Secret Millionaire

Posted in: Uncategorized by bill-o on June 12, 2010

Recently deceased 98-year old Verna Oller of Long Beach, Washington, USA, had quietly amassed a fortune of (U.S.) $4.5 million that almost no one knew about. Ms. Oller’s lifestyle betrayed nothing about her wealth. As the ABC News video shows (please see the link below), Ms. Oller was so frugal that she once cut out the zipper lining from an old jacket and used it as replacement shoe laces. Ms. Oller also had no college education nor formal training in business nor finance.

As stated in her will, Ms. Oller decided to bequeath all of her fortune to her home town.

The Tactics of the Kosmokrator

Posted in: Spirituality by bill-o on May 17, 2009

Spiritual shadows and symbols in this world are not always benign or helpful. Sometimes they can be employed for terrible or cruel purposes. I say this not to make anyone afraid or upset. That’s definitely nor my intent here. Rather, I’d like to offer you a simple, cautionary note via this post for your consideration. …

So, with some apologies, I’m starting another post here with a Greek word. Before it was anastasis, and this time it’s kosmokrator. The kosmokrator is what the New Testament calls the god of this world. More specifically, we should say that the kosmokrator is the god of the dehumanizing systems of this world. As opposed to the God of all (the pantakrator), the invisible kosmokrator is said by the NT to be actively involved in “blinding the eyes” of people.

Since it is obviously not our natural eyes that are blinded, it must be another means of sight that we each have that the god of this world is trying to take away. This other, invisible sense of sight that we each have is in our souls.

A soul is a deeply spiritual mystery. It is an invisible essence of ourselves. Anyone who would pretend to understand everything about it is clearly not telling the truth. However, we can examine three broad aspects of our souls that would seem to be plausible: the mind, the will, and the emotions. Given these three characteristics of our souls, we can look at how the kosmokrator might seek to try to attack or “blind” each of us.

1.  Agitation of the Emotions.  Emotions can be critical expressions of our lives and can serve as “leading indicators” for what we should or shouldn’t do. Our emotions are expressed when we say “I feel …”. Yet our emotions can also be agitated into doing things that we later regret, like “fight-or-flight” responses. Agitated emotions may cause us to cling to pride or fear: things that separate us from giving or receiving love.

2.  Propaganda for the Mind.  The mind is the “thinking function” of our souls. It is the interior world of ideas and thoughts. The mind is our complex “mental map”.  The mind is expressed when we say “I think …”. Propaganda is not just something done for whole societies (which is now the usual English language connotation for that word) but also for small groups of people and even individuals. Propaganda is an overall map or system for how we should think. It is an overarching plan for making sense of our thoughts. The kosmokrator seeks to make us see things his way. He doesn’t have control over our thoughts, but he does have the ability to try to provide us with a blueprint (schemata) for how we categorize and make sense of the thoughts in our minds.

(By the way, because agitation and propaganda often come in tandem, they are sometimes called agitprop.)

3.  Coercion of the Will.  The will is the decistion-making function of the soul. Once a decision has been made, the will provides the strength to maintain the position of that decision. The will is expressed when we say “I do …” or “I will …”. If agitprop fails, the final tactic of the god of this world is coercion or at least the thread of it. Coercion is not the classic “the devil made me do it” excuse. Rather, it is the strong threat against our souls that bad consequences will follow if we do not conform our wills to the world systems around us. It is intimidation that may blind us if we let the fear of coercion overtake us.

So, how can the knowledge of these tactics be useful to the spiritual explorer?

If you find that your emotions are being agitated, especially if such agitation is driving you away from loving other people, then please be on the alert. Let peace, calm, and rest enter into your soul instead.

If you find that you are being strongly challenged to think in a certain way: in a way that seems to conform closely to the world systems around you but also in a way that might be unjust to other people, then please be warned: Love is surely the most excellent way.

Finally, if your cause is just and you encounter the forces of corecion and intimidation along the path toward justice, take courage and make you stand.