Freedom From Religion

Buddhism – Looking at It From a Christian Perspective

September 19th, 2016

From a Christian perspective, I imagine that Buddhism could be seen as a collection of mythology and superstitious ceremonies that are taught by someone who lives in a monastery and wears a robe. Our concept in the United States about any religions other than Christianity are jaded by the indoctrination that has been forced on our society by Christians in an attempt to dominate politics, family, and most of our society as depicted by Christian mythology as the only one truly spiritual and righteously moral religion in the world. By Buddhist standards most Christians wouldn’t know good morality from fear of being sent to hell for not conforming. Please remember who we are dealing with in any religion.

All religions were early man’s attempt at an explanation of science and nature. All religions contain mythology. By Christian standards, Buddhism is a heathen society of monks and nuns who teach lay people Asian exotic customs and esoteric beliefs based on a mythological book of some kind, along with meditation. Actually the Pali Cannon is the only true written historical record of Buddhist scripture. We must look at the fact that when we have been practicing or being indoctrinated by one belief system, it is hard to view another through open minded eyes. I liken it to considering buying a sports car after spending most of your life driving a fire truck. The cup holders and the radio are nice but where are the ladders and hose compartments? Doesn’t this thing have a siren? We can’t be objective once we get used to doing something a certain way and most of mainstream media in America was hijacked by Christianity years ago. Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” comes to mind. The humorous thing to me is that most of the owners of mainstream media were and are mostly Jewish producers of television and they used to produce Christmas Specials on television to advertise their sponsor’s products on.

Today, prayer in schools and the celebration of religious holidays is not permitted because of the unfairness of trying to force one religion down everyone else’s throat. I used to think all holidays were religious. Thanksgiving is a national holiday. I remember the annual Christmas pageant that was, “Oh So Full”, of the indoctrination by the church into and onto our children that even the people who were Jewish and Islamic were forced to participate unless their parents strongly objected. I realize I am dating myself here but I remember in the third grade being told to bow our heads and pray in school. Over the years I have heard so many misnomers and propaganda against Buddhist practice that I feel the need to debunk myths here.

First, Buddhism doesn’t contain any heathen practices and isn’t considered to be a faith of deities. There is no Buddhist God. Their idea of what a God is in Buddhist teachings can be basically described as an analogy for aspects of our own personalities. Karma is basically what most of us consider the phrase “What goes around comes around.” Anyone who has studied the science of astronomy now knows that we are all part of cosmic dust and Siddhartha Gautama originally said in what we now know to be around 500 BCE that everything, including every particle of dust is all part of the same thing, including people. It took scientists thousands of years, a Hubble telescope and an electron microscope to understand how right he was. That is why one aspect of modern physics is now known as “Buddhist Cosmology”. He said we are all connected. So, if I hurt you or anything else, I am hurting a part of me. Buddhists don’t need a deity to answer to for morality, they have a set of ethics which consist of what most people call “the golden rule” which is not in the bible, as so many people told me through the years.

I have heard many comments over the years about Buddhism that I wish to expound on. Some women I know have said things that made me wonder what planet they grew up on. One friend of mine said once, “I am not going to pray to some old fat Buddha!” This is wrong on so many levels that I can hardly contain myself when someone is that ignorant. The “old fat Buddha” she was referring to is the artistic rendering of the honorific figure named “Cloth Sack”, a nickname given for the large sack that he is depicted carrying most times. He is seen as a huge fat round man with long drooping earlobes. His actual name is Hotei to the Japanese and Budai to the Chinese. He could be thought of as the Buddhist version of Saint Nicholas. In legend he carried gifts of candy for the children, tobacco for the men, and sewing implements for the women of the villages he visited. He is no more real than Santa Clause but he is used to illustrate parabolic stories in several artistic renderings, mostly statues and paintings in Asia. Sometimes he is said to be the “Maitreya Buddha” of the future by people who have not studied and learned that he was supposed to be a. Buddhist practice is not used to beg forgiveness or curry favor with deities as what some of my fellows call “the spook in the sky”. Buddhists do not practice in order for things to change but to have the strength, wisdom, and insight to change them properly instead of expecting someone to come fix the world based on the wishes of humans, who spiritual deities are usually seen as being intolerant of. Buddhist prayer and practice is designed to reach what might be called the spiritual part of a person, which some call our Buddha nature, which we all have. This is something born into us so we don’t learn it, we learn to bring it out.

There are as many sects of Buddhism as there are of protestant Christianity. Christians use the word love as much as we do the word compassion. We believe that we are responsible for what we do and what we allow to happen to us and don’t believe “the devil made me do it” is a viable excuse. Buddhists do believe in evil but from within not as something that invades our bodies or lives like a ghost. Everything is within. When people ask me if I believe in a higher power, I always say yes. I feel that through something in me, not out somewhere in space. The key is the direction of the Universe and it moves on it’s own without my intelligence. I have no control over it so I must control myself. Happiness is a state of mind. It is like a train traveling down a track in it’s own direction and speed. I could hang off the back of the caboose, trying to swerve from side to side along the tracks to change it’s direction or run and push to speed it up or drag my feet to slow it down. But, what I eventually want to do is learn to go inside, find my seat, and learn to enjoy the ride.

Meditation can be as simple as concentrating on my breathing instead of thinking about everything else. I can’t stop all conscious thought but I can slow it down enough to where I am not thinking too much, creating stress. The key word for me is mindfulness. Being mindful of who I am, how I treat the world, and how I perceive what is given to me. We don’t have ten commandments, we have five precepts that go like this:

1. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life.

2. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given.

3. I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.

5. I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.

The original Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama started the entire journey over trying to relieve suffering in the world. The original teaching was the four noble truths and the eightfold path.

The Four Noble Truths:

  1. Suffering does exist
  2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
  3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
  4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path

  1. Right View
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

There are many sites on the internet and places one can go in most all major cities to find Dharma teachings and meditation groups that practice Buddhist meditation. and Wikipedia both have immense resources of Buddhism definitions and many other religious explanations. If you are interested then I would suggest studying and finding a center to practice in with others. One can be of any religion as Buddhism is made to adapt. Buddhism was said to be the journey, not the spiritual destination. What the end result you find is internal. The path of Buddhist practice was described in the simile of the raft. If you couldn’t cross a river and built a raft, after crossing the river, would you say, “Oh, what a great raft,” and then carry it around on your head from now on? Or would you set it adrift or leave it for someone else to use? Which would be the proper use of the raft? Buddhism teaches us not to become attached to any views. Quote: “”…Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist teachings are guiding means to help us learn to look deeply and to develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for…” End Quote by Thich Nhat Hanh from *The Order of Interbeing. The first mindfulness training. It is simple and it’s common sense philosophy makes it easy for anyone to adapt to.


The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)

September 19th, 2016

The Democratic Party now holds solid majorities in both houses of Congress, as well as the Executive branch in the person of President Obama. They have the opportunity now to expand the pro-abortion issue as never before. Elections have consequences and this is one that was easily foreseen before the 2008 elections.

What are the issues with abortion? What does the constitution say about abortion? When does life begin? What type of government do we have? What happens if Roe v. Wade is repealed? What is “choice”? Why not just let it go and leave things as they are and we do nothing? What do you do if you oppose a national abortion policy or abortion in particular, and the expanded federal government in general?

The Declaration of Independence states that certain rights are endowed by our creator and these being Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Notice the order that these inalienable rights are listed. The founding fathers believed these rights are granted by God and not man, and are applicable and guaranteed to all people. Life is first and of primary importance than liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Liberty is more important than the pursuit of happiness. This only makes sense since living is more important than freedom, and freedom is more important than pursuing happiness. You must live to be free, and be free to pursue happiness. I think many in today’s America put pursuing happiness first, but without life and liberty, pursuit of happiness will soon be taken. The 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution lists the following rights as requiring due process before the government can take them, life, liberty, and property, again note the order.

The Constitution describes our political system as the government of laws as opposed to the government of men. To govern means to limit, so we have a limited government. This means a person if free to do what they wish unless there is a law that says they can’t. With a government of men, then a person can only do what the law allows. If there is no law that says you can wear shorts in the summer time, then it would be illegal. Hopefully I’ve made it clear as to how free societies must be based upon a government of laws.

It also prescribes that our governments’ power and responsibility be divided into three separate branches that have unique power and responsibilities. The branches would be able to check and balance the other branches. The legislature, Congress, is responsible to writing, debating and enacting all legislation or law. Congress is also in control of taxing and spending all money. The executive branch, the President and his cabinet, are responsible for executing and enforcing the laws congress passes. The judiciary, the court, is responsible for interpreting the laws and the constitution. For example: congress passes a tax law, the IRS who work for the executive branch enforce the tax code, giving the revenue to congress to spend, and the judiciary interpret questions about the law, and whether it is a constitutional law. At least that’s the way it was intended to work until Substantive Due Process and substantive incorporation doctrine were invented by the Supreme Court.

The Constitution says nothing more about abortion per se. Whatever the Warren Supreme court found in the constitution was a result of “substantive due process” in which a right which was not specifically enumerated, was rather extrapolated from the word “liberty” in the 14th amendment. Remember that “liberty” was listed after “life” in the 14th amendment. In fact the entire notion of substantive due process grew out of this open interpretation of the word “liberty, which allows to the court to basically dictate whatever freedoms it deems. If that sounds frightening, it should. 9 unelected people, serving for life, dictating what freedoms we have is frightening. Remember they are supposed to interpret and not legislate, execute, or dictate the law.

While this may sound logical and acceptable to some, it circumvents the amendment process to the constitution, and gives the judiciary the right to legislate what it thinks are rights. This process was originally thought to further protect the individual from the state in that states could not justify taking a person’s life, liberty, or property simply by following the process of the law, but had to have some justification for doing so. In reality this lead the Supreme Court to adopt the substantive incorporation doctrine which allows the court to decide or make up whatever it feels are fundamental rights and enforce them on the states. This gave the Supreme Court unprecedented power to literally write and impose legislation, rights reserved for the other two branches of government.

Due process prior to Substantive Due Process was simply Procedural Due Process, meaning that the court interpreted the government’s authority from the constitution by following the procedures specifically listed in it. Substantive due process and the ensuing substantive incorporation doctrine is an absolute violation of the separation of powers doctrine enumerated in the Constitution. Oddly though, this power is granted to the judiciary, by the judiciary since they are the ones who are originally charged with interpreting the constitution. It’s an unchecked use of power, another violation of the checks and balances put into the constitution. The legislative branch and executive would have to work together with the states to pass an amendment to end this wrongful use of power by the court. The court could end the practice as well on its own accord. Neither of these seems likely, since it hasn’t happened, and nearly every member in control of the three branches of government knows exactly what I just explained to you.

It was supposed to be difficult to amend the constitution, a document that empowers the government to only have limited control over our lives. An amendment has to pass both houses, be signed by the president and then passed by three fourths of the states legislatures in a specific amount of time. Note the involvement of the state legislatures in this process. The founding fathers knew all too well that the states were more representative of the people, and must be involved to grant the federal government more authority. This circumventing of the constitution stream lines the ability of the government to become more powerful. Substantive due process became more prevalent in the mid 60’s and the federal government grew at an ever increasing rate, taking more rights from the states, and taking more and more control and freedom from us as individuals ever since.

Why is this important? In our system of government, the federal government is the least representative of the people. The state government is much more accessible to the populace, and the local government is even more so. There is only one representative in congress for roughly every 500,000 citizens, yet most people know their councilman or alderman, or at least can have easy access to them. A persons vote is much more influential on the state and local level than it is for the federal government. A vote is a person’s voice on how their government should serve them. Remember the government is supposed to serve you, not the other way around.

As the federal government grows, and encourages the growing notion of we should serve the government, I wonder how soon before we become a government of men. If those wishing more control over our lives can do this with one issue, they surely will do it with other issues.

Candidate Obama during the campaign was asked the question as to when he thought life began. His answer was that the issue was above his pay grade. He either is admitting he didn’t know, or that he didn’t want to answer. Take your pick. In truth science has no idea when life begins. I don’t know with any certainty. My faith tells me that life begins at conception, but the first amendments freedom of religion clause means you don’t have to share my faith nor I yours, nor can the government establish a faith.

Certainly a baby about to be born has life. The child about to be born is a sentient human being, of this there is no scientific nor common sense argument, and if the child were born and moments later killed, a murder would have been committed, regardless of which state the act occurred in. In fact that child is undeniably a human being and capable of surviving outside the womb for the entire last trimester. Without argument a unique life exist then, no faith is needed to believe this, and medical science supports it. So late term and partial birth abortions are the taking of human life, and in fact were not allowed in the Roe v. Wade decision, but rather mutated out of that decision, more substantive due process.

During the second trimester, months four through six of a pregnancy, the baby is an easily recognizable human being, although not generally able to survive outside the womb, the child has a unique DNA, muscle and nervous systems that are independent of the mothers, a brain, feelings, and the ability to react to outside stimulus. This independent ability to react to outside stimulus alone is enough for science to recognize that this organism is alive, and the appearance and genetic composition are uniquely human.

Abortion during this time is the killing of life, and there is no logical or scientific argument against it.
From conception through the end of the first three months, there are many changes taking place. When does life begin in this process? Fertilization of the egg? Implantation in the womb wall? After the appearance of organs and brain, when the heart starts beating? I don’t know and neither does anyone else.

Given we don’t know I believe it’s paramount that we side on the side of life. Maybe someday there will be a definitive point that life begins that doesn’t rely on faith or mere speculation, but until then we must err on the side of life. The constitution demands that we do, in that life is the primary inalienable right listed.

If Roe v. Wade were repealed or a constitutional amendment was passed reversing it, then the decision on this would revert back to the state and local governments; back to the units of government that is much more representative of their constituents. Certainly some states would allow abortions, and many others would not. Also many localities would restrict abortions within their jurisdictions. Women wouldn’t be forced into back alleys for abortions, but would have to travel to, or live in a jurisdiction that allowed them. At least the decision would be up to accessible elected representatives of the people and not a handful of judges who are appointed instead of being elected.

The scariest question is what happens if we do nothing and leave things as they are. Right now the government, under the control of liberal democrats, is proposing the Freedom of Choice Act which among other things will require all hospitals and doctors, even those of faith who currently refuse to perform abortions, to perform abortions. It also will allow partial birth and late term abortions when the baby is viable, but not yet born; on babies that no reasonable scientific argument can be made against life certainly existing.

So what is “choice?” In short and its purest form, choice is the election to do one act instead of another; to get chocolate instead of vanilla, to do “A” instead of “B”. With regards to the topic at hand, the pro-abortion supporters labeled themselves “Pro-Choice” and support their argument with statements like “a woman’s right to choose”. These terms sound much more noble than pro-abortion, and a woman’s right to kill her unwanted child. In fact they are ignoring the truth, in that the woman didn’t make good choices, so they want her to have extra choices to get rid of the inconvenient consequences.

We all know what it takes to become pregnant. Leaving rape aside, the woman has the right to choose whether she wishes to engage in this behavior, and if she wishes to do so without any form of protection. She and her partner are also fully aware of what the consequences are for this irresponsible behavior.

Since we don’t know when life begins we have to assume the baby is alive. Surely we as a civilized society would grant this presumption to the innocent, since we presume innocents of those who are charged with crime until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. What the abortion crowd wants is to right to kill another person for convenience, since having the baby would be inconvenient for the mother. Those accused of a crime must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before they can be convicted and their life, liberty or property (except taxes) can at risk from the government. There is no logical argument that says we know scientifically when life begins for a baby beyond a preponderance of probability in the second two trimesters, and beyond a reasonable doubt throughout the pregnancy.

Suppose we see someone choking and save their life by using the Heimlich Maneuver. Nothing says you have to act to save their life, yet once you choose to do so, you don’t have the right to kill them later just because you find out they may inconvenience your life in some way.

What happens if we do nothing? What happens if the silent majority remains silent? We haven’t arrived at this point overnight. This was a gradual process of the expansion of federal powers via substantive due process, and with regards to abortion and rights of life, with Roe v. Wade. We started down a road that allows the federal government the force state and local governments to allow abortions in the first trimester. Now with the Freedom of Choice Act, if passed, the federal government will demand all doctors and hospitals to perform abortions at all stages of pregnancy. Had this occurred under the Roe v. Wade decision, it never would have been accepted by the states or politicians of the time. But by gradually expanding the “right” to abortion and making it more socially acceptable via movies, literature and political speeches, we’ve come to this. We’ve started down a road where we kill for convenience. Some warn that this road will lead to killing old people or those with disabilities or deformities some day. I don’t know when that day would come. Learning from history, I know two things. If we stay on this road, the day we kill more people than unborn babies for convenience will come. If you stay on a road long enough you will reach the destination. If you abandon the road, you will never reach it. I don’t want to reach a destination of a society that kills people because they are inconvenient. One day we will all be inconvenient to some extent.

History shows we can reach that destination very quickly. In a matter of less than a decade, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party convinced the populace of Germany to demonize the Jews. They blamed the Jews for all their economic problems, and soon labeled them as sub-human. Not all the people of Nazi Germany wanted to kill the Jews, but many stood by and did nothing as the Nazi’s rounded them up and eventually killed 6 million of them because they were inconvenient. Jews weren’t the only ones suffering this, many Catholics were captured and killed as well. Had you told a German citizen in 1930 their government would do this, they never would have believed you.

Now we’re not killing Jews, but we are killing millions more babies. By comparison, the number of baby’s aborted far out paces what Hitler and the Nazi’s did. If you believe that abortion is killing human life, then you can’t just stand by and let it occur. What do we do?

When do we take a stand? When do we make our voices heard that killing people over convenience is wrong. That is all this issue is about in reality, people want abortion because having a baby resulting from their irresponsible behavior is inconvenient. Abortion just reinforces that behavior by removing the consequences.

Our system of government provides for peaceful revolution every single election cycle. We can run for office or support and vote for people who see government as we do. By support I mean campaign for, buy ads for, walk in parades, and any other legal means of supporting them. Supporting also means, if you are a person of faith, to pray for the candidates and our current office holders, on a daily basis, for them to do the right things.

We need to demand of the Supreme Court, the President, and the Congress to abolish the practice of substantive due process. We need to demand this of our candidates running for office, and require it of them once they are elected. In this regard, a letter writing, email, and phone campaign must be initiated and maintained. Having worked in government for 29 years, I know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. They’ll do something just to stop you from pestering them.

Economics always holds businesses eye, and the current economic situation places many businesses on the brink of survival. Many businesses support politicians and certain political issues. Pro-Life groups, like the churches, Right to Life, and any other organization needs to publish and post on web sites, lists of businesses that support our candidates and this issue in particular, so that we may support them with our business. Conversely, if a business supports the pro-abortion platform and politicians, then we must not support those business, and they must be made aware of this. Now this may mean not buying your favorite beverage, but this is a small “inconvenience” upon us as consumers, when you realize that if you give these companies business, if you vote for these politicians, that you are supporting abortion. Understand that supporting pro-abortion politicians and companies is supporting abortion. Doing nothing, or supporting these companies and politicians makes us no different than the German citizens who did nothing and let the holocaust continue.

For years I sat in church and listened to the scriptures and the sermons. One kept getting my attention but the time never really called upon me. In one of the parables Jesus was telling his followers about a man who gave three servants different measures of “talents” or money by interpretation. One buried his and the other two applied them and returned more to the Master. I’ve often thought the use of the word “talent” has a double meaning, and for a very long time I’ve left any “talent” God has given me buried. I hope it’s not too late for me to begin making a return on the investment God has made in me. Please accept and review this humble attempt of mine in the hopes it helps save some innocent lives. Any errors in this piece are mine. Any usable information is simply a return on investment that was never mine in the first place.

Thank You for taking the time to consider this.

Three Gateways to Freedom

September 19th, 2016

These very special gateways are usually spurned by just about everybody. When the gateways conspicuously pop up in our lives, as they regularly do, we do back-flips to avoid them. They are distasteful, in some ways frightening, and make us feel absolutely miserable. So why bother discussing them at all?

It’s because they hold the key to our freedom in this world, and the next. If you believe that what we do on earth doesn’t matter, then you needn’t read further. If, however, you believe that what we do with this scant time that we do have is important, please read on.

We can experience things such as freedom of religion, freedom of choice, and freedom of speech; these we can know and feel, but these are not what we are discussing here. This ultimate freedom is something quite different, a freedom where we never have to be concerned about superficial freedoms again.

Superficial freedoms require favorable outside circumstances, such as a sympathetic, cooperative society, or government, or country. Ultimate freedom, on the other hand, never depends on outside circumstances whatsoever, because circumstances can change.

The interesting thing about the three gateways is that they seem to be opposite of what we believe our freedoms to be. For example, the first gateway is change; everything changes, and this causes insecurity. Who wants insecurity? No one. But the fact is, everything does change, and insecurity is therefore a fact of life.

So how can the truth — that everything changes — offer us ultimate freedom? It seems that we would not want to think about this. Who wants their comfortable circumstances to change? Maybe bad circumstances, but not comfortable ones. Who wants to grow older (other than a 15 year old)?

The next gateway is discontent. How can discontent be an ultimate freedom? We go to great lengths, everyday, to escape our discontent, making fun goals and entertaining ourselves, so how can discontent offer us freedom? It seems that escaping from discontent offers the real freedom, not discontent itself!

The last gateway is that nothing stands behind our body and mind — nothing. No soul, no watcher, no power; just a body and mind that will eventually turn into dust. Whoa! This is freedom? How about depression!

Change, discontent, and nothing standing behind the obvious — three very interesting statements that demand further investigation, wouldn’t you say? Or do you prefer continuing down the worn path of mechanically fearing and reacting to these gateways, and trying to escape them?

When we no longer have to escape them, when they no longer hold any power over us and no longer represent the 800 pound gorilla in the room, then we are free; and we remain free. Its that simple.

Therefore, these three gateways, that appear so negative at first, actually offer the real freedom we so desperately seek. When we stop seeking our freedom through spurious means such as temporary pleasures, and simply face these three gateways, an amazing thing happens — we begin the process of freeing ourselves for good, not only in this lifetime, but in our subsequent world as well.

So the next time you find yourself avoiding one of these gateways by perhaps making yourself look younger or more attractive, or looking for some entertainment when you feel a bit bored, or even allowing yourself to believe some theory about life after death that you havent looked into but believe anyway, then of course continue avoiding the gateway. But do one other thing, if you can; something that will be different from anything that you have ever done before — be aware that you are avoiding the gateway!

Ultimate freedom begins with this kind of awareness, not sleep. So WAKE UP, if you have the courage. If not, at least realize that the gateways will imprison you forever. After all, they are gateways, and they are locked!

But locks have keys — and your attention to things that you have never considered in the past and the new world you will discover there, is one of them.


Self Acceptance and Freedom From Guilt

September 19th, 2016

“There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you. The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace?”
-Peace Pilgrim

We come into this world freely expressing ourselves, and then slowly but surely, our wings get clipped, as we are taught that “this is good”, “that is bad”, and if we want to fit into society we need to behave in a particular way or else we may get ostracized. As if that were not enough, many of those who go through some kind of religious upbringing, grow up with additional guilt complexes, because to live up to the ideal presented by a religion, people are often expected to deny and suppress their human nature, their human needs and desires and suppression always creates problems – first mental and emotional, and eventually even physical – because the suppressed energy needs to express in some way.

Every now and then I get emails from young men who were at some point in their lives told that if they want to progress spiritually they should abstain from sex. Instead of experiencing greater inner peace, they have found themselves in the midst of inner hell. When they are abstaining from sex, they are experiencing inner pressure from all the built-up energy that needs some kind of an outlet, and is driving them mad, because no one taught them how to channel this energy in some other constructive way. And when they can’t bear the inner pressure any more and succumb to the urge to merge, they end up feeling terribly guilty. And since no matter what they do, they feel worse and worse, some of these young men end up staying in mental hospitals because they don’t know how to deal with this inner conflict created by those who were supposed to be helping people and not make them crippled.

Every now and then I get emails from people who keep saying “I don’t need any money” or “Who needs money?” and then somewhere along the way, they begin to cry how they need money to go to a dentist, how everything is so expensive, and how they’ve been cursing some store owners for charging so much money for food or clothes or nutritional supplements or whatever it is that they need. This is most often the case with people who would like to think of themselves as “spiritual”, and who have somewhere along the way adopted a belief that “money is unspiritual”, that “money is bad”, and moreover that if they admit that they need money, they will become somehow “unholy”. Spirituality is inclusive.

Being “holy” or “whole” implies inclusiveness. You cannot be and experience yourself as “whole” if you split yourself into bits and pieces and then reject parts of yourself, as if they were not an integral part of you. Being “whole” implies embracing all of your energy, all that you have judged and labeled as “good” and wonderful about you and all that you may have judged and labeled as “bad” or undesirable. All those “good” and “bad” things are just energy.

When you reject parts of yourself because you have labeled them as “bad”, your own energy, your own life-force is vested in maintaining those parts, in pushing and suppressing that energy so that you wouldn’t be aware of it, so that you wouldn’t have to deal with it. You are using your energy to push them away, to hide them from yourself and others, because you don’t know what to do with them. When you do this, it creates stress, pressure, inner conflict, anxiety, guilt. It blocks the free flow of energy within you and in time creates mental, emotional and physical problems. It keeps away from you the experience of fully experiencing the joy of life, the experience of feeling an abundance of life-force freely flowing through you, freely expressing through you. When you block the free flow of energy within you, you feel tired, you age faster, you compromise your immune system, and you erect a barrier that prevents many wonderful things coming into your life.

When you embrace all of your parts, when you invite and welcome them, love them and accept them, regardless of how imperfect or undesirable you may have considered them to be, enormous energy becomes liberated within you. With each part that you embrace, you are becoming free of some unnecessary burden, of baggage you have been carrying around, you begin to feel lighter, you can breathe easier, you feel more energized, you can accomplish more things, you have more energy to invest in creating the life you’d enjoy living, you feel good about yourself, you become healthier, and more importantly, you begin to experience inner peace.

When you include and integrate all that is part of you, there is no longer inner conflict, there is no more inner war, there is no more any friction within you that creates stress – there is only sweet peace.

When you look at your life, you may become aware of many things you did or said, that perhaps you wish you did or said in some other way. You may become aware of many errors you made you wish you haven’t. You may become aware of all sorts of weaknesses and imperfections. And if you look around you, the great news is – we are all in the same boat. All of us have our own weaknesses and imperfections, all of us have done countless things we may wish we did differently. Have you ever met any perfect human being? I don’t think so. It is ludicrous to expect perfection either from yourself or from others. And as long as you are living, and growing and learning new things, you can rest assured that you will make many more errors.

The only thing any of us can do, at any point in time is simply do our very best. If you commit yourself to do your very best and accept and love all those parts of you that may need some polishing, just like one loves a small child, that is still growing and learning, you will live at peace with yourself and with the world. If you are aware of your own weaknesses and imperfections when you notice them in other people, you may have more compassion, toward yourself and toward other people.

If you embrace and accept your human nature, even while you are unfolding spiritually, if you let yourself be, instead of indulging in feelings of guilt, you will also lose the temptation to point fingers at others, you will let them be. People who tell others “you should be ashamed of this or that”, are those who are burdened and tormented with feelings of guilt, hoping that if they can make someone else feel guilty, they could feel better about themselves, but they never do, until they learn to accept themselves just the way they are.

When you fully and completely accept yourself, then it won’t matter what anyone else says or thinks about you, because you will be at peace with yourself. If you have accepted all that you have judged as “good” and “bad” about you and someone says that something you did was “bad”, you can acknowledge that you could’ve done better, love yourself just the way you are, and if you feel that you need to change something about you, change when you are ready. You can take whatever action is appropriate without ever crucifying yourself for the errors you made. You can simply correct the errors that you can, move on with your life and keep on doing your best.

So, if you like take some time to welcome all those aspects of yourself that have thought, said or did things you may not feel so good or proud of. Embrace them as if they were your own little children. Call back any parts of you that you feel ashamed of, any parts of you that make you feel guilty, and embrace them. And as you do, you may become aware that they are transforming and dissolving into pure energy and you are feeling more and more alive, free, expanded, happy and at peace. As you accept and love all of you, all that is part of your being and your life, you may discover that you have opened the door to miracles and many wonderful surprises.

Freedom From Fear Through the Principle of Uncertainty

September 19th, 2016

Freedom From Fear

Many people are so conditioned by alarmist ideology they don’t even realize how incredibly insecure they are. Others who are more self-aware see the negative impact of constant anxiety and worry on their physical or emotional wellbeing.

Fear of losing a loved one, anxiety over personal death and what – if anything – comes next, concern over lack or scarcity, and dread of terrorist attack are all examples of the burdens people carry daily. Whether intense phobia or general neurosis, living with undue fear greatly diminishes the joy of life and drains your power in the present moment.

Whether you have a serious problem or simply understand the value of eliminating fear from a personal development perspective, you have the power to walk away from this potentially destructive process – to enjoy genuine freedom from fear – right now.

Two Brief Disclaimers

First of all it’s important to grasp that fear is actually a very useful emotion when experienced at appropriate levels. If you’re strolling through the woods and a bear rushes toward you from the underbrush, it’s desirable that your body sends the signal of fear rather than curiosity so you’ll take ideal measures. This sensation is very handy in times of need. What we’re looking at in this article is the excess levels of fear modern society accepts and encourages.

Second, I’m not impersonating a psychologist. All I’m doing with this content is sharing some very useful insight derived from ancient wisdom and contemporary personal development philosophies.

The Deep Need For Answers

Humans naturally seek an intellectual understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. Obviously this is a productive trait of the species, for it has led to numerous wonderful advances in technology and lifestyle.

This deep need for answers and security is perhaps the greatest motivation for pursuing organized faith. Religion promises, often falsely, certainty about the deepest mysteries of life.

Some Answers Simply Don’t Exist

Some questions, however, may be unanswerable in intellectual terms. For example, what happens to the mind and identity when someone’s body dies?

It’s a fascinating query with a variety of theoretical answers. Perhaps nothing at all happens and the stream of consciousness ends forever. Maybe the energetic essence of a person shifts into another form. Who’s to say that our minds don’t wake up in another reality or enter an emerging fetus to begin the life’s journey anew? The bottom line is nobody knows for sure how this works. Reincarnation and a new life in heaven are fine ideas but there’s no substantial proof for either.

Dogma – Scientific Or Religious – Is Often Counterproductive

The fervent priest who insists he knows the truth about life after death is deluding himself and his trusting followers. It’s one thing to hold strongly an opinion or belief, and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong about doing so. Things take a turn for the perverse however when an organization demands that everyone agree with their take on what happens to the mind when the body dies; to suggest that individuals who reject the idea of heaven are instantly doomed to fiery eternal torment in the pits of hell, for example, is preposterous and deeply disturbed.

By the same token, it’s foolish for the proud agnostic to immediately assume anything beyond the mundane is impossible. Soapbox scholars who constantly harangue others with tirades about how consciousness after physical death just can’t be are not only false skeptics, they’re every bit as fanatically religious as those they claim to oppose.

Here is where dogma – whether religious or scientific – and genuine spirituality part ways in the most dramatic fashion. Spirituality is not concerned with specific belief systems; the individual is free to entertain whatever theories he wishes. Religion (including neo-atheism), on the other hand, furnishes highly specific beliefs for adherents and then enforces these ideas, sometimes with the threat of death or eternal torment.

From a legitimate, mature spiritual perspective clinging to definite answers when none can logically exist is seen as counterproductive and unintuitive.

Especially in Western society, certainty and intellectual security are highly valued. While harmless to a certain extent, in some areas of life this rigidity constitutes pettiness, insecurity, and delusion.

Why Should There Always Be A Solution?

Whether or not the fact is fashionable or comfortable, human beings do not currently have all the answers about the cosmos and the phenomenon known as life. Our intuitive faculties provide compelling insight and allude to many possibilities, but it’s ultimately important to accept the mystery.

Uncertainty is viewed as an unpleasant experience or even as a weakness by mainstream society, but this is primitive exoteric thinking. Embracing the ambiguity of life is actually the first step toward real spiritual living.

Not having all the answers about the mysteries of life, or even about your own future, gives you tremendous freedom. In the space of this uncertainty lies infinite potential.

Spiritual Uncertainty Brings Liberation And Power

In the quantum field before a particle or wave is observed, only the probability for either a particle or a wave exists. The principle of uncertainty set forth by the physicist Heisenberg states that pairs of physical properties like location and speed of movement cannot both be known at the same time. For instance, a researcher can find a particle by measuring its position, and can identify a wave by measuring its velocity, but can never find both the position and velocity at the same time.

This fascinating law of physics teaches us much about the nature of life. Scientists choose to pull either a tiny bit of matter or an energetic frequency from the plane of raw potential. In the same manner you decide moment-to-moment where to rest your awareness and how to interpret the experience of reality. The principle of uncertainty is always at work beyond the world of subatomic energy and particles, in the realm of daily life. Because we cannot predict with complete accuracy how any specific situation will unfold, there is always the potential for new developments and exciting surprises.

The pessimist would argue that, from this perspective, the possibility also exists for great disaster. This may be true, but we can’t simply pretend uncertainty isn’t a reality just because we are uncomfortable with one range of possible outcomes.

Furthermore, we have the power to define any event or circumstance as positive or negative, even if we can’t predict or demand an absolutely precise conclusion. We can choose to manifest a reality that serves our highest good, and to see every new development as something that moves us toward what we want or teaches us an important life lesson. Therefore it’s completely unnecessary to view uncertainty as the basis for fear and insecurity.

On the contrary we should embrace the always-open possibilities of life with endless enthusiasm and exhilaration. Because you don’t know exactly what will come next, there is always an intellectually plausible reason to look forward with great excitement.

Past disappointments are not destined to repeat themselves unless we believe this to be the case. Using negative, previous experiences to predict future events may be useful in laboratory settings, but it’s counterproductive as a life philosophy.

Whatever your life situation, you are free to explore new possibilities at any time. Regardless of any defeat or failure you’ve experienced up to this point, it is absolutely feasible to expect more favorable results in the future. Of course new action may be required to break old patterns, and new thinking is a definite must to get clear of recurring frustrations.

The point is, because of the inherent uncertainty of life, you can greet each new day with the intention to create new experiences. People trapped in the prison of mundane thought find this idea horrifying, but those who walk the spiritual path rejoice at the unlimited potential of life.

The Prison Of Comfort

A primary reason for resisting the notion of uncertainty is the desire to remain comfortable. Change in any form requires the firing of new neurons and the processing of atypical emotional sequences; most people find this process disagreeable and even frightening.

Think about how you get dressed each morning; in particular note which foot you put into a shoe first. Because this is an automatic activity you may need to actually go through the physical motions of putting your shoes on to figure out which foot is shod first. Once you know your regular routine, switch it up and start putting the shoe on your opposite foot first each morning.

You may be surprised by how unpleasant you find this simple test. From here it should be quite easy to understand how the potential for major change is extremely unsettling for most individuals.

As creatures of habit, human beings cling tightly to established comfort zones, even if the familiar circumstances are unpleasant and contrary to what someone claims to desire. A good example of this is the person who lives in utter poverty, constantly complains about his plight, and yet routinely sabotages new opportunities to receive money so he can stay in the situation he has become so accustomed to. An individual living in poverty who hits a major lottery jackpot has an above 80% chance of squandering all their winnings and returning to destitution within a period of two years. The bizarre and disappointing reality is, many people would rather suffer than have new experiences.

Your inclination to remain complacent, even at the expense of fulfillment and growth, must be confronted. Comfort is not intrinsically bad. It’s right and good that you should indulge in the experience of contentment. You might sink into a soft chair for a few hours to enjoy a book, or relax into a hot whirlpool spa with a drink in hand. Just beware the lazy and fear-based aspect of placation. Remember that expansion and creativity, i.e. change, is the natural state of things. When you resist the flow of life in order to avoid inevitable developments you become emotionally stagnant and spiritually defunct. Only by accepting new lessons and the processes of renewal and adaptation can you be genuinely free and empowered.

As the French author Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld said:

“The only thing constant in life is change”

However counter intuitive this may seem, it’s important that you embrace the uncertainty of life. Rejoice in the infinite potentiality of each new day, indeed of every fresh moment as it unfolds before and through you.

Once you let go of preexisting inhibitions and embrace the thrill of not having all the answers, the subtle anxiety and underlying fear modern life has planted within you will begin to fade. Release the need for specific outcomes. Accept the freedom of immeasurable prospects. Continue to acknowledge the unlimited possibilities while welcoming the best-case scenarios and trusting in the good of life, and your anxieties over change will soon be replaced with a new vigor for living.

Hillary Clinton Uses “New-Speak” to Destroy the God-Given Right to Freedom of Religion

July 22nd, 2016

“New-speak” is not a new phenomenon. American association has accomplished abundant transformation, for decades, as a aftereffect of “new-speak”. Some arresting examples cover the homosexual association hijacking the chat “gay”, transforming it from a nice description of animation to a “nice” description of a abject mindset, or transforming the chat angry from a description of any affair that violates God’s standards to a description of alone a a lot of abject violence, and around eliminating the chat sin from the American lexicon, replacing it with agreement like “illness”, or “alternative action style”.

The Secular Humanist understands bigger than a lot of Christians that pluralism is an impossibility. They accept acclimated “new-speak” to focus the accent in accord on the absence of conflict, eliminating the Biblical accent in accord on the abstraction of man’s apperception to the apperception of God. This new accent in the acceptation of accord has animated “new-speak” definitions over a Biblical compassionate of the concepts in question, in the minds of a apple attenuated by sin. Maybe you apprehend that the Secular Humanist is application “new-speak” to about-face association at ample adjoin Biblical Christianity, as a agency to annihilate Biblical anticipation as an access on civic activity.

The attack to annihilate Christian anticipation from accessible chat began boring and is now adorning to the akin of complete destruction. Last December, at Georgetown University, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alien the “new-speak” language, that, if accepted, will bear the afterlife draft to Christianity’s access on American society. In this accent Hillary Clinton attempted to alter the God accustomed appropriate of “freedom of religion” to a government accustomed appropriate to “freedom of worship.”

In the aforementioned book Mrs. Clinton aloft homosexuality to the aforementioned akin of appropriate as this “new-speak” appropriate to “freedom of worship”. This acumen is attenuate to be sure, but it is fundamental. The God-given appropriate of “freedom of religion” gives man the appropriate to preach, evangelize, and accost moral and ethical issues in the accessible square, while “freedom of worship” relegates religious anticipation to one’s adoration service, eventually even eliminating it from one’s home.

As Rush Limbaugh generally states, words beggarly things. Pay absorption to the words used, not alone by political leaders, but by media outlets, teachers, those in academia, and even religious leaders. “New-speak” is not relegated to the halls of Washington D.C. If armed by God with a Biblical apple view, you will celebration over Secular Humanism. However, if you alloy your Christianity with the doctrines of the apple you will capitulate to its system.

Religious Freedom in British North American Colonies Before 1700

June 10th, 2016

Many of the British American colonies that eventually formed a allotment of the USA were busy by European settlers, who were afflicted for their religious behavior aback home, but they captivated on foolishly to their beliefs. They accurate their leaders who dreamed of ‘city on hill’ and had a abundant acceptance in the ‘religious experiment’ that could be auspiciously accomplished in the wilderness of America.

The settlers had a missionary eyes of their abbey even in colonies like Virginia, planned as bartering venture. The entrepreneurs there saw themselves as active Protestants alive appear the celebrity of their church.

However, the settlers accomplished not one but assorted religions afore the 18th aeon and the affair of religious abandon depended abundantly on the political and religious attitude of the arena in which they lived.

Before 1700, the British North American colonies differed on the admeasurement of religious abandon in the New world. There were three bounded orders, New England, Middle colonies and the South aural the colonial empire. Most of the settlers in these colonies were of English agent on whom activated the altered Acts of British Empire. Puritanism was absolute in New England. The mid-Atlantic colonies had a majority citizenry of the Quakers. The citizenry in South was aggressive added to business and enterprise, than religion.

When we allege of religious freedom, we beggarly the appropriate accepted accurately to individuals to convenance and deliver religion. It aswell agency not getting afflicted for captivation any anatomy of religious beliefs. These regions approved adequately advanced access to religion, but we aswell apprehension a gap amid what was declared and accomplished on religious freedom, at the aforementioned time. The New England arena consisted of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. The English Puritans came to achieve in ample numbers in this breadth amid 1620 and 1640. They had been originally afflicted in their citizenry by accompaniment and church. The Puritans anticipation they were the called ones by God for conservancy and not anybody could accord to their order. The acute Puritans were accepted as Separatists, who larboard for the New Apple in 1620. The Puritans set up a government with the aim bidding in the statement, “The accomplished purpose of the Government was to accomplish God’s laws.”

In the South, Protestant adoration was overwhelmingly predominant. However, the religious and political authorities audibly discriminated adjoin them. Rebel leaders like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams challenged the ascendancy of Puritan clergy and leaders.

The aboriginal antecedents formed in Massachusetts in 1608 provides us an archetype of religious freedom. Plymouth, Massachusetts was a antecedents formed by English Separatists (also accepted as Puritans) who fabricated an attack to reside after any anatomy of religious discrimination.

New colonies that came into actuality above-mentioned to 1700 consisted abundantly of humans who were afflicted for their religious beliefs. Therefore, the colonists took aloft themselves to physique an adjustment area adoration was a amount of claimed acceptance and acceptance rather than accompaniment imposition. However, some of the colonies, abnormally the arctic colonies deviated from this ambition and apish the British archetypal that accumulated accompaniment and church.

The New England colonies that included New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were conceived and accustomed as ‘plantations of religion.’Although some settlers accustomed actuality with civil motives, a majority larboard Europe to adoration God in the way they believed correct.

The Middle colonies were ethnically diverse. Moreover, anniversary antecedents had its own angle on religious issues. For instance, Williams aboveboard accurate abandon of adoration and even such outcasts, as Quakers were adequate to him. His account on break of accompaniment and abbey were so abhorrent that he was declared a advocate and abandoned out of the Massachusetts Bay colony.

A baby accumulation of Puritans and the others in the South acquainted chargeless to adoration after persecution.

The adoration developed in assorted patterns in the colonies. In Massachusetts, the religious theocracy of the Puritanism was dominant. On the added hand, the Rhode Island accustomed abounding religious freedom. Initially, Baptists were in majority there, but added sects were anon in evidence. Some of the added colonies like New Jersey and South Carolina aswell accustomed complete religious freedom. Colonies as Maryland and Pennsylvania can be said to accept been adequately tolerant. We aswell apprehension alive religious preferences in some of these colonies. As for instance, Maryland, at aboriginal a anchorage for Catholics, and Pennsylvania, a anchorage for Quakers originally, had abundant Anglicans acclimatized aural a few decades. Anglicans as able-bodied as Presbyterians were aswell absolutely crawling in added South.

We can say assuredly that the abstraction of angelic Trinity lay at the foundation of religious belief. If a adoration had an adherence to the angle of Trinity, it was almost chargeless to adoration and convenance its adoration and the Puritans were abnormally intolerant.