More than “Mind over Matter”

Mind over Matter is only part of the human reality.  Circumstances, Health, Relationships, Opportunities (and genuine lack thereof) and I daresay “Providence” also need to be part of the equation.  As noted in this NYTIMES Op-Ed: “equality, justice, truth and ethics” must compliment the American Dream.  If everyone continues to buy into the self-empowered “Superman / Superwoman”  ideology – that ever-present  Nietzsche (1844-1900)  concept –  to the exclusion of other realities that comprise the human experience, will there be room for Love, Peace, for learning about others beyond the confines of our self-empowered “little worlds?”

Interested in this topic?  Read Carl Cederstrom’s OP-Ed in today’s New York Times.

Also related: T. M. Luhrman on “The Anxious Americans”


Pope Francis’ Challenge to us all

I’d like to begin with a “Quote for Today:”  Quote of the Day: “Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money,” he said. “Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.” Pope Francis in Bolivia

I posted this on Facebook and received a comment from one of my friends as follows:
“It sounds Socialist to me. For the life of me I don’t understand why Pope Francis is so into Politics. He should have been a Prime Minister or the President of a Nation instead of a Pope IMHO.”

I would like to share my response with all of you who care to read it:

What was said of Saint Charles Borromeo and his cousin and fellow monk Federigo Borromeo (16th-17th centuries) is quoted in one of Pope Francis’ favorite novels of his youth: I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni. (The great Italian novel compared to the best of Charles Dickens in the English speaking world.) Francis tries to emulate these saintly men described by Manzoni as follows:

“Convinced that this life is not meant to provide a treadmill for the majority and unending holidays for the few, but rather to furnish every one of us with a task to perform, of which an account must one day be rendered , he began at an early age to consider how to make his own life holy and useful.”

This isn’t socialism. It’s love and kindness. This way of life is not depriving anyone of profits or rewards for their hard labors or studies or expertise. It does not try to deprive people of enterprise or personal initiative. It does, however, remind them, that each of us belong to a larger human family, that Providence is alive and active in every single person’s success and that “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. ” (Jesus in Luke’s Gospel 11: 48.)

Plenty of good, capitalist companies follow this guide with plenty of profits and well paid, respected employees besides. What makes this socialism? What makes this so bad? Why are there people who find this scenario so offensive? Every company, bank and investment firm has the opportunity to be a thriving community with initiatives rewarded but also checks and balances as in families and communities and governments. Everything and everyone is inter-connected in the cosmos. There’s an interdependence of all beings, all things. We all can get ahead with as little collateral damage to others, to other creatures and the earth as possible. Capitalism CAN DO THIS. It just isn’t doing it very well at right now. Why settle for what is when what “can be” offers so much more? God bless!