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Finding  God by Faith and Reason  --  Where religion meets reality --  
Where reality meets religion  --  Where mind, heart, the evidence, common sense,
and God are equal partners  --  Where The God of Faith and Reason can be found.
    :::   ...  Index-06

Religion and Reality      ---     Faith and Reason      ---     Reality and Religion

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Finding God
By Faith   
 
And    
By Reason

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Project  Overview

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Page Contents

      It's Black or It's White`

      Where to Find the Truth`

      A Core Truth`

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      Some Biblical Examples`

      The Blind Leading the Blind`

      The Ten-letter Four-letter Word`

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      An Invitation`

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Skip the details below 
Take Me to 
The Site Map / Project Content List

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Scan First -- Details Later:   For your first reading of this website, we recommend that you ignore the links to the supporting pages.  First, obtain an overall sense of what the project is about and then later examine the supporting evidence.    

What to Do When Your Buttons Get Pushed:   As you read through these pages, sooner or later, you'll come to something that pushes one of your buttons.   Some typical responses include:    This sounds crazy!  --  I don't believe that!  --    His arrogance really p---es me off!   --  What a Hypocrite!   --   I'm done reading these lies!   Let me out of here.    

At that point you have an important choice to make.   1)  Simple move on to some other website, or 2)  Check the Pushed Buttons° page before you decide to leave.   

For examples of how life is not what you've been led to believe it is,   see the page titled:  An Alternate perspective.°  

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Black Or White --  Either/or --  Duality Only:   

Humans are used to looking at life as though it were either one or the other of two possibilities:   It's black or white.   It's good or bad.   It's right or wrong.   He's innocent or guilty.   In reality, and regardless of the scale one is on, life comes in infinite varieties.   For example, how many shades of gray are there between black and white;  nothing is all good or all bad,  all right, or all wrong.   

As a result of this either/or way of perception, when examining religious beliefs, the common reaction of  Christians  in the USA  is:   "It's my faith versus the Godless, scientific atheists."   In distinct contrast to this,  the process of Finding God  by Faith and by Reason is NOT an either or choice.  It's a blending of faith with reason.    It's faith and reason as partners, not as rivals.   

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Can Reason Damage Faith?   A common fear is that reason will destroy faith, but history has repeatedly shown us that this is not the case.   Faith has been moved to a different level  -- into a grander context°  -- into a bigger picture,  but faith has never been damaged, destroyed or eliminated by reason.   For example, has the mystery we call "God" been solved by understanding that the Earth is not the center of the universe.   NO!  Faith in God is as strong today as it ever was.   What has changed are the speculations and guesses humans make about the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of the universe, and the interrelationships among them.   

Millions of people have abandoned traditional Christian Churches because of church refusal to step out of its self-imposed prison of antiquated beliefs.   These people have not lost  their faith.   They have only shifted their faith to a grander vision of reality.  

The problem in not with faith.    It revolves around the fact that the leaders of most religious structures refuse to adjust their faith to match what the latest evidence tell us is most likely the correct answers to ( our best-guess theories about the answers to)  questions such as  What Is Reality?   and How Does the Universe Function?     Conservative church leaders cling desperately to ancient stories though up by men who believed the Earth was flat and made up to answer the unanswerable questions asked by ancient, uneducated, superstitious, desert dwellers whose lifestyles were so drastically different from what we know today as to be all but unimaginable.   

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The Ultimate Mystery Remains the Ultimate Mystery?   The worlds greatest philosophers throughout the centuries°  have told us that the source of the Universe that we refer to as "God" is unknown and unknowable.    They also have told us that the only way to understand anything about "The Source of the Universe" appears to be  to study his/her/its creations.    

We can gather data about ourselves, about the Earth and the other life forms on it.   We can gather data about the universes of the very large and very small.    We can gather information from these sources, and from these collections of data, we can speculate, guess, and create hypotheses about the nature of the Source -- the Creator His/Her/Itself.   We can guess, but we cannot know!

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Where to Find the Truth:   

Here's another surprising piece of information.   The Truth is just about everywhere except in the words of those who want you to live under their dominance.`   You can find all the basic concepts in every major religion.  You can find the  the concept in the works of hundreds of teachers and guides who teach spirituality instead of religiosity,°  and you can find the truth in the Christian Bible.

Where to start?  This issue is like getting on a merry-go-round in an old-time carnival.     Start anywhere.    Every point will lead you directly or indirectly to every other point.   And every point is guiding you toward the same destination -- Self Discovery and The Truth.   

As was stated above, studying this technique for finding God by faith and  by reason  is like putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle.   One piece won't tell you much about the total picture, but, as you keep putting the pieces together and adding additional pieces to the puzzle, the overall picture becomes clearer and clearer.   Then at some unexpected point, the "ah ha!" (the realization) strikes, and the whole thing suddenly makes sense.

Viewers also need to understand that as one reads more pages on our websites, his/her understanding of the context°  (the overall picture) changes.   This broader perspective gives  new meanings to ideas, beliefs, and concepts that were previously seen from a limited perspective.   The story of the three blind men examining an elephant° is a symbolic illustration of this.  

Please also be aware that remembering who and what you really are is a step-by-step process that requires time.   It took you years to get yourself to where you are right now.    The remembering  process will also require time.   So in seeking the God of Faith and Reason, expect to find a process and not an instant,  magic answer.    

And if you decide that this path is not for you, that's fine too, because no matter how or where you find your truth, it all leads to the same destination.   The question is not about the eventual destination, it's about which path do you choose to get yourself there.    Readers are invited to examine the page titled:   Religion Versus Spirituality.°   

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A Core Truth:   

Here's the path, the destination, and the concept all in one sentence:   Love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself  with equal intensity because all three are one and the same thing.   If you respond and say, "I already know that.   That statement is the basis of every major religion on the planet,"  we ask,  "Are you living it 24-7?"   

If you are not living the above statement twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, then you don't really understand the full truth behind, within, beneath, below, and around these words:  "Love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself with equal intensity because all three are one and the same thing."   As just one sample and as a reasonable starting point, the next section below looks at some of the mostly ignored passages in the Christian Bible.   

Readers who  don't care what the Christian Bible says are invited to skip the Biblical examples and go to the section titled:   The Blind Leading the Blind.` 

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Some Biblical Examples:   

When was the last time you heard a Conservative Christian Preacher give a sermon on any of the following biblical passages?   

Read the Biblical scriptures below and then answer the question again --  Do I Love God, do I love my neighbor, and do I love myself, 24-7?    

John 14:12

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

   This quote from Jesus is commonly paraphrased as:   "Anything I can do, you can do and more."   Was Jesus lying?  Hardly!  Then if you can do as He did, why are you groveling in the mud begging for favors from a fickle, angry, vindictive, superhuman being living above the clouds?   

Jesus never begged for favors.   When he prayed, he simply said "thank you," knowing full well that his prayers were already answered.   His behavior was in perfect alignment with the basic laws of creation.°

Luke 17:21                                                                        Luke 17:21             ...

“Behold, the kingdom of God is within you." 

     What is the kingdom of God?  Traditional Christian theology teaches its followers that God's kingdom is in heaven and that heaven is a place above the clouds where all good Christians will go after death or at the time of the Rapture to be with God and Jesus.     (The story called  The Rapture.°  is relatively new.    It's about 170 years old.   It's a highly-distorted variation on a theme that actually dates back to about one hundred years A.D.)

Could the Luke 17:21  passage have any other meaning?  Here's another possibility:  If God and heaven are within you, then where is Jesus?  He's within you, also.   So why are you waiting for him to return?   He never left.   He's here in each and every one of us, right now.   Perhaps you are waiting for a physical Jesus to return  --  a physical  God to answer your prayers.  Perhaps you've forgotten His words:  "When two or more are gathered in my name, I am there also."   Read and apply the next passage below and wait no more.   

Matthew 6:5-6

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues [houses of worship] and in the corners of the streets, [and on television] that they may be seen of men.   Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.   But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

   This passage chastises public prayer and instructs people to pray in private.   We wonder if school prayer and praying on TV could possibly be considered public prayer.   

This passage tells us that one reaches God personally and in private and  that church intermediaries are not necessary.   With a little  wisdom, one could also easily conclude that promoting school prayer is not about reaching God.  It's about mind-bending.   It's about promoting religiosity to children too young to know or understand what's happening to their minds and to their free will.   Remember the Communist slogan:  "Get the mind of the child and you've got the adult."  Well, that technique is Christian in origin and started back in the beginning days of Roman Catholic public manipulation.  See the section below titled:   The Ten-letter Four-letter Word.`

Ecclesiastes 11:5, RSV                                   Ecclesiastes 11:5, RSV    ...

"As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of the woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”

   This passage clearly distinguishes between the body and the spirit.   It says that humans don’t know when the spirit enters the physical form, and, most significantly, states that humans do not know how God works.   Below are three additional translations of this verse.

Ecclesiastes 11:5, NLV   

"God's ways are as hard to discern as the pathways of the wind, and as mysterious as a tiny baby being formed in a mother's womb."

Ecclesiastes 11:5, KJV  

"As thou knowest not what [is] the way of the spirit, [nor] how the bones [do grow] in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all."

Ecclesiastes 11:5, NASB 

"Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones {are formed} in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things."

   1 Corinthians 2:14  and Ecclesiastes 3:11 also state that humans do not know how God works.   Yet, in direct contradiction to three passages in the Christian Bible, television  preachers regularly tell the public what God wants you to do.   Did you ever wonder how they know what God wants you to do?    Did you ever wonder why they assume that they know and you don't?   Did you ever wonder why most of  them tell you that God wants you to send them money?

Matthew 7:15-16

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but  inwardly they are ravening wolves.   Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

   When was the last time you looked for a wolf in sheep's clothing?    When was the last time you found one?    Here are few more details about how to  Recognize a False Prophet.°   and how to   Find a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing°    

Ecclesiastes 3:19                                                    Ecclesiastes 3:19           ...

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all [is] vanity."

   You have been led to believe that you are separate from nature, when the Bible says exactly the opposite.   You might also note that the overwhelming scientific evidence is in complete harmony with this statement.   Ecclesiastes 3:19 is the Biblical equivalent of the quote from Chief Seattle.°    Please read the Chief Seattle quote and then ask yourself if you are willing to live your life as if Ecclesiastes 3:19 were God's truth.  

       This passage, like many others, uses the term "breath" in a manner that implies that the word is synonymous with the also-commonly-used word, "spirit."   There is no clear definition of either word which leaves opening for more than one interpretation.  For some possibilities, see the section titled: Relevant Biblical Passages.     Is it possible that you are both body and spirit at the same time?   If so, what does that mean?  How might that alter your present view of your relationship to God and your relationship to the other life forms on planet Earth?   

Stop for a moment and contemplate the collective implications in the Biblical passages listed below:    

John 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  
       
(This is The Universal Law of Thought expressed in Biblical terms.)

Genesis 11:6

"And the Lord said, 'Behold the people are one,  and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do: and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have determined to do."

Matthew 18:20

"When two or more are gathered in my name, I am there also."

Luke17:21

“Behold, the kingdom of God is within you." 

Matthew 25:40

"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me"

John 10:34, 35

Jesus said to them, Is it not so written in your law you are gods?   If he called them gods because the word of God was with them (and the scripture cannot be broken)

Isaiah 41:23 

"Shew [show] the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye [are] gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold [it] together."

Mark 10:27

"...with God all things are possible."

John 7:7

"Ask and you shall receive;  seek and you shall find; knock and it will be opened to you"

Matthew 17:20  (paraphrased)

If you have as much faith as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.

John 14:12   (paraphrased)

 Anything I can do, you can do and more.   

   When examining these passages together, what attributes do they say humans have?    What if that "one language"  were harmony, cooperation, and sharing?  --  instead of "One way, my way."   "Murder all infidels."  "In order for me to have, someone else must go  without."?

Most humans fight to maintain the status quo out of fear that things could get worse.    Collectively, humans spend fifty percent of the world's resources on tools of destruction and then use those tools to destroy a significant portion of the other fifty percent.    

We could be much healthier, much wealthier, and  live much more fulfilling lives by simply following the Biblical messages we so carefully ignore.  

Genesis 2:7

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

   Here's another message that the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist leaders simply ignore.    They ignore this passage and several other passages (such as Ecclesiastes 11:5)  which distinguish between the physical body and the spirit° that inhabits the physical body.   Why?  Because the forced motherhood (anti-abortion) war is a multi-billion dollar cash cow.°    Genesis 2:7 clearly states that life as a human being begins at first breath.   The so-called leaders carefully ignore this Biblical truth and intentionally replace it with an ancient, unprovable, conception magic act fairytale° that is not in the Bible.    Apparently, they haven't read Mark 9:43 and  Revelations 22:18-19.      See the next two passage below.

Mark 9:42

“And whoever shall cause one of these little ones who believes in me to stumble, it is better for him that an ass’s millstone were hanged on his neck and that he were thrown into the sea.”

   This passage warns readers of the dire consequences of  intentionally deceiving those who believe in God.   Perhaps someone should inform the right-wing, Christian extremists  that lies of omission°  are still lies.   The same as "A rose by another name smell just as sweet,"   A lie by another name is still a ticket to grief and misery.

Revelation 22:18-19, NIV 

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.   And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

   This quotation warns readers of the dire consequences of preaching messages that are not in the Bible and the dire consequences of pretending that certain  Biblical passages do not exist.   Both The Rapture°   story and the fairytale about God's Conception-magic Act°   fit this description of "preaching messages that are not in the Bible."   The "Deception Peddlers" need to take heed of this passage.

The above quotes are just a few of the relevant Biblical passages.   And keep in mind  that Biblical references are just one tiny piece in our overall puzzle called:

Finding God 
By Faith     And      By Reason

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Additional  relevant Biblical passages can be found at:
http://www.pro-truth.net/30b-bible-psgs.html° 

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The Blind Leading the Blind:  

One of the major obstacles to finding the truth is that most religious hierarchies claim:    that they already know the truth -- that they have exclusive access to the truth  --  that their truth is better than any other religion's truth.   The evidence tells us that each religion has a portion of the truth -- that no religion has the complete truth --  and that no religion has exclusive access to the truth.   

An organized religion can be likened to one of the three blind men in the ancient Sufi story as they examined an elephant.  One blind man, while touching the elephant's side, declared that an elephant was like a wall.  The second, touching its leg, declared an elephant was like a tree, and the third blind man, while holding on to its tail declared an elephant was like a snake.

All three were correct, and, at the same time, all three had an incomplete and very distorted perspectives of an elephant.  Please note that the significance here is not in what each blind man  said about the elephant.  Their statements, in and of themselves, were true and accurate.   The significance is in what they didn't say and couldn't say because they didn't know.   Their problem was in thinking that their small piece of the truth was the complete truth.   

If you continued this elephant analogy, you could probably come up with a dozen or so more equally limiting ways to describe an elephant.  When you substitute God for the elephant in this analogy, the possibilities become infinite.  This leads us to an obvious conclusion:

No matter how strongly we are convinced 
that we know the
complete truth, 
we
still could be wrong.
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Humans presently have five senses.   The blind men in this fable each had only four senses available and used only one of the four to create their perception of the reality of an elephant.   What about you and me?  

Is it possible that there are more than five ways to receive information about reality?  For example, imagine visiting a human society where all the people were color blind.   Think about the response you'd get to your ability to see colors.   Jesus told us, "In my father's house, there are many mansions."   Science is now telling us that ninety-five percent of the universe is not perceivable by human senses° or by human instruments.   

How do you respond to those people who can peek into other realms of reality?   They're commonly called psychics, lunatics, crazy people, et cetera, but are they really crazy?°   or are they simply seeing/hearing things that we can't?   Geniuses like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and John Nash°  (See the film, A Beautiful Mind)  regularly tapped into those other levels of reality.   History is filled with examples of men and women who made major changes to the planet from ideas brought to Earth from those invisible realms of reality.  And where do you suppose God is?   

For those of us willing to look at life with an open mind,  every time an additional piece information becomes available to us, our picture of reality changes.    Often, the added information also changes what we refer to as "appropriate human behavior."  Our goal is to  look for additional pieces of the truth and ask, "In the light of this additional information, what are the appropriate social, political, and personal responses?  Here's another important question to ask yourself:  "Are my present beliefs and the behaviors they dictate getting me what I say I want?"

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Four-letter Word       ...

The Ten-letter Four-letter Word:   

Many of the choices that you thought you were making in your own best interest were actually a product of those whose mission was to alter your behavior.   Their goal was to change your beliefs and thus, get you to willingly alter your behavior and to take actions that actually served their interests and not necessarily your own.

The ten-letter, four-letter word is manipulate.    It's the ultimate swear word.   It means to influence, maneuver, control, manage, or otherwise dominate someone without them being aware that they are being used.   Psychological manipulation is  a technique used to control someone in an  artful, clever, fraudulent manner to achieve a goal that could not be achieved by being open and honest.    If the person being manipulated knew what was happening and knew the truth, he or she would not take the action desired by the manipulator.   

To manipulate is to trick, swindle, con or otherwise use someone else for one's own interest and to do so without concern for the other's well being.   There's even a Biblical reference to this concept.  "Beware of the wolves in sheep's clothing."    Why Beware?   Because the art and science of psychological manipulation is far more powerful and more effective than brute force.   

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Manipulation is also closely tied to the concept called "Conflict of Interest."    If someone has something to gain or lose and their gain or loss  is dependent upon what you believe and how you behave, you cannot blindly accept what they tell you.   If the truth  and  their personal interests are in conflict, their interests will all too often subvert the truth.

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The most effective way to control others is to program their minds when they are still little children.  "Get the mind of the child and you've got the adult."   Religions have done that for centuries.  It was the basic philosophy of the Russian fascism that came the public disguised as communism.   S

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An Invitation:

Although the information on our web sites  is challenging and offers evidence that contradicts several widely held illusions, our goal is NOT to make anyone wrong.   There aren't any bad guys.°   There are only fellow humans with different beliefs and with different views and perspectives on life.  

Everybody Is Right:  We invite you to view these seemingly conflicting  views of religion, NOT from the perspective that someone is right and someone else is wrong, but rather from the perspective that everyone's vision of the truth is right, but only partially right.    Everybody is only part right because no one has the complete truth or exclusive access to the truth.   The missing pieces cause many people to come to  dysfunctional conclusions and then use those conclusions (their beliefs) to justify ignoring reality, and/or to  allow, to justify, and/or to participate in the destruction of our Earthly environment and the killing of other people.  

The Project Content Page°    will guide you step-by-step into a great deal of information that may be new to you or that you have not examined in the context of finding God by faith and by reason.

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Will You Help Us Help 
  Your Children, and Your Grandchildren?

1)    Become One of Our Team Members:°    Join us as we become one of the most potent forces in the fast-growing community of dedicated individuals and organizations working diligently to reverse Global Climate Change.   

2)    We are looking for maps, drawings and other depictions of well known objects seen in the year 2099 that will, if the ice caps continue to melt at the present rate, be under about  forty feet of ocean water.  (For example, a picture of New York harbor with the water forty feet deeper.)   
If you are a source or can connect us to a source, please call us immediately at:    1-818-727-0727       1-800-488-9930.

3)    There are at least a dozen ways you can participate in resolving these two major problems.   Please see the page titled:   How You Can Help Us Help You.° 

4)    Your financial support would be tremendously helpful to us in finding, and/or creating these graphic depictions.   Please go to our donations page.°

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Your Financial Support

Our work cannot continue without your financial support.   To those of you who are and/or have supported our work, we are extremely grateful.   For those of you who are willing to assist us financially by sending money or  items of value that we can use or sell, please see our Donations Page.°   

How You Can Help Us Help You°                                                                                                   hy°

A list of several ways you can participate. 

Why Your  Donations Are Important°                                                                                    wy° 

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How and Where to Send your Donations°                                                                           ha° 

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The God of Faith & Reason

Finding God 
By Faith     And      By Reason

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Copyright © 2001 --  Revisions Copyright 2001-2006    Robert E. Coté    The Life Center

All rights reserved.     See:  Terms of Use° 

 index-06     ---  Project Overview 

http://www.ReligionAndReality.com/index-06-overview.html

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