Posts Tagged ‘Compulsion’

Compulsions vs. Intentions

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

A vast gulf separates “compulsion” from “intention.”

Our compulsions are born from pleasure centers.  Growing out of self-centeredness, compulsions tend to be known by the fevered neediness that drives us to choose paths that become increasingly irrational and increasingly destructive.  Compulsions fail to see the bigger picture beyond hedonistic survival and thrills.

Most people, particularly young people, have no knowledge that the purpose of their life is union with Divine Reality. They have been told that the purpose of life is to get a degree and make money and have kids and die. That’s the narrowed-down secular understanding of reality, which is de facto followed by many Christians. Most are no longer connected to the perennial philosophy, and just waste time fighting their own religion. This is not wisdom at all—it is low-level survival. We’re now living in a largely survival mode in most Western cultures. No wonder so many of our kids turn to drugs, drink, and promiscuous sex, because there’s nothing else that’s very exciting or very true.  Fr. Richard Rohr

The counter to it is understanding and cultivating intention.  Our intention is often the foil for compulsion.  Most of us (all maybe) hold within ourselves a deeply embedded desire to serve, to help, to live a life of self-less purpose.  This occurs when “our love for ourselves becomes a love of service … our love of power for our own sake becomes a love of power for the sake of service…. Goodness and service are the same things.”  DP 233

I think Swedenborg nailed it when he wrote that our job to deliver to life our best intentions on God’s behalf.  Service is the glue.  So thank you to those willing to live out of intention, an intention to draw alongside suffering and serve those in need.


Almost anything can become a god

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Almost anything can become a god.   That is why the first commandment in the Old Testament stated clearly – “You shall have no other gods before My face.”  Our faith clearly centers itself in that same warning.  “…any person or thing that is loved above all things, becomes a god, and is divine.”  (True Christianity)

It is hard to keep perspective around this simple concept.  God does not demand 24/7 attention.   God is not “needy.” He is not a struggling co-dependant searching for constant attention.  God is giving and in that giving, actually a rather quiet presence.

So how do we keep the find the right degree of attentiveness?

First, be aware of obsession and compulsion (including religious!).   Freedom fails to grow where obsession and compulsion take deep, binding root.  Obsession and compulsion – the not to do list.

Second be aware of the need for quiet.  As I grow older, the more I feel pulled to the concept that God’s voice most often shows as luminescent silence.  It is not the silence of “Hello is anyone out there?”  It is the silence of our souls, deeply anchored in God, but now free from the trappings and clutching and control born of our ego.