One Cosmos Within God!

by Mark Gilbert –

During the height of the Communist scare of the 1950s, certain religious and political leaders pushed through Congress a couple of changes that many Americans now think have always existed. One of those was the adoption of the phrase “in God we trust” as the United States’ official motto. The other was the change to our Pledge of Allegiance to add the phrase “one nation under God”.
It took both the fear of those “godless communists” as well as others fear of retaliation from the fear mongers promoting the red scare to make these changes. It was not an easy time to stand up and object to the insertion of “God” into our country’s documents. 
Of course, these changes from a little over 50 years ago are now erroneously conflated by many as evidence that the United States was founded based on the Christian religion and thereby is a “Christian country”.
A Christian Country?
In spite of such opinions, there is much evidence to support the contention that the United States was not founded based on any religion. The Declaration of Independence does mention “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” as well as the fact that we are “endowed by our Creator” with certain rights. However, as writer Jim Walker has pointed out, “the mentioning of God in the Declaration does not describe the personal God of Christianity.”
Our first true legal document – the Constitution – consciously does not mention God. 
The First Amendment does offer that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 
It was obviously important to our founding fathers that we not codify one religion over another.
In 1797, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Tripoli between the United States and the country of Tripolitania which was primarily Muslim (this land is now part of Libya). Contained within article 11 of this treaty was the following: 
“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” Neither President John Adams nor the Senate objected to this language.
Although the United States was not “founded on the Christian religion”, one can make a good case that we are a “Christian nation” because Christianity is the largest religious movement within the country. Our form of government is not Christian but a significant proportion of the people who live in the country at this point in time claim to be Christian.
An Unnecessary Debate?
Whether or not that makes us a “Christian nation” depends upon your worldview. Fundamentalists with a more traditional worldview would say yes, while many atheists with a modern/materialistic worldview would say no. These groups can get quite feisty emphasizing their beliefs. The emotional nature of such arguments flies in the face of labeling ourselves as “one nation”, much less “under God”.
Such debates, in my opinion do not ultimately serve us. The heated discussions say more about the beliefs of those debating than they do about what actions we need to take to bring about the highest vision of our country. To me, such a vision is much larger and more important than who is right in a no-win argument.
If fundamentalist Christians want to believe what they believe and if materialistic atheists want to believe what they believe, then our highest vision should include a country that makes room for all of their beliefs as well as those who believe something else! 
The only problem is when either faction tries to take their belief structure and impose it on the greater whole of the country through certain legal actions.
A Real Shining City on the Hill?
In my highest vision for our country, we will ultimately and truly become “one nation” when we let go of focusing upon our differences and instead focus upon how we are alike. We will become one nation when we will let go of attempting to impose our will and our beliefs on others. 
We will become one nation when our eyes become focused upon a common goal of how the United States can be a positive force for the highest possibilities for humanity and the world. This doesn’t mean bringing either our form of government or our predominant religion to other countries.
Instead, United States can be that “shining city on the hill”, in my opinion, when we can let go of our need to be fearful of one another and replace that fear with a sense of care and concern for everyone everywhere. That concern leads us towards actions which ensure that every human being has access to having their basic needs met – healthcare, food, shelter, education, safety. 
Every person, no exceptions, should be free to live in a world liberated from violence and war. Every person should be able to believe what they wish to believe. Every person should have the opportunity to be prosperous and thrive. And, our planet should be protected from harm so that every person now and every person to come will have a safe place to live.
As each person grows in their understanding of their interconnectedness to all of life, to all of this world, they evolve closer and closer to this higher possibility for humanity. 
At some point, we release the need to believe in our separation from other people or from the universe we live in or from any creative force which had a role in creating it all. 
At this threshold in our evolution, our sense of connectedness calls us to let go of our being simply “one nation” and instead realize that we are all part of the same “one cosmos”
We realize that we are no longer living “under God” and instead realize that we are all living and moving and experiencing our very being “within God”. We will know there is only “the One” and each of us are a part of It.

Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his very latest one Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent

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Duel With Duality

by Dan Thomas –

White hats and black hats, heroes and villains . . . the forces of good against evil. Throughout our history we have been bombarded with the concept and existence of moral duality. The endless ebb and flow of engineered oppositions and social irrigation draw from dramatic examples a conceptualization of these polar frequencies. It spreads them through the channels of culture and control mechanisms to then be saturated in our hearts and wills and understandings. 
A grid is made, displaying a field of managed parameters, that remains self-sustaining by our unknowingly orchestrated actions. In gross contradiction to the very infinite nature of our souls, we become compartmentalized away by definitions that reveal only a partial truth to us while remaining convenient for the engineers. 
With some awareness achieved of this cosmic mechanism, we are inevitably brought to question and seek a fuller truth . . . a truth built off of what foundations may be sound yet able to reach higher than, and hopefully beyond, the warring patterns of the past. Here are the questions I ask: what truly is good and evil? What are we to learn from duality? Where do we go in our next step of spiritual evolution?
Good and evil are often defined for us from many sources. There is religion, media, family . . . science which tells us it is irrelevant, history which tells us it’s relative . . . practicality, necessity, laws and governments. With so many and so complicated a list of factors it’s no wonder that the issue of morality can be a fine-line subject. 
I feel that such a task can only be covered with generalities in an article of this size, and as well given the assurance to others that what is said is purely a matter of opinion. My attempt here is to be objective in the analysis of my own perspective, and by publishing it present it for consideration.
In my personal experience and observations, the most common societal subconscious program that we face might use some of the following descriptivism for defining good and evil. Good, despite its long and necessary sufferings, is always passive and without anger. It has no strength but to endure and no honor but in self-sacrifice. It is limited by rules which forbids the crossing of a boundary that would transform us into evil. Good does not judge, does not fear . . . loves all, but really isn’t much fun. Evil, on the other hand, is aggressive and takes what it wants. 
It is clever, mysterious and a powerful force that allows the few to dominate the many. It is often fearful, but yet is also prosperous and seductive. Evil is fun because it allows you the exercise any primal ambition without guilt, and therefore provides for more freedom than good. The choice we make between the two is simply a matter of style and image. 
It’s just a matter of preference between the balance of wants and the unwanted. If you choose good, things will be difficult now, but worth it in the end. If you choose evil you can have what you want now, but it might cause hardship in the end. What color do you like more- black or white -it’s as simple as that. Right?
There is surely far more that could be added to the descriptions in the above paragraph, but I feel it sums up this popular subconscious perspective fairly well. Some of these descriptions I would agree with, much of it I wouldn’t, but what I see is a perpetual game of circles, suffering, and conflict that ultimately only serves the engineers of this epoch by stifling any chance of true progression beyond this idea of “necessary” duality. 
To hold rigidly and forever to this narrow perspective will ensure nothing more than a continual repeat of the hard lessons of history. And what are these lessons? Is it that nice guys finish last? Is it that we “little people” are only here to serve as pawns to the kings and queens that mold our societies? Is it that this is simply the way things are and so we had better get used to it? I’m being cynical with these questions and yet many of our personal experiences will sadly suggest that there’s some truth to them. Unsatisfied with these depressing prospects, let us try to look a bit deeper into the subject.
In my opinion, one of the primary lessons we are to learn from duality is the responsible wielding of that powerful teaching aid known as freewill. The key word in that statement is “responsible”. What does responsible mean? It means that we need to be accountable for the effects and outcomes of our choices, thoughts, and actions. We, as human beings, are all connected by the invisible tether of our mass reality. We are multidimensional, holographic, and inter-connected in the way that one effects the whole. 
Although for most of us these effects may hardly seem perceivable, they are actually far more profound when we realize the infinite nature of our soul’s existence. With empathy, with respect, with an unyielding will . . . with love, with patience and understanding and righteous anger for injustice . . . with hope and faith in the reality of a better future we can as individuals help create that life that all should be blessed with. Duality teaches us that progress requires effort. Duality teaches us the vital importance of self-sovereignty . . . the value of freedom in its most positive sense, and it inspires us to reach beyond it to the realm of light without shadows.
I don’t have all the answers . . . god knows I wish I did. I, like everyone else, am still trying to piece together this huge and confusing puzzle called truth. In all likelihood it’s something that nobody in mortal form will ever fully understand, but that shouldn’t dissuade us from continuing to try. It’s one hell of a journey we’re on, and one full of surprises. 
My hope is that in time with the joining of wisdom we each gain from our experiences, that perhaps we can achieve a collective reality that can finally be prosperous to all. I dream of a life where hard lessons are no longer needed and where unity can bind us through a common good, regardless of our creative differences. Perhaps it is a lofty ideal, but if we never try we will never succeed. In the deepest sincerity of my heart I ask you all to share this dream with me, and have the courage to act to create it.

About Author: Dan Thomas is the author of Inner-Tech, a metaphysical, spiritual science fiction novel that takes the reader on an incredible adventure through space and time in a quest of questions and answers upon awakening to a desperate message given by a mysteriously ancient and alien library. Packed with action, symbolism, and an inspiring determination, the reader is engaged in a fascinating look at society, morality, and the mechanics of the cosmos. Download a free sample of this new and engaging novel here.
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