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IMAGINE No Religion But Spiritual Connections

 

Religion Divides but Spirit Connects and “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”-Albert Einstein…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… John Lennon

“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”-Arthur Schopenhauer

In Have you heard the true tale of the Bedouin named Mohammed Ali, Read more…

I related the true tale of the Bedouin named Mohammed Ali and his 1945 discovery of what has become known as the Nag´ Hammâdi Library; a collection of ancient texts that were buried in the wilderness under the cliff of Jabl al-Tarif in Egypt, just above the bend of the Nile, north of the Valley of the Kings, across the river from the city of Nag´ Hammâdi, near the hamlet of al-Qasr, for safe-keeping from those who burned books.

These ancient compositions written in Coptic and Greek are now available in most every language.

These ancient texts offer NO new answers; but they do provide us with a glimpse of Christianity at its very roots, and it was most diverse indeed.

Many of the texts were considered Gnostic and banned by the church Fathers during the reign of Emperor Constantine and were ordered to be burned.

Gnosis is defined as knowledge discerned intuitively, and intuition is anathema to fundamentalists who prefer doctrines and dogmas, easy answers and who see black and white, but not shades of grey.

Today’s scholars agree that it is very possible the sayings in the Gnostic gospels are closer to the words Jesus actually spoke than what is found in the canonical gospels.

Two thousand years ago, there was lively debate about who Jesus was, and why he came.

Churches before Emperor Constantine legitimized Christianity were hot beds of individuality and not the institutions that have become big business today.

Jesus said he came that we would have life to the full; abundant life [John 10:10] and that takes deep thought, wrestling with The Divine and then taking action.

“To think deeply in our culture is to grow angry and to anger others; and if you cannot tolerate this anger, you are wasting the time you spend thinking deeply. One of the rewards to deep thought is the hot glow of anger at discovering a wrong, but if anger is taboo, thought will starve to death.”-Jules Henry

 

The first mention of Israel in the Bible is in Genesis 32, when Jacob wrestled, struggled and then clung to the Divine being and was then renamed Israel.

 

Jesus was never a Christian; in fact the term ‘Christian’ was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus walked the earth as a man.

Jesus was a social justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up and challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Military Occupation.

What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces, by teaching the subversive concept that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Military Occupation above the elite and arrogant.

The early followers and lovers of Jesus were called members of THE WAY-being THE WAY he taught one should be;

Nonviolent, a Peacemaker and one who did the will of the Father.

“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8

We are not just body and mind, we are also spirit; a trinity in one flesh that will decay and whither away.

When any part of the human trinity is out of balance, so will ones life be.

Life is a journey and the best trip one can embark upon, is by going within and wrestling with The Divine; and thus become Israel on the way.

“I said, you are gods: you are all children of the Most High God.”-Psalm 82:6

It has been said that evolution is being held up by fundamental religiosity and militant atheism is the new fundamentalism.

A fundamentalist is anyone who is so rigidly attached to their point of view they have closed their minds and hearts to the Mystery of The Ultimate Mystery of the Universe/Pure Being/God for lack of a better word.

The bumper sticker actually did get it right: “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

According to the 1987 classic, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, Dr. Scott Peck defines the spiritual life as fluid and that one may pass back and forth repeatedly through any of the four-probably more-stages of the soul.

Stage one upon this journey -that begins from within-is essentially our infancy in the spiritual life.

Like a wild child, a person in this stage reflects the inner chaotic and anti-social, unregenerate soul that is interested only in its own self-satisfaction and ego, much like the stereotypical spoiled child.

Stage one people may claim to love others, but their behavior reflects they love their own pleasure, money, power, prestige, and security above any other.

For stage one people, it really is all about them.

Stage two souls seek to “let their light shine” and will live virtuous lives and do many good works.

They also can be judgmental of others, self-righteous, rigid of thought, cold of heart, legalistic concrete literal thinkers and may even be guilty of a lukewarm faith.

They want to do right and they even may desire to love and please God, but have not yet fully opened up to the Inner Light, as Joan of Arc did when she challenged church and state and persisted that she had intuited God within -even while being fried.

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32

Stage two souls have not yet been set fully free and prefer the security of a higher human authority than themselves for guidance.

They submit to institutions, scripture, dogma, ritual, ministers, or gurus.

This is the most appropriate stage for older children and most adults who live busy lives just trying to keep bread on the table and a dry roof above.

The difference between a stage one and stage two soul, is that a one wouldn’t even notice a neighbor in need, while the two has awoken to the fact that we are to be our neighbor’s keepers and they will respond to a friend-and like the good Samaritan, even to a total stranger in need.

Most theologians would agree that the opposite of faith is not disbelief: the opposite of faith is fear.

Stage three souls have not just fearlessly awoken, they have evolved!

This evolution has led them to the realization of what Christ was really talking about in the Sermon of the Mount AKA: The Beatitudes which sound like crazy promises, but are all about waking people up to The Divine within themselves and all others!

About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

 

In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and sins honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.

 

How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.

 

God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8

 

Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

 

The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”

 

In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8

 

“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”

 

In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’

 

“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warned his disciples as he explained the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”

 

In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.

 

“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”

And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.

 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”

 

And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more and that is the Kingdom of God.

 

 

A stage three soul may well reject Christ as God, but often agree with the philosophy of Jesus, which Thomas Jefferson laid out when he weeded out the miracle stories from the gospels and clarified the teachings and ethics of Christ in: THE LIFE AND MORALS of JESUS of NAZARETH:

1. Be just: justice comes from virtue which comes from the heart.
2. Treat people the way we want to be treated.
3. Always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with COMPASSION.
4. Consider valuable the things that have no material value.
5. Do not judge others.
6. Do not bear grudges.
7. Be modest and unpretentious.
8. Give out of true generosity, not because we expect to be repaid.
9. Being true to one’s self in more important than being loyal to one’s family…those who think they know the most are the most ignorant…

 

A stage three soul will see that a neighbor is everyone on the planet and not just those who think and look the same and are born in the same geographical location.

Stage three’s are seekers, doubters, skeptics, agnostics and frequently adults who grew up disenchanted with institutionalized religion.

Their inherent intellectual curiosity leads them to seek their own way towards the Mystery of the Divine through philosophy and the study of multiple faith paths choosing and discarding according to their “inner light.”

Stage three souls often become activists for social justice and reform and the increasing wave of humanitarian secularism verses the bondage of religious dogma just may be the way to change the world as we now know it.

It has been said we are all called to be mystics in the market place and a stage four, such as Thomas Merton and Rumi give voice to that experience of the curtain being lifted and seeing through the glass a bit less darkly.

A mystic can best be understood as one who is in love with the divine mystery and is viscerally connected to the unity of all creation.

Mystics are not navel gazers, they feel the pain of the world within their hearts and grieve at what humans do to the other when they have no clue that The Divine is within the other as much as within themselves.

Mystics have detached from their concepts of God-not by their own efforts, but by the invitation and action of God upon a willing and simple soul in love with Pure Being/AKA: God for lack of a better word.

The mystic fool, Saint Francis, the leper kisser of Assisi, was so head over heels in love with God in everyone and all of creation that most people of his time considered him crazed, or at least, extremely eccentric.

One needn’t be a mystic or move beyond stage two on the spiritual journey to do what is good and right just because it is good and right.

On that foundation alone people of faith, agnostics and even atheists can surely find something to agree upon.

Or would only a mystic see that?

 

 

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”-Proverbs 29:18

The ancients understood that God spoke to them in their dreams and visions.

The ancients told those stories around the campfires and those stories grew by the flame enkindled in the hearer’s hearts; transforming them into storytellers too.

 

In the gospel [good news] told in Mark 3: 31-35, the mother of Jesus’ and his brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching.

Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him out. The crowd around Jesus told him, “Your mother, sisters and brothers are outside asking for you.”

Jesus replied, “I am here with my mother, sisters and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.”

 

From Micah 6:8 if we have eyes to see, we will KNOW:

“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.”

Being just means correct, true, accurate, right and fair.

Merciful is to have, feel and show compassion, that sense of viscerally feeling the pain of another and being moved to help.

Being humble is knowing yourself; the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

All Christians-from the most fundamental to those left of the progressives-are connected to the other as a sister and brother in the mystical Body of Christ.

It is a dysfunctional family and way past time to liberate Jesus from the bondage of institutional patriarchy for no church owns Jesus and no religion owns God!

HOW do we get there?

It begins in the heart and imagination, where all human creativity is birthed.

In 2003, I read an article in Presence Magazine written by a pastor of a church in Berkeley.

I no longer remember what the article was about, but he inspired me to email him a few of my theological questions. He replied something like this;

 

I once gave a sermon that began with the story of Rabbi Hillel, who lived 100 years before Jesus walked the earth.

Rabbi Hillel understood the Hebrew understanding of Hokema; Holy Wisdom; The Feminine Divinity, was the same as the Greek understanding of The Logos: The Word.

It was Saints John and Paul that understood The Logos: The Word was Jesus.

So with a little imagination you can imagine that before Jesus walked the earth a man, he was already a she; The Word, Holy Wisdom, Hokema, the feminine divinity.

I gave that sermon to a mainline conservative congregation. It didn’t go over well…

 

It read like GREAT news to me!

Ever since the days of Eve until the days of JC, the feminine was not equally valued.

Jesus is the first known man to blow apart the societal and religious taboos of speaking with females as fully equal.

Just one more example of how the male disciples would not, could not follow Jesus THAT closely!

And “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system”-Dorothy Day

Later male disciples, the Protestant Reformers, would not, could not accept the Book of Wisdom and threw it out of their canon, but the Catholics include it in their bible.

It has been said that some thought the Book of Wisdom was too Jewish–or perhaps too feminine!

The Book of Wisdom defines wisdom as: a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, and certain. Not baneful, but loving the good. Keen, unhampered, beneficent, kind, firm, secure, all-powerful, all-seeing and pervading all spirits. Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and SHE penetrates and pervades all things by reason. SHE is the aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of The Almighty. SHE is the refulgence of eternal Light, a spotless mirror of the power of God. And SHE who is one, can do all things and renews everything, and passing into holy souls from age to age, SHE produces friends of God and prophets.- WISDOM 7:22-8:1

 

Wisdom has built her house and SHE calls to all; “Come, eat my food and drink my wine and you will live abundant life and walk in the ways of understanding.”-Proverbs 9

 

Number 9 Number 9 Number 9….Let all who are little come in here, Wisdom has built her house; come eat her food and drink her wine and walk in the ways of understanding…I’m so very small I’m so very small; already within the heart of every atom yet extend Beyond the Universe and connect every mother and child….Number 9 Number 9 Number 9…

Wisdom calls; “I have built it; will you come? Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear?

Holy Wisdom, the Feminine Divinity: Hokema,

Who was with The Word from the very beginning,

She is One with Him and He with Her;

Pure Being; One God;

One Creator and One Lover of All the Human Family,

Hokema; Holy Wisdom;, The Feminine Divinity

Same as The Logos:

The Word:

THE WAY!

 

 

This song by PINK FLOYD became the protest song of a group of South African students during that apartheid regime and the “laddie reckons himself a poet”

 

This ‘lassie’ reckons herself one too:

God is within every sister, brother and all of Creation

Get a clue Christian

His ways are not your ways

Her thoughts are not your thoughts

Dominion never meant to rape and plunder

But to nurture, care and love

And if you have not love

You have nothing at all!

And on that final day we all will stand naked before The Divine Mystery of The Universe

And we have been warned there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who had been so sure they were in;

Because they will be the ones left out!

Wake Up Christian and hear the wind begin to howl

For every misunderstanding

Every condemning thought

Every negative vibration

Every tear torn from a heart

Every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go

Because they did not know:

The Divine is within every woman, man and child.

And for every tiny kindness you have ever done

Every gentle word spoken

Every time you held your tongue

Every positive thought

Every smile freely given

Every helping hand that opens

Helps bring in The Kingdom

And The Kingdom comes from above

And it comes from within.

IMAGINE a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men and All you need is LOVE:

 

And all We The People need to understand is that Christianity was founded by visionaries, rebels, dissidents and revolutionaries;

And so it also was with the United States!

And YES WE CAN Overcome:

 

 

I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.
http://www.eileenfleming.org/

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35 Responses to IMAGINE No Religion But Spiritual Connections

  1. Daniel Mabsout July 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    shunning religions and nations is unwarranted ; religions and nations do not divide people ; one percent of the people divide the remaining ninety nine percent and abuse their nations and religions and culture and tradition so that they are left with no shelter or protection from manipulation and interference as happened in Libya , Iraq ,Syria etc…
    Religion is not alien to people, it is an intrinsic part of their life and their culture that cannot be dissociated from them , and it is not right to offer them spirituality as different from religion as it was not right for colonialists to sow seeds of division and conflict among religions which they did to a very high extent and created enmity within countries and nations

    • Eileen Fleming July 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

      “We have too much religion and it suffocates us! If God would speak today he would say, ‘I am fed up with your religion!’ The more religion there is; the less spirituality.”-Rev. Mitri Raheb

      On July 25, 2007, while in the little town of Bethlehem, I met with Reverend Dr. Mitri Raheb, who was born in that little town in OCCUPIED Territory and he has been the Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem since 1988.

      Raheb spoke with a passionate urgency, “We are nonviolent but I have problems with nonviolence! People from abroad come here and give us sermons on nonviolence and I appreciate it, but why don’t they preach nonviolence to Israel and America?

      “It’s a miracle that the Palestinians are so nonviolent in spite of the abuse we live with on a daily basis. If you lived here every day you would get fed up too. The world assumes it is the Palestinians who are the violent ones, but nonviolence is who we are. If you operate in a system of violence you will also be violent when you go home.

      “Palestinians who throw stones-and many think that is ok, but I say why do that? One day you will throw stones at Palestinians too and that is exactly what happened in Gaza, but the reason is the occupation! Where do you think Hamas learned to torture? In Israeli prisons from their captors!

      “There is no way to end the violence without first ending the occupation.

      “Our Palestinian government was boycotted for a year and a half by America and the EU: this is violence! As long as the violence is exercised against us that is OK with the world. When the Presbyterians talked divestment the Zionist rose up and said ‘you can’t do that!’

      “I started interfaith dialogue in 1985 because Christians should not be islands and you don’t dialogue just with yourself, you must dialogue with the other and the biggest temptation for the church is to stay within their walls and only be dedicated to their own members; which leads to a dead church. We are called to go out, and we do not just preach with words, people here are fed up with words; they hear one thing and see another with their eyes.

      “They hear peace, peace, peace and for 85 years the politicians have been working for peace and the situation gets worse. Blair, and all the politicians are into PR for themselves; they do nothing for our situation. Blair got himself a good job marketing himself and he will come and go and Israel will continue building the wall, settlements and carving the West Bank into Swiss cheese; Israel gets the cheese and we Palestinians fall into the holes!

      “Fifty million American dollars went to build the checkpoints to ‘make our lives easier’ we were told, but these checkpoints and terminals are not for people, they are for cattle!

      “We have too much religion and it suffocates us! If God would speak today he would say, ‘I am fed up with your religion!’ The more religion there is; the less spirituality.”

      • Daniel Mabsout July 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

        “We have too much religion and it suffocates us! If God would speak today he would say, ‘I am fed up with your religion!’ The more religion there is; the less spirituality.”-Rev. Mitri Raheb”

        i agree with that and religion tells about this also like in the Holy Qur’an when it speaks about the donkey burdened with books he does not read and understand .The Holy Qur’an says this is not the way to carry scripture i.e. on one’s back
        A hunter was burdened with the food he had to carry he then thought if i eat the food i will not be burdened by its weight anymore.
        The problem is not the many religions and religious people but our ignorance of the purport of these religions and their teachings . well what is the solution then ? Is it to throw away the books we have not read and the religions we have been carrying and we have not realized or to read them and understand them once and for all

      • Daniel Mabsout July 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

        “Palestinians who throw stones-and many think that is ok, but I say why do that? One day you will throw stones at Palestinians too and that is exactly what happened in Gaza, but the reason is the occupation! Where do you think Hamas learned to torture? In Israeli prisons from their captors!”

        in a situation of great oppression one feels the urge to stand up to those who humiliated him , he can restore his dignity and go back home saying that he stood up to them , why you want to deprive him of this feeling of dignity that will make him grow and become someone like Hassan Nasrullah and he will throw the Israelis out and liberate the land.How then one is to solve the problem unless you have another solution to the problem.
        It is an insult to say that HAMAS learned from the Israelis means of torture because the prisoner has a righteous cause is not a criminal or a thief to learn from Israelis and knows who the enemy is. the words of this priest reveal prejudice towards people from other religions .

      • Roy Bard July 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

        I think stone throwing is a very effective way of stopping Israeli troops from strutting the streets.

        In the areas where they expect to be stoned they are a lot more wary of leaving their vehicles…..

  2. who_me July 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Eileen Fleming

    think of jesus as the first (or perhaps most well known of those way back then) palestinian “revolutionary”. ;)

    interesting essay. the consolidation of christianity by constantine probably killed it as a dynamic ethos and condemned it to institutionalised bs in support of the given hierarchies which used the debased idea set to further their own power over the people. probably the exact opposite of what jesus probably wanted to come from his words.

    • Eileen Fleming July 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

      I DO think of JC as my brother, friend, teacher and a most NONVIOLENT Palestinian Jewish Road Warrior and if I can’t laugh and “If I can’t dance, it’s not my Revolution.”-Emma Goldman

      During the ’60’s a secular Jewish road warrior, named Abbie Hoffman, co-founded the Yippies/Youth International Party.

      Abbie was known as the grandmaster of The Groucho Marxist’s because of his creative comical anarchy.

      Abbie pulled off a mass media manipulation when he convinced them to turn out at a demonstration at The Pentagon that promised 50,000 people using psychic energy would levitate The Pentagon, vibrate it and rotate it until it turned orange and the War on Vietnam ended.

      In 1968 Chicago, Abbie addressed the children of the ’60’s who had planned on spending the night in a city park after their long day of ‘lobbying’ at the Democratic Convention.

      Mayor Daly sent word to Abbie that the multitudes were not welcome in his park and the cops were on the way in.

      Before the Chicago mob with badges descended upon the heads of America’s youth, Abbie stood at a microphone and quoted Christ:

      “I send you out like little lambs into a wolves den. Remain as harmless as doves and cunning as snakes.”

      If the doves had consulted Webster’s, they first would have had a laugh at the two words cunning is sandwiched between.

      Then they would have learned that cunning means one must be skillful, clever, sly, crafty, and do things with skill and ingenuity.

      To be cunning is to be attractive; cute and cleverly proficient.

      The doves lacked cunning and thus got their heads clobbered in and many hippies were baptized by Billy-clubs and became yippies.

      In 1989, just prior to expiring from a fatal alcohol and Phenobarbital combo, Abbie Hoffman told his sister he had a plan to solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but he never got around to filling her in.

      Abbie did say, “We want everyone to control their own life and to care for one another…We cannot tolerate attitudes, institutions, and machines whose purpose is the destruction of life, the accumulation of profit.”-The New Yippie Book Collective (eds.), Blacklisted News: Secret Histories from Chicago to 1984, page 514. Bleecker Publishing, 1983.

  3. fool me once... July 28, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    Hmmm, got me thinking…
    I got a second-hand book about 20 years ago written by Jerry Rubin called “DO IT” that I’d read about in the early eighties in a Crass booklet and a few years later one called “Steal This Book” by Abbie Hoffman. I’ll rake ‘em out now and have another skeg.
    Funny that coming up as I was only thinking about them a few hours ago after something on another thread triggered the thoughts.

    • Eileen Fleming July 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      THAT my friend is SPIRIT at ‘work’ or play maybe a better word! When we are seeing/feeling/sensing/intuiting what appear random events into connections that speak to us we are co-creating a new thing and that’s a God thing!
      And I IMAGINE God just wants to have some fun with us-and I IMAGINE you made God smile when you thought it “funny” how you were only just thinking!

  4. who_me July 28, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    a rewrite of jesus christ superstar:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGkqrJyUmdM

    amateur footage, but pretty good quality. the group itself never disappoints. this is a rough trans of the text of the song:

    Your tea is cold for a long time
    And you once again without power
    And just no end
    You look at the clock
    Hurry to sleep
    In the morning sometime
    After getting up early again tomorrow

    One step forward, two – back
    Rise and fell again
    Step Up – checkmate
    Well, what are you waiting for?

    And while on earth Babylon reigns
    You believed him, but you lost it all

    To survive until tomorrow
    To live up to the death

    You thought – Dzhizus Christ
    Certainly not betray
    And he sees everything from above
    But here’s the rub:
    To help do not come
    A visit here as here –
    The crisis itself is Christ Superstar

    No one will be saved
    In the world there is no more faith
    Flawed and doomed
    Babylon AD

    One step forward, two – back
    Rise and fell again
    Step forward, checkmate
    Well, what are you waiting for?

    (Again!) Step Up (again!), two – back
    (Again!) Got up and fell again
    (Again!) Step Up (Again!) Checkmate
    Well, what are you waiting for?

    No one will be saved
    In the world there is no more faith
    Flawed and doomed
    Babylon AD

    To survive until tomorrow
    To live up to the death

  5. Jonathon Blakeley July 28, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    God or religion are not needed to experience compassion and love. Religion can be considered as the fanchise agreement for distribution of spirituality through recognized outlets. But in reality spirituality is available to all not just through the Church, Mosque or Synagogue. Spirituality is a state of mind and it starts within us all.

    The answer is that we always has the answer within us.
    Forgetting and remembering, remembering and forgetting…

    • Eileen Fleming July 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      Good call Jonathon!

      As JC said in John 16:7, “I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate/Counselor/Comforter/Holy SPIRIT will not come to you.”

      I call the Holy SPIRIT the Feminine concept of God; but as God is beyond ALL concepts it is humanly natural to forget that-and that just maybe why people make God into their own images.

  6. who_me July 28, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    take the word god out of religious writings and what happens?

    • Eileen Fleming July 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      Well dear “who_me” as the psalmist wrote: “I said, you are gods: you are all children of the Most High God.”-Psalm 82:6

      So maybe the dilemma is not taking “the word god” out but comprehending we are all connected to The Ultimate Mystery of The Universe.

      The more I learn, of less I am certain,
      except for the need to remain open
      to the Mystery we call God;

      Creator of unfathomable diversity
      Artist of intricate details
      who crafted verdant mountains where fragile flowers dwell
      who designed the ocean depths
      and no human eyes have yet to read their deepest tales.

      So it is with us;
      unknown realities within
      The Divine indwells;
      thirstily seeking us as we search hungrily for what we desire to possess;
      Peace of mind and life to the full.

      So many voices in the world striving to convince, when all that really matters is the peace that can be within;

      Begins with Detachment from outcome,
      just do your best.

      When one lets go of the need to control and to self-defend
      When one has a heart for the poor and oppressed
      When one seeks and sees The Divine within all creatures and events
      When one trusts The Holy is in control-although the daily news denies it

      When one accepts The Other has a plan and desires to find it

      When one comes to understand The Eternal Mystery is more than any concept
      And welcomes the diversity of men rather than deny them.

      When one accepts we will not stand on any accomplishment,
      But on our motives and the love that drives it.

      When one is aware that evil as well as good cut through every human heart
      And learns to make friends with silence
      The Light is ever present to guide us.

      Silent time in nature is as necessary as bread and
      Prayer is poetry and service her manifestation.

      To forgive is divine and necessary to be divinely forgiven.
      And therein lies the peace that passes all understanding.

      And every drop of dew are but tears from heaven,
      Shed each day a new,
      For me, for you
      For what we did and did not do
      To help bring in The Kingdom.

      And the Kingdom comes from above and it comes from within.

      IMAGINE a kingdom of sisterhood of all nations and all men.

      I do.

      I also believe that education is the way to compassion, and compassion the way to change;

      And the conversation on this thread fills me with overflowing gratitude-which just maybe the highest expression of LOVE!

      xoxe

  7. etominusipi July 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    EF wrote:

    What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces

    that is not my reading of the gospel,

    e.g. John 12:53

    and from that day they resolved that He must be put to death

    who were they? according to John 12:47 they were the Sanhedrin: the ‘chief priests’ and ‘pharisees’, i.e. the political leaders of an exclusive group of Talmudists who were, until the later debacle, crafty collaborators with the Roman Occupying Forces

    be interested what others think.

    • Blake July 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Yeah you have it about right as far as I am concerned.

      Sign on an Evangelical Church:
      “Jews Killed the Lord Jesus” 1 Thess. 2 .14, 15

      Romans had conquered all the area in which Jesus lived & taught. The Romans allowed Jews to continue with their Sanhedrin (government) , but the Romans took away capital punishment from them. In order to have Jesus crucified, the Jewish leaders had to manipulate Rome into doing it. First, the Jewish leaders had to lie – make up charges (Lk. 23: 2, 3). Jewish leaders persisted in their demands for crucifixion (vss. 5-19). NT writers charged the Jews with having Jesus crucified(Acts 2: 36, 3: 13-17)

  8. Laura Stuart July 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    According to the Quran the Jews are the ones who conspired connived and plotted Jesus a.s. downfall, they tried to have him killed as they did with many of the prophets.

    Except that the Quran says he did not die, he was raised.

    • Blake July 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Could you elaborate a bit more of when he was raised and why please. I believe Muslims say He will come back to judge the world (Messiah), which is a bit like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      • Laura Stuart July 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

        Why he was raised is not clear but that he was not dead seems pretty clear to me. Firstly he was walking around in the Garden of Gethsemane when Mary Magdalene found him. His wounds were painful so he didn’t allow MM to touch him, dead men don’t feel pain. Elijah is another prophet who was raised.
        Jesus a.s. is the Messiah he will return near the end times according to the books we follow – at the white minaret in Damascus.Like all of the prophets Jesus a.s. is considered a Muslim in other words he submitted to the One God. There was of course nothing called christianity.

        • Blake July 29, 2012 at 8:53 am #

          “There was of course nothing called christianity.”

          Well that’s untrue if you believe the invisible as Moses said to the Judeans at the time that in their final days God will rise up a Prophet and they must listen to Him and in Books of Moses all the way to Revelations reinforce this idea that there would be a new religion of Christ that would replace the temporary religion of Moses.

          So much for Muslims calling Christians (and Jews) “people of the book” then if Christianity didn’t even exist.

          • Laura Stuart July 29, 2012 at 10:08 am #

            Was Abraham a Jew or a Christian Blake?

            God is One and He didn’t keep changing His mind He only sent one message and that was to worship Him alone, the message didn’t change.

            In Islam the followers of the Prophet Jesus a.s. are called “Nasara”, in fact Christian was not mentioned in the Gospels at all and only in the New Testament more than 40 years after Jesus a.s. death.

            “O you who believe! Be Allah’s ansar (supporters), as Jesus son of Mary said to the companions: “Who are my ansar (supporters) in the cause of Allah?” The companions said: “We are Allah’s ansar (supporters).” Then a party of the Children of Israel believed and a party disbelieved, therefore we aided those who believed against their enemy, so they became the ones that prevailed (61.14).”

            All of the Prophets were Muslims since Muslim means to submit which they all did to the One God.

            People of the book or scripture because they were people who had received revelation, i.e. the Torah, Psalms and Gospel, some not all Prophets had books but none are preserved in their original form.

            The Quran is not a book as much as a recitation memorised by millions.

          • Blake July 29, 2012 at 10:20 am #

            I thought “buying the invisible” would be a dead giveaway. Oh well….

            Islam was created by Jews to destroy Christianity. The NASARA (Judeo-Nazareans mentioned in the Koran) taught during 250 years before 622 AC to the bedouins that they were the sons of Abraham and that the holy land (al ard) had to be re-taken from the Byzantines (al rum). Byzantines were Christians who were hated by the Jews. Jews needed manpower for war against Al RUM. They manipulated the bedouins.

            As for Abraham: Abraham was NOT a Jew BUT a Hebrew. St Paul states in his epistle to the Galatians that those who have been baptized into Christ are “Abraham’s seed” & that the Jews have forfeited that reality. Thus, when God promised Abraham that He would Bless Those That Bless Thee – He was referring NOT to Jews because of being of the same “race” as Abraham – BUT referring to those who are TRUE SONS of Abraham — those who walk in the same steps of FAITH IN GOD’s SALVATION who are truly “Abraham’s seed.”

            Abraham was never a “Jew” but a Hebrew, as were Ishmael, Isaac of Sarah, Jacob, Esau, and Abraham’s sons by Keturah. The Old Testament clearly records that the “Covenant of Faith” which God unilaterally cut with Abraham and swore by His own Name, sealed with blood of the sacrificial animals, was when Abraham was still uncircumcised, or a “Gentile,” and before any of Abraham’s sons were ever born.

            The Bible itself, in the new testament says that Christians are the new chosen people of God: Peter 1:1. From Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ – To God’s chosen people who live as refugees scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by His Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by His blood. (Good News Bible)

          • Laura Stuart July 29, 2012 at 10:29 am #

            Islam cannot have been created by the Jews, it is the same revelation as they follow at least until their Rabbis started altering it.

            The people who are now called Christians were “chosen” in so much as they were the recipients of a prophet/messenger just as the earlier Muslims who followed Moses a.s. and the later Muslims who followed Mohammed a.s. so chosen to receive and carry the message.

          • Blake July 29, 2012 at 10:32 am #

            Yet you do not disprove what I said, just claimed it could not be so. Very much like the indoctrinated to nothing zionist propagandists who infest the net. Maybe you should ask questions like how Jesus was raised. You admitted yourself you did not know. You really ought to listen to yourself sometimes. You are a good example of an indoctrinated soul selling the invisible.

  9. Daniel Mabsout July 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    “The article exmaines whether religion is needed in order to experience spirituality.”

    this is nonsense, it is like instead of learning how to solve the math problem and develop math skills , getting the written answers directly at the end of the syllabus and feeling accomplished , but we can cheat others only and we cannot cheat ourselves . Spiritual study is one of the most arduous studies of the world . It is the science of the Self which we don’t see which makes even more difficult because we are studying invisible things and where we cannot use our ordinary tools of learning . Go to all scriptures of the world, they will tell you spiritual studies are not for the effortless .To claim spirituality by foolishness like the Beatles and John Lenon is show business only. The purpose of spirituality is Self realization and Self knowledge and not merely being nice and compassionate and loving on fridays saturdays or sundays

    • Eileen Fleming July 29, 2012 at 3:49 am #

      Dear Daniel Mabsout-

      The article does NOT examine “whether religion is needed in order to experience spirituality” nor does it say anything about “being nice” “on fridays saturdays or sundays” but most agreed that YES indeed the journey within is not effortless!

      Perhaps the second in this series:

      http://www.deliberation.info/the-yin-and-the-yang-of-anarchy-and-heres-to-revolution/

      Will offer you further insight?

      • Daniel Mabsout July 29, 2012 at 8:52 am #

        “IMAGINE No Religion But Spiritual Connections – deLiberation

        http://www.deliberation.info/imagine-no-

        The article exmaines whether religion is needed in order to experience spirituality.”

        this is from the link of the article .if i don’t get satisfied here and find no insight here then how shall i go to read another article which you claim will offer further insight

  10. Daniel Mabsout July 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    but then we are already all spiritually connected ; then what is the problem ? the problem is that we are not able to live that spiritual connection in our everyday life in the middle of this world and for that purpose practice and effort and religion are there

  11. Blake July 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Great message. Jesus was a spiritualist imo

  12. etominusipi July 29, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    “Jesus a.s. is the Messiah he will return near the end times according to the books we follow – at the white minaret in Damascus…”

    for me these are the words of a child. a child who has been indoctrinated. God has given us a conscience and a faculty with which, very painstakingly, we may learn to discern truth from falsehood. those who choose not to use it are rejecting their birthright.

    just a question, Laura, but, leaving aside individual cases, doesn’t the general idea that you can read of major future events, not to say bizarre happenings, from books or a book that have/has come down to us from hundreds or thousands of years ago seem strange to you?

    even if this suits you personally, that is not enough, for you, and the many people similar to you in this respect (not all are Muslims) then attempt to inflict such dangerous and unreliable precedent on everyone else in the world? why? oh, yes, the book tells you to do so, maybe.

    what happens where different groups interpret the book(s) in different, incompatible ways? what procedure does the book suggest for dealing with this problem, with deciding whose interpretation is correct? your problem with the Shia suggests this is a major problem even within the Muslim community.

    i ask the question in sincerity, but unfortunately i can already hear a shrill little voice in my head, a self-satisfied little voice, a closed-minded little voice, a little voice harsh at the edges with hatred for perceived enemies, even those nominally within the same faith group, telling me that such and such a book is THE authentic word of God(c.o.t.w).

    well, you are ‘fortunate’, both in being one of the chosen ones, and in being unshakably confident of the fact. the word ‘fortunate’ was here used in an ironic sense (b.t.w)

    no doubt God (m.g.f.) will treat you very specially. there is a gated community in Heaven (i..m.a.o.), with much better facilities than other places…you will be able to spend your time between jobs in th3e delightful company of kindred souls from many different exclusive sects – though a lot of the admin there is done by Jehovah’s Witnesses. their extreme loyalty to their book has given them a specially honoured place in the gated community.

    finally, a little off topic, but forgive me for asking: why is it, when i imagine you taking your kids to school, that i see you in an expensive hijab at the wheel of a gas-guzzling SUV? i hope i am wrong, about that. but your professed loyalty to <the Creator(a.n.t.f.G.o.A.) of the Heavens and the Earth, vehemently though it is expressed, so far, on the basis of your posts, seems skin-deep and self-serving to this slightly cynical Aspergers sufferer.

    • Laura Stuart July 29, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      I can’t give you any answers really as I grew up a practising Christian and have always been a believer therefore I do not really know how to discuss Islam with an atheist, or someone who does not believe in things because they cannot see them. But there are many who do like Hamza Tzortsis a Greek revert, Adam Deen http://www.adamdeen.com/debates/videos and others
      Here is one talk by Hamza Tzortsis
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOsbfycK98c
      Another by Dr Zakir Naik
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcfjHNPCOZI

      My car certainly uses too much petrol but actually because it is old, I am not a yummy mummy sorry to destroy your misconceptions.

      • etominusipi July 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

        no apologies necessary Laura, i am glad to lose misconceptions, though the process can be painful at times. may some saint in the guise of a sapient mechanic bestow upon your means of conveyance the blessing of a skilful axle re-alignement, which, in collusion with a better set of tires, would undoubtedly justify through enhanced fuel economy the small though lamentable outflow of dinars necessary for the procurement of said transaction.

        if you will permit a filthy and dishonoured mendicant the undeserved boon of returning to you the ineffable ping-pong ball of polite conversation, then with the extremest humility my indelibly hypocritical nature will permit, might i suggest that to consider me an atheist would be, at least in my frequently ill-informed eyes, one of those very misconceptions which you, with admirable tactfulness, helped me to correct in my own incorrigibly wayward processes of mentation.

        i have no problem with the Divine. such epistemo-ontological concerns as do occasionally raise themselves and address the assembled denizens of the monkey-house which passes for a Theatre of Philosophy in the impoverished kingdom of my dormant inner life, are concerned with the nature of whatever it might be claimed is, or may proclaim, or recognize, itself as, not divine. for example, the human soul. (let me apologise for the fact that here, on the inadequate pretext of the brevity of the discourse, i use soul rather as a shorthand, and do not wish to burden the term with unnecessary philosophical or conceptual baggage)

        • Laura Stuart July 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

          I am sure anyone including atheists who have seen a dead body will understand that the essence or soul of that body has departed.

          I think you would like Islam because it is more scientific and logical without all the mysteries and loose ends of Christianity.

  13. Daniel Mabsout July 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Religion is not Christianity or Islam or Buddhism or any other particular religion . Religion is the science of the Self(spirit) just like biology is the science of the physical body and geology is the science of the different layers of the earth .Islam , Christianity and Buddhism are different schools of religion just like there are different schools of Physics .And as Natural Law is prior to Newton’s theories of Physics and is not affected by his contributions so also religion is prior to Islam , Christianity and Buddhism and is not corrupted by the corruption of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

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