Unfortunately, my brain is a little fragile right now, so reading is pretty much out and light and sound are stressful, so that means REST without any of the things I usually do to relax. But I am grateful for the field of chiropractic neurology, which is able to help me rehabilitate my brain naturally ... and for getting enough sleep!
Anyway ... in the meantime I have been reorganizing my library / living room area to accommodate the arrival of a three-piece entertainment / storage unit. And while I was organizing this morning, I ran across Peck's book, The Road Less Travelled -- which I first read over 25 years ago.
Apparently I brought my father's copy home with me (he was at the stage when he was getting rid of books -- even before the Parkinson's diagnosis, he knew he just wasn't able to process information like he had, so reading was just not something that absorbed much of his time), because I like to have a "loaner" copy of books that are important to me. Anyway, I must have read it again, because I wrote the following note on the inside cover pages on 7/18/06 -- apparently triggered by something I read on page 263 -- in the midst of the amazing section called Grace. I have largely left it the way it was (with occasional elaboration to bring it current with my thinking today) ... it is not polished writing! ;^)
The cHesed of God manifests itself in every possible place in order to interact with us to faithfully bring us the love, grace and mercy we need to grow up into the image of Jesus Christ. It will begin from the "Imago Dei" placed in us at creation and be added to by those in our path who love and nurture us. It will come to us through the presence of God that holds the universe together through the continual act of being perceived by Jesus -- manifest by the collective unconscious. When we are able to acknowledge this source and understand and accept God's outrageous offer of covenant adoption, the Holy Spirit is given the invitation to indwell our hearts. It is then that the link between the wisdom of God that is found in the collective unconscious can (if we will be still and listen) engage with our conscious will to know and be known, seeking the Truth at all costs, always looking to know and align our will with God's will.
The peril, though, comes to us in that the evil one will try to use this same interface (the original hacker) trying to corrupt us with "pirate viruses"! God's Word is our firewall (current updated thought: I challenge you to reconsider the thought that this is talking about scripture and, instead, refers to Jesus Christ. HT: Wayne Jacobsen). We must know Jesus as The Truth for our spiritual firewall to be effective! Firewall software follows rules -- instructions for what to allow through and what to keep out. [I would add today that God's Love for Eikons is our factory-installed Operating System ... which many have allowed to be replaced with a variety of much less effective OSs.]
The first rule we must set is the one of knowledge. We must know and acknowledge that we can never know it all -- only God knows all. So we must be humble and submit all we think and do to the Holy Spirit -- so Sophia can help us see what is good (leading toward holiness / cHesed/community) and that which is evil (leading toward sin / covenant breaking / narcissism: essentially Peck sees it as laziness, as it is described here. Key: It is not what we perceive, but rather what God perceives, that is Truth. We need to know The Truth -- Jesus, the Sword of the Spirit and our main Offense. This speaks to the foundation truth that it is all about relationship with Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
The second rule we must set is cHesed. If we will allow cHesed to be the contextual filter (glasses!) of all we think and do, God's ability to guide us will be greatly enhanced. (I linked to my distillation of cHesed rather than list it here.) This speaks to proper attitudes of love, grace and mercy as well as proper actions of submission, service and initiative within all relationships.
The third rule is humble accountability (mutuality in equality) -- to God and others -- for making right choices and accepting responsibility for those choices. Right choices take effort and foster growth and maturity. Poor choices tend to stem from laziness and inhibit growth through dependence or independence instead of interdependence in our relationships. Poor choices bring the opportunity to repent and confess and seek forgiveness and restoration of relationship.I was struck by Peck's chapter on Entropy and Original Sin, where he defines laziness as "attempting to avoid necessary suffering, or taking the easy way out." Then Peck identifies laziness as "the force of entropy as it manifests itself in the lives of all of us." (p. 271) In between these two statements, Peck observes that love is the willingness to extend one's self (to work and be disciplined) -- for personal growth or for the benefit of others. It takes effort -- energy. It underscores Peck's famous beginning phrase of this book: "Life is difficult."
"...non-love is the unwillingness to extend one's self. Laziness is love's opposite."
As always ... Abi live in a guilt- and shame-free zone ... but pondering is always lovingly encouraged. ;^)
I believe I will have to start with the Grace section ... when my eyes are better.