Day 127 – Once again, this is a timely read for me as the world and country takes sides in “an emormous ideological battle.” Rolf relates his experience in Boston of his youth and the years of desegregation. Indeed, my everyday hears and takes in the ramp “implacable bitterness.” Rolf’s words are reminiscent to Milton’s: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” Rolf begins by restating yogic philosophy: “Our attention can bring alive what we don’t want as readily as it can bring alive what we do want.”
Rolf’s life changed when he became emerged in Boston in a spiritual way (what he calls a “spiritual awakening”). He experienced the very same people (who stood on the other side of the ideological abyss during his youth) worshipping the very same “G”od in the very same way in the same building. He writes: “Instead of seeing Boston as a place where deelpy troubled people lived restlessly, waiting to inflict some new outrage upon me, I now saw it as just another place where God exists.”
This epiphany is not problematic, in my mind, when your “G”od is the Judeo-Christian patriarchal god, but it can be when quite problematic when you are not Christian or an aetheist. I believe in a beautiful divinity which resides within and without (“as above so below”), which like our Earth is capricious and random at times. How will I weather this storm? Rolf aids me in this at the end of this reading: “I’ve found that the world we live in is a reflection of our own hearts.
To a great extent, I hear and allow these words to reverberate within me. We, as a collective humanity, have all types of people, and thereby, all types of spiritual beliefs, ideological beliefs, day-to-day habits. Not everyone lives by the Golden Rule (‘an if it harms none, do as ye will). Fred and I were talking about this just this morning and this is why liberal arts education is so important, in my opinion. Exposure and residence with those who disagree with us or think a different way can help us open up to other possibilities within ourselves. Sometimes we pass judgment too quickly. If in the end, Love is what I seek, then Love is what I need to hold in my heart, but it ain’t easy.