Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Of some of the direct comments I get as e-mail from an occasional reader – some are not quite sure what I am trying to say. I do try to say things in a manner that does not offend any occasional reader. I try to communicate as clearly as possible.

What I also hear is that we are all “looking for something” or that (we) “think we all essentially want the same thing in life”. Many of us see the world differently but perhaps we are listening to some same “collective unconsciousness” that Jung tried to describe.

Nobody seems to have many answers to the many questions regarding life.

I ran into the following some time back.

“It seems to me that the only true Christians were (are?) the Gnostics, who believe in self knowledge, i.e. becoming Christ themselves, reaching the Christ within, the light is the truth. Turn on the light. All the better to see you with, my dear.” John Lennon – Skywriting by Word of Mouth

Of course the so called Gnostic gospels were discovered in a clay jar near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. The Nag Hammadi library is the Christian era equivalent of the Dead Seas scrolls found two years later in 1947 in caves near the Dead Sea.

I find the coincidence extraordinary that these two lost repositories came to light in an age when they would be treasured and not ignored or destroyed by sheer ignorance.

I will not comment on the Dead Sea Scrolls but rather on the Gnostic gospels which represent more a philosophical and cult approach to the ministry of Jesus. As an amateur reader of the NT, I did not feel comfortable the first time I tried to read translations of these lost texts. The ministry of Jesus is far clearer in the Constantine Bible (NT).

There is one Gnostic gospel, the Gospel of Thomas that I think more readable than the rest but it is short and only a listing of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. Some of the sayings you recognize as being in the synoptic gospels of the NT. One saying in particular stands out for me.

That is:

His followers said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here
it is,' or 'Look, there it is.' Rather, the father's kingdom is spread
out upon the earth, and people do not see it." - Gospel of Thomas 113

Of course many would debate if Jesus truly said this.

Getting back to John Lennon’s quote about being Christ-like and being responsible to what one sees or feels like the divine spark within, I am reminded of a word from the Buddhists – Bodhisattva.

A Bodhisattva is supposed to be an enlightened person on one well along the road to Enlightment. This individual takes the time and energy to share wisdom and help others on the road to enlightenment.

Perhaps somewhere on the road to the future of Christianity is a mix of Sacred and Secular, of Jesus, John Lennon and Jung, and the spirit of Bodhisattvas everywhere.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

To Serve Man

There is a thing called karma in eastern philosophy and religion. It speaks of your energy being sent out into the universe and following a law of physics, that energy and or your actions eventually come back to you.

In other words, if you send out a negative energy, that same negative energy will come back to you, in some way and in some time. So too if you send positive energy out there, then that is what comes back to you.

Of course this karma thing is attached to a concept called reincarnation whereby your soul makes many journeys through many lives and bodies on this prison-like planet. I do not believe in reincarnation. It is not nor has it been taught as part of the basic Christian religion package.

I also do not want to come back if that is the deal. Once is enough. For me. Why must we constantly be tested as to our loyalty? If we must, then God seems quite imperfect and insecure.

What is God's plan for the universe? I do not know. But I confess that sometimes I think I feel I know what that plan is and it is a simple plan to just live a simple life and enjoy the simple pleasures of living. Sounds like the French who got so fed up with religion and exploitation over the centuries, they just ground an irritant into the dirt.

There is a book out there called “The Secret”. It talks about the energy thing and about success. Like all you have to do is find the right words and make the right wish and zingo – Magic happens. This book is secular. No where is there a mention of God or other basics. Is the book godless? Secular is not necessarily godless. I pass regarding judement on the matter.

This blog has in many ways enlightened me and it has also presented me with challenges. Looking at the American culture, this subculture of religion has become some sort of code word or code project to test the sheep and see what sheep are worthy “To Serve Man” – a recipe book of sorts or just another rule book.

That what you believe is somehow a DNA test of sorts if you are the right sort and have the right stuff to be about this land. It is a lingering eternal delusional cabin fever hangover thing from the crazies that came off the Mayflower and started to chomp through forest after forest until they got to nowhere which is the Pacific Ocean. The drive is still there but there are no more virgin forests to rape and plunder.

I have not addressed the concepts of atheism and agnosticism in this blog and I am not ready for it. I have over time shied away from atheists because most of those whom I have met or see on telelvision all seem to be seething with anger against religion. The whole God debate is a laborious thing with them and I for one do not want to waste my time here on earth on riddles, ideas and unsolvable matters. For me, my faith in God is inate. Also, there seem to be few atheists in America comfortable in their own skin. Little wonder with quasi witch hunts that the loonies can’t give up on to kill time or fill their purpose driven lives.

I do believe that in this secular society, you are allowed to believe anything. Considering the mental dearth of the Jesus freak crowd, less is far better than more.

What do I tell my children? I believe that they, if they are near college age, have already formed their own opinions. It is their life to examine and explore.

How you view religion, God, yourself seems to differ greatly depending on what side of the east-west dividing line you happen to be on of this planet’s geography.

Getting back to the karma thing. If it truly exists, then I believe that you get feedback in this one life from the deeds and energy you manufacture. I also give myself a discount and karma debts not paid in this life just don’t get paid – period. Enough is enough.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thoughts on the Bible from a homeless guy

I ran into this on the Internet. It speaks volumes to me about my search to say or find what I think are both the stumbling blocks and possible foundation stones of the future of a Christianity that travels along the road of life into the 21st century and beyond.

The words out of context hit me between the eyes and I have to consider them as something to think about on my travels on that road of life.

I also have to consider them as from a “homeless guy”, not unlike Jesus or the Apostles – and on that homeless man’s blog.

The line that struck me most and as a Cultural Christian that I took greatly to heart was about the Fundamentalist Christian messsage:

“...Instead of having a relationship with God, they have a relationship with the Bible...”

That is something worth repeating in any conversation these days about the road that Christianity travels into the future or into oblivion.

More from the article and the article itself for your reading:

“The Bible is not perfect, and there is plenty of reasonable proof of its imperfection. But, really, does the Bible have to be perfect? I don’t think so. God is still God, with, or without it. For some, though, their faith is founded on the Bible... Instead of having a relationship with God, they have a relationship with the Bible. And instead of developing a life in relationship with God, they spend all their time trying to defend the Bible, defend their faith, defend “Christianity,” etc., etc. But, God needs no defenders. God is perfectly capable of defending himself, and desires for us to instead spend our lives doing His will. A real Christian is not one who makes signs to the world that they are Christian, but is one who feeds the hungry, shelter the cold, provides for the needy, etc. A person who spends all their time trying to convert the already converted, and ignores or neglects their needs, is nursing a dead faith.”

- Kevin Barbieux