What’s the difference between a lunatic playing the piano and a concert pianist playing the piano? After all, they are both playing the same notes. The difference is the same as between Zen and organised religion. Like the concert pianist, the Zen person is in flow; everything is in order; there is acceptance of “what is”. When a madman plays the piano, the notes may be the same, but they are bashed out at random; he is just playing fragments. This is the same with organised religion; it is a fragmented series of stories that are someone else’s experience. These stories have been packaged and pedaled to the masses in the hope that the masses will believe blindly.
To practise organised religion, you need the three Ds; doctrine, dogma and deity. All are creations of the mind and are therefore of the ego. The only purpose they serve is to keep the individual in ignorance. The religious person is constantly seeking the unseekable; something that is in the future, whereas the Zen person knows there is nothing to seek. The Zen person knows that spiritual awakening is the understanding that you are already awake.
Listen to the music of silence, it will tell you everything you need to know.
Yes, Christmas is about to rear its head again, so here are some more of my musings…
You can never achieve Self-realisation by practising organised religion. No matter how enlightened you think you are becoming through your religious practise, the time will inevitably arise when you will have to make a choice between following the rules and regulations of your man-made religion, or expressing yourself as the free spirit you are by following the guidance of your soul. It is even a contradiction to talk about having to “achieve” Self-realisation, as we are simply blind to the truth that we are already enlightened. But the purpose of religion is to control the masses through fear, not set them free from their blindness…
You have a double-whammy today. As well as my first tippy-tapping on the keyboard since my return from Cyprus, I’m sharing 2 shots of my latest painting with you. The light in my living room is so poor that these pics don’t do it justice, but I’m very pleased with the finished article.
It most certainly is nearly that time of year again; when the Christian Church dusts the cobwebs off its story and peddles it once again to the unsuspecting masses. I must say that I do find the whole “epic” just a tad ironic. First of all, let me just mention that I have no doubt in my mind at all that Jesus Christ actually existed; and I have no doubts at all that he was a truly incredible soul. However, the story that organised religion wants us to believe just does not stack up.
We have to understand that Christ was not a Christian; Christianity is the man-made religion founded by unscrupulous religious leaders in an effort to control the naive and the gullible through fear. Christ was strictly non-religious, however, if you really had to pigeon-hole him, you would have to say that he was a Buddhist. He studied the teachings of Buddha in the monasteries of the Himalayas and he also hung out with the Essenes and the Nazarenes, who were religious sects that practised a form of Buddhism. Christ was attracted to these people because their religion was non-violent. It was common practise in those times for live animals to be sacrificed in the temples, and Jesus was against this (and made his feelings known in no uncertain terms). Christ was the original hippie activist and was considered to be a subversive by the religious leaders of the time.
It’s worth noting that it is because of his association with the Nazarenes that Christ is often incorrectly referred to as, “Jesus of Nazareth”. Historically, Nazareth was nothing more than a tiny hamlet that Jesus may or may not have passed through at some time or other. So, why do I find the whole Christmas story a tad ironic? It’s because the church peddles their messiah as being, “the one and only begotten Son of God”. According to Christians, God is an all-powerful entity that is separate from us mere mortals, and Jesus is his son. This theory completely contradicts the Buddhist teachings, amongst other belief systems, that Christ followed. Buddhists do not believe in a deity as such, rather in a Creative Force, or infinite consciousness that permeates the whole creation. Christ’s message was simple. He said that we are all the same as him, we are all Gods and that we will find the Kingdom of Heaven within ourselves; it is not a place we can go to.
So the Christian messiah is marketed by the church as something that he would never have considered himself to be. I also can’t help thinking (cynically perhaps) that the reason the church marketed their messiah as a meat eating wine drinker, which he wasn’t, was simply so that they could justify their own gluttonous desires.
Strictly speaking no one needs a church, as in a building, or a priest, because we have everything we need at our fingertips. Reading scriptures may signpost the way to truth, but it doesn’t enable us to experience truth. A friend of mine was recently feeling guilty because she had not been to church for some time. But to anyone who has similar feelings I say this:
Your physical body is your church and your own life experiences will tell you what is true and what isn’t. Our own perception of truth is forever changing, although “ultimate truth” is changeless, so let your conscience be the inner voice of God that guides you to the aforementioned ultimate truth. If you have stopped going to church, maybe it’s because your soul is crying out for change and is trying to guide you onto the next stage of your journey. Maybe the church of organised religion no longer serves your soul’s purpose.
If you are craving to merge with God the solution is simple. Serving God will bring you closer to God and the easiest way to serve God is to serve humanity for the Divinity is present in all. Look around you; who are the people who are closest to you? Start with them; simple acts of kindness and the odd word of encouragement here and there are a great solid base on which to build the foundations of your journey. Then be guided by your conscience and spread your love out into the world when the time feels right for you.
Don’t feel guilty; you are wasting time. Love all, serve all!
Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Service to humanity is service to God – Sri Sathya Sai Baba