What In The World Is Going On Here?

To say that this is an unsettled and turbulent time in the history of our planet would be an understatement.  Hardly the worst of times as the doomsayers love to bleat, but still a time of unrest, anger, angst, fear and xenophobia.

There have been many other times very much like this in the world’s recent history.  A good example is the French Revolution’s degeneration into the bloodbath of the Reign of Terror which brought Napoleon to power promising to “make France Great Again” and bring order and peace to the nation.  He was “the Man on Horseback” as History dubs these pseudo saviors who appear just as unrest and fear are at their zenith.  2 million Frenchmen died in his endless wars.

These “men on horseback” promise glory, restoration of a “golden age” that was rarely golden and most importantly; safety and order.  20th Century examples of “men on horseback” are Vladimir Lenin in 1917 Russia, Benito Mussolini in 1921 Italy, Adolph Hitler in 1932 Germany,  Francisco Franco in Spain in 1936, Juan Peron in Argentina in 1938, and recently Donald Trump in the USA.

Each of these “men on horseback” use virtually the same language and make the same vague promises that “only they can fulfill”.  In reality, they bring only a loss of liberty and a climate of hatred and division.  “The man on horseback” solution is akin to swallowing poison to cure an head cold.

Now even the UK, a relative island of civility, has voted to leave the European Union in a burst of nationalism, fear, anger and emotion.  This will create a “little England” and destroy the global economic power of the UK and possibly the UK as we know it. Scotland and Northern Ireland  are threatening to break away from the UK, even as I write this post.  This dismembering of a great nation will leave England and perhaps Wales as a rump, rather pitiful remnant of the Empire upon which, in my childhood, the Sun never set.

What in the world is going on here?  Can we see this from a spiritual perspective? Is there no hope for our nations, our planet and our civilization?

Yes, there is hope.  This period is a bit like a case of the shingles in that it is extremely painful, hard to endure but rarely fatal.

Here is my diagnosis of the causes of this spiritual illness: 1. fear of loss of personal liberty, power and status  2. Nostalgia for the mythical country of our youth.  3. A feeling of  loss of supremacy in our nation  i.e. the angry old white men and women who want their country back, which was ever theirs only at the expense of others. 4. A feeling that things are in decline, that nothing works anymore. 

This fear, unrest, xenophobia and misplaced nationalism is what has brought on the ludicrous choice Americans face in the 2016 Presidential Election.  This angst is what has brought on the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. In recent years the UK looks more and more like the US in diversity and not much like the jolly old England of yore.

The Brits are tired of being told what they can and cannot do by an alien super-government.  By God we want our Bangers (that’s a sausage) made the way they should be, not the way Brussels decrees.  We want the UK to look English and Scottish, Welsh and Irish not Pakistani, Indian, African, Polish, and whatever.  There is widespread nostalgia for the the way it was and for a nation of rosy cheeked white folks.

Being a rosy cheeked white guy myself,  I am not unsympathetic to the wistful nostalgia they are experiencing but they did conquer half the world without so much as a “by your leave”, so now they get to live with them and are the better for it; if they only knew it.  Every savory dish needs spice and heaven knows English culture and their cuisine is often sadly lacking in spice.

Immigrants, as all Americans have proven by being immigrants or the sons, daughters and granddaughters of immigrants, refresh the tree of liberty with their energy, aspiration, and entrepreneurial spirit.

The dry cleaners that I patronize is owned by a delightful immigrant family from Cambodia.  Not only do they now own 2 Dry Cleaners but 3 restaurants; all from virtually nothing but hard work over 20 years.  They are a reminder for all Americans that the American Dream is alive and well.  Nothing is ever given,  it is the product of family pulling together and a lot of long hours and hard work.  The American Dream was never guaranteed, it was earned through blood, sweat and tears.

Take back America, Britain for the British, make the UK or America Great Again.  Keep those foreigners out!  If we listen to this cant, the American Dream will die and so will all other aspirational dreams.   Yes, you will hear this same rhetoric in every speech of the Republican Presidential nominee (sad, sad day for the Grand Old Party).

This is a sickness of the spirit and only a spiritual remedy will cure it.  It is a retreat from love, a retreat from Brother and Sisterhood to us against them, fear of loss of that which you never really had, and nostalgia for an America which was a living hell for large groups of the population who were not of European descent.

This spiritual sickness is rooted in the fear of many that the country and our lives will never be the same again.  They are right, our lives and our country will never be the same again.  It just might be better if we get out of fear and make it so.  Nothing is ever the same again.  Change is the only constant in the Universe.

The lessons of the Master Teacher are being replaced by the dark philosophy of Niche. Globalization is in peril as Jingoism and xenophobia raises its ugly head.  Love and Fear cannot exist in the same time and place.  Love is the mother of peace, liberty and unity.  Fear is the Father of hate, separation and oppression.

What will we choose?  Can we learn from similar conditions in the 1930’s or will we walk down the road to hatred and destruction once again?

The solution is not to return to the religion of Christianity but to the Teachings of the Master Teacher for the Western world, Christ Jesus.  Tolerance, acceptance, love, peace, forgiveness and empowerment of every human regardless of color, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  That is the path to a new Golden Age, not exclusion, fear or hatred.  The solution is unity, not identity politics that divide us into warring camps.

We are all part and parcel of the Great Architect of the Universe, the Great I AM that Ground of Being that we nickname God.  We are all literally brothers and sisters and our future as a species depends on understanding and living this basic truth.

As Franklin Roosevelt so wonderfully put it:  We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Until we are together again:  Be well, think well and speak well.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL   visit my video podcast library at revore@YouTube.com/revdore

 

 

The True Christian according to Rev. Dore’

 

What is a “True Christian”?   My mind and heart tells me that a true Christian is a person who does their very best day by day to live the basic teachings of Christ Jesus.  Will he or she be perfect at walking in the “shoes of the Master”?  I would think not; Jesus did not walk His talk 100% of the time.

His judging and violence toward the money changers and High Priests in the Temple are not examples of walking the path of tolerance, love and peace.  His all too human fear in the Garden is another example of the faults and flaws in the human being that was Jesus of Nazareth.  His very harsh berating of his mother when she called him home was another example of his very real human temper. He was a man, not a God.

If Jesus could not embody emotional or spiritual perfection, how can we then expect ourselves to do so?   We may strive to get as close as we can; but we are all human.  

Once lesson we all need to learn is to be more forgiving of our selves and our fellow human beings.  

The True Christian lives each day understanding that judgement of your fellow human is judgement of yourself for we are all one in God and in fact.  There is no place for judgement and condemnation, gossip or innuendo in the life of a True Christian.  A True Christian is tolerant and loving but not necessarily approving of behavior that hurts, divides and degrades.  It is our right to associate with people pleasing to us but it is not our place to judge anyone. 

The True Christian knows that we are One with the infinite Mind that is God, therefore each of us, being created by that Mind, are literally Brothers and Sisters in the truest sense.  The True Christian forgives even the most grievous offence and answers it with love.  Love and hate cannot exist in the same time and space and the True Christian knows this and lives it.

The True Christian knows that to resist a condition or an act is to invite it to stay.   He or She knows that when we are against something, when we protest something, march against something we are empowering the very thing we seek to destroy.   The True Christian is for all that is Good, noble, loving and joyous and against nothing.   

Mother Theresa replied to an anti-war protester who asked her to head a march against War:  “I will lead a march for peace but will be against nothing.” 

The True Christian cares nothing for dogma or liturgy, form and ceremony but cares deeply for his or her fellow human being.  The True Christian knows that love is the essence of God and of a True Christian. 

The True Christian will turn both cheeks and offer both arms and legs to an attacker rather than strike back; for to do so begins a circle of blood and recrimination that can last for generations, rather like the Hatfields and McCoys of Southern Lore.  An eye for an eye always leaves the world blind and toothless.  There is no end, there is never a winner in this zero sum game.

A True Christian cares only for the lessons of the Christ, He or She is not defined by or believes in the pagan idea of blood sacrifice or the ancient Sumerian idea of “sin debt” that must be repaid in blood.  This idea is a nightmare of Paul’s that has no place in the True Christianity of the 21st Century.

The True Christian honors all humanity for all of us are the living expressions of God, the Architect of the Universe.  The True Christian would never disparage any man or woman for their gender, sexual preference,  their color, or their cultural heritage.  

Likewise the True Christian knows that God is in each and every human born.  The True Christian knows that to look in the eyes of another man, woman, boy or girl is to look into the eyes of God.

God is all there is and is everywhere present all at the same time, every second of life itself.  There truly is “no spot where God is not”.

The True Christian never places himself above any other human, no matter what their religion or faith.  The True Christian knows that finding God is a bit like the center of town.  You can approach God from any direction, with any religion and you will find God right in the Center.  All those who truly seek God will find God.

The great thread of Truth that runs through every major religion when stripped of ceremony, dogma and do’s and don’ts is that there is a Creator of all that exists, a Divine Mind, a Great Soul, a Ground of Being, a Great Architect; call it what you will. It is the Great I AM or all that is.  

This is what we believe as Religious Scientists and this is what we work toward in our Global Vision:  One world united in peace, freedom, prosperity, love and happiness.

Find out more on CSL.ORG

May God bless you and guide your footsteps every day with the voice within that all of us may hear…..if we listen. 

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL    Check out my 112 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore

The Greatest Story Never Told Part 2

It has been said that when we deified the man Jesus, we lost the Christ

It’s the Christmas Season and billions of people all over the globe are getting ready to celebrate Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday.  Presents, family gatherings, candle lighting services at church; the Christmas Story of the baby Jesus in the manger,the Virgin Mary, the 3 wise men and the shepherds all gathered to celebrate the birth of the Son of God.   Its a great story, a major part of the culture of Western Civilization.  But is the birthday of a man the real point of Christmas?

Did the Greatest Story Ever Told even happen?  Almost certainly not, according to the foremost historians and Biblical Scholars using what we have learned from archaeology, modern carbon dating and the 135 new Gospels that have been found and translated.  The story we love is a delightful legend.

What is the real magnificence of Christmas and why is it the most wonderful celebration of Love and Light on Earth?   Continue reading The Greatest Story Never Told Part 2

Walking in the Shoes of the Master….The authentic Christian

Click on link for audio version (speakers on!)

What is a Christian and how do you know if you are one?  Sounds like an obvious question but it is far from obvious or simple.  According to the 5 Fundamentals published in 1905 you may only consider yourself a Christian if you believe:

  1. Jesus Christ is God (the Deity of Christ)
  2. Jesus was born of virgin
  3. Scripture is inerrant (without error of any kind)
  4. Jesus died on the cross substituting for us and atoning for our sins.
  5. Jesus was physically resurrected and will personally return to Earth

If you disagree with one of these assertions, then you cannot call yourself a Christian according to the Fundamentalists.   Do you think Jesus of Nazareth would agree with any of these fundamentals?   I very much doubt it!

Can you be an authentic Christian without believing in any or all of these statements published by 10 old men in 1905?

I would submit that it would be difficult to be an authentic Christian if you did believe these 5 Fundamentals.   So what is a Christian according to Rev. Dore’?   Please remember that this is my theology; it does not have to be yours.

Yeshua Ben Nazareth, the man we call Jesus Christ, was never a Christian, not for one day of his life.  He was born a Jew under the Mosaic Law, ordained a Rabbi by the High Priest Hillel, lived, preached and died a Jew under the Law.  As such the idea of being the literal Son of God would be the worst kind of blasphemy, punishable by stoning.

The Master came to bring Light and Love to a world where might always made right, where the powerful exerted their will over the weak and where there was little hope for change or relief.  He also came to humanize and bring compassion to Judaism; a noble religion grown arthritic with dogma, cannon law and the insistence on the letter of the Law, not the spirit.  He came to save Judaism from itself; not to start a new religion.  He did not come to atone for our sins by blood sacrifice but to bring the Love and Light of God to humankind.

The Jesus I know in my heart would never be a Christian today because he would understand that Christianity was just as encrusted with dogma, rules, judgement and an overbearing priestly class as was the Judaism of his day.  He despised the High Priests and the Pharisees so we created new ones in Christianity.  He despised all Law and no heart but we have excommunications, shunning, condemnation of those who travel their own spiritual path or are different.

The Master cared for the lowest and weakest of the people.  He consorted and ate with tax collectors (the most despised people in Judea) , harlots, Lepers and even Roman Centurions; the oppressors of the Jews.  Today, Christianity still condemns and ostracizes those God has created with different ways of expressing their humanity.

An authentic Christian cares little for dogma or ceremony or dress codes but cares deeply for his fellow human being.  The authentic Christian cares nothing for parsing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or whether Genesis is fact or creation myth but cares so deeply for a human in pain that when anyone cries out in hunger, pain or oppression they taste the salt of their tears.

The authentic Christian tries as best they can to live the teachings of Jesus.  That is the glory and majesty of Christ’s ministry…..the teaching of tolerance, the belief in one Universal God for all humankind, the understanding that as we judge our brother or sister we judge ourselves.  The authentic Christian understands that we all miss the mark, we all fall short and that compassion and understanding is far better than Hell Fire and Brimstone.

The authentic Christian walks, as much as possible, in the path of the Master Teacher of the World, Jesus the Christ, who led the first great spiritual revolution in history.  That revolution is still going on but not in most Christian Churches today.

If you would understand the authentic Christian think of the congregation of the AME Church in Charleston, SC who watched with horror as their Pastor and 7 of their brothers and sisters were gunned down by a tortured soul.   Not a word of condemnation passed their lips, they forgave the shooter and prayed for him.

How many of us could do that?  How many Christians that you know could do that?   These magnificent Christians suffered terrible horror and loss but would not retreat to the primitive “eye for an eye”; no they “turned the other cheek” and forgave.  They did not talk about Christianity; they lived it!

I am a minister and I have done much good work but I cannot carry the shoes of the Pastor of that AME church in Charleston who taught her people the authentic Way of The Master and even in the most dire of situations her people embodied and lived those lessons.  That is a true Christian teaching authentic Christianity.

I am a Religious Science Minister and most Christians would deny that I am a Christian because I cannot and do not subscribe to the 5 Fundamentals.  But I do subscribe wholeheartedly to the Way of the Master; the teaching of Jesus The Christ and to me that makes me the very best and most authentic Christian.

May you walk in the footsteps of the Master each and every day of your life.  God give you peace, prosperity and abundant health.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida     Visit YouTube.com/revdore to enjoy my 125 video podcasts.  Have a Dore’ Marathon!