An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible

As human beings we do have to make a lot of choices in our life. the first one is who we want to follow and trust. First of all those we consider our parents, but next we can see many human persons asking for our attention. People have written loads of books, but none of them can really compete with a master-work which has different styles of literature bundled together to offer us a lot of knowledge and advice for life.

Many do ignore it and neglect what it can bring to them.

Believer or not a believer in the Most High Divine Creator of all things, that book which Christians consider to be the infallible Word of God, has a lot of knowledge, wisdom and idioms we should look at, in it.

The Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings. It never pushes its ideas on others, contrary it tells itself that people are free to take it or leave it. It gives us one of those choices in life about which it speaks thoroughly. It let us see what happens if we go through life without seeing the many opportunities, without making use of the different choices laid in front of us.

The Best Seller of all times does not demand that we follow this or that rule or saying but it presents openly the different possibilities, the many choices we can make in our life and tells us also what the consequences are of our choices made freely or deliberately.

One of the difficulties of the Book of books is that in some way it can not be taken up passively. It is impossible to read or to go though it without having questions posed to yourself.
This amalgamation of works from the very old times is still accurate and actual, an authority that requires the participation of the reader — and, actually, the participation of many readers.

That it has certain powers can be seen throughout history. Many people tried to destroy it but never succeeded. Lots of people tried to break it down and bagatelle it, but did not succeed and even several negative people reversed their standpoint and became a believer in God, became Jew, Christian or Muslim.

This collection of books, as no other, can transform people. It has so much power, never seen by any other peace of literature or any written work of human beings.
Yes “Its power on its own terms—different from the power that comes from being expropriated by human authoritarian institutions — is power than empowers the reader. It is not power that lends itself to being concentrated in top-down structures but the power that enhances diversity and decentralization.”
The book of books breaths the Power of a much more higher Supreme Being, that surpasses all modern technology and human knowledge.

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To look at:

How the Bible works as an authority is a complicated and contested issue.

approach Bible as source of absolute truths that simply need to be heard and followed

“the house of authority” => three authoritative presences:

Bible revealed truth from God, official doctrinal statements (creeds, confessions, etc.)

Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings.

pick up Bible and read from it =>one will be struck by what we could call an epistemological humility.

Bible makes few claims for its own truthfulness.

gives us a bunch of stories that upon reading together, numerous times, does seem to have a kind of coherence

Bible’s message is invitational. The reader can choose to enter the story or not.

The characters in the Bible are quite human— sometimes strikingly so.

an on-going conversation within the Bible where different points of view challenge each other.

Beyond the internal dynamics that humanize the Bible and present a non-authoritarian kind of authority, we need also to recognize that the humanness of the text for us is reinforced by the fact that what we have in our English Bibles are translations made by human beings from ancient languages that at best provide us with what has been called “dynamic equivalence” where the translators can do no better than approximate the meanings of the original.

authority of the Bible =anarchistic = requires participation of the reader

Its power on its own terms = empowers the reader = enhances diversity and decentralization.

reader of the Bible, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, may read the Bible and find direction from it for oneself

 

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Find additionally: Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform

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  • Food for Thought-3 Things to Remember Before Starting a Lenten Bible Study (richardsfoodforthought.com)
    The Bibles we use emerge from two distinct ancient communities. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) comes from the history, people, and traditions of ancient Israel. The text of the New Testament first originates in the early Christian church. When I say, “the Bible is the product of well-intentioned human beings”, I’m not denying the existence of God. Nor am I disputing the idea that God inspired humanity to do certain things then record those events for posterity. I am saying the Bible isn’t a divinely created product in the way Islam regards the Quran. The Bible is a collection of many different types of writing (politics, history, theology, poetry, genealogy) which tell the history of how people understood their relationship with God.  Fallible people wrote our holy book.  God didn’t write or dictate words to a scribe.  There are contradictions and errors throughout the Bible.  Once we realize that God works within our mistakes, we can read scripture with fresh eyes.
  • Think Einstein believed in God? You probably haven’t read this letter he wrote in 1954 (deadstate.org)
    Some religious figureheads such as Ray Comfort claim that Einstein believed in some form of God and acknowledged a higher power’s presence.

    “Although he clearly didn’t believe in a personal God [like the one in Christianity],” Ray Comfort says in his book Einstein, God, and the Bible.

    “Einstein wrote that he wanted to know ‘His’ thoughts, referred to God as ‘He,’ and acknowledged that He revealed ‘Himself.’”

    But in contrast, vocal atheist

  • Christianity book speaks ‘with conviction and eloquence’ (gospeak.org)
    On their Facebook page, the Jundiaí School of the Bible wrote Feb. 10 about our new book, Cristianismo Original (=Original Christianity), by Joel Stephen Williams
  • Did Plato influence the Book of Genesis? (lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com)
    Now the belief among Orthodox Jews is that the book of Genesis is very old, but as the web page points out, there are no outside historically dated references to the book of Genesis until the second century B.C., which is two hundred years after the founding of Plato’s Academy. This all fits in with a general pattern I’ve pointed out before that Judaism isn’t as old as people think it is.

    Thus it’s likely that Genesis was not influenced by God dictating Genesis to Moses (who probably never existed as a real person), but rather by the scientific research and philosophy of Aristotle, Plato, and other ancient Greeks scholars.

  • A Unification of Creation and Evolution (robertjrgraham.com)
    When people say that “god created the heavans and the earth in six days and on the seventh he rested”, who can say how long one of god’s days is. Why are we so egotistical as to believe that his day is the same as our’s. We don’t know god (Most of us who believe in god do so because we want to not because we have proof.) but if there is a god why can’t his, her or it’s day be a thousand or a million or even several billion of our years.

    Chapter 2, verse 7 of the book of Genises states “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It does not state how long this took or what form the being we call man originally took. God’s image can be many things. We have no way of knowing. Additionally, although the bible is supposed to be the word of god, it was written by humans and therefore subject to human interpretation.

  • Big Brother has a lot to offer (georgehach.wordpress.com)
    We all have a big brother who would like to help us have a better quality of life.  His name is Jesus.  He inspired 4 books in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They will give you great insight into how to live better.
  • A Conversation About The Nature of God (thehardincrowder.wordpress.com)
    God doesn’t need us in any way, shape, or form. God would still be God if no human being ever worshiped Him.

    I do, however, believe that human beings (and all of creation for that matter) were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. As John Piper would put it “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

    God cares about what we think about him because:

    1. God is worthy of worship
    2. God loves us and knows that there is no lasting joy, fulfillment, or life apart from Him.
    3. God loves us and knows that apart from His love there is only wrath, destruction, and death.
  • Zionists Have Used Evangelical Christianity To Cheat Christianity (thetotalcollapse.com)
    It’s no coincidence that the rise of Zionism, that is: the impulse of the Jews to seek a homeland for themselves, began not long before the Scofield Reference Bible was published. In the late 1800’s, England is where Zionism first found political support. England was already awash with the erroneous “Christian” doctrine of British-Israelism, wherein the British Christians were taught that they were of the lost tribes of Israel; therefore they should support the Zionist Jews venture to create a Jewish state: Israel.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—January 25, 2015

[This post is a continuation of the conversation about anarchism that I have started in this blog in months past—the most recent post was “More thinking about an ‘anarchistic’ Christianity” on December 15, 2014. It’s an introduction to a series of seven or eight posts that give a quick survey of some anarchistically-inclined dynamics in the Bible.]

I have become motivated to pursue, as a thought experiment, an anarchistic reading of the Bible, for several reasons. For quite some time, probably going back to my discovery of Christian pacifism now nearly 40 years ago, I have found the Bible to be a great resource for thinking politically. However, it has been rather difficult to find connecting points between biblical politics and our current political landscape. I don’t find attempts to link biblical politics with liberal democracy all that attractive; likewise with Marxism. Yet, I also am…

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To Live Gratitude

Gratitude is also showing that you try to make the best out of life, even when you may encounter lots of difficulties.

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We should look forward and count the bad things which happen to us as a school of learning. A learning process by which we should grow. We also should keep our hearts open to reconnect which we have possibly forgotten one moment in our life. Because we are often so busy with the problems of life, we might forget to see the better things in life and the many blessings around us. For those we should be thankful, but also for the many opportunities we get to learn from and to give as more power to continue in what we do believe and in what we would love to stand for.

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All those who have the goal laid in front of us by Jeshua, Christ Jesus the Messiah, should join hands and strengthen each other, because, we know more times of trouble shall come over this world. When we can feel united we shall be able to endure them more easily. Therefore let us spread the Good News and the love of Christ and share hands with those who are willing to go on the same path to enter the small gate to the Kingdom of God.

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Additional reading:

  1. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  2. Frank risks taking
  3. Where is the edge
  4. Your struggles develop your strengths
  5. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  6. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  7. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  8. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  9. By counting our blessings we not only feel good, but we multiply our good
  10. 20 Best Gratitude Quotes
  11. Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health
  12. Wednesday Talk: Favorite Scripture: Rejoice always
  13. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  14. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  15. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  16. Making church
  17. A Living Faith #4 Effort
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  • Gratitude (dorthahisedevelops.wordpress.com)
    I count you as one of my connections via my blog as a blessing and I am grateful that you continue to follow me here.
  • Gratitude (adesaanusegun.wordpress.com)
    Maybe you’re thinking to yourself that there’s particularly nothing to be thankful for; you’re thinking, “After all, I’m sick” “I’m unhappy”; “I have bills to pay.” Well, if you’re a Christian, your life ought to be radiant and full of thanksgiving.
    Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Your prayers must be filled with gratitude, irrespective of what you feel or what you’re going through. Do not only acknowledge what you can see, rather acknowledge what God has done, because that is what keeps you living a life of gratitude.
  • Some thoughts to help deepen our gratitude. (adw.org)
    True gratitude is a grace, or gift from God which proceeds from a humble and transformed heart. In such a case we do not render thanks merely because it is polite or expected, or because God commands it, but because it naturally flows from a profound experience of gratitude. The “command” of Scripture to give thanks is not a moralism, but a truth and description of a transformed heart.
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    We are contingent beings who depend on God for our very existence. He holds together every fiber of our being: every cell, every part of a cell, every molecule, every part of a molecule, every atom, every part of an atom. God facilitates every function of our body: every beat of our heart, every organ and movement of our body. God sustains every intricate detail of this world in which we live: the perfectly designed orbit of this planet so that we do not cook or freeze, the magnetic shield around the planet that protects us from harmful aspects of solar radiation, every intricate visible and hidden process of this earth, solar system, galaxy and universe. All of this, and us, are contingent and thus sustained by God and provided for by Him. The depth, height, length and width of what God does is simply astonishing. And he does it all free of charge. As we ponder such goodness and providence we are helped to be more grateful. All is gift.
  • More Than a Little Bit of Gratitude (myanswertohiscall.wordpress.com)
    I praise God every day that I crossed paths with so many people willing to support my act of faith and give me what I now know to be a summer that changed everything. It’s not like I’m implying that by not sending cards they think that I am ungrateful, I just feel like the gesture shows how deeply moved I am by their generosity. It’s taking the time to go the extra mile and say very specifically that I appreciate their sacrifice for the sake of my summertime adventuring.
  • Giving Thanks (elderfieldsblog.wordpress.com)
    In Alma 34:48, it says, “That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.”  This would suggest that gratitude makes us humble and brings us closer to the Spirit.  After all, it takes humility to admit that all the good things which we have are blessings from the Lord.
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    If you feel depressed, discouraged, or like the challenges of life are too much, take a moment to be grateful for the things you have, then “[f]orget yourself and go to work.”
  • You can’t find happiness (ridethewavesblog.wordpress.com)
    If you just stopped your stories and had a good look around your present moment you would see that there is nothing to fear, there is nothing trying to get you or take advantage of you or that there is nothing that is trying to hurt you . . . and you may see that your want to “find” happiness doesn’t exist because happiness is a choice.  It is only a way of looking at things and acting with gratitude in every single moment.
  • gratitude 18february14 answered prayers (llpeltier.wordpress.com)
    i have begun to make different choices about the way i pray. first, i get raw and real with my God. The One and Only i can ultimately trust to not repeat my inner most thoughts. i have also started to pray with the thankful spirit. along the lines of the way i give gratitude every day in my journal and here. rather than praying “God, i hope you will ..” i now pray “God, thank you for ..”
  • The Magic of Thanksgiving: A Harvest from the Seeds of Gratitude. ~ Syma Kharal (elephantjournal.com)
    For a while, I did not actually embody the feeling of gratitude even as I wrote the things I was thankful for. But knowing that I had to write things I was grateful for forced my doom-and-gloom primed mind to notice the blessings it otherwise would have missed or dismissed.

    Then, one day, the black hole I felt in my chest started feeling less heavy. As I continued to give thanks for the ever expanding lightness, weight of depression lifted completely and every part of my life transformed.

    During that dark night of the soul, gratitude became a sprit-saving ray of light. I learned, as inspirational author Louise Hay writes, that “gratitude brings more to be grateful about. It increases your abundant life. Lack of gratitude or complaining brings little to rejoice about.”

    I had allowed myself to become stuck in self-pity, and in doing so, kept attracting experiences that reinforced my pessimistic inner monologue.

  • 28 Days of Gratitude (debbiepresnell.wordpress.com)
    I put up a bulletin board in the hallway outside my classroom entitled, 14 days of Gratitude, the number of weekdays between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The instructions were simply stated beside the board:Each day write one thing you are grateful for.

    The experience was amazing.

    Students were late to class because they were still writing….

  • Six Habits of Highly Grateful People (blogs.berkeley.edu)
    I usually take for granted that I have legs to walk on, eyes to see with, arms I can use to hug my son. I forget my son! Well, I don’t actually forget about him, at least as a physical presence; I generally remember to pick him up from school and feed him dinner. But as I face the quotidian slings and arrows of parenthood, I forget all the time how much he’s changed my life for the better.

    Gratitude (and its sibling, appreciation) is the mental tool we use to remind ourselves of the good stuff. It’s a lens that helps us to see the things that don’t make it onto our lists of problems to be solved. It’s a spotlight that we shine on the people who give us the good things in life. It’s a bright red paintbrush we apply to otherwise-invisible blessings, like clean streets or health or enough food to eat.

Misifusa's Blog

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To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble,

but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.– Johannes A. Gaertner

I just love when God/Spirit/Universe writes my posts for me by delivering the quote of the day!  The synchronicity is not lost on me; instead I am grateful for it.  So in true form, this morning’s email produced the above quote from a book called Contagious Optimism.  It’s a compilation of many stories from different authors and everyday people who share their optimism with you.  A friend of mine is one of the contributors to this wonderful book which I highly recommend.  Thanks JAngel for all that you do for me!

I try to live in gratitude ~ remembering to be thankful, saying thank you to the person who waits an extra moment to hold the door open for me and to, in turn…

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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

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    I believe in spiritual awakening. If I have a religion, maybe spiritual awakening is what it should be called.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

Opportunity!

In life we often look at the wrong things and are most concerned about futile matters.
Instead of looking at people for what they really are, and not how they dress and show off their wealth; discovering the difference between those who seem to succeed and those who fail. Because often people measure the success of people with their worldly fame and wealth, but they do not know the situation in the family and the social mess which perhaps may exist in the person his private life.

We should focus on the spiritual matters and look for the aim and purpose in life. In case we look for nothing in particular, we may find just that and no more, while the Creator God has so much more for us in petto. We just have to come to Him, trust Him and allow Him to direct our lives. Than we will feel the real blessings and shall be able to grow and let others to grow as well.

In our mind we should see the bright side of life, not complaining about lots of things, of a lack of time or opportunity, but making time to do the things we can enjoy and where we do feel good at. Yes, there are so many people out there who have made more out of the odds and little opportunities which many of us carelessly throw away, than others will get out of a whole life-time.

Like bees, they extract honey from every flower. Every person they meet, every circumstance of the day, adds something to their store of useful knowledge or personal power.

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Read also:

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  • Thankful for Creator GOD (thempactlife.wordpress.com)
    Even in the cacophony of  life sounds, can you find something to be thankful for?

    These simple things cause me to extend thanks for my Heavenly Father, Creator GOD.  I am grateful for the Creator of you and me.  Just like the different colors of the trees, you and I are distinct. You burst forth with color and light. You grow, change, and transform in your seasons.  Still like the tree, you stay strong and  resilient. Against opposition, trials, and tests, you stand tall, bold, and brave.

  • Wealth Is Not About The Money By Bob Proctor (dinarrecaps.com)
    One of the key concepts to creating wealth is to understand that money is not the goal. That’s right, I said, money is not the goal.

    Frequently people will tell me that they want to make money. However, I know it is not money they are really after. It is the things that money can buy and the freedom of time to do what they really want.

    While you may think this is an insignificant difference, it is actually the reason so many people never become wealthy.

  • {Taking Inventory} (live-brave.com)
    One might think that wanting to live for yourself and desiring the most out of your gifts, talents, relationships, community, or  job is  selfish.  I understand that passing thought.  Because I was one of those people.
  • Gratitude (mohammadhaizam.wordpress.com)
    gratitude is an intangible element that resides in us, all of us regardless of our own culture, background or religion. This is the only one feelings which if we learn to nurture in ourselves will cause a person to feel Rich beyond comprehension. Gratitude will make you feel enough, and more it caused you to feel great inside. Feeling the gratitude alone will caused you to be happy, therefore will minus all the stress which burden yourself, allowing you to grow which in turn create an opportunity for you to reach almost anything in life…. Among them is richness in Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, Relationship etc etc.
  • Bible Conversations Then and Now (conversationinfaith.wordpress.com)
    the Bible didn’t drop out of the sky as fully formed timeless truths. The Bible is nearly all story and poetry. God and people figuring out what it means to be in covenant together.
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    The one creator God creates order out of chaos. The one creator God creating a good world. The one creator God caring about the earth and particularly about humans.The one creator God speaks into existence the sun, moon and stars, which others believed to be gods.   Genesis, especially chapter 1, is a strong statement of faith. Little, unimportant Israel talks back to larger, more powerful nations and cultures.

Vincent Egoro

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. – Ecclesiastes 9:11

‘Time and chance’, what I call opportunity is available to all of us, yet many of us do not take it. We don’t recognize it. We look for it in distant places. We complain of a lack of opportunities where we are, but that is not true because there is opportunity where you are.

Opportunities! Every life is full of them.

Every lesson in school is an opportunity.

Every examination is a chance in life.

Every blog post is an opportunity.

Every client is an opportunity.

Every sermon is an opportunity.

Every business transaction is an opportunity…

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