A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ 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.

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.

Suffering ~

I believe God is real. That being said, I believe God can only communicate with us so far as we can “see” or are willing to accept. That is why Slavery was condoned in the Old Testament, why Rape was not really an issue, why child molestation was not even on the radar. I do not blame God for human stupidity, but I do not plan to go back to laws that are deaf, dumb and blind to human suffering.

This is why I see the Buddha’s Eightfold Path of Enlightenment as a higher path than those laws. Buddha’s desire was to end human suffering, and the wisdom he gained at the Bhodi tree reflects that. The third, fourth and fifth parts of that path speak of right action, right thought, and right livelihood. Within the context of those principles lies advice to always seek consent from the other person when interactions are about to begin. Receiving consent, or the ability to give it on the part of the other person being the underlying basis for whether an action is right or wrong.

I am well aware that Buddha did not teach these things as obedience to an all seeing God. He taught them as a way for true happiness to prevail. He asked in his contemplations for clarity, my personal belief is that the Spirit of Wisdom, as represented by the Bhodi Tree, and who is the Holy Spirit in many cosmologies, gave him a clarity that is unrivaled in any other path. I also believe that this may have been the reason for Y’shua’s teaching about the unforgivable sin. It is possible to blaspheme God, and even his prophets and still be forgiven, you could not, however, call evil good, or good evil, and expect forgiveness.

The Path of Buddha is a clear path to treating others with compassion, a primary requisite to obeying God. It is through a prophet that he spoke the words ” I desire compassion rather than sacrifice.” This path teaches us how to do that. I believe that we should follow the clearest light we have available. Y’shua put it as simply as any teacher has in all of time, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Buddha expanded on that with the Eightfold Path. We have a clear light, I will follow it, I hope you will join me.

Critical Thinking ~

Don’t mistake ignorance for perspective.  Gather complete information.  One of the most important and most violated principles of critical thinking is thoroughness—that is, gathering all available facts on a subject under scrutiny.  Obviously thinking requires facts; erroneous conclusions often stem from inadequate factual knowledge.

Principles of Critical Thinking:

1.      Gather complete information.

2.     Understand and define all terms.

3.     Question the methods by which the facts are derived.

4.     Question the conclusions.

5.     Look for hidden assumptions and biases.

6.     Question the source of facts.

7.     Don’t expect all of the answers.

8.     Examine the big picture.

9.     Examine multiple cause and effect.

10. Watch for thought stoppers.

11.  Understand your own biases and values.

One of the reasons I have so thoroughly come to respect both Judaism and Buddhism, and adopt their views as my own, is that there is an encouragement toward Critical Thinking built into both religions. As this is the reason I drew away from Fundamental Christianity as my source of faith, you can understand that this would be a draw toward these as perspectives to both admire and to adhere to in my own walk. Question, question, question; this is my own stance toward life, and I expect to be questioned by those who walk the path beside me.

I believe Spirit is very real, as I have had that level of help in my own walk, both in making decisions and in who and what to be. I also believe that there is One, Holy and Righteous, that cares intimately for me, and all other human beings that walk the planet. I also believe the One has many helpers on many levels. I have had many mystical experiences along the way, which is why I call myself a mystic, though the path I walk could as easily be called the Questioner’s Path as any other name. In fact, one of the red flags along this path is that, when questioned regarding a particular event, any person says to me, “Don’t ask questions, just believe.” That will get my hackles rising in seconds.

I have been called a “New Ager”, and I understand the wish to label me, so I understand the desire to put this label on me, though, if you look at standard New Age belief systems, generally, I don’t fit with the norm, (when have I ever?), but just for the sake of argument, I have drawn from beliefnet.com a set of general beliefs to show where mine differ.

Belief in Deity
God is the impersonal life force, consciousness, ultimate truth and reality, the incorporeal, formless cosmic order personified within all people and matter. God is all and all are God.

God is very real, not only not impersonal, but extremely personal, with a sentience that goes well beyond our understanding. God is in all of creation, this is truth, but we are not God, we are co-creators with God, therefore gods, in a round about way, but not God the One.

Origin of Universe and Life
The universe, life, and matter were not created by God but “are” God. The universe and life emerged out of the creative power of the eternal universal life force.

This could get “tricky”. God is very real to me, as a personality and sentience that goes beyond understanding by my finite human brain, but though I believe God is made manifest in all of life, I do believe God has an existence outside our own universe, and that to presume all of life is “God” is a mistake. The idea that life emerged from the creative power of the eternal universal life force, well, there is truth in that, but only part of the truth, not a complete picture at all of what and who God is.
After Death
Some believe in continual rebirth–no death–as life is spirit. Some believe that our souls rest for a time before deciding on a new body (or bodies). Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, self-imposed, due to ignorance of God as all.
I am a reincarnationist, so there is a partial truth here, but I believe life on this planet is for learning, so there is much here that is left unsaid. And, while it is true that I believe Heaven and Hell are states of consciousness, and therefore “self-imposed”, they, Heaven and Hell, are part of the experience of living in a dense reality through which the eternal light does not necessarily shine, it is that very denseness of matter that creates the darkness into which evil presents itself as a dual reality, it is a lack of life, not another life form.
Why Evil?
No original sin, no Satan, and no evil. Most believe people make “mistakes” when they are ignorant of the power of goodness, which is God, within themselves and others. Some believe evil is perpetuated through accumulation of past-life wrongs and spiritual ignorance.
While I do not believe in original sin, I do believe there is actual evil in the world. The idea of Satan as an overseer of Hell is a bit skewed in my beliefs, as evil is chaotic and self-serving, therefore incapable of organizing on a level that would create an “Army of Darkness”. This does not, however, preclude that there are not dark forces at work, they are just not organized enough to prevail in the face of ultimate Good. As I hinted earlier, in my contemplations and meditations it has become apparent to me that evil is the result of the denseness of materiality, that it is in fact, a lack of light, the light of God, and the denser the matter, the less of God you will find in those places. This does not mean that I think of God as limited, au contraire, God is beyond such limits, I do, however, believe that God just doesn’t “go there”, in those places where the light is not.
Salvation
Salvation lies in the realization of oneness with the impersonal life force. Awareness can be heightened through methods that induce altered states of consciousness, e.g., hypnosis, meditation, music, drugs. Spiritual “tools” include crystals, tarot cards, amulets, channeling, fortunetellers and psychics. Some believe the salvation of humanity will occur when a critical mass is reached, when people converge in experiencing their oneness with God and with each other. This will bring a New World Order or new Planetary Order, resulting in oneness of civilization and one-world government, peace, and harmony.
Ah, no. Obviously, since I believe God is a real, sentient being, and a “person” who wants each of us to be “in relationship”, this is not part of my belief system. One part of the twofold issue of Salvation is that God saves, and God saves to the uttermost, so all are “saved” in that all will eventually be “in relationship” with the One. We may have to live many lives to eventually “get there”, but we will all eventually get there. The other part of the twofold “Plan of Salvation” is that each and every one of us, when we finally reach that point of being in relationship with the One, will know that living in unconditional love, compassion, and forgiveness are our “chores” in the learning process. This is what we are here for. This is what we are to learn. It is necessary for each of us to learn these functions in order to reach our own personal salvation. When we learn this, we will be able to “go home” permanently, living in the unconditional love of the Creator of all life. As for the New World Order, well, it isn’t happening in the next six hours, so the best we can do is learn our part in the plan, and see where that brings us when we have managed that.
Undeserved Suffering
Suffering is the result of greed, hatred, and spiritual ignorance in a person’s, or humanity’s, past lifetimes, which returns as suffering (karma). Suffering is sometimes viewed as occurring for a specific purpose, to further spiritual growth and learn a life lesson. Suffering is also seen as illusory, in that it results from attachment to bodily pleasure and pain, and only the universal life force within, God, truly exists.
Well, what we have here is a partial truth. Karma is very much a part of the picture, as Y’shua is quoted, “What you sow, that shall you also reap”. And, yes, I do believe that part of suffering is to learn a life lesson, but that is most definitely NOT all there is to it. Remember that I believe that there are three “lessons” that are uppermost in our learning process, unconditional love, compassion for ourselves and others, and forgiveness; when we have truly learned those lessons, suffering as such will become a non-issue, as it really is an attachment to bodily pleasure and pain that is the ultimate cause of such. What is not being said here is that this is a Buddhist teaching, and the teaching has a great depth not under discussion here. To learn the entire teaching, please refer to the Buddha’s teachings on suffering. I do want to mention here that, Buddhism is the ultimate of humanism. There is no mention of “God” in Buddhist teaching, as the point in the Buddha’s entire journey and teaching was the alleviation of suffering for the human soul. His point was to find what could lead to happiness within the heart of each and every human being. In my own journey, where I have come to believe the reality of Spirit, and the belief that God is real, is that ,most profoundly,  from a Buddhist viewpoint, one must learn to be compassionate and forgiving, and from a Judaic viewpoint one must be compassionate and forgiving. Hence, the ultimate obedience to God is to follow the same path that Buddha taught as the way to alleviate suffering: be kind.
I don’t believe that there is any religion on earth that has all of the truth. I do believe that there is a core truth in all the light serving religions, in that all teach that part of the path is to learn to be compassionate and forgiving. Will we ever see a time when there is only one religion? I hope not, as that implies that the World Order is evil finally organizing itself to destroy us all. What I hope for is a mutual respect given to all light serving religions, so that each and every person on the planet has a choice, finding the path that serves them best in their journey of growth in understanding of Spirit. May all be blessed. Namaste!

Destiny of Souls ~

I recently read a Kindle copy of this book, and plan to get it for my own library. There has not been another book, at least that I have read, that so completely and accurately echos what Spirit has been telling me for years. The process of going home is so umencumbering, so lifting, gentle, and pure, and the love one experiences is not to be found on earth. There is so much that Dr. Newton has learned in his research that is right on target. I will even have to agree, at least in part, with his assessment from his research that there is no hell, and there are no demons.

Now, are there darkened spirits that exist in such hellish conditions within themselves that they are all but without the light of heaven? Yes. Indeed there are. Is there a dark Lord that rules a lower kingdom that endevours at all times to bring us down into the depths of that realm? No. Were such a person to exist, those who choose to live non-spiritual lives would be easy prey, unable to discern the evil pursuing them, they would be in hell on earth. There are way too many folks who live without any need for spiritual encouragement that the approach of the churches has never truly made sense to me. I had been told through Spirit that even when a person experiences “spiritual attack” that it is not an issue with the dark ones, but a living incarnate who is sending hate and anger, that the darkened spirits attach to that energy, this causing the affects experienced by the “victims”.

This is why Y’shua told us that our faith could and indeed does make us whole, and protect us from such “attacks”. I fully suspect that these are the truths that Y’shua said we would learn as we grew in our relationship with Spirit. I am aware that his emphasis was on the Ruath HaQodesh, or Holy Breath, usually translated as the Holy Spirit; he spoke of kingdom living, he spoke always of personally being aware of Spirit’s guidance and presence in our lives. The Spirit that is with us always is an emissary of the Holy Spirit, I do truly believe this, and have no doubt that there is one such person guarding each of our lives. To call them Spirit Guides may, indeed, not fully embrace all that they are for us.

The one who has been with me is a guardian, mother, mentor, teacher, friend. It is her guidance that has kept me from falling prey to the voices that echo in my brain. According to Dr. Newton, we are given bodies that are less than perfect for the spiritual lessons we have come in to learn in this lifetime. Yes, he has found that we reincarnate, some many times. This would make incredible sense to me. My paternal grandmother heard the voices and saw the things that I have seen. She became paranoid and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Because of the help with these voices given by Spirit, I have never been hospitalized for this. Yes, when I have not listened to her, I have taken paths not good for me, but when I listen to her, I am given the guidance to move in the direction in which I need to go.

As I process more of what Dr. Newton has to say about his case studies, I will happily share those insights with you, my readers. I thank you for continuing to read, and hope you will find the time to read his books, please feel free to share in comments any insights you experience in that reading. One last thing I would like to share. In his books it becomes extremely apparent that compassion, forgiveness, indeed unconditional love, are the goals toward which we all are working. Take care, and blessings to all!

Jesus was not the sin offering ~

Yeah, I know, that is a point of debate for many, but I have felt this to be the truth for a long time. I have recently found teachings online from observant Jews that show why this is the case. Here is an essay on why there was no need for bloodshed to absolve sins: here is commentary from a contemporary site for Jews. There are others and I will bring them in as I discuss this issue. Jews also believe that HaShem told them that  He would not incarnate,  Judaism 101 shows perhaps the most comprehensive list and references regarding why.

Now, here is where I depart slightly from general Jewish thought. I believe Jesus (Y’Shua) came for a specific ministry, not as a God-man, but as a guide, to help us find our way home. Please bear with me here, as this is ground I am still sifting, to find the truth for myself as well as to share on this blog. I have said before that I believe the four extant gospels were tampered with. What I now suspect is that, rather than tampering with something already written, the Greek scribes took lists, as you would find in the Gospel of Thomas, and wrote narrative that would fit with Constantine’s perception of the God-man. One of the reasons I believe this scenario to be close to the truth is that the 12 did not forsake their parent faith after his death, but continued to attend synagogue. If they had believed he were a God-man, they would simply have forsaken their Jewish roots, knowing that such a concept was unacceptable among their peers.

Within the extant gospels, I believe Y’shua’s teachings to have been preserved, albeit mixed so thoroughly with the scribes work,  so that one must filter and sift in order to find them. Filtering here, would require a thorough understanding of what Y’shua would not, or could not have said as a Jew, honoring the faith of his fathers. One of the things that has always struck me as somehow wrong, is that the church teaches a Jesus plus nothing doctrine in order to gain heaven, yet, Y’shua most emphatically stated that one must forgive in order that the Father might forgive us each our transgressions, he also taught that living a compassionate life fulfilled the law, in fact he said more than once that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. This implies that his ministry had another purpose altogether.

Throughout Y’shua’s ministry he speaks often and consistently of the Holy Spirit. It is this knowledge that brought me to the conclusion that places where he is said to have been speaking of himself, he may have been speaking of this emanation. For instance, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”, this passage could easily have been intended to be “The I Am is the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father save through the I Am.” As that phrase is often used in the Tanakh to speak of the very near, very clear, very now presence of God Very God, i.e. the Holy Spirit. If that measure of change has occurred in the gospels, and I believe it has, then the places where Y’shua appears to have been speaking of himself as the Source of eternal life, he may have been speaking of truths his Jewish followers could accept and understand.

Because of all these things, I have come to understand why the pastors in the churches I attended years ago were uncomfortable with “too much” study of the Old Testament, since one would discover that it was not an old covenant, but a very vibrant and living covenant that still speaks to us today. I am quite aware that there are many passages in the Tanakh that have little to do with life today, the treatment of women, for example, would not work in today’s world. But, here, you must look at the surrounding cultures and realize that the Mosaic Law treated women with much more respect that did the neighbors. I believe that perspective would need updated to fit now.

Now, however, comes the hard part. The ground explored in the above statements has been covered by others and is by no means new. If Y’shua did not perceive himself as abolishing the law, but rather fulfilling it, what was his purpose? Why would he put himself through the horrible ordeal at the hands of the Romans? I have seen with my own eyes and senses the power of the Native American holy men and women who have been through such ordeals in the quest for their own spiritual enlightenment, and have felt the “mighty rushing wind” from a holy man of the Lakota Sioux. It occurs to me that Y’shua may have been simply working through the power of his own “medicine” to open the door for the event that he spoke of in his teachings. That is to say, the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

What would this be for? Jeremiah speaks of a New Covenant, one I do not believe has yet come, (just look at the world today and observe that there is no peace in it.) Now, he may have been speaking of the time of the Moshiach, which, in spite of the Christian insistence that Y’shua was that person, is not here. What if Y’shua were preparing the way for that one to come? What if the Holy Spirit, dwelling with each of us as a guide, indeed, dwelling within us so that the law was written on our hearts, was his goal. It hasn’t happened, but then, his ministry was side-tracked by the God-man doctrine, and the Jesus plus nothing doctrine so that what could have happened within a generation if all had gone according to plan, has now seen many generations pass. I pray that the Holy Spirit write the law on my heart that I may serve Hashem in all his glory.

 

 

Attitude ~

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

Songwriters: Marcus Congleton

The road is long with many of winding turns
That lead us to who knows
where,
who knows where
But I’m strong,
strong enough to carry him
He
ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go
His welfare is my
concern
No burden is he to bear, we’ll get there

For I know
he
would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

If I’m laden at
all, I’m laden with sadness

that everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the
gladness
of Love for one another

It’s a long long road
From which
there is no return
while we’re on our way to there why not share

And
the load doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy , he’s my
brother

He ain’t heavy
He’s my brother
I am laden with sadness that
everyone’s he

Every once in a while, I think of this song. It’s the attitude we are supposed to carry about each and every other person on the planet. That’s a big order and I don’t do it too well, doesn’t mean I don’t know it’s what I’m supposed to do, just means I don’t always succeed.

Feedback ~

Warning: This may be a very long post, read at your own peril:

Throughout the great scheme of things you secure a B+ for hard work. Exactly where you confused everybody was on your details. As it is said, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be more accurate right here. Having said that, permit me say to you what did work. The text is certainly quite engaging and that is probably the reason why I am taking an effort in order to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, whilst I can notice a leap in reasoning you make, I am definitely not convinced of exactly how you seem to unite your ideas that help to make your final result. For now I will, no doubt yield to your point however trust in the foreseeable future you actually connect your facts better.

First of all, thank you for this feedback, I have been hoping to get someone’s critique on the writing, and though this is overall positive, you make a good point about the lightness of the facts presented. In the entire blog, I have presented most of the passages from the Bible and from other sources that I base my argument upon, but you would have to read the entire blog to get that, as they are pretty scattered. In the hopes of not boring my regular readership, I will go ahead and list many of them here, so that you may see them in one post. Forgive me for presuming that most do not want to slog through my many years of contemplation and study, I do understand that most are not into that kind of study in reading a blog, but concede to the need to make the argument clearer and better organized.

I would like to share with you the passages in the New Testament that had me questioning the interpretation of spirituality that was being given in the churches I had attended, mostly Pentecostal and Evangelical.

From John 14 ;12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Now, I had seen true miracles done in his name, and had seen wonders come through my own prayers, but had never witnessed anything that could be listed as being any greater than what the Master is said to have done, either through my hands or through the hands of others. We were either not doing enough, or not believing correctly, or this was a misquote. For many years I thought it might be that I was not believing him for the greater things.

But, wait, there were other passages that had me asking questions. (BTW, please, always, feel free to read the entire passage from which I quote, to do that here would make a post that will already be more than a long chapter longer, it would make it unreadable in one sitting, it may be anyway.) There was the passage in John 4,

32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Now, this has been interpreted many ways, usually to signify that rejection of the Christ would result in eternal damnation, as it was the Holy Spirit that brought Jesus to us. I had other questions that lead back to this, however. What of those who had never heard of him, or those who had heard of him from people who had murdered a person’s family, and therefore made it impossible to hear a gospel of love from them. And what about the idea that one could speak against Jesus himself, but be forgiven, but not be forgiven for speaking against the Holy Spirit, that would make the primary explanation circular, and therefore false.

What about the idea that the Holy Spirit has already spoken to the Ivrit (Jews), giving 600(+) mitzvot or commandments regarding conduct before God. What about the other people with whom there is evidence of awareness of the Holy Spirit, such as the Tao Te Ching , which, in several passages refers to one who can only be interpreted as the Holy Spirit; I have provided a link to one such translation, please take the time to read it, it isn’t that long, and is beautiful. What of Buddha’s teachings, so similar to Jesus’ ; they are spoken differently, and even formatted differently, and if you wish, I will make a post comparing them teaching by teaching. These are only a few examples of where and to whom the Holy Spirit has communicated, there are others, they are prolific, and I will take them example by example if you wish. (and enjoy the task, as it is something I love to contemplate!)

“]

Compassion-energy_JasonAllenMiller

There is a statement in 1John:4 7&8 that has become a mantra to me;

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Now, I must digress and speak of the Holy Spirit, most profoundly and beautifully spoken of in Chapter 8 of Proverbs. Note, she is spoken of in the feminine, not the masculine as in the New Testament, because the church fathers did not want to have a comparison of their trinity teachings confused with the trinities from other faiths, Hinduism, Egyptian cosmology, Paganism, etc.. So, we must consider that she had transgendered, or perhaps the church fathers had arbitrarily decided to change her for their own purposes.The Holy Spirit, if I am correct, has spoken to all of compassion. It is here that I take my cue, that compassion is the primary purpose of our lives, we are here to learn to be compassionate with each other, against all odds! Here I also include the indigenous peoples of all the world, for when you study their take on cosmology, we are to be forgiving and to care.

Why I believe Y’shua may not have even implied he was God Incarnate;

During my journey of questions, I stumbled onto some things that were not taught in my Lutheran Catechism class.

♦ The God of the Jews, the God I thought of as my God had not actually insisted on a blood sacrifice for forgiveness of sin(a misconception in modern times, it meant shortcomings, imperfections in the original, not necessarily evil). This is stated several times in the OT but most markedly in Leviticus 5:11-13.

11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial[b] portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the LORD. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. [Psalm 40:6]’”

Since I am not financially blessed, this would apply to me, and most of the folks who are a part of my circle, and means that it is not a requirement to sacrifice an animal for me to be forgiven. Though this was not hidden from me as a child in the church, neither was it pointed out. In fact, I was told that there was NO remission of sin without blood being shed for me by an animal or a Christ. I thought that the only way God forgave was through bloodshed. The more aware I became of the horrendous price paid on the cross, the less compassionate I thought God, to make anyone suffer so vastly for sins he had not committed, and for my sins to boot!

In my sojourn in the church, I had learned by implication that God was demanding, angry, vengeful, and unbending. People were put to death for walking into the sanctuary if they were not the right tribe, even. Children were put to death for not obeying their parents (I understand the temptation to wring an offspring’s neck sometimes, but, God?) And a God that didn’t understand that homosexuality wasn’t always a choice? Excuse me, if God made me, he can surely look into my heart and see what is there!  And, yes, I am taking the long way around to explain this point, but I will try to explain here all the reasons for my conclusions.

♦ The God of the Jews abhorred human sacrifice. Yes, the OT is clear on this, and states it several places.This is quoted from WhatJewsbelieve.org, just to make it a quick reference, to be sure, these references are commenting on the sacrifice of one’s sons and daughters to pagan gods, but then, we are all sons and daughters:

What does God say about human sacrifice in the TaNaCH? In Deuteronomy 12:30-31, God calls Human sacrifice something that He hates, and an abomination to Him, “for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. In Jeremiah 19:4-6, God tells us that Human sacrifice is so horrible a concept to Him, that it did not even come into His mind to demand it from His creation, “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.” We see the same thing in Psalm 106:37-38, and in Ezekiel 16:20.

Though there are places online where you can find basic Jewish beliefs, they do not have a central governing body that decides what is heretical and what is not, so there are many areas where there are differences in beliefs from one sect to the next, much the same as Protestants in the Christian faith. I realize I am using Jewish commentary on this, but I do trust the rabbis to be more in tune with what the Tanach says regarding their beliefs, and what the meaning of the verses truly is. I am an Egalitarian in my beliefs, so I am not always in tune with Jewish tradition, either. I do not believe it is right to attempt to own another human, I believe that Homosexuality is not wrong, I believe that pedophilia is completely wrong, I hear voices, and I have seen things in my mind as in visions that have come true, and I may be crazy, (it’s why I share what I believe rather than attempt to tell others this is the way they should believe)

♦If Y’shua had made the implications or said some of the things he is recorded to have said, he would have been stoned to death, as the Mosaic Law was still practiced fully in his time.That means that there are passages that may have been tampered with quite a bit to read the way they read in today’s New Testament. This may be a result of faulty understanding by the translators from the Aramaic notes that would have been available to the Greek and Roman scribes that would have been responsible for those translations, or it may be a true revision of the manuscripts for political reasons. For what ever reason may apply, there are things that he is supposed to have said that make more sense with minor changes. For instance, he is supposed to have said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me.” This would have gotten him stoned, immediately. But, with minor changes, he may have said, “The I Am ( a name used for the very near, very here presence of God) is the way, the truth and the life, No man comes to the Father except through the I Am.” very minor changes, very major change in meaning. This could easily have happened because the yod is added at the front of a word to say, “the”. Easily missed, easily misunderstood.

There are places in the four gospels that feel unchanged, others that feel like there are major revisions. I was taught that the model for prayer that is called the “Our Father” was original with Y’shua, and showed a stroke of his genius, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that it was a part of Kaddish, the prayers said for the dead. I was taught that there was no other faith that used the baptism as a means of cleansing the soul to prepare for regeneration, so you can imagine my shock when I first experienced a sweat lodge at the invitation of my Shawnee teacher, the concepts run deeper, actually, but the result is the same, a newness of life and understanding. I was taught that there was a blood red line that ran through the Old Testament that testified to Y’shua’s coming. Imagine how frustrating it was to learn that the books that had been excluded from the Tanach had been excluded because they had nothing to do with Y’shua or his coming.

♦I was frustrated, and spoke of it to more than one pastor, that Paul’s words were treated with the same sense of authority as Y’shua’s words. That wasn’t right in my book then, it really isn’t now, as I have found that they take Christianity so completely away from it’s Judaic roots, that it is a Hellenized approach to faith. Paul was a very spiritual, but very human individual with faults that are difficult for me to accept in humans today. One such can be found in Corinthians. In the first letter he berates a man and his sexual practices, having coupled with his wife and her mother. In the second letter he recognizes that this was not the case, but tells them it was all for their good anyway. I really dislike people that do that, and won’t go back to a church where I find the pastor acting like that.

To be sure, there are spots in his letters that I thoroughly enjoy, even in the same letters where he errs. 1Corinthians chapter 13 is as beautiful a recitation on Love as any I have ever read, anywhere. Yet, in some of his epistles, or most specifically one that is supposed to be his, 1Timothy, he basically says women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. Grrrrr! He is pictured here preaching atop the monument in Athens to an unknown God. I would not mind so much his railing against Pagans if he and those who came after him had not made Paganism so much a part of Christianity. This entire passage can be found in the book of Acts in the New Testament.

Well, forgive me, please, I digressed a bit from my point in this section that Y’shua would not have called himself God, but I hope I am making more sense at this point.  If not, I hope you will give me feedback to that, too. I do want to make my point clear and easily understood. I am not here to impress, I am here to communicate. Thanks again for reading my blog!!

The Holy Spirit ~

I love sundogs, for they remind me of Her, the Holy Spirit!

I have spoken of the Holy Spirit before, here most specifically. Also included in that post is the passage from Proverbs chapter 8, that is the place in the Tanakh where she is spoken of most. One of the things that I find most appealing in her monologue is this verse. 17 I love those who love me,  and those who seek me find me. She has always been available to those who would seek her out, she has never been hidden, read the whole passage, please! I am fully aware that Christians call the Holy Spirit him, as they believe that this is Jesus’ spirit, made available to believers when he died. But, as you can see if you read Proverbs 8, she was always available, always.

Now, I don’t personally believe that Y’shua ever said he was God, or any aspect of God. That means that he was speaking of her when he said, (the) I Am (is) the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, save through (the)I Am. Rather than speaking of himself, except as an envoy of her, he would not have implied that he was incarnate of God. That would have led immediately to his being stoned to death. Not crucified, stoned. I do believe he was her student, and one of the best of her students throughout all of time. I find, when I read his words as reflecting that teacher-student relationship, that places that make little to no sense, suddenly have a beauty beyond imagination.

There is much online from the rabbis of today, and I read as much as I can of their words. Because of the format that has been used to introduce Y’shua’s teachings to the world, they have been put off, rather completely. This is because the Tanakh (OT), specifically says God will never incarnate into human form, and because, as I stated in the previous post to this one, God does not require a blood sacrifice for us to be forgiven of our shortcomings. It is by our attitude, and our intentions, that we are judged by God, whether we will be brought into everlasting life or everlasting death. It is by the heart of the human that the human is judged. I also believe that reincarnation may be a real possibility, as it is implied in the Tanakh even if not taught outright. That means that those who truly fouled up in this life may have a chance to redeem their spirit’s place in the heavenlies by their actions and attitudes in the next incarnation of that spirit.

I also want to include in this post the posit that much that has to be “explained” really doesn’t need explanation in the long run, I believe truth will come to the surface, it is not hidden, it does not need defended, it stands on it’s own, shining as a beacon for all who will observe it’s place. There is a physic’s axiom that applies here, called Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation is usually the best.

Attitude ~

11 “But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, then he shall bring as his offering for the sin that he has committed a tenth of an ephah [3] of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12 And he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take a handful of it as its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, on the Lord’s food offerings; it is a sin offering. 13 Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder [4] shall be for the priest, as in the grain offering.”

Odd, isn’t it? How the smallest little things can make you question major decisions in your life?  The above passage was the final straw. I had questioned so many of the church’s doctrinal stances, that I had given up going to church, had even stopped calling myself a Christian, as I didn’t believe that God would ask a human, or even a god-human to give such a sacrifice for our sins. The punishment Y’shua took before and during the crucifixion were so extreme, that I could not conceive of God being that cruel to his begotten. And here it is, right there in the Torah, God didn’t require it.

I could be forgiven if I simply offered a 1oth of an ephah of fine flour. Now, to be sure, it needed to be exhibited with a turning from deliberate sin, and with a heart that wanted to serve the Holiest of Holies, but, there didn’t need to be blood shed for my sins. God did not require bloodshed. OK, now I could believe beyond all questioning that God was good, loving, kind, and merciful to the full extent. This is a God with true compassion toward his created.

Yet, there was the story of Cain and Abel. How do you reconcile that? The rabbis explain it. Abel gave gladly of the finest in his herd, while Cain gave of the rotten leftovers from his garden. So, it is an attitude of the heart that God is looking for, not blood. When I realized this, I fell in love with God all over again. God is simply awesome!  There are other passages that echo this, for instance, from Psalms 40 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened[c]burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.

I don’t know how, in all my reading of the scriptures I missed the significance of these passages. I guess I had been taught so long that God required blood to forgive, that I missed it.  The rest of that Psalm speaks of the same change of heart that is looked for in all of those passages that speak of sin. It isn’t about sin, it’s about loving God so much we love our neighbors as equals in the eyes of that same Holy One. We quit wanting to harm others, we quit wallowing in our own mud puddle and start looking at the love we have been given, and are grateful.So, if I read these passages correctly, and according to the rabbi’s whose work I have read, it isn’t blood that gets you into heaven, it’s an attitude of the heart!


More than one path to Love ~

We live in such an imperfect world that it is not uncommon for parents to EXPECT their children to accept their version of God without question. That applies to any religion, whether Christianity or the Islamic faith or any other. I find it refreshing when a parent or grandparent has been so faithful to the God of mercy that the offspring are inspired to believe, even in the midst of loss and pain. Many have  parents not unlike my grandparents whose view of God was much more a “DON’T” God. Don’t do this, you can’t do that, you’re so impossible, you’re going to burn in H*ll. I find that manner of rearing children a shameful thing, and so sympathized with my mother, who never found comfort in God, even to her dying day.

I would rather see people find God, any way they can, Christian, Pagan, Islam, Jainism, any path of spirituality that brings comfort and a manner of life that is compassionate in it’s ways, than see people flounder in a morass of such negativity that they cannot see God as anything but a lightening bolt ready to blast them out of existence for thinking on their own, or questioning their parent’s values. My mother never found forgiveness and mercy at the thought of God, even though she believed God existed, and clung to the hope that Jesus was really God, even on her death bed. But it brought her no comfort, she thought she was going to H*ll.

So, I admit to having a very strong aversion to teaching one’s own view of God as the only path to “salvation”, as the only path to comfort. If I come across as putting down the Christian faith, it is a result of what I have seen, felt, and thought, through many years of attempting to anchor my own spirituality, hearing voices and all, in a God of such mercy that there is room for all who would love God by loving their fellow man.

There is one principle that I was introduced to in my journey that seems appropriate here. “Be certain of nothing, for as surely as you are certain, you are certainly wrong.” The other side of that principle is, “Change is the only constant in the Universe.” I also believe that the energy that moves about from the sun, in the wind, and moving the very planet under our feet, is love. Love has room for more than just my view of God. I hope that those who find no comfort in the thoughts of God’s existence will at least find Love, for, no matter their view of God, if they find Love, they have found God.

The Devil

Does the “Devil” exist? That’s a loaded question, since many believe that if you believe in God, you must accept the existence of this entity. I very much believe in God, HaShem is quite real to me. However, I do not believe that there is an equal entity serving the dark side as leader. I do believe the dark side exists, I do believe that evil is something that must be dealt with, but I do not believe that there is any dark entity with power that equals that of God.

There are many names that have been attributed to “The Devil” over the centuries, some of them truly false, others quite accurate in their naming of an evil spirit. But there is a major difference between the many names of God, and the many names of evil. You see, all spirits in service of God have one goal, to serve the highest and best interests of all persons involved in the long running drama of life. Those which serve the other side, however, have as their guiding principle, service only to themselves. They cannot by definition serve an ultimate goal.

This is easily forgotten, as evil finds many shapes and sizes with which to present itself. Just look around you; the level of brokenness that exists within each of us is the level at which darkness can prevail as a driving force. That’s pretty frightening all by itself. But it is that very same brokenness that precludes that the person who is broken cannot truly serve a larger cause. It is the very reason that the first step in service to the Ancient of Days is healing. Your level of healing is indeed proportionally responsible to your level of serviceability. You cannot truly serve LOVE until you have been healed by LOVE. It is only as the Inner Self is healed that we can let go of the demands for “rights” and replace those demands with the need to give mercy, grace, and pardon. You can only truly serve HaShem with LOVE.

The other side, however, serves with the exact opposite of LOVE, that is, FEAR. Since the broken ones cannot see beyond their own need, the leaders of such an army cannot focus on larger goals before they instill fear of retribution into their soldiers.Once they have instilled this fear, they can bring about cohesion by focusing their troops on bringing about vengeance, pain and further brokenness in all who experience the touch of that army.  It is because of this very need to serve only self that there is no equal in the dark side army, to the power of LOVE. When the leaders begin to reach their goal, instead of celebrating, they begin to devour one another, again, out of FEAR. Ultimately, the very organization of such a structure will fall, if only because of the weakness within the ranks. Such a beast will devour itself and all its victims from within.

Blood Sacrifice ~

blood_spatter1

The practice of shedding blood for the appeasement of a god or gods is part of our communal history since long before any human is capable of remembering. We do not have records that go back that far. I watched Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, and the intensity was shocking, and has had me thinking for quite a while about the idea of Y’shua taking on my sins in such a fashion. It broke my heart. I cannot feel that it is just in any way for someone else to suffer for anything I have done. The very violence of the beating, the blood spatter, the pain. I cannot feel that I would allow that, if I must suffer, then I must suffer, but not an innocent. No!

Then I found out that Hashem would not have allowed it anyway. That it was indeed not possible for Hashem to take another’s blood for my shortcomings.

The Bible is clear, and it is consistent. One person cannot die for the sins of another. This means that the guilt from the sins committed by one person cannot be wiped out by the punishment given to another person. First, in Exodus 32:30-35, Moses asks God to punish him for the sin of the Golden Calf, committed by the people. God tells Moses that the person who committed the sin is the person who must receive the punishment. Then, in Deuteronomy 24:16, God simply states this as a basic principle, “Every man shall be put to death for his own sins.” This concept is repeated in the Prophets, in Ezekiel 18 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die… the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

In fact, in further investigating that sight, I was reminded that one is allowed to bring a half ephah colonial_wheat_flourof flour if one is unable to afford even a pigeon for the absolution of one’s sins. It is the act of contrition then, that satisfies Hashem, not the act of spilling the blood of one who is not guilty.I must admit to having been greatly relieved that Hashem is more appalled than I at the idea of Y’shua’s having been a sacrifice for my imperfections. Please go to the website above, and investigate further, for if you feel as I do, that no one should have to take on your burdens in such a way, you will be relieved that the just God of the Ivrit does not do this, and it is not part of even the “thinking” of that G-d. In fact you will find that, if you simply stop doing that which is bad in the sight of G-d, and start doing that which G-d considers good, you will be doing all that is required by Hashem. I am most grateful.

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