A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for July, 2008

Lewis, and me and Christian thought.

As a young Christian, one of my favorite authors was C. S. Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, and thoroughly enjoyed his space trilogy, most specifically Perelandra was my favorite. Then I read most of his books regarding Christianity, from “The Abolition of Man” to “Surprised by Joy”. I read his apologetics with relish, but found that some of his basic arguments for believing that Christianity was the only faith that served God paled when compared to the more basic theology presented in the stories he wrote for the children.

In the book where the children see Aslan (the Logos of God, also in Lewis’ theology the Son of God, as in Johns gospel), singing the world into being, my heart skipped a beat, as that made incredible sense to me. I hear music all the time, even in the silence. Most of the time it is gentle violin and flute stuff, and very seldom the hard metallic stuff, (though that stuff distresses me no end when I hear it in my mind, as it generally means something is terribly wrong in my world!)

In the last book of the series, “The Last Battle”,  where the world is gathered in on Judgment day, Aslan tells the children (I’m paraphrasing here, as I no longer have a copy, couldn’t afford to replace after I gave my set away.)that you cannot worship the Dark with good deeds and you cannot worship God with evil deeds, there are several things said in that, that I am not sure Lewis intended to convey. The first, that there really is only one God.

The second, that it didn’t matter what you call yourself, Christian, Muslim, Ivrit, Jain, kwanyin1Buddhist; no matter what you believe in, no matter where you worship, the one true God hears your prayers and sees into your heart. I quit worrying about whether people were converted to Christianity or not, and started teaching those who were under my influence that you must live according to the Golden Rule, that that was more important than anything else, and that you must do it because you genuinely care, from deep within you, and that if you could not find that caring in your heart, that that was what you were to pray for.

Having read his theological works, I am certain that is not what he wanted to convey in his children’s stories, but it is there, nevertheless. In fact, I gave several sets of those books to children whose parents practice Christianity to the exclusion of all other faiths with the express purpose of exposing them to a greater truth, and for many years did not even speak of what I had found to be solid core truth in Lewis stories for children, most especially to those parents.

I only bring it out now, as it seems that the stories are being made into movies. I have not seen even the first movie, though I would very much like to. I suspect they are wonderful with all the special effects. And, for me, the larger, more solid core of spiritual truth is ripe and ready to be explored by the citizens of our world, who seem most weary of One set of God’s children finding exception in another set of God’s children and starting wars that can only flow over to the rest of us in horror, pain and suffering.

It really is time, folks, the God that is real is much larger than your imagination can allow. This God is above gender, truly cares about all life, has given free will to these puny humans, (and I am not sure that God has not regretted that, but without free will, obedience to the high principles is not true obedience). Has said in the Torah that the desire is for obedience to these principles rather than sacrifice, so even the act of worship is not truly understood by the religious, and wants us to be kind to one another.

Edit, 2.3.09, I have seen both the Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian. The filmography was wonderful, and there is little or no preaching in them, well done.

The Truth?

Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.

I think it is perhaps this quote from Einstein that sent me on my most searching journey regarding my faith. I was part of a church that isn’t quite as extreme as what most people think of as fundamentalism, but was close enough to make me cringe now. The pastor was fond of getting all excited and ranting about how we needed to protect the “TRUTH!”. I was a practicing nurse, and part of the reason that bothered me was simply that the truth was what you counted on surviving after all the fluff of a situation had settled out.

The thought of the truth needing defending was foreign to what I did to make a living. At one time I approached my pastor about this, and his suggestion was that perhaps I was in the wrong line of work. Yup, nursing, essentially obeying the teaching from the parable about the Samaritan. I decided maybe I was in the wrong church. I began to do some solid searching, and began to wonder just how much of what I was taught in Sunday school was objective truth.

The search took me into the Nag Hammadi library and I began to feel that maybe I had been deceived along with the rest of Christianity. It was when I read Huston Smith’s “World Religions” that I began to realize that perhaps the best spiritual path of all was to simply be compassionate, seek out objective truth, and live as quiet a life as I could. Sort of makes me a Buddhist Christian, since I still very much follow those teachings of  Y’shua’s that are matched in Buddhism and I still believe that Y’shua was an actual teacher whose words got messed with to fit the politics of the time, (Wow, do you think that could happen today? Heh!)

I absolutely adore the sweet natured man who is now the Dalai Lama, and have read three of his books from the Tibetan Library. I find a refreshing air of truth in holding to a faith where it is not necessary to believe in a God, only believe that you must become a better person. Y’shua was recorded to have said it was unimportant to believe in him, so long as you obeyed his teachings. The message then is the same, be compassionate. Wow! Obey God, and seek true personal happiness, what a concept!

Sacred Symbols ~

“Lord Jesus, Who in the Eucharist make your dwelling among us and become our traveling companion, sustain our Christian communities so that they may be ever more open to listening and accepting your Word. May they draw from the Eucharist a renewed commitment to spreading in society, by the proclamation of your Gospel, the signs and deeds of an attentive and active charity,”
~ Pope John Paul II

Those are the words of Pope John Paul II regarding the sacred symbol of the Eucharist. His words were about behaving in a Christlike manner. I won’t excuse the little twit that took the “Host” from mass, but I will even less excuse the fanatics that call for his blood in the name of the Prince of Peace. Stop it!

Now, to get on with what I want to talk about. Sacred Symbols are just that, sacred, (held holy) by those adherents to the individual belief system of which they are a part. If you stomp on the Christian flag in almost any congregation Catholic or Protestant there are liable to be heated words exchanged. And there is no one who can argue that the Christian Flag is sacred as more than just a symbol of one’s faith. There is nothing in either testament about holding flags as holy unto God.

There is, in fact, nothing commanding that the Host be held in that respect in either testament. It has simply become a practice over the centuries, and since Catholics believe it to transubstantiate into the body of Christ, in their hearts they hold it sacred. I don’t really have a problem with any of that, in fact, my own take on the entire debacle is that the little twit that took it ought to be disciplined for disturbing the peace. Do I think it needs to be any more than some community service? No. If Christ himself were able to speak to the situation he would probably say something like, “Father, forgive him, he didn’t know what he was doing?” Oooops, he already said that, and what? They were hanging him on a cross at the time! I think those who believe they are representing the Christ had ought to back up and start all over.

And, one other thing, if I may while I am here. There are many symbols around the world, held sacred by this group of believers or that group of believers, and all the other groups, including Christians tend to walk all over the other symbols, calling them Satanic at the very least. If you want your symbols to be respected, then respect the symbols others hold dear.

The Secret ~

Not new, not even a little bit, and not a secret.

I guess I should credit Madison Avenue with the magic of repackaging something quite old, and making it look like something fresh from the produce market. It astounds me though, that people buy into that sort of thing. Why?

I have said before that what Spirit taught me about living my life as a voice hearer was to look at the “Principle” behind any teaching. That would show me whether it was something to follow or to ignore. That advice has held me on a good path since I began to truly heed it. Now, to be painfully honest I made several rather awful errors before I really “got” the lesson. And went down some pretty crooked paths.

However, the “Principle” behind this particular teaching is as old as Hinduism, has been taught by the Buddha, and was shared in many different ways by Y’shua, whom most of you call the Christ. So the extreme reactions of “OMG, finally, the truth!” or “It’s just awful, and immoral!” are not even close.

Now, to be sure, it is an incomplete teaching. There is no reckoning in the “Law of Attraction” teachings with bearing responsibility for what you “put out there.” It’s just a bunch of positive thinking coaches getting together and putting the teaching in front of you in a most palatable manner. Actually, I suspect you should know that I rather like the packaging they use, and the only reason I am even speaking out about something everybody is talking about is that no one seems to understand what’s going on. Christians are up in arms, New Agers are just in “LUUUUUV”, and people are just spinning around and spewing out limade.

That being said, it’s time, and past time, to discuss the “Whole Teaching” and what it means to activate a major creative principle in your life. For the sake of my fellow citizens here in the US of A, I will go from the stance of Christianity, so that some understanding can be gotten without having to go over the entire belief system from the start.

Y’shua (Jesus to you), said things like “That which you sow, you shall also reap!) At least that’s how King James said The Master said it. Then there were the multitude of times he simply said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Both well known teachings of the Rabbi from Nazareth. In fact, like all really worthy teachers, Y’shua didn’t have to dance around a lot of words, he simply spoke major principles into his teachings in a concise and eloquent manner.

The Principle which he was addressing in this manner is, “What you put out, you will get back.” And that, dear readers is what the “Secret” is teaching you, only the “gurus” have quietly ignored all the ramifications of putting out particular types of “vibrations” and encouraged their “students” to go for the gold. Forget the lessons, just apply the physical attributes, and get rich! Great, huh?

Except, how did you get rich? Did you do it honestly? Many of those top people that got rich did not follow any good principles to get where they got, so do you really want to emulate them? Is physical wealth all you care about? Then for Heaven’s sake, don’t let me stop you, get out there and manifest!! Do I think it can be done? Absolutely! And I think the teaching is, as far as it goes, valid!

So, do you hear the “But!” there? You should, because it is a large one. Think about Y’shua’s way of teaching that same principle, “What you sow, that shall you also reap!” That means that if you take the “Secret”, and use it to cause harm to another, by bending their will to yours, as with a love affair, or in money, you will have to bear the consequences. You put it out there, it will come back to you. It also means that if you have unforgiveness in your heart, you put it out there, it will come back to you.

That is part of why I do not call myself a Christian in today’s church. To most, it seems quite permissible to hold unforgiveness toward someone, especially if they are not of your church family. Uh, is that what Y’shua said? I don’t think so. Yet there are those who say that my kind of believer, as in, you must forgive to be forgiven, are gnostics. OK, I give, if you insist, it’s OK, I’m a gnostic.

But, you must understand that if you apply this principle in your life, you must apply it’s wholeness to your life. Y’shua had it right on target, What you put out will come back to you, sometimes 3-fold, sometimes 10-fold, but it will, most assuredly come back to you. Do not harm others in any way to obtain what you think you want from the Universe, it will cloud up and rain all over you!

Su

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