A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Dalai Lama’ Category

Fearfulness ~

New Studies

The  upshot of these studies really, is that we are not sure which comes first, the fear, or the conservatism. I remember when I became a Democrat, a buddy and I had taken off from Indiana, looking to build our lives in California, wrong timing, and a bunch of other factors brought us ultimately back to Indiana. But, in the aftermath of that adventure, my politics had changed. Now, when I look at the whole incident, the “adventure”, and it’s subsequent failure should have made me more fearful, i.e. more conservative.

But the major lesson this particular adventure had taught me, was to choose love first. Now, looking back, I fearcannot honestly say how that lesson came through, or even “stuck”, I just know that fear, which was the precursor to that adventure, did not work, and was not a path to travel. I guess I do know how that lesson “stuck”.

But, now comes the kicker, love and fear are opposites. You cannot choose to love and live in fear. It will not happen. Love, and by this I mean all manner of love, whether you are speaking of love of one person or love of all mankind cannot come out of fear, nor will it manifest as fear. To choose to Love, truly, in the sense of having compassion for oneself and all others will manifest itself in the positive; joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, humility, and self-control. To be sure, I am not perfect in this, not by a long shot. But, I continue to learn.

I am often at odds with Paul the Apostle, who is the original writer of the above litany of the manifestations of love, but, like Paul, I have many fears, and those fears sometimes take a great deal of prayer, journey2self-examination, faith in the Master of the Universe, and time to conquer. It is both a very good thing that Paul’s letters were included in the New Testament, and a very bad thing that they are there. The good, of course, is that we can watch a very human individual, a murderer, no less, come to terms with his imperfections and find solace in the love of God. The very bad thing is that, if you do not read Paul’s letters as a journey toward love, you see them as a mandate on how humans are supposed to conduct themselves as believers. That will result in a horrible lack of growth, for his letters were not a manifest, but a record of a journey from human failing to learning to love at the highest level. In fact, the entire Bible is very much about such a journey, not for just one person, but for an entire nation.

That, indeed, is why, though the original laws written in the Torah were an excellent starting point, they were remiss in that they did not list a group of heinous crimes that we have, finally, grown enough to see as the wicked crimes they are, i.e. slavery, rape, and child harm. All three of those can be listed together as what one could call “power” crimes, in that their entire force is to hold power over others. It was not until the later prophets that one began to see that “compassion” was first, last, and always, the way to please God. Compassion will not manifest itself with slavery, rape, or harming children. It will, indeed, manifest itself in Dalai Lamakindness toward all other humans. Truly, we are a long way from manifesting this as a people. Some humans have arrived, and speak to us about this, for instance we see the Dalai Lama, leader of the Buddhist faith, speak often about the fact that compassion is a human need, not necessarily a religious tenet. He is right.

We humans, if we are going to grow from childhood to adulthood, must grow in compassion, living our lives in fear gets us “stuck” in childhood. We will continue to be militant, angry, suffering humans if we do not learn to manifest love from the first of our interactions, to the last of our lives. We need to learn as a people, to choose love first.

 

Advertisements

Murk ~

Murky-FoggyGod does not see into the murkiness of our souls. I have held this view for many years, and every horrible thing that happens, from school shootings to genocidal events confirms this for me. I have even had debates with my fellow believers on this subject as they insist that the “Almighty” can see whatever the Holy Presence looks at. But, therein lies the rub. We were given free will. If the Ancient One interferes with that, it is not free will. But that means that in this world in which we live and move and have our being, there will be horrible atrocities that are completely unexplainable if you believe that God has set the Holy Presence as some sort of GameMaster.  That isn’t how it works, obviously, or 26 people would not have died at Newtown, many of them children under the age of 7.

Do I believe God called these children home? Well, I believe that God opened his arms to receive them when they were sent home by a  madman. Is that the same thing? I don’t think so. I, personally, believe that the only way such an atrocity, such a heinous act, could have been prevented was to restrict and enforce that restriction of the sale of such guns. I know, I will be told by those who believe in gun freedom that the law breakers will get their hands on them anyway. Maybe. Murders with firearms, are down in many countries, the only countries ahead of us on this scale are war torn, at best. We need to admit that we are not first (I know, GASP!) and look at their laws and adapt such laws to our nation.

But, getting back to this thing about the murkiness of the soul, and God’s not looking into that murk. I believe the ancient laws of Moses were given so that we could know some of the causes of murkiness andopenbible find the way to be more pure of heart and mind. Now, do I believe that list was complete? No! Do I believe that list was correct? Well, for the most part, but there were things that needed much longer explanations, or just not mention them. Do I believe the Bible was inspired? Sort of. You see, to me, Moses may have had more visionary instruction than dictated instruction. That would lead to wordiness where succinctness would have sufficed, and succinctness where more verbiage would have helped. And, I believe that all inspiration comes through our very faulty filters, in which case, no matter how much God tries to tell us what we need to know, if we are not clear enough to see it, we won’t get the lesson. I don’t care how powerful you believe God is, and I personally believe God to be more powerful than anyone is capable of imagining. If you have not gone through a clearing process, you will not see or hear any instructions you are supposed to see and hear.

Dalai LamaIf, in fact, we were all clear enough to see and hear the best instructions from the High One, there would be a world of people like Buddha and Jesus. I don’t think we’re there yet. I think we are much more inclined to be like a sieve, where some of the holes are blocked, and some are clear, where we hear, we may, indeed, hear with great clarity, but where the holes are blocked, we don’t even see that there’s a problem. And, there’s another issue. Many times what we do hear is for us, not the congregation, and we think this light we’ve just been given must surely be shared. That has lead to some incredible confusion. The only “‘sharing” of light that we are to consistently do is to be compassionate toward each other, to forgive perceived wrongs, and to be responsible for our acts and words so as not to hurt others unnecessarily in our quest for higher living.

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.

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.

Blame and Shame ~

Just about the time I begin to think the human race has begun to mature as a whole, things start popping out in the news. The rape of children and women, the genocides of whites and blacks, by each other, and by groups where the color of the skin is the same, but the allegiance is to some religion or thought process that has poisoned the minds of the perpetrators toward those being ethnically “cleansed”. I am confused, sad, frustrated, I want to know what and why? Is the world so completely confused regarding love and hate? When an adult sexually penetrates a child, either male or female, this is not love, this is a power play. We need to clarify for all concerned that love will not choose to destroy the free will of another human being. You cannot tell a child or another human being that you love them and then overpower them with your own sexuality, that is wrong. Understand me, please! It is NOT love when the other party is not of an age to even make informed decisions regarding the actions of adults who are sexual with them. This “Man-boy” Love is NOT love. It is a glitch in your own personality if you think it is! This is not love.

On another vein, different crimes, a continent away, people are murdering other humans in the name of “Race” or “Ethnicity”. This is not in obedience to any “God”! This is human hatred, not to be disguised as love of one’s own race or group. Do not be confused, do not let others choose for you by poisoning your mind with rhetoric that this group or that group must be killed, when that is happening, it is not a love for one’s own “Group” . It is a hatred that is sparked toward another “Group” of humans, Don’t do it! This is not love.

I am going to presume that part of the problem is simply the lack of knowledge world-wide as to what Love really is! One of the best people to listen to at the current time regarding love of one’s fellow humans is HH the Dalai Lama. Tenzin Gyatso speaks fluently and well regarding what it is to love one’s fellow humans. He is not the first to try to teach this to us. The Buddha taught it, Jesus taught it. Even Paul, who has inadvertently caused such pain for those who choose alternative life-styles wrote well about what it is to love in First Corinthians chapter 13. Please, study the thoughts and words of wiser folk than I am regarding what it truly is to love.

I suspect that as long as we as humans retain the need to blame others, and put others to shame for their glitched thinking, we will find that it is impossible to love with the strength of the divine. This doesn’t mean that we allow the glitched thinkers to continue their actions, that is not compassion for their victims, it must be stopped. We must, however, learn to have compassion in how we treat those whose thinking is so completely glitched that they pursue a lifestyle of bringing harm to other humans. In fact, observers of lifetimes of cruelty are finding that those who willfully bring harm to other humans first showed cruelty to domestic and small wild animals. We must search out the reasons. Perhaps when small animals are being treated cruelly by a child, we need to look at the examples in their lives, is there an adult that is displaying cruelty toward them? This is not always the case, to be sure, but it often is.There is a strong truth in the saying that children learn by example.

We must look at the cause of the action, was it done to them, so they turn around and think it is right to do it to others? Is there a glitch in the person, can they feel love? This is not completely unknown as a precursor to cruelty toward animals and other humans, a person is born unable to feel love. This is not the same as Autism, where the person feels everything so strongly that they shut down their senses to protect themselves. This is a lack of response to human affection when all other responses are “normal”. These folks can still be taught to act in compassion toward others. It would be easier if they felt affection and good feelings from others, but it can be done. I feel very strongly that we must get away from the “blame and shame” game, if we are to find a way out of this morass as a society. Let us learn to Love. Let us learn to be compassionate toward all others, not just our closest associates.

Cause and Effect ~

The Teacher spoke of this in simple terms, “What you sow, that shall you also reap.” But the principle, Cause and Effect applies to everything, everywhere. In the Principles gleaned in working with Spirit several years ago, I learned the basics of that principle, but in the teachings of the Buddha on dependent origination, one learns that this is a profoundly important principle throughout all of nature. Yes, it is important to know that what we put out in the universe we will undoubtedly get back in our daily lives, but it is important, also, to realize that this principle is completely woven into the fabric of life.

This is where we learn that all is connected, everything here depends on everything else. The flower depends on the nutrients in the soil, the temperature of the air (the amount of sunshine available in the climate of the location the flower is growing), and the moisture available for it to grow. I have been watching a fascinating series of television programming called “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”. I started watching it simply because I like his acting. But the program itself is wonderful. In one episode the tilt of the universe was discussed, as many of the galaxies are going in a particular direction, toward a “cold spot” in the fabric of the universe. The theory is that there is another universe touching ours at that spot, pulling the galaxies in that direction, a rather large and magnificent example of “cause and effect”. So it is that we can see that this principle is woven into the very smallest things observable as well as the largest.

Thus we must ask, how do we proceed in our own lives? As the Buddha, Y’shua, and Moshe all teach, we must live consciously every moment of our lives. It isn’t just what you say, it isn’t just what you do, it’s how you live, from the moment you awaken in the morning until you lay down to sleep at night. I am well aware that this world is torn and shredded by the cruelties that are brought by life, from the child molested by her father, to the seedy trafficker in human slavery. I will not pretend that all of this will go away in an instant if we learn to be compassionate, but eventually, all human life, and all that is around us will learn to be more sensitive to the needs of those around us if we can learn to turn the sorrows into opportunities to be gentle . We are, as human beings, inclined to return kindness for kindness, even in the midst of turmoil.

I cannot tell you that it will be easy. I wish I could. I have had problems all my life in my own path. I do hear voices, I do see things that “aren’t there”. Learning to be here, and be now with my fellow humans has been a monumental task. But, it can be learned. I learned early to concentrate on my lessons so thoroughly that the voices didn’t bother me. Even that would get me into trouble, as I then had so filtered out all that was around me that I wouldn’t hear my teachers or the other students until someone either yelled or touched me. This even affected my play time, as it was also more difficult to “connect” with my playmates in a meaningful fashion. I often ended up playing alone. But, I made it through, may be not in the best way, may be not in a way that others should follow. The thing that always helped was when another soul, no matter how simply done, or how profoundly done, would touch me with that gentle hand of compassion. It has been that compassion that has brought me through. I hope that you, too, can be kind to the ones that need it, it has most assuredly been there for me, and giving it back is all I know to do! It all boils down the the Dalai Lama’s simple phrase, “Be Kind”.

Love is God’s Language ~

It is so easy to forget, in this fast paced, urgent to get somewhere society, that the love of God is the most important gift we can give each other! We are so insistent on our views, to the point where the differences become more important than the similarities, that we forget there are entire generations of folks who do not understand that God is Love. Now, there are many passages in the Torah that show us God’s Love, however, the understanding, there is often that that love is conditional on obedience. It is not. God’s love is eternal. I have come to see the OT God as a crusty old Grandfather, you know the kind I am talking about. spouting fire and brimstone, always talking about obeying, but underneath all of that bluster is One who cares infinitely for each and every one of us.

Let’s look at that caring for a moment, the Israelites were taught to be kind to strangers, in a time when a traveling stranger could just as easily find his throat cut for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were taught to treat their women in a respectful manner, in a time when women were literally held as chattel. They were taught to be compassionate with their children in a time when it was common to sell one’s child into slavery, or worse, kill one’s child if one could not afford to feed them. The Israelites were taught that life was sacred, a gift from the Most High. They were even taught to slaughter their livestock in a humane manner that did not frighten the animal unduly.

We have made much progress since that day, and we have regressed sadly since that day. Women are freer than ever, but more vulnerable to rape attacks. Animals are kept in holding pens and slaughtered in a way that frightens the animal. When the animals are examined, they are injured and allowed to go about with those injuries untended. This is not good. Children are abused in ways that make the blood boil, yet, conversely, are allowed to grow into adults without discipline and with the idea that the universe owes them, not simply food, shelter and safety, but the latest Nintendo game, a big TV, and brand name clothes! And the negative language that one hears out of the mouths of children would have mortified our elders just a generation back!!! Are all of these things a result of deciding there is no God to which one must answer? I wonder. Yet, Buddhism, which does not hold that one needs to believe in God, would teach a path full of compassion and kindness toward all other beings on this planet.

So, what is lacking?  . . . . . . . .Love and discipline, in a balanced combination that would lead to a developed adult, one that treats his fellows with respect at the very least. We seem to have walked away from both in a fever to populate the planet without thought of the consequences for the planet, or the humans that inhabit it. One of the most interesting things the Teacher said was that you could even take their names in vein if you obeyed to command to love. Not very often quoted, but in Matthew 12:31-32, Y’shua is quoted as saying that we cannot be forgiven the sin against the Holy Spirit. In context, this would be because they said that Y’shua had an unclean spirit that helped him heal the sick and injured. But there is a deeper meaning here that gets forgotten.

Every teaching that Y’shua,  Buddha, and Moshe  taught about relationships between humans required kindness and compassion. These teachings come from the Holy Spirit, there is no doubt in my mind that sinning against the Holy Spirit is to operate in a manner that is less than kind to one’s fellow beings. The Teacher said you could blaspheme him and be forgiven. So the argument that calling his spirit unclean is the sin against the Holy Spirit  is a circular one that solves nothing. The Holy Spirit has taught love and compassion all over this planet, finding a way to place compassion at the heart of nearly every religion. So, to me, the sin against the Holy Spirit is to treat others unkindly, to lack compassion in your dealings with your fellow travelers. As the Dalai Lama has been quoted, the essence of religion is to be kind. Let us, therefore, love, as God is love, and his language and communication with us is love.

Tag Cloud