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Reality

 

Enlightenment

 

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A website about being a good human being

Written by Lance Volk, a Quora Contributor

Beliefs

    

This will be an on-going article about reality, it will encompass beliefs and concepts from different religions and science and should ultimately bring all of them together.

 

It has been said that reality is an illusion, I will bring some opinions to light that will unravel these opinions and show that what we live now is the reality, our reality, it will not be limited by science or any one religion, but will be infinite and ever-expanding, just as our universe is.

 

Believing that our universe is finite is only limiting the meaning of the word, our universe is ours in the here and now and does not take into account "all that is"

 

I understand that there are many beliefs and nonbeliefs in the world, this site shall make available Ideas from many areas such as atheism, naturalism, science and a few religions, the object of this site is to help you understand what is wrong with our world and enable you to cope and even help these seemingly hopeless situations that are happening.

 

There is no requirement for a belief in a supreme being or anything that cannot be proven as facts such as reincarnation or karma, most of what is presented is common sense or maybe what is believed as fact in the scientific community as of the writing of this, that being said, I shall be particularly biased to my specific beliefs and shall use them as references in some of my explanations.

 

I wish to start this by stating that it is not necessary to believe in something that cannot be proven in order to be a good person that does good things and has good intentions,

 

I may take quotes and ideas from religious scriptures and beliefs from other cultures because of no matter where they come from, or who or whatever has written them,

 

it doesn't mean that there isn't wisdom and logic in the words like you don't have to be Gandhi to know that it isn't good to kill anyone at any time,

 

Sometimes it may be necessary to defend yourself and loved ones against an immediate threat, but that and that alone should be the only reason for such an action. As I list these things that civilized people should do and not do,

 

I will try to explain the reasons for them, some of these things some people will not consider bad and I will admit that some are worse than others, and in some cases, I have even done some of them myself in my life.

 

     The 10 commandments are known to most people even if they have not read the Bible, mostly they are common sense rules that govern a civilized society today, to an Atheist and the such, some would not even apply, but I shall attempt to explain as best as I understand them in my views.

 

I am the Lord your God and you should have no other Gods before me, as a Christian it is self-explanatory, as someone that does not believe in Deities, it would not be a problem since there would not be any other Deities to conflict with this.

 

You should not make any images to worship, I have simplified this greatly, but if you do not believe in God, again this should not be an issue, (I wish everyone to understand that I have not made allowances for Pagans where they may be Idol worshipers)

 

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, again, if you do not believe, what you say as an expletive should not matter, even though it may disturb believers when they hear it.

 

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, it was stated by God to work for 6 days and rest for one day, this meant that absolutely no work what so ever would be done on this day by anyone or anything, I believe that this was intended to be most beneficial for the slaves, where they also had a chance to worship and rest, making them equal to everyone else on this day,

 

it was understood that thousands of years ago, slavery was commonplace and could not be dismissed easily, but by making this commandment, everyone was given a chance for rest, even the animals, this commandment is also one of the hardest to keep if you hold it to a particular day,

 

in this respect, I believe it is important to not work one day out of seven and it is not particularly important that it be a certain day of the week, there are certain jobs that require that work be done somewhere on every day of the week,

 

and I am sure that God realizes this also, working every day without rest is not healthy for the body and also creates an imbalance that will be explained in later articles.

 

Honor your father and mother. Other than it being a nice thing to do, it pleases God, I know of no good reason to not do this, if you respect their wishes and follow through with their intentions if they were unable, this would be a good thing, if you are someone that has been abused by their parents, it would even be a more valuable thing to at least forgive them, as carrying such a burden of hate would be detrimental to your health by causing an imbalance in your life that would haunt you.

 

You shall not murder. This was covered earlier, hate, jealousy, and greed are not good reasons for this.

 

You shall not commit adultery. If you have taken vows, it would be a good idea to keep them, breaking vows of any kind would be detrimental to your self-respect and reputation. I personally have caused people to commit adultery and I am not proud of it, another imbalance it created, a deception and a breaking of an agreement which will also disrupt your life.

 

You shall not steal. By taking something that someone has worked hard for also creates an imbalance which may be equalized at your expense, it may cause a hardship for someone and if you are caught, it may ultimately be much worse for you that originally thought of.

 

You should not give false testimony against your neighbor. Lying creates a huge imbalance in your life, especially if the results of the lie causes someone to do things that they would not normally do, the actions will snowball out of control and the imbalance will increase until you come clean. There are lies that you may tell to protect someone from unnecessary pain that you feel are necessary, and there is a deception to cover something bad you have done, either way, it is best to at least eventually tell the truth to someone to equal out this error.

 

You shall not covet your neighbors house or anything else of your neighbors, Don't be a vulture by befriending your neighbor where he or she thinks that you care for them but only care for their belongings, be selfless and expect nothing, be a true friend with no ulterior motives, if you feel that you are leaning towards being that way, it would be best to just leave them be or else the retribution will far exceed the deed. To put all of this in a nutshell, if you treat others as you would like to be treated, this should cover what would be expected of you as a good person.

 

There are also 7 virtues that will serve you well in your life, they are the opposite of the 7 deadly sins, if you make these virtues a regular part of your life, it should cover you when the inevitable sin happens.

 

CHASTITY as opposed to lust, this was a particularly difficult one for me especially in my youth, I was a dog and seemingly insatiable, but in my older age I have seen the benefits of keeping these thoughts and actions at bay, the ability of being able to concentrate better, having more energy and generally having a more wholesome outlook on life were just a few of the good things, I did enjoy the release from stress even if it was done manually, but the fantasies were not of a pure nature and I felt that they were counterproductive, this also can be a life-changing activity especially if proper protection is not used or even safe practices employed, I would suggest masturbation if the sexual urges are too strong to control, over the emotional disruption that may be caused to someone or the unwanted pregnancy which in its self can be a real life changer at many different levels, in other articles on this site, I will present different ways of coping with these types of problems.

 

TEMPERANCE, as opposed to gluttony, moderation in everything that you do, will help maintain a properly balanced life, overindulgence in anything such as food and vices is something to avoid on a regular basis, eventually you will end up at your favorite buffet and pig out, this is not the end of the world, but doing it regularly could be.

 

CHARITY as opposed to greed, this is not to say that it is bad to make lots of money, but don't let it run your life, if you are lucky enough to be very successful, take a break sometimes, possibly on your seventh day of rest and help someone in need, it doesn't have to include the giving of money, a little of your time and understanding goes a long way, I believe it may have a greater value in many cases, either way a giving back of your good fortune in some way or another is a good thing and it feels good also.

 

DILIGENCE as opposed to sloth or laziness, try to stay active in your life, work is good for the soul and for the body, it maintains a good balance in your life by keeping you busy doing work around the home, you have a sense of satisfaction upon completion of projects.

 

PATIENCE as opposed to wrath, relax, don't be hurried, peaceful harmony and mercy are good traits, being inpatient causes imbalance in your life as well in others. Convert your impatience to exacting attention to detail.

 

KINDNESS as opposed to envy, be happy for other peoples success, do not resent them, learn from them and support them.

 

HUMILITY as opposed to pride, take the high road, bragging about your successes shows you in a light that is not flattering, being humble and modest put people at ease, having a sense of humor and telling a joke at your own expense will disarm tense situations.

 

There will be times when humility will not be the best course to take, such as when you are applying for a job or if you are in a job that requires an excess of confidence, such as a surgeon for example, you would be more impressed with someone who claims to be the best, especially if they will be cutting into your body, they will have plenty of other times to be humble.

 

These examples of right and wrong are fairly straight forward and do not require believing in anything other than common sense, these beliefs are non-religious and can be followed by anyone and everyone no matter what their faith is.

In the following, I will refer to a supreme entity or God or all-encompassing power or the Tao, it is not so important what this power is called as I believe that no one word can cover any definition of it,

but it does have intelligence as subtle as it may seem and would appear to be much greater than any human could possibly acquire, I will also be using some references from various scriptures to support some explanations.

In no way will I be passing judgment on any one religion or belief, but I will try to bring these beliefs together.

 

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different languages on our planet? If you would suppose for a minute that everyone spoke the same language as they supposedly did once until they built the Tower of Babel,

 

that would imply that we all had similar thought processes, and would as I would perceive, limit us (humankind) in our beliefs and ideas, God had confounded mankind and spread them around the world, This was genius on God's behalf.

 

Just as different cultures have many meanings for one word such as sky, earth, water, heaven, etc. Just as the meanings of words may be different, so are concepts, in this, is why so many different views and Ideas have come to be,

Religious Beliefs

 

Religious Beliefs are very personal things, killing, wars, and death are unfortunately a part of these kinds of beliefs, this does not have to be, your religious beliefs can be quite helpful in your life as long as you keep it spiritual and not material,

 

leaving emotions out of the equation tends to give you a more even keel towards your spiritual aspirations, If Love is to be considered an emotion then it would be the only one necessary to have when dealing with other peoples beliefs,

 

its offshoots like compassion, mercy, charity and the rest of the virtues would also be acceptable additions as they are more on the spiritual side whereas their opposites tend to gravitate towards the material,

 

religious beliefs do not have to be the final word, or should I say any one religious belief is not the only game in town, wisdom can be found in many different scriptures of many religions and it doesn't really matter who said it,

 

its origination was from a universal intelligence given to some prophet or wise person to share with his fellow humans, these divinely guided individuals also have free will and a dual personality that colors the scriptures with superstition and fear,

 

the dogma of their era make it more reasonable for people to believe what is being said as long as there are certain consistencies maintained such as slavery,

 

slavery has been outlawed in all of the civilized countries of the world because it was recognized as being wrong to force people against their will to do their bidding, but there are still people that take every word in their scriptures as being sacred,

 

but fail to realize that common sense and their intuition have some say in our societies, Religious beliefs are not the final word in civilization but do contain many wise things.

 

When many of these scriptures were written over a thousand years ago, there were certain practices and rituals that are no longer performed today, sacrifices and burnt offerings were the norms back then,

 

but are not so common nowadays, they were used as peace offerings and sin offerings and the like, they were an atonement for something needed for and evil done, these animals back then were the people's livelihood and can be considered a material thing that was being sacrificed,

 

wherein the 21st-century someones iPad or some other valuable personal possessions would be given away or even destroyed in the name of God, their material sacrifice can also be comparative,

 

also, a lot of procedures directed towards disease were quite valuable back then but are archaic now and have been replaced with our modern medical technologies,

 

there is a regular influx of wise enlightened people with different ideas about their new religions or beliefs that can be read about or viewed on the internet,

 

you need to seek out these different viewpoints and use your intuitive discrimination to determine if what they present adds or subtracts from your belief system as seen from 21st-century eyes.

Enlightenment Beliefs

 

When it comes to beliefs and belief systems, the ones that are focused on enlightenment and things that may lead to enlightenment would be the most worthwhile of endeavors,

 

beliefs in learning about wisdom and giving of one's self can teach anyone much more than following a strict set of ritualistic practices that are more involved in memorizing specific things and procedures that are more interested in superstition than in learning any greater previously unknown truth,

 

there are a couple of basic things to look for in a good belief, one is that it should not be materially based where the outcome will not depend on things that need to be seen or handled,

 

they should be as purely spiritual as possible, they should not be based on fear and should not have rules that require certain things to be performed or else there will be bad results,

 

Enlightenment has nothing to do with fear or superstition and if what you are believing is not immersed in loving acts, then something is wrong,

 

an involvement of freedom of expression is always a good addition to any enlightenment belief and the results should all basically be the same,

 

for some ideas you should seek and you will find and when you need help, ask and you will receive.

Types of Beliefs

 

There are many types of beliefs just as there are many different religions, when you research this subject you will find that it is seemingly endless starting from thousands of years ago to the present day,

 

beliefs vary by what is popular to what has been proven to be beneficial, what is needed in today's societies are beliefs that are compatible with other beliefs, they should not be critical of others beliefs and should be free of threats, fear, and superstition,

 

they should be based on love and all of love's attributes like charity, tolerance and compassion, they should be of a positive nature that celebrates life and living,

 

all of the old archaic beliefs that are secretive and are involved in various rituals that are performed out of fear are in the past, they are seemingly of privileged peoples that have very little tolerance for others beliefs,

 

this is an old story that seems to be told over and over, and you only need 1 of these privileged attitudes to create discontent among each other to the point of religious oppression and then leads to war and killing,

 

any sort of belief that has this sort of outcome is broken and has not been followed or worshiped properly, we are speaking of spiritual beliefs here that are meant to bring people and civilizations together to celebrate life and living,

 

not to kill over specific ideas and rules that may or may not have been followed to someones particular idea of perfection,

 

types of beliefs should be studied with great care to ensure that they have not been polluted with ideas that are not beneficial to mankind as a whole.

Belief Perseverance

 

Some people would have you not believe in something because they feel that it has been "disproven" according to their logical ideas about reality,

 

a belief in God or a higher omnipotent power cannot be disproven as of yet just as the theory of the "Big Bang" cannot be proven either way,

 

belief perseverance that the earth is flat is more fun than practical just as the belief in Santa Clause or Easter Bunny, some beliefs are best left unbelieved such as negative superstitious beliefs,

 

when you have positive beliefs, in general, it is a good thing, do not let people sway you saying that you are a dreamer or unrealistic, these naysayers are more at the mercy of their negative attitudes and superstitions,

 

your positive attitude may not show immediate results but that is only testing your belief perseverance, just because mainstream thinking does not include what your beliefs may be,

 

does not mean that they are not valid, the understanding that we create our own realities is not limited to our physical efforts,

 

our imaginations and beliefs along with the persistence of sticking to our guns and not being swayed by other peoples opinions is what changes our realities especially for the better,

 

in essence, you must be able to maintain a belief through all circumstances for it to be able to come to fruition, now it is to be made clear that every possible belief cannot become a reality in a physical sense,

 

it isn't the aim here to have people jumping off of buildings just because they believe that they can fly, in a truly practical sense, you can do very amazing things with belief perseverance,

 

some of the things may seem almost magical by how they come about but I would not base any goals on being like Harry Potter, at least not in the beginning.

Belief System

 

A belief system is a way of thinking in which you base your life, if you have a set of beliefs that you believe to be true, they are what is used to base your existence and how you live your life,

 

if you have an atheist belief, you will be grounded in materialism and your life will proceed on a predictable path unless something remarkable happens that sways your belief system one way or another,

 

if you have an open mind towards beliefs and you might seek answers from various sources and even from within, you will have a greater chance of discovering something remarkable on purpose and more frequently,

 

on the other hand you may have a superstitious belief system where every little thing that you do is deemed necessary or taboo,

 

you might even be caught up in your scriptures where its dogma is a large part of your life and this can end up being worse than no beliefs or just material beliefs,

 

since we all create and co-create our realities, our thoughts, and beliefs play an instrumental role in what happens in our lives, having a belief that is based on gossip or hearsay is detrimentally limiting,

 

being paranoid of what you believe is happening behind the scenes or always being in fear of what may happen naturally or otherwise cannot be considered a belief system and is more like a superstitious belief that has absolutely no merit,

 

keeping a positive attitude, for the most part, is better than otherwise, and putting absolute limits on your beliefs can also absolutely limit your life, and be sure to not fall into the trap of others beliefs,

 

parents, friends and the media can be your friends, but you have your own mind and are responsible enough to have your own beliefs, so don't get sucked into the dogma of others.

Free will vs Determinism

 

There will not be a comparison of what people have said on this subject as it is easily researched by all interested, this will be an exploration of the human mind and its attributes as has been given to all in existence,

 

this article as an example has been determined important by the author enough to be posted on this site, there are other subjects that are just as important or even more so that could have appeared in its stead,

 

but free will has brought it here now for you to view, as for everything being pre-determined, everything is a very broad word that encompasses much too much to be used as much as it is,

 

there are things in our lives that are pre-determined that have been arranged for us to learn, challenges and situations that are fabricated to test us, this is where our free will comes in,

 

we have been here before, we have had situations similar to these in this life or previous lives that have had outcomes that have caused us to re-live them again, the reason for this is to learn,

 

the previous results of our actions have been logged and this time we may make a different decision to get the preferred outcome, our decisions are ultimately from our free will,

 

they will be swayed by our thoughts of greed or anger or love or desire and the list goes on when it is finally discovered what is going on with our existence then our free will has a greater part in our lives

 

and we will be released from our karmic repercussions and begin to exercise more control over living, outcomes to situations are not predetermined, it is our choices that we make that create our destinies,

 

if everything was predetermined, what would be the point to life and what would be left to be learned, some great cosmic power has created all that is and I have made the decision to create some websites to inform people of this reality,

 

whether you believe that I had no choice in the matter is totally up to your beliefs whether you had free will to believe them or not.

Can I Change My Beliefs?

 

If there is one thing that you have a possibility of doing it is changing your beliefs, just by "trimming the fat" so to speak, like just removing superstitious and paranoid beliefs can help you greatly right off,

 

by keeping beliefs "open-ended" will give you options while you determine if this is truly something that can change my life for the better or is it something that will bog me down with confusion and uncertainty,

 

believing something that someone tells you just because they told you and you trust their opinion is not necessarily a bad thing if it is something that is basically inert and is not life-changing, this may benefit you for now,

 

but if it is something that is life-changing or something that your life is based on you should probably think it through more thoroughly using your intuition,

 

changing beliefs should be a spiritual thing and I am not talking about any beliefs that involve your material existence, those are mostly hobbies like changing a favorite team or music choices, beliefs are what you are supposed to base your life upon,

 

if you do not do this, they are not true beliefs just a passing fancy or fad, you may not realize it but your beliefs change regularly,

 

they may not be important beliefs in the big scheme of things but they still alter your life somewhat, just a belief in drinking coffee or eating sweets are simple and harmless enough but doing or not doing these things modify your thought process and physiology to some degree,

 

so a serious belief change can cause greater modifications to your thought process, usually, there are good reasons for a radical change in beliefs, something special may have happened to you, or an epiphany could have crossed your mind,

 

inspirations are common changers of belief but be sure to investigate these thoughts thoroughly if you intend to base your life upon them,

 

changes in beliefs should focus on your betterment or the betterment of mankind in order for them to have any useful effects.

Can Beliefs be Tested?

 

When we get new beliefs or change our beliefs, we should test them as to their validity, just because we start believing something new does not mean it has any basis in reality,

 

some beliefs are easier to test than others, the tests may even last for years, and even then, changes may occur because something better or more promising may be found,

 

even something as simple as your job may be quite a challenge because there may be a fear of losing what you already have,

 

you may have discovered it would be in your best interest to do what you have the greatest passion for instead of just making the most money,

 

you may have a belief that if you pursue your true passion, synchronicity will bring you the rest of what you need to be happy, in order to prove this you may have to take a lower paying job and forgo what you already have,

 

yes, there is a chance being taken here, but this belief must be tested if it is to be proven, spiritual beliefs will be the hardest ones to prove to your satisfaction,

 

material beliefs are much easier because your senses are able to give a feedback much quicker, a thorough understanding of your own current beliefs and feelings will make this much more effective,

 

we all test our boundaries constantly and test new ideas in the way of hobbies or in just plain trying new things, when we do this enough, beliefs will change because we have found them to be more sound than what was previously believed,

 

while taking unsound chances will give us immediate feedback as to a unwise belief, other beliefs may take some fine tuning in order to accept them or just let them go,

 

some aspects of spiritual beliefs must be approached logically as there are very few ways of testing them otherwise, such as reincarnation, there are really no real tests for reincarnation,

 

there is information and studies made that give some validity to it, this is no test but it can be explained how lives can progress through a reincarnation-al system,

 

this can be the basis for a belief and other tests may be performed in the way of resolving karma to help prove this to you, if you have a particular thought process that is not compatible with civilized society,

 

your thought patterns may be changed to prove to you that life works much easier with these new beliefs, like not dwelling on negative thoughts and keeping predominately positive thoughts on you mind and expressed in your actions,

 

this is another test for beliefs that are really doable, the proof that you require may not come immediately but with some perseverance it can eventually come to fruition and then be added to your way of life,

 

Many such tests are able to be carried out if you are willing to do the work using your free will.

Meaning of Reality

 

The meaning of reality can be understood from at least two different view points, if you are well immersed in your material existence where your senses are your sole inputs, you are driven by what is visually, materially and physically apparent, your emotions will tend to amplify these perceptions where your bias may be skewed,

 

then there is a spiritual view taken which may be considered more logical or driven more from reason, there will be very little input from the emotions, unconditional love is its main driving factor, there are seemingly two extremes at work here and the middle ground must be attained in order for both types of views to coexist,

 

first, the emotions must be kept under control in order for reason and logic to have any say, then there must be an objective view of what is happening around you so that you will not be biased by your prejudiced ideas and beliefs,

 

we are not attempting to disprove or prove your physical existence at this point, only how to control your physical attributes so that your spiritual attributes are able to create a sane deductive system of reason,

 

what is needed here is to be able to see past what your senses present to you and look within, meditation is a must here, without having the ability to switch off your senses and realize what else is out there,

 

there is very little else that can be perceived in a normally conscience sense, the simple secret here is to keep an open mind, and although it may seem to be counterintuitive to use your imagination, this will be one of your greatest tools at this point,

 

for those that have succumb to their physical desires in life, the true quest of reality will be difficult, drinking, smoking, eating of everything that you want and experiencing every pleasurable whim will place the shackles upon your will,

 

all of these and the emotions that protect them will make true reality a hazy veil that is very hard to see beyond, you will first have to regain control and then venture within regularly to get and keep a firm grasp of which half of your duality you wish to view reality from,

 

if you do not make and maintain an honest effort, it will always be just out of your reach.

Can Beliefs be Proven?

 

 

Beliefs should always be given the chance to prove themselves, a belief that is taken at word only is basically blind, you might have good reason for a particular belief and hold on to it because there are certain qualities that have a somewhat logical air or reasonable basis behind them,

 

this should be a minimum requirement when it comes on basing your life on something, not all beliefs can be proven to the sanctification of those that require physical proof, they may have to be lived by and eventually found that they cannot be proven wrong or false,

 

this is good enough for many to retain as a valid belief, there is a "faith" factor that make them adequate, beliefs in the unknown usually have to involve faith to some extent until certain factors prove themselves as being either a logical procession or a reasonable result as has been observed in your life as of yet,

 

sometimes, people are fortunate enough to have something happen in their life that will make a certain belief more of a viable reality, proof ends up being proven to them throughout their lives and stays a subjective experience,

 

these sorts of proofs are meaningless to others that wish to understand the reasoning behind some individual beliefs, usually, but not always, if you spend enough time searching for some sort of proof or justification of some beliefs an answer will eventually come through to sway you one way or another,

 

this is an effect that comes from synchronicity and is another factor of confusion for those that wish to explain to others, when it comes to beliefs that are emotionally derived, such as when some particular person says something is true and should be believed,

 

this has a chance to be proven true or false because there is the availability of evidence or lack thereof, when someone says something and claims it to be true without evidence, more than likely there is an agenda hidden here,

 

don't be someone's puppet, discover the truth yourself before you go blindly believing something that only requires a little research to be proven.

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