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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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Passionate Rant

I spent about an hour arguing with my brother about how I don’t believe that Christianity or the Bible is the TRUTH – as he, and so many others preach.

Please, if you’re Christian or religious and are reading this, I really don’t mean any disrespect. Quite contrary, I value your right and freedom to believe whatever feels right to you. All I am saying is that I do not feel like this religion is right, or true, for me.

I think people should be able to believe whatever they want if it makes them truly happy and if it resonates with them personally. I just get annoyed when people (particularly my brother and mother this evening) make condemning statements  like “Oh, one day you’ll see. We will pray for you. Judgment day will come and you’ll regret not having listened.”

djadhfiuhfguxhdfuyatfdldjfkvxjvh!!!!!! UGH. Comments like that make me want to roll my eyes so hard they disappear into a black hole.

And then the fact that I get annoyed by their remarks makes me sad. Because it points to me that I clearly need more patience. Like why am I getting all worked up by someone’s silly perspective of how my life will end?

I can’t help it at times and I just get annoyed with the close mindedness. Then I close off. But I want to work on that. Be more patient with their perspectives – even if I don’t agree. I want to be able to have deep respect and appreciation for people’s thoughts and feelings – even when they contradict my own. I want to be fair and listen, even when I don’t agree.

*Breathes*

I was born into Christianity and at one point I deeply believed it was THE TRUTH – until I explored my mind and the world more and discovered that my boxed idea of reality wasn’t quite fitting to my free spirit self. I am a HUGE advocate for freedom and free will. I am also a huge advocate for LOVE AND KINDNESS AND PEACE and there is just absolutely NO FREAKING WAY I am going to sit here and spend my life believing in a God that sends people to burn for eternity. THAT IS CRAZY!! Me, a mere human, would NEVER want to condemn anyone to suffer like that (even if I had the total power to), and why would a loving God do that?

I’m sorry dudes, I just can’t accept that. Why would I want to worship a being who would be so cruel to beautiful, precious, human lives? I don’t care if you’re a psycho killer dude, I would never want to throw you into a fire for eternity – and much less just your average Joe trying to lead a normal, good, atheist life.

I am rambling – but seriously, my brother’s Christian God is one who is soooo freakin’ petty that he’s like “Even though you lived a descent life, was kind to others, paid your bills on time, never got into any trouble, always did the best you can but because you SIMPLY did not believe in my son, Jesus, I am going to have you sentenced to an eternity in hell. See ya!”

oidajfsdfhsfugtgcuycgducsiuh;diohd;oih!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN YOU HEAR HOW RIDICULOUS THAT IS!!!???

It’s simply OUTRAGEOUS!

ANOTHER THING THAT REALLY GETS ME GOING IS….

Ok, dude, you’re God – and you can do ANYTHING. Literally. ANYTHING. And the best possible plan you could come up with to save humanity is to send a human baby into the world to undergo all kinds of general human struggles, only later to get beaten and crucified to save the world?? SERIOUSLY DUDE? That’s your grand plan?
ME – A FREAKING DUMBASS HUMAN, could think of a better plan. Like sheesh, I dunno – WHY NOT SNAP MY FINGER AND JUST DECLARE HUMANITY SAVED – YOU’RE GOD, HELLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

And what’s worst is that he’s “saving” us from a condemnation HE HIMSELF created by telling us that if we don’t follow HIS WAY, HIS RULES then we’re basically fucked.

AND… There’s more that pisses me off about this religion….

FIRST OF ALL – I didn’t ask to exist, dude. And now that I do, I have to abide by some ridiculous ass rules or else I am doomed. WHAT KIND OF FREAKING FREE WILL IS THAT? IT ISN’T!
There’s no free will if the only choice is to abide by X Y Z rules OR ELSE.
Why can’t I have my own rules? Rules that feel right to me personally? Like, I dunno, don’t eat special brownies and drive – but definitely eat special brownies and have make out sessions while looking at the stars and being free to believe or not believe and it DOESN’T MATTER because GOD, if there is one, isn’t trying to judge your every freaking move and just allows you to BE.

Okay.

Passionate rant over.

On a side note…

I will be starting a Reflect Out Loud YouTube Channel! And I will definitely speak on this topic more elaborately, and again! Among other content that crosses my mind and may hopefully serve the world in some way.

Thank you for following me on this rant. And on my journey. I am sorry if I offended anyone. But seriously, dude – I really rather believe that if there is a God (which I HAVE NO CLUE EITHER WAY) that IT is SOOOOO LOVING and is in everything, and everyone and there is nothing we need to do, be, have, get because there are no real rules and it really doesn’t matter. So make the best of it and live a life you’re happy with.

Something like that.

(Passionate rant officially over)

 

The “Word” of God is Not Limited to The Bible

Disclaimer: Dear reader, this post is coming from the most genuine place of my heart and has zero intention of denying anyone’s knowledge, but rather including everyone’s knowledge to produce harmony by way of unity.

Believing that the Bible is the full and complete word of God is very limiting. First, because the word of God is so infinitely and immeasurably grand that a book is insufficient to contain it. Secondly, because words are extremely limiting and not adequate basis with which to measure the fullness of God.

Everything that IS, is the “word” of God.
The “word” of God isn’t even words to begin with, though it may in part be experienced through words.

To conceive of God through the notions of one book alone means to limit God. To understand more of God we must be able to allow ALL forms of information and knowledge to pass through our consciousness.

When we open a Biology book and we begin to learn about cells, organisms, life, the human body, among other biological aspects, for instance, we are coming into contact with more of the word of God. When we read a chemistry book and we learn about molecules, atoms, elements, chemicals – we are learning more of the word of God.

How do you know when the water has boiled and at what temperature? The Bible does not tell us – but a science book does. And a science book, too, is the word of God.

When we learn about technology and how planes fly, how cars move, how our cellphones operate – the Bible will not tell us this – but a mechanics, physics, and technology book can.  And this too, is the word of God.

How does the optometrist know how to perform laser surgery to restore eye sight? Does he read the Bible to figure it out? No. He reads books on the subject matter of eye surgery. This, too, is the word of God.

When you put together your Ikea furniture, do you read the Bible or the manual? You read the manual. This, too, is the word of God.

ALL information – past, present, future is the word of God. There is nothing that exists outside of the “word” of God. ALL THAT IS IS THE WORD OF GOD.

We must not exclude anything because to exclude any one thing is to limit the unlimited. The unlimited contains EVERYTHING. So to take only one tiny book and claim that it alone is the word of God is EXTREMELY limiting and I urge you to open your understanding and come to see that God is not limited by books. God is not limited by words.

Words are just sounds we make with our mouths as so to communicate ideas which we have formulated by way of experience. We must use the words as pointers for our expansion, not limits that constrain our growth and hinder our full understanding of the universe.

Becoming The Change

Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

I sometimes get caught up in trying to change the world and forget that the change needs to happen in me. Sometimes I worry too much thinking I must teach kindness and teach love and teach peace, all the while forgetting that I must first BE kind, BE loving and BE at peace (or whatever else I wish to see) and then the rest will follow.

The Bible has a nice quote that says: “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.” (Titus 1:15). You can interpret this is many ways. The way I like to interpret it is: If my intentions are pure and if my perceptions and actions stem from a place of innocence, then all that I see/perceive/intake/experience/observe/feel/etc, will consequently be pure because the lens through which I observe and engage with the world is not a lens of malice but a lens of innocence. I must be like a child – despite having developed the physical form of an adult and having undergone numerous life experiences, I must continue carrying an innocent heart, becoming a living testament of purity despite my moments of flaws. As long as I am human I am subject to failure — and that’s ok because infallibility is not a property of humanity. It is not my perfect acts that will make me pure at heart (because I can do everything right in action yet in my heart I may hide my intention of doing right for mere approval or for the desire of praise or for whatever other motive) — a pure heart is pure because in it abides no malicious intentions — but should such intentions creep in (and believe me, they do all the time), our good and faithful friend, the mind, can help the heart be guided back to its pure, innocent state.

It’s only natural for the heart to be presented with what exists – all the possibilities for good and all the possibilities for bad. It is then up to me, a conscious and aware being, to ultimately decide what I will harbor within me.

AS OF THIS MOMENT, I AM NO SO CALLED “SAINT” LIVING IN SO CALLED “HEAVEN.” I AM A SO CALLED “HUMAN” LIVING ON SO CALLED “EARTH.” 

Sometimes I can be judgmental as hell.
I say or think things like:
“People are rude and need to change.”
“Some people are so disrespectful, boy, I tell ya! I just want to smack some sense into them!”
“Look at these freaking hypocrites, man, no morals.”
“Ugh, I can’t stand these damn politicians, so crooked.”

I even judge myself at times.
“I am so irresponsible! I am constantly late to work.”
“I can never do anything right.”
“I am so out of shape. I have to be more disciplined.”
“I am so dumb. I will never get anywhere in this life.”

All these thoughts, all these mean, condemning words I have allowed to abide in me have become basis for my perception. I have allowed my mind to be receptive to and my heart to feel that these negative words and thoughts I profess are real and true. I have allowed my inner space to be infiltrated by negative conclusions. (I am using the word “negative” here for lack of a better word… I can’t think of a more appropriate word right now to refer to the “yuckiness” I have allowed to abide in the space of my being).

I must be the change. If the change does not happen within me, even if everyone else in the world has already changed, I will not see it or realize it because the filter of my perception is set to the channel of malice and not the channel of innocence. The moment that I change my perception, inevitably my world will change. But it can’t be a half-assed change – it has to be fully real.
I can fool my spectators and become like an actor in the theater who plays the role of a hero, but I cannot deceive myself in thinking I am truly the hero I know I am pretending to be.
I must truly embody that which I wish be.

If I want peace – I must be in tune with peace.
If I want patience – I must be in tune with patience.
If I want kindness – I must be in tune with kindness.
If I want understanding – I must be in tune with understanding.
If I want innocence, I must be in tune with innocence.

How could I experience peace if I am in tune with war?
How could I experience understanding if I am in tune with ignorance?

I must channel my experience.

I must be that which I wish to see.

Once I am that which I wish to see, it will not matter if someone says to me: “Psst. Hey. Look. See that rude, greedy, lustful, prideful, cheating, lying, phony, unworthy person? Look how terrible he or she is!”  Because the moment I am what I wish to see, when I look out at the world I will not see rude, greedy, lustful, prideful, cheating, lying, phony, unworthy, terrible people. Instead, I will see kindness, sharing, sincerity, humility, honesty, truth, reality, worthiness, wonderful, people. Additionally, I will see love. I will see friendship. I will see compassion. I will see forgiveness. I will see understanding. I will see beauty. I will see life. I will see perfection.
I could then respond saying. “Hm. I hear what you are saying. I do not deny the existence of your claims but I do not see it as you see it because in the space of my being I have made the conscious choice to abide in perception of the good, the beautiful, and the blameless, because that is how I wish my world be.”

I am not denying the existence of the bad, the ugly and the guilty.
Let what IS – BE.

I accept all that IS, and as a conscious, aware being, I choose to embrace, be, perceive and act through that which is good.  May in goodness I abide and be.
_____________________________________________________________

BUT TO RAP UP THIS DISCUSSION FOR NOW….

I am not saying “Let’s be passive about everything and ignore and PRETEND there ISN’T any bad out there.” What I am saying is: If you are conscious and aware, choose the good and cast away the bad. If harboring condemning ideas in your mind such as “people are rude” make you see the world as a bad place, consciously make the effort to harbor loving-kind ideas such as “if there is such a thing as rude people, let ME BE KIND, that there be one less rude person in the world.”

I will embrace and cultivate tools such as patience, perseverance, kindness, forgiveness, understanding or any other helpful tool that will enable me to be the change. Will I succeed 100% of the time? Hmm…Given my human circumstances probably not. So if and when I do not succeed, I must be 100% merciful with myself during my moments of shortcomings, acknowledging that I have limitations but not allowing my limitations to stop me from persevering.

There’s a line in the 1997 Disney movie, Flash, where a boy fights to be able to keep and care for a horse he falls in love with and when told “you’ll never make it” the boy responds saying, “Then I won’t make it. But it won’t be because I gave up.”

I may never be perfect, “but it won’t be because I gave up.” I must undoubtedly believe in myself as well as believe in my dreams, utilizing my belief as fuel for transforming my dream into reality by actually living that which I wish would be.

I cannot completely change my world through force or through demand. There’s billions of us out there and it’d be humanly impossible (or perhaps tremendously unlikely and would require an unfathomable amount of effort) for me to externally transform the world to fit the very real and possible utopia that for now exists only as an imagination in me.

I cannot make or demand a person be kind.
I cannot make or demand a person be respectful.
I cannot make or demand a person be loving.
I cannot make or demand a person be in peace.
I cannot make or demand a person be good.

I can only make these things be true for myself and in making it true for myself I can hopefully inspire you to do the same for yourself.

If together, we call forth the good, I promise, our world will be good because all the conscious and aware beings abiding in it have willingly chosen to make it so.

To end this post…

To end this post, I just have to say this about all of the above I just said:

1. All this is just a bunch of words, and words are only symbols. So don’t take everything I said here TOO literal.

2. In the end all that matters is that: YOU ARE THAT WHICH YOU ARE, and not I, not anyone, or anything, could ever define you because only your very essence defines you, and your essence does not depend, and does not require any words.

1 of Many Rants: Subject: The Holy Bible

If you are religious and are reading this – I’d like to apologize in advance should anything I say here be offensive or hurtful to you. My intention is not to undermine or discredit your beliefs or faith but simply to discuss openly with you. (Smile).

If you think the Bible is the word of God – that’s cool. But it’s incomplete.

Here is why it’s incomplete: It does not have answers to everything – if you think it does – you’re only seeing part of the truth and to see part of the truth isn’t seeing the truth at all.

If you’re reading this, you likely have access to a computer and internet. How did the computer come to be?

The Bible does not teach how to build a computer.
The Bible does not teach us about Wi-fi.
The Bible does not teach us about the complexities of the internet.
The Bible does not teach us about cars.
The Bible does not teach us how to make engines.
The Bible does not teach us why water boils.
The Bible does not teach us how to create a vaccine for chicken pox.
The Bible does not teach us how to run a business.
The Bible does not teach us how to make a cell phone or how to use one.
The Bible does not teach us about chemotherapy.
The Bible does not teach us what is AIDS, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and all the other stuff out there.

I could go on forever about what the Bible doesn’t teach.
But other books do.
Engineering books will teach us how to build machines and how they work. YAY!
Science books will teach us about water, what it consists of and its boiling point (among other things) YAY!
Books on mechanical work will teach us about cars. YAY!
Medical books will teach us about vaccines, chemotherapy, Aids, Gonorrhea and other diseases. YAY!
So if other books explain more than what the Bible explains, why discard them and the knowledge they contain simply because their title isn’t “The Holy Bible?”

We can’t use the Bible as an explanation for everything because it doesn’t explain everything. PLUS!!!!! God’s word (if there is such a thing) would be SO HUGE there wouldn’t be a book big enough to contain it.
God’s true word would be something like: Everything ever uttered and put into its correct context in time and then compiled into a database capable of storing infinite data for all to access!
In other words: God’s word is all the knowledge and existence of all there is — and even THIS isn’t enough to describe it.

We are so much more than what a book can describe.
Our being is so much more than words could express.
We are not limited to a book, even if that book is regarded as holy by people. Just because people accept something as holy does not make it intrinsically holy.
Take water, for instance, if I were to take water apart by separating the hydrogens and oxygen I wouldn’t find the property of “holy” in it simply because a pope has blessed it. But if you would like to regard it as holy – awesome! Do so :). If it works for you, it works for you. But don’t expect a strict scientist to do the same. He doesn’t have to – because interpretations of a thing doesn’t matter either way. Just because a scientist deems something unholy based on his observations also doesn’t make it unholy – because if it’s holy to you – it’s holy. But at the end of the day, whether you think it’s holy or unholy doesn’t matter – because everything just IS. Whatever else you make or call the IS – is totally up to you. We must respect each other’s experiences and points of view in this life.

No concept or idea is sufficient to describe the ALL-NESS that life really is.

YOU ARE NOT LIMITED TO WORDS IN A BOOK.
WORDS IN A BOOK ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO BE THE FULL TRUTH.
THE MOMENT YOU UTTER A WORD YOU LOSE THE ESSENCE OF WHAT IS BY DEFINING IT.
WHEN YOU DEFINE SOMETHING YOU CONTAIN IT. YOU LIMIT IT TO THE DEFINITION.

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