Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Top 10 All-Time Blog Posts

After maintaining this blog for a few years now, here are the most popular posts. The second on the list is the most popular recently and will make it to the top at some point.

Give them a read and let me know what you think.

Jan 31, 2012

Feb 6, 2010, 3 comments

Aug 31, 2011

Feb 7, 2010, 6 comments

Feb 6, 2010, 1 comment

Jun 22, 2011

Apr 17, 2010, 2 comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Love, and do what you will." --St. Augustine

I am the least moral person I know. Let me explain.

One of my favorite books is A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. In that book, Tolle quotes St. Augustine's "Homily Number 7 on the First Epistle of John," reproduced below in it's entirety, in which Augustine preaches, "Love, and do what you will."

Augustine (354-430 AD) was the Bishop of the city of Hippo in what is modern-day Algeria. His simple precept is a far cry from what the Roman Catholic Church (and most Christian denominations) are today, with its complete incorporation of ethics, morality and judgment, a result of the adoption of Aristotelian philosophy in the thirteenth century via the writings of Thomas Aquinas, most notably Summa Theologica.

"Love, and do what you will," is the original Gospel with a capital G. Jesus taught people not to judge.

The problem is, you can't have a conception of morality or ethics without judgement. Most people just laugh this off, thinking, "That can't be what Jesus really meant. He just meant to say, 'don't be a judgmental person,'" as if this answers the question. What is a judgmental person? Where do you draw the line? Judgment is judgment and Jesus didn't misspeak.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Road to Emotional Maturity

On the road to emotional maturity, the real breakthrough comes when you begin to be more concerned with the fact that you are upset--depressed, angry, bitter, fill in the blank with any form of negativity--than with what you are upset about.

This new approach would mean that you've finally seen the illogic of all forms of negativity. You've finally come to realize that an inner state fraught with negativity will never have a positive impact on your environment. At that point, in other words, you have begun to focus your attention on your inner state as the key to shaping your reality.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BE Your Body to Ward Off Disease?

Wow. This article is exactly what I'm talking about.

High BMI? What it means for your child, and what you can do about it

Apparently, Michelle Obama needs a doctor to tell her that her kids are getting too fat. I feel sorry for these girls later in life.

Occasionally, I sit with my mom, who is in her 70s, and watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. While I will happily admit to enjoying them from time to time, it's clear from the commercials that these shows know exactly which demographic is watching: old people. Every other ad is for something having to do with bladder control, bowel movements, dentures and all sorts of exotic prescription medication with a list of potential side effects that take up the second half of the thirty second spot, and read at double speed at that.

My mom and I often joke that the announcer ought to just come right out and say it: "If this medicine doesn't kill you, it might just cause your psoriasis to itch a little less."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mary and Martha on Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, let's all help out in the kitchen and may all of us give our loved ones our undivided attention.

Now as they went  on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." 
The Bible, Book of Luke, Chapter 10

Happy Thanksgiving!

You might also like: Spiritual Clean-up on Aisle Five

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Non-Reaction and Non-Violent Are Not the Same Thing

Jesus famously said that if someone slaps you on one check, you should offer him the other cheek as well. "Turn the other cheek" has long since become a catch phrase for what Eckhart Tolle and others (like the Buddha even before the Christ) call non-reaction. It's really the only sane response to violence. Anything else will only perpetuate a cycle of violence that will never end until one of the parties is either annihilated or until one of them decides, finally, to employ non-reaction.

The first key to non-reaction is internal. It means that your response isn't a knee-jerk, unconscious response to what's happened or what's about to come your way. It means that your ego doesn't take you over, causing you to act without really realizing what you're doing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success: Intentness

This article was originally published by Technorati on 19 June 2010 as a Simply Spirited/Sports feature. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

The position of every block in Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success is significant. None more significant perhaps than the placement of the "Intentness" block directly on top of the foundational "Enthusiasm."

Intentness, Coach Wooden wrote in The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership "is the ability to resist temptation and stay the course, to concentrate on your objective with determination and resolve."

He also describes what Intentness is not: "Impatience is wanting too much too soon. Intentness doesn't involve wanting something."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

3 Spiritual Rules for Dealing With Customer Service Reps

This article was originally published by Technorati on 9 May 2010 as a Simply Spirited feature. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

Last week I expounded on the unconsciousness of large corporations as an element of reportage about an $18,000 bill Verizon sent to one of its loyal customers.

Our coverage of the subject would remain incomplete if we did not consider the flip side of this selfsame relationship, the costumer's responsibility when dealing with large corporations.

While an $18,000 bill is best left to a trained professional--an attorney--smaller amounts don't warrant such treatment. So it's up to us to deal with the frontman (or woman) of virtually all large corporations, the lowly customer service representative.

Observance of three spiritual rules will help you achieve your desired outcome in both a material form and at the deeper level of personal growth.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Three Flavors of Personal Finance Advice

This article was originally published by Technorati on 30 April 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

U.S. News offers some great money management advice in a recent article called 8 Questions for the Constantly Broke. Advice about money fits generally into three categories: practical, philosophical and spiritual. Most articles like this one focus on the practical without addressing the other two.

Practical Practical financial advice focuses on one question: how can I live within my means? Most, including the U.S. News article, recommend things like skipping daily latte's, buying used cars instead of new and reminding us that we're earning now not just for now but also for future rainy days and retirement. They preach that we should not be stupid with our money, in other words.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bizarre Hamas Psychological Warfare Cartoon Spurs Discussion of Non-Violent Protest

This article was originally published by Technorati on 26 April 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

It seems odd (and cynical, it goes without saying), but Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, has seen fit to release this video aimed at persuading Israelis--one supposes--to put pressure on their government to release 1000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Sgt. Gilad Schalit, captured by Hamas in June 2006.

I don't think it will work.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Non-imist's Rebuttal to "5 Ways to Become an Optimist"

This article was originally published by Technorati on 18 April 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

You have your optimists; these are the-glass-is-half-full people. You have your pessimists; these are the-glass-is-half-empty people.

There should be a third category: "non-imists." These are the glass-is-as-it-is people.

A recent article directs our attention to a study published in the journal, Psychological Science, extolling the health benefits of optimism--according to the journal, optimists have stronger immune systems--and then offers 5 ways to become one.

As a devout non-imist, I would like to attempt, in reverse order, a point-by-point rebuttal of these 5 ways. Here goes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vatican Makes Peace with The Beatles-Folly or Genius?

This article was originally published by Technorati on 12 April 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

"I read the news today, oh boy!"

The news seems to keep getting worse for the Vatican in terms of its PR posture. First and most important is the on-going child abuse scandal.

Adding to its woes, the editor of the Vatican's weekly newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has decided it's time to make peace with The Beatles.

From the weekend edition: "It's true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives. They even said they were more famous than Jesus. But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless."

Monday, April 12, 2010

The New Earth Economy - A Radical Approach to Money

I'm here to tell you about a little thing I like to call the New Earth Economy, or N.E.E. for short. The N.E.E. is named in honor of one of our favorite books here at Todd Wright Now, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61),by Eckhart Tolle. In that book, our good friend Eckhart expounds upon his vision for the evolution of us humans:

"'And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,' writes the biblical prophet. The foundation for a new earth is a new heaven--the awakened consciousness."

The N.E.E. is based on the principle expressed by Jesus: "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you." (WEB)

Now Jesus certainly never said, "Give, but don't sell." But the NEE is predicated on the idea that if you're going to be given so much as a result of giving, why bother to sell?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Moving Refrigerators with Marcus Aurelius and Eckhart Tolle

What is evil to thee does not subsist in the ruling principle of another; nor yet in any turning and mutation of thy corporeal covering. Where is it then? It is in that part of thee in which subsists the power of forming opinions about evils. Let this power then not form opinions, and all is well. And if that which is nearest to it, the poor body, is cut, burnt, filled with matter and rottenness, nevertheless let the part which forms opinions about these things be quiet, that is, let it judge that nothing is either bad or good which can happen equally to the bad man and the good. For that which happens equally to him who lives contrary to nature and to him who lives according to nature, is neither according to nature nor contrary to nature.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book IV No. 39

* * *
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

* * *
In Zen they say: "Don't seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions."
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, p. 121

* * *
Judge not, lest you be judged.
Jesus, The Holy Bible, Matthew 7: 1
* * * * *

Whenever one is called upon to move refrigerators for a friend (that isn't us in the picture), it is likely in that mode of awakened doing our good friend Eckhart Tolle calls "Acceptance." The other two are "Enjoyment" and "Enthusiasm" (see Monetize Your Life for a complete discussion.)

"Whatever you cannot enjoy doing," he writes in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61), "you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vatican Publicists Could Learn from Their Hollywood Peers

This article was originally published by Technorati on 6 April 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

The AP is reporting that the Vatican has launched a counter-offensive against what it sees as wrongful accusations alleging that Pope Benedict XVI was in some way complicit in cases of sex abuse by priests in Ireland, the United States and elsewhere.

Through Vatican Radio and surrogates, high-ranking members of the College of Cardinals, the Pontiff has decided to fight fire with fire, countering what he sees as an orchestrated media campaign with one of his own, linking the calls of cover up with the Catholic stance against abortion and same-sex marriage.

Millionaire Gives Away Fortune, Keeps Next to Nothing

This article was originally published by Technorati on 11 February 2010. Well worth a second look. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder has decided to give away all of the $6.7 million fortune he amassed in the furniture business because he said it made him miserable.

"My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing," he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. "Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

In War of Words, Obama Essentially No Different

This article was originally published by Technorati on 4 April 2010.

He who sows the wind, reaps the whirlwind, to paraphrase the Jewish prophet Hosea. What goes around comes around. Karma.

In a "puffy" interview airing today on CBS's Sunday Morning, President Obama decries what he calls the vitriolic tone in Washington. "I am concerned," he says while strolling to the White House basketball court to take on Clark Kellogg in a game of POTUS (a variant of HORSE) "about a political climate in which the other side is demonized."

Isn't this the same Barack Obama who as a U.S. Senator from Illinois commencing in 2004 stood by while his predecessor, George Bush, was mercilessly demonized by so many of Obama's own party?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Black Marriage Day A Celebration of Suffering

This article was originally published by Technorati on 26 March 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

Black Marriage Day is the 28th of March. What to wear? What to wear? Though I'm neither black nor married (with no prospects even), I'm pretty excited about it.

Some 300 communities across the country will celebrate the joys of marriage with various events, such as vow renewal ceremonies, marriage workshops, black tie galas and the premier of two marriage-related movies, You Saved Me and Why Did I Get Married Too?.

See the trailers . . .

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jesus and Aristotle

This is a section of a much larger article called The Philosophy of Success.

Aristotle lived about 300 years before Jesus, but Alexander the Great made sure they would meet by invading the area (called the Levant) in 332 B.C. He and his successors ruled until 63 B.C., when the Romans took over.

I've simplified the timeline a little. The Maccabean Revolt began around 167 B.C., ushering in a short quarter-decade of Jewish independence. The revolt was fought--and this is my point--contra deep and offensive Hellenization of Jewish religion and culture.

This included Aristotelian philosophy among the educated classes, which continued under the Romans, who became the torchbearers of Greek culture and philosophy.

Jesus was born into a thoroughly Hellenized Palestine, and nowhere was this more pervasive than in the priestly caste. This explains why Jesus' main antagonists in the Christian Gospels are the Pharisees and Sadducees. The earmarks of Aristotelian thought run throughout the Biblical accounts of Jesus' ministry.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Alchemy of Happiness

Jesus (upon whom be peace!) saw the world revealed in the form of an ugly hag. He asked her how many husbands she had possessed; she replied that they were countless. He asked whether they had died or been divorced; she said that she had slain them all. "I marvel," he said, "at the fools who see what you have done to others and still desire you.

Mohammed Al-Ghazali

The Alchemy of Happiness

For those of us familiar with the parables of Jesus from the Christian tradition, this one ain't in there, it's not in the Bible. Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (1058-1111; that's him on the right) was a scholar of the Islamic tradition. This comes from his book The Alchemy of Happiness. The parable isn't in the Koran either. I haven't located its source other than al-Ghazali.

The phrase "upon whome be peace!" is usually included whenever Jesus' name is mentioned in Islamic texts. The world of Islam views Jesus as a major prophet and the teachings of Mohammed and Jesus overlap quite a bit in many areas.

Technically, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians are not considered infidels in Islam (kafir in Arabic), but rather "People of the Book." According to Wikipedia, it's even an offense against Islamic law to use the term in reference to followers of these three religions (

Regardless of its source, the parable is a profound commentary on the perishable nature of existence.

For more on al-Ghazali and The Alchemy of Happiness check out this website:

As always, your comments are welcome. They will be helpful to others.

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