A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for November, 2008

Imagine, no religion ~

imaginebillboard2smaI understand that this group does this sort of thing rather frequently, posting billboards, that is. The “Sad Factor” here is that they have a major point. The difficulty is that it is not religion, per se, that causes Wars, as religions are designed initially to make us see ourselves and change. It is the extremist position that one’s own religion is “Right”, and all others are “Wrong”, therefore the “Wrong” folks have to die. Or worse, the “Wrong” folks are “In Charge” of a “Sacred Place” and won’t let the “Right” folks come to worship at the shrine, therefore someone has to die. GADS!

It would seem that our children in kindergarten can tell you what’s wrong rainbowdovewith that picture! Share, people! First of all, there is no guarantee that one religion has it “All” right to begin with. Then there is no reason to turn what should be a longing for peace and justice into a cry for war, at least in Christianity, that’s not in the pages of that book, anywhere. I, personally, am Apaulitical, and no I did not misspell that, I am not a Paulist, nor do I feel that the “Church” per se is necessary for a person to read the words of the carpenter cum rabbi and walk a path toward the light.

I remember as a young person being told that Paul’s letters were put in the Bible as Sacred writings because there was not enough in the Gospels to lead a true religious life. Dang! I wish I could speak to that preacher now that I’ve read and studied the words we were talking about. The rabbi’s words were more than enough to walk a path of personal spirituality, all Paul added was the stuff that makes institutions run. We don’t need that. If we obey the basic law to begin with, i.e. “Love one Another.” We don’t need anything more.

roberts_rules_of_orderThe rest of the “stuff” in any “Writ” is when unlove prevails. Jessie doesn’t like Sarah, and Sarah doesn’t like Jessie back, so how do we keep them from tearing the fellowship apart with their antics. BTW, Robert’s Rules of Order work better for that than Paul’s letters. Makes sense, General Robert understood the strategies of politics quite well, and besides, the Rules of Order grew out of his embarrassment over being ignorant of how to run a church meeting. When Paul and the 11(minus J. Iscariot) met, there was a tacit agreement that Paul was to minister to the gentiles while the 11 remained true the their ancestry.

While that has been celebrated through the centuries, it is the one thing that makes me extremely suspect of his teachings. If those who walked at Y’shua’s side found Paul’s teachings objectionable, why should I think they are such that I should venerate the man and his epistles? It intrigues me, to say the least, that with all the questions that arise from that, he remains so much the central teacher in the Christian religion. Part of that, I suspect, is that the Ivrit have long been so segregated from gentile life that most Christians do not realize just how un-Jewish are Paul’s interpretations of 2801-762617Y’shua’s teachings. Or that, if Y’shua had been so outspoken about being a Godman, he’d have been stoned before he’d taught for 3 weeks, let alone 3 years.

I don’t believe that the Dead Sea scrolls were the first such find, actually, since so many centuries have passed since it all began, I cannot help but wonder how many times scrolls were found and destroyed or hidden before news of them could even reach the public. Only with a greater freedom from church rule can such discoveries come to light. It does, however explain the need for a grand Inquisitor, doesn’t it? If you are not teaching veritas, you need someone who can keep the rabble (us) quiet. So, in spite of the fact that I believe in G-d very G-d, I cannot blame those who wish for no religion at all. I truly wish I could; blame them, that is.

Hawk Medicine ~

redframedI love the red-tailed hawk. I drew this one for a precious friend back in Indiana, I put a blue sky behind it, and then wished I had not, as I like it better plain. Have you ever taken note of how many different hawks live in our world? There are red-tails, red-shouldered, another of my faves the Cooper’s, the Sparrowhawk,  the goshawk, grey hawks, and many more! Their “medicine” among Native Americans is that of bringing messages from the Holy Spirit. (Wakan, holy, Tanka, spirit). The Eagle carries our prayers to Spirit. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? I have never had to search if I wanted to see a hawk, there have always been hawks around where ever I would look, since I was a small child. I figure it’s because I don’t listen as well as I should.

Have you ever watched a hawk on the wing? They wheel, and turn, and glide sometimes just for the pure joy of flight, many times watching the ground or air below them for game to eat or feed to their little ones. There is a sense of guardianship about them, and I have never felt alone.

Hawks piercing shriek tears through the air. In its shrill cry lies red_tailed_hawk_perched_shaan important message which represents illumination. Hawk teaches us to scope out the situation and focus on our talents, trying to draw them out. Hawk learns to see the big picture in order to understand the past, present, and future. Hawk asks us to be observant of surroundings so we won’t get distracted from our path by others. It also reminds us not to get caught up in minor annoyances so we can maintain our inner balance. from http://animaltotems.com/hawk.html

It is the medicine of hawk that allows us as individuals to rise above our circumstances and live a better life by learning to see a larger picture; not to be caught up in the little distractions and negatives that we allow to bring us down. Hawk tends to be a warning totem, letting those it works with know when NOT to move into a situation as it will bring harm to them and/or others. It is hawk medicine that lets us walk in the worlds of the mundane and the spiritual at the same time, losing nothing in the experience.

dancingwthwheelOne of the things to remember about the totems. Each of them will work with anyone sincerely wishing to work on a specific area of one’s life. One needs only ask for their help. If you wish to learn how to properly work with totems, and I have mentioned this Holy Man before, Sun Bear’s books are excellent for beginners, easily read and full of information. I have been learning from my totems for several years now, and still keep his books for reference. They are unbeatable. The thing that brought me to work with Native Spirituality, though I am not a Wichasha Wahini, and must refer you to the Original People if you wish to learn is their respect for individual spiritual growth and path work. You are not herded when you work with one of the Holy people, you are worked with through your medicines.

P.S.

I am blond and blue-eyed, and though my father was a mixed blood still looking, as one of my teachers said, like a full blood, I look like my Swedish mother for the most part. I don’t try to make like a native, leaving the dances, pow-wows, and gatherings to those with more native blood than I. One does not need to pretend to be an Indian to live a life respectful to Spirit, one needs to learn to walk with a light step and respect all spiritual paths that lead to the Holy Spirit. Since Y’shua said it was by the fruit of their lives that you would know who did that, I am certain that those whose teachings I have followed are Spirit’s own. I have never learned to respect denominations, I doubt if I shall ever manage that foolishness.

Creating our own world ~

second-life-store

Second Life store front

I have been looking at the tools for building one’s own virtual world here on the net. Such tools look to be fun and helpful in building the imaginations of our young people. My computer is not powerful enough to use some of the tools, so I sit back and “watch”. I see correlations between the virtual world and the real world that are both intentional and simply cannot be helped because that is where we “come from”. Yet, there are accidental correlations that may be helpful in the understanding of universal principles.

The Primary Principle that comes to mind is “What you put out into the Universe will most assuredly come back to you, sometimes by threes, sometimes by tens, sometimes magnified by 100”, i.e. “What goes around comes around.”  The virtual world may teach that principle more instantaneously than our “real” world. The users create their world with avatars and have basically a “social life” online. Since I cannot power up enough to be there I cannot go into it much more than that, though, should the “computer gods” shine, I certainly plan on upgrading, so, one day, I may operate a store front there.

However, we do need to keep in mind that the virtual world may give us more

Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell

freedom to be inventive with the background, but human nature is human nature, so even with a sci-fi or fantasy background, people will ultimately be themselves. (Even Tinkerbell has a jealous streak.) One can only keep up a “personna” for just so long, eventually a person’s true nature will surface. Though, when it comes to personal relationships, the warning to err on the side of caution holds double or even triple. If I had the Know How, I think that the thing I would try to create would be a place where the metaphysical lessons of life could be played out in scenarios that don’t damage the way those lessons do out here in Realityville.

Speaking of Realityville, a friend asked me not long ago if I believe we create our own world, I said yes, in most instances, but I want, here, to address the fact that that is less than half the picture. First, be aware that we can and do by our own will find the place in life where we are best suited. But! We can be knocked out of that place by random acts of destruction, as well as being helped by random acts of kindness. The Universe is a very big place, and if the Quantum physicists don’t change their minds in the next instant, even science is beginning to see the strong possibility of parallel universes.

I am aware of Occam’s razor that states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, but I siblingsrefuse to buy into the idea that children ask to be molested. I do not care if you think they do! They are not of an age where they can ask for something the consequences of which they do not understand. That means that those who would take their innocence and blame them, need to sit and take a long look in the mirror. If you are an adult and would willingly do something so heinous to a child, you need to look at your own actions and take responsibility. That child is too young to play in your world.

I am also aware that a person can be careless and be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or wearing the wrong thing when some lascivious monster that cannot control his primal urges is lurking in the bushes. God help us when that peacock-swr-april-2007happens. I, however, want to go on record as one who refuses to blame the victim. If we continue to allow the perpetrators to roam free, we will never have a society that can heal. Once a person has shown a tendency to take someone into sexual bondage, even for a short time, without their consent, they, from that point, get watched until we have the means to be certain they will not do such again.

I guess the only answer to such a question then is, sometimes. Yes, we can, if we have the courage and daring, change the circumstances that seem to hold us back. No, our fate is not written in stone. Yes, we can make a difference. But those of us without omnivision need to not look at our neighbor and judge him or her if they cannot.

Free Will ~

binnewies-390-for-tridion_tcm18-115975Do we have free will? Well, I personally believe so. We have mapped the human genome, and they don’t seem to have found a gene for free will, but, there are many things that point to the idea that each of us, in spite or because of our genetic make up, can make choices as to how we will respond to life’s stimuli.

There always seem to be those who would love to tell us that we are just chemicals reacting to what the world delivers at our doorstep. Yet, looking at life in intensely disturbing reality will show us that this is not necessarily true. One sibling with a similar genetic make-up to the other will struggle against the tide and surface far from muck and gore, while another from the same family will sink into the mire of a life underscored by suffering and sorrow. Why? We don’t really know. It is most certainly NOT just genetics.

From my perspective, as a mystic and student of the cosmos, I think of it as martin-luther-king-jr-picthe “medicine” each child was born with, though that entails not just genetics, but past lives, and ancestral contributors to one’s make-up. There is one other contributor to character that may or may not be counted by the “experts”. The person that child adheres to as a role model may make all the difference in the world. If one thinks in terms of the difference between a “Hannibal Lechter” type or a “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” type the two paths in life are so obvious as to be painful. But children in their first 7 years of developement are often not exposed to such archetypes, their world is much more tightly knit that this.

Aunt Jane, or Mama are their world, or Gramma, or Grampa or Dad or Uncle Joe. How we react to our world is how we teach the little ones to react, mouse1and it is often those we admire that our children admire or reject for just such similar reasons. Many times I have seen an incompatability in “medicines” be the means by which the “bad seed” develops into a rebel or delinquent. A child born with “mouse” medicine to a parent with hawk medicine may learn to hide from the eyes of their elders and becomes sneaky and untrusting and untrustworthy. Yet, mouse medicine is not bad medicine. If the child is guided by one with similar medicine, say a Mama with squirrel medicine, the child may prosper if only because they learn to prepare for what life brings them.

The “hawk” and “mouse” situation may turn abusive, simply because of hawk7frustration and fear of what will result when the child matures, yet the parent never meant to be abusive in the least, loving the child immensely. How tragic this whole scene becomes, most especially when it is from intense love that the results are far from ideal. There are no societal safe zones for either the parent or the child. Nothing “honorable” that will allow the parent to “back off” and let the child become themselves. Our family unit is now too small for the child to find an aunt or uncle who can understand, as the family is often scattered over 1000’s of miles.

I guess then, that I must conclude that though we do indeed have free will, and if the child can survive intact until their late thirties without having been in too much trouble with the law, they may get themselves straightened out, as it takes that long for us to become who we are, even when the parenting was compatible with our “medicines.” Even here, I believe we have free will, and if we have the internal strenth, we can become who we want to be no matter what our parents were or are, good or not so good. One most helpful thing to remember is that most parents truly do the best they can with the tools they are given to hand.

Politics and Spirituality ~

sarah-palin-11The minute McCain chose an unknown from Alaska (and attendant at an Assemblies of Oh My God church), I began watching the political scene with fear and trepidation. You see, that was the denomination I had followed when I was functioning as a fundie. This woman is beautiful, and quite comfortable in front of cameras, and I was worried that the Republicans would win on that ground alone.

It became apparent after a little research that she was not, apparently from as strict a congregation as I had attended, and I could not tell where her faith played in her politics. Most AoOMG are antiabortionists on any basis, the unborn fetus’ rights superceding the mother’s rights or the rights of other children whose lives might be affected, no matter the reason for the consideration of abortion. There are other considerations that plagued me. Generally, the AoOMG denomination is not one to teach path work, instead resting completely on the forgiveness of sin by the blood shed on the cross by God incarnate, Jesus Christ.

The problem with this stance is that it leads to inconsistency in the outward 1a_duerer-prayer1lives of the congregants. They believe in the infilling of the Holy Ghost in all believers as a sign of salvation, though even here there is some inconsistency, some congregations practice this, others do not. They do not count compassion toward others as a sign of salvation, even though that is the one command that Y’shua gave before he hung on the cross. see John chapters 13 thru 17. There is little obedience taught in AoOMG, as, depending on the pastor, they may or may not teach forgiveness in order to be forgiven, taught in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt. 6:12

I am aware that life is not just a gift from heartSpirit, but of Spirit, and that terminating a pregnancy early may indeed be contrary to this. There is a large consideration, here, that is often missed by those who would choose life no matter the consequences. My query? Would that pregnancy carry to term were we not dependent on medications to bring this about? I am of the same thought on continuously coding an individual whose heart is giving out, (and mine is, BTW, so don’t think this isn’t a personal choice for me.) I am not for terminating life when quality can be a possibility, but, neither do I believe in resuscitating a vegetable, please do not do that to me. I would give that same consideration to other lives for the same reasons.

It is for this reason that I have kept the commentary on this blog spiritual, not going into the politics of the moment very often. My personal preferences on something may NOT be what Spirit would have you do, and IP182-08.JPG do not wish to mold opinions that would send you contrary to what Spirit would have you do with your life. Politics and Sprituality are a poor mix no matter what your belief system or political party. I do not want to know if a candidate is a Christian, Jew or Buddhist. It does not matter to me. I want to know that a candidate is ethical, concerned with the opinions and needs of the constituency, and will carry out their duties with all the integrity possible. One does not just give that oath before Hashem, one is supposed to give it before the humans being served.

Courage ~

Paul’s list of fruits of the Spirit does not speak of courage or integrity, but they are most definitely a fruit of that which is highest and best in our lives. Here is the Serenity Prayer in it’s entirety,

600px-vodicka_triquetra1svgFull Original Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

Dr. Keshavan Nair,

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.

I had not heard of Dr. Nair and did not know of him at all before I found this quote about courage, but it so spoke to what I wanted to bring out in this post that I had to look him up. He is apparently an inspirational speaker for fortune 500 companies. With that particular quote I can see why he would be in demand. It says a great deal in a very few words.redspottedpurple

Courage is indeed the foundation of integrity, for it takes courage to speak when others hold the opposite opinion yet, you know the truth. It takes courage to speak when you are wrong and it will hit your hip pocket to say anything because no one knew but you. It takes courage to speak when the facts you must present are the opposite of what you want them to be. It takes courage to stand alone. It takes courage to be part of a change that needs to happen.

Most of us have a “comfort zone”. Hopefully it’s within the bounds of love, peace and joy, but when we must leave that comfort zone because duty or life makes that call, no matter where that comfort zone lies in the scheme of things, it takes courage to leave that and move into a new zone. Even when our lives have been messed up with drugs or alcohol, we are in a type of comfort zone in that it is a familiar place. We know the “rules” here, if we leave this “place” we will be on unfamiliar ground. But, if we want to live a better life, if we want the voices we hear to be of clearer and cleaner source, we must leave the familiar, and dare to change our lives. Believe it or not, that takes as much courage as mounting an expedition to the antarctic.

antarctic-wonderland

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

Maya Angelou

The Subject of Evil ~

maidanek3Does pure evil exist? Does the “devil” make me do things I don’t want to do? Are there demons and such? Those are some loaded questions, aren’t they? The first answer would have to be, no, but only in the sense that I believe evil to be a twisting of truth; as per degrees, it can get so close to pure as to make no never mind. When you look at the likes of Hitler and the German people in the early 1940’s, where there has been a horrible twisting and turning that turns a group of humans into the demon to be rid of, where was the evil? In the German intent to be rid of other humans, there can be no doubt of this, yet, at the time, there were those who believed that they were doing the world a favor. How twisted can you get?

bracket1( I searched the ‘net for a pic that would show the awfulness of those camps without showing the piles of bodies that were mute testimony to the horrors of “gassing” train loads of human beings. I wanted to show that those who lived, lived in horrible conditions too, if it was just a quick death, there is some twisted mercy in that, but there was no mercy from the Nazi’s. I cannot blame those descendants who want to deny the existence of the death camps, they were so horrible, but denial will only compound the crime. Let us face the dark side of human capacity and conquer it, not hide it to let it come out in individuals like Dahmer and others of similar nature.)

There have been other despots since who have used other means of mass extermination, turning the “guns” on groups within their own ethnicity rather than have the world pounce on them for going after a separate group. These folks still get by with this behavior as though it were not just as twisted and evil as the attempted extermination of the Jews. The point here, is that it is not an “evil” that exists outside the human heart as a separate entity, it is the twisting and magnification of the darkest manifestations of human behavior. The sooner we recognize that all humans are capable of killing, and that most are even capable of despicable behavior in given circumstances, the sooner we can go about the business of learning how to release the dark emotions so that we may live more enlightened lives!shining-in-the-dark

I am not a Calvinist, I also believe that those capable of despicable behavior are also capable of quite gallant behavior in other circumstances. Most humans have learned by the time they are adults, to curb the dark side of their nature and live to some degree a balanced enough existence to get along with others. In fact, most humans have learned by the time they are adults that some forms of kindness will get them a whole lot closer to their goals, even quite selfish goals, than nasty behavior. The difficulty I have with a Calvinistic perspective is that it is truly totally pessimistic where human nature is concerned and sees only the darker side as being natural.

This really is not the case. It is natural for humans to treat those they care about with gentle loving behavior. One will often see career criminals who make an exorbitant wage selling drugs value their families and close trusted friends as being beyond the worth of gold. It is not even unusual to see those capable of despicable crimes against other humans have loving relationships with four legged pets. Most humans are neither pure evil nor pure good. There are a few shining examples of goodness in our species, i.e. Mother Theresa, who, bless her heart, even she had severe doubts as to the presence of G-d. There are others on both sides of the coin. Humans are seldom uncomplicated in their way of being.

Does the “Devil Make me Do That?”

Do you think so? I don’t. I think our habitual way of thinking and acting have more to do with whether we will fall into something that should not have happened. I do believe that negative influences can nudge us into doing things we know are wrong, and are against our better judgment, even in grey areas. I believe that spirits exist, both light and clear, and dark and murky. I believe that if we open ourselves to them, (some of us were born open) we can hear them. Do I believe it is good to pursue this as a believer? Only if you are willing to go through the purifications common to Buddhist practice do I think it wise to seek the hearing breakthrough. If you haven’t purified your intention, and india-2008-048-buddhist-monk-sarnathreleased your anger and the negative emotions, what you will hear will echo what is inside of you.

And yes, there is no doubt in my mind that some forms of what the psychiatrists presume are schizophrenic hallucinations may well be manifestations of hearing spirits, not all, mind you, but some. If you are hearing those voices and they are dark, I can only suggest you seek the help of a Buddhist monk or a Native American Holy Man or Woman. I made it out of the maze, yes, it can be done, but you must choose love first, any other way will get you lost. You cannot harbor negative emotions against any one without suffering.

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