Thursday, April 30, 2015

Paranormal Monsters on TV---River to Mountains

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

At the risk of seeming like I am "beating a dead horse" I want to briefly address a couple other TV shows that highlight the paranormal, albeit in a different way. I am referring to the additional craze of seeking for monsters, but not all these 'monsters' are what some would refer to as cryptozoology.

A favorite TV show of mine is River Monsters, starring Dr. Jeremy Wade, biologist and extreme angler. That is, he seeks, via fishing, river monsters which have wrecked havoc on people. He is an academic who thrills in solving mysteries that surround us in rivers all across the world. I admire his dedication and his respect for the fish which he catches, which Wade almost always gently puts back into the water.

I've learned alot about God's world while watching episodes of River Monsters. As an aside, may I suggest that any documentary type show/movie (or everything for that matter) should be viewed through a biblical worldview, which I outline in detail in my book. In addition, the wild, beautiful, and sometimes bizarre world which is highlighted on River Monsters opens up vistas for reflecting on the glory of God as revealed in nature. I don't know if Dr Wade professes to be a Christian but he is a model to me on how to relish the beauty of God's world. And no doubt he has saved lives by uncovering the watery assailant.

My burden these last few years is in revealing how widespread the occult has spread across the globe, and especially the USA, and helping people to be discerning of supernatural evil. We are a culture that has become addicted to entertainment and we are amusing ourselves to death. Even a scientific show like River Monsters is not immune to this occultic juggernaut.

In a recent episode, Dr Wade was in some remote place (I forgot where) in search of a river monster which was attacking people. The epicenter of the attacks was in an area controlled by a certain indigenous 'Indian' peoples. After consulting with the village elder it was discovered that 'Spirit Rock', which is a very tiny outcropping of rocks in the body of water, was considered sacred by these people and the key to solving this mystery.

Wade visited this sacred place which was feared by the locals and discovered to his dismay that there were no fish, none. He left and then went looking elsewhere. Compressing the story, he becomes convinced that the Muskie fish was the culprit.However, no matter how many times he cast his line he couldn't catch it. He estimated that he casted 13,000 times and remarked that he was exhausted and had lost his confidence. So (and this is crucial), he went back to Spirit Rock out of desperation and did something that shocked me and broke my heart...more importantly it broke God's heart. On that tiny rock island, he offered up an offering to the spirits of that place...an offering of tobacco. With millions of rational 'non-paranormal' type folks watching, think of the effect that one occultic act had on many of them--especially in light of his passion for rational thought and commitment to hard science, and what followed.

With his tackle virtually all used up, he used a rod and line that was woefully inadequate to catch a large muskie. After giving his offering, he cast his line, and IT appeared in the water. This large muskie was snared (remember before he didn't even see a fish there...it was eerily desolate of all things living) It was gripping to watch this epic struggle to reel the fish in without his line snapping. But catch it he did!

While commenting that it was the most exhausting catch of his life, it was also apparently his most supernatural (read demonic). I do NOT view everything that is bizarre or mysterious in nature as supernatural. Not at all! However, Dr Wade's offering to the spirits, which resulted in a Muskie virtually ensnaring itself on the line raised my eyebrows. Even if it was a coincidence, his actions still had the effect on many viewers of the power of the occult. For heavens sake, this is River Monsters and not a cryptozoology or paranormal show! And yet, the tentacles of the occult have reached into this TV show as well....pushing more people off the wrong side of the supernatural fence.

From river to mountains we come to Mountain Monsters. This is a TV show starring some trackers and hunters from close to my neck of the woods, the Appalachian mountains. These guys do focus on attempting to capture creatures many would classify as cryptozoology. As I have suspected, SOME of these cryptic creatures have revealed themselves on this show as being demonic. For example, in the last couple episodes two of the backwoodsmen have seemingly become possessed while in hot pursuit of their prey. Unless the cameraman used tricks, I also saw the little Indian girl in the shack only for her to suddenly vanish. However, it was the effects upon these two men that was deeply disturbing. One of the men was found raving mad without a stitch of clothing on (remind you of an incident in the bible?). It was deeply disturbing to see the fear that had gripped these men as they faced an unseen foe while trying to whoop it up in their hunt of mountain monsters. They were terrified....Both lost all control and could not remember what had happened while under it's control. Losing control and not remembering are classic signs of possession.

These are simple men (not stupid) who are unwittingly hunting the demonic with rifles and home-made traps. Like River Monsters it makes for good entertainment. Entertainment (with a capital 'E') has become a huge idol in our culture. Many are willing to jettison all semblance of rationality or even morality just be amused or entertained.

No doubt there are yet undiscovered species in the rivers and mountains, BUT Satan is using this cryptic craze to broaden his supernatural assault....via entertainment. How awful...how terribly awful.

It is with tears that I wonder about the welfare of these two mountain men, after the camera is gone. And I have to wonder if Dr Jeremy Wade is also experiencing aftershocks from opening a door he should have kept shut. Please be discerning and let us teach our children to be discerning amidst this demonic entertainment whirlwind. For Scripture says that if we sow the wind we shall reap the whirlwind. Jesus have mercy on us, please.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Please Help the Victims of the 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Nepal

Dear Readers of the Eye on the Paranormal,

Every Tuesday I post a blog about the Dalai Lama and hope that it inspires you in some way. Yesterday, it was a joyous blog about the Dalai Lama meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. That meeting took place only two days before the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The initial report of 3,700 confirmed dead has now increased to more than 5,000. Many survivors in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, as well as those within remote regions, are without food and water -- their shelter having been leveled by the 'quake. Aftershocks are expected, which will bring more damage.

May 5th Update: The death toll is now over 7200. To read more about the earthquake, here's a CNN link: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/03/asia/nepal-earthquake

If you would like to help, please read more from the Tibet Fund's website.

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal, taking a huge toll on human life and property. With over 3,700 confirmed dead, and the number continuing to rise, rescue efforts are still under way. According to The Guardian, more than half the houses in the city of Bhaktapur, just outside the city of Kathmandu, have been destroyed. Hundreds of homes in Patan, Kathmandu and neighboring towns have also been lost. Thousands more in the Buddhist regions of Northern Nepal are now leveled, leaving tens of thousands homeless. The official death toll in these areas is unknown due to inadequate data, and sporadic reports from these rural areas are our only glimpses of this earthquake’s true devastation.

This disaster has devastated the Tibetan community in Nepal, especially in remote areas close to the quake’s epicenter.  Currently, there are more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees and hundreds of thousands of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners living along the Himalayan Buddhist Belt in Nepal. Reports state that the Tibetan Refugee Settlement at Syabru Bensi has been heavily damaged, with the majority of homes in the settlement having collapsed. Monasteries and centers of Buddhist learning in the remote areas of Bhagang and Liphing in Tatopani have also been leveled by the quake. The rebuilding process will be a monumental task requiring financial support for years to come.

The Tibet Fund has established an Emergency Earthquake Relief Fund and is working with credible and reliable partners in Nepal, such as the Snow Lion Foundation and The Himalayan Society for Youth and Women Empowerment (HSYWE) to ensure that resources reach those most affected by the quake. These organizations are bringing urgently needed supplies and assistance to survivors and coordinating long-term efforts to rebuild communities. Even a small contribution will make a huge difference in the lives of those who have been tragically affected by the natural disaster.


The Tibet Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; as such all donations are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.  You can contribute online below to donate or send a check made out to The Tibet Fund with a note "Emergency Earthquake Relief Fund" on the memo line and send it to The Tibet Fund, 241 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016.

A Message from The 14th Dalai Lama About The Tibet Fund

The Tibetan people are grateful for the place they hold in the hearts and minds of so many people around the world. Were it not for our community in exile, so generously supported by individuals, organizations and governments, our nation would be little more than a shattered remnant of a people…our culture, religion and national identity effectively eliminated.

Over the past 30 years, The Tibet Fund has worked closely with our Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala to meet the needs of the Tibetan community. The Tibet Fund has raised millions of dollars to help our people to build schools and provide housing and infrastructure, health care and education to the Tibetan community, in exile and in Tibet. The Tibet Fund has also provided resources to strengthen cultural institutions and projects that are essential for the preservation of our cultural heritage, the very seed of our civilization.

While Tibet needs the compassion of the world community to survive, we cannot hope through mere words to convince the world of Tibet's value. We must set an example by our own practice. We are hard at work creating a modern society and democratic institutions based on the values of compassion, nonviolence and justice. Our communities are striving for self-sufficiency and self-determination.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the friends who have generously contributed to The Tibet Fund over the years, with the hope that you will continue to support us until our difficulties have been finally and justly resolved.

Monday, April 27, 2015

His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Dharamsala, HP, India, 23 April 2015 - The Upper Tibetan Children’s Village School was host to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his good friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Team Joy this afternoon. As they drove there from His Holiness’s residence the streets were lined with smiling people eager to catch a glimpse of them.

On arrival at TCV His Holiness and the Archbishop were escorted into the small library adjacent to the basketball court. Amidst the neat bookshelves and displays of projects the children had done writing about ‘joy’, several students, girls and boys, recounted their own journeys from Tibet to the school. The first, who had come with her grandmother, leaving the rest of her family behind, broke down in sobs and tears. Archbishop Tutu’s daughter, Mpho, stepped forward to hug and comfort her. She completed her tale, but when the next student too was overcome with emotion His Holiness intervened, suggesting:

“You should think about how as a result of coming here you have been able to receive not only a modern education, but also to learn about our rich culture. You’ve been able to study our language. This is the best language for explaining the profound traditions of Nalanda University. This is something to be proud of. And yours may be the generation that can rebuild Tibet.”

The final student to make a presentation spoke of his appreciation for what he had received and how he tries to take joy in everything.

The children, who filled the basketball court, sang a song in Tibetan celebrating His Holiness’s 80th birthday as he and Archbishop Tutu emerged to take their seats in the middle of the throng. They then followed it up with a Tibetan rendition of ‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.’

When His Holiness was invited to address the gathering, he turned to the Archbishop and said that since he teases him so much about his English, on this occasion he would speak in Tibetan. He stated that although our various religious traditions have different philosophical viewpoints, they share a common message of love and compassion. This is clearly reflected in the Archbishop and is why he admires him.

Commenting on the hardships faced by the parents of the students who were present His Holiness said:

“We received immense help from the Indian government. The world helped us. Because of the kindness we have received you have the opportunity to study today. Please, work hard. We Tibetans are going through a very difficult time, but we still have our own language and culture. Please take full advantage of your educational opportunities.”

Archbishop Tutu acknowledged His Holiness, the beautiful children and those in the crowd who were not children.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to be here. You are beloved throughout the world and we want to say to you, young people, that it might not seem possible to you that you will one day return to a free Tibet. But we in South Africa lived for many years under a system of injustice and oppression. Many of our leaders and young people went into exile. It seemed as if the chains of oppression would never be broken, that our prisoners on Robben Island would never come home. And yet,” and he let out his characteristic high pitched chuckle, “it happened.”

“In 1995, our beloved Nelson Mandela and the others were released and the exiles came home. One day, you too, all of you, will see your beloved Tibet again. You’ll be free of the oppression that has driven you here. The Chinese government will discover that freedom is actually cheaper than oppression.”

He spoke of the deep honour he feels to count His Holiness as his friend and that the world feels the same way. He continued:

“I want to thank the Indian government and the Indian people who opened their arms to welcome you, because they preserved for us a great treasure that would otherwise have been lost.”

Looking round at the students, he exclaimed:

“Look how beautiful you are! One day you’ll be dancing and singing in the streets of Tibet.”

Students were then able to put questions to the two spiritual leaders starting with one to His Holiness asking whether we can ever hope to live in a violence free world. He replied that there are many different kinds of violence, including exploitation and corruption.

“If you are thinking about serious physical violence involving war and people killing each other, then yes, I think we can eliminate that if we make the right effort.”

Archbishop Tutu was asked his advice about the way people seek happiness in material things. He answered that more and more people are realizing that they will not get real satisfaction from things alone. He said you can have many possessions while your heart remains empty.

“I meet many young people from well-off homes who go out to help others and find a much greater satisfaction in that.”

When His Holiness was asked about how he controls his anger in daily life, he replied that when he’s angry he shouts. He told a story of an occasion in 1956 when he was watching the driver and mechanic who looked after one of the cars that had belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama. While working on it he accidentally banged his head on the car. In anger he then deliberately banged it against the car again and His Holiness wondered: “What’s the use of that?” He remarked that anger destroys our peace of mind.

“Reciting ‘manis’ won’t help, even reciting the refuge prayer won’t help. Training our minds is the only solution.”

Asked whether joy could really be a source of world peace, His Holiness replied:

“I think so and that’s why people should have a clear understanding of how to create joy. Doing harm to others may bring some temporary satisfaction, but being helpful to them is the only real source of lasting joy.”

Archbishop Tutu was also asked how true joy and happiness can be achieved and he answered:

“If we think we want joy for ourselves that’s short-sighted and will only be short-lived. Real joy is the reward of acting to bring joy to others. Deep joy is what happens when you show love, care and compassion to others. You can’t get it any other way. You can’t buy it.”

In reply to a final question about the environment, the Archbishop said:

“We have to remind people that this is our only home and if we treat it badly we’re done for. The ice caps are melting. The summers and winters are too long. We need to say ‘Yes, something is wrong’. People are beginning to hear what many religious leaders are saying, that this is our only home and we have to care for it.”

A band on the stage led the whole crowd in singing, ‘We are the world’. Archbishop Tutu got to his feet, dancing and swaying to the music. At the end he took the microphone and led everyone in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to His Holiness as a large cake ablaze with candles was placed before them. He called for children to come and help His Holiness blow the candles out. The cake was cut and as it was distributed among children and guests, His Holiness, the Archbishop and Team Joy returned to McLeod Ganj.

Tomorrow will see the final day of the conversations that are to become the ‘Book of Joy’.

Click here to see the original article and photos http://dalailama.com/news/post/1268-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama--archbishop-tutu-at-tcv

Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 3

Continued from: 
Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 1
Symptoms of Spiritual Pollution, Part 2

In our continuation on the blog series Spiritual Warfare from the last time I discussed the critical aspect of Submission.  I first started off the blog series with Reverence for the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, which I laid this out so that you will understand and learn that one must fear God.  The second part was that to truly understand God you need to submit to his ways and thus not your or other human’s ways.

God is a loving God, yes but God is also a God of wrath!  Time and time again the Holy Bible discusses the wrath and penalties from God.  Just because you know and have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior does not mean you comply with the Kingdom plan.

To truly comply as a person you must submit to Jesus Christ and make him the Lord of your life. This is why the battle of Spiritual Warfare takes place.  This is a pure test to see if the person will truly follow and serve the Kingdom of God as they are called to do, or are they just wanting to “go with the flow” and the “ways of the world”.

Today I will discuss the third aspect which is Dependency.  Webster's online describes DEPENDENCY as follows:

1.  Dependence
2.  Something that is dependent on something else; especially: a territorial unit under the jurisdiction of a nation but not formally annexed by it
3.  A building (as a stable) that is an adjunct to a main dwelling

When it comes to dependency as relating to God we need to focus on point two (2) from above, something that is dependent on something else.  As humans we are to be dependent upon God for all our needs.  Sadly, our ancestors Adam and Eve chose to cast this dependency aside when both were tricked to eat the "forbidden fruit".

As a result of our ancestors actions many people, as well as fellow Christians feel they do not need to be dependent upon God, because it is God who created them with an innate desire to be creatures who can do all as long as they give God some sort of credit.

Sadly, this is where we get in trouble and thus the Demons know this about us. As humans we desire to control and thus we have been given an illusion so to speak.  Wikipedia describes human’s innate drive to not be controlled as follows: "The illusion of control is the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events; for example, it occurs when someone feels a sense of control over outcomes that they demonstrably do not influence.”

The effect was named by psychologist Ellen Langer and has been replicated in many different contexts.  It is thought to influence gambling behavior and belief in the paranormal.  Along with illusory superiority and optimism bias, the illusion of control is one of the positive illusions.

This is where we as humans get into trouble because we will not give the control to the Lord Jesus Christ who is truly in control, yet we profess him as Lord but we do NOT make him the Lord fully over our lives.

Our God is awesome God and our God is huge as well.  It is this very God who is the one who holds every molecule in this universe together.  God is the one making your lungs work, and your heart beat.  Thus you can’t lift your arm without His empowerment.  Everything you have is a gift from God.

But while God is a generous provider, none of God's gifts become or are your property.  God's gifts are all loans to the person which God could suddenly take back at any time.  Your intelligence, your health, your joy, your strength—they are all loans from God.  Given this knowledge, what can you truly do apart from God?  Absolutely nothing.  Which means you are dependent on God for all things, but many refuse to submit to God and become dependent in this manner and that is why they face issues from the Demonic forces.

In the Church, a person is taught to think this is some kind of amazing aspect or gift if you can detect the presence of demons.  This person is spoken to that they have “the gift of discernment”, if you can sense some evil aura around you or around others. However, discernment is about wisdom.  How much wisdom do you truly have if you won’t or refuse to grasp the super obvious truth that you are dependent on God for all things?

How misguided are you to think it is you who can do anything apart from God?  How dense are you to miss how awesome God is and that it is you who will never be anything more than a powerless molecule who was created to love and to serve the One who made you?  Sadly in the Church, it is stupidity which is exalted as wisdom, while true wisdom is adamantly rejected.  In the Church, a person is taught to memorize a whole list of the glorious powers and attributes we must obtain through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As parishioners we are taught to think that we are incredible creatures who God depends upon to make Him feel complete.  We are taught that our happiness is God’s top priority (prosperity gospel and feel good gospels) and that God lives and exists to only bless us.  This is all just lies—a smelly pile of manure, which we use to fertilize our growing egos that God exists to please us humans.  Therefore those people are already receiving the doctrine of Demons - which we have been warned of.

God does not need us, we need God. Read in the bible in which God stated his great displeasure with us humans, Genesis 6:7 states, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”  Right there this is a stern warning from God that we are to be in reverence, submission and dependency upon him but our egos get in the way.

Understanding that our absolute dependency on God is what slams us out of our Narcissistic Personna and drives us back down onto our faces in front of Him saying, “Apart from you God I can do nothing, and I am nothing.  All that matters is you God being pleased with me and that I glorify you in my life.  It is your approval as the only reward that I seek.”

So is this the attitude that is being cultivated in you when you sit around contemplating your wonderful life?  You best prepare for a massive spiritual onslaught from demonic forces then as one would deserve this because of not wanting to be dependent upon God at all.

I will continue with the next aspect of TRUST in a blog next time.

Rev. Bradley Luoma, Exorcist


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Demonic Oppression: On The Rise??

I don't know if anybody else noticed that there is a major rise in Demonic Oppression?

It seems that more and more people are dabbling in occult/satanic type activities from what they see on TV. Sadly they inadvertently put themselves in the line of fire inviting God knows how many in human entities in their life and home. It's legal ground for them even if it wasn't intended and it was an accident. I just don't think it's healthy when someone buys a 7 year old digital recorder to reenact what we've seen on TV for slumber parties and things to that nature. Many did spooky things when we were younger such as 'light as a feather stiff as a board' or the famous 'bloody Mary, bloody Mary, Bloody Mary' and then she is supposed to appear after the third chant. Then of course the Ouija board. I fully admit I was one of those people who participated in the bloody Mary and the ever so popular Ouija board.  I wanted to know how real it was and I was the only one in the group that challenged something to come through...... I would explain what events took place but I'd be accused of lying. In this field every body looks for something to harass somebody about. It's like a piece of sand but making it out to be an entire Sandcastle with issues, that's why I don't share what took place. I was 17. All these years later the two other friends refused to talk about it because that's how badly they had been traumatized. I decided not to bother.. I remember two kids that I came across that were older around 11 to 12 who had K2 meters, dousing rods and the ghost box and they received them from their parents  

This was a requested topic from Allison K. I understand that many are curious about this and I have "closet curious readers" for lack of better words who prefer not to make it known that they believe this topic. They would unfortunately endure a lot of harassment and possibly trouble in the work place and among circle of friends. There's just so many things that can open you up to oppression so I am guessing I'll start with the basic. You can always research this yourself on the Internet I'm sure there would be a plethora of information. Christian book stores and Barnes & Noble have many good books on the subject and many subjects related to it. You can go to Amazon.com. Over the years since at least 2000 I have purchased many good reads that assisted in my research. I prefer to stay away from the ones written by para-celebs. 98% claim all this experience in all these things they've done but yet they can't provide any references or any certificates that were given to them for any courses that they took etc...it kills me to know there are about 8 people that are so knowledgeable in this particular area of the field. And I do mean extremely knowledgeable having 40 something years experience but you never ever hear of them invited to speak or to come on the radio to be interviewed. They would be a very big blessing and we could all learn a lot from them but because they're not well known or don't have well known friends in the field all these stupid people are just seeking fame. Their heart isn't fully into helping the client they're hoping for some major action at the clients expense in order to put them on the map.

A demon is believed to be a force that can be conjured and controlled. They are also believed to have the ability to possess or inhabit the body of humans and the only way to rid the person of them is to conduct deliverance and/or Exorcism. Demons are portrayed differently in different cultures. Some believe demons to be actual physical beings that can take the form of anything, including animals. Others consider the real demons as more of a spiritual force of evil battling for one's soul. They  have been feared and written about in almost every culture in one form or another

What Is Demonic Oppression?

Demonic oppression is the work of evil spiritual forces that try very hard to encourage us to sin. It mimics depression down to a T! Discernment, which is a gift of the spirit, is needed to determine which one is actually present. There's a lot of mental illnesses that are not caused by the devil and his demons. We have to be very careful and not blame everything on demons. They have the ability to make us feel spiritually dead, and to be in bondage to sinful activities and thoughts.  This oppressive work is performed by demons, which are fallen angels who resist God, and who sinned in their first estate. This information can be found in the book of Jude chapter 6).  They wage war against God, against God's people, and against unbelievers as well.  Their goal is to bring as many people as possible into rebellion against God and condemnation in hell. They want to drag as many souls to hell as possible.

A Few Examples Of The Type Of Attacks

Emotions. Exaggerated emotional states: fear, anxiety, anger, panic, shame, rejection, grief that is over-extended or out of proportion, hopelessness, helplessness.  
                 
The Mind. Tormenting thoughts of suicide, self-mutilation thoughts, confusion, forgetfulness, blocked memory, self hate, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of being unloved and thoughts that God won't ever forgive you and he doesn't love you.

How Do People End Up A Target Of Demonic Oppression

Sometimes people involved in occult activity will curse you or your family.  It is not that you can actually be cursed as a Christian.  Rather, those who are against Christ and his people can focus demonic activity on you. Anger, bitterness and strife. These things feed off that. When we are vulnerable already or depressed better or what have you that's when they zoom in like flies on honey. When we're in that state of mind it's only by the blood of Jesus that we can defeat these vile entities.

I noticed Occult traditions have some ideas about the topic. Tradition suggests a maleficent spirit (or thought) can try an invasion.  Normally we put it out of our mind, and it is gone.  However, if we are passive in the face of a negative influence, eventually our connection with our own Higher Self may be severed.  Our higher self is that part of our being that coexists with the realm of eternal Spirit.  We are normally unaware of our higher self, but it steadily guides us invisibly.  Call it our intuition. A negative entity (or thought) might try to replace our higher self (or intuition) with itself, like a parasite. If we allow it, the entity/thought will become our new, lower self.  Then we’d be stuck, unable to access our higher self’s assistance. Once our own spiritual abilities are extinguished we require help from others.

There are many demons assigned to torment us by satan just as Jesus assigns angels to look after us . We have demons of fear running amok trying to destroy any and all humans before the appointed time. Yes they know very well the second coming of Jesus Christ will in fact take place. They already know they are defeated but they will still try to drag as many souls to hell with them or make our life hell in hopes we may take our own life or just live so miserable and depressed we end up making ourselves sick. It is their job to torment us day in and day out. They messed with our heads in major ways. They HATE humans. They hate our guts and want nothing but death for us.  But remember, Christ is in control. The battle has already been won. Jesus got his victory and his grave was literally denied because he appeared before a certain amount of people so they could see him and touch him and told them to go spread the word and they said Jesus what shall we do the devil roams about like a lion and he says......and I quote " I leave you with the power of the Holy Spirit so you may cast out demons in my name."

Written By Jennifer L Auld

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tragic Paranormal TV Follies

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Recently a fine blog was written regarding the dangers of indiscriminate watching of paranormal television programs. I want to piggyback on that and point out a couple things I noticed recently that took paranormal folly to new and more dangerous depths. I don't say these things out of ridicule, but out of sincere concern for all involved in this thing we call "paranormal" (or I prefer supernatural).

I watch a lot of paranormal programs, but I do so to assist me in my calling to educate people regarding the spread of supernatural evil and how to avoid it.And I pray before and during each program for protection.

When critiquing people we need to stop and ask: am I loving this person as Christ would? With that in mind, my first concern is what Zak Bagans said in the most recent "Aftershock" program, where he interviews people from past investigations to see how they are doing. I think that is a noble and good thing for him to do.

During this episode Bagans interviewed an investigator whom they were convinced became temporarily possessed during an investigation. Footage was shown of him in this altered state and it appeared that something was wrong with this man.However, my focus is not on whether he was actually possessed but on what Mr Bagans said regarding it.

After the investigator stated that he did not suffer after the possession, Bagans stated that it appeared that some possessions may be therapeutic. How so? Since spirits are made of energy, then misfiring neurons in the brain may be "re-aligned" during the energy transfer of a possession. Hence, it may correct chronic problems for some people. 

Something along those lines....

Granted, Mr Bagans did not seem to be dogmatic on this point but he was strongly suggesting the possibility. I say this humbly but that is foolish in the extreme to postulate that being possessed might actually be a good thing for some people. We all have heard of instances of demonic "healing"--whether through Reiki or whatever--but it always comes with a high price tag. Is it woth it to have one's body healed temporarily but then be damned to hell?

However I do want to point out that Zak Bagans does seem to follow his unbiblical presuppositions to their logical conclusion, which is absurdity and foolishness.

Secondly, I have been watching for the first time episodes from "Ghost Asylum", with the guys from Tennessee Wraith Chasers. Again, I have to humble myself before the Lord before commenting because walking with the Lord is moment by moment and I want to reflect the heart of Christ.

In one sense this show is just like all the others, with all the attendant dangers. However, there is an additional or new folly that they have introduced...at least it is new to me. Their stated mission is to not only investigate places and free spirits but to be the first team to CATCH a spirit--be it a ghost or demon. In one episode they were convinced the spirit was demonic (got that right anyway) but they were determined as ever to snare it in one of their contraptions. I ask you: how wise is it to attempt capturing a demon? We know that all the spirits present are demons, but even with their faulty beliefs, they still do not hesitate to try to imprison what they know to be a diabolical spirit. The devices they create each show are usually made of some kind of vacuuming mechanism along with some material like quartz to entrap the spirit.

This is not funny. It would make us weep, for them and the whole paranormal community. I have no idea how worse this makes the situation, but I have to believe that attempting to entrap a demon is going to open the floodgates even further. The more energy is put into communicating or interacting with the spirit realm, then the worse the consequences. There is no way in the world that a man-made machine will entrap a demon, UNLESS it allows itself to get "trapped" (to encourage more people to do the same perhaps). If/when that happens, God help them.


I am not surprised at this because of the law of diminishing returns. This introduces a whole new and exciting adventure and entertainment......with more people being drawn into the paranormal craze. But the Lord tells us that the wisdom of man is foolishness. These are two sad examples of the inevitable foolishness that comes from disregarding the holy law of God, which is intended to protect us. May the Lord have mercy. Amen.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dalai Lama: Helping Others is 'Wise-Selfish' Since all are Connected

DECATUR, Georgia – The Dalai Lama, appearing in his role as presidential distinguished professor of Emory University, where he helped to found the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, anchored a day of discussion about ethics, science and creating a more peaceful world on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.

Some of the Dalai Lama's teachings Tuesday were surprising: Meditation can double the body’s ability to fight infections. With more education, religion might disappear in the next 1,000 years. Selfishness is good – if it is wise selfishness. Looking to the secular ethics that undergird all of the major religions is one path of uniting humanity. Compassion can be taught – and women have a special responsibility to promote affection.

The Dalai Lama, considered the reincarnation of the founding teacher-saint of Tibet, Gedun Drub, and also an emanation of the compassion of the Buddha, has dedicated his life to promoting the way of compassion and peace. His rambling talks Tuesday, in a public event at the Gwinnett Center attended by more than 8,000 people, were frequently interrupted by his laughter. He pointed to the possibility of teaching compassion and promoting peace by untangling ethics from religion and emphasizing the common sense of secular ethics.

“Destruction of neighbor is destruction of yourself – everything is interdependent,” The Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama’s secular ethics, outlined in his 2011 book, “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World,” points to the basis of ethical behavior as stemming from three factors: common experiences of human beings; common sense that good relationships are based on friendship, trust, respect and honesty; and scientific findings.

In the last 20 years, the Dalai Lama has also led discussions about the intersection of science and religion. At his initiative the Drepung Loseling Monastery schools have modernized the teaching of science. With the help of Emory professors, new science textbooks have been produced, replacing ancient texts that taught that the world was flat.

Healthy mind, healthy body

The Dalai Lama has also reminded the scientists that building a healthy body is dependent upon building a healthy mind.

“It is a scientific finding that fear, anger, hatred is actually eating the human begin,” the Dalai Lama said.

“In order to build a healthy body, we must pay more attention to a healthy mind. An education system oriented around material value is inadequate.”

Human beings may naturally be selfish, but they are also naturally compassionate, science shows. Helping someone else does make a person feel good – but that is a wise kind of selfish, the Dalai Lama said.

“By nature, every human being loves oneself,” the Dalai Lama said. “But by helping another, you are building your own happy future. We should be wise-selfish rather than foolish-selfish (like someone who takes drugs).”

The Dalai Lama himself attributes his earliest lessons about love and compassion to his mother. He remembers riding on her back and tugging at her ears like she was a horse to get her to go the way he wanted.

“No one ever saw my mother’s angry face; they saw my mother’s gentleness,” the Dalai Lama said. “My mother was so kind.”

While he said one can’t always generalize, he himself generalized to say that women have a special role in promoting human affection.

The afternoon’s presentations were made by researchers at the Mind and Life Institute, the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory, and the Department of Religion at Emory University.

Research is showing that the incidence of cooperation, compassion, helping and empathy among animals, particularly mammals, offers a corrective to the simplistic generalization that evolution progresses through the survival of the fittest.

Animals are demonstrating a sense of fairness and empathy, the Mind and Life Institute is developing a curriculum to teach secular ethics, and mindfulness meditation can significantly affect the ability of the brain to recover from trauma and of the body to fight diseases.

Presence of peace

But perhaps the most enduring impression of the day is just the power of the lovingness of the Dalai’s personality.

“Is there a better ambassador of peace?” asked Augusta Kantra of Mobile, Ala., as she and some friends waited in the line that wrapped around the immense Gwinnett Center, inching through security. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to be able to see someone who has had that influence over so many people. We want to be in the presence of a man who’s spreading peace.”

Bhavani Kakani, the founder and director of AshaKiran, a non-profit in Huntsville, Ala., that seeks to strengthen families and to fight domestic violence, particularly in the Southeast Asian immigrant community, traveled with friends for the event. She admired how the Dalai Lama was interested in science and would ask questions, not taking results at face value just because they supported his teachings.

Kakani said coming now was particularly appropriate since Huntsville has just become, by resolution of the City Council, the first city in Alabama to begin the process of becoming certified as a Compassionate City with the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities, and Birmingham is fifth on a list of compassionate U.S. cities released by Forbes last week.

For Kakani, the Dalai Lama’s message that changing the world begins with one’s self, not with government systems or large organizations, resonated.

“If we have empathy and compassion in our heart, we become that,” said Kakani, who is Hindu. “The Buddha teaches: What we think, we become – and what we become, the world becomes.”

Original link to story with photos: http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2013/10/dalai_lama_helping_others_is_w.html

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Book of Revelations

Hello my para beauties! I trust everyone has had a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday. I pray everyone special to you and who you love is healthy. I've been receiving so many prayer requests from all over as many are struggling with sickness or struggling dealing with the loss of a loved one. May God bring you peace in these terrible times. When I lost my father I felt like part of me died too. In these times we must seek God's face for peace of mind. It's part of life and they are now with Jesus Christ in Heaven. It takes time but mourning a death does become more tolerable.

Now let's discuss the book of Revelations in general.

This is a summary in the best format I can offer. Or rather bits and pieces so it's not so overwhelming or puts the brain on overload. From my point of view. I am certainly not stating this is it, no o other views are correct. This is just my humble opinion. The name of the book, Revelation, is a translation of the title in the original New Testament Greek, Apocalypsis the origin of the other name by which the book is now known, the Apocalypse. The Greek term denotes an unveiling or uncovering—thus, a revelation. A very interesting title with very interesting events to come as we are warned.

Many ask why was this book written? Well, as I mentioned above, the book's very name means to reveal —to unveil, to open to understanding what otherwise could not be comprehended. Yet most people believe that this final book of the Bible cannot be understood at all, that its language and symbols are too confusing to make sense. I can understand why. It's very intimidating.

The author of the Book of Revelation is John, who is an exile living on the island of Patmos. Many of the early church fathers believe that he was the same person as the apostle John. However, some believe the writing style of Revelation suggests that the two are not in fact the same, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, although it is possible that the author of Revelation was an apostle of John.

The Book of Revelation's apocalyptic and symbolic language has resulted in a vast array of interpretations. The events depicted are often considered to be an illustration of the early Christian persecutions, but the symbolism is also interpreted quite literally, suggesting that the Book is really about the end of the world, and that the events it describes will occur. Some Christians do not accept the Book of Revelation as canonical, and the decision to accept it in the final list of canonical books was highly controversial, according to the article "Meander Travel: Book of Revelation."

The Vision Of The Worlds End

Revelation is a book written to reveal the future, and Jesus Christ is the One who does the revealing: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place … Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him” (Revelation 1:1,7).

Here is the theme of Revelation—the time of the end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ to establish God’s Kingdom on earth.

John explains where he was when he received this vision of the end time: “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:9-10).

The Lord’s day (also known as “the day of the Lord” or “the day of Christ” throughout Scripture) is the time of God’s intervention in human affairs when He establishes His Kingdom. (Plainly in this context it does not refer to a particular day of the week for worshipping God. To better understand which day God has set aside for rest and worship, please download or request our free booklet Sunset to Sunset: God’s Sabbath Rest.)

The apostle Paul, referring to this same time, says: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
In another epistle Paul calls it “the day of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). The reason is that Jesus Christ, the Lord, intervenes in a powerful way at this time to take over the world. This is why this end-time period is called the Lord’s day.

John’s vision of the Lord’s day begins in Revelation 4: “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne” (verse 2). After describing the scene in heaven, John focuses on a scroll God holds that lists end-time events. “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals” (Revelation 5:1).

Only Jesus Christ, called the Lamb, is worthy to open the seals and unleash these end-time events. When God the Father determines the time is ready, He authorizes Jesus to initiate the events written on the scroll. They include the terrifying end-time occurrences prophesied throughout the Scriptures to take place during the 3 1⁄2 year period.

The seven seals describe the events before and during Christ’s return to rule the earth. “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels …saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Revelation 5:11-12). Here Jesus Christ is being authorized to unleash the final events and then establish His Kingdom.

The first seal (Revelation 6:1-2) represents widespread deception by a false Christianity that began in the days of the apostles (Matthew 24:4 – 5). The second seal (Revelation 6:3-4) refers to the increasing devastation caused by war as the end approaches (Matthew 24:6-7). The third seal (Revelation 6:5-6) represents increasing hunger and famines (Matthew 24:7). Other consequences of war and famine are represented by the fourth seal (Revelation 6:7-8)—such things as disease, plagues and civil unrest that kill many people (Matthew 24:7).

All of the events in the first four seals have been occurring, with varying frequency and intensity, from Christ’s time to our day. But they have greatly intensified over the last century and will grow even worse in the suffering mankind will have to endure nearer the end.

The fifth seal (Revelation 6:9-11) brings us directly to the time of the end. It acknowledges the past persecution and martyrdom of God’s servants and announces they will have to wait “a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed,” before God avenges their deaths.

In The book of Matthew 24:9 Jesus tells His followers this will be a time when “they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” He also describes it as a time of “great tribulation

THE SIXTH SEAL

The next seal describes how “powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Matthew 24:29) after the end-time tribulation and martyrdom of the saints has begun but before God’s wrath is unleashed in “the day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31). These heavenly signs announce the beginning of the Day of the Lord.

Terrifying heavenly signs announce Jesus Christ’s direct intervention in world events to save mankind from itself. This shows that, while God has permitted the previous end-time disasters, Satan has been their driving force. Now God begins to demolish Satan’s kingdom, pouring out His wrath on a rebellious and insolent world.

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:12-17).

Jesus described this sixth sign in His Olivet Prophecy: “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption [rescue] draws near” (Luke 21:25-28).

Consequently, in the latter part of the 3 1⁄2 years of Satan’s wrath, God will intervene, first with signs and wonders in the heavens, then by orchestrating His final punishments before Jesus Christ’s return.

Finally the seventh seal is opened (Revelation 8). It describes seven other aspects of end-time events, each announced with a trumpet blast. In the first four of these plagues God strikes the earth and mankind’s environmental support systems. The fifth trumpet’s plague inflicts great pain on those refusing to serve God. In the sixth trumpet plague, God permits an unimaginably destructive and all-out worldwide war to begin (Revelation 8-9).

With the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the Bible reveals that “the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7).

This mystery of the end time was briefly alluded to in the Garden of Eden and its meaning glimpsed by the patriarchs and prophets. John writes: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).

God is in control. Every prophetic detail will be carried out according to His time frame.

As Christ concluded His Olivet Prophecy in Luke 21:34-36, He warned His disciples who would live during the end time: “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Written By Jennifer L Auld

Friday, April 17, 2015

Was Cindi Lauper Right About Having Fun?

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Remember Cindi Lauper's hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."? It was actually a re-do of a song Robert Hazard had written, with with a few approved changes.  I think it is a most suitable anthem (for both sexes), as far as what drives many people. When I wrote the "Fifty Shades of Mommy Porn" blog, my goal was to analyze what is happening across our culture in general that is concurrent with, and perhaps feeding into, this lust for the occult. Long before I got "zapped" by the paranormal, I was interested in viewing the flow of intellectual and pop culture through a biblical worldview...for nearly 40 years. I enjoy analyzing the inter-connectedness of different aspects of culture and the flow of history. The paranormal juggernaut has tendrils that weave far and wide into the fabric of our society--it wasn't born in a cultural/spiritual vacuum and it does not exist now in a vacuum. Understanding certain habits of the heart are essential to deciphering the how/why of this historically unprecedented fascination with the spirit realm.

Why now? Why is our generation the first in human history to rush headlong into the spirit realm without the community safeguards of a designated mediator... a shaman, imam, rabbi, priest, or minister?

Answer...it's fun!

FUN...nothing wrong with it (per se), and so many things right about it. I wanna have fun! And according to online dating site profiles, so does the millions of folks looking for marriage...only this lust for fun has become seriously idolatrous.

About 13 years ago, I went through a biblical divorce, but simply could not (for several reasons), seriously consider dating and re-marriage. The experience damaged me to the core, and I am still broken in many ways. But, like Adam, I was lonely for companionship. So, eventually I tried some reputable dating sites.

Off and on for a few years I have visited a few appropriate dating sites. I even joined one or two for awhile in order to give it a try. There are horror stories and there are beautiful success stories--my experience has been some where in-between. However, there is one aspect of it that has gripped me lately, that is germane to our topic. And I can't shake the sense that there is a strong connection to the how/why of the mushrooming growth and influence of interest in the paranormal.

The vast majority of women on these sites designate their faith as "Christian". However, in the profile section where you introduce yourself--telling the most salient facts about yourself and what you desire in a mate--95% of the professing Christian women do not mention the Lord at all. (I don't read the guys profiles but I suspect it is worse for men).  I have read thousands of profiles, so this is a rather large sampling..which makes this all the more disturbing.

However, there is one word that IS found in 99% of the profiles (Christian or not)...FUN.   Yep, that word is ubiquitous in dating profiles. It is THE common denominator found amidst all the diversity in the various profiles.

Before I proceed, I need to say that there are more than a few wonderful exceptions to what I am about to say. There are some very godly men and women on those sites who make it crystal clear that God is number one to them, and a shared belief is THE priority to them. In addition, in painting with a broad brush, I run the risk of making it seem that FUN is the only thing most folks discuss--it is NOT. The longing for honesty, communication, trust and respect are but a few of the laudable traits often mentioned by most people. Having said that, it is the centrality...the primacy given to fun, that I have found so troubling.

The issue is not whether having fun is appropriate or important as A desire., (Heck that is a desire of mine as well) Rather, the issue is: what is the significance that having fun (or a man with a good sense of humor, likes to laugh, and so on)  is the dominant trait that so many men and women are longing for in a mate? How are these fun-centric profiles, and the people behind them, related to what is happening supernaturally? .

On some sites, at the top of the profile section, you can even summarize in a sentence, your search in a nutshell. This is typical--"Adventurous and love to have fun and laugh... looking for same." I read that and it makes me want to weep.

In a profile, you have the opportunity, in a few hundred words, to express who you are. When a professing Christian does not even mention Jesus, that speaks volumes. Fun, fun, fun... It is the absence of Jesus and the prominence of having fun, that concerns me. And, as I did with the popularity of "mommy porn", I wonder what its significance is--especially with regards to the explosion of interest in the paranormal? Jesus said that what we say expresses what fills our hearts. According to these dating profiles, SELF-fulfillment through shared fun, is what the majority of people long for most. FUN HAS BECOME A DEMONIC IDOL IN AMERICA. As one author put it, we are amusing ourselves to death.

We have mentioned repeatedly about the disturbing trend towards the primacy of experience over reason and divine revelation. I think that this fixation on FUN, is an expression of that trend...as well as an indicator of how empty our lives are. If it would be "fun" to have sex before marriage, then why not--since girls/boys just wanna have fun? If it would be fun, exciting, stimulating, expansive, spiritually invigorating (the list goes on and on) to mess with the occult, then why not? If fun is our dominant life value, then we are spiritual casualties waiting to happen. If Satan knows how to do anything, he knows how to make sin look/feel FUN. What happens when our new husband/wife hits a "bump in the road", and he is not as fun or humorous as before? Divorce him/her, I suppose, is what many would do.

Like "Fifty Shades" of experiencing pornography (it is amazing how many women list that trilogy as the "last book read", with many more not mentioning it out of embarrassment), I think this fixation on fun is both an expression of, as well as a cause of, a dying, paganized/occult culture. We continue to consign God to the margins of our lives, and thus God is marginalized in our culture as well....and we do so with a big grin because we are having fun! Christiandom has become so anemic in our society it has lost its ability to be salt and light. Hence, America is becoming increasingly pagan with each passing day...truth is rotting in the streets, and the dust of death and dark shadows are descending upon us. God is laughing, but it is not a fun laugh (see Ps. 2).

1 John 4:1ff tells us to be discerning of the spirits. But by fixating on the experience of fun and laughter, then we are fertilizing the soil for the continued growth of the noxious weed of of spiritism.

These very same folks who long for fun and mirth, are opening the doors to a satanic lie, which will cause many to experience a wide-awake nightmare of demonic oppression...and perhaps eternity in hell....where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I do NOT want the last quarter of my life to be a wasted by fixating on trivial pursuits. I can't say everything in a blog, but the Reformation/biblical view of play is that it is as holy/meaningful in God's eyes as preaching or prayer. However, our time here is so short, and we live in such a dark and broken world, that we must seek God's kingdom priorities. We are called to daily die to self and live for God's glory....which is not always fun. We bring God glory by loving Him above all else and by bearing as much fruit as possible-- drawing as many as possible out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God's dearly beloved Son.

We must remember that joy is experienced primarily as a by-product of focusing on loving our dear Lord. It is deeper than happiness or fun...which is difficult to consistently maintain in a world which is so tragically bent, broken, and fallen.

A husband and wife are to accelerate each others love for the Lord, as well as help each other bear more fruit for Him together than they would apart from each other. I hope your fun-quotient does increase in 2014, but much more, I pray that we would become increasingly God-intoxicated, and more passionate about holiness than happiness.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Teaching the Heart of Wisdom and the Commentary on the Awakening Mind

Tokyo, Japan, 12 April 2015 - The weather was bright once more today and, being a Sunday morning, the streets were relatively empty as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove across Tokyo to the Showa Joshi Women’s University. People waiting outside to enter the Memorial Hall that was the venue for the teachings were taken by surprise to see him arrive in a car. Many bowed and then waved.

His Holiness took his seat punctually at 9.30 before a capacity audience of 2100. They included 370 Koreans, 120 Mongolians and about 1000 Chinese, mostly from Taiwan with some from the mainland.

“Since most of us customarily recite the Heart of Wisdom Sutra, we’ll have recitations in your various languages,” he announced at the beginning. “Today, let’s have the Korean monks and tomorrow the Japanese.”

After the Korean recitation, His Holiness invited the Chinese to do the same and 1000 voices chanted in steady unison. He explained that at the beginning of teachings he likes to recite the verse of homage from the ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’, in praise of the Perfection of Wisdom. He follows this with the verse of homage from Nagarjuna’s’ ‘Fundamental Wisdom’ in praise of the Buddha and his explanation of dependent origination.

“I’m pleased to see Japanese, Koreans, Mongolians, Taiwanese and Chinese here for these two days of teachings. This hall is part of the Showa Joshi Women’s University, which seems an appropriate setting to explain Perfection of Wisdom teachings, since they are often referred to as the mother of all Buddhas. I also understand that these teachings are being broadcast over the internet and will be available in 39 cinema halls elsewhere in Japan. Welcome to those of you joining us there. The Buddhas teachings refer to phenomena as being like an illusion, so there’s a reminder of that as you pay attention to teachings from an illusion like image of me.”

His Holiness clarified that he would briefly explain the ‘Heart of Wisdom’ and the ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ whose explicit meaning is wisdom. He pointed out that the Madhyamaka view of emptiness combined with the awakening mind of bodhichitta is the antidote to the obstructions to knowledge. He also expressed an intention to read the middle volume of Kamalashila’s ‘Stages of Meditation’, which is apt because it contains a complete survey of the path with special emphasis on concentration and special insight. He also mentioned that tomorrow he intends to give an empowerment and permission of Avalokiteshvara as well as an explanation of the ‘Three Essential Moments’.

Starting with his customary introduction to Buddhism His Holiness said:

“In this 21st century all of us 7 billion human beings are the same in wanting happiness and not wanting to be miserable. This is true of us all, whether we are religious or not. Many of the problems we face we make for ourselves, because we are self-centred and tend to see things from a narrow, short-sighted point of view, which only increases our frustration.”

He said that although there is a stress on education in today’s world, it tends to focus on materialistic goals, preparing students for a materialistic way of life in a materialistic culture. Society all but ignores the mind’s contribution to being happy. We are inclined to anger and frustration because we are not at peace within. What we need is a grounding in inner values. All religious traditions emphasize love and compassion the idea of brotherhood and sisterhood and they take different philosophical approaches to that goal.

Religious traditions are either theistic, stressing a belief in a creator god, or non-theistic, and believing in causality instead. Among the non-theistic traditions, only Buddhism advocates the absence of an independent, intrinsically existent self, asserting that there is no self separate from the body and mind. He said that within Buddhism there is the Pali tradition and the Sanskrit tradition. Both teach about the three trainings in ethics, concentration and wisdom, but differ on how wisdom is defined.

The ‘Unravelling of Thought Sutra’ explains the three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma. The first refers to the teachings recorded in the Pali tradition, while the second and third belong to the Sanskrit tradition. His Holiness clarified that during the first Turning of the Wheel, the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths to do with suffering, its origin, its cessation and the path that are the foundation of his teaching. He went into some detail to explain their 16 characteristics, four characteristics of each truth. He focused particularly on understanding selflessness, the possibility of undermining ignorance and attaining a cessation of suffering. When an understanding of the 16 characteristics of the Four Noble Truths is applied in practice it gives rise to the 37 factors of enlightenment.

Coming back from lunch His Holiness explained that the Heart of Wisdom Sutra belongs to a collection of texts known as the Perfection of Wisdom teachings that in their most extensive form comprise the sutra of 100,000 lines in 12 volumes. In their briefest form they consist of one syllable, ‘ah’. The Heart of Wisdom is generally regarded as consisting of 25 lines. Their explicit meaning of the Perfection of Wisdom is emptiness of intrinsic existence and its implications for the truth of cessation.

“Nagarjuna describes the meaning of cessation as occurring when emptiness overcomes the destructive emotions.Khunu Lama Rinpoche on the other hand explained, and I prefer this, that the destructive emotions dissolve into emptiness. Whereas the Buddha expounded the meaning of emptiness during the second Turning of the Wheel, during the third, he introduced the clear light nature of the mind.”

His Holiness made clear that during his explanation of the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha referred to cessation and liberation in relation to an understanding of the selflessness of persons. One of the key points in the Heart of Wisdom is where it says:

‘Avalokiteshvara ... beheld those five aggregates also as empty of inherent nature.’

The key word also, which is absent from the Chinese translation, but is found in the Sanskrit original and its Tibetan translation, indicates the selflessness of phenomena in addition to the selflessness of persons. To say that persons and phenomena are empty of inherent existence is not to say they do not exist at all. The words in the sutra, ‘Form is empty’ refer to the ultimate reality of the object, while the words ‘emptiness is form’ refer to its conventional existence. This is reiterated by the statement: ‘Emptiness is not other than forms and forms are not other than emptiness.’

The reason for seeking an understanding of emptiness is, as Chandrakirti states in his ‘Entering into the Middle Way’, ‘All faults, shortcomings and disturbing emotions arise from the misconception of [an intrinsically existent] self.’ On the basis of such a misconception we grasp at the intrinsic existent of things and generate disturbing emotions towards them, which His Holiness quotes his friend, American psychiatrist, Aaron Beck as saying is 90% our own mental projection.

His Holiness quoted Nagarjuna saying that without understanding the selflessness of phenomena you can’t really understand the selflessness of persons. In conclusion he cited the Heart of Wisdom itself:

“All the Buddhas of the past, present and future have depended, do and will depend upon the perfection of wisdom. Thereby they became, are becoming and will become unsurpassably, perfectly and completely awakened Buddhas.’

Turning to Nagarjuna’s ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’, His Holiness gave a concise outline. In verses 4-9 the text refutes non-Buddhist points of view. Verses 10-24 repudiates the views of Buddhist lower schools of thought and verses 25-44 address the views of the Mind Only school. In verse 48 Nagarjuna shows that emptiness is the view that cuts off misconceptions at the root.

[48]
Therefore constantly meditate on emptiness:
The basis of all phenomena,
Tranquil and illusion-like,
Groundless and destroyer of cyclic existence.

From verse 63 there is an explanation of the Madhyamaka view, exemplified by verse 68:

[68]
The conventional is taught to be emptiness;
The emptiness itself is the conventional;
One does not occur without the other,
Just as [being] produced and impermanent.

From verse 72 the practice of generosity and the cultivation of the awakening mind of bodhichitta are described, showing how understanding of emptiness becomes a motive factor for developing bodhichitta. Then, from verses 76 - 85 is an account of how to develop the practice of exchanging self and others. At which point, His Holiness announced:

“That’s all for today. Good night. We’ll meet again tomorrow.

link to original article with photos http://dalailama.com/news/post/1264-teaching-the-heart-of-wisdom-and-the-commentary-on-the-awakening-mind

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