Monday, March 5, 2012

Do religions hold their followers to high enough standards?

Historically, religions have failed miserably at attempting to hold people to standards that were unrealistic, unreasonable and which the leaders themselves couldn't live up to.

Jesus was crucified because he called the religious leaders of the day on their hypocrisy. In the Book of Matthew 23:327 Jesus states to the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law: "You hypocrites! You are like white washed tombs which look fine on the outside but are full of decaying bones on the inside. In the same way on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins."

The same point could easily be made today. There are priests, rabbis and ministers in all religions who put forth dogmatic assertions and impositions that they themselves don't follow then shellac others with guilt, shame and threats of doom in the after life for not living up to their religious laws. Many of these "man-made" religious laws are of no significance when it comes to one's goodness and moral character, but rather are simply veiled attempts to maintain a sense of power over people and keep them in subservient positions.

Religion's purpose is to present a loving, peaceful, harmonious way to live, not harshly judge others and spew out potential penalties if they don't agree with another's actions.

There are literally thousands of religious laws, rules and regulations on the books but if one treats others the way he/she wants to be treated a good life is being lived.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How does one keeping from losing Hope?

Hope is nothing more or nothing less than a thought that is infused with an optimistic emotion. Hope exists in our mind, it is a power within us. It never dwindles, it never dries up; it is never out of reach. It only appears to be absent when we choose to think thoughts of an opposite nature.     

The thoughts we think may be hopeful or hopeless. When we commit to beliefs that we can do something; that we can make it through a difficult time; that we can realize our hearts desire we experience hope. When we commit to thoughts that are of a despairing nature we experience hopelessness and expect the worst to happen.  

So the question arises, who determines the thoughts we think? Each of us is the ultimate authority of the thoughts we think and the feelings we have. When we take full responsibility for our outlook on life and the frame of mind we are in, we draw on our inner power to direct our thoughts.

The thoughts you are thinking this very moment are creating your present emotional reality and at the same time putting in place the stepping stones that will lead to your future emotional reality. Think about it for a moment, your thoughts are your reality. Good, bad, happy, sad, hopeful, hopeless...the choice is yours.