“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”― Robert F. Kennedy First, a confession: Although I pride myself on my ability to dialog and find a common […]
“All complex things decay…work out your own salvation with diligence”
-Buddha’s dying words
The reason why I became a Spiritual Coach, and do the work that I do, is because I am working hard to bring God back to the forefront of people’s minds and lives.
And even as you read that, you probably reacted in one of two ways: if you are a religious person, it probably filled you with some sort of pride about ‘your side winning’. And if you are a non-religious person, it may have made you roll your eyes in semi-disgust. So if you are still reading, I appreciate it!
The fact is, over the centuries, quite a lot of damage has been done to this world ‘in the name of God’; and there are some who would try and paint our current political and military conflicts with the same white wash.
Now, in the video below, I explain many ways about how to know what God is like, how to know it in your heart, and how to experience it for yourself.
So here in this article I’d like to expand a little more on the barriers to knowing God, and how they can be overcome.
For reasons I also give in the video below, no one KNOWS where we come from, or what happens when we die; fervent belief is *no substitute * for absolute empirical knowledge. Ttherefore all we are left with are our faith, and our beliefs. In other words, all ANY of us have to go on, are our opinions. As such, I am not holding mine out to be the absolute truth; that is something you must decide for yourself. But I’d like to share with you some ideas to try on, which will help you find and connect with your Creator like never before.
First, give up the idea that God chooses sides.
Consider, when you watch a little league baseball game, are you REALLY rooting for one side to win or lose, or are you hoping they all enjoy playing the game? Or, if you truly are hoping one side wins, are you wishing ultimate and total destruction on the the losing team?
This seems to be a simple analogy, but I believe it to be an apt one. The majority of the world’s religions teach that we are all God’s children, and that this Deity is All Knowing, and All Powerful.
So consider, how can an All Knowing, All Powerful Deity be ‘against’ anything? If God was against something, it simply wouldn’t be.
If God has the capacity to eradicate something at any time, and doesn’t, then that thing must serve some purpose. Of course, this raises quite a few questions about the ‘problem of evil’.
Second, give up the idea that you are somehow separated from God.
I have discussed in the past how the entire concept of ‘Sin’ has been massively blown out of proportion. If you look across time, the bigger a given Church or religious authority became, the bigger deal that sin became.
Remember, for our purposes, God is both All Knowing, and All Loving, or at the *very * least, neutral. How then, can you be separate from a God who knows all and sees all? How can anything you’ve done, or thought about doing, ‘offend’ a mind like that?
Consider again, how we are with children. It is a parent’s role to teach and guide a child, and punish them when necessary; but even when you have to discipline them, do you HATE them? Do you wish your children to suffer for the rest of their lives for spilling juice in the car?
Of course not. Then how can we believe our Father (or Mother) in Heaven can hold an eternal grudge, when we don’t even given our limited awareness?
Third, give up the idea that there is only one truth.
Let me be clear, I am not saying give up YOUR truth. If you have found a religion or system of belief that helps you make sense of the world, to feel safe and connected with the Universe, and generally positive and happy: stick with it! What I am inviting you to do, is to give up opposition of people who see things differently then you do. There are over 6 billion different people, with different perspectives and combinations of experiences and cultural heritage; it is impossible to dictate to someone else what is right for them, when most of us have difficulty finding it for ourselves!
And remember, even your most deeply held convictions would probably be vastly different if you’d been born 1,000 miles east or west of where you were, or 100 years into the past or future. Many things that seem like absolutes are still byproducts of our *own * perceptions, culture, and experiences.
Fourth, give up thinking God thinks like we do.
Consider, how smart would you need to be to memorize every book ever written? Or the words to every song ever sung? Or even something easier: the name of every single person you’ve ever met ever.
Can’t do it?
Compare that, with a Mind that not only conceived of all of Creation, but actually set it in motion! A Mind that (I believe) is still monitoring and interacting with that Creation all the time.
And then think of what that Mind must be like.
Does it seem like a Mind that will get ‘offended’ by the fact that you eat pork, or miss a trip to the Temple from time to time?
Now let me be clear, there is a lot of value in strict adherence to religious rules and guidelines, but the point I am making is that is for our Human benefit, not for the sake of a Creator who is beyond logic, comprehension, or limitations.
Finally, know that God loves you.
God loves you.
Let me say it again: God loves you.
And just in case you missed it, or it makes you feel somehow unworthy, or not good enough: GOD LOVES YOU!
How can I say this with certainty? Simple: you got to live.
God set all of Creation in motion, to align forces to create you, just you! Think about it, out of 500 million sperm cells, it was just you that emerged. Out of every near miss in your life, you have survived, Your parents met and survived, and theirs before them; the odds of you existing are incomprehensible! You are a Miracle. An absolute, Divine masterpiece. You have all the power of the Universe coursing through every inch of you, every cell.
You are made in the image and likeness of your Creator, however you conceive of it. You are the child of royalty, the absolute center of the Universe: you are perfect.
Give thanks for the great gifts you have been given, and show your gratitude by making the absolute most you can of your time, and getting to know your Creator in ways like never before.
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
You are great, and I love you!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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Jesus and Buddha (Interfaith dialog)
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