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Answers to questions you may have been afraid to ask!

An opportunity to explore the spiritual in a manner that all may come together and share.


Jul 26, 2008

Of all of the words that I can think of, it seems that "freedom" just might be the most over-used, and perhaps the most mis-used.  And where spiritual matters are concerned especially!

I try not to disparage other paths, but there are some times when I can't help it, and this is one of those times.  I will admit to spending some time among the "New Age" folks, but I did not pick-and-choose.  Nor did anyone ever succeed in accusing me of "dabbling."   Either I did or I did not, and there was no in-between.  The New Age are not the only ones who have "pick-and-choosers" in their midst.  We've heard of "Sunday Christians."  And I can't help remembering the episode of the sitcom "Different Strokes" in which the younger brother attends a friend's Bar Mitzvah and decides to become Jewish - until he discovers what else is involved in being Jewish.  And there is one thing I've always wondered about the "pick and choose" crowd: how do they get anywhere, if at all?

Someone I admired greatly wrote in one of his better-known books about how much freedom he had in the Trappist monastery.  Most folks don't associate monasteries with freedom.  Understanding what he meant sheds a whole new light on the concept.

If you draw an analogy to sailing a boat, if you cast off from the dock and went into the middle of the lake/ river/ sea and just got batted around by the winds and the waves, would that be freedom?  No, that would actually be a form of captivity.  Freedom in this context would be the ability to cast off from the dock, and sail to your chosen destination and arrive at about the time you chose to arrive. 

And here you can find freedom.  And with that, you gain yet more power.

Blessed Be!

over fifteen years ago

Just FYI, Trappist monks do get to drink beer. The rules are strict, but don\'t forbid the consumption of alcohol.

In fact, the beers produced by Trappist monks are considered some of the best in the world.

Aidan Odinson
over fifteen years ago

True indeed! In fact, some of the best beers and wines (even champaigne) were developed by monasic orders. Dom Perrignon is so named after the monk who discovered how to make champaigne, and there is a liquer called Benedictine because it is made by Benedictines!

Which also gives rise to some reasons to question some of the more Protestant protestations against the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Which brings to mind the concept of balance. The problem with alcoholic beverages is not the beverages themselves, but the people who use them as a way to get out of balance - in either way.