Am vorigen Wochenende habe ich mich zusammen mit meiner Glaubensgemeinschaft in einer Retraite zum Thema “Scheitern und Resilienz – was macht uns widerstandsfähig in Krisensituationen und was hat Spiritualität damit zu tun?” auseinandergesetzt. Im Rahmen dieses Wochenendes ist auch das obige Bild entstanden. Sich Gedanken zu machen zur Lebensbilanz ist etwas Nachdenkliches, manchmal Schweres, auch sehr Wertvolles. Dabei ist von den Teilnehmenden immer wieder betont worden, wie wert- und sinnvoll das Eingebettet-Sein in eine Form von Gemeinschaft ist. Es fällt uns leichter, die schweren und dunkeln Anteile des Lebens zu tragen, wenn wir genügend Schlaf bekommen, uns regelmässig bewegen und tätig sein können. Und…
…das Gegenteil des Scheiterns ist nicht der Erfolg, sondern die Freude, so wie das Gegenteil des Bösen nicht das Gute ist, sondern die SINNHAFTIGKEIT. Mit anderen Worten, die menschliche Existenz wurde nicht als etwas Fröhliches erschaffen, sondern sie wurde zum Zweck der Freude, für die Freude als solche und um Freude zu werden, erschaffen. Das Evangelium setzt dem Bösen, dem Leben im Negativen, dem Scheitern, nicht das Gute, nicht die ideale Existenz und nicht den Erfolg entgegen. Es widersetzt sich ihnen mit – es offeriert uns – SINNHAFTIGKEIT, eine Einladung zur Freude.
Last weekend I went on a retreat with my congregation on the topic “Failure and resilience – what makes us resistant in crisis situations and what does spirituality have to do with it?” The above picture was taken during this weekend. To reflect on life’s summary is something pensive, sometimes difficult, also very valuable. The participants repeatedly emphasized how valuable and meaningful it is to be embedded in some form of community. It is easier for us to bear the heavy and dark sides of life if we get enough sleep, move regularly and can be active. As well…
…the opposite of failure is not success but joy, just as the opposite of evil is not good but Meaning. In other words, human existence was not created joyful, it was created for the purpose of joy, for joy itself, for becoming joy. To evil, to negative existence, to failure, the Gospel does not oppose good, ideal existence, or success. It opposes them with – it offers us – Meaning, a vision of joy.
(…) le contraire de l’échec n’est pas le succès mais la joie, comme le contraire du mal n’est pas le bien mais le Sens. En d’autres termes, l’existence humaine n’a pas été créée joyeuse, elle a été créée en vue de la joie, pour la joie, en direction de la joie. Au mal, à l’existence au négatif, à l’échec, l’Evangile n’oppose pas le bien, l’existence idéale, la réussite. Il leur oppose, il nous propose un Sens, un en-vue-de la joie.
(Lytta Basset: La joie imprenable, 1996)
Invite somebody to read - Lade jemand zum lesen ein:
“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”
It is in part my own unsettled feeling that has made me pay attention to an article titled TheSpirituality of Restlessness in a pamphlet by the Friends World Committee for Consultation.
In this pamphlet, Snyder (2010) describes spiritual restlessness as archetypal. He describes it as “the call to leave the known for the unknown” (Snyder, p. 2). He makes the assertion that it is found in all religious traditions. Continue reading “Spiritual restlessness”→
Invite somebody to read - Lade jemand zum lesen ein:
During meditation this morning, it occurred to me that Maundy Thursday is the day during the lenten season and the holy week that embodies the calling of my life: To be of compassionate service and to live in community. Maundy Thursday is the day of the biblical last supper and the foot-washing ceremony, two strong symbols for community and service.
Während der heutigen Morgenmeditation wurde mir klar, dass der Gründonnerstag der Tag ist während der Fastenzeit und Karwoche, der meine Berufung im Leben am besten verkörpert: Im Dienste des Nächsten und gemeinschaftlich Leben. Am Gründonnerstag wird in der christlichen Tradition das letzte Abendmahl und die Fusswaschungszeremonie gefeiert. Das sind zwei starke Symbole für Dienst am Nächsten und Gemeinschaft.
Bei der Ankunft im ehemaligen Kapuziner Kloster, dem heutigen Haus der Gastfreundschaft, ist eine grosse, steinerne Gedenktafel sichtbar. Obwohl die Tafel in erster Line auf die Baugeschichte des historischen Gebäudes verweist, lässt sich aus dem ersten Satz viel Vorgeschichte heraus lesen:
„Zur Beruhigung der bitteren Untertanen schickte nach dem Bauernkrieg von 1653 der Rat von Luzern die Kapuziner nach Schüpfheim und erbaute ihnen auf eigene Kosten hier, wo bisher ein Galgen mit Überresten hingerichteter Bauernführer stand, Kirche und Kloster.
(All mentioned documents are linked directly to the original source.)
The preamble to the new strategy document outlines very nicely what a better Yukon for all means: “A socially inclusive society is one where all people feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live with dignity. It is a society where everyone has the opportunity to participate and to have their voice heard.’ (p. 8) And it continues with deep insight about social exclusion: it “is the result of barriers in the social, economic, political and cultural systems” (p. 8).
In the introduction, the scope of the strategy is presented as a guideline to social policy development; or in other words, how government will facilitate a way of meaningfully living together. From the research the government conducted, it concluded that service delivery and access to services appear the main reasons for the fact that some people in the Yukon do not feel included. Furthermore, “poverty is one of the most obvious factors contributing to social exclusion, but social exclusion also stems from and is exacerbated by inadequate education, housing, health, social participation, employment and access to services (p. 8)”.
please enjoy and get inspired by this teaser film for a documentary called “LandFillharmonic” I found on an other blogsite. It is excellent evidence that we can make the best out of whatever we have, even if we have nothing!
“One day it occurred to me to teach music to the children of the recyclers and use my personal instruments,” explains 36 year-old Chávez, who worked as an ecological technician at the landfill. “But it got to the point that there were too many students and not enough supply. So that’s when I decided to experiment and try to actually create a few.”
Working beside the families for years Chávez eventually made friends and became acutely aware that the children needed something positive in their lives. He was inspired to do something to help. He began using the trash in the landfill to create instruments for the children.
The town of Cateura was built virtually on top of a landfill. Situated along the banks of the Paraguay River, the landfill receives over 1,500 more tons of solid waste each day. There are seven different neighborhoods built around the landfill, accounting for over 2500 families living in close proximity to dangerous waste. Most of the families, including children, are employed by the landfill as recyclers. The poverty has forced children to work in the landfills, neglecting any education that might lead them to a better life. (from: artjournal.com)
It matches the powerful message of my own film project about community development, empowerment, and resourcefulness “Healing in Babalmé”. Watch the short film on YouTube or follow this link:
Now it is official, I have been accepted into membership of the Religious Society of Friends. I would like to share a quote from the report of the clearness committee that helped me discern whether becoming a Quaker is the right step for me and the Victoria Friends Meeting at this time:
…His readings, experience and deep reflections about his spiritual journey and its congruence with his life of service led him to apply for membership after some email exchanges and conversations with VFM members.
Our clearness committee enjoyed a lively visit with Othmar. He exhibits a remarkable mix of delightful enthusiasm and direct, serious, and practical commitment to humane principals. He also has deeply realistic expectations about his service without cynicism or romanticism. We appreciated his good natured story-telling which was appropriately serious without solemnity. We feel that he is committed to spiritual openings compatible with our understanding of Quaker faith and practice. He seeks to deepen his spiritual life with support from Quakers and in particular our Victoria Meeting…
…We recommend his acceptance into membership with joy and the conviction that our conjoined spiritual lives of worship and service will benefit.
In a previous post I made the statement that “we are insignificant but essential particles in the universe”. Out the of the entire article, this statement yielded an immediate reaction from the readership. I then recalled that I made a similar entry in my diary last summer during the time I was visiting in Switzerland:
A thought about the rank of self within the higher order of the universe: I am a small, insignificant part of a much larger organism. Despite that smallness, the self is assigned a significance of its own because it is at the same time a manifestation of the whole; also because it bears its own potential within. That potential is a substantial part of the larger organism, without which the whole would not be complete.
(my own translation from German)
I believe this thinking is influenced by the thought of Mahatma Gandhi.