Tagged: religion

#5 The Power

Q: What do you mean when you say we humans are very powerful? I certainly don’t feel that way.

A: First of all, you must realize I am not talking about PHYSICALLY powerful. Actually, when put up against the rest of the mammalian world, we are not at all physically powerful . Actually for our size we are one of the weakest beings in all of creation.

Think of our first ancestors living conditions and you can see quite easily that a lot of the fear we project, even today, is justified. Early man trying to live on prehistoric tundra must have been scared shitless most of the time because everything loved the taste of his blood. How we ever survived at all must be considered a huge overcoming.

Of course, unlike other species on this planet, we are not left to instinct alone. Our brains are also hard wired into the universal mind. Call it what you will, (God, evolution, etc.) but we humans are able to receive and act upon instruction from an outside source. Had that not been true and we had been forced to rely upon instinct alone, we would have gone extinct eons ago. Power comes to us in the form of creative imagination, reason, and the ability to change direction mid stream by choosing an entirely different course of action.

On the downside, because of latent herding instincts and fear of the unknown, we are easily conned. Alongside that, place a total lack of spiritual understanding and we become weakened to the point of giving our minds away to the first usurper who can convince us that he knows best because he is smarter than us . . . or wealthier . . or God’s chosen  . . . or a zillion other scams.

These brain eaters walk among us in large wolf-like packs and are willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on our brains. They are hungry and when dumbed down enough, we are more than willing to feed our fear ridden souls to them.

Our great shame comes in not understanding WHY we have been created with this power in the first place. We have many answers and reasons for our advanced state of being, but are any of them correct? If it sounds good it has to be true right?

The brain eaters tell you that you are the chosen, the anointed ones, the sons of God, the special, the elite . . . all sorts of things, they tell you everything except WHY you are here to begin with.

And why is that?

In my opinion [as well as deep belief] we were created with a larger and more advanced brain mass only because our Creator needed a caretaker he could talk to, a caretaker who could understand and fulfill his command to love, honor, and cherish this natural creation as if it were His/our own . . . because it is.

I must also say, that although the gifted promise was great . . . our actions upon it have been horrendous, and because of them, we are destroying this natural garden and creating a hell for ourselves. Does anybody ever stop to think that maybe this is our heaven and that story about dying and going anywhere else is bullshit?

What if we just happen to find ourselves right back here again? The way we are going, next time it may just be a nuclear waste dump . . . won’t that be a fun time?

Following are a few verses in the Christian bible where God pretty much includes everything and everybody into His wrath because of their idolatrous nature.

Romans 1:18-32

King James Version (KJV)

  1.  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
  1.  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
  1.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Ok, let’s pretend I’m God and I’m trying to tell you guys something, but you’re aggravating me because you’re not listening.

ME: Ok guys look here. This planet I made is for you. Now the reasons why I made it is none of your business, but I want you to know what I expect you to do with it.

YOU: Oh most holy God we could never understand the glory and the greatness and the wonder and . . .

ME: Shut up and listen to me will you?! This is important! I need your full and undivided attention here.

YOU: silence

ME: Creating a physical presence out of spiritual nothingness is tricky business, but I am very proud to say I have accomplished it. This planet is one beautiful place . . . but it is not perfect. That part I left up to you guys.

Now, listen up. The reason I created you guys in the first place is that I need you to be my caretakers . . . your duties will be to TAKE CARE of everything I made and keep it in order.

That means everything that is alive. You also have been given the power to create. That means this whole project can become your heaven or if you go stupid on me . . . your hell.

YOU: Oh thank you great and wonderful and wise and holy . . .

ME: You guys testing me?? . . . Now, the way it works is that everything that is alive is ME . . . just take my word for it . . . that means as you study the environment, the flora, the fauna, and all the creeping things and all the animals . . . you are studying, and getting to know, ME.

This is the only way we can communicate and the only way we will ever communicate. You cannot come to me because I AM already here. I am also YOU.

When you are asked my name by your children and your children’s children just tell them I AM . . .

Ok . . . I love you, I will always be with you . . . now get busy!

YOU: Oh thank you great and wonderful and wise and holy . . .

ME . . . (silence). . . . . . . .

YOU: GOD!! Where are you?? . . . Quick, set up an altar! Pray . . .Pray! . . . Pray!! . . . WHERE IS HE?

We are so afraid! Hurry we must subdue this planet . . . Kill all these animals and sacrifice them . . . Get rid of these damn trees!

OH MY GOD! WE forgot what He said already . . . Quick, write a book! . . . Build a temple! . . . We need an image! . . . We need something or someone to worship! . . . we need . . . We Need . . . WE NEED!!

Off in the distance a cloud formed dark and ominous and full of lightning and thunder. It grew until it encompassed the entire ocean. It moved inland towards the frightened caretakers as they bowed before their altars and prayed for deliverance.

The cloud burst upon them and pummeled them with rain for forty days and forty nights until every vestige of humanity had been erased off the planet. Man had once again drowned in his own ignorance. . . . by his own choice.

God wept, but soon He began again.

 

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#4 Salvation . . .

Q: What does it mean to be saved?

A: That depends upon your religious affiliation, but as a rule the Christian church teaches that Jesus Christ willingly gave up his life as a sacrifice for your sins, and by your acknowledgement of that sacrifice you have been freed from the curse of sin and death. It teaches that Heaven is reserved for those who die in the faith . . . Hell is reserved for those who don’t.

Christian doctrine accepts a convert as they are and promises them a new life where they will be forgiven of past sins and become a new person as they live under the living word of God and His bible. In time the simplicity of that message created the largest and most powerful religion known to man. People flocked to the Mother church and her teachings by the millions.

When I was a younger man I know I did. I was at the end of my rope. I needed help from somewhere. Jesus was there, free and open armed, for me. I was born again in a local church and as long as I remained in good standing with the church and it’s doctrine I was guaranteed a place at the table when I got to Heaven. Heady stuff for a guy who had absolutely no religious affiliation whatsoever, and it worked great for a couple of years . . . BUT . . .

In time I began to notice that my life had become an ‘us vs them’ affair, something I was not comfortable with for many reasons. I began to question . . . especially when I realized I, as well as almost every church person I knew, had pretty much traded our past sins in for an open, ongoing, and obnoxious version of self righteousness. I was not pleased with myself.

I studied the bible, prayed for this and that, even lived on a Christian commune for a couple years . . . but after all was said and done I was the same guy I’d always been, but now I had to hide behind this magical connection to God. Anyway the questions became too many, the doubts too large, and I became what we church people feared more than anything else . . . a reprobate backsliding his way to Hell!

Back to the question of salvation: What was I being saved for? Why me? What if I couldn’t read the bible? What if I was born a Muslim? A Jew? An Indian? Chinese? What about the rest of creation? The questions came on like an endless series of waves in a heavy storm and I felt myself sinking under them . . . so I did what I do best. I hopped a plane and headed off into the sunset and a new adventure in Seattle.

Today I am not down on any church, but in general I believe we have gotten it all wrong when it comes to Christianity. I believe we have been duped by a ministry clearly bent on self aggrandizement. Guys who have created magical doctrines in order to rule over their flock of believers instead of taking the time and patience to teach them to practice what the simple teachings of Christ actually meant. We Americans are an overly spoiled, ‘all show and no go’ people. Even our version of Christianity, (especially the TV ministry bullshit), proves it to us.

Bottom line . . . It is easier to WORSHIP Jesus than it is to LEARN from him . . . and the ministers are using our spiritual laziness against us by promoting their version of American exceptionalism in order to control our minds, and give themselves a great life in their shiny new church. These Pharisees and false prophets are alive and well and living among us.

So here’s my answer to your question on salvation:  Jesus didn’t appear on the scene to SAVE you. He came to TEACH you how to SAVE yourself. . . and if you choose to follow and practice his teachings, he will be your teacher and you his student. And what can be more satisfying to a teacher than to have a student who learns his lesson?

Jesus was a special being, no one can argue that. I believe he existed and was a thorn in the sides of the priests of that day, just as you will become if you follow his lead. I don’t believe he was a special creation though. I believe he was an old soul who obtained awareness at a very early age and dedicated his life to the cause of teaching humanity a better way.

I believe there have been many teachers who have come and gone throughout the ages who were born for the very same reason, and I believe they all have based their teachings on one four cornered foundation.

house of god
You are being saved for no other reason than to build THIS house . . . you may never know it, you may never be awarded anything other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped build it . . . but that will be enough.

 

The Great Debate (religion)

Following is a rebuttal to a Q&A about Christianity:

YouIs evolution continually progressing forward as the unbeliever thinks . . . or is the entire universe actually devolving from order to chaos as the way things seem to be going?

Me: First of all we need to define evolution . . . Darwin’s physical evolution based upon survival of the species or spiritual evolution based upon individual spiritual growth of the human species. I choose the latter because the former speaks for itself, to a layman at least, and all moral, or religious codes fall back upon the spiritual acumen of the individual(s) involved.

So using spiritual evolution and putting it up against today’s reality I’d say, at least on this planet, we are not doing so well, Why? . . . well I think it’s because we, the human species, are creators in our own right, we create our tomorrows by the thoughts and actions we have taken today.  It’s not so difficult to see where greed, self aggrandizement, and self righteousness has gotten us. We are smack dab in the middle of a mess we have created . . . blaming anything other than that is a cop out.

If you are giving the Christian a free pass, I wouldn’t.  The Christian’s moral code is  just like the Constitution . . . it only works when one activates it. It sounds good, maybe even smells good, but it tastes bad. Today, Christians like to think that the world is going rotten in SPITE of their effort, but truth be known a lot of the stench is there BECAUSE of it.

You:  Since our society has moved away from the Christian Church and their moral ideals, we are seemingly going to Hell in a hand basket, right? Isn’t our very culture moving from order to chaos by ignoring the tenets of Christianity?

Me: From order to chaos? It certainly is chaotic, but when was there ever order in this society? When was it ever dominated by Christian morality and ideals? . . . Personally I don’t see much chaos taking place that we collectively (including the christian) haven’t caused on our own.

We have, in all our ignorance, since the very first white European set foot on this continent, created genocide on a scale beyond measure, polluted the oceans, ruined the land, food, water, and air, all for the fact that we are quite literally bat shit nuts in our greed for power and things. . . AND worse yet . . . have done it all in the name of Jesus. For sure, the old order is collapsing, but as we lament it’s death we sometimes forget that great things, from seed to civilization, are birthed out of chaos.

This is not a time to lament . . . this is a time to rejoice. These dark ages will soon pass as the age of enlightenment takes hold. The earth will heal, life will go on, and mankind, although still facing challenges of one kind or another will have stepped back from the brink of extinction.  This scenario has been prophesied many times by prophets throughout the ages. We are not facing doom, we are birthing the new age!

You: How do we stop this train to destruction the unbelieving are taking us on?

Me: Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand for the times they are a-changinnnn . . . Dylan was ahead of his time. . . you’re behind time.

You: We must fight against the inroads of the unbeliever. The bible is the ultimate source of all knowledge and we must protect it against them.

Me: I don’t think you realize that there are very few of us reprobates who actually disbelieve the foundational principles of the gospel, as most viable religions are based upon those same principles. Many of which were being taught way before the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

What we reject, or at least what I reject is what so called Christianity has done with those teachings. You say Jesus was God in the flesh . . . I say that is true, but I also say that we are ALL potentially God in the flesh. Even Jesus himself said so . . . else why would he say that we will do greater things than he did. . . ( John 14:12)  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these (can we outdo God?)he will do; because I go to the Father.

It doesn’t take much of a reach to realize that Jesus was almost always talking about us taking on his ‘nature’ (the Christ nature; the anointed one) rather than worshiping him. He never asked for our worship. (Yet that’s pretty much all the true believer gives him.)

He promised us that if we heard his words and took them to heart and activated them in our lives we would be just like him . . . man and God, one and the same. We who you like to call unbelievers may just be better believers that those who live a self righteousness life filled with more moral judgements and accusations than the Pharisee of old.

You see that’s all gonna change once we realize we, christian or not, have no exclusive rights to any of this. We are all struggling, we are all breathing and hoping and longing for the same love, mercy and grace. We are all brothers of the same cloth.

That’s where you guys who hold exclusive rights to heaven missed the boat, that’s where Christianity takes a turn, that’s where the great separation took place . . . and that’s why the church is in such sad shape today. So sad that it is willing to stand behind those who are dedicated to and dead set upon destroying the environment even more . . . . I’m afraid the conservative Christian right is fast becoming a real problem to all of us, far more than the unbeliever.

You: Would you like to hear from famous theologians and writers in the faith?

Me: No. I get lost in experts and theologians and their opinions, as lost as I get when trying to discern between a zillion churches who all believe themselves to be the one and true oracle of God. I’m only interested in what my opponent has to say . . . if he/she calls in backup I know he is on shaky ground . . . we’re all friends here and everybody involved has as much right to their beliefs as I do so . . . . name dropping does no good as I know none of those guys personally and their having a pocket full of theology degrees doesn’t impress me one bit.

What impresses me most is a free and clear mind that can stand on its own . . . whether in agreement or not is secondary to that.

PS: My opponent chose to remain anonymous so I have scrambled his original writing and just answered a few of my own interpretations. The debate is not over though, you can add to it in any way you wish either pro or con.

There will be more mini debates or Q&A articles like this one so if interested in this kind of dialog stay tuned as they will always be left open to further discussion. That’s it for now though . . . JJ

Who Am I?

crow2Who am I anyway? What am I? What’s my purpose . . . or is there even a purpose at all to any of this?

These are a few of the questions I have been asking myself over the years and somewhat (secretly or loudly) trying to figure out. Questions upon questions run through my mind like a junkie chasing his next fix . . . but usually the answers elude me and I have to experience a thing before I learn it’s lesson. . . . bummer . . .

Why can’t I just believe! Have faith! Listen to what they tell me! Read the good book, follow directions and queue up behind my choice of religion along with the rest of the crowd. Then I would just have to pay my tithes, listen to the pied piper and prepare for Heaven . . . or (gasp) follow this path I’m currently on and get sent on a one way trip to Hell. . . . “That’s the choice you have Jimbo . . . get used to the idea of Hell because you ain’t good enough for Heaven! . . . even if you had 15 more lives, you wouldn’t make the grade . . . Of course just say the magic words, ‘I accept Jesus as my personal saviour’ and your in scott free!” (see next installment)

I’m not really bragging, but I have a rather lengthy resume when it comes to experience on this earthly plain. In short, after a regular high school education, I have been an airborne soldier…been a hippie . . . been a religious nut . . . been an Alaskan fisherman and off season bush rat . . . been a carpenter/home builder. Am a husband . . . a father . . . a writer . . . an amateur herbalist . . . and a Taoistic Christian who lost (or escaped) the religious sides of both . . . The one great truth I have learned during all that time is that NOBODY knows their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to telling me, in a spiritual sense, what God expects from me. When it comes to living by law and order? That is a social requirement. When it comes to my spiritual life? That is a book only I can open and only I can read and understand and apply myself to.

I’ve run into a lot of folks who have tried to direct me in the ways of the Lord, or in the ways of God, or, worse yet, their own God ordained ways, but the only way that works for me spiritually speaking is MY way. . . . and MY way is fraught with dangers, because alongside of personal freedom dwells personal responsibility. . . and in this country, ‘responsibility’ is one of the scariest words in our language. Nobody seems to want anything to do with it. Look around, from the president on down and all you see are fingers pointing and tongues wagging  . . no wonder we are in such bad shape.

I once lived on a christian commune . The religiosities were enormous and the social order was as restricted as the military unit I once served with. I did all the right stuff, said the right words, even attempted to sing on key while singing for my supper, but ultimately I had to walk out on the only church family I’ve ever had because of the religious nonsense that got the best of me. I wore the proper uniform, but I knew beneath it all I was play acting. I knew I was a phoney. Was I faking it? No, I was sincere as I could be, but that uniform I wore was starting to rot and rip as bad as fatigues in the jungle . . . and I knew it. . . . so bye bye, miss american pie . . .

Funny thing was, a year later, I visited my old family and most of them would barely talk to me . . . HA! Probably a good thing I left. With friends like that who needs enemies. But by then I had grown a beard and you know what they say about beards . . . no? Don’t matter, different shit, same day.

Now, to get to the point . . . I am about to embark on a long winded writing on the subject at hand, not as a teacher, but as a watcher and 75 year experiencer of living in the american bubble. (that is about to burst) The main thrusts in these writings will be about: 1. Personal responsibility and 2. Never give in . . . never, never, never give in to doing that which you believe to be the right thing.

Now, when you walk alone and free there are rules, spiritual rules stronger than any physical rules. Rules that the whole of religious thought is based upon, the same rules that are taught in every religion on the planet and followed by almost no one . . . LOVE, MERCY, and GRACE.

I’m a builder. I build homes and just about anything else from musical instruments to dog houses. One thing I fully understand is that for a house to stand the test of time and weather, it must have a good, proper foundation.  It is absolutely essential. The foundation must be started below the frost line, built up and carefully backfilled. Everybody knows in the trades that most buyers barely check the foundation and spend most of their time scrutinizing the paint job. So where does the greatest effort go on the builders part? You got it.

The main religions on this planet are all pretty much founded on the same principles of love, mercy, and grace. But after that the foundation goes in and up in a heated rush, it can be crooked and out of level and ugly as hell, but no one cares after the plates, joists, and plywood are applied to cover the shoddy work. The rest of the house is hurriedly roughed in until they get to the paint job and finish trim. Then it’s take your time and do a good job time. Welcome to the large, expensive and beautifully laid out churches of today. Watered down money grubbers like Joel Olsteen comes to mind. What a sham scam that smiley mannered young man is fostering upon the zillions of people who believe his nonsense.

No wonder our kids are leaving the churches in droves, they are smart enough to see the degradation and want no part of it. Trouble is while they see nothing but phoney going for reality, they are also losing the reality of the principles these churches were built upon, and they become wandering stars with no direction at all. They operate in the physical sense of doing what feels good to them. They are swinging the pendulum too far to the left and suffering greatly because of their parents inability to walk the walk while incessantly loving to talk the talk.  

I don’t have all the answers, many I am still questioning.

I know for sure that I have no desire to teach, or start a club, or be a leader over anybody. I don’t even like people all that much these days. I have just one goal in these writings and that is to reveal to YOU that WE are powerful spiritual beings and are personally responsible for ourselves. And that we will never know any of that power unless we build the proper structure to contain it and we build it upon a foundation of love, mercy, and grace.

So although I may have a somewhat disjointed viewpoint of religion, I have researched it, meditated upon it, and it has become my reality. Because of that, the dusty old salvation story as well as the book it is written in has evolved into a new and very exciting reality.

Is Environmentalism A Religion?

Michael Crichton, author of State of Fear and other best-selling novels, delivered this lecture at the Commonwealth Club on September 15, 2003.

“I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer,” opens Crichton. “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

You can read the entire speech in PDF format at www.heartland.org/policy-documents/mankinds-greatest-challenge  . . .

This is not a rebuttal as much as my own viewpoint on the subject. I do not refute what Michael is saying . . . I agree with much of it . . . BUT . . . like Paul Harvey used to say, here’s my rest of the story.

In his lecture Michael relates the negative sides of environmentalism as well as the negative aspects of religion, pairs the two quite well and comes out with a savior called science. In other words he gives a good version of the old ‘science vs religion’ gunfight and  does it skillfully . . .  but to me it tasted sorta like overcooked pasta swimming in rancid tomato sauce.( I can see why Heartland.com would pick it up and post it on their website as it fits perfectly into their “big oil” agenda).

Now on one level I suppose you could say that environmentalism IS a religion, but IMO it’s not a religion at all. Religion can be anything from begging God for a new Mercedes Benz to killing children in the name of God. Religion is proof positive that few folks have even the slightest clue as what God actually is, unless they parrot for their particular faith.

This environment in which we live is much more than any of that, it’s in our face, it’s the root foundation of everything we know. We are hooked to it by the umbilical chord

Religion demands faith and the ability to read . . . science demands proof . . . the environment demands merely that one open their eyes and observe. If there is a God out there somewhere the only way we will ever see HIm/Her/or It will be through the natural world of which we are a part. The Artist revealing his work . . . that’s it.

Religion reveals it’s God(s) in a book . . . environment reveals it’s God via the things that are made.  Science is the study of all these things that God has made. Without the environment there would be no need for science Or religion to exist.

We may be able to argue ad infinausium about the depletion of fossil fuels, or the state of the ice field, or what Fukashima did (is still doing) to the Pacific Ocean, or the reasons as to why all those whales are floating up on Alaskan beaches . . . but we need very fogged up glasses or a very greed fucked brain not to see with our own eyes the true state of this planet we call home.

As a word of caution, it behooves those of us in the environmental movement NOT to make things up in order to make reality sound worse than it actually is . . . or to go all faddy urban greenie so we can impress our friends. . . this thing is serious, folks.

We need to come together and work in earnest using ALL aspects of this argument in unison if we are to ever win this thing for our children and their children after them. That means both religion AND science need to get involved in order to save this environment.

Religion (unless it’s way off norm) has the morality issue . . . science has the knowledge issue. . .  the environment in which we live IS the issue. What else could be more important?

In the beginning of his speech Michael Crichton said when asked, “What do I consider the most important challenge facing mankind? I have a fundamental answer,” opens Crichton. “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda.”

I agree with that . . . but if I were asked the same question I would answer ”the greatest and most important issue facing mankind today is spiritual ignorance. We have been systematically robbed of our basic knowledge and intuition by religion . . . we have been systematically robbed of our basic knowledge and intuition by science . . . and the state of our environment, without a doubt, proves it.”