Some of us believe. Some of us don’t.
I am a believer!
(“the things seen temporary, the things unseen everlasting”)…
My FULL confidence is in the TRUE God of Compassion and therefore, I seriously strive each day to live compassion to the best of my limited abilities expressed to both believers and non. Simultaneously, I must protect my spiritual values, my spirituality, my spiritual heritage aka my now and my future…
I love my fellow-fragile-life and respect-all-life and Earth!!!:) And respect the power of choice and free will… however, not all fragile-life out there… has unreservedly “dedicated” their life to the God of compassion or to living compassion as I have… nor are even remotely interested in such a life-course/life-style…or remotely interested in enlightenment. For me, personally, to continue on my course/compassion endeavor, aspiration: it’s logical to limit my close/er association and very-close involvement with non-believers …those who by their choices and actions endanger themselves, the planet, and pose a real threat to my spirituality, my over-all health, my peace, my life even… it is a protection and a safeguard and practical/wise!
It’s probably life-preserving as well to surround yourself selectively only with those who highly respect the sacredness of life and peace, and who strive to live that way … who don’t take unnecessary risks that endanger others’ well-being or life in general… or who don’t intentionally damage, abuse power nor position.
(Yes, I respect those closest to me, my Family, make different decisions!! (and while valuing compassion)… and may be? at different stages of their spiritual development… or may not have the same aspirations/hope for the future…and this can be, at times, a difficulty, a source of friction, pain, and embarrassment for some…i think.)
Those–the closest to me/my intimate, inner circle… are “serious” compassion-seekers, truth-seekers, and students-of-compassion, and the Bible, and followers-of-the-example-of-Jesus…they genuinely live in the safe, self-sacrificing compassion circle and not the dangerous, self-serving one.
(it’s a place of spiritual security and trust… a spiritual paradise/oasis.)
For example, serious athletes say gymnasts… train together, associate together, get it… understand the life-style and what is required… and willingly and freely make any needed changes and sacrifices to function at that level of discipline. Do gymnasts have interactions and love and respect non-gymnasts? sure…
However…IF we seriously want to succeed…
We all need a support group of one sort or another to encourage us to reach any life goals.
Compassion is my healthy-life-style. Others are warmly welcome to join me aka choose feely to live compassion completely and committedly!:)
Truth Seekers… (aka accurate knowledge seekers)…
“Before the decree takes effect, before the day passes by like chaff, before the burning anger of Jehovah comes upon you, Before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes upon you, Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones (humble ones) of the earth, Who observe his righteous degrees, Seek righteousness, seek meekness, Probably you will be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:2, 3)
Hoping to elaborate more on the afore-mentioned verses… in another post…🙂
In case U:) missed the first cries: a-stone-a-joan-crying-out… No literal stones… near me that i can hear… crying out… so, guess i will be the figurative stone… screaming: “HUMAN RULE IS A JOKE!!!!! PUNCH-LINE-SUFFERING-MISERY-DEATH!!!!!”
“HUMAN RULE IS A JOKE!!!!!!PUNCH-LINE-SUFFERING-MISERY-DEATH!!!!!”
“HUMAN RULE IS A JOKE!!!!!!PUNCH-LINE-SUFFERING-MISERY-DEATH!!!!!”
Wake up!!! It’s not funny, it’s serious/sobering!!…there is undeniable evidence everywhere!!… in the past, in the present!!… cumulative throughout time…human rule is an epic fail!!… proof in pain, suffering, misery, and death encapsulating the globe.
Stop clinging to false hope!… Get off the Rip Off Trajectory… and live. All the government propaganda and religious/media lies circulating… have malnourished (lulled) the masses to sleep/aka compassion-inactivity aka super-selfish-activity/hurtful-conformity… they eat, sleep, dream delusional lies… this poisonous mind-food… causes spiritual blindness… and spiritual deafness… spiritual apathy…eventual physical death.
Gimme-a-break, (that’s exactly it–break free from fake, hopeless organizations, fake religions, etc.) these so-called experts/leaders… set themselves up like gods to be worshipped, praised, and paid…big bucks!… how many countless lives have been sacrificed on the altar of war to keep super-selfish-people in power?! They pretend peace, but live war! They pretend help for the poor, but live violence & greed! They pretend cure for the sick, but deliver poison as medicine… to make more money for themselves… and bigger mansions… as the voiceless/helpless go homeless. 🙁
How many lives ruined (including animals)?? How many childhoods lost?? How many wo/men raped?? The unspeakable abuses & atrocities and wanton slaughter of beautiful-breathing-fragile-life and ruination of our beautiful planet Earth and ecosystems… cannot be ignored!!!
Be Courageous! Come to the Light Real Friend of Real Peace:)…Change Your mind-food, gain energy …You can have a future!… Courageously Choose Compassion and the True God of Compassion!:)
Life Story as told by Antonio Jiménez: “The Streets Became My Home”
Some people take a long time to learn from their own bitter experiences. I was like that. I was born and raised in Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain. My family lived in an area called Somorrostro, which occupied a large section of the city’s beachfront. Somorrostro had a reputation for crime and drug dealing.
My parents had nine children, and I was the eldest. Because we were very poor, my father sent me to work as a ball boy at a local tennis club. I was ten years old and worked for ten hours each day. As a result, I could not go to school like most children my age. When I was 14, I began working as a machinist at a metal shop.
In 1975, I was called up for military service, which was mandatory in Spain. I wanted to do something adventurous with my life, so I volunteered to join the Spanish Foreign Legion in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa. During that time, I plunged into the sordid world of drug and alcohol abuse.
When I left the Legion, I returned to Barcelona and formed a gang. We stole anything we could lay our hands on. We would then sell the stolen items for money to finance our drug addiction. I started taking LSD and amphetamines, and I immersed myself in a life of sex, alcohol, and gambling. This destructive lifestyle led me to become more and more violent. I always carried a knife, an ax, or a machete, and I was never afraid to use one of them if it seemed necessary.
On one occasion, my gang and I stole a car and were chased by the police. It was like a scene out of a movie. We drove the stolen vehicle for about 30 kilometers (20 mi), until the police started shooting at us. Finally, our driver crashed the car, and we all ran from the scene. When my father found out, he understandably threw me out of the house.
For the next five years, the streets became my home. I slept in doorways, in trucks, on park benches, and in graveyards. I even lived for a while in a cave. My life had no purpose whatsoever, and I felt that it did not matter whether I was alive or dead. I remember cutting my wrists and arms under the influence of drugs. I retain the scars to this day.
Change & Transformation/New Beginnings…
When I was 28, my mother came looking for me and asked me to return home. I agreed and promised her that I would straighten out my life, but it took me a while to fulfill that promise.
One afternoon, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses called at our door. As I was listening to them, my father yelled from inside the house that I should shut the door in their faces. As I never liked taking orders, I decided to ignore him. They offered me three small books, which I gladly accepted. I asked them where their meeting place was, and a few days later, I turned up outside the Kingdom Hall.
The first thing I noticed was how neatly dressed everybody was. In contrast, I had long hair, a scruffy beard, and shabby clothes. It was evident I did not fit in, so I remained outside the hall. But to my surprise, I recognized a former associate and gang member named Juan, dressed in a suit. I later learned that he had become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses just a year earlier. His presence gave me the confidence I needed to go inside and attend the meeting. That was where it all started to change for me.
I accepted an offer to study the Bible and quickly realized that if I wanted God’s approval, I needed to change my aggressive nature and immoral lifestyle. Making those changes was not easy. I learned that to please Jehovah God, I needed to “be transformed by making [my] mind over.” (Romans 12:2) I was deeply touched by God’s mercy. Despite all my mistakes, I sensed that he was giving me the chance to begin again. What I learned about Jehovah God sank deep into my heart. It became clear to me that there was a Creator who cared for me.—1Peter 5:6, 7.
Moved to Make Changes:
This moved me to start making changes. For example, when the subject of tobacco came up during my Bible study, I said to myself, ‘If Jehovah God wants me to remain clean and undefiled in every sense, then these cigarettes will simply have to go!’ (2 Corinthians 7:1) And into the garbage bin they went!
I also needed to stop using and selling drugs. That took a little more time and effort. To achieve that goal, I knew I had to cut ties with my former associates. Their influence was not helping me to progress spiritually. In time, however, I began to rely more on God and on the help of my new friends in the congregation. Their love for and interest in me as a person was something I had never experienced before. As the months went by, I was finally able to break free from drugs and “put on the new personality,” which would help me to have God’s approval. (Ephesians 4:24) In August 1985, I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Bible gave me a new lease on life. It freed me from a damaging lifestyle that was destroying my body and my dignity. In fact, more than 30 of my former associates died at a young age from AIDS or other drug-related illnesses. How grateful I am that by applying Bible principles, I was able to avoid the same tragic consequences.
The knives and axes that I used to carry as a violent young man are now a thing of the past. I never imagined that one day I would instead be carrying a Bible and using it to help people.
My parents never became Jehovah’s Witnesses, but they appreciated the benefits I received because I studied the Bible. In fact, my father even defended the Witnesses in front of all his colleagues. It was clear to him that my newfound faith had brought about a remarkable change for the better. My mother often said that I should have studied the Bible sooner. I could not agree with her more!
My experiences in life have taught me how senseless it is to seek satisfaction in drugs and other vices. I now get true satisfaction from introducing others to the teachings found in God’s Word—teachings that truly saved my life. [excerpted article: The Bible Changes Lives]
An Observation: mine…
To gain human’s approval… at times means unhealthy activities that are harmful or hurtful causing dignity lost at least or death-dealing at most! (What genuine HOPE can man offer me??)
To gain God’s approval… at times means healthy activities that benefit the mind, heart, and body on a deep wellness level… physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually… a refreshing nourishment of sustaining compassion and real love…a real life!
Divine perspective is an elevated vantage point… it can be breathtakingly beautiful… just try to see:)
Peace & Wellness & Respect & Dignity to You Reader:)
“You must not follow after the crowd to do evil, and you must not pervert justice by giving testimony to go along with the crowd.*(or testimony that is popular)” Exodus 23:22
Any of us can courageously choose NOT to go along with the crowd! IS it an easy course, at times,…no. However, the real thinkers and innovative doers/accomplishers of timelessness goodness…did…outside the boxes of commodity…conformity. Breaking the jello mold…(“watch it wiggle, see it jiggle”… old jello jingle…:) in other words… fear of man, or fear of what Others think or giving up or giving in because of… eats away pieces of integrity.
History is full of examples both positive & negative… impacts of past societies…
Are my personal values making me susceptible or impervious… to Others’ opinions of me?? Yeah, to a degree, of course, it’s only natural to want those You deeply love to think kindly of You…approval of family and society can be two different things… or one and the same type of thing… sometimes, neither society nor family accept..aka fully appreciate and treat me as outcast…(my (Bible) beliefs and (high-compassion) values) have brought me there…(obviously; IF it mattered most to me… winning approval over despising shame… would I write and publish most of this spiritual stuff on this blog?! It’s the slight space between being sensitive to Others and not letting the sensitivities of Others dictate;) my every choice in the matters that matter most.
And what matters most to me??
(Hmmm… living compassion; probably…and white pebbles)… (we all need encouragement/support so… am thankful! for the family/friends i do have who put up with me;)…
Resistance is NOT futile and possible…[excerpted: Resist the Pressure of Public Opinion w 2010] Thinking of a person/example of Compassion and thinking of a person who swam in the opposite direction of society and expectations thereof, etc. of his day… who treated women, children and any other underdog with deserved dignity and respect… check it out please…
“Greeks, Romans, and Judeans all considered honor and shame to be pivotal values in their cultures,” says one scholar. “Men lived and died in quest of honor, reputation, fame, approval, and respect.” Such values made them susceptible to the opinions of others.
Status, position, and honor were everything in a society characterized by an acute awareness of rank, ranging from nobility to slavery. Honor was a person’s value not only in his own eyes but in the eyes of others as well. To honor a person meant to acknowledge publicly that he behaved in a way expected of him. Rendering honor also meant being outwardly impressed by a person’s wealth, office, or nobility and therefore according him due attention. Honor could be won by performing virtuous deeds or by excelling over others. In contrast, shame, or dishonor, accompanied public humiliation or ridicule. More than a personal feeling or a response of one’s conscience, it was the result of condemnation by society.
When Jesus spoke about a person’s being assigned “the most prominent place” or “the lowest place” at a feast, it was a matter of honor or shame according to the culture of the day. (Luke 14:8-10) On at least two occasions, Jesus’ disciples disputed over “which one of them seemed to be greatest.” (Luke 9:46; 22:24) They were manifesting a major concern of the society in which they lived. Meanwhile, proud and competitive Jewish religious leaders saw Jesus’ preaching as a challenge to their honor and authority. Their attempts to get the better of him in public debates before crowds, however, invariably resulted in failure.—Luke 13:11-17.
Another concept current in first-century Jewish, Greek, and Roman thinking was the shamefulness of being “seized and publicly charged with wrongdoing.” For a person to be bound or confined was viewed as degrading. Such treatment insulted an individual before friends, family, and the general community—whether he was convicted of a crime or not. The stigma thereafter attached to his reputation could shatter his self-respect and damage his relationship with others. More shameful than being bound was the indignity of being stripped or flogged. Such treatment incited contempt and derision, depriving the person of his honor.
Execution on a torture stake subjected the victim to the worst of all possible indignities. Such an execution was “the penalty for slaves,” says scholar Martin Hengel. “As such it symbolized extreme humiliation, shame and torture.” Social pressure to renounce a person who was dishonored in this way was brought upon his family and friends. Since Christ died in this manner, all who wanted to be Christians in the first century C.E. thus had to face the challenge of public ridicule. Most people likely considered it absurd for someone to identify himself as a follower of a man who suffered impalement. “We preach Christ impaled,” wrote the apostle Paul, “to the Jews a cause for stumbling but to the nations foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23) How did the early Christians face this challenge?
In order to maintain his integrity to Jehovah God, Jesus underwent the most dishonorable execution possible. “He endured a torture stake, despising shame.” (Heb. 12:2) Jesus’ enemies slapped him, spat on him, stripped him, flogged him, impaled him, and reviled him. (Mark 14:65; 15:29-32) Yet, Jesus despised the shame that they attempted to heap on him. How? He refused to shrink from such treatment. Jesus knew that he lost no dignity in Jehovah’s eyes, and he certainly sought no glory from men. Even though Jesus died the death of a slave, Jehovah dignified him by resurrecting him and giving him the most honorable place next to Him. At Philippians 2:8-11, we read: “[Christ Jesus] humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
What about us today? Things the world considers foolish, weak, and ignoble, God views as wise, powerful, and honorable. (1 Cor. 1:25-28 “Because a foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and a weak thing of God is stronger than men. For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way *(or by human standards),not many powerful, not many of noble birth *(or from important families), 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong things to shame; 28 and God chose the insignificant things of the world and the things looked down on, the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,”
Would it not be foolish and shortsighted for us to be influenced entirely by public opinion?
Whether You Reader:) are a follower of Christ (or choose another role-model/mentor) or not… it begs the self-reflection questions: am I unduly influenced by society and public opinion…(and for the better or for the worse/to my own detriment)?? Would I willingly despise shame, face public ridicule, torture for my personal belief system?? Is my personal belief system worth it?! And what did Jesus preach/teach…a timeless message of Peace & Compassion and help for the underdog!!!
Society and societies have let free/walk…violent criminals against humanity and basic compassion.
Think about it where is Today’s society taking me… to peace, joy, happiness, life?!…
No, a violent, non-compassionate, self-serving society is one I will balk!… and I choose to remain politically neutral and a conscientious objector
I will continue to spiritually fight with all my might to NOT conform!!!…I invite You Reader:) to flee from the elements of society that are hurting Humanity, You and the Planet… namely, false religion, fake government, materialism, and commercialism/big business!
As previous societies have past/passed away..so, this current-present society will end… who will survive??!…
1. Alcohol & drug intoxication… a rip off …not true ecstasy.
2. Smoking/drugging… a rip off… not real air/oxygen…energy.
3. Nationalism…a rip off… not true-united-brotherhood-of-global-fellow-fragile-life seeking the unselfish best interests of all.
4. Fame & Fortune… a rip off… not true friendship nor true security…
“There are companions ready to crush one another; But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” PRO verbs 18:24
“For wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.” Eccl. 7:12
“The wealth of the rich is his fortified city; It is like a protective wall in his imagination.” PRO verbs 18:11
5. Latest technology… a rip off… IF mostly misused to hurt rather than help/heal…(Or to silence/kill instead of communicating/interacting/living/moving).
6. FAKE Religion/Big Business…Fake Government…Fake Media/Fake mind-food aka fake knowledge/fake leadership…inaccurate/insufficient misinformation/propaganda, no actual evidence, etc….a rip off… not TRUE satisfying spirituality (or leadership) leading aka setting example worthy of imitation/modeling…leading to TRUE peace (and life/longevity eternal).
“One whose appetite is satisfied turns down honey from the comb, But to the hungry, even what is bitter tastes sweet.” PRO verbs 27:7
“And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her (fake religion), my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4
7. War games/violence… a rip off… not a viable solution/resolution to conflict …”those who take up the sword… perish by the sword!”
“Then Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.” Matthew 26:52
“As a city broken through, without a wall, is the man who cannot control his temper.” PRO verbs 25:28
(a limited list; e.g., not extensive… obviously;
I’m sure You could think of other rip-offs to add.)
Accurate Knowledge… along with proactive-POSITIVE Psychological tactics/non-combative/”spiritual” warfare…(in my POV) is like non-invasive, bloodless, precise, mind surgery… with better outcomes!… respecting the sacredness/preciousness of life!:)
“By patience a commander is won over, and a gentle (mild) tongue can break a bone.” PRO verbs 25:15
“Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to a receptive ear.” PRO verb 25:12
“A mild answer turns away rage, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” PRO verb 15:1
“If your enemy (the one hating you) is hungry, give him bread to eat; If he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For you will be heaping burning coals on his head (that is to soften the person and melt his hardness), and Jehovah (True God of Compassion) will reward you.” PRO verbs 25:22
“Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious. 32 But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31, 32
PEACE Reader:)… keep up the fully-awake-wise-fine-fight: Soldier of Compassion!:)
11/04/17 @ 12:00 p.m.
Is a house… truly a home without peace & compassion & agape (unselfish) love??… what about our beautiful planet Earth with all its inhabitants?! (Would You agree?…Each family member aka fellow-fragile-life has a personal responsibility to contribute/maintain/sustain home aka Earth.)
When the illusions blow away… what are you left with?? The TRUTH!
(and hope of a “real” life)
Reminder… the real thing is not worthless… counterfeit is!
(wishing the “real” life to all my fellow-beautiful-breathing-fragile-life)
In my (albeit limited) POV, attaining the real life… doesn’t involve being a people pleaser or selfishly pleasing myself or acquiring material wealth, status in any form, prestige in any form, fame/name for myself–tons of so-called friends/or counterfeit love… but pleasing the True God of Compassion… living compassion… to the best of my abilities-skills/accurate-knowledge.
Things I’ve learned so far…
You gain more (than you lose) from self-sacrifice.
You lose more (than what you supposedly gain) from self-indulgence.
“There is morehappinessingiving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35
Interpreting Happiness & Success:
Success Stories—How True?
Occasionally we hear anecdotal accounts about individuals who grew up in troubled homes but fought against all odds and became very wealthy. “Such stories are sometimes cited as evidence that they made the best of a bad thing, turning out well despite or because of their unhappy childhoods,” explains a report on happiness in the San Francisco Chronicle. “The problem with this interpretation, according to research, is that they may not have turned out so well after all. They just turned out wealthy.”
Happiness Fosters Good Health
A happy disposition is good medicine. “Happiness or related mental states like hopefulness, optimism and contentment appear to reduce the risk or limit the severity of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, colds and upper-respiratory infections,” says a report in Time magazine. Furthermore, a Dutch study of elderly patients revealed that over a nine-year period, a happy, positive disposition reduced the risk of death by an amazing 50 percent!
How mental states affect the body remains unclear. Research has shown, however, that positive, optimistic people have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to suppress the immune system. [excerpts Recipe For True Happiness w 06]
to do the right/accurate/compassionate thing, Reader:)
You can do it!–Make compassionate choices (based on accurate knowledge)… Live life within the parameters of agape (unselfish) love!:)
10/29/17 @ 10:28 p.m.
BREAK FREE… YOU CAN DO IT!!! from lies, fake mind food, fake media, fake holidays, fake religion…enslaving practices/rituals (e.g., smoking, over-drinking, over-indulging, over-consumerism, crimes against compassion, etc., violence).
Many who used to behave like fierce animals have changed their personality. This dramatic change was foretold in a Bible prophecy. (Read Isaiah 11:6, 7.) We read there about wild animals, such as wolves and lions, who live in peace with domestic animals, such as lambs and calves. Why would they have peace? The prophecy continues: “Because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah.” (Isaiah 11:9) [excerpted w 18 my green highlight]
“knowledge of Jehovah” aka True God of Compassion…a progressive compassion education of positive changes…acting with agape & compassion helps all-us-fellow-fragile-breathing-life live together/get along in Peace:)
Eccl. 9:4: There is hope for whoever is among the living, because a live dog is better off than a dead lion.
Practical commentary on above verse: [excerpted How to Achieve True Success AWAKE! 2014]
WHAT IT MEANS. If you work secularly, your job should be part of your life—but not your whole life. Really, how successful will you feel if you are at the top of your profession but lose your health or the respect of your family? People who are truly successful endeavor to keep their work, health, and family life in proper balance.
WHAT YOU CAN DO. Take care of yourself. Get proper rest. There is little benefit in becoming a workaholic who sacrifices everything—health, family, and friendships—for false success.
Painting projects…busy with these. At times, it makes sense/the appropriate thing to do…a fresh coat of paint, a fresh, different color/s. i LOVE painting…and those types of projects…(using both left and right hands/arms.)
Rearranging furniture…can be fun, etc. Changing things around/organization/reorganization is healthy…change is good. However, just randomly knocking down walls/any walls…the house collapses…supporting wall/(s)…are necessary for structural integrity! (Sometimes–the safest/wisest choice is to just paint the wall!)
Structural integrity is the ability of a structure to withstand its intended loading without failing due to fracture, deformation, or fatigue. It is a concept often used in engineering to produce items that will serve their designed purposes and remain functional for a desired service life. [excerpted definition wikipedia]
Supporting beams a necessary…say, for example, within society…civilization(s), certain supporting beams and walls are essential to integrity/peaceful functioning of said society/(ies). What causes civilizations to collapse and organizations to crumble aka structural failure…figuratively and otherwise?! Certain people/certain roles played therein/serve to support structural integrity, right? Globally, among all fragile-life…ecosystems/support systems are important/valued/valuable to sustain life, huh?
(back to my project(s)/work…HOPE to continue this post further….later when/If possible aka find time.)
Recent Readings…check it out:)..no time to discuss; just time to copy & paste…article: “Paradise on Earth—Fantasy or Reality?” W No. 4 2017…enJOY…(Happy Sunday to You Reader!:))
Paradise! Colorful travel brochures make tempting offers for us to fly away to some distant “paradise” to relax and forget all our worries and troubles. But as we know all too well, when we return home, the realities of life remain much the same as they were when we left them.
Over the centuries, people have been intrigued by the idea of paradise. For many, their interest was prompted by the mention in the Bible of “a garden in Eden, toward the east.” What made that garden so attractive? The account tells us: “Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food.” That garden was a pleasing and good place. Most captivating of all, there was “also the tree of life in the middle of the garden.”—Genesis 2:8, 9.
In addition, the Genesis account mentions four rivers flowing out of the garden. Two of those rivers are still known to us today—the Tigris (or, Hiddekel) and the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:10-14; footnote) These two rivers flow into the Persian Gulf through what is now Iraq, formerly part of ancient Persia.
Understandably, earthly paradise is very much a part of Persia’s cultural heritage. A 16th-century Persian carpet, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., shows a walled garden with trees and flowers woven into its design. The Persian word for “walled garden” also means “paradise,” and the scene on the carpet mirrors the Bible’s description of the beautiful and luxuriant garden of Eden.
In fact, stories of paradise are retold in many languages and cultures around the world. As the human family migrated to different parts of the earth, they carried with them versions of the original account, which, over centuries of time, became blended with beliefs and legends that developed locally. Even today, people almost instinctively describe places of great natural beauty as paradise.
Some explorers claimed to have located the lost paradise. For example, Charles Gordon, a British army general, on visiting the Seychelles in 1881, was so impressed by the luxuriant beauty of the Vallée de Mai—now a World Heritage site—that he declared it to be the garden of Eden. In the 15th century, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus wondered if he was close to rediscovering the Edenic garden when he landed on the island of Hispaniola, now the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Mapping Paradise, a modern history book, contains details of more than 190 ancient maps, many showing Adam and Eve in Eden. Among them is an unusual map from a 13th-century copy of the Beatus of Liébana manuscript. At its top is a small rectangle with paradise in the center. From there flow four rivers, labeled “Tigris,” “Eufrates,” “Pison,” and “Geon,” each to one of its four corners, supposedly representing the spread of Christianity to the four corners of the earth. Such depictions show that although the location of the original Paradise was unknown, memories of it evidently remained as attractive as ever.
John Milton, a 17th-century English poet, is known for his poem Paradise Lost, based on the Genesis account of Adam’s sin and expulsion from Eden. In it he highlighted the promised restoration of everlasting life on earth for humans, declaring: “For then the earth shall all be paradise.” Subsequently, Milton wrote a sequel entitled Paradise Regained.
Clearly, the concept of a lost earthly paradise is a golden thread running through human history. So why is it now ignored? Basically because, as Mapping Paradise observes, “theologians have . . . turned their back firmly on the issue of the location of paradise.”
Most churchgoers are taught that their ultimate destiny is heaven, not life in an earthly paradise. Yet the Bible says at Psalm 37:29: “The righteous will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.” Since our world today is hardly a paradise, what hope is there that this promise will ever be fulfilled?
Paradise Earth-Wide Will Be a Reality…
Jehovah God, who created the original Paradise, has promised to restore what was lost. How? Recall that Jesus taught us to pray: “Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matthew 6:10) That Kingdom is a world government in the hands of Jesus Christ that will replace all human rule. (Daniel 2:44) Under the rule of that Kingdom, God’s will regarding a paradise earth will “take place.”
Why can we be sure that the hope of Paradise on earth is not fantasy but reality? Because the Bible tells us: “As for the heavens, they belong to Jehovah, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.” The hope of Paradise on earth is one that “God, who cannot lie, promised long ago.” (Psalm 115:16; Titus 1:2) What a wonderful prospect the Bible offers—Paradise forever!
This topic “Eden” has been more than a fascination, for me, for years…check out this related reading IF You choose: