A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘spirituality’

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

As I Understand “it” ~

raven_ac_small1I have posted a lot on this blog, and will continue to post here. I have posted also on Hubpages. I want to make it clear, however, that when I post, it is generally my opinion. Yes, I do quote other references, and yes, I do comment what I have understood as other perspectives, but I want very much to reiterate, for all and sundry that most of the time, what you are getting when you read my work, is simply my opinion.

I am a Libra, with a Taurus moon, Gemini rising. That means I love beauty, can be stubborn, but will usually try to get my way through gentleness rather than bullishness. But, I can be a bit bullish.tiffanybutterflypng Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean I am proud of those traits, that’s just my star chart. I have lived in this body for 56 years, and am studying and applying myself daily to learn to be less willful, desiring to be more like the teachers I consider to have most affected my life. That would be Y’shua and Buddha. There are, of course, many teachers along the way whose interpretations of the great ones have been quite influential in my life and my perspective. I have also been priviledged to study under a Lakota teacher and a Shawnee teacher. Both of whom have taught me wonderful things regarding the spiritual life.

One of my favorite authors is Huston Smith, his Religions of the World is one of the best, simply because he attempts to be objective, and did his research from inside each path to Spirit, rather than from the outside looking in. Another favorite of mine is Sun Bear, an Ojibwe teacher whose books carry much teaching in traditional lore, and who attempts to translate the Ojibwe perspective into something livable on a daily basis, even by those of us who are mostly of wasichu blood.

serenitywmatThe swan has been a teacher of mine since childhood, when I related to the story of the Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Anderson. I enjoy exchanging opinions with others, and quite frankly would enjoy input from others whose opinions may not be the same as mine. Thanks for reading my posts.

Su

Politics and Spirituality ~

sarah-palin-11The minute McCain chose an unknown from Alaska (and attendant at an Assemblies of Oh My God church), I began watching the political scene with fear and trepidation. You see, that was the denomination I had followed when I was functioning as a fundie. This woman is beautiful, and quite comfortable in front of cameras, and I was worried that the Republicans would win on that ground alone.

It became apparent after a little research that she was not, apparently from as strict a congregation as I had attended, and I could not tell where her faith played in her politics. Most AoOMG are antiabortionists on any basis, the unborn fetus’ rights superceding the mother’s rights or the rights of other children whose lives might be affected, no matter the reason for the consideration of abortion. There are other considerations that plagued me. Generally, the AoOMG denomination is not one to teach path work, instead resting completely on the forgiveness of sin by the blood shed on the cross by God incarnate, Jesus Christ.

The problem with this stance is that it leads to inconsistency in the outward 1a_duerer-prayer1lives of the congregants. They believe in the infilling of the Holy Ghost in all believers as a sign of salvation, though even here there is some inconsistency, some congregations practice this, others do not. They do not count compassion toward others as a sign of salvation, even though that is the one command that Y’shua gave before he hung on the cross. see John chapters 13 thru 17. There is little obedience taught in AoOMG, as, depending on the pastor, they may or may not teach forgiveness in order to be forgiven, taught in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt. 6:12

I am aware that life is not just a gift from heartSpirit, but of Spirit, and that terminating a pregnancy early may indeed be contrary to this. There is a large consideration, here, that is often missed by those who would choose life no matter the consequences. My query? Would that pregnancy carry to term were we not dependent on medications to bring this about? I am of the same thought on continuously coding an individual whose heart is giving out, (and mine is, BTW, so don’t think this isn’t a personal choice for me.) I am not for terminating life when quality can be a possibility, but, neither do I believe in resuscitating a vegetable, please do not do that to me. I would give that same consideration to other lives for the same reasons.

It is for this reason that I have kept the commentary on this blog spiritual, not going into the politics of the moment very often. My personal preferences on something may NOT be what Spirit would have you do, and IP182-08.JPG do not wish to mold opinions that would send you contrary to what Spirit would have you do with your life. Politics and Sprituality are a poor mix no matter what your belief system or political party. I do not want to know if a candidate is a Christian, Jew or Buddhist. It does not matter to me. I want to know that a candidate is ethical, concerned with the opinions and needs of the constituency, and will carry out their duties with all the integrity possible. One does not just give that oath before Hashem, one is supposed to give it before the humans being served.

No. 6

6) Harmony results in maximum efficiency with minimum effort. When it is a strain to sing in harmony with the Universal Energies, there are blockages within your Spirit.

This one, sadly, is only logical, and we all know this from experience. When there is no harmony it is because someone is hurting or causing hurt to another. Often the one who is causing the hurt is responding to past pain. Now realize, please, that, though I am in sympathy with all who hurt, I also feel that one can choose not to continue to pass along the pain to others.

I am fully aware that when the sociopathy that is caused by early abuse has resulted in a lack of empathy for others that the results are often disastrous, as these are the folks who can kill in multiples without conscience. I do hope that somewhere in the future we can find a way to compassionately deal with the problem, some way, perhaps to screen for it, and keeping some sort of restriction regarding weapons on those who have this disorder.

Even that sounds unfair since I am speaking of restricting a person before they have committed a crime, but, quite often, we do not know this disorder has surfaced in a person until they have killed several and are on the run from the law. It would somehow seem at least a bit more compassionate to restrict before so many were injured. There is no simple solution for our lawmakers or our lawkeepers. However, once one has been found to have such tendencies, yet has not committed murder, would this not be the time to begin treatment? So much less damage to other humans would result if we could but tell who has such problems before things completely erupted.

One of the most discouraging things among us humans is that there are times in our history when foolish thinking men and women believe they can force harmony by “killing” off a section of the population, as did Hitler, Stalin and Housein. The backlash of pain and misery that follows such horror puts us that much further from true harmony. This is why they must be stopped, and as often as possible, early enough in their careers to keep them from harming multitudes.

So, here we are, knowing that harmony is a wonderful state where we would all like to live, and yet, also knowing that such a state is most probably mythical until all humans make the decision to seek balance within themselves. For this inner state of being cannot be forced. You cannot put a swastika on a flag, and march the children up and down the boulevard in brown shirts and attain harmony, you will not even attain military harmony with such, only ultimately, chaos, as the human soul also needs freedom.

Is there any way, then, to find a societal harmony that is free and truly harmonious? I don’t know, there are many who swear that Christianity was developed as a means of controlling the masses and bringing about that harmony. Yet, even here, there is fallacy. Christianity became a state religion under the warrior ruler, Constantine, and it’s constant answer to disharmony is war, what kind of answer is that?

There is no doubt in most of our minds that the solution is one of the spirit within, but religion seems more often a cause of dissension and pain than a cause for true celebration in harmony. Spiritual openness seems the only answer, but here, ooops, the governments have no control, as it is an individual response within rather than a group response without. There have been, in the last century, several experiments in governmental denial of spirit, most of those have collapsed.

Spirituality, in order to be real, must be within, yet this very thing frightens church leaders and heads of state alike, as, for whatever reason, there is no trust of Creator’s capacity to create a true peace within the human soul. Hm, it may just be our last resort.

The Lord’s Prayer ~

I mentioned in my post on prayer that I wondered why the Master had combined a couple of traditional prayers from his parent faith and called them sufficient. I have been privy to study this prayer under a man whose knowledge of the Christian Bible was also built up with a knowledge of Torah and Talmudic tradition and Jewish history. Since an article from Ontario, Canada states it as well as any, I will quote it here.

Known by Roman Catholics as the “Our Father,” the Lord’s Prayer is probably the best-known prayer in Christianity, primarily because it is the only one explicitly endorsed by Jesus.
It appears in two places in the New Testament. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, while in Luke, a disciple asks Jesus how to pray, and Jesus obliges with the now-famous words:
“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
Where did Jesus get it?
Rabbi Bernard Baskin of Hamilton, Ont., who has studied the prayer’s roots, offers an explanation. “Jesus wasn’t a pagan or a Greek. It came from the Jewish tradition almost phrase by phrase.”
The Interpreter’s Bible, a well-known Christian source, agrees. The Lord’s Prayer “is thoroughly Jewish,” it states, and nearly every phrase is paralleled in the Jewish liturgy.
What makes it a Christian prayer is not its language but the fact that it was promulgated by the fount of Christianity, says the Rev. Dan Donovan, a theologian at Toronto’s St. Michael’s College.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus himself first prays, and then teaches the Lord’s Prayer. “He is drawing us into his prayer,” Donovan said. “The (issue) is not so much the actual words, but the fact that Christians pray it as the prayer that Jesus taught, and in some sense, as a way of sharing in his prayer.”
In his book, “Jesus and the Judaism of His Time,” University of Toronto scholar Irving Zeitlin cites line-by-line parallels between the Lord’s Prayer and the Jewish mourner’s prayer, the Kaddish (“May (God) establish His kingdom during our lifetime and during the lifetime of Israel”); the Eighteen Benedictions (“Forgive us our Father, for we have sinned”); Talmudic prayer (“Lead me not into sin or iniquity or temptation or contempt,” goes one); and other Hebrew scriptures.
That means Jesus “brilliantly” condensed important Jewish ethical teachings, while also summing up the essence of what would become the Christian faith, says Darrell Johnson, a teacher at Vancouver’s evangelical Regent College and author of “Fifty-Seven Words That Change the World: A Journey Through the Lord’s Prayer.”
“The Lord’s Prayer gathers up all of life and brings it before God. Jesus brings the wide range of concerns the Jews would bring to prayer and just boils them to these six petitions.”
Catholics and Protestants, meanwhile, have differed on the use of the last line, known as the doxology — “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.” Protestants generally use it, while Catholics added it to the Mass just in 1970.
Scholars agree the line was in any case probably lifted from the Book of Chronicles, in which King David is quoted: “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor.”
Given its Jewish roots, Johnson feels the Lord’s Prayer is “so wonderfully inclusive that any religious orientation could pray this prayer.”

The “only glitch” he sees is the reference to “Our Father,” and that has nothing to do with religion.
“That would be the bigger problem for a number of women who find it hard to address God in male language. If I were in leadership, I think I could nurture a climate that said, ‘This prayer, minus that problem, includes us all.”‘
The biggest irony, perhaps, is that Jesus himself might never have uttered his own prayer in a public setting.
“When you pray,” he counsels his followers during the Sermon on the Mount, “go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”

For me, there is also another irony, I do not believe my rabbi had any intention of being known to all as Lord, I still believe all of that is added on by folks who either in ignorance, or worse, in full knowledge of their defiling intent, made a God-man of a Jewish rabbi who taught love and peace in a radical manner, and knowingly changed the four known gospels to reflect that untruth.

I must admit to being grateful to the idea that some parts of his teaching came through unspoiled, but I had to go to other sources besides the church to find that out. It is for that reason that I do not consider myself necessarily Christian, but follow a spirituality that honors the One God above all else. To me, the prayer we know of as the Lord’s Prayer, is very much a pattern on which we can form our prayers, knowing that, if we follow the simplicity of his thought before us, we will be addressing every one of our needs before Hashem.

For further study, Emmet Fox’s teachings ~ I have found no reference that he studied Judaism, to know the origin of so much of Y’shua’s wisdom, though there is much wisdom to be gleaned from his take on almost anything spiritual.

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