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A psycho-spiritual role for logic


I’m not an overly enthusiastic fan of reason, logic, rationalism, scientism, physicalism, thinking, etc. But I am absolutely an enthusiastic fan. What does “overly” mean to me?

When you put all of your eggs — all of your big questions — in the basket of rationalism, you cheat your humanity. The height of reason is not the height of humanity {see endnote for more}.

Logic — no matter how pure — is simply not a person’s only way of “knowing.” Let’s take up the question of, “Who am I?”

Mire your self in as much logic as you wish about the question, “Who am I?” You stumble quickly into irrational grandiosity which inflates your self-importance, like Mushu presents himself as The Great Stone Dragon to Mulan (voice, Eddie Murphy): https://youtu.be/zn_nM7x7Lcw.

At the opposite end of the Logic Pendulum‘s swing is that you are but a speck on a tiny planet in the universe, bound to be wormbait and dust.

We each sense that we are something special in the universe, but that sense does not, and cannot, come from our faculty of reason isolated from the rest of our life experience.

“Who am I?” leads us to ponder both the universal and the specific. Neither seems to make sense alone. I am part of something big, and I am an individual. Let’s play further with another question logically…

“What is my potential?”

Here, I think logic has a deep and profound psycho-spiritual role to play for a person. You are NOT the ideals and values you espouse. That’s illogical grandiosity. Yet most of us live our lives thinking and acting this way. We wish to be something we can never be. Consider it logically. An ideal is an ideal and cannot be entirely embodied by… well… a body. Neither ANY-body nor EVERY-body.

Objective truths are unreal. They objectify us. And something within us tells us that we are not mere objects, in reality. So poo-poo on your idolization of objectivity. We are each subjects—agents of action.

“Who am I? What is my potential?” Logically, I am Neil. Logically, my potential cannot exceed Neil’s theoretical potential. Logically.

Why do we get so easily tempted by lures of achievement? By promises of becoming something we wish for? Because we live in a materialistic culture with expert marketing! And those forces are not founded on logic! They appeal to “something” in us far beyond our faculty of reason. At their extreme, they are imaginary realms, outside the realm of logic.

Our imagination lures us, logic be damned!

This propensity, proclivity, impulse, and compulsion for imagination is evoked when we hear platitudes like…
Be all/the best you can be.
Be your best/full self.
Self-actualize.
Know thy-self.

So, set aside your imagination as best you can, and apply here some brutal logic. And remember that psychology informs us by unequivocal consensus that Comparison is a lethal practice for The Self.

You cannot be “that” in its imaginary entirety. You cannot be “this” at every moment. You cannot be this or that by choice, by will, voluntarily in every circumstance.

This is the fullness of logical honesty.

In the sense that you deny each of these truisms, you are logically ill. You become *mentally* ill when you rely exclusively on logic. Because “you” are so much more than an engine for reason.

A human being is much more than a thinker.

A human being is also a feeler.

We try to sort out those two, but that is an exercise of logic! Can you peel an orange with an orange peel?

Anytime we consciously exercise logic, we sense that it is incomplete. And so have the greatest minds in philosophy throughout our history.

Today’s brilliant thinkers have an imaginary hope that we haven’t YET figured out how to subsume our faculties of emotion into our faculty of reason, but will in the future—like scientific discoveries remain incomplete and point to paths we should follow for further discovery. Of course we should do that, but if the aim of those pursuits is a fantasy that we will detangle our thinking faculties from our feeling faculties, and reduce the mystery of the human being, well, then, what are we left with?

Anyhow, that may seem to have strayed from my purpose here. I have drifted into talking about universals, and not the specific You, or Me.

Stop being so hard on yourself because you do not perfectly embody ideals, which were never meant to be perfectly embodied. Be content with valuing them. You are unique in the universe, even outside of time: Never has there been, nor will there ever be, another you.

To “do You well,” practice some logic about who you are, and, especially, who you aren’t.

Then practice some more logic: The full You that you just conceived NEVER remains static.

You are this and that… sometimes.

That’s *honest* logic.

“‘Neil’ is a name which should never be spoken.” Or only spoken as a whisper. Or whatever. Why? Mystery.

This morning’s Neil is not the same as this evening’s…

Logically…


Related: Beware of therapy goals! (2) Envy and the Pitfalls of Validation

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Neil D. 2021-09-01


{ ENDNOTE

The Enlightenment is a wonderful collective achievement, but it is not the end game. It was just a corrective swing of the pendulum away from the oppression of both the superstitious middle ages and the religiosity of The Renaissance. (https://slate.com/human-interest/2015/01/whats-the-difference-between-the-renaissance-and-the-enlightenment.html)

The Age of Reason and the Industrial Revolution have put us in the age of technology, biotechnology, information, etc. accompanied by political revolutions which have put the freedom of individuals on par with service by the power of the state.

If you are more interested in his characterization of European/western historical ages, I recommend reading about the aforementioned topics as well as “Deism.”

}


Featured

“How do you feel?” “I don’t know…”


“How do you feel?”
“I don’t know…”

I don’t think it’s unusual not know what we’re feeling. Nor even to be unable to feel.
What are you feeling now?
Are you feeling a mixture of feelings?
Are you feeling one shallowly?
Are you feeling one deeply?

If you aren’t sure, there are some almost universal triggers to make or help you feel.

I’m not at all a fan of the musical genres jazz, classical, or country. I can enjoy occasional hits from each, but rarely more than one or two at a time. Upon hearing of my disdain for classical, my sister challenged me.

I believe this 3.5 minute piece is one of the almost universal triggers that cannot be heard without a maelstrom of accompanying feelings (listen with space to move your arms through their full ranges, and fasten your headphones or earbuds securely, for your head will dance upon your neck, and, almost certainly, you’ll need to stand, and quite possibly dance):

If you are a classical music aficionado, don’t try to convert me, but please do share with me pieces like this one, which do not require an appreciation for the art form, and do not for the uninterested include wasteful bridges, interludes, and introductions. I wish to hear more brief pieces like this, in which every note has intrinsic value, even to the infidel.

Neil D. 2020-07-19


Featured

My love letter to me


My love letter to me
…from my mom,
…from my soul,
…from me.

[6 minute read]

My rational mind loves theology, and I can wrap many of my beliefs into tidy packages to delight my reason. But that’s horribly dangerous, just like this theology: “The wages of sin is death, and you need a savior.”

“Do you NOW see and feel, Neil? Despite the crown of thorns, humiliation, false charges, excruciating death, do I threaten my wrath? ‘Forgive them, Abba…’ He was not begging on your behalf because you are unworthy of Our love. He was vocalizing what flows inseparably FROM Our love. Our sadness that you ‘know not what you do…’ To your Selves.

“Do you NOW see and feel, Neil? When I, your passionate and personal God, say that I love you unconditionally, that means no necessity of forgiveness. Our acts of love are not to show you how sinful you are. They are deeds to show you the purity of Our love for you. There’s no need at all for forgiveness when all is love….

“Love does not originate FROM or BY forgiveness. Love is no hostage, contingent on redemption by contrition and absolution. There is NO requirement that forgiveness PRECEDE My love. Neither offense nor guilt affect pure love. Nothing binds love. Forgiveness is a coincidence of true love, NOT a prelude…

“Look at me, my son Neil. LOOK at me. Don’t be afraid. Look at my Son’s crucified, bloody face. Does He look angry?

“The sadness on his face is for you. His face is My face. I am not angry and demanding justice because you have hurt Me. I am the Lord your God, Who fears nothing. I do not fear being hurt. But I can and do feel hurt. I can and do feel sadness. They are part of love, and I AM love. So I am also Hurt. I am also Sadness. But hurt and sadness out of love, not out of fear. Fear is not part of love. Do not fear that you have hurt me, and need my forgiveness. For I love you already. Fearlessly, and fiercely.

“You only fear Me because you cannot feel and trust the fullness of pure love — yet. My Son’s passion is a show of love’s purity, not a message that you need to fear Us, nor that you needed His sacrifice…

“My Son’s passion is Our love story for you, Neil. Don’t corrupt it into a tragedy about sin and penalty and any sense of justice and consequences and conditions and laws and rules…

“His love is pure. My love is pure. Conditions and rules for gaining it are impurities.

“I am sad, because you hurt your self, child. I, the Lord Almighty, BEG and PLEAD with you, Neil… I do not COMMAND you by any other power or authority except love… Fearsomeness is false power, and I am not false. Love holds no space for fear. And I am love…

“Your very Creator is begging and pleading for you to feel Our love in the story of my Son’s life. We do not wish for you to see some sacrifice to atone for your shame and restore your worthiness. Our love is NOT affected by your sin. It doesn’t stop just because you sin. Don’t be so conceited to think you can diminish Our love! Let this love story fly past your ego and annihilate barriers of shame, to touch your tender soul, sweet boy…

“The story of Yeshua is about Our goodness and YOUR goodness… Our and your OUTRAGEOUS capacity for love. Be outraged about that! Stop – STOP – making it about your badness and failure to love. You are hurting and saddening Us and your eternal Self by your ego-centeredness. Center the story on your WHOLE Self, as I made you. Be Self-centered about THAT story.

“Look at me, my son Neil. LOOK at me. Don’t be afraid.

“Let this story through your ego-self to your soul-Self. Begging… Pleading… In love… THAT is who We are.

“Know your shame, son. We do. Let it waft into your ego’s consciousness, and your whole Self can be compassionate with it, as We are. Your repression is keeping Our love from your soul. Even your ego, Neil, can love Us, and can love all of you, if your soul can embrace your whole Self tenderly, as We created it to do. You are made to love. Your soul can do its work, son.

“Imagine my Son’s face at the wedding in Cana, with a joyous smile crinkling his eyes. Imagine the fiery warmth of those eyes locked on the eyes of the woman to be stoned, ‘Nor do I condemn you…’ That is not a warmth that flows FROM forgiving; it is the fire of passionate love, from which forgiveness – like all things truly and purely good – cannot be separated.

“We hurt when those whom We love feel hurt. Just as you do. ‘I have become one of you.’ I have joined humanity because humanity is worthy. You are worthy of Our unconditional love because that love is Ours to give, NOT yours to earn. NO conditions. I am all-powerful. And I am in you. Our power is not rooted in meting out justice. Do not be afraid. Our power is love. I dwell in you: YOUR power is love.

“The moment I and your mother brought you to life, she held you in her arms, and adored you with unconditional love. You had done nothing to earn or deserve it. It was hers to give, not yours to earn. Your soul is no different from your mother’s. Your soul is no different from Me.

“You too have unbounded power to give love without conditions. Please, Neil, pour it out, unshackled by shame, with NO conditions. And, please, begin with pouring it onto my own infinitely lovable son, whom your mother named Neil…

Neil D. 2020-03-06

Related: My love letter to you, My love letter to you PS

Featured

Advent Prequel to Footprints


(Read the preface to this poem here.)


“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened…” (Mt 11:28)


Adeste fideles. (Come, faithful).


Advent Prequel To Footprints

(Neil Durso)

Energy, misbalanced.
Self-centered lifetime.
Other-centered lifetime.
Tiresome battles lost.

Shameful failure.
Wasted toils?
No. Delivery to the now.

A curled, sobbing heap,
Writhing on sands of self-desertion.
A finger trembling, raised to an eye…
Tap its pool of tears, running them thin,
Glimpse through the blur:

A shadow over tears on dead sand
Shades the relentless brightness of scorching shame,
Revealing a garment’s hem resting on sandaled toes.

Stretch out of despair a hand.
Touch a finger to the coarse fabric.

From that cloak, a hand extends,
Re-flavoring tears that flow still.
From a spring deep within, never fully felt.
Feel it now. Don’t wrestle floodgates inside.

Epic struggle.
Ordained end.
Rivulets of tears baptize anew.
Every ounce of unrequited effort poured out has prepared the way

Enormous fruitlessness was the way.
En route to the quenching fruit of energy exhausted.

The garment takes you up, in its arms
So gentle, their power feels misplaced.
You tremble at tenderness so unfamiliar.

From this bottom, from this birthplace,
In His wake are one set of footprints.

At cool evening’s arrival,
You’re lowered lovingly
To your own feet.
Refreshed.
At His side.
He at yours.
Two sets of feet imprint the sands.

Onward in silence.
For a time.
Then,
The silence drips into distant song
On fleeting breezes.

Whispering beneath the rising chorus,
“Whither, Yeshua?”
“The City of David.”

A bright star draws your gaze.
And He is gone.

Shepherds appear.
On pilgrimage.
To Light.

Above the sonorous din of lambs’ bleating,
Lyrics grow clearer…

Carried by the parade, your heart then
Your tongue join the hosts’ song.
Reborn of unshackled brokenness,
The beckoned joins the calling:

“O… O… come, all ye faithful…”
(song)


(Read the preface to this poem here.)


-Neil D. 2019-12-16
(revised from 2018-12-24)

Featured

Green Shirt

The gently soft-spoken 20-something didn’t seem to ever stop talking except when he asked of me simple questions and waited for replies with earnestness that made me feel like my answer would be divine and resonate with profoundly undeniable truth and universal wisdom. He sat on a park bench with his beautiful, unthreatening, expectant, wide eyes open naturally enough to look up at me as I stood beside the bench on which he sat lower. His eyes weren’t bloodshot or distant, squinted or spookily wide. His pupils locked on my gaze, without blinking, without discomfort or shame. Without abiding by any conventions of time or rhythm familiar. Just natural, as anyone’s might be awaiting an answer, unconsciously exhaling the puff of smoke from a satisfying drag off the cigarette he just bummed off me…

He did that several times, awaiting several answers to several questions. Of me. Me. Me? Me!

Not hard answers to give. But not easy questions to ask. So, wait–maybe hard questions to answer, but not hard words to summon in answer: “Yeah.” “That’s true.” I know.” “I feel you.” “Right.” “Damn.” “I know.”

Know? Do I really *know* anything?

Now I know I do.

Green Shirt talked and asked about his joy and loss of waking next to her, whose name he didn’t remember. Of being anxious about how he would get eggs and bacon like yesterday. Would the nurses let him have the medicine he needed again?

He’s glad it’s warm today.

Hopes it will be tonight, wherever he winds up.

Wants to work on my car. She knows how to service bearings. He knows he has to clean up dog poop in the park before her company lets him collect cans. She’s not afraid to work hard. Why do they think their reality’s rules make more sense?

Yeah, I suppose Yeshua from Nazareth wore some shade of white fabric in the middle eastern form of that time. But I think, yesterday morning, He wore a green t-shirt.

If you see Green Shirt today, tell her I miss him. Tell him I said hello. Tell her I remember him. Say Hello to her for me. Thank him for talking to me about her own world. Tell her I love hymn… because he trusted me just to affirm her truth. And … loved ME too.

Neil D. 2019-07-25

Thanksgiving Magicians


If you have deeply cherished memories around holidays, you may cherish the season… *too* much – filling it with a wonderfully complex soul-mix of expectations and hard work to pull it all together, reinforcing the value placed on those memories year after year.

We “make holidays happen.” There’s nothing particularly enchanting about the depths of winter per se. We *make* it so.

The eyes of our heart also see most of society doing the same, and the bustle culminates in the warmth of gathered loved ones. It’s all very magical – a blend of reality and fantasy that can’t be detangled, and so we are almost entirely unconcerned with detangling it.

It’s part illusion, but illusion that promotes and highlights very, very real connection between souls – both amidst the bustle of strangers on city sidewalks adorned with silver bells, as well as feasting with loved ones within four walls.

“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” As years roll by, we feel the absence of the departed who have been woven into our deep-heart memories of the season. Some have departed this realm, or some have departed to separate lives within this realm and now have their own circles that make it impossible to gather as one circle again. Or perhaps they choose actively against the old order, which hurts just as much, if not more.

Perhaps you’ve experienced some holiday days alone. The absence of connection amidst the universal spirit of goodwill can be excruciating. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and never before had you realized how highly your own spirit soared by connecting so fondly to other soaring revelers.

Perhaps in solitude somewhat unwillingly, you had a gathering inside yourself. Your full Self gathers your components. The part of you which craves the belonging and love from others had to gather with the part of you which pours out love and welcome on others. At this feast inside of you can gather the guest which senses its separateness in the world, across the table from the guest within you who senses that your being is part of a larger universe of being.

That thanksgiving meal can be quite a delicious blend of flavors. And that complex blend involves no delusional magic or fantasy. It is the *magic* which is you, in your fullness.

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Neil D. 2021-11-26


“Healing” and “Recovery”


“Re-cover.” I don’t like the word, and how it impels us to chase it – more running, which is the root of our pain to begin with.

When we seek to recover from something, what does it mean? A wound was exposed, and we want to cover it again (re-)? To re-store our identity, or sense of self? Be more self-ish? Yeah, I do think that’s what people seek in recovery. To feel again as they once felt before. The illusion of strength once held. To make the masks of personas as impenetrable as before. To acquire more masks that falsely convey strength to onlookers, even when looking upon our own selves. To return to fooling ourselves and others. To return to being better actors (hypocrites). To feel better via false feelings. To substitute positive feelings for the negative ones.

I don’t like the word and notion of recovery. Or healing. Especially when they mean those things.

In the upper room where Doubting Thomas encountered the resurrected Christ, Yeshua invited Thomas to probe his wounds with his fingers. His wounds were not absent in his risen body. He did not run or escape from them. No recovery or healing erased them when he was saved from hell and death, born again, a new creation. They are part of him for eternity. He carries them now and forever. So, now, what is it you want to cover?

To heal is not to fix our wounds. It is instead to grow large enough in awareness (consciousness) to carry those wounds in their rightful embodiment. Now, and for eternity. We already are enough to do that. And the evidence is plain: Our wounds have not killed us. We didn’t need to move on, move forward, leave that baggage behind. We may wish to, but we haven’t. And won’t. Any more than the risen Jesus did.

When Yeshua healed others, he did so by awakening them to their enoughness already. You are already enough to carry your wounds. The evidence is inarguable. Perhaps you just want it to be easier. Like a pill to fix us.

Heal the disconnection from our pain, so our pain no longer feels separated, abandoned, lonely, orphaned. When we carry it with us like a tender baby, it knows we love it.


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Neil D. 2021-11-24

Do you have affection for the words “healing” and “recovery”? Do they mean something very different to you? Share a Comment with us, below, please…

Sacramental Ceiling Cnidaria – Chapter 4, A Bleeding Jellyfish


[2.5 minute read]

Continuation of Chapter 3, “Dear Teacher: F for you”

Don’t put your faith in any writings, ideas, books, rules, or laws of religion or state.

YOU have been incarnated to fulfill the law.

The law of love is made flesh, incarnated, by you and in you – as part of “all things.” Believe in your SELF.

Don’t try – artificially with your brain – to extract some ideals of goodness from your actions and your character. There are no “parts” of you, good or bad. There is only you. You are a whole. You are complete. The human condition’s tragedy is that we are the last to realize.

Because you have been indoctrinated and brainwashed, at some level, by the notion of original sin, you want to peel away your bad “parts” and wash them away, or to claim pardon by professing some grotesque human sacrifice as propitiative ransom. That’s all mental gymnastics, not real.

What’s real is your own completeness as you are.

You have been brainwashed by cultural conditioning to revile your negative emotions, and so run from them or seek comfort by some external Sky Wizard. But a spark of that very wizard is what animates you and is the very “ground of your being” in existence.

You are infinitely more than enough to carry your negative emotions, and to carry the cross of suffering which others hoist upon your shoulders as you journey along your own Via Dolorosa toward the death of your false beliefs about your self. Then your core beliefs about who you – and neighbors and enemies – are can rise to new life, as authentic love bleeds out of your very own divine heart.

Take on your own crown of thorns, and watch in a mirror as life-giving blood runs from your pierced and wounded “head” toward your heart. Believe in your self, teacher. Shine your light in the world as a lesson – not only to your students, but a lesson to your own self. You can fulfill the rules by loving your wounded self, and that love is too much of a wellspring not to overflow abundantly onto your life’s insurrectionists and law-enforcers.

Love, and only love, conquers your enemies… And, at the pace of trickling blood… Authentic love trickles no more quickly.

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Neil D. 2021-11-12


Sacramental Ceiling Cnidaria – Chapter 3, “Dear Teacher: F for you”


{~4.5 minute read}
[continuation of Classroom Control Kicks (Ch.1), and Paradise Lost (Ch.2)]

When we get exasperated by subversive clowns in our lives, oh my… what gifts!

But the idealists – including the one in your head – have different eyes:

“Dear Teacher,
Because you failed to enforce the rules, we will do poorly on our standardized tests about tropical ecosystems. You should have smote… You could have had them marched to the office… Instead, we had to witness how you treat your enemies. What kind of teaching is that?”

What kind of teaching IS that, indeed. You get an F. Fantastic? Fabolous? Far-reaching.

THE “Teacher” has told us we too are brothers and sisters in – and of – him, the Annointed One. To control others, we can point to the rules and enforce the law. Yet, as sisters and brothers of The Master rabbi/Teacher, we have been incarnated into flesh not to replace The Law, but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17, excerpts below).

What kind of teaching is THAT?

“Where is this messiah as he fulfills the law? I’m looking for him, but I don’t see him.” Why, this Christ is in all things. One piece of all things is YOU. You were brought into being – incarnated – with “a divine spark,” as your soul is often called. The basis of connection, as brothers and sisters and children of One. As are uncontrollable rebels and insurrectionists. Enemies.

Think of how you gracefully manage disruptions in life’s classrooms as you read these excerpts from Matthew 5 [ESV], The ‘Lesson’ On The Mount, and its afterwords:

2And he opened his mouth and TAUGHT them,…
5“Blessed are the meek [who don’t pound fists explosively to insist on following rules, dominating by power and control, fear and shame], for they shall inherit the earth…
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart
[who are not *faking* love by acting how love looks], for they shall see God [in jellyfish and all things].
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called [children] of God.
10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[Is righteousness adherence to rules? Only one: The Greatest Commandment.] …
13“You are the salt of the earth…
14“You are the light of the world… 16…let your light shine before others, so that they may see…
17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you,… not an iota,… will pass from the Law until ALL is accomplished.
[And we, as incarnated into existence, are part of the “all.” We are to be “accomplished.” To inspire.] …
20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees [who enforce the rules hypocritically, not living them in their hearts], you will never [see] the kingdom…
22…everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment
[this means to the judgment of other judgmental people, not God; THAT is what hell is]; whoever insults his brother…and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire [from those brothers and sisters, and from your own internal voices that know of your secret hypocrisy]… 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser…, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge…and you be put in prison [of your very own conscience, the “law” of God written on your heart by your incarnation with a divine spark]. 26Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny [until you have come to love your own self in mercy as you love your neighbor, enemy, and as God loves you.]
.

Next, Sacramental Ceiling Cnidaria – Chapter 4, A Bleeding Jellyfish
.

Neil D. 2021-11-08


Sacramental Ceiling Cnidaria – Chapter 2, Paradise Lost

3 minute read
[Sequel to prior Chapter 1, Classroom Control Kicks]

Halloween is past, and the holiday season is ahead. Christmas. The Incarnation. Not just the birth of Jesus, but the infusion of all which exists – past, present, future – by the Alpha and the Omega, the Logos, Word made flesh, visible, Jesus sanctifying human flesh because it is foundationally good, not bad. Christ in everything, by loving all things into himself. Christ IN all things.

With utter completeness Yeshua loved people and jellyfish and rocks and crêpe paper and whales and palm trees and olives.

Today if you sense judgmental eyes on you, or the weight of expectations and demands, turn away and raise your eyes to imagine crêpe paper Cnidaria hovering above. Imagine they have the eyes of Christ – as all things do – looking at you. Watching you. Lovingly. With actually absolutely nothing EXCEPT the fullness of Love itself.

Imagine that. Christ’s loving eyes adoring YOU. Look away from that ceiling, and still feel those eyes of nothing-but-love, looking your Way. And the incarnate face of God smiling at you.

Almost grinning, even.

Look into the eyes of those disturbing you. They are the face of Christ. Grin back at them.

Smiling at one another, you know that sacramental secret.

They and you are enormous. We must be, to be so loved by God that the air all around us is over-loaded and crackling with that Spirit…

Why else would those tissue tentacles shimmy?!

Beyond the shadow of a mind’s doubt – in the blinding light of the heart – we each know this Spirit envelops us.

Periodically, we each forget, for a moment…

Now you remember,
Right now, in November…
Jellyfish are cool

She chose them. They chose her. Inspiring.

Who says guardian angels can only have wings? I bet plenty have tentacles. How else can they reach down and surround and envelop and warm us with so loving an embrace…

Tickling touches
as tender as
tissue tentacles

.
How are we to “control” a dozen wondrously restless souls out of control in a classroom? Putting down the insurrection instigated by a few mischievous instigators…

Now there isn’t enough time to watch the video as part of the lesson on tropical island ecosystems!” You worked so hard and scrambled so intensely to prepare it! Your lesson, lost.

November ain’t so tropical. But Paradise? Indeed. It is not lost.

Next: Chapter 3, “Dear Teacher: F for you”

Neil D. 2021-11-06


Sacramental Ceiling Cnidaria – Chapter 1, Classroom Control Kicks


{3 min read}

It’s not imperceptible if you’re looking for it… Merely a child passing beneath can subtly disturb enough air surrounding them, and those tissue-paper tentacles will dance, dangling lightly from the rainbow bodies of party-decoration jellyfish, suspended from her classroom ceiling.

Each August for a couple decades, as the schoolyear’s start looms, the excitement of her vocation to the hearts and minds of God’s children with single-digit ages and eternal souls bubbling over with distraction and wonder… Well, it all makes her a little anxious. Aye, on a precipice of overwhelm. How couldn’t it, really?

She has the right hardware to hang a dozen of them from the rails of the drop-ceiling, but she’s barely 5 feet tall, and in her late fourth decade, so how the hell will she hang them? Same way as always. Marshaling the gifts God sprinkles onto her journey’s path. That’s how her divine hair cooperates with its Source.

She will conform the retired math room – mostly cleaned out now – to her chosen theme:

Tropical Paradise.

Two additional souls tenderized by her invitation and very being, plus a borrowed hammer to tap the pushpins through the beach tapestry and fresh paint, high on a naked wall… An unwieldy hot glue gun to adorn with a grass skirt the back table on whose ocean-blue surface will rest the inflated palm tree, destined to wilt slowly, a slow air leak stealing its turgor. But her delight is firm.

Her November opens by receipt of a commendation letter from an organization to which she was recommended by a former student because she inspired him. She inspires children. Not easy.

Two days later, exasperated, her head throbs because of “regular” work stress, and the antics of a few troubling students – the sort of episode she has *regularly* defused for decades.

Mortal, as she is, the exceptional hugeness of her soul has slipped her mind.

Her head throbs more loudly than her heart.

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Next: Chapter 2, Paradise Lost
{~3 minutes}
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Neil D. 2021-11-04