Tag Archives: experience

“Genuflection”

25 Sep

It is September 24, 2017, and many people online today are taking various sides on the “take the knee” controversy. Alternatively known as “tebowing,” the action seems to take on its own flavor palette in the National Football League. Growing up in the Roman Catholic faith, taking a knee genuflecting has its own traditional and deeper meaning of submissive respect:

“In the old days, when you came in front of your social superiors, you were expected to genuflect: that is, bend your knee and bow submissively. You did it before kings and nobles, and everyone did it in church before God. [emphasis added] In our more egalitarian age, genuflecting has taken on a rather insincere and servile meaning.” –Vocabulary.com

One could add, ‘…unless you plan to make an effective marriage proposal, in which case it had better be sincere.’ –But I digress; there is more on Wikipedia if you want to look it up.

So, seeing someone ‘take a knee’ at any point has a much less controversial slant to it than much of what is out there to read today. In not fully standing for the ‘pledge’ by genuflecting, Colin Kaepernick took a ‘respectful stance’ in asserting his right to express himself. The difference between the actions of Kaepernick and Tebow is like night and day, in certain respects.

Had Kaepernick stood with a fist raised in defiance, as others have before, I could understand where his action might be misconstrued. [“Power to the people?”] In explaining why he knelt, I read his words to be just that—a personal reason for not participating in pledging allegiance to the flag. If someone feels that strongly against a pledge, prayer, or some other oath, they can find a suitable and respectful way through it.

The meaning of Kaepernick’s action in ‘taking a knee’ is being twisted throughout the media as a sign of disrespect. This is different than the reverence we saw for tebowing, and can only imagine the mixed message this sends to women whose husbands proposed marriage to them on bended knee. Do we consider genuflection a sign of respect, or does it depend on who is doing it?

People take up mantle of redefining what Kaepernick did, all in the guise of controlling the narrative to one of disrespect—for the pledge, the flag, the military and those who serve the country—rather than wade into the stated intent or the actual waters of racism and oppression which mire the lives of many people of color. Some may say there is little sport in that.

We find it expedient to support a national symbol or a pledge penned in 1892, than to deal with the real words and sentiment expressed in present-day 2017. It is this very side-stepping that fans the embers of the racism and oppression that continue to burn. To indicate a prayerful stance in the face of that oppression brings out a shared sense of indignity. The tragic disagreement is that so many of us fail to acknowledge the shadows of privilege and righteousness in which that indignation exists.

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Clarity of Singularity

3 Aug

 

“To understand one thing well is better than understanding many things by halves.” 
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 
“A jack-of-all-trades and a master at none.” — Unknown
 
The Conundrum tells us, in its own, unique way, that there is more to being one person. As confusing as that may sound, we can examine it to find that, even though we may be seen as one person with one set of features and senses, our experience is such that our “one” human package contains many gifts. Even if we have the ability to multi-task, there comes a time when we care and become mindful enough to focus on one activity at a time.
 
This sense of focused sight, this ability to see one site in the midst of chaos, is something that is a very strong, inherent trait. The facility of concentration is such that it not only causes us to sort out one tiny detail from many. It also causes us to concentrate our energies on that one task or search in order to experience all that there is to see…and be.
 
All that is contained may be considered to be an individualization; not unlike our own existence and experience. Being able to sense that there is an order to things that happens naturally can lead us to greater joy and freedom in life, as a matter of choice. When we take the time to do one thing and do it right, we learn that, despite duality and chaos, the ups and downs and other fluctuations, we can focus on doing one thing well–no matter what it is.
 
Many of us are called upon to do more than one thing at a time. Having two hands may be considered both a blessing and a curse. Wearing multiple hats at once, or taking on multiple responsibilities is a difficult skill to manage or sustain indefinitely. This kind of juggling can cause mistakes and imbalances to occur.
 
We soon learn that experience, maybe even being bold enough to call it positive experience, is best obtained through concentration. It is what the mystics of old tell us to do–to focus our energies. It is what safety experts tell us now when they warn us of the dangers of distracted driving.
 
Sure, we can do more things at once; however, it is a good thing to ask ourselves why we are doing that. Is it because we can, or because we need to? Are we too greedy to share the workload? Think about that a moment. Would we rather take on the stress of too much responsibility, leave something either partially or completely undone, than to focus simply on doing just one thing at a time?
 
Time always seems to be a factor to us here in this realm of existence, but what if it was not? What if we could flow with the idea of being timeless beings, who end up having all the time in the world that we might need to accomplish a task? Could we be comfortable with the role of playing ‘one small part’ in some greater design, understanding that we have opportunities to try again, or to do something over–and maybe better–in the process?
 
This is not to say we do not need a goal or deadline. The purpose of having a goal is to reach some eventual, desired outcome. We need not let go of a larger goal, such as having a peaceful world in our lifetime, or righting the wrongs we have inflicted upon the Earth. Deadlines are wonderful for reflecting on our accomplishments or making revisions.
 
Might we have a connection to a job, campaign, or some other effort–a shift change, perhaps–where we can appreciate its development and growth, facilitate that process, and achieve a sense of completion? Completion, without as much of the time-driven stress associated with a project’s steps along the way. Knowing a job is well done can be a rewarding feeling.
 
Understanding that we will get to a particular completion point provides a chance to breathe new life into the same project, or start another phase of existence. We learn that experience is concentrated energy. We have many opportunities at hand to unite and really make a difference to either change something or create something (a)new.
 
We can make aspects of our ‘one life’ better, without as much of the destruction that accompanies creation. Utilizing sustainable energy, whether it is our own human resource or some other part of our elemental experience, will help ensure continuation. We discover that using a finite resource only leads to a [dead] end.
 
The concept of manifestation and use of energies is more than pie-in-the-sky thinking or some woo-woo, magical mumbo-jumbo. It is no “secret,” since it is observable. Cosmically, there is a continuous motion and experience underway of which we are but one small fractal. We learn to either maneuver within the sphere of energy or get out of its way.
 
E pluribus Unum after all.

For our consideration. ~ Namaste ~ Blessings!

 
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