So much of what we assume about antiquity has been bleached and strained. Time, however, is a pure medium wherein truth is suspended but religious historians agitate and steep this dispassionate slurry until all that is left is the fetid swamp of their personal biases.
Archive for the ‘Advice from the Banyan Tree’ Category
The future can no more become the present than can the past, they both lie just outside the moment, that razor’s edge upon which our existence balances. We have but the briefest tic of time to make our choices before they are swept into the abyss where even God cannot change them.
There are no heroes, only heroic acts and just as generosity often awaits gratitude, kindness expects nothing in return
To dwell upon the past or the future is to lose the moment so choose your sentiments wisely for they come with a dear price.
Do not look for inspiration in the scratchings of man upon parchment; look instead to the wonders of the Creator’s hand for the entire collection of literary works cannot hold itself against a sunset or the song of a single bird.
It will be in that dawn of his annihilation that man will realize he was not created in the image of God nor was he ever the master of this world. His hubris lying crumpled at his feet, he will stand naked again as he once had in Eden.
Why does God seem oblivious to pain, suffering and death? These manifestations of life do not touch our spiritual consciousness or the greater spiritual consciousness of which we are a part; they are bound to the body and mind only. This reality speaks against a theory of “eternal damnation of pain and suffering” but places before us the responsibility for the welfare of life around us. Frailty of life enhances its beauty and its value and teaches us to tread lightly. Do not the delicate petals of a flower or the wings of a butterfly inspire gentleness?
I believe that there are “primary spiritual Beings” who live amongst us and are moving towards one another. Once collected together something astonishing will happen. I just don’t know what nor who these Beings are at this point.
A prayer from the heart is a symphony while the monotony of a rehearsed supplication puts the soul to sleep.
Having eaten the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and lying to God, Adam and Eve were evicted from Paradise. The Creator discovers the nature of his final project; humans are curious and must be removed before this trait leads them to the Tree of Life and immortality. What parent hasn’t faced this dilemma? Their “perfect” child breaks a rule and chooses deceit over honesty to cover their act. The disappointment and alarm we feel as we project this rebellion into their future and imagine a life of dishonesty and lawlessness! Oh but isn’t that the path we all have tread? Isn’t every individual’s history brimming over with such behaviors?
Do you know how difficult it is to stay present “in the moment” rather than grinding our teeth over past events or worrying about the future? Yet it is these “moments” which make up the tapestry of our lives and the shadow boxes in which we store our most cherished memories. Have a nice “moment”!
You cannot force someone to accept your lifestyle anymore than you can force them to accept your religious views…acceptance lies solely in the heart of the observer.
Individual differences are the oregano, cumin, and paprika of daily living. If we were all too similar we would be a sorry lot with little to talk about and much to agree on.
It is a small stone, reddish in color and smooth, and about the size of a silver dollar only thicker. I carry it in a half-moon shaped leather pouch around my neck; most people don’t even know it is there. It has been with me for years and has become an old friend. We each have our own personal time arc, mine much shorter. We provide unique experiences to one other; I provide mobility and variety not normally found in a stone’s existence and the stone teaches me awareness through silence and peace through stillness. It reminds me that God’s Spirit and Wisdom is embodied in all things. As a human I am only as special as my relationship to the rest of Creation.
“In order to elevate ourselves we imagine a God limited by the worst elements of human character: jealousy, wrath, murder, revenge. We live in a world of cycles yet we somehow expect a seamless eternity to stretch beyond our own death. To find our God we look in the mirror yet the Creator’s face is in every tree, animal, stone and cloud. Take heart in the knowledge that God is so much more than we could ever imagine.”
The term “spiritual logic” seems contradictory yet there exists in every major religion a dogma based on suppositions and arguments presented as “facts”…irrefutable facts so unchallengeable that to do so could result in being cast out, tortured, or even killed (think Galileo). The melding of metaphysics and reason is akin to alchemy in that “spiritual truth” is purported to lie in the bottom of the crucible once doubt and uncertainty are boiled away and a healthy dose of unquestioning faith is added to the mixture. We base our spiritual and material lives on this logic but can it really hold up to either spiritual or logical critique?
What are the main assumptions that make up the pillars of our religious “faith”? Where did they originate? Are they still relevant today? Is it realistic to base important life decisions on two thousand year old word-of -mouth information from a culture that no longer exists? Lets examine what supports the platform on which we worship.
Man is inherently evil and born with sin. This “original sin” that has stained humankind for dozens of millennia was allegedly committed by the first two people to inhabit our planet and God the “Creator” has still not gotten over it. The sin was disobedience, the exercise of what we now refer to as free will. The punishment was being banned from a supposed perfect world where carnivores lie next to herbivores which lie next to succulents but noone got hungry until they smelled that freshly eaten apple. One can only imagine the horrific scene that followed as the stench of death and the screams of predator and prey filled the Garden.
Now lets break this Genesis story of original sin down to its major assumptions.
1. There is “a” God that created everything our senses can perceive.
The Logical argument for this assumption goes something like this:
Things exist therefore they must have been intentionally created by a power capable of design of this scale….hardly a compelling logical argument in that this “creator” has never been observed, much less caught creating anything, even a grain of sand. It is not implausible, just not verifiable. The “One God-Six Days” theory establishes the assumption that this act of creation was accomplished by one entity in one hundred and forty four hours. Why not two entities, or dozens? Why just one and why in six days?
2. The “perfect” architect of all things created a perfect harmonious world but at the same time imbedded into all things the potential for discord.
So we have this magnificent, infallible Being that created a world where sharp-toothed lions co-existed with cute little tasty lambs and put a naked guy and his significant other in charge of….? “Tending the garden”? What exactly would a caretaker do in a perfect garden? There were, of course, those daily chats with God and that pesky one rule about not eating fruit from that tree that just happened to be in the very center of the garden, the “hub’ if you will.
It would appear from this assumption that all of the elements of creation were imbued with the potential to act against the harmonious intent of the Creator. So it was not just the nasty predilection of the original couple that stained this otherwise perfect landscape. The Garden was literally charged with the energy of potential conflict and rebellion awaiting the singular act of defiance of man to trigger the cataclysmic events of Eden’s final moments. Keep in mind this “perfect universe” theory is still held today by many theologians
3. In addition to injecting creation with the potential for rebellion the Creator added an entity designed, it appears, to function as a tempter.
The infamous serpent in the Garden poses a real dilemma to the “perfect world” hypothesis for the clergy. How could Eden be harmonious with this inciter lurking within the branches of the forbidden tree, waiting for Eve to drop by? If disobedience of God is evil then Evil existed in the supposedly perfect garden. This logical problem has caused the church to respond with more stories regarding the fall of the previously angelic Satan from God’s grace…and where does he land but in the apple tree in the center of Eden. Oh I get it?? Furthermore we are told that Satan’s Fall to Earth brought sin with him and that is why this material world is un-Godly and to be spurned.
Conclusion: There was no “perfect” world as conceived by the church therefore there could not have been original sin. The “tree” in the garden was referred to as “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”…wait a minute! If there was Good and Evil then evil didn’t originate with Adam and Eve. The Creator did it!
The elements of nature we observe today, toothy and potentially dangerous, have always been that way and the only time a lion laid down with a lamb was for dinner. If there was a Creator(s) then what we see in our world is what was intended. Sin is an invention of the church. The church stands in judgement of not only mankind but all of Creation. This pompous indictment comes from an organization as far removed from the beauty and understanding of nature as could be imagined. It was not until the end of this past millennium (1992) that the Catholic Church (Pope John Paul II) absolved Galileo Galilei of his sin of presenting a heliocentric model of the universe wherein the Earth was no longer at its center.
To respect and be inspired by nature or to see God’s Spirit in all things is deemed idolatry and polytheism. Many religions have staked out an antagonistic position regarding the very Creation of which they claim a part. There is a reason that the world is blocked out by stained glass windows in most churches.
If there was no “original sin” then we, as part of this experience we refer to as life, were born into spiritual innocense. Additionally we have no need for the “salvation” offered to us by human beings presenting themselves as special emissaries to God. Essentially, without sin, the Church is out of business. Don’t expect the “original sin” tenet to disappear anytime soon!
God has his favorites.
Well we know that Abraham and the Israelites were supposedly “chosen’ by God to be his favorites despite the fact that they were querulous, unappreciative, and often downright rebellious. One can only imagine what the other tribes must have been like. This tenet is central to the development of three major religious movements: Judaism, Judeo-Christianity, and Islam. Flowing from this notion of a special covenant with the Almighty comes the “teachings” of God as presented to the chosen ones in the form of The Ten Commandments and, literally, the entire Old and New Testaments of The Bible and the Koran. These teachings are the bedrock of modern faith and man’s understanding of spirituality and his relationship with Creation. From the Burning Bush to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed we are informed that only in this lineage can we find Spiritual Truth and the true Will of God.
Conclusion: There is absolutely nothing presented in the tomes of religious history to indicate why God would have selected one tribe of people over another. Following on the heels of the Old Testament we are expected to believe further that those ignorant of the teachings of Jesus or Mohammed were/are condemned to eternal death.
Throughout history we have seen the most heinous crimes committed by this unholy triumvirate of religions against the “unbelievers” in the name of God. Native American “heathen” were butchered for their Paganism and their children forced into spiritual bondage for hundreds of years by the churches in America. Wars are fought between these major religions over variances in their beliefs and hundreds of millions of people have been slain as a result.
Can one hold the notion of a God partial to perfection and harmony choosing a lineage so fraught with violence and arrogance? Take away this central tenet of the special covenant and three major religions come tumbling down immediately and all their teachings seem suspiciously self-serving. The message of “Love of fellow man” found in both the New Testament and the Koran has certainly not been acted out by those wearing the mantle of Christianity or Islam.
To be continued
In the beginning…….
That was the first clue…”The Beginning”
“Since the Beginning” is everything that followed.
The “Beginning” marks the advent of Time
“Time” is necessary to understand the relationship between what is now and what preceded it.
Not just preceded it but gave birth to it
What is “it”?
That which split off from that which was “before time”.
Imagine experience not walled in by time.
Imagine that which just “is”
There you have it!.
“Before the Beginning”
Without “Space” there is no need for “Time”
Material expansiveness creates Time
Time exists at the advent of the First Dimension
Before the Beginning there was no dimensionality.
Before the Beginning there was “One”
Mathematics is only relevant since the Beginning.
Language and Thought developed to explain dimensionality and “time experienced”.
Concepts such as Life and Death evolved Since the Beginning
“After Life” as a concept is a continuum of “Time Consciousness”.
“Heaven” is a material space located within the life-afterlife continuum.
Spiritualism tied to Time Consciousness is a form of Materialism.
To discover the “One” requires abandoning all forms of Materialism
Individuality is materialism
Intimacy is the process back towards the One..
True Spirituality is Regressive
Civilization and its elements are Progressive, moving Away from the One.
Religion is progressive and material, addressing itself Since the Beginning
The afterlife is conceptualized as infinite separation from the One
Since the Beginning intimate existence with the One is conceptually impossible
And as to the “age” of the universe I say to you that you share this experience concurrently.. It can be no other. “It” and all its wonders exist in the bowl of your own private consciousness. It need only exist as long as your consciousness holds it for there is no “collective consciousness” to relay it from one to another. If there were we would have no need for oral and written history. “But”, you ask, “what of the births and deaths of those who precede me or will certainly succeed my presence”? “What of their consciousness”? Again I say that all is held within the crucible of your own personal consciousness. You and all your perceptions are immortal and “creation” began at your first awareness and will pass at your last. In your consciousness abides all that might be and has ever been for it has lived within you for all eternity.