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Friday, March 25, 2011

There's No Such Thing As Supernatural: Everything Is Miracle!

Dark Night of the Soul

Things have felt a bit difficult since being back in Moab - not so much outwardly, but in my body, mind, and spirit.  I just got over a bad case of bronchitis that's been going around Moab.  And inwardly, it's incredible the times of intense doubt I was catching myself going through the past few weeks, nothing like I've felt since giving up money.  But I sit with those times, and they pass, and I then find that something grand has been growing in me in those times like a baby in the womb.  I have a pregnant cousin who is describing a similar intensity within her.

Snail-Mail Synchronicity

Outwardly, perfect synchronicities keep happening.  I forgot to mention one that happened in Phoenix months ago.  I'd left Slab City and forgot to return a poetry book (written by a former Moabite) to my friend, Jon, there.  He emailed me and I told him I'd mail it back to him.  Then I remembered snail-mailing takes money.  One time I had to mail a package some 9  years ago, and I found a pile of coins in the street, just enough to mail it that day.  But this time I didn't want to use money.  I'd rather this time send it with somebody or something already going to Slab City.  But what are the chances of that?  A silent voice deep inside me kept saying, "just you watch, it'll work out," so I ceased worrying about it.  I was staying at Claire's house, never having mentioned this to her, and one day she asked me, "I am going to the post office to mail a package to some friends in Slab City.  Would you like me to mail anything anywhere for you? My mouth dropped open. We simply included the little book in her package and she sent it off.  Then she asked me, "So if you don't use money, how on earth did you intend to get that back to Slab City?"  I said, "I didn't have a clue.  But it's happening right now, and you're part of the mysterious process, huh?"

Sleeping-Bag Synchronicity

Now, back in Moab, I've stayed mostly up at the cave, but decided to also set up a camp near town for when I can't make it up the canyon at night.  I still had the sleeping bag Gregory and Beth had lent me last autumn for the California trip.  But I still wanted to use it at the town camp, since it was still too cold at night for a blanket, and return it when it got warmer.  I wanted to see Gregory and Beth, but, I must confess, I was avoiding it because I didn't want to deal with the sleeping bag.
 
Meanwhile, Carolyn and I have been brainstorming about things we could do to cultivate sustainability in Moab, to break people's dependence on money.  We had both seen the film, "The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil" at about the same time last winter, her back east and me in LA, which got us both inspired to want to do something back in Moab.  I kept talking about how we should start mobilizing people to convert their yards to vegetable gardens, among other things.  Last week, she said, "Why don't we get something going right now, schedule a gathering and show the film?"  I agreed, so we scheduled the "Sustainable Moab Project and Potluck".  We were wondering where we would get seeds, and if people would step up to provide yards to garden, so we'd have something to start with.

That night I crawled back into Gregory and Beth's sleeping bag, thinking how I needed to return it to them.  That silent voice spoke to me again: "Where is your faith?  Just return it to them tomorrow and you just watch something work out!"  I knew they would actually give the bag to me if I asked, but I wanted to return it to them, especially after that silent voice.  So the next day I packed up the bag, ready to take back to them, but first decided to ride over to my friend Pete's house, near the storage unit, before I brought them the bag.  There on the ground was a really nice sleeping bag laid out (I've lost count, but I think this is the fourth or fifth time I've had a sleeping-bag miracle happen like this exactly at the right time over the last 15 years).  Then I took Gregory and Beth's bag back to them. 

Sustainable Moab Project Synchronicity

Little did I know as I returned the sleeping bag, Gregory and Beth had heard about our Sustainable Moab Project and said they really wanted to participate, though they didn't have time to work but had a yard we could maybe use, plus they had two boxes of all kinds of seeds they wanted to give us, along with a good gardening book!  I had no idea they would be interested or had those things!

So we had our Sustainable Moab Project Potluck, showed the movie, and had a pretty good brainstorm discussion afterward.  Even with our last-minute notice, over 15 people showed up.  I feel so grateful Carolyn is here.  She's lighting a fire under me and we're doing things I don't think I have the gumption to initiate on my own.  But it sometimes hits Carolyn and me that we wonder what we're getting ourselves into.  Sometime this seems a daunting commitment, and naturally we have felt scared.  But she just read something very wise about fear (maybe I can put the reference here later) and shared it with me.  We think of fear as a bad thing, it said, but, if we use it right, fear is actually the source of exciting energy that takes us out of our listlessness, giving us the power to perform and build our project. I'm realizing that's so true.  People who do risky sports like rock-climbing or tight-rope walking know this. Everything in the universe is good, in its proper place and timing, including fear.

In Tent Synchronicity

Meanwhile, back at the camp, I slept cozy in the new bag.  A couple nights it was really windy, and my tarps and plastic coverings were whipping around like crazy, tearing the plastic.  Rainclouds were blowing in with a few showers.  I've always preferred tarps or plastic to a tent, because they're simpler, but this time I thought, "I think I now need a tent - this is getting a bit out of hand."  Then next day I rode back to that storage unit and decided to peak in the dumpster and saw what I thought was a rolled up tarp.  I took it, thinking it would be good reinforcement.  I unrolled it back at the camp and discovered it was a pup tent, in perfect condition, with stakes!  So now I'm all bourgeoisie at my townhouse with a sleek sleeping bag and tent.

Nothing or Nobody is Special:
All the Universe is in Synchronicity

Yeah, this is stuff that keeps happening to me outwardly.  And it's not because I'm special.  Rain falls on everybody, good and bad, alike. Miracles happen to everybody, but most people don't notice them because too much stuff and thought accumulation closes their eyes to it. How else would life have evolved so miraculously and synchronistically million years after million years?  For me, it astonishes me that I forget these continual synchronicities so easily, and it scares me a bit that I can relate to the Pharaoh in the Torah legend, hardening his heart even after getting miracle after miracle thrown in front of  him.  Rationality is a good and natural thing, but when it gets out of balance, it becomes a bully and rationalizes away intuition, blinds us to miracles continually before our eyes. 

No Such Thing as Supernatural:

Everything is Miracle

But we must be clear what miracle really is.  When we become superstitious, we think miracles are super-natural, because our minds are strayed from the present, unable to see that every moment is total miracle.  What we think is "supernatural" is nothing more than natural that is somewhere else, that we can't explain.  If we saw "supernatural" occurrences here and now, we would get bored with them as natural.  Nature is miracle, and the mind removed from nature, discontent with nature, is searching for super-natural.  It's our
"adulterous" mind, our mind that cheats on the Present, that seeks after signs, seeks miracles other than what's before our face.  It's the marketing mind, which thinks imported products are better because they are from "exotic" places.  But to the pure, all things are pure.  To the miraculous, all things are miraculous. 

The very first chapter of the Bible says that everything in the universe is Good (Genesis 1:31).  According to the Gospels, Jesus says there is none Good but One God (Luke 18:19)  If you believe Genesis and Jesus don't contradict, you can draw only one conclusion. 

Death and Resurrection Ever Now
To the true Christian, a seed sprouting from the ground and a baby being born is exactly as miraculous as Jesus rising from the dead or Adam being formed from the dust of the ground, because they are all One Thing, all happening ever Now, and the same yesterday, today, and forever.  The Quran constantly states that the Death and Resurrection is ever happening before our eyes, and that the Day of Resurrection is the Eternal Today, and we all resurrect as One Soul (Quran 31:28).  The superstitious mind might think I am devaluing Jesus by saying his resurrection is no more significant than a fungus spore sprouting.  On the contrary, our superstitious mind is devaluing the Omnipresence of Christ by not recognizing that Jesus and the fungus spore resurrecting are one thing, Christ come in the flesh, right before our eyes, that Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11), Ever Here.  The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes this, that the enlightened mind sees the Holy in everything and everybody and regards dirt, stone, and gold as all equal (Gita 14:24).  The marketing mind sees one object more valuable than another, one person better than another, one thing, place, or person as sacred and another as profane, one event more favorable than another, one religion superior to others, unlike the Holy mind, which is no respecter of persons, as the Bible keeps saying .  The Tao of Heaven is impartial, Tao Te Ching 79 says. The Infant Mind is the Zen mind, and sees all things in perfect equanimity, the Buddhist sutras keep telling us. 

Persecuting the Holy

Is Persecuting Nature
Is Persecuting Our Own Natures

People crucify the Holy before their very eyes because they only see insignificance, common-ness.  They do not see that the way, the truth, and the life is Omnipresent, everywhere and right here, I am who I am. They think the Holy always comes as a crowned King in glorious robes and splendor in the sky, or in some miraculous time in past history, but never present (which is the only reality).  But the Holy is always right here, equally now as ever.  The only thing that changes is how we choose to perceive it.  In the Quran, the Holy says,

We are nearer to a person than his jugular vein.
(Quran 50:16)

and the Torah says

It is not in heaven, that you should say,
'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?'
Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say,
'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?'
But the word is very near you,
in your mouth and in your heart,
that you may do it.
(Deuteronomy 30:13-14)

Because our minds are not present, separate from nature, we think the Holy is also somewhere else, separate from nature, and we think the Holy in front of our eyes is insignificant and silly, so we continually condemn and trample the Holy.  We mistreat and reject each other, we mistreat and reject nature, not realizing we are mistreating and rejecting the Holy:

In the Tao Te Ching, the Holy speaks:

Because people do not understand,
they have no knowledge of me.
Those who know me are few;
Those who abuse me are honored.
Therefore the Sage wears rough clothing
And holds the jewel in his heart.
(Tao Te Ching 70)

Repeated in the Tao Te Ching:

He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people
is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters
deserves to be King of the Universe.
(Tao Te Ching 78)

In the Christian Gospels, the Holy says:

I was a stranger and you did not take me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. (Matthew 25:43)

and

The world did not know him.
He came unto his own,
and his own did not receive him.
(John 1:10-11)

The Jewish Tanach says the same about the Holy:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22)
   
The Divine says in the Bhagavad Gita:

Not knowing my transcendent nature as the sovereign Lord of all beings, fools condemn me incarnated as a human.  (Bhagavad Gita 9:11)

And the Dhammapada of Buddha says of this same Holy:

The world may hate  him
but good people love him. (Dhammapada 6)

The  master endures insults and ill treatment
without reacting. (Dhammapada 26)

151 comments:

  1. I loved reading this, thank you! I always find it amazing how you can come out with so many brilliant sources from across these various faiths for the things that most would only be able to express as an inarticulate intuition of some kind. Stylistically it reads very like a church sermon, but the way church *should* be, not the way it usually seems to be. This is brilliant, you are on fire.

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  2. Thanks for sharing DS.
    You will probably like this (link below) from the Taoist Sage Chuang Tzu. It really helped me deal with the the death of my father last week. It read it at exactly the right time...like the Zen saying, "when the student is ready the teacher appears."

    http://www.terebess.hu/english/chuangtzu.html#6

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  3. Thank you for such an inspiring post. We found the same exact universal synchronicity when we were traveling in our rv. It is funny because you don't notice those things so much when you are "comfortable" and not exactly living day to day with the unexpected around the corner. I say that because since we moved back into a house I miss those kinds of things. I think it is because we are now more isolated from the world again vs. putting ourselves out there at the mercy of the universe.

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  4. Dear Suelo, I've posted this same sentiment before, but I want to thank you again for shining a light on the path for me (and others).

    Warm Regards,

    Dena

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  5. Maybe you'll like this as well. It's one of my favorites:

    "It would be terrible to still believe in sin; on the contrary everything we do, if we need to say this a thousand times, is innocent."
    -Nietzsche, 1881 - 82

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  6. Or this from Sadhu Shambhudasa:

    "One must practice erotic acts while remaining aware that sensual delight is an approach to the divine. There exist no taboos or restrictions concerning the variants of eroticism."

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  7. Thanks for sharing these miraculous incidences Daniel, and also for reminding us that these same type of miracles happen all around us, it's just that we tend to drown them with all the distractions of modern civilization. I am very excited that you and Carolyn are taking an initiative to do something very positive and practical!

    I think there's a general principle when investing money in stocks, which is that the riskier stocks provide the larger returns and visa versa. Sometimes, it seems to be that way in life too, sometimes you gotta take a big risk, but if you believe in what you're doing, then that risk is definitely well worth it. But if you never take the risk at all, you'll never gain anything! Better to take a risk.

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  8. @ Raja: I got your other comment in email, but it hasn't shown up here (yet?), and I must agree with you. Rape and child molestation are examples of unrestricted eroticism, and greed, theft from the poor to feed 1st world materialism are not innocence.

    I would say that everything our true selves do is innocent, and when we depart from our true selves (Our true selves are the Image of God), we cease to be innocent. When we are no longer ourselves, becoming a false facade, we then can't see the true selves of others, and we harm them. For example, the only way you could molest a child is if you can't see a real child but only an object, a false image you create in your head. And you can only do that if you aren't Real (when you don't know your own self, your own Child). A real human can't harm a real human. The Nazis had to make characatures of Jews first, make them into inhuman images, before they could harm them, because the Nazis themselves had become inhuman facades. This is why we must become real, be ourselves, then we can do no harm. The Image of God, Our True Self, can do no harm. Real people can't harm real people, because all Reality, all Truth, is Innocent and Good.

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  9. How can you know for sure if you are acting from your true self? Real?
    I am not sure that some Nazis knew that they weren't being their true selves- and sometimes think that maybe when you are 'out' you don't know until you are back 'in'?
    How can one be sure?

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  10. @ Chickie, very good question. It's way hard, all of us figuring out what's our real self, which is why we have to "forgive them, for they no not what they do", on one hand, but on the other, we all know. If you really ask yourself if what you are doing is what your heart tells you to do or is it what you are paid to do and you're afraid of losing your job or being punished, or because of peer pressure, then you know you are not being yourself. Those who herded Jews into train cars couldn't have done it on their own hearts, but were following orders or following peer pressure. After it was all over, nazi after nazi feigned "innocence", because they were just following orders, following peer pressure. But it's not easy being yourself. The consequences are harsh. You will be persecuted, guaranteed. Life's hard, but there is no greater joy than following your heart, being real, even amidst the greatest persecution.

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  11. You should also be aware of this advice from William Blake:

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires."

    -William Blake, 1790

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  12. Thanks Suelo.
    I guess, for me, I may know that I am not totally being myself, say at a job, because I can feel it is just 'off,' but because I really am at a loss for what to do instead, I can feel paralyzed. All I do is look inside myself, dig, try things, go places, have no belongings, do what seems fun- the few desires left, and I still come up feeling an empty hole. I am constantly unsure, but sure that I haven't found "It!"
    So sometimes I may try things that don't feel totally right, because I'm so tired of just sitting in the blank.
    What happens when you've cleared away and seen through all that doesn't seem real and doesn't matter (material things, conditionings, societal ideas), and nothing comes to fill it's place?
    Do you just sit still and wait- even if it's for years?

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  13. In this broken culture/economy simply adhering to the daily grind and trying to fulfill society's norms no longer makes sense. Suelo is doing what many of us are beginning to realize is the best way. This socio-economic model is antiquated and no longer serves the best interests of humanity and the world at large. This is why I fully support the implementation of a resource based economy working in unison with natural law.

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  14. You sound like a damn commie to me! You're just lazy. That's your problem. You and Suelo both. Sorry to be so offense but it's true. God only helps those who help themselves. If a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat. Got that?

    I love the free market and hopefully one day I'll be rich. I don't worship mother earth. My home is up in heaven with Jesus. This world is gonna come to an end one day and I couldn't be any happier. The sooner the book of Revelations is fulfilled the sooner I'll be in heaven with my lord and savior. It's stupid to be so concerned about preserving the environment.

    God's got a plan and it's not up to us to question his authority.

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  15. How many people in our economy/society actually "work"? Just because one puts forth effort, that doesn't mean work has been accomplished and the recent economic problems should make clear that people can receive money without contributing to the greater good. If the only way to eat was to perform truly useful work, the vast majority of us would starve!

    Pastor Fred: Does what you do count as work? Because I sure wouldn't pay you to do it. Also, why do you care about the free market and hope to be rich if you're itching to see the end of the world? Why should riches matter to you? Why would you want to destroy god's creation (which he created by means and for reasons you can't comprehend) so that you can have material wealth that will become irrelevant when the book of revelations is fulfilled?

    Suelo: I know you put forth effort to make the world a better place. Your work on the farm and promoting sustainability are perfect examples. The fact that you aren't given money for your efforts is irrelevant. The contribution of yours that I value most is example that there is an alternative to the "work more than you have to so you can buy things that you need so you can work" cycle. You spread hope by demonstrating that there is another way for those of us who see how the modern economy undermines our communities, our families, and our dignity as human beings. I value that far more than anything a corporate lawyer, an accountant, or a pastor has done.

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  16. By the way, I for one am not lazy. I'm willing to work extremely hard to accomplish something important. What I'm not willing to do is to compromise my health, the well being of my family, and the planet's health in order to make someone else money so that they can use it for things (that are probably environmentally destructive) that I don't care about! Why should I work my ass off so that my boss or my doctor or my landlord can buy a Lexus when I would rather ride a bike?

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  17. As I wrote in the website about much of "evangelical" or "fundamentalist Christianity" being exactly opposed to everything the Jesus of their own Bibles teaches and stands for, I thought it would be nice to look for some examples and post them. Then I realized, "no need to search, the examples will show up on their own." And I couldn't ask for better examples, always popping up in the comments. Anybody who is the least familiar with Jesus' teachings knows exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks, Fred and others, I'm pleased as punch you keep stepping up to save me the trouble. It's almost too bizarre and hard to believe without seeing it for ourselves.

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  18. People like Fred are a dime a dozen in the Bible Belt. That's one of the reasons why I want to move. Don't let this kook get to you Suelo. You're doing your own thing and you're not bothering anyone. I wish you the best.

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  19. @Chickie -
    I let the trivial distractions above get in the way of facing your critically important question:
    "What happens when you've cleared away and seen through all that doesn't seem real and doesn't matter....and nothing comes to fill it's place? Do you just sit still and wait...?"
    These are the sentiments I felt when I was in my "Dark Night of the Soul" described above. Carolyn & I were even talking about feeling similar, at a point of floundering. Then I just sat with these feelings (as I said above). Hand them over to the Infinite & let go. Meditation, silent entering the Present, beyond words, is critical, but with Love as the Highest Goal. If you empty your cup, don't be afraid that nothing will come to fill it. Like a vacuum, it will suck in Blessing. Believe this. A seed can't be nothing will happen if it falls to the dirt and dies. It must risk dying, and only then can it sprout. It must wait, as you say, do nothing, wait for rain which it has no control over (Grace) before it can act automatically (works). If you still doubt about all this, always remember the 1 thing beyond all doubt: Love. Meditate on Love above all else. If I think I don't know what Love is, I ask: Prayer. Make an inventory of every creature you ever knew and make certain you despise absolutely nobody. Then watch the magical warm water and fire of baptism pour down on you. It will, guaranteed. Infinite Love to you from me, Chickie.

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  20. Not all forms of love is acceptable in the eyes of the Lord. I'm sure a Hindu loves his false idols. Love ain't gonna keep him outta Hell. Jesus is the only way. Turn or burn!

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  21. Love should not be wasted on ingrates. Period.

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  22. Turn, and if you're heart is full of anger, you'll burn anyway. From the inside out.

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  23. Dear Mr Fred Finklefart,
    I had to respond because I just can't take listening to your BS anymore .
    I, like you .believe that It is though Jesus Christ that a man is saved .The only way . I question whether you are a saved man though .Why? Because god says that those who live under the law are not saved . Do you understand the new covenant and what the finality of the cross meens ? It meens that Jesus died once for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD .There is not one thing we can do to make ourselfs more acceptible to god than we already are . It is finished ! I don't think you understand a lot of things finklefart . Why do you use the threat of hell to motivate people to come to god ? I don't think you understand the vast love of Jesus . His message was not "come to god or you'll burn in hell " His message was "gods kindom has come near you and you can participate in it" . God loved us first .That causes us to love god and others . Please Mr finklefart . Ask god to show you grace and what it meens because you are totaly wraped up in religion and the law . You are NOT going to heaven. You realy arn't . You are insulting the spirit of grace .
    GOD WARNS US THAT IF WE DONT ACCEPT JESUS SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS AND STOP TURNING BACK TO LEGALISM than all we have to expect is judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

    Heb 10:26
    If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

    This meens that if you don't accept that jesus died for all your sins . and keep turning back to the law then you are insulting the spirit of grace !

    You don't know Jesus Mr Frank Finklefart . If you did , you wouldn't be here Judging suelo and everyone else .Do you think you have some “self-assigned” role as fruit inspector? have You forgotten the Lord’s commandment to love?
    LEAVE SUELO ALONE you big BULLY . Let god work it out with him because Its all what he did and NONE OF WHAT YOU DO !

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  24. Mr. Anonymous, afraid of using your real name? Enjoy calling me dirty names? I bet you do. So who's being hateful and behaving like a sinner now? It's not me. I don't think you're a real Christian. You probably go to some liberal church where they openly support abortion rights and vote straight ticket Democrat. I know your ilk and by their fruit ye shall know them. As a Christian we're all called to spread the gospel of our lord and savior who is Jesus Cbrist.

    You don't speak for Suelo. You speak for your own selfish wants. You're not a true Christian because if you were you never would've rebuked to start with. I know you're kind. Get the behind me Satan! I rebuke thee!

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  25. Fartfinkle,
    Where Did I call you a dirty name ?(You said the name you use here is not your real name ) Who said I was being hateful? I don't go to any church (I am the church) especial not the kind that keepers of the law like you go to . I know your kind ,miserable, self rightious,loveless hypocrites who point out everyones sin while ignoring your own . Jesus REBUKED your kind .
    Matthew 23:13
    "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    The goal of God for our lives is not to change us but to love us. We won't always have perfect circumstances or perfect behavior, but the cross brought us and God into a perfect relationship. The goal of God for our lives is for us to enjoy that relationship.

    What suelo does is none of mine or your business
    1 thessalonians 4:11
    Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,

    Its men like you who Turn people away from The great lover, Jesus. fartfinkle .
    Its not jesus that people rebel against its legalistic religion . People can sence that you and people like you do not represent the real jesus .
    I have news for you fartfinkle . All the great things you think you've done for god amount to nothing , because its not what YOU do ,Rather its all what he did .I can tell by your statement "As a Christian we're all called to spread the gospel of our lord and savior who is Jesus Cbrist" That you think its all what you do . YOU are not in the equation .

    You are not going to heaven because god says that those who live under the law are not saved .
    God is not relating to us on the basis of law; the cross dealt with that. Christ nailed the law, with all its ordinances and requirements against us, to the cross (Col. 2:14). He fulfilled the law for us. He took it out of the way, and the law is now obsolete. He is the end of the law for righteousness for all who believe (Rom 10:5). We died to the law by the cross and were married to Christ (Rom. 7:4).

    God is trying to speak to you here fartfinkle . Will you listen ?

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  26. I've been thinking about how to phrase my thoughts since I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. While on the PCT I experienced that same kinds of things that Suelo describes here on his blog about living without money. I left religion long ago, but while on that long hike, lots of the things that Jesus said came back to me and I saw the truth in them raw and unfiltered through the church. I think I finally figured out how to express these thoughts. It may be lost on those who cannot see, though.

    The love of money is the root of evil:
    http://farewelltospring.blogspot.com/2011/03/love-of-money-is-root-of-all-evil.html

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  27. Ditto, a simply profound post, Piper. Sometimes I think if I made mine simpler like that, like a haiku, people would get it. But maybe it's like simply wanting to show the moon to a person who's gouged out his own eyes.

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  28. After reflecting on much of what's been said here, I have to say that I would find it much easier to accept Jesus if evangelicals weren't trying to shove dogma down my throat. When you strip away all of the silly rules, angry rhetoric, and claims of knowing exactly what God/Jesus want of us; Christianity is a very pure religion.

    As a Buddhist, I sometimes wonder who's right. If the Christians are right I'm wasting my one shot of getting into heaven by focusing on the Dharma instead of the gospel. If I'm right, I should be trying to convince Christians to follow the Dharma in order to save them from wasting an incarnation on an empty promise of salvation. I suspect that both traditions have their grains of truth, as well as their misconceptions. However, if the gospel of Christ is the way, then the hard core evangelicals bear a certain amount of the guilt for my eternal damnation by making the "Truth" as they call it (which is what I'm ultimately interested in) so difficult to stomach!

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  29. If Christians actually practice their own religion and Buddhists actually practice their own religion, neither can help but see they are the Same Path. Same goes for the other religions. If somebody competes with another religion, claims their own religion superior, they betray themselves that they surely don't practice their own religion. This shows that a rare few people practice their own religion. Believe me, I'm not saying this because it sounds nice, but because it is as true as the sun rises.

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  30. Thank you for your response Suelo. I feel intensely alone recently and questioning being in life at all, and it brings some relief that you are out there.
    It just feels like I've been patient for so long, and I don't know how much I have left. The agony can feel unbearable, and endless, and there is very little respite as there once was. Nothing works anymore to even distract a little!
    Which some may say means it's "close" or further along, but I'm starting to doubt, and am buckling under it.
    Interestingly, only lately have I started to feel more anger towards people. Friends who I've been through much with, who I thought would be there at a time like this, or just be able to be present are caught up in their Blackberries and "becoming" and consuming, and don't have the available attention.
    It's the first time where I actually a bit feel unable to love.
    I feel like I've been asking (prayer) about love and what I'm here for, for so long that now I'm just in a warped bubble and I may not even know if it arrives. So I ask for Love or Whatever to make it really obvious so I can't miss it.
    But I feel so lost and hopeless that it lately doesn't seem worth it.
    I'm exhausted.
    I don't even know which end is up, and trying to forgive and love everyone in this moment feels like one more exercise after 10,000 I've tried (one of them being to stop trying).
    I try to think like a 4 year old. Look at it simply. Somewhere, I know it must not be complicated. But I'm bewildered. I can't find the way.

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  31. @ Chickie -
    It sounds like you're dealing with clinical depression, which I suffered with for years. I talk about it in the post of July 24, 2010 (http://zerocurrency.blogspot.com/2010/07/chitty-chitty-bang-bang.html). People who haven't experienced it don't understand it's not the regular depression everybody gets, it doesn't just go away with a pat answer or formula. I know I wanted nothing to do with any religion or spiritual practice at the time, because it all exhausted me. Hang in there, it seems like it's forever, but it's not - everything in the universe passes.

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  32. Chickie, what you're going through is tough but you'll get better. It might take awhile though. I occasionally suffer from what I call "anxious sadness". It starts out as a panic attack and it can last for months on end. Then, once it's gone, I might not have another attack for years. It's probably a chemical imbalance but it could also be linked to a "culture" of isolationism. Other than the use of social networking sites;many people don't have any any real friends.It's sad.

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  33. Everyone follows his own religion, even Jesus did.

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  34. So Chickie, have you tried Jesus? Only he can heal your inner wounds. Not Buddha. Not Krishna, Not some new age quack. Come to the real power and experience a true healing today!

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  35. I'm not sure why it's saying that I'm "Kenelm". I've been "Ken" in earlier comments.

    Anyway:

    Suelo:

    I've heard that Christians and Buddhists (and others as well) are all on the same path, but I have trouble conceptualizing that from a theological standpoint. On the other hand, if I step away from intellectualizing the two religions, comparing and contrasting them, I get the "feeling" that they're one and the same. It seems that the more wholeheartedly I embrace Buddhism, the more I respect Christianity. I also find myself less annoyed with the hypocrisy, self righteousness, and judgement that I see in many people who claim to be Christian. (I sometimes wonder if I would see the faults of Buddhism more clearly and be drawn more to Christianity if I had grown up in a Buddhist country instead of a Christian one.)

    As far as believing that one religion is "better" than another, I think that what is really important is the acknowledgement that Buddhism is better for me. Buddhism can be quite intellectually challenging (especially to westerners who bring often incompatible preconceptions to the study of it), so Christianity (as it's commonly practiced in the west) might be the better choice for some people who are unable or uninterested in challenging themselves intellectually.

    I guess my concern is that some people (of any religion) might reject religions that would be better suited to their personalities, because of the dogmas that they grew up with.

    Pastor Fred seems angry that not everyone is Christian, but I have to wonder if he has ever really questioned his faith, or gone to the trouble to learn about other religions. Perhaps if he opened his heart and mind to the truth that all (or at least most) religions share, he would be less angry at the rest of us and more compassionate. I'm not recommending conversion, simply education and empathy.

    I've rambled long enough, but I'd like to add that I enjoy this blog for the challenging ideas and the variety of opinions that end up here.

    Thank you Suelo!

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  36. I was just reading over my post and realized that the following statement could be taken as an insult to Christianity: "Christianity (as it's commonly practiced in the west) might be the better choice for some people who are unable or uninterested in challenging themselves intellectually."

    My intention was not to suggest that Christians are stupid. It's simply been my observation that I have more difficulty wrapping my mind around my readings of Buddhist thought than Christian thought.

    I apologize for an offense.

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  37. To: "paster" Fred stink O finger .
    Mr . Stink o finger . No one knows if there is a god . Only agnostics are honest.There are thousands of religions to choose from or we can make up our own . You and I have decided for ourselfs to believe in Jesus Christ as the only way for salvation .Jesus changes us from the inside out . How ? Heres an example - Yesterday I saw an old lady sitting on a bus stop bench as I was sitting at a stop light .A poor helpless decrepit old lady so vulnerable . I was so overcome with compassion that I wept . poor old lady . Just how she can barely get around but shehad to get on that bus because she had to go out and take care of things just broke my heart and I wept . I was swept up by compassion once again when I read chickies and Bens last post here on this blog.Again I wept . How can you come here Mr stink finger and be so harsh? I will tell you why . You have never Had a encountered with Jesus . The great lover. You are caught up in religion and the law . I weep for you to fred .
    Fred , Ask god to show you grace (who's real name is Jesus) Come to him let him love you fred . Soon ,instead of having to threaten people with hell ,Jesus will love them through you(christ in you .)In due time fred you will be filled with joy and mabye even have a sence of humor ! God be with you .

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  38. Anonymous:

    I respect what you're trying to do for Fred, but I suspect your words might be more effective if you addressed him by name. Even if that name is a pseudonym, it's still obviously what he prefers to be called than "Stink o finger."

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  39. TO : Paster Fred stink O finger .lol
    Common Fred . Im just trying to get a laugh out of you !
    Fred , Check these videos out . Im not affiliated with any of them .
    God bless .
    Your friend
    Anon

    Cut and past these into your adress bar .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YymUq58eJA

    http://www.youtube.com/user/promisedgrace#p/u/5/SldkF4-rNBE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY7c6XPagmA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxiFgpKKZ94

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpJTirqEsE

    http://www.realanswers.net/metro/tv/archive/080224.html


    http://www.realanswers.net/metro/tv/archive/080302.html

    http://www.realanswers.net/metro/tv/archive/080309.html

    http://www.realanswers.net/radio/player.php?id=3214

    http://www.realanswers.net/radio/player.php?id=3220

    http://www.realanswers.net/realanswers/

    http://www.gracewalk.org/

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  40. @ Ken(elm? ;-)
    Your Golden Rule thoughtfulness is refreshing, thanks. Funny, I've always admired Buddhism and Taoism for their simlicity and lack of intellectual theology we get lost in within Christianity (and Hinduism and Islam). Buddhism clearly states that Truth is found by letting go of mind, becoming as the infant, not getting lost in symbol, going beyond judgement. Christianity states the same, but gets lost in its zillions of symbols, lost in thought. Christianity is more an obstacle course. Obstacle courses have purpose, but more people get hurt and fail in them. The symbols get put above the truth they symbolize, which is idolatry. The messenger is called "Lord, Lord" while his message is shat on, demonstrated above. The most simple fundamental that any infant can understand, the Golden Rule, is rejected.

    My confession: when I read above religious comments, I want nothing to do with any religion and wonder why I bother. But something mysteriously precious at the core of all that ugliness drives me on, like diamonds in the rough, and I'm baffled by it. I'm challenged by the bloody obstacle course, I guess.

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  41. It's hard for me to say that *all* religions are the same when attempted to practice to their full extent. However, I do agree that they have a lot more in common than many of the so-called practitioners of many religions admit to. I believe that most people who genuinely try to live out their beliefs or religion realize that it's not a very easy thing to do and because of that, they have some empathy for others who are trying to do the same thing, even if those beliefs may be different to their own.

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  42. Chickie: Suelo is right,it sounds like you may have clinical depression! I know how terrible it can seem,as I have been trying to deal with it for some time now! If you ever just need someone to chat too,just let me know! you are not alone my friend!!
    Daniel: as always,great stuff here;I hope to be able to meet you one day,and even spend a little time with you,as I am intersted (and kind of hesitant,to be honest) in trying to live as you do...this life of material BS is killing me...too much worry and stress just trying to keep afloat!! keep up the good work ! take care and God bless!!

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  43. @Raj - yeah, the fluff of religion is different, but the core is the same. For example, the Bible condemns homosexuality, which Buddhism does not. But Christianity states, as does Buddhism, there is nothing higher than the Love. The Golden Rule is our religion, "the Torah and the Prophets", Jesus says. Christianity says, "Love does no harm to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." If I choose between a commandment against being gay and the Golden Rule, I must take the Golden Rule if I have the least bit of sense. It is impossible to follow both commandments. Only then can I live a clean heart, totally without doubt, accepting myself and others for who we are. The Golden Rule, by its very nature, is being open to other religions, just as we want them open to ours. If we close our minds to other religions, we have rejected the Golden Rule, rejecting entirely our own religion! There really is no other true religion but the Golden Rule, taught as the fundamental of every religion. Everything is nonsense and poison without the Golden Rule, including all the high doctrines about Jesus. You don't understand the Golden Rule by reading the Bible, you understand the Bible by following the Golden Rule. If Jesus isn't the Golden Rule, Jesus is a lie. If Jesus is the Golden Rule, then Jesus is the foundation of every religion, no matter what they call him/it/her, because it is the Name raised above every name that can be uttered. There can be no mistake, ever, following the Golden Rule.

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  44. To: Paster Fred .
    Fred , Leave here Fred .Go off with Jesus . Let Jesus love you Fred .Let Jesus renew your mind . Let Jesus transform you . Don't worry about suelo or anyone else here . Let Jesus the great lover love them . He is God Fred ,Bigger than all .The maker of the universe . His thoughts are higher than our thoughts . We can trust that he will draw people with his great love .Don't worry Fred ,Jesus will use you even when you don't even know it .After some time Fred you be began to notice and be dumfounded at how God sends you to deliver a message(from the holy spirit)to a specific person/persons(without you expecting it ,or doing it in your own power) .It will blow your mind Fred .Jesus, Is amazing Fred !

    The lord Jesus shower you with his overwhelming love !
    Your friend
    Anon

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  45. Suelo:

    The Golden Rule is not realistic, not even you can follow it. It makes sense modern religions only pay lip service to it, what did you expect?.

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  46. Hey lonewolf-
    Thanks so much for the offer. Very sweet.
    I'd love to have a fellow friend to chat with/write to.

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  47. @ Antonio -
    the golden rule is not realistic if I focus on what the mass of humanity should do. But if I focus on what I can do, I know love gives me peace and joy when I simply aspire to it, and when I actually practice it, and I become unhealthy and wacked out when I don't practice it. Aspiring to love is love itself, and love forgives and doesn't worry about times of not being unable to love. I don't think I'm different than any other human in what gives me peace and joy. That's all I know. I can't worry that all the world may be going to hell in a handbasket, there's no other way to be alive (be conscious) but to love.

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  48. Suelo:

    I agree that Christianity has a lot of symbols and interpretations overlaying the basic premise, but my experience is that when Christians write or speak clearly about their religion, it's fairly easy to follow. By contrast, the Buddhist idea of gaining liberation by letting go of the ego is difficult to wrap one's mind around- at least from a western perspective. Given the individualistic nature of our society, we might reason: "If I let go of my ego, I will cease to exist; and if I cease to exist, what's the point of being liberated? How can I be liberated if I don't exist to enjoy it." Then there's the whole thing about right concentration being contradicted by letting go. These things, at least to me, are more difficult to conceptualize than someone dying for my and everyone else's sins. At the same time though, the Buddhist way of thinking makes more sense to me once I let go of my westernized/americanized world view of myself (my ego) as a distinct entity that can be perpetuated for eternity.

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  49. Also, when you step back and think about it, how does one person sacrificing himself for everyone else's sins make sense? I can't walk into a court room and declare myself guilty of all of the crimes on the docket for the day.
    Another point: How much of a sacrifice is it to give one's earthly life and go to heaven, which is supposedly so much better? I can picture Jesus reasoning through the situation: "Hmm, I get to go to heaven instead of dealing with all these damn Romans and that backstabber Judas, plus I get to save the world in the process? Seems like a good deal to me!"
    Ideas like that make Buddhism much easier to contemplate by contrast!

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  50. Hey Chickie,is there a way I can get a message to ya,so we can chat??
    Suelo: I am interested in meeting you, how does one go about that,as far as finding ya??

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  51. Yeah, that's what I'm saying, Ken. Pop Buddhism is simpler to me than pop Christianity. I spent a lifetime trying to wrap my mind around the death atonement and wondering why it wasn't wiping away mine or anybody's sins that I knew of, as we see in comments above. But like pop Christianity, pop Buddhism isn't simple enough. It tends to focus on meditation and forget the basic love taught by Buddha, the eightfold path, that makes meditation possible.

    This is why I keep sounding like a cliche, going back to love, the only "religion" simple enough for an infant, beyond thought. In my own Buddhist practice, I found meditation didn't work without love. It seems to for a while, but then fails. Pop Buddhism gets too intellectual and proud, refusing to bow to the ground. Love (humble devotion to Life) automatically leads us to the Present Mind, like when you're in romantic love you think of your lover 24-7. If Christians focused on Jesus' teachings, which they can understand, namely love, then I'll wager the doctrines nobody understands will become clear.

    Buddhism and Christianity are about crucifying the ego, crucifying what we THINK is divine. If the crucifixion isn't happening here and now, it can't atone for sins. "The Son of Man comes (present tense) at a Time when you TAKE NO THOUGHT." Buddhism 101. People think Jesus is far back in history or away in heaven, but Christians' own Bible says over and over Christ is in you, in your neighbor, come in the flesh Now. That drops responsibility right back into our laps. Jesus' very first recorded sermon is, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" and people still think heaven is somewhere else.

    The money mentality sacrifices Now for a Future Heaven that will never come, and looks for a token (redeemer) to get into that heaven. The Divine Mind sacrifices the Future Heaven (illusion) for Now (reality), and knows that the token is the thing it buys. The Bhagavad Gita also calls this the Sacrifice, renouncing all future rewards of your actions, the central them of the Gita, in fact. This is Crucifixion of all that you THINK is real, and the Gita calls this the atonement for sin (debt). It calls this giving without expectation of reward, which is Love, which is the whole point of this blog and website: living without reward tokens (money). If you doubt this is the very foundation of the world's major religions, please see http://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney/Home/all-the-world-s-religions-agree-on-this-one-thing in the website.

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  52. Hi lonewolf- I added a 'contact me' form on my blog if you just click my name here :)

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  53. This is an interesting topic. I believe both Buddhism and Christianity both talk at length about killing the ego. In Christian terms this is summed up as "deny thyself, whoever comes after me must pick up his cross" (Mark 8) and "whoever desires to be the greatest, must become the servant of all" (Matt 18). As Suelo says, in Christianity and in Buddhism the key to killing the ego is love. If you want to have no ego, make others more important than yourself. Simple isn't it?! There are quite a lot more verses that I'm familiar with that talk about killing the ego in Christianity, but maybe I'll post them separately. I understand the basic concept with the ego in Christianity is that the ego, or maybe pride?, will always be there but the best way to tame it is to be a servant. James 1:27 sums this up by saying that real religion is to help orphans and widows. Again, this is saying *real* religion is based on service (love) and not on theological understanding (ego, head-knowledge).

    As far as how easy it seems for Jesus to die for everyone's sins and go to Heaven instead of dealing with the people on earth. Sure, it's easy by comparison, but I don't think it's really "easy" for anyone to deal with the fact that if they go through with something then they'll be tortured to death. Especially if you have the power to stop all of it (like call fire down from Heaven). It can be said that it's selfish for Christians to die for their faith, because they believe they get something better later, but this theology is meant to help people do the loving thing now instead of what's easier now. Doing the loving thing now, usually benefits more than just the individual who is waiting for that pie in the sky.

    In Christianity, the greatest love is to die for a friend, (John 15:13) or in other words, the best way to kill your ego is let your body be killed in order to save someone else. In Christianity, this is true for Jesus as well and Joe Schmoe.

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  54. @ lonewolf -
    just come to Moab & ask for me. I'm pretty easy to find, usually. If you want to email privately, you may, or just show up, no prob.

    @ Raj -
    Insightful comment. The symbol of Christianity, the Cross, shows the price of speaking and acting truth and love, regardless of your religion. If we can't act what we know as true for fear of losing jobs or ridicule, we don't believe in the cross. You can't be raised high until you take the bottom: the theme of the Tao Te Ching. The cross gives courage to face anything, showing no greater joy than living True, even amidst persecution. Pop "Christianity" sees the cross oppositely, as a separate ticket - somebody did the work so we don't have to be responsible, so we can be cowards. But true Christian theology says we enter into it, one with Christ, happening within us, yet not us (ego) doing the work, but the divine through us, an idea stressed in the Gita and Tao Te Ching, too. True Judaism and Christianity show how we find Peace in the midst of suffering, not by avoiding it.

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  55. When we fail to perceive without fragmentation then the only objective reality there is (the Holy, the sacred, the great "I AM", Tao, etc.) irregardless how it is personified in wisdom literature or religous tradition for the sake of humans(anthropormorphism), then we find our perception limited, fragmented. When we discover in our own individual journeys this "oneness" holokinetically, unitary perception leaves us speechless, thoughtless unable to convey or express to another "what is". "God" is the only objective reality there "is". A Judeo-Christian furtherance of this is "God IS love." Therefore, Love is all there is...

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  56. Money and materialism fragment our perception of objective reality. It gravitates around our "centre" the "self" and by way of will, desire, ambition, etc. then we fail to see the observer and observed as "One". "GOD" is the only objective reality there is. "GOD" IS "LOVE". Love is all there is...When we enter this all unitary field of energy (love) then the "self" and all it's orbitary illusions vanish. We no longer seek but only find and are found as One.

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  57. Yes! Ah, Synchronicity: I'm visiting my parents' (giving me time to comment here); just minutes ago we talked about the Jewish "Shema". My mom is reading about the "Shema":

    "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deut 6:4-5)

    This is where her book stopped. But look at it for what it is:

    To pull a "trick", to show a paradox, the founders of Pharisaism took this "Shema" and put it together with the commandment
    "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Lev 19:18).

    The Hebrew word for "God" is Elohim, literally meaning "Gods." Gods is One.

    If God is One, whom we must love with all our being, how can we "also" love our neighbor, unless our neighbor is God in the flesh? Excuse me for having to spell out the obvious.

    Jesus' mission was not to make another religion but to remind the Pharisees of their own religion, which was Jesus' relgion: Loving your neighbor, God in the flesh, is the only way to salvation (Matt 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-32, Luke 10:25-37).

    Notice how the Pharisee confirmed Jesus' reminder:

    "Well said, Rabbi. you have spoken the truth, for there is One God, and there is nothing else but he" (Mark 12:32).

    If this Monism isn't pure Hindu theology, what is?... or did I mean Buddhist theology? Or did I mean Christian theology? Native American theology?

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  58. I forgot to mention Muslime theology. The Quran tells us to bow to no one but God, then it turns around and gives the commandment to bow to Adam... Hmmm

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  59. Very interesting stuff!

    Sorry it didn't respond to you earlier, Suelo. I'm a lot busier than I'd like to be and intend to be at some point. (I'm in an intensive health care field graduate program while still trying not to be an absentee father and husband.)

    Anyway, I found your comments on Christianity enlightening. I think that if American Christianity was framed as you put it, I could easily be a Christian!

    Your mention that Jesus said "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." squares especially well with Buddhism in my mind. It sounds a lot like the Buddhist assertion that liberation is accessible to everyone- we just have to put forth the time and effort (or lack of effort, depending on what you consider effort). I also can't help thinking that with a combination of the acceptance of suffering as part of life and a comprehensive approach to sustainable living, we can make Earth a lot closer to heaven than it is now. (By sustainable living, I mean using our intelligence and common sense to find a way to live in balance with our planet in such a way that it can support us with a reasonable material quality of life until the sun makes it uninhabitable. Having a society/economy that recognizes our needs as spiritual and social creatures (instead of components of production) would help too.)

    To get a bit back on track, I think that an appreciation of the miracle evident in the existence of other human beings and the natural world is the best way to praise God (or whatever is responsible for our being).

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  60. Our challenge may be to frame our common Oneness in a new vernacular so as to transcend the illusion of adherence to connotations of words that do not lead us to this Unitary Love as conveyed by traditional organized religion. The word is not the thing. Language becomes a product of thought which is(thought, that is) a material process by which we fruitlessly try to think about Love which IS beyond "the known", a.k.a. the Greek "metanoia". Jesus would shout this word when he entered a new village to say "Go beyond the known!". This IS the "basileia tou theou" that we enter into when this "GOD" or "LOVE" consciousness comes to encompass US as One!!!!

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  61. To those of a Judeo-Christian vernacular simply examine John 17 specifically John 17:21(NASB) and the underlying Greek entomology for a absolute correlation to unitary perception! The only energy that pervades, sustains, creates and imbues "zoe" ("The highest blessedness of the being(Being)” is Love! When holokinesis pervades the total content of consciousness then we become "ONE with the Father!!!".

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  62. Dr.Feces, I rebuke you and the demons that are lying to you. Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation. Following other paths and ideas will land you straight in Hell to burn and suffer forever more. Accept the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart today so you can be in paradise with him and praising him forever and ever. Amen!

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  63. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when, year and year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a great voice were saying, "You are accepted. You are accepted, by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not try to do anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted." If that happens to us, we experience grace. (Paul Tillich)

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  64. He (jesus) is with us to befriend us, fellowship with us, love on us, reassure us, and even live our very life through us, loving the world right through us!

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  65. Amen brother! It's only by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ(and him alone) that we shall be saved.

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  66. Hey Fred! It's people like you is why I have little faith in humanity. Listen to what you're saying. It's horrible. You're basically saying that the rest of us that don't subscribe to your doctrine of exclusivity are damned souls without a prayer. Are you sure you're worshiping God? It sounds more like psychopath to me.

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  67. Fred , Amen Brother !

    "It's only by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ(and him alone) that we shall be saved."

    Did you check out those links I gave you ? Good stuff ! O How he loves us !

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  68. Off the subject. but how do you maintain a shaved face?

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  69. Thanks Raj, it works on your ass too.

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  70. i would imagine it's difficult to be clean shaven while on the road. that's a good question.

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  71. I haven't used a razor in years. I clip my beard closely with borrowed scissors every week or 2, or let it grow when none available. I cut my own hair, too.

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  72. Why don't you hire a barber?.

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  73. He can't hire a barber if he doesn't have any money. If he's able to cut his own hair then why not? What's wrong with that? Even a bum likes to stay groomed on occasion.

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  74. Fred, I largely agree with what you're saying, however this comment is a good example of your overall tone here: "Even a bum likes to stay groomed on occasion." It sounds like you're calling Suelo a bum, which he certainly isn't. Also, if you're talking about homeless people in general, it's a derogatory term. Many homeless people suffer from mental illness, and have had some traumatic experiences in their lives. Just because they ask for money doesn't mean we should label them "bums". The biggest thieves on the planet are those that run the major corporations of the world. Why don't you use derogatory terms for them?

    "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world"- James 1:27

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  75. Raja:

    So it's fine to use derogatory terms for business leaders and wrong to use it for bums. Does that make any sense?.

    I would make more sense to respect all people regardless of their station in life. Don't you think?.

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  76. "I would make more sense to respect all people regardless of their station in life. Don't you think?." Very true, Antonio. But by your own logic your first sentence "doesn't make more sense." You still use the derogatory term "bum" and the honorable term "business leaders". Why?

    It's a matter of using words truthful or not. Calling a homeless person a bum is assuming something you don't know. But if you know a man murders, would you balk if we call him a murderer? If you know a man steals, do you protest calling him a thief?

    On the other hand, I agree with your premise. It's better not to label any person, and simply state fact of action: "'those that run the major corporations' are doing some of the greatest theft in the world." It's our duty to state simple truth. But to label people rather than simply state their action is to view them irredeemable and discount their good qualities. There are good qualities in a person who overlords a major corporation, just as there are good qualities in a person who pushes drugs, by the mere fact he or she is human. We could just as easily call them "a good parent" if we know they are. But should we deny drug-pushing as drug-pushing or theft as theft? Should we deny that bankers are making record profits even as they bankrupt the economy? Should we deny that our major retailers thrive on third-world sweatshop labor & exploitation?

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  77. Good call. Yes, I should have used the term "homeless person" instead of bum.

    We could also say: "those who are homeless are parasites of society". Because those people create most of the crime, poverty, vice and also give a bad image of the society they live in.

    Should we speak truth to benefit some agenda only?.

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  78. I may have not explained myself properly at first. I don't advocate calling *anyone* by a derogatory term, I meant to point out a double standard from Fred, where he's fine to use a term like "bum" for the poor but doesn't use a term like "pig" for the rich. I don't advocate using either. Basically, it came across as an unloving spirit, which Christians are supposed to be.

    Antonio, your own double standard is obvious as well. I've noticed that most people I see that hate the homeless are usually quite greedy themselves (I spend most of my life in areas where there are lots of homeless and I see the reactions different people give). They simply don't like the fact that a human asks them for money without them getting anything in return, but these same people don't really have a problem spending lots of cash on meaningless drivel when it's spent selfishly. I guess that's why people don't get so uptight about advertising, which to me is promoting lots of negative images, but they do get upset when someone asks them for cash. If you believe selfish consumption benefits the economy, then it also benefits the economy to give a homeless person some money so they can spend some money themselves and "boost" our economy too.

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  79. Raja, you did ask why Fred did not use derogatory terms for business leaders, as if it was somehow more correct to do so.

    You even went so far as to say: "The biggest thieves on the planet are those that run the major corporations of the world."

    For the record, I don't hate poor people. On the contrary, I try to help them when possible, but I am very aware of the negative impact they cause on society as a whole.

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  80. The reason why I don't use derogatory terms for the rich is because without these people the rest of us would die. It's the rich who provide us with jobs and opportunity. I don't see poor people starting businesses. Do you? Ha ha ha ha!

    People are poor because they choose to be poor. There's plenty of opportunity out there if you look hard enough. Sometimes you have to struggle at first but eventually hard work will pay off. God only helps those who help themselves. If more people would take that to heart it would be a better world. Even Suelo choose to live cents-less. He has an education and had a real job at one time. He gave it up and now relies on people's hand outs. That's his business but if he wasn't living in American he couldn't get away with that. He'd starve to death and rightfully so.

    The Bible says, if a man doesn't wok he can't eat. 2 Thes 3:10

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  81. Antonio, "those who are homeless are parasites on society" is an untruth, a stereotype. It's a prime example of looking at the splinter in another's eyes, not seeing the log in one's own. It is looking at symptoms, not cause. Also, I see with my own eyes that many homeless are messed up, and a considerable drain, but not all homeless. I live with the homeless and am homeless, and I would take offense if I didn't know you spoke out of ignorance. As Raja says, those who are messed up, and a "drain", are mentally ill, having grown up in abusive homes or without parents, having been through traumas, most all a result of greater impersonalized society. In simpler societies, we don't find this epidemic. Believe me, I've both lived in third world countries and I worked in homeless shelters and as a homeless caseworker in my money days, and I see this blatant truth. When we look at the real picture, we see cause rather than just symptoms:

    Basic common sense: The greatest drain on both society and the earth are those who take more than they need. This is basic law of positive and negative: take more than you need and others get less than they need, and you become a drain on society. Make a big wave crest and you get a big wave trough. Who takes more than they need, the rich or the poor? Who is the real parasite, the real drain? Wealth creates blindness, which is why I can't get too angry with attitudes like yours.

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  82. @ Fred:
    According to your own Bible, Jesus was poor and homeless, chose to be poor, as were the disciples, and he commanded his disciples to give up all possessions. Who is the one who rejects Jesus here? I'll make you a dare: quote James 1:5-6, or, id you can overcome your disdain for Jesus' teachings, quote anything Jesus says about the rich or the poor in your very own Bible. Take the dare?

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  83. LOL , Same Shi@ Different Day .LOL

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  84. 'pastor' Fred: as a supposed 'man of God' you are very petty and childish! "I don't see poor people starting businesses' do you"? 'Ha ha ha ha"???? what the hell is wrong with you?? people like you make me sick,especially when they 'preach' about something they obviously have no clue about! I am sure Jesus would have never laughed at the less fortunate of the world! you are a sick man,and you need to get some help!having you here is like having an internal parasite....not pleasent at all,and really annoying!! Suelo is not doing anything wrong...you need to move on!!!!!!!!

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  85. Entrepreneurs are the great heroes and benefactors of society. Without them society will stagnate.

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  86. Hi Rob, I don't like Fred's comments either, but I'd not advocate making personal attacks at him like "you are a sick man,and you need to get some help!having you here is like having an internal parasite".

    What I'd tend to say about both Fred and Antonio is they make the same statements and arguments over and over again, without really considering other view points. I guess the same could be said about the people here who agree with Suelo, but given that many of us come from very different religious and non-religious backgrounds yet are still able to have some common ground, it makes me lean more towards thinking that we tend to actually listen to one another more.

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  87. How do you know I don't consider other's view points?.

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  88. Because you say things like "Entrepreneurs are the great heroes and benefactors of society. Without them society will stagnate." Some entrepreneurs may do kind things, but to say entrepreneurs are heroes sounds a bit extreme.

    Suelo has written extensively on how seeking after your own wealth actually ends up oppressing others. Economists often make things sound very complex, but a child can understand that there can't be rich without there being poor. The haves and the have nots. I can't see any evidence that anyone "creates" wealth. You can grow, find, and mine wealth. But you can't create it through generating cash money. That only separates us from each other. We're losing one of our most precious resources: community (which has helped us survive for millennia). And it's all in the name of "generating wealth."

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  89. What community? All we're left with is broken families,pop culture,and and utter sleaze. It's grotesque. People have rejected God's moral code and this is the result. We need to get these democrats out of office and abolish welfare.

    I'm sick of the freeloaders living rent free and not working. I'm paying too much taxes and I'm sick of these commie politicians handing out our hard earned money too the bottom feeders living on our generosity! It's like they have a gun pointed at our heads forcing us to take care of everyone else leaving us with nothing for ourselves or our own families.

    Kick the bums out into the streets for all I care. The Bible makes it clear that if a person doesn't work they don't eat. How much clearer can it be. My compassion for these low lives has run dry. God doesn't like lazy and slothful people either. (Prov. 15:19; 19:24; 22:13; 26:13-16).

    God has said, "If any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10).

    One who is too lazy to work or who otherwise refuses to provide for his family "hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Tim. 5:8)

    "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame" (Prov. 10:4, 5).

    Mom and Dad, if you do not teach them these things, a part of that "shame" will fall upon you (Prov. 10:1).

    Now you know the truth. Stop denying it Suelo. Get a job!!!! Do anything. It's what the Lord wants and Americans are getting sick and tired of paying your way in life.

    All you poor people heed this warning! Your free ride is just about over. Then what are you going to do? Starve most likely. You'll have no one to blame but yourselves.

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  90. "Entrepreneurs are the great heroes and benefactors of society. Without them society will stagnate." - Antonio

    Amen brother! Without the rich we'd all be derelicts. They're the reason why any of us have jobs,homes,cars,and disposable income. People are attacking the rich whenever it's the poor who are the real drain on society.

    "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." - Milton Friedman

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  91. Pastor Fred,

    I don't see Jesus speaking anywhere in these passages you quote. The Timothy and Thessalonians references are in Paul's letters and are not the words of Jesus. The Proverbs quotes are from the Old Testament. It's no surprise, since these sentiments are at odds with what Jesus preached. Read the Sermon on the Mount for Jesus.

    Actually, Fred, I've been to your website and I want to recommend it to others because there's some stuff on self-sufficiency that I think people who read this site would enjoy.

    Pax vobiscum

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  92. Antonio calls the rich heroes. Fred says:

    "Amen brother!"

    Fred, I'm pretty sure Antonio is an atheist, so that just goes to show who you really have unity with, and whom you can rightfully call a brother: atheists, or really more specific money lovers (who can profess any religion or lack thereof).

    Then Fred goes on to say:

    "Kick the bums out into the streets for all I care...Without the rich we'd all be derelicts. They're the reason why any of us have jobs,homes,cars,and disposable income. People are attacking the rich whenever it's the poor who are the real drain on society."

    Jesus says: "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

    21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.... 24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

    25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep."

    There's a serious contradiction between Fred's Jesus and the real Jesus. Fred, maybe you should change your religion so that your beliefs match up with those of the religion. I think Satanism would suit you well, as it's largely about attaining wealth for oneself and they also tend to vote Republican.

    Here's what wikipedia says about Satanism: "According to religioustolerance.org, LaVeyan Satanism is a "small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges responsibly, exhibit kindness to their friends, and attack their enemies".

    How's it sound Fred? You believe in keeping your money for yourself, being kind to your friends, and waging war on countries who threaten you finances, don't you?

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  93. What we have here are a few people thinking that they are better than the other. Bottom line is, you still bleed red.

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  94. You still haven't taken my dare, Fred.

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  95. Raja: No, sorry, I am not an atheist. I am a theist, but not an orthodox one like Fred.

    I believe my statement of entrepreneurs as heroes, is not more extreme than if I said the same about scientists, poets or even so called humanitarians.

    Anonymous: No, sorry, I don't believe I am better than anyone. That is, if sticking to my own ideas, is not the same as feeling superior to someone else.

    To all: People are entitled to their opinion. If they want to believe they are better to me, because they happen to agree with Suelo, then so be it.

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  96. Hey Antonio, sorry for misjudging you as an atheist (although it's not really an issue to me either way). I think I was just getting you mixed up with another guy called Miguel. Personally, I didn't think people were trying to say they were better than each other, not me, not Antonio, not Suelo, though Fred comes across a little that way, but even he I don't think he was trying to say he was necessarily better than anyone. Maybe it's just that people feel their arguments or their beliefs are better than others, though I would say that's probably true of most people. Good reminder though, it's important to remember we're all people and we need to help one another in order to survive.

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  97. Without Christ we're all Hell bound and worthless. It's Jesus who gives us purpose. Those who've accepted the Lord as their personal savior and follow his teachings properly will be blessed with abundance and if they're poor they won't be for long. God only helps those who help themselves and if people don't make an effort to better their own lives then God won't waste his time on them. There's nothing wrong with being rich. In fact, it's a blessing from God. I have a hard time seeing some poor person living on minimum wage who votes socialist but reads their Bible regularly as being a good spokesperson for our heavenly father.

    "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it." - Proverbs 10:22

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  98. Suelo, I wasn't trying to be rude to you but I'm just speaking from my convictions as a conservative Christian.

    http://www.gracecentered.com/what_the_Bible_says_about_money.htm

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  99. Pastor Fred,

    Thanks for the link to the Bible references to money. The most interesting to me is Luke 19:12-26, which has Jesus tell the story of servants left with money by a hard master. When the master returns, he rewards those who've invested and made money with the money left to them. However, he admonishes the the servant who simply hid the money and didn't invest it for fear of losing it.

    I like the version of that parable in Matthew better, since I think it gets more at what Jesus was concerned with--putting yourself on the line for your faith. I don't think Jesus was giving advice on what to do with your spare cash. He means, I think, that you have to take risks and not be afraid of punishment or approbation if you're called by God. The Matthew version underscores this with each servant receiving a different quantity of money, the implication being that the more you're given, the more that is expected of you.

    Fred, do you see it that way?

    Pax

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  100. Yes Pax. I do. I see is as both symbolic of God expecting more from those who have been given more to do more but I also see it as literal. God wants us to invest our money and grow it. He wants to see us become successful. He never intended for us to be poor and bumming around all our lives. God hates slothfulness and laziness. I doubt such people will enter the kingdom of Heaven.

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  101. I am still waiting for you to take my dare, Fred. Then we can discuss the site you refer to. If what you say about Jesus being the Way is true, all the rest is meaningless without his teachings. So far, as all here have born witness, not one of your comments has ever dared go near your Jesus' practical teachings with a 10-foot pole, constantly distracting away from them. Why?

    Anonymous almost took your dare for you--also purposefully ignoring everything Jesus teaches about rich and poor, God and Mammon, treasures on earth vs. treasures in heaven, giving up possessions--and refers to a parable, which is called a parable (Luke 19:11) to dispel any doubt it might not be parable. If your treasure is on earth, you will not read it as parable, to gain treasure on earth. If your treasure is in heaven (within) you will read the parable to gain treasure in heaven. Where your treasure is, there your heart is.

    Fred, what you and Anon talk about as wealth is poverty. What you talk about as poverty is wealth. I'm tired of your world of poverty, preferring Abundance.

    Take the dare, Fred?

    As I told you before, I don't ask you to follow any other religion but your own Jesus' teachings. See what happens if you do.

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  102. Suelo and Fred,

    I don't read the parables from Luke and Matthew as talking about money at all. Jesus isn't telling us to take risks to multiply our monetary wealth, but to take the genuine risks that living according to Jesus's teachings entail in order to become spiritually enriched.

    Being afraid to let go of convention and afraid to follow what Jesus taught is what these parables warn against. We're familiar with these teachings, but here are some examples from the Sermon on the Mount that really require faith and love to actually do: loving your enemies; turning the other cheek; forgiving others debts to you; not piling up wealth; not thinking about providing for yourself, because God will provide; not judging others; not swearing oaths; giving charity anonymously; and interpreting the Old Testament commandments in terms of how you love those around you.

    In the Sermon, Jesus warns us not to hide our candle under a bushel and I think he's saying the same thing he said in the parables in Luke and Matthew. Take the risk, don't be afraid to shine out as you follow these teachings, because those who're persecuted for doing so will be exalted in heaven.

    I think Jesus was really serious about these core teachings and I don't think I can ignore them or try to explain them away like a lot of denominations do.

    How do you guys feel about the Sermon on the Mount and its relationship to these parables? Am I out in left field?

    Pax vobiscum

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  103. More religious arguing here again. Its like watching two children fight over who's right .LOL .My opinion is that neither suelo or fred are right . Im so glad that Im free . Free from religion . How can people live this way ? lol .What a wast of life .

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  104. The top 5 that divide. In no particular order.

    Feminism
    racism
    religion
    politics
    classes

    What a wast of life to focus on these things . Life is to short .

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  105. Today we could look around at the beauty right in front of us, all around us . The trees the birds chirping ,the sound of a babbling brook . love is the answer . We can look at each other ,accept each other. Each of us are human , vulnerable. We can live this day today in peace, smiling,laughing,enjoying .

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  106. @Anonymous that posted about how they are free of religion. To me, whatever floats your boat. However, just because you don't claim a religion doesn't mean you don't have an ideology, and you're still espousing your ideology: that not having a religion will make you free. Like I said, to me, whatever, but I think what Suelo is trying to get at is for people to be honest about what it is they really believe and to at least try and live up to their own ideals, even if those ideals mean not having a religion. I think it's a good thing be honest about our values. I think if more of us did that, many of these religious arguments would disappear.

    I think sometimes people view conflict as a bad thing. I tend to view conflict as a neutral thing, it's neither good nor bad, but like a pain, it's a meant as a warning sign. Tensions and disagreements don't go away on their own. Anyone in a marriage will be able to tell you that you can't always just think rosy thoughts about your mate. Sometimes, you gotta tell them what's bothering you about them. It doesn't mean we're unhappy people, just that sometimes conflict needs to arise in order to resolve a tension that's *already* there. Conflict of ideologies can give a clearer picture of the issues at hand, and if both sides are honest, then it can bring some mutual understanding and empathy.

    Recently, I've come to appreciate debate, because it helps me understand myself and others better. It's true that we can just enjoy life now and laugh and have fun, but we can't forget about the millions that are dying of thirst, hunger, and of violence. We live in a dualistic world, and we have to balance our positive thinking with a dose of the negative reality that millions live through each day. Love to all.

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  107. Raja ,
    Religion is "Doing things" to be accepted by god . Why strive to be accepted by god when we already are ? Jesus took away the sins of the whole world once and for all .Its finished !Then he gave us life . its none of what we do. All thats left to do is trust him with that and enjoy the ride .Of course this is Just what Ive chosen to believe and It is biblical .

    I understand that not eveyone Believes this or understands this and needs to argue and fight.its all part of the process of answering the big questions we all have like - "why am I here " "how did I get here " Whats my purpose " "whats important" "Who put me here"

    I don't want to argue .Ive been through all of that prosess . I simple just wanted to offer people a break goout and smell the fresh air . listen to the birds . Go to the river and have a swim .take the dog for a walk . enjoy a nice home made glass of wine . grow a garden . take a walk with a friend . smile at someone . give someone a hug . take a nice hot bath . buy some new cloths .go forage for some berries,give your loved one a kiss . give someone a compliment. There is so much beauty in life . Cheers !

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  108. @Anonymous: I agree with you "religion" is doing things to be *accepted* by God, if you mean pseudo-religion. Wouldn't you agree true religion is doing things, not to be accepted by God or anybody, but because they are right and true, not to get any reward (eg money, barter) except the reward of doing? Pure Grace. That way it isn't really us doing, but divine instinct in us. And if we aren't doing, we are dead.

    @ Fred: I'm still waiting. Take the dare?
    @ Anonymous, BTW, the dare applies to you, too, because every time I draw attention to your own Jesus' practical teachings, you strangely distract away from it and criticize, as Fred does, only in a more flowery and "loving" way. I'm pretty sure you're the same Anonymous who's been hanging on for months. Call it childish argument if you like, but we need to face this. Listening to birds and smelling roses is lovely, and I recommend it, too, but thorns don't go away when you do. I really want to see who this "Jesus" is everybody is worshiping and talking about. Is it too big a dare, to ask you who claim belief in this Jesus & your bible to simply find and quote his words in your own gospels about rich and poor, treasures on earth, God and Mammon, faith? In lots of Bibles the words are red-lettered, if that makes it easier. That's all I ask. Is this arguing? Maybe I'm asking a bigger miracle than raising the dead.

    Christianity has been hijacked too long, over 2000 years, to be exact, and I'm weary of it.

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  109. I find this very interesting . All of you may to . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfjyBJvMFaY

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  110. They deem me mad for I will not sell my days for gold; I deem them mad for they think my days have a price.
    Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

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  111. Hmmm...seems like Suelo's dare shut up a couple of people.

    Nice quote from Kahlil Gibran.

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  112. Jesus is a myth. It's time people dealt with that fact and moved on to greener pastures. What about the here and now? This is what's real. What happened a few millennium ago is long gone. We have the potential to make this a better world or into a living Hell. It has nothing to do with gods,angels,devils,or any of that other mythological mumbo jumbo that fundie Fred and the other religious whackos on here seem to think.

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  113. Hey Rickster, stating that Jesus didn't exist is still sidestepping the issue of *what* he said, which is the issue at hand. Saying Jesus didn't exist just brings up a whole new set of debates that go round in circles, as there would be 'expert' opinion on both sides. I don't care if a green frog falls from the sky tomorrow and starts saying that greed brings misery and that a consumer based lifestyle is unsustainable. I'll know it's true. So even if people could "prove" that Jesus never existed, I'll still know what he said was true because it still works today. Same goes for the teachings of many great leaders of ages ago. So many people judge what someone is saying based on who they are, do they have a PH.D, are the respected, are they famous, are they good looking yadda yadda, but it's rare that people judge what people say based on....the substance of their philosophy/ideology/teaching etc. In the gospels, Jesus downplayed who he was, and that's because he wanted people to pay attention to what he said.

    "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself."-Jesus

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  114. Yeah, all I ultimately care about is what exists here and now, and every single creature can prove what exists here and now, but we can't even prove whether or not George Washington existed. It is impossible to argue or be divided about Now. If we can't prove Jesus exists here and now, then I don't care about Jesus. All that exists here and now has always existed and always will, the same yesterday, today, and forever. No person in history is the same one moment to the next, just by the fact he is *history*! Here and Now cares not what you call it/him/her, because no words suffice to name Here and Now anyway: I am what I am, the Ultimate Truth.

    "His disciples said to Him, 'Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel, and all of them spoke of You.'
    He said to them, 'You have omitted the one living in your presence and have spoken only of the dead.'" (Gospel of Thomas 52)

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  115. Hi Suelo,
    Usually I can't bear to read the comments here because most of them are quite nasty and from a place of complete misunderstanding. So I usually post things here that have nothing to do with the conversation. My apologies for that.

    Anyway, I have been doing much thinking lately and the more I think the more I keep coming to the conclusion that you and the other moneyless people out there are completely correct.

    I'm just a relatively ordinary middle-class person trying to make a living, trying to save for my retirement. What have I achieved in all my years of trying to hoard and save for the future? Mostly just more worries for my future along with fear, despair and anger.

    Day before yesterday I was sitting out in the wilderness when a pair of ravens flew over my campsite. They flew low and stared at me with one eye the way birds do. I watched them for a while. I wondered if maybe I had prevented them from getting water as I was camped near a spring, but then I remembered that there was a creek just up the trail so I didn't worry. Did you know fresh, clean delicious water comes right out of the ground -- for FREE? Of course you did. I have known this forever, too. But I saw it in a new way suddenly, as evidence that there's a higher power that loves us and gives us what we need for life freely. It is a miracle.

    As I watched the birds, one of them flew to a grassy hillside and did a bunch of low circles over the hill. Suddenly both birds came flying back over the campsite and one of them had a mouse in its beak. Imagine a world where when you are hungry, food is everywhere. What a gift each meal would be. What a gift the spring felt to me then. It felt precious. I felt love for it. I felt the presence of love all around me. I'm sure the mouse wasn't too happy in all of this, though.

    I couldn't help wondering why, when the natural world is full of such abundance, that we humans walked away from that and built a world full of such lack? We have so much and many of us have more than enough, and yet our lives are consumed with wanting more, with fear, lack and insecurity. We went horribly wrong somewhere.

    I think most people totally miss that you are following the words of Jesus and I think most people have no idea what Jesus said anyway. You have helped me to stop and pay attention and more and more I see what you and the other moneyless people are saying. And you are all so very correct. Jesus said to give up all your things. He said not to hoard and save for the future. He said to look to the birds for evidence. The Buddhists say similar things. Non-attachment, to want is to suffer and all that. I see it now. It becomes clearer and the way forward becomes more compelling, and frightening, too.

    I have not become a moneyless person myself. I would have to give up some things I do not feel ready to give up. I try to spend time in nature so that I can remember I am cared for and to try to ease my worries when the world of money starts to make me feel insecure. I see now the way to abundance but for some reason I still cling to the insecurity of my money.

    Anyway, just another check-in from me and another thank you for the things you write.

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  116. @ Piper Nature is a miracle, & you impart that beautifully. BTW, Carolyn got Jeffrey Sawyer's "Inquiry Into Living" you'd mentioned, & we lapped it up.

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  117. Piper, that higher power you speak of is both outside of us and within us, separate from us and a part of us. Everything in nature is freely given and taken. The system we're currently is out of sync with the natural flow of life. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's economic slavery. It's our attachment to excess things that keeps us going back day after day to the daily grind. That and our fear that society will reject us and not love us for no longer being one of the sheeple. I like the way you expressed your thoughts about nature,money,and living moneyless. You phrased it all quite well.

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  118. This is my first time to visit your blog Mr. Suelo. I must say; I'm quite impressed. Don't let these naysayers get you down. You're doing what makes you happy and that's all your obligated to do. You're not hurting anyone else in the process so there's no sense in stopping what you're doing. If the animals can live freely and take what they need then why can't the rest of us?

    I'm growing weary of capitalism with all it's greed and excess consumption. We're not meant to live this way.

    If only we'd look to nature as Piper said we'd know the way. We're just too damn afraid to take the first step. We have to have the latest techno gadget while sitting alone in a cafe drinking our lattes.

    It's pathetic. People don't even talk to one another anymore. They're too damn busy.

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  119. Rachelle, I see there's a nice warm place awaiting you once you pass on after this life. It ain't gonna be to fun either. That's what happens to people who reject Jesus Christ as their personal savior. He's the only way. You won't be alone though. From reading through these posts I can see only a few will actually make it to paradise. Christ said that the path to heaven is narrow but the path to Hell is wide and long.

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  120. Fred, Suelo has repeatedly asked you to quote anything from Jesus where he's talking about money. Instead you posted how God supports being rich. It's clear you've rejected the Jesus of your own Bible. Repent! Or burn in hell, in this life and in the next. This is what the Bible says about people like you:

    "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."

    "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption, having eyes full of adultery and who cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls; their hearts they have exercised with covetous practices [Greed]; accursed children!"

    "For they bind heavy burdens [condemning people that are practising Jesus' teachings to hell] and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

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  121. I'm on to you Raja. You're probably some secret Hindu trying to trick weaker minded Christians to embrace universalism. I'll have you know that Jesus is the only way to God. Not Shiva,Vishnu,Kali,Buddha,or any other cartoon character the devil dreamed up as a false idol. I'm on the winning team and I'm not ashamed to let everyone know it too. If anyone is serving the devil it's fake Christians like yourself. I suspect a legion of demons are aiding you along in your goal of destroying God's message of hope which is the New Testament that Christ Jesus gave to the world.

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  122. Whatever Fred, You're just a shit stirrer. I'm glad Suelo's here to represent the real Jesus of the Bible.

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  123. i don´t agree when you say that real pple cannot hurt other pple.
    I better think that we have the sense of comunity, and for us, only the pple of our comunity becomes real. For the tribal humans , humans of other tribes where like animals and they could kill them without any problem.

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  124. Wasn't Jesus who said, 'for your actions you will be known'?, it would be good if some posters will apply it into their lives first, before preaching to others.

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  125. @ Fred: I and many witnesses are still waiting for you to take the dare.

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  126. Hey Suelo,
    Wondering your thoughts about dishonesty.
    Lately, I am uncovering lie after lie with close ones around me.
    It can seem overwhelming because it feels so shaky;
    If the base of these relationships and jobs are built on lies, how could any structure
    not eventually crumble?
    No matter how open I make myself to the truth, telling and showing
    that no matter how hard it is to hear,
    I so appreciate just knowing the straight story,
    it seems like people just can't do it.
    I know they are likely lying to themselves as well,
    but has anyone grown past this need to lie?
    Is this part of an effect of credit/debt?

    It seems the base reason is to look a certain way, and tell the story in a way
    they think will keep them 'safer' or looking "better."
    Lately, even moreso, I can strongly FEEL when people arent telling the truth.
    I can point it out in the best way I know how, tell them it's ok to
    tell me what's really going on, but can still feel the lie intuitively, even as they deny it. I find out later, that the instinct was right, and I should not have doubted my feeling.
    But why does it matter if others lie? What am I losing? Even this line of questioning, in a way, feels like I'm judging the liar.

    With friends, intimates, bosses, I seem to be repeatedly shown that nothing is sturdy/consistent. Once I see someone lying to others, it's like Pandora's box, and I wonder how far their lying spreads.

    Is it my own expectation getting in the way?
    How does this fit in with being able to accept people where they are?
    If one was sturdy in what they really are would it matter who lies? Is it possible to be comfortably close with people knowing there are lies all around?

    Often it seems when I'm trying to understand and accept others, I overlook what makes me uncomfortable,
    telling myself 'they know not what they do', they are not trying to hurt me.
    It seems like if I tried to avoid lies altogether, there wouldn't be relationship.

    Any thoughts?

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  127. Chickie,
    Im courious to why you ask suelo these questions . You seem to look at him as someone who is higher than you . Have you ever asked the question "Does suelo lie ?" "what is his agenda " . It's tough to dicern in this world .Isn't it ? From my experience ,the people I listend to in the past turned out to be liers with a agenda that is horrific . It is so hard to navigate through all the lies . I feel for you.

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  128. Hey Josh G. here,

    Going back quite a few posts but even though I also disagree with putting labels on people, the big time financial managers and bankers may be the most deserving of labels.

    I just read an article about a guy who worked on Wall Street for many years and always ranted and raved about a big financial manager running the biggest fraud scheme of all time. For years no one believed this man and he was ridiculed among his peers. However, who and what was this guy referring to? Turns out he knew about Bernie Madoff and his 43 billion dollar Ponzi scheme years before the US government, yet no one listened to him.

    So the lesson is, next time you call someone a bum, maybe you should know the full story first.

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  129. Chickie,

    Here's the Truth about Lies.

    From "How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer © 2009

    "MIT economists conduct an auction with business school graduates and later on executives and managers at the MIT Executive Education Program, with similar results

    They were asked to write the last two digits of their social Security number.
    if the last two digits were 55 they would have to decide whether the bottle of wine or the cordless keyboard was worth $55. Finally, the students were instructed to write down the maximum amount they were willing to pay for the various items.

    Students with the highest-ending SS numbers (80-99) made an average bid of fifty-six dollars. In contrast, students with the lowest-ending numbers (1-20) made an average bid of a paltry sixteen dollars. A similar trend held for every single item. On average, students with higher numbers were willing to spend 300% more than those with low numbers."

    So the rational mind has a kind of rubber band effect even when trying to apply logic. All our senses have the same problem. Anyone whose studied fine art painting or color theory learns that colors appear different to us depending on what other colors are around. Here's a new optical illusion associated with new discoveries in neuroscience.

    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/04/see-through-square.html

    All our senses have this perceptive effect or flaw. Our cognitive mind has the same effect as shown by the MIT graduate study. Our mind is a sloppy organic computer and I believe it's what the Bible calls our Original Sin.

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  130. Suelo,

    I'm going to be in Moab at various times between May 13 - May 22. I want to give you this artwork I did. You made some wonderful comments here:
    http://motionista.blogspot.com/2010/03/last-supper.html

    It's a color print on watercolor paper, 14"x11", framed under glass. I think I'll leave it at the library if I don't see you or learn of a better place to leave it. You can donate it if you don't have a place for it. : )

    God Bless You. : )

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  131. Senor Suelo, Feliz cinqueta anos mi hermano!

    Mucho paz!

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  132. Hey Fred, are you related to Norman Finklestein?

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  133. @ Chickie -
    All I can say is most us humans are facades, not real, living in our imaginary minds: living lies. All I can do is recognize my own false-ness, concentrate on becoming real myself. To be ourselves is to be our True Nature (Image of God), Absolutely Perfect, and all else falls into place, we automatically influence others, not affected by others' lies and betrayal.

    @Michael -
    I'm looking forward to seeing your artwork & hopefully meeting you, thanks.

    @Dick - Gracias mi hermano

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  134. I found a qoute that I think sums up Daniels philosophy quite well.

    "Preach the Gospel everywhere you go, use words if you must" - St. Francis of Assisi

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  135. Hey, Suelo, what do you think of this article?.


    Why Software Should Not Have Owners

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-free.html

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  136. Hello Suelo, just wanted to add another view into your discussion. I have been a Quaker for all of my life, and I must say that through some of my roughest moments, especially when I overdosed on drugs and the subsequent hospitalization, I realized that the Christ still accepts me even though I had made a terrible personal decision, and He wishes for my own safety, and in return, for me to watch out for others in similar predicaments. He wishes, no matter the economic situation, that we all are kind to one another, loving, and accepting. I know that He does not cast down the wealthy, or dotes on the beggar, but accepts everyone for who they are. I must say that I agree very much with Siddhartha Guatama and his teachings, for his patience is very much succinct with my Quaker beliefs. I agree that at the basis of any level-headed theological exchange, all religion is fundamentally connected with the essence of patience, brotherly-love, and acceptance. To deny this would be unfortunate. I do feel a bit sad reading through the comments, though; the needless put-downs and incessant arguments concerning others and their beliefs leads nowhere. However, it has been a delight to read others whom represent some of the other spiritually rich aspects of life, and so I wish to thank everyone else for that pleasure. Reminds me of Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums. Again, much admiration for your lifestyle and your information, and I too hope to one day lead a life like your own, but this time in the Salmon River Valley area in Idaho. :)

    In faith,

    -Nick Collins

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  137. @Nick, it's very inspiring the hear about how you were saved from near death and how that seemed to have a profound effect on your life.

    I post a lot here, sometimes I say negative things and sometimes I say positive things. Hopefully the negative sounding things I say do not put people off from what I mean. I agree that the Divine wants us to treat each other right. I feel the most objective way we can see for ourselves in how we're treating other people is how we use our money and resources. Do we use it to help others, do we use it to oppress or what? Love to all.

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  138. @Raja, I most definitely understand the point you just made, that's one of the unfortunate things about digital communication; the lack of human inflection. From the writer/speaker, it was meant as a constructive viewpoint, to the listener/reader, it may be construed as a potshot. But there are the cases with one poster above that it is clearly meant to inflame and insult, and that is where I was drawing the line.

    I definitely agree with you Raja on your point above, the most objective way we can see one another treat fellow human beings is through the use of money and goods. A quick side story pertaining to that, my father and his sister were in Tucson several years back when a homeless man approached my father for some money. My father freely gave him five dollars. His sister castigated him, saying that the homeless man was going to squander the money on drugs, to which my father replied, "on the off chance he doesn't, he can feed himself for a couple days". Just out of the goodness of his heart, and his faith in humanity, he freely gave. So to conclude, yes, we can use the thought and manifestation of money to help, rather than the opposite.

    In faith.

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  139. The late great comedian Greg Geraldo said he too was approached by a homeless man for money and he thought the man was going to spend it on booze or drugs and then it dawned on him that it was exactly what he was gonna spend it on!!!!!! LOL Judge not, lest ye be judged!

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  140. Amen! The sun doesn't say to either a drunk, a corporate CEO or a tyrant dictator, "I'll withhold rain and light from you and give it to somebody more deserving."

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