List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Popping the Balloon of Belief
I'm really excited. I just got a bigger soapbox, and I wanted to invite the rest of you to get up here on it with me.
You may remember I was recently talking about how beliefs are at the core of our conflicts, yet those beliefs are built upon less-than-complete information. What is known is not all there is - there's always something more. Yet we try to explain what we think we know by constructing complex belief systems around them, and fight to defend them against those who believe another way. Our egos are so fragile that we'd rather fight than consider that the foundations of our thought and society might be built upon shifting sands.
Maybe this seems farfetched. But let's look at the Middle East. The interplay of beliefs give us a prime example.
One set involves religion, where ideological descendants of a common ancestor have fought for centuries under the guise of righting a perceived assault upon their God. Each fights to eradicate the other side, and hopefully the differing beliefs they hold. Superimpose upon this age-old fight an internal Muslim war between sects, along with a regional struggle between clerics and secularists, and the complexities grow immense. But that's far from all.
Let's also not forget that most in the area live deprived of what many believe are basic human rights, often repressed by brutal regimes that crush dissent to maintain power and the status quo. All this while their citizens are awakening to an inner call to explore their own potential, fueled by worldwide communications that show what others already enjoy. Many are crying out to end this. Some even resort to terrorism, further complicating the mix.
Now add in geopolitical struggles for money and power which are impacted by the area's crucial location over large deposits of oil. This lifeblood fuels mankind's technological march into the future, and allows us to enjoy a standard of living not even dreamed of in centuries past. Instability of any kind triggers fears our way of life may be impaired or lost altogether.
Whew, it makes me dizzy just thinking about it.
We've given the existing institutions of government and religion a chance, and look what they've done with it. They've showed us the answer is not in diplomacy. And it certainly isn't in war. Or in greater religious fervor. Or in any of the tools at their disposal.
So let me suggest another way. What if everyone asked themselves, "Why do we believe this stuff anyway?" It couldn't hurt to just consider the possibilities.
What if people found a way to connect to God and find meaning without religions that inherently pitted them against each other, whether intended or not? Not to replace one religion with another, but to find an inner spirituality that didn't need the institutions or structure? Where we all knew and felt connected to our source, so that all religions could go quietly into the night?
What if people accepted that others who were different could live among them, and that this diversity both honored and accentuated the best characteristics of each? And that diversity was accepted as a gift to better know themselves, rather than an irritant to be tolerated?
What if there were no struggles to govern among groups or sects because each truly enjoyed the ability to be itself without having to worry about either defending its differences or imposing them on others?
What if governments were not run by either despots or leaders that curried popular favor by castigating opponents and fomenting social discord? Rather, their peoples were guided by an inner force (not an outer one inflamed by religion or politics) that allowed them, and their leaders, to find the seeds of peace within every conflict?
What if people everywhere knew and trusted that their needs would be met as they arose, and that they could explore meaningful pursuits without bumping up against the efforts of others?
This may be a dream, but it is certainly one that is within our reach. You know it as well as I do. But to make it happen, we each have to first hold out a vision of what can be. And then to commit ourselves to make it happen.
Sure, there will be many objections and roadblocks. Religious institutions and governments will fight hard against it. Fear will bring resistance and maybe even greater strife in the short run. Patience and persistent effort will be needed to see it through. But who says the best things come easy?
Isn't it time we stopped leaving the evolution of humanity up to chance, or at least quit pretending it's out of our hands? We're at a point now where people worldwide can share ideas and visions. So why not work toward those that go beyond predatory commerce, politics, and religion? Why not believe that which serves us and our ideals, and promotes the common good, rather than sows the seeds of conflict and destruction?
If this is a world where people go to war over beliefs, isn't belief there's a better way worth fighting for? I sure think so. What about you?
Copyright 2004 by John Dennison. John is a voice for those who do not hear or know they have an inner voice. Author of Whispers in the Silence: Living by the Light of Your Soul, he can be reached at john@WhisperZone.org or visit him at WhisperZone.org, home for those who know their own way.
Early Spring Cleaning
Has anyone noticed how fast 2004 is going? Hey, we are in December already. I really like December not only because people are nicer to each other and all the pretty decorations are around, but people stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
Why Go To Church - Want To Know 13 Reasons?
It's not necessary to go to church in order to get saved and therefore go to heaven, but going to church still has very important benefits that can help improve your life and keep it in order.Below are 13 reasons why we should attend church services on a regular basis.
From the Heart
1 Corinthians 9:19-9:23From The Heart A Look at Christianity from a Ministers Point of View. The following scriptures give us an insight on who we are and the awesome responsibility that we have as ministers of the word of God.
Harry Potter To Christians: Its Not Good To Hear Voices
That is the popular and, thank God (if you'll pardon the use of the G name) the politically correct feeling among most Christians today. You will recall that in the second book of the Potter series, The Chamber Of Secrets, Harry Potter alone heard the voice of the basilisk.
Cut Off Your Hand!
Cut off your Hand!Arguably the most bizarre command of Christ is found in Matthew 5:29-30, where he tells us to pluck out our eyes or cut off our hands if they cause us to sin. "It is better to enter heaven blind and lame," he says, "than to have a healthy body and be cast into hell.
An Open Letter to Pope Benedict
Dear Ratzy,I have a good solution to the clergy abuse scandal rocking your church.Give them professional level sexual satisfaction for free.
A Comparison of ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY
Hi,(Salaam to You: Peace be Upon you) (What a great greeting Muslims possess that whenever they meet one another, they greet peace and comfort to others.)I am Syed Waqas from Pakistan.
In The Beginning Christ!
As I was doing my studies, the Lord put something on my heart that really took me by surprise. He dropped a little bit of revelation knowledge into my mind, and it took me on a great ride.
A God I Can Live With
God, the Puzzle MakerWhile some rise before the sun to do their daily prayers, I head off to Starbuck's and the New York Times crossword puzzle, seven days a week. So, in the best tradition of seeing God in our own image, my God is the Great Puzzle Maker, and my work lies in trying to solve some piece of the Grand Puzzle, to contribute to the unraveling of the whole.
The 1000 Year Millennium Kingdom
After the last bowl judgment is thrown by God the Father to the earth, the battle of Armageddon ensues and Jesus then comes back to put an end to all of it. The Antichrist and False Prophet are the first ones to be thrown into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
Christians in Peril.
Romans 7:8-7:25. The Christian today has become a people without a vision.
Speaking of Speaking in Tongues
A young bible college student once wrote and told me how the college she attends has been teaching that "speaking in tongues" is the sole evidence that one is filled with the Spirit and that no one WAS filled with the Spirit UNLESS they've spoken in tongues. Apparently, that didn't sit well with her and she wanted my opinion.
Sins and the REAL Demons
We all must know that the Catholic Church has used fear of demons and so-called sin to make a great deal of their power. I hope to illustrate the inner workings of the separation of church and state that is not a reality and that the state uses the same techniques.
Moslem America Conclusion
Isaiah 55:7-55:9Moslem America conclusion Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Jesus Christ, King of the Jews
In 132 CE, Simon Bar Kosiba organized and led a large guerilla army in revolt against Roman occupation. He succeeded in actually throwing the Romans out of Jerusalem and Israel and establishing, although for only a brief period, an independent Jewish state.
Accountability and Such Nonsense
From the late 1970's through the 1980's, my wife and I were members of an authoritarian Bible cult. Not only were we members, but we were full time, unpaid leaders.
The Power Source
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized ?in the name of Jesus Christ.? And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Stilling of the Storm
Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25.
Straight Talk about Homosexuality
In the mid 90's, a Presbyterian minister named Steve Brown conducted an interview with the lesbian Pastor from the largest Gay Church in America. Steve had already laid the ground rules for their dialogue regarding the expected, conservative, fundamentalist stance on homosexuality.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !