Wisdom Day 22 November 2016: The Way?

Point your kids in the right direction—
    when they’re old they won’t be lost. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 22, Verse 6, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

I just heard something astounding. I came across it while listening to the Tim Ferriss Show #201. It was the part where Tim shares an interview with Sam Harris about meditation. The astounding part for me is that Sam Harris expresses the wish that his young daughter experience psychedelics early enough in life to gain expanded insight. Later in the interview, Dr. Harris shares with Tim that the psychedelic experience can be either marvelous or like unto the most extreme form of mental illness one might ever observe. He indicates that even if one does have a bad trip, there is a chance that one will recover and at least experience compassion for those who suffer from mental illness. A chance?

I know Sam Harris, is published and in many ways much, much more successful than I. In fact, compared to Sam Harris, I am in the media world a cipher, a nobody. Still, I dare to espouse a totally opposite opinion.

My Sophie is five years old, soon to be six as I write this post. Would I gamble Sophie’s emotional future on some probability that she might not have a bad psychedelic trip? This does indeed sound like some worldly wisdom beyond my kin. But that dissuades me not:

18-20 Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture,

He exposes the chicanery of the chic.
The Master sees through the smoke screens
    of the know-it-alls. (Paul’s First Letter to the Church at Corinth, Chapter 3, Verses 18-20, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

So I am out of date with the times. I’ll settle to be God’s fool as Sam Harris is the wise man of the age. I know that raised in the Spirit and by the grace of the God whose existence Sam Harris denies, Sophie can know compassion and great joy. So I will invest in discipline and jiu-jitsu for Sophie. I surely will not gamble her life on the luck of the trip.

And as for Sam Harris? It comes to mind that even Voltaire recognized the value of having a Christian tailor. And then at the end of his life, this great atheist called for a priest to administer the last sacraments. It ain’t over until it’s over.

Between Sam Harris’s bet on psychedelics for his daughter and Pascal’s wager, I go for the latter or better yet, I prefer knowing The God Who is There. The high when you reach that knowing is costly but free, filling the present and lasting forever.

The crux of the matter? Don’t get mad. Don’t just get even. Get ahead and above. Get high on the high that lasts forever. And bring the kids along for the ride. A really good trip.

Wisdom Day 7 April 2016: R-Rated T-Shirt

Hey, guys, collecting T-shirts can be great. There is one to stay away from though if you value your life. It is inscribed “I slept with Loosey Lucy!”

Loosey Lucy will take you down. You think it will be fun going down with Loosey? Think again. You are not the first. You will not be the last. But like all, you will pay the price. Loosey’s soul is linked to all the others who came before you. Your soul becomes linked through hers to theirs. She will have many after you. And for every one, a little of the best of your soul gives way to a little bit of the worst of the collective soul of a growing throng of  partners. And you will have no control over the choice of your new soul mates, just as you had no say in the choice of the ones who were before you. But they will gain more and more control over you if you choose this path. So what’s the take away? Paul of Tarsus puts it plainly:

16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.(Paul of Tarsus, 1 Corinthians 6:18, The Message, biblegateway.com)

And whether you believe in God or not, at least honor yourself. Honor your body, mind, and emotions. Don’t go with Loosey. As I’ve heard, “Sin takes you further than you mean to go, keeps you longer than you mean to stay, and costs you more than you mean to pay.” Ever had that experience? Or maybe you don’t believe in sin? If not, at least consider that STD’s are real, regardless of your beliefs.

There is hope though. There is a way out and a way back.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. (Paul of Tarsus, 1 Corinthians 10:13, The Message, biblegateway.com)

And the way back? Admit you were wrong. Determine that you want to change direction. Realize you can’t do it by yourself. Ask for for help. And whom do you ask? I asked Jesus.

How to ask? Some people call it prayer. If you don’t believe in prayer, than just address your request to “Whom it may concern.” When I first got started with prayer, it was conditional: “If you are real, I want to know. I need help.”

Even stoics sometimes end up with problems their philosophy can’t solve. I did have to set aside some pride, but at that point my intense need to really be good was greater than my desire to appear good.

So happy hunting in your quest for good. Better and great are better and great, but good is not bad for starters. It surely beats bad. If, though, you happen to believe that good and bad are irrelevant or all the same, I can’t help you there, unless of course you ask.

Meanwhile here are some good resources on the path to good, better, and best:

Hardcover
Takeaways
Audio
Kindle
Slimline
Study
Paperback
Hardcover
Kindle
Audio