Religious Belief in Contrast to Spiritual Enlightenment

Religion vs. Spirituality

by Rev. Dr. D. A. Kjono

June 2008

There is probably no greater debate, besides politics, than religion. Currently we have about a dozen main stream religions throughout our world and then of course the many branches and sub-categories of each of these. Abraham, around 2800 BCE, is one of the founders of monotheism and Moses about 1250 BCE enforced, in wholehearted support, this theological view.

They brought the view into being that there was only one Almighty God and those that worshiped the many gods of polytheism were wrong. The written language was Moses’ greatest tool. In Abraham’s time few written languages existed and even Hebrew was in its infancy as far as being scribed to tablet.

My only struggle with this throughout my entire life has been how did they come to this understanding? I find I am bothered the most about their view point because both of them were suffering a time of crisis and feared losing control over their own people when they came to their ‘divine understanding’.

Consider this in contemporary issues. George Bush is at a crisis crossroads in his presidency over the war in Iraq. He has lost his faithful supporters and completely lost touch with the masses. If he were to suddenly declare (which I wouldn’t put it past him to do so) that he had a “divine insight” that “God wanted him to punish all those who opposed his war strategy”, there would no doubt be some that would fall on their knees before him and beg forgiveness for their indiscretions and loss of loyalty.

The “Godless” masses would probably just ignore him, but those who owed their livelihood to the White House would certainly make the rest of our lives more miserable than they already do. The “Conspiracy Theorists” certainly think 9-1-1 was precisely this, an orchestrated plan by the White House to rally support for an unpopular idea.

When anyone of authority in our life makes a demand, suggestion or statement we rarely take time to question it. We instinctively react as our inner desire is to please that person and to stay in or gain their favor. This is only natural. We want to be liked as that is comforting to our Spirit. If we are in discourse, our Spirit feels at dis-ease and that leads to our physical and mental dis-comfort.

As children then, we grew up listening to a pastor, rabbi, priest or minister preach his fire and brim-stone messages to us. We went home and looked up to our parents to either negate or impugn those opinions and rarely found they disagreed or argued any particular points. I remember hearing all the qualifications about the pastor my mother would give to endorse his authority, not whether or not his teaching was correct.

However, we now live in an informed and for the most part intelligent society compared to that of Abraham and Moses. Therefor we tend to discern more of the information we are given. We have come to question authority as we have been given so many examples in the past to do so. By not questioning and reacting we keep an external level of peace in our life. By questioning and giving thoughtful and ‘true to self’ responses, we keep an internal level of peace in our life.

Three thousand plus years ago people had no clue about germs, natural disasters, cycles of plagues, or a myriad of other topics we take completely for granted today. If and elder told a child afflicted with the chicken pox or flu was a result of their “defiling God” when they took the neighbors bucket of goat milk, that child would believe it as they had no other reference to correspond the illness and act to. If a crop failed or severe, uncustomary weather struck an area the farmers could be made to believe it was because of some Godless act committed by someone or anyone in the community. Ignorance opens wide the door for abuse of power.

(I took my brother’s favorite fishing pole to the irrigation ditch when I was about five years old and was he ever furious with me when he found out. I had tangled the lined in the reel and lost his best lure. A few days later dead minnows and tadpoles were floating down the ditch by the hundreds. As I played with my friend my brother road by on his bike and said “See what you get! Next time use your own pole!” I couldn’t sleep for several nights afterwards thinking my brother had the power to eliminate everything in the ditch because he was mad at me. I was seven or eight before I realized this happened every year due to DDT and other chemicals sprayed on the crops that lined the irrigation ditches in those days. He took total advantage of my ignorance and played a good power trip on me. This was performed on the masses on a grand scale three millennia ago by the pious authority of the day.)

If you are so inclined, you may want to read Genesis and Exodus(1) in it’s entirety to get the full story we have available to us on these men. Actually, I should say the “official” story we have available to us. The Dead Sea Scrolls, Akhadish Records(2), Cercene Tablets(3), Hieroglyphs in Egyptian sarcophagi, pottery and various other secular archaeological finds give us glimpses of the ancient world. What these varied sources do have in common are many of the same stories such as Noah’s flood, Moses and the many plagues of Egypt and some of the Prophets including Jesus, Ezekiel and Isaiah.

Another aspect of several of the Biblical characters is they were reluctant leaders. They had a great amount of self doubt, they felt God had chosen the wrong person and they struggled greatly within the political climate of their day. Moses is accredited with writing the first five books of the Old Testament, some scholars say only four while others are convinced he wrote more than ten. Regardless of the actual numbers, Moses was the first Hebrew to put into writing the dogmas of his day. We still question whether or not it was actually written down with his hand or if he dictated to scribes. Of course this really doesn’t matter, he was still the author of the works.

When you read the Exodus account of Moses delivering the Israelites from Egypt you are almost certain that the events described took place over a few weeks period of time. When looking at the same account from the Cercene Tablets it was closer to three years that this struggle continued. Even the plagues of the river turning to blood, dead frogs, flies, lice all living manner dying in the Nile has been proven. But were they in fact by the hand of God or were they natural progressions of events over a two or three year period?

I think Moses may have indeed had a great deal of insight however I have my doubts about his calling these events down in the form of the wrath of his “God”. I mean when you are trying to make a point wouldn’t you take advantage of anything at all to enforce your viewpoint? Like my brother did to me in the above side line?

My angst with organized religion is much the same. Instead of telling the truth and calmly explaining to the unlearned why one should act in a particular manner, it comes across as an authoritarian power trip. It’s because “I said so and you are ignorant” instead of “let me help you find your way in life.” Let’s look at Biblical history, nearly every war that was written about was over whom had the correct view of God.

If we fast forward a bit in history we come to King James. In his day there were at least a hundred different translations of the oldest sources of biblical information. Monastery’s, castles, synagogues and theologians all had their own spin and collection of “facts” concerning the Old and New Testaments. King James, being good on one hand, dictated that there should be only one, true translation of all the information available and sought change for fluency in God’s word. He was earnest in his Basilikon plea to make plain the Bible and available to every man by authorizing the English translation of the Latin and Greek texts used by the Papacy in Rome.

On the other hand by convening a scholarly council to write the translation, much debate went on for years over what was divine inspiration and merely banter or opinion of writer, prophet and Apostle alike. There is great evidence to support that Mary Magdalene for instance was in fact married to Jesus of Nazareth and that they bore children. This is also speculated to be the true Holy Grail which is the bloodline of Christ. Texts have been found that were written by Mary, Thomas and even Judas, however, no mention is made of these in the final version of King James’ authorized final text we know today as KJV of the Holy Bible.

The Cercene Tablets were found in an archaeological dig of Cercis, near current day Kutahya, Turkey and are indexed by scroll number and line. The oldest of these clay tablets and copper scrolls date to around 1800 BCE and were kept current until about 450 CE. It is thought that a caste of monk or magi kept these ‘encyclopedias of world knowledge’ but little is left of the buildings surrounding this area to know for sure. It is assumed that early Turkish rulers sent messengers abroad to bring news of the world to them to keep abreast of world events.

Herein we find many different accounts of the same events that Matthew, Mark, Luke John and Paul wrote about. The Apostle’s had to, in their opinion, glorify God and make Jesus beyond mere mortal. The Cercene author simply wrote what they truthfully observed. The Apostle’s weren’t even born at the time of Christ so rewrote much of the information they gathered or translated from Greek accounts. There is an example of this later on in this text.

I feel this is the same as when we look at letters written by soldiers of the Civil War in the United States versus the scholar that writes only from military records and newspaper accounts today. The same statement is made that by academic and scholarly authority as the Apostles: “I wrote this because I’m qualified”. Or we can live the times through first hand, witnessed and experienced accounts written by those of little education on the front lines. Which bears more truth?

I do not want to sound as if I find nothing of quality or value in what we read in the King James Version of the scriptures or history books, I am merely pointing out that when there is an agenda behind anyone’s rationale or reasoning for making authoritative statements, I fall suspect to their true intent. I find this especially true when it comes to killing and war in “the name of God.”

The Bible is full of war and hatred and killing even though the ultimate sin is murder. Cain was cast out into the land of Nod due to murder in the first few chapters of Genesis and it escalates from there. We need look no further than the headlines of today to see the mess that exists in the Catholic Church over molestation, even though God’s Law clearly states this is an abomination. In the middle and dark ages entire communities of people died of disease and starvation while the church claimed poor as they gilded yet another cross or bishop’s robe.

There is a secular statement that makes me think all the more; “Actions speak louder than words!” This is so true and if we take this to heart and see the actions of some of the ‘Divinely Inspired’. I’m sorry, I just can’t get behind most of their words, only their actions. Now days many theologians will have us believe these are mere lessons and prove God’s grace and mercy, but wait a moment folks, shouldn’t those who are teaching the doctrine be above the temptations? We need do nothing more than turn on our TV’s on any given Sunday morning to see evil at work. All I hear is “guilty, guilty, guilty! Now send us money and you’ll be forgiven!” And some wonder why Christ over turned the money changer’s tables in the synagogue.

Now I am not saying that all religious people are of cut from this same cloth. Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dali Lama and Dr. Billy Graham to name a few were true messengers of hope for mankind. They gave tirelessly of Self and expected little in return. I don’t have enough paper to print the names of those whom have defiled God’s word by their actions!

I have seen true messengers of God’s will in many, many places. Unfortunately these good people are truthfully the overworked and under paid of our society. While we have CEO’s of large corporations that feel entitled to enormous, multi-million dollar bonuses every quarter, we have those good and true souls who work for minimal wages and give most of that to their community effort. They mentor children and teach the value of living a Spiritual life. They give endlessly of Self and expect nothing in return. These, in my opinion, are the true messengers of God, The Source, Allah, The Collective Conscious whatever label you wish to put on the Divine Energy that is instilled in us all.

And this is where I find the division in definition between religion and spirituality. Religion makes demands, spirituality is giving. Religion is authority, spirituality is submissive. Religion is coercive, spirituality understanding. Religion is based on dogmatic theologies where Spirituality is based on one’s personal connection to doing what is right. Religion is exoteric while Spirituality is esoteric.

We have the basic story in the Bible of how Moses came to be the leader of the Israelites. He was born of the lineage of Abraham and he was cast adrift in the Nile by his mother when the Pharaoh wanted all male children killed. There is a tendency to believe that Moses was the only male child cast adrift or hidden from the Pharaoh’s men, but there are references in Egyptian history and the Cercene scrolls that say this was not the case, there were many.

After Moses was grown, he killed an Egyptian guard and left Egypt to go back to the land of his forefathers and flea his tormentors. Here he married, had children and tried to settle into a new life for himself. When he was so moved by God to go back and help the Israelites leave their captors, he was hesitant and even tried bargaining with God that he simply was not the right man for the job.

Moses realized the immense responsibility God (or was it actually his conscience?) was placing on him and tried even harder to get out of his calling. To the degree that he even claimed that no one would believe him as he could not even name God. But it is here in Exodus that we are given the Universal message of our kindred Spirit being that of God. “I AM THAT I AM!”

When we take this out of the Moses story and put it in our every day life, we are shown that it is not necessarily needed to understand or name our Collective Conscious, The Source or God. It suffices to say “I AM!” To put this it into contemporary thinking a philosopher once said “I think, therefore I AM!” giving yet another clue as to our unique correlation with God.

In the biblical text we are told a story of the greatness of God and how even those witnessing His terrible acts were unworthy or incapable of doing this on their own accord. In contrast the Egyptian mystic or wizards were quite capable of performing quite a long list of illusions. Any modern day magician who knows his background can tell you that slight of hand tricks have been used since recorded history to emphasize or support an authoritative doctrine.

Being the ‘official’ view or not it seems that the Cercene account was very much like the Moses’ description only a little less tainted in view point. I would think the scribe(s) that wrote these documents were much like the reporters of today going into the field and gathering their information from witnesses and survivors to any tragedy.

While one account says the people needed to be convinced of a godly intention the other seems to relate a story of giving up the cause of even more hardship upon the Israelites and Hebrews. Moses had killed and Egyptian, fled and returned and tried to make people believe his sojourn was God inspired. Well, I tend to think he had an entirely different agenda, control.

No one now, and I’m sure even then, liked to be in captivity but it’s not like the Hebrews or Israelites were in jail. They lived in their section of the city, tended their own flocks, herds and markets and in essence took care of their own needs. Their ‘job’ as it were was to be the labor class of the Egyptian ruling class. Not a whole lot different than how we live today under the guise of ‘freedom’.

To sum this up, Moses felt a responsibility to return to Egypt and help get his brethren freed of their servitude to a foreign ruler. He truly felt his people were entitled to a better life and complete freedom. He accomplished his goal, however, he then became responsible for all the troubles that ensued. Could you imagine being responsible for 20,000 to 50,000 people for forty years leading them on a never ending ‘snipe hunt’?

Each time the people had had enough and were ready to revolt and go their own way, Moses had yet another ‘vision’. I saw this in “Waterworld” (Kevin Costner) when the leader of the hooligans (on Exxon Valdez) was faced with turmoil. He held up the child with the map tattoo on her back in his outstretched arms and rallied the people to once again row the great ship. Well Moses did much the same. Instead of relinquishing his authority he rallied the people and made them move on.

One other thing I need to mention is that every ‘prophet’ that tried to explain the “God conscious” within, Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and others, all gave a similar message of “looking within”. It wasn’t until after their mortal death that religions were formed around those messages. Christ was a Jew and yet Christianity was the result of his message. Mohammed had studied many Jewish aspects of religion, yet had no firm belief in anything until he discovered Allah within. Buddha as well was a prince, turned simple man, that firmly believed simplicity in life was the connection to the higher Self.

And, in closing, let me remind the reader that most of history, whether secular or religious, was written by the victor. Much of what we know about the ancients in Europe for example was written by Claudius, a Roman scholar, and his take on the worthiness of those who opposed Rome left much to be imagined about how these people had retained their authority over their lands for so long. If they were the “wimps” he described in many of his texts, it would seem to me that anyone with the guts to say “Boo!” would have been the leader or chieftain of the clan.

Only the Gauls and Berserkers did he give a favorable rating to as “worthy” opponents. The Saxons, Goths, Franks, Vikings and Visigoths were to be “admired for their tenacity” but still fell readily to the gladius (4) and battle hardened skills of the Centurions. Of note, he wasn’t around in 350 CE when the Vikings sacked Rome, but then again a ‘good Roman’ would never accept defeat.

Whether or not the written texts of history in general can be believed 100% it is still the only record we have from any source, victor or defeated. We have to discern and decipher for ourselves what makes “sense” and is rational and believable, not just what is served up on a worded platter as it were. Mythology, by definition, is not merely mythical or fanciful story it is often the spoken accounts of events passed down from one generation to the next.

Scholar and amateur alike can tell you this is what research is all about. Dig, find and compare any information taken in and formulate your own opinion and meaning from it. After all, none of us alive today were actually at any point in the historical record other than our own lifetime. My biggest disappointment in the historical record of personal note was at the end of the Viet Nam conflict.

As I helped “tag and bag” 68 body bags that lay scattered across the hanger bay of the USS Okinawa (LPH-3) I looked up to see Walter Cronkite on the IC television claim that the “evacuation of Saigon, now Ho Chi Min City, puts an end to all hostilities between our two countries. Fortunately this was accomplished with no further loss of life our soldiers.” Hmm, I wonder what those 68 souls thought about that? And yes, granted, a few of those bodies had been turned over to us by the VC and had been killed earlier in other combats. But at least 50+ on our ship, and I have no idea how many on other ships, would argue, if they could, that the “end” was far from bloodless.

Keep history alive, read, research and decipher for Self! Regardless if you are secular or religious in your search it is all written by the hand of man. “God” may have had a great deal of influence on the scribe, but we have nothing in His handwriting to go by.

So whether we are “Christian”, “Muslim”, “Buddhist” or “whatever” we are not of a particular religion, we merely prescribe to a doctrine that fits us or soothes our vibration best. I tend to see things like this:

Religion = exoteric = external beliefs

Spirituality = esoteric = internal beliefs

Religion = a human higher authority = external empowerment

Spirituality = Self authority = internal empowerment

Religion = responsibility on others = for enlightenment and spiritual happiness

Spirituality = responsibility on Self = for Spiritual enlightenment and internal

happiness

Religious Responsibility = allows others to do the work and form our opinion

and belief system

Spiritual Responsibility = means we have to do the work, study, learn

Religious Authority = only those who have doctrinal learning can teach the

dogma

Spiritual Authority = the works or actions of our heart, mind and soul and thus

we teach Self

Labels= the things we use as tools to attempt good communication between ourselves and others. God= The Creator, The One, The All, The Collective Consciousness, Allah. This too is external.

Our Spirit = Soul, Higher Self, Inner Being and so on needs no label to understand that when our vibration resonates truth it simply IS.

Therefore the Great “I AM!” resides in us all if we but acknowledge it. Our Spirit needs no label or doctrine, but for us to intellectualize among ourselves, we need a common format of communication. And this is what gets me the most about Spirituality vs. Religion:

Put ten Spiritual people in a room and we all talk about how we might make things better for everyone. (This, of course, is after much discussion as to how to narrow a list of one hundred things down to ten!)

Put ten religious people in a room and the fight is on as to who is right or wrong, correct or incorrect or who has the most “Godly” authority! (This, of course, is after much discussion as to which beings actually qualify as a bona fide deity.)

Peace, Enlightenment and Prosperity through knowledge,

Rev. Dr. D. A. Kjono

Resources:

(1) The Bible, KJV

(2) ‘The Library of Life’ as referenced by secular author, James Redfield “Celestine Prophecy”

(3) Cercene scrolls, esoteric references from the “Mythology, Demonology and Theological Texts”, Gregory Gustine Gall, High Rede Arthurian Order, 1879, self published

(4) gladius (short sword) and scutum (small rectangular shield)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: