All That We Used To Be

Sometimes we fail to appreciate just how far along the evolutionary path animals have come. We have a responsibility to be loving to them, guiding and helping them along the “Path”.

Ramblings of the Claury

Bobcats

View original post

Advertisements

Heresy and Modern Spirituality

It’s Sunday, a good day for a religious, or spiritual, discussion.

I just happened to be reading a web page entitled:

“What are Sabellianism, Modalism, and Monarchianism?”

at:

http://www.gotquestions.org/Sabellianism-Modalism-Monarchianism.html

If you have a theological or philosophical streak in your personality, you might find this short discussion very interesting (at least I hope SOMEONE does). Now just what does all this have to do with Modern Spirituality? Well, I’ll get to that in a minute (or so, depending on how fast you read). What I am calling “Modern Spirituality” is an emerging tendency of many people today to describe themselves as “spiritual, but not religious”, distancing themselves from organized religions. More on that shortly.

My own personal understanding of the Trinity, from a Christian upbringing and perspective, was that a.) There is only ONE God, and b.) that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three ways in which the One God expressed different aspects, modes, or roles of Itself, but that the three were intimately a part of the One Whole. That was about as good an understanding of the Trinity as I gained through discussions with various pastors of liberal denominations of Christian churches throughout the years. These denominations all considered themselves to be part of “Orthodox Christianity”.  Now, I always considered that this view of mine matched up pretty well with what I read in the Bible, and I thought I had a pretty good handle on it. Guess I was wrong.

In comparing this (maybe somewhat naive) view with the discussion on the web page, my understanding seems to most closely match with the description of the Modalistic Monarchianism / Modalism / Sabellianism / Patripassianism view, which is considered HERESY. Hmmm, I always thought I was a little heretical – guess I was right. According to this web page discussion, my problem is that I need to see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three SEPARATE personalities, which taken together, comprise the One God, rather than being three different expressions/modes/roles of the One God. Hmmm, now hold on a minute here… Now maybe my mind just isn’t keen enough, but I really do not see much of any difference or fine distinction between the Orthodox Christian view, and my own. It seems to me to be more of a semantic difference in language, rather than an actual difference in the CONCEPT of the Trinity. Now obviously I am in error, since the “Church” (as in Christian Orthodoxy) says it is heresy, which makes me a heretic. Well, OK, I knew that already.

It is terribly ironic to me that this web page emphasizes the fact that this view of God as Three, is way beyond the ability of the human mind to really comprehend. Yet, the “Church” regularly used such precise and nebulous differences, as the excuse to torture human beings to death. Now, is it just me, or do any of you see something very wrong here?

Honestly, sometimes I think that the “Church” political leaders had a little bit too much to drink, too much love of torturing heretics to death, and therefore, too much motivation to invent new heresies. What motivation, you ask? Why, the motivation to find new souls to torture and burn at the stake, of course. I really think they enjoyed this torture/burning/killing thing WAY too much in the “Middle Ages”, and maybe still today. I really think they perfected God’s ability of “ex nihilo” creation a bit too much for the good of humanity (in other words, making a mountain out of a mole hill).

But what do all my opinions and ramblings have to do with “Modern Spirituality”?  I do not pretend to represent Modern Spirituality for all, but rather only MY take on what I think is happening with a large number of people these days.  I think the tendency of my own mind is to see “commonalities” between the various religious beliefs, rather than focusing on the differences. One of the defining aspects of this Spirituality, for me, is the recognition of the commonalities between ALL, or almost all, of the Earth’s major religions, and many of the minor ones. I look at a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian, a New Ager…and see that all of us are basically worshiping the exact same God (by various names), and have similar legends or myths, such as the Garden of Eden, Tree of Life, and the many flood myths. If you really look closely, you can see that the commonalities are MUCH more extensive than generally admitted. This tendency I see in Modern Spirituality, to be all-inclusive, and accepting of all human beings as equally valuable, equally Divine, is a major departure from the norm of religions to separate humans, and look down on those who believe differently. I think one major goal of Modern Spirituality is leading people “toward” the brother/sisterhood of all humanity; bringing together, rather than tearing apart. I believe this sentiment is shared by many in this opening Aquarian Age.

In most religions, including Pagan, you can find some sort of trinitarian view of the Godhead. It may be expressed as Father, Mother, and Son/Daughter/Child, or Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, or some other variation of three-in-one concepts.  The idea is very prevalent as found in all sorts of religions throughout the past, and throughout the Earth.

I hope to have much more to say about both, Modern Spirituality, and the similarities between religions, in future blogs. For now, this is just what “popped” into my little brain today. Please leave me comments, as I want to encourage discussion. I also hope to avoid arguments as much as possible. I value other views, even if I disagree with them. For now, Peace!

My Dire-y Blog, 04/25/2015, Blah…

I have ideas to share, but this has been a bad week for energy and motivation. I just don’t seem to be able to get into it. I have a medical condition called Multifocal Motor Neuropathy (MMN) which has as one of its common symptoms, severe fatigue. I hate living like this where every “waking” second is a struggle to stay awake, and every physical action is a fight. If you care, or want to know, (if I were you, which I am not, in case you hadn’t figured that out, I would not give a sh*t, or want to know…TMI), the particular brand of MMN I have is Multifocal Aquired Motor Axonopathy (MAMA). He, he…MAMA got me! Just wish the medical “beast” (in other words, the medical community) had a fricken (fricken, freakin’ fracking…?) clue what it is. They have lots of words, and few answers. Maybe next week will be better. I cannot ever predict when my day is going to be bad, or not so bad. I even have things already written and ready to publish. Just don’t feel up to it yet. Maybe tommorrow…

MY DIRE-Y BLOG, 04/19/2015, Spiritual Beliefs and Persecution

I have written a possible future blog which contains an outline of certain spiritual beliefs I currently hold to be true. I have been contemplating putting myself out their by publishing them in a blog. However, I have been thinking about the possible repercussions of such action, and the modern persecution which exists in America. Oh, yes, such persecution does exist today, even in a country founded on freedom of religion. Yes, we are free to follow our own religion, and others (due to freedom of speech) are just as free to bombard you with criticism, hate email, their “opinion”, etc (even in defiance of law sometimes).  Sometimes modern persecution (not necessarily religious) has taken on the form of physical violence, even recently.  Possibly a better word might be retribution, or vengeance, rather than persecution, but the violent results can be identical in either case.

I do agree that there are some areas of this society which exhibit an imbalance, and call for the force of public opinion and protest, to lead to the correction of that imbalance. One recent example is the manner in which certain of our police forces have treated (and still do treat) minorities, and the poor. In cases like that, I can see a need for public outcry to bring about a correction to such imbalance for the good of all humanity.

Another example, however, which has been on my mind lately is how the extreme religious right has been attempting to push its agenda on everyone, especially on our government, where it has no business sticking its nose. I know they view such “evangelism” as part of their religious responsibility, but that is where THEIR nose comes face to face with the noses of us ALL. There is a good reason the founding fathers attempted to make sure that religious beliefs were kept OUT of the business of governing the nation. The main reason, of course, is to make sure that religious persecution never again became a legislated part of a country founded on religious freedom!

Anyway, people sometimes take matters into their own hands, even to the point of committing criminal acts in the heat of the moment. I am not sure I am quite ready to allow myself to become an object of criticism or ridicule just yet. I don’t really think I would draw the threat of violence down upon myself, but you never know. Because Christian fundamentalism is very strong just now, I am pretty sure to draw at least some criticism for my current beliefs. I say “current”, because they have slowly, and continually evolved over the course of my life, but changing only as the result of much contemplation, prayer, and testing. Therefore, nobody is likely to easily talk me into changing them.

One part of my beliefs that I WILL put out there is my complete religious tolerance for others. Yes, even as strange as it may sound, I can completely accept ANY other person as a Divine, and valuable human being, regardless of religious beliefs. That would even include such extreme views as those held by satanists, or the Tea Party (I do NOT subscribe to either!). The reason I can do this is because I believe God is always in COMPLETE control of EVERYTHING. So, if God wants a person to hold certain beliefs in this incarnation, and time, then who am I to presume on God’s Will? If it is good enough for God, it is good enough for me, and I will leave well enough alone. You might say, “Well, if God made me such that I feel a need to actively fight against certain beliefs, then does that not mean that God’s Will is for me to think, and do, just that”? To which I would answer, “certainly”. I also accept even that. MY purpose, at this time, (I believe) is to have complete religious tolerance for others; I do not expect the same from everyone, but at the same time, I will also gravitate toward others who share a similar world view as mine. Another piece of this is my belief that God is perfecting ALL souls, and that in the end, there will be perfect, conscious Unity between God and ALL of His Glory, the Universe. So people, in my view, are exactly where they need to be at this time, in order for their souls to ultimately and consciously become One with God. I think God is capable of carrying this out without me trying to interfere. Some people were destined to be activists for this or that cause. I am not one, and have talents and gifts in other areas. We need activists to address issues which need correcting, and we also need others whose gifts of empathy, sympathy, and healing are just as necessary to life, and the health of a society. Projecting our own views onto everyone is something we all do to a certain degree. After all, if I am convinced that something is right, true, and perfect, then shouldn’t I expect everyone to believe the same way? Perfectly natural thing to do, and, in my opinion, perfectly wrong to do. I try to leave well enough alone, except for those times, and for things which I feel strongly enough about, to NOT leave well enough alone. Yes, I am imperfectly/perfectly human too!…

In other news, the power went off this morning, for about one hour. This happens sometimes when the power company is saving up energy for the peak usage hours to come. They usually try to rotate the areas which are blacked out for a short time, so that all suffer equally. My concern is this – if they are stealing (OK, borrowing) power this early in the season, where our use of air conditioning is light, then what is going to happen in a couple of months when the really heavy usage occurs? Just a thought currently coming to my mind. These dire-y (diary, for the really slow among you, (insert Smiley face)) blogs are more of less “stream of consciousness”, or, in other words, whatever happens to come to my mind, A scary thought, eh? Well, enough of my drivel for now. Peace!

Seagate STBP8000100 Business 4-Bay NAS Network Attached Storage Review

I have had nothing but problems with this NAS since I bought it about two years ago. I documented a whole page worth of bugs I found in the NAS Manager. Now, I can no longer access the NAS Manager to make any changes. I can no longer add any shares, or do any of the administration of the unit. I tried everything. I reset it, didn’t work. I wanted to do a factory reset, but you need access to the NAS Manager to do it! The files that are on it, I can still access; at least that is something. The unit performance is not great, but OK for home use. The manuals are not very informative, they could have been written much better. Their support is terrible. What else can I say, but don’t buy it. I will refuse to buy any Seagate products ever again in protest, even though their disk drives are just fine. They should have stuck to that, and stayed out of the complex Network Attached Storage market.

My Dire-y Blog 04/15/2015, H&R Block vs. TaxACT

You know, I’ve seen a lot of blogs that are just people sharing their daily struggles and accomplishments with whoever is bored enough to read them. I have no idea why anyone would want to read anything about MY life! It is a really boring thing to tell. But maybe, it might be good for me to occasionally get some of my personal life, thoughts, and events down in writing. They say it helps. Who “they” are, and “what” it helps, I’m not that clear on. But anyway, every now and then, as a sort of therapy for me, and possibly to produce something slightly amusing or possibly helpful to someone out there, I will try to include occasional episodes of My “Dire-y” Blog. 8*)

Yesterday, I did my IRS/Gov’t-induced duty and completed my federal and state income tax forms. I always try to do it completely for free, but this not this year. I guess the tax help providers are getting wise to my strategy, and are steadily reducing what they offer to the public for free. The past few years I have been using H&R Block online to complete, and submit my federal form for free. Well, last year I got this little check for $22.30 for the sale of 2 shares of stock. This was probably from some past work “retirement” plan, but I’m not exactly sure (meaning I don’t recall at the moment. It is strange how the mind can just suddenly go blank about the strangest things, and at the strangest times. Just don’t get old, like me!) which job it was from. Now because of this piddling little check, I had to use some “part B” capital gains something or another tax form. Well, H&R Block popped up on the screen with something like, “ya, sure, we would love to do that for you, but it’s gonna cost ya”.

I really did not like that, since I had painstakingly entered most of the information for the federal form already, and automatically pulled in my information from last year’s income tax form, which H&R Block kindly stores for me from year to year…for free…’till now.

So, I did a little comparison research (Google, that is), and decided to try TaxACT online, for the first time. It ended up that I chose to pay a little for this years’ service, but I could have gotten away with doing the federal form for free. In the past, I had simply declined to pay H&R Block to do the Ohio State income tax form, and went to the state’s free e-file site for that. Anyway, they made me a combined offer for pulling in last year’s data (Hmmm, they never charged me for that before), and the Ohio state taxes for $39.99 (Jeez, I hate this stupid marketing crap where they think I can’t tell that $39.99 is really $40, and that I will think that $39.99 is a lot cheaper than $40. This crap has gone on for a LONG time now, and only makes head calculation slightly harder, and makes my head hurt, but I am not fooled, it’s still $40 to me!). The deal with TaxACT was – free for federal, but $8.99 if I want them to store it for 3 years, and $19.99 for state. So I went for it. They suckered me into ~$30, instead of the ~$40 I would have paid for H&R Block.

Next year, I should start earlier comparing the cost of the various “free” tax services. I used to use TurboTax on my PC years ago. Now they also have some “free” kind of online tax prep service. Maybe I will check out the cost of their “free” service next year. This year I didn’t want to screw with it, since I procrastinated till almost the last second. I DID get it done 1 day in advance, which is doing good for me! All of the online tax prep services do the same job, at the same level of service, more or less.

You know, I had really been hoping for the day I would no longer have to do tax returns, but no such luck. Now, we are required to file, just to prove we had health insurance, so the IRS can take it out of those who didn’t sign up for the “subsidized” ObamaCare health insurance. Even though I am on a Medicare Supplement plan because I am disabled, I guess I will STILL need to do the damn forms. What a pain! In this age of computers, why don’t “they” just do it automatically for everyone, and save us all the trouble (it is technically doable. The IRS certainly has access to all my financial information online, between my bank, and the SSA). But that would then prevent the corporations, and rich folk’s accountants, from doing all that “fancy” bookkeeping, which allows them to get away with paying a fraction of the percentage of their “income” in taxes that poor folks like me (and maybe you, too) are forced to pay. From recent news, we see that there are politicians that let their opinions about how the country would be better off if they refused medical services to the poor, and let the unproductive (i.e. not producing MONEY) scum die off. Outright, open bigotry and class-ism at its worst. I truly have a hard time believing that there exist politicians with balls big enough, and brains small enough, to “publicly” announce their outright hatred and disregard for other equal human beings. Worse, that there are enough people who buy into that elephant dung to keep such bastards in office. I really can’t believe that some members of our culture are still so barbaric as all that. In reality (at least I hope and pray), it is probably a relatively small number of self-serving and deluded crazies that are stupid enough and arrogant enough to believe and spout that total crap. Unfortunately, they have money and power, so they get away with it. Arg, paperwork…government…politicians…heartless corporations…

Please! Don’t get me started (its all your fault 🙂 ). Well that was yesterday, and today is a new day. Hope you were either amused or were in some way helped by my boring little blog. Have a Blessed day! And please respect every individual, no matter what their beliefs, race, sex, whatever. We, and the entire Universe are Divine, and intimately connected (oooh, that’s a scary thought). Even those slimy, self-serving, pigheaded, arrogant, evil, fascistic, delusional bastard politicians and the twisted political party(ies) to which they give dark homage.  Until next time, folks, Peace.

Let Me Introduce You to My Kitties

These furry little creatures are part of my immediate family. They chose me, and have the run of the house, for the most part. I still do not let them sleep with me, mainly because I believe they would wake me at times I do not want to be awakened. Maybe someday this will change. I know that when I sleep sitting up on the couch (because I was too tired, or lazy to actually make it to the bedroom) they sleep with me, and do not seem to bother me.

But let me get to the introductions…

HOLLY

One of my girls...
One of my girls…
What she does best...
What she does best…

Holly is the lethargic one.  Not much bothers her.  She is the kind of cat that children could pick up, mess with, dress up, and manipulate as though she were a dancing puppet, without her fighting them or trying to get away.  She has about 5 minutes a day of running around like a bat out of… well, you get the picture.  This is her the rest of the day.  She is a slow and fussy eater.

GYPSY

My other girl...
My other girl…
One of her favorite spots...
One of her favorite spots…

This is Gypsy, a very loving and affectionate kitty.  She is the nervous fraidy cat of the two.  Where Holly is docile most of the time, Gypsy is the one jumping at any little sound, rooting out the least little bug, playing it to death, and jumping any time you touch her when she is not looking.  She loves to lick my fingers (mostly after I have eaten, before washing my hands).  She has always scarfed down her food in record time as if she had been starved as a youngling (and possibly she was neglected).  Actually, she was driven to a cat shelter, and abandoned in the parking lot, presumably because they were full and not accepting new cats at the time.  But the people at the shelter saw what happened, coaxed her from behind the wheel of a parked car, and took her in anyway, and now she is mine.

PALS

Spooning...
Spooning…
Sleeping, ya a lot...
Sleeping, ya a lot…
Gazing sweetly into each others' eyes...
Gazing sweetly into each others’ eyes…
At least Gypsy is paying attention...
At least Gypsy is paying attention…
Eating...
Eating…

When they are hungry (usually starting about 30 minutes BEFORE their normal feeding time), they jump up on the couch, rub against me, and sit staring at me until I give in and feed them.

And occasionally they are awake at the same time...
And occasionally they are awake at the same time…

They may not be the most exciting cats; they run and play like crazy about 5-10 minutes a day, they eat, they sleep, they poop, and can be annoying when they do things they KNOW they are not allowed, they get yelled at, they don’t care, and they do what they want regardless, but I love them anyway.  And maybe, in their kitty way, they love me too.