Wednesday, April 03, 2019


On Homelessness

Today I was walking the dog behind Trader Joe’s and I passed a shady alcove bordering the alley, in the center of which was a large tree. I peeked into the bushes and saw a grocery bag. This seemed like a private place for a homeless person to rest, but just as I was thinking this, I glimpsed a pair of shoes attached to legs in camouflage pants, standing behind the tree, hiding inside the tree — as if they were hoping not to be seen, trying to blend in with the shrubs. I could hear the owner of this pair of legs trying desperately not to breathe. Was it a homeless person, or just someone who was trying to go to the bathroom in the bushes?

As I passed by, I said to the bush: “God Bless you.” I kept walking. Then I realized that I was holding in my hand two sticks of Mozarella string cheese, so I circled back to the bush and offered it to the person hiding. “Would you like a piece of cheese? It’s wrapped in plastic, it has its own wrapper," I said. A woman’s voice, shaking, rang out, “No, no thank you.” Then, the voice said: “You're very sweet.” I could see a pair of glasses and dark hair through the leaves.

I walked away and said, “You are sweet too.”

Then I started crying; I couldn't stop. It has been dawning on me more and more how truly tragic it is to be homeless — and especially to be a homeless child. Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to rest, no privacy in going to the “bathroom”... no clean, safe, or soft place to lay one’s head. No place without bugs or flies, mosquitos or rats… no place to get dressed, to bathe, or to bring friends home for ice cream. No place to do homework. No place to have dinner or play Monopoly or take piano lessons. No dinner. Imagine being a woman going through the change of life, depression or cancer. God bless these poor lost souls.


But this train of thought is our only enemy — the archaic, primitive hateful force that was behind the Inquisition, the Ku Klux Klan's bigotry, Hitler's pathology, the assassination of all the peacemakers from Christ, the Great Peacemaker, to JFK to Gandhi to Martin Luther King; the hatred we all feel toward each other in this bizarre election. The hatred Democrats feel toward Republicans; hatred of the rich; hatred of the "welfare mom" (which is not the Black mother having babies just because it's fun to be on welfare! Most people on welfare are single white mothers; the slaying of abortion doctors, the killing of Matthew Shepherd, the illegal invasion of Iraq, fear of Muslims, gays, immigrants, dark people or "the other"; the sick warmongering campaigns; the obsession with  death, killing and weapons, fear of helping the poor, fear of free medical care, fear of being equal, fear of giving women equal pay for equal work; the fear of peace and the crucifiction of the Great Peacemaker — the force that is most represented right now by the extremist political right wing in our country. And of course their messengers and propagandists: Rush Limbaugh, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Glen Beck, et al. 


There is a reason the womb is encased in the separate individual body of a the woman, a human being.  Her womb is not community property.  As far as I know, there are no public womb farms with rows and rows of wombs protected by armed guards. This is not a state or government issue. No bureaucrat, government agent, policeman, moral judge, religious tribe, fanatical fundamentalist -- or any other human being has the right to dictate what a private citizen does with her private parts.  They can legislate things like suicide, but it's hard to convict a suicide victim for taking his own life. It's hard to put a dead person in jail. 

Every God-fearing Christian must at least know this: that the Bible is a history book about the wandering tribes of Israel, their journey out of the bondage of slavery by the Egyptians. Their journey out of captivity and the salvation of their soul, depicted as their search for a spiritual homeland. The whole point of the Bible is the soul's journey toward freedom and God. But it is the choices we make which form our character. We are not robots.  Every human being has the right of free will. FREE WILL means each person can choose to make a mistake and his or her soul has to suffer the consequences and grow from this.  Every story in the Bible concerns deeply flawed humans who made terrible mistakes, but were forgiven and redeemed if they turned to their Father — God. Without free will, they could never have this journey or learned these lessons. The whole point is love, forgiveness and redemption.

Christ's most important law is the Golden Rule, or how we treat our fellow human beings.  But before you say "How we treat a fetus is more important than how we treat living, born human beings!" you are decidedly WRONG.  This is not what the Great Peacemaker taught. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  No where is this subject mentioned in any of his teachings, or anywhere else in the Bible.

Is flesh really man's most important quality?  It is absurd to think that a piece of prenatal tissue that may or may not be viable, and that is the genetic result of a supremely private act between husband and wife (or tragically, between rapist and victim) -- and is part of a distinctly separate human woman with free will, living in a civil and secular and non-religious society - the "Land of the Free" with privacy rights and civil rights — to think this is worth killing a born, living, breathing,  human being over is the ultimate evil. For these hateful, anti-Christian, pro-death extremists who call themselves "pro-life" and would murder a living human being to save an unborn defective fetus -- to think that a "potential life" that is ensconced within the separate, free, individual body of a woman, a private citizen — is more important than the living, the born, the mother's own life, the victims of our illegal  bombing campaigns, our soldiers, the Iraqi children, the homeless, the poor, the orphans, the destitute or even one's enemies such as Dr. Tiller —  is un-Christian, immoral, and against everything Christ himself taught.

A guy on Twitter actually made the ridiculous statement that "if Rush Limbaugh had been lying, then his ratings wouldn't be so high!"  Tell that to Joseph Goebbels the Nazi Minister of Propaganda who had the whole country believing that Jews were actually related to rodents: dangerous, dirty and rat-like, non humans!! 

Somehow we love to be horrified, scared, shocked, upset, and angry. That's why Jerry Springer and Rush Limbaugh (and Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, etc) are paid $45 million a year to shock and divide us.

I've been thinking about the root of hatred lately —  and it's obvious that "evil" (I don't believe in evil) is always the same regressive, self-centered fear-based bigotry that Christ fought against and that has been here since the beginning of civilization: the ancient dark force of fundamentalism. There is, of course, no power in "evil," but this is our only enemy — the primitive hateful force that was behind the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the Ku Klux Klan, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the slaying of abortion doctors, the killing of Matthew Shepherd, the illegal invasion of Iraq, the campaign of Bush-Cheney, the obsession with automatic weapons, the fear of Muslims, the fear of immigrants, the fear of helping the poor, the fear of free medical care, the fear of peace and the crucifiction of the Great Peacemaker  — the force that is most represented right now by the extremist political right wing in our country. And of course their messengers and propagandists: Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, Glen Beck.

It has always been the same force of evil, it just keeps changing its name. 

I am stunned and deeply saddened over the called "pro-life" terrorists in this country. They are pro-death, not pro-life. They are anti-life. They are so deeply wrong and tragically flawed in their thinking, it is beyond comprehension. 

In all of Christ's teachings, he only cared about how we treat each other: The Golden Rule. In every one of his Beatitudes, he taught the laws of love. "The meek shall inherit the earth." Life is not about flesh, it is spirit. The soul is not located in the material body or in fetal tissue. The spiritual values of love and compassion are the only things Christ cared about.


A great wind blew, enveloping and penetrating me. To me, it was not of air but of Spirit. Blazing, there came the tremendous thought, "you are a free man." ~ Bill W.

My energy dropped when I forgot to be grateful today. Then of course, like clockwork, I saw a person with no legs in a wheelchair.

You wouldn't put "Dishonesty" on your resume would you? Then don't walk around discouraged, disheartened, disinterested, diseased, dissatisfied. Don't 'diss' yourself. Believe it or not, the thoughts you think are taking you to places you would never let your kids go. Everything starts wtih a thought. Uplift.. You can train your brain like a dog: to behave. You can line up your thoughts with the truth: Keep your thoughts on the good in yourself.

I really think that being a compassionate listener is the key to healing. Most people manifest disease according to the thoughts they hold, subconsciously. For example, if you have back pain, consider what you are holding onto in your past: regret, shame, guilt? If you have foot pain, are you walking on eggshells? If you have heart pain, or a heart attack, are you giving enough love to others? Or do you feel unloved? Most stress comes from fear. Fear is "False Evidence Appearing Real" It's not real. there is never anything to fear. Acceptance is the key to serenity.

The most valuable gift is to be a good listener. To give someone the time to really hear them and understand them. 

Love and service. If everyone was less self-centered, wouldn't this be a great world? Humility is my favorite virtue. I have never liked show-offs. But it's hard her on Facebook! You can't really help others until you love yourself first -- but often this comes from being selfless - which doesn't mean being a doormat. Just stop looking in the mirror and asking others to validate you, me, us.. we are all one and I am the walrus..


 It's an Inside Job: Bill W. talks about his spiritual experience.

In December 1934, I appeared at Towns Hospital, New York. My old friend, Dr. William Silkworth shook his head. Soon free of my sedation and alcohol I felt horribly depressed. My friend Ebby turned up and although glad to see him, I shrank a little as I feared evangelism, but nothing of the sort happened. After some small talk, I again asked him for his neat little formula for recovery. Quietly and sanely and without the slightest pressure he told me and then he left.

Lying there in conflict, I dropped into the blackest depression I had ever known. Momentarily my prideful depression was crushed. I cried out, "Now I am ready to do anything - anything to receive what my friend Ebby has."

Though I certainly didn't expect anything, I did make this frantic appeal, "If there be a God, will He show Himself!" The result was instant, electric beyond description. The place seemed to light up, blinding white. I knew only ecstasy and seemed on a mountain. A great wind blew, enveloping and penetrating me. To me, it was not of air but of Spirit. Blazing, there came the tremendous thought, "you are a free man." Then the ecstasy subsided. Still on the bed, I now found myself in a new world of consciousness which was suffused by a Presence. One with the Universe, a great peace came over me. I thought, "So this is the God of the preachers, this is the great Reality." But soon my so-called reason returned, my modern education took over and I thought I must be crazy and I became terribly frightened.

Dr. Silkworth, a medical saint if ever there was one, came in to hear my trembling account of this phenomenon. After questioning me carefully, he assured me that I was not mad and that perhaps I had undergone a psychic experience which might solve my problem. Skeptical man of science though he then was, this was most kind and astute. If he had of said, "hallucination,"  I might now be dead. To him I shall ever be eternally grateful.

Good fortune pursued me. Ebby brought me a book entitled "Varieties of Religious Experience" and I devoured it. Written by William James, the psychologist, it suggests that the conversion experience can have objective reality. Conversion does alter motivation and it does semi-automatically enable a person to be and to do the formerly impossible. Significant it was, that marked conversion experience came mostly to individuals who knew complete defeat in a controlling area of life. The book certainly showed variety but whether these experiences were bright or dim, cataclysmic or gradual, theological or intellectual in bearing, such conversions did have a common denominator - they did change utterly defeated people. So declared William James, the father of modern psychology. The shoe fitted and I have tried to wear it ever since.

For drunks, the obvious answer was deflation at depth, and more of it. That seemed plain as a pikestaff. I had been trained as an engineer, so the news of this authoritative psychologist meant everything to me. This eminent scientist of the mind had confirmed everything that Dr. Jung had said, and had extensively documented  all he claimed. Thus William James firmed up the foundation on which I and many others had stood all these years. I haven't had a drink of alcohol since 1934. 

—Serenity Found. Your online recovery resource—
Copyright © Serenity Found 2002-2004All Rights Reserved 

(N.Y. Med. Soc©. Alcsm., April 28,1958)

Carefiver and Compassion Fatigue with Dr. Jamie Huysman
 This is an amazing session:
It's by 'self-forgetting' that we find..