Tag Archives: Religion

Reblog: Be The Light

This was originally done way back at the beginning of the year, and republished a few months later. Funny, it feels like I wrote it a lifetime ago. I’ve had several people follow me since then, and it bears repeating. It’s also part of a resolution I’ve made to return to being more positive and looking for solutions instead of just venting.

WordPress isn’t letting me reblog my own post, so I’m going to cut and paste it below.  I originally wrote this after getting REALLY fed up with all the negativity and hypocrisy on Twitter.  The advice speaks for itself, with one possible exception.  It IS written from a Christian perspective since it was a church service that inspired it.  None the less, I don’t believe that Christians have a monopoly on morals or leading by example.  What’s written here is a universal truth (for lack of better wording).

I’m sure I’m confusing people on twitter with my moderate’s disdain for the political extremes running amok there.  I’m grateful that some people seem to get it though.

My “No Politics” post didn’t make things as clear as I’d have liked.  I have TWO big problems with politics and the way people talk to others:

1) Issues are NEVER as simple as the extremists and demagogues on either side make them out to be.  For example, gangs are just one good reason for a border wall, BUT we have to overhaul our immigration system as well and allow good people a chance at the American Dream, take an honest look at what we may be doing to contribute to problems in Latin America, and see if we can do things to help them help themselves.

2) These extremists not only shut down thinking and discussion, they spread hate and poison.  There’s a principle of metaphysics that says hate only attracts more hate and conflict.  It doesn’t matter how righteous you THINK your cause is, if your answer is trashing and threatening violence against those you disagree with, you are part of the PROBLEM, not the solution.  You are also actively working to make the world a DARKER place.

I keep saying be more like Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, etc…  I have a perfect story that illustrates the point also.  The Christmas Eve service is the one time this heathen is guaranteed to turn up at church.  The closing part of the services; the same every year, are exactly why:

The Pastor talks about the need to carry the Christmas Spirit into and through the new year, and how the world is a dark place if everybody withholds their love, compassion and caring from the world.  To illustrate the point, the lights are turned off in the chapel.

Now, everybody is given a candle entering the service.  They’re all being lit as the Pastor speaks.  He tells everyone to keep the candles low at first also; withhold their light from the world metaphorically.  Then he starts talking about how people can be the light, and make the world a better place.  Then all 2000 people (It’s a big church) hold up their candles.  It’s beautiful and amazing the difference it makes

Afterwards everyone sings Silent Night and then the services are over.

Watch the YouTube video through to the end and see if it doesn’t have the same impact on you as it did me.  It’s alot of light, and it’s people wanting said light to better the world, NOT burn it down.  THINK about that. Remember the people you disagree with are human beings with legitimate reasons for feeling and thinking the way they do.  If you actually talk to them like human beings, you will PROBABLY find out that you have more in common than you realize once you get past artificial labels.

Think win-win and you can probably also find a solution that’s not perfect, but works for both of you.

BE THE LIGHT

A Good Reason to Judge

A while back, I made a post (on my spiritual blog) about the insanity of being expected to never judge anything.  Part of the reason I rally against the “no judgment” crowd is that it’s so often used as another way to manipulate people into saying they should have no standards, no discernment and no common sense.  These folks are sometimes doing things they know are morally or legally wrong and don’t want to be called on it, OR just use “don’t judge” as a way to shut down debate, and guilt or bully people into their point of view.  Ironically, the last type is VERY prone to judging people they disagree with.

The thing is, judging situations and people is an important part of life.  It’s doubly so for empaths if we’re to avoid being exploited and manipulated.  Let’s start with the obvious.  Is it wrong to judge:

  1. Pedophiles
  2. Murderers
  3. Rapists

I doubt anybody remotely rational would say it’s wrong.  I’ve met a few crazies that would excuse that kind of behavior though.  I think where some well-meaning people in the middle get tripped up is that they can’t or don’t want to understand that you can judge a behavior and person as wrong while still having some understanding of the circumstances that led a person to do something bad.  You can have sympathy for a drunk driver having  just been dumped, but that doesn’t excuse their killing 3 other people while driving drunk.

So let’s use that as a lead-in to what I saw a day or two ago.  Homeless people and panhandlers are absolutely epidemic in Sacramento.  “Don’t Judge” is a rallying cry here also regarding them.  TO A DEGREE, it’s a valid admonition also.  The problem comes when you have people trying to exploit the situation, such as professional panhandlers.  This woman for example:

IMG_0513 (2)_LI

Now if the red circle here didn’t give it away, the “tell” that this person is not homeless is her sandals.  Those are $100+ Birkenstocks, and in good shape.  I can’t place the brand off the top of my head but I think those are moderately expensive yoga pants also.  There are a couple of other “tells” as well.  Bottom line, there’s every reason to suspect she has a real home, etc… and just finds it easier to panhandle than actually work.  These professional panhandlers are more common than you’d think too.

So, am I saying dump on all homeless people?  Absolutely not.  Some are very legitimately down on their luck, trying to recover, etc…  What I *AM* saying is that it’s appropriate to use observation and common sense in deciding to help somebody, or if an area feels dangerous, or just about any other situation.

We have to be able to make judgments about right and wrong, people and situations to be able to establish reasonable boundaries.  In my opinion, the key lies in the proper translation of that Bible verse: “Judge not unrighteous judgments, lest ye be judged”.  To me, that means you do NOT go for blood over an argument caused by somebody having a bad day.  The reaction has to rationally fit the situation, factoring in if it’s a repeating issue.  Generalizations like “ALL Walmart shoppers” or “ALL black people” or “All any race or group” are bad too.

Another part of that is letting go of hate and anger.  OK, your significant other cheated on you and left (as another example).  It’s fair to say they’re a bad person.  It’s also fair to say you don’t want to see them again.  Beyond that, let it go; don’t be Taylor Swift.  Hanging onto hate only poisons your own soul, blocks your growth as a person and allows no room for better things to take the place of what you lost.  All of that is the start of proper, wise judgment

So there you have it.  It’s perfectly fine to judge, just do so with wisdom and compassion.

The Strangest Dream

Which, believe it or not is actually also a Scottish bagpipe melody…  I’m talking an actual dream though. 🙂

Before I get to that, I am feeling better.  I really appreciate the well wishes from some of you also.  It’s been a big morale booster while getting through this back and neck pain.  I’m developing a plan of attack to fight back also; yoga, change of diet, etc…  I’m tired of living like this.  Enough there for now though. 🙂

 

 

The dream: This was either the night I made my last post or the next night.  I don’t remember the first part of the dream but apparently I died.  I went to the afterlife and found out it (the afterlife) was a series of video games.  The dead were put into these video games and had to learn the lessons built into the plots of the games and grow as people.  When they beat the video game and learned the lesson, they went on to the next video game.  All this was being explained to me by somebody else…

The ultimate idea was eventually you beat all the video games and became…  I don’t know if a perfect being is the ideal term, BUT… at least your best self, and a good enough person at that point to enter “heaven”.  Note the quotes because it wasn’t Heaven in the Christian sense.

 

I’m not sure what triggered such a bizarre dream.  It sounds ALOT like a twisted modern take on the idea of reincarnation.  I don’t even buy into the whole simulation theory stuff that became popular after The Matrix movies.  The only thing I can think of triggering this weirdness is that I do have “past life recall”, and it seems like from these “recalled” events that I’ve been stuck for ages…  Alot of trying to help those close to me and getting burned BADLY or doing the wrong thing for the right reasons in a couple of cases.

Between that pattern and the state of my life, I’m certainly feeling stuck, almost trapped.  Granted as I’ve said before, I’ve never been fully convinced of reincarnation either.  There are alot of rational explanations for most past life recollections.  Modern Christianity says one and done also.

 

Keep Being the Light

WordPress isn’t letting me reblog my own post, so I’m going to cut and paste it below.  I originally wrote this after getting REALLY fed up with all the negativity and hypocrisy on Twitter.  The advice speaks for itself, with one possible exception.  It IS written from a Christian perspective since it was a church service that inspired it.  None the less, I don’t believe that Christians have a monopoly on morals or leading by example.  What’s written here is a universal truth (for lack of better wording).

 

I’m sure I’m confusing people on twitter with my moderate’s disdain for the political extremes running amok there.  I’m grateful that some people seem to get it though.

My “No Politics” post didn’t make things as clear as I’d have liked.  I have TWO big problems with politics and the way people talk to others:

 

1) Issues are NEVER as simple as the extremists and demagogues on either side make them out to be.  For example, gangs are just one good reason for a border wall, BUT we have to overhaul our immigration system as well and allow good people a chance at the American Dream, take an honest look at what we may be doing to contribute to problems in Latin America, and see if we can do things to help them help themselves.

2) These extremists not only shut down thinking and discussion, they spread hate and poison.  There’s a principle of metaphysics that says hate only attracts more hate and conflict.  It doesn’t matter how righteous you THINK your cause is, if your answer is trashing and threatening violence against those you disagree with, you are part of the PROBLEM, not the solution.  You are also actively working to make the world a DARKER place.

I keep saying be more like Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, etc…  I have a perfect story that illustrates the point also.  The Christmas Eve service is the one time this heathen is guaranteed to turn up at church.  The closing part of the services; the same every year, are exactly why:

The Pastor talks about the need to carry the Christmas Spirit into and through the new year, and how the world is a dark place if everybody withholds their love, compassion and caring from the world.  To illustrate the point, the lights are turned off in the chapel.

Now, everybody is given a candle entering the service.  They’re all being lit as the Pastor speaks.  He tells everyone to keep the candles low at first also; withhold their light from the world metaphorically.  Then he starts talking about how people can be the light, and make the world a better place.  Then all 3000 people (It’s a big church) hold up their candles.  It’s beautiful and amazing the difference it makes

Bayside Church Candle Lighting & Silent Night

Afterwards everyone sings Silent Night and then the services are over.

Watch the YouTube video through to the end and see if it doesn’t have the same impact on you as it did me.  It’s alot of light, and it’s people wanting said light to better the world, NOT burn it down.  THINK about that. Remember the people you disagree with are human beings with legitimate reasons for feeling and thinking the way they do.  If you actually talk to them like human beings, you will PROBABLY find out that you have more in common than you realize once you get past artificial labels.

Think win-win and you can probably also find a solution that’s not perfect, but works for both of you.

BE THE LIGHT

Jesus in a Comic Book??

I got an email from the friend I co-conspire with on the Witchfire stories.  Apparently DC Comics had a plan to start a new comic book called “Second Coming”.  The premise was that Jesus returned to Earth and shares an apartment with a superhero.  DC cancelled the project after some major blow back.  The writer, Mark Russell, says he’s got another company lined up to do the project though.  part of the premise also apparently is that Jesus is keeping a low profile and won’t use his spiritual powers because people got too hung up on the loaves and fishes thing and ignore the message he had the first time around.

OK, I’m hardly the perfect Christian.  FAR from it to be honest, but I have major issues with this.  Many of them based on what comics have become the last decade.  Here is the email reply I sent to “Deanna Troi”:

 

I could definitely see where the concept could be interesting, if done right.  Overall, I’d have to lean towards the “don’t do it” side on this one however.  This based on your report that he really is the second coming.

First, DC is messing with peoples’ religion.  There’s a very specific set of prophecies around the second coming, and I really doubt DC or this other company would give them the consideration they’re due, until they need a big epic event to boost sales and then suddenly the superhero He’s rooming with is fighting the apocalypse in Jesus’s place.  Oh and it’ll get repeated as often as Ragnarok does in Thor comics despite each one being the “final” one.  I think peoples’ religious beliefs deserve a little more respect than all of that.

Granted, we could get into a separate conversation about characters like Thor and if they’re respectful of Wiccan and pagan beliefs, but up till about the time Jane Foster became Thor, I think Marvel mostly did a reasonable job there.  WAY off the rails after that, except for the movies, but that’s another conversation.

Getting back on topic, there’s the whole way that comics distort everything also.  Jesus only has “super powers” in the very broadest definition, being the literal son of God.  “He doesn’t want to use them as he figures that’s where things went wrong the first time”, is a textbook example.  Again, that’s assuming you relayed what was said 100% accurate.  First, it implies Jesus was running around making mistakes.  If so, he wasn’t perfect and His sacrifice for our sins would be meaningless and ineffective.  He did what was necessary to demonstrate faith in God and prepare Himself for the cross.

Now, Mark Russell had a partial point there though.  In my opinion, people are WAY too wrapped up in the victim game nowadays and delight in blaming God for not making their life a cakewalk.  Reality is, 90% of the suffering in the world is man’s inhumanity to man.  We’re here to be tested and grow as beings.  It’s ironic, really.  The rebellion in Heaven lead by Lucifer was supposedly over whether or not people would be puppets down here, OR be allowed to have free will and make their own mistakes and thus grow more.  Putting it in more “worldly” terms, look at the way helicopter kids turn out vs kids that are raised to be responsible and self-reliant.

As far as not listening to His words, that’s a LONG talk I’ll spare you, LOL.  Suffice it to say that the vast majority of folks are guilty of picking and choosing what they take from the Bible and Jesus’s teachings, and putting their own sometimes twisted spin on it all as well.  “Judge not” being the most famous example with many folks.  The proper interpretation is “Judge not unrighteous judgments lest you be judged”.  Point being, it’s perfectly right to say some things (rape, child abuse, murder, etc…) are wrong.

Remember some of the conversations we’ve had in the recent past about how far off the rails comics have gotten the last decade also.  The Muslim Green Lantern being the perfect example.  He was a terrorist before he got a power ring.  He never took responsibility for his actions though, and claimed it wasn’t his fault because he was just the driver and didn’t know the whole plan.  THEN he doubled down on it by being mad at the government for treating him like a criminal WHEN HE WAS!  Instead, in an effort to show how enlightened they are DC Comics played up the whole persecuted Muslim angle.  OH, and then they have him carry a gun on top of his power ring “just in case”.  He has no faith in the ring or himself, which makes for a crappy lantern, and DC actually made him look like the stereotypical evil violent Muslim by having to carry a gun also.  The entire story could have played out COMPLETELY different and helped the cause of decent Muslims by having him an innocent bystander who helped victims and having that courage earn him a power ring.

THESE are the same people that wanted to portray Jesus walking the Earth again.  Yeah, I’d be wary also, and am.

Personally, IF I were going to tackle the topic, I would have left it VERY much up in the air if the guy really was Jesus.  Make the audience wonder and make up their own minds.   He talks the talk, can do miracles, maybe keeps a low profile, won’t outright say he’s Jesus, but makes remarks that imply he might be, etc…