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hamlet - June 5, 2013m

Leading up to the U.S. Civil War, both pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions used Biblical passages* to defend their beliefs…

Yes, the Bible has its contradictions…

But such contradiction doesn’t invalidate the Bible—or any other religious text.  I don’t think our religious texts were meant to be question and answer books—to provide a straight “yes” or “no” to any particular problem…

Ideally, a text is for guidance—to open me to my own truth.  If I dare to accept it.

My Bible training ended sometime in my teens.  But it’s never quite left me—especially one basic message repeated throughout those stories…

…a message confirmed by what I’ve experienced as an adult…

It’s this rule-of-thumb, regarding how best to handle life’s thorny dilemmas:

If a particular option seems especially challenging, especially costly, especially threatening to my sense of security…

…if it disturbs my previously unquestioned concepts concerning this life…

…in short: if it rocks my boat…

…that option will usually be my best choice…the choice that speaks to my inner truth, to a deep sense of morality.

Such choices often expand my life, my world…

…by stretching me beyond my current limits.

To put it plainly: the most painful option is usually the best.

I said “usually”—it’s a rule-of-a-thumb, not a rule.  Certainly not a guarantee.  The decision still rests with us.

But that’s freedom, isn’t it?

( *For example: “tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect” (Titus 2:9); “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them, and them that suffer adversity, as being yourself also in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).)

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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