Thursday, January 1, 2009

religion and Spirit

(disclaimer: a "wellness" website simply cannot duck the topic of "Spirit")

religion and Spirit are, uh... different.

Spirit can be (loosely) defined as the Unseen All. it's the pre-manifest Source (the One, the Is, the Omni, Union, Wholeness, etc.). ..some people think of It as Love, with a Capital "L."

i like the idea of "It's All G∞d."

Spirit's tendency (if you will) is toward Unity (Love, understanding, cooperation, togetherness, caring, etc.).

religion is (most often) a man-made explanation of Spirit.

man-made religions usually come complete with man-made rules and regulations, and usually include something/someone to worship (usually a paternal or maternal figure who acts in very, very mysterious ways).

man-made religions are usually governed by gods (be it the god of the sun, the goddess of the ocean, or a white-bearded white-man in the sky), and the man-made gods tend to act a lot like men. ..they judge, they punish/reward, they get angry if you don't do what they want you to do, and (boy) do they get even.

sometimes these man-made gods save, sometimes they kill, and sometimes they condemn you to death or (worse yet) an eternity in hell. ..in a hurricane, for example, some are saved, while others are allowed to perish. ..in everyday life, some receive miraculous healing (from cancer, car wrecks, etc.) while others (innocent amputees, for example) never, ever receive the minor miracle of growing the amputated limb back. ..do man-made gods and angels simply not favor innocent amputees (or innocent starving children, for that matter)?

of course, man-made religions will always have some off-the-wall, man-made explanation to account for the obvious disparity in treatment. ..absent a reasonable answer, man-made religions will invariably resort to the "faith" card, which guilts you into thinking that you'll be punished if you don't have blind faith. ..imagine a used car dealer, trying that one on you:

 "don't test drive it, don't question me, don't even think about it...
just buy it. 
you've got to have faith."

religions (on earth) have accounted for an incomprehensible amount of pain, suffering, war, murder, suppression, etc. ..all of this, of course, is done in the name of the god de jour (how vain), as men justify manly behaviors (e.g. dominion over the plants and animals) based upon books and scriptures that were written, edited and interpreted by (uhhhh, you guessed it...) other men.

questions to ask self:
how do man-made religions benefit the men who make the rules?
is there power in getting the populace to fear god?
is populace control not easier, when the masses fear repercussion?

it is fairly easy to identify the man-made vs. the Is.

"man-made" religions tend toward separation. "i'm separate from you," and "we are separate from them," and "matter is separate from Spirit." ..man-made religions usually produce a man-made textbook that governs "what to do," and/or "how to be" if one wants to please the man-made deity. ..in most cases, the idea is to "do what's right" and get rewarded, otherwise (if your beliefs/behavior lie outside of a religion's scope), you get punished.

sometimes, the punishment is downright hellacious!

sidenote: interestingly enough, some who blindly follow man-made religions tend to behave a lot like the man-made gods that they have created in their own image. ..if you don't believe what they believe, if you don't "do" what they think is "right" ...two things happen:

a. the "holier-than-thou" get angry, and
b. you ...get punished.
(very, verrrrrry interesting...)

the mantra: "we (the right) are separate from you (the wrong), and therefore ...you lose."
man uses similar stories (e.g. stanta claus, the tooth fairy, the easter bunny) as a means to control children. ..usually, an "all-seeing" entity is watching you, so "you'd better be good -- or else." ..hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

anywaaaaaay...

Spirit is quite a bit harder to analyze, but is fairly easy to Connect with because It is In-side. ..It is Absolute, therefore (of course) it's i'mpossible to describe. ..It is often paradoxical, embracing a co-existence of Oneness and duality. ..It is withIn, not separate. ..It is Unconditional.
oh well, maybe It just Is.

Spirit is the base component of mind/body/Spirit (Wellness). ..it makes sense that, if one wants to experience High-Level Wellness, the experience of Spirit is innate.

if man-made religions are like noisy televangelism, well, Spirit is Quiet and Calm.
if man-made religions are separating, well, Spirit is Unifying.
if man-made religions spout man-made rules and man-made moral judgment, well, Spirit Accepts.
if man-made religions spew hate and fighting, well, Spirit Loves.
if man-made religions supress, well, Spirit Expresses.

...and on and on...

conundrum (and there's all-ways a conundrum):

if Spirit is All, then religion must be a part of that.
how can such different things be One?

maybe it helps to look at it as a continuum of tendencies, instead of black/white differences. when we can see tendencies, it beomes clear which direction/path we are tending toward.

dark ........................................light
ego/separation --------------------------- Unity
i ......................................................I Am
many ---------------------------------- One
material/matter .............................................No-thing
fear/anger/hate ------------------------------ Love
etc. ........................................................etc.
             man-made ----------------------- "Made" (Created) man

but there's more to this story.

at this (earth-bound) level, we have the illusion of sunset and sunrise (dark and light).

we know that (at Higher Levels), the sun isn't "rising and setting." ..sunrise and sunset are One. ..terms like left/right, up/down, democrat/republican, day/night, we/they, matter/energy, etc./etc. fade away as we embrace a larger Perspective.

who knows? ..maybe man-made religion and Spirit (at a Higher Level) aren't so different (after All). ..after All, religions have Allso accounted for a lot of Good on this small planet.

maybe one -- is a-part of the other One.

huh?
-the beginning :)
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future titles:

  • i'llusion
  • i'mpossible
  • "making the scene" vs. "Making the seen"
  • YOUga, yoUga, yUga -- "yoga with a capital YOU"
  • "aye, Be, See" is an Alpha bet
  • "ego" stands for "edging God out"
click on the purple links (below) for past posts with a twist of Wholeness:

matter = Light

vibrations on the plane

harmony

full circle
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* inspired (in part) by the unfortunate experience of waking up on a sunday morning in a hotel, with access to television. ..needless to say, that t.v. thing channeled several very noisy men who were making very interesting claims about very separate gods who seemed to behave a lot like the ego-ic men who created them, in the image of man.

* also inspired by attending a college football game, where apparent opposites were (obviously) One.

  • "we vs. they" was a crowd.
  • "dawgs vs. tigers" was a game.
  • "offense vs. defence" was a play.
  • "man and woman" was a relationship.
  • "red/black vs. purple/yellow" was colorful.
  • "oppositical races, religions, skin colors, ethnicities" was a team.
  • "north and south" was a field.
  • "potatoes and sausage and corn and shrimp, etc." was a low-county boil.
  • "sunrise and sunset" was the sun.

3 comments:

  1. of Course, it could Be that Spirit's incarnation into matter-i-all allows It to momentarilly for-get that It's All A Play, so that wIe can then "get lost in our roles" as we re-Turn, like salmon in the stream, to the Source that wIe were never separate from, in the First (no)place.

    we "do" this in pseudo-space, over a period of nano-time in the Here and Now, which means that "doing" is the i-llusion and "Be-ing All You can Be" is more of an Is (rather than a goal).

    huh?

    if i could color the text in this comment, it might make more sense (which, of Course, is non-sense).

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. howdy, jules!

    ahhhhhhhh.... "perfect sense" would be a GREAT title for a thoem.

    earlier today, it came to me that, if religion and Spirit weren't different (here), then there'd be no reason to have a "Spiritual, but not religious" category on every profile page of every social website.

    interestingly enough, cultural norms often lag far behind actual practices (where humans are concerned), and many of us tend to label ourselves right in there with social constructs that were created long, long ago.

    i (for one) am glad to play in a field where people can be open-minded, expressive, curious and exploratory.

    wellness is the hope of health care!

    :)
    len

    ReplyDelete