"Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken or rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of all, then accept it, and live up to it."
These are not only, I believe, some of the wisest and most insightful words ever spoken, they are also very challenging.
What do we really "know?" vs what we claim to 'believe?' Many teachers have pointed out the difference between believing and knowing. Generally, we are taught what we 'believe.' We adopted the beliefs of authority figures during childhood. We were also taught to listen to and trust those 'who know better' ...or 'who know more than we do.' Often, when we were told "Think for yourself" it usually meant choosing those beliefs we have accepted from others that were "right"... even though they may not have been 'proven' within the scope of our own personal experience.
There are times when things seem "to work out" even though we might not have chosen what we truly wanted to do...but the admiration and approval we get from others seems to compensate us and 'make up' for it. Thus, it reinforces those beliefs that we never question or challenge -- and we continue to go along with what is expected of us.
To not do what others have taught us is 'the only right way' -- might result in disaster, punishment, failure, loss of our standing or reputation in the community, loss of others praise and recognition which might result in isolation, shunning, criticism, etc etc etc. So, we play by 'the rules' that no one dares question or we get kicked out of the game...or at least become assigned to being a permanent bench warmer... :)
So we stay well within the confines of our little Community box, Church box, Social box, Accepted Customary box, etc etc etc...and convince ourselves we are "Safe and Just Fine." We don't make waves and are therefore recognized as a "respected member of our family, groups, or community." We've decided it's always better to play it safe.
If and when you feel like it ... take a break, sit quietly and comtemplate: "What is it that I really and truly DO KNOW of my own accord... that really works for ME...What are the beliefs I feel very deeply is My Own Truth. What is it that gives me a really good feeling about life itself when I follow my OWN instincts and intuition -- that sense of knowing that helps me to realize that I am, indeed, not only connected to--but a part of Source, God, the Creator, the Universe?"
In sifting through your own beliefs about your role in this life, you might find a few ideas that others do not approve of. And that's OK. We must be willing to look inwardly and see the truth of how we feel when we cave in to "what others think" and admit that 'going along with crowd' makes us feel that we are somehow cheating ourselves.
It is amazing how we can be so overwhelmed by: 'others will be upset with me if I DO...or DON'T do what they expect.'
Doing what we KNOW is best for us makes us feel like we are honoring ourselves. This does not have to result in arguing, confrontation, or hurting others. SILENCE can be very powerful. We don't have to "fight for the right" to honor ourselves. We can still be loving and allowing of others ideas. If someone is pitching a fit...or perhaps just becoming quietly sullen or pouty because you are not doing what THEY want you to do...you truly need to realize: that is THEIR problem...Not yours.
Buddha is not advocating becoming a maverick, a rebel, or a dissenter and announce to others: "your ideas are wrong!'... Not at all. After all, what you resist--persists. (good thing to keep in mind!:) He is saying to use our OWN minds, observe through our OWN experiences what we know works the best us. Experience IS the best teacher. Not always the easiest taskmaster... but the one it is best to learn from. We seldom learn or profit from the so called mistakes or experience of others.
Some of the wisest teachers in the world, which includes Buddha, have all said the same thing... Follow what you KNOW works the best for you. This applies to everything we encounter. Throw away the books and the lectures and stop continuoulsy looking to 'the outside' for all the answers. It is all within us. We are not separate from-- but part of --the Divine. The best teachers trigger the knowing that is already within us. We cannot keep permitting 'fear of retribution if I don't do it this way or think it this way' to continue to rule our minds. For if we do, it truly is forsaking the God, the Real You, Your Higher Self (etc) that dwells within each and every one of us.
The Knowing I am speaking of has precious little to do with facts, statistics, or other data. This kind of Knowing is not something one can 'prove' to others. This Inner Knowing is a deeply inlaid part of us through which our Soul communicates with us. When we feel this kind of Knowing --we KNOW this is something we need to act upon, express, or follow through on. It is our Truth. Perhaps it will require a brave change from what one "should" -- or is expected to do. It might call forth quite a bit of courage, but we always carry within us untapped resources of courage. We simply need to use it.
We know we can find the courage to be the only one in the room with our convictions and speak them...perhaps not the ones we were 'taught to believe' ...but the ones that have been within the scope of our own experience...as Buddha would say.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the American poet / author: ee cummings.
This is what he said: "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make you into everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
Basically Shakespeare said the same thing: "Above all else, to thine own self be true; for it follows as surely as day follows night, that thou canst not then be false to any man."
Seth once told us: "Once you learn to accept yourself for who you are, it's amazing how much easier it becomes to accept others for who they are."
Namaste', dear friends.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
"There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war except its ending."
No truer words have ever been spoken. Its easy enough to agree with this...it's another thing to observe the beliefs and mindsets of far too many people who DO believe in war. They may say "It's not that we want to go to war...it's just that we have to ... it's a necessary evil...we have to 'protect' ourselves, democracy, and our country. And besides...we have to do it because "God" wants us to. We have to go kill the 'bad guys' because its our 'duty' to 'serve our country." Like children: "I can't help it...he started it...he made me do it. It's not MY fault"....
I have no doubt some may read this and think my views totally 'unrealistic.' Others who might think: "our brave soldiers are dying so YOU can say those horrible things."... the ultimate guilt tripper....so absurd.
War is pure insanity. ALL wars. People can soooo easily be misled to think otherwise, however. So many had accepted the fantasy-like 'glory of war'...(as portrayed in the movies out of the 40's and 50's)...which remained an embedded core belief;... Others swung to the opposite side of the spectrum, which says: Don't question, don't ask...just do, think, and believe what you trsf snf are told. Drown yourself in the typical American technological "me" lifestyle of The Walking Dead. Who cares. Whatever. Not my problem. We don't have to grow up and expand our minds.
There is no way I can say this 'in a nice, palatable way'... but I hope you will believe me when I say I am NOT meaning to judge anyone who has gone to war and killed people. I echo and truly believe the words of Jesus who said "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." The military establishment brain washes minds...that is its JOB. It turns ordinarily kind, nice, reasonable people into trained killers who have NO conscience left and are able to kill men, women, children, babies...rape, pillage, mock...destroy everything in sight..and hopefully come away thinking they have "served God and country" or other such adages of equal idiocy. Those who could return home sane were fortunate.
Some of you know what I am talking about when I say "all wars are religious wars." .... And Christians and Islamics are equally suited sparring partners when it comes to saying "God is on OUR side." However, historically, Christians pull out waaaaay ahead in the contest of who has killed more people all over the world--in the name of serving god.
Ironic how this little media story about the Ft Hood shrink going bonkers just at a 'good time' when people seemed unusually restless about Why in the HELL are we in Iraq and Afghanistan??!!... Oh yeah...that's right...almost forgot:...we have to 'fight those terrorists.' Duh....I'll leave that be...with a famous quote from Pogo: "We have met the enemy and they are us."
I believe people join the military for various reasons... some of which may be well intended but in the end, are seldom justified. The miliary offers 'security' (boy what an oxymoron!) a paycheck, health benefits, housing, promise of education, etc etc etc...and sugar coats it all with fancy speeches...using words such as 'honor' 'service' 'bravery' 'selflessness,' etc etc etc. To those who are trying to find meaning in their life--it appears as a solution to Instant Recognition and Self-Esteem...so they can think themselves 'worthy.' " Wow! Just think! I can tell people I'm a Marine!...boy, will they give me respect NOW, by gum!" These young men and women, however, are ordinary, normally very decent human beings who are looking for answers to 'what am I going to do...how am I going to make it?'
There are some however, who because of lack of conscience and any kind of human sensitivity..._LIKE_ the idea of KILLING PEOPLE...because they are so desperate for a sense of EMPOWERMENT. Like one big video game!
Seth says in The Nature of Personal Reality: "Violence of any kind results from a state of PowerLESSness." Many philosophers prior...and many after...totally concur with this insight and wisdom.
Others have gone to war because they were drafted and HAD TO...or face jail and the judgment of those who would call them ungrateful cowards...Pretty easy for the Monday morning quarterbacks of war...who basically don't know jackshit about any of it, sitting in the safety of their armchairs.
No one wants to THINK about it very much...we might get "upset." about how the national guard is basically fighting the war 'over there'...and are being deployed 4, 5, or 6 times. God only knows how the results of this hellish scene will play out a few years from now....it will have a ripple effect like no other in history. And to think that Obama wants to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Peronsally, I think and Bush ought to go, too. And Bush can holler "Bring 'em on!"....
How many of you know that over 60% of all the 'crazy' acting homeless on the streets are Viet Nam vets?
Those of you who know about the effects mass consciousness has on society can easily see WHY the soldiers from WWI and WWII had an easier time coming home. I'm not saying 'all' did... Which brings me to a part which may make some readers extremely angry...provided you haven't thrown your computer out the window already! :) We continue to "honor" the vets ...but not without a sense of guilt... because we KNOW inwardly...that all the fancy words and bullcrap spoken is simply to pacify and bandaid the mental wounds the soldiers suffered...and we 'try to make war right.' Except for the sociopathic, schizophrenic type of military who enjoy war and killing... any one who has 'served' has my utmost sympathy... and perhaps I need to be more forgiving to 'those others' ...who show us what we do NOT want to be like. We need contrast to learn from.
During the end of the Viet Nam war, America started in using helicopters to spray psychotropic chemicals onto our battling troops to keep them 'insane' enough, angry enough to keep killing when they could tell the soldiers were losing faith and heart in what they were having to do. US??? Moi? America?? Do you know anything about 'drugs and war?' I'm not talking 'pain relievers.' Naaaaah....couldnt be! We are God's children, for corn's sake!
Funny how we so hate the Muslims for being EXACTLY the same as us...different strokes maybe...but doing the same thing. But wait!!--They kill 'bad like' because they are 'bad'...and we kill 'nice like' because God is on our side. Or like the most idolized killer of all: John Wayne's portrayals: "I hate ta to this to ya, podner, but I gotta kill ya." (Bang. You're dead.) "Sorry Charlie..but ya see 'ah'm RIGHT and you are WRONG.'
An amazing number of Americans STILL think we are "God's best country" and all other countries are the poor, dumb country cousin folk. Which only shows how ignorant many people are about the rest of the world! (How 'bout them Broncos!) Thank god we had a total idiot of a puppet leader seeking out those Weapons of Mass Destruction to help protect us and our primitive cousins, eh? :)... At least quite a few of us are waking up to the fact there is NO basic difference between Republicans and Democrats. It's a set up to keep us divided. But...there will always be the few who continue to play the ostrich. Brains in the sand...showing their asses in the air.
The ONLY reason that wars continue is that the majority of people BELIEVE it has to. I am not sure what Christians think Jesus was talking about when he said: "It is done unto you according to your beliefs.".... but SURELY not stuff such as war! But...heavy sigh...too many Americans are stuck in the belief that "none of it is OUR fault." This is strangely funny: now the Republicans can blame Obama for the wars instead of the Democrats blaming Bush. Unbelievably retarded.
Being engaged in the killng fields of battle turns people into the worst monsters conceivable. Otherwise -- how could they kill? This is true of BOTH sides.
I hope (if you are still reading this) you will take a look at this website which will give you a 'realistic' (which you might not think I possess a sense of...) look at what our ..yes OUR soldiers are doing. It's a wonder ANY of them retain any kind of a sense of sanity and humanity after they return. Many won't.
If ONLY...if ONLY everyone could spend five minutes a day at the same time praying for and visualizing a world at peace...we could transform this entire planet. I believe Love IS stronger than Hate...don't you?
I don't believe you will want any child to see these photos. I would recommend you click on these two--if any... In the first column --the 9th one down-- of the Iraqi war pictures...and a little further down...the DU babies... some victims of Daddy coming home and fathering them when having chemicals in his blood...OUR chemicals that we use. You won't forget the one Pyramid of Bodies...where a man and woman soldier are doing a smiling toast over their 'success.'
I will proably never write a post like this again ... but it was important to me to state my own truth...and be willing to stand up for it...regardless of the amount of criticism leveled at me. I wish we could all stand up to our government and say ENOUGH ALREADY!!