A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘teaching’ 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

Critical Thinking ~

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

Principles of Critical Thinking:

1.      Gather complete information.

2.     Understand and define all terms.

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

4.     Question the conclusions.

5.     Look for hidden assumptions and biases.

6.     Question the source of facts.

7.     Don’t expect all of the answers.

8.     Examine the big picture.

9.     Examine multiple cause and effect.

10. Watch for thought stoppers.

11.  Understand your own biases and values.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Destiny of Souls ~

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Gentleness ~

1145704domestic-cat-silver-tortoiseshell-kitten-with-silver-dwarf-lop-eared-rabbit-2Kittens and bunnies evoke sensations of cuddliness and gentleness for all who see them, now, if they are feral, that won’t be the case, but if they have been handled gently from birth, they will snuggle with whatever human holds them, generally. Paul, the “Apostle” counts gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit, and I would agree with him on the list, though I see that list as incomplete.

Gentleness, however, is seldom, if ever discussed because, for many, that sort of gentleness goes hand in hand with fear. {Mess with that kitten too much and find another little lesson in the weapons G-d gives the gentle.} Yet, most of the time, when I think of the gentleness of Spirit, I think of the Gentle Giant, the Bear, because gentleness is so much a part of her rearing of her cubs, but don’t mess with her, or the claws will tear you to ribbons.

So, having discussed momentarily that gentleness is not necessarily weakness, let’s look at what gentleness is. It isn’t always cuddly, but it is always respectful of space and of need. When you see true gentleness you see that the intent is not to overwhelm, but to allow a creature, whethergb_photogallery1_05 human or other, to feel safe, perhaps even taken care of in an unlimiting fashion. Security, then, is part of gentleness.

when you think of rabbits, you think of gentleness of spirit, in that it is difficult to even perceive of a rabbit being aggressive. Even when a gentle person needs to address something with you they will probably sit down in your presence and await your attention, perhaps “ahemming” in order to draw you toward them, but they are often discreet, no matter the instance. Hence the term Gentleman or Gentlewoman. So discretion is a part of gentleness. In fact, a person you think of as a gentle person is one you usually cannot envision being aggressive in any form.

vfp101_quiet_watersQuietness is also a part of gentleness. One seldom associates gentleness with a rock ‘n’  roll musician for just that reason. This does no mean that such a person may not be gentle off stage, but such would come as a surprise to even an observant person. In fact, because of the imagery of the 23rd Psalm, we think of quiet or still water in association with the Holy One. The vision many of past generations have had of Y’shua has been of a quiet, gentle holy man, softly speaking his truths to those who were willing to listen in little hillside groups, though you have to ask how the 10,000 he fed could have heard him if he was that softly spoken no matter what.

There is yet another thing quite easily associated with gentleness. That would be “rest”, as in the restful slumber of one who is healing from illness or wounds. One thinks of nurses in this role, as it is their job to carry out the healing physicians orders and keep the patient quiet and rested so body and mind can heal.

So gentleness then includes discretion,

security,

quietness,

safety,

respect,

mindfulness,

rest,

healing,

yes, one can say with little reservation that gentleness of spirit is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Sikhism ~

459px-khanda1svgI am quite thankful for Wikipedia, it lets a person do casual research into almost any subject one can think of, and there are usually references where a person can do deeper research depending on the need or desire. I have heard of Sikhism, of course, and anyone who desires a successful interfaith structure to see us through this millenium sans “holy wars”, has seen the symbol, but I had done no reading on it that would let me know the stance of this faith regarding compassion, that one thing that seems to flow through any faith founded on the holiness of Spirit.

Sikhism fits, most definitely. The emphasis is on good works, the faith is monotheistic, and according to Wikipedia the practice is based on the teachings of the 10 gurus or enlightened beings that founded Sikhism in a span of time from 1499 to 1708. There is a home page for those who wish to research this way of life more thoroughly. One draw is that the Sikhs’ founder was inclined to feel that G-d did not need rituals and traditions, that this was a human thing, so there is a specific stance on such things within the faith.

I remember being told in church that one could not get into “heaven” via good works alone, which necessitated the intervention of a G-d being such as Jesus. I think what made me question that so closely was the presence of the other special borns in religious history, such as Osiris, etc. There was too much resemblence to all the other religions for the claim of uniqueness to stick to Christianity if one examined the claims closely. That brings us straight back to the kind of lives you live being the source of your eventual reunification with the Light. It’s just not possible for me to believe one can go on lying, stealing, and killing, and claim to know the God who is Love.

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