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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Snakes in the Corner

The old philosophical conundrum of the snake in the corner tells us a lot about our perception and interpretation and reaction. You see a snake in the corner and become fearful. You look more closely and see it is really a coiled rope, or you don't look more closely and run out of the room screaming. If you're totally attached to your idea that it is actually a snake, it indicates you don't/can't challenge your own thinking. Your mind is made up, don't bother you with facts. Your inability to challenge your own thinking leads to numerous irrational choices.

This lack of mental development is seen in far too many people and situations. I think that if we are to grow as people in all areas of life, from politics to religion, we need to flex our mental muscles, so to speak, in order to set our minds free. Much of what upsets, therefore controls us, has no direct relationship to our personal life. We have no direct knowledge of it. 

One of my longtime teachings about spirituality is that we need to move beyond secondhand knowledge, hand me downs. So, we are told it is a snake in the corner, and we accept it without checking it or thinking it through. So much, if not all, of theology is like that.

For example: We are told God is love and if you don't play your cards right, he will burn you for eternity, two mutually exclusive ideas; we are told the Bible is the inerrant word of God, but it is filled with inconsistencies and contradictions and numerous differing translations; well, you get the idea.

In prayer and meditation, on sandy beaches, in redwood forests, on mountain tops and in your garden, you can touch The Presence yourself. You can know because you have spent time actually in The Presence. You can know for yourself there is no snake there. There is peace and love and safety and kindness. God is love without a footnote. All is well with your soul.

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