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Sarah’s Personal Manifesto

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1. Look. Look for value. Look for beauty. Look for truth. Look for a way to correct error    and harmonize when there is conflict   .

2. Nothing is free. For every gain there is a cost, a loss. And for every loss there is a gain.

3. Do not worry about how other people treat you, other than to stand up assertively for your own needs and desires as appropriate. Worry more about how you treat others because you will not be judged for how others treat you, but how you treat others.

4. Believe. Believe in hope. Believe that it can be better. In Christianity we call this hope ‘Christ’

5. Natural laws describe the way things work in the natural world. Man-made laws were created by men to enact order in the social world in order to make things better for the society except for those that were made for certain individuals’ own self-interests. Rules in general can also be seen as guidelines that direct behavior in order to help people become more effective and create a safer and more harmonious environment.

6.  Justice enforces laws for the sake of keeping order and consistency. Mercy allows for individual growth and understands that we may not get it right the first time. But mercy cannot rob justice and a price must be paid.

7.  Connect. To connect with others means to bind yourself with others in order to make your individual self a part of a bigger whole.  When parts come together to make something new power is amplified such as when you use a tool to accomplish more.

8. Learn to express your emotions. This is how we communicate.  And a smile is the most beautiful expression of joy to behold.

The Garden of Eden

When God first created the Earth he put man in the Garden of Eden.  Eden has been translated as meaning: paradise and delightful, as well as fruitful.  It was a garden with fruits of many kinds.  Fruit can be seen as a source of nutrition and therefore, life and power.  Fruit is technically the ovule of the plant, containing its seed, or embryo, the beginning of new life of a new plant.  This garden was the place where Adam and then Eve were like the two gametes inside the enclosure or ‘paradeisos’ (Greek word,meaning literally, enclosed park).  This was the beginning of life for mankind.

God created an earth that He pronounced as “good”.  God, being the fountain of all goodness, could not make anything ‘bad’.  Therefore, God’s initial creation was good, and a place of delight and goodness.  But within this paradise were the seeds of possibility and discord that were waiting to be released.

God told Adam and Eve that they could eat of all the fruits in the garden, but of the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they were forbidden to eat.  They were told if they did eat of it they would “surely die”.  This is because within the seeds of this fruit were the beginnings of not just good, but also evil.  Knowledge could only be attained through a full mortal experience, a school- ground that would contain contrasts.  For one way that people learn is through contrasts.  We learn what is good by seeing the bad and comparing the two.  We know light by knowing its absence and we know cold by experiencing hot.  Although we do realize now that these opposites are not really opposites, but are actually on a continuum.  But as we all know, continuums, or number lines, have two sides, positive and negative, which could be called opposites.  With these opposites, we experience opposition.  Where there is one side of the coin there is the opposite side.  But you can’t pick up the coin without picking up both sides.

Eve partook of the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil when the Devil in the form of the subtle serpent, tempted her by saying if she took of this fruit she would become as God, knowing good from evil.  The Devil was truthful in saying that through this she could gain knowledge and wisdom and be on the path towards becoming like God, but he also told a lie, saying “and thou shalt not surely die.”  The Devil intimated to Eve that she could have the good part without the bad, that she could pick up one side of the coin, but not the other.  But of course this was not the case.

Before the earthly life, the Devil had wanted much the same thing.  When told of the Plan of Salvation, the Devil’s alternative plan was that he would go down and make sure that everyone was saved and all would make it back to Heavenly Father.  He also asked for the glory to be his because of this.  He wanted everything to go right through his power.  But he did not want the risk of free choice.  He wanted all the good, but didn’t seem to realize that his version of good could not come without bad.  He did not realize that the plan would have to include risk and opposition in order for people to learn and grow.  People do not learn and grow when they have no choice and are forced to do this or that or have everything done for them.  The Devil wanted all the good things without the sacrifice and risks that would have to come.

In contrast, Jesus Christ understood and took on the responsibility of the great sacrifice that would be needed.  He took on this responsibility as the preeminent Firstborn and most developed and perfected son of God.  He also offered up the Glory to God, not asking for himself the glory.

So the Devil was trying to deceive Eve with his typical way of trying to entice her to take all the good glory to herself and not worry about the consequences.  Eve partook, perhaps wanting to progress and follow God’s commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth.  Perhaps she was tempted by the idea of goodness without the consequences, but after she partook, she realized, at that point, with the inklings of knowledge of good and evil, and her conscience having pricked her, she realized what she had done in transgressing the commandment and perhaps knew she would be cast out, so she told Adam he should also partake so they could be together.  Or perhaps she wanted Adam to have the same knowledge she had.  I don’t know the exact details of course.  But she did partake of this fruit and so did Adam, and from that time on they were cast out of the Garden, from Paradise, from God’s presence, to the world where contrasts existed and where the principles of entropy prevailed wherein in order to survive mankind had to work.  In this world, estranged from God, the creator and organizer and fountain of all good, they had to experience sorrow in order to understand joy and had to feel pain in order to appreciate pleasure.

When casting Adam and Eve out of the Garden, God placed “at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24) in order to keep Adam and Eve from partaking of that fruit and living forever in their fallen state.

The Tree of Life contains the fruit which has been described as “sweet and pure and white” above all that is sweet and pure and white.  It has been interpreted as the Love of God and is basically, Eternal Life, or all the blessings of God given to his heirs, who will find joy living again with God in eternal splendor and love.  This is the end result of the plan of salvation and is the fruits of really becoming as God is.

But Adam and Eve and all mankind now have to work towards this tree through following the Gospel plan.  In the Book of Mormon is recorded the vision of Lehi and his son Nephi who both saw the vision of the rod of iron leading to the Tree of Life.  The rod of iron was interpreted as meaning the word of God.  Therefore, through following the word of God mankind could reach Eternal Life.  The Word of God could be seen as the commandments of God.  As Jesus said, “Man lives by every word that proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God” (Mathew 4:4).

But Jesus himself has also been described as the Word.  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. “ (John 1:1) “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).  Therefore, the idea is that if man follows the commandments of God through the Son, Jesus Christ, they will reach the Tree of Life or Eternal Life, Exaltation, or all that God has to give us.

This is the Plan of Salvation and the growth and development of man.

Once in the mortal world of opposites and opposition, the objective of mankind becomes unifying the disparate elements, taking the divisions and opposites and bringing them together in one.  This can be seen in a number of different elements.  For example, the man and the woman come together in unity to create a family unit and procreate with God to multiply and increase.

Also, mankind, having been separated from God, seeks reunification with God, through the AtONEment wrought by Jesus Christ, the mediator, and the one who performed the great sacrifice.

In Buddhism we also see a tradition of seeking unification.  In this tradition, mankind tries to make sense of the duality of the universe and in order to overcome pain and suffering the Buddhist seeks to transcend the dualities of good and evil and reach a state of Nirvana or Original Mind in which they become one with the universe or with God by sublimating the individual to the oneness of the universe.  Adherents seek oneness of mind with their body and their actions.  In this way they gain control over themselves and are not controlled by their circumstances.

Other traditions also seek harmony and equilibrium in their environments and in their souls.  The extremes of the continuum are avoided and the unity of the middle way is sought after.

LOVE

L ife –

new, changing, vital, and alive

O pen –

available, ready for action, able to accept and receive, and to give!

V ibrant –

vibrations, strong and pulsating, full of activity and eager to thrive!

E nergy-

the essence of creation, arising out of nothingness to create with faith and hope all that

lives and is!

Pain Cycle

Pain
Here comes the pain.
Train through the pain.
Sharp and throbbing.
Body and mind out of balance and in need of a hard strain.

Anger
Anger at the pain. Bared teeth. Bulging blood vessels.

Distress
Lack of comfort. Opposite of contentment and joy.

Tension
Pressure builds up. Needs to burst out somewhere. I need your attention.

Relax
Leak out the tension slowly like air seeping from a pierced balloon.

Tears
With release of tension leaks out the tears that pour and sometimes come with convulsing sobs.

Numbness
The condition after the tears and pressure have been released. You are relaxed but have an “I don’t care attitude” and have formed a protective shell to shield you from further pain. In muscles, the tissue heals over and becomes bigger and buffer.

Equilibrium
Back to normal for now. Renewed balance attained.

A Description of My Love

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You are as beautiful as the deepest blue ocean.
You fill me with the joy evoked by
A blue-purple sparkling gem.

The ecstasy you bring me is like the highest drug
Of hallucinatory wonder and vivid sensation.
It is like the sweetest music ever played.

This no doubt is the love drug, oxytocin.
So, I don’t need no oxycodone
You are the only one that can heal this throb.

Demon meditation

I have to face my own demons. The demons are inside my mind. They are all around me.  The demons are the devils of desire.

They are the desires inside me that devour my peace of mind.  They want, want, want and I cannot satisfy their gaping maws.

So I must let go.  I must turn the demons out by letting go of the desires.  I have to face the dark, hairy presence that roars in my face.  I have to open my eyes and let it roar.  I have to face my fear.  I have to stare it in its ugly face and say hello and accept it.  But I don’t have to give in to its desires or my desires.

I can stand calm and not respond to it.  I can let it rage until its energy is spent.  I take a deep breath and let out the tension.  I let out the desire and with it the aches.

 

I need nothing.  I am as barren as a desert.  The desert is barren and inviting.  It has no complications of life to confuse me. 

I must let go of everything and accept the things around me.  Then everything can become my friend.  If I accept everything it is my friend.  But things with intelligence are harder to accept because they don’t necessarily accept me.  So how can I accept them if their will is contrary to mine? 

And yet I must stare the devils in their faces and let them rage until they spend up their energy and once again become as calm as contented sheep.

A Somewhat Sonnet

 

Thy beauty runs amok like hearts consumed in fire.

It burns my placid flesh until I feel desire.

To thou my eyes now turn and cannot turn away.

Thou art the one I love until my dying day.

 

Unlike thy princely ways, my form is poor and lame.

Twisted and diseased, I stand before you lost.

Can I just hold you close, or will I lose this game?

It seems to me that I have love that’s star-crossed.

 

And yet stand thou there with outstretched hand?

Can I accept thy love so pure and strong?

The voices they tell me, “NO!”, but I still take a stand.

Only time will tell if this choice is wrong.

 

Beauty and love, together they twine

For thou, my love, are mine.

I am enough

 

 

picture from Bing images

 

I am enough.

I am an organism contained within itself.

I am a unit controlled by a brain.

This brain is like a translucent jelly fish with shining lights.

Or perhaps the translucent light-filled vessel is my soul.

 

Whatever my body may look like,

Whatever problems it may face,

I am.

I exist.

My brain and body fight for survival.

Every living being exists

And seeks to continue its existence.

 

But other organisms and the environment get in the way.

However, every organism should know that it exists for a reason.

Every organism must fulfill the reason for its being.

And each organism is directed by some kind of central nervous system.

And most likely there is a great brain that directs our creation and reasons for being.

We are most successful when we align ourselves with the great power that regulates everything with the laws of nature.

But I am enough.

As a living organism, and especially a highly intelligent human being, I have value and a divine nature.

No matter what others may think of me, or what I sometimes think of myself, let me tell myself:

You must carry on.  You must exist.

But you must not take this as a license to live however you wish.

It is best if you live by the laws that govern our world.

It is best for world harmony if you act aright.

 

Worry not what others do to you, worry instead how you conduct yourself.

And always remember that what they say does not affect your value.

You are the only you.  You are worth what any extremely rare object would be worth. Nobody can replace you. 

You are enough. 

 

 

The 4th Article of Faith Part 4

The 4th Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as written by Joseph Smith, reads:

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:

First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;

Second, Repentance;

Third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins;

Fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

The fourth and final part of the 4th Article of Faith refers to the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

After members of the LDS church are baptized they are then confirmed members of the Church and men who are holders of the Melchizedek priesthood lay hands on their heads and tell them also to receive the Holy Ghost.

In the early church, after Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles and other believers who were baptized also received the power of the Holy Ghost, what Jesus called the Comforter.  Once Jesus was gone, the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit was given to be a guide and comfort for those believers of Jesus who were now without his immediate presence.

The Holy Ghost, as I have mentioned before, testifies of truth and can also be the source of many spiritual gifts, which are termed gifts of the spirit. Paul the missionary, in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, listed some of the gifts of the spirit: prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, the power to heal, and to work miracles, discerning of spirits, and the ability to speak other languages or to interpret languages.  These kinds of gifts were brought by the Holy Spirit in the time of the Apostles after Jesus left them.  At the day of Pentecost a large group of believers was gathered together and it was written that the Spirit was poured out upon them and at that time many prophesied and spoke diverse tongues and foreign Jews that were there were able to understand in their own languages.

The Holy Ghost can be a source of revelation and inspiration and can guide people in their lives as well as warn of danger.  It is called a constant companion.  It is like being able to have the power of Christ with us always, if we do not drive the Spirit away by offensive actions or environments.  It is a spirit that gives guidance, comfort, and power when we receive this gift and keep it with us by following the baptismal covenant, which is renewed each week when members partake of the Sacrament.

Looking together at the 4 principles of the Gospel,

We see the first thing is to have faith, which is a positive force, particularly powerful is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who has the power to redeem us from death and sin.  This faith can be strengthened by praying and searching the scriptures or the words of God from the written books and the mouths of living apostles and prophets. We can ask God for faith and then go forth and nourish our faith by doing the things God wants us to do.

When we have faith, it leads to hope for a better life and this spurs us on to repentance, or changing our ways and turning to a better way.

After repentance in the Gospel comes baptism, or a symbolic washing away of our sins and a sign and covenant with God that we are dead to sin and are, through Christ, brought into a newness of life.  It washes away our old ways and brings us to a new way.  In the baptismal covenant initiates covenant with God to remember Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that was performed for us, just as the Jews have commemorative feasts and holidays to remember what God did for them in delivering them out of bondage in the land of Egypt.  Christians, then, remember the great and last Sacrifice that delivers them from the bondage of death and sin.  As well as remembering Christ, those who are baptized promise to keep the commandments of God.  If they do these things, they will be blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost to be with them always.

The right to this gift comes when the new members have hands laid on their heads to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by those who are in authority, meaning those who have been ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood, or the highest priesthood of God.. This gift of the Holy Ghost gives new members the inspiration, comfort, and power to be able to go forward in life and keep enduring to the end.

These four principles can be used continually week by week for those who accept and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ to great and powerful effect.

These principles can also be seen in part in other cultural and religious traditions.  There are analogous rituals and lifeways seen in many other traditions. But of course the principles I have discussed pertain most especially to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.