Monthly Archives: May 2014

Gallery

Paintings III

This gallery contains 3 photos.

ART SHOW + ART SALE I will be exhibiting/selling some of my paintings at the GIRALDA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL ON JUNE 22, 2014.    Come to the GIRALDA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL!   SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2014     4 PM: … Continue reading

Wisdom du jour IV

Epictetus has been relegated to the back burner. (Don’t worry, Tetus. Epicurus is just a fling.)

Welcome to the winsome, wanton world of Epicurus! (Had a rough night, Curus?)

EpicurusHead

The Stoics did not care for Epicurus and his pleasure-seeking philosophy, which they viewed as the self-indulgent pursuit of unbridled debauchery. That was not, however,  how Epicurus saw it.

“When we say, then, that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul.”

Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus

So that’s what he meant!

 

The Silence of the Quakers

QuakerHat

 

I have a friend who was raised a Quaker. While discussing our respective faiths (I grew up Protestant) and the rituals associated with other religions, we discovered a shared dislike of scripted responses during worship. This led to a description of how we communicate with that entity referred to as GOD.

When my friend told me that Quakers communicate with GOD in silence, I was stunned. I am a big fan of silence. Silence in therapy, silence in nature, silence in church (except for musical interludes).

“Tell me more,” I said to her. She listed the values by which Quakers try to live their lives: social justice, gender equality, education, peace, simplicity. It turns out that those are my values too. My stereotype of a Quaker–funny hat, seriousness, traditionalism–had to go. We agreed that I would join her next time she attends a Quaker meeting.

That is a rather unexpected development for a person who, in essence, is spiritual, but resistant to the idea of institutionalized religion. I’d rather communicate privately with GOD, when the urge strikes, wherever I may be: walking in the park; sitting on a train; lying in bed just before I fall asleep.

In the Quaker approach, Friends prepare for the meeting by reaching a meditation-like state. That is progressive. They are encouraged to speak only if what they have to say contributes to furthering knowledge or understanding. That is what therapists-in-training are instructed to do when they start their clinical internship.

Let the silence speak.

I will keep you posted on my forays into “Quakerdom.”