A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Y’shua’ Category

Son of Man ~

jesus1Jesus called himself the Son of Man. No matter if you think he was the Son of God or a mature, evolved human being like the Buddha, his vision would have been expanded enough to see that you really can’t worship “other gods” if you are a compassionate being. You cannot worship GOD with evil deeds, nor can you worship darkness with good and compassionate deeds. ( first said, at least to my knowledge, by C. S. Lewis)

He didn’t mince around, he said love was the only commandment one had to obey, for everything written could be boiled down and summed up in that one command, love God, love your fellow man. If you truly love God, you will love his creation, both your fellow travelers and the earth that supports them. If you do not love, you will not be able to serve the highest and best there is for those that walk beside you.

He did NOT say, love only those who celebrate the eucharist, He did NOT say, love only those who are part of your worship group, he did NOT say, only love those who walk the way you do. He said LOVE, with a deep, from the very marrow of your being love. In the letter entitled First John, in Chapter 4, verses 7&8, we are told

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

This is a beautiful understanding of the commandment to love, for in it we can see that it truly does not buddha90210matter whether a person calls themselves Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Jain, or unbeliever, for if they love, they know God in their hearts, if they do not love, they do not know God. Yes, I know, that puts many who call themselves believers at risk, for love is the one commandment that many have not learned to obey, yet, it is the only commandment given.Truly, if you have learned this one command and obey it as often as you are able, you are my brother or sister, for we are children of God.

There are many in our time that have shown that though Moses understanding of God was great, and even ahead of his time, it was not perfected. He did not understand that slavery was wrong, he did not understand how very wrong rape was, he did not even have a clue that child harm was so very wrong. So, though we can admire him for being ahead of his time, and so close to God, we cannot stay at his level of understanding and claim that that way is complete. We must move forward, we must learn to love, we must come to understand that the way of love will not hold others as chattel. They are human beings. We must give others the same rights and privileges we hold for ourselves.

dnacadueceusPart of that understanding is the principle behind the words “first do no harm”. If there is a way of life that is foreign to you, but harms no one, then it is not “sin”, if it indeed brings about love, and is a good thing in that community, we must hold it to be in obedience to the command to love. We cannot hold ourselves over others as their keepers or jailers, we must let others be free to learn to obey the command in their own way. We must learn to love, not just in part, but completely, as God would have us love.

Reality, Is there a God?

jesus_teaching_2I happen to believe that “God” is very real. I also believe that this God wants us to be happy and good to one another. Much beyond that, and it gets murky. I have had personal experiences with Spirit in my life that have convinced me of the reality of a “Higher Power” in the universe. I cannot tell you that you must believe, or even what to believe, you are responsible for your own thoughts on this.

I have come to believe that, though the scholars may be right, and the stories of a Christ may be twisted and suborned, there are kernels of truth in the gospels. Not of a human that was a God, but, rather, a human teacher that was enlightened and taught a better way for us to live. Yes, I am aware that he is quoted to have said some things that are just simply not supportable by a human. I believe those things were added into the story by those who wrote the legends many years after this rabbi lived.

In fact, it is because of all the controversy that I am going to share with you my base for the beliefset I hold. I must admit that when I first became aware that there were no notes and documents from the time in which the rabbi lived, my head was spinning. Had I put my faith in a myth? Well, possibly. So I began to search out from other faiths, what they believed, and why they believed them. One of my favorite books was Huston Smith’s work on the religions of the world. I was most impressed that Dr. Smith had done the field research that I would want to do if I had had the opportunity.

What came through to me so clearly in that research, and more of my own in reading and talking to those who practiced other faiths, was that Buddhism, stripped dalailamadown to it’s core teachings was nearly identical in principle, and many of the Buddha‘s teachings were a rephrasing of the rabbi’s, or the rabbi’s teachings were a rephrasing of the Buddha’s teachings. Either way, this gave me a basis on which to build my own practice. I had also found a woman who would teach me regarding the indigenous beliefs of the First People, so I must admit this is also part of my beliefset. In fact, my current practice has little to do with ceremony from any of the three basic foundation sets, and much to do with how I see things, and the principles I try to practice in daily life.

There are some lovely side issues when Buddhism is so similar to the Christian path. One is that I see Y’shua as another Buddha, an enlightened human, not a God. Another is that, with Buddhism, there is no need to worry whether there is a “Father” God at all, Buddhism is about relieving humanity from suffering, not about worshipping a God.  Ergo, you can be an atheist and practice Buddhism quite easily. The key, for me, has more to do with how you treat your fellow human beings, in following Buddha’s path, you are in obedience to the one I call the “Ancient of Days”. There is another gem here that should not be over-looked. With Buddhism, you are instructed right at the start that this has to do with your own journey, not about telling others how to live. You don’t have to worry about “John”, or “Suzi”, or anybody else along the way, just worry about yourself. What a wonderful release from being responsible for how others live. It isn’t yours to worry about.

8fold_pathNow, that last part, that’s been a point of contemplation for me. Y’shua taught us not to judge others, he also told us that we shouldn’t worry about the splinter in our brother’s eye when we had a log in our own. That should pretty much tell us to mind our own p’s and q’s, but, rather than telling us not to worry about others so much, Gautama Buddha went on to teach us how to travel the path toward the light, i.e. Wisdom, our own ethical conduct, where to concentrate our efforts. Though you can see the parallels in their teachings in the third link I gave you, the focus of their teachings was a bit different. Y’shua’s was almost all about conduct, Gautama was about the inner journey. Both were leading us toward spiritual growth, Buddha was teaching us how to be another Buddha. Though I believe it was Y’shua’s intent to also teach us to be like him, that has been made to look almost impossible by those who preach and teach in Christian churches, teaching us to love the messenger and forget his message. I don’t personally believe we can afford to do that. We must learn to follow the message.

 

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

Cute ~

Puppies and Kittens

As that one woman in your office can tell you (or if you are her, no need), cute pictures of snuggly, doe-eyed little critters touch a soft spot in us humans. Baby schema — the set of features that make young animals appealing, like big eyes and a head too big for the body — have been shown in experiments to capture people’s attention, make them smile and even induce caregiving to others. Oh sure, the boss may seem tough, but one look at a basket full of puppies and he’ll want to rub you right on your little belly.

A study published online this week by the journal PloS ONE suggests that viewing cute images not only makes people feel better, but improves performance in completing certain tasks.

Oh my! A study to explain why might show something that the wise ones have been saying for millenia. Genuine compassion is what is needed for this world to function better. Lol, I know that seems a bit simplistic, but it’s true. When we care, we are careful. Anything evoking that caring part of our personalities will function to bring us into a state of mind that will cross our “t”s and dot our “i”s with more precision. We can be as efficient in many ways as a surgical machine, but without compassion, we are just going about our tasks on automatic drive. That’s why we cannot find a way to make a computer surpass a good Doctor’s worth when it comes to patient care.

I love the very thought of this. It so completely shows that we are in need of compassion, even in the mundane tasks of the day. The more we care, the more careful we are, even when it comes to tying our shoes. I suspect that this was marketing research for anime that simply surprised those conducting the study regarding the deeper implications of it. But how magnificent is that? A simple market study about cuteness finds that we as humans are hardwired to function better when the caring part of our personalities is tapped! I dare say that you will find with deeper study that this is why those who can harm animals easily and without purpose are inclined to become serial criminals of a violent and harmful nature.

Compassion is teachable! It is important to begin the teaching in early childhood. If we do this, we will enhance our existence beyond our wildest imaginings, and find true happiness is something that can be unleashed here on Earth.

Equality ~

Y’shua thought of men and women as equals, and consistently treated them as such. This was not what he was taught by Mosaic Law, but what he knew in his heart. Moses, bless him for being there when he was, was not evolved enough as a human being to “see” the wrongness of rape or the need to guard the children and not harm them. It was not until 1836 that we as humans began to develop the depth of conscience that saw the need to protect children and women. It is only in the last 30 or 40 years that anti-rape laws have been written tough enough to prosecute rapists in our laws.

(Deuteronomy 22:23-29 NLT)

If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

Moses may have seen women as much more valuable than most other leaders saw their women, and his laws reflected that, but it was not until the New Covenant of Y’shua that men even began to see women as needing treated in any form of equality. Since it has been approximately 2,000 years since Y’shua’s time on earth you cannot say that human society has rapidly changed to project this new perspective. I realize that many feel that the words in the Old Testament were God’s words. That is such a fallacy that I cannot even begin to comprehend it. Inspiration by God is not the same as taking dictation from God, that should be obvious.

It’s only been in the last 100+ years that we have realized how very wrong slavery is. We now understand that slavery in any form is wrong, just as rape and child molestation are wrong, but we are slow as a people in coming to understand the higher way. We are beginning to understand that free will is a gift from God. It is only with this understanding that we can begin to understand that if God gives us free will, we should not even try to remove it from others. This is why it is so important to prosecute slavery, rape, and child harm when they occur.

In the case of slavery, to hold someone against their will and require them to work for us with no compensation is wrong, you remove their free will, we cannot do this. In the case of rape, it is sex without the willing participation of the partner, hence, removal of free will, and should not even be allowed to be part of our lives. In the case of the children, to allow molestation or forced labor to be part of our society is wrong, harms the children, and creates an atmosphere that makes it all right to remove the free will of the adults. Children cannot, by virtue of their age, give consent to work or have sex, they simply are not old enough to know the consequences of the things being asked of them. Hence, my argument is the same as the Buddha’s, one must seek the consent of a possible partner in sexual encounters, and understand that when the ability to give knowledgeable consent is absent, the deed is wrong.

I am well aware that there are those who in the “New Age” society say that there is no such thing as a victim, but I am saying that until we learn to stand for the rights of all, we are all victims of our own blindness. I pray daily for clarity in my vision, for cleansing of my soul, and for the peace that passes all understanding to become the way we all walk this earth, we cannot do so while we allow some to take the free will of others from them. As long as some are hurting, we all are hurting.

Teach Love, not Hate!

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

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

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

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

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!

Feedback ~

Warning: This may be a very long post, read at your own peril:

Throughout the great scheme of things you secure a B+ for hard work. Exactly where you confused everybody was on your details. As it is said, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be more accurate right here. Having said that, permit me say to you what did work. The text is certainly quite engaging and that is probably the reason why I am taking an effort in order to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, whilst I can notice a leap in reasoning you make, I am definitely not convinced of exactly how you seem to unite your ideas that help to make your final result. For now I will, no doubt yield to your point however trust in the foreseeable future you actually connect your facts better.

First of all, thank you for this feedback, I have been hoping to get someone’s critique on the writing, and though this is overall positive, you make a good point about the lightness of the facts presented. In the entire blog, I have presented most of the passages from the Bible and from other sources that I base my argument upon, but you would have to read the entire blog to get that, as they are pretty scattered. In the hopes of not boring my regular readership, I will go ahead and list many of them here, so that you may see them in one post. Forgive me for presuming that most do not want to slog through my many years of contemplation and study, I do understand that most are not into that kind of study in reading a blog, but concede to the need to make the argument clearer and better organized.

I would like to share with you the passages in the New Testament that had me questioning the interpretation of spirituality that was being given in the churches I had attended, mostly Pentecostal and Evangelical.

From John 14 ;12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Now, I had seen true miracles done in his name, and had seen wonders come through my own prayers, but had never witnessed anything that could be listed as being any greater than what the Master is said to have done, either through my hands or through the hands of others. We were either not doing enough, or not believing correctly, or this was a misquote. For many years I thought it might be that I was not believing him for the greater things.

But, wait, there were other passages that had me asking questions. (BTW, please, always, feel free to read the entire passage from which I quote, to do that here would make a post that will already be more than a long chapter longer, it would make it unreadable in one sitting, it may be anyway.) There was the passage in John 4,

32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Now, this has been interpreted many ways, usually to signify that rejection of the Christ would result in eternal damnation, as it was the Holy Spirit that brought Jesus to us. I had other questions that lead back to this, however. What of those who had never heard of him, or those who had heard of him from people who had murdered a person’s family, and therefore made it impossible to hear a gospel of love from them. And what about the idea that one could speak against Jesus himself, but be forgiven, but not be forgiven for speaking against the Holy Spirit, that would make the primary explanation circular, and therefore false.

What about the idea that the Holy Spirit has already spoken to the Ivrit (Jews), giving 600(+) mitzvot or commandments regarding conduct before God. What about the other people with whom there is evidence of awareness of the Holy Spirit, such as the Tao Te Ching , which, in several passages refers to one who can only be interpreted as the Holy Spirit; I have provided a link to one such translation, please take the time to read it, it isn’t that long, and is beautiful. What of Buddha’s teachings, so similar to Jesus’ ; they are spoken differently, and even formatted differently, and if you wish, I will make a post comparing them teaching by teaching. These are only a few examples of where and to whom the Holy Spirit has communicated, there are others, they are prolific, and I will take them example by example if you wish. (and enjoy the task, as it is something I love to contemplate!)

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Compassion-energy_JasonAllenMiller

There is a statement in 1John:4 7&8 that has become a mantra to me;

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Now, I must digress and speak of the Holy Spirit, most profoundly and beautifully spoken of in Chapter 8 of Proverbs. Note, she is spoken of in the feminine, not the masculine as in the New Testament, because the church fathers did not want to have a comparison of their trinity teachings confused with the trinities from other faiths, Hinduism, Egyptian cosmology, Paganism, etc.. So, we must consider that she had transgendered, or perhaps the church fathers had arbitrarily decided to change her for their own purposes.The Holy Spirit, if I am correct, has spoken to all of compassion. It is here that I take my cue, that compassion is the primary purpose of our lives, we are here to learn to be compassionate with each other, against all odds! Here I also include the indigenous peoples of all the world, for when you study their take on cosmology, we are to be forgiving and to care.

Why I believe Y’shua may not have even implied he was God Incarnate;

During my journey of questions, I stumbled onto some things that were not taught in my Lutheran Catechism class.

♦ The God of the Jews, the God I thought of as my God had not actually insisted on a blood sacrifice for forgiveness of sin(a misconception in modern times, it meant shortcomings, imperfections in the original, not necessarily evil). This is stated several times in the OT but most markedly in Leviticus 5:11-13.

11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial[b] portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the LORD. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. [Psalm 40:6]’”

Since I am not financially blessed, this would apply to me, and most of the folks who are a part of my circle, and means that it is not a requirement to sacrifice an animal for me to be forgiven. Though this was not hidden from me as a child in the church, neither was it pointed out. In fact, I was told that there was NO remission of sin without blood being shed for me by an animal or a Christ. I thought that the only way God forgave was through bloodshed. The more aware I became of the horrendous price paid on the cross, the less compassionate I thought God, to make anyone suffer so vastly for sins he had not committed, and for my sins to boot!

In my sojourn in the church, I had learned by implication that God was demanding, angry, vengeful, and unbending. People were put to death for walking into the sanctuary if they were not the right tribe, even. Children were put to death for not obeying their parents (I understand the temptation to wring an offspring’s neck sometimes, but, God?) And a God that didn’t understand that homosexuality wasn’t always a choice? Excuse me, if God made me, he can surely look into my heart and see what is there!  And, yes, I am taking the long way around to explain this point, but I will try to explain here all the reasons for my conclusions.

♦ The God of the Jews abhorred human sacrifice. Yes, the OT is clear on this, and states it several places.This is quoted from WhatJewsbelieve.org, just to make it a quick reference, to be sure, these references are commenting on the sacrifice of one’s sons and daughters to pagan gods, but then, we are all sons and daughters:

What does God say about human sacrifice in the TaNaCH? In Deuteronomy 12:30-31, God calls Human sacrifice something that He hates, and an abomination to Him, “for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. In Jeremiah 19:4-6, God tells us that Human sacrifice is so horrible a concept to Him, that it did not even come into His mind to demand it from His creation, “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.” We see the same thing in Psalm 106:37-38, and in Ezekiel 16:20.

Though there are places online where you can find basic Jewish beliefs, they do not have a central governing body that decides what is heretical and what is not, so there are many areas where there are differences in beliefs from one sect to the next, much the same as Protestants in the Christian faith. I realize I am using Jewish commentary on this, but I do trust the rabbis to be more in tune with what the Tanach says regarding their beliefs, and what the meaning of the verses truly is. I am an Egalitarian in my beliefs, so I am not always in tune with Jewish tradition, either. I do not believe it is right to attempt to own another human, I believe that Homosexuality is not wrong, I believe that pedophilia is completely wrong, I hear voices, and I have seen things in my mind as in visions that have come true, and I may be crazy, (it’s why I share what I believe rather than attempt to tell others this is the way they should believe)

♦If Y’shua had made the implications or said some of the things he is recorded to have said, he would have been stoned to death, as the Mosaic Law was still practiced fully in his time.That means that there are passages that may have been tampered with quite a bit to read the way they read in today’s New Testament. This may be a result of faulty understanding by the translators from the Aramaic notes that would have been available to the Greek and Roman scribes that would have been responsible for those translations, or it may be a true revision of the manuscripts for political reasons. For what ever reason may apply, there are things that he is supposed to have said that make more sense with minor changes. For instance, he is supposed to have said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me.” This would have gotten him stoned, immediately. But, with minor changes, he may have said, “The I Am ( a name used for the very near, very here presence of God) is the way, the truth and the life, No man comes to the Father except through the I Am.” very minor changes, very major change in meaning. This could easily have happened because the yod is added at the front of a word to say, “the”. Easily missed, easily misunderstood.

There are places in the four gospels that feel unchanged, others that feel like there are major revisions. I was taught that the model for prayer that is called the “Our Father” was original with Y’shua, and showed a stroke of his genius, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that it was a part of Kaddish, the prayers said for the dead. I was taught that there was no other faith that used the baptism as a means of cleansing the soul to prepare for regeneration, so you can imagine my shock when I first experienced a sweat lodge at the invitation of my Shawnee teacher, the concepts run deeper, actually, but the result is the same, a newness of life and understanding. I was taught that there was a blood red line that ran through the Old Testament that testified to Y’shua’s coming. Imagine how frustrating it was to learn that the books that had been excluded from the Tanach had been excluded because they had nothing to do with Y’shua or his coming.

♦I was frustrated, and spoke of it to more than one pastor, that Paul’s words were treated with the same sense of authority as Y’shua’s words. That wasn’t right in my book then, it really isn’t now, as I have found that they take Christianity so completely away from it’s Judaic roots, that it is a Hellenized approach to faith. Paul was a very spiritual, but very human individual with faults that are difficult for me to accept in humans today. One such can be found in Corinthians. In the first letter he berates a man and his sexual practices, having coupled with his wife and her mother. In the second letter he recognizes that this was not the case, but tells them it was all for their good anyway. I really dislike people that do that, and won’t go back to a church where I find the pastor acting like that.

To be sure, there are spots in his letters that I thoroughly enjoy, even in the same letters where he errs. 1Corinthians chapter 13 is as beautiful a recitation on Love as any I have ever read, anywhere. Yet, in some of his epistles, or most specifically one that is supposed to be his, 1Timothy, he basically says women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. Grrrrr! He is pictured here preaching atop the monument in Athens to an unknown God. I would not mind so much his railing against Pagans if he and those who came after him had not made Paganism so much a part of Christianity. This entire passage can be found in the book of Acts in the New Testament.

Well, forgive me, please, I digressed a bit from my point in this section that Y’shua would not have called himself God, but I hope I am making more sense at this point.  If not, I hope you will give me feedback to that, too. I do want to make my point clear and easily understood. I am not here to impress, I am here to communicate. Thanks again for reading my blog!!

Karen Armstrong ~

I just watched Charlie Rose, a wonderful interviewer of Statesmen and authors whose shows often bring the “back story” of an event into examination. But this time, his author was a former nun, Karen Armstrong, who has become a historian of religion, and now presents a 12 step program designed for all of us, working toward inner peace, and ultimately global peace. I have ordered a copy for my own reading, so will have more to say when I have read it, but I want to know more of this author, (an impressive interview, BTW), whose general attitude and presentation in the interview were exciting to see. She pulls from the great faiths, and speaks of the compassion that is at the core of them all. I will fill you in on my own enlightenment as she teaches me her path to compassionate living!!!

Doing a bit of research on the web, I have found much of interest about Ms. Armstrong. Wikipedia is a delightful source of information about people in general, and has articles about her and the Charter for Compassion that she and her fellows have formulated! I endorse this Charter. If I were in a position to be where I could sign it, I would go and do just that.

Karen Armstrong

Charter for Compassion

The text of the Charter reads:

Text of the Charter

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.[4]

A beautifully written call for compassion as a way of living and doing business in our world. It is essential for this to become the standard, rather than the exception, in our daily lives!

There is a place on the web where you can affirm your support for the charter.

The Sparrow

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

OH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Trees ~

celtictreeol_greenI love the Tree of life, it is the symbol I choose most often to wear when attending a spiritual function. The reason for this is the existence of it’s presence in one permutation or another all over the world, so that, whether I am among Christians, Native Americans, Buddhists or Hindus, the TOL is an appropriate symbol. I have been guilty of wondering if the One more closely resembles a tree than anything else. I know, one is not supposed to put any form above any other, therefore worshiping it.

We humans are, unfortunately, guilty of worshiping the form we live in more profoundly than any other form, including money, with perpetual youth peddling as the form of worship we choose. But, if we look strictly at science, there is a profound and logical reason to elevate the tree as “The Form” to be worshiped. It is the tree that enables larger life forms, and those with larger brains, all of whom need a steady supply of oxygen, to  exist. Without the tree, or some other large form of O2 exchanger, we humans and all the large animals, like cows, would perish. It is because Spirit has no “form” on this plane and can adapt to the form it is indwelling that one is not to place any arbitrary form above all others.

I wonder, though, when the first “shaman” became aware of the fact that trees were life shaman-3givers. That when asking the “Universe” what gave us life, was told the “tree”, hence the vision of the Tree of Life. It makes you wish, doesn’t it, that we had developed Democracy many millenia ago? Yeah, I know that’s got to be a what? But, think about this, it is only in the light of democracy, in the peaceful transfer of power from one ruler to the next, and by the will of the people so governed, that there has even come about the possibility of objective facts, and that growth hasn’t been easy.

WE are 200 years into this experiment, and just now getting to the idea that G-d may be real enough to be recognized by great thinkers such as Albert Einstein, or Stephen Hawking, yet that same G-d probably isn’t inclined to want us to be so hung up on the “rules” of how to fill a glass of milk such that if some poor soul spills the milk they die. This does not mean that G-d wants us to be casual about spilling each other’s blood, quite to the contrary, it would seem that everywhere the intuitives have picked up on the Tree as a giver of Life, there has been a growing awareness that compassion toward each other, and indeed the other forms of life, is also called for.

news-graphics-2007-_441537aIt would have been so much easier for our great thinkers to have gathered about them all the bits and pieces of information they needed if we had not been so ruled by competitives, whether they be monarchs or invaders, that often as part of the new “regime” there was an erasing of any historic records saved by the ones before. In fact, the historians of the previous administrations were usually permanently removed, often from life, let alone power. Hence, I celebrate the Spirit of Democracy, and all forms of governing the “rest of us” that allows for an attempt at least, to find some sort of objective facts in the midst of all that happens, and I celebrate the Tree, from when the Oxygen we breath flows freely to let us enjoy even the concept of the vote.

Ladders ~

171712911_c4eec580a3The concept of the ladder of deeds by which one climbs to heaven is interesting to say the least. It never seems to occur to those who feel that one must climb this ladder that it is not a matter of how much you do, but how you do it that matters to the One.

I rejected the “Grace only” doctrine of the Church not because I do not see it’s merit, but because I do not believe that the doctrinal stance actually explains the concept clearly enough for adaptation into one’s practice as a believer.  However, to claim that a “deeds only” doctrine could get you home would be just as false. I personally believe that the door to heaven is through the Heart of the believer, and can only be opened from inside, i.e. attitudinally, not physically.

Yes, most certainly the deeds one does, even amounting to a smile when it is difficult to do heartwdoorso, are reflective of the heart that is right before G-d, deeds are still only a reflection. The reason for my attitude regarding the Grace stance of the church is that it most often leaves open this attitude that one can lead as selfish a life as one desires, and pray for forgiveness in the end and be allowed into the Gates no questions asked. Remember, it was Y’shua himself that said one must obey the commands for the Spirit of G-d to dwell with us and within us. But, then, I believe in reincarnation, and suspect that such a soul could be sincere, and will be sent back to test that sincerity the kindergarten_team_picnext time around, try two or three lifetimes doing that, and you get sent back to kindergarten.

One of my difficulties with the idea that it takes knowing Y’shua as the person Jesus of the Christian interpretation is that this perception takes on an “It’s not what you know or practice, it’s who ya know.” (attitude),  sorry, that’s an earthly and unpleasant concept at best. Not my cuppa tea, and if that’s what the One wants, I think I’d rather be in Hell for eternity, for Heaven is not heavenly if it has adopted that particularly earthy pattern of thought.

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