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Garden of Eden

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The biblical GARDEN of EDEN is a story.  it is not a letter, it is not history, and it is not science.  The GARDEN of EDEN story is from MAN’S point of view not GOD’s.  The story begins in the IRON AGE. The story  answers the questions–why does mankind  SUFFER, LABOR, and have PAIN in childbirth.

At the time the story was written, the HEBREWS were herders and lived in the desert.  Life was very harsh and the GOD of the desert was also very harsh. The HEBREWS  livelihood was herding sheep.  Sometimes they stopped at an OASIS to rest and drink fresh water.   .   An OASIS has pools of water, lots of greenery and palm trees. The setting of the story is an OASIS or GARDEN.  In the story, it was called the GARDEN of EDEN. EDEN, in the  HEBREW language, means flat land.

Like the rest of the ancient world, they believed that GOD must be OBEYED.  They believed that if they did NOT OBEY God, he would punish them.  If there was bad weather or their sheep died they thought GOD was angry with them.  So just in case they accidently did something bad they offered an animal sacrifice to stay in GODs good graces. They believed that GOD would ‘eat” the smoke of the animal sacrifice and become happy. They believed the animal sacrifice would APPEASE GOD and he would not send them any punishment.

Now back to the GARDEN of EDEN.  In the story,  Adam and Eve represent all men and all women.  They lived in an OASIS (the Garden of Eden) and GOD visited them.  This was utopia for the HEBREWS.  They wanted to live forever where life was easy.

Now remember, the story of ADAM and EVE is from man’s viewpoint.  The HEBREWS  are trying to answer the question about WHY they cannot have a comfortable life of ease. In the IRON AGE all ancient people believed that GOD must be obeyed without question.  In the story, the man and woman eat fruit that GOD told them not to eat.  Because GOD must be obeyed, he had to punish the man and the woman.  The worst punishment, from man and woman’s view, was to be exiled from the OASIS (Garden of Eden).  This answers the question of ‘WHY” man and woman have to SUFFER, LABOR and have PAIN in childbirth.

Granted, a snake tricked them into eating the fruit so the snake was punished.  His punishment answers the question, “Why does the snake slither on its belly and why is it our enemy”.  The HEBREWS knew the snake was their mortal enemy because of its poisonous venom.  In the desert, many snakes were poisonous and their bite could kill a man, woman, or animal.

GOD stops mankind from eating the “tree of eternal life” by having four angels guard it.  Of course, the HEBREWS already knew people died, but they wanted to know WHY.  So, why did GOD make the man and woman leave the Garden of Eden? So they would not accidently or purposely eat from the tree of “eternal life”.  If man already had the knowledge of good and evil AND man also became immortal, there would be no difference between GOD and Man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spirit Theology

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Hi All,

I have taken off the last  couple of years to complete my Doctorate of Theology degree.  It is not your typical theology degree–its core is the study of Spirit.  I call it Spirit Theology.

Spirit Theology is both the journey to become your most authentic self and at the same time, is faith in the Spirit to help you along the way.  To me, Spirit is the creative energy of the universe.  As Einstein said, “Everything is Energy”.  He expressed it with scientific language of   E = (m x c) squared.

Everything on the earth and including the earth is ENERGY.  Most of what we know, including our physical bodies, is very, very, very dense energy.  However our essence is very light energy or SPIRIT.  If you think about it, positive character traits like loving, caring, and compassion  are INTANGIBLE.  This means they do not have mass so they are very light.  Spirit (also sometimes called God) who is the essence of love is INTANGIBLE. However we know that traits like loving and caring are REAL.  Therefore SPIRIT (God) is also REAL. So we can know that our own spirit is REAL.

Not only is SPIRIT light (as opposed to heavy) it is also LIGHT. It is the type of LIGHT that brightens the  DARK. It is he type of LIGHT that shines on our path so we can see the way.  This is the type of LIGHT that expresses incredible love and peace.  In fact, people who have had a Near Death Experience (NDE)  have tried to describe how this love feels, say there are no human words to describe it.

While I did not have a NDE, I did have a mystical experience.  I was shattered by the news that my daughter had an incurable neuromuscular disease.  I cried out to God (SPIRIT) to help me.   All of a sudden I was encompassed by LOVE.  While I cannot describe the feeling, I can describe how light I felt, no worry or anxiety, no sadness or grief.  I had an overwhelming feeling that every person was so precious and I loved each and every one. Other people sometimes describe this as a feeling of ONENESS.  This feeling lasted three weeks and I went around telling everyone how precious and loved they were.  In real life, I am shy and would not go around telling anyone anything, much less something so personal and  spiritual.  After the third week the feeling and the experience started to fade.  I tried to hold on to it, but it slipped away.  This was a big STEP on my life journey.  I now knew SPIRIT.  I knew that SPIRIT was LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.  It would take another mystical experience, 20 years later, to teach me to have FAITH in SPIRIT.

Remember that I said earlier that FAITH in SPIRIT was also part of SPIRIT THEOLOGY.  SPIRIT THEOLOGY, has no dogma, doctrine, or rules.  In SPIRIT THEOLOGY, SPIRIT is LIGHT and LOVING.  Love is sometimes called compassion.  In SPIRIT there is no judgment, anger, punishment, anxiety, or fear.  So in the AFTERLIFE, there is no judgment, anger, punishment, anxiety, or fear.  SPIRIT is LIGHT and LOVE (compassion) and ONENESS.  We are made in the essence of SPIRIT.  Therefore we are LIGHT and LOVE, and ONENESS.

Remember, that SPIRIT is intangible and has no mass.  When we die, we will be intangible and have no mass. When we die we join SPIRIT.  Wherever SPIRIT lives, we live.

How To Find Yourself

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Finding the real you is an enlightening experience. You become self-sufficient and do things for yourself, for once. You are no longer needy and become utterly grateful for all the things people have done for you in the past. Finding yourself is a time of harmony because you develop the philosophy or belief system that will carry you throughout the rest of your life. How do you know you have found yourself? It is when you are able to help others find themselves. Finding yourself is not easy, but here are a few tips for how to start the process.

Create your own lifeline. Write down all of your major goals in your life that you feel you achieved and want to achieve. In turn, write down the events in your life that have already happened that you believe have affected you. When life hits with problems or misfortunes it shapes our belief system and makes us think differently. When you believe in something or see beauty in something, you should do it no matter what anyone else thinks. If you have found something that is worthy of your best efforts, sacrifice, and tears, then you have found the most important pursuit of your life.

  • This isn’t an exercise in wallowing. It’s about clarification and identification of issues. These issues might be keeping you from reaching your present potential and letting your true sense of self blossom.
  • Spend a little time writing with clarity about the past in your timeline. A timeline is an incredibly objective method for marking down past occurrences in your life that you consider to be major. You can look at them as formation blocks and as changing experiences along your timeline without imbuing them with too much emotion (as would occur within a diary account). Keep it simple, real, and condensed to the major effect or lesson learned from each past incident.
  • When analyzing negative past experiences, look to the positive learning message in it and don’t dwell on the mistakes or the negatives. Everyone has these blips in their timeline but pretending they are either worse than they were or non-existent won’t do you any favors. Instead, recognize that if it had not been for those past experiences you would not be where or who you are today.

Prepare to begin again with a clean slate. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life; vices are any actions or habits that tie up your true self and let you escape having to think about the harder questions.

  • Stop smoking over-eating, and abusive drinking. These are examples of lapses or habits that will prevent you from functioning at your peak. They also let you “off the hook” by sidestepping the analysis of why you use these crutches instead of finding better ways to brighten your life.
  • This step may take some major rehabilitation for some individuals but putting it into the too-hard basket won’t make it go away. Remember, you can’t drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rear-view mirror.

Sort out your career path. If you’re meandering all over the place looking for the right “fit,” chances are that you’re not happy inside. You could be using the job-changing as an excuse for not fully realizing your true potential. Finding yourself by really taking an interest in what you love to do. If money weren’t an issue, what would you spend your days doing? Is there any way you can monetize this activity/skill?

  • Spend some time free-associating. Think about what you like and don’t like; think beyond those things to other ideas that simply pop into your mind while you’re associating. Keep a record of these things. Then, come back to the career question and look at the free associations. What type of career seems to gel most with the things that excited, moved, and really energized you from the free-association exercise? As Alain de Botton says, this exercise is about looking for “beeps of joy” amid the cacophony of must-dos, shoulds, and expectations.[1]
  • Bear in mind, however, that work may not be where your “calling” is. If that is the case, you’ll need to work out a work-life balance that lets you pursue your “true self” more outside of the workplace, even if this means more hours and less income. It is all possible, especially if it’s in the pursuit of finding and sustaining your true sense of self.

Immerse yourself in solitude. Give yourself some time and space to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.  Think about the hard questions.

  • “If I had all the resources in the world — if I didn’t need to make money — what would I be doing with my day to day life and why?” Perhaps you’d be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don’t hold back.
  • “What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted. Would you regret never having traveled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? This question can be really difficult.
  • “If I had to choose three words to describe the kind of person I’d love to be, what would those words be?” Adventurous? Loving? Open?Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Don’t be afraid to choose words that are considered negative because that proves you’re a real person, and not a lopsided combination of parts other people want to be known for.

Act upon your newly discovered knowledge. Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those watercolors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking up. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you’ve decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.

Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That’s the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over.

Serve others. Mahatma Ghandi once said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. All instrospection and no reaching out to others can cause you to navel-gaze and shut yourself off from others. Service to other people and to the community is the ultimate way to find purpose and a sense of your place in the world. When you get to see how hard life can be for those in greater need than you, it’s often a wake-up call that puts your own worries, concerns, and issues into perspective. It helps you to see what you do have and the opportunities you’ve been able to seize through life. That can fuel a great sense of self because suddenly everything can fall into place for you and you realize what matters most. Try it. You’ll like it.

For The Love of The Journey

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For so many years, I lived a life without new experiences.  Not by choice, but by marriage.  My marriage, not all marriages.  I have been happily divorced for almost 20 years.  Almost as long as I was married.  I would change this quote slightly,  “Without new experiences, something inside of us dies.  The dead must arise” (Frank Herbert).  Now that I have arisen  life has been a true journey with the awe of new and great experiences and transformations.  This is how life should be.  To all who are sleeping or dead, I say to you “Awake”.