A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Spirit’ Category

Hatred, anger, interference, why?

MB1There was a question on Daily Buddhism that is one that baffles all who have entered a path of enlightenment, no matter the faith of origin or place in the world at large. When one makes choices that go contrary to the social “norm”, one is sometimes accosted by physically or verbally violent reactions from others. The question was how to deal with this. But my question for many years has simply been, why?

I come from a Christian background, but about 25 years ago gave up on the sect I was with, feeling that they could not or would not follow Y’shua’s teachings to love. The general actions of the congregants seemed, in fact, to be something quite the opposite, at least of the person was not of “Our Church”. The insistence was that we were not to love those who were outside the faith, as they were apostate and “not really human”, well, that was never said, but that was the feeling one got.

My problem was that Y’shua had dealt with just that phenomenon. His comment was that “Publicans love their own, what benefit to us if we behaved no better?” That’s a paraphrase, but then everything read from the manuscripts is paraphrased in order for us to understandJesus the wording and syntax of the sentences. But, there it is, what do we benefit if we behave in a manner that is like those who follow no spiritual path of any kind?

In my explorations after that, I found that the Buddhists as a rule were more obedient to those teachings than those who followed the Christ. It was in looking at why they were obedient to Christ, when Christ’s own seemed unable, that I began to realize that there is this “position” that the human spirit adapts all too easily. That is, “I am right, you are wrong, you must suffer.”  This way of looking at the position of others as ”wrongness” that somehow affects one’s own well-being, indeed, seems rampant in the Western world.

Such an attitudes still puzzles me. There seem to be two extremes here in the West. Either there is an intense caring of what others think to the intent to control those thoughts, or be controlled by them, or there is an extreme diffidence that borders on a sort of personality disorder of detachment from all connection with others; neither is healthy. If we maintain an attitude of what I have learned to think of as compassionate detachment, we can cope with the daily struggle without letting it overload us.

So, what is that? It’s the willingness to look at the behavior of others as “their issue”, knowing that there is little we can do to “make” them see the world differently without some manipulation of their world or ours, while deeply caring that they are happy in so far as it lies within our purvue. Happiness comes from within. We cannot “make” someone else truly happy. We can do our best to please them, or at least not to offend them, but we cannot make them feel contentment within. That is something they must discover for themselves.

I still don’t know why we are so bound in this part of the world to insist that others live their lives by our rules. The only thing that makes any buffalowhite3sense to me is that it is quite possible the unhappy one has chosen a life other than the one they truly wanted in order to meet someone else’s expectations, and the “different one’s” choice to live an idiosyncratic life hits a soreness within. That is sad. But it makes a sort of strange sense, doesn’t it?

It is for this reason that I respect a Native American teaching imparted to me by my Lakota and Shawnee teachers. “Follow your own truth”. You are expected to do this prayerfully and respectfully of others, but you are expected to find the path you are to walk from within yourself, not from what others want of you. It seems to me to be a right way to live. I hope someday our culture will evolve enough to teach that to our children.

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.

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

Magic ~

hocus-plate-small0003_edited-5I have been struggling over this post for some time. I believe in “Magic”, I just don’t necessarily believe that Incantational magic is something to be pursued by those wishing to grow in this lifetime. So much of the very essence of “Magic” as one sees it through the Harry Dresdens and the Harry Potters is an attempt to control the elements, or another human being. According to Harry Dresden’s take on that, an attempt to control another human is Black Magic, so I can respect the Dresden/Butcher perspective.  And since the two “heroes” I have spoken of are fictional, I could choose to leave it there and not be wrong.  BTW, for those who wish to explore the ability to control others, may I suggest that you read the Dresden Files, as you will not just see that attempting such control is wrong, but why.

There are, however, a growing number of folks who desire to learn the stormsways of magical control of the elements around them, and it is for these that the struggle presents itself.  Let us say, hypothetically speaking, that you are one of those rare birds that actually does have the “power” to turn aside storms and control floods. This would certainly be a handy skill in emergencies. I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t have liked to have that ability at some point in their lives.

But what about non-emergencies . . . . .what about the times when you are just disgusted with someone’s actions . . . . . .should you pull a storm or strong wind, or lightening, or some other elemental phenomenon down on their head? Can you see clearly enough all the circumstances surrounding an incident, so that you do not send the lightening in the wrong direction? Do you truly have a “God’s Eye” view of all of the particulars of a given situation so that you know exactly what is needed? Or would you, like Butcher’s hero, Dresden, make some mistakes along the way that would be painful to live with at the very least?

The thing that has slapped me around these past several years, and in fact, was a major reason for my disgust with at least the fundamentalist sect of the Christian church, is that attempts at controlling others, or circumstances themselves, even when approached with the highest of intentions, can move so quickly from the clear to the murky as to be the tiffanys-holy-spiritproverbial slippery slope. I have witnessed the prayers of those who were intent upon doing only “God’s Will”, praying that “Brother Joe” find himself in the midst of a storm, (whether of weather or circumstances), in order to find the need for “Jeeeesus in his heart!” If you listen to these folks with a clear heart of your own, you will recognize that it is not God’s will they are wanting to put forth, it is their own will, for it would not do for “Brother Joe” to be “saved” in a Presbyterian ministry, when they are “Full Gospel”! No matter what it is that “Brother Joe” really needs.

I know most pastors and ministers out there would argue with me on this regard, but I see such prayers as being akin to the controlling incantations spoken by some silly love sick child who wants some boy to fall in love with her. One is putting the same intent out into the Universe. It’s all about control. And that, dear readers is the crux of the matter. To attempt to control the hearts and minds of others, by whatever means, is wrong. As far as I am concerned it should rank in the first order of “Thou shalt Nots”.

Delusions ~

twirl1I have been AWOL for a couple of weeks, please accept my abject apologies, I have several thoughts on the “boards”, just couldn’t seem to get them put together well enough for a post.

I have been thinking about a lot of things, “magic”, delusions, compassion, principles, and, unfortunately, it’s just been a bit of a jumble, and wouldn’t come out of my fingers onto the board as a readable comment. It’s too late to worry about losing my mind, that is already gone, so, well, I guess I’ll just have to fake it in the meantime.

According to several sources on the “web”, delusions are firmly held beliefs in the presence of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Most do couch that in terms that excuse those of us with some sort of spirituality, but then, the implication is that even the belief in the spiritual side of life is delusional.

Delusions are pathological beliefs which persist despite clear evidence that they are actually false. They can vary widely in content, but are always characterized by the absolute certainty with which they are held. Such beliefs reflect an abnormality of thought processes; they are often bizarre and completely unrelated to conventional cultural or religious belief systems, or to the level of intelligence of the person suffering from them.

Of course, the key word there is pathological, i.e. harmful, beliefs. Unfortunately, there are many harmful beliefs that are part of this or that religious system that are allowed to remain part of the overall culture, just because they have been expressed in religious terms. Christianity’s many sects have those who believe, in spite of the teachings of Y’shua regarding compassion and treating one’s fellows as one would be treated, that one does not need to forgive a non-believer, or even a believer if they do not ask for forgiveness. That isn’t how it’s said in the Book, in fact, the Book can be quoted as teaching that if we do not forgive, (no matter who) we will not be forgiven, but it is how it’s taught by more than one denomination.

The sadness there is that the teachings of one who would have us treating all others with some respect, at least, for their humanity, indeed, for the common ground they hold with us, are then skewed and made into the bylaws of a “them and us” club. So, here, in this little practice that should not be present in the path of the Nazarene at all, is a delusional teaching that allows those with an inclination to believe the preacher over the words in the Book, to practice something so anathema to the original teacher as to bring about such harmful acts as the Inquisition  and the Crusades, neither of which fall anywhere in the principles taught in the Book.

One of the most harmful of delusional states is the is one that allows the believer to feel that they could or should control the lives of others. This happens so often it is simply accepted as a matter of that person’s faith, yet, beyond the laws that govern peaceful cohabitation with our fellow travelers none of us has the right to attempt to control the lives of other, and each of us has the obligation to love others as they are. Hm, perhaps that is exactly why we get sidetracked with all the other stuff. Allowing someone the freedom within the law to be themselves, and loving them too is a pretty tall order.

The Parasol ~

The Parasol

A parasol is not an umbrella. An umbrella protects from the rain, while a parasol protects from the sun. The parasol also symbolically protects against “the heat of defilements.” Another way to look at it is that the parasol represents the sky and the handle represents a mountain that holds up the sky, or possibly the axis that holds up the whole world. The proximity of the person under the parasol to the “axis of the world” represents the importance of the person.

Still another way of looking at it is that the dome of the parasol represents wisdom, and the hanging part symbolized compassion. The parasol as a whole represents the fusion of both.

Guess who is usually shown sitting under a parasol? Two points if you guessed “The Buddha.” However, other important figures, such as the Dalai Lama and others are entitled to parasols as well.

parasolI have chuckled at the Traveler’s Insurance ads, as they use this concept quite effectively to show the protection of carrying their insurance. The concept revolves around the idea that a life lived in kindness is, in and of itself, a protection from much adversity. When you live mindful of the needs of others, and attempt at all times to be gentle and compassionate, life is easier for all concerned. In fact, this goes back to the idea that life on this plane of existence is full of suffering and sorrow, and it is among the Eight commendations by the Buddha on doing your part as an individual to relieve that suffering.

Though, in a world as paranoid as the 21st Century in the United States, this is not always the case, being kind will usually “oil” the squeaks and moans of the wheel of life as it turns. The Dalai Lama has even commented on the fact that if you are consistently kind,you will usually have few actual enemies. I have found it a point of extreme sadness that this teaching, which Y’shua repeatedly iterated, seems to have been skipped in the practice of modern fundamental Christianity. If you are busy mindfully conducting yourself in a manner that aims to sow compassion and gentleness, you learn to speak even harsh truths in a manner that will bring about thoughtful living, rather than condemnation.

Most people do not wish to be unkind, in fact, when you get to the source of unkindness, it is usually pain of some form or another. Physical pain that burrows into a person’s ability to think and respond clearly, or emotional pain that is just as wicked in it’s injuries to the soul, leading to a need to always be on the defensive with others. It is only when one attempts to be mindful at all times, even when one suffers from these pains, that an easement is found in any given situation.stickers_thumbnail

Imagine what the world would be like if each of us did our best, every day, to be fair in our dealings with people and in the things we do!”

I found this website in my search for a “Golden ruler” to point out the wording of Y’shua’s teachings. What a lovely reminder for each of us to live the Golden Path as taught by Y’shua. I love this, and find it a healthy comment that perhaps more who follow Y’shua are finding that his path was the most important part of his ministry. I have long considered his teachings a path toward the light, and it has been a heart breaker when I have found preachers and teachers of his path teaching others things like, “You don’t have to forgive in order to be forgiven,” {See the Lord’s Prayer}, You only have to be kind and honest to those who are members of your own faith or congregation, EEEEEEEK! Why would you teach that? Even those who have no faith in any sort of Spiritual path are kind and honest their own!

P.S. I will soon be back to posting regularly, I have been occupied with a visit from loving friends from back home, and along with our electrical problems {now fixed} have been busy catching up, thank you for your patience.

Su

Demonization ~

gandalf_largeOne of the most frustrating factors in research regarding belief systems and that which was before the current “regime”, is that whatever religion now “reigns supreme” takes it unto themselves to demonize all that came before. That is, perhaps, a large part of the fascination for me with the LOTR cast of characters. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis were quite good friends, and part of a group of literatti that met to encourage and critique each other’s works. Hence we have some excellent tales winding ancient lore into fantasy landscapes that satisfy as much because of the depth of understanding held by the author of the character types of which he was writing.

The Gandalf character is, of course, one of the most fascinating. He is an “Istari”, meaning he comes from the first circle of creation and is quite literally a “star” in the making. Was this how Tolkein saw the Christ? I am not sure, he most certainly never said, when asked such questions he would lower his pipe, like Gandalf above and smile, saying it is fantasy, enjoy it for what it is.

Yet, when you look most closely at the Carpenter from Nazareth, you find a gentle spoken man whose understanding of the principles on which the Universe was built, and the core of 1_robewhat humans are supposed to be to one another, are so immense that one has no difficulty twisting his teachings, and tweaking them in such a way as to make an entirely new religion out of them. That wasn’t his goal, you know. He had no intention of making Jews into Gentiles. His intent was to create an awareness of the very meaning behind every one of the more than 600 mitzvot. He wanted his own to be practicing their faith as loving and being loved by a most caring and present G-d.

I often wonder just which words were “judiciously” added by the bishops of Constantine. Which others were twisted? And why was it necessary in their eyes to make him hate the Jews, his own people? That is the perspective I dislike most about the Gospels that came from that meeting. How could you twist a man’s love for his own people into something so insidiously destructive? But they did. So it became acceptable to harrass those of Judaic descent. That is not acceptable in my book. Nor should it be in any one else’s.

But then, those of Jewish descent were not to mix with those who worshipped pagan gods, being told that Hashem was a jealous G-d. I accept that that is what Moshe understood from 2355950068_e149513456what he was shown, I simply have difficulty with that emotive expression belonging to the Most High. And yes, I suspect that much of the revelation Moshe received was visual. The words were most likely his own. He simply did not understand that jealousy stems from insecurity, and Hashem was not insecure, simply trying to show him that these that were being worshipped as high and “in charge” were lesser spirits.

But . . . . . . therein lies the rub, so to speak. A lesser spirit is not necessarily an evil spirit. I will put a caution here, generally the Most High’s servants and companions will point to the Most High and tell you that is where you center your worship, so if you find that they accept actual worship, they are not “good”. There are many spirits in the universe that are in what could loosely be called the “neutral zone”, being neither wholly evil, nor being totally dedicated to that which is high and holy. Their world is gray, and if you choose to deal with them, you must be very sure of where you are going and what you are doing.

During my search for a pic of Pan, I found a website that was entitled tvisnotforChristians. Oh dear, I suspect that this is authored by a group of ascetics, I did not check it out thoroughly enough to say that with any authority, but please be careful. Condemnation is something no true follower of either the Buddha or the Christ can afford. We are to walk our own path, measuring our strides not by the strides of others, but by our own faltering steps of yesterday. If we are doing better at following the teachings, then we are making progress. If we are not, we need to get back on track. Do not ever measure your progress by others. And do not call that which is good, evil, you will be committing a sin that cannot be forgiven.

Balance and Blessings,

Su

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