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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There are 22,000 Gun Laws In the United States

 

Written by Gary Wonning

It is often reported there are twenty-two thousand gun laws in this country.

Are there really that many?

There are probably hundreds, checking all the various local state and federal laws, it would be almost impossible to realistically check what the actual number is.

Regardless of the number, none of them have stopped any shootings, what will one more law do?

In reality, where the gun laws are the strictest is where the most gun crime is committed. You cannot legislate morality, and that is what the whole issue comes down to , it’s all about morality and a persons basic core values.

Didn’t we learn anything during  prohibition during the nineteen thirties? When the government prohibited the manufacture of alcohol, production went underground and there was more alcohol produced than ever.

Whenever you take something away, you create a need.

When Obama tried to enact more gun legislation, more guns were sold. It’s a basic law of nature. You are never going to take the guns away from criminals, they will always be able to get them, look at the drug laws, how effective are they?

We have enough laws now, the issue is, they aren’t enforced, both the shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, laws were broken by the gun buyers, but someone looked the other way and didn’t do anything to prevent the disaster.

I am an avid supporter of law enforcement, but in the case of Parkland, law enforcement certainly dropped the ball, no law is going to change that.

The most important aspect of this that no one ever thinks of: every time a new law like this is enacted a few more of our  basic rights disappear.

All these laws basically accomplish nothing except take alway the rights of law abiding citizens. Many seem to forget one simple fact, criminals break laws, that is what they do, that is their job description, they are good at it and nothing will change that. A new law just creates a new challenge. 

Does anyone actually believe a new law will prevent someone from getting a weapon that really wants one? Only people who are out of touch with reality actually believe drug laws keep users from getting drugs, or any other so-called illegal substance. If you know the right people, you can buy anything , you can buy anything you want on the street and go undetected for years.

Our basic human rights as we are given to us by God, not government, are disappearing  by an ever increasing government presence in our lives.  How many things are you prevented from doing that you could do just a few years ago, where can you go where there isn’t a surveillance camera watching your every move? Do you really want to live like that?

This is about more than the right to carry a certain weapon, whatever that weapon is, as soon as it is banned, there will be another issue for the far left and they will ban something else, soon we will have no line of defense.

Our second amendment is very important, it protects the rest of our rights. This is what defines us from the rest of the world, we have a God given right to defend ourselves, as long as we have that, no one will control us, this makes us different from the rest of the world, that is what makes us exceptional and guarantees our right to be free.

Americans should protect their freedoms and defend it at all cost, if we lose our freedom, nothing else will matter, would you choose life over freedom, not me, if I’m not free, life would be worthless. 

I don’t know how many gun laws there are, I doubt if anyone really knows, but one more isn’t going to make a difference, there is only one thing that will.

As a country, we need to realize what the real problem is. We have millions of kids on drugs, many were given Ritalin and other mind altering drugs when they were very young , trying to solve a problem that didn’t exist, they were just acting like kids and the parents were afraid to discipline them. 

As a result, as time went on, every time there was an issue, another pill was shoved down their throats, until they thought that drugs would solve all their problems, and then we wonder why at age nineteen they are so messed up, they have no purpose in live, all they have ever done is sit in front of the TV and play video games. 

They have no real friends, never go outside in nature and no passion for live.

Then we wonder why they  go out and shoot people. 

Many of them have had no guidance, discipline , or been taught any form of self control. They have been given everything their little heart desires with no effort on their part to earn these material things. 

Instead of facing up to the real issue, we blame an inanimate object, something that can’t do anything without human intervention for the problem.  This solves nothing, in fact it only makes it worse. 

There was a time when almost everyone in the country believed in God, or what their definition of God is, that is no longer the case, God is seldom mentioned anymore and as a result, we Americans have lost our spiritual foundation and have become lost, then we wonder why another religion is consuming the country.

Nature abhors a vacuum, when a vacuum is created something will come in and take the place of whatever  created the vacuum, in this case Islam is replacing Christianity.

To solve this issue, we need to look within, not take away one of our basic rights.

photo of book

The Five Thousand Year Leap

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.

Living Our Core Values

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

 Common Sense is a disappearing trait

Written by Gary Wonning

Suppose your daughter came to you and asked you to go to a daughter/father dance.

In today’s culture, you knew there would be foul language, drugs, bad behavior and song lyrics straight out of weird land, with negativity, depression, violence and all the many other negative aspect of today’s society.

To support her, would you go?

You know deep down this is not the culture you would like for her to be exposed to, but you want to show her your support and that you are actually very hip and understanding.

If you decide to go, you are condoning and approving her behavior, if you don’t go you are old fashioned and square.

If you don’t go you stand the possibility of alienating your daughter and being looked at as old fashioned.

Most would cave to their core values and go just to be hip and looked upon by their daughter to be progressive and modern, ignoring what would be best in the long run for his daughter.

So, which is the best option?

I think we all know what the best option is, but how many would actually choose that option? 

If we, as parents choose to go to the dance, how can we expect our young to grow up with a decent set of values when they see us bending in the wind and caving to what is popular in society today? 

While kids will always be subject to the whims of society and we cannot and should not shield them from it, we need to create options, where decency and good ethics are practiced. 

That is where our churches and fraternal organizations come into play. Those very organizations we have taken out of our daily lives when we became a secular society.

Those organizations that were at the very heart of the founding of our country, especially the teaching of our Christian churches and the masonic lodges. In those days almost everyone professed a belief in God, and many of the founders were of the masonic order, whose principles our  nation was founded upon. 

Those values that have been carried down from time immemorial to the present day, the ethics of morality and brotherly love upon which all lasting societies are founded. 

Those values, which when lost, a great nation can no longer long endure. 

We can see in our own life how much our country has deteriorated, how much longer do you want it to continue? 

The only way for our nation to continue in the long run is for us to return to what made us great, and soon it will be up to our descendants to carry the baton. Are they equipped with the proper tools? 

Most of us feel helpless to do anything. We all can do something, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. 

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

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.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Common Sense

Written by Gary Wonning

A few weeks ago I was at a book fair displaying some of the books I have published. A gentleman stopped and picked one of my books , “Wisdom of Our Ancestors” and asked me what it was about.

I replied it was about common sense, something no one has any more.

He then asked,”what is common sense?”

It was one of those wth moments, especially when I discovered he was a psychiatrist with several years of higher education .

Dumbfounded, I stumbled through an explanation .

But then, I began to wonder what common sense really is, we all have a different definition , according to how,when, and where we grew up ,it’s one of those things that we all know what it is, but find it hard to define.

I contemplated that perplexing question for quite a while.

When suddenly the answer came out of the clear blue sky.

It’s a set of moral and ethical values that have been passed down from time immemorial, a set of values that not only allude to our spiritual or religious values, but principles that affect every minute of our lives, they influence our financial values, and how we treat our fellow human beings.

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

How many of us actually examine our masonic ritual to discover what those ceremonies really mean? Most often we go through, memorize certain passages, perform the ritual and never give it anther thought. But when you really think about the phrases we recite daily, they do indeed allude to common sense principles we should apply to our daily lives, they aren’t secret, they are right out there in the open for everyone to study and apply.

Passages like, maintain a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, acting on the square, and meeting on the level. Things like keeping our word, living by example and teaching the young good values.

None of us are perfect, we all sometimes act in a manner unbecoming of a brother, or sister, but if we strive to do the right thing, most times we will strive towards perfection.

Even the seven liberal arts and sciences in the second degree teaches us to look at life through a scientific perspective.

If we only look to the ancient teachings, to the Wisdom of our Ancestors, we will find the answers we need.  Every answer we would ever need can be found in those sacred documents, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and the bible and masonic teachings.

It seems people are always talking about the good old days, when the values we upheld were  different, maybe it’s time to quit talking about the way it was and start talking about the way it’s going to be, applying the lessons from the past.

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 a distinguished older gentleman

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

 

 

 

 

masonry ritual

can’t get in without knocking

we have many ways to spread the word

 

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.

 

Remember the Sabbath

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

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

Written by Gary Wonning

The Sabbath has been called a day of rest for many reasons besides the obvious reason; that time to worship God.

There was a time when no business was conducted on Sunday, except for the almost mandatory occupations to keep the world moving and to protect us from harm and provide a service if harm did come to us.  Even most restaurants , what few there were, were closed on Sunday.  Sunday dinner was around the family table, with as many relatives  as possible. 

In most families, going to church was mandatory, and was only missed if weather or other circumstances mandated.  

I grew up in Indiana, basketball country. Hardly a day went by where I wasn’t shooting hoops dodging cow pies in the ban yard. 

Neither snow, nor rain or dark of night kept me from my daily routine. In the winter, Friday nights were spent at the local high school gym rooting on our favorite team.  It was unpatriotic to miss the weekly highlight. 

The only thing that put a stop to shooting hoops, was church on Sunday, or some other event at the local church. That took priority over everything else. 

A few years ago, I took some friends to Fort Lauderdale to sail away on a seven day cruise. Normally, people need to be at the cruise port around noon or earlier, this was no exception. As a result I was driving I-75 on my way home through Fort Myers about twelve-thirty, (noon). I noticed a large soccer field near the freeway and probably about a hundred kids playing soccer. 

Because of my upbringing, I was surprised, and thought,” why aren’t these kids in church?”

Thinking back, I remembered, my mom would have strangled me if I even thought of picking u a basketball on a Sunday morning. I never even considered it. 

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

Growing up on a dairy farm, the weather always played a factor in our daily lives, everything evolved around the weather, even with that, very little work was done on Sunday, except necessary chores , like milking and tending to the cattle.

The most critical and frustrating times were during the hay harvest. The hay(cow feed) had to be cut down and left to cure in the field for three days before it could be baled and put in the hay mow for the winter feeding of the cattle.

The hay consisted of clover, alfalfa, and timothy, if it was baled too soon, it would still have too much moisture content and would soon mold and rot, rendering it useless, in that condition, it could catch on fire and burn the barn down, and kill any animals in the barn. 

Dodging the weather, it seems it never rains when you need it, and always rains when you don’t need it,  we always timed the cuttings so as to not have to bale hay on a Sunday. 

It is one of the hardest and dirtiest duties on a farm. Despite all of our planning, the rains would come and delay our work, making the first day available Sunday. Even though it is eminent to process the hay as soon as possible, the longer it lays in the field and is exposed to the elements, the condition of the hay deteriorates and can become practically useless. 

Even under those circumstances, I don’t remember ever baling hay on a Sunday. We took the chance, and normally the next day the weather would break and the hay was harvested. 

Even today, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday due to religious considerations, and it is the most successful fast food franchises in the United States.

You gotta wonder.

We are told time and time again to keep the day holy, besides the obvious spiritual connotations, there are other factors to consider. 

Regardless of our vocation in life, we all need a break and time for rest and refreshment. We do need time to reflect on our relationship to a supreme being, and we need time to pursue other more enjoyable and relaxing interests than our job can provide, we need time to connect with friends and family, and a Sunday afternoon nap while we pretend to watch football.

Many work on Sunday and take another day off to have that time, it may be a good option but I have done that. It isn’t the same. When you work on Sunday, you miss a very important part of your life. 

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.

 

 

 

 

America is a Healthy Body

Values that made America great

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

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

Written by Gary Wonning

America is a healthy body and it’s Resistance is three fold:

Patriotism, it’s morality, and it’s spiritual life.

If  those three areas are undermined, America will collapse from within.

This quote often attributed to Joseph Stalin has been circulating the Internet.  I have done extensive research and apparently Stalin never said it. (No surprise.)

However, truer words have never been spoken.  The individual who coined this phrase would have been well advised to have taken credit it.

Today, probably more than anytime in our nation’s history we need to remember what made this country great and pass it on to our descendants.

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

There is no option. We live in the greatest country known to mankind. In spite of our differences and shortcomings, there is no where on the planet where an individual has the freedom to practice what he believes and become whatever he desires, based on ambition and ability. That must be preserved. 

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.