Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lions and lambs

In his book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton wrote:


. . . and the lion lay down with the lamb. But remember that this text is too lightly interpreted. It is constantly assured . . . that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamblike. But that is brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb. That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is -- can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity?
(Gilbert K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (New York: John Lane Co., 1909), p. 180-181.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Teaching in the Fall

I don't know how actually teaching this class at my seminary in the Fall will be, but preparing for it is a blast. I've done all the classes for the psychotherapies we're going to cover and today I'm preparing the class on "Self Knowledge."

It's all so fascinating! Makes me wish I was going back to school myself!

My office is a total disaster, of course. Books everywhere! Papers all over the chair and the desk and crammed inside the book shelves. Lovely Passionate Feminist is getting her own apartment in about 3 weeks, and sometime after that I'm going to move my office into her old room, since it's bigger, and make this little office space into a guest bedroom. Of course, I don't really have the time to do that, but .... :-)

Gosh, I'm so grateful to have this opportunity to teach this class. What a gift it's been, and it hasn't even started!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A President Who Represents Us Well

I just need to say what a good feeling I get when I see President Obama on television...in Russia, in Italy, meeting with all these other world leaders. Here is a man who I really feel represents the best things about America.

Who knows...perhaps some big scandal will befall him before his first term is over and I'll have to eat these words. Power can corrupt the best of us, I know. But I'm betting/hoping not.

And for now, WOW, I feel like we as Americans can finally hold our heads up high because someone of his high caliber is out there for us on the world stage. He handles himself so well. He listens to others. And when he speaks it's intelligible.

Ahhh, what a relief.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The quantum world...

I took a brief look at PBS's show about Brian Greene's book, The Elegant Universe, this afternoon. The first hour is about Einstein's lifelong quest to find a theory that linked everything together. Apparently he stubbornly stuck with his old way of thinking and didn't pay much attention to the new physicists (Neils Bohr, for one) who were making new discoveries. Even so, string theory is a kind of fulfillment of Einstein's quest to understand the way the universe really works. Too bad he couldn't let go and allow others' thinking to influence his own. He steadfastly maintained to his dying day that "God doesn't play dice with the universe."

Quantum physics is all about probabilities, i.e., God playing dice. In a quantum world anything can happen. People can actually walk through walls, although quantum theory would say that the probability of that would be so low that it would approach eternity before anyone could do it. Hmm...(sounds familiar!)

In a quantum world particles bi-locate and are in two places at the same time. And two particles that were once linked stay linked, connected, no matter how far they move apart.

And, although I haven't watched this part yet, apparently in a quantum world there are MANY worlds. One scientist conjectured that our universe may be kind of hung straight, like a sheet on a clothesline, and other sheets (worlds) are right next to it but we're not aware of them. In these parallel and many universes do all the probabilities get worked out?

In a quantum world the principle of uncertainty reigns supreme. I guess in that world we'd have to let go of our crazy need to control everything & everyone and learn instead to respond with thoughtfulness--most likely that would be a love response, don't you think?

String theory says that the universe is composed of tiny strings of pulsating energy. Pumping and resting, vibrating at a certain rhythm. Pulsing, kind of like a heartbeat maybe?

So, the quantum world is very much like the spiritual world that we know when we tune into God, or move into a right-brain way of being, or reach a meditative state in which are false egos are finally quiet.

I spoke to someone last week who believes there are ghosts in her house, specifically her son who died many years ago and a niece. She doesn't see them, but she feels them. And she's heard them walking around upstairs.

Who knows? It's all such mystery. But beautiful. Very, very beautiful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Making some Progress on my Class in the Fall: "Spirituality and Psychotherapy"

It's been a slow week. I've been the only staff person in the office (which is kinda lonely!).

Even though I'm definitely not a fundraiser kind of person, I managed to make contact this week with a couple of grant-giving institutions, some churches and other institutions and ask for money. So far I don't have a dime, but there is hope. I'm trying to raise money so we can bring Mary's Hope Workshops to my city for a conference on the spiritual issues that come with the survival of childhood sexual abuse. Such a worthy cause...surely the money is somewhere out there!!

Tomorrow and Friday I'm here at home working on my class in the Fall. It's slow-going so I decided to take all of next week as vacation time from my church and just work on the class full-time. I've enjoyed what I've done so far in preparation, but yikes! the topic is so big! ("Spirituality and Psychotherapy")

I've decided to start with at least one class period focusing on our embodiment, i.e., The BRAIN. I love reading about how the brain works and possibilities for how a sense of self develops. Wish I was technical enough to put that all together~! ha!

I'm going to assign the heavy-duty reading up front so they'll have most of that done by October...Gerald Corey's Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. It's an excellent overview of different therapeutic modalities. Plus Diogenes Allen's Spiritual Theology.

Then they'll read about some spiritual disciplines and spiritual formation, plus Jean Stairs' text, Listening for the Soul. I'm hoping that by the first part of October we can begin to address specific topics: grief, the self, prayer/meditation and healing etc. Not quite sure yet how it will all come together, but hopefully that will be crystal clear by the end of next week! It better be!