Friday, October 29, 2010

Bonds that Make us Free Pt 2

There is a fabulous book called "Bonds that make us free, healing our relationships coming to ourselves".

Here are a few truths about life that I found uplifting from the book.

We see the world not as it is....but as we are.

We often lie to ourselves to avoid doing what we know we should, after a while we start to believe the lies. Taking responsibility for our lives, emotions and behaviors is easier than living the lies we sometimes tell ourselves.

There is no better means of promoting another persons change of heart than allowing our own heart to be changed, often through simple authentic interactions with others. The more truly unconditional love a person feels, the more their inner light will beckon them, and warm their soul.

From the countenance of every individual, when we stand before him or her, comes the imperative, "Treat me as a person separate from yourself, but just as real -- with hopes and needs of my own" Or, to use the words of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, "treat me as an end, and not as a means". If we will hearken to this summon and do as it dictates, we will change in our relationship to those people, if change is needed. We will care for them and resonate with them. And this change will happen naturally, without our trying to make it happen.

So often we create and then try and maintain a false image of ourselves. Either a super good person image, a perfect this or that image, or any number of images of ourselves. With the creation of this "image" comes the simultaneous creation of it's opposite. In reality these images are not the real us, and they take incredible energy to maintain. It's easier to take responsibility for the choices we've made, and pursue an authentic life approved of by God.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sacrifice




Light and dark come in balanced pairs. You don't know the good without tasting the bad. You don't know health without knowing sickness. You can't just shortcut it and go without the corresponding pair. You don't know heaven without knowing hell. The universe is balanced. Before any ascent there first is a decent. You get the good with the bad. Christ ascended to the height he did because he first descended "below all things". It's balanced. I think we too follow and learn from such patterns in our own life and at our own pace.

Sacrifice brings blessings. Temporary discomfort, endurance, persistence, patience always yields and opens the door for a more positive outcome than would have been obtained otherwise.

Counterfeits sometimes come disguised as the good half of the pair, without any effort. It's the outcome without the balanced pair. This can help us spot deception.  Better the adversary you know, than the one you don't. (Avraham Gileadi) Schemes, philosophies, products, people jobs.... they all offer something, and many tempt us to obtain something illegitimately. Without obeying the laws of the universe it's almost like stealing. The good is always available, and it lasts when done according to the universal laws. But Satan has always been wanting us to do things his way instead of Gods.

Things that are worthwhile require effort. Any path that offers only one side of the equation only betrays the universal truth. It's a bandaid, or a mask to cover the actual ailment. It's harvesting wheat without planting anything. Having spring without fall. It's having summer without winter. It's having great strength without ever pushing against something. It's light without dark. It sounds so good yet it depletes. On the other hand the truth is always liberating and fulfilling.  Christ descended below all things, he paid the infinite price. How dumb we must look when we, for whatever reason, deny Gods power and think we are knowledgeable and special without Him, or think we can shortcut the system. Christ took no shortcut. I conclude that we too should accept and learn from the life each of us has been given.

The words from D&C 88: 6 say "Christ descended below all things". We learn incredible amounts about our Lord from one sentience. He became the least of all. He understands everyone. There is no sacrifice, no depth, no low he does not comprehend. No wonder he says to follow Him, He knows how to help anyone obtain the pearl of great price.

My thoughts anyway.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Medicine or poison?


Medical professionals when treating a patient for a cough commonly prescribe Cheritussen. (don't be fooled, it in no way resembles anything like a cherry) It contains codeine and guaifenesin.

After how many hundreds of years of medical research and academic investigation into disease and the healing process, it seems not only has there not been any head way made on curing common complaints, but the reverse has happened. Below from Drug.com are the principles upon which this cough "medicine" (or what seems poison) operates. Before I go into this I recognize there is a time, place, and sometimes temporary need for symptom relief. Medicine has it's place. However our society and medical professionals could fall into a subtle path of betraying life, true healing, and doing it in name of "Take this so you can get back to your busy life". Oh how well the scriptures predict our backwards priorities. It's like obsessing about the Titanic's deck chairs ignoring the fact that unless you change ships, your going to hit an iceberg.

(quote from website) "Codeine is in a group of drugs called narcotics. It is a cough suppressant that affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex. Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen mucus congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth. The combination of codeine and guaifenesin is used to treat cough and to reduce chest congestion caused by upper respiratory infections or the common cold." Notice how it says TREAT cough. I think turning off the brains signals does not qualify as "treatment" unless maybe your in a psych movie.

To make matters worse here are the effects on an unborn baby "This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, and could cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Codeine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. The use of codeine by some nursing mothers may lead to life-threatening side effects in the baby." Really? Is me getting back to my day really worth taking something that kills babies? I think we we must be blind stupid and insane as a society to accept such garbage from our doctors. It may not be them either....maybe our society only wants quick "fixes" so they deliver. I ask better of the doctors I see for medical concern, they usually can deliver. Sometimes they can't, but there are those that can. We are the ones to bring about a better world. Bottom up, not top down.

Keep in mind this product is not some huge life saving intervention. It's for a simple cough. I love medicine for all the good it has to offer. This however includes common over the counter ingredients who's effects more resemble cursing found in the bible, than they do healing.

Here are the side effects of this "medication". Anyone else notice that the side effects are worse than the symptoms for which most people would take the medicine? If you don't know what I'm talking about listen to TV for 5 minutes until a pharmaceutical commercial comes on and just listen for yourself to the "rushed legal talk" at the end which describes it's side effects. The most humorous are the anti-depressants which have a side effect of increasing suicidal thoughts.

"Stop taking this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

* severe dizziness or drowsiness;
* confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
* urinating less than usual or not at all; or
* slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, weak or shallow breathing.

Less serious side effects include:

* dizziness, drowsiness, headache;
* warmth, redness, or tingling under your skin;
* nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
* constipation; or
* skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur." (end of quote)

We are so surrounded by Babylon and it's destructive influences that it's "professional" to administer these things. It has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, the lies about how to deal with what ails us comes packaged together with destruction and life altering effects on unborn children. It's humbling how accurately scripture predict these very tendencies heading straight for curses and darkness. It's clear many do not recognize these things for what they are. It's seen as completely normal. Of course from eternity's view, it is chaotic, destructive and insane. Something to which I will always remain maladjusted. In my personal view much of western medicine (though certainly not all) betrays healing. We in effect betray ourselves with our own money, and some entities are ready and willing to do business, regardless of consequences.

As a whole, fleeting is sight of Gods tools and methods of healing, it's so bad that we have almost forgotten they even exists, oh except for that part we can buy at the pharmacy. Yet in the scriptures there it is.... all along God lovingly, patiently, with great long suffering pleads with us to recognize the problem, constantly and tenderly beckoning us to come to Him and be healed of the true maladies of life, and abandon a doomed sinking ship. I'm reminded of one of my favorite hymns.... "Brightly Beams our Fathers Mercy". Oh how we need He who is the Lighthouse.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Professionalism

There was a guest speaker today who spoke to all the students in the Aviation department. The speaker is internationally known and has an impressive biography.

It began very negative, pointing out all the flaws and mistakes and broken parts of the travel and transportation industry. I've decided almost everyone is qualified to be a critic. Some even get paid lots and lots of money to do it. I don't mind having my awareness opened to sometimes bad aspects of an industry I wasn't previously aware of.  However if the speaker doesn't point towards a better future, or some saving element of hope, some advice or suggestions for people taking constructive and positive action, than all he did was criticize. That's how today was. Sometimes we clap for people who are more interested in pointing fingers than making a better world.  I didn't clap, as there was nothing worthy of applause from this individual.

He had some vulgar language during much of the speech which I ignored. However at one point a student asked a legitimate question. The speaker trying to be funny called the student an ass hole. He later, again trying to be funny called the same student an ass hole again. Everyone laughed. During another part of this 45 min speech he referenced an big business accountant having an orgasm over being able to charge 8$ for a candy bar at a hotel minibar.

As an invited guest speaker, to call a student a vulgar name in response to a completely legitimate question in front of an entire auditorium to me is not only unprofessional but completely inappropriate. It's just not right. The intended comical nature doesn't change the fact. In my view I think speaker owes my fellow student a professional apology. It's not right to show up at a school, dressed in suit and tie, and demean a student like that, and entertain with sexual language. I know people laughed but laughter based on the most vulgar of references is not becoming of an invited professional. It's more like a 10yr old. He very very poorly represented himself and his trade.

A long biography should never be license for a professional guest speaker to be an idiot.  Entertaining us by bashing on an industry many of us love and want to be a part of I thought was anything but classy. I specifically asked him what we as the younger generation could do to bring out positive change in the industry but he was so focused on how broken things are that my, (like most other questions) was dodged and replaced by "how much he knew". The majority of his speech was negative. I'm extremely tolerant of language, people getting cheap laughs and the like, I'm not a sensitive person like that and actually enjoy diversity of language....this however this guy crossed a line and I told the department chair about it.  They agreed to bring in more professional speakers from then on.

How low our conversations, how vulgar our speech, how unintelligent our humor. - Joseph Smith

Professionalism isn't what it used to be. Some folks are just rough, I get that and have no problem with it. But what are we becoming when guest speakers in academic settings are calling students ass holes and talking about accountants having orgasms over 8$ candy bars.

Surly this is not the professionalism that America was built on. Am I naive to hope for and expect a better world than that?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tradition



Traditions can be very un-spiritual things.  May members of the Church I know are members simply due to tradition.  Had they been raised in another religion, and spent the same amount of time there, they would likely be a strong member of that faith instead.  Conversion based on tradition is nothing like conversion based on conviction and and a burning testimony through the Holy Ghost.

 In the context of scripture traditions are worth paying attention to.  They are mentioned often enough that they have a lot of relevance to each of us.  Some traditions mentioned in the scriptures are very good, (Alma 3: 11, Alma 9: 8, Enos 1: 14) some neither good nor bad, and others are so bad they impede peoples salvation and cause many an error (D&C 93: 39).

The above scriptures show the two contrasting religious traditions. From the book of Alma quoted above some traditions were good and helped preserve truth, but then there were the folks who bad mouthed those correct and true traditions and preached a different set of beliefs.  New traditions grew from those as well.  A large part of many missionaries experiences in the scriptures is convincing others of their incorrect traditions (Alma 37: 9). The book of Mormon is full of this kind of thing. Many people in Christ's day did not recognize him nor follow him specifically because their traditions blinded them. (Mark 7: 8, Col. 2: 8)

The good and the bad traditions always involve Christ. Either He has or is being removed and the tradition is a stumbling block or a replacement, or the tradition is directly related to coming to Christ and receiving the truth. Often people with incorrect traditions had to actually be convinced of their errors before they recognized it. (Alma 21: 17).

Tradition can replace spiritual things. For example belonging to a church out of tradition is not the same as being a convert to the truth through the Spirit. Doing something because you've always been told it was true and you've always done it, or believed it, can also be totally hollow and incorrect. A tradition to do pretty much anything becomes incorrect when a habitual set of actions, thoughts, or behavior replaces or does not lead to the truth, and does not remember what the underlying truth was. It becomes a mere habit, and fails to produce light and truth.  King Benjamin is a great example of teaching your children from scripture, not tradition (Mosiah 1:2-5).  How often do we do that?  Do we teach our traditions or scripture?

There is one tradition that very much appeals to me. It's a tradition dating back who knows how long. That of wise men, usually elderly in a community passing down the "secrets" or mysteries of life they have learned. The tradition of sharing truth through stories, or legends. The handing down of truth, or saving principles through ritual or parables or stories (W of M 1: 10-11 , 4 Ne. 1: 48). The tradition of seeking God through scripture study, pondering and prayer. I find all of these in the scriptures. These traditions preserve light, the other kind replaces light with hollowness that has a form of truth but lacks power and substance. The scriptures are where that stuff is found.

Seeing as the book of Mormon talks so much of tradition I think it would be wise to be especially aware of our own traditions that may not be correct.  We have many traditions in the LDS culture.  Some we cling to with great pride, and they actually increase our pride.  However again, if we take the book of Mormon as our guide we should be constantly checking or traditions to see if they are true and light filled, or if they actually distract us and prevent us from light and truth.  Sometimes we even create cultural doctrine based on our traditions.

Maladjusted



Martin Luther: Proud to be maladjusted.

"Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word "maladjusted." This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well-adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities.

But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence. But in a day when sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence. "

I think many many are the things we could add to his list.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Going forward, by going back.


All of us if we tried could probably remember a time in childhood when things were more simple, not overly complex, not burdened by the upsets of life, or all the education and philosophies, not to mention endless worries that come from being an adult. We took each moment as it came. The developmental years of life set the foundation for a persons entire personality. At one point in Luke 9 Christ's apostles were reasoning among themselves who would be the greatest. In the Matthew account Matt. 18: 1-4 he's asked about who would "be the greatest in the Kingdom of God", and it says he called a little child to him, teaching to be converted and become as the little child and that such is greatest in the kingdom of God. Isn't that interesting to think about. His apostles weren't the greatest as they probably were hoping to hear. Instead Christ calls to a child.

I don't think he meant be childish, but instead the answer to the question taught that greatness came from attributes a child has, specifically humility. Going backwards, to that state was how to go forward. Back to being as a child, to the days of innocence, meekness, humility, having that open willingness and receptivity that a small child has.  Children can imagine things.  To a child mother nature is fascinating. Letting go of all that accumulation of adult baggage that happens to everyone growing up. What a useful teaching. Imagine (like when you were little and were good at imagining) what a person could learn, (or unlearn as may be needed) by this teaching.

One eastern teaching that I love relates to this, I found it in the Tao of Kung Fu. The beginner martial artist becomes an expert through dedication, practice and training, then however to move on he returns to the beginning, as a beginner, to now see see's things as they are, as if for the first time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Codenames

Hebrew Scholar Avraham Gileadi said this:
“Jerusalem” is a codename, identifying a latter day place and people of God."

That gives meaning to many gospel topics and phrases. It's not just some random name chosen out of a hat. It implies a people who's distinguishing feature is they are of God, or had the opportunity to be. I'm reminded of the picture where Christ is sitting on a hillside overlooking the city. The caption reads "O Jerusalem" referencing Matthew when Christ says he would have gathered the people as a hen gathering her chickens but they would not. It's sobering to ask if such is said of ourselves and our latter day city. Jerusalem too had a temple, and many dedicated religious people of God attending it.

I couldn't help but notice this picture is on the little clear plastic carrying case my temple recommend is in. It made me pause. I will never look at that the same again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Baptism when?

Christ said in 3 Nephi 12: 1: "..... therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am."

Does that really say what I think it does? I'm having to do that cartoon character "eye rub" when they see something shocking and need to look again to make sure they saw it right.

Wow, where has that teaching been?  So we are blessed if we shall believe in Christ and be baptized after we have seen himNow that's an interesting statement.
 
3 Ne. 12: 2 says "And again, more blessed are they who shall abelieve in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall bbelieve in your cwords, and dcome down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited ewith fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins.

Interesting what things I have glossed over when reading scriptures.

The Declaration of Independence


I love the founding documents of the government of the United States.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Endowed by their creator.... Imagine that, government documents referencing an "endowment" dealing with the creation and the creator. Endowed.... perhaps the realization of these blessings does depend on our faithfulness.