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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lack of Faith

JOY - A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.
[Click here to review this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

It is already Thursday and I realize I have been ignoring my Bliss Initiative to consider the Practice of Joy as a spiritual endeavor. In retrospect, I think I would have been pretty happy to have left the undertaking off my list.  It was one of those "lofty ideals" one offers up when first considering all the possibilities of a project. It is also, I now realize, my Achilles heel. I am resisting this activity because of my fundamental discomfort with all things spiritual.

For those of you who may not know, I consider myself a seeker. I have always been interested in aspects of living that exist somewhere outside the physical plane. I have participated in a 10 day silent meditation retreat, evangelical holy spirit retreats, walked on a 40 foot bed of hot coals in my bare feet,  joined in several sweat lodges and pretty much explored and enjoyed the teachings of many many spiritual leaders. Sounds like I should be right at home with a spiritual pursuit right? Well that really isn't the case.

Spirituality and it's sometimes religious connotations just bother me.  While I can be pretty evangelical about things I have discovered, I always temper that relationship with my over arching belief that I am likely wrong. This belief, which allows me to feel compassion and find some truth in just about every credo, is a double edged sword.  On one hand, thinking I may be wrong keeps me interested in the seeking game. Under any given rock I may find THE answer. Contrarily, even if I find something that resonates as true, or just plain feels right to me, I am not willing to go full board into it.  Bottom line, I don't allow myself to have faith. Faith inplies belief as well as confidence and one really can't have that while simultaneously believing one is wrong.

All this being said, my happy seeker part does like the piece of this initiative which is PRACTICE. I like the idea of practice. Practice says there is always more. What one has in this moment is not the penultimate level. No matter where one starts from they can practice and improve. Practice is the factor that will have me dip my toe into spirituality waters.  So I guess I'll be keeping my promise to consider joy as a spirituality endeavor.  Off to the Spirituality & Practice website I go...  join me if you wish!

Next post: More from "Your brain on Joy"

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise
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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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