Just Life

And | October 2020.

the prettiest photo from the past couple of days … Marc did a great job choosing the mums for our front porch!

Back in December 2019 when I started to settle in with AND for this year, I knew it would be a tough year for our country. I knew the non-dualism that AND represented – listening, accepting, abundance – would be helpful for me, not only to cope, but also (maybe, hopefully) to help. Sigh. I couldn’t have imagined in my craziest dreams where 2020 would take me/us. and đŸ™‚ wow.

My small group has been reading Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. That book was transformational for me when I read it last year. Revisiting all those highlighted pages with a group of thoughtful, insightful, and perceptive women has been a balm. and a lesson.

Last Friday, we discussed chapter 12, which includes a section titled “Both-And Thinking”. I quoted a few lines from that section in my OLW post last June (yep, hope and AND have been together for a while). As I re-read those pages last week, I realized I didn’t need to come up with anything new for this month. There is still so much room to work within the lessons from last year’s reading, this month’s re-read, and the news cycle of even the last 72 hours. These are the lines I took to heart on the re-read (all taken from pp 146-151 of the book linked above). The exercise of copying them here is helping me come up with a framework for how I’d like to be in these next few weeks (months?). and maybe they’ll resonate with you, too.

“You no longer need to divide the field of very moment between up and down, totally right or totally wrong, with me or against me. It just is. This calm allows you to confront what must be confronted with even greater clarity and incisiveness.”

“Dualistic thinking is the well-practiced pattern of knowing most things by comparison… It is the basic reason why the ‘stinking thinking’ of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, religious imperialism, and prejudice of all kinds is so hard to overcome and has lasted so long…”

“…here is the normal sequencing of the dualistic mind: it compares, it competes, it conflicts, it conspires, it condemns, it cancels out any contrary evidence, and it then crucifies with impunity. You can call it the seven C’s of delusion, and the source of most violence, which is invariably sacralized as good and necessary to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ or to ‘save the souls for heaven.’ (this one rings especially true in the “pro-life” debate)

“…most people do not see things as they are; rather they see things as they are.”

It’s a different way of “seeing” for sure.

Marc reminded me this morning that today is the two-year anniversary of the Tree of Life tragedy. This blog post is a must-read. Ed Gaskin’s Ten Lessons are a beautiful example of what can happen when we allow ourselves to pursue non-dual thinking. Imagine the possibilities if even a few of us practiced this … just imagine.

AND also. PLEASE VOTE. please.

Thank you, Honoré, for hosting this monthly meet-up. Getting my thoughts together for this last Tuesday of the month is a game-changer!

 

 

13 Comments

  • Juliann

    The day is almost over here AND it was lovely AND full AND I don’t think I will be writing a one word post today. But I have enjoyed your post immensely

  • Carolyn

    Mary, there’s so much content to unpack here, so much to sit with. And, boy, now more than ever. (Seems we can say that EVERY day…and just when you think it can’t be MORE so!) I have a RR question for you. Which of his books would you recommend to someone new to RIchard Rohr? A friend loaned me Divine Dance, and, at least the first time I tried, I couldn’t dive in. Thank you…and off to read Ten Lessons now.

  • Alexa

    Such a thoughtful post, full of sensitivity and care. Thank-you for the Rohr quotes – I especially like the last one which rings so true from my own work and life experience. And the reminder that I too have a lens. Ed Gaskin’s post was moving and new to me. Wishing you continued journeying with thoughtful friends and a fruitful month to come.

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    Falling Upward sounds amazing – I just added it to my TBR. Thank you!

    I’ve been working hard to replace “but” with “and” for about a decade now, thanks to some wise co-workers. And if there’s a sentence that requires the word “but,” then the sentence probably needs to be reworked — why write or say something that isn’t true in the first place? If you have to write the word “but” in a sentence, then you’ve just negated the entire previous thought! Your thoughts about AND have added a whole new facet for me – welcoming the AND. Looking for it. And accepting it! So thank you.

  • Sarah

    While taking in both sides of any issue was certainly a challenge last year and in times past, I don’t think any of us could have anticipated just how drastically polarized our country would become this year, and I can imagine that “and” is a tough sell on some days. That you’re still embracing it and working on it speaks to just how great a choice it was for you.

    Yesterday was a somber day. Our mayor asked us to observe a moment of silence at 9:54 a.m., which I did (and also recited the Kaddish for those we lost). Can’t believe it’s already and only been two years.

    • Sarah

      And also — thank you for sharing that link to the blog post. That was wonderful. And it brought back some really good memories of when we went to our first Shabbat services after the shooting and probably half of the people in attendance weren’t Jewish but were there to support us.

  • karen

    what a lovely blog post and I like what you quoted from Rohr, so true. I am trying to not live on the edges of both extremes and trying to be zen somewhere in the middle. I voted!!

  • Debbie

    I’ve enjoyed several of Richard Rohr’s books and find so much wisdom contained in them. I have not read Falling Upward and I think add that to my TBR list!

  • Karen Walker

    I read Falling Upward several years ago. It was a borrowed copy, so it’s clear I should reread it. We voted today. We’d driven by the closest early voting location a couple of times earlier in the week. The lines stretched out through the parking lots. Today was sunny (first time since voting started) so we expected an even longer line. In fact, it was just 10 minutes from the time we got into the line until we walked out. Feels so good to have it taken care of.