People Fear Discussing the Afterlife

Journey to enlightenment

Searching beyond conventional wisdom. Open new avenues in your spiritual search.

Written by Gary Wonning

People are intrigued about the afterlife and wonder what happens to them after they pass from this earthly existence.

They discuss it until the cows come home, but it never goes any further. We often sit and talk about it for hours, then we sink back into our daily routines and seldom think about it until the next meaningless discussion.

Even the Mormons,  with their focus on the afterlife won’t go beyond a certain point, their patent answer is , we’ll let it up to God its not for us to know , Why isn’t it up to us, it is our soul and our future?

Very few ever investigate what is out there for us after death.

Is it fear of the unknown that keeps many from checking it out? Do we really want to know, for fear it may not be what we expect? Or is it fear we may receive an answer that contradicts conventional wisdom and would go against what the church teaches.

Would it so disrupt what we have been taught that our core values would be disputed and the values our whole life is based?

If people started believing something other than what we have been taught in Sunday school, do they think God will strike them down?

From someone  who has investigated what may occur after death and who had their beliefs changed, I haven’t been struck down by God, I’m still here and although my beliefs have changed it hasn’t changed my belief in God, or the validity of the Christian religion , it has only added to it.

I never really believed that Jesus was my savior. If we follow the teachings of Jesus, we will inevitably lead a better life, that will save us from much heartache,not only in this life but in what follows as well.

In that  sense, Jesus is our Savior, rather what he taught is our Savior. 

There really is nothing to fear when investigating what may happen to us after we pass on, you will find your truth.

It may not be someone else’s truth, but it is your truth.

In life as we continue to search, our concept of truth may change many times, the truth doesn’t change, it is only how we perceive truth that changes. In the final analysis, I believe we will all come to the same conclusion. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures, and is available for book signings, and speaking engagements.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Art Prints

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Many Want a Utopia On Earth

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

Since the beginning of time people have talked of a heaven on earth. Many have this illusion that living a life of peaceful bliss would be utopia, and something to look forward to.

Isn’t creating a heaven on earth the same as creating a Utopian society?

Utopian societies never work and actually go against human nature,  we aren’t created to enjoy a life with no challenges and live blissfully for several years. To be content and happy, our souls need to be challenged , and we need to learn and understand this.

When one becomes idle with no purpose in life they become bitter, restless and bored. This is the kind of environment a Utopian society creates.

We all need challenges in life and the ability to succeed, often against seemingly impossible odds. The human soul needs to overcome challenges to realize it’s full potential.

If  society takes away those challenges, there is no need to excel, we all become the same regardless of what we do,  with no need or ability to succeed.

Many, through time and even today look for a savior to save us from ourselves. The ancient Meso-Americans often spoke of a great man who would come from the east and make a better world for them. When that great savior, {Quetzalcoatl}, shows up, guess what, he killed them.

The Australian government in an effort to “fix” past atrocities, have over compensated the aboriginal culture, trying to right a wrong. 

In spite of their good intentions, what they have accomplished, is to make many of the aboriginal culture dependent and resentful.  Many get resentful if they believe the government has given someone else more than they themselves have received, instead of being thankful for what they have been given. They have become dependent on the Australian government, and lost the desire to improve their lot in life, because their basic needs have been met by government. 

The best course in life would have been to let bygones be bygones and move forward to make life better for everyone. 

In today’s world, many look for the return of Jesus to save us from our sins.

I have the utmost respect for Jesus, I believe he did in fact walk upon the earth and spoke great truths.

Following his teachings would give each and every one of us a chance to enjoy a life we could only imagine, while looking for a heaven on earth would only create discontent and jealousies. 

Would Jesus’s return create a promised heaven on earth as some  mystics prophesize? 

I doubt it, we, each and every one of us has free will, and everyone has a side for good side and a side for evil, there is good and evil in each and everyone of us, consequently, we all need to experience the good and evil of life. If we never have a so-called negative experience in our life, we cannot recognize good when it comes. 

We live on a planet of dual polarity, there are always two sides of an issue, good, evil, male, female, rich, poor, light, darkness, etc.

You can’t have one without the other.

This will always be true. No one can change that . I believe that is what Jesus was trying to teach us.

Instead of looking to Jesus as a savior, we need to look to his and other mystics  teachings for wise counsel. 

The best we can hope for is that humanity will reach an understanding that we are all different individuals with different needs and desires, and different life plans.

People need to understand this and accept the fact that no two people will ever think alike on everything.

Its OK to disagree, live and let live, let each person believe as he desires.

As long as his or her beliefs don’t affect me, it is none of my business what they believe.

It is also none of my business what they think of me.

It is only the fear that their thoughts will harm  us  that drives these insecurities. I have never seen a thought harm any one.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures, and is available for book signings, and speaking engagements.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

 

 

 

It’s Time For A New Way Of Thinking

Journey to enlightenment

Searching beyond conventional wisdom. Open new avenues in your spiritual search.

Written by Gary Wonning

Are you tired of the same old narrative?

Are you ready for something new, a new way of thinking which combines old common sense values and  new thought ideas.

Have you reached a dead end with your religion and the way people try to resolve the problems of the world and the issues in their life?

It seems every conversation ends in the same old time worn ideas that no longer work.

Are you tired of getting the same answers to the same questions, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

“It’s God’s Will.”

To me that is a non answer.

The only one who can give us the answers to our questions is ourself. The answers lie within, and my answers may not be your answers. Your answers today may not be your answers tomorrow or the next day.

Many of the answers to today’s issues are thought to be hidden in some secret document. The answers are not hidden, they are right out in plain view for those who seek them.

All we need to do is to look within and get our egos and old thoughts out of the way.

It can be quite a journey.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures, and is available for book signings, and speaking engagements.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

I Am Who I Am

Journey to enlightenment

A journey into the unknown. Open new avenues in your spiritual journey. 

Written by Gary Wonning

I have finally come to realize my view points are entirely different than most people on planet earth.

I have traveled extensively and observed life in many ways most people never have the opportunity to participate in.

Many years ago, I questioned the existence of God and the mysteries of life. I began to wonder what it was all about and after asking people of faith, the only answer I received concerning an issue I was having about why bad things happen to good people, the only answer  was that it was God’s Will. To me that was a non answer.

  Why does God will me for a particular event and not someone else. Thus through my search I began to find my answers. The search took me to many lands and I was privileged to talk with many spiritual leaders, many who were from native cultures.

I was fortunate enough to make contact with life forms not of this planet, and from them  have and continue to learn much. We are not alone in the universe.

The life journey we are all one can only be done alone, we must walk alone. Many times others will come into our life for a brief time or longer to aid and assist, but the journey is ours. No one can take it for or from  us. What I have discovered is my truth, and no one can take it from me. If you don’t understand or cannot comprehend what I am referring to, I understand, you are on your own path. We each experience reality in a different manner and what I have seen and felt has set me apart from others, that is OK. 

It just sometimes makes for a lonely life. But,  often times the loneliness gives me the opportunity to explore creation even more and learn new things. We choose to be born into a life situation of our own free will and accord. From the very beginning of life we learn from the environment we are born into.  I was born on a small farm and was an only child for about ten years, during that time, I spent many hours alone and entertaining myself. It gave me much time to contemplate life and to form my own conclusions based on my parents and others input.

It gave me a perspective that stays with me even today, my core values remain much the same as they were during my childhood. I believe, based on universal truths, those truths carried down from the beginning of time: many of the time worn values  that have given us the life and freedoms we enjoy should never change. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553273701/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=garwonpho-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0553273701&linkId=f56c4bb38690967e95270b52cd7c5997 Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures. His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands. He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world. He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times. In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge. For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond. He has published several books about his adventures. For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

New Masonic Thoughts

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

I found this some where, it would be hard to improve on the message. 

As masons, we have an identity problem. We’ve all heard the mantras, “Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” or “We make good men better.”, but that doesn’t quite explain to the average man what we really are about. Reliance on a catchphrases to bring in potential members doesn’t convey what we as an organization are trying to accomplish. In fact, I think it is a banal attempt at marketing ourselves. If you want people to know you exist as an organization, the organization needs to be actively marketing itself and it has to agree on a definition of what it wants to represent. We can’t expect bumper stickers that say: “2B1Ask1” to send potential members to our doors. We can’t continue to take a passive approach and expect our membership numbers to reverse, we need to actively market ourselves and what we represent.

Furthermore, as part of this advertising, we need to stress how important the below values are for men today. As the MSANA report says when discussing the benefits of Freemasonry in the 21st century world: “Masonry offers an opportunity for a principled way of life rooted in the following Masonic values: 

  • Integrity
  • Diversity 
  • Inquiry 
  • Community 
  • Vitality


Masons are men who build community through brotherhood that is based on a principled lifestyle. A Mason’s life is deeply rooted in a system of values. Masonry cannot be kept inside the individual; it is a philosophy of fraternity that must be shared in action through numerous experiences, which are lodge-based, personal, and professional.“

I would substitute personal development in place of inquiry. I don’t see the act of asking for information as being one of our values. Instead, I see personal development more in line with our values. Personal Development covers the activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. I personally have observed in my children a lack of certain life skills, for example, although I’ve shown him numerous times, I doubt highly that my 18 year old son could change a tire. As another example, my 16 year old son can’t cook a simple meal for himself. Sure he can microwave a meal, boil an egg, and do other simple kitchen tasks, but if I asked him to cook me a hamburger or pancake for instance, there’s a good chance that he couldn’t do it. Freemasonry can be marketed in such a way to younger generations to show them that Masonry can help teach them these life skills, either from the experience of being with older men who know these things, or by outright setting up workshops to teach them.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

photo of the two pillars

Shriner carrying a child up the steps of masonry

Get Them A Driver’s License: Let them Grow Up

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Recently, at a dinner gathering, two of the couples sitting next to  my wife and I  were talking about how their teenage kids always wanted them to drive them to school functions and other events they were going to .

I have heard this scenario before, with parents talking about how their kids had no interest in learning how to drive. Really !

I wonder why?

As long as mom and dad will drive them, why should they learn how to drive and accept any responsibility?

Then the normal response is, “I get tired of arguing with them , they don’t want to do it.”

First off, who is the boss in your family?

Next, they like to go places don’t they?

What is wrong with just making the statement, “I don’t have time to take you everywhere, you are all grown up, if you want to go, you will have to learn how to drive. It’s time you accepted some responsibility and started driving yourself. “

Start thinking of somewhere you need to go when they need to go somewhere, they will get the point.

Unless you want them living in your basement until they are thirty, it’s time to lay down the law and make them grow up. if you want to raise responsible mature people, you can’t be afraid of hurting their feelings or making them feel inferior. Feeling inferior is a decision they make on their own, you are not in charge of their feelings, and you  have no control over their feelings. 

You aren’t doing them any favors by patronizing  them and keeping them under your wing. If they don’t learn to fly, they never will, and chances are your grandchildren won’t either.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

Australian Aborigine Dream time

The aborigines of Australia

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com. 

 

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

How often have we heard that comment?

Probably not very often these days. There seems to be a popular misconception held among many that before we can correct someone else’s behavior, we need to be perfect in every way and never have committed an act that was below what is acceptable in society. 

How many of us can do that? 

Often times the individual who makes the statement that we shouldn’t criticize his actions is committing an act that is unacceptable and is looking for an excuse to justify his actions.  

One of my mother’s favorite expressions was, “Do as I say, not as I do.” 

It would be made after she told me not to do something, normally a minor offense and a few minutes later she would do the same thing, and I would catch her in the act. 

She would just look at me and say, “Sometimes you need to do as I say and not as I do,” meaning that it was my decision to do the right thing regardless of what someone else does. 

It most often would be followed by her saying,”Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

This means that just because someone else does it, that doesn’t give you the right to do. That just makes the offense double bad. 

You are responsible for your actions, regardless of what someone else does. 

I often think she did those acts to teach me a valuable lesson. Too many times she would do this for it to be a coincidence. 

Mom was pretty smart. Like many in her generation, she never finished school. She only had an eighth grade education, but knew many things college graduates of today don’t know or understand. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

Art Prints

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.