Wednesday, June 4, 2008

spirituality, revolution, whatnot

i'm reading this book... i'm always reading books. there's one by my bed (simplicity), one on my treadmill (the reiki book), and one in my purse for when i'm stuck waiting outside lessons or at the rock climbing gym. the purse book i have now is called celebration of discipline: the path to spiritual growth. the-rapist lent it to me when i complained that the bible didn't give enough practical "how-to's" on living this christian life... so here's a few of the things i would've underlined in the first chapter if the book were mine and i could do that...

In Colossians Paul lists some of the outward forms that people use to control sin: "touch not, taste not, handle not." He then add that these things "have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship."....The moment we feel we can succeed and attain victory over sin by the strength of our will alone is the moment we are worshipping the will.....Willpower will never succeed in dealing with the deeply ingrained habits of sin...."Will worship" may produce an outward show of success for a time, but in the cracks and crevices of our lives our deep inner condition will eventually be revealed....You see, by dint of will people can make a good showing for a time, but sooner or later there will come that unguarded moment when the "careless word" will slip out to reveal the true condition of the heart.

Willpower has no defense against the careless word, the unguarded moment. The will has the same deficiency as the law--it can deal only with externals. It is incapable of bringing about the necessary transformation of the inner spirit.

When the Disciplines degenerate into law, they are used to manipulate and control people. We take explicit commands and use them to imprison others. Such a deterioration of the Spiritual Disciplines results in pride and fear. Pride takes over because we come to believe that we are the right kind of people. Fear takes over because we dread losing control.

...we must come to the place in our lives where we can lay down the everlasting burden of always needing to manage others. This drive, more than any single thing, will lead us to turn the Spiritual Disciplines into laws. Once we have made a law, we have an "externalism" by which we judge who is measuring up and who is not. Without laws the Disciplines are primarily an internal work, and it is impossible to control an internal work.

so while i still feel a little "cringe-y" inside when i read words like sin or paul, i do find these words speaking to me. there has always seemed something strange about exerting the will. not that it is always bad or wrong or negative. i don't believe that at all. but the over dependence on exerting it is i guess what i mean, although how to judge that has to be individual and personal, which is what the last paragraph is talking about. it was just my reading today while the kids were at piano lessons, and i wanted to play around with it a little...

in other news...the united states has it's first african american presidential candidate. it's one of those historical moments that makes me get a lump in my throat. like when i lived in austin and the u.t. law school did away with their affirmative action requirements....different kind of lump, but still a lump nonetheless. and while politics is not my favorite thing to discuss, i am proud to see this moment. i am also really proud to have been able to watch hillary clinton run for the same spot. and i can't deny...i'd like to see her be his running mate, but either way, it was a good time to be a democrat....watching two people, both breaking barriers in their own ways, vastly different, but both deeply convicted they could be the one to do the best job for the country.

so i chose this video in honor of barack obama's presidential candidacy. there were other videos, but this is what tracy looked like when i saw her my sophomore year in high school...with her short dreads and those great dimples at the end of each song...right before the lights would darken between each song. she's so shy...and so amazingly powerful at the same time.



lilizzyykittyymom said...

I avoid politics too, but it is an amazing time isn't it? I too would love to see Hilary as his running mate, keep your fingers crossed!

*Jess* said...

Wow, I haven't listened to Tracy Chapman in at least 10 years. Thanks for bringing me back with good memories :)

MaWhit said...

Thanks for the Tracy. She's haunting and beautiful.