Sorry I took so long to reply - have just been busy the past day or two.
Sometimes I find its just easier for me to say to myself "I don't know" when I have questions about things....
In my journet I found a lot of things confusing, espcially things I read in books or heard other people say - I've found that for me, what works best is just taking from others what works for me.
You said "How am I not myself?"....wooahh, thats a deep one...you got my head spinning there Laurel....maybe "myself" is not who we are? Sounds like some of the things I used to read in philosophical books......I guess I think that we are all one with all of reality but there's a part of all of us that screws things up at times...some call it the ego and other names.....I'd love to know where it came from in the first place.
Me personally, I got stuck for a while in talking and thinking about things mechanically, but for some people I think that's an unavoidable stage to go through...a bit like learning a martial art or how to swim I guess. For me its a neverending process of increasing the amount of time that we are aware and spending less of our time in surivival mode.....but life seems to get in the way and for me sometimes we just have to do what we have to do to survive.
I do think a lot about the true nature of reality and I have looked into many things very deeply, but speak about it less and less every day that goes by....its almost as if having good awareness is something that you just come to when the time is right and you can't force it, as by trying to force it you create more problems....just the way I see it, am sure others see it differently. A lot of what I have learned comes from martial art, from some things I read along the way and a lot more from other people. especially Leah. In the end though, I do what works for me as I've found that taking ALL of someone else's views/philosophies/beliefs as being true and trying to make them work for you is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole :)
I sometimes focus on my breathing, which brings me to a place of silence......for me though I found that to learn to remain calm isn't something you could learn in a vaccuum because as soon as you go out into the world to deal again with real life, suddenly it doesnt work so well!...I think although any type of simple practice that you feel helps YOU is going to be beneficial. For me though, learning to take that practice into real life situations and make it work for real there is when you really know you're makin progress....
I can realte to what you say about feeling in the middle of shifting between attachment and a full out attempt at unconditional love.....which you said is your true self and is very similar to how I see things.....I wish I was at that place.....but alas I am not quite there yet as am stuck in survival mode some of the time which for me seems almost unavoidable in my current situation.
Nah, you ain't totally lost it....you sound like you're in exactly the place you're supposed to be....its ok Laurel,...my mind's going too me thinkss LOL....hmm...maybe that could be a good thing in some ways? Well, I kinda like my mind...at least for now....as for saving the planet...thats something I just dont know the answer to...
Thanks for the long post n sorry I took so long to reply
Peace n lots a love to ya.
Religion has for centuries been used to do great Evil ! Can be some Good for many,however history and current events do prove and show can,has and is used for Evil deeds-genocide,murder,wars,greed,power over the masses and weak DOES create great Division of people and nations. So, you can not say that Religion is only Good! The unity created by Religion is only within those that believe or worship the same.
Division,persecution of others that do not worship or believe the same, continues around the world still..
Tolerance and Respect of All -no matter beliefs,choice in Religion or chosen faith IS Good! That should be what We all do, in my humble opinion....that is Good..
i agree with leah and richard sprituality is good religion is a man made concept even the bible (again i must use it in referance) says
"acts 17:24 - 25 the god who made the world and everything in it is the lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. and he is not served with human hands..."
1 corinthians 3:16 "dont you know that you yourselves are gods temples and that gods spirit lives in you"
this is just two incidents to which "god" does not indeed need a church! to feed the hungry and cloth the needy and to be a peacefull person to follow the heart and to do no harm especialy to thoes who are already suffering that should be the foundation of a religion not who you follow or by what teaching you go by but the teachings of your heart for if you are truely a believer in "god" you would hold all life holy all men to be treated with honor and respect and love!
To me, religion is just a word and everyone will have different opinions on what it means to them.
I don't mind if someone states that "religion is good" as a statement of absolute fact.
At the end of the day, someone else stating things as absolute facts has no effect whatsoever on my own views of what religion means.
To me its just a word. Far more important to me is being able to communicate with people constructively, being truly democractic in listening to others views and engage in peaceful dialogue.
We can all get annoyed or upset with other people's comments and as long as people don't have a pattern of making personal attacks on others then its understandable. But when there's a consistent pattern of attacking people, verbally, in words, or in any other way, then something has to be done about that.
To me what makes humanity strong are the ways in which we are united and not divided.
Maybe Religion is for those who are lost.
Lost to fear, guilt, greed, jealousy, negative emotion, and they need redemption,
What is bizzarre is that all religions have God as their ultimate
teacher, Father figure, yet they've fought in Gods name because they feel that
their God is the only God, yet they all fight for the same thing, it's so odd.
We are all one in this world and
the only force needed is LOVE...
Our bodies are the temple in which we house our soul
while on this earthly journey. Our souls are part of the greater energy
and we need to help raise that vibration through LOVE.
It begins with self love, which can be the hardest love of all
while in transit in this human state.
While being in self love does not mean self obsession...
Living ones truth with integrity and with compassion for all others.
Teaching children by example and not through empty words and actions.
Walking our talk and recognising that as humans we do make mistakes,
and from those we learn, claiming ownership and growing to become more in tune with our higher self.
Only then can we begin to know what it is to be one with Gods Universal Energy.
chrissie so very well put and I couldn't agree more.Though I don't use the word "God" but do use terms "Universal Energy," and "higher self" ..all the rest you wrote I am in agreement in how I view it all...
Thanks for sharing.
hugs & Love