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The Power Of Being

We All Have The Power Experience The Beauty Within

   Apr 16

How The First Amendment impedes Our Understanding of Iraq

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Intolerance breeds injustice. Injustice invariably leads to rebellion and retaliation, and these will lead to escalation on the part of both making reconciliation almost impossible. It would appear that during times of stress, despair and frustration, people become increasingly irrational, and they do things which they never think they are capable of. And so we see hideous brutality perpetrated by the most gentle people.

Once started religious strife has a tendency to go on and on, to become permanent feuds. Today we see such intractable inter-religious wars in Northern Ireland, between Jews and Muslims and Christians in Palestine, Hindus and Muslims in South Asia and in many other places. Attempts to bring about peace have failed again and again. Always the extremist elements invoking past injustices, imagined or real, will succeed in torpedoing the peace efforts and bringing about another bout of hostility.” Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, addressing the World Evangelical Fellowship on 2001-MAY-4. 4(excerpts)

We live in a country that was founded on the desire for religious freedom. We have carried through, for this reason, the separation of church and state. The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock came here from the same type of environment that exists in Africa and the Middle East today.

“The separation of church and state is a legal and political principle derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” The phrase “separation of church and state”, which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, where Jefferson spoke of the combined effect of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. It has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court.”…

“Early immigrants to the American colonies were there motivated largely by the desire to worship freely in their own fashion, particularly after the English Civil War, but also religious wars and disputes in France and Germany.[2] They included a large number of nonconformists such as the Puritans and the Pilgrims, as well as Catholics (in Baltimore). Despite a common background, the groups’ views on broader religious toleration were mixed. While some notable examples such as Roger Williams of Rhode Island and William Penn ensured the protection of religious minorities within their colonies, others such as the Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony had established churches. The Dutch colony of New Netherland had also established the Dutch Reformed Church and outlawed all other worship, although enforcement by the Dutch West India Company in the last years of the colony was sparse. Part of the reason for establishment was financial: the established Church was responsible for poor relief, and dissenting churches would therefore have a significant advantage.” – Wikipedia

Without an understanding of history and what this means, we cannot understand what is happening in Iraq. In actuality, we went to Iraq to defeat Saddam Hussein, operation Iraqi freedom was supposed to free the Iraqis from the oppressive rulership of Saddam. We won that war in 2003. The problem is that we did not, and do not understand the region and what happens to a region when Church equals State. Winning the war was easy what we are unable to win is the peace. Why is it that we cannot with the peace for the Iraqi people?

Imagine that instead of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, as political parties, we had Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Imagine too, that the Christians, are further divided between Roman Catholics and the various groups of Protestants. In this scenario our government is run by the Roman Catholic group of Christians. They declare Catholicism as the ruling religion of the country, banning the practice of any other religions. Now, Texas is predominately Baptist. Texas is an important region because of its oil fields. New York City, which is largely Jewish, is also important because of its financial institutions. The country is under oppressive Catholic rule, many who rebel against being forced to worship in Catholic Churches are being massacred. Now a third party, let’s imagine it is China with an economic stake in the stability of our country, and with no religious leanings, enters our country to free us from the oppressive Catholic rule and manages to defeat the strong-hold of the Catholic government. With the mighty Catholic military disbanded, the other Christian groups, begin to fight for power amongst themselves. At the same time, the Jews and Muslims begin to gather strength in their own states to gain religious control over our country for the sake of their own religions and our country becomes divided into religious territories.

In the midst of all this turmoil created by the dismantling of the strong Catholic Military, China decides to back a Muslim government. Backed by the Chinese military, the Muslim government begins to enter each state and take control. Jews, Baptist, and even Catholics rise up to prevent this from happening – China calls these religious groups, “insurgents” that must be put down. The only way is to cleanse the regions of each group, city by city. Feeling that if our country is taken over by the Chinese backed Muslims it will be the greatest offense against God, Jews, Christians, and Catholics come from all over the world to join in the fight against the Muslim government, seen by many as a puppet regime of the Chinese trying to control the worship of God in the US. The biggest battles are being waged in Texas, where the Baptist, many of them devout Christian Fundamentalists, refuse to allow the rich resources of their state to go to the benefit of the Chinese backed Muslim government. However, violent fighting among all of the religions ensues nationwide as each religion attempts to build a stronghold in a particular state. Money, guns, and ammunition are being smuggled into the country by Protestants, Jews and even Catholics from around the world to support the fight of their particular religion. All of the religious groups are united in their animosity towards China because each group sees that the only peace that China can bring to our country, will cost each religion their faith in God. This scenario is imaginary – only because of the First Amendment to The Constitution.

We have had four hundred years of desire and practice in the separation of church and state. We have had four hundred years of living side by side with so many religions that we forget the world before. We think of ourselves as a nation and its people, not of a religious faith and the affront to God of any other faith existing in the same territory.

The “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia was the Orthodox Christian Serbians “cleansing” the country of Muslims. The conflicts in Israel are not Arab vs. Israeli, they stem from the fact that Israel was established as and needs to remain a Jewish State. If the Palestinians, mostly Muslim and Christian were granted the same rights under the law as Jews, which would of course include full voting rights, Israel would soon cease to be a Jewish State, in effect, it would cease to be Israel. In India, the religious and political battle over rulership of the country was between the Hindus and the Muslims, it was only resolved by the formation of the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

Religion has no borders. Shiite Muslims will fight from all over the world with and for the Shiite Muslims in Iraq, Sunni’s will fight from all over the world with and for the Sunni Muslims in Iraq. The people of the United States are here because they have chosen to live or remain after birth in a country where one is first an American Citizen and then a Catholic, Baptist, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian or Jew. Because of the separation of church and state that we enjoy, loyalty to the country does not require loyalty to a particular form of worship. This is our Democracy. It is the Democracy, envisioned by our Constitution, which can only survive in a nation where there is an explicit separation of Church and State. Today there are 56 religious based “conflicts” including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand, Uganda, Chechnya, the Philippines, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Sudan, the Middle East and Kosovo. The Problem with our intervention in any religious conflict, the problem with any outside intervention in any religious conflict is that whatever group we back, we are backing a religion. In removing one religion from power and replacing it with the only alternative, another religion, we simply buy a temporary cease fire. Soon enough the worshipers of the defeated faith, feeling repressed, afraid, and more determined than ever to fight in the name of God, will gather support from the unlimited well of followers devoted to their faith, and God and rise up, and continue the battle. It is not a battle that is won or lost on earth but in Heaven. It is not a battle for a place on earth but for a place in Heaven. If they lose their place on land by fighting and sacrificing their lives in the name of God, they guarantee their place in Heaven.

We have won the war in Iraq that we set out to win. We cannot win the peace, because we are fighting a battle over borders, and they are fighting a battle over love, honor and devotion to God. Where Church, Temple, Mosque, or Ashram, equals State, we can only make things worse.

If there is any lesson that we should learn from this, it is that what prevents us from becoming them, what prevents the United States from becoming Iraq, Serbia, or any of the other nations embroiled in religious wars, is the First Amendment. Those who would like to see it abolished, or even relaxed should pay close attention to what is happening in Africa, Asia and the middle east because the First Amendment is all that separates us from them.

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Originally posted 2014-12-02 05:25:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


   Apr 14

Releasing our Baggage

Empty the boat of your life, O man; when empty it will swiftly sail. (From the Dhammapada (aphorisms of the Buddha)

I was faced with a choice regarding the quality of the life that I would live. I could be unhappy; looking at the seemingly unending list of tragedies that seemed to enter my life, not to mention all of the great adversity that I myself invited. Or I could look at the fact that for every dollar I lost I found five dollars, and for every dollar that was stolen from me, I was given ten dollars. For each sadness there was greater joy. I could live the life of one who is miserable because for every win there is a loss, or as someone who is grateful because for every loss there is a win.

These are the decisions that I felt I had to make in order to turn a painful life in to a joyous one. During my dark night of the soul, my most painful time, I had to find a way to be happy and at peace regardless of the circumstances in my life or more importantly, in my history. I decided that I would not rely on life for my happiness. Basically I decided that because I had to go on through anything that came my way, for the sake of my family, I needed to take control of my present. I had to take control of the quality of my life, and the only way to do that was to refuse to allow my past experiences to dictate my living.

To take control of our lives is to begin eliminating the baggage that we carry with us from our past. It is this baggage; my sad childhood is one suitcase and within it are the complexes that were left with me from it. My bad marriage was another and within it was my feeling of being a failure as a woman. Rejection from my friends was another bag, which contained my feelings of self-loathing. All of this baggage seemed to have no bottom.

Each moment that I lived seemed to jump back into the suitcase that most resembled it. With all of that baggage, I literally could not go anywhere that I did not have clothes in my suitcases to fit. Since I carried those suitcases with me, I lived out of them. If I was looking for a man, I put on my abused woman outfit. If I was looking for a job, I put on my desperate worthless outfit. I could only venture in my life where I was equipped to go. That equipment was whatever clothes I had in my baggage. I only went into experiences; or rather I only related to experiences that I had from my past. I could dress for them. In other words I knew how to dress for them because I could relate them to my history and therefore I could relive them. In order for me to move forward, to begin fresh, I had to travel light. Let go of my past experiences and my past habits and come only with myself.

Our baggage limits us. We feel unable to avoid living out of the baggage that we carry. Only when we let it go, can we shop for new perceptions to live through. The key is to keep that wardrobe only so long as it fits where we are. When we move on, we leave it behind and take only what is necessary. What we take is us. We need to understand that each situation is different. Each situation is new. We need different perspectives, and different solutions. In order to truly realize the totality of each new experience, we need to start fresh. Once we learn to leave the past where it was appropriate, we will see each moment as it is. Our lives will be fuller because we are experiencing it as it happens. In order to truly release our past, and leave our baggage behind, we must come to terms with it. We must always close the past, not just walk away from it. We need to put it where it belongs intentionally.

We have to truly release ourselves from guilt and regret. Because when we come to the realization that perhaps, we are in some way responsible for the unhappiness that seems to follow us, we add the blame of carrying it to the other baggage that we are carrying.
So even when we read all of the steps that show us how to move forward, we add to our burdens that guilt, or the loss of self worth that we feel for not releasing those things that cause us pain. In this way we only cause ourselves more pain. It is essential to understand that everything that we did was OK. Everything is appropriate for the situation in which it was created. Our past actions and our past emotions are fine as long as we leave them where they belong.

Even if we fall backwards, or take a long time to stop, that is OK too. We have not done anything wrong because we cannot do anything wrong. Even when we act out of negative emotions or negative intentions we are still learning and still teaching lessons. So long as we are here we are in progress. God will not judge where we are or what we have done until we are finished and there is no more left to do. So long as we have breath in us, we have a chance. We are learning. As a child learns to speak, and says one of those cute things that are not exactly right, it is not wrong, it is all in the process of learning. We need to release ourselves, and go even further, we need to praise ourselves for acknowledging the need to change. We should praise ourselves for making the attempt. If we intend to grow, intend to improve, and intend to become better human beings, those intentions show that we are growing. They show that we are learning and becoming who our souls are striving to become. Just as we do when we graduate to a new grade, we need to take with us the knowledge gained, the lessons learned and leave the textbooks of our struggles behind.

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Originally posted 2015-03-24 05:33:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


   Apr 12

Changing our Concept of Good and Evil

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We have evolved in many ways since the days when the major religions were founded. We live in a world that is now explainable in ways that our ancestors could never have understood. We no longer fear the darkening of the sun, because we understand the science of eclipses. Religion used the mysteries of nature to prove their validity. Now, we understand the forces of nature and although we cannot control them, they are no longer a mystery. It is a different world. We have evolved by leaps and bounds intellectually, now in order for us to continue to live on and be sustained by the earth that we have come to understand scientifically, we must evolve, we must mature spiritually and “put away childish things”. We have access to great Spiritual knowledge; we must make the spiritual leap.

Before we can understand good and evil, we must be able to stand mentally and emotionally firmly in the understanding that we are not these bodies or these lives, we are souls experiencing these bodies and these lives for a great purpose. We are energy and energy seeks to expand, we are the stuff that God is made of, and as we expand so does God. Thinking logically, the earth is not the only game in town. Ours is not the only dimension in town, and we are far from the only intelligent species in town. I believe that the earth is a unique school, one in which a soul can study the most diversified subjects and master the most diversified abilities. We are all creators, this is part of expansion, and the earth provides so many different mediums to learn to create within. There is the earth itself, there is the body, the emotions, the intellect, so many areas to perfect, and so many opportunities to grow.
Then there are those difficult courses, such as overcoming temptation, overcoming greed, selfishness, fear, hatred, prejudice – what we call the seven deadly sins are actually the seven challenges that we must overcome in order to graduate from this cycle. This is a very difficult topic because it seems to easy to declare one person evil and one person good, one act evil and one act good, but spiritually there just is no evil.

To say that a lie is evil causes most of us to immediately put up a defensive wall, against hearing anything else. The ego becomes angry and prepared for this attack on its goodness. Yet, this is not meant as a judgment of goodness. It is mean to help us to question our concept of evil.

In a belief built world, good and evil are concepts that arise out of perception. When we life in Maya, illusion, we are already living in a world built in the sky so to speak. Like those castles so readily attributed to neurotics. But what grounds that illusion, what connects it with God is the heart. The heart is where we find the doorway to God. So we can say that what we believe in our hearts, whatever we believe to be the truth, is as good as it gets.

The illusion, the Maya into which we are born is ultimately created by God for the purpose of teaching the soul its own value, its own essence which is God. Man once understood this and so created initiations for the purpose of changing the boy into the man, the boy into the warrior, or the shaman. The boy at a certain age would be sent away from the tribe to some place where he was totally unfamiliar, a place that was wrought with peril so that he could confront the many challenges that would force him to reach deeper and deeper within his being until he was in contact with the source of his power, God, which would then guide him through the dangers. He would then be led back home changed, clear, the illusions of childhood replaced with the knowledge of the true self. Just like Jesus truly became the Christ not merely at the baptism but when he went away for those forty days to confront his last temptation.

This is symbolic of mans time on earth. We must confront the ego which controls our little minds, with its wiles, its rationalizations, it justifications, its cunning and its judgments, which are, in fact, all different types of lies.

Evil is merely an illusion created in the mind of man. It is only “bad” because it takes us further away from our Source, which is connected to the heart. Good is anything that is truth, which originates from the heart and leads us to our Source. Look at it this way, if take one letter, the “o” out of good, you have God, they are connected. If you take one letter the “v” out of evil, you have lie they too are connected. Anything that is a lie, is not good, not of the heart.

When we hear the word evil we immediately seem some red horned figure, or some darkly cloaked sinister shadow lurking somewhere in a corner. Evil is in merely that which points us away from the truth which is that path to God. It is a sign that has been turned in the wrong direction, intentionally, for whatever reason. It is ultimately not in the best interest of anyone if it is away from God.

Am I saying that understanding this will put an end to conflict…an end to war? No, I am not. In a world that is built on a foundation of illusion, which is inhabited by souls who are all on different levels of evolutionary progress, there are bound to be different truths. Those truths will be defended or not based upon the age of the soul, its understanding and its inherent nature. But while the ego seeks domination and adherence at all costs to its beliefs, the heart seeks understanding and acceptance. What I am saying is that coming from the heart, living in truth, even if it is a very personal truth, will put an end to weapons of mass destruction. The heart, every heart, contains the essence of God, and even within the illusion the heart can never justify the death of one innocent being as “acceptable collateral damage”.

The ends do not justify the means in the heart only in the mind. And so a man or woman might very well see that the only way to defend what he or she believes in their hearts is to defend it with their lives. But, at no time will the heart defend its truth with someone else’s life. A noble battle is fought with honor by the one whose belief is being defended. Jesus did not send anyone else to the cross for him. And so, although we will not end conflict by coming from our hearts, we will end dishonor, and find our way to God. We will all emerge from the wilderness with the heart of a true warrior.

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Originally posted 2014-12-22 05:22:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter