Doctrine of Light

Many people have asked me to summarize my major teaching points as my writing tends to be somewhat long winded (thanks for that observation, by the way 🙂 ). Here is the spiritual truth I have confirmed thus far through divine revelation   –

1. God is the universal divine source that is the essence of all beings and all things and is also greater than all things.  All forms of matter and energy are derived from God.

2. Spiritual immortality is unavoidable. All beings possess a physical body susceptible to biological death and an individual, indestructible consciousness, often called the
spirit or soul by various religious traditions. Upon the death of the physical body, the immortal spirit separates itself from the physical world and resides thereafter in eternal communion with the Divine Consciousness.

3. The modern interpretation of the ethic of reciprocity provides a complete moral compass for this doctrine. In summary:  Do not seek to harm others for God’s will is the promotion of peace.

4. Total equality is the only acceptable stance. All people, without regard to gender identity, age, race, sexual preference or religious practices are equal in the eyes of God.

5. No one should label another as apostate or blasphemous for God does not recognize such states of being. God neither seeks nor desires zealotry but rather welcomes us as personal companions on the existential journey.

6. The absolute and complete freedom of belief is essential to spiritual truth. Within the bounds of the ethic of reciprocity, all people should be free to honor God however they wish, if at all.

15 Responses to Doctrine of Light

  1. I believe that God created the universe, so if that is what you mean when you say He is the source, than this is true.

    Point two works as long as you keep in mind that violence, to an extent is unavoidable. The Bible tells us that there is a time for everything: a time for peace and a time for war. This is not to say that we should not seek peace. As a Christian I believe that the Lord Jesus will one day bring total peace to the earth.

    I don’t know if you can necessarily say that all people are equal in the eyes of God. All people are children of God, so in that respect I think you can say all people are meant to be treated equally by others.

    I think it is part of human nature to worship God. He shouldn’t have to seek out worshipers. If it is part of human nature, which He gave us, then I think it is safe to say that He wants worshipers.

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” While I believe that Jesus Christ is the only true God, I also believe that one can be flexible in the way they worship Him, i.e. Music, prayer, public service, etc.

    These are just my thoughts and what I believe. I thought your article was interesting, so thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • William says:

      And thank you for sharing your opinion in turn. Allow me to clarify my points as they relate to yours by way of highlighting our differences and our similarities in the same response. As is the case in so many religions today I tend to see modern Christianity as identifying the goal but missing the point entirely. This is not meant to be disrespectful in any way as I fully support your right to honor God in whatever manner you choose, if at all. I simply don’t personally agree with the fundamentalist Christian world view.

      To your first point, yes, that is exactly what I mean although I suspect we disagree on God’s method. I contend that God created (and continues to create) the universe, beginning with the big bang and continuing through the process of universal expansion. I also content that S/he created life, as we currently define it, through the process of evolution.

      Our main differences is of course the deification of Jesus, which is why I refer to him by his English given name in my writing rather than using a Greek translation of the word messiah, and second, in the accuracy of biblical text, which I opine is written by man and therefore fallible. This does not mean I believe God to be personally fallible for I do concede the possibility that all scripture may have its basis in Divine revelation. That said, the bible has been translated and interpreted differently by various scholars, with its very structure determined by a council of Christian leaders who had to actually debate the nature of Joshua’s existence before agreeing on what to consider biblical canon three centuries after Joshua died on the cross. Politics, marketing and the consolidation of power should not be the rationale for promoting spiritual thought, in my opinion.

      As to the rest, you are certainly correct in that my statements do not agree with the biblical quotes you provided in your comment. The doctrine I have written here is the truth as revealed to me by God (I believe Christian theologians refer to this process as illuminism but I could be mistaken on that point). When I say that we are all equal in the eyes of God, that God does not seek worshippers preferring instead to welcome companions and that peace is the only guaranteed path to human enlightenment, I am not attempting to convey my personal opinion but the actual perspective of God as it has been given to me to understand.

      I cannot stress the importance of developing a personal relationship with God if doing so lies within your spiritual comfort zone. This maximizes conscious evolution and spiritual growth, in my opinion. In the end, however, whatever religious belief brings you peace is just fine by me. Why? Because God is fine with it. How do I know? I asked.

      I hope you never give up the search for personal truth, my friend. Peace be with you, always.

  2. Katie says:

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    I guess I need to clarify a few things…

    First of all, there are many things in the Bible that I don’t take literally, including the Creation account. I acknowledge that it was translated and interpreted many times, so I agree that it is not infallible. I do believe however that it is the word of God and is as close to the truth as I’m going to get. I believe that I can never truly know absolute truth while I live on this Earth because I live in a fallen, sinful world. I also believe that evolution and the big bang happened. I think it’s naive to disregard science, and I also believe that it can in some ways, bring us closer to God’s truth. I’ve always thought of it this way: science gives us the “how” and religion gives us the “why.”

    Also, to be completely honest, I thought your post was so interesting because the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to me and told me to follow Him, which I have at least tried to do in a way that is pleasing to God. So I was wondering what you would say to that.

    Thanks again, and peace be with you. 🙂

    • William says:

      I guess I need to clarify a few things…

      Thank you for entering into the debate. I place great value on your viewpoint and I agree, clarity of speech is absolutely necessary if we are to maintain a constructive conversation on the nature of religion and God’s revealed truth. I would like to apologize if my own comments gave you the impression that I disagree with you, or with Joshua’s teachings as I understand them.

      First of all, there are many things in the Bible that I don’t take literally, including the Creation account. I acknowledge that it was translated and interpreted many times, so I agree that it is not infallible. I do believe however that it is the word of God and is as close to the truth as I’m going to get.

      I should probably supply a little clarity of my own here, for it occurs to me that the casual observer may assume that I discount biblical scripture entirely. I assure you this is not the case. I do not, however, believe that the bible in its current form (here I refer mostly to the New Testament) can be seen as providing an accurate picture of Joshua’s ministry. Although I do not consider myself to be a biblical scholar, please allow me to explain why I feel this way.

      Early Christians did not as a general rule choose to deify Joshua. I’m not making that up, it’s verifiable historical fact. This is because those first followers of Christ were in fact Jewish and followed Judaic law to the best of their ability (the first of the ten commandments, “thou shalt not have other Gods before me”, by itself would ensure that early Christians did not place Joshua on God’s throne, as it were.

      The change from seeing Joshua as a wise teacher and authoritative prophet of God to the personification of God Himself born in the form of man did not occur until the evangalists began to specifically target the gentiles. If you look at the earliest written gospels from around 65-70 C.E. (the gospels of Mark and Thomas), Joshua is referred to solely as a man. Most biblical scholars agree that how Mark depicts Joshua is a relatively accurate picture of the historical Jesus.

      The gospels that followed were in many ways dependent on Mark for their source material but they increasingly treat Joshua as a divine being rather than a wise and spiritual man. As reverence for Joshua’s teaching grew, references to him were slowly changed to reflect his higher stature in the hearts and minds of his followers. In Matthew and Luke, the actual words spoken by Joshua in Mark were changed, in some cases drastically, or even totally omitted.

      It is clear that this method of redaction was designed to ensure all new Christians would believe what the church leaders wanted them to believe, even when those changes altered the original teachings of the prophet to such an extent that, at least to my mind, the wording no longer conveyed the revealed truth of God. This is the primary reason why there are so many different denominations of Christianity in the modern era.

      I do not agree with you when you state that the bible, as it stands today, is the closest thing available to spiritual truth. There are literally thousands of pages of texts available discussing Joshua’s life and ministry that the fathers of the modern church discounted simply because they did not want to use any material that failed to corroborate their assertion of Jesus’ divinity.

      I believe that I can never truly know absolute truth while I live on this Earth because I live in a fallen, sinful world. I also believe that evolution and the big bang happened. I think it’s naive to disregard science, and I also believe that it can in some ways, bring us closer to God’s truth. I’ve always thought of it this way: science gives us the “how” and religion gives us the “why.”

      We have a similar viewpoint here. My opinion is that where science fails, religion takes over. As our scientific knowledge increases through the ages it is our responsibility as spiritual beings to promote the evolution of religion and ensure our spiritual understanding keeps pace with the hard facts which science provides.

      Also, to be completely honest, I thought your post was so interesting because the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to me and told me to follow Him, which I have at least tried to do in a way that is pleasing to God. So I was wondering what you would say to that.

      God rarely appears in such a direct manner and I count you as blessed indeed that you have had the opportunity to experience the word of God firsthand. It does not surprise me that it was Joshua who appeared to you nor do I believe your experience is invalid. On the contrary, I would contend that what you experienced is quite real and should not be ignored. While I would not presume to know the exact wording of Joshua’s message to you or even the full meaning of his thought as I do not possess your perspective on the experience, I will gladly share my opinion as you expressed a desire to know what I personally think.

      To follow the example of Joshua is to glorify God because you love Him. Salvation, repentance, overwhelming preoccupation with the nature of sin, these ideas are promoted in the bible but I do not believe they truly reflect the lessons taught by such a wise and spiritual man. Perhaps the best example of what I perceive Joshua’s true message to be is contained in Mark 12: 28-35, which I will gladly relay here –

      One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

      “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

      “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

      When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

      Thanks again, and peace be with you

      And also with you.

  3. Thanks for the information. You have a very interesting perspective on things. That’s very cool. 🙂

    I know different denominations view things differently. I grew up in a Catholic church, and I go to a nondenominational (largely Protestant) school. What’s interesting is that I’ve gathered a couple different viewpoints from both. The “Catholic” viewpoint I’ve gathered is more focused on actual Biblical teachings while the “nondenominational” viewpoint is more focused on having a relationship with the Lord. I tend to lean towards the latter as being more important. I’d say with both, you can get pretty close to the Truth. Often times, people will just run to the Bible for an an answer that they’re not going to find there. Obviously every answer to every question and every solution to every problem isn’t going to be found in a book, even if this book is the Word of God. In fact, I’d say the solution to a lot of problems is prayer. At least that’s how things have seemed to be working out for me lately.

    Incidentally, what is your take on prayer? I mean in general terms, what role do you think prayer plays in any faith, including your own, and if you personally pray, how do you do it? (sorry for the subject change)

    When you use Mark 28, to argue that God is “one”, you have to consider the idea of the Trinity. God is one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is not three separate entities. It is God presenting Himself in three different (but not separate) ways. I personally found this confusing for quite a while. It’s weird, but it makes more sense if you just let it be.

    The only thing I can say to the point that early Christians didn’t view Jesus as The Son of God, is that because they were coming from a very Jewish background, they just didn’t “get it.” Or perhaps they just didn’t want to believe it because it was too unorthodox. Maybe this is a bit of a weak argument, but we’re not them, so we just don’t know. I mean I myself think that the Christian faith, when you really think about it sounds a bit ridiculous. I still believe in this way however, because it “works” for me.

    Thanks so much for your responses. I’m really enjoying this conversation. 🙂

    • William says:

      I would be happy to discuss my understanding of God’s word with you in broader detail. I chose to write on WordPress precisely for this reason as I fully anticipate the need for people to ask questions when they read these pages and the blog format allows for ease of communication. It is also clearly my responsibility to provide clarification when misunderstandings occur, which is to be expected when one chooses to write about religion in any public forum. I warn you that this may be a rather lengthy response as I would prefer to give you a comprehensive view rather than summarize simply for the sake of brevity.

      I agree that many problems can be resolved through direct communication with Deity, which is of course made much easier when you have already cultivated a personal relationship with God but this is by no means a requirement for those who wish to pray. As to what role I feel prayer fills in general, my answer is twofold.

      First, while prayer (defined in this context as a rapport with Deity) is naturally a recognized method of glorifying God in both private and public settings, it is also a necessary practice if one is to comprehend God’s will as completely as possible. A person of faith who chooses to act outside of God’s will is rather like a teenage boy deciding to borrow Mom’s car without asking first. Yes, Mom will forgive him, naturally, but the decision itself usually does not turn out well for the rebellious teen.

      Secondly I consider regular prayer as conducive to both the development and the maintenance of a proper state of humility. As children of God it is imperative that we cultivate humility to avoid the prideful mistake of assuming we can act without guidance and expect a perfect result. In essence, regular prayer serves to strengthen one’s faith while a lack of consistent prayer contributes to a substantial weakening of faith.

      Now, you asked whether I personally pray and by my statements above the answer should have already presented itself but yes, I do and frequently. I always have but I freely admit that my prayer habits changed significantly after God first appeared to me and awakened my own faith from its long slumber.

      I was raised pagan (my mother is Wiccan) and I have always prayed with the rising of the sun and by the light of the moon as I see these heavenly objects as visible reminders of the Divine presence. As a panentheist I also see God’s presence in nature, in the power of the wind and the majesty of the sea, the richness of the earth and the warmth that fire provides. Every leaf, every tree, every living thing possesses divine qualities for all things come from God.

      Truly, how you pray, when you pray and even why you pray is immaterial to God. As long as you are choosing to pray sincerely and with humility you will benefit from the practice. Whether silent or out loud, that choice is yours alone and is also inconsequential for God will hear your voice in either case. I would however counsel that the ultimate purpose of prayer is not to obtain specific things but rather to purify and refine yourself as a child of God. If you have any further questions on this subject please feel free to pose them anytime and I will endeavor to provide additional clarity.

      I should now like to simultaneously address your statements on the Trinitarian position and answer your assertion that my usage of Mark’s gospel was not well considered. Before I get started however, I would like to point out that I agree with you when you say that early Christians came from a predominantly Jewish background but I vehemently disagree with the concept that they didn’t “get it” as you say. Joshua himself was an apocalyptic Jew and though his worldview was different than that of Orthodox Judaism, I am quite sure he was more than capable of teaching his followers comprehensively as they came from the same background.

      I use Mark to illustrate how early Christians perceived Joshua’s perspective precisely because that gospel does not address Trinitarian thought at all. In fact, Mark was written a full century before the Trinity was conceived of by Christian theologians. Even after the idea was put forth, it was not fully accepted as legitimate until the fourth century, roughly three hundred and twenty years after Joshua’s crucifixion.

      My pagan background does permit me to see the logic in approaching God from a Binitarian perspective as originally conceived for early theologians often differentiated between God and the Holy Spirit although not for the reasons one might expect. The two were not considered both separate and single aspects of God simultaneously, which is why the Trinitarian viewpoint is so muddled, but rather were simply different aspects of the same Divine Being without the additional confusion. Some scholars even considered them to be gender related, treating God’s physical aspect as male and the Holy Spirit as female, providing for ultimate spiritual balance. While I admit this is a wonderful concept to study it is primarily academic as God has no specific gender. Whether you envision God as male or female is inconsequential for God simply Is.

      I respect the wisdom of Joshua’s teachings as he chose to provide them and how they were originally understood for when we do this, all confusion drops away, allowing one to see the Truth of his words. While I do not look on modern day Christians badly for their clear reverence toward Paul of Tarsus, I do not personally subscribe to Pauline Christianity as it is his interpretation of scripture that provides a large amount of the existing confusion in the first place.

      I do not think that Paul distorted the teachings intentionally as some have suggested – I’m afraid I make a horrible conspiracy theorist. I sincerely believe that Paul was not only well intentioned but felt that his views on Joshua’s message were absolutely correct given the clear strength of his faith. I simply disagree with him.

      Before Paul, the concept of original sin did not exist. Before Paul, Joshua was not seen as divine, nor did he die as atonement for the sins of man. In fact, Joshua quite adamantly taught that people who choose to love God and in so doing maintain the strength of their faith are already forgiven and need not fear death. Yes, in case you were wondering, I am in fact a Universalist in that I do not lend credence to the idea of Hell. God loves you and even though you may have difficulty in this life you will not be spiritually abandoned in your moment of need.

      I hope that my part of our discussion has proven to be at least somewhat interesting to you and serves as the impetus for personal reflection. In the final analysis, what you believe does not matter nearly as much as the act of believing in something to begin with. Love God, do your best not to hurt anyone (including yourself), and death will have no hold over you. May the light of God bless you and keep you, my sister.

  4. I’ve never really understood the concept of “silent prayer.” I consider it entirely valid, but it’s almost like I don’t know how to “do it.” I guess I’ve always thought prayer had to be more intentional. I have been getting better at praying more generally, which at first seemed counter intuitive, but I think it’s helpful. I know God answers my “silent prayers” because things sometimes happen that are just far too convenient to be coincidence, even if I haven’t intentionally prayed about them. For a very long time I wasn’t good at letting God just do His thing. I agree that praying for specific things really isn’t that helpful a lot of times.

    I figured you’d refute the argument that the early Christians didn’t “get it” (referring to the divinity of Christ). I’ll put that one to bed for now. We’ve obviously reached an impasse on this one.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t particularly like Saint Paul either. I mostly disagree with what he says about homosexuality. I just can’t believe that homosexuality by itself is a sin. That just doesn’t seem “right” to me. I know a boy who used to go to my church (he doesn’t now because he went of to college) who is very strong in his faith (probably stronger than me) and is also gay. Paul puts homosexuality right in the mix with murder and thievery. There is just no way that my friend falls anywhere near that category.

    Because I believe that Jesus died for our sins, things get complicated for me. I believe that when we die we are all judged fairly for what we have done with our lives and on our faith. I’ve given up on trying to figure out exactly what this means because I have many friends who are exceedingly nice and good people but are not Christian. I can’t imagine that when they die God will just abandon them to eternal suffering. The bottom line is that I don’t know how God judges, but I know He judges fairly (hence the somewhat unorthodox belief).

    You mentioned that what you believe is far less important than the actual act of believing. I agree with you on that point in the sense that having any idea of God can be far more satisfying than thinking that there is nothing out there. I’ll openly admit that if I hadn’t grown up Christian I could easily have believed in some other faith until Jesus revealed Himself to me, which I think He inevitably would have regardless of what I believed. I don’t think I could ever be an atheist, though. I think my own imagination wouldn’t have even allowed for it. The fact of the matter is that God works through people of all faiths including atheists. In fact I don’t disbelieve that God has spoken directly to you, which is why I decided to pick a fight with you in the first place. 🙂

    I have found your side of the discussion very helpful and interesting, so thanks for putting up with me. I hope I haven’t been too put-off-ish on my side. This has been very eye opening for me. Peace be with you, bro and God bless you.

    • William says:

      You can argue with me anytime you like. No, I don’t find your statements to be rude or in any way unacceptable. Just because we disagree on a few specifics doesn’t mean we can’t carry on a civil conversation. You pray to Christ, I pray to my Deity but in the end, we both pray to God and I believe that to be our greatest shared strength.

      I think the most important point to emphasize here is that while members of our respective faiths have traditionally tortured, mutilated and otherwise brutalized each other for the last two millennia, enough is enough. In fact, I propose we face the truth head on for a moment as I rarely see it done in a public forum: we fed you Christians to some hungry lions for a few centuries and you Christians burned us at the stake for a few centuries. We were terrible to each other and in some ways those old feelings of mistrust and outrage still survive today for many people. Interfaith dialog like this is so very important if we are to understand each other once and for all.

      Isn’t it time we forgave each other and moved on toward more productive goals, like solving the real problems facing our species, things like war, poverty, hunger and disease? For my part, I forgave the Christian church long ago and I fully appreciate the lengths to which Christian leaders like Pope John Paul II have gone to extend the olive branch of peace to members of my faith in turn (I loved that man dearly despite our differences).

      We are both children of God, our ideological differences aside. Before I log off I wanted to reassure you of one thing – you mentioned that you find it hard to believe God will abandon your friends to eternal suffering when they die simply because they are not Christian and I would like to use a quote from the church of your upbringing to ease your worry in that regard. I am copying this directly from the Catholic archives so please don’t yell at me for copyright infringement:

      “Paul declares in Acts 17 that from the very beginning God’s intention was for men to seek and find him. Paul says even those without any direct revelation of God still have his moral law written in their hearts (Rom. 2:14–15) and can know much about God through the witness of creation (Rom. 1:20). God has made it possible for every person to have knowledge of him, which makes faith in him possible. No one is totally “in the dark,” and, as Isaiah attests, those who seek God and find him will find mercy and forgiveness (Is. 55:66), two necessary components of salvation.”

      I don’t think they have anything to worry about 🙂

  5. I’m glad I don’t come off as rude. It’s just that you seem to know a lot more about Christianity than I know about your faith. I think we share a lot of the same sentiments in terms of interfaith stuff. Something that totally drives me crazy is when overly conservative, self-righteous Christians are jerks to people of other faiths. Something that a lot of people seem to miss is that in basic terms, it’s part of our religion to be nice (Love thy neighbor as thyself). I remember they were putting on The Laramie Project at my high school in the Boston area and some people from a church in Kansas I believe came to protest. Well I and a bunch of other people decided to put on a counter protest. There were about five of them and about one hundred of us and at least one guitar (guitars = win). I still find that story amusing.

    I actually joined an interfaith group at school but unfortunately I was too busy to continue with them. It’s funny because I started my own blog for no particular reason this past summer, but God kind of commandeered it. There’s some random stuff in the mix, but for the most part I try to write stuff that in some way is going to be helpful for “spreading the love,” if you will (I’m such a hippy ). 🙂

    Thanks for the reference at the end of your reply. Another reference that I’m drawn to from the Bible is in one of Paul’s letters. I forget the exact passage, but he says something along the lines of “if a man is in love with a woman who is not a believer, she is saved by his love.” I don’t really remember the context, so maybe I’m using the reference poorly, but I’d like to think I can apply the idea to my friends. I try not to worry too much about it, because I pray about it a lot, which is bound to at least be helpful.

    I suppose I should do homework now. I have a bunch of mid-terms coming up very soon. Wish my luck!

  6. Pingback: Properly defining religion and identifying universal morality | I Have Seen God

  7. briankaam says:

    Wow! That’ was a lot of information to comb through. I initially just had one, and now I have a couple of questions. If there are excessive typos, please forgive me as I am trying to battle forehead wrinkles with a mint green clay mask (a protein treatment and moisturizer will follow), and my glasses are off!

    I actually have two accounts on wordpress dedicated to two of my passions: art and divination. Of course, typically I try to hide the latter from the public that I surround myself by, because no doubt, someone will be unreasonably intolerant or prejudging. With that being said, as I have read your and the other’s comments I decided to come as I am bringing both attributes to the table instead of logging off and commenting as Angel Ariel 999.

    With that being said, I was a bit confused with what you meant here:
    “3. The modern interpretation of the ethic of reciprocity provides a complete moral compass for this doctrine. In summary: Do not seek to harm others for God’s will is the promotion of peace.”

    I am thinking, but may be wrong, that you are addressing the persecution or judgement of people of different beliefs or “ethnicities” but I am not entirely sure. It seems pretty direct, but to erase all uncertainty, could you further explain this, please?

    Next, you mention this in regards to prayer:

    “I would however counsel that the ultimate purpose of prayer is not to obtain specific things but rather to purify and refine yourself as a child of God.”
    I agree with you, however, now a days people are on a Law of Attraction kick, obsessing over the Secret. For the longest I have felt that asking for those specific things instead of talking to God, the Jewish God, Christian God, or whatever nature He or She really is, was always like treating Him/Her/It like a genie, something to get things from without regard of the person, entity, or whatever- and attitude that human beings tend to have towards each other. I also agree that God has made all and is in all, as state in #1 of your entry. With that being said, what is your position on the Law of Attraction in relation to God?

    I am also curious as to your opinion of God and God’s will in relation to the individual. Your number 1 states:
    “God is the universal divine source that is the essence of all beings and all things and is also greater than all things. All forms of matter and energy are derived from God.”

    I also agree with this; but at the same time, you mention in your prayer response:

    “First, while prayer (defined in this context as a rapport with Deity) is naturally a recognized method of glorifying God in both private and public settings, it is also a necessary practice if one is to comprehend God’s will as completely as possible. A person of faith who chooses to act outside of God’s will is rather like a teenage boy deciding to borrow Mom’s car without asking first. Yes, Mom will forgive him, naturally, but the decision itself usually does not turn out well for the rebellious teen.”

    If all have God’s essence within them, I would imagine that the most direct way to communicate with God is through that Essence or spirit, which, I would imagine, is always good and virtuous. With that being said, wouldn’t acting in benevolence (maybe a bit extravagant of a word to use) or virtue be an act of prayer in and of itself? If so, or even if not, would that still be considered acting out in rebellion?

    I really hope my questions make sense!

    • William Knox says:

      The ethic of reciprocity is more commonly known as the golden rule and states that one should treat others as one would like to be treated. In this context however, I define the concept by using the contemporary Pagan version of ‘harm none’ for stated this way it becomes an all-inclusive guideline for moral thinking.

      The law of attraction and the act of prayer are separate metaphysical subjects which must by necessity be addressed separately. The Secret, as it is sometimes referred to these days, is nothing more than an expansion of the phrase ‘what goes around comes around’ and is in fact closely related to the practical application of the ethic of reciprocity. Essentially, if you maintain a positive attitude toward life you will benefit exponentially. Like attracts like, if you prefer. Additionally, the act of obtaining what you wish through visualization is a form of magickal practice, not prayer. If you envision yourself already possessing the things you require you are actively changing your own reality through the use of personal will.

      Prayer, by definition, is direct communication with the Divine. One seeks to establish a rapport with one’s God, to worship and glorify the universal presence of Deity while achieving spiritual unity. To be truly meaningful, prayer should not be used to request God’s assistance in acquiring material possessions but rather to help us to change ourselves spiritually so that we may receive whatever is in our best interests. I agree with you completely that treating God as a genie who grants wishes is not appropriate. Prayer beginning with such thoughts as ‘God give me the strength to…’ or ‘Goddess help me to understand…’ is not only beneficial to us I believe it is far more pleasing to God.

      How you conceive of the relationship between God and humanity is determined by your particular religious tradition. One can be a Universalist and a Christian at the same time, for instance. In my case, I am a Universalist Pagan. From my perspective you are correct, God is immanent and present in every aspect of creation. Through spiritual unity we do indeed commune with our Gods and this is without question the purest form of prayer we can practice. We understand God’s will by fully understanding ourselves. If we get it wrong, however, it is not held against us in the hereafter. The analogy I used about stealing your parent’s car represents the argument in favor of universal reconciliation. If my answers to your questions have failed to provide clarity or you have further questions please feel free to ask anytime.

      • briankaam says:

        No, you have answered my question. I think my error was always grouping Law of attraction with Prayer (actually magick with prayer), and now that you’ve explained it and provided a mirror, it is not only simpler to separate the two, but it also makes sense to do so.

  8. Pingback: Doctrine of Light | Musing about Mysteries of the Inner Light

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