Friday, May 30, 2014

Next Generation

We envision what we want the next generation to be like. Will religion be as predominant as it was in the last 5 generations. If you visit many of the current church families the youth is scarce in the traditional churches many are over the age of 55 , few children and teenagers. My prediction is the traditional church will disappear. The lack of funding for one and the internet and fast paced education another. People want a more customized religion one size does not suit all.
 Years ago ethnicity was a part of the church - today many are reaching out to the eastern thought. Of those that do become a part of a church very few remain. We find that because of the traditional methods of learning and lack of leadership many leave.

 There is still a great need to fill the spatial mind and there is always that looming primordial self that needs to be confronted. The modern church was good at this until people became more educated. They now demand more answers - questions. Years ago no one questioned faith it was almost unthinkable, now everyone is questioning and thinking for themselves.

 The new generation will not easily accept religion perhaps until they reach maturity. They will be more involved with technology and socialization. Socialization that comes from a click of  a button.
My grandchildren are only 4 and 7 years old and already have started networking, They no longer wait to go to school or church events it is a daily item.

 The advent of the cell phone , the tablet, and the personal computer - the internet have changed socialization forever. This is all positive and we should not be discouraging new learning techniques.
Children will still have the inherent desire to fill that spatial mind, and they will confront the primordial self in a more prepared state  and without dogma. They will learn to grow more spiritually than the previous generation. They will no longer be limited by geographic boundaries . Children in China will be working on projects with those in the US at an early age. Children in Africa will share ideas with those in Germany.
 The next generation will be at peace.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Scarab beetle

We have evolved as the early Egyptian once worshiped the sacred and interesting Scarab beetle then the god RA of the sun who eventually took on the title of creator god. We find the Jews lead from captivity were once idol worshipers and heathens themselves. They were then chosen to worship the one God who has many names. Instead of many gods with many names this was quite an improvement. This new faith gave them strength to defeat their enemies and endurance during the time of wandering as the compass was not yet invented by the Chinese.

 Why was the dung beetle such an advancement in religion as it's tiny hairs that surround it's body seem almost alien. Then it can be mummified and carried in a purse if you can get the smell out. The god Khepri was said to have been a scarab that created man from clay. We can trace the scarab beetle back to millions of years before man in modern science. It is also the view that the scarab is the most sacred symbol of all to the ancient Egyptian and other societies. They were often used as royal seals for the rulers to seal marriage documents or other writs of importance. This went on for thousands of years longer than most religions. At the center of the human brain is the shape of two scarabs quite interesting.

  So what does all this prove and how does it relate to religious studies. It is actually very important to realize religion is evolutionary. The scarab still looks the same as it did millions of years ago, however man was said to have changed from a reptile to a monkey then to a man in far less time. The bible story that man was created from clay could have been derived from the story of the dung beetle.
We have yet to know all the mysteries of our own creation. Did the insect roll us out of dung apparent creating an image of themselves in our brains? Well it would seem far fetched however this was once believed.

 Then we hope we were not created just for the dung beetles amusement as we speed around in our Volkswagen beetles. Adoring the most popular group of all time the Beatles now wait that is spelled 'beatles'. Fondly how we are so imaginative , so full of illusion and dreams. What amazing creatures we are and we worry about such nonsense like what another is wearing and the length of it.

 Can we take a minute for a sanity check when it come's to religion. What are we really looking for? Is it enough to shake the primordial self and seek enlightenment. Then we return to the earth and become rolled into another piece of dung thanks to those magnificent creatures.

 I would prefer to believe in a heavenly place that is as beautiful as the mind can imagine.



The Middle Path

 Having studied the great religions and thought of our time - there is a path that can lead to enlightenment - the Middle path or Buddhism. As with many philosophies close to religion there are may variations of Buddhism as there are Islam, Christianity or Judaism. Each variation suits a particular culture , each is unique yet a part of the middle path. Pure land Buddhism has always been my favorite along with Zen. It is so similar to my own spiritual experience that sometimes it contains many if not all of the elements of the same path.
 When Jesus said you must become as a child to find the kingdom of God, the Buddha remembered an experience he had as a child where he was close to enlightenment and returned to that train of thought after ascetic practice was not yielding the mind path he was looking for. Buddhism in the Zen format has the perfect middle path. It balances all things out to the result equation of nothingness. there is neither good or evil , there is no desire the cup is always full. Do the right action for the human reason not as a religious act. It is also my experience the christian has a full cup as they return to the well of prayer to fill it.
 Jesus was very much in the same way as he was human first , he wept , he ate did all things as a human. The Buddha never claimed to be divine and desired no worship. He even asked to be cremated that none of his remains became relics or would be adored. However it is said that one tooth survived and was fought over in many wars. The one who owned Buddhas tooth was said to be a supreme ruler.
 Comparing the life and works of Christ to the Buddha can be interesting. Buddha faced the Goblin and Christ faced off with Satan. It has been my experience we all will eventually face off with an internal primordial being that represents a new direction in spiritual evolution for us personally. It is a step in spiritual evolution we try to explain within our own cultural knowledge. Then we enter into  the pure land where the mind is free from its old distinctions and on to the path of truth. The master of lies is defeated our primordial self is no longer in charge. We are at perfect peace and that particular struggle is gone , the mind can then pursue higher development.
  To the christian it is to become more like Christ , in essence to become one with Jesus as he and the Father are one. In Buddhism it is to become the Buddha to obtain the knowledge of the middle path , through right thinking and actions. There are very few distinctions considering the Buddha existed 500 years before Jesus is not surprising to me. We seem to have a spiritual evolution every 500 years and each step or stone has a statement of the one to follow would be even greater or a return of an even more glorious one another messiah. The Jews had been looking forward to a Messiah , the Buddhist another Buddha, Jesus was coming again it is evolution in its finest. Greater works than these will be performed by those that follow me.
  Will we miss the next super guru , the next divine being? To the Sikh the granth guru sahib is the last guru the sacred book containing all the famous wisdom of the prior gurus , to the christian the bible has all the truth, to the Jew it is the Torah , to the Muslim it is the Quran and many others have their holy books. We have in essence collected the wisdom of our time and made that our Lord. To preserve wisdom is not such a bad thing only we need to recognize that wisdom is continuous like a tree of life - evolves. We are told this by all the gurus all the teachers all the holy men wisdom does not stop with one generation to look forward to the next revelation.
 The middle path is one of peace of mind it is not that the Buddhist does not care to take on a cause or be benevolent. Peace and purity are the middle path. Any personal desire will cause an inner conflict and the result would be contrary to inner peace. Once giving away all my worldly goods sought this path of no desire. I was recluse on a deserted island for a year in prayer with a bible and catching water in rain barrels , feeding on the the local honey and cocoanuts and what goods that were brought to the island occasionally it was like a spiritual oasis. As extreme as it may seem my experience was to continue it was merely another step. Similar to the Buddha going through his ascetic stage it passed. I returned from the pacific Islands with hair down to my back and beard to chest to another reality.
 We often hear the kingdom of God is within us. We search inward for answers sometimes escape from the life of everyday chores to find this inner peace. To me inner peace is all that matters and it is also important to share this inner peace with others through encouragement and kindness.
 We are told not to put the candlestick under a table - to let our light shine for others to see. This is harmony within and outside. The wisdom of the ages can be found many places and it is my contention we should keep an open mind. We learn to love others as ourselves for we may be all in the same boat - this planet earth. Am I a Christian or a Buddhist a Jew or a Muslim a Sikh it would seem that we can learn a lot from each other. Perhaps another stone in time created by living water.