A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘attitude’ Category

Jesus, real or not?

jesus1Is Jesus (Y’shua) a real figure in history, or just a tool used by the “establishment” to control the masses? I can’t answer that one for you, you have to do the research yourself and come to your own conclusions. I know that I have come to some conclusions of my own, and will share them, but you must do your own. First, I do not see Y’shua as an actual Son of God, as I do not believe that God will take human form. I had already begun to question that when I did some digging into Jewish thought. You can see those thoughts on several very good websites, Jewfaq, Judaism 101, Aish.com, all are good. (Remember, there is no “pope” in the Jewish faith, so there are differing interpretations for all things God depending on the sect you question.) But, generally, Jews do not believe that God will incarnate, ever, in human form.

After I had done much research on those sites, and in questions to rabbis, I began to see Jesus as a rabbi, not God’s son. Now, to be honest, Jews do not see Y’shua as having been a particularly good rabbi, for he taught obedience to principles rather than the letter of the law. That is because Moses outlined the laws down to the very minutiae of daily living. It seems that the rabbi Y’shua was attempting to teach living by the principle of compassion. It was at the point at which I began to see this that I started to read the teachings of the Buddha. Now, I had been studying Y’shua’s words and thoughts for about 20 years, both as part of Evangelical MB1Christianity, (I was part of the fundamentalists), and outside the church, because I did not fit with the people with whom I was studying. My basic problems were that, though Y’shua taught a peaceful way of life, many from that particular sect were not inclined to Love. You can’t do that, and be faithful to Y’shua’s teachings.

What I encountered in Buddha’s teachings was so similar in principle that when you do a comparison of the two, you see many many parallels. So many that I needed to write them down, and did, in the post I have linked for you. In fact, the amount of parallels I found had me beginning to see Y’shua as another Buddha. The reason that is important to me is that you can pray to a Buddha, (essentially an enlightened human being) and recieve answers, both in advice and in help, for living a better way. In other words, if you pray in the name of Jesus, or Y’shua, his Greek and Hebrew names, the Spirit behind his enlightenment will help you.

The only reason this is important is that there are so many legitimate questions regarding the historicity of Jesus’ life, especially the way it is presented in the four gospels. There are many who question his very existence, so much so that it becomes important to see that it is what is at the core of his teachings that matters. He taught that we could become like him, he taught that we could do the things he did, and understand what was needed and that we could grow into that place he spiritualgrowthoccupied. That makes him a genuine son of man, not an offspring of God, but enlightened and willing to help us. So, when I pray, I still have Y’shua in mind, but think of him more as a Big Brother, than as God. My helper, my path teacher, if you will.

The remarkable thing in all of this is that, if you study Buddha’s teachings you will see that it doesn’t matter if there is a God or not. Buddha never taught about God, he was teaching a path that would lead humans out of suffering. He was teaching us that if we are compassionate toward all life, we will begin to find our own way out of the morrass of pain and suffering that is so much a part of the human existence. We could become a Buddha. I like that perspective so much that it no longer matters to me if you believe in God, so much as it matters to me if I am kind. It is not my business if you choose that path or not, it is my business to live my life following that path.

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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.

Cute ~

Puppies and Kittens

As that one woman in your office can tell you (or if you are her, no need), cute pictures of snuggly, doe-eyed little critters touch a soft spot in us humans. Baby schema — the set of features that make young animals appealing, like big eyes and a head too big for the body — have been shown in experiments to capture people’s attention, make them smile and even induce caregiving to others. Oh sure, the boss may seem tough, but one look at a basket full of puppies and he’ll want to rub you right on your little belly.

A study published online this week by the journal PloS ONE suggests that viewing cute images not only makes people feel better, but improves performance in completing certain tasks.

Oh my! A study to explain why might show something that the wise ones have been saying for millenia. Genuine compassion is what is needed for this world to function better. Lol, I know that seems a bit simplistic, but it’s true. When we care, we are careful. Anything evoking that caring part of our personalities will function to bring us into a state of mind that will cross our “t”s and dot our “i”s with more precision. We can be as efficient in many ways as a surgical machine, but without compassion, we are just going about our tasks on automatic drive. That’s why we cannot find a way to make a computer surpass a good Doctor’s worth when it comes to patient care.

I love the very thought of this. It so completely shows that we are in need of compassion, even in the mundane tasks of the day. The more we care, the more careful we are, even when it comes to tying our shoes. I suspect that this was marketing research for anime that simply surprised those conducting the study regarding the deeper implications of it. But how magnificent is that? A simple market study about cuteness finds that we as humans are hardwired to function better when the caring part of our personalities is tapped! I dare say that you will find with deeper study that this is why those who can harm animals easily and without purpose are inclined to become serial criminals of a violent and harmful nature.

Compassion is teachable! It is important to begin the teaching in early childhood. If we do this, we will enhance our existence beyond our wildest imaginings, and find true happiness is something that can be unleashed here on Earth.

Voices . . . .again~

Well, we know that Moses heard voices, and saw things that others wouldn’t necessarily see. It’s why I cannot condemn him as a spokesman, as I am in the same boat. Though I wouldn’t dare to speak to others as though it were God very God that spoke to me. In fact, in order to keep some semblance of balance in my life, I have had to come to the conclusion that, for me, at least, if it was not of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, love: it was not from God. I had to hold to that boundary, for if I listened to just any voice in the wind, I’d be listening to the dog telling me to go kill the neighbor, yikes, and no thanks!!!

Those of us who do hear those voices are always going to have that dilemma, as, if we are truly hearing voices from beyond the veil between dimensions, we cannot be sure whether the voices stem from high or low energies, or simply from our own minds misfiring in the auditory parts of our brains.  It was my mother, heaven bless her, who taught me to always ask questions. So I do, now and always. That’s ok, I know it means I will never be mistaken for some high prophet, mouth of God, if you please. But even if it keeps me from such wondrous elevation, it keeps me from being one of those who sent children into war. I know that Moses heard the voice he heard tell him to go kill the neighbor. But there you have it, because the question remains: why would a God who told us not to kill, instruct us to carry out commands that do that very thing?

Yet, among those who believe the Bible to be God’s written and holy word, to question the killing of neighbors if the voice instructed one to do so, would be tantamount to blasphemy. Oh well, I guess I’d rather go down in history as a blasphemer than as a killer. (Though betwixt me and thee, history will most likely not remember me at all.) I have  been contemplating the “rules” by which we are to interact with one another. The best set I have found was taught by one who didn’t even speak as a prophet, but as a being of enlightenment. Buddha. Hence, I have thought a lot about paraphrasing his words for those of us who feel God is very real, and ultimately very personal. Buddha spoke of concepts and principles that could guide a person in any era, any circumstance. It makes the list relatively short and sweet, where learning rule by rule would mean memorizing thousands of laws entailing every situation in which one would find oneself.

Principles can and do speak to circumstances in any time and place, rules speak to specific circumstances and may be outdated as soon as they are written. Principles will only guide us to more and more light. As we look at Buddha’s Eightfold Path and realize that slavery, child molestation, rape, were not issues that he grappled with, we can see that the principles he taught would lead you, with light to see that they are power driven crimes, and therefore not to be allowed a free ride in one’s own society. It seems that those who believe that we must lead lives governed by God, also believe God would govern us with rules rather than principles, I do not agree. Compassion speaks of a principle, forgiveness speaks of a principle. I cannot afford to limit myself to rules when principles have been written that can guide me in my life. I believe God is very real, I also believe Buddha had the best handle on how to walk this Earth. When I walk as Buddha taught, I find I am in obedience to the principles behind all the rules set forth by the prophets except those rules that say I have a right to kill those who don’t agree with me. I guess I will just have to hope that’s enough. I cannot afford to kill my neighbor, I’d be killing myself.

Consent ~

One of my greatest pet peeves with Old Testament law is that rapists and pedophiles get a free ride to victimize women and children. If the rapist attacks a virgin, and tells her not to scream, she is put to death, and her rapist goes free, or gets to marry her and harass her for the rest of her life, Yeesh!  There is nothing in the Torah about pedophilia in any form, so I guess it’s ok to rape children all you want. No THANK YOU! Below is a partial list of things that will earn you death in Old Testament Law.

Sacrifice children to Molek

Cursing father or mother

Adulterer and adulteress

A man having sexual relations with his father’s wife, both shall be put to death

Having sexual relations with daughter in law, both shall be put to death

Men having sex with each other

Man marrying a woman and her mother

A woman having sex with an animal, both are to be put to death

A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist

Fornication

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death

Murderers

A Rebellious Son

A woman who married with no proof of virginity, if her husband accuses her.

A raped virgin if she does not scream

Kidnapping a fellow Israelite

Working on the Sabbath

I have worked on the Sabbath, so I guess I have earned the death penalty, but rapists and pedophiles go unpunished. Does that sound like a set of laws you want to live with? I hope not, and it takes giving consent to have sexual relations completely out of the picture. If you are not married to a member of the opposite gender, you can’t have it, no way, no how. If you go ahead and have sex without the marriage license, you will be put to death. I, for one, am not prepared to live with such laws. I want serial rapists and pedophiles who rape children as part of their daily lives at least put in jail, if not put in the electric chair.

Oh, and just a thought, if you are a parent of a normal teen (rebellious, sometimes in the extreme), your child is under the death penalty. Do you want that? Think about that for a minute, it might be worth the trade off of letting rapists and pedophiles go unpunished to be able to have your child executed for telling you no consistently . . . . .no? I didn’t think so. Please consider what you are doing when you try to reinstate these laws in our society.

I prefer to live in a world where consent is the operative word, I hope you do as well, don’t try to force people to live with a law that does not even consider consent, or the ability to give it, as the primary reason something is considered right or wrong. We have grown as a people and have learned that if we value free will, there must be give and take, that should apply to everyone, not just a few.

The Religious Fervor ~

Note ~ I am not speaking of spirituality here, those who follow the path of Y’shua, or of Buddha, make it a habit to be kind whenever possible, and as the Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, “It is always possible”. This is NOT the group I am addressing. I am speaking to those folks who continually, deliberately, push people’s buttons just to see how far they can go. I was part of the fundamentalist  movement of the Christian Church, and stayed with it for nearly ten years, finally getting out when it became plain that there was no intention of obeying the Master, there was only the intention of filling followers with fear. Fear of what? Fear of persecution, pure and simple.

The problem, at least as I began to see it, is that, when you get in someone’s face continually, telling them that they are going to HELL for not going to your church, or that they are held accountable to God for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers, not just their own, well, eventually people do push back. They may be generally peace loving, and generally mind their own business, but when you intentionally get into their business, they cannot help but want to push you back over the boundary lines you have constantly made a practice of crossing. That’s just human nature. You all need to stop bullying people.

So, here we are, the fundies are waging war on the rights of women to control their bodies, conception being the key issue. There are many women who would choose to have a hysterectomy early on in their lives, or at least a tubal ligation, so that they were in no danger of adding more children to an already overcrowded planet. But most reputable Doctors will not perform such a procedure early if there is no overriding health issue to justify the procedure. Yet, it is becoming more apparent that fundies would like to make it harder and harder to get contraceptives, or abortions ( I prefer contraceptives, leaving abortions for when the mother or growing fetus are in danger anyway, but that’s another story.)

This isn’t the only issue that is on the table. Here is a list of the things that Republicans want to do to wage this war. Yet, those who follow this line of thinking want to scream that they are being persecuted if women fight back. I am not persecuting you. You are doing your darnedest to find ways of putting me in your own particular box. I am not going to go there, I am not going to live in a world governed by those who think they know what “God” says. I believe that God is compassionate to the utmost. I believe that what God wants of us in non-judgmental kindness, one toward another. Yes, I will fight for my right, and my sisters’ rights in this world and any other. If you leave us alone, and quit trying to force feed us your morality, you will find the persecution issue just fades away to nothing.

Fourth of July~

I celebrate this holiday along with millions of US citizens, but it is also with a sadness in my heart. The European side of my bloodline took the land from the Native side of my bloodline. Yes, I have ancestors who were here to greet the first boat people. Had they known that the influx of pale skins meant what it did, I suspect the Natives would have been less hospitable. In fact, as the realization dawned on my red ancestors that the intentions of my pale ancestors was less than honorable, a long struggle for possession of the land began. The presumption that the Europeans were more “civilized” than the Natives is extremely debatable. That they were more advanced in firearms is not in question, that’s why the side won that did. But, might does not make right.

Truly there are many things in the history of my country that are a source of shame. Our leaders have often made poor decisions for which we have paid dearly later down the road. The assistance given Saddam Hussein comes jumping to mind. I have seen much that says that “right” has not yet prevailed as the final decision maker in our Capitol. Much is still needed to even begin to make it “right” with the Natives of this land.

But . . . . . .I will celebrate the ideals for which that flag stands, even in a world where idealism is “old-fashioned”. Freedom for ALL, Truth, Justice, Love of family and friends, kindness to neighbors, both nationally and personally, and the right to pursue happiness in all that entails. I pray for equality for all, I pray for objectivity for all, and compassion for all. I pray this holiday brings you these things in abundance!

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