A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘12 Steps’ Category

Karen Armstrong ~

I just watched Charlie Rose, a wonderful interviewer of Statesmen and authors whose shows often bring the “back story” of an event into examination. But this time, his author was a former nun, Karen Armstrong, who has become a historian of religion, and now presents a 12 step program designed for all of us, working toward inner peace, and ultimately global peace. I have ordered a copy for my own reading, so will have more to say when I have read it, but I want to know more of this author, (an impressive interview, BTW), whose general attitude and presentation in the interview were exciting to see. She pulls from the great faiths, and speaks of the compassion that is at the core of them all. I will fill you in on my own enlightenment as she teaches me her path to compassionate living!!!

Doing a bit of research on the web, I have found much of interest about Ms. Armstrong. Wikipedia is a delightful source of information about people in general, and has articles about her and the Charter for Compassion that she and her fellows have formulated! I endorse this Charter. If I were in a position to be where I could sign it, I would go and do just that.

Karen Armstrong

Charter for Compassion

The text of the Charter reads:

Text of the Charter

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.[4]

A beautifully written call for compassion as a way of living and doing business in our world. It is essential for this to become the standard, rather than the exception, in our daily lives!

There is a place on the web where you can affirm your support for the charter.

Narcissism ~

I am hoping that the “me, me, me” orientation that I and others are seeing in our world today is the beginning of exploration of the soul. When we learn who we are in our sacredness, we learn that all around us are sacred, also, and not to be trampled on by our own foolish desires. If this “medicine” shows up topsy turvy in our lives, it leads to aggression and self-centeredness. If it shows up in balance, it assures that we will treat all in our path with the respect due to equals in a world of equals at the very least, and respect for others that allows them to be fully themselves in all aspects of life.

Truly, as we learn to respect ourselves, and learn our own sacredness, we can begin to respect others in that same way. It was Y’shua who said that we must love one another as we loved ourselves. The “me, me, me” orientation that is evolving in our world, is unsettling because it means the poles are shifting in our world of communication and relationships, but this may be a good thing if it works itself through to the highest and best good of all. I am not saying that we must think of ourselves first, and then others, but that, with a true understanding of who we are internally, we can understand that the people around us also have that internal sacredness whether they know it or not.

We live in a world that injures the soul at every turn of the wheel. It is when those injuries are continuous and unhealed that those who were innocent turn and injure others. As we learn to heal ourselves, we can turn and heal others, but not before we understand that each and all are sacred each in his or her own way. This is a long journey, from injury to healing, and requires much soul searching along the way. The 12 steps of AA are the simplest way to walk that path, learning to go from total self involvement to understanding that we are responsible for how we treat all who cross our paths. Because of it’s simplicity, and emphasis on personal spirituality rather than group religiosity, I find it works for people of all faiths, and endorse it simply because it is the best way to find your personal best without reinventing the wheel.

So, though the narcissistic bent of the current generation may be frightening in it’s implications for all of us, I truly hope that it will lead to a greater understanding of the place each of us has in this world, and the next.

Namaste

12 Steps for Everyone!

1. We admitted our lives were out of control.

2. Accepted that a Hgher Power could help us

3. Got out of the way to let it happen.

4. Took a hard, honest look at our lives.

5. Told someone the truth.

6. Got ready to change.

7. Humbly asked a Higher Power to help us change.

8. Remembered all the people we hurt.

9. Made it right with them whenever we could.

10. Continued to stay honest.

11. Put our Higher Power in charge every day.

12. Tried to live our values and help others.

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