We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Lord never promised us a rose garden. From Dr. Bob's post on Healing Faith:
We live in a time when our expectations of health, of prosperity, of a pain-free life are increasingly met in the physical realm, while we progressively become sickly, impoverished, and empty in the realm of the spirit. Despite our longer lives, we live in dread of death; despite our greater health, we obsess about our ills; despite our comfortable lives, we ache from an aimlessness and purposelessness which eats at our souls and deadens our spirits. Though we have at our command the means to kill our pain–to a degree never before seen in the history of the world–yet we have bargained away our peace in pursuit of our pleasure. The problem of pain has never been an easy one; in our day, it has not been solved, but rather worsened, by our delusions of perpetual comfort and expectations of a trouble-free life.
Until we come to terms with suffering, we will not have comfort; until we embrace our pain, peace will never be ours.
"we live in dread of death"....ain't that the truth. Not many people have Paul's assessment.....that it would be much better to be with Jesus than to continue to live here on earth....but of course, he had seen Jesus and knew what He was all about....for must everyone else the scales never fall off...
Thanks for finding that. There's a lot there to digest. I really enjoyed it. especially this He gave His creation powerful emotions, the capacity for both creation and destruction, which He alone had possessed — but this also was not sufficient. For love — the utter, uninhibited emptying of self for another — required that most dangerous license of all: free will.
In Buddhism, this is called the first noble truth. It's good to remember that the second noble truth indicates the roots of the first; the third tells us there is an end to it; and the fourth noble truth points out the path that gives liberation. The Buddha is only one of many, many teachers from every religion and philosophy who grasped it. Somehow, we keep having to learn it over and over in each generation.