The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Indian Sadhu

Keith Olbermann and California's Proposition 8

Anyone who listened to Mr. Olbermann’s commentary on the recent victory of Proposition 8 in California must be feeling grateful that we have Olbermann on the air as a viable alternative to the purveyors of division, fear and hatred. O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity come to mind; and they have a host of confreres. They’ve been lining their pockets for years, utilizing their big mouths and bigoted minds to serve the best interests of the One Percent by keeping masses of Americans misinformed, fearful and hyper-defensive --- all for the purpose of making them fit objects of manipulation and domination by the greed-ridden interests who have ruled this nation for all too long and who have brought us to the brink of social, political and economic destruction. No, as Olbermann reminds us, it doesn’t have to be this way.

How, asked Olbermann, is it to the advantage of California voters who overturned gay marriage to deprive other people of a little happiness. Isn’t life difficult enough? Unpredictable enough? Insecure and unfair enough? We really have to deprive other people of little moments of joy in an otherwise often cruel and arbitrary world? What have we become?

Keith Olbermann’s question went right to the heart of the matter. He presented an essentially spiritual issue; and he took it head- on: You either really believe that you should treat others as you would want to be treated or you don’t. And if you really do- then do it. Or else your claims of love and compassion are hypocritical and meaningless.

And Mr. Olbermann’s point transcends even this particular issue. He’s asking us to consider seriously what it means to be a true society - a national community. Is a society that fails to nurture the well-being, happiness and growth of all its members really a society at all? Or is it just a conglomeration of self-interested factions hardly deserving to be called a society? If we can come up with an answer to his question perhaps the multitude of serious problems we now face as Americans will transform into a new dawn sooner than we’ve thought possible.