One must go back further than religion. That is the starting point of the great reassessment we undertake in freeing ourselves from the burden of false knowledge. Freeing ourselves from unquestioned assumptions of truth. We need to get back to the roots of mankind, and in so doing, re-establish a direct and reciprocal relationship with nature and the universe, of which we are a part.
Religion is a man-made and once removed interpretation of the life force – and a false one at that. Whereas the life force (nature and the universe) works directly through man. There is no place for a ‘middle man’ to censor our experiences.
Religion placed an invisible wall between man and nature and between man and God, setting conditions for ‘orderly behaviour’ according to a doctrine of obedience. So now, as these walls crumble, we should stand proud in saying “Nature not religion.” “Truth not dogma”.
But that is merely the first step in our journey of a thousand miles. As the scales fall from our eyes we do not only recognise the truth ‘nature not religion’, we also recognise God to have given birth to nature. We recognise nature as an expression of the Creator. So with nature as our base, our next step up is to strive to come ever closer to our Creator. To realise the God within us. These are the stepping-stones of our emancipation as human beings.
“We must go down to the very foundations of life. For any merely superficial ordering of life, that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied, is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made”. ~I Ching, The Well
In terms of historical time, that event which is called ‘pagan’ came before religion and is superior to it, in that it encompassed a direct response to nature. So the progression I favour, moves through pagan to the state of higher consciousness we call Godly – leaving out religion completely. Let there be no barriers to the free-flow of the energetic life force as it gathers momentum in a universal quest for divine expression.
We humans are a vector for this divine energy. It is we who stand at the mid-point between the dawn of life on Earth and the supreme realisation of the potentiality contained within that dawn.
We are beings of pure movement and we are beings of pure stillness. We are a Divine Paradox. We juggle universality of spirit with red-blooded earthiness. Our drama unfolds as a journey through the myriad expressions of the eternal exigence we call Life.
Before religion, we were on our way in that expression of eternal exigence. After religion, we are once again on our way. But during religion we were trapped in a cul-de-sac of tantalising truths, authoritarian lies and dogma. How they clung to our skin. How they pasteurised our appetite. How they brought us to our knees. How they shamed our ecstasy. How they shackled our true God!
These chains are falling away now; you feel it don’t you? The links are rusting and disintegrating, even as the shoots of new life push upwards to embrace the call of the infinite.
Do not be afraid of your earthiness; fear not your free flying spirit. Rejoice in the downward pull of gravity; dance with the up-thrust of aspiration.
In our pagan days we saw and explored the beauty and power of nature; named gods after the forces that moved through water, plants, trees and seas. We performed rituals in honour of the changes of the seasons; decorated our bodies; wove colourful wreathes around our heads. We leaped with the flames of the fire and ran with the current of the wind. We meditated in quiet earnest; we danced in ecstasy.
“Yes” I hear you say “Then we were just a few thousand on vast tracts of unspoiled land – look at the world today!”
Yes, I look, and what I see is the devastation brought about by our turning away from the life force that offered – and continues to offer – such bounty. I see deserts of sterility where once fecundity was dominant. I see division within humanity where once was community. I see fear where once was joy.
But thankfully, I do not only see these failings of the human race. I also see long dormant seeds reawakening once again. I see the Great Spirit of nature and the universe being rediscovered within more and more aspirants of something so much more uplifting than the standard working week. I see and feel the power of that which is ‘beyond religion’ seeping ever deeper into the cracks of a failed status quo. Rising, Phoenix like, out of the dying embers of the old order’s decaying dogma. Spreading outward, penetrating the darkness of unawareness; lifting the spirit and casting light on the outlines of the world to come.
For at the centre, within each one of us, is that eternal agitator for the realisation of all latent potential. The infinite spark of creation, itself forever urging us on. So if you should find yourself still vainly clutching at the apron strings of a worn-out dogma, release your hold. Experience yourself as that which was – Is – and always will be. That which soars way beyond the great deviation from truth that goes under the title ‘religion’.
About the Author
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, a writer, actor and international activist.
Julian Rose is an international activist who, in 1987 and 1998, led a campaign that saved unpasteurised milk from being banned in the UK; and a ‘Say No to GMO’ campaign in Poland which led to a national ban of GM seeds and plants in that country in 2006. Julian is currently campaigning to ‘Stop 5G’ WiFi. He is the author of two acclaimed titles: Changing Course for Life and In Defence of Life and is a long time exponent of yoga/meditation. See Julian’s web site for more information and to purchase his books www.julianrose.info
An End of Life Caregiver Has a Message About Death that You Need to Hear Right Now
Speaking from his experiences working in an ER and witnessing death first hand, then going on to work in end of life care with Hospice, Zach Bush MD, shares a few powerful observations about the way we look at death and life.
As a guest on the Rich Roll Podcast, Bush spent considerable time talking about the impending ecological crisis the human race is facing, and how our current course of action will almost certainly lead to the death of our species and of life on earth, he helps us to reframe our concept of death.
“We have the belief, I think in our subconscious, because of the movies we watch, because of the TV shows we watch, because of our big divorce from the death process, it’s become sterilized. You have probably not seen many people die. You have probably not seen your loved ones die. They’ve probably died in operating rooms, or ICU’s… and so very few human beings are now watching this process of death, and its allowed death to be defined as an endpoint. As a contraction, or a disappearance, rather than what I’ve actually seen it to be.” ~Zach Bush, MD
He goes on to point out examples of people have biologically died but have been brought back to life. These are the people who’ve experienced what we’ve come to call near death experiences, a remarkable phenomenon in which people from all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, and so on, all share a very common experience.
“And what I’ve seen it to be is a massive expansion, of consciousness, of reality, of awareness, and ultimately of love.” ~Zach Bush, MD
As an ICU doctor, Bush was a firsthand witness to resuscitation of many patients, and he expresses his awe with the fact that the most common thing a patient would first say after being brought back to life was, ‘why did you bring me back?’
“In the hours that follow, they are telling their loved ones, ‘I went into this space, and it was bright white light everywhere, and in that moment I felt completely accepted for the first time in my life.” ~Zach Bush, MD
Now, this is the part you really need to hear right now and share with others:
“I think we’re all walking around right now lonely as hell. And our opportunity to rebirth, because death is not an endpoint, is a transformation moment. It’s an expansion beyond limits of this frail, biological shell that we carry around. And the instant that we step outside of that, we find out that the universe embraces us in every single second of our existence, in complete acceptance of who we are. We are enough, in and of our own identity of ‘I am,’ at every second of every point of our existence.” ~Zach Bush, MD
He goes on to ask a very big question about our existence, that is, what if we need a death moment in order to evolve into who we are really supposed to be?
Watch the short clip for yourself, here, and please share with friends, family, and loved ones.
About the Author
Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.
This article (An End of Life Caregiver Has a Message About Death that You Need to Hear Right Now) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio and internal links.
10 Quotes from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha That Will Truly Inspire You
Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Hermann Hesse’s timeless book, Siddhartha, should be required reading for any spiritual seeker. The book is about Siddhartha’s journey as a respected son of a Brahmin. Everyone expects that he will follow in his father’s footsteps. He enjoys an idyllic life and follows the tenets of his religion expecting that they will bring him peace and happiness. He feels the pangs of discontent though, and observes that his father and elders have not yet reached enlightenment, even though they too have followed the instructions of their religion. When starving and naked ascetics cross Siddhartha’s path one day, his journey truly begins. On this endeavor, he comes to a river that teaches him many life lessons.
If you haven’t had a chance to be profoundly awakened by this book yet, here are ten quotes from it that will move you to question your own environment, religion, culture, and relationships, to possibly find something more.
“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
We so often misunderstand the difference between wisdom and knowledge in this world. Wisdom is timeless. It can only be arrived at with discernment and the development of our consciousness to a level that understands paradox and true freedom.
Knowledge simply binds us to erroneous, concrete beliefs, making it nearly impossible to understand the truth of the Universe. Wisdom, however, discloses Truth in ways that cannot even be explained with a thousand books, a million teachings from religious figures, or a hundred million facts memorized and assimilated. Wisdom is so pure, that even language corrupts it.
“When someone seeks, then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”
There are numerous literary and mythical examples of the seeker. Joseph Campbell describes the seeker in the quintessential quest for the Holy Grail – a representation of some outer prize that can be obtained with enough valor or sacrifice, but what we truly seek can be found only within our own hearts. When we seek an outside goal, this is an indication that our own hearts long to be understood. Striving for something outside ourselves causes us to forever remain a seeker.
“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
All people, places and circumstances in life are fodder for spiritual advancement. Tears are a spiritual release. Hearing a song on the radio that reminds us of someone is a clue from the Universe to send that person love and compassion. Seeing someone else go through something horrible and thinking, “that could have been me,” is a reminder to be thankful.
Getting stuck at a red light is a reminder to breathe deeper. An argument is a gentle tug from the Universe to look inside yourself. Everything that we experience can help us grow. It isn’t just the positive, airy fairy things that help us grow.
When we do a life review, the times we acted with courage and faced our pain, fear, and sadness will be the moments when we smile the biggest.
“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.”
This point is described in great detail by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan in their discussion of spiral dynamics. The way they visualize change is in a spiral. Though we may circle around to the same challenges, each time we do, we are higher up on the spiral, hopefully with a higher level of consciousness with which to approach the problem.
Beck explained that if we try to impose our ‘solutions’ too far ahead of the curve the result can be rebellion rather than transformation. Because of this, the authors use the term “more complex” instead of “better” or “higher” to describe humanity’s stages of evolutionary development. Even if we haven’t quit reached the apex of what we can visualize, we have already taken many steps to make a better world a reality.
“So she thoroughly taught him that one cannot take pleasure without giving pleasure, and that every gesture, every caress, every touch, every glance, every last bit of the body has its secret, which brings happiness to the person who knows how to wake it. She taught him that after a celebration of love the lovers should not part without admiring each other, without being conquered or having conquered, so that neither is bleak or glutted or has the bad feeling of being used or misused.”
Sex is so often a mindless exchange between people these days. It is not an act to be engaged in so recklessly, though. When we share each other’s bodies, subtle energies are exchanged between us. The cultivation of these energies can even be used to achieve higher states of consciousness. When we act as though our bodies are just sacks of flesh, instead of the physical manifestation of energy, then we are missing the point of sensuality.
“It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.”
One of my own spiritual teachers once said to me, you only have to learn to love. That is your only lesson while you are here. Even when we think we are loving, there are usually ways that we are not acting, thinking, and feeling from a loving place. This includes how we think and treat ourselves, not just other people.
“My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life.”
Whatever you define yourself as in this life – a father, a mother, a daughter, a son, a husband, a friend, a lover, a worker, etc. – these are only labels. They don’t not encase your infinite soul. You have been all these things and more in many lifetimes, and in many more places than where you are now.
“Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.”
You know that other saying about opinions and asses. Enough said.
“One can beg, buy, be presented with and find love in the streets, but it can never be stolen.”
With everything that has been taken from us by an evil, destructive, psychotic, corrupt cabal, isn’t wonderful to know that love cannot be traded like a stock or destroyed like gold, faked like paper money, or made to be more, or less valuable at the whims of a few elite. Love is eternal, indestructible, and pure. It is our greatest treasure.
“I shall no longer be instructed by the Yoga Veda or the Aharva Veda, or the ascetics, or any other doctrine whatsoever. I shall learn from myself, be a pupil of myself; I shall get to know myself, the mystery of Siddhartha.” He looked around as if he were seeing the world for the first time.”
Every single major religion on this planet has been corrupted. This doesn’t mean that religion has nothing left to teach us. It also doesn’t mean you need to believe in God or be an atheist to arrive at true wisdom, but as long as you are looking to an institution or a person to bring you enlightenment, you’ll miss it.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. Price, Nexus, Atlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. She was recently a featured author in the Journal, “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and Healing Arts,” and her commentary on healing, ascension, and human potential inform a large body of the alternative news lexicon. She has been invited to appear on numerous radio shows, including Health Conspiracy Radio, Dr. Gregory Smith’s Show, and dozens more. The second edition of her book, Pharma Sutra, will be released soon.
This article (10 Quotes from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha That Will Truly Inspire You) was originally published at The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission.
Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons
Orthodox Christianity provides the faithful with many sacred objects of worship, especially icons – artistic depiction of holy figures. It is commonly believed these holy relics possess spiritual powers to perform miracles and protect individuals and even whole country from possible danger.
What is holy icon?
An icon (from Greek “image”) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, where the most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. In Orthodox Christianity the icons provide inspiration and connect the worshipper with the spiritual world, sometimes they are called “windows into heaven.”
These objects are important for believers because they depict patron saints, people who are chosen as special protectors or guardians over all areas of life. Traditionally people see them as symbols of how to live a better life. Most of Orthodox Christians understand that they are merely expressing honour and respect for the people and events depicted, and not for the icons themselves.
Since the time of Byzantine Empire the icons had become a major part of worship and devotion among the Orthodox Christianity followers. The walls of churches were covered inside from floor to roof with icons, scenes from the Bible, allegorical groups. Icons were taken on journeys as a protection, they marched at the head of armies, they hung in a place of honour in almost every house etc.
More reverence has been always paid to icons believed to have miraculous origins.
‘Our Lady of Vladimir’
Our Lady of Vladimir
Our Lady of Vladimir is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons. Regarded as the holy protectress of Russia, the icon is displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges of Constantinople sent the newly-painted icon as a gift to Grand Duke Yury Dolgoruky of Kiev about 1131. The beautiful image was coveted by Yury’s son Andrei the Pious who brought it to his favourite city Vladimir in 1155. When the horses that transported the icon stopped near Vladimir and refused to go further, this was interpreted as a sign that the Blessed Virgin wants to stay in Vladimir. To house the icon, the great Assumption cathedral was built there, followed by other churches dedicated to the Virgin throughout northwestern Russia.
In 1395, during Tamerlane’s invasion, the image was taken from Vladimir to the new capital, Moscow. The spot where people and the ruling prince met the icon is commemorated with the Sretensky monastery. Vasili I of Moscow spent a night crying over the icon, and Tamerlane‘s armies retreated the same day. The Muscovites refused to return it back to Vladimir and placed it in the Assumption cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The image was also credited with saving Moscow from Tatar hordes in 1451 and 1480.
One of the most exquisite icons ever painted, Our Lady of Vladimir is imbued with universal feelings of motherly love and anxiety for her child. By the 16th century the Vladimirskaya (as the Russians call it) was a thing of legend. It was even rumoured that the icon was painted by St Luke on the Lord’s table of the Last Supper. The venerated image was used in coronations of tsars, elections of patriarchs, and other important ceremonies of state.
But its most important service was yet to come. In December 1941, as the Germans approached Moscow, Stalin order that the icon be taken from a museum and placed in an airplane and that it be carried around the besieged capital. Several days later the German army started to retreat.
‘Our Lady of Kazan’
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