A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘nonjudgment’ Category

Back again ~

computercrashI have a bit of an excuse this time, at least for the last month or so. My computer crashed, and I haven’t yet been able to get it back up and running. I fear I am going to have to take it in to have it worked on by a professional, gads, I hope not, that gets expensive! I have been puttering on a tablet, but my old fingers do not do well on a virtual typepad, hence, no posts.

I will confess that even then, I haven’t got much new to say. I suspect I wouldn’t make it as a pastor, these dry spots happen to everyone, and though I am not exactly in a dry spot I have said so much about the things that are on my mind these days that I can’t imagine you all wanting to read more about abortion, slavery and child harm. I have listened to some wonderful speakers, on both sides of the abortion    issue, but I remain solidly in the spchild-abuse3ot that considers it a woman’s right to get an abortion, even if I personally don’t think I could do it except as a result of rape. Ahh, but therein lies the rub, eh?

I don’t feel that I can stand in judgment of anyone who is in that position, or in other spots that require soul searching in order to go through with a pregnancy.  I have “liked” the Facebook page called the Christian Left, it’s an interesting page, since it is by nonjudgmental Christians who try to live the life Jesus taught in the four gospels. They do sometimes ask questions regarding one’s faith, but have peacefully, and even with comment gladly allowed me to present my views when appropriately responding to a question. And, if you’ve read multifaithmuch of my blog, you know I’m not a traditional Christian. It’s rather comforting to know that even more traditional believers than myself take the same stance on this question as I do.

I am in search of other topics to discuss, since I really prefer not to bore you all with my thoughts on this, you have every right to your own opinions and I have voiced mine. So, feel free to ask for discussion on topics you want to think about, and I will open the discussion. You are always free to comment. Take care!

BTW, the only reason I can begin to look at typing this much is because a gracious friend got me a new laptop. I just wanted to voice my thanks to her and to Creator. I am thrilled with it!

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The Religious Fervor ~

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

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

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

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

The Sparrow

I have been contemplating for some time the whole thing about the “Good News”. I do not believe Jesus was telling people that his death on the cross was going to save them, so what was HE talking about when he spoke of the “Good News”? Well, actually, that doesn’t take a whole lot to think about. What was the thrust of his entire ministry? The very here, very near, very now presence of God very God in the role of loving parent. Every time he spoke that was recorded in the four extant gospels, that was the subject, or so much a part of the subject as to be completely integral with it.

OH!

Yes! God as loving parent. Not Y’shua the savior, but Y’shua the big brother, who brought us the message that God wasn’t just a stern judge hanging over us like a plague on our lives, but a gentle, caring, nurturing presence to lean on in the good times and the bad. Yeah, think about it, God very God cares about you and me, each of us, as though he were our Daddy or Mommy. Does that put a different slant on all those lessons we haven’t been learning? It should. It does for me. My Native American friends call the Holy Presence Tonkashila, Grandfather. Nothing wrong with that, those fortunate enough to have a living grandparent often find themselves more able to talk to their grandparents about the issues that mess with them than their parents. And that was Y’shua’s point exactly.

God is there for us to talk to, to listen to, and to ask advice from. What a major blessing is that perspective. When we are troubled about anything, we have an adviser we can turn to at that very instant without leaving the place we are in. Just ask.  And another part of that perspective turns out to be the whole thing about the sparrow. Such a tiny common little bird. Thousands of them exist worldwide. Yet, not one of them falls from the sky that it is not marked by the Holy Presence! How can I not love a God that cares for me like that?!

I know I have gotten a bit gushy about how much Dad loves us, and I hope you will forgive me for that gush. If it helps any, today is my 58th birthday, so I can feel a little entitlement to gush about love, eh? However, the “thing” that got me thinking about this aspect of our relationship with the Most High may be a debate I had entered yesterday afternoon with some fellow members of a forum I participate in at Smallworlds.com. We were discussing the rights and wrongs of homosexuality. A tender subject, at best, and one that can lead to a bit of bombast from the religious on that or any other forum.

I do not take a stance on whether this lifestyle is a right or wrong, I am straight, so perhaps it’s not even any of my business. And that, dear reader, is the stance I took on the forum. I believe my part in this world is to love, not to judge, and I also find that the Native American perspective regarding those who are referred to as He/She, is a far better perspective than that practiced by those of us reared in the Judeo-Christian perspective. That stance is that the homosexual has a place in the tribe that is a wonderful spot of communication between the males and the females, carrying, as it were, the ability to see both sides of any argument offered with gender bias. I like it. For me it more perfectly reflects the loving parent that is God, and allows every member of the tribe a place in that tribe’s function. No fuss, no violence, no name calling. What a concept.

There are a couple of other things I would like to mention about that. Y’shua did not comment on homosexuality as a sin to be dealt with in his ministry, though, if you read the Sermon on the Mount with any eye toward completeness, he doesn’t leave any of the other “personal” sins untouched. I cannot say what he thought of it, he did not speak of it. I can say that his omission of it is obvious enough to make us think twice about making it an issue in our relationships with those around us. Those who quote from the New Testament about homosexuality quote from Paul’s writings, (remember always that, though Paul had some valuable things to say, he was the one apostle that did NOT walk at Y’shua’s side, so may not have known the Big Brother’s stance on this tender subject.)

I guess all that I would ask of my fellow pilgrims is this: if the person you are associating with is compassionate, and brings as little harm to others or the environment as possible, why do you need to make his or her lifestyle your business? Is not the Holy One capable of making any judgment calls without your contribution? Then, out of compassion for all, let it be. Love to you and yours this blessed day!!!

As I Understand “it” ~

raven_ac_small1I have posted a lot on this blog, and will continue to post here. I have posted also on Hubpages. I want to make it clear, however, that when I post, it is generally my opinion. Yes, I do quote other references, and yes, I do comment what I have understood as other perspectives, but I want very much to reiterate, for all and sundry that most of the time, what you are getting when you read my work, is simply my opinion.

I am a Libra, with a Taurus moon, Gemini rising. That means I love beauty, can be stubborn, but will usually try to get my way through gentleness rather than bullishness. But, I can be a bit bullish.tiffanybutterflypng Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean I am proud of those traits, that’s just my star chart. I have lived in this body for 56 years, and am studying and applying myself daily to learn to be less willful, desiring to be more like the teachers I consider to have most affected my life. That would be Y’shua and Buddha. There are, of course, many teachers along the way whose interpretations of the great ones have been quite influential in my life and my perspective. I have also been priviledged to study under a Lakota teacher and a Shawnee teacher. Both of whom have taught me wonderful things regarding the spiritual life.

One of my favorite authors is Huston Smith, his Religions of the World is one of the best, simply because he attempts to be objective, and did his research from inside each path to Spirit, rather than from the outside looking in. Another favorite of mine is Sun Bear, an Ojibwe teacher whose books carry much teaching in traditional lore, and who attempts to translate the Ojibwe perspective into something livable on a daily basis, even by those of us who are mostly of wasichu blood.

serenitywmatThe swan has been a teacher of mine since childhood, when I related to the story of the Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Anderson. I enjoy exchanging opinions with others, and quite frankly would enjoy input from others whose opinions may not be the same as mine. Thanks for reading my posts.

Su

Sacrifice ~

egoThere are some occasional hints that Creator considers prayer and praise offerings as significant as any other offering. (See Leviticus 7:12 & 19:24), perhaps even more so. This is something many churches have learned to practice, singing praise songs for a good twenty minutes before anything else begins. But, I want to look at why these should or would be considered a sacrifice to Creator. Throughout the Holy Writs, from Bangkok to Cairo, there is much said about the release and renouncing of the Egoself.

It is, in fact, a difficult thing, dealing with the egoself, that part of us which is the pride of head_and_brainlife. When we believe that we have accomplished all that we have done with no help from other humans or Spirit, we become rather unbearable in our dealings with others. We become “prickly” and “proud”, making no attempt to be diplomatic when speaking or acting out our plans. This is part of human nature, part of the programming in the human brain, taking pride in accomplishment so that we can survive in a tough world. However, it is a bit of programming that needs to be placed in a subordinate roll if we are to function as creatures within a structured society.

Our Creator knows full well how we are made, and I believe this is why there is recognition in the holy writings that we must sacrifice this tendency to pat ourselves on the back and learn to praise, pray and give thanks for all that comes into our lives, and even the opportunity to learn. When we learn to do this, we begin to deal with life through our own spirit, rather than through our own ego. It can be a wonderful experience, as much of the learning that comes through our spirit is intuitive and flows more cleanly between the heart and the head, allowing us to deal in compassion with our fellow travelers.

Sacrificing the ego is not an easy thing, it is the practice of humility, of knowing when to be silent and when to speak. It means working always with an eye toward the needs of others so that they may function and contribute to the “cause” as well as possible. One other thing. Sacrificing our egoself may be more difficult than laying down our physical lives, as that is a once for all sort of move, but sacrificing the self-praise “machine” is an action that must be repeated hour by hour, day by day.

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” Deepok Chopra

As Dr. Chopra points out, be careful, you might end up truly happy if you learn to sacrifice the egoself.

A Visualization Prayer ~

the-power-of-prayerA loving friend just sent me a powerful visualization prayer to use in my current circumstances. Among the elements is a bolt of lightning empowering the hands in prayer. Wow! That asks for help from the beings known as the Wakayan in Native American Cosmology, powerful beings who like to help the people. I love that visualization, but I have a word of caution for Christians who call on the help of these wonderful spirits.

The Wakayan are inclined to let your prayers backfire onto you if you are too “controlling” in your prayers. They are also inclined to be watchful that one’s prayers are neither too ‘proud”, nor “judgmental”. It is best when calling on their help to be praying for needs where you have no negative feelings, as your negativity will wash back onto you. The Wakayan are not picky about your religion, nor do they seem to care the color of your skin. They care about how you walk you walk and how you walk your talk. One of the things I have been taught about these Holy Helpers is that compassion is a chief criterion for receiving their help. If you are a person who is inclined to help others, they are more inclined to help you than if you were a loner or one who takes rather than gives.

I am not trying to discourage you from calling on these wonderful beings for help. They are powerful and capable and willing. I am simply cautioning you that if you are not willing to live a life respectful to Spirit and others, you may not want to call on these particular helpers.

Soldiers of the Cross?

Has it occurred to you that Y’shua never made that correlation? That was a Paulism. Would it surprise you to find that Y’shua probably would shudder at such a title for “His” followers? Remember that to all of the people of Judea soldiers were representatives of Rome. They were often cruel, many times brutal, seldom considerate of other humans in any way. That is so far from the “Path” that Y’shua was teaching that it seems way off key when we celebrate such a position. Now, keep in mind, as I address this glitch in our thinking that the US has never had a “professional” army in the same sense that Rome did. We have professionals, yes, but the bulk of our army is citizens, not mercenaries. There’s a reason for that, and it does indeed go back to the type of people soldiers become in such an atmosphere.

Be that as it may, Y’shua would not have encouraged his followers to emulate soldiers in any way. I am not all that certain I understand why Paul took the church in that direction. Part of the issue may be that Y’shua was calling individuals to a closer relationship with Spirit, while Paul was organizing a flock he hoped would all march to the same tune.

I admire individualism. That cannot survive in a regimented atmosphere. In fact, if you look at the many churches we have all within a few blocks of one another in many cities, you will see that most churches have no give in the fabric of their construction for the individual. When someone has a different vision of Hashem, they almost have to start another church instead of making room in the old fellowship for a different way of seeing things. I remember hearing a preacher once say that if you did not see God the way he saw God, you could not worship at the same altar as he. I didn’t argue, I just left.

But then, here is the point of this musing: does a God that so completely treasures variety that there are so many different flowers, trees, plants, animals, even colors of humans, really want those who follow and obey to be like rubber stamp copies of one another? I doubt it. Even the clouds in the sky do not copy one another exactly. And then there is something else that it seems Y’shua wanted, it was for each of us to mind our relationship with the Almighty, and leave our neighbor’s relationship to God between the neighbor and God. But then, Paul thought it was all right to scold people for doing wicked things when they weren’t even doing them. So the children follow the pied piper, should I be surprised?

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