The Institute For Living

Archive for October, 2010

When Love Walks In

by on Oct.29, 2010, under Core Values, General Updates, Politics/Economics, Relationships, Spirituality

I’ll never forget the time when my oldest son was about 15 years old and he had done something that made me so angry I was seeing fire (I cannot remember his crime, because forgiveness has washed it away). I had determined that when I went to pick him up I would give him the tongue lashing of his life. Something strange happened, though: the moment he came walking toward my car, feelings of love washed over me. All I could say to myself was, “Yeah, that’s my son!”

At that moment, whatever he had done didn’t really seem to matter when measured against the lifetime love that I have for him. Events will pass; love stays.

We all know that among our families and friends we have numerous experiences where friction occurs. The true measure of our love — of various kinds and dimensions — is our ability to deal with those tests and trials constructively or destructively.

Often relationships are based on rules. A rigidity around those rules is the cause of the end of many relationships. However, when love walks end, patience, kindness, understanding, and other qualities help us enlarge our tent to embrace each other in our humanity.

Many people feel that rules are necessary to have order in andĀ  among a group of people. And they are right. If we stop there, however, it becomes somewhat like a bed frame without a mattress. And certainly we are left without a warm quilt for long winter nights. When love walks in, our humanity is recognized, and we feel protected –not just supported.

People in the Christian faith often use the Ten Commandments as the basis of their living. The paradox, though, is that the very churchmen who were the arbiters of that code of law killed its heir — thus rendering the law null and void.

Before this heinous crime was committed, though, that master teacher said, “I’ll trade you ten commandments for two: just love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

When we begin to understand that all of the chaos and abuse we are experiencing from the personal to the group to the national and international levels is coming from this one stem, then we will be on our way.

Fear and Love sit at opposites: one destroying the other.

Our economic policies, our culture wars, and our political struggles all reflect our inability to let love walk in.

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Bed Bugs in the Queen’s Palace

by on Oct.16, 2010, under News Commentary, Politics/Economics, Spirituality

Recently there has been an outbreak of beg bugs in our country. New York has been especially hard hit, which is the queen of commerce and power. Reportedly some of the landmark venues have at least temporarily closed due to this pestilence. Some have suggested that travelers might unknowingly bring the creatures in their garments from other countries and seed their domestic dwellings upon their return.

Ironic isn’t it that the powered elite are more likely to travel than the unemployed who (1) would not shop in the expensive New York stores, and/or (2) would not engage in foreign travel? While we certainly cannot say that this is an irritant for the rich and famous, we can say that it has not discriminated against the upper class.

And the upper class — or the powered elite — is what most of us aspire to become. The abundance of money is certainly one aspect of its appeal, but the locus of power is no less appealing. Indeed some members of the powered elite are deemed so because of their power rather than because of their wealth.

Recently Columbia University convened the first Elites Research Network conference. This is very interesting at a time when one little $75,000 houseĀ  in Maine has caused a foreclosure crisis that threatens to become the bed bug for the nation’s largest banks.

Just like the BP Oil Spill, the Goldman Sachs ordeal and other recent events, unforeseen consequences of routine behavior can disturb the locus of power. No such disturbance is necessary when power relations are maintained in an equitable manner.

Equilibrium is maintained in the universe and all is at peace.

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