Disclaimer: If you consider yourself a religious person and you would prefer to hang on to that you may want to UN-follow this blog and not read the post below. I want to respect your right to not know some things and it is not my intention to provoke you to anger or be argumentative. I simply want to share my journey with anyone that needs to know they are not alone. Conversely, if I provoke your curiosity about what I am saying I encourage you to search these things out for yourself. I am no one’s guru, teacher, rabbi or pastor. Nor do I ever want to be. You have One within. Find that.
This is my first blog post in a while. When I first started this blog it was going to be mainly about health because religion and the system of religion had worn me out and I was honestly tired of talking about it. Particularly since a lot of the structure I had built my philosophies on had now, through study, research and obvious facts, been proven to have been built on sinking sand. And sink it did. More about this later. I thought I could just keep the conversation focused on physical health and that would work but have since come to the conclusion that spiritual health, directly impacting mental health, is really more important and the first place to start when working to regain good health. The mind is central to healing and the root of most all that ails us and all belief is generated in the mind so spirituality can not be ignored in that pursuit.
A little background…. As a child I always believed in a Creator. I still do. There is too much evidence that there is some form of intelligence behind all creation. To me this is just common sense. It might not be obvious to Richard Dawkins but it is to me. As a child I had no particular religion. I just had a “knowing” so to speak and an internal jarring of my conscience when I had crossed the line regarding what was ethical. No one taught me this. It was just there. If anything, in time, I was taught not to trust “it”. In time a few traumatic life events challenged my security in this knowledge and I began to look to religion for more answers regarding my suffering. I thought that I had found those answers in Christian Fundamentalism. To be fair I did find some. I am grateful for many things I learned from that experience. So, from the age of 23 years until about 3 years ago (I am 47 at the time I am writing this) I had been heavily entrenched in fundamentalism of some form or another. In the past my blogs were mostly of a religious nature, Christian then eventually more of a Messianic Jewish/Hebrew Roots bent.
If you know anything about fundamentalism you know that it is focused on bringing about the conformity of ones behavior to a particular line of thought stemming from the teachings of a particular holy book (The Christian Bible in my case) or teacher. In Christian fundamentalism the teacher’s interpretation of said book is more important than the actual detail of the book and in the Messianic or Hebrew Roots movement the book is more important than the teacher. However, the teacher still elevated to prominence and given a certain amount of adoration. Regardless they go hand in hand and work together to form doctrine that people then attempt to practice and encourage and sometimes coerce (no, not too strong) others to practice as well. The practice of fundamentalism is generally less focused on inward spirituality and more focused on the outward behavior modification of oneself. However, more often than not, maybe more so in some cases, it’s focus shifts to the modification of the behavior of others. I guess that is where hypocrisy really plays out and things can potentially get ugly. It’s difficult to control oneself and others at the same time. Without a secure and working internal guidance system (the one we are all born with) and depending solely on a book and man at the pulpit this is impossible. No one can do it and what ultimately happens is some varying degree of violence and in the form of verbal, emotional and less often physical abuse (although that does happen, getting there) for non-compliance or any independent thought or reasoning that doesn’t follow the status quo of a particular set doctrine. Religious people, I have found and experienced, are by and large are very frustrated and fearful. The operating line of thought in fundamentalism is “if you don’t believe like we do you are unacceptable in the eyes of (insert name of god).” What happens when you become unacceptable varies in severity. That might simply mean you burn in hell in their judgement. Or maybe you are just lost therefore redeemable and they might try to restore you by reasoning with you at best. At it’s most extreme you might be simply unworthy of breathing which we see in fundamentalist Islam and saw in the not too distant history of Christianity. We see that play out in our world today on almost a daily bases in the middle east and now many European countries and from time to time here in the US as well. Largely it is all about control.
So in Messianic-dom it is encouraged to study to be approved. Be like the Berean you are told. For the Messianic this means looking closely at historical facts, various translations and original texts in their original languages and seeking out teachers that can further refine this for you. In time, if this commitment is followed dogmatically, it becomes increasingly clear that there are many, many contradictions, translation errors as well as multiple authors (many, many who are unknown) of the Torah, writings, prophets and New Testament. There are also many books that were not included upon canonization and upon further examination one discovers various political and sectarian strategies that were indicative of many of these decisions in forming what we now know as The Bible as a part of historical record. As a result The Bible as we know it, as a whole, logically, can not be labeled fully inspired or inerrant. Calling it the Word of God is something it never calls itself. Not to say there is no inspiration, I truly believe much of it is inspired by our Creator, just not in it’s entirety. I hope I am clear in saying that. In coming to that conclusion I also came to the belief that The Bible is to be understand as allegory or metaphor, as most ancient writings are, to be able to obtain the most from it in a spiritual sense. I do not believe it is meant to be followed literally. I believe some art to be inspired as well but it is doubtful that Mona from The Mona Lisa resembled exactly the painting which tried to capture her essence. To follow any holy book or really any book filtered through the mind of man in a literal way has produced nothing but violence and destruction in our world and that is unarguably and historically a fact.
So where does one go from there? If you realize this or begin to question the status quo you will find yourself minus a social circle if your social circle was largely religious. Not an easy thing. I have the t-shirt. None the less if you are dedicated to the truth you will do what is right even if it means standing alone or with very few.
Well “out” was the wrong direction so how about “in”? In other words behavior modification based on books and the teaching of teachers didn’t hold water so what about looking inside? Yes, inside YOU. Jesus (or Yeshua) as well as many, many other prophets from different religions have encouraged an inward journey to find answers and guidance. This seems to be a common and consistent theme throughout all world religions. Some have said that it is the only way. I agree with that. That has been my experience. That is where I went and continue to go to and the answers I was looking for are increasingly and surprisingly found there.
So as you read my blog be aware that:
I believe the journey towards true oneness with the Creator to be an inward one.
I believe that the journey towards true oneness with one another is also an inward one. This is the only way we will obtain peace in this world. The other way has been very unsuccessful, to say the least.
I believe in staying in my own lane and in my own business and that being an example in my own behaviors to be the only way to positively influence others. I see proselytizing as manipulative.
I believe that God, the Divine, the Source, the Creator is present in every living thing.
I believe that the Creator and all Creation is energy in it’s essence and that all the energy of this realm is one unified field.
I believe that energy is never created nor destroyed.
I believe that all religions have some elements of truth and that all religions have elements of untruth.
I believe language and words to be the most base of all communication.
I believe in compassion for all living things.
I don’t believe in a literal hell somewhere under the earth. I believe we can create a living hell here and now if we choose and many people live there every day and will often attempt to create that for others.
I believe in healthy boundaries.
I don’t believe in labels or denominations of any kind.
I believe in respect.
So, for now that is what I believe and know to be true in my own life.
If you follow this blog I am going to be exploring some “far out” things that might be controversial. You have been warned.
Love and Light to you!