November Newsletter 2005

by Cathy Combs

What Goes Around Comes Around

Greetings to you! This is an exciting time! I have recently been introduced to a book titled, “don't think of an elephant! KNOW YOUR VALUES AND FRAME THE DEBATE” by George Lakoff. I consider this book a must read for all who are trying so valiantly to live from a responsive, compassionate worldview. This book brilliantly, and simply, details the cognitive differences between living from the authoritarian Father God image of society and the nurturant view of society. Very simply put the authoritarian Father God image values war and dominance and all that goes with it. The nurturant caretaker view values peace, taking care of the Earth, equality, education, health and equal protection under the law for all, women having domain over their own bodies. This book also details the cognitive science of framing and how the conservative Republicans have used this process to persuade people to vote against their own best interests. For example, Republicans frame taxes as a burden. By framing a law or policy as tax relief people are persuaded to vote for it without even realizing that the only ones who get relief are the top 1% of the super rich. By framing a bill as “The Clear Skies” initiative we think, of course, we all want clear skies, clean water, and yet what the bill actually does is give big business free rein to pollute and destroy the environment with impunity. Language is powerful. How words and ideas are framed powerfully influences how we think. Policy makers are using this process to make public policy! Conservative Republicans feel a huge national debt is a “good thing” because it leaves no money left over in the budget for social programs! This mindset is fueled by the belief that people “should pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and be prosperous. If they’re prosperous they’re good citizens. If they’re poor they’re “shiftless, lazy” and don’t deserve to be taken care of because that would encourage dependency, and dependency is a bad thing! I would ask what about our dependence on foreign oil when we have oil fields here in our own country? Somehow that bit of incoherent policy doesn’t register. This authoritarian Father God viewpoint also fails to take into account the racist, sexist, glass ceiling attitudes that exist in our society. This mindset doesn’t take into account our social, spiritual responsibility to take care of the: children, elderly, disabled. It doesn’t address the issue that China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia are funding our national debt and we’re barely paying the interest on our debt as it escalates to its highest level ever!

These details outline my thought for this month. I truly do believe “what goes around comes around!” As compassionate, intelligent, responsive citizens we have one year before the elections of November 2006 to mobilize our efforts, understand the art of cognitive framing, vote for our best interests, unite under one banner, clearly articulate a comprehensive, compassionate, nurturant agenda to take back our nation, protect our future, reduce our national debt, take care of all of the people! The time is now! It has never been more important! In light of these details it has never been clearer to me how important it is to celebrate and to share the meaning and image of God as Love and God as immanent! The responsibility for our lives does not rest out there somewhere. The responsibility is within us! God is within us. We are the heart, hands and feet of God in expression. We are powerful. We are here to transform this world. In this month where we give thanks for many things in our lives I couldn’t be more grateful for my understanding of God as Love, God as immanent, and God as Immanence! It couldn’t be more obvious to me that God shows up in the world in me, as me, through me; therefore, I am mindful of how I show up as God! I do not believe in the theology of God as the “bearded white man in the sky capriciously blessing some and withholding His blessings from others!” This patriarchal, fear-based image of God is outmoded, harmful and degrading to us all! God is Spirit. God is Principle. God is a name given to the spiritual laws of Love, Peace, Wisdom, Joy; all of the spiritual gifts that it is our human responsibility and “response-ability” to demonstrate in this lifetime. It means a great deal to me to live this capacity into expression in my life! Reclaiming this reality of Loving Immanence will heal us all! One part of this reclaiming, framing process is to realize that our words, our thoughts are powerful. By the words we say and think we are creating our world. By realizing the world is an impartial, inherently ordered Universe we reclaim our power. By realizing that we do not pray to God but rather we align with the Inherent Presence of the Universe we accept the responsibility of the creative power of our words and actions. I do not believe in a God out there that I beg and beseech to do something for me. Rather I align my heart and mind with the Presence of Love that is the vitalizing energy of all of life. I affirm my oneness with this Life and Love and I call it forth in my life. This approach is a radically different theology than what I learned as a child and it is far more meaningful to me than what I learned as a child because it makes more sense to me. I see it as a far more beneficent view than a God who is fearsome, judgmental, and capricious. That kind of God image makes no sense to me at all as a sentient, thinking being. I am the quintessential optimist. I believe the world is a good place. We have the power to make good decisions. We have the power to make bad decisions. I can focus on Love or I can focus on fear. If I want to consistently outpicture joy in my life I must “pray without ceasing” as Jesus said 2000 years ago. Each moment, each thought is a prayer! If I spend one moment a day celebrating joy and 50,000 moments a day outpicturing self-degradation what do I think my life will outpicture? Surely not joy! I understand that it isn’t the circumstances of my life that determine my life. It is what I do, what I think, about the circumstances of my life! When challenging things happen I simply recognize my opportunity to grow! I do not think that I’m being punished or that I’m bad. I think “What am I going to do to make the best of this? What am I going to learn?” Then I set my course of action. I align myself again with the Presence and Power of God in me, as me! I remember that God is Love. I am Love in expression. I connect with that Source. I live and love my life to the fullest. My life and your life is worth that effort!

As we move farther into this contemplative time of shorter days I give thanks for the life I have. I honor the memory of all who died in the tsunami a year ago and all who are still trying to put their lives back together all over the world. I join my heart, head and hands with you to reclaim our precious world and work together to bring love, freedom, and peace back into the frame of a conscious connectedness. As Gandhi so wonderfully said, “Be the change we want to see in the world.” I am about the business of doing that precious, gracious work. Namaste to you as we all celebrate and give thanks for our lives together on this precious planet, Earth! Truly what goes around comes around! Blessings to you, sweet Spirit of Love and Peace!!!!!!


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