09
Dec
08

Two-fer Tuesday: Outside the Box by Miz Pink

pink-dress-with-gift-boxSo today I’m supposed to write about some sort of ‘thinking outside the box’.

At first I thought Deke was just getting silly or running out of ideas but it does go along nicely with something I’ve been playing around with in my head lately.

I wanna talk about the possibility that the idea of many paths leading to God might not be so crazy. I’m not saying that all faiths are correct and Im not saying all paths are good or valid ones to take on the spiritual walk. I still tend to believe for alot of reasons that Jesus Christ is THE path.

Deke and me have talked about this some…the idea of all religions being equally valid (for folks who believe in a higher power but don’t have much faith in religious institutions themselves). And our talks have often come to the idea that SOMEONE has to be right and most everyone else has to be wrong because there are too many irreconcilable differences between alot of them.

But I’ve been trying to think more creatively and broadly about things and to think outside of my own faith beliefs. What I’m about to say ISN’T me stepping away from Christianity or trying to get people of other religions off the hook. Like I said I still believe in Jesus as the guy who we need to go through to get to God. But in the spirit of thiking outside the box, here is an interesting little theory I have that would allow for all faiths (or most of’em anyway) to coexist and be valid paths to heaven.

Here goes…

What if the defining godly attribute isn’t just faith but also imagination? What is the creative mind is what the creator is looking for in heaven? If anyone has seen the flick “Defending Your Life” the idea was that you keep being reincarnated and going back to Judgement City and basically having your life put on trial until the heavenly courts decide that you have conquered your fear. Fear in that movie is what keeps humans on Earth from advancing to whatever the next level is in the afterlife. I don’t know what emotion or whatever they have to overcome thereafter, if any.

What if imagination is what God is really looking for? He creates. He manages a whole universe and maybe even more than just the universe. He supposedly created us in his image. So what if what he wants is for us to expand our minds to a point where when we die we are beings that have enough creativity and imagination to be enough like him to move on to the next level. Maybe like in the movie we get recycled until we get it right.

I’m just saying. It’s an interesting idea. Because if it were true, and it probably isn’t…but if it were, it would mean that religion isn’t so much about getting it right but being able to conceive how God and spiritual things fit into our earthly lives. The act of being able to imagine a God and how we would fit into his/her/its design on a complex and deep level is what the goal really is.

Just a thought.

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20 Responses to “Two-fer Tuesday: Outside the Box by Miz Pink”


  1. December 10, 2008 at 1:05 am

    “I’m just saying. It’s an interesting idea. Because if it were true, and it probably isn’t…but if it were, it would mean that religion isn’t so much about getting it right but being able to conceive how God and spiritual things fit into our earthly lives….”

    Oh, Mz Pink, you stumble across an amazing truth and you discount it because it doesn’t fit into some prescribed teaching you have received.

    How are you gonna receive new truths, if you believe that All Truths have already been revealed? I like the Mz Pink that uttered the statement above–she dared think a new thought about God. She dared break forth from the box and conceive of God in a new and fresh way.

    You’re right–neither religion nor life should be “about getting it right.” That alone would stifle creativity, the creative spark that would “expand our minds to a point where when we die we are beings that have enough creativity and imagination to be enough like him….”

    Newsflash: we don’t have to die to exercise creativity and imagination to emulate God. In fact, we’re doing it now–we’re always creating. We’re creation machines. Every choice, and every decision we make are creative and permit discernment–that is, “how God and spiritual things fit into our earthly lives.”

    In the future, I would urge you to watch the kind of thinking that brought forth that little gem of wisdom. You don’t want to end up like me–an apostate.

    Namaste

  2. December 10, 2008 at 4:25 am

    “I wanna talk about the possibility that the idea of many paths leading to God might not be so crazy.” [Mz Pink]

    Boy, you’re on a roll. You’re on to something here, too. Paths are just that: they can be religious in nature, but they don’t have to be.

    Materialism can be such a path to God, to spirituality: How quickly we may learn that materialism doesn’t quench the thirst of the soul when we find ourselves mired in it.

    I’m reminded of an athlete who attempted to commit suicide: He had everything that money and fame could buy–women, expensive cars, and houses–but he felt that something was missing. His life was so bereft of meaning that he sought to end it.

    It was after a failed attempt to do so that he yielded to the spiritual urging that materialism had masked.

    The Bible offers many paths to God, but they’re not often seen as such. All the Paths have their value, and all are being used in our world today, but not always with full knowledge or awareness. Bear with me and I will point out several without giving detailed explanations of how each works.

    There’s the Adam and Eve Path: Eating the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. This Path is perhaps the most commonplace of them all, as it allows us to EXPERIENCE Who and What We Truly Are.

    There’s the Moses Path: Recognizing God as I AM. This Path allows us to CREATE Who and What We Are, but few realize the Source as God, so this Path is not fully exploited.

    There’s the David Path: Destroying the Strong Man within and without. Here’s a passage that speaks of the “strong man.”

    “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”

    This Path allows us to find God by OVERCOMING the world and it’s influences.

    There’s the Jesus Path: Recognizing that “I and my Father [God] are one.” Unfortunately, the Jesus Path is rarely used as a Path to God, many choosing to approach God vicariously, through the deeds of Jesus.

    This Path allows us to find God through the process of AT-ONE-MENT.

    There’s the Saul/Paul Path: Yielding to the blinding light of Christly Revelation, a transformational experience that changes the name (nature) of the person undergoing such transformation.

    This Path allows us to find God by opening our door to the Christ within which TRANSFORMS our physical, human nature. It’s summed up this way:

    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    The knocking never stops. It’s ongoing. And the door upon which the Christ knocks is not external to us, but within. As the Christ sits in the Throne of God, even we shall sit in the Throne of the Christ (which sits in the Throne of God).

    All the Paths here take us to God by Way of the Consecration of the Christ, allowing us to “overcome” the world, either by using it for a holier purpose or by destroying it.

    And we’re told:

    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me [the Christ].
    7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

    If you know the Christ, you know the Father, for the Christ and the Father are One.

    “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me [the Christ], he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

    To have one [God, Christ] in your heart is to have them both: God as well as Christ.

    The Bible offers many more such Paths to the Christ within. I have just presented the most memorable ones. I know that what I’ve said here is perhaps way outside of the box you’re accustomed to, but I present it not to persuade, nor to enlighten, but to offer a perspective that may not be too familiar.

    Namaste

  3. 3 Deacon Blue
    December 10, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    All right, Miz Pink. Your excommunication papers are all signed. You’ll be getting copies in the mail soon.
    😉

    In all seriousness, though, there is so much we DON’T know. As First Domino has pointed out in his second comment, there is room for interpretation on whether the “one path” to God really is a single path…or whether multiple paths lead you to the keeper of the keys: Jesus.

    I still, myself, remain of the mind that the one person who walked the walk, talked the talk and rose from the dead is the person I should most listen to (atheists and agnostics out there, don’t rain on my parade here by telling me Jesus is myth; I’m just not in a place today where I want to play that back-and-forth).

    Too many things for me point to Jesus having been not just a real person but “the real thing.” As such, even if there ARE multiple paths, it seems to me the wisest course is to choose Jesus, whether we choose to truly emulate him or whether we recognize his vicarious sacrifice on our behalf and start viewing ourselves as children of God with an inheritance, and not bonded servants to an all-powerful lord and master.

    In other words, I’m betting on the winner. And I still recommend faith in Jesus’ atoning death for us as the best way, even if there are other ways.

    So, I wouldn’t be so quick to write Miz Pink off as disregarding her possible insights by holding to long-established teachings. Much like me, she isn’t a product of having really embraced her religion young. In fact, probably less so than in my case. I was simply apathetic. Miz Pink had some stresses with her folks over religion and a lot of tension, and I think that initially turned her off Christ entirely.

    Instead, I think it’s better to view her post from the perspective that this MIGHT be truth she has stumbled upon…but it’s not clear enough to bank on, while Jesus is.

  4. 5 thewordofme
    December 10, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Miz Pink,

    Sorry about the faux pas. I not sure what the setup or relation to Deacon Blue is. Hi to you again, I hope you and the baby are doing well 🙂
    twom

  5. 6 Inda Pink
    December 10, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Just teasin’ ya earlier in that other comment section, TWOM. Some people get the impression I’m his wife despite him always talking about “Mrs. Blue”.

    Baby and me are doing mah-velous along with the rest of the fam.

  6. December 11, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Deac, not taking special aim at Mz Pink. We all spend more time in boxes that we want to admit: I’m no exception.

    Every once in a while it does us all good to saw through the bars of our preconceptions and escape them, spending time in the fresh air beyond the bars–giving ourselves the freedom to think a new thought and entertain a new idea.

    I should do it more often: it helps reinforce those things that I do hold as my truths, and it often gives me a vista that the bars hinder, adding new truths to the old truths.

    Namaste

  7. 8 Inda Pink
    December 11, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Deke likes to answer for me, knave that he is. My own fault really for not commenting much around here. So I’ll return the un-favor and answer for him.
    😛

    I don’t think he’s really seeing your comment as critical or anything but more pointing out that no matter how much he (or I) think outside the box…there’s still something special inside that box that reminds us it’s (drum roll…) THE WAY!

    But yeah expanding the mind is pretty special and needed more for everyone. So many truths or hints of truths to pick from the tree…

  8. March 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Interesting discussion, but, as James says, “Faith without works is dead.” Too often faith is used as a meaningless cover for a life without compassion, as a one-up over the non-believers. Does it really matter one bit whether you believe Jesus is man, god, or myth, if you practice the stuff he taught to his followers? Or, for that matter, if you don’t? How many paths reach to the same conclusions, the same practice, the same compassion, the same ethical values?

    In fact, that ethical sense is just about universally identical, regardless of faith or lack of it. So what matters the box that you find it in?

  9. 10 Deacon Blue
    March 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Totally agree that you cannot separate faith and works completely. They are both critical and intertwined. Faith, to me, is how we show our love to God. Works is how we “walk the walk” and show him that we also love our neighbors.

  10. March 9, 2009 at 12:05 am

    In that case, faith and works are really two sides of the same coin, and they are completely intertwined and interdependent. After all, how can we show our love of God without showing our love for neighbors – including those not of our species, meaning all life and the planet itself? To show love for one is to show love for the other. How can we show love for neighbors without expressing love of God? So then faith without works is not faith at all, it’s just hypocrisy.

    Damn I’m glad I gave up religion! Hypocrisy sucks. And the very worst is my own.

  11. 12 Deacon Blue
    March 9, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Your point about faith without works being hypocrisy is so on target. And precisely why so much hypocrisy exists among the “faithful.”

    It was Jesus who told us that the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love our neighbors, and for a long time now, too many folks have ignored the latter without ever considering that it also causes them to invalidate the former.

    As for whether or not you are a hypocrite yourself, I couldn’t say. But I will say that if a person can call themselves out for hypocrisy, they probably aren’t too bad off. Having any kind of self-awareness of that fault already suggests that you try to mitigate it by attempting to do (and think) the right things.
    🙂

  12. March 9, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I’m not a hypocrite any more (well, at least that I’m aware of). But before, when I was religious, I was a bad one. Getting rid of hypocrisy was a side-benefit of realizing that there are a lot more paths to the same place than any one form of Christianity, and of learning compassion and non-judgment. For me – and I think for many people – religion inhibited spiritual growth, rather than facilitating it.

    The tricky part for me now, is granting that for many, religion does facilitate spiritual growth. It’s all part of the same process – realizing that my path is just that, mine. Everyone else needs to find their own path, and judging them, or their path, is not for me to do. I have enough trouble tending my own garden, without telling others how to tend theirs.

    Which doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions, and sometimes am too free with sharing them…

  13. March 9, 2009 at 9:33 am

    When using html, make sure you remember to close out the bracket…

  14. 15 Deacon Blue
    March 9, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Seems to me sometimes that religion falls smack dab in the middle of the spectrum between driving a car and taking mind altering drugs.

    Lots of people drive cars and do it right, but there are just enough idiots out there who completely disregard the fact they are operating a 2-ton (or more) weapon and think nothing of the damage they can do.

    And there are a relatively few people who can take mind-altering drugs and know how to deal with it and manage it and derive something positive from it, whereas most people just screw themselves up.

    I’m just not sure which end of the spectrum religion leans toward. That is, do more people get growth and use it responsibly, or do more people let it mess up their heads?
    😉

  15. March 10, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    From what I’ve seen of the world, more people let it mess up their heads. But maybe that’s just because then it’s more obvious.

  16. March 11, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Hey, Deke, I thought I’d copy this comment left on my blog by Black Diaspora, because I think it gets right to the heart of the matter:

    “Religion, to the extent that it furthers the goals of love, can it be said to be relevant.

    To the extent that religion enters into judgment, condemnation, and punishment, to that extent does it abandon love, and with it, its spiritual foundation.”

    And there you have it. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

  17. 18 Deacon Blue
    March 11, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I think that’s a pretty valid way to look at it.

    I also think, though, that even the people who misuse religion to harm, belittle or otherwise judge others aren’t always doing so with bad intentions. For some folks, they get so caught up in things that they THINK they are doing good, while they are actually doing harm.

    It’s one of the things I have always hoped this blog might do…to help people who are too far to one end or the other of the religious spectrum to gain a healthier perspective.

    Whether or not it does that, who knows…but at least it keeps me (mostly) off the streets and out of trouble.

  18. March 11, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I’d hazard a guess that the vast majority of people who”misuse religion” do so with good intentions. The harm they do is not caused by meanness of spirit, but by the systemic flaw in religion itself – the narrowness built into the worldview that claims a monopoly on truth, based on an interpretation usually of ancient texts removed completely from the context of the people they’re written about, translated through one or more languages, and standardized by commonalities within the culture or demographic of the interpreters. That so-called monopoly often requires a blindness on the part of the “believer,” which distorts objective truth or even makes it invisible, while also dehumanizing the nonbeliever. After all, if God hates so-and-so, we should, too.

    Which is probably the primary instigator of the violence that is so often directed as those of us in the LGBT community, and illustrates the conundrum of the “believer,” usually couched in terms of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” How do you do that, when the sin and the sinner are the same thing, when we are created as we are presumably by God?

  19. 20 Deacon Blue
    March 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I don’t think it’s the proper job of a Christian to “hate the sin” as God is the judge, not us, and often we’re ill-equipped to separate sin from the pile of things that we do every day.

    However, that being said, I understand the notion of trying to help people steer clear of things that appear to be sin. In that respect, a Christian might try to warn or guide someone out of love. Sadly, that’s not often enough the case.

    Thing is, hate is such a strong word. I hesitate to attach that sentiment to very many things. Also, we ALL sin. To the extent that a Christian “hates” what sin can do to people and to the world and to relationships with God, but loves people enough to accept them for who they are now (and not what they want/hope for them to be), that makes sense to me.

    That kind of sentiment is less about judgment and more about trying to build better behaviors, better outlooks and better spirituality among people, rather that trying to root out specific sins.

    Not sure if that made a whole hell of a lot of sense, but I’m kind of rambling out some thoughts here.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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