“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ~Albert Einstein
We all try to be as open minded as possible. It’s true. Even those people who seem very closed are doing their best. I think, though, that to a degree we are all in a state of denial about our open mindedness. We say we are, but when some ideology comes along that is foreign and doesn’t fit in with our preconceptions we often don’t even give it a chance. I’ve been guilty of dismissing new (to me) ideas out of hand, sometimes I wasn’t even aware that it was because my belief system didn’t allow the new concept. The new idea, if I gave myself the time to explore it, may have invalidated my beliefs and then who would I be?
When I was a child I was raised as a Catholic. Very strict dogma. You have to be Catholic to go to heaven (after all it was the original church of Christ?). You can’t even set foot in another church. That would be a sin. THe otheres will go to hell. You must have complete faith in God. The trouble was that even as a young child the God of the Catholic church, the Old Testatment version, did not seem like the nicest person to me. He smote people. He sent people to hell. I have loved people who would be in hell right now if that was true. He tested people like Abraham and almost made him sacrifice his own son to prove to Him that he would obey.(Genesis 22). Can you imagine the anguish a father would go through if God told him to kill the son that he loved to prove a point? What kind of God does that? The Bible is an onslaught of God’s vengeance, temper tantrums, and spite. He destroyed whole cities, whole worlds, and threatened everyone with his power. He did not lead with love, but with force and fear, judgment and threats. This God was very scary. No, even as a child I knew that I was nicer than that God. I loved Jesus though. Jesus told us to love everyone. So, at the very least, I didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Jesus informed people of the New Covenant. H esaid this to help people understand that the God of the Old Testament no longer existed. he told his disciples to forget everything they had learned before he came. God, he told them, now wanted us all to live in love. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek. To love no matter what. He told us to love one another as we loved ourselves. He told us not to judge or use power and violence. He told us to forgive infinitely.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (John 4:18-19)
Jesus basically said that the old God was not real. He told his disciples to forget everything they had been told about God. The old God was all about the fear. The old God was made in the image of humans. Human fears and guilt and greed for power created the old God. The new God of Jesus is asking us to open our hearts to love. The new God is within and asks us to see our true selves.
“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:44–46)
This is one of my favorite quotes from Jesus. He is saying that it is easy for us to love our children and our friends. He says even the tax collectors love their friends and family. (no offense to tax collectors today) It is the true indicator that you are love if you love your enemies or those from whom you can receive no value or have no expectations of return. I still love Jesus, but I don’t hear his words in the way that they were interpreted by the church. I hear them with my intuition. I hear them with the love in which he intended them. He continually tells us that we are God. We are love. We are heaven. “On earth as it is in heaven,” is like saying, “In matter as it is in energy.” Energy is love. We are made of energy. He calls us our Father’s children, or the children of God. He wants us to accept our inheritance which is to be love.
“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-46)
I’m so glad I questioned my Catholic upbringing. I’m not trying to pick on the Catholic church. I use it as an example because I lived it. If I had been raised in another religion I would have used that as my example. It is not about Catholicism, but about opening your belief system. I am also glad that I went beyond just dismissing it, but followed with the question, “If that is not true, what is true?”
Almost every religion teaches the same dogma, just in different words. The level at which most people interpret it (because that is what they were taught by their religious leaders) is not the level at which it was intended by the original messengers. As long as a belief limits our ability to receive new ideas and concepts, it limits our ability to receive the rewards of new beliefs and thoughts. Just as we can’t accept a new gift with closed hands, we can’t acccept a spiritual gift with a closed mind.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (John 4:18)
Fear is what keeps us controlled by our old beliefs. We cling to them as though they are our identity, when, in fact, they keep us from our identity. We cling to our Ego’s beliefs only because they are so familiar. If we think with love we will know what is true. If we come from love, there will be no fear and our minds will open to the divinity of our souls. Open up your heart and mind to receive all the gifts you have waiting within yourself.
Open to these affirmations”
- I dwell in love.
- I am open to the wonders of my soul.
- The kingdom of God is within.
- I am fully loved.
- All good things come to me.
- I am open to gifts from God.
Close your eyes. Imagine that you walk into a room and on a table is a beautifully wrapped gift. Walk over and open the gift. What is inside?
Imagine a God that only loves. There is no other act or thought or feeling, but love. God is love. You are love.