A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘sacred space’

Cults ~

“…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion;
and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;
but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer. A humorous quotation, but one that is uncomfortably close to reality.

This is so true of how we perceive one another’s religious views, sad to say. I come to this subject because I have seen recently the slinging of that word at such long term religious groups as the Hasidim.This group of believers has been with us for generations, they do not proselytize, and do not fit any of my own criteria for “cult”.

That word has come to have so many meanings that are derogatory that using it is as bad as using any other four letter word. Originally it’s meaning fit any religious group any where, but it has come to be associated with whatever group was out of favor at the time. It is so disrespectful of another’s sacred space to call their spiritual affiliation a cult, and we should not do that to one another. The above gentleman is Matisyahu, a rapper musician whose sound is both pleasant and unique, he sings of the glory of Hashem as much as I can understand the lyrics, and I do believe I could become a fan, he also happens to be Hasidim.

At Religious Tolerance, a website I rely on for objective information when it comes to those faiths unknown to me, speaks of cults, it’s where I got the above quote. I like what they have to say. If we cannot come to the understanding that there is only one G-d with many different names, then we need to at least respect our neighbor’s faith so long as he respects ours. This is something we need to do with determination. I am aware that we have had so much misunderstanding through the generations that it will take much patience on the part of the many, but the goal is worthy.

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Controlling . . . . .

Aren’t buzz words great? Heavens, 20 years ago, recovering alcoholics were the only people that even had a clue that their problems came about because of their own control issues, and now we all know that’s a problem each of us has in differing degrees, Right? Well, sort of. Like all buzz words, having control issues is pretty much a joke for many people.

But we do all have the silly things. If they interfere with our lives, they can render us quite dysfunctional. There’s a rather nice website that I refer people to on a relatively constant basis, it’s just called Coping, and for the person who simply needs help sorting out what’s going on in their lives, The Dr.s Messina have set up some very nice check lists. When the crisis becomes something one cannot sort out alone or with the help of a listening friend, it’s time to consult a professional.

The website addresses control issues with the concept of detachment. They explain it in such a way that you understand it as a healthy response to stimuli. There are things that are just not yours to “fix” or render better, and the Dr.s Messina post an excellent checklist to help us understand where our boundaries should be and what to do to bring them into healthy alignment. The problem is that many of us grew up in families where proper psychological and physical boundaries did not exist. This is much more common than currently understood, and has led us into most of the issues that face us as a people today.

The Native American teaching regarding Sacred Space is one that is sorely needed by us as a society if we are going to learn to cope with the pace at which our world currently spins. I have discussed it at Wild Garden Arts, the website for my art, if you go to the site, click on the leaf labeled “Sacredness” and you will be at the page on which the picture of the tree in the medicine wheel is displayed.

Often, it is only with the understanding that each of us is actually born with a “sacred space” or the right to it, that we can realize that even interference that we feel is “for their highest and best” may be interfering with their lessons. This does not mean that one should ignore a friend or loved one’s bent toward self-destruction, it simply means that we cannot remain respectful of their sacred space and try to take over their lives. If a person is bent toward the use of drugs in such a way that it detrimentally affects you, you may need to choose to leave. These are the things that a professional can help you sort out.

When you can learn a healthy compassionate detachment that will love without trying to own or even manage, then you yourself are in a much better position to assist those you love and care for. This is a tough one, I know, I have had my own “issues” with boundaries. The Buddha addressed this many generations ago, his teachings are as salient today as ever. Elizabeth J. Harris gives an excellent rendering of the meaning of detachment and compassion as the Buddha taught it, and will help anyone on a search for the knowledge of how a person can develop healthy boundaries toward living a happier life. The mandalla above is a wish for peace to you and yours.

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