to say I don’t know anything at all. And I’ve been railing against the disconnection, like, if I protest loudly and long enough, my erstwhile friend will snap out of it and be connected to me again.

I’ve decided to stop railing. Sad, yes. Probably sad forever. But pounding on it serves all the purpose of pounding on a grave. Why would I look for the living among the dead?

See, both connections and disconnections deserve the same responses. Awe. Respect for the mystery. Even I, a man who believes his gifts and his calling to be teaching people how to be in relationship — well, I can’t tell you much of anything about why some connections happen and some connections don’t happen and still others disintegrate.

The most terrible thing my therapist ever said to me was also the most important: “Steven, we’re alone. No one has anyone.”

Yikes-oi. (Sorry. This sort of thing happens when a GoyBoy tries to express himself forcefully in Yiddish.)

I hated what she said. Railed against it. Argued with it. She had thrown existential sand into the gas tank of my fine-tuned DeLorean of delusion. And my pricey car would go not one mile farther.

My therapist was right. And, as with every other time when she is right, it’s time for me to grow up. We’re alone. No one has anyone.

Strangely, this new truth, while initially a scalpel slashed across my chest without anesthetic, did not burden and depress me for long. Surrender to separateness and aloneness quickly began to create a new space in me. A space for … for …

… relief. A kind of peace. And, most precious, gratitude and humility. Relationship is a grace. A kind of miracle. Human communion emerges as a gift. An unmerited joy. Yes, there are ways of living more conducive to forging and maintaining lasting relationships than other ways of living. I’m not saying there’s nothing we can do. Just that, in the end, I no longer think I have earned or deserved the people who stand in the inner circle of my life.

I just give thanks.

We’re alone. No one has anyone.

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Human beings cannot be possessed. They cannot be apprehended. They can only be respected and enjoyed. Or respected and bid farewell. Relationship is mystery.

Who really sees you? Who gets you? If you need more than one hand to count those people, you are rich beyond your dreams.

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Individualism as ego overpride is not the solitary reflection of an authentic life   –

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/steven-kalas-we-are-individuals-in-consequential-relationships-162688016.html

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/culture-s-approach-to-suffering-only-prolongs-pain-129608658.html

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And, for those kinds of sufferings/losses that can never be entirely healed, to bear it. To find meaning in it.  To turn that suffering into some transformative work in the world.

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And the truth is this: The human journey includes suffering. No one comes to ask for help who isn’t suffering.

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But, here’s another truth: In any given time in your life, the number of people who actually, really, honestly want and

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are willing to grant you an engaged and healing audience for your suffering/loss  is      …     

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small!!     Or nonexistent!!    

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Even people who sincerely love and adore you might find themselves ambivalent about really engaging and listening to the part of you that suffers. See, the people around us have egos, too. Their egos mobilize to protect them just like your ego does. “Cheer up … get over it … God has a plan … everybody is doing the best he or she can … don’t cry” — the felt motive for these messages is to help you.

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But each of these messages also contains the anxiety of the messenger: 

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Please stop bothering and disturbing me by suffering.

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And that’s what most modern people do. They try to stop suffering. They “get over it.” They build layer upon layer of pretense and persona over their wounds, because it’s, well, the sociable thing to do. Most of us, then, suffer unconsciously. Because that’s the way we’ve been taught to suffer.

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9146411.html

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Lots of people don’t want to be present to sadness — their own or anyone else’s.

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Other people would like to be present to their bereaved friends and family, but don’t know how.

We live in a culture where grief is treated as a disease to be “cured,” or a weakness cursed of shame or self-loathing.

Contrarily, grief is the holiest of human journeys.

One of my favorite Friedrich Nietzsche quotes is, “Everything holy requires a veil.” Now, modern Americans might think he means that we should keep things covered up because those things are shameful. Nope. He means that some things are so beautiful, so huge, so powerful, so naked, so intimate, that to gaze casually upon them would be injurious to their meaning and value. Injurious ultimately to us.

Grief is such a thing.

I concur with your observation that people around us are largely inept at befriending us in grief. Yet I also encourage people like you to remember to veil (protect and value) their grief. Keep the circle of confidants small. Pick two and no more than five people who will hear the depths of your pain.

There are two ways to read your question at the end. Literally you ask how you might numb the heartache. But I’m guessing you aren’t being literal. In fact, it’s not a question at all, is it? It reads more like an indignation. Like, how dare anyone ask you to numb the heartache! How dare the medical community suggest drugging your bereavement!

See, J.R., you know how precious your sadness is. A breathless, crushing burden, yes. But precious.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/alienation-i-dont-belong-and-estrangement-getting-dumped-because-i-dont-belong/

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alienation [I don’t belong] and estrangement [getting dumped because I don’t belong]

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Alienation & estrangement   –  the results of Loss  [e.g. getting dumped]  by your beloved  [lifemate/soulmate]   

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http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/kalas/_Retirement_leaves_time_for_pondering_self_relationships.html

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Question: What do all people seeking release from personal despair have in common?

Answer: They are suffering some combination of alienation and estrangement.

Alienation means a crisis of belonging. We are alien. We don’t belong.

Estrangement means the painful disruption of the bonds of relationship. Interpersonal injuries and injustices. To become estranged is to become a stranger to the one we love and by whom we are loved.

I’m saying your use of the word “misfit” sounds like a crisis of alienation and estrangement.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/western-religion-breeding-ground-neurosis

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Western religion can be breeding ground of neurosis

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Cousin 1 says he believes the guilt his Catholic family taught him was important for his emotional development. Cousin 2 disagrees. She says that same family’s teachings about guilt did nothing to enhance her inner voice for right and wrong. Interesting discussion. But, when I get caught eavesdropping, they toss the debate in my lap.

Ah, Catholic guilt! You hear the phrase a lot.

Strictly speaking, our perserverations in Western civilization about “Catholic guilt” are actually one particular example of a much wider issue. To wit: how Western religion (the so-called Judeo-Christian culture) shapes and imprints our culture. It seems to me that any serious anthropological investigation can yield only one conclusion: The Judeo-Christian culture shapes and nurtures some beautiful things, some really nutty things and some outright pathological things.

It’s not easy to hold those three seeming disparities together as a whole. The human tendency is to jump on one and become antagonistic to the other two. There are people who will fight to the death before they will acknowledge the nutty or pathological parts of Western religion. On the other hand, there are people who would drop dead before they would acknowledge the beautiful things.

Psychology? Freud was all over this from the start (“The Future of an Illusion,” “Moses and Monotheism,” “Civilization and Its Discontents”). Somewhere in my top 10 favorite Freud quotes is, “Western civilization is a neurosis factory.” Well, yeah. When I’m neurotic (which is most of the time), my default worldview is to exaggerate my role in cause/effect. That is, to assume a much greater role and responsibility than is in point of fact regarding what is happening and what people are doing, thinking and feeling around me. This includes a phenomenon known in clinical circles as “MSU” — making stuff up (about why I probably should feel guilty).

Seen from a strictly Freudian view, I understand how he and others make the easy and (to them) obvious conclusion that religious guilt is merely a well-disguised political conspiracy. A ploy to control the masses (macro view) or at least to control your spouse, kids and immediate family (micro view). Western religion does easily breed neurosis. Consider the classic joke told of both Jewish mothers and Catholic mothers:

Question: How many (Jewish/Catholic) mothers does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: None. Nevermind. I’ll be fine. Sitting here, alone in the dark.

It’s easy to mistakenly distill Western religion to one nutty admonition: “Be good!” Nutty, because 1) I can’t, by the strength of my individual will, be good, and 2) I have mixed feelings about being good. I don’t entirely want to be!

When it comes to the question of the usefulness of guilt in shaping and inspiring a thriving human identity, I would say Western religion is, at once, beautiful, nutty and (potentially) pathological. Healthy religion knows these dangers. And psychologically healthy pilgrims embrace what is beautiful while keeping a keen watch on what is nutty or pathological.

Guilt is beautiful, holy, vital and important when it is healthy guilt. And healthy guilt is nothing more or less than the name of the grief we feel when we abandon our own values. The grief of estrangement and alienation. Healthy guilt, however miserable it feels, contains within itself a holy longing for reconciliation. (One prayer during the rosary, for example, is asking God to “give me a contrite heart.” Meaning, “Please give me the courage to let my heart break over the ways I have hurt others, etc.”) Catholicism — its rites, rituals and symbols — bears much beauty into the world to facilitate the blessings of healthy guilt, healthy shame.

The nutty or potentially pathological side of guilt happens when people, families or institutions (especially the church) peddle guilt to us with darker, perhaps unconscious motives. If you, for example, are threatened by another’s genius, gifts and “light” (envy!), then one way to dodge the threat is to instill in that person a grave, crippling self-doubt. An anxious, paralyzing self-consciousness forcing a default posture of apology to the world for daring to be him/herself.

Or, people/institutions instill guilt because they are projecting sadism. That is, they are reveling in the humiliation of sinners. Yes, some of our accusers are having a grand time!

Control, humiliation, hierarchy, authority, power — when discussions of guilt bear these darker motives, run away quick!

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/ultimately-i-was-fascinated-by-gatsby-as-a-character-i-was-moved-by-him-it-no-longer-became-a-love-story-to-me-it-became-a-tragedy-of-this-new-american-this-man-in-a-new-world-where-everything-i/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/my-wish-for-christian-keenan-1-corinthians-1510-filled-with-grace-within/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=biblical+Paul+new+creation&qpvt=biblical+Paul+new+creation&FORM=IGRE&&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=1#view=detail&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=0

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Asking For Help

Mindfulness Benefits

Dreaming

Free Your Mind

Morning Mindfulness Practice

Emotional Health

Tibeten Buddhism

Meditation Tips

Christies In China

Uyuni Salt Flats

Life After Life Kate Atkinson

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When you know that a Christian is dead inside (e.g. needlessly suffering by being angry with the world),  then it’s time for Biblical Paul’s recitation on inner Grace – being regenerated, called, sanctified  —

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a new creation, baby!!   

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The heretofore unsearchable/unreachable solace of Christ

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Grace gives us the desire and the power from God to do His will  —

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to give life a chance, baby!!

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  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace#Christianity

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/i-ask-myself-to-make-it-to-tomorrow-for-life-to-start-anew-i-need-to-move-beyond-todays-loss/

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http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/15-10.htm

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Rhema (inner voice) [pronounced “ray-ma”]  & life application  –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/thriving-learning-having-wisdom-are-about-getting-up-each-morning-with-intention-clarity-commitment-to-seek-nurture-connection-along-lifes-healthy-healing-path-of-inner-nouris/

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http://blog.chron.com/lutherant/2012/11/global-child-poverty-changing-the-story/

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When it comes to helping people in need, one of the stories that should spark our imagination remains Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan

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The aspect of the parable I would point out here is its personal nature [very specific]

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To demonstrate how (and to whom) we ought to show compassion

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Jesus does not speak in generalities. 

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He gives a specific situation,

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where one individual (the Samaritan) must make a decision about how

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to treat another specific individual (the Jew set upon by robbers). 

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Christian mercy is not about generalized theories,

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but about specifics.

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Since Jesus lived in an oral culture,

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scholars expect that short, memorable stories or phrases

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as applications of Scripture

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are from Jesus.    

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For example, “love your enemies.”   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar#Criteria_for_authenticity

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Turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of His audience:

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He/Jesus preached of “Heaven’s imperial rule” [traditionally translated as “Kingdom of God“]

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as being already present but unseen;

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He depicts God as a loving father;

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He squares shoulders with outsiders

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and criticizes insiders.  

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Christ evokes not simply an apocalyptic eschatology/end-time,

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but more critically a sapiential eschatology,

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which encourages all of God’s children to repair the world  NOW.

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Not just the Parables but the Beatitudes/etc. feature the

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dramatic presentation and reversal of expectations that are characteristic of Jesus.

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Based on several important narrative parables [such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan],

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scholars decided that irony, reversal, and frustration of expectations were characteristic of Christ’s style.  

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Does a pericope/concise passage illustrate opposites or impossibilities? 

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If it does, it’s more likely to be authentic.

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One-third of the Bible consists of Parables/Pericopes/aphorisms.

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The poor are accepted as constituting the primary recipients of the Good News and, therefore,

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as having an inherent capacity of understanding it better than anyone else.    

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/glenn-beck-vs-christ-the-_b_698359.html

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That’s pretty threatening for any comfortable Christian.

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For not only do we have to help the poor, not only do we have to advocate on their behalf, we also have to see them as understanding God better than we do!

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But that’s not a new idea:

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It goes back to Jesus.

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The poor, the sick and the outcast “got” Him better than the wealthy did.

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Perhaps because there was less standing between the poor and God.

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Less stuff [pride].

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Maybe that’s why Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “You will have treasure in heaven, and follow me.”

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See also Galatians 6:2  –  lovingly take on one another’s burden  — mutual help

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/sage-don-milam-his-powers-of-persuasion-were-honed-by-his-ability-to-see-beyond-the-ordinary-he-loved-the-story-method-of-getting-his-point-across-everyone-loves-a-good-story-and-jesus-could-tel/

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Sage Don Milam:   His powers of persuasion were honed by His ability to see beyond the ordinary. He loved the story method of getting His point across. Everyone loves a good story, and Jesus could tell a good story. He liked to end His stories with a twist that left the hearers walking away scratching their heads and thinking about them for many hours to come. The aphorisms and parables of Jesus function in a particular way: they are invitational forms of speech. Jesus used them to invite his hearers to see something they might not otherwise see. As evocative forms of speech, they tease the imagination into activity, suggest more than they say, and invite a transformation in perception. Drawing pictures from their own familiar world, He arrested their minds, captured their imaginations, and opened them ever so gently to the stirrings of the ancient language deep within them. Jesus liked to put His listeners in almost every story He told, and by the way, you and I were there as well—the least, the last, the little and the lost. These were the objects of His loving attention in those stories He told.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/in-the-case-of-christ-we-have-a-unique-form-of-persuasion-it-is-like-what-happens-when-an-error-in-our-viewpoint-is-shown-to-us-and-our-mind-reassembles-around-the-truth-that-we-have-not-seen-but-i/

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In the case of Christ we have a unique form of persuasion. It is like what happens when an error in our viewpoint is shown to us, and our mind reassembles around the truth that we have not seen. But it is unlike this process in that the truth that takes us over is not a correct proposition but a person. (Sebastian Moore)   — sage Don Milam

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/jesus-violated-every-conceivable-tradition-when-it-came-to-his-associations-with-the-marginalized-of-jewish-society-he-infuriated-the-pharisees-with-every-compassionate-touch-the-qumran-community-of/

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Jesus violated every conceivable tradition when it came to His associations with the marginalized of Jewish society. He infuriated the Pharisees with every compassionate touch. The Qumran community of the Essenes had an unconditional law: “No madman, or lunatic, or simpleton, or fool, no blind man, or maimed, or lame, or deaf man, and no minor shall enter the community. “Jesus came to shatter these man-made laws with the vengeance of Heaven. It was these very rejected ones whom He had come to save. To the Pharisees He declared, ‘But go and learn what this means, “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,” for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ The Pharisees surrounded themselves with the rich, the wise, the educated, and the elite of society. Jesus, conversely, surrounded Himself with the poor, the uneducated, the rejected, and the outcasts of society.”   — sage Don Milam

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhema#Modern_usage 

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Rhema is the revealed word of God (revelation received from the Holy Spirit) when the Word/Logos is read, as an

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application/utterance/”unction”/anointment from God to the heart of the reader via the Holy Spirit, as in John 14:26    

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Again, application of Scripture to this world.

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“… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

In this usage Rhema refers to “a word that is spoken,” when the Holy Spirit delivers a message to the heart as in Romans 10:17:

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (rhematos Christou)”

and in the Matthew 4:4:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God”.

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Remarkably & prodigiously sagacious young 24 yr. old disciple Ezekiel Reissig of Pastor Jay’s congregation exemplifies Acts 24:5    —

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See here the unhappiness of great men, and a great unhappiness it is, to have their services praised beyond measure, and never to be faithfully told of their faults; hereby they are hardened and encouraged in evil, like Felix. God’s prophets were charged with being troublers of the land, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that he perverted the nation; the very same charges were brought against Paul. The selfish and evil passions of men urge them forward, and the graces and power of speech, too often have been used to mislead and prejudice men against the truth. How different will the characters of Paul and Felix appear at the day of judgement, from what they are represented in the speech of Tertullus! Let not Christians value the applause, or be troubled at the revilings of ungodly men, who represent the vilest of the human race almost as gods, and the excellent of the earth as pestilences and movers of sedition.      http://biblehub.com/acts/24-5.htm

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Yes, the Bible steps on toes (traditions/opinions/emotions/sentimentality).     “Feel good” chalang-a-lang Christianity is for the faint of heart, not for those who step out of the boat like Peter & walk in spiritual authenticity.     Ezekiel seeks and saves the lost souls of this world & helps others find a true relationship with God.

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Encourager 22 yr. old Gigi from Pastor Jay’s brethren (like Barnabas  http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/barnabas-the-encourager-gary-birch-sermon-on-encouragement-124938.asp )   gives completely of herself to others and to Jesus.

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Gigi’s acolyte 17 yr. old Pua is comforted and consoled by Gigi’s stewardship in Jesus.

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