May you all live in the beauty of your own reality
It seems to me that we are born pure and that the world tends to dilute us -Jewel
So, here it is! the henriest manifesto. I feel sort of all giddy inside... ive been telling my friends about it and been thinking and reflecting about it, but now that i am finally making it, well, lets just say its a wonderful experience.
First of all, i just want to clarify what exactly the henriest manifesto is... in four short words: its what i believe
Any of you that are still interested, im glad to have you and thank you for staying, im sorry for all the red tape, but you know me, or maybe you dont, at either rate, im somewhat of a performer and i like to set the stage properly for such things
So why am i writing this??????
Thats a very good question, hopefully the answer matches up... im writing this for a few reasons
First of all, i am writing this for others. I have created my own religion, and many feel that my beliefs are not valid merely because they are not written down in some dusty old book. Also, many people are curious as to what i believe when i tell them i have my own religion and i never know quite what to say... now they can either visit here or perhaps this will help me focus to explain better
Second, i am writing this for myself. Having your own religion has great boons and great drawbacks as well. the boons are easily seen... believe what you want, do what you want, etc... but the drawbacks are that i can not ask others for guidance, i can ask others what they believe and use that to focus my own beliefs, but i can not merely walk up to a priest or rabbi or what have you and ask what the religion says about such and such... I have to search myself for these answers, and they have to be the right ones. To put it simply, i am a confused individual. I have no idea about some of the things my religion says or what have you. to a large extent, i am using the internet as a focussing tool for my beliefs.
I am also writing this for fun. We all like having our own homepages, and i hope to enjoy making mine as kick azz as possible.
I am writing this for god. I would hope that god would appreciate one of his or her or its many travelers writing a manifesto such as this. In that light, i suppose this could be thought of as a religious doctrine, but i would never go so far as to claim that.
So whats your first question???
My vision of god:
I.I believe that god is the embodiment of all. Not only does god embody truth, but also contradiction. God embodies all things imaginable and unimaginable. God embodies both good and evil. Now, personally, i really doubt the existence of such underlying forces such as good and evil, but because i can imagine a world in which they would occur or do occur, god embodies them. And even if i could not imagine a world in which good and evil exist, god still embodies them.
II.Now, you might notice that my verb and subject did not agree in that last sentance. That is because god is both static and dynamic. The way i see it, god always exists, but the form of that existence is constantly changing. Therefore, when referring to my religion, i choose not to say "god would still embody them" because although god exists in all times in all ways, the nature is different in all times and all ways. So, whenever i refer to god, i try to use the present verb as often as possible.
III. God's relation to the universeBoth the universe and god have always existed. Neither one created the other, nor was created at all. The best way i can describe my vision of god's relationship with the universe is like a electro-magnetic wave. Neither component of such a wave can exist without the other, and neither cease to exist once created. God and the universe flow with, through, inside, outside, etc... each other. A conceptual model could be constructed by saying that the universe is all things while god is the embodiment of all things. If the things change, then so does the embodiment of them, and if the embodiment changes, then so must the things themselves. They are both in a constant state of flux. Now, i do not like to use the word things, it is far too vague, but it seems like the best suited word for these matters. If you have a better suggestion, i would love to hear it.
I want so desperately to make my vision of this
relationship clear. It is a very empowering notion. For we are all part of the universe and god and the universe is part of god and of us. It is almost like a holy trinity if you will. Except, in my vision, the three things are god, the universe, and you (or me, or my chair, my dog, your dog, whatever). And none of these could exist without the other (god nor the universe could exist without you). At the center is the person, and everything else is the universe, and god flows through them all. Now, in actuality, each flow through the others, but this is a good conceptual model. What i am trying to get across is that i do not believe that we live in a diecentric existence. God did not exist before you and god did not create you, you are part of the universe and part of god, and as such, you have always existed and always will. You do exist in different forms, but you are timeless, as are all things.
i know this seems really heavy and once again, id like to stress that this is only what i believe and that i accept all beliefs
a simple conceptual model can be created to look at it this way... god is the essence of all and the universe is the existence of all and each of us is the essence of existence and the existence of essence... now thats about as simple as my religion gets, even though i know that sounds really heavy and in actuality, there are a few flaws in that model, but for the time being, it may be the easiest way for others to understand what i am trying to say....
IV. Personalization of godOne of the things i find very limiting about other religions is that god is played out to be this distant and detached being or creature. i have found in my own meditations that i can work with god and understand and relate to god much more if i call he/she/it/whatever by a name...... i have chosen the name sam simply because it could be either gender, it is relatively short, and i feel comfortable with it.
My Vision of Sin, Prophets and Saviours
I was brought up in a catholic family and for a long time i believed that Christ was our saviour, but my views have changed since then.
I. Sins my vision of sin is quite different from most people i know. The only sin one can commit is to sin against the self. This is very much like the idea of many Indian Philosophies. In my view the closest any one person can come to god is to become one with him or herself. For humans are the embodiment of essence and matter (god and universe). I do not however believe that every human is naturally good. After all, good and evil are social constructs. I believe that once a person can get past all the forces in this world that pull her or him away from herself, that that is when that person becomes closest to god. These moments are usually found during meditation, but they are possible at any moment. I believe that humans have a natural desire for their freedom from the world. And just to hit upon a tangent, i believe that drugs are one way in which many people escape from the world and into themselves and that that is why many of them are popular. That is not to say however that i
support drug use. I do support moderation in all things, including drugs, but what i support and believe in more is to create a world more accepting of the true self. The problem is that there are too many rewards in the world; such as money, sex, power, freedom, ego, etc. Not to say that these things are all inherently evil, but these are what people are told to seek after. In conclusion, the way that one removes one self most from god is inseperating one self from one's self and since the standard definition of sinning is the removing oneself from god, i believe that sinning against oneself is the only sin.
II. Prophets In order to become close to the essence of all, one needs a great deal of energy. This energy can be drawn or created in many different ways. One example of this is to invest time into something that interests you. Such as reading, talking with freinds, artwork, sex, games, music, work, etc. These things tend to create energy rather than draw it from others. Also, just to clear things up, i do not mean energy in the traditional sense, more in a sense that your essence or soul has energy. Another way to bring energy to your soul is to draw it from another person. Now, when this happens, that person does not loose any energy, often times, one can create more energy by giving what they have to others. The people that we choose to draw energy from are our prophets. These people can be anyone we admire, respect, love, etc. It is possible to draw energy from someone you dislike, but in oreder to do this, they must inspire you in some way. These people can be freinds, relatives, complete strangers, celebrities, deities, people from the past, or even people from the future. One can even create energy in oneself by rejoicing in one self.
III. Saviours I do not believe in saviours. I do not believe that any other person except ourselves can create or abolish sin. As a christian, i was brought uup to beleive that Christ died for my sins, but that no one but myself was accountable for my sins. This puzzled me greatly. In the mind of a young child, this does not seem rational. That a man who died thousands of years ago can release me from my sins, but that no one but myself was accountable for my sins. It still does not make sense to me today. What i do know is that i believe that each of us can not be responsible except for our own lives and choices. This is the fundamental choice. Even in the christian view, Christ only saves you if you CHOOSE to believe in him. Therefore, he only saves the sinners that are christian. This seems far to meglomaniacal and political to me to be anything close to god. I apologize for my gruffness, but it is true.
My vision of death:
I.It became very clear to me a long time ago that death is not permanent. I know that there is some barrier that is crossed when the body looses its life. And being that I was creating my own religion, i thought that i should have some answer to this question. Here is my answer: What happens when we die is not relevant to our life.
II.Death has been answered by many religions in many different ways. Most of them indicating a correct or propper life style. I have stated earlier that i think the most important thing in this life is to be true to one's self. Therefore, there is no propper life style. There is no right or wrong way to live. There is only your way to live.
III.I am not saying that there are or are not consequences for our lifestyles after we die. What i am saying is this. If one consumes all of their time on earth worrying about death, then one has never really lived at all. If one worries about the retribution of god or their position in sansara all of their lives, then they have not lived. Only by living can one live.
IV.I guess what i really mean to say is that i dont care what happens when i die. I will burn that bridge once ive crossed it. But more so, what i am saying is that im going to be the best damned henry i know how to be and let what happens happen. As my motto goes: "do it messy and clean it up later"
V.Death and BoredomHeaven. Hell. Nirvana. Whatever. In the end they all amount to ultimate happiness or sadness. An existence that never changes. How boring! There is an old chineese curse that says "may you live in interesting times" but i think this is the ultimate blessing. To be supremely happy and comfortable and loved and loving or whatever. I would not wish that on my best friend nor my worst enemy. What i am really trying to say here is that i do not think that there is a final goal for this life. I do not think that there is something that we are all searching for with our time here.
So in the end, what is is i believe happens when we die? well, heaven and hell are out of the picture... any static end is not an end at all, merely another step in the succession of transformations... Reincarnation you ask? perhaps... but i dont think we are limited to this earth or this form of being... i believe that there are endless forms of being and endless ways to exist... ultimately i really just dont care what happens when we die and i choose not to spend my time here pondering it... I choose to spend my time here pondering things i can answer... things about life...
My vision of Creation
Neither god nor the universe nor anything that is around today has ever not existed. All things are eternal. But there may or may not have been a time when god and the universe and everything else was seperate. However, when talking about eternity, such times do not matter. For in eternity, there are no seconds, there are no hours or days or minutes or eons... in effect there is no time. Because one can not measure eternity.
II.Also, god and the universe can not exist seperate from each other and this is why. Let's take a tangent. What possible needs does a god have? Well, none that it could not fulfill within itself. With one exception. The need of self expression. One can not express oneself within oneself. This has to be done outside. This has to be done externally. This is why i write this manifesto. This is why painters paint and writers write and bussinessmen where suits and why we buy the shoes that we buy and why we play the games that we play. There is a fundamental need to express what is inside. To thrust that which we feel onto the world. This is why god and the universe can not exist seperately from each other. Because they need to be expressed. And so, they are ever joined and they mold each other and us and we mold our own worlds. We are the artwork of god and the universe combined, as is the rest of the world. And likewise, god and the universe are our artwork as are the lives that we live.
My Vision of "The Specialness" of humans
Most religions are convinced that human beings are "special" in some way or another. Christians say that we are the only beings with eternal souls. Indian religions contend that humans are the only creatures aware of their awareness. Pagans believe much the same. Now personally, i dont know if animals and trees and bushes and rocks and swimming pools and molecules and ants and dust and dust mites and all that stuff is aware or not. It is easy to say no, but it is hard for me to believe. It is one of those things that yout think you know but you dont know if you believe. at least thats how it is for me.
I am a strong believer in evolution. I love the idea that everything around us is a continuum of everything around us. That really is the central therum to my religion. humans evolved from apes evolved from monkeys evolved from mammals evolved from something else evolved from something else evolved from trees evolved from something else evolved from fungi evolved from something else evolved from single cells evolved from amino acids evolved from something else which likewise came about from something else. Mountains are merely the shifting of earth. Rivers are merely the shifting of water. Stars are merely the shifting of gas. It goes on and on. This is what makes it so hard for me to believe that humans are any different from anything that surrounds them.
anywho, what im trying to say is i think were all fundamentally the same. just pieces in a gigantic complicated and intricate puzzle with a very simple "connective feature." and that connective feature... it cant be god because god is part of that puzzle as is the universe... well... eternity i guess... That is all i really wanted to say.
hopefully this is the start of something grand, hope to see you all again, but thats all she wrote for today...
back to my realm