Archive for January, 2012


Eat better and you will evolve…

Now that February is just around the corner, there is a good chance that many of you have already blown those New Year’s resolutions. If you made it this far, then congratulations! For those of you that fell short again; well, its okay, most of us do. Still, it’s not too late to make lasting changes in our lives. We do not need the beginning of the calendar year to think about self-improvement. One great place to start right now is our diet.

Do you eat fast food several times a week? How about frozen microwave dinners? Do you drink pop or soft drinks on a regular basis?

STOP IT! You are killing yourself slowly but surely. Do you want to respect yourself? Okay then, stop putting crap in your body! Research shows cancer and diabetes are directly related to diet. True some of us have better genes than others, but over time, ingesting processed foods will shorten your life. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies are not in the business of wellness. They are in the business of treating symptoms.  Symptoms like allergies, cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart burn and diabetes – all of which are all food related in most circumstances.

Anything processed like lunch meats, hot dogs and sausage are manufactured with chemicals and nitrates. Most fast food is prepared with preservatives that are synthetic and dangerous in large doses. Fast food is also high in saturated fat and salt with very little nutritional value.  Artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn sugar are found in most convenience foods from soda pop, cookies and crackers; from granola bars to even applesauce and juice. Frozen dinners are high in sulphates and artificial flavors and are also lacking of nutrients. Here is a list of food items to limit in your diet:

  • Canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat
  • Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies
  • Frozen meat and frozen dinners that are high in sodium
  • Packaged cakes and cookies
  • Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium
  • Drinks with artificial sweeteners
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Processed meats
  • Fast Food
  • Foods with high fructose corn sugar

Not all processed foods are bad. Frozen, unsweetened fruit is not bad, nor is frozen, unsalted veggies. All processed or packaged foods are healthier if it is “All Natural” or even better, “Organic”. YOU NEED TO READ LABELS! Do not buy foods with “high fructose corn sugar” or excessive amounts of sodium. Also, if you have never heard of or have a hard time pronouncing an ingredient, odds are your body will not know what to do with it either.

Focus on more fruits and vegetables. Hey, I used to hate veggies and I never had time to eat fresh fruit. For me the solution was juicing. Limit your dairy products and also your meat. We should not be eating slabs of meat for our meals. If you eat meat, it should be part of a balanced meal – not the main event. Start with something like frozen dinners and slowly make a shift in your diet choices. Replace the bad, convenient choices with healthy empowering choices. It is okay if you take your time – any change is a good change. Soon you will crave good food and be able to taste the chemicals in convenience food. It is also okay to indulge – trust me, everything in moderation is fine; but when we rush through life and do not read labels and live off of processed food day after day; there is a toll waged on our wellness. Do you want to love yourself? then show your body that you care – watch what you eat.

Do you want to be inspired? Check out these great documentaries:

Foodinc.

Forks over Knives

Eat better, feel better and lose weight – it is part of the evolutionary path we need to follow to be happier people.

 

John C. Bader

 

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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McDonalds Sucks!

Wow, I gotta say something about fast food – right here, right now!

First let me lay the landscape; I had a fast food childhood. McDonald’s or fast food was easily a weekly thing growing up.  And in college – forgetaboutit… I think I ate fast food everyday – and you know what, it was cheap and it tasted good.

Part of my continued self-improvement has been juicing every day. I have been religious with the fresh fruits and veggies for over six months. I have also cut out 80% of dairy and about 50% of meat intake. Since last Spring I have also been bike riding 20 miles on average a week. It has been tough lately with the snow on the ground but I did get a muddy ride in today – okay, now I am rambling.

Anyway, I was driving home this morning from a long business trip and I was soooo hungry. So hungry my stomach was sucking against my spine (I think George Costzana used that reference on Seinfeld, LOL).  I was traveling a desolate highway somewhere far up in Wisconsin where there is nothing but barren corn fields, snow and McDonald’s. Exit after exit I would see the Golden Arches – luring me to get off at the next off ramp. I was sooo hungry. There was no Panera Bread, no Target that sells the organic granola bars (a traveling staple for me).  Finally I succumbed to my better judgment and rolled through the drive through. I went for the breakfast burritos and I was shocked by the taste: CHEMICALS! It did not even taste real. I used to love those egg burritos. I couldn’t even finish my breakfast. Absolutely terrible…

I have been reading labels a lot lately and I am really shocked at all the synthetic crap and fake corn sugar that is in our food. No wonder there is so much diabetes and cancer. We are being poisoned! When you eat it every day, you get used to the taste. When you do not eat fast food you can really taste how processed it is. Wow, what a difference!

In my last blog I talked about positive little changes you can make in life to better ourselves. If you do not find your happiness now you are not going to find it later. Are you looking for resolutions in 2012? Start with what you ingest. Start reading labels and do not buy food that has “high fructose corn sugar” in it. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on a box label then chances are it will eventually kill you – serious!

I think my next blog will be about wellness and what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t be eating. It is something I have focused on a lot lately in my personal life.

Well, off to juice! Have a great weekend

 

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

 

I will say it again… If you are not happy now, you will not be happy anywhere…

I know this sounds like a strong and somewhat blatant statement. How can this proclamation cover all circumstances and situations? Well, I can only speak and write from experience and it is experience where some of my thoughts and energy arise. I certainly do not know everything, but I do know this…  We need to be happy in our core being – from the inside out or we will not find happiness anywhere. I have lived near the beach most of my life. I even moved to Hawaii for several years in search of happiness and paradise. I used to think that changing my surroundings, job and friends would change my happiness. I used to fantasize about making lots of money thinking it would bring comfort and contentment only to find suffering and frustration as my bank account and investments grew: The more money you make the bigger your problems; especially if you let your ego drive your happiness…

As a younger mirror image of my true self; instead of meeting my fears and false-self head on, I would run off to sunny places or build this materialistic world around me – surrounding myself with luxury cars and expensive toys – basking in the glow of those around me that were envious. I suppose I had it all. I had an interesting story of adventure and success but behind the façade of ego and passive narcissism was this naked and cold soul.

After an awakening I experienced years ago I came to the realization that now none of this materialistic bullshit matters. I realized that my happiness was inward, not outward. I was not going to find happiness in money, fancy things or high-profile friends.  No, happiness was in my heart and I had to search inward to find my True Nature. Trust me, money is not bad, it is how we attach ourselves to it that causes the suffering. In fact, as you center yourself in the Universe and remain karmic and true;  money will make itself. The key is not attaching your happiness to something like money that can live an up and down existence. You don’t want your happiness living a bullish and bearish life.

I have learned that in order to be happy in life you need to fix what is wrong now in the present. Isolate the things that need work and slowly make small shifts in perspective or small changes in your life that will create positive reactions in the present. Remember, the Universe is a matrix of quantum energy that connects to anything and everything that exists. You are part of that amazing dynamic and every positive thing you do for yourself and for others will return as positive energy.

It is that simple….

We can’t just move to paradise and expect everything to be great. We need to fix what is fundamentally wrong now or we will not be happy anywhere. Trust me on this, I speak from experience. Find your true inner peace and live it. Love yourself and love and respect others and soon you will find paradise no matter where you live or what you do. It is your destiny to evolve into something more sublime. Embrace your new journey to enlightenment and begin your new life now – find happiness within and everything else will fall into place. I make this promise to you and now you need to make this promise to yourself.

John C. Bader

 

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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A day ago I tweeted an article from Cat O’Connor titled Learning to Embrace the Messiness of Life at mindbodygreen.com. By the way, check out mindbodygreen.com for great articles and wellness ideas. I write for them on occasion and love to click back often for new perspectives.

I love this article because it is fresh and light but it touches on an important subject: Learning to let go! We all have our weaknesses and shortcomings. For some it might be self-esteem or agoraphobia. For others it might be addiction or anger management issues. Maybe it is simply being unorganized? For me it is the continuous struggle between ego (false self) and my True Nature (true reality). I think we all know our shortcomings and thus, we all know where we need improvement in our daily lives.

Cat O’Connor contends that maybe we need to surrender and just celebrate our messiness – be fun and authentic. At first I disagreed because I know if I let my ego take over my life it would be a chaotic mess of hedonism and disorganization.  But if you read on, Cat contends that writing and yoga are great outlets for her where such exercises in life give her peace and inspiration, away from the messiness and chaos of life.

After thinking about it for a while, I have changed my entire perspective. In my battle between false self and true self I find that there is collateral damage. That collateral damage is me! I find that I am so hard on myself in the interest of trying to evolve and find enlightenment. I even feel guilt when I can’t find time to meditate or exercise. Is it worth the suffering?

I think we need to find a compromise in life. Yes, we need to surrender on occasion and celebrate who we are – celebrate the messiness of it all. After all, somewhere in that mess is our creativity and love for life. Still, we need to keep our focus on the final prize which is to suffer less. We need to ask ourselves if the actions we create are going to cause suffering for us or for others. Find your passion in life and make room for it as it acts as a diversion from all the chaos that exists around us. Then celebrate your messiness and relax into the notion that everything is going to be alright.

mindbodygreen.com article by John C. Bader

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

I might need your help on this one…

Let me first set the scenario…

Among other things, meditation teaches us to be mindful of our thoughts. There was a point years ago (early in my practice) when I was overwhelmed by all the thoughts that floated by in my head. Once you stop what you are doing and actually listen to your mind ramble on; well, it can be a little unnerving at first.  Sure I was being mindful, but the more I paid attention to my thoughts; isolating ego and false self from True Nature; the more I suffered. It’s like that old saying: “Ignorance is bliss”. When our inner struggles are “out of sight and out of mind” we tend to move through life reactive instead of proactive. That is why addiction, self-gratification and religion are sometimes the opiates of society. The more I thought, the more I contemplated. The more I contemplated, the more I suffered.  At times I wondered if it was worth all the trouble.

Years later, I have self-evolved to the point that now I look back on those early days and see a different person.  Granted, I still have a lot to learn and I am confident I will be learning until the day I die. Still, one major component to my self-reflection sticks out: The night and day comparison of ego verses our true self. I know I was not born with an ego. The ego is this facility that was born somewhere in adolescence and has been a part of my life to date. True, I have been able to separate the two entities in my head but it continues to this day to be a push and pull – a battle of good verse evil. Sometimes I wonder which side is my friend and at other times I wonder why the ego remains steadfast, despite my evolution. What purpose does the ego serve us? Is this the devil looking us directly in the face?

I injured myself while in Kauai over New Years. I was bodyboarding a famous shore break called Brenneckes Beach and though I had the best tube ride in recent memory, the finale of the wave was me being pummeled into the sand bottom. A separated shoulder later; I was uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. The Emergency Room Doc prescribed Vicodin – something I have not taken in a while.

Yatzee!

(Now, a little about me… I am a terrible Buddhist: I have yet to give up my wine at dinner (probably never will) and if I do not have to suffer from pain, then bring on the little white pills. Hey, the last thing I am is perfect). So, weeks later, my shoulder is healing. It still hurts but it is more of a nagging pain rather than a sharp acute pain. Still, every morning, whether I need a pill or not, there is a little voice in my head telling me to take a pill. I have to laugh….

Here are some of my little ego quotes from within my mind:

“Come on, you are in pain – why would you suffer?”

“You deserve it – what is it going to hurt?”

“It’s not like you are gonna get addicted”

“Don’t you want to feel better?”

“Look; see, your shoulder does hurt still – take a pill!”

“It is a cold, cruel world out there. Bring some warmth into your life – take a pill”

Maybe I am going insane?  …CRAZY LAUGH*** …The mental chatter is endless – I am actually very impressed with some of the excuses and rationalizations for taking that little white pill. Trust me, I am far from addiction but it makes you now wonder what addicts struggle with. I guess my question is this… Is the ego a fixed entity within? Are we born with it and the pressures and situations in society awake the beast within?  During my research for my upcoming book, I have stumbled across some interesting revelations about ego and false self. From my experience, the ego is an accumulated phenomenon, a by-product of living within society. Imagine if a child lives totally alone and isolated, he/she will never come to grow an ego. But that is not going to help in human evolution. This child will remain like an animal never progressing or evolving.

It is a paradox of sorts: Our True Reality, sans of ego cannot be reached until we come into contact with our false-self; so the ego is a must. One has to pass through it and live it. It is a discipline or rite of passage growing up. How else would we know the difference between false self and enlightenment? A True Reality can be known only through the illusion (ego and false self). So it seems, those seeking enlightenment, are always destined to struggle with the ego and false self – it is evolution looking us straight in the eye.

The Dalia Lama once said (and I paraphrase) “We will never truly reach enlightenment until the entire world stops suffering” Maybe I will just take a half of pill to end my suffering right now. (LOL)

Do you suffer the same as I? This battle between our minds governing forces – between ego and our true self? Your comments are greatly appreciated.

 

John C. Bader

 

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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History has shown that religions can come and go but not mans’ thirst to know.

A long time ago, Ancient Egypt was a civilization ruled by Pharaohs. Pharaohs were high priests and leaders who were considered half man and half god. Ancient Egypt dates back to 3150 BC and through a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as “Intermediate Periods”, Pharaohs ruled for more than 2,500 years. There has never been any other government that lasted so long. Egyptians and Pharaohs worshipped many deities but none more famous than Re, the Sun God.

We know that languages die out. We also know that religions and cultures die out. How many people today believe in Zeus, Poseidon or Re, the Sun God? Over the course of thousands of years, change is inherent. Even religions like Christianity and Hinduism will eventually die out as new cultures and beliefs emerge replacing older ones. If history can teach us anything, it is that cultural heritage is fleeting and transitory. Thousands of religions have served people for thousands of years. These same religions have also died with these people only to live on forever in text books and parables.  A powerful question may be whether or not the invention of mass media and the internet will stave off such predicted extinctions of modern religion?

Still, there is a quality to our human existence that transcends all manmade religion. It is our ability to connect to the vastness that is the Universe. That quality is our True Nature:  Oneness that defines our connection with humanity and the Cosmos; from which energy and all forms arise. The concept of True Nature is the heartbeat of existence and is something that can’t be destroyed or become extinct. Our True Nature is the unadulterated and unfettered source of instinctual energy that defines everything that is God. No matter what culture or creed we adhere to, within each of us is this unmistakable life source that transcends all dogma and religious trappings.

The world has gone through two major religious and philosophical ways of thinking. I group the two together because they are the same in many ways. Religion and philosophy are vestibules of societal thinking. We come up with our own ideas and, at the same time, we listen to the ideas of others, thus establishing a shared thought pool on certain subjects. Shared thought pools for the ancient world were mythological stories. The stories of the Gods, like Zeus and Apollo, spoke of community morals and principles. They sung of mythic gods, wrath, and devotion, and were the mainstays of ancient thinking and belief systems. The rise of Christianity and Catholicism, however, took over this thinking and replaced it with new laws and morals. Yet, deep down, both belief systems are strikingly similar. Both teach us the rewards for following the right paths and the ramifications involved for following veering paths. Thus, each system taught the same ideals, simply employing different educational systems. Every culture develops the best possible explanations for why we are here, whether they are through myths, parables, or scientific theories. Almost every answer deals with some divine intervention of sorts. The Aztecs believed in the sun, the Assyrians believed God was tied to the geology of the land. Western-based religion puts God in the shape of man. Most cultures believe that a divine source, in some shape or form, created the world. I think it is important to remember, however, that no matter how advanced we think we are – we are still rather primitive on the cosmic scale. We are just beginning to comprehend God and the Universe. The only way we will understand our world fully is to open our minds and look into ourselves, into our True Nature, for the answers.

Opening our minds to new possibilities is a third realm of thinking that is slowly vibrating through the world. It may be centuries before it reaches mainstream thinking, but it’s thought processes are in motion and have been for centuries. The need to understand God and the world is an instinctual urge within everyone, no matter what race or religion. We must realize that people thousands of years before us sought the same answers. There are many explanations for how we came to exist, and every religion and culture has its own idea. So, is there one correct answer? Are all the other explanations wrong? Not when you look at the larger picture. The religions of past and present are just antennae reaching up to understand and appreciate the creator of the Universe. The threads that make this metaphorical tapestry of God are all composed of different colors. Still, despite our differences in color, creed and race, we are all made from the same stuff – God and the Universe. Our differences are petty and insignificant.  We are all here on Earth with the same goal – to not suffer and revel in the immensity of everything. We are a product of this “everything” that is the Universe. We need not fully understand it, just make space for it and settle into the vastness of it all. We need to know we can all depend on the True Nature that exists within us all. Knowing this will bring comfort and facilitate change for the better.  Our positive reactions will create positive reactions.

 

John C. Bader

 

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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I have been on a little Jesus kick this week. Earlier, I discussed how religion and more importantly the Bible has been packaged and repackaged to meet the needs of few and manipulate the masses. Yes Jesus existed and he was a great man – it makes you wonder what he would think of modern theology and how it has twisted and redefined his teachings. I weighed in on the concept of Hell and Satan – human fabrications that only reinforce fear and longing within the ego and our false self. Even still, I believe God exists as it relates to the Universe.

Still, with all the hatred, pain, war, and starvation in the world, we beg the question, “Why doesn’t God do anything?” The answer, however, may be more elementary than you think. Bad things happen in the world because of bad people. Likewise, good things happen because of good people. God is not a force that operates at the cognitive human level. Humans operate at that level. Religions like Christianity want you to think God thinks at a cognitive level – in fact, modern religions like to in-vision God in the form of a man. Seriously, I can’t think of anything more egotistical and self-centered.

The Universe which is equated as the source of God operates at a level that is not fully understood. If we understood it, then there would be no problems in life. The order of God and Universe consists of energy and matter. The Universe does not have a human conscious; instead it creates an environment that allows for independent conscious thought; my thoughts and your thoughts. The power of energy and God is not found in one Supreme Being; it is an instinctual energy that is everything and everywhere. That is why all humans are connected to this dynamism. Its source allows for all possibilities within the realm of quantum physics. This is God explained rationally by science. Ever heard of the God Gene? It’s all relative…

Do you believe in miracles? The human race evolving over billions of years from a single cell – that is a miracle! Energy is created and then it changes form – this is God. Imagine God as a tapestry hung on the wall. The thread and yarn that bind this tapestry is God and the Universe. Humans are the shapes and images found on the tapestry. Further, God is like a blank canvas. Without the canvas, no shapes or images could exist. Humans are the painted shapes and images that fill a canvas. Through the power of God, we can form images and create beautiful art. Therefore, the power of God is ours to wield. We may be one example of many art forms across the Universe. As you can see, it is difficult to explain this enigma in human terms. Colorful analogies of art and expression only explain the unexplainable so well. There is a clear point when words fail to explain God. Still, the point I am trying to make is that we are tangible products of God and the Universe. This should be the common denominator from which we base our faith on. It is something constant and unchanging. God is the source of our True Nature and it is something we can depend on. No matter what race or creed we are born from, our True Nature is an indestructible trait we all possess – it defines our commonality as the human race.

God or the quantum energy of the Cosmos is inside every individual’s heart and mind. We are all made from the same celestial recipe. I guess you could say we were all created by God (or Universe) whether good or bad. If we are made from God, then why wouldn’t we be an appendage of God? It would be a real waste of time and life if we were put on this earth to walk around confused and powerless. Yet, in many ways we do walk around confused and powerless, lead by ego and false self. In most religion, there is this disconnect to the true power of God and Universe. Religion is weighted down with manmade dogma, rituals and the unnecessary. It is up to each individual to find God inside themselves and then wield that power for good. God and the Universe created us and thus we have within our power the ability to create positive energy. Karmic positive energy (the power of God) can end suffering. People, therefore, have the power within them to better the world and to create healthy lives for themselves and others. Conversely, people also have the power to manifest hate and create a living hell on Earth. Denying the fact that God does not exist within humans continues to reinforce religion with blind faith which does not create anything but inaction. Being lead by the nose creates inaction. Religion can facilitate this environment – look at the world, it is a complete mess. Is religion really meeting the needs of humans? It is up to the individual to challenge themselves and with an open mind, to establish a personal faith that connects to the bigger picture. It is up to the individual to understand their own tiers to self-actualization. It is up to each individual to find God within and then act, taking heed to our inner voice. Gone would be persecution, war, starvation and suffering when we look inward and find God. Mankind would find commonality and a kindred spirit. The future may appear unclear and foreboding, but once one realizes that the future is in our own hands, a clear path opens towards enlightenment. A weight is lifted and then there is space for everything – this is the essence of enlightenment. This is what we are striving for: Self-actualization, a higher level of human evolution.

That my friends is how we evolve in the Responsive Universe

 

John C. Bader

 

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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Throughout its history and teachings, religion has preached the merits of good and condemned the temptations of evil. Good and evil are principles conceived by humankind and exist independently of religions and theology. The idea of evil is deeply embedded in human existence. It feeds on bad morals and harmful, injurious behavior. To think that animals have evil intentions is extremely debatable. Animals kill for survival and weed out the weak among them through natural selection.  There are no moral issues within the animal kingdom. In the vast expanse of interstellar space and time there is no evil; only energy as it relates to the Universe. There is nothing evil about planets and stars. It seems, rather, that a mind capable of conscious thought, must introduce the possibility of intended evil.  Humans are conditioned to learn the difference between good and bad according to how it relates to society’s survival. Here, the boundaries between our instinctual and societal selves become blurry. There is no doubt that life can be cold and unfair. People die from diseases and accidents every day, but there is no evil in these unplanned occurrences. Remember, life and death constitutes one large, universal revolving door. The evolution of human existence is the factor that birthed evil. Individuals must decide what paths they choose in life according to their own personal thoughts, decisions and pressures from society. Every day, people confront situations that, once acted on, could create either a positive or negative effect on their lives and the lives of others. Religion and the treats of Heaven and threats of Hell factor into an individual’s daily decisions as they battle peer pressure, low self-esteem, addiction, greed, thirst for dominance, and the other temptations life throws our way.

It is no wonder, then, that religion was invented. Most children in western civilization are taught at a young age to believe in Heaven and Hell. We are introduced to one God and his Son. We are told that we will go to Hell if we do not believe that all we have been taught is true and God exists. If we sin and do not repent, the Devil will take our souls, and we will burn for eternity. Yet, if we embrace God, we will go to Heaven, that paradise in the sky where everyone lives in total peace and harmony. These concepts work reasonably enough when we are children, yet, as we grow older, our thoughts race and we begin to question everything we know. It is easy to become confused, lost, and angry when our questions are not answered and when we witness famine, disease, war, and oppression throughout the world. This is when the threads of religious belief begin to fray.

I believe there is no fiery damnation, nor a Satan. To believe in Satan would be contradicting your faith in God. Believing in God means you believe in one uncreated being – the Universe. If God is the only uncreated being, it cannot have an opposite like Satan. Philosophically speaking, if God represents all things good and pure, then there cannot be another being that is the opposite—all things evil and wicked. If you strip away all elements of good from a being, such as intelligence, energy, memory and matter you are left with nothing. You are not left with evil; you are left with an interstellar vacuum. Thus, evil lives on a human level and not a divine one. I believe the devil is symbolic and mortal; its true identity is our false perception of life and love: Its basis is fear and anger governed by our maligned egos. In terms of the Cosmos, there is no opposite to the Universe which is the definition of God. Clearly the contrived premise of a Devil is manmade and born here on Earth. The evil concept of a Devil has no relativity to the infinite mechanics of the Universe. At a Cosmic level that encompasses all that exists, the concept of a Devil or Hell does not even make sense – hence, it is almost a foolish notion when you look at the bigger picture.

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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Why is there Fear?

Why is there Pain?

Why is there Starvation?

Why is there Hate?

Why do people kill over money and religion?

Why do good people die for no reason?

Why is there War?

Why is there Disease?

Why is there Oppression?

Why is Morality in decay?

And why does Jesus look away?

Why?

Religion is expressly a vehicle of faith; faith is the backbone of religion. Without faith in a religious order, organized doctrines such as Christianity and Islam would simply be legend and lore – stories and parables. It seems much of what we know of God has been rewritten and re-packaged by a powerful select few to manipulate and control the many: Sad to say, but the populace has been lead by the nose of ignorance for thousands of years.

Time to dig my own grave…..

After the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., Roman Emperor Constantine upgraded Jesus’ status over three centuries after Christ’s death.  Thousands of documents already existed chronicling his life as a mortal man. Many consider these the beginnings of the gospels. History shows there was a clear drive to unite the various Christian sects to help stabilize the Roman Empire primarily because Constantine feared that disputes within the church would cause disorder within the empire. Constantine commissioned and financed a new Church and Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike. There is documentation that earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned. Other changes included formulation for wording concerning the Trinity based on Anthanias, changing the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday and changing the date of Jesus’ birthday to December 25th.

What is important to note is that the Holy Roman Catholic Church was in business several hundred years before Jesus was even born. It was a church established by the Roman government, pagan in nature, in order to promote common worship beliefs and rituals amongst the Roman citizens in an effort to better control subjects of Rome. The disputes Constantine aimed to resolve with the First Council of Nicaea were largely over the relationship between Jesus and God, mainly whether Jesus was the literal son of God or a figurative son like the other “Sons of God” in the Bible. The Nicene Creed adopted after this council stated clearly that Jesus was the begotten son of God. It declares Jesus’s divinity by stating that Jesus and God are of one substance and for our salvation Jesus was made man.

Lets roll back 300 years… After the death of Jesus Christ, many Christian sects formed and they were practically impossible to differentiate from Judaism in those days. Early Christians considered themselves to be Jews. They observed the Jewish law and attended synagogue. However, after Paul’s conversion and rejection of the law and his Judaism faith, he began a mission to take his vision of Christ to the Gentiles. This new brand of Christianity was documented as “Pauline Christianity”. This action created a divide within this early body of Christian believers that recalled the pure teachings of Jesus. This segregation centered on the Jewish law and it is written independently that Paul publicly rejected it. The Jerusalem apostles of course did not and early on continued to stick to Judaism and the early teachings of Jesus. It is also noted that there was controversy over Jesus’ resurrection. Was it a spiritual resurrection or a physical one? As time went on, the doctrinal differences between the various Christian sects grew. Then eventually, the organized Church in Rome under the direction of Constantine gained enormous political power and began to kill heretics and burn their writings to establish one Orthodox Church based on Pauline Christianity. The original teachings of Jesus became lost in the capsule of time and history. They were never seen again until 1945 when pre Roman texts were discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Two years later, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also discovered. A much greater understanding of early Christianity and Judaism is now known. The Dead Sea scrolls have given modern scholars an unadulterated look into what really early Christianity may have looked like. Many of these newly discovered texts were written at the time of Jesus unlike the Bible that was written several hundred years after the death of Jesus. There are even texts that hint to a completely different thread of thought in regard to the true teachings and the religious transformations of that era. There may have been more similarities with Buddhism with a focus on less suffering and a “spiritual awakening” and rebirth which is at odds with current Church doctrine.  Rome conquered Jerusalem in 70 AD and any previous teachings that were considered the words and edicts of Jesus were mostly lost or destroyed forever.

Do I believe in God? The answer is yes, I do believe in God.  Still, I am spiritual and there is a big difference between spiritual and religious. As stated religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the Universe. Religion cannot be proven right or wrong; it simply stands by itself, feeding on the faith of its parishioners; eventually destined to die off much like ancient languages and cultures. Faith is confidence and trust in a set of ideologies. True, faith can be learned. That is the focus of organized religion: To teach Faith.  Yet personal faith based on ones’ own deepest desires and love for life and energy is what really defines true conviction. I feel like we are a part of something grand – something so vast words can’t describe the immensity of it all. Within our being is this indestructible essence that is connected to the harmony and intricacies of the Cosmos; our True Nature. Man-made, organized religion has boundaries and edicts that close off our world; god as it relates to the Universe and our True Nature is boundless.

I am rolling on the wave of this Jesus kick – up next, I want to tackle Hell and Satan. Why stop now?

 

John C. Bader

 

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Is there a need to prove that miracles exist in this modern age of science and reason? Is there validity in regard to the miracles of Jesus? Is there a need to prove miracles?

Probably not as many people already believe in miracles across many religious faiths. Earths existence born from hydrogen, carbon and amino acids is in itself a miracle. Many consider childbirth and the evolution of man a miracle. The gift of conscious thought is a miracle. Therefore it is not necessary to validate miracles, even those of Jesus.

….and what about Jesus? Jesus Christ was a special person with unique visions. Taking dogma and parables of divinity out of the equation, it is safe to say Jesus had a religious awakening – most major religions speak of such awakenings or Kundalini experiences. Depending on the level of enlightenment, a person can theoretically become one with spirit – even see visions of grandeur so different than that of a common man or woman. Independent testimony of “Near Death Experiences” (NDE) has also shed light on a similar phenomenon illustrating that people who undergo an awakening or NDE experience have aligned themselves with their souls and True Nature.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus was persecuted for his teachings and was crucified for his beliefs. And even today, when someone quite possibly has their own spiritual or Kundalini awakening, no doubt they would also be persecuted for claiming that he or she was the messiah or the “Chosen One”. It happens all the time with cult-like groups.

If you read my blog then it is no surprise that I am a critic of organized religion. I feel it creates more problems than it solves both on a personal and social/political level. Still, it is important for cultures to believe as they wish, free from persecution, profit and social manipulation – it’s their prerogative. It is called freedom of mind. This freedom of mind is the sovereignty to question authority and be free to speak our minds without discrimination. Only until recently, has this social environment been available to western culture. In places like the Middle East, freedom from religious persecution is still a major problem, especially for women.

Now that I am on a Jesus kick, next time I want to touch on how early Christianity may have been more Buddhist than people thought. I love to stir the pot with religious controversy!

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

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