Two weeks ago, as I was figuratively staggering through the worst existential pummeling I’ve endured since my self-imposed sentence to Dante’s Inferno in the early 90’s, I had a profound (recovering) alcoholic’s moment of clarity.
MLK embodied the immense power that spirituality brings to a social justice movement….
Preface: While I recognize that there are many atheists in the Animal Rights Movement who adhere to veganism, and that people of many different religions and philosophies advocate and fight for nonhuman animals, my personal spirituality is the backbone of my veganism and my activism. I want to make it clear that I’m not questioning the commitment of vegans or activists who aren’t spiritual and I also want to clarify that I am not a theologian. I merely want to use this essay as a vehicle to comment on the nature of my spirituality and to express the immensity of the strength it provides me.
Theism: belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically a belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world. -Merriam Webster
“Any god who can be killed ought to be killed.”- Clifford Stanley, Episcopal Priest and Professor of Theology
I “got the message this morning, the one that was sent to me” [Bob Dylan] and although the topic of the conversation with the Editor of Salem-News.com was not on this topic, what Tim King wrote read like the voice of God speaking to me: Continue reading
Life is a gift bestowed by God upon man.
Therefore each of us must adopt an attitude of giving in relation to all other men. This attitude must include activities involving the economic life of individuals, nations, and the world. Economics is not just a search for efficiency or profits.
Such are among the lessons to be derived from Pope Benedict XVI’s recent encyclical, Caritas In Veritate, “Charity in Truth.” The Pope writes,
“Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. The human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension.”
[Note: the first article is a repost from my old blog.]
Naomi Wolf, one of America’s foremost feminist thinkers, has found a spiritual awakening in God after experiencing a “mystical encounter” with Jesus.
Wolf, best known as the author of the Beauty Myth, a groundbreaking 1991 polemic against the cosmetics industry that radicalised a generation of young women, revealed the cause of a hitherto unexplained mid-life crisis that set her on a “spiritual path”.
People who have been reading my books and articles can probably tell that I try to approach my writing on world affairs from a spiritual perspective. Not that I am any more “spiritual” than anyone else, because I believe that in our core we are all One with God. Rather I have always felt that action in the world is a duty for at least some of those who strive for enlightenment. I guess one term for this is “Karma Yoga.”
In the field of economics, for instance, I believe that the purpose of business is not to “get rich quick” but to perform an honest and useful service for our fellow human beings while earning a fair recompense to support ourselves and our loved ones. This is why Dividend Economics and a Basic Income Guarantee are such important concepts for me, because they show the way to provide everyone in the world with a decent living.
But for me to maintain this vision has required periods of withdrawal. So for many years I have meditated every day, have met many spiritual teachers, and have attended various spiritual groups and gatherings. I also got a great deal from my retreat last winter and plan to continue periodic retreats. And I respect those who sincerely practice any organized religion that embraces the inner search and values the fellowship of all people.
In the last couple of years I have come into contact with several teachings that have meant a lot to me and that I would recommend to others to investigate. One is the Infinite Way as practiced and taught by the late American spiritual teacher Joel Goldsmith. Recently I have been reading the writings of Eckhart Tolle, including his book The Power of Now. I am also working closely with Australian mystic Omna Last, who has a page now on my website. Omna has sent me a shipment of his book The LITE in the Heart which is due to arrive any day and will be available through my website and on Amazon.
Finally, I have always wanted to be part of a community of people who combine their inner search with service in the world, including political and social action. I have never felt comfortable among those who feel that spirituality places them “above” such endeavors. I feel it is noble to want to help the Earth become a better place to live for human beings and others of Mother Nature’s creation.
Retirement from my career job gives me a lot more freedom than I used to have, so I have been engaged with friends in seeking a place in the Appalachian Mountains where such an endeavor might bear abundant fruit. In following this inner impulse, we are trying to “turn it over” to the Spirit to show the way. But we feel we are getting some hints about when and where to make the move. If this happens, there may be interest among the many people I have gotten to know through my writings, so we’ll keep you informed. Please stay tuned!
© 2009 by Richard C. Cook
Richard C. Cook is a former federal analyst, now a writer and consultant on public policy issues. His new book is We Hold These Truths: the Hope of Monetary Reform. His website is www.richardccook.com. He recently made a series of six videos that will be available soon on Google and DVD. The title: Credit as a Public Utility: The Solution to the Economic Crisis. He will also be appearing in a new feature-length documentary Future for Sale directed by award-winning European filmmaker Maja Borg. See http://futureblog.net/wordpress/.
A campaign of violence against Christians has seen thousands flee the country since 2003.
Many of those who remain have complained of intimidation and persecution.
But in some parts of Iraq, Muslims are now choosing to become Christians.
Al Jazeera’s Omar Al Saleh reports from Irbil in Northern Iraq.
Bill Moyers Journal
February 20, 2009
Parker J. Palmer
Bill Moyers sits down with Parker J. Palmer, founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal, for a conversation about maintaining spiritual wholeness even as the economy and political order seem to come apart.
Bill Moyers Journal
Dec 26, 2008
“In a world where religion is poison to some and salvation to others, how do we live together? How do we keep the public space between reason and faith, where most of us spend our lives, from becoming a no-man’s land of constant warfare between absolutes? It’s an old debate, this discussion of belief and disbelief. On one end of the spectrum people say, “Only religion counts.” On the other end, “Only reason counts.”