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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Foster Your Humanity

Your Right to Rapture

One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”
Joseph Campbell

There is a lot of negativity going around these days, and with good reason. It's easy to become cynical when the people that you should look up to and be inspired by are themselves the cause of the cynicism. This is a climate that brings out the worst in all of us. Which is why we should be doubly aware of our own responses to everyone we meet. And, most especially, we should monitor our inner life to see where it is taking us. On a scale of one to ten, how negative are you, with one being not at all, and ten being totally negative?

Pessimism is an infectious disease; if you come in contact with it often enough, you will become sick in mind and body. If you are immersed in it all day, every day, there is no way to be healthy. It will wipe out all your joy, and cause you to forget what Joseph Campbell called, “the rapture that is associated with being alive.” It is times like these that we must do the things that support our own humanity, and acknowledge the humanity of others.

It's easier for me, and I suspect for other older people, to keep the faith. We've seen a lot. We've lived through wars and disruptions, through bad times and good. We know that this too shall pass. Ground will be lost, bad things will happen, but all the while, human beings will step up, and step into the breech to help one another. Young people will protest, and they should—this is their time for civil action, which happens in every generation. The tectonic plates of culture and everyday life will shift and change, and then find equilibrium—life will go on, but it will be different.

To the extent possible, do not let the difficulties of these times take away your joy. Don't be so consumed by the challenges of outer life that you allow them to separate you from your heart. Claim your right to rapture, grab any positive energy that comes your way, and send some out to others. Simply living a human lifetime is a gift beyond measure. Cherish every minute of it.

                                                       In the Spirit,


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