As a single, unified thing there exists in us both life and death, waking and sleeping, youth and old age, because the former things having changed are now the latter, and when those latter things change, they become the former.
IN TODAY’S SESSION… We found a clock and a live plant in the Conundrum Corner, and we talked about how everything changes. We heard a story about two opposites, life and death. We talked about how different points of view and different situations change our ideas of whether something is right or wrong. We tried meditating to the sound of “om,” and then made some modern gods and goddesses. For Faith in Action, we discovered more about each other so we can increase our respect for each other and treat one another better.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about…
- Complicated ethical decisions in your lives. What are they? How do you go about making the right decisions?
- Your similarities and differences. Do members of your family look alike or different? Do you think the same way? Do you like having some things the same and some things different?
- Life and death. Do we need to have both, as the spring-keeper says in the story “The Brothers”? Would the world make any sense if we had just one and not the other?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try…
- Looking for something that is wrong but that your family can help turn into something right. Are you already doing that in some way? How? Can you do more of it?
- Sharing your difficult ethical decisions. Predict how what seems like the right thing to do might turn out to be the wrong thing to do, and vice versa.
- Looking around for things that change all the time, such as clocks and plants. Can you find anything at all that will never ever change?
MYSTERY AND ME
Take some personal quiet time and meditate. Find a quiet space to be alone. Make yourself comfortable and empty your mind. What happens? Could you do that? Most people cannot really empty their minds; ideas keep flitting through. But people who practice meditation enough can learn to let go of daily worries and open up their minds for a while. If you are really meditating, you cannot be angry or upset. Try filling your mind with something different and see if that helps you get a sense of peace and connection to things beyond you. Just saying one number over and over again may work. If you are journaling, write what you tried and what happened. Also write down some more mind-filling images or sounds to try.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Talk each day about the right and wrong you have experienced. Did you each do something good you want to share? Is there somebody in the family you want to thank for a virtuous act? Is there something you wish you had not done that you need to talk about? How can you make tomorrow a better day?
A FAMILY GAME
Make up oxymorons. What are those? An oxymoron is a pair of words that seem to cancel each other out. A “modern antique” is one, because “modern” means new and “antique” means old. A “peaceful war” is another, because war and peace are opposites. What are some more? What about “a good lie”? Is that an oxymoron? Or a “bad virtue”?
Find stories about right and wrong turning into each other. Look in newspapers and watch the television for stories of people who did the right thing that turned out wrong, or the wrong thing that came out right.