What God expects from his children both young and old

After the interesting reactions I’ve had to my latest post “Christian faith and children” I’ve decided to express my whole concept on the matter a bit more extensively.

I’ve actually managed to provoke and enrage with a single post two devout evangelical Christians and a fervent atheist at the same time. That event has to be recorded in some way, because I don’t think anyone else can manage two such feats so effortlessly and simultaneously.

It doesn’t hurt one to have a certain sense of humor about oneself. Anyway, though I’m certain the Christian gentlemen won’t believe it, I like them both even if they don’t like me in return.  As for the atheist, I think he’s a highly intelligent, incredibly polite and nice man and I’ve really enjoyed our discussion.

You can view these discussions on my page “Granny’s haunted house” in the comment section underneath the specific post, but I must warn you there were some rather impolite and rude things said from both sides in the discussion with the two Christians and the whole thing is not for the faint of heart.

However you are free to read what was said at your own risk and peril.

And now let’s get serious about what Jesus said one must do to be saved and why he said it.

I’ll give it in the form of a list though I’m not a big fan of lists. I hate them actually, but I’ll do it, only in order for it to be more comprehensible and easy to understand.  

1. Be like children.

Mathew  18:1-8  Who is the greatest, Mathew 19:13-15  Jesus blesses little children, Luke 9: 46-48  Who is the greatest, Mark 10:13 -16  Jesus blesses little children etc.

But how exactly are children? Innocent, imaginative, playful and most importantly HAPPY, when left alone and not being oppressed by their parents, society’s precepts, fixed labels and this whole system bent upon eliminating innocence in all its forms.

2. Don’t serve money, don’t seek self glorification and power of this world or worldly knowledge but instead seek spiritual heavenly treasures, be humble at heart and poor in spirit.

That’s a part of Jesus’s whole reconstruction of the system of values forced upon us by this soul-devouring machine we call society.  

a) First regarding money and riches:

Mathew 19:16-23,  Mark 10:17-23  Jesus counsels the rich young ruler “with God all things are possible”.

Luke 12:13-21 the parable of the rich fool

Luke 16:19-30 the rich man and Lazarus.

And many more.

But why Christ asks us not to be greedy and not to serve money? Because greed makes us unhappy. No matter how much money you have, it’s never enough and you always fool yourself in thinking that if you had ten times as much you’d be happy. When you achieve it, you are still unsatisfied. Because money enslaves us to this material world and we lose ourselves in the process. So that’s the core of these teachings. Once again man’s happiness and nothing else.

b) Now let’s examine the self glorification and humility subject

Mathew 20:25-28 Greatness is serving

Luke 14:7-11 take the lowly place…. for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Luke 18:9-14 The Pharisee and the tax collector.

John 13:1-12 Jesus washes the disciples feet and many more.

Why Jesus wants us to be humble instead of arrogant and conceited? How many famous men and women haven’t died horrible deaths due to addictions to pills and alcohol? If this type of fame had made anyone truly fulfilled, all those people wouldn’t have destroyed themselves. Fame and arrogance is a burden and when you throw it away and do not seek or need it, you become happy.

So there we are again. Jesus asked us to be humble for our own happiness and fulfillment and not to oppress us or force us into anything we don’t want to do.

c) Finally we’ll examine worldly knowledge in opposition to the inner truth that emanates from our relation to God.

Mathew 5:3 blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mathew 11:25 I thank you father that you have hidden this things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them to babes.

That also has to do with the first part «Be like children». And let’s not forget that Jesus chose simple uneducated fishermen and craftsmen to become his disciples and that he accused the learned scribes and pharisees of blindness and hypocrisy and that Judas Iscariot, the only one educated, was the one who betrayed him.

Why Jesus does advise us against seeking earthly knowledge and encourages us to hold on to the simple and pure view of a child. Because earthly knowledge often blinds us to the deeper truths that actually help us see, beyond the outer veil of injustice, the beauty and justice of the world that is hidden from us by this ungodly system. That means to return to the happiness we lost when we fell from the state of complete unity with God. So in a  few words he advises us to do what we have to do in order to be HAPPY once again.

3. live in the present moment and enjoy it, being spiritually reborn every single day of our lives.

Mathew 6:25-34 Do not worry.  

Jesus in this passage tells us not to worry about the future, since the father who provides food for the birds and clothing for the flowers will most certainly provide for us, his beloved children.

Mathew 5:43-48 Love your enemies.

Mathew 6:12 and 14 (The model prayer). Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.

So by means of forgiveness we can free ourselves of the past. Someone free from worries about  the future and not holding grudges against others for what may have done to him in the past, free from guilt and despair, is free to live in the moment, enjoy the sun the taste of fruit, the scent of flowers and each little pleasure of life  in general in the present day and moment. He becomes free from the bondage of linear time and he can be born again every moment of his life. Why Jesus asks us to do that? You’ve guessed it! In order for us to be HAPPY.

4. Do not judge.

Mathew 7:1-6 Judge not, that you be not judged.

In other words do not put labels on others, do not accuse them, and allow them to be the best human beings they can without bashing them with words or actions. Do not fill them with guilt and actually accept them the way they are.

Why does Jesus asks us to do that? Because, when you judge, you only see wickedness and evil in others. You feel surrounded and trapped in a circle of maliciousness. You see imperfection in everyone and everything and therefore you become unhappy. To conclude, that too is expected from us, to help us become truly and uncompromisingly HAPPY. Seeing everyone as a brother helps us free ourselves from the chess-player logic that forces us to see only white and black pawns and reunites us with our innocence and purity of heart.

Putting our faith in Christ as the person above all other persons and true and unique representative of God the Father on earth allows us to believe his words and of course be HAPPY.

Now let’s examine Paul that my evangelical Christian friend is so fond of.

Ephesians 2:1-8 By grace through faith.

Here Paul tells us we are not saved through works but through faith and the grace of God.

As a matter of fact my evangelical Christian friend asked how many works must we do in order to be saved. He asked me to tell him the mechanics, as he called it.

The answer to this question is actually quite simple:

We only need to do one but do it constantly. Be truly HAPPY and fulfilled, allow that happiness to spread to others and feel good while doing it. That’s all there is to it.  

How can anyone make anyone else happy, if he isn’t happy himself to begin with? How can someone love and be grateful to God, when he secretly hates his life and he is miserable and unhappy. That’s the one work we have to do to please God if one can say with a straight face that being happy can actually be considered a “work”.

Besides Paul himself answers this question 1 Corinthians 13-13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Faith, hope and love that summarize the whole of Christ’s teaching and is the essence of it. We need faith in order to believe in Christ, follow his teaching and become happy through the way of life he embodies, we need hope so that we remain positive and HAPPY and believe that happiness is possible for us to begin with, and finally we need love in order to spread that Happiness to people around us. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

I’d like to close this post with Paul’s touching definition of love:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The time travelling senses

Have you ever wondered how much magic is hidden in our forgotten childhood experiences, locked somewhere at the back of our memory. Often we are amazed at the way a certain smell or taste takes us decades back, to a time of carefree play and innocence, when everything felt right and fair and beautiful.

Mind you I’m not talking from the lofty position of someone who has never known sadness and loss as a child. I’ve had a difficult and lonely childhood and an even harder adolescence affected by a severe psychological trauma and a weight problem, that I’ve developed as a result,  but still there were also good times and often I’ve felt travelling back to those happy times by a story, a smell, a taste or a sound. One doesn’t need a time machine to travel through time. All one needs is one’s senses that are the gate keepers of this magnificent treasury of childhood memories and feelings.

Why are we unable to recall every happy moment of our childhood? The reason is not as obvious as one may think. It’s not like any old memory we’d rather forget. It is the deep feeling of loss our true self has, because we have buried it, the deep fear of our current adult self that it will eventually realize this rejection of the true self, of the little child world builder he once was, of the divine spark he came to this world with and rejected to adopt the values of an inhumane cruel system, centered around material wealth one can only acquire by exchanging his soul’s deepest desires for beauty, unconditional love and glorious awe before life’s true greatness and wonder, that prevent us from remembering.

That is the main reason why we must be extra observant and mindful of our own children’s deepest needs. We need to remain vigilant and not allow negativity and darkness enter the inner sanctum of the child’s soul. There is much garbage out there offered to children as food for their spirit, soul, mind and body.

I’m not some sort of fanatic vegetarian type. I think everything should be included in a developing child’s diet, but food must have a certain quality and not undermine the little person’s well being.

It is the same with the spirit and soul. The religious and general ideas we offer to the child have to be carefully examined before it is forced to embrace them. The pictures and art, the books and the music  the child consumes need to be nourishing for his or her soul pleasing the senses and offering a sense of meaning. Remember the child hasn’t yet developed the walls an adult raises between him and the world and it is extremely vulnerable.

The answer to this is not to order the child to “toughen up”, to hit back and be hard to survive but rather to make our child truly strong enriching its life with beauty and pleasant emotions. He or she needs to have gathered such treasures of beauty that the ugliness of this world is not powerful enough to undermine or extinguish. The flame must remain lit so we must demand of creators to produce valuable and constructively beautiful work for the young.

Personally I think that, when something is unsuitable for or harmful to a child it is equally harmful to an adult. It’s not enough to search for beauty. We must demand it from the creators and accept nothing less by boycotting ugliness and supporting beauty in films, books and media in general.

The works that need to be produced for us must be both aesthetically pleasing and deeply meaningful. We may not have claimed such quality for ourselves, while we were young, but we damn well owe it to our children and should not just accept everything the system advertises and promotes, in order to condition us to be unsensitized to ugliness, cruelty and injustice, that seems to prevail in this world of ours.

Remember the child’s current experiences are what he or she will nostalgically recollect and draw strength from, when he/she is older. So now is the time to give it beauty by the truckload, so that he has the ability that we as children didn’t have to remain innocent, free and fullfiled.

Thank you for your patience. 

Christian faith and children

I wouldn’t normally bring faith into this discussion, since I’m well aware, that many people are agnostic, atheists and non believers and personally I have the greatest respect for all views and accept everyone’s choices.

                However for those of us with faith, whether we are Greek or Russian Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants of every denomination or members of another Christian dogma, I think we can agree on this one thing: The teaching of Christ is the most brilliant truth in our faith, regardless of the specific dogma we consider ourselves to be part of.

                I have to bring this up, since I don’t think we take it seriously enough. It was our Lord who said that, in order to enter the kingdom of God, one must become like an innocent child. There are many passages in scripture, where Jesus refers to children as the proper state of man and I think we must devote to those words a little more contemplation.

                He didn’t consider them immature or annoying, but he asked his disciples to let them come to him. I don’t want to quote specific passages, since I have written a whole essay οn this subject and to do so further would be redundant.

                Be it as it may, we live in a world with little to no respect for innocence. We try to enforce onto children our own limited reasoning the so called common sense – well  it’s more common than it is sense – by means of discipline and constant pressure, when we would be better off, if we showed them respect, and learned from the purity of their mind and the brightness of their feelings.

                Yes, the children can save this world, not only because they represent our future, but mainly because they are the healthy cells of humanity and they come precisely for this reason, to teach us and turn us back into living empathic human beings, with the capacity to love, accept and forgive.

                Either we accept the word of Christ as true or we don’t. However for those of you with doubt I feel the need to mention that it’s kind of a giveaway that he comes to say things with the sole purpose to heal our existential and spiritual sickness, to bring together our broken pieces, split asunder by our knowledge of good and evil described in the old testament.

                What’s wrong with knowledge, you’ll ask. Nothing really, but the Truth is higher than any material knowledge or skill we may develop. Knowledge helps us mostly with matters of survival and makes our lives easier, but it’s the TRUTH and only the truth that deals with our very existential core. So the Lord tells us not to judge, unless we wish to be judged ourselves, by the measure of how true we’ve stayed to his original teaching.

                That’s not some kind of ethical mumbo jumbo but it addresses the core of the matter. If you don’t judge other people, you stop dividing this world into a black and white chess board with good and evil pawns, and become free to love the difference in others and see their colorful essence, that makes them unique and special CHILDREN of God.

                So to put our children in the center of our lives and rediscover our own hurt and oppressed inner child is our true salvation and, no matter what else we do, pray or partake in mysteries if this teaching is not followed properly and taken seriously we simply haven’t done enough.

                It’s the child who becomes our true pastor, priest and teacher and can be of tremendous assistance to our constant fight for perfection and fulfillment. So please listen to your children, let them guide YOU, for a change. After all, for centuries adults are trying to make their children identical to them, and enforce this sick system on them and where exactly has that led us? To the brink of destruction that’s where. Why not stir up things a bit and give this system of despair a hard time, when trying to engulf our children. Let THEM teach us. Why would that be so terrible, to learn from your own child? After all, how much we have left to lose?

                The mechanical artificial way of life advances. What other hope we have, if it is not our children with their living colourful souls, to get out of this in one piece and rediscover the only path leading straight to happiness. If their light becomes darkness, what else do we have to lean on? They are the light of our little worlds. Do we really want to pass through this life blind and fearful of every shadow the system conjures up to keep us frightened and alone? 

                I do hope I didn’t exhaust you with this post, but I felt it was time for this to be said. I hope soon to publish a book dealing with all those issues in greater depth.  Bye for now.

The Eden of the child

How happy seems the child in the beauty and amazement of his magical world of new experiences, wonders and miracles?

                We tend to take things for granted, but the child lives for the colorful, the different and the unexpected. How much can we remember and rediscover through the child’s pure enthusiasm for the little things of this world. And what a responsibility it is to be a parent, when you know that the child views you as a sort of earthly god on whom his very life depends. 

                How important is every single little action of the parents for the child! That little teacher who comes into our lives to help us rediscover the joyful and fulfilling Eden of innocence? Yet how unprepared one feels for such a responsibility, realizing that from now on every word of his or hers matters?

                What is then the true duty of the parent to the child? He has to nurture it not only physically but also mentally , emotionally and spiritually. He needs to guide it to truth, beauty and spiritual fulfillment. But how many of us really realize this, when faced with the decision to bring a new perfect human being in this world. Our black and white world of routine can be filled with vibrant color, but how can our little teacher help us, when we refuse to be helped? When he or she feels like she’s viewed as immature, as less intelligent or powerful than adults? How unfair for the little teacher who possesses the ultimate power, the power of dreams and fantasy of his world-building imagination, that can breathe life into inanimate objects and find value in the smallest most insignificant things for us adults.

                When the child can journey with his or her imagination to the most magical lands, believe that the impossible is feasible and that dreams can become a reality, the child is a little god in his or her own respect, since he or she can fill our lives with joy and unlock the door that leads to the true Eden, wherefrom we all come to this world.

                Eden lives in the soul and it’s not just a lush green garden well tended by dutiful angels. We were once in this Eden of true experience. A single smell, a song can awaken memories of it, but what’s the use when we don’t let our little teachers reintroduce us to this dream-world of our childhood, of the time when, even in the harshness of life, we could believe in the triumph of justice, the power of miracles and to the goodness that lies dormant in every soul, even to those seemingly most deserving of doom? How much we need this unique power these days, when cruelty seems to become the norm in our lives.     Why not let the children become the little captains of our life’s wandering boat in the stormy sea of everyday problems and lack of empathy?   Let’s fill ourselves with the treasures offered to us by giving to the child its true place in our lives. Everyone wins. The child finds the love it needs and deserves and we get reacquainted with our true self the little spark that shines brightly in the deepest depths of our being.

The Price the Child has to pay.

When a whole system is battling against innocence, it’s difficult to say which social factor is the most harmful for the a child’s soul, or psyche as we say in Greek, the family or the school environment with the set of values they impose, which slowly but surely is constructed like a thick medieval dungeon around a living child, in order to turn it into a living dead grownup, who lives for his primal instincts striving to survive but caring not whether he does or does not exist.

This set of restrictive values with financial success at the top and existential fulfillment at the bottom, with appearances playing a major role in every aspect of our lives, while the very substance of our entities is provocatively and constantly being ignored, is a detrimental plague on our true purpose. That’s a delicate but extremely serious issue and our dealing with it cannot be postponed any longer.
Why does our system cruelly and harshly enforced upon the child is so sick to its core and, if it is, what have the grownups, the mature adults truly done to prevent it from engulfing the whole humanity.

Children are the healthy biological cells of the universal being and, if we want to direct our very humanity to the life giving essence from which we arose, instead of the agonizing existential death we all must suffer, if we continue to walk upon this crooked path of dilemmas and moral choices, we have to protect them with every mean available at our disposal.

How is it that we do not see that our only salvation is the youthful uncorrupted being of every age from the new born baby to the young adult, when we ourselves, instead of following the one and only road that leads to fulfillment, unbreakably connected to our true will and the divine guidance, we are doomed to orchestrate our own extinction not only biologically as a species, but also as valuable spiritual beings and foundational entities, intricately connected with the universal consciousness as the cosmic crowning jewels of the material and immaterial creation.

The books I strive to write have the sole purpose of underlying and promoting dream and magic in our lives, while at the same time postponing the unavoidable corruption of the human being in a system that blinds us to beauty and deafens us to truth. That is my purpose and I hope that I am successful at it.

Through music, sounds, stories and images one cannot only reawaken the soul so that it is reconnected with a desire for beauty, but can also go deeper to the very substance of our being and bring us back to the life giving connection to the essence which flows like life giving water in the barren deserts of our lives.

Children and Mirrors

Dear parents,

Have you ever paused for a while your busy schedule to think about how a child forms a sense of identity, by looking at his/her reflection in a mirror or a shiny surface? Or is he/she?

I personally think that mirrors are undoubtedly the first object that forms that invisible but unfortunately very powerful barrier between the child, who encounters it, and his/her inner sense of identity.

Please, allow me to explain, in greater depth, my view. Whether we remember it or not, we all come into this world with an inner sense of a higher self, a magical identity so to speak, known only to us. By “inner self” I mean that secret but powerful awareness of oneself from within, which is almost divine in nature and that we all come armed with into the cosmic awareness.

We enter this material realm with a tiny world builder present inside us. A little wonder-maker, a miracle worker and creator of sorts with a mind mainly bent on performing his own unique miracles and discovering beautiful, dreamlike paradises on this earth with his invisible magical telescope.

Because, how can one describe a major achievement such as when the child utters his/her first word or manages to walk for the first time, if not as a great unimaginable miracle or when he/she tastes a pear, a grape or a cherry for the first time discovering for him/herself its glorious substance expressed through its immediately distinguishable odour and flavour. What a great discovery it is for a child the nearby playground filled with all kinds of amusing distractions!
That playground is his/her Eden, where innocence is the most beautiful ever blooming tree of joy and pleasure. No harm can befall the child, as long as he/she does not deny her innocence. No one can steal it or undermine it with any action, as long as the child remains united with this inner spark of self who is able to experience different kinds of beauty and his/her senses are open to everything new wondrous and unexpected.

But what exactly does the mirror that is so detrimental to the child’s psyche? What is the first thing that separates us from the Eden of innocence, if not the mirror, the sole object able to introduce us to an alternative self, a self utterly tied to a specific face and outer form that lies to us and forces us to accept it as the only real self we have? This lie of outer appearance completely opposes the unrestrained inner conscience, with which we come endowed into this world by acceptable labels and convenient boxes.

Imagine a world where no one would have a sense of this outer self. It would be a world of clear entities and almost angelic beings, eternal children filled with the bliss of innocent delight, by their inner, greater more divine part. Narcissism, selfishness, vanity and every harmful emotion related with them would have been a thing of the past on such a world.

The true consequences though of such an acquaintance with our outer appearance and consequently the denial of our inner knowledge of who and what we are go far deeper and are far more harmful than any well-intentioned parent can possibly imagine, because the chasm that forms between appearance and true self leaves the door open for even greater inner conflicts such as the antithesis between truth and lie, good and evil, past and future. Our little Adams and Eves are now free to eat from the tree of every conceivable antithesis and lose forever their compass that points to true happiness.

My advice to the contemporary parent is to delay this process of inner division for as long as possible, by not encouraging the child to identify with his reflection too early. On the contrary one should more eagerly encourage every inner sense of self by saying to them “You are the feelings you feel, not a mere reflection on something that breaks with a mere pebble or a tiny stone”.
By slowing the procedure of the creation of division and keeping the child for as long as it is possible in touch with his naturally awakened and sensitive senses and not with his/her appearance a parent will manage to protect the child’s humanity and the spark that offers light to his/her whole being.