Tag Archives: Here – Now – Can

The New Age is a lot of hooey

(Originally published 09/06/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 12/16/13.)

I keep telling them not to let guys sit on the bench in the shower buck naked.

They don’t listen.

So again, Friday night 08/30/13, when I went to put my stuff on the bench, here was this heavy brown smudge.  I carefully avoided it, but I told the peacekeeper, Philip, since he has access to gloves, rags and bleach, and I don’t.  He was texting.

When I came out of the shower to dry off and dress, the smudge was still there.  Philip was still texting.

This is a perfect example of why I think the New Age is just so much hooey. There is work to do here and now.  That it may not all be pleasant doesn’t change the fact: there is work to do here and now.

HOW IT HAPPENS

The ecliptic is a great circle in the sky along which the Sun, moon and planets all move.  All eclipses occur along this line; thus the name.  The constellations of the Zodiac are lined up along this circle as well.

Although the Sun is on the ecliptic at all times, every day it moves a bit westward along the ecliptic, almost but not quite completing a full circle once every year.  The degree as a unit of measure for angles, came to be as ancient astronomers sought to plot this motion — 360 degrees makes a full circle, just as 365¼ days make a full year.  The Sun moves about one degree westward along the ecliptic each day.

The Sun’s position on the first day of spring is called the “equinoctial point.”  Because the Sun does not quite complete a full circle along the ecliptic in a year, the equinoctial point moves very gradually eastward along the ecliptic, completing a full circle every 25,800 years.  The equinoctial point passes through each constellation of the Zodiac in an average of 2,150 years.

Right now, the equinoctial point, where the Sun is on the first day of spring, is in Aquarius. Thus we are said to currently be in “the Age of Aquarius.”  Since this began only a few years ago, it is being called the “New Age.”  Immediately previous to this was the Age of Pisces (the Fishes), which began circa 30 CE; previous to that was the Age of Aries (the Ram), which began circa 1400 BCE.  It is notable that at the dawn of the Age of Pisces, the New Testament focused on twelve fishermen (Matthew 14:19); and that at the dawn of the Age of Aries, the Bible focused on twelve shepherds (Genesis 46:32).

WEATHER FORECAST

The most familiar expression of the promises that have been made concerning this “New Age,” is in the lyrics of the opening song of the 1967 musical Hair:

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius …

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation

I have what I feel are good reasons to believe in something like astrology. But as to all this “New Age” stuff, I have my doubts.

SKEPTICISM

On the one hand, I see no evidence that it’s going to happen.

The Age of Aquarius so far seems to me no different from the Age of Pisces before it, nor from the Age of Aries before that.  Human behavior hasn’t changed in the last 10 years, or 50, or 100, or 500, nor 1000.

From the Bible: ca. 1000 BCE, David “defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length for those who were to be spared. *** [H]e killed eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.” (2 Samuel 8:2,13)

Was that age more brutal than our own?

Pol Pot’s “killing fields,” the genocide in Rwanda, “ethnic cleansing” of Darfur, activities of Charles Taylor, massacre at Srebrenica, and 9/11 were all New Age events.

On the other hand, to lose oneself in dreams of an inevitable wonderful future is the antithesis of presence.  It does not empower one to do the work that must be done here and now; not to deal with an abusive boss, a cold spouse, a rebellious child, a terminal illness.  It will not lift me out of homelessness or joblessness.

The task I face most consistently right now is to see God’s image in my neighbor, who in my current context is disproportionately likely to be ugly, filthy, addicted, deranged, dependent or criminal.  I cannot wait for a time when my neighbors will all be beautiful; I must do it now.  This is my task, without any reference to any New Age.

Don’t get me wrong.  The future has my permission to be just as glorious as it may choose.  Right now, however, someone needs to clean the shower bench.

on air talent, talk show host, talk radio, the homeless blogger

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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

Simple

In recent weeks, in my quest for spiritual growth and improvement of my own condition, I have had to deal with lots of complicated stuff — chakras, sephirot, different dimensions of the personality or psyche, previously unknown stages in the progression from infantilism to adulthood.

This flies in the face of my conviction that the Gospel must ultimately be simple; and the same for everyone, regardless of one’s circumstances or developmental stage.

I come to the conclusion that it is.  Simple.

Continue reading Simple

Forgiving the cosmos

For years, I’ve had a special sensitivity to reports of child abuse.

This one may give you nightmares for the rest of your life.

victoria-martensVictoria Martens

According to the police report, on her 10th birthday, the mother’s boyfriend and his female cousin injected this little girl with drugs “to calm her down.”  They proceeded to strangle, torture, rape and dismember her.

While her mother looked on.

Where is God, or what is God, when such an event can occur?

Continue reading Forgiving the cosmos

About the Parable of the Talents – Additional tags

If you have come across this post, it was most likely via searching on one of the below tags.  All pertain to yesterday’s post:

About the Parable of the Talents

Tags: Continue reading About the Parable of the Talents – Additional tags

Take things in stride

16:03 Thursday 2016-09-08

A case on point.

Today as I walked toward the shelter, I contemplated that I am likely to have no smokes during the day tomorrow. How will I handle this; how will I feel about it? Factors:

• How important is it, compared to other things I may attend to?
• Can I take things in stride?
• (There was a third one, that escapes me just now.)

Then I arrived at the shelter. It was 15:25, and the gate was locked. In the end, I got turned away.

For the second time in two days.

Continue reading Take things in stride

Self-management: A snippet

It’s happened often enough lately that I may as well tell it.

When I go into the shower room at the shelter, often enough, unhappiness meets me.

The shower stall I prefer isn’t available, and I resent it.

This guy is taking up half the shower bench, and the other half is full also, and I resent it.

This other guy is taking up all kinds of too much time getting dressed, and I resent it.

As soon as I turn my attention to what I will actually do — where to put my clothes, choosing a stall that is available, and getting undressed in itself — all those bad feelings vanish.

Complaining means you’re not doing what you can.

Related:  Here – Now – Can