Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Too Much or Not Enough

Originally posted on February 29, 2012

The comedian George Carlen remarked, “There are two kinds of people on the road: idiots and nuts. Idiots are those who drive slower than you; nuts are those who drive faster.”

A friend wrote that as president of his (church, synagogue, congregation), he was always needing to mediate between those who felt their clergyman (minister, rabbi, priest…) is too intellectual, or not intellectual enough; too political or not political enough. We as a congregation should be doing more civic action (each one having his or her own noble causes); or, really, that’s not our affair. Some say: we need more attention paid to the teenagers! Others: “…our kids!” Others: “elders in our community.”

Some say there’s too much G-d talk, others say, “not enough!” Some want the congregation to move a bit more towards the fundamentals, orthodoxy, to be more conservative; others think more new ideas, more ideas about reform are what our congregation needs.

How much should we care about the international drift of our denomination? What about the way our church in some parts of the country / world is becoming too radical / conservative when it comes to women in the clergy, homosexuals in the church—or even the clergy, homosexual marriage, racial integration.

And why are there such high expectations for tithing, or dues, or other funds? Do we really need a larger church, or an addition? We pay the clergy too much! Not enough!

Should we have classes in new trends in our religious tradition? Mysticism? Can yoga be compatible with our spiritual path? Which intellectuals or books should be discussed? Which should not!

Is this the way normal people behave, or are those who disagree with us a little irrational, or screwy? How much of all this overlaps with the way it’s very difficult to imagine consciousness, sensitivity, talent, modes of thought different from one’s own. Another way to say it?: A pickpocket at a convention of saints would only see their pockets.

So, then, what is involved in the evolution of consciousness? What would be imagined as more or better than perfectly "normal" people?  Wisdom? Flourishing? Vitality? Resilience? Mental Flexibility?  Might the same problems operate not only in religious organizations, but any large business, college, local political organization or legislature, club, professional organization, etc.?

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