Month: October 2017

Living In The Moment

Q:  What does it mean to be in the moment?

A:  Well, to me living my life in the moment is the only time I am actually alive, any other time past or present is either over and gone or sitting somewhere in the future waiting to arrive.

The past, it lies behind you

The future lies ahead

Live in the moment or

live amongst the dead.

The past it lies behind you:

Living in the past in the physical sense is like this:   When I was a young man I was strong and agile. I was superman. I could almost fly. When I became an old man I quickly realized I was no longer that person and would have been a fool to try to be. . .  Today I must live with the reality that I have weakened to a great extent. I still work out, but now it’s to keep my bones and ligaments agile. Although I still think I can fly, I know better than to try. . . . Same thing for a woman trying to carry the beauty of her youth into old age, it don’t work. There is a special beauty that is reserved for the aged she will never know as long as she lives in the past. That’s living in the moment in the physical.

Living in the past in the spiritual sense is like this:  I did some really bad stuff when I was younger that could have tied me up in guilt forever. My spiritual growth has also been stunted by lust, greed, and selfishness. I have hurt people and been hurt in return. I have struck out when a simple turn away would have been better.

Had I held onto past grievances and brooded over them for long periods of time they would have very soon become my best friends and I would still, at 75, be holding onto them. Though they were long past, and completely out of my control I would still honor them in my remembrance. Thankfully I have learned not to hold onto my past mistakes and erroneous ways and to recognize them for what they were. Growth lessons.

The future lies ahead:

It is imperative that each of us realizes that we personally have a whole lot to say say about what our future will hold for us. We are not just poor souls grasping onto dead logs as they float down the river of life, we are powerful souls piloting our own ships, and we have total control when it comes to buffeting the waves and circumventing the whirlpools. We quite literally create our futures by the things we do and say in the present.

Live in the moment or live among the dead:

That’s pretty much the way it is . . . the present is the only place we have control. Therefore, although it is a struggle to do so, it must be done.

The After Life . . .

the afterlife

After having a conversation on the internet with a couple of born again Christians about the afterlife I began to wonder how many people there are on this planet who believe the party line when it comes to Heaven and Hell and the afterlife. I figure there are probably zillions, but I’m not one of them. Even during my ‘balls to the wall’ Christian days I never believed a lot of the mainline Christian doctrine. So, what am I saying? Simply that from the very beginning of my search for reality, the Christian religion has led me down a steep and winding trail.  

I came impulsively into religion because I was seeking meaning and safety in a life that was quite frankly steam rolling out of control. I was an American therefore I chose Christianity. Had I been born and bred in Afghanistan I would have chosen the Muslim religion. Born elsewhere I may have become Hindu . . . Buddhist . . . etc.

Now, on the social level I have no doubt the church is an important charitable organization. It does many worthy things such as feeding the poor and homeless. It instills hope in depressed and dependent people. It is a beacon of light to the drunk, the druggy, the true believer . . . and so on. I honor her for that, but . . . and especially after seeing how the christian right is flocking to the  disjointed ramblings of Donald Trump and his war on immigration, she’s turned a lot of people off, especially the young, and us old folks who have enough experience under our belts to see the fallacies in that kind of belief system.

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Salvation

Q: What does it mean to be saved?

A: That depends upon your religious affiliation, but as a rule the Christian church teaches that Jesus Christ willingly gave up his life as a sacrifice for your sins, and by your acknowledgement of that sacrifice you have been freed from the curse of sin and death. It teaches that Heaven is reserved for those who die in the faith . . . Hell is reserved for those who don’t.

Christian doctrine accepts a convert as they are and promises them a new life where they will be forgiven of past sins and become a new person as they live under the living word of God and His bible. In time the simplicity of that message created the largest and most powerful religion known to man. People flocked to the Mother church and her teachings by the millions.

When I was a younger man I know I did. I was at the end of my rope. I needed help from somewhere. Jesus was there, free and open armed, for me. I was born again in a local church and as long as I remained in good standing with the church and it’s doctrine I was guaranteed a place at the table when I got to Heaven. Heady stuff for a guy who had absolutely no religious affiliation whatsoever, and it worked great for a couple of years . . . BUT . . .

In time I began to notice that my life had become an ‘us vs them’ affair, something I was not comfortable with for many reasons. I began to question . . . especially when I realized I, as well as almost every church person I knew, had pretty much traded our past sins in for an open, ongoing, and obnoxious version of self righteousness. I was not pleased with myself.

I studied the bible, prayed for this and that, even lived on a Christian commune for a couple years . . . but after all was said and done I was the same guy I’d always been, but now I had to hide behind this magical connection to God. Anyway the questions became too many, the doubts too large, and I became what we church people feared more than anything else . . . a reprobate backsliding his way to Hell!

Back to the question of salvation: What was I being saved for? Why me? What if I couldn’t read the bible? What if I was born a Muslim? A Jew? An Indian? Chinese? What about the rest of creation? The questions came on like an endless series of waves in a heavy storm and I felt myself sinking under them . . . so I did what I do best. I hopped a plane and headed off into the sunset and a new adventure in Seattle.

Today I am not down on any church, but in general I believe we have gotten it all wrong when it comes to Christianity. I believe we have been duped by a ministry clearly bent on self aggrandizement. Guys who have created magical doctrines in order to rule over their flock of believers instead of taking the time and patience to teach them to practice what the simple teachings of Christ actually meant. We Americans are an overly spoiled, ‘all show and no go’ people. Even our version of Christianity, (especially the TV ministry bullshit), proves it to us.

Bottom line . . . It is easier to WORSHIP Jesus than it is to LEARN from him . . . and the ministers are using our spiritual laziness against us by promoting their version of American exceptionalism in order to control our minds, and give themselves a great life in their shiny new church. These Pharisees and false prophets are alive and well and living among us.

So here’s my answer to your question on salvation:  Jesus didn’t appear on the scene to SAVE you. He came to TEACH you how to SAVE yourself. . . and if you choose to follow and practice his teachings, he will be your teacher and you his student. And what can be more satisfying to a teacher than to have a student who learns his lesson?

Jesus was a special being, no one can argue that. I believe he existed and was a thorn in the sides of the priests of that day, just as you will become if you follow his lead. I don’t believe he was a special creation though. I believe he was an old soul who obtained awareness at a very early age and dedicated his life to the cause of teaching humanity a better way.

I believe there have been many teachers who have come and gone throughout the ages who were born for the very same reason, and I believe they all have based their teachings on one four cornered foundation.

house of god
You are being saved for no other reason than to build THIS house . . . you may never know it, you may never be awarded anything other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped build it . . . but that will be enough.

 

Imagine . verses 1 2 3

imagine

Verse 1

In John’s first verse he asks us to:

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today . . .

Since time began God has been around in one form or another watching us. Depending on when, where, and what age we were born in, we would have received from our elders an entirely different picture of God.

What is God anyway?  Who is this multi-faceted Father of the universe that, while declaring unending love for  us, also demands our total worship or else? “It ‘s heaven or hell Bubba, you better get your shit together or hell and damnation await you!” . . . Yikes!

Now I know this stuff helps when a person is a child, but after one reaches maturity little Johnnie should be seeing things a bit clearer than that. It’s time for him to drop the blinders and realize HE is the guy responsible for his actions. It’s time for him to either fly . . . or crash to the ground.

There are no magical formulas, no special alliances . . . only hard work. Man, both singly and corporately, creates his own heaven and burns in his own hell by the way he thinks and the actions he takes in daily life.

What happens beyond the grave, nobody knows, but personally I doubt very much Dante’s hell exists for any of us. I also highly doubt we will be walking on streets of gold and having lunch with Jesus . . . (more…)

What Can I Do? . . .

kindness

Ok, I understand what’s going on in the world. I even somewhat understand what needs to be done to remedy the situation . . . but I am just one person, what in the world can I do about it? How can one person have any affect at all when it comes to real honest to God change in this society?

Well, that’s the question we all ask ourselves when we consider this stuff. Who needs even one more prophet of doom wandering the halls of cyberspace anyways?

Truth is nobody wants your wisdom . . . nobody wants your knowledge . . . nor does anybody particularly need it. (assuming you actually have any to begin with)

They have all spent a vast amount of time building up the particular facade you are now attempting to destroy, and are actually quite annoyed when you begin chopping away at it. Truth is most people find it much easier to blame others for their problems anyways, so forget about it.

People in this country crave diversion, they flock to it like beetles running to a freshly laid dog turd. You want popularity? You want a large readership on your blog? Stick to the simple stuff, throw in as much sex as you can, and you will someday become king of blog hill. (more…)

Free Your Mind . . .

free mind

This blog has two goals. One is to lay out a personal plan for meaningful change and what it will take for us to do it. The other is to reveal, in as simple a way as possible, the reality of just what sort of fix we, as well as this entire planet are in.

We all want to raise our families in peace and freedom. We should all realize by now that relying on a governmental system, regardless of what it is called, or a religion, regardless of what it is called, or anything else, regardless of what it is called, will not do the trick for us.

These entities are not even capable of creating a just and lasting change in the human condition. They just can’t do it. God knows they have been trying and promising change throughout modern history, and none of them have yet to succeed to any measured degree that I can see.

Don’t you think it’s about time to shift gears and realize that any lasting change MUST come from within us? That we are personally responsible for our actions and are the only ones with the power to change ourselves? (more…)

Free Your Body . . .

chi gung

Barack Obama, the first black man to be elected President of the Unites States rode into office on the winds of promised change.

I liked Obama, his ideas sounded good to me. I also considered his term a last chance effort to dig this country out of the ditch the previous administration had dug for us. I was not so happy with our new president later on though, when I realized he may just go down in history as one of the worst presidents we ever had.

Why do you think so many of us who voted for his promise of change ultimately gave up on him? How come his presidency did not work?

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Free Your Spirit . . .

free your spirit

The Tao of Coffee

Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in a local Portland Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they took the advice of the Chinese guy working there and decided to drive to the beach near Astoria to visit a sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.

The following morning they took off for the beach. Upon arrival, they soon found his cottage hidden amongst the coastal dunes. Although the cottage was empty they spotted the old sage not far away sitting on a high dune facing out to sea.

After approaching him, the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?” (more…)

Diversity . . .

SupplierDiversityL

Although we can be related by blood or formed into various groups, each one of us lives in our own reality and perceives this existence we all share a wee bit differently. Expecting others to share, exchange for, or even believe, OUR reality has always been a major cause of conflict in this world, and yet we continue walking this same beaten and worn out path throughout history.

Diversity is what creates the magic. Traveling to various exotic places is far more exciting than visiting the local coffee shop. Having pizza in Naples is far more exciting than going over to Dominoes for it. Killing diversity is the same as exchanging paradise for a parking lot. Do that and what do we get? . . . boredom!

Conversing with people of other races or religions is great fun if you give each other space to believe their own views without attempting to interject your particular brand of salvation. Being open minded is a good concept.

Why then continually fall into the politically correct trap that has very carefully been lain for us in this country. Are we really the greatest country in the world? Is democracy really the highest form of government? Is Jesus really the only begotten son of God? These are all topics open for discussion, not truths etched in stone. Even in America we don’t have all the answers. (though we seem to think we do)

If we want to learn something worth while perhaps we should drop the con game and search within ourselves for the answers. Seek out things that will bring us all together rather than tear us apart even more. We will all gain from the experience, far more than just always being right . . . when we have no proof we even are.

Open Your Heart . . .

OpenHeart

Everybody at some time in their life has a moment of truth, a life changing experience where they begin to see things differently than before it happened. Sometimes it is a huge catastrophic event, while others it may result from the simplest of things.

I have had a few monster awakenings in my rather chaotic life, but the following is way strange for a guy like me, at least for the guy that I perhaps pretended to be. . . .

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