And that means that
During the lean times
You will not buy my Merchandise.
You will not need my t-shirt or coffee mug.
But perhaps, if you find what I say to be valuable,
You will let me live.
For this reason, now and then, I beg.
It is part of a scalable model.
And while I can,
I'll sell you books,
And things to hang on your wall.
But too, I ask that you'd consider
Dropping a few coins into my hat
If you can spare them.
You can click the donate button on this website
Or contribute to my Venmo account: thetracklesspath
Or to my paypal account: email@example.com.
Family is the basic unit of existence.
It exists above as it does below.
And all other social structures
Will eventually fall away.
But family is biological,
And it is biological because
It reflects the nature of the soul.
Dogmatism is dead.
Well, no it's not.
But it is dying.
And it is because of the internet.
Fewer and fewer people are interested in creeds.
They do not want to be pitted against their neighbor for a trifle.
And they seek out the truth they need for its own sake.
They do not need you to tell them what it is.
And so, to them, your Master of Theology degree
Is worth the paper it is written on.
For they can see past all that
To the thing that unites
If they choose to,
Look that is.
And more and more, they are.
They want the truth that helps, that's all.
And most, I think, are content to keep their differences to themselves.
And I believe that it is a good thing
That the dogmatic are rendered
More and more impotent.
And yet, they rage on,
Insistent that theirs is the only truth, the only way.
But sooner or later, that spirit will die away with the brightness of His coming.
There was the stone age
And then the Iron age.
After that came the middle ages
And then the industrial age
And the information age.
And there are those who claim
That the next great age
Is the Augmented age:
The age when AI will tie us all together
With augmented faculties.
It is a manmade Utopian ideal
To which many of the brightest minds
Are bending their wits at present.
But the augmented age will fail.
It is too complex for man to handle.
It is a leaning tower of Babel.
And when it falls,
Confusion will follow in its wake
And from the ashes will then rise
The last great age of man:
The age of gifts.
And for those with eyes to see,
The seeds of this last great age are being planted even now
In the hearts of those who choose to live by the gifts of God and man.
It is the only Utopia there ever was or ever will be.
Only the lesser part of Truth can be bound up in a book.
The greater part must be revealed by the Holy Spirit.
It is the sealed portion promised
To all those who have faith
Like the ancients.
Writing takes time
But publishing takes longer.
And it's all work and I rejoice in it.
However, there are many things
That I desire to say in the days that I have left.
And the less I spend my time on publishing,
The more time I have to write.
And so I am going to try to outsource.
I figure that the cost to publish one of these short thoughts
Is probably about five dollars, maybe ten.
I am still in the process of figuring that out.
But for the sake of simplicity, we'll call it five.
Therefore, If you would like to sponsor an episode
By sending me a fiver,
I would greatly appreciate it.
My Venmo account is thetracklesspath.
And my Paypal account is firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of the funds will go toward the cost of publication, however,
I pray that you will consider adding 50 cents for me.
A little change that I can spend
To support the ones I love.
God bless you always,
It seems like institutions are bound to judge by outward things,
Or not to judge, as the case may be,
Though those who do not judge are short-lived,
Since the criteria for acceptance and full fellowship
Is the standard by which institutions are defined,
Just as a person is defined, to some extent,
By what they allow into their lives.
So, a nation, a church, a university, or club,
Must decide upon some measurable standard to which its members will adhere.
And the standard gives them something to shoot for,
A measuring stick by which they may try to figure out if they are good.
And many, especially the strong, through constant effort and sometimes prayer
Will rise above their baser natures to stand triumphant upon the pinnacle of their institution's standard.
These are the bright ones whose faces hang in halls of earthly glory.
And if the standard of the institution reflects, to some extent,
The reality of heavenly things,
(I say to some extent because no earthly standard
Can perfectly emulate the wisdom that resides on high.)
Then the heavens may also smile down upon the "winners" in the group.
And, when it goes just right, it is beautiful in its own imperfect way.
However, institutions and the outward standards they employ
To define themselves and their members
Have an ugly underbelly.
For one thing, they are fraught with the plague of the ambitious:
Those who have no interest in the spirit of the standard
Accept as a means to set themselves up
Upon lofty seats in the synagogue.
And without the help of God, It is nearly impossible to detect these wolves.
And even if detected, it is rare that they will let their seats be taken.
For this reason, institutions corrupt with age.
For the ambitious love to promote their friends
And before long, the leaders have gobbled up the food
That was intended for the children of the sect,
And rule in what they believe to be the house of God as self-made Gods of glory.
The other ugliness of institutions and their outward means of judging
Is the weak: those who are not strong enough, or smart enough, or ambitious enough
To rise from their baser natures, and claim their place in the gilded halls of earthly fame.
And without the help of God, the losers are no easier to judge than the winners.
Nobody knows whether another's failure is because they could not or would not.
God only knows.
And surely, the standard is not to blame. Where would we be without standards?
But for those who can forsake the glory of their institutions,
There is a better way to judge.
And those who judge by this last judgement know each other at a glance.
They are their own fraternity. They overlook the outward thing in favor of the real.
And in the end, they embody the best and most perfect spirit of the standard
To which institutions aspire, namely that of lifting another up,
Not through outward ceremony, but in respect and esteem.
"I love the man who tries," they say,
"And in my heart his face is hung with a thousand wreaths of glory!"
"I will be his friend," they say. "I will pretend that I'm no better than he."
"For who knows but what I am not."
Before you decide to enlighten others with your perspective,
Make sure that your light is not darkness. Will it uplift?
Is there some enobling truth that you impart?
Or are you simply tearing down
Something you disagree with or do not understand
Because you think you know or are too afraid to listen?
Remember that truth is its own advocate.
Be a seeker,
And if your words resound the truth,
Those with ears to hear will hear.
For the acquisition of truth functions upon the principle of addition,
And woe unto those
Whose only light is to remove what they perceive as a mote in their brother's eye!
And great, great, is the darkness of him who thinks
That poisoned darts can heal.
For left himself, he would drag the world down
To nothing more than a reflection of his own opinions.
And that is because he believes that he is doing the world of service.
But I know that this message is for those who have stepped into the light.
The time has come when what is is.
And you can no longer sanctify it by your ceremony.
Nor can you desecrate it by coveting your own supposed power.
For that which was once bestowed on man
Shrivels in the bright light
Of His dawning.
And divine knowledge will finally give meaning
To all the symbols that approached the real.
So that, we will partake in the thing itself
Or die clinging to the shadow
That preceded it.
I thought that for this edition of the beggar's bowl,
I would speak about my plans for retirement.
First of all, I do not intend to retire
Since I love what I do.
But if the day ever comes
That my body is too old to work,
And my fingers too knarled and ugly to write,
Or if my voice gives out and I am unable to speak the truth that burns within me like an unquenchable fire,
Then I will beg.
And I will pray for those who help me.
That is what I will do for those who choose to let me live another day.
That is my plan.
And in the meantime, I will practice.
I pray that you will consider helping me in my work.
And if you can find it in your heart to give me fifty cents,
I will do my best to spend it wisely
In the loving of my family
And in the necessary expenses of my calling.
And for those who do,
Thank you. You will be in my prayers...always.
And here are the places that you can contribute:
They are moving out, one by one,
From the system that promised so much
And now cannot deliver the pleasure that it promised.
And as they do, they leave chaos in their wake, prescious chaos...
Like the heat that beats down upon a smoldering mass of leaves.
I always loved the Fall, so silent, so pure.
So reminiscent of a thing I couldn't place,
Accept in the memory of other cool and dying days,
And in the precious recollection of childhood feasts of love,
Of family, and of all that exists when work is put away
And we remember what we were working for.
And perhaps that's what they are doing,
Going home to the reason,
Forsaking the scream of getting more
And choosing family over the press and pressure.
If so, then I look forward to the dark and fertile soil
With which God will plant his garden
In the Spring that follows
His Long Winter.
There are many
Whose faith relies upon a completeness doctrine.
They believe that the truth may be found
The way a shiny pebble may be found
And carried away in one's pocket.
They see the acquisition of Truth as an event and not a process.
And so once they believe that it has been secured,
And bound up within the creed,
They relax into the knowledge
That it is theirs to keep, and theirs alone.
But they do not realize that such truth never comes alone.
It is always accompanied by falsehood.
There are wolves among the sheep.
And ignorant among the best of us.
So that no framework is without its flaws.
And it is our job to look within
And seek help from the divine
To weed out all that is not true,
Not for the sake of setting others right,
But so that we may see the truth more clearly for ourselves.
But know that when you do,
There will be those who will renounce you as a heratic,
And all because you cannot swallow
The completeness doctrine.
They want you to be all in,
But for those of us who want the truth at all costs,
That is not enough.