Religion

“Open your heart,” he said, at the same time using both hands to pull from the center of his chest – as if pulling ribs to expose – to “open” his heart. I watch unmoved by the words and gesticulated reminder of Hanuman – mythological Hindu deity who rips his chest open to reveal Lord Krishna seated in the mystical heart.

Smiling now, he does it again while repeating his words. Hands posed as if gripping, pulling. Ribs parting, tearing flesh, bending bones. Intention without reservation. “Just open your heart!”

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The Wooden Bowl Revisited

I beg your pardon, if I’ve I dropped my fork. Smile with me please, as my feet stumble and I trip over a word and miss when reaching for a thought! What follows is a story and the same story revised, such that you may have heard parts before. Together, they leave the reader with a mixture of feelings, depending upon your point of view – your own thoughts and actions.

The original is attributed to a great man, Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy. Intending no disrespect, I’ve added some thoughts that turn his tale upside down at the end. Tolstoy’s version goes like this: Continue Reading

HERITAGE – An Award Winning, Cinematic Short – Written and Directed by Davy McCall
A Review and Commentary.

It’ short – short like a knife. Yet, seventeen minutes tell the story of countless generations. The story of a family divided by their misdeeds. One family – now two distinct cultures, and still together – bound to each other by conflict. In seventeen minutes, Heritage tells the story of two men – each driven to violence by acts of violence. McCall uses a mixture of his characters individual experience and collective, cultural history of loss to bring two men and the audience to a startling realization – one that changes everything. It’s an understanding that could reconcile bitter enemies. However, this realization is fragile, easily subverted by anyone with anything to gain from violence – those who hide themselves and silence their enemies with guns and knives. Continue Reading

( #TheOracle March 18, 2015 ) – Among the selections, many who attended this years Sedona, International Film Festival sat in on multiple screening of Rooted In Peace. In this award winning, energetic quest for answers, filmmaker Greg Reitman takes viewers on a journey, crisscrossing the world and into the presence of notables, Deepak Chopra, and Desmond Tutu. Viewers hear the words and music of, Pete Seeger, Donovan, and Beach Boy, singer, songwriter, Mike Love. These and more share the experience of their lives as it applies to the central question: Peace – why is it so illusive? What will bring peace to our increasingly un-peaceful world? Also introduced to viewers is Britta, woman of personal interest to Greg. Soon the two are married and life goes on. Continue Reading

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. Couples, hopeful suitors, friends and family members are professing and accepting expressions of love. In each case love means something different.

There is so much packed into the word, the practice and the concept of love that we’ll never begin to see anything close to its meaning if we don’t take it out beyond our everyday, human sized understanding. In a previous article posted here and titled “Loves Got a Hold on You!, Love was seen to be, not just universal. Possibly much more startling, the idea was introduced that it is a Universe pervading, fifth force like gravity, responsible for self organization of the material and living worlds. So let’s look from a place approximating that altitude again.

Love most often shows up in one of two ways. Comparing them will help us see both what is confusing as well as the best of love as our heart and understanding matures. Continue Reading

January 14, 2013

Also posted at: www.sedona.biz
Tom.Carroll@sedona.biz

When spiritual and religious authors write that “God is love,” they often use the Greek word, Agape. Agape is safe. It suggests unconditional love, either from God or a really spectacular friend! Toss in a couple more Greek words for love, philia and storge, and we’re still safe. A friend for a friend and a mother’s love for a child. All three of these words are under control – our control. Just the way we like it.

Eros is unique. Those other words each carry the suggestion of self-will, choice, even self-sacrifice. But usually only for predictable people – in predictable situations. By comparison,  Eros moves right in without waiting for an invitation, saying, “I want, I need” and in some cases, “I will!” Eros does not ask permission. Eros is desire! Continue Reading

January 1, 2013

Also posted at: www.sedona.biz
Tom.Carroll@sedona.biz

Abundance. The word means more than enough. Not necessarily piles and piles of money and supplies but all that you really need, and at least a little more. Prosperity seems to mean something similar, but with a slight difference. This word suggests the continuing condition of abundance. So once you possess abundance, you want to couple it with prosperity – those conditions that sustain abundance. Let’s call them A&P like the supermarket chain located in some parts of the country – an appropriate metaphor and a little quicker to refer to as I write. Continue Reading

Christmas is coming, already here in a sense. Everyone that can is taking Monday off. Parties are in full swing and gifts are receiving last minute attention – wrapping, bows and ribbons. I have just got one question,

“Mary… Did you know? Yes, it’s that line… from that song. But, did you? Did anyone have any idea what would flow from a questioned birth, a tumultuous life and the death of one young man? Continue Reading

“I told the witch doctor, I was in love with you. The Witch Doctor told me – he told me what to do. Ooh eeh, ooh ah, ah.

David Seville. Witch Doctor. “Ting tang, walla walla, bing bang? Takes you right back, doesn’t it! But that’s just a pop song.

Then there’s Malidome Patrice Some’, a West African man, kidnapped by French missionaries as a child and later returned to his family where he is re-initiated into tribal society. In his book, Malidome tells the story of being catapulted into another world – like the other side of Alice’s looking glass. One moment he’s dancing with the other men on hard ground. Next, it’s his turn to jump through a hole between two animal skins held by the village Shaman and wham! He’s falling through space. It’s completely dark except for a lattice work of light beams. Without being told anything, Malidome knows that he must grab and hold onto a strand of light or continue falling – forever lost to the “real world”. Ding, dang! Major, “bing bang!” Jumping through an inter-dimensional portal? Latticework’s of light where just a moment ago his pals were standing? Continue Reading