A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘kindness’ 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.

To “Christians” ~

Jesus taught:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judging Gays ~

I have addressed this before, so I will try to keep my material fresh, but cannot promise that I won’t repeat myself. I have been doing a bit of a survey study of Old Testament Law. One of the things that struck me is that at the points where the Bible speaks of Gay sex as being detestable, it also says that unmarried sex of almost any kind, from simple fornication, as in two unweds fooling around, to adultery where both participants are married to other people, are detestable, and that the Ivrit were to remove the evil from among them, consequently putting to death those caught in the act.

I am blogging this because of the recent spate of fundamentalist Christians and even fundamentalist Catholics, (same thing, really, just clothed a bit differently) that have said that gays should be put to death. To quote Shakespeare, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” First, there are injunctions in both the Old and New Testament not to judge. You will be judged by the same measuring method you use to judge others. So, why the lists to begin with? Well, I suspect it has to do with showing us what holiness is all about. That living a normal life, with our normal proclivities, carries with it the implication of daily “sin”.

Now, keep in mind that to the Ivrit, “sinning” is falling short of God’s Glory. It is not always some dark and somber commission of an evil deed as we see evil, i.e. mass murder, orgies, serial rape, that sort of thing, but even just doing what we normally do in our daily rounds. We live life. In other words, if you live life in the trenches, you are bound to get a bit muddy. To the Ivrit, and to God in the Old Testament, “sin” was not always an act of commission, but was just as often an act of omission, not doing everything you can to be as good as you can be. Sins of omission, then, would include seeing someone in need and not lifting a hand to help them. Ouch! Doesn’t leave many folks out there, then, who haven’t sinned by these standards.

Now, here, the Evangelical would say that this is where you become a believer in Christ, and let him wash away your sin. But, I want to go one step further, for Jesus said that if we called ourselves by his name, but did not obey him, we were no better than anyone else on the planet. Ok, what is that obedience? It is living each day with as much compassion for your fellow humans as you can, full tilt, 1000%. Do you have that much energy? That’s what it takes, loving others as he loved us. That was his command, you know. His only command.  “Love God, love your fellow man.”

So, when you decide to withhold medication from a gay individual who is HIV positive, you are also going against God’s will. You have not loved you fellow humans with the same measure with which God loves us. When you say that all Gays should be put to death, you are also “sinning” by not being compassionate. Oh, and you are also saying we should put every man and woman who has had sex outside of marriage to death, that we should put rebellious children to death, and the list goes on and on. By not loving them as God loved you. You are just as guilty as the serial rapist in God’s eyes. That’s pretty heavy, but that’s the measuring rod you used. Be careful. That rod, when used on your backside, can hurt.

Teach Love, not Hate!

I am saddened when a church allows foolishness to rule it’s statements to the public. I am not telling them to deny their beliefs, I am trying to point out that the most effective way to make your beliefs a part of what you stand for is to voice the truth about what is presented in the Old Testament of Christian Bibles. Now, those of you who know me, know that I do not make it my business to mind the lives of those around me that do not align with my own beliefs. I am one of those people that figures if you treat me with kindness, I will return the same behavior toward you.

That is true no matter what you do in your private life. I have people in my life who have rebellious children. I don’t advocate that they should stone them as they are instructed to do in the OT. I have people in my life who are openly gay. They are good to me, and operate in kindness and compassion toward others. This is all that I could ask of them. I have people in my life who have been raped. The OT version of how you should treat them is so unbelievably harsh that I could not go there.

What I am saying here is that if you add up the punishments proscribed in the OT, there is no one, no not anyone, whose life would be unscathed. So, what to do? Well, the Buddha, and Y’shua both taught a way of life that, no matter if you believe in an Almighty God or not, lead to peace of an everlasting sort. What, you say, could do that? Treat all, no exceptions, with kindness and compassion. It’s that simple. Actually, if you are, as you say, a believer in the New Covenant of Christ, you have no choice. His one commandment was “Love one another as I have loved you.” If all those who called themselves Christian lived by that rule, there would be no issue. All the foolishness would go away.

But, we have to start with the children. Teach them to be kind. Teach them to look at all other beings on the planet with compassion. We teach kindness and compassion by BEING kind to them. Neither abuse the children nor teach them to hate, this will only compound the problems that exist here on this planet. You cannot teach children to hate and expect love and peace to follow in the next generation. So, what do you teach? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, humility, gentleness, and self-control. that’s what you should be teaching your children. When I see this in a church, I know that it is one where the truth of God reigns, when I don’t see it, I know that The Holy Spirit is not there.

No more than we can handle?

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The concept that God will never give you more than you can handle is not really from the Bible. The closest verse that even approaches that concept is quoted above, and it’s not talking about adversity, it’s talking about temptation. Now, truly, they can be one and the same at times, but most certainly they are not always the same. The trials of life can pile up on a person all at once, and a person can break from the load. That happens to the faithful as well as to those who have no strong connection to the Divine. I have been there, as have many others in my personal circle of acquaintances and friends. There are times, however, when we have asked Spirit to prepare us for certain ministries and functions where Spirit must break through our own barriers in order to do so. At those times, we are brought to, and at times, beyond the breaking point, so to say that God does not give us more than we can handle is short sighted to say the least.

For instance, there are many who innocently enough ask for patience to be made more pure in themselves. That is a foolish prayer, one that can bring on bigger troubles than one can ever foresee. It is trials and tribulations that grow patience within the human soul, so when one prays for patience, one will receive trials and tribulations, aplenty. Never pray for patience unless you are prepared for the “schooling” that brings it out in you. Even praying for understanding can lead to situations we had never before encountered just to show us what another person is going through. Be prepared when you ask Spirit to help you grow in a given area, the lessons to be learned may be more than you can take. I will not tell you that you should not ask for spiritual growth, just the opposite, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself experiencing growing pains, it comes with the territory.

My own personal experience on this has been a slow and sometimes painful process of learning. I hear voices, I see “things” that are not there for others to see. I wanted to understand what was happening to me, and asked to be shown. I was shown. The human mind has far more capacity than most of us ever use. The reason most of us have been “shut down” in some of those areas of the brain are that, quite frankly, we cannot take the bombardment of stimuli on the constant basis that would ensue. Look at autistic children, they are born with many of those things which would be called “breakthroughs” in the mind. Many can hear with such acute clarity that they can hear a faucet dripping blocks away. Others experience visual stimuli outside the normal spectrum available to most humans. These are but a few of the ways in which they are challenged, and such a young mind ends up shutting down, or shutting out normal communication because it is too much to bear.

I can tell you that Spirit is there to comfort and sustain us at those times, I can tell you that Spirit is very real to me, but you must experience that for yourself, and that alone can be a phenomenon that will lead to near breaking of your own psyche. Truly, it is no comfort to tell someone that God will not give them more than they can bear, the truth is that many times life on this plane will bring just exactly that. Sometimes, all you can do for another is simply be there, give a shoulder to cry on, give a listening ear, gently allowing another to pour out their pain, so that you can, at least for the moment, share it, thereby easing the burden. Try not to give platitudes, they only make the suffering worse. Just be there, that may be all you can do.

Fourth of July~

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

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

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

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”.

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