Featured

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 71: Humility and Balance in Life and Spirituality.

What is addiction and what is recreation? Where is the line between harmless fun and reckless behavior? Are some addictions worse than others, and if one doesn’t mind being addicted, then is it a problem? Life is about balance, as I’m sure we’ve all heard or perhaps realized for ourselves, and Buddha suggested we follow the Middle Way. But what is too much of a good thing? Is there such a thing? What is not enough evil? Wouldn’t we all be free to finally feel at peace if all evil were eradicated? Would we though? Is duality necessary? If it is, why should it be so? Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to ask them, and I’m sure some good has to come of it. Some say we must have faith, and I agree, but faith in who or what? If evil is a part of life then, is this God’s perfect plan? Is there something wrong with it, or is it just that we are not at a level from which we can see what it all means, why it’s all necessary? Is life all a game, or is it extremely serious? At times we feel one way, at times we feel another. How can we find a balance between the two, and should we even attempt it? Some might blame God for having created such an evil world, but they don’t realize that their own use of their ability to express themselves is only possible because of their existence in the world. Evil is within us, just as it is outside of us, and we all have the potential to treat others in horrible ways in which we would never want to be treated ourselves. Should we despise our own existence and kill ourselves because we were born imperfect? Doesn’t it make more sense to try to understand why we were born this way? There must be some reason for it. Isn’t there any inspiration to be found in our lifelong struggle against our own evil, in persevering towards achieving a goal, towards setting our life straight, or a certain area of our life, and coming out successful in the end? What if there is a much deeper meaning to life than just seeking pleasure? Could this be the reason why some of the most damaging things in life, for human beings, are also the most pleasurable? Maybe the bitter aftertaste that follows certain forms of pleasure is there to help us, to guide us so that we may search for the truth, so that we don’t spend a lifetime chasing after alcohol, or drugs, or sex, or money. Some things are not evil in themselves. Sex is holy if it is treated with respect and used in its proper context, but it has been degraded to such an extent, that it is now one of the easiest ways to get lost in the petty search for pleasure. What turns good into evil, holy into blasphemous? A lack of balance does. Now, regarding the doubt as to whether this is God’s plan, whether he meant, if he did create the universe, to have evil be a part of life, I can’t say that I know, or that I’ve looked deeply into the subject. However, in the Bible, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the forbidden fruit before the snake had even appeared to them. If the forbidden fruit was what made them be aware of good and evil, being the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then how could they have committed evil deeds, such as disobeying God, before having eaten from the tree? Eating from the tree was an act of disobedience, but if they were created perfect, then why did they fall for the snake’s dirty trick? And where did the evil snake even come from anyway? If God made everything good, then how could an evil snake, a lying snake, come to speak to Adam and Eve, to tempt them into doing something wrong? Perhaps God meant for there to be temptation in this physical world, maybe so that we might learn to overcome it. Would there be any meaning in an action movie without a bad guy for the hero to take on? If there isn’t a bad guy then there’s some sort of conflict to resolve. I’m not saying that life is a Hollywood film, but life is sort of like a movie except that there is no guaranteed happy ending. Life depends on our choices, and even if some think that our fate is sealed, that history is already written and set in stone, it sure doesn’t feel that way. If we can’t feel like it is that way, then at least we should try to make our lives meaningful, even if it’s just for us. Take a second to sit back, relax, meditate, leave the stress behind just for a moment. Analyze every aspect of your life, and you are sure to find much meaning. Some you have always been aware of, some you have neglected for a long time and left to the side, and some might come in the form of a sudden, new realization, a surprising epiphany. Once you think about what is important in your life, about what is meaningful, you will see that, in order to progress in each and every one of these things, you will need to work at being much more balanced, and at having more self-control in general. This practice of cultivating self-control is actually the first step into a spiritual way of living. Self-control means that the real Self, the only Self, is controlling the illusory self, the physical and mental self, the physical and mental projections which are perceived by my mind in order to create an identity of who I am, along with the name given to me by my parents at birth. The more self-control we practice, the more we will live a balanced and healthy life, and the clearer we will think. We can’t have all the answers in life, but we shouldn’t become cynical because of the world’s apparently hostile nature. We should be humble, and we should seek to understand, for we are very small beings in a much, much greater universe, more meaningful than any of us could ever imagine.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 72.

~ Rebel Spirit

Featured

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 36: What Do Adam and Eve Stand For?

The Fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden makes me wonder about a lot of things. Of course, Christians claim it is simply a literal account of how the world was created by God. I don’t regard any belief as false, but I think it might just be possible that there’s much more to it than that. Why did women start giving labor in pain only after God cursed Eve for disobeying his commandment? Why was this also the point in the story when they were commanded to work the earth? Could it be that this was the time when “Adam and Eve” became incarnated beings, the time when time began, so to speak, when souls entered into male and female bodies and populated the earth? This is a similar concept to the Kabbalist idea of tzim-tzum, the big bang which took place due to God contracting his total goodness, thereby removing it from a certain place in time in space, creating the Earth, a world motivated by infinite desire, all beings feeling the emptiness of having lost God’s all-encompassing love. This is believed to be the reason why most of us experience a spiritual impulse at some point in our lives, why religion has arisen since the dawn of time and continues to pop up in every part of the planet, since we long to reconnect with God, with the creator. Could Adam and Eve also represent masculine and feminine forces, both which are found within each person, positive and negative, the yin and the yang? Could the story of the creation of Adam, and then Eve from his ribs, be a way of symbolizing the fact that both forces need to connect, that one can’t be without the other? After all, a man and a woman connect to create a new life on this planet. Nobody knows how this conjures up consciousness into a new body, nobody knows the complete process whereby a cranium is developed to hold that consciousness, or actually the brain that will receive, or perceive, that consciousness. It all just happens, a higher intelligence takes care of all we take for granted. All we need to do is get together and make love, ideally while we are in love. This disregard for connection, yet global obsession with sex at the same time, is creating a lot of problems as unexpected and often unwanted children are being born, and their parents either give them up for adoption, or much worse, go in for an abortion. If they choose to keep the child, he or she usually grows up in a tense environment, if the parents are teenagers there are usually lots of problems with parents and they end up separating. This ruins the experience of childhood for many kids, and it ruins many people’s adult lives as well, as experiences of fear or trauma or too much stress and disagreement in the air can cause psychological or emotional problems in young children’s minds. But of course, these parents never thought about the idea of truly connecting with someone else, in order to start a family and take care of a new life. All they did was let themselves go, into all kinds of pleasures, desensitized from all possible consequences, living as if life is nothing but a dream. If more people treated the subject of sex with respect, if they truly understood the sanctity of love and true connection between two people who support each other, then maybe people wouldn’t abuse it so much, and many of these problems could be avoided. Quick and stupid decisions have consequences that last for generations. I got a little bit off course there, but on another note about Adam and Eve, could they also signify the good and evil of life? We already wondered about the positive and negative poles. The Law of Polarity is one of the seven hermetic principles, as well as The Principle of Gender. Good and evil could be part of this as well, since no one really know what real good really is, the truest good which is beyond both the good and the evil of duality. This is a planet of polarity, and maybe we need to find balance between good and evil by understanding both pain and pleasure and becoming indifferent to them, understanding that there is a higher essence above them. Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so was there already good and evil, or did they begin when they ate from the fruit? Did they simply become aware of these concepts, of good and of evil, and that this knowledge came along with free will, with human life, with the life of suffering which we all live in, according to the Buddha? Why must the nature of life be one of suffering, why must no earthly good completely satisfy? There must have been some initial mistake, and Adam and Eve’s mistake seems to be one that impacted generations for millions, or possibly billions, of years? But how could they have chosen to disobey God in the first place and eat from the forbidden fruit, if they didn’t yet have free will? So, I don’t really know. Where these really human beings, or angels, or mythological characters, personifications of certain concepts? Could a happy marriage be the highest we can achieve in life? Could it be some kind of way for us to fully connect our opposite energies, if we do it in the spirit of true love, and to feel a connection that resembles the connection between Spirit and God, between the Atman and Brahman, the lover and the beloved? Could marriage, just as sex, be divine symbols for the connections that must be joined in balance, during this life, in order for us to live correctly, or of the physical body parts that must be joined in order for life to even continue? We can never know, but we can study and maybe one day we’ll come to a more complete conclusion.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 37.

~ Rebel Spirit

 

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 28: What Is Living In The Moment?

Regardless of all the talk about being in the moment and fully living that way, it’s essential to understand that this does not give us permission to live with no planning whatsoever. One can and should plan for the future, seeing as we all have free will in this world as well as the power to profoundly influence our own lives, and also those of many others. We simply can’t allow such a power to go to waste. This power, free will, is a right which comes with great responsibility, as we live in a world where cause and effect are basic principles of how things play out, and to ignore this truth is detrimental to life. We have been gifted with a wonderful mind which we can use to our advantage as long as we keep it under control of our higher nature. It sounds like a great idea, but we often find that in our modern society it is extremely difficult to put into practice, our minds seem to have a will of their own, which slowly becomes ours as we identify more and more with it. We are always being bombarded with certain ideas, most of them quite destructive to our mental sanity, negatively affecting our mental functions. It is right to have faith, to trust God or the universe in all circumstances, but this does not mean that we cannot create our circumstances. In fact, there is no one else who can do this for us, we must take control and do what needs to be done to create the life we wish to live. A problem often arises however, that what we believe to be the right actions in the now lead us very far away from the lives we thought we wanted. Sometimes the opposite might happen, we may indeed get whatever we wanted, only to find out that it isn’t right for us, it isn’t what we need. This can be the realization of a heavy drug addict coming face to face with their terrible affliction and its need to end, or of someone who has realized that any specific habit just isn’t serving them any longer, and that it needs to stop in order for him or her to move forward in life, on to better days. Just because the habit itself isn’t right for us though, and we realize that now, in a higher level it was right for us at the moment when we indulged in it. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t quit it, of course. What it does mean is that, no matter how much pain we may have caused for ourselves and others, there’s no going back, only the facts of the matter are left now, in memories of the past. In the present though, we have a different mentality, a more mature one, so we can choose to learn from the disaster we created, and the lesson we learn if we are honest with ourselves could just be the exact one which is needed to free us from further problems in our lives, since various problems in a person’s life often stem from the same source, from the same pain or anger or fear. This acceptance of our life, of our own responsibility for our life, is truly living in the moment, accepting it, and thereby accepting the past that brought us to such a present. Knowing we are fully responsible for every area of our lives makes us feel accountable for our destiny, and it makes it easier for us to make the right decisions. Living in the moment and letting go of all worry seem like wonderful ways to finally live freely, unburdened by stress and confusion. However, we all must do something in this life. We cannot simply watch the time go by as we do nothing at all, wasting the days away. We must reflect, and we must understand ourselves. In truly understanding ourselves we are getting to know God, as God is manifested in and through us. We can recognize the struggle between good and evil within us, between our higher and lower nature, between the will of God, and our own selfish will. Reflection is essential for a life lived correctly. So what about meditation? Meditation is considered the perfect example of simply being in the now, being comfortable with the present moment. Thoughts and emotions disappear as we drift into a pure state, beyond thought, time and space. One could ask if this is not the exact opposite of reflection? In a way, the answer is yes. This is not a loss to us though, since there is wisdom beyond thoughts and emotions, true wisdom which is not learned with words. This is the wisdom of peace, of reconnecting with our true essence. The meditative experience is a great tool which I’ve used for a few years now to develop more mindfulness, but even meditation is temporary, just as everything else in life is. A person who cannot appreciate every moment of life as it is will soon find that their life has passed them by, as they have always wished to live the next moment, the next best thing. Meditation is merely a doorway to a state of mind which is infinite, but it is still only a doorway. What is happening during true meditation is that we are becoming comfortable with who we are in essence, we are putting away all the baggage we carry on a daily basis, all the thoughts and emotions and opinions which we consider to be ourselves. This is what leads to blissful or even mystical experiences during meditation, but ultimately this wisdom needs to be applied to every second of our lives. In other words, our whole life must become a meditation in motion. We must find the inaction within action, and we must be at peace even as we navigate through the turbulent waters of life in this world. How can we be at peace in this way, at every moment of our lives? First of all, we need to come to an understanding that, although we are involved in life, and although it feels like we are our personalities, there is a deeper dimension to us, a Spirit without which life would not flow through our bodies. This spirit is our consciousness, the aforementioned higher nature which is in all of us, which we need to make our lower nature subservient to. Once we know that life is filled with meaning, and that destiny and free will are really two interrelated and interacting forces, we understand that our mind is simply the instrument with which the real Self, the Spirit, can live in this world of limited perceptions. We now feel as if every action of ours is of great significance, and the same goes for all other human beings. The difference is that now we are aware of this, and since we are now aware, we need to practice maintaining this awareness. It is easy to understand this intellectually, but as soon as we feel a strong emotion, all of our understanding goes out the door and we succumb to our lower nature in a flash, we let ourselves be used by our mental patterns, and we often end up acting in ways which we later terribly regret. Regret comes from making decisions which are not in alignment with our higher nature. It is useless to feel regret though, as it is only a cause for negative emotion and pointless suffering. What is needed is that we analyze, in the now, our past decisions and decide to do what’s right right now. We cannot fall victim to our emotions and allow them to drag us through the mud. We must be stronger than regret, we must be rooted in the spirit, in order to make better decisions in the present, or in the future. We need to feel, to really feel and witness, the connection between God and the Spirit within us to the point where we will no longer be able to live ignorant lives, because the knowledge of what’s right will punish us, it will not leave our conscience. At such a point, one can really begin to live in the moment, surrendering all to God. The problem is that too many people attempt to live in this way, to live “in the moment”, without ever growing in any other way, either mentally or spiritually, and usually without understanding even the basics of any of these concepts. The result is that people think “I only get one life, and I might as well live it to the fullest. I’m going to have as much fun as possible and live with no regrets, without listening to the opinions of others, I’m just going to do my own thing from now on, and whatever happens happens!” Since the people who have such ideas are usually not aware of their higher nature, and since they have not developed the least bit of self-control, they usually engage in destructive and reckless behavior, which leads to much suffering later on. They believe they are living in the moment, by simply acting without giving any thought at all to anything they do, each allowing himself to be used by his mind, much of which is hidden even to himsf, in the subconscious. Maybe such people are simply meant to learn to live life the hard way, but in the end, when the suffering comes, they will probably choose to dwell on their past mistakes, and on the negative emotions of regret or disillusionment which will accompany them, as well as many other negative emotions they might face due to the results of all their reckless decisions over the years. What we all need to do is to understand, to let go of emotion and blame, or regret and hate, or disappointment with life, and to understand that life is unpredictable but it is ultimately under our control if we can connect with the source of it. Living in the now doesn’t mean doing things without thinking or planning, it means being mindful of our thoughts and emotions, yet knowing a deeper reality within us at all times, all-knowing and without the ability to lie to itself, and following the wisdom it conveys to us, without exception, since the more we ignore this wisdom the further we stray from it, and the more we become entangled with the confused thoughts of our own minds, which have become so corrupted by society, and ultimately by ourselves, since we have allowed this to happen.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 29.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 13: Immigrating to Canada, Pressure from Parents.

I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I lived in Honduras, both in Tegucigalpa, the capital, as well as San Pedro Sula, the industrial capital, for ten years before my family immigrated to Canada. My father studied economy and received his Master’s Degree. He is a very intellectually driven man who takes pride in his understanding of the world, of business and of money. He left a job with the United Nations, working on humanitarian projects throughout my birth country of Honduras, and moved to Canada where he struggled to find work. With help from a job agency he was able to get odd jobs here and there, finally settling at a fireplace factory. Apart from having to wake up in the early cold which we wasn’t used to for a job which he was ridiculously overqualified for, my dad was also not used to carrying heavy machinery and equipment at work. A year or so after he began working there he found out he had a hernia and had to have surgery for it. Thankfully he was fine, and nowadays he has a much better job at a bank, which suits him a bit better for sure. Despite his temper, my father is really someone I greatly admire due to his determination to make ethical decisions in life. My father believes in doing everything right, in the way it needs to be done. Growing up I always wondered why I was so different from my father, but lately I’ve been having epiphanies which clearly show me just how similar we both are. We both have crazy ideas of unique projects. We both enjoy speaking to people and can talk non-stop when it comes to a topic we are passionate about. My dad is sort of extreme in a way, something I never wanted to admit for myself but which I need to come to terms with now. He tells me not to wear a beard when I fly so I don’t get seen as a threat, yet he wore a long beard when he was younger too. He tells me to play it safe and to study hard to have a promising career, to dedicate myself to it in order to get a head start while I’m still young, yet he left his home country in order to find his own way when he was young as well. That’s what led him up to his meeting with my mother, in the country of Honduras where my two brothers and I were all born. My mother’s family moved here from Nicaragua due to the Sandinista revolution which took place decades ago. My mother is a saint. She is a devoted follower of Christ and the Bible and she sacrificed much time apart from her work to make sure that we learn Biblical morals as well as practiced what we needed to know for school and did our homework. She always told me (and still does) that I have great potential which I waste by deciding to do things in a mediocre way. I never argued because I couldn’t deny it. I was never a big fan of school. As I started hanging out with my friends I started ignoring all the great times I had with my parents growing up and all they sacrificed for my brothers and I. My father always spoke to me in his native Portuguese so I was able to gain a fairly fluent understanding of it growing up. When I traveled to Brazil on my own for the larger part of a year I finally got some street practice, and I really felt free speaking Portuguese, I was feeling the Brazilian vibes. While in Rio, I was amazed at how hot it was, even hotter than San Pedro Sula in Honduras. While in Brazil, I first stayed in Sao Paulo at the home of a good family friend who I had never met, an old friend of my father who is a Baptist church pastor. He’s a sympathetic guy and he gave me some good life advice and treated me as his son while I was there. I’ve noticed that throughout life I’ve received such respectful treatment from many individuals as a result of their deep admiration for my father. For this reason I sometimes feel ashamed with my own performance in life thus far. I feel the pressure of great expectations which my parents have for me. If they were careless or irresponsible parents I never would have felt so guilty for going astray from their teachings. One of the saddest feelings of my life has been that of not being able to properly connect with my parents. Their religious beliefs make them very close minded when it comes to anything spiritual. It was only in recent years, once my dad started attending a Kabbalah class at the synagogue he is attending, that he began investigating deeper into mysticism and the idea that maybe things are a lot deeper than he had thought they were. For many years now he has considered himself a Jew, and has wanted to influence my brothers and I into undergoing complete conversion to Judaism, which he believes to be the true path to God. My mother is quite convinced with Jesus Christ’s promise of salvation for those who believe and pray in His name. She doesn’t feel the need for us to further investigate into the nature of God or the universe, and her closed mindset to these sorts of concepts bother my father and lead to great discord. But if their belief in God leads to discord whenever expressed between the two, then is it really serving its purpose at all? Spirituality is not something exclusive which can be taken up and dropped as a habit or custom can. Spirituality is everything, it is the essence of who we are. It is not a philosophical label or a religious sect, it is the realization that we are spiritual beings and that there is a spiritual purpose and significance to everything that happens, to every physical phenomenon. Spirituality means having a deeper connection to the true causes of things, to the nature of the effects and which causes they come from. Spirituality means balancing what needs to be done on this Earth with the time we need to spend contemplating heavenly concepts. Spirituality is balance in all aspects of life. A spiritual life is one which is well balanced and allowed to flourish, a life which is not lived for the sake of fulfilling vain worldly desires, but one which is lived for the purpose of doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. At least I find satisfaction in knowing that both my parents are people who are committed to living righteously; hopefully this can overcome any unreasonable habits that might come along with absolute belief in a single religion.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 14.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 4: Morality, the Origins of Good and Evil.

Yesterday I brought up a conversation which I had with my grandparents the other day, which got me thinking about the nature of God and life, as well as death, and faith. They have faith in Jesus, they are devout Christians. I have faith in God, but I’m not sure who or what God is, and I have a great willingness to learn, and to go wherever the truth leads me. I think that, no matter what else we might believe about God, the one thing we can be sure about is that God represents good. The good that we feel within us is proof to me that there is a greater good which has created us, which dwells within us. Evil is simply the ignorance of this good within us, of our intuition. So where does the feeling of morality come from? We might steal every day, we might kill a a million men, but we will never escape from the knowledge that we are in the wrong, that we are not acting out of love but out of ruthless selfishness, and that therefore we are not living life right. We can indeed ignore this inner voice and convince ourselves that what we’re doing isn’t wrong, but it can never go away completely. The real Self within us knows the truth; it is that part of us which comes from, or is a part of, God. When we get really good at following our every desire on our search for pleasure, we might become confused and think that the voice of intuition has gone away, that we have escaped it, but we have just gotten better at drowning it out in all the accumulated noise in our heads, all the random garbage we’ve accumulated over time. Our conscience will haunt us non-stop if we choose to lead lives that go against it. I believe our intuition is divine. Again, I’m not exactly sure of who or what God is, but I believe that God exists, since I can feel love within me, and goodness. I have seen that love is what is needed in order for two people to connect in a relationship and then to procreate and raise their children in a proper manner. It is obvious that love leads to life, and that the act of sex, or making love, and of bearing children is a physical as well as spiritual representation of this. A physical body is produced and grows within the mother, and a soul inhabits it as it comes to life. The whole thing is too perfect to be a coincidence, in my honest opinion, too beautiful and too advanced to be a product of random mutations over millions of years. Good comes from God, life comes from the unity created by love, life therefore comes from God. It is almost completely clear for me. But what about evil? This has always bothered me. The duality of this life is the obvious answer to this. But why this dual nature in the first place? Is it as the Kabbalah teaches, that we were separated from God and this world was created out of that endless desire to reconnect with the Godhead? Is it the devil that’s at work in our planet? Is this a world of pain, is it a life of suffering as the Buddha taught? I would say that it is. It is obvious that, although there is abundant love in the world, there is also a tremendous amount of evil and suffering. I think it has something to do with the story of Adam and Eve, when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It might mean they were not human, and that the fall represents a lowering of consciousness, the creation of this world, working the land, producing children in pain. I think that, although this duality is a part of life, good is ultimately higher than the good and bad of duality. The good of duality is not complete good, since there is always a little circle of evil within it. The same goes for evil, we often have sincere and honest reasons for doing evil, whether it is stealing so that our children can eat, or lying in order not to offend someone or break their heart. This is a world of duality, the Principle of Polarity is in effect, and everything is connected to its opposite, it is different only in degree. Above this, however, there is a greater good, a good untouched by ignorance and therefore uncontaminated by evil. I think this is the good that we connect with when we realize we are spiritual beings on this planet, that we have a higher nature, a divine nature that comes directly from God, an intuition which can lead the way through life. I think that Jesus’ death on the cross, assuming he is not God, is an amazing example for us all of how to live as human beings. It might have been that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, chosen by God for the specific mission of showing us in such an astonishing manner that we have to embrace all the suffering and the injustice of this life, including the inevitable fact of death, and that we have to transmute it into goodness. We have to accept the suffering that comes with doing the right thing, with fulfilling our mission on this planet. So many of us go through life ignoring our intuition, doing whatever pleases us the most at any given moment, never doing the right thing since it might affect our comfortable lifestyle. It may be true that what I’m saying is just another belief system, although most of the greatest mystical orders believe this as well, but even if it is just a belief system, it matters more than “knowing” who the absolute God is and attempting to impart that belief onto others. So many people are at war nowadays because of their belief in a specific religion, a specific God which they believe to be better than the rest. So many people have superiority complexes and look down upon everyone else, since they are not yet “saved” and are unaware that they will spend eternity in hell. So many people are so obsessed with a specific God and religion that they have no idea of the intuition which is within them. Is it more important to worship Jesus, or Buddha, or to follow in their examples, extending good to our fellow human beings wherever we may go, and sharing all the love and compassion available within us? I think the latter is something which cannot be ignored while we are on a search for life’s bigger meanings. Don’t get lost in a religion, or in an ideology, to the point where you feel higher than everyone else, where you only help because you feel pity for other people.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 5.

~ Rebel Spirit.

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 3: The Mystery of God.

As I wrote in my previous post, I recently had a conversation with my grandparents, while my wife Maria and I we were visiting them for Mothers’ Day. Somehow we got to talking about God, about Christianity and Judaism, and about Jesus, and I brought up some concepts from some other religions which I’ve learned about. My grandparents are evangelical Christians, and we were debating on a lot of topics regarding religion and spirituality. Although it was a conversation I enjoyed, as I always love talking about these things with people, usually with family, we simply could not come to any kind of agreement. Normally, this would not upset me, but what got to me is that they made it seem as if I just don’t have enough faith if I don’t believe exclusively in Jesus as God, like I just don’t get it. My grandma also said that there is no need to learn or do research about any other religion, since one has to be sure that the Bible is exclusively God’s word and Jesus God incarnate, no questions asked. Some other religious beliefs were labeled as absurd or weird, and that was that. Then they lent me a few books to read in order to strengthen my faith. I don’t mind at all, of course, and I do intend to read them among the other books on my list of planned reading. It wasn’t like I got mad at them at all, I love my grandparents, but I just left there feeling like either I just don’t get something so obvious, something my grandma claims to understand and believe wholeheartedly, or she is just not debating in a logical manner, since there is really no way that we can ever know the truth about God simply by believing in a religion. I didn’t put down any specific belief system during our conversation, I just asked: if one hasn’t learned at least the basics of any of the other religions that exist, then how can one be sure that one’s own is the one and only true religion? My grandpa did admit that the majority of people simply believe what they were brought up to believe, depending on where they were born and raised, and he even questioned whether this could be his case. Although I didn’t get mad, I was bothered by the fact that, although people might love each other, there is always some disagreement between every person and everyone else. Of course I know this is what makes us unique, and that it’s an essential part of life. But why can’t we all know the truth when it comes to death and God and the meaning of life, and whatever follows it? Why do we have to guess, and why do we have to believe differently from one another and even fight about and kill and die for these beliefs? Why can’t it be all so simple? I don’t identify with any specific religion because I believe they can all teach very valuable lessons for humanity, but also because I cannot claim to know beyond any shred of doubt that any one religion is exclusively true. I don’t think anyone really can know either. In other words, we are all living in a reality which we are conscious of, yet none of us, absolutely none of us, know why we are here and who put us here, if anyone at all. No one knows for certain, and this is the only certainty of life. Many people have come to believe that they know for certain, and perhaps they are convinced in faith or blind belief that they do, but perhaps they really don’t. Yet we all defend our beliefs with a clenched fist! I wonder why we were placed on this earth without at least knowing the reason for our existence. Is it so that we may spend our days in search of God? The Bible does say to seek God first, and all else will be added. Yes, right now we could be living our fiftieth reincarnation, unaware of all our previous lives, but it could also be true that we have never lived at all, and that there are actually millions of people living up in heaven now or below us in the fiery depths of hell, that Jesus and the Father God of the Bible are watching over us from up there, knowing our every thought and action. It could very well be that the Bible is, in fact, the word of God, uttered through his prophets in ancient days, but it could also be true that what many believe to be divine is really just a collection of texts written from the minds of many men who believed sometimes contradictory things, or it could even be an ancient work of fiction. I am not promoting any of these views, I am simply making you aware of the fact that all these possibilities are valid ones, seeing as how none of us know for sure what there is in this universe, and what the structure behind its design even is, apart from what we experience in our daily lives or the little that we know of this planet which we inhabit. What lies beyond this? It could also be that there is nothing beyond this, and that all the people who have passed have simply ceased to exist forever, gone into nothing, blank. Could life be a meaningless and random nothing? Could our lives be God’s dreams? The Kybalion states that “The Universe is mental. Held in the Mind of the All.” There have been and there will continue to be many theories, man will always be on the search for meaning, yet the only undeniable fact is that we still don’t know any more than we ever did. We all need to humble ourselves and to search sincerely. We all try to conceive of a God, of a religion to identify with, a God to worship. Yet we ignore those things which are cherished by all, which are essential to human life and which should never be ignored, no matter what. We ignore the very essence of God within us, all the good in our hearts, all the love we have available to give. If God is real, I believe that God is love, and pure goodness. We can all recognize within ourselves an understanding, a gut feeling, that good is better than bad, that love is the strongest force there is.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 4.

~ Rebel Spirit.

DAY 7: 1,000 WORDS: LOVE, WORK, AND MYSTICISM.

Seventh day of writing and publishing 1000 words. So I started this challenge a week ago now, with a brief explanation about what mainly motivates me to write. On Day 2, finishing up on Day 3, I detailed some of the facts of the country of Honduras, my mother land as well as where I’m currently writing this series of posts from. I began by explaining the circumstances that brought me back to this beautiful country of my birth in the first place, after having lived in Canada for about 12 years, since the age of 10. Up in Vancouver, let’s say I didn’t make the best decisions, and so shortly after completing high school I chose to come back to Honduras to avoid the chaotic atmosphere that surrounded me for a while, having always been an adventurous spirit with a deeper view of life and the world, which I unfortunately just didn’t know how to express my whole life. To me, life always seemed to be about constant change, about continuously new and exciting experiences, along with new environments and circumstances. This is one of the main reasons for my profound respect for psychedelic substances as well, a topic I will go more in-depth into in later posts. I came to Honduras and I started working at a call center, where I met the beautiful, loving woman who became my wife a few years later. She brought a new freshness to my life, she always displayed such kindness, such a simply satisfied demeanor, without demanding much from life, a humble person in every respect, respectful towards the world and all its inhabitants. Maria influenced me in unimaginable ways, especially since all my previous relationships had been filled with problems and had left me with trust issues, no doubt. Our meeting each other is one of the main things in my own life that have played an important role in truly convincing me of the fact that everything happens for a reason. All of the bullshit I went through back in Van, most of it self-inflicted to be honest, was necessary for me to even decide to leave in the first place, to explore my roots further and to immerse myself in Honduran culture once again. This was needed for me to meet the love of my life, something I’m forever grateful to God for. The universe unfolds in mysterious ways, and there is a positive to find in every negative we encounter, even if it’s just a new life lesson learned. The seasons changed, and we fell more in love with the passing of each day, planning to continue our life in Canada, since we had bigger plans for the future which are easier to realize in a more developed country. We decided to marry as soon as we could, and I returned to Canada to save up some quicker cash than we could both even make here combined. Yesterday I described the job which I took on in more detail, upon my return to Canada towards the end of 2015. I worked for a year and a half for a successful immigration consultant who owns his own business in Downtown Vancouver for almost 2 decades now, the same one who previously worked on my own family’s application and residency eleven years earlier. Although extremely demanding, I enjoyed the job he offered me, since not only did I learn a lot, even about discipline in general and using time wisely, but it allowed me to keep my mind off of distractions from my main goal, which was the money I needed to save. The days were so packed that they went by so damn quick, it was amazing. There was no time for thinking of being home, or elsewhere, except on my break conversations with Maria, of course. Partying and other pastimes would only work against my objective, so I wasn’t doing much of that at all. Another important aspect of my life that began to take shape back in Canada was quite an important one, it was the mystical side of things as I see them now. I mentioned in an earlier post that I grew up in a home of believers. Since a child I learned a lot about the Bible from my parents, and our family always attended Christian congregations, sometimes Messianic Christian churches as my dad has always had a deep interest in Judaism. Over the years my father began to find the Christian message shallow, and the followers of Christianity a bit hypocritical. I myself don’t agree with any wide generalization of people of any denomination or religious belief, yet I understand where his ideas come from. Finally he stopped attending church altogether and started going to synagogues instead, and attempting to learn Hebrew online with some success in fact. He went to many synagogues, just as we had gone to many different churches over the years, never really belonging as members to any specific one. One he eventually settled at to some point was a conservative Jewish synagogue, Beth Tikvah. He went there every Saturday morning for Sabbath service while my mother continued attending the Christian Baptist church on Sundays, maintaining her strong faith in Christianity. Often we would read the Bible together as a family, especially during my younger days, and there was a sense of harmony. As it seemed that my father, always being very spiritual in his outlook of life, had now lost faith in Christianity’s simple message of what many see as blind belief, and was starting to explore deeper into the nature of spirituality, the differences in religious beliefs were causing a lot of arguments between my parents in those days. I felt like some of that previous harmony was lost, so I sometimes attended the service with each of them at their respective places of worship, when I was home on either Saturday or Sunday. While attending Beth Tikvah, my father got involved in a Kabbalah class. It consisted of a small group of congregants who would meet in the small library room of the synagogue every Saturday afternoon after the main morning service, and would discuss the mysteries of the Kabbalah. I attended some of these classes with him, initially in the few times I joined him, and what I heard actually had me wanting to come back for more next week, which I started doing often. The class, or discussion, was led by a Kabbalistic Rabbi, not the official Rabbi of the synagogue, an avid reader, researcher and writer, Rabbi Joseph Saltoun, and his profound descriptions of psychic and mystical concepts, along with the texts he chose to put forth to us, sparked in me a flame has kept burning in me up to this day. At first I learned mainly about the Kabbalah, but it didn’t take too long until I expanded my knowledge, and I started learning of new, amazing things I previously knew nothing about. At that point I realized that most mystical systems have mainly the same messages for humanity, and that we are all able to follow their examples in order to live a better life. I found that this has been explained throughout history by so many teachers, and that it is an undoubtedly true message of hope for humanity. I attended just a few classes before my first flight back to Honduras, before I met my wife, and then I attended pretty much every week during the whole year I was back in Canada saving up for my wedding. I learned quite a lot, and it was the beginning of what today I would say is my mission. My mysterious meeting with Maria also seemed to go hand in hand with the mystical teachings that stress that everything in life is how it is meant to be, and that we must accept things and act accordingly at all times, being fully grounded in the now. Tomorrow we’ll get back on topic and move on with the story though, I promise! 

~ Rebel Spirit ~

Life and Death are Two Sides of the Same Coin.

23519318_1940766506164652_2233896215828303941_n

“Death is not the end, but the beginning of a new life. Yes, it is an end of something that is already dead. It is also a crescendo of what we call life, although very few know what life is. They live, but they live in such ignorance that they never encounter their own life. ~ Osho (1931-1990)

What is death? What is life? Cannot these two questions be asked in the same sentence, side by side? Shouldn’t they? Are they not one in the same after all? Life and death are simply two sides of the same coin, and in their seemingly separate form they are another example of the illusion of duality which we project onto the reality we live in. In truth, there is no separation, yet we choose to see the whole of life and nature as separate from us, from our individual being. We go through life passionately protecting this individual being from death, from the grim reaper which will eventually come to harm us and drag our souls to hell, to burn in our deepest fears, or perhaps off to heaven to enjoy all our unfulfilled fantasies. Even the greatest believer in heaven is not willing to take his own life in order to reach its gates as soon as possible, no matter how hard he may be currently struggling on this earthly plane while he still has breath. No matter what we may believe we will encounter after death, we fear the unknown and hold on to the familiar, to the only life we currently know.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves, of our health and our bodies, of our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, but many of us become completely obsessed with our small individual self, to the point that we come to believe that the universe revolves around us; we would do anything to protect our self, no matter how immoral or harmful we might have to behave towards other beings. We have become desensitized and we now kill for sport or for food when it is honestly unnecessary. My purpose is not to judge either, as I myself still haven’t completely given up the habit of consuming meat, although I would like to and am gradually taking on the task. There is an ancient idea, recognized by the sages of various religions. This idea, which the Vedanta teaches so eloquently, of the oneness behind the duality, this is the idea that permeates throughout all religion and ethics, the reason for morality, for love and unconditional friendship. We are all one people, children of the Great Spirit of which nothing can be said by us, since nothing regarding its infinite properties can even begin to be grasped by the finite mind.

This oneness is itself a contradiction to our warped view of things, to our view of the world in which everything is of dual nature, in which everyone is an enemy and is out to get us, in which life itself is a competition, one which we absolutely must win, we simply must come out on top by any means. We are so caught up in illusion that we have no way of perceiving the infinite oneness beyond it all, that Spirit by which the eye can see, that by which the ear can hear, Brahman as explained in the Upanishads. We choose to use separation as our base point, the reference point from which we see and interact with the world. We fail to realize that even death cannot separate us from those around us, so how can life do so? We are always connected as one because the Spirit which gives me life gives you life, the Spirit which is in you is the Spirit within me. What we perceive as separation due to ignorance is in fact all together, all hearts are beating because of this one rhythm, and all our lungs are breathing in life because life is flowing all around us, within us as well as without us.

Death can never erase us, as everything that is simply keeps on being, if not here then somewhere else, if not today then tomorrow or yesterday. Time and space are nothing to the Spirit. We perceive all as separate but our life is simply a flash, just as all other lives are, before we continue on to new adventures. The law of cause and effect makes the cycle continue, and from death we must keep on working out our karma, doing our duty, our dharma no matter where our consciousness may find itself. It is definitely an interesting concept which makes much sense, and as I have always believed, the Spirit of God dwells within us all and is the reason why we have what we call conscience or intuition, why we are able to love and to sacrifice ourselves for others, why many of us devote our lives to serving others, whether our wives or husbands, brothers or sisters, mothers or even distant relatives, be they the poor or the sick, or the orphan and the widow as suggested in the Bible, we all have the ability to love and to care for all others because we are all one, we are not only similar, but we are the same as long as we look beyond our own individual illusions regarding reality.

Compassion, therefore, is a perfectly natural virtue, which many have unfortunately attempted to kill off throughout the centuries because it does not fit their political purpose, or whatever other purpose may drive them. Hate is a very strong force, yet the force of love and of all that is good can never be eradicated off the face of the earth. Even what we see as evil, what is indeed evil, what our fellow human beings do, or what even we ourselves do, while under the influence of ignorance, is indeed evil if that is the word we are to use, yet every action we take is powerless against the infinite love of God which keeps this world and everyone in it alive. We can never disrupt creation, and everything we do is balanced out in order to deliver what is deserved to each person based on their actions in the present, in the past or in the distant past. The law of cause and effect is duality itself, is one of the laws which govern the illusion of maya which we are immersed in. This is one of the seven ancient Hermetic Principles and is a key concept in the Kabbalah as well. Everything brings about its effect, yet there is a oneness above even the laws themselves, including that of cause and effect, and everything falls into place according to the supreme law, according to Divine Will.

Nothing ever dies, everything simply transforms and continues living, just as the universe is in constant motion (Another Hermetic Principle, that of vibration). God is energy, and the laws that are in place in our dimension and all those that may exist are employed under this divine energy’s commands so that everything works perfectly. The vast majority of humanity will fail to comprehend this Divine Will for a long time because everything appears as a contradiction to us. Life and death seem to disagree, as one brings about so much joy, and the other so much pain. But our vision is sadly incomplete, and that is the real problem here. Life not only brings about much joy, it also brings tremendous pain along with it, starting from the very moment of childbirth. The mother experiences excruciating pain to bring into this world a child who is one hundred percent sure to experience his or her fair share of suffering throughout their life experience as well. Why would she bring this baby to life, being aware of this? Because pain is inevitable for as long as we live, and it is contained within life just as much as joy is. And how do we not know that death does not bring joy to those departed? How do we know that there is not a very special reason why they had to leave us? One thing is for sure, at least: Being part of the eternal Spirit of God, as nothing can be without the Spirit, we can never truly die. We are immortal, and there is no reason to grieve for anyone. We must all move along with life.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

****

There is No Religion Higher Than Truth.

23621207_909633779186063_2235262291272294230_n

Every day that passes, hundreds of thousands of babies are born all around the world. It is estimated that about three hundred thousand babies, to be more exact, are born worldwide every single day, into different families, cultures, religions and environments, each under its own unique set of circumstances. In most cases, these circumstances play a big part in producing personality. It’s hard, if not impossible, to fully understand just how much of what we believe and feel as adults, how much of what we think, however confident we may feel about our beliefs and ideas, comes from these elements which we are born into, seemingly by no decision of our own, which surround us as we grow up, things including but not limited to family life and social position. Or how much of who we grow to be is already embedded in our own DNA when we arrive on this planet, just like the essence of a tree is embedded in the smallest seed, and how much of us is perhaps actually something carried over by the spirit from a previous incarnation? Most importantly, from all these possibilities and theories of reality, how can we be so sure of the absolute truth of either one? Are we born with a distinct personality which is further shaped by our life experiences, or is each of us born as a blank slate, another blank page yet to be written in the book of history? If we believe the latter possibility, then who is the author of such a book anyway? Who or what designed this world full of beauty and inspiration, but also overcome by brutality and ignorance? Is this all part of a grand design which we simply cannot comprehend at our level of consciousness? A divine plan perhaps? Or are we all accidents, existing merely by chance – a chaotic concoction of coincidences?

Many religions and philosophies attempt to provide us with answers to these timeless questions, which personally fascinate me almost to the point of obsession, a feeling which manifests in my life as a driving desire to discover the truth hidden deep within the soul of the world and its inhabitants throughout the ages, the perpetual truth masked behind all the advertising, the corruption, the labels, the denominations and the propaganda – the perennial philosophy, as Aldous Huxley would refer to this truth I seek. See, I grew up in a Christian home. My mother, a true follower of Christ, is devout, caring, and kind to all people – the purest person I’ve ever had the privilege to know. She, along with my father, raised me to live with integrity, with respect for everyone and everything. They recited Bible passages to me from a very young age and taught me about God – Jehovah, Jesus, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. As a young child, I believed what I was told without applying any critical thinking. I found out that when I grew up a bit and started learning more on my own, reading more, wondering more, thinking outside the box, the absolute certainty of many of some of my beliefs didn’t seem so certain at all anymore. I realized that we all have the capacity – no, the duty – to wonder, to inquire into the deepest parts of our spirit. My mother wholeheartedly believes that one must accept Jesus as one’s sole savior and God incarnate in order to reach heaven eternally after death – if not then the alternative is hellfire and suffering, also eternal. I’m not saying that any of this is something I believe or I don’t believe necessarily, but what I am saying is that one must make the effort to investigate and learn from religions and philosophies other than one’s own, in order to compare – not to create division, but to connect the similarities, to dive into the differences, to enrich one’s life experience. An early unease with this situation about hell, and the injustice and cruelty I feel about the idea of it, as well as the possibility that it could be a total invention, a tool for mass mental control, and an unease with not knowing how people can be so convinced of their beliefs beyond doubt, have been like fuel for me, they have ignited the fire of inspiration in my soul to always learn and to grow more, to leave aside all vanity and to follow what is true and good, to always dig deeper and to doubt everything – to believe all but to believe nothing all the same. To believe in one religion exclusively is to shut oneself out of the richness of other cultures, of deeper understanding among brothers and sisters who are also God’s children.

Closing ourselves off from religious and philosophical teachings from many of the world’s great people throughout history and today because they did not or do not share the same label as us is closed-mindedness, it is willful ignorance, and it only results in a loss for ourselves, at least in the immediate sense. Way too much suffering has been caused and is still being caused by people with the idea that they must spread their perceived truth to humanity by any means necessary, disregarding all values in the process. How can we be completely certain of any specific religion or belief unless we consciously expand our horizons and study other people’s beliefs? After all, a child born to a Christian family in America, especially Central or South America where the culture is centred around family values more than in North America, has a high chance of growing up with Christian beliefs and forming a Christian family, while a child born in India might grow up as a Hindu, also respecting and caring for the planet and for humanity, trusting in God, except that he may call God by a different name, or by various names which could even represent the different energies of God at work in the universe – such as the Atman which represents our Spirit, the Divine reflection of God’s essence, referred to as Brahman. In the Middle East, many Muslims bow down daily in reverence to Allah, devout and pious people who have no appetite for destruction and death. They worship the same God of Abraham who founded the Jewish faith and also inspired the faith of the Christian religion and all its subsequent denominations. After all, Allah is just the Arabic word for God. Jews and Arabs are basically cousins, and yet the ceaseless fighting and war is devastating families and communities, all because we can’t put our pride aside, put our differences aside, and coexist as a peaceful people, as vessels of the divine Spirit, without labels and hence without prejudice. It is essential that we all open our minds and hearts to the wisdom of others.

                With so many religions, philosophies and ideologies, one at times might wonder how any critically-thinking person can follow one specific religion or belief system and feel completely confident in it. How can one be certain that one’s belief is in fact the ultimate truth of the universe, without ever even considering any of the other “ultimate truths” our fellow humans believe? We have friends who we have known for years, and yet we never ask them about their beliefs because we are so sure about our own. We all walk around in multicultural communities, everyone interacting with each other in a friendly manner, working, playing, socializing, everyone making their earthly existence work out as best as they can by means of constant collaboration. We call ourselves brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, co-workers, friends, relatives, partners, and yet we all might call ourselves by different religious labels. One of us might believe that you and I will reincarnate here on this planet or on some other one, as people or animals or anything, or you might believe we will either go to heaven or hell. If my friend stopped for a moment to think about what his religion teaches him to believe about someone who does not share his same religious belief, he just might conclude that such a person will burn in hell upon death, as if he could accurately judge said person’s purity of character. But just as a reminder to those who see others in this way: Jesus himself warned against attempting to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye as you blindly ignore the log in yours, and he also dared any man without sin to be the first to cast a stone at the woman who was about to be killed for having been caught in the act of adultery. Do not judge others because there is plenty to judge in yourself, not so that you can put yourself own, but so that you can correct any continuous mistakes and destructive habits.

Just as one person might believe his friend will go to hell, another might believe that he will simply drop dead one day and that will be it – the movie’s over and everyone exits the theater. So many beliefs to critically consider, at least if you’re on a mission for the real Truth, not just the convenient one. All of us ordinary citizens pretend that we are so sure of our beliefs, but if each and every one of us would take a moment to try to understand each other’s views on deep, important subjects, we could hardly handle such a conversation for more than a few minutes without our egos getting in the way, starting trouble and leading to fights breaking out. Why is this? Because we have turned personal beliefs, spirituality, religion, and many subjects on humanity and life into delicate, offensive triggers for those who can’t wait for the next opportunity to express anger or feel offended and hurt once again. On our quest to become completely politically correct, we’ve come to live in fear of each other instead of respect. We can’t handle even friendly opposition to our opinions.

This is an issue which has been bothering me quite a bit lately, due to my specific set of circumstances. You see, I was born to two very loving, compassionate and authentic parents, and I already mentioned my mom for a moment. My father is also very religious, or spiritual, depending on your definition of those two words. My dad has described to me how he would wrap a pair of headphones around my mother’s pregnant belly, so that I was being influenced by the words of the Bible before I was ever born. My mother read Bible stories to me since a very young age, and I grew up going to church. I also have some very hazy childhood memories of attending synagogue services, as it can be said that my father has always felt a strong connection with the Jewish faith and people. To be honest, it’s difficult to pin him down to a specific religion, but one thing was always clear with my parents—The Bible is God’s book, and His Holy word. Interpret it as you wish, but it is the only book to interpret. According to some sources, there are approximately thirty thousand denominations within the Christian faith alone, not to mention many other religions and belief systems regarding the universe, ranging from Judaism to Islam, from Buddhism to Hinduism, from atheism to Satanism, from the beliefs of the Native American Navajos, to New Age spirituality. Who is right, if anyone at all? For someone who was born to atheist parents, or into a household in which religion or spirituality do not have much influence, and who came to the point of embracing a specific God or religion later on in life, the answer might be easy. If such a person has gotten to that point in life, then they believe they have found their truth, by walking their own path. No one has imposed their beliefs on this person. They searched and they found, they have experienced something. But is that the case for someone like me, who grew up on Bible stories? Can I truly believe what I believe just like that, without fear of being ignorant?

All the death, the horror, the injustice and the ugliness that dwells inside us as well as all around us is ignored. This enables us to go along our day, minding our own business, pretending everything is fine in the world. After all, we all have enough of our own problems to deal with. How could we possibly make time to listen to other people’s issues, and to care for them? How can we possibly take time to listen to, or read about, other people’s beliefs, and to ponder them, to consider them at the very least? It seems that a lot of religious folks are unfortunately too busy to do these things, although they sure are quick to cast judgement upon others who do not share the same label to define themselves. In fact, however, someone who truly follows the teachings of Christ, and loves his neighbors as himself, who judges none, who teaches love and compassion; someone who walks with the needy like Jesus or Buddha, someone who lends a helping hand to his brethren, that person is walking in the teachings of all enlightened beings since the beginning of time, regardless of his religion or denomination. Such a person simply has no religion because he has no need to impose any belief on anyone else. This person is full of love for himself and for the planet, as he sees the world as family to himself, as identical in nature.

GOD IS WITHIN YOU AND WITHOUT YOU.

22894005_1935209913386978_147310957043426928_n

Everything in existence emanates from God, and his Power is present in all things. Manly P. Hall was a Canadian author and mystic who greatly influenced my early interest in spiritual matters, and who was very aware of the fact earlier stated. He ceaselessly researched pretty much everything that falls within the bounds of spirituality and mysticism. What he found is that all spirituality and religion shares a common thread, that everything divine must come from the divine, it cannot be otherwise. In other words, all people who try to find God are able to find God, regardless of religion or creed.

All throughout the ages people have attempted to get to the source of our deep longing for God, for something much bigger than ourselves. From the earliest mystery schools to the rituals of the ancient native American tribes, to Abrahamic religions and Eastern philosophy, everyone has a theory on God, and a belief in God, or sometimes various beliefs even within one culture. Not many of us realize that Christianity itself is divided into thousands of denominations, each with their own interpretation of the Bible. Many of their interpretations are completely baseless as well since every day fewer and fewer Christians even know what is in the Bible. How can they claim the ultimate truth of something they themselves don’t even study in depth, if at all? We must all become familiar with the beliefs of our families and our communities, and then we most definitely must become familiar with the beliefs and customs of cultures other than our own. Why must we do this? Well, we must do this in order to break the fictional walls of illusion which we have placed between ourselves and others.

Because of religious affiliation, because of superficial association with a simple and worthless label we come to see ourselves as separate from others, divided by culture, by status and class, by religion and belief, by race and attitude towards life and the world. Do we not see that when we do this we are essentially going against the godly nature which is within us and which is a direct reflection of the Divine Spirit, God, or however you may wish to call the supreme deity of the universe who brought everything to be? After all God is just another label or word. Someone who believes in ‘God’ might get offended if someone describes ‘God’ as ‘an Eternal Energy’ within us all. They might call this self-glorification or pantheism, but do Christians not also believe that the Spirit of Christ dwells within us? Does the Bible not also state that we were created in God’s image? Could it be physical or rather spiritual image, or both?

I’m glad that we are slowly but surely waking up, or at least many people in the world are every day, to the fact that none of us are superior or inferior to others, and that all those who seek God shall indeed find God, that indisputable, ineffable power which cannot be done justice if expressed in words or mere human ideas. God is all goodness, all dignity, all integrity, all mutual respect there can ever be. Anyone who denounces God yet imagines God as something different from this is not denouncing God but themselves.  God is the union between people and nations, not the division of countries, not the struggle over land and power at the expense of life. We are no one to take life from anyone. Life arises from God’s direct power. Miraculously, life cannot help but happen. It is divinely and infinitely inspired to grow, to expand, just as the universe is in a constant state of expansion, and just as all living things are in a constant state of vibration and transformation.

You need not look farther than your breath or your heartbeat. Why do you think we love music so much and are captivated and compelled to move by a mesmerizing drum sequence? The beat of life is alive within us, and once it stops beating in our bodies, our bodies cease to live. Our bodies then rot and go back to Earth which keeps on growing and expanding from their remains. Our deceased bodies even provide nourishment for worms and other creatures. The cycle of life is alive through God’s power, and even as much as we may try to corrupt the world, everything is always rearranged and balanced in such a way that we can always find an opportunity in any obstacle. We may choose to ignore this, nevertheless it is true. 

We must all snap out of the illusion which the system has created. A people divided can never change its circumstances and it can never realized it is being controlled. The system which wants to prevent the world from finding such a unifying truth as God, as the holiness within ourselves, has been hard at work from the dawn of humanity in order to control the minds of free thinkers. We must all move past thinking, in fact, and we must use our simply and divine intuition to realize that we are all one. That truth becomes crystal clear with just one second of honest introspection in which we realize that we have been defending a damaged and corrupted ego all along, a false personality within ourselves. Once this becomes clear we can live out of a place of love for all that exists, realizing that we are divine and unique extensions of God’s ever-creating power. Stop complaining for your circumstances and feeling entitled to eternal bliss and begin sharing that bliss everywhere you go and to everyone you meet. What goes around comes around, and that which you give you shall receive.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

****

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

~ Matthew 22:35-40

*****

“Try to realize it’s all within yourself, no-one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you.”

“When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.”

~ George Harrison, ‘Within You, Without You’ by the Beatles.

****