Virtual Church of Benevolent Deities Inc.
"Paradise is exactly like where you are right now . . . only much, much better."  - Laurie Anderson

VirtuBene - Virtual Church of Benevolent Deities, Inc.

Consensus Creed

Some people are going to get really uncomfortable here. I am so sorry.

See, the problem is, the benevolent deities have not yet come to consensus on a creed or rule for their followers. Many of the deities actually believe that creeds are a bit counterproductive.

It is suggested that one meditate on the nature of compassion and love, and then start to be more compassionate and loving and kind (the joyful part actually sneaks in).

Some themes emerge if you read some of the sayings of the compassionate prophets, but then it's their job to smack us on the head - in the nicest possible way, of course - and say...

"Hello! It's really not all that difficult! Love, compassion... hello? Can you hear me now?"

The deities themselves are a little bit more transcendent than that.

The really terrific thing about compassionate deities, even as a corporation, is that - individually - they are not at all unapproachable. They may be mysterious, but the whole point of all that compassion and stuff is that they want to help you "get it."

Try acting in a compassionate and loving way, even (and maybe especially) to one's enemies, but also to the homeless guy and your child and your grampa and your wife and the everpresent "neighbor" (meaning all the people that don't live in your house). Some people start with the theory, but just this once, try starting with the practice.

Do you really need rules to know how to be kind and loving to others? Don't you already know? Wouldn't you feel better all around to use your intelligence and develop your sense of contextual ethics than to have to check a list against your behaviors?

I mean, creeds are usually just one of many ways to say "Hey! He won't take the loyalty pledge! She's not one of us! Attack! Attack!" In other words, it's a way to establish who is going to get the really good jobs. In the case of compassion and benevolence, the path is the reward, so your little society-clan doesn't really matter so much until you get so amazingly great at this that people start trying to figure out how you're doing it.

So just do one little thing. Be kind to one person today that you wouldn't normally be nice to or even notice. Smile at someone who isn't used to seeing you smile at them (hey, don't start with the scary guy stalking you in the subway, you do have a little common sense, right? right!).

Try that random act of kindness, senseless act of beauty thing.

Do it once, today. Then maybe, do another one tomorrow - or not. Maybe you need a day off for one reason or another. But if you begin to embody what you want to see changed, amazing things can start to happen.

It's like if you want to be an artist. You don't leave your house and move into a garrett (um, what exactly is a garrett anyway? I get the sense of an attic). But you could do a drawing for an hour after dinner. That's the kind of thing - when you start something, don't make the list and the rules and the system. First, just try doing it for a little bit - it could become a habit! If there is a creed or a rule or a system, let it grow within you rather than imposing it from without. Open yourself to wisdom from the ages, but don't slavishly submit to a system that may have outlived its usefulness.

As a thought experiment, try imagining that the gods speak through you rather than to you. Remember, we are imagining compassionate, benevolent deities here - don't go all Manson, ok?

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