i just uploaded episode 67 - or, actually - it's uploading as i type this! in it, i talk more about sam keen's
book "to love and be loved
" - with special emphasis on religious language, and listening, and how all of that fits into our perception and experience with (both needing and giving) forgiveness. it feels like a big concept to me - cuz, all around us, there seem to be so many examples of (and excuses for) bitterness, loneliness, hopelessness, limitation, hurt, etc., etc., etc. it's not a distant thing. so, obviously, i'm in no position to cast judgment on it (or anyone suffering from it). and i don't. cuz - let's face it - life's a mess for all of us. me too. and the only reason i notice any of this, probably, is just cuz i'm a part of it. i'm getting it wrong everyday. and, ironically, it's usually wrong for all the right reasons! so, yea. i know how it feels. i want there to be an answer.
and, in the middle of this - right here - i want so badly to keep my heart operating and open - to keep trying, keep looking, keep hearing. it feels essential. like job #1 to me. as i look around at the world - the people i love, my neighbors - there seem to be so many endlessly distinct ways of handling this stuff - the balance - the art - the spiritual and emotional work - the failure - the courage and strength, always mixed with uncertainty. so much has been done. so much truth has been found. and, despite all the obvious unavoidable darkness out there, there's a lot of beauty and hope too - still - for any of us willing to try. i can't help but think about the examples from the spiritual traditions - the possibilities lived out by people like the dalai lama, ghandi, jesus, martin luther king, mother theresa. amazing, right? how did/do they do it? obviously, there are a million divergent things about what each of these people stand/stood for, and what they believed about god, themselves, the world, etc. but also, doesn't it seem like there's something undeniably in-common between them? like they're tapping into some aspect of the human heart? i mean really - seriously. i do.
honestly, i have no idea what word to call that "thing" that opens our hearts and changes us like nothing else can change us. it's a crazy and totally nonverbal thing. but i guess "god" is as real and fundamental and mystical an explanation as any other that's possible. it's true. but, even so, calling it "god" doesn't really explain anything, anyway, does it? much more, it feels like it just points toward the truth that there's something vastly more beautiful and beyond our ability to express than we can possibly put our finger on. something like that. but, obviously, much more. it's a feeling. and we all know it when we see it.
for me, it's similar with ideas like "sin" or "repentance" or "hell" or "salvation." they're totally loaded terms, i know - so maybe it's unwise to use them? or maybe we should think up other, better, words that get at the same idea? could be. but, either way, i do think - regardless of what spiritual or religious system we identify with, or don't - most of us understand what it means to need forgiveness. i'm not religious or devout in any traditional sense, but i know i
do. and, likewise, i think most of us know what it means to be hypocritical - to do things we know are wrong, to fail ourselves and those we love - and to see it in context only when it's too late to fix, etc. so, in that way, i think this feeling (or knowing) is in the guts of why so much of human culture, and why so many of the divergent spiritual traditions, have centered around similar urges and needs and emotional expressions. which, ultimately, isn't to say much, i know. ;) but still.
all of this is sort of embedded in episode 67. cuz i think the common religious motivations - while they've obviously been at the root of discord and dehumanization over the history of human civilization - can
be different. and i think there's a lot more rooted similarity between us than any of us, or the pundits, or leaders with vested interests, ever allow for, or speculate. what's more, i think it's a very simple thing. the most natural thing - the truth that seeing ourselves in someone else changes everything. it's a simple and beautiful fact. but, what causes that kind of seeing? who knows? it's a mystery, right? maybe "god" again? i like that way of saying it. but, whatever we call it, that's what love is. and, forgiveness, whenever it happens, is the same thing. it's a letting go. it's the act seeing ourselves in our enemy - the other religion - the other political party - the other nation, color, belief. that's all falling-in-love ever is. god opening our hearts. and, amid the mess that we're in - here and now - it still happens.
if you have time, i hope you can listen to the podcast this week. i'd love to share it with you and hear how you see things. don't forget to befriend and support all of the artists featured on tonight's show!
true margrit - www.truemargrit.com
danny scherr - www.myspace.com/dannyscherr
toy house -www.myspace.com/toyhouse
gery tinkelberg - www.gtink.com
sam keen - www.samkeen.com
wishing a great week!