Back-Words

I often don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  To assist me, the English language has lots of helpful words – actually, hundreds of them.  Let me introduce you to

PALINDROMES

palindrome: a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as Madam, I’m Adam or Poor Dan is in a droop.

Here are a few of the shorter English words that help keep me going in the right direction, no matter which way I am facing.

boob, a stupid person; fool; dunce.
British. a blunder; mistake.
a female breast.

civic, of or relating to a city, citizens, or citizenship  civic duties

dad, a person’s father or one’s father.
a person who is corny or embarrassing in the way that a father figure might be:
He was being such a dad when he told that story.
handsome or stylish; amazing; to be admired:
Those shoes are totally dad.

deed, something that is done, performed, or accomplished; an act
an exploit or achievement; feat:
Law. a writing or document executed under seal and delivered to effect a conveyance, especially of real estate.

deified, exalted to the position of a god or personify as a god
accorded divine honor or worship to
exalted in an extreme way; idealize

denned,  lived in or as if in a den.
drove or pursued (an animal) into its den.
killed (an animal) inside its den.

kayak, an Eskimo canoe with a skin cover on a light framework, made watertight by flexible closure around the waist of the occupant and propelled with a double-bladed paddle.
a small boat resembling this, made commercially of a variety of materials and used in sports.
verb (used without object)
to go or travel by kayak.

lemel, metal filings

level, having no part higher than another; having a flat or even surface.
being in a plane parallel to the plane of the horizon; horizontal.
noun
a device used for determining or adjusting something to a horizontal surface.

madam, (often initial capital letter) a polite term of address to a woman, originally used only to a woman of rank or authority: Madam President;  May I help you, madam?
the woman in charge of a household: Is the madam at home?
the woman in charge of a house of prostitution.

ma’am, madam (def. 1).
(In Britain) a term used in addressing the queen or a royal princess or other female superior, especially police.  Pronounced mom/mum

minim, the smallest unit of liquid measure, 1/60 (0.0167) of a fluid dram, roughly equivalent to one drop. Abbreviation: min, min.; Symbol: ♍, ♏
Music. a note, formerly the shortest in use, but now equivalent in time value to one half of a semibreve; half note.
the least quantity of anything.
something very small or insignificant.

mom, a person’s mother or one’s mother.
a term of endearment used to refer to a woman or girl who is admired:
beautiful or stylish; amazing; to be admired:
That outfit is so mom!

mum, silent, unspeaking
British; mom
a chrysanthemum
murdrum, noun Old English Law.
the killing of a human being in a secret manner.
the fine payable to the king by The Hundred where such a killing occurred, unless the killer was produced or the victim proved to be a Saxon.

noon, midday.
twelve o’clock in the daytime.
the highest, brightest, or finest point or part:
the noon of one’s career.

peep, to look through a small opening or from a concealed location.
to look slyly, pryingly, or furtively.
to look curiously or playfully.
to show or protrude slightly.
noun
a quick or furtive look or glance.
the first appearance, as of dawn.
a short, shrill little cry or sound, as of a young bird; cheep; squeak.

poop, a superstructure at the stern of a vessel.
noun; excrement
verb; to defecate
to cause to become out of breath or fatigued; exhaust:
relevant information, especially a candid or pertinent factual report; lowdown:

pullup, (usually spelled pull-up) an exercise consisting of chinning oneself, as on a horizontal bar attached at each end to a doorpost.
a flight maneuver in which an aircraft climbs sharply from level flight.
children’s training pants

racecar, a racing car

radar, a device for determining the presence and location of an object by measuring the time for the echo of a radio wave to return from it and the direction from which it returns.
a means or sense of awareness or perception:

redder, more of any of various colors resembling the color of blood or the primary color at one extreme end of the visible spectrum,

refer, to direct for information or anything required:
to direct the attention or thoughts of:
to hand over or submit for information, consideration, decision, etc.
to assign to a class, period, etc.; regard as belonging or related.
to direct attention, as a reference mark does.
to have recourse or resort; turn, as for aid or information:

repaper, to cover with wallpaper or apply wallpaper to a second time:
to line or cover with paper again.

revver,   a person or thing which sharply accelerates the speed of (an engine or the like) (often followed by up).

Ignoring rotor, and
rotator, we skip directly to
rotavator,
trademark a type of machine with rotating blades that break up soil

sagas, any narratives or legends of heroic exploits.
forms of the novel in which the members or generations of a family or social group are chronicled in a long and leisurely narrative.
dramatic histories of a group, place, industry, etc.
any very long stories with dramatic events or parts:

shahs, (formerly, in Iran) kings; sovereigns.

 sis, noun, informal; sister

solos, examples of any action, e.g. dance, music, flying, etc, performed alone, unaccompanied

 tenet, any opinion, principle, doctrine, dogma, etc., especially one held as true by members of a profession, group, or movement.

wow, an exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure, or the like
to cause an enthusiastic response from; thrill.

WOW! We’re almost finished.  This is one of the longest palindromes in the English language.

detartrated, changed from being a tartrate, decombined with tartaric acid

Religious Addiction

Bible

A letter came to a pastor recently, from a middle-aged woman determined to take her own life. She has already made an attempt.  She suffers from extremely low self-esteem, depression and other afflictions.

She feels desperate, “cut off from God” and beyond divine forgiveness. Certain readers will already be saying to themselves that she needs to be “saved,” to be “born again,” and to join a church where they “preach the Gospel.”

However, this woman has already been through all that. A Theologian read her letter and felt it was quite obvious that she suffered from far too much literalistic fundamentalism already.  Like hundreds of similar others over the years, she is being tormented by the very religion she once turned to for comfort and “salvation.”

Briefly stated, she is suffering from a form of religion that is ‘bad religion.’ It’s growing and becoming very powerful in some quarters today.  It can look successful on the outside, even imparting a glazed but glowing countenance, but it can tear apart people’s souls.

This form of ‘addictive’ religiosity is not confined to circles dominated by TV evangelists or excessively zealous priests. It cuts across all Christian denominations and, in varying degrees, all other faiths.

Here are some of its major characteristics. It touts black and white answers to every problem – from hormone issues (sex), to when and how the universe was formed.  It encourages passive dependence on a host of authorities, from sacred texts, to faith leaders at every level.  It fosters simplistic, ‘magical’ thinking.  It diminishes one’s autonomy, self-reliance, confidence in one’s own inner voice and ability to grow either emotionally or intellectually.

It views all other faith stances as wrong – or even Satanic, leading to “Hell.”  Such a system whines a lot about what “miserable sinners” we all are and yet never asks itself why it leaves such incredible guilt, anxiety and loss of self-esteem in its wake.

Priest

Yes, it can produce an overinflated ‘high’ at being on the “winning side,” as “God’s elect,” but at a terrible price. This is referred to as loss of authenticity and of one’s inner convictions.  The God being served is too often a narrow, small, vengeful, tribal deity, who is nonetheless supposedly loving.

The Churchman reflected on this phenomenon as he worked on answering the suicide note. Suddenly, with a genuine synchronicity, his mail arrived with a copy of an article from Pastoral Psychology, a magazine dedicated to learned articles on various aspects of soul-care – mainly for clergy, psychotherapists and other counsellors.

It was titled “Religious Addiction, The Subtle Destruction Of The Soul.” It was written by Patricia Anne Venderheyden, a psychotherapist in private practice in London, Ontario.  Her Master’s thesis is from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, and was focused on this same issue: religious addiction.

As she told him in an interview, this isn’t a subject that has received much attention in the past. It certainly deserves it today!  She had pondered for many years, beginning with her own experiences of certain faith groups, why it is that so many in every religion gravitate to authoritarian cliques with such alacrity and yet, in the end, with such disastrous results.

She wrote: “I observed how people’s inner authority was compromised in order to fit in with a system of belief whose standards were impeccable – and unattainable. I saw people accepted into groups only if they ‘jumped through the right hoops’, dotted their i’s and watched their p’s and q’s.” The ‘addicts’ had a show of freedom, yet their proclamations seemed ‘hollow and empty.’

She saw many such persons blindly accepting the words and advice of religious elders. All critical awareness and thinking for themselves had long since been suppressed.  “The addicts wanted to be told that he or she was absolutely right, and that any form of questioning is evil.” she said.

Certainly, authorities can help someone at first, but if they are compulsively used ‘as a way of avoiding one’s own reality,’ they ruin one’s hopes of ever becoming mature in either mind or spirit. The addicts she describes are ‘religious junkies,’ obsessed with mood alteration and a quick fix to face life.

There’s no need to assign blame. Religious leaders can nurture an addictive faith unwittingly by never stopping to ask questions of the style and content of their ministry, such as: To whom does it cater, and why?  With what results?

Believers who are really avoiding the shame and pain within by refusing to tackle it, and by ‘leaving it all to God,’ need to stop and realize that the rigidity and exclusivity of addictive religion can one day leave you empty, out of touch with your real self and, hence, engulfed by fear and despair.   😦