Tag Archive: Jesus


jesusHave you seen this story coming out of Boca Raton, FL?  Ryan Rotela, a junior at Florida Atlantic University, claims he was suspended over a class incident in which he refused to stomp on the word “Jesus”. What?

In a class discussing “Intercultural Communication”, an exercise led by Professor Poole involved the following social experiment:

“This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings. Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper. Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence, instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”

Student Ryan Rotela, a devout Mormon refused to complete the exercise citing “If you were to stomp on the word ‘Jesus,’ it says that the word has no value.”

According to meditate.com the student has been suspended from class with further action pending. There is some conflicting info as to where the University stands in regard to supporting the professor’s actions and or making a formal apology to the student. It appears the student may have been reprimanded for his comments to the professor after refusing to step on the paper – the story is still evolving.

I find this story interesting because I think the social experiment exercised was valid – humans do put a lot of emotion, blind faith and energy into symbols like the cross for example.  Analyzing our intimate emotions in situations like this allows us to better understand ourselves and especially our fears, inhibitions, wants and desires; as well as society that surrounds and influences us. Still, the Professor was wrong in making the student step on the paper scribed with Jesus. The premise of this exercise was to be mindful of your thoughts and energy when put in an uncompromising situation. The student should not have been forced or punished but instead it should have been an opportunity to discuss the student’s thoughts and emotions associated with the negative feelings that arose.

There is a caveat to this story. Studying at an independent University means we are expected to research and even question belief systems/theories whether they are scientific, philosophical or religious. How else are we to expand our minds and learn? Imagine trying to exercise this experiment in Iran using the name Mohammad? Freedom is a liberating thing! Higher learning requires an open mind and both the professor and student need to be open to discussing all dynamics – clearly this did not happen.  I recall taking a world religion class in college years ago – the teacher was a Catholic Priest but he kept his own beliefs silent and taught the class with a professional unbiased style that truly impressed me – that was a good Professor!

One final comment about the experiment gone bad in FL. This was an exercise in symbols and how an otherwise normal 5 letter word (or an idol) can carry so much fear, love, limitations and dogma. It has nothing to do with Jesus the man/myth or the religion unless the student projects that onto the situation. What we create in our minds is what the end product would be. I am able to detach my ego and emotions and see the experiment for what it is – an experiment – not a slap in the face to Christians but an exercise in blind reactions and emotions. Look how people react negatively to this story … I think the experiment worked and raises questions about how we attached ourselves to such things. The way the professor handled it all was the mistake.

If you read my blog on a regular basis then you know I am not a big proponent of organized religion or the ” Jesus factor”. I believe spirituality and the essence of god  is something we all have within; as well as the energy and spirit that most religions speak of. We are a part of a vast and Responsive Universe that connects and nurtures us with instinctual energy at the sub-atomic level – Still, I can see how this can be insulting to certain people…   ….Between you and me…..  I would rather stomp on a piece of paper scribed with BLIND FAITH, RACISM or IGNORANCE – huh… maybe all three on one piece of paper – three for the price of one!

John C. Bader

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First of all everyone lives in a Responsive Universe. Let me explain…

There are people of the Christian faith that understand and see the energy and space that is the Responsive Universe. Maybe through self-discovery, meditation and even yoga, educated Christians understand how science and spirituality are making connections with the quantum Universe; shedding scientific light on the power of prayer, karma, meditation and even our origin and afterlife. Still, deep down in their hearts they know they love Jesus and Jesus loves them. Deep down they feel connections with “The Son of God” and even find wisdom within the Bible.

So, how do they fit in the Responsive Universe?

As many of you know, I am not a proponent of organized religion. I feel it creates more problems than it solves. History has clearly shown that it divides culture, encourages oppression, exclusionism and it persuades people to follow instead of leading. Still, I will never individually condemn someone for their beliefs.

When this discussion pops up I always ask this question: Where did your faith in Jesus arise from? Most would answer from childhood.  Many of us in the west grew up under Christian roofs. As kids, we went to church and much of our social evolution stems from the trappings and dogma associated with Christianity. And there is nothing wrong with that. For a child growing up in the Middle East, Islam would be an underlying social element in the growth and maturity of a child. And of course there is nothing wrong with this upbringing either.  The flavor of a specific religion is inherent to the cultural and spiritual needs of a specific region in the world – break religion down to the most common denominator and you have something that transcends earth and humans – you have the Universe… Add conscious thought and now you have a Responsive Universe.

In the First Mandala of The Responsive Universe – Meditations and Daily Life Practices we are reminded that we need to approach everything in life with an open mind. We are asked to revisit our childhood belief systems and determine if this system of conviction is still valid and practical. Much like the US Constitution which has been amended to meet the modern needs of American government and society, we need to re-evaluate our old belief systems in God and make sure this system of faith is still meeting our deepest spiritual needs. This does not mean to completely disregard your old belief systems – only to amend them; thus discarding the old and archaic that are no longer useful on your road to spiritual evolution. Religion is not bad, I just feel we need to embrace the good and discard the unnecessary – you have that right and no one has the authority to tell you differently – not even the Pope!

In a sometimes chaotic world, it is easy to forget that each of us alone holds the key to happiness and enlightenment. Unless you have experienced a spiritual awakening, everything you have learned about God and faith was from your mentors and social immersion. This is fine as children but as we grow and mature into adult’s; self-discovery becomes a primary necessity to spiritual evolution. It is up to you to connect to the sublime and grow and prosper spiritually. If you feel stagnant in your energy and faith in God then you should take a hard look at where your belief is anchored and make some positive changes that will re-ignite your conviction. Having a connection to the Universe is important – It does not matter whether it is through Jesus or simply as an agnostic. There are many roads to God and enlightenment. For me, Buddhism resonates well but I take what I need from it and I find the rest of my spiritual energy is found within.

I have always contended that Jesus was an amazing man with amazing gifts. I can even argue that the message of Jesus was more eastern influenced (before Constantine got a hold of it).  After years of manipulation, translation and rewriting, modern Christians are handed this book and expected to believe all of its contents? There is this element of fear interwoven into most contemporary religion that feeds our egos. This is when fundamental problems arise – we should never fear God or the Universe. We should never fear death or losing our soul – such trappings go against the fabric of energy and love. Fear is not Jesus; Fear is religion fighting to stay in power.

There is nothing wrong with believing in the teachings of Jesus as long as you came to this belief system on your own accord. Once we re-evaluate our childhood beliefs and re-affirm them as valid we can move on with confidence. Discard what you feel is not connected to your True Nature – embrace what feels right and is contributing to your spiritual evolution. There is nothing wrong with believing in Jesus or finding inspiration in Church or the Bible. The key is to be mindful; follow your intuition and energy. Strip down that ego and take heed to your heart wish – this is your connection with God. If you have to serve your heart wish with blind faith then there is something wrong. If you are held prisoner to dogma or fear of hell and the devil then there is something wrong. Live with compassion always in your heart and you will make a meaningful connection.

John C. Bader

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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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

 

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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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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