Guest Post – The Mystery of Love

To honor the memory of my mother, Helen Joan Rizzo, this Mother’s Day, I am posting one of the many essays she wrote…this one was printed in the Catholic Review.

 THE MYSTERY OF LOVE

All through our lives, our greatest need – our greatest hunger – our greatest pain – is our desire for love. Not the natural, definable emotion we are most familiar with – like that of children for parents, married people for spouses, lovers for beloveds or devoted fans for their heroes, but the soul’s mute ache for, recognition of, communication with, and response from someone who speaks our soul-language.

Learning to Let Go

During my husband’s years as a water pourer for sweatlodge, he had a statue on his altar of the “weeping buddha” –
a powerfully built yogi with his face buried in his hands. There were many stories about this traditional Balinese statue, from a meditation on the tragedy of war to a folk remedy for daily heartaches.  The statue went with him to the sweatlodge ceremonies he led, and was often the catalyst for deep healing. Upon his death, it passed into the hands of another water-pourer, and continued its impact.

Letter to My Son, the Energy Engineer

Dear Bear,

It’s Easter Sunday and I have the windows open to let in the sunshine, warm breezes, and the sound of a squirrel squalling in the Chinese Elm in the front yard. The ceiling fan – powered by electricity that your employer distributes to my house – is humming softly.

This is a watershed day.

Last night you responded to a video I posted on Facebook – Dr. Helen Caldicott’s assessment of the scope of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in the light of 25-year data from Chernobyl. To put it mildly, a frightening video….and I’m not sure you actually saw the whole thing. I know I found it hard to watch.

Welcome to the Real World

I knew of a physicist at the University of Chicago who was rather crazy, like some scientists, and the idea of the insolidity, the instability of the physical world, impressed him so much that he used to go around in enormous padded slippers for fear he should fall through the floor.

— Alan Watts, Nothingness

Most people would laugh at such a scientist. But as new science steadily addresses realities far beyond the reach of our so-called “common” sense –  I find myself wondering about the craziness of those padded slippers.

Welcome to the Real World

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I knew of a physicist at the University of Chicago who was rather crazy, like some scientists, and the idea of the insolidity, the instability of the physical world, impressed him so much that he used to go around in enormous padded slippers for fear he should fall through the floor.

— Alan Watts, Nothingness

Most people would laugh at such a scientist. But as new science steadily addresses realities far beyond the reach of our so-called “common” sense –  I find myself wondering about the craziness of those padded slippers.

Deep questions for a bright morning

Pondering questions springing from a disconcerting conversation last night (trying to phrase these in the most open-ended manner possible):

  • Does the overlap between  new theories of quantum science and ancient metaphysical and shamanic principles  lead you to a perspective focused on personal desires, intention and goals, and/or to a mystical experience of awe, wonder, relatedness?
  • What point on the spectrum of and/or resonates as a personal place of balance?
  • What is the impact of that point on personal consciousness and action? On others, human and nonhuman? On the planet?
  • How does this experience shape personal choices regarding responsibility and action?

Seeking What’s Essential

I saw a church sign today, offering the week’s Sunday sermon: The Tragic Fall from Faith to Religion. The preaching was long past, so I don’t know what the gist of the message was, but the topic stayed with me. It reminded me of the verse from the Tao te Ching (translation by A.S. Kline):

When the great Way is lost
There is ‘benevolence and rectitude’.
When cleverness appears
There is ‘great ritual’.
When the family is not harmonious,
There is ‘filial piety’.
When the state is in chaos
There are ‘loyal’ ministers.

Finding the Secret Magic “They’re” Not Hiding From Us

It’s one of the most powerful marketing secrets out there: that most of us have a hidden, painful sense of inadequacy… a lurking subconscious suspicion that some super-informed and miserly “They” are keeping all the ability, the skills, the knowledge about useful (or lifesaving!) topics from the rest of Us.

Just take a look at the pages that came up in a quick Google search (these are selected from the 95,900,000 results listed!)…

  • 20 Things They Don’t Want You to Know
  • Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know
  • Debt Cures They Don’t Want You to Know

Death and Ceremony on Sacred Land

Nearly four years ago, I witnessed a tiny, shattering microcosm of the destruction being wreaked on the Earth. I was sitting by the fire-circle of my husband’s teacher (“Coyote”)’s sweatlodge, at the edge of a forest where he had often conducted vision quests…sacred land consecrated by years of ceremony. And now this land was under threat: the legal owners wanted the trees logged and sold so they could get double the value of the wetland before they sold it for development. Legal steps had been taken, counter-offers made to preserve the land, with no result. The loggers were due to move in soon.

The Vision that Started It All

Age 10, sitting on the swings, watching the sunset: the light saturated everything around me, swings, sliding board, trees, house, birds…it all shone from within, became energy, connected living energy-forms, conscious, feeling, thinking, communicating, sacred, shining with divinity.

When I emerged from immersion in the living Interconnected cosmos, so much realer than any catechism lesson, I ran inside to tell the story:

Mommy, mommy…!  —  We don’t believe that, dear, that’s pantheism, it’s heresy.

That was the beginning of my journey, with a Church-wound dividing soul from soul, soul from self, and soul from the transcendent/immanent Divinity of the cosmos.