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 specific religious belief, 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 in 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 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, that “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 for some 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 both spiritual and religious.
  • 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!

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!

A Sunday Chat with Myself—Satan Never Lies to You!”

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” —Oscar Wilde

I’ve often heard people make a comment, then close that comment with, “and that’s the truth.” I don’t doubt that what they’ve just said they believe to be the truth—for them! But is it universally true, and will their statement—their truth—stand the test of time?

There are over seven billion people living on earth at this time, each with our own particular beliefs, and an estimated 4,200 belief systems. I also maintain that the word, “religion” doesn’t necessarily mean belonging to a religious organization. Although there are those who will vigorously deny it, every person is religious, whether they belong to a ‘religious’ organization or not. You may believe that having lots of money is the single source of happiness. Fine! That’s your belief; your religion!

Personally, as a practicing Christian, I believe in certain principles and follow certain dogmas. On the other hand, Muslim’s beliefs, although similar in most areas to Christianity, has its differences from my religion, yet we both claim to believe in the same God who created both of us, and is our salvation.

Even in Christianity itself there are diverse beliefs and ‘authoritative’ interpreters of what Jesus claimed to have said, so my question is, who heard Jesus correctly, and who understood Jesus correctly—and is my interpretation and understanding the only right one?

I often envision Jesus tuning in on his diverse followers and shaking his head in disbelief: “how can some of my acclaimed followers misquote and misinterpret me so badly from what I had originally said? I taught love and forgiveness, not hate and war!

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” –Plato

Then there is the matter of faith. According to Wikibooks, “Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God. Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass.” Sounds so simple and beautiful, but it is exactly that element in our nature that also causes more wars and anguish than anything else.

I often envision an army, drummed into full, passionate hate, getting ready for battle against their assumed foe. In the last act before actually engaging the ‘enemy,’ they’re blessed by their ‘God-appointed’ Padres and assured that “God is on our side,” while at the same time, our assumed enemy’s Padres are also blessing their troops and told that “God is on their side.” Now they feel most energized to mercilessly slaughter one another, all in the name of the same loving God who created all humans! There’s something wrong with that scenario!

I can’t help but think that there is also something very wrong when I hear both our religious leaders and politicians excite crowds into states of separation, hate and violence against the ‘chosen foe.’ To me, these ‘rabble rousers’—politicians and preachers—are the real Satans—the Lucifers of the world mentioned in Scripture, who use religious texts, twist the contents ever so slightly, then have us believe that what they speak—the twisted truth, is actually the real truth!

This is another example of what I mean when I say we have accepted certain men and women in our lives to lead us, and often that truth gets twisted to suit their agenda, not Jesus’ agenda for us. In John 13:34 Jesus is reported to have said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Do you see any room here for isolation of a neighbor, separation of loved ones or hate because they didn’t follow our particular wish, or reason to hate someone enough to go to war with them and kill them? And remember, Jesus didn’t just wish that we would love one another: He gave us a commandment to love one another. That truth is direct and straight forward. Pretty hard to change facts and their meaning—or is it?

So, how would Lucifer twist Jesus’ command to love one another to suit his own purpose? Simple! Lucifer would stand on his podium and piously agree with the truth that Jesus spoke: “love one another,” but in a quieter moment, he’d simply add, “as long as people repent and do what I tell them to do!” And, in just that simple, innocent-sounding short addition, he’s completely turned love into hate, and given you your ‘righteous’ excuse to go to war with your neighbor!

Another example. I wake up one morning and find that my house has been broken into, and my money stolen. Immediately, in a great fanfare of emotion that an-injustice-has-been-committed-against-me,  I call the police—and the news media, eternally seeking for that dramatic moment in one’s life (especially if their cameras can capture a tear or two in my eye. That would help), is hard on the heals of the police, looking for that dramatic cry of ‘injustice’, and, I-need-to-be-avenged, while shaking my fist and declare in rightousness that the perpetrator be justly punished.

Lucifer, and his band of dedicated followers, feed on hate and intolerance of this kind. That’s their food! War is a banquet to them.

Back to my story. Instead of getting all hyper and vengeful, why not stop and ask—as Jesus would certainly do—why did that person go to all the trouble of breaking into my house and robbing me? Maybe he has been unemployed for some time and he and his family are having trouble meeting their bills. He needs money. Where can I help? Maybe he has an addiction problem and his sense of morals have been perverted. Again, where can I help? Or, could it be that the guy is simply a sociopath and doesn’t know any better, thus needs more than my help: he needs professional help.

Jail is a punishment invented by man, not The Christ! Jail is not compassion!

In either case, when the man is brought before the judge for trial, am I there to help decide a compassionate solution to his problem? Admittedly, the man does have a problem because a normal, balanced person is not going to deliberately commit a crime against his fellow man. And that is a truth!

Sometimes, when I look at the world and see all the cruelty, suffering and hate that we foist on each other, I have to wonder just how far—if at all—we have evolved from the primitive savage that our anthropologists and archaeologists tell us we supposedly came from.

I also look up at the stars and think, is there intelligent life out there? If there is, why haven’t they contacted us? Could it be that they are patiently waiting for us to grow up: to throw off our primitive habits and become kinder, and more honest with each other; to evolve to a point where we are intelligent and spiritual enough so that Satan no longer has the power to twist the truth to his morbid pleasure and our suffering?

I believe that only then, when we’ve outgrown our weakness to accept“twisted truth,” will we be formally visited by Extraterrestrials and invited to join the Cosmic Community!

A Sunday Chat with Myself: Are we an Advanced Society?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” —Søren Kierkesgaard

This morning I sat myself comfortably into my office chair, leaned back, took a deep breath, held it for a moment, then slowly exhaled.

I was totally Relaxed and free of all the ‘happenings’ of the past week.

Sunday morning—it was that time of week for me to escape from the world and think metaphysically: to reflect on how the past week had impacted my life. For me, gratitude is the first thought that comes to mind, like being forever grateful for my overall health, income security, a nice, comfortable home, specialized, well-trained police that shield me reasonably well from predators … even our weather has been quite normal, compared to some of the storms, floods, forest fires and heat waves that are plaguing the rest of the country. It is such a joy to feel how lucky a person I am!

Our advanced society has given me many comforts, safety and protection that other nations, especially less developed ones, don’t enjoy. For example, the desperate “boat people” we hear about who sell everything they have and give it to a risky and mostly dubious “helper,” then, shoves them onto overcrowded boats where they must gamble their very lives to come to my country where they hope for a better life: a way of life I take for granted almost daily.

However, as I continued in my “grateful reverie,” my Super Self started challenging my good feelings. Sure, I had a lot of things in my life that brought me pleasure and comfort—I lack from nothing, physically—but how am I doing in my spiritual evolution? After all, I did come from somewhere other than this earthly, physical world—and for a reason, and I’m sure it wasn’t to just see how much worldly stuff I could collect!

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

According to Zecharia Sitchin’s view (he’s renowned for his translations of early Sumerian writings into English), the Adamic race had its origin “quite suddenly”—over a period of just a few thousand years, evolutionarily-speaking—in this fertile region some 6,000 years ago. That 6,000 years, has given us enough time to evolve physically to a modest degree, but what about our spiritual evolution? Sure, as I said earlier, we have a lot of nice, modern things in our lives—homes, TV, wireless communications, good health plans, etc.— but in some other ways, spiritually, we’re still as barbaric as we were in our beginning! Envy, hate, greed, lust, cheating, lying—I still can’t leave my home without locking my doors due to the risk of home invasion: do you see change?

On the other hand, I subscribe to several charitable and meditation groups and we do a tremendous amount of good in helping to raise the level of human consciousness. My Church, alone, sponsors several charities to help individuals improve their lives, like food and clothing banks, disaster relief, educational foundations and research funding.

The bottom line is, we are moving forward, both in physical technologies, and in spiritual growth and compassion. It’s simply a matter of what side of the fence we focus our thoughts on as we analyse the world. Personally, I’ll take the cheerful, compassionate, grateful side, and leave the negative, fearful stuff up to the subscribers of the evening news media!

“When the light is imminent, the darkness gets agitated.” —Dr. Barbara De Angelis, Gaia TV

Amazing Intelligence in Animals—Our Guardians, our Heros!

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” ― Mark Twain

When I think of creation and the many beauties and perks that come along with being an (elite?) member of this planet, I can easily become overwhelmed with awe at my Creator’s resourcefulness. At the moment, I’m thinking of dogs in our lives. I think that we should give more time and pay greater respects during World Dog Day (see: http://worlddogday.net/) to more justly celebrate and honor what these four-legged partners do for us.

I subscribe to Bored Panda (https://www.boredpanda.com), and an e-article, titled, “30+ Times Dogs Surprised Humans With Their Incredibly Heroic Acts” caught my attention. It’s a wonderful article with photos, and you cannot read to the end without having a greater respect for dogs and what they do for us. The first story relates how Layka, a female German Shepherd military dog who, after being shot four times, still managed to subdue an insurgean that had attacked her handler.

A second story is about a dog that had to bark for 30 minutes in attempt to persuade his family to leave the house because of a gas leak. There’s more, and each one of the stories will pull at your heart strings.

Now, at first blush, one may question just how are heroic acts like I’ve just quoted, related to intelligence—or loyalty, for that matter?  Well, without intelligence, any living, conscious being would be little more than a walking zombie! It takes reasoning, compassion and understanding to be intelligent, regardless of the species. It also takes intelligence to be loyal, trustworthy, and an eternal friend!

Browsing through the short stories mentioned in the Bored Panda e-article mentioned above, it’s not hard to see the super ability—dare I say psychic intelligence—these dogs display by understanding the problem, then being able to take immediate action, often without prompting from their human handlers.

“I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me–they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.”  ― Veronica RothAllegiant

I can add a personal dog-story to the Bored Panda list. A few years ago I owned a beautiful German Shepherd dog I named Sheba. At the time,  I was suffering from depression brought on by lack of work (I am self employed), failing health and mounting  bills. I had an overwhelming blanket of heaviness fall over me with a feeling that all the world was against me: In my world, it seemed that I had no friends and no one to turn to for support. It was then that I noticed Sheba had quietly come over to where I was sitting and laid her head on my lap, looked up at me with eyes that said, “Grieve not. I will always be your friend!” I just cried with relief!

What a dreary world this would be if we didn’t have dogs to protect, comfort and support us!

 

A Sunday Chat with Myself: we are eternal: we are God: we can accomplish anything

Our world is not a world of causes, but a world of effects.  —from Studies in Kabbalah

I recently read a very interesting article showing some experiments that were done regarding vibrations that showed, in all reality, there are only two forces to creation: the primary one, consciousness and the secondary one, vibration.

This experiment in vibration showed tiny grains of sand being placed on a hard, flat surface.  Then, the hard surface was vibrated using a fixed Hz. Different frequencies brought about different patterns in the sand.

Although I have taken a mini course in the Kabbalah, I can’t really only call myself  a simple student of the Kabbalah, but what I did learn is that it’s a more comprehensive view of how “God” created our universe, compared to the Biblical book of Genesis which barely touches on the subject. Add the knowledge of these Holy Books to that our accumulated  scientific and metaphysical studies on creation, and it’s easy to see that, in the beginning there was only consciousness.  God was consciousness—the word: the logos!

Whatever the reason, God—Consciousness, wanted to realize itself—become self-aware— so it started vibrating:  expanding itself into various realms of density. In other words, Consciousness set itself into motion. Bingo! Universes of various densities and parallels appeared.

But, what about consciousness itself?

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

According to the Mystery Schools, there are seven levels of consciousness:

1. the state of waking consciousness;
2. deep sleep;
3. dreaming;
4. transcendental consciousness;
5. cosmic consciousness;
6. god consciousness, and
7, unity consciousness.

Right now, most of us who are reading this article live in the first three levels of consciousness: awakening, deep sleep and dreaming. Although in the heart-of-our-hearts we are all seeking higher levels of consciousness—it’s almost like homesickness. The reason being, we need to create. To expand!

After all, we are gods … and gods create!

A Sunday Chat with Myself—Our Nourishment Habits in the Spirit World

“When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul! ” Rabbi Harold Kushner

A few years back I experienced what is loosely termed—and greatly misunderstood, a Near-death Experience. During that experience I heard a voice very clearly say to me, “Man is not made to eat meat.” I’ve since become a vegetarian. My greatest triumph over having accepted that decision is, whenever a cattle liner loaded with animals headed to a slaughter house passes me—although I still can’t help but send a silent prayer of comfort to those poor animals in that liner—I have a lighter conscience that I am no longer a contributor to that form of indifference and brutality. There was much more to that NDE—in fact, I’ve had two additional NDEs since then, but they can be topics for later musings. This Sunday, I have a single thought. If vegetarianism is a primer leading to eventual higher standards of life, then, especially when I reach the spirit world, what will I  be eating? Or, do we even need nourishment in higher densities?

I’ve given some serious deliberation to this problem because, if life is continuous, and we keep evolving to higher planes—which, by the way, I also believe includes plants, insects, reptiles: in other words, all living things—in fact, including the very earth that we live on—how do we nourish ourselves? And, be you Christian, Buddhist, Atheist or Agnostic, eventually we must all … uh, “die” out of this third density plane! Therefore, eating flesh of any kind, or anything that has/had life in it, will not be a source for sustenance for us in higher dimensions.

“Big-heartedness is the most essential virtue on the spiritual journey.”  Matthew Fox

I know that the whole of the universe is made up of consciousness. In fact, the universe is consciousness. And it is consciousness (God?) that creates energy, which creates matter and form. But, since there will be no death, as we understand death in this third density, we won’t be in a position to “kill” some  other part of creation in order to eat it and sustain ourselves.

Thought (The Logos: The Word), which is the first creative force emanating from consciousness,  creates feelings … and the strongest and prime feeling created is Love!

I remember times when I felt “on top of the world”? I was full of energy; I felt like dancing; I could have kissed everyone that I met and wish them the same happy feeling that I was having. And oh,  how I wished that this”happy feeling” would live on forever!

That’s what I’ll be experiencing  in the planes—densities— beyond this one. Not only will I be sumptuously dining on this glorious feeling, I will also be radiating this feeling to all the created spirits in the universe!

It is this Happy Feeling, this Love that  will be mine to dine on when I graduate to higher realms.

Love—Eternal Bliss—is the Spirit-Food that we will quaff on, and freely share with our neighbors in our worlds to come.