I don’t believe in Christian theology and dogma and the rest of it—I have different ideas and beliefs that I have adopted. It was easy to give them up in the end, for they really don’t bear out against my consideration, once I finally brought my own reasoning mind and intellect into the picture. And also the ideas do not resonate within the emotional pulse. My heart beats against limitations of any sort.
Christians, along with other religions, think they they’re right and everyone else is wrong. And there’s been a tremendous amount of fighting and killing because of that belief in certainty, that demand to be right. The fighting still continues to this day. The Middle East is a mess, in a way because of this need to be right, and our human history is full of more of the same. In Christianity there’s even a story that Constantinople had a dream, that if he carried the banner of the cross before him he would be victorious in battle. To me, that was he beginning of the end of Christ’s message, you know, that thing about loving thy neighbor as thyself (that would include those who are labelled as “enemies”), and turning the other cheek, don’t forget that.
—Battle…Killing people. Killing your fellow man. Murdering other members of the human race. Why? Because they believe differently? Because they believe in a different way, and act differently than what the other group says is the right way? And then one group will call the others evil, in order to justify the killing, and who ever wins was right after all.
It’s what happened with the Zoroastrians, supposedly, that they were killed off by the Muslims who were commanded by the prophet Mohammed to destroy them, to hunt them down, run them out of their lands, all because they believed differently and in a way that wasn’t accepted by the next generation of religious followers. Killing? No thank you. I’m pretty sure that the old Law of Moses, that Biblical commandment not to kill, was absolutely and without a doubt the right and most correct thing ever been put out there—-even if it is ignored. Don’t kill. It doesn’t say what. Just don’t kill. People, animals, whatever. Don’t kill. That’s good stuff there. And yet how many stories are in that same Bible after that particular law was given, where people are killed? …No problem, right? As long as God does the killing or ordains it—- or was it Jehovah, or Yahweh, or Elohim, or what was He called then?
“He”? Really, a male God?…And what determines a God’s sexual identity? Why “He” and not “She”? We know what makes a human being male or female. What about a God? Shall I propose more of these kinds of questions? How about, who delivered baby Jesus? His father Joseph? Did he cut and tie the umbilical cord? How did he learn that? If not him, then who? And the next one is obvious—how long did baby Jesus suckle at Mary’s breast? A baby has to suckle, or did they give him (heaven forbid the pagan imagery!) goat’s milk? Or was it from a cow?
More—-why is the image of Jesus as portrayed always fair-skinned and with flowing hair that would be found on a white or Caucasian man? It’s hot and humid out in the Middle Eastern lands, you know. Look at anyone from there. Do they appear fair-skinned and white? Is their hair flowing, or is it dry and brittle from the hard heat and sun? So what are the people praying to? A dream? An imaginary image and not the real one? Six-pack abs and a halo that is never mentioned in the Bible—who put that there? When did the use of a halo begin in Christian art? I suggest who educate yourself on what religious system and philosophy existed before the development of the Jewish traditions and their religious beliefs. You will be surprised at how much was “borrowed” from Zoroastrianism.
But lots of names for the same God I think. Still only One though. Polytheism evolves into monotheism. Always one above the others, no matter what religion. Simple stuff.
But in that Christian Bible there are bears sent down from God to go a’mangling and killing children, just because they laughed at a bald-headed holy man, and the story about a giant man slain by one person’s, or a group’s, belief in the power and rightness of their one God. A God that didn’t even exist for them until when? …So, it was a new God for them? Been converted or told of this new God from the Jewish religion, it’s the right one now, and the other folks, they believe differently, so more fighting and killing?
And later, another story of trumpets blowing downs city walls so that folks could be killed. Murdering people again in the name of God, or whatever name it was or is, in the original language of those Jewish people, who recorded into their scrolls the “holy words” of killing others and destroying them, killing in the name of God, Yahweh, Jehovah, or whatever. Murdering people. —Really? Is that the heritage of Christianity?
Taking another’s life, or killing other people, whoever they are, is never justified. Never. Absolutely the one thing that’s true beyond doubt. There’s never a reason or justification to kill, no matter what. No matter how horrible it is that someone does, we have to find better ways. Death is so final, the end of direct and intimate experience in this world. And one life matters beyond what anyone knows. To take a life, for whatever reason, is a sorry, piss-poor, idiotic, foolish, selfish, destructive, cruel, and wasteful thing to do. There are better ways we can come up with. We must.
—Killing for religious beliefs… And yet Christanity isn’t the only religion that does that. Islam comes to mind. It’s the thing about nearly any “religion”. It’s their way or the highway. It’s one system of beliefs, one set of ideas and rules, and anything besides that must be denied, ignored, or excluded from thinking about.
The Buddhists, like many other religious groups, split apart into separate divisions, different ones thinking that Buddha meant this, or Buddha meant that—but they don’t fight against themselves about it. They just separate, and make their own schools of thinking. I read that there is even a disagreement on whether they should they face a white wall during meditation or have their backs to it. They disagree, peacefully, and move along from there, doing their own thing. I guess that I don’t really care who exactly a person is that gives any message, as long as it’s a good message, and something I feel and think is true. Murdering, killing, fighting—- that ain’t it.
This being the “Age of Information”, with so much out there now, it’s easy to find what people are talking about, or have talked about. For example, who wrote the Book of Revelations? I just typed that in, and saw many pages come up. Here’s what one said:
—-“The author names himself in the text as “John”, but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Evidence for identifying the author as John the Apostle comes from second-century writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Melito the bishop of Sardis, and Clement of Alexandria and the Muratorian fragment. Other scholars oppose this view, proposing that nothing can be known about the author except that he was a Jewish Christian prophet. The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian (81-96 CE), and the external and internal evidence tends to confirm this.”
—-That’s just from one site, the easy Wikipedia site. There are many other pages and sites, with experts and scholars talking about who might have wrote it. And that was just one simple question.
I don’t get this—after over one thousand and five hundred years after Christ died, then the people get the so-called “official” ad sanctioned Christian Bible? And never mind about the so-called “lostbooks” or those that the Church authorities decided didn’t reflect the doctrine that they wanted to espouse. That makes no sense. What about everything in those 1500 years? —-there is a great deal of stuff out there that happened. Ever before heard that the Bible the pilgrims brought to this land was called the Geneva Bible? And that there was another one called the “Chained Bible”, chained to the pulpits and never allowed to leave the church? Too expensive and time-consuming to make copies? Or was the people illiterate and couldn’t read so that they had to hear the official Word of God from the Church authorities only? But the Protestant Revolution changed that, and John Calvin and the others put together the “Geneva Bible”, Geneva being where they did the work. Then, King James got the official one made, because it was what the Church and the royalty wanted in there, and nothing must be allowed to undermine the authority of the Church, or the royal authorities.
The Church, run by kings and his priests, run by men. Just men. Pushed the women into subservient roles. Too bad, that. Could’ve used their connection to the sacredness of life and gotten better results perhaps. And many wicked popes in history as well. And then the common folks became persecuted by the Church, some escaped to another country, Scotland I think it was, then the queen there, Bloody Mary she was called, got in cahoots with the Church and began to persecute them (that means they got hunted down and murdered, more killing again…)—them common folks who just wanted the right to believe and practice their religious freedom, instead of believing in the Catholic Church Empire of Whatever. So then they leave, some of them escape, come to this land, we call them Pilgrims, and they were carrying the Geneva Bible. Or so it is written.
Then, all along right in my face, told about it for as long as I can remember, but never put it together—the Europeans nearly kill off all of the natives here. And many of them were peaceful towards the conquering Europeans, never did any harm to them. Just didn’t want to give up their land. Why should they? Yet, settle across the land, convert the uncivilized people to the one religion, take the land and force them away, or kill them off altogether. That’s religion for you. go from sharing the Thanksgiving meal to genocide. It’s what’s happened throughout history, almost everywhere. Killing off folks because they are different. No thanks. I’ll pass on any religion that has that kind of history behind it.
And all that stuff, that’s just what’s written. Stuff about that period of time in history, and who’s doing the writing anyways? Anyone can say or write anything, and with enough behind it, enough authority, strength, power, influence, can make it so that nothing else is considered real anymore. That’s what bothers me. Truth gets distorted, changed and revised, or just reported wrong to begin with. Who’s to say? Who’s to tell the truth? I trust no one that they have got it all figured right—no preacher, minister, priest, guru, yogi, monk, Mahdi, or whatever title somebody wears. Not even myself. Only within can the truth be found, because “God is within”, it’s where the “kingdom of God” is—within. So I try to listen to that, and nothing else that says otherwise. I use my brain that the Creator gave me. And it’s for thinking. And I use my heart to try to feel around for the truth.
I give the Hindus this much though: they accept new ideas, when something is considered sacred and becomes accepted as true to their religion, it becomes part of their heritage, part of their official texts. It takes time for that to happen though, but they expand. Most religions don’t. That’s the whole point with religion, most of them. It’s one thing, one set of ideas and beliefs, and that’s the end of it. Nothing can be considered new anymore. It’s almost like saying that the time of prophets is long gone, and if a person hears the voice of God these days that person is considered crazy, delusional. I’m sure you know that there are verses in the Christian Bible that say that same kind of thing, that there are no others, that all the others are false. Something to that effect. That’s religion. One set of ideas and beliefs. Anything else is denied, or not true. One way and one way only. Our way or the highway. No room for anything else. A closed system of beliefs. Borders and boundaries.
Reading the Hindu scriptures though, which I do a great deal of because I like their ideas and beliefs, they do believe in many many gods, but also that there is One above all others, the One Supreme Being who created all things. So they agree with The Law of Moses, that first one, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. It doesn’t say that there aren’t any others, it doesn’t deny them as being real or possible, it just says that none are before the One God.
Even the Hebrew text has the same translation and the same wording, to “have no gods before me”. I like what someone has stated elsewhere, that it seems if there weren’t any other real gods, the law would have said something different, instead of what it does say and the way it reads. For me, there is but One, but within the One there are many. Like the natives believing in the spirit of the tree, the spirit of the water, the spirit within nature, the spirit of the buffalo, the spirit of the deer, all given by the one Creator, the Great Spirit, by whatever name used. Still the same one God. Pretty simple stuff.
For me the world is too big with too many different people having too many different ideas of what’s what, to say “Well, this one is the truth, and the others are wrong”. But it doesn’t matter. As long as a person is happy, living a good life, not hurting others, helping people, that’s good enough for me. And no, I don’t believe in the Christian heaven either. Or sin. Or the devil. Or giving up the responsibility for my actions to God or the devil, blaming the bad stuff on the one fella, and anything good that’s ever done is because of God. I mean, every time something good happens it’s because of God? Like a person doesn’t have a choice in the matter? I don’t buy that at all. There’s more to it than that.
A person has to take responsibility for their actions. Saying that it was the devil made me do it, or it was all because of God, seems to take the individual person out of the matter. And if God is within, then that’s all that there ever is, God within, and each and every action and every bit of energy that flows and grows outward from within—all the thinking that goes on, all the ideas and thoughts, every impulse to do this or do that, hunches and intuitions, dreams and daydreams, all the stuff within a person, feelings and emotions even, all that is within, is God, from God, a portion of God. Each and every person has God within. All religions have that basic idea, even if they say it differently. So for me it’s like every reflection in every eye—wise folk have said that the eyes are the gateways to the soul. But if a person looks close enough into someone’s eyes, they see their own reflection in there, looking back at them…
I do believe everything is because of God, and always has been, yet we were given free will to navigate between our decisions. In my opinion, one’s “moral compass” is always there and doesn’t need to be taught. The body knows, the soul knows, the spirit knows, the inner self, that personal connection to God, it knows and speaks still, even if it is ignored, thus ignoring God’s word. But… my idea of God is much different than what my childhood Christian religion says. For me, there is nothing else but God. God is everything, and everyone, but more than all the individual parts put together. And not a “He” or a “She” and not an “It”, but something else. Beyond comprehension. I believe, and think, All that is, All that ever was, All that will ever be, that’s God. Makes it kind of beside the point to say one thing or another then, or debate anything, or even agree or disagree. It’s what we choose to do that makes the difference, and there is a place within where ideas that at first appear contradictory are resolved and there are no contradictions. Sort of the nature of having to use words and concepts to try to hint at those inner, universal truths, and then having to string out words in a sequence that our minds can process. It could take tons of words to explain what the inner self and spirit already grasps and intuits automatically.
“He”, God that is, gave us a brain and freewill to make choices. What we do is up to us. If God loves us, and the idea is that that’s all there is, is love, and God, you know, that thing about “God is love”, and “the word was God and was with God”—and love implies setting someone free, cherishing them for the same thing they have that’s just like you, but recognizing how different they are from you and loving that, letting a person go and trusting them and let them make their own decisions and choices, and let them learn from their actions, because a person loves another enough to grant them their freedom, to let them choose what they will. That’s love. Freedom is love.
Respecting another person enough to let them live their own life as they see fit, not trying to hold someone to some personal idea of what they should or shouldn’t do, because “that’s what I do, that’s what I say and how dare you go against that, you should do exactly as I say”—that kind of thinking, to me that isn’t love. That’s setting rules and making laws, because “that’s the way it is and you better do what I say”. That’s not love. That’s what don Miguel calls the “domestication of the human”, reinforced by a system of reward and punishment. That’s limiting another person’s reality, to force someone to conform. Freedom, folks, that’s what it’s about.
And love. Love is allowing others to be. Period. And I know I quoted the Law of Moses, so you can guess what I really think of that stuff too. Some of it’s good and makes sense, some not. (The Christ put so many of them together and said “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, and that covered so many commandments just with that one idea.) Laws, rules, restraining the natural human person in fences of limitations, not a very good or wise thing to do, but the human race does exactly that, over and over again. The domestication of human being, as don Miguel wrote. The system of rewards and punishments that are used to turn the human child into an obedient slave to the systems that already exist, and that get pushed forth and reinforced generation after generation after generation. Quite sad really. But I guess we have to start somewhere, so those good and solid laws are better than nothing. Such a way to go, so far to go, endlessly seeking a trace of perfection, then finding out that it was merely a start as well. On and on, no end in sight, no rest for the weary or the hearty, not permanently anyways. We all get a break, and can sleep for eternities upon eternities if we need to. Time isn’t going anywhere, there’s plenty of it, and endless amount…
Setting us free, that’s what “God” did—created us and then allowed us to be ourselves, because “God” loves us. So yes, I think that what we do is because of God, but yet it isn’t that at all. It’s us, and what we do. “He” created us in His image, and “He” is the one true Creator, and it’s obvious that we have the same gift of creation in our own way also. People write and create books and stories and poems, they paint and create pictures, create music, create babies, they create drama in their lives, and they build things into a frenzy or a mad panic because they imagine things to be that way, or they create a nice and simple plan for a lovely and good day—all kinds of ways we create, and we create all kinds of things. Creation continues still.
We are like little creators ourselves, trying to be better and better, to learn more and become more. There’s no end. We don’t just all of a sudden stop growing and becoming who we are. We always become more. There isn’t an end. There’s no final resting place where everything’s done and that’s it. Life keeps going and going and going, changing to this and changing to that. But, plenty of stopping places along the way to rest, to enjoy how far we’ve come. Maybe that’s what this world is, in its own unique way—a place where we started up again, and pass through. We lived before we came here. We existed before we got here—kind of like, say, all nestled up within our “souls”, ready to get out on our own and then we came here. Couldn’t wait to get here.
And we will return again, to that place with our “souls”, and then leave again for another place. And we grow and learn more, we become more, we become better, growing and becoming closer to that mysterious one Creator, reaching further and further, just to get another glimpse and see how truely unknowable God is, all over again and again. The journey doesn’t end. And we can never see God completely. Just glimpses and glimpses. And when the Light gets too bright we close our eyes.
Sometimes words get to be beside the point. Love, God, it’s all the same thing. Peace, that’s the foundation of it all I think. And I believe. And that’s my choice, my freedom to think how I want. People should try it sometime, thinking for themselves rather than being told what’s what. They might even be surprised at what they learn from their own ideas and experiences. It’s a dream, though, to have others think for themselves. If it somehow could come true, I believe the world would become a better place. I believe. There’s something to that idea. Think about it.