A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

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.

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.

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!

Attachment/detachment

The concept of Attachments and Detachment as a way of life is complicated, and needs much consideration before it will be clear what it’s all about. I am not even sure I can explain it clearly, but I am going to attempt it. First, you must know that there is an unhealthy detachment of the soul that is common in those who suffer psychopathy, or those who make us suffer with their sociopathy. With this form of detachment, it is often seen that the person involved cannot form the appropriate bond with other humans that allows for empathy, the putting of oneself in another’s shoes in any situation. When we lack this ability, we become completely self-centered, caring not one whit about the well being of others. These people are often cruel, even when they do not mean to be. Even when these folks have children, everything in their lives will be about themselves, not their offspring. It is eerie to see this in operation, as you may see a child badly injured where the parent is more worried about how they look than how the child is faring.

This is NOT the healthy detachment from outcomes and situations taught by the Buddha, for, in the Buddhist path, one is taught to care about all human beings, not just offspring, as though they were part of one’s inner circle. Yet, at the same time, one is taught to surrender control of others in order for them to learn from their own experiences, good or bad. Even here, there is a balance that is necessary, for to allow one’s child, or another soul for whom one is responsible to go into a dangerous situation without proper preparation, or even to go at all, if the child is small, would be tantamount to malignant neglect. That is why it is very necessary to understand that one needs to travel a path of balance, or the middle way, as the Buddha called it. By keeping to this middle way, one is able to see clearly when intervention is appropriate, and when interference is clearly without merit.

The place where this healthy detachment comes into play is when a person makes a choice, all facts presented, that is against one’s advice. Here, for one’s own sake, as well as for the others involved, a type of detachment must occur that will allow the other to make their choices and learn. This is not easy for a parent, or at least should not be, even when necessary. But it is appropriate. Here is the difficulty, when the child has reached the age where their life choices can lead to sorrow, a parent must speak to the choices, as objectively as possible, then step back and let the adult child make their own decision. This is the same anywhere you have a responsibility to make sure an individual is informed of the consequences of their actions. You must detach from the outcome, here, for your own well-being, as well as the well-being of others around you. Nor should the child or others believe that you will be available to rescue them from the situation their own choices have led them into.

This healthy detachment allows you to go on living your life without the burden of carrying the weight of decisions that are not yours to make.I am extremely aware of the difficulty of such a situation, but, so was the Buddha. To remain attached to outcomes here will naturally lead you into feelings of anger and frustration. This disturbs your peace, do not allow it to do so. You have seen to your responsibility, and as long as you have done the best you know how in the situation. I have favorite prayer that is a mantra for me in times like these. It is commonly used in AA, and is the very best attitude to have when you are in the midst of such times.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The Core ~

We live in a world where there are almost as many different faiths as there are cities. Yikes, how do you know which is the “right” one? Well, hm, is there really an answer to that question? Every person of each of the faiths feels theirs is the “right” faith that will lead you safely to the “other shore”. In fact, if you are willing to look beyond the prejudice of your teachers, there is much in each of the major faiths to say that this one or that one may indeed be the “right one”. But, what if they are all “right”? Or maybe, more likely, they all fall somewhat short of being truly “right”. And worse, what if it doesn’t matter? What if there is a truth, a core truth in each of the paths that is what is “right” about the faith, yet much that will lead you astray if you follow the winding roads that take you away from that core truth?

You already know the core truth of the teaching that I personally think is going to get you where you belong if you have read my other posts: compassion. Yet there is not one faith that stops there, and gives no other teachings, all add other contingencies to make you think that there is “more” that must befollowed to be on the “right” path. There is a kicker there, if you worry about all the other things that your particular faith teaches, and decide that unless all others believe those several other teachings, you will decide to be judgmental and not compassionate where your fellow creatures are concerned. You have walked away from the core teaching that would have led you home.

Among Christians there are those who believe in the Rapture (look it up in Wikipedia if you are not familiar with the teaching) as a single event, while others believe it is a two-fold event, while still others believe it is either an ongoing event that has already begun, or that it isn’t going to happen at all. Each according to the teachings of his or her denomination. This is true among the Ivrit (Jews), some believe in living totally kosher, others are less stringent, some believe in reincarnation, others do not. All in accord with the teachings of their particular sect. The Islamic faith has similar divisions, and these are just the Abrahamic faiths. Buddhism also has similar divisions among those who follow Buddha. Some believe that one leads a human life with no help from unseen forces, while others believe that the Bodhisattvas have stayed to help others attain Nirvana. These are only major faiths, there are many more, and the list of differences from congregation to sect to mosque runs true in all, none are exactly carbon copies of the others. Gads, you’d think there were human beings there, making the policies, wouldn’t you?

In every one, from the majors to faiths like Taoism, to Sikhism,  to Jainism, all have the core teaching of compassion toward one’s fellow humans. It is my belief that, if you follow the core teaching, compassion, you are doing all that my G-d asks. Y’shua said he left his followers with but one commandment, to love one another as he loved them, I can certainly ask no more of you than he who is my rabboni. St. John wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of G-d, and everyone who loves is born of G-d. He who does not love, does not know G-d.” So, from my point of view, if you love, it doesn’t matter what path you follow, you are on a similar path to mine and we are both headed home.

Doing Evil in God’s Name ~

tiffany7Doing evil things in God’s name is done all the time, but it is most often done by those who claim that the truth exists only from their particular religious viewpoint.The sadness of this is that it precludes that, either there really is no God, and the so called leader of the group is the only authority, or that God is blind to all that is done by this “blessed” vehicle, calling all done by these acolytes as “Holy”.

I believe that there is but One God. I have seen much that implies there are many powerful entities in this world that would constitute godlings from a strictly human perspective. Some of these I would count good, some, evil. But the One is good beyond measuring by our pitiful standards. Now, having stated that, I believe also that this “One” has infinite knowledge of all that moves and lives in the time-space continuum, and therefore knows when deeds are done in compassion, and when they are done with self centered intent.

If this is so, and I have perceived correctly, then it truly is impossible to do evil deeds in the name of God, or good deeds in the name of the Devil, at least on an eternal scale. This would mean that it does not matter what you call yourself, or, indeed, who you call your God. What matters is how you live your life. I am quite aware that there is no religious person in this world that would not argue this with me, but if the One sees all and knows all, it is what is in your heart that truly matters, at all times and in all ways.

You can fool me, I am but a piddling mortal, but you cannot fool the One who holds my name, you cannot fool the Infinite.

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