Spirit

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Religion is all about rules laid down by people who lived a long time ago, rules commonly called dogma. Those people said (or somebody else said) that the words of their dogma were given to them by God or inspired by God. It is an act of faith to believe what cannot be proven, like the holiness of those written words. Billions of people make that leap of faith willingly. That is their religion.

Spirituality is different. It has no rules. There is no dogma and it requires no faith. It is simply about how we live our lives and the energy and passion we put into the world. Whether we’re living in the tiny cracks of life or on the mountain tops, we are all spiritual. The only question is whether we recognize it and the effect of our spirit on ourselves and on others.

And that is what has me troubled these days, as we see that about 30% of people who self-identify as Republicans say that they support Donald Trump. He lashes out in mean spirited ways and declares his judgment of doom on those he doesn’t like. He has simplistic and misleading answers for any question and everything is metaphorically punctuated with a middle finger. The more he does his crazy, angry dance, the more Republicans seem to like him. Compounding that are the other candidates who carpet bomb the country with their negativity, their mean attacks and their outright lies. Each of them has followers, too.

What is that saying about the spirit of all these followers? Not their religion. I’m talking about the spirit in them. It’s looking pretty mean and angry, judgmental and vindictive.

Spirit is about how we live our lives. We demonstrate our spirit in that way and it appears that a lot of Americans are living in very dark ways. That’s an evil spirit that affects all of us.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Spirit
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Like the horse (you can lead him to water, but…) we can’t legislate those who need to see the light into it even by “shoving their nose into it” like a puppy who has done his/her business indoors and needs to be taught right from wrong. We can try to tell them, but mean-spiritedness, sadly, can’t hear the way to goodness.

    Although I’m certain that there must be some Rs somewhere who are not mean-spirited and who think that those candidates who speak and act in a mean-spirited manner are wrong, wrong, wrong, they don’t seem to be talking. Or at least they’re not talking loud enough for anyone else to hear. SPEAK UP, Rs! Your fellows need to hear you … and so do the rest of us.

    And much good luck in your search, Joni. But, if I may suggest, you might want to pass on the “land of the fruits and nuts.” It’s as crazy here as in Illinois and we have earthquakes, fires, torrential rains and mudslides to add to that.

  2. Joni Lindgren Reply

    AND…it’s not just politicians who have become mean spirited. It’s the people who have been victimized by politicians…. who are the puppets of the corporations…. and from the CONSTANT attacks on people’s livelihood (destroying unions, making Illinois into a Right-to-Work state, pensions, benefits, job security), the LIES that have been fabricated (referring to what the CEOs and corporate mass media called the public workers), the mistrust people have in those who attack (when people can’t count on their investments, health concerns as a result of pollution, enough money to live, everyone walking around with a concealed gun) and the CONSTANT negativity in the news and from politicians and nasty name calling that is coming from those who hold the power! It’s all going to lead to mass protests…….and don’t forget, now everyone has a gun!! The politicians who spew out these venomous attacks on anyone who doesn’t have any power are just opening up the floodgates to mayhem!!

    It’s all bad! I know this isn’t a good response to your blog, but there is a logical reason there is so much negativity and mistrust of others in this country…….no one is getting what they need.

    We are going out west in a couple weeks and we’re going to look for a home. Our property taxes went up $3,000 over last year’s bill here in Elgin and who knows what next year’s bill will be! I believe the taxes went up so high because our politicians are not finding a way to pay the bills!! Illinois will always be this way…deadlocked just like Washington. Can’t take another day of their complete contempt for those who put in an honest days work! Gotta get out of here and look for hope!

    When are we going to vote the bad politicians out of office?