Thanks Randy. Part of my ongoing education…
Among the variety of those I know who identify as a ‘Christian,’ but also find mindfulness, yoga, etc helpful, none of them think of it as adapting Christianity to those practices. Or of it as combining pagan belief with the truth about Jesus in order to retain its’ paganism. I sense that they think of it more in reverse as adapting these classic practices to their own Christian tradition, and do not see it as embracing “pagan beliefs” at all.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to look at GOD, The idea of Jesus as Savior was ‘implemented’ by GOD as His reaction to creation.
Thanks Bob, for your opinion.
Nobody thinks they are pagan, of course, and I’m no doubt politically incorrect to even use the term.
Chad - a refreshing idea!!
Good thoughts, everyone.
As Christians, we start and believe - what the historical creeds say. For the Orthodox, it’s the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed. I’m 100% behind, what the creed states and believes. And the EO goal is Theosis.
Now if you add things for contemplation, from the Wisdom (Mindfulness, Yoga (1, 2), Zen, Red Road, Golden Key) or Light ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) traditions, so much the better. It helps to be more grounded, centered and react less to stress, etc.
Even something as controversial, as joining REAL Native Americans…for a Peyote or Ayushusa ceremony, can bring healing from traumas and disease. Like I talk about in Medicine (1; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). A good topic, for someone practicing Holy Foolery. While I was hanging around, the Two Feathers Medicine Clan…they had many of these ceremonies. But I can neither confirm nor deny…whether I have ever participated…or partook of any sacrament or medicine, used in such ceremonies. But I can relate a story, of a Roman Catholic priest…he had lost his faith. He went to a peyote ceremony and found his Christian faith again. Go figure!
As far as pagan roots…let’s look at something like willow bark…it’s used for fever, headaches, etc. - by Native Americans. Then modern medicine synthesizes it and it becomes aspirin. Do we not use aspirin, because some “pagan” tribes used willow bark? Or do we NOT use something, like Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine…because it comes from “Pagan” India or China?
Anyway, as an Orthodox prospect…I can be a pain, with my questions - like these:
Anyway, I have 2 questions for today.
The first question is with language barriers with Orthodoxy. Hypothetically, let’s assume I become Orthodox (my intention). And I dabble a bit in Japanese. And I – for whatever reason – decide to vacation a month in Japan. But I know there is a self-governing Orthodox church in Japan (and I believe, recognized by the OCA). So I tell you my plans and ask for a letter of introduction – in Japanese. How would you even handle that request?
I need to at least eat, a light vegetarian meal – before communion. Because of acid reflex condition. And I have a traditional medical specialist, prescribing the medication. But I also prescribe for myself, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine tonics (in addition to the proper homeopathic remedies). Now I (as a knowable amateur), think this is best for me – in the morning - with a bit of vegetarian food, at least. How do you handle this, when I’m the subject matter expert?
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll see you at the service and at the Bible study this week. Which for the Orthodox, there is no perfect – Protestant bible. And talking with Deacon BBB, he has some reservations – about the NKJV – of which the Orthodox Study Bible, is founded upon. But they are all probably, “close enough for all practical purposes”.
Well, this came today - in an email.
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.
So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’
This is when my taxi driver taught me 'The Law of the Garbage Truck. He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so…Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it! Wishing you a wonderful garbage-free day!
And here’s what I sent, to some EO clergy today.
Thanks for answering my questions. The second question does raise the point…regarding who is considered a medical expert. Let’s say it is someone, who is a licensed doctor…who has went to medical school and passed the board exams. All well and good. But I can find doctors, that practice homeopathy. And doctors who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. I can even find doctors in Illinois, that would prescribe medical cannabis. Would that all really, be acceptable to the church? I’m not trying to be nick picky or anything. I’m just trying to understand, what constitutes a medical expert. And what medical advice, would the church be in accord with.
I can do the fast without eating. Just drinking a juice drink, with the medicine. I think that would solve the problem. And I’ll implement it, when I become Orthodox.
In regards to modern medicine, it is only a hundred years or so old. While things like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, have been around for centuries. And if you go to China Town in Chicago, you will find tons of Chinese herbal shops. Along with the corresponding medical practitioners. And perhaps 90% of the folks there, will probably pick Chinese medicine – as a first resort.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not trying to pick a fight with clergy. Or looking for loopholes. I do visit the doctor yearly…for an annual blood work and checkup. And I will go to any specialist, that the primary care physician recommends. And if a medical emergency arises, then I have no problem with hospitals, medical tests, specialists, etc.
But outside of that, I prefer to handle medical stuff for myself. This way, I’m not on a high priced medicine – that can bankrupt me. Or taking a bunch of different medications – that can have unknown interactions or terrible side effects. And many folks, come to the alternative medical stuff…when the traditional doctor, can’t do anything more for them.
Again, I’m NOT trying to pick fights with clergy. Heaven forbid! Or trying to find loopholes…like when W.C. Fields, is reading the Bible. But, as I point out in this email…Things are not always black and white.
And here’s more, on a follow-up email:
It’s usually not the doctor, that tells how to take the medicine. It’s normally the pharmacist. The doctor is normally too busy. And if you ask a question, you usually get the nurse – to give you directions. And it’s normally the same, as what the pharmacist tells you.
Well, according to my understanding…the US is the only country, to not have a universal health care system for all. And that includes other capitalist countries, like Singapore. If we had one, then I wouldn’t be so concerned – about health care costs bankrupting me.
In other medical systems, there’s something called Oriental Pulse Diagnosis. In it, an expert in the practice – can normally tell what’s wrong. And it takes years to master. I have tested this. For example, an American woman learned this. I had her take my pulse. And two minutes later, she related my acid reflex condition. Well, in western medicine…I have to see the general practitioner…then I had blood work done. He referred me to a GI Specialist. Then six weeks later (it takes time, to get an appointment - with a specialist)…he did an upper GI Tract inspection, while I was knocked out. Then he diagnosed it as “acid Reflex”.
I shouldn’t claim to be an expert on anything. Like Socrates said: “The only thing he knows for sure, is that he knows nothing”. So to minimize egocentricity, I try to say I know “a little bit” about something. However, if I say I know “a little bit” about something…and an “expert” in that disciple quizzes and drills me…then they would at least acknowledge, I know “a little bit”.
Now, as far as this contemplation stuff goes - for all here. First and foremost, I’m in accord with the creed - that the Eastern Orthodox subscribe to. And I follow the contemplative path, of silence and light. Which is in accord, with EO church tradition and theology. But I have fellowship with people, from various contemplative traditions. In the spirit of my contemplative path, of silence and light.
Notice that as a former technologist and marketing writer…I can always find, the “politically correct” way to say something.
And here is a “politically correct?” article, from today’s Patheos Evangelical Newsletter:
Just good to see you back bro
Well, anyway. Here’s the latest, on my EO and RC journey.
Here’s an email today, to an EO priest:
The thought that came to me, is that I’m allowing fear to rule me. I suffered from PTSD for several years. It was finally cured, when my mom stayed with me…the last few years of her life. This doesn’t mean that the extreme fatigue and tiredness, is all in my head. Nor does it mean that western medicine (nor other ancient healing systems), has discovered a root cause for it. It’s very real to me. But what’s the worst that can happen, if I do a complete fast before communion? I might fall asleep, during parts of the Divine Liturgy. Well, I did inform everyone about this. And it’s not a sin (in my mind), if I try my best to focus. And everyone is aware of my condition and struggle. As far as the 50 day or so fast goes…well, I did spend at least 5 years, of my life as a vegetarian – for health reasons. So I’m used to it.
And to the RCIA director:
The key is that God might want me, to go through this Eastern Orthodox way. Perhaps to let me learn. Or to get it out, of my system. But to finish the RCIA program and to keep an open dialogue with you…and members of the Catholic clergy. It is possible I have a disease, that western medicine (or other ancient medical modalities), doesn’t have a root cause for. And it also occurred to me…If this same situation occurred, in an Eastern Catholic church…perhaps the clergy might have given a different response…perhaps they might have granted me an exception, to the midnight to communion fast. Or they might have stirred me, to the Western RC path. Am I correct? In that their might be more then one approach to that situation, in the Eastern Catholic church – depending on who the individual priest is? Well, see you on Tuesday
Now both might think I’m crazy…but are people following the path of Holy Foolery, really crazy?..even if they appear to be so, to the outside world.
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell
I sure don’t think you are crazy HF. “Keep right on to the end of the road”.