Christians & ex-Christians Prove God Exists by Debunking Salvation: Science & Spirituality Reveal the Real Jesus Christ
- Intro to Christian Deconversions, Conspiracies, Contradictions & Comparisons
- Original Message of Jesus Christ
- How the Universe Works
- Jesus' Purpose vs. Our Purpose
- How We Connect with God
- Why God Can Only Create 'Good'
- How 'Salvation' Became Dominant
- Advice for Moving Beyond Religions - Christianity is not the only religion with an increasing deconversion rate.
This essay is meant to soothe relations between Christians, Atheists and religious & anti-religious attitudes, in general - by providing rational arguments to often divisive debates about the most natural aspect of our existence: God.
It should also restore [at least some] confidence in both God & Humanity by explaining 'the real' lost messages of Jesus Christ; and how science is starting to dovetail into some of them - including who & what we are.
This collective explanation simplifies our lives to make sense from beginning to end from a new (to us) Christian perspective. If you've been mired in a dogmatic version of Christianity or are wandering the edge of unbelief, as so many are - you just might find relief from the fear of death in this new version that so many Christians are discovering & embracing. And, If you are a dogmatic atheist, hopefully you'll come to realize that people who choose a life of religion - any kind - are not stupid. There are a few ways to prove the existence of God. The main ones are in here.
Most Atheists & non-religious folks (not all) can't see how 'a God' could exist beyond religions. And most Christians (again, not all) have a hard time believing that God could exist without Jesus Christ dying to save souls through death and resurrection. Basic Spirituality is a very misunderstood perspective. But, we are well-into the 21st Century; and it is time to stop harming each other over things that are both obvious and provable.
Common Stories - Hope Lost (or regained, depending on individual perspective)
- Deconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity | Christianity Today
- How I Told My Family I Was an Atheist
My parents (Dad being a pastor), were intimately involved in my deconversion. I wanted desperately to keep my faith...
On top of that, as you will see: it is chaos out here if you are an earnest seeker searching for spiritual truth. Maybe this world has Jesus' original story bent; and if you still want to believe in God - things like free-will & unconditional love do actually exist in a barely-tainted form.
I've had some feedback from non-religious folks regarding what a turn-off it is for how familiar and personable I am with the word 'God' (and utilize scriptures) in here. That is because most Christians (current & former) are really familiar with thinking of God as 'a person'. This should all still make sense to just about everyone. Think of God any way you want - I do eventually get into the science.
Christians-only Belief Poll
Do you think that the religion of Christianity has been tampered with?See results without voting
Why Question Christianity?
The similarity between Christianity and the pagan 'salvation' mysteries (Dionysus, Horus, Mithras, etc. - especially Mithras) so disturbed some early Christian fathers, that they had to resort to the most bizarre reasons to explain the similarity to the pagan cults. I mean, how many 'only sons of God', 'saviors' and 'messiahs' does God need to send down here to 'save' souls from 'sin'?
This is what the philosopher and satirist Celsus (170 CE) had to say: "Are these distinctive happenings unique to the Christians - and if so, how are they unique? Or are ours to be accounted myths and theirs believed? What reasons do the Christians give for the distinctiveness of their beliefs? In truth there is nothing at all unusual about what Christians believe, except that they believe it to the exclusion of more comprehensive truths about God". Source
Two Versions of Christianity - the Older-New One is Increasing
Did you know that there are now two versions of the religion of Christianity swirling in various ways around the world today: the traditional version that people are more familiar with that focuses on the 'salvation' message; and an older, pre-State version that focuses on the original teachings of Jesus Christ as the Kingdom of God 'being within' - as taught similarly by previous Holy Men throughout the ages.
Much of what Jesus was teaching has been misinterpreted largely due to overly-literal interpretations. There is even an old-new biblical translation that many Christians are currently unaware of. However, there also does seem to have been some state tampering, especially with the four gospels.
As concerning as anything else... if you have ever wondered why Christianity has been combined into a bunch of new 'christ-infused' hybrid belief structures and outlandish conspiracy theories, the 'real message' of Jesus Christ that people are just now discovering and 'playing with' - is the main reason why. Actually, some of the many and NEW different kinds of conspiracy theories that developed because of these new 'beliefs' have become quite ridiculous.
The 'proof' of what Jesus was really teaching is contained within the red letters (just the words of Jesus) in The Bible. If you are a Christian, there is no need to look beyond it - plus, there are a few different ways to see that original message beyond this explanation. This is the way *I* first saw it; and I'll share other ways.
But, it is in this simple, freeing, ages-old spiritual message - along with amazing things science has been discovering - that we find the existence of 'God'. It is also in this original message that we realize why Jesus the Christ was here to teach at that point in time: to free human souls from the bondage of paganism & poverty. And yet, 'paganism' gradually replaced the foundation of his message.
If you've done research, some of this might be familar to you. But, I don't think I've seen anyone gather all the puzzle pieces that we have found in one place; and put them together in a way that really starts to expose the big picture of our reality, yet - although, there are a few outrageous conspiracy theories that try. This isn't a conspiracy theory. That is what sets this information apart - it is a spiritual report based on the collective studies of your basic, deconverting (and some not deconverting) Christian seekers.
A Very Good Question
If we believe God is perfect and omnipresent, and that he kept The Bible unblemished by Human fallibility... Why couldn't God keep his messages straight among us via The Holy Spirit that he supposedly-used to keep The Bible from becoming tainted in the first place?
How Most Christians Fall Away from Beliefs
Losing your religion is not an easy or fast process - nor do any of us set out to 'lose' anything. Most Christians are simply seeking answers to spiritual questions; and are looking for a way to validate their religion so that they can confirm it within themselves. That is certainly what I started out doing. It is seemingly by accident that we stumble across more questions.
This is another deconversion anomaly - many of us will tell you that we were led out of our religion (or altered harmful beliefs about it) by 'The Spirit' or Christ, himself. I would definitely be on that list.
Getting through all this information took over two decades; and much of the time, was a scary process. For a while, you feel as if your soul is in limbo while trying to re-find footing. But, its okay - you learn a lot about the reality of life, and how God guides us. And in my opinion, Jesus turned out to be way cooler than most of us were told. :)
Ten Reasons Christianity is Far Superior to Any Other Religion - Look at how valued the concept of sin, and salvation from it, is 'the focus' of this belief set.
Ten Reasons Why Christianity Makes No Sense - Realizing that debating the issues has crystallized the inability to reconcile even the most fundamental principles of Christianity.
What was the original message of Jesus Christ?
Many people have come to believe that Jesus Christ was a compilation of ancient characters - including the infamous Julius Caesar. But many of them also believe that there was 'one main person' he was based on. Perhaps you have heard of the Book of Q? In fact, the number of people who have re-written the gospels in an attempt to remove the inaccuracies throughout history is significant.
Nicodemus Comes to Jesus in the Night for Answers
Unless otherwise noted, all bible verses below are quoted from the King James version since that is the translation that many Christians respect the most.
John 3: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus said, How can these things be? Jesus answered, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
Jesus Explains 'How to be Born Again' to Nicodemus
The first paragraph in the bible passage above is what scares most people; because Jesus is saying that a person cannot enter The Kindgom of Heaven without 'being born of the spirit' ASIDE from being born in the flesh - which is the easy part for us. We're just born - we don't have to 'do anything' to be born in the flesh.
Most Christian denominations interpret this verse in a similar way, depending - such as, 'born in the flesh' and 'born of the spirit' can represent water baptism and saying 'the sinner's prayer', respectively. A person who says the sinner's prayer is essentially inviting the spirit of christ into their heart to be 'born again' by his spirit.
Another Really Good Question:
While I suppose being born in the flesh could be referring to baptism (a beloved pagan concept) - Jesus had not died and resurrected, yet. The sinner's prayer for salvation hadn't even been invented - and you will find it NOWHERE in The Bible.
Think about it... IF the sinner's prayer was so important for the salvation of souls; then WHY didn't Jesus give the prayer directly to his disciples to teach after he supposedly resurrected from the dead? He gave them the 'Our Father' - why would he not hand out something so simple if it was required for eternal salvation?
God supposedly gave the Isrealites the Ten Commandments in the form of stone tablets TWICE in order to make sure they didn't miss out.
Why Divert the Power of People's Beliefs?
The religion of Christianity would have us think that a non-belief in the salvation message is a direct decent into hell after we die - murderers and 'little-white-liars', alike. Where does that put 'free will' if that is our choice - Heaven or Hell - for doing absolutely NOTHING aside from being born as a human being?
Really, why are we required to BELIEVE IN anything? It is another really good question! If God needed a sacrifice, he supposedly got one. Do you require your children to believe in anything you've ever done for them?
Disciplining kids for disobedience is not the same as forcing them to 'believe in' you. Covenants are mutual, not one side forcing itself on the other with dire consequences for all who fail to comply - that is a controlling ultimatum.
Beliefs are actually imperative to our very existence - I'll talk in much more detail about that, eventually. There are a few scary conspiracy theories wrapped around this specific 'diversion of belief' issue. Don't put too much into conspiracies. The reality of the truth Jesus taught is so much more powerful.
No, Jesus was not talking with Nicodemus in the verses above about a future sinner's prayer that would be based on his near-term death (that part may have happened) and resurrection...
Where are the many saints who supposedly 'rose from the grave' with Jesus?
Matt 27:52 “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
These saints appeared to many - yet, no one - out of all of the people who would have noticed & witnessed this particular miracle, including religious, political and military leaders or their scribes - mentions it. Jewish people take their holy men very seriously. If this event had happened, it would have been a HUGE confirmation for them that Jesus was their Messiah. There is a reason why Jews do not celebrate Easter with Christians.
Being Born Again is both easy and not a requirement - in fact, marvel not! :)
Being 'born of the spirit' seems more complicated than 'born in the flesh' - until you consider: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
It sounds to me like we are NOT anymore in control of becoming 'born of the spirit' than we are 'born of the flesh'; and more importantly, Jesus INSTRUCTS us: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
Not every person who is born of the flesh will also be 'born again' of the spirit - and it is OKAY, according to Jesus. Just because a person may not enter The Kingdom of God because he did not 'move the spirit upon them'; does NOT mean that they are going to 'hell'. We'll see why people who are not born again are still part of things toward the end. (No, I'm not talking about reincarnation - you'll see an image with hands in handcuffs being 'set free' when you get that far.)
Jesus Reveals Who He Really Is to Nicodemus
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness."
Who is Jesus including within the 'we' that he is talking about? Most Christians believe that he is talking about the Holy Spirit - The Trinity is yet another Christian concept founded in paganism. But, toward the end he says: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
Christ is ALSO 'in heaven'. His SPIRIT remains in heaven WHILE he is 'in the flesh' - "even the Son of man which IS IN heaven" - there is NO SEPARATION between 'Christ's Holy Spirit' and 'the flesh of Christ'. He originated 'as spirit' in heaven; and as such, remains connected to all that he is when he is here.
This was the original message of Christ - that we are 'just like him'; NOT that he was going to die and 'save us' from our sins. Jesus supposedly having 'no sin nature' does not come close to resembling our human experience. Sacrifices to atone for 'sins' was a pagan concept; and the people of this world had made considerable sacrifices to their various gods & goddesses throughout history up to that point. Christ was trying to enlighten people - that was a lie.
Christos being 'the way'.
- Bible Versions, Does It Really Matter Which?
Long-winded link talks about this interpretation (end) - sometimes Christ really was talking about himself in 1st person. He uses a couple word-specific variations. This is not 'proof', however - I could not find a good link, do your own research
- Soul Talk: Jesus did not mean 'he' is the way, the truth and the life...
This is a shorter discussion.
Re-discovered Bible Translation & Interpretation
Christianity teaches that God is separate from us, with our 'sinful souls' needing to be reconciled to him. But, the entire way you see Jesus Christ, read the New Testament, and see the salvation message will change dramatically after you understand this next point:
John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
The Theosophy folks re-discovered this: if you go into the original translation of that scripture, you will find that Jesus does not refer to himself as a 'personality' as being 'the way'; but to the divine principle of Christ or Christos - (which literally means 'the way') within him.
Jesus Christ WAS God in the flesh teaching & demonstrating to other 'gods in the flesh' who they really were beyond the pagan lies they knew: that they were REAL children of God - direct offspring just like him.
This 'christos' has different names in various religions, usually Christ Consciousness, Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven. It exists within the hearts of everyone - no 'belief in' anyone or anything, required:
Luke 17:20-21 “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Hebrews 2:14-18 means nothing unless Jesus was really like us.
Christ proclaimed this truth sarcastically to Pharisees who were harassing him - before he died - who did not and would probably never believe in him. (Sort of like, "Duh, you don't get the truth even when I flat-out say it!) He is NOT talking about a kingdom within them that remains dormant until ‘his resurrected and ascended spirit’ enters them - we just read him say that his spirit is NOT separated from his body BEFORE he died.
Plus, Jesus is speaking in CURRENT TENSE; and he does it again - John 10:34 "Is it not written in your law, I said, YOU are gods?
We're just like him. If that were not true, then nothing Christ said, did, taught or thought means anything: he would be like any other pagan 'god' who claimed to be 'the only one' to 'save' people from eternal damnation.
And this is the thing both Pagan & Jewish leaders were afraid of: Jesus WAS 'just like us' as he claimed. How would the truth of what he was really trying to get across alter people's perceptions of themselves if they started to believe such a sacreligious message that appears to be 'against God'?
Various forms of paganism was the foundation for many of Rome's beliefs, laws and government structure, etc. They couldn't let people go down that route. Plus, they probably had a pretty hard time believing in the message, themselves.
- Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle
The new perspective on Paul which has completely reoriented Pauline studies.
Pre-Gospel Writers & Pauline Controversy
Additionally many people now wonder if the Apostle Paul was not talking about many of the same things Jesus Christ really was - in similar ways. There is much controversy surrounding Paul's teachings. There is also controversy surrounding just how many letters in the New Testament he actually wrote - 7 out of 13 is the generally agreed-upon number.
Q1: "When early (PRE-gospel) writers like Paul speak of their "Christ Jesus", they do so in exclusively mythological terms. He is the divine Son in heaven, speaking through scripture, connected to the believer in mystical ways. Christ Jesus is the very substance of Godhead, pre-existent and the image of the Father... For all that Paul and others have to say about faith, no one ever raises the need to have faith that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God and Messiah. The very equation: "The divine, spiritual Son = Jesus of Nazareth, recently on earth," is universally missing."
Both Jesus and Paul were executed for what they taught
Q2: "Instead, they speak of Christ as now present on earth (e.g., 1 John 5:20), sent by God as he has also sent the Spirit. (The Spirit and the Son are sometimes linked, as in Romans 8:9, Galatians 4:6, Phil. 1:19.) As the Pauline letters convey through the use of their ubiquitous phrase "in—or through—Christ" (e.g., Romans 6:11, Ephesians 1:4, Titus 3:6), Christ is a spiritual medium through which God is revealing himself and doing his work in the world. He is a mystical force, part of and interacting with his believers, and he is God’s agent of salvation. All this lies plainly on the pages of the New Testament epistles, while beside it stands a void on the Gospel Jesus."
Quotes above from The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty.
Why was Jesus more-likely cruxified?
John 8 "And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed... But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God..."
The Controversy of Kabbalah
Jesus was probably cruxified for blasphemy from every pagan-religion's perspective - including Judaism, from whose temple in Jerusalem literally produced 'rivers of blood' from animal sacrifices. At that time, the Jewish religion definitely fell under the category of 'pagan'; and JEWS were the original followers & believers in Jesus' original message.
'Christ' has the same meaning as 'Krishna'; and his message wasn't new - simply misunderstood and/or rejected. Buddha would no-doubt have been cruxified if he had been in Jesus' place.
The difference between each of these holy men (and others) is that they were speaking to their specific audience through their own culture & ideals that they were familiar with. It is the most-probable reason why Jesus constantly referered to God as 'the Father' - because that was the way the communities that he touched were used to thinking about 'God'.
It was a very pagan society from almost every direction; and Jesus was talking to people from their 'level of understanding' - as did Buddha and Krishna for their audiences, etc. I'll talk in more detail about this, later.
But, because of these new realizations about Jesus' teachings of the Kingdom of God 'being within'; his purpose is now often credited to fulfilling a different old 'Jewish Law' than the original traditions the world is accustomed to...
Kabbalah is said to be the secret, mystical version of Judaism handed down thru Moses - and NOT for the general population.
Matthew 5:17 - Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
You will find much of this kind of teaching about the Kingdom of God in the Jewish Kabbalah. Jesus had this to say in the Nag Hamadi, found in 1945: "The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you - not in a mansion of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and I am there. Lift a stone and you will find me."
Did you know that there are two versions of almost every religion - even Christianity? (Just as Kabbalah is considered to be the mystical version of Judaism.) It is as if there is a version that everyone can believe in; and a 'hidden', mystical version that people who realize can discover and reach for.
There really is no way to know how intentional the twisting of Christianity was - especially since former ancient religions (ie. Lord Krishna's - coming up) also became somehow similarly-twisted; along with the fact that the salvation message probably became much more highlighted over 1500 years after Jesus' death during the Protestant Reformation. This is of course when people began to take The Bible more literally and as the literal 'Word of God'.
Christ came to FREE the minds of mankind - not lock us in a spiritual prison.
Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (your christos) has set you free from the [pagan] law of sin and of death."
Sin, death, hell and the deliverance from it through various rituals were all ancient pagan concepts. These are the things Christ came to free souls from - so that people could see themselves for what they really are: human beings, 'god in the flesh' just like him. The majority of us are not currently 'aware' that we are just like him, yet. :)
I know this infusion of information is overwhelming - and frankly, it is the tip of the iceberg. Most Christians reject sources beyond The Bible because of the ban on anything outside of it - and what it says about 'evil sorcery'.
The Bible was written in a very specific way so that believers would not seek out anything beyond it. But, there are 'good' & 'bad' alternative sources all over - in the same way that there are 'good' & 'bad' Christian believers and preachers, etc.
Stay present, build trust in listening to your entire being (your christos or 'kingdom of God' within). I'll talk a lot more about how to do that, later. But, we all generally-know 'how to listen and trust ourselves'. You'll be able to tell what belongs and what doesn't. God is not afraid of our questions. He welcomes all hearts with perfect intentions, no matter how curious.
Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Seek Ye First...
Why You Can Trust Your Internal Guidance & Intuition
This is probably one of the most poignantly-missed things Christ taught about the Kingdom of God being WITHIN:
Luke 10: 5 & 6 "And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again."
NOTE: Jesus gave the above instruction to his disciples before he supposedly resurrected, ascended, then gave 'his holy spirit' to them in the Upper Room in the Book of Acts. Most people don't have a problem believing that the disciples were 'just like us'. How the heck could THAT be unless the Kingdom of God being within - without the need for 'salvation' - is true?
Of course, Christianity has an explanation for this. In Luke 9, Jesus supposedly 'gave them power and authority' - similar to the way the devoted followers of both Theosophy and Lord Krishna came up with - if you want to go float around in the astro plane with them. Yeah, that's sarcasm - isn't it strange how other religions are so similar and yet slightly different than Christianity? Lord Krishna is much older; and his messages are no-doubt at least as twisted as Jesus' are.
Did you know that many previous 'holy men' insisted that their words not be written down? (And most of them did not write them down, themselves - such as Jesus.) These religious misunderstandings that seem to be so easy to develop are no-doubt why.
What is Speaking in Tongues?
I mention this because many deconverting Christians fall into this set of beliefs (or Theosophy) because they come to believe that projecting into the astral plane is 'the next step' in reaching 'God'. I mean, if you can directly connect to a 'spiritual master' who is supposed to bring you the rest of the way 'home' - that MUST be the answer if you've realized something is wrong with your current set of Christian beliefs, right?
Please be careful out there, peeps. *I* went to the edge and then researched further before jumping in with both feet. The initiation ritual that is performed for both of these systems seems to be no different than the Christian concept of 'being baptized in the holy spirit' (another huge controversy within Christianity).
Any set of beliefs that insists you need someone or something else outside of yourself to 'save' you is not 'the way'.
How God Guides Us...
Back to Jesus in John 3: The first time I heard about this 'kingdom of god' stuff years ago, I had picked up a book about Kabbalah on a whim called, "God Wears Lipstick". It was pink and had a big, red 'kiss' on the cover. I was just starting to peek beyond the bible a bit; and that part of the book's message really resonated within me - because this part of the exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus always seemed like so much more... This part of the conversation would roll around in my head like a marble.
I mean, WHY would Jesus tell Nicodemus to 'marvel not' about being born again - a 'salvation' concept that he had not provided, yet - and then later, go off about how every one that 'doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved'. AND, what about that 'wind blowest where thou listest' part?
I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with this scene; because I could not comprehend the incredibly simple meaning of it due to my Christian beliefs before that book opened up my imagination - inspiring me to explore the topic of the 'Kingdom of God' further, for myself.
This is also another way that the gospels could have been accidentally-misinterpreted. As I said above, Rome's pagan leaders probably had a hard time believing in Jesus' original message, themselves. It was probably pretty easy for them to simply update the old pagan beliefs because of not being able to comprehend a different meaning.
Just so you know, that is how God will guide you - gently, casually. He does not push. I did not become a follower of Kabbalah. God talks in many ways. He is always with you. There is nothing to fear.
Despite controversy, many Christians deconvert into Kabbalah because it is based in the Jewish faith, just like Christianity supposedly is. It is semi-familiar and comfortable for them.
Kabbalah has the 'Tree of Life' system; while Buddhism and other religions talk about variations of the 'Chakra' system. Both 'systems' are human concepts that complicate things, further. I will explain the simplicity of both these systems, later.
The Kingdom of God Within was Jesus' Core Teaching
Continuing in John 3: Nicodemus responds "How can these things be?" as if in COMPLETE surprise - because he was USED to the concept of 'sacrificing' to 'atone' for his human nature.
Jesus seems to be amused and teasing Nicodemus in his response, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"
As spiritual leaders, the 'masters of Israel' should DANG SURE be aware of the reality of their existence. If religious leaders (not necessarily only Jewish ones) - had become unaware of who they really were; and who God was in relationship to them - then it seems like a pretty good reason why Christ might have been here at that point in time to teach - reminder, much?
John 17: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (Jesus is saying these things BEFORE he is supposedly crucified). And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me... before the foundation of the world."
While 'the man' Jesus may be a compilation of ancient characters; 'Christ' IS a real consciousness that has 'come down from heaven as 'the son of man which is [also] in heaven'. That is the 'we' he is referring to in this scripture: "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness."
Nicodemus was probably somewhat familiar with other religious belief systems; and he may even have been more knowledgable than us - simply because he lived closer to the timelines of Lord Buddha, Lord Krishna and other Holy Men than we do. He may have been aware of more accurate and/or lost messages from teachers we may no longer even know about today.
There were several people previous to Jesus who claimed (or more commonly, their followers claimed) to be 'saviors'. And while we cannot say for certain who any of those people were - any more than we can say for certain who Jesus was; these 'Christs' also incarnated (Both Jesus and John the Baptist are on this particular list - in fact, some people believe that John the Baptist was 'the real' Jesus.) as the 'son of man which is [also] in heaven' to become 'just like us'.
The story of The Laughing Buddha is one that definately makes me think of a 'Christ Consciousness'. Supposedly, they don't really like to be made a big deal about while they are here; and yet, they make an impact whenever and wherever they go. Plus, they all seem to have similar dispositions and messages that were freely-given to the audiences of their day.
The Laughing Buddha's Last Words:
Maitreya, true Maitreya
Reborn innumerable times
From time to time manifested among men. The men of the age do not recognize him.
Compare to Christ's words:
"We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness."
Maitri is Sanskrit for 'loving kindness'. Psalms 63:3 "Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee."
Christ and others like him have been here at times trying to show people these simple, spiritual truths - such as in The Sermon on the Mount. You will find more details about the difference between 'The Christs' and us past the video.
He probably also did 'miracles'; and may even have cast out 'demons' - yikes! However, Christ did NOTHING that he said WE are not capable of, and more. Additionally, through their various teachings, the Christs were probably trying to teach us to 'stand on our own' and 'think for ourselves':
John 14:12 I (Jesus, the person trying to teach you) tell you the truth, anyone, who has faith in me (me = 'christos', not HIM, directly) will do what I (Jesus, the person who is just like us) have been doing. He will do even greater works than these, because I (Jesus, the person) am going to the Father (God) - JUST LIKE we will someday, also.
If all this is true, and Jesus didn't actually die for our sins to save our souls from eternal damnation... What was his real purpose here; and what really happens to our soul after our body dies?
Yet more patience required: first, who & what the heck are we?!
We are Eternal mini-Universes: Models of the Big Kahuna Universe
Of course, the creation story in The Bible is a metaphor, and was considered to be that by many religious leaders before the literal age of Protestantism took the argument to new heights. More details about how God created the world, later - this is mostly about us. These images will come in handy in a few places, keep them in mind. Try not to let this part overwhelm you. God is small - said no one ever. :)
This is the shape of our Universe - an infinitely-in-motion donut. Many scientists doubt this theory because that would somehow mean that it has a finite space - an edge that we could eventually see or reach. But, it is a slowly, constantly expanding donut, with God / The Source being 'the center' - which is where his/her attention is focused: on the whole of the Universe.
We are each mini-representations of the original Universe, meaning: WE are the center of our own Universe - literally. Our body exists in the 'equilibrium' between contraction and expansion - it is where OUR attention exists (see images). The entire bubble surrounding us is 'the rest of us' - the 'god-self' part of us - that we can't see. It both flows through us and encompasses all that we are - totally emersed in the Consciousness of God or 'Universal Consciousness'.
There is even a working scientific theory that Gravity - the very thing that holds our feet to the ground - is Consciousness. And since the discovery of Primordial Gravitational Waves, how far off does the theory that 'God' created the Universe sound, now?
- Is The Universe Alive? Forbes
You’ve seen the analogies before: how atoms are like solar systems, how the large-scale structure of the Universe are like neurons in a human brain, and how there’s the interesting coincidence that...
Each 'Universe', no matter how small, contains its own version of 'Source Consciousness' - just like our beloved animals do. We can see that animals are 'life energy'; but they obviously experience life from a different perspective of consciousness than we do. A simpler one that doesn't do nearly as much thinking or imagining - but, is no less 'real' or perfect for them.
This consciousness is our battery or life-force. We could not exist without it. We could not breathe without it - and we don't. Our body dies without it.
While civilizations have come and gone in this world - all of this 'universal action' is eternally, infinitely in motion. It never stops.
A really comforting Near Death Experience of a 15 year old boy who describes what we are 'really like'; and that we have nothing to fear after our body dies:
This movie on Quantum Physics is over ten years old; and people are still talking about it - including in the video, above. With as much advancement in this field as there has been - an updated version might be even more mindboggling.
This video is turning out to be far more relevant than I thought it would be when I originally wrote this article - I refer back to it often from this point. If you have time, I highly-advise watching it all the way to the end. It is not a time-waster. :)
Near Death Experiences (NDE's) are one place to get a sneak peek into the process of dying - expect them to vary significantly. I chose this one because it speaks to me the most; and does a good job of explaining some of the things I am talking about in here, better.
If you have done any research into NDE's - dying actually sounds kind of exciting. In the NDE above, this gentleman gives a beautiful description of 'everything he knew about everyone' and what it is like to 'go into the light'. I have also read that you can choose to go anywhere before you go into the light, such as - visit your loved ones; or move forward or backward in 'our time' to experience things like the future or historic events - or even travel the Universe.
This NDE testimony provides a beautiful metaphor of 'how we exist' in this life... It is as if the entire 'eternal, internal consciousness' part of us is focused on a book or movie. You know how it is when you allow yourself to become engrossed. Someone could walk into the room (and even talk to you); and you can be so focused on the STORY in the book, that you don't even realize they are there.
It is as if we are the main character in our own play; and we are both watching and participating in the experience - simply for the experience.
Jesus Feeds the 5000
Jesus & Peter Walk on Water
Matthew 14: And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
This NDE video is yet another source (there are so many) that claims we are more than just bodies - and that we are somehow both ONE; and 'extremely creative beings' who create our own reality: no 'belief in' a god or religion is necessary.
If you can convince yourself to believe that you can move things telekineticallly with just your mind - you can. If you believe you can feed 5000 people with a few loaves of bread and some fish, you can. Do you believe you can walk on water?
On a 'spiritual' level, if you believe that you can project your soul into the astral plane to have a face-to-face chat with Lord Krishna, you can. If your religion inspires you to believe that the Holy Spirit 'guides' you in your life - it does. If you believe that wearing a certain type of crystal will heal you - it will. If you believe 'laying on of hands and praying in Jesus name' will heal you - it will, also.
Jesus often said to people he had healed, 'Your faith has made you whole." We can certainly receive help from others. In that case, they become 'co-creators' with us - but, we receive absolutely no help UNLESS we believe.
Most beliefs become real to us by thinking thoughts over and over. This is why they are so hard to unravel - we 'build' them. In the case of Jesus healing people, all they had to do was watch him heal others; and they were easily convinced that he could heal them. The people Jesus healed were READY for him to heal them.
This is also how Jesus' disciples would have healed through their own christos within - by listening to his instructions (of course they had that advantage); and by watching Jesus - being influenced by his 'power' enough to convince them of their own christos or power within.
Healing was not something the disciples were capable of doing until they could believe in the truth about themselves and everyone else around them. It took time, as it takes us all time - but, being in the direct presence of Jesus probably had a profound spiritual affect to accelerate their 'believing' capabilities.
In a nutshell, the most profound thing Jesus ever tried to do was help put our lives in perspective for us so that we could - again - see ourselves for who we really are: just like him and no different.
Another way that we create our reality is by 'attracting the essense of it'. Whatever we give the majority of our attention to through our thoughts and emotions will play out through our physical reality.
This is why we can 'attract' a hard or carefree life. For example, if you think a lot about what an 'unworthy sinner' you are; or worry about 'bad things' that happen in the world - what kind of situations might manifest around you? Probably not ones that bring you much satisfaction or contentment.
Whatever you 'broadcast' to the Universe through your thoughts and emotions is what you will attract to you. So, we attract the kinds of situations & people into our lives that support our beliefs. (This may not be the only reason for both 'good' & 'bad' things to happen to us - but, it is the main one.)
Election 2016: How did President Donald Trump DO that?!!
The way we believe is also why it may seem to us that 'some people' are WAY too prosperous than we think they should be; while WE struggle to put food on the table. It doesn't have anything at all to do with whether or not you are rigidly following 'the right' religion; or 'how good' you are being...
Successful people are successful because they BELIEVE IN themselves - some to the point of being obtuse about it. Donald Trump would be a good example: you can NOT tell that man that he is wrong; or that he looks goofy, etc. It isn't just that he 'won't admit it' - he literally REFUSES to believe those things about himself.
11/9/16, a post-election update: Trump WON?!! Woah! The entire world is shocked. I, personally, have some complaints about this election (who doesn't?); but from the objective perspective of this article...
Donald Trump does have an inordinantly-high amount of self-confidence; and he had many co-creators within his campaign, plus additional 'co-supporters' across the land. Votes were very divided; and some say Hillary Clinton won the popular vote - so, what does that say about America as 'a consciousness'?
We're very divided. Trump will either become 'the vessel' that America needed to help navigate us into a better world; OR we will discover he brings 'negative contrast' that we don't want - and we can then 'steer' our way toward another, potentially-better option. Relax & breathe. Creating a decent utopia between primitive tribal timelines into all-inclusive, worldwide globalization takes time, ha!
The Water Cycle is the Best Representation Our Life Cycle
Streams, Pools, Lakes and Oceans of Life
When you start thinking about the things you WANT (not what you don't want), along with how you know you'll feel when you get them - instead of thinking about 'how things are', and how bad they make you feel - your boat will slowly start to turn in the streams of life.
Sure you still have to deal with situations - but don't allow them to 'dominate' your thoughts. Just deal with them the easiest and most logical way available to you. Listen to the 'Kingdom of God' within you that speaks largely through your intuition and emotions. 'All' of you has a much broader perspective than your 'point of attraction' (your body). We'll talk in much more detail about how to listen to your inner-guidance system, later.
Multiple streams can flow together at a time; and there are an infinite combination of them for us to choose from - without us really realizing it, at first.
We Can Feel 'Like One'
We can cross over streams and/or hang out in them for a bit while we make course corrections. For instance, perhaps your neighborhood has the 'dark streams' of poverty and crime running through it... or, maybe you are currently in a stream that has manifested a fullfilling career; while at the same time, another stream has swerved in to manifest illness.
We sometimes share streams with others; and they run into 'pools', 'lakes' and 'oceans', etc. For instance, a family might be a pool, a community could be considered a lake; and an entire city could be thought of as an ocean - and yet, the diversity of various streams that swirl together into these larger 'points of attraction' beyond our single little ship makes things like cities, neighborhoods, teams, bands, cliques - and even families (as a group) - 'seem alive' - don't they?
If you've been to church during a really good sermon or worship service - you have experienced what these 'pools' feel like on a spiritual level. This is why it is very difficult to convince Christians (or any religious person, I would imagine) that there is no God. Because that is simply impossible for so many of us to believe. We KNOW what we have experienced; and are unwilling to let go of the obvious.
Have you ever been to a really good concert or sporting event (Go Seahawks!) where everyone got 'caught up' in the excitement of what was going on - and you felt like you were on the same wave 'as one' with all those strangers (and our BFF's, even more)? Its the same thing.
How Streams Work and How God Communicates with Us
Streams can be 'good', 'bad', or anything in between - always bringing stuff meant to help us grow & develop in this existence. Remember the mini-universe model above... It is through 'contractions' (which can be either 'good' or 'bad') flowing through us that leads to the expansion of our soul.
This 'expansion' is constantly 'adding' to our soul; and we experience all that we have become in this life after our body dies. That is when we are capable of perceiving the reality of all that we really are.
Most good & bad things that happen to us are related to our current stream(s); and is an attempt to guide us into better waters (no one 'steers' for us). The idea behind that is: if/when we 'feel bad' - ideally, we will learn to re-orient ourselves towards 'feeling better' (instead of wallowing in the misery like so many of us do).
To simplify that... when we are happy - we are essentially 'in sync' with what 'everything we are' is feeling. Things are so simple, its mindboggling.
On the flipside, any time we 'feel bad' about ourselves or are angry about someone or something (any 'negative' emotion about anything); that is our 'indicator' that our 'inner being' (the 'god-self' part of us) does not agree with our perspective - because God always looks for (and sees) 'the good' in absolutely everything.
Yes, even things like 'abuse' - someone who abuses is damaged and screaming for love & acceptance; and the challenge that 'the abused' has to get past will cause them to 'become more' than they would have if they had not been physically harmed. Absolutely NO ONE can harm your soul. God keeps that safe - we'll get into why and how he does that, later.
We frustrated humans desperately pray for relief from our problems wondering why God does not answer our prayers... While not realizing that God is ALREADY DIRECTLY communicating with us through our body, soul and situations.
God is PURE POSITIVE ENERGY (just like we are in our non-physical form) and can only read hearts. The physical aspects of our world - including human-born beliefs & religions - are only relevant to us. God isn't 'watching' and seeing like we see; nor does he have any use for our language, thoughts or actions. They ARE tools & toys for US to utilize, however - no matter how 'right' or 'wrong' we believe they are.
As such, God cannot tell whether our hands are folded properly; or if we are kneeling during prayer. And, God simply cannot tell the difference between the sincere worship of a Christian, Muslim or Hindu - or a crazed football fan, for that matter.
I'll go into more detail about this stuff, later.
Jesus was 'naturally good'; and it is our natural state of being, too.
How Our Soul Expands - the Good
Have you ever had happy emotions so intense, that you felt like your heart was about to burst? Your soul is expanding!
It is easy to see why good situations happen: Joy, Love, Contentment, Good Health, Abundance, Fun and Harmony, etc., is our natural state of 'being like God'. We'll take as much of that as we can get, please!!
This was Jesus' natural state of 'being' - he made absolutely no extra effort to love or heal people. His all-inclusive, loving disposition was one of the things that was considered to be so unusual about him.
Illness could not exist where Jesus 'believed' it could not. The reason why we have a difficult time healing illnesses is because by the time we develop symptoms and realize that we are sick - we've already got a bunch of momentum going in that stream. It is more difficult to make course corrections at that point.
Compilation of Spiritual & Scientific Teachers Explaining How We Create & Perceive Reality
The Science Behind Our Reality & An Experiment in Creation
As I've said, there are so many - teachers today who confirm our existence as I'm explaining in here: we are very creative, spiritual beings having a human experience instead of the other way around. This video (right) is a complilation of some current teachers explaining black holes, vortexes and how we create & perceive our individual realities.
Warning: this video packs a serious wow factor - but may not seem entirely clear until you get through the rest of this wordy - but (hopefully) clarifying from a Christian perspective - explanation. Also, 'the leading edge' will be mentioned; but the meaning might not be clear: it is a reference to us as human beings, being on the leading edge of this physical-based reality. That will be more clear later; but should help keep things in context for the video.
I'm not kidding, WE are CREATORS - here is an experiment: take a simple topic that is innocuous to you (one that you don't already have either a positive or negative 'momentum' built up around; and that you don't usually encounter during a normal day) - such as lady bugs, sea shells or whatever.
Think about every little thing you can appreciate about that subject. Imagine yourself interacting with the item - for example, imagine yourself picking up shells on the beach; or hold an image of the object in your imagination - maybe do some picture searches online to get some inspiration.
Meditate on it, giving it all of your attention for at least ten minutes for a few mornings in a row; and also sporadically during the day, if you remember. Write about it if you don't like the idea of meditation. The point is to concentrate your focus on it.
After the first morning, sometimes - you will start to notice an increase in how often you cross paths with that subject during the day. It is mindboggling (and can get pretty funny) how many different ways the universe can find to bring that subject into your experience.
The Universe LOVES us and OFTEN goes out of its way to show it. It is the NATURAL, 'default' state for wellbeing to flow FREELY to and through us. :)
And, by this time, after I've described 'how it works' - you can probably look back on your life and see where you have indeed attracted either 'good' or 'bad' situations, people or things into your life that supported your beliefs - almost always, your 'creations' begin from persistent, rolling-thoughts in your mind.
Realizing you are a creator requires RELAXING and altering sloppy thinking.
- Quantum Physics and Manifesting the Life You Want
"You see it when you believe it." So many of us will not believe UNTIL we see it and wonder why the things we want take so long to come into our lives.
The Most Maddening Lesson
The fact that we create our own reality can be a really frustrating thing for seekers to accept, at first - especially since it is so easy to look back in hindsight and see exactly 'how we got here'. It is almost embarrassing, certainly undeniable and often funny.
Plus, we don't want to hear that almost everything that happens to us is pretty much our own fault. No, its my MOM's fault or my alcoholic husband's or the fault of politicians, etc. Things aren't MY fault... I have personally thrown things and smashed them against the wall.
For instance, it is very very difficult for me not to blame the religion of Christianity for the split between my mother and myself (another common story) - and I'm sure I'm not entirely there, yet. Some course corrections take more time than others.
The bottom line is, even though we may share streams - and even though we start out in the 'same stream' as our mother/parents/family, church congregations, and friends, etc. - we don't have to stay in anyone else's negative streams - whether we live with them, or not.
We have control over our own thoughts & emotions. We are each the captain of our own ship - no matter what is happening to us, or going on around us. While this may seem like an impossibility for us to do, at times - we watch actors & actresses manipulate their emotions for us all the time while playing 'let's pretend' on TV and in movies. We have more control than we realize.
This is also why 'escaping' can be good for us - as a diversion or a plain 'ol break.
How Our Soul Expands - the Bad
'The good' in 'bad' situations can be a LOT harder for us to detect. It is related to both our goals of soul-expansion; AND the solution - meaning, every problem includes the inspiration or 'pushing off point' for its own solution, if we can both realize it and reach for it (as an individual, or collectively).
For example, when we find the ROOT of a problem - such as holding something inside that needs to be released (resentment, perhaps); then we can use that knowledge to alter our course (by altering our thoughts & emotions surrounding it); and 'push off' towards healing the resentment that we have been hoarding.
Another way we can move beyond a bad situation is by finding the good in it - no matter how ugly it seems to be. Focusing our attention on the good, instead of 'the bad' can help us discover the path beyond it.
For instance, with regards to the situation I talked about with my mother: I can choose to focus on 'the bad' (and how that makes me feel) or 'the good'. Sometimes you may need to focus on the bad for a while and 'work your way up' toward feeling better - just like a course correction on a ship takes a little time, and sometimes through rough waters.
But, I am currently comfortable thinking about my mother like this: I KNOW we love each other. And while we have always sort of irritated each other (we have opposite 'styles', ha!), we could also be quite the giggle twins. It is those times and that 'feeling of giggling with her' that I try to focus on (and her smell which I will apparently never forget); because *I* know that mother/daughter bond is the 'real truth' of our relationship - and the 'split' between us is a silly situation that she happens to believe is very serious...
Her only daughter's eternal soul is on the line! That isn't an easy thing for a mom to be thinking about - and it is 'the thing' that I still hold against the religion of Christianity: for inspiring her believe those things so erroneously & emphatically.
Oh yeah, I know my mamma loves me, ha!
And yet, no one can 'make us' believe (or unbelieve) anything... this is why excommunicating your unbelieving children (or whatever their 'sin' is) is really uncool. How does it make anyone feel? In hindsight, I would not have told my mother about any of this, except that she was naturally in the loop when I began questioning. As my questions grew, and I started 'discovering' things - and I couldn't stop - that is when she cut me off.
However, I have absolutely no doubt (you'll see why, later) that our relationship is okay. It will heal naturally and with perfect timing, either in this life or later. She has her own 'christos' that is helping her through her life experience; and I have mine.
Solutions are often (not always) as simple as 'letting go' of the harsh things within our current stream that has made us 'sick' - such as, not being able to see ourselves as anything other than a victim, to be able to forgive a past abuser.
Forgiveness & Unconditional Love is easier than we thought; and is a HUGE relief for our soul - we'll get to that, eventually.
- The Healing Power of Laughter
How the Marx Brothers brought Norman Cousins back to life.
Also, an illness can be a good way to get our attention and/or the rest our body & soul has been craving. It can even be a way to get attention from others that we have been 'needing' - since God works through us via our 'christos'. Plus, illnesses and harsh situations, in general, often bring opportunities to heal relationships - or even create new ones.
If a situation ends in death, then that is exactly how things are supposed to go. God does not see 'death' the same way we do... For God, bringing us home is a joyous opportunity of expansion for everyone concerned; and our soul is NEVER in 'disagreement' with it: even if it does not feel that way from our limited human perspective leading up to it; or from the perspective of those we leave behind. However, once 'death' happens (we never actually 'die'); we can look back and see the perfect purpose of it.
In fact, since most of us have such a hard time understanding God's 'indicators'; and he never forces his will or perception on us - death can often be 'the only way' to bring us the relief that we have been so desperate for. God absolutely will NOT perform a miracle for us just because we think that he should. (Although many people DO still experience 'miracles' as they 'believe' - both within religious contexts and otherwise.)
The Difference Between Crowds of Jesus' Day and Us
Our purpose in this life is to figure out how to utilize what we know, in order to fix our own problems - so that our lives as both individuals and communities become less full of strife and more satisfying. We are creators, our job is essentially to bring 'Heaven to Earth'.
Jesus' healed people in LINES all day long. Most were simple folks who got to see 'miracles' happen right before their very eyes; and some of those people experienced one within their own body.
It was a different time with the majority being lost in the brutal vastness of Rome's many pagan religions and poverty. The people of Jesus' day were a different crowd in need of a serious spiritual infusion of Hope, Love and Understanding. Because for humanity to simply 'survive' is not necessarily enough...
But, that isn't what the crowd of this day & age is in need of. We have plenty of Hope and every other good thing swirling around us. MUCH of the reason for that hope TODAY is due to past 'expansions' mankind has gone through. And, as important... Jesus was 'called' because of the 'desires' of previous humans decades before his time craving relief & truth about themselves.
As such, we are essentially in a place to 'reap the benefits' of others who have lived before us - while continuing to slowly expand, create and 'pave the way' into all that mankind can become into generations still beyond.. :)
Row Row Row Your Boat is a more profound song than we thought. Capt. Kirk and the boys do this song justice.
The Main Reason Why Our World is in Chaos
This is the main reason why our world is in chaos, because most of us don't realize that we 'co-create' or 'co-attract' this entire world all the way down to our individual selves, families and communities. And since we don't realize that we do this - or HOW we do this - chaos galore!
It's okay... supposedly the chaos is part of helping us to 'become' in this world.
Life is but a dream, and our hearts are boats in the stream... We had no idea what a profound song, 'Row Row Row Your Boat' is. The fact that it is sung 'in a round' with voices 'streaming' into each other makes it that much more profound.
What Happens to Our Soul When Our Body Dies?
When we die, we remove our attention from this realm of suspended belief to return to the fullness of our natural state of being. Essentially, we read the last page, close the book - and probably fall into that 'between worlds' feeling for a bit until we re-adjust to our 'real lives' again - JUST like we do at the end of any good book. The NDE video above describes this general process very well.
Where Evil Comes From
Sometimes, the transition between this physical life and our non-physical one can seem really scary - you may have heard of NDE's where people have experienced things that resemble 'hell'. It can be easier or more difficult from our current perspective based on what we believe about death.
Note that, EVEN IF a person experiences 'heaven' in the beginning - their 'beliefs' can still play a role. What have you been taught? Are you looking forward to heaven? Do you believe there is a 'hell'? Have you 'been bad' to fear it? Does the concept of evil scare you?
Pslams 23: Fear no evil.
A reminder: 'evil' did not even SORT of scare Jesus. He knew exactly who he was, where evil comes from, and how to deal with it.
Matthew 8:16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word (GO! or Rockma!), and healed all who were ill. Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (You can plainly see it within me.) Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. (Through the Kingdom of God or 'Christos' within.)
The nutshell version: our beliefs create both evil and illness - not that they aren't 'real' as we are experiencing them - just like 'real' illnesses that Jesus healed became obsolete. It depends on the stream that we have been navigating in, as to how real evil becomes to us. It can affect us temporarily into our transition from this life until we become fully aware of ALL of our 'awareness'. It doesn't take long. Supposedly, it can be not quite instantaneous.
In other words, we can no more bring 'evil' into our afterlives (or experience it) - any more than we can experience sickness - simply because we don't have a human body to experience those human things, anymore. Everything that happens to us is for the purpose of our soul's expansion: both 'good' & 'bad' stream through us (re: mini-universe model); with only 'the good' (which is the only thing that actually exists) - causing the expansion.
I don't know about you, but that sounds extremely powerful, to me. I'll actually talk in more detail about 'how & why God does that', later. :)
“Whatever plane (or stream) our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities. As we rise in the scale of development (or our body dies) we perceive that during the stage through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings.” The Secret Doctrine
The better relationship you have with the non-physical part of yourself - the easier the process of 'dying' will be for you. NO ONE ends up 'in hell'. We'll see WHY no one goes there when we get more into our navigation system; as well as WHAT are our treasures in heaven!!
Yeah, it sounds like dying might be as fascinating as this life can be. But, the NDE doesn't go very far beyond that... what happens AFTER we 'go into the light'?
Doesn't matter, back to The Christ:
Life Hack: Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve
Know how to stimulate the Vagus Nerve in your body to get immediate relief of all kinds of stress from both physical and psychological ailments.
The Difference Between Christ and Us
The most unusual thing about Jesus (and the other 'Christs' that we know about) was that he chose to care for and about people beyond 'the norm'. Most ‘spiritual' teachers both past & present teach NOT to worry about your neighbor or anyone else. God is looking out for them; and everything is working out the way it is supposed to – no matter how sick their bodies or their lives are.
Jesus taught people to 'turn the other cheek' - so that we don't fall into the trap of getting caught up in someone else's bad attitude or 'darkness'.
Essentially, other people have their stuff to go through; and you have your's... Let God 'do his job' so that you don't accidentally become entangled in something that 'isn't your's', etc. This is actually really good advice, generally speaking; because most of us are not here to participate in this life in that way.
However, Jesus was a teacher who chose to share what he knew with superstitious people who probably didn't 'believe' very good things about themselves - and, helped those (often desperate) people where they needed it. He died for doing that, simply because of what/how people of that time 'believed'.
Jesus could easily have lived a rich, healthy, long life - but, he was HAPPY to come play with us; KNOWING how it would affect and 'expand' the collective consciousness of all mankind.
The ONLY difference between 'Christs' and us - is that we have not returned to The One, yet. Our spirit is NOT 'completely in heaven' at the same time we are in this existence. Our soul is not 'complete' (or 'awakened', 'realized' or 'aligned', etc. - many different words are used to describe this concept) - to fully become one with The Creator, yet.
However, neither are we EVER disconnected from Our Source.
Christ is simply a soul that has completed ALL of its life lessons to 'become one' with The Source of God (or at least, closer than most of us ever have). And since he started out JUST LIKE US, he is able to return to us in a way that God himself, cannot. Christ HAS to be born into a human form that contains his christos - just like us - in order to physically interact in this plane of existence. Just like we do.
Original Source and Creator of ALL Life & Universes = 'God'
- The shocking discovery about evangelical Christianity that I made after becoming a father
I used to be a staunch evangelical. Then I adopted a child and realized how much I had suffered
The One cannot leave the confines of the original, indigenous realm; so Christ - and OTHERS LIKE that soul who have also figured out how to spiritually reconnect - is how God experiences and takes part in their existence: by working through their 'christos'.
He does the same thing with us 'disconnected humans', but we don't realize it. We BELIEVE that we are disconnected from God when we are NOT. No matter how 'undeveloped' our souls may be; there is a part of us that is ALWAYS connected. We are as much 'Sons of God' as Christ is, and we always have been. We are NOT 'adopted' or 'saved' as Christian Theology dictates.
This is the way we are created, to experience lives that The Creator cannot. This is ALSO WHY reincarnation is IRRELEVANT. Whether it exists or not is completely beside the point.
It will take however long it is supposed to take for your soul to 'return to God' completely - according to however long he/she decides it is going to take. Would you have it any other way?
We are meant to become Companions of God - just like Christ and others like him already are. When you think about it, it is really nice of 'The Christ's' to pay us earthly humans a visit every once in a while - or any attention, at all.
Why would they?
A Father of Science Reveals the Most Profound Spiritual Truth
Unconditional Love - Embracing Both the Good and the Bad
Because they are ONE with GOD and GOD is LOVE. God loves ALL of his creation, it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to hate any part of it. (The NDE video above explains this very well.) And, as 'lowly' as we humans supposedly are - we are as much a concern of God as the Christ's were when they were where we are now.
This is the biggest and most difficult lesson for EVERY soul in this experience to learn: how can God love absolutely EVERYTHING about ALL that he/she has created? As mere humans, we cannot BEGIN to fathom what 'Unconditional Love' means to God. So many people of various faiths strive for it as if it is something we can completely comprehend and achieve. Most people can't, and God does not require us to while we exist in this earthly realm BECAUSE we DO feel 'disconnected' when we are here. That is part of the experience.
Sure, Jesus gave us the golden rule that tells us to do unto others as we would have done to us, etc. But, who do we have the most difficult time loving unconditionally?
OURSELVES. Christians (there are other religions & cultures who do this in various ways) are especially 'programmed' in this life to judge themselves as much (and more harshly) than others - for much smaller offenses. For instance, I've seen Christians 'accidentally' tell a little white lie; and feel so bad about it afterwards that they practically became suicidal.
This is because most Christians are taught that every time we sin, we nail Jesus Christ to the cross all over again. Guilt, much?!
Just trust me on this, for now... Christ does not want ANYONE feeling 'guilty' over anything concerning him. You don't understand 'sin': "they know not what they do". That isn't what his death was about.
Many ugly people may actually be very loving beings - but don't remember. It is like we are given a serious case of amnesia when we're born. Our memories are erased for a reason (watch the NDE video).
How else would a 'god' experience something like the innocence of a child - without forgetting that they are a god and actually becoming a child? How else would an omnipotent, non-dual, all-inclusive-male-female being experience the difference between being male and female - or any of the fifty shades of grey in between?
How can a generically-loving being actually experience 'falling in love' or the humiliation of betrayal? What about victory and defeat? What about that joyous feeling of decorating the house for Christmas? And what about 'that thing' that happens to you - as a human - when your favorite song comes on the radio?
It is EASY to Love Unconditionally
As 'one' we are all part of a whole - sort of like cells in a body. We mirror each other, as much as we hate to admit it. The people that we dislike or love the most are exactly the way 'we would be' under the same circumstances and born with the same disposition, etc. Once you realize that, it is so much easier to stop judging people, forgive and LOVE them - and their quirks. :)
Our 'amnesia' gives us a sense of 'being a singular human' in this world. It may actually be rather difficult for us to experience what it is like to be an individual - to this extent - outside of our earthly realm of suspended belief.
So, reminders or 'a light through the thick fog' about love are a good idea because we humans can really get confused about things, right? How hopeless would this life be if we really thought this skin that we have to live in every day was 'it'? There are times when we have all felt like we are more than the sum of our parts - big, like that would fill up a room.
What Did Christ Teach About Love?
Matthew 5 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?"
Matt 25: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
The REAL Message of Christ and what happens to people who are NOT 'born again':
This is why Christ said: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
Because we each 'are who we are'; and we CANNOT CONTROL our spiritual destiny as Christianity (and other religions) insist that we can. The best thing you can do for 'God' in this life is to LIVE your life to the fullest according to your conscious and life experience as those things grow and develop in you.
You ARE [an expression of] God; and you WILL return home when you are ready - without condition:
BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY GOD KNOWS HOW TO LOVE!!!!
New Reasons Jesus' Death Was Included in the Bible
Many people have come to believe that the story of Christ's death, resurrection and 'salvation plan' for humanity was included in The Bible for one of two reasons:
1) The man we know as Jesus may actually have died in the way that has been described - simply because that was a common way for rebels (religious or otherwise) to die in those days. However, he did NOT DIE to SAVE anyone from their 'sins'. Again, sins and 'sacrificing' were pagan concepts.
There is really no way to know for certain if this was an intentionally-deceptive storyline twist; or we humans of the future have misinterpreted things this drastically over time. See again, the alternative interpretation above on, "I am the way the truth and the life". It is a very subtle variance, and an easy mistake for anyone to make - even during the founding of the religion - trying to translate from one language into another.
2) The death/resurrection/salvation part of the story may have been plagarized from previous accounts as a spiritual metaphor - not necessarily to 'deceive' anyone. This is where that belief might apply...
Awareness is Resurrection
Did you know that only 5% of our cognitive activities (decisions, emotions, actions, behaviour) is conscious; while the remaining 95% is basically on auto-pilot being generated in a non-conscious manner based on previous learning since we were born? Source
The Kingdom of God
How We Connect with God
It is said in many religions in various ways - although it is often ignored - you are the closest to God when your attention is fully-present 'in the moment' - when your mind is focused; and not wandering away through various forms of 'escapes'. Thoughts that stay in the present are naturally unconcerned about the past and not worried about the future. (And not feeling insecure at all because you LOVE yourself and everyone else, unconditionally. :)
When we begin to accept ourselves 'as is' and 'remain present', we are essentially starting to realize our character in this life; and 'make it real' within the various streams that we exist within: we are 'resurrecting' or 'awakening' to directly participate with much more conscious intent.
'Connect' the physicial, emotional and inner/god-self parts of you - allowing your non-physical self to flow through your physical self like the 'stream' that it is (see 'we are mini-universes', above).
ALL of your intentions, attention & energy STAY present with you (in your body) - allowing your soul to experience the waves of your emotions no matter how good or bad they feel, using them as your navigation system.
Btw, there are lots of non-religious folks (and religious ones) who do this 'staying present' stuff, naturally... And are no doubt wondering why I'm talking about it as if it is something to strive for. Cheers to you! :)
It is a relaxing, 'go with the flow' experience - not a struggle. Let go and let God... It is your ego that is filled with all kinds of beliefs consisting of worries and fears that keeps us from 'letting go' and trusting our natural intuition and instincts - and, it keeps us from sensing these indicators, clearly. For instance, sometimes we are picking up someone else's 'indicators' and we don't realize that it isn't our's.
We are familiar with what it feels like to remain present... When we do things like play a musical instrument; or our mind gets lost in something with all of our intent, especially in a highly-focused, almost obsessive way - we are 'naturally' staying present in the moment; and we are also creating with our entire being - a very good way to create.
Also, you are no longer helping to create and/or magnify problems - your's, Humanity's or anyone else's - by obsessing over them. Thinking about and imagining the solution to problems puts you in a better place to help and CONSCIOUSLY-create solutions (see Creation 101 above).
Escaping vs Experiencing
By all means, take in the occassional escape. We have this ability for a few reasons: 1) so that we CAN escape and relax because this life can get so hard; and 2) so that we can participate in our lives, communities and cultures - reading books; or hanging out with your friends to watch a concert or see a movie, etc.
Of course, we can also stay completely present during events with others - or allow our minds to sort of 'flip to auto' (while often wandering away). The difference is our focus: either 'escaping' or 'experiencing' - and yeah, it can be a varying mix of both.
We are here to create and experience life, not heaven.
Some souls find it easier to stay present than others do - and some moments (such as happy ones) are easier to stay present in.
It isn't a constant thing, and it is not meant to become a constant thing as some religions claim. Sure, there is a 'nirvana' that can be reached - but, why would you want to be in that headspace so often while you are here? When your body dies, there is Nirvana or Heaven.
The Ego is a Tool
It wasn't even a constant thing for Jesus. In fact, being varying degrees of 'disconnected' IS a tool: Jesus ALLOWED himself to be tortured and nailed to a cross; when he could probably have 'thought' himself to The Bahamas by that point.
Sure, Jesus started out still having compassion as he was hanging up there - as noted by his conversation with one of the thieves next to him. But later when he says, "Why have you forsaken me"... He was probably having a pretty difficult time 'believing' - or, maybe his christos intentionally-stepped into the background so that he wouldn't be tempted to heal himself and escape toward sunshine and greener pastures? :)
Any time we feel abandoned or lonely - ANY time - we are actually lonely for 'all that we are'. We humans often look to others to fill that void; but the best relationships happen when both people feel secure & accepted within themselves.
The ego acts like a valve, allowing the stream of our broader perspective to flow through us based on 'what we believe' - is it barely a drip, a trickle, flowing freely or gushing? It will vary based on 'what you are allowing'.
Learning how to 'control the weather' - through our thoughts & emotions - within our mini-Universe so that the ego can relax and let the stream flow freely through us - no matter what is going on around us - is supposedly a very-doable trick. However, we are not required to master it as Christ had it mastered. Most of us are still children at play. :)
We never make a 'wrong choice'. Any choice we make is where we will experience life from - complete with all the various rewards and/or consequences - because we are explorers on a frontier.
God is our Baseline
We are here to explore situations, feelings and emotions that God cannot, will not and absolutely REFUSES to experience - because he/she is our baseline, keeping us eternally 'untouched' by whatever ugly things we might go through while we are focused here.
'Baseline' is a concept used in many systems to determine 'variance' against normal or expected results. My favorite definition: the return to an original state.
God can only attract 'the good' in our lives because it is all that really exists. Here's why:
A Different View of Genesis. Charles Fillmore has written a few books from alternative Christian perspectives that make sense
- Mysteries of Genesis by Charles Fillmore - Complete Text
Little-known translation of Gen 1:1 By periods God created that which produced the Suns; then that which produced the Earth.
We are God's Sons & Daughters:
The Original Creation Story
Legends, even Christianity's creation story - tell variations of why God created this kind of existence: because he/she was the 'only one' and wanted an EQUAL companion. God became lonely, so excrutiatingly lonely. Who knows how long God may have been in that state? God was miserable...
This 'agony' created DESIRE to no longer be alone - negative emotions have a profound purpose in our lives to inspire all kinds of desires and repulsions within us - which is one of the ways we figure out both what we want, and do not want, to create.
God was ecstatic with the first glimmers of creation; and the many souls (or sons of God) made 'in his image' - because God was (and is) happy to no longer be alone - plus, now there is US to explore and experience all kinds of various lives and types of existences with. God's fun levels pre-creation and post-creation are dramatically different.
Based on this original creation formula, agony (or any negative emotion) causes desire to expand the soul until it can realize how to create the desire. Desires that are born out of 'bad' stuff, always end up 'being good' - sort of like a bouy will always re-orient itself out in the waves no matter how rough they are.
To simplify that, when someone is mean to us - we desire them to be nice. When we are mean - we desire ourselves to be nicer, etc. When we're poor, we 'wish' we had more money - and theoretically, we eventually create a way to get it. Desires from negative emotions are the INSPIRATION from which more 'good' is created.
This is the same concept behind how 'bad' streams are meant to not only help our soul expand - but guide us into 'good' waters.
How God Creates 'Only Good' - Agony vs. Desire
Extracting the good out of our existence isn't really an effort that God makes. Its just inevitable.
An extreme example is a person who kills another (because of an obsession or their perspective of circumstances) - and succeeds. The murderer is later often full of regret, hating themselves and desiring to be a better person. And even if they are not, God knows their heart, and knows why they have no regret.
Our hearts are completely exposed to God because we are a natural part of Source. Being 'just the Universe' (no small feat) without human hangups has its advantages: no human perception, no human judgments, no human knowledge of human ideals beyond 'how things feel'.
If a person's heart is completely dark, God knows why they 'believe' the way they do about themselves: through reading the lifestory of their emotions. The reason people do bad things or 'turn bad' is NEVER EVER EVER because the person was 'born evil'; nor has that soul become 'too evil' to not eventually be able to return to their natural state of being at death.
We're All Born Naturally and Completely 'Connected' - Then Duality (and expansion) Begins
When have you EVER looked into the eyes of a newborn baby and thought, "Hmmm, I don't know... This one looks like it could be a little 'off' right out of the starting gate."
No! We're ALL born PERFECTLY 'CONNECTED' with our SOURCE from day ONE - and more importantly, we REMAIN perfectly connected throughout our lives.
While our body may not always be born perfect; and we are not always born into perfect (or even semi-safe) situations, there is a reason for that: 10 times out of 10 it has to do with the original intentions that the soul - as an entire being before they were born - set forth in order to eventually cause a certain level or type of expansion.
Yes, we sometimes CHOOSE to come into this life with handicaps; and we also choose our parents and general life paths. Parents also choose their children; and we come into 'agreements' with each other as co-creators. Our familial connections (and every other close connection we develop) are INDEED eternal.
Yes, we love each other that much (as eternal beings) - to become each other's biggest human supporters and/or 'pains in the butts' in this life, ha! The NDE video goes into this; and there is much more info about this 'pre-choosing' aspect of things out in Internetland. Try not to let this subject become a diversion for you, some people can really get wrapped up in it. We don't need to know every little detail about how every 'engine' in our life works. This is all you really need to know about it.
We are NEVER in danger of 'losing our soul' NOR of being 'eternally punished'. We're NOT BAD (we're NOT bad children, we're NOT bad parents, we're NOT bad friends & neighbors, NOR bad stewards of the land or governments) - we're temporary human bodies with eternal souls going through experiences in this physical world.
Surprise, that's it. :)
God is beyond all-knowing and all-forgiving - he/she is all-understanding. The amount of compassion God has for each individual soul is literally out of this world.
A Reason for Everything
When anything 'bad' happens, as in our example with the murderer above, God knows the other person (co-creator) who was killed is 'fine' (beyond fine, even); and the 'victim' has received the soul-expansion that they were aiming for. God is always focused on 'the good'.
There is a reason for absolutely everything to be happening to us. Our eternal god-self is always orchestrating or 'attracting' events (the big ones are usually pre-set; but nothing is set in stone) - often with other 'eternal mini-Universes' within our streams - in such a way that causes our soul to experience whatever 'expansion' it needs from wherever we are currently at. We can also be part of a 'pool' of expanding souls.
This may seem like an unfair, semi-hopeless message for prisoners, because it sounds like you helped co-created this dire situation - and now YOU have to pay for the rest of this life. Essentially, it feels like you'll experience 'the good' out of this ugly experience - someday - probably after you die, just like the victim did.
What Human rules & beliefs are really for: Humans.
What a victim gets out of any situation is different than what an offender gets. And, being a creator means that we can turn ANY situation around. And some prisoners (and victims who don't die) DO exactly that.
Remember, we don't have to remain in ugly streams... We have the option to 'expand' during this physical life; OR later, after our body dies. Because we are Creator-Captains of our own ship, we always have choices - we just need to realize it.
Many Christians worry that this message means 'go ahead and sin'... But, absolutely NO ONE is born wanting to 'be bad' when they grow up. It simply doesn't 'feel good' - it isn't our natural state of being. Plus, dealing with the consequences of murder (or whatever) in this life is not a generally-pleasant thing.
Murderers still 'pay' one way or another - either through their own judgment, the judgment of society, the chaos of circumstances that can develop around those things - or, a combination. God certainly isn't conveying to us that WE should not utilize the tools we've come up with to maintain order among ourselves.
Frankly, our Human rules & beliefs are as much a part of helping to create the stories that make up our lives to cause the expansions of our souls - as anything else. However, discovering ways to keep people from becoming so twisted in the first place - should maybe become one of mankind's top priorities.
The Best Things in Life Are Free
YES! We Have Treasures in Heaven!!
Matthew 6:20-21 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
These 'good parts' of our lives that Source attracts & maintains for us will stay with us forever after our lives are complete in this existence. These are 'the treasures' that God keeps for us in heaven.
In fact, when we are free from these physical bodies - we will know everything, again (see NDE video); and our minds will 'work like God's'. People who have passed on no longer see you in the limited way they did while they were here. They see who you really are, as God does. Being 'non-physical' is very different for us from the way we experience life in this limited way, now - but, how else would the story 'seem real'? (Another link to the NDE video above if you haven't seen it, already.)
No matter where you are in this learning process, it is highly-likely that your life will slowly become more fulfilling - while building momentum as you become more familiar with being connected to all that you are. It is an integral, understated part of you that will grow stronger as it is used and 'worked' like a muscle.
What changes when you practice 'staying present'?
Staying in the moment is actually kind of hard to do, consistently - try it. All kinds of thoughts are always trying to pop into your head to take you elsewhere. But, as you begin to 'practice' as often as you remember; and stay in the present for as long as you can each time - it will become easier and second nature to you.
As you gain experience with staying in the moment, you will notice that when some offensive thought comes into your mind, you will begin to automatically reject the ones that your 'true self' does not want to become a part of you. Eventually, unwanted thoughts come at you less often. You also begin to distinguish between your thoughts and other static you may be picking up on.
And don't get hung up on things surrounding Chakras or the Pituitary Gland, etc. Your connection, no matter how 'undeveloped' it may be with The Source of God is DIRECT, just as Christ's is. Religious rituals are human concepts. While some of them may be 'stepping stones' to help you realize some spiritual thing - they are not 'the way'; and you don't need them, anymore.
Do you need to know how any system in your body works - digestion, circulation, etc. - in order for them to work? They just work - and they did long before humans became aware of their anatomy.
The Meaning of Sex!! ;)
The only thing that is nice to know, although not imperative - is that the Solar Plexus is the organ that processes your emotions - just as your eyes process sight, and your ears process sound, etc. This is why a heartache literally feels like your heart is aching; and joy feels like you are getting ready to take flight.
Also, sex was designed in this existence to be both extremely pleasurable and the means for creating life for good reason: a sexual climax is so SWEET because that is a taste of what a fully-realized / complete / aligned / awakened soul feels like when it connects to Source. And, when you are lingering in the afterglow... heaven for a while, literally.
God did not leave us down here without that profound reminder.
Some of you will just have to trust me on this point (or not)... A sexual orgasm feels exactly like the same experience as 'being baptized in the holy spirit' except without the sex - plus, orgasms aren't usually powerful enough to make you start speaking in other tongues. Well, close maybe, ha! There is a plethora of information on the spiritual aspects of sex if you are interested in digging through piles of stories & research about it.
You will also begin to realize what your 'intuition' is saying to you, more clearly. And, because we see ourselves as individuals; we may each hear something different than someone else will hear in a seemingly-similar circumstance. This is why judging others has to go.
Additionally, we may FAIL at clearly-hearing what our 'divine inner self' is saying to us. Messages can get lost in translation; and/or we can 'be bad' (use our ego/free will) and reject what our instincts are telling us. In this case, we are simply learning a lesson or going through an experience. But, how many times have any of us ever regretted ignoring that nagging voice in the back of our mind?
One last thing about staying in the moment... another 'spiritual fad' that has probably always been around - is that other demonic entities, alien beings, 'thought forms' - or simply souls detached from their bodies - can become attached to your spiritual essense.
However, if YOU are inhabiting your body, there is no room for anyone or anything else. Any 'attachments' you may have will eventually leave because they are not being fed; and because they don't get to have any fun. 'All of you' is now doing all of the driving; and you are not sharing the wheel. :)
Prayer & Meditation
If you become overwhelmed, and 'staying present' becomes difficult for you - go ahead and talk to Christ - even when you're not overwhelmed and 'just because'. Having the option to do that can be a lifesaver - if for no other reason, than prayer has the potential to bring us grounding comfort when we need it the most. Remember, he said that he was everywhere 'in spirit'?
Prayer can be as simple as talking to yourself; and is a good way to 'give stuff back to the Universe' that you don't want - thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. Sometimes negative ones cling to us just because we need to release them.
Spiritual things are a lot simpler than most of us were taught. If you're putting a lot of thought into something; and you're only getting more confused - you're thinking too much. Blow it all into an imaginary balloon - then let it go and drift away. You can start over with a fresh mind, later.
Sleep & Meditation are both really good ways to slow the 'momentum' of negative and/or obsessive thoughts.
- What is Meditation? | World Community for Christian Meditation
In Christianity this tradition of contemplation, the prayer of the heart or 'apophatic prayer', became marginalised and often even sometimes suspect. But in recent times a major recovery of the contemplative dimension of Christian faith -and prayer
God Appreciates & Loves Us as Much as We Do Him...
Meditation should be no more complicated than prayer. Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God." It is an easy, quiet, personal spiritual exchange of love, appreciation (do you know that God appreciates YOU being 'down here on the leading edge' AS MUCH as you appreciate God? TRUTH!) - and sometimes knowledge between you and your christos.
It is normal for meditation to last ten to twenty minutes. Even a few seconds can help. Many spiritual teachers today teach new meditators to begin with a minute or two at a time - perhaps speckled throughout the day when you think about it. Relax and 'just be' for as long as it feels natural or good - letting any intrusive thoughts just float by like clouds; but don't let them touch you.
As meditation becomes more familiar to you, you'll begin to experience subtle communications with your entire self; and you WILL KNOW that it is 'you' and NOT some questionable 'evil spirit' or whatever. It will feel like the most natural thing... In your daily life, you are constantly sending information to your eternal self; but meditation teaches you how to 'receive', also: be still and know.
You'll learn the most mind-boggling things about yourself. Those 'thoughts' (heard, seen or an 'impression') will naturally touch you in the most perfect way that you need - they won't float away like clouds. This 'communication' never gets old, and is a huge boost for us every single time it happens: realizing that it is natural for our eternal, 'true self' to know us so completely; and speak to and through us so personally is an experience beyond description. In fact, the first few times you experience it - the jolt of surprise (and delight!) may very well knock you out of your relaxing meditation. :)
Got a burning question you want guidance on or an answer to? Meditate in silence while gently holding the question in your mind. When it 'feels right', release the question and sit quietly in an attitude of acceptance. A response always comes. I have personally never experienced anything more profound than a strong impression, a few words or a glimpse of what I guess could be called a vision. A glimpse was all I needed.
Other people report entire, clear visions or dreams - or even entire conversations with 'themselves' or even other 'beings'. It probably depends a lot on what you are up for. With all of my past spiritual experiences, I am more of a suspicious sort - so I don't reach for that stuff. Only do what you are comfortable with. YOU control absolutely EVERYTHING about the experience. Your christos will only guide you in a very natural way.
And, as you already know, there is NOTHING that you can EVER say or do - nor anyone else - that will separate you from the love of God. He loves you, dearly. That is one of the things Christianity taught you that it got RIGHT.
Moses' Egyptian influence is beside the point. God will use anything we believe or perceive to cause our expansion.
- To Die For The People: A Kabbalistic Reinterpretation Of The Crucifixion Of Jesus
Published for Catholic Priests to correct commonly held beliefs among both Christians & Jews.
Why do Christians believe their souls need to be saved, to begin with?
Continuing with Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3: Jesus seems to be giving Nicodemus a glimpse into his future: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him [his message of the Kingdom of God or Christos within] should not perish, but have eternal life."
It should also be noted, that Nicodemus helped bury the body of Jesus (this is another conspiracy theory, but it is kind of a fun one) after his death. He had obviously been moved by the conversation he had with Jesus...
Remember, many exChristians (and Christians, believe it or not) now attribute Jesus 'messianic presence' as fulfilling the different old Jewish Law of Kabbalah (this is Jews for Jesus?!!) Essentially, the man we know as Jesus the Christ had to become a martyr in order for his message to expand beyond his life and 'become known' into other consciousness's alive in this world - and into generations beyond. And, that original message was:
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world... that he gave his [not only] human-begotten ['awakened' 'realized', 'aligned'] Son [who is just like us]; that whosoever believeth in him [the Christos within] should not parish [through untrue pagan beliefs] but have eternal life" [that many don't realize is already theirs].
"For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him [their Christos within] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the [Christos being within] name of the only begotten Son of God. (We will see how Jesus became 'the only' Son of God in a bit...)
Jesus 'Saved' People from Pagan Beliefs Meant to Diminish Their 'Light'
"And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
This 'condemnation' is referring to pagan religions: the deeds of men were 'evil' - and they don't come into the light because 1) they are not AWARE that they have their own light; and 2) they are AFRAID of the punishment that they believe is coming to them. Eternal or even temporal retribution is a decidedly human construct.
"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
Essentially, when you realize who and what you really are - and that you are perfect exactly the way you are (and are continuing to expand)... you WANT to 'stay present' and 'come into the light' more to integrate with 'all that you are' - then, your deeds (creations) may be be made manifest 'in God'.
Even Christians Have Different Views About The Gospels
- What are the Gospels? The Gospels were thought to be biographies of Jesus.
Comment Debate: diehard believer calls the author out on his 'liberal farce'. Scary reply: Does it also bother you that some of the letters attributed to Paul were not written by him or that the book of Isaiah was written by three different people?
- Testament of Jean Meslier: Purpose and Message
Jean Meslier (1664-1729) served as a Catholic priest for 40 years, but after his death was discovered to have written the very first book-length philosophical essay promoting atheism.
Where did The Gospels come from?
The Roman Emperor Constantine is credited with proliferating Christianity when he supposedly became a convert. However, some significant changes were made to the religion shortly after he embraced it; and there is much controversy surrounding the purity of his motives.
Did you know that many Christians still believe that Jesus' disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John actually wrote the books of the New Testament that are named after them? Quote: There is sufficient reason, based on hard evidence, to believe that the gospel accounts were written by the authors of the same name... Source
They didn't: "None of the gospels are eye-witness accounts of Jesus' life; and, they are all written in Greek and not in the native tongues of anyone who met and followed Jesus."
For the first three hundred years, pockets of Christian survivors stayed hidden and secretly wrote and traded manuscripts among themselves - even between cities & countries. (This is supposedly the time when Paul was traveling and writing letters.) They had been persecuted from the founding of their religion until 313 AD when Christianity finally became legalized across the Roman Empire - so, early Christians were USED to having to keep the message of Christ 'under wraps'.
Perhaps if Christianity had stayed an underground religion, we might have more of those original manuscripts available to us.
There are actually a few really colorful conspiracy theories that outline 'how Christianity became pagan': The Apostle Paul did it! Or, the Romans created Jesus to deceive the Jews; or the Jews created Jesus to deceive the Romans, etc. - plus, the 'Illuminati' are in there, somewhere. Whatever changed, Christianity became the state religion of ALL of Rome in 380 AD before it split.
In 325 AD, the famous Council of Nicea was held. The doctrine of the Trinity was declared to be the official doctrine of the Pauline Church, and one of the consequences of this decision was that out of the three hundred or so Gospels exant at the time, four were chosen as the official Gospels of the Church (because there were 'four corners' of the Earth). The remaining Gospels, including the Gospel of Barnabas, were ordered to be destroyed completely. It was also decided that all Gospels written in Hebrew should be destroyed. An edict was issued stating that anyone found in possession of an unauthorised Gospel would be put to death. This was the first well-organized attempt to remove all the records of Jesus’ original teaching, whether in human beings or books, which contradicted the doctrine of Trinity. (Muhammad Ataur-Rahim, Prophet Jesus of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 40) Source (There is more than one source of this information - research.)
Where did Jesus Christ come from and why create a religion around him?
No one really knows where Jesus came from or what his real name was - although, you will find many theories out there. One of my favorites is that Jesus was Cleopatra & Caesar's son, Caesarian.
It is really interesting what people have come up with - and almost all of those ideas are real possibilities, especially since Jesus was probably a combination of people.
But, since early Christians were so persecuted; and yet, the religion of Christianity was becoming part of religious culture even BEFORE the first council - the most popular theory is that Jesus was a person who was plucked from an earlier time when people still had the memory of him and/or his teachings with them; and many of his teachings were added to the state religion of Christianity because they were the most recent spiritual teachings raging across the empire.
Christianity was declared illegal at one point in time...
Many people have come to believe that the earliest Christians held the original 'beliefs' surrounding Christ; and were a sect of people who were probably almost completely eliminated because of them.
Christianity was declared to be an illegal religion (remember the lions?); and all of Jesus' disciples - with the exception of John - were likely martyred for their original teachings. Even Paul who came later; but is considered to have lived around the same time Jesus did - was martyred for his spiritual teachings.
For these and many other reasons, early Christian history has been an astounding puzzle for Historians, Archeologists, Linguists and Theologians to piece together.
Discovery & Documentary by a Roman Catholic Priest
The Imperial Cult
The Imperial cult was inseparable from that of Rome's official deities, whose cult was essential to Rome's survival and whose neglect was therefore treasonous. Traditional cult was a focus of Imperial revivalist legislation under Decius and Diocletian. Christian apologists and martyrologists saw the cult of the Emperor as a particularly offensive instrument of "pagan" impiety and persecution.It therefore became a focus of theological and political debate during the ascendancy of Christianity under Constantine I. The emperor Julian failed to reverse the declining support for Rome's official religious practices: Theodosius I adopted Christianity as Rome's state religion. Rome's traditional gods and "Imperial cult" were officially abandoned. However, many of the rites, practices and status distinctions that characterized the cult to emperors were perpetuated in the theology and politics of the Christianized Empire. Wikipedia
A Unifying, State Version of Christianity
Whatever the case... Tossing the 'other Jewish Law' of Kabbalah aside (if they even knew about it); and making Christ the 'only Son of God' and 'Savior' of both the Jews and the various pagan 'gentiles' - using ancient prophesies about a messiah from an already-established monotheist religion - gave them a believable foundation for this new state religion designed to UNITE people across the Roman Empire.
The older Jewish religion gave Christianity validity; while this new religion united pagans into one increasingly-manageable mass (or risk execution - neat option).
It really looks like they very cleverly and creatively (a really brilliant feat, when you think about it) re-created Christianity in such a way - through Jesus; and by peppering in a modge podge of spiritual concepts from popular pagan religions - that most every diverse religious person of the day, no matter where they came from - could accept and believe.
The people just needed to 'have faith' along with the proper instruction from church-appointed Popes & Priests from the new updated holy book, The Bible.
They even created a way for followers to proliferate this 'good news' by ordering them to tell others who had no knowledge of it, yet. This is why so many Christians are incessant about 'witnessing' and converting others - because Jesus supposedly commanded (these scriptures look to have been added in later) his followers to do so - again, before he died.
What is the Book of Revelation Really About? Hint: Its not about a looming apocalypse or Jesus' Second Coming...
- 4 Big Myths on the Book of Revelation - CNN Belief Blog
What does Revelations really mean? People have clashed over the meaning ever since it was virtually forced into the New Testament canon over the protests of some early church leaders...
- What Does The Book Of Revelation Really Mean?
No academic interpreter of Revelation understands the book as a roadmap for the future, much less as telling contemporary Christians that these are the last days...
And they needed to HURRY UP about it, because the apocalyptic warnings in the Book of Revelations were going to be coming true ANY DAY NOW - and people's souls will be LOST if you're not brave, courageous or zealous enough to convert them. It will basically be YOUR FAULT if you do not succeed!!
While Christ may have commanded his followers to proliferate a message - what was it, originally? Are you SURE it was that he was going to become yet another 'die for you' 'only son of god' savior of the world? To date, the world has at least sixteen similar saviors that we can count; and I've seen people list over thirty of them. Many of these holy men have the same virgin birth story including visiting wise men; similar death/resurrection stories; and very similar sayings and messages.
Proof of God!!
If there was a 'real' Jesus; and there had been no controversy surrounding him - then we human souls would never stop looking to him for our own 'salvation'.
The fact that there are so many similar messages like the one Jesus was actually teaching - spread around the world through varying timelines and tailored toward the unique perspective of each ancient audience - proves the existence of a God or 'Universal Consciousness' as much as any scientific theory.
When is God's Kingdom Going to Manifest on Earth?
The Kingdom of God is within... that means that it has always been here for as long as we have been populating this planet; and it has been slowly developing and expanding for ages. Stop looking toward the sky for it. Luke 17:20-21 “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
In our current timeline, humanity is supposedly the most spiritually advanced than we have ever been - despite that we have been more technologically advanced in the past. It is the reason why we have practically destroyed ourselves on more than one occassion. (Yeah, that's hearsay.)
How God Sees Us... The song, 'From a Distance' is a wonderful reminder.
Its okay if Christianity got 'salvation' wrong. God only sees 'the good' in everything because he sees us as we are and what we are becoming - not how 'bad' we are being. There is plenty of good in Christianity for him to appreciate, as he appreciates the good in all religions.
Christians Get Boatloads of Credit!!
But if that is true, maybe we are finally coming into a balance between the two extremes where a great future for everyone continues to be possible. Whatever you may think about Christianity or any other religion... The spiritual 'expansion' of mankind might not have happened to the extent that it has without them.
It should also be noted that many Christians are - and have always been - in the middle of just about every spiritual revolution since Jesus, often in defiance of the interpretations of their religious leaders. It isn't like God hasn't been working through Christians simply because their beliefs may be be a little off. It is the sincere intentions of any heart that God 'realizes' and 'expresses' through - as I said above, no belief 'in God' required.
Currently raging spiritual ideal:
Be MUCH more selfish. 'You' comes first. Helping others will come naturally and with perfect timing. When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. When we change ourselves, we change the world. When we love ourselves, we love the world.
What do you think?
Does the above explanation about the 'real' message of the Christian Christ seem like a possibility to you?See results without voting
Advice for Continuing: Navigating Spiritual Forks in the Road
My apologies for the length of this article, but because of the many weird conspiracy theories and spiritual teachings out there - I feel compelled to include 'how to continue' from here; as well as a couple resources beyond this point.
While these last videos (including the two MOST poignant ones at the very end - God has a wonderful sense of humor; and we could use some, now) may seem to be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum - they are not. I see our 'reality' as a dream. We each play the character in the dream - until we wake up. And even then, it isn't like we stop playing the character, right?
But, many of us reach a spiritual fork in the road; and things start to change, slowly at first. Perspectives about spiritual matters begin to change. When we get to that place, it is decision-making time:
- Stay at the fork in the road (even for a while until you get your bearings). There are many communities that people have built around those 'forks' - and, they will tell you that they are as nice as anyplace else.
- Turn back to re-commit and re-embrace the safety of past belief structures.
- Explore other paths; and maybe even decide to commit to one of those, instead.
- Decide to continue on, research and create your own spiritual path.
No matter which path we end up taking - most of us also end up taking on more responsiblity for our own lives and spiritual selves. Move at your own pace. It took me twenty years to come to these para-conclusions; and I've only really been comfortable enough to write about them, fairly recently.
What Might Jesus Christ Say to His Followers Today?
Current Spiritual Diversion: Aliens (no, I'm not joking)
In both the 2nd part of the video above; and the first four minutes of this video - Abraham talks (vibration = emotion) specifically about these alien conspiracies - and why they are harmful to the awakening of many people who already view themselves as 'being awakened'. It seems to be as harmful as 'salvation' has been for Christianity; and is nothing but current human perception trying to explain and translate something beyond itself that it doesn't understand.
Basically, each inhabited world within the Universe has its own frequency (in video at 2:30) similar to the way radio stations have their own frequencies. People who believe they have had alien abduction experiences are NOT making it up. However, nothing is physically happening - and nothing can harm a soul. Get out of that stream. You know how, now. :)
We only perceive other worlds and space phenomena that is within our stream. So while there is supposedly plenty of 'life energy' around us; and sometimes we (as individuals) can even receive transmissions from 'other realities' enough to perceive them - it is highly-unlikely that we will ever directly encounter entire alien civiliations 'as a world'. We can't even communicate with them, much less see them. Abe says there is an 'almost impossible' way, but they have never heard of it happening.
I highly-advise not looking any further into this issue - simply because it just seems like yet another thing to divert people's attention with confusion, worry and division.
A Few Safe-ish Introductions: Choosing Spiritual Teachers in an Alien Jungle
This is a slice from this video (right), "He would like you to remember that you were born as LIQUID LOVE..."
The first five minutes is a speech about Jesus - how he loved & healed, etc. This is 'Abraham' - a soul collective of infinite intelligence as translated by Esther Hicks. If you've heard of the book or movie, 'The Secret' - these people are the origin of that teaching. Abe has lots of Christian fans as demonstrated by this question. Some powerful stuff comes at the end, watch until 5:50 - even past the giggling. In another video, I have even heard Abraham say that there is evidence of 'the truth' about Jesus in a cave (or some caves) in Spain - for those of you who may be adventurous explorers interested in getting to the bottom of this controversial issue.
If you decide to continue from this article; and are looking for a teacher that is more spiritually-focused - as opposed to more contemporary teachers who do things like teach classes in walking on burning coals... I highly-recommend Abraham because of the simplicity of their teachings; and the absense of any religious diversions - or any other diversions, such as all the alien conspiracy theories that seem to be slipping into so many spiritual messages.
Absolutely none of those 'aliens are coming' messages feel right to me; and Abraham is not in agreement with them, either. Although they will explain how 'aliens', 'demons', 'thought forms' and other metaphysical things like that work. (I'm a long-time Sci-Fi fan, you have no idea how disappointed this made me, at first, ha!)
I really think those alien messages have become yet another diversion for spiritual seekers. It is another thing that doesn't matter, but we humans can get so hung up on it - like 'salvation', karma or reincarnation.
A second theory I have not yet ruled out, is that these 'alien theories' COULD be coming from humans who WERE previously in another 'spiritually-higher stream' than Earth is - or was. The rumor has been that our world WAS in serious danger of an apocalypse; and 'a call' went out that our planet needed HELP.
Supposedly, many came from 'completely alien places' to be born into human bodies (complete with christos, because all life originates from the same Source) - to our chaotic world simply to help provide balance and stabalize it. It has supposedly been an incredibly difficult adjustment for these formerly-alien beings to suddenly 'become human' - and many MANY people consider them to be heros.
Whether any of that is true or not, it is yet another thing that is currently beside the point. If that is indeed what happened, it maybe doesn't hurt for us to feel grateful for the possibility - but, IF those mysterious alien-turned-humans exist, they have (or will) receive their 'spiritual rewards' by heaps & bounds, ha! They certainly weren't intending to create alien religions among us. The only thing this theory might do is help explain why there is so much of an 'alien vibe' bleeding in.
The good news is, these theories should slowly start to fade away over the next couple of decades. (The timeline of their arrival keeps getting pushed back, ha!) Then again, how long have so many Christians been waiting for Jesus to come in the clouds?
Of course there are a couple wild conspiracy theories wrapped around that correlation, too. Suspicions abound: people were waiting for JC to come back and transform our world into a paradise; and now we are waiting for aliens to come and essentially help us accomplish the same thing (or enslave us, depending on the conspiracy theory). *sigh*
Having said all that, if you really want to bump up your spiritual knowledge - Bentinho Massaro is another teacher who seems to have figured out some 'deeper' things (he's been a student of Abraham, among others). This insightful young man has the potential to blow your mind. He's special, and you can tell - yet, still a little 'immature' on top of obviously being a savant in the area of spirituality.
Bentinho lost his NON-Christian religion (deconversions are not just a Christian thing) - and yet, the story of his 'path to enlightenment' is familiar to many of us... The phases that he went through, the depression, the general process, etc. I highly-recommend both interviews from the link above - although the second one is long. The best stuff is at the beginning, however. Just watch until you're too bored to keep watching. :)
While Bentinho can sound a little arrogant at times; has some things off - like there being a specific number of 'dimensions' (they are infinite with no 'division' between them); and sometimes talks about "the good" aliens - they are not the foundation of his teachings; nor does he constantly talk about those things. You can pick & choose between them or not when he does.
One last spiritual teacher worth mentioning - especially for people who are dealing with heavy emotional issues - is Teal Swan. As with all teachers, take everything they say with a grain of salt; and throw out the stuff that doesn't work for you. However, Teal has an exceptional knack for understanding & explaining emotional issues and how to move beyond them. She is affectionately known as 'the giggling guru'; and is good for people who have a hard time wanting to 'stay present'.
A change, Teal rips the Universal Law of Attraction. I typically prefer teachers who sometimes go against the grain. :)
Despite how fond I am of Abraham's teachings (they supposedly originated explaining the concepts of the Law of Attraction; and I like their no fluffy-stuff approach) - plus, they also have good advice about emotional issues...
I totally agree with Teal in this video about the pitfalls of the LoA. In fact, through this semi-rant about it, Teal does one of the best jobs I've seen of explaining the reality of our existence and how we use the LoA - along with MAJOR misconceptions. Essentially, things are not so simple as 'monitoring/controlling' our thoughts & emotions - the LoA is more complicated (and easier for us than that). The 'blame assumption' needs to get GONE. (Remember when I said above, it was the hardest 'smashing' lesson to realize we create our reality?) Most of this video is spot-on; and she has advice at the end that sounds right - from 17:14.
Some people may need to start with more information about their specific emotional or life issues until they can get to Abe's often overly-simplified suggestions. The perspective of a 'soul collective of infinite intelligence' is probably different from a 'human' experiencing and talking about these things, ha!
If the NDE video & info above is semi-correct, this is just one way we 'play harmlessly'. God exists in the wholehearted beliefs of these beautiful people.
Bottom Line: Life is Supposed to be GOOD
Keep watching Abe's video past Jesus above for more about beliefs - another splash: "Source 'tunes' itself to see the good in everything - and so can you. It is diverse, and the basis of love beneath all things - it exists within every place, people, religion, political party, etc. You will NEVER find all of your truth in one place... because you are FREE eternal beings who came to create, co-create and experience your own truth - not someone else's." (Abe also likes to say, "You are so free, you can choose bondage." ;)
If you're curious about what 'infinite intelligence' has to say about death (brace for laughter, their perspective is not the same as our's; also, compare this to the NDE video - there is much consistency. I did not intentionally pre-plan that - its like a bridge between us humans and when Abraham starts talking.); the world's religions (an older but very detailed video) or about healing (newer & powerful, eye-opening conversation with a doctor - as usual, the most potent stuff comes later from 7:56). Doctors are still very needed because 'medicine' CAN help us - simply because it is easier for us to 'believe' that a tangible thing will help...
OR other new & radical life commentary - this is a playlist of collected videos specifically for Christian seekers, the comments explain why each one is included. You can also go to YouTube and search for 'Abraham Hicks' + whatever topic you are curious about. When listening to Abe, it helps for me to remember: the word vibration = emotion; create = attract.
Just for fun, I'm adding this video of Abe recently talking about America's 2016 Presidential Election: We think it is the BEST election EVER! Apparently, this is their opinion because they see it as a good lesson for us as both individuals and a collective consciousness on the illusion of disempowerment. As I've explained, we have more control over our reality than we realize - and Abraham always tells it like it is.
Then again, that non-physical 'group' of consciousness is really consistent about seeing absolutely everything as being good for us - like a stuck record. Abe thinks that our civilization is as snarly as it is because we humans became so attached to the drama. I think they have us pegged. Humans are drama queens. :)
Or, what about this video? What do you think? Does God 'directly' get anything out of stuff like this - from performer, judge or audience perspective?
- Should We Be Concerned About CERN and the Large Hadron Collider Bringing About the Apocalypse?
CERN's experiments with the LHC have resulted in Illuminati conspiracy theories that claim it will open a portal to the 5th Dimension for Satan to come through - scaring people. Could this be true?
- Questionnaire for Christian Churches and Congregations of Faith: How Well Do You Know Your People?
What are the lives of people in your religious community really like? This is a NON-judgemental conversation starter...
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