In an attempt to bring you, surfer, all sides of the present moment teachings, I brought in a ringer.
America has no now. We’re reluctant to acknowledge the present. It’s too embarrasing. Instead, we reach into the past. Our culture is composed of sequels, reruns, remakes, revivals, reissues, re-releases, re-creations, re-enactments, adaptations, anniversaries, memorabilia, oldies radio, and nostalgia record collections… There’s really no harm reviewing the past from time to time; knowing where you’ve been is part of knowing where you are, and all that happy horses**t. But the American media have an absolute fixation on this. They rob us of our present by insisting on the past. If they were able, I’m sure they would pay equal attention to the future. Trouble is, they don’t have any film on it… Another way they avoid the present moment is to look ahead on their schedules. The television news industry seems to revolve around what’s coming next. “Still to come,” “Just ahead,” “Up next,” “Coming up this half hour,” “More to come,” “Stay with us,” “Still ahead,” “Also later…”
I have no idea if George Carlin ever heard of Jean-Pierre de Caussade, or his teachings, but George was a keen observer of our human condition. Poking fun can sometimes do more to bring a better understanding of a tough concept. If we are to get present right now, and make the present moment a sacrament in our lives, we need to know there are barriers to our success.
The mind, with all that goes with it, wishes to take the lead in spiritual matters. It must be reduced to nothing and subdued… Human activity, being substitute for fulfillment, leaves no room for the true fulfillment of divine purpose. But when divine action fulfills this purpose in earthly terms, it brings a true increase of holiness, innocence, purity, and disinterestedness. Jean-Pierre de Caussade.
Surfer, do not get the idea that I am saying human activity is bad, or that the American media is leading us down the path of ruin. No, we do not need those things to create barriers; our minds are enough. It is popular today to blame the American media for all the immorality of today’s youth. This is just another attempt by our minds to take the lead in spiritual matters. With practice we can reduce these notions to nothing.
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” Mark 7:14-15
The authors of Mark clearly knew that it was popular, in the first century, to blame societal immorality on changing old traditions. Christianity was new and the old ways were being set aside for new traditions. People then, like those today, resisted change. Still it was clear to the authors of Mark that the words attributed to Jesus were profound for their time. Those same words are just as profound today.
We need to practice living in the present moment, surfer, and with time we can stop blaming others for our own internal failings. Read the teachings of Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Practice the work for your soul as outlined by Saint John of the Cross. Keep reading this blog, and I will bring modern teachings from spiritual leaders of today.