Worshipping God sounds simple, right? Change your perspective and enjoy your life, right? That sounds a little too simple, if you ask me. It's not because the initial shift in perspective is difficult.
That shift is an automatic and involuntary reaction to understanding and accepting two irrefutable and unavoidable facts: God is to reality what zero is to math and with God is Heaven and Hell. If you have yet to experience it, then you either have yet to understand what I've said so far, or you are still trying to find a way to reject what you cannot refute.
What is, not so much as difficult, but does require more effort, focus, and diligence is maintaining that change. It makes sense considering we can never perceive God while we live and it’s easy to get wrapped up into what surrounds us.
That's where reminders, rites, and rituals come into play. Because the people alive when the ancient religions were pioneered knew so little about what was within their sphere of influence, I think it unwise to exclusively rely on their knowledge of things outside of man’s influence for understanding or information.
That doesn't mean we should completely ignore their legacy as if the phony followers and faith-mongers have stripped all truth from their original words. Just as the young can learn from their elders, those of us alive today can still learn from our predecessors. I'm not saying to follow all the rules and regulations that are common amongst the ancient monotheistic religions.
A lot of them are for the eyes of men more than the actual worship of God. The only thing you must do to get to Heaven is worship God and die. Within the lists of the do’s and don’ts associated with the ancient religions, the do’s that most effectively help you keep God first are prayer, fasting, and charity.
I know some of you are like: prayer? How can you pray to Nothing? If God isn't active within the universe, how can God help your situation? You have those questions because when you think of prayer, you think of supplication or asking for something. When I speak about prayer, I'm talking about remembrance or reminding yourself about God.
Here’s the idea behind prayer: we tend to allow different situations to make us forget what we want or believe is real. The fact that we can never perceive God while we live (and we need a lot of what we're surrounded by for survival) makes that tendency even more likely when it comes to God. Prayer is a constant reminder of God.
To answer those questions: Yes, prayer. You don't really pray to God as much as you pray about God…sort of like an ode. Anything you ask God for is either in your power to get, working out its course independent of you and your wants and wishes, or you just don't deserve it for whatever reason.
The only motivation I can see for mentioning anything you want that doesn't come directly from God is if you are reiterating the fact that not only do you desire God independent of the universe, but you also need God in all things while you live.
It's your prayer, so how you pray is how you pray. There is no right way or any particular time of day. No one has the right to tell you what words to say.
I struggled for years trying to find the words that express my want and need of God that doesn't imply an unwillingness to use my abilities to set my own affairs in order in the best way possible. I didn't want to say things that made it seem as if God is interfering in our affairs.
Even though anything I would think to say could never mean such a thing, I was concerned that saying things that could imply it might make such blatantly false ideas seep into my thoughts. It was in trying to write a summary of what I believe is irrefutable and applying that knowledge to my life that I composed my ode to God. It goes:
God is to reality what zero is to math.
God, I gotta thank you for all that I have,
regardless if it is good or if it’s bad.
Because there is no real positive or negative,
whatever happens, it is what it is.
I can’t witness you in life in the physical sense,
but the rational conclusion is: you gotta exist.
And it ain’t no excuse for people making up shit.
I can appreciate everything my actions earn
because you’re Heaven; not a threat to make me burn.
That’s by applying one lesson I’ve learned:
When I cease to exist, it’s to you I’ve returned.
I recite these words to begin and end my day. I also say them periodically during the day, especially when I change my environment or transition from one activity to another. That is not to say you should do any of that. You may come up with words that are better at capturing your love and need for God. You may be able to pray less, even though I suspect you need to pray more.
There are no rules. The only things necessary for your prayer to be effective is validity of information believed to be true and sincerity in devotion.
Fasting is another helpful act that can be organized but has no real rules to it. To fast is to abstain. It boils down to doing without what you want or need when you have a choice so that you may experience spiritual peace while your body is in need.
This makes it much easier to do without when it’s called for by life and detaches your spiritual satisfaction from your material satisfaction. While the longer period to fast may help more in the long run, I think it unwise and wasteful to fast so long that you can injure yourself or so much that you miss out on life.
I, personally, abstain from food, drink, and sex during the daylight hours beginning November first and ending on Thanksgiving. I choose to fast during the daylight hours only so that I may fast longer than just some long hours or a few days. I choose food, drink, and sex because abstaining from what satisfies my most basic urges should also make it easier to avoid the extra foolishness, as well.
All these acts are like the fast of Ramadan, and in the spirit of Ramadan, I fast during the time that commemorates my breakthrough according to the calendar I use. I can honestly say I would love it if other people joined me in my fast, but there isn't anything about worshipping God in and of itself that says you must. I choose what I do for my reasons, and you must choose what you do for your own.
Charity seems like it should be the most straightforward. You simply give what you can to the needy, but it's a little more to it than that because it is more about the mentality than the act itself. The logic behind charity should be a monetary continuation of applying your knowledge of God to your individual existence. It is a good deed and act of kindness based on your own selfish and personal benefit.
The good things in life that you should have require some sort of effort or labor and the more positive there is, the more negative can be undone. It makes sense to seek to gain as much good as is within your capabilities and worthy of your effort. What doesn't make sense is letting your desire for things beyond your means cause you to stretch the fruits of your labor beyond their capacity. Stressing about the future and going into debt is not the way to live your life.
You should comfortably enjoy what you've earned while leaving enough room to keep you from worrying about maintaining your lifestyle in the near future. If how you live is too expensive to maintain, you either need to make do with less or work harder to get what you think you deserve out of life. I'm inclined to believe worshipping God makes the former easier to do than the latter, but that could just be me.
What cannot be dismissed as my personal opinion is: you cannot prepare to let go while you are still practicing on holding on. Charity allows you to balance out your ambition and extra productivity with avoiding getting too attached to what you've earned. Once you have acquired what is necessary for your survival and comfort according to your means and capabilities, you should give the excess to those in need starting closest to home.
Budget beyond the immediate, whether it's the next pay period, billing cycle, season, or year, so that you don't have to hoard your wealth in order to feel secure about your financial future. Give what is left to the less fortunate amongst your family, friends, or neighbors, starting with those least able to do for themselves.
If you are still trying to make your way, don't lose sight of those worse off than you. Give what you can when you can with the knowledge that success demands you pay it forward. If you are financially stable, don't be so concerned about rainy days that may never come that you hoard your way out of Heaven. Whatever hardships may occur due to your generosity can never match the hardship of Hell.
If you are rich, give and invest in the betterment of others. Enjoy whatever luxuries you can afford. It is all a gift from God unless you make it a curse. Helping others improve their lives using what is in excess instead of being excessive should keep you from holding on to the fruits of success to the point of failure.
Even though I believe charity should also be the source of income for those who make it their occupation to administer aid to the indigent or officiate any gatherings for the purpose of worshipping God, I should not be a recipient of charity as a means of payment for my work.
I make this message available to you for free because it is not mine to withhold. I make this message available to be purchased so that I may make spreading the philosophy, Intellectual Righteousness, a full-time occupation.
If you wish to own it for yourself or have reason to feel some sort of gratitude for this message, please buy the book If you think I deserve more and can afford to give it, please buy more copies and give them to people who will not trash your gift (whether they could afford to buy their own or not).
Any other charity related to me should be investing your money in whatever ventures I invest mine or giving to those I give to. At no point should anyone give me money to be used for my personal benefit without me first providing a good or service in trade unless I've been robbed of my rights or property.
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