Faith can move mountains
I already claimed that faith can move the entire Universe so here I would like to show how I learned this lesson and why it matters that we understand it.
Having been born into Roman Catholic religious fanaticism I don’t actually remember when I first heard that claim attributed to Jesus about the mountains, it seems as though I’ve always known it and as far back as I can remember it has bothered me because many Christians, especially the Born Again kind, take it literally.
When I was a child I was confused by the contradiction of decent honest adult people believing what to me was simply not true. All of the faith of every Christian on the planet had not moved a single mountain one inch in 2000 years, yet otherwise intelligent people, are willing to believe and claim, that it can be done, with the application of a mustard seeds worth of faith.
‘You didn’t believe enough’, they would say, ‘check out your bible’ so I did and I found the quotation of Jesus Math 17:21 ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move.’ So I would ask, ‘How much faith is a mustard seed’s worth and how much doubt is needed to block its effectiveness?’ Then I would ask, ‘Does all the faith of all the believers on the planet not add up to a mustard seed’s worth since the mountains are clearly not moving?’ and they would become annoyed at the implication that the bible report could not be true but being so holy and magnanimous and clearly far better human beings than an infidel like myself they would offer to pray for me. It was such an offer, I do believe, that caused the Big Bang, it certainly lights my fuse every time the offer is made.
It’s a threat you see. Offering to pray for me implies that I need to be prayed for, which in Christian parlance means I am in danger of losing my soul to eternal damnation. Frightens the life out of everybody gullible enough to be taken in by the ploy. And the other thing that vexes me at the offer to pray for me, is the suggestion that they are ever ready and willing to intercede with the Creator to ask for compassion and clemency for the one who clearly doesn’t deserve it. Aren’t they wonderful people? - - - - the heart bleeds.
Anyway you get the point no doubt, of how my mind worked on this subject. No doubt? What am I talking about? Of course there was doubt, doubt was the problem, I doubted at every turn, I always and still do think Jesus should have said, ‘Blessed are those who have seen and still don’t believe, for theirs is the Kingdom of discovery’.
One day in Zambia where I lived for 30 years I was contemplating the problem of faith moving mountains with the latest copy of Newsweek or Time magazine in my hand. Don’t ask how I managed to buy an expensive American magazine in a country where there isn’t sufficient foreign exchange to buy essentials because it’s a long story – then on the other hand I can explain in four words; political incompetence and corruption.
I sat down in my armchair – it was a Saturday afternoon with most of the weeks work behind me – and I opened the magazine. At the open page there was an aerial photograph of Mount Everest onto which the editors had drawn a line that went right over the summit. It was an international border line, on one side of which they had written China and on the other Nepal.
I was dumbstruck, the world’s highest and most famous mountain had moved at the very time that I was contemplating the problem. My Primary school teacher taught me that Mount Everest is in Tibet. So she was wrong? She was only half wrong because since my childhood Tibet was annexed by China and had become a Chinese province, the other half though, was always in Nepal so half of Everest had moved and for one half to move unless it was to break into two halves both had to move so Everest had moved. ‘Nonsense, the teacher got it wrong’?
Have you ever seen Mount Everest? No? Nor have I. So what is it to you? It is two words that induce thoughts in your head. If you go to the mountain, will it be pleased to see you? If you climb the mountain what will happen? The thoughts in your mind will change but the mountain will not be affected. Now that I have learned that Everest straddles the border of China and Nepal has anything changed other than the thoughts in my head? Nothing has changed, nothing in the entire Universe has changed other than the thoughts in my head. So what does it matter where Mount Everest is? What did it or does it matter that I thought it was on Tibet? It didn’t matter and unless I want to go and see it or climb it, it doesn’t matter. If I believe it is in South Africa, for me, that’s where it is.
So when we understand that our Universe, our Cosmos our everything are just thoughts in the head it becomes feasible to believe that faith can move mountains – it’s true isn’t it? Faith can move mountains, faith can move the Universe.
Why does it matter that we understand this?
Earlier on the site I wrote about the pope who causes millions of children to enter our world of (for them) poverty, disease, ignorance and early death because he believes that God does not want human beings to use contraceptives. I pointed out that the pope’s beliefs are founded in the Messianic Law which ultimately means he does it to get his own soul into heaven. The pope of course is not the only one looking after his own interests, we are all doing it and unfortunately this basic nature of ours is the greatest threat to the existence of our species.
Generally speaking the damage being done is fairly proportional to the amount of power that each of us has, coupled with the beliefs that we have in the methods that we can use to acquire our selfish needs. Powerful leaders can and do great harm, not necessarily because they are malevolent dictators like Hitler and Stalin but for other reasons like being overawed by their own importance like Margaret Thatcher or simply because they have been given power for the wrong reasons and are ill equipped to deal efficiently with it, like Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Most leaders fall into the benign category but some like Kaunda can be insidious while giving the impression that they are benign, because they don't even know themselves the harm they are doing.
I have lived through the eras of Margaret Thatcher and Kenneth Kaunda and met both of them. Each in their respective countries, though now retired, enjoy respect and with some people, adulation that one would expect for a great leader, yet the damage that Thatcher and Kaunda have done to the world is immeasurable. I shall at some stage justify these claims but for now the point I am trying to make is that not only the Hitlers and Stalins of the world are bad for us but the good ones can be equally, if not more, catastrophic.
One fitting analogy would be to describe the Hitlers and Stalins as diseases and the Thatchers and Kaundas as cancers. The nature of Mrs Thatcher and Doctor Kaunda was insidious, they lived and flourished within the community as benevolent members of it, not even recognizing themselves the damage that they were doing and unfortunately the lives that they destroyed were not their own so the damage can go on long after the culprits themselves are long gone.
For just one example of what I am talking about think Zimbabwe. Margaret Thatcher and Kenneth Kaunda are responsible for the lives lost, the damage done and the livelihoods ruined in today’s Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe is undoubtedly the disease but everyone seems to have forgotten that it was Thatcher at the instigation of Kaunda and others who inflicted the disease.
So the answer to the question, ‘Why does it matter?’ that we understand that faith can move mountains is because our beliefs are everything, our purpose is happiness and we are edging further and further away from the ideal of Paradise Earth toward climate change, population explosion and ultimate self-destruction and we are heading in this direction because we haven’t yet realized that the world we get is the world given to us by the totally and unavoidable selfish needs of your leaders who believe what it is in their own interests to believe.
People go into politics mainly because they are gifted speakers and because they can use their gift to accumulate wealth and fame (Who said Tony Blair?). Politics, most people will agree, is a far easier way to make a living than hard work. Because politicians - by which I mean professional politicians, those people who go into it straight from University without having first made a contribution to society in the field of hard work – having been detached from the realities of struggle and the despair of poverty, are ill equipped to understand and, more often than not, even care enough about the true problems of society and their solutions.
Since our basic nature guarantees that all of us must lie when our brains calculate that it is in our best interest to do so, democracy, or perhaps I should say oligarchy and plutocracy virtually guarantee that the ignorance of the masses will result in political leaders who are best gifted with the talent of standing up in public and telling people what they want them to hear What they want them to hear being whatever will get them elected then sustain them (politicians) for as long as possible on the Gravy Train.
Hitler came to power through the ballot box and the democratic process as did Robert Mugabe - two individuals whose presence on the landscape of history should be sufficient to convince any sceptic that democracy doesn’t work. Democracy often begets political Prima Donnas whose oratorical gifts delude the ignorant and gullible as well as themselves into believing they are the best people for the job – big mistake.
Almighty God is not a democrat, He didn’t ask for opinions nor a consensus when Creating the Universe and He’s not asking for one now. The world will function efficiently when and only when we realize that there must be a chain of command leading to a benevolent dictator, God’s representative on earth – the Messiah.
Do you sense the rumblings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church? Dare I say papacy?
The Catholic Church hierarchical system of government is the kind I allude to. It is the closest I can think of to the one necessitated by God’s scientific laws – a benevolent dictatorship (theoretically at least). If we could rid the Roman Catholic Church of all the bullshit by which I mean, inter alia, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Extremunction, (a word which my computer dictionary is rejecting so perhaps, since my school days the Catholic Church has seen the error of its ways and in a spirit of ‘Let’s not make terrorist prats of ourselves’ ejected, at long last, the sacrament of what I call ‘Terrorising people on their death beds.’) and infallibility and replaced them with a bit of common sense, the Catholic Church and its infrastructure, might be a good place to start. After all the Roman Catholic Church is a terrible waste of physical and human resources and an insidious threat to our planet and species.
Pope, Benevolent Dictator, Messiah – a rose by any other name. Must it be me? I think it must and I’m going to explain why but as I have already said, I don’t want the job and I’m looking for any viable excuse to relieve myself of the burden, so click onto the ‘Why Me?’ page and give it your all, then when you can’t – with all the selfishness of your basic nature – calculate me out of the equation, then perhaps you will consider giving me a hand.