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HOLI, LENT, LAW & ME | Spring Festivals and Celebrations…

HOLI, LENT, LAW & ME

Spring Festivals and Celebrations – Getting up close to examine[1] spirituality, law and me as both an individual and a member of community.

Own it!

Through critique and criticism, I examine my thoughts and own what I believe– leaving space to modify my beliefs as new and truer information is received.

Spring ushers in the arrival of celebrations. Today, people are celebrating Holi, a Hindu spring festival known as the “festival of colors.” The festival signifies the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. Other people are well into Lent, a Christian spring celebration. Lent is a time of year when individuals and community reflect on how to live together as one, on this planet. The individual engages in self-refection to identify and sacrifice a personal behavior that impedes realization of this universal goal. (It is not self-punishment or extreme hardship.) Recurring rituals and traditions are designed to bring the individual and the community together to advance peace and harmony.

Laws alone cannot create a civil society. The individual and community also have a responsibility to develop local customs and set of behaviors, and to inspire to the spirit and aspirations of the democratic society.

 Feel It!

I acknowledge the scientific fact that emotions influence the thoughts that inform my opinions.

I can easily feel discouraged and isolated and alone when I am seemingly in community with people. I attend conferences and seminars, book club meetings and other gatherings. Yet I leave with no lasting connections. What I realized in reading about Lent is that the scheduling and looking forward to engaging with groups and individuals who share a common desire for inclusive love, without judgment, creates a different dynamic. It can create more satisfying feelings of community and shared accountability to others, and myself.

Live It!

I can act more consciously in ways that form my experiences of the world; shape the lens through which I see the world; that filters the thoughts that form my understanding of others and myself.

So for Lent, my self-sacrifice and repentance is to release behaviors that keep me from maintaining a deeper awareness of my human nature (that is, to produce thoughts that can be biased; to feel and be influenced by emotions; to need to be connected to something greater than myself). I will sacrifice anxiety about current events and instead, face the reality of uncertainty. I will sacrifice doubt about expressing spirituality.  I will accept that it is a human motivational need. I will sacrifice my fear of death (non-being) and instead, act in ways that affirm that all humans are created equal and it is their nature to pursue happiness.

Love It!

I’m now more fully aware of my thoughts, how they influence my feelings and actions. I experience life with more emotional well-being and happiness.

[1] the Educating Gossip pioneered an approach life using critique, criticism, emerging science of how humans acquire belief through the processes of the brain (thoughts and emotions), and the spirit or energy of belief is expressed in the world.