Jon Meachum: The Constitution is a Calvinist Ducument. The Declaration was an Englightenment one

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me to this point so I I do think it’s
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a it’s a good bright line to draw John
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Jefferson knew that part and this is in
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your book all these codes about
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partisanship I mean he was pretty
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dedicated to engagement and political
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issues but what would he think of the
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type of partisanship we have now at this
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moment I think he would recognize it
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honestly he once said divisions of
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opinion have convulsed human societies
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since Greece and Rome divisions of
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opinion were the oxygen of a free
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government I’m a skeptic of the a
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prevailing scholarly view that the
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founders had this vision of a one-party
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one-party state and we would all be on
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Olympus with powdered wigs and
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solving problems they may have had that
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vision we all had that vision and but
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they understood reality oh if you if you
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worry if you’re worried about or if you
doubt me about whether they understood
reality read the Constitution which is
entirely about reality constitute if
Jefferson was an Enlightenment document
the Constitution is a Calvinist document
as looms we are all Despres sinful and
driven by appetite and ambition and
we’ve done everything we can
since then to prove them right so I
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think you know this is a the Hemings the
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story about Sally Hemings was first
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publicized in 1802 and we with all love
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and respect to a net we don’t know that
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much more than that first piece doing it
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wasn’t seen as a historical or cultural
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document it was a partisan attack yeah
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you know right and and continued during
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that you know during his presidency and
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in a few times afterwards there’s been a
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big debate recently coming out of the
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New York Times 16:19 project how much do
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we need to revise our concept of the
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founding of this nation do you think
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that makes sense or has it gone a bit
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too far the pendulum is historians have
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been writing about this down for quite
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some time but what we haven’t done as
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much as to think about what that means
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for us today
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that the legacy of slavery is still with
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us there’s a tendency there has been a
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tendency on the part of many people to
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say oh well we knew that but that’s over
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I think that’s the that’s the
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contribution of the magazine of 1619 is
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not to tell us something many things we
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didn’t know but to say there is a
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connection to this that is continuing
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you don’t get rid of hundreds of years
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of slavery in a century or so and we
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really don’t get going as legally full
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citizens until 1965 the passage of the
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vote
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that’s not in the history you know
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that’s a blink of an eye so they even in
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total blink of an eye in history and
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thinking that this stuff is all in the
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past has been the problem and that’s I
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think that’s what the project was trying
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to do is to say no this isn’t over John
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I was struck I believe it was the
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remarks at the signing of the Civil
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Rights Act and in July July 2nd 1964
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Lyndon Johnson grounds his remark at the
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bill signing not on Philadelphia but on
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Jamestown it which which I was struck by
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talk about a complicated figure well you
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know were the Democratic nominee for
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president is a 77 year old white man who
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was the vice president of the first
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african-american president incredibly
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loyal and eulogized Thurmond and
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Eastland you know so well if you’re
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looking for simplicity if you’re looking
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for straightforward figures good luck
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I don’t know who they would be I think
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what an it just said is absolutely
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essential I have a theory
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aboard Walter with this I think
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privately actually that we’re only a 60
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year old nation right the country we
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have right now the polity we have which
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is soon going to be majority diversity
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whatever phrase it is was really created
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in 1964-65 not only with the Civil
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Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act but
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with the Immigration Act yeah which
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totally changed the nature of the
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country and so no wonder this is so hard
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no wonder we’re having such a ferocious
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white reaction this is kind of the 1830s
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in a way and so it’s not to excuse it
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but I do think it explains it a little
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bit and this idea of Prague
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and I know it sounds tinny to people and
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look if you look like me you can talk
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about progress right I’m the boring Lee
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heterosexual white southern Episcopalian
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right I mean things tend to work out for
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me in America so I stipulate that but
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but it’s simply the lesson of history
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that we are in fact a better country
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than we were yesterday doesn’t mean
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we’re perfect doesn’t mean we stop up
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but our are enough of us devoted to
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doing all we can as citizens and as
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leaders to try to create a country that
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more of us can be proud of and if we are
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then let’s get to it yeah and and I
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would throw in women the changing role
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of women from the 1960s and this is
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that’s a good point I wouldn’t I agree
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with 60 years again a short time in
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history where everything everybody’s
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sort of in place it’s like Ken Burns
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said that he found it difficult to call
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talk about the Golden Age of baseball
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and there were no black players in the
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major league how do you how do you do
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that and this is a similar situation
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where you have blacks legally allowed to
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vote and those rights are protected I
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mean there’s issues with voter
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suppression but sort of on paper
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equality is there and it’s hard is
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wrenching for people who have had you
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know power who are used to a certain
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hierarchy a certain way things are were
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or they think about their grandparents
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or good old days it’s hard to get used
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to all of that and so you’re right
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there’s no wonder that there’s a people
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Annette gordon-reed Jon Meacham thank
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you for joining us to be here
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[Music]
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[Music]
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you

Christ Means “Anointed”

Cynthia Bourgeault has spent years studying Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ closest apostles, often conflated with a prostitute. Cynthia reclaims Magdalene’s significance as Jesus’ beloved companion and a model of authentic love.

Christ is not Jesus’s last name—an obvious but so-often overlooked truism. It means “the anointed one.” And however much his followers may have wished for the ceremonial anointing that would have proclaimed him the Davidic Messiah, the fact is that he became “the Anointed One” at the hands of an unidentified woman who appeared out of nowhere at a private dinner bearing a jar of precious perfume and sealed him with the unction of her love. . . .

I believe that the traditional memory of Mary Magdalene as Jesus’s anointer . . . holds the key to . . . understanding . . . the Passion as an act of substituted love. It also . . . offers a powerful ritual access point to the Christian pathway toward singleness and “restoration to fullness of being.” If we are fully to avail ourselves of Mary Magdalene’s wisdom presence today, it will be, I believe, primarily through recovering a wisdom relationship with the ritual of anointing—that is, coming to understand it . . . as an act of conscious love marking the passageway into both physical and spiritual wholeness.

Her passion has transformed her into one of the initiated ones. And in The Cloud of Unknowing, the author recognizes this same quality of passion as the key element that not only frees Mary from her sins but catapults her into unitive consciousness and a state of continuous beatific communion:

When our Lord spoke to Mary as a representative of all sinners who are called to the contemplative life and said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” it was not only because of her great sorrow, nor because of her remembering her sins, nor even because of the meekness with which she regarded her sinfulness. Why then? It was surely because she loved much.

. . . Even though she may not have felt a deep and strong sorrow for her sins . . . she languished more for lack of love than for any remembrance of her sins. . . .

Richard Rohr: Do Not Be Afraid

 “When I act against my own will, then it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me” (Romans 7:20, Jerusalem Bible). Somehow, he knew there was a part of him that was authentic, steadfast, and true to its God-given and loving nature.

Paul then contrasted the true self with what we are calling the false self and he called “sin” (7:14-25). It is the self that is always passing away.

.. The false self is not really bad or evil, but just inadequate to the big questions of love, death, suffering, God, or infinity. God allows and uses all our diversionary tactics to get us to move toward our full and final destination, which is divine union—and thus wholeness. That is how perfect and patient divine love is: Nothing is wasted; even our mistakes are the raw material to turn us back into love.

.. The True Self will surely have doubts about the unknown. But the True Self is the Risen Christ in you, and hence, it is not afraid of death. It has already been to hell and back. The Risen Christ in us knows that it will never lose anything real by dying. This is the necessary suffering of walking the full human path. That is what Jesus did and why we are invited to “reproduce the pattern of his death,” each in our own way, so that we can also take our place in the “force field” of God’s universal resurrection (see Philippians 3:10-11 and Acts 3:21).

In Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, “Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water. At that moment, all fear of death disappears.” [1]

And in Stephen Levine’s:

But water is water, no matter what its shape or form. The solidity of ice imagines itself to be its edges and density. Melting, it remembers; evaporating, it ascends. [2]

So do not be afraid. Death to false self and the end of human life is simply a return to our Ground of Being, to God, to Love. Life doesn’t truly end; it simply changes form and continues evolving into ever new shapes and beauty.

Richard Rohr Meditation: The Most Essential Thing

Love is who you are. When you don’t live according to love, you are outside of being. You’re basically not real or true to yourself. When you love, you are acting according to your deepest being, your deepest truth. You are operating according to your dignity. For a simple description of the kind of love I am talking about, let’s just use the word outflowing. .

.. John the Evangelist writes, “God is love, and whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in them” (1 John 4:16). The Judeo-Christian creation story says that we were created in the very “image and likeness” of God—who sets the highest bar for this kind of outflowing love (Genesis 1:26-27). Out of the Trinity’s generative and infinitely flowing relationship, all of creation takes form, mirroring its Creator in its deepest identity.

.. We have heard this phrase so often that we don’t get the existential shock of what “created in the image and likeness of God” is saying about us. If this is true, then our family of origin is divine. It is saying that we were created by a loving God to also be love in the world. Our core is original blessing, not original sin. Our starting point is “very good” (Genesis 1:31). If the beginning is right, the rest is made considerably easier, because we know and can trust the clear direction of our life’s tangent.

.. We must all overcome the illusion of separateness. It is the primary task of religion to communicate not worthiness but union, to reconnect people to their original identity “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). The Bible calls the state of separateness “sin.” God’s job description is to draw us back into primal and intimate relationship. “My dear people, we are already children of God; what we will be in the future has not yet been fully revealed, and all I do know is that we shall be like God” (1 John 3:2).

Henceforth, all our moral behavior is simply “the imitation of God.” First observe what God is doing all the time and everywhere, and then do the same thing (Ephesians 5:1). And what does God do? God does what God is: Love. God does not love you if and when you change. God loves you so that you can change!

Richard Rohr Meditation: Radical Politics

If you walk around with hatred and prejudice in your heart and mind all day, morally you’re just as much a killer as the one who pulls out the gun. That seems to be what Jesus is saying. The evil and genocide of World War II was the final result of decades of negative and paranoid thinking among good German Christians, Catholic and Lutheran. The tragic fascism of Nazi Germany was fomenting in people’s hearts long before a political leader came to catalyze their hate and resentment. Now it seems we are seeing the same in the United States.

Jesus tells us to not harbor hateful anger or call people names even in our hearts like “fool” or “worthless person” (Matthew 5:22). If we’re walking around all day thinking, “What an idiot he is,” we are already in the state of sin. Sin is more a state of separation and superiority than any concrete action—which is only the symptom. How we live in our hearts is our real truth.

.. Jesus insists that we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). For Jesus, prayer seems to be a matter of waiting in love, returning to love, trusting that love is the unceasing stream of reality. Prayer isn’t primarily words; it’s an attitude, a stance, a state that precedes “saying” any individual prayers. That’s why Paul could say, “Pray unceasingly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If we think of prayer as requiring words, it is surely impossible to pray always.

Richard Rohr Meditation: Roots of Liberation

Large companies, churches, and governments get away with and are even applauded for killing (war), greed, vanity, pride, and ambition. The capital sins are rewarded at the corporate level but shamed at the individual level. This is our conflicted Christian morality!

Instead of legitimating the status quo, liberation theology tries to read history and the Bible not from the side of the powerful, but from the side of the pain. Its beginning point is not sin management, but “Where is the suffering?”

The world tends to define poverty and riches simply in terms of economics. But poverty has many faces—weakness, dependence, and many forms of humiliation. Essentially, poverty is a lack of means to accomplish what one desires or needs, be it lack of money, relationships, influence, power, intellectual ability, physical strength, freedom, or dignity.

Richard Rohr: Walking toward Heaven

Terry Pratchett has a character define sin thusly: “Sin, young man, is when you treat people like things.” [1] . . .

.. I don’t believe hell or heaven to be post-life destinations. I believe they are states of consciousness largely visible here and now. A world of objects is a kind of hell. A world of subjects—divine beings honoring the divinity in the other—is surely heaven.