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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %PERSONAL COMMUNAL WAY PRAY CHANGE EVOLVE GROW 891011 Every growing community and the members of every growing community participate in change. The challenge is to find and follow integrative ways of growing through balanced change. The integrative ways are: the ways of finding new ways, the process of following new ways, the content which is found in the process of following new ways, the process of sharing the process and the content, etc. Persons and communities which seek to stabilize themselves through stopping change, or through achieving a final ideal condition, lose their balance and change through disintegration; they fall. The fall has to do with presuming to have achieved a good condition of being which calls for no further change; i.e., believing that one somehow knows that one is good in an ultimate sense, having transcended evil. The presumption of the attainment of such knowledge through any process (such as eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, through research, through scholarly discourse, etc.) constitutes the fall. Balanced change is made possible through integrative prayer which illuminates the ways to change with integrity; involving both personal prayer and intimate communal prayer in which members of the community are free/freed to be open and honest about their most fundamental desires and needs. The work of Love is to create contexts in which people may be safely vulnerable enough to feel free to change creatively. The work of Love is to eliminate the felt need to be defensive as a way to be secure. The defensive way to try to achieve security destroys the secure possibility of being vulnerable, which is real security. Authentic prayer is not a prescribed ritual or performance according to some technical or traditional form. Prayer is essential to change and the essence of being in the process of change. In prayer communities and their members are reborn as they conceive themselves in new and creative ways. By changing their preconceptions of themselves they change their perceptions of themselves and become free to re-conceive themselves through new conceptions of themselves. The process of change is one with the process of perception and conception through re- conception in the ways of prayer. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================