Tag: buddhism

Want to Chat About Ancient Scriptures Online?

I was going to start a meetup group, but thought that I’d first see if there was any interest here to have an online meetup group to chat about our favorite passages from ancient religious/philosophical scriptures of all sorts. Then we wouldn’t be limited to a certain location, but could share perspectives from all around the world! If interested, please post a comment and let me know 🙂

Here is my description of the group:

What do some of the ancient scriptures say, and what does that mean to you or what feelings does it evoke? Bring your favorite passages from the scriptures of the Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or any other pre-Islamic era religion/philosophy (ancient Greek or Mesoamerican philosophy, for instance) to share and discuss.

The format will probably be that we each read a passage that we brought and then talk about how each of us felt about it and share thoughts and ideas. This isn’t the place to debate the validity of one scripture over another, nor to judge or even understand one another’s beliefs… And definitely not to try to convert anyone to your beliefs please 🙂

The point is to share and discuss ancient religious/philosophical writings from the past that we find inspiring, interesting, frightening, baffling, or maybe just cool!

I’ve always had a keen interest in the texts that shaped people’s lives, civilizations, and consequently the world and thought it would be great to meet other like-minded people to learn and (hopefully humbly) grow in knowledge and wisdom together.

Do you wonder what ancient peoples believed? Love stoic philosophy? Have a favorite Bible verse you’d love to talk about? Curious about what the Qur’an actually says? Struggling to unlock the secrets of the Tao Te Ching? Love to ponder the Dharmas? Or have any other ancient scripture based quandary? Me too! Let’s chat 🙂

Satans 2 biggest LIES

By my reckoning, satan’s two biggest/most successful lies are:

1) That he does not exist.

(This is one that most people have heard before…)

2) That religions are the cause, not the solution, to the world’s problems.

Radical acts and violence carried out in the name of religions and God are not God’s will for people and this is clear to anyone with half a conscience. If God wants to kill people it is easy for him to do so, so what makes people think they have the authority to judge their brothers and sisters?

How can we help people who believe these dangerous lies to see the error in these beliefs…?

~Shams

God Wants You to Question Your Your Beliefs!!

God’s word is true, yea?

But what about the traditions, influences, and interpretations that people make on that word? Is that necessary true? No… But it’s also not necessarily untrue, as His word holds many mysteries that require some interpretation and usually a more holistic understanding of scripture to do so fairly. Still, when something is not blatantly clear, then it is possible (I would say easy) for people to misunderstand (in earnest; they’re trying their best) or even purposefully misrepresent (for personal or even evil reasons!) the words of scripture.

So I encourage you all to question what you hear and read, even if it’s from someone you deem an authority. The only TRUE authority of all things is God, and He will guide you if you question in earnest. Pray for such guidance and search the scriptures for the truth.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, remember to question your “truths” and you will eventually find the real Truth. If you find the Truth to be in the end what you originally believed then your faith will be strengthened manyfold! If you find it to be other than your original beliefs, then wouldn’t you be glad to find yourself closer to the Truth–God’s truth? For earnest questioning and research, accompanied by the guidance of God sought through prayer, can only result in better understanding and a greater closeness to the Lord.

God is not a god of ignorance, nor does he shun those who wish to increase their knowledge of Him…

The Messiah Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) said “‘If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'” [John 8:32]

In the Qur’an it is written:

“And among the People of the Scripture is he who, if you entrust him with a great amount [of wealth], he will return it to you. And among them is he who, if you entrust him with a [single] silver coin, he will not return it to you unless you are constantly standing over him [demanding it]. That is because they say, “There is no blame upon us concerning the unlearned.” And they speak untruth about God while they know [it].” [3:75]

So continue in the word, and put not great faith in men–for they are mortal like you and I–and strive not to be among the unlearned.

God bless you all in this season of lent and forevermore 🙂

~Shams

ORDER or CHAOS and the Purpose of Religion

There are two fundamental governing factors in our universe; even more fundamental than good or evil–as it defines good and evil.

These fundamental factors can be referred to as ORDER and CHAOS.

Order is anything in the world that has stability, that does not destroy itself.

Chaos is a state that cannot exist and so is destroyed until it reaches a state of order.

If something is in a state of chaos it is constantly changing–in essence it is searching for order and will find it, unless the chaos is purposefully perpetuated by and intelligent force (for the natural state of all things is order).

Natural Order is something that is somewhat strait-forward to grasp. It can be studied (observed) directly using scientific methods. Moral Order, however, has proven trickier to grasp, as it is seen by many to be more subjective.

This is where religions come in.

Part of the purpose of religion is to provide a moral framework from which we can base our decisions. Now, this has been used by the enemy in the creation of false religions that provide a moral framework that is NOT in line with Moral ORDER. (Just like Natural Order, Moral Order exists whether we attempt to adhere to/believe in it or not–just as not believing in gravity won’t cause you to fly.) This puts people in a state of Chaos, not or Order and Peace. False religions or extreme/perverted manifestations of true religions will always be characterized by chaos (that is, disharmony, contention/hatred, violence, etc.)  because the moral/spiritual chaos that they live in will reflect in their physical lives.

Consider this in your quest for true knowledge and wisdom…

You can know the TRUE (order) from the FALSE (chaos)–even through their clever deception–by this method:

As Yeshua (Jesus) put it:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Mathew 7:15-20)

Why God doesn’t want us to know He’s real

Two reasons:

1) God gave us free will. If you knew God was real, then you’d also KNOW that if you don’t do certain things and do do certain things you’d be risking going to hell. If you knew that, then although you would technically have free will, you practically wouldn’t be free to make certain choices that would send you to hell because you’d be WAY too extremely terrified of that possibility to risk it… God is a God or Righteousness. Isn’t it more righteous to allow people to choose how to live their lives freely, then to threaten them with torture if they do certain things. Heaven and Hell are not punishments but choices that we make. When we die, our state at that time become our ETERNAL, UNCHANGING state. If we died having made the choice to create suffering in others and thus simultaneously create suffering in ourselves, then our eternal choice is for suffering. If we die in a state of choosing to foster peace and love, then we shall live eternally in that state. There are other prerequisites, like believing in God is a biggie 🙂 I digress…

2) He (God) does not love arrogance. God has given us plenty of information about him through the holy books He has inspired to spread across the Earth. From every big city to surprisingly isolated villages on south-east Asian islands, practically everyone has heard of God, or has that general concept in their belief systems somewhere if they haven’t. So the choice of rejecting God is a deliberate one. One has to thing “Naw, most of the world is crazy, dumb, or delusional to believe is something like that.” Is it really so far fetched to believe that when you die you will continue living in another form. Is it any more far fetch than to say that you came out of existence from nowhere and one day you will return to nowhere. It seems easier to believe because some people adopt the notion that only what they can see and hear is real. Yet we rely on unseen radio, microwaves, gravity, electricity, the list goes on. A clue perhaps? Isn’t it a little arrogant to think that you are capable of perceiving all the layers and forces that exist around and within us. You can’t even see your own face most of the time… I think that’s a humbling thought.

Religion according to me: GENESIS part 2

God created FREE WILL, because He has free will and he wanted to share that with another creation. He made the djinn, among whom was Lucifer, who was the proudest of them all. These beings were made of smokeless flame. Energy. Then God decided He wanted to create a being from a PHYSICAL material, and so He created Adam from the the wet earth. And then He commanded all of the angels and djinn to bow before Adam, His new creation.

Now, the angel have no free will, they are instruments of God’s perfect will. And so all of them bowed.

But amongst the djinn Lucifer came forth and in his pride he would not bow. And it was the first time anything had ever apposed God’s perfect will. But God gave FREE WILL to the djinn and mankind, and so He allows this will to be 100% free, for our God is true to his word.

But our God is also just. And so to appose God’s perfect will, which is 100% good and right, you have committed OTHER THAN God’s perfect will, which is 100% evil and wrong. You see, we are not robots, and God does not ask much or often of His creations of which he has granted free will. So then when God directly commands them to bow, they had better expect he means it, and it is with good reason.

For bringing the first EVIL into creation, now God curses Lucifer, henceforth to be known as satan, and a place called HELL is created. It is a place of absolute wrong and evil for those who CHOOSE that path of wrong and evil (AKA other than God’s will) with their 100% free will.

In his desperation, satan challenges God, telling him that man is evil and wicked like himself and he would like the opportunity to prove it before he burns in hell for all eternity.

For reasons known only to our wise God, he allowed satan this opportunity…

To be continued…

 

 

Let me tell you something about GOD…

God’s going to give you what you want, because He’s cool like that.

If you want to be with Him, then so shall it be.

If you don’t want to be with Him, also shall it be.

But let me tell you something about God,

and then not being with God.

God is all the good things and feelings in the world, without a trace of the negative.

Not being with God is to be cut off from any trace of that.

No hope. For hope is good.

So when you choose your ETERNITY you’ve got to choose.

God or no God?

Your Choice.

God Bless.

~Jones