“Well, I’ve seen hell in Reno

And this world’s one big ol’ Catherine wheel

Spinnin’ still”

Bradley Cooper, “Maybe It’s Time to Let the Old Ways Die”

Progress Prevails

A Catherine Wheel was a wheel of torture used “in the olden days” to execute by mutilation the dregs of society: murderers, rapists and female teachers of spirituality. Catherine refers to Catherine of Alexandria, a brilliant and beautiful 4th Century mystic and scholar of philosophy, science, medicine, and later Christianity. 

She confronted the Emperor ~ Maxentius~ about his cruelty and worship of ‘false gods.’  He, in turn, called in 50 philosophers to debate and squelch her credibility.  Instead, they converted, as did members of Max’ family,and entourage, leaving Him little choice but to execute them all, including Catherine.  When Catherine was faced with the wheel of torture, the story goes, she touched it and it blew to pieces (much like the mega firework with the same name.) Catherine was then beheaded.

Quite an image, and story.  Rough ending for the teacher preacher and those she inspired ~although she remains a favored saint in the Catholic church ~ the patron saint of students, lawyers, librarians and teachers, which really applies to all of us. Catherine’s legacy and spirit reached many ~ from monks and popes to Joan of Arc. She is celebrated for pushing the envelope, rejecting the ways of the ‘olden days,’ and standing up for what she knew to be true.

Thanks Bradley and Lady Gaga for sharing this concept. (What would Saint Catherine have thought of you, too?!) Progress can be painful, I guess. And change and suffering often go hand in hand.
There is hope here though. Life has not felt super fair or just lately, but we are reminded of what a very long way we have come.  Oppression dies hard, but it does die.
And Progress Prevails!


This Week's Practice, ("The Work", by Byron Katie):

Every time you do ‘The Work’ you are becoming enlightened to who and what you are, the true nature of being. To question what you believe is an amazing gift to give yourself, and you can have it all the days of your life. The answers are always inside you, just waiting to be heard.

And the questions: Is it true? Can you absolutely know the it’s true? How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought?

***

These are wonderful questions to consider. And as we do in meditation, let go of trying to solve them, and just be with them. And breathe. You’ll be amazed by what comes up, when you let it.

This Week's Musical Inspiration:

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
It takes a lot to change a man
Hell, it takes a lot to try
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die

Nobody knows what waits for the dead
Nobody knows what waits for the dead
Some folks just believe in the things they’ve heard
And the things they read
Nobody knows what awaits for the dead

I’m glad I can’t go back to where I came from
I’m glad those days are gone, gone for good
But if I could take spirits from my past and bring’ ’em here
You know I would, you know I would

Nobody speaks to God these days
Nobody speaks to God these days
I’d like to think he’s looking down and laughing at our ways
Nobody speaks to God these days

When I was a child they tried to fool me
Said the worldly man was lost and that the hell was real
Well, I’ve seen hell in Reno
And this world’s one big ol’ Catherine wheel
Spinnin’ still

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
It takes a lot to change your plans
And a train to change your mind
Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die
Oh, maybe it’s time to let the old ways die

~ Bradley Cooper

more info:  www.40daysofpeace.com. inquiries/reflections: info@40daysofpeace.comjournaling encouraged; personal favorite- the old ‘composition notebook’ , a good online option is 750words.com

* * *