Comments on: Is Your Love Enough? Working With (and Loving) Your Neighbors, Whether You Like Them Or Not. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Tue, 04 Aug 2009 13:42:45 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Susan http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-10020 Susan Sun, 07 Sep 2008 13:24:59 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-10020 Sharon, Unfortunately in the world, with freedom to choose our own fate, only some will choose to love each other while some will choose to love only themselves. Thanks for the wonderful description of practical love, the G-d given love that comes from the soul. Sharon,

Unfortunately in the world, with freedom to choose our own fate, only some will choose to love each other while some will choose to love only themselves.

Thanks for the wonderful description of practical love, the G-d given love that comes from the soul.

]]>
By: Susan S. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9990 Susan S. Fri, 05 Sep 2008 20:48:24 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9990 I would also like to add that 'love' is a verb. That is, it is a DOING word. It takes work and commitment -- yes, love is that warm fuzzy feeling that squeezes your heart when you hold your baby in your arms, but it is ALSO that feeling of absolute fury when your child screws up and you both yell at them and discipline them. They need both, as do we all. Love requires that we hold people to a standard. Love requires that we hold ourselves to a standard, so that others can love us. Hopefully that doesn't read like a bunch of nonsense. I would also like to add that ‘love’ is a verb. That is, it is a DOING word. It takes work and commitment — yes, love is that warm fuzzy feeling that squeezes your heart when you hold your baby in your arms, but it is ALSO that feeling of absolute fury when your child screws up and you both yell at them and discipline them. They need both, as do we all. Love requires that we hold people to a standard. Love requires that we hold ourselves to a standard, so that others can love us.

Hopefully that doesn’t read like a bunch of nonsense.

]]>
By: francisco http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9959 francisco Fri, 05 Sep 2008 02:13:18 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9959 “Love Not The World” ”For the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(I John 5:19) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17) “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20) “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4) “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4) The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25) John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4) The “earth” is The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, creatures, Truth, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, .etc.) ;-( And the “strongest thing” in the evil one’s worldly systems? “Woman”…… yet The Truth, that which is of The Only True GOD, is stronger even than woman. (read I Esdras 3&4 of the Apocrypha) And Truth, Love, Peace, Faith, Mercy, Hope,,,etc,,, all that is “good”, is of The Only True GOD and is of HIS Spirit, not of this world. Those born of The Spirit, those born of The Only True GOD, are the brethren of The Messiah, for they received "a love of The Truth that they might be saved”. Reborn! And those who have received "a love of The Truth” have separated themselves from this world and those of this world, for they have taken heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come out of her MY people.” They are “in, but not of this wicked, evil world”, and The Only True GOD has received them, and is "A Father unto them, and they are HIS sons and daughters”. And they follow, and desire to be like their Master and Brother, The Messiah, He Who was “the firstborn of many brethren”. And as “The Messiah was a servant of The Only True GOD”, so also His Brethren are “servants of The Only True GOD.” The called out ones are not “adulterers and adulteresses”, they are not “friends of this wicked, evil world”, they do not “fornicate with the god of this world” for they know that “to be a friend of this world is to be the enemy of The Only True GOD.” They are at war against the evil spirits that possess those who are of this world. And they do not “allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach. For she teaches others to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. The Only True GOD gave her a chance to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” (Rev 2:20-21) “fornication” and “adultery..” in that which is recorded above signifies spiritual fornication with “the god of this world”, which is to love that which is of his world. Once again, the “earth” is The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”. Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18) Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”. And as stated, “woman is the strongest thing of this world”. Yet stronger than woman is The Truth, which is in those who have “received a love of The Truth”. The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things, nor do they love their own lives in this world”. They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible" ndeed and Truth! Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”. Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22) And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” And Faithful women are exhorted to “be in silence.” “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” “For Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:11,12,14) A man and woman joined together in obedience and submission unto The Only True GOD are blessed indeed. All who are not obedient, all who will not submit themselves unto The Only True GOD will have to answer to HIM..period.. Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying and perverting HIS Creation(land, air, water, creatures, Truth, Love, Peace, .etc.)! “The Only True GOD is The HEAD of The Messiah, The Messiah is The Head of the man, and the man is the head of the woman”. Multitudes pervert GOD’s Order because they have been seduced by ” the commandments and doctrines of men and devils”. Multitudes are seduced by the religious systems that are in and of this evil world. Seduced because they love this evil world and their own life in it! “Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto the call to ”Come out from among them and be separate!” Once again, “Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the religious systems. “Come out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation and be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”. Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world……. francisco “Love Not The World”

”For the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(I John 5:19)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

The “earth” is The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, creatures, Truth, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, .etc.) ;-(

And the “strongest thing” in the evil one’s worldly systems? “Woman”…… yet The Truth, that which is of The Only True GOD, is stronger even than woman. (read I Esdras 3&4 of the Apocrypha) And Truth, Love, Peace, Faith, Mercy, Hope,,,etc,,, all that is “good”, is of The Only True GOD and is of HIS Spirit, not of this world. Those born of The Spirit, those born of The Only True GOD, are the brethren of The Messiah, for they received “a love of The Truth that they might be saved”. Reborn!

And those who have received “a love of The Truth” have separated themselves from this world and those of this world, for they have taken heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come out of her MY people.” They are “in, but not of this wicked, evil world”, and The Only True GOD has received them, and is “A Father unto them, and they are HIS sons and daughters”. And they follow, and desire to be like their Master and Brother, The Messiah, He Who was “the firstborn of many brethren”. And as “The Messiah was a servant of The Only True GOD”, so also His Brethren are “servants of The Only True GOD.”

The called out ones are not “adulterers and adulteresses”, they are not “friends of this wicked, evil world”, they do not “fornicate with the god of this world” for they know that “to be a friend of this world is to be the enemy of The Only True GOD.” They are at war against the evil spirits that possess those who are of this world.

And they do not “allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach. For she teaches others to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. The Only True GOD gave her a chance to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” (Rev 2:20-21)

“fornication” and “adultery..” in that which is recorded above signifies spiritual fornication with “the god of this world”, which is to love that which is of his world.

Once again, the “earth” is The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”. Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18) Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”. And as stated, “woman is the strongest thing of this world”. Yet stronger than woman is The Truth, which is in those who have “received a love of The Truth”. The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things, nor do they love their own lives in this world”. They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible” ndeed and Truth!

Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”. Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22) And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” And Faithful women are exhorted to “be in silence.” “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” “For Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:11,12,14) A man and woman joined together in obedience and submission unto The Only True GOD are blessed indeed. All who are not obedient, all who will not submit themselves unto The Only True GOD will have to answer to HIM..period.. Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying and perverting HIS Creation(land, air, water, creatures, Truth, Love, Peace, .etc.)!

“The Only True GOD is The HEAD of The Messiah, The Messiah is The Head of the man, and the man is the head of the woman”. Multitudes pervert GOD’s Order because they have been seduced by ” the commandments and doctrines of men and devils”. Multitudes are seduced by the religious systems that are in and of this evil world. Seduced because they love this evil world and their own life in it! “Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto the call to ”Come out from among them and be separate!”

Once again, “Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the religious systems. “Come out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation and be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world……. francisco

]]>
By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9940 Sharon Thu, 04 Sep 2008 19:59:07 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9940 Brian, that's interesting - I honestly don't know what the difference is either. That is, I certainly also know the feeling that you don't quite deserve what you get as a loss - but isn't that part of being loved more or less constantly? Maybe it isn't - maybe I'm assuming too much, but my own experience (and I did ask other people if they knew what I meant before I wrote this) is that a lot of us who have a happy partnership think we have better than we deserve. You can walk around feeling like there's a knife in your chest because you can never be good enough to deserve the wonderful person in your life. Or you can except that your husband or wife feels that way *too* and that sense of mutual indebtedness does, in a sense, discharge the debt. The same is true with barter - the key to those relationships to me, does seem to be the fact that both of you think you came out better than you deserved. Because it a. lays the grounds for the next exchange, and for the part where you do get to the point where you can shrug and stop counting cost and say "it all comes out even in the wash." Maybe this is a theological thing, for at least some theologies - in Christianity, there is a moment at which the inequitable relationship between G-d and man is partly discharged and redeemed, by the sacrifice of Christ (obviously, the emphasis on this varies between Christianities), whereas in Judaism, Grace does place you under and obligation - an obligation you can never discharge to G-d, only to other human beings. It always reminds me of Satan's speech in Paradise Lost about the burdens of endless praise. Being far more of Satan's camp than of God's at least in Miltonic terms (and how can you not be when the scales are so tilted ;-)), I'd suggest that for some (somewhat arcane) versions of Christianity, Grace is not a release from obligation either, but you'd know better than I whether that translates into the present at all. As for trust - it really depends. Often neighborly love relationships depend on trust - but what you can afford to need from any person varies by what they can give and how trustworthy they are. It is true that I was both intentionally and unintentionally more general than I might have been in this post on that subject, but I think you start out risking what you can afford to lose - and with some people it never goes further than that. The best love economy relationships go long past, that, but we all know that betrayals happen now and again even with people you generally can trust, and most of us have had to find ways to make love relationships with people who can't be trusted - or can't be trusted in some ways or in some circumstances. Right now, to continue the food thing - our food is being supplied by people we can't trust. It isn't at all clear to me that the risk we take by shifting to neighbors we don't fully trust is greater than relying on corporations, say, that we know we can't trust. I don't think that our food system does fully require we trust the system - most of us don't - and have been betrayed by the system in a host of ways. I'm not sure that a love economy would require greater trust than we have now - it would be nice, but I'm not sure it is always necessary. And I'm really not sure what you mean by "peak trust" or that trust has been worn out of the system - if what you are saying is that the system isn't designed to enable us to trust one another, I agree. If you are saying that there's some deep fundamental barrier between people that can't be overcome for systemic reasons, I'll agree that that might be true for some people in some circumstances. But I'm not clear I'm getting what you are saying. Your point about the money economy is fair - at least as it operates overarchingly. I think for most of us, the problem is that we will have to square our debts - endlessly. That is, while the system is built upon never being able to fully pay back, the reality of people's lives is that most of them pay and pay and pay until the debt is squared and dozens of times over. So while you are right, I'm also not sure you aren't wrong ;-). Maybe the problem is that I'm trying to describe as universal something that isn't universal - for me, it happens all the time. Or maybe it is theological or gendered. I admit, I guess I don't see how the knowledge that someone you feel you could never deserve feels the same about you as a kind of lightness and liberation - that is, you are doing ok, in the context of what matters - you are giving them the same kind of gift they give you. But maybe it isn't, if it isn't a gift to feel that they love you more than you deserve. I guess I just think that there are so many moments when we get less than we deserve, and those moments are becoming more and more frequent in the world, so excess, particularly excess love, seems something to celebrate. Sure it creates a burden - but the burden doesn't seem to me to be "to pay the debt" so much as "to ensure that both of you experience the whole of the relationship as in excess of your need or what you deserve." And that seems doable to me in a host of human relationships - friendships, neighborliness, marriage, sex, even aquaintance. But maybe that's mostly me. Sharon Brian, that’s interesting - I honestly don’t know what the difference is either. That is, I certainly also know the feeling that you don’t quite deserve what you get as a loss - but isn’t that part of being loved more or less constantly? Maybe it isn’t - maybe I’m assuming too much, but my own experience (and I did ask other people if they knew what I meant before I wrote this) is that a lot of us who have a happy partnership think we have better than we deserve. You can walk around feeling like there’s a knife in your chest because you can never be good enough to deserve the wonderful person in your life. Or you can except that your husband or wife feels that way *too* and that sense of mutual indebtedness does, in a sense, discharge the debt. The same is true with barter - the key to those relationships to me, does seem to be the fact that both of you think you came out better than you deserved. Because it a. lays the grounds for the next exchange, and for the part where you do get to the point where you can shrug and stop counting cost and say “it all comes out even in the wash.”

Maybe this is a theological thing, for at least some theologies - in Christianity, there is a moment at which the inequitable relationship between G-d and man is partly discharged and redeemed, by the sacrifice of Christ (obviously, the emphasis on this varies between Christianities), whereas in Judaism, Grace does place you under and obligation - an obligation you can never discharge to G-d, only to other human beings. It always reminds me of Satan’s speech in Paradise Lost about the burdens of endless praise. Being far more of Satan’s camp than of God’s at least in Miltonic terms (and how can you not be when the scales are so tilted ;-)), I’d suggest that for some (somewhat arcane) versions of Christianity, Grace is not a release from obligation either, but you’d know better than I whether that translates into the present at all.

As for trust - it really depends. Often neighborly love relationships depend on trust - but what you can afford to need from any person varies by what they can give and how trustworthy they are. It is true that I was both intentionally and unintentionally more general than I might have been in this post on that subject, but I think you start out risking what you can afford to lose - and with some people it never goes further than that. The best love economy relationships go long past, that, but we all know that betrayals happen now and again even with people you generally can trust, and most of us have had to find ways to make love relationships with people who can’t be trusted - or can’t be trusted in some ways or in some circumstances. Right now, to continue the food thing - our food is being supplied by people we can’t trust. It isn’t at all clear to me that the risk we take by shifting to neighbors we don’t fully trust is greater than relying on corporations, say, that we know we can’t trust. I don’t think that our food system does fully require we trust the system - most of us don’t - and have been betrayed by the system in a host of ways. I’m not sure that a love economy would require greater trust than we have now - it would be nice, but I’m not sure it is always necessary.

And I’m really not sure what you mean by “peak trust” or that trust has been worn out of the system - if what you are saying is that the system isn’t designed to enable us to trust one another, I agree. If you are saying that there’s some deep fundamental barrier between people that can’t be overcome for systemic reasons, I’ll agree that that might be true for some people in some circumstances. But I’m not clear I’m getting what you are saying.

Your point about the money economy is fair - at least as it operates overarchingly. I think for most of us, the problem is that we will have to square our debts - endlessly. That is, while the system is built upon never being able to fully pay back, the reality of people’s lives is that most of them pay and pay and pay until the debt is squared and dozens of times over. So while you are right, I’m also not sure you aren’t wrong ;-).

Maybe the problem is that I’m trying to describe as universal something that isn’t universal - for me, it happens all the time. Or maybe it is theological or gendered. I admit, I guess I don’t see how the knowledge that someone you feel you could never deserve feels the same about you as a kind of lightness and liberation - that is, you are doing ok, in the context of what matters - you are giving them the same kind of gift they give you. But maybe it isn’t, if it isn’t a gift to feel that they love you more than you deserve. I guess I just think that there are so many moments when we get less than we deserve, and those moments are becoming more and more frequent in the world, so excess, particularly excess love, seems something to celebrate. Sure it creates a burden - but the burden doesn’t seem to me to be “to pay the debt” so much as “to ensure that both of you experience the whole of the relationship as in excess of your need or what you deserve.” And that seems doable to me in a host of human relationships - friendships, neighborliness, marriage, sex, even aquaintance. But maybe that’s mostly me.

Sharon

]]>
By: Brad K. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9939 Brad K. Thu, 04 Sep 2008 19:23:52 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9939 Sharon, In the Players Manual for Advanced Dungeon & Dragons, 2nd Edition, by Gary Gygax/TSR, there is an appendix chart of 'alignment'. The game includes a range from good through neutral to evil (continuous), and from lawful through neutral to chaotic. I have found this chart useful to keep in mind. The good to evil axis runs across the lawful to chaotic axis. A character's alignment is identified as lawful-good, or chaotic good, or neutral good, etc. Good is considered 'the best benefit for the group will be the right thing for me to do'. Evil considers, 'the best good for the group is what benefits me the most.' Lawful and chaotic are whether you choose to adhere to rules because they are rules, or use rules against those that oppose you. Good and evil, in the game, have nothing to do with motivating someone to agree or oppose you, except the inconvenience of good players not trusting evil characters, etc. Back 15 years ago when the wackoes were printing bumper stickers about 'Commit random acts of kindness', I realized that there is no one in my life, that needs my greeting. But most people can use a greeting, so I am often quite exuberant, to the point of looking silly, in greeting others. I can share a joy in the day, perhaps a happy feeling, and allow someone that I meet to *know*, that they have been seen, recognized, and addressed in joy. Sharon,

In the Players Manual for Advanced Dungeon & Dragons, 2nd Edition, by Gary Gygax/TSR, there is an appendix chart of ‘alignment’. The game includes a range from good through neutral to evil (continuous), and from lawful through neutral to chaotic. I have found this chart useful to keep in mind. The good to evil axis runs across the lawful to chaotic axis. A character’s alignment is identified as lawful-good, or chaotic good, or neutral good, etc.

Good is considered ‘the best benefit for the group will be the right thing for me to do’. Evil considers, ‘the best good for the group is what benefits me the most.’ Lawful and chaotic are whether you choose to adhere to rules because they are rules, or use rules against those that oppose you. Good and evil, in the game, have nothing to do with motivating someone to agree or oppose you, except the inconvenience of good players not trusting evil characters, etc.

Back 15 years ago when the wackoes were printing bumper stickers about ‘Commit random acts of kindness’, I realized that there is no one in my life, that needs my greeting. But most people can use a greeting, so I am often quite exuberant, to the point of looking silly, in greeting others. I can share a joy in the day, perhaps a happy feeling, and allow someone that I meet to *know*, that they have been seen, recognized, and addressed in joy.

]]>
By: Heather Gray http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9937 Heather Gray Thu, 04 Sep 2008 19:23:04 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9937 Excellent post, thanks. Excellent post, thanks.

]]>
By: Brian M. http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9936 Brian M. Thu, 04 Sep 2008 19:21:37 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9936 Lots of different kinds of love and I worry you are sliding back and forth. Are you thinking of the kind of love that includes trust or not? In paragraph #1 it sounds like your talking about how to love people even when you DON'T trust them. But in paragraph #4 you say "And it requires that we risk depending on one another - that we give up the personal washing machine, and trust that our neighbors will share." Depending on one another IS a risk, and it is a risk that requires love-with-trust not love-without-trust. In a complex society with lots of division of labor and a money economy, we trust people we don't even know to provide us with food, because we trust the politics and/or the market and/or the system to keep them in line. When we try to replace that with individual person to person trust, well fine, as long as there is such trust. I trust several of the farmers I know to do what they can to produce decent food. But I don't trust most of my neighbors this way, and I'm just not convinced we have much basis for trust left. Because trust is precisely one of the resources that our country has used up and is nearly out of. Peak Trust gets us before Peak Oil does. Heck I might even beleive that if I give up my personal washing machine, the neighbors will share, as long as they can, as long as they don't lose their house and have to move away, or lose their own washing machine, or whatever. I just don't know how to make sense of your claims unless you are trying to talk about the kind of love that includes trust, and there I think the problem is that we are just plain out of trust. We can build it up slowly via personal interactions and relationships. Trust can be earned and is a renewable resource, but we are pretty much out of it at the moment, and far too many people seem to be trying to milk every last drop out of the dregs of trust, rather than work on refilling the trust-supply. All debts cannot be paid when one lives entirely within a money economy, that is the heart of the problem with central banks and charging interest and the money-as-debt model, the system never has enough money in it to pay off all the debts that are in it. That's why it needs perpetual growth just to stay still. Nor does the love economy per se allow debts to be paid off. It is forgiveness, especially debt-forgiveness that allows debts to be paid off, and forgiveness is related to love, but it ain't exactly the same thing. You can forgive people you don't love, and love people without forgiving them, I've seen both happen. Nor does a gift-economy rather than a love-economy solve this problem. It just re-emerges as potlatching, because humans are so bad about giving genuinely free gifts. Even Aristotle talks about how unbalanced love (philia) leads to one party getting more "gain," and the other more "honor", but then "honor" just becomes a point of social competition along with gain. And again we wind up with "economies of gratitude" where the wealthy and powerful establish and wield their power partly by forcing as many people to be grateful to them as possible, as we had in the Middle Ages, for example. Maybe its just me, maybe I just don't get this discussion. When I get that sensation, that others are fools to love me, or to give me some gift I can never repay, it never magically transforms into a happy emotions, some feeling of luckiness or entitlement like you describe. "So you end up just being grateful, feeling damned lucky that this time, you got more than you ever deserved. That some miracle, or gift appeared to you, and someone loves you." It just becomes this permanent undischargable debt, an obligation beyond any possibility of freedom. Like being infinitely potlatched. So maybe I'm just too ungrateful to get your point, or trying to hard to square debts that can never be squared. You say "The only hope is that the person you are working with or bartering with or sharing with is secretly afraid that she/he hasn’t done his fair share either." But how would that help? Even if true, that you only mean that neither side can ever be square, or free, or just, or clear. That would be even worse that only one side being stuck in debt, right? You say "It is hard to articulate what it is that you do get." No it isn't, as the old folk song says You load sixteen tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. Saint Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go; I owe my soul to the company store... It doesn't have to be 16 tons, it is whatever you do to try to help, to pay off the debts to all those around you, who you depend on and who depend on you. And you call that "grace." Grace is precisely the freedom from debt, the absence of any need to pay back a gift. It is not a barter or a mutual dependence. You don't even owe gratitude or honor in return for the gain, that would just be potlatching again. Grace is a gift given along with freedom from any need to repay the gift. So maybe instead of my own twisted emotions, we are simply having a theological disagreement. Or maybe there is some gender thing going on, in which men and women think about love and debt and dependence differently, which wouldn't be surprising, but doesn't really seem like the heart of the issue. I don't know this all pretty difficult to sort through for me. Greater levels of mutual dependence are probably inevitable any way things shake out, but I just can't see how someone could find that a good thing, unless they secretly felt that they give more than the get and maybe those bastards will start having to be grateful, or contrariwise that they had no plans to try to pay debts back. Lots of different kinds of love and I worry you are sliding back and forth.

Are you thinking of the kind of love that includes trust or not? In paragraph #1 it sounds like your talking about how to love people even when you DON’T trust them. But in paragraph #4 you say “And it requires that we risk depending on one another - that we give up the personal washing machine, and trust that our neighbors will share.” Depending on one another IS a risk, and it is a risk that requires love-with-trust not love-without-trust. In a complex society with lots of division of labor and a money economy, we trust people we don’t even know to provide us with food, because we trust the politics and/or the market and/or the system to keep them in line. When we try to replace that with individual person to person trust, well fine, as long as there is such trust. I trust several of the farmers I know to do what they can to produce decent food. But I don’t trust most of my neighbors this way, and I’m just not convinced we have much basis for trust left. Because trust is precisely one of the resources that our country has used up and is nearly out of. Peak Trust gets us before Peak Oil does. Heck I might even beleive that if I give up my personal washing machine, the neighbors will share, as long as they can, as long as they don’t lose their house and have to move away, or lose their own washing machine, or whatever. I just don’t know how to make sense of your claims unless you are trying to talk about the kind of love that includes trust, and there I think the problem is that we are just plain out of trust. We can build it up slowly via personal interactions and relationships. Trust can be earned and is a renewable resource, but we are pretty much out of it at the moment, and far too many people seem to be trying to milk every last drop out of the dregs of trust, rather than work on refilling the trust-supply.

All debts cannot be paid when one lives entirely within a money economy, that is the heart of the problem with central banks and charging interest and the money-as-debt model, the system never has enough money in it to pay off all the debts that are in it. That’s why it needs perpetual growth just to stay still. Nor does the love economy per se allow debts to be paid off. It is forgiveness, especially debt-forgiveness that allows debts to be paid off, and forgiveness is related to love, but it ain’t exactly the same thing. You can forgive people you don’t love, and love people without forgiving them, I’ve seen both happen. Nor does a gift-economy rather than a love-economy solve this problem. It just re-emerges as potlatching, because humans are so bad about giving genuinely free gifts. Even Aristotle talks about how unbalanced love (philia) leads to one party getting more “gain,” and the other more “honor”, but then “honor” just becomes a point of social competition along with gain. And again we wind up with “economies of gratitude” where the wealthy and powerful establish and wield their power partly by forcing as many people to be grateful to them as possible, as we had in the Middle Ages, for example.

Maybe its just me, maybe I just don’t get this discussion. When I get that sensation, that others are fools to love me, or to give me some gift I can never repay, it never magically transforms into a happy emotions, some feeling of luckiness or entitlement like you describe. “So you end up just being grateful, feeling damned lucky that this time, you got more than you ever deserved. That some miracle, or gift appeared to you, and someone loves you.” It just becomes this permanent undischargable debt, an obligation beyond any possibility of freedom. Like being infinitely potlatched. So maybe I’m just too ungrateful to get your point, or trying to hard to square debts that can never be squared. You say “The only hope is that the person you are working with or bartering with or sharing with is secretly afraid that she/he hasn’t done his fair share either.” But how would that help? Even if true, that you only mean that neither side can ever be square, or free, or just, or clear. That would be even worse that only one side being stuck in debt, right? You say “It is hard to articulate what it is that you do get.” No it isn’t, as the old folk song says

You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go;
I owe my soul to the company store…

It doesn’t have to be 16 tons, it is whatever you do to try to help, to pay off the debts to all those around you, who you depend on and who depend on you. And you call that “grace.” Grace is precisely the freedom from debt, the absence of any need to pay back a gift. It is not a barter or a mutual dependence. You don’t even owe gratitude or honor in return for the gain, that would just be potlatching again. Grace is a gift given along with freedom from any need to repay the gift. So maybe instead of my own twisted emotions, we are simply having a theological disagreement. Or maybe there is some gender thing going on, in which men and women think about love and debt and dependence differently, which wouldn’t be surprising, but doesn’t really seem like the heart of the issue. I don’t know this all pretty difficult to sort through for me. Greater levels of mutual dependence are probably inevitable any way things shake out, but I just can’t see how someone could find that a good thing, unless they secretly felt that they give more than the get and maybe those bastards will start having to be grateful, or contrariwise that they had no plans to try to pay debts back.

]]>
By: Theresa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9934 Theresa Thu, 04 Sep 2008 19:02:39 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9934 Elise - just read the last paragraph of your comment and thought you might really enjoy reading some of Pema Chodron's writings on tonglen meditation. Here's a link: http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php Elise - just read the last paragraph of your comment and thought you might really enjoy reading some of Pema Chodron’s writings on tonglen meditation. Here’s a link:
http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php

]]>
By: Theresa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9933 Theresa Thu, 04 Sep 2008 18:58:51 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9933 Ah Sharon, you have described so beautifully what I was struggling to convey to my dad the other day when I had lunch with him. We agreed that it all comes down to love. You describe so well what I've come to understand as the Buddhist idea of inter-being. Knowing that we are all deeply interconnected helps me to direct loving-kindness to others, even if I don't like them. Twice I've missed seeing Michael Franti at our local folk festival - I will have to stop doing that! Ah Sharon, you have described so beautifully what I was struggling to convey to my dad the other day when I had lunch with him. We agreed that it all comes down to love. You describe so well what I’ve come to understand as the Buddhist idea of inter-being. Knowing that we are all deeply interconnected helps me to direct loving-kindness to others, even if I don’t like them.

Twice I’ve missed seeing Michael Franti at our local folk festival - I will have to stop doing that!

]]>
By: Elise http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9931 Elise Thu, 04 Sep 2008 18:42:23 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/09/04/is-your-love-enough-working-with-and-loving-your-neighbors-whether-you-like-them-or-not/#comment-9931 Great post! An astrologer once told me that one of my life tasks is to give others the gift of receiving. That kind of messed up my mind for a while until I was able to see that when someone gives me something, as long as I accept it fully and let it in completely, then I am also giving something by my acceptance and willingness to receive. That flies in the face of any sense of unworthiness on my part and brings it up for healing. I also have occasionally experienced love as completely neutral. It seems to happen when I suspend judgment about myself and/or another. I have the opposite experience when I'm judging someone else's actions evidenced by the fact that I'm fully involved in emotion (of the uncomfortable kind). An even more challenging experience is allowing myself to see that what I'm judging in the other person is something that I don't want to recognize in myself or that I'm self-righteous about because I do the opposite thing that they are doing. I guess that's about learning to love myself as I am. One of my personal projects for learning real love is to conjure up the image of George Bush in my mind and say "I love you" to him and mean it. In a way, I'm grateful to him for taking on the task of bringing down the broken system that needs to be replaced. He is doing a very good job of it. Great post!

An astrologer once told me that one of my life tasks is to give others the gift of receiving. That kind of messed up my mind for a while until I was able to see that when someone gives me something, as long as I accept it fully and let it in completely, then I am also giving something by my acceptance and willingness to receive. That flies in the face of any sense of unworthiness on my part and brings it up for healing.

I also have occasionally experienced love as completely neutral. It seems to happen when I suspend judgment about myself and/or another. I have the opposite experience when I’m judging someone else’s actions evidenced by the fact that I’m fully involved in emotion (of the uncomfortable kind). An even more challenging experience is allowing myself to see that what I’m judging in the other person is something that I don’t want to recognize in myself or that I’m self-righteous about because I do the opposite thing that they are doing. I guess that’s about learning to love myself as I am.

One of my personal projects for learning real love is to conjure up the image of George Bush in my mind and say “I love you” to him and mean it. In a way, I’m grateful to him for taking on the task of bringing down the broken system that needs to be replaced. He is doing a very good job of it.

]]>