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Salt sprinkles upon summer’s vegetables, steamed just right, pleasure my taste buds and prompts taking more forkfuls until satisfied. Without salt, blandness settles upon my tongue like crud, shrinks hunger, and diminishes satiety. Indeed, salt seems to enhance foods like symphony conductors, their musicians—The end result satisfies, deeply.

Toward this fulfillment many yearn today, given the multi-faceted impoverishment that cripples psyches, that discounts the spiritual, however expressed. Such evil mirrors the mythological Hydra, a gigantic water-snake-like monster with nine heads, one of which was immortal. In ancient Greece as well as today, such monsters spew unbridled terror resulting in cookie-cutter posturing in boardrooms, courts of law, churches, and universities. Change is suspect and frowned upon.

In view of this deplorable situation, how retain salty spirits? How access humor still lodged in our depths? How inhale winds of harmony, of shimmering colors, of nature’s imprints? I ask myself these questions, daily.
Of necessity, I watch Jesus in the Gospels salt his followers with counter-cultural behaviors: There is blessedness in being poor in spirit, in being meek, mournful, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, open to suffering, and hungering for what is right—all reversals of wayward instincts on rampage for power, prestige, and sexual aberrations.

Jesus says further, Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.

Thus a fresh discipline emerges from within that lightens our steps, no longer trudging to the tin-horn band tooting nonsense. Boldly, we step out of line for a different path that works and follow it with the like-minded. It works.


“Hmmm! That’s it!” overheard from a chef, having just added a pinch of salt to the white sauce simmering in his copper pot.

A farm-raised senior remembers how her mother packed garden cabbages in salt and cured meats before storing them in their root cellar for their winter table.

Stories of salt, critical for human survival, abound in every civilization, as seasoning, as preservative, as a disinfectant for wounds, as a unit of exchange. Control over salt beds has provoked numerous wars in all times. In our country, access to salt affected the outcomes of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. And in 1877, the dried lake beds at the foot of the Guadalupe Mountains in San Elizario, Texas sparked an unwinnable controversy among the Mexicans and Anglo- and African-Americans.

On a deeper level, however, salt stimulates spirit growth. Without it, we become listless, vulnerable to disease, adhering to the tried and proven path. Change is out of the question. Spiritual Masters decry such stagnation and urge arduous practices of cleansing, of clearing out the old, effecting the total reeducation of our thoughts and choices.

One of these Masters is Jesus of Nazareth who still salts his adherents with counter-cultural stances: poor in spirit, meek, mournful, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, open to suffering, and hungering for what is right. With such seasoning, we do make a difference in the conflicted world around us.

What if everyone acted upon Jesus’s teaching: “Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another?” (Mark 7:50)


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