A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

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.

 

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The blame and shame game ~

It is a nasty little game, and gets no one anywhere. No matter if it is blaming self or blaming other, the game is circuitous torture, and causes major dysfunction, or is the sign of major dysfunction. Several years ago, when I first realized that modern Christianity played a large part in this awful game of no one is responsible,

“Hey look, I have a free ticket out and I don’t have to examine myself to see why I did that, ’cause Jesus forgave me and you have to, too!”

I went into deep prayer and contemplation, examining the scriptures to see if Yeshua had really been that short sighted. He had not been. In his teachings, one must take responsibility for one’s actions. It is, again, Paul whose prolific letters get us into a habit of saying things like, “Well, it was for your own good, you see.” when we make a mistake. It is Paul who puts the burden of the sins of the Gentiles squarely on the rabbinical shoulders of Y’shua.

Not only was it unfair to Y’shua, and the teachings that would have ultimately brought us into a wonderfully close relationship with the great “I Am”, it was unfair to the gentiles, for in shifting blame, always, and in not taking responsibility for one’s own actions, a person never grows up and becomes “perfect” that word should be “mature”, another little mistranslation that makes things ever so confusing.

We’re two millenia down the road and instead of “evolving” into the mature individuals it was the Rebbe’s hope we would become, we are now blaming our mothers for everything we have done all our lives. We don’t have to ask forgiveness, we don’t have to mature, our mothers forever stand in the box and must admit their horrible guilt for not letting little Tommy cross the road in front of that massive truck.

So . . . . .how do we break the chain of this game? Well, let’s go back. The Roman Catholics were not all wrong, you know. Admit culpability, “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”, examine what you have done, look at it with an eye for what in your actions would have improved the situation. Accept responsibility for your own mistakes and forgive others for theirs. If we do this, there is a hope that someday, we humans will grow up into the sentience we were designed to use in service to the One.

So, forgive and forget, eh?

Just like that, no matter the crime? Well, maybe not “just like that, with a snap of the fingers”, but we do need to forgive. Now, we humans are apt to hold onto small snippets of injury that could be released with little effort if we really thought about it. But, unfortunately, sometimes we get into a rut and just decide to martyr ourselves over small slights. Even here, there is such a sadness at the fact that, “letting go” would improve the health and well-being of the organism. In fact, one of the things that saddens me the most is the misconception that forgiving someone automatically absolves them of the crime, as though it were never committed.

That can happen, as I understand it, but not by your word or action, it happens at a much higher level than most humans can even hope to attain in a particular lifetime. You may learn compassion, and you may learn utter forgiveness, and it releases you from the blockages that such anger causes in the flow of energy. Only as the “other”, i.e. the one you have forgiven learns to forgive are their shortcomings forgiven them. Each of us must learn forgiveness for our shortcomings to be absolved. You do not absolve another’s crimes by forgiving them, you only release the life-force to flow freely within you again.

C Forgive me, at the risk of belaboring a point too far, I am going to use a little analogy. Imagine that you are pointing to the one who wronged you in an accusatory manner. There in the fingers folded back on your palm held tightly is a list of the wrongs committed. You must release that list, open your palm and relax, letting go of the hurt and pain that was caused by the wrong in order for the healing balm of the Holy Spirit to begin to enter you and heal you. This is the forgiveness you are being asked to give, indeed, commanded if you want the healing for yourself. This process actually does not affect the other person at all. It is for you alone to receive the gift offered.

This same process must happen in the person who wronged you for their wrongs to be righted, and for them to receive any healing from the Holy Spirit. Now, the truth of it all is that, if you are no longer holding onto the hurt and pain, as you have every right to do, but it will continue to harm you if you do, the other person, sensing that what they did no longer has the power to hurt you, may actually begin to look at the events and begin to release their own “angst”. There is no guarantee of this, and it should not be looked for, but it has been known to happen, as when the Holy Spirit is in a project, miracles most certainly can happen!

Relaxing the fist is not easy. Sometimes you have to take your other hand and pry open your own fist, i.e. a lot of prayer, but if you can get there, the rewards for you are immense. C

So, what this means, ultimately, is that, yes, you must forgive, but, should you hope that the other’s sins will be ultimately forgiven you must pray that they learn to forgive also. The grandest part of this little piece of knowledge is that once you realize that this is how the flow works, you know that the one who committed the crime against you, in order to be forgiven, must repent and forgive also. You know that the forgiven individual is not going to commit the crimes of the past, because they have turned their life around and now serve the Holy One and the “energy” can flow for all.

Do you see, my friends, that this is why it is so important for you to mind your own path, and not your neighbor’s, not even your “enemy’s? Each of us will go before the ‘Holy Counsel’ and answer for our own crimes. This is where they are absolved and it is and will always be individual by individual, not a group process. If, when you come before the Counsel you have forgiven, i.e. released all injuries done to you, and are at peace, your shortcomings can also be forgiven, for the healing energy can flow through you.

Following this line of thought further, it will come to pass that the more folk who learn proper forgiveness, the stronger the energy will flow for all mankind, and the stronger the energy flows, the sooner will all receive the healing needed to grow strong and healthy minds and spirits. Whoa, now that would be glorious in the extreme, yes? Yes!

But . . . . .we must remember that the changes that occur in the heart in order for forgiveness to happen are seldom instantaneous. Many times, when a crime has been committed, there is a loss that must be grieved before true healing can even begin. Like the stages of the butterfly, changes happen over time, but they are worth waiting for, for the human that learns to forgive does, eventually, become a fully winged and free butterfly!

Sacredness ~

I answered someone’s question earlier today about what constituted blasphemy with the usual definitions, and then went on to comment that sacredness was where your heart is with God, and blasphemy was where you could not sense God, yet addressed God anyway.

I believe that is true, but I also believe that God is very real, and so, there is a point at which, no matter what you believe, you may commit blasphemy by going against God. Now, the question then comes, what, truly, is “Going against God?” And that, indeed, is the question of our time, isn’t it?

We have reached, as a society, a crisis of faith so severe that either everything is all right, and we are just good folks having a fun party, or we have to decide what is right and what is not. Now, if you have read my last post, you already know where I stand. If it is of compassion, it is not far from the will of God, and if it is close to the will of God, you are doing all you can to obey the holy presence.

But, therein lies the rub, so to speak. What is of compassion? Can’t we just go about making sure everyone is fed and clothed, and housed, and all is pretty much all right? Well, actually, I do think that comes awfully close if it’s not on the mark. But, then, what do we do about the people that will not treat their “brothers” as equals in all things? I do believe that even if we all have all of our basic needs met that there will still be those who will be less than kind to their neighbor.

BUT, we have a long way to go before we get to the point where we can actually say to anyone, but you had all you needed, what went wrong? Now, the basis of my belief that we will still have problems is not the basic depravity of man. I am not a Calvinist. I actually believe that humans all have a bright side and a dark side. And that, whatever side you feed, that side will prosper.

But wait, that implies much more than just the meeting of basic needs to see that the “bright” side of each human wins out in the long run. If you follow that line of thinking to it’s logical conclusion, then there are many factors that can cause a human to rise or fall. What of the child who is given all of those basic needs, but is never allowed to feel wanted or needed or loved in any way? What about the child born without the ability to feel loved? In both instances, basic needs met or not, you are probably looking at the beginnings of a criminal lifetime.

So, there we are, back to compassion, aren’t we? But, what do we do with those children when they grow up into a life of crime? Do we electrocute them? After all, can we not look at their beginnings and see the signs that they would not prosper? And seeing those signs, could we not intervene on behalf of the child? Perhaps that would help for the child not allowed to feel love, but what of the child unable to feel love? What can Santa bring that child to “fix” things?

Or does Santa exist for that child in any way? If the child is unable to feel love, then the Calvinist will say that that child will perish and go to everlasting hell. But . . . . . . what if the Calvinist is wrong? What if there is no hell? What if there is only death and rebirth? What if the meaning of Y’shua’s words were misconstrued in the translation and he was speaking of coming back around in a new body and trying again? Ooops!

And by the way. who are we to presume that an all seeing, all knowing God, who knows that that child is unable to accept the gift, for that is what love is, a gift, will condemn the child outright?. No matter how it is presented, by the crucifixion of one man for all, or by the knowledge that a compassionate God has always forgiven, it is a gift. In your world, the child unable to accept love by virtue of a personality glitch must surely die, for that child cannot accept the love of the Christ. (Christ, a Greek word, not Hebrew. Christianity is, after all Hellenized Judaism)

You insist that it must be with the sacrifice of this man, this God man, who hung on the cross. This is possible. I have no difficulty with the idea that God would accept the sacrifice one made for all, I have difficulty in believing that God would disobey his own words to Moshe that he would never come in the form of a human. And there is another thing here. Hashem told his followers that he would never accept human sacrifice. So, OK, he went back on his word and did what he said he wouldn’t do. Um, God lied?

Maybe your God, but not my God, sorry, it’s not flying with me today. My God requires absolute painful truthfulness out of me, from the start of the day, to the finish. If I must obey a God that requires that kind of truth, I can, but not if He lies to the entire human race. So, it is quite OK for you, if you wish to believe that Y’shua was more God’s son than you are, just accept the fact that I think he was an enlightened human who knew God in a closer than usual fashion and leave it at that, please?

Oh, and by the way, when you can produce the Aramaic words of Y’shua where he actually said he was God’s only begotten, and I don’t have to buy that the original manuscripts were ditched in Constantinople because they proved he did not, yeah, then we’ll discuss the idea that he called himself God.

In the meantime, I happen to believe in the compassion of Hashem as an ongoing and all encompassing thing. I like the concept, it means God forgives. It also means I have to behave myself and not murder, cheat. lie or steal, or at least make the grand effort to live the life of one who does not do these things, knowing that forgiveness is there, but that I am expected to grow in Spirit and mature in a manner that says I do indeed believe in the Holy One, or the Holy Presence, if you prefer. Oh, and another thing or three, there are things one does for others if one truly believes in the compassion of Hashem.

Oh, and the child? I believe in reincarnation, obviously, so, perhaps, the glitch will no longer be there, and the child can accept the love of God, no matter what form you put it in.

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