A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

Truth ~

Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience. Albert Einstein

One of the things that bothered me immensely when I participated in the church was the oft repeated phrase that the “truth” needed to be defended. I am not a scientist, but did train as a nurse, so was quite familiar with the concept that a truism, or axiom, that earned it’s place in the base of knowledge by which we operated in our work had to prove itself in the results we gained in using it. Put more simply, a truth will surface in the using of it. This is so contrary to the idea that the truth needed defended that I had to choose a different way of seeing spirituality or give up being a nurse.

Now, keep in mind that I hear voices, and knew other folks did not, but I had also seen what I would call “snippets” of things that often were warnings of things to come. I had also found, through the years, that I would just simply “know” things about others that were not known to the general public, things neither they nor anyone else had verbalized in my presence. I had lost more than one friendship because of that, and it had been a tough lesson to realize that just because I had these insights into others, it wasn’t mine to comment on them to the person or those around them. That being the case, it wasn’t difficult to convince me that the people who ran the churches I attended didn’t quite serve the basic no nonsense truth. It also wasn’t necessary to convince me that Spirit existed; I didn’t have to accept that on “faith” alone.

This “difference” that I have lived with through all of my years of remembrance has left me questioning nearly everything around me: from my faith to my sanity, to the veracity of nearly everything that anyone has ever put before me without empirical evidence. I have been called a “doubting Thomas” when poking at the things people would tell me that they had seen or done, as well as being told I ask too many questions. I have gotten so used to that that when someone starts dithering with comments of that nature, my antennae immediately start to buzz. I have found that the people who don’t like questions are usually deceiving at some level or another.

Basically, that is the reason I began to explore other faiths and perceptions of God. When someone tells me that I must simply accept what they have to say on faith, they are dismissed as flim flam artists in my book. Now, that probably isn’t fair. I am sure there are many who truly believe that Spirit is a concept to be accepted on faith rather than a phenomenon to be experienced. That’s fine, but it doesn’t work for me.I am not saying that if you have accepted God’s existence on the word of another that you need to doubt that existence, for I have no doubt at all that God is and God rewards all who seek to know that.

I am, however, asking you to understand that, as long as your faith teaches compassion as a cornerstone of your religious life, you are on a path that will reveal God to you. This does not mean that there are not other things to learn, for the realm of God is full of things to learn, all along the path; it simply requires that you understand that the moment anyone, anywhere begins to tell you that you don’t need to be compassionate to your fellow travelers, no matter their circumstances, they are leading you down a dangerous path, and away from God.

The point of all of this is to ensure that you are aware that you may test everything anyone says to you, always. You are responsible for your path, no one else is, if someone tells you to “kill the neighbor”, they are most likely not speaking for God. If that’s a voice in your head, tell it to go away, it doesn’t come from God. If a man or woman purporting to be “of God” tells you to destroy another or their property, that isn’t from God. You can only serve God from a perspective of choosing compassion first. You must learn to walk your truth, doing so from a perspective of humility and compassion ensures that you reach your goal with as little damage to you or others as possible. Y’shua said it best, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

 

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.

Perceptions ~

20080118-missing-section-3d-sidewalk-art3D sidewalk artists have a great deal of fun showing us that our perceptions of the world may not be correct. I love the work they do, and have a friend who is always forwarding me the new stuff as it makes it’s way around the internet. What a wonderful way to teach us to be on the look out for those things meant to fool the eye, or other senses for that matter. Yet, our world is so complex that if we do not trust others to report “truth” in their perceptions, how can we survive?

I remember many years ago being under the teaching of a man whose simms_wc_lgperceptions of the world were so straightforward that there was no room in his world for other ways of “seeing” things. It was he that threw me out of a Catechism class at the age of 12, yes, he had been explaining that Creator’s time line had no beginning and no end. I asked if he wasn’t describing a circle? He became so distraught, he asked my mother to withdraw me from the class, as he did not want the other children exposed to the perspections of a “witch”. Now, a mentor of mine, who helps me with my drawings and exploration of the visual world wrinkled her nose when I related that tale and said, “That question was normal from the point of view of an artist!?” So does that make artists witches?

I don’t think so! But then, I prefer the company of witches to the company of stodges, so who knows?

large_webBut that same man said something else that caused me to contemplate then, and even today it’s a point of query. He said that one could only worship with others that percieved G-d in the same way you perceive G-d. I disagree. I can’t remember that I said anything at the time, though if I did, I probably had that poor man’s back up before I ever mentioned the “circle”. If we wait to find only those who perceive G-d the way we do, we will never fellowship with others. Our individual filters are such that each of us has different perceptions deep within our psyche as to who and what G-d is to us.

To me, everything we are and that exists in our world exists within the mind of G-d. Now, that makes G-d immense physically, or makes our world in all it’s layers an illusion of incredible proportions. The Native seers speak of the dreamtime, so perhaps that is the case. However, that is not how others perceive G-d or the Universe. I have had some wonderful discussions with others during fellowship gatherings at my teacher’s house. Those were the best times in my life, and though none of us saw “G-d” in exactly the same way, we enjoyed the companionship of others whose openness allowed for free and unencumbered  discussion on all manner of things spiritual.

willow_tree_on_the_sunset_by_rattodisabinaI would not trade those times for any amount of pure church attendance, even with a fellowship circle after, as in many of those fellowship halls, little of spiritual note is discussed for fear of offense to others. No one dares take that chance. I like being with those who will discuss without offense what those in the circle believe, leaving room for others’ views to prosper. I am aware of those who feel that being too open minded allows the wind to come whistling through, but I prefer the fresh air to the smell of mustiness.

Cyan ~

At the throat chakra there sneaks in a lighter “blue” that is called cyan. It’s a rather lovely, almost electric blue and quite vibrant. Though we think of it as a mixture of blue and green, it is a printer’s primary color, mixing with magenta, (that extra color between red and purple) and yellow, with a dead black as the darkening agent. It is interesting that the “normal” color wheel and the printer’s color wheel both use an almost pure yellow when the other colors are just ever so slightly different in their vibration on the electromagnetic scale.

The variation of Cyan that is called “Light sea green” is actually the color I would have expected to show up on the spectrograph, as it is more my own perception of the combination of blue and green.

I have read and studied other chakra teachings and the one thing that strikes me as strange is the lack of comment on listening, which is as much the power of this chakra as speaking. Since this is a blue-green combination in color, it is here that balance in our day to day “journey” is most important. Hearing truth and assimilating it as truth is every bit as important as speaking truth. To do so with the grace, beauty and balance of the purest color of Cyan is a worthy goal for any lifetime.

Is it coincidence do you think that this is also the center of balance in the human being? Our inner ear is responsible for helping us to walk on this rapidly spinning planet without whirling out of control. Learning to hear everything that is being said, and weighing it’s importance to you and yours is tricky indeed. Carefully digesting this truth and bringing it into manifestation for those you value can be intense, to say the least. Finding the balance of when to listen and when to speak is every bit as important as speaking truth and hearing truth when it is spoken. It is also important to remember that how you speak the truth can make all the difference in the world in how it is received. When the Dalai Lama was asked if he could boil his religion into just a few words, he simply smiled and said “Be Kind.”

{Editorial Note:} In my further studies of the spectrum I have learned that Newton had initially named the spectrum with the standard 7 colors that we have been accostomed to, but it has apparently been suggested that “indigo” be dropped as a seperate color because there are many folks who cannot differentiate between it and violet. Erego, the spectrum now has 6 colors, rather than being expanded to the 8 or 9 that I would have thought appropriate with magenta and cyan, oh well, fashion, as ever prevails

Birthdays ~

Today is mine, making me officially 56 years of age! Gads, what an old woman I am. The raven and the crow are the birth totems of the Libra people, which is actually quite fitting, since folks either love us or dislike us intensely. That is this bird’s reputation. Trickster, clown, funny; omen of ill, morbid, dour; I am not sure whether it is that we cannot make up our minds who we are, or whether we are just so sensitive to every wind that blows as to make us unsteady in the long run.

I was quite fortunate to have parents that would not tolerate that kind of unsteadiness, and since the beaver (taurus) is my moon sign, {our inner self} I had some strength to draw from. I very much believe in free will, so do not believe the old teachings regarding the stars and their hold on us as individuals. Though I do most definitely believe that there are influences that come to play. I drew the above picture of the raven with my own totem in mind, but gave it ultimately to another “raven”, a close friend and companion.

Like the coyote, raven is a trickster, clown, who often likes to play jokes on others, though, as often as not, the jokes backfire, and it is Raven that gets kicked in the derriere. It can be fun to watch the fireworks, but watch out, the sparks may fall on you, too. If the raven learns fairly early to only put out what he or she would like from the universe, things will go much more smoothly, and Raven can learn to go with the flow. My papa was a coyote man, and could laugh at himself quite well, so there was no question I would learn that way of life, or go down trying.

Raven is a bird of portent, companion to Odin of the Norsemen, long associated with the tower of London, and one of the Native American bringers of the gift of fire, his feathers having been permanently singed in the effort. {Raven used to be white, in the “first” age, but Raven has simply played too many jokes, so now wears black most of the time.} Raven’s “planet” is Venus, so raven’s clowning will often flow over into the department of love, as well.

Raven’s lifetime struggle is to learn to find that delicate balance between what to take seriously, and what to laugh at, and Raven will ultimately serve the truth, no matter how much it hurts.  I would have to say that the lesson to learn from Raven is to never take yourself too seriously, learn to roll with the punches, and have fun while you are at it. P.S. that would include how you read this blog!

Thanks, Su

Mysticism ~

I have often been amused at the tongue in cheek correlation between the idea of walking through the mists on a dewy morning and walking through the mists on a “mystical” journey. Yes, I know that is either corney or punny, choose, But the metaphorical connection to mysticism and a misty morning obviously struck the photographer of one of my favorite desktop backgrounds, because this photo is entitled, Mystic morning, Yosemite. Yet, is it tongue in cheek or just a deeper connection than apparent on the surface? When you walk down the path to look at the mysteries of the Universe, there is no guarantee that you are seeing any more clearly than your less adventuresome neighbor who follows the truth as he perceives it, in a normal psalter.

So, why do we do it? Why are we drawn down a path that is never ever going to able truthfully to guarantee us any clarity of vision? I have been frank enough with you that you all know that I hear voices, some of them not the kind ones that one would take to be a holy teacher or friend. For me, following the path of the mystics was simply because any other direction and I was crazy or possessed.

But, I am not the first to follow that path, nor will I be the last. So what draws us? Most of my fellow wanderers are intelligent enough not to buy the swill that’s sold at the street corner that this is a way to “know the truth”, no one can honestly guarantee that. However, when you sit down and talk at length with the wanderers, most have experienced something that cannot be explained by a “normal” take on religion. Some may, like myself, have repeat experiences that will not go away. Some may have only one experience but it so filled them with awe or wonder or dread, that the only thing they could do was seek an answer from somewhere.

The photo above on the right was taken by a close friend who has experienced the pictured phenomena for most of her life. When she was sent to me, it was during a time when the encounters were not always pleasant. She would not discuss these things with her grandparents or their church, as she knew she would go through an exorcism, and she knew she wasn’t experiencing that sort of phenomenon in her life. When we met, it took a while for her to trust that I did not deal with the devil, but as we progressed we became inseparable friends.  There were lessons on prayer and meditation, things she should already have known from the church, there were lessons on being sensitive to “Spirit” and listening to what she needed to know. I didn’t teach her, Spirit did. We are still close friends, even though separated by many miles.

She now serves where she is, I where I live. All we can provide is a bit of light shining in the dark. Sometimes the mist is so thick we can only see a few steps ahead, it isn’t easy, I wouldn’t try to sell anyone the path I walk. But if you are already on it, please wave, we can sit down and share a cup of coffee and some fellowship!

Luminosity of Spirit . . . . . .Nirvana?

I have heard it argued both ways, that the Sermon on the Mount was addressing life after death, and that the SotM was addressing a better world here, if we would learn to live the way he taught. When I read Neil D. Klotz interpretation, there were many things that pulled together for me. I have come to believe that Y’shua was very much addressing how our lives can change in the here and now, if we will learn to live a “surrendered” life.

This is a life so dependent on Spirit that we know that all of our needs will be seen to, no matter what they are. I have actually known people for whom this has happened. I can testify that Spirit will indeed see that your needs are met, if not your wants. And there is where we come to the similarity between the “surrendered” life of Y’shua’s teaching and the life without external attachment of Buddha’s teaching.

When one lives a life without external attachment, one has reached a point where there is an acceptance of all that befalls one. This has been called fatalism by many from this side of the theological divide, and to a degree, that may be truth. But it is not the whole truth. There are “graces” in Buddhism, as there are in all major faiths. The presumption that we understand a faith or path from the outside looking in was one of the many things Y’shua cautioned us about, yet many practice that very form of judgment.

When Buddha taught regarding Nirvana he was not addressing an afterlife experience, he was talking about the golden life one would be able to lead when one no longer held onto desires as rights. You can understand this if you look at the meaning (from Huston Smith) of the word tanha, in the Four Noble truths. “I want what I want when I want it, no matter the cost.” This was the cause of suffering and misery. Letting go of this was the road to Nirvana, the Eightfold Path that led to enlightenment was the prescription toward getting “there”.

Y’shua taught the Eight Beatitudes, Gautama Buddha taught the Eightfold Path, I believe they are the same path. Simply taught to different audiences, therefore with different emphasis, according to the needs of those intended to hear the message. (The Lakota believe the Path of the Morning Star (eight points) will lead to happiness in this life and a good crossing into the next life. Coincidence?)

I also believe that we the people of earth will only remain divided as long as those who desire the dividing are allowed to influence what we think. When we can surrender our will, let go of the desire to have what we cannot have, and learn to walk in inner peace, there will be outer peace, and not before. There are many who believe the prophecies of the end times and of great disasters befalling the human race. That is one possible future. Look at the story of Jonah and the whale. Prophecies may be true and still do not have to happen. We can treat our fellow humans with kindness from deep within, and in doing so, bring about a time of true peace.

Abiding . . . . . . .again.

The reason that I use this particular “piece” of illuminated sky to illustrate the topic of abiding is the first beatitude as translated by NDK,

Blessed are those who base their lives in the luminosity of Spirit; theirs shall be the ability to bear edible fruit.

Basing our lives in the luminosity of Spirit is the principle task then, toward living a life that abides in Spirit. But, how do you do that? It is not easy, and it must be realized that there is discipline of one’s own spirit that must take place in order to base oneself in the luminosity of the Holy Spirit. This is not something that spontaneously occurs when you say please, it happens over time, and only if you allow Spirit to take the polishing cloth to you on a daily basis.

So, how does this process occur? Prayer! Yes, prayer. Daily meditational and vocal prayer. I say both types, because we westerners are apt to think of prayer as a “Christmas list” of wants and needs. That is only a very small part of an active prayer life. We were, indeed, encouraged to think of the “Aba-Eem” as being willing to answer our every need and even many of our desires, by Y’shua. But that is only a part of what effective prayer entails.

First, there is actually an attitude of prayer. The Natives of North America call it walking with a light step. To a Tibetan monk, it is so much a part of his training that by the time you would meet him, it is woven into his entire being. But, there it is, isn’t it? Training. There are many Christians who believe that if you “train” and weave, and discipline the spiritual life, you drain the spontenaity out of your service, and therefore, the Holy Spirit. That is a factor that must be watched for, they didn’t come to that conclusion sucking it out of their thumbs.

Ouch, that means you have to learn to walk a balance beam. Too much insistence on “doing it” this particular way, does indeed leave Spirit outside the door. I will share with you here that the first time I realized what the Buddhists were doing and enjoyed it was when I learned to do Tai Chi, it is a daily exercise that is meditational in nature. It is  prayer in motion. Doing Tai Chi teaches you the proper attitude that actually puts you in an internal “place of prayer”.

This same thing is accomplished for the western mind by the walking of the labyrinth. It is a deliberate stilling of the mind, while remaining aware of the “flow” of things all around you and in you. And, that, dear reader, may be the very key as to why these disciplines work to increase our awareness of Spirit. She is not called the “ruach ha’kodesh” for no reason. That phrase means Holy Breath, and could even be taken to mean Holy Gentle Breeze.

In fact, there is much in the Gospels to indicate that Y’shua thought of her as the essential life force in the very air you breathe. You could think of the Holy Spirit as being available to you as Oxygen, and not be far wrong. It is this level of awareness of Spirit that is involved in basing your life in the luminosity of The One.

Perhaps I need here, to address the reason that I call the Holy Spirit her, rather than him (Christian usage, as in the spirit of Christ). I would like you to look at Proverbs chapter 8

1 Doth not wisdom acry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye asimple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding bheart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall aspeak btruth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that aunderstandeth, and right to them that find bknowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For awisdom is better than brubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with aprudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13 The afear of the Lord is to bhate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15 By me akings reign, and princes decree justice.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17 I alove them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable ariches and righteousness.

19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his aworks of old.

23 I was set up from aeverlasting, from the bbeginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor athe highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a acompass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35 For whoso findeth me findeth alife, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love adeath.

Now, I am sorely aware that I have gone on too long, though I am by no means finished with what Spirit has taught me about this particular lesson, so I will here divide this into another post. If you wish to read on, please do so, but this is a good place to stop and contemplate if you are tired. Thanks,
Su

Abiding ~

I once did a rather long and drawn out study of this concept, not because my church was teaching it, but because the Master seemed to teach that this was the only way we humans could remain obedient to the principles that are required of us. I will share what I found, and it may take me more than one post. It is not an easy concept to grasp, nor is it easy to live.

What makes it somewhat easier for me, and still by no means a cake walk, may simply be that I know in my heart of hearts that my continuance in this body is bound up in my life with Spirit. I know that sounds terribly melodramatic, but on an everyday basis it really is not. Spirit actually does not need melodrama, that is from our side only. Service is a quiet thing, proceeding day by day with little fanfare.

I simply had a diagnosis that gave me roughly just a few years to live, as when they found the diabetes, it was a fulminating disease operating in my system at full rage. I was in hospital with a Klebsiella infection, once the AIDS people start getting those, the Drs tell them to get their affairs in order. That was 20 years ago. I still have diabetes, but it has not killed me, and I am still quite a ways from the final call. I once told my Dr, however, that I was ready to go, my bags were packed and the reaper would not have to knock twice. She understood.

Now, you would think that with such a sentence hanging over my head I would have planted my feet on somewhat safer ground than exploring the real meaning of Y’shua’s teachings, and let the theologians do the thinking for me. I am, however, too stubborn to do that, and I had already run into things that made me think the theologians were not quite “there”. Since it was my head over which the sword swung, I decided it was time to do or die.

I’ve been living an exploratory life since, and that was a large part of why I was intent on exploring the concept of abiding. One phrase in the OT that sticks out to me is the phrase, “I Am” used by Hashem regarding the eternal and immediate presence of G-d. I wish I could speak Hebrew, I have studied it, but I don’t have it as a language, I would like to combine the words for father and mother, sort of like Aba-eem, if I knew how, to convey this intimately caring ever present life force that is willing to be with each and every one of us if we seek it.

I know that there are many Christians who believe that this is only available through Jesus, but I do not believe that, simply because of passages in the OT indicating that in the Hebrew texts, The Spirit of Holiness, Truth and Wisdom was available to all who sought her. See Proverbs chapter 8. I do believe that the balanced following of the Path of the Rabboni is most definitely one way to find that presence in your life, but not the only one.

The passages in the Gospels that I question regarding Y’shua being the only way, could so easily have been improperly translated if the Greek scribes were not careful, since, if Y’shua frequently used the words for the “I Am”, it wouldn’t take much to turn it around. “The “I Am is the way, the truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Aba except through the “I Am.” (and the true meaning then, would be the Holy Spirit, which is the I Am presence of God) instead it was translated “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Boy, that would be an easy slide, wouldn’t it? And we don’t have the original Aramaic to prove one way or the other.

I find that quite frustrating, as there are enough scholars out there, with enough moxie to challenge church doctrine that, were the originals available, and could be worked with, there would be no question about what was meant, or at least less question, as languages sometimes change within 20 year periods let alone 2000 year periods. Anyway, understand that if you are hungry for the presence of The Holy One in your life, you are not left with only one option.

Objective Truth ~

Time saving Truth from falsehood and envy

Time saving Truth from falsehood and envy

How difficult the whole idea of “truth”, for it is one thing for this person, and another for that. Even the philosophers and theologians cannot agree on exactly what constitutes truth.

It is admirable that one should seek to serve her through all the days of one’s life, I would never feel that a person had wasted their life if this were indeed their goal, I would, however, caution such a person, that the minute you think you know the answers, the cosmos WILL change the questions. And that is an objective truth. I know that it has been used humorously, that that is because we can only stand and laugh at our collective condition, otherwise we would melt in tears with no hope of improvment.

Widipedia’s article on Truth ~

The meaning of the word truth extends from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular.[1] The term has no single definition about which a majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree. Various theories of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute.

So, if the philosophers cannot agree, and the theologians spend midnight oil attempting to find it, and the scientists pull out their collective hair because they know that even the act of observing an incident changes it, how can one find the ‘Truth”?

It is this very condition along with other factors that first brought me to the realization that only if you sit on your hands and insist on a particular POV, can you ever really be certain that you know the Truth. When I began my search, and remember, I hear voices, and not always pleasant ones, so the search was all the more important to me, I began to look at all the different perspectives on God, and what this philosopher had to say as opposed to what that philosopher could argue. What I found was what I show others, that throughout the major religions there runs a golden thread, but it is not about objective truth, it is about compassion. I know, that is not a comfort, as compassion for all is not an easy thing to give or even find. But that, it seems, is the bottom line, and the truly common thread in all of the greats.

What that said to me was that it was more important to get down in the trenches and help than to stand on the hilltop and proclaim. Dang, I hate that, because it means that, if I am to truly serve truth, I’m gonna have to get dirty. So, may I make a suggestion? If you are truly in search of the truth, take some time out of your upwardly mobile life, and work as an orderly or as a nursing assistant for a while. Help a few people to the bathroom when they are ill. It will help you understand that sometimes it isn’t what you proclaim from the mountain top that matters, it’s what you learn in the trenches of life.

Perilous times? ~

“These are perilous times, and I want to know the truth…”

IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” Dickens ~ A Tale of Two Cities

I sympathize most fully with those who feel that this period, of all time periods, is most perilous. There are wars and rumors of wars, death abounds, there are 27 million people in the world today who are held in some form of slavery, as many as have ever been at any time in the history of humanity.

As Dickens so aptly pointed out in A Tale of Two Cities, thus it has always been. We are a species capable of immense good, and immense evil. I am not a Calvinist, I have been clear on that, so I do believe that most are born with the ability to do great good in their lives, even those who never come to believe in God.

I was reading a wonderful website today, called Yoism.org The contributors are both incredibly serious and incredibly funny as they use satire, irony and all forms of humor to get their message across that sexism and all other isms that result from religious fervor are the very things that keep us from reaching the highest pinnacle of which we are capable.  They even call Albert Einstein, St. Albert, I could join them simply for that alone.

It is not my intention to minimize the importance of tending to the health of one’s soul, just the opposite, in fact. I am, however, wanting to caution all that claim to know the “truth” in some clear esoteric manner which allows them to state unequivocally that their way is the only way and that all others are headed toward H-E-double toothpicks, that as surely as you are certain, you are certainly wrong.

I will reiterate, obey the teachings to be kind. Obey the teachings to love. If you do this, no matter what else goes on in your life, whether you are a steel worker or a scholar, you are on the path toward the highest and best. If you believe that to be God (I do) it is God to whom you will come. If you simply believe in divine intelligence, I suspect you will find that intelligence more sentient than you even dreamed, but if you simply practice the advice of one of the best of the best and “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” you will find when you cross over that there is light at the end of the “tunnel”.

Lewis, and me and Christian thought.

As a young Christian, one of my favorite authors was C. S. Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, and thoroughly enjoyed his space trilogy, most specifically Perelandra was my favorite. Then I read most of his books regarding Christianity, from “The Abolition of Man” to “Surprised by Joy”. I read his apologetics with relish, but found that some of his basic arguments for believing that Christianity was the only faith that served God paled when compared to the more basic theology presented in the stories he wrote for the children.

In the book where the children see Aslan (the Logos of God, also in Lewis’ theology the Son of God, as in Johns gospel), singing the world into being, my heart skipped a beat, as that made incredible sense to me. I hear music all the time, even in the silence. Most of the time it is gentle violin and flute stuff, and very seldom the hard metallic stuff, (though that stuff distresses me no end when I hear it in my mind, as it generally means something is terribly wrong in my world!)

In the last book of the series, “The Last Battle”,  where the world is gathered in on Judgment day, Aslan tells the children (I’m paraphrasing here, as I no longer have a copy, couldn’t afford to replace after I gave my set away.)that you cannot worship the Dark with good deeds and you cannot worship God with evil deeds, there are several things said in that, that I am not sure Lewis intended to convey. The first, that there really is only one God.

The second, that it didn’t matter what you call yourself, Christian, Muslim, Ivrit, Jain, kwanyin1Buddhist; no matter what you believe in, no matter where you worship, the one true God hears your prayers and sees into your heart. I quit worrying about whether people were converted to Christianity or not, and started teaching those who were under my influence that you must live according to the Golden Rule, that that was more important than anything else, and that you must do it because you genuinely care, from deep within you, and that if you could not find that caring in your heart, that that was what you were to pray for.

Having read his theological works, I am certain that is not what he wanted to convey in his children’s stories, but it is there, nevertheless. In fact, I gave several sets of those books to children whose parents practice Christianity to the exclusion of all other faiths with the express purpose of exposing them to a greater truth, and for many years did not even speak of what I had found to be solid core truth in Lewis stories for children, most especially to those parents.

I only bring it out now, as it seems that the stories are being made into movies. I have not seen even the first movie, though I would very much like to. I suspect they are wonderful with all the special effects. And, for me, the larger, more solid core of spiritual truth is ripe and ready to be explored by the citizens of our world, who seem most weary of One set of God’s children finding exception in another set of God’s children and starting wars that can only flow over to the rest of us in horror, pain and suffering.

It really is time, folks, the God that is real is much larger than your imagination can allow. This God is above gender, truly cares about all life, has given free will to these puny humans, (and I am not sure that God has not regretted that, but without free will, obedience to the high principles is not true obedience). Has said in the Torah that the desire is for obedience to these principles rather than sacrifice, so even the act of worship is not truly understood by the religious, and wants us to be kind to one another.

Edit, 2.3.09, I have seen both the Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian. The filmography was wonderful, and there is little or no preaching in them, well done.

The Truth?

Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.

I think it is perhaps this quote from Einstein that sent me on my most searching journey regarding my faith. I was part of a church that isn’t quite as extreme as what most people think of as fundamentalism, but was close enough to make me cringe now. The pastor was fond of getting all excited and ranting about how we needed to protect the “TRUTH!”. I was a practicing nurse, and part of the reason that bothered me was simply that the truth was what you counted on surviving after all the fluff of a situation had settled out.

The thought of the truth needing defending was foreign to what I did to make a living. At one time I approached my pastor about this, and his suggestion was that perhaps I was in the wrong line of work. Yup, nursing, essentially obeying the teaching from the parable about the Samaritan. I decided maybe I was in the wrong church. I began to do some solid searching, and began to wonder just how much of what I was taught in Sunday school was objective truth.

The search took me into the Nag Hammadi library and I began to feel that maybe I had been deceived along with the rest of Christianity. It was when I read Huston Smith’s “World Religions” that I began to realize that perhaps the best spiritual path of all was to simply be compassionate, seek out objective truth, and live as quiet a life as I could. Sort of makes me a Buddhist Christian, since I still very much follow those teachings of  Y’shua’s that are matched in Buddhism and I still believe that Y’shua was an actual teacher whose words got messed with to fit the politics of the time, (Wow, do you think that could happen today? Heh!)

I absolutely adore the sweet natured man who is now the Dalai Lama, and have read three of his books from the Tibetan Library. I find a refreshing air of truth in holding to a faith where it is not necessary to believe in a God, only believe that you must become a better person. Y’shua was recorded to have said it was unimportant to believe in him, so long as you obeyed his teachings. The message then is the same, be compassionate. Wow! Obey God, and seek true personal happiness, what a concept!

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