Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted May 29, 2011

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Chapter on isms

by Cogitator

Religion, by Encarta's definition, is: "people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life."

All religions are isms or "schools of thought." Political systems are also isms, as well as personal belief systems such as sexism, racism and the like. Every ism is at least partially false and each can be called religion, whether the deity is the dollar, American Idol, one's own ego, etc...

What's Religion's Role?

Baumeister (1991), in an impressive psychological and historical analysis, says that four basic needs push us to find meaning in our lives. If all four are satisfied, we feel life is meaningful; otherwise, we feel somewhat dissatisfied. These needs are:

(1) to have purpose--striving for something in the future. You may seek goals (good job, children, retirement) or fulfillment (happiness, pride, how we imagine we will feel when we reach our worthy goals).

(2) A need to have value --wanting to be seen as good and justified in our actions. Moral systems, like the Golden Rule, originally enabled us to live together with some degree of harmony.

(3) A need for efficacy -feeling effective, capable, in control, and that we have made or will make a difference. Humans even need and strive for illusions of control; a myth reduces distress.

(4) A need for self-worth-- finding a basis for feeling positive about their lives. The more of these sources of self esteem we have, the more secure we are. But, excessive demands on the "self" for meaning causes depression. Unfortunately, self-worth often involves trying to feel superior to someone or groups of others, thus, for example, the poor southern white male in 1860 felt superior to the black slave and fought, in part, to maintain his status.

These four needs (and their causes) combine with our life experiences (our culture, our family rules, our religion, and our friends' views) to produce our personal value system and the meaning attached to our life. Baumeister contends that humans, pushed by these four needs and aided by an enormously imaginative brain, have for thousands of years created beliefs (myths) in a higher power which will protect and provide for us, make sense of natural events, and give purpose or meaning to our lives. That is, human needs and fears motivated the development of religions which embodied and reinforced our values. Moreover, he says that many of the promises religions have made, such as lasting marriages (with the male in charge), help avoiding or handling misfortunes, the answering of prayers, eternal salvation, etc. are very comforting ideas but pretty much illusory. He and many other scholars think the decline of explicit moral teachings by the church in the last 50 to 75 years has left individuals with a "values gap," without a moral base on which to build a philosophy of life. Since a complete set of values is no longer handed down to us by family, culture, or church, we now must construct our own value system (or avoid the task).

Unfortunately, all of us, especially the young, are rather unprepared for this difficult and important task. Without guidance, we usually adopt just bits and pieces of values and goals from others, then to a large extent we use personal satisfaction as our guiding light: having fun, looking good, loving, working, and being successful and happy. Those aren't bad values but, surely, they aren't humans' noblest efforts either.

It may be that religions have not given us nearly as many morals and values as commonly believed (although religion has obviously given believers some meaning, in the sense that, for Christians, believing in Christ and following "God's word" is thought to lead to everlasting life). There is evidence that religions gradually incorporate a society's morals and ambitions into what is proclaimed to be God's will (rather than correcting society's wicked ways). Thus, a pacifist religion--"turn the other cheek"--founded by the "Prince of Peace" has repeatedly supported religious crusades, wars for economic gain, and "just wars" wanted by leaders or the people. Even though it appears that religions did not "invent" good morals, religions remain very strong, far from dead. In fact, for believers, religion amply satisfies the four powerful needs for meaning, e.g. purpose, directing many lives and promising salvation and less fear; values, telling us what is right and wrong; efficacy, offering the power of prayer and some feeling of control over life and death, and self-worth, including feeling superior to others and being loved, favored, and chosen by God. Religion helps people handle life's misfortunes and our enormous fear of death. Religion also provides a sense of belonging and a social support system. The payoffs of religion are so fantastic that if you believe in a religion, it is extremely threatening to even question it, let alone give up its alleged advantages.

God is a delicate issue because some people need religion but others do not. The realist must ask: Did an omnipotent God create man or did insecure, frightened people create Gods? Most people might give a knee-jerk answer but thoughtful consideration of this question takes months or years. How you answer that question will influence your behavior somewhat, particularly in terms of church attendance, reliance on prayer, contributions to church activities and buildings, and perhaps other ways. But your basic value system may not change at all: People are just as honest, caring, gentle, good, etc. when they no longer believe in God as when they did. Religion is not the only basis for being considerate of others, being faithful, unprejudiced, and living in harmony. These values are simply reasonable and beneficial. With or without a religion, we all have the same four needs to meet and most of the same moral choices to make. We can find meaning for our lives without religion. We won't all arrive at the same meaning, but we can, with effort, all be good and do good in our own way. There is no one true meaning of life. Perhaps, as Baumeister says, "the quest for meaning, not the answer, is the real miracle of life."

Why do we feel the need to have religion? We already have the knowledge of right and wrong within us, so why do we develop belief systems beyond this capability? What is the purpose of rituals? Why does religion create hypocrites? Why is it that often the more religious a person is, the less spiritual that person becomes?

Franklin D. Roosevelt said: "People are prisoners in their own mind."

What all belief systems, not only religions, do is define the size of our prison. Religion can be useful. We all need to grab the banister on the stairway to heaven once in a while. However, the banister is not the stairway. It provides a touchstone, but no direction. Religions should be road maps to the same destination using different paths. Arguing about the path is ridiculous. The unfortunate part of religion is that it seldom allows a different point of view to enter its prison.

Virtually all I know I learned from introspection. Indeed, my beliefs have either been converted to knowledge or dumped onto the scrap heap of Ignorance. When I read "The Archeology of Knowledge" by Michel Foucault, the book took me up another step on the stairway. He proposes that all knowledge of Universal Truth and previous spiritual experience is encoded in the double helix of the DNA molecule. We are born to learn more. "Cool thought!" I thought.

"Time, Space and Knowledge," by Tartang Tulku is a great mind expander. This Buddhist lama founded Dharma Publishing in California. In this book, he proposes the existence of Great Time, Great Space and Great Knowledge as compared to ordinary time, space and knowledge. Thirty-six exercises are given to broaden the spirit's prison. What I got out of it is that "Great" represents the Oneness of all and "ordinary" is the ego's limitation of the five physical senses.

Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health (with a key to the scriptures)" is the cornerstone of Christian Science and can be found on It was written because of an experience she had with Dr. Parkhurst Quimby. She was severely ill and sought help. Quimby believed he had found the method that Jesus used in healing people. Shortly after this encounter, Eddy was totally healthy. Ergo, the book. Her interpretations of Jesus' work are much more refined than any fundamentalist could describe.

My studies led me to a Rosicrucian course called "Mastery of Life" for three years. Rosicrucians are accepted as part of the Freemasons. My Essay on Communication came from these studies. Lots of symbolism in their depictions as well as ritualistic activity. The scientific explanations of how our thoughts communicate with Supreme Being was invaluable in understanding life. However, I don't like rituals so I stopped at that stage. My Rosicrucian name is Cognitor.

When I read "The Four Agreements" by de Ruiz, I instantly adopted them as a personal Code of Conduct. This book was so clear, so true, and easy to read as well. It is based on Toltec teachings of scientific spirituality and the human being's lot in life. The sentence that kicked me up the stairway was: "The only thing that dies is your past." Wow! Why bring bad memories into today? Let them die!

I believe...nothing.

Faith and belief used together create assumptions. Another word for belief is "tenet," from the French, meaning "to hold." All isms and religions are tenets that define the dimension of a mind's prison.

If someone holds to a school of thought, he or she then makes choices based upon that tenet. When we read or hear the words "I believe," We can be sure it will be followed by an opinion, or assumption, if you will. This is not to imply either is bad. In "The Four Agreements" Ruiz proposes the third agreement to be "Never make assumptions." We should all agree to remove assumptions from our thoughts.

Converting beliefs to knowledge or proving beliefs to be false happens when we find truth within ourselves. Sometimes, beliefs turn out to be true and knowledge is discovered. That happens when we test our beliefs with introspective analysis. We are trained to accept beliefs. True knowledge is inborn and gets buried by societal interaction. That's why it gets dis-covered."

For example, we may believe that two plus two is four, but this is only by agreement among ourselves. In truth, there is only one number from which all numbering systems are created. That is the number 1. The absence of that number is 0. Whether octal, decimal, duodecimal, or hexadecimal, all numbering systems are artificial. They only exist by agreement in the human mind we call ego, or personality. Accepting beliefs by majority vote does not create truth.

Belief systems create Group Egos. This is the herd instinct of humanity. Group egos are the primary cause for all strife and conflict on earth. If enough people repeat the same thought, it makes others want to believe it is true. Repetition, indoctrination, propaganda will make weak minds believe virtually anything. However, if the thought is on the path to truth, group support and encouragement will certainly be justified. Group egos are a double-edged sword. They are dangerous if supporting false belief and helpful if they lead members into enlightenment.

Belief in gods is the most prevalent belief. Getting to know God is not so easy for the average person. DesCartes' quote: "I think, therefore, I am" is the quote that started my journey. Buckminster Fuller was quoted as saying: "God is Supreme Being, the verb, not the noun." Most people would have trouble communicating with verbs rather than nouns. The fact of the matter is that the universe of thought is always in motion. Verbs are action words. Bucky is right. Things exist only when we stop and think about their state of being in the form manifested in our mind.

The value of something is not in what it is called, but rather, in what it does. There is no way we are in touch with God if we anthropomorphize the image into a "him." If God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, then our consciousness must be within His. He is the perfect spirit, therefore, we are also spiritually perfect. Only the material mind of our body is blind to this fact.

The "I/AM" of Being is unlimited and thus allows Divinity to manifest as a HIM for humanity to observe, as in Jesus, Buddha, or even US. Divinity can take form, even though it is indeed formless, and still be one with infinity. A wave looks separate from the ocean, but is always connected.

Buddha taught the oneness of things. There is Only One Consciousness. Metaphysics teaches that every form is created by our own being's ability to think and sense other thoughts. There is no substance in consciousness other than thought. Our egoistic bodies, however, continually attempt to separate their Bubba from the unity of all. The body's paltry sensory ability is ridiculously inadequate when compared to what is available to sense. Ego continually tries to identify, sort, categorize, and assign value to evanescence. That is what creates assumptions.

If we take a moment to understand how our physical senses communicate to our REAL being, we will find that absolutely nothing we experience is physical.
When we open our eyes in the morning and light hits the rods and cones of the optic nerve, we actually CREATE the image in our mind. There is no "Out There." Everything we see is seen in our own "mindspace." The sounds we hear are vibrations against our eardrums for us to discern familiar forms. The image of what the sound represents appears in our minds.

Helen Keller was blind and deaf from birth and wrote fourteen books. What do you think she saw in her mind with her limited senses? If talk to a blind person and ask what they have in mind, we may be quite surprised. I once thought writing a science fiction novel about how everyone on earth would be blinded and deafened for one day and could communicate only by touch. There would be a great awakening of the population created by this experience. We live in and use Eternal Mind to fashion this human life. Ignorance of this is why people feel pain. Every ego, including Group ego, creates its own pain. If there is sin, its name is Ignorance.

Newton said: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." For others, this is "What goes around, comes around."

If this is true, then for every thought, there is an equal and opposite thought. The conflicts we create are caused by not being centered to observe both extremes of a situation. If we stand in the middle of a bar magnet, there is no way we can tell which pole is positive and which is negative. Each pole attracts equally. We are in balance. This is the Zen state of Buddhism: Observing life without judgment. All things are perfect in their manifestation to our senses because they are in balance. They cannot exist otherwise. Politics refer to left-wing/right-wing mentalities. We actually need both wings to fly, but when the plane takes off, it's rather stupid to stay on either wing.

There is much written and spouted about having a Positive Mental Attitude. All that does is acknowledge the Negative. One cannot exist without the other as mentioned above. The extremes define the playing field. If we were to adopt a Creative Mental Attitude, this would make much more sense and bring about much better results.

Belief often proves to be a scourge for humanity. Indoctrination, propaganda, false belief and value systems, domestication of the human herds all tend to cause the strife we have to endure. Each belief system is a School of Thought that can be triggered by emotion. If we picture a school of fish being attacked by sea otters, we see that they move in unison in this direction and that as though they are of one mind. They are. We all are. That's how the lower levels of human minds move.

Recognizing our spirit mind and its relationship to Universal Mind is what removes all need for belief. We are perfect, eternal, and infinite. Only demon ego living in material mind prevents us from seeing.

We need to understand that ego is our personality. "Persona" is Greek for "mask." If we can discover enough of our truth to drop that mask, we will be living eternally in what call "heaven," or "paradise," or utopia," etc...If we believe that heaven is somewhere other than where we already are, that's our ego talking.

We all have access to truth via introspection. It is quite an effort for some to come to realize that we have responsibility for our own life. Placing blame or assigning credit to some outside source cannot lead us there. We behold our own thoughts.

Truth is. That's all, it just IS. We may have heard people say: "Everyone creates their own truth," but that truth is only Ego truth. Based upon beliefs, the material mind of ego will create castles in the air and imagine all kinds of fairy tales.

We are all born with all truth within us. Only those sequences that follow Universal Laws can be retained in this truth. There is no vestige of belief or assumption when we arrive on this earth.

After we are born and able to sense our environment, we begin to explore. We are of boundless energy, curious to a fault, joyful as a new puppy being loved, and constantly seeking expression of a spirit being free. That is, seeking love and loving, seeking touch and touching, appreciating each experience on this planet for the beauty it provides our spirit- until we run smack dab into the brick wall of what humans call Reality.

Egos gather in the same thought patterns of belief and create Group Egos. The largest is what we call Society. This is broken into smaller groups like Muslims, Christians, Democrats, Japanese, Americans, ad infinitum. Most egos will identify with more than one Group Ego. These groups reinforce beliefs in their members. All those beliefs are incomplete and false to some degree. They may give us different Points of View, but discussions about the different viewpoints usually lead to argument rather than agreement.

In order for all of us to reach truth, we must all agree to participate. If we begin to communicate honestly and fervently about what we consider the Actual Truth, the only thing restricting our ability to do so is our language capacity. Truth is not one of the subjects I came across when I went to school. I'm relatively sure we would all want that class on our electives list.

Picture us on one rim of the Grand Canyon, enjoying this splendiferous sight. If we all just look and ooh and aah, we will not get a very detailed image to remember. However, if we begin sharing our view with those around us, we will soon pick out more and more detail and description to make that image rich with meaning. So it is with sharing our Points of View when we contemplate Truth.

Truth is rediscovered. "The Truth will make you free" certainly has been quoted infinite times. Jesus embodied Truth. Love, as well. Second coming happens when we return to Truth, the one we were born with. That is what creates true "reborn Christians." Buddha knew the same truth in finding Oneness of Spirit which the West would call God. Now, New Age tells us that Unity of Consciousness is the only possible Truth. Different words - same message.

It is my contention that Society withholds Truth from the herds because too much of a quantum leap in paradigms would cause madness and havoc in those lower levels of underdeveloped minds. However, if we take baby steps and remove just one lie each day, we can progress at a pace that does not have to entail revolution. It takes time and effort. Ego has something called "self-esteem" in its construct. The realization of having lived a lie is devastating to this value. Take it easy on your Ego. Ignorance can be superseded with Knowledge. We must forgive ourselves of all past ignorance immediately. Do the same for all others. Then, we can focus together on creating the future we all desire - Eternity in Truth and living life as one.

Truth is, there are levels of enlightenment. If we aspire to rise above the throng and pull up others in the process, we must attack lies with all our thoughts. They must go. Each one we discard will make breakthroughs into higher consciousness.

Gautama Siddartha was the first Buddha. He was a prince and highly regarded for his wisdom and insight. He forsook the worldly pleasures of self indulgence and began his teaching. He spent over forty years moving from home to home with his entourage spreading the message of love, kindness, compassion and appreciation of the beauty of every form in creation. He was the first person to see Unity in all forms. There have been many other Buddhas since. A Buddha is one who has achieved Nirvana, the ego-less life. This was about five hundred years before Jesus.

Each day, Siddartha ate one bowl of rice before confronting his initiates with new words of wisdom. He died when he accepted the hospitality of a penurious fan who fed him tainted rice. Definitely a historical figure, with accurate records of what he did and filling one hundred and eight volumes in the archives of Dharma Publishing. Recording this life was the primary goal of Tartang Tulku when he founded Dharma Publishing.

Nirvana is the most misunderstood term in Buddhism.

Those in the West recognize the term as meaning Heaven, or a Heaven on Earth, or perhaps a famous rock band.

The Buddha described Nirvana as the ultimate goal, and he reached that state during his enlightenment. At this point, he chose to teach others so that they might also experience this realization, and so when he died, forty-five years later, he then passed through pari nirvana, meaning completed nirvana.
Nirvana literally means extinguishing or unbinding. The implication is that it is freedom from what ever binds you, from the burning passion of desire, jealousy, and ignorance. Once these are totally overcome, a state of bliss is achieved, and there is no longer the need the cycle of birth and death. All karmic debts are settled.

The Buddha refused to be drawn on what occurred then, but implied that it was beyond word and without boundaries. Certainly, he saw it in a much different state than our current existence, and not a simple parallel to the process of individual rebirth.

In Buddhist philosophy, this is becoming an arhat, a person who has reached the highest level of enlightenment without yet becoming a Buddha.

I. The Four Stages of Becoming an Arhat

Arhat literally translates as worthy of offerings, without birth, and killer of thieves. An eminent monk or saint who has achieved a level of enlightenment, but is not yet a Buddha. An Arhat or Lohan is one who has overcome outward manifestation of afflicting emotions, but who has not completely eliminated their psychic imprint. Although free of the cycle of birth and death, an Arhat is not fully enlightened. These holy beings are also called Venerable Ones or foe-destroyers. This is the first stage of liberation or ending the cycle of birth and death and goal of the hinayana sects. The Arhat is said to be beyond both merit and demerit because, as he has abandoned all defilements, he can no longer perform evil actions; and as he has no more attachment, his virtuous actions no longer bear karmic fruit.

Progress on the path of an Arhat is measured by the person's ability to weaken or eliminate the ten fetters which bind him to the cycle of birth and death, and which keep him from attaining Nirvana. There are four recognizable stages which mark his progress along the path. These are explained in relation to the ten fetters below.

At the first stage is the Stream-winner or Stream-enterer (srotapanna), that is, one who has entered the "stream" that eventually leads to the "Ocean of Nirvana." When he is at this stage, his insight is powerful enough to remove the first three fetters, namely:

(1) the belief in the existence of permanent self;
(2) doubt in the ability of the Three Gems to lead him towards the goals; and
(3) the mistaken belief that moral rules and ascetic rites alone are sufficient to lead a person to Enlightenment.

On attaining this first stage, the would-be Arhat will no longer be reborn in any of the lower realms of existence. He will be reborn no more than seven times in the human or heavenly planes of existence before he attains Nirvana. Further progress and perfecting his insight still more, he reaches the second stage of the Once-Returner (sakrdagamin). After this life, he will be reborn only once more as a human being. In that rebirth, he would attain Nirvana. At this stage, he has also succeeded in weakening the fourth and fifth fetters. These are critical for the arhat to continue progress toward Nirvana,

4) attachment to sensual desire, creature comforts and selfish interests; and
(5) ill will.

The third stage is that of the Non-Returner or no-more-rebirths (anagamin). At this stage, he completely removes the fourth and fifth fetters of attachment to sensual desire and ill will. The Non-Returner will no longer be reborn in the human realm; he will be reborn in one of the Pure Abodes in the heavens where he will attain Nirvana. At this stage, the first five fetters have been totally removed.

At the fourth stage, he makes the final advance towards becoming an arhat or Foe-destroyer who attains nirvana because he has broken all the ten fetters, the last five of which are:

(6) desire for existence in the worlds of Form; but rather in the true Spirit of Living
(7) desire for existence in the Formless Worlds of Consciousness, Eternity and Infinity;
(8) refuting forever the attraction of conceit, selfishness and Ego construction;
(9) restlessness;
(10) ignorance.

The career of the Arhat is like the career of a student in that development is measured by the highest stage or level he has achieved so far. When a secondary school student progress in stages from that of a Freshman to that of a Senior, his knowledge and mastery of skill increase with each higher level achieved. Eventually, he graduates from school when he passes his final year examinations. In the same way, the would be Arhat overcomes more and more of the fetters at each higher stage of his development. When he successfully passes the fourth stage, he reaches the end of his career and is no longer subject to rebirth. However, he is not yet at the highest stage. He is not yet a Buddha.

One who is on any of the first three stages on this path is called a "sekha," or a Striver-on-the-Path. The ten steps to becoming an Arhat are the stairway we need to imagine. Buddhism is a misnomer. There is no ism in the thoughts of a Buddha. It is not a belief system because it is the all-inclusiveness of life. Buddhism is a non-religion.

When Jesus came on the scene, he was about thirty years old. Not much has been written about what he was doing from birth until he started his ministry. Unlike the accurate records of Siddartha, the new testament offers little foundation from a historical standpoint. The bible was written by various scribes who interpreted other people's accounts sixty to eighty years after the murder of Jesus. Christian evangelists are more than happy to define their mind's prison as the "Word of God" without ever using logic to test for truth. After all, that's what all their friends are saying.

I listen to Moody Bible Institute broadcasts frequently. The teachings and preachings are well intentioned, but is seems to me that it promotes belief in a book rather than in a being. So many changes in the bible have been made and so many versions of interpretation have been issued that it has spawned a new science, Apologetics. This is an attempt to explain how Adam and Eve's sons found wives and how Noah got kangaroos and Tasmanian devils onto the Ark, as well as other impossible events. Just building the ark without adequate sealing material for such a huge vessel is ludicrous. That much weight would break up on the first day in the water.

There is no question in my mind that Jesus had discovered his Divine Source. There is no question that Christ Nature dwells within us all, waiting to be discovered. Only the Satan Ego prevents us from freeing ourselves from our self-made prison. There is no question that "Truth will make us free" and that we should love our neighbor and our enemy, as well. Only knowledge of the truth can make those statements. Jesus tried to communicate these truths and we failed to understand, even today. I can certainly imagine that he had reached such a divinity to be able to perform the miracles for which he is credited.

Most Christians are stuck in a childish fantasy world. Not because of their own choosing, but simply because they aren't looking for the key to get out of their prison. They are blinded to other views.

Mohammed had to take a harder stance to infuse the fear of Allah in his minions. Society, in his time, was comprised of constantly warring tribes whose Group Egos were strictly and rigidly concerned with separatism. To unite these tribes into a common goal, he had to be forceful. His Five Pillars were intended to provide discipline into the havoc. Sharia law is no joke. Having lived in Saudi Arabia for two years, I can tell you there is no patience for waywardness. The Five Pillars of Faith are taken very, very seriously in Saudi Arabia because it holds one of the pillars in its borders - Mecca.

Indoctrination is Saudi Arabia is brutal. Daily television programs are mostly about teaching the Koran. Public prayer brings all Muslims to a standstill during the day. Muslims must wash their hands and feet before each prayer call to honor Allah. I know of many Saudis who went West to study and found themselves unable to extract themselves from these habits and came back home. Educated Saudis I spoke with lamented the fact that they had to be hypocrites in their own country. This indoctrination is strong enough to get youngsters to blow themselves up to kill others. Vicious mind control!

Saudi Arabia probably has the lowest crime rate of any country. Why? Because justice is a public display. I witnessed a couple of men getting their heads chopped off (it's called a topping in western vernacular) and realized the impatience of Islam in dealing with non-compliance. Quite effective, I think. Steal and get a hand chopped off. Kill and get your head chopped off. I remember being stopped at an intersection to watch a half dozen or so teenagers being whipped for disobedience. Strong messages! Wrong century.

I envision the battle between Christian and Muslim fundamentalists as two children on a playground. "My dad can beat your dad!" Neither one knows they have the same dad.

Evolving into a more logical view, we have developed into Metaphysics. This is a totally logical concept that we can relate to. If life is nothing but the accumulation of thoughts, then we can understand that expansion of the universe is caused by more thoughts. If "God" is everything and we exist in that everything, then we can feel Eternity and Infinity. If the Universal Law of Balance rules, then, the only thing that can throw us out of balance is the human material mind we call Ego.

Doctrine is the culprit. All belief systems define the size of their prison. I like to imagine the eventual result of these doctrines to be like a river of thought. Near St. Louis, Illinois there is a confluence of the Ohio and Missouri rivers that create the Mississippi. If we decide to take the thoughts of our religions and create such a confluence for the betterment of all, we will see the stairway widen and the banister no longer necessary. This writing as nothing but an earnest effort to break down prison walls.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all isms- schools of thought. Their adherents await their savior to rescue them from their ignorance. That savior will be the same for all. This is the new religion that John Lennon wrote in the words "Imagine no religion." It is Truism.


This is a long chapter which merged several previous essays. It is intended to define what John Lennon meant in penning the words: "Imagine no religion." I wrestled with much and still am not done editing but would welcome input on the substantive aspect. We all seek the same in our spiritual journey. It is only by admitting that we all have the same source of consciousness that we can reach love, compassion, and enlightenment. Thanks...John
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