Linda Neale's Blog

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Forgiveness

Linda Neale - Monday, March 02, 2015

Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel presentation on forgiveness sponsored by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Holocaust Remembrance Center.  The discussion was based on The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Weisenthal.    If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.  In the first hundred pages of this book,  Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal recounts his encounter with a dying German soldier who asked to speak with "a Jew" in order to seek forgiveness. Wiesenthal then invites everyone into the discussion, throwing open his personal experience for judgment in a series of short essays offered by philosophers, theologians, scholars, and religious leaders who offer their thoughts on what Wiesenthal should or could have done. On Sunday a rabbi, a Catholic lay minister, a Muslim woman, and I were invited to weigh in on our various perspectives on forgiveness. I found it interesting that I was included in this esteemed panel, partly because I do not have an “official” religious position, and partly because I’ve always had a problem with the concept of forgiveness. It was a good discussion, and raised many issues for me.  I hope it does the same for you.  The following are highlights of my own personal perspective on forgiveness.  I invite all readers to share their own perspective in the comments section -- I'll print your response.
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Warrior Mode

Linda Neale - Friday, October 10, 2014
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The Problem of Evil

Linda Neale - Sunday, January 05, 2014

    A  close friend of mine had a handicapped brother who was recently brutally murdered.    Another friend has a beautiful son who is unable to function, or even walk, because of chronic fatigue syndrome.  Adolf Hitler annihilated one million Jewish children during the Holocaust of World War II.  I was sexually abused by my own father.  At age 8, my husband Rod was told by his boarding school teachers that his Pima traditions were "of the devil."  In 1968 American troops massacred 504 men, women, and children at My Lai in Vietnam.
   The "problem of evil" is everywhere, and is one of the most serious objections to the existence of God.  Simply stated, the problem goes like this:  If God is all-knowing, all-benevolent, and all-powerful, why does He/She let bad things happen? 
   I don't pretend to have an answer, but I do think we should all at least consider the question, because eventually we will be faced with some horrible situation that we consider evil.  Or, some very good person in our lives (in my case, Rod) will get seriously injured, or die prematurely, or  be killed. Because shit happens in life.  We can't get away from it.  When very bad things happen, lots of questions arise, like, "Why did God allow this?", "Am I being punished for something I did?",  "Didn't the Great Spirit hear all those prayers for protection?", "Do I believe in the wrong thing?"
   Because of recent events in my friends' lives and that of my own, I've been re-examining my understanding and feelings about evil, and have learned some more about various Native American and Christian beliefs that I want to pass on for your consideration.   I'm going to start with a series of quotes, and then continue this discussion in another blog.  You're welcome to chime in with your stories, opinions, quotes, or beliefs about evil in the "comments" section. 
   Please think about it.  Read More

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the shootings

Linda Neale - Monday, December 17, 2012

So many people are writing about the mass shootings at Clackamas Town Center and  Newtown, Connecticut, that I wondered what else I could possibly add to the conversation.  But I found myself crying last night when the names of the twenty child victims were read by President Obama at the Newtown memorial service and realized that I needed to share, even if no one reads this or listens, as part of my own healing.  And, I needed to figure out what I could do to help.  Read More

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You are the Medicine Wheel

Linda Neale - Monday, December 03, 2012

On Saturday, December 15th, Rod and I are doing a workshop on the medicine wheel.  I've lived with the wheel for decades now, but until ten years ago, I never understood what Rod meant when he said "you are the medicine wheel". Until then I thought the wheel was something to memorize, and that somehow I just couldn't get it "right".  Was white in the east, or in the north?  Where did the eagle belong on the wheel?  The bear?  If the west was about the elder and darkness, then what was the north?  I was confused.
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Hope and Heart

Linda Neale - Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What gives us the hope and heart to continue to work on what is best for the Earth in the face of difficult changes?  This is the central question for Earth & Spirit Council's Earthday 2012 conference to be held on April 20 and 21 in Portland.   Read More

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Incorporating the Unexpected

Linda Neale - Friday, March 16, 2012

Most of you who read this blog know that my husband Rod suffered a very serious accident on January 31st.  As he pushed his chair back from his table after eating breakfast at a local restaurant, the back two legs fell off a platform, he fell backward, hit the back of his head on a pool table, and broke his neck.  911 was called, and when I arrived at the hospital, I was told by three different doctors that Rod would probably be paralyzed from the neck down.   Read More


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