What Matters?

vcxa8286Ten things that matter most to me in this life are:

Love — It is the most precious of gift of all.

Nourishment — Air, Water, and Food — These are necessities. Life must have access to clean air, clean water and food to sustain itself.

Free Speech — Ideas must never be censored whether one agrees with them or not.

A Belief In Yourself — No one is more deserving of your trust and love than you.

Solitude — Solitude is refuge for the soul. Learn to incorporate it into your life.

Dreams — They are the windows into your life. Dreams do not always lead to reality, but they always lead to possibilities. Welcome them, even your nightmares have something to tell you.

Promises — Keep the ones you make. They are the foundation of trust.

Creativity — When you realize you are more than a creation — Create!

Freedom — To believe whatever you choose to believe and not be punished for that belief as long as no one is harmed because of it.

Death — It is inevitable for every living creature. Learn to accept and to live with its reality.

Beliefs Part II

Every act is a statement of your beliefs. What you believe is so ingrained with the consciousness and with the body that you and its reflection are one. A man cannot be separated from his beliefs any more than he can be separated from his soul. A change of belief can occur when a belief no longer serves the individual and a conscious choice is made to let the belief go. Those individuals who took the lives of innocent people last week in Paris were called terrorists in the news media, but to their supporters they were the oppressors of the infidels. They were heroes. In his day, Jesus was considered a religious fanatic and the Minutemen who fought against the British in US history were considered terrorist by their enemies and freedom fighters by their supporters. “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.”

We have been fighting the wars of fanatical religious beliefs since man first created a belief in invisible gods and set about to gain followers. The Crusades are still happening. Nations have beliefs also and expect their citizens to maintain those beliefs. The state of Israel is a perfect example. They call the Palestinians terrorists to justify their insane aggression against mostly innocent women and children. The state has also banned any demonstrations by their own citizens in protest to the state’s aggressive policies. Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, there were world wide protest. GW Bush made a public statement that US policy was not determined by world opinion. He invaded a country based upon the false belief they had and were planning to use WMD. More so, he convinced the world that a lie was true. I lost all respect for Collin Powell the day he appeared at the UN to spread a lie onto the world. A belief in the form of a lie was justification for one nation to destroy another through military might.

If there is a need to convince others of your belief, then that belief is in doubt. A belief needs no other support than for one person to believe it. If others adopt someone’s belief as their own, that is a choice, but to punish, kill, or destroy those who believe differently shows the inherent weakness of that belief and of our society. It’s the religious crusades being acted out on a daily bases. It is the battle of my god is better than your god all over again. Unfortunately it is a war without end, and as always in such wars, the innocent suffer the greatest loss.

Beliefs Part I

In the battle of beliefs. Who wins? Might? Wisdom? Gods? Beliefs are always right of course, at least to those who hold a particular belief. Why would anyone believe something they do not believe is true? We are conditioned to believe what we believe. The course of this planet’s existence following the dawn of humankind has been led by beliefs. We once believed the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that Pluto was a planet. All the major revolutionary events of history were founded on the strength or weakness of a belief: political, social, economic, scientific, or religious. My invisible god is better than your invisible god. My political system provides the greater good for the greatest number. And my favorite, “We will bury you!” The strength of my belief is backed by my military might. What would my life be like if I did not have to believe in anything at all?

A belief is always true to the individual who believes it to be true. A belief takes me outside of myself. A belief can result in an individual sacrificing one’s life to the belief.

As a child, I believed in the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause and the boogyman but eventually I out grew those beliefs. That is the thing about any beliefs. They don’t seem to stick around for too long at least not to the philosopher in me but for the poet, it is a different story. The poet believes in beauty, joy, love, the curve of a woman’s body, and the endless possibilities in a child’s eyes. These are beliefs having to do with ascetics of life but very little to do with fanaticism. One could, I imagine be a fanatic in love to the point of narcissism or self sacrifice. This is the closest I have ever come to the experience of fanaticism, but I did not think my action fanatical at the time, more of loss and despair. Despair can be a fanaticism, I suppose, but not one chosen, like a religion or political party.

I have never believed in anything strongly enough to make the ultimate sacrifice of my life. I have experienced moments of euphoria, of ultimate despair, but never have I believed in a cause for which I would sacrifice my life. Life is too important a gift to be taken lightly. I would not fight for my country’s belief and would not have gone to Viet Nam, if drafted. My “number” was never called.

If I have a belief, at this time in my life, it is that the perfect exists in everything. It’s the yin, yang balance of existence. We must experience both in order to see one, for the one would be unknown without the other. We cannot know the experience of light without the experience of darkness. Although this is my belief, I do not know that I would sacrifice my life for it. Perhaps this belief has not been tested to the point of sacrifice. How many lives have been lost since the dawn of humankind because of what someone believed was true?

The central beliefs of the inhabitants of the planet have religious roots, bound with religions dogmas created to serve man, or was man created to serve religion? When did the belief in an invisible god take over our minds? Was there one large event or no event at all which caused us to stop the search of self and replace it with the search for a god? Was it fear that caused us to lose faith in ourselves and place it in an external, invisible being with omnipotent powers? What happens when the belief in an invisible God leads to fanaticism and a breaking of the dogmas upon which the belief was initially established?

In this first part of my writings on Beliefs, I raised a number of questions. In the follow up essay, I hope to answer some of them.

A Dialogue On God Part II

What do you believe God is?

God is a concept not a being. God is the black face of the universe, the stars, the planets, the solar systems, the dragonfly, the elephant, the mouse, the spider, the man and the woman but these are only the life forms we know exist. There are obviously countless others in this ever expanding universe. You don’t ‘see’ God, you feel God inside yourself and in everything you do: good or bad, there is no judgement. The universe(s) is God. You are made up of the same elements as the stars. Your molecules are star dust. You are God. God is not out there somewhere watching you. He is inside expressing life through you. Each differently. Each connected. My concept of God is similar to what Teilhard de Chardin referred to as the ‘Omega Point’, the supreme point of complexity and consciousness which is the actual source point of the expanding universe.

What is the role of religion in connection with God?

Once again, religion is man’s creation, not God’s. Religion is the mythology which man created to explain the events of life. The daily array of happenings which he could not explain. This initially pure form of story telling became bogged down with rules and dogmas as civilizations grew. As empires  moved beyond the walls of the cities, the rulers needed eyes and fear to control their citizens. An all knowing, all seeing God became the instrument of the rulers and punishment for disobeying God’s law was eternal damnation. A benevolent God became a fearful God. Since the dawn of time Gods have existed in all matter of forms but none deserve or demand our obedience. Man is the expression, the manifestation of life. The Catholic church passed an edict declaring only Jesus could call himself the son of God and that no man hereafter can say he is the son of God. How ridiculous, how controlling of the the church to pass such an edict. The church wants mankind to praise and fear a God who exists only to empower the church and its doctrines, not humanity.

If the Christian God does not exist, how do you account for love?

Love is an absolute. It is an integral part of the energy that creates life. All that is, is intrinsic in the source energy.

Do you believe intrinsics like beauty/ugliness, good/evil are also created by this energy source?

The energy source is only responsible for the creation of life as a manifestation of its own existence, if you can believe or imagine energy as a form of existence. If you look at the universe, it is still expanding. Scientists are attempting to find its center with the Hubble telescope but energy has no center. It flows as particle and wave, always in motion, has always been and will always be. It was not created. It exists. The concept of duality does not exist in energy. Intrinsics like beauty/ugliness, good/evil, right/wrong are human definitions of an individual experience. Going into battle each side believes it is in the right beyond a doubt. A tree struck by lightening does not envision the act as a calamity but under the same circumstances, a human might ask, “Why me?”

Do you believe Heaven and Hell exist?

Yes, but not in a physical sense. There is no energy called ‘Heaven’ with angels and eternal happiness nor is there an energy called ‘Hell’ with fire, devils and eternal damnation. These are the images of mythology and misguided religious beliefs. They both are right here, as Jesus stated. They exist in our consciousness.

A Dialogue On God Part I

The great difficulty with language is that we use it in our attempts to explain things for which no true explanation exists. In the Hermetic writings of the third century it was written, “If you don’t make yourself equal to God you can’t perceive God: for like is known by like.” Anything I say about God is restricted by the limitations of language and my personal experiences. The following is part of an internal dialogue that started in a dream.

“Do you believe in God?” she asked in a soft angelic voice.She was visible only as ether but the voice was female. My mind wandered back to the day Kathleen died and the transcendent experiences of that evening.Yes, I believe in a power greater than myself of which I am a part but not in the God of Abraham and Isaac. Not the God of Christianity whose leaders send missionaries to convert a world which does not need converting, to rescue the savages who do not need rescuing and who engagd in endless Crusades all in the name of their God. Not the vengeful God who would destroy Solomon and Gomorrah or reduce all of life to what could be carried in an Ark. That God, the one that Jesus called ‘Father’ is not my God.”If not the God of Abraham, who is your God?”My God is the timeless point of infinity from which all life springs forth in an ever expanding universe. A God of acceptance and love, not of vengeance. Evil is man’s creation, not God’s. The God of Abraham is a part of Christian Mythology and is a belief system created by man. The God of Abraham is no different from the Gods of Greek Mythology. Is it not strange to you that mankind labels the Greek Gods as Mythology but not the Christian God? We gave these gods human traits and short comings. No omnipotent being would require obedience or worship of any kind. Mankind has used the name of God to control and to enslave his fellow man. They have made God a point of fear more than a point of love. The name ‘God’ itself is a distortion and carries with it too many dogmas and conditions. The sole purpose of my God is the creation of an ever expanding universe which includes life in all of its many varied forms. I have no god but life.

“You don’t see God as darkness and light, then?”

God is the point in which duality does not exist. God is the central point in which all duality is one. All life is one. The entire solar system is one.

“Do you believe everyone has the same God?”

God is a part of each of us. In an universal sense and in an individual sense. Like the soul. Although there is only one point for the creation of life, God, each of us sees God differently subject to our personal experiences and faith. Man created God. God did not create man. God created life. Man is merely a manifestation in human form of that life energy. He is equal to, but no more important to God than the ant or a solar system. Man is a life form and not the apex of life’s evolution.

“What makes you so sure of this?”

Look at the night sky, the Milky Way. Look at the photographs of the universe sent back by the Hubble telescope. You see millions of stars, planets, moons, galaxies and the possibility of so many life forms like and unlike our own. And yet, we picture God in the image of man. Not only does that fact extort man’s ego, it also demonstrates his stupidity.

“How so?”

We call Him (As if God has a sex) by many names, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, El Shaddai.  “Mohammad encouraged his followers to call upon God by any of His 99 Names. Judaism refers to 72 Divine Names, and the Hindu scripture Mahabharata contains a thousand names of Vishnu. The English word “God” is used by multiple religions as a noun or name to refer to different deities.” (1) And although we call Him by many names, God has no image. For me the name ‘God’ is only a point of reference for us to have a common subject for discussion.

Michael Angelo did a great disservice to the world when he gave God a face on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is how modern man sees God. He no longer sees God in everything that exists but rather as a bearded old white man with his finger giving life to Adam. I do not blame him for his depiction. It merely further the belief that man is in the image of God.

To Be Continued…

(1) Andrew Wilson, World scripture: a comparative anthology of sacred texts—p. 596, International Religious Foundation, Paragon House, New York, New York 1991.