Where I Stand Depends on Where I Sit
(Rufus Edward Miles, 1948)
See: "Understanding" and
We see the world,
not it is,
but as we are.
“Whether we try to enter into a dislocated world, relate to a convulsive generation, or speak to a dying man, our service will not be perceived as authentic unless it comes from a heart wounded by the suffering about which we speak.” (Henri Nouwen in “The Wounded Healer”)
“Those who do not weep, do not see.” (Victor Hugo, Les Misérables)
“It remains an experience of incomparable value that we have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed and reviled, in short, from the perspective of the suffering.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
“The vast majority of people throughout history have been poor, disabled, or oppressed in some way (i.e., “on the bottom”) and would have read history in terms of a need for change, but most of history has been written and interpreted from the side of the winners.” (Richard Rohr, Franciscan Monk, in his newsletter “Bias from the Bottom”)
“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” (Mahatma Ghandi)
Living with Open Hands is an Expression of an Open Mind, Open Heart, and Open Will.
It is learning to see the world
from multiple perspectives.
Living with Open Hands is an outward expression of the inner work of opening the Mind, Heart, and Will. This opening up requires open eyes and open ears that see and hear with the heart . . . a "Seeing" that goes beneath the surface . . . to the heart, the center, the silence.
(My Philosophical Evolution)
The next level deeper, piercing the facade, discerning and letting go of dogma, assumptions, and conditioning.
(2.0) version is my inner work of systematic deconstruction, deconversion, uprooting, and dredging up a lifetime of deep-seated conditioning, ingrained beliefs, and embedded dogma, much of which is unconscious; discerning trash from treasures and thoughtfully reconstructing a world and life view that reflects the shape of my heart. As I go deeper and beyond, answers fade into questions, certainty into uncertainty, knowing into unknowing.
One of our greatest indicators of something being amiss in our thinking and beliefs is the strength of our defendedness; our knee-jerk defense of what we think is right. The stronger our reaction, the more we need to question ourselves.
Truth is true when it stands on its own and compels us to bend the knee to what is inevitable and unequivocal.
Truth needs no defense.
"I asked myself, 'What is the myth you are living?' and found that I did not know. So... I took it upon myself to get to know my myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks... I simply had to know what unconscious or preconscious myth was forming me." (Carl Jung)
(Political Ramifications) https://livingwithopenhands2.blogspot.com/2020/02/being-political.html
No matter what a person's values and beliefs are, integrity requires that our outer life and our inner life be integrated, coherent, and congruous. This means our actions, interactions, and reactions must be a reflection of who we are. Soul and Role are one. Politics is perhaps one of the most public and visible expressions of our values and beliefs.
Our politics encompasses everything we do and say, everything we refuse do and say, and its impact on others. It’s impossible to be a-political. Our lives are a statement of our politics, an outward expression of who we are, our values, beliefs, and impact on others. And actions speak so much louder than words.
Normally, we think of politics more narrowly, in the sense of governance. In this blog (3.0), I’m looking at politics much more broadly and deeply; encompassing its roots and impact in the myriad of environments in which politics plays, like at home, school, the workplace, church, neighborhood, city, country, etc. In other words, the many milieus within which we live, move, and have our being. The environment of any group or organization is permeated by its politics thereby revealing its integrity. or lack thereof. Are soul and role one?
Living with Open Hands is an outward expression of the inner work of opening the Mind, Heart, and Will. This opening up requires open eyes and open ears that see and hear with the heart . . . a "Seeing" that goes beneath the surface . . . to the heart, the center, the silence. This inner work is then expressed outwardly by living with open hands; welcoming others and life, giving and receiving openly, living in peace and equality; living without appeal, unconditionally and without agenda.
"How we treat the vulnerable is how we define our species." (Russell Brand)
Blog posts of research, articles, and quotes from people that have greatly shaped my my philosophical Evolution.
"Am I living the life that wants to live in me?"
A career is all of the productive, creative, and meaningful activity a person does throughout life (whether paid or unpaid).
In this sense, life, work, and the person become a seamless, integrated whole.
Too often career is thought of only as one’s ”job”, a money-making activity done in isolation from the rest of one’s life. When this happens, people tend to leave part of themselves at home while they are at work. They become a cog in the machine. Only that piece of self is allowed to be present that is necessary for the task.
I have a difficult time splitting myself like this.
I prefer to be fully present in every aspect of my life; whether family, spiritual, work, or leisure; a fully engaged citizen of my community.
I call it living an authentic, undivided life… a life of integrity.
“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks–we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.” (Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation)
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman)
“Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” (Frederick Buechner)
Essence of Life
For me, there are three essential questions that spiral deeper into my life and will continue to do so for a lifetime.
1) Who am I? ... my Identity. (What are my gifts and abilities, passions and aspirations?)
2) Why am I here? ... my Purpose. (How can I use my gifts to make a difference?)
3) What am I going to do about it? ... my Mission. (When, where, and what will I do to make a difference?)
YOU decide. No one but YOU.
For every PERSON, there are gifts within. For every gift, there is a PLACE that needs that gift.
Meaning in life is not found "out there" somewhere. It is found Here and Now. It is created within by YOU.
Whether we are talking about metaphysical meaning or existential meaning, it is created and lived by YOU.
And it is seen by the impact you have as you make a difference in the lives you encounter and the work you do.
"I asked myself, 'What is the myth you are living?' and found that I did not know. So... I took it upon myself to get to know my myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks... I simply had to know what unconscious or preconscious myth was forming me."
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength” (St. Francis de Sales)
“Our greatest strength lies in gentleness and tenderness of heart.” (Rumi)
This surely defines my life work. Everything I've ever done, paid or unpaid can be summarized in these words; along with empowering people to live up to their full potential and purpose:
Proverbs 31: 8,9: "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."