The Buck Stops Here: Taking the Hypocrisy Out of Christianity

Taking responsibility

The Buck Stops Here: Pres. Truman was not afraid to say, “I take responsibility.”

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA, Michael Curry, was recently here in Hawaii and gave a couple of his resounding and inspiring talks.  He talked about Jackie Robinson, the black baseball player who integrated major league baseball, partly because this man was able to practice non-violence.  Jackie Robinson consciously tried not returning or passing on the heaps of abuse that were thrown at him as he walked out on the playing field.  And, as a result, he helped change the world around him.

In one way of another, all of us have been abused or treated unfairly, or have been coerced to “play the game,” to do something when our conscience says no.  We all have been hit with negative energy.

Energy is energy.  It has to go somewhere.  And to varying degrees, all of us have been caught up in this entanglement of abuse to the point where we have continued to pass on this negative energy.

At some point, the serious Christian has to ask the questions, “When does this transmission of negative energy stop?  Where does it stop?  How does it stop?”  The answer is simple:  It stops here, with me.  If every Christian decided like Jackie Robinson to consciously take on this challenge, I am sure the hypocrisy would be taken out of the word Christian.  It is not enough to simply say, “Jesus is my lord and savior,” and then live as if nothing depended upon me.  It happens all the time but it is not true spirituality.  The irony of Christianity is that there is a profound paradox at play: It all depends on Jesus, and at the same time, it all depends on me, and you, and you.

Spirituality’s shining star is deep integrity that talks the talk AND walks the walk.  It will not happen until I decide that the buck stops here, and I better start doing something about it in how I change the way I treat people.  I cannot let my fears from having been victimized victimize other people; because, at the core that is what is happening when I turn around and pass on negative energy.

Most of us are so blind to this process of passing negative energy; we don’t even know when we engage in the practice or deny it vehemently when we are challenged for doing so.  Some of us even blame the victim.  Ironically, again, however, we can only rely on the cries of those we victimize to wake us up.  Let us pray that we don’t squelch those cries, that we can see ourselves in them and let them convert us to truer path by choosing non-violence.  The buck stops here. It ends with me–so help me God.

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Dreamwork: Applying Critical Thinking to Get to the Heart of the Dream

Critical thinking involves stepping back and asking questions.

Image via Pinterest .

Critical thinking is an important tool in approaching dreamwork.  Critical thinking is not criticizing something, but rather stepping back from immediate assumptions, interpretations, conclusions and letting a situation be so that a variety of interesting things may happen, so that whole new ways of viewing and subsequent reflective thinking that involves asking questions may emerge.  This helps us avoid some common misleading approaches to working with dreams such as literally interpreting a dream or avoiding looking at a dream because it may be frightening or emotionally overwhelming.  That is not to say dreams can’t be literally true.  Sometimes, they are but in most cases dreams have many rich levels of meaning that are often in spiritual in content, making it hazardous to interpret literally—much like reading the Bible.

The act of stepping back prevents us from forcing a premature meaning on the dream.  It makes space for the dream to speak to us, often by drawing in, feeling and savoring any emotions that are associated with the dream.  We are then able to think about and leisurely reflect on the dream in a broader manner which includes more of the dream such as feelings, images and later reflection on this content.