When the urge to point out the errors in others, in diverse ways of thinking, and in ideas contrary to our own takes hold, we too easily fall into the trap of thinking we (and only we) know what is right. I think it is called pride – when we are convinced that we know what is best for all (projection, too). I believe this kind of judgment (along with other factors, like greed) is what has repeatedly turned simple spiritual principles of Life into the myriad of religious doctrines and dogmas we see throughout all human history. Judgment has led to wars, abuses, and atrocities which any rational being can clearly see is not right – “they are wrong, they are in our way, so we need to rid the world of their blasphemy”. Anything which hurts us, or others, is wrong – what helps and uplifts is right…simple, isn’t it. The One law of Love, written on our hearts…
Fire, water, air, and Earth,
I invoke ye now to reduce my Girth.
Let the food which Nourisheth Me
offereth forth Divine Energy,
that I shall fill with Magical Power,
expand my Spiritual Strength this hour.
Let all Excess leave my Bod,
Leaving only what is Good,
for my Fitness and my Health
and Generous Riches –
Bless my Food.
People who desperately search for existing “labels” with which to define themselves, are terrified of accepting their own authority to decide who they are, or terrified of what they might find if they look too hard. People who, too desperately, want to “belong” to a group or ideology, are just setting themselves up to be “bound” to that ideology. If they cannot fit their personal understanding into some external authority’s “box”, they do not feel that they yet know themselves sufficiently well (which is most likely true). Trap number one: once they accept a specific label as their own, they then try to fit the rest of themselves into that box, even if it is not a perfect, or even a good, fit. Peer pressure can lead them to conform, even when it isn’t really an expression of their authentic self. Trap number two: once they have become sheep to that ideology and take on its more finely defined traits (which someone else defined) as their own, they then use that label as an excuse to limit further introspection and personal growth. Many people never make it out of the boxes into which they have willingly and intentionally placed themselves.
I, for one, don’t give a shit for labels. I may give 1/4 to 1/2 a shit simply because labels are a communication tool, a tool which has been overused and abused. SOME people seem to have this uncontrolled desire to have their own “personal” label or labels. If they cannot find a decent “existing” label, they simply make up a new one! We are drowning in labels these days, and some of the more arrogant folks even expect others to, not only be aware of, and adopt their labels, but even insist that everyone else use them in speaking with these illustrious, intellectual models of humanity/huwomanity, else the perceived offenders are “labelled” as being rude and disrespectful. (yes this is a slight “dig” at “political correctness” and SWJ’s, of which, I partially identify). In fact, if YOU are also one who gives less than a shit for labels, you know that others can get very annoyed when you refuse to put yourself into a trendy “box” so they can neatly identify you in their internal “Rolodex”.
I can, and have, used the labels “republican”, “democrat”, “independent”, “progressive”, and “democratic socialist” to describe myself in various conversations, at various times, but the truth is, that I don’t neatly fit into any one of those boxes. I have developed my own opinions on individual issues, and could care less into which box those opinions fit. I feel no insecurity about simply being who I am at the moment, and who I will become in the future. I don’t need to fit in with any specific “club” to feel satisfied with knowledge of who I currently am as a sapient and sentient being. The irony of labels and labeling is that people end up fighting amongst themselves over the labels they have used, whether they have properly used those labels, and whether or not they “deserve” to appropriate those labels as their own (instead of arguing over more important shit). It seems that each such person who appropriates any specific label, then “becomes” the authority and sole arbiter (arse-biter) for that label. If you aren’t MY kind of “X”, you aren’t really an “X”. It would be hillary-ous, if it were not so sad. I honestly empathize with those LGBT…Q…..A…….. folks who do not feel they adequately understand their own sexual identity partly BECAUSE they have not found just the right “label” to use in describing their sexual identity to others (why not just use something like “sexually unique”, or just not let it bother you? Just a suggestion. I am not being snarky here, and not trying to tell you what to do. I know that the process of self-discovery can often be a painful journey). Everyone likes to “belong” to some group of others and feel like they are not “the only one”, but nobody needs to fit the preconceived notions of anyone else.
This leads to my personal word of advice for today:
Be who you are, be happy being who you are, don’t worry if you have not yet completely figured yourself out (it is a lifetime process). don’t give a shit if others do not completely understand you (I know, people have a need to be understood, but you WILL be a happier person if you can just let go of that need, and be OK with being less than completely understood, which is not an easy thing to do, let me tell you, been there, done that), and…
FUCK THE PROLIFERATION OF LABELS (FTPOL)!
Where Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism truly fail, is with their blind faith in competition to regulate everything, from business to government, to the “99%”. It is a complete “dog eat dog” mentality that fosters a lack of compassion, increased suffering, and endless violence. What is really needed instead, is cooperation and collaboration which foster open caring, sharing, love and teamwork. This is the true democratic ideal. The Neolib/Neocon ideology has failed utterly to provide a workable system or any workable alternatives, but not so with the “Progressive” left. Bernie got the ball rolling, and Jill Stein still carries on with a viable alternative that promotes cooperation over competition. People, Planet and Peace over profit!
Two levels of delusion all humans share in common, whether aware of it or not, care or not, or believe it or not, get in the way of a relationship to, or identity with the Divine Being. This Being is generally known as “God”, and by many other names. Before I get into the what these levels of delusion are, I have a short preface to that discussion.
1 Corinthians 13:12 American Standard Version (ASV)
12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
First off, the understanding of the concept of the “devil” in many modern religions, and the minds of many humans, is incorrect. The “devil” is not a “personality” as many theologians postulate (I will not apologize for this statement, those who believe this are simply wrong, because I say so…lol). The devil, or Satan, is an idea or concept which is synonymous with the “veil”, the “fall”, original sin, delusion, or the idea of somehow being separate from God. In short, “it” is anything, real or imagined, that gets in the way of direct, conscious apprehension and experience of total oneness, and unity with the Divine. This “devil” is the “thing” which deceives minds, and senses (the liar, the great deceiver), and is the very thing within all human minds which they are to constantly strive to overcome (according to the various scriptures), If a person sees this “Satan” as a separate personality, somehow externally able to tempt and force people to do bad things, rather than an idea within their own minds, they are already lost in hopeless error of any proper understanding of many “scriptures” of many world religions. This misunderstanding leads to all kinds of religious factions, silly rules, division, arguments, fights, and even murder, crusades, and jihads. Just a little delusion goes a long way in corrupting minds.
With that said…on to the heart of the matter.
People who are non-religious, or nominally religious, may have no idea that God exists at all. Many nominally religious perceive God as a being which is totally separate from themselves, completely outside themselves, may even take no notice of their inconsequential lives. They have no direct experience of that Being, outside of the intellectual belief that that being exists, or MAY exist. This is the most basic level of delusion (to be overcome).
The more mystically inclined people may apprehend that there exists a constant, direct connection with the Godhead. They realize intellectually, if not in any actual, conscious experience, that there is always this connection, whether they feel, or perceive it, or not. No matter the perceived circumstances, God is always with them, and completely connected to them (God is in me, and I am in God). This is (possibly) the second level of delusion (to be overcome).
The problem is with the concept of “connection”. The idea of connection “implies” that there are TWO things which are connected. Rather than a “connection”, there is an actual “identity” with God. People, the Universe, and God are all One, a Divine Unity, the “same”. No matter what people perceive with their senses, there does not exist any actual separation, division or difference between humans, the physical universe, and the Divine Being. All are One.
Overcome these two levels of delusion, and one will have (according to the various scriptures and teachings) the direct, conscious apprehension of the Divine. (I personally perceive this intellectually, imperfectly, and look forward to the actual, direct experience, hopefully in this incarnation).
There are many words related to, and imperfectly describing, this experience: bliss, heaven (on earth), the new Jerusalem, kingdom come, awakening, ecstasy, happiness, joy, paradise (lost to the “fall”), peace, serenity, tranquility, oblivion, immortality, life everlasting, the pearly gates, eternity, nirvana, Eden, Elysium (Elysian Fields), enlightenment, Shangri-la, the promised land, glory, rapture, nothingness, Zion, peace (on earth), the “void”, Abraham’s bosom, happy hunting ground, communion, eternal rest, the great unknown, the abyss, satori, waters of oblivion, utopia, samadhi, nothingness…
Understanding that this epiphany or revelation is the key concept, and goal, of most of the major religions of the world, past and present – goes a long way in allowing one to properly understand many of the religious texts in their originally intended context. Many misunderstandings arise from the incorrect apprehension of the various “scriptures”. Look at the “mess” of religions we have today (especially so called right-wing, radical). And yet, at the heart of them ALL, is this same, identical goal and idea of experiencing directly, and consciously, Oneness with God (whatever you call It).
These are the two levels of delusion that I personally perceive separate us from true Unity. Quite possibly you have a different view (I could pretty safely bet on it). That is just as it should be. I hope this little blog is helpful to someone out there, no matter your religion, or lack thereof.
So, a seeker of Truth you claim to be…
Silly child, why seek for what you already possess?
The Truth is in the greatest Whole,
But you close your eyes and refuse to see,
The Truth is in the dimensionless Center within,
But you hold fingers to your ears and refuse to hear,
You say, “How can a mere mortal mind comprehend the Fullness?”,
But You ARE the Fullness of Truth,
You cannot grasp It, but must open to the Experience.
You have appointed for yourself a day of Understanding,
In that Day, you will open your eyes,
And it will be your Day of Judgement,
For you will know that You did it all to yourself.
You have appointed for yourself a day of Wisdom,
In that Day, you will remove the fingers from your ears,
And it will be your undoing,
As you hear the Celestial choirs.
For you will say, “Why did I wait so long; I knew It the whole time”,
And you shall know the absolute Joy you sought to find,
And True Love shall be your eternal Bliss.
Mark Kagy – 11/13/2014
There has, most definitely, been, and still IS, a problem of racism (and other ‘isms) which pervades every facet of our society. I had not realized just how much racism and hate still existed until all the publicized police shootings, and associated rallies by hate groups, such as the KKK. I am beginning to see that it is much greater than the “news media” has been portraying to us for a very long time. It is one thing for citizens to privately harbor racist (and other hateful) beliefs, and keep their opinions to themselves. It is another thing when it affects others negatively, such as causing the deaths of innocent citizens. It is unfortunate that some people continue to hate their own brothers and sisters, BUT in order to have freedom of thought and speech for all, they must be allowed to hold whatever beliefs, even hateful ones, they choose to hold. Other than educating younger generations to be tolerant, and see all people equally, I know of no way to change the racist (and other hateful) views of those who hold them. People are simply going to believe whatever the fuck they choose to believe.
Racism in our societies institutions, however, particularly our police forces at this time, IS something that can be changed, desperately needs to change, and needs to change yesterday!
I do not personally have many specific answers, but I support equality, and I support change. There ARE people and politicians who DO have some answers. What I want to address here today, is an issue whose history and current reality I can understand, but whose ideological basis, and the blind adherence to this basis is something I simply cannot fathom. I am specifically referring to the fundamentalist Christian religion, out of which so many of our racist, sexist, and anti-LGBT conservative politicians have come, and there still remain. How can the fundamentalist Christian religion have failed so miserably at teaching the true messages of Christ, especially when the main principles of LOVE are presented in the Bible SO literally, with no room for misinterpretation? This I cannot fathom.
Must I again remind Christians of the Greatest of the laws of God, those of loving the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:29-31)? If you were loving your Black and LGBT brothers and sisters as though they were YOU, you could not possibly spew the hateful thoughts that self-identified, fundamentalist Christian conservative politicians have been publically vomiting on the nation. If that is not clear enough for you, how about Jesus’ command to love even your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-36)? How much more literal and clear do you need it to be to see just how hatefully wrong your thought processes have become?! As you judge these fellow human beings, you shall equally be judged, and that judgment shall be every bit as harsh as your own judgments (Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37-38). If you actually consider Blacks, LGBT folks, and others to be your enemies, then how is it loving towards them to murder them in cold blood? How can you continue to support the terrible crimes that are occurring, and actually support the murder of unarmed citizens by beatings and shootings, and the choking out of life, even in some cases where they are already confined to jail, or are offering NO resistance other than to beg for their lives? How ANY Christian could possibly think that just because the Bible (Old Testament) condemns certain things, that it is OK to lynch, beat, and otherwise murder human beings who you are commanded to love, and whose “sin” (according to those “Old” Testament scriptures) is one of those which was condemned? How does the condemnation of certain ACTS give you the “New” Testament right to execute PEOPLE, “human beings”, whose very inner nature, created By God, just happens to associate them with “sins” condemned by the Old Testament? Blacks are never condemned in the Bible, but that does not stop the supposedly “Christian” white supremacists from killing them, or supporting others, like racist police officers, to do the killing. I just don’t get how people brought up on the Bible in Christian churches can justify such beliefs and actions. They are most definitely “sick” and in dire need of a “doctor” (Mark 2:17).
There are SO many theological reasons why this hate-filled interpretation is FULL of error and evil. I simply do not have the time, or energy to address them in detail. It is a great error to attempt to interpret MOST of the scriptures “literally” because their writers never meant for them to be taken that way at all! Jesus was a reformer. He made every attempt to CHANGE peoples’ views of the “Law” to something new, better, and more loving, and yet balance those attempts with wisdom and care not to incur the wrath of the religious authorities too much until the appointed time for his public execution by those same religious authorities! We have the same situation today, where fundamentalist Christian authorities are using “strict” interpretation to denounce certain categories of humans, and are totally ignoring the “spirit of the law” that Jesus tried his best to convey in his short lifetime. They CLAIM to be Christians, but their “frothing at the mouth” behaviors to see human beings killed is more in line with Satanic doctrines! They practice the exact opposite of what they preach.
They are also ignoring the fact that Paul wrote about some things being sinful for one person, but not for another by using the example of meat sacrificed to idols (1 Corinthians 10:27-29). The lesson being taught is one of Christian “freedom” which also applies to other (Old Testament) laws as well. As the planet continues to evolve (by God’s design, and scientific support), and human spiritual understanding evolves to higher levels, the letter of the Law actually changes with the times, cultures and with societies (Oh, I’m goin’ to get a lot of flack for that one). If our civil authorities (which Jesus “clearly” stated we are to OBEY, 1 Peter 2:13-17, Matthew 22:17-21, Mark 12:14-17) have decided that Blacks are equal to Whites, and LGBT people are free to get married, women are equal to men, etc…then their decisions should have the weight of God’s authority and scripture to Christians. It is always permitted to disagree, and attempt to change our leaders’ views, but while the rulings stand, we are commanded to respect and obey them (unless they are SO obviously wrong that one has to resort to civil disobedience to keep from doing what is evil, like killing innocent people). So, you supposedly Christian conservatives…quit harming and killing anyone!!!!! Stop ALL evil wars (and they ALL are evil), fix the police system, and quit using your false religious views from harming ANY human being!
If you truly had any fricken’ idea what and who God really IS, you would instantly understand how evil and wrong your interpretations of scripture ARE!! Grow up and join the rest of enlightened humanity whose views are putting your barbaric and ancient ones to shame. It should not be this hard for you to understand that killing ANY human being is wrong, and NOT God’s plan, ever since Jesus instituted mercy, love, and forgiveness over the stark letter of the outdated Old Testament Law. Those laws were there, FOR THE TIME AND CULTURE FOR WHICH THEY WERE WRITTEN, to teach some sense of right and wrong to THAT society. The principle of Christian freedom teaches us that once the Law is written on our hearts, there is no longer a need for the written law (that’s taught in both the Old and New Testament, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 10:14-18), and the NEW law is the law of Love, not murder.
How much more plainly and literally could the scriptures, and my post, be? STOP YOUR EVIL HATRED OF HUMANS! Give it up! It violates the will of God, and you are guilty of SIN. You are the ones that need to learn your lessons in Spirituality and Godliness, because the progressive Christian elements have got it right, and are trying to show you the way. But you, just like the ancient Jews, are stubborn and stiff-necked, and will probably take your hate with you to your graves. It is a good thing that your idea of hell is a fairy tale, concocted by “political humans” to control the masses by fear, and was never taught by God. Otherwise, if I still believed the lies, I would tell you all to go to hell! But I say this with love for you (believe it, or not), and the hope that, in your lifetime, you will come to know the great love of your Father. Once that happens, all hatred of others will become the most repugnant thing to you, and you will realize your error, and join with all the Christians who have continued to grow, evolve, and progress towards the perfection taught by Paul the Apostle (Philippians 1:6). You will leave your “Dark Ages” mentality, and join the human society of the 21st century.
This all gives a clear example of the relationship between conservative and reactionary thinking. Stop holding on to the violent PAST. The new age of Aquarian Peace and Unity is dawning upon us. Open your eyes and ears to its light and music!!!