As you may or may not know, Jax and I joined in union earlier this year and Jax gave birth to baby Stellar just a few weeks ago. Many subjects of a delicate and sensitive nature have risen over the past year with the integration of families, cultures, and perceptions. Most notably, the topic of religion. Jax was raised in a mormon family and I was raised in a lutheran family. The clash of lutheran versus mormon conception is not the concern. I was raised in a lutheran family, but I am not lutheran. I claim no religion. No matter what religion you may claim, I encourage you to read this to the end.
(as with all of my writings, this is an ever-expanding expression of thought. i will continue to edit, add or subtract, as i grow, understand, expand, and unlearn what i thought i knew)
Before moving on, I’m going to ask you to do one thing while reading… Iím going to ask you to watch your mind. The point is to observe your mind and your mental commentary of reactions to whatever it is I may say. Pay attention to your “knee jerks” or moments of strong emotional recoil and do your best to move beyond them. They are merely mental reflexes designed to reject any new perspectives in order to protect you from cognitive dissonance.
The definition of religion: [ri-lij-uh n] 1150-1200; Latin religi?n- (stem of religi?) conscientiousness, piety, equivalent to relig (?re) to tie, fasten ( re- re- + lig?re to bind, tie; cf. ligament ) + -i?n- -ion; cf.
Did you catch that? (to BIND) to tie, to fasten, to join, hold together, to fuse.
RE = to (re)peat / LIG = to bind, like a (lig)ament in your leg / ION = the act(ion) You are repeating the action of binding. What is being bound? Neurons.
I am, in fact, religious… if you are looking through the eyes of etymology and neurology. Religion is merely the act of joining neurons together to form connections in a repetitious manner. (When you read this phrase, you are processing the act of religion. However, when you read this phrase more than once, twice, three times, or more, you’re practicing the action of being religious. You’re strengthening the neuro net dedicated to the given point of focus. Simple as that.)
So, neurologically speaking, I am religious. However, conventionally and theologically speaking, I am not. Once I came to a clear understanding of neuro-processing, the biology of belief, the denial of death in today’s western mind dominated culture, and the mechanics of the ego (the human condition), I chose to renounce anything and everything I had been taught and embarked on an adventure to find out for myself, rather than just agree to whatever programs my parents agreed to and installed in my mind. I chose to unlearn what I had learned and to sustain neuroplasticity throughout the course of my new discoveries. I am bold and direct. I don’t mind being called out on my bullshit and I don’t hesitate to call anyone out on theirs. I choose not to pacify and role play, rather, I choose to be authentic and explore the realities of relationships and this life experience. I tend to cause controversy in communications.. but I do not argue, there is nothing to be gained by arguing or debating. I do not think I am right. In fact, the only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing, which allows me to stay in a perpetual state of consideration, rather than a limited state of certainty.. which is highly counter-intuitive as far as the ego is concerned. I don’t have anything constructive to say about collective religious entities (Buddhism, Mormonism, Catholicism, or any other -ism) I am, however, very fond of humans and humanity, regardless of the religious label they choose. I find that they don’t need to be affiliated with any religious institution to be empathetic, caring, loving beings. I have encountered many beautiful humans that choose labels such as Mormon, Christian, and Jew. But the claiming of their labels aren’t what make them beautiful beings, they were beautiful before ever even understanding the concept of their indoctrination. Traditional and superstitious indoctrinations do not make the moral human, humans are born with an internal compass of love and appreciation. In fact, it is the collective agreement to these indoctrinations that cause the greatest of sins… DUALITY. But it happens, and almost no one is even aware that it is happening. That’s the trick of the human condition, that is the curse of the ego. If there were an actual place called HELL, it is our own illusory sense of self, our own sense of separation.. from others, and most notably, from what we refer to as “god.” And if there were such a thing as the DEVIL, it is the shadow that you yourself cast upon the light of your own consciousness. The reason I am writing this is that most of what I discuss and almost everything I write about, I mention religion. There have been many things I would have written about in the past year, but I have kept it in submission. Why? Because I didnít want to make things any more difficult for Jax with her family. I wanted to write a few things in my announcement of Stellarís arrival, but I didn’t as to not offend her family. My pen dried up to keep the peace. We were talking the other night and thought it would be a good idea for me to write about my perceptions of “god” and “christ” to clear the air and allow for me to write freely and effectively.
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.
– Oscar Wilde
So, here it goes… written in the form of an interview:
Person: “Shane, do you believe in god?”
Shane: “No. Semantics matter. To say I believe “in” god would indicate a separation from said god. I would prefer to say, I believe through god.”
Person: “So, you believe through him?”
Shane: “Yes, but not him, it. If “god” were to have a sexual identity, I feel it would be feminine, but from my perspective, x and y chromosomes are not necessarily applicable to any concept of god.”
Person: “What is god then?”
Shane: “If given the choice, I would eradicate the word god from language. I was raised with the idea of god being a mystical being in the heavens that will judge me when I die. However, if I believe, and ONLY if I believe in his son jesus christ and walk with righteous intent, I will be forgiven of my sins and allowed to enter heaven, otherwise I am condemned to a life in hell with Satan. I will not allow my mind to be boxed into this conception, driven entirely by fear. God to me, if I am subject to use such a word, is indefinable. It is not a being or a judging spiritual entity. It is not anything that we can, with our limited thinking minds, comprehend. God, or the notion of conception the word itself is pointing to, is unfathomable. God is all things, all the time. God is the essence of everyone and everything. In short, god.. IS. When I pray (simply meaning, when I am consciously focusing my attention and intention), I am not praying to god, but rather through “god”.
Person: “At the age of 12, you publicly confirmed and proclaimed your acceptance of jesus christ as your lord and savior to the church, an event that is practiced in many “christian” religions in various forms of ceremony. Do you recant this proclamation?”
Shane: ‘Yes, I recant that proclamation. At 12 years old, we are just regurgitating what we have been taught and get a solid dose of praise and acceptance at this grand event. Firstly, I donít believe his name was jesus christ. From my new understanding, his name was Yeshua or in another translation, Joshua, not jesus. He was Yeshua ben Yosef, Joshua of Joseph. IF he actually existed, I believe he was an enlightened human being. Meaning, he knew he was more than just a bundle of thoughts. He saw beyond thought. He knew that he was creation incarnate as was the rest of humanity and every other living thing. “and jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, I have said you are gods.” Reference: http://biblehub.com/john/10-34.htm As the story goes, he frowned upon the operations of the church and was bold and expressive in his discontent… and for that, he was apparently crucified. Yes, Yeshua was the son of god, figuratively speaking.. as are you and I.. again, figuratively speaking. Yeshua, knew the church was corrupt, as were it’s leaders. I am a discerning practioner of the teachings, as I am of Lao Tzu, Sri Krishna, Siddhartha Gautama, and many others. Yeshua (or Jesus if you prefer) was, indeed of Kryst (or Christ) Consciousness, and was a teacher of the Law of One, (Kryst-La) the Unity Consciousness. Now, being introduced to the inner workings and language use of the Mormons, I feel that Joseph Smith was also a teacher of Christ Consciousness and his initial teachings have been conveniently misconstrued by the patriarchal ego collective to accommodate man, not woman. If both Yeshua and Joseph Smith, were here today and saw what religion has done to the origin of their teachings, they would be deeply saddened and even more disappointed in the human condition they attempted to shine the light of consciousness on. Much of what we know of Yeshua was greatly distorted at the time of Constantine and there are even some historical researchers that provide compelling evidence that an actual historical human named Jesus never even existed. If he did, he was someone I would seek out and spend a lot of time with. Either way, I am grateful that I have unlocked my mind to the point where I allow such considerations to enter my awareness without judgment.
Person: “So, you do or don’t abide by biblical scriptures?”
Shane: “Language is a funny thing, and humans are eager to define and adhere to their conclusions. People are mystified and hypnotized by words. They like to use words like “scripture” to dramatize and provide a sense of divine and sacred worth to something that is simply defined as “written material”, or, to write. As for the word “bible” or “biblical”, it’s origin is the word “papyrus”, that’s it. A piece of paper with words on it.. that’s what “biblical scriptures” boils down to.. without the drama, without the descriptive words used to mystify and delude its audience. The bible is a book. As with all books, there are things I learn that resonate with me, and things that don’t. I remember playing a game in kindergarten and later in high school, it was called Telephone. We sat in a circle and one person started by whispering a sentence into the ear of the next person, and then that person would attempt to remember the sentence and whisper it as accurately as they could remember into the ear of the next person, and so on. Well, as it turns out, not once was the original sentence uttered verbatim by the last person who heard it. Every single time, it was misconstrued. It was distorted in one way or another. This happed between 10-20 people in a matter of 3 minutes. Can you imagine what happens to stories that are told and re-told, written and re-written, by billions of human beings over the course of a couple of thousand years? Not to mention the language and metaphorical misinterpretations and personal and collective agendas being thrown into the mix along with mans’ deliberation of conviction over what he thinks he knows. Forget about it.. you’re lucky to get 3 solid sentences in their original format. And even in the original formatting, all words are metaphors. They are descriptive, using words and limited perspectives of the time and of the current concepts of a given culture in an attempt to explain that which cannot be explained. You are in a virtual reality machine and YOU ARE the virtual reality machine. That is so very difficult to convey when people love the prison cells of their minds.
Three of the greatest things I’ve learned are these:
- “No one actually knows what they are doing, everyone is just pretending.” – Unknown
- “For the Brahman is unknown to those that know it and known to those that know it not.” – Upanishads
- “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” – Oscar Wilde
Person: “What is your problem with religion?”
Shane: “The original teachings within the religions are to be revered. The problem lies within the “group”. When one person thinks they know a thing, good luck providing them with an alternate perspective. When a group of people agrees upon something collectively, it is best not to oppose them. Humans compare and judge all day long, it is inherent in their primal genetic makeup of survival, developed over millennia. The human condition is driven primarily by opposition. When I am one thing, and you are another, my ego finds food in the differences. When we have something to contrast ourselves with, whether it be physical or psychological, our sense of self is magnified and our ego is fed. So the greater the otherness of others, the greater my illusory sense of self. When those mechanics are applied to a group, a collective egoic consciousness, that group feels a greater sense of self through the opposing group. Religions do this, nations do this, race does this, class does this.. it’s rampant, it’s a psychological epidemic, and it’s madness. So, when the christian says to the wayward son, “I’m sorry you are lost.” The son is not lost, it is the christians’ attempt to thwart its fear of uncertainty by strengthening their sense of self (their ego, their identity), through their judgment of the son being wayward. They do care that the son is wayward, but more importantly and unknowingly, they are trying to validate what they think is right in the vain attempt at solidifying their sense of self. So, those within the group look to one another to conduct themselves similarly and speak identically in order to maintain the conceptual structure they so desperately depend on to distract them from their fear of uncertainty, their fear of insignificance, and ultimately their fear of death.
Dr. Seuss presented it perfectly with the story of the Butter Battle.. click this link or the image below to watch a very enlightening animation on the atrocities of collective egoic identities. (ie: nations, race, religion, class, etc.)
Person: “I would imagine that some people think you might be a bit off your rocker, or just flat out crazy.”
Shane: “People are convinced of what they know, and my views threaten their convictions. So, yes, of course, some are put off by me. These same people worship the very man they crucified for doing, saying, preaching, and teaching the exact same thing. The irony of the paradox is remarkable.” I am indeed an advocate of the scientific process. When we find ourselves afflicted with a potentially fatal ailment, and an authority (doctor) gives us a diagnosis, we seek (and are even encouraged by others to get) a second, third, and fourth opinion. Interesting how the authorities “fact” is reduced to an “opinion” out of convenience for what we want to believe in the face of death. The same process applies to everything we believe. It’s all matter of convenience and acceptance. This is akin to the scientific process. We all “conveniently” become scientists when faced with our own demise. So, in the same way, in application to anything and everything I consider, I like to get more than one opinion, read more than one book, listen to more than one perspective, and consider more than one possibility. I am fully aware of the power of persuasion and the humans’ deep, deep, deep desire for acceptance and to “belong”. I do not accept something as truth because the person who told me is perceived as an “authority”. I do not trust those in positions of authority, especially those authorities that have apparent divine mystical labels bestowed upon them. Every century, every year, every month, every day, every minute, we enter a “new age”, please do not box me in. I am as humble as a stone and see everything and everyone as a reflection of myself. No, I do not fear god… there is nothing to fear, ever. I accept full responsibility for my every thought and every action, as I do not “give it to god” or say, “it is in his hands… no, it is in my hands, it is my responsibility.”
I’m hoping you made it to the end without cognitive dissonance flooding your body with norepinephrine, literally and biologically narrowing your field of vision. As always, thank you for your consideration. – Shane