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Desiderata


And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Good Morning My Confidants!


The first time I saw the words I was taken completely by surprise. I’d just had coffee with a sweet friend and before we went our separate ways, we stopped at this little souvenir shop next door. I was looking at coffee mugs—which was normal for me at the time—and there on the side of one of the mugs were these words....


“No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”


I was completely in that moment. For an instant, it was as if me, and the couple of feet around me, were the only thing that was real in the whole Universe.


Those words said so much...and just what did they mean?


Because it for me, at that moment, those words were an affirmation that I needed. I wasn't worrying about predestination or fate or any of that. That wasn't what it meant to me. It were as if the Universe told me I was going in the right direction.


And some people might think my ways are silly, but I did believe it.


I had to show my friend.


“Oh,” he said. “That’s the Desiderata.”


“Huh?” I asked,


“It’s a poem,” he told me.


A poem, I wondered.


So, I looked it up.


And if that one line moved me, the rest of the poem blew me away.


The poem was all about life, and "God," and where we come from and where we are going. It’s about our connection to "God" and to each other and the Universe. It’s all about purpose and our place in the Universe. It’s all about what I had come to believe over fifty years of life. It was as if I was reading the words on my heart. It was unconditional, non-judgmental, and loving. It was Spirit rather than RELIGION.


I had to share it with my mother!


Who was not nearly as excited about it as I was.


“It concerns me,” she said. “It’s so…humanist.”


Humanist? I wondered. Well, that sounded good to me, although I wasn't sure what it meant. It sounded like it meant something about being human, which I think is a pretty amazing thing to be, I looked that word up.


This is what Dictionary.com says about a humanist….


1. a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity. 2. a person devoted to or versed in the humanities. 3. a student of human nature or affairs. 4. a classical scholar. 5. (sometimes initial capital letter) any one of the scholars of the Renaissance who pursued and disseminated the study and understanding of the cultures of ancient Rome and Greece, and emphasized secular, individualistic, and critical thought. 6. (sometimes initial capital letter) a person who follows a form of scientific or philosophical humanism.


And that was something my mother was concerned about???


So, I decided to look up the term on a Christian website. And, oh. Then I got it. Why she would be concerned.


sigh


Here is what the site Abounding Joy says….


“We live in a day when there is a great war going on in the society in which we live. There are many battlefronts and aspects to the war, but the primary war in our day is between Christianity and secular humanism… …Secular humanism is a religion and a philosophy of life which views man as the supreme being of the universe. It rejects the existence of God and the supernatural. It sees moral values as relative and changing and varying from person to person… ….It is important for every Christian to know the subtle ways that secular humanism is manifesting itself all around us. It is important for us to make decisions on a daily basis that demonstrate that we have not been captured, to any degree, by this intoxicating and persuasive philosophy and religion.” *


Well, that didn't sound good!


The online dictionary didn’t say anything about humanists not believing in God.


And anyone who reads this blog knows—or my books or my Facebook posts or talks to be personally or knows how important my church is to me knows—I most certainly believe in a God! I just define my God differently. My God transcends and refuses to be contained in any box/religion of men. My God is agape—the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances. **


The online dictionary definition does sound pretty “intoxicating and persuasive.” But the Abounding Joy description? Not so much.


Could it be that Christians, or at least those those who work for Abounding Joy, don’t understand?


Because I do know that many Christians consider “God” as something “other than.”


Something separate. Above. Removed. On high. And that we humans are “other,” separate, below, away from, down on the ground….


That I don’t believe.


I believe that God is in us and we are in God and we are made of God.


We are drops of water in the Ocean. We are not the Ocean, but everything we are reflects that Ocean, and the Ocean is in us, and we are in the Ocean.


Mother Theresa said: We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.


And Rumi....: You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.


I believe that I am in God and God is in me.


My posts almost always end with, “Namasté.”


That word has several definitions because it is hard to translate Eastern thought into Western words.


But the definition I like best goes like this….


“The Divine in Me sees and honors the Divine in You.”


Or as Valentine Michael Smith says in Stranger in a Strange Land, “Thou art God.”


That means everyone. The people I love. And the people I…well, not so much. That includes me, you, my husband, my friends, and even the team leader where I used to work who was and is such a source of my PTSD (undiagnosed).


Which brings me to the poem "Desiderata"....


"Desiderata" is a 1927 prose poem by the American writer Max Ehrmann and was...widely distributed in poster form in the 1960s and 1970s. *** And ultimately, whatever it is called, humanist, to me it resounds deeply in my soul. The most famous line isn't about predestination—at least not to me. It isn't about a lack of free will. I do believe what my Christian siblings say, and that is that we were given free will. But I do also believe that we were created to do something. Not a specific something—certainly not word for word. But as in a clarinet is meant to be played, a toy to be played with, a car to be driven, a boat to be placed into the water and take us to some destination.


But we get to pick the destination.


And I know that we can know what we were meant to be by the joy something gives us. It can be out of nowhere, something we have never seen or heard and we encounter this something and—WHOA!—it hits hard. Deep. Profound. And often when we rush to tell others, they look at us blankly, perhaps shrug, and it drives us—or me—to frustration. How can they not see it?? They don't see it or hear it or get profoundly moved by it because that isn't what they were created to do or be. That JOY is our compass letting us know that we have found what we were created to do. And now we get to do that something anyway that we want. That is our free will.


And now, finally, for those of you who don't know this poem, it is time for me to share it now. If you don't get it, if it doesn't hit you like it does me every single time, that is okay. It wasn't a part of who you are. We are all created differently. And how wonderful is that? But if this poem does strike a chord in you, I would love to hear your thoughts. Anyway, for your consideration and perhaps edification, the "Desiderata"....


DESIDERATA


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.


Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection .Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.


You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.


Peace and Namasté to you my friends,

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


* Christian? or  Secular Humanist?: https://www.aboundingjoy.com/humanism_chart.htm



*** Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) was a scholar and poet, born in Terre Haute, Indiana on September 26, 1872. … During his life, Max Ehrmann contributed great thoughts to our literary lexicons, blending the magic of words and wisdom with his worthy observations. ... His deep and abiding concern over social issues are reflected throughout his many works. ... He searched endlessly for spiritual contentment, often turning to nature as in his poem, "The Noise of the City" and "Away." His philosophical writings are a search for social truth and peace—messages that never age.: https://www.desiderata.com/max-ehrmann.html

 

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6件のコメント


From Marj, sorry I am a day late. Yesterday the depression won and I didn't do Facebook at all.

Today is better so I am catching up. Desiderata is a statement I have had tucked away in my mind for years. First ran into it through Star Trek. So much truth! So glad you found it! Love!


いいね!

ゲスト
2月09日

Had a response but hit the wrong thing and it was erased. Sigh.

いいね!
B.g. Thomas
B.g. Thomas
2月09日
返信先

I am so sorry that happened. I would have loved to have heard your thoughts.

いいね!

For the longest time I had a poster on my wall of the Desiderata. I think that it is something that we really need right now. I have carried it in my heart for the longest time.

いいね!

Jean Stuntz
Jean Stuntz
2月08日

I have loved and been moved by the Desiderata for at least fifty years. I had a poster of it for a long time. I, too, never understood people who were not moved by it.

いいね!

Will Jones
Will Jones
2月08日

The first definition you found sounds like something Christians should strive to follow. I don't get the backlash.

いいね!
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