the aforementioned link and URL is from someone writing about their path and journey, ideas and beliefs with their walk with religion. if you take some time to read the comments, you will see a load of various thoughts and ideas people have, be it pro or con for the idea and use of religion in someone life. years ago I had an idea for a photo book called “black and white – why I do/don’t go to church.” perhaps that is why years later I read the comments in the NYTimes article posted above, almost as if reading this morning’s scripture with some folks in Jesus's time getting upset with him helping and healing people, yet wanting to get rid of him because he didn’t follow man’s legalistic based rules.
"but you can't heal anyone today, it is the Sabbath! what you are doing is illegal!"
"but he was blind (insert illness) and now is well."
"sorry, you can't do that today, make them come back tomorrow."
after living in the world, and really seeking that there might be something far greater than what our human limits, it appears our habits and ways of life seem to blind us that perhaps we are simply a tiny species in a giant cosmos. the magnitude of which goes both ways from the subatomic to the universal scale. yet, as a species, maybe man wants to think more highly of himself than he really is, or he is more special than he really is?
I guess I sit most days and wonder what is so hard about living the idea of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and body and your neighbor as you wish to be loved. i wonder why little that simple line in the bible is glossed over and the big message gets lost with lots of legalism, rules, traditions, and regulations of religion. the issue isn’t limited to the religion of Christianity, but all religions of the world.
Maybe if we could realize we are all flawed and imperfect humans, life would work out better. for some odd reason, the developed world seems to push some message that our lives (with much) are to be perfect, pain-free, fun and prosperous! "enjoy the carefree and fun life!" is what we are bombarded with as marketing and advertising messages. all I learned in my own walk is that this message led me farther away from the idea of god and the reality of love beyond my own selfish wants and human senses. tis funny how easily this can happen.
it is like today, I have to write up the inner fitness space modifications. the irony is there are a lot of people who know we have to change the way we are currently living and try to help ourselves on the inside and not just the outside. I go to the gym for physical fitness, I go to a church for a portion of the spiritual work with a community of other people who say they are seeking more. and then when I go out into nature, alone…you have another part of the inner fitness where the noise of humans and the world leads you to space where the silence and grandeur of nature will allow you to see just how small you are in the cosmic sense. but that is my unique path in the time on this planet so far.
is there an easier way? I would love to think the process is having a moment or an epiphany and voila…you arrived! you get to be enlightened and live/walk/talk the pure selfless love that I have come to believe God really is – incomprehensible to most of our human condition. but in today’s modern world, who wants to really spend the time working it all out, considering it will take you ever moment you are live to continually grow, while all the time the distractions of human noise and things that are not so loving, want to hold you back? it is a funny thing about growth – many people don’t want to grow, don’t know how to, or simply don’t want someone else to grow.
it is called the imperfection in our humanness? being genuine to self? it is the same issues that most religions profess, and humans come up with some ethic or model for “this is good” and yet, how many people can actually walk out the long list of rules, regulations, and laws that are set on our heads from other people or institutions? I guess the irony is that the amazing reality and beauty of God is usually found when you let go of all the stuff of man. the most profound witnessing of religion didn’t happen in some wonderfully decorated church or cathedral. it happened out in the middle of nowhere with a few folks that describe their job as “we pray for the world.” to many, these folks appear crazy by the standards of the world, yet, one look in the eye and you realize they have something to a level that is far greater than most – and they don’t want to talk about it, post selfies, are have accolades and awards given to them for walking in love far beyond what most of us understand by ourselves.
my walk today with the church and various religions is that it is simply what we put into our own walk and not judging or looking at another that will allow change. the idea of understanding each person’s inner heart and soul is something we can only guess about. I guess I learned more about God with common sense than with religious legalism that is more about logic and human thoughts than the childlike reality that god and love really is at the deeper heart levels. I digress…my friend Brett, grew up in the streets of Los Angeles and he told me his journey to work past some dysfunction that was being labeled “normal” by the flawed parents. he had a dog that was shot once, that in hindsight he swears god let it hea because it was his friend in a lonely world. the point of Brett is I kept hearing all the crap people throw out about religion, rules, what is legal what is not….and one person was bashing gay people and god. I guess Brett knew I was about to unload on this person who made the crude comment and he said, “I dunno. I am not smart enough to know what god is up to, all I know is to try to love everyone, and leave all the judging up to god.”
I smiled when he said what he did to that man because we were not in a church, but rather a coffee shop. I didn’t need to say anything, rather, I was amazed at such a simple comment had so much truth. the other person in the conversation didn’t quite grasp what was said, but that was fine – we all work at different speeds, paces and places with walking out our reality with god/no god/ selfish love/selfless love.
perhaps that is too simplistic for the learned masses on earth, but that is how simple religion has come in my life. “love God with all your heart, mind, soul and body – and love your neighbor as you wish to be loved.” the reality of walking that out on any one day – has me coming up short in the reality of making it reality each day – but I will keep trying, till the day I pass away from this planet. while we are here, I have faith that no matter how screwed up we make this planet, I have learned there is something far bigger than what we want to contain and put our hand around, not in love, but in greed or the need to control because we allow our fears to muck up the reality of love and god. and yet, when I ponder the cosmos, nature and stare into a microscope – I am blown away by how amazing the design of all is.
yes, I can make all sorts of reasons – pro/con for any religion, denomination and man-made building to worship in. I wish there was an easy and simple journey – yet, all I know is god is sort of like breathing. sometimes you have to go out alone and get far away from others to have that reality of being still and silent and waiting for something so great to get inside your puny reality. other times, you walk into a building with other folks, each with different thoughts, views, ideas and imperfections to work it all out together in a community and shared space.
I guess is you are always on edge or feeling out of place, it might be a good sign that you are not only following god but asking questions about love beyond yourself and your immediate family and friends.
what about the people that don’t like you, dare say even hate you – yet, they don’t even know you?
not sure what I rambled on about – but it was an interesting article and the comments had me wonder why humans want to rationalize god to serve themselves, versus the other side, which is to serve God in love with our time on this planet.
I think if you take the history of the planet, and that distance is Los Angeles to Manhattan. the time humans in our “developed” form have been on the earth is like 8 inches. in universal time, it is the width of a human hair. mind-boggling, no? Then again, the other reality is few actually will take the time and care what another thinks and feels in our ever increasing “social media” societies. irony indeed.
Maybe if all the worlds religions really did ask us to all love God and our neighbor - the world would actually change? sadly, we have too many humans in the loop, of which some do not have altruistic ideals in their heart. I don't worry about that anymore, as one day we will all get our answers, and I will have to answer for my massively flawed self. I keep thinking, "pure love" has to be so powerful that it probably would melt humans if we were to ever come in contact with teh fullness of what is possible in love.