Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Truth Is Bliss - Attaining Salvation

Truth Is Bliss - Attaining Salvation

Do you perish into hell if you don’t accept and acknowledge that your inner consciousness, your being, your soul, is part of a Higher Universal Power in this lifetime? What I mean is if you don’t come to the realization of God in this life, will you have a chance to find it in the next life?

Different faiths preach different concepts about this idea. Most Christian faiths believe that it’s not when you accept Christ in your life, but the fact that you do that will ultimately lead to salvation. This makes me wonder – if you don’t accept God in this life does that mean you go to hell? Furthermore, just because someone says they accept Christ in their life, is that enough? In other words, must something be done to show your acceptance, or is faith alone enough?

For example, how do you know if you or someone else really truly accepts Christ? We all sin. We all have doubts about our beliefs from time to time; what is the underlying truth that we have done enough on earth to attain salvation?

In the Bible in Luke 13:23-27 it says,
“Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
Is Jesus referring to our soul when he says enter through the narrow door? Is he also saying that many will not be able to - either by lack of knowledge or desire? How do we know if we did enough? 

We must actively seek, and ultimately find God in this lifetime to be able to experience His bliss in the next life. It is often said “Ignorance is bliss.” I believe “Truth is bliss.” If we never experience bliss while we are living, how will we be able to when we are not? Is it possible that the soul will not truly know what bliss is and won’t be able to attain this state in the next life? As such, will you be in a torturous state, hell, trying to achieve this feeling?

So how do we attain bliss on earth? Regardless of your faith and what you refer to it as, it is a belief for many that because the soul and God are alike, that a part of God is always in us. Many people, from many faiths, have preached the idea of looking inward for hope, strength, answers, etc. Although not always stated as such, this can be accomplished through entering a meditative or trance-like state.

There are people who believe that the Kingdom of God is a literal place on earth. Others believe it is a metaphorical statement and the Kingdom of God resides in each of us and we can enter this place whenever we choose. This is stated clearly with the following passage in Luke 17:20-21 when Jesus says,

“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

So, the Kingdom of God is already in us, our soul represents a part of this kingdom. We must acknowledge this truth and attempt to enter it whenever we can. Prayer, meditation, whatever you want to refer to it as all hold the key to this door. 

Again, if we don’t find God now, how can we find him when we are no more?

There are some religions that believe life is a process, for some a never ending process until you reach an enlightened state at which point you reach a state of bliss and truly know God. This is accomplished through the practice of yoga and looking inward to find answers, as stated earlier. This of course is done through meditation, good deeds, and living a just and righteous life. This idea is shared through many cultures in the world, but it may not be said as such.

Should an individual not accomplish this in their lifetime than they will be reincarnated and have another opportunity in the next life. This is a key concept in the Hindu religion.

So, the question remains, must one reach salvation in this lifetime to be saved in the afterlife? According to Hindus should one reach enlightenment through a life of good deeds their soul will be freed from the endless cycle of rebirth and attain moshka. In this state of moshka, an enlightened individual becomes aligned with God. Unlike many misconceptions, the soul doesn’t become God, but becomes closer to Him.

There is the idea that your soul is part of an eternal, universal power. Although the soul is eternal, like God, you will never truly become God, as it is very limited in nature. Imagine a large sheet of fabric. God is the fabric and you are but one strand. You are made from the same cloth as God, but individually you are very limited. 

Even those that don’t attain God in this life, they should still strive to have God-like qualities such as forgiveness, kindness, and love.  By doing so, they will be reincarnated at a higher level than before and continue their path to moshka. Although moshka frees the soul from rebirth, after a very long time a person can be reborn at an enlightened state. Think of Ghandi, Mother Theresa, or others. There are particular ways to reach the blissful, enlightened state of Samadhi through meditation and good deeds, but to go into more detail is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Once Samadhi, a superconcious state of enlightenment is reached, God is revealed. It is at this point that the soul becomes one with God. Again, not God, but one with God. Imagine a candle flame. Although the wick is burning and they appear as one, the candle and the flame are still separate entities.

The benefit of this heightened state is that immense knowledge and power is revealed directly from God to the individual, which must only be used in the service of God to benefit society as a whole. It could be said that Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Rishis, Mohammad, and many others were able to attain this state during deep meditative prayer.  

Going back to the earliest of civilizations the accepted belief was that man was created to please God and do his will on earth. This is true even today of all faiths, even if it is not openly preached continuously.
With billions of people on earth claiming to be faithful followers of God, how can it be said that few will truly know him and enter His kingdom? Is it because most people just pay lip service to their beliefs, but do nothing further? Is it possible that only a few really truly seek beyond the superficial and want to know and experience the truth of this great Universal and eternal source of power? Even those that claim to be the most faithful often times don’t exhibit what that means.

Another problem lies in the fact that many blindly follow without introspection, contemplation, and a true search for knowledge. Many people are afraid of new concepts and ideas that challenge their time tested beliefs. Whether it is fear of the unknown, fear of change, or the possibility that they may have to admit they were wrong is unknown; however, it is true that many people are uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the safety of the box they have created to shield them from potential consequences of their beliefs and actions.

If you choose to accept the belief that your soul is part of God, and everyone has a soul, then inside of you must be God. Many prophets, seers, and religious men of faith have stated repeatedly to look inward to find God. Is that because they know that in your heart resides your soul? And by listening to your inner voice that you are hearing the words of God?

We have all heard the phrase, “Follow your heart.” In this circumstance your heart is the soul, and therefore God, speaking to you about what actions to take next. If we are told to find God we must look inward, are we actually doing that? Or do we believe that God is an old man with a long white beard living in the clouds in a castle? Maybe the problem lies in the fact that we are taught something without truly examining it's merits based on truth, rather than conjecture. Nowhere, outside of fantasy, does any scholar, prophet, or scripture talk of the things we envision in our mind. Rather than mindlessly following an idea, we seek answers for ourselves. 

Do you believe to know God? Saying it, believing it, and doing it are completely different things. If we aren’t actively searching for God now, then when? If we don’t find the true power and beauty of God in this life, then when will we? Faith and good deeds are beneficial, but if we don’t come to know God in our heart, through contemplation and meditation, then have we really achieved anything? If we don’t know what it feels like to connect our soul to God while we are here on earth, will we get that chance another time?

It all comes down to your beliefs. Should you actively search, but never find, if you are a Hindu you believe you will get a second, third, fourth, and however many chances necessary until you accomplish your journey. On the other hand, if you are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish – you only get one life. It is best to start actively searching now rather than waiting until it’s too late. Faith is truly more than words. It is a feeling, a feeling of bliss - a feeling that we should all actively seek to attain. With that comes a new attitude, a new perspective, a new life. 

Keep in mind the following truth. God is bliss or "Heaven". The soul is not bliss. The goal of the soul is to attain bliss. The soul can attain a blissful like feeling, but only by actively seeking and eventually reaching God. You can attain this feeling of bliss through meditation and prayer.

If the soul is not naturally in a state of bliss then how will it know what it feels like if you don't teach it, train it? It is vital that you expose yourself to this feeling as often as you can so that when your soul leaves your body that it is prepared and able to align itself with God in Heaven, whatever and wherever that may be.

How you choose to achieve that is your choice. What you choose to believe is your choice. But to really know and understand God, a choice must be made at some point. It is entirely possible that many people go through life believing they have the answers, become complacent, and no longer seek. These people may be further along the journey and achieved the bliss that is God, but it is entirely more likely that they haven't and as such will never know the truth. 

I just hope they are Hindus so they get a second chance at it. 

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