How do you define religion?

Without spirituality, the preparedness to use the mind to wonder and to form ideas, religiosity can not come to existence, but with all sorts of rites and repeated actions to bring an outer sign of a faith in something religion may find seed and fertilisation in the aim to belong to something or somewhat.

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Today people may find themselves living in a world full of gadgets which promise them a lovely world to live in. They become more embedded in a wider world, full of tempting distraction from the real valuable things. Loosing all interest in the spiritual  our world we live in has become more secularized.

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As social welfare and general empathy increase, religiosity will also decline. Several people consider religion the opium of the people which will no longer be needed when they can get that “fix” from their government and community providing them with free health care, maternity and paternity leave, and help when they’re old or ill. Though we should know that only god’s foreseen Government shall bring the most complete and successful Kingdom.

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When a person uses his mind to think and is prepared to do spiritual exercise, opening his mind to the creation, he probably shall come closer to the Person or Spirit behind that Creation. Then the open minded person shall be able to find the Divine CreatorOnly One True God. With the knowledge gather the spiritual person shall come to understand he not only has to accept the existence of that Divine Creator. He shall also come to the insight he has to  stick to a moral code written in “their respective holy scriptures”. Their ultimate goals should than become to worship and to serve God as well as they can in the way the Bible, Torah or Q’ uran has told them.

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In Buddhism we also can find rites and also see that those followers of Buddha try to find enlightenment and escape the never-ending cycle of reincarnation, which is often considered to be a state suffering in the faith.

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Yet there is an obvious similarity between the Abrahamic religions and Buddhism; the concept of reaching a spiritual goal.

We would say this link remains there with Hinduism and in other polytheist believes where the people try to take care of their gods, giving them clothes and food.

If Vishnu is part of everything in existence, then there is a spiritual link between everything.

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Most religions have in common such spiritual awareness and goals, and people wanting to believe in something which can guide them through life, do not mind offering time of their life to show others that they want to belong to a group of people who believe in certain matters and want to use their body and spirit (soul) to take action for bringing those believes into life, by worshipping.

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We remember:

It is therefore not belief in God that separates moral organisations from religions, but spirituality is what makes an organisation a religion.

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Additional literature:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  3. Faith
  4. Soul
  5. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  6. Living in faith
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  8. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  9. Ian Barbour connecting science and religion
  10. Religion and spirituality
  11. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  12. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  13. Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ
  14. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ
  15. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  16. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  17. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  18. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  19. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  20. Experiencing God
  21. The Supreme Being God of gods
  22. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  23. Only One God
  24. God is One
  25. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  26. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  27. Preparedness to change
  28. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  32. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  33. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruit
  34. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
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  • The continuing decline of American religiosity (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    Grant’s post reports 61 years of measuring “religiosity” (the degree of religious belief) in the US, using statistics he developed in a 2008 paper (reference and free download below). In that paper, Grant combined 14 indices of religiosity into one, and developed a way to not only present that statistic in a way comparable among years, but to check its reliability. (You can read about the “validation” of his measure, the Aggregate Religiosity Index [ARI] in the paper at the bottom.
  • Moving away from formal religion – toward a one-to-one relationship with God. (findingtheinnerway.com)
    You have a yearning to connect with something greater than yourself. So you fill that need with a hodgepodge of spiritually-related activities. You pray and/or meditate. You read spirituality books. You take yoga, engage in mindful exercise or go outdoors to find a spiritual connection with nature.
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    It’s all about staying “in tune with the rhythms of nature and the pulse of your life”. In following your own path, you discover, sometimes through trial and error, what activities work best for you. In time, you create a spiritual practice that is true to you, removing the veil of religion, until nothing separates you from God.
  • Religion vs Spirituality, Part One (mettahu.wordpress.com)
    A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural practices and world views that codify the relationship between human beings and the spiritual entity commonly thought of as the Creator, regardless of what it is called in any particular language.  In the various world religions, “God” is known by many names in the various languages, even by people who practice or consider themselves members of the same religion.Each religion has a slightly different understanding of the Divine Being, and a different understanding of the relationship of humans to the Being they worship.  Religions provide a code of morality or code of conduct for their adherents.  They spell out what humans must do in
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    Part of the problem is that there are some who seem to feel that their own religion is the only one favored by God.  And yet these same people tend to ascribe to God the quality of omnipotence.  Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if God wanted only one religion, human beings would not have been able to create so many systems of belief?  And yet here we are, all 7 billion of us, with countless religions, some practiced worldwide, and others practiced by a few in local areas.
  • Science Vs. Religion: Beyond The Western Traditions (wnyc.org)
    In the United States, the debate between science and religion seems to be powered by a perpetual motion machine. The claims that Neil deGrasse Tyson’s inspired Cosmos series was anti-religious stands as the latest salvo in a long battle that generates lots heat but very little light. Having been in many of these debates, both formally and informally, I’m often struck by how narrow the discussion remains. That’s because often people don’t want to talk about science and religion; they really want to talk about science and their religion. It’s exactly in that first step that the conversation goes down hill for all sides.
  • Buddhism & Humanism: Two Sides of the Same Coin, Part 1 (appliedsentience.com)
    Buddhism and Humanism are two geographical sides of the same philosophical coin.  They’re twins with the same DNA, separated at birth, and brought up by different parents.  The same dish with spices added by different cultures.  Buddhism is Eastern Humanism and Humanism is Western Buddhism.
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    Buddhism and Humanism share a deep common core unique to them compared to other religions and worldviews.  To make this point I’ll start with Buddhism.  Damien Keown in his pioneering work relating Buddhist and Western ethics makes this point for Buddhism explicitly.
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    All religions and worldviews prize Reason and Compassion, of course.  However, all also have other ideals that they hold just as highly.  My point is that Buddhism and Humanism are unique in holding these virtues up and only these virtues up.  For instance, take the Abrahamic religions which put concepts like obedience, faith, and purity on the top of the list.  This inevitably creates conflicts which Buddhism and Humanism don’t have, like how faith often trumps reason, e.g. Galileo and Darwin, or obedience trumps compassion, e.g. OT genocides.
  • Spiritual Experiences Vital for Black American Women’s Mental Health (madinamerica.com)
    Spirituality and transcendental experiences are even more important than religion to the psychological well-being of many Black American women, according to a study in The Journal of Black Psychology. University of Illinois researchers noted that 84% of Black American women report that religion is very important to them; however, they hypothesized that previous studies had conflated spirituality and religion. “Where religiosity is typically defined in terms of participation in religious institutions and adherence to prescribed beliefs, spirituality is defined as one’s relationship with divinity and focuses primarily on subjective individual experiences of the transcendent,” wrote the researchers. They conducted surveys with 167 Black American women and found that experiences of the divine were the key contributing factors to mental health.
  • Does Record Number of Religious “Nones” Mean Decline of Religiosity? (religiondispatches.org)
    Judging by the media excitement over the latest poll illustrating continued growth in the number of people who answer “none” when asked with what religion they are affiliated, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seems to have pulled a similar trick for those interested in how religion is changing in America. “‘Nones’ On the Rise,” released on October 9 by Pew in affiliation with PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, gives the sense that we can see what’s really going on across the American religious landscape and understand it.
  • Owning our Health: In an emergency, do you respond or react? (blogs.vancouversun.com)
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    “The active and constructive religious response to Japan’s 3/11 catastrophe caught some by surprise and it has received fairly scant attention. But what happened may well stand as an important landmark. It shows what one leader calls the unconscious religiosity of the Japanese: an amorphous sense of being connected to something transcending the self, a gratitude to the ancestors, divine beings, and people in general. It is alive, he says, even within those who say that they have no religion.”Marshall concludes, “this religious story shows an important if often obscured face of Japan. It is part of Japan’s remarkable response to the disaster, part of the fortitude, community solidarity, and determination to rebuild that we must admire.”
  • Can you be too religious? | Giles Fraser (theguardian.com)
    There are Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus. No one practises religion, as such. And second, precisely because the word “religion” describes the common outward format through which these very different belief systems express themselves, it cannot describe each in its specificity. This is particularly tricky when it comes to Christianity, because at its heart is a figure who was thoroughly suspicious and condemnatory of religion.
  • Is Humanism a Religion? (appliedsentience.com)
    Religion may be impossible to define, whether we ask ourselves what the word means or what specific things count as “religious.”  In his classic text The Sociology of Religion, the famous sociologist Max Weber argued that “Definition can be attempted, if at all, only at the conclusion of the study” of religion.  However, as Nicholas Wade points out, and does in his own book, The Faith Instinct, Weber never defines religion – even at the end!

 

thoughtofvg

My teacher for Philosphy and ethics recently asked me to do some extra essays and background reading after i didn’t quite get the grade i was expecting from a recent exam.  I thought I might share a very short essay i have just done, as its quite an interesting topic. Before you carry on, this is my opinion on the matter and is open to dispute.

How do you define religion?

It is certainly difficult to explain what exactly the definition of religion is. If one attempts to describe it in terms of belief in God, Buddhism wouldn’t be considered a religion and comparatively, Any organisation or collective group would be labelled a religion if the definition of  “a group in which all members have  similar moral beliefs and goals” were used.  A more accurate definition would perhaps be found by comparing the world religions and by discussing what…

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Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

When one compares the cohesive developments of scientific understanding with the diversity of religious belief in the world you will find lots of variations and many different thoughts of which some will be contradicting.

We do agree with Theo Philo, who writes:

“I must admit with Baggini, the scientific understanding seems to have more continuity globally than does religious understanding.  Although certainly there are disagreements and different schools of thought in science, there is nothing like the full blown comprehensive, fundamental, and irreconcilable contradictions that exist between different religious traditions in the world.”

“In fact, people from radically different religious traditions often find themselves working side by side in the field of science taking for granted the same scientifically established truths on which they base their further inquiries.  It seems reasonable to suppose that such cohesion in the discipline of science is largely owing to the chief method of inquiry: induction.” {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

In the previous article you could find that we do have the things that can be seen and scientifically proven, but that we do also have things which can not be seen and which can not be scientifically recorded or testified. We can witness many things we can not understand, and in the past lots of things where contributed to either natural phenomena or gods, being which should have been responsible, because many people do not want to believe that anything can happen without man intervening or without a god causing it to happen.

Today there are still lots of people who do not want to know about God, but as soon as something serious happens in their life (a death, a serious accident, an earthquake or flood) they accuse God of doing that to humankind, though God has nothing to do with it. therefore many do question:

  “What is the best explanation for the observable phenomenon of the world and the universe?”

People are mostly connected with their inner soul (their own being), their psyche, their rational and irrational thinking. They would love to make sense of one’s own personal experiences of the world rather than global or universal phenomenon in general (which would need to include the personal and social experiences of people in general—including those of other religious commitments). {Theo Philo}

The subtle nuances of Hick’s pluralist hypothesis avoid claims that all religions are different paths to the same truth and accepts as a starting point the contradictory claims of the world’s major religious traditions, views that Baggini rightly excludes as untenable. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Faith should not always be the believe in a god or in the God or be the major element of believing God’s revelation without needing any human arguments to establish it. It is easy to believe in the things we can see, hear and feel. Having faith in the things one has good evidence of is not exactly ‘faith’ but more a believe that it is so.  Faith goes a step further than just believing those things we can be aware of or which can be proven scientifically. It is also more than having the experience of something but it is associated with that inner feeling for those things which not always can be explained. It is also more than the expectation that something would happen because our reasoning just says so and it happened so often before, like the sun ‘going under’ knowing that it does not go deep under the earth or expecting the sun rise, knowing it will not come out of the underworld to lighten the upper-world.

According to Theo Philo:

It seems right to reserve the word “faith” in the common vernacular to refer to belief in God, miracles, transcendent realities and deities in the absence of the “ordinary support of evidence or argument” and therefore either go beyond reason or [at least seem to go] against it (33).  The field of apologetics in the Christian worldview that seeks defend Christian faith need not be taken to presuppose that one must have good evidence and argument before one accepts faith, but can be seen rather as more of a defense mechanism against attacks of skeptics who claim that Christian faith is irrational, as Baggini understands it (93).

Faith is the belief in things not seen yet and having hope in that what the person beliefs would be or become a reality and part of its or their own life. Faith also does not have to be build on everything which can be made clear or would have to sound sensible.

Faith is not the same as believing.  Believing in nothing is also faith, because the person has the faith he is right and the other is wrong. As such atheist also believe in things, like the world is round or did commence with the Big Bang or with something else. They also might think or believe this or that may happen when they die or with the world in the future.

All people have to make choices in their life of what they want to believe and what they want to follow as something where they can believe in or have faith in. In Scriptures we are told that we do have to make choices to take care of our life. In the Book of books is warned that we should make the right choices to find the right path, because there are many directions human being can go to.

Faith is much more than religion, believe in the seen and unseen. It is a state of mind which demands action. In the previous chapter we spoke about the Soul which was presented by the ancient philosophers and storytellers as the Psyche or Eros, which had everything to do with love, which makes us heads turn round. That ‘love‘ is an action which demands an other action. So also faith requires action. It is more than just a state of mind, a state of heart, an intent, or emotion. Biblical Faith is so much more than the worldly faith which can do not much. We do believe the words of the Holy Scriptures which tell us that the Biblical Faith can move mountains.

Faith can be found on earth, though Jesus asks his followers if it would be possible to find it when he returns (Luke 18:8). After Jesus had rested his soul and was resurrected by his Father, the apostles their soul found peace when the Comforter had given them the power to speak about their faith in Christ. Today there are still many, but not so much, who still keep the same faith as Jesus and his followers. They feel they are ‘one’, ‘united in Christ’ having one master, one faith, one hope, one and the same direction on the path of Truth and aiming to enter together the small gate to the Kingdom of God.

” (1)  I call upon you therefore, I the prisoner of the Master, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,  (2)  with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  (3)  being eager to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace –  (4)  one body and one Spirit, as you also were called in one expectation of your calling,  (5)  one Master, one belief, one immersion,  (6)  one Elohim and Father of all,1 who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Footnote: 1Mk. 12:32,34, 1 Cor. 8:6, 1 Tim. 2:5, Mk. 12:29-34.  (7)  But to each one of us favour was given according to the measure of the gift of Messiah.” (Ephesians 4:1-7 The Scriptures 1998+)

Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto the Creator of heaven and earth. Those who want to believe in God do have to take the right steps and must believe that God is the Most High, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after him. (Hebrews 11:6) Those who have faith in Christ would love to have the love Jesus had for all those around him. And there where many people with different beliefs which came to see the Nazarene. The rabbi created a pluralistic community of tolerance where unconditional love was practised and still should be practised by those who call themselves Christian. Jesus world is one where the virtue of good deeds outweighs the virtue of formal creeds and where nobody imposes doctrines on others.

Religious authority may by many placed in a denomination. But the church or community Jesus had in mind is not build on an other than God and on the person Jesus, who should be the cornerstone. In case it is constructed on a book, it should be the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures. Faith and religiosity do not lie in an other person, or institution, but in ourselves. For all people in the community believe should continuously be growing and that should make the religious wisdom ever changing. God His Revelation is continuous and we all have to grown in His Wisdom. All are created in the image of God, believers but also atheists. All have the inner feelings or that what some would call “instinct”.

Faith in God and His son brings people of the same faith together to dwell with each other in peace like brethren and sisters and helping each other to seek knowledge in God’s Gift of Knowledge and Guidance, which can be found in the Bible. In Christ we are liberated of the chains of the world and should also be willing to give all others that freedom, to serve humankind in fellowship — “to the end that all souls (= all beings) shall grow into harmony with the Divine” — Thus do we covenant with each other, and with God.

Most Non-trinitarians or Unitarians do have similar views on our relationship with others in the world, Jesus, the son of God and his Father, the Only One God. They are ware that scientists have good reason to point at the natural causes of disasters. A great deal of the suffering and injustice in the world is owing to human agency, and it is up to human agency to set it right.

According to us those who do not believe in God should still have a purpose in life, and to make the best of it they also should have certain faith in something or somewhat.

Theo Philo quotes in Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

a purpose or meaning given to a creature by its creator just isn’t necessarily the kind of purpose or meaning that we are looking for in life when we wonder what the point of living is for us.  If the only point in living is to serve somebody else’s purposes then we cease to be valuable beings in our own right and we merely become tools for others, like paper knives or cloned workers.  This is why a belief in a creator God does not automatically provide life with a meaning.

We do believe the Divine Creator has implanted in every human being the capacity to think and to make choices. Created in the image of the Creator each person has some elements of God implanted in his or her genes. This makes that each individual can use his or her brains to find the truth. For God each individual is himself or herself responsible for the choices he or she is going to make on the path of life.

God does not want to see or is interested in people being content with being a slave to someone else’s purpose and adopt that existentially for himself or herself so that it becomes not just a purpose for somebody else, but for him or her also.

Baggini compares this to a cast system where a certain class of people genuinely thinks it’s their purpose to work for the aristocracy and the upper class.  This certainly puts a dark spin on the otherwise glowing boast of theists who claim to have a “higher” purpose. {Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

It is wrong to think

the religious has to take something on complete blind trust

The Creator wants people to consider what they do. He would love to see people who make the right choice because they thought about it and have reasons to make such or such a choice. We do agree that there are many religious people who actually don’t have any clue what the meaning or purpose of life is, but that they simply trust God has one for them.

Baggini writes in his book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

“there is still the troubling doubt that a meaning that is given to us by others isn’t necessarily the kind of meaning which makes life meaningful for us. … So God or no God, if life is to be really meaningful it must be so in a way which speaks to our own projects, needs, or desires and not just the purposes of whatever or whoever created us”

Such a personal speaking in our inner self, our inner soul, is what going to form us and shall make us into the being that we shall be at the end of the ‘ride’, the ‘end of life’, when all the books of our being shall be closed and we shall find ourselves facing death in peace or in angst.

When people start the race of life, they at first have not enough background to think reasonably and to put their words and way of thinking in good order. When they get older they should come aware of what is good and and what is bad, even when they do not believe in a god or in the God. As we become older and get more knowledge we can open our mind to the “Beginning of everything” it is the Divine Creator, so that He can call us. When He calls us it it up to us to decide if we want to listen to His Words deep in us and want to find His Words in the Book of Guidance He has given the world. Once called the ball in in our camp and we do have to make the goals.

On our way we can encounter all sorts of people and can read all sorts of book, which can give us more knowledge or can get us to think so that we can build up our knowledge to come to more wisdom. With all the information we can get we can come into a state where we do not need to have scientific proof for certain things. We shall have enough knowledge to know which works (books, documents, documentaries, films) we shall be able to trust. But we shall have also enough knowledge to get to know which words we do have to follow and to believe. The seen and unseen shall than not be so important, because the mind shall be constructed to find the necessary building-stones to continue to build in faith.

When we allow knowledge and intelligence create the background for our life and are prepared to change things, we can let faith conquer. when we reached that stadium faith shall be able to give life. Than faith does the impossible. Though we should be aware that faith has to be practised and that it is dead when there are no works to proof the faith.

“(17)  Now this I say, Torah, that came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously confirmed by Elohim in Messiah, so as to do away with the promise.  (18)  For if the inheritance is by Torah, it is no longer by promise, but Elohim gave it to Aḇraham through a promise.  (19)  Why, then, the Torah? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through messengers in the hand of a mediator.  (20)  The Mediator, however, is not of one, but Elohim is one.  (21)  Is the Torah then against the promises of Elohim? Let it not be! For if a law had been given that was able to make alive, truly righteousness would have been by Torah.  (22)  But the Scripture has shut up all mankind under sin, that the promise by belief in יהושע {Jeshua} Messiah might be given to those who believe.  (23)  But before belief came, we were being guarded under Torah, having been shut up for the belief being about to be revealed.  (24)  Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief.  (25)  And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.  (26)  For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah {Jeshua}.  (27)  For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.” (Galatians 3:17-27 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  So also belief, if it does not have works, is in itself dead.  (18)  But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works.  (19)  You believe that Elohim is one. You do well. The demons also believe – and shudder!  (20)  But do you wish to know, O foolish man, that the belief without the works is dead?  (21)  Was not Aḇraham our father declared right by works when he offered Yitsḥaq his son on the altar?  (22)  Do you see that the belief was working with his works, and by the works the belief was perfected?  (23)  And the Scripture was filled which says, “Aḇraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” And he was called, “Elohim’s friend.”  (24)  You see, then, that a man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone.  (25)  In the same way, was not Raḥaḇ ? the whore also declared right by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?  (26)  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also the belief is dead without the works.” (James 2:17-26 The Scriptures 1998+)

People of faith may look at the people of science and may listen to the men of philosophy, but they also should give priority to the Words of the Most High and trust in His guidance, trying to find out about the seen and unseen, and not just taking everything for granted, always should he be prepared to question things and to do his research.

Every day we should try to get more knowledge and consider that the Spirit fathoms all things, even the inmost depths of God’s being. For what man is there who knows what a man is, except the man’s own spirit within him? We should keep looking for answers and new things. From the beginning of creation god has given man the right to name things and to create things for himself. We should not stop trying to answer the many questions that come unto us. We also may look at the world religions where they may or may not worship a godhead. (It is wrong to think religion requires a belief in God. There has never been a universal legal definition of religion in English law, given the variety of world religions, changes in society, and the different legal contexts in which the issues arise. The court decided: Religion should not be confined to faiths involving a supreme deity, since to do so would exclude Buddhism, Jainism, and others)  The Christian religion or faith in God and in His son is all about not just A god but about the True God, though many of us may not know exactly what or Who He/She/It is. (see previous posting.) So, also, no one comprehends what God is, except the Spirit of God.  When we choose to follow Christ Jesus we took a stand and we should know that it is not the Spirit of the World that we have received, but the Spirit that comes from God, that we may realize the blessings given to us by Him.

We should speak about these gifts, not in language taught by human philosophy, but in language taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things in spiritual words.  The merely intellectual man, when he is vain, shall probably reject the teaching of the Spirit of God; for to him it is mere folly; he cannot grasp it, because it is to be understood only by spiritual insight. But the man with spiritual insight is able to understand everything, although he himself might be understood by no one.  For ‘who has so comprehended the mind of the Most High Supreme Being as to be able to instruct him?’

Real Christians, however, have the very mind of Christ.

“(4)  And my word and my preaching were not with persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  (5)  in order that your belief should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of Elohim.  (6)  Yet we speak wisdom among those who are perfect, and not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age that are being brought to naught.  (7)  But we speak the wisdom of Elohim, which was hidden in a secret, and which Elohim ordained before the ages for our esteem,  (8)  which no one of the rulers of this age knew, for if they had known, they would not have impaled the Master of esteem.  (9)  But as it has been written, “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man what Elohim has prepared for those who love Him.”1 Footnote: 1Isa. 64:4.  (10)  But Elohim has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all matters, even the depths of Elohim.  (11)  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? So also, the thoughts of Elohim no one has known, except the Spirit of Elohim.  (12)  And we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from Elohim, in order to know what Elohim has favourably given us,  (13)  which we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Set-apart Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual matters with spiritual matters.  (14)  But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he who is spiritual discerns indeed all matters, but he himself is discerned by no one.  (16)  For “Who has known the mind of יהוה {Jehovah}? Who shall instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Messiah.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-16 The Scriptures 1998+)

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Preceding article: Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  2. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  3. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  4. Experiencing God
  5. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  7. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  8. Faith
  9. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  10. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  11. Not enlightened by God’s Spirit
  12. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  13. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  14. Choices
  15. Always a choice
  16. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  17. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  18. To be chained by love for another one
  19. No man is free who is not master of himself
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  22. Choose you this day whom ye will serve
  23. It is a free will choice
  24. For those who make other choices
  25. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  26. Answering a fool according to his folly
  27. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  28. What’s church for, anyway?
  29. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  30. The one who has not had a taste of love
  31. Casual Christians
  32. Christianity is a love affair
  33. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  34. What Jesus did: First things first
  35. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  36. The Greatest of These is Love
  37. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  38. The task given to us to love each other
  39. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  40. God demonstrates his own love
  41. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  42. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  43. Unconditional love
  44. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  45. No fear in love
  46. When we love we do not need laws
  47. Love envieth not
  48. Love turns one person into two; and two into one
  49. Love is like playing the piano
  50. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  51. If we love one another, God lives in us
  52. Spread love everywhere you go
  53. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  54. Blessed are those who freely give
  55. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  56. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  57. Work with joy and pray with love
  58. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  59. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  60. Growth in character
  61. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  62. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  63. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  64. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  65. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  66. Parts of the body of Christ
  67. Breathing and growing with no heir
  68. God loving people justified
  69. United people under Christ
  70. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Additional reading:

  1. Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  2. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  3. Against Religion? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  4. Concluding Remarks :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  5. The Unitarian Universalist Church: A Personal Encounter
  6. What Evidence is There That God Exists?
  7. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  8. Direct Faith & Belief
  9. Understanding faith for our salvation
  10. We Have the Best Home
  11. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  12. Researching outside of the Bible – is it safe
  13. “Exercise Faith” / “Believe” and the New World Translation
  14. Why Watchtower has no place criticizing other Christian faiths as unscientific

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  • Why The Big Bang? (thebuybulljournal.wordpress.com)
    The difference in The Big Bang and Creationism and why The Big Bang has credibility and Creationism has none.
    +
    Believing in something does not make it true. No amount of belief makes something true.
  • Come on, atheists: we must show some faith in ourselves | Zoe Williams (theguardian.com)
    This week a 23-year-old Afghan man became the first person to be granted asylum in this country on the basis of his atheism – which, his lawyers argued, would have made life impossible in his country of birth, where religion permeates every aspect of life.
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    Australia accepts the principle of atheism as a belief to be protected, while the United States doesn’t. It’s one of those things nations can cherry-pick from the fruit bowl of international law without feeling that their “civilised” status is compromised. It may be the only belief of that kind right there in the 1951 refugee convention, but with no back-up institution vulgar enough to insist upon it. That is part of our problem, us atheists: we don’t organise.
  • The Irrationality of Relying on Science Alone: God and Science Are Not At War (stopsines.wordpress.com)
    I want to be clear up front that science is not the means to “discovering” God. Science is an immanent discipline. It studies this dimension of our existence. I have always been curious then as to why we’ve tried to use it to justify our belief or lack of belief in a transcendent being. While we hold that science only tests the physical reality, we do not hold that God is bound by the dimensions of this physical reality. By nature, he is beyond time and space. This is what it means to be God. What potter is confined to the size and shape of his clay pot? God is beyond or outside of our dimensions. This is what I mean by transcendent. This is why I say that science will never arrive at God. It is an immanent discipline, testing only what is confined by time and space, and therefore cannot discover transcendent truths.
  • Philosophy v science: Julian Baggini talks to Lawrence Krauss (3quarksdaily.com)
    Julian Baggini No one who has understood even a fraction of what science has told us about the universe can fail to be in awe of both the cosmos and of science. When physics is compared with the humanities and social sciences, it is easy for the scientists to feel smug and the rest of us to feel somewhat envious. Philosophers in particular can suffer from lab-coat envy. If only our achievements were so clear and indisputable! How wonderful it would be to be free from the duty of constantly justifying the value of your discipline.Philosophy-science-009However – and I’m sure you could see a “but” coming – I do wonder whether science hasn’t suffered from a little mission creep of late. Not content with having achieved so much, some scientists want to take over the domain of other disciplines.
  • Atheists Should Accept the Grim Truth Wherever They Find It (str.typepad.com)
    Atheists should point out that life without God can be meaningful, moral and happy. But that’s “can” not “is” or even “should usually be.” And that means it can just as easily be meaningless, nihilistic and miserable.Atheists have to live with the knowledge that there is no salvation, no redemption, no second chances. Lives can go terribly wrong in ways that can never be put right…. Not much bright about that fact.

    Stressing the jolly side of atheism not only glosses over its harsher truths, it also disguises its unique selling point. The reason to be an atheist is not that it makes us feel better or gives us a more rewarding life. The reason to be an atheist is simply that there is no God and we would prefer to live in full recognition of that, accepting the consequences, even if it makes us less happy.

  • A Bad Reason for Thinking that Atheism is not a Religion (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
    a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion.  But atheism is not a mere lack of belief in something.  If atheism is just the lack of god-belief, then tables and chairs are atheists.  For they lack god-belief. Am I being uncharitable?  Suppose someone defines atheism more carefully as lack of god-belief in beings capable of having  beliefs.  That is still unacceptable.  Consider a child who lacks both god-belief and god-disbelief.  If lacking god-belief makes him an atheist, then lacking god-disbelief makes him a theist.  So he is both, which is absurd.Obviously,  atheism is is not a mere lack of belief, but a definite belief, namely, the belief that the world is godless.  Atheism is a claim about the way things are: there is no such thing as the God of Judaism, or the God of Christianity, or the God of Islam, or the gods of the Greek pantheon, or . . . etc.  The atheist has a definite belief about the ontological inventory: it does not include God or gods or any reasonable facsimile thereof such as the Plotinian One, etc.  Note also that if you deny that any god exists, then you are denying that the universe is created by God: you are saying something quite positive about the ontological status of the universe, namely, that it does not depend for its existence on a being transcendent of it.  And if it does not so depend, then that implies that it exists on its own as a brute fact or that it necessarily exists or that it causes itself to exist.  Without getting into all the details here, the point is that if you deny that God exists, this is not just a denial  of the existence of a certain being, but implies a positive claim about the ontological status of the universe.  What’s more, if  there is no creator God, then the apparent order of the universe, its apparent designedness, is merely apparent.  This is a positive thesis about the nature of the physical universe.Atheism, then, is not a mere lack of god-belief.  For it implies definite positive beliefs about reality as a whole and  about the nature and mode of existence of the physical universe.
  • Are Liberals Too “Special” to Go to Church? (religiondispatches.org)
    New research from psychologists from the New York University suggests that the desire to feel unique can undermine consensus, cohesion, and mobilization—at least in political contexts.
    +
    Stern, et al found that “liberals underestimated their similarity to other liberals, whereas moderates and conservatives overestimated their similarity to other moderates and conservatives.”Further, the researchers found that liberals “possess a greater dispositional desire to be unique,” which, they suggest, “likely undermines their ability to capitalize on the consensus that actually exists within their ranks and hinders successful group mobilization.” The “desire to conform” among moderates and, to a greater extent, conservatives, likewise, “allows them to perceive consensus that does not actually exist and, in turn, rally their base.”Liberals, that is, emphasize in their beliefs, actions, and self-understanding uniqueness, creativity, and non-conformity even in the face of sameness. Moderates and conservatives, by contrast, focus on similarity and commonality even when little may in fact exist.
  • Atheism Was the First to Show Me Compassion (jessedooley.wordpress.com)
    what is the issue with the idea of God that pushes most atheists to reject religion and to see it as the supreme evil?
    +
    When the tribal deity is the supreme king, and that deity is interpreted from a fundamentalist, all-or-nothing approach, then nothing can penetrate or alter that worldview, regardless of the reasonableness of the argument.
  • Julian Baggini – Can you be too intelligent? (prn.fm)
    Our brains are incredible things, for sure, but without the motivations, desires and preferences generated by our animal natures, they would have nothing to do. At this time of the year, for example, we celebrate good food, good drink, good friends, and family – good or otherwise. From a purely rational point of view, none of these things would have any value, because reason alone distinguishes only true and false, not good and bad, better or worse.
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Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

According to a response on “Focus on outward appearances” some people might be confusing religiousness and spirituality with “having good faith in God“, with that God being the Divine Creator of heaven and earth.

spirituality shelf

spirituality shelf (Photo credit: professor megan)

Spirituality, which has not at all its origins in Christianity, is as old as the street, is a striking aspect of our contemporary times and stands in stark contrast to the decline in traditional religious belonging in the West.  Spirituality is about the quality of being spiritual and comes from the Old French “espiritualte, espirituaute”, variants of “spiritualite”, from Late Latin “spiritualitatem” (see spirituality). It was the church in the late 14th century  early 15th century made it to something which only could belong to “the clergy“. For the clergyman it was impossible that an other person than a qualified priest could know something about the spirit, the spiritual or spiritual life. for them spirituality became “ecclesiastical property; things pertaining to the Church“. The seldom-used sense of “fact or condition of being a spirit” is from 1680s.

The spirituality could mean or concern the immaterial, immaterialityincorporeality, otherworldliness, unearthliness. Spirituality can be the condition or quality of being spiritual but also the state or quality of being dedicated to a god or to the God, religion, or spiritual things or values, especially as contrasted with material or temporal ones. It is the involvement in an inner exploration of the meaning of the existence and the relation to the universe. To quote Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (2nd ed., 1997), spiritualism is an

“attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action,”

Spiritualism in philosophy is a characteristic of any system of thought that affirms the existence of immaterial reality imperceptible to the senses.

English: University library of Nijmegen: Encyc...

At the University library of Nijmegen a world of knowledge is available to the visitors. With the Encyclopædia Britannica people can start their quest in Spirituality and mind awareness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

So defined, spiritualism embraces a vast array of highly diversified philosophical views. Most patently, it applies to any philosophy accepting the notion of an infinite, personal God, the immortality of the soul, or the immateriality of the intellect and will. Less obviously, it includes belief in such ideas as finite cosmic forces or a universal mind, provided that they transcend the limits of gross Materialistic interpretation. Spiritualism as such says nothing about matter, the nature of a supreme being or a universal force, or the precise nature of spiritual reality itself. {Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia  Vol IX, p429, 15th edition,1974, 1980}

We may accept that it is the willingness of a person to take the attitude in his or her mind to have a broad sweep in thought, feeling, and practice, all pointing to the inner, subjective world of the spiritual being, the essence of live and the relationship of the human being with its environment, cosmos, plants, animals and different organisms.

It would be totally wrong to base it on an a priori theological standpoint, because it is rooted in the human search, in experimentation, questioning and exploring which existed already long before the theologians where born.

In the very old religions there was already long before Christ interest in the “dharma” meaning the “cosmic law and order” our relation in nature and to each other. The word Dharm means the “path of righteousness”. It is a path many people in the world have sought for through the many ages and it is the path the Creator wants His creation to find. Millions of people wanted to get deeper into their mind and did a quest for finding their own spirit. Spiritualism may be all about that, finding your spirit.

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians wi...

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians with witchcraft. This United States 1865 broadsheet also blamed Spiritualism for causing the Civil War. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religion Spiritualism, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living is something totally different. In the 19th century tension between the fanciful and the logical was made explicit, though journals denounced spiritualist beliefs in the supernatural, including “the whole business of mediums and seances”. People wanted to see how far they could go in the extremes of human folly, and if it would be possible to come in contact with people who lived previously. At the end of the previous century more Western people came in contact with Buddhism where there is the believe that we reincarnate after we die. such idea makes the people afraid of their present attitude because they know in case they are not behaving well they will reincarnate in a lower being to have a horrible life.

By the years people got convinced they could not escape the same inevitable destiny, of loosing our life. Death is something nobody can escape. We shall all die one day and many do want to know what happens when we die. They want to know if there is an afterlife and how it looks like.

By the end of the 20th Century, many had become dissatisfied with the Christian Church, especially the Roman Catholics, and had found they had many dogmatic teachings which were not in accordance with what was written in their Holy books, the Bible. Because this life did not seem to be able to bring the reasonable answers for the future, and not making them to come to full happiness, the hope to have more opportunities to grow until full happiness could be reached, looked the solution.  Believing in an afterlife for many meant believing in something which makes our lives more meaningful. With the years more people started believing again, like the ancestors in the early times in life after death and renowned spiritual mediums also talk about reincarnation and the existence of spirit world.

Also the branch of Spiritualism developed by Allan Kardec Spiritism, today found mostly in continental Europe and Latin America, especially Brazil, emphasising reincarnation is something totally different than Spirituality where people search for “the sacred“. That special thing which is “set-apart”, “holy” or “sacred” can be broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration,

“a transcendent dimension within human experience…discovered in moments in which the individual questions the meaning of personal existence and attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context.” {Saucier 2007.}

Religion may be considered as

“the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”

like the American psychologist William James (1842–1910) distinguished this personal, experiential element ”spirituality” within religion from the

“theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations [that] may secondarily grow up” around the experience ([1902] 1985, p. 31).

Viewing religion broadly as a transcendent and often transforming experience, he left open the form of the experience itself and the devotional object at the centre of that experience. Being religious is being considered to adhere a form of religion. This is not only restricted to the Christian belief like so many think. Shamanists, Hindus, and Muslims may be even more religious than many Christians are. 20th  and 21st century surveys prove many Christians are less religious than people from other religions. Buddhists, Sophrologists, Confucians and other eastern philosophical religions are more religious and much more spiritual than the sec Christian counterparts. For many Christians there is not at all a reason to go deeper in the mind of the self For many Christians spirituality is certainly not the primary and motivating quality of their religion.

Whether the religion in question, is organized or of movement status or mostly individual; and whether it involves God, Allah, the Supreme High Being, the God of gods, Jehovah, Yahweh, other gods or other-than-human guides and spirits, or the centre of the Self, or an almighty Nature or the Almighty Most High, or an Ideal held to be worth living or dying for, it often concerns looking for a special situation of the self, a Nirvana, Cosmic Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, the Void and a spiritual inner, experiential aspect of being not bounded by a specific Christian religion. It is a general region of awareness within which people of all sorts of denominations or religion may experience, not just think about, a higher power, the absolute, with whatever title or name they may be willing to give to that higher substance, or whatever label is used for that which is not an object but which instead forms the undivided ground of all being (Huxley). Spirituality can also refer to actions arising from such spiritual experiences, the human being looking into the matter of the immaterial.

The spirituality is the willingness to come to think about the matters of the universe and to engage one self in practices that heighten the possibility of spiritual experiences. In addition, those who experience spiritual levels of consciousness often feel called to serve, and spiritually rooted service takes many forms.

Spiritual experience can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, and transcendent. Spirituality is a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. The essence of spirituality is an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe.

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To be continued with: Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

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Read also:

  1. Living in faith
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. Religion and spirituality
  4. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  5. Childish or reasonable ways
  6. Words to push and pull
  7. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Making church
  10. Church sent into the world
  11. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  12. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  13. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  14. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  15. Happiness is like manna
  16. Happiness an inner state

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Additional reading:

  1. Is spirituality a passing trend? by Philip Sheldrake
  2. Spiritualism in The Saturday Review and The Princess and The Goblin
  3. Dealing with the inevitable
  4. Possibility of reincarnation?

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  • Research For Spirituality (f1mediaconcepts.wordpress.com)
    We asked a range of students what spirituality meant to them. The most popular responses included these phrases: 

    • Rest for your mind
    • Time to think things through.
    • Values and morals.
    • Inner self
    • Mind and soul
    • Sense of freedom and expression.
    • Religious beliefs and having faith in something
    • Ghosts
    • Afterlife

    +
    Another character we look to include is a religious one. We aim to show the religious aspects of spirituality through the means of this character. There are many angles that can be taken on this, but we have chosen to focus on the Christian lifestyle. We feel that this will be the easiest to convey and understand due to the fact that the majority of people in Coventry are of Christian faith  (53.7%) http://www.facts-about-coventry.com/uploaded/documents/Census 2011 Briefing – Religion.pdf (2011 consensus). By applying core values and beliefs of Christian spirituality we will develop the character and a narrative about how they react to outside stimulus. This reaction will also contribute to how we create generic conventions of the Structured reality genre. This is due to the fact that these types of documentaries are structured around drama and conflict. These conflicts will exist between the outside stimulus, other’s values and this character’s values.

  • Spirituality is a way of life (aaaglass.wordpress.com)
    Spirituality is not about a religion. Neither is it about gods and rituals. Spirituality is the ability to see  the spirit of the creator in everything around us , be it a flower or a stone. And then to act and behave accordingly. We come to this earth to live our lives, fulfill the purpose of life as we evolve, learn and teach others through our existence and then move on to another from of life as we go back to our creator. May I am not spiritual as I would like to be. But one thing is certain – I am not a religious. For me Spirituality is a principled way of life; it’s an attitude. There are a dozen attributes to life, to building a positive attitude, embedded in the very word ‘Spirituality’. Let me walk you through each letter of the word ‘spirituality’ (As mentioned in one of  the article of Rajashree Birla published in TOI).
  • Immaterial (lifeontheapex.wordpress.com)
    Just as theism contains a huge number of organized belief systems (and a potentially infinite number of unorganized belief systems), atheism, while not a belief system in itself, includes in its definition a wide variety of beliefs systems as well. A simple lack of belief does not define a philosophy, but once one has rejected theistic systems many secular options become available, including, but not limited to Rationalism, Materialism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Humanism, and secular varieties of Eastern religion such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism.
    +
    Some argue that ‘atheism’ shouldn’t just indicate disbelief in gods and other spiritual entities, but a complete rejection of all things immaterial.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “By this age, the ego strength necessary for self-examination may have reached a level where it can reflect upon itself, critique itself, and risk altering choices, and thereby values as well.”
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    “Only what is experientally true is worthy of a mature spirituality… A mature spirituality will seldom provide us with answers,  and necessarily so, but will instead ask ever-larger questions of us. Larger questions will lead to larger life.”
  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Wealth and Spiritual / Religious paths rarely mixes due to the fact wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path.
    +
    the choice is yours alone so I can not tell you which to follow nor fault you on which you choose. It is a God given gift of freewill that gives you the ability and right to choose your own path.
  • Consumerism vs Spirituality (theiamvibration.wordpress.com)
    Consumerism is a general term with different contexts and therefore slightly different meanings. In this context however, it refers to the materialistic lifestyle, concerned with the acquisition of material things through the process purchasing. In other words it is the culture of buying goods and services.
    Spirituality, likewise does not have a single set definition, because it is a culture so universal that it has a translation in every prominent lifestyle. It is the search of a greater purpose, better and healthier living, in faith of ascension to divinity. The pursuits of spirituality are immaterial in objective.
    The two are based essentially on two opposite premise, one material and one immaterial.
  • Spirituality and the Rat Race: can you maintain a spiritual focus in the 9-to-5 world? (findingtheinnerway.com)
    Can a working professional in a high-stress job maintain a consistent spiritual focus—or are the stresses of work incompatible with the contemplative life?
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    Everything in modern city life is calculated to keep man from entering into himself and thinking about spiritual things. Even with the best of intentions a spiritual man finds himself exhausted and deadened and debased by the constant noise of machines and loudspeakers, the dead air and the glaring lights of offices and shops.
    +
    There are some people who are perfectly capable of tasting true spiritual peace in an active life but who would go crazy if they had to keep themselves still in absolute solitude and silence for any length of time…what a hopeless thing the spiritual life would be if it could only be lived under ideal conditions.
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    Like all things in life, I suppose it’s about balance, about finding the happy medium between the working life and the contemplative life. It’s a fluid situation, with the demands of work ebbing and flowing—but then isn’t finding and defining our purpose in life fluid as well, a constantly moving target?
  • Paul Lenda ~ 9 Ways To Spot A Fake Guru Or Spiritual Teacher (shiftfrequency.com)
    The old paradigm of life-controlling and mind-manipulating belief systems has left many to finally realize they have been living in an artificial reality created by egotistical people on power trips. This has led to a situation where many are wandering, trying to find their own way in a world without many true leaders, and as a result of this, a new market has developed which attempts to showcase answers to those people who have become disillusioned with the old dogmatic systems.
    +
    There’s an influx of ‘enlightened masters of the universe’ pervading the spiritual sphere these days. Gurus and spiritual teachers are popping up left and right. Many of them seem to provide an easy way out of the voids many people feel they have within their lives, and as a result these gurus and teachers make a ridiculously massive amount of money… even earning social ranks akin to being glamorous superstars.
    +
    genuine spiritual teachers and self-growth coaches are often disregarded as being ‘false gurus’ giving out spiritual-sounding nonsense that lacks substance and is unhelpful for a person’s spiritual growth.
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    Our greatest joys and deepest sorrows are most often experienced within the context of family.
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    It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
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    Lack of spirituality in the home contributes in a different way, but nonetheless contributes, to children’s spiritual development. For many, they believe or don’t because their parents did or didn’t. Yet for others, as they mature they begin to recognize the spiritual void felt in their home and they seek out answers. Many children or young adults are introduced to religious matters through school, media, or friends. The lack of spirituality in their home perhaps causes them to desire it more.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    For many there is an additional more personal piece. You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In my opinion, Christianity is the only tradition that openly celebrates both spiritual paths. I can agree that there is no secret teaching, because both spiritual paths are out in the open for everyone to see. However, by definition, the esoteric teaching is the second leg of the spiritual journey. The esoteric teaching does not have to be “secret” in order to maintain its mystery. The mystery of the esoteric path can only be revealed when the exoteric path or first leg of the spiritual journey is fully completed.
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
    for me it has been and is the walking that is important, not any place that I might arrive at or achievement I might accomplish.  I think that I have discovered  a lot since I started, but do not consider myself “enlightened”,  just aware of who  I am.  For me this primary truth, a recognition that there was/is something  more to me (my soul)  than my physical body, is what allowed me and still allows me, to find meaning and purpose in life.
    +
    there is nothing you need outside of yourself.  Everything you need to know about yourself you already know.  Pursuing or walking a spiritual path is the way in which you will re-discover or access the truth about yourself.
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    “The Art of Conscious Living,” challenges the traditional view of spiritual enlightenment through abstract paintings each coupled with poetic verse.
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
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    The Same Thought …
    no saint can say anything different from other saints, because the God all saints revere is the same, except that Prophets down the ages have said things in different ways according to the social circumstances of the times.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com) + But is it my religion?
    I’ve heard it said that religion is having someone else’s spiritual experience and spirituality is having your own. It’s certainly true that some Buddhists venerate the Buddha or other teachers to such a high degree that they are just having the Buddha’s experience and not their own. I don’t do that. The Buddha warned us against doing that. He said, “Don’t worship me,” and right after his death, people started doing it.

    I really don’t think the Dharma of the Buddha is a religion—at least not as I practice it.
    +
    we’ve all heard people say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” I’ve always thought that was a little weird, but it’s probably relatively accurate.
    +
    I believe in spiritual awakening. If I have a religion, maybe spiritual awakening is what it should be called.
    +

    So I’m Told God Isn’t a Buddhist!
    In the East, there was a more pragmatic approach in dealing with reality as it presented itself. Taoism and Buddhism in particular face the real illusions of the mind with philosophies rooted in the nature of man—always geared towards finding harmony.
    +

    To define Buddhahood or Buddha as God is an impossibility as Buddhism teaches self-reliance and that every being is given the opportunity to awaken. Yet, since Buddhahood exists in all things, it really depends on how you define God. God has so many definitions, understandings and misunderstandings. And, tellingly, the gods of Buddhism must ultimately die.

    The core of religious belief is the understanding of a spiritual way to inhabit the world. Whether one uses terms such as God, Buddha, Jesus Christ or Krishna, does not change the intent. The tree is still the tree. The bird is still the bird. If you jump into a lake, you will still get wet!

  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Thankfulness is a practice that acknowledges that we really cannot possibly control everything that happens to us. It is therefore an expression of humility, one of the most important spiritual virtues.
    +
    Daily Teaching for Wednesday, December 4th
    Every generation believes that their children’s generation is something of a lost cause. The difference is that this time my generation just might be right.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    Renunciation of unskilful attitudes and behaviours is therefore a prerequisite for entry onto the spiritual path. Many people believe that spiritual renunciation means forgetting about the world and everything we know. However, this represents a mistaken understanding because rather than forgetting about or turning one’s back on the world, true spiritual renunciation means completely surrendering oneself to, and becoming fully immersed in, the world. In order to surrender ourselves to the world we have to let go of all our attachments and all our aversions. We have to let go of hope and fear. If we harbour hopes then we leave ourselves exposed to suffering. Hope means that we are not content with the present moment and that we wish to try and change it. However, the only way to really change the present moment is to immerse ourselves fully in it – hope stops us from doing this. If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    We all spend a great deal of time learning techniques.
    +
    Our techniques are a utility to learning how to interact with the current situation with unified body, speech and mind. Without a deep exploration beyond the shapes, the forms and techniques are fundamentally worthless for the purpose of the art – realization and manifestation of truth.

The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity

A passionate seeker for spiritual Truth wherever It is found blogs now for one year with ‘Purple Rays‘. This writer knows that we cannot all blaze a trail! But she is aware that we can all Light up our Corners and leave footprints of Light in the sands of time!

2008 Mingdau University Fashion Fusion Show: T...It may sound ridiculous that we as small human beings somewhere in this vast universe would be able to bring words that can change something in the world. But I am convinced we can do bring change, each in our own environment, and in case we join hands, we can even bring change in places far, far away from where we live. I may send messages from tiny split dark and wet Belgium, but looking at the statistics those messages are read more abroad than in the Flemish, Dutch , French and German parts of this section of the Low Countries.

Inspired by an earnest volition and love to share her thoughts with the world and to learn from the world, the writer brought already a few poetic musings while she seems to be aware that there is a battle of two wolves inside us all. She writes:

A war like the raging calm of the sea! A war with an ominous end! A war difficult for man to win! Since he feeds the wolves at both ends! Arming both friend and foe alike! Devout in prayer but wicked in deeds! Angel in words but evil at heart! How can he win the war and find peace? When he rides on the back of a tiger, And can only end in the belly of the tiger! {The Intellect Continuously Wars Against The Spirit!}

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Photo from Purple Rays category Engraved in gold series

Though there may be this constant battle in the world she also sees the solution that there is made available for all who want to grasp the Hand of the Provider.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1 CJB)

She is also aware that the gods and goddesses of old are not figments of the imagination but, nature beings existing through the Will of God and still active today. But I would not agree with her calling them ‘servants of God’. Perhaps they ever tried to be a servant for the Divine Creator and were made more than they themselves wished, because it was, like she says, mankind who erred by making them objects of veneration and worship! I think many of those gods created by man are not serving the Most High Creator, the Spirit God.

To 99% of her listeners, the Purple Rays writer is a Buddhist and for non-Buddhists, her person is defined by what she might not be; not a Moslem, not a Christian, not a ‘believer’, not a true child of God and even worse negative descriptions! But for those people criticising others they should know we all are children of God.  Whatever we may believe, even when we do not want to believe that there exist a God who created heaven and earth, That Divine Creator stays the Maker of everything and the Father of all.

It is God Who allows all those people and gods to exist, and He is it who gives certain qualities to people which they can use for the good or the bad. God has given every body the free will to chose which way to go. It is not a dictator Father who only allows His Ways. Every one of us can say ‘I go my way’ or ‘It is My way’. All received a mind to use and have the freedom to think what they want, to follow those who they want to follow and believe in. The only thing is at the end of the trip, we are ourselves responsible and shall not be able to blame others for our own mistakes.

All people in the world are given the free choice by the Creator to choose in what and in whom they want to believe. He allows us to trust and accept what others say. He is not blind for the many teachers, good ones and false-teachers, there have been and still shall come in the world. We too can choose if we learn something from beings like Buddha, Confucius, Darwin, Gandhi, Muhammad or would like to follow the master teacher Jesus Christ, Jeshua the Messiah and the son of God and the best or real Servant of God!

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect ...

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect begging at Oigawa, Kyoto. Begging is part of the training of some Buddhist sects. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Purple Rays publishes:

Anyone who is privileged to read the untainted, transmitted accounts of the life and times of these truth bringers, with an open mind, will definitely perceive the Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity by their missions on earth! With Divine guidance, they were placed at different times and in different cultures/races to raise the collective consciousness of humanity from one level to the other!
Through countless un-celebrated Sages as well as renowned ones like Krishna, Zoroaster, Lao tse, Cassandra in Atlantis, Buddha, Moses, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Prophet Muhammad down to Abd-ru-shin, mankind has received the truth unblemished! Each teaching dovetails into the other to form a luminous flight of steps: some at the bottom and some at the top, each forming an inevitable step in the stairway to spiritual maturity and emancipation! {Religion, Beliefs And Worship! (religionists are extreme believers of some sort!)}

She has good reason to believe that

If religion had evolved without prejudice like science and technology, today’s humanity would have recognized which piece each Messenger added to the spiritual consciousness jigsaw puzzle! They would have gone past bitter inter and intra religious rivalry, violent conversions, fanaticism and intolerance! They would have drawn the line between the truth and contrived creeds, dogmas and doctrines!
They would recognize and believe the truth irrespective of whether it issues from the mouth of a Bishop, an Imam or the Dalai Lama!

When people would also recognise the language of others, or all could come to understand and speak the same language, they would not have so much confusion and they would come to see that Allah is the title for God of All. And when they look further they will come to know That God, who can and should be recognised as the Divine Creator of heaven and earth. They shall come and should come to know that That Allah or God has a name which shall have to be known by many before the End of Times will come. His holy or set apart name being Jehovah:

2 And Elohim spoke to Mosheh and said to him, “I am יהוה {Jehovah }.” 3 “And I appeared to Aḇraham {Abraham }, to Yitsḥaq {Isaac }, and to Ya’aqoḇ {Jakob }, as Ěl Shaddai {The One Most High; The Almighty }. And by My Name, יהוה {Jehovah }, was I not known to them? 4 “And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Kena’an, the land of their sojournings, in which they have sojourned. 5 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Yisra’ĕl whom the Mitsrites are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 “Say, therefore, to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am יהוה {Jehovah}, and I shall bring you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites, and shall deliver you from their enslaving, and shall redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments, 7 and shall take you as My people, and I shall be your Elohim. And you shall know that I am יהוה {Jehovah } your Elohim who is bringing you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites. 8 ‘And I shall bring you into the land which I swore to give to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Ya’aqoḇ {Jakob }, to give it to you as an inheritance. I am יהוה {Jehovah }.’ ” (Exodus 6:2-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

Though there may be many gods in the world, the God of gods, the Adonai Elohim Hashem יהוה, Jehovah is the Only One God, heavenly Father of every one and Maker and Maintainer or Upkeeper of everything.

Every day we do have to be part of that universe This God of gods allows to exist. In it we do have to find our ways. Without fail and often without even realising it ourselves, we can and we do make some sort of impact on the life of someone else – either directly through our words and actions, or indirectly through our presence and example. We ourselves have to Sow and harvests in the garden of our own heart. We not only have to Control our destiny or somebody else will, we should be careful how we influence others and how we can have an impact on others.

Too many people do forget this impact they can have on others. We all should make more use of the power we have in ourselves, not only to build up or to make ourselves but also the power to change someone’s life, give someone hope, and change someone’s perspective. We should make more use of the power the Creator has given each person to inspire another soul.
Those who believe in That Creator should trust Him more and allow Him to enter their minds and to use them as a messenger, so that He can make us even more powerful and more extraordinary than we may realise and give ourselves credit for.

We shall be surprised that we can shift more stones than we ever thought and that people who see beyond any superficial (imagined) ‘imperfections’ shall be able to find and inspire each other. We also shall be able to meet people who see the magic and the Be You-Ty that lies hidden away in our hearts. {Extraordinary}

With every new heartbeat we may grow and find opportunities to look for wisdom in people their writings and sayings. Above those human beings we do have The Book of books which can guide us through our life as non other. The Words of That Writer, the God of gods, can transform us. And when we are wiling to take the many words of the world in consideration, thinking about them and putting them in the right perspective we can change with every new sunset.

We are not the same person we were yesterday, nor are we the person we will be tomorrow. Somewhere amid the challenges and the frustrations…  the successes and the setbacks… and the hardships and moments of happiness… our cocoon transforms into a butterfly. {Transformation}

When we look at the world, we notice that beauty is born out of every day tensions, suspense, pressure, anxiety and that the beauty is In these tensions because these tensions are called Life.

And life is beautiful.

Let’s remember this season when we are facing again a year coming to its end, soon to face a new year in the ever evolving world, that  there is a reason for everything we are now going though in our lives.

In moments of self-reflection, let’s remember how much we have transformed…and how far we’ve come.

And lets smile at who we have become…and who we are becoming. {Transformation}

World citizen

World citizen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Anne Radmacher said:

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Laugh. Play with abandon. Fail with enthusiasm. Continue to learn. Love well. Appreciate your friends. Practice wellness. Choose with no regrets. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

Autumn reminds us how life can be so short and soon be taken away. It is the now that we do have to live. It is the now we do have to make it. We should not hesitate. We should not postpone until to morrow or until later, to become until never, forbearance being no acquittance. Do not tempt that all would not be lost that is delayed. Be sure that tomorrow never comes for such people.

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Preceding:

Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

Please do find to read:

  1. Change
  2. Only I can change my life
  3. Time for global change
  4. The wrong hero
  5. Idolatry or idol worship
  6. Worship and worshipping
  7. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  8. The manager and Word of God
  9. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  10. Did the Inspirator exist
  11. God Helper and Deliverer
  12. God is one
  13. God of gods
  14. Only one God
  15. Attributes to God, titles ascribed to Him or Names given to JHWH, the God of gods.
  16. One God the Father, a compendium of essays
  17. Full authority belongs to God
  18. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  19. God about His name “יהוה“
  20. Praise the God with His Name
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  24. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  25. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  26. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  27. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  29. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  30. The Divine name of the Creator
  31. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  32. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  33. Who Is Jehovah?
  34. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  35. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  36. Jesus Messiah
  37. Jesus spitting image of his father
  38. Servant of his Father
  39. Religious Practices around the world
  40. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  41. The Trinity – the Truth
  42. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  43. About a man who changed history of humankind
  44. The Christ, the anointed of God
  45. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  46. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  47. Promise of Comforter
  48. The inspiring divine spark
  49. Fearing the right person
  50. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  51. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  52. Communion and day of worship
  53. En Soma: One Body
  54. Parts of the body of Christ
  55. What part of the Body am I?
  56. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  57. United people under Christ
  58. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  59. Making church
  60. A learning process for each of us
  61. Chief means by which men are built up
  62. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  63. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  64. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  65. Being of good courage running the race
  66. Fellowship
  67. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  68. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  69. Church sent into the world
  70. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  71. Careful what you sow, it might grow
  72. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  73. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  74. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  75. Faith related boycotts
  76. Quit griping about your church
  77. Migrants to the West #6
  78. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  79. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  80. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  81. Gods hope and our hope
  82. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  83. Only worship the Creator of all things

Additional reading:

  1. Will God’s People Be Stumbled By The Name Of Jehoshua?
  2. Jesus – The Promised Messiah
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. The Father (Jehovah) is God Alone
  5. Is God comprised of three persons, or is He just one person?
  6. What Does the Bible Say About Free Will? Is God in Control?

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  • Declaring Your Power (thedivinecovenant.wordpress.com)
    Let it be known to all past, present and future, that this most sacred Covenant known as Pactum De Singularis Caelum, also known as the Covenant of One Heaven, is registered, recorded and recognized in all Heaven and the Universe as the deed that has lawfully conveyed any and all property back to the Society of One Heaven, so that no Level 6 Life Form, person, higher order spirit, entity or aggregate may claim to hold separate title, possession, occupation or ownership of property, unless it has been legitimately granted through the Society of One Heaven or an associated entity;
  • Immeasurably More (poynterjourney.wordpress.com)
    I love the word “immeasurably” – too large to measure! That is our God! He is able to do more than we could ever think or imagine because He is the bomb like that!I think we underestimate God way too much.  We put Him in our mind like He is a human.  Humans fall short, humans fail, humans let each other down.  God is not a flawed human – He’s a Perfect God and He loves you beyond what you could ever imagine.
  • “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” The DalaiLama (pocketperspectives.wordpress.com)
    Sometimes, it might seem easy to access a sense of kindness. Other times, it seems, at least for me, a bit more “challenging.”  ( “whenever possible” seems to be my range… “always possible” is an aspiration: “look, far away there  in the distance are my highest aspirations”...Louisa May Alcott )
  • An Encounter with the Dalai Lama (asiasketches.wordpress.com)
    If there was a reason we chose McLeod Ganj, it was to be in the Himalayas and encounter a bit of Tibetan culture. We had no idea we would attend a teaching by the Dalai Lama.
    +
    Buddhists must first respect all religions. First respect, then learn, understand. Buddha not want all the world Buddhist, not want all Buddhist teach Buddhism” and I try in vain to imagine the leaders of other major religions saying something similar.He relates the importance of religious pluralism and then says, “OK, so, let’s have some tea,” and releases a deep sincere belly laugh as he raises his cup. The seated admirers raise cups and drink and eat their biscuits.
  • “If you think y… (js250226.wordpress.com)
    “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito.”- Dalai Lama XIV
  • Pope Francis I: The Catholic Dalai Lama? (elephantjournal.com)
    Pope Francis:“It is clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbours or when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference to the content of their religious convictions.”
  • Gerald O’Donnell ~ Happy Thanksgiving 2013 And Beyond (shiftfrequency.com)
    It is customary in many countries around the world and part of ancient traditions to join in thanksgiving festivities addressed to the Creator for the bounties and the harvest that have been bestowed upon each of us in the prior year.This tradition is not only part of the new world but is as old as mankind’s birth as an organized family and community.
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    What really counts is what is alive: humanity, and its living environment of the natural world. What counts is what has consciousness, which is part of the Divine, and not what is but dead matter and dying dreams created by fear and lack-oriented consciousness.

    What really counts is to decide, in common accord, to enter a bountiful oriented consciousness, that knows that all that is needed is already present, some of it in yet unmanifest format, ready to be discovered and activated by us, but most of it already in manifested format.

    What is needed, is to dream and act for the good of all humanity and be willing to gift unconditionally in the name of unconditional Love your presents, and presence to all, without expecting anything in return, as a mother or a father would want to gift to their child.
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    You will notice that all other old forms of lack and fear-based systems have all been fundamentally strengthened in recent times, on purpose, as a lesson for all of humanity to feel their painful consequences. These will soon be witnessed, by all of you, as fully and terminally imploding under their own weight as they show us the misguided choices and roads they caused us to travel and travail in hardship for thousands of years.

  • Unpacking Unthankfulness (ccmirvine.org)
    … we are minimizing God’s grace and goodness and trampling on His glory by belittling what He has done for us? Unthankfulness isn’t just a rude or inconsiderate act, it is an affront to God Himself. That is how unthankfulness is offensive to God.
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    We have seen the offensiveness of unthankfulness, but what about the effect that this sin has on us?
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    If we do not destroy this sin of unthankfulness, it has the potential to destroy us.
  • All BEings are Divine (amuseinharmony.wordpress.com)
    all beings, including human beings are divine manifestations of Creator Source on the physical earth plane materialized in various forms for the purpose of expansion. the earth is mother to us all. we are organisms formed from her womb. as she ascends, so shall we. the mother loves her humans as she does all creatures or our existence would no longer be. our love and unity with her and all her inhabitants is our duty as earth walkers.
    "Mother Earth" by Karl Bang
  • Words Of God (thedivinecovenant.wordpress.com)
    Before any higher order society, religion, or civilization existed within the star system we call the Solar System; Before the first thoughts, symbols or words were ever conceived, drawn or uttered by our higher order flesh ancestors; Before even matter itself existed, the idea of existence did exist in the form of that which we call God, the Universal, the Absolute, the ALL, the Divine Unique Collective Awareness;
  • Tibet in India (asiasketches.wordpress.com)
    Repression of the Tibetan way of life in Tibet and the draw of education at the Tibetan Children’s Village in McLeod Ganj pull these children to India. The stronger magnet, however, is the chance to see and be in the presence of the 14th Dalai Lama, who lives in McLeod Ganj. For Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is the closest thing to a god that exists. In China, Tibetans have been led to believe that he died in 1960.
  • Dalai Lama speaks on harmony to religious followers at Tokyo temple (japandailypress.com)
    The famous leader went on to explain that most of the problems humans encounter are of their own making, and thinking that they are all different from one another. This kind of thinking has a tendency to separate people instead of uniting them. His speech centered on the essential “oneness” of all people and emphasized on the divisiveness that comes with focusing on the “them” and “us,” rather than on the “we”, as a whole. Religious harmony is one thing that His Holiness has committed himself to, and hopes that it is something that Japan can contribute to as well.
  • China vows to silence Dalai Lama in Tibet (nation.com.pk)
    The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, says he advocates greater autonomy for Tibetans rather than independence.
    Chen referred to Tibet as “a front line of the struggle against separatism” and vowed to “strengthen the role of party committees at every level, as the sole power”, in the editorial.
    Tensions between Tibetans and the Chinese government continue run high, with more than 120 members of the minority setting themselves on fire in protest in recent years, leading to a security crackdown.

Preparedness to change

When we are looking for the reasons why we are here and what we have to do why, we should try to get an open mind and to look at all sorts of things, wondering what others think and why.

Today many of us are not pleased with what is going on in the world and would look to see some change. But before we can see some change we ourselves do have to be willing to change as well.

English: Matthieu Ricard in Tibet Français : M...

Matthieu Ricard in Tibet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matthieu Ricard, scientist turned Buddhist monk and a best selling author, translator, and photographer, who has lived and studied in the Himalayas for more than 35 years. says:

if we want to change, obviously we need to need to first act on the emotions, and this will help change our moods, which will eventually stabilize as a modified temperament. In other words, we must start by working with the instantaneous events that take place in our minds. As we say, if we take care of the minutes, the hours will take care of themselves.

To be able to act on the emotions first of all we do need to recognise these emotions and secondly should make ourselves able to distance from them to examine them properly. Mostly we are inner-bound with our own actions and reactions, guided by our way of thinking and our traditions. How we are brought up as a child is going to be the basic foundation for our analysing and feeling.

So one of the key points has to do with the way the chaining of thoughts occurs, the way one thought leads to another.

That what happened in the past, the things we encountered in previous days and years, the things we heard from our parents and beloved ones, will give us ideas of what had happened, what decisions where taken, what the consequences where.

Ricard says:

‘You can look at your experience like a fire that burns. If you are aware of anger you are not angry you are aware. Being aware of anxiety is not being anxious it is being aware.’ By being aware of these emotions you are no longer adding fuel to their fire and they will burn down.

Would it therefore not be bad to look in the past with other eyes? When we have found the Word of God and got into the readings of the Bible, would this not give an other insight? When we then would look back we should have, with our ‘other eyes’ an other viewpoint. It would not be so much a ‘staring back’ but better a ‘‘reviewing back’  and a  ‘retraining back’ .

When we instead of staring are overlooking everything ‘from outside’, with a neuter attitude, we will be able to take distance in person from the facts and the emotions. Sometimes it is better to put away the emotions to come to a better view and better understanding. Our personal feelings often blind us. By taking personal distance we would be able to let its apparent solidity melt away and let personal bounded thought vanish without giving birth to a chain of other personal thoughts.

The point is not to try to block the arising of thoughts – this is not possible anyway – but not to let them invade our mind. We need to do this again and again because we are not used to dealing with thoughts in that way. We are like a sheet of paper that has been rolled for a long time. If we try to flatten it down on the table, it will roll again the moment we lift our hands. This is where the training takes place.

says Matthieu Ricard who thinks we do need to practice Buddhism, but overlooks that in Christianity we should have the same reflection as our Master Teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who looked to this world from the viewpoint of his Father, the Creator God. We also should always wonder “What Would Jesus Do” (WWJD) and “How Would Jesus React” (HWJR). How would Jesus meet with others, talk to sinners, help those in need?

What Ricard says abnout Buddhism is also true for us, who call ourselves Christian:

“We are talking about how to help society. If we aspire to contribute something to our society – to achieve a new vision of things – we need to begin with ourselves. We need to decide to transform ourselves, and that can come only through training, not through fleeting ideas.

To fulfil our life goal we do have the infallible Word of God, which can give us insight and guidance for future days. To benefit from it we only should have to open our eyes and put away our previous predisposed ideas of our own self in this world. All bias we should abandon and liberate our mind by letting the Word of God shape us in all integrity. Merging the ideas of several minds, looking into the Word of God and than using our own emotional Intelligence we can let the Holy Spirit work in us by allowing time for Him to be in us, bringing contemplative practices into our own world, the workplace and therefore into the world. To be able to become transformed by the Bible, we should be willing to take time to concentrate on the Word of God and to let it come into us personally.

Psalm 119:105 "Your Word is a Lamp to my ...

Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Photo credit: UnlockingTheBible)

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Please read:

  1. Wisdom from Matthieu Ricard > original Wisdom from Matthieu Ricard
  2. and: “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama“, Daniel Goleman
  3. A living change
  4. Time for global change
  5. Only I can change my life
  6. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
  7. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships

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English: Emotions Q-sort

Emotions Q-sort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • what is the happiest person in the world saying? (hunt4truth.wordpress.com)
    A friend wants to know if I’m still Christian. Yes, I am. Everything that I’m referring to from science and new age and Buddhist teachers is complimentary with Jesus’s teachings. I posted a couple of the most important Christian practices–in my opinion, 1 John (NIV) and the Our Father prayer are essential in Christian belief.
  • change from within (hunt4truth.wordpress.com)
    Happiness and joy may stimulate compassion and compassion may stimulate happiness and joy. This is ideal. This may then be noticed to be increasing positive energy, empathy, pro-social behavior, and the change within may serve as the kernel of an evolving moral-ethical framework.
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    Starting off into a new day, there is something to learn and something to share — what that is comes to me at the end of my morning meditation — I don’t really even think about it until time comes after I remind myself, “This is my wonderful journey of self discovery. Love envelopes me and the gentle waves of peaceful waters and the light shine from my mind into the world around me.”
  • How to Argue for the Existence of God (omigassplus.wordpress.com)
    Anyone who feels God, can see and feel God inside them. They live inside God. God lives inside them. They see God as an energy that penetrates them and fills them up inside. They feel God as an energy around them and within them. They feel God touch them in their special places. They realize that God is a higher faith, a greater presence. They crave Him. They want to feel his love fill them up inside. Without God, they feel empty, unloved, lonely. Only with God inside them can they feel whole again.