God: what is it?
|12 Steps|||||Christianity|||||Theosophy|||||Pantheism|||||Islam|||||Buddhism|||||Zen|||||God Dies?|
|No matter what…it
is with God
He is gracious and merciful
His way is through love,
in which we all are.
It is truly - A Love Supreme…
Must we choose between left eye and right eye?
Be still and know that I am God.
There's no such thing as happiness, just happy
more or happy less.
|Stupid is as Stupid does.
I am created in the image of God, no less and no more, I am.
--Julie100 on Oprah.com
The kingdom of God does not come if you watch
for it. Nor will anyone be able to say, "It is here," or "It is there."
For the kingdom of God is within you.
It's all good.
that stone Buddha deserves
If you're not here now,
Veronica: I saw somebody peeing in Jeremy Street
the other day. I thought, "Is this the end of civilization as we
know it? Or is it simply somebody peeing in Jeremy Street?
The eye with which I see God is the same eye with
which God sees me.
Barn's burnt down--
Chop wood, carry water.
Dharma: I came here to talk to the Universe /God
/ the Great Spirit.
There are no weeds; just plants in bad places. -Bill Weir's Mom
Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself. -Bo Diddley
If you believe in forever, then life is just a
one night stand. If there's a rock and roll heaven, well, you know they
got a hell of a band.
Space ain't man's final frontier;
Too many churches and not enough truth.
-The Guess Who
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants
Son of God
|Life is not a triple lutz. -Michelle Kwan
I am what I am. -Popeye
To see the World in a Grain of Sand
I am the eternal Powers. So tell them that which
Exists, whose name is
God is love. -1 John 4:8
Love isn't something that we're in, it's something that we do. -Clint Black
I hope you dance.
Water which is too pure has no fish.
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
Ring the bells that still can ring.
God made everything out of nothing. But
the nothingness shows through.
Don't kill him!
The words of the prophets are written on the subway
We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun. -John Lennon
Day of judgment, God is calling.
I understand about indecision,
Love when you can, cry when you have to, be who
you must, that's a part of the plan. Await your arrival with simple survival,
and one day we'll all understand.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
It's the only thing that there is just too little of.
Forget about religion; this is just math...
|We are all drops of water
in an ocean of God. -Tom Minkler
Rivers flow. Trees grow. This is the nature of
truth. Is there a perfect tree? A perfect rock? Everything is a perfect
representation of itself.
Smile, you're on Candid Camera. -Allan Funt
Anyone whose reward from God is deferred until
tomorrow has not truly worshiped him today.
I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance. -Garth Brooks
(You're) Like a rainbow in the dark.
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all
the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky.
If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it? -Dogen
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God. -Lenny Bruce
If you have to ask what Jazz is, you'll never
I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that
Knock on the Sky and listen to the sound! -Zen saying
If God had wanted us all to be the same, we'd all have braces on our legs. -Forrest Gump's Mom
One Love, One Heart; give thanks and praise to the Lord, and I will feel alright. Let's get together and feel alright. -Bob Marley
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need. -The Beatles
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition,
but the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency.
You can't always get what you want, but if you
Masquerading as a man with a reason, my charade
is the event of the season. And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely
means that I don't know. -Kansas
Black holes are where God divided by zero. --Steven Wright
We admitted we are powerless over the
as a whole -- that it is unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power(s) greater than ourselves
could restore us to wholeness.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over
to the care of God (I AM) as we understood It.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to I AM, to ourselves and to another human being
the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have I AM remove all
these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked It to remove our shortcomings.
|8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed,
and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others.
9b. Forgave in our hearts all persons we perceived as
10. Continued to take personal inventory
and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with I AM, as we understood It, praying only for knowledge
of Its will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice
these principles in all our affairs.
Compare the 12 steps modified above to
the Christian Lord's Prayer (Mt 6:9-13):
Our Dad in heaven, holy be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us what we need today, and forgive us our shortcomings, as we forgive those who hurt us;
and don't lead us into temptation, rather save us from bad.
It just occurred to me, one thing that's in the Lord's (actually it's "Our") Prayer that's missing from the 12 steps, is "as we forgive those who hurt us." In other words the twelve steps include apologizing for stuff we've done and do, but forget to have us forgive others for how they've hurt us. Although sometimes this is accomplished during the amends phase (#9), it's not specifically mentioned in the steps. This seems important, and in Matthew 6:15 Jesus says, "but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (RSV) This is also true psychologically, in that if we don't forgive people, we tend to hold grudges, and this resentment and anger tends to turn inward and result in self-criticism, denial and blame, preventing us from feeling forgivable. In humanistic terms, "If you don't forgive others, the powers that be (the natural forces of nature, personality and psychology) will not allow you to be forgiven (because of how you feel about yourself)."
Should we add step 8b, "Made a list of all people who had hurt us, and became willing to forgive them all"? (There wouldn't be a 9b, because to forgive someone who hasn't admitted wrongdoing is rude since it is more like an accusation. Although as I said quite often discussion of these matters comes up during the regular amends phase anyway.) I decided to do one better and added step 9b to cover it all.
We can't begin to discuss God (or any type of religion) without some
basic agreement (or recognition of disagreement) about what IT is.
For an extremely enlightening discussion of that and beyond, check out The Church of Yahweh at yhwh.com,
including God's Name and all the links on that page such as God is Not God's Name and I Will Be Who I Will Be.
About Jesus there's Jesus Died For You and Stations of the Cross
and for advanced students The Revealing Science of God and The Ani Ain System
Plus, The Divine Name as the Key to Political Understanding
Check out the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB)
Everyone should check out ReligiousTolerance.org for both sides of every religious issue.
See a summary of my thoughts on The True Nature
I'm considering writing a book examining the Bible for real truth and incorporating some of the ideas on that page.
Here are some draft chapters. Feel free to make any comments or suggestions:
What is God?
Words and Meanings
What is God NOT?
For more info on where I'm coming from, see A
Short Spiritual History, which so far is all I have on my All About
|Liberals Like Christ
The Beast of Revelation Identified
The Jesus Seminar
Reasons To Believe: Big Bang Fundamentalism
Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse
Kissing Hank's Ass: A Christian Parallel
|A cool site by Brian Elroy McKinley, including:
How to Fight The Religious Right
Why Abortion is Biblical
Why Focus On The Family is Of The Devil
See my Christianity page for more history,
info and discussion.
Also check out this incredibly detailed Chronology of Christianity (1AD-Present)
Humans made from dirt: evolution at work.
|The Lord's Prayer:*||Ask your Daddy:
||Big Daddy's Rap:|
| I AM, who's on the highest plane
Perfection be your name
Our world renew
Your will to do
Your love reign down for true
Give us whatever we need today
Forgive us all our sad mistakes
as we forgive those others make
Don't lead us down the road to ruin
Save us from the things we're doing
'cause you're the rock,
the roll and the rule
Always and forever
Let it be.
*(Mt 6:9-13, Lk 11:2-4)
Dude, you're so high
Your name be fly
Our hearts desire
your dreams come true
May you rule here too
like you do where you do
Give us what we need today
Forgive us all our disarray
as we forgive others the same way
Don't lead us down the road to ruin
Save us from our own undoing.
'Cause you rock, you roll
and you rule.
Always and forever
Let it be.
Yo, Mack Daddy upstairs,
You be chillin
So be yo hood
Wha' you be sayin', we be doin'
In this here hood and yo's
Gimme my basics
And cut me some slack,
Sos I be doin' to dem dat dis me
don't be pushing me into no jive
and keep dem gangstas out my face
Cause you always be da Man
Maybe written by MalibuRah@
aol.com; edited by me]
|The 10 Commandments per Moses
(Ex 20:1-17, Deut 5:6-12)
---I am the powers that be,
the only master and all you need, so:
1. Always put me first
2. Don’t worship anything else
3. Don’t swear
4. Take a day to relax every week
5. Respect your parents
6. Don't kill
7. Don't sleep around
8. Don't steal
9. Don't lie
10. Don’t want what’s not yours.
[this updated version by me,
inspired by Andy Rooney]
|The Two Commandments according to Jesus
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
--All the law and the prophets depend on these two.
Or, translated into modern English:
1. Love the Powers that Be with your whole
heart, mind and soul.
2. Love everyone as yourself.
--All morality and the future depend on these two.
|Lord's prayer leftovers:
Daddy you're the greatest
Your rule reign
Your truth ingrain
here as it is on high
Give us what we need today
Our imperfections blow away
as we forgive others when they stray
Don't lead us into neediness
Save us from all evil and greed
'cause you're the height,
the might and the light
Always and forever
Let it be.
|The force is with me, I need nothing
It nourishes me and brings me peace
It sustains my soul and leads the way
Inherent in all that it is
Yeah, even when I walk through darkness,
I will not fear
For the force is with me
your power and being comfort me
You give me all in the face of my foes
You prepare me and I overflow
Surely grace and goodness follow me always
and I will live in the life of your force forever.
--translated by Tom Minkler
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
King James Bible
--Thou art one, the root of all numbers, but not as an element of numeration;
for unity admits not of multiplication, change, or form.
--Thou art one, and in the secret of Thy unity the wisest of men are lost, because they know it not.
--Thou art one, and Thy unity is never diminished, never extended, and cannot be changed.
--Thou art one, and no thought of mine can fix for Thee a limit, or define Thee.
--Thou art, but not as one existent, for the understanding and vision of mortals cannot attain to Thy existence, nor determine for Thee the where, the how and the why …
Q. What was the object of this system?
A. First of all to inculcate certain great moral truths upon its disciples, and all those who were "lovers of the truth." Hence the motto adopted by the Theosophical Society: "There is no religion higher than truth."
Eclectic Theosophy was divided under three heads:
1. Belief in one absolute, incomprehensible
and supreme Deity, or infinite essence, which is the root of all nature,
and of all that is, visible and invisible.
2. Belief in man's eternal immortal nature, because, being a radiation of the Universal Soul, it is of an identical essence with it.
3. Theurgy, or "divine work," or producing a work of gods; from theoi, "gods," and ergein, "to work."
Here is a pretty good definition of Pantheism, adapted from pantheist.net:
Pantheism holds that the cosmos, taken or conceived of as a whole, is
synonymous with the theological principle of God. The Cosmos is divine,
and (therefore) the earth (is also) sacred.
Pantheists do not propose belief in a deity; rather, they hold nature itself as a (or the?) creative presence. Pantheism reconciles science and religion through ecology leading to strong environmental awareness.
Pantheists believe in Divine Immanence. To the Pantheist, divinity does not transcend reality; it surrounds, and is within. All share divinity. This leads the pantheist to personal ethics of tolerance and understanding.
I'm not yet sure if Pantheism can include the idea of a "universal soul" that could exist "outside" the physical realm. There is an interesting commentary related to this on yhwh.com at What?, Part 5 of The Revealing Science of God. There the author discusses Panentheism, which is the belief that "Everything is IN God"; in other words: "God is not the universe," and/but "the universe is God." Or in other words, the universe is part of God but God is more than that.
Here are some good links for finding out more:
An awesome Introduction To Pantheism by Jan Garrett
Pantheist.net, Home of The Universal Pantheist Society
World Pantheist Movement
Scientific Pantheism: Basic Principles by Paul Harrison, but don't read it without checking out:
A Response To "Scientific Pantheism" by Gary Suttle
About.com's list of translations
of the Qur'an and a survey of available English translations from Soundvision.
Here's what seems to be a pretty good translation of The Holy Qur'an, with introductory notes to each chapter, and an initial introduction that includes a good description of the difficulties of translation in general, and specifically regarding the Qur'an..
This translation of The Holy Qur'an is a bit harder to read, and its linkable Table of Contents.
I checked The Qur'an out because I wanted to find out where all this Islamic Jihad-type hatred comes from in the middle east (e.g., contract out on Salmon Rushdie due to the Satanic Verses; and now the 9/11 mass murder at the World Trade Center). But I didn't find anything that would warrant that type of behaviour, and there were quite a few similarites to the Biblical Old Testament (oops maybe that's why)!
See my page of Samples from the Qur'an:
the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
I'll add much more on this later, and probably a separate page on the
"No one ever came to me and said, "You're a fool. There
isn't such a thing as God. Somebody's been stuffing
you." It wasn't murder. I think God just died of old age. And, when I realized that he wasn't any more, it
didn't shock me. It seemed natural and right!
Maybe it was because I was never properly impressed with a religion.
I went to Sunday School and liked the
stories about Christ and the Christmas star. They were beautiful. They made you warm and happy to think
about. But I didn't believe them. The Sunday School teacher talked too much in the way our grade school
teacher used to when she told us about George Washington. Pleasant, pretty stories, but not true.
Religion was too vague. God was different. He was something real,
something I could feel. But there were only
certain times when I could feel it. I used to lie between cool, clean sheets at night after I'd had a bath, after
I had washed my hair and scrubbed my knuckles and finger-nails and teeth. Then I could lie quite still in the
dark with my face to the window with the trees in it, and talk to God. "I am clean, now. I've never been as
clean. I'll never be cleaner." And somehow, it was God. I wasn't sure that it was ..... just something cool and
dark and clean.
That wasn't religion, though. There was too much
of the physical about it. I couldn't get that same feeling
during the day, with my hands in dirty dish water and the hard sun showing up the dirtiness on the roof tops.
And after a time, even at night, the feeling of God didn't last. I began to wonder what the minister meant when
he said, "God, the father, sees even the smallest sparrow fall. He watches over all his children." That jumbled
it all up for me. But I was sure of one thing. If God were a father, with children, that cleanliness I had been
feeling wasn't God. So at night, when I went to bed, I would think, "I am clean. I am sleepy." And then I
went to sleep. It didn't keep me from enjoying the cleaness any less. I just knew that God wasn't there. He
was a man on a throne in Heaven, so he was easy to forget.
Sometimes I found he was useful to remember; especially
when I lost things that were important. After
slamming through the house, panicky and breathless from searching, I could stop in the middle of a room and
shut my eyes. "Please God, let me find my red hat with the blue trimmings." It usually worked. God became a
superfather that couldn't spank me. But if I wanted a thing badly enough, he arranged it.
That satisfied me until I began to figure that if God loved all
his children equally, why did he bother about my
red hat and let other people lose their fathers and mothers for always? I began to see that he didn't have
much to do about hats or people dying or anything. They happened whether he wanted them to or not, and he
stayed in Heaven and pretended not to notice. I wondered a little why God was such a useless thing. It seemed
a waste of time to have him. After that he became less and less, until he was ..... nothingness.
I felt rather proud to think that I had found the truth myself,
without help from anyone. It puzzled me that
other people hadn't found out, too. God was gone. We were younger. We had reached past him. Why couldn't
they see it? It still puzzles me."
(Text taken from "Look Back In Love" by Edith Farmer Elliot)
No Boundary by Ken Wilber: This brilliant book changed my life forever. Visit Shambhala Publications to see their catalogue.
24 Hours A Day published by Hazelden: An awesome 12-step companion with a thought, meditation and prayer for each day of the year.
|C.S. Lewis||Mere Christianity, etc., etc.||Read anything by this genius and join the spirit of the mind.|
|Shelby Spong||Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism||Wake up, Christianity!|
|Stephen Mitchell||The Enlightened Mind||Must we choose between left eye and right eye?|
|Stephen Mitchell||The Gospel According to Jesus||What we're really after, right?|
|Robert Farrar Capon||The Mystery of Christ
(and Why We Don't Get It)
|A bit full of himself but completely full of grace.|
|Ben Witherington, III||The Many Faces of the Christ||Whose face do you see?|
|Paul Dominic Crossan||Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography||Let the revolution begin!|
|Paul Dominic Crossan||The Birth of Christianity||After all, it didn't just plop out.|
|Robert J. Miller, Ed.
& Robert W. Funk
|The Complete Gospels||A wonderfully new translation of the Gospels.|
|Willis Barnstone||The Other Bible: Ancient Alternative Scriptures||Will the real Bible please stand up?|
|Marianne Williamson||A Return To Love||Insightful reflections on the principles of "The Course In Miracles." The Course In Miracles is a huge, 4-volume set of spiritual insights with a workbook. Spend years studying that, or read this. Because you know God is love.|
|A.D. Benson||The True Origins of Christianity and The Bible||So detailed and thorough it will blow your mind. Don't pretend you have any idea what you believe in until you test yourself with this.|
|Bart D. Ehrman||After The New Testament: A Reader In Early Christianity||Be a reader in early Christianity. Is reading really fundamental?|
|Henry Bettenson||Documents of the Christian Church||A "documentary" of the Christian Church.|
|Ken Smith||Ken's Guide To The Bible||Ken tries to rip the Bible to shreds. See if you can put it together again.|
|Hugh Ross, PhD||The Creator And The Cosmos||Science reveals God|
|Hugh Ross, PhD||Creation And Time||And God Rested|
While Mike works on a new page at Shunyata.net,
check out this awesome site with info and links for a wide variety of faiths::
The Religion Pages
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