I came to recognize that the sexual impulse, once awakened, has a mind of its own. It's not that I wasn't enjoying the ride. It's just that it was dawning on me how little control I really had over this overwhelming biological instinct.
"Singing the song of our neighbor is not a token kind of thing," says Lange. "It should be an exercise into getting to know who the neighbor is. Why do they sing this song? And how will it open up our vision of God's kingdom?"
The rabbis' point is that Israel could only feel God's presence when they were receiving gifts. This is a common malady; many people pray for something and if they do not receive it assume that there is no God.
Ezekiel spoke the difficult truth to a community in exile: perpetual sin left them spinning their wheels, going nowhere. His vision of a wheel within a wheel provided a new mechanism not only for prayer, but also for hope itself.
The transformative power of mystical experiences is that they can convey to us that no matter what happens to our bodies and personalities in the world of time and space, mysteriously, everything is always OK.
What happens when believers attempt to communicate with their God? If the brain did not evolve a system for conversing with highly abstract invisible entities, what brain systems activate when it does?
The year was 1980. I was the guest of a graduate student at Heidelberg University. My stay in his home was part of a month-long trip through Germany with Jews and Christians engaged in "post-Holocaust interfaith dialogue."
Those walking by overhearing Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj blasting from our spin class may not see this as a place to learn much about the spiritual life. It can actually inform our understanding of the spiritual life, if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Jesus, if you are truly divine, all knowing and omnipotent, please do something about these so-called Christians. I know it's a bit presumptuous of me to be petitioning you this way, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
You can be in touch with a lot of happiness during the time you're washing your face, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, shaving, and showering, if you know how to shine the light of awareness onto each thing you do.
We should be cautious in drawing firm conclusions from this seeming correlation between public faith and gun violence, as many other factors are in play. But shouldn't faith direct us to try to stem the violence?
A spiritual approach to our health uses the words of our prayers in order to ground us, strengthen us and heal us. This is what faith is about. It should be something we embrace at all times in our life.