April 15, 2017

The Miracle Yet To Come

Recently I had the good fortune to travel to Israel. I went on an eleven day group pilgrimage across the Holy Land. Our itinerary was all about following in the footsteps of Jesus.

The pace was hectic but worth it. We saw one architectural marvel after another as we toured the many cathedrals that are now on sites known to have been touched by Jesus and/or his disciples. These "holy" spaces are filled with spectacular mosaics, stained glass and other priceless works of art. Words cannot relay the beauty that is there to be seen.


Another delightful aspect of our Israeli tour was the visits to a number of archaeological ruins. Excavations have made it possible to see what the towns and places, familiar to Jesus, would have looked like in his day. In the archaeological park at Magdala there is a first century synagogue in which Jesus actually preached.  These snapshots in time reveal just how rustic and physically demanding life was for Jesus and his followers.


Throughout the journey our extremely knowledgeable tour guide relayed copious amounts of information. Armed with a degree in theology, Peter did an outstanding job at showcasing the Christian history of Israel. And, he freely shared his knowledge about art, architecture, religion, archeology, geology, politics and geography. I must say by journey's end I felt as if I had taken a university course.


It should come as no surprise that in the Holy Land there is much ado about the miracles Jesus was said to have performed. Breathtaking shrines, ancient and modern, have been built upon the spots where the magic occurred; and, the tourists flock there. But, according to historical records Jesus was not the only rabbi stunning the crowds with a magic show. At that time there were many others vying for the title of best miracle worker. Why is it then that Jesus ended up in the history books instead of some other rabbi?



For centuries Christian leaders have claimed that Jesus' message is the superior one. Even when studies in comparative religion have revealed that Jesus' teachings reflect a perennial wisdom found in other cultures, some continue to hold up Christ's miracles as evidence of Christian superiority. I wonder how many of these people would change their tune if they realized that miracle-working was simply part of Jewish culture during the first century. 


Many of today's folk believe that there has been much ado about nothing when it comes to Jesus. With reason as their litmus test they balk at what they see as far-fetched tales of virgin births and resurrections of the dead. These fantastical fabrications, rather than bedazzling modern people into becoming a part of Jesus' flock, do just the opposite.


I am of two minds when it comes to Jesus' miracles. Like many scholars, I realize that there has been a lot of implausible attached to the this phenomenon. However, if the association to miracle-making is what it took to ensure Jesus remained an important historical figure, then I am glad of it. I am glad of it because humankind thus far has not been ready to hear the real message Jesus was intent on delivering. If the intrigue about Jesus had not been maintained how likely is it that we would still be talking about him these days?

Thankfully, the real deal about Jesus was not lost in the sands of time but rather preserved by Thomas, a disciple of Christ.  And now, Thomas' take on Jesus is available to be understood by all of humanity. His gospels, that date back to the earliest of times in Christianity, were tucked away in the Egyptian dessert with a collection of other Gnostic manuscripts until 1945.

Through Thomas we find a Jesus who wants us to confront those bestial aspects of our human nature that cause so much ignorance and suffering.  "For the body is a domestic animal. Therefore, you must go about perfecting yourself." commands Jesus. Jesus is asking us to self-regulate in such a way as to weed out aggressive tendencies and delusional beliefs that operate by virtue of our animal origins.

Consequently no matter how mesmerized we remain by miracles and magic, without the acknowledgment of the dysfunctional aspects of our animal nature the ascent of humankind is not possible. Without our humility the human primate is sure to continue with war and rumors of more wars. The real miracle, then, is that Jesus knew this and was willing to be crucified so that the rest of his species, at some point in the future, could know this too.

Happy Easter 2017

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks



 Stained glass in Israel


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January 30, 2017

Ohh, Canada

"You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God
 in order to observe your own traditions."
                                                                                             Jesus Christ, Mark 7:9

This morning I can't stop crying. The news that innocent worshipers in a Quebec mosque were gunned down yesterday has me, along with so many other Canadians, reeling with grief. Frankly I have been feeling kind of smug lately about being a Canadian as I have been comparing my country's attitudes about diversity to that of the USA. But, the fact is that my country is not immune from the actions of deluded and hateful primates.

The hatred that continues to surface across the globe is a reflection of how far Homo sapiens has to go in terms of our species' evolutionary ascent. Without a real recognition and acceptance of our animal nature humankind will continue to be driven by unconscious bestial inclinations. Without a widespread emphasis on our species' need for an authentic humility we will continue to see more murder and mayhem in spite of the best efforts of those who sincerely wanted to lead humanity to the promised land.

Faithfully yours,
Sheila Banks

                                                   

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December 30, 2016

In The Hands of a Mere Human

A friend asked me to look at Christopher Hitchens' video The Fabrication of Jesus Christ as he wanted my take on it. I thought I would use the video as a point of discussion to relay some of my knowledge about Jesus Christ. I want to mention though that my take on Jesus was exactly as Hitchens proposed before I had my mystical union. So, I do have some sympathy for this atheist. Nevertheless, this video provides a good demonstration of what happens when documents meant for mystics are put in the hands of a nonenlightened human.

1. Hitchens begins with the idea that Socrates may not have existed but that there was someone in antiquity who advanced the method ascribed to him. He believes that the same phenomena may have been the case with Jesus. I doubt it. If we look at the history of the world's major religions and many of the minor sects we see that most have been founded by actual people who claimed that their religious message was in response to a mystical union with the Almighty. Those mystics, who successfully negotiated their awakening, then went on to become charismatic figures with insight into what could correct the wrong in their societies. Also, these enlightened ones had immense faith in their ability to bring their message to the masses around them. I believe Jesus was among this group of mystics.

Furthermore, I do not believe that the ancients would have taken time and resources to write about Jesus' mission if they were not convinced that He had something important to say for the generations to follow. Writing was not an ubiquitous activity as it is now.

However, I am disappointed in how these ancient scribes depicted Jesus in the New Testament. I found The Book of Thomas The Contender, in the Nag Hammadi Library, did a better job at relaying JC's message about the need for our humility and its relationship to the evolutionary task of the human animal.

2. Hitchens believes Jesus was a deluded religious fanatic. He thinks he was deluded because some of the New Testament books state that Jesus was born of a virgin. However, if you look at any red letter version you can see that Jesus himself never made that claim. Another point to consider is that the Gospel of Mark was actually the first book written and the other gospels came after. Mark makes no claim of virgin births. What scholars now believe is that the early followers of Jesus, in their attempt to lure so-called pagans into their fold, came up with stories they thought these pagans would fall for. And,these far-fetched tales of virgin births and resurrections did bedazzle many into becoming a part of JC"s flock. But, unfortunately these fantastical fabrications, alongside legitimate information, were passed down and ended up obscuring the really important stuff.

3. Another reason that Hitchens believes Jesus to be deluded is because he told his followers to abandon their families and follow him. All of us have heard about families who do not want their adult children pursuing a religious path different from the family tradition. Jesus had new insights that superseded the traditional understanding of the Jews of his time. He did not want his followers to let family tradition interfere in their ability to contribute to the promotion of his vital message about the evolution of the human primate.

4. Hitchens ends this short video with his analysis of the female followers of JC. He dismisses them as merely hysterical women awestruck by a charismatic figure. These ladies were mothers, grandmothers and maybe even great grandmothers who had a vested interest in what happens to the species. It is highly likely that these women knew Jesus' message best of all and realized that the evolution of our species hinges upon our willingness to acquire humility. In this sense then, one can't blame them for being fanatical about wanting Jesus' message to become common knowledge. Maybe if others with more influence had joined them at the time, our species would be in a better place right now.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

                                                      Pic:Sophiecourit/Dreamstime.com


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December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens sapiens too

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted;
 the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered the most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph." 
                                                                                                                     Haile Selassie


Update as of March 3: I received a response from Health Canada informing me that vaccines are safe. It is obvious that this branch of the government hasn't read this very credible research paper that clearly indicates that vaccines are tainted with mycoplasma. 




Some of my followers know that I have been battling Lyme disease for over 14 years now. It took 10 years to get the diagnosis and that came about not through the medical establishment. It was a friend who helped me to remember the tic bite I had had while camping. I need not bore you with the details other than the fact that the resolution of my condition has been complicated by a mycoplasma.

This tiniest microscopic bugger got into my body by riding on the back of the Lyme spirochete when the tic injected it into my system. Now that I am feeling much better through the use of an alternative treatment (salt/c) I got into researching mycoplasmas.

You may be just as surprised as I was to find out that this strange bacteria/fungus-like critter is at the root of many of our chronic diseases and some childhood ones too. What I found really interesting is the fact that mycoplasma is now known as the cause of  Guillain- Barre syndrome. I found this to be so fascinating because when I worked in healthcare it was an established fact that there was a greater incidence of this life-threatening condition since the flu shot came out. I guess the doctors had read about it in the Lancet.

Anyway with my curiosity in full drive, I thought I would see if the experts had determined if mycoplasma could ride on the back of a vaccine microorganism and then result in chronic health problems other than Guillain- Barre. And, much to my shock and horror this proposal had in fact been presented to the Scottish parliament. Gee, I did not hear about any of this in the media. Did you?

Not finding any newspaper articles on line about Bill Welsh's presentation to the Scots I turned my attention to seeking out the other experts. I was hoping to find out what our scientists could tell me about the impact of these mycoplasmas on our blood supply and about  the effect our pesticide-laden food could have on these critters floating around in our primate bodies.

Surprisingly, that google search brought up a Globe and Mail article about dead microbiologists. So I thought I would dig deeper to see what had been said about the fate of these deceased. Low and behold, there exists a long list of these highly credentialed experts in vaccines and mycoplasma. who departed from us earlier in the millennium. Intriguingly enough, many of these died in a manner deemed suspicious by family and colleagues.

It was at this point in my exploration of mycoplasma that I had to end my love affair with Mr. Google as I had  to make time to post the following poem. As planned I have posted it on my blog as Venus and Jupiter align once again in the night sky to bless this Christmas season of 2016. Have a conscious one my peeps.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


EROS BEGETTING THE COSMIC CHRIST

Venus and Jupiter are aligned in the night sky.
Surely a heavenly signal informing that
God's all-powerful love has not died.

Tonight the celestial realms buzz with passionate ecstasy
as the goddess of love seduces her king of gods
under the expansive and starry canopy.


These planetary bodies are dancing around the golden sun,
shifting their positions in the milky way
to bring good tidings of a holy kingdom soon to come.

Reminiscent of those cosmic occurrences in antiquity
when the star of Bethlehem graced the night sky,
a divine love was bestowed upon humanity,
with the Son of God’s delivery.



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December 19, 2016

Bringing Down Babylon

This poem came to me when I saw a Facebook post of Michele Obama declaring that we are entering into a time of hopelessness.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks



When you realize how much evil is in the world these days
it is enough to take your breath away.
But do not lose hopeno matter what they say.

One by one the corrupt will fall.
It is God's will that 
this madness end once and for all.

                                          Pic: Badhoo/Dreamstime.com

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December 7, 2016

Primates With Lethal Weapons

Being an animal, it is difficult to keep in mind that our perceptions are limited by virtue of the fact that we are primates. Take for example William Palliam of West Virginia. It is reported that this white man aged 62 shot an unarmed 15 year old black boy after bumping into him at a store. When taken into custody he was quoted as saying: " The way I look at it, that's another piece of trash off the street". I think it is safe to say that this primate has absolutely no clue of how his own bestial impulses have been shaped by the racist environment into which he was born. Consequently he feels justified in acting out his aggression towards black people even to the extent of murdering a child. 

Simply take a look at your own mistakes to see that we humans are not always the logical and moral creatures we like to pretend. You need not be surprised. We now know that Homo sapiens has a reptilian and a mammalian brain firing alongside a cerebral cortex. And, this fact makes for some interesting and fallible information-processing. Thankfully 
Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow,  sheds more light on this.

Kahneman, to make the cognitive science accessible, has conceptualized human information- processing in terms of two systems. System One is fast and intuitive; and, System Two is slower, more calculated and logical. Kahneman's review of the research demonstrates how the faults and biases of our intuitive system have a pervasive impact on our System 2 thinking; that is, our logic. But, how many of Earth's 7 billion humans are aware of this "bestial" influence? And, I also got to wonder how many of these unconscious have access to a lethal weapon like deluded William Palliam of the USA.  No wonder there exists what they call "murder" cities. Yikes.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

                                             Pic:US Archives 43888

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September 17, 2016

Natty Dread Rise Again

My 20th anniversary is coming up in February 2017. Twenty years will have passed since my meeting with the Almighty. Wow! I say "wow" not only because of the amount of time that has lapsed but also because of what I have learned along this mystic path.

I have learned that humans are primates, and that most humans aren't consciously aware of the impact of this fact. Once pointed out though, the reasonable ones will accept the evidence. However, it is not enough to know that humans are animals. Knowledge of that must be followed up with an analysis of the implications for one's own behavior. Without a recognition of our bestial nature, our species will never be graced with peace on Earth.

I also have observed that Homo sapiens' dependency needs have many of us fantasying about salvation. This idea that a messiah will come to save us all from our own folly just doesn't square up with the science. What science does tell us though is that we are animals in an ecological context. Therefore, it seems reasonable that evolutionary catalysts would spring up as a corrective measure if our ecology's balance was being thrown off. I believe that Jesus understood he was serving in such a capacity. "The Father is living in me.... doing His work through me" said Jesus.

Certainly Buddha, Mohammed, Guru Nanek, Lao Tzu and many others throughout human history made their valuable contributions. However, Jesus stands apart for a number of reasons. Firstly, why would one take seriously the teachings of the above mentioned spiritual masters if you do not know you are an animal in need of taming.  Knowledge of the Law is not enough; there must be a great motivation to apply it. There must be the insight into one's own lowly status as a primate.

Secondly, Jesus knew that humans are meant to be more than domesticated animals.What is being required is a radical psychological transformation of the human primate. The next phase in our species' evolution is going to require even greater cooperation between us.This means our thought patterns or behaviors have to be driven even less by our animal imperatives or conditioned responses. However, for us to claim more of our freewill Jesus knew that we will have to learn to look deep within.

Now then, some of you by now might be asking where does Natty Dread fit in. Well, it has to do with the Rastafarian proclamation that Hallie Selassie is the returned messiah. According to the founder of this messianic cult, Leonard Howell, Ethiopia's Emperor Selassie had been prophesied about in the Bible. He even picked out certain verses that he thought pointed to it. Howell also believed that Selassie was Christ-consciousness for the era that they were in.

One might be tempted to ignore Howell's fantastic claims. However, much to my surprise I have been able to find evidence of a more concrete nature that supports Howell's proclamation about Selassie's divine status. Like Jesus, Selassie clearly understood the evolutionary task at hand for the human animal. See my blog post A Mystical Meeting.

We are primates prone to delusion. Our brain chemistry is not always a steady state. Until these facts about our lowly status are made known among all nations, our species will not be able to obtain the humility necessary for humankind's ascent. Jesus came to point out this paradox. And, Selassie was to disseminate a similar message in his speech to the United Nations in 1963.

The Rastafarian take on the second-coming of Christ is one I can buy into. Christ-consciousness arises when needed and it appears to have arose in Selassie. The return of Christ is not about Jesus flying down from the heavens to save us all. It is about The Almighty's evolutionary impulse moving through a human being to achieve a radical restructuring of humanity's world view. (In other words, a paradigm shift.)

In Dread:The Rastafarians of Jamaica, Joseph Owens presented the conversations he had in the 1970's with the pioneers of the Rastafarian religion. Owens noted that the Rastas, at that time, were convinced they had received a special form of revelation. They believed that Rastafarians were to play a prophetic role of world-wide importance.Well, if I have any say in it, Natty Dread will rise again to fulfill their mission once and for all.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


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