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Creating Possibility for Transformation

Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.

Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to transform his life. Transforming ones life is not about changing it. While life is much about doing differently, the genesis of the transformation is about a person altering or transforming his belief or thought of who he thinks he is.

We tend to believe that our life is determined or influenced by people, places, things, situations and circumstance and that who we are is the mere accumulation of our past experiences but this is not so. Rather, it is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our experiences and life and also that we are completely and solely responsible for their creation. What we think and believe, especially about ourselves, determines our emotions and behavior in the world and it is our behavior that merely validates what we think and believe about ourselves. Furthermore, we believe or think that we know who we are in life but the reality is that we truly do not. Much of who we are really being we are simply not present to. Much of our life is spent in pretense and who we are really being is hidden from us.

Given that much of our life is lived in pretense, from the construct of ego, becoming present to that which is hidden, to who we are being in life, is absolutely necessary for transformation. It is in that which is primarily hidden from us that one will discover what is determining ones life, referred to here as ones self-limiting belief. The first component of the transformational process is for one to become present to the hidden thoughts and beliefs that have been limiting him in life and in particular to his self-limiting belief. It is in the being of the self-limiting belief that one will discover the primary constraint or barrier to his life, to him living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. We live life from who we think we are. Who we think we are forms the context for our life. Having the awareness or distinction of the self-limiting belief allows one the ability to not be it, to not have his life be merely the probable almost certain future from the past. Without the distinction of the self-limiting belief one will continue to create his life from the backdrop of this ideational barrier and as a result life will appear much as it did in the past.

Becoming present to that which has been hidden, to that which has been truly determining his being in life, allows one the opportunity to transform his life. Once one gets who he has been being in life, the second component of transformative process is for the individual to begin to create his life as a possibility. Once the distinction of the self-limiting belief is gotten, the individual is now able to truly create a new possibility for himself and his life. Getting the self-limiting belief creates the space or an opening for a possibility or possibilities to be invented not as a result or product of the barrier or constraint but from or out of nothing. It is only from nothing that possibility can truly be created. As with the self-limiting belief, possibility exists in language. Once one gets the language that he has been being, that has defined and limited him through being his self-limiting belief, it is at this point that he can begin to recreate himself through the power of his word. Who we are is our word. It is in ones language or word created out of nothing that one has access to possibility and transformation.

The technique described below is designed to assist an individual in becoming present to his self-limiting belief and in the process to create the space or opening for him to invent a possibility or possibilities for recreating his life.

1. Find a relaxing and comfortable space to sit in for approximately one hour. Arrange for this space to be free of any distractions. Just allow yourself to begin to relax. Become present to where and who you are. The use of therapeutic relaxation music can promote the development of a very profound sense of relaxation to enhance this experience.

2. Take a notebook and begin to write down everything that you believe describes or defines who you are. Let your mind wander and do not try to filter or block out anything. Just let whatever comes up about yourself, how you feel and what you think about yourself, to be written down. Who you think you are or that which bests describes you may appear in single words or short phrases. If in a group, share your description of yourself with others. Furthermore, make two lists as there will appear to be both positives and negatives aspects about who you think you are.

3. Sit your notebook down, close your eyes and begin to relax deeply again. Again, the use of therapeutic relaxation music will assist you in the process of creating a very deep state of relaxation. As you begin to move into a deep state of relaxation allow yourself to begin to drift back through time, back through your life, back through your adulthood, adolescence and into your childhood. Allow yourself to become present to how you were being, experiences, thoughts and feelings, through the various phases or stages of your life. Just become present to or notice what appears for you.

4. Open your eyes and return to work on your notebook. Take a look at what you have written and add anything that you became present to about yourself during the above mentioned relaxation exercise. Again, do not filter out anything but merely allow whatever there is to come to the surface, both the positive and negative words that best describes who you think and feel you are or were.

5. Once you have come to a completion of creating the lists, both positive and negative, consider that the positives of who you think yourself to be form the pretense of your life and that their design or function is to fix the negatives of who you think you are.

6. Allow yourself to become present to the negatives you have written down. Notice which one of the negatives best describes who you are, what you commonly believe and feel about yourself, what you have experienced in your mind in the past and even now. Declare the negative aspect that is familiar to you to be your self-limiting belief.

7. Place your notebook in your lap. Allow yourself to become fully present to the fact that what you have written is you, is who you believe yourself to be. Become present to an inauthentic way of being, the positive as pretense and the negatives as that which we hide from ourselves and the world.

8. Place the notebook into your past. If you are right handed place your notebook to your left. If you are left handed place your notebook to your right. Place the notebook approximately three feet from you.

9. Once you place your notebook into your past allow yourself to become present to where your notebook is in relation to your body, to your right or left. Allow yourself to again become present to that which you have written in your notebook is who you believe you are and that it exists to either your right or left.

10. Once you become present to who you believe yourself to be, to the description of yourself as you have written, allow yourself to become present to what now lies in front of you. Given that who you think you are is either to your left or right, become present to what exists in front of you is nothing, an opening from which everything and anything is possible and can be created.

11. Inside the nothing that appears in front of you, invent a possibility or possibilities for yourself and your life. Declare your possibility in language or word, of who you will take on being in life, for yourself. Furthermore, this declaration becomes your personal affirmation of who you will be in and for the world.

12. Repeat this exercise everyday. Repeating this exercise daily will allow one to continue to stay present to his self limiting belief so as to not be it and also to the possibility or possibilities that he has created and invented for himself and his life. Continuing this exercise will also allow the further possible unveiling of the self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief that one initially becomes present to may reveal even deeper meaning for who one is or has been being.

The exercise outlined above is about the work of the first two components of Transformational Counseling and one beginning the process of transformation. Once one gets the distinction of his self-limiting belief and creates a possibility or possibilities for himself and his life, the third component of transformation involves learning the process of enrollment. Enrollment is a powerful technique for allowing one to stay living into his possibility and out of his self-limiting belief. The fourth component of transformation is about creating a daily plan. The daily plan allows one the opportunity to continue to live into or generate his possibility in his life on a daily basis. The fifth component of transformation involves a commitment to stay in the conversation of transformation. It is in staying in the conversation that one experiences the nonlinear nature of transformation thereby keeping the process alive in his life.

Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC

“Creating Possibility for Transformation” Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.



Are Your Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back?

Photo credit: Sarah

Photo credit: Sarah via Flickr

by: Ruth Bridgewood

Do you know anyone who is totally successful and fulfilled in all areas of their life? In their relationships, career, health, wealth and wellbeing? If you do, then they are probably one of the very few people in the world who have managed to let go of all their limiting beliefs and create a perfect life for themselves. For the rest of us, it is necessary to firstly understand how our limiting beliefs have come about, identify the limiting beliefs that are holding us back, then taking action to modify or eliminate them so we can move on and live the life we deserve.

What are Limiting Beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are those that we received, either consciously or unconsciously, from our parents, teachers, exposure to media, our culture (or parent’s cultural background) to name a few. There is also evidence that a tendency towards negativity and limitation can be passed on genetically, but this is heavily modified by the things that happen throughout our lives.

Whilst most of our limiting beliefs are formulated in our childhood (“Do you think money grows on trees!”, “Who do you think you are?” …), it is true that any shattering experience such as an accident, broken relationship, or business failure can affect our thinking and self-confidence, and consequently our behaviour. Our minds build up a memory bank of ideas and images from little scraps of information, experiences, comments, and impressions gathered over a lifetime. Everything we’ve been through, things people have said to us and about us, compliments or criticisms, failures or successes have all built up in our memories along with our interpretations or attitudes to those events. Unfortunately humans are generally more inclined to believe criticisms more than the praise. This can be disastrous if the criticism happens at a time in our life where we are particularly vulnerable (e.g. adolescence) or even if you are just having a bad day!

Because these beliefs have been building up quietly, unnoticed for so long, we don’t bother to challenge them and they may even be hidden from our conscious mind altogether. We don’t realise that our fears and negative results have come about as a consequence of these hidden beliefs. We end up settling for a minimal, marginal life, subconsciously believing that we don’t deserve money, love or respect.

Of course, we have also “inherited” many beliefs and attitudes that are positive and serve us well, which we don’t necessarily want to change. However, it is really necessary to challenge those beliefs that have created limitations for future decisions about who you are and what you are capable of, as well as creating low self-esteem and confidence.

Can They Be Changed?

As we have learnt, most of our beliefs are generalisations based on our past, and our interpretations of our experiences. Often we have misinterpreted the situation or the things we have heard, but once we have adopted that interpretation, we forget that that is all it is – our interpretation. And interpretations can be changed!

There is a well-known story about an alcoholic and drug addict who murdered a store cashier for drug money. He had two sons, eleven months apart, one of whom grew up to be “just like Dad” – a drug addict who lived by stealing and threatening others and ended up in jail. His brother is a different story. He’s happily married with three kids, regional bank manager who finds his work rewarding and challenging. He’s physically fit with no addictions. When they were queried individually on why they felt their lives had turned out the way they did, both responded “What else could I have become, with a father like that?”.

We all have the ability to choose our interpretation and response to any life situations, so we certainly have the ability to change that interpretation. You can create a meaning which can either empower you or disempower you. You can continue to accept those limiting and negative beliefs and go through life only achieving a fraction of what you are capable of, or you can let them go and take control of your attitude and your life.

In our next article, we will learn how to identify our own limiting beliefs and how they can be changed.

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About The Author

Ruth Bridgewood is a qualified Life Coach, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist specialising in on-line personal growth courses, tools and resources. For more articles and to claim your free self-improvement e-books, visit
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The Hypocrisy of Pluralism

Alternative Flag of Israel that combine the sy...

Alternative Flag of Israel that combine the symbol of all religions in that area: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Druze Religion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Jim Barringer

“I always like to see that,” my friend said, as we watched a family walk by. It was a full house, grandparents, parents, and children – the kind of thing you don’t see in public very much. Being a great believer in the power of family, I agreed with him.

“It gives kids a good look at the way people other than their parents do things,” he continued. “It teaches them that there’s not just one correct belief, one way to do things. And you know, the same is true of religion as well.”

Unfortunately for him, he was wrong. Fortunately for both of us, I held my tongue instead of tearing him apart on the spot. But that’s the kind of statement that’s so prevalent, yet so abysmally ignorant, that I couldn’t let it slide, so I’ll issue my rebuttal here instead.

His problem is with Christianity’s “exclusive truth claims” – the statements by Jesus that he is the only way, that there is only one correct way to believe, and that everyone who disagrees is wrong. It sounds very intolerant and bigoted to put it that way, but there you go. Many people, my friend included, are offended by the implications of that, and attempt to bridge the gap by insisting that there cannot only be one way to believe, and that other ways must be correct; this belief is called pluralism. However, his statement is self-contradictory.

In saying “There cannot be only one way,” he himself is making an exclusive truth claim. He is saying, “There is only one correct belief, which is pluralism, and everyone who disagrees is wrong.” Do you spot the problem? Isn’t that the exact same exclusive truth claim that he said nobody could make? Yet he is making it. My friend is exhibiting the exact same attitude that he is condemning.

If religion were merely a system of morality, then people like my friend might have a point, because in a vacuum, who can say that one system of morality is better than any other? But that is not what religion is. It is an answer and a solution to the question, “What is fundamentally wrong with humanity?” There can really only be one answer to this question. If there is one thing wrong with humanity (sin), then there must be one solution (Christ); any religion which fails to address sin will be inadequate, and if sin is not the problem, any religion which claims such must be wrong and misguided. If there were five things wrong with humanity, any religion which addressed all five must be correct, and all others would be either inadequate (failing to resolve all five) or excessive (solving all five but introducing extra, unneeded baggage). No one can coherently say that all belief systems are correct.

In their call for pluralism, people like my friend are actually being as offensive as, and possibly more offensive than, any religion. I believe that God has declared that there is only one way to have a relationship with him, one solution to the question of what is wrong with me. Most religions on earth make similar exclusive truth claims. Pluralists, on the other hand, would tell us that we are ALL wrong, that every single religion on earth misunderstands God because there is no way that our exclusive truth claims could be right. The irony is that they, who often do not believe in God, are telling us the correct way to interpret God. Do you see what they are doing? They are saying that their belief system is the only correct one, that everyone else is wrong, while simultaneously saying that no one can claim to have exclusive truth. It’s the clearest example of hypocrisy that I could possibly illustrate.

Not only is it hypocrisy, it is also bad logic and lazy thinking. A call for pluralism is essentially the same as saying that there are no absolute truths. If there were absolutes, of course, then someone would be absolutely right and someone else would be absolutely wrong. This catchphrase, “There is no absolute truth,” is a favorite both of postmodernists and pluralists everywhere, but it’s merely another nonsense phrase.

First of all, it is self-contradictory. If it is true that there are no absolutes, then the statement “There are no absolutes” must be false, because it is an absolute statement. Additionally, if there are no absolutes, then the statement “No one can make an exclusive truth claim” is also false, because it is also an absolute. The same is true of the statement “All beliefs are equally valid.” The pluralist mindset is completely built on self-contradiction and paradox.

It reminds me of when I was younger and fed up with the idea of New Year’s resolutions. So I said, “My resolution is to have no resolutions,” until someone pointed out that I had one resolution to have zero resolutions. I was being self-contradictory. Of course, I was ten years old at the time, so I laughed it off, but there are a disturbing number of people whose entire worldview is built on the same kind of nonsensical statements.

Besides, even a ten-year-old knows that absolutes really do exist. My car, for example, is red. It is not white, and it is not green. It could be either of those things if I wanted it to, but it would have to stop being red. One statement is absolutely true of my car (“My car is red”) and every other color-related statement about my car is absolutely false. You could say this about virtually everything in life. Gravity absolutely holds me to earth. You are absolutely either a man or a woman – even if you were to change from one to the other, you can only be one at a time. We obviously have no problem with the idea of absolutes because we structure our life around them. Only when it comes to important matters like morality and eternity do people start to get squeamish. But let me ask you this. If God has built the universe in such a way that it is friendly to absolutes, why would he break character when it comes to spirituality? Why would knowledge and worship of him be the one and only area in which absolutes were not the answer?

Science spends its entire existence looking for laws that explain the way the world works. They write elaborate equations to explain the way planets orbit around the sun, the speed at which gravity pulls a skydiver to earth, the rate at which plants photosynthesize. Do they not understand that all of these are absolutes? All of the things they describe as “natural laws” are merely God’s absolutes for governing the universe. If he has such elaborate laws, extending even down to the folding of proteins within each one of our hundred-billion red blood cells, why would he decide that spirituality, the answer to that fundamental question of what’s wrong with humanity, was the one willy-nilly area where anything goes?

Doesn’t he care infinitely more about people than he does about gravity and photosynthesis? Does he love Mars more than he loves you? If there is something wrong with humanity, if we are allowing ourselves to be less than he designed us to be, don’t you think that helping us would be his first and foremost obsession?

What’s wrong with us is that we are the only creature on earth that does not obey God’s absolutes. Proteins fold when they are supposed to fold, gravity pulls every creature down to earth, but humans do not obey God’s laws. God says “Love me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” And we say, “No thanks. I love me more than I love my neighbor. I’m going to live however I want to. My own happiness is most important to me.” God has told us that we will be happy and satisfied, and the world will be a better place, if we abide by those two simple absolute rules, and we refuse. That rebellion is what’s wrong with humanity, and the only remedy – abandoning our rebellion and being reconciled to God through Christ – is the only solution.

I can’t put it more simply than that. God loves absolutes, he gave us absolute rules to live by, and we rejected him. And now pluralists are saying that we, the ones who broke his laws and ruined the world with our own selfishness, can follow whatever belief system we want and everything will be okay in the end. Their philosophy is so illogical that it would be hilarious, if not for the fact that some people truly believe it. That turns the hilarity into tragedy.

Now you’ve seen the two crucial hypocrisies of pluralism. You’ve seen that they condemn people who profess to know the only way, while claiming that pluralism is the only way. You’ve seen that they reject absolutes while building their entire philosophy around absolutes. What’s left to say? A philosophy that is self-contradictory is surely not worth following, and pluralism is nothing if not self-contradictory. In a world where it is increasingly unpopular to have an opinion, let us rally back to the cross, and hold tight to the things that are worth holding.

Jim Barringer is a 26-year-old writer, musician, teacher, and traveler, serving at The Church of Life (.com) in Orlando, Florida. More of his work can be found at This work may be reprinted for any purpose so long as this bio and statement of copyright is included.

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Learning to Get Along With People of Other Religions

English: Major religions distribution.

Major religions distribution via Wikipedia (click for larger image)

by: Joseph Knapp

It’s a world of diversity. So diverse that of all the billions of people in this world, not any of us are the same. Not one person is exactly like another. That’s the beautiful thing about our world.

But, it is getting scarier and scarier with each new day that approaches and each new war that erupts. It seems that we can’t seem to get along because of our differences. I admit that some differences are intolerable. People who consciously commit crimes cannot be tolerated. People who intend to hurt others cannot be tolerated. People with differences such as these are not the kind of differences I am referring.

What I am talking about are the various people of different religions, cultures, belief systems, traditions and the like. Our differences are beautiful and I have no idea why we can’t simply embrace our differences rather than let our differences bother us.

It is in our human nature to be apprehensive. When you see someone with a drastically different hairdo and clothing style than yours, you might find yourself a little shocked. That shock tends to turn into worry because it is in the human nature to question those differences we have among ourselves. If a person is different in one way, are they different in other ways?

That’s being human. It starts at the surface with a simple hairdo and boils down to the deepest thoughts of whether or not they share our values. It’s important that we feel safe around people who are drastically different than ourselves. So, we need to know if they share our values.

Across all the religions and spiritual beliefs, there are similarities we all enjoy. Many of these are easy to recognize without diving deep into doctrine. All religions and spiritual beliefs embrace that it is wrong to murder others. We also have at our core of beliefs that we do not steal from others and we do not lie to each other. These are just a few of the values that we all share.

Even a person who does not follow a religion or have a spiritual belief is embedded with these same core values. Community raises us up to at least have respect for each other and that would be where most of these core values come. A person who has never killed before finds it hard to do when encountered with that scenario. That is because embedded deep down is a set of laws that it takes a great deal of energy or a moment of lapse to break.

So with these core values in place, why can’t we seem to get along with other people of other cultures? It is an astounding question. There are so many people who want to be different, but are put off by people who are different. There are quite a few people in this world who want to conform and are closed to the options in this world that could make their lives more fulfilling.

The more we learn about those around us, the more comfortable we get in our world. You will find that our differences are a beautiful thing to embrace. You will also find that there are more similarities than you think.

About The Author

Joseph Knapp’s service awakens your heart to experience Divine Grace – the source of all transformation, healing and release from undesired patterns. Joseph’s level of self-realization, combined with a lifetime of study and service, distinguishes him from other healers and truly makes him a “healer’s healer.” Find out more about him and Sacred Ecology at – – Path of the Sacred Healer.

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Your Behavior Is Your Belief

Coffee icon

Image: Mizunoryu via Wikipedia

Your behavior IS your belief. Ouch! Most folks don’t want that to be true when they first hear it. How about you?

I was speaking at a conference and it was lunchtime. I was sitting at a table of participants and we shared a lovely meal. The coffee was served and we were relaxing, I thought.

The woman next to me leaned in and whispered,

“I know coffee is not good for me and I don’t really drink coffee. I need a pick-me-up and just thought this was a special occasion.” She was almost apologetic. I whispered back and affirmed,

“You’re a coffee drinker.” She protested mightily.

“Oh, no, I’m really not!” I smiled and told her that indeed she was a coffee drinker as she was indeed drinking coffee!

Her behavior was her belief. Coffee drinkers drink coffee. Non-coffee drinkers do not. It’s that simple. Now, a few basic things were true aside from her behavior:

• I have no feelings, thoughts or judgments about whether or not a human being and coffee are a healthy combination. Every body is different. It was her projection that, because she thought she ought not to be drinking coffee, I shared her opinion.

• She was endeavoring to be pre-emptive and pro-active. IF, by any chance, I did care about her drinking coffee, she was going to set me straight about her usual behavior and, hopefully, remove any thoughts I might have about her caring about her health, knowing the effects of caffeine, or questioning her self-discipline.

• She was fooling herself and wasting a lot of time and energy. A simple decision was required. Either decide coffee is fine or that it is not. Behave accordingly.

Do you have any of these crooked-thinking habits? Are you pretending—especially to yourself—that you want to go in one direction while your behavior is definitely going in another? It’s very common. Good intentions make great conversation and we feel better about ourselves while making it! We create our own hell by becoming impostors!

Sure, the coffee story seems harmless enough, but, it’s a simple example. Lying to ourselves is a travesty. (No, it’s not fibbing, telling a little white lie or stretching the truth. It’s simply lying!) We need to be able to trust ourselves. Living in alignment with what we say we believe is a wonderful way to steer clear of the anxiety, fear and chaos that living a double life creates.

Where could you improve the alignment between your beliefs and your behavior? Your behavior really demonstrates your belief–even about drinking coffee!

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Source: Articles Directory

About the Author

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, has helped thousands to see life differently. Through many years as a transpersonal psychologist, she has assisted people in all phases of life from those facing death and despair to those seeking solutions to the practical problems of living. Dr. Shaler is the founder of Spiritual Living Network™ and you are invited to join at


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Religion For Non Believers


Image via Wikipedia

Religion for me has been a bewildering and reluctant adversary. For the longest time religion meant belief in some strangers prescription for salvation. As one matures and questions their life and the role of religion in it, certain sticking points become clear. Why so many different perceptions of religion? Why so many different versions of religion? Why so much mutual exclusivity of the various religion doctrines? Belief in one religion shouldn’t automatically exclude an individual from believing or practicing in another. That’s ridiculous. The different and varying threads in the spirituality of religion have far more in common then their proponents would care to admit to. It’s almost as if their saying that you must believe in everything that I say. No picking and choosing, just believe in all, or else your out. And it’s not just the zealots, it seems to be a persuasive thread among most religions.

Unbelievably Fragile Beliefs

Tolerance and acceptance should not just be facades painted on by the practitioners of every dogmatic religious power. They are principals and values that need to be shared and instilled as the cornerstone of any religion. We all have our little quirks, just as each religion has bizarre little rules, taboos, and rituals. How can one religion insist that their leaders practice celibacy, while another promotes marriage for it’s leaders, and yet another is perfectly fine with polygamy? They can’t all be wrong, surely one of these wise old sages is right. Or, maybe their all right. They’re definitely all wrong in suggesting their way is the only proper way. No wonder their is so much confusion amongst people in this day and age of enlightenment. Sometimes, it feels like if one tiny tenant of their dogmatic domicile fails then the whole thing fails. I don’t believe that a religion or it’s people can really be that fragile.

Your Way Is The Right Way

For a period, atheism or agnosticism seemed to be the way to go. All the other competing dogmas wanted my entire mind, heart, and soul. Well, if that’s the case, then no one gets anything. Seemed like the safe way to go. Not very satisfying, and certainly not very enlightening, but definitely safe. Just another brick in the wall, close them all out. Maturity and time have a way of changing religious views and beliefs. Sometimes old age does as well, but that can be just a convenient hope to the inevitable fear of what comes after the whole mortal coil shrug. Not a real belief I think. Some where along the line it occurred to me that it just rang hollow to believe in nothing. Even the religion of little green men seemed to have a lot more going for it, then believing in nothing. So it occurred to me that there simply has to be more to life then just what we can see and understand on the third planet from the sun. There certainly is a lot more to be understood yet, then there currently is understood today. Current notions of religion try to help there, but it’s painfully old technology. I mean hey, 200 years ago they didn’t even have black and white TV. What made those guys smart enough to start a religion that answers today’s questions.

My Way

I do believe that there is something bigger, grander, smarter, more tolerant, more enlightened and compassionate then any religion we on Terra firma have come up so far. Someone, something, is waiting and watching and guiding. We just need a little more time to figure it out. In the mean time, can’t we all just get along?

Source: Articles Directory

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Hindus criticize Pope for being harsh on atheists

Autonomy/Atheism by Zach Stern

Autonomy/Atheism by Zach Stern

Special to

Hindus have criticized Pope for rough handling of atheists and humanists in his long awaited encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth) issued in Rome.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote in this letter: “…ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.”

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that as Catholics and Hindus and others had freedom of their belief systems and were respected for their respective choices, and so should be the atheists. A religious leader of Pope’s stature should have been more inclusive.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that although Pope talked about “right to religious freedom”, “cooperation of the human family”, “truly universal human community”, etc., in this document, he apparently condemned the beliefs of a considerable chunk of world population called atheists, humanists, etc. Who were we as human beings to judge publicly that other humans’ beliefs different than us were “inhuman”?

We applauded Pope Benedict for his call for the “common good”, greater social responsibility, reform of financial bodies, sharing earth’s resources equitably; for taking a strong stand on environment; for criticism of growing divide between poor and rich and abuse of modern technologies; etc., as mentioned in this document but he need to learn to be more inclusive and large-hearted, Rajan Zed argued.

More than two years in the making, this 144-page and over 30,000-word encyclical letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to “all people of good will” is considered the highest form of papal teaching.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of God and atheists argue that there is little or no real evidence for the existence of God. Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.