Where to begin, oh where to begin.....
Rudi, have read a few of your posts over several months but for some reason have really gotten into them the past few days. Read your journey Parts I through V. Your vivid descriptions of what you experienced and your feelings and beliefs regarding them are a healing to anyone reading them. Please continue to keep your keyboard and happy fingers going.
I too was raised to believe that anyone who didn't believe as I was taught was wrong with all the hell and damnation ramifications that go with it yet at the same time knew that I was "wrong" because I was also very imperfect. It has taken quite a few years and lots of meditation to come to a very similar view of Christianity that you have posted above. Your response is outstanding. You so smoothly point to the passage where Jesus said that men are gods, and that's one of my favorites of his teachings. Yet those who project the "only begotten" mantra at me deny it and say it is out of context, which it isn't. You obviously know your bible and the difficulties with Greek and Hebrew, and that's why I like some of the passages of the NT that are translated by Kenneth Wuest - a professor emeritus of NT Greek at Moody Bible Institute. He jumps through hoops trying to get a "correct" interpretation of the NT and his John 3:16 passage reads "...uniquely begotten son" and not "...only begotten." Thought I'd pass that on. He's not the only one to translate it that way.
I like Gandhi's writings and philosophy a lot, although I too am a Christian. My parents hated him (they lived at the same time he did) and called him a devil. Yet he read the Christian bible from end to end, read "The Kingdom of God is Within You" by Tolstoy, and used it as his road map for his non-violent opposition to Great Britain. If I remember right he even said: "I am Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jew" - and I believe him.
I served in combat in Korea and it has taken me many years to grieve not only for the men on "our" side, but also the Chinese who bled and died around me - just like men in my unit. They too are children of god. They too experience love and compassion from friends and relatives just like we do. They too went into combat like I did programmed by the elite to kill in the name of some kind of almighty patriotism that in fact has no real meaning when viewed from the perspective of the all loving god, regardless how you view that entity.
I love your posts.
One of the things I enjoy about your writings on your NDE is that each post has a little different facet to it - like a diamond. You have had several positive remarks on your posts and it is obviously a healing to those who read them. Keep posting until you are told to stop. Or better yet, write a book - it would be a great seller in many areas. You have the ability to do it.
I went from the early religious programming - at an early age even wanted to be a missionary to China, through WWII from the perspective of an adolescent who got more hate programming (if you think we get programming in the press now, you should have seen what was said and written in the news then), to a suicidal teen who thought he had to become a hero and die to be worthwhile. So, after seeing too many John Wayne movies joined the Corps to beat the draft. Even today we are so programmed about what is masculine and what is feminine that it's pathetic. I mention John Wayne because he is probably everybody's image of masculine, but whose real name prior to making movies was - (ready?) Marion Morrison! The same identical name as a girl I went to grade school with. Imagine a movie marquee which reads "Sands of Iwo Jima starring Marion Morrison" - I don't think it would have sold. Yet I know more than one Marine who joined because of him - and was told they even had a recruiting sergeant in the lobby of the Sands of Iwo Jima where one of my buddies joined. What is real is that as spirit - there is no gender.
It was after my military service, then college, then a professional career and the pursuit of the "American Dream" that I felt something was dreadfully missing and after a lot of searching found an inward focus/healing meditation that I have practiced for more than 30 years. I'm a slow learner. But my views in these past years have changed almost 180 degrees. Have thought of posting my own NDE which reoccurred during a deep meditation as I was working on forgiving an adult who was smothering me as an infant. Am sure I'll write it, but it's something I've never told anyone about, so it will be difficult to put into words. It was not nearly as extensive as your NDE - in fact it was brief though extremely illuminating. I learned just a bit from it, but as you have discovered, after reflecting on it for a few years it was a powerful experience with more meaning as time goes by.
I do enjoy your writing.