I have always been fascinated with the metaphors of the cross, here are my thoughts on it.
The cross points to how thoughts and theologies about God can often end up as epic fails. How a universally all encompassing Grand idea of ‘love thy neighbour’ can be shrunken down into churches, books and decrees that relay the small minded prejudices of men rather that the infinite wonder of the Divine .
How long can we keep giving man made religion the benefit of the doubt? They talk of love and Jesus but are so quick to judge that which they don’t understand. Sadly to often They only pay lip service to ‘Love thy neighbour’
Ultimately it is a no brainer for me: God doesn’t need a house, people do. God doesn’t read books, people do. God doesn’t make rules about love, people do.
So, while my belief of a Divine oneness is still strong, my faith in the words of men has all but evaporated.
It’s a sad fact even the most well meaning and open minded thinkers can end up in a war over theology. Every time this happens, The divine meaning becomes more distant to everyday people. I can only conclude the more complex the theology, the more it feels like the minds of men and rather than the heart of the divine.
The cross was a tool of pain and suffering that was used to relay a message to us. Sadly, when we look around at the world we still seem not to have evolve far from our ‘burn the witch mentalities’ and our judging and conditional Love.
Before I start… This will be rather long so I will apologise for that here at the beginning. However, I will not apologise for what I know to be true about myself. Those who have followed this long running blog will know I’ve investigated all kinds of belief systems and believe they all have wisdom to share underneath the layers of metaphor and allegory. My own spirituality is much more nature based and non-dualistic but I see no conflict in my fascination in the teacher called Jesus. I have no interest in debating Theology, I seek not to change minds, convert or condemn. I write this only because I believe these words will bring comfort to someone somewhere.
‘Love is not an Endorsement’ Don’t think so? Maybe think about it for more than 5 seconds…… If you believe love is an endorsement, I suggest you may believe in conditional love which is fine, I don’t. Also, I would think if you can only love what you endorse, you’ll probably find it hard to find peace in this world.
So ‘Love is not an Endorsement’ and that means I can love others no matter what they do. However, I don’t have to agree with what they do or even like it. As my wife was told by her mother on numerous occasions ‘I don’t like you, but I love you’. This vexed me for decades, but I do get it now. While it’s not the most life affirming thing to tell your offspring, it is truthful and once the easily offended ego gets over it, it makes perfect sense.
Authority vs The Rebel Jesus Ask most people to name a historical or fictional rebel and you’ll get a lot of names: Gandhi, Che Guevara, Robin Hood and even Luke Skywalker may crop up. I doubt many people will say Jesus Christ. However, if you’re able to separate Jesus from all the establishments that now claim to represent him, he ticked all the boxes. Definition of Rebel: A person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises up against the government or ruler of his or her country. A person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.
Organised dogmatic religion never really embraced Jesus’s teaching When Leaders and governments wish to quell a rebellion or silence a charismatic rebel, the first step is usually to discredit those involved. If they aren’t dissuaded next come the insults and warnings. Eventually people are locked away or publicly put to death as a warning to others. The trouble is killing people often makes the situation worse and can make the dead rebels (martyrs) even more powerful. Ultimately the most effective way to take the wind out of a rebellion while looking good is to appear to embrace their ideas. Maybe use their symbolism, quotes and messages, then overtime as people calm down, forget, die you can return to your way of seeing the world. Your ‘business as usual’. That is what I believe organised religion did with Jesus. ‘They’ took his message that gave common people a direct line to God while bypassing the hierarchical religious elite and set up a ‘new’ religion which appeared to have Jesus at the centre. However, over time ‘love thy neighbour’ and direct communication faded out whilst all the rules and regulations were slowly reintroduced. For it is laws and threats that are needed to keep most religions alive and in power.
The Facts: like then or not Mankind has been fighting over Jesus since his crucifixion. More people than ever in the western world now believe he never really existed, and those that do will tell you ‘their’ Church is the one that truly represents His message. Lifelong believers and Atheists both have persuasive arguments, not to mention, libraries full of books and impressive experts that they can call upon to back up their claims. Such people love the illusion of reasonable debate. Yet at the end of the day, few ever change their standpoint and ultimately it comes down to an individual’s faith and what they feel to be ‘true’. It’s who do YOU trust or who makes the most sense, who brings you comfort in a difficult world. Sometimes it boils down to simple economics, throughout history even the most idealistic people shelved their beliefs in favour of a quiet life and the support of those that pay the bills.
Priests and Kings have traditionally battled for the souls of the people, until science and ‘facts’ became the new religion on the block with its’ own set of dogmatic teachings and wayward heretic scientists. Science had no need for souls, for minds passing test became the new standard of people’s worth. That is until now as science is beginning to eat itself. Many are realising the end game, where technology replaces the workforce and the brave new world is a place where billions of people become irrelevant.
My perception As we enter a new decade it feels that we have entered another period of change. Apathy, confusion and fear mixed with a total lack of faith in all things has created space for the old-style religions to slowly rise from the ashes offering hope to the void that is our dying consumer culture. Yet I believe neither science or religion can truly fix those deemed ‘lost’ and ‘broken’, only a love centred spirituality can.
Let us take moment… You may agree with what I have said so far, or it may just all sound like crazy talk. My guess, in truth, is most will simply say ‘whatever’ then depending on what your peers believe you will reach your ‘own’ conclusion. Never mind let us push on.
And So, to my 1st simple point (finally)… My love of the Rebel Jesus and his radical teaching of ‘love thy neighbour’ Yes, I willing to believe a man called Jesus existed! isn’t that weird 🙂 I also believe much of His life’s work and message has been lost. And whilst I see the bible points to Jesus, I believe that much of His teaching never made it into the final cut of the world’s best seller because they were too simple and too radical. After all it is hard not to deny that The Bible was created by an establishment class that cherry picked what fit with their earthly ideals at the time. Who knows what they left out. I’ve believed for decades that we all have the essence of the universal creator within us. And if given, time we can discern between the dogma of ancient men and the messages from divine love. Alas, most religions and cults do not encourage individual thinking and only a very few prescribe listening for that small quiet which is our inner knowing.
The 2 commandments because who needs 10… If for whatever reason you can’t discern between jesus’s teachings and manmade dogma, one should probably judge all of life’s situations through the two commandments Jesus gave .
Warning Bible Quote Matthew 22: Verses 36-40  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets
Hey, everyone, you can cherry picked the bible to fit a theory Yes indeed you can. People have been doing it for centuries. But how much ‘love’ has ever come from doing so? So, why this quote over those that could support burning of heretics or wars on unbelievers? Anything that supports actions of that kind doesn’t sound very Christ like nor is it very radical, in fact it’s just normal human small-minded greed and fear behaviour. Mankind does not need a Bible or God to justify war and hate, we can do that all by ourselves.
So did Jesus say ‘love thy Neighbour’ Honestly who can say … sure millions can put their theories forward, but no one can know 2,000 years after the fact. But just imagine a world where ‘love thy neighbour’ was our main life commandment. A compass to live our lives by. Almost all the Old Testament and much of the new would crumble into dust. Every word that has ever been preached that caused separation, alienation or condemned those we see as different would become a blasphemy.
Have faith in Jesus? Do you believe he said, ‘love thy neighbour’? If yes, then you have all the you need to live in alignment with a God of love. If you don’t then you must look elsewhere but personally, I cannot see how those that can claim to be Christians with Jesus at the centrepiece of their belief cannot have this commandment as the central pillar to their life.
Eden has fallen (not another in the movie franchise) … Eden fell just as God knew it would. It matters not if Eden was real or just a manmade allegory, once we ate from the metaphoric tree of knowledge and started valuing thinking over love, we have been surly dying ever since. Dying became something we thought was bad and from that all the fear and hate grew, shattering a divine universe of complete oneness into a perceived dualistic nightmare of heaven and hell.
Love of me is not an endorsement, but Jesus points to love no matter what I say or think I am. I have faith that all things including people were created for the love of it not because of a need. A God does not need validation from tiny beings revolving a mediocre sun in a vast universe. It’s the human ego that looks for validation and praise not Higher beings. Universal love trumps all dualistic illusion, because only once love is understood can all the pain of living subside.
Love doesn’t care about Gender and neither would a God I know it sounds like hippy crap that would make Cartman of South Park ‘puke in his mouth’ but it is true. Gender doesn’t ultimately matter, how you dress, or act doesn’t matter. If you’re in a burning building do you care if the person who is coming to rescue you thinks he’s a power ranger or a care bear, a man or a woman, or even something in between? When you are lost at sea and the lifeboat risks life and limb to save you do you care what underwear they have on? And if someone is happier to identify as non-binary will you care if they become the doctor that saves your child’s life? Love doesn’t care if you’re right or left, up or down, man, woman or one of 10 trillion varieties, nor does love care what toilet you use or if you wear combat boots or stilettos. And like it or not neither would God, who happens to be a being beyond our comprehension that has no problem in seeing three as one (the holy trinity).
Hate People can hate on YouTube, Twitter and even to your face but it’s just hate. It’s the small-minded, fear driven ego that believes its own point of view matters on a tiny planet that could go extinct if a rock hits it at any time. My beliefs are my beliefs , my gender is my gender, and I’ll take your love over your endorsement any day. Jesus said, ‘love thy neighbour’ and while it may lead to my own destruction and make no sense to my ego every day I will try to do better in that department because it seems all other paths have failed.
Hardcore gender warriors will hate my unwillingness to get angry about people using my wrong pronoun and many will hate my lack of commitment to a look or to go all the way medically. LGBT+ haters will hate me because I am not ‘normal’ Atheist will hate me because I believe in a created universe without the facts they require. Many religious people will hate me as they will see me as heretical Most Christians will not agree with my view of the Bible as simply a road map to Jesus the teacher of universal love and oneness.
Since my first days in school back in the 1970’s I have always been picked on, ridiculed and never really fitted in. For years I’ve seen them stand and stare, laugh, and scream. So to quote Jinx Monsoons (Drag Race) it’s ‘water of a ducks back’ oh I am sure that will also piss someone off because I quoted a drag queen…
That’s all folks… You may be about to quote C3PO (Star Wars) … ‘This is madness’ , nope this is Planet Voss and Thanks for stopping by…
It’s Valentine’s tomorrow and don’t worry if you feel like Charlie Brown or even look like him, you will most probably meet someone eventually, trust me I know about these things. I’m sure somewhere out there is a man or woman who looks almost exactly like the fantasy in your head. When your not Mr or Mrs popular days Like Valentines can really suck, but don’t worry, all the beautiful people hate Halloween and that’s our favourite day is it not? lol :). So no matter what happens tomorrow make sure you have a laugh because finding a mate takes time especially if you are a tortoise.
Life can be great and it can also be a pile of poop.
We have all been scarred by events and people in our life, sometimes the very people we thought loved us end up hurting us the most. Heartbreak may be all in the head but if you have ever had the misfortune to truly feel this emotion then you have my deepest sympathy. People outside your personal pain can seldom grasp what you are feeling. They may offer words of comfort or simply demand you get over it. They say there are plenty more fish in the sea, but every love is different and everytime your heart breaks it gets a little colder. In the end we dare open up our hearts to anyone or anything, then we become cynical bitter and twisted old farts.
Our heart if it could would buy a time machine and go back to that time of wonder, that first glance, first crush, first kiss. We may all grow old on the outside but those emotions never leave us. First love is like the nectar of the gods it may be simply the trick of hormones or the mind, but nothing will ever taste so sweet or perfect again.
So while the heart would return and play the movie over and over again the mind couldn’t bare it. As the years pass who we loved and why we loved them fades on many levels, but once in a while a song a smell or a taste takes us right back to the frontline, the minute our world changed forever. So beautiful young people when an old man or women looks in your direction they may not just be lusting after your bodies as the media would have you believe or fear, they may be for a second simply remembering a time long ago when a girl or a boy they loved looked a bit like you.
oh Past loves and times If you think were coming back Don’t hold your breath.
Shanti ultimately means peace it can also mean calmness, tranquility, or bliss. I think that the image heart shape, points to inner peace. As you will know all the great avatars of the world point to the inner world as being far more relevant to our ‘spiritual’ growth than anything that is happening in the outer one. This is a hard concept for many to grasp but I do believe that only once we reach a point of inner knowing or peace can we really be of any help to the world we inhabit.
As of writing this we are caring for a young dove that came into our lives some weeks ago, it was found virtually dead in our pond. With the love and care of my wife and I not to mention the doves primal desire to survive I’m glad to say he is doing very well. I have to say that me and the universe had a few words about how this little fellas future was going to pan out . I had no intention of giving up on him or doing what most people advised and that was to ring his neck as it would be for the best.
I have to say this dove opened up a flood of emotion in me that I believed has been bottled up for years. In short the dove brought love back to my heart . While it may appear I have become side tracked from a description of my artwork I do not think so, this dove came to me only a few days after the creation of my image called Shanti. I will always see a connection to the the arrival of Lucky (an apt name for the dove) and this work.
Inner peace is often blocked by our inability to face emotions. The work Shanti is an invitation to search our hearts for whats truly stopping us from knowing inner peace. For me it was a hiding from the fear of heart break which had so devastated me earlier in life. By connecting with this poor dove I was forced to face the pain that he may not survive and all our effort would be in vain. To many this would seem stupid and over sentimental for it was ‘just’ a wild bird it’s survival mattered not. Such a statement can only come from a closed heart and mind that chooses to see every event in the world as separate from them. A cold and blinded view to the needs of all animals, humans included is the reason mankind can do so many barbaric acts without a second thought. I think that collectively the human race fears heart break more than anything else how else could it operate in such a loveless way. While I agree a open heart may receive much emotional pain in it’s life, a closed one will never be able to say it truly lived. As Tennyson put it :-
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all
Only when we are at Shanti with our selves can we really let the whole gamut of yin and yang the universe has to offer in, then we will begin to see it as one vast unconditional act of love. Have a great day
I hope you enjoy this Gangaji video. In a world trapped in a multitude of complex answers about life, truth etc, Gangaji is a signpost to the simplicity of just being. The ego is never impressed by simplicity it always want’s more it always wants some puzzle to unravel. I can enjoy the game of life the ‘divine comedy’ full of all the confusing drama, the conspiracies even the fear, but I am more and more able to remain aware that this is just one distorted perception of life, under all this ‘stuff’ life is simply life is beautiful . Life ‘just is’ it’s never personal.
Question everything and rejoice in the honesty that we know very little. Understand all life is precious and is to be respected. Have regard for those with different beliefs to our own. Fight the egos wish for separation and see we are all one. Understand that in our current form the only certainty is there is none.