New Community!

I've started an LJ Community: milpagans for Pagan members of the military, their families, veterans and any other interested parties. Pagans of all peaceful paths and traditions, Pagan-Friendly, Pagan-Curious, and others are welcome.

I have no idea what I am doing with an LJ Community, so I expect a rocky start.  Still, stop by, join the community, make a post, and provide me with some external validation.  Thanks! 
akai hashi

New Exploring Paths Community

Hello Everyone,

I have started a new community called exploringpaths

This community is for those for whom existing religions do not quite fit and are looking for new paths to explore spirituality. Whether you come from an existing path (Christianity, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, Judaism, Islam, etc.) or no path at all (atheism or agnosticism), all are welcomed.

I am not sure exactly in which direction this community will go, but I hope it will be interesting and thought provoking.

To the moderator: if this post is not allowed by the community rules, please feel to delete it and please accept my sincere apologies if this should cause any trouble.

Take care,
akai hashi

Did anyone see this last night?

Did any one see this program on CBS last night?:

In God's Name

The interviewed 12 different religious leaders from different religions. It was really fascinating. They had the Dalai Lama, the Pope, the head of the Grand Ise Shrine (Shinto) a Hindu religious leader, a cheif Rabbi and a couple of differnt Muslim and Christian leaders. I just happened to stumble on it last night. If I could find a place to order it online, I would.

Any body else catch it?
  • dremwkr

Race and Right Choices

A high school inner-city student my wife teaches wrote this essay with unusual insight (Unedited, the student did use a spell checker):

I am a black African American 17 year old teenager, and im starting to fell like there is never going to be a change in the area of racism because things are not getting better with the black race itself.

We are getting more of use killed and locked up everyday we can try and blame it all on another race but the truth is in everyone's face into we start acting like we all have some since things are going to continue to go down hill everyday.

All im saying is how are we going to make a difference in everything we are fighting so hard to change when we have one half of are black people that don't care, one half that say that they will never change, and then we have that small portion of black African American's that do care and do want to make change. I have found out that the only person that I can change is me, and by me changing and knowing that I have people who look up to me I would hope that they make the choice to do right and to continue to make the right choices as they move through everyday life.

(no subject)

Not too long ago I was listening to NPR and there was an interview with a Ph.D.-holding voodoo priest; I kid you not. As he and the interviewer discussed what I had assumed was a motley collection of superstitions I recognized profound truth in his words. From what is on the surface a polytheistic tradition, he spoke of God being utterly neutral, completely unaffected by good and evil; he could have been reading straight from Hindu or Buddhist scripture. He explained how his religious tradition had always held that everything in the world is composed of energy (as modern physics indeed tells us it is), described the divine as a mirror in which one sees one's own face, and told of his experience treating completely illiterate half-starved stick-hut-dwelling Negroes as gurus, explaining that though he had a Ph.D. and they could not even read, it was they who truly had knowledge. I finally understood the unity at the core of all legitimate religious tradition; all people can and must improve their situations only through their own efforts. I see this emphasis on universal potential and personal responsibility in the core of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the list goes on. Perhaps I should change the name of this journal to get_religion, as I see it as good advice for everyone, especially in the sense expressed in, among others, the book Jesus for the Non-Religious.

ThePriestSays: The Holocaust & US Groupthink Blindspots ThePriestSays: The Holocaust & US Groupthin

As evil as the holocaust was, you have to remember it was a top secret operation, "for national security purposes". Yes there were whispers amoung the German citizenry, but since the government never confirmed this in the media, or through its own impressive Propaganda machine, it kind of fell in the category of a groupthink blindspot.

Don't think this is only an issue with German society. In our own country we have our own collection of the same, where issues people don't want to think about, and frankly don't want to know fall it. Anyone that points out that there IS something in these blind spots is shunned, labeled a nut case. In old testament times these people where called Prophets. They not only pointed out these denied issues, but also what the consequences to society would be based on society's own choices in regards to these things. Lastly, they could see the underlying spiritual darkness that gave birth to these issues in the first place.

Our own modern collection includes such conventional groupthought as: There are no UFOs, There is no God (science), Trust officials, just because they say trust us, That in general any family arrangement is just as good as a married hetrosexual couple raising children, That in general, homosexuals have just as good or better lifestyles in terms of mental, physical, or spiritual health as hextrosexuals, That in general the way, frequency and casualness of how homosexuals have sex doesn't have costs and dangers to general society and to themselves, The US dosn't torture or ship people "out of sight" for torture and imprisionment, That the laws and executive orders in regards to "the war on terror" do not breech our national charters, That "Excutive Privilage" trumps all laws, that the three WTC buildings collapsing within their own footprint was an accident, in general blacks and nonblacks are just as smart in school (IQ), That blacks and nonblacks have no real difference of criminality and antisocial attitudes, That blacks are less raciest than whites, In public schools (no child left behind) the measurement standards (MAP, graduation rates) are actually valid, that higher graduation rates means that relatively speaking more graduates can read and do math at a 12th grade level, abortion as a form of birth control doesn't have consequences in the whole (physical, mental, spiritual) to society or its victims, etc.

What groupthink blind spots do you see, what unspoken darkness do you sense?
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Rethinking Muslims

The writer in the KC Star for "Faith Matters" commented on the recent cover story on Newsweek . He said it was: "foolish for us to say "Muslims think this" or "Muslims do that,"'.

I say: Having lived in several islamic contries and having had several Islamic neighbors here in the US, while I can not say my experience covers ALL followers of Islam, I can say just as I can say MOST christians think like this or most Christians do that, that I have a pretty good idea of how followers of Islam think and do commonly. This does give me a basis of comparison, and there are many things for Christians to learn from this.

First, most followers of Islam are law abiding, respect their nieghbors and treat them like they are going to live with them for the long run. A normal functional Islamic society is a safe and secure one. With the exceptions of nations the US was at conflict with under the "war against terror", I never had to worry about being mugged, stolen from, and felt that the others were looking after my back. Their hospitality, curtousy, politeness made any trip to the store or market or cafe a pleasure. It is clear that they take family far, far, more important than most christians which tend to think of job, money, and social life first and the kids get the left overs if there are any.

They have a socity of high morals, they don't drink, they look after their children very well, their kids tend to have less permaritial sex, and frankly actually live the 10 commandments better than most Christians I know. They tend to be more of a God-respecting people, and generally have a much more active prayer life and their spiritual life tends to be much better intergated with the rest of their life.

As a christian cleric I think it would be nice if Christianity in general could/would do these things.

Any thoughts or comments?
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  • sermoa

How to pray?

Dear community,

I have come to a happy understanding that all religions have something to offer, none have got it all right, and none have got it all wrong. I don't go to church anymore, but i enjoy watching "Heaven and Earth" on a Sunday morning which is a current affairs discussion show, with an emphasis on faith of all religions. This is all very good, and i am happy to be in this place, spiritually.

The only trouble is, when i pray, i don't know who to pray to. I mean, i don't really know how to begin my prayer, who to address when i am speaking. I think i believe more in a universal spirit than a God of any sort, but i'm really not sure how to address this universal life-force in prayer. Can anyone understand what i mean? Have you any suggestions for me?

By the way, i read a lovely quote recently:

When you ask Me for counsel, you are asking yourself. Asking Me is not looking to outside influence. It is as inner as you can get.

So What Is Your Question?
July 14, 2007