Hidden Transcripts and the Arts of Resistance

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Hidden Transcripts and the Arts of Resistance edited by Richard A Horsley made me reflect more deeply on the process of coming to consciousness of human awareness and its inter-relatedness in a new and deeper way. The more conscious a living being becomes the more impervious it is to being dominated. Historically, this has taken the form of ‘hidden resistance’ in order to survive and pass life on to the next generation. Paradoxically, just being alive becomes the vector through which the next generation has the chance to resist domination on to its heirs. The process of become fully conscious is fraught with many trials and errors as all evolution necessarily does. But in order for consciousness to continue to grow aware of its unique self, the more insistent the need to reject domination becomes. I see glimmers of light every now and then, that the domination model is outliving its usefulness. Slowly the dominant are realizing the inherent value of life, in all its forms, and acknowledging its interdependence on everything created and coming into being. This calls the question of the value of the current system. Does having control, ultimately delude us into thinking we are in control, only to crash on the rocks of a serious illness or implosion of the environment? We are beginning to question our assumptions. Unfortunately, we only do that in time of needing that environment or help to recover from that illness. Those who know they are not in control, which included all of us at birth, are then free to notice what all religions in their healthiest expressions have been trying to teach us. That all who exist do so at the behest of a reality that chose to create them, and that reality seems to care about this creation. When we come to the consciousness of this process, we will have become fully who we are created to be.

The Church

Every now and then it is good to read a book like The Church: The Evolution of Catholicism. Richard McBrien is a reliable source for a comprehensive overview of catholic (with both a big C and little c) perspective. Even though published in 2008 it is a timely resource. In times of turmoil and rapid changes in so many areas of life the world over, I needed to reground myself in the big picture so as to see the ongoing process of growth that is being made in the hope of bringing into being the kingdom of God Jesus came to reveal. If you need to refresh your hope in the future this book might be for you.

The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World is an effort by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu mediated by Douglas Abrams. We are admitted into the inner worlds of these two experts on how to live with joy amidst a lifetime of suffering. The Dali Lama teaches that “The ultimate source of happiness is within us”. The Archbishop shares that “We grow in kindness when our kindness is tested.” They have walked the walk and now share this wisdom with all of us.

The Engram: A Christian Perspective

Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert have collaborated    in “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” to add to the many efforts to introduce this time tested source of wisdom. I have learned painfully that I am in danger of making my worst mistakes when I was operating out of my “strengths”. The Enneagram helps to life up this issue in a way that helps bring to consciousness this danger. Then forewarned can truly be forearmed. The material is presented in a conversational manner making it easy to assimilate. If you don’t know much about this method of reflection this book would be a good place to start.

Sandra’s Hands

Paul’s Berg’s story could be anyone’s story who has given their all to a cause they believed in. He takes us through the tragic war in Vietnam through the community of Wounded Knee and beyond. As someone who has lived through a similar saga with the criminal justice system, I found myself thinking of all the risks entailed in following my truth. The awakening to the insight that all systems have inherent in them the same danger of being co-opted by the “system”. How do I keep from being used to keep things as a good form of job insurance? Was there a minimal focus on actually making changes for the people supposedly being served? These are questions for those of us who like Paul can bring to the discussion now.

Survival

Many many years ago in an effort to make Teilhard de Chardin’s Phenomenon of Man accessible this film strip was created called Survival.  I have used this teaching tool for over 40 years and it makes it easy to introduce the work of this great man to those looking for a God big enough to worship. I invite you to taste and see how marvelous God’s process of creation is.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

Dr. Joe Dispenza has explored the implication on how we can use the new knowledge of brain studies to “lose your mind and create a new one” in this work published in 2012 called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. He takes us further into the practical ways that we can move from a more instinctual way of being in the world to a more conscious one. He shows how knowledge without experience is merely philosophy; experience without knowledge is ignorance. He helps us to see how we can unmemorize our self-limiting emotions and move to wisdom. The book ends with practical methods of using meditation to achieve these goals.

The Road Less Traveled and Beyond

 The Road Less Traveled & Beyond by M. Scott Peck. NY. Simon & Schuster. 1997.
As anxiety becomes more intense, it is an opportunity for spiritual growth. “Scotty” lets us in on his spiritual growth in this book. I recommend reading the last chapter first, as it will give you the fruit of this authors reflection on his growth experiences. For those who have read other books by Peck, this one will tie all the earlier books together. In times like ours today, where we feel disoriented by so many rapid changes, a book like this will encourage you to go with God’s process of bringing you into your maturing as well.