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What is the essence of sincerity?

Thoughts with regard to the eighth commandment

 

1. Who is my neighbor and what is false testimony? How much easier the eighth commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour!") would be if the words "your neighbor" were not there or there were "your friend" there instead. Jesus’ illustration about the Good Samaritan (Lucas 10:25) teaches us that the network of love around us and the acts of mercy recognizing the need determine the idea of "neighbor". God has no respect of persons being not partial (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). We should not be either. False speech is harmful by far not only on court. Our nowadays "post-reality" society has made it an awfully common practice that if something is told with a media-magnified voice becomes true – whether or not reality is diametrically the opposite of it. Faithful word is not only right but pure, too. Silence can also be false witness. The real point of the eighth commandment is not prohibition either but persuasion. I should spread the truth and stand for it: I should not be silent when truth is violated. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can we be sincere? A lot of people identify sincerity with truthfulness. The profound content of sincerity is to be honest with God. When somebody speaks sincerely, he speaks about the essence instead of unimportant things. Sincerity does not necessarily mean to be talkative. (In fact real sincerity speaks little because it focuses on the essence.) A Carthusian monk who has taken a vow of silence can also strongly show the essence of his existence through his life, metacommunications and writings. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is real sincerity? The essence of sincerity is our relations to the harmony of the created world of God. If we accept the harmony of the created order of God, we get into the love stream coming from the Holy Trinity. Whether we hear the call of Jesus to love is the only really important decision of our lives. It belongs to real sincerity that we forward the love to others that we have received. It is the essence of our existence to participate in the love chain. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the opposite of theft?

Thoughts with regard to the seventh commandment

 

1. What can we steal? By far it is not only an object, which may become other people’s property to be stolen. According to its original interpretation the seventh commandment referred to kidnapping. God has given people the freedom of choice even at the cost that we turn against Him and kill His only begotten son. We should not expropriate the freedom of any person. Trust can also be stolen. All kinds of manipulation, illicit profit or fraud are thefts. Greediness and prodigality are also theft because they limit other people’s prosperity. As we destroy the Earth now, we steal from our descendants. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What is the opposite of theft? The opposite of theft is not the pledge of "I will not steal from now on". We do not steal the opportunity from others only – if we create it for them. As in the case of every commandment, including the seventh about theft, the point is not what I DO NOT do, but what I do. The lazy non-action is day theft. The real opposite of theft is not self-restraint or refraining from the sin of theft but generosity, providing advantages to others and increasing others’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Only a life of dedicated service is free of theft. You do not take away only if you give. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. When do I not steal from God? Life is a zero-sum game only in case we do not believe that God still goes on creating and He overwhelms us with His love stream in every moment. This inexhaustible source provides the extra love in the world that can be forwarded again and again. Our lives become complete if they are connected to the love network of the Holy Trinity. If we close inside the love falling on us and we do not forward it, we steal from God. One of the criteria of canonization in the Christian Church is that the candidate should radiate joy around him. We are all able to radiate joy around us because this joy comes from the infinite love reaching us. Forwarding God’s love what makes our joy complete, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age

Thoughts about the Totality of a life in Jesus

 

 

 

1. What is the difference between the young and the old? Being young is identical with our openness to the world, the diversity of our responsiveness and our capacity to lifelong learning. The old age can be described with an experience encoded as an effective behavior pattern, the wisdom of distinguishing the substantial issues from the unimportant ones and the restraint from the extremes. The young and the old behaviors are not linked to the chronological age. Systems become complex if they are capable of both behaviors – alternately. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my essay here.)

 

2. Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age. Young age is the age of exploration and enrichment of the information of the environment. In young age there is no permanent order. The young cannot be controlled, it is vigorous and happy. For the young every moment is a whole life. The fulfillment of the young breaks the limits and creates a new world. The old age is the age of clarity, the capability to identify what is important and what is not, thus the age of wisdom. The old age has learnt to wait. The old age has learnt to listen. For the old the whole life is a moment. The old age has experienced the beauty of purity and silence. (If you would like to read about this more, please, please, read my essay here.)

 

   

3. Life situations of fulfillment in Jesus. The man living in Jesus is not alternating between young and old but he has entered the timelessness of the Holy Trinity where he can be both young and old at the same time. Jesus as the Door (John 10:9), opens the Totality of the Father that gives an unlimited space for the youth to grow and enrich. As the Path and the Truth, Jesus endows the old age’s capability to identify the essence with the Totality of Vision. Jesus, as the Life, joins the impulsivity of the youth with the timelessness of the old. Man living in Jesus lives in the Resurrection where death is not the end but the door opening to God’s Totality. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my essay here.)

 

 

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Cross and glory

Good Friday/Easter thoughts about the totality of salvation

 

1. Good Friday: The Path of the Cross – understandings and misunderstandings. Christ’s Cross stands in the center of Christian faith, in the middle of our hearts. Still: we are unable to understand the scandal of the Cross. Human thought is very much limited and simplifying. We think: If something is that majestic like Jesus, it cannot be humiliated. When we feel that "something is wrong" with the serial scandals of Jesus we actually feel that there is something wrong with ourselves because we are still not able to stand in front of Jesus and look at the beautiful Totality of His Face, Cross and judgment. With everything. With anything. With Him. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

2. Holy Saturday: The beauty of the Silence of mourning. It is silence on Holy Saturday. Is this silence frightful? Is it the silence of the absence of Jesus? No, it is not! It is the silence of hope, expectation and our internal communion with Jesus. The Silence of the Holy Saturday is the Silence of God’s Totality and Purity reflected in Jesus. Good Friday is the occasion to face ourselves, while Holy Saturday is the time for immerse in ourselves. Let’s feel as we approach the core of our existence: the power of the resurrection’s Gospel that rewrites everything. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

3. Easter: The Glory of resurrection. According to the Greek Orthodox thinking Christ suffers for us on the Cross in every moment. Let us experience this as the inconceivable pain of the Father above the Cross, the suffering of Christ on the Cross and the heartbreaking pain of Holy Mary under the Cross are becoming unified. Let us experience the dignity of that the Father does not stamp the Creation but opens the direct Path to Himself as the tapestry of the Sanctuary of the Jerusalem Church is ripped apart (Matthew 27:51a). The covenant is made once and for all: the Father has become the Father of us all to whom we all can turn to – by Jesus and for Jesus – in a first name basis. Let us experience the beauty of resurrection! Let our hearts also resurrect from their dead and let them revive, live a new life that is Eternal! Let us ask for it together with the psalmist: "One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple." (Psalms 26:4). Our prayer in the Psalms has been fulfilled: the fact of resurrection is unchangeable, irrevocable and eternal. Hallelujah! Amen. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

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Difference between a duty and serving others

Lenten thoughts about the benefits of self-sacrifice

 

1. Why isn’t it enough if we carry out our duties well? Man is a social being. One of the primary benefits of a community is the division of labor. Sharing work results in duties. Why isn’t it enough though if we carry out all duties well? A task-oriented life is operated by an “external control”. A task-centered man never reaches the wonderful level of self-motivation that invents new solutions again and again Task-centered man is always anxious. He cannot decide whether he completed the task well enough or not. A task-centered life is a trap. It is a trap because it closes us into our own egos and it is a trap because it closes us into the often limited community defined by ourselves. (If you would like to read more about this, please, read my essay here.)

 

2. The power of serving others. In what way does serving others differ from a duty? Serving others is not controlled externally but it is arisen from Christ living in us and it returns there, too. The essence of serving others is to open our most important inner self, the love of Christ living in us, to others. Serving others is unselfish, gives vision and makes us unbelievably creative. Serving others is a huge power because it empowers our lives by the largest power of the Universe, the love of God, and passes this immense love to everyone and everything around us. (If you would like to read more about this, please, read my essay here.)

 

3. Self-sacrifice as the Door of Totality. What do we need to be able to serve others? Our own power is not enough for that. It is enough only for carrying out our duties. For the service we have to find Jesus living in us. It is not an easy task. We have to break the hardened shell of our own egos to see what is behind it. It is worth doing that. To break our egos is the most important event of our lives because behind it the Door opens which is not anything else but Jesus Himself who leads us to the love of God (John 10:9). (If you would like to read more about this, please, read my essay here.)

 

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How can the real freedom be attained?

Thoughts about the benefits of good ties

1. Freedom as a goal of life. Consumer society casts an amazing wasteful millions of free choices on us every day. The ideologies of the past few decades have extended the right and possibility of free choice on almost all questions of life and death. Man’s freedom has got to be the largest ever for the 21st century. How much this freedom can be still grown? Is it beneficial for us that our freedom has become ’total’? Is the extreme freedom we enjoy today real or does it just look like it? (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

 

2. Limits of free will. Why is freedom given to us without life experience harmful? What are the decisions of mankind, where it has no free will? What are the consequences that a significant part of our freedom is a freedom realized at the cost of limiting others' freedom? Man’s free will is a tameless creature out of control. Its first manifestation was the devouring of the forbidden fruit which was followed by the expulsion from Paradise. The punishment of God is exactly the same as the modern Daddy. When God punishes us, all He does is let the man’s own "free" will work. We cannot receive any bigger punishment ever than this... (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. How can the real freedom be attained? Man cannot live freely because he turns his freedom against himself, his fellow human beings and the nature nurturing him. What is the solution? The solution is the third wish in the Lord's Prayer: "let Your will be done". God is the only one from whom we receive not slavery but such freedom in return of our freedom that cannot be imagined by the human mind, cannot be comprehended, either experienced. Having God’s freedom also means two more little bonuses. The first and most important bonus is God’s endless love that smooths all the wrinkles that our own wasted lives have drawn onto us. The second bonus is that we do Good following God’s Path. We increase the light, love and life around the world – instead of decreasing them. We increase the purity of the world – instead of polluting it. At last: we increase the unity and order of the world – instead of tearing apart and scatter what was born as a Whole. We have our choice. THIS single and most important choice of our lives is our real freedom. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is a good decision?

Thoughts about the power of conscience

1. In how many ways can we make a wrong decision? One of the worst decisions is non-decision. One type of non-decision is to follow the crowd, when the majority (without considering the situation) copies the behavior of the „neighbor”, the „influencer X” – uncritically. A hasty decision almost always focuses on the short term objectives. Following the long term objectives is much more important than that. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What can help us make a good decision? For making a good decision it is important to estimate whether I am in an appropriate state of mind. A very useful example is that of the rabbit. The rabbit EITHER listens OR runs. It does NOT do both at the same time. A good decision needs time. I have good news: time is subjective. If we can create silence in ourselves, our inner time expands and a moment becomes "a thousand years". For making a good decision it is important to control our emotions, since only "indifference" which is free of unsettled inclinations may lead us to good decisions. The most important compass of a good decision is our conscience, which is the reflection of Totality living in ourselves. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Good decisions made at the right time and at the right place. We rarely recognize that we are in a life-changing situation. So it is worth paying attention to the surprising situations VERY carefully. In these cases we have to stop and think. For the most important decisions of our lives we have to leave our own viewpoints and have to rise high (Saint Ignatius, Spiritual Exercises, 184 to 187). If we have accepted Totality with a humble heart, we will see ourselves as God sees us. If we succeed to leave all the earthly affections behind that we ourselves have been in our everyday lives, then we can feel God’s intentions and will with us. In such cases those miraculously new paths that cannot be imagined by a human mind are to be revealed in our lives that link us together with Totality, bring us our real freedom and lead us to good decisions made at the right time and at the right place. (For further details, please read my essay here.)

 

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Our love networks

How can we become peace-sources?

1. Disenergizing people are avoided. People spreading negative emotions are avoided by all others. Those leaders are inefficient who spread negative feelings around themselves. If I exude positive emotions, empathy and satisfaction around myself then I become the central point of my social network. On the contrary, if I spread negative feelings, I get to the very periphery of the social network. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Our love networks. How can we create love around ourselves? We are very lucky. Love can be spread. We are very unlucky. Hate can be spread, too. Anger spreads five times faster (and makes five times more damage) than joy. Let us be open to the love poured upon us even if it does not come where we wanted to get it from. If we forward love to others persistently, then after a while we notice that we are reached by love, too. Let me encourage the Reader to write a kindness journal for a few days. If the ratio between our good and bad deeds is much worse than FIVE to one, then we should think about how we could change this in the future. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. How can we become peace-sources? Accepting and forwarding love and thus the enrichment of the love network around us is realized in small steps. As this feeling becomes permanent in our lives, it is not love any more we experience, but peace and serenity. The one who has found the source of peace becomes peace-source himself in his surroundings, too. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

 

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What is the secret of a happy life?

Thoughts about the strength of gratitude

1. Traps of our self-torturing dissatisfactions. Humans are pleasure and novelty seeking animals, therefore all human pleasures lose their novelty very soon. Due to this man soon becomes dissatisfied and seeks for more pleasures. Our lives become even worse when the "amount of pleasure-possession" becomes our measure to value our own ego. Our egos always compare everything with others. Others have more. We will only have more if we take it away from others. This avalanche does not stop, it can only bury us. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

 

2. The strength of gratitude. The ability of gratitude is the counterpoint of dissatisfaction which results in peace, serenity and joy. Those who live their life open to thankfulness and gratitude, find benefits in all events happening to them. Those who are capable of gratitude open instead of closing themselves into their own egos. Gratitude results in gratitude: a source of goodness opens goodness around itself. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

 

3. The fulfilling joy of the circles of gratitude – love service -- communion of love. The ability of gratitude transforms our whole life. Gratitude links us into a love stream that creates a communion of love. We can choose: either we follow the circles of gratitude – love service – communion of love or the circles of demand – hate/fight – and isolation in our own egos. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the mechanism of effective learning in life?

Thoughts about the strength of spiritual retreats

1. Alternating good and bad periods are needed for learning in nature. During the past centuries mankind increasingly identified the idea of good with wealth. However, escaping from the bad is a wrong strategy because hardships coming from time to time are necessary to slow down, to stop, and to think about that from all that we have collected what are the few ones worth taking forward. It is important from time to time to deprive ourselves from the comfort and from the unbelievable information input in which we have lived before and go to "meditate in the wild". Spiritual retreats are very good forms of this. It is crucial to help our fellow human beings, who live their lives continuously in poor and bad times letting them to overcome this situation. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Alternating good and bad periods are also important in the development of our souls. In nature learning may only proceed by the alterations of resource-rich and resource-poor periods. Alternating good and bad periods play a very important role in soul development, too. Alterations of good and bad are required that a nation, a church, an anything, which is valuable in the long term, may be formed. Thus the consecutive emotional "ups" and "downs" of sermons and spiritual retreats reflect exactly the same Knowledge which appears in the whole nature, and which is the most efficient way to obtain new experiences. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


3. What is the result of the learning process? There is an increase in the complexity, response-range and information content of the system, which learns. In other words: those who may learn from the ups and downs of life become wiser. Still in other words: the soul, which successfully passed some spiritual exercises gets closer to God. God is the Totality of knowledge. If we think about this, we may recognize that the three processes described here, are, in essence, exactly the same. Nature seeks after and heads to the place from where it was born: God’s Totality. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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