Life Without Religion

“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.” ― Eric Hoffer,

Many people, especially North Americans, pride themselves in their non-religious beliefs. Too many of us believe that religion has caused more social damage than good, therefore it cannot have had, is having, or will have a positive influence on human relationships.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

A superficial glance at religion, both present-day and ancient, they appear superstitious and practices that defy reason … that is until we apply the initial purpose of ritual to many religious practices.

Since I profess to be a practicing Christian, I’ll use Biblical and Christian-oriented examples in my reasoning. However, they can equally be used in any religious practice to understand the reason behind the ritual.

The ritual of Christian baptism is one example. Without going into the deeper meaning behind the ritual of baptism, there is no magic in the ritual itself, other than it denotes the person being baptized is now a member of that sect. And is expected to follow its rules, and appreciate its many benefits like receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit, special study groups to help one become more spiritual, strength of group prayer, and more.

Liken it unto a person joining a co-op grocery store. The initial fee could represent the baptism: becoming a member, and the ‘baptism’ would include a briefing, or explaining—and involve the member’s acceptance — the rules governing his new membership. Upon accepting the regulations governing The Co-op, the recent member would now have access to the benefits of special bargains, unique products, and other savings. Like discounts on travel or hotel lodgings.

Another advantage of belonging to a religious group is the power in numbers that it can influence on our society at large. However, this power is a two-edged sword: it can literally benefit the community at large, or it can be a detriment, and this is where the great debate comes in—and probably the biggest reason why so many people renounce any belief in God—and sadly, are missing out on wonderful opportunities that conscientious religious organizations can offer a person.

The history of religion is old, its roots forming some time when we, Homo sapiens, first established their superiority over the rest of the Homo crowd. And, yes, many wars and much cruelty has been committed in the name of religion. But, one reason we even rose to the top of the food chain is, because  “Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark.”[i] In short, most times, we fought our way to the top, so violence is in our basic nature—and this is where religion comes in: it can help us become more spiritual, more compassionate, and more loving to each other. Here are a few examples. But, remember, it’s your choice. We can accept the spiritual aspects of religious benefit into our lives, or we can revert to our ancestral ways of getting what we want through violence. Don’t blame religion. Blame our genes!

One last point before deciding about accepting religion. Don’t pay any attention to all the negative stories you hear about religion. Think of any institute in our society: the police, our school system, our legal system. Do any of them have a hundred percent flawless record? No person is perfect—and even then, what is the definition of perfect? Criticism isn’t a positive way to view society. It’s actually a copout, an excuse some use to do nothing. Here are a few positive points to help you get started.

  • Helps in spiritual growth. You’ve heard the expression, “I’m a spiritual person, not a religious person.” Well, here’s your chance to become even more spiritual.
  • Accepting good morals can improve honesty.
  • Strengthens family ties.
  • Faith reduces fear and promotes mental health.
  • Improves creative skills. Art has its roots in religion.
  • Helps you become more compassionate.

A great article in Philosophy Talk, titled “How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?[ii] written by Kenneth Taylor can be an excellent start to becoming a more religious person and put meaning into your life. You’ll be glad you read it!

[i] Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari, p.19

[ii] How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?”  https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/how-can-smart-people-still-believe-god

You’re Old Enough, Now. Learn to do it Yourself!

 

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.  — Jimi Hendrix

See the source imageIn this article I’m going to talk about spiritual guides; not the popular sham ‘guides’ that take you for your money, but the real, honest-to-goodness genuine spiritual guides that you can count on for help. Yes, the universe is full of compassionate spirit guides, angels and benign beings who are quite willing to help you. You just have to know how to unlearn old bad habits and take positive steps to make yourself aware of their presence … and, of course, the big question: how and where these spirit beings can help, and where they have to leave you learn to walk your own path alone.

And, in these latter-day, troubled times, when the world seems to be throwing just too many events at us in too short a time to handle, what could be more welcome than a powerful, compassionate Spirit Guide?

Unfortunately, even in these enlightened times, people who claim to have psychic or other spiritual abilities are still considered to be a little ‘off-centre:’ someone that we ‘forget’ to invite to our social functions. Mind you, knowledgeable folks who are even somewhat familiar with these ‘psychics’ have good reason—probably from personal experience, to show that, much of channelling, card reading, fortune telling and astrology readings are fake! But, other than to caution you that most of these “readers” are fakes, these scammers aren’t the subject of my article, but I will add the reason these scams are so popular is because people—probably due to our own insecurity—will go to great lengths to want to know what’s going to happen to them in the future.

I have an upcoming article where I’ll write specifically about our insecurities and why so many of us turn to spiritual help (different from religious help) for answers, but for now, be very cautious about accepting the advice of one of these ‘psychic’ scammers. Do some diligent research first before engaging an honest fortune teller/prognosticator. Good, honest psychic readers are out there, but the cleverness of scammers makes it very difficult for the uninitiate to tell the difference between an honest and dishonest psychic. It’s something like the old saying of a wolf disguising himself as a sheep in order to catch the unwary sheep. These scamming sociopaths are very professional, and not unlike these computer phone scammers that are so popular now, these guys have the right questions and right answers for the gullible to make you believe that what they’re telling you are ‘facts’ coming through to them from ‘the other side!’

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”  Saint Francis de Sales

O.k., having finished now with the precautionary introductions as to what I really want to talk about, I’ll leave the topic of psychic healers/helpers and talk about personal spiritual experiences that people, themselves, have had, ranging anywhere from near-death experience, a ‘visitation,’ a vision, or a very powerful, meaningful dream that contained a message for you—and you alone that has helped you, personally, deal with some particular troublesome problem in your life.

The difference here is that, instead of seeking spiritual help from the outside world, the genuine spirits are coming to you and offering their assistance through your own conscious self. One nice thing about the spirits coming to you, instead of you seeking outside of yourself for them is that, unless you’ve created some negative situation to rouse the interests of the ‘dark’ side, your experiences should be positive and reliable.

First of all, you should know that you’re not alone or unique in having—or have had—a spiritual experience. This is not a rare phenomenon. Many thousands of people over the years, going centuries back in time, have had quite dramatic experiences. The problem is, because going public and talking about them is still not a social norm here in the Americas, people tend to just keep such experiences to themselves.

Since we’ve entered the New Age—the age of Aquarius that was supposed to have taken place around December 22, 2012, it’s becoming increasingly more common for people to have spiritual experiences that go well beyond worldly, physical limits, and thus become hard to describe to a friend. Often, the difficulty in describing your experience is not so much fear of being labeled ‘odd,’ but how do you effectively describe such an experience that has no physical, third density, comparison?

My solution is, if I’m talking to another person about one of my spiritual experiences and the person I’m talking to has also had a similar experience, that person will understand. If the person I’m talking to has not had a similar personal experience, then all the describing in the world isn’t going to fully explain the same thoughts and feelings that I experienced.

Here are just two of my spiritual experiences, and how they helped me cope with the frustrations and uncertainties of my life. By describing them to you, hopefully it will help you feel more comfortable in talking about your own experience.

I was one of those kids who, as far back into my childhood as I can remember, I had quite regular ‘visitations’ from the spirit world. One of my first, and most dramatic experience takes me back to my childhood, circa 1930s. One night, when I was about four years old, my deceased oldest sister, Ilona, come to me and announce that she will be my Guardian Angel! Ilona had died even before I was born so, being the third child in our family, I never did get to know her in a physical sense, but over the years since her dramatic spiritual appearance and announcement, I’ve come to feel her comforting presence—and protection, on many occasions. There is no room in this short article to give examples, but I just want to assure you that not just me, or a few thousand others out there have Guardian Angels, but every living person has a Guardian Angel, be it a deceased family member, or a commitment we may have made with another soul in a previous life to ‘guard’ each other as we travel through many earthly dangers.

Why don’t more people report the presence of a Guardian Angel in their life? Our Western society with its materialistic outlook on life is mostly responsible! “It’s all in your mind,” we’re trained to think, so eventually, we begin to believe that erroneous information and miss out on the experiences of a wonderful companionship that we could have had!

My second ‘visitation’ experience occurred when I was a bit older—I think I was six years old at the time—I had the distinct pleasure of meeting one of my closest Spiritual Guides! He just stood there at the side of my bed for several moments, arms folded, and gave me the nicest, friendliest smile. He didn’t speak, but I certainly knew from his smile and loving eyes that he was assigned to be my trusted friend for life.

Unfortunately, most of my youth and adulthood was spent in living and believing ‘the way of the world,’ so, in general, I dismissed—and even forgot—about my Spiritual Guide. It wasn’t until I lived well into my senior years that I again thought about my good friend. Up to now, I hadn’t even bothered to give him a name (spirits really don’t have names, but don’t mind if we assign them names if it helps you identify with them), but now, as I really came to value my Spirit Guide, I felt that I just had to give him a name: I named him “My Yoda,” named after the famous Yoda of Star Wars fame who was quoted to have said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Only difference being, My Yoda was even more cryptic and positive in his advice to me: “Do! There is no try!”

Since there is no sense of time or space in the spirit world, Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels can have (fortunately for us) infinite patience with us.

Of course, as I began to rely more and more on My Yoda to answer my problems, even trivial little things, in hindsight, I could see that I was getting into the habit of not doing much thinking for myself. My Yoda also noticed this. So, My Yoda patiently took the time to demonstrate to me by just remaining silent at times when I asked trivial questions. My Yoda’s spiritual silence spoke volumes! Through his ‘silence,’ I became aware of how important it was for me to be responsible for my own decisions and not rely so heavily on others to do my thinking for me. Relying too heavily on other people to do my thinking does nothing to improve my spiritual growth!

Relying too heavily on other people to do my thinking does nothing to improve my spiritual growth!

All this brings me back to my opening thought about psychics and the spirit world and what we should or should not allow to enter our minds. Right from the beginning of time, God made us whole and complete in every sense. Although it is wise to harken to good advice, the best advice that you can possibly ever receive comes from within you, be it from your own Self, your Guardian Angel, or your Spiritual Guide. Much of society’s problems stem from the fact that we’ve been condition, even from childhood, that we are nothing: Your stupid! Grow up! Act your age! You’ll never amount to anything! Your sister can do it, so why can’t you? It is no wonder that, when crisis strikes—and crisis does visit every one of us at some time or another—we seek outside help instead of relying on the most accurate help that we could ever hope to get: from inside of our own Being!

Because of the way some of us have been conditioned in life; to disrespect our God-given wholeness in which we’ve been created, we live our lives in fear of the unknown; conditioned to believe that we have no control of our circumstances. Nothing can be farther from the truth of who you really are! You are created in the image of the Almighty God Himself! You, personally, are a god-in-the-making! And, like any person of royalty, you have been assigned a host of loyal servants and friends to help you through life’ journey. Begin each morning in gratitude and remembrance of your Guardian Angel and your Spiritual Guide. Be determined to cultivate their presence in your life and you will never be without trusted friends!

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

Offering Grace Before Eating

I was raised on a farm in Saskatchewan in a religious, Lutheran environment where it was Law One to offer grace before you even dared put any food or drink to your lips at mealtime.

 

See the source image

“Why do we have to thank God for our food?” I remember asking of my mother. After all, living on a small, mixed farm where we raised our own animals, grew our own grains that we consumed, why thank God for what we ate? In fact, I felt that if anyone deserved thanks for providing all the healthy and nutritious food, it should be my Dad, and my Mother for preparing it in a delicious manner that made it so fun to eat.

“Did Dad make the cow that offered her life so that you can enjoy roast beef you’re now eating?” my Mother asked as she poured a generous amount of beef gravy on my potatoes. “Who provides the rain that makes the potatoes and carrots grow? And even more important, who designed our earth with such perfection and beauty that makes it possible for us to live in abundance and health that we enjoy?”

“Hmm!” Well, that gave me something to think about … “But it was Dad—and, well—I—yes, even I helped in butchering the cow to prepare the meat, and I helped dig up the potatoes and carrots so that we’ll always have plenty to eat.” I countered. I still wasn’t fully satisfied with Mom’s answer as to why we should thank God when we, ourselves, did so much of the work in preparing our own food.

“Well, not all of the world is as beautiful as our farm is,” I thought I had her cornered on this one. “There are a lot of places on earth that are desert where nothing grows, and thousands of people have little or nothing to eat—some even starve to death! What about them? Should they thank God for having nothing?”

“O.k., time for some scripture study!” my Dad playfully poked his finger against my forehead. “Get your scriptures, and turn to Matthew, Chapter 25 and read, what’s called, The Parable of the Talents, and I want you to pay special attention to the servant who had been given the one talent.”

I started reading. “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents—”

“Never mind that verse,” Dad interjected. “Read the next verse.”

“Why?” I protested. “Sounds to me it’s what an angry God would do to someone He didn’t like, like the guy with only one talent. Punish him!”

“Read the next verse,” Dad repeated, not making a comment on my thought. “and see why God took that one talent from the man.”

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” That verse didn’t make sense to me at all! I still say it sounds like what a mean God would do—”

“There’s a word missing in that verse. I want you to read—and remember from now on—to read that verse by including that one missing word.” Dad read this time, “For unto every one that hath Gratitude [it] shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not Gratitude,[it] shall be taken away even that which he hath.

In that light, I suddenly I understood!  “You mean, because we say Grace at every meal, God gives us even more than we need? And the people who are starving, because they never bothered to give thanks, have nothing?”

Dad skewed his face, as if he didn’t quite agree with me. “In a few cases, this may be true. “But, most often, when we see poverty, it’s God’s way of allowing us, who live in abundance, to develop compassion in our hearts. And, since we’ve been given more than we need, we share that abundance with those who have not. Therefore, we can usually  be assured of having lots.”

I sighed. I’ll sure be glad when I grow up so that I can be as smart as my Dad and Mom. I still don’t fully understand this thing about gratitude—but then, I guess, that’s why we have the old saying, “live and learn.” That sure applies to me.

“Besides, it’s a grateful heart that is willing to share without hesitance,” my Mother continued, removing the empty dinner plate from in front of me and replacing it with a slice of warm apple pie—by the way, I’d like to add, apples that I, myself, picked from  our own apple tree in our back yard.

“That’s what’s so wrong in the world today,” Mother finished.  “People are greedy and angry and give no forethought as to the many things we should be grateful for. And, far too often, the more they complain, the worse it gets for them.”

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”   Zig Ziglar

 

 

Living a Meaningful Life

Some people die at age 25 but aren’t buried until they’re 75” –Benjamin Franklin

Destination: Earth!
Destination: Earth!

If you’re married and have small children, I know you’ve heard them complain, “Dad, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do!”

I can understand such feelings and comments coming from young children. After all, they’re still quite new to life on earth and depend heavily on their parents for almost everything, including instilling meaning and purpose into their lives, but it really is the problem when you hear adults complain that life is boring?

For me, even as a kid, I was seldom bored. My whole life has been an exciting adventure! I’m a senior-senior now, and know that soon it will be time for me to “return home.” But I’ll go with satisfaction, with no regrets or remorse, knowing that I’ve lived my life to the maximum without malice or harm to any of God’s creatures, including man.

I am blessed with a great imagination—maybe that’s why I love the craft of writing: writing allows me to creatively visit exotic places and do exotic things that normal finances or physical ability wouldn’t allow me to do. I’ve always been that way. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.”

Sometimes, in my more serious moments, I wonder, “Why am I hear? Is there a purpose to my life?” In order to find an answer, I have to go back to the beginning … way back … pre-earth beginning. In my mind I envision myself being bored, living somewhere in the spirit world: a place we call home. My problem in this ‘home’ is, I’m bored, doing nothing all day but float around on clouds—at least, that’s how many of us envision life at ‘home’—or also referred to as heaven! To overcome my boredom, I visit my favorite spiritual Travel Agency. Actually, I suspect this guy’s my Soul, assigned to me as a Nanny by The Boss, while I playfully, and even irresponsibly, wander through creation until maturity. My Nanny can be a little blunt and abrupt at times, but then, there are times when my actions deserve such treatment. After all, I’m not the easiest guy in the world to get along with.

“I want to go on another holiday,” I tell my Soul. “A nice holiday this time, not like that plaque infested, volcanic lump of hot sand you sent me to last time!”

“Serves you right for being so egotistic and hot-headed! Hope you learned some manners while there,” he smirks, then takes me to his massive, almost endless vault of tourist and holiday files and pauses at the shelf titled “Best Spots” and begins searching … and searching … endless searching. I become impatient.

“Why don’t you digitize all these files?” I ask. “It would be a lot easier for you to find things.”

He doesn’t reply, but keeps searching. Finally, he stops, points his scrawny little index finger to some sparsely populated area on the outer fringe of the galaxy.

“There! Earth!” He exclaims. “Best planet in this galaxy, where I only send my best friends!”

“And I only want to be born to the best parents!” I demand another condition. “Not like that three-eyed toad with the long nose you ported me through on Java-Hava-Ho way back when I was still young and more trusting.”

At that remark, my soul laughs hysterically. I never heard him laugh that hard before.

“You think that was funny?” I got a little peeved. “I nearly committed suicide over that prank of yours!

“O.k., o.k., I admit, that was a bit of a joke I played on you that time,” he wipes the tears of laughter from his eyes. “But you shouldn’t be so gullible and think for yourself once in a while instead of having me do all your thinking for you.” Being satisfied that he found the best place for me, he closes the near endless rows of tourist information points and turns to me.

“Tell you what. To make up for it, I’ll port you through the best, most decent parents available on earth during this cycle.”

“Well … it better be good this time!” I hesitantly agree, pouting a little to show my disfavor for having ported me to some of those previous, more nasty places. “When do I leave?”

“You have to wait nine months. You can’t go sooner because you first have to make a few adjustments to your personality. Not my fault you still have problems with women!”

Nine months!” I exclaim. “I’ll get all mouldy if I have to live in those damp clouds for that long—”

“Nine months, no sooner!” my Soul insists. “Boss’s orders! Just because your royal stock doesn’t mean you can just go traipsing, willy-nilly, through the universe having a jolly old time without also learning a few things—and maturing in the process. You know you’re going to be a god yourself some day, so you better start taking that role seriously, and I’m offering you a chance, while on earth, to become more serious.”

“Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  –  Scott Adams

Well, that wasn’t exactly a word-for-word conversation that I had with my Soul on that fateful day when plans were made to port me through to earth for another interesting holiday, but you get the idea that my time here has been, as I said earlier, quite an adventurous holiday! I’d sort of like to stay here a few more years, but I don’t know exactly when my “school year” will be over. My Soul—Nanny—wouldn’t reveal that info to me. “Depends on how well you behave yourself,” is all he muttered then pretended to dismiss me by turning his back to me. But I hope you get the idea from all this talk that, for all of us, much of our time on earth has been pre-planned, and we, ourselves, had a lot to say under what conditions we’d come here. I like to think of it like entering school here on earth. The School Board, your teacher, and all others involved in your education (angels, spirit guides) have a loving, pre-planned course laid out for you. It’s all to your best interest. However, how well you do, depends on you, personally!

Our time on earth can be a nightmare, or it can be an adventurous holiday like mine has been so far. Because of our royal status, we do, individually, have a lot of say if we wish to learn and mature or not. That’s always a choice open to us! I would just like to offer a final remember: we are of royal blood, and predestined to co-rule with our Father and Mother in an Infinite Universe.

Don’t screw it up!

Gratitude

Do you remember, as a kid, running up to your Dad and asking him to give you a portion of your allowance? With a smile, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a dollar and gave it to you. Quick as a bouncing rabbit, you took off to the store to meet friends who were already there waiting for you—

“Hey, didn’t you forget something?” Your Dad called after you before you even reached the door. You stopped in your tracks … Oh yes! You ran back to your Dad, gave him a big hug and said, “Thank you, Dad!” … Then you ran off to the store to meet with your friends.

That might have been your first lesson in learning gratitude.

“Gratitude turns what you have into enough” — anonymous

Your second lesson in gratitude may have come when you attended Sunday School and learned that Jesus also preached the power and importance of giving gratitude in the example of His Parable of the Talents: “For unto every one that hath [gratitude] shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not [gratitude] shall be taken away even that which he hath.” – Matthew 25:29

But, as we grew up and became lost in a material world of self-gain, we forgot these lessons. Here’s an example of what I mean: we all love honey. We know that millions of busy little bees work all summer to store up their winter’s supply of honey, so what do we do? We steal it from them! Mind you, I’m not saying that this practice of … uh … ‘helping ourselves’ to the bee’s honey is wrong; not even morally wrong. Creation is so designed that every creature, be it human, animal, reptile, insect, bird, plant or tree, are both preyed upon, and/or are prey to something else in Nature. However, the truth is that all these amenities we ‘take’ for granted (pun intended), including life itself, are gifts from a divine Parent and showing gratitude goes a long way in ensuring the continuation of these gifts. Still staying on the topic of our honeybees, here’s a bad example of selfishness, with a lack of gratitude.

we’ve all read news articles of how farmers are (in some cases, quite indiscriminately) using poisonous chemicals on their grain crops for weed control, but in the process, destroying the bee population, threatening to wipe them out completely. Are we concerned? Some of us are, but it still seems, with our politicians, money talks louder than concern for the survival of the bee. Gratitude for the honeybee’s contribution to our welfare isn’t even on the table!

Are we ever going to be held accountable for our lack of gratitude for all the wonderful things we enjoy on this planet? Go back to your youth when you asked your Dad for some allowance. What would have happened if you stubbornly, and consistently refused to thank him for your allowance?

Methodist minister, John Wesley, said: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all he times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can!” That’s being grateful! Don’t be like the servant, in Matthew, who had “even what he had” taken from him for lack of giving gratitude!

“What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to god.”

My Body, My Temple

My Body, My Temple

I had an interesting—well, maybe I should call it an unusual experience last Friday when I visited my doctor at our local medical clinic. Now, remember, I said Friday! The waiting room was nearly empty of patients! By itself, the near-empty clinic wouldn’t be so unusual, except that, on the other hand, Mondays the clinic attendance is just the opposite: it’s packed with patients waiting to see their doctor. This is not an isolated incident, either: it happens almost every weekend! Now, consider that the rest of the week attendance at our clinic is quite normal, so why is the clinic near-empty on Fridays? Could it be that more people get sick on Monday than they do on Friday? Mph! (shrug) Maybe to a small degree—could be an activity change on the weekend, compared to the week days that may influence how sick or healthy a person is on Monday, but surely not to this degree … and so common!

That got me thinking. Could it be that some people, who normally do get sick on Friday, hold off seeing the doctor until Monday so as not to take a chance on ruining their weekend? If that should be the case, how sick are they in the first place? Another question: if our health system would cost us every time we went to see a doctor, how many visits would we skip?

I suspect that far too many of us take advantage of the “free” part of our health care, and forget, or just don’t care, that many of these less serious health problems just clog up our health services and hinder access to patients with more serious health issues.

I think we fail to understand that our so-called “free” health care system isn’t all that free. It may be free at the moment, for the patient seeking help in the doctor’s office, but, in reality, the taxpayer—that includes you—end up footing that bill. An article in the National Post states, “The Canadian Institute for Health Information believes Canada spent approximately $228 billion on health care in 2016. That’s 11.1 percent of Canada’s entire GDP and $6,299 for every Canadian resident.”[i] You see, our health care is not free! Just think of all the consumer goods and services that that money could be better spent on it were not earmarked for taxes.

I sometimes feel that some public attitude seems to be, who cares? It’s not my responsibilityI just want whatever is free. But, now that I have that issue off my mind, I think that this problem of social unconcern for how much we cost the medical system has a deeper root: lack of concern for ourselves! And this should be a bigger worry for us.

Unless you’re one of those people who believe our origin was in sea slime, that we live for an x-number of years, then return to the earth to become worm food, you have to accept that we are very much a part of eternity, and our bodies were “given” to us for a reason: we are here for a reason other than material self-gratification.

Everyone has serious moments in their life and has asked, “who am I?” and why am I here?” And if you are at all serious about what happens in your life, decency and morals have to be part of that concern. Without standards of responsibleness to both ourselves and to society, how long would we exist? And, even more important, what do we owe to ourselves to take care of our bodies? The Buddha is reported to have said, “Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.[ii] Just like any craftsman knows, upon graduation from Tech (born into this world from a previous existence), he’s given a precious tool box (body) and commanded to “Go boldly forth” and become a god unto his own right.

Yes, by all means, listen to the advice of others—especially experts in their field—but the final decision must by yours!

Your self-consciousness is you: it is eternal, and it’s that which evolves. Your body is your tool box and the tools contained within your tool box are your five senses.

Yes, there is abundant evidence out there that, in the final analysis, the welfare of your body—this would include your health and other material goods—and morally—is your responsibility. Your opinion or conclusions may differ from that of the advice you’ve been given by others, but remember, in the final analysis, place your opinion above others, and act upon your opinion!

Of course, the big kicker here, that many fail accepting responsibility for, is, if it turns out to be an opinion in error, then be mature enough to accept the lesson that experience has taught you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is yours!

A final addendum: if there is such a thing as a hell in the ‘After-life”—or even in one’s latter part of this life—it will be that dreadful self-judging moment when we realize what we could have done, and been, while on earth, but stubbornly refused the challenge a loving God offered!

The Power of One

I’ll pick on politics as a starter to my column to help me explain my point of argument, because politics is one of my favorite subjects to talk about—although the main message here, as you will see, can apply equally well to any situation.

As long as we continue to believe that we are only one in person and essence, and powerless in a world where money, armies and entrenched customs dominate, we can be assured of being ruled—not governed—ruled—by dictators, be they politicians or dominating company CEOs.

Can we ever free ourselves from this subjugated, submissiveness to an authority role we seem doomed to play a ll our life?

All holy scriptures, both ancient and present-day, proclaim that God made us in His image: gods, He made us—so, at the very least, we should consider ourselves to be princes and princesses in a limitless universe. The question, now, is, if we have such a royal heritage, what happened that caused us to lose our ability to rule ourselves?

Well, the reasons for giving up our power of free will and give domination of ourselves to others can be numerous. Mental weakness and general laziness come to mind as two reasons. But in spite of this quite common fault, society has produced many great minds and achievers that have truly reflected God’s desire for the lofty aspirations for His offspring. Terry Fox, Viola Desmond and Gord Downie are three Canadian heroes that immediately come to mind, and if we turn our search for heroes internationally, the list becomes almost endless. So, we see, it’s not God’s fault that we are weak: He created us as royal citizens of the universe, remember? His plan for us as a loving Father is to see us aspire to—and even surpass—His own lofty heights of creative achievement! So, what went wrong?

Going back to our heroes, the idea of thinking “I’m only one person,” so “what can I do?” isn’t even a consideration in their mind which is obvious by their action and achievements! These heroes know they’ve been created free and are in bondage to no one! So, if they did great things, why can’t the rest of us do likewise?

Free-spirited people are still in the minority. Why do we, the majority, still feel powerless and consider ourselves a failure—or at best, not as good as our successful associates? The reasons are legion: probably as many reasons as there are individuals who feel that they are inferior. Mac Davidson, former therapist, consultant and entrepreneur, may have at least one answer when he stated in Quora: “The fear of making mistakes.” In other words, we hesitate because we are afraid … afraid of what? We’re afraid of making a fool of ourselves in front of others, afraid of people looking down on us if we make a mistake, feeling inferior to associates … where do we pick up such negative ideas? We’re certainly not born with the idea of failure or fear. Watch a child at play and the last thing a child is, is afraid to act out his emotion or desire.

Who knows where its origin? Maybe it began in our primitive days when we were cave dwellers and had to fear the ever-present hungry carnivore who stalked us in order to survive. Since then, we’ve customized our fear to fit our present-day environment, but still kept one basic survival skill: observing and adopting ideas from others in our group.

 The nice thing is, once we become aware of our fears, we can—if we wish to—change. But change is not easy. We’re creatures of habit. The road out of failure can be filled with frustration and failure itself, so here are a few “helps” to help you on your way:

 One very good start is to join a yoga meditation club. You’ll get lots of support from other members there, and positive support is something you’ll need to help cancel out the life-long negative thoughts engrained in us.

Next, copy down some positive quotes and pin them on your bathroom mirror where you’ll see and reflect on them every time you visit the bathroom. Here are a few for starters:

“Your best teacher is your last mistake.”

“The only man who never made a mistake is the man who never did anything.”

“Mistakes help build your knowledge base.”

“Mistakes are proof that you’re trying.”

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

Meditating on such quotes can strengthen our resolve to overcome our weaknesses by learning that mistakes can actually be your friend and teacher.

One final quote to help you. You may have heard this one before—most successful people have. Just make sure to apply it with determination: Aim for the stars! You may only reach the moon on your first try, but that’s better than where you were. And, once you reach the moon, it will be that much easier to reach the stars. Just don’t give up!

Promote yourself from “Can’t Do,” to “Can Do,” and from that direction, look up … way up!  You’re now on your road to boldly go where, before, as a lesser god you feared to tread!

A Sunday Chat with Myself—Freedom of Religion

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”—Albert Einstein

Some people can get quite upset when the topic of religion comes up, claiming it to be the biggest superstition that has ever plagued us. I can’t blame them, because I’ve also had some bad experience with so-call “religious” people, so I know how they feel. But in all fairness to the topic, there is—or can be—a world of difference between religion and spirituality, and the various opinions between the both. An incident in my life where I had a run-in with a “religious” person comes to mind.

My first wife and I were considering divorce. My wife’s local Bishop called us in to see if there was a chance at reconciliation. My wife went first into the Bishop’s office, I was standing in the hallway, waiting for my turn to see him. Oh, I should mention that, at the time, I considered myself a devout atheist, and I certainly was not a member of my wife’s church.

While I was standing in the hallway, waiting my turn to see the Bishop, a member of that congregation approached me and started spouting off the advantages of being a Christian—of his faith, in particular. As I kept showing my increased resistance to his claimed “advantages,” he kept getting more forceful in his demands that I needed to “repent” and follow his Jesus: that his religion was the only true religion, and if I didn’t get baptized and confess all my sins before his God, God would punish me, just like he will punish all the other wicked sinners in the world who don’t get baptized into his faith—by throwing me into a pit of hellish-hot fire to which I would be doomed to  for all eternity!

The guy wasn’t aware that I was still in the military at the time, physically quite fit, and certainly not averse to a good fight! Had not some other members of his congregation come and led him away from me, that little runt was rapidly coming “that close” to receiving a very bloody nose for his “missionary” efforts!

“It is one thing to have a ZEAL for God and another thing to have a SEAL from God” ―George Ifeanyi 

Sadly, it is this kind of religious attitude that too many people with feelings of exclusionist zeal have to anyone who is not of their faith, and it is this kind of zeal that not only separates them from the rest of humanity, but also from the true Gospel that Jesus the Christ tried to bring to the world.

I think Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees’ question, as to which the greatest commandment is, quite aptly replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God … and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself.” (see Matthew 22:35-39). And as if to finalize his point, Jesus added, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:40). In other words, if what you are doing does not comply with the first two commandments, you’re not teaching,  nor living, the Gospel.

Mankind has been visited by true prophets, under the guise of many names, from very ancient times to more modern understanding that we have towards religion and spirituality. Unfortunately, with the exception of the most historical prophets, they have been stoned, crucified, or burned at the stake!

What is it with people: they refuse to accept happiness—and, in really, that’s what true spirituality is about: happiness. Happiness’ only religion is that physical organization that administers compassion, love, charity and understanding—in other words, joy, to mankind. All other religions are false religions!

“I care how I feel and it is my desire to feel good.” —Abraham Hicks

Happiness is manifested spirituality. When a person finally finds happiness, they instinctively will kneel to its dictates because of their positiveness. Only happiness can grant to its adherents the power to embrace a lonely person and tell them, compassionately, that they are not alone: that they are loved and cherished, like all of God’s creatures are loved.

Hell, and damnation. What a primitive, barbaric concept!

Only those who have found Happiness have the power to lay down their guns and embrace all cultures and beliefs of the world: that all of us are equal in the eyes of God.

What a wonderful world this would be if we would forget our pride and personal grievances, and kneel, in humble submission, to the true Spirituality of the Universe:  Happiness, and make that Spirituality our Religion!

“My path is about joy!” —Abraham-Hicks