Skip to main content

Power Grabs

A friend recently asked "why do people with all the power keep reaching for more, how much is enough, what could the end game possibly be?".

For lack of a Christian word I blurted out "dukkha".  It is the the word I learned in my Buddhist studies for "reaching".  Buddhist philosophy presents this idea that we are all endlessly reaching for something, anything, more, and that this very reaching is the source of our suffering. 

As I explained this, I connected it to the story of Adam and Eve.  They ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and from that moment on they understood the possibility of evil, and with evil came fear.  Adam was "cursed" to struggle with the land for food.  We went from gathering food as we walked, to farming, storing up for the future.  We needed to store up for the future because we feared we would not have enough.  Our struggle and suffering came from this fear. 

The opposite of fear is not courage, for courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to face it.  The opposite of fear is Love, and God is Love.  Our separation from God led to fear, and fear to suffering. 

Connecting the idea back I explained that our friends with power and money are always reaching because, like us, they fear too.  Once they had enough for today they wanted enough for tomorrow, then for their lives, then for their children and their children.  When they had enough for all of that they wanted enough to ensure they could live through a collapse.  Then they stored up money as a way of accumulating power and influence.  Dukkha/Reaching always asks more of us.  I don't believe it is some conspiracy we are facing from the 1%, we are simply seeing fear carried out to its obvious conclusion.  What they fear may be different, but their motivation is fear none the less.

The solution to our fear and theirs is the same.  Reconciliation with God brings in Love and love casts out all fear.  Keep loving, keep shining!

Listen to more on YouTube:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Looking Back?

"Remember Lot’s wife!  "   -  Luke 17:32 This is one of the shortest verses in the Bible.  Jesus was talking about the terrible circumstances that will be present when he comes back.  He was warning people that they would not see it coming.  People will be going about their business and then suddenly, without warning, chaos will take over.  People will need to flee, and he warns them not to go back for their possessions, for anything.  This is where he says "Remember Lot's wife!".  In desperation he pleads with them to remember the fate of this woman.  To his listeners it would bring to mind the story of Lot and his family fleeing the destruction of Sodom.  They too were warned not to go back for anything, not to even look back, but Lot's wife did look back.  And when she did, she turned into a pillar of salt.   Metaphorically speaking this is often what happens when we look back.  We get frozen in place and we cease moving forward.  I have a childhood frie