Jefferson Glassie's blog

Many Religions Are Based on Fear

We all want to believe that our own religion is based on goodness, truth, unity, and love. That is what most religions ostensibly teach. However, this message is undermined by the fact that most religions are actually based on fear.

How could this be true? you ask. My religion preaches "love your neighbor" and "forgive," you say. But underlying these religions is the ultimate fear: that you are separate from god and that you may be separated from him forever if you don't obey his laws.

The Long Term Effects of Fear - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

American troops come home from the war in Iraq, many with shrapnel wounds and lost limbs. But in many ways a more significant injury is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”). The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a National Center for PTSD, which says on its website:

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape.

Pure Life

They have a saying in Costa Rica: “Pura Vida.” Pure Life.

This does not mean good or bad life, or holy or evil life. It does not mean religious or atheistic life. It does not judge life.

Pure Life just means: enjoy this life in all its richness. It may be hot, or rainy. Enjoy it. The wind may blow or not. It might be cold and icy, with snow-showers.

Fear Causes All Conflict Among Humans

Nature has dealt us many tough blows recently. Hurricanes killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands of both our human kin and animal friends. A devastating earthquake in Pakistan obliterated towns and killed tens of thousands in one fell swoop. Mudslides in Guatemala killed hundreds.

With all this going on, we don’t need to kill each other.

Yet, humans continue to make war and murder each other at staggering rates. In the Twentieth Century, it’s reported that we killed one hundred million of us. Those murders didn’t happen because of natural disasters.

Love, From Katrina

The images of Katrina's visit to the United States southern shore are staggering. The power of nature is infinite. Yet, the same energy in Katrina is in us. So, our energy is also infinite.

The energy manifests itself in countless ways in our world, on this planet, constantly. The results of such manifestations are many, but they are not inherently good or bad.

From the perspective of the Universe, Katrina was simply an energy form that had effects on our planet. We are the same; we have staggering effects on our planet.

What does it Mean to Believe in God?

Do you believe in god? What does that mean, really?

I was asked a question at a recent presentation, and the point of the question was that references to god may offend some people. I had been under the impression that my habit of not referring to god might offend people (although, truthfully, there is never anything to be offended about). So, when I refer to the energy of the Universe, the life force, the creator, the absolute, source of all creativity, I often also add: “or god, if you like.”

But some people do not believe in god.

Time to Arise

Are the following statements true or false? Moses talked with God in a burning bush. Jesus rose from the dead. Joseph Smith received many visions from an angel. Mohammed also received a vision from an angel.

In fact, each of the statements is false. These stories are myths. People nowadays understand that the Greek gods - Zeus, Venus, Neptune, et al. - were mythological; same with the Native American spirits. Why do people not also see the mythological aspects of their own religions, while often missing the main tenets of the spiritual teachings?

The Basics of Love, Fear and Forgiveness

Peace is possible. Human life on earth can change and we can have love, not war. Fear can be recognized as the disability that it is. I believe we are all one, in perfection. LOVE. We – all things - are manifestations of the same energy of the Universe. That energy is love. That energy is peace. Unity and connectivity are love. Truth is love. Art is love. Some may call the energy “god,” but humanizing the energy does not do justice to its all-ness. Love is literally all around us, in each moment.

What is a relationship with god?

What does it mean to have a relationship with god? Certainly, it means having a connection or communication with the divine.

How is this relationship actualized? Through prayer to the divine?

What is a prayer? Isn't prayer simply directing our thoughts in a certain direction? If we think that god is outside of us, and we pray to god, then we direct our thoughts to some being outside.

Love, Fear and Social Security

The current dialogue about Social Security reflects much more about distinct metaphysical and spiritual beliefs than financial or budgetary analysis. Those who favor the status quo for this grandfather of social experiments reflect love-based thinking, while those who want to privatize it engage in fear-based rationalizations.

First, take a moment to understand the underlying principles from my book, [Peace and Forgiveness][book]. Humans are essentially a divine energy at their core, which they (we) share with all other living and even inanimate things in the universe.

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