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October 25, 2010 / Jenny Ann Fraser

In The Spirit of Openness and Respect; Allow Me To Introduce…

The human mind cannot comprehend infinity.

I remembered this after I committed to introducing you to my God which means essentially that I committed to describing infinity in a blog post.

I’m a genius. (please note the sarcasm in that statement.)

In an effort to find some way to contain it, I reached for a book that I have explored only enough to know that want to explore some more. The Tao Te Ching.

I opened it up randomly to the 14th verse and found exactly what I needed in the moment. Apparently this is a post that wants to be written. Of course it could be nothing more than random coincidence. But I don’t choose to see it that way.

14th Verse

That which cannot be seen is called invisible.

That which cannot be heard is called inaudible.

That which cannot be held is called intangible.

These three cannot be defined;

therefore, they are merged as one.

Each of these three is subtle for description.

By intuition you can see it,

hear it,

and feel it.

Then the unseen,

unheard,

and untouched

are present as one.

It’s rising brings no dawn,

it’s setting no darkness;

it goes on and on, unnameable,

returning into nothingness.

Approach it and there is no beginning;

follow it and there is no end.

You cannot know it, but you can be it,

at ease in your own life.

This is the entire Universe and this is my God.

I see the Universe as a living organism, and I and everything in it from each human being, to the animals the plants and the trees. All of the tiniest organisms to the sub-atomic particles that I cannot begin to comprehend and everything we have yet to discover.

Each is the equivalent of a cell in a body. Necessary in its function as a small but integral part of an infinite whole.

And like the cells in my body are not separate from me. I am not separate from God, nor am I separate from anyone, nor anything else. We are all integral parts of one infinite living organism, so integral in fact that we are the whole and the tiny particle at the same time.

And what we do can affect everything.

My God is not a far off distant old man in white robes sitting on some throne in the clouds plotting to smite me for being a bacon cheese-burger eating Jew. There is no creed, no belief, no philosophy, no religion that has all the answers as to how to live in an infinite Universe in the right way.

Throughout the years, many, many people have created traditions based on what they believed to be true. Some of what they taught was brilliant and wise and still makes perfect sense today and some is clearly wrong based on what we have learned about the Universe and how it actually works.

Some of what was taught was designed to serve those who had power so that they could gain more power.

We all feel more comfortable when we think we have the answers. The ego needs to believe that it is right.

I know that there are those who think that the years I have spent delving into learning about religion, both western and eastern is the result of a need to find some ultimate truth so that I can abdicate my responsibility to think for myself. To find some certainty that I will have all of the right answers.

They couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I simply cannot stop wanting to learn more. For in learning more about the things I have explored so far I have found similarities that have led me to deeper love and understanding of my fellow-man.

If we were to take everything from every tradition and ask ourselves; “does this idea lead to good for the earth and everything and everyone on it?”

If the answer is no, then it could not have come from God. Throw it out.

Jesus, Moses, The Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Lao-tzu and so many more, taught the same things.

Love each other. Follow your heart, and as you are not separate from God you will find your way.

Like all of the cells, and the organisms, and the plants, the trees and the animals. I do believe that we know how to find our way if we would learn how to listen.

The key is to learn how to allow our hearts to lead us and use our minds to create as we are lead. That learning as I see it must me a life-long process.

It doesn’t matter what faith one chooses to practice or reject. It only matters that it leads to one place. And that is love.

It is when our need to be right becomes more important than compassion and understanding that things get ugly, and we don’t need religion for that.

For many years now since long-ago when I first contemplated my conversion to Judaism, I have asked myself one question as often as I can remember, (which is at least once a day). “ If everything that I believe is wrong, if there is no God, and all of this is meaningless,does my practice and faith lead me to contribute to a better world? ”

As long as the answer is yes, and as long as my beliefs do not hold the potential to open doors to judgement and exclusion, I see no reason not to continue.

I do not practice Judaism anymore. It is not because I ever believed that it was the right faith and then I decided that it wasn’t. I simply fell away when I realized that practice was not serving me. I still have a deep love and appreciation for it and I have never closed the door on the possibility of going back.

Life has a beautiful way of throwing curve-balls that force me to question my thinking and I take great comfort in that fact. I think that not questioning our own ideas can be dangerous.

When we become so mired in our beliefs that we feel the right to attack others in our own minds or elsewhere, we are devaluing each other. To devalue, is to dehumanize and when we dehumanize each other, we damage the world.

I do believe with all of my heart that what I believe is true. But I also know that there are 7 billion other people on this planet who have their own truths and believe with all of their hearts that they are right too. I’d also be willing to bet that there isn’t one who would see things exactly the same way I do which is why I continue to explore and ask those deep questions with no goal of ever coming to some final answer.

I think there are many paths to love and peace, and some of them don’t involve God at all.

I respect everything that leads to a better world for everyone.

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15 Comments

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  1. plumcandid1 / Oct 25 2010 9:53 am

    Hi Jenny, I enjoyed reading this. I share your feeling as I too believe that we should at times question ourselves as a kind of “self check point”. That can ensure that we are on the right path and where we need to be in life. I find it refreshing that you are open minded and communicate how you believe what you believe is true but you leave it open to where others who think the same about their belief’s are correct also. How much better would the world be if we could all open our hearts and minds this way? Thank you for sharing yourself.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Oct 25 2010 10:11 am

      Hello Plum Candid!
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
      My hope is that we will eventually see the value of such openness as I think it is the doorway to greater peace for everyone.
      So thank you for your support!

  2. mommylebron / Oct 25 2010 10:35 am

    You did a great job on this post! You did such a beautiful job describing your faith and how you apply it without being judgmental towards anyone else! I absolutely agree with so many things you mentioned. I think you are right when you say “ If everything that I believe is wrong, if there is no God, and all of this is meaningless,does my practice and faith lead me to contribute to a better world? ” With so many beliefs, all or most with their own documentation, how can any one claim to hold the ultimate knowledge and path? I grew up baptist (I sought religion myself, I do not come from a religious family) but my heart and mind are open because there is just so much knowledge and beauty I couldn’t possibly limit myself! I just started reading up on Hinduism and it is so interesting! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Oct 25 2010 11:57 pm

      Hello Mommy Lebron!
      Thank you for your kind words. This was a difficult post to write!
      It’s interesting that you came to your spiritual discovery on your own. I did too.
      I’m so interested in the fact that you are looking into Hinduism. (You must read Thursday’s blog post!) For all I have learned, which is only a drop of water in the sea of time… I have yet to discover anything that doesn’t tell me that all faiths lead to God. And I really don’t believe that faith is the only way.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

  3. Jk / Oct 25 2010 5:59 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    I really really really enjoyed reading this. It was really beautiful! I appreciate you respecting others view of “god” while still being true to your view. I really respect that.

    One of the most impacting things I’ve heard in a long time is the very last sentence:
    “I respect everything that leads to a better world for everyone”.

    I sit and imagine….what if EVERYONE shared such a thought!

    Thank you…and by the way – you’re a wonderful writer!

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Oct 26 2010 12:00 am

      JK. I am truly touched that you stopped by. And deeply moved by all of your encouraging words.
      Yes, I do believe that if we stopped trying to have the right idea and just committed to trying to love everyone it would all work out beautifully. I also can’t believe that it isn’t possible.
      So thank you again.
      Your words have inspired me!

  4. nrhatch / Oct 25 2010 6:07 pm

    Your beliefs mirror my own . . . if not exactly, then like the reflection on a gently rippling pond.

    Namaste.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Oct 26 2010 12:02 am

      Namaste. I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me… And I do.
      It’s what we don’t say enough. So thank you for that!

  5. Ollin / Oct 29 2010 11:23 pm

    “Love each other. Follow your heart, and as you are not separate from God you will find your way.”

    Wonderful post. Nice to meet your God, :). I like It.

    This quote of yours above was my favorite. I have not studied all the worlds religions like you have, I always thought it would be a worthy endeavor though. My theory was that yes, you would find a lot of similarities. So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to borrow your wisdom.

    And carry it as my own. 🙂 I was feeling a little distressed and this was exactly the piece of wisdom I needed to carry at this moment. Thank you! 🙂

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Nov 1 2010 9:49 am

      Hello Ollin and thank you for your beautiful words!
      You can take anything that you perceive to be wisdom and run with it! I hope it brings you much joy.

  6. BK / Oct 31 2010 9:41 am

    I think that what we chose is not important as long as it leads us to love and respect one another.

  7. amandab714 / Nov 2 2010 3:02 pm

    thank you for posting this poem and for finding your way to my blog. i look forward to reading more. thank you for putting all this positivity out there. it’s a gift.

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Nov 3 2010 6:26 pm

      Thank you so much Amanda,
      I too am grateful that I found your blog. I’m looking forward to catching up.

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