Friday, May 9, 2008

Super Powers

For many year I chanted "Peace, Love, Joy, Beauty" as a reminder of where I wanted to keep my focus. I've been working on this "list" for many years as well, expanding and distilling it to find the essence and diversity of a full and virtuous life. Although many of these terms can seem contradictory at times, I believe each is a necessary part of human experience.

Eastern Wisdom and Recovery Programs then taught me that it's not all sunshine and roses, that life is suffering as well. Therefore the "positive" principles have a counter-balance, we could say "Chaos, Hate, Sorrow, Ugliness." Some spiritual paths considers these as illusions, void of substance, that only love is real. Yes, everything is illusion on the ultimate level but pain and suffering are all too real on the relative level, "The Full Catastrophe" of Zorba the Greek.

So I laugh and cry, am inspired and despairing, and so on. To me this is HUGE, revolutionary, and awesome. I used to call these Essential Disciplines but now prefer to call them Super Powers because through our Higher Power they can give us the power to do amazing things. Through these energies we may heal ourselves and help others do the same.

A word of caution however, as the list is the map and not the destination. Rather, each of these is the path and the goal and we are wise to enjoy the journey as much as the destinations. It is very easy to collect virtues as mental concepts to be put in a showcase and admired rather than using them as touchstones for living a virtuous life.

First we must make a Hero's Journey to save ourselves, then return to help save others and the world. Look here for the Twelve Step Hero's Journey. Below are the top twenty individual categories with links to posts for deeper understanding. Part two is here, part three is still in the works. Feel free to play around with these to enjoy and integrate them, and more power to you!

Enlightenment Revelation Spiritual Transcendence Epiphany – Lost Separate Alone Isolated
Body/Mindfulness Intimately Conscious/Aware/Present/Attentive - Asleep Ignorant Distant
Loving Kind Considerate Compassionate Caring - Indifferent Hateful Uncaring Unloving Mean
Gratitude Appreciation Thankfulness Blessed- Thankless Unappreciative Cursed Ungrateful
Surrender Yielding Give-In Fall Let-Go - Attachment Fighting Blaming Clinging Stuck
Acceptance Allowing Consenting Mercy Let-Be - Rejection Judgmental Denial Resistant
Meditative Stillness Sitting Staying Being – Rushing Running Shattered Turbulent Spinning
Equanimity Harmonious Balanced Centered - Chaotic Upset Troubled Frustrated Disturbed
Peaceful Calm Serene Tranquil Quiet - Chaos Discord Tumultuous Distress Agitation Angry
Beauty Radiance Loveliness Glorious Sublime Splendor - Ugly Grotesque Repulsive Gross
Joyful Happy Bliss Pleasure Delight Ecstasy (Smile!) - Miserable Sad Sullen Sorrow Depression
Honest Open Authentic Genuine Real True - Fake False Dishonest Lie Untrue Fantasy
Humor Irony Fun/Funny Absurdity Playful (Laugh!) - Serious Somber Sullen Depressed
Illusion Dream Construct Chimera Apparition Mirage - Concrete Solid Hard Factual Real
Wisdom Vision Understanding Discernment - Stupidity Ignorance Dumb Confused Blind
Insight Look/Listen-Deeply/Within Reflection Clarity - Ignorant Deaf Dumb Blind Confused
Oneness Unity Emmanuel Inclusive Interbeing - Insignificant Separate Alone Isolated Selfish
Impermanent Changeable Changing Transformation - Static Same Permanent Solid
Spaciousness Vastness Emptiness Limitless - Claustrophobic Suffocated Closed Limited
Restful Relaxed Ease Calm Stopping (Breathe) - Restless Anxious Uptight Angst Panicked

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