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by David Sparenberg
2014-12-28 11:37:45
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Hello!  Listen to me.  I wish to convert you.  Not to convert you to Islam.  Not to convert you to Christianity.  Not to Judaism.  Not Hinduism, Humanism.  Not to Buddhism, Taoism, Paganism.  Not to any other religion or dogma.

But rather to lead you from madness to sanity.  To convince you that healing is superior to destroying the planet.  That even the attempts at love are better than torture, terror and murder.  That any victory for peace is greater than winning a history of wars.  That kindness empowers the soul that is corrupted beyond itself by hatred.  That honoring diversity throughout creation is antidote to the toxic consumption of everything, animate and inanimate.

Of course yes, I understand that madness is a status quo and it is easier and seems safer to remain as you are. That sanity requires change.  That the evil habits of inhumanity have established their authority within the comfort zone of civilization.  And that pretense, long before us, became more popular and profitable than honesty.  That justice, life's common salt, opens the way to dialogue and commensality.

And yet, yet still, I ask that you take a minute, one full minute only, to contemplate the face of a child without anger or bias, to caress a single blade of grass or flower's petals, or to meditate on the antithetical balance and the generosity and longevity of a tree.

Then, shall we make a go of it together?  Let us try, you and I.  A simple beginning: to remove the blinding cinders of violence from your eyes, the thorns of vengeance from your heart, the serpents and the shadows and the hisses of fears and delusion from the intimate place where you live.  And where we may in some tenderness of twilight-quiet sit down together over a cup of tea.  To wonder there why we hesitated, and why it took us so long to feel joy in the presence of one another.

David Sparenberg
16 December 2014

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Emanuel Paparella2014-12-28 16:36:18
Well put David. Indeed, grace builds on nature and to destroy nature is to leave little for grace to work upon.

Most people who respect their nature as human beings and what it means to be human, would concur that there is only one genuine conversion which underpins any other conversion, and that is the conversion of the heart and its harmonizing to the mind in a holistic mode. Any religion or creed or orthodoxy that does not promote that kind of conversion is a pseudo religion, a fraudulent operation better described perhaps as a cult or an ideology. A cult or an ideology, divorced from the heart, can be easily be detected by its more outstanding characteristics: brutal fanaticism and intolerance contemptuous of any ethical considerations and proclaiming that "might is right."

As the Prince of Peace, whom we are currently celebrating in this special season, put it two thousand years ago: "by their fruits you shall know them."

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