A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for November, 2012

Morality ~

I find myself contemplating the Eightfold Path often, and wondering why it is that the faiths that believe in God very God should find it necessary to place commands for right living rather than principles. Buddha said all that was needed, by putting forth 8 well written principles to live by, rather than 100’s of laws that basically say the same thing, but get into the minutiae of how to shake hands on Sunday, if you will. I, personally, have not found ritual to be that helpful, other than in my times of meditation, when I am settling into “that” space, which is what I think it’s all about. Unfortunately, I also think that much of the ritual is intended to entrain one toward the thinking of the leaders rather than enlighten one about one’s own truth.

That being said, I do believe that each of the prophets and teachers was intent upon leading us closer to what was, to them, the desires of a Holy God. Look at Moses, he was nearly right on a lot of things, most of the mitzvot of the Hebrew faith leading his people toward compassion and forgiveness. You can’t ask much more of a leader, until you look at Buddha, who put all those laws into a set of principles that are timeless in nature. Then came Jesus, a rabbi, whose original words have been so coated with other men’s thinking that it is hard to sort through the teachings and come out on the other side truly enlightened. His goal, of course, was to make faith a more personal thing, while still retaining compassion and forgiveness as the center of all that he said and did. Add Mohamed into the mix, and you have compassion mixed with militarism. Eh, not my cuppa tea, but it calls to many.

However, there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding just how far we were to go with compassion. I am not saying they were wrong. I am saying they simply did not go far enough. None of them said war was wrong. None of them said anything about slavery that would make you recognize it as something deeply wrong. Child marriage was still allowed in all that, girls as young as 9 years old. Child labor still remained right up until the 19th century, as legal, and “under the table” it still exists. Rape didn’t even get a nod as the horror it truly is. So, we have a long way to grow in awareness of right and wrong. Pedophilia was never recognized as a sin, but sends shudders up and down my spine every time I think of a child being forced into adult sexual activity!

Many of those faiths and others not listed still consider homosexuality wrong on the whole, even though where it is addressed in both Old and New testament it was being held up as an example of wrong worship (not brought out so that you could see it that way, but when we dig that’s what it was about.) In fact, when you look at Sodom and Gomorrah, the entire question had more to do with people being taken, and harmed, against their will. That isn’t what homosexuality in this era is even about, so there is no connection to that from a modern view.

In fact, it looks to me to be that the Buddha had it closest to right when he said that all sexual contact needed to be consensual, and that one could not even consider it if the person with whom one had it was basically unable to give consent. To Buddha, that meant a child, a slave, a married person. The child because they were not old enough to resist, the slave because they were owned, the married person because they had made promises to another. Buddha thought it was best to remain celibate. but if celibacy was beyond you, at least make sure of the playing field.

In fact, if you are going to quote ancient teachers to me regarding what should and shouldn’t be allowed, quote Buddha. One must strip away most of what is extant in the New Testament in order to get to Jesus actual words, and one must consider that Moses didn’t even know that war, rape, and child molestation were wrong. And don’t quote Mohamed because, as long as it is woman’s fault that men cannot control themselves, (consider the Burka) then something else is going on. It looks to me as though our laws have moved into the realm of what is considered consensual, that’s a major plus. But otherwise, we need to reconsider and revamp our views of what is moral by law. In fact, I am beginning to like the Dalai Lama more and more. It’s time to take this out of the realm of religion altogether, and come to terms with what is compassionate, what is forgiving, and what is right.

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God of Love ~

Those that need to think that God is real (I number among them) have many reasons for this need. My own is that I hear voices and see things that sometimes are not there to others. That can be pretty scary. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the only way I was going to be able to cope with it all was to find a bottom line, and stay there. It is through that storm that I came to see that even though the many forms of faith have a lot of differences, there were a couple of things they had in common. The differences are unimportant to me, the things they held in common, a call to live compassionately, forgiving others as quickly as possible, were the things that seemed destined to help me cope.

Many times, as I read the Old Testament, as well as the New, I find myself shaking my head in wonderment that a True God could have been perceived to be so tribal. Yet, we must remember that Moses, and Father Abraham were tribal above all, and would have seen God in this same reference. You see, that seems to always have been a problem. It is difficult to see an entity as existing beyond the bounds of our own individual experience. Yet, I want to be fair here. The books in the Old Testament are not the complete version, there were many books left out, because they seemed not to have anything to do with Jesus Christ, and were therefore, ignored. The shame comes in the fact that in those books that were left out, a quite larger view of God comes to light. It is somewhat startling, but some of the mystics could envision a God that was big enough to have made the Universe. Now that is where I can say I could join them.

Here, I am going to irritate some of the “faithful” for I do not believe in war. In fact, I believe that war is failure. We were given language and tongues. We can talk, and we can reason, and we should be able to negotiate. Any time we resort to shooting each other, we have failed at negotiations. I am well aware that this world has been overridden with a need for power that seems to trump all other considerations. I do not, however, believe that the God I worship caused this. This is a man made problem, and man needs to solve it. Soon!

In fact, it is this need for power that has caused not only war, but some very personal crimes that are none of which, like war, have been recognized in the Book as crimes. So, what can this list entail? Well, there is war, the wanton shooting of other humans who do not agree with us; there is slavery, often in the past ages the taking of people from among those defeated in war for personal pleasure, be that sexual in nature, or work related in helping us become wealthy; there is also rape, the overpowering of one person by another for sexual gratification, (YUCK!) ; then there is child slavery and molestation. I don’t personally believe there was ever an instance where GOD declared war on any of us. NOT in the Old Testament, NOT in the New, Not in any document from the Quran to the Baghavadgita. God didn’t choose war, our ancestors did, and they were not Holy in their intent. Ever. So, that is a list of power crimes, not complete, I suspect there are more that have not come to mind, but that is a list that must be recognized by our current leaders as a list of things that MUST be stopped before we can even begin to build a civilization that will bring about peace on Earth.

Many look for a messiah, some think he has come in the nature of one Jesus Christ. I don’t believe that was the case. OK I know y’all are gonna slam me for this one, but the human race is just now beginning to recognize power crimes for what they are, and we are not ready for the messiah; Jesus, either as a conglomerate of teachers and rabbis, or as a single person, would have only been the forerunner, setting the stage for what yet is to come. We haven’t yet gotten to a point where the compassion both he and the Buddha have called for from the enlightened is present in a majority of the people. We are a long way from even beginning to enter such an age. We aren’t even close.

I, personally, believe that only when we as an entire race of beings can get to a point where the only God we would even consider worth worshiping would be a God of love and compassion, will we be ready for a time of peace and prosperity, for only when that includes everyone, will it be true.

God’s Love

I have come to believe that God’s Love is a given. It is there at one’s birth or origin from the moment you are brought into existence. You and every creature on this planet. That makes it simple, and I believe that the Love of God is that simple. It’s there for you to lose, not something you can earn, it was always there. In fact, it is that that makes it so difficult for me to listen to all the Preachers and Teachers who speak condemnation as part of their belief system. But what would that mean? It means that it is your decisions that make or break you. You have to be deliberately mean and cruel to others in order to lose the love of God. It means that all concepts of Hell are erroneous at least in part, for a God that loves completely will not condemn completely unless you choose deliberately in your life to walk away from that love.

If you choose to live your life as though God does not exist, but are kind to others, and hold no grudges because you simply know this is not good for you, you will not lose the love of God. This is why prayers of those who have not lead devout lives are often answered. And why the “devout” who are cruel to their fellow men are often ignored. You simply can not lead a life of cruelty and call yourself a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Jew, and expect God to respect your self-naming of your faith. In fact, I believe that once you call yourself a believer, you are more responsible than ever to be good to your fellow creatures.

It doesn’t matter if you believe, God does not need your adoration. God is complete, therefore He/She does not need ANYTHING from you, not your devotion, not your worship, not your dissidence. God does not need you. However, having said that, God loves you completely, and listens always to your cries for help. It is simply there.

Now, you may ask me why there is so very much evil in the world if the Love of God is this complete. It’s a valid question, but you know the answer before you ask it. Look into your own heart. Is there no anger, no jealousy, no hatred there? If there is none of those things you will not be able to understand evil. But, if you truly have examined yourself and your feelings you will know that multiplied by all the people of the earth, there is a great deal of evil all over the world. Is there a Satan? Well, not as a person. In fact, I don’t believe evil is well enough organized to call it a force in and of itself. That is why a mere babe may back it off with a simple tune which praises Good, or God. For that is part of what God is, Good. All else that we would call evil is just our human dark side shaking in the abyss.

Further, you cannot do evil in the name of good, that would constitute the “sin against the Holy Spirit”. That would earn you a place in a world in which God does not exist, call it Hell if you wish, for it will feel Hellish even were it not so.

Images ~

There is a movie coming out that I want to see.  The reason it interests me is that, when I have contemplated the 4th commandment, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” it seems to me to be many layered, and has something to do with how the human mind actually works. This is examined in part in Jungian psychology, and is an extremely powerful part of who we are.

Most people are aware that the pictures and statues of Buddha and Jesus, and Mary, and any other image, are symbolic of the original, that they are not the original, and are only “so to speak” a means of concentrating our prayers. However, this is more easily seen in something like the swastika, an image, originally, of a peaceful people at worship, not a symbol of evil, yet, with it’s constant use by Hitler and his minions, it became a symbol of evil in our minds, making us quake at its sight. Its use was repurposed, or at least sidelined from its original use. There are ways this has happened to images of Jesus. He was a teacher, a lover of children in the most ethical of ways, one who taught a compassionate and forgiving path.

Yet, that very image has come to be something of horror to those who are born with homosexual tendencies. It is a horror filled image to those of African origin who have been plagued by slavers killing their families and kidnapping their children. Pictures of Jesus have come to mean condemnation and oppression to those who have felt the outrageous slings and arrows of those who would use his image to further their purposes. It was several years ago that I became aware that these images of a gentle teacher and the use of chanting songs of “praise” were a type of entrainment, meant to attune the entire congregation to one another, and to be more malleable to the preachers ravings at the pulpit.

Needless to say, I quit attending such services, and began to study other religious and spiritual traditions in order to understand what I was seeing and feeling while in those services. I do very much believe that it is an individual responsibility that each of us bears regarding what we study, what we believe, and how we act. I began to realize that Y’shua, Jesus to most of you, was never wanting us to hang up our sense of self, but was encouraging us to actually examine ourselves and discover who we really and truly are, as the more in touch we are with the “authentic self” that is at the core of our faith, the more likely we are to act in compassion, in forgiveness, in truth.

Power Crimes ~

Child harm, such as this: http://samuel-warde.com/2012/11/american-misogyny-peaks-as12-year-old-sex-abuse-victim-is-blamed/
And rape, such as this: http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/rape_what_to_do.html
as well as slavery, such as this: https://www.freetheslaves.net/SSLPage.aspx?pid=301
ARE POWER CRIMES!!!!! They must be abolished for us to call ourselves civilized!

In doing a Google search for “power crimes”, I find little or no discourse to make my point. So I am going to try to wing it, and hope that I make sense. All of these crimes fall under one umbrella, the term “power crimes”, and are all equally heinous. Whether you are raping a woman, harming a child with sexual assault or enslaving another human for your own pleasure, you are committing crimes that have long been ignored, or shifted to back burners, or even minimized by the verbal badinage that is used by politicians. As an example: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-reimer-women-voters-20121107,0,3771323.column

I am aware that rape and child molestation are much more in the frame of public awareness than is slavery, but slavery still exists, and until we ad

dress the horror of all of these crimes, studying them to find the ultimate cause, and find a way to eliminate these crimes from our society, we are not even remotely civilized. Most of the time I think of these crimes as proof of testosterone poisoning in our society, but as we change and women become more involved in the workaday world, we see more women committing these crimes. This may be an indicator of the level of insensitivity that one must reach in order to succeed in the working world. How sad a society
we must be if this is true.

However, as we find ways to insulate people from the horrors of slavery, we may find ways to insulate our children and women from sexual assault, merely by empowering them. If you read the comments about the 12 year old that was sexually abused by two of her male teachers, you will be aware that the child is being blamed for the abuse. The Old Testament shows a marked lack of compassion toward women in the case of rape, apparently Moses felt women were to blame for being attractive to possible rapists. GAH! And how does society blame slaves for their enslavement? By looking the other way. By acting as though slavery were a personal problem rather than a societal problem. GADS!

Perhaps the solution, then, is to teach all those who are potential victims the art of self defense. This would be most easily accomplished by beginning to teach children and women to do meditative Tai Chi. That seems too easy, but if you are aware of the martial arts, then you must know that the power of Tai Chi is in the ability it gives its practitioners to concentrate, and the wise and certain control of their bodies in crisis. A child who knows Tai Chi would be one a potential rapist would not wisely approach. A woman who practices Tai Chi would be one who would be deadly to an aggressor. Yet, Tai Chi is not for combat, it is for self control. It is for meditation. Yes, I begin to think that I would like to see Tai Chi taught in public schools here in the States. It might civilize us.

Gay Marriage ~

Many of the texts used by this young man, and researched for true meaning, are those that I have looked at and felt as he teaches that they were misconstrued. It is thrilling to see it all put together so well.

http://www.upworthy.com/every-biblical-argument-against-being-gay-debunked-biblically?c=bl3

Matthew Vines speaks eloquently to the needs of Christian Gays. His research is solid and his conclusions are good. I have found myself frustrated for my gay friends who need this teaching. The teaching is long, but well worth taking the time to hear from beginning to end. Good health and good listening to all who have visited my blog. This will show you as well as possible that my stance on this matter is, first of all, love, then acceptance. Compassion is always the very best way to deal with any issue, any time.

To “Christians” ~

Jesus taught:

Love ~ “ One command I leave you, that you love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34-35

Forgiveness ~ “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:14

Minding our own business ~ “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matt 7:3-5

Non-judgment ~ “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt. 7:1 (same thing as minding our own business, but put a bit stronger.)

Now, I am well aware that there are those who do not believe Jesus was real, or said what was said or was many different teachers, or, or, or. There are many theories out there which are not the point of this particular post. I am speaking to those who confess that He is God incarnate. If you all truly believe this, why do you not take his teachings to heart?

So many claim Christianity as their religion, but pick and choose which of His teachings they will live by. That’s not really how it’s supposed to work. Jesus was teaching a path to walk, one that would bring you closer to the I Am, the very near, very now presence of God very God. Now I believe him to be fully human, like Buddha, an awakened being, big brother to all of us, not just a few. He is recorded to have said that we could all be like him, and do the things he did. John 14:12-14, but that is not what is taught by the churches, for to see him that way requires that we consider him enlightened rather than an incarnate of God. I myself am a seeker, not yet so enlightened that I can manifest as he did.

All I am asking is that, if you believe in his teachings, or believe in Him as God, can you Please, Please, live by what He taught. Shining a light of love onto humanity so that the compassion and forgiveness that he taught are the hallmarks of following Him. It does no good to stand in judgment of others, it does no good to make others to blame for what is happening to you. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt 6:33

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 7:12

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