A Plea for Openmindedness

Today I was not sure what to write about. It has been some time since I have written and I am kind of stuck. As I was scanning through Facebook, I saw a post that a friend of mine put out. I have asked and received permission to have Lawrence Simmons guest blog today by sharing his post. This may upset a few or all of you, and that is OK. This is an article that in it’s very nature is to stir up the thought process and shake up your spiritual snow globe. I am not asking you to believe any or all of what Lawrence writes here. I am sharing this because it strikes to the very heart of how I see my spiritual path, and that is, it is my path not yours. You may choose to follow me down it but there will be no judgment from me if you do not. It is my belief that all positive spiritual paths have validity. If you choose to believe and follow the Biblical teachings, that is great. If you choose another path or no path, that is also great. Choosing your way is important and too big of a thing to be left to someone else.

It is of my own belief that we live in an awakened sentient universe. I do not see a physical hippie in a white robe standing on a cloud, nor do I see a judgmental vengeful god. I see an alive universe that creates itself. I see spirituality and science in harmony, together exploring the mysteries of being. I follow many spiritual leaders and have studied many disciplines. What follows is a plea for reasonable, nonjudgmental existence within the realm of spirituality.

A Rant by Lawrence Simmons:

Rant: I am so weary of always hearing the discussion about the existence of God equated with whether or not the Bible is a valid source of proof, i.e., God either exists or doesn’t exist based on whether the Bible is credible or not. Terence McKenna famously said, “Culture is not your friend.” In other words, stop letting your culture do your thinking for you. If my experience of God depended solely on the Bible, I would most certainly be an atheist. I, too, am in recovery from organized religion, having suffered spiritual abuse from birth like most people in our culture. But there comes a time where you have to actually think instead of react. I think people who blindly believe the Bible are lazy. I also think people who dismiss that there might be an intelligent design or profound purpose to the Universe and choose to believe everything happens by random accident in a meaningless Universe, simply because the Bible reads like bad fiction, are also lazy. It is so rare that I actually discuss the myriad other possibilities with someone. It always seems to be either/or – Biblical God or No God. This is cultural diversion, meant to polarize and control, and it’s been going on for a long, long time. It’s the 21st century, folks. Can we give a rest to the tired argument that you have to choose between the Biblical God or atheism? The following is a comment I made on a friend’s thread this morning (which obviously triggered this rant), after she posted a witty meme about God’s body count in the Old Testament (plagues, genocide, etc):

“Please, please people…find your own real, personal experience with how and why you and everything else is here and why it is happening as it is. STOP assuming God’s existence stands or falls on the freaking Bible. It is the ideas of God constrained in the minds of a bunch of people in one part of the world thousands of years ago. The creation of the Universe is too big to be imagined by, let alone given the attributes of, human minds. How arrogant to think the intelligence that created Everything has tantrums, commits genocide, demands/needs our worship and validation. I get so tired of people saying God exists because the Bible tells us so, or doesn’t exist because the Bible is bad fiction. Neither are true. Please wake up in the 21st century and find real reasons to believe in the world around you, not in tribal mythology. That said, if you insist on referencing the book, consider ALL the information available. The new and old testaments are extremely different books, two different religions. They cannot be reconciled. And God and Satan are symbolic of dualities. It is very simplistic to think that everything can be divided into good/evil, just because our ancestors saw daytime safe and nighttime scary. Consider that there are several different gods described in the Old Testament – the Elohim (plural gods in Genesis), Yahweh (the Israeli war god), and Jehovah – the different tribes of Israel had different gods that got collected into one book. Lastly, consider the gnostic interpretation: the true Creator of the Universe is the God of love and light, but the God of Genesis is an imposter demiurge who masquerades as the Creator and wanted to keep mankind innocent and ignorant. In Gnosticism, the serpent is the hero who brings knowledge and self-awareness (God did not want us to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil because our eyes would be opened and we would become as gods). Oh, and there is a whole other theory that the fruit was actually psilocybin… My personal suggestion: READ MORE THAN ONE BOOK.”

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