Letter #1: Concerning peace and joy
It’s been quite a month in Hilton, NY where Harry Hollywood has been working on his book on spiritual health. Harry says he got the idea when he was writing on his blog about the spiritual life. Harry explained that people worry about their physical health, their mental health, but rarely, if at all, consider their spiritual health.
Harry’s description included 12 components of spiritual health, and 12 cardinal sins that mitigate or interfere with spiritual health. Barbara Golden called the cardinal sins pathogens which contribute to spiritual sickness to stick with the metaphor and not mix it.
Jacob wanted to know what spiritual practices can be engaged in to improve one’s health and various people had various ideas. Harry reminded people that talking about spiritual practices without naming a component of spiritual health they were trying to improve made no sense.
Elmer asked, “What the hell are you talking about? Spiritual health - I’ve never heard of such a thing. Is this real or are you just making up more of your psychobabble mumbo jumbo?”
Barbara said, “No, Elmer, spiritual health is a real thing and I am wondering what kind of condition yours is in. You seem cranky and irritable a lot.”
Elmer said, “So what if I am. I’m an old man. I’ve got a right to be cranky and irritable. A lot of old men, and old ladies are, too, for that matter.”
Barb replied, “Wouldn’t you like to have more peace and joy in your life?”
“Is that what you’re selling? Is that what this is all about: making a buck,” said Elmer.
Barb said, “No, Elmer” spiritual health is free for the asking and the doing.”
Jennifer Golddigger chimed in, “Well, I would be more interested if there was some money in it. Otherwise, why bother?”
Ted Marketer said, “You could do some lectures, you know classes, and post them to YouTube. If you get some traffic they will put ads on the videos and you can get money.”
Jennifer said, “Great idea! what could I say?”
Roy Christian said, “Start with peace and joy. Everybody wants more of that.”
Elmer piped up, “How do you get more of that?”
Barb said, “Forgiveness, Elmer. You have to become more forgiving - you know, stop blaming other people for your own unhappiness.”
“It is their fault,” shouted Elmer. “These idiots make me so mad I could spit.”
Jennifer said, “Maybe you should let it go, Elmer. You know, rise above it as they say.”
“Easier said than done,” said Elmer.
“It takes practice,” said Harry. “That’s why they call it a ‘spiritual practice.’
Elmer for once fell silent. He didn’t seem to have anything to say to that. Jennifer smiled and you could see the wheels turning. Barb smiled beatifically and Ted looked very pleased with himself. Jacob thought forgiveness would give him much more peace and joy. Harry looked bemused and peaceful. And that’s the way things have been in Hilton, NY this past month where people are considering the things they could do to enhance their spiritual health with a special goal of creating more peace and joy by being more forgiving..