"We must stop confusing religion, and spirituality. Religion is a set of rules regulations and rituals created by humans which were supposed to help people spiritually. Due to human imperfection religion has become corrupt, political, divisive, and a tool for power struggle.
Spirituality is not theology or ideology. It is simply a way of life, pure and original as given by the Most High. Spirituality is a network linking us to the Most High, the universe, and each other."
Very true. The shortest threads are those no one can argue with.
Hope it stays short! :-D
I believe this is true also. Very accurate! I cannot argue with the quote.
OK, a little discussion here because VationSays brought up a serious subject. From my studies, both in college and on my own, I've come to the conclusion that spirituality has been around since the beginning of humanity in humans on this planet. I think the spirits that came to occupy humans' bodies brought that with them and have been passing it on to the newly created human souls. Some of us here are very old souls who have come to help humans to ascend from the entrapment of duality. Once trapped in the body, even some of the old souls have to reawaken as many are doing now. Then we also have to consider the new advanced souls that are being born as Indigo, Crystal, and Rainbow children who are here for the same purpose. Even the Bible agrees with the basic concept although it leaves out the details because it speaks of an eventual “Heaven on Earth”. However, I do agree with anonymous' statement that spirituality is a way of life, not necessarily a belief system because there are many paths and each soul has to walk his own path.
I think that man has contaminated spiritual beliefs and remade god in man’s own image. This has mainly come down through the Mosaic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. There may be others of which I’m not aware. For some reason, a “one God” concept came through during the period of the Old Testament. The rivalry between Judaism and the followers of Baal come to mind. Then in the New Testament, Jesus says he comes to “fulfill the law”, and after his death, the followers of Jesus found their spirituality or religion or whatever their belief system was contaminated by the Roman Jew Paul and the Roman Catholic Church, then later on the Protestants.
This religion or these religions of man dictate how their adherents should live and don’t take into consideration the differences in souls and their paths. So whatever Jesus really said became manufactured religions of man, and then was later further contaminated by Mohammed. Today all that has morphed into the ridiculous that has no place in this century. I say that because we are no longer a tribal society that depends on sheep and goats or ride around in wagons or chariots or keep concubines. As long as man tries to adhere to these old standards, he is impeding the very Heaven on Earth that he believes in because his bible tells him so. The very idea of getting 72 virgins in Heaven because you kill innocent “infidels” is absolutely ludicrous.
Am particularly interested in this part:
..." I think the spirits that came to occupy humans' bodies brought that with them and have been passing it on to the newly created human souls. Some of us here are very old souls who have come to help humans to ascend from the entrapment of duality. Once trapped in the body, even some of the old souls have to reawaken as many are doing now. "...
What do you mean by help humans to ascend from the entrapment of duality? And reawakening of the souls too. Is it like evolving into higher dimensional beings and achieving more awareness?
You got it! That's exactly what I mean. As the years went by when we began to occupy bodies, we forgot that we were souls. We became human and couldn't pierce the veil that separates us from the other side except by the death of the body. As we start to awaken, we become aware of the duality: We are souls who temporarily occupy a body, not vice versa, and even as a soul, we still have to function on the physical plane, hence the duality. We have to overcome the physical side of the duality to become a fully awakened soul aware of our multidimensional existence.
I agree with the quote.
The image is my concept for the spirit today, but am willing to change as change is inevitable. Change will occur for each of those four independently while is collective too. As can be seen one's spirituality - the paths toward spirit, are three while they are connective and are communicative lending to growth of each and focus on spirit.Therein we discover a compare and contrast between maturing and aging with increasing and decreasing with perspectives as concepts of the differences and likeness of each while noting all are of growth, yet we do have percepts - experiencing with a measure.
Next, that lay within undefined boundaries without meanings. I know not of tomorrow or next other than my ignorance of actual future of body, mind, and soul while accept spirit is eternal. Then, what of space surrounding those earthly three while ponder spirit. I wonder perhaps I have it wrong. Maybe the spirit is part of that surrounding environment, is translucent, and dimensionless. What of those earthly bound spheres? Perhaps they are painted a hue or are lucid and as dimensions. Finally, what of beyond those boundaries . . . do those really exist or are only of concept without percept?
The challenge I have is I can conceptually understand each of the earth bound three and also have percepts too or at least I can conceive it as so with the soul. It is with the spirit I have the challenge of relationship with self much less with actual God. I have only concepts of God through symbols, art, and language, yet remains unfathomable while am completely blank of percept other than assumptions. I do feel and think I know myself of least somewhat with my limited knowledge learned, thus require doctors for instance. But, there is so much of me I don't know and have experienced yet. I can't wait to be introduced to that of me. I discover joy and happiness with that. That is all I require today for belief and that is the aim while on this earth until of presence, thus the journey of spirituality.
Notation: Insert typical disclaimer here as IMO for now. Supportive academia is available, yet I sincerely believe that is for each with their journey. Each will explore and discover. Perhaps researching and sharing through interactions through such as such like conversation with language or writing, music, art, and etc.
I think you are well on your way to a complete awakening. The only part of your analysis I disagree with is soul as necessarily earthly. I agree that soul is an ever-growing thing as it takes on new experiences, but I think it is the "rainbow bridge" between mind and spirit. Namaste
I'll have to ponder a bit and a byte. I am pondering your earlier reply regarding the soul occupying a body.
Well, I heard a totally unenlightened preacher say, "I am made in the image of God; God has a body; I am a body; I have a soul." A spiritual person will say "I am made in the image of God; I am a soul; I have a body." It is all in how you look at it. Hope this helps you to ponder.
Thank you for providing more to assist me along this journey. With many attempts to make this reply I discovered my thoughts laced with feelings from memory and wandering and wandering. With what was shared with your last post MizBejabbers I hesitate with full agreement. Yet, I relish it as inspiration to seek more than for 'self'. Our dialogue inspired by the OP and this portion of my journey with spirituality seeking spiritual is a most wonderful adventure. Perhaps there is a Hub or more in there somewhere?
I can only offer something of music to maybe present a perspective I have with spirituality for consideration. It is by Mike Oldfield titled Secrets Far Above the Clouds. With it offered is a short explanation below, although the composition is a journey of some length as is life, as sharing . . .
With composition I easily can see a vision and a journey with it as allegory, metaphor, and simile. There is a beginning and then there is a journey. Along that journey is a departure. That is where the lyrics arrive in the composition. They are short and are:
"...far above the clouds
far above the clouds
far above the clouds...
And the man [Woman] in the rain picked up his [Her] bag of secrets, and journeyed up the mountainside, far above the clouds, and nothing was ever heard from him [Her] again...
...except for the sound of Tubular Bells."
As the lyrics end there is 'arrival'. There is destination. Then, there is no longer a destination nor a journey. There simply is a continuance of is as so and it is exuberant. It is spiritual . . .
With that I am reminded of a riddle my grandpa told to me once while we discussed Belief, Love, Mind, and Soul. I think it is an adage from somewhere. He asked;
"What can touch you, but you cannot touch?"
My reply was sight followed with vision while I forgot the others we were discussing.
I don't think any of us seekers are in full agreement because we are on different paths to the same goal, but we are in harmony. It is beautiful.
I love the quot: "All roads lead to where I stand."
PS Other questions:
What is "the goal"?
Where do "we stand" and why does it not seem good enough?
OR IS IT it good enough …
and WHY is it good enough?
and how come no one told me it was good enough?
perhaps the "I" is the missing link.
How could that BE????
Spirituality is a benign, ineffective, and stagnant belief in a creator who's morality is coincidentally centered on the individual who has invented his or her own religion.
It requires no self improvement, or accountability, and is a violation of the first commandment of the one true God. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
That would be my definition of religion, not spirituality. The revealing of the spirit requires an enormous amount of self improvement and 100% accountability. Spirituality has no commandments except the true meaning of integrity. Religion on the other hand invented the commandment of having no other god before it (the religion) therefore it became a false God by default. The pursuit of the spirit within is extraordinarily effective and fulfilling if you can get real about it.
Do you believe that people are naturally good, or naturally evil?
How can a person who was made in "God's image" be evil?
Evil comes from delusion of mind and hardness of heart.
it is important to remember every one has their own work. No one can tell another how to find happiness since as you remind us …
its an inside job.
The inside job refers to that which is not an outside influence - it is all within. Even happiness is fleeting and not a permanent state (unfortunately). Nothing is permanent in a universe based on continual fluctuations.
Of course what makes one person happy is not necessarily the same for another. Additionally there is more than one way to find the divinity we are all seeking.
So then I assume you believe that people are naturally good. Can you name a time in history when people were not at war?
And, where does delusion of mind and hardness of heart come from?
being prone to believe in illusion rather than reality.
For instance, we are polluting the planet. It could stop if massive consumerism stopped.
We think we need all the junk we buy and throw away. There is a serious problem of plastic debris collecting in the oceans. etc.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news … ne-debris/
Is it good or evil to pollute the ocean? Also, is war a good or evil thing? Or what about giant oppressive, Earth polluting, corrupt, corporations who buy elections, cheat on their taxes, and rob people of their pensions? Are they ran by people who are naturally good?
I believe every person is perfect at birth. Have you ever seen a naturally evil child?
NO YOU HAVE NOT! They do not exist.
That's fine, however you are forgetting the second part of your analogy. As people grow into adulthood they develop deeper emotions, and methods of reasoning which a child is not yet able to comprehend or experience.
Just because we aren't born with a certain trait does not mean it is not part of our nature. For example; people are not born with the desire to have sex, it doesn't become a trait for many years after birth. Likewise we are not born with the desire to do evil, in fact most people who do evil things can always find a way to justify wrong doing.
It is an undeniable historical fact that humanity has shown to be self centered, egotistical, violent, selfish, unkind, petty, covetous, and hateful. It is almost wholly up to an outside influence to put a change those kind of tendencies, which is why societies have to make laws.
The less morality that is present in a society, the more laws have to be made. If you think that people are naturally good, then I would invite you to take a look at the amount of laws that are on the books in your own State. Most state laws are a virtual library, and are upheld or circumvented by politicians, and lawyers, depending on how much money is added to the equation.
Humans act in ignorance and against their own happiness. We have a tendency to ignore the rules of happiness.
This does not mean we are evil. It means we have a propensity to be deluded.
it means we do not know reality.
It means we do not have the smarts to do what makes us truly happy.
Is this lack of awareness evil?
Evil is doing things intentionally for the sake of evil.
Those who murder, steal, cheat, rape, trick, lie and treat others with cruelty do so because they are ignorant of a better way to find happiness.
Many end up in jail.
There, they will take a second look at freedom, kindness, fairness, love, hopefulness, and have the opportunity to find within them the ever-present capacity for empathy, respect and love for others.
Human hearts beat and feel whether we tune into them or not.
There is a heart within each and every person born.
It's a nice thought, however all things are done for our own self interests. Hence a society (such as America) which recognizes that the nature of man is something to be restrained, produces greater individual liberty over those who see man as inherently virtuous, (such as communist nations).
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest, We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages” -Adam Smith
This nation would not exist if it weren't for the fact that the MAJORITY of citizens are good hearted people who love their families and their neighbors as themselves. This nation would not succeed, as it has so greatly since its birth, if the people were not worthy and capable of self-rule.
We have laws for those who slip up for unknown reasons, usually having to do with deviations resulting from childhood mistreatments and bad environments.
Most of us realize, no matter what our stations in life, it's always in our best interests to do right by our fellow man.
Adults in perpetual survival mode and children in schools across the nation get up and do they what have to do … and do it exceptionally well every single solitary day, despite lack of leisure, despite harsh weather, despite, stress, despite aches and pains.
If it wasn't for human goodness, life would be WAY WORSE!
~ wouldn't you agree?
It was largely a pessimistic view of mankind as having inherent, irredeemable flaws that so greatly influenced the founders of the American Revolution, and that political vision became coupled with the equally constrained economic views of Adam Smith, who saw common good coming from what is essentially selfish individual pursuits.
This is how our entire economic system was built. Not just with their ideal economic model which forever changed the world, and created the very freedoms you and I posses, but also in their religious views as well.
You see in this Christian dominated country which holds to the belief that people are inherently evil in the sight of God and therefore need to repent of their misdeeds, we offer the most equality afforded to a diversity of groups both ethnically and religiously. However if you look at countries who believe people are inherently good, such as the teachings of Islam assert, you see a very different and very tragic outcome.
We were born to be active, creative and ambitious.
When given justice, (and peace)
and all the other gifts of the human spirit when it is FREE to manifest (within common sense boundaries / laws of justice.)"
The Way The Framers Saw It
They also recognized that According to the constrained vision of humanity, from the very beginning primitive man lived a life doomed, in the words of Thomas Hobbes, to be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
But of, course as time went on, primitive man evolved According to an un-constrained vision of humanity: unified, wealthy, cultured, refined and of course … TALL.
How did this un-constrained evolution take place?
Human spirit born again and again again and again and again…
over eons of time.
I would surmise.
Actually it was the unconstrained vision of humanity which brought about the French and Marxist revolutions. Both revolutions centered on the idea that the unconstrained man was hindered from flourishing in his natural perfectible and virtuous state by a corrupt society.
And as such, both revolutions quickly turned into a violent and lawless mob action ending in the usurpation of power by tyrants. Why? Well, if man is indeed unconstrained – if he’s virtuous and perfectible -- and heaven can be made here on earth, then the lack of heaven must be due to insufficient virtue and perfection on the part of certain people, and these people need to be killed for the greater good.
Now since that time, the unconstrained vision of a perfectible, naturally virtuous New Man pioneered by French Revolutionaries has given us 11 million gassed to death in National Socialist Death Camps; no less than 30 million killed in various forced starvations and government purges in the paradise of equality known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; Fifty million people killed in the communist Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward; millions more executed for lack of revolutionary virtue under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; and at least a million more in Vietnam, under the victorious armies that were so celebrated at the time in the streets of America, by those most blinded by the beauty of Unconstrained, Virtuous, New Man and his godless heaven right here on earth.
The constrained vision of a flawed, self indulgent, and corruptible man brought ideas such as separation of powers to limit the power of government, the right to defend ones self against other corruptible men, and all the other restraints on government which are covered in the bill of rights.
Hi Jewels. It seems that Religion is fear and restriction based while spirituality is courage and possibility based.
Thank you for sharing you wisdom. It really gives us (me and all who have eyes to read) something to contemplate.
I agree with the quote. I'm surprised this hasn't brought out of the woodwork a bunch of dissenters calling us ugly names. And yes, a V8 would taste good about now.
But, still one of us super spiritual people needs to explain:
"Spirituality is a network"
I'm fairly sure someone wants to come and explain.
Time for another V8?
"We have to overcome the physical side of the duality to become a fully awakened soul aware of our multidimensional existence." MB
How do we overcome the "physical side," MizBejabbers?
What is the physical side?
I would say the physical side emanates from what is metaphysical. (beyond the physical in the sense of "2 transcendental, spiritual, supernatural, paranormal. D)."
~ overcoming has to do with perceiving the spiritual.
Spirituality is based on reality.
Why is reality so hard to fathom?
Why is it, all we see is illusion/delusion?
If we cannot fathom reality … then what are we to do????
What hope is there for any of us, whether religiously, spiritually or atheistically inclined?
What is reality? Reality is what a being can perceive. Our reality as humans is different from that of fish, dolphins and even snakes. eg we can only see "visible" light, while some animals can see infrared. Reality in both cases is different. Our physical reality is what our physical senses - sight, touch, smell, hear, taste- can perceive.
In the same way, the spiritual reality is what the spirit can perceive. That's where it gets tricky. Because we have to be in tune with our spirits to know what they perceive.
I'll give a personal example: In the heart of praise and worship, when singing to God, i feel this sense of rightness around me -something in me feels "Yes, am in the right place, doing the right thing." I feel a higher power all around and surges of energy-i feel my spirit elevated.
Physical reality and spiritual reality are not in the same plane. The physical can't cross to the spiritual, but I believe the spiritual can cross to the physical. Despite knowing that God exists, we can't see God. Why's that? Because of the limitations of our physical senses. It's like when you try explaining color to a person born blind. It won't make sense to a person without the physical sense of sight. So colors aren't a part of that person's reality.
So reality is based on the senses used to perceive that which is around us, both physical and spiritual.
which sense perceives the spiritual?
A perspective of some length, therefore I ask forgiveness as so . . . I shall deconstruct as best as can be . . . for only a moment . . .
. . . Possibly the sixth sense. Some say that is intuition and is without conscious reasoning. It simply is from beyond reasoning and sensing. It is as is is so. Then, once one is aware of something from nothing through intuition one either accepts it is as is is so or seeks understanding. Thus there is a journey with a beginning, yet the destination is never seen.
We continue to wander wondering and pondering while navigating toward that destination led by intuition. Yet, there are horizons with sunrises, sunsets, and the time between seen (experienced) through shadows. Those are the unexplained that points forward, shows from whence one came, and shares where one is. And, with realization - awareness, one knows shadows can touch, yet not be touched.
The journey and most wonderful it is is the forming of a belief(s) for as is is so as true, false, or undecided. Thus, questioning as we each are doing here of spiritual, which for each is an experience as spirituality, while occurs elsewhere too.
You, I, or another experiences of least conceptual each is in fact sitting with a keyboard expressing what is experienced and/or has been experienced while seeks an experience in the future. It is momentous. As effect it affects the future.That is by feelings of the senses and thoughts as reasoning. Even if just sitting at the keyboard within an environment seeking answering something from nothing intuitively.
For instance as I read not only each contribution I can imagine what the contributor is doing. Correct or incorrect while not of morality I can conceive something. Perhaps one is smiling with joy seen in language or it is throwing one's hands in the air seeking understanding. And, then there are the interactions themselves aiding while furthering questioning. That is intuitive.
Either it is accepted as is is so forming a belief or understanding is sought. Perhaps one experiences the soul of another as shadows again that touches, yet cannot be touched much less does one touch each other here in this forum. Yet, we each can read each other mind. We read through sight - senses, and form thoughts - mind. We experience each perhaps synthesized. There is justification for a belief formed perhaps for a soul relational to one's soul. Thus, is the journey of spirituality seeking spiritual . . . .
Quite possibly each journey is not fathomable, beyond reasonable explanation, and untouchable, thus is language. A story - metaphor, allegory, and simile be told. Familiarity is Poem. And, there is Art and Music. The desire simply is for another to experience - feel, with thoughts something from nothing - the blank canvass, as a 'self'. Having a heart, mind, and soul navigating toward spiritual still unseen as a journey of spirituality . . .
Souls Share Heard of Mind My Spirit Grows . . .
. . . a poem of this 'self'
Knock, knock upon door within darkness a traveler weary,
A crick and a groan sways a great weight, rays of hope,
Welcoming a room without border, endless, beyond sight,
Shadows dance celebrating merriment of once before.
Between rays not hidden, warmth beyond measure, touching,
Touched not once, neither twice, much more than thrice,
A path uncharted, I navigate, a pathway others may follow,
Those known now left their paths, a choice to travel this day.
Less thud, not even a bump, reminder my heart doest speak,
An ear bent listening of virtue, no harm of mind, a dear friend,
I hear not of, but is, I know of mind be something of nothing,
Alas, heard not of thought nor is touched, "This way today . . ."
… what does Jesus say?
Love God with body heart mind and soul.
and Love neighbor as self.
Love is the common element in both ideals.
But love, as we know, is very tricky.
It has come down to this question in the year 2016 after the life of Jesus: And what/who is "God?"
If we cannot know GOD directly … what should we do about it?
Religion's answer: Operate according to best guesses based on Bible.
Spirituality's answer: ?
Overcoming the physical side of the human condition is an enormous topic and it's one where the work of Rudolph Steiner and Dr Samuel Sagan can come into play. He speaks about a transformed Etheric Body (qi/life force), Transformed Astral Body (the Soul = thoughts and emotions as influenced by the Astral) and Transformed Physical Body. With the understanding of proprioception it is understood that humans do not really feel or fathom their physical body, so transforming it is not something possible at this time in our evolution. (By the way, it is the Astral Body that is full of delusion and illusion.)
Transformation is the deconstruction of all that is out of integrity within us, all that is not us. Awakening is what happens on the road to revealing the real Self, the higher self. Spirit = our true essence.
It is spoken of that what human's experience as love is a fallen principle of what real love is. Real love burns, and unless we expand our consciousness and build a receptacle for it, we cannot hold it. Transforming the Astral body is the first line, where we learn to overcome our thoughts and emotions. Not until that is done can we fully transform our life force which will allow us to hold more of that unfallen fire, Once we have a transformed physical body we can hold the unfallen fire here as human beings. It is an extraordinarily difficult feat, impossible until there is a mass transformation. Heaven on Earth is when there is a mass of people who are the receptacles of this fire. Christ Consciousness is a state of being where you can experience the fire of real love. Holding it is a difficult feat.
God is within, it is that which is akin to our spirit. When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally (no BS), we can then understand the essence of ourselves.. But until we can evolve physically it will not be a permanent experience. We are swaying to the forces of nature. We can learn to ride on them and not be thrown by them. That requires overcoming and mastering the Astral Body.
and what does that mastering involve?
also can you explain this?
Transformation is the deconstruction of all that is out of integrity within us, all that is not us.
Conditioning basically. We are a construct of everything in our environment, our parent's emotions, their beliefs, their influence as a whole. What we are taught in school, what is pushed on you via religious indoctrination. Rules and regulations that have an agenda beyond what is in your best interests.
Good explanation, Jewels. Basically "transformation" as I have experienced is healing of the wounded spirit. Recognizing bitter root judgments held that were passed down, and the judgments we made as a child (or adult) with limited knowledge and understanding are important to recognize so that we do not reap because of those bitter root judgments. Also, so that other people do not have to reap because of the bitter root judgments we made in our heart.
The law of sowing and reaping can have pleasant rewards. Bitter root judgments produce bitter fruit rewards. Its a spiritual law that is in place and its best when we know how God's spiritual laws work for the greater good.
Thank you, Jewels. Great explanation, and one that takes years of study to master.
what is not me?
it seems like it is all me!
How can I deconstruct myself when I did not even construct myself!
Do you ever wake up in the morning as say ...
"WHAT the heck?!!!"
- unless I did construct myself and I forgot I did …
To say I am God is taboo / false.
To say I am from God is not.
Is God love?
Is Bliss involved in feeling?
or just BEING?
what does "holding" involve?
(From: <"hold … unfallen (?) fire.">)
Where is that "fire" from ?
Is Love part of a feeling
Are feelings an aspect of emotions?
(From: <" … overcome our thoughts and emotions … transform (?) our life force … ">)
If you cannot return, Jewels, thanks for these hints to contemplate.
As you speak of God you speak of something that is external to you, yet everything to do with the revealing of you as a spirit is an internal experience. As quoted in the bible "the Kingdom of Heaven is within" If you keep looking outside you will never find what you are looking for in regard to your spiritual growth.
Bliss is a state of consciousness which you can experience via meditation. It is experience by Being in a particular space of meditation.
Love is a not a doing, you do not DO love, you BE love. If you DO love, it's not really love. It's more like caring or compassion. But to feel love you BE it and then emit it. Thereby others can experience you BEING love and then understand what that is. When you are IN LOVE as in a relationship in the beginnings, the state you FEEL is a state of BEING. It is not something you DO. It is the result of an experience.
Feelings and emotions are not the same. Emotions are a reaction to a feeling. Feelings are described :- softness, harshness, hot, cold, sharp, dull.
God is a loaded word and means many things to different people. You could say the space of love is God or the Divine. Or God is all that is; I am part of the all that is. Whilst it is true we are not God because we have fallen (as in the fall), we are an emanation. But we are not separate. So it's foolish to say we are not God otherwise you will be fooled into thinking the God within is somewhere else other than within you.
When talking about unfallen, you are in a state which is more involuted, closer to the inner you instead of the unconscious externalized you. The REAL love which can be felt by presences of an Angelic nature, which by the way is felt by the ability to be open to feeling them, is felt is fire. It is an intense feeling, it's the equivalent to the Sanskrit agni.
"You did construct yourself by responding and reacting to the environment that influenced your upbringing. It can be quite awakening and shocking to see what you have taken on as truth when in reality it is nonsense." J !
nonsense = delusion/illusion, I would say.
"As people grow into adulthood they develop deeper emotions, and methods of reasoning."
These types of mental processes are due to ego concerns.
Ego is the outer aspect of our beings.
The heart has to do with the inner part of our beings.
- just depends on what the person is dwelling on: inner, where the reality of peace and love is felt or outer where temporary excitements are depended on for happiness.
PS life seems to be a balancing act of inner and outer … as the yin and Yang symbol portrays: dark and light, reality and illusion, alkaline and acid, calm and restless, happy and sad, invisible and visible, ignorant and wise, unconscious and conscious, loving and hating …
growing or dying.
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed …"
http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/file … /M-654.pdf
The question is, Is man inherently evil?
What do you think?
I think not.
I think we can err big time and do everyday. This erring does not make us evil.
It makes us human, therefore the need for boundaries, laws and discipline.
But inherently, our inner selves are of spirit and perfect. We can rectify our consciousness by unifying our little soul spirits with the big spirit of God. If our soul / spirits were not animating us, we could not save ourselves, which ultimately we must do. (When and how is left up to us.)
I have heard from spirtiual masters, when we do 25 percent of the work, God will do the rest. But, it starts with our own wills to align ourselves with our true Selves.
By not rectifying ourselves we err.
But we are not evil: Ignorant.
Is ignorance evil?
Do we need to protect ourselves from human infallibility? Yes.
The Way I see It
Inherently evil, yes. Can you name a time in history when people were not at war?
war is evil. People who wage war are evil. This becomes a political issue. Not spiritual.
Is politics evil?
"My people perish because they do not know"....ignorance is not evil. But it doesn't mean it doesn't affect us. Just like in a court, where "Ignorance is no defense".
About war. War is not evil. The purpose for the war is:
We can go to for for greed over resources and kill people just to fill our bank accounts. That's evil.
We can go to war to liberate ourselves from tyranny, slavery or colonial oppression. That's noble.
We go to war to create terror among citizens. That's evil.
We go to war to protect ourselves from the scourge of terrorism. That's self preservation.
The cause of the war determines its validity. But if all people were good, there'd be no need for war. So at the very root of every war there is an evil cause. We wouldn't have to fight for freedom if we were not being oppressed. We would't have to fight for resources if we weren't greedy. There wouldn't have been a war in heaven if some angels hadn't become proud and rebelled. There wouldn't be an Armageddon coming if we didn't become rebellious and think of ourselves as equals to God.
Wars will be fought. Some wars will be necessary, some will be unnecessary. It comes down to "What is the cause of the war?"
Yes, those who start wars are evil. Hitler was evil, Genghis Khan was evil, all of the tyrants in history who ever sought to usurp power from the weak and fight to control are evil. That is why the founders of the United States chose to form a government which guarantees a separation of powers.
That is why the American revolution was steeped in a constrained vision of a corruptible and greedy man. Thus it rings true to the old adage; "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
And here is why politics plays a roll in my answer; Both you and I were born into a society based on Judaeo Christian values. Those are religious values, as opposed to your spiritual values. We know what is right and wrong based on the values of our society which are ingrained into our laws, our history, and our consciences. Hence if we were to live in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, our values would be much different. You would have absolutely no tolerance for any kind of outside culture except a Muslim culture.
Yet here in America and in all of the Western societies, all religions and creeds are tolerated and more importantly their rights are guaranteed.
In Communist countries (which believe in an unconstrained vision of a perfectible man) There is no separation of powers, and they rule in tyranny.
Thus a society which recognizes the historically proven fact that man is inherently greedy, selfish, and violent, has the ability to effectively protect its citizenry from those who, in the name of virtue and good will, would seek to abuse them.
I agree to all you have said. Why would that be?
Because what you say is true.
Our disagreement is this:
We are not born evil.
This state of non-evil can be preserved in children and/ or regained in adulthood through self-will.
Ask me how.
I will explain "how" clearly and the process involves the the essence of spirituality.
Spirituality is based on the science of reality.
Only the ignorant become evil for lack of this knowledge which Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Paramahansa Yogananda, his line of gurus starting with Babaji and the saints of all religions have.
I do not believe that children are born evil just as I do not believe that they are born with the desire to engage in sexual reproduction. It is still an inherent part of our nature which becomes evident at a later part of our development and is only suppressed by outside influences.
Your desire to be good is based solely on how it benefits you. If you only have yourself to hold you to your own invented standards, your spirituality will be of little or none effect to true personal development.
… what is wrong with being good based on how it affects you??
-can you elucidate:
<"If you only have yourself to hold you to your own invented standards, your spirituality will be of little or none effect to true personal development."> O
What I am saying is people do wrong all the time, and will always find a way to justify it. That is our own invented morality which can shift on a day to day basis as the circumstance presents its self. Unless some outside source presents a standard as a set of rules to live by, your faith will be stagnant, always learning the philosophies of men yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Rather it would benefit us to rise from this state of spiritual infancy diluting ourselves to being carried about like sand shifting with every worldly wind of doctrine. Inventing a God which aligns with your own idea of what a God should be, or how it should think, or insisting that the only just God is that which aligns it's justice with that which you yourself have invented.
Who is this God? Is it the God of Kathryn? God according to you? Is this truth?
Do you not believe that some know reality?
and One in particular?
Do you believe we were left only to wander in rudderless vessels on the vast desolate sea of human existence?
Obviously, Yes you do. I, however, do not.
Yes we are born subject to evil. No we are not destined to never know good.
Outside: evil / delusion
Inside: goodness / reality
Of course I do not believe we are left to "wander", I am a Christian. I believe in absolute truths. I am religious because I recognize the fact that relying on my own morality is supportive of injustice and error.
Spirituality alone is indicative to lying to yourself and the people around you. You are enlightened to your own invented beliefs. It requires no accountability, and no need for growth. You are perfect in your own mind but not in the eyes of God.
spirituality is "not relying on one's own morality."
You have a misconception about spirituality.
Religion and spirituality are actually one, in a way … or they could be …
I am sorry you do not understand spirituality.
<"Spirituality alone is indicative to lying to yourself and the people around you. You are enlightened to your own invented beliefs. It requires no accountability, and no need for growth. You are perfect in your own mind but not in the eyes of God.">O
This is not accurate. and it is insulting.
If this is untrue, then tell me who you are accountable to.
Which God are you referring to? Yourself?
Also Jesus never mentioned having a third eye. He did however organize a priesthood, set up a multi tiered church with prophets, apostles, deacons, priests, and evangelists, and commanded his followers to engage in ordinances such as sacrament, baptisms, blessings, and prayers, (perhaps something you might label as dogmatic).
He also required that his followers tithe to his church, and commanded that they devote their time, talents, and efforts into building and strengthening his church.
So when you imply that spirituality is superior to religion, you are in essence saying that the individual's own invented spiritual beliefs are superior to the commandments of Christ.
You invent your own enlightenment, you invent your own fantasy about life after death, you invent your own vision of Heaven and Hell, and you invent your own version of justice.
Another thing, since you brought up Jesus, It is written "you shall have no other Gods before me" That is to include yourself.
Jesus said, "Know ye not that ye are gods?" he did not say Gods.
Because we are gods, (souls) of God as Spirit.
As I Understand
PS <"So when you imply that spirituality is superior to religion, you are in essence saying that the individual's own invented spiritual beliefs are superior to the commandments of Christ."> O
I never said it was superior. But if religion is misinterpreted, we must go to the science behind it which is spirituality.
PSS If you do not believe in intuition, how can you know God? If your eye be single, (by focusing one's consciousness at the seat of the soul between and just above the eyebrows,) your whole body will be (perceived to be) full of (God's) light. Many books and teachings of Jesus were lost and discovered in the dead sea scrolls which revealed He taught a meditation technique and other yogic disciplines. When John said he died daily, he did. He had been taught to control his heart and thereby rest it completely.
You read a lot. :-D Your intellectual tickling and dogmatic interpretations work for you. If this works for you why do you attack spirituality which works for others? What are we doing that hurts you?
We believe in Jesus too ya know.
The problem might be that it makes you doubt what you put so much faith in.
and what you put faith in is ...
If you have joy of life what provides it?
I am not attacking spirituality, It is a debate. The name of the thread is "Religion Vs Spirituality". I am simply saying that spirituality alone is fruitless without first having a tangible foundation built on principles and laws which lead to true discipleship and ultimately exhalation with our creator. The path to truth does not lye in a melting pot of man made philosophies of out of body experiences, Yoga, or three eyes. You simply can not mix and match these conflicting philosophies when you have a messiah who says time and again that the only path to heaven is through him. Not Zoroaster, not Buddha, not Mohammad, not Krishna. One path, and one path only.
You misunderstand. The one way is Christ Consciousness. Taught by all.
The one and only way to exaltation in Heaven is by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That which was taught by Jesus himself.
Jesus is not the only one who teaches Christ Consciousness leading to Cosmic Consciousness.
How could that be?
Christ Consciousness is nothing more than a re branded form of eastern mysticism which has nothing to do with true Christianity. The name of Jesus is merely used as a prop to draw attention to the latest fad in something that has a description typical to that of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Add a few cherry picked verses from the bible and you have just fabricated a new religion out of whole cloth.
Consciousness of Christ.
Something wrong with this reality? Isn't this the awareness every Christian is striving for?
They pour over the words of Jesus to understand his words, to live by his word, to speak by his word.
His word is from consciousness: A certain kind of higher awareness given to him by His Father.
Christ = anointed one.
Yes there certainly is a problem if it is made up. It is not reality. Christ the Messiah is the deliverer, the one anointed to deliver his people from death and Hell. Not simply a really nice guy, or a really enlightened person. He is the only way for mankind to get to heaven. There is no other historical source which defines him in any other way.
Some would say, here is evil:
…. we have become rebellious and we think of ourselves as equals to God.
Do we think of ourselves as equal to God?
Is there a problem with that?
what is this malady based on?
<"Spirituality is not theology or ideology. It is simply a way of life, pure and original as given by the Most High. Spirituality is a network linking us to the Most High, the universe, and each other."> VS
All people, whether they are atheists or theists, understand The Golden Rule of doing for/unto others as you would have others do for/unto you. One must know how one would like to be treated, however. This requires knowledge of one's self.
When connected to one's The Self, one will have love, empathy, compassion, kindness, respect, appreciation and admiration for the good in all as it is exhibited.
The problem with religion is this:
It cuts one off from realizing the True shining Self.
This Self is the animating Spirit within each one of us.
Religionists do not acknowledge that Jesus referenced the third eye and the power of intuition. The only way to know God is to intuit Him with a pure heart through willing obedience.
Religion forces obedience through guilt and false dogmas.
Forcing, however, is psychological Taboo.
Spiritualists e n c o u r a g e (rather than FORCE,) through experiencing and expressing love and joy.
PS Some religionists have it right and are also spiritualists!
Take it or leave it.
The Way I see It.
<"Spirituality is a network linking us to the Most High."> VS Who could argue this?
<"He did however organize a priesthood, set up a multi tiered church with prophets, apostles, deacons, priests, and evangelists, and commanded his followers to engage in ordinances such as sacrament, baptisms, blessings, and prayers, (perhaps something you might label as dogmatic).
He also required that his followers tithe to his church, and commanded that they devote their time, talents, and efforts into building and strengthening his church.">O
HOW DID HE DO ALL THIS?
Why don't you check out how the Franciscan monks in the name of Christianity treated the indigenous people of California?
What a horrid bunch those so called monks were ... Yes, led by Father Serra.
Father Serra's soldiers galloped through villages with ropes and arms to seize the Diegueno men and women. They were taken to the mission land and forced to live and build the San Diego Mission. They were forced to learn the Spanish way of life / Christianity. Without the baits of food and clothing, not one mission would have been built.
Do you know what a peaceful existence the California indians had lived?
They believed in the Great Spirit and lived accordingly in reverence for nature. They survived on the land for centuries.
How long before we destructively pollute the very land which they took care of for eons of time?
And consider: "When the Spanish arrived in the New World, at least 30 million people lived in the lands of California. by 1769, there were only about 4 million." Jerry Stanley author of Diggers.
Nice work, men.
Sadly those who post on the topic of spirituality and yet don't understand the basic concepts of internalization of consciousness will continually miss the point.
Comparatively it's the difference in driving a 1960's dodge truck to a 2014 Ferrari. And those who have never driven a Ferrari will think their 1960's dodge truck is the best thing they've ever experienced.
It is sad. Those who depend on a priest or a preacher to tell them what to do because their god is external don't get it and they most likely won't in this lifetime. They are told to "let Jesus into their hearts," but if they really did that, they would be able to know how to live through their souls. Instead they quote scriptures willy-nilly and expect us to understand their "God". But it is the unenlightened path they are on now, and at least they are trying even when they aren't succeeding. That is why we are being told that it will take humans at least 300 years to come fully into the 3rd Dimension. I don't think these people have the capability right now to understand what you are saying. Maybe if we keep saying it ... just a thought.
I think it's a matter of being it moreso. That of course is a continual work in progress. "The Kingdom of Heaven is within" and that means being as he is, be a disciple, or walk the path he did. And it's not easy!
You are probably right MizBejabbers - 300 years it could take for the mass of humanity to be our higher selves while walking on the earth - the world to come (As above, so below). It's really difficult to see/read/hear how many speak of spirituality yet have no concept of what it really means.
We keep on in the meantime
Isn't that made up also? It's a myth, a set of teachings - a very misunderstood set of teachings.
Have a read of http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/087612 … ailpages00 and get a wider understanding of Christ the Messiah
Not even close to anything the real Jesus said. Sorry.
You perhaps need to understand there is a major difference between religion and spirituality, I mean those who do real spiritual transformation work. Have you actually experienced the state of Christ Consciousness? If you have not then you really have no understanding of the book that I was referring to, nor the real teachings that the bible refers to? This in essence is why there is a major difference between dogma (religion) and spirituality - which is the actual experiences through practice of what it means to be a spiritual disciple. And there is absolutely no proof there was a real Jesus, and he never actually wrote anything to do with the bible.. But there is such a thing as a spiritual student doing transformation work, going through the dark night of the soul and deconstructing all the conditioning that is piled on you by people who espouse themselves as authorities on the human condition.
So have you actually read the book? Do you know its contents?
You don't actually believe that there was a Jesus yet you believe in this eastern mystical invention of "Christ Consciousness"? This is simply more proof that it is disingenuous to it's title. Self worship has nothing to do with the teachings of the real Christ. And if there were no Bible there would be no talk of Christ, and there would be no "Christ Consciousness" since the Bible is the source from which your religion is derived.
Reminds me of the whole steampunk genre. They insert a bunch of technology that never existed into history and invent a flashy pretend world of fantasy. It's interesting but it's not real, not reality, just fantasy.
Meditation helps one reach the state of consciousness whereby one is in touch with the true self as opposed to the false self. The false self is what we make up and imagine ourselves to be. The true self is the essence of our beings.
Heaven can only be felt and seen from within one's own being no matter where heaven happens to exist. God is perceived though intuition … through the actual human ability to perceive via the sixth sense of intuition.
God is outer and inner. God exists as the universe and every cell and atom within us.
Do these ideas make sense to you On us on us? Why would anyone, such as you, not embrace them?
They Make Sense To Me
Sounds like the force to me. If you believe you can become a Jedi does that make it true?
If you believe you are going to heaven without working for it, does that make it true?
What does the work require, do you suppose?
Jesus said: The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few ...
What is the harvest? What is the labor to you, On us on us?
"Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest'?
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."
Also, unlike Jewels, I believe Jesus lived and there is proof. The remaining books of the NT were written by different authors and have corresponding info.
I believe He is quite misunderstood.
He was both son of man and son of God.
What does this mean?
I Believe that God will judge whether or not we strove to keep his commandments, and followed in his teachings. It is necessary to do the things which he has asked of us, otherwise there will be little reward.
The harvest is his children. They are all of mankind. But he is not the son of a man. What man was his father? God is his father.
You misunderstand if you think the practice requires self worship. It's not a narcissistic engagement. Actually the opposite becomes true. Once you reach these states and hold these states you are actually selfless. There is very little reference to the fallen ego because it is a higher state.
Sanskrit texts are actually much older that biblical text. Christ Consciousness is a state, it is not a person. The misunderstanding comes when you think it is one thing that you idolize externally, as in Jesus or the Christed one. The meaning of Christ is that Jesus (man) became his spiritual self (Christ).
I don't know if there was a Jesus, I neither think there was or was not. There is actually no proof. Even the scholars are awaiting the evidence. But there are teachings and when you can understand them and align to them, wonderful states are available.
To leave your spiritual growth to the say so of a preacher or even a teacher is a misuse of the teachings available. This is the honouring of a false god. You must have experiences of your higher self, not the belief in an external higher power.
I find modern day Christianity extremely sad where the 'believers' feel that anyone who does not walk the same path as Jesus is actually a heathen. The opposite is true.
Using the 'steam punk genre' as your understanding of ancient practices as was done by Sri Aurobinda, is an abomination. But of course you were taught to think this way. And you were not taught to learn how to have experiences such as spaces of consciousness.
We have to apply Plato's Allegory of the Cave here. You have no reference point for this.
The basic premise of mysticism is that man can, within himself, transcend physical existence and experience his own goodness as being “one” with the universe, being a god, or existing on whatever higher plane he chooses to believe in. Hence there is no recognition of the power which is solely given to Jesus Christ.
You believe that all power in the universe resides within yourself and is attainable through your own efforts. This is a form of self worship and is completely contrary to the teachings of the only historical source which talks about Christ. If you wish to fabricate your own spiritual based religion that is your right. However it is completely contradictory to attach the concept of Christ to it.
" I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." -John 14:16
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" -John 11:25
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." -Revelation 1:18
"These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." Revelation 3:7
The overlying theme of the Bible is that Jesus is the only one who can reclaim you from death. You cannot resurrect yourself. Also he is the one who invented his church. He delegated his priesthood to prophets, pastors, evangelists, teachers, deacons, and apostles. That is what was taught by Christ. If you want to know what true Christianity is, it's in the Bible. If you want to make up something else, go right ahead. However it is the Bible which teaches us not to invent false gods.
There is recognition of the power of "Jesus Christ" because it is within all of us. Simple Delegation was given to prophets and pastors etc., to teach the masses that this could be done. Unfortunately the church has become so barstardized even the pastors/teachers have no idea of how to do it. Thankfully there are teachers outside of a church unit that can. Your verse of Revelations is actually an internal notice. Read that book I was speaking of and you will understand the true meaning of it.
Mysticism is no longer mysticism when you learn how to do something.
Have the experience not the belief.
The power of Christ is only given to those whom he has ordained with his priesthood. The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will exist to eternity.
It is veritably the power of the Almighty given to man to act in His name and in His stead. It is a delegation of divine authority, different from all other powers and authorities on the face of the earth, It is the only power on the earth that reaches beyond the veil of death. And it is only delegated through the will of Jesus Christ. It has never been described as something which resides in us inherently. Moreover it is a responsibility granted to those whom he and he alone finds worthy to hold it.
It is inherent in us. And you do have to be worthy to hold it. It takes an enormous amount of Will and practice. It does reach beyond the veil of death in the form of transformation of the soul.
I do hope you are able to experience a semblance of what I am passing to you. All power to you.
Christ never implied that, in fact he said just the opposite as I showed earlier. Hence your religion of "Christ Consciousness" is a farce to it's name. A name which divisively seeks to pervert the tenants of true Christianity masked over an already existing religion of Eastern Mysticism.
As I said before, you are free to make up what ever set of beliefs you choose, however it is a forcible lie to attach it to Christianity, which specifically warns it's followers not to invent a God that suits your own personal beliefs and morals.
"which specifically warns it's followers not to invent a God that suits your own personal beliefs and morals."
That's an interesting claim - where do you get it? The "graven images" thing?
Close, but more like this one; "You shall have no other gods before me"
Close, but there isn't any mention of gods along their own moral lines. Most gods have feet of clay - no morals - after all.
It should go without saying that if the character of God has been consistently defined throughout the ages by those who were ordained by him with the authority to do so, (that is the God of the Hebrews and the God of the Christians), that it is inventive to simply make up one's own version of that God to suit one's own personal version of morality.
Now I am talking about the God of the Bible, the one who is spoken of as the Christ. This is the God who said "you shall have no other Gods before me". If for example, one decides that this God is okay with promiscuity because you yourself feel that marriage is an outdated tradition that no longer applies to our society, then you have simply invented your own God and given it the label of Christ. And the God of the Bible is against that.
Would you say those who are spiritual and those who are religious have the same goals?
namely, to get to heaven?
would you say the religious have a better chance to get to heaven than the spiritual?
why and how?
This thread is set up to advance the narrative that religious people are not spiritual, as though we can only choose one side or the other. But religion does not work without spirituality. It is an integral part of the process. But that is spirituality by definition of prayer and supplication to the creator.
I already said that spirituality alone will not get you into heaven. I thought I was pretty up front about that.
See, this is where the problem lies. You say it's made up but it is an experience and it is the experience of many Sages. Your idea of Christ is as made up as any set of dogmatic teachings. Unfortunately you cannot bridge between the dogma and the experiences which is where the real revelations are. This is what that book I mentioned about can show you if you care to actually open your mind to it - broaden your consciousness so to speak. By following the bible or any set of written 'instruction' you set yourself up to idolize a falseness because you are believing what you are being taught. Yet if you don't have the experience of it you have learned nothing. The mind is a dangerous tool. It is so impressionable and you will believe anything. The best teacher is one who tells you not to believe anything that you are told or anything you read. A teacher who shows you how to have your own experiences is the true teacher. "I am the truth, the light, the way" is a metaphor for this. You will be given the tools to find truth and light and the way yourself. It is within you. Be as Jesus was and become a vessel to experience Christ.
The discussions is so easily made circular as you believe I am making up my experiences, and I am saying you also can have them but you chose to believe what you were told to believe. Interestingly I have been brought up in a Christian environment - I chose to broaden my mind and bridge biblical teachings to many different traditions of thought.
This is the last comment I will make on this thread, time to move forward. May your experiences be joyous.
I would never deny somebody's personal experiences, however I would question your interpretation of it. There are those who believe that they can communicate with the dead however there is no proof that the spirits with whom they communicate are what they say they are. Therein lies the problem with your philosophy. The inconsistency with your idea of what God and particularly with what Jesus Christ are compared to what they have always claimed to be throughout the ages.
They even warned the people that this would happen.
"in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
Jesus was also very specific concerning what kind of doctrine, what kind of church, and what kind of organization his followers should abide by, yes it is important to have a personal relationship with him, but it is also clear that he intended to organize his people to the building up of his church on the Earth.
by Dale Nelson8 years ago
I am not one to post in the religious forums for one reason.1. If religion is a record of events experienced by different creeds and races with numerous means of writing and speech, wouldnt it be fair to call it...
by renju mathew9 years ago
According to me religion can give nothing to yout soul.Religion will not take you any where except to satisfy some social obligations.
by breathe2travel5 years ago
What does it mean to be spiritual or religious?If someone is spiritual, do you think they're religious? Or, do you think someone can be spiritual without being religious? Do you think someone can be...
by mdawson178 years ago
I have heard some people say they are spiritual and others say they are religious! I can honestly say I am spiritual I have an intimate relationship with Christ as I understand him!This forum is set up for those to post...
by Andrew02088 years ago
RELIGION VS THE BIBLE.This is a striking subject as it has being somehow controversal in all ages regarding it's relationship with the Bible. Anyway, I know Religion could be man made in nature as it is widely claimed...
by Sammy7 years ago
Do you choose your religion - or does it choose you?Just because you may have been brought up from birth into a certain religion, does that make you a believer? or Faithful even?
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.