Saturday, 28 February 2015

Within.


The heart gives us depth.

It leads within.

And at the center we find God.


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Friday, 27 February 2015

Depth.


The mind may lead to a higher plain.

Sex may bring us down to earth.

But only the heart gives us depth.


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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Your House.


A person is like a house:

It is cold in the attic.

It is dark in the cellar.

But it is warm by the fire in the hearth.


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Monday, 23 February 2015

Murasaki.


In the 11th century Japanese novel The Tale of Genji the author Lady Murasaki (which means purple) discusses with the ladies of the court their affairs with the princes and courtiers.

One of the characters says that she thinks it is cruel for the ladies to hold out against their suitors.  She says that she takes pity on them and allows them to make love to her.

It seems to me that this is a more enlightened approach than western ideas of moral purity.

Rather than denying sex out of some misplaced sense of spiritual superiority we should manifest compassion like the Lady Murasaki.

Sex is not going away.
It is universal and urgent.

Better to overcome our fear and have pity.

And develop a healthy attitude toward sex.


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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Righteousness.


"He leads me in right paths
   for his name's sake."  Psalm 23:3b (NRSV)

Because of your hypocrisy and the hardness of your hearts He has done this.

God's preference is for compassion.

But you are for judgement and punishment.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ask.


Ask not what your God can do for you.

Ask what you can do for your God.


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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Science and Faith.


Between science and faith

            there is no contradiction.


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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Fear x 2.


As if the fear of sex and homosexuality was not bad enough already, the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Churches has multiplied that fear times two.

Instead of addressing the fear that causes repression of our natural impulses the child abuse scandals have increased the fear of any kind of sex within the Churches.

This resulted in the queer scapegoating statements made by Pope Benedict XVI.
He tried to ban sex altogether out of fear.

The clergy (and their congregations) are now so terrified that someone, let alone a priest or minister, should commit a sexual crime within the Church that any attempt to reform the Churches' sex-phobia seems further away than ever.

This is a great tragedy.

Because what the Churches need is a healthier attitude toward sex.

Not more fear.


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Friday, 13 February 2015

The Aquarian Temple.


The Aquarian Temple is a circular building surrounded by water.

It is built on the solid foundation of modern scholarship.

Its pillars are men and women who respect God.

Its roof is a glass pyramid that lets in the light.

At its heart is a rose-shaped altar with a jar of pure water (this symbolizes a heart full of unconditional love).

And people come to drink.


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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Water.


"'"Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."'"  John 7:38b (NRSV)

What is this mysterious water?

The Water Carrier, Aquarius, gives water to the thirsty, gives help to those in need.

This is the water of human kindness which is Love.


{Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

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Monday, 9 February 2015

In the Beginning.


In the beginning religion was about appeasing the gods with offerings and sacrifices.  This was to ensure that good things happened to you and bad things happened to your enemies (curse tablets).

Later religion acquired a moral dimension:
The Ten Commandments, Confucius' Analects, the philosophy of Socrates, the teachings of the Buddha.....
Religion became a civilizing force.

With the arrival of Jesus we saw the development of qualities of forgiveness and love, even for our enemies.
Religion was refined to create a positive spiritual force.

Now religion is becoming universal.
Heaven is not just for a privileged few, it is for everyone.
Issues like world poverty, healthcare, women's education, equality, and gay rights are being addressed.

And our consciousness is taking the next step towards a God of unconditional Love.


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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Religion.



The New Atheists claim that religion causes atrocious crimes against humanity like the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Caste System in India, Islamic Jihads etc..

And by citing these examples they claim that religion is an evil force and the world would be better without it.

But religion has also been a force for good in the world.

The Ten Commandments stop some people from committing crimes.
The belief in Karma inspires many to do good to others.
The loving example of Jesus has led to non-violent non-cooperation in Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jn. and many others.
The compassion of the Budddha leads many to compassionate acts in the world.
The poetry of Sufism invites us to love and trust.

It is true that religion sometimes causes us to act like animals towards each other.

But without it we would probably be acting like animals all the time.
  

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Ethics.


There are several branches of ethical behavior with which we can respond to any situation.

These include revealed principles which we can adhere to out of duty; and reasoned consequences for the common good.

There are various questions we can ask ourselves and various versions of the Golden Rule.

But I would say to ask yourself, "What does my heart say?"

This approach will bring forth compassion, sympathy, and love.

Thus avoiding the pitfalls of judgementalism and callousness which can result from other approaches.

So when you are confronted with an ethical dilemma ask yourself, "What does my heart say?"

And live.  


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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Eternal Life.


In Luke 10 a lawyer asks Jesus, "'Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'" Luke 10:25 (NRSV)

Jesus in turn asks, "'What does the law say?'"  Luke 10:26 (NRSV)

The lawyer replies to love God and love your neighbor.

And Jesus says, "'do this and you will live.'"  Luke 10:28 (NRSV)

My question is: how can the lawyer ask Jesus about eternal life if eternal life only began after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection?

It must be that either the Jews had a tradition of eternal life after death (he was a lawyer) or these words have been put into his mouth by the Gospel writer to make a point.

My personal belief is that eternal life is not exclusive to Jesus and his followers.

Jesus as much as says so in this passage.

Could it be that people have always been raised after death?

Could members of other faiths be in other mansions?


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]


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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Testimony.


Testimony was a very important part of early Christianity.

People who believed in Jesus would testify to the power of his name or the Holy Spirit.

Some modern Christians continue this practice.

In fact the Bible is a record of testimony about God.
The Old Testament is the record of the prophets' testimony about God.
The New Testament is the record of the Gospel writers' testimony about Jesus.

The very word Testament should give us a clue as to how we should interpret the Bible.

It is testimony and therefore human words, not the word of God.

This explains why the image of God evolves as the Bible progresses.

Each writer brings with him the prejudices and assumptions of his own time.

So do not treat the Bible as if it was dictated by God.

The Bible is a Testament - the testimony of man's experience of God.


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