Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Rage and Realization

 

“There is a story of a great Samurai who comes to visit the Zen master, Hakuin. The Samurai approaches the Zen master and bows dutifully, asking, ‘Sir, I wish to understand the difference between heaven and hell.’ The Zen master looks at the Samurai and, eyeing him from head to toe, says, ‘I would tell you but I doubt that you have the keenness of wit to understand.’ The Samurai pulls back in astonishment. ‘Do you know who you are speaking to?’ he huffs. ‘Not much,” says the Zen master, “I really think you are probably too dull to understand.’ ‘What?’ says the Samurai. ‘How can you talk to me like this?’ ‘Oh, don’t be silly,’ says the Zen master. ‘Who do you think you are? And that thing hanging by your waist. You call that a sword? It’s more like a butter knife.’ The Samurai, becoming enraged draws his sword and raises it over his head to strike the Zen master. ‘Ah,’ says the Zen master. ‘That is hell.’ The Samurai’s eyes shine with recognition as he bows and sheathes his sword. ‘And that,’ says the Zen master, ‘is heaven.’” — Stephen Levine, Who Dies?

Stress is running through America like a restless stream, breaching its boundaries. Unless you live in a cave, you’re not immune. And the stress craves a voice, a way to make itself known. It shows up when we voice our impatience at our spouse, or yell at a child for a minor issue, or rant at a co-worker. Many of our actions may be bloodless, but they are leaving tiny wounds in those we care about. Those of us who normally have long fuses are erupting, surprising ourselves and those around us.

But then we suddenly wake up. We notice a person’s hurt look, experience an unusual push-back, or even a person’s tears. And we realize that our stress, frustration, or fear has decided to strike out. If we own our own behavior, we apologize. But more than apologize, we can vow to be more aware, to take responsibility for the difficulties all around us, to empathize with those who are concerned just as we are. We can vow to be engaged.

We can choose heaven or languish in hell.

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  1. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: We can choose heaven or languish in hell.

    I choose to write and play video games . . . sounds like heaven to me!

    • #1
    • March 25, 2020, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Since I cured myself of yelling many years ago, I rarely lose my composure in that way. (I do happy dances which is a good way to lose my composure, unless you have to watch me.) But I have an irritated edge, a sharp tongue, and I don’t even realize what I’m experiencing in the moment. So I’m trying to pay attention. All the wounds we inflict aren’t always deep ones, but little gashes on a person who is already feeling vulnerable are not good.

    • #2
    • March 25, 2020, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    And don’t forget to give people we love permission to be stinkers without us flying back at them. 

    Let go and let love, as my old nun used to say.

    • #3
    • March 25, 2020, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    And don’t forget to give people we love permission to be stinkers without us flying back at them.

    Let go and let love, as my old nun used to say.

    So true, Mama Toad. The key is that we all lose it sometimes. But we don’t want to make a habit of it. We need to be kind to ourselves and others, too.

    • #4
    • March 25, 2020, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan, I love to prayer the Lord’s prayer, which contains the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He’s not talking about property rights but rather telling us to make ourselves as merciful as we want God to be to us. I want to have a nice full measure of merciful acts built up for myself against the day of judgement!

    • #5
    • March 25, 2020, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Susan, I love to prayer the Lord’s prayer, which contains the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He’s not talking about property rights but rather telling us to make ourselves as merciful as we want God to be to us. I want to have a nice full measure of merciful acts built up for myself against the day of judgement!

    Mama Toad, I have to believe that you of all people have already gained your full measure, but we also behave that way because we are called to do it. Thanks so much.

    • #6
    • March 25, 2020, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Susan, I love to prayer the Lord’s prayer, which contains the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He’s not talking about property rights but rather telling us to make ourselves as merciful as we want God to be to us. I want to have a nice full measure of merciful acts built up for myself against the day of judgement!

    As Kevin Williamson said on that subject in a recent blog, he believes that part of the Lord’s Prayer is conditional. I agree with him. The “as” in that sentence is a very strong word.

    • #7
    • March 25, 2020, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Old Bathos Moderator

    Hakuin is a moron. Who wears a sword in heaven? Anyway..

    I think there is a lot of unhappiness and lack of meaning and purpose out there so lots of people really need to find enemies for it all to make some kind of sense.

    I lost it on somebody’s Facebook page the other day. He is an exceptionally good fellow but the kind of Catholic liberal who drives me nuts (Dude, the Democratic Party literally now hates everything you value and believe, wants to destroy all traditional religion; as an orthodox Catholic Democrat in 2020 you are like somebody in 1938 trying to start a Jews for Hitler movement..)

    Anyway, he posted an article debunking the idea that Pelosi was stalling emergency funding to get more money for abortions and Planned Parenthood. A week or so ago that was a sticking point in earlier funding bills. She got that funding and then moved on to an outrageous last-minute partisan shopping list to cause the current legislative breakdown.

    After Pelosi’s move was initially reported with disapproval by even the NYT and CNN, there was a need to provide cover. So clickbait was created by the usual media suspects to give her cover. A popular tactic was to say that she did not behave badly, it was those idiot right-wingers who think the current legislative conflict was about abortion. So like the fellow whose page I flamed on, the people who retweeted or reposted this line of spin were being used by those trying to manipulate them to deflect from what Pelosi did but the retweeters and reposters actually thought they were really showing they were ever so much smarter than those stupid Trump defenders (how Trump is involved in this particular issue is a mystery but hey, Orange Man Bad and aren’t we the clever ones?)

    That this level of manipulated discourse is what we are reduced to enrages me. That it is so prevalent we can’t transcend it even in a time of common crisis is terrifying. And I haven’t found a way entirely out of that hellish anger myself. Still wearing the sword.

    • #8
    • March 25, 2020, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Stad Thatcher

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Susan, I love to prayer the Lord’s prayer, which contains the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He’s not talking about property rights but rather telling us to make ourselves as merciful as we want God to be to us. I want to have a nice full measure of merciful acts built up for myself against the day of judgement!

    Exactly! The “trespass” referred to is sin. I cringe whenever I hear the version that says “debts” because that sounds like we’re talking about lending money . . .

    • #9
    • March 25, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    That this level of manipulated discourse is what we are reduced to enrages me. That it is so prevalent we can’t transcend it even in a time of common crisis is terrifying. And I haven’t found a way entirely out of that hellish anger myself. Still wearing the sword.

    You speak for me, too, @oldbathos–enrages me, terrifying, hellish anger. How people will twist themselves into pretzels to hold on to their bizarre beliefs is impossible for me to understand. That’s why I’m not on Facebook and Twitter. I’d be wearing my sword every moment. We are comrades in arms.

    • #10
    • March 25, 2020, at 9:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Vectorman Thatcher

    Join other Ricochet members by submitting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation. There are many days available on the April Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #11
    • March 25, 2020, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    (Dude, the Democratic Party literally now hates everything you value and believe, wants to destroy all traditional religion; as an orthodox Catholic Democrat in 2020 you are like somebody in 1938 trying to start a Jews for Hitler movement..)

    OldB,

    You think you got problems, we’ve got Jews so blindly lockstep liberal that they’d join a Fair Play for Hitler society. Well, at least they’d donate money. A really good guy at the shul who was way over 80 but knew exactly what he was doing was Harry. He’d been in the pacific in WWII and they made him a Sargent. I would joke with him that the reason that the Army made him a Sargent was because they found out that he actually knew what he was doing. That would make him laugh. Anyway, we had a running joke. He would come up to me and say, “That Obama did you hear what he did. That’s it for me I’m only gonna give him half of what I gave him last year.” Now I’d laugh.

    Suzy is right. It’s good to laugh. Even though you’d like to grab them by the throat or maybe get a 2 lb sledge and pound them into the ground like a tent stake, it isn’t healthy for you. In these trying times (did I just actually start a sentence with that kind of maudlin…) we must all learn to appreciate life more.

    Chill baby.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
    • March 25, 2020, at 12:00 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    (Dude, the Democratic Party literally now hates everything you value and believe, wants to destroy all traditional religion; as an orthodox Catholic Democrat in 2020 you are like somebody in 1938 trying to start a Jews for Hitler movement..)

    OldB,

    You think you got problems, we’ve got Jews so blindly lockstep liberal that they’d join a Fair Play for Hitler society. Well, at least they’d donate money. A really good guy at the shul who was way over 80 but knew exactly what he was doing was Harry. He’d been in the pacific in WWII and they made him a Sargent. I would joke with him that the reason that the Army made him a Sargent was because they found out that he actually knew what he was doing. That would make him laugh. Anyway, we had a running joke. He would come up to me and say, “That Obama did you hear what he did. That’s it for me I’m only gonna give him half of what I gave him last year.” Now I’d laugh.

    Suzy is right. It’s good to laugh. Even though you’d like to grab them by the throat or maybe get a 2 lb sledge and pound them into the ground like a tent stake, it isn’t healthy for you. In these trying times (did I just actually start a sentence with that kind of maudlin…) we must all learn to appreciate life more.

    Chill baby.

    Regards,

    Jim

    I’m curious, Jim. Are you Facebook or Twitter person? Just wondering. I was on Facebook once years ago and I couldn’t take it. I doubt that I could just chill myself.

    • #13
    • March 25, 2020, at 12:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Susan, I love to prayer the Lord’s prayer, which contains the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He’s not talking about property rights but rather telling us to make ourselves as merciful as we want God to be to us. I want to have a nice full measure of merciful acts built up for myself against the day of judgement!

    As Kevin Williamson said on that subject in a recent blog, he believes that part of the Lord’s Prayer is conditional. I agree with him. The “as” in that sentence is a very strong word.

    Peter Kreeft tells a story where someone asks, “Do you duck when you say that part?” 

    • #14
    • March 25, 2020, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    (Dude, the Democratic Party literally now hates everything you value and believe, wants to destroy all traditional religion; as an orthodox Catholic Democrat in 2020 you are like somebody in 1938 trying to start a Jews for Hitler movement..)

    OldB,

    You think you got problems, we’ve got Jews so blindly lockstep liberal that they’d join a Fair Play for Hitler society. Well, at least they’d donate money. A really good guy at the shul who was way over 80 but knew exactly what he was doing was Harry. He’d been in the pacific in WWII and they made him a Sargent. I would joke with him that the reason that the Army made him a Sargent was because they found out that he actually knew what he was doing. That would make him laugh. Anyway, we had a running joke. He would come up to me and say, “That Obama did you hear what he did. That’s it for me I’m only gonna give him half of what I gave him last year.” Now I’d laugh.

    Suzy is right. It’s good to laugh. Even though you’d like to grab them by the throat or maybe get a 2 lb sledge and pound them into the ground like a tent stake, it isn’t healthy for you. In these trying times (did I just actually start a sentence with that kind of maudlin…) we must all learn to appreciate life more.

    Chill baby.

    Regards,

    Jim

    I’m curious, Jim. Are you Facebook or Twitter person? Just wondering. I was on Facebook once years ago and I couldn’t take it. I doubt that I could just chill myself.

    Suzy,

    I had a Facebook account around 2010. I was working on a political campaign and it was effective for that. The other reason was that I really hadn’t used my writing skills since college. Just the little political jabs I’d do on Facebook got my writing going again. Then the campaign was over and I discovered Ricochet. Of course, what I wanted to write for Ricochet was much more sophisticated but I decided that was good because now that I had warmed up I was ready for bigger challenges. I shut off the Facebook account and have never turned it back on. With my desire to improve writing ability I never wanted to get a twitter account. To waste time conversing in 152 characters or less of sub-grammatical blurbs was exactly what I didn’t want to do.

    No, Suzy, I can’t blame social media. There are certain things that pull my chain. For instance the Obama Administration. Obama represented for me all of the things that I had done and thought at age 19 that I didn’t want to do or think ever again. In short, just listening to the clown would really make me furious. Right now this Coronavirus madness was doing the same thing to me. For a while, I was just furious that they hadn’t allowed the implementation of any of the anti-viral drugs. This brought me back to my early 20s selling instruments in the middle west and watching Jimmy Carter destroy America. How I hated that man.

    Yesterday, the FDA approved the first anti-virals for use in New York. Today they have got Pelosi & Schumer to agree to a Virus Relief Package and the stock market is pulling back some of the ground it lost. In this, I see the hand of Trump but most importantly I see the hand of Gd.

    Thanks for your concern it is always appreciated.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #15
    • March 25, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Ontheleftcoast Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):
    usan, I love to prayer the Lord’s prayer, which contains the line, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He’s not talking about property rights but rather telling us to make ourselves as merciful as we want God to be to us.

    In these times in which money worries are big stress for many, Matthew Hudson’s
    …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year is an interesting read. A relevant excerpt:

    Matthew 6:12 reads Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (tois opeheiletias)“. . . . in many languages the words “debt,” “trespass,” and “sin” have interchangeable meanings… Luke 11:4 breaks the parallelism, saying “forgive us our ‘sins’ (tas hamartias) as we forgive our debtors (tois opheiletais).”. . .
    London Drake cites two reasons why monetary debts rather than non-financial moral sins must be meant. First, the Lord’s Prayer “petition is unusual because it incorporates human action into a prayer, and uses the language of debt.” Creditors can forgive debts, and the wealthy can give to charity, but only God can forgive sins. Also, there are philological reasons for its use of a word meaning specifically monetary debts.

    • #16
    • March 25, 2020, at 1:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    And Matthew was a tax collector, so the debt thing was kind of right up his alley…

    • #17
    • March 25, 2020, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Ontheleftcoast Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    And Matthew was a tax collector, so the debt thing was kind of right up his alley…

    Hudson’s book is a long examination of the debt forgiveness of the Jubilee and its regional cognates — and the social functions they served.

    A tax collector of the day would certainly have been in a position to have extensively observed the ramifications of debt and, by extension, debt forgiveness.

    Job said “But I would behold God while still in my flesh;” this is generally construed as meaning either that Job did not believe in life after death, or that he was forced to perceive G-d in the judgements and afflictions that had been brought on him.

    Grammatically, however, it can be read “by means of my flesh,” meaning that as mortal beings with a partially animal nature, our flesh and (and however you understand out spiritual or G-dly aspect which coexists with our bodies only because we are not yet dead) is the only instrument we have by which we can perceive Him.

    That would include the experiences we have had in the flesh… such as being a tax collector. It is inevitable that these color the way we perceive the divine light.

    • #18
    • March 25, 2020, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. Aloha Johnny Member
    Aloha Johnny Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I know about the frayed nerves, yesterday I had employee lose his cool with a few other employees. It is his second offense and normally he would be gone no questions asked. He has been very stressed out about the whole situation and has been taking care of a few grandkids, adding to his stress. Now I gotta figure out if I give him another chance or let him go. Forgive those who trespass…..

    • #19
    • March 26, 2020, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Aloha Johnny (View Comment):

    I know about the frayed nerves, yesterday I had employee lose his cool with a few other employees. It is his second offense and normally he would be gone no questions asked. He has been very stressed out about the whole situation and has been taking care of a few grandkids, adding to his stress. Now I gotta figure out if I give him another chance or let him go. Forgive those who trespass…..

    That is really a tough one. I hope the answer becomes clear for you.

    • #20
    • March 26, 2020, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Aloha Johnny Member
    Aloha Johnny Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Aloha Johnny (View Comment):

    I know about the frayed nerves, yesterday I had employee lose his cool with a few other employees. It is his second offense and normally he would be gone no questions asked. He has been very stressed out about the whole situation and has been taking care of a few grandkids, adding to his stress. Now I gotta figure out if I give him another chance or let him go. Forgive those who trespass…..

    That is really a tough one. I hope the answer becomes clear for you.

    Thanks! Present compassion vs future liability…

     

    • #21
    • March 27, 2020, at 7:09 AM PDT
    • 1 like