An excerpt from Chapter XI – “True Faith and the Three Portents” – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…
When an individual or group within any religious tradition takes on the persona that theirs is more deserving or entitled, and/or embraces any ‘blind’ belief that they are better and more ‘right,’ how can such a way-of-being be healthful? Clearly such thought and behavior is not consistent with prudent ethical principles and with doing the right thing for the right sake. Where is the spirituality in behavior which pushes us further apart? In what fashion is such behavior in character with the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? For instance, when members of sport teams pray that no one on their team will be injured, it can be perceived as a good thing. Albeit, when members of sport teams pray that their team will enjoy victory over the opposing team, then such displays of ‘faith’ can clearly be perceived as being harmful, and inclusive of hatefulness and prejudice – even ignorance and greed. Well-meaning healthful ambition can be a good thing, but this is not that.
Hate, greed, and ignorance often seem to work quite well together. If one does not understand what things are like for someone else or what things are like somewhere else, it can be a simple matter to believe a lot of bad things about ‘them’ and/or that ‘other place’ over there. Such a lack of objectivity may make it more likely that we can even justify a belief that we are more deserving of having what they have (such as recognition, respect or success).
Is it possible that if we educate ourselves, if we promote our wherewithal to enjoy critical/objective thinking skills, we will have less and less excuse to display, for instance, hate on any level? If we have, in-effect, developed an addiction to hate, and/or greed, and/or ignorance, change can obviously be very difficult – particularly when such practices have been handed down throughout generations. Even so, healthful change does occur: It requires us to grasp onto and deeply appreciate momentary insights – epiphanies. It necessitates an objective and clear view of something much better and beautiful. It is unblemished witnessing – enjoying a fleeting look at how good things can be – a glimpse of heaven. Just getting to the point where such ‘glimpses’ are possible, necessitates a lot of effort, and often a lot of time. You may say, “It’s too difficult, I’m just getting by as it is, by the ‘skin of my teeth.’” As stated, healthful change can obviously be very difficult – albeit, anything less is a living death when the status quo is composed of any significant measure of hate, greed, or ignorance.
Please keep in mind – the principle of the ‘three portents’ is that each one of them, or in any combination, are “harbingers of iniquitous tidings,” e.g., they bring on and/or foreshadow difficulties. The more and more we lighten ourselves of this vicious terrible weight, the less and less likely it is that we will commonly realize negativity, unclear thinking, and suffering. The less we crave negativity, the less we will experience it. (Of special note: In heartfelt accord with this spirit of being, please know that the notion of ‘true faith’ herein is not meant in any fashion to conflict with or compete with religion on any level. Its succinct purpose is to complement all well-meaning belief systems.) — Dr. Glen Hepker
Author Profile: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0067CUOO2