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Forums > Social Discussion > Following Your Own Path - Discussion on Self-Based Religion

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LilBBoy
SILVER Member since May 2006

LilBBoy

Discoverer of Rainbow Cheese
Location: Inverness, Scotland.

Total posts: 143
Posted:Hey all! First, thanks for reading this post and I hope the subject interests you. This thread is about what has become known to people as "unofficial religion", or as the school computers tell me when I try to do research on it; "Unofficial/Indigenous/Occult Beliefs".

After being a Buddhist for 2 years, I have found deep satisfaction in my life. Everything has changed for the better. However, I feel that there is more to the story than Buddhism tells. I believe, unshakably, that there is a God, which Buddhism attempts to, in a sense, dispel.

I find it extremely interesting that some of the people I know and love follow their own paths; their own beliefs, which no-one can distort with their own. I find these people admirable and, to say the least, courageous.

What do all of you beautiful people think about this topic? biggrin wink

Peace & Love hug ubblove


Time does not exist. In theory, everything with a beginning has an end. Therefore, only things with an end can have a beginning. As time has no end, it has no beginning, therefore does not exist. GO PHILOSOPHY!!!
Brittle Week was the shizz!!!

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:it was just something i heard, don't be an censored because you disagree
why would you need to neglect yourself, it's like saying good doesn't exist without bad...and action is no less good without an opposite


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Good question Tom...it's not like your eyes glow gold with enlightenment

I may have attained. it years ago and not even realised it. What a thought smile smile smile


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Good grief, I dont think we are on the same page here;) Buddha believed that it was a waste of time worrying about all powerful gods; that we should see things as they "really are". A main principal being people should act for them selves, rather than succumbing to speculation about an all powerful god.

On explanation of enlightenment is the extinction of desire, the extinction of hate and the extinction of illusion. For example, "If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness will follow him, like a shadow that never leaves him. "He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me" in those that harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time. This is an old rule. "


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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barefootwonder7
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

newbie
Location: PA, for the time being, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:Hello! Im new to this site but after finding this thread and reading the discussion, I felt that I had to share. Ill probably offend some people but sometimes its necessary to do that. I still love you all! Sorry if this turns into an essay!
Maybe this differs among other people, but what I want to believe in is truth, so my discussion will center around the search for truth. Truth is my main reason for rejecting the idea, so commonly embraced, that whatever each person believes is good for them. Because if Muslims and Jews say Jesus was just a prophet and Christians say he was the Son of God - they can't both be true. If we were to allow for conflicting universal truths, we would basically be saying there is no truth anymore - believe whatever you want to. If your truth is killing people to get your way or destroying the environment without reason - that's ok, thats truth to you.
Maybe that's what some people want to believe but I'd prefer to retain my belief in Truth.
So what is this ultimate universal truth? Something to base my world, my life, my ideals on. Christianity? Buddism? Myself? Feelings ( = myself)?
This is where we all must make a decision. But if you agree with me thus far, you must be ready to admit that some people are wrong. Some good, well-meaning people who truly believe that they have found The Truth, must be wrong. (And yet I respect these people more than the wishy-washy, afraid to take a stand for anything people.) I understand where people come from in viewing this as arrogance, but if no one ever took a stand to claim that what they believe in is the truth, we would have a world full of uncertain people afraid to believe anything and with nothing to base their actions on.
Ok, on to what I really believe is Truth. This is where I must become more individual. Although I believe there is only one Truth, I think each person comes to understand that Truth in a different way. Some may reason it out, some may get there because of the influence of others, or they simply may experience the Truth. All three have played a part in my beliefs.
I must first make a disclaimer: I dont like religion, I dont like many churches, and I sometimes hesitate to call myself a Christian because of the baggage misunderstandings that term carries with it today. But I am a follower of Jesus.
I was raised in a loving Christian family (my parents continually amaze me =), went to a church where I was spared the hypocrisy that so many others have been damaged by, and since then I have experienced with my soul and searched with my mind to put my faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful God and a loving, forgiving Jesus as the Truth. I cant prove it in an argument with logic and reasoning but I have chosen to put my faith in Jesus. As someone previously quoted, Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject ...Other wise why would you need to have faith? I have experienced the most amazing freedom, the deepest peace, the greatest joy and the most wonderful love through my faith in Jesus. Its so amazing that I must share this in hope that others will experience this as well!
Thanks for reading this far! Feel free to contact me (ask me questions, yell at me, whatever =) at barefootwonder7@yahoo.com
Most sincerely,
Lisa Marie


Loving Life

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Aurora Leigh"

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barefootwonder7
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

newbie
Location: PA, for the time being, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:And since I stupidly didnt realize there were 3 MORE pages to this discussion when I posted my first response, after reading (well skimming some) I have to add just a few more things.

First real Christianity isnt about RULES (like many have mentioned)!
But I almost feel that I must apologize for the horrible things people have done in the name of Christianity. So many didn't/don't live up to the name of Christian, or follower of Christ.
And leading into the second thing . . . . The major difference between true Christianity and other religions is that it is not based on doing all the right things. Its all based on faith and on admitting that its not all about me. Judiasm, Islam, Hinduism, Mormons, all are based on DOING the right things and having to earn your way to heaven or whatever the better place is after life on earth. I would never want to live under that burden!
The Bible is a really complicated book (even after classes on it and studying it on my own for years!) It WILL be wrongly interpreted and I hate the loads of doctrine that some many churches have because in so many places there are two sides of an argument equally presented. It's sad that people feel the need to split into denominations
Speaking of which I am all for discussion about different sides (why Im doing this now). I like to call myself open-minded (to a certain an extent but like someone quoted earlier The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry pratchett). Being forced to defend what you believe makes you truly understand why you believe - or else you realize that you've been wrong.
But for me, the more I study the more I am convinced that there is a God, especially in learning about the many intricacies that make our human bodies run theres no way that just happened to fall together!
By the way I love the poem posted by BanSheeCat a while back, I agree but most people dont actually live that way! And the quote at the end is hilarious, though I believe in God, I hate clichs!


Loving Life

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Aurora Leigh"

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:On the conflict between good and evil. I said earlier that a key to enlightenment is overcoming dualism, without merely substituting it with monism or pluralism. Thinking in opposites (right and wrong, good or evil) makes it difficult to achieve a sense of non-duality. Buddhism does not have a notion of sin because there is no such thing as sin. There is only ignorance and false views. Evil does not spring for the devil, bit from ignorance. There will be no evil left in the world when ignorance and false views are eradicated. Imagine, a world with out conflict.


barefootwonder7, just a question for clarification. If real Christianity isnt about rules and doing the right thing to get to heaven, then what is it about? Your suggestion, that Its all based on faith and on admitting that its not all about me doesnt really stack up. Christianity appears to be all about me and my soul/ego/self getting to heaven.

Cheers wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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barefootwonder7
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

newbie
Location: PA, for the time being, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:Stone,
Unfortunately, I think that so many people who call themselves Christians ARE in it only for themselves. Or because they thing it's about if 'I' can do enough good things to get to heaven (they can't). But that's not how it should be.
It is sort of about yourself at first because you can't get anywhere until you say, "hey, I'm not perfect, in fact, I'm a sinner (which most people hate to say) deserving death and need someone to help me out of this. I know I can never be good enough. So you admit that you need Jesus (who lived a perfect life without sin) so that when you die you can go to 'heaven' instead of hell. But once you get to that point of admitting I'm a sinner, it then becomes all about following Jesus and serving God and loving others through His love. We're supposed to get rid of our old self (with its human greed and selfishness) and put on a new self that is following God/Jesus alone.
I hope that helps! =)


Loving Life

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Aurora Leigh"

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:@ faithinfire: Excuse my censored - ness, I never meant to offend you. Maybe you are taking this matter very much more serious than I ever could hug

@ stone: Exactly! IMU Buddha - as Jesus and others tried to liberate people from dogmatic rule. Yet mankind as a whole still seems to be far from ready.

@barefeet: Believe me that I do hold a respectful view to almost every belief system and that I would not offend any, simply because I'm an censored sinner and blasphemist... (but then again, maybe I am in the views of others... shrug )

[I] need someone to help me out of this

May I ask you whether this is not the age old and eternal urge for others to guide us, to give up our own responsibility and lay it into the hands of (charismatic) politicians and priests?

IMHO this desire fed and feeds the system, governments and casts of brahmans and priests, IMHO it is the source of abuse of power.

Now I do not really know whether Jesus really lived a life without sin, but to me it would NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE if he would have been a sinner, associating with murderers, thieves and hookers.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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barefootwonder7
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

newbie
Location: PA, for the time being, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:FireTom: I think that sometimes the most responsible thing we can do is ask for help (which is usually hard for me because I tend to be rather independent). But I don't think I said anything about putting things 'into the hands of politicians and priests' - I don't trust most politicians OR priests. I've studied, searched, and experienced these things myself (and with trusted friends) and I lay things in the hands of Jesus. I'm not sure if I'm reading you wrong in this statement "but to me it would NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE if he would have been a sinner, associating with murderers, thieves and hookers." but Jesus DID hang with murderers theives and hookers - he loved everyone. The need for him to have led a perfect life gets pretty theological - with God being perfect and therefore we can't be in his presence unless we are perfect but Jesus lived a perfect life so that God can look at us through Jesus' perfection. Anyway - that gets kind of complicated.

Loving Life

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Aurora Leigh"

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder, New Zealand

Total posts: 926
Posted:Firetom you're totally right.. have i already said i agree with alot of the things you've said?

I think to live like Jesus did is the way to do it, its said in so many different religions (the basics anyway).. however as soon as you get into the exactness of how Jesus lived, to see that whatever god is a part of everything and to see everything as one thing is something that some religions wont teach, it takes away the power of the higher members of those religions of being the 'mediums of God' and connects the congregations directly to that source.

and i dont mean to offend anyone here. smile


on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

Owned by Brenn smile

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:barefootwonder7, I totally get Jesus, but I dont get this old testament stuff, like I'm a sinner (which most people hate to say) deserving death and need someone to help me out of this. I know I can never be good enough.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:i like to see the OT as bootcamp for the soul, it's harsh and you learn the rules, but then it eases up a bit

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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The Tea Fairy
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...

Total posts: 853
Posted:ubblol

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hi faithinfire, while I appreciate the humour in a bootcamp 4 camp soul . I think the continuing conflict between Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Middle East shows that the path in the OT is not a solution, and never will be.

As for the soul. Is the soul anything more than a story made up by an ego/self that cannot accept that human beings are mortal? Something, perhaps the Israelites picked-up from the pharaohs.



eek


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:soul is what connects us all to each other, the general moral compass, the nudge of conscience that some listen to more than others

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:im not sure if this has already been covered in this thread but i read a book called "conversations with god"
if you take it as gospel its about a guy who asks god for some answers and god replies in the form of written txt,the whole thing is three books long dealing with pretty much every spiritual question you could ask

in theory i believe every word cos it makes great sense to me,i have laughed out loud many times at the apparently flawless logic of book one,it is very similar in its philosophy to buddism(or my vague understanding of the basics of buddism)reincarnation etc and fits very well with my own feelings on religion,good and bad etc,

HOWEVER in reality i have taken no great leap of faith and feel that the only statement i can make about the book that i can say for definate, is that it raises many interesting questions,in a very easy to understand way,i stongly recommnend anyone interested should read it,at the very least it should make you laugh.i would love to hear any opinions on it from anyone.good or bad
big hugs to you all
tim


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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:well, if we are recommending books
mere christianity by lewis
and more than a carpenter-i don't know who it was by but for those who have questions as to why christians believe that he is a divine/human being, it was very thorough


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Moral "standards" is a term that sounds dangerous to me. Who is putting up such "standards" and when are we to compromise them.

I.E. the US as a country (like Germany) is very much committed to Christian values. How far are these taken (as in "turn the other cheek" for example)?

Whenever I have a set of guidelines and standards, I will always engage my internal lawyer, who finds a way around those and who is able to find reasons for exceptions.

But if I render for myself, out of my very own experience, these "selfmade" guidelines are much stronger - IMHO - and less likely to get corrupted in the long run, without necessarily being dogmatic.

If I (blindly) follow other peoples rulings (however 'sainty' they might be) I lack content, it feels hollow... just to me.

All books (like the Bible) are great (fiction) and we can learn a lot from them - but it's second hand and when talking (to myself) I might simply repeat the ideas, someone else put into my head...

Do I come across? hug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:i find it rather offensive to call the bible a work of fiction...if you don't believe it to be true is one thing, but to go ahead and call it fiction when people here take it as a guiding Holy book is rude and insensitive
selfmade rules probably strike you stronger because they fit into your world and validate your self, other people's don't because they don't agree with who you see as your self...heaven forbid smile


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Dezzy


newbie


Total posts: 4
Posted:I'm slightly saddened that CTRL+Fing didn't find my religiong previously posted.



I'm a Unitarian Universalist; In a Christian's eyes a sinner. It's a very free belief that says a lot of "there isn't one path for everyone and everyone has they're own way of experiencing religion. Of those experiences there is no right or wrong." It's not "You broke the rules, therefore you sinned and thusly you = infernal heap of smoldering flesh in hell" kind of thing. I'd basically say it has (7) basic guidelines which many people consider at least some natrual ways to go about life. They would be:



1-The inherent worth and dignity of every person

2-Justice, equity and compassion in human relations

3-Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations

4-A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

5-The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

6-The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all

7-Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part



I consider it something of a miracle that I grew up under this religion, as it isn't constraining and wouldn't force a child to limit who they are from what they 'have' to believe in.

(Were usually pro-choice, definitely pro-gay, more often than not left winged, represented by the flaming chalice ususally inside to circles in a ven diagram formation, and were very minor and from what I understand a 'branch' of Christianity even though you could never tell it from knowing about us).



Overall, I'd describe it as "the search for ____" rather than "do this to get ____ or else _____"



(Susan B. Anthony, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, and e.e. cummings were all UUs.)


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:faith: we seem to disagree on quite a number of topics all across the board shrug rolleyes



[edited for clarification]



I wouldn't take the Bible literally and can't claim that it is straight down to the facts, therefore I call it "fiction". No offence intended.



But even then: this doesn't make its content invalid (to me)



 Written by: faithinfire

call it fiction when people here take it as a guiding Holy book is rude and insensitive





That's your opinion and I respect that.



Yet there are a lot of books circulating and people learn all kinds of moral aspects from it. I don't respect (good) people less, just because their moral values derive from comic books or the "Celestine Prophecy".



You may want to paint it black and white, but the world ain't so. That (IMO)'s one of the reasons why people drop out of Christianity and aim towards Buddhism and Hinduism - because these religions do not as much reject other paths, but accept that we're all on a different road, leading to the same destination.



As a matter of fact many good folks got nailed for their "arrogance" and "strange opinions" before others really understood what they tried to point at.



Dezzy: I like it clap Especially this strikes me:



 Written by: Dezzy

the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part





This IMHO hits the nail straight on the head.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1169383873)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:yes there are a lot of books with moral guidings, many, probably most i disagree with, but holy books whether i agree with them or not, out of respect for the people who do put faith in them should never be called works of fiction
nothing is black and white, i was the one saying we need to stop looking at things as one or the other, dichotomously, i like the whole part of one big spectrum idea
interdependence is essentail to our existence, we are all family, whether we like it or not, but isn't that how families are anyways


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:
Non-Https Image Link



You're right and I am wrong - happy now?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:absolutely, as a trekki,
i shall wear you all down *evil laugh* devil


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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The Tea Fairy
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...

Total posts: 853
Posted:Dezzy, I like it!

My basic take on self-made religion is simply to 'listen to the words of the wise, and take what is good as my own'. So I am interested in hearing teachings from all religions and philosophies, especially looking out for the positive messages that I find reoccurring through them all... like PLUR!

Oh, and another important thing for me spiritually is to look out for divinity in my own life - sharing experiences with other people, unexpected pleasant experiences, even the little things like looking at nature and practising awareness and meditation.


Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:divinity in nature...when i don't go to mass, i go to the local reserve

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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barefootwonder7
BRONZE Member since Jan 2007

newbie
Location: PA, for the time being, USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:faithinfire - thanks for sticking up for the Bible and other religious books - you put it well =)
And I agree, I see God most often through nature - in fact, its when I'm in the midst of nature that I find it impossible to understand that anyone could believe it wasn't created by some sort of intelligent being - It's all so intricate and beautiful and amazing!
stone - as for the old testament, it can only be read as a preface for the new - like faithinfire said, sort of like a bootcamp. It basically lays the groundwork for Jesus. It shows us the state that human beings as a whole are in and that we can never make enough 'sacrifices' for the things we've done wrong. In terms of what's 'wrong' I think those of you who believe in the greater good and peace and harmony would probably agree that things like greed and jealousy and pride take away from a real sense of community and loving - and it's things like that, not murder or stealing, that most of us are sinning with daily. So basically the old testament is saying what I said before - that we sin and that we won't ever be able do enough to make up for all those moments of greed, those looks of envy. And then in several places it gives hope through prophecies of the Messiah - Jesus Christ and how he will pay the price of those sins.
~ In peace


Loving Life

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Aurora Leigh"

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:by the way very nice signature

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:faith i just wonder why you find toms remarks so offensive?the most impressive spiritual people i have met have no sensitivity towards other peoples point of view,after all many people would consider blasphemy just censorship to control the masses,
i ask not to upset but merely to understand hug


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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:well, the Bible is a book that i find holy, i believe the words of God are in it, so to call it a work of fiction is absolutely offensive
if it were the Koran, other people might have actually been upset, but since it was the Bible and Christians are evil on this website, no one cares
he says i see things in black and white but anyone who listens to me knows that i find a lot of gray area, what i believe though, i have spent a lot of time studying, and i hold sacred...think about the reaction to the aura thread...people genuinely get upset
i don't think call it's unfair to ask for some respect, as i try and respect other people's beliefs


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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