Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Mother Child Bond

Saturday morning I came across this story of a monkey grieving over the death of its mother.

I was particularly moved. Perhaps because the night before I’d been revising War & Grace.

Let me share an excerpt from the portion of the manuscript I’d been working on.

"We do well to support every child’s love for their mother, as we, the priestesses of Delphinus, love our mother, the Great White Sea.”

lack of attachment

“What about in cases where the mother dies in, say, childbirth. Is the child doomed?”

“There is no doubt the premature death of a child’s mother presents challenges. But if the child is allowed and encouraged to cultivate the memory of their mother it can go a long way in overcoming the rupture. There are many ways to achieve this. Images, stories, and simple discussions between those who remember the deceased are all quite effective.”

importance of mother child bond

“What if the mother dies — or the mother and child are separated prematurely through some other complication — and there is never any mention of her made to the child?”

“It would be much like a fish, when taken from the sea, gasps for air. While the sea will continue to thrive, the fish will flounder and die. The child will spend their life gasping for something which almost everyone they come in contact with takes for granted. They will be at a sore disadvantage.” — War & Grace by Heidi Garrett

lack of attachment

Again and again, animals — our relationships with them and their relationships with each other — provide the most direct and simple map to find our way home — to the home of the heart, to the place wherever it is that we love and are loved.

benefits of human animal bond

Friday, March 10, 2017

We Love.

We love.

Americans are at their best when we are loving.

Whether its our spouses, partners, children, pets, homes, states, country, freedom, constitution, bill of rights, we are a passionate people.

I saw a headline the other day claiming that “Americans don’t recognize their country anymore.” Supposedly because we’re divided.

Who in their right mind would expect 320 plus million diverse peoples to agree on most things?!?! Anything?!?!? (Oh, that's what all that nifty surveillance is far ... they're going to try to use our buying habits, reading habits, posting habits, watching habits to herd us like cats ... hehe!)

If you study our history, Americans have been “divided” since the birth of our nation. Politics has, since our country’s inception, been rife with nastiness and name-calling, i.e. the more things change the more things stay the same … So don’t let anyone hoodwink you into believing “these times are somehow different — more awful — so bad —blah blah blah blah blah blah blah”.

Years ago M. Scott Peck wrote a book titled The Road Less Traveled, the title a line from a Robert Frost poem. It was a bestseller. An analysis of why it was a best seller back in the day claimed it was because the first line of the book was: Life is difficult.

And those three words hooked millions of book buyers because it confirmed an innate truth that at the time, perhaps, was not readily acknowledged in public. Remember all those silly saccharine sitcoms they used to foist upon us …

See, we’re always hungry and scavenging for Truth. We really don’t want or need or thrive on sugar-coated, palliative make me-feel good solipsism.

We really want the Truth, even when it hurts. Even when it breaks our hearts.

This picture reminds me of that.

Bodza, air force dog, military dogs, dog emotional support
Photo credit The Mirror
It reminds me that to love is the most magnificent thing on this planet. And whether that love is for your precious child, your loyal dog, or the freedom to voice your Truth, that love is the only thing that tethers us to the Divine.

So love someone or something with everything you've got.

Unleash your passion.

And open your big mouth about that.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Violence in the Name of Religion is Depressing

I read Silence by Shusaku Endo for the first time in the last week of 2016 and wrote this blog post. However, I’d borrowed the book from the library and couldn’t make notes in it, so … I bought a copy so I could, yes, mark it up and take a deeper dive.

Today, it’s hard to understand why I wanted to do that … the first read took less than two days, the second read took over a month. I just didn’t want to pick the book up. It’s so depressing.

Why is it so depressing?

We’re used to hearing about the violence that Jews perpetrated against Gentiles back in the day, and the violence that Christians perpetrated in the Crusades, and the violence that Muslims have perpetrated against Infidels, but I’d never heard about the violence the Buddhists perpetrated against Christians in the 1600s. The four largest world religions have maimed, murdered, and tortured in the name of … umm … some higher good? Silence is story of Buddhists torturing, killing, and forcing Christians to apostatize. Depressing to realize none of the four largest organized religions are exempt form the darker side.
religion causing depression, depression and spirituality
Silence is also dense. Packed in its 212 pages are layers and layers of themes.

What themes? Here are a few:

  1. When one is dealing with organized religion, geopolitics is never far behind. The Portuguese and the Jesuits were the first to reach Japan. Initially they were welcomed along with the silk trade, but when the Spanish and then the English and the Dutch arrived … the seeds of conflict which led to the extermination of the Christian religion in Japan were sown.
    examples of religious violence, why does religion cause violence
  2. What does it mean to be a Christian priest/missionary/father? Why would you choose to be a missionary? Endo uses the character of Father Rodriques to pose some possible answers to that question. Does one become a missionary because one feels superior to the population whom you intend to convert? Does one become a missionary to become a martyr? Does one become a missionary to be useful? Is a missionary useful when he’s converting others to his belief system? Is a missionary useful when he’s conducting ritual sacraments and prayers? Is a missionary useful when he silently watches others martyr themselves/die for the cause?
  3. Who/what is the Christian God? Father Ferreira opines that “the Japanese cannot think of an existence that transcends the human”. He believes the God the Japanese Christians have faith in is not “the Church’s God” but “The Great Sun”. But throughout Silence, Father Rodrigues repeatedly sees/imagines his God as the “man whom he loved” (Christ) “a beautiful, exalted man.” So does Rodrigues's God transcend the human? And … does it really matter?
    are buddhists violent, major conflicts in buddhism
  4. In the face of torture and death: water punishment (being tied to a stake and slowly drowned as the tide rises) and the pit (being hung upside down with a slit behind your ears so that your blood drips drop by drop) (Really! These are the ghastly tactics used!) why would anyone become a Christian? The life of the Japanese who became Christians and practiced their faith in secrecy and isolation was limited and impoverished in the extreme. Like we can’t even imagine. They were slaves of the samurai. “The reason our religion has penetrated this territory like water flowing into dry earth is that it has given to this group of people a human warmth they never previously knew. For the first time, they have met men who treated them like human beings. It was the human kindness and charity of the fathers that touched their hearts.” That is the beautiful part of the story. Period.
    is religion the cause of most wars, wars started by religion
  5. And the Big Theme: In the face of horrific persecution, why does God remain silent? And how does that silence affect the faith and actions of Christians and/or followers of other organized religions? Good question.
    why is god silent, examples of god's silence, god's silence in the bible
    I think I’ll tackle it in my next blog post.