For twenty years I’ve been a member of a Faith that I deeply love. For twenty years I’ve had to fight with myself to live up to the precepts and principles of that Faith…
Why would a person who feels their Faith is powerful enough to help them with the bad side of life have to struggle so hard? Could it be that the 42 years I’d lived before I found my Faith have such a backlog of ingrained habits that it will take a supreme effort to live up to my Faith?
I’ve thought, for many years, that I needed to make a supreme effort and sometimes felt I was making that effort. I’m still needing a Supreme Effort…
At least I’m a better man than when I began this Faithful Journey. Still, my conscience doesn’t stop stalking me…
Some may say I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Some may say that feeling bad about trying to be good is insane. Some may think I should just stop trying to live up to a Code that interferes with living in this world.
That last idea hits at the core of why I keep battling with myself—is this world the end of existence for human beings? My mind says, if it is the end, I’ve got no business worrying about my behavior—in the long run it doesn’t matter at all.
If it isn’t the end of my existence and if there is another world after this, then I need to make a Supreme Effort to get this life Right so I can Soar in the next life!
I don’t believe there are a heaven and hell after this life—places of infinite joy and infinite punishment—those states exist right here on this earth. To me, the next life is a continuation of this one, both being an infinite Journey back to our Creator…
And, as far as reincarnation goes, seems to me the ultimate excuse to do whatever the hell I want since I can make it up “next time”…
So, as I continue working to live up to my principles, I’ll leave you with some quotes to think about. My Faith says we all have the responsibility to investigate Truth for ourselves—see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears…
The first three quotes are not from the free Ocean software I usually use; I found them on the ‘Net.
Spiritual Quotes :
“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
— Helen Keller (both blind and deaf from infancy)
“The primary question about life after death is not whether it is a fact, but even if it is, what problems that really solves.”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein (Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic)
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
— Mark Twain (American Writer/Humorist)
“As to the soul of man after death, it remains in the degree of purity to which it has evolved during life in the physical body, and after it is freed from the body it remains plunged in the ocean of God’s Mercy.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 66
“What death is more wretched than to flee from the Source of everlasting life?”
— Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 38
“You are now like a withered leaf;
the messengers of death have come near you.
You stand at the threshold of your departure.
Have you made provision for your journey?”
— Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 (translator, J. Richards)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
— King James Bible, John 5:24
“In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”
— King James Bible, Proverbs 12:28
“But whereso any doeth all his deeds
Renouncing self for Me, full of Me, fixed
To serve only the Highest, night and day
Musing on Me- him will I swiftly lift
Forth from life’s ocean of distress and death,
Whose soul clings fast to Me.”
— Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold, translator)
“Giver of vital breath, of power and vigour, he whose commandments all the Gods acknowledge -.
The Lord of death, whose shade is life immortal. What God shall we adore with our oblation?”
— Vedas, Rig Veda – Book 10, 2
“One said, ‘The world would be a pleasant place
If death never set foot within it’.
Another answered, ‘If there were no death,
The complicated world would be worth not a jot.
It would be a crop raised in a desert,
Left neglected and never threshed out.
Thou fanciest that to be death, which is life,
Thou sowest thy seed in salt ground.
Carnal reason deceives us; do thou contradict it,
For that fool takes what is really death to be life.
O God, show us all things in this house of deception,
Show them all as they really are’!”
— Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield translator), The Masnavi, Vol 5
“Then contemplate (O man!) the memorials of Allah’s Mercy! — how He gives life to the earth after its death: verily the Same will give life to the men who are dead: for He has power over all things.”
— The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali, translator), Surah 30 verse 50
“‘Life and Death are indeed changes of great moment’, answered Confucius, ‘but they cannot affect his mind. Heaven and earth may collapse, but his mind will remain. Being indeed without flaw, it will not share the fate of all things. It can control the transformation of things, while preserving its source intact’.”
— Tao, Chuangtse (Lin Yutang, translator)