A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for October, 2010

Oracles ~

Because of the voices I hear all the time, I have explored areas that are discouraged in the Bible and other sacred writings. There are some things that I have discovered in my exploration that may help others in their curiosity about this phenomenon.  Most who read oracles are asking about the future. This is a less than optimal way to use this tool from the very start. Your future is not written in stone. You rewrite your future every time you learn a valuable life lesson, as your path will change because of your new knowledge. Just to hammer that home, if you do not learn the lessons you came in to learn, your path is extremely predictable, and therefore readable by fortune tellers anywhere.

One of the basics to learn is something taught in Buddhism, and encouraged in Y’shua’s teachings when they are looked at from a different perspective than taught by most Christian teachers. That is detachment from outcomes, emotions and material goals. Without detachment from all these, your own filters are clogged, and you cannot be shown any of the truths that will guide you toward greater growth in spiritual things. Without attachment to outcomes, you can be shown the right way to proceed in most situations without the assistance of an oracle.

The highest lessons, i.e. compassionate living at all times (hard lessons to say the very least), are the goal. If we can learn to love in all circumstances, letting the Holy Spirit shine through, no matter what, we will have accomplished what the Buddhists call buddhahood.  This does not mean we become milquetoasts in our lives, it simply means we do nothing from anger, envy, greed or lust. Every action we take is from compassion. This is the release the Buddha spoke of when addressing the freedom from troubling emotions. At such a point in our development, we no longer need oracles, we can see clearly what must be done, and when.

Freedom from material goals is likewise a must for all who would have need of an oracle, for when we have desires that cloud our vision we will not be able to read an oracle correctly. This, then, is why the cautions in the Sacred Writings regarding the use of oracles. It is not that they are inaccurate, it is that we cannot read them accurately. It requires a Christlike or Buddha-like compassion for the well-being of all to be able to see with the clarity that lets us read what the oracle is telling us. Most of us have not attained that level of compassion. I am right in there with everyone else on this, so, though I do use oracles to check the map to see what I have missed in my own development, I refuse to attempt to read the future, mine or anyone else’s.

Another factor that I have found is that, an oracle consulted may, and often does, reveal the roadblocks in a person’s development, rather than revealing the future. Unless you are on a dedicated path, you will seldom want to know this information. It is often painful to look at, and requires a willingness to do a scorching moral inventory of one’s own failings. If you had been willing to do that inventory, you would have already seen the roadblock thus revealed. So, as shown here, though oracles do have legitimate use, our own failings render them useless for our most pressing requests, where our emotions or desires may, and often do, get in the way.

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Just say NO!

To Fundamentalism of any stripe. I spent 10 years in the Fundamentalist movement. Pentecostal to be exact, there were many things I loved about the fellowship, and many things I absolutely hated about the positions my fellow “fundies” would take regarding others and and the command to love. I read articles by “fundies” every once in a while, just to remind myself of what I walked away from. One of their most common comments is that every other stance regarding Biblical or other references is that anything that isn’t of their thinking is “watered down”. I have to laugh at that, it’s a painful laugh, but it is definitely a laugh.

I often quote First John, chapter 4, verses 7 & 8 as my favorite verse in the New Testament. {Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He who does not love does not know God.} It is the gospel of compassion that most fundamentalists consider “watered down”. Yet, it is the command to love that is the very hardest command, in any faith, that most humans find to obey. Me included. Genuine love is not for the weak minded, it requires caring about your fellow humans on a level that sees no stranger in an unknown face.

I get frustrated with the constant quoting of Paul’s comments in Romans on sin, that were meant to simply point out our frailties, but are used to hammer others more often than to take a scorching moral inventory of one’s own faults. Yet, I must remind myself that it was Paul that wrote one of the loveliest passages anywhere in sacred writings, i.e. First Corinthians, Chapter 13.

1 Corinthians 13

Love

1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

That entire passage speaks to what love requires of each of us who would practice the path of compassion. If you think it’s a watered down, “namby pamby” way to live, try it for a couple of months, it will be anything but easy. When you have lived with that as your goal for many years, it is then you can talk to me about “watered down” scripture.

I do want to point out that Paul went too far in his inventory of sin, making it easy for those who follow most of that list to disparage folks who live alternative lifestyles. He touched on things the original teacher he professes left alone. If your finger is not pointing at yourself with most of that list, you have no right to quote it to others who do not live your way. Romans Chapter 8 begins with “There is no condemnation now, for those who live in Christ Jesus, (or for other faiths, the spirit of compassion) for the law of love has set me free from the law of sin and death.” I am well aware that it is much easier to expound on the “law of sin and death” when working with others than it is to live by the “Law of Love”. Until you can live by the “Law of Love”, to profess that you know God may, indeed, be an exaggeration.

Hellenization ~

I have been looking at the information on the web about the Hellenization of the Jews about the time of Y’shua’s ministry. The argument coming from this is that there may have been no Aramaic manuscripts because the Jews were at that time so Hellenized as to make them unnecessary. I don’t really buy this argument, since the language of the Greeks is so different from the sister languages of Aramaic and Hebrew. There were, according to tradition, at least 10 close to Y’shua whose first languages would have been Hebrew, and the lingua franca of the time, Aramaic. Since there is no argument that Y’shua most likely spoke in Aramaic when addressing his Jewish followers, their first notes would have been in Aramaic, even if they later translated them to Greek to encompass a wider audience.

Since the original disciples cum apostles did not travel, or try to spread the “Good News” beyond the borders of their own land, the argument only makes it probable that the gospels of Luke and Paul (Romans) would have been in Greek or Latin, considering their audiences. Matthew, Mark and John were Jewish, and would have addressed their notes and works to Jewish audiences. There were other gospels, written by others who followed the ministry of Y’shua, these are no longer in existence anywhere, since the needs of Constantine and the bishops at Nicaea were to homogenize the message to create a consistent view of Y’shua that met Constantine’s purpose.

Since the Jewish apostles continued their worship of God in their parent faith, Judaism, I fully suspect that Y’shua never said he was the “I AM”, but spoke of the “I AM” as being the force that brought salvation into the hearts of those who chose to follow that path. If he had claimed Godhood in any way, his followers would have been confused, and would have had to choose between following him or leaving their home faith. This would have left no discord between them and Paul, who, coming late on the scene, and being fully Hellenized, saw no problem with the idea of Y’shua God. In fact, in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul is said to have climbed atop a monument in honor of the unknown God and claimed that this was Jesus the Christ. This makes Y’shua’s message a strictly secondary issue, and his sacrifice on the cross the only thing that matters.

Obviously, I have difficulty with this. It is the reason that folks to this day feel that they can judge and even hate those who do not do things according to their lights. That wasn’t his message. There was no place in Y’shua’s teaching for things like the inquisition, there was no place in Y’shua’s teachings for Manifest Destiny, there was no place in Y’shua’s teachings for the Crusades. These occured because of Man’s inhumanity to man, and because humans tend to feel that they can ride rough shod over others for something as ethereal as a belief.

As long as you believe your “rules” give you the right to interfere with other’s lives, your beliefs are wrong. If you cannot be bothered to learn the Master’s teachings and apply them to your life, do NOT call yourself one of his. He said that his students would be known by their love. That message gets lost when you make Y’shua’s teachings secondary to anything else that happened in his life. As a voicehearer, I cannot afford that sort of foolishness, truth is, neither can humankind. The Hellenization of the Rabbi’s teachings made it possible to think that his followers could call themselves emissaries of God, and, somehow, no matter what,  be doing God’s Will. It created two religions in one, the gentle Rabbi’s path, and a path that destroys other humans as though they were so much dust. Read his words carefully, you will not find sanction to do that sort of thing there.

Edit: BTW, Hanukkah celebrates the driving out of the Greek influences some 2100 years ago, and the rededication of the Temple from the pagan influences of the Greek culture, so rather than accepting the gospels in Greek, the Jews would have rejected them and Paul’s version of the gospel without a moment’s hesitation.

“The Voices in My Head”

That’s gotten to be quite a joke on the web, and could be taken as a kindness for those of us who do hear them, but I doubt it’s intended that way. What do you think? The painful reality, is that those voices can sometimes, and often for many,are so insistent that they drown out the voices of those who walk in this “reality”. They don’t for me, at least as much as they used to. Every once in a while, especially when I am run down because I have been fighting a bug, the voices will be back, and bothersome, but most of the time, they leave me alone, or at least let me conduct my life in peace.Hence, it seems time to talk about this little “problem” again.

That isn’t to say that I no longer hear them, I do, it’s just that I know they are either a figment of something misfiring in my head, or worse, actual thoughts from some other source, which is rather frightening. Many years ago, a thoughtful individual who in retrospect probably had the same problem, gave me the clue as to how to live with them. She said I didn’t really have to listen to them, and if I chose to listen to them, I could choose to listen to only those who had messages of love for me. Now, that can be tricky, at best. One must first figure out parameters that work in all circumstances about what love is and which actions bring love into play. This is where I studied the Mitzvot of Judaism. This group of commands to the Ivrit tries to outline enough daily circumstances as to leave no doubt what one’s actions toward one’s fellow humans would be in any instance. It helps, believe me. They don’t cover everything, but they cover enough to give any student a good idea what one’s attitude and actions should be.

Through these commands I know that any source that even implies that it is all right to lie, cheat, steal, murder, or create chaos, is not from the high. I wish I could say that I am in constant and consistent obedience to them. I am most of the time, but I am quite human, and have been, like every other human that ever walked this mud ball, been known to zig when I should have zagged. Because of that thoughtful woman from the past, I consider myself one of the functionally insane. Yeah, I am not sure of my sanity at all levels, nor do I think I would be classed as sane by a licensed psychiatrist, but I do function on a daily basis. I manage. Some stressors make coping much harder, and so I try to avoid those. I use the AA acronym HALT, frequently. “Never let yourself get too hungry, too angry, too lonely, or too tired.” That acronym has served me well. In fact, I find AA’s approach to life helpful on a lot of levels. The twelve steps are applicable whatever your coping problem may be, not just alcohol consumption.

Because the “dark voices” can be both subtle and seductive, I am constantly taking measure of my attitudes and actions. I know this must seem tedious to those with a firmer moral compass, but it works for me most of the time. I can never be 100% sure at any one time that I have an answer that works, and seldom try to make others see things my way, no matter what. I will voice my opinion, and if others agree, that’s cool, if not, well, I tried to do what I thought was right. I always hope that I succeeded in that, I just can never be sure. So, take what I say with a grain of salt, find your path and hold on for the ride, sometimes it gets kinda bumpy.

Love,

Su

What to teach Children?

Gads, has anyone found the parent’s manual for raising kids yet? Why won’t one manual work for all children? Aye, there’s the rub, isn’t it? We are all so similar, yet each of us has a personality even from birth, so that no one set of “rules” works for all. If we believe the Bible, even the first parents fouled up, as one brother got so angry he killed the other brother, so how do we hope to “do it right”, and rear children that will prosper in their own right and be kind to others? How do we take measure of what our child will need the most as they move from one stage of growth to the next? And, how do we compensate for our own brokenness, and not pass our glitches on to our children? And how do we meet the needs of our babies if we are so broken that we cannot even see past our own glitches?

If I really had the answers to all those questions, I could make a mint, don’t you think? Unfortunately, we can only do the best we can with the tools we are given. So, where do we find the tools we need? Are they in the Bible? Are those tools in some other “Sacred Writ”?  Well, not that I have found, at least not so far. So, does modern psychiatry have the answers? Possibly, though even here, not all as the thrust of psychiatry is mending the broken people after they are injured, not preventing the injuries in the first place. But, I have yet to meet a parent that cares that doesn’t want their children to do better and be better people than they were. And that, in a nutshell, seems to be the key. How much does the parent care about the child?

In my own life, I have experienced one thing that seems to hold true for others as well. If one’s parents can convey, through their own trials and difficulties, that they love us with all they have to give, we may, with much soul searching of our own, survive their mistakes and actually prosper as people. It seems to be that, if we do not believe our parents loved us, we cannot believe we are lovable at all. Ouch! If that is the case, then the most important thing, before we do anything else, is to do our best to be sure our children know we love them. If we can do that one thing, then, perhaps, they will be able to sort out the rest as they mature.

Am I sure about this? No, but I am sure that they will find the rest of the basic rules as they go along, after all, we learn in kindergarten to share, to be fair, and not to lie, cheat or steal. And though those are things that parents should try to teach, they will be reinforced along the way by society’s institutions, so that the “rules of engagement” will be part of the child’s thought process as they move into adulthood. But, nobody else besides the parent can provide that one basic ingredient that seems to make life worth living. LOVE!

Dr. Joyce Brothers, in an article about our love map, why we love who we love, addresses the influence of parents on our ability to love and be loved. (I found this at Reader’s Digest, rd.com, the article may have been published elsewhere first, that used to be the case with the Digest, though I cannot say with this article, as there was no reference to another publication) I have always liked Dr. Brothers, but I do want you to be aware that pop psychiatry can only go so deep, you must seek out your own references to go further with the subject. Here she explains some basics that are necessary for us to do the best we can for our children in this primary area of parenting.

I wish I knew of a manual for the rest, I don’t think it exists, but, if it did or does, I hope to find it, and give you a link, as I have yet to find any easy answers from anyone anywhere on how to do it right, without making mistakes along the way. Good luck, and let me know, if you find that manual, I will refer to it here.

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The Sparrow

I have been contemplating for some time the whole thing about the “Good News”. I do not believe Jesus was telling people that his death on the cross was going to save them, so what was HE talking about when he spoke of the “Good News”? Well, actually, that doesn’t take a whole lot to think about. What was the thrust of his entire ministry? The very here, very near, very now presence of God very God in the role of loving parent. Every time he spoke that was recorded in the four extant gospels, that was the subject, or so much a part of the subject as to be completely integral with it.

OH!

Yes! God as loving parent. Not Y’shua the savior, but Y’shua the big brother, who brought us the message that God wasn’t just a stern judge hanging over us like a plague on our lives, but a gentle, caring, nurturing presence to lean on in the good times and the bad. Yeah, think about it, God very God cares about you and me, each of us, as though he were our Daddy or Mommy. Does that put a different slant on all those lessons we haven’t been learning? It should. It does for me. My Native American friends call the Holy Presence Tonkashila, Grandfather. Nothing wrong with that, those fortunate enough to have a living grandparent often find themselves more able to talk to their grandparents about the issues that mess with them than their parents. And that was Y’shua’s point exactly.

God is there for us to talk to, to listen to, and to ask advice from. What a major blessing is that perspective. When we are troubled about anything, we have an adviser we can turn to at that very instant without leaving the place we are in. Just ask.  And another part of that perspective turns out to be the whole thing about the sparrow. Such a tiny common little bird. Thousands of them exist worldwide. Yet, not one of them falls from the sky that it is not marked by the Holy Presence! How can I not love a God that cares for me like that?!

I know I have gotten a bit gushy about how much Dad loves us, and I hope you will forgive me for that gush. If it helps any, today is my 58th birthday, so I can feel a little entitlement to gush about love, eh? However, the “thing” that got me thinking about this aspect of our relationship with the Most High may be a debate I had entered yesterday afternoon with some fellow members of a forum I participate in at Smallworlds.com. We were discussing the rights and wrongs of homosexuality. A tender subject, at best, and one that can lead to a bit of bombast from the religious on that or any other forum.

I do not take a stance on whether this lifestyle is a right or wrong, I am straight, so perhaps it’s not even any of my business. And that, dear reader, is the stance I took on the forum. I believe my part in this world is to love, not to judge, and I also find that the Native American perspective regarding those who are referred to as He/She, is a far better perspective than that practiced by those of us reared in the Judeo-Christian perspective. That stance is that the homosexual has a place in the tribe that is a wonderful spot of communication between the males and the females, carrying, as it were, the ability to see both sides of any argument offered with gender bias. I like it. For me it more perfectly reflects the loving parent that is God, and allows every member of the tribe a place in that tribe’s function. No fuss, no violence, no name calling. What a concept.

There are a couple of other things I would like to mention about that. Y’shua did not comment on homosexuality as a sin to be dealt with in his ministry, though, if you read the Sermon on the Mount with any eye toward completeness, he doesn’t leave any of the other “personal” sins untouched. I cannot say what he thought of it, he did not speak of it. I can say that his omission of it is obvious enough to make us think twice about making it an issue in our relationships with those around us. Those who quote from the New Testament about homosexuality quote from Paul’s writings, (remember always that, though Paul had some valuable things to say, he was the one apostle that did NOT walk at Y’shua’s side, so may not have known the Big Brother’s stance on this tender subject.)

I guess all that I would ask of my fellow pilgrims is this: if the person you are associating with is compassionate, and brings as little harm to others or the environment as possible, why do you need to make his or her lifestyle your business? Is not the Holy One capable of making any judgment calls without your contribution? Then, out of compassion for all, let it be. Love to you and yours this blessed day!!!

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