Saturday, April 18, 2009

The present moment

Live in the present moment. Such a simple sounding statement but to fully do it is one of our greatest challenges on a personal level. We are creatures of habit and most of what we do is because it’s what we’ve always done. We view life and our experiences in it through the reflection of our past experiences and we deal in generalities. For the most part we are guided by our fears and we cut ourselves off from the power that is possible only in the present moment.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. When I hear anyone use the word “God” I almost immediately recoil or cut them off because I believe they hold the same limited view of God as those in the Baptist church. Rather than allow myself to be hurt by their angry words again I mentally block them out or discount them. It’s not something that I’ve consciously set out to do but certainly something that I’ve begun to notice that I do unconsciously. Unfortunately that’s not the only thing I do like that, thus the challenge of living in the present moment.

Those that know me know that I’m not a big fan of “The Church” especially Christian churches and that is because I’ve suffered so many wounds from them and see the hurt that the teachings have inflicted upon so many others. I deal with men every day who live in shame of who they are because they believe that the Christian teachings are gospel. Even if they are no longer associated with the church, their past association has them believing that the Bible is God’s doctrine. These beliefs were given to us, of course, by the church because it’s what those in power believe. The Bible itself is shrouded in mystery and controversy.

My problems with the church are many but at the core the issue is their limiting belief of God. In essence they teach that God is a judgmental superhuman that has created everything and is sitting in judgment of our every action. At the end of our life we’re then given a big reward or tossed into a pit of fire as punishment. Eternal pleasure or pain awaits our soul as a result of 70 to 80 years of human life. It just doesn’t add up yet we’re taught to fear this wrathful God and to judge ourselves mercilessly as a way to win favor with this being. That view and even concept of God is so limiting and causes so much pain in our world.

After graduating from high school and spending the next 20 years running from the church and all their teachings I came to realize that I need to face my fears and try looking at it another way. Slowly over the last 10 years of my life I’ve watched my life transform as my view of God, or Source as I now call it, has changed. I no longer project my human views and qualities onto that entity rather I see Source as an energy field from which all of creation has emerged.

Science teaches us that everything we see in the physical realm is made out of atoms and molecules. These group together and form cells. Cells group together and form the animals, plants and minerals. At the subatomic level we are all a collection of billions of molecules acting together to form our bodies. That energy field which created the molecules that then becomes me or you is what I think of as Source. It is the source of our existence and it is the field to which our bodies will eventually decay and return to. In essence it is what Christians would see as the Creator, Heaven and Hell, all in one. It is simply another way to attempt to explain the unexplainable, but without the dogma.

In a way, it’s a lot like language. We took sounds that we made and formed an alphabet of letters from that. We take the alphabet of the language we speak and pair the letters together to form words. We impose meaning upon the words to define them and give them their power. These words then get grouped together to form sentences and paragraphs and thus express ideas and generate thought. Ultimately however if I could take all the words that you see here and shake them all together, we’d be left with a pile of harmless, meaningless letters. Our bodies are a lot like that. We are a bunch of molecules hanging out together forming the sentences which are our organs and the paragraph which is our body.

Ultimately the concepts of God, the Devil, Heaven and Hell are all constructs of the Church. All of these ideas were created by the church thousands of years ago to try and explain why we are here. Unfortunately these constructs have taken on a life of their own apart from the church doctrine but we lose sight of that. People spend time trying to say that their God is this that or the other and not like that. I think this is a source of much debate, discussion and divisiveness amongst people. It divides us rather than unites us.

I know for me, when I chose to leave the church, I ran from their judgmental teachings but held on to the concepts of “God”, the “Devil”, “Heaven” and “Hell” and sought other teachings that explained these “entities” as more loving and compassionate. It wasn’t until I really took a deeper look at the source of my fears relating to these concepts that I realized I had to drop these concepts as well to fully live in the present moment. Each of these words holds the energy that has been put into them by the church. Stop for a moment and think of any one of those words and just watch all the ideas and concepts that emerge in your mind. That is the embedded power of words.

In understanding that these words have this embedded power and we can seek liberation by selecting new words which describe our truth rather than trying to find a better definition of the old words. For example simply choosing to use the word “Source” rather than “God” is not enough. It’s not just choosing a different word for it, it’s about being aware of the definition we hold for the words we use and using words that describe our truth. We must liberate our minds from these concepts which divide us and ultimately lead to war and destruction and instead focus on what unites us as a people. Ultimately none of us will exit this life alive so we have to ask ourselves what will bring us joy, peace, love and happiness until that departure time arrives and put our focus on those things.

This is where awareness comes in. Words that lead us to judgment cut us off from experiencing life in the present moment. We can’t be open and accepting to life unfolding and sit in judgment of it at the same time. Judgment holds us to the past. Life is in the present. Our true power resides only in the present moment. Be aware of your thoughts. Claim your power. Transform your life.


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