One Common Faith ~ The Story – Part Three

religious_battle

The Story Continues…
{ Part One }
{ Part Two }


The battle begins; more accurately, the battles that make up my war with religion.

I’d accepted the Faith I was “born into” without question up to the point my questioning faculty shifted from the everyday level to the meta-level. I certainly had enough of the usual questions a seeking soul asks as it begins the process of working through the body—the “why is the sky blue” variety. At around seven years old, I began to question the Faith I’d been expected to embrace, silently of course…

Our early ancestors also accepted the various forms of Faith they’d acquired during their struggles with the challenging environment of our mother planet. They apparently didn’t just fashion these early forms of Faith from sheer imagination but were guided by beings more-than-human. From the best available evidence, there were very special personages from the earliest times; called Avatars, Prophets, Messengers, or Manifestations of God—Souls with Supreme fidelity to God’s Will, human-appearing yet endowed with Powers most usually never suspected.

My personal war with religion began not because I disbelieved in God but because of the polar opposition of what I understood of God’s Way and the ways my parents and fellow members of our church expressed their Faith. I must add that my mother was and still is my best example of a human living their Faith. Yet, the fact that she deferred to my father (far too much in my opinion and horribly confusing to my young mind) and that my father, very prone to vent his frustration with those not agreeing with his entrenched attitudes (always at home, not in the church), the fact that he was the religious leader of a community of wayward, struggling humans led to my first religious battles—fought, with much blood and gore, within my young personality.

Our ancestors had similar problems. An Avatar would appear in their midst and convey a morsel of spiritual Truth. The leaders of the tribes and cities would take that pure sustenance and clothe it in very human trappings, weaving rituals around it till it became nothing but a husk, lifeless and devoid of any healing power. I’m sure there were individuals who had internal religious wars similar to mine many thousands of years ago. One thing that’s certain is the religious wars our ancestors, distant and recent, have fought with other tribes, cities, and nations within our human family.

I was known for my spirited discussions about religion, challenging anyone available to prove to me even a shred of evidence that religion was the correct way to worship God…

To be continued…

Spiritual Quote :

“The foundation of all the divine religions is one. All are based upon reality. Reality does not admit plurality, yet amongst mankind there have arisen differences concerning the Manifestations of God. Some have been Zoroastrians, some are Buddhists, some Jews, Christians, Muslims and so on. This has become a source of divergence, whereas the teachings of the holy Souls Who founded the divine religions are one in essence and reality. All these have served the world of humanity. All have summoned souls to peace and accord. All have proclaimed the virtues of humanity. All have guided souls to the attainment of perfections, but among the nations certain imitations of ancestral forms of worship have arisen. These imitations are not the foundation and essence of the divine religions. Inasmuch as they differ from the reality and the essential teachings of the Manifestations of God, dissensions have arisen, and prejudice has developed. Religious prejudice thus becomes the cause of warfare and battle.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 344

For an in-depth and rigorous discussion of the principles explored in this story, reference One Common Faith and Changeless Faith.

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The Losers of Every Battle . . .

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This post was written about the Georgian conflict but the message applies to the Gaza conflict as well…
> Use this link to see all our posts about Gaza <

Wars are fought for many reasons but they can’t protect the civilians in the cross-fire. The Georgian conflict is purely political—adult children fighting over land and prestige.

From the International Crisis Group: Human Cost of Georgian Conflict “The number of civilian casualties has yet to be independently established. Moscow claims 2,000 people were killed. US-based Human Rights Watch has said this cannot be independently verified.”

From the Los Angeles Times: Georgian refugees’ plight is grim “The Georgia-Russia conflict is estimated to have displaced as many as 100,000 people, many of whom are yet to receive any aid.”

From the Kansas City Star: Amid the chaos in Georgia, Missouri doctor perseveres “Trish Blair, the founder and president of the nonprofit ACTS International, has been helping the people of Georgia since 1992.
“The refugees will need medical care, she said in an e-mail.
“With a decision that has simultaneously horrified her friends and made them proud, the former trauma surgeon chose to stay.”

If you believe in a Life after this one on Earth, you must wonder how the people killed in war are received by those who passed on in comfortable, serene surroundings.

Some believe that death is birth into the Next Life—graduation from this school that tests and develops our virtues.

To those left behind, children with no mother, mothers with no children, the anguish is not easily abated by thoughts of the reward their dead have received—their escape from thismortal coil . . .

“Ye observe how the world is divided against itself, how many a land is red with blood and its very dust is caked with human gore. The fires of conflict have blazed so high that never in early times, not in the Middle Ages, not in recent centuries hath there ever been such a hideous war, a war that is even as millstones, taking for grain the skulls of men. Nay, even worse, for flourishing countries have been reduced to rubble, cities have been levelled with the ground, and many a once prosperous village hath been turned into ruin. Fathers have lost their sons, and sons their fathers. Mothers have wept away their hearts over dead children. Children have been orphaned, women left to wander, vagrants without a home. From every aspect, humankind hath sunken low. Loud are the piercing cries of fatherless children; loud the mothers’ anguished voices, reaching to the skies.
“And the breeding-ground of all these tragedies is prejudice: prejudice of race and nation, of religion, of political opinion; and the root cause of prejudice is blind imitation of the past — imitation in religion, in racial attitudes, in national bias, in politics. So long as this aping of the past persisteth, just so long will the foundations of the social order be blown to the four winds, just so long will humanity be continually exposed to direst peril.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 247

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The Battle’s Over !


In a previous post, I pointed to the growing epidemic nature of Hepatitis C.

I’ve posted here many times concerning my responses to the side effects of what I’ve called the “abusive” drugs I took for the treatment… Yes, “took”.

Today is the first day, after eleven months, that I will not take them! I must have tests at six months and a year to see if the virus is really gone but my immediate battle is over !!

Now, to lick my wounds by working to rid my body of the traces of the drugs (2 – 6 months)…

I want to add a remark I left on the Group, alt.support.hepatitis.c, and the response from one of the most compassionate and knowledgable members of that Group:

~~~

Hey, Fellow Dragon-Slayers, On Wednesday the 30th of April I cease the intake (48 weeks–type 1a) of the “abusive” drugs. I’m well aware I have three most important dates after that–results of the blood draw on that day and the 6 month and one year checks. Still, I’ve been doing some blogging about my experience (including the growing epidemic nature of Hep C) and I want to celebrate the 30th in the blog. You can definitely help. Tell the world how you felt when you stopped taking the drugs. God knows what my percentage is for complete SVR or a “cure”; still, I’m overjoyed about cessation of the drugs!!! Will you help me make my blog shimmer and glow that day?!? ~ Alex


~~~


Well, I dunno about “shimmer and glow”, but here’s what I remember…The last shot of Peg, and a week later, the last handful of Ribavirin, left me feeling elated, relieved – and anxious as heck. I had even mentioned here that – after the full 48 weeks and total compliance to the regimen – I was leery of
stopping the meds. I had been clear from the first VL test (at 12 weeks) through to the end, but being a g1b with a lot of strikes against success, even though I was still anemic as hell throughout therapy, it felt “safer” to just keep taking the drugs, to keep on keeping the virus at bay.

Of course, I stopped on schedule. It would have crazy to keep going 😉 And I was very lucky in the SVR Sweepstakes…and still am.

Cheers

/greyhackles


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