Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, June 29, 2012

Enemies are so stimulating.

Katherine Hepburn, actress;
she died on this day, 2003, at 96

Jesus thought so too.

“Love your enemies”.

So:  what are the advantages of finding your “enemies” stimulating … of “loving” them ??

We mature?

Oh shit!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - from lovely Santa Fe NM!

You want people to like the songs.
You want people to like everything you do.
If you didn't, you wouldn't be human.
And, you'd like to walk along the street and hear some kid
whistling a tune that you wrote.
This is one of the most gratifying sensations in the world.

Richard Rodgers, master songwriter;
he was born on this date, 1902, in Manhattan

Bless Richard Rogers. I’m certainly not the only one who loves many of the songs he’s written! I think he was a great gift to American life. Enough said.

But. My interest (except when I get carried away and pissed off at politics) in these Reflections is to think about the Inner Life … a term I prefer to “spiritual life” … since I don’t think dualistically about Life … Life is Life, and it’s a unity, a Oneness; we wouldn’t be who we Are without all our constituent parts. I shamelessly use people as a gateway to reflecting on these things.

So: Richard Rogers’s words:

One:  It is not a helpful thing, in terms of maturing as a person, to want people to like everything you do. It’s unrealistic. It’s misguided. It’s vain. It lacks humility … i.e., a grounding in reality. It’s putting yourself in a very constricting box. It definitely will  stunt your growth.

Two:  “To be human” will admit of a little wanting that people will like you. But that’s it.

Three:  To be appreciated is a normal human desire. It does gratify. But … it is critically important to know deep within what “tune” it is that we want to be acknowledged for. There is a lovely song that says, “But the only witness of your words and your deeds / Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone”.  I agree.

So:  let’s carry on!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If you do not accuse each other,
God will not accuse you.
If you have no accuser you will enter heaven.
What many people call sin is not sin;
I do many things to break down superstition,
and I will break it down.

Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism. He and his brother
were killed by a mob in Carthage IL on this date, 1844

Since the Mormons spend millions to defeat the right of Gayfolk to be married (civilly, Prop 8, … religious groups are free to do what they want to do in their own religious communities) … then is this not “accusing” their fellow human beings falsely, and will not God them accuse them??

Roman Catholics (they spent millions too) and so-called “Christian “evangelicals:  Ditto.

“Heaven” will, I guess be populated by all those lovely folk whom Jesus said would “enter first”… to the surprise of many who consider themselves righteous and deserving.

The Mormons are not alone among religionists is calling sin what is not sin … though if they followed Joseph’s thought, they would be avoiding the self-righteousness of pointing fingers at those they consider sinners. Hopefully, they will (along with all the other religionists) begin to listen to their founders … and break down superstition … i.e., “bearing false witness against their neighbours”.

“Heaven” is going to be filled with Gayfolk. I hope the rest are ready!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I am a woman, and therefore it cannot be considered
                    that I would ever be concerned in such practices.

Mother Clapp; she was born on this
date, 1670, in England

You surely just have to smile, if not giggle … you really do!

Mother Clapp was a bath house madam. Actually, no one really knows her birth date, or her real name. In 1726, she was indicted for keeping a "disorderly house" where some 50 men were found making love, "kissing in a lewd manner and using hands indecently."

Mother Clapp made a great – and acceptable – defense. Women certainly wouldn’t be involved in such things, Heaven forfend! This is the classic “ostrich with head buried in sand” wisdom. And, since Queen Victoria in the 19th C couldn’t possibly imagine what lesbians could do sexually, there have been no laws against their doing so … to this day, I believe.

“Make Love, not War”. I’m in favor of that … and I think that God is too !

I proclaim today “Let Everyone Love the Way They Like” Day. Spend the day being delighted in the people who want to Make Love, Not War. Thank everyone you know who’s a Lover of their fellow human beings.

And here’s a chuckle … and some wisdom … from the New Yorker:

Happy Pride Month to all Gayfolk, all their allies! I’m sure Mother Clapp would join me!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Friday, June 22, 2012

For it was not into my ear you whispered,
but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed,
but my soul.

Judy Garland. She died on this date,
1969, at 4 Cadogan Lane, a little mews
house in Chelsea, London, of an “acci-
dental” overdose of barbiturates, age 47.

I have no idea in what context Judy said these words.

It is a perfect metaphor for the relationship we long for with the Mystery we call “God”. Let’s be blunt here:  Christians have the combined Hebrew-Christian Scriptures from which to form a picture of the character and nature of “God”. There are some  -  tortured souls in my estimation  -  who have projected their guilt and their self-hatred onto “God” and onto “God’s” behaviour. But there are many blessed souls who have glimpsed “God” as the manifestation of their own hopes for their liberation and freedom to be beings of love, compassion, justice, peace, inclusion, and acceptance. I’m with them.

The “God” we have anthropomorphized  (i.e., created a human image of that best pictures our deepest inner longings for wholeness and holiness) is an amazing “God” … because (S)he reflects the deepest beauty of our humanity … and therefore the deepest wisdom of our sense of Self.

We humans are capable of imagining a relationship with another person that is characterized by Judy’s words: 

it was not into my ear you whispered,
but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed,
but my soul.

Should we find such a relationship, we know at our deepest core it is the embodiment of Love.

Jesus on the Cross is Christianity’s most profound symbol of that Love.

I know it’s possible, because I was gifted with Dennis ... just as the World was gifted with Jesus .. and through Him with a vision of the reality and truth of what we call “God” … by which we know our deepest identity.

Judy was a “tortured” human being, true … and yet  -  as is so often the case  -  it is thorough human weakness that the glory of “God” is revealed … and as well the wondrous beauty of a human person.

The “true God” whispers into our hearts and Her lips kiss our Soul.

Keep searching till you see this “God”.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, June 21, 2012

Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.

Jean-Paul Sartre, philosopher, novelist, poet;
he was born on this day, 1905, at Paris

 Being is the bottom moral line. To Be means to deserve ultimate value.

We are. Therefore, the Universe has brought us forth.

My religion  -  which is centered in the Gospel of Jesus, and incorporates and values all paths  -  therefore we are all to be honoured and cherished.

You are valued, honoured, cherished, blessed, beloved.

Go about your Life today in this Truth … and may all our fellow human beings come closer to Being.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sometimes I feel as if four thousand years of silencing women,
of the fear of women who were burned in oil
or eviscerated in front of their daughters,
is imprinted deep within me and has altered my DNA.

Olympia Dukakis, actress; she was born
on this date, 1931, at Lowell, Massachusetts

Mrs. Madrigal, of Barbary Lane. Have you read the books? Seen the movies? If you haven’t, you’re in for a huge treat … Olympia as the … well, you’ll see …

beware .. beware
it is like
the earth’s core
roiling with molten metal
feared by men
even if outside tiffany’s
burqa clad
dripping in diamonds
and manolo blahnik shoes
patriarchal fear will be flooded
with female lava
and men will finally
in the mythic depth of being
be freed
and god
will laugh


Monday, June 18, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A truck bomb struck a Shiite mosque in
central Baghdad, killing at least 87 people

This occurred on this date, 2007
(according to the New York Times)

Whence does this all arise?? This willingness, this hate (if that’s what it is), this complete collapse of any compassion or care for others?

It arises from the consequences, at least from one perspective, of not following the Golden Rule … apparently first enunciated by Confucius … “do not do to others what you would not want done to you”.

For centuries, people who have professed to follow the Golden Rule, or the rule of “Love your neighbour as yourself”, or many similar teachings by great sages, have not done so. The reason is simply this: Power and Lust trump the heart … when the Heart knows what shall make us happy.

I could have picked a story from before the Common Era … it would not have differed.

What we need in this World is a whole reversal of the inner principles by which we live … including a total reevaluation of all “religion”.

I would like to be such a person. Can you help me?


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, June 17, 2012

The kingdom of God is as if
someone would scatter seed on the ground,
and would sleep and rise night and day,
and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.
The earth produces of itself, first the stalk,
then the head, then the full grain in the head.
But when the grain is ripe,
at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.

The Gospel called Mark, chap 4
Proper 6, Year B, RCL (Revised Common Lectionary)

[ The Readings for this Sunday can be found at:

A Poem

The Art of Parable-Listening

ah, yes
“the kingdom of god”
consider the whole the separates make
first:  scatter
the seed of the kingdom is the act of love
we are extravagant in the casting
second:  the mystery of growth
we hold to our integrity
day and night
the power of love is beyond our ken
it blooms like the unfolding rose
in ways that startle us
third:  life is transformed
we wonder at love’s fruit
peace, joy, compassion, dignity, freedom,
wholeness of self
union with all things



the mustard bush shelters
and embraces


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cruel leaders are replaced
only to have new leaders turn cruel.

Che Guevara, a just human being; he was
born on this date, 1928, in Argentina.
He was assassinated with the direct collusion
of the American CIA in 1967.

Why is Jesus, why is the Buddha, why is Gandhi so attractive? Why is Muhammad not so attractive   -  and this is an issue that Islam has to deal with? Because the former did not “turn cruel” – and to the “modern ear”, Muhammad turned cruel … this is why I shy away from him … and why I so long for Islam to get to the place where they will examine their Scripture, and Muhammad, and bring scholarship to bear on the examination of their Scripture.

I’m a Christian as my major spiritual path. I was born into a Christian culture … and it’s pretty hard to move to another path. However, the Gospel of Jesus (as opposed to what “Christianity” has made of Him and His teaching) is, as John Howe implies, an authentic path to the fullness of being human, by a standard attributed to Divine Love. I have found it so.

Cruelty is not of the Gospel. But it is of “the World” ... and we see it in America today in spades, especially in the so-called Christianity which has rejected Compassion, Justice, Love, and Brother/Sisterhood in favor of power and of rank hate for those whom Jesus embraced and loved and chose to live His life with.

Che gave his life, as Jesus did, in love for people oppressed and dehumanized by their cruel leaders. Such cruel leaders are with us today.

I have two thoughts. First, stop electing such leaders. And secondly, banish cruelty from your heart.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Faery Song

[Sung by the people of Faery over Diarmuid and Grania,

in their bridal sleep under a Cromlech.]

We who are old, old and gay,

O so old!

Thousands of years, thousands of years,

If all were told:

Give to these children, new from the world,

Silence and love;

And the long dew-dropping hours of the night,

And the stars above:

Give to these children, new from the world,

Rest far from men.

Is anything better, anything better?

Tell us it then:

Us who are old, old and gay,

O so old!

Thousands of years, thousands of years,

If all were told.

William Butler Yeats, Irish poet; he was born
on this date, 1865, in Dublin

Ireland, from ancient times, has had many land and water spirits, thought to live in the mysterious and complex monuments left by the megalithic culture. Brugh na Boyne, for example, is the home of Oengus, the Celtic god of Love, Poetry and Death. They left the upper earth to live underground because of the destructiveness of human beings. “Faery” is a deliberate spelling, to distinguish them and their powers from the “disney fairy”. The legend of Diarmuid and Grania is an Irish folktale that describes two lovers  who steal away together prior to Grania’s marriage to the famed warrior Finn MacCumhail.

power is old, very old
it offers many gifts
and many have sought
gifts of power
that have destroyed them
yet we continue to seek them
or wrest them
from the old ones

silence and love
the long dew dropping hours of the night
the stars above
rest far from men

these gifts i bless
and am learning
to seek
from the old, old powers