Luck, Life, and Inspiration

My mind is working at a frenetic pace, bouncing from thought to thought, image to image, idea to idea. It almost feels like my brain is full of thousands of fireflies, butterflies, and hummingbirds racing around in a magical dance whose meaning I could understand and interpret if only I knew the secret language of their nearly silent song.

Despite this chaotic dance, I feel the need to post. Writing for me is a way of making meaning, yet, even as I write I still feel confused. So today I want to share some of the fleeting thoughts and images that have added to the mental disarray.

This week the world offered me many messages. So I will share with you the glimpses of meaning from signs around me:

  • A friend posted an article (which I can’t find at the moment) that questions the possibility of ever finding true happiness–because the definition of happiness (as it exists in modern times) is unachievable. Whenever we get what we think will make us happy, we look toward the next thing that will make us happy. This article has me thinking, perhaps rather than looking for happiness I need to work towards living joyously on a moment by moment basis, no matter what life brings.
  • Teresita over at The Incredible Lightness of Seeing never fails to touch me with her photography and reflections on life. But this week it seems that almost every photo she takes has a message for my soul. Below are some of her images that have spoken to me this week. Click on them to link to the blog posts so that you can read her beautiful words.

This entrance to a garden seems like the entrance to a world I cannot see, but can sense on my horizon. It is the entrance to a world of possibilities waiting for me to discover them. I need to take a few steps forward without fear, and then I will uncover something wonderful. I know it.

I can't quite explain what message this image has for me, except that somehow it gives me a sense of hope and a sense of peace.

This image, partially because I love these colors, had many messages for me. It my made me think about what colors I love, and why. What scenes I want to have in my life, and why. What makes me feel at home, and why. This image also led me to another image by a different blogger who I had never visited before, but whose image also fed this mix of inspiration swirling around in my head. That image follows, with a link to her blog as well.

This image spoke to me for a number of reasons. I love the colors, which to me are the colors of fall. But more than that, it led me to think about the colors of my life. What colors do I surround myself with, and why? What colors do I want to fill my life with, and why? What world do I want to see in a place that I call home, and why? These thoughts float around in the swirl in my brain, helping me understand what I am looking for. Someday, I will understand. This image also led me to the next image from Sahlah, a blog I had never visited before.

To me this image shows the swirl of possibility and beauty that is in my head as well as in my life.

  •  I am so grateful for the above images, as they helped me open my eyes differently in a week that has been full of highs and lows, stresses and joys, and a whole lot of fear of the unknown. The final thing I wish to share with you today are some pictures I took the other day, as I tried to be open to the present moment in a new way. Enjoy.

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Today’s Quote: 

The Ego of Man

P religion world

Image via Wikipedia

With all the Rapture-mania yesterday, it really made me think about the role of religion in the world and I had a sort of epiphany:

Religion is created by Man.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “yea” or “nay” to the existence of God or Goddess or even multiple celestial beings. But the rules and regulations governing any religion are all created by Man.

Please note that I am intentionally using masculine pronouns here. I believe that women have played a role in the maintenance of religious belief over the years. I am also aware of the more feminine face of past religions. But I think that the origins of modern religious behavior come from man because women’s voices simply were not allowed or heard. Most women could not read. Most women could not write.  So, when the guides for any of the current major religions were “set in stone” the most likely people to do it were male.

Even if we accept that the guiding books were dictated to us through God, ultimately man wrote the so-called “rules” down. And man is not infallible, he can make mistakes and adjustments to anything based on his own understanding and interpretations.

In current society, people choose to interpret those teachings in different ways–in ways that support or explain their own individual belief systems as well as make them feel superior to anyone who believes differently. Thus leading to the idea that only “Good Christians” would achieve Rapture. But what, I ask, is a Good Christian? Peas and Cougars posted a comic  Flowchart yesterday that went viral. If you browse through the comments you will find some hilarious reflections, as well as some angered ones that reveal the hypocrisy of it all. The chart mostly referred to the restrictions from the Old Testament, which led to several people reaming P&C for not understanding or misinterpreting or whatever. That in itself supports my theory of religion being created by man. Think about it (but please correct me if I am misrepresenting something):

  • Jesus was a Jew. So, unless he set out to rebel against his own religion (which I don’t think he did) he would have been following the rules and regulations of the Old Testament.
  • Christianity still has, as some of its basic tenets, the Ten Commandments.
  • So, when the New Testament was created, the creators picked and chose which elements of the Old Testament to embrace and which to discard. And I believe that was written down well after Jesus’ lifetime.
  • In many interpretations of the Bible, it includes the possibility that we have “Free Will” which suggests that God would expect people to make choices, and perhaps make mistakes.  And, as I’ve written about here, I refuse to believe that a true all-powerful being would sweat the small stuff.

Now, that’s only reflecting on the Judeo/Christian aspect of religion. But, you can go further back (or perhaps simultaneous to) and look at the Pantheistic religions. Those gods created their own rules for mankind to live by, and the rules changed at the whims of the gods. Many of those rules, whether from many gods or just one, are simply ways to function and control how we interact with one another. In other words, they make sense if we want to live in some sort of peace. But, obviously, they don’t work.

Also, if we accept that these words were handed down by a creator of some sort, than we must also accept that that being has the final say in everything. In other words he/she has the power to change his/her mind. So, we, as humans have no power to dictate when or if anything is going to happen. We cannot predict the end of the world, because God can make it happen when he/she feels like it. It is mere ego for anyone to assume that he/she can predict the decisions made by a more powerful being.

Of course, given our free will, we can probably speed the end of the world by simply making poor decisions ourselves. God may look on and say “Well, you have to make your own mistakes” just as any good parent would do.

In addition, the Bible was compiled at a time when the calendar was different. It was not the same calendar we use today, so how can we predict anything accurately?

So, ultimately, the rules and regulations of religion have been created by man. All we can do is live our lives to the best of our ability, embracing the fact that we are all connected, whether through spirit, energy or simply by the fact that we share this earth. The rest is silliness and ego.

See you in 2012!

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