Looking in the Mirror

Spiritual Revelations for those seeking Humanity in Humans ~~CordieB.

Archive for Observations

All is Fair in Love and War – Or is it?

geeandcordie2.jpg
Issue n°161 : Convention of those wounded in love

General provisions: 
A – Whereas the saying “all is fair in love and war” is absolutely correct;
B – Whereas for war we have the Geneva Convention, approved on 22 August 1864, which provides for those wounded in the battle field, but until now no convention has been signed concerning those wounded in love, who are far greater in number;

It is hereby decreed that:

Article 1 – All lovers, of any sex, are alerted that love, besides being a blessing, is also something extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious damage.  Consequently, anyone planning to love should be aware that they are exposing their body and soul to various types of wounds, and that they shall not be able to blame their partner at any moment, since the risk is the same for both.

Article 2 – Once struck by a stray arrow fired from Cupid’s bow, they should immediately ask the archer to shoot the same arrow in the opposite direction, so as not to be afflicted by the wound known as “unrequited love”.  Should Cupid refuse to perform such a gesture, the Convention now being promulgated demands that the wounded partner remove the arrow from his/her heart and throw it in the garbage.  In order to guarantee this, those concerned should avoid telephone calls, messages over the Internet, sending flowers that are always returned, or each and every means of seduction, since these may yield results in the short run but always end up wrong after a while.  The Convention decrees that the wounded person should immediately seek the company of other people and try to control the obsessive thought: “this person is worth fighting for”.

Article 3 – If the wound is caused by third parties, in other words if the loved one has become interested in someone not in the script previously drafted, vengeance is expressly forbidden.  In this case, it is allowed to use tears until the eyes dry up, to punch walls or pillows, to insult the ex-partner in conversations with friends, to allege his/her complete lack of taste, but without offending their honor.  The Convention determines that the rule contained in Article 2 be applied: seek the company of other persons, preferably in places different from those frequented by the other party.

Article 4 – In the case of light wounds, herein classified as small treacheries, fulminating passions that are short-lived, passing sexual disinterest, the medicine called Pardon should be applied generously and quickly.  Once this medicine has been applied, one should never reconsider one’s decision, not even once, and the theme must be completely forgotten and never used as an argument in a fight or in a moment of hatred.

Article 5 – In all definitive wounds, also known as “breaking up”, the only medicine capable of having an effect is called Time.  It is no use seeking consolation from fortune-tellers (who always say that the lost lover will return), romantic books (which always have a happy ending), soap-operas on the television or other such things.  One should suffer intensely, completely avoiding drugs, tranquilizers and praying to saints.  Alcohol is only tolerated if kept to a maximum of two glasses of wine a day. 

Final determination : Those wounded in love, unlike those wounded in armed conflict, are neither victims nor torturers.  They chose something that is part of life, and so they have to accept both the agony and the ecstasy of their choice.

And those who have never been wounded in love will never be able to say: “I have lived”.  Because they haven’t.

From:  Warrior of the Light, Issue 161

No Small Dreams – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Photo courtesy of DrewMyers and is licenced under Creative Commons

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I celebrated the life of Dr. King on yesterday, I remembered  seeing Dr. King’s picture on the front of The Richmond News Leader  as a child, upon his assasination.  Everyone was mourning and crying; some were angered.  I was confused.   I was 4 years old, and it was the first time in my life that I realized I was a black child.  Before this, I had no concept of a difference between black and white people.   I was a child.  Children have no prejudice, unless it is taught.  As God’s Children, we should all strive to be like children in our hearts, for such is the Kingdom of God. 

Yesterday, I also remembered the hopes and dreams of this man, who with love for humanity, purpose and vision, tapped into the conciousness of many Americans and people around the world.  Dr. King’s dreams for racial equality, was not his only dream.  Dr. King was a visionary, a warrior for peace, love, and just simply doing the right thing.  He was a true humanitarian, who spoke his truth, no matter what popular opinion held.  The article below written by Michael Eric Dyson, clearly gives us a broad array of Dr. King’s Dream of people creating and not destroying, working together and not against each other, loving and not hating. 

Peace, Love and Light to all Warriors of the Light in respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
~CordieB.

No Small Dreams – By Michael Eric Dyson

As a literary figure, Martin Luther King, Jr., stands as possibly the greatest American rhetorician of the 20th century. As a citizen, his singular contributions to the legacy of American democracy helped this nation realize its political and moral aspirations to an arguably greater extent than any other figure. And while much of the literature about King portrays him as a dreamer intent on rhapsodically transforming America through eloquent speech and writing, in reality he was much more. He was a visionary activist whose disturbing words and courageous deeds cost him his life. It is unfortunate that we have largely frozen King in his “I Have a Dream” stage while neglecting the radical evolution of his later years. Perhaps by revisiting the impressive body of literature King left behind we can come to a deeper understanding of his thoughts and his abiding legacy.

One of the more misunderstood and underappreciated features of King’s mature thought is his skepticism about the earlier methods of social change that he advocated. For the first several years of his career, King was quite optimistic about the possibility that racial inequality could be solved through black struggle and white good will. In The Preacher King, Richard Lischer captures the civil rights leader’s early views in a revealing quotation by King:

“Maybe God has called us here to this hour. Not merely to free ourselves but to free all of our white brothers and save the soul of this nation–We will not ever allow this struggle to become so polarized that it becomes a struggle between black men and white men. We must see the tension in this nation between injustice and justice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.”

But during the last three years of his life, King questioned his own understanding of race relations. As King told journalist David Halberstam, “For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values.” King also told Halberstam something that he argued in his last book, Trumpet of Conscience: that “most Americans are unconscious racists.” For King, this recognition was not a source of bitterness but a reason to revise his strategy. If one believed that whites basically desired to do the right thing, then a little moral persuasion was sufficient. But if one believed that whites had to be made to behave in the right way, one had to employ substantially more than moral reasoning.

King’s later views on racism were shaped by his move into northern communities in cities like Chicago. King’s open housing marches in Chicago were greeted with what he characterized as the most “hostile and hateful” demonstration of white racism he had ever witnessed, more violent even than Selma or Birmingham. David Garrow, in his book, Bearing the Cross, quotes King as saying that northern whites were practicing “psychological and spiritual genocide,” which was a stunning about-face on his earlier beliefs in the inherent goodness of whites. In Chicago, King openly admitted “I’m tired of marching for something that should have been mine at birth,” and he lamented the loss of America’s will to right its wrongs. In his book Why We Can’t Wait (1964), King made a remarkable statement:

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the 16th century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population.”

This is not the Martin Luther King, Jr., who is sentimentalized during each holiday celebration. This is certainly not the portrait of King painted by fast-food advertisements that encourage us to recall a man more interested in dreaming than doing, more interested in keeping the peace than bringing a sword.

If King’s later views on persistent, deeply entrenched racism capture his radical legacy, his views on economic inequality are equally challenging. By 1964, King had reached the conclusion that blacks faced “basic social and economic problems that require political reform.” But the vicious nature of northern ghetto poverty in particular convinced King that the best hope for America was the redistribution of wealth. In his 1967 presidential address to the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), entitled “The President’s Address to the Tenth Anniversary Convention” (included in Testament of Hope, a collection of King’s speeches edited by James Washington), King urged his colleagues to fight the problems of the ghetto by organizing their economic and political power. King implored his organization to develop a program that would compel the nation to have a guaranteed annual income and full employment, thus abolishing poverty, and he preached that “the Movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society.” When such a question was raised, one was really “raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth,” and thus, one was “question[ing] the capitalistic economy.” These words mark a profound transformation in King’s thinking.

While King’s radical views on racism and economic inequality were disturbing to many, his views on the Vietnam War were virtually unconscionable to millions of Americans. Although King was initially hesitant about jumping into the fray, his strong antiwar activism proved just how morally and ideologically independent he was. According to Adam Fairclough’s book, To Redeem the Soul of America, by 1965 King had concluded that America’s policy on Vietnam had been, since 1945, “morally and politically wrong.” Despite his views, King’s public criticism of the war was hampered by two factors. First, his evolving radicalism called for an independence from mainstream politics that the bulk of his followers were unlikely to embrace. Second, his open criticism of foreign policy would alienate officials of the federal government on whom blacks depended to protect and extend their civil rights. This double-bind temporarily silenced King’s opposition to the war and made it nearly impossible for him to generate sympathy for antiwar activities in broad segments of the civil rights community, including his own Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

By 1967, King could no longer remain silent about Vietnam. His most famous statement of conscientious objection to the war was entitled A Time to Break Silence. That speech, contained in A Testament of Hope, was delivered at New York’s famed Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, exactly a year before his assassination. After noting the difficulty of “opposing [the] government’s policy, especially in a time of war,” King argued that Vietnam was stealing precious resources from domestic battles against economic suffering and contended that the “Vietnam War [was] an enemy of the poor.”

King’s assault on America as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” elicited a predictably furious reaction from the White House. The news media was even harsher. In Symbols, the News Magazines and Martin Luther King, Richard Lentz notes that Time magazine had, early in King’s opposition to the war, characterized him as a “drawling bumpkin, so ignorant that he had not read a newspaper in years, who had wandered out of his native haunts and away from his natural calling.” Newsweek columnist Kenneth Crawford attacked King for his “demagoguery” and “reckless distortions of the facts.” The Washington Post said that King’s Riverside speech was a “grave injury” to the civil rights struggle and that King had “diminished his usefulness to this cause, to his country, and to his people.” The New York Times editorialized that King’s speech was a “fusing of two public problems that are distinct and separate” and that King had done a “disservice to both.”

Of course, King’s views would eventually win the day. But King’s willingness to risk his reputation within the civil rights community attests to his notable courage and his commitment to principles of justice and nonviolence. He refused to silence his conscience for the sake of gaining in the polls or winning broader popularity. In fact, as David Levering Lewis points out in King: A Critical Biography, in 1967, for the first time in nearly a decade, King’s name was left off the Gallup Poll’s list of the 10 most admired Americans.

It is easy to forget that King was only 39 years of age when he died. That he helped spark a racial revolution in American society before his assassination in Memphis is a testament to the power of his vision and the grandeur of his words. Not long before he died, King described how he would like to be remembered:

“I’d like someone to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. l want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe the naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”

Michael Eric Dyson is an author and a professor of religious studies at DePaul University. His books include, among others, the recently released I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr., Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line, and Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X.

Quotes of Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speach (Audio)

Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speach (Video and Text)

Sixth Deadly Sin, Envy

Sixth deadly sin: Envy
According to the dictionary: s.f., from the Latin Invidia. Mixture of pain and anger; feeling of displeasure about the prosperity and happiness of someone else; desire to have what others have.

For the Catholic Church: Against the Tenth Commandment (You shall not covet thy neighbor’s house). It appears for the first time in Genesis, in the story of Cain and his brother Abel.

In a Jewish parable: A disciple asks the rabbis about the passage in Genesis: “The Lord was pleased about Abel and his offer, whereas he was not pleased about Cain and his offer. Cain was exceedingly angry and his face fell. Then the Lord said to him: Why are you angry and why did your face fall?”

The rabbis answered:

“God should have asked Cain: Why are you angry? Was it because I did not accept your offering, or because I accepted the offering of your brother?”

Envy and ethics: For the scientist and researcher Dr. William M. Shelton, envy is a reaction provoked by losers, who seek to evade reality by hiding behind a crusade seeking to reinstate “moral values”, “noble ideas”, and “social justice”. The situation becomes dangerous when the school system begins to develop in the student the conditioning for despising all those who manage to be successful, always attributing any success to corruption, manipulation and moral degradation. As the pursuit of success is something inherent to the human condition, the students end up in a schizophrenic process of hating exactly that which would lead them to happiness, thereby increasing the anxiety crises, and reducing the capacity to innovate and improve society.
To read more about Envy and the other Seven Deadly Sins, visit Paul Coelho’s newsletter at, http://www.warriorofthelight.com/engl/ant.shtml

Peace, Light and Love . . .

CordieB

Unconditional Love

I discovered this poem on the internet some years ago.  I have kept it with me, because it is, to me, the best definition of unconditional love I have seen.  If any one knows who the author is, please advise, so that I can give the proper credit.

Greg and Cordie

What is unconditional love?

  It strikes me as this,

  The ability to always accept

  Loved ones as individual

  Human beings, human beings with

  Singular dispositions and traits

  That may waver at times,

  Depending upon personal circumstances,

  But doesn’t make that person

  Harmful, evil or bad, just human.
 

What is NOT unconditional love?

  Being automatically used in disguise,

  Taken for granted and advantage of,

  And constantly accepting and denying

  Mistreatment as isolated incidents,

  Or continually letting and forgiving someone

  For always doing me wrong

  Because they NEVER change their ways

  Does not constitute the grounds

  Of unconditional love in my eyes.
 

Unconditional love to me,

  Is the ability to differentiate

  Between when a person’s

  Contrary actions directed towards me

  Are honestly or intentionally abnormal,

  And accepting my dear beings

  At their best, lovable dispositions,

  During their dark, depressing moments,

  And throughout their mood swings,

  Because these changes happen at times.

  Sometimes it’s the hardest thing,

  To stand and deal with someone,

  When it seems like they are

  Depending upon or burdening you purposely

  Because they are hopelessly frustrated

  With their own personal issues,

  But the way to tell if

  Someone is genuinely relying on me

  Is by knowing them well

  And understanding who they are.
 

A bond that is severed,

  Is one that never existed.

  To err and to fluctuate dispositions,

  Is natural and is human.

  To embody and practice unconditional love,

  Is to know which persons

  This is appropriate to apply to

  And treat them as such,

  Realizing who they themselves are

  As human beings and individuals.
 

A hard lesson to learn

  Is sometimes when people say

  Things that hurt or insult

  Me at that particular time

  Is to not take it personally

  Based on their current demeanor

  Or attitude from whatever trial

  And tribulation they’re going through

  Because they may not mean it

  At that particular time.
 

The sidewalk isn’t always dry,

  But when it occasionally gets slippery,

  That doesn’t change its underlying structure.

  A person may experience some strife

  Which can temporarily transform them

  Into non-desirable, annoying creatures,

  But when we realize they’re human,

  And understand them as individuals,

  We’ll know they aren’t harming us

  And we can show them unconditional love.