Sunday, June 05, 2005

Values to Practice and Cherish

This Blog is built upon the values and practices I treasure most.
So today, I discuss personal faith perspectives. They will come up again and again in our discussions.

The Belief-O-Matic Personality Quiz says that I fit the
Liberal Unprogrammed Quaker Faith.
No surprise to me. It is great having a place to belong.

In The Religious Society of Friends (or Quakers)
I find the same principles that I love. Check them out.

1. We are peacemakers. Actively promoting harmony, peace and non-violence.

2. We cleave to honesty. So we are often not even comfortable making promises or swearing oaths.

3. We hold to simplicity: a socially conscious lifestyle that allows spiritual devotion and service without distraction.

4. We involve ourselves in social action, and humanitarian service, after carefully discerning divine direction. This is done through corporate prayer and listening in silence, rather than through decisions of clergy, or hierarchies.

5. We are radically inclusive, even Universalist. We are all One, regardless, without exception. Perhaps, the most well known Quaker phrase is "There is that of God in everyone." This has led to a deep respect for others, even for those who do not share our views. We hold forth our peculiar perspective without denying the legitimacy of another's journey.

6. We unceasingly promote equality for all people.

7. We emphasize spiritual reality, without any emphasis on outward sacraments or ordinances.

8. We are non-creedal. We understand the Bible as a revelation of God, but not the only revelation, for God continues to reveal truth.

9. We tend to have no salaried ministry, but we do encourage traveling "friends" who visit the meetings. We look to the Divine Light within to guide and direct.

10. Our meetings are open and participatory, often with times of silence until someone is moved to share or contribute.

Lived out, these ideals develop into a radical egalitarian counterculture, a society of friends, powerfully working with divine guidance for the common good, defying oppression, and changing the very fabric of society. This is revolutionary.

Who are you? Take the Belief-O-Matic Quiz for yourself

Discovering my own personal treasure,
URfriend, Dean Johnson


Steve said...

Hi Dean. How do these values inform and direct your political/societal interaction? In what way do world affairs matter to you?

Steve said...

Here were my results. Some of the questions weren't all that clear, so on a different day, the results would vary. Might be interesting to get all your contributors (who feel open enough) to post their results.


1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (99%)
3. Theravada Buddhism (89%)
4. Liberal Quakers (88%)
5. Neo-Pagan (80%)
6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (72%)
7. Nontheist (71%)
8. Taoism (64%)
9. Mahayana Buddhism (63%)
10. New Age (59%)
11. Orthodox Quaker (55%)
12. Jainism (53%)
13. Reform Judaism (50%)
14. Sikhism (49%)
15. Bah�'� Faith (47%)
16. Hinduism (43%)
17. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (38%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (34%)
19. New Thought (33%)
20. Scientology (33%)
21. Seventh Day Adventist (32%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (28%)
23. Jehovah's Witness (25%)
24. Orthodox Judaism (23%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (20%)
26. Islam (20%)
27. Roman Catholic (20%)

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Hi Steve,

For me personally, the chief goal of social action and humanitarian service is to promote equality and reconciliation for those who are alienated or oppressed. Everyone and everything needs to be included and treated with respect. I see, and have hope for a radically different world, operating not on fear and control, but built through healing, trust, love, and cooperation for the common good. A world where peaceful, non-violent, non-coercive strategies help us all get along with each other, and live harmoniously. A world where our essential Oneness is accepted and the friendship between people, God, and all creation is restored.

This is a monumental, but worthwhile task. Everyone has gifts and abilities to contribute to the common good, and to meet the needs around us. I would love to see everyone get involved in a cause they care about. Personally, I would like to add my voice to the growing number who see another way, encouraging those who have little hope, to believe for a better world and to take action.

URfriend, Dean Johnson

Steve said...

Thanks Dean. So how do you propose the world get from here to there? Can you provide any actual concrete actions or issues where this plays itself out? I'm hoping to come down from the "sky high" view of things to see how your strategy moves into practical tactics for groups of people, national policies, etc. The more real examples, the better I'll be able to understand how your big picture and your ultimate goal scales down to actions in today's world.

If Dean Johnson had some kind of direct political power, what actual policies would he propose? What would you do about religious warfare? What would you propose regarding how/whether government should operate? Would you continue to implement/endorse policies that place human interests ahead of other species/environmental interests?

The more examples or details, the better!

JPFriend said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JPFriend said...

These are mine Dean:

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (88%)
3. Bahá'í Faith (84%)
4. Unitarian Universalism (84%)
5. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (76%)
6. Mahayana Buddhism (73%)
7. Theravada Buddhism (71%)
8. New Age (70%)
9. Secular Humanism (70%)
10. Neo-Pagan (66%)
11. New Thought (66%)
12. Taoism (61%)
13. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (59%)
14. Orthodox Quaker (55%)
15. Reform Judaism (55%)
16. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (54%)
17. Scientology (50%)
18. Sikhism (50%)
19. Jainism (49%)
20. Nontheist (48%)
21. Jehovah's Witness (44%)
22. Orthodox Judaism (38%)
23. Hinduism (37%)
24. Islam (35%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (23%)
26. Roman Catholic (23%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (22%)

Cheers, Greg in Japan.

My daughter is now 5 months old!!!

JPFriend said...

Sorry about posting twice. I hadn't meant to do that. Belief-o-matic is a fun site.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Great to hear from you. Speaking of "Values To Practice and Cherish", it sounds like your heart is in the right place. Congratulations on being a "Dad". I have heard some say they discover the meaning of their life while holding their child.

May Life will be rich and full,

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Anonymous said...

Neurolinguistic Programming

In the early 1970s in America Richard Bandler, then a young college student studied the work of Fritz Perls and later Virginia Satir and found that he could reproduce their high-level therapy skills to a degree that even surprised him. Bandler seemed to have a natural ability to mimic (model) the language patterns by Virginia and Fritz.

At the University of California at Santa Cruz, Bandler who was well versed in the teachings of patterns in mathematics and computers teamed up with a college professor, John Grinder to help him understand the processes that were at work. Soon Bandler and Grinder, who used what he knew about patterns in linguistics, created a new model for personal growth called NeuroLinguistic Programming.

Bandler and Grinder had set out to model the hypnotic skills of Milton Erickson. They had astounding results. They built a communication model about human "thinking" and "processing" and used that model of how we see images, hear sounds, reproduces smells and tactile experiences in our mind to track and model the structure of subjective experiences.

Sounds very complicated but really it works very simply. Here is an example as used by Paul McKenna - probably the best & most successful hypnotist in the world.

Close your eyes and think of a negative memory. Become involved in the situation as best as you can. Feel the emotions that you felt, see the things you saw and hear the things you heard.

Now take that memory and project it onto a mental screen seeing yourself in the picture. Put a frame around the picture and view it as if it is an old photograph. Next drain all the colour from the picture and shrink the screen to the size of a matchbox.

Have the feelings associated with the picture decreased in any way?

Another good example of NLP involves Anchors. Have you ever smelt a certain perfume or aftershave and had it remind you of a certain person or situation? Gone to a certain place that brings feelings long forgotten flooding back? Or been in any situation that creates emotional responses that would not normally be associated with it? Well if you can answer yes to any of these then you have experienced anchors. Some anchors are associated with positive feelings and some with negative emotions. However, you should be aware that anchors can be consciously installed or already existing ones altered. Here is an example:

Think of a time when you were really happy. If you can't think of one then imagine something that would make you feel really happy. See what you would see, hear what you would hear and feel what you would feel. Really get into the picture and try to experience it as though it were happening now.

Now brighten the colours and make them richer. Increase the volume. Make the picture bigger, brighter, louder. That's it and more and more....

Now press your first finger against your thumb and fully experience your happy feelings. Do this everyday for 2 weeks and you will create an anchor that will instantly recreate these feelings. Whenever you want to feel like that again just press your thumb and first finger together and wham the feelings will come flooding back! Don't believe me? Just try it and see!!! personal development

Anonymous said...

I am sure you have heard the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club but have you ever given much thought to its meaning? While on Earth, you are living in a world of reincarnation which is governed by the law of karma. Karma begins to propel you as Soul on a personal journey through the universe. Karma ends when you have reached enlightenment and fully realise that this physical reality and the Universe itself is just an illusion. When you reach a state of knowingness that there is but One all pervading essence and that essence or consciousness is You!
So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.
A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.
We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
Karma gives you the opportunity at every moment to become a better person than you are and to open up to the realization that you are the master of your own fate.
The goal of karma is to give you all the experiences that you need to evolve into greater levels of love, joy, awareness, and responsibility. Karma teaches that you are totally responsible for the circumstances of your life. They keep you on the straight and narrow until you have mastered your vehicle and can ride freely on your own. Once you understand that you are the master of your own circumstances and that everything you experience is a direct result of your past actions due to your thinking and emotional responses you can overcome its seeming negative effects by creating only 'good' karma.
Karma forces us to look beyond ourselves (oneness) so that we can see ourselves as we truly are Whole, Complete, at One with everything. Once we truly understand ourselves, we can see our divinity and our unity with all life.
Karma drives us to service. Love means service. Once you accept total responsibility for your life, you see yourself as a soul in service to God. Once you do, you become a fully realized being, allowing God to experience the illusion through you.
Belief in karma and an understanding of its workings will lead you to a life of bliss. Only your own deeds can hinder you. Until the time comes when we release ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles of limitation and fully understand who and what we are we will live under the mantle of karma. So until that day why not create some wonderful experiences for ourselves by "doing onto others, as we would have them do unto us". lucid dream