The young man with terminal cancer was going to die quicker than he thought, and he was very depressed about this. And of course he hadn’t gotten to make his mark, and he had this conversation with this young woman. And the young woman said, “No, you won’t be remembered by others. But I remember you. And you have loved me.” — The Fault in our Stars movie

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fault_in_Our_Stars_(film)

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/to-love-and-to-be-loved-are-mystical-desires-a-la-carl-jungs-archetypes-jungs-forebearers-were-mystics-plato-apostle-paul-Augustine/

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To love and to be loved are our deepest desires a la Carl Jung’s archetypes (Jung’s forebearers are mystics Plato, Apostle Paul, & Augustine)(Jung is pronounced like “young”)

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Archetypal star-crossed lovers

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However, Jewish theologian Martin Buber says that Jung went outside Jung’s  psychoanalytic expertise into theology by Jung’s point that God does not exist independent of the psyches of human beings.

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Buber chastens that Jung was “mystically deifying the instincts instead of hallowing them in faith,”  which he called a “modern manifestation of Gnosis.” (the improper ascription to self-knowledge as the end-all, instead of God).   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungian_interpretation_of_religion#Extensions_and_criticisms

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/nobody-comes-to-therapy-who-hasnt-lost-something-the-heart-is-injured-limping-constrained-by-psychic-adhesions-aching-either-obviously-or-just-behind-the-curtain-of-consciousness-the-t/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+to+love+and+be+loved&id=EACBCF9FA17727184C6B7DC4961D1E0CD101EC1F&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=EACBCF9FA17727184C6B7DC4961D1E0CD101EC1F&selectedIndex=0

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/life/breaking-down-repairing-and-rebuilding

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/im-here-to-love-and-be-loved/

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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=KgLzsGmnogo

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All the worth we could ever need is found as we love and are loved.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/self-worth-comes-loving-being-loved

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Did people in the Middle Ages fret about their self-esteem (worth in the eyes of others)??

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(self-respect is the reality of worth, not self-esteem)

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Did they sit in taverns and wonder aloud to their friends why others didn’t  love them more? Did they work their farms while daydreaming about the hope of someday having more self-esteem?

See, I rather doubt it. I think obsessing about self-esteem is the calling card of this time, this place and this culture. I think our incessant pondering about self-esteem is the undesirable outcome of affluence and leisure. It’s the thing we’re left to do

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when we lack

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sufficient access to meaning.

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Self-respect, self-worth. How do human beings come to feel worthwhile?

Some people undertake the quest literally: material worth. He who dies with the most toys wins. They make money. Lots and lots of money. They are good at making money. They tell themselves they will feel worthy when they have a literal, measurable worth.

The chief problem with this worldview, of course, is that it is quite savagely exclusive. By this measure of worth, the poor would not be allowed to be worthy.

(By the way, I didn’t say it was wrong to be good at making lots and lots of money. I just said it was a dubious place to invest the idea of self-worth.)

The other great American notion of human worth is usefulness. I have self-worth if I am useful. For example, if I’m a passenger flying at 38,000 feet on a plane that suddenly loses an engine, it is very useful to have a competent pilot on board. Similarly, if you are suffering an acute bereavement, you will find that I’M very useful to have around.

Usefulness is closely related to competence. And these are common measures for a person’s felt sense of self-worth. Just listen to the chronically unemployed. The frustrations of the disabled. The vague air of depression that sometimes surrounds the newly retired. The alienation of the aging and elderly who can contribute less and less to a community, a neighborhood or a household. Ultimately not able to care for themselves.

So, in the end, usefulness is an important measure of self-worth, but still an incomplete measure. What’s more useless than a newborn? Yet, would we say the baby is worthless? Of course not.

We reach for merit. We hope to become meritorious of worth through the realization of virtue and character. We are generous. Philanthropic. Faithful. Hard-working. We endure. We are kind. We sacrifice. We are humble. We are honest. Etc.

Virtue is a good thing. And I, for one, hope to have more character rather than less. Yes, merit can be an important measure of self-worth, but still this path contains a built-in, obvious problem: Human beings have an irregular, variable grasp on merit. Human beings make mistakes. They screw up. Sometimes character fails.

I’m saying that, being a card-carrying sinner myself, I hope there is a human worth available in the absence of merit.

And so the philosophers speak of intrinsic worth. That there is something about merely being human that should rightly oblige me to respect myself and others. If I breathe, then I have worth. Even if I’m poor. Even if I’m unable to be useful. Even if I lack merit.

Can you consider your intrinsic worth? The idea that some people who love you actually do love you? Not for your money. Not because of your achievements. Not because you can fix the garbage disposal or iron a shirt. Not because you’re morally perfect. But because they love you.

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But even intrinsic worth is nigh impossible to realize and enjoy on our own. Do newborns have intrinsic worth? Absolutely. Do newborns know that? Absolutely not. Then how do newborns discover their own intrinsic worth?

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Someone has to love them. Touch them. Care for them. Or they will go crazy. Or die.

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“We love because we are first loved,” says the Christian Epistle of 1 John. Here a religious “truth” is identical to a psychological observation: Self-worth does not first belong to self. Worth is bestowed upon us by love. Our worth is conveyed.

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All the worth we could ever need is found as we love and are loved.

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Hawaii’s greatest modern wayfinder Rev. Hung Wai Ching (1905-2002) alter ego Rev. Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) — Niebuhr’s immensely popular Serenity Prayer: “Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.”

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+Reinhold+Niebuhr&qpvt=images+Reinhold+Niebuhr&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=C1E81C399184BDCF9FC90E0C280A59B2AF66D6CD&selectedIndex=137

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Rev. Hung Wai Ching  (Rev. Ching also was an ardent understudy to theologian Martin Buber)

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/reinhold-niebuhr-1892-1971-author-of-serenity-prayer-rev-hung-wai-chings-exemplar-hawaiis-greatest-modern-wayfinder-rev-hung-wai-ching-1905-2002-was-niebuhrs-school-acolyte/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/rev-hung-wai-ching-1905-2002-our-greatest-modern-destinymaker/?relatedposts_exclude=6553

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/momentous-historical-outcomes-are-make-up-calls-crucibles-of-redemption-ergo-former-l-a-anti-jap-bigot-earl-warrens-1954-brown-vs-bd-of-education-case-and-law-is-99-psychology-social/?relatedposts_exclude=6553

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http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A10&version=ESV

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Your Will be done

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on earth

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as it is

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in Heaven.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/human-beings-are-created-for-relationship-without-you-there-is-no-meaningful-me-how-i-experience-my-life-is-in-the-end-inseparable-from-how-i-experience-you-said-yet-another-way-were-h/

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Human beings are created for relationship. Without you, there is no meaningful me. How I experience my life is, in the end, inseparable from how I experience you. Said yet another way, we’re here to love and be loved. — sage Steven Kalas

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/luck-of-the-draw-bad-or-good-forgive-yourself-for-what-is-not-in-your-power-to-do-steven-kalas/

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Sometimes the worst pain comes from feeling abandoned (estrangement) and unloved (alienation). That happened to me when my marriage of more than three decades ended. When my wife walked out on me, she took my sense of self-worth with her.

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Without her to validate me as a human being,

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I began to think I wasn’t worth anything at all.

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It is very hard to let go of your past. For years I held on to my old life, refusing to let go. I just couldn’t see any other life worth living. Letting go of your past is a long, hard process, and for me that process isn’t over yet. In some ways, it’s just beginning.

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But here is why it’s important that we put in that time and effort — because if we live in the past, we will never discover our destiny. Destiny, promise, potential, purpose — all of these are things that have to do with the future, not the past.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antoinette-tuff/three-steps-to-turning-pain-purpose_b_4979660.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

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Yes, one who lives authentically and in the moment suffers persecution, taking a line from exemplar Christ. http://biblehub.com/2_timothy/3-12.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-davis-phd/saint-francis-and-pope-francis_b_4967289.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/life-advice_n_4979765.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

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Life  celebration often is born of immense suffering.

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The willingness to stretch oneself into compelling vulnerability by loving and desiring to be loved draws from a psychic well so deep that is not without cost.

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Sometimes great cost.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/after-laughs-comedian-leaves-us-lesson

http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/trust-risk-taken-not-acquired-skill

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Once you have a meditative life you start to see that the world is really far different than what it appears to be,   e.g.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder_(film)#Production

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/16/this-ancient-blueprint-fo_n_5312209.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

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A person must have an “inner citadel” to which one can retreat. Living from this inner place of peace and equanimity — a place which no person or external event can penetrate — gives one the freedom to shape one’s life by responding to events from a rational, calm headspace.    Find your inner citadel.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/one-man-s-definition-spirituality

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I once tried to craft a definition of spirituality that could be universalized. That is, the definition would not and could not be “owned” or dominated by any particular religion.

Purely objective. And utterly human.

For better or worse, I finally came up with this:  “Spirituality is the intentional disciplines we undertake to realize, respond and bring witness to essential relatedness.”

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Intentional disciplines

Significant spirituality presupposes some effort and intention on our part. We habituate ourselves to certain prescribed disciplines. Meditation, prayer, worship, sacrifice, piety, chanting, alms, fasting, study, mission, pilgrimage, ritual, marriage, music, art, dance, exercise — there are myriad forms of spiritual discipline. Only some are formal, “religious” activities.

But all spiritual disciplines attempt to express, strengthen and realize our fundamental relationships: self, others, cosmos, mystery. An authentic spiritual path is more than mere spontaneous enthusiasm or casual, intellectual observation.

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Let’s unpack the definition:

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To realize

A lot of things that are real are never realized. To realize is to bring to full expression. In authentic spirituality, we reach for what we believe to be real (our worldview) and we make it real in ourselves.

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To respond

Authentic spirituality compels us to respond. When we realize we are related, we find that we must respond to our relationships. We serve, we seek, we redeem, we account, we repair, we reconcile, we protect, we do battle, we make peace — action verbs.  We must answer the “voice” we have heard. We are obliged (from the Latin obligare = “tied to”).

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Bring witness

In word and deed we evidence our essential relatedness. We tell our story, yes, sometimes with words, but more often with deeds. The fast track of getting to know any human being is observing how that human being responds to his/her committed bonds of relationship.

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Essential relatedness

I was unable to coin a meaningful definition of spirituality without presupposing an article of faith. In the case of my definition, I’m presupposing that people and cosmos are essentially related. I can’t prove that. It’s part of my spiritual worldview (my cosmology) leaking into my definition.

I can’t apologize, though, because I do think we are essentially related. We do not choose to be related to the mystery, the cosmos, to ourselves and each other. We are related.

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All significant world religions and spiritual paths share common elements:

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A narrative

“In the beginning” … “Once upon a time” … “a child was born” …

Spirituality is contained in story. The story often includes a particular human life perceived to be unique and definitive of how life is and how life should be lived. For example, there is a life lived in history (Siddhartha) and then there is the collective response to that life lived (Buddhism).

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Sacred writings

The Bible, the Quran, the Deer Park Sermon, the Torah, Bhagavad Gita, petroglyphs — in sacred writings the stories and collective wisdom of spiritual paths are preserved and passed on.

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Moral code

The great world religions share basic concerns about violence, exploitation, dishonesty, theft and the breakdown of sexual boundaries. Religions postulate an “ideal” expression of our humanity and generally agree that we are incapable of realizing this ideal by the mere force of will. We sense what is good, but we cannot simply decide to be good.

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Festival, ritual and tradition

The great world religions contain potent rites of passage, rituals that realize and celebrate relatedness, and traditions that mark a rhythm for the ebb and flow of life.

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Sacrifice (alms)

The great world religions express a primary concern for the especially vulnerable members of society — the poor, the sick, the disabled, the very old and very young, etc. And so, authentic spirituality includes the regular, sometimes ritual sacrifice of time, talents, energy, goods, service and money for the aid and protection of the “especially vulnerable.”

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The thing I rather enjoy about my definition is that, even for people who swear they don’t have a religious bone in their body, well, there is still a very sense in which they can enjoy, nurture and grow an authentic inmost dimension to their lives.

If your spirituality/inmost-edness and/or your religion is not, at the end of the day, about tying you to fidelity in relationships, then I would wonder about its purpose and relevance.

Right relationships yield human wholeness.

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+true+love&qpvt=images+true+love&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=4048FA8F6A0A10C912E3C14BC29E4A692D3D011C&selectedIndex=34
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http://www.reviewjournal.com/steven-kalas/gestalt-therapy-can-open-doors-more-authentic-life

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/who-am-i-a-person-who-loves-and-desires-to-be-loved-dedicated-to-jeff-lynneelo-tune-telephone-line-37-yrs-ago-today/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/randy-pausch-steven-kalas-living-meaningfully/

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Biologically, homo sapiens are and always have been animals built for and thriving in troops. More politely, community! No life form is more vulnerable than a human being alone — environmentally, psychologically, spiritually. Yes, I’m aware that some individuals spend much of their adult lives in radical seclusion. But I have yet to meet the individual living thusly who freely chooses this life from a place of thriving mental health.

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Now a theological observation: Every significant world religion has in common the foundational worldview that we are created for relationship, and from this worldview their driving ethos: Learn to love! Learn to be faithful and constant in relationship! For such is the measure of any significant spiritual path. “It is not good for the Man to be alone.” (Judaism) “Where two or more would gather in My name, there I will be in your midst.” (Christianity) The Hindus, the Buddhists, the Muslims, the premodern animists — all of these ways of life come down to the discipline of bridling the human ego in service to love and faithfulness in relationship.

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But, as I’ve said, and as your own question concludes, you are one of the folks with whom you are obliged in relationship. The Golden Rule — “Love your neighbor as yourself” — presupposes this. In fact, The Golden Rule makes a huge presumptive leap that you do have a relationship of regard with self. Have you ever been “loved” by someone who despises him/herself? You won’t like it in the long run.

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It has been said that our lives are wasted until we can love something or someone more than ourselves. I completely agree. My insistence remains, however, that selfless love finds its nexus, paradoxically, in regard for self! Self-respect. Self-love. People without regard for self can love, yes, but there is always a thread of brokenness in that love. Or, as my friend says, when co-dependents are about to die, someone else’s life flashes before their eyes!

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So, taken as an existential inquiry, I think your question becomes a dog chasing its tail. Taken sentimentally, we become ruled by sentiment. But, taken objectively, as “personal economy,” if you will, I think your question lies at the very heart of learning anything about love and relationship at all! Because love — “primary concern,” as you say — is not a feeling. Love is an act. It is possible to exercise a “primary concern” for someone about whom you harbor hateful feelings. Some folks would say this is the very zenith of human love.

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Objectively, your question pushes us toward the necessity of two psychological maturities: discernment (the ability to understand what’s going on) and stewardship (the ability to weigh and measure what you have and don’t have to give, and, if you do have it, whether you should). These two things lie at the heart of all ethical deliberation and, in any given moment, shape the answer to your question regarding where your primary concern should be.

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Here’s a banal illustration: I’m on an airplane as I type this. Before takeoff, the attendant gave us the safety lecture. She said that, while they never anticipate a sudden loss of cabin pressure, should it occur, oxygen masks would drop down from overhead. She said that, if I was traveling with a small child who needed assistance with the mask, that I should put mine on first.

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In short, as a function of discernment and stewardship of my “concern economy,” I should in this case make myself my primary concern. I assume because, were I to lose consciousness, my primary concern for my child would immediately become a moot point.

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No primary concern for self matters unless it obliges us in relationship with others. No primary concern for others is completely healthy unless it reflects a healthy regard for self.

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

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The Last Shall be First — Jesus

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Devoting oneself to others is at the heart of all the world’s major faiths.

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If we are devoted to a higher purpose (e.g. hope in salvation), 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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Who am I? A person who loves and desires to be loved in turn.

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Jodi Picoult: “People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that’s not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.”

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http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3764682-handle-with-care**

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/not-who-am-i-but-whose-am-i-and-this-radicalgestalt-changes-everything-from-sage-steven-kalas-born-1957/

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It’s not “Who am I?” but “Whose am I?” And this radical/gestalt changes everything!! (e.g. I am a father/grandfather/elder role model to my progeny/etc.)

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOW4QiOD-oc

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner#Interpretation

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These thematic elements provide an atmosphere of uncertainty for Blade Runner‘s central theme of examining humanity.

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In order to discover replicants, an empathy test is used, with a number of its questions focused on the treatment of animals—seemingly an essential indicator of someone’s “humanity.”

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The replicants appear to show compassion and concern for one another and are juxtaposed against human characters who lack empathy while the mass of humanity on the streets is cold and impersonal.

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The film goes so far as to put in doubt whether Deckard is human, and forces the audience to re-evaluate what it means to be human.

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Yes, the bad guy/unwanted huli’au actually might be the good guy.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/i-have-this-other-relentless-competing-identity-too-a-sin-nature-entitled-hedonistic-self-preserving-frequently-aggrandized-capable-of-blithe-selfishness-and-disturbing-disregard-the-un/

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luck of the draw (bad or good) — forgive yourself for what is not in your power to do — Steven Kalas

 

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The blind will see and those who see will become blind. John 9:39-41 Those who become blind also will blind themselves as experts (ability to see). Thence those who become blind shall continue to remain ignorant. — Chiasmus

http://www.biblelimericks.com/?limerick=john-941-blind-seeing-seeing-blind

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+positive+attitude&qpvt=images+positive+attitude&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=182D7BA68D1CDA019D800D3D30C2E3B24D9DCBE1&selectedIndex=0

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/family/best-approach-help-some-addicts-step-away

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/steven-kalas/relationship-important-part-effective-therapy

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She tells her story, and it’s my job to listen to the telling. It’s an awful story. Betrayal, injustice, abuse of power, exploitation — it’s not easy to listen.

Listening trips alarm systems in my body. My brain begins dumping chemicals into my bloodstream, changing the way I breathe. There’s a pre-emptive readiness in my musculature that I experience as tension. I feel anger and sadness, both vying for center stage of my attention. Competing fantasies include weeping, stepping outside to scream, sending her perpetrator a letter bomb and pouring us both shots of expensive bourbon. Right here in the office. Right here in session.

The latter fantasy explains why I don’t keep expensive hooch in my office.

She finishes the ugly tale. I lean forward with my most sincere Father Flannigan face and say in soothing intonations, “Take the deepest breath you can.” She looks up, smiles a tender, peaceful, beautiful smile and says, “I’m really OK.” To which I — Steven Kalas, Caped Crusader, Action Counselor, Man of the Hour — respond spontaneously and without a moment’s thought, “You’re right, it’s me who needs to take a deep breath.”

In the next moment, we both erupt in gales of laughter, both buffeted by the physical force of the irony ricocheting off the walls. It’s a cleansing irony. She ceremoniously hands me the Kleenex box and says, in caricature, “Would you like to talk about it?” I shrug and say: “I don’t know. How much do you charge?” And we laugh some more.

It doesn’t get any more real and honest than that. When I’m old and long-retired, I will remember that moment in my career. I will never stop sharing that story with interns and practicum students whose desire it is to learn this craft called Talk Therapy.

News flash for aspiring therapists: The idea that quality therapy is delivered to people in sheer objectivity and muted detachment is … well … absolute crap. Blank slate? Yeah, right. Run away screaming from any therapist who tells you they have no opinions, no prejudices and who seems deliberately wooden and removed from the interaction. It is not my job to be free of bias (as if that were possible), rather, to know my biases to the end that my bias does not intrude, interfere, countermand or impede.

Quality therapy is delivered in the context of a therapeutic relationship! Key word: relationship! Therapeutic benefit emerges — literally — in and proceeding out of the relationship. It is not a relationship of unilateral trust, rather, of mutual trust. It is a deep-seated sense of partnership. Even very sick people bring strengths to the table that have seen them through rough times. I notice these things, admire them and even learn from them.

A veteran therapist friend tells a simple yet powerful story about working with a patient who’d been sexually abused by several males in her family:

“She wailed, ‘Why Me?!’ It was voiced as a demand. She wanted an answer. And, of course, she feared she did something to deserve it. I simply answered, ‘The luck of the draw.’ She stared at me a moment, then shrieked: ‘The luck of the draw? That’s your answer?’ I nodded and said: ‘Yup. You did nothing to deserve it and, as far as I know, God doesn’t get pissed off at little kids and decide to punish them by giving them evil relatives who abuse them. To me that means it’s just the luck of the draw.’

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After staring at me several seconds, she burst out laughing and I joined her. She left that session, smiling, shaking her head and marveling, ‘The luck of the draw.’ I might say that I’d come to this conclusion some time before about my own experiences.”

See, a therapist focused on textbooks and technique might have answered, all sincere and philosophical: “I don’t know. Why do you think this happened to you?” But patients deserve more than a Human Echo Chamber. They deserve more than nodding, staring and “Mmm.” They need human reparative interaction.

Another veteran therapist tells this story:

“I once treated a developmentally disabled teen, hospitalized for childhood schizophrenia. He did very, very well, and at the time we terminated therapy asked me, ‘You know why this worked so well, doctor?’ I said, ‘No, why?’ He smiled and said, ‘Because you respected me and I respected you.’ “

Well, yeah. Of course.

With all respect to the practitioner’s training and expertise, maybe the heartbeat of effective therapy is 50 minutes of acutely focused, directed, authentically present and respectful human relationship.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/1-peter-48-love-covers-a-multitude-of-sins-center-of-grace-or-in-the-secular-sense-forgive-yourself-for-what-is-not-in-your-power-to-do/

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The points are to establish love and emotional support as our idyllic commands, in a tragic and indifferent world.

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Needless suffering is of this world, stuck in this tragic and indifferent life.

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Indeed, true love endures.

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It’s just that you need to close the gestalt of being in love with the person who no longer loves you

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and get past one’s own hurt, bitterness, disappointment and anger

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before what endures can be apprehended

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as the honored friend it is (self-respect)

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and not the cruel enemy

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it appears to be

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right after we’ve been dumped

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by the love of our life.

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True love endures. That’s a good thing.

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But true love is different from needless suffering for the rest of your life.

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At the end of the day, we have to grow a self-respect sufficient not to want someone who doesn’t want us.

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You need to forgive yourself

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for what was

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not

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in your power to do.

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/love-can-endure-if-people-work-through-lost-relationships-144330465.html

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Søren Kierkegaard says that life is full of absurdity, and one must make his and her own values in an indifferent world. One can live meaningfully (free of despair and anxiety) in an unconditional commitment to something finite, and devotes that meaningful life to the commitment, despite the vulnerability inherent to doing so. As sage Steven Kalas says, we’re here to love and be loved. That’s it. Dying people revel in who they became in meaningful relationships (soulmates)! Every other dimension of life — job, money, golf game, emptying the kitchen trash — is only important as it serves the end of how and why you are related to another soul.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/what-is-not-in-our-power-to-do/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/forgive-yourself-for-what-is-not-in-your-power-to-do-love-yourself-no-matter-the-external-rejection-from-others/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/limerence-falling-in-love-is-a-powerful-spontaneous-projection-of-self-the-experience-is-cosmic-and-powerfully-bonding-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/im-here-to-love-and-be-loved/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/but-now-theres-nowhere-to-hide-since-you-pushed-my-love-aside-my-head-is-saying-fool-forget-her-my-heart-is-saying-dont-let-go-hold-on-to-the-end-thats-what-i-intend-to-do/

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7128.Jodi_Picoult

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“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” ― Jodi Picoult

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“I’m lonely. Why do you think I had to learn to act so independent?” – ― Jodi Picoult

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“Love is not an equation, it is not a contract, and it is not a happy ending. Love is the slate under the chalk, the ground that buildings rise, and the oxygen in the air. It is the place you come back to, no matter where you’re headed.” ― Jodi Picoult

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“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?” ― Jodi Picoult

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“A real friend isn’t capable of feeling sorry for you, [but instead feeling sorry for/loss of you by the other person.]” ― Jodi Picoult

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“I didn’t want to see her because it would make me feel better. I came because without her, it’s hard to remember who I am.” ― Jodi Picoult

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Preface to Susan Sarandon’s undying line below — the gumshoe/private eye says to Susan Sarandon’s character Beverly Clark (on tailing Bev’s hubby played by Richard Gere) that couples get married for passion, not protocol. Susan’s character Bev in turn responds via her eternal line below.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0358135/quotes

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We need a witness to our lives. There are billions of people on this planet…

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I mean, what does any one life really mean?

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But in a relationship,

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you’re promising to care about everything.

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The good things, the bad things, the mundane things…

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all of them, all the time.

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You’re saying

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‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.

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Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdBATA_Ag5s

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(Sigh) … it could not have been said any deeper than this … with love timelessly, :-)–Curt

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Rose teasingly tells Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack in the 1997 blockbuster movie Titanic –

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Immortalize me, Jack!” (via Jack’s portrait sketching talent) Done, baby!!

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As sage Steven Kalas intones (Love’s Purple Heart is won) –

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/steven-kalas/what-hurts-most-may-bring-people-closest-together

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Once upon a time you stood before an altar

And you promised not to leave

You held each other’s hand and dreamed a sweet forever

Love brought angels to your knees

Oh, the days they do fly by

Count the tears that you have cried

Count the laughter and the lies

Count your love and times love died

And here you stand together, battle-scarred and torn

The locks of fairy tales have fallen, long since shorn

Love has chosen you, blessed you, crucified you

See what you’ve become

Love’s Purple Heart is won

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Once upon a time

You promised to believe

That wounded hearts though painful so

Are the only hearts that grow

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Infinity’s Loving Purple Heart has been won.

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http://www.bigislandchronicle.com/2010/02/15/dispatches-from-curt-%e2%80%94-john-hustons-the-battle-of-san-pietro-semper-fi-wounded-in-action-and-other-musings/#comment-25773

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For Greek philosophers Plato/Aristotle, glorious virtues start w/courage & end w/wisdom, a la Santini/Zulu/the British square/other renowned warriors.

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The 1st historian in the Western World, Herodotus, crusaded to “preserve the memory of great and marvelous deeds,”

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just as successor Thucydides’ mission was to record “important and instructive actions of human beings.”

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I tip my hat to my dearest daughter Staycie age 41 for finding the hero/heroine in us all, our very own Herodotus/Thucydides who exemplify Plato/Aristotle’s creeds that glorious virtues start with courage and end with wisdom, and for making us all the happier/wiser/deeper for these values.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/when-the-unconscious-is-ready-to-deliver-its-great-treasures-forged-timeless-in-the-depths-of-the-human-soul-well-who-would-want-to-interrupt-that-with-a-mere-mortal-agenda-steven-kal/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/its-a-virtual-cliche-for-modern-patients-in-therapy-to-self-diagnose-with-i-need-to-work-on-my-self-esteem-it-rarely-turns-out-to-be-a-correct-diagnosis-i-much-prefer-to-focus-on-self-respec/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/interesting-that-jesus-not-only-doesnt-feel-the-need-to-scour-the-countryside-in-search-of-people-to-condemn-for-fear-that-surely-someones-ruining-the-fabric-of-tradition/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/life-is-full-of-reversals-of-expectations-baby-dedicated-to-my-little-girl-staycie-age-40-my-separation-anxiety-from-my-baby-girl-when-she-turned-18-left-home-to-live-on-her-own-turned/

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my little baby girl Staycie’s look-alike

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gps-for-the-soul/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/mind-blowing-jesus-stands-inexplicably-before-us-and-jesus-turns-common-sense-ideas-upside-down-confounding-us-all-dedicated-to-authentic-ri-in/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/in-tribute-to-my-leader-ri-in-honesty-speaks-to-the-heart-where-true-love-resides/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+compassion&qpvt=images+jesus+compassion&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=2A816B1C192AAC0C9E68F14BC5D48134D09A283A&selectedIndex=25

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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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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-choice-is-not-whether-to-have-or-not-have-a-worldview-in-which-you-place-faith-the-only-choice-is-whether-we-are-willing-to-choose-with-intention-clarity-commitment-sage-steven-kala/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/we-dont-need-to-belong-to-any-religion-to-hear-the-universal-invitation-what-would-happen-if-we-decided-to-live-more-expectantly-what-would-happen-if-we-suspended-our-deep-beliefs-about-the-way-th/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/by-putting-aside-our-selfish-interests-to-serve-someone-or-something-larger-than-ourselves-by-devoting-our-lives-to-giving-rather-than-taking/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/salve-to-our-crisis-of-meaning-repugnant-narcissism-bildungsroman-a-literary-genre-that-focuses-on-the-psychological-and-moral-growth-of-the-protagonist-from-youth-to-adulthood-coming-of-a/

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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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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/love-desire-and-thriving-connection-arent-mystical-gifts-given-and-withheld-by-a-genie-in-a-bottle-these-gifts-are-cultivated-every-day-by-life-partners-whose-wish-is-for-the-gifts-to-thr/

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Hope (as in salvation/inner joy-peace) beyond suffering is what moves us to suffer for the good of others.

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The spirit of fear (self-conscripted insecurity/ego defensiveness)(smallness ergo self-inflated importance to mask our insecurity) is selfishness, whereas as examples the fear (respect) of God & the Wrath of God have selfless-altruist outcomes.

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Which is why deepest thinker/soulful pilgrim Steven Kalas intones that authentic Christianity/Christian mysticism are incompatible with today’s “hip” New Age outcomes of narcissism/me-me-me mentality.

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/new-age-spirituality-aka-integralevolutionarytransformational-not-to-be-confused-with-christianitys-i-am-exodus-314/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Biblical_influences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism#Modern_era

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age#Late_20th_century

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Do you know that theologian Martin Luther’s tabletalk (intimate heartfelt dialogues with others) helped inspire Luther’s deep comprehension of Scripture (selfless sacrifice for the good of others)? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/luther/tabletalk.html

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And that mysterious and mystical exemplar Christ’s tabletalk with diverse/divergent ones from atheists to believers — inspire our deepest connection with compassion for others??

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Platonism (the mystical) was considered authoritative in the Middle Ages, and many Platonic notions are now permanent elements of Christianity. Platonism also influenced both Eastern and Western mysticism.

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While Aristotle became more influential than Plato in the 13th century via Aquinas, St. Thomas Aquinas‘ philosophy was still in certain respects fundamentally Platonic (mystical).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism#Christianity_and_Platonism

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Aquinas placed more emphasis on reason and argumentation, and was one of the first to use the new translation of Aristotle’s metaphysical and epistemological writing.

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This was a significant departure from the Neoplatonic and Augustinian thinking (the mystical) that had dominated much of early scholasticism (early church fathers).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism#High_Scholasticism

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/augustinian-mystic-martin-luther-aquinas-cognition-john-calvin-and-yet-bertrand-russell-apostle-john-are-augustinian-plato-logos-analytical-acolytes-huli-au-upside-down/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/augustine-acolyte-original-sin-john-wycliffe-1320-1384-was-the-impetus-to-luthers-protestant-reformation-a-century-later-for-this-reason-wycliffe-is-called-the-morning-star-of-the-reformatio/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/in-praise-of-pastors-calisto-violet-mateo-of-our-god-reigns-ministry-at-1289-kilauea-ave-hilo-suite-h-phone-808-961-6540/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/ouvre-nearly-half-a-century-of-deepest-passion-i-can-see-it-in-your-eyes-that-you-despise-the-same-old-lines-you-heard-the-night-before-and-though-its-just-a-line-to-you-for-me-its-true-a/

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlgregg/2014/03/the-life-tradition-versus-the-death-tradition-in-christianity/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/it-hurts-to-be-treated-as-a-means-to-an-end-the-hurt-is-a-sign-of-our-health-our-self-respect-not-a-sign-that-anything-about-us-needs-to-be-fixed-from-sage-steven-kalas/

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An overprideful person “swallows one’s own stomach.” Such nature entails endless self-aggrandizement and vanity, and ensures incomprehensibility at the moment it compels authenticity/truth.

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It is true, the strength behind the leader is the person who mystifies me, the so-called unspoken one, like baby brother Andrew was to Peter [Bible].

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God has no use for pride, such that the meekest of the meek went on to lead, like Moses/Gideon.

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Look at King David. Lowly Nathan chastened shell-shocked David. Look at Joshua/etc. All unheralded/unsung heroes. Tremendous symbolism of “never judge a book by its cover.”

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grace-jisun-kim/jesus-and-the-cross-rejec_b_5143162.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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No one likes rejection.

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Jesus knew rejection through his life. The people of Nazareth, his own hometown, rejected him (Luke 4:26-30). Still others wondered about him because of that hometown. “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked (John 1:46). People rejected much of his teaching. Many questioned the origin of his teachings and do not accept him as he was born poor, the son of Joseph the carpenter. In Matthew 21:42, Jesus talks about the stone the builders rejected. The story is a revelation about Jesus, himself.

The Gospels say that Jesus travelled a lot and suggest he entered villages where he found no place to rest. Luke’s Gospel tells of one time Jesus was not welcomed in a Samaritan village (Luke 9:51-53). Jesus’ comment on the experience could imply this happened frequently (Luke 9:58).

Remember the last few hours of Jesus’ life before his crucifixion. Many people and groups rejected Jesus, including those closest to him. Judas betrayed Jesus and identified him in the Garden of Gethsemane for those who came to arrest him. The disciples all ran away in fear when Jesus was arrested. Peter, who said that he would never desert Jesus, ended up denying Jesus three times (John 18:15-27). The high priest, the chief priests, the elders and scribes rejected Jesus and wanted him put to death.

The religious leaders took Jesus to Pilate for a trial. Pilate did not want any trouble and since it was the governor’s custom to release one prisoner during Passover, he asked the crowd, “Which do you want me to release, Barabbas or Jesus?” (Matthew 27:17). The crowds chose Barabbas and rejected Jesus, leaving him to be crucified.

At the final moment of his life, Jesus felt the ultimate rejection. On the cross at the ninth hour Jesus cries out “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45). Jesus knows and understands rejection. Jesus exemplified rejection.

Tremendous pain comes with rejection. The experience can feel like one has been thrown into a spiraling emotional and spiritual black hole and lead one to wonder if there is hope of return to a normal life.

Rejection fills life.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/knowing-when-dream-when-let-dreams-go

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Not every dream comes true.

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Sometimes because our dreams overreach the miserable human condition (ideals of great love).

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Sometimes our dreams overreach immutable realities (my body simply wasn’t designed to fly like a bird).

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The good life, then, requires us to tightrope this paradox: We must never stop dreaming … yet also we must learn to say goodbye to some dreams.

If we stop dreaming, our lives become one-dimensional, static, not fully alive. If we don’t know how and when to say goodbye to a dream, we get stuck in embittered, nostalgic quicksand.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/limits-vs-limitless-freedom-choice-life

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James Kavanaugh publishes “Celebrate the Sun: A Love Story.” In it we meet protagonist Harry Langendorf Pelican. Like his seagull compatriot, Harry rejects the ordinary life of a pelican and reaches outward for his own potential. Like Jonathan, Harry falls into disfavor from family and friends. He considers his willingness to suffer the disfavor as a measure of his depth, commitment and bravery.

Then Harry’s mother dies. And Harry is confronted with limits. No amount of affirming our life’s potential or hurling ourselves boldly in that potential changes the fact that there is, in the end, no such thing as limitless freedom.

The most joyous human freedoms emerge, paradoxically, from surrender to limits.

Kavanaugh’s book critiques Bach’s book. And I knew I must choose. And I did, finally, choose. I decided. I know it sounds like a riddle, but I decided there is ever-so-much more potential for freedom in limits. I began to see the idea of limitlessness as … limiting.

Bach says, “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self — here and now. And nothing can stand in your way.”

I concluded, “Oh, actually tons of things can stand in your way. That’s the wonder and joy of it: the journey of finding authentic selfhood when so many things are standing in the way.”

Bach says, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, they never were.”

I concluded, “If you love someone, choose them with your whole heart! Never stop having high expectations of him/her, or of yourself!”

Bach says, “If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.”

I concluded, “Yes, many limitations are in fact self-imposed. Rethink those, for sure. But other limitations are immutable. We’re mortal. We age, weaken and die. We suffer. We grieve. We cannot will our own goodness. We cannot, no matter what we achieve, ever be wiser or stronger than The Mystery. Life will continue to happen, independent of our striving to be the sole author of our fate.”

Humility is the doorway to all the greatest treasures of the human experience.

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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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I write to live authentically — “having been” is the surest kind of being, per great sage Viktor Frankl

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Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness [the “now”]

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and

overlooks

the full granaries of the past [reflective lookback] –

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wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys

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and also his sufferings.

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Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.

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[for example, I dream of being loved & wanted in the most beautiful way, & even if this dream is not reality, such thought/”unction” comprises my strength & “positive/right” attitude, even in the starkest moment of despair/seemingly hopeless predicament/state of nonexistence-nonbeing closest to death itself, having been forsaken all the way around —

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which is why Jewish Viktor Frankl’s dream amid the Holocaust even when facing down the death chamber/firing squad was “the angels are in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.” Ohh, so true!!]

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I should say ”having been” is the surest kind of being.

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl?page=2

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‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved –

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but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ “

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From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay” Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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The reality of life is the luck or unluck of the draw [a crapshoot] —

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“fair” & “unfair” are nonexistent in life’s vocabulary —

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life “just is.”

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Thence, how I deal with setbacks is the key to existence, not the external factual triggers [to despair/hopelessness of predicament].

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/16/this-ancient-blueprint-fo_n_5312209.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

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Find your ‘inner citadel.’

Marcus Aurelius, who faced a fair share of hardship and warfare in his life, and is thought to have written the Meditations from a tent in a Roman battle camp.

The Roman statesman wrote that in dire situations, man must have an “inner citadel” to which he can retreat. Living from this inner place of peace and equanimity — a place which no person or external event can penetrate — gives a man the freedom to shape his life by responding to events from a rational, calm headspace.

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We can choose to exercise power over our thoughts and attitudes in even the most dire of situations — Roman philosopher Cicero uses the example of torture to illustrate a man’s power to choose our own thoughts, which he says can never be taken away from him. In his Discussions at Tusculum, Cicero explains that when a man has been stripped of his dignity, he has not also been stripped of his potential for happiness.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/54285947.html

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In this gaping hole of despair & hopelessness of one’s predicament is a crushing emptiness and an aloneness that can make you lose your mind and a sadness that can make your heart question the wisdom and the relevance of continuing to beat — a sadness no person thinks one can bear alone.

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On some days, very much to wish it would stop beating.

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To die of unrequited love. Van Gogh didn’t shoot himself in the head. He shot himself in the heart. He saw reality so deeply and clearly, yet could not ultimately disconnect his heart [“be not of this world” — self-respect despite this indifferent and tragic sentient life] from this reality or the other people in it.

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Van Gogh died because, in the end, he could not differentiate himself [self-respect] from the Collective Unconscious [our indifferent & tragic lack of empathy/compassion in our broken/flawed sentient nature] into which he was compelled to wander.

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My own epiphany, but I always was a wanderlust, dreaming of beautiful landscapes and never-seen places. Last night I dreamed that my long ago deceased uncle from Kona [symbolizes the love which my ohana/kazuko progeny Minnie/Donna still have for me] showed me a breathtaking vista of a mountainscape ahead of us as we gazed from the seashore toward the distant horizon. This “awesome dream come true” despite my 3 other Hilo family members having ignored me yesterday at McDonald’s in Hilo. I could’ve unconsciously nightmared over forsaken-ness, but such did not manifest. Wow!

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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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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/idyllic-imperatives-in-this-tragic-and-indifferent-life/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/appropriate-self-respect-can-lift-all-areas-of-life-118320899.html

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A warning: there’s a downside, a real tricky balance in the work of self-respect. I have learned to nurture a healthy suspicion when I become too strident, too righteous about that value.

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There’s a line between self-respect and self-important/arrogant pride.

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It’s a fine line. Easy to cross. Way too easy for me, anyway. And I cross it at my own peril.

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When the human ego conscripts the language, the work and the mantle of self-respect, you start to feel really good and right about discarding people from your life.

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And then you can know that you were right, because you don’t have any friends at all.

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Self-respect and self-importance — not the same at all. But they can feel the same.

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Why can’t I be like you or in sync with you? Because then there would be no need for a me, just you and you alone.

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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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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.

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The grief of estrangement and alienation.

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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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Brené Brown studies fear, shame, and vulnerability

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In Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, she writes about collecting huge amounts of data about how human lives are shaped by the “struggle with shame and the fear of not being enough” as well as “the power of embracing imperfection and vulnerability.” She then began analyzing the data for common characteristics of people who were resilient in the face of adversity and who were living wholehearted life: “living and loving with their whole hearts.” Emerging out of that huge data set were some clear patterns:

The Do column was brimming with words like worthiness, rest, play, trust, faith, intuition, hope, authenticity, love, belonging, joy, gratitude, and creativity. The Don’t column was dripping with words like perfection, numbing, certainty, exhaustion, self-sufficiency, being cool, fitting in, judgment, and scarcity. (x)

Now, I don’t know what your reaction is to that “Do” and “Don’t” list. But Brown confesses that her initial reaction was horror. She says, “I thought I’d find that Wholehearted people were just like me…: working hard, following the rules, doing it until I got it right, always trying to know myself better, raising my kids exactly by the books…” (xi). But Brown was horrified by the revelation that as a successful professional, she had been formed and rewarded for living almost exclusively by the list of how not to live a wholehearted life, by the list of how to increase the likelihood of reaching the end of your life with many regrets: “perfection, numbing, certainty, exhaustion, self-sufficiency, being cool, fitting in, judgment, and scarcity.” So, she packed up her research and hid it under her bed for a year-and-a-half (xii)!

When you pause and take a step back, you can often see that daily life is a constant reminder of our imperfections and limitations. We are constantly being invited to “let go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embrace who we are,” but often we’re like Brown and shove those invitations under the rug as quickly as possible. In Brown’s words, “The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button” (xiii).

The UU First Principle affirms, “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” But often it can be easier for many of us to fight for the rights and recognition of a marginalized group than to fully embrace the inherent worth and dignity of all those hidden parts of our own self: all those imperfect parts that we hope we are hiding from others. As the old saying goes, “Too often we compare our insides to others’ outsides, and we feel inadequate.”

Brown writes, “The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute.”

Not I’ll be worthy when I lose twenty pounds, if I can get pregnant, or stay sober. Not I’ll be worthy if everyone thinks I’m a good parent, when I can make a living selling my art, if I can hold my marriage together, when I make partner, when my parents finally approve, if he [or she] calls back…, or when I can do it all and look like I’m not even trying. (24)

On the other side of a lot a research and some important work in therapy during that year-and-a-half in which she had hidden her research under the bed, Brown says that she’s come to be “a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring good-enoughist.” That doesn’t mean that we should stop pursuing excellence. But when you embrace your inherent worth and dignity, then your motivation changes in a vital way. Brown puts it this way, “Healthy striving is self-focused — How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused — What will they think? (56). The middle way is perhaps neither the narcissism of exclusive self-interest nor the self-deprecation of acting only for others, but instead knowing your limits and seeking the next best step for both yourself and others.

Leonard Cohen, in the chorus of his song “Anthem,” says that all any of us can ultimately do is “Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in.”

Where are the cracks and imperfections in your life?

How might those places of seeming weakness paradoxically be the most powerful invitations you will ever have in this life to “let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are,” to let go of our culture’s addiction to certainty and the myth of permanent satisfaction — and instead to savor and celebrate the gifts of the life that already have: right here and now.

I will conclude by offering you this blessing from one of my favorite liturgists Jan Richardson. In this life, we all have our different struggles, gifts, and graces:

May you have the vision to recognize the door that is yours,

the Courage to open it,

and the wisdom to walk through. (47)

May it be so, and blessed be.

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

 

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Deepest reverential silence

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Elijah calls out to God to show Himself. God does not manifest in the earthquake, nor the fire, but in a still small voice — the might of the Holy.

http://biblehub.com/1_kings/19-12.htm

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The deepest inner quiet is more powerful than any outward manifestation — noise is not organic righteous activity — but simply an external show — yet the inner voice grows as living proof of God. Not just being, but doing — from the inside.

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Analogously, deep calls to deep in the roar of the waterfall. The mystery, mysticism, and miracles of Christ. http://biblehub.com/psalms/42-7.htm

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+waterfall+mist&qpvt=images+waterfall+mist&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=56F31FE4019DED7F1345AEDA3885D9F777599DC2&selectedIndex=107

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/tribute-to-jo-anne-silva-deep-calls-to-deep-in-the-roar-of-your-waterfalls-psalms-415-7-the-psalmist-comes-to-see-that-there-is-no-silence-the-answer-coming-from-god-is-deeper-than-words-god/

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The psalmist comes to see that there is no silence; the answer coming from God is deeper than words. God is present, and speaking, but what he’s saying isn’t resting on the surface waters of life. This is a season where deep is calling to deep or, as Thomas Kelly phrases it, a time of going “down into the recreating silences.” — James Emery White

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James Emery White: The Silence of God — Perhaps it’s not silence we’re encountering while we seek God, but rather a pregnant pause — a prompting to engage in personal reflection so that the deepest of answers, the most profound of responses, can be given and received.

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http://www.preaching.com/sermons/11545530/page-5/

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Silence.

In truth, it was the deepest conversation we had ever had. God was moving within me,

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communing and communicating with me on levels that I had never opened to him before. That night was the first of many such conversations.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0824525434/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0824525434&linkCode=as2&tag=inspirandinca-20

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Many of the hidden truths of Christianity have been misunderstood or lost. Read them with the eyes of the mystics rather than interpreting them through rational thought. Filled with sayings, stories, quotations, and appeals to the heart, specific methods for identifying dualistic thinking are presented with simple practices for stripping away ego and the fear of dwelling in the present.

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

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul#Spiritual_term_in_the_Christian_tradition

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa#Spiritual_life

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In the 16th century, Saint John of the Cross famously described not being able to talk with God as “the Dark Night of the Soul.” The 17th-century Benedictine mystic Fr. Augustine Baker called it the “great desolation.” This also is known as spiritual dryness.

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The term “dark night (of the soul)” is used in Christianity for a spiritual crisis in a journey towards union with God, like that described by Saint John of the Cross.

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Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th-century French Carmelite, wrote of her own experience. Centering on doubts about the afterlife, she reportedly told her fellow nuns, “If you only knew what darkness I am plunged into, a night of nothingness.”

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Contrary to the mistaken belief by some that the doubts by these saints expressed would be an impediment to canonization, just the opposite is true; it is very consistent with the experience of canonized mystics.

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The term the “dark night of the soul“ describes a particular stage in the growth of spiritual mystic masters.

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While this crisis is usually temporary in nature, it may last for extended periods. The “dark night” of Saint Paul of the Cross in the 18th century lasted 45 years, from which he ultimately recovered.

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Mother Teresa’s diaries show that she experienced spiritual dryness for most of her life. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, according to letters released in 2007, “may be the most extensive such case on record,” lasting from 1948 almost up until her death in 1997, with only brief interludes of relief between.

Franciscan Friar Father Benedict Groeschel, a friend of Mother Teresa for a large part of her life, claims that “the darkness left” towards the end of her life.

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This is a form of spiritual crisis experienced subjectively as a sense of separation from God or lack of spiritual feeling, especially during contemplative prayer. Paradoxically, spiritual dryness can lead to greater love of God.

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Such inability to communicate with God actually provides an opportunity to reach deeper in connecting with God, as seen in the seed that fell on the rocks in Parable of the Sower, as well as to the Grain of Wheat allegory found in the Gospel of John.

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Such “passive purification” bears fruit which are “the purification of love, until the soul is so inflamed with love of God that it feels as if wounded and languishes with the desire to love Him still more intensely.”

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The theme of spiritual dryness also can be found in the Book of Job, the Psalms, the experiences of the Prophets, and many other passages of the New Testament.

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Example of Old Testament Silence

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/what-are-you-doing-here-elijah-there-are-multiple-ways-that-one-might-hear-this-question-it-all-depends-on-where-you-place-the-emphasis-in-the-sentence-the-simplest-meaning-may-be-i-am-surp/

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“What are you doing here, Elijah?” There are multiple ways that one might hear this question; it all depends on where you place the emphasis in the sentence. The simplest meaning may be: “I am surprised to see you, Elijah. I did not expect you of all people to show up on my mountain.” That would emphasize the “you.” But if you focus on the “here,” it could imply that Elijah should not be here at all, but somewhere else.

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As Elijah hears the silence (yes, silence may be heard), he wraps his face in his robe, and exits the cave, the better to await a further word from his God. One more thing that we all need to remember. Elijah is far from alone and neither are we. “I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kgs 19:18). Let us remember Elijah, let us listen to the silence in the midst of the world’s clamor. — John C. Holbert

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/paul-is-a-mystic-he-thinks-mystically-writes-mystically-teaches-mystically-and-lives-mystically-and-expects-other-christians-to-do-likewise-paul-the-first-writer-in-the-christian-bible/

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Paul is a mystic—he thinks mystically, writes mystically, teaches mystically, and lives mystically, and expects other Christians to do likewise.

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Paul, the first writer in the Christian Bible; the very first theologian in the West, was a mystic.

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And the earliest hymns of Christianity are about the Cosmic Christ—Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians and many more. So the original followers of the Christ path were mystics, cosmic mystics of the Cosmic Christ. — Matthew Fox

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/in-praise-of-mystic-christian-jo-anne-silva-i-recognized-that-our-seminaries-could-teach-us-how-to-think-and-even-how-to-apply-the-truths-of-scriptures-to-certain-situations-but-our-seminaries-did/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/richard-hays-echoes-of-scripture-in-the-letters-of-paul-pauls-readings-of-scripture-are-not-constrained-by-a-historical-scrupulousness-about-the-original-meaning-of-the-texts-esch/

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Richard Hays’ Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul: Paul’s readings of Scripture are not constrained by a historical scrupulousness about the original meaning of the texts. Eschatological meaning subsumes original sense….

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True interpretation depends neither on historical inquiry nor on erudite literary analysis but on attentiveness

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to the promptings of the Spirit,

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who reveals the gospel through Scripture in surprising ways.

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In such interpretations, there is an element of playfulness, but the freedom of intertextual play is grounded in a secure sense of the continuity of God’s grace: Paul trusts the same God who spoke through Moses to speak still in his own transformative reading. Just as my lectionary commentary invites Christians to read the Bible as Jesus read the ‘Bible’ in his day (with a hermeneutic of love), Hays’ work invites us to embrace the same freedom to interpret the Bible that Paul with other ancient commentators claimed. — sage Carl Gregg

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http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A24&version=KJV

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http://utmost.org/gracious-uncertainty/

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Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

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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://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/2013/04/09/my-wish-for-christian-keenan-1-corinthians-1510-filled-with-grace-within/

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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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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2014/02/on-telling-inconvenient-and-uncomfortable-truths/

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Unfortunately, religion can be and often is a cover for abuse of power. When a person has suffered in such a context, I think he or she has every right to speak up about it—even years later—as part of their recovery and to let people know such things happen—so that they can be on guard against it.

I find it highly ironic that so many pious Christians have a problem with fellow believers standing up to abusive leaders.

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Paul confronted Peter when he would not eat with gentiles at Antioch. Was he being “negative?”

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Think of the Old Testament prophets who confronted kings.

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Think of the authors of the historical books of the Hebrew Bible exposing past kings of Israel and Judah who were willingly incompetent, disloyal to YHWH and sometimes idolatrous.

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The Bible is full of negative attitudes!

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I was raised in a religious context where the two worst sins were being “negative” and “disloyal.”

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Anyone who dared to speak truth about abusive power, corruption or incompetence in high places was slapped with those labels, marginalized and often excluded.

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All the while corruption continued and was swept under the rug.

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Does such still happen?

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Absolutely.

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But it is less likely to happen if God-fearing people are just a little more wary than they tend to be about power among their leaders.

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/marcusborg/2014/02/amos-and-american-christianity/

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Old Testament Amos indicted the powerful and wealthy of his time because they had created an economic system that privileged them and inflicted misery and suffering on most of the population.

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The effect of prophet Amos is best experienced by reading the whole book thoughtfully and slowly and with several awarenesses. He was speaking, not writing; his speeches (commonly called “oracles”) are short, seldom exceeding six verses or so; they have a poetic structure and use language designed to be memorable in an oral culture. A few more: he spoke in the time of the monarchy in ancient Israel; his oracles contain both passion-filled indictments (the reasons for his condemnation of the wealthy and powerful in the name of God) and threats (what will happen to them as a result – not condemnation to an afterlife in hell, but loss of their privilege and exile.

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Amos paints a vivid picture of the leisurely life-style of the wealthy and powerful and their indifference to the impoverishment of the many: “Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the stall; who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David improvise on instruments of music; who drink wine from bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph [the ruin of the many]!” (6.4-6).

“They sell the righteous [the innocent, those who have done no wrong] for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample the … poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way.” (2.6-7).

“Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins [note what they are]— [ you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.” (5.11-12).

Perhaps the best-known text from Amos indicts the worship of the wealthy and powerful. As often in the prophets, the “I” is God, for the prophet speaks in the name of God. “I hate, I despise your [religious] festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.” (5.21-24). Note what God does want: justice and righteousness. They are not two different things, but synonyms. The last verse is a classic example of Hebrew synonymous parallelism: the second half says the same thing as the first half.

Amos also challenged the nation’s notion that they were especially chosen by God and especially blessed by God. “Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O people of Israel? …. Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?” (9.7).

Amos is not a solitary voice in the Bible. It is the voice of the exodus story of liberation from bondage to Pharaoh, of the laws in the Old Testament about land and debt, of Jesus’s passion for the Kingdom of God on earth. And of Paul’s proclamation of the lordship of Jesus over against the lordship of Caesar: a new creation, a way of being and living in this world brought about through life in Christ that is radically different from the lordship of Caesar, the lordship of domination.

For Christians, Amos and all of these voices are part of our sacred scripture. If we, especially American Christians, were to take them seriously, how would that affect our understanding, our vision, of what it means to be Christian?

They challenge much that is central to American Christianity and American politics today, especially our ethos, our ideologies, of individualism and exceptionalism.

Politically and economically, individualism is based on the conviction that the degree of our material well-being is primarily the product of how much we have applied ourselves and how hard we have worked.

But is that really true? Or is the decisive influence the way the powerful and wealthy have put the world together in their own self-interest? Is the cause of human misery and suffering primarily individual irresponsibility – or is it systemic? Have the powers that be, in the ancient world and our world, organized the system to create, enhance, and preserve their privilege? Is the cause of poverty in America and the rest of the world primarily individual failure – or is it systemic?

Amos and other voices in the Bible also challenge the notion of American exceptionalism – that we have been and are not only blessed by God but also chosen and favored by God. Polls indicate that more than a majority of Americans affirm that. So do a majority of American Christians, including those who are fearful that we might lose that status because of our deviation from God’s ways (fill in the blank as to what our sins are). The notion of exceptionalism means more than one thing, including that we are the best country in the world and that we would never use our power for anything other than legitimate purposes.

But, to use words from Amos, “Are you not like the Ethiopians to me?” We as a nation are not chosen, not exceptional. Like every nation, every society, our future depends upon our present and how we shape our life together here and now.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Amos#Themes

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/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-jewis/

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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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http://www.gaychurch.org/The_Word/Encouragement/Jesus_God’s_Word_to_Mankind.htm

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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=42B6D5577B65F90809FD8893586B9AAEEAFB2100&selectedIndex=272

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

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At the soup kitchen for the homeless, a paranoid guy rants and rages with the food servers. Angelic gorgeous patron Pauline soothingly and fluidly comes up to the servers and says, “Please forgive my ex-husband for acting up like this.” And just like that, presto/voila, the whole world is a changed place — for the better!!

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Of course, the servers suspect that Pauline is jiving, which she really is (jiving). And the paranoid fella simply falls “beside himself,” & backs off in a daze that he just got one-upped by this angel of mercy Pauline. He slides away in a totally confounding fog.

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The servers relievingly chuckle and smile like you never saw anyone so relieved smile before!! Yes, in one fell swoop, Pauline pulled off a Jesus moment!! Wow!! How humbling can be the thought of a Jesus moment!! Wow!

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A Jesus moment in time?? The most loving man Gary Byrd 70 yrs. old but still an Arnold Schwarzenegger stud at 6’1″ 175 lbs. — reflects/intones to me about 1961 — when Colorado native Gary was late in boarding a bus to get back to his military post after a weekend pass in Biloxi Miss. The bus driver was White like Gary, and 3 African-Americans had already boarded the bus after the Whites had earlier boarded, and 3 more African-Americans were in the process of boarding when fully GI uniformed Gary came running to the bus.

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Of course, Jesus’ angel Gary exhorted the remaining 3 African-Americans to board before him, but they hung down their heads in refrain and stayed away from the door to the bus. Not only that, but the 3 African-Americans who had already boarded came walking out of the bus for Gary to board before they again would board.

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Gary insisted that now all 6 African-Americans board! They finally acceded to his imploring them and they then boarded the bus before him.

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If looks could kill, the look in the White bus driver’s eyes would’ve killed Gary on the spot, so to speak.

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As Gary reflected back to me about this incident, Gary thought aloud that wow, thankfully we have a Black U.S. President, and we don’t have segregated buses any more. And that on the golden anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington, MLK must be smiling in heaven right now.

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And I told Gary — forget about MLK for now —

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the key is that this incident in Biloxi Miss. in 1961 is not Gary’s burden to bear.

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That thankfully, Gary has not had to carry this burden of man’s inhumanity.

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That Gary did the right thing and treated people of color as equals.

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That such righteous conduct as manifested by Gary in 1961 is Jesus’ love for all so incredibly exemplified by Jesus disciple Gary.

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This certainly was a Jesus moment!!

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Two more Jesus moments as exemplars of Jesus’ Love:

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Jimmy Carter’s incredulous Playboy interview to save the lost souls of pornography (pornography outprofits all sports combined)

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/mind-blowing-still-today-37th-anniversary-president-jimmy-carter-brilliantly-moved-evangelical-christianity-closer-to-the-american-mainstream-via-his-playboy-interview-to-save-pornographys-los/

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and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters’ existential definition of loving and being loved –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/augustinian-meme-tear-down-the-wall-of-fearpretenseself-importance-no-not-from-reagans-1987-berlin-wall-crucible-but-from-pink-floyds-roger-waters-1979-the-wall-movie-tribute/

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

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/in-praise-of-the-46th-anniversary-of-mccartneys-tune-i-will/

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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 leaders 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 sideway 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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Augustine and Luther came to Christ thru Romans and Galatians.

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

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Epistle to the Romans is the 6th Book in the new Testament, and is the longest of the Pauline epistles. It is considered Paul’s most important theological legacy.

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

Salvation is offered thru the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Especially where there are multitudes of sin, there is more Grace — so that the former baleful sinner/wretched man/filthy rag such as Saul nka Paul now missions supernaturally for Jesus’ Word.

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Justification has 2 meanings in Greek: 1) Propitiation which is subjective forgiveness for each sin as if one had never sinned; 2) transformative righteousness which is objective deliverance from continuous sin. Or, as great disciple Watchman Nee suffused, Jesus’ blood on the cross is the subjective mercy of God for our numerous sins (plural), whereas the body of Christ is the overall objective deliverance from continuous sin (singular).

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/in-praise-of-china-christian-capstones-yu-cidu-dora-yu-1873-1931-margaret-emma-barber-1966-1930-their-acolyte-ni-to-sheng-watchman-nee-1903-1972/

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http://orthodoxwiki.org/Justification#Western_v._Eastern_concepts_-_Implications

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Legal/juridical concepts of mercy/propitiation & acquittal/substitutionary atonement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substitutionary_atonement#Ransom_and_Christus_Victor_theory

were clarified by Augustine.

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Anselm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_of_Canterbury#Influence

developed these ideas 600 years later,

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and Luther built on the work of Anselm 500 years after Anselm.

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To the early correctly rooted Christian, theology is not something that improves with age—it is something to be internalized, and it can best be understood by journeying as close to the roots of our faith as possible. Reason and logic ergo the Enlightenment cannot guarantee a better understanding of God, his Son or our faith.

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Justification is seen by Protestants as being the theological fault line that divided Catholic from Protestant during the Protestant Reformation – Catholics emphasize works/rituals of righteous deliverance, whereas Protestants emphasize transformative faith, that faith is entirely distinct from works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justification_(theology)

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Protestants emphasize that law/ritualized righteousness is not to make us righteous, but to let us know we’re sinners/to convict us.

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Unlike Catholics, Protestants emphasize that our of-the-flesh sinful nature distorts righteousness by ritualizing works.

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In this sense, Christ has no value to me if I’m delusionally self-righteous (such as by Catholic ritualized works).

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On the other hand, if I’m open and honest about myself, I will fail, which is what Christ’s atoning sacrifice/faith-obedience are all about.

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After all, Romans 8:7 speaks of mankind’s natural/flesh enmity vs. God.

http://biblehub.com/romans/8-7.htm

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Revelation via deliverance from continuous sin gives us a new heart, and we become a new creation.

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Like Paul, both Augustine and Luther made great efforts to refute the notion that our works could serve as the proper basis for justification & eventual sanctification.

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Of Easter/Resurrection Sunday April 2014 among our various churches , only Pastor Ezekiel Tomaselli ministered on Jesus’ Gospel of subjective justification (blood on the cross), but objective deliverance (body of Christ) was absent.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/new-age-spirituality-aka-integralevolutionarytransformational-not-to-be-confused-with-christianitys-i-am-exodus-314/

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Understandably, Pastor Tomaselli is only 30 yrs. old, of youthful bully pulpit projection. Still absent are the elements of wisdom, patience, & soul of the ways of our cherished old.

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/van-gogh-the-wisdom-and-soul-of-the-ways-of-our-cherished-old-but-do-not-kill-yourself-like-he-did/

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Chief Biblical scholar Cliff Livermore born 1941 of Waikoloa Hawai’i bodes well of Justification in its transformative completion in Salvation.

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Cliff Livermore is a blueblood descendant of both Hawaiian Islands titular revivalist Rev. Titus Coan & the father of American revivalism Charles Finney.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/new-age-spirituality-aka-integralevolutionarytransformational-not-to-be-confused-with-christianitys-i-am-exodus-314/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/in-praise-of-china-christian-capstones-yu-cidu-dora-yu-1873-1931-margaret-emma-barber-1966-1930-their-acolyte-ni-to-sheng-watchman-nee-1903-1972/

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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=8AF4A062EF89304E329282E4AFB33F9A34D8CB3C&selectedIndex=138

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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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Remarkable that one’s experiences span a century or more, if one is lucky enough to live into old age. My uncle Masaaki 1903-1970 was 50 years older than me. My grandsons Silas & Ashley are 50 years younger than me. Uncle Masaaki is a century older than Silas & Ashley. My life experiences span a century between Uncle Masaaki and my grandsons Silas & Ashley. Gatz! Defy Father Time??

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Of course, one can stretch even longer life’s time span – my grandma [Uncle Masaaki’s & my dad’s mama] Tome was 70 years older than me. I just turned age 60, so my lifeblood youngest progeny is my youngest grandchild, my granddaughter Maya, who is 59 years younger than me. Not equidistant, but 130 years separate my grandma Tome from my granddaughter Maya.

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Actor William Demarest 1892-1983 was 60 years older than me, thus meeting the equidistance measure, with my granddaughter Maya being 60 years younger than me — the total span being 120 years from William Demarest [or my uncle Bill Cappy Chun, also born in Demarest’s time] to my granddaughter Maya. Here is prolific vaudeville/longtime character actor Demarest –

William Demarest Picture

William Demarest(1892–1983)


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons, replacing a very sick William Frawley. Demarest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting role in the real-life biography…See full bio »

Still of Humphrey Bogart and William Demarest in All Through the NightStill of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and William Demarest in All Through the Night
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Of course, last year’s 60th year Diamond Jubilee with majestic Queen Elizabeth had the most amazing aerial displays –
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but let’s also remember lusty [yes, con todo mi alma y corazon] Victoria‘s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 [my grandparents were hormonal teens bent on pioneering East to the Hawaiian islands of silk & honey][Victoria is current Queen Elizabeth’s great great grandmother][our greatest modern Hawaiian statesperson Pi’ehu Iaukea 1855-1940 pilgrimaged to England for this tremendous occasion — Pi’ehu was preceded in great diplomacy & leadership by Kamehameha III Kauikeaouli 1813-1854]

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Thence, my immigrant grandparents’ odyssey East transcended both Victoria’s & current Queen Elizabeth’s reigns – my ojisans/obasans [tutus] experienced both divine queens in all their soulful reigns – 115 years [Victoria in 1897 & Elizabeth’s 2012 jubilee] spanning 3 centuries [1800s to 2000s]!!! Wow!!

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I was 20 when my daughter was born, 40 when my oldest grandchild/mo’opuna kane was born, 50 when my middle grandsons were born [among 5 grandchildren, 3 boys, 2 girls], and nearly 60 when my youngest grandchild/mo’opuna wahine was born.

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My parents whom I worship and miss dearly were 40 years older than me. My mature parents were tutus/grandparents to me in age chronology, & I am blessed by their mature wisdom/magnanimity & composure/equanimity.

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My parents died 16 years ago 4 months apart [coincidence — Mom died of a stroke/Dad died 4 months later from cancer].

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I felt like a grandchild blessed with the most loving & supportive tutus/grandparents in the world, though when I was a barefoot plantation toddler here in Wainaku [Ha’aheo Elem. School atop Kamehameha the Great’s most beautiful pu’u/hilltop] — I felt terribly embarassed that my parents were fuddy-duddy oldsters vs. my village kid peers’ parents, and that my mom worked, so that I never came home to a homemaker mom who had cookies laid out for me on the kitchen table in our old plantation mill camp.

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When my parents died 16 years ago, I suddenly crossed over to be a tutu/grandparent to my burgeoning mo’opuna/grandkids. My grandparents 70 years older than me had died by the time I was old enough to know them.

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I don’t remember being a child [in a most blessed sense], but undeniably I was blessed/gifted [of the spirits? Cor./Romans/Ephesians/Peter/etc.] as a grandchild would be, with my dearest parents who were like grandparents to me in wisdom/countenance.

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Nor do I remember being a parent [my daughter Staycie who is at middle age at 41 — laughingly tells me that I was a lousy party animal parent but above all else — I loved my daughter more than anything/anyone in the whole wide world — and this is the only thing which counted for my daughter, which is/means everything to her & to me!!].

Always my little baby Staycie girl

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But now here I am as a grandparent [by default — ha ha ha — still a party animal], and wow, time flies, baby! !!

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And now I am by default/pied piper via hedonism/elan tutu again to 2 dearest “hanai”/emotional attachment — mo’opuna — Colton age 27 & Jill age 22, grandkids to me in age chronology! I ask Colton how may I be of service to him/Jill, & Colton shoots back, “Don’t! Just be you!” Gatz! Who am I???? [ha ha ;-) ]

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Foggy bottom, baby — is my head — spinning like a top???!! Ha ha! Dig my hero George Harrison’s video – [40 years from age 20 to 60 for me — go by in the blink of an eye!!][Maui resident Harrison died of cancer at age 58 after 9/11 & a year after this You Tube video was produced]

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Yes, I hope to make it to age 80 & still feel like a passionate teenager in love!! Ha ha ha!! Enjoy [the treats below], baby!!!

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Age is a figment of our imagination — our core being is ageless!

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See especially timeclock 4:19 to 5:05 of youtube below about Harrison’s opinion on aging as soulfully deepest youth enjoyed –

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVnKjv4fK0&feature=related

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/in-praise-of-the-46th-anniversary-of-mccartneys-tune-i-will/

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Music is my whole life, and I dedicate these happy links to my Dad Toshi 1913-1998, who was born to sing & play his ubiquitous Martin ‘ukulele, and who sang & played in the mango tree astride my grandparents’ Wainaku mill camp home as a young boy. Dad’s mom Tome 1881-1954 sang & picked at her samisen Japanese fiddle/string board. Dad got his music from his mom Tome. Dad is a baritone, my baby brother Lloyd & Dad’s youngest sibling Charley & Dad’s 2nd youngest sibling Yukio’s son Don are fine tenors. Dad had gone thru hell as a combat soldier witnessing death all around him — thence Dad appreciated every single day of a new dawn of continued life on this earth. Which is why I’m inspired by Dad’s composure/calm countenance in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds/trials/tribulations. Repugnant manipulation/deceit/overpride/anger/hostility/selfishness — are such ordinary behaviors “of the flesh” – which are why Dad’s serenity and joy of spirit for me are “to behold for alltime sake.” 🙂

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My Mom Teruko “Ruth” (maiden name Hanato of Kona) never sang. I think our musical DNA is from my Dad’s side of the family. My Mom was a good athlete [basketball capt. soph. yr. 1932 Hawai’i Island prep titlist — Mom spawned all the Kona Hanato girl hoopsters you see today, incl. female coach Bobbie Hanato Awa & Bobbie’s NCAA1 daughter Dawnyelle, though imperious Bobbie Awa has no clue about Mom’s hoopster genesis behind Awa]. Actually, Mom’s father’s [otosan] & mother’s [okasan] legacy abides in their genesis of what is today’s historically significant Kona’s Honalo Buddhist Jodo Daifukuji church

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Mom’s great-grand niece Dawnyelle –

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http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=dawnyelle+awa+videos&qpvt=dawnyelle+awa+videos&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=8D292407068405377FB58D292407068405377FB5

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http://www.hawaiibookblog.com/articles/japanese-buddhist-temples-in-hawaii-an-illustrated-guide-book-review/

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http://www.daifukuji.org/history.html.

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No, the Hanato legacy is not in Mom’s athletic prowess, nor in the Hanato business acumen [e.g. Mom’s sister 106 yr. old centenarian Shizue “Mary” Hanato Teshima’s world-renowned Teshima Restaurant — Shizue 1907-2013]. Dad was a great athlete [incl. bootleg boxer pre-legalization], as is my baby brother [State prep baseball all-star]. Dad’s legacy is as WWII 442nd combat infantry soldier in the all-Japanese American Unit — Dad as Silver Star awardee for rescuing Dad’s mortally wounded CO & fellow PFC after Dad’s squad was ambushed by German infantry soldiers.

* https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/yushin-charley-narimatsu-1920-2013-died-age-93-my-nisei-2nd-generation-uncle-the-last-of-his-generation-in-my-kazokufamily/

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my Dad Toshi 1913-1998 (Dad was longtime State 442 prexy Willy Okino Thompson’s hanai older brother) stepping up in convoy with left leg raised & left hand on side rail (National Archives have actual film/movie of this convoy)

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Even into Dad’s final years, Dad would sing among our backyard pals, Dad’s Martin ‘ukulele always in his arms. My daughter Staycie age 41 is half Hawaiian, & my dearest little baby girl Staycie has instilled in her children the spirit of the islands — aloha — welcome/accomodation/tenderness/humbleness/kindness/generosity — her children Maya age 3/Emily age 7/Silas & Ashley both age 12/Shay age 22. Beautiful aloha. My mo’opuna keiki all.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/tribute-to-my-musical-dad-toshi-1913-1998-george-trices-passion-personality-analog-my-dad/

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Hana hou (one more time — reprise)!!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D-SgA_NJwk

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVCwe_Jewl8

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As a child just after Statehood 55 yrs. ago, I was enthralled by the theme song to CBS local affiliate’s Saturday Island matinee playhouse. I still have not pinned down its title, but I remember it sounding a little like Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade. Music aficionados “in the know” are long dead & gone [the great George Camarillo/Gloriana Adap/etc.], so I’ll have to sleuth a little more to find out the melodic magic of half a century ago. Nonetheless, I present to you favorites of mine over the years. Enjoy ;-)

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Beautiful Pachelbel’s Canon, lost to history for centuries

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Af372EQLck

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Of course, Mozart is the greatest solace/emotional therapist –

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi8vJ_lMxQI

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from https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/susanne-mentzer-the-mozart-effect-beautiful/

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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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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/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/i-will-die-a-good-death/

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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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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/does-your-life-have-purpose/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/randy-pausch-steven-kalas-living-meaningfully/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/harriet-beecher-stowes-prophetic-engine-sage-joan-d-hedrick/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/theodicy-suffering-in-the-world-and-the-problem-of-evil-an-afterlife-is-a-cop-out/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/if-were-going-to-write-it-is-because-we-have-a-desire-to-express-ourselves-even-if-we-dont-quite-understand-what-we-wish-to-say-it-might-just-be-an-inner-yearning-but-by-making-t/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/dont-you-just-love-a-cogent-argument/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/whats-the-lesson-in-your-narrative-kare-anderson/

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inspired by wordsmith Steven Kalas’ reasons for writing –

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

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Art is expression of self shared with the world

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How did I learn to write? Great teachers along the way, including but not limited to the Hayakawas & Nishiharas of my formative teen years.

Why do I write? Some people keep a diary. Some people write in a journal. Some people keep meticulous photo albums, chronicling important moments, times, places and people.

I write about my observations and experiences.

If it moves me deeply, it will show up in my written words. If it opens my heart, it will show up in a written format. If it compels me in paradox, if it makes me tremble with humility and gratitude, if it mobilizes outrage or contempt, it will become a written composition. If I fall in love with you, if I despise you, if you bless me, if you hurt me badly enough, don’t be surprised if you end up in a written verse.

If it makes me hope, makes me ache, makes me cry, then I hand it to heaven, where it ricochets off eternity and pours itself into my Jung archetype named Shadow. Then it pours back out into the world.

Shadow has more than once saved my sanity. Maybe even my life.

I write to know myself better.

Here’s a paradox: Real art is, for the true artist, an act of the purest selfishness, which, because it is pure selfishness, moves out into the world as extravagant generosity.

Selfishness? Yes. A true artist is never first a performer. He/she doesn’t do it for us. The artist is lost in self. For self. Obedient to a voice that cannot be ignored or denied. Art is near hedonism. A naked reveling. It includes suffering, yes, but even the agony is more a masochistic pleasure.

Generosity? Yes. The artist’s brazen and shameless desire to dig so deeply into self produces art that forces us to dig more deeply. To see ourselves more transparently. Art is a cosmic mirror.

Deciding to listen to my Shadow is deciding to see me naked. Though you won’t know that while you’re listening. If my art moves you, then you will see yourself naked. And that’s always a good thing. People come to an artist’s art as a voyeur. But what they spy on, in the end, is themselves.

Does that make me an exhibitionist? I can live with that. It’s a fair cop.

I’ve written much before which never made the trek into our current internet era. The first one was about nostalgia of love lost. The last one is this composition here. But, as sage Steven Kalas says about his songwriting, it’s Steven’s song No. 92 that probably would tell you the most about why I write for myself to share with you, the world.

My heroes have always been naked/ Warm in the clothes of their transparent identity/ Maybe we all should be naked/ With nothing to hide there’s no need to pretend not to see

But shame is the name of the master who must be obeyed/ And after a while we learn to like being a slave

The naked man/ He takes a stand/ He lets the people see/ We point and laugh/ We’re taken back/ But freedom lives in authenticity.

Like a lot of songs, it works on several levels at once. On the most personal level, it’s about my passion to live authentically. I don’t always get there, but I respect myself when I try.

On another level, it’s about my admiration of people who do live “nakedly.” Was John Lennon a card-carrying narcissist? Well of course. But I get why he posed naked with Yoko on the album cover of “Two Virgins.” He was trying to crawl out from under the deadly weight of Beatlemania, a fame he sought, created and then rightly abhorred.

And later, I was surprised to discover it’s a song about my spirituality. In Steven’s case, it’s a song about Jesus.

My heroes are those who live naked/ The man that you meet still the man who is there when you leave/ But brave are the ones who live naked/ Most people are hiding and naked is their enemy

Naked is a mirror in which there is no choice but to see/ So we break the mirror and then blame it for making us bleed

The naked man/ He takes a stand/ He lets the people see/ His naked fate/ Humiliate/ What people hate is authenticity.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morley/writing-tips-6-ways_b_1591232.html#s1088091&title=Workshops_work

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We are born writers in the sense that we are born storytellers. Language is who we are to the world. Our ability to tell our story with clarity and panache will make the difference between being heard and being ignored.

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We like to think that artistic genius, at least, feeds on solitude. It is not uncommon for new writers to worry that they will become less distinct, less original, if they spend too much time sharing ideas with their peers. But consider the case of Jorge Luis Borges. When he went to Europe as a young aspiring poet, he found his feet (and an education) in the tertulias of Madrid. Returning to his native city of Buenos Aires, he continued the habit. The almost nightly conversations he had with Adolfo Bioy Casares and other writers fed directly into his writing, and into theirs. If Latin America literature then went off in a direction not yet possible in Europe and North America, it is largely thanks to this unruly group of literary hybrids, who drew as much inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe and G.K. Chesterton as they did from Shakespeare and Verlaine. They gave each other the courage to be break conventions, question received ideas, and imagine the unimaginable. – Maureen Freely
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Write, firmly believing that imagination is the quintessential self/the quintessential way of “knowing” the world. This imaginative knowing has the potential to dispel barriers that isolate individuals and communities. Exercising imaginative “knowing” allows, always, for a potentially transcendent narrative, that is trans-global, trans-cultural and speaks to our common humanity. – Jewell Parker Rhodes
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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/a-writers-life-list-listen-more-than-you-speak-engage-with-the-world-thats-where-ideas-come-from-ohh-so-true-these-are-where-ideas-manifest-beautifully-lori-nelson-spielman/

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A writer’s life list: Listen more than you speak. Engage with the world. That’s where ideas come from. Ohh, so true, these are where ideas manifest beautifully. — Lori Nelson Spielman

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Writing Life List

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-nelson-spielman/a-writers-life-list_b_3676417.html?utm_hp_ref=books

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The inspiration for my novel was found in an old cedar box. Tucked alongside my first bankbook and my grandmother’s rosary, I discovered a yellowed piece of notebook paper folded into a tidy little square. In my flowery, 14-year-old cursive, I’d written Lori’s List across the top, along with 27 goals I thought would make for a good life. I also included a sidebar called, Ways To Be, which included such pearls as, Don’t be stuck-up. Don’t talk about ANYONE.

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Never expect to be taken seriously. People, even friends, can be insensitive. They don’t realize how important your craft is to you. Don’t fault them for it.

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Learn to describe your project du jour in one succinct sentence, and do so if, and only if, someone inquires. And never, ever ask your friends to read your unpublished manuscript. Find a writer’s group for that.

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Don’t complain to non-writers. They don’t want to hear it.

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Write with joy and abandon. Use your creative gift in a way that would please its benefactor.

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http://www.pccs.va/index.php/en/news2/attualita/item/787-suspense-novelist-writes-about-people-finding-hope-redemption

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Koontz acknowledges he has “a very low boredom threshold” and wants to be entertained by what he writes. He says he’s been asked, “I want you to write a book that’s very dark and very noir and everybody dies in the end and there’s no meaning to anything.” To which he replies, “You don’t need me to do that. It’s everywhere.”

“That’s not what I do,” Koontz said. “I write about people trying to find hope and redemption in their lives from suspense.”

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/i-will-die-a-good-death/

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I will die a good death — as my greatest hero Viktor Frankl said, “having been” is the surest kind of being, though it cannot inspire envy [life is full of suffering].

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I love and am loved. I want to love and want to be loved. I am true to my heart and I lead with my heart. I will die a good death. No one but me decides my attitude when I die.

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Like basketball/football, I process my life in 4 quarters of 20 years each. The first quarter was schooling in preparation for the workplace. The second quarter was raising a family. The third quarter was paying down the sundry bills which came with a life full of activity. My final & fourth quarter consists of retirement & emotional preparation of inevitable death. I will die a good death.

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I always have an immutable enduring image of Wainaku Pua Lane’s Albert Pacheco Sr. as he rested his head in his lap while sitting on the shoreline boulder by our Wailuku river “singing bridge” astride our ubiquitous lighthouse — contemplating his own death of terminal cancer while still in his middle ages. Ohhh so sad. For the first 3 quarters of my frenetic “frantic” life — I never “got” [captured] the feel of mortality that coursed thru Albert’s soul as he engaged the end of his life. Now I “get it.” I will die a good death. I am at peace with myself. Albert is my hero. Albert’s example is my example. Die a good death. No one owns my attitude with my death. Life’s journey in deepest selfhood always in the end is walked alone.

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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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Albert walked wondrously to his inner peace. Albert was the greatest husband, father, & friend. And the humblest! Albert is my hero.

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Hope Kiko Nakamura of downtown Hilo’s Kino’ole St. also is my hero. A native of Japan, she is Amaterasu, my sun goddess who is kindness personified. Nihonjin are very bigoted because of our racial homogeneity [master race psychomania], so to speak. Not Hope Maki, who is the most loving person around — to people of all colors, social classes, manners, ages. Also, I have never seen an older woman any unthinkably prettier than Hope Maki — yet she is our humblest person, singularly divine like Albert Pacheco. Hope Maki and Albert Pacheco are my immortal heroes — forever inspiring — every generation should observe, study, and learn from these 2 sublime archetypes [greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation][like Jesus & like Scripture’s Pericopes/Parables, my dynamic duo above exemplifies such confounding deepest Truths/frustration-reversal of conventional expectations — huli’au/upside down outcomes but the righteous results, so to speak]. Their interior contemplative humblest nature undyingly are for the ages, and they inspire me to no end.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/in-praise-of-gautam-mukundas-extraordinary-study-indispensable-when-leaders-really-matter/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/sublime/

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An interior contemplative “soul” is valued a la Albert, Hope Kiko [& young Kepola Lee in my article on the greatest of leaders —https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/in-praise-of-gautam-mukundas-extraordinary-study-indispensable-when-leaders-really-matter/], and of course, a la Jesus [or ascetic Buddha or Allah, for that matter] –

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my mythic hero Frankie Starlight [Alan Pentony] dares to reach for the stars

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV1EYBnPMEY

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Alan Pentony [with Anne Parillaud]

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

Plot

Frank Bois writes a successful first novel and finds himself looking back over his life. His mother Bernadette (Parillaud) was a French woman who, after the death of her friends and family in World War II, hid herself aboard an Allied war ship heading to Ireland, where she exchanged sexual favors for silence among the soldiers who found her on board. A nice customs agent, Jack Kelly (Byrne), allowed Bernadette to enter Ireland illegally, and they soon became a couple lovers, even though she was already pregnant from one of the soldiers from the ship.

Bernadette soon gave birth to young Frankie (Pentony), who suffers from dwarfism. As he grew older, Frankie develops romantic feelings for Jack’s daughter Emma (Cates), who does not share his feelings, while Jack teaches astronomy to Frankie. Eventually, Bernadette meets Terry Klout (Dillon), an American soldier she had met on the war ship, who offers to marry her. Bernadette and Frankie go with Terry to his home in Texas, but both mother and son feel like they don’t belong there, so they return to the Irish home they loved. An older Bernadette eventually committed suicide, and Frank used his life as source material for his writing.

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Empathy means literally “to enter the pathos.”

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To enter the pathos is to surrender to all that is tragic, absurd, lost, despairing, meaningless. The word “pathos” is not a derision; it’s an observation.

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Compassion means literally “to suffer with.”

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We bandy these words about too easily. It’s not all that frequently we find people who will really do what are implied in those words. I cherish the people I do find.

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I no longer lift bread and wine. I lift broken, poured out people. Folks like myself. My meaning in life is to help others find their meaning.

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

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-watt/why-we-write_b_2411000.html

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Why We Write

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By approaching our writing from this perspective we take our thumb off the scale, and in doing so make conscious what was previously unconscious.

And that is the goal of story: to make meaning out of a set of events.

Growth is painful. To make a choice involves discomfort, because it demands that we take responsibility. But it also means that we get to live in reality. To create from a place of fantasy, of groundlessness, is an escape — which is different than losing ourselves in our work by shedding our ego for a deeper connection to our humanity.

Why we write is more important than what we write because our reason for writing influences the content of our work. It is important to remember that we don’t have to do this. The world is not in a rush for more books. There are more great works of fiction, poetry, memoir, history and pumpkin soup recipes than we will ever have time to consume.

If we’re going to write, it is because we have a desire to express ourselves, even if we don’t quite understand what we wish to say. It might just be an inner yearning, but by making the choice to engage in the process rather than the result, our work has a chance to live. In expressing ourselves, we make what we write essential, if only to ourselves, and by beginning from this place, it has a chance to affect the world.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-goeman/faitheist-social-change-through-storytelling_b_2382772.html

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‘Faitheist’: Social Change Through Storytelling

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America is diverse. However, this diversity occurs in safe, isolated pockets that are stagnant and unengaged with one another. Diana Eck, religious scholar and founder of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, notes that diversity is nothing to be proud of. Diversity is the description of a community, like Tufts or America, where people of different beliefs or backgrounds happen to be in the same location. Pluralism, rather, is the “active seeking of understanding across lines of difference.” It is this engagement that breaks down barriers and guards against prejudice. If we want to make pluralism, rather than diversity, a descriptive fact of our community, we need emissaries to navigate cultural boundaries.

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We need to invite others inside our communities and show them what we value. And we need storytellers.

“Faitheist” works to end this ideological segregation. Chris humanizes atheism by sharing his life and his values –

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Chris aims to end the cycle of isolation and tribalism by encouraging others to contribute their own story to our collective narrative.

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The more we get to know each other, the more our prejudices will dissolve.

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Toward the end of the book, he notes: “The moment I shared my story as a secularist, others felt more comfortable sharing their own.”

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“Faitheist” isn’t just a memoir; it’s a continuation of the biographical heritage established by “Roots”, “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Hiroshima” —

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the books that informed Chris about the radical depths of human suffering and inspired his dedication to justice —

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but it is also the predecessor to a new generation of compassionate voices articulating their beliefs while serving humanity.

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Chris’ model of interfaith engagement and storytelling will, I believe, make my university and my country better places —

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places where diversity actually means something.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wray-herbert/who-am-i-the-heroes-of-ou_b_2497839.html

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Who Am I? The Heroes of Our Minds

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One of my guilty pleasures is the TV show Ice Road Truckers, which tells the stories of the heavy haulers who deliver vital supplies to remote Arctic territories of Alaska and Canada. In just two months each year, these truckers make more than 10,000 runs over hundreds of miles of frozen lakes, known as ice roads. We get to share in the treacherous drives — and just as important, the personal travails — of the veteran Hugh “The Polar Bear” Rowland, the brash tattooed Rick Yemm, the cold-hating rookie T.J. Wilcox, and former school bus driver and motocross champ Lisa Kelly, one of the rare women to break into this man’s world.

I’m not alone in this fascination. Millions of viewers have tuned into every episode of Ice Road Truckers since its premiere in 2007. And if hazardous driving is not your cup of Joe, how about Ax Men or Dance Moms, Chef School or Bikini Barbershop, Sister Wives or Biggest Loser? Reality TV dominates small-screen viewing these days. Viewers have literally hundreds of choices in vicarious viewing every day, 24 hours a day. And so what if they’re not exactly real.

What explains this trend? Well, it’s in part simple economics. These shows are cheap to make. But it’s more than that. There is something compelling about people’s stories, something that taps into a deep human need for narrative. The pull of Deadliest Catch and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo can really be traced back to ancient story telling traditions, which exist in every world culture. We see parts of ourselves in these modern-day folk tales, just as we construct stories about our own personal realities.

Psychological scientists have in recent years begun to examine this deep human yearning for story — in particular our need to create a coherent narrative identity. They have been using narrative identity as both an indicator of psychological health and a possible tool for enhancing well-being. Much of this work has been done by Northwestern University’s Dan McAdams and Western Washington University’s Kate McLean, who describe their and others’ research in a forthcoming issue of the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

We all construct a coherent narrative identity, according to the emerging theory, from the accumulated particulars of our autobiographies as well as our envisioned goals. We internalize this story over time, and use it to convey to ourselves and others who we are, where we came from, and where we think we’re heading. Consider the example of redemption. McAdams and other scientists have been asking people to narrate scenes and extended stories from their past, and then they code the accounts for key ideas like redemption and self-determination and community. They have found that people who include themes of redemption in their stories — a marked transition from bad to good — are less focused on themselves and more focused on community and the future. They’re more mature emotionally.

This is just one example of how people make narrative sense of the suffering in their lives. Others have studied how people narrate life challenges, such as a painful divorce or a child’s illness, and they have found that those who produce detailed accounts of loss are better adapted psychologically. Their narratives often strike themes of growth and learning and transformation. Importantly, the stories of the well-adapted have endings, positive resolutions of bad experiences.

Psychotherapy is largely about personal narratives. Therapists help their clients to “re-story” their lives by finding more positive narratives for unhappy experiences. Indeed, when scientists asked former psychotherapy patients to describe how they remembered their therapeutic experience, the healthier ones told heroic stories, tales in which they bravely battled their symptoms and emerged victorious. This narrative theme of personal control was also and by far the best predictor of therapeutic success: As patients’ stories increasingly emphasized self-determination, these patients’ symptoms abated and their health improved. The stories themselves created an identity that was mature and well-adjusted.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/if-were-going-to-write-it-is-because-we-have-a-desire-to-express-ourselves-even-if-we-dont-quite-understand-what-we-wish-to-say-it-might-just-be-an-inner-yearning-but-by-making-t/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/dont-you-just-love-a-cogent-argument/

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Writing is simplicity and contentment –

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

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So, I have come up with three questions. First, why do you write? Second, what inspires you? Third, what do you do to overcome “writers’ block”? — B.F., San Francisco

Why do I write? I write for the same reason people ride roller coasters: It’s a rush. A flow. Movement and rhythm. It’s sensory. Aesthetic.

Words, for me, are like being 8 years old and having a huge bag of Legos. Every day my dictionary contains the same English words, just like every day the bag contains the same Legos. But today I have the chance to assemble them differently! And that’s fun for me.

Why do I write? I write because I love words. I hate jargon, but I love words. Yes, there are a lot of different ways to talk, but words matter.

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The right word can help us apprehend our lives in deeper, more intentional and more meaningful ways.

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There’s a reason the Hebrew verb dabar can mean either “to say” or “to do.” The Hebrew worldview speaks to the power of words: “And God said (emphasis mine), ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

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Words have a creative force. Until we say “I love you,” there will be something about love that does not yet exist.

Am I a ‘word snob’? Oh, maybe. OK, probably. Dammit, yes! But I don’t think my demeanor is snobbish. More relentless and passionate.

I admire excellence and precision with language. I’m a harsh critic of the way American pop culture lazily conscripts the English language willy-nilly.

Americans tend to think of this — when they think about it at all — as another entitled “freedom.” A creative evolving of language. Most of the time it’s exactly the opposite. We broaden, distort and thereby cheapen the meaning of important words. This undermines meaningful discourse.

In the end, it’s worse than merely me not understanding what you mean to be saying; you no longer can accurately apprehend your own experience with anything like clarity and meaning.

For me, there is only one dictionary: The English Oxford Dictionary. Why? Because it alone is willing to guard the power and meaning of the English lexicon.

If I step out on my front porch, and shout “Labeedoowitz” loudly enough, the word “labeedoowitz” will show up in the next printing of the Rand McNally Dictionary.

OK, that’s hyperbole. But, I swear, coin the word “labeedoowitz” in a hit Broadway musical, and it will indeed be automatically included in the dictionary your son and daughter take to college.

I want to chase people to the dictionary. Regularly. I don’t apologize for using important words when just the right word matters.

I love it when I hear a new word. I interrupt people, right there on the spot. I say, “Ooh, I don’t know that word!” That’s a rush for me. A delicious feeling in my brain.

Why do I write? I write because I’m a compulsive communicator who loves to think out loud. Critical thinking turns me on. I like building an argument the way little boys like Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets.

I even have fun when the argument collapses. My best friends will tell you that I flat out love being wrong. Yep, when someone puts a finger clearly and accurately on the flaw in my argument, my brain stem hums as if I’d just bitten into a vanilla creme chocolate. If your argument can derail my argument, then I’m like a little kid with a new toy! I’ll race back home with your argument. Take it apart. Put it back together. Play with it. Integrate into my worldview, now changed.

Bring me a good argument, and I’ll ask you to marry me. (Uh, metaphorically speaking. I am so off the market.)

What inspires me? Life. Love. Tragedy. Suffering. Redemption. Evil. Beneficence. Truth. Beauty. Moral dilemmas. Mystery. The human journey inspires me, in virtually any form or circumstance.

What do I do to overcome “writers’ block”? Two things. First, I surround myself with deadlines imposed by others in authority over me. I’m inherently lazy. Not much of a self-starter. Without deadlines, I tend to sit around congratulating myself for thinking about all the brilliant things I could write. The thing that best “jump starts” my most creative self is the high expectations of others, especially if I have contractual obligations with them.

Second, I overcome “writers’ block” by writing. It’s like pumping the pump handle on a reluctant well. At some point I stop saying, “When I get a worthy idea, I’ll start writing.” No, I just sit down and start banging the keys, until a worthy idea shows up.

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http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/01/08/f-scott-fitzgerld-on-writing/

F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret of Great Writing

by

What is the secret of great writing? For David Foster Wallace, it was about fun. For Henry Miller, about discovery. Susan Sontag saw it as self-exploration. Many literary greats anchored it to their daily routines. And yet, the answer remains elusive and ever-changing.

In the fall of 1938, Radcliffe College sophomore Frances Turnbull sent her latest short story to family friend F. Scott Fitzgerald. His response, found in F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters (UK; public library) — the same volume that gave us Fitzgerald’s heartwarming fatherly advice and his brilliantly acerbic response to hate mail — echoes Anaïs Nin’s insistence upon the importance of emotional investment in writing and offers some uncompromisingly honest advice on essence of great writing:

November 9, 1938

Dear Frances:

I’ve read the story carefully and, Frances, I’m afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher than you are prepared to pay at present. You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.

This is the experience of all writers. It was necessary for Dickens to put into Oliver Twist the child’s passionate resentment at being abused and starved that had haunted his whole childhood. Ernest Hemingway’s first stories ‘In Our Time’ went right down to the bottom of all that he had ever felt and known. In ‘This Side of Paradise’ I wrote about a love affair that was still bleeding as fresh as the skin wound on a haemophile.

The amateur, seeing how the professional having learned all that he’ll ever learn about writing can take a trivial thing such as the most superficial reactions of three uncharacterized girls and make it witty and charming — the amateur thinks he or she can do the same. But the amateur can only realize his ability to transfer his emotions to another person by some such desperate and radical expedient as tearing your first tragic love story out of your heart and putting it on pages for people to see.

That, anyhow, is the price of admission. Whether you are prepared to pay it or, whether it coincides or conflicts with your attitude on what is ‘nice’ is something for you to decide. But literature, even light literature, will accept nothing less from the neophyte. It is one of those professions that wants the ‘works.’ You wouldn’t be interested in a soldier who was only a little brave.

In the light of this, it doesn’t seem worth while to analyze why this story isn’t saleable but I am too fond of you to kid you along about it, as one tends to do at my age. If you ever decide to tell your stories, no one would be more interested than,

Your old friend,

F. Scott Fitzgerald

P.S. I might say that the writing is smooth and agreeable and some of the pages very apt and charming. You have talent — which is the equivalent of a soldier having the right physical qualifications for entering West Point.

Two years prior, in another letter to his fifteen-year-old daughter Scottie upon her enrollment in high school, Fitzgerald offered more wisdom on the promise and perils of writing:

Grove Park Inn Asheville, N.C. October 20, 1936

Dearest Scottina:

[…]

Don’t be a bit discouraged about your story not being tops. At the same time, I am not going to encourage you about it, because, after all, if you want to get into the big time, you have to have your own fences to jump and learn from experience. Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one. If you have anything to say, anything you feel nobody has ever said before, you have got to feel it so desperately that you will find some way to say it that nobody has ever found before, so that the thing you have to say and the way of saying it blend as one matter—as indissolubly as if they were conceived together.

Let me preach again for one moment: I mean that what you have felt and thought will by itself invent a new style so that when people talk about style they are always a little astonished at the newness of it, because they think that is only style that they are talking about, when what they are talking about is the attempt to express a new idea with such force that it will have the originality of the thought. It is an awfully lonesome business, and as you know, I never wanted you to go into it, but if you are going into it at all I want you to go into it knowing the sort of things that took me years to learn.

[…]

Nothing any good isn’t hard, and you know you have never been brought up soft, or are you quitting on me suddenly? Darling, you know I love you, and I expect you to live up absolutely to what I laid out for you in the beginning.

Scott

For more wisdom on the writing life, see Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing, Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 guidelines for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, Neil Gaiman’s 8 rules, Margaret Atwood’s 10 practical tips, and Susan Sontag’s synthesized learnings.

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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/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/christina-patterson-the-novice-poet-will-try-and-express-feelings-they-already-know-they-have-but-an-experienced-poet-is-one-who-knows-that-a-poem-is-only-a-true-poem-if-it-reveals-what-you-didn/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/no-one-can-take-away-ones-own-attitude-to-live-authentically-passionately-in-praise-of-roberto-benignis-15th-anniversary-movie-life-is-beautiful/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/getting-over-having-been-dumped-by-the-one-you-want-is-a-long-difficult-process-getting-dumped-does-not-dump-your-self-respect-attitude/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/reconciliation-formula-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/an-ennobling-sufferance-living-life-to-the-fullest/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/true-faith-is-a-context-for-suffering-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-choice-is-not-whether-to-have-or-not-have-a-worldview-in-which-you-place-faith-the-only-choice-is-whether-we-are-willing-to-choose-with-intention-clarity-commitment-sage-steven-kala/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-extraordinary-sage-viktor-frankl-only-then-through-the-power-of-using-the-past-for-living-and-making-history-out-of-what-has-happened-does-a-pe/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/in-some-ways-suffering-ceases-to-be-suffering-at-the-moment-it-finds-a-meaning-such-as-the-meaning-of-a-sacrifice-life-is-never-made-unbearable-by-circumstances-but-only-by-lack-of-meaning-and-pur/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/surrender-yes-what-is-demanded-of-man-is-not-as-some-existential-philosophers-teach-to-endure-the-meaninglessness-of-life-but-rather-to-bear-rationally-his-incapacity-to-grasp-its/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/society-blurs-the-decisive-difference-between-being-valuable-in-the-sense-of-dignity-and-being-valuable-in-the-sense-of-usefulness-sage-viktor-frankl/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/dostoevski-said-once-there-is-only-one-thing-i-dread-not-to-be-worthy-of-my-sufferings-sage-viktor-frankl/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/what-is-to-give-light-must-endure-burning-sage-viktor-frankl-in-tribute-to-connie-francis/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/the-paradox-of-authenticity-a-conscious-commitment-to-your-peace-whether-its-i-or-not-i/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/faith-is-consequential-but-it-is-not-about-immortality-faith-is-about-finding-peace-within-oneself/

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-rubinstein/writing-process_b_2707747.html?utm_hp_ref=books

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For me, writing begins with an almost dreamlike process. It’s as though my mind goes through some semi-conscious period where things from the past and present seem to coalesce and begin building upon themselves. Sometimes a thought fragment forms, only to fade the way some dreams dissolve as you’re awakening. At other times, an idea imbeds itself and develops with a clear forward trajectory.

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The novel’s story incorporates other aspects of my own and others’ experiences, coupled with large doses of imagination and fantasy. Like all fiction writers, I draw from the things I know well, and borrow heavily from life around me.

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I draw water from the well of my life’s work, and create stories.

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A writer is someone who always has an eye open and an ear cocked. I am no exception.

Drawing from life is at the heart of my novels, although each one begins in its unique way.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/irony-can-include-paradox-and-paradox-can-include-irony/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/jesus-makes-clear-that-to-forgive-is-to-forget-propitiation-and-their-sins-and-iniquities-i-will-remember-no-more-hebrews-1017/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/topic-irony/

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony#Irony_as_infinite.2C_absolute_negativity

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Irony as paradox [subtitled as negativity]

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Where much of philosophy attempts to reconcile opposites into a larger positive project, Kierkegaard and others insist that irony—whether expressed in complex games of authorship or simple litotes—must, in Kierkegaard’s words, “swallow its own stomach.”

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Irony entails endless reflection and violent reversals, and ensures incomprehensibility at the moment it compels speech.

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Similarly, among other literary critics, writer David Foster Wallace viewed the pervasiveness of ironic and other postmodern tropes as the cause of “great despair and stasis in U.S. culture, and that for aspiring fictionists [ironies] pose terrifically vexing problems.”

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

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In response to the hegemony of metafictional and self-conscious irony in contemporary fiction, writer David Foster Wallace predicted, in his 1993 essay “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction,” a new literary movement which would espouse something like the New Sincerity ethos:

“The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows.”

In his essay “David Foster Wallace and the New Sincerity in American Fiction,” Adam Kelly argues that Wallace’s fiction, and that of his generation, is marked by a revival and theoretical reconception of sincerity, challenging the emphasis on authenticity that dominated twentieth-century literature and conceptions of the self.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/this-is-water-david-foster-wallace-wallace-used-many-forms-of-irony-but-focused-on-individuals-continued-longing-for-earnest-unselfconscious-experience-and-communication-in-a-media-s/

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-irony

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox#Paradox_in_philosophy

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Paradoxes are irresolvable truths, not contradictions, in which only one opposite is true [a contradiction]

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http://www.academia.edu/2541288/Towards_an_Ethics_of_Irony_The_Paradox_of_Love_in_the_Symposium_

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“In Critical Fragment 48 Schlegel remarks that, ‘Irony is the form of paradox. Paradox is everything simultaneously good and great.’ This is the best articulation of the concept of irony in the German Romantic tradition: in contrast to the classical trajectory of irony embodied in the figure of Socrates who rhetorically dissembles his own knowledge, Schlegel’s fragment is emblematic of an irony that is a condition of possibility of objects, literary or otherwise, occurring in time and space.

The form of paradox becomes the horizon of potential that, for instance, allows good works to be read, un-read and re-read in countless interpretations hence becoming the great works of history. Or, in Kierkegaardian terms, which themselves are spectralized reproductions of Aristotelian terminology, irony allows one literary actuality to be superseded by the potentiality located in the literary actuality itself. As thus envisaged, hermeneutic progress itself hinges upon this ironic potential.

But what about ‘progress’ and ‘potential’ thought of in terms of political hope? Can irony, this condition of possibility, inform an ethics?

Ironically, perhaps an answer is to be found not in the German Romantic tradition, but in the very classical tradition that has been consistently distinguished from it. In sticking with the idea of irony as a condition of possibility and without defining it tout court, I shall argue that Socrates’s exploration of the concept of love in the Symposium not only pre-dates the structure of irony normally attributed to the German Romantic movement, but also compliments it as a relevant form of ethics for contemporary times. It would be ironic indeed if irony itself, normally a suspect trope in the field of ethics, allowed all ethical questions to occur in the first place.

To me, Socrates simply called this condition love— this paper seeks to further elaborate this thought.”

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http://books.google.com/books?id=6EAw-H8zvDkC&pg=PA115&lpg=PA115&dq=Critical+Fragment+48+Schlegel+irony+is+paradox&source=bl&ots=0vE_ZSo4_8&sig=S-Wj3HJJlCszh7DtMNhS5rdSxAU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MXuNUe2_FKOtigLE8IAw&sqi=2&ved=0CFIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Critical%20Fragment%2048%20Schlegel%20irony%20is%20paradox&f=false

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http://www.bachelorandmaster.com/criticaltheories/friedrich-schlegel.html

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Irony and paradox as distinct and not convergent –

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http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/english/2010/lesson_plans/reading/nonfiction/9-12/14_11-12_readingnonfiction_recognizing_ambiguity_contraction.pdf

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http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Lite/LiteBred.htm

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Paradox and irony seem quite distinct.

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Paradox relies on the clarity and exactness of language; it shows that truth can be expressed by words alone.

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Irony uses words to point beyond language.

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Irony shows that there are some truths which, though they cannot be articulated in words,

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can none the less be expressed by means of words.

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Irony, like many other figures, is a way of transcending and ultimately extending the limited resources of everyday language,

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of ensuring that it does not disguise thought

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but is both the midwife and the medium of thought.

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Not everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly,

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but everything that can be thought at all can be put into words.

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E.g. – seminaries could teach us how to think and even how to apply the truths of Scriptures to certain situations, but our seminaries did not have the ability nor the capacity to teach their young ministers how to feel. Only the Prompt of the Spirit could provide that.” — James H. Hill, Jr.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/in-praise-of-mystic-christian-jo-anne-silva-i-recognized-that-our-seminaries-could-teach-us-how-to-think-and-even-how-to-apply-the-truths-of-scriptures-to-certain-situations-but-our-seminaries-did/

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E.g. –

Richard Hays’ Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul: Paul’s readings of Scripture are not constrained by a historical scrupulousness about the original meaning of the texts. Eschatological meaning subsumes original sense…. True interpretation depends neither on historical inquiry nor on erudite literary analysis but on attentiveness to the promptings of the Spirit, who reveals the gospel through Scripture in surprising ways. In such interpretations, there is an element of playfulness, but the freedom of intertextual play is grounded in a secure sense of the continuity of God’s grace: Paul trusts the same God who spoke through Moses to speak still in his own transformative reading. Just as my lectionary commentary invites Christians to read the Bible as Jesus read the ‘Bible’ in his day (with a hermeneutic of love), Hays’ work invites us to embrace the same freedom to interpret the Bible that Paul with other ancient commentators claimed. — sage Carl Gregg

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And yet,

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The Epicurean paradox “problem of evil” is a cosmic irony due to the sharp contrast/incongruity between reality and human ideals, or between human intentions and actual results. The resulting situation is poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Paradoxes#Philosophy

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony#Cosmic_irony_.28Irony_of_fate.29

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