Others’ views I value
What most resonated for me was feeling this man’s intense love for his son, and witnessing him express that love so whole-heartedly in public.
For many if not most straight people, we queer folk are a total mystery very foreign to their felt experience of life and love and sex. Those who know us personally are forced to somehow “understand” us. This doctor uses his [very limited] scientific lens in that attempt to make sense of his intense love in the face of the stigma that still surrounds sexual minorities. I appreciate his core message: his son, hence gay men, hence queer people are not merely tolerable or acceptable. We are essential threads in the fabric of human society. We make the family, the culture, and the world a better place.
It’s to his loving affirmation of us that I say a big YES!
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”
Was it just me, or did others hear that line draw some of the loudest cheers?
Am slowly re-reading “Markings”, which was my main spiritual rudder through the latter part of university [1964-66], and into my 20s.
Am struck again by the following passage: how much it expresses what I later have loved in Eckhart Tolle about the ‘eternal present’. He really was quite a Christian mystic!
The final four lines have a real Tantric perspective: seeing/serving God in the world.
I would say this still is the best expression of my personal mission.
“Offspring of the past, pregnant with the future, the present moment, nevertheless, always exists in eternity—always in eternity as the point of intersection between time and the timelessness of faith, and therefore, as the moment of freedom from past and future.
“Thou who are over us,
Thou who are one of us,
Thou who art—
Also within us,
May all see Thee—in me also,
May I prepare the way for Thee,
May I thank Thee for all that shall fall to my lot,
May I also not forget the needs of others,
Keep me in Thy love
As Thou wouldst that all should be kept in mine.
May everything in this my being be directed to Thy glory
And may I never despair.
For I am under They hand,
And in Thee is all power and goodness.
Give me a pure heart—that I may see Thee,
A humble heart—that I may hear Thee,
A heart of love—that I may serve Thee,
A heart of faith—that I may abide in Thee.” p. 100
“Courage, My Love…
That was always the beating heart of Jack’s message, and of his life. If we listen, if we act, we can make it his legacy.”
for the full tribute by Gerald Hannon, please see: http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Jack_Layton_19502011-10661.aspx
“Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come…we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
John Gilbert “Jack” Layton
July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011
” There’s no solution other than a true understanding of consciousness—and a longing and desire for personal transformation. I don’t think there’s such a thing as social transformation. If a critical mass of people are going through personal transformation, that will automatically heal the environment, heal the rifts in our collective soul, heal disease, get rid of poverty, cure AIDS and malaria. Mosquito nets and drugs won’t do that. That’s because consciousness is the ground of being that simultaneously differentiates things into perception, what we see out there, and differentiates into cognition, our knowingness, in our moods and emotions, our personal relationships, our social interactions, in the environments that we create around us, and in the way we interact with the forces of nature.
We shouldn’t be calling something the environment. That’s a total misperception because that says there’s a biological organism, and then there’s an environment. But the biological organism and the environment are two reflections of the same thing: consciousness. Those trees aren’t trees; they are your lungs. If they don’t breathe, you won’t breathe and if you don’t breathe, they won’t breathe. The rivers and waters aren’t just rivers and waters; that’s your circulation. If they are polluted, so are you. And if you are polluted, so are they [laughs]. The air is not just the atmosphere; it’s your breath. The earth is not just the ground over there; it’s your physical body. Because you and the earth recycle [one another] all the time. So unless you have an emotional and spiritual relationship with your extended body, which you call the environment—the totally wrong word—there’s not going to be any healing. And for that shift in perception, you have to have a shift in consciousness.
” Thinking mind and body is dualistic. There’s no such thing as a mind-body connection—they are the same thing. There’s no such thing as a biological organism and the environment—they are the samething. In fact, there’s no such thing as me and you. The whole idea that you exist as a person is a total misperception of reality…
“There’s no such thing as a person, you know. Personal identity is provisional, impermanent and constantly transforming. It is totally transient. Just to even have the idea that I exist as a person allows me to then see other people as persons. And that, of course, is the beginning of all the problems.
” Personal identity is transient, impermanent and provisional. I mean, I’m not the same person I was five years ago—physically, emotionally, intellectually. Nor, hopefully, do I have the same personality.”
He has been one of my inspirations since 1973, when my dear friend Eric gave me “Be Here Now“. Despite his stroke a few years back, he is still offering his soulful presence online. Namaste, Babaji!
I love this photo of him [on the right] with his then-mentor Bhagavan Das, who led RD to find his guru, Neem Karoli Baba in the 1960s.