Here's a trio of Museworthy quotations or excerpts from one eloquent and visionary leader, and two inspired writers of different generations, but all "born into interesting times." Two were born in the mid to late 1920s, and the third was... Continue Reading →
Earth Energy Reader (in The Shift Has Hit the Fan blog) shares an interesting comparison from Chris Hedges, on the similarities between mystics and rebels, and a few related musings.
In a time and culture of Spiritual Entertainment and commoditized, (sometimes referred to as) ‘plastic’ or faux, surface-skimming spirituality, or spiritual bypass, it’s a good distinction to make.
But actual transformation, or transformed nonconformists as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of it (more on that below)? That’s a vital type of engaged spiritual or mystic activism, as it’s called.
It’s messy, though; gritty, difficult … inconvenient … so there’s a reason why it’s a more rare bird that flies in that direction.
Perhaps that’s why it’s a calling rather than a choice if you are so called; it’s a call you can’t ignore or hang up on when it gets inconvenient or downright ugly, and it definitely gets inconvenient and downright ugly at times.
As I think of several of my Mystic Heroes and Heroines along the way, I’m inclined to agree that yes, there are ways that true mystics — definitely outside the ‘normal’ of their (our) times — are like rebels. And vice versa, in the ways Chris Hedges describes.
If you follow the Mystic Breadcrumb trail, you’ll see what I mean (Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, and most assuredly Theresa of Avila … and others). Perhaps a followup post on those inspiring Mystic-Rebelles is in order, because they deserve it…okay, it’s on the writing list.
In the meanwhile, Earth Energy Reader’s post is a very worthy, and heart-and-thought-stirring, read.
It also reminds me of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s evocative phrases: Creative Maladjustment and Transformed Nonconformists (I wrote about that here – definitely Mystic-Rebel goin’ on there, and very inspiring if you are one!).
And a recent article sharing contemporary Mystic and Teacher, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s recent interview in Parabola Magazine (scroll a few posts from the Sophia’s Children home page and you’ll see it).
Mystics. Rebels. Transformed Nonconformists. We have a theme brewing here …
“Rebels share much in common with religious mystics. They hold fast to a vision that often they alone can see. They view rebellion as a moral imperative, even as they concede that the hope of success is slim and at times impossible. Rebels, a number of whom I interviewed for this book, are men and women endowed with a particular obstinacy. Willing to accept deprivation and self-sacrifice, they are not overly concerned with defeat. They endure through a fierce independence and courage. Many, maybe most, have difficult and eccentric personalities. The best of them are driven by a profound empathy, even love, for the vulnerable, the persecuted and the weak….There is nothing rational about rebellion. To rebel against insurmountable odds is an act of faith, without which the rebel is doomed. This faith is intrinsic to the rebel the way caution and prudence are intrinsic to those who seek to…
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This is a powerful perspective from Gary ‘Z’ McGee, shared by Laura Bruno.
Gary Z’s article includes some of my own favorite themes and insights, like the fierce-and-fiery wisdom of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King when he spoke of creative nonconformists — or rather creative maladjustment and transformed nonconformists to be specific.
These sorts of insights and inspirations are intimately linked with the Transformation-and-Phoenixing theme in my previous Sophia’s Children post — it’s always helpful to renew our remembrance of just why that whole ashes-to-Phoenix process might be purposeful if it births the fierce-and-fiery wisdom and transformed-nonconformity required of a ‘David’ (or a Davida, as it were!).
Here are a few bits from Gary’s article; read on and you’ll find more:
“The hope of a secure livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and spiritual freedom have always been nonconformists. It any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist.” ~ the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“It takes courage to stand along, especially when standing against Goliath while also attempting to show others how they are not Goliath. Diane Grant said it best, “It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.” But it’s even better to point others in the right direction as you go.”
Amen to that!
This would be the very discerning-yet-fierce Jupiter in Virgo ‘Service Thing’ I mentioned in the recent post.
More on this whole fierce-discerning-Phoenix topic coming up … it’s brewing up strong in the creative cauldron right now.
In the meanwhile, thanks for sharing this one, Laura. Perfect medicine for now.
Another good one from Gary Z McGee! If you don’t know what Rope-A-Dope is, please click here for references and explanation.
Turning the Table on Unsustainable Systems is Like Playing Rope-A-Dope with Goliath.
“Withdrawal in the face of moral complexity is no answer. Withdrawal in the face of atrocity is no answer. Two hundred species went extinct today. When faced with those committing atrocities, it is incumbent upon you to stop those atrocities using any means necessary. If you were being tortured to death in some basement, and I knew this, would you want me to walk away? Would you accept it if I said, “Oh, here’s an answer, I will walk away.” What would you call me if I did that? What would you call anyone else who did that?” –Derrick Jensen
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