The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Across the Universe; Intelligent Design

“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.” 

It does not take much to realize that though the creation account in Genesis speaks of a Creator & a Creation ( as opposed to Darwinian evolution ), the Biblical account is not a record, per se, of the creation of the universe, but of the genesis of the melding of the Creator with the Creation. As a side note, there might question arise at this juncture whether the Universe had a beginning at all, or whether, like the Creator, It always has existed & will always exist! The whole notion of Time as linear indeed comes from our study of Scripture, which tells us there was a Beginning & there will be an End.

According to WikiQuotes, 'Intelligent design is the pseudoscientific view that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.' The fact that there is a Creator, in the mind of this blogger, cannot be denied! The very existence of the Creation, call it Mother Nature, if you will, or whatever floats your boat, is manifold evidence of this. Whether, as some have posited, the Creator wound up the Universe like a clock, then stepped back to watch it run down, or whether indeed It, like the Creator is Eternal, free of the boundaries of Time & Space; it is obvious that there is an Intelligence of some sort, not only in the design of the Universe & all It contains, but in its day to day operation as well.

Without doubt, we, as creators ourselves, have an influence, however great or small, on our environment! Through our choices, we determine how our lives will be shaped. We may choose to have a perpetual smile on our face throughout the day, or we might wander through the valley of despair. Either choice will have a great effect, not only on ourselves, but on everyone with whom we come in contact. We may choose to do this or that with the same effect. The same has been proven of the heavenly bodies: astrology, or the study of heavenly bodies, tells us that we are affected by their movements; for example, what position the stars were in when we were born, or rather, when our biological bodies were manifested to this world ( ie, exited the birth canal ). For the female of our species, there is a certain time of the month that is often not so very pleasant to them or those around them. Naturally, we have simply attributed this phenomena to the fact that our bodies are 'fearfully & wonderfully made' & while this is verifiably true, we might also look to the heavens, for it is in the heavens that we have learned to measure Time itself, days, months & years!

The Universe may be likened, in some sense, maybe in the greatest sense, to the human brain: it has been studied & mapped, to whatever extent & while scientists seem to be learning ever more & more about it, there are still some things they don't quite understand. According to many scientists, the Universe is expanding: though this is simply a theory, one might pause to wonder whether the Universe is finite, supposedly like the rest of this Biology we inhabit, indeed, are a part of, or whether it is infinite, like the Creator! In another side note, one might then ask the disturbing question 'have we not made the Creator finite through our religious studies?'

Is the Universe expanding, or is it our knowledge, our perception of It that is growing? Just like with the human brain, Science is learning more about It every day! Will there come a time when Science will know everything there is to know about both the Universe & the human brain? Or are both infinite? Science would like to think, no doubt, that it has discovered many things about the human brain, enough to say unequivocally that the average person only uses 10% of their brain capacity, for instance. While this may or may not be accurate, much the same could be said of the Universe. With the advent of the telescope & even space travel, we have been able to see farther & to go farther than ever, even, it seems, to the very edge of our galaxy, of which there are now understood to be millions, even billions.

From what ( relatively ) little we know of both the human brain & the Universe, it is clear that there was intelligence involved in their design. In both cases, it is evident that, within a micro-millimeter or -second, if things are not perfectly in line, everything is affected! 'If we were any closer to the Sun', as the saying goes, 'we would burn up & if we were any further away, we'd freeze', for example. It doesn't take much imagination to realize that if our brain is not balanced correctly or firing right on all hemispheres, our biology is going to react accordingly. Across the board, or Universe as the case may be, it is abundantly clear that all that is did not just happen, 'out of the blue', so to speak; while it may not be clear yet whether or not the Universe had a beginning or will have an end, we know that It is what It is, what will be will be & while what will be is largely dependent on our choices, all our studying & determination cannot change what It is!

'God', 'the Creator', 'the Great Spirit', 'Divine Principle', 'Source', even the Universe Itself; however one wants to name It; clearly, we are not alone! The manifestation of Nature, of which we a part, does not allow for us to have made ourselves & all that surrounds us. Sure, as creators ourselves, we may truly claim the creation of certain aspects of biology, but we cannot breathe life into it, or can we? It is evident that the bodies we inhabit today had a beginning & will have an end, but that is not to say that the Energy that motivates our human bodies did. The Universe exists from the same Source that we do, so it's not too far of a stretch to imagine that we, like our Parent, are Infinite as well, not in this biology maybe, but we, ourselves, our True Selves!

Time had a Beginning & Time will have an End; as we know it anyway; this biology does run like clockwork, so to speak! The multitude of theories floating around out there, concerning the origins of the Universe, its nature & its operation are, in the greatest sense, neither here nor there, not in Space or Time. The One who so intelligently designed it all to run like clockwork is Infinite, so it should not be a great wonder too us that, outside this biology, or rather aside from it, we too are infinite beings!?

Charles Haddon Shank

Monday, July 17, 2017

From the Ashes Of Orthodoxy

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of  persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
II Peter 3:10‭-‬13 NKJV

'Have you ever thought that, if you're wrong, you're going to hell?!'

'Well, it's a good thing I don't believe in hell then, huh?'

The orthodox, or 'accepted, traditional' doctrine of 'Heaven & Hell' has always been that of certain places, whether geographical or otherwise, that a soul enters upon the expiration of one's biological body. To differing extents & please correct me if I'm wrong, the notion of spending the afterlife in torments or pleasure spans the major religions, including Christianity, Judaism & Islam. These beliefs go back to well before the time of Christ. The Christian doctrine of 'Heaven & Hell' was heavily influenced by Greek mythology, Dante's picture of 'Hell', or 'Hades' being perhaps the foremost example.

'Heaven & Hell' are not the only doctrines under fire today; the resurrection of the body, the nature of the Christ & of the Creator God Himself ( Scripturally speaking ) are all in need of reexamination! The Nature of the Creator God, of course, is of utmost importance in understanding our own nature. If we do not understand correctly the Nature of our Heavenly Father, then we cannot, as His Creations, His Children, truly understand & embrace our own!

The Resurrection is arguably THE most looked-for & longed-for event in human history! Whether or not one believes the Resurrection is in our future, or whether one accepts that the Resurrection spoken of in Scripture already transpired in history, one thing should be clear; if the resurrection of individuals, whether biologically or spiritually, is in view within the pages of Scripture, this has obviously not happened yet. Maybe it's an ongoing thing; if the Resurrection is merely a spiritual event, on an individual basis, would that not mean that it occurs when a person ( again, Scripturally speaking ) 'comes to (the ) Christ'? On the other hand, if the Resurrection is/was a one time event, maybe the futurists are right & it is only the End of Time itself that will prove this miraculous event!

Jesus the Christ, as Israel's long-awaited Messiah, or Savior was raised from the dead! Scripture records this miraculous event & says that His resurrection was an indication of our own. Let me back up here a little & say that this Resurrection was promised to Israel, the Body of which had died ( metaphorically ) through covenant separation. The Resurrection, then, has already, according to Scripture, taken place, as true Israel rose like a phoenix from the ashes ( dust ) of Israel under that first covenant!

The miraculous nature of Jesus' birth aside, it is clear that He WAS a Man; however, according to the orthodox understanding of Scripture ( not necessarily wrong ), He was also God! That Jesus was God, though only the Son, not the Father, He Himself made perfectly clear. As the avowed Son of God, Jesus stated that 'before Abraham was, I AM' ( John 8:58 ), thus claiming to be the Creator God Himself!

Here's where understanding correctly the Nature of the Creator God comes into play: as we noted before, in order to truly understand our own nature, we must first understand our Heavenly Father's! First of all, He is the Creator; we are creators: being made in His Image & bearing His likeness, we. to whatever extent create life or bring death, just like our Father-God.. It is ultimately our nature, yes, which allows us, gives us the power to choose whether we will do one or the other. Being made like Him, we are judges of the earth, with the power & authority to determine matters of life & death.

The orthodox understanding of the nature of man, or mankind, is that man, through his own doing, is fundamentally flawed. According to this doctrine, it is only a supposed second appearing of Jesus, in His biological body, that can rescue mankind from this terrible situation he has placed himself in. In some sense, this doctrine is on the right track; it has simply been misplaced! As the Christ rises in our hearts ( resurrection? ), we are awakened to our true nature, that of Sons of God ( individually ), or the Son of God ( corporately ).

The true nature of Jesus, as the Christ, then, was that, as a Man, He was imbued with Power from on High, by which He was enabled to rescue His people Israel from the ( awkward ) situation they had placed themselves in. As God, He was able to rise from the dead, as significant of what He had done for His people, in raising them from the ash-heap. Jesus was the personification of the Christ & being made in His Image, we too are Christs, with the Power, through our choices, to raise people from the ash-heaps of their own making, or condemn them to a thousand deaths!

Every myth is based in truth & so the doctrine of 'Heaven & Hell', as taught by the orthodox church, though based on myth, also has its foundation in reality! Through individual choices, one may experience the joys of  'Heaven' or suffer an eternity in 'Hell'. Experiencing 'Hell' may not seem like much of a choice, but by deciding to quit walking certain 'paths', one may escape the rigors of 'Hell'. By then following the right 'path', one may experience, though fraught with danger, an eternity in 'Heaven'!

'Orthodox' does not ( necessarily ) mean 'wrong'! For the past many millenia, the Kingdom of the Creator God has seen much growth. Even with their limited understanding of these few doctrines I have enumerated, the Good News of the Marriage of Heaven & Earth has captured, without force of arms, many hearts. Having risen from the ashes of orthodoxy, though, for there is quite an ash-heap therein, may we truly understand the nature of what is & with that knowledge, bring resurrection to a world that has fallen into the dust of sleep!

Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I AM; the Divine Principle

The great search for light, life and love only begins on the material plane. 
Carried to its ultimate, its final goal is complete oneness with the universal consciousness.
 The foundation in the material is the first step; then comes the higher goal of spiritual attainment. 
 - Doreal

Did Life, as we know it, have a Beginning? Will it have an End? I guess I could be a little less ambiguous & just say outright that I'm writing on two main assumptions here, the first being that the Bible is not a Science textbook; the first couple of chapters in Genesis, what most know as 'the creation account' ( or 'accounts' ), are NOT a record of the literal formation, however many eons ago, of the known universe, even of what what most people envision when the term 'heavens and earth' pops up. My second assumption here, built upon the first, is that the inhabited earth goes back much further in Time or Eternity than previously thought.

Principle, more or less, is the Law by which a thing is governed. It may also be called the Source. The Source, or Principle, ultimately, of all created things, both visible & invisible, is what we call 'God'. This 'God' is known, by most religions, to be the Creator of all living things, the Divine Source of Life. It is this Divine Principle which governs all things & while most people, especially Christians, will put a 'face' on this Creator God, or Source; It may rightly be defined as Universal Law. It is when this Law is not obeyed ( Jesus presented this Principle ) that problems, diseases & such are presented by human beings & animals alike.

The History of Humanity proves that mankind has always been aware of the Creator. The mythologies & legends of time past show that even the most ancient of civilizations knew that there was a Higher Power that initiated Life on this planet, in particular. Now, to be sure, most if not all of these ancient civilizations honored a multiplicity of Gods, while we as Christians, worship the Creator as One God, in several different aspects ( most Christians use the term 'Trinity' ); however, this is not to say that the ancients, with their pantheon of Gods, were totally wrong!

Our God, our Heavenly Father, as many call Him, is, according to our understanding of the Truth revealed in Scripture, the Source of all Life. 'In the Beginning, God Created': these opening words of our English Bibles, we now know, spoke, not so much of the beginning of Time, but of the institution of a special Covenant, the End ( Goal ) being the Revelation of the Son of the Creator God. Scripturally speaking, we know this Son of God as Jesus. Jesus the Christ was the Messiah of Israel, for He presented to the World, through Israel, the Creator God, the Principle of Life, in human form. Though obviously human, Jesus incorporated Divinity, revealing to all with eyes to see that humanity had been perfected, indeed, was perfect!

Perfection, in this day & age is most often viewed as something to be attained, but when we try to attain perfection rather than just being perfection, we run into the problem that ego presents. We tend to overthink things & when combined with the erroneous notion that we must attain perfection, we often end up actually fighting against our own perfection! The ego, also know as the lower ( base ) mind tells us that we are naturally prone to evil & therefore we focus unduly on the equally erroneous notion that we are mere human beings & must be thus perfected. This error has caused humanity to fight against our true nature, something the Creator God obviously never intended!

We may use the analogy here of the opposite poles of the Earth, or of a magnet. They, especially in the case of magnets, might seem to be opposing forces & though they a seem to be opposite in nature, they do not oppose each other in the sense that they are antagonistic. Rather they bring balance to the object they are a part of. As with positive & negative ( charges ), Yin & Yang, Body & Spirit, All are necessary to the perfect balance of Nature, whether it be human, animal or plant.

Universal Law thus brings it all together, human, animal & plant life. All are meant to live together as One & when one part isn't functioning correctly, the balance is affected, however slightly or greatly. When this occurs, we have death, disease & kinds of evil!

All ARE One, coming from the same Source, but not all function thusly & so we have wars & rumors of war. If all were to function as the One that we ARE, wars would cease & the brotherhood of man ( sisterhood of women ) would rule supreme: until that glorious day, however, we must focus on reconciling with our own perfection, our own spirituality & from there, work outwardly!

Jesus told His Disciples they would do even greater works than He did, according to our understanding of Scripture. Whether or not this was a metaphorical statement addressing their present distress, or a universal one for all Eternity may be up in the air, but one thing is for sure; He knew that human beings were capable of so much more than they had, to that point, at least in the History of Israel, exercised. If only humanity could move past that barrier, break through that veil & pierce the darkness, only glory awaited!

By saying we are One with the Source of All, we are not saying we ARE that Source; we are simply of the same Essence & being of the same Essence, we carry that same Fire, or Spark of Divinity! Not all manifest that Divinity to the same degree & some never do manifest it. Even so, it is there, even though it be smothered to the point that it is all but unrecognizable. When we present the Christ, however, we do manifest that Divinity to a gasping world that desperately needs to realize the glorious fact of our oneness. Realizing this glorious fact will bring humanity to the brink of a lasting peace such as the prophets foretold!

The same Principle that formed the worlds & brought Life into existence is the Principle that brings us together into this necessary realization. Understanding that this Divine Principle is our Beginning & End, our Alpha & Omega, helps us to realize that as we belong to It, so does everyone & everything else! Thus, while we may have our differences, as parts of a whole, we may function as One Body, living together in Peace & Harmony, the way Nature intended!

Asking if Life had a Beginning, in a sense, is akin to asking if the Universe itself, even if Divine Principle had a Beginning. Christians, for ages, have viewed biblical history as the Beginning & End of Time. With further unveiling, we have discovered that, just as the End of biblical history did not signal the end of time, so the Beginning of biblical history did not reveal the beginning of Time. Maybe it's time we stopped thinking of History, or Time, as linear & started understanding it's circularity: 'What goes around comes around', right?

Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Masters of Destiny

But, there was a catch! It seemed there was always a catch. If she had really thought about it, nothing was truly free; somebody had to 'pay the piper'. Destiny had never really given it much thought before, because, growing up in a more or less loving home like she did, she had never really had to pay her own way. Her parents had always made sure she had everything she needed ( even some stuff she wanted ), so Destiny had never had to fend for herself; plus, the fact that she had not really ever been taught to survive on her own counted against her.

So when Destiny's new 'friend' told her that she was going to have to carry her own weight, she was a bit flustered. At first, she was kinda okay with what he told her she must do ( 'after all, it WAS just him, right?' ), but when other girls starting staying with them ( even other men! ), Destiny felt pretty sure that this wasn't the future she had dreamed of. She played the role for what seemed like years ( maybe it was! ), getting more & more tired, wearing herself out till she had earned dark circles around her eyes. She was losing weight, becoming almost waifish in appearance. The drugs he gave her didn't help much either, not like they were supposed to, anyway. The more she relied on them, the more she needed them.

Destiny continued to suffer the rather short leash she was on, because she thought she had no other choice, but one day someone came along, promising to take her away from all of this! The drudgery that she went through on a daily basis had taken an obviously heavy toll on her body, which was looking pretty old for one so young. If she ever hoped to see her twenties, she had to act quickly!

It took some doing, but her new 'savior' finally convinced her old 'friend' to let her leave & go with him to a different city. Destiny was glad for the change: she had worn herself out in that other place, doing certain things she was pretty sure weren't healthy, physically or spiritually speaking. When she was finally free of that place & settled down in her new home, Destiny breathed a sigh of relief; it was good to be able to just rest & recuperate without having to do all those things that other man had made her do!

For the first year or so, Destiny was almost tempted to think she had died & gone to Heaven! Her 'savior' played the part of 'the white knight', seemingly going beyond the call of duty, making sure she had everything her little heart desired. She was beginning to fill out again, the dark circles around her eyes were almost gone & she was beginning to regain her youthful appearance again ( she WAS only almost 18, after all ) If she had thought about it, Destiny would have known that, someday, there would be a price to pay, but as we've seen, Destiny never was much of a thinker!

'Out of the frying pan, into the fire!' Very quickly, Destiny was learning the horrifying truth of that phrase. If she thought she'd had it bad before, she found that this man was ten times worse. Although she was spared the horrors that she'd suffered before, she quickly learned the evil that men are capable of: and this time, they didn't leave a mark!

She was not subjected to the filthiness that she had endured before, but now she learned that the game could be played much dirtier than she had ever thought possible! Destiny found herself playing the part of a pawn in a very large game of chess, or cat & mouse, if you prefer. As long as she did exactly what she was told, when she was told. Destiny had no serious issues, but the minute she questioned her erstwhile 'savior', she learned very quickly to keep her opinions to herself. She also found out how much pain one could be subjected to, all without leaving a mark!

When Destiny finally decided she'd had enough & made plans to escape, she found this master a bit harder to leave behind. Leaving, for one thing, would involve leaving behind all the comforts, cold though they were, to which she had become accustomed. It would also mean making her own way & as good as that sounded, it scared her as well. She had, ever since she left her parents behind, been taken care of, to whatever extent, even though there was always a price to pay. Destiny knew, though, that she couldn't continue on this path if she was to have any hope of surviving this journey!

The decision to quit this business, Destiny knew, was the best she had ever made. Though she knew it would mean, once again, pulling up roots & finding another city, doing so would probably save her life! While leaving this master behind, to say nothing of her former life-style, was by no means an easy task, she was finally able to break free of her chains. Once free, Destiny vowed, with all the Strength that was in her frail body, never to return!


The Destiny Saga, from the beginning, has been almost totally a work of pure fiction. However, some might find that it resonates with their spirit, whether because of similar personal experience, or that of a loved one or mere acquaintance. Whatever the case may be, we should all be able to relate, to whatever extent, with the theme of having a master over us. We are, each one of us, the master over our own destiny, through choice. Destiny was finally able to break free of her bondage, though she bore the scars of experience till the day she passed on her life to Sarah.

Charles Haddon Shank