12 April 2015

Another look at Omnism

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...
English: Religious symbols from the top nine organised faiths of the world according to Major world religions From left to right: 1st Row: Christian Cross, Jewish Star of David, Hindu Aumkar 2nd Row: Islamic Star and crescent, Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, Shinto Torii 3rd Row: Sikh Khanda, Bahá'í star, Jain Ahimsa Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“An Omnist is someone who seeks and is open to spiritual truths from many religions and then comes up with their own individual form of faith or spirituality. Omnists realize that although all religions have some powerful spiritual truths and great wisdom in them which can be very inspirational and moving, they also contain a lot of human opinion, social politics, and outdated viewpoints (beliefs and rules that made sense at one point in history but don’t apply as well in today’s world). Omnists explore spirituality and religion in a modern context using reason and their intelligence as well as their intuition and insights gained from personal mystical/spiritual experiences. The key is what has meaning and relevance to each individual in their seeking. You could say that for Omnists the focus is spirituality more than religion and the general approach is exploratory and open minded rather than dogmatic and rule-based. Omnists tend to be freethinking, non-dogmatic, non-hierarchical, syncretistic and science-friendly. Omnists respect the rights of each individual to have their own spiritual/religious views as long as those views do not espouse harming or being intolerant of those who disagree with them.

Omnism differs from agnosticism in that it implies a more active personal spiritual exploration rather than a detached belief that there is probably some sort of higher power or consciousness. Also, there is no reason that Omnism needs to be an “exclusive” sort of label. Many people feel strongly about their own religion, using it as their spiritual center, and yet are open to, and actively study, the spiritual ideas and wisdom of other traditions. One could easily be a Christian Omnist, a Buddhist Omnist, a Neo-Pagan Omnist, etc.

Obviously some sort of sensible constraints or guidelines are necessary as one explores various spiritual paths. Here are some that seem to be practical and common to the many types of spiritual seekers I've known over the years. First of all there are the basic common moral values of not killing, not stealing and not lying (valuing life, property, truth). In addition I would add the following commonly held spiritual values and goals: living the Golden Rule (most religions have some form of this); reverence/respect for the world of Nature; tolerance; personal growth/evolution; the pursuit and development of one’s faculties of love, compassion, truth, and wisdom; serving the greater good of society; seeking consciousness and connection with one’s “soul”; seeking a positive and life-enhancing relationship with “god” (some force which is greater than themselves).”

23 October 2014

Omnism: The New Spiritual Belief

You've probably heard of a lot of other "isms" when it comes to beliefs. There's agnosticism (not sure if there is a God), theism (belief in one or more Gods), monotheism (one God), polytheism (many gods), deism (belief that there is a God, but he's not personally involved), and even atheism (belief in no God). Get ready to add a new ism to your vocabulary: omnism.
File:Gods.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

It's actually not new; the term was coined back in 1839 by Philip J. Bailey in his poem "Festus." But in the new millennium, the time seems to be ripe for the concept to catch on. - Omnism-- the New Spiritual Belief

This is actually a good article covering what Omnism is and how many who hold this philosophy interpret all spiritual paths.

22 October 2014

Whats the diference between Deism and Omnism?

Found this little gem from a discussion forum...
Deists believe in a god as creator, but they believe that that god does not intervene in the universe and thus do not believe in miracles or anything supernatural. Incidentally, many of the Americas so-called 'founding fathers' were deists.
God: Image Source: Wikipedia

In contrast,. omnists claim to to "believe in all religions" including atheism. At a simple look, this idea is fraught with obvious logical problems. However, modern self-described omnists have watered down the concept to what seems to me to be a more hyperbolic use of the word belief to argue for tolerance and appreciation for all religions and to be believe that some truth can be found in all religions or belief-systems. In this way, omnism is not a form of theology, and unlike deism or atheism does not take a position on the existence of god.

Thus, there many contrasts between omnism and deism, and on many of these points deism actually is in common with atheism rather than omnism. Incidentally, the only difference between deism and atheism might be arguably meaningless from certain philosophies such as logical positivists since neither alleges the existence of that which would have observable effects, and thus under those philosophies be meaningful, such as alleged miracles or divine intervention. But that last sentence is ripe with philosophical points of debate and is arguable completely in its own right with no reference to this very different idea of omnism. - Whats the diference between Deism and Omnism? • View topic • Philosophy Discussion Forums
What is your opinion of the ideas set forth in this post? Let's see if we can come up with something better.

03 June 2014

Divine Mother a global thing?

Global Recognition of the Divine Mother ? (via Jonathan Evatt Online - Wisdom for a Life of Freedom)
Was there Global Recognition of the Divine Mother ? I was reading through an interesting web page with information on ancient prophecies. Someone made the comment that the idea of an “Mother Earth” within Native North America is a new idea. The…

02 June 2014

On Seeing God.

No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. – John 1:18

Here we have a statement, given as a rule, that no one has ever seen God, yet we have evidence in the Old Testament that not only did a few people glimpse God, some saw God face to face.

I guess the author of John forgot all about the alleged parents of mankind, Adam and Eve. In the Garden of Eden, they walked and talked with God.
When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God. God called to the Man: “Where are you?”
He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.”
God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” –Genesis 3:8-11

oil on wood panel
oil on wood panel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is no direct reference to God walking with the first couple, but we can see that it was a common enough thing that Adam and his wife thought it wise to to hide from God in their newly discovered nakedness.

God appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your children.” Abram built an altar at the place God had appeared to him. –Genesis 12:7
Abram, later known as Abraham, had many visitations from God, this was but the first. The Bible says he lived to be the ripe old age of 175. And then there is Abram’s grandson, Jacob who not only saw God, but wrestled all through the night with “Him”.
The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.” –Genesis 32:28
Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!” – Genesis 32:30
Moses was said to have spoken to God as one would a neighbor.

And God spoke with Moses face-to-face, as neighbors speak to one another. When he would return to the camp, his attendant, the young man Joshua, stayed—he didn’t leave the Tent. –Exodus 33:11
And, it would appear, Moses also got a unique glimpse of God later on.
God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.” –Genesis 33:21-23
There are others who saw God in the Old Testament: Isaac, Job, Isaiah, and Amos. So, what was John thinking when he said that no one had ever seen God?
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27 May 2014

The Cosmic Teapot

Along the lines of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Bertrand Russell’s Cosmic Teapot. If you have never heard of this concept, here it is.

Russel's cosmic teapot has a posse
Russel's cosmic teapot has a posse (Photo credit: psd)
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time. It is customary to suppose that, if a belief is widespread, there must be something reasonable about it. I do not think this view can be held by anyone who has studied history. Practically all the beliefs of savages are absurd. In early civilizations there may be as much as one percent for which there is something to be said. In our own day…. But at this point I must be careful. We all know that there are absurd beliefs in Soviet Russia. If we are Protestants, we know that there are absurd beliefs among Catholics. If we are Catholics, we know that there are absurd beliefs among Protestants. If we are Conservatives, we are amazed by the superstitions to be found in the Labour Party. If we are Socialists, we are aghast at the credulity of Conservatives. I do not know, dear reader, what your beliefs may be, but whatever they may be, you must concede that nine-tenths of the beliefs of nine-tenths of mankind are totally irrational. The beliefs in question are, of course, those which you do not hold. I cannot, therefore, think it presumptuous to doubt something which has long been held to be true, especially when this opinion has only prevailed in certain geographical regions, as is the case with all theological opinions.
Is There a God? by Bertrand Russell (commissioned-but not published-by Illustrated Magazine in 1952) 
Even with those who profess no religious belief there are concepts that are used over and over in an almost religious way.
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12 May 2014

Suffer not a witch to live?

I was discussing the subject of my spiritual path the other day with a co-worker. She brought up some of the tired arguments about not being a Christian or a follower of YHVH. I really wish I had remembered this little paragraph.
A bible from 1859.
A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Romans 8:2. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." This means that whatever has happened before is now forgiven, and we no longer handle these issues in the same way. This reflects New Testament teachings, by the way. It's not enough to simply bully other people when you pick and choose certain passages that meet the requirements of your own personal prejudices. You're either all in, or all out. And if you're in, then we have to accept that this silly nonsense about killing people who follow a different path is no longer appropriate. Which would kind of be following this biblical passage: "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8.)
--In Response to "Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live."
It amazes me how many people claim to have read the Bible and how few understand what they read.
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