If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it. Similarly, someone who does not search – who does not bring a lantern – sees nothing.
What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light… pure and unblemished… not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe – God looks astonishingly like we do – or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws; and in so doing, better understand the world around us.
"God created us in his image." Nah bruh, we created 'him' in our image. Too many mistranslated texts yet we have been programmed to believe it. The more I meditate and open my third eye, the more I realize that every religion is not the truth but the truth lies in every religion. So I let it all go and became spiritual instead. Best decision I ever made yo. --TophCookieWhat is commonly believed in our day and age that could be proven false in the future?
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real. Oh God, lead us from darkness to light. Oh God, lead us from death to immortality. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all. Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions. May there be peace on earth. May the waters be appeasing, May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us. May thy Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to us. And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all, and may that peace come to me also.
BUDDHIST PRAYER FOR PEACE
May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freeimage from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses—the children, the aged, the unprotected—be guarded by beneficent celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
JAINIST PRAYER FOR PEACE
Peace and Universal Love is the essence of the Gospel preached by all the Enlightened Ones. The Lord has preached that equanimity is the Dharma. Forgive do I creatures all, and let all creatures forgive me. Unto all have I amity, and unto none enmity. Know that violence is the root cause of all miseries in the world. Violence, in fact, is the knot of bondage. “Do not injure any living being.” This is the eternal, perennial, and unalterable way of spiritual life. A weapon howsoever powerful it may be, can always be superseded by a superior one; but no weapon can, however, be superior to non-violence and love.
MUSLIM PRAYER FOR PEACE
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations, that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline toward peace, do thou also incline toward peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that heareth and knoweth all things. And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address, them, we say “PEACE.”
SIKH PRAYER FOR PEACE
“God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear: that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living.” Know that we attaineth God when we loveth, and only that victory endures in consequence of which no one is defeated.
BAHAI’ PRAYER FOR PEACE
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be fair in they judgement, and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
SHINTO PRAYER FOR PEACE
“Although the people living across the ocean surrounding us, I believe, are all our brothers and sisters, why are there constant troubles in this world? Why do winds and waves rise in the ocean surrounding us? I only earnestly wish that the wind will soon puff away all the clouds which are hanging over the tops of the mountains.”
NATIVE AFRICAN PRAYER FOR PEACE
Almighty God, the Great Thumb we cannot evade to tie any knot; the Roaring Thunder that splits mighty trees; the all-seeing Lord up on high who sees even the footprints of an antelope on a rock mass here on Earth. You are the one who does not hesitate to respond to our call. You are the cornerstone of peace.
NATIVE AMERICAN PRAYER FOR PEACE
Oh Great Spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you. To your messengers the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, and to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind. Let us learn to share all the good things that you provide for us on this Earth.
ZOROASTRIAN PRAYER FOR PEACE
We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world: that understanding triumph over ignorance, that generosity triumph over indifference, that trust triumph over contempt, and that truth triumph over falsehood.
JEWISH PRAYER FOR PEACE
Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High. And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation—neither shall they learn war any more. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
CHRISTIAN PRAYER FOR PEACE
Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be known as the Children of God. But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well. Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do to you do, do so to them.”
The rise of Christianity to be one of the world's dominate religions is extraordinary. It sprung up from a corner of Pagan Rome's empire to take over the whole of Europe in the first century CE. Professor Michael Kulikowski explores how this happened in the following...
Christians were strangers
How an obscure oriental cult in a corner of Roman Palestine grew to become the dominant religion of the Western world
That a world religion should have emerged from an oriental cult in a tiny and peculiar corner of Roman Palestine is nothing short of extraordinary. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, though an eccentric one, and here the concern is not what the historical Jesus did or did not believe. We know that he was executed for disturbing the Roman peace during the reign of the emperor Tiberius, and that some of his followers then decided that Jesus was not merely another regular prophet, common in the region. Rather, he was the son of the one true god, and he had died to bring salvation to those who would follow him.
Michael Kulikowski is professor of history and classics at Pennsylvania State University, where he also heads the history department. He is the author of Late Roman Spain and Its Cities (2004) and Rome’s Gothic Wars from the Third Century to Alaric (2007). His latest book is The Triumph of Empire: The Roman World From Hadrian to Constantine (2016).
It is still strange the some obscure cult became one of the world's dominate religions, share your thoughts below.
Tolkien was a master of story telling. You read The Lord of the Rings and are immersed in a rich world that has a fully developed history, mythology, and various races. It is one of the greatest works in literary history.
What Tolkien Did So Well, What We Do So Poorly
In this reading, I have found myself especially impressed by the history of Middle Earth, and I rate this as one of Tolkien’s great successes. But it’s not merely that Tolkien obsessively created a history in its finest details, but that he faithfully sets his characters within it. He makes them small but significant players in a much wider, grander drama. They are always aware of those who have gone before and always thinking of those who will follow. The characters do not stand alone in the story, but always in the shadow of their forebears.
Knowing the history of a religion is important to knowing how it affects its followers. If you just give dry facts, you are not able to understand the nuances of how the faith sits historically and why it is relevant today.
What were #Jesus' views on #women? The Bible certainly doesn't say... not since the Church censors got through with it. But if you read between the lines, you get a hint of his respect for women.
In many of Jesus' illustrations, women are presented as positive role models of faith, which men should follow. For example:
The Queen of the south, who was wiser than the first-century Jews (Matt 12:42)
The woman mixing yeast into dough (Matt. 13:33), who is presented as an illustration of the way that the kingdom of God works
Women working when Christ returns, some of who are ready and others are not (Matt. 24:41)
Ten virgins, of whom five were prepared and five were not (Matt 25:1-13)
The widow of Zarephath, whom Jesus used as an example of a Gentile that God favored (Luke 4:26)
The woman who found the coin she had lost (Luke 15:8-10). In this parable the woman plays the role of God, just as the shepherd did in the preceding parable and the father does in the following parable.
A persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8), a model for disciples to imitate in prayer
A widow who gave everything she had (Luke 21:1-4).
In Luke 11, an anonymous woman called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you" (v. 27). Jesus did not deny that his own mother was blessed, but he said that the real blessing is given to "those who hear the word of God and obey it" (v. 28). A woman's spiritual worth is based on her response to God, not in performing biological functions. Women are saved by faith, not by bearing children.
Jesus did two important things for this woman, He gave her His undivided attention by listening to her comment, and He mildly corrected her and pointed her toward further spiritual understanding. Jesus does not deny His mother's place of importance, but goes beyond it to a wider spiritual truth.
Conservative and liberal commentators are generally agreed on this: Jesus treated women well—despite the male-dominated culture in which he lived. He treated them respectfully, was sensitive to their needs, used them as good examples of faith, and included them in his ministry in several important ways.
And if you read the Gospels that were cut out of the Bible, you get a startling view of his love and admiration for his most enlightened disciple, Mary. There are even indications that he considered Mary more spiritually advanced than he was. To explore this further, consider reading The Gospel of Mary.
Pope Francis has sparked another debate with controversial remarks at the Third Vatican Council. He says, the concept of #hell where people burn eternally cannot be #Christian–it goes against the concept of a loving and compassionate God.
That idea is being challenged by other Bible scholars, not just the pope.
When God told Adam that if he ate of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” that he would “surely die” (Genesis 2:17) He did not mean live forever in torment. This idea is an invention of the devil to paint God as a devil.
God says He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. It’s a biblical concept that God does not destroy and that we destroy ourselves by the choices we make. How important it is to choose wisely.
The word “hell” is found 54 times in the King James Bible. It translated from the Hebrew word “she’ol” meaning the grave 31 times, and from the Greek word “hades,” also meaning the grave 10 times. The Greek word gehenna is the source for 12 uses of hell and the word means a place of burning (only 12 out of 54 places in the Bible).
The Bible teaches that wicked will be burned up and leave them “neither root nor branch,” Malachi 4:1. God says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” Ezekiel 33:11.
Like most/if not nearly all Neo-Pagan religions, Wicca is also a re-constructionist religion at it's heart. The difference comes in that Wicca has more than a healthy dose of romanticism added in - it's a key component of the religion. We have pantheism, polytheistic archetypes, traditional polytheism, nontheism, even polydeism beliefs. What all of these beliefs have in common is that they are adaptable and highly individualistic. Most of us do not worship the same God and Triple Goddess Gardner did. In this sense, Wicca is unique as the majority of the beliefs, regardless of what they are, tend to at least draw from the Jungian Archetypes so familiar to the human experience. Everyone has a mythology, be it stories of Luke Skywalker or Herne or Athena. This Archetype approach to theology, and the fact that it's highly individualistic, means that the Divine does not need to be real in the same traditional sense religions like Christianity use (how real the Christian god is is measured very differently then how real the pantheist's deities are.). It also means our own sense of romanticism towards the past, or the future, is what drives our connection to the divine. I've always liked to think of the re-constructionist revival in general as a coming home to our divine parentage, be it Nature or a specific deity like Athena, only now we're all grown up and can take responsibility for our beliefs. We take the best of the beliefs and strive to make them even better. This is a far cry from religions like Christianity that is fighting against it's own evolution and rejecting it's progression as heresy in some cases. From this standpoint, Gardner was really just one of the common foundations we us to kick-start our own beliefs, or more accurately, how we approach them. At the end of the day, there is no dogma thus our beliefs are merely our own, not Gardner's. He just helped give us the framework, especially for community. Much like developing a common language between covens and seekers.
Authenticity on Witchcraft -
All magic comes from an empirical root in the psychology we use to connect to our innermost selves and the divine. The Supernatural, or lack there of, nature to magic really doesn't matter in the long run. The magic I practice is different then the magic practiced by the next Witch in the room, so certainly my magic is also different than those witches that lived in Italy in the very late 1800s. Across cultures and across time, it all comes down to that common root. What Gardner provided was a common umbrella for those interested to find each other and compare notes. The need for authenticy is a hold over from Christian beliefs so embedded in our own cultural mindset, but it often forgets that Wicca is too a re-constructionist religion. We are trying to regain what was lost, and you can't do that without rediscovery. Traditions that claim to predate Gardner tend to also claim that they already had their discovery. Some traditions believe they have since found theirs. The rest tend to take the approach that we are still looking for it. But Wicca has a good amount of romanticism too, which means a lot of us are keeping our eyes open for new discoveries as well (the influx of New Age thinking for many witches, as much as it does annoy me on a personal level, is a good example of this in action). At the end of the day, I don't need absolute proof that Gardner stumbled upon the ancient Witch-cult that had organized itself (ha! Pagans organizing :p suuuure) to hide from the Inquisition. All I need is the framework to start my own journey of discovery of the Craft. It's a big Craft, a lifetime is not enough time so we all focus on the areas that are important to us. If nothing else, Gardner gave the world something undeniable: the permission to explore Witchcraft openly and share our discoveries there of.