Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Tree of Failure???

An acquaintance of mine, whom I visit on Facebook had an editorial from the New York Times, entitled The Tree of  Failure ( following President Obama's speech in Tuscon soon after the shootings by a young man. 

In the article, author David Brooks, an editor of the NYTimes, says, "Civility is a tree with deep roots, and without the roots, it can’t last. So what are those roots? They are failure, sin, weakness and ignorance."   

He later says, "So this is where civility comes from — from a sense of personal modesty and from the ensuing gratitude for the political process. Civility is the natural state for people who know how limited their own individual powers are and know, too, that they need the conversation." 

And later, "The problem is that over the past 40 years or so we have gone from a culture that reminds people of their own limitations to a culture that encourages people to think highly of themselves." 
And, "So, of course, you get narcissists...." 

And,  "Beneath all the other things that have contributed to polarization and the loss of civility, the most important is this: The roots of modesty have been carved away." 

I felt as though I were back in church, confused by all the mixing of metaphors, but so all pumped up by the preacher's passionate spew that I had to write a letter to the editor.  It wasn't published. So I'm publishing it here.

Dear Editor -- I would like to comment on David Brook's "Tree of Failure", January 13, 2011. Mr. Brooks, I found your opinion most exhilarating! I wonder if civility is a tree or an emotion, a feeling. Does it involve respect and maybe kindness? If it is a tree, and its roots are failure, sin, weakness and ignorance, no tree I know would grow in such a situation. If the root is no good, neither is the tree. But if civility is a feeling and intelligence, warmth, confidence and responsible cooperation might be its roots then I can see my civility in President Obama and his quiet, firm human display of composure as well as in your passionate outcry. Perhaps, the tree of civility has its roots in the idea Reinhold Niebuhr suggested: love, hope and tolerance, or, as he believed, rooted in the human spirit itself. May I invite you to try an experiment in self-civility? Re-read your opinion piece and put the word "my" in front of every noun. Notice how the naming power of words takes on new force when we take self-responsibility for them. Emotional continence, in my belief, begins in self awareness, self-sovereignty, and self-responsibility, which are its roots. All government is self-government. I like these words and their power in my mind.

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so must we think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves.” - Abraham Lincoln

“But I wish to be distinctly understood on one point. Americanism is a question of spirit, convictions and purpose, not of creed or birthplace. – Theodore Roosevelt

“A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society. - Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and third U.S. president

Best to you, Rob Craig

Monday, January 10, 2011

What's Working On You Today?

The Arizona shootings which killed six including a nine year old girl, and  a federal Judge, with 13 others seriously injured one of whom is a Congresswoman are on my mind today as well as a conversation I had by phone two days ago with my friend Nena Spencer.  Nena is metaphysical scientist (though any label, I am finding, does no justice to her)  Nena introduced Dr. Dorsey to Margaret Laird.  She told me that Dr. Dorsey said he was "standing on Freud's shoulders."   I read in one of Mrs. Laird's later Letters that she saw herself standing on Mrs. Eddy's shoulders. 

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), America's first feminist author and a member of Emerson's Transcendentalist circle, said:  "If men knew how to look around them, they need not look above."

Looking around I found this wonderful article Nena submitted to the IMS newsletter in 2000 and am sharing it here.  I find it very clear.


by Nena Spencer
January 2000
I have heard that "practice makes perfect," but do I remember that "Perfect makes the practice?"
Spirit is always perfect in all ways. Good is the only thing going on, even when it doesn't feel like it is.
When a person calls for support in a difficult experience, the best thing a practitioner can do is voice what he/she is living all the time--the spiritual fact that only Good is going on.
There are many ways that Good can look, many views and languages for this Good to appear in any given human situation. I have learned to release all concepts of how a situation should look or turn out because I have no idea. To venture an opinion is to impede the perfect solution always unfolding.
Sometimes it looks like our friends and clients have to experience very difficult and painful experiences and the temptation is to want to take the pain away from them. This cannot be done because actually there is no pain and what they go through is still a view, still just language for the identity of perfection present and operating.
When the problem is dropped, immediately divine help looks like it is on the way. The Truth is there is no lapse from or return to divine perfection present and operating. While we are speaking, the problem is being turned around into no problem. To concern myself at any time about anyone or thing is a waste of happiness and satisfaction.