the next right thing

We might think that, provided you did the right thing, it did not matter how or why you did it—whether you did it willingly or unwillingly, sulkily or cheerfully, through fear of public opinion or for its own sake. But the truth is that right actions done for the wrong reason do not help to build the internal quality or character called a ‘virtue’, and it is this quality or character that really matters.”

C.S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity (Book 3, Chapter 2 – The ‘Cardinal Virtues’).

welcoming prayer – Mary Mrozowski

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it’s for my healing.

I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.

I let go of my desire for power and control.

I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval, and pleasure.

I let go of my desire for survival and security. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within. Amen.

Abiquiu, NM

Hell, purgatory, & a little sprig of ambrosia

If hell is the wasteland, then purgatory would be the journey where you leave the place of pain. You are still in pain, but you’re in quest with a sense of possible realization. There is no longer despair. You really do not have a sacred place, a rescue land, until you can find some little field of action, or place to be, where it’s not a wasteland, where there is a little spring of ambrosia. It’s a joy that comes from inside. It is not something that puts the joy in you, but a place that lets you so experience your own will, your own intention, and your own wish that, in small, the joy is there. The sin against the Holy Ghost, I think, is despair. The Holy Ghost is that which inspires you to realization., and despair is the feeling that nothing can come. That is absolute hell.

– Joseph Campbell

The lesson of The Moth – Don Marquis

I was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

He Prefers Her Earthly – Thomas Hardy

This after-sunset is a sight for seeing,
Cliff-heads of craggy cloud surrounding it.
—And dwell you in that glory-show?
You may; for there are strange strange things in being,
Stranger than I know.

Yet if that chasm of splendour claim your presence
Which glows between the ash cloud and the dun,
How changed must be your mortal mould!
Changed to a firmament-riding earthless essence
From what you were of old:

All too unlike the fond and fragile creature
Then known to me….Well, shall I say it plain?
I would not have you thus and there,
But still would grieve on, missing you, still feature
You as the one you were.

The zealot

Totem, tribal, racial, and aggressively missionizing cults represent only partial solutions of the psychological problem of subduing hate by love: they only partially initiate. Ego is not annihilated in them; rather, it is enlarged; instead of thinking only of himself, the individual becomes dedicated to the whole of his society. The rest of the world meanwhile (that is to say, by far the greater portion of mankind) is left outside the sphere of his sympathy and protection because outside the sphere of the protection of his god. And there takes place, then, that dramatic divorce of the two principles of love and hate which the pages of history so bountifully illustrate. Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.

If you fix on yourself and your tradition, believing you alone have got “It,” you’ve removed yourself from mankind.

Joseph Campbell