Personal Revelations Exploring Life One Belief at a Time by Douglas Hughes

 

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pr nlee tn es arvli s o ao e poiglf .o e lf t tme x lr i n bei aaine e d u lsh g e o ga u h s

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personal revelations exploring life one belief at a time by douglas hughes

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copyright © 2009 by douglas hughes www.douglashughes.com all rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form by any means isbn 978-0-557-06934-7 pyradice publishing markets products and services that focus on educational and inspirational topics www.pyradicepublishing.com this book is printed by lulu on recycled paper www.lulu.com/hughes personal revelations page 2

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forward as far back as i can remember i wanted to be older and wiser when i was 10 i wanted to be 20 at 20 i just knew that life would be better at 30 upon reaching my third decade i yearned for the wisdom of a 50 year-old and when i finally passed the half-centennial mark i wondered how much more fulfilled i might feel with 80 years of living behind me but each succeeding milestone has also been a reminder that as we grow older and hopefully wiser we increasingly lose a little more youthful innocence and perspective about the world around us and with the loss of that innocence there is also the realization that we cannot go back again what we once accepted as truth can sometimes look like ignorance when seen in the context of the world we share today at such times we are tempted to relegate these past thoughts and beliefs to a box we put on a shelf in the dusty corners of our memory simply labeled youth page 3 personal revelations

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occasionally we open that box and look through its contents with a messy combination of embarrassment humility and fondness for what seemed to be a simpler time softer and less demanding than the world today and yet in a curious case of angelic alchemy the magic of time can transform the truth of youth into the sage of age there comes a day when we reach the inevitable realization that there are fewer nights ahead of us than behind us it is then that we search for something to give us a sense of immortality eventually i could no longer put off the inner drive to create something that would remain when i was gone a persistent voice kept whispering it s time to write many people look to their children as a way to fulfill this need to leave something of themselves behind but i knew early in life that i would never feel that way for more than 30 years my wife nita and i have attempted to offer parental advice and support to our children and grandchildren and while i believe my influence has been positive overall i know that the lives they each have chosen and the experiences they have attracted have more to do with their individual souls purpose in being born at this time than with the quality of my parenting i believe we have all incarnated on this magical planet at a dramatic moment in history to witness the unfolding of a new revelation about the meaning of life and so to my extended family of children grand-children parents siblings close friends and especially my wife i dedicate this book ­ a brief memoir that records some of what i have learned and loved in my short time on earth this time around so far douglas hughes personal revelations page 4

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preface the name of this book was inspired by a profound story from the author neale donald walsch as described in his book the new revelations ­ a conversation with god it is one of several conversation with god books that neale has written and i recommend them all but this particular one inspired me in a way that prompted me to take action i will always be grateful to neale for his willingness to put on paper the words he heard god speak despite the controversy that created and so inspire me to write about my own life experiences not quite so controversial one of the more profound ideas discussed by neale is the notion that god and life are the same thing in neal s book god actually encourages us to read our various holy scriptures aloud while substituting the word life for the word god wherever it appears in the text in personal revelations i have experimented with this idea god s revelations extracted from several different sources are interpreted as observations about life in this book i do not claim to talk for god or life but i do talk about god/life in a very personal way and with a familiarity intended to share the sense of intimacy i feel with a divine presence whatever we may choose to call it page 5 personal revelations

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ultimately my goal is simply to share with others as reader and writer a journey that we can enjoy together and that hopefully deepens our mutual experience of at-one-ment with life it is this unity with life that defines the personal revelation which gave birth to this book ­ a brief moment of creativity and i hope it inspires you to some similar creative act whatever form that might take it is through our efforts to express our own unique creative impulses that we experience a connection with divinity and ultimately with the source and spirit of life in all its glorious manifestations personal revelations page 6

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table of contents when does life talk to us 8 to whom does life speak 20 do all paths lead to life 29 what does life want 36 where does life live 45 can we truly be one with life 56 how does life decide what s right 68 who does life think we are 86 why do we think life loves us 98 does life have more to say 108 page 7 personal revelations

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when does life talk to us life has communicated with humanity throughout time from the ancient past to the distant future life is always communicating even at this very moment when i first considered writing this book my initial thought was why me what could i possibly add to a discussion about life that would be of interest to anyone else like thousands of others i was inspired by the books written by neale donald walsch that purport to contain new revelations by a being that calls itself god but i did not have any sense that such an entity wanted to write or speak through me in the same way then i thought maybe the world doesn t need another neale the book i want to write is not a conversation with god but rather a conversation about life could it be enough to share my own experience of exploring what these new revelations might mean how easy or difficult is it to incorporate such ideas into a personal relationship with a divine essence or for that matter simply with another human being personal revelations page 8

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ultimately the true impetus for this book may merely reflect my need to write and share with others what i am learning about myself one of the first revelations i remember knowing at a deep visceral level was the fact that life always speaks equally to everyone life does not withhold information or wisdom from some people and offer it exclusively for the benefit of others life simply tells the truth and those with ears to hear will learn what secrets are being revealed when i began writing down my thoughts i recalled many other books i have read that contain wisdom teachings about life some said they were transcribed or channeled from a divine being directly some were very ancient and others were written quite recently but despite all the teachings from books tapes churches workshops and seminars i still felt that such communication from a higher source whether we call it god or life or something else was probably reserved for people who had some special quality or ability to attract such wisdom it wasn t so much that i thought i was personally incapable of receiving this information it s just that i didn t seem to be able to do it right now today my life wasn t together enough i hadn t proven my worth in the everyday world or for that matter in any mystical way that might transcend the everyday world i wasn t particularly good at meditation or healing or inspiring others with words or deeds so i kept looking for truth somewhere else in someone else hoping that one day i would find that illusive state of inspiration where i could join the ranks of those who seemed able to channel wisdom from a higher source page 9 personal revelations

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eventually i discovered that not only is life always talking to each of us but what life says changes as we change in other words what we think life has said in the past may not be what life is telling us now if we will listen a little more carefully it s not so much that life s message is changing but rather our ability to hear and understand the message changes over time the bible qur an bhagavad-gita upanishads vedas and all of the holy books that fundamentalist followers want to take literally are not wrong it s just that they were written for a time and a place where the truth and wisdom they contain could benefit the people to whom such words were revealed but humanity is constantly evolving the world is continually changing and our ability to interpret divine revelation is improving as we get to know life better as children we interpreted what our parents and teachers told us based on a limited understanding of the world around us as we gained more knowledge and experience we could deepen our understanding of what they were trying to say of course our teachers were also learning and growing so their ability to communicate what they wanted us to discover was changing and evolving at the same time we were it is useful to remember that all of our holy books were transmitted through human beings in languages that have themselves changed and evolved sometimes quite dramatically since they were first recorded one of the best examples of this is the new testament which we all know but often forget was not written originally in the english language or french spanish german etc but mostly in ancient greek it has been translated many times over the years and on each occasion someone had to decide which modern words best captured the meaning of the source text personal revelations page 10

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in other words interpretation was required of course deciding what should be included in the bible is not just about someone s interpretive skills it is far more controversial much has been written about how disagreements between different factions of the early christian church and negotiations between politically powerful individuals ultimately determined what was included and excluded from the book that we now call the bible in particular during the first council of nicaea in ad 325 and the second in ad 787 religious leaders chose to exclude a number of texts many of which were quite familiar to people of the day because they were thought to contain teachings that did not fit well with the religious doctrine of the church leaders in power at that time dramatic evidence of this appeared between 1947 and 1956 when some 850 documents were discovered in caves near qumran not far from jerusalem many of these were thought to have been destroyed as a result of church edict many hundreds of years ago collectively they are known today as the dead sea scrolls and include texts from the hebrew bible along with other documents many of which church officials chose to exclude from both the old and new testaments even earlier in 1945 the so-called nag hammadi library was discovered in egypt near the pyramids of luxor these twelve leather-bound papyrus documents are thought to have been buried in secret near a monastery to preserve them when leaders of the church ordered their destruction in ad 367 they include excerpts of plato s republic and some particularly interesting texts attributed to the gnostic christians who were later branded heretics by the roman catholic church page 11 personal revelations

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these texts include the gospel of philip the gospel of thomas and the gospel of mary with the latter text in particular we find discussions between the disciple peter and mary magdalene about the positive and important role of women in church leadership and mary s special relationship to jesus each of the texts promote an interpretation of what jesus taught that focuses on nurturing our personal ability to discover inner spiritual knowledge these ideas were seen as conflicting with the church doctrine that eternal life and salvation is wholly dependent upon our believing that jesus was crucified died and then rose again as the one and only son of god it is not difficult to understand why church officials might wish to discourage the dissemination of such information and label those who taught these ideas as heretics often sentencing them to a brutal death as punishment for refusing to recant such beliefs still knowing that people have manipulated the interpretation of words attributed to god or life s messengers in the past does not necessarily mean that anyone today is doing a better job of communicating what life might wish to say to humanity at this time and even if we do accept the possibility of such revelation how do we judge whether what we are hearing is truly a divine message from life when neale asked a similar question of god he received a straightforward response which essentially said that if individuals declare themselves to be more special than you or me or anyone we should not listen to their proclamations rather we should seek the council of those who teach that we are all messengers of life we are all saviors and we are all holy rather than follow the preaching of one who claims exclusive knowledge from a restrictive and jealous god we should instead learn to listen to the wisdom of life that resides within ourselves personal revelations page 12

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it has been fairly easy for me to understand and apply this principal when the issues being considered involve some form of traditional religion it seems that throughout my life i would often listen and then ultimately leave whatever organized group was trying to compel me to believe a specific doctrine but it has been more difficult to apply this standard in situations that involve a more mysterious or metaphysical quality i am just too curious to know the answers to some rather esoteric questions for example when i study those channeled teachings that talk about the life of jesus with information from a source that claims knowledge beyond what the authors could access on their own i find inconsistencies in what you would think should be a fairly objective set of facts what was jesus doing in the years prior to beginning his ministry did he physically survive a crucifixion to travel and teach in other lands was he married and did he have children with mary magdalene when i read the urantia book a course in miracles transcriptions of edgar cayce the seth books by jane roberts or the dozens of more recently channeled works i get conflicting stories about the meaning or purpose of life and the origins of human civilization yet even despite their differences in discussing the past or predicting the future i almost always find inspiring messages in these books their words provide some insight or clarity about my own life experiences but i am still left wondering what is the truth about the past and the future page 13 personal revelations

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why is there disagreement about the facts what can we know for certain about our present reality who can we trust to tell us the truth we certainly cannot rely on what the media tells us or even what we learn in our schools where textbooks are routinely changed to reflect the most current version of someone s truth but if people claim to speak the truth and then it turns out not to be true does that mean everything they say should be equally suspect for that matter can we even trust our own senses to tell us the truth how often have we been in the company of others who saw what we saw heard what we heard outwardly shared the same experience but remembered or interpreted it differently in the end we must learn to listen to our own inner guidance and develop the ability to hear a higher wisdom speaking from someplace deep inside us that is not dependent solely upon the outer world of which our physical body tries to make sense still i can t help wondering if it isn t important to get clear and unambiguous answers to some key questions about this vast universe we inhabit is there life on other planets and if so is it conscious or humanoid have they visited our planet and do some of us have a connection with such extra-terrestrial beings in prehistoric terms were there earlier civilizations on earth such as atlantis or lemuria and if so what happened to them is there a reincarnation connection between souls who lived then and those who are alive today personal revelations page 14

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