Conscience and Belonging
December 2nd, 2015

Whenever conscience acting in the service of belonging binds us to one another in a group, it also drives us to exclude those who are different and to deny them the right to the membership that we claim for ourselves.  Then we become frightening for them.  The conscience guarding our belonging guides us to do to those who are different what we fear as the worst consequence of guilt- we exclude them.  But as we treat them badly in good conscience, so do they in turn treat us in the name of the conscience of their group.  The conscience that guards belonging inhibits evil within the group, but lifts this inhibition in regard to those outside the group.  We then do to others in good conscience what our conscience forbids us to do to members of our own group.   -from Love’s Hidden Symmetry, by Bert Hellinger Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as  Read more...

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Giving Birth to the Dreams of Youth
November 2nd, 2015
Culture renews itself from the dreams of youth and the visions of elders.  We need to become ancient again by connecting to the eternal youth and the old soul within.  When "the End" seems near, how people imagine the world becomes more important; how people imagine humanity becomes of the utmost importance. Trouble actually births new things from the marriage of eternity and time." -Michael Meade

At my semi-annual dental cleaning two weeks ago I was asked by the late-arriving technician if it would be alright if we were interrupted, to allow her to take an important phone call regarding her daughter.  Sure, I said, and feeling compassion for what seemed to be a stressful situation, asked if everything was alright.  The technician explained that her daughter, a high-achieving, 18-year-old junior at the University of Georgia, was having panic attacks in her engineering program which were creating difficulty focusing.  She had  Read more...

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Pat Conroy's Success
October 1st, 2015

Kelly and I spent a beautiful day at the the Decatur Book Festival on Sunday, Sept 7th.  In addition to seeing an old friend, Ginnie Sams, a former member of The Emerson Drummers who was helping out at her sister’s booth, we attended Pat Conroy’s keynote talk at the First Baptist Church of Decatur.  Pat Conroy is a hugely successful author who’s had two novels, The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, made into Oscar-nominated movies. Moderating was Pat Conroy’s agent, Marly Rusoff, who was introduced by the founder of the DBF as “one of the most important names in American letters, although you probably haven’t heard of her.”  Joining them was another writer, Jonathan Odell, who is also represented by Ms. Rusoff.  Each writer took turns sharing their experiences with their difficult families, and what it’s been like for them to write honestly about surviving abuse and dysfunction in their families while growing  Read more...

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Can We All Get Along?
September 1st, 2015

Andre lives with his mother and 2 siblings.  His sister has a 2 year old baby.  He’s never known his father; his mother graduated from high school and works part-time as an aesthetician.  He works after school at a car wash and has just started the tenth grade.  ‘Dre hangs out with some friends who have recently begun smoking marijuana and who are being mentored by some men who are teaching them to break into houses.

Estelle lives with her parents, her mother’s parents, her father’s brother, and 2 cousins.  Her father works 7 days a week painting houses and apartments and her mother cleans houses. Estelle has a boyfriend and is helping her parents learn to read and write English.  Her mother hopes Estelle doesn’t get pregnant before she’s 18. Jim lives with his parents and two siblings on their family farm.  His father has 100 acres of corn and soybeans, is able to pay his bills each month and  Read more...

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Marriage and Conscious Sacrifice
August 11th, 2015

Before Kelly and I were married, we spent some time considering what we were going to give up in order to make the commitment to be life partners.  This reflection was inspired by our training in Family Constellations, and our teachers Peter and Jamy Faust who reminded us that whenever we want to move into a new stage of life, there will be great benefits but also a price to pay in what we would need to let go. Doing this exercise began to help us understand the deeper, spiritual purpose of marriage.

The root of the word ‘sacrifice’ is, of course, “sacred”, and the short definition is “to make sacred.”  I have to admit that, even being raised as a Christian and Catholic, I was surprised to see the primary definition in various online dictionaries for ‘sacrifice’ related to the slaughter of animals or humans.  For myself, there is a deep imprint of bible stories with knives raised over animals and children on stone  Read more...

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