Art is a pure part of human expression. It is diverse and it represents not only human creativity, but an extension of the soul of the human race. It is extremely diverse too. It is found in paintings, sculpture, graphic design, calligraphy, dance, architecture, poetry, photography, film, music, and a diverse amount of expressions. I have been to many locations like museums, malls, schools, parks, and other locations to witness art established by a diverse amount of people. I have painted, used sculpture, and created art in a wide spectrum of ways in my life. Art can be done by anyone. Art being established is not limited by race, gender, age, nationality, or any other background. Art can develop creativity in many ways and it can be used to relieve stress. Art can be a way to break down barriers and promote more tolerance (and open mindedness) in the world. During these times especially, we need more dialogue, discussion, and understanding, so the human race can exist in world filled with justice. Every time, I see art, I certainly feel more connected with the work and with myself since art (like music) is an universal quality of the human experience. To get a fuller picture of art, we must figure out its origin.
Since the dawn of human history, art existed. Ancient art has existed during the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic Ages. The Paleolithic Age was the Old Stone Age where there was massive development of human cultures. The transitional period was the Middle Stone Age called the Mesolithic Age. During the New Stone Age of the Neolithic Age (from 6,000 to 3,000 B.C.), human beings became more sedentary in their actions and they formed advanced agriculture. Societies became more complex and religion gained great importance. Handicrafts have grown during the New Stone Age. During the Paleolithic Age, people hunted and cave paintings were common. We can see art like the Venus of Willendorf, which was a sculpture of a woman. Man-made objects during the Paleolithic Age have been found in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, etc. Great artwork was created in ancient Nubia and ancient Egypt too. Artwork also deals with bowls, tools, and other forms of craftsmanship during ancient times. Specialized designs would exist on bowls too. The Bronze Age caused the growth of ancient civilizations into a higher level. During the Bronze Age, there was created the Megalithic complex of Stonehenge. Ancient Egypt had a great amount of complex works of art. The artists in ancient Egypt were professional, and Egyptian art readily deal with religious or symbol symbolism. The ancient Egyptians believed in the immortality of the pharaoh and their civilization was highly centralized (in its power and hierarchy).
Humans of the ancient world developed art in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, Australia, Oceania, etc. The ancient Greeks used art in many different ways. Some outlined architecture in the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orientations. Others focused on vases, and forms of paintings to describe their mythologies. Famous artists from ancient Greece included Myron, Phidias, Polykleitos, and Praxiteles. Ancient Rome was influenced by the ancient Greeks. They used arches, mosaics, and other forms of Roman realist art. Augustus of Primaporta was a famous artist. In ancient Asia, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese artists have made great works of art as well. Many of their art dealt with not only spirituality and the religion of Buddhism (Buddhism spread fast in Asia and Buddhism is a religion that focuses on moral conduct, discipline, the spirit world, and karma). They tried to describe Nature, humanity, and other parts of global society via the beauty of art. Gu Kaizhi, Li Cheng, Guo Xi, Hokusai, and other artists made great contributions in the field of art. In the subsequent ages of history, artists formed the diversities of paintings, reliefs, sculptures, mosaics, and other art work as a means of self-expression. From Baroque art, Neoclassical, Romanticism, and to Postmodernism, we see differences and similarities among the different eras of art history. Today, many human beings are focusing more on art work found in the diverse parts of the world too. Art found in Africa, Asia, and the Americas are just as valuable as artwork from Europe.
Spirituality is a very important topic to discuss. Since the beginning of human history, spirituality has been discussed. Spirituality is about the relationship between human beings, their spirits, and God. Many people believe in God and many people don’t. Religious freedom is important to advance and support. Me personally, I believe in God because of many reasons. Yet, I don’t believe in forcing my views on people or using coercion in expressing my spiritual views. In the final analysis, the freedom of thinking and the freedom of conscience are precious, legitimate concepts that all of humanity should embrace. Yet, I am not ashamed of my views. I will never deny my belief in God in public or in private. In other words, I will publicly state my belief in God without apology. Humanity has value. Each human has DNA, have dignity, and should be treated fairly. That is why throughout our lives, we have to express empathy to fellow people. In that sense, we can not only do the right thing, we can fully express our total potential morally and spiritually. The Golden Rule is one big part of spirituality or an exemplary principle in general. It is found in Christianity and other religious teachings (like Judaism, Islam, Confucian teachings, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc.). The Golden Rule teaches that we should treat people as we would want people treat us. We love God and we love our neighbors as ourselves. We see how capitalist excess and capitalist exploitation are the total opposites of the principles of the Golden Rule. We have to not worship consumerism and have a totally selfish individual outlook (which is related to the evil philosophy of Objectivism) on how to conduct our own lives. We should follow solidarism and altruism. It is this expression of the agape love and charity that not only helps people, but enriches the lives of the people. It is important for human beings to know about the three dimensions of their being (which is mind, body, and spirit). That is one central part of true spirituality. Having a confession of faith is important and right. Yet, we have to live the life filled with compassion, good works, and love. We have to treat people right, and we have to stand up for the principle of justice.
Another point is to be made too. Some people view love as unconditional trust or unilateral support of anybody (even evil people) no matter what. That is not what true love is all about. True love is demanding. It demands accountability. It demands discernment and it demands respect. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with basic communication with humanity in a positive, legitimate fashion. We communicate with people all of the time. There is a problem with oppression, injustice, and bigotry. That is why the full expression of love is the standing up for truth and wisdom not the acceptance of the nefarious ideologies of evil people.
That is why when you do what is right, especially if you helping a human being in a just fashion, you can feel a sense of happiness, joy, and an inner peace. That inner peace and that sense of joy comes from Almighty God in my view.
In the final analysis, we have to be free. Freedom involves the freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience. So, people have the right to believe in spirituality or not. Also, freedom is not about nihilism. Freedom is about the opportunity for people to do righteousness since having great integrity will improve society in general. Spirituality is a journey. It is not going to be sprint. It is a daily walk and I am committed in my spiritual walk with God. Yet, we have to show accurate information. Many people use distorted information as a means to advance an agenda (of trying to end all forms of spirituality in a vicious fashion or they try to form an authoritarian, theocratic state basically). I reject these aims, because I believe in freedom and liberation. So, we have to get to the facts and allow human beings to be respected of their human dignity. There is the story about Constantine and the Council of Nicea too. Constantine was a Roman Emperor who used his political connections to support the Council of Nicea. Now, Constantine claimed to have a vision of a cross image in the sky that inspired him to defeat his military adversaries. He wanted a "Christianity" that was controlled under his interests as a means to grow his empire not as a means to bring revolutionary justice for all peoples. Constantine supported the Edict of Milan, which did not forbid religious expression done by Christians and other religious people. The Council of Nicea did not invent the modern biblical canon. There are over a dozen of canons of the Bible. Constantine did not form the Biblical canon at Nicea. Nicea never really dealt with the canon of the Bible. Other regional council touched on the canon of Scripture like the Council of Hippo in 393 and the Council of Carthage 397 A.D.
Many historical scripts have been created long after 1 A.D. The book called the history of Joseph the Carpenter was not written until the 6th or 7th centuries. The Gospel of Barnabas was composed in Italian during the 14th century. The Gospel of the Essenes (or Essene Gospel of Peace) was a 20th century hoax by Bordeaux Szekely. The Avodah Zarah is a tractate in the Talmud. It dates to the third century AD. That’s too late for consideration in the New Testament canon. The Hebrew word of Solomon has nothing to do with 3 names for the sun either. The late 33rd Degree Freemason Manly P. Hall has promoted this claim as well. Here is the truth. The word is used in the Bible and would have been used by Hebrew speaker as Shlomoh (שְׁלֹמֹה). The name Shlomoh derives from the same Hebrew root as Shalom and means “peace.” It has nothing to do with the sun, nor does it in anyway correspond with the Hebrew word for sun. The four consonants spelling Shlomoh (Shin, Lamed, Mem, Hey) cannot give you any form of the menorah since they comprise an even number. Additionally, the old esoteric doctrine that Sol-Om-On comprises three different words for sun can’t be true since no possible division of the original Shlomoh will even yield three individual syllables possessing vowels.
Also, we have to know about the following. Not everyone religious is holy. Many people in establishment religious organization ally with polluters, the political elites, and others who seek to control and dominate humanity in an nefarious manner. For example, the CFR, and other corporations readily fund or aid the megachurch movement. Many megachurches advance the materialistic Prosperity Gospel or some of them refuse to take a stand on issues of conscience (one way or the other). We have to hot or cold. We have to oppose pollution, oppose bigotry, stand up for righteousness, and defend the poor. The establishment is heavily involved with the establishment religious circles of the world. They try to make religious bodies to not make tough stands on controversial issues or compromise core convictions in order to be “politically correct” or submit to the interests of the establishment. One example is that the establishment promotes the evil Vietnam War. Many churches opposed it courageously and others supported it under the banner of jingoistic patriotism. Another example is that Council of Foreign Relations promotes globalization and many members of the establishment church like Rick Warren are CFR members. There are prosperity gospel religious leaders who promote materialism, corporate glamorization, and commercialism when we have millions of poor people struggling in America alone. In other words, spiritual enlightenment and economic justice are more important than massive material abundance.We know about many elitists who not only advocate global government (which I don’t support), but are actively involved in the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group (which are groups who want more global integration). One of the easiest organizations that the establishment uses to try to manipulate religious people is the Council on National Policy or the CNP. The CNP has connections to the John Birch Society and the CNP is used as a way to control the conservative wing of the religious establishment. Famous CNP members include Tim LaHaye, Nelson Hunt, Howard Philips, etc. They receive corporate backing as well. So, we have to expose not only globalist extremists, but controlled opposition who seek to exploit God for profit literally. We have to be obedient to righteousness. That means that we have every right to not call a grown man Holy Father and we have the right to fight against racial discrimination and economic oppression.
One fact in the world is that many mainstream religious institutions and individuals are infiltrated by secret societies, elite political groups, and other controversial, nefarious entities. According to Anthony Sutton’s research, the Skulls and Bones like Freemasonry have infiltrated many Christian churches: “….The Church About 2 percent of The Order is in the Church (all Protestant denominations), although this percentage has declined in recent years. A key penetration is the Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University in New York. This Seminary, a past subject of investigation for Communist infiltration, has close links to The Order. Henry Sloane Coffin (’97) was Professor of Practical Theology at Union from 1904 to 1926 and President of Union Theological Seminary, also known as the “Red Seminary,” from 1926 to 1945. Union has such a wide interpretation of religious activity that has, or used to have, an Atheists Club for its students. Henry Sloane Coffin, Jr. (’49) was one of the Boston Five indicted on federal conspiracy charges. And this is only part of The Order’s penetration into the Church.” - Antony C Sutton, Americas Secret Establishment – An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones, 2002, pg. 27-28). Also, Freemasonry has links to Druidism. This is admitted by Dr. James Warren Scott Maertens. He is not only a 32° Freemason, but he is a Druid as well. He admitted that many of the founders of the Druids organizations in the 19th century were Freemasonry or knew enough about Freemasonry to model their groups after Masonry. He admitted that the Druids and the Masons want to embrace gnosis. Freemasonry explicitly teaches deception unto the Blue Lodge, it has death oaths, some Masonic writing explicitly call for conceal each other’s crimes, and it has rituals which promotes mystical falsehood. We need to follow goodness, righteousness, and justice without the Craft. I respect the Most High God.
One of the most controversial deeds that people have done is when people have critiqued or criticized capitalism. Too many people view capitalism as a god instead of just an economic system. There are religious people who are capitalists, socialists, and followers of diverse economic philosophies. We know that global capitalism has oppressed many people for centuries. In essence, the people should have the right to democratic rights. The oligarchy should not own the majority of the wealth and the resources of the Earth. Wealth should be fairly distributed. At the heart of true spirituality is LOVE. Without love, we can’t know God, because GOD IS LOVE. That is why when commercialization is used as a means to exploit others and when the pursuits of power and worldly gain overshadow the necessity to help out the community, and then problems arise. We should reject carnal pursuits and focus on loving our neighbors as ourselves (which is part of the Golden Rule). The Golden Rule never fails. It is the love of money which is the root of all evil. Altruism has been condemned and rejected by Bernard Mandeville, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, and others. We are interdependent as human beings and no marketplace is infallible. Only the Creator is. Placing maximum freedoms for markets and merchants without legitimate regulations have caused corruption and injustices. We see how the capitalist system embraces the love of money evil concept, which has become the foundation of modern day society (from that root have caused evil fruit as capitalism deals readily with the expansion of carnal desires and the praise of the human ego). The grand lie that capitalism is the only possible way to organize an economy must be exposed and opposed. We see that half of the world’s population lives on less than 2 dollars a day. That is more than 3 billion people. Things must change. We must always reject greed, because not only damages resources, but it distorts the value of human dignity. The repugnant and even vulgar thought - central to the system of capitalism - that the world should be divided into a management class of "haves" (i.e., the rich) and a laboring class of "have nots" (i.e., the poor) is really a shame. When everything is turned into a commodity, then we see more corruption. In other words, selfishness is wrong and we need to be selflessness. That is why people all of the time are acting in ways of service from teaching others to read, helping the homeless, coaching teams, mentoring, improving the environment, and other positive actions. A great spiritual human being will always respect labor rights, want equality for all people, and to advocate justice. There is nothing wrong with having godliness with contentment as this is great gain.
This situation revolves around many issues. Creflo Dollar is not the only one who believes in the prosperity gospel. Murdoch, Osteen, and others follow the prosperity gospel faithfully. I disagree with that gospel for many reasons. How much wealth one has is not necessarily a sign of how much spirituality, morality, or ethics that one has. Many moral and spiritual traditions have shown the evilness of greed. There is nothing wrong with having money legitimately. The problem is when some pastors claim that being poor is a product of a curse from God (which is ludicrous since poverty is caused by complex factors) or being rich is somehow a sign of God’s favor. There are upright people who are rich and evil people who are rich. Those retrograde teachings are wrong, because a rich spiritual man and a poor spiritual man are equal in human value. All people are created equal irrespective of their wealth, their gender, their class, or their background. Jesus wasn’t a rich man. According to the NT, Yeshua (according to the NT, Yohanan, Mattityahu, Shim'on Bar Yona, and other men were his apostles) had thrown the money changers out of the Temple. We should fight poverty, but we don’t fight poverty by some sending money to cause Creflo Dollar to own a jet. If Dollar wants to get a jet, then he can be a man and use his own resources to buy himself a jet (or travel on a regular plane). Yet, this issue is bigger than Creflo Dollar. The greed from Wall Street and from the capitalistic system is one reason why the great recession of the 21st century existed in the first place. Many megachurches act more like religious casinos instead of standing up for social justice. Back in the day, religious Christians stood up against the Roman Empire. They faced lions, swords, and crucifixion because they wanted to express their religious faith, they wanted to oppose the brutality of the gladiator games, and they wanted to be free to worship God as they see it. Today, there has been an infiltration of many churches by corporate elitists who want materialism, greed, imperialism, and other forms of spiritual deception to be the order of the day instead of human enlightenment, soul transformation, and human justice. Spirituality deals with the enrichment of the mind, the body, the soul, and the spirit. True people will use positive action to not only help the poor, but to fight the injustices found in society as well. Revolutionary change is needed to rectify problems in the world.
So, people have the right to agree or disagree with spirituality, but it is wrong to use falsehoods in discussing about spirituality.
That is the point.
Don't let anyone prevent you from showing compassion. We're human beings. We live on this Earth for less than 150 years. We have every right to be compassionate.