Showing posts from March, 2024

One Hundred Sermons & What We Have Learned So Far

  Topic: One Hundred Sermons & What We Have Learned So Far This is my one hundredth sermon; I have been writing and publishing one per week for over two years, taking a couple of weeks off here and there for holidays and vacations. We have learned a lot so far, about ourselves and one another as well as the Core Tenets and Virtues. I would like to review the last ninety-nine sermons, to talk about the Tenets or Virtues to which they apply and also how popular they have been with our readership. We started this whole adventure by going over the Eight Core Tenets of the Path, in order. The ideas expressed in my first sermon about the first Core Tenet and its meaning have been touched on several times in following sermons. We talked about the combination of Compassion and Self-Control it takes to truly do no harm, which we went over again when we discussed each of the Virtues later on. We also mentioned exercising Patience when dealing with people who do not seem to be actively se

Tupac Shakur and Compassion

 Today’s sermon is about being kind, even when you cannot be fond of someone. To illustrate that concept, here is a quote I found online, this one from Tupac Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996): "Just because you lost me as a friend, doesn't mean you gained me as an enemy. I'm bigger than that. I still wanna see you eat, just not at my table." Tupac was a wise man. This is an incredibly Compassionate statement, and it expreses the fact that you can be kind to somebody you dislike. Compassion is not about being everyone’s friend, it is about not being anyone’s enemy. (I would define an “enemy” as somebody who would trip you if you were both running from a clown.) You can help and support people even if they do not appreciate it or you cannot otherwise stand them. My partner still buys Yule gifts for the very few people she personally does not get along with. One of my friends is doing the one drug I vehemently disagree with, but I am still paying for their ca

Music and the Healing Power of Sound

  Topic: Music and the Healing Power of Sound Sound, particularly music, has been a part of the human experience for millennia. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences. In his novel The War of the Flowers, Tad Williams writes of “…that youthful certainty that there was good music and bad music and that they knew which was which. ‘Bullshit,’ he’d told them once. ‘A teenage girl creaming while she listens to some boy-band, a monk digging on the God he hears in Gregorian chants, or John fucking Coltrane himself climbing up into the sky on a staircase made of sixteenth notes, it’s all the same. If it takes you there, it’s good.’” He is right. Music, just about any kind of music, can lift the human spirit. But it goes deeper than that: Sound has healing properties. One example I find interesting and compelling is that the sound of a cat purring can reduce blood pressure, ease inflammation, and aid in the healing process. Another is the sound treatment that effectively breaks apart

Practicing Integrity

  Topic: Practicing Integrity Here is a quote from Malcolm X that we are using to illustrate the Virtue of Integrity: "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole." Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 - February 21, 1965) was an American minister and human rights activist who was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. He was assassinated, probably because he advocated for racial equality and we all know that America does not like that idea. However, like most great men, his words and work live on after his premature demise; he is one of the most recognizable figures in American civil rights history. Even in my backwater high school in the most conservative state in the country, we learned about Malcolm X. In this quote, Malcolm tells us exactly what it means to live and breathe Integrit

How Core Tenet #3 Applies to Abortion

  Topic: How Core Tenet #3 Applies to Abortion The Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling on February 16 declaring that embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) should be considered children. This raises ethical as well as practical concerns. Does it mean that a couple attempting to conceive through IVF can claim all their embryos as dependents on their taxes? Does it mean that IVF clinics have to be registered as daycare centers? Can somebody use the carpool lane if they have frozen embryos in the back seat? And do they have to be buckled in? If somebody accidentally drops a petri dish with a clump of cells in it, and the cells die as a result, is that person going to be charged with committing the crime of abortion? This ruling, like any abortion ban, is a direct violation of any Path adherents’ religious freedom: Core Tenet #3 tells us that our bodies are our own, and that bodily autonomy must be absolute. Other organizations, including the Satanic Temple (which, much