Posts Tagged ‘awareness


Mind Your I’s and A’s

While our pastor’s sermon kind of meandered today (good message, but it seemed overly long and somewhat disjointed), there was a portion that caught my attention:

Where there is ignorance, there is often indifference. Where there is indifference, we often see intolerance. And wherever there is intolerance, we will see injustice.

That explains a lot to me about the world. Ignorance remains at the core of so many of our problems. Ignorant Christians, ignorant atheists, ignorant Muslims, ignorant Jews, ignorant agnostics, ignorant pagans…you get the idea.

Now, those who read me regularly might expect me to pick on the members of the Tea Party here in the United States. And certainly, their ignorance is often astounding, as they make people with education seem to be the enemy. Suddenly, to them, knowledge is the problem. God forbid anyone pays attention, or tries to consider complex issues. No, lock-and-load or fly off at the mouth are the ways to go.

But they aren’t alone. I’ve known a ton of ignorant “progressive” people and other liberals. People who say they understand the plight of people who struggle but who distance themselves from such people. They are just as ignorant, because they have some kind of general knowledge or book learning but no connection to the real issues or what needs addressing.

Stay-at-home middle class mothers who knock other mothers’ choices to send their kids to school instead of home schooling, thereby showing complete ignorance of those other mothers’ challenges and lives, which don’t mirror their own and therefore cannot often follow a similar model.

Men who blame women for leaving them and being shallow, while remaining ignorant of their own gender sins and the things they did that helped scuttle the relationship, too. Women who show the very same ignorance as they set unrealistic demands and then dog out their former (or current) men online for not being perfect.

Ignorance is at the heart of ethnic conflict; passive workers who allow themselves to be undercut by corporate interests; corporations who focus on short-term goals at the expense of the country and their own organizational health; teachers and doctors who slap labels on kids like autism or ADHD when they’re just being kids; and so on.

And so, with my pastor’s example in mind, with those four I’s, I now offer my four A’s as a counterpoint. As a healthy alternative. As the path for our salvation, whether secular or religious:

First, we need awareness. Honest, willing efforts to look past the surface of things and challenge our own assumptions about everything.

Second, we need authorship, so that we will be not just show silent accountability but also open assertion of where we fail and where we cease to understand. Such things will lead to us asking for help in increasing our awareness and then our authorship.

Third, with those two things, we will see more acceptance. Always in society, there will be things we cannot accept, but those will be the things that are truly hurtful as a result of cruelty or ignorance. But we will accept that people are different and even when they lead lifestyles that we find uncomfortable, they have a right to be the way they are.

Finally, those three things, if we seek them (and I have no reason to expect that humanity will bother to, but there’s always hope, right?) will lead to the start of ascendancy. This could be secular as easily as it could be spiritual. But it will mean that we are on the path to fully realizing our potential beyond mere self-satisfaction and laziness. We won’t likely become truly ascendant in these our mortal coils, because that’s expecting too much.

But damn it, we need to make an effort to head in that direction.


Two-fer Tuesday: Awareness by Miz Pink

pink-wearing-woman-looks-upSeems alot of folks really think (particularly as fewer and fewer identify themselves as religious) that to be religious is to suffer from a shortage of awareness. You must not be aware of (or respect) other religions than yours. You must be trying to ignore the fact that you should be aware of scientific advances and give up on that old-time religion stuff. You must not be aware of how damaging religion has been over the centuries.

I don’t agree and in fact I think that religion can be chock-full of awareness. It’s just that religion is designed around a really specific kind of awareness. An awareness of yourself and the fact that you fit into a world bigger than what we see. I’m aware that dinosaurs walked the earth before humans appeared. I’m aware that some nasty things have been done in the name of religion. I’m aware that other people have different faiths and realize that it’s certainly possible they might be right and I might be wrong.

But I’m also aware that I have a soul and that I am part of the plan of a higher power and that this Christian path I’m on is certainly the right path for me.


I Can See Clearly Now by Miz Pink

Remember the film The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis? I liked that film, and I still like it even though I know the twist ending already and thus the entire film…which is a setup for that twist…becomes all pointless on multiple viewings. I still get the creeps when the little boy says “I can see dead people.”

He saw two worlds. He lived in the one we all see, but he could also see something the rest of us couldn’t.

Imagine being aware of two entirely different worlds and trying to express to family, friends…or worse yet, strangers who don’t even know you…that you’re not insane about that second world being there.

This is the struggle I face in trying to talk to people about my faith. I don’t make a point of doing it but it tends to happen. For some reason people find out I’m a devout Christian and it blows there mind because I don’t have the traditional politics of a Christian. I’m liberal and I believe in the Bible. That don’t compute for a lot of folks.

I don’t mind answering questions about my faith or even my struggles between political and religious stands in my life but it becomes painful when people who don’t really believe in a spiritual world start quizzing me. It’s happening more and more for some reason. I’m not sure if they are just curious or if some of them are trying to do an intervention with me and try to “slap me into reality” by picking apart my faith and trying to get me to discard it because this is the 21st century after all.

What I mind is that people won’t accept that there is a second world…a spiritual one…that is as real as our physical one. Wait! That’s not right. What I mind is that they won’t consider the existence of a second world.

Instead, I get semi blank looks like “how could you believe in an invisibile world and an unseen god?” My intelligence is questioned. Silently. But questioned all the same.

If scientists theorize about pocket universes and alternate realities and divergent timelines and parallel universes they are pushing the envelope and trying to see the universe in a larger way. If sci-fi writers write about those things they are being creative and complex.

But if a religious/faithful/spiritual person talks about it or writes about it…well, we’re nuts. Were blind to reality.

I know the big difference is that I as a Christian believe whole heartedly in this other world without a shred of physical or scientific evidence. But still can’t you grant me that it is possible? Too many people who question my beliefs in discussion boards or chat rooms or real life tell me it is just loony for me to even consider such things.

Yet if some learned person considers it but couches it in science well that’s okay.

I don’t like that.

When I received Christ it wasn’t pushed on me and it wasn’t indocrination and it wasn’t because I was told to believe it. It was a breakthrough. A dam breaking between my worldly self and the spiritual world so that I could embrace my spirit and embrace God and embrace Jesus and embrace salvation.

I can’t explain what that feels like. I can’t explain why that allows me to be aware of another world and believe in it even though I can’t even see it.

But becoming born again allowed me to see clearly. I am sorry that some of you pestering me can’t see what I see. I’m sorry that I can’t adequately explain it without seeming like a loon.

I don’t see dead people.

But I see a whole other life. I wish all of you could too. I hope some of you who don’t will one day.

If and when you do, I won’t say “I told you so” but I will say, “See?”

Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


Jeff Bouley

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March 2023

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