Tag: spirituality

The Tao Te Ching and God: Does Tao = God?

Now I’m not technically (whatever that means) a Taoist, and Taoism has gone through many changes (PERVERSIONS, if you ask me) since the earliest conception of the philosophy/religion which existed even before Lao Tzu, but if you read a good translation of the Tao Te Ching (which is Taoism’s core text–I suggest the translation by Johnathan Starr to begin with) it sure does seem that TAO = GOD.

There are lots of verses that point to this idea, but I’d like to simply share one that is especially PROFOUND.

These are the first 4 lines of the first verse of the Tao Te Ching:

“The Tao that is the Tao, is not the true/everlasting Tao.

The Name that is the Name, is not the true/everlasting Name”

Pretty cryptic huh? GET USED TO IT! The Tao Te Ching and Taoism is HIGHLY cryptic, which is a big part of its BEAUTY and INTRIGUE. Let’s try replacing the word TAO with the word GOD:

“The God that is the God, is not the true/everlasting God.

The Name that is the Name, is not the true/everlasting Name”

What this means to me is that the God that you (as in ANYBODY) think of as God, is not the TRUE form/understanding of God. God transcends ALL understanding of anyone or anything that is not God itself. NOBODY CAN UNDERSTAND GOD, or even begin to understand God, because that is how profound and incredible God is. That is what the Tao Te Ching is saying here.

By the same reasoning, whatever name or label you ascribe to God (“God” included haha) is not the TRUE name of God, which (if there is one) cannot be spoken by mere mortal mouths or confined to a set of letters.

A little food for thought. Do you guys think that Tao = God?

~Shams

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The PRACTICAL Application of Luke 6:41-42 and Matthew 7:3-4 : How to Really Live the Word of God and Get that Log Out of Your Own Eye!!

41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. [The Gospel of Luke 6:41-42]

AND…

3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. [The Gospel of Matthew 7:3-5]

– – – – –

How can we apply Jesus’ (peace and blessings be upon him) teachings here in our own life, in a very practical, down-to-earth way? I think I’ve finally figured this own out! (God forgive me if I’m wrong)

The only way to do it is to focus ALL of your attention on improving yourself, so that there is none left for criticism or suggestion to other people on how they can improve. Even if such suggestions come from a good place, are 100% correct, and are delivered gently… if they ARE NOT ASKED FOR then do people ever really take them to heart? Maybe sometimes, but the truth is that if somebody doesn’t want to change… they wont.

But I hear you saying–But my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, mom/dad, brother/sister need to hear this because they’re causing themselves and others needless suffering or acting unrighteously, etc. etc. This may be VERY TRUE… buuuut… so long as they can blame you for something, or say, well you’re not perfect either, or whatever excuse they use to justify their behavior to themselves, THEY WONT CHANGE.

Here’s what you can do! —-> Be so good and nice and blameless that they will have to realize that it’s NOT you who’s creating the problems and then they’ll see that it is them… or at least get off your case!

WARNING: They will subconsciously use all their tricks to get you to loose your cool and contribute to the problem. They will act OUTRAGIOUSLY to do so before they’ll consider themselves and their own actions. DON’T LET IT GET TO YOU and DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. (it’s just the devil doing his best to ruin you both) If you can survive this onslaught and remain compassionate and calm, then you’ll grow in ways you never imagined possible.THIS IS YOUR TEST. Treat it as such, and expect it to be a tough test indeed.

Much love to you all and God bless.

~Shams

P.S. – Feel free to vent about the ONE WHOSE DRIVING YOU CRAZY in the comments below! better you get it off your chest here so you can face them without that resentment in your heart. But remember to do it with compassion and understanding. Just because we (and they) don’t understand them doesn’t mean they don’t have REAL REASONS to act that way…. Better yet… VENT about how YOU drive other people crazy and keep an eye on the log in your own eye… Ah-ha! 🙂

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

FIVE ELEMENT ALCHEMY: Lesson 2: Examples

To read the first lesson and learn what the 5 Elements ACTUALLY ARE and their QUALITIES click here.

Now I’m going to expand on what we talked about in the first lesson. But to recap briefly, the 5 elements describe the process of CHANGE, that ALL THINGS go through constantly. Each element transforms into another one in an endless cycle. Each element is associated with a certain quality. Here are some examples:

1. Life of a Tree

2. Learning to Draw

3. Falling on your Face (literally)

Continue reading “FIVE ELEMENT ALCHEMY: Lesson 2: Examples”

Temporal vs. Spiritual Wisdom

Here is something to consider. We each live within 2 realities, a physical one and a spiritual. The physical pertains to all that we can perceive through the physical senses (sight, hearing, touch/nerves, smell, and taste). The spiritual world is that which we cannot perceive through these senses, and is related to intuition, witchcraft, astral projection, etc.

Spiritual wisdom cannot be achieved by physical means, just as physical wisdom cannot be achieved by spiritual means. They are opposing logics (if you can call spiritual wisdom a type of logic) and are as yin and yang to each other.

For instance, it makes no sense to forgive someone who has murdered your child if he makes no show of repentance. Temporal (physical) logic tells us that a murderer deserves to be despised, and this is TRUE. Yet, spiritual wisdom advises to forgive unconditionally, for it is the righteous way. This directly opposes temporal wisdom, yet it is equally (if not more) TRUE.

This is the paradox of temporal vs. spiritual wisdom.

If you are searching for spiritual wisdom, a good place to start is to STOP THINKING with your brain. The brain is a physical organ and so is sympathetic to physical/temporal wisdom. Therefor it is impossible for the BRAIN to understand spiritual truths. They must be felt a deeper, more subtle, level.

Think from your spirit or heart (not the organ heart, but the spiritual heart) and you shall see what I mean. It won’t TELL you anything (as the brain does) but you will FEEL its inclination and intention.

~Jones

How LANGUAGE is the source of SPIRITUAL DETACHMENT

I hope you find this as interesting and enlightening as I did…

 

“Whenever something is said, the opposite of it is denied. Whenever something is said, something is simultaneously denied. If I say `God is within;, `God is without’ is denied. I have not mentioned it at all. But if I say `God is without’, then `God is within’ is denied. If I say, `To be silent you have to move inwards,’ it is implied that if you move outwards, you will never be silent. So whatsoever is said in language always negates something. This means that language can never cover the whole of life. Or, if you try to cover the whole of life, language becomes illogical, irrational. If I say, `God is within and God is without,’ it becomes meaningless. If I say, `Everything is God,’ it becomes meaningless. If I say, `Whether you go out or whether you go in, silence can be achieved,’ no meaning is carried then because I am saying both — both the opposites simultaneously. I am putting them together; they negate each other — and then nothing is said.

It has been tried. It has been tried many times that the whole of life be covered by linguistic expression.

It has never been successful, and it cannot be. You can do it, but then your assertions become mystic; they don’t carry any meaning. Logic has some requirements to be fulfilled — and language is logic.
If you ask me, `Are you here?’ and I say, `Yes, in a sense I am here, and in a sense I am not here,’ or I say, `Both yes and no,’ then if you love me you will call me a mystic; if you

don’t love me, you will call me a madman — because how can both be? Either I am here — then I must say yes; or I am not here — then I must say no. But if I say yes and no both together, I am taking a jump out of the logical structure of the language.
Language is always a choice. Because of this, all the cultures, all the societies, all the civilizations become one-sided. And no culture can exist without language. Really, language creates the culture. Man is the only language animal; no other animal creates any culture or society or civilization. Only man creates culture and civilization and society. And with language, choice enters; and with choice, imbalance. No animal is imbalanced, remember. Only man is imbalanced. All animals exist in deep balance: trees and rocks and everything. Everything is balanced; only man is imbalanced. What is the problem? — that man lives through language. Language creates choice.

If I say to someone that he is both beautiful and ugly, the sentence carries no meaning.

Ugly and beautiful both? — what do you mean? If I say, `You are beautiful,’ it is meaningful. If I say, `You are ugly,’ it is meaningful. But if I say, `You are both. You are wise and foolish both,’ it cannot carry any meaning. But reality is so. Really, no one is simply ugly and no one is simply beautiful. Wherever beauty exists, ugliness exists; wherever ugliness exists, beauty exists. They are part of one whole. And wherever wisdom exists, foolishness exists. You cannot find a wise man who is not also a fool, and you cannot find a fool who is not also a wise man.
It may be difficult for you to conceive, because whenever you say, `This man is a fool,’ you stop searching, you are closed, you have closed the door. You say, `This man is a fool.’ Now you are not going to search for his wisdom. And even if his wisdom is revealed to you, you will not listen to it. You will say, `This man is a fool. How can he be a wise man? It is impossible; something wrong has happened. He must have done it in a foolish way. This is something accidental. He cannot be wise.’ If you decide that this man is wise and then something foolish comes out of him, you cannot believe it, or you will have come explanations and you will rationalize it — that this must be wise.
Life is both together, but language divides. Language is a choice. Because of this, every culture creates its own choice-pattern.

In the east they developed technology, they developed scientific research; they developed all that is now developed in the west. Five thousand years ago they developed everything, and then they felt the meaninglessness of it — as it is now felt in the west. They felt that it was useless.

When they felt that it was useless, they turned to the opposite extreme. They said, `Now turn within. Whatsoever is without is illusory, it leads nowhere. Turn within.’ Then science stopped growing, then technology stopped. Not only stopped: when they turned within, they started condemning all that was without. `Just live the life which is in! Leave all that is without!’ They became against the world, life-negative, denying all that is material… only the spiritual, the pure spiritual.

Life is both. Really, to say life is both is not right. Life is one. That which we call material is just one expression of the spiritual, and that which we call spiritual is nothing but one expression of the material. Life is one. The within and without are not two opposite things, just two poles of one existence.
But whenever a society reaches to the extreme of one choice — because one choice is bound to be extremist — immediately you will miss the other, and that which you miss, you feel more. That which you have, you can forget, but that which you miss, you feel

more. So the east, at the peak of scientific and technological development, felt the absurdity of it: it is useless, you cannot attain silence through it, you cannot attain bliss through it, so throw it away, renounce it, move inward, move to the inner world.

And then this inner movement automatically became a denial of the outer.
In the west that is happening now. Now the west has attained to a technological height; now the meaninglessness is felt. Now India has gone to the depths of poverty. It was bound to happen, because the eastern mind started moving inwards. When you move inwards at the cost of all that is without, you are going to be poor, and you are going to be in bondage, and you are going to be in disease and suffering. That is bound to be so. Now India is not interested in meditation, India is not interested in the inner world, India is not interested in the nirvana. India is interested in the modern technology. The Indian student is interested in engineering, in medical science. The Indian genius is going to the west to learn the know-how, the atomic energy. And the western genius is interested in coming to the east to know what meditation is, to know how to move in the inner space. And they have achieved. For the first time in the history of man they have known how to move in the outer space. They have reached the moon. Now that they have reached the moon the thing has become absurd. Now they are asking, `What will come out of it? Even if we have gone to the moon, what has happened? — man remains in the same misery.’ The moon is not going to help, because you can transfer man to the moon, but he remains the same man.

So movement in the outer space seems to be of no use, a wastage of energy. How to move in the inner space?
Now they turn to the east, and the east is turning to the west — again the choice. If the west turns to the east completely, within two or three centuries the west will become poor. Look at the hippies — they are already doing that. And if the new western generation turns absolutely hippie, then who is going to work for the technology, and who is going to work for the industry, and who is going to work for the civilization that the west has achieved? It takes centuries and centuries to achieve something; you can lose it within a generation.

If the generation denies and says, `We are not going to the universities,’ what can you do? The old generation — how long can it prolong it? Twenty years and everything can disappear, just through the denial of the new generation — `I am not going to the university~’ And they are leaving, they are becoming dropouts. They say, `What is the use of big cars, of big houses, of a big technology, when there is no love? When there is no peace of mind, what is the use of all this wealth? What is the use of this high standard of living when there is no life? So leave this!’

Within two centuries the west can go to the very depths of poverty. It has happened in the east. In the days of the Mahabharat, almost the same technology was developed in the east.

Then it was found to be of no use. And if the Indian mind turns to technology, within two generations religion will disappear — it has already disappeared — and just the word `meditation’ will look out of date. If you talk about the inner, people will think you are not in your senses: `What do you mean by the inner? There is no inner.’

This happens because of the language — because language is a choice, and the mind moves to the extreme. And when it moves to one extreme, the other is lost. And with the

other, many qualities disappear, and when they disappear you feel the hunger for them. Then you again move to the other extreme. Then something else is lost.
So no total culture has been born yet, and it cannot be born unless man learns to remain silent, unless silence becomes the very core of human mind. Not language but silence — because in silence you are whole, in language you are always part. Unless humanity starts living through silence — not through language, not through mind, but through the totality of the being — no total culture is possible. Only total human beings can constitute a total culture.”

~The Book of Secrets

God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

“It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.  It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.”

When something is said better than you can say it, why paraphrase? I’ve included this article title “God or Atheism – Which is more rational?” If you have a friend or relative that is currently questioning the existence of God, this article might be really great for them to read, or for it to be explained to them. So weithout further ado…

“God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

Is it rational to believe in God?  Many people think that faith and reason are opposites; that belief in God and tough-minded logical reasoning are like oil and water.  They are wrong.  Belief in God is far more rational than atheism.  Logic can show that there is a God.  If you look at the universe with common sense and an open mind, you’ll find that it’s full of God’s fingerprints.

A good place to start is with an argument by Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th century philosopher and theologian.  The argument starts with the not-very-startling observation that things move.  But nothing moves for no reason.  Something must cause that movement, and whatever caused that must be caused by something else, and so on.  But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever.  It must have a beginning.  There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe, a first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.

A modern objection to this argument is that some movements in quantum mechanics — radioactive decay, for example — have no discernible cause.  But hang on a second.  Just because scientists don’t see a cause doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  It just means science hasn’t found it yet.  Maybe someday they will.  But then there will have to be a new cause to explain that one.  And so on and so on.  But science will never find the first cause.  That’s no knock on science.  It simply means that a first cause lies outside the realm of science.

Another way to explain this argument is that everything that begins must have a cause.  Nothing can come from nothing.  So if there’s no first cause, there can’t be second causes — or anything at all.  In other words, if there’s no creator, there can’t be a universe.

But what if the universe were infinitely old, you might ask.  Well, all scientists today agree that the universe is not infinitely old — that it had a beginning, in the big bang.  If the universe had a beginning, then it didn’t have to exist.  And things which don’t have to exist must have a cause.
There’s confirmation of this argument from big-bang cosmology.  We now know that all matter, that is, the whole universe, came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago, and it’s been expanding and cooling ever since.  No scientist doubts that anymore, even though before it was scientifically proved, atheists called it “creationism in disguise”.  Now, add to this premise a very logical second premise, the principle of causality, that nothing begins without an adequate cause, and you get the conclusion that since there was a big bang, there must be a “big banger”.

But is this “big banger” God?  Why couldn’t it be just another universe?  Because Einstein’s general theory of relativity says that all time is relative to matter, and since all matter began 13.7 billion years ago, so did all time.  So there’s no time before the big bang.  And even if there is time before the big bang, even if there is a multiverse, that is, many universes with many big bangs, as string theory says is mathematically possible, that too must have a beginning.

An absolute beginning is what most people mean by ‘God’.  Yet some atheists find the existence of an infinite number of other universes more rational than the existence of a creator.  Never mind that there is no empirical evidence at all that any of these unknown universes exists, let alone a thousand or a gazillion.

How far will scientists go to avoid having to conclude that God created the universe?  Here’s what Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind said:  “Real scientists resist the temptation to explain creation by divine intervention.  We resist to the death all explanations of the world based on anything but the laws of physics.”  Yet the father of modern physics, Sir Isaac Newton, believed fervently in God.  Was he not a real scientist?  Can you believe in God and be a scientist, and not be a fraud?  According to Susskind, apparently not.  So who exactly are the closed-minded ones in this debate?

The conclusion that God exists doesn’t require faith.  Atheism requires faith.  It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.  It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.

I’m Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, for Prager University.”

Original article at:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3030100/posts

How to CONTROL YOUR BRAIN and UNLOCK its potential the SILVA way – Part 1 – The Mental Vacation

I’ve heard these statistics that you only use a certain (SMALL) percentage of your brain. I don’t how true that is, but I do know that THE BRAIN IS VERY POWERFUL and most people do not use it wisely.

What I’m going to offer and INVITE YOU TO READ is a book that pretty much gave me a whole NEW perspective on my mind/brain and the different ways that it can be put to good (and FUN!) uses. I’ll talk about one that I enjoy, though it’s not the most life-changing of the techniques described in this book. I’m sharing this one first because I want you guys to think of these exercises and techniques as being enjoyable, instead of another one of those things you keep telling yourself you SHOULD do, but never get around to to. (I know you know what I’m talking about!)

It is called the MENTAL VACATION technique.

What you should do is go to your “level” (which is explained in the book and I will touch upon in the next post on this topic) but if that doesn’t mean anything to you then just relax, close your eyes, breath deeply, and LET YOUR MIND MERGE INTO ITSELF, deeper and deeper until there is a steady feeling of peace and calm.

Now, with your eyes still closed both in real life and your imagination, feel yourself in the PERFECT vacation spot you could possibly imagine. The place where you feel most calm, relaxed, content, and at peace. This doesn’t have to be a real place (although it can be). It can be completely fictional, someplace impossible (such as in space or the bottom of the sea), or someplace very real (your favorite vacation spot). Now begin to feel the sensations of being there VIVIDLY.

What does it smell like?

Are there any sensations upon your skin?

What are you hearing?

Can you taste the quality of the air/atmosphere?

What you feel like it you can open your eyes and find yourself sitting there meditating, much like you were at home. Feel free to look around and explore your environment if you feel like it. Remember, you are free to have any experience you can imagine, so if you feel like FLYING AROUND or observing a detail microscopically closely you can. If you see anyone or anything there, feel free to speak with it. Don’t anticipate what it’s going to say, but accept the first words you hear popping into your head.

ENJOY the process.

And when you’re ready, sit back into your meditative state and prepare to come out of your MENTAL VACATION. I like to use the method below, that I got from the Silva Method book.

Count, seeing the number flashing in your mind as you do, and hear deeply:

1…. Every day in Every way, I am getting better, better, and better.

2…. Negative thoughts, negative emotions, cannot influence me at ANY level of the mind

3…. Preparing to open eyes

4…. Opening eyes

5…. Eyes open, feeling wide awake and better than before!

Trust me, you will feel great.

If you are interested in this stuff, I HIGHLY recommend The Silva Mind Control Method book. If you don’t believe in the power of the mind then I recommended it even more strongly, as it spends a few chapters explaining the SCIENCE and extensive RESEARCH behind it as well as interesting testimonials.

Get The Silva Mind Control Method Book Here for $5

You can can also PREVIEW the first pages of the book at the above link as well. If you are familiar with this method, or get the book and read it, I would LOVE to hear about your experiences.

May God bless you all on your journey through this life and into the next!

~Jones