Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

The power of language: from hell to heaven (pt 2 of 2)

November 28, 2013
Inquisition condemned (Francisco de Goya).

Inquisition condemned (Francisco de Goya). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Agonizing requires language. So does condemnation, paranoia, shame, and also the experience that is the result of the behavior of agonizing, called agony.”

What is one of the most distinctive teachings of Jesus? Jesus taught that the path to heaven is forgiveness.

Luke 6:37

… “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not
be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”

When I no longer use language to shame others, then I begin to see that shame is not fundamental. Shame is social. Shame is specific to certain contexts.

Further, it is inevitable that someone will practice a behavior that someone else shames or condemns (or fears). The shaming of past behavior is not to invalidate the importance of life, but an expression of the importance of life. Shaming is to promote the sanctity of life (at least according to some ruler).

Some behaviors may be so threatening to a social order that they are harshly punished by the powerful. In order to prevent harsh punishments, certain behaviors may be shamed through language. This is not to condemn the behaviors as being innately evil, but as socially important or sacred. Maybe substances are “biologically sacred,” like semen, and maybe only socially sacred, like the shape of a “Holy Cross.”

Is the human body inherently shameful, as some interpreters of the book of Genesis assert? Private nudity may not be considered shameful for infants (who have no language development and thus cannot understand shame anyway). However, public nudity even for infants may still be discouraged in some places, like outside in a snowstorm, hailstorm, or dust storm. In order to preserve the tender skin of the infant, clothing may be required. Parents who do not protect their infants from harsh weather may be punished, such as by the rulers even taking the infants and clothing them (or removing them from harsh weather). The infants may or may not be returned to the “negligent” parents.

English: Child dressed up as a Khmer Rouge sol...

English: Child dressed up as a Khmer Rouge soldier. Image supplied by Antonio Graceffo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another example is sexuality. Because of the reproductive potential of sexuality, sexual practices may be shamed or sanctified. The power of sexuality is only important because human life is important.

In some cultures, public nudity of an adult female body (even a woman’s face) may be shamed as indicative of prostitution. Of course, prostitution itself is criminal in some cultures while part of the religious tradition of others (such as the vestal “virgins”).

Life itself is the source of sanctity. By labeling certain things as sacred or specially important, different cultures will have different traditions about what is sacred and what behaviors to shame and so on.

A popular regulation is the prohibition from murder (unlicensed killing of a human). Of course, throughout history, governments routinely kill their own citizens through capital punishment (like rituals of human sacrifice in the Aztec culture, or the Holy Roman Inquisition, or things like the the electric chair, impalement, stoning, or crucifixion). Further, governments routinely kill the civilians and soldiers of opposing governments, like when the US Military bombed two cities in Japan or when the Cambodian communists (the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot) slaughtered those loyal to the opposing local government which had previously ruled Cambodia.

So, the act of killing is sacred. Even the intentional killing of a human fetus may be criminal unless performed by a licensed agent of a state (as in whatever is recognized as a state by The Vatican or whoever controls the mass media or publishes books of popular historical mythology).

Romanian President Nicolae Ceaucescu and his w...

Cropped image of a photo of Romanian President Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife, Elena, meeting with Cambodian Prime minister Pol Pot, Cambodian President Khieu Samphan, and Khmer Rouge cabinet members.(28-30.V.1978). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The criminalizing of particular behaviors is linguistic. Outside of language, there is so such thing as crime (or legality or illegality). Different cultures and regulatory systems will criminalize different behaviors.

There is nothing inherently criminal. It is not inherently criminal to pick up an apple from under an apple tree or to catch some fish in a pond. However, for someone “trespassing,” their mere presence somewhere may be considered criminal. They may be confronted by armed bullies who demand to see authorized paperwork licensing someone to be in that country or within the legal boundaries of those “property lines.”

“What gives you the right to pick up that apple,” the soldiers may ask of the slave. “You should not even be here! Get back inside of the barbed wire barriers of the concentration camp right now before we change our minds and kill you or torture you.”

So, we may learn to fear the systems of organized coercion in our midst. We may learn to respect their violence and the way that they use language.

When an empire invades a new colony, they may even make a particular language sacred (the only one legally valid) while criminalizing all other languages. That is what the US did to the Navajo in the 19th century, with Navajo criminals being sent to Alcatraz island for life imprisonment for the crime of speaking Navajo.

Prison where Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge tortu...

Prison where Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge tortured and killed thousands of Cambodians. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we recognize the criminalization of behavior is contextual (social), then we do not condemn the person. We are not ashamed for innocently doing things that violated sacred regulations (like speaking in a criminal language or illegally picking up an apple from the ground). We may simply regret an action that was shamed by others (without us having an ongoing sense of personal shame). Without contempt, we respect the organized violence of the systems of intimidation and governing.

We may have been paranoid about “doing the wrong thing” or “saying the wrong thing,” and that paranoia shows intelligence. Paranoia in some degree is nearly universal. Civilians are programmed to fear their governments so that the civilians more obediently comply with tax laws and military drafts and so on.

Some civilians are also programmed to have contempt. They are programmed to be easily disturbed mentally and emotionally. They are trained in what to fear and what to shame. They are trained to argue or even kill in defense of their own hysterical paranoia as “the only form of hysterical paranoia that is right, holy, and sacred.”

This is not a mistake. Modern systems of governing, which originate with the Hebrew Prophet Noah, are specifically designed to rule all of humanity through organized coercion. Their methods include deception and confusion. Their oath-sworn priesthoods include judges and lawyers and deputy soldiers. They rule through violence in general and language in particular.

They train the masses in terror, confusion, shame, paranoia, and self-condemnation. That is their function and purpose. They favor the rulers through implementing and protecting systems for inequally distributing wealth from the masses to the rulers.

There is no form of central authority that is not fundamentally a centralizing or concentrating of power and authority. Those who do not understand the nature of language may argue sincerely about which form of violent justice is the most just or the least violent. Justice is defined (dictated) by the ruling courts.

English: Chhum Mey is one the three living sur...

English: Chhum Mey is one the three living survivors of the Tuol Sleng or S-21, the infamous prison and torture center during the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Hebrew tradition, Noah claimed authority over all of humanity on the grounds that if humanity did not obey Noah’s dictates, then God would kill all of humanity. The same God-King ideal has been called “the divine right of kings.” Pharaohs and Emperors have claimed to be the legal authority because of a Divine plan that gives them exclusive right to use organized coercion.

The King of Kings is a phrase used to reference a ruler above the rank of local kings. For instance, there are various popes of the Roman Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, and the Coptic church. The popes are the ones who claim the divine authority to coronate (crown) kings and queens within their jurisdiction. The actual ritual of coronation is typically performed by the local archbishop (the delegate inferior to the pope).

The hell of believing in a future of eternal punishment is a common belief within the branch of the Hebrew tradition called Christianity (as well as Islam). The masses are programmed to think of themselves as fundamentally deserving eternal punishment because their nature is inherently “wrong” (linguistically discouraged).

How can the masses redeem themselves? They must follow the dictates of the priesthoods of Noah. They can come to a church and learn about the sacred power of language from a Catholic priest, who is said to have the power to give salvation to an individual, to forgive sins, and to enter heaven.

Of course, the Bible indicates that Jesus taught his students to “forgive the sins of others and you will be forgiven.” However, which has more practical power: the shapes of ink on the page of a Bible or the massive military crusades directed by the Vatican?

John 20:23

If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you
retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.

Ironically, those who shame others increase their own emotional disturbance through the activity of condemning. This is why Jesus taught “turn away from what is disturbing to you.”

“For to the pure everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving… nothing is pure, but their mind and conscience is defiled.”
Titus 1:15 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”

Photographed and uploaded to English Wikipedia...

Photographed and uploaded to English Wikipedia by Adam Carr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you wish to enter in to the kingdom of heaven, you must cease from any practices of agonizing or shaming. These practices disturb the natural state of contentment in to a state of paranoia, agony, or hell.


” 3Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. ”

James 3:3-6,



Jesus: “discard your idealism for logic.” (Quoting Isaiah)

November 19, 2013
Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

“Beware that your worship may be vanity, foolishness, nonsense. You respect what is familiar and popular and discard what is actually correct.”

The idea that a centralized agency is a credible authority for determining “what is the best science” is odd. That is totally contrary to the very premise of science.

You could release your terrified religious faith in political idealism and instead focus on science (logic). However, you cannot do both.

This is the same old issue that Isaiah brought up and that Jesus brought up as well (quoting Isaiah in Mark 7:7-8, etc). Either you favor idealism or you favor logic. “I favor neither” is a pretense.

English: Isaiah; illustration from a Bible car...

English: Isaiah; illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not approve of the translation in the image below, but if you read the common translations of the verses around Mark 7:7, plus the similar verses in other parts of the New Testament (and Old), you will see the same point that is made in many other religions as well.

“Beware that your worship may be vanity, foolishness, nonsense. You respect what is familiar and popular and discard what is actually correct.”

the distinction between criticism and fearful shaming

June 26, 2012

There is a distinction between criticism and shaming. I mention this in response to the following post from FaceBook:


The need to criticize anyOne is a projection of the belief that you are not good enough. Likewise, taking another person’s criticism of you personally, it’s a reflection of the same belief.

While you are already as Divine as you’re ever going to get, (and there’s nothing you can do in this or any lifetime to change your true identity), you can never live up to an idea of how any person thinks you should be.

This is because thought cannot create the experience of wholeness. It’s only capable of creating elusive stories of wholeness that evoke criticism.

So, the next time you find your self projecting or defending against criticism, you’re invited to illuminate the core issue by noticing the mental story about who you are and how you’re meant to be. This noticing can dismantle the false sense of self and and allow you to create more harmony in all of your relationships.

What a blessing criticism is. Bring it on!!

finger pointing

The above commentary is “a good start.” However, what about the distinction between criticism and shaming?

To even be referencing criticism in the above way is an indication of the operation of shame (which is extremely common and no cause for shame!). Shame involves a fear of being revealed. Let’s look another layer deeper at a fear of being revealed or exposed:

ron paul angry

When I fear being revealed, then I may shame others for their actions and inactions and so on. Which instances does the one ashamed point to with most ferocity (fear)? When ashamed, I would point at the instances where “they” do the same thing that I am ashamed of having done in order to bring attention to their alleged shame and distract from mine (or to test the response of other people to me saying whatever, like this: “did you know that Ron Paul used to EAT FISH!?!?! That is SOOOOO disgusting, isn’t it? I haven’t eaten fish for 2 decades now and he was just eating some a few years ago. Can you believe  his pompous audacity?”)

alex jones

Alex Jones complaining about something again.

English: Highway A 8, exit Wendlingen. Heavy t...

English: Highway A 8, exit Wendlingen. Heavy transports between 72 and 120 tons are redirected. Deutsch: A 8, Anschlussstelle Wendlingen. Für Schwertransporte von 72 bis 120 t besteht eine Umleitung. Die Ausfahrt führt auf die B 313 nach Wendlingen, Esslingen, Plochingen, Reutlingen und Nürtingen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, criticism is any explicit redirection: “Oh honey, if you are going to get off on exit 43, then the turn lane is over there. Do you see the turn lane?” For the one who is ashamed, even such a gentle exercise of authority (“input”) may be “cause” for annoyance.

If I am already ashamed (afraid of showing fear, error, fallibility), I might say something quite shaming in response to even the gentlest criticism: “Seriously, why do you always have to criticize my driving? You are such a $*(k!ng punk, Gramma. I can’t believe I have to drive you around for the next three weekends. Jesus, what the hell did I ever do so wrong to deserve this? Anyway, why do you have to be so old? Why did you have to lose your license to drive?” So, with that shaming is grievance and grief and fear and shouts that may cover up tears, at least for a while.

Criticism focuses on a process. Shaming focuses on an identity. Shaming involves a ferocious fear or paranoia or hysteria.

Both have their place, by the way- or they would not exist, right? By the way, isn’t it interesting how fast we may criticize others for the activity of shaming? That could be a sign of hypocrisy. 😉

brewer points finger at obama

heaven is here- as a pattern in language

April 20, 2012

heaven is here- as a pattern in language

Jesus ascending to heaven

Jesus ascending to heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Discovery and Exploration of Heaven

I do not mean spaceships, folks. Heaven is discovery and exploration. Hell is shame, and condemnation, and struggle.

Odd as it may seem, even the discovery and exploration of Hell is also Heaven. This reminds me of the saying that one’s fundamental nature can be found anywhere, even in the so-called lower realms of shame, condemnation, and struggle.

So, if one is discovering and exploring something- anything- that’s Heaven. That’s quite accessible, huh?

But maybe it’s just too simple. What about rigidly adhering to religious traditions like the ten amendments or tithing?

Perhaps it would be of some interest to review an ancient teaching on just that subject. I’ll identify the specific source at the end.

10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

That is from the New Testament of the Christian Bible, from the book of Luke, Chapter 18, verses 10-17. For more on the subject of rigid or dogmatic adherence to religious traditions, I invite you to discover and explore Mark 7:7, in which Jesus quotes Isaiah.

However, the basic idea is that discovery and exploration is the natural state of children and perhaps even all creatures of any age. Children are innocent and humble not because they never cause any damage or harm. Any parent can tell you that little kids are quite capable of breaking and destroying things, aren’t they?

Christmas: a holiday recognizing children’s universal love of tearing paper to shreds

For instance, my mom told me that when I was little she often found me surrounded by a pile of little pieces of something I had shredded which she had left accessible to me. I did not seem to especially discriminate between valuable legal documents or expensive artwork or blank pieces of paper. I just had some kind of ripping fetish. So, if you show me a three year-old then I will show you someone who is willing to improve a treasured work of fine art with a few extra layers of crayon markings.

By the way, even more alarming for my mom was when she found me with half a caterpillar in my hand. Apparently, I had eaten the other half.

It’s not that children are innocent of causing any trouble. Their innocence is that they do not blame anyone or themselves. That is, they have no shame or condemnation, no ill will against others or themselves, no hatred of any of life and thus no struggle against God.

As to the distinction of innocence in contrast to shaming, I could reference the famous story of the Garden of Eden or the many references to forgiveness in various ancient and modern revered teachings. For now, I’ll just repeat these two short comments of Jesus: “I did not come to judge the world” and “Condemn not.”

I’m not even going to share a lot about how we make life hell with our language and our linguistic beliefs or dogmas. You can discover and explore that yourself.

I’ll give one personal example though. Would you like that?

Alright then, but before I give it to you, it is important to me that you are clear why I am giving you this example. I am giving you this example because you should be more like me.

No, seriously, however you are is a problem for me. I need you to change immediately, and if you refuse, then I will punish you… like eternally. Further, if you do change in the way that I dictate you should, then, I will reward you with eternal bliss, but not yet.

After you die, only then would that eternity begin. What? You didn’t expect eternity to be around forever, did you?

Anyway, as I was saying, I forbid you to be how you are. Stop that. Hey, I mean right now. Look, are you going to make me come over there and… listen, what exactly is your problem, anyway?

Actually, nevermind, I’m not going to give a personal exmaple to someone like you. You just don’t deserve it.

By the way, I’m only withholding from you because I love you. Yeah, the reason you are so disappointing to me is that I love you so much. Wow: and this is how you reward me? Amazing!

Until now, I simply did not really realize how much you have ruined my life. In fact, you have made life hell not just for me, but for everyone and yes I do I mean eternally.

Like, even the part of my life that already happened before I met you, you ruined that part too by not properly respecting it. You definitely should be more proud of me, obviously! You really should have devoted more of your time to glorifying me personally. I’m a victim of your lack of worship of my ego.

So, what are you going to do about this? Did I just hear you say that you’re going to forgive me? Forgive me for what? Oh my freaking God: where the hell do you get that crap? I’m not talking to you ever again.

Did you hear me? Answer me, you idiot! I said I’m never talking to you again. Hello???

Okay, fine, I’ll give you a personal example if you just sincerely apologize for being so much like how you are. Oh, come on, Jesus flipping Christ, don’t go back to your old act that you don’t know what I mean! In that case, just forget it. Now, I don’t even remember the god damning story I used to believe in.

Related articles

audio: the best (“how do we find grace?”)

April 20, 2012
The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536

The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


First there was one word. Soon, many others followed. Now, you know… how all the trouble started

“Which word is the best?” many people wondered. “Love or God or Jesus?” the agonizing mumbled.
A baby said, “mom,” and everybody smiled. If only for a moment, the arguing stopped.
“How do we find grace?” someone asked the wise man. “First, you just stop looking, and then your eyes can open wide.”

lyrics: “1 2 free 4 me” (rejected by a Pharisee)

April 19, 2012

I was a pharisee

The Meal at the House of Simon the Pharisee

The Meal at the House of Simon the Pharisee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With an attitude
I knew the right way
And I would tell you
I had an answer
For every question
And some evidence
To back it up


The Pharisees Turn Away from Christ - medieval...

The Pharisees Turn Away from Christ - medieval stained glass detail, Canterbury Cathedral (Photo credit: chrisjohnbeckett)

I won every debate
That I had with a wall
Well, according to me
Cause I was beyond flaw
Other perfectionists
Pretend to act like me
They were just wanna-bes
I was the real thing
the Queen
Of the drama
And of the tragedy
I was the expert
On anything.Then I met Josh
The one too free for me

He was a poor man
Born in the shade of a barn
From the poorest parts
Of a land of poverty and war.

He didn’t talk right
He didn’t think right
He didn’t act right
He sure didn’t shame right
He didn’t wash his hands
He broke the holy rules
He ate with pimps and whores
lawyers and thugs and fools
He was too patient
He was far too strange
He gave people relief
and taught them to be sane

So the obvious problem
Was how do we silence him

The Pharisee and the Publican by John Everett ...

The Pharisee and the Publican by John Everett Millais, published 1864, from "Illustrations to 'The parables of our Lord'", (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was 1 2 free 4 me
Way 2 free to be
walking on the same streets
As a holy pharisee

He was one too free for me

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

he was a lunatic

and a heretic
he was arrogant, insulting
and offensive
he’s not a prophet
He’s not a Moses
Who does he think he is
this young punk they call Jesus?

His stupid parables
are so confusing
what does he even mean by
“for those who have the eyes to see?”

and then he claimed to be
older than Abraham
I say he’s trying to overthrow

our revolution

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition, painting...

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition, painting by Cristiano Banti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribut...

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribute money (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mean next thing you know
he’ll probably claim that the earth
goes around the sun
of god

Again the basic problem
Was how do we silence him

He was 1 2 free 4 me
Way 2 free to be
walking on the same streets
As a holy pharisee

Muhammad leads Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other...

Muhammad leads Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others in prayer. Persian miniature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was one too free for me

He was a major threat
to my vanity
my animosity
my suffering
my hypocrisy
my idolatry
my shame and my hate and my identity
Pharisee and Publican - Tewkesbury Abbey

Pharisee and Publican - Tewkesbury Abbey (Photo credit: Walwyn)

This new song is something of a variation on the theme of “the one too free for you” from March 2011:

Acts 5:34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who 

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the
people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a 
// – 17k

Luke 18:10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee 

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 
One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 
// – 16k

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I 

The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not
like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector 
// – 17k

Luke 7:39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said 

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man
were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is 
// – 18k

Matthew 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup 

….. Blind Pharisee! First  You blind Pharisee! First 
// – 16k

Luke 7:37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town 

When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating
at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume 
// – 17k

Luke 11:38 But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first 

But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised. 
// – 16k

Luke 11:37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited 

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat
with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 
// – 16k

Luke 7:36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner 

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he
went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 
// – 16k

Luke 14:1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a 

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent
Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 
// – 16k

Acts 23:6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and 

Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called
out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee 
// – 18k

Philippians 3:5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of 

circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee 
// – 17k

Acts 26:5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if 

They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according
to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee
// – 17k

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a 

A 19th century depiction of Galileo before the...

A 19th century depiction of Galileo before the Holy Office, by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish council. 
// – 15k

Luke 18:14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went 

 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. 
// – 17k

Mark 2:16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him 

 But when the Scribes of the Pharisee sect saw Him eating with the sinners and the
tax-gatherers, they said to His disciples, “He is eating and drinking with 
// – 17k

John 7:48 “Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in 

 Has any ruler or any Pharisee believed in him? 
// – 15k

Luke 7:40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you 

 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have
something to say to you.” “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. 
// – 16k

the spirit of agonizing conflict and the spirit of holiness

March 25, 2012
Many agonize over what is right vs what is wrong, what is good vs what is evil, or what is the truth vs what is imprecise (which has been one of my favorites). That pattern of linguistic model is the basis of all political campaigns and conflicts: at least two sides oppose each other by asserting that (at least) two conflicting proposals are “the best, the only right one,” then they have wars or elections or whatever to “resolve” the issue.
It is like pressing your two hands together with great force, like so that they tremble, rather than just resting them with palms barely touching. It produces a big caloric expenditure, but very little productive activity. It just exhausts energy. That is my metaphor for much of politics.
Of course, I am oversimplifying in that huge decreases in population can result from those conflicting expenditures of energy (as in through war). Also, major technological advances can come from the friction of the two opposing forces of military-industrial complexity, kind of like rubbing sticks together with great friction can produce a spark and light a fire.
So, agonizing can be internal, with a lot of energy and time and perhaps reading and conversation and so on. Or, agonizing can be interpersonal, with lots of debating and arguing and shouting and perhaps laughing and “make-up sex” (having sex right after having a big dramatic argument and nearly “breaking up”). Or, agonizing can be “social,” as in political conflicts and wars and organizing demonstrations and strikes to promote the interests of the union employees or nursing home residents or public schools and so on.
That is more broadly termed “conflict.” I am calling it “agonizing” because I am focusing most particularly (below) on the internal or private or INTRApersonal context of conflict.
That can manifest in language patterns like “what is the right job for me? Is this the right relationship? What political party is best? Which candidate is the right one for “2012 best actress in a comedy?” Which religious tradition is the most true? How am I going to fix humanity so that there will no longer be any conflict, at least not in the Northern half of the state of Arizona, which is obviously the region of geography on this planet which is the most important to God Almighty, as evidenced by her clear specification of that region in the holy Book of Mormon? Which words are evil and which are good? Omigod, did I just say something wrong? What thing that I said was the wrong thing to say?”
In the programs of Landmark Education, that particular portion of the realm of language is called the “already always listening.” It has been labeled in many ways in the last few thousand years, with ancient terms like Dhukka (suffering) and Gehenna (Hell) being among the terms used for referencing it. Here is a reference from the New Testament, with the “tongue” being used to reference the process of language and speaking and so on:
“…Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James 3:5-6

“It’s not what goes into your mouth that corrupts you; you are corrupted by the words that come out of your mouth…. The words you speak come from the heart—that’s what corrupts you” Matthew 15:11,18
Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus

Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus taught that the spirit of divisiveness (the spirit of accusation, of the adversary or of the devil) is a very distinct pattern of spirit from “The Holy Spirit” or the Spirit of God. Jesus repeatedly rebuked people for “being self-righteous,” calling those people hypocrites and “children of the devil.”

43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies…. 47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” 
John 8:43, 44,& 47
Ironically, the translation there above (“NIV“) is only so clear, perhaps because the translator(s) were not precisely clear about the point being made. The point is that anyone who “belongs” to the Spirit of God or is fluent in that kind of language will understand the words of anyone else who is speaking in that kind of language. However, just like anyone who is deaf cannot make sense out of the sounds of someone speaking English, anyone who is “possessed” by the spirit of opposition cannot comprehend the language of the spirit of holiness or wholeness or non-dualism (“advaita”).
The translator wrote “because you are unable to hear what I say.” This is not a reference to the lack of the capacity to literally hear the sounds, like the wind was too loud in the background or something like that. Clearly, what Jesus was referencing is something about those listeners in regard to their personal development or intelligence, which Jesus contrasts many times with another possibility (the capacity to comprehend the messages from the Holy Spirit)- even something that could eventually be possible for people for whom it is not currently possible.
When people made reference to things like waiting for the messages of the Holy Spirit to begin to be transmitted (like waiting for a TV program or radio program to being broadcasting, Jesus corrected their misunderstanding:
20One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”

Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs.d 21You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.e

Luke 17:20-21
Again, we have a case in which different translators have rendered this passage in to English in distinct ways. Consider the following version from the Aramaic Bible in Plain English:

20And when some of the Pharisees asked Yeshua, “When is the Kingdom of God coming”, he answered and he said to them, “The Kingdom of God does not come with what is observed.” 21“Neither do they say, ‘Behold, here it is!’ and ‘Behold, from here to there!’, for behold, the Kingdom of God is within some of you.”
Those translators were not translating Greek translations in to English, but apparently were translating the original statements in the Aramaic language (the one actually spoken by Jesus) directly in to English. As I skim through a few dozens translations of that verse in to English, only this one says something exclusive like “within SOME of you.” All of the other translations leave out the reference to an exclusive subcategory of people who have the capacity to recognize something that other people would not recognize. Incidentally, I never had seen the Aramaic translation of that verse until moments ago, but that translation is the only one consistent with my direct personal experience, or one could say the one that is most consistent.
John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, for people who do not have any direct personal experience that they associate with these words, they might be interested in the secondary authority of translations and proclamations from a particular church hierarchy and so on. For those who know through the authority of direct experience, any form of secondary authority may be of no relevance to them.
21And when they entered Kapernahum, at once he taught in their synagogue on the Sabbath. 22And they were dumbfounded at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one having authority and not like their Scribes. 23And in their synagogue there was a man who had a vile spirit in him, and he cried out 24And he said, “What business do we have with you, Yeshua the Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, The Holy One of God.” 25And Yeshua rebuked him and said, “Shut your mouth and come out of him.” 26And the foul spirit threw him down and he cried out in a loud voice and came out of him. 27And all of them marveled and they were inquiring with one another, saying, “What is this?”, and “What is this new teaching? For he commands even the foul spirits with authority and they obey him.” 28And at once his fame went out in the whole region of Galilee.
Mark 1:21-28
Above, some poetic metaphors were translated in to English in phrases like the foul spirit, the vile spirit, the evil spirit, teh demonic spirit, the spirit of the devil, the split spirit or the broken spirit. In Greek, the wording might be “skhizein (σχίζειν, “to split”) and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-; “mind”).” The Greek roots together mean a split mind or dualistic mind, a broken heart, a spirit of opposition, or even a suppressed breathing or respiration. In 1912, one century ago, a new English word was created from those two Greek roots which could be used in future translations of ancient spiritual texts about personal development and “human potential:”


1912, from Mod.L., lit. “a splitting of the mind,” from Ger. Schizophrenie, coined in 1910 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), from Gk. skhizein “to split” (see shed (v.)) + phren (gen. phrenos) “diaphragm, heart, mind,” of unknown origin.
However, there is a connotation to the modern term “schizophrenia” as a category for a rather exceptional or unusual condition, like only a small percentage of people are labeled diagnostically as schizophrenic. Note that what Jesus (and Buddha and Isaiah and so on) were referencing was a widespread typical condition within an entire society. Within any culture, only a rather select group of folks “awakened” from that general social norm of “unenlightened language” or “unawakened consciousness.” The Holy Spirit is available to all, and while many people may talk about it or “give lip service to it,” it may be rather rare that one “possesses” it, rather than being “possessed” by an ego or a “psychological shadow” or a “split persona.”
Jesus said: 6 “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites,” He [Jesus] replied; “as it is written, “‘This People honour Me with their lips, while their hearts are far away from Me: [and they do not know me or belong to me]

7 But idle [vain, worthless] is their devotion  [worship, reverence, faith]  while they lay down precepts which are mere human rules.’

8 “You neglect God’s Commandment: you hold fast to men’s traditions.”

Mark 7:6-8
Well, there is another interesting inconsistency in Bible translations that I never noticed until just now. Skimming through a couple dozen translations of Mark 7:8, I see that only 3 refer to the commandments or commands of God (plural rather than singular). All of the rest refer to the command of God or commandment of God, as in the authority of God.
People may neglect the actual functional authority in favor of symbols of authority or labels of authority. However, claiming a secondary authority (an authority derived from some other source, such that there may be conflicts of authorities) is quite distinct from the exercising of authority as the author or root of all authority.
Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Christus Statue in the North Visitors' Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, in summary, as we mature, we humans naturally notice conflict interpersonally, like two puppies wrestling or two kids fighting over who gets to hold the puppy next and for how long, then next we are exposed to conflict socially, and further as a “higher” or later stage of development, we notice it “internally” or “introspectively” in our own patterns of language. That internal conflict is what I am calling “agonizing,” though others have called it “suffering” or “sin” and “neurosis” and “foul spirit” and “bad attitude” and “negativity” and so on. Whatever it is labeled, it is basically a pattern of “linguistic behavior,” as in neuro-chemical programs or sequences.
It is labeled awakening or enlightenment or the dark night of the soul. “Meditation” and all spiritual rituals are for relaxing the tendency or momentum of internal neuro-chemical “struggle” (like “a tug-a-war” with two teams of people trying to pull a rope in opposite directions).
The name of the Chinese martial art Wu Shu can be translated as “stop fighting.” “Stop resisting” is the key, not “resist resisting,” but just “notice resisting and do nothing other than notice it.”
In fact, even “resisting” implies two opposing forces, so we could say “stop pushing” or “notice pushing yet do nothing other than notice it.” Again, though, that focuses attention on pushing and isn’t focusing already a subtle pushing? Soon, along comes a Jnani Guru like Jesus Christ who says something like “Who am I? Well, who are you? Notice who you are! Be still and know God, the Supreme being, the presence I am. Before Abraham was, I am.”
That kind of communication can interrupt “doing” and “noticing” and “stopping.” That patterning of attention can produce a deep relaxing, often followed by laughing or weeping.
So, there is language for agonizing and for arguing over what is true and for gathering together congregations and armies to oppose others in the war to end all conflict and negativity. That is all the expression of the hypocritical spirit of the divided one, the dualistic, the self-righteous, the devil.
Further, there is language for influence. In fact, even language to forbid reverse psychology is still language for influence. Prohibitions against dualistic language are the black magic at the core of all religious traditions.
“Beware of prohibitions and reverse psychology. They are strictly forbidden.” 
In particular, you will experience eternal torment and agony and hell if you practice the behavior of agonizing. You will be cast out of paradise and heaven if you argue against the authority of the Holy Spirit. It is the worst of all possible sins.
Here ends the Gospel of Santa. Here begins the experience of the absence of language, even if only for the briefest of eternities.

the way of heaven: cease blame and forgive your own condemnation

March 23, 2012

originally titled: “to heaven from… blame”

I question the presumption that there is anything wrong with the world, or any need to save it from anything. I borrow that idea from a fellow named Jesus, who is translated to have said: “I come not to judge the world, but to bring forgiveness to the world.” I am paraphrasing actually, but the verbatim saying is “not to judge the world, but to take away the sin of the world.”

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus' description of himself "I am the Good Shepherd" (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: "To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In churches, I was taught that Jesus takes away the sins of the world. He said sin, though, not sins (at least that is how it is translated in the actual printed Bibles even if multitudes of Christians misquote the translation written on the pages of their Bibles). Also, Jesus was not talking about sin the way that others were- like the pharisees who wished to stone a woman to death who was accused of being a criminal (prostitution was a capital crime) and so on.

Jesus did not judge her or even direct her to “do penance” to compensate and earn her way back to heaven. He simply did not accuse her and invited her accusers to repent, which they did. He took away the accusation of the world. He saved the world from… accusations!

Jesus also did not direct her accusers to do penance either. He had no judgment against them from the beginning. He just said things like “well, alas, they do not even know what they are doing” and “remove the barrier from your own sight, not from the sight of another.”

Sin is not just partly “in the eye of the beholder.” Sin is a way of looking. Sin is ONLY in the eye of the beholder. Looking out and seeing sin, that is sin. (Looking in and seeing sin is guilt, but heaven is the way of being in which there is simply no blame, no accusation, no judgment against evil or for good, no need to forgive for there is no condemnation.)

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invite you to consider a distinction to which I was introduced by Jiddu Krishnamurti: religion itself is not the problem. Religions, however- or at least certain human operations that go by the names of religions- sometimes seem to have a distinct absence of religion in their religions.

“…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Shakespeare (spoken by the character Hamlet).

Good and evil of this world of duality are unreal,
are spoken of by words, and exist only in the mind.”
– Bhagavatam, XI, ch. XXII.

John 8:15 “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.” (Jesus speaking to the orthodox religious leaders)

The one who judges other seeks to glorify (vindicate) himself. (See John 8:50)

First Published on: Dec 6, 2009

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practical spirituality 101 – forgiveness & the introspective noticing of the arrogant pride of condemning reality

March 1, 2012





[Note in 2013: In this old article, I used the term “proud” and “pride” not as a term for gratitude (as I do more recently), but closer to how I now use the term “arrogance,” as in a form of self-conscious, terrified, angry envy.]



What have I been proud of condemning?

It is possible to discontinue any momentum of condemning anything. Such a possibility can involve a long series of recognitions of my own acts of condemning.

I have condemned governments for governing. I have condemned liars for lying. Further, I have also lied (and governed).

So, I could give a long list of things that I have condemned, at least a few of which I have also done. Making a list may be useful. However, I am thinking not so much of making a comprehensive list as of keeping the general question in mind, like with the expectation that I might in the future condemn something (proudly) without that behavior really working for me practically. I’d like to have the question available in case it is ever in the future useful to explore that inquiry: “what have I been proudly condemning?” If I were to experience distress, I might ask, “what have I been proudly condemning?”

Here is how I got to that question, which I “just made up.” I trust that you may find the following also useful.

Last night, I had been talking with someone about the term “heaven.” I had mentioned heaven as an eternally available “realm” (or “kingdom” or “world”) of experience. In a song of mine, which I could also share with you (from Youtube), I distinguish that heaven is a realm in which “all sins are already forgiven,” that is, in which one does not experience blame or guilt, but such things as peace.

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Not practicing blame is perhaps under-emphasized in many churches. However, Jesus preached forgiveness with particular emphasis (as in these verses of Luke 17).

“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ [then] forgive him.”

He went on to add, a few verses later:

20Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

So, how is forgiving others related to “the kingdom of god” or “the kingdom of heaven?” Isn’t it?

Other famous sayings of Jesus include “condemn not” and “resist not evil” and “turn away from evil” and “I did not to come to judge the world” and (paraphrasing) “if you perceive sin in another, remove the obstacle to your own perception first, rather than focusing on removing or fixing the misperception of another,” which is popularly translated like this:

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Given that many of the sayings of Jesus are parables, but with commentaries and summaries, like “condemn not,” we can learn from the examples in the parables about the meaning of the words translated into English in the summaries and commentaries. When Jesus says condemn not, he also says “rebuke sins, but forgive those who repent,” and perhaps all three statements go together.

In “baby talk,” condemn simply means to stay mad or “upset” (and, generally, to say so). It is related to hate and contempt and shaming and pride. I have condemned or hated many things, many people, and many actions. (There is the background of the question “what have I proudly condemned?”) Condemning and hate are related to fear.

So, Jesus rebuked condemning. He criticized it in the sense of pointing it out and calling attention to it as a behavior and behavioral habit.

English: Jesus disputes with the Pharisees. Fr...

Image via Wikipedia

20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law [the mainstream religious leaders of Jesus’ time], you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

21“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,a and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherb will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘[scoundrel],c’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Again, that is Jesus rebuking condemning (rebuking the sin of condemning). So, we could say that condemning is sinful. Condemning is certainly a distressing experience- like resenting- which can be a “persistent complaint,” and thus a behavior that we might be grateful to complete and do no more.

Jonah 4:4

4Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

(i.e. “So, how is that working for you?”)

What many people, even who call themselves Christians, may not understand is how Jesus connected condemning to vanity or pride. We may condemn others to glorify ourselves (by comparison). We may even resent others to justify our own ongoing suffering. That could be called folly/foolishness/silly/sin.

So, condemning and resenting (and justifying those behaviors) could all be sinful. For example, “I know how my sister/mother/son/boss is, so that is why our relationship sucks and they really need to do the Landmark Forum to fix them so that they can be more like me, going on and on about how the quality of their relationships (or lack thereof)  is justified by the shortcomings of the other people.” That is what I mean by pride.

Condemning someone for their shortcomings implies pride, like justification. You may have said things like that and I might have too and we might have a lot of company.

Now, one can rebuke the “sin” (ineffective behavior) of another without any antagonism or pride. One just distinguishes the pattern of behavior, including a questioning of the effectiveness of that pattern (questioning the products of that behavioral pattern).

Remember: “be humble as an innocent child, condemn not, rebuke sin, and forgive those who repent.” I just now added that first one to the sequence, and here is a saying of Jesus about it. Note that being humble is related to what I was saying about pride before.

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus did not teach that the humble one WILL BE the greatest in heaven, but IS. When is heaven? (Hint: it’s eternal, right, so when is it?) Also, where is the kingdom of heaven/of God (at least according to Jesus)? Again, he said not to look for it coming from “out there,” for it is “within!”

So, there is the teaching of Jesus, and I do not know how many churches teach it or how well, but many churches may emphasize other things. He simply and clearly instructed his followers to be humble, to discontinue the practice of condemning and antagonism, to rebuke sin, and to forgive those who repent. Let’s review the last one as our concluding step.

Here is someone else’s commentary on repenting:

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Repentance is more than a sorrow for sin; it is a determination to abandon it and live a new life. It means a change of heart, of the will, new purposes, a determination to leave off sinning. Sorrow is not repentance, but godly sorrow worketh repentance (2Co 7:10).

So, repentance is not to be confused with guilt or shame. However, repentance could be related to a brand new context for language and behavior, a new declaration, one that might even redeem or re-frame the past.

The new declaration could be “I have been condemning you for ______, and I now recognize it and I am open to new results and new ways of interacting.” Beyond just “opening one’s heart,” there can even be a commitment or promise.

However, many people, including Landmark Education graduates, may think of making a new commitment as a “fix.” A fix implies that something was or ever could be “fundamentally wrong,” like making one’s self wrong for condemning. That indicates to me an absence of repenting!

Repenting is not turning condemnation from someone else toward one’s self. Repenting is turning away from condemning itself, turning away from the whole realm of shaming and justifying and self-glorifying (pride).

Repenting is not “I was wrong and you were right and thank you so much for enduring a horrible person like me.” Repenting is more like this: “I acknowledge that what I have been doing has not been working lately, at least not for me- and has not been fulfilling my own inspirations.” Repenting thus does not require saying anything to anyone, but that may be relevant often.

What to me indicates repenting is the giving of a blessing. If I previously condemned someone (silently or verbally) and then I can bless them- like simply acknowledging them, like even for enduring my antagonistic condemnations- that could create a new pattern of relationship right there.

That is not a promise of a future new way of interacting, but a new way of action now. It could include an expression of gratitude or a compliment or anything else inspired. Again, it may not even be communicated to them, though that is again often relevant.

Jean Béraud The Magdalen at the House of the P...

Image via Wikipedia

Repenting may not be based on a particular model. It’s not just “filling in the blank” of a statement: “I was a jerk by ____. Now I create _______.”

Is that authentic? It could be. However, what matters most may not be the content, but the spirit. “I have been proudly condemning ________.” That itself can be enough.

One simple thing that Landmark Education has not emphasized (to my knowledge) is that model: “I have been proudly condemning _______.” That is perhaps too simple of an access to freedom and power for a commercial operation to publicize: “what have you been proudly condemning?”

Would people think “oh, now I have THE secret” and yet still keep coming back and paying to take more programs? (Of course, if it keeps fulfilling on what is valuable to them, why not?)
To review: “be humble as an innocent child, condemn not, rebuke sin, and forgive those who repent.” Jesus also taught: bless even those who curse you and call you their enemy. He was a radical, a revolutionary.

He emphasized the foundations of questions like “what have you been proud of condemning?” In other words, he set a foundation of what works (a very practical spirituality).

As a final comment, note that I am not saying to maintain a relationship that does not work for you. To stop reacting to someone with condemnation may involve being compassionate with one’s self (and the other/others) by withdrawing. If something does not work for you, why pretend that it does?

Just as we can ask, as an access to fulfillment and inspiration, “what have I been proudly condemning,” we can reverse part of the question: “what have I been proudly glorifying?” In other words, what have I been pretending is working well, perhaps just to seem good enough to “earn my way into a future heaven?”

What have I been struggling to fix, like because I pretend that it SHOULD be working better than it actually does? Condemning is just an act of repulsion (causing two things to move apart), but with an attachment lingering! Condemning is not simply moving back or pushing something away, either of which can work well, but it’s a form of suffering.

Idolizing (idealizing, glorifying something PROUDLY) can also be an expression of suffering (or cause of suffering). When I glorify something proudly, it could actually be a naive attempt to associate myself with something, perhaps something that I pretend is working better than it does.  Pretending without knowing it… is naivete, foolishness, folly, ineffective, sinful. 

published July 15, 2010

posted 3/1/2012

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Image via Wikipedia

the shaming animosity of “my god can beat up your god”

March 1, 2012

<note that this video has some spontaneous extra comments beyond the text below. This video is FUN!>

Ah yes, the holy scriptures of some ancient religious tradition– translated, second-hand or third-hand words to discuss. How about these most ancient of prayers: “God, most Christians are so freaking blind- don’t you agree with me, God?” or “God, my sister just does not understand me and how holy I am, and she really should and it’s just so frustrating- don’t you agree with me, God?”

I call that the experience of isolation and condemnation, that is, accusation, which is the “spirit of the divisive one, the devil.” One might notice the repenting from such “sin” and the peace of such repenting.  One may have been trying to get God (or even particular other people) to take their side in some more or less imaginary antagonistic drama. “God, most people do not even recognize the importance of religion, and how proud I am of all the humility I have developed by serving others through forwarding political satires on facebook- don’t you agree with me, God?” “God, did you notice how unenlightened that person’s language is- it’s so negative- how can they even live with themselves- don’t you agree with me, God?”

The isolating and condemning is the worship of a distant God, one that is not within all forms, forming all expressions of God. That is idolatry. That is implying “oh, those Fundamentalists do not have as much God as I do” or “that person is not created in God’s image as much as I am.” That is vanity.

It’s cool, though. Everyone makes “mistakes.” We didn’t even know what we were doing.

We were isolating and condemning God with our language, and it can be a relief to get that- it was just some mistranslation in the language, like a slight confusion between two similar-sounding words when learning to understand a British dialect or idiom, or maybe some little typing error in the software code. It’s kind of funny- not heavy like “this is very important!” – just peaceful.

“Oh, now I see the issue! God, don’t I agree with you? Didn’t I repent of making an enemy out of you? Well, if I was going to blame someone and make myself out to be the big victim of the devil, you were the obvious one to make into a devil, God, because the Lord our God is ONE.”

It’s not that after I forgive someone else of their horrible sin because I am such a holy person, then God forgives me because I earned it. It’s that when I repent of my condemnation, condemnation is revealed as a figment of language, a sign of mental illwillness, madness, temporary insanity, an innocent, instinctual tantrum.

God does not love me more suddenly because I just forgave someone even though they are evil and ugly and stupid and mean and antagonistic and egotistical (like I’ve been?). What shifts is that I receive God’s love as I let it flow through me to the other forms of the single God.

By the way, materialism is totally a non-issue. Materialism is not holy and anti-materialism is not any more holy than materialism, even if anti-materialism is even more vain.

“I know the right way. Your way is wrong. I’m better than you!”

That is the divided antagonistic vanity typical of a developmental advancement of about two years old- which is way more intelligent than eighteen months old, right? Apparently, that developmental stage can take a while to “master,” though, and however long it takes is just however long it takes….

“You’re mean and rude and hypocritical and- gasp- a materialist. You deserve to be punished. I have utterly no compassion for people like you. Plus, your mama is a whore for the mafia. By the way, do you like me?”

It all comes down to attracting attention. Or, hey, maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about…. The bottom line is that my God can beat up your God. 😉

<note: the link on this lower image shows up as “broken,” but then works when I click it. It depicts a nude women being tortured during the Spanish Inquisition, with a seated man taking notes and another man pouring some colored liquid into a funnel that he appears to have forced into her mouth.>

published:  April 12, 2010

relocated as a page: February 29, 2012

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