I was about to have my evening meditation at about nine o'clock. I reached to turn out the light when a voice spoke to me, as if a real person were standing close to me. The voice said, "Robert, it is time we had a long talk..."
I was for a number of years the choir director of a First United Methodist choir while all the while remaining, in my own offbeat way, a practicing Jew. Some may see my actions as hypocritical, but I do not. I learned a lot by becoming involved in the music and ritual of another religion.
I realized that peace was the complete absence of fear. It was the feeling of true, pure, untarnished love, the light that shines in all of us, free of any fear-based thoughts or beliefs.So I ask the question: Is it possible to experience that peace on earth? I’m not sure, but I think it’s worth asking for.
The words 'We are ALL One' have reverberated through the hearts and minds of Humanity in one form or another since the beginning of time. They do not express a lofty platitude or a sweet cliché even though our lower human egos have often perceived them as such. They profess a profound Truth.
Sharia in Arabic means “the way,” and does not refer to a body of law.
Researchers in religion studies are using computer simulations to help answer big questions about religion’s benefits (potentially better mental health) and its evils (violence in the name of God).
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for two attacks that claimed at least 12 lives in Iran on Wednesday. With this, the flaring tensions between Sunnis and Shias are once again in the news.
Every culture has had its own concept of evil or the devil. In Genesis, there is the famous temptation of Adam and Eve by evil—personified by the snake. While the Hebrew Bible mentions Satan by name only in the book of Job, the idea of evil permeates Jewish mystical and religious thought.
You would have thought that Western society might have grown out of the habit of portraying powerful women as witches, but a trope that usually ended badly for women in the Middle Ages is still being used in the 21st century.
Naturally, the question arises: must we worry about every fleeting word? Many New Thought teachers caution us to watch our every thought, in keeping with a narrow understanding of the power of the Word. Be careful, they warn, because...
The question of whether a God exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percentage of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “nones,” 33 percent said that they do not believe in God – an 11 percent increase since only 2007.
The first time I actually saw a rainbow, its quiet beauty struck my heart with such awe that it touched something deep within me. Just seeing a rainbow catches you quite off guard and somehow just makes you stop and look ... and wonder.
In an era where traditional church attendance has declined and the fastest-growing religious affiliation in America is the “nones” – those who claim no affiliation with an organized faith – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has continued to expand.
Many people are weakened by the influences of others. Negative messages from parents, teachers, clergy, peers, the media, and other manipulative powers hold sway and weigh them down. In a web of confusion and fear, they...
On Palm Sunday, April 9, the Islamic State targeted two Coptic churches in coordinated bombings in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria.
The Washington Post recently published a profile on Karen Pence, the “prayer-warrior wife” of Vice President Mike Pence.
Christians will be celebrate Easter, the day on which the resurrection of Jesus is said to have taken place. The date of celebration changes from year to year.
Priestly celibacy, or rather the lack of it, is in the news. There have been allegations of sex orgies, prostitution and pornography against Catholic clerics in Italy.
The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,” or “Water is life,” has become a new national protest anthem.
There has been much misinformation about Islam. Reports in Western media tend to perpetuate stereotypes that Islam is a violent religion and Muslim women are oppressed.
Buddhist masters have said that the mind is like a king and the body and speech are like servants. If the mind accepts something, then the body and speech follow. If the mind is not satisfied, no matter how...
For several months Native American protesters and others had been opposing the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Researchers may have uncovered a link between religiosity—a disposition for spiritual experience and religious activity—and epilepsy.
The season of Lent is upon us. This is a holy season for Christians who seek to identify with Jesus Christ’s 40 days of fasting as he prepared to be tested and later crucified.
I am fascinated with the idea of fine-tuning our “receptors” to the higher frequency of joy. Activating spontaneous feelings of upliftment and well-being can become our normal way of life. To help us understand this concept more fully...
Some people say, If there are all these angels waiting to help us, then why haven't they already done something about this problem in my life? But what they don't realize is that the universe doesn't work in a top-down management style; it's based on free will and team work.
President Donald Trump recently pledged to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a 63-year-old law that bans charities from engaging in political activities.
The world seems to be witnessing increasing levels of violence, fear and hatred that challenge us each day.
Many Jews celebrate Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of Singing, which commemorates one of the most vivid musical performances in the Hebrew Bible
Life is a prayer in the sense that it is a continuous request to the universe. God understands our desires not just through the occasional utterances that we call "prayers" in the traditional sense, but through every thought we think, every word we speak, and everything we do.
It’s been a heady two weeks for right-wing Christian evangelicals. Never before has a president of the United States — not Reagan or either of the Bushes — delivered so much of their agenda in such short order as Donald Trump has just done.
Some conservative Republicans changed their thinking about climate change after Pope Francis framed it as a moral issue in his second encyclical.
On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that placed a stay on refugees from seven Muslim majority countries.
When the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, proposed a ban on the burqa and niqab at a conference of her political party in December 2016, she was following the lead of a number of countries in Europe which already have such legislation in place
A recent survey of the religious profile of the 115th Congress revealed that despite the increase in the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation, members of Congress are overwhelmingly religious, with only one member identifying as having no religion.
Love enters and exits our physical body through the sacred coordinate within our heart. It permeates every organ, cell, and atom but it does not call any one of these its home within the body. Not even the heart can contain the enormity of love: It merely translates the language of love.
Signs left by the angels are meant to help stir and awaken our intuitive nature so that we can expand our conscious connection and deepen our relationship with a higher power. The power is not within the sign itself; the power is within the message that the sign reveals...
Picturesque and exotic, with their crowns and camels, the three kings regularly appear on Christmas cards and in nativity scenes.
Many people are familiar with the stories in the New Testament gospels of Luke and Matthew about Jesus’ conception and birth.
Every Christmas season, the now typical jokes pile up on social media. Jesus is commended for having a “stable upbringing”. But all this facetious word play prompts me to think a little more seriously about the language used in traditional accounts of the nativity.
Bright stars top Christmas trees in Christian homes around much of the world. The faithful sing about the “Star of Wonder” that guided the wise men to a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.
Christmas is literally “the mass for Christ”, the day on which Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. The western date for Jesus’ birth is quite arbitrary. It was chosen by Pope Leo I, bishop of Rome...
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, nations in the Northern Hemisphere will mark the winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year.
Evangelicals are more skeptical of evolution than of climate change, according to new research.
How to be happy? When speaking of relationships, the safest thing to relate to is always Buddha. We can address every being we meet — not only human beings but also animals — as essentially Buddha. In Western terms, we speak of being in the presence of God or meeting God all the time.
The Roman Catholic Church will allow priests all over the world to grant forgiveness for abortion. This announcement came from Pope Francis at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy – a holy year dedicated to forgiveness.
I believe that we are all born with a powerful shamanic spirit. Like the rest of the natural world that we are so deeply related to, we are given many wonderful shamanic gifts from our divine source.
Zen is concerned with the problem of the nature of mind, so it necessarily includes an element of philosophical speculation. However, in Zen we are never separated from our personal practice, which we carry out with our body and mind. Zen aims at overthrowing our distorted view of the world...
Buddha is sitting in a relaxed, yet contemplative position and there is a big smile on his face. Is he laughing at me...? Martin E. Segal helps the reader understand how to live life to the fullest and why the Buddha is smiling.
Since the late 1970s, American evangelicalism has been largely identified with right-wing politics. Conservative religious values entered the political sphere through movements such as Moral Majority and Focus on the Family that opposed gay rights, abortion, feminism and other liberal issues.
Humans have five basic senses: smell, taste, hearing, sight, and touch. They also correspond to your five angelic senses. When you incorporate the human and angelic senses together, you'll have more awareness of both your physical and non-physical realities.
Three people sitting at a table with a single candle in its center and talking about the most powerful force in the universe. Each character speaks from the level of his or her own expertise, drawing from their experience examples and insights to support their convictions. In the end...
Vibrations created by precise combinations of sounds have long been thought to affect living beings and inanimate objects. The most powerful use of the voice in Buddhist belief is reciting a mantra. A mantra is a phrase or sentence, the sound of which embodies the power of...
I've written about the fear of the future and said, "If we dwell in concern over the tomorrows of life, we lose today . . ." Yet hardly a week goes by that I don't receive a letter expressing concern about what's on the horizon. But if we're going to live joyfully...
Can a Smart Person Believe in God? is the provocative title of a book by Michael Guillen, theoretical physicist and former science correspondent for ABC News (he has a Ph. D. in three disciplines, physics, mathematics and astronomy, from Cornell). His answer is yes, and...
A man once said to me, "I want to open my heart more. I often feel a kind of tightness in my chest, which I am sure is fear. The doctors told me there is nothing wrong with me physically." Tightness in the chest is the manifestation of a closed heart...
Prayer is our personal conversation with God. How many people have been taught how to pray, the value of prayer, or the power of prayer? Were you? And I am not talking about reciting prayers by rote...
Compassion is not a thought or a sentimental feeling, but is rather a movement of the heart. Compassion is born out of lovingkindness. But we may get distracted, we forget, we get caught up in something else, or we confuse another feeling for the state of compassion.
Modern people have long wondered about ancient stories of great floods. Do they tell of real events in the distant past, or are they myths rooted in imagination?
Knowing deeply and believing completely at every level of our being that we are not separate from God, that we are one with the Divine, will heal us. Many of us believe that in order to access the God in heaven or on the mountain top, we need to go outside ourselves to look for help.
The true secret of a great life, as I see it, is making a difference for others. All else is empty. When we’re empowering others through our sharing, that’s when we get what we really, really want. If we love something that’s bigger than we are, we’re in service...
I am in awe of my mother’s faith in God. Despite the circumstances that life has inflicted upon her, she has remained committed to her Christian belief. I’m also in awe of the fervent faith that I’ve seen in friends of mine who are Buddhist, Muslim, or even those who choose to not give the divinity a name per se.
Jesus’s crucifixion is probably one of the most familiar images to emerge from Christianity. But what was crucifixion? And why was Jesus killed that way?
I try not to mention anything about my work as a medium when I’m around my grandma, since she disapproves of it, but I felt such a strong presence from a spirit one day several years ago when she and I were at home that I couldn’t help asking her about him.
"More than 5,000 and certainly 10,000 years ago, nowhere in the world was anyone living under a concerted authority," says John Rick. "Today we expect that. It is the essence of our organization. 'Take me to your leader. Who's in charge here?' So where did that come from?"
“The easiest way for me to find God is in nature,” Sister Ceciliana Skees explains. Born Ruth Skees, she grew up in Hardin County, Kentucky, during the 1930s. It’s a rural place of soft green hills, where her father farmed his entire life.
The debate about science and religion is usually viewed as a competition between worldviews. Differing opinions on whether the two subjects can comfortably co-exist – even among scientists – are pitted against each other in a battle for supremacy.
While you’re biting the heads off your chocolate bunnies this weekend, you might wonder how cartoon rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations. It’s tempting to assume that because there’s no biblical basis for the Easter Bunny, rabbits and hares have no religious significance – but that’s just not the case.
Easter’s almost here, the time when Christian communities reflect on the death of Jesus and celebrate his resurrection. It’s also a time when the biblical character Judas Iscariot is remembered for his betrayal of Jesus. In many Orthodox and Catholic countries an effigy of Judas is burned as part of the Easter rituals, a custom continued in areas of Liverpool in the UK until as late as the mid-20th century.
I’m convinced every person on this earth is a mystic. I’m also convinced almost every person on this earth has forgotten all about this. A mystical experience is more about remembering and understanding. The mystical experience profoundly propels you to not only transform ingrained beliefs about limitations, but also remember intrinsic wholeness...
Interviews with Palestinian youth suggest that differing religious beliefs don’t always incite aggression. In fact, the findings raise the possibility that beliefs about God can mitigate bias against other groups and reduce barriers to peace.
Children of religious parents may not be as altruistic as their parents think, according to new research from six countries around the world.
I created an exercise many years ago where I ask people to write a termination letter informing the old God he is no longer needed. He has served his time, but the job is over. This can be a fun exercise as well as deeply meaningful and transformational.
A Catholic, a Jesuit and a scientist walk into a bar. What do they have to talk about? And just how do those conversations go?
Muslims have a religious duty to take action against climate change, according to a declaration released by a major group of Islamic scholars, faith leaders and politicians from 20 countries.
After more than two decades in the ashram with Maharishi, I had not experienced what I was seeking—a true connection and direct relationship with God in a personal way. Luckily, after leaving the ashram, I found a means to connect to Spirit through listening to the “still small voice” of divine guidance and wisdom within—to have direct, two-way “conversations with God.”
Much of the world believes in a God who hears our prayers and sometimes gives us what we ask for and sometimes does not. Why do hoped-for events or conditions manifest in our lives if it’s not God’s “mood” that determines whether our wishes are granted? How do miracles happen? What makes dreams come true? And what is at cause when they do not?
There are many arguments for the existence of God – Anselm’s ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument and the “immediate experience of God” argument. But if you don’t already believe, these arguments won’t convince you. They are post-hoc constructions to shore up existing beliefs.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted through a clear majority of its presbyteries (local governing bodies) to define marriage as being between two persons. The vote will also permit sessions – the ruling bodies of particular congregations – to host same-sex weddings and for the clergy of the church to perform such ceremonies.
Could it be that our present assumptions about God are inaccurate, and that in some cases even the exact opposite is actually correct? Would that change our view of the world? Has being right all these centuries done much good? Could questioning whether we may have been wrong do much harm?
There is nothing in Islam that makes it dangerous or threatening to a modern Western way of life. However, those looking to incite violence and hatred are always capable of finding textual references in almost anything to fuel their prejudices. We must combat this by fostering a culture of learning and an acceptance of diverse experiences and opinions.
For at least a decade, attempts to understand why some young Muslims living in Western countries turn to violence in the name of religion have raised questions about Western foreign policy in the Middle East.
Material scientists have no place in their theories for telepathy because in their worldview the minds of two people cannot talk to each other. Events such as the following, recounted in Phantasms of the Living, cannot occur in material science’s world...
The Qur’an contains injunctions that call both for peace and for violence. The problem is not that they are there; the difficulty is that non-violent and militant Muslims appear equally justified. For some, the peace of God is...
Pope Francis has emerged as one of the most important voices on the global stage about the need for a stronger moral dimension in economic policies. This has caused some upset in business and financial circles.
Easily 90 to 95 percent of near-death experiencers return absolutely convinced that God exists. Whether atheist, agnostic, purveyor of fairy tales, or avid worshipper, watch the experiencer’s face change when someone mentions God . . . a special calmness spreads, a kind of “glow,” as if to affirm all is well.
In 2009, archaeologists working in the heart of Berlin excavated the foundations of what is thought to be one of the city's first churches, St. Peter's Church, built in the early 12th century, in what is now the Petriplatz area. The church was destroyed during WW II and in its aftermath. The site is now little more than a wasteland—but that is set to change...
The light within your soul is what gives power to your consciousness. It gives you the energy to do anything. It gives you the ability to climb the spiritual ladder and enjoy life to its fullest.The truth is that no negative energy can enter your aura unless you...
The central Islamic affirmation is la ilaha illa'llah, signifying: "There is nothing worthy of worship other than the ultimate Source of the universe..." According to the mystical tradition of Islam, this affirmation implies that... every being is a ray of light and power from the ever-present Source.
The journey to enlightenment is the removal of the seven veils of illusion. They can more easily be removed during moments of cosmic light or in special meditations. Alternatively you may wake up one morning feeling that things are different. A veil may have been released during your spiritual journey of the night...
The Indians’ relationship to the Earth, the winds, and the animals is intimate and intensely personal, closely related to their sacred beliefs. This relationship arises out of their environment, the hills and trees around them, the prairie or desert upon which they walk. It arises out of their nature-related...
Myths have fed the imaginations and souls of humans for thousands of years. The vast majority of these tales are just stories people have handed down through the ages. But a few have roots in real geological events of the past, providing warning of potential dangers and speaking to the awe we hold for the might of the planet.
Religion has been a divisive force for thousands of years. Yet religions have done much good. They have offered comfort and hope to the masses at a time when their consciousness was closed to true spirituality.
Certain attitudes are automatically more magnetic than others. Willingness, cheerfulness, kindness—all wholesome, spiritual attitudes are magnetic. Unwillingness, discouragement, and similar negative attitudes, on the other hand, impair the free flow of energy.
It would be frankly absurd to imagine that the forthcoming New Age is suddenly going to see the end of all devotion to a Deity. The vast majority of the world’s population will seek a continuing focus for their religious observances, certainly still orientated toward a “personal” God...
A guide seeks to help you fulfill your life’s purpose, thus allowing you to make a real and positive contribution to the quality of life of the people you meet, and to our planet’s evolution as well. Whoever the guide is, and from whatever background...
By engaging in sacred reciprocity with the raw forces of nature as well as the spiritual powers present in the area, you deepen your awareness of interdependence with all life’s dimensions...
Run through as large an inventory as you can of the things that you would like to define your life. Then make the shift in your imagination from an "I am not" or "I am hoping to become" to "I am". Beginning with your inner dialogue, simply change the words that define your concept of yourself.
Our ego, which is that fearful, judgmental voice in our head, that never feels satisfied, that constantly feels inferior or superior to others, that always wants more, more, more in order to feel ‘happy’, well that ego can often try to hijack our spiritual journey...