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I see the subject of God come up from time to time here at Lit and, as in every other walk of life find much diversity in opinion and belief, and sadly, some intolerance to the differing opinions that are bound to exist among such a glorious group of people who like to think and examine and define for themselves.
In a society (such as we are here at Lit) where each member is an artist, a creator, what opportunity abounds to learn from each other about thought-filled diversity. Instead, it is often dissention and hostility that result.

For several decades I have examined those things that I was told were un-examinable. I was raised Roman Catholic. Catholics use phrases like "it is a mystery", and from a very early age I couldn't understand why God would set us up like that. I have come to my own conclusion that I was very misled when it came to my religious upbringing. This is not to say that those who remain Catholic are "wrong". I have known very devout Catholics who believe strongly in their faith and are truly "good" people full of love of God and life.
I knew a priest in Connecticut who is a perfect example. Here was a man so committed to God and his church that he gave up women so that he could serve his God to the very best of his ability. He did not like little boys in an unhealthy way. He was a thoughtful and thought-full man. He began a gun buy-back program in the early Eighties paying out of his personal resources for guns in an effort to get them off the streets of Hartford. He had a bright future with the church hierarchy at one time but was sent to a little po-dunk parish when he refused to go to Groton and bless the nuclear submarines.
For me to see his life as a waste for not worshipping God "correctly" would be foul folly. He spent his life in service doing what he truly believed would be serving God, and he did so in a way that brought comfort and solace to many, and ill-will to none. What right have I to call him wrong?
In my years of looking at various religious thought I have come to several conclusions for myself. This is my long-winded way of introducing some of those thoughts here, now. I may be opening a can of worms, but so be it.

I am first a graphic artist and as such have been schooled in looking at the world in a way where one looks at stopping and starting points, forms and shapes, instead of defined lines and bounds. One of the most obvious observations of the world around me shows such great diversity! Examples are countless! Take color, or flowers or trees or insects- the list in the natural world is endless. If diversity were "bad" why would there be so much of it! Take fish. Now while some might taste better, to me, than others, can the beauty or purpose of one be compared as better than another? Flounder are tasty, but, in my opinion, rather ugly. But they have eyes that move from the side of their head to the top so that they may lie flat on the bottom of the sea. I can't do that, and I happen to think that is very cool, and quite handy for the flounder. And I'm certain that other flounder are not repulsed by their looks or we probably wouldn't have flounder to observe.

Now on to the touchy matter of Jesus- Son of God? Why not? I believe I am a child of God, and I am nowhere near the thinker and creator that he was. Did he resurrect? I don't know. I know he was an historical reality and that he has effected the entire world for over 2000 years. Most of us die and the memory of us will fade from the planet as those whose lives we've touched die also. That Jesus still "lives", to me, therefore, is apparent. I do think he would be heartbroken to see how his memory is used. When I look at the words that can be attributed to Jesus, he said "Worship God" and "The kingdom of heaven lies within". Perhaps he "became" saviour because he knew how weak men are and knew that a majority of people would not be able to comprehend that we ALL have the power within us to find God.

I have noticed on this site, and in other places in my world, the term "Namaste" over and over in recent years. I surmised it was some type of blessing or greeting, but curious as to it's true meaning, I googled it. I learned quite a bit. It seems we westerners greet with a handshake in the normal events of our lives, and that this, true to our western way of thinking is actually an aggression. It was begun to display an empty hand so that one need not fear our approach. The very act is a thrusting outward of ourselves toward another. The greeting of the east, Namaste, on the other hand is palm to palm, a bowing forward, and recognizing the spiritual within one's self, within the one being greeted, and within all. The very act is one of reverence. I don't think our western business men will take to it any time soon, but the nature of the business man is not to revere the spiritual, but the material. Acquisition of wealth is more in line with our normal mode of thinking, not acquisiton of spirit.

Let me leave you with this one last thought. I watched a man today forgive a boy who through stupidity caused the death of the man's wife and daughter. Of course he was angry, but he was able to recognize that the boy's intent was not harmful, although his action caused great harm. The boy of course will spend his life living his own guilt and regret, but he has knowledge of the grace of forgiveness. I couldn't help but think that the man also benefitted from his act of forgiveness. Instead of carrying anger and injustice and hate forevermore, his ability to forgive brought him respite from his grief and grace untold. That is Godliness. Our humananity would all do well to seek such Godliness in ourselves, and all our brothers.

Namaste-

------
Elizabeth Maksymiuk


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The following comments are for "Diversity, Religious Thought and Various Musings"
by emaks

emakes a good point


Well stated, with faith and reason. Hmmm...

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: March 23, 2006 )

emak's "acquisition of spirit"
Elizabeth,

Your words yielded a worthy read, if for no other reason than their coming from mode of goodness. So much is pontificated from those in mode of passion. Mode of ignorance is also, at times, expressed/shared.

Your story ending piece made fine close.

Mode of godliness is rarely reached in material world. Living in mode of goodness is going in right direction. Raising of consciousness level, as referenced with your man in story, shows viable path.

Enjoyed read. Am sure to return.

Robert William

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: March 23, 2006 )

Emak's Diversity
Elizabeth,

I followed this with interest and obviously totally agree with the content. I do feel however, that this is just an appetiser for the wealth of conclusions I am sure that your experience has led you to and am looking forward to you coming out of the closet!

I have usually been careful when discussing religion because I not only feel that people have a right to their own views, but also that their own views are right. I am not going to qualify that statement but leave it as food for thought.

I have seen many things that commonsense says are impossible, I totally disagree with the rationization of them, but not the reality of the results!

Living my main formative years in a multicultural society I have come to value many aspects of many religions and personally I am probably a melting pot of a few of them (Jack of all Trades...Master of None). My only true convictions are founded in the 4th and 5th principles of Spiritualism, not convinced on the other 5 as written.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SEVEN PRINCIPALS OF SPIRITULISM

1. The Fatherhood of God.

2. The Brotherhood of Man.

3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels.

4. The continuous existence of the human soul.

5. Personal responsibility.

6. Compensation and retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on earth.

7. Eternal progress open to every human soul.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Above all I feel 'Personal Responsibility' is all we can aspire to and live our lives accordingly. I feel that your post has explored this expertely.... awaiting the sequel,

Have Fun,

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: March 23, 2006 )

Soos, B7L, Ivor- Godly
Good Dr.Soos- I am aware of your questioning, from closely following your articulate writes, both creative and commentary. I am pleased that you look at my meager offers. I am guru in making and can lead you back to light. God lives. She is abundant and willingly gives. One only has to know where to look. I do understand confusion. That is humanity. Thanks for looking and commenting.
Dear, sweet Bobby- I was looking back at my posts the other day and saw you reference your newness to site. From (your)beginning (here)you have brought light and (great intuitiveness and wonderful) words. Always one to share freely your passion and humanity. (Read words within () as those that can be read in between lines- as I know you have a great economy for that!) I thank you for your loyal interest in my meanderings of mind. We are of similar age, and so have much in common (I have observed) Please do come back, and share more thoughts- And thanks for seeing the goodness I try to bring to my corner of the universe-
Fun Ivor- You were the first to speak to me on these pages. Can you believe it has been two years we have been aware of each other? You are right. I have many accumulated miles of deep and (to me anyway) precious thought. You know the saying "Be careful what you wish for..." I think I will begin with your 7 Principles- They are very yummy to me. Look for something to appear in opinions shortly, addressing each. I hope they will be food for thought, because as you have surmised I have given many hours of my own to each already.

What a pleasure to see you each on this page. Thank you. Really.

Sorry for so many glitches in my writing above. It was a bit of blog, written as I think and not with much address to "Eats Shoots & Leaves"

My day ends on a high note because of the three of you, and that's really good, because it was a fairly miserable day... but that's another story in itself and no need to dwell on low notes! I wish you all well, and in my universe that CAN go far!

best to you-
Elizabeth

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: March 24, 2006 )

Red faced-
I'm very sorry.

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: March 24, 2006 )

Lucie's Godliness
Dear, dear Lucie- you are just who I needed to see this morning!(See, that is the way God works!)I had a terrible day yesterday and ended it even more badly by comforting myself with too much 'escape' which left me with a headache today :(

I agree with your sentiments here and kind of envy you your position of helping those who need such comfort at their earthly end. I guess most would start to look for God then, if they hadn't started earlier.
I see much to count Godly, but I look! Just to let you know, I see much of God's beauty in you, and I am grateful! Thank you for your kind words- always... and especially today. I really needed soul lifting, and you did it-
best blessings-
Elizabeth

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: March 24, 2006 )

Thoughts and musings
Dearest Elizabeth, I have always enjoyed clicking on to read something from you, I want to thank you for not disappointing me with this one either. I too have found God, godliness, to be so much more than what I was once taught. I continue to seek the truth I believe we all own. Thank you for sharing this, I look forward to more from you.

Namaste.

Nae

( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: March 24, 2006 )

light humor


If I lost myself (or my car keys) in the darkness I would yet seek myself (or my car keys) 'in the light'.

Why?

Because the light is much better there.

I appreciate your offer. Thank you.

I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: March 28, 2006 )

Nae, Lucie,Soos, Ivor
Nae, you sexy thang, what's jumping in my brain is your awareness that we "are not human's masquerading as spiritual beings, but spiritual beings masquerading as human"... ( I paraphrase-)
Always nice to see you.
Lucie, Soos -yes.
Ivor, saw your comment on other - will return to post thanks and thoughts. Work in 'closet writings as well :) ty for inspiration-
I feel a little like I used to when visiting old home from out-of-state. Don't want anyone to know I'm here cause I don't have enough time to be adequate. Hope to have sweet respite this weekend and then will read, read, read, (and comment)
Blessings-
Elizabeth

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: March 28, 2006 )





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