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ESSAYS ON RELIGION

by
John WorldPeace
Copyright 1998 by John WorldPeace
Houston, Texas USA

All rights reserved.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Essay 1 Regarding the World's Sacred Writings
  • Essay 2 The Infinite God and The Personal God
  • Essay 3 The Institutional Religious Transformation of Spiritual Truth
  • Essay 4 The Jewish Historical Book of Joshua: a common religious dilemma
  • Essay 5 Social and Spiritual Peace
  • Essay 6 Prophecy and the Christian Bible
  • Essay 7 The World Savior: an interfaith expectation
  • Essay 8 Institutional Religion and Ex-Communication
  • Essay 9 Atheism
  • Essay 10 The Ten Commandments in the Third Millennium


ESSAY 1 - Regarding the World's Sacred Writings

Several years ago I determined that there had been enough murder and pain
and suffering in the world relating to the inability of the dominant religions
of the world to live in peace with each other over the past millennia;
Christian v. Jews, Christian v. Muslims, Muslims v. Jews, Hindus v.
Muslims, Muslims v. Buddhist and so on.

I determined that if all the sacred texts of the major religions could be
rewritten in contemporary language with a WorldPeace orientation then
some religionist would take a moment to read the sacred words of other
religionist and find the core similarities therein. Maybe understanding
could lead to tolerance and maybe access to these words from someone
like myself who is neither a religionist nor a sacred text scholar might help
negate some of the negative language that religionist direct at each other.

I also determined, in essence, to rewrite only the alleged sayings of the
original founders of the major contemporary religions and not to rewrite
the endless commentary on what they said. For instance, I only looked at
what Jesus allegedly said and not what Paul said that Jesus said or any
number of other Christian writers said that Jesus said. In other words, I
went back to the source.

I am not concerned that these words have been edited and mistranslated
intentionally and accidentally over the millennia. All I addressed was what
contemporary religionist believe: and what they generally believe is what is
written in the sacred books they cherish. For Christians, what is written in
the New Testament of their bible is what Jesus said. It is from these words
that they find daily guidance. So it does not matter whether Jesus said it or
not. It only matters that the majority of Christians believe that what is
written in the contemporary Christian bible is what Jesus said.



ESSAY 2 - The Infinite God and The Personal God

In religion, there are two concepts of God. One is a Personal God who is
represented by Yahweh in Judaism, Jehovah in Christianity, Allah in Islam,
and Vishnu and Shiva in Hinduism. In Buddhism and Taoism there is no
emphasis on a Personal God. A Personal God is one who is like a super
being, an anthropomorphic entity, that rules heaven and earth and has a
purpose, intent, emotions and so on just like human beings.

The Infinite God is indescribable, indefinable and inconceivable. In
Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, the personal God is given these
all-knowing and omnipotent qualities but without the consideration that
any description of God, is a limitation on God. The Infinite God is beyond
description and without limitations.

The Infinite God is the potential of all things and has no beginning and has
no end. The Infinite God is the Infinite Potential that forever manifests
those potentials and forever disintegrates those manifestations. The only
two constants of the Infinite God are Change and Diversity.

The Infinite God is like the ocean. The ocean is a vast body of liquid that
manifests shells, fish, mammals, plants and so on. It really has no
preference of one manifestation over another. It is all things. It is at one
with all things. All things within the Ocean are one with the Ocean.

When atheist reject the notion of God, they are really rejecting the concept
of a Personal God. To reject the Infinite God, the Infinite Oneness, is like
a fish denying the existence of the Ocean.

The Infinite God is called "The Way" in Taoism, "Brahma" in Hinduism
and "Dhammakaya" in Buddhism. The Personal God of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam is referred to as also being the Infinite God and yet
the emphasis is on the Personal aspects of God.

When one embraces the Infinite God, one understands that there is no
difference between the Personal Gods, and all races, religions, nations,
and both sexes are distinct but at one with the Infinite God. All is One. All
are One.

There is no harm in embracing a Personal God as long as that Personal
God does not encourage intolerance of others and consequently become
the harbinger of prejudice, hatred and injustice within the world society. A
Personal God that advocates elitism among its worshipers, who excludes
from its realm rather than embraces, even one human being on earth, is in
the final analysis a harbinger of pain and suffering within the human society
and an antagonist to the manifestation of WorldPeace.



ESSAY 3 - The Institutional Religious Transformation of Spiritual Truth


If we look at all the major religions of the world, we can see a common
evolution. First, comes a Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha, etc. who
finds that the religion which he has come to know is flawed. It seems to be
too structured and more concerned with rites and rituals and tradition than
with spirituality. After a time, this reality comes to bother these great souls
and they find that they can no longer function within the religious
boundaries that permeate their lives and so they begin to search for new
meaning and answers to the age old questions of God, justice, life and so
on. In a sense, you could say they become obsessed with these spiritual
questions.

The second stage occurs when the great soul begins to speak out against
the old religious order and consequently incurs the wrath of the priestly
cast which is steeped in the old traditions. The liberal attitude of these
great souls clashes, sometimes violently, with the old conservative religious
mindsets.

Interestingly, it seems that it takes about 40 years of intense cultivating of
these new ideas before they take root. Muhammad, Moses and Buddha all
taught for about forty years after they first began to teach their new
spiritual perspective. In the case of Jesus, he only taught for about three
years, but then along came Paul and through several decades of efforts the
ideas of Jesus were firmly rooted.

The third stage is one of consolidation. The words of the great soul are
written down or memorized and groups begin to form all over the area
where the new spirituality was taught and competing groups begin to argue
over what was and was not said and what was and was not meant by the
great soul. Consequently, over the next two hundred years or so, an
official text begins to emerge. The various factions begin to come together
to hammer out the official doctrine and dogma.

The fourth stage begins when the official doctrine has been adopted. At
this stage all the heretics have to be purged, all the unofficial writings that
conflict with the official writings have to be destroyed or severely
criticized. This may take another 100 years but what we find is that once
the official doctrine and dogma is established, it is relatively easy to single
out the heretical and so this stage moves rapidly. It must be remembered
that at this point there has been hundreds of years of discussion and
everyone pretty much has a common mindset.

Another dynamic of this process is that a bureaucracy begins to form early
on. When people come together for any reason, some become leaders and
rules begin to emerge to tell everyone how to act within the group. The
longer the group exists, the more rules that manifest. It is a common
phenomenon. The original rule is established and then a myriad exceptions
are recorded as the rule has to face the reality of social interaction. For
example, killing is declared wrong but then distinctions of accidental
killing and premeditated killing have to be defined. So by the time that the
official doctrine is established, there also emerges a pyramidal bureaucracy
complete with an official rule book or book of laws.

The fifth stage consists of selling the new religion and to do this there is a
need to distinguish this new religion from the old. And to get people to
join and to bring in their money and support the organization, there is a
need to criticize the other beliefs in one way or the other. You can call the
non-believers infidels or just ignore them but you have to establish that you
have the "real religion"; the "best religion". A lot of times fear is used to
bring in members. Fear of what? Fear of death and fear of God.

In this stage the religion becomes exclusive and elitist. If it did not, the
new religion would just disintegrate into the general population. The
organization must maintain its integrity, it must continue its existence.
Now this is where we start to see the beginning of the end of the new
religion.

It is at this point that the primary objective moves from spreading the new
spiritual message to the preservation of the bureaucracy. At this point
decisions on policy have to do more with increasing membership than with
telling the new truth. For example, if advocating abortion brings in fewer
members than creating the sin of abortion, the organization creates the sin
of abortion. It is critical here to understand that the official abortion
position is based on a vote of the bureaucracy of men, and sometimes
women. And that vote is focused on increased membership, and at the
least maintenance of the existing membership, and not on what the great
soul may or may not have advocated.

Since the great soul made no specific announcement on these issues, the
official position becomes a matter of preservation of the bureaucracy and
not a matter of remaining in harmony with the great soul whose intent
was manifesting peace on earth.

When we look at the election of the Pope, we have to understand that he is
elected based on the understanding that he will preserve and maintain the
institution of the Catholic Church. No crusader for justice and spirituality
is going to be elected Pope. Back to the abortion issue and its sister issue,
birth control; if a Pope advocates abortion and birth control the number of
new members brought up in the Catholic faith decreases. It is just a matter
of economics. Such a position by the Pope would end millions of lives
through abortion and stop the conception of untold millions more. So no
consideration is given to what Jesus might have advocated. Only
secondary consideration is given to the fact that overpopulation is not a
good thing. The only real consideration is the preservation of the
institution.

The last stage is the beginning of decay. This is where the conservative
rigidity wins out over liberal flexibility. This is where a new sect or
denomination splinters off the mother institution. And in extreme cases,
this is where the next great soul enters.

So in the final analysis, we find that it is impossible for a religious
institution to maintain itself in the tradition of its founding great soul.
When the great soul was alive, all questions could be answered. Now that
he is dead, an institution evolves which professes to stand in place of the
founding great soul. But it never works. It never works because these
great souls are generally non-materialistic and anti-bureaucratic. They have
a completely different mindset than those who run religious institutions.

So in the end, those wonderful peaceful teachings of the great soul
degenerate into rites and rituals which are little more than the husk of
spirituality. And these bureaucratic teaching tend to do more to imprison
humanity in concepts such as sin and the fear of God than to manifest
peace and harmony by teaching the oneness of humanity and love which is
the only real hope of the human race.


ESSAY 4 - The Jewish Historical Book of Joshua: a common religious dilemma

One of the problems with Sacred Texts from many of the world religions
are sections which deal with gross brutality and war in the name of God.
The Jewish historical book of Joshua is an example.

The problem here is that within the Sacred Texts of Judaism is this book of
Joshua which is in essence a book about genocide. It is a book about
genocide committed in the name of their God by the Israelites when they
crossed the river Jordan after the death of Moses to take possession of the
land of Canaan which their God had promised to them when they left
Egypt.

In this book, God tells Joshua to take possession of Canaan and to kill
everyone there. No one was to be spared. Men, women and children who
lived in Canaan were to be utterly slaughtered; no exceptions. This is an
extremely brutal and remorseless command from their God.

The problem with these stories, which are an intransigent part of many of
the sacred scripts of the world's religions, is that they seem to justify
contemporary brutality. These stories are seldom denied, explained or
apologized for. They are embraced as part of a religious heritage.

I have used the book of Joshua because it presents some very
contemporary issues regarding present day Israel.

The first question has to do with a comparison of the acts of genocide of
Joshua with the acts of genocide of Adolph Hitler against the Jews in
Europe during World War II. We have a contemporary situation where
the Jews spend a great deal of effort reminding the world of the atrocities
committed against them by Hitler and yet there has been absolutely no
effort to account for the genocide committed by Joshua. There has been
no effort to distinguish how the acts of Joshua can be justified.

Genocide needs to be given immediate attention because it is presently
going on in Africa and just stopped in Bosnia. It is a real and horrific
problem. But what about a people who vehemently denounce genocide
committed against them and yet refuse to even remotely deal with their
own history of genocide.

This is a serious and common problem with religions. There many times
seems to be a double standard: " What we do, we do in the name of our
God, and what you do, you do not do in the name of God."

The second problem is a question of whether the contemporary Israelis are
intent upon repossessing the land originally promised them by their God?
Since there has been no apology regarding the genocide of Joshua, does
this mean that Israel will again attempt to drive everyone out of the old
land of Canaan? This is a legitimate question and it is currently and directly
relevant to the hope for peace in the Middle East. Is there an unspoken
determination to ethnically cleanse Canaan? If the stories coming out of
Jerusalem are correct regarding removing Arabs from Jewish
neighborhoods, these questions must be addressed in the name of peace.

The point of all this is, "can there be hope for WorldPeace unless religious
texts are edited so as to eliminate racism and genocide?" Unless there is a
formal statement that this mindset is presently rejected, will it not be passed
down to future generations as acceptable future behavior?

As I said, this problem encompasses all religions. Has any Pope apologized
for the cultural genocide that was committed to the Inca, Aztecs and
Mayans in the name of the Christian God? Consider that the Jewish book
of Joshua is incorporated into the Christian Bible. Or has there been an
apology for verses in the Koran which sanction the ongoing bloodshed in
the name of the Islamic God?

These are real issues that, in the name of God, take lives every day. Unless
the religious causes of racism and genocide are removed, WorldPeace will
never manifest.


EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA


After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to
Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying, "My servant Moses is dead.
Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that
I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot
will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the
wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all
the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory.
No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life.
Chapter 1: 1-5

Joshua then said to the Israelites, "Draw near and hear the word of the
Lord your God." Joshua said, "By this you shall know that among you is
the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the
Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and
Jebusites.
3: 9-10

On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city
(of Jericho) in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that
they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when
the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For
the Lord has given you the city. The city and all that is in it shall be
devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who
are with her in her house shall live because she hid the messengers we sent.
6: 15-17

So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the
people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the
wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and
captured it. Then they devoted the destruction by the edge of the sword all
in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and
donkeys.
6: 20-21

Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed; take all the
fighting men with you, and go up now to Ai. See, I have handed over to
you the king of Ai with his people, his city, and his land. You shall do to
Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king.
8: 1-2

When Israel had finished slaughtering all the inhabitants of Ai in the open
wilderness where they pursued them, and when all of them to the very last
had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai, and attacked
it with the edge of the sword. The total of those who fell that day, both
men and women, was twelve thousand - all the people of Ai. For Joshua
did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the sword, until he
had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and they took his
body down from the tree, threw it down at the entrance of the gate of the
city, and raised over it a great heap of stones.
8: 24-29

Then the five kings of the Amorites - the king of Jerusalem, the king of
Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon -
gather their forces, and went up will all their armies and camped against
Gibeon, and made war against it.
10: 5

The Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have handed them over
to you; not one of them shall stand before you." So Joshua came upon
them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gigal. And the Lord
threw them into a panic before Israel, who inflicted a great slaughter on
them.
10:8-11

Meanwhile, these five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at
Makkedah. And it was told to Joshua, "The five kings have been found,
hidden in the cave at Makkedah." Joshua said, "Roll large stones against
the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them.
When Joshua and the Israelites finished inflicting a very great slaughter on
them, until they were wiped out,
Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings out to
me from the cave."
When they brought the kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the
Israelites, and said to the chiefs of the warriors who had gone with him,
"Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." Joshua said to
them, "Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous; for thus
the Lord will do to all the enemies against whom you fight." Afterward
Joshua struck them down and put them to death, and he hung them on five
trees. And they hung on the trees until evening.
10: 16-27

Joshua took Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge
of the sword; he utterly destroyed every person in it; he left no one
remaining. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king
of Jericho.
Then Joshua passed on from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, to Libnah,
and fought against Libnah. The Lord gave it also and its king into the hand
of Israel; and he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in
it; he left no one remaining in it; and he did to its king as he had done to the
king of Jericho.
Next Joshua passed on from Libnah, and all Israel with him, to Lachish,
and laid siege to it, and assaulted it. The Lord gave Lachish into the hand
of Israel, and he took it on the second day, and struck it with the edge of
the sword, and every person in it, as he had done to Libnah.
Then King Horam of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua struck
him and his people, leaving him no survivors.
From Lachish Joshua passed on with all Israel to Eglon; and they laid siege
to it, and assaulted it; and they took it that day, and struck it with the edge
of the sword; and every person in it he utterly destroyed that day, as he had
done to Lachish.
Then Joshua went up with all Israel from Eglon to Hebron; they assaulted
it, and took it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and its king and its
towns and every person in it; he left no one remaining, just as he had done
to Eglon, and utterly destroyed it with every person in it.
Then Joshua, with all Israel, turned back to Debir and assaulted it, and he
took it with its king and all its towns; they struck them with the edge of the
sword, and utterly destroyed every person in it; he left no one remaining;
just as he had done to Hebron, and, as he had done to Libnah and its king,
so he did to Debir and its king.
So Joshua defeated the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the
lowland and the slopes, and all their kings; he left no one remaining, but
utterly destroying all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.
10: 28-43

When King Jabin of Hazor heard of this, he sent to King Jobab of Madon,
to the king of Shimron, to the king of Ashshaph, and to the kings who were
in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in
the lowland, and in Naphothdor on the west, to the Canaanites in the east
and the west, the Amorites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the
Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. They came out, with all their
troops, a great army, in number like the sand on the seashore, with very
many horses and chariots. All these kings joined their forces, and came and
camped together at the water of Merom, to fight with Israel.
And the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at
this time I will hand over all of them, slain, to Israel." So Joshua came
suddenly upon them with all his fighting force, by the waters of Merom,
and fell upon them. And the Lord handed them over to Israel, who
attacked them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephothmaim,
and eastward as far as the valley of Mizpeh. They struck them down, until
they had left no one remaining.
Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and struck its king down
with the sword. Before that time Hazor was the head of all those
kingdoms. And they were put to the sword all who were in it, utterly
destroying them; there was no one left who breathed, and he burned Hazor
with fire. And all the towns of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua
took, and struck them with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them,
as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded.
All the people they struck down with the edge of the sword, until they had
destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed. As the Lord had
commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so
Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded
Moses.
11: 1-16

ESSAY 5 - Social and Spiritual Peace

Social and spiritual peace are two sides of one coin. Both are dependent
upon each other and both manifest each other.

Social peace is, in a nutshell, the social law. It is the law of each society
that delineates acceptable and unacceptable behavior in society as well as
punishment for unacceptable behavior or behavior outside the law. Without
law, chaos would reign in society. And if chaos reigns in society, we
will each become so concerned with survival that we will have little time to
reflect on our spiritual nature.

At the same time, spiritual peace drives social peace. The core of spiritual
peace resides in the recognition that we are one with each other and one
with God and what we do to anyone reverberates throughout all of
humanity. When we consider all human beings our brothers, sisters, fathers,
mothers and children, we write laws that are equitable and just. These
equitable and just laws create peace in society and allow the pursuit of
spiritual reflection.

We will never have social peace without spiritual peace and we will have
a difficult time achieving spiritual peace without social peace.

The common denominator of spiritual peace is that we are one with each
other, equal in our infinite immortality though temporarily residing in
different bodies and living as a member of different social strata.
This oneness is the driving energy behind all social law which is "to treat
others the way we desire to be treated."

We all serve two masters; that of the body and that of the spirit. The
majority of us believe that we have incarnate within our physical temporary
bodies an immortal infinite spiritual energy. We live simultaneously in both
realities. I recognize the oneness of all human beings within the Infinite
God, but I advocate incarceration or some type of restraint for those who
deliberately, intentionally and maliciously prey upon others.

To truly manifest WorldPeace from this point in time we must proceed
both to become more tolerant of each other by recognizing our spiritual
oneness and we must at the same time continuously edit our laws in order
to promote peace, justice, equality and the pursuit of happiness for every
human being.

ESSAY 6 - Prophecy and the Christian Bible


Note: Even though the following focuses on Christian prophecy, it applies
to all religions. I simply used Christianity as an example because these are the
prophesies with which I have the most familiarity.


Many Christians have spent countless hours trying to decipher the many
prophesies in the Bible. The Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation
are the focus of much discussion regarding the future of the world. Much
emphasis is placed on the 100% accuracy of the Book of Daniel without
paying attention to the historical scholars who point out that the book was
written in 632 b.c.e. The reason that this date is known is because all the
predictions regarding events prior to that year are 100% accurate and the
predictions regarding events after that year are not.

As for as the Book of Revelation, it is known that the book was written on
the Island of Patmos. The real author is in question. This island was
famous for its visions. In fact, ancient people would go to Patmos and smoke
the sacred mushroom in order to experience a vision of one kind or
another. Peoples all over the world from the most ancient of times have
sought visions through the use of drugs. There is no way to prove that this
is the way that the Book of Revelation came into being but we do have to
wonder about the fact that it was written on an island devoted to drug
induced visions; not to mention the heavy symbolism it contains.

The truth is that no one can tell the future. Many people put forth their
predictions regarding the future and some of those predictions do in fact
come true. But if one looks closely, one sees that a lot of predictions are
made but few materialize. There are no doubt people who are quite good
at these things but it is impossible to tell which of the many predictions that
a seer or prophet makes will actually materialize.

Ancient writings are always suspect because it is so difficult to verify
authors and dates; making prophecy based on these writing a useless
endeavor. Of all the 6 billion people who presently live on the earth, no
one has ever emerged who can consistently and accurately predict the future.

Probably the most renown of all seers was Nostradamus but if one looks at
all 1000 of his quatrains regarding the future, we quickly see that only a
small percentage actually materialized. So if we lived at the time of
Nostradamus how would we use these 1000 predictions. How could we know
which ones were nonsense? The answer is that we could not know.

So what good is prophecy? The answer is not much. Calamitous events
occur almost daily in the world and yet not one of the 6 billion humans
presently residing on the earth has emerged who could consistently predict
them.

We tend to believe in intuition because we have all experienced times when
our sixth sense kept us out of harms way. Yet there were times when we
ignored our intuition without any noticeable negative effects.

Intuition and prophecy must be therefore put into their proper perspective as
something to consider. If we are about to make a major decision in our lives,
we should listen to our sixth sense and balance our logic with these feelings.

In regards to Biblical prophecy, Jesus said that no one knows when the end
times will come. Jesus said that even he did not know. So why are we
wasting so much time concerning ourselves with these things. There is no
doubt that the world is going to end one day. Nothing in this reality lasts
forever. But will our planet be struck by a comet or asteroid or by a rogue
planet from space or will the earth die when the sun burns out? Who
knows?

As regards to our own future, the only thing that is certain is that our
bodies will wear out; they will die. Every single one of us will die. So what
difference does another 10 years make. Concerning ourselves about the
day of our death is totally unproductive. To find peace, we have to live in
the present. Certainly we should plan for the future that we desire to live but
all we are given is the present moment. There are no guarantees about the
future.

Lastly, consider how much of Christian prophecy is focused on doom and
gloom: the apocalypse, pestilence, disease, war, hunger.  Even the
horrors of World War II were not great enough to satisfy the Christian
definition of apocalypse.  The Christian prophecy ends the world the
same way that Christianity began it: in violence. Christ died a violent
death and untold amounts of violence have been committed in the name of Jesus:
and we are to told to believe that this age will end in violence.

Consider the level of fear and apprehension that Christian prophecy has
manifested and continues to manifest on the earth. Consider how the level
of peace on earth will increase when we discard emphasizing a fearful doom and
gloom end-of-the-world philosophy and simply live our lives as if today
were our last day in this reality.

Let us approach the Third Millennium with a world resolve to make this
century as peaceful as the twentieth century was violent; and a world resolve
that the next thousand years will be one permeated with peace and harmony and
the uplifting of all of humanity.

The truth is that we will manifest a future that is a product of our daily
actions regardless of what the prophets of doom promote and the ancient texts
allegedly foretell.

John WorldPeace



ESSAY 7 - The World Savior: an interfaith expectation


All of the dominant world religions, - Christianity, Judaism, Islam,
Buddhism, Hinduism, to name a few - have an expectation of a world
savior who is to appear in the future. This world savior is expected to
bring peace on earth.

This "world savior" would be better considered a "world peace maker"
because this is the primary mandate of the world savior: to manifest peace
on earth.

However, when we question the members of the major religious
institutions, we find that their expectation is that this world savior will
come from their particular faith: Christians expect a Christian world savior,
Buddhist a Buddhist world savior, Islam an Islamic world savior.
Unfortunately, with this mindset, no religion will embrace a world savior
not of their particular faith. For example, as soon as a world savior
identifies with Buddhism, then he or she will automatically be rejected by
Christians, Muslim, Jews and Hindus.

Therefore, we have to realize that the concept of a world savior has to be
modified to a concept of a world savior for Christians world wide as
opposed to a true world savior. The mindset is such among world religious
institutions that a truly all inclusive world savior will not manifest. The
mindset is that the Islamic world savior will appear and those who do not
embrace Islam will be sent to hell, removed from the planet, or possibly
enslaved.

When a world savior appears he or she - all major religions essentially
reject the idea of a female world savior because they were all founded by
men and have tenaciously held onto a masculine orientation - will have to
refuse to embrace any religious institution. He or she will have to
understand the teachings of all religions but not have a preference for one
over the other. He or she will have to relate to the common thread that
runs through all religions and essentially speak only to these common
beliefs. If he or she tried to deviate toward a mindset that was unique to
one religion, he or she would alienate those who did not embrace that
mindset.

Religious institutions are by their nature elitist and exclusive. They feel
they have the one "true" path to salvation, or what I call peace, and they
feel no need to embrace other religionists as their equal. A true world
savior will have to be inclusive of all religionists otherwise he or she cannot
possibly be a true world savior.

When we look at the history of religious thought world wide over time, we
find that occasionally men and women with deeply rooted spiritual
orientations bring their spiritual truth to a particular area of the earth and
influence millions of human beings. This is an ongoing process that will
never cease. What is unique in this day and time is that the world has
become one and so situations of the past where a deeply rooted Western
religion for the Middle East can flourish without coming into contact with
an Eastern religion in India no longer exist. Buddha and Jesus were able to
significantly impact their worlds without clashing with each other due to
physical separation of the parts of the world they traveled.

Now we have one world and so the next Buddha or Jesus will have to
embrace the entire world. This will be tricky because to integrate the
Eastern and Western religious mindsets into one mindset will not be easy.
What it will require will be the letting go of the uniqueness of East and
West and holding fast to the common denominators.

There are in reality only two common denominators in religious thought:

First, a belief in One God and this One God is infinite, immortal, without
beginning or end; all-inclusive.

Second, a commitment to treating others as you expect to be treated.
On these two pillars rests all religious thought.

Lastly, the greatest negative manifestation of expecting a world savior to
appear in the future and bring peace is the apathy this mindset fosters.
People are starving and murdering each other for various reasons even as
you read these words. To believe that only a world savior can stop this
suffering is to allow yourself to ignore the cries of pain that go out at every
moment.

If belief in a world savior allows you to turn a deaf ear to these cries of
pain, it would be better to discard your belief in a coming world savior and
begin to immediately focus on extending a loving and helping hand to the
billions of suffering human beings that presently inhabit the entire planet.

ESSAY 8 - Institutional Religion and Ex-Communication


The institutional religious bureaucracies that have formed around the
teachings of a particular man of God, i.e., Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha,
Baha'U'llah, etc., have at times determined that, in some special cases,
certain individuals must be removed from participation in the rites and
rituals of the bureaucracy; and the rank and file membership must be
encouraged to have nothing to do with these singled out
(ex-communicated) individuals. In the search for peace and WorldPeace,
we need to consider the basis and effect of these acts of ex-communication.

What is the core reason for ex-communication? In a nutshell, a person
who is ex-communicated asks too many questions about paradoxical
teachings or advocates a position that is not in harmony with the official
teachings of his or her religious bureaucracy; and by so doing challenges
the authority and teachings of that particular religious institution of which
he or she is a member. In any organization, religious or otherwise, there is
a need for one relatively harmonious mindset of all the members. This
mindset allows the organization to distinguish itself from all its competitors
in the world society and allows a certain degree of power that comes from
having large numbers of people united in a common philosophy.

Many people who are members of religious organizations really do not
understand all the nuances of what their particular religion believes and
advocates. Their understanding is relatively simple. For instance, in
Christianity, Jesus is considered the only Son of the One God, Jehovah, he
died for your sins, and if you believe in him you will go to heaven even if
you have a less than wonderful life. The majority of Christians are not
bothered with the unpeaceful and unloving sayings of Jesus like, "I did not
come to bring peace, but a sword." Mt 10:34 and "Whoever comes to me
and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and
sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be by disciple". Lk 12:49. These are
the sayings that are challenged and questioned by religious heretics, those
who are flirting with ex-communication.

The problem with religious institutions is that they claim that their founder,
and generally their founder only, was in direct communication with the One
and Only God and therefore everything that their founder said was true.
Unfortunately, a lot of what those founders said or were alleged to have
said are paradoxical and contradictory. Therefore, after the death of the
founder, the disciples and other followers began to interpret those
paradoxical sayings in an attempt to harmonize them. It seldom works.
The paradoxical words and sayings never seem to go away and generation
after generation questions them.

The institutional religious logic is that since the words of the founder came
from God, and since God is perfect and the founder is close to perfect if
not perfect, and since the religious institution is the heir to the teachings of
the founder, and the protector of the founder's teachings, the religious
institution cannot afford to have heretics, those who do not totally embrace
the official teaching of the religious institution, stirring up the average
members who do not feel compelled to concern themselves with these
paradoxical sayings of the founder as well as the actions of the religious
institution that are also paradoxical to the founder's teachings. The heretics
are like a cancer within the body of the religious institution and must be
removed for the good of and survival of the religious institution.

In the mind of the heretic, truth must be able to withstand challenges or it is
not the truth. In other words, if what the religious institution teaches is not
truth, then it should not be taught as truth. For instance, in the Bahai faith
we are told that women are equal to men. This sounds like truth and is
truth. Yet the Bahai faith which claims this as their truth refuses to allow
women to sit on their governing body, The Universal House of Justice.
The heretics demand that the Bahai faith act in accordance with its
teachings. The Bahai faith wants to maintain the double standard within its
bureaucratic structure and when it cannot stop a particular heretic from
continuing to challenge this paradox, they are forced to ex-communicate
the heretic, label him or her a "covenant breaker", and tell the general
membership to cease all relations and communication with the heretic or
face ex-communication themselves. The net effect is that
ex-communication becomes a very powerful way to keep the membership
in line. The threat of ex-communication becomes a chain around the neck
of every member.

When a religious institution claims authority from the founder, who
claimed authority from the one and only God himself, they also claim to
have the keys to heaven, in a manner of speaking, and they claim they can
bar the ex-communicated not only from participating in the earthly
religious bureaucracy but also bar them for entry into heaven. These claims
create a very powerful form of mind control.

Few rank and file members ever question what all heretics question about
all religious institutions, "why does this all powerful God need this
bureaucracy to speak for him? And why does this perfect God relate so
many paradoxical sayings and actions through his chosen founder?"

Why are these questions not asked by the rank and file member? Because
the rank and file member does not mentally separate God, the founder, the
disciples, and the religious bureaucracy. They are considered one and the
same and therefore what the bureaucracy says is what God says. And this
mindset is fostered by the religious bureaucracy because it legitimizes their
authority even though it is not true.

All heretics know that the spiritual realm of God is not the same as this
earthly realm. The religious institution is not God. The religious
institution cannot bar anyone from heaven or condemn anyone to hell. The
founders were generally anti-bureaucratic and were rebels who put their life
on the line in order to break the chains of bondage of the religion they were
born into. Jesus rebelled against the rampant bureaucracy of the Jews,
Buddha rebelled against the bureaucracy of the Hindus, Muhammad
rebelled against the polytheistic idol worshipers of the Arabs, Baha'U'llah
rebelled against the bureaucracy of the Muslims. The paradox is that these
men who realized that these bureaucracies had become little more than the
husk of spirituality, in that they emphasized their rites and rituals over
spirituality, have all had gigantic religious bureaucracies formed around
their teaching. It is just a matter of time before a new spiritual leader will
emerge, who comes with the same spiritual message of his or her
predecessors and is also labeled the arch heretic who challenges the husk of
religion that the institutional religions promote as true spirituality.

So where does this leave those who have been ex-communicated?

First, they have not lost the love of God. This is impossible. No religious
institution is in the position to speak for God. No one who occupies a
position of authority in any religious institution is even close to the
spirituality of the founder. The founders emphasized spirituality and love
and tolerance and the religious bureaucrats emphasize the religious
bureaucracy. No bureaucrat or group of bureaucrats in any religious
institution has the power to deny heaven to anyone or condemn anyone to
hell.

Second, with ex-communication, all that has happened is that an exclusive
and elitist club has denied the heretic membership. That is all. There is no
spiritual difference between being barred from membership as a Bahai,
Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, or being barred from membership in a
local tennis club. The spiritual effect of being ex-communicated from a
religious institution is zero. What is interesting here is that if one asks a
Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist what is the effect of being
ex-communicated by the Bahai's, the answer would be nothing. The same
is true of all religions when asked about the practices of other religions.

All institutional religious heretics who have been ex-communicated or
threatened with ex-communication need to consider that almost all of the
founders of the major religious institutions began as heretics. There is little
denying that these great souls were very close to God and true spirituality.
All heretics should derive great comfort in the realization that they, as
religious heretics, are in the company of the arch heretics of religion; and
they are also in the company of some of the greatest souls that have ever
walked this earth.

But most of all, heretics need to remember that they are at one with God
and nothing anyone can do can change that.
The institutional religious bureaucracies that have formed around the
teachings of a particular man of God, i.e., Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha,
Baha'U'llah, etc., have at times determined that, in some special cases,
certain individuals must be removed from participation in the rites and
rituals of the bureaucracy; and the rank and file membership must be
encouraged to have nothing to do with these singled out
(ex-communicated) individuals. In the search for peace and WorldPeace,
we need to consider the basis and effect of these acts of ex-communication.

What is the core reason for ex-communication? In a nutshell, a person
who is ex-communicated asks too many questions about paradoxical
teachings or advocates a position that is not in harmony with the official
teachings of his or her religious bureaucracy; and by so doing challenges
the authority and teachings of that particular religious institution of which
he or she is a member. In any organization, religious or otherwise, there is
a need for one relatively harmonious mindset of all the members. This
mindset allows the organization to distinguish itself from all its competitors
in the world society and allows a certain degree of power that comes from
having large numbers of people united in a common philosophy.

Many people who are members of religious organizations really do not
understand all the nuances of what their particular religion believes and
advocates. Their understanding is relatively simple. For instance, in
Christianity, Jesus is considered the only Son of the One God, Jehovah, he
died for your sins, and if you believe in him you will go to heaven even if
you have a less than wonderful life. The majority of Christians are not
bothered with the unpeaceful and unloving sayings of Jesus like, "I did not
come to bring peace, but a sword." Mt 10:34 and "Whoever comes to me
and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and
sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be by disciple". Lk 12:49. These are
the sayings that are challenged and questioned by religious heretics, those
who are flirting with ex-communication.

The problem with religious institutions is that they claim that their founder,
and generally their founder only, was in direct communication with the One
and Only God and therefore everything that their founder said was true.
Unfortunately, a lot of what those founders said or were alleged to have
said are paradoxical and contradictory. Therefore, after the death of the
founder, the disciples and other followers began to interpret those
paradoxical sayings in an attempt to harmonize them. It seldom works.
The paradoxical words and sayings never seem to go away and generation
after generation questions them.

The institutional religious logic is that since the words of the founder came
from God, and since God is perfect and the founder is close to perfect if
not perfect, and since the religious institution is the heir to the teachings of
the founder, and the protector of the founder's teachings, the religious
institution cannot afford to have heretics, those who do not totally embrace
the official teaching of the religious institution, stirring up the average
members who do not feel compelled to concern themselves with these
paradoxical sayings of the founder as well as the actions of the religious
institution that are also paradoxical to the founder's teachings. The heretics
are like a cancer within the body of the religious institution and must be
removed for the good of and survival of the religious institution.

In the mind of the heretic, truth must be able to withstand challenges or it is
not the truth. In other words, if what the religious institution teaches is not
truth, then it should not be taught as truth. For instance, in the Bahai faith
we are told that women are equal to men. This sounds like truth and is
truth. Yet the Bahai faith which claims this as their truth refuses to allow
women to sit on their governing body, The Universal House of Justice.
The heretics demand that the Bahai faith act in accordance with its
teachings. The Bahai faith wants to maintain the double standard within its
bureaucratic structure and when it cannot stop a particular heretic from
continuing to challenge this paradox, they are forced to ex-communicate
the heretic, label him or her a "covenant breaker", and tell the general
membership to cease all relations and communication with the heretic or
face ex-communication themselves. The net effect is that
ex-communication becomes a very powerful way to keep the membership
in line. The threat of ex-communication becomes a chain around the neck
of every member.

When a religious institution claims authority from the founder, who
claimed authority from the one and only God himself, they also claim to
have the keys to heaven, in a manner of speaking, and they claim they can
bar the ex-communicated not only from participating in the earthly
religious bureaucracy but also bar them for entry into heaven. These claims
create a very powerful form of mind control.

Few rank and file members ever question what all heretics question about
all religious institutions, "why does this all powerful God need this
bureaucracy to speak for him? And why does this perfect God relate so
many paradoxical sayings and actions through his chosen founder?"

Why are these questions not asked by the rank and file member? Because
the rank and file member does not mentally separate God, the founder, the
disciples, and the religious bureaucracy. They are considered one and the
same and therefore what the bureaucracy says is what God says. And this
mindset is fostered by the religious bureaucracy because it legitimizes their
authority even though it is not true.

All heretics know that the spiritual realm of God is not the same as this
earthly realm. The religious institution is not God. The religious
institution cannot bar anyone from heaven or condemn anyone to hell. The
founders were generally anti-bureaucratic and were rebels who put their life
on the line in order to break the chains of bondage of the religion they were
born into. Jesus rebelled against the rampant bureaucracy of the Jews,
Buddha rebelled against the bureaucracy of the Hindus, Muhammad
rebelled against the polytheistic idol worshipers of the Arabs, Baha'U'llah
rebelled against the bureaucracy of the Muslims. The paradox is that these
men who realized that these bureaucracies had become little more than the
husk of spirituality, in that they emphasized their rites and rituals over
spirituality, have all had gigantic religious bureaucracies formed around
their teaching. It is just a matter of time before a new spiritual leader will
emerge, who comes with the same spiritual message of his or her
predecessors and is also labeled the arch heretic who challenges the husk of
religion that the institutional religions promote as true spirituality.

So where does this leave those who have been ex-communicated?

First, they have not lost the love of God. This is impossible. No religious
institution is in the position to speak for God. No one who occupies a
position of authority in any religious institution is even close to the
spirituality of the founder. The founders emphasized spirituality and love
and tolerance and the religious bureaucrats emphasize the religious
bureaucracy. No bureaucrat or group of bureaucrats in any religious
institution has the power to deny heaven to anyone or condemn anyone to
hell.

Second, with ex-communication, all that has happened is that an exclusive
and elitist club has denied the heretic membership. That is all. There is no
spiritual difference between being barred from membership as a Bahai,
Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, or being barred from membership in a
local tennis club. The spiritual effect of being ex-communicated from a
religious institution is zero. What is interesting here is that if one asks a
Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist what is the effect of being
ex-communicated by the Bahai's, the answer would be nothing. The same
is true of all religions when asked about the practices of other religions.

All institutional religious heretics who have been ex-communicated or
threatened with ex-communication need to consider that almost all of the
founders of the major religious institutions began as heretics. There is little
denying that these great souls were very close to God and true spirituality.
All heretics should derive great comfort in the realization that they, as
religious heretics, are in the company of the arch heretics of religion; and
they are also in the company of some of the greatest souls that have ever
walked this earth.

But most of all, heretics need to remember that they are at one with God
and nothing anyone can do can change that.

ESSAY 9 - Atheism

Atheism is defined generally as: the belief that there is no God, or denial
that God or gods exist. This seems simple enough but it really means
nothing until one defines what is meant by God.

In the world society, there are two distinct concepts of God. In the West,
which I roughly delineate as the area from the Middle East west to and
including North and South America, there is a concept of God as an
anthropomorphic (human like) super being who is involved in the goings
on of the world society. This Western God is called Allah in Islam,
Jehovah in Christianity, and Yahweh in Judaism. These Gods are referred
to as being masculine.

In the East, which I roughly delineate as China, India and Japan, there is a
concept of God as an indescribable, incomprehensible, inconceivable force
that is all inclusive of every thing and every nothing. Any definition of this
concept of God is limiting and therefore nothing more than a partial
description. In Hinduism, this essence is referred to as Brahma, In Taoism,
it is referred to as The Tao (The Way) and in Buddhism, as the
Dharmakaya. You really cannot equate these words to God because the
Western concept of God describes a super being and these Eastern words
for God really refer to All That Is and Is not.

I personally equate the words Infinite Potential with these Eastern names
for the all inclusive God. The Infinite Potential is a non-emotional set of
words that for me comes closest to stating what this all inclusive essence
comprises.

Now it is also important to understand that the world society is about
evenly split between the Eastern and Western concepts of God. It is also
important to understand that these concepts so completely permeate their
particular parts of the world, and these concepts are so different, that it is
very difficult for a person from the East to find common ground with one
from the West in regards to God. There are few bridges between these
two views of God; except to say that the Western Gods are a subset within
the Eastern concept of God.

Returning to atheism, we have to understand that it is essentially a mindset
that is a reaction to the Western concept of God. It is a denial that an
anthropomorphic super being is guiding the affairs of humanity. This
seems logical to some individuals in a Western society which is based on
logic and the belief in the conventional knowledge that every cause has an
effect; which seems to be true of the physical world. And when one is
focused in a scientific way on the physical realities of this Universe, what
cannot be proven or be shown to exist, simply does not exist. It is simply a
limited concept of reality, or a concept which limits reality, in which any
completely intangible force is denied because it cannot be produced much
less measured. It is an exclusive philosophy that denies the existence of
everything that cannot be scientifically measured.

So in general, we have the at the core of atheist belief., a mindset that since
the masculine anthropomorphic Gods of the West cannot be scientifically
measured or scientifically proven, He?, God, does not exist.

Since almost all atheist live in Western society, and since this
anthropomorphic concept of God dominates Western thought, the atheist
after making his or her proclamation that God does not exist, dusts off his
or her hands and smilingly goes off down the road with the thought that he
or she has vanquished God and proven all believers to be foolish or
child-like in their nonsensical belief in God.

It is at this point that most atheist are confronted with the outer realms of
their philosophy. They have been speaking to a Western audience. Now
something new enters the debate: What about the concept of God being
defined as every thing and every nothing? If God is defined as all inclusive,
as in the East, how can there be a denial of God?

There are no atheist reacting to the Hindu, Taoist or Buddhist concepts of
God, because to deny this God, or all encompassing essence, would be to
deny what each one of us experiences and are conscious of at every
moment: that we exist.

Here are the questions that the atheist cannot answer:

If there is no God, per the Eastern definition of God, then how can one
contemplate anything, much less the non-existence of God?

If the all inclusive Eastern God does not exist, how is it that we are
conscious of our existence?

If there is no all encompassing non-physical, impossible to measure,
energy, then how is it that inert chemicals come together to manifest
consciousness? Or does consciousness not exist because it cannot be
proven or measured?

In the final analysis, atheism is just a reaction to the Western concept of
God. It cannot be a denial of God, if God is defined as the all inclusive
Infinite Potential. Such a denial would be a denial that anything exists.

Atheists conflicting with Christians, Jews and Muslims are like children
playing in the school yard thinking that the school yard is the entire
universe.

A SHORT STORY

Once there was a frog who was the self proclaimed king of his little puddle
of water amid the tall prairie grass. One day he was looking at himself in
his little puddle and praising his all knowing greatness when a dog
happened by and overheard him. He asked the frog if he would go with
him a little way so that he could show him something. The frog feeling
most excellently agreed.

The frog followed the dog until the dog jumped over a particular log and as
the frog jumped and landed on the other side of the log, saw a rather large
pond. The frog's eyes popped out to see such a large body of water. The
dog just stood by smiling.

After the frog regained his composure, the dog asked him if he would like
to go a bit further with him. The frog, still stunned, agreed.

Shortly, the frog rounded a bend on the little path that he and the dog were
on and saw an immense lake. It was so large that he could not

see the
other side. The frog lost his breath and fainted.

When he awakened the dog was standing over him smiling. The frog was
speechless and dazed. The dog told him that everything was OK and he
would like to show him just one more thing. The frog, still in shock,
agreed.

Shortly, the dog disappeared over a sand dune. The frog mindlessly
hopped to the top of the dune and as he raised his eyes, saw the vast ocean.
When he saw the ocean, his head exploded.



ESSAY 10 - The Ten Commandments in the Third Millennium


According to the  Old Testament book of Moses, God gave him the ten commandments on Mount Sinai after he led the Israelites out of Egypt.  These ten commandments have been the foundation of both Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  

However, as we enter space, as we begin to manipulate the human genetic code, as we through the internet consider religions and concepts of God that were not previously as accessible to us as they are now, we have to consider that the ten commandments need to be re-evaluated.

God is not religion and religion is not spirituality.  God is the Infinite Potential of all things.  Religions are bureaucracies established to disseminate the teaching of the various founders of the various religions.  Spirituality is a knowing by experience that there is an invisible presence that guides our lives.

If you break a social law, you have committed a crime against the government.  If you break a religious law, you have committed a sin against a religion: and the religion argues that to sin against the religion is to sin against God.

I believe that you can sin against a religion but I do not believe that you can sin against an immortal, infinite God out of which we were each created. 

I have placed before each commandment the word God or the word Society.  When I use the word God it means the commandment relates to religion and God.  When I use the word society, it means that the commandment really has to do with the social law irrespective of God.  Moses was trying to set up a Theocracy where the laws of God were the laws of society.  It did not work.  

So before you allow yourself to negatively react to the following comments on the ten commandments, consider that only four actually relate to God.

John WorldPeace


THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

1)  You shall have no other gods before me.
We are the father/mother God, we are one, and yet we are known by many names.  You shall not in any one of our names harm another human being.  We are the all inclusive God, we are the one God, and there is no greater confusion, no greater wrong than subordinating or killing another human being because that human being identifies with us through a religion to which you do not belong.

2)  You shall not make yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them;

You shall not make yourself a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth below, or that is in the water under the earth and then bow down to that image or serve it for such images are no more than dust and the transient manifestations of the physical universe and they are inferior to our oneness out of which all things are created.

for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,

We are the one God, and as All That Is has manifested from us, we have nothing to be jealous about.  Is the artist jealous of his art?  Is the sculptor jealous of her creation?  How ridiculous!

visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.

The confusion of each soul is not a burden of the children of the physical body which that soul inhabits.  The wrongs of the parent are never never transferred to the child even though the child must surely compensate for the actions of the parents as the child grows and matures within the home of the parents: under the parent's control.  Each child is conceived by its parents and birthed from its mother but each is unique and does not inherit the wrongs of the parents.

but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Our love is available to all, denied none.  We are at one with each life, with each being, with each soul because from us, each has manifested and because each is at one with us.

3)  You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who take his name in vain.

You will not use the name of your God to bolster your lies.  

4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord you God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, you manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates;

You should disengage from your toils upon the earth for a portion of one day in seven.  The particular day of the week does not matter for each religions has sanctified its own particular sabbath.  Without rest, the body and mind become dull.  As the body sleeps each night, it should rest one day in each week and one week in each year.

for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

The heavens and earth were not made in six twenty-four hour days and we did not rest at the end of creation for a twenty-four hour period and we did not designate one particular day as hallowed.  It was humanity who divided time into days, weeks, months and years and then applied that arbitrary division to the story of creation.

5) Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

Acknowledge your father and your mother and your sons and your daughters as well.  For your parents are the sacred yet imperfect vessel from which you manifested into this reality and your choice to become parents was a choice lasting a lifetime; a commitment which ends only in physical death, yours or your children's.

6) You shall not kill.

You shall not place yourself in a position where you determine that the only solution to whatever problem is confronting you is the death of another human being.  

This is not to be confused with your obligation as a judge or juror in a trial to order the death of the physical body of a human being who has demonstrated a disregard for the lives of others.

Killing does not apply to animals and plants which are to be consumed as food for your bodies.

7) You shall not commit adultery.

You should respect the family institution.  The lives of children should not be disrupted by the extra sexual affairs of the parents.  Those who insert themselves into a family with children and parents who disengage from the family in order to pursue their sexual desires are no doubt negatively impacting the lives of defenseless children.

The institution of marriage should be not be entered into carelessly and children should not be conceived without considering the tremendous responsibility one accepts when conceiving a human being.

8) You shall not steal.

9) You shall not bear false witnesses against your neighbor.

10) You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's. 

It is all right to desire to own things but it is not all right to determine to steal the possessions of others.  The possession of things is often a burden and an impediment to a life of peace and harmony.

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