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Religion’s Role in Shaping Human Behavior

(Here is part 2 in My Story {bed} Room, under the heading: What do You do when Life as a Human Being is More Painful than Pleasant? Remember, thoughts are “things” with a reality of their own and each of us, an artist. With thoughts in the form of beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations, we paint the landscape of our lives. In other words, thinking, feeling, acting and reacting is where All That Is begins, from dreams to reality. – Pete)

To understand how thoughts shape our behavior, let’s look at the Story of Creation in the Bible. It doesn’t matter if the events depicted are historically real or not. Our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions, can still be influenced by them just because they exist, seen or unseen. For example, just by hearing or reading the word “Flu,” we can catch it, depending on how open we are to suggestion. I saw the word “Flu” written on a road one night and came down with flu the next day. Another time, a passenger on my bus asked if I had the flu and followed that up with “everyone I know is getting it.” Again, I came down with the flu the next day.

After this unpleasant demonstration, I decided to harden myself against the power of suggestion. I reminded myself that I should be the one to control my thoughts, not other people.

Back to the Bible. For our purpose, I chose to use the Vatican version because the English translation is easier to understand.

The Book of Genesis

In Chapter 1, Verse 28, God says to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

In Chapter 3, Verse 16, God said to Eve, after she had eaten fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil against God’s command: “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

So, just like that, Eve lost her status as “help mate,” (equal) to Adam. Now, how many men grow up believing they have the same rights as those given to Adam and how many women support them in this belief? As a man or woman, how do you react to this idea? Do you take it seriously or not? If you were to take it seriously, how would you translate it into reality?

Here is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word Dominion:

1. : DOMAIN

2. law : supreme authority : SOVEREIGNTY having dominion over the natural world.

3. law : absolute ownership.

Synonyms for dominion:

ascendance (also ascendence), ascendancy (also ascendency), dominance, domination, hegameny, imperium, predominance, predominancy, preeminence, reign, sovereignty (also sovranty), supremacy.

As you can see, some people have picked up the football and are running hard with the idea of dominion. Harder than God intended? Since this story is still being taught in churches and bible study groups on and off the Internet, how many people in the world today do you think still accept the idea of “Dominion” as a framework for shaping their lives? How big a role do “Gods” play in shaping the structure of our societies and their institutions? How big a role do they play in shaping our lives as individuals?

In Chapter 4 of Genesis, God Introduces a New Dimension for Human Interaction

After Cain and Abel grew up [4:1-4:16], “Cain [4:3] brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel [4:4] for his part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, [4:5] but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.”

As a result of God’s discrimination, one son is pitted against the other. To make matters worse, “The LORD [4:6] said to Cain, Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen?” Yeah, right, rub it in! Later, Cain kills Abel. God knows it and shames him.

Just like that, value judgment and comparison is introduced, setting one person against the other. Are these shifts in thought and feeling good or bad things? Or, are they challenges chosen by us to further our development as Beings of Aware Energy in our oneness with and separation from All That Is, as both products of and creation itself? Are we part of God becoming?

Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of stewardship:

Stewardship:

1: the office, duties, and obligations of a steward

2: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially, the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care, stewardship of natural resources.

Synonyms for stewardship:

administration, care, charge, conduct, control, direction, governance, government, guidance, handling, intendance, management, operation, oversight, presidency, regulation, running, superintendence, superintendency, supervision.

In Genesis, Chapters 6 and 7, God sees only evil in the world and decides to wipe out all human and animal life with the exception of Noah, “who pleases him.”

Charging Noah and his family with the responsibility of building an Ark and gathering all male and female pairs to repopulate the earth, he creates the idea or dimension of “Stewardship” upon the earth. If you strongly believe in the idea of stewardship, caring for those in need or less fortunate than you, what kind of person will that make you and what kind of reality will you create?

All in this together

All in This Together

Does All That Is think, feel, act and react? Is this what makes All That Is, possible? If so, doesn’t that make us both one with and separate from All That Is? Doesn’t it make us both products of creation and creation itself? During moments of disaster and times of great stress, don’t we all reach out to higher consciousness or our idea of “God”? At some time in life, don’t we all feel like we’re all in this (Being and Creation) together? Why can’t we feel it more often? How would the world change if we did?

Would there be any change in how we treat ourselves and each other? Definitely! As Beings of Aware Energy, the Source and Substance of All That Is, we are Partners in Evolution, here to live, love, learn and evolve. The challenge of Being and Creation is learning how to use the power of thought and imagination to shape the energy of ideas, the building blocks of creation, into a pleasing reality. The prize is a sense of satisfaction, the feeling of a job well done.

By Roger Peterson (Pete)  https://realtalkworld.com

Part 1: What do You do when Life as a Human Being is More Painful than Pleasant? Exploring Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Reactions in Life.

Part 3: What do You do when Life as a Human Being is More Painful than Pleasant? Moving Beyond Fear, Anger, and Depression

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller

What others will not or cannot do for us, we must do for ourselves.

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