The G-word, Ted Talks & critical thinking.

Ted talks are probably my favorite way to spend my time.

Sometimes I find myself dreaming about having something important enough to share with the great thinkers of this world-- but then I worry that my terrible stage freight would yeild a babbling idiot. so writing it is. ;)

I listened to a really great talk, on a tough subject-- so I had to share.

First, I should share some things about my own views.. 

I grew up in your standard Catholic/Christian household. My sister and I went to Church with friends on Sunday when we were invited, and my mother would insist that we go to church every few weeks-- after all, us kids had busy sport/extracurricular schedules & she was a full-time working single mom.

We took Communion, we were encouraged to say our prayers, and we were expected to have a certain reverence for the faith.

God was often "someone" who was feared. "God is watching you!" or "God, knows if you are lying, Ryan" or whatever else. In retrospect, it was weird actually, because my mother is not like that (anymore).

Anyway, as you can imagine.. I kind of thought God was a jerk. Especially, since my life had been so freaking hard-- by this point I was only eight and I remember several instances in my life where I flat out said, WHERE are you now, God!?

Long story short, I spent most of my teens/early twenties exploring the religious, and non-religious, but spiritual world. I had ups and downs. I rebelled. I conformed. I broke through. I broke down. I had profound experiences. Sometimes I felt really lost, and sometimes I felt really convicted in my beliefs.

Then I spent a good 4 years of my life really scrambling-- and it was re-accepting the idea of God as part of me, and everyone/thing else, that really got me on the path to good health again (and yoga, and working out, and eating right).

Not the Christian God. Or Allah. Or  the angry vengeful God(s) we've seen in human history.

But, just God.

The Universe. The higher power.

The breeze in the air. The light in the sky. The source humans have been talking about, and expressing visually, from cave walls to canvas, since the beginning of time.

Something like this...

Same God. Same Universe. Different interpretation.

For so many of us, especially those more fact driven-science-thinkers (such as myself), the word God is/was perverted because humans practicing religion have perverted it.

I've experienced that perversion on my own path, so I feel  like this is a fair assessment to make.

It's an accidental (and sometimes intentional) limitation of who or what God really is.

The problem I see in religion is that is creates an US vs THEM mentality.

Your God. My God.

There is no God. Who is God?

They believe. They don't. 

Separation. Distrust.

And everyone is SOOOOO sure, that their interpretation of God is correct, and the one true ticket to heaven.

Even if you aren't good, as long as you believe in this specific way, you will be forgiven.. and eternal bliss is yours.

I think this is BS honestly. Where is the accountability? Where is the action?

A blind faith, that doesn't hold us accountable for taking care of this planet, or each other.

I am not intending to attack organized religion-- what I am saying is that I think in a lot of cases, those who are practicing a religion are not really exploring God-- they are exploring an interpretation of God made by man-- Man is flawed, and so are our interpretations of what was seen in that burning bush.

My favorite expression of God is through Om.

It is humble. It is it simple, it holds one accountable for doing their "part" and it is a physical reminder that the vibrations of God, The Universe, are within you.

The sound Om is beautiful-- and a room full of om's is quite powerful. (If you've been to a good yoga or meditation class you know what I mean)

This is how I view God now. Not a man in the sky with puppet strings. Not an entity that creates rules about whom one shall marry. But a feeling. A warmth.

God is hard work that heals the soul.

A powerful, all encompassing, vibration that moves the universe. The more in tune we all become with that vibration, the more likely it is that we will wake up.

I am ashamed to say, within my own family I have witnessed an extreme intolerance for other faiths-- mainly Islam. These (somewhat distant) members of my family have claimed that the Anti-Christ is in the White House, and that Islam is a faith of hate, among other really crazy shit. It is really scary to me that otherwise well educated, well off people would have such a gross misunderstanding of an entire faith, and of even their own faith, and where their religion has been in its past and where it is still to this day.

Not all Christians are good, and not all Muslims are bad. Just like not all Buddhists are patient or compassionate and not all yogi's are disciplined all of the time.

If you are a thinking person, intolerance forces you to look at HOW easy it is to allow the perversion of words and ideas, and religion.. to continue when you don't talk about the issues in intelligent ways.

The intelligent conversation just is not happening as often as it should.

I think sometimes there is fear in starting these conversations. Fear of conflict. Fear of insult. But it is important to speak out when an injustice is being made.

We've been spiritual beings since the beginning of time, that is not going to end, unless we do.. But what should end, is the gross misunderstanding that we are somehow not connected. Yes, from a rational, scientific perspective, we are separate.. But on a fundamental level, we aren't even separate from the forest or the trees within it.

This TEDtalk made me remember and appreciate that there is an awakening happening all over the world. It is happening in Islam, where the people have been controlled and repressed by radicals, it is happening here in America (slowly, but it's happening) and it is happening all over this planet as we expand our consciousness, and become more connected through technology.

This talk reminded me of how fragile we are.

We are so easily influenced by words, and imagery.. Oftentimes we forget that we really don't know or see what is happening on a deeper level around the world.

There is a serious lack of critical thinking happening in the religious-spiritual community, it is important that we open the conversations on a global scale.

The only things I have ever found to be actually true is that we all breath the same air. We are made up of 70% water. Blood runs through our veins. And we are all capable of two very powerful complex emotions.

source unknown to me.

Love/Tolerance & Hate/Intolerance. 




  1. So well said. I wish I could have written a lot of this. I especially agree with how perverted the word God has become... I know I have a difficult time using the word God in conversation about my faith. I think a large part of it is I tend to think of God as being a force rather than an entity, and I associate the word God with the belief in a personified entity.... if that makes any sense at all.

  2. It does make sense. I think that's why I like the ohm.

    It is just a symbol and a sound, but it embodies something that is different than me-- but also within me.

    1. Indeed. I've found that the ohm is often my very favorite part of class for this reason. It's just amazing to me what happens what happens when everyone releases the sound that's within them at once... Sometimes everyone lands on the same note, sometimes you end up with some kind of chord... I find that it tends to set the mood of the class for me.

  3. Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely adore you and totally love how incredibly smart you are? Because it's true. My problem with religion has always been that as long as you say "my bad", you're forgiven and all is well. Well, that's bullshit. Because what's the point of living a good and honest life if it really doesn't matter so long as you say whoops once in awhile?

  4. I am not intending to attack organized religion-- what I am saying is that I think in a lot of cases, those who are practicing a religion are not really exploring God-- they are exploring an interpretation of God made by man-- Man is flawed, and so are our interpretations of what was seen in that burning bush.

    ^^I completely agree with this. While I am a practicing (and believing) Christian, I feel like so many who claim to be Christians are really following their pastor or doctrines versus Jesus Christ. I also have a problem with God being used solely to scare people.


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