Showing posts from December, 2022

Zoom Meeting Sermon January 1 2023

  Topic: Core Tenet #1 & Types of Harm First, a recap of the first Core Tenet of the Path: Do no harm, except in self-defense. Treat others with Compassion and Patience; everyone comes to Enlightenment in their own time and in their own way. When we spoke before about Core Tenet #1, we discussed how kindness to strangers and criminals can be challenging, but is absolutely necessary. Today, we are going to talk about the ways in which we cause harm to ourselves or others without knowing it or meaning to, and how we can apply the Virtues of Self-Control, Mindfulness, Patience, and Compassion to avoid causing harm. One of the hardest things to change is how we think of other people and the things we say to and about them. However, if you find yourself passing judgment on others for petty things like what they are wearing, even if you do not say anything out loud, you are still choosing to focus on negative thoughts. The sartorial decisions of others are none of our business and

Zoom Meeting Sermon December 25 2022

  Topic: A History of Winter Solstice Celebration Today’s sermon will not be followed by the usual question and discussion, but by a party that all of you are invited to. People have been celebrating midwinter holidays ever since we started keeping track of the changing seasons. The winter solstice, taking place on December 22, marks the turning point when the days start to become longer again. It is the return of the sun in ancient pagan spiritual practices, forming the basis for most midwinter celebrations since. Today we are going to talk about some midwinter traditions and their origins: the evergreen tree, mistletoe, gift-giving, and caroling. Bringing an evergreen tree into your living room in December began with the ancient Egyptians, who brought evergreen trees and wreaths into their homes to honor the sun god Ra and his rebirth during the Winter Solstice. The evergreen was seen as a symbol of immortality, since it did not hibernate during winter like deciduous trees. The

Zoom Meeting Sermon December 18 2022

  Topic: The Messiah Archetype in Fiction The messiah archetype is present everywhere: In movies, books, even video games. Most of the time the characterization as a savior is deliberate, done to varying degrees of success, although sometimes the messianic connection seems accidental. We are going to be talking about that archetype as it is presented in four different stories, two movies and two books. The movies are Robocop and The Matrix, and the books are A Creed for the Third Millennium by Colleen McCullough and Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. (Both of those books are recommended reading for followers of the Path.) You do not need to have seen the films or read the books for today’s sermon to make sense, as I will offer a synopsis of each story before we discuss the messianic characterizations. I am also focusing on deliberate messianic associations rather than those that appear to be accidental. In Robocop, the primary protagonist is a police officer who is almo

Zoom Meeting Sermon December 11 2022

  Topic: The Value of Backing Down “Never back down.” You have heard it. I have heard it. It is embedded in the American consciousness and has been for quite some time. It shows up in film, on television, in books, even in songs. The statement itself evokes a fist in the air, defying powerful opposition. It means standing your ground against all odds. It is also bullshit; there are situations in which backing down is the only logical reaction. Some arguments are not worth winning, and some people are not worth arguing with. It is okay for other people to hold different opinions than you, and it is even okay for other people to be wrong. If you find yourself getting into a heated disagreement over something petty, there is nothing wrong with just letting it go. You do not have to let things disturb your inner peace. As we journey toward Enlightenment, we must realize that maintaining our Serenity is more important than being right all the time. This is not to say that you should not

Zoom Meeting Sermon December 4 2022

  Topic: Situational Morality and its Applications The Path teaches us to practice what I call situational morality: the individual freedom to choose the path of least harm in every situation. This means that certain actions can be either right or wrong, depending on the circumstances. As defined by Path doctrine, situational morality is all about doing your best to be a good person, no matter what life throws at you. It means letting your conscience guide and inform your behavior, and doing the right thing even if you end up standing alone. It also means being willing to grow as a person and accepting the consequences of your actions. Always be willing to own up to the choices you make, knowing that you did the best you could with what Ka put in your path. Situational morality also affords the practitioner the luxury of a personal list of “nevers:” Things we will never do, lines we will never cross. This list always varies from person to person, and a lot of us add qualifiers. For i