Tag Archives: Christianity

Countdown to Christmas: Spiritual Trivia

 

Can you guess the source of these lines of sacred text?

That it may please thee to make wars to cease in all the world; to give to all nations unity, peace and concord; and to bestow freedom upon all peoples,
That it may please thee to visit the lonely; to strengthen all who suffer in mind, body, and spirit; and to comfort with presence those who are failing and infirm,
That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,

You could be forgiven for thinking they’re from some kind of meditation on loving kindness in the Upanishads or the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

These lines of deep prayer are actually pulled from a very Christian prayer called The Great Litany that is performed in a communal chant. Just like Buddhists.

Acutely Buddhist in its appeal for universal compassion, The Great Litany was performed in procession by thousands of churches around the world to mark the First Sunday of Advent — the last Sunday of November in 2014 — the official beginning of the Christmas season for all of you chocolate fiends with Advent calendars, and Day One of a new church year.

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In to Africa

In to Africa

Our evolutionary origins lie in Africa. We share 98% of our DNA with chimps. A peak experience and political story about a chimp in Africa.

BY G. PASCAL ZACHARY — There’s a collective code that asks Christians to be their brother’s keeper.  Buddhists go a step deeper, and embrace a first principle that we are not distinct entities at all but plot-points along a continuum of being called consciousness.

Well, I’m Jewish. And I’m a secular one at that. So a code that I go to is Darwin’s intersection with DNA.

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Barack and Michelle Obama

Spiritual IQ Quiz: 9 questions about President Barack Obama’s inner life

What does the 44th President, his family and friends really believe in — that is, beyond politics?

BY SOUL’S CODE — Barack Obama is the personification of this site’s meme, “spiritual but not religious.”

On matter’s of faith, it’s what makes it so easy for pundits to spin his story from both the fundamentalist right and the agnostic left.

Exhibit: A documentary released during the 2012 presidential election cycle, 2016: Obama’s America (links to free streaming here), suggested that our 44th president is an anti-Christian, anti-colonialist.

From the left: Liberal comedian and million-dollar Obama donor, Bill Maher, routinely says he hopes the prez is lying when he espouses his Christian credentials.

Test your spiritual knowledge about our president by clicking on the multiple-choice answers below:

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santa

Santa Claus: International man of mystery

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — He’s big. He’s hairy. He’s said to tear through the night sky accompanied by magical reindeer. Santa Claus makes a truly weird symbol of conspicuous consumption. Maybe that’s because he’s a figure whose spiritual roots sit deeper than today’s commercial culture.

Santa as we know him today symbolizes holiday cheer, Christian charity, and, yes, maybe more than just a little bit of pagan wildness. Little wonder this mischievous elf has been shunned by Christians, banned by secularists, and viewed with suspicion by purists of all sorts.

As he keeps sliding down the chimney into our culture, click on the radio buttons below to see how much you know about the global poster-boy for Christmas.

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jobs-1982

The secret spiritual life of Steve Jobs

SOUL’S CODE SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — Steve Jobs was a genius with a dark side. He humiliated subordinates in front of others. His management style included  playing mind games on his own people like waking them up in the middle of the night at home to harangue them. He even created an espionage division inside of Apple that would have made famous paranoids like Richard Nixon and his White House ‘plumbers’ wilt with shame.

But this contradictory and relentless man was also possessed by deep spiritual yearnings from a young age. We honor Steve’s spiritual side — and invite you to test your spiritual IQ with the clickable multiple-choice questions below about some facts of Jobs’ life that Apple p.r. rarely publicized. May his soul be sanctified:

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Killing Osama: Our joy reflects how afraid we really were

Killing Osama: Our joy reflects how afraid we really were

Two new movies, Seal Team 6, and Catherine Bigelow’s next hit, invite us to look in a mirror.

BY DAVID RICKEY — Yes, Bin Laden was a very evil individual who masterminded much and mentored many. However, his death will stop neither the consciousness that breeds terrorism nor the historic causes that feed that consciousness.

The decision to bury Bin Laden’s body at sea within hours of his death demonstrates, it seems to me, a level of sensitivity that counters much of the insensitivity that lies at the root of the present pandemic of terrorism (although already there is conflicting opinion and criticism for this action).

While there will always be people who express their selfish anger in acts of aggression against others, the “West” — that over-encompassing term describing what we might describe as the “more enlightened” people in Europe and America — would do well to reflect on our own actions over the past 3+ centuries that have contributed to the anger in Africa, the “Middle East” and southest Asia that underpin the terrorist argument.

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Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?

Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?

How would you survive the loss if your best friend, mentor or shrink were crucified? You’d have to awaken your own inner guru.

DAVID RICKEY — His career was short and ended with his crucifixion. It looked like failure. What had Jesus accomplished? At most a few miracles, healings and teachings. That was it. Or was it?

Like a CEO who doesn’t feel ready to retire, Jesus could at least take comfort in the succession planning of his time — his passing of the baton to a dozen floundering but well-meaning and capable followers.

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