Poll of a Billion Monkeys

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Humours - Mediprayer

Humours - Mediprayer

Back when I was a teenager I used to collect quotes from famous men and women. I'd run across some quote that struck me as particularly relevant or impressive and either type it out (long before the personal computer) or write it out by hand in calligraphic script and hang it upon my bedroom wall. I became kind of famous for this with my friends because my bedroom had hanging from the walls, ceilings, doors, bookshelves, stereo case and bed a multitude of quotes and artifacts from my personal expeditions and vadding (long before I really understood what vadding was) adventures and relics handed down to me from others. Quotes, my father's first slide rule, a couple of my swords, pocket watches, machine and laboratory parts, pictures taken from my early vads, travel receipt stubs, personal mementoes, architectural tools, electronic components, my spotting scope, my telescope, geological samples, hawk and owl feathers, animal fangs, snake skins, reed boats I had built myself, plastic models, my CB radio, my scanners, etc.

But the quotes were what I was most famous for among many of my friends and those who visited. Often people told me, "I like coming here and reading the quotes you have in your room."

Over time I began biographical studies of the people who had made those quotes and soon it had struck me that I wanted to emulate some of the personal attributes of these various people. That it would be good to be like them in some sense, or as regards particular attributes they possessed. So in my late teenage years I began to write a book of personal meditational tools and prayers to use in order to master certain attributes and gain new capabilities. Not all of my prayers and meditations were geared to improving some personal capability of course, but some were. Anyway eventually these mediational and prayer experiments became Operation Chay. I've always found this type of prayer to be extremely beneficial because it is part prayer, but because it is geared towards a specific end, or set of ends, also particularly useful as a meditational tool. As a matter of fact over time I developed a set of part payer/part meditation/contemplation similar to that kind of exercise practiced in the Philokalia that I call Mediprayer or Contemprayer. In any case this is one of those prayer exercises I undertake for my morning set of prayers.


Prayer of Emulation and Anticipation

God, Endow Me with the:

Wisdom of Socrates and Solomon
Genius of Da Vinci and Tesla
The Artistic Skills of Michelangelo and Rembrandt
Compassion of Saint Francis and Merton
Memory of Matteo Ricci and Simonides
Brilliance of Saint Loyola and Aquinas
Imagination of Einstein and Tolkien
Leadership of Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt
Spirit of Moses and Washington
Prophetic Understanding of Elijah and Daniel
Mental Prowess of Mills and Descartes
Polymathics of Erasmus, Aristotle, Alberuni, and Leibniz
Strength of Samson and Saxon
Endurance of Pele and Ali
Athletic Skills of Jenner and Thorpe
Talents of Pythagoras and Rousseau
Insight of Archimedes, Newton, and Galileo
Psychae of Swedenbourg and Goethe
Aggression of Hannibal and Patton
Ambition of Peter and Heraclius
Patience of Saint Patrick and Lao Tzu
Wealth of Gates and Getty
Prosperity of Welch and Buffett
Creativity of Fuller and Lobkowitz
Inventiveness of Edison and Shakespeare
Understanding of Bacon, Kepler and Copernicus
Pragmatism of Boone and Franklin
Musical and Compositional Skill of Bach and Mozart
Operatic Skill of Wagner and Verdi
Poetic Talents of Homer, Milton, Dante and Keats
Virtue of Nicolas and John Paul
Detective Skills of Douglas and Lee
Mathematical Skills of Von Neumann and Turing
Writing Skills of Hemingway and Hugo
Architectural Skills of Brunelleschi and Wright
Medical Skills of Hippocrates, Paracelsus, Galen and Salk
Psychological Insights of James, Jung and Campbell

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