A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘war’

Morality ~

I find myself contemplating the Eightfold Path often, and wondering why it is that the faiths that believe in God very God should find it necessary to place commands for right living rather than principles. Buddha said all that was needed, by putting forth 8 well written principles to live by, rather than 100’s of laws that basically say the same thing, but get into the minutiae of how to shake hands on Sunday, if you will. I, personally, have not found ritual to be that helpful, other than in my times of meditation, when I am settling into “that” space, which is what I think it’s all about. Unfortunately, I also think that much of the ritual is intended to entrain one toward the thinking of the leaders rather than enlighten one about one’s own truth.

That being said, I do believe that each of the prophets and teachers was intent upon leading us closer to what was, to them, the desires of a Holy God. Look at Moses, he was nearly right on a lot of things, most of the mitzvot of the Hebrew faith leading his people toward compassion and forgiveness. You can’t ask much more of a leader, until you look at Buddha, who put all those laws into a set of principles that are timeless in nature. Then came Jesus, a rabbi, whose original words have been so coated with other men’s thinking that it is hard to sort through the teachings and come out on the other side truly enlightened. His goal, of course, was to make faith a more personal thing, while still retaining compassion and forgiveness as the center of all that he said and did. Add Mohamed into the mix, and you have compassion mixed with militarism. Eh, not my cuppa tea, but it calls to many.

However, there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding just how far we were to go with compassion. I am not saying they were wrong. I am saying they simply did not go far enough. None of them said war was wrong. None of them said anything about slavery that would make you recognize it as something deeply wrong. Child marriage was still allowed in all that, girls as young as 9 years old. Child labor still remained right up until the 19th century, as legal, and “under the table” it still exists. Rape didn’t even get a nod as the horror it truly is. So, we have a long way to grow in awareness of right and wrong. Pedophilia was never recognized as a sin, but sends shudders up and down my spine every time I think of a child being forced into adult sexual activity!

Many of those faiths and others not listed still consider homosexuality wrong on the whole, even though where it is addressed in both Old and New testament it was being held up as an example of wrong worship (not brought out so that you could see it that way, but when we dig that’s what it was about.) In fact, when you look at Sodom and Gomorrah, the entire question had more to do with people being taken, and harmed, against their will. That isn’t what homosexuality in this era is even about, so there is no connection to that from a modern view.

In fact, it looks to me to be that the Buddha had it closest to right when he said that all sexual contact needed to be consensual, and that one could not even consider it if the person with whom one had it was basically unable to give consent. To Buddha, that meant a child, a slave, a married person. The child because they were not old enough to resist, the slave because they were owned, the married person because they had made promises to another. Buddha thought it was best to remain celibate. but if celibacy was beyond you, at least make sure of the playing field.

In fact, if you are going to quote ancient teachers to me regarding what should and shouldn’t be allowed, quote Buddha. One must strip away most of what is extant in the New Testament in order to get to Jesus actual words, and one must consider that Moses didn’t even know that war, rape, and child molestation were wrong. And don’t quote Mohamed because, as long as it is woman’s fault that men cannot control themselves, (consider the Burka) then something else is going on. It looks to me as though our laws have moved into the realm of what is considered consensual, that’s a major plus. But otherwise, we need to reconsider and revamp our views of what is moral by law. In fact, I am beginning to like the Dalai Lama more and more. It’s time to take this out of the realm of religion altogether, and come to terms with what is compassionate, what is forgiving, and what is right.

Advertisements

God of Love ~

Those that need to think that God is real (I number among them) have many reasons for this need. My own is that I hear voices and see things that sometimes are not there to others. That can be pretty scary. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the only way I was going to be able to cope with it all was to find a bottom line, and stay there. It is through that storm that I came to see that even though the many forms of faith have a lot of differences, there were a couple of things they had in common. The differences are unimportant to me, the things they held in common, a call to live compassionately, forgiving others as quickly as possible, were the things that seemed destined to help me cope.

Many times, as I read the Old Testament, as well as the New, I find myself shaking my head in wonderment that a True God could have been perceived to be so tribal. Yet, we must remember that Moses, and Father Abraham were tribal above all, and would have seen God in this same reference. You see, that seems to always have been a problem. It is difficult to see an entity as existing beyond the bounds of our own individual experience. Yet, I want to be fair here. The books in the Old Testament are not the complete version, there were many books left out, because they seemed not to have anything to do with Jesus Christ, and were therefore, ignored. The shame comes in the fact that in those books that were left out, a quite larger view of God comes to light. It is somewhat startling, but some of the mystics could envision a God that was big enough to have made the Universe. Now that is where I can say I could join them.

Here, I am going to irritate some of the “faithful” for I do not believe in war. In fact, I believe that war is failure. We were given language and tongues. We can talk, and we can reason, and we should be able to negotiate. Any time we resort to shooting each other, we have failed at negotiations. I am well aware that this world has been overridden with a need for power that seems to trump all other considerations. I do not, however, believe that the God I worship caused this. This is a man made problem, and man needs to solve it. Soon!

In fact, it is this need for power that has caused not only war, but some very personal crimes that are none of which, like war, have been recognized in the Book as crimes. So, what can this list entail? Well, there is war, the wanton shooting of other humans who do not agree with us; there is slavery, often in the past ages the taking of people from among those defeated in war for personal pleasure, be that sexual in nature, or work related in helping us become wealthy; there is also rape, the overpowering of one person by another for sexual gratification, (YUCK!) ; then there is child slavery and molestation. I don’t personally believe there was ever an instance where GOD declared war on any of us. NOT in the Old Testament, NOT in the New, Not in any document from the Quran to the Baghavadgita. God didn’t choose war, our ancestors did, and they were not Holy in their intent. Ever. So, that is a list of power crimes, not complete, I suspect there are more that have not come to mind, but that is a list that must be recognized by our current leaders as a list of things that MUST be stopped before we can even begin to build a civilization that will bring about peace on Earth.

Many look for a messiah, some think he has come in the nature of one Jesus Christ. I don’t believe that was the case. OK I know y’all are gonna slam me for this one, but the human race is just now beginning to recognize power crimes for what they are, and we are not ready for the messiah; Jesus, either as a conglomerate of teachers and rabbis, or as a single person, would have only been the forerunner, setting the stage for what yet is to come. We haven’t yet gotten to a point where the compassion both he and the Buddha have called for from the enlightened is present in a majority of the people. We are a long way from even beginning to enter such an age. We aren’t even close.

I, personally, believe that only when we as an entire race of beings can get to a point where the only God we would even consider worth worshiping would be a God of love and compassion, will we be ready for a time of peace and prosperity, for only when that includes everyone, will it be true.

Peace ~

beauty17vigThere are few things that convey peace as completely as a swan floating on water, (or are as terrifying as seeing a swan heading toward you with both those giant wings flapping!) In fact, peace is part of swan’s “medicine”. This time of year we are constantly wishing peace to one another as part of the season.

We are on the eve of a brand new year, and peace is something we could most certainly hope to accomplish soon. Especially since we are making war in the middle East. I am a peacenik, I do not like war on any scale anywhere. I do not like the number of innocents that suffer as “collateral damage” whenever mortar fire starts erupting. Death comes way too easily on television and the media for most to realize just how traumatizing it is. Coming across a dead body unexpectedly has to rank up there as iraq_war_header_11-21-2007one of the topmost traumatic events in one’s life. As a nurse that happened to me once, a patient we thought was so much better she would be going home next day was dead when I went in on my rounds to take her vital signs. Gads! That was a shock.

War traumatizes everyone who experiences it. No exceptions. It, of course, can be survived, but this is not the same as not having had such trauma tear at your very soul. I am aware there are those extremists on both sides that see war as the only means of settling differences, I just don’t happen to be one of them. I wish we could throw all those with that particular view into a large war game and just let them go, let the rest of us have peace!

The problem, or so it seems to me, is that once the extremists start their actions, reasonable earthand relatively peaceful people find themselves in a defensive mode, trying to ward off the agents of war. It then seems to become a vicious cycle where the only answer in the eyes of some is total annihilation of the “enemy”. I consider myself fortunate to live among reasonable people who will take on such a battle with the reluctance of those who would rather have peace than war.

We have a new president, I am hoping that within the time he is alloted, we can have peace in the Middle East. But then, that may be an impossibility, no matter who is at the helm. So, maybe the thing to hope for is a truce, during which serious strides can be made. Pray for peace, perhaps there are a couple of miracles out there that could bring such a wonder to this war torn Earth. That is my wish to all this New Year;  Blessings and Peace to all that dwell on this big blue marble called Earth!

Imagine, no religion ~

imaginebillboard2smaI understand that this group does this sort of thing rather frequently, posting billboards, that is. The “Sad Factor” here is that they have a major point. The difficulty is that it is not religion, per se, that causes Wars, as religions are designed initially to make us see ourselves and change. It is the extremist position that one’s own religion is “Right”, and all others are “Wrong”, therefore the “Wrong” folks have to die. Or worse, the “Wrong” folks are “In Charge” of a “Sacred Place” and won’t let the “Right” folks come to worship at the shrine, therefore someone has to die. GADS!

It would seem that our children in kindergarten can tell you what’s wrong rainbowdovewith that picture! Share, people! First of all, there is no guarantee that one religion has it “All” right to begin with. Then there is no reason to turn what should be a longing for peace and justice into a cry for war, at least in Christianity, that’s not in the pages of that book, anywhere. I, personally, am Apaulitical, and no I did not misspell that, I am not a Paulist, nor do I feel that the “Church” per se is necessary for a person to read the words of the carpenter cum rabbi and walk a path toward the light.

I remember as a young person being told that Paul’s letters were put in the Bible as Sacred writings because there was not enough in the Gospels to lead a true religious life. Dang! I wish I could speak to that preacher now that I’ve read and studied the words we were talking about. The rabbi’s words were more than enough to walk a path of personal spirituality, all Paul added was the stuff that makes institutions run. We don’t need that. If we obey the basic law to begin with, i.e. “Love one Another.” We don’t need anything more.

roberts_rules_of_orderThe rest of the “stuff” in any “Writ” is when unlove prevails. Jessie doesn’t like Sarah, and Sarah doesn’t like Jessie back, so how do we keep them from tearing the fellowship apart with their antics. BTW, Robert’s Rules of Order work better for that than Paul’s letters. Makes sense, General Robert understood the strategies of politics quite well, and besides, the Rules of Order grew out of his embarrassment over being ignorant of how to run a church meeting. When Paul and the 11(minus J. Iscariot) met, there was a tacit agreement that Paul was to minister to the gentiles while the 11 remained true the their ancestry.

While that has been celebrated through the centuries, it is the one thing that makes me extremely suspect of his teachings. If those who walked at Y’shua’s side found Paul’s teachings objectionable, why should I think they are such that I should venerate the man and his epistles? It intrigues me, to say the least, that with all the questions that arise from that, he remains so much the central teacher in the Christian religion. Part of that, I suspect, is that the Ivrit have long been so segregated from gentile life that most Christians do not realize just how un-Jewish are Paul’s interpretations of 2801-762617Y’shua’s teachings. Or that, if Y’shua had been so outspoken about being a Godman, he’d have been stoned before he’d taught for 3 weeks, let alone 3 years.

I don’t believe that the Dead Sea scrolls were the first such find, actually, since so many centuries have passed since it all began, I cannot help but wonder how many times scrolls were found and destroyed or hidden before news of them could even reach the public. Only with a greater freedom from church rule can such discoveries come to light. It does, however explain the need for a grand Inquisitor, doesn’t it? If you are not teaching veritas, you need someone who can keep the rabble (us) quiet. So, in spite of the fact that I believe in G-d very G-d, I cannot blame those who wish for no religion at all. I truly wish I could; blame them, that is.

Tag Cloud