“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:4 NIV)

 

If you are like me, you may have associated this common commandment with a prohibition against creating carved idols. Or perhaps you may have ventured out to where you understood it as a prohibition against worshipping anything (money, people, status, etc). But what if I were to tell you that this can be seen as more than that.

 

Take this line with my emphasis: “You shall not make for yourself...and consider that it may be a prohibition against molding yourself/limiting yourself to any ideal.

 

Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Dan Millman, Lao Tzu,  Adulus Huxley, Benjamin Hoff and I am sure others have spoken about this in many different ways, this prohibition against “ideal-lizing”, and yet, here we are.

 

Here we are in a society divided and subdivided based on dynamic identities and imagined polarities. Here we are in a time where dialogue is replaced with carefully crafted debate designed to make winners and losers, but not crafted for connection. Here we are. Here we are between the woke and the sleep, but there is no room for those who are just tired. Here we are.

 

But where are we the Jedi? Can I tell you something a little embarrassing? Today I did a meditation in the meditation voice channel and something popped into my head about the Jedi Path book. “Jedi meditate five times a day”. And I thought to myself, I’m going to do that! Why? I have this tendency to want to “be” a Jedi. Or even to “be” a Christian or to “be” an African American or to “be” an SSI Advocate or any of the myriad of ideas I have. Most of the time I be pulled in many different directions and  I be tired, I be sick, I be confused.  And maybe I be alone, but maybe  not. I be writing this for me...and maybe a few others.

 

To remind us to:

Follow our bliss-Joseph Campbell. Your bliss is not bound by rules and regulations and ideals of others. It comes from the heart. It is, fundamentally, what you know how to do. It is you in your truest sense, in your highest form, at your most fulfilled

 

Remember you are still the Big Bang way way out on the edge of the universe.-Alan Watts.  We are not so separated from who we are that we have to do a lot of contortions to become something higher, something better, something more. We are the universe in motion, coming on as whatever we are. Just because we sometimes forget doesn’t make it any less true.

 

Remember Pooh (p’u) the uncarved block. -Benjamin Hoff. If we truly believe we are designed for a purpose, we certainly don’t need to be redesigned. If we are designed with no purpose in mind except to make our own, we certainly can’t make it by trying to be something other than what we are.

 

Remember that outward authority cannot bring inward order”-Jiddu Krishnamurti. Nothing imposed is authentic. Not to say that it’s not useful as a temporary aide, but eventually, what we do must come from the heart, from our bliss.

 

Tao te Ching 38-Lao Tzu

 

The Master doesn't try to be powerful;

thus he is truly powerful.

The ordinary man keeps reaching for power;

thus he never has enough. The Master does nothing,

yet he leaves nothing undone.

The ordinary man is always doing things,

yet many more are left to be done. The kind man does something,

yet something remains undone.

The just man does something,

and leaves many things to be done.

The moral man does something,

and when no one responds

he rolls up his sleeves and uses force. When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.

When goodness is lost, there is morality.

When morality is lost, there is ritual.

Ritual is the husk of true faith,

the beginning of chaos. Therefore the Master concerns himself

with the depths and not the surface,

with the fruit and not the flower.

He has no will of his own.

He dwells in reality,

and lets all illusions go.  

 

May you be well, and may the Force be with you, always

 

Comments (8)

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Well done, Ros ! :)

Indeed, ideals we hold in too high esteem is a form of idolatry. It isn't just 'worshiping statues'. As it were, just about anything we hold a passion for (or perhaps where a passion for something "holds" us ?) could be...

Well done, Ros ! :)

Indeed, ideals we hold in too high esteem is a form of idolatry. It isn't just 'worshiping statues'. As it were, just about anything we hold a passion for (or perhaps where a passion for something "holds" us ?) could be considered idolatry. Worth a ponder...

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A very helpful message, Ros. The smooth way you integrated teachings from so many sources to form a single message makes it very potent.

My over-simplified, but easy-to-remember, takeaway is "Don't try to be what you aren't. Rely upon what...

A very helpful message, Ros. The smooth way you integrated teachings from so many sources to form a single message makes it very potent.

My over-simplified, but easy-to-remember, takeaway is "Don't try to be what you aren't. Rely upon what you genuinely are to carry you through life's journey."

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This is beautiful, and I am very grateful for the time and effort you put into this sermon. Thank you for your work!
MTFBWY

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I'm revisiting this post, and wondered ... does anyone know what translation of the Tao te Ching the final quote is from? It is much clearer than the versions I've encountered so far (which admittedly is not a broad set).

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It'll be Stephen Mitchell, one of my favorite and most accesable translations: https://terebess.hu/english/tao/mitchell.html#Kap38

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Thank you Ros! Much appreciated.

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Thank you for the lovely sermon!

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Beautifully done! Thank you! MTFBWY

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