Category Archives: The Way of Peace

Reasons to seek prosperity

Reasons to seek prosperity

At any given moment, it may help me to have an actual reason to seek prosperity.  As my moods and POV change from day to day, however, a reason that I may have believed in one day, may not be credible the next:  “I’m not feelin’ it.”  So I may do well to have several reasons, different ones of which may be credible on different days. Continue reading Reasons to seek prosperity

The Twelve Steps

THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Copyright A.A. World Services, Inc.

(Originally posted 11/30/13.)
on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

Alcoholism basics

(A message I sent family on 26 April 2006.)

Disease, or sin?

To the best of my knowledge, the “disease theory of alcoholism” began with Dr. Robert Silkworth, at the time of St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, coincident with the beginnings of A.A. “Dr. Bob” referred to the condition as an “allergy”; for whatever reason, these folks’ bodies respond to this substance differently than others’ do.

This theory and its ramifications are, today, largely taken for granted throughout the scientific world. Whatever the disease’s cause, behavioral strategies are needed, too, if the subject is to manage the disease and live a normal life. The same is just as true of diabetes or near-sightedness or hay fever.

The competing view, that drinking problems reflect sin or some kind of moral deficiency, still has its grip on the popular mind. The predicaments that problem drinkers create for themselves and for others, are bad enough in and of themselves without the added burden of this stigma. My late father insisted until his last lucid day, that it was all a question of “will power.” I remember visiting Mom at home sometime prior to 1990, and finding on the bookshelf different books by Hazen G. Werner, an Ohio Methodist bishop whom my father fervently admired, and finding certain passages that my father had marked wherein the author discounted the disease theory and blamed it all instead on, as it were, sin. I shook my head at the untold, needless damage such words do.
Continue reading Alcoholism basics

Kansas prisoners get the granny treatment

(Originally posted 11/23/13.)

Steve Hartman’s “On the Road” segment for the CBS Evening News, 11/01/13:

Kan. prisoners get the granny treatment

Here is a practical example of how brightening the “divine spark” within people can effect redemption or transformation.

Keep the feeling, change the thought

A basic tenet I’ve maintained here, is that one’s feelings are largely independent of one’s circumstances; and that one can typically choose how to feel, no matter what one’s circumstances are.

Well, maybe not always.

But for sure, feelings come on that one will not like, that have no relationship to anything that’s happened in the real world.  How to deal with them?

Continue reading Keep the feeling, change the thought

Conservation of energy

Presence makes it easier
– to be aware of one’s feelings;
– to choose or change them at will;
– to choose to be happy, since seldom is anything actually happening “here and now” to be upset about.

We got called into the shower, and this guy cut in front of me to get to the clothes window, and he was taking a long, long time.  An eternity.  Now, me?  I finish at the clothes window in an instant.  (Related:  Practical advantages of being a nice guy.) So it made it easier for me to grouse that this ay-ho was taking so damn long.

Continue reading Conservation of energy

The healing powers of a drug store cashier

(Originally published 11/16/13.)

(From an April 2010 e-mail to my family:)

Dad was still in good health back in ’83-85, when I became so deeply interested in spiritual healing. He maintained a pragmatic skepticism about it throughout; in essence, “What’s the use? We’re all going to die anyway.”

I recalled that Monday night 12/07/09 on my way home from Rite Aid, where I’d had to go buy a few things. I was having pretty severe pain in lower left abdomen, after having had several “difficult” eliminations earlier in the day. I took the pain for infection-inflamed ureter; later concluded I was passing a stone. Long time since I’d passed a stone. Long time by my standards, that is.

The state I was in at that hour, I was inclined to cancel all appointments and errands for the next day, and plan to spend all day Tuesday flat on my back in bed. With pain like this, you can’t do much more than just stare into space and feel miserable.

I would recall one author’s answer to Dad’s argument; Lawrence Althouse is the guy’s name. He said the sheer alleviation of pain — without opiates — is justification enough for the practice of spiritual healing. Pain occasions loss of productivity, as just described. It also stresses relationships; with any less self-control as to these things than I’ve learned in the past few years, had anyone crossed my path the wrong way on that trip home, I might well have snapped at the person.

That’s not something you want to do in the ghetto. Especially at night.

There are other was to effect spiritual healing, besides prayer.

Just being nice to people, as opposed to choosing, say, to inject needless pain (“static”) into their world — that’s one.

Crystal happened to wait on me at the Rite Aid; she’s my favorite clerk, and I’d not seen her in months. Damn if she didn’t smile at me and give me a cheery greeting as soon as I came in the door.

Damn if my pain didn’t go away — completely — for some time, later after I got home, as I recalled that encounter. “Spiritual” — healing — indeed.

Every word can work good or ill. My choice; your choice.
on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger

A snapshot: this moment in my life right now

Thursday 2017-02-23

Some weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon just after check-in at the mission, I became clairvoyant for a few seconds, and saw many things.

The first insight was that many things I’ve been saying for a long, long time — teachings, theories, hypotheses — are far more factual than I’d ever supposed.

The last thing that came displeased me.  It said, “God has a purpose for my being [at the shelter], and I’ll never get away until it’s accomplished.

What progress I have made since then has come from acting on the “things I’ve been saying for a long, long time.”  The Way of Peace was composed in 2010; I don’t know whether I’ve yet posted here all that was composed at time; I’m know there’s still a lot that  I have yet to post; but it’s the basic teachings in there, including those already set forth, that I’ve been called to act on.

Yesterday afternoon on the walk back to the shelter, I was using — for the first time in months — techniques perhaps first set forth in “Paying my dues …,” first published in 2013.

The teaching set forth in “Simple,” I have been working to live out.  I found the quotation in an e-mail I sent various people in 2007, telling them it epitomized what I believed Jesus actually taught.

Walking my talk, or learning to:  that may be what’s keeping me at the shelter.  Once I’m walking my talk enough, I may be free.

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