Tolerance within spirituality

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by juantoo3, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    From:
    http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1360&page=2&pp=15

    Kindest Regards to all!

    It seems to me that some among us would claim for themselves the title of “Sage.” I cannot help but wonder how a person can be a Sage while intolerantly disenfranchising those of other beliefs and faiths? Indeed, such a person asks not that another question the Sage, simple belief is enough! That by preponderance of exposition (also known as running off at the mouth, or fingers as it were), no matter how unproveable, said Sage is to be believed above all others. Questioning minds are to be avoided, unless the questions lead directly along the path said Sage suggests. Disbelieving questions are dismissed in most intolerant ways!

    History is full of said persons, some even founding their own religious sects and cults. And the mindless follow, asking no hard questions.

    Funny thing about religious beliefs, what one believes today, no matter how reverential and faithful, is not the same as one believed 5 years ago. And what one believes 5 years from now, will not be the same as one believes today. That is called growing, spiritually speaking.

    Thinking people, that is those who ask hard questions, look thoughtfully and respectfully at all faiths and beliefs, including their own. These are the “rational” people, who said Sage regards as irrational, because they dare to challenge said Sage. It is not that said Sage has not a right to opinion, all persons have a right to an opinion. But that said Sage’s opinion, and that opinion alone, is the only worth considering in said Sage’s mind, is intolerant fundamentalist bigotry. No different than any fundamentalist group one wishes to compare to, when one strips away the veneer and façade and looks at the reality of what is coming to pass.

    There are ways of constructively communicating with people one disagrees with. A true Sage knows how. A wannabe Sage tries to learn. A false Sage has no interest in learning how to communicate with those they fundamentally disagree with.

    If I were to seriously consider every supposed prophecy sent from beyond by an angel, or spirit guide, or whatever, I would go insane. Besides the fact that said prophecies cannot be proven, does one not think that if the Almighty, or All-encompassing, or however one wishes to view the universal IS, otherwise known as God, had a message for a specific individual, that the IS would grant that vision directly to that person, and that person alone? There is no requirement for a mouthpiece, most especially for those who deeply consider spiritual matters on their own.

    Now, I have heard it said there are many paths up the mountain. I am not fully certain I agree, but in the interest of respect and tolerance I do go along with the principle. I have quoted many times, so many in fact I grow weary of repeating myself, the second chapter of Romans, beginning around verse ten. There I find tolerance for other faiths and beliefs.

    And so I return to the concept of “Sage.” It seems to me, that a true Sage is not interested in self aggrandizement, or self promotion, or insistently founding a new belief system. Such things are not needed, not by the thinking person, nor by the unthinking person. A true Sage, would assist a person, any person, along the path they are on. Instead of intolerantly insisting that they change paths midway up the mountain. Perhaps I am mistaken, that is always a possibility, I am no Sage. I am merely a fellow traveler discovering my path up the mountain. :D ;)

    Love in abundance,

    Shalom
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    It's like a statement I once read in a book on Buddhism, I've since paraphrased into various different forms:

    :)


    (Sorry for use of the male pronoun, ladies. :) )
     
  3. Blue

    Blue Member

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    True wisdom lies in knowing the extent of one's own ignorance.

    (SR)

    ;)
     
  4. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    I would like to believe all paths lead to God. But I can't.
    I have traveled many paths that indeed lead to dead ends, heartache, death and destruction. I have always come back to the path of God and the Bible because they have never failed me. God has always picked me up right where I left off with him, before I had to try things of the world. I did not have to 'start over', He was there waiting for me to come back to Him.
    I am putting these links here, not for spam, but in case some have forgotten or are not aware that the paths that some people have chosen was death and destruction. While they may have started out in appearance to be a good path and that of spiritual/religious enlightenment, there end was not a good path. There are hundreds but I am only putting these three.

    Jim Jones Peoples Temple
    http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/Jonestwn.html

    Waco Texas Massacre
    http://www.benbest.com/history/waco.html

    Higher Source Mass Suicide
    http://www.emergency.com/CA-suicd.htm

    Terrorism, suicide bombs, drugs, cults, disease from too many bed partners etc., may cause a person to think they are on some kind of spiritual path.
    So to a degree, I might be a Sage :), but I certainly do not have all the answers.

    I think it is important to be aware of what is out there but that does not mean we have to travel each and every one of them to know what they are all about. I don't think anyone wants to see there child get mixed up with the wrong people or join gangs or strange 'NEW' religion that breed destruction, possible death or a prison sentence.

    We should ask questions. When we see friends and family leaning toward something or reading books that may harm them, it would not be right on our part to just tolerate it, without searching and questioning.
    We cannot stop anyone from doing whatever they want to do. No matter how much concern or love we have. People are going to do whatever they want to do, reguardless.

    Here at CR, we typically think of religion/spirituality as a good positive outlook and growing. But there is a darker side to some paths of beliefs. We really have no choice but to tolerate it, but that does not mean we have to join it and condone a bad path of spirituality or religion.

    I enjoyed your post a lot Juantoo3. It made me recollect some of my paths of both good and bad decisions.

    So I would like to leave this question for others to continue in the thread.

    Can some of our (natural man, physical) actions, thoughts, perceptions and speech, have an effect on the (spiritual man)? AND, can the spiritual man, in thought word and deed have an effect on what the natural man (physical) does?
    I think they do work together:)

    For example: If I see someone choosing a path that leads to quicksand or a 100 foot cliff, I would feel responsible to at least point my finger and speak once to warn them. Then if I hear them crying for help, I would also feel responsible to go down there to help them out of it, using the same hand that pointed in the direction they were traveling, and bring them back to safety.

    I had to look up the word, because I thought it was only a spice.:D

    Main Entry: 1sage
    Pronunciation: 'sAj
    Function: adjective
    Inflected Form(s): sag·er; sag·est
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin sapius, from Latin sapere to taste, have good taste, be wise; akin to Oscan sipus knowing, Old Saxon ansebbian to perceive
    1 a : wise through reflection and experience b archaic : GRAVE, SOLOMON
    2 : proceeding from or characterized by wisdom, prudence, and good judgment <sage advice>
    synonym see [size=-1]WISE[/size]
    - sage·ly adverb
    - sage·ness noun
    Main Entry: 2sage
    Function: noun
    1 : one (as a profound philosopher) distinguished for wisdom
    2 : a mature or venerable man of sound judgment
     
  5. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    ROFL Bandit that was cute :)
     
  6. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and if our own issues are triggered by what we might perceive in others, then let us take off the dark glasses, cleanse the lens of perceptional consciousness and have the grace and humility to look within at the reasons why.

    Healing the self is one of the quickest ways to wholeness and completion no matter which path one takes.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Beauty in the eye of the beholder is truly subjective. We can't take off the dark lenses, because we simply cannot see, for we now see in part, but in time will see in whole.

    How can we heal self, when we don't know what is wrong? How can we choose a path, if we don't know what path to take?

    Define the parameters for beauty, looking deep within, and healing self, if you can.

    When the adage "physician, heal thy self", came about, it was not an order. It was a joke. Like only a fool in court has himself for a client...

    Looking within gets us nowhere but deeper in a hole. If we had the answers within, we would not be in the mess we are in as a world, today.

    Sacred. Perhaps you have an in to the cosmic intelligence/enlightenment. But unless you can provide concrete steps for all others to follow, and see results...you'll be heard as a gong in the wind. That is the fact of life.

    And the first time you lose your cool, because you are challenged, well, you get the picture.

    Some of us can leap beyond, and some of us (most of us), must doggedly work our way up to enlightenment. School of hard knocks. So, you either slow down, so we can catch up, or you leave us behind...;)

    For those of us that have to work at being enlightened, time and patience is called for.

    God is patient...should not you be?

    v/r

    Q

    p.s. I know you want the best for everyone yesterday, but you have to let the rest of us get through today.
     
  8. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    This chapter came to me when I was reading this thread.. I would just like to share parts of it.

    Bits of Romans 14....

    Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things

    Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

    Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.

    Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

    there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

    let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
     
  9. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    I think that says it best Faithful. I thought I was eating right from the Word itself for a minute. Not bad at all.:cool: hee hee
     
  10. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    Dear Q

    Thank you for your post, there are many questions that do indeed need a response and I feel this a really important subject (and dear to my heart) matter as it crosses cultures and the rite of passage of many ancient spiritual traditions. Jesus in The Gospel of Thomas also stresses the importance of this and self mastery in its own way. Might you start a different thread for this so that we may all discuss this in much greater depth? I am happy to respond when I have a little more time, maybe this evening if I can clear the decks.

    Yes patience is a virtue and to date my patience as not been tested on this forum but that is not an invitation by others to do so, neither is it my intent to test the patience of others. Sometimes sharing can be a catalyst for positive change especially if those that feel any negative energy within gain insights about the self. What resists persists it is the nature of the universe in my experience.

    The first step is 'loving the self unconditionally' hence the previous thread on love.

    Dear Faithfulservant.

    Great post.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Pain and suffering was my greatest teacher and in my darkest hours I often said these prayers.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change.
    To change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    and for Tolerance

    Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,
    Where there is hatred let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith
    Where there is dispair, hope
    And where there is darkness , light
    And where there is sadness, joy

    O Divine Master, grant that
    I may not so much seek to be consoled,
    To be understood as to understand
    To be loved, as to love
    For it is in giving that we receive
    It is n pardoning that we are pardoned
    And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

    Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi
    1182-1226

    And with an open mind and loving heart we become tolerant of others, we learn to accept all other's in the light of GOD and view them through the gentle loving eyes of GOD and in so doing it enhances our own peace within.

    Let us speak gently for GOD and our planet is listening.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  11. Virtual_Cliff

    Virtual_Cliff New Member

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    I see the General Synod of the Church of England has voted to allow trials for heresy for those ministers deviating from doctrine. Isn't that making a god out of our own intolerance. I've a good mind to write to the ABC and terminate my membership.

    On one of Bandit's points, I think we should be wary of interfering in other people's lives unless we are asked to. Often we need to learn the hard way. A true sage must learn to bite his lip and let it happen. As for NOT reading certain books, that is a slippery slope. There are only two books I have ever put down because I felt they were casting a dark shadow over my soul: one was The Story of O, and the other I will not name, but it purported to be about Christianity. All the same, I'm glad I started them - it was a learning experience.

    VC
     
  12. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    PS

    Tolerance is aided by respect but respect is a state of being.

    When we respect ourselves
    we respect others
    When we respect others
    we respect all sentient beings
    When we respect all sentient beings
    we respect mother earth.
    Is the lack of respect on earth due to our inner child not receiving that respect when we were children.
    I feel that it is part of the root cause,
    consciousness being multi-dimensional it would also may have
    some roots in past lives as well.
    So if you find yourself dis-respecting anyone look within oneself to find the clues and the reasons why.

    Kim©2002
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Juan,

    thank you for a thoughtful and interesting post.

    i have had this experience as well.

    i suppose, that i take a different approach to these things... in my tradition, if one calls oneself a sage, you can be pretty sure that they are not :) it's not a title that you bestow upon yourself...well... you *can* but then again, you can call yourself the King of Siam but that does not make it so :)

    quite true. i'm sure we've all seen examples of the loss of rational cognitive function resulting in a reliance upon one who proclaims to have the answers. it's a strange thing, really, at least from my point of view.

    to take this a bit further... we are not even the same being that we were 5 years ago that held this belief. our cells are constantly dying and being "reborn" throughout our lifespan. we are well aware that our mental continuum changes as we grow... heck, it is our view that this changes on a moment by moment basis, conditioned by the previous moment.

    indeed... i've always found it rather amusing that the "rational" folks are castigated in the area of religious pursuit whilst those that profess a "different" way of knowing are extolled as somehow being *more* in touch with that which is Beyond.

    eh... humans are prone to ego problems.

    indeed. this is, in my view, one of the root causes of intolerance and bigotry that we see in our world today.

    well... there ya go. well said.

    i don't suppose it would surprise you to know that, in our view, it is the ego which is the primary culprit for this type of behavior. the ego, in the Buddha Dharma is a very seductive and powerful force that cannot be overcome simply by stating that it is so. it really does require hard work and effort to reduce or even eliminate the egoistic projections that typically occupy our mind stream.

    having "god" talk to you, or any divine being for that matter, is a tremendously ego affirming experience.

    to a certain exent i agree... there are many valid spiritual refuges that we can take refuge in... however, they do not all lead one to liberation, in our view. though we can leave that aside for now as it's a bit tangenetial to the conversation.

    i would pretty much agree with this view. this is, in fact, one of the main reasons why Buddhism does not encourage beings to convert to it's praxis. generally speaking, if you've already made progress up the moutain, you should continue in that fashion so that you continue to make progress. in certain cases, it is such that the person can no longer make progress in the old way, thus a new way is the most skillful means to make progress. perhaps that way is Buddhism or perhaps not, it depends on the capacities of the individual being under consideration.
     
  14. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    Dear VC

    Yes I read about the trials for heresy very interesting article, obviously some of the priests of the christian church are finding it very difficult in modern age to defend some of the bible and church doctrines. Thank GOD they can see the light. Trials for heresy down the ages and so it continues.....history repeating itself once more. I agree as the literalists fight to stay in control they are indeed making a god out of intolerance and so at the core of the church we still find the essence of fear which is the complete opposite of love.

    I agree there is 'wisdom in silence' that many do not truly appreciate.

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  15. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    I have to disagree. That almost sounds like the lifeguard not putting up the red flag and no swimming sign when he sees a shark or bad current because no one asked him to intervene.

    Are you your brothers keeper? Cain did not think so, but I do. Genesis 4

    If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
    And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
    And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother?
    And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
    And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
    And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

    There are a LOT of books and movies out there that portray something good and have a very bad intent. If I see a friend or relative reading something that teaches how to succesfully commit suicide or how to murder and get away with it, and especially dark religious books, I am going to ask questions. To stand by and pretend the path may not be a bad one, I feel is a mistake. Telling someone WHAT to do or WHAT to believe all the time, and sending out feelers and a warning signal is two different things.

    Everyone had to learn not to stick there finger on the stove flames and in the electric socket, no matter what precautions were taken and no matter how many times we were told.

    VC, if you prefer for someone not to tell you there is quicksand and rattlesnakes ahead, I am still going to tell you wether you like it or not. What you do with it from there is your business. You might thank me later and you might not.
    Rebellion is not a good spiritual path, but we all have to travel it at least once.
    A true Sage is going to know when someone is crying for help, even though they may not verbally ask for it.
    A true Sage is going to share the school of hard knocks and will ask at least one important question. It just might make a difference:)

    If it were true we are all on the same path or all paths lead to the same place, then EVERYONE would be helping and watching out for each other. The Headlines tell me something different. Five murders were commited here last weekend, by 5 different individuals in 5 different locations with 5 different circumstances, all on the same day. That does not sound like we are all on the same spiritual path.

    Now, I am not one of those people who takes turning the other cheek literally. Here is one for the road... I was driving down a side street where a gang of kids were beating and kicking and stomping on a small student, while the crowd was cheering the brutality on. I called the police immediately, got out of my car and went into the mess like a raging bull. The kid was bleeding, crying and severely injured to the point he needed an ambulance. Why did I intervene? No one asked me to, but I did it any way... Because it happened to me as a child and I was innocent and did not deserve the beating the big bullies gave to me.

    I cannot stop it all and I cannot change the world but I can make a difference.
    To sit around and pretend all spiritual paths teach truth and are tender and calm is a lie. :(
     
  16. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar New Member

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    Dear Bandit

    Not all on a spiritual path have healed the root causes of their core issues some have just exchanged the corporate market for the spiritual one. They may have changed their beliefs but it takes a great deal more to integrate the knowledge and live it. But yet those that are on the healing spiritual path certainly do support and watch over each other. I have even been blessed to receive from other's on this very forum in this respect and my heart as been moved by those that have contacted me on and off forum.

    I would say yes all paths of light eventually arrive at the same place of LOVE the source of all creation.

    Rebellion well scholars would say that Jesus led the rebellion against anti-love and the more radical his sayings the more sure you can be that Jesus said them.

    So was Jesus a Radical Sage?

    Love beyond measure

    Sacredstar
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    I have one more thing to leave here. this is not about a spiritual path or religious belief, but it relates.

    Back home we have a certain lake that spawns out from a river. It is primarily used for runoff in the time of flooding, yet it stays full of water year round.
    In the summer there is a tiny beach area the city keeps clean and people are allowed to swim when a lifguard is on duty, on the weekends.

    Everyone knows it is a very dangerous lake because the seaweed on the outside of the ropes is so thick, that people most likely get caught in it and drown.
    I took my little raft down the river and into the lake. I jumped in the water for a quick swim and within about a minute the seaweed had wrapped itself around my legs and stomach and it was pulling me down fiercly and I became very scared because I could not break free by kicking it off. I had taken in some water into my lungs because that was how bad the seaweed was pulling me under.

    I went down into the water and faced the seaweed and began to tackle it ripping it from off of my legs making sure to not get my arms caught in it. I am a very good swimmer but this was a very horrible frightening experience.
    I cut myself loose and got back into the boat, feeling and seeing the seaweed all around me... Rowed the boat to the sand area and got out on land and just sat there in awe and considered all the deaths that had taken place in that lake. Then looked at the signs that say NO SWIMMING.

    NO SWIMMING. NO SWIMMING

    Across the lake I saw two guys come up to the lake on bikes and stand there talking to each other.
    I thought to myself, "I hope they do not go into this water if they are not good swimmers"
    But I never shouted anything to them about what had just happened to me, but we all made eye contact.

    I got back into the raft and headed back into the river and paddled back to my car.
    That evening about 3 hours after the episode, while watching the 6:00 News, there were two boys who were just found drowned in that Lake.
    I felt something was wrong about that whole scene and I knew it was the same two boys that I had seen arrive at the Lake because the report mentioned there bikes at the scene and there age met the description.

    No one could stop there death. Not even me. But if I am ever at that Lake again and I see someone wanting to swim in it, I am going to talk them out of it. However, the city has finally put up a fence around it and the public is no longer allowed into the area.

    I hope someone here can relate to this in a spiritual way and realize it is possible to die spiritually or not be fully awake to it and that spiritual growth can be stunted, and that is not what we want.
     
  18. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Hey Star:)
    Maybe, but so far I am not convinced of that, because all paths are not of light. In the path of light I think that is true.

    I don't see his teaching as rebellion, if someone else wants to see it that way that is up to them.
    I think rebellion has a spirit to it, that sometimes can be good but most likely it goes against universal law which I see as Gods law. We can only swim against the current for so long until it will wear us out.
    I dont think Jesus was all that radical in his message. If someone else wants to see it that way, that is up to them.

    I spent quite a bit of my life being a rebel just to see what I could get away with, but we dont get away with anything. Though it might appear that way for awhile.
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Interesting story.

    The "spiritual" similarity to this could be:

    1. Don't go into the lake without the LifeGuard watching (don't go into the world without God watching you).

    2. If you ever get tangled in the seaweed, stop moving, take a deep breath and do the "dead man's float" (the air in your lungs acts as a life vest or floatation device). If the tangles of the world get hold of you, stop thrashing, and be still. Let the words of God (breath of life) keep you afloat. Eventually the weeds will let go.

    3. Never think twice about starting a conversation with someone, epecially when they are standing next to where you were before your ordeal. And never be afraid to admit your mistake. You might just stop someone else from making the same mistake.

    Here is my story for thought. 1982, I was driving from Manchester, Connecticutt to New York City at 0300 (AM), I was tired, and had to be at work by 0600. Moving down I-95 (interstate Freeway) at 70 mph this man suddenly stepped partially in front of my car frantically waving his arms. At first I intended to ignore him (plus carjacking was becoming all the rage in the city areas), but as I passed him, the desperate look in his eyes just wouldn't go away from my mind's eye. So I slowed, pulled over and backed up to where he was.

    "Can I help you?" I asked.

    "No, sir, I just helped you."

    Then we both walked 200 yards in the direction I was originally moving.

    The entire freeway was gone! All six lanes ended in a wide chasm of about 100 yards, before the freeway began again. A hundred or so feet below us were what was left of a couple of dozen cars (and people). The overpass' lynch pins had severed, and the entire bridge dropped off of NewHaven, CT's waterway. The State police had blocked the freeway, but I had slipped past before they did. Mine was the last car coming down that road...

    If that man hadn't tried to communicate with me and warn me, well, I wouldn't be ya'll's favorite Coast Guardsman, now would I? :D

    You know, there are two ways to say oh My God !!! I very much prefer the way I said it as opposed to the way those in the cars below had said it, on their way down...

    v/r

    Q
     
  20. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    Thank you Bandit and Q for your stories.. I was extremely moved with both of them.
     

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