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The Oedipus Complex – Do adult ogres have unresolved stuff from childhood?

Antoni Brodowski – Oedipus and Antigone – Google Art Project via Wikipedia

In Greek myth Oedipus was the king of Thebes who did his best to avoid a prophecy saying he would kill his father and marry his mother. Like most good tales about knowing the future, Oedipus inadvertently fulfills the prophecy by trying to avoid it.

We see this a lot in sci-fi with time-loop stories. The protagonist does everything possible to avoid a bad outcome but in doing so becomes part of the thread leading to that unwanted outcome.

A lot of people know about Oedipus but the old Greek tale…

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 UIW Theatre – Antigone (uiw.uloop.com)

 Graham and Freud (bibliolore.org)

 Hero (earthpages.wordpress.com)

 An Oedipus Retelling (rogueclassicism.com)

 Secret vault discovered underneath Amphipolis tomb (dailymail.co.uk)

 Oedipus Simplex (psychologytoday.com)

 Greek-American Filmmaker Screens Documentary at Boston University (usa.greekreporter.com)

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Why do Christians wear ashes on Ash Wednesday?

File 20180212 58344 dm3re4.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Worshippers at Ash Wednesday mass.
AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Michael Laver, Rochester Institute of Technology

This coming Wednesday many Christians will arrive at work with a black cross smudged on their foreheads; countless more will slip into a church or a chapel during their lunch break or after work to receive the sign that tells the arrival of Ash Wednesday, the traditional start of the Christian season of Lent.

As both a priest in the Episcopal Church as well as a historian of Christianity, I’ve come to appreciate many of the liturgies and practices that characterize the modern church and have their roots in ancient traditions. The practice of donning ashes is one of them.

Ashes in Bible stories

In the Bible we are told that when the prophet Jonah pronounced God’s wrath on the city of Nineveh for its “wickedness,” likely because of the worship of idols or “false” gods, the king, in an act of sincere penitence, put on sackcloth and sat in ashes.

God was moved by this genuine act of repentance and spared the city from destruction. This story was meant to demonstrate that God is merciful and heeds true remorse.

This spiritual dimension of ashes is emphasized all through the Bible. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus deplores the lack of concern for the poor and marginalized on the part of the establishment of the day, as he passes through some towns.

He called out the hypocrisy of religious leaders who taught righteousness on the one hand, but lived lives of luxury and wealth at the expense of the poor on the other. At one point Jesus condemned the religious leaders as “whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.”

When pronouncing these judgments, Jesus makes reference to sackcloth and ashes as a form of penitence.

How the practice evolved

As early as the ninth century the church started to use ashes as a public demonstration of repentance for sins.


Pope Urban II.
Artaud de Montor (1772–1849).

It was only in 1091, however, that their use was ritualized. Pope Urban II decreed the use of ashes to mark the beginning of a 40-day season of Lent, a time when Christians imitate Christ’s 40-day period of fasting. This period is said to have prepared Christ for his three-year ministry that would culminate in his arrest, crucifixion and resurrection.

With the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the use of ashes generally fell out of favor in non-Catholic denominations. However, it returned in the 19th century when many Protestant churches entered into intentional dialogue with each other and with the Catholic Church, a phenomenon that is called the “ecumenical movement.”

Today most “mainline” denominations, including Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians and others allow for the “imposition” (as called in Catholic and Episcopalian prayer books) of ashes during an Ash Wednesday service. In some churches, the ashes are obtained by burning the palms blessed in the previous year’s Palm Sunday service – a time for Christians to remember Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem days before he was crucified. The resultant ash, depending on local practice, might then be mixed with oil to make them adhere more easily to the forehead.

Modern-day practice

In recent years several churches have put a new spin on the traditional Ash Wednesday service by providing what has been called “ashes to go.” In this new take on an ancient practice, a pastor stands in a very public, often busy, place and offers the ashes to any passersby who wishes to receive them, whether or not the person is Christian.


The pastors at St. John’s church in California provide ‘Ashes to Go’ for those who want to participate in the start of the Christian observance of Lent but are unable to attend a full church service.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Stories abound of pastors providing “drive-through ashes” in which the penitent does not even have to get out of the car. A website called “ashes to go” provides not only a list of global sites at which one can receive ashes in this way, but also has an FAQ section containing advice for churches contemplating such a service.

For a supremely ironic twist on Ash Wednesday, one only has to observe that the Gospel reading appointed for the day is from Matthew, chapter 6. Here Jesus rails against religious hypocrisy by criticizing those whose religious piety is done mainly for show:

“Whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

The ConversationChristians bearing the sign of the cross on their forehead this Wednesday will be sharing a formal practice that dates back over a thousand years, and more than that – in a tradition that goes back much earlier.

Michael Laver, Department Chair, Associate professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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Proclus – A good example of how all spiritual beliefs are not the same

Woman teaching geometry, from Euclid's Elements.

Woman teaching geometry, from Euclid’s Elements via Wikipedia

Proclus (410-85 CE) was an influential Greek Neoplatonist philosopher. Born in Lycia, he moved to Athens for the remainder of his life.

A lawyer by trade, Proclus came to realize that he preferred philosophy so made a study of the classics and beliefs of his time. Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, mathematics and the ancient mystery cults were all under his purview.

Modern writers often call him the last of the classical Greek philosophers.

Proclus’ synthesis of Platonic and Aristotelian systems culminates in his theory that an overall, divine action coordinates all cosmic elements as the soul returns back to the One from which it originally emanated. This One is unlike the monotheistic God of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths, mainly because it is not a being but rather some kind of creative principle.

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Witchblade #02

Stuff Jeff Reads

It’s amazing what your mind can accept. Even if the toll of that acceptance will inevitably come due.

This quote from the second installment of the new Witchblade series really resonated with me. As someone who meditates and reads a fair amount of spiritual writings, I understand the importance of acceptance as a spiritual value. But I suppose there can be a dark side to acceptance, especially in cases of abuse where acceptance might lead to complacency and inaction. Too often people accept their suffering and come to see it as normal, and then fail to summon the courage necessary to make positive changes in their lives. I suppose that is why acceptance is only part of the Serenity Prayer. Acceptance must always be balanced with courage.

Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And…

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AI – Should we fear, embrace or accept that the battle will go on forever?

I have a sci-fi novel sitting on my HD (external hard drive, so don’t bother trying to hack me, all you sad souls with nothing better to do than to live vicariously thru other people’s private lives) that deals with the issue of AI gone wrong.

Actually, it’s not so much about AI… more about the interface of biological and machine life. Clearly, this is the direction we’re moving toward as a species. But my novel is set thousands of years in the future. I won’t detail any more because, time permitting, I might publish installments at my personal blog.

One of the central themes of my book is that good and evil continue to battle it out through all time. The notion that we are morally progressing over the centuries is flawed because, as so many well-intentioned materialists don’t get, evil imo is real and never going away. Not in the creation of our matter/energy universe, at any rate. Maybe in heaven.

So for me the above tweet is a good, germinal warning of things to come. Or things that may come. Nobody can really know for sure.– MC


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Fear fear fear… but maybe an ounce of truth

Hey guys, the New Year finds me organizing my RSS feeds. I have so many news feeds now that even my best computer lags a bit when I try to sort them. I’ve hooked up Team Viewer so I can access them from older computers and my tablet. So this year I hope to make Earthpages.org more news intensive.

Robert Couse-Baker – cnn breaking news “Nice to know they have a keen grasp of the obvious” via Flickr

It seems the more I watch TV news the more the networks obsess on one topic for several days. Clearly this is more about making news (and money) than getting the news out.

I don’t intend to do universal coverage. Nobody can do that. But I will tweet and comment here on a wide variety of topics, mostly those that I feel are important to personal, social and global betterment.

So here’s one for today. Now that Twitter allows for more characters, I can often make a quick comment right in the tweet, itself. This is great. It saves me time. And if anybody wants to further discuss, feel free to comment here.


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Living the Serenity Prayer

By Dr Kevin Ross Emery

Several months ago, a friend approached me with a question. If I were to get up in front of a large audience and speak about something I thought would make their lives better, what would that subject be? For the last several years of my teaching and speaking career, my first response would have been to say, ‘Empowerment.’ This time however, I looked at my friend and without missing a beat said, ‘The Serenity Prayer.’

Photo credit: Abby Lanes via Flickr

Abby Lanes via Flickr

When he asked me why I would choose this subject, I told him that I had used the Serenity Prayer for almost 20 years in my spiritual coaching and counseling practice to help my clients.

In this article, I would like to explore the serenity aspect of the prayer. As often times is the case, when I begin to talk or write about something, I like to see what Webster’s Dictionary has to say about it.

One definition I found for the word ‘serenity’ was, ‘A place of calmness and tranquility.’ The question that brought up for me was, ‘Is serenity a place where we go, or a state that we live within?’

Rather than just answering this question on my own, I decided to see what other people had to say. Many of the people I asked said that serenity is associated with acceptance, as in The Serenity Prayer: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.’ However when asked where they found the calmness and tranquility that defines serenity, some replied that when they did find it, it was when they meditated or chanted; or did yoga or T’ai Chi. For others, it came by listening to certain kinds of music. Some said that playing or singing music could also create that state of serenity. And then there are those that find serenity while cooking, knitting, or even shooting hoops.

Embed from Getty Images

Did you notice that all these things required the effort of setting aside a period of time and doing something? It was a place they went to or an activity they participated in. It was clearly not a state of being they experienced in their ordinary day-to-day activities.

Another definition I found for serenity referred to being free from stress or emotion; the absence of mental stress and anxiety. Again, a question arose in my mind. ‘Does that mean that serenity is only achievable when we are empty of emotions and thoughts?’

Even the possibility of eliminating emotions and thoughts made no sense to me.  So I did what I do best and allowed my soul to take me to the place where the answer might lie, at least where it might lie for me. As often happens when I go to my intuitive self for guidance, I flashed onto something from my past that guided me to an answer.

For close to twenty years when people ask me what I do for work, I tell them that I don’t do work, I do joy. I do joy because about 90% of the time, I am in joy, and part of that joy comes from what I do that some people may call work. I can tell them this because I realized that joy, in and of itself, is not an emotion, but how fully you live, learn, and move through the emotions that you have at the time that you are experiencing them.

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Now why would I bring up joy when I am speaking about serenity? Simple — because to be in joy is all about acceptance; accepting exactly where you are, and doing so fully and without judgment. This is the first thing that one prays for in the Serenity Prayer. Serenity is clearly tied to acceptance. So what then is acceptance? Often, we associate acceptance with giving up on something, turning the other cheek.

However, when I hear that, I think of a statement that Simon Peter (St Peter), one of the beings who sometimes comes through me when I trance channel, made through me: ‘Sometimes you turn the other cheek, and sometimes you stomp down on their foot so they don’t do it again.’

Acceptance is about clearly seeing and being in the reality of any situation; not just thinking about how you would like for it to be, or fear it might be. It also means dealing with the situation from that place of acceptance. We can accept something and still have unhappy emotions or thoughts about it. Frustration, anger or sadness don’t change our acceptance of a situation, they just are, and they make us feel a certain way, which we in turn also accept.

Living in serenity isn’t about having no emotions, no stress, or no thoughts but light and fluffy ones. It is all about acceptance. In the Serenity Prayer, we ask God to grant us the serenity to accept the things that we cannot change. Yet isn’t it the ability to accept that which you cannot change that leads to serenity?

The acceptance of what you are not willing to change, but know that you could change, can also bring serenity. It is possible to realize that we can change something, and at the same time decide that now is not the best time to change it. But sometimes, we tell ourselves that it is okay to leave things as they are, and then proceed to beat ourselves up over the choice.

Embed from Getty Images

If we cannot be in peace about living with something for the moment, then perhaps, we really can’t wait in serenity. Realizing this is the difference between timing and avoidance. If it is truly just timing, then you actually can be at peace with the choice, if you can’t than it is probably avoidance. In other words, one does not find serenity without acceptance, and acceptance brings serenity. One of the great spiritual paradoxes!

Acceptance in all forms is what brings one to live in the place of serenity. Some might even call it radical acceptance, and this is what makes it possible to not only ‘find’ serenity in certain activities, but to live in serenity.

So serenity is not about living without, or in emptiness, but it is about living fully within all that life brings you, fully embracing all of your emotions and each situation as it appears, so that at the end of the day, you can joyfully accept that you are just are as you are, living in each moment.

We began by discussing how some people can find moments of serenity for themselves, but the most important question is:  How can we bridge the gap between moments of serenity to a life of serenity? The answer to this question involves four steps:

  1. Doing the things we know bring us serenity as often as possible.
  2. Daily spiritual practices.
  3. Getting out of fear and staying out of fear.
  4. Living in the now.

It is as simple and easy as that, which is neither simple or easy, but can be accomplished.

Can we really live in serenity? Better yet, can we live in serenity when we are living in a world that is fearful, judgmental and full of unknowns? Absolutely, in fact it is the only way we can live fully in this world.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/living-the-serenity-prayer-1127788.html

About the Author

Dr. Kevin Ross Emery is a popular author, psychic, coach, consultant and teacher. Dr. Kevin travels internationally, offering lectures and workshops to empower people from all walks of life. He’s also available for phone (and Skype) consultations. Dr. Kevin’s primary practices are in Portland, Maine and Haverhill, Massachusetts. Visit his website for his radio show and additional articles at http://www.weboflight.com

Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. We have left the original links intact. 

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