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    • Should jedi stay out of politcal office (Last post by Djivad)
    • Being that this is a discussion within a federal recognized nonprofit (501c3 status), it might be noted that, while your personal beliefs and religious identity are yours to do with as you please in regards to public office, the TotJO cannot engage in supporting or endorsing one candidate over another, nor engage in lobbying legislation (there are some allowances; it comes down to a percentage of your overall budget). This is just part of the deal when you obtain 501c3 status. If you want to lobby, you create a 501c4, etc.
    • Our Chemical Romance (Last post by Adder)
    • Make it 6 (add adrenaline), and then use the I Ching as a tool to understand its iterations, with each state being either max or minimum. :cheer: So if there are 64 extent modes, and each one can adjust to any point between its max or min state, then it gets interesting!! [attachment] Not that I suggest that necessarily is how emotions are generated, but rather I think its a good guide to how feelings can exist in conscious awareness - which then propogate to other organs etc. Have you seen the heat map associated to different feelings and emotions? [attachment] www.pnas.org/content/111/2/646.full.pdf So I do hold the mechanistic view, at least to the extent of feelings, not so much emotions. I just consider it to be so complicated its hard or grasp. I differentiate feelings from emotions (and from passion and conscious thought) here if your interested. As I tend to think the subconscious does a lot of subconscious thinking outside of conscious awareness, I tend to view emotions and passions as structures of subconscious reinforcement in sets of feelings being associated to planning and memories, and manifesting as more difficult to treat then emotions. I do think the brain works heavily in a self referential structure, and so while I do think feelings emerge in our body and mind from neurochemical mixtures, I also do think that both subconscious and conscious thinking can feed into that to drive those changes as well. And also that other parts of the body can feed into it as well, muscular tension, inflammation, gut signals. Very complex!!!
    • Can a force senstive person train themselves (Last post by Djivad)
    • So, I'm new here, and know it will take time to assimilate into the Temple in all its glory, but this is an interesting topic, in an interesting forum. My background is in theatre. Then I studied youth studies, and took a youth and spirituality class. My undergrad also included audio and video production, which gives me a technical advantage when watching a film series like Star Wars. From theatre, I know the intricate details of creating the scene, setting the mood, interpreting a script, and know that producing an enterprise that captures the hearts and minds of millions is quite a feat. In doing so, did George Lucas create a new religion? L. Ron Hubbard did. Just as sacred scriptures are the source of beliefs and method of teaching for established religions, are the Star Wars books and movies a new realization in exploring society, people, and relationships to all around us? Is it a natural progression for those who find similar feelings, thoughts, and inspirations in what was supposed to an entertainment venture to come together and discover a deeper sense of community—the bridge from fiction to life. I think so, and I think that is why we are here on TotJO. 2¢.
    • Practical Jediism (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • CHAPTER VIII: THE SECOND FORM OF CONTEMPLATION "And here," says Ruysbroeck of the self which has reached this point, "there begins a hunger and a thirst which shall never more be stilled." In the First Form of Contemplation that self has been striving to know better its own physical plane of existence. It has stretched out the feelers of its intuitive love into the general stream of duration of which it is a part. Breaking down the fences of personality, merging itself in a larger consciousness, it has learned to know the World of Becoming from within - as a citizen, a member of the great society of life, not merely as a spectator. But the more deeply and completely you become immersed in and aware of this life, the greater the extension of your consciousness; the more insistently will rumours and intimations of a higher plane of experience, a closer unity and more complete synthesis, begin to besiege you. You feel that hitherto you brain received the messages of life in a series of disconnected words and notes, from which your mind constructed as best it could certain coherent sentences and tunes – laws, classifications, relations, and the rest. But now you reach out towards the ultimate sentence and melody, which exist independently of your own constructive efforts; and realise that the words and notes which so often puzzled you by displaying an intensity that exceeded the demands of your little world, only have beauty and meaning just because and in so far as you discern them to be the partial expressions of a greater whole which is still beyond your reach. You have long been like a child tearing up the petals of flowers in order to make a mosaic on the garden path; and the results of this murderous diligence you mistook for a knowledge of the world. When the bits fitted with unusual exactitude, you called it science. Now at last you have perceived the greater truth and loveliness of the living plant from which you broke them: have, in fact, entered into direct communion with it, "united" with its reality. But this very recognition of the living growing plant does, and must, entail for you a consciousness of deeper realities, which, as yet, you have not touched: of the intangible things and forces which feed and support it; of the whole universe that touches you through its life. A mere cataloguing of all the plants - though this were far better than your old game of indexing your own poor photographs of them - will never give you access to the Unity, The Force, whatever it may be, which manifests itself through them. To suppose that it can do so is the cardinal error of the "nature mystic": an error parallel with that of the psychologist who looks for the soul in "psychic states." The deeper your realisation of the plant in its wonder, the more perfect your union with the world of growth and change, the quicker, the more subtle your response to its countless suggestions; so much the more acute will become your appreciation of The Force. You will now find and feel the Infinite and Eternal, making as it were veiled and sacramental contacts with you under these accidents - through these its ceaseless creative activities - and you will want to press through and beyond them, to a fuller realisation of, a more perfect and unmediated union with, the Substance of all That Is: The Force. With the great widening and deepening of your life that has ensued from the abolition of a narrow selfhood, your entrance into the larger consciousness of living things, there has necessarily come to you an instinctive knowledge of a final and absolute group-relation, transcending and including all lesser unions in its sweep. To this, the second stage of contemplation, in which human consciousness enters into its peculiar heritage, something within you now seems to urge you on. If you obey this inward push, pressing forward with the "sharp dart of your longing love," forcing the point of your wilful attention further and further into the web of things, such an ever-deepening realisation, such an extension of your conscious life, will indeed become possible to you. Nothing but your own apathy, your feeble and limited desire, limits this realisation. Here there is a strict relation between demand and supply - your achievement shall be in proportion to the greatness of the intent that you can channel. The Force, and the in-pressing energy, of the Reality without does not vary. Only the extent to which you are able to receive it depends upon your courage and generosity, the measure in which you give yourself to its embrace. Those minds which set a limit to their self-donation must feel as they attain it, not a sense of satisfaction but a sense of constriction. It is useless to offer your spirit a garden - even a garden inhabited by saints and angels - and pretend that it has been made free of the universe. You will not have peace until you do away with all banks and hedges, and exchange the garden for the wilderness that is unwalled; that wild strange place of silence where "lovers lose themselves." Yet you must begin this great adventure humbly; and take, as Julian of Norwich did, the first stage of your new outward-going journey along the road that lies nearest at hand. When Julian looked with the eye of contemplation upon that "little thing" which revealed to her the oneness of the universe, her deep and loving sight perceived in it successively three properties, which she expressed as well as she might under the symbols of her own theology: "The first is that God made it; the second is that God loveth it; the third is that God keepeth it." Here are three phases in the ever-widening contemplative apprehension of Reality. Not three opinions, but three facts, for which she struggles to find words. The first is that each separate living thing, budding "like an hazel nut" upon the tree of life, and there destined to mature, age, and die, is the outbirth of another power, of a creative push: that the World of Becoming in all its richness and variety is not ultimate, but formed by Something other than, and utterly transcendent to, itself. This, of course, the religious mind invariably takes for granted: but we are concerned with immediate experience rather than faith. To feel and know those two aspects of Reality which we call "created" and "uncreated," nature and spirit - to be as sharply aware of them, as sure of them, as we are of land and sea - is to be made free of the super-sensual world. It is to stand for an instant at the Poet's side, and see that Poem of which you have deciphered separate phrases in the earlier form of contemplation. Then you were learning to read: and found in the words, the lines, the stanzas, an astonishing meaning and loveliness. But how much greater the significance of every detail would appear to you, how much more truly you would possess its life, were you acquainted with the Poem: not as a mere succession of such lines and stanzas, but as a non-successional whole. From this Julian passes to that deeper knowledge of the heart which comes from a humble and disinterested acceptance of life; that this Universe, this whole changeful natural order, with all its apparent collisions, cruelties, and waste, yet springs from an ardour, an immeasurable love, a perpetual donation, which generates it, upholds it, drives it; for "all-thing hath the being by the love of God." Blake's anguished question here receives its answer: the Mind that conceived the lamb conceived the tiger too. Everything, says Julian in effect, whether gracious, terrible, or malignant, is enwrapped in love: and is part of a world produced, not by mechanical necessity, but by a loving energy. Therefore nothing can really be mean, nothing despicable; nothing, however perverted, irredeemable. The blasphemous otherworldliness of the false mystic who conceives of matter as an evil thing and flies from its "deceits," is corrected by this loving sight. Hence, the more beautiful and noble a thing appears to us, the more we love it - so much the more truly do we see it: for then we perceive within it the ardour of The Force surging up towards expression, and share that simplicity and purity of vision in which most saints and some poets see all things "as they are in God." Lastly, this love-driven world of duration - this work within which the Divine Artist passionately and patiently expresses Its infinite dream under finite forms - is held in another, mightier embrace. It is "kept," says Julian. Paradoxically, the perpetual changeful energies of love and creation which inspire it are gathered up and made complete within the unchanging fact of Being: the Eternal and Absolute, within which the world of things is set as the tree is set in the supporting earth, the enfolding air. There, finally, is the rock and refuge of the seeking consciousness wearied by the ceaseless process of the flux. There that flux exists in its wholeness, "all at once"; in a manner which we can never comprehend, but which in hours of withdrawal we may sometimes taste and feel. It is in our moments of contact with this, when we penetrates beyond all images, however lovely, however significant, to that ineffable awareness which the mystics call "Naked Contemplation" - since it is stripped of all the clothing with which reason and imagination drape and disguise both our devils and our gods - that the hunger and thirst of the heart is satisfied, and we receive indeed an assurance of ultimate Reality. This assurance is not the cool conclusion of a successful argument. It is rather the seizing at last of The Force which we have ever felt near us and enticing us: the unspeakably simple because completely inclusive solution of all the puzzles of life. As, then, you gave yourself to the broken-up yet actual reality of the physical world, in order that it might give itself to you, and your possession of its secret was achieved, first by surrender of selfhood, next by a diligent thrusting out of your attention, last by a union of love; so now by a repetition upon fresh levels of that same process, you are to mount up to higher unions still. Held tight as it seems to you in the finite, committed to the perpetual rhythmic changes, the unceasing flux of "natural" life – compelled to pass on from state to state, to grow, to age, to die - there is yet, as you discovered in the first exercise of recollection, something in you which endures through and therefore transcends this world of change. This inhabitant, this mobile spirit, can spread and merge in the general consciousness, and gather itself again to one intense point of personality. It has too an innate knowledge of – an instinct for - another, greater rhythm, another order of Reality, as yet outside its conscious field; or as we say, a capacity for the Infinite. This capacity, this unfulfilled magnetic attraction, which the cunning mind of the typical person suppresses and disguises as best it can, is the source of all your unrest. More, it is the true origin of all your best loves and enthusiasms, the inspiring cause of your heroisms and achievements; which are but oblique and tentative efforts to still that strange hunger for some final object of devotion, some completing and elucidating vision, some total self-donation, some great and perfect Act within which your little activity can be merged. St. Thomas Aquinas says, that a man is only withheld from this desired vision of the Divine Essence, this discovery of the Pure Act (which indeed is everywhere pressing in on him and supporting him), by the apparent necessity which he is under of turning to bodily images, of breaking up his continuous and living intuition into Conceptual scraps; in other words, because he cannot live the life of sensation without thought. But it is not the person, it is merely their mental machinery which is under this "necessity." This it is which translates, analyses, incorporates in finite images the boundless perceptions of the spirit: passing through its prism the White Light of Reality, and shattering it to a succession of coloured rays. Therefore if you would know the Divine Secret you must unshackle yourself more thoroughly than ever before from the tyranny of the image making power of your mind. As it is not by the methods of the laboratory that we learn to know life, so it is not by the methods of the intellect that we learn to know The Force. "For of all other creatures and their works," says the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, "yea, and of the works of God's self, may a man through grace have full-head of knowing, and well he can think of them: but of God Himself can no man think. And therefore I would leave all that thing that I can think, and choose to my love that thing that I cannot think. For why; He may well be loved, but not thought. By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never." "Gotten and holden": homely words, that suggest rather the outstretching of the hand to take something lying at your very gates, than the long outward journey or terrific ascent of the contemplative soul. Reality indeed, the mystics say, is "near and far"; far from our thoughts, but saturating and supporting our lives. Nothing would be nearer, nothing dearer, nothing sweeter, were the doors of our perception truly cleansed. You have then but to focus attention upon your own deep reality, "realise your own soul," in order to find it. "We dwell in Him and He in us": you participate in the Eternal Order now. The vision of the Divine Essence - the participation of its own small activity in the Supernal Act - is for the spark of your soul a perpetual process. On the apex of your personality, spirit ever gazes upon Spirit, melts and merges in it: from and by this encounter its life arises and is sustained. But you have been busy from your childhood with other matters. All the urgent affairs of "life," as you absurdly called it, have monopolised your field of consciousness. Thus all the important events of your real life, physical and spiritual – the mysterious perpetual growth of you, the knitting up of fresh bits of the universe into the unstable body which you confuse with yourself, the hum and whirr of the machine which preserves your contacts with the material world, the more delicate movements which condition your correspondences with, and growth within, the spiritual order - all these have gone on unperceived by you. All the time you have been kept and nourished, like the "Little Thing," by an enfolding and creative love; yet of this you are less conscious than you are of the air that you breathe. Now, as in the first stage of contemplation you learned and established, as a patent and experienced fact, your fraternal relation with all the other children of The Force, entering into the rhythm of their existence, participating in their stress and their joy; will you not at least try to make patent this your filial relation too? This actualisation of your true status, your place in the Eternal World, is waiting for you. It represents the next phase in your gradual appreciation of The Force. The method by which you will attain to it is strictly analogous to that by which you obtained a more vivid awareness of the physical world in which you grow and move. Here too it shall be direct intuitive contact, sensation rather than thought, which shall bring you certitude - "tasting food, not talking about it," as St. Bonaventura says. Yet there is a marked difference between these two stages. In the first, the deliberate inward retreat and gathering together of your faculties which was effected by recollection, was the prelude to a new coming forth, an outflow from the narrow limits of a merely personal life to the better and truer apprehension of the physical world. Now, in the second stage, the disciplined and recollected attention seems to take an opposite course. It is directed towards a plane of existence with which your bodily senses have no attachments: which is not merely misrepresented by your ordinary concepts, but cannot be represented by them at all. It must therefore sink inwards towards its own centre, "away from all that can be thought or felt," as the mystics say, "away from every image, every notion, every thing," towards that strange condition of obscurity which St. John of the Cross calls the "Night of Sense." Do this steadily, checking each vagrant instinct, each insistent thought, however "spiritual" it may seem; pressing ever more deeply inwards towards that ground, that simple and undifferentiated Being from which your diverse faculties emerge. Presently you will find yourself, emptied and freed, in a place stripped bare of all the machinery of thought; and achieve the condition of simplicity which those same specialists call nakedness of spirit or "Wayless Love," and which they declare to be above all human images and ideas - a state of consciousness in which "all the workings of the reason fail." Then you will observe that you have entered into an intense and vivid silence: a silence which exists in itself, through and in spite of the ceaseless noises of your normal world. Within this world of silence you seem as it were to lose yourself, "to ebb and to flow, to wander and be lost in the Imageless Ground," says Ruysbroeck, struggling to describe the sensations of the self in this, its first initiation into the "wayless world, beyond image," where "all is, yet in no wise." Yet in spite of the darkness that enfolds you, the Cloud of Unknowing into which you have plunged, you are sure that it is well to be here. A peculiar certitude which you cannot analyse, a strange satisfaction and peace, is distilled into you. You begin to understand what the Psalmist meant, when he said, "Be still, and know." You are lost in a wilderness, a solitude, a dim strange state of which you can say nothing, since it offers no material to your image-making mind. But this wilderness, from one point of view so bare and desolate, from another is yet strangely homely. In it, all your sorrowful questionings are answered without utterance; it is The Force, and you are within it and part of it, and know that it is good. It calls forth the utmost adoration of which you are capable; and, mysteriously, gives love for love. You have ascended now, say the mystics, into the Freedom of the Will of God; are become part of a higher, slower duration, which carries you as it were upon its bosom and - though never perhaps before has your soul been so truly active - seems to you a stillness, a rest. The doctrine of Plotinus concerning a higher life of unity, a lower life of multiplicity, possible to every human spirit, will now appear to you not a fantastic theory, but a plain statement of fact, which you have verified in your own experience. You perceive that these are the two complementary ways of apprehending and uniting with Reality - the one as a dynamic process, the other as an eternal whole. Thus understood, they do not conflict. You know that the flow, the broken-up world of change and multiplicity, is still going on; and that you, as a creature of the timeworld, are moving and growing with it. But, thanks to the development of the higher side of your consciousness, you are now lifted to a new poise; a direct participation in that simple, transcendent life "broken, yet not divided," which gives to this timeworld all its meaning and validity. And you know, without derogation from the realness of that life of flux within which you first made good your attachments to the universe, that you are also a true constituent of the greater whole; that since you are human, you are also spirit, and are living Eternal Life now, in the midst of time. The effect of this form of contemplation, in the degree in which the typical person may learn to practise it, is like the sudden change of atmosphere, the shifting of values, which we experience when we pass from the busy streets into a quiet temple; where a lamp burns, and a silence reigns, the same yesterday, today, and for ever. Thence is poured forth a stillness which strikes through the tumult without. Eluding the flicker of the arc-lamps, thence through an upper window we may glimpse a perpetual star. The walls of the temple, limiting the range of our attention, shutting out the torrent of life, with its insistent demands and appeals, make possible our apprehension of this deep eternal peace. The character of our consciousness, intermediate between Eternity and Time, and ever ready to swing between them, makes such a device, such a concrete aid to concentration, essential to us. But the peace, the presence, is everywhere - for us, not for it, is the altar and the sanctuary required - and your deliberate, humble practice of contemplation will teach you at last to find it; outside the sheltering walls of recollection as well as within. You will realise then what Julian meant, when she declared the ultimate property of all that was made to be that "God keepeth it": will feel the violent consciousness of an enfolding Presence, utterly transcending the fluid changeful nature-life, and incomprehensible to the intelligence which that physical-life has developed and trained. And as you knew the secret of that physical-life best by surrendering yourself to it, by entering its currents, and refusing to analyse or arrange: so here, by a deliberate giving of yourself to the silence, the rich "nothingness," the "Cloud," you will draw nearest to the Reality it conceals from the eye of sense. "Lovers put out the candle and draw the curtains," says Patmore, "when they wish to see the God and the Goddess: and in the higher communion, the night of thought is the light of perception." Such an experience of Eternity, the attainment of that intuitive awareness, that meek and simple self-mergence, which the mystics call sometimes, according to its degree and special circumstances, the Quiet, the Desert of God, the Divine Dark, represents the utmost that human consciousness can do of itself towards the achievement of union with The Force. To some it brings joy and peace, to others fear: to all a paradoxical sense of the lowliness and greatness of the soul, which now at last can measure itself by the august standards of the Infinite. Though the trained and diligent will of the contemplative can, if control of the attention be really established, recapture this state of awareness, retreat into the Quiet again and again, yet it is of necessity a fleeting experience; for mankind is immersed in duration, subject to it. Its demands upon our attention can only cease with the cessation of physical life - perhaps not then. Perpetual absorption in the Transcendent is a human impossibility, and the effort to achieve it is both unsocial and silly. But this experience, this "ascent to the Nought," changes for ever the proportions of the life that once has known it; gives to it depth and height, and prepares the way for those further experiences, that great transfiguration of existence which comes when the personal activity of the finite will gives place to the great and compelling action of another Power.
    • To vote, or not to vote... (Last post by Akkarin)
    • Quote: Quote: I imagine people who don't currently vote might feel differently if the choice to vote or not was suddenly made for them. That's already a reality in the states, and has been the case ever since swing states were allowed to hold more sway than other states. As long as people vote, it's a proclamation that they approve the choices that's offered to them. It's a vote for the continuation of the status quo, a belief that the system works. Look at our choices, is this a healthy example of a system that is working in our benifit? There are two people running for presidency that are not allowed in the big debates, why? Because they "failed" to bring in enough attention. Why? Because they didnt have the deep pockets to get air time. As long as the "diplomatic process" currently in place in the States (and around the world) is dependent on the all mighty dollar to fuel itself, it will stay corrupted... As long as the poorer of the two remain in the shadows, who will bat an eye at a fixed election? I just dont trust the system anymore.... Voting is not a proclamation you approve. There are many things I disapprove of when I vote for a particular person or party. You don't vote for perfection, you vote for the best option of what's available - that can even include tactical voting to deny an even worse option. You may not trust the system, but it's the system you've got. The system isn't fair, but you can't change the rules of the game by refusing to play.
    • Show me yours and ill show u mine ? (Last post by JamesSand)
    • I own few books, and they're all language books to help me communicate with my partner's family, or technical manuals because I can't be expected to remember everything :dry: I do have several library memberships though :P Quote: Plus I really want to add some books to that library of mine but I feel guilty that I have not fully read through all of or even most of that set that I listed. Much wisdom has been gained by having spines on a shelf :whistle: Tsst. My advice would be to move books on if you're not really planning to re-read them (and if they're fairly common paperbacks, you'll be able to find a copy when you're in the mood to re-read anyway) An impressive array of books on display is as vain as anything else - plus it's just more stuff to box and up and move :P
    • Leaders Eat Last (Leadership in Jediism) (Last post by Loudzoo)
    • Great videos - thank you for sharing Kit and Cayce :) There is much to take on board and I think the parallels between the selflessness of a good leader and the selflessness of the Jedi Way are quite clear. This notion is a current running right through our doctrine - especially the creed: I shall never seek so much to be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; This could be as much a formula for good leadership, as it is the creed of the Jedi. The only issue I have is the means of the explanation - the proposed (common) idea that human interactions, moods, emotions and responses are caused by 5 (or 25) different chemicals in the brain. I won't derail this thread with all that. Might be worth discussing in another thread though . . .
    • Gratitude for the Kindness of Others (Last post by MartaLina)
    • I am gratefull for the trees leaves colouring in the auttumn , i dont owe them and they dont owe me , but thats not the point , being gratefull should be a part of your being , radiating outside of yourself , a thing of maturaty to me. When you are childish you think "the universe " or whatever owes you stuff, when you grow up you realise what a magnificent wonder it is that you "Be" and "Breathe" and "Wonder" To get that smile on the bus, the busdriver waiting those 8 seconds so you can get on, a random cat brushing against you, all the bad things that happen too, the things that you learn from them , the growth , the despair , all things to be gratefull for, So no , intention is not a very important part of Gratefulness as such Spoiler: Thankfulness: “Thank You, God, for the Fleas” Adapted from Hero Tales: Volume II, by Dave and Neta Jackson Corrie Ten Boom and her family served the Lorda by helping to hide Jews during World War II. Even though she was arrested and imprisoned, her faith remained strong. I and my sister Betsie were roughly pushed into Barracks 28 at Ravensbruck, a “work camp” for prisoners. We stared at the stacks of wooden sleeping platforms crowded into the large room. Only a narrow walkway cut between. The platforms were three deep and covered with dirty, stinking straw. There wasn’t even enough room to sit up. We had just arrived by train along with hundreds of other prisoners, crushed together for three days with eighty women in a freight car. Exhausted, we crawled onto the platform that had been assigned to us. But within moments, I sat up quickly and bumped my head on the platform above. “Fleas!” I jumped down to the floor. “The place is crawling with fleas! I…I don’t know how I can cope with living in such a terrible place!” “Corrie, I think God has already given us the answer,” my sister Betsie said. “What was that verse we read from the Bible this morning?” I pulled out my Bible from the bag I wore on a string around my neck. In the dim light, I read from I Thessalonians:16-18: “ ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ Oh, Betsie, that’s too hard in a place like this!” “No, come on, Corrie—let’s try. What are we thankful for?” my sister asked. “Well…if we must be in this awful place, I’m thankful that we’re together.” “And that the guards didn’t find the Bible you had hanging down your back!” added Betsie. I nodded gratefully. “Maybe we should thank God for how crowded we are in here because that way more women will hear the Word of God when we read it aloud!” “That’s right!” Betsie’s eyes danced. “And thank you, God, for the fleas—“ “No, Betsie! I can’t thank God for the fleas. There’s nothing good about them.” “Well, we’ll just have to wait and see,” my sister answered. Every day we were awakened at 4:30 A.M. and forced to stand outside in the cold for roll call. Then we worked an eleven-hour day. We were given black bread for breakfast and a thin soup of turnips for supper. The only thing we had to look forward to was when all of us stumbled back to the barracks at night. Before we went to sleep, Betsie and I would open our smuggled Bible and read God’s Word to the other women. At first, we posted lookouts to keep a watch for the guards. Anyone caught with a Bible would certainly be killed. But day after day passed, and no guards came into Barracks 28. Soon we read the Bible twice a day, and more and more women listened. No one bothered us. One day, Betsie grabbed my arm and whispered, “I know why no one has bothered our Bible studies. I overheard some of the guards talking. None of them wants to come into Barracks 28 because of the fleas!” I wanted to laugh. “All right, Lord. Thank you for the fleas!”
    • How being alone may be the key to rest (Last post by JamesSand)
    • Dang right it is. My partner and I have separate rooms*, and occasionally "book" the house so we can chill in peace. *We also keep dissimiliar work hours, so it's fairly practical. We'll share a room (or a meal) when shifts or RDOs line up.
    • Who is God to you? (Last post by JamesSand)
    • God is not a "Who" I don't think I've visited my Church (I use the term as the organisation rather than a specific building) in 4 years? My church was never about the people or the potluck dinners or whatever else people do at churches though, so my feelings on "not being a part of the community" could be very different from yours. Work on it, take some time, you may be able to change what God and Church means to you, and then leaving (or staying) will be an obvious and easy choice, not a dilemma.
    • Think... (Last post by Jack.Troutman)
    • Day 12 Providing for the Soul Too much light will blind one’s vision, Blaring sound will make one deaf, Excessive tastes will ruins one’s palate. The chase will make for heedlessness, And precious things, for temptation. Therefore does the wise one Provide for the soul and not for the senses. Caring for the one The wise takes the other with both hands. From the Tao Te Ching
    • Interesting volunteering orientated questions (ope... (Last post by Parnerium)
    • 1) What makes someone vulnerable? Someone who is vulnerable is at risk for negative events or outcomes. For example, a family who is consistently unable to pay their bills every month is at risk for eviction, making them vulnerable. This state of poverty also means that the children in the family are at risk for low school performance and potentially dropping out, so the children are vulnerable to those things. Similarly, someone who is emotionally vulnerable is at risk to be hurt or manipulated by others. The things that create vulnerability are specific to the vulnerability itself. 2) What is the opposite of vulnerability? Not being at risk for a negative event or outcome. 3) What makes someone the opposite of vulnerable? Whatever actions or states put a person at less risk for the event or outcome in question. A steady source of sufficient income makes a person less vulnerable to eviction. A healthy amount of self-esteem makes a person less vulnerable to an abusive partner. 4) How do we help/support people / What's our role? To either a) help eliminate the source of the vulnerability or b) help to prevent or lessen the effect of the negative event or outcome. Helping a person secure gainful employment eliminates that source of vulnerability. Providing tutoring to a child living in poverty helps to prevent low grades without addressing the poverty itself. Thanks for this exercise! I enjoyed it.
    • the IP Purpose (Last post by carlos.martinez3)
    • Quote: Basic indoctrination to TOTJO-style thought regurgitation. :) Can u elaborate for the rest of the class, mainly....me? That actually doesn't sound at all fitting. As a whole I've asked our community to come together here and make a real style application to the actual application to the ip. Regurgitation seems to not be the idea, but maybe a more opening of things maybe some have never heard of or even thought possible. I know for myself I had never heard of Allen watts till I got here. Although I don't see eye to eye with a lot pm what I've read the jem I think can be... we can think like that? There's an outside to the box? Hmm mm.

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