In child's novel "A Christmas Carol", we see that the miser's heart was softened only after visitations by the three Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Seeing what his life had been, how the people around him were currently affected and what was to follow from his current choices brought him to his knees in repentance. He had learnt that the past can not be changed, and the future is not inevitable, so that what we do in the present can change that which is yet to come. Humanity has many reasons to regret its past suffering caused by wars, greed and oppression. Our present tells us that if we do not repent we face an appalling future filled with violence, starvation, illness ecological and economic disasters. Yet the choices we make in the present can improve our future prospects, and in making positive choices we help lay to rest the guilty ghosts of past mistakes. It is a time for making New Years Resolutions. more »
Teachers or doctors could tell you that there are times where students or patients will not cooperate with the study and treatment unless they understand why it is necessary. A soul can remain in denial that they have to go through the discomfort of mastering a paradigm or the consequent side effects of treatment. Sometimes they will rant and rave against the whole point of the topic in question or blame the side effects on the treatment rather than realising that the cause is the source of discomfort. This is also a spiritual and emotional truism too. Some souls seem determined to "go it alone" and reject the other or blame the other for their own problems.
It is probably pointless to try and convince such souls that their hate and misogymy is a reflection of internal unwellness. What we can do is take those students and patients who are prepared to learn and grow and give them mental models to understand why there is both man and woman, and why there is tension both between and within ourselves. more »
There are ways that humanity is speeding towards the reckoning of the oil age and global warming. One of those is excessive consumption of resources in fruitless endeavours, such as wars. Huge amounts of resources and oil are consumed in running military machines.
One of the challenges is that we have come to romanticise power and ascendancy. We glorify consumption and destruction. For example, block buster movies rely on spectacular visual effects to draw in audiences. Many of those movies also combine the thrills of visual effects with hedonistic themes such as sex, fear and violence.
Souls should be rejoicing in Dr Muhammad Yunus winning the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. It serves as timely reminder that alleviating poverty and peace are inextricably woven into the fabric of God's vision for a just world. more »
There is something bizarre about having gone to war to stop terrorism because 3,000 people died in the 9-11 World Trade Centre. Yet the US has managed to kill that many of its own people since 18 March 2003. Plus is involved a daily per capita equivalent of nearly double that figure in Iraq. It begs the question of who are the real terrorists? more »
The world looks for peace from its leaders and an end to the suffering of its children. One wonders if many leaders are even capable of working towards the greater good. Many have become obsessed with victory at all costs and seem incapable of envisaging or tolerating a reality that is not completely submissive to their paradigms. more »
Even plain rocks can take on a rainbow hue with the addition of water, light and a different perspective. In Genesis 11:4-9, God chose to confuse the peoples lest they build an edifice in their own name that did not include God as the keystone. We should not be surprised that finding problems for the common good means we have to listen to the needs and heed the wisdom from multiple stakeholders with varying, sometimes conflicting needs. more »
Many religions espouse the merits of the "ideal" family focussed around the healthy husband and wife surrounded by content children in good relationship with their extended family and community. In reality, very few souls ever achieve this nirvana, and even when they do, it is soon disrupted by the exigencies of living in a mortal world where death, illness and change are inevitable. Wise souls recognise there is a constant juggling act between aspiring for the ideal whilst coping with the inadequacies of a reality where we all fall short of God's full glory. The challenge is therefore to build just systems that reward reverence but are not excessively punitive on those who are unable to reach "the ideal". more »
The world is mustering its forces to take on the challenges of sustainable development and coping with environmental upheavals. There is increasing regional co-operation as evidenced by recent meetings held for the Nordic countries, Central Western Africa and the G-15 nations. There is also greater private sector commitment to both funding and finding technological solutions, as well as more encouragement for poorer nations to avail themselves of support or assistance by the United Nations and others. more »
While this could be refer to scientists' contemplation of what designates a planet with the recently found "puffy planet" HAT-P-1, it is also an allusion to the interdependency of this world. In the period of global communication and economics, where goods and diseases spread faster than migrating birds, we can no longer afford to ignore the plight of our neighbors. For their problems today will be our problems tomorrow and our solutions will come from helping them find their solutions. more »
A Baylor University study demonstrates that Americans are more religious than is popularly thought because a large number choose not to ascribe to conventional labels. The study also found an intriguing correlation between peoples' view of the world and how they believe God relates to the world. Those who believe in an angry engaged God are more likely to be absolutists. But this world view discounts God's compassionate and redemptive nature. more »
In humanity's desire to create the "perfect" world, we often seek to remove that which annoys us. But often the reason it annoys us so much is that it reminds us that we can never have full control over this reality. In martial arts a student is sometimes taught that the best way to win with a powerful opponent is to draw alongside and move with their "enemy". Perhaps we need to learn as nations and as individuals that if we accept thorns in our side as inevitable; we can mature sufficiently to understand our weaknesses and then work to bring out our strengths for the greater good of both ourselves and all humanity. more »
There is a risk of becoming a false prophet if one purports to be able to "...pierce through the labyringth of current events to understand the deeper workings of Divine Providence". There is also a risk of failing to recognise the opportunities to encourage others and remove obstacles to God's reconciliation plans. Although this section is called "News", that is an arbitrary title from the software application. If given a choice, the name of this section might be "Building God's Highways" or "Reviving the Contrite". more »