Beliefnet
A Reason to Smile

The Rose Cross

People often ask me what I personally believe; what follows is the sum total of my life experience, as well as spiritual and philosophical thought…so far at least.

The points below came to me suddenly, or were ‘received’ over a period of a few days. I have not changed them, other to correct some grammar and typos, hence the almost stream-of-consciousness quality to it. Some of it has been covered in bits and pieces in my other articles, but I leave it in tact here to give to you as it was given to me. I have absolute faith that in the fullness of time these ideas will weighed and considered in hearts and minds all over the world.

Gnostic Theism It is not a religion, so much as a philosophical world view and approach to life, meant to inform and animate an individual’s beliefs, but it certainly could serve the function of a religion standing on its own. It is an intellectual framework to hang your experiences on and help make sense of life.

Gnostic Theism is the evolution of spiritual thought:
Gnostic – Gnosticism is an ancient belief system that holds that a connection with the Creator and the real answers to life’s problems and challenges can only be found within.

Theism – Theism is a school of philosophy that conceives of God as personal and active in the physical world and universe at large.

Gnostic Theism is non-dogmatic, in that the PROCESS of deciding what you believe is more important than what you believe. Though you may find various guides along the way, the fact is in the end, we must each walk the Path alone.

As such, there is room in this Philosophy for people of all Faiths and world views. As with any system of thought, there are some fundamental ideas to be weighed and applied, or discarded, as necessary. Again, it is more important to know WHY you believe or don’t believe a thing, than whether or not you actually believe it.

The fundamentals of Gnostic Theism are as follows:
The universe is vast an infinite, and one of an infinite number of vast and infinite universes.

The Grand Creator exists outside and independent of these universes, and outside of time and space. This Being is the Author and Architect of all things, and can not be known in any way at the human level of consciousness.
The Grand Creator has given Divine Mind dominion over this entire universe, which It interpenetrates in all ways and at all times. This Divine Mind is ‘God’ as it is conceived of by most people.

Divine Mind is everywhere at all times, overseeing and animating everything in existence from the tiniest of particles to the planets and the universe itself; this Mind oversees. Divine Mind is not limited by time and space as we understand them, and It is aware of all occurrences in all dimensions simultaneously.

The Universe is designed and run like a tremendous machine; its individual functions are delegated to conscious and non-conscious beings to perform. These beings, pending the scope of their activities are the angels, gods, and spirits of common experience.

Everything exists, whether in physical, or non-physical form. It is easier to assume any given being, entity, god, demon, alien, etc is real or based on something that was real, than not. It is impossible to say if a given deity, Apollo for instance, exists because he was created to serve a purpose, or centuries of veneration and belief have given him a conscious existence. Imagine how leaves and branches flowing in a river collect into masses that can become so large they block the river itself; it’s the same with energy. Enough energy directed by enough people accumulates to form or strengthen the thing believed in.

Mankind is a microcosm of the macrocosm; any and everything that exists outside of us exists inside of us. Our outer experiences constantly reflect our inner state in an attempt to reach equilibrium; the easiest way to enact outer change it to enact inner change. As the Hermeticists say: As Above, So Below; As Within, So Without.

Each individual human being is infinitely powerful. You literally have all the power of the universe at your disposal, if you would just dedicate your self to its mastery.

Science is king, for its purposes, and religion is king, for its purposes. Science can tell us how, religion can tell us why. Using science in an attempt to disprove the existence of God is like trying to use a knowledge of music to disprove the existence of Beethoven. The Philosophy of Gnostic Theism, for our purposes, is a hybrid approach that allows us to not only know the Creator by knowing the Creation, but to know the Creator by truly knowing ourselves.

Gnostic Theism, therefore, is the study of the Divine and Its hand in existence by comprehending ourselves and our True Nature. Any other pursuit in life will necessarily fall short of the value of truly connecting with the source of All That Is.

Our current religious, scientific, social and political mechanisms have largely failed. Religions have been used as a tool of domination and social control for so long they are largely devoid of their original anima. Science has largely given way to Scientism, the arbitrary belief that the only things that are real are what can be measured in a lab or seen under a microscope. This was a necessary push back against domination of the Church, but in the modern day it is contrary to common experience, and puts human beings in the impossible situation of being forced to choose their minds or their hearts. This false division can only lead to stress and inner turmoil, the likes of which we see played out every day in the lives of Humanity.

Our social system has been crippled by negative ego and greed. Consider, if asked the average person on the street may say they don’t believe in UFOs. But consider what that person is really saying. They are saying that millions of people, over thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years, were ALL wrong in their accounts of UFOs. Even if you say they were mistaken instead of outright lying, you are putting yourself in a position of intellectual superiority over legions of strangers, and passing judgment on events you didn’t even witness. This type of negative ego based thinking is rampant in the world today, and causes each of us to live in glass towers of self-serving vanity that are as imprisoning as they are fragile. And to the counter arguments given that “I don’t believe it because there is no evidence”, I can only say that there are mountains of evidence that you may either be unaware of, or perhaps you have simply misinterpreted it.

Politically we suffer from the same misguided concepts, as our other conventions have failed we seek to fill them in with something else to believe in. But consider how in our current system, nothing ever really gets done. Because the politicians aren’t actually concerned with accomplishing things, but with doing just enough to get reelected. The actual good of the people represented runs a distant second to their own self interest. There is more than enough resources to go around, if the Governments of the world were more concerned with human rights and dignity, than global grandstanding and selfishness.

In the absence then, of functioning structures we must create new ones. And the place to create them first is in our own hearts and minds. Gnostic Theism will provide you with an intellectual framework to hang your experiences on, and make sense of day to day existence as well as your greater place in the cosmos

You are cosmically important. Everything you do, every thought you think, radiates out through eternity. Your purpose in this plane of existence is to realize this, and access your own true power and Inner Divinity. You can not afford the luxury of even one negative thought, just as you would not eat food with just one drop of sewer water on it.

It is our belief that life on Earth is a school, and you will continue to return to this Earthly plane again and again to learn the lessons placed before you. But while an idea of reincarnation may seem imprisoning, it is in truth the most liberating of ideologies. Because, rather than see things that happen to you as trials and tribulations in a limited life, you can instead see them as experiences in an infinite existence. It becomes that much easier to co-exist with others and accept their life choices, since it may be the lesson of this life for them to experience the worst forms of negative existence, either to work off past karmic debts, and or to prepare them for brighter incarnations in the future.

There are those in the world right now who have a vested interest in keeping you weak and bound. And I’m not talking about some shadowy conspiracy, but something much more mundane. Fear keeps you tuning into nightly news broadcasts. Feelings of inadequacy fuel a multi billion dollar fashion business. Paranoia generates billions of dollars in legal profits, and crippled health care systems and even bigger health care industry. Your dissatisfaction keeps sports teams and movie theaters going strong. Spiritual destitution keeps churches and temples open around the world.
Unfortunately your bondage is big business; there isn’t much money to be made off of free, intelligent, self-determinant people.

We exist at the crossroads of unbridled achievement, and abject ruin.
The current road we are traveling is leading us towards inner spiritual and outer social and economic collapse. It is only through the creation of a new class of free thinker, able to weigh situations critically, logically and thoroughly, that the potential crises can be averted, and victory achieved.

All things being equal, a person with no cause to lie, with no evidence of deception, should be believed or at least weighed impartially. Just like people are considered innocent until proven guilty, they should be considered honest until proven deceptive. A healthy dose of common sense is of course necessary, in that a person who says “An angel appeared in my bedroom last night” is one thing, if that person says “give me $500 and I’ll show you the angel” then you should probably be concerned.

It has always struck me as odd that people reporting unusual experiences are often accused of doing so to gain attention, or get on television; but consider, who’s more likely to be grandstanding: the person who risks ridicule and embarrassment to come forward, or the professional skeptic who’s claim to fame is shooting down other people and their beliefs.

“”Men are not punished for their sins, but by them” — Elbert Hubbard
Over the centuries, much has been made of the concept of ‘sin’. The original Greek word Harmatio means: “sin, to miss the mark; error; failure”, which is a far cry from the one way ticket to damnation it is often touted to be.
It is our position that the Divine is transcendent in every way (although still imminently present), and by Its very nature is beyond the ability to be offended by anything we do. The easiest explanation of what God is like is that of Divine Parent (Father or Mother, as you choose to perceive it); just like a parent has to discipline an unruly child, it doesn’t mean you hate that child or choose to imprison them for the rest of their lives.

Moreover, it does not follow logically that an all knowing, all loving, God can condemn people to eternal damnation. It also speaks to the greater ‘problem of evil’. Consider: if God is all powerful, He (or she) could miracle the Devil (or evil in general) out of existence at any time. And yet, He doesn’t. Even more, an all knowing God would have known what Lucifer was going to do when he was created, but He did it anyway, why?
The only answer can be that Lucifer’s rebellion, and ‘evil’ in the world must serve some sort of Divine purpose.
And if it does, how can you label it as ‘evil’?
Now, let me be clear: I am not arguing that there aren’t reprehensible acts, but that labeling a given thing ‘good’ or ‘evil’ is completely relative.

Let me give an extreme example: imagine if a 35 year old person were killed suddenly in an accident, a tragedy by any standard. But, what if you knew, with absolute certainty, if that person hadn’t died that day they’d have have contracted a painful degenerative disease, and lived every day of the rest of their life in constant agony. Is it still as tragic?
Or an even more extreme example: assume a woman has an abortion, something that no matter what your political affiliation we all can agree is unfortunate. But, again, what if you absolutely KNEW that child would have grown up to be the next Adolf Hitler. Is it still so terrible?

Obviously these examples are reaching. But they are illustrative of a greater point: life in this Universe is simultaneously more complex than you can ever imagine, and simpler than you can ever believe. The need for ‘redemption’ would require some form of ‘fall’ that has been massively over played across time. Our current misconceptions are the result of thousands of years of social engineering, designed not only to build better mousetraps, but to condition the mice to willingly lay their necks across the block.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Pages I support:
Jesus and Buddha  (Interfaith dialog)

Gnostic Theism (My own personal spiritual path)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So…why can’t I?

*Note, I didn’t write this; but it’s been floating around the internet for a few years now, and every time I read it, it makes me smile (especially since my wife is Canadian!).

It highlights the real difficulty of *situational* use of the Bible as an authority, which doesn’t work for reasons we’ll discuss a little later.

Why Can’t I Own a Canadian?

October 2002

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

“Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,

Jim”

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

It never gets any easier....

(Unedited) Question submitted via Formspring

“How to deal with someone who beats his parents on a regular basis? His parents tried everything to fix his aggressive character but he doesn’t want to come out of the shell of his own. I somehow feel agitated when I am about to meet him, what to do?”

So, to be clear: this guy beats his parents?

The second line about “he doesn’t want to come out of the shell of his own” is throwing me off slightly, but I believe you are saying he is aggressive and physically violent, and nothing they have done so far has helped.

The simple answer is: don’t deal with him.

Don’t have anything to do with him at all.

A person who has enough anger and hostility built up to be willing to physically lash out at those closest to him is a person who can just as easily lash out at YOU.

“I somehow feel agitated when I am about to meet him” pretty much says it all; deep inside even you know that you aren’t safe around him.  So…don’t be around him.

To go out on a bit of a limb, if this is a situation, like perhaps some sort of arranged marriage…don’t agree to it.  Whatever you are being promised with (or afraid of) is not worth a life time of living with an abuser, or in fear of being abused.  Since, as I said before, that anger will come out just as easily on yourself or your children.

And, if are you in the extremely unfortunate situation of being FORCED to be around this guy, then I’d say do your best to figure out what triggers him, and avoid doing it as much as possible.  Also try to figure out what calms him down when he is raging, so you can be ready to deal with it when it happens.

But under no circumstances should you start thinking you can ‘fix’ him, or ‘change’ him…since you can’t.

The only chance for him to change is if he decides it for himself; but based on what you said earlier he doesn’t seem too interested in it.

So, get away from this guy as fast as possible and get as far away from him as possible….and God forbid he has already put his hands on you, you can find out how to deal with that here.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

 

Sometimes slaying the giant is only the beginning!

*This was one of the articles that lead to me winning the ‘Next Beliefnet Blogger’ contest; I am reposting it here for anyone who missed it:

Question submitted via Formspring
“What does Psalms 35 mean to you?”

Psalms 35 is a rather lengthy passage, so I have pasted it down below.
Like any passage from any scripture, there are many ways to interpret this.
First and foremost, it has to be seen in context; David wrote this around the time he ran from Saul the first time, and he had just faked like he was insane in front of Abimelech, who drove him away.
So, he was writing this at a particularly low time in his life.

The number one thing I take from it, is that people had the same sort of problems we have today, over 3,000 years ago when this was written!
Even David, the giant-slayer, was worried about his enemies and what people thought of him!

In this Psalm, he is praying to God to deliver him from the hands of his enemies, which God in turn did. So, a happy ending, right?

Not quite!
First, recognize that David took that deliverance and allowed his newfound power as king to corrupt him. He went on to murder a man (Uriah) so that he could have his wife (Bathsheba). Despite David being punished for this, the child born of this union was Solomon, the wisest man of all time!
From this, you can see both how 1. God will deliver us, but 2. it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want; but 3. even from the worst situations, God can create blessings for the whole world, but 4. it doesn’t mean we escape responsibility.

What I REALLY take from this, is the thing no one wants to hear: responsibility.

Note, David’s story begins when he is chosen by God to be the king; but he still has to fight Goliath, a task no one else is even willing to consider. His faith in God is greater than literally everyone else’s in the land of Israel.
He stood up to do the seeming impossible, and God delivered victory into his hands.
However, this victory was not the end of his problems, it was really only the beginning!
What this means is just because you are being prayerful and faithful, it doesn’t mean you won’t have problems, in fact it means quite the opposite!

And, once David was king, he still had to take responsibility for his actions regarding Bathsheba, which lead to a civil war in his own household.
That means that just because you are delivered, doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want and assume you’ll get away with it!

The final thing, is passages like this make it easy for people to think they can sit back and wait for God’s intervention in their lives, but you can’t get that if you read it in the context of David’s life.
He fought Goliath, fled Saul, and fought literally for years before he became king. We don’t know how old he is when he is chosen; the Bible only says he was ‘young’, and he was around 37 years old when he finally became king.

Even though he had faith, even though God had promised him a certain destiny, he TOOK ACTION to make his goals become a reality.

That’s what I take from the passage: faith, action and responsibility are the keys achieving our goals and our destiny.

You can find Psalm 35 down below my signature!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Psalm 35
Of David.

1 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take up shield and buckler;
arise and come to my aid.

3 Brandish spear and javelin [a]
against those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”

4 May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.

5 May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the LORD driving them away;

6 may their path be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.

7 Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,

8 may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.

9 Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD
and delight in his salvation.

10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, O LORD ?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.

12 They repay me evil for good
and leave my soul forlorn.

13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,

14 I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.

15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
attackers gathered against me when I was unaware.
They slandered me without ceasing.

16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked [b] ;
they gnashed their teeth at me.

17 O Lord, how long will you look on?
Rescue my life from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.

18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among throngs of people I will praise you.

19 Let not those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
let not those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.

20 They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.

21 They gape at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 O LORD, you have seen this; be not silent.
Do not be far from me, O Lord.

23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.

24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, O LORD my God;
do not let them gloat over me.

25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.

27 May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The LORD be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will speak of your righteousness
and of your praises all day long.

Why so serious?

“Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.”
-Pythagoras

For reasons I discussed in the video below, there is a world of difference between someone who is a bit down in the dumps who says they are depressed, and someone with a real diagnosable illness.
Real depression requires real treatment, so I don’t want to be irresponsible and make it seem like it’s all the same. If you aren’t sure which you have, check the video.

In fact, watch the video below either way!

For now, I want to talk a bit more about depression, and how to get a handle on your ‘negative’ emotions.

I’ll let you in on a ‘secret’: there is no such thing as negative emotions.
Some of them feel better than others, of course; but they all have their place.

 

 

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So I’d like to talk here, about why it is you feel depressed in the first place.
I said before that gratitude is all about what you choose to focus on. If you want to feel grateful, and by extension bring more good things into your life, you just have to focus on what IS working rather than what isn’t.

Depression, however, is choosing to focus on what is NOT working, and by extension you bring more of what is not working into your life.

In the above quote, Pythagoras is saying that what we are concerned about should move us into action, not into depression, and he is absolutely right!

But not only that, he has given you the solution to cure your depression: ACTION!

I have said many times before, that your emotions are your navigation system, they are designed to let you know when you are and aren’t on the right track. So they don’t really have any deeper meaning than that, even though we often attach all kinds of extra baggage to them.

And it’s the same with depression. Let’s assume you feel bad about something, if you take it to mean that you are moving in the wrong direction, what can you do to fix it?

I’d like to take a slight detour here, and share with you a message I recently sent out as a part of my email Coaching  service, but I think it is relevant here:

“In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I have talked many times about being ‘committed’ without being ‘attached’; what that means is to be able to give your all to something, with having no expectations about how it will turn out.

See, it’s not what actually HAPPENS to us that makes us happy or sad, but how we *react * to what happens to us.

So the question is: when is enough, enough?

When do you get so fed up with something that you just HAVE to change it?
It can be easy to interpret being committed without being attached as saying you should always take everything Life gives you without getting upset about it, either way.

And to SOME degree, this is true.
But it does NOT mean tolerate people and situations that aren’t working. You still have to know what it is you want, and create it.

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Whenever you are faced with a difficult situation, or something you are unhappy with, you have TWO (2) options:

1.Deal with it.
2.Change it.

That’s it, that’s the menu! Stay in it and complain without doing anything, is not a choice.

Decide what it is you want; if it’s your job, your relationships, anything; YOU choose what you want, first. THEN decide if it is possible to create it where you are, with who you are, or if you need to move on.

And then decide when enough is enough, or to quote Popeye: “when it’s all you can stands, and you can’t stands no more”.

I don’t suggest you tell your boss, significant other, or whomever that you have decided if things haven’t changed in a week/month/year or whatever then you’re leaving, since they will only see it as a threat or ultimatum, and probably not handle it too well.

But the key is YOU know. And when the time comes, if things haven’t turned around, or aren’t turning around: move on.

It’s all too easy to stay stuck in unworkable situations, and you’ll look up one day and 10 years have passed and life has passed you by. And I can tell you, life is both too short, and waaaay too long, to settle for anything other than true happiness and fulfillment.”

So to bring it all back together, if you are feeling depressed about something (and you’re sure it isn’t Clinical Depression), look at what you have done and haven’t done, and what you can do to change the situation and then DO IT!

Once you are in motion, I’m sure you find your ‘negative’ emotions start to take care of themselves.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

There are many reasons to convert, but I'm not sure getting a date is one of them

Question submitted via Formspring:
“I’ve met a great guy who is a Muslim. He won’t date me cause I am not Muslim. I know he likes me. I am 20 and I want to do the right thing, my friends say I should convert (majority are also Muslim).
My family will not be happy if I do it.”

The decision to change faiths significantly transcends dating one potential guy. While I’m sure he’s a great guy, there are plenty of great guys of your faith, or who won’t feel threatened by your faith, whatever that is.

Converting to a new religion is a big deal. If he cares enough about being a Muslim that he isn’t going to date a non-Muslim, than he is going to expect you to COMPLETELY acclimate to his faith-based world view. That means it is a lot more than just saying “la ilaha illallah muhammad rasulullah” (there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet); it is a way of life.

The firs thing you should do, is learn about his faith. Find out what kind of Muslim he is (they aren’t all the same), and find out what he believes, and what that denomination believes. Find out what your role in his life and family will be. Is he going to expect you to wear a Hijab (veil)? And if he wants that, are you OK doing it?
Open up the Holy Qur’an and read it; see if it makes sense and speaks to your heart and soul.
Is Allah a God you can worship and obey?
Is Muhammad a Prophet you can listen to and pattern your life after?
These are the questions you should be asking, before you even begin to consider converting to Islam, or any other faith.

In this question, you said what he wants (to date a Muslim), what your friends want (for you to convert) and what your family wants (for you not to convert), but what you didn’t say is what YOU want.
Your time would probably be better spent figuring out who you are and what you want. Once you have a firm foundation of loving yourself first, you’ll have a better idea of what you want in a man and how to know when you’ve found him.

If you decide to convert, convert because you fell in love with Allah, not a boy.
The world doesn’t need any more paper Muslims, any more than it needs any more paper Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, or anything else.

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

 

 

There is a lot going on in there!

“If you can’t communicate with your partner, then you don’t have a relationship” – B. Dave Walters

OK, normally I would never quote myself, but this time it is justified!
I have said again and again that if you can’t talk with your partner, especially in relationships, but even friends and coworkers, then you don’t have a relationship.

One of the number one things I have learned in my work in the Los Angeles entertainment scene, both as a writer and as a Coach  for various celebrities, is communication is king. What makes a good actor? Their ability to communicate feelings to you, just like good music or writing communicates with you and causes you to feel certain things.

In the video below, I explain all about how to talk / communicate with the people in your life, in order to get the type of results you are trying to get.

Because, communication is the foundation of your happiness and success.
If you can’t communicate effectively, you can’t relate to others effectively, either.

The reason why I say that, is no one can do it alone. The idea of a ‘self made man’ is a myth, everything we achieve, we do so side by side and sometimes on the shoulders of others who have boosted us up.

In the video below, I explain how only 7% of communication is the words we use. 38% is tone and inflection, or how we say it. The remaining 55% is body language and posture!

Combine that with the fact that when a person takes in a message, we go through a process of deleting, distorting, and generalizing the message we received.

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So the challenge, then, to effective to communication is no only to be clear on what you are really communicating, and what others are really communicating, but to be aware of what it is you are both *hearing * as well!

Let me give you an example: when you hear me say in my videos, “you’re great, and I love you”, what goes through your mind?
Maybe you think “I love you, too” (thanks, by the way), or maybe you think it’s corny. Or maybe you feel uneasy, because deep down you don’t feel worth of love; or 100 other possible reactions.

The fact is though, all I said is “you’re great, and I love you”, but it can be interpreted an infinite number of ways.

So, how to go about applying this to your life.

First and foremost, if there is a person you are having trouble communicating with, a friend, coworker, or significant other, look first and foremost at yourself.

Begin by listening, REALLY listening, to what it is they are saying. I explain in the video how to know what their primary communication style is, and even knowing that can help you approach them much more effectively; but you’ll never know that until you start paying attention.

And that’s another clue: pay attention! Be interested! Actually listen to what people are saying, rather than thinking ahead to the next thing you are going to say! You’d be amazed how much information you can gain once you start paying attention to how people say what they say, how they say it, and even what they *don’t * say! Combine that with paying attention to their body language; do they seem happy? Sad? Relaxed, or aggressive? Even if you haven’t been ‘formally’ trained, you’ve been communicating for your whole life; you’ll start to intuitively understand it pretty easily.

But while you’re listening, also be aware of the fact that YOU TOO are generalizing, distorting, and deleting things they are saying. You are filtering what comes into your mind to fit your own preconceived notions of what is going to happen! The only way around this, is to become aware of the fact that you (and everyone else) are already doing it.

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A useful trick, is to repeat back to people what you think they said. If they are telling you something important, or asking you a question, say back to them “so what I’m hearing, is you are saying *blank *” If you got it right, they’ll feel so much better because they know you are paying attention to them (a rare commodity in this day and age); and if you are mistaken, it lets you clean things up right there on the spot.
Taking the time to really listen and understand where someone else is coming from is probably the most important part of effective communication.

And one other useful trick, is to say things in as few words as possible, so I am going to go ahead and stop here!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

Yeah...it's kinda like that

“It is often necessary to know how to obey a woman in order sometimes to have the right to command her.”
Victor Hugo

Even though my emphasis is on ‘Spirituality’, the fact of the matter is the easiest way to see God is through feeling the love of that special someone.

One of the number one issues I deal with in my Coaching work, is in relationships. Bridging that gap between Mars and Venus to help men and women understand each other.

Now you may recall that I’ve already talked about how to find Mr/s. Right, so now I want to talk a little more specifically about men and women separately, and how we tick.

In the video below, I give several tips on women, like:
How to understand women, and how they think; how men and women differ and how to bridge the gap; how to understand why women do what they do, and how to communicate with your woman to get results.

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So in this article I’d like to give a little more insight into women, and what it’s like inside their heads and hearts.

Before we go too far, I want to say clearly that what I am talking about here (and in the previous article on Men, is not meant to be misconstrued as ‘sexist’ in any way. I am not making value judgments, or talking about gender roles, I am talking about biology and the baseline functioning of men and women. Yes, we are all different, yes we are all individual snowflakes, but even individual snowflakes have more in common then not with all the other snowflakes.

If there is one thing that I can impress upon you, is where men are very, very, very, VERY simple creatures: women are *not *!
An average woman has likes, dislikes, opinions and even passions that vary WILDLY from week to week, day to day, even moment to moment.
But every woman, or at least 99.9% of women, wants to know they are safe and provided for (even if she is providing for her self).
A woman needs security and stability like a man needs approval.
I would submit that even dare devil risk-taking women still have areas in their lives when this applies.

Her drive (for the most part) is to create and nurture. And above all else: to connect and mate with the ABSOLUTE BEST MATE that she can find. If a man’s biological imperative is quantity, then a woman’s is quality.
And I can prove it: look at the average quality of male strippers and prostitutes in the world, and the average quality of female strippers and prostitutes in the world…I rest my case!

Consider that a man’s sexual peak hits in his late teens, just in time for him to procreate before he does something stupid and probably gets himself killed!
Whereas a woman’s sexual peak occurs in her mid to late 30’s, just in time to produce another offspring in her peak years.
Also look at a woman’s much higher bodily production of Oxytocin, the ‘love hormone’. This hormone triggers a pleasurable sensation in a woman’s brain when she is stroked and cuddled, or strokes and cuddles a child (or anything small and soft) in a way that men just don’t experience.

All things being equal, a man is more concerned with expansion, conquering, and acquiring ‘more’, where a woman is more concerned with improving her comfort level and quality of life, and putting her own special touches on her home and environment.

Now, let me state AGAIN: this is not a value judgment. This is not to say that every woman has to have a home or children, or that she can’t enjoy sex with many different partners. I am simply pointing out the base-line biological drives we both have.

Another thing:
For the most part, you can’t bully, complain, or guilt a woman into doing what you want for a long period of time.
Why would you want to be with someone you have to dominate into submission? More importantly, if you care about this person, why would you even want to?

If you want to motivate a woman to do something, you always catch more flies with honey. What that that means is you’ll gain much better results through listening and positive reinforcement then you will through bullying, which I explain in detail in the video below.

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Now for something I have not discussed anywhere before now:
I’d like to dispel some common myths about women.
1.Women are illogical and / or dumb
As I said before, you get into murky water anytime you say ALL ____ are ____ since if there is even one example to the contrary, your point has fallen apart! And while there are some highly logical women out there, for the most part the feminine mind is right-brained and non-logical.
NOTE
I did not say ILLOGICAL, I said non-logical.
Where the average man see things in a linear way, A + B = C, a woman has a keener eye for nuance, for the details and meaning that lay in between, behind, and underneath the obvious.
And as for women being ‘dumb’, look up Marilyn vos Savant; she has an IQ of 186 is on the very short list of smartest people in the world.

2. Any woman who speaks her mind is PMSing, or a bitch.
Fellas, listen.
Never, never, never, never, NEVER assume a woman is on her cycle if she seems like she is in a bad mood. In fact, even if you KNOW she is (from past experience), don’t assume that is *why * she is upset about something.
The fact is, emotions are non-logical (even in men), and are valid in and of themselves.
If she says she feels a certain way, BELIEVE IT.
Don’t try and rationalize, justify, or argue with her about it, just accept it’s how she feels and respond accordingly. This is actually covered in detail in the video below.

3. Women can not be trusted.
You know, I am sorry if you have been burned in the past, or if whomever taught you this got burned in the past. But the fact of the matter is, SOME women *can’t * be trusted. Just like some men can’t be trusted, either. The fact of the matter is the only way to know who is and is not worthy of your trust is to give it to them and see what they do with it. Move as slowly as you need to in order to feel comfortable, and give more as they continue to earn more of it.
But blanket statements about any sex / race / nationality being more or less trustworthy is a sure fire recipe for a life of paranoia, failed relationships, and loneliness!

4.Women don’t like sex as much as men do.
Maybe you’re doing it wrong!
Seriously, we already discussed that a man has a *stronger * drive for multiple partners, but that doesn’t mean that women like it any less than we do. I think this myth lay in the fact that many men can’t comprehend the idea that a woman’s number one sex organ is between her ears.

Make her feel loved, make her feel beautiful, make her feel special. Make her feel pampered, cared for, and sexy.
Take the time to learn how to become a better and more attentive lover and I think you’ll find she wants it as bad or worse than you do!

When in doubt, a little red wine, soft music, and a nice back rub and chances are high you’re off to the races.

5.All women want to settle down, get married, and have babies.
Wait, didn’t I basically say that earlier in the article?
NOOOO I didn’t. I said she has a stronger drive to settle down, just like men have a stronger drive *not * to settle down. But this by no means guarantees every woman wants that, not by a long shot. She has her own hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and a husband and / or children may not fit into that picture.
But I WILL say that around 30ish she’ll start thinking REAL hard about it, though!

But, please, let me leave you with something:
I have seen more relationships killed by one person’s insecurity then anything else. Yes, you have to find a way to communicate; if you can’t communicate, you don’t have a relationship.
But you have to take the time to face your fears and decide what is and is not worth saying. Remember, the measure of communication is in the response it gets; if you know something you are going to say is going to upset her, and not gain you anything, then don’t say it!

Remember, she is a complex creature. What she wants may change, and she may not be able to explain ‘why’ she feels how she feels. She has thoughts, opinions, hopes, dreams and fears; she is NOT just a boob delivery system!And no, she may not want to watch the game, and no, she may not think like you do! But if you want someone who thinks just like you do…date guys.

But listen to her, love her, and let her know you love her.
Be sweet to her until she proves to you she doesn’t deserve it…and if she doesn’t deserve it, let her go and move on!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters

Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

“It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good”

He can't hear you!

-Thomas Jefferson

Even though my emphasis is on ‘Spirituality’, the fact of the matter is the easiest way to see God is through feeling the love of that special someone.

One of the number one issues I deal with in myCoaching work, is in relationships. Bridging that gap between Mars and Venus to help men and women understand each other.

Now you may recall that I’ve already talked about how to find Mr/s. Right, so now I want to talk a little more specifically about men and women separately, and how we tick.

In the video below, I give several tips on men, like:
How to understand men, and how we think; how men and women differ and how to bridge the gap; how to understand why men do what we do, and how to communicate with your man to get results.

So in this article I’d like to give a little more insight into men, and what it’s like inside our heads and hearts.

Before we go too far, I want to say clearly that what I am talking about here (and in the follow up article on Women), is not meant to be misconstrued as ‘sexist’ in any way. I am not making value judgments, or talking about gender roles, I am talking about biology and the baseline functioning of men and women. Yes, we are all different, yes we are all individual snowflakes, but even individual snowflakes have more in common then not with all the other snowflakes.

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If there is one thing that I can impress upon you, is that men are very, very, very, VERY simple creatures. If you ever want to know what a man is thinking, or why he does what he does, 9/10 times the simplest solution is the accurate one!
For the most part, we only want a handful of things: food, sex, sleep…and silence!

Our drive (for the most part) is to go out and hunt, to conquer, to be a warrior. And above all else: to spread the seed. It is our biological imperative to have as much sex as we can, as often as we can, quite frankly with as many partners as we can.

NOW, let me be clear!
I am not justifying male infidelity, we do not have to give in to these urges!
Any guy that claims that he can’t help it is fooling himself; self control is the very thing that sets us above the animals. But, the point I am making is the biological drive *NEVER * goes away. It doesn’t mean he has to do it, it doesn’t mean he isn’t in love with you, it is just how he is wired.

Consider that a man’s sexual peak hits in his late teens, just in time for him to procreate before he does something stupid and probably gets himself killed!
Whereas a woman’s sexual peak occurs in her mid to late 30’s, for reasons we’ll discuss in the next article.

Another thing:
For the most part, you can not nag, complain, or guilt a man to doing what you want for a long period of time. More importantly, why would you want to?
Why would you want to be with someone you have to dominate into submission? More importantly, if you care about this person, why would you even want to?

If you want to motivate a man (or woman, for that matter) to do something, you always catch more flies with honey. What that that means is you’ll gain much better results through positive reinforcement then you will through nagging, which I explain in detail in the video below.

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Now for something I have not discussed anywhere before now:
How to know if a man is, or is not, interested in you.

1.Does he say he is?
If he is asking you to spend time with him, or showing an excessive interest in you (more than you see him showing others), then chances are high he is interested. If he doesn’t show you any attention, or worse, tells you he isn’t interested then…he’s not.
Seems self evident, but you would be shocked how many people I know who are chasing men who have clearly told them it is not going to happen, and yet they chase him anyway.

2.Does he do things for you, however big or small?
He should be exerting some effort to see or talk to you.
How much he does will vary by the man, and the environment in which you interact. For instance, if he’s a coworker, maybe he asks you to lunch, or offers to pick up food for you. If you have a class, maybe he asks you to get together and study. Maybe he waits around longer than he has to in order to talk to you, or works to strike up conversations.
By the same token, if he DOESN’T do that; if he consistently leaves without you, if he is always giving you 1 word replies, if he forgets you when he gets coffee for himself: those are big hints that he’s not interested.

3.Have you met his friends?
If you haven’t met his friends, YOU ARE NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND!

4.Do you have more than one way to contact him?
What I mean is, do you have his Facebook, cell phone, and home phone (if he still has such a thing)? If you call, does he answer more often then not, even if it is just to tell you he’ll call you back? Does he respond to your texts, more often then not?
Or does he take forever to get back to you, or is short with you sometimes?
It used to be if a man would give his cell phone, but not home phone number, it meant he was married, or at least had a serious girlfriend.
Because so many people only have cell phones now it’s not quite so clear cut, but if he only gives you one way to contact him, or only calls you back at odd times, or gets off the phone in a rush, these are all red flags that there’s someone else.

But, please, let me reiterate:
You can NOT argue, nag, or complain him into doing what you want him to do, at least not for long. Yes, I know you need reassurance from time to time, but if you are allowing your fear to make you paranoid, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I have seen more relationships killed by one person’s insecurity then anything else. Yes, you have to find a way to communicate; if you can’t communicate, you don’t have a relationship.
But you have to take the time to face your fears and decide what is and is not worth saying. Remember, the measure of communication is in the response it gets; if you know something you are going to say is going to upset him, and not gain you anything, then don’t say it!

Remember, he is a simple creature. He wants simple things, and the simple approach is best, 99.9% of the time. Be sweet to him until he proves to you he doesn’t deserve it…and if he doesn’t deserve it, let him go and move on!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

It takes two to tango!

“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge” -Thomas Carlyle

People say dating is hard in Los Angeles, because of the facades that people put up; but I think dating and relationships can be challenging all over the world.

One of my most popular articles to date was ‘Spiritual Loving‘, my article on how to find the right person. Between that article and the video below, I shared several ways to locate and catch that special someone.

So for this article, I want to flesh out some of the ideas from those two places, and share some thoughts I’ve had since they posted.

And one other thing: all of these points apply to a single person who is in the market, and for a person who already has a relationship; since even a good one has room to become great.

In my coaching, I often hear people ask me how to ‘make’ someone love them. Or tell me all manner of things the other person has done to them, and yet they keep taking it believing the time will come that the person spontaneously changes. So, then, here is the first point:

Words lie, actions always tell the truth.

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It doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what they DO. If he tells you he loves you, but hits you; he doesn’t love you. If she tells you she loves you, but cheats on you all the time, she doesn’t love you. It may be your situation isn’t worth salvaging in the first place, in which case you need to know when to let go.

Also, if you are having trouble committing, or that person is having trouble committing to you, it is because of one of two reasons: the past, or you think something better is going to come along.

If you’ve taken the time to complete the past and still don’t feel it, then again it may be that the relationship has run it’s course; the two of you had your time and now it is time to move on for both of your sakes.

We all have different wants and needs in a relationship; obviously the you have to feel an attraction to the person or you may be better off as good friends; but when the dust settles you only need one thing in order to have a successful relationship:
You need to find someone you can love, respect, and grow with; who can love, respect and grow with you. In short you have to be able to put up with each other’s crap and still love one another afterwards. That may not sound very poetic, but it’s a fact. You will have disagreements; but can you talk to each other like adults and work it out, or will you bicker like children?

Which leads to my next point: communication.
Talk to each other, and BE HONEST!!!!
Resolve right now, today, to give up pointless tests and mind games. Become open an honest in your dealings with your partner, and everyone else you deal with. Now don’t get me wrong, I realize there has to be a bit of mystery in a relationship; and if you tell them you love them on the first date that may not go over well. But in general, be clear on what you think and how you feel.

If you can’t talk to that special someone, then you may not be as special to them as you think.

Which leads to the next point: you have to be on the same page.
If one of you is in love, and the other one is just in it for sex, you are in trouble! You have to both understand what it is; are you just dating? Purely physical? Maybe going to spend the rest of your lives together (maybe)?

If one of you wants to get married and have 10 kids and the other one refuses to get married ever or have kids, you may be in trouble!

I have gone on record many times saying it is better to be alone than be with the wrong person. At least if you are alone, you are telling the Universe you are open to receiving something better; if you continue to cling to something you know isn’t working you are telling the Universe you don’t want anything better.

And not only that, both of you deserve to have relationships that are happy and fulfilling with someone who will love every inch of you. If you don’t have that, create it. If you can’t create it,move on.

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Now, let’s say you want to get someone to pay more attention to you. The way to get more attention is:

MAKE SPENDING TIME WITH YOU THE BEST AND MOST ENJOYABLE THING IN THE WORLD FOR THAT OTHER PERSON!

Now I know this has never happened, to *you *, but back in my single days I had more than one girl throw tantrums or do crazy things to get me to pay more attention to them. And while it’s true it will get you attention, it’s probably not the attention you want!

If you want him to turn off the game to talk to you, try wearing something he likes seeing you in. If you want her to go get coffee with you, make her feel beautiful. The point is: catch flies with honey. Be the person they light up to see; and you’ll become their favorite person, in no time.

By the way:
If you haven’t tried it, give online dating a shot. Believe it or not, I met my wife on a dating site and we’ve been married for over 8 years!
I know, I know, hear me out: you might think it sounds lame, but it’s no lamer than meeting people in bars or sitting home alone. And if you ‘tried it but it didn’t work’, message me on Facebook  and I’ll help you put together a better profile and make better choices of who you go out with!

You need to try lots of different things on and off line; but it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of work, maybe school, home over and over again. The older we get the harder it is to be exposed to new people, and online dating helps get around that. All online dating does is remove time and space from the dating equation, and let you meet new people in an easy way. And, you can learn more about them then just knowing they have a cute face and are in the same room with you, which is all know when you met people out in the real world.

And one final thing:
You don’t HAVE to have a relationship in order to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, the right relationship makes everything in life better; but the wrong one makes EVERYTHING worse. Don’t look to another person to complete you or fill in some sort of hole in your life, look for that person who is going to boost you and help you fly higher and higher than you ever could have imagined.

Check out the video, apply the tools, and watch your love life explode. Let me know how it works out, and be sure to send me an invitation to the wedding!

What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!

You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click subscribe over on the right hand side!

B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host

Find out more about me:
http://about.me/BDaveWalters

Ask me anything:
http://formspring.me/BDaveWalters

 

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