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.

Serenity ~

Many years ago, (half a lifetime ago) I was privileged to get to know the wife of a man who had been sober 14 years because of his adherence to the AA program. She and her husband were members of a club that my folks were active in. We talked at some length over several months, actually, and I became aware of AA’s programs and helps. It had all started because she wore an amulet with my favorite prayer on the back of it, and my mother’s favorite art (Durër’s praying hands) on the front. I had asked her where I could purchase such an amulet, and she simply gave me the one she was wearing.

Serenity, courage and wisdom are still the most necessary attributes for me. I pray this prayer nearly every day. Through this woman and her husband, and indeed through many acquaintances and friends since that day, I have learned the value of the simple spirituality taught in recovery. Alcohol is not my addiction,  though, like all humans, I have my own frailties, and their program is something i have personally adapted to the needs of my life.

These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous.[10]

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

These are the original 12 steps. Their meaning is clear and concise needing very little change to put them into effect for any difficulty where life is overwhelming and we need the help of Spirit.

  1. I admitted to being overwhelmed and my life unmanageable.
  2. I believed that a power greater than myself can restore my sanity.
  3. I surrendered to the Higher Power.
  4. I Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.
  5. I admitted to God, myself, and another human being (a trustworthy soul that can hold a confidence, be sure of this, as such confession can be harmful if made to a motor mouth) the exact nature of my wrongs.
  6. I was entirely ready for God to remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked God to remove these shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons I had harmed and became willing to make amends.
  9. Made direct amends to all except where the only result would be further harm.
  10. I continue to submit to daily self-examination and when wrong, admit it.
  11. I seek through prayer and meditation to continue to increase my awareness of God as I understand God to be, praying only for understanding of God’s will for me, and the power to carry it out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening through these steps, I do my best to live my life as an open book, and when asked, share God’s blessings in a manner that lets the other person share if they choose to do so.

I do not believe in seeking converts, I feel that if I live my life praising God quietly in all things, others will see what God has done for me and ask what is the difference. Since that has happened before, (several times) and it is those who have become students of Spirit under my mentorship, I feel that this is the way Spirit wants it. Besides, I’ll never be a good door to door salesman.

As I began to work with these principles, I began to realize they were a beautiful breakdown of much larger steps found in the less generic paths. For instance, the recognition of the need for help and surrender are all one step in Christianity. Then there is the searching inventory and confession. Once you have made amends, and begun to change your ways, there is the meditation and study, (most specific in Buddha’s 8 fold path, but found in those churches that follow discipling as a way to help new believers stay on the path.) Then there is the continuing work of street ministry to seek new converts.

The steps may be broader and deeper, depending on the mentor that is teaching one, but the general gist is the same. You cannot, in fact, get to the spiritual growth without first admitting need and surrendering will. These are key. This, unfortunately is where the less scrupulous groups would segragate the new convert from family and friends, knowing that the family may not be as vulnerable as their new little lamb and would probably object to them shaving their head or some other strange thing to complete the hazing.

This can be looked upon as a measure of protection if the lamb was from an abusive family, but otherwise they are protecting themselves, not the new convert. It all gets very confusing, and can be devastating to families. It is one of the reasons that I would not choose to start a closed commune, ever. I wouldn’t want that reputation. Besides, though I know it is easier to reach the state of Serenity when you are on the mountaintop, it doesn’t do you a bit of good unless you can hang onto it when you punch the clock.

Y’shua and the Tree ~

I wonder if you can copyright just a title? I like the sound of “Y’shua and the Tree”, but haven’t yet written the entire book. Oh well, if someone beats me to it, and is consistent to the tree teachings of Y’shua, it’s OK. Y’shua often told his listeners simply to “be good trees”, and was pretty specific about what constituted a good tree.

A good tree bore good fruit, fruit that was edible and nourishing for the one eating it. A bad tree bore bad fruit, fruit that would not nourish, but would eventually destroy the consumer. This meant that not only was it important for the believer to make sure that the “fruit” growing from his life was nourishing to himself, but to others as well.

So, how do we go about being a “good tree”. Well, the system was not in place when Y’shua taught, as far as I can tell, but the teachings were all there. So, what did he expect of those who would be there when he was gone? Well, first they needed to recognize in him a good teacher, one who told them things they needed to hear, then he expected them to be good students, listening to the teacher and absorbing his teachings well enough to teach others.

If the student listened and absorbed, he would begin to walk a beautiful path of joyful, humble service to others, giving generously of himself, forgiving generously of others’ mistakes, and caring deeply for the needs of all those around him. His compassion would be deep, while his self-discipline would gird him for the toughness of a life path that was demanding and grueling, yet immensely rewarding. As he grew in understanding and wisdom, he would also begin to discern how to be exactly where he was needed and what he needed to do. This, then, is when he begins to enter into the flow of Creator’s will.

In a very brief and oversimplified statement, this is the path of Kabbalah, or receiving. It is a beautiful path, despite the silliness of the fundies in calling it a cult. I have been quite amused at that, as it is the pot calling the kettle black, but, hey, to each his own.

So, how can you tell if the person is real? Well, I believe John answered that, somewhere in the 15th chapter of his book, that’s where Y’shua gives his final “plant” teaching, (though I believe he said “The I Am,” rather than “I Am”, just a little mistranslation that changes the meaning of everything said), only this time he speaks of the vine and branches, and also that if one is loving, and caring, others would know that they belonged to the I AM, this makes much sense to me, as that is how one knows a Buddhist’s sincerity, or a Taoists, or a Native American’s, they are genuine and loving. And they belong to the “Tao” or “Wakan Tanka” or venerate the “Bodhi tree” from which Buddha received his wisdom.

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh

Ever present and eternal,

maker of the stars that shine,

present in the light of mind,

living in the very air we breathe.

But, you see, like my master before me, I have no desire for you to create a new religion with these words, only to have a new understanding of the oldest and greatest, and the Everpresent’s love for you.

How it is with me ~

I am not here to tell you that my path will work for you, or that it will work for every voicehearer. I am simply here to share what has worked for me. There are, among my friends, those who would lovingly tell me that I should not share my world at all with those who do not know me. Most of the time, you would not know that I do indeed hear voices. I have, for the most part, learned to cope with the differences in perception that the voices create.

There are reasons, however, that make it such that I feel that this may be exactly the best way to “give back” for all the help I have received in my life. It is, in essence, paying it forward, so that if someone else who is a voice hearer and lives under the same onus should find this, it may help them. We have lived for generations with the fears that accompany this phenomenon, and it is time to stop running.

There are many others, and I have seen on the internet signs that there are groups forming that help voicehearers affirm their lives in meaningful ways. The sad part is that, once upon a time, voicehearers were thought to be hearing the “gods” and were therefore spokespeople for the divine. Mouthpieces, so to speak. That, I would have to say was a false presumption and probably led to complete idiocy or the hanging or drowning of many a voicehearer for heeding the wrong voice.

I do know a couple of other folks who hear voices, and they will be invited to give input into this blog as I continue to post. And, yes, by implication of my last paragraph I have found that there are voices that I hear that have led me to make loving and good improvements in my life, and there are other voices that would have led me down some dark and dangerous roads, and indeed did for a time, until I realized I was going a direction I did not want to go.

Now I will tell you that there are many of us who cannot hang onto the present, the here and now, and for that problem I do not have any recommendations. Personally, I have considered wearing a Jabra phone accessory like you see here, so that, should I accidentally feel I needed to answer one of the voices and someone was around, they would think I was talking to someone on the “phone”. It would work. You find yourself wondering about the folks that go around talking animatedly to one of those things, anyway.

All kidding aside, the path I walk has been a spiritual path, and I am not sure I had a choice, though there are those who would argue that point. I did a lot of exploring to find the right “religion” and found that none really seemed to have all the answers, even though many claimed they did, or that they had the answers we needed and the rest should be taken on faith. I wasn’t willing to do that, so there are those faiths that will insist that I am possessed, and should not be listened to at all.

I will respect that you may think that way, as long as you respect my right to be who I am and not live my life your way. Since I do not live be a formulaic faith, my world is not so cut and dried. I am quite thankful that many of the churches of today are beginning to deal with those of us out here that do not fit the “norm’.

If you look around this blog, you will see a page posted on Neil Douglas-Klotz’ translation of the beatitudes. He is a Sufi mystic, yet his translation makes a great deal more sense to me that the King James version of that same passage, so I post it here. Look him up, he has a web presence that will tell you much more about him. It is in exploring work like his, and teachings by the Buddha that I have found a peaceful way to live my life. That is what I will discuss on this blog. You are welcome to look in from time to time, I have a circle of friends back in Indiana that I hope will look in often. Thank you,

Suzi

Newtonian Theology?

I was just watching the History Channel on Sir Isaac Newton’s Dark Secrets. Oh my, and they were dark, at least in his day, bless his heart, they would have gotten him hung. Worse, he was a professor at Trinity College, and he was NOT a Trinitarian. He believed that Y’shua was born of God and was close to God, but was not God’s equal. Yes, it most certainly would have been the end of his career and more likely his life, if the “establishment” had known that was how he believed.

Those who have been part of my own circle of friends for years would feel that this was familiar theological ground, as it is what I have believed for a number of years. (Actually, it’s sort of encouraging to find that someone as incredibly intelligent as Newton believed this, as, when it occured to me, I thought I stood in a little cul de sac, all alone, with complete atheists and agnostics on one side, and Bible thumpers on the other. That wasn’t true, actually, and I now know that there have been many eminent scholars that were miles ahead of me from the start.

My little circle, however, is made up of non scholars who had come to question the church’s grip on their lives, who yet did not want to give up believing in God. We have come a long way since we first began to explore, and have learned through different channels of communication and different studies that we believe that God has been in communication with all humans since the beginning of time, and that there is at least a grain of truth in most religions at least at the core. We believe, or I should say I believe, since it is just me that is authoring this, and I shouldn’t put too much on the shoulders of others when I am expounding on what I believe.

I do want to say before I go very far, that at the core of my own belief system is a certainty that the one thing required of me is to act in compassion at all times. That’s a tall order, and I often fall short, but that is what I believe is called for. In fact, the more I read and study, the more I feel that that is the one thing required in all religions. So that, if, as the one blogger asked, Allah was the one that answered the door and you had lived your life as a Christian, you will have lived your life in obedience to the one thing necessary. The rest can be worked out, if we will only learn to be compassionate with one another. Then it won’t matter who answers the door, Allah, Hashem, Abba, I don’t care. In fact I think there is only one, and that, no matter what you call this holy presence, God is God. Divine Intelligence.

Which means that, no, you are not going to convert me to Islam, and no I don’t expect to convert you to my beliefs, but, if you are in obedience to that one command in as much as you are able, and I do the same. We may well sit next to one another at the Divine Banqueting Table. Hm.

Su

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