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soma
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Religion or rigorous practice can't be applied with pressure and intimidation because that only brings force and violence, not wisdom so it must be fulfilled with reason, debate and intuition. When religion is left to the conviction and conscience of every person, then one can achieve a balance in this world between positive and negative, good and evil, and also between pleasure and pain. If religion brings fear, hatred, separation or anything that will frighten a child, it is probably not a true practice. Religion should bring reverence and respect for everyone and everything, and it should also not be bent for the rich and powerful because one will see wealth and worldly pleasure as worthless in the higher layers of the mind. The cloak of hypocrisy and self-interest has to be removed so praise and blame can be taken with a calm assurance unaffected by both honor and disgrace. There is no need to limit our possibilities as we open our consciousness to greater receptivity, to an enlarged concept of life as it takes on a fresh and extraordinary interpretation.

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Hi Soma,

 

My dictionary defines religion as...

 

re·li·gion (r-ljn)

n.

1. a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

 

In as much as religion is usually based on the understandings and teachings of men concerning a systems of beliefs and practice, it seems to me that religion in general will always be plaqued by conflicts and problems so as to never find the appropriate balance. It seems to me that the original teachers usually do no writing. Perhaps the reason for this is that words are always deficient in describing that which is beyond words and descriptions. Perhaps there will be a day when men and woman shall shed religion and belief systems and take up the very essence of unconditional love not as a religion but as a inherrant nature. Just some related thoughts to consider.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Perhaps there will be a day when men and woman shall shed religion and belief systems and take up the very essence of unconditional love not as a religion but as a inherrant nature. Just some related thoughts to consider.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

 

It's a good thought. We all have it deep down if love can somehow connect to it. I think it was Jean Vanier (not sure of spelling or first name). I read about him setting up a batch of homes for developmentally challenged people. I also read a Reader's Digest story about him visiting a man on death row. Vanier believed like I do and perhaps everybody on here, that people are inherently good if only love can connect with this goodness. About this serial killer on deathrow. He told Reader's Digest that this man must have been hated in the womb. So many layers of defense did he sense around him.

 

I meet so many people who don't believe in the inherent goodness of humans that this story really stuck. It made me feel like maybe it's not just a weird and unrealistic idea on my part that people are good.

 

I apologize. My thoughts seem muddled. I just came out of an extremely disturbing situation. I came here in an attempt to settle myself a bit. I hope this is okay. It seems like a compassionate soothing place.

 

Ruby

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It's a good thought. We all have it deep down if love can somehow connect to it. I think it was Jean Vanier (not sure of spelling or first name). I read about him setting up a batch of homes for developmentally challenged people. I also read a Reader's Digest story about him visiting a man on death row. Vanier believed like I do and perhaps everybody on here, that people are inherently good if only love can connect with this goodness. About this serial killer on deathrow. He told Reader's Digest that this man must have been hated in the womb. So many layers of defense did he sense around him.

 

I meet so many people who don't believe in the inherent goodness of humans that this story really stuck. It made me feel like maybe it's not just a weird and unrealistic idea on my part that people are good.

 

I apologize. My thoughts seem muddled. I just came out of an extremely disturbing situation. I came here in an attempt to settle myself a bit. I hope this is okay. It seems like a compassionate soothing place.

 

Ruby

 

Hi Ruby,

 

Perhaps it is more than even just a good thought. It seems to me if we are to be one with God even as Jesus was one with God, (It was his prayer for us) then God must be an innate part of our very being and not separate. Without that presence we would not exist. Therefor it seems to me that our only obstacle to the realization of this presence in everyone is the removal of the false perceptions we all put on as costumes that cover that very nature that is part of all that exists without exception.

 

Your thoughts seem clear to me and my best wishes for peace and love without measure in your life go to you.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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I agree with your post completely. To keep the love going I will add some more thoughts.

 

Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” because it provides an effective answer to the many problems of modern life. This call for love tells us that we are united and that no other person is separate or apart in God’s spiritual consciousness. Recognizing that we are all one in God’s consciousness gives us full protection in His unity by integrating our individual life with the world around us and providing a basic harmony and equilibrium in our hearts and minds. This is a kind of insurance from the flood of negativity surrounding us because a relaxed mind and body is positive, priceless and an indestructible way to receive successful ideas and results. When one is open and receptive, one receives ideas that guide one to prosperity because positive ideas attract while negativity repels. We find safety, security and a successful attitude in the knowledge that we are all God’s children because in unity there is nothing to fear. Unity is love so emphasis on religious differences, race or intolerance rather that the unity of God is a strange god indeed and can be a challenge for us to overcome so we need to invoke the unity of God in all things. God is within each one of us so the first step is to open our consciousness to the unity of His spiritual consciousness because God reveals Himself in the condition of love, which is a kind of spiritual and physical unity.

 

We forget to love and our unity with everything, but that is why we are here to learn, grow and appreciate the love when we are bathing in it.

Edited by soma
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This is a kind of insurance from the flood of negativity surrounding us because a relaxed mind and body is positive, priceless and an indestructible way to receive successful ideas and results. When one is open and receptive, one receives ideas that guide one to prosperity because positive ideas attract while negativity repels. We find safety, security and a successful attitude in the knowledge that we are all God’s children because in unity there is nothing to fear.

 

Soma, I'm trying to put together the things you are saying. Somewhere else you said something about ego, and ego-dominated world. Here you talk about material success and prosperity. I highlighted the terms above. This world is dominated by the search for material success and prosperity. So I guess material success and prosperity are pretty much equal with ego--both dominate this world. You put success and prosperity on the side of Good/Postive and ego on the side of Evil/Negative. I guess I just don't understand how all of this is supposed to fit together. Maybe you can enlighten me.

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It seems to me that the original teachers usually do no writing. Perhaps the reason for this is that words are always deficient in describing that which is beyond words and descriptions. Perhaps there will be a day when men and woman shall shed religion and belief systems and take up the very essence of unconditional love not as a religion but as a inherrant nature. Just some related thoughts to consider.

 

I like that! And it's quite Biblical, too!

 

Jeremiah 31:31-34 > 31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband,* says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

 

This is inserted into the amazing book of Hebrews in the Christian scriptures.

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Ruby, I understand the confusion. If I may answer with a story first. Two monks were walking down to the river when a beautiful young woman approached. She wanted to cross the river with them. One monk said nothing and picked up the woman and carried her across the river and set her down on the bank. The two monks walked for another hour and a half without talking. The other monk said to the first, "Why did you touch that girl back there you know we are not suppose to touch women?" The second monk answered, "I put her down over an hour ago and I see you are still carrying her."

 

There is nothing wrong with having a house, car or nice clothes. The problem is being attached to material things. I aspire not to have nothing because I do have a family, but to be centered so I am the same mentality if I have money or not. I think the key to this is to be unattached. May we all prosper and be unattached so we use the energy to help everyone.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I like this story. Recently, I have been meeting people who are m\embers of 'Circles of Support and Accountability". This is where a number of people support a core member who has been in prison. These core members, with support, are much less likelt to re-offend then regular offenders.

 

Jean Vanier talks about wounds rather then sin. I believe that many wounded people become 'saved" because this help the ego and makes the feel that they are better thenn others. This egotism is what distorts religion into self-righteousness rather then compassion which means 'suffering with." On the other hand, I am amazed at the Amish for whom 'forgiveness is not merely a pious concept. There have been stories of how when five Amish girls were brutally murdered, the Amish community went to the funeral of the murder, agreed to share the money they raised for medical expences with the murder's wife and children and went to the family to offer their forgiveness. This gives me hope that religion can also give people the strength to reach their ful humanity.

 

Marilyn

 

 

It's a good thought. We all have it deep down if love can somehow connect to it. I think it was Jean Vanier (not sure of spelling or first name). I read about him setting up a batch of homes for developmentally challenged people. I also read a Reader's Digest story about him visiting a man on death row. Vanier believed like I do and perhaps everybody on here, that people are inherently good if only love can connect with this goodness. About this serial killer on deathrow. He told Reader's Digest that this man must have been hated in the womb. So many layers of defense did he sense around him.

 

Ruby

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In the early 70's I use to teach yoga and meditation in the Prison in Carson City, Nevada. I was living in an ashram at the time, anyway we started a halfway house for the inmates. The prisoners in some ways were more honest than my fellow spiritual aspirants, but in other ways they were still in prison in their minds when released. We all are imprisoned in some way so life gives us opportunities to free our soul. Your post brought up these pleasant memories thanks.

 

Thank you for bringing up the Amish. What inspiration............Their positive acts of forgiveness applied to their specific needs in this case brutal acts of murder changed their circumstances helping them to pass from hardship and grief into a greater freedom than is known. As we enter into this greater consciousness astonishing things happen that we thought were not possible, but we must take an honest look at our negative thoughts and let them go. The Amish have answered this call to action. I bow down to their spirituality.

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While their demonstrations of forgiveness were truly inspirational, we also shouldn't forget that

at times their insulatity (is that a word?) can be harmful. For instance, spousal abuse, while not

exactly nonexistent in the English world, is at least considered to be a serious crime in most circles.

However, it often goes unpunished and even supported in their world.

Also due inbreeding illnesses like bipolar disorder are rampant.

 

I don't wish to undercut the group's forgiveness in this case, as it is genuine, but

they are people too, and their life is not quite as romantic as it has been portrayed.

Also a note that their kind of forgiveness is not out of reach of other people either, even

if we don't live in the 19th Century. There was a case, for instance, of a family traveling thru

Italy (I think), their beautiful son was shot and killed while driving thru the country side.

The case wasn't solved. OTOH, the family, instead of acting in revenge, donated his organs

to Italians and spawned the growth of donation of more organs in Italy.

There are also people who have not called for the execution of the person who killed

their husbands, sons, brothers, sisters, but instead called for redemption.

 

I think it is helpful to point this out, as being available, and not some far flung thing that only

someone who lives a fairly wierd life out of the past can do.

 

--des

Edited by des
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I don't know enough about the Amish to know whether husband abuse their wives. It is true that they are not the only ones who are able to forgive. However, it seems to me that those who have a strong religious background, are more like to have the strength to forgive: --Ghandhi, the Dalahi Lama and Nelson Mandela come to mind.

 

In Canada, our First Nations People have been physically, sexually and psychologically abiused by residential schools run by various Christian denominations. Many wind up in the Canadian prison system as a result of this abuse. Their life and identity destroyed by their churches. There only experience of life has been within the walls of an institution. However, many are able to turn their life around when they are introduces to native spirituality. I heard one story where a group of men participated in a sweat lodge together and became vulnerable to each other. Afterwards this bond continued and they became quite supportive of one another. I believe that religion can be both wounding or healing depending on the approach of its leaders.

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  • 2 weeks later...

God consciousness gives a new concept of life that helps form a new humanity, both on the individual and community level. It helps people take on something more than the animal because it offers a way out and in that is both spiritually and socially concerned with the material well being of all of humanity. This is when people transcend biological evolution and start spiritual evolution, a new field where they can realize new possibilities. Living beings or humans conscious of the whole evolutionary process gradually learn of their true identity, duty and destiny. Practical biological progress comes to an end here and evolution changes from a mechanical process to a conscious strategy. It is too bad a serious tragedy or mis-hap has to happen to start the process.

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God consciousness gives a new concept of life that helps form a new humanity, both on the individual and community level. It helps people take on something more than the animal because it offers a way out and in that is both spiritually and socially concerned with the material well being of all of humanity. This is when people transcend biological evolution and start spiritual evolution, a new field where they can realize new possibilities. Living beings or humans conscious of the whole evolutionary process gradually learn of their true identity, duty and destiny. Practical biological progress comes to an end here and evolution changes from a mechanical process to a conscious strategy. It is too bad a serious tragedy or mis-hap has to happen to start the process.

 

I with you. I believe that ultimastely the role of religion is to help us evolve toward what I call "Christ consciousness", or at least this Christ image is the image I am most familiar with. I do respect that other people have other images but I am not as familiar with them. Christ, for me, is the arcgetype of who we could be as human beings. Buddha consciousness is a more familiar image to others.

 

Part of this evolutionare proccess is to be wounded by those who have preeded us. It is what we do with these wounds that matter. We can either retaliate or wound others or we can accept these wounds graciously and use them to heal others as Christ did, or Ghandhi, for that matter.

 

I find this hard to express, but for me Christ is an impulse or spirit that I can open up to and decide to take over my life. I am not saying I am there yet but this is the vision I have. I feel it when I am able sometimes to let go of myself and be fully engaged in listening and present to the story of pain of others.

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mgf50 you expressed you inner feelings very clearly. They are deep I see that Christ to you is not an object, but an actual spiritual experience. I salute the divinity within you with all the love and cordiality of my heart.

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