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This initial lecture in the Disciplines of the Spirit series is a discussion about the development of patience through the discipline of growth. Thurman describes discipline as the training, development, response to, and often responsibility for something. The spirit is disciplined, trained, cultivated, and fashioned by many things. One of these things is the experience of growth. Growth is characteristic of life and as our body continues to develop, so does our mind and spirit. In our initial…

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In this second installment of Disciplines of the Spirit, Thurman builds upon the concept of growth introduced in part 1 of the series. Here Thurman describes growth as the ability to accept what is fact and to handle change, whether the change is gradual or radical. Our desire to resist change for fear of being without a familiar structure requires us to grow in wisdom as we navigate the anxiety associated with the search for stability having lost all that is familiar to us. Our ability to…

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In this third installment of Disciplines of the Spirit, Thurman is lecturing about personal stability. In this lecture, personal stability is defined as the experience through which an individual passes when he thinks he has that which is of most importance to him. An additional definition of personal stability used in this lecture is private morale, which is the belief in one’s cause, whatever it may be. At times personal stability rests on the instability of others which has and continues to…

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In this fourth lecture of Disciplines of the Spirit, Howard Thurman discusses commitment and its significance. Deep within every man, there is a profound sense regarding the meaning of life itself. Those that believe that life is dynamic and essentially unfinished tend to also be of the mindset that there are always alternatives and options to be considered. In these instances, commitment becomes the experience through which a man passes when, deep within himself, he selects values and proceeds…

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In this fifth lecture in the Disciplines of the Spirit series, Howard Thurman discusses the propensity to idolize perfection in our commitments. When we worship our commitment rather than that which we are committed, we give up the ability to be influenced by the vitality, power, and dynamism of that to which we are committed. This is especially true of our moral commitments which, when idolized, violates our experience of the living God.

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In this sixth installment of Disciplines of the Spirit, Howard Thurman talks about commitment in the framework of good and evil. Commitment is a level of dedication that gives us structure, order, and provides a basis for integrated action in life. Commitment rises against whatever comes seeks to come between self and that which self is committed to. In this lecture, Thurman poses the question of whether there is any difference in the dynamics of the experience of commitment when the commitment…

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In this seventh lecture in the Discipline of the Spirit series, Thurman uses Matthew 5:39 as a framework for discipline as it relates to our decision to act. Thurman reminds listeners of the responsibility to act or react in integrity centered around core values as we are responsible for the actions we initiate as well as the reactions we initiate in other people. One must always be careful when deciding to act lest our deeds are out of character with our core beliefs.

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In this eighth installment of the Discipline of the Spirit, Howard Thurman uses Goethe's Faust to set the tone as he discusses the principles of dualism and redemption. Thurman goes on to discuss whether our contradictions in life are final considering the righteousness of God. The movement of the creator through the experience of man is also discussed.

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In his introductory lecture to “Quests for the Human Spirit,” Thurman describes the quest as an act of bringing to focus the purpose of one’s life. Thurman notes that this is a creative work wherein one’s mental resources are organized into the raw materials needed to energize and pursue growth within the human spirit. Choosing between alternatives on the life journey is a matter of mind and heart – resources that drive the quest. Thurman argues that questing is essential to life because it is…

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Thurman explains that freedom is the “capacity to determine the future by action.” He sees the possibility of death as the guarantor of the experience of freedom because that possibility is always open to the person. The fact that this option is available rather than accepting any present conditions is only to suggest that this means one can imaginatively project oneself into another possibility. For Thurman, grappling with one’s final option opens the door for pushing back the frontier of…
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