The draft board holds a hearing but doesn’t listen, lays a snare that fails, and then goes silent while the FBI investigates me. While marking time, I embark on psychedelic adventures.
Two brief, closely-related sections. As I am slowly separating myself from Catholic piety, the necessity for a moral decision about war leads me ultimately to reject the Church and embrace pacifism.
“Moral theology admits that the habit of sin, considered in itself, may be and often is completely sinless.” Seriously.
Installment #2, in which, after being saved unawares from sexual abuse, I begin high school in a seminary far from home.
A sketch of my evolution, despite encounters with predatory priests and a vindictive draft board, from youthful candidate for the Catholic priesthood to adult a-theistic Quaker who still asserts that “God is love.”
There is nothing I can do, or anyone do for me, that can rescue me from being what I am: a human animal conditioned in every sense. No deliverance from guilt, pain, death. No act, belief, or experience that would make acceptable the unacceptable. No person, institution, concept, or intuition to hope in. Nothing to hold, seek, or look forward to.
I sense that our motives for taking part in an action for peace are crucial to the effectiveness of that action. But I am not clear about my motives. I can’t say with confidence that I am moved more by love for enemies (in this case, warmongers and other violent people) than by a desire…
Deep, mindful silence dissolves borders and illumines our relationship to all that is. Silence, therefore, is a door to wisdom, the “gateless gate” of enlightenment. Metaphor can help guide us on the path to that gate, leading us to life.
In John’s story of the discovery of the Resurrection by Mary the Magdalene, Mary speaks my heart. As have I, she moves from sorrow over loss of a God-object to trust in a Christ-spirit to which we cannot cling.
This post is an exercise in remembering, a recollection of some of the people and experiences burned into my memory during my first job in the field of mental health […]