Thursday, 11 February 2016

Anti-dogma

Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.[1] It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm, or the ideology itself. (Wikipedia)

Some people think I'm "anti-christian" these days. I'm a heretic for sure, but not anti-christian as such. My views were probably best summed up here.

I've been having more interactions with traditional/fundamentalist christians lately (not sure why really!) and dogma is the thing that stands out the most. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so damaging. I mean, sure, believe whatever you want - it's your right as a human being! But the moment your beliefs become dogma, you've stepped over to the dark side.

Christian dogma simply says I'm right and you're wrong - end of story. Embrace my dogma and you'll be ok for ever. You can be one of us, blessed and loved by God.

But it's not just christians.

Just about every belief system has it's own form of dogma, and dare I include atheism in that?

Nothing outside the realm of our physical senses can be termed irrefutable truth. Nothing. It's all philosophy, beliefs, ponderings, assumptions etc. Many ideas can sound pretty darn good and be backed by "science" to some degree, but they are still subjective and "intangible".

Science itself is basically the art of translating the unknown or inconceivable into something our physical senses can understand - something we can go "yeah, can't argue with that!" But again, even science can get it wrong and build theories based on incorrect premises.

So anyway - dogma. It sucks. It kills. It isolates. It divides. It's the antithesis of love. Believe whatever you want, but the moment you turn it into dogma, you lose, and bring death to all around you.

No one is right or wrong, but we are free to create belief systems that bring life and love - real unconditional love, with no agendas.

Love is all that matters - and you don't need a dogmatic belief system to live loved in all it's fullness!


Friday, 29 January 2016

You mean I'm really OK??

I've really been into helping people see that they are OK, at the core of their being. They aren't broken.

I love seeing that spark as they realise they have value, that they actually matter and can bring so much to those around them, and even the rest of the world!

But I'm realising I don't quite live it myself - not as much as I would encourage others to do! Sure, I'm happier and more confident than I've ever been, but I'm seeing that my self hatred is deeper than I thought.

I didn't fit in as a kid. Then I realised I was gay - culturally forbidden in the 60s and 70s conservative middle class. Then I got religion, and the self loathing got even worse. My whole life was one of failure - not living up to my own or other's expectations. The image I had of myself affected every aspect of my life. I lived in fear of being exposed as a fraud.

Now, I have come out of that to the degree where I feel free and integral for the first time in my life, but I still don't value my abilities. I still think I'll fail - that people will somehow see that I'm a scrambled mess, and I'm of no real value.

I still walk into a room full of people and deep down assume that they are all "better" than me - more "adult" - more "together".

So here I am, trying to make Silent Gays and my book a going concern, when deep down, there's still that sense of fraud and failure.

I'm not sharing this for pity. Its simply that in seeing this for what it is, I realised that so many of us feel the same. If we've hidden who we really are out of fear and shame, then it will affect every area of our lives!

I passionately want to help the world be a better place, to provide hope and love. We all need to help each other to be all that we can - to recognise the affects of the past and to support and encourage each other.

We CAN do this - We are not our past - We are not who we were.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Jesus who????

Now for the big one!


Over the years, I've heard various alternative ideas about the historical Jesus. The only people who think that the Jesus of the bible is an historically accurate record these days are either fundamentalists or those who have never really thought about it.

Having said that, most people just assume it's close enough not to worry about, and any discrepancies don't undermine the message anyway.

There's a lot of scholarly work now from people like Reza Aslan, that thoroughly researches the culture, sociology, religions and just about every other factor you can think of, to build a picture of the "real" Jesus.

But for some time, there's also been research that says he never even existed! What I'd read of this wasn't particularly credible and had that conspiracy theory edge to it.

This guy however, is rather challenging and, I must confess, pretty thorough and very scholarly. I'm going to read his book and dig deeper.




So if this is true, where does it leave us?

It clearly puts Christianity into the realm of a mythical cult, which, none the less, has a lot of value in terms of spirituality, morality etc.

It would certainly change the entire landscape of christendom, and probably bring the complete demise of traditional church. But then again, there is too much vested interest in a religion with 2000 years worth of traditions for many people.

We may never know "the" truth about Jesus, but I'm glad some objective research is finally coming out.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Arrogant Christianity?

A few people think I'm attacking christianity a bit too much, and proclaim the whole "we're not all like that" thing.

I understand that.

Many christians are very loving genuine people, and can clearly see the horrors of "religion" and the general hypocrisy of the church. These folks exercise their faith in unconditional love without any other motives. They simply love and care because that's who they are.

But I'm talking about the foundations of Christianity itself - about what the real message is and how most christians live, without even realising it.

At it's very core, Christianity says "we have the ultimate truth". By its very nature it declares that God revealed himself only through the Jews and Jesus to the entirety of mankind. It boldly declares Jesus to be the all in all - the beginning and the end - before the foundations of time, and the one who will bring the current world to an end.


It states unequivocally that we are born corrupt and hopelessly separated from God without the saving work of Jesus.

It declares, without hesitation, that only through Jesus can true love be found, and that mankind can be saved and united. It proudly states that all else is a counterfeit and deception at best, to blatant demonic lies at worst, spread to deceive mankind.


It teaches that our motivation should be to "save the lost", that our acts of love and care should be with the express purpose of bringing everyone to Jesus so they will be accepted and make it into eternal glory.

It even proudly cries that we can only become humble by denouncing our humanity and bowing in humble subservience to God.

But it is nothing more than absolute pride and arrogance. It's the antithesis of real love. It assumes that without Jesus humanity can never experience or express true love. And yet more atheists live a far more genuine life of unconditional love than most christians. They know what it is to give without an agenda - to see the beauty in the hearts of every person, to live with real compassion and empathy.

Yes, other religions also suffer from the same thing, but I can only speak from my 40+ years as a devout christian with any authority.

It has attempted to convince the world on a massive scale over two millennia (by whatever means it can) - that it alone has "the truth".

It doesn't get more arrogant than that.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Apologies? Yeah, nah...

Should I apologise to all the christians I've offended?


I post a lot of apparently "anti-chrisitian" stuff on my Facebook page and I get a lot of different opinions about the stuff I post.

But I'm often a little ambiguous and leave a lot of wiggle room for those who have a firm belief in the "work of Jesus", and for those who have completely ditched the foundational beliefs.

I interact with a lot of "fundies" as well as liberals and atheists. I understand the need for religion. I've studied all the doctrines and know all the standard doctrinal and theological answers and all their variations.

I confuse a lot of people, for one simple reason - I refuse to fit into a box. Many think I've become atheist, or at least agnostic.


I will not be defined by any label, let alone a dogma. One thing I've learned above anything else is the absolutely essential need to ditch certainty, dogma, tradition, biases and subjectivity.

Exploration, uncertainty, questioning, re-evaluating, learning, challenging, "embracing the journey"... these are the things that truly make us humble and loving. When we realise that the only thing we know for sure is here and now, and that anything beyond that is conjecture, we begin to embrace the depth of life as it is.

Our life right now is all that matters, and when we live that with every ounce of integrity we can muster, then we can ask no more of ourselves. Whatever we may believe about the future and even eternity, is nothing more than an act of faith. It may help us bring love and life to the here and now, or it may not. Religion in all it's forms tends to bring death, separation, exclusion, division, bigotry and dogma.

For me to say I'm anti-religion is probably more accurate, but even then, many christians will agree without really understanding what I mean. Just for the record, I include ALL religious belief systems at their foundational level. I believe christianity, islam, whatever... are all reflections of the same human desire for certainty and control. They appeal to that part of us that wants to be exclusive - to believe that we have the truth and are better than others. Even the most caring christians I know still, at their core, believe they have the only truth and the rest of the world is doomed if they don't believe the same thing.

Religion, in any form, has proven to be the worst thing that the world has embraced. And yet we still persist in the vain hope that OUR religion will change the world for the better.

Ultimately, if your beliefs bring love, unity, compassion and empathy to the world, then go for it. But don't claim them to be the ultimate truth. Likewise, if your beliefs bring division, bigotry, hate, intolerance in any form to the world, then you desperately need to question them.

What do I believe?

As I've always said, no matter what - live loved. Theology and doctrines are interesting but nothing more than hot air. If you don't live in a state of being and giving love, then you are part of the problem no matter what you believe.

No apologies needed!


Saturday, 2 January 2016

Blessings and fortunes

We love to give and receive "blessings".

"Bless you brother"
"You have been greatly blessed"
"God bless you"

Or "fortunes" for the less religiously inclined.
"You are so fortunate"
"May you have good fortune"

...and all the other variations on those themes.

Basically we are assuming that a greater power has the ability and desire to favour some people more than others. We believe we have the ability to increase the odds of this power's favouritism by speaking it out in some form.

We only need to ponder this for a minute to realise how absurd it is.

However, its done with the best of intentions, and we do hope for better circumstances for those we love, and to convey friendship etc. So it's not a bad thing when we consider the intentions.

But when we use these terms, we are reinforcing the idea that God (however we view it) is separate from us, and can dish out good/nice/loving/favourable things on a whim, if asked properly, or we do something good enough.

Perhaps we would be better to simply be thankful, to honour people as human, from our heart. Maybe we shouldn't declare them blessed or fortunate, but rather praise their humanity/kindness/generosity/selflessness... all the things that really matter and "build each other up in love".

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Jim's Awesome Christmas Blog

Howdy folks!!!

I started to write this long blurb about how crappy Christmas really is for so many people and consumerism and poverty, blah blah blah... We all know that stuff.

It's not even about Jesus or christianity really. Jesus is just thrown into the ridiculous hodgepodge of religious and cultural traditions that have ended up with this thing called Christmas.

Christians keep saying Jesus is the reason for the season, but really, that's just because we've added him into this weird tradition. It's easy to find when Jesus was added to all the pagan stuff, the legends and cultural traditions and how it's evolved over the centuries until our capitalistic consumerist society turned it into something else entirely!

Of course, I'm a tad cynical about it all, but never the less I enjoy the emotion of it all. I love the fact that we make time for each other, sit around and talk, drink, eat... catch up with old friends maybe. I love that everyone gets a holiday (well, most) to do this.

And that's it really.

So anyway, I really want to thank everyone who takes the time to read all my ramblings. My main reason for starting this blog was to journal publicly so I could get feedback and share my "journey" in a way that might help others on their journey.

It amazes me sometimes that I have such a good regular readership! So thank you all from the bottom of my heart (which is a very strange place to thank people from really - I would have thought the top of my heart would be better, but there you go... although some people I would prefer to thank from the bottom of my bottom, but that isn't very loving of me).

My hope for myself, my friends and the world at large is that we will learn to live loved - yes, it's my favourite phrase, but it embraces so much. Live loved - live, knowing that we are loved, that we ARE love, made of love, by love, for love. Love is the only thing that brings true change and unity. Its the only thing that will make this world a better place.

So yeah - live loved!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Muslim musings & religious ramblings

With all the terrorist/Muslim rhetoric going around it's easy to get lost in it all.

I'm very impressed with, and totally support, the move to separate the extremist beliefs and actions from the mainstream Muslims, as I do with any religion. It's a sign of maturity and the ability to exercise non-reactive thinking.

It's also incredible that millions are coming to the realisation that we must respect each other's beliefs and aim for a deeper level of understanding and unity amongst all of humanity.

But I keep looking at religion in general. I mean ALL religion. And by that I mean the whole concept and need for religious belief systems.

Now if you're a regular reader of my rants and raves, you'll realise that I have constantly questioned the whole paradigm about our need for building religious systems.

We all do it - yes even me! We can't help it. We form ideas about the nature of life, God, the universe and everything, and formalise it into a system or structure that helps us to understand it better, and act on it. Even atheists do the same thing, the only real difference is their anti-theism viewpoint.

But we just can't help ourselves - we decide that our system of beliefs about the universe and spirituality are the best/most logical/most spiritual/most beneficial/most life changing/most... anything really...

We fail to realise that they are simply ways of seeing something that we just don't have the full depth of knowledge about yet. We don't know what the "spark of life" is that we all have. We don't know what was before the big bang. We don't know what's inside a black hole. We don't know so much!!

But we are learning!

200 years ago, we used religious belief systems to understand and describe things that we now completely understand in a rational and scientific way. The "need" for a religious belief system for these things has gone, because we can see how they work - no more mystery.

We are learning at an even more rapid rate, and areas like quantum physics are now explaining some of the most foundational questions about the "nature of everything". SO much is simply being stripped away from needing to be viewed in any religious belief system.

This is a wonderful thing, because it allows us to see the true value of our humanity, that transcends all religious/spiritual systems. Finally, we are beginning to see that science and spirituality are the same thing, and we are ready to move into this new level of understanding.

So back to my point...

Religion is the problem - not just accepting and respecting each other's beliefs, although that's an amazing and essential step on our journey - but the whole concept of religious systems is the problem. They can't help but separate at the most fundamental level. We can modify our religion and find the unity in the basics of every belief system (well, some of them at least), but they are still inferior and short-sighted stop-gaps that divide on some level, until the day when we will understand the true nature of life/consciousness/God etc.

I propose we keep aiming to move past religion in any form. That we simply recognise whatever belief system we have as a stepping stone - something we need as a source of comfort until we truly understand. We just have to look at the last 200 years to realise how redundant most of religion has become. And even my thoughts I'm expressing here are limited by my own perceptions, and I can already see holes in what I'm saying, lol. But if we don't express this stuff, if we don't discuss and realise these foundational issues, we will never grow and achieve the very thing that we ALL crave.

Monday, 30 November 2015

I am God!

Now that will get a lot of you shouting blasphemy and heresy!
Jim's finally lost the plot! The devil's taken his soul!
But hear me out, it's just food for thought...

I am God!

I'm not A God
I'm not THE God

But I'm God, we are God, God is US!

Every infinitesimal part of me - every quantum "particle" of vibrating energy is an integral part of God. We are indivisible. There is nothing that is not God.
The "pool" of universal energy (and that many call universal consciousness) that all energy arises from, is God.

Each of us, the totally unique assembly of incomprehensibly complex energies, is God. We are all part of God. We can't be greater than, or less than God, or each other, because we are all of the same life force. There is only energy. All that we see and experience with our senses is nothing more than synchronised energy that our mind uses to create the illusion of the "world" around us (that is a scientific fact).

Every religion has the essence of this incredible truth hidden in its teachings and writings somewhere. Often it's so hidden by semantics, ritual, legalism, authoritarianism, power structures etc, that it's lost to all but a handful who care to see through the tangled mess.

Every religion has tried to create an external God that looks like themselves, and declared this shabby, fickle image to be the only true God.

We are ALL God - every single one of us! We are ALL made of, part of, inseparable from God.

I know there are a million arguments as to why this could not be so. I know that what we experience of human nature flies in the face of this idea.
But what if it IS true?
What if the only problem is we have simply forgotten who we are?
What if when we look in the eyes of another human we are looking into the eyes of God?
What if we take the time to consider this and all it's implications?
What if all the dreamers, peace keepers, mystics and gurus are right?

I AM God - think about it - I mean, really think about it. Think about the fact that the way you perceive everything now - every thought process running through your head - is nothing more than a paradigm slowly built from the day you were born!

It's possible, more than possible, that we ARE God, God is US.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Stranger to me

I am a stranger
I have walked so far that I...
Am a stranger
The years are still there
Still clear, mostly, as best I can tell
I can still feel them anyway
Like little scenes from a long movie
Playing over, out of sequence
So many of them

But it's all there is
The moments playing only on my screen
And suddenly I find myself
Here...
A stranger, in this moment

All I have left is now

And the only choice is
As if I had a choice
To let the scenes wash over me
And merge into pools of a life lived

Here I am
A stranger in my own life
I've never been me before
But still I'm here
This collection of fragmented thoughts
That stagger in and out of life