Category Archives: A Course in Miracles

Drop the meaningless phrase “Judeo-Christian Values” and other ways for Conservatives to win

Okay so several times I have asked what the phrase “Judeo-Christian Values” means and how it is different from the values of other beliefs and religions.  I haven’t received many good answers.  Yes there are certainly differences between them in the nature of God or in the rituals and the structure of the community…but in terms of values there is little difference…everyone regards the soul as divine in some way* and proper understanding of any of these religions lends one to a virtue based ethics in line with the Classical Realism of Aristotle and Plato.  In fact, when you look at most religions there are some pretty strong parallels in all the virtues—some may be more detailed than others in some areas and less in others, but they seem to focus on the same general virtues.

virtue

Granted there is not a point for point comparison between the virtues that I am showing here, and there are shades of difference and meaning, often caused more by culture and period of time they were written in, but in terms of broad swaths, every religion believes in the same general set of virtues. Also this chart could be much more inclusive of a variety of religions and still hold true…but I think you get the point.

So the term Judeo-Christian values, which supposedly would mean the virtues and ethics this group holds to be good and right and true is just the same as the virtues of every other religion, then it’s not that meaningful a phrase.  Yes there are differences between Judeo-Christian beliefs and other religions, but none of these differences have anything to do with the political context of how the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” is used.

The phrase is meant to draw a contrast between spiritual/religious values and those of the secular, progressive, fascist, fanatical sections of society that actually don’t share either a belief in virtue based ethics or have some very radically different values.

So why is this an important point to bring up?

Well because it makes a pretty clear distinction between those who follow Judeo-Christianity and everyone else.  Including people of lots of different faiths who were not intended to be alienated.  Is this relevant?

Well first off I think it’s a fair statement that the term Judeo-Christian values is primarily used by conservatives.  Second I would assume we want to win.  We lost the last election by 3.9% points.  A 3% shift of the vote would have given Romney the popular and Electoral College vote and about 6 Senate seats (i.e., complete Republican control).  So it then becomes a question, is there 3% of the electorate who is religious and spiritual, not already voting Republican, that is not in the Judeo-Christian bracket?

Let’s look at the polls.

Trends in Religion PewPew does a major poll every year looking at the trends in religion in America.  It’s a sample of 17,000 people so it’s fairly accurate as polls go.

So of the “other” religion we have 6% of the nation and of the “nothing in particular” group we have 13.9% of the population.  Together they make 19.9% of the population.  Common sense alone says that if you have 20% of the country, two-thirds of whom are voting against your party, then maybe if you stopped alienating them with an us vs. them term (or at least picked a new term) you could pick up a few…maybe?

So let’s look at the 19.9% a little more closely.  Okay so we can discount about 1% of the “other” group as they are the “religion of peace” and their fairly fascist beliefs are moderately antithetical to conservative principles and the values/ethics being promoted.  So we’re down to 18.9% up for grabs.

Now the let’s look at how the remaining 5% of the “Other” and the 13.9% of “nothing in particular.”  Now a flaw of this report is that they lump the ““nothing in particular” in with Atheists and Agnostics under the heading of Unaffiliated (but for Trend in Religion by party Pewthe purpose of this let’s just assume the numbers are about the same throughout all the unaffiliated, it doesn’t make a terribly large difference anyway).  From the data we can see that only about 57% of the Other group and 69% of the unaffiliated are voting for Democrats (trust me the math works).  So give or take (you know there are some independents we’re not taking into account) that’s about 12%.  12% that probably share the values of the Christian voters who lean toward voting Republican, but for some reason aren’t voting Republican.  Do you think that term “Judeo-Christianity” might have something, even a small part, to do with it?

Isn’t this just a call for political correctness?  No.  The idiocy of political correctness is saying you have to watch everything you say because it might hurt someone’s feelings.   And it is for all levels of life, from the public and political to the personal.  I am not saying you have to adjust your personal language or beliefs.  This is merely a political reality.  We as conservatives have certain values and policies we know will work and better the lives of everyone.  Politics is as much about emotion and perception as it is about facts and plans, probably more so. Political Correctness has nothing to do with practical ends, which is why it has to be enforced by the left so viciously else reason would drive most people to that end anyway; what I am talking about is something very different than being PC, I’m talking about selling an idea with very real consequences.  A term like “Judeo-Christian values” is loaded from the get go, it creates an us vs. them mentality, at a time when we need more of the people in the “them” category to vote for us.  If we switched to using the term “spiritual value” or “God centered” more often, it would mean the exact same thing in terms of everything relevant to politics and ethics, and it wouldn’t emotionally alienate those we are trying to win over.  You can still use “Judeo-Christian” if you really feel strongly about it, but do it knowing you’re hurting the chance to actually see your goals accomplished.

Is this stupid?  Yeah.  It’s silly and ridiculous to think we should have to be this nitpicky about our language and terms to win people to our side.  But, the last time I checked we already had reason, logic, facts, truth, plans, and vision on our side.  Didn’t notice that doing us any good.  Oh, wait this is politics. Stupid thing like word choice do matter.  Is it stupid?  Yeah, but it’s something you have to do.

New Age beliefsBut should we end our discussion of this group of “nothing in particular” with just this term?  Well that might work towards making in-roads with maybe 1% of those 12%, in-roads that would allow the rest of our arguments to make a difference, and that 1% we get to follow reason would be a third of the way we need to go, but it’s still not enough.

Let’s take a look at some of the actual beliefs of this group.  Namely that 25% of them believe in reincarnation (If you assume that all the atheists and agnostics do not believe in reincarnation then it’s actually about 35% of the “nothing in particular” group…or about 4% of the general public.)  Further while there is nothing in this year’s report, previous year’s reports showed that a belief in reincarnation was more popular with women, minorities, the young, Democrats, liberals, moderates, independents, and Christians who attend church less often (i.e., the people we need to win over).

So it is safe to assume that most of those in that 4% are not voting Republican.

But they should.

A belief in reincarnation by its very nature lends to long term thinking—the policies I put in place today won’t just affect my children and grandchildren, they’ll affect me over and over and over again.  Thus anyone who believes in reincarnation has to believe in plans that aren’t as concerned with momentary problems, but with building long term systems that self-perpetuate and offer prosperity to the most people for the longest time with most chance of growth…that would be the capitalism and republicanism officered by real conservative belief.  This is an argument I’ve made before, extensively in Republicans & Reincarnation, and one that we should all make to anyone who holds this article of faith in reincarnation.  If you actually approach them on their own terms, and showed that the logical consequence of their beliefs is conservatism, we could get another 1% of that group…which means of the 49% left we only have to convince another 1% and given the abysmal failure of a second Obama term, that should be easy.

You don’t have to agree with people on faith. But you’re not going to convince them on politics if your stance is mine is the only religion worth following by using terms like “Judeo-Christian value.”  Say “spiritual values” instead, it means the same thing, it still separates you from the secular liberal base you are trying to show a contrast with, and it may pick up a few votes. And if you’re arguing with someone who doesn’t agree with your religion or your politics, you’ll never convince them to give up a faith because of reason, it just doesn’t work (even if you do show contradictions and put them on the path to agreeing with you spiritually, it will initially only dig in their heels more on every other topic against you)…but if you approach them on their terms spiritually and show them how their beliefs do dictate a conservative point of view, then you at least get something.

*The only two exceptions to this are followers of the religion of peace (Sufis excluded) and atheists.

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Bi Weekly Meditation: Thou art God

 

 

So, for some reason (I think fear) I’m seeing a rise in the religiously zealous (and I meant that in the most insulting form of zealotry).  I am seeing far more people claim such preposterous things such as “True humility is inspired by a knowledge that we are less than God, and will always remain so.”  Yeah some psycho wack-job felt the need to tell me that.  First off this is just stupid because true humility comes from acknowledging not only your strengths and potential but that of everyone around you, it recognizes that you are not necessarily better than others, but that you are worthy of pride, hence the phrase “Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great.”  To just say that you are inferior isn’t humility, it’s self-loathing.

 

Second of all is this idiotic concept that we are less than God.  Why would a perfect being create anything that wasn’t perfect?  Why would a being of love create something only to worship it?  Why would an all knowing being create something that could only sin and make mistakes?  Unlike some people, I don’t believe God is stupid or psychotic, nor does he bear any of the personality disorders we see in people.  God would have no reason to create something inferior to himself. Just because we’re caught in the bad dream that is this world, doesn’t mean that in reality we are inferior to our creator.  If we were, God would be the worst parent in existence because it would mean he intentionally wanted his children to be inferior to him.  A true/good parent only loves and wishes the best for their children and only want to be loved and respected back from their children.  Only a sick person would want worship from anyone.

Creation of Adam

To believe you are inferior to God means you believe he couldn’t or wouldn’t create something perfect…which kind of violates the very concept of God.

“You have not only been fully created, but have also been created perfect.” –A Course in Miracles, Text, Chapter 2, I:1:3

 

You, your soul, are a creation of God, it is perfect, and it is divine. There are only three belief systems that fully deny this divinity. Atheism, Islam (except for the Sufi’s), and close-minded Christianity which doesn’t know how to properly read their own book.  (And remind me of all the problems those belief systems cause?)

 

Don’t believe me?

 

Let’s look at some of the texts throughout the world.

 

“An eternal part of Myself [God], manifesting as a living soul in the world of being”  Bhagavad Gita 15:7

“It is God, and God alone, who has encased Himself as the soul in the many human beings He has created.”—Paramahansa Yogananda, God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita

Lesson 35 from the Workbook for Student of A Course in Miracles

My mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy.

 

Even the Buddhists who are agnostic as to the nature of the soul and God, and believe that every living thing has a soul, still recognize the special place the human soul has in creation as the most perfect opportunity to reach enlightenment.

 

Imagine a wide ocean with a golden yoke adrift upon it. In the depths of ocean swims a single blind turtle, who surfaces for air once every hundred years. How rare would it be for the turtle to surface with its head through the hole in the yoke? The Buddha said that attaining a precious human rebirth is rarer than that.—The Dalai Lama The Way to Freedom 

 

And of course the central line in the Bible that shows this point:

 

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him” Gen 1:27 (New American Bible)

 

Did you think this was in reference to your physical appearance?  That God is a biped that looks like a highly evolved chimp?  No it’s in reference to your soul, that the soul of a human being is something divine and perfect.  (Even more so for Christians for whom Christ, who is the image of God, (2 Corinthians 4:4) thus connecting the image of God which has already been connected to all humans, but to Christ, and what made Christ special).

 

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.  Every sane religion is based on the idea that the human soul is divine, every religious belief that is at the heart of suffering and misery denies this basic truth.

 

We are made in the image of God, we are a part of God, and we are divine.  We just have forgotten that.

 

Why do I bring this all up as this week’s mediation?

 

Because it is falling for this lie of the ego that we are inferior, that we are not good enough, that nothing we can do will ever be good enough, that more than anything keeps people held back.  It is a belief that engenders self-loathing, because if you are imperfect what possible reason could there be for God in his perfection to love you, and if God can’t, who can?   It is a belief that engenders fear, because if you are not divine then you have no control over your life and your free will amounts to nothing. It is a belief that engenders hatred, defeat, hopelessness and everything that is not God.  And if you think that I’m taking these little ideas to an illogical extreme, remember that your ego wants you to take them to an illogical extreme because when you realize you are God and not your ego, you ego will cease to be and you will at once be one with God.  And your ego will fight violently to protect the illusion of its existence.

 

I bring it up, as I have brought it up in various other forms, because the belief that you can with God’s help and the help of beings who are already enlightened (the true meaning of “No one can come to the Father except through me” isn’t a call that everyone should be a Christian, it’s statement that only through enlightenment—Christ-consciousness as some would call it—does one become one with God again) once again regain the self-knowledge of your divinity and return you to your place of perfection as the Son of God.

 

So for this week every chance you have, remind yourself that you are the Son of God.  You are perfect.  You are divine.

 

Or you can pull from this list of mantras from A Course in Miracles:

God is in everything I see because God is in my mind

My mind is a part of God’s.  I am very holy

My holiness blesses the world.

My holiness is my salvation.

God is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.

I am the light of the world.

Love created me like itself.

I am entitled to miracles.

I am as God created me.

I am one Self, united with my Creator.

Our Deepest Fear

Yes, theoretically this could give rise to arrogance and pompousness…but you know what, I’m not seeing that as being the biggest problem in the world right now. Let’s deal with the problem at hand.

 

But if you really feel yourself drifting to the arrogance repeat this one from the Course:

 

Forgiveness is the function of the light of the world.  Let me not forget my function.

 

That should bring you back to balance.

 

Who are you?  What do you believe in?

Every symbol on here is a belief in the divinity of the soul.  It is silly to think they’re all wrong.

 

 

 

Do you grok?

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How a New Ager Views History

 

How a New Age looks back on history…

So in the last week I’ve been asked by several conservatives why I am still fairly hopeful for the future (the long term, not the short term—short term sucks) in light of the fact that both here in America and basically everywhere overseas we’ve been guaranteed at minimum four years of going to Hell in a hand basket.

 

Now my optimism is an extension of my faith.  I see mankind as moving toward Enlightenment, not just of some, but eventually of everyone.  And while Hinduism and Buddhism have many statements about everyone eventually reaching Enlightenment, I always like to go to prose of A Course in Miracles:

“You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down

before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed,

your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the

course of those whom God has called to Him.”

I have faith that humanity is moving toward complete Enlightenment.  It is not a question of if, it is at most a question of when.* It will happen.  Every soul will reach complete Enlightenment and return to being one with God.

 

Now it’s easy to say this as a statement of faith, but even the faithful need something to justify a belief in…and more importantly need to at least see that in the long run there is nothing to contradict this viewpoint.

 

 

So let’s look at this.  As I pointed out in Republicans and Reincarnation, whether you want to use the system of chakras or a myriad of other versions in other cultures, there seem to be seven stages in the evolution of the soul back to Enlightenment. More or less each stage corresponds to the energy and issues often associated with each Chakra.

 

 

Now we could go over each stage and each chakra, and I know you love when I make these blogs like ten pages long, but the fact of the matter is that, right now, I would say only the smallest portion of humanity are above the issues of the third chakra.

 

The first chakra, the root chakra, is associated with our physical existence.  Do we have enough to survive?  Are we safe in this instant?  Do we live in fear for our existence?  Do I live?

 

The second chakra deals with safety and security.  Not just surviving in the instant as the first chakra looks to, but to long term safety and comfort.  Not just do I have what I need but do I have what I want?  Do I win?

 

The third Chakra deals with self control and self awareness.  Not just having things but doing things?  Not just comfort but achievement.  Do I strive?

 

(The first three chakras are remarkably similar to the first three levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.)

 

 

Now since at some level each soul is connected to each other even if one soul is extremely advanced they are affected by those around them.  This is why stories of ascended masters and saints often describe them having a positive effect on people just by their presence and conversely why it is best to avoid being in proximity of those who are very negative.  And since we are all connected society as a whole acts like much in the way of an average of the collective evolution of all its souls. And as all souls are reincarnated and evolve so does society.* So, the question then becomes, if I’m right, and the world is experiencing a continuous growth in spiritual evolution is there any evidence of it?

The answer is yes.

 

If the average of people were working out problems with level one then society would be about survival, it would be about power, it would be about having more and more, not quality or comfort, but more in a numerical value where the chief worry is famine or invasion.  You would see constant conquest, constant struggle, and constant fear about not having enough.  Sure there might be the occasional enlightened person or at least some not consumed by a desire for protection and safety, but they’re the exception (and groups of them are especially the exception.  To a person or a society at this level, the universe is chaotic, uncaring maybe even vengeful—there is no way to reason with others, with God, with life, there is only power and ability to survive (in practice, it’s a little Hobbesian).   This pretty much describes all history until around 1400 CE.  The rulers always had to have more, the common people never really complained so long as they were promised safety (ignore whether that promise was actually kept).  At your highest moments most people were looking for no more than bread and circuses.

 

For a society where the average level of the second level you would find people not so much concerned with just safety but now with comfort (and at its worst decadence).  You won’t see as much a desire for power but for rules and order.  You would see an outlook that saw the universe not as chaotic, but ordered…still often uncaring, but not capriciously so.  And again we see this in history.  Starting just before the turn of the common era you see society from Europe to China more concerned with rules, with what we would match the requirement of any general definition of civilization.  And from this point until around 1400 you see the battle conflict between the predominant themes of level 1 and 2 defining the time, power vs. rules. And from 1400 from the Renaissance/Scientific Revolution in the West, Ottoman control in the Middle East and the Qing Dynasty in the East.  Not that the world is suddenly a bastion of humanity and good will toward each other, but the focus seems to have made a massive switch from a universe defined by brute force to one defined by rules (often very evil rules, but rules nonetheless).

 

And with level three we see people and society move from a concern not just with things but with the individual, with personal accomplishment and personal achievement—of a search within one’s self for what they want.  And while there have been strains here and there of this dating back even to the ancient world, this strain started to appear en mass in the 1700’s. (I know I’m going over this in very general detail and often ignoring those moments where this group or that makes a major step forward or back…and if anyone wants I’ll go into more detail, I will, but for now the very broad swaths seem to make the most sense).

 

And now we are beginning to see the whole world tilt from an average of level two to level 3.  (Yes the unfortunate side effect of level 3 is a me, me, me attitude…but it’s slightly better than resigning yourself to fate.)

 

Now also with this you’ll see that when you switch from one level to another there seems to be a purge of the old ideology through what is unfortunately a very effective way for people to learn, suffering.  (Aeschylus stated in Agamemnon that “Only through suffering do we learn.” This is not the only way people learn, but sadly, so often, many people only learn when they hit rock bottom and have to confront their beliefs without any illusions.) In that transition between level one and two you have the world wide pandemic.  A great karmic blowout that cleared out the majority of the issues from the old way of thinking and ushered into the new.  And if you apply this basic line of thought you see it is true also in smaller societies as you see this growth in smaller more concentrated areas.  And I think we’re in for an economic equivalent of this purge now as we move from an average of level 2 to level 3.  Now, given the fact that there does seem to be some increase in speed between levels one and two, I hope this karmic purge doesn’t take the century it did in the 1300’s, hopefully we’re right in the middle of it with only 4 years or so left.

 

Oh sure you can probably say I’ve engaged in this fallacy or that, superimposing my beliefs and interpretations onto what are otherwise unrelated events or issues.  But like I said, this is primarily about an issue of faith. I am merely showing that my faith isn’t completely without justification and doesn’t contradict what we know to be fact (unlike, say, ignoring all the evidence that shows your creation myth might be a little off from what really happened), you may not believe it, but at least it isn’t completely baseless.
So why I am optimistic?  Because I believe, not entirely without reason, that this is the storm before the calm and what lays on the other side is well worth the inconvenience in between.

 

*Technically time itself is an illusion, so I’m not sure if it’s really a question of when either.

**Yes even I have said that reincarnation does not necessarily go in a straight line through time, but most souls at the level one and two levels are more comfortable still perceiving time as linear and thus their souls reincarnate in this linear fashion.  And yes, since some people have pointed this out, souls reincarnating out of linear order in time does do some fascinating things to the laws of causality…I will defer to a much better writer to describe it: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey… stuff.”

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Weekly Meditation: Have Faith

If you’re a regular on this blog you already know that Tuesday night and Wednesday will never be recorded as the happiest days of my life.

Any rational assessment of the situation is a fairly dark one.  Barring some kind of miracle, the nation and the world are in for economic hardships, stagnation, and suffering (and possibly worse).  The people who claimed they care about others more just condemned multitudes to more anguish.  Very compassionate, I’m sure.  And this left me extremely depressed.

But depression doesn’t last forever.*

And as I said in my last blog I believe that everything happens for a reason.  I’m still not entirely sure what that reason is, I have some speculative thoughts (which I will cover in another blog), but I can’t fully fathom what this reason is with certainty.

However, this uncertainty is not worrying me all that much.  Because in the midst of my despair I remember something I think I briefly forgot. Faith.

And this is where we get to this week’s meditation.  Between the hectic life of the holiday season, declining economics, lowered levels of sun light and random other factors of life, this can be a frustrating time of the year even if you’re not obsessed with politics like I am.  We need to remind ourselves that there is something higher and more important than the day-to-day frustrations.

For me the passage I turn to (and need to remember to turn to more often) is from the opening of A Course In Miracles:

Nothing real can be harmed.

If you haven’t read it, you should.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.

This lines always reminds me  (you may have a different line that reminds you, feel free to share) that first and foremost you are a soul—infinite, immortal, beyond harm and suffering—and nothing that happens in this world can truly harm you. That this too shall pass, and some day, you will return to the perfection of being one with God.

So every day I would suggest you try and repeat this at least twice a day (every hour would be even more helpful) and spend a few moments letting it sink into your mind.

Think about those words.  Trust me, they have very calming effect and remind you that there is light at the end of the tunnel even if you can’t see it yet.

 Nothing real can be harmed.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.

*If it is, seek psychiatric help, you’ll feel better for it.

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Weekly Meditation: Take another moment to think about your friends

“A true friend is one soul in two bodies”–Aristotle

One of the biggest problems with the ego in its continuing battle to keep you from reaching enlightenment is that it separates you from others.  It works to make us see the flaws in others and drive them away, or makes us look at those we like as special or extraordinary (as opposed to the truth that we are all holy and all capable of anything).

Now I know that second part about seeing everyone as perfect can be hard.  It’s hard enough seeing yourself as a part of the divine and completely perfect, let alone that dimwitted troll who spouts nonsense and is utterly impervious to reason.  It’s difficult and sometimes the saintly thinking of the parables of Jesus or Buddha or words of A Course in Miracles might be beyond us at this or that moment.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t move in the right direction.

So for this week I want you to take 10 to 15 minutes every day and run through the list of everyone you know, everyone you encounter, every person you pass and know who they are and wish them the best, pray for them, send them as much light and energy as you can.

Start with your loved ones, family and closest friends.  Move onto good friends and acquaintances.  Co-workers.  People you knew in college but haven’t talked to.  The barista whom you recognize but don’t know her name.  Keep expanding it further and further out.  Wish everyone the best, send them love and compassion in your mind.  Make as much of a mental and psychic connection as you can with them.  See the divine in them.

As you run through this list you’ll run across people you can’t immediately feel good towards.  The violent uncle.  The useless coworker.  The idiot client.  Don’t dwell.  Just skip them.  Yes if you can bring yourself to see the divine in them and love that, great…but better to move on than force a feeling you don’t actually believe in at this moment.

As you do this many of the barriers we put up around each other and around others will fall and you’ll probably find that you’re able to see the divine in more people at the end of the week than you did at the beginning.  And as you do this you will hopefully begin to see how your soul is connected to the souls of others. 

Remember that applies to everyone else as well.

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Weekly Meditation: Ignoring the Ego

 

As the kindled fire consumes the fuel, so, O Arjuna, in the flame of wisdom the embers of action are burnt to ashes.

 

There is nothing in the world so purifying as wisdom; and he who is a perfect saint finds that at last in his own Self.

 

He who is full of faith attains wisdom, and he too who can control his senses, having attained that wisdom, he shall ere long attain Supreme Peace.

 

But the ignorant man, and he who has no faith, and the skeptic are lost. Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts.

 

But the man who has renounced his action for meditation, who has cleft his doubt in twain by the sword of wisdom, who remains always enthroned in his Self, is not bound by his acts.

Therefore, cleaving asunder with the sword of wisdom the doubts of the heart, which thine own ignorance has engendered, follow the Path of Wisdom and arise!”

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verses 37-42

 

Of all the traditional holy books in the world, possibly none is held in higher regard by me than the Bhagavad-Gita.  I hold it in such a high opinion that I was a little hesistant to start pulling quotes from it.  After all, it is more or less fairly straight forward no matter what level of spiritual evolution you’re on (and one of the great features of the Gita is that each line holds truths for every level of enlightenment) and if you still need further discussion of the wisdom of Krishna as he speaks to Arjuna there are commentaries by Yogananda and other far wiser people like me.

 

Still if I didn’t bring up anything from the Bhagavad-Gita it seemed like it would be an insult to such a divine book.

 

So let’s talk about what the Gita means by Self.

 

New Age and most Eastern religions make a needed distinction that the West so often ignores.  The typical vision in the west is that you yourself are a rational being with free will and have the choice between two forces the positive forces of God and the negative forces of whatever you want to call the negative force (the more enlightened in the west will call it our negative nature, the less enlightened will give make a full blown opponent of God and call it the Devil.)  This is best represented by the cartoon image of the angel and the devil on your shoulders.

The incorrect view

 

This view could not be more wrong. The Eastern/New Ager view is more that you are composed of your self and your ego* (which actually doesn’t exist, we’ll get to that later). Now for all of your ego’s lacking qualities it is quite cunning and it has convinced you of two three very important lies. It has convinced you that you and the angel on your shoulder are two different beings…this is silly because you, your Self, is a part of God an infinite and divine being, and you, your Self, is a part of all that is good.  You and the angel on your shoulder are the same being.

 

The next thing the ego did to you was that it convinced you that it was you, that all of it’s thoughts are your thoughts, that’s it’s fears and doubts are yours.

 

And finally it created the image of the devil on your shoulder an outside enemy.  To distract you from all of it’s fearful and destructive thoughts being against your best interest it gives you the idea that there is some outside force that is your enemy, a devil on your shoulder, an outside enemy to distract you from the real one.

 

Learning to do away with your ego is the final lesson of the cycle of rebirth.  It’s a hard lesson…if it weren’t you wouldn’t have 6 billion souls on this planet.  But it’s a easy lesson, all you have to do is accept the truth: I am a part of God.  I am holy.

 

All you have to do is believe it.   Yeah I know, easier said than done.

 

But let’s start with something easy.

 

Every time this week when you recognize that you have had a negative thought, ask yourself:

“Is this voice in my head coming from the best in me or from the worst?”

 

If it is from the best it is from mutual voice of your soul and God working in tandem.  If not, it is likely the voice of your ego.  Ignore.

 

You’ll miss some negative thoughts, you’ll give in.  Don’t chide yourself for it, self-deprecation of that sort is a weapon of the ego to make you hate yourself.   Just worry about the ones you do catch.  When you catch them, recognize their source and ignore them.

 

Try only to listen the voice that tell you that you will and you should achieve your dreams.  That you are worthy.  That you are beautiful.  Listen to that voice.

 

Learn to recognize the other voice so you can ignore it.

 

Will this solve all you problems?  No.  But it’s a start.

 

And if you’re having problems, just repeat my favorite passage:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

 

*Don’t confuse the Eastern/New Age idea of the ego, the miscreation of fear and hatred that is a part of your psyche, with the traditional meaning of the word as arrogance or mere sense of self.

Remember each one of these symbols is telling you are you are a part of God and divine…maybe you should listen.

 

 


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Weekly Meditation: Know Thyself

As I continue to pull from religious texts the world over, I decided to pick this week from one of the really lesser known ones: The Gospel of Thomas.  For those who don’t know, the Gospel of Thomas is one of those Gospels that didn’t make the cut from Constantine’s Council of Nicea, who, four-hundred years after the death of Christ, were able to tell which Gospels, epistles, and revelations were the word of God and thus made it into the New Testament, and which were not and got cut.  (They also made some edits to the ones that got in, because while the New Testament books were inspired by God, God clearly didn’t get it right on the first draft—silly God, what

Many scholars actually believe the Gospel of Thomas is more reflective of the real Jeshua of Nazareth.

would you do if the Council of Nicea wasn’t there to correct your mistakes?)

The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus.  Some look similar to those found in the canonical Gospels…others do not.  I’m going to pull one of those that have no counterparts.  Verse 70.

Jesus said: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you.  If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you will kill you.’

As with most lines in a spiritual text you can probably read a lot of levels in any line, but I want to focus on the idea that your salvation, is inside you, that the light of God is in your soul.  Know thyself.  Happiness is a choice.  A dozen other variations throughout history and philosophy.

I think this sentiment can be found in every belief represented in this symbol…how do constantly forget this basic truth?

Your soul, that spark of God within you, is really all that matters.  If you are trying to find Happiness, contentment, salvation, or escape anywhere besides your soul, you’re kind of missing the point.  And the lack of your soul in your life will, spiritually, kill you.

So this week, I want to drive this dagger home, and so I want to try something a little radical…

As you sit down for your daily meditation, I want you to imagine your life.  Now imagine that you lose the job you have and are stuck at something dull and monotonous (if you don’t already have that) with only bare subsistence pay.  Now tell yourself, “Even with that I still have my soul.  I still have God’s love.  I will still find Happiness.”  The next day imagine not only losing your job, but add losing your acquaintances that you hang out with (I would say friends, but you can’t ever lose friends, even if they die, that’s what makes them friends—you can, however, lose acquaintances.)  Again, “Even with that I still have my soul.  I still have God’s love.  I will still find Happiness.”  Each day strip more and more away, and remind yourself that all of these things are transitory and impermanent, which is what makes them something other than the source of Happiness and salvation.  They may be a  reflection of our thoughts, of our Happiness and of our soul…but they are not what matters, they are not what bring us Happiness.

No matter how much or little you have, you have your soul, which is all you need.  “‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you.”

Now, I will say that since I do believe in the laws of attraction, the idea that your thoughts shape reality, focusing on losing everything might have some negative consequences.  But luckily positive thoughts are thousands of times more powerful than negative ones.  So if you spend 10 minutes stripping your life of all it’s worldly items and reminding yourself that these are not what bring you Happiness, you might want to follow that with 5-10 minutes of focusing on your ideal life.  5-10 minutes of the ideal job, ideal house, ideal relationship.  Yes these aren’t what bring you Happiness…but they don’t hurt either…and taken with the right attitude they can serve as reminders of your connection to God.

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Weekly Meditation: Words of Wisdom

I still really like this as an all encompassing New Age symbol

As a New Ager I find truth in most of the religions in the world.  And while I love to quote from A Course In Miracles(and could probably do so for years going at the pace of one passage a week) it has occurred to me that I should, in true New Age fashion, pull a selection of quotes from other holy books.  Before anyone gets offended it is meant as a compliment, I’m not trying to insult your religion.

This week I thought I would pull a quote from the Tao Te Ching, the central text of Taoism.  Written by Lao-Tzu before departing China to escape it’s superficial and corrupt life, he left a short book of his wisdom for the people of China (yes I realize that there is a lot of myth tied to that story, I still like it). The book is probably the shortest holy text in the world (unless you want to count individual books of the Old, New, and Gnostic Testaments of the Bible).  Written as a series of 81 short poems, the Tao Te Ching (The Book of Virtues of the Way), the book is often a series of double and triple meanings crammed into short, cryptic phrases.  (Given that Chinese is also a language that poorly translates into English, poetry especially, it is always best to read three or four translations if you’re going to try to read the book.)

For this week I’m going to go with a quote from the 19th poem in the Tao.  (I’m just going to go with my favorite translation).

“Give up kindness, renounce morality.

And men will rediscover piety and love.”–Lao Tzu

So what does this mean?  That you should give up being kind and moral?  No, silly.  It means that you should stop doing things because you are supposed to them because they’re rules or codes or values you’re supposed to hold.  Things you’ve been taught to follow.  Ideals society wants you to do.  Why? Because when you force people to do things you breed resentment, hostility, rebellion.  You should do things because you want to, because your personal reason dictates it, because it makes you feel good…not because someone says you should.

 

Why is this the weekly meditation?  This week I want you to ask yourself if you’re doing something because you want to and it makes sense…or because you’re expected to.  Reason and your heart are fine things to follow, and they will often agree with society’s rules, but make sure they are before you act.  I promise you you will be more in tune with yourself and the universe if you do what you want and think is right more than what is only expected of you…even if it’s the same thing, the intent and the reason make a huge difference.

 

 

 

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Weekly Meditation: Fear and Faith

Okay…

So I didn’t post anything during the weekend.  I did this because the internet has a nasty way of suggesting everything is an attack on something else…and publishing a New Age meditation on Good Friday, Passover, or Easer could be interpreted as an attack where none was meant.  I have no quarrel with you if you have found happiness in something other than New Age belief, as all paths lead to God eventually, and each time I considered it, it just seemed tacky to post on another religion’s holy day when I don’t embrace that holiday.  (Yes, I have issues with Easter…still too close to go into them).

Onto the meditation.

I thought it was time to return to A Course In Miracles for today’s meditation.

Lesson 48 from the workbook of the Course is a simple one:

There is nothing to fear.

Simple.  Hopeful.  To the point.

It goes along with the summary of the Course from it’s first page:

 This course can there be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.

Now granted there is entire book explaining that sentiment, but it keeps coming back to the message: There is nothing to fear.  You are your soul, not your body, and thus you, the real you, can’t be harmed.  You are the child of a God that is infinite love, thus he cannot hate or reject you, otherwise it wouldn’t be INFINITE love.  There are no sins, only mistakes that are to be learned from and corrected.  In the end there is no punishment but what you give yourself, and even that isn’t going to harm you in any long-term sense.  There is nothing to fear, as, in the end, everything literally will be fine (now how far off that end is is up to you…but the longer you fear the longer it’s going to take to get to that end.)

So this week every time you come across anything that makes you worried, apprehensive, depressed, sorry or worried, repeat to yourself:

There is nothing to fear.

And believe it.

 

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Stupid Quote of the Day

It’s not really a liberal quote per se…but the underlying psychology is what creates a lot of liberal political belief.

I saw this picture make the rounds on facebook the other day.

 

It seems like a hopeful statement of compassion and thankfulness.  So what’s the problem?

“Much more than I deserve.”  That’s my problem.  The idea that you are unworthy.  The Bible states we are made in God’s image.  The Bhagavad-Gita states that the soul is unchangeable and a piece of God himself (Chapter II verses 24-30).  And of course in the second part of A Course in Miracles among the many lessons there are these three that you are supposed to learn and believe because they are true “I am blessed as a Son of God.” “I am the light of the world.” “I am entitled to miracles.”  And of course there is that Marianne Williamson quote I overuse. 

The long and short of it is that you are divine in your nature.  You deserve enlightenment, eternal happiness, and all blessings.  What could possibly count as “more than I deserve” after that?

But so many people believe they are not worthy of that Happiness which they are…and thus they prevent themselves  from experiencing the blessing.  God is infinite love and does not hold back on his blessing which are infinite.  The only limiting factor is what you choose to take for yourself.

And thus what seems like an uplifting statement is actually bordering on evil in that it reaffirms the lie that your are not worth what you have, that you are corrupt and given more than you deserve, that you fall short of what you have earned.  Not in the least.

(And it is this lie that you are guilty and inferior that liberals use to make you think that you have some obligation and duty to sacrifice your happiness for the whole.)

Try this instead “Thank you God, for helping me realize I deserve infinite Happiness.”

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Misconceptions about New Agers and Pagans: That we’re all liberals

One of the main reasons for this blog and my book Republicans and Reincarnation is to kill this persistent myth that that all Pagans and New Agers are liberals (usually the common beliefs paints us as the hippie progressive type).  And I’ve had a few blogs about various misconceptions about New Agers but I felt I should once again deal with this major one.

Why?  Well because as the GOP race gets closer to the end (and especially since that dimwit Santorum has been given press time far exceeding what his lacking intellect would justify) I get to once again hear the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” bantered around and around in debates, speeches, on blogs, in news stories, on Facebook and Twitter.  Judeo-Christian values.

I have asked in various different forums and in person what that phrase “Judeo-Christian values” means.  Each time I have asked I have gotten nothing for answer.  I mean if it’s supposed to be a catchall phrase for a long list of values and principles shouldn’t someone be able to list it?  And it seems to be usually argued that these values dictate that you should be a conservative, but I’ve heard it argued the other way around.  I think part of the problem is that nobody really knows what that list means.  Yes the Founding Fathers followed Judeo-Christian values, but if you corned Washington, Adams or Madison and got them to delineate even 5 of those values I doubt it would be even remotely be close the list Santorum, Huckabee, or Perry would come up with.  And if we don’t know what that list is, then how can we even use the phrase.

One the other hand I can tell you exactly what some of the values of New Agers and Pagans are.  Is this a complete list?  I doubt it.  But it is a list I think any person who calls themselves a Pagan or New Ager (I’m just going to use New Ager as a catchall from here on in) can agree to…and I think they clearly lean to one political philosophy over another.

God is a being of love and reason.

Unlike some religions New Agers do not load down God with very human flaws like anger and jealously (or in some truly insane cases genocidal rage and say He is not bound by such things as reason).  We accept that old Platonic formula that God is Good, which means that God is Reason and Just and Beautiful and True (and adding the logical extension that Plato forgot but the Christians didn’t, God is Love).  This doesn’t translate into any political form by itself, but it does offer us the idea that reason and compassion should be a guidepost in all things.

The Divinity of Life

Every New Ager I think would agree that life, all life, has a spark of the divine in it and as such has value.  Now there might be a wide variety of debate over the equality of the value of a turnip and a human, I would be more firmly planted in the field that human life is unique and given special predominance, but I think we’ll all agree that we are not slaves or servants of God, but a part of him, his children (and if we can get rid of our fears and delusions) his equal.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love: Reflections on A Course in Miracles [Italics added]

What does this translate into politically?  It wipes away any political system that denies that “all men are created equal.” This doesn’t have a lot of value in most modern American political discussions, because I would hope we all agree on this, but it is a place to start.

Intellect, Free Will and Liberty

The next thing I think we all agree on is that our greatest gift from God is our intellect and our free will.  We have the ability to look at our life and not just analyze but choose the course we are to take.  This is what makes us the equals of God; beside God no other being in the universe has both the intellect to judge the world around them and free will to act upon those choices.  Some religions decry reason, others consider our free will a sin and think we should slavishly reject our will and submit to another’s.  We however revel in ours because we know that when we use both perfectly our will and God’s are not opposed, but the same.  We take comfort in the fact that while free will can allow us to make mistakes it also allows us to learn from those mistakes and grow.

“He tells you but YOUR will; He speaks for YOU. In HIS Divinity is but your own. And all He knows is but YOUR knowledge, saved for YOU, that you may do YOUR will through Him. God ASKS you do your will. He joins with YOU. He did not set His kingdom up alone. And Heaven itself but represents your will, where everything created is for you. No spark of life but was created with your glad consent, as you would have it be. And not one Thought that God has ever had but waited for your blessing to be born. God is no enemy to you. He asks no more than that He hear you call Him Friend.”—A Course In Miracles Chapter 30, Section 3

What does this one mean politically…well quite obviously the political extension of free will is liberty, the right to exert your free will.  And as it is a gift from God the freest use of our liberty should be allowed to the greatest extent that it does not harm anyone else’s right to life and liberty.  Thus it is the government that governs least that governs best.  Further since everyone is equal this pretty much dictates a classically liberal democratic-republic.  It also means that any drive to control society through government should be curbed, government is not there to tell people how to live their lives, only to protect their right to life and liberty (oh and a few other things, but we’ll get to that).

The Point of Life is Happiness and Learning

 

See there is a reason I ordered the first three this way.  New Agers view life in two ways, as an individual life, and as a series of lives in a long chain of reincarnated existences.  From the individual life perspective the highest goal is Happiness  (capital H), Happiness in the Aristotelian sense as a fulfillment not just of our needs but of our aspirations and highest virtues and greatest gifts shared with friends.    Meanwhile the goal of the multi-life existence is Enlightenment (a return to God) which is more of an eternal Happiness.  Happiness is in each individual life is a requirement for meeting this goal, but you also need learning, self-reflection and growth.

“If you possess happiness you possess everything:  to be happy is to be in tune with God.”–Paramahansa Yogananda

In a political sense this translates into two very important points.  The first point, when considered in light of our first three values, leads to an acceptance that rational self-interest (if Happiness is a goal rational self-interest is the only way to get there) and rational self-interest leads to capitalism when taken to a grand scheme.  Capitalism is the only system of economics that allows for the expression of free will where people are allowed to treat each other as equals and deal with each other through reason (or if they choose through compassion).

Quality over Quantity in Life

Having that view to Happiness and leads to a natural preference for quality of life over the quantity of life.  What does that mean?  It means we New Agers should find more beauty in a single act of compassion of one person helping another than in a million welfare checks handed out.  It means that a short life lived well is more important than a long life merely survived.  It means that life should be judged by the quality of our choices, the number of true friends we make, and the amount of learning we achieve…not the years lived, the diseases survived, or the amount of things collected.

“Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.”—A. Sachs

What does this mean in a political sense?  It means we should reject calls for social welfare programs because they only care about quantity of life not quality…but it does reaffirm our need to be generous and charitable in our personal lives.  But just because some choose to make the wrong choice and not show the amount of charity that will bring them the most happiness, it is the previous points about free will and Happiness destroy any argument that these individual’s foolish choices of irrational self interest means we have to provide for those who do not have.

The Long Term Solution is the Best One

When you live with a belief that you’ll be reincarnated, as most New Agers do, long term planning is kind of important.  The karmic payment plan “Buy now, pay forever.”  So not just in your personal life, but in the political sphere, short term fixes are usually to be shunned as you will always have to deal with their effects…even if those effects are over a generation off.  So government plans that won’t work for the next 50 years, hell even a hundred years are not popular when in the New Age mind set.  Programs that will never be able to pay for themselves and never yield real long term progress should not be popular with New Agers, and this leads to a fairly conservative view point (note I’m saying conservative not Republican, those idiots can be some of the most short term thinkers around).

***

Classically Liberal democratic-republics coupled with near laissez-faire capitalism and thedesire to keep government small, efficient, and protecting your rights is the logical out- growth of Pagan and New Age principles.  One wonders why so many Pagans and New Agers are liberal.

 

 

And you know what?   Forgetting that these are values of one spiritual outlook or another…I would bet you the Founding Fathers would agree with this list more than any list Rick Santorum or Barrack Obama would come up with as their guiding values.

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A final word on Christmas Charity Part II of II—New Age Charity

 

Okay, so in the last blog I think I’ve shown all the idiots who claim Christmas is a time for redistribution are without basis.  Why?  Because Christmas is a time of charity, and taking money by force is not charity.

 

Charity is not blind altruism and denial of self.

Charity is not government redistribution of income.

Charity is not welfare or entitlements handed out by the state.

 

But just tearing down bad philosophy is only half the job.  You need to show what charity should be.  And as a New Ager I have a tendency to look to all the world’s spiritual teachings (not just one book but many) for insight into truth.  So don’t take my word for it…but let’s start with that one book most in the West turn to…

 

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. “

Proverbs 11:24-25

Clear and simple.  Charity is a virtue.  But notice that it is not given as an order but advice that it benefits the giver.  Odd it doesn’t seem to mention anything about “fair shares” or “moral duty” or “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”  No, it seems to be personal charity and personal charity alone that is praised and rewarded here.

 

“Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “

Matthew 6:1-4

 

Seems to me that this is saying that charity and generosity are supposed to be private acts done by individuals.  And the closest thing to welfare and government entitlements at the time (the synagogues) is condemned as the work of hypocrites because it is done neither for the spiritual good of the giver or the desire to help the receiver…only for the vain attention that the public act of giving brings.  How much more despicable and ethically reprehensible it must be to demand that others give but that you don’t have to.  

 

Or we could turn to the East…

“Give up kindness, renounce morality,
 And men will rediscover piety and love.–Tao Te Ching 19

 

We have this in amongst the Tao numerous libertarian statements we have this one which suggests when you no longer demand altruism and rigid standards of morality and duty that people are once again allowed to deal with each other like human beings and then will treat others as such.

 

Or we could go to one of my favorites…

 

“Charity given for the sake of righteousness, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness. But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion. And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.”—Bhagavad-Gita  Ch17. 20-22

 

Notice how all conceptions of income redistribution and welfare seem to meet more the definition of “mode of ignorance”…and really it’s only called ignorance because I think Krishna thought “shit-for-brains” lacked the poetic nature that the rest of his words in the Gita had.

 

All of these quotes seem to be saying that charity and generosity should be personal, not a massive more by society.  They seem to be saying it should be done to improve the soul of the giver…not all that concerned with improving the state of receiver because you have no way to control the free will they have (although both the Gita and Christ seem to imply you should not give indiscriminately, but rather choose the object of your generosity to be a person worthy of such a gift).  All of these seem to suggest the amount to be given is a personal choice not some concept of what your fair share is as determined by society.  All of these are concerned with your soul, not with ending poverty (in fact I think Christ said something about there always being poor and you should worry more about personal connections with loved ones than with the poor…but then again, unlike many liberals who say they’re Christians, I’ve actually read the Bible).

 

So be charitable.  But because it feels good, not because you have any duty to do it.

 

And I’ll leave you with this from my favorite book, A Course in Miracles.

 

 

“The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest.”  A Course in Miracles Manual For Teachers Chapter 4 Part VII

 

 

 

 

 

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Meditation of the Week: The Fifth Chakra


Someone pointed out that while I tied the first three chakras to the psychological outlook of certain psychologists (First Chakra—Adler, Second Chakra—Freud, Third Chakra—Jung) I had not done this with the 4th and 5th.  This was partly because I was waiting to get to the 5th because the only psychologist who I know of who covers these two is Abraham Maslow…also he is the last psychologist we’ll be dealing with because as there are so few people in the world rooted in the sixth and seventh chakras no one has yet to come up with a psychological make-up of saints and enlightened beings (although A Course in Miracles does come close).

Maslow’s psychology, based around his hierarchy of needs, actually coverers all the chakras.  The first level covers the needs and issues of the first two chakras, the second level the 2nd and third chakras, the third level which deals with companionship, friendship and love clearly deals with the 4th chakra, and his 4th level, esteem needs, covers the fifth or throat chakra.  The esteem needs are those, according to Maslow deal with self-esteem, achievement, and confidence.  We need to know our place and purpose in the world and embrace it with passion and vigor.  This is often why the fifth chakra is associated with artistic pursuits, because it is often through art that many people best express who they are and what they believe.  However one could just as easily do this through being an inventor, being a great businessman or manager…as long as you are doing what your are really good at and really enjoy you are in line with your 5th chakra and meeting the esteem requirements…granted not all of us have found that…that’s why we still have to do these little things, these small actions to spark the creative juices to help you connect you to what you should be doing.

So this week we’re back to silent meditation.  I want you to sit for at least 15 minutes each day (I’d prefer 15 straight minutes, but if you have to break it up into three five-minute periods that is okay) and while sitting  (lotus position if possible)  focus on your fifth chakra, the spinning blue circle in your throat and see it blindingly bright with light.  Then ask the universe “What am I meant to do?”  then clear your mind and listen carefully for an answer.  Try to keep your mind clear but notice what thoughts do come to you over the course of your meditation, they may be the answer you’re looking for.  If you can do this twice a day, once in the morning before you start your day (giving the universe a chance to answer you through some sign in your day) and once at night (giving the universe a chance to answer you in your dreams) so much the better. 

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Filed under 4th Chakra, 5th Chakra, A Course in Miracles, Art, Chakra, Faith, Fifth Chakra, God, Happiness, Love, New Age, Prayer, Purpose of Life, Religion, Spirituality, Throat Chakra

Some misconceptions about the New Age

So the last couple of weeks I’ve fielded some questions about the New Age that seem to suggest people don’t really understand what New Age belief is (half the reason I wrote “Republicans and Reincarnation” was hopefully to dispel many of these misconceptions) but these few have come up in past weeks so I thought I would deal with them. Now some of these statements actually came from intelligent people, with working brains, these didn’t come from just my trolls, so I thought that another round of what New Agers believe couldn’t hurt. (After all nothing probably helped Christianity more than when they dispelled the claim made by the Ancient Pagans that they were cannibalistic…it’s their own fault really, drinking blood, eating flesh, when you use terms like that don’t be shocked when people don’t understand the metaphoric language).

So the first one that I’m going to deal with is the claim that New Agers don’t believe in God.

Now there are a lot of variations in New Age belief, and I certainly can’t speak for every single person who identifies themselves as a New Ager, but I think it’s a safe to say that we believe in God.

Every meditation, every book, every writer I know of that is associated with the New Age makes heavy reference to God.  And while there is no single book that encapsulates all the idea of the New Age, I would say a healthy majority will turn to A Course in Miracles which begins with the welcoming line “Herein lies the peace of God.”

Now how does this differ from most beliefs of God? Well we don’t believe you have your God and we have our God. For us there’s just God. Whatever name you call, you’re referring to God. Or in the words of author Marion Zimmber Bradley, “…All gods are One, and there is no religion higher than the Truth…” We believe in God we just don’t put the same masks that other religions put on him. And I realize that that last statement comes off a just more than a little pretentious, it’s not meant to. New Agers, at least rational ones, would probably admit that they put their own masks on God. We would just say that we are not trying to project our own flaws onto him as much as other religions might. No jealous or wrathful God here. Nor the many human issues of the Hindu gods. Certainly none of the flaws of Zeus. Definitely not a God that calls for genocide. For New Agers God is more along the lines of Aristotle’s definitions of the gods “reason contemplating reason” but more along the lines of “love contemplating and giving love” as we tend to find the two concepts go hand in hand. But I’m sure we’re missing something too…but at least New Agers are willing to admit we might not have as great an idea as to what we’re trying to comprehend using a limited human brain and even more limited human language.

But let me be very clear here, New Agers do believe in God.

You might also want to look at these previous posts:

In Defense of the Possibility of God

 

Another Attempt to Describe New Age Belief

The Cult of Cthulhu or my problems with most religions

The Problem of Evil

 

 

Next up…the claim that New Agers believe in many gods…

(And feel free to email me or comment about anything else about the New Age you want elaborated)

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Filed under A Course in Miracles, Aristotle, Atheism, Books, Books for New Agers, Faith, Free Will, God, New Age, Religion, Spirituality

Anecdotal Evidence of the Law of Attraction

I saw some great anecdotal evidence for the law of attraction today. This will drive those in Ivory Tower insane because they deny that such a thing exists. Now most people are rational enough to realize that sometime in the last century academia took a clear turn away from reason and common sense and began to quibble over useless points and questions that have no rational or common sense purpose. For instance you ask any philosopher or scientist who has never left their office and classroom for the last decade; they’ll tell you that anecdotal evidence is utterly useless. Reasonable people however realize that 99% of life is anecdotal evidence and a heavy dose of induction (also unpopular with modern philosophy), that you can’t waste every moment going through pure deduction and conducting scientific studies because not all of us have IQ in 140’s or higher (about the top 1%) and not all of us have the ability or time to read massive works of philosophy while we’re still in high school when we can still think for ourselves before professors just try to fill their own biases into their student’s heads. And as such we find that induction and anecdotal evidence does often seem to bear out the truth. Not to say that people are perfectly reasonable, my blogs on people being stupid more than shows this…but keep in mind it’s often not looking at basic anecdotal evidence that they make mistakes, not because they’re going off of anecdotal evidence (look at Democrats, basic anecdotal evidence shows that government interference doesn’t work, but of the more “educated” liberals like to quote Keynes and other such foolish philosophers and show pretty charts and equations and theories ignoring that little tiny fact that it doesn’t work. You can blow their math and theories and charts apart too, but let’s be honest, again if you don’t have a 140+ IQ and way too much time on your hands, that can get awfully dull, most people prefer to just live their lives).

So knowing that it will drive some closed minded academics absolutely batty (oh don’t judge me, even some of the most enlightened souls in history have enjoyed tormenting the small minded with ideas their brains couldn’t handle), what would anecdotal evidence for the law of attraction look like.

Well, we already have the numerous cases of people who are successful endorsing things like The Secret, you can even see it in confirmed atheist Scott Adam’s book “The Dilbert Future” where he says that a variation of the law is what he gives credit to for getting him on the best seller list and making him moderately rich. But that’s hardly new. So let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. We would see people who even if they have something good they would complain about it which would just bring them problems and misery. You would see people who complain have big problems, and people who have small problems complain which would probably compound into larger problems. More importantly you would see that people who are negative, people who whine, people who choose not to look for the good but focus on the bad, have lots of things to complain about.

So imagine my, I don’t want to say joy because I didn’t take pleasure in their misery, and I don’t want to say relief because I wasn’t looking for proof, I already believed…let’s say intrigue for it came as anecdotal proof of my point just at the time I was engaged in arguments about the law of attraction (it’s almost like the universe threw me a prize to use). I give you a link to the whiners at “The Other 99%” These whiny bastards are complaining that all the problems in their life are because the rich in the top 1% control everything.

...and if he keeps complaining he never will be.

Take a look at these losers….

It’s fun looking at some of the things they complain about. That they’re small business isn’t doing well…it must be the fault of rich people and have nothing to do with the fact that they might not know how to run a business, because last time I checked there are lots of small businesses that are doing okay—maybe not expanding and growing, but doing okay—no it’s all the fault of the evil rich people. That they have medical problems and medical expenses are too high…and that has nothing to do with the fact that government regulation drives the price higher or that happier people, which these people aren’t, are healthier.


Or I really love the people who complain about their $30,000 dollar college loans and not having a job. This brings up two fascinating points, I’m fairly optimistic but if my college loans were only $30,000 right now (and I’m 30, a lot of these people look to be in their 20’s so when they’re30 their loans will be a lot less than 30K) I’d be doing cartwheels and singing at the top of my lungs.  (Not that I’m complaining, my education was worth every dollar). Whiners, you don’t know how good you have it. Second there are a lot of college grads complaining about not having a job. Right now the unemployment rate for college grads is 4.4% (much lower than the national average) and about 39 percent of the nation has a college degree  …so let’s see here (.044 x .39= 1.716%) 1.7% of country has college degrees and is unemployed…who knew that “The Other 99%” wasn’t the whiners but actually the rest of us! Oh and I love the people who have children and complain about not having enough to support them—I’m going to be really callous for a second, “Why did you have children, usually in the plural, when you couldn’t afford them?” I have former high school students who made the less than Rhodes Scholar choice to have children while still in high school who are paying their bills and going to college, they’re not jet setting the world, but they’re not doing badly either…if they can survive what possessed you to have litters when you couldn’t afford to feed one?

Yes some of these people have legitimate problems in life…but why (A) whine about it on the internet and (B) why blame the rich which is what this web site is about.

Gee it’s as if being a whiny bastard actually attracts bad things to your life. But that would only be a shit load of anecdotal evidence that the law of attraction works. Question: how much anecdotal evidence do you need before you can’t call it anecdotal (there’s 41 pages of this whining and it’s only been up a week at the time I wrote this blog)?

But maybe it’s just my perspective. Maybe I was just handed everything and I have no right to judge other people. After all I was born to two people who didn’t have college degrees, lived in a mobile home on a dirt road, paid for the majority of my college with academic scholarships, and have saved (a radical concept that I realize none of the people at The Other 99% know anything about) enough to invest in self-publishing my own book on a rather low end teacher’s salary. Yes truly I was handed more than those trust fund whiners who are occupying Wall Street, how dare I judge them and their hardships.

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