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The civil-rights activist (Martin Luther King, Jr.) said that in order for people to condemn injustice, they must go through four stages.

The first stage is that the people must ascertain that indeed injustices are being perpetrated. In his case, it was injustices against African-Americans in the United States.

The second stage is negotiation, that is, to approach the oppressor, and demand justice.

Should the oppressor refuse, King said that the third stage is self-purification.

And, this starts with the question: “Are we ourselves wrongdoers? Are we ourselves oppressors?”

The fourth stage, then, is to take action after sincere self-examination, after removing our own wrongs, before demanding justice from others.

Hamza Yusuf, from Purification of the Heart

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22-Acre Woods 10 10/28/2020 Panorama – Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo

We begin to die
when we stop singing,
listening to,
and being enchanted by,
spending time with,
and being comforted by,
“the sweet territory of silence”
(Angeles Arrien).

There is a difference
that is more than a difference
(Like a train wreck
is different from a burp)
between being driven by an agenda
and being led
by the soft whispers of our soul.

We live these days from our head.
It used to be,
in the days long gone,
that we lived from our heart.
We have been cut off from our heart
for generations,
and it shows
in the emptiness of our eyes
and the shallowness of our desires
and the impulsive jerkiness of our life.

Maybe this!
Maybe that!
Maybe that over there!
We are all over the place
looking for it,
whatever “it” is,
we don’t know,
but “this” isn’t it.
We know that much.

What would it take?
We don’t know.
We just know that something isn’t right

We just want to be happy,
as though happiness is something
to be acquired
as a by-product
of the things we buy and do
to make us happy,
and if we are happy,
things must be right
about us and our life.


Happiness is no indicator
of a life well-lived.
A life well-lived is not attuned
to happy/not-happy.
It has other things on its mind.
Seeing and doing what is called for
here and now,
for instance.
Listening for the gentle whispers
of soul,
for another.

We don’t have time to assess our
current degree of happiness
when we are living in the service
of heart and soul.
Then, we are busy taking care of business
in the business of being alive.

How to get from here to there:

It’s my favorite Joseph Campbell quote:
“That which you see lies far back
in the darkest corner
of the cave you most don’t want to enter.”

The Hero’s Journey is simply the shift
in perspective from where we are now
to the center of our heart.
That requires the complete transformation
of our relationship with our life.

Meister Eckhart said,
“The greatest and last leave-taking
is leaving God for God.”
I say that the next leave-taking in line
is leaving our life for our Life.

And that is why things are as they are
everywhere we look.

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