Breathing Under Water, Chapter 9 , (Rohr)

“Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”  Step 9 of the 12 Steps

Remember, Jesus said “Follow me” and never once said, “worship me.” The sad result is that we have many “spiritual” beings when the much  more needed task is to learn how to be true human beings.

Full humanness leads to spirituality by the truckload.

It takes seven to ten years, they say, for a married couple to begin to learn how to fight fairly.

Just because it is factually true, does not mean everyone can handle it or even needs to handle it.  (DISCERNMENT!!! brian)

Gossip is not a right but a major obstacle to human love and spiritual wisdom.

Truth is not just factual truth (the great mistake of fundamentalists), but a combination of both text and context, style and intent. (this may sound postmodern wishy-washy, but he continues to cite the falsely accused and imprisoned. “truth” is not always truth.)

Even sincere people can do a lot of damage with information that they are not prepared to handle, and often make rash judgments that are not true or helpful.

(not from this book but a verse I have always liked:

“a truth that’s told with bad intent,beats all the lies you can invent”)


Breathing Under Water: Chapter 8

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” Step 8 of A.A

“amazing grace” is not a way to avoid honest human relationships, but to redo them–but now gracefully–for the liberation of both sides.

All healers are wounded healers. (Nouwen)

Knowing that we were not taught nonviolent communication at the personal level, is it any surprise that we did not have the skills at the national, cultural, or church levels?

A.A. is the only group I know that is willing and honest enough to just tell people up front, “You are damn selfish!” Or, “Until you get beyond your massive narcissism you are never going to grow up.”

It is a self-serving concern to alleviate just your own guilt; it is a loving question to say, “How can I free others from theirs?”

Until religion becomes flesh, it is merely Platonic idealism instead of Jesus radicalism.

To offer an apology in a way that can actually heal the other takes wisdom and respect for the other.

The Digital Invasion

I heard a great lecture by the authors of a book entitled, The Digital Invasion last week. They also have a website

The authors are a father/daughter team.  Dr. Archibald Hart is a clinical psychologist and has been at Fuller Seminary in CA for 40 years and written alot of good books.  Sylvia Hart Frejd is connected to Liberty and has a D.Min. after a Masters in counseling, and focuses on spiritual formation.

If you work with young people or just want to be aware of the possible problems of internet addiction, or just have kids, I think this book will be a great resource based on the lecture I heard.  I don’t have the book yet but it is high on my list.

Here are some things to pique your interest:

  • The problem with the internet is obviously the addictive nature, the main consequences result from sleep deprivation
  • Internet addiction changes the brain:  you lose grey matter and gain white matter, and that’s bad for you.
  • we are creating new psycho-pathologies (new mental diseases, the brain is actually changed by behavior)
  • Silicon Valley CEOs send their kids to Waldorf Schools, one aspect is lack of technology (Google it)
  • Schools in South Korea don’t allow kids to use computers for the first two years of education
  • The digital world rewires the brain for speed, and multitasking is less efficient/productive.
  • They quote neurological studies about the impact, “rewiring” is an accurate description of what happens
  • Some children born today will learn more from a machine than a mother/father
  • Whybrow calles the internet, “electric cocaine”
  • Internet is lowering EQ, IQ and capability for empathy
  • Internet is comparable to food addiction, because it’s something we can’t fully avoid, but must set boundaries
  • Frejd uses the term “Godspace”, and says we must protect it
  • Internet overuse/addiction does the opposite to our brains as what silence/solitude does.  Contemplative disciplines can help the pre-frontal cortex part of brain heal itself. She cited Curt Thompson.
  • “We have lots of connections but we need conversations.  With God, with self, with others.”
  • The presenters were mildly alarmist, but did recognize the good of internet.  Their big concern is for the next couple of generations.
  • Frejd has a Family Digital Use Contract to limit use, such as no smartphones/tablets at dinner table, boundaries for parents and children

Other resources

  • Nicholas Carr at Harvard, wrote “the Shallows”
  • Mark Baurlein at Emory
  • Dr. Kimberly Young in PA, has opened inpatient internet addiction centers
  • Dr. Sherry Terkle at MIT, “we are all cyborgs” she works in robotics and wrote, “Alone-Together”
  • The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction
  • Her son has dealt with gaming addiction, and she mentioned “The Demise of Guys” by Zimbardo

Of course, this is a remake of an 80s film, but it’s very relevant to our lives now: