What I Got


Author’s Note

“You can’t send this out,” Jane said at the kitchen table, reading as I drank my smoothie this morning.
The hours and words I thought you were going to read, now that she’s saved me from a very likely error in judgment, gone.
“I was afraid of that,” I said.
I re-prioritize the semi-monthly, semi-personalized notes to donors and come up with a few ideas of what I should send you.
This rushed project is a compilation and expanding upon the index cards of notes I made this week. And here’s last week’s really good article.
I thank you for your grace.

This week’s index cards


Someone who sees me for spiritual direction quoted evolutionary astrologer Kristin Fontana: “I’m tired of being cursed and blessed at the same time.”
  • Why do I have such distain for anything more woo-woo than me?
  • Check for jealousy
  • “Moral indignation is often jealousy with a halo” — H.G. Wells.
  • Oh! I dislike their freedom.


It is easier to deal with concepts of creativity, openness, and self-love when you have food, shelter, and safety.
A shame so many of us aren’t feeling safe.
  • How can I help?
  • Can I?
  • Remember to tell folk on Racism call that they aren’t seen and can lock their door.


When we share laughter we know we have seen the same absurdities.
  • This reminds me of a that Voltaire quote: God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh.

Other thoughts for the racism talk

  • Selling point: “By Saturday noon, be two steps closer to being an anti-racist”
  • “Anecdotal evidence is true, so says one person.” So let’s be careful of thinking one person represents any group.
  • Maybe the subtitle should be: Recruiting white folk. Training Anti-racists
  • Why is Devin white? Because white folk need to take responsibility for fix the mess we made? Why is a rabbi involved? Because I witnessed the Exodus from Egypt and the clergy’s job is preaching truth to power.

The steps to becoming a saint

Adapted from Catholic beatification rites:
  1. Have you been a good person for at least five-years? Receive “Nihil Obstat” stamp — “nothing hinders” your progress. Good going!
  2. Evidence that you have at least three virtues is shown to an assigned “postulator”
  3. Optional: Demonstrate exceptional ability / miracle. Receive “Venerable and Blessed” title. Way to go!
  4. Optional: Demonstrate second miracle and be deceased. Receive “Saint” title.
  • Shouldn’t most of us be alright with just knowing we were at “nothing hinders” our progress? And continue to work towards justice.
  • Maybe I’ll work people through these steps as a spiritual exercise?
  • Just did a sample. Made revisions. Will do this again.


> Everything is up in the air.
> It’s Covid.
> Nothing can be conceived of.
> There are no markers, and the world is inconsistent.
The above are notes I took while talking to Jane.
Here’s a reconstitution of her words:
Covid has it that we don’t know anything. I can’t conceive of the next time I’ll see my dad. I can’t conceive of a vacation or what that would look like or when we would take it. I can’t conceive of what the elections are going to look like. Nothing can be thought of. There are no markers. I can’t conceive of how a visit with your mom would work in the back yard. Covid has made us all unable to conceive anything.
  • I hope this framing can help folk from taking this all too personally.

Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer resides in Portland, Oregon. He is the founder and head of Religion-Outside-The-Box oldrotb.wpengine.com, an internet-based, global group of 3K+ digital-age seekers. ROTB produces excellent spiritual content.

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