Archive for March, 2012

A favorite book; narrated by a favorite actor …

A decade or so ago a professor from Oxford told me, while I was visiting, that if I ever read “The Alchemist“, by Paolo Coelho, it would change my life in a knowable way.

That may be true of many books, but the appeal was an instant carrot dangled in front of me. Since reading “The Alchemist” (which surely DID change my life in many wonderful ways) I have read most of Coelho’s books and he is a favorite author … encouraging us to explore, and wonder, and trust where the Universe leads us. I may not have ever made the incredible spiritual transformations within, that I have made since then, without that initial off-hand suggestion that began a journey of my own … who is to know?

Are you to begin a journey as well??

Here is chapter one, narrated by Jeremy Irons:

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/03/25/the-alchemist-read-by-jeremy-irons/The Alchemist, By Paolo Coelho.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

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What Would Jesus Think …

Jesus.

A man unlike virtually any other man throughout history. Songs have been written to and about him, as well as books and lifetimes devoted to him.

But what would Jesus think about how his legacy looks today?

I welcome all thoughts on the subject. Here are a few of my own:

Jesus was a simple man in how he lived his life. He didn’t make a lot of money. He was outspoken in that he talked to any and all who would listen about God and Love. However, he really didn’t go around telling people how to live their lives. He never said to the prostitutes,

“You are vile as you are, you need to change in order to be worthy of God.”

Nor did Jesus have a Bible (as one didn’t exist at the time) that he carried with him to wave in people’s faces … to try and convert them. No, he lived a life of love … and he taught about living a life of love. Jesus did talk about right and wrong, or how to live life … but it was almost never judgmental, and usually in the form of stories or parables. This made him accessible to almost everyone as those “who have ears to hear” will learn, and those who did not didn’t take offense, in general. The Pharisees understood what he was saying … they just didn’t like it. It threatened the power they held over people through religion.

Since the time of Jesus, a LOT has changed. What about his legacy, how has that changed? Well, a man name Saul came along, intent on killing the followers of what Jesus had been teaching. Supposedly he had a spiritual conversion and became a believer and follower of Jesus. I’m not saying otherwise. I do find it interesting to note though that Saul’s (who became Paul) tone and message differed from Jesus’ message. Paul did talk about how people should live their lives, what is sinful and what is not, etc. Paul also introduced Christianity to Rome, where it was then turned into the Catholic Church … and made the official religion of the Roman Empire. Curious that Saul was sent as an emissary of Rome to wipe out Christianity, but then was responsible for transforming it into the official religion of Rome. I’m not making a statement one way or another about it … I just find it curious. It was the Catholic Church who later convened and decided what would be put into the Bible, and what would be left out. Since that time, Christianity, in varying forms, has more often been about telling people how to live … than telling them how to LOVE.

I realize that this could be somewhat scandalous to a great many people. Certainly there are a great many Christians who have devoted their lives to loving God, and loving each other. I am in not judging Christians, I myself am a Christian.  In fact, one of my primary purposes in posting is to be conducive to the idea that most of us are worshiping God in one form or another… we should all be able to do it together, instead of fighting about it.  So I am not attempting to judge Christians, I am merely attempting to point out that Christianity has changed and morphed into so many different facets.  There are facets that are based in LOVE as their principle tenet … and then there are factions who are not based in love.  The easiest way to understand this is to simply look at the life of Jesus … THAT is a life based in LOVE.

If one stops … and thinks … and compares exactly how Jesus lived his life … does it really match up to what others have turned his teachings into? There are those who have taught about Jesus for the purpose of LOVE … they are beloved. Then there are those who have taught about Jesus for the purpose of gaining power over people’s minds and lives, or to make money, or both … they should be afraid.  This is perfectly mentioned by Jesus himself, in the parable of “The Sheep and the Goats“.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.