Spirituality and Religion according to Rev. Dore’

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We hear a lot of conversation about spirituality and religion these days.  Aren’t they the same thing just using different terms?  I say no!  They are as different as “Chalk and Cheese”, as my British friends would say.

Religion is an attempt by humanity to rationalize and codify the experience of the Divine that all humans are capable of.  My post a few months ago, “The Faith Chip”, discusses this human proclivity for religion and the Divine in more detail.  You will find it in the archives or podcasts section on the home page.

Religion can be a force for good when it serves as a moral floor under a culture and as a device for deepening thought and bringing meaning to life; making every day a sacred experience.  This is noble and good.  We understand that we must have some code of morality in any human culture; else we may revert quickly to barbarism.  Religion is effective at providing this code because there are rewards for adherence to the code and sanctions for breaking it.

Too often religion (Buddhism is an exception) ends up believing that its revelations of the Divine are the only right and true ones.  The result is the “my God is bigger and better than your God” syndrome.  Religion often insists that its founder, guru or saint had the one true revelation sent special delivery straight from the mouth of God.  (Christianity and Islam, in particular, suffer from this attitude of  exceptionalism).

When a God-revealed religion believes that it should be the only interpretation of The Divine it may become a scourge rather than a boon to humankind.  I have often likened religion to ice cream because most of us like it, it tastes wonderful but too much can make us very sick.  Like ice cream there are many, many flavors and it is all a matter of personal taste.  Find the spiritual experience that resonates with your unique heart, mind and soul.  That is the one for you.  Arguing about religion is about like arguing the merits of butter pecan over rocky road!  Its good if you like that flavor and not so good if you don’t.

There is no “one size fits all” where God and religion is concerned.  What would the world be like with only vanilla ice cream?  Boring and stale!  Before long ice cream would cease to exist because it would no longer satisfy.  So it is with religion.

It has been said that to kill a religion simply make it the State Church and you will kill it in 3 to 4 generations.  The Anglican Church is a perfect case in point.  It is the established by law Church of England and as a result England is perhaps the most secular country I have ever experienced.  To even mention God in public is to invite stares and dark looks!

Religion that is institutionalized and mandated is no religion at all.  Religion and spirituality are matters of the heart and soul.  They are matters of choice at the deepest emotional level and cannot be mandated by the State.

Each human vibrates to his or her own frequency so there can never be one religion for all.  We have needs that rise from deep in our emotional and psychological makeup that must be fulfilled and many use religion to fill the “hole” in their spirit and soul.  Who and what we are usually leads us to the religion that best suits our energetic signature.

Stern, judgmental people are attracted to stern, judgmental religions such as Calvinism in Christianity and Wahabism in Islam.

Live and let live, loving people are attracted to a positive Jesus centered Christianity that emphasizes the teaching of love and tolerance.  Many are attracted to B’hai or Buddhism for the same reason.   Religion is an expression of who we are from the inside out.  You need only look at the faith that fulfills a person and you have a snapshot of the personality of this person.

I am sure that is why God had nothing to do with establishing religions.  He or She wrote no Scriptures, Bibles or Korans.  These are the works of human beings having a deep religious experience.  That experience was filtered through their minds, hearts, culture and thought.  Religion is man made but Love is Divine; indeed its the essence of God.

If God made religion He or She would have written one book and made one religion for all humankind.  However one size fits all does not square with God’s gift of free will.  One religion would have negated our God- given gift of choice.  We are always at choice every moment of our lives. 

Without free will we would be automatons all marching to one tune; thereby defeating the entire purpose of humanity.  We are here as living, breathing expressions of the Godhead, providing a physical expression of life for the Infinite Mind of God.  God is fulfilled though us and we through Her.

This is why Religious Scientists say that we are co-creators of our life experience.  We use the God given power of the physical, mental and spiritual faculties that we were given; conversely by the exercise of that power God can therefore experience the physical world of His or Her creations.  

Imagine the thrill of God experiencing the taste of a ripe peach or the explosive ecstasy of a human orgasm!  God gives us sentience, imagination and life and we give God a very good time!

This view of the Divine is why I am a Religious Scientist.  I am a part and parcel of God, there is no separation.  I am God expressing as I write this post.  I am God expressing when I go to work.  I am God expressing when I kiss my dear wife or hold one of my grandchildren.  When you understand who you are….a living expression of God… even taking out the trash as I did an hour ago is a spiritual act.

Religion is the rules, myths and legends about God . Spirituality is God in each of us and God in action in the world working through us. Religion is parochial while Spirituality is universal.

Religion tends to separate humanity into often warring camps, each sure that its flavor of religion is correct and therefore the only true one.  Spirituality unites all humanity in the knowledge that there is a power greater than us, a Creator Spirit that is the ground of all being, the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega that it is in us and we in it.  Oneness then becomes a vibrant reality rather than a mere theological concept.

We are all one regardless what flavor of the “ice cream for the soul” we prefer.

Until we are together again, this is Rev. Dore’ knowing perfection in you and in your life.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL YouTube.com/revdore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Royal Road to Health, Wealth and Happiness

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Don’t we all want to be happy?  Well, I have known some people who seemed to embrace their misery like a lover but thank goodness they are in the minority!  I believe that almost all of us on this planet want to be happy and feel good about the life we have led right up to the final day of our lives.  I want to go out like Steve Jobs: yelling “Wow, Oh Wow”!

There are two roads of life; the Royal Road and the Pauper’s Path and we may choose either one.  You see life does not happen to us; rather we happen to life!  We lead a life, we are not led by Life.  So we get to choose our lives with our thoughts, words (Words are so powerful!) and the choices that spring from them.  In fact, our lives are really just a compendium of our choices and the actions that flow from them.  

To travel the Royal Road we must first understand and believe that we are the motive force of our lives and that we can create any life that we can imagine, speak of with certainty and then choose to create.  

However, if we believe that life happens to us, that we are victims of Fate, Circumstance or the whims of others- then to the Pauper’s Path we shall go!  You see you cannot create anything but misery and failure if you believe that you are a pawn of Fate, Luck, God or other people.  You are merely victim of outside forces, out of control and thus can create nothing positive.  

You have decided to take command of your life and travel the Royal Road.  Great!  This is the path of life that God created you to travel and the road that He/She gave you the power and tools to navigate.  But human beings are not automatons; we have free will so you can choose the Pauper’s Road of suffering, crises and pain, if you desire.  Your power operates in forward or reverse, the choice is yours!  

But you may ask, why would anyone possibly choose the Pauper’s Path?  Is there some power greater than us that sets our feet on the path to desperation, poverty, illness, misery and degradation?  Is it Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub perhaps?

No, these are creatures that have never existed but fabricated to excuse a life badly lived.  There is only ONE power and Presence in the Universe and that is God, the Good Omnipotent.  So why do so many people trudge down the Pauper’s Path when they have been given the power to cruise down the Royal Road?  One reason is that they have been taught that they are weak worms of the dust and thus are powerless.  There is another reason and it’s that it is so easy to travel the Pauper’s Path, its almost the default setting for many!

In the words of the great Crosby, Stills and Nash song entitled “The Southern Cross”: we never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do!  Yes, indeed, it was the easiest thing to do, just give up, let it be and take whatever comes! You can’t beat City Hall, you can’t box with God, the little guy never wins, the game is rigged, you can’t win anyway so why even try?  Thoughts like these are the speedway on to the Pauper’s Path of Life.  You are what you think you are, no more no less. 

I spent way too much time in my life believing that I was “damaged goods” because I had been born with Cerebral Palsy.  I focused on my disabilities and my lack of grace, co-ordination and my weird eyes that went in two different directions.  I spent precious years on the Pauper’s Path when the truth about me was that I was a miracle child, a one in a million baby who recovered 90% from birth condition that is “incurable”.  I was given a pearl of great price but all I could see was the “bad hand I was dealt”.  

I needed a good lesson in gratitude and an appreciation of the joy of a life that I had been given seemingly against all odds.  It took me until almost the age of 50 to finally put my feet on the Royal Road by at last taking responsibility for the far too many marriages, the too many careers abandoned just when success was at hand and the deep anger that erupted like Old Faithful when least expected.  In 1997 I finally gave up my crutches of “damaged goods”, anger and alcohol.  

I quit smoking my pipe as well on that same day and I must say I do miss that occasionally but my dear wife Susan was worth any sacrifice and my pipe and tobacco was a small one.  Even though I am not wealthy yet, I am not famous yet, and even if neither ever comes to pass (I believe both are very close) I am happier than I have ever been.  I am now at the age of wisdom and perspective and still healthy and vigorous enough to enjoy it!

I am 70 now and what a glorious age!  I am healthy, have a wonderful head of silver hair and straight eyes (another miracle of many in my life) a cozy, pretty home on a pond and a lovely woman that is my dearest love.  I am now speeding down the Royal Road because I have finally discovered just how blessed I have always been.  I now know that gratitude is the on ramp to the Royal Road of the Happy Life.  May you cruise the Royal Road!

Gratitude is the Engine Oil, the lubricant of the Universe……Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian   

The Eternal Thread

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There is an eternal thread of truth that is found in all the great religions in the world.  To find this common thread we must set aside dress codes, dogma and ceremony and get down to the basics; the nub of the matter of God, humanity and their relationship to each other.  Dress, ceremony and dogma are functions of human culture and perception and have little to do with God.

The first great idea of the Eternal Thread of Truth is that there is a power in this world and the Universe that is greater than us.  Our minds are not the only sentient minds in all creation.  We are not alone.  We did not create ourselves out of whole cloth.  

The entire stage set of life was created by a Great Architect, a Divine Engineer, a First Cause that created the physical and spiritual laws that enable life and the Universe to exist.  Said plainly, there is Deity, a God of some form or fashion.  Since God is all there is, every human on this Earth or any other is literally my brother or sister and should be treated as such.

The second great idea of the Eternal Thread is that these Laws and this power is ours to share and to use.  We are not our creators but we are the inheritors of the power of our creators.  We use this power for Good with a Divine License for we are made of the same substance as all that exists.  We are living expressions of Deity, allowing Spirit to experience form.

The third great idea of this Eternal Thread is that the Law (both physical and spiritual) always functions just as it was designed and that no human is exempt from it.  While we are subject to physical laws (physics) and spiritual laws, (morality and ethics) we did not create the Law and cannot change it.

What we can do is to use and operate The Law for the benefit of ourselves and all humanity or we can wreak havoc and bring destruction by misuse of the Law. The Law is impartial, it works for the saint and the sinner alike;  it exacts its due both for good or for ill, depending on the operation of the Law by us.

The fourth great idea of this Eternal Thread is that we are always at choice, we are not puppets; we have Will and the right to use it.  We are responsible for the fruits of the exercise of our Will and will reap just what we have sown.

The fifth and most important idea of this Eternal Thread is that we are never alone.  There is help 24/7.   The Indwelling God is never is off duty or closed.  It will never impose itsself upon us but waits for us to ask, to seek, to knock on its door for help, for love, inspiration, courage and strength.   Those who seek to know God and will open a dialogue with the the Great I AM will have made the best and most enduring friendship imaginable.

It is this Eternal Thread of Truth that Religious Science (The Science of Mind) keeps alive in the hearts and minds of humanity.  Regardless of your religion or culture these truths are still the bedrock of human existence.  The Jew and the Muslim can use them.  The Catholic and the Protestant can celebrate them.  The Hindu and the Buddhist can glory in the Eternal Truth of God and yet celebrate Deity their own unique way.

There is really only one Truth.  God is all there is and that includes you and I.

Be peaceful, open your heart to lessons that your soul needs and have the ears to hear and eyes to see the lessons given you.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida    YouTube.com/’revdore 

 

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

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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!

You Are Magnificent!

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Did you know that you are magnificent?  Has anyone ever told you that?  If not, they should have done so when you were a child.  Even those judged least successful by their fellow humans are miraculous creations of the Great I AM that we nickname God. 

God is perfect substance, perfect love, perfect Mind and from perfection can come only perfection.  Everything created by God is therefore perfect. 

Well, Dore’ how in the world can you say that?  What about those born with serious birth defects or Down’s Syndrome or other debilitating conditions?

Perfect you say?  What, are you nuts Rev.? 

I was told that I was nuts just yesterday but I did not believe a word of it.  People judge us according to their world view but since I know who and what I am and am quite comfortable in my own skin, I pay little attention to the madding crowd.

As Terry Cole Whittaker used to say:  “What you think of me is none of my business”. 

You see, I know that I am a perfect creation of a perfect God; even though I was born with cerebral palsy, crooked eyes and other assorted challenges, including a big mouth.  Spiritual Mind Treatment cured the incurable and took care of all but a faint residue of the Cerebral Palsy and the hands of God working through the ophthalmic surgeons hands straitened the eyes. 

I am still working on the big mouth!  My dear wife Susan believes its a hopeless cause!

If I can believe that I am a perfect expression of the Creator of all that exists….surely you can join me in that belief. 

Perfection means very different things to the Creator than it does to his/her creations.  We tend to think of perfect as being without any flaw or blemish.  Most of us would say that nothing is perfect on this Earth and therefore nobody is perfect.  We hear that every day, don’t we?

Yes, and we would be so very wrong.  You see we think our lives into being and as a collective consciousness we create the conditions on this planet that we call our “world”.  Since we have such a bedrock belief in imperfection we get to experience it at every turn. 

Nothing is ordained or written or fated.  We think, speak and choose the conditions of our lives and collectively of this planet.

Self loathing is the seed of our belief in imperfection and it is the number one cause of all discord, disease, war and even poverty.  From self loathing comes its cousin guilt which poisons our hearts, souls and bodies. 

But wait!  All is not lost, I have the cure at my finger tips!  All this will end if we stop believing that we are damaged goods, bad seeds, rejects, God’s mistakes or whatever you say to yourself to poison your soul.

The word perfection does not mean “without flaw or blemish”. 

Perfect means made exactly as it was designed to be made.  We are all designed by the Great Architect (my nickname for God) just as he/she intended because each of us was designed and created for a unique purpose and experience on this Earth that only we can fulfill.  No two people on this planet has exactly the same life because no two of us are exactly alike.

We are unique living expressions of God.

We were made this way by perfect Substance and Perfect Love and that makes us perfect.  Now, what we make of this perfection is totally up to us.  God draws up the plans, gathers the building materials and drops it all off at the job site.  What we build on that site is solely our responsibility and becomes our destiny.

Here is an exercise in logic:

If God is Perfect, God made you, you are perfect.  You cannot escape the logic of that syllogism.  So put away the tiny little violin, call off the “pity party” and claim your magnificence.  It is your birthright as a living expression of God.

The day you can love you as God loves you is the day that you will transform your life. 

May the indwelling God and the Most High God, which are one and the same, dwell in your every thought, word and deed.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL   Please enjoy my 121 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore

The Wise Counselor

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There is an art and science to being a good parent to our grown children.  Where once our word was law, now its just a suggestion.  It comes as a shock for a parent to realize that these are young men and women and it is their time to lead their own lives

There is an old saying that the parent is the bow and the child is the arrow.  If we have been good bows we will have instilled good values and hopefully good judgement in our children.  

It is rather hard to tell my 35 year old, very gorgeous pharmaceutical rep daughter with the six figure salary, company car and perks to die for how to live her life.   She and her four lovely girls are doing just fine.  The best Dad can do is to love her and, if she wishes, offer wise counsel.  

My middle child, lovely, rather exotic Kristen works in the Entertainment Industry (it is LA after all) for a company that handles distribution, contracts and royalties for companies like Red Box and Netflix.  She has a wicked wit and a great sense of humor. 

Her little boy Sean is so handsome he might become a “Hollywood Heartthrob” someday!  With Kris you listen and then show her that you care.  She needs a good mirror and I provide it. 

For a man, sons are a bit different because Dads tend to see themselves in their male children.  Evan, my youngest is in IT sales and is a bit of a geek but way taller than me and movie star handsome.  He is sometimes a bit intense like Dad and can be a goof at times but that is what makes him so lovable.  He is married to a lovely RN named Naomi and has a little boy I call Eli with curly hair and bright blue eyes…sooo handsome. 

My role in this still growing family of 13 is to be a good mirror and wise counsel when they need and want it.  I quietly ask them if they are willing to live with the results of what they are saying, doing or choosing.  I show them the end of the path that they are on without judgement.  That is the role of the wise counselor. 

Here are 4 Rev. Dore’ rules for adult child parenting:

1. Do not try to live your life through your children.  You have your life and they have theirs.  You are no longer responsible for their success or failure.  Give them the space to be themselves, even if that means a mistake or pothole in their path. 

2. Expect that for all that they remind you of you and their Mother (or Father), that they are going to be very different from you.  You did not Xerox your children, you gave birth to them.  They are not copies of you.  

3. Stay out of judgement.  We get into judgement with our children because we feel that their mistakes cast us in a bad light and that its our fault.  They are responsible for their own lives and what they do has little or nothing to do with you and I as parents.  Be a wise counselor, show them where their chosen path will lead and what the consequences will be.  Be a good mirror for them because just like you and I, they don’t see themselves as they really are. 

4. Just love them!  What they really want from a parent is not advice but an ear, a hug and love when no one else will give it.  They want acceptance for who and what they are.  

In fact, that is a good way to treat everyone in your life!  Until we are together again, be well and be happy!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian   Check out my 120 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore    For more information about Religious Science or The Science of Mind log on to CSL.org and find the nearest Center for Spiritual Living near you.