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The Spiritual Disciplines: Solitude and Silence

(from The Art of Manliness)

In spite of the days are full of tests, waiting for test results, sleep, pain and other things, and I am ‘retired’, I have noticed that I just seem to have less time for the more esoteric things – like contemplation.

But, the Art of Manliness has brought my attention back to the simpler disciplines.

(May I suggest as we all should be?)

One might take a few moments and contemplate these.

The Spiritual Disciplines: Solitude and Silence

By Brett and Kate McKay on Oct 16, 2017 10:02 am

Welcome back to our series on the spiritual disciplines, which explores exercises that can be used to train the soul. The purposes and practices of these disciplines are approached in such a way that they can be adapted across belief systems.

“Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally. When that inner voice is not heard, when man cannot attain to the spiritual peace that comes from being perfectly at one with his true self, his life is always miserable and exhausting. For he cannot go on happily for long unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul. If man is constantly exiled from his own home, locked out of his own spiritual solitude, he ceases to be a true person. He no longer lives as a man.” —Thomas Merton

They are the spiritual disciplines through which prophets as varied as Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad prepared for their ministries and received revelations that founded new religions.

They are the spiritual disciplines that have been praised by poets and philosophers as diverse as Plato, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Rousseau, Goethe, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Muir, Tillich, and Camus (to name only a few).

They are the spiritual disciplines that allowed many of the world’s greatest leaders, from Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln to Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt, to make history defining decisions.

They are the spiritual disciplines of solitude and silence, and they are vitally important to the health of the soul (and of society).

They are also arguably the most intriguing and compelling of the spiritual disciplines, and yet also seem the hardest to come by in our crowded, noisy, modern world.

Silence and solitude can seem out of reach to the average man — the exclusive purview of the kind of religious ascetics and hermetic philosophers just mentioned, or a luxury that can be indulged only by those leaders who face choices freighted with heavy meaning and high stakes.

In truth, finding solitude and silence is possible even in the present age, without having to retreat to a cloister. And, far from being the privilege of the few, seeking these states is a responsibility of us all.

Today we will explain why that is, the way in which these spiritual disciplines are connected, and how both can be sought, and attained, by even the busiest of souls.

There are many more to follow!

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The ‘Latest’

Well, today I get to pick up my ‘films (‘from my last MRI and PET scan) and deliver them to the surgical center miles away, wherein this coming Monday I get to have another MRI (using those as maps) to obtain yet another MRI and lymph node biopsy.

The hope is the diversity of the samples will provide a better sample with which to produce a more precise chemotherapy cocktail with which to treat the lymphoma.

Hopefully, this can be concocted and administered later this week, or early next week.

(Just out of curiosity, why do the doctor’s rely on their patients to be messengers-some of whom are weak and ill?)

While they are in there, they they will also be doing an angiogram – just because they found a tiny problem they want to check.

Things aren’t complicated enough…

 

This May Not Even Be Permitted By WordPress

(If it is, I will remove it!)

Over the past few weeks, I have become weaker.  Lymphoma can do that.  I’ve loss muscle-mass, making getting out of my orthopedic lift chair difficult, sometimes even impossible.

The chair herself is now broken and irreparable.  Chair experts advise I am in need of a new one.  This is not like buying an ordinary chair.  They are build for patient height and weight, and many stores simply want to move them off the floor, patient need come-what-may.

And, of course, I’ve few funds.

My friend (an ex-gf) said she will set up a donation page toward this end.  And my ex-wife (a different person!) told me she to help!

A quality chair can cost well over $1200, funds I do not have.  And, given my circumstances I NEED a chair with a warranty.

And in the past month I have had to call the fire department FOUR TIMES to help me get out of my broken chair!

(How pathetic is that!)

Below is Judy’s Fundly Account she set up on my behalf.  Of course, there is also the PayPal account on this blog.

If you can take action, terrific, GREAT! (and THANK YOU)  If you are unable, please keep a good thought…

Chair for G

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Days Left: 59
Goal: $2,000

From Judy Powell

My friend Guffaw has been handicapped since he was 12. And now he has lymphoma for the second time. He cannot get up easily normally, but now is so weak, it is impossible. Help..

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Paul The Pooh and The Blustery Day

This came across my email a couple of days ago.

The point is, does it have some teeth, or it is just BLUSTER?

(from Gun Owners of America, in part)


Don’t Let Ryan Get Away with Any 2A Infringements!

Dear Guffaw,

This is becoming painful to watch.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is now asking — begging, really — the Trump administration to unilaterally impose gun control restrictions.

And there is virtually no conceivable way that these restrictions will fall short of eventually regulating or banning your detachable magazines.

“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix,” Ryan said.

What was he talking about?

The Hill explains:

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday the Trump administration should move quickly to ban a device used in the Las Vegas mass shooting that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

So Speaker Ryan is urging the ATF to ban bump stocks — even while he has indefinitely pushed back the pro-gun agenda.

But there are two major problems with this.

First, there is no way that Congress — or the administration — will be able to ban or regulate bump stocks without also opening the door to prohibitions on other parts, accessories and magazines.

This is because all of the legislative proposals currently on the table would ban ANY item or device that helps “accelerate the rate of fire” of a semi-automatic firearm.

Using that standard, you can kiss your detachable magazines goodbye!

But the other problem is this:  The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the federal government from imposing ANY infringements upon our gun rights.

If the Trump administration starts supporting infringements — even if they are so-called minor ones — it will weaken their ability and resolve to oppose the next set of infringements that come down the pike.


Help GOA stay on the frontlines. Every dollar you contribute to GOA right now will be automatically doubled, thanks to a very generous GOA Life Member!


Take Action and Put the Heat on Congress!

Please contact Your Representative and communicate the following:

1. Uphold your oath of office.  Do not support ANY infringements upon the Second Amendment — including those that would jeopardize detachable magazines.

2. Tell Speaker Paul Ryan to STOP compromising.  If legislators want to follow Ryan off a political cliff, they will truly regret it when voters “remember in November.”

We need to let Ryan know that millions of gun owners oppose his compromises, which will endanger our ability to own detachable magazines.

Plus, he needs to know that there will be SERIOUS ramifications at the polls if he and other Republicans do not stand up for our Second Amendment rights.

We are in a political war to preserve our gun rights.

I want to thank you for your help in putting the heat on your legislators.

So please take action, and urge your family and friends to do so, as well.

My apologies – having some issues here at home, I’ve not been as diligent as I have in the past regarding the fall-De-rall as I usually am regarding the silliness on the Hill.

And while I do support and respect Gun Owners of America, sometimes they get over excited in the name of financial support (learning from the NRA?)

So, what do you guys thing?  Bluster or real danger?

 

In Need of Guffawing

Things just ain’t working right today.

My body; my sense of humor;  my computer.

Please send me a joke or a cartoon!  (the email is in the sidebar)

I NEED TO GUFFAW!

STAT!

Senator Wants West Point Grad Booted

(from SecondAmendmentInsider.com)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wants officials at West Point to revoke the commission of an officer who tweeted photos of himself with pro-communist messages while in uniform.

Rubio wrote to acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy this week, calling the images an “extreme embarrassment” for the U.S. military, according to the Military Times.

“It is extremely concerning that someone who so often expressed such hostile views towards the United States’ system of government was able to obtain a commission,” he wrote. “(His) revolutionary ideas were harbored long before he was commissioned as an Army second lieutenant. Were West Point administrators or faculty aware of his views and behavior?”

In one photo, 2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone is seen wearing a Che Guevara shirt under his uniform. In another photo, he reveals that the words “communism will win” are written under his hat. The photos were taken at his graduation in May 2016.

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Funny, I would have thought him long gone, by now.

(As well as the American and World History professors who either taught or accepted such drivel.)

Sorry, civil libertarians, the military has different standards than the an average citizen.  This is not a football team.

Do we want such graduates leading our men and women into battle?  For once, I agree with the Senator.

 

The Usual Gang of Idiots

So, I received two voice mails Wednesday, regarding scheduling the scheduling my next CT/lymph node biopsy.  (apparently they didn’t get enough diversity last time.)

Unfortunately my cellular phone took a dump, and I didn’t receive them until Wednesday night!

So I called Thursday morning, early.  At length, I was placed in a que, and told they would call me before 1300.  If I didn’t hear from them, I was to call them.  Subsequently, I wad placed in another que, and the would call me letting me know when they would call back.  I was told 45 minutes.  The said they would call after 9 minutes.  They did eventually call, to advise me they were unable to take my insurance.

I spent most of my chair waiting for a phone to ring, only to be told they were unable to assist me.

Customer service, anyone?

My oncologist won’t return until Tuesday.  His assistant was supposed to call me yesterday afternoon.

Guess what happened?

 

It’s no big deal, just being used to develop the correct chemotherapy medicine for me.

Boy Scouts Are Now Allowing Girls To Join

(Daily Caller News Foundation) The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will now allow girls to join their well known cub scout program which will enable them to advance to the highest rank of Eagle Scout, according to a statement released Wednesday.

The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change to the group that has been for boys since its founding over 100 years ago.

“Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout,” the group said in a statement Wednesday.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive, Michael Surbaugh.
“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders,” he continued.
Starting in 2018, young girls will be able to join cub scout units. The historic decision reportedly comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls.

Now, this is hardly news.  It’s been on the wire services for years.  The BSA, in spite of it’s name, has been hunting for more funding forever.

AND, it’s a private organization.

If they wanted to add two year olds or marmots, the could so chose.

It still saddens me, a bit.

A Long Process, Continued…

So, I went to the oncologist (a truly good, and knowlegable guy) the other day.  He had examined my numerous blood samples, bone marrow samples and and bits of lymph nodes.  and determined…

NOTHING!

Seems he had a good general idea what cocktail he should give me in chemo form, but wants it more exact.

So, it’d back to outpatient for another biopsy!  Soon.

Hurry up and wait.  Sound familiar?

In my world, my lift chair has given up the ghost.  Futile repair is ridiculous, ending ending with finding out that chairs out of warranty bought at Costco are loss leaders, and meant for disposal.

I’m thinking of beginning a Fund-Way sight…

My knees cannot take it, anymore.

(but I’ve been kind occupied…)

A Long Process…

Today, it’s another blood test.

Sigh.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…