Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Posts Tagged ‘church

No Closer

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Jacob's LadderA priest is no closer to God than a child with little knowledge of the world about him. A person who goes to church every day of every week is no closer to heaven than a person who seeks solace in the dwelling of their own heart. A person who has committed prayers to memory is no closer to having their prayers fulfilled than one who speaks candidly and without fanfare.

Kind words do not a person make. Great deeds and connections in high places do not a person make. We are on equal footing. No man or woman, whatever creed or stature, comes before the next. The line to the gates of heaven are made no closer by the volume of our prayers, or by our perceived connection to Creation. We are as One regardless of our understanding of it and any desire to exclude others from it. For in chastising others, or in celebrating our perceived standing, we have done nothing but separated ourselves. We have become divided amongst ourselves and within ourselves.

Bring peace to the world by seeing the peace within. Bring joy to the world by seeing the joy within. Bring understanding to the world by understanding yourself. Bring love to the world by loving yourself. One drop at a time, one soul at a time, we are united and we are One.

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Meditation Inside Out

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Spiritual understanding and peace are not just found in meditation. They are not just found in churches, mosques and other places of worship. Life itself is a spiritual experience.

Open your eyes from your meditative sleep and see all that is in front of you. There is no duality of body and spirit for all are the same. One need not escape the physical life in order to see and experience a spiritual life. Like two hands clasped together, they are the same, for hand in hand they go.

When we attempt to compartmentalize our spirituality, we defeat the purpose. We separate ourselves and place ourselves into a seemingly protective bubble. Instead of gaining understanding, all we have done is insulate ourselves from the parts that we have yet to accept. When we can learn to have the same peace outside of the bubble as inside of the bubble, then we have begun to understand ourselves.

Only when we bring the inside to the outside, can we fully embrace existence. God is not in a jar. Peace is not in a jar. Unconditional love is not in a jar. When we can share these with others without hiding from ourselves and without forcing another to be someone else, then we have found peace.

Walls that Confine

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Temple of Heaven, Peking, China
The Temple of Heaven (Alter of Heaven), Beijing, China

When you go to a church, temple, synagogue or mosque, what is it you expect to find? Do you expect to have a closer relationship with the Creator? Do you seek to find others of like mind? Does it bring you greater peace of mind? What can these places give you that you cannot find in your own home? What can these places give you that you cannot find in nature? What can these places give you that you cannot find among those who wander the street?

It is nice to find a place of solitude. It is nice to find a place of silence. It is nice to find a place of peace. But is it not possible to find all these things within your own heart? Is it not possible to find the answers to all you seek within your own heart? Is it not possible to find God within your own heart? Peace does not come from bricks stacked to man’s delight. Peace does not come from the careful arrangement of walls and furniture. Peace does not come massive bells, nor golden minarets. Peace is within. God is within. God is all around you. Seek not guidance from within the walls that man has created to confine himself, but seek it from your own heart. Listen, He is there.

From Many There Will Be One

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From one there became three. From three there became many. From the many came confusion.

A Dutch Bishop from the Roman Catholic Church had proposed recently that people of all faiths refer to God as Allah so that it may foster an understanding that regardless of the name we choose, God is still God. He had said that God did not mind what he was called, and that it was our problem. Despite his gesture, people from his congregation and others condemned him. The opposition thought that today we will call God Allah, and tomorrow we will start calling churches mosques and we will have to begin praying five times a day.

Why is it people must divide? How different are Catholics/Christians, Muslims and Jews? Are they so different we would create three gods from One? Each has their own book. Each has their own places of worship. Each believes in one god. Each claims to preach love and unity. Yet for some reason people from within each religion seek to divide. Some say that they would like to keep their identity that seeing themselves as the same blurs the line between the West and the rest of the world. Who says there must be a line? Who says one is superior over the other. Each points to a truth, but none are perfect. Each claims to be the right way, but yet we still fight wars. If God were on anyone’s side, then why would there be others? Surely God could snap his fingers and we would see the truth, or perhaps God has given us a choice to seek division, or to seek him out.

Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock

Life after death would be a lonely place if you were the only one who was right. Who is to say your way is the way? Scholars? Historians? Priests? Imams? Sufis? Rabbis? Holy men? Some would like to believe that God guides those who carry a position of prominence and leadership within these religions, but why cannot God also guide others? Cannot God guide the less fortunate, the unknown, and the down-trodden? Cannot man with all of his self-perceive knowledge and wisdom be led into temptation? Cannot man be tempted to see himself better than his brother and sister? Cannot man forsake his God for the riches and power he seeks in this life? Is not man imperfect? And if man is imperfect, then why would one place faith in other men, rather than with God himself.