Showing posts from January, 2024

Path Doctrine on the Seven Deadly Sins

  Topic: Path Doctrine on the Seven Deadly Sins Today’s sermon is about the Christian list of seven “deadly sins” and how they relate to Path teachings. Some of these so-called sins are of the body, some are of the mind. But they must be subject to rational dissection so we can extract whatever value they may have. Lust is a body sin, and an easy one. The sex lives of others are none of our business, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult and no harm is being done. If you are not hurting anyone or treating other people as things, feel free to lust after and even have sex with as many people as you want. Greed is one of the sins that you only commit in your head; the only problem with greed is that it can turn you into a power-hungry asshole. But there are wealthy people who still try to make the world a better place, so there is nothing wrong with greed itself. Gluttony is a body sin, and is contrary to the Virtue of Balance. If you find yourself overindulging, mayb

On Selling Your Soul for Immortality

  Topic: Selling Your Soul for Immortality This sermon’s topic is the concept of exchanging your soul, or an equivalent, to attain immortality. We will be discussing two examples from literature and even one from American history. This is not quite the same thing as a Faustian bargain, as Faust sold his soul in exchange for knowledge and power, but it is similar. The books we are discussing are My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due and The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge. The example from history is Robert Leroy Johnson, who is rumored to have sold his soul to become a famous musician, which is itself a kind of immortality. (As people are still listening to his music to this day, I would say he succeeded.) In My Soul to Keep, Due introduces us to a character who attained immortality by way of a ritual and an infusion of some rather remarkable blood. The catch is that the blood is said to come from the wounds of Christ, collected and used without his permission, so the acceptance of the blo

On Self-Control & Chemical Dependency

 As somebody who struggles with a nicotine addiction, I want to talk about the Virtue of Self-Control and how it relates to chemical dependence. I will be referring specifically to nicotine addiction, but the idea is the same for just about any chemical that you can become dependent on. The Path reminds us that we should maintain Self-Control, but also teaches that addiction is a medical concern, not a moral one. Having an addiction does not make you a bad person. There are chemicals, such as nicotine and opiates, that actually alter your brain’s wiring and make you crave them. Sometimes, those chemicals are also harmful to our bodies, but the fact of that dependence remains, irrational as it may be. Somebody suffering from a chemical dependence fights a constant battle with it, and sometimes loses that battle. When that happens, it is not exactly a loss of Self-Control, but rather a situation in which the wrong Self is in control. Let me explain. As I have often discussed with my

Digging Two Graves

  Topic: Digging Two Graves This sermon is about two quotes from two different sources. One comes to us from Hesiod, who you may recognize as the source of the Mantra for the Virtue of Balance. He says: “He harms himself who does harm to another, and the evil plan is most harmful to the planner.” There is another, simpler quote from our old friend Confucius: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” Hesiod reminds us that lowness and meanness of all kinds actually warps the wheel of our Ka. Plans to do harm to others contain the seeds of the planner’s downfall by their very nature. When you choose to do harm, you are putting negative energy out into the Universe, and you can only expect negative energy to come back to you. People who constantly do harm to others, on a personal or even social scale, are miserable wretches. There are billionaires in this country who are so deeply unhappy from all that negative energy that they cannot even smile properly. Seriously,