Religious Thoughts: Can You Trust God?

Forethought: This is mostly aimed a Christians, however I find that explorations like this one can be integral to the exploration of any spiritual endeavor- especially one that involves some sort of loyalty or relationship with spiritual beings.  I want people to challenge the very notion of why they serve whom (or what)-ever they do.  Not just their existence, but the core of what they stand for.

Anyways, here’s my thoughts for the day:

We often speak of God as someone we can place full trust in.  Have you ever considered what that means?

Look to the 10 Commandments and we assume that everything is clean cut.  But there is one particular commandment that may not be fully understood.

‘anah sheqer ‘ed rea’

Or “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness against thy neighbor”

We simplify this to “Thou shalt not lie”, but that’s not really what it is saying.  It’s saying not to condemn someone for something they didn’t do.  The key is “‘ed”, which speaks for testimony, evidence, witness in the context of seeing something take place.

Understanding this is key to understanding the value of full trust in our Father.  Because, as much as we would like to believe God does not use lies himself, the truth is far from it.  God has, at least once, used deception to bring about His Will.

1 Kings 22:19-23

Then Micaiah said, “therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His Thrown, and all the hosts of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left.  And the Lord said “Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Remote Gilead?”  So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.  “Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said “I will persuade him”.  The Lord said to him “In what way?” So he said “I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets” And the Lord said “You shall persuade him, and also prevail.  Go out and do so.”  Therefore look!  The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these propehts of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.”

As you read the rest of the story, you find that it is true- Ahab followed the advice of his prophets and was destroyed in the process.

We believe that healthy trust is built simply on honesty.  But that is not what a trust in God is about, it’s about trusting in His vision.  It’s about believing that once we surrender completely to God, whatever God puts us in position to do, it’s not meaningless- that He will make our role count.

Simply moving to make the bare minimum commitment to being a follower of Christ is simple when compared to the reality of becoming a Servant of God.  The level of trust, even when God uses deception such as the story in 1 Kings, is something a true Christian has to come to grips with.  And that is the most difficult task of all.

Beware the Pied Piper

by Justin Bane

You wake up and go get a cup of coffee or tea or whatever. You sit down with the paper, or your phone or tablet, in front of your computer, where ever it is that you get your information from. You are calm, sipping on your drink, and then it hits like a 10 megaton bomb………

“SOMEONE DISAGREED WITH ME ON THE INTERNET!!!!!” Oh, that’s not how it goes? Forgive me. Ok, let me try it this way….

“SOMEONE SAID SOMETHING THAT I DISAGREE WITH!!!!!” still not right? Darn it, let me try one more time……

“THE WHOLE WORLD IS GOING TO END BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD ME IT WAS!!!!!!”

Beware of the Pied Piper my friends. It’s song is enchanting and inviting. It fills the air with it’s intoxicating allure. It goes past the logical, thinking parts and goes right to the heart. You try and resist at first, but it is no use. It has taken control of your heart, and then your mind. It makes you break oaths and promises. It makes you go against your better nature. It causes you to forsake beloved friends and family. It turns the things you Love into the things that you now Hate.

Social Media is a remarkable thing! Growing up in a time where cellphones did not even exist (I did not see my first one until I was about 19 years old), I never imagined that we would be able to share so much, so fast. People come together over anything and everything in a blink of an eye. People are empowered by so much information. Fast information with loose parameters. Fast and Loose information…. “Wait, don’t you share information on your pages and videos? Aren’t you talking about yourself?” I do create, teach and share information. I am honest about it. I have said more times than I ever care to count that you should not take ANYTHING I say as the gospel. You should always look deeper than is what on the surface, no matter WHO is providing the information to you. My job is, as it always has been, to create conversations and to provoke thought. I am not the end all, be all to everything.

Ashla Axiom #90 “Before you can break free of negative or improper influences, you must first recognize them.”

The greatest lie ever told, is the one we tell ourselves. You will do more harm to yourself than anyone else in the world ever could. Pay attention to what you tell yourself.

The music is playing and you begin to march forward. You do not know where you are going, but in this bliss, you do not care. All that matters in how you feel. All that matters is to be a part of something greater than yourself. You are not concerned with logic and thinking. You are not concerned on how others feel or think. All you know is that you are not going to let anyone stop you from enjoying the beautiful music that fills your senses, taking you to a far away land where only you and your feelings matter.

When I open my social media accounts these days, I see a lot of people, very smart and articulate people, spreading hate and discourse. Spreading lies, slander, and misinformation. People who swore oaths and made promises to uphold codes and mantras, are now encouraging violence in the name of some misguided sense of empowerment and new found purpose. All while still preaching those very codes and mantras, oaths and promises, from the side of their mouths.

No, this is not intended to be political. No, it is not intended for any particular generation of human beings. As we are made, we are bound to this creation. All of us. We all think and feel. We all have dreams and aspirations. We all have prejudices, in that, we all have things that we prefer and things we do not. There is something else we all have in common, we had no control over the conditions to which we were born of and into.

The Pied Piper continues to play it’s song, guiding you to an unknown destination. But you don’t care. Your feelings are more important that anyone and anything. Your new found sense of power and purpose, leading you to a better place, a better existence. Your rights and freedoms are all that matter now and you will see them had, even at the expense of another persons right to live in peace.

People seem to be giving away their power. Jumping at shadows and “boogeymen” that never even existed until someone else told you they did. You have the power to allow or reject influences from others. Only you have the power to influence your feelings and emotions. Only you can give that power away to someone else. Don’t trust others to control how you feel, trust yourself with this. If you allow others to dictate your feelings and emotions, you only have yourself to blame.

Who is this Piper? Who follows the Piper? I have a few ideas…..

They are the hypocrites who preach the loudest about love, compassion, mercy, acceptance, and peace. Yet who condones hate and destruction on innocent people by their words or actions. These very same hypocrites who they themselves are not accepting of others, unless they too follow the Piper.

They are the hypocrites who say “you are what you think you are”. Yet publicly deny others because of disagreements based on opinion and affiliation. A lack of emotional integrity and maturity can be found in these people.

They are the hypocrites who preach and teach a code of ethics, yet bully and disparage others because they can’t hear the Piper and follow it’s lead on the road to oblivion.

They are the hypocrites who by their very words and actions, defy the very thing they are “fighting” for.

I guess I can’t blame them, but I will not join them either. As I have said, the song that the Piper plays is intoxicating for those who choose to allow their emotions to guide their actions. I have chosen to not give away my power. I have chosen to employ my mind and to use reason and logic to guide my words, actions, and judgments. By the way, those who follow the Piper, should take care in knowing how that story ended.

I Love you all very much, and until next time…

Awaken the Knight within!

I am Blessed…..Truly Blessed!

By Justin Bane

Hello Knights, I hope this finds you well. It had always been a tradition here at the KOA to sit down and talk about what we are thankful for. Well this year, I am going to do something a little different. Given that I will be on duty for 12 hours a day over the next 4 days, I really didn’t have a whole lot of time to put together a video or live show for this. But I wanted to do something.

This year has been a very tough and trying one for me. I know it has been for many of you as well. And given that many things that have happened to me and tested me, I have already many times over throughout the course of this year, expressed my gratitude. I have said it in years past, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only time of the year that we think about gratitude and give thanks for those things, people, and places that have helped shape who we are…….the good and the bad.

Here are a few that you can go and check out if you missed them.

The Road to Recovery and New Beginnings. Part 2: Gratitude- Fixtures in the background.

The Road To Recovery and New Beginnings: Part 7 Finale [Blog Talk Radio]

Knights Of Awakening: Androcles and the Grateful Lion

I am grateful for the moments in my life that give validation but also the moments that give me grief and make me uncomfortable and push me to my limits. I am grateful for the people in my life who offers compassion, comfort, love, understanding, and the opportunity to show them my gratitude and love in return. I am grateful for the people who push me to my breaking point and force me to go beyond that. I am grateful that I am able to live my life in a way that no matter what happens to me, it is still always on my terms. -Justin Bane

I am truly blessed! This has been the shittiest year on record for me, yet, I will say again that I am truly blessed! I will end this with a short list of things I am grateful for and why I feel that I am blessed.

I am grateful for the horrible injury I suffered in February, because this has shown me and reminded me how strong and resilient I am. It has also reminded me of the Love that others have for me.

I am blessed to have spent my entire life with my Nana. One half of a remarkable couple of people who guided me and helped shape who I am. I am happy that I spent my life with this woman and I am happy she is free from pain.

I am grateful to be still working in a job that was in danger of being lost to me due to my injury. I am grateful for those who stood by me and encouraged me to keep fighting and to keep getting stronger. They never gave up on me, even when it seemed like I was not going to be able to do it ever again.

I am grateful for the birth of my Grandson. He is a spitting image of me, his Papa! I Love him so much and are grateful that I get to experience this world with him.

I am grateful for my partners at the KOA, without their Love and support I don’t know if I would have been able to get this far. I am grateful for YOU, those of you who have stood by me here at the KOA and listened to my ramblings and have read my posts. I Love you all very much.

I am grateful for my friends and family. I Love you all.

I am grateful to those whose names I will never know. To those who serve and sacrifice for us to enjoy the freedoms that sadly too many take for granted.

I Love you all very much. Be safe and be good to each other. Until next time

……..Awaken the Knight Within!

Trust #1 “I will Develop my life for the greater good” [The 12 Trusts of Chivalry Now] part 1

by Justin Bane

Trust #1 I will Develop my life for the greater good.

There is a reason that this Trust comes first.   Today’s Knighthood, which we define as a meaningful, life-transforming commitment to the ways of chivalry, does not just happen by itself. It requires preparation.” -Brother Dean Jacques, Chivalry-Now

Most everyone, if not everyone listening to this video or reading this blog, is striving to better themselves in one way or the other. Those who have been doing this for some time, have started over many times throughout the course of their betterment.

One way to be sure that we are always working towards this ideal, is to ensure we are taking time to look inside of ourselves. Making sure that we are taking an inventory from time to time. Constantly challenging ourselves and the direction of our paths help ensure that we are maximizing our efforts. Being lovingly, yet brutally honest with ourselves.

Betterment comes in stages and depending on where you are at in your path, those parts can and will come to each of us in different ways and at different times. Many opportunities are found when seeking betterment in our lives. It is up to each of us to be on the look out and vigilant for these opportunities. Be mindful and ready to accept the challenges, once thru them, you will be better than before. Sometimes you Win and sometimes you Learn. Some times you win by reinforcing what you have learned previously. Sometimes you learn by doing and acting, and then learning how to do it better. Wisdom comes from acting with knowledge, this creates experience.

…If I want to be free, if I want to truly be myself as a person, I had to shape my own potential. I had to develop skills and talents and intellect in order to live confidently in the world, discover who I am, and direct my life accordingly.” -Brother Dean Jacques, Chivalry-Now

Thru introspection and careful study of the self, you can begin to see those things that keep you from the freedom you seek. Many times, we are our own worst enemy, when fear and doubt sneak past our defenses. We lie to ourselves in an attempt to protect ourselves. This is remedied by being honest with where we need work. Often, we find many parts of this journey is walked alone. Enlightenment is found in the individual who seeks it, and each alone can only find their awakenings.

However, communion with those who study and walk your path, is something I beseech you to do as often as possible. It can be difficult at times for us to be completely honest with ourselves, and we should seek out fellows to help us grow and forever moving forward. In a group that I follow, it was suggested that you should commune with those who oppose you as well. Within the struggle, there can be much learning to be found.

It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. To so love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.” -Henry Ward Beecher

Surround yourself with those who will lift you up, but at the same time, will not coddle you for the sake of your feelings. Those who will keep you honest, but also, expect you to hold them accountable to themselves as well. Tough Love can be the greatest gift that someone can give another.

We cannot enjoy a full, authentic life without taking strong efforts in developing the uniqueness of who we are and then extending that for the betterment of all” -Brother Dean Jacques, Chivalry-Now

Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We have heard that many, many times. If you wish to see the world better, if you wish to leave the world a better place before you go, then you first must make this change within yourself. If you are to make the world better, then BE better, seek this every single day. Defend against stagnation, laziness, absolutes, and dogma. Seek instead, knowledge, experience, open mindedness, and healthy sense of self.

Work on the individual parts of yourself, in order to strengthen your whole being.

Work on your body. Strive to be healthy by exercising, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods. Learn a physical art such as; Martial arts, Yoga, Thai-Chi, or other body strengthening and self defense tactics and arts.

Work on your mind. Strive to learn and practice deep meditation and/or Prayer. Learn and study subjects from many different sources that not only support your beliefs and practices, but those that challenge your understanding, this will help you grow and see the world in a much larger way. Attend classes and workshops that help expand your knowledge, take this new found knowledge and put it into action.

Work on your Soul. Seek opportunities to be kind. Seek opportunities to be of assistance. Seek opportunities to commune with others. Seek opportunities to teach others. Seek opportunities to be YOU.

I will not tell you which of these are more important that the others. I will not tell you which meditations or martial arts are better. For each of us are at a different place within our paths. Try different ways to achieve these things until you find the ones that work best for you.

I will leave you with this…

Chivalry-Now talks about the liberation that comes from exploring the ongoing, never-ending process of personal growth. Self-development is more than learning facts and honing skills. It involves character building as well.” -Brother Dean Jacques, Chivalry-Now

If you are interested in furthering your study of “Chivalry-Now”, I will put links in the description down below this blog. Stay tuned to the channel and this blog page as we continue to explore the lessons to be found within the “12 Trusts” of Chivalry-Now. I love you all very much, take care of yourselves and each other. Until next time…….Awaken the Knight Within!

Conversation with Dean: https://youtu.be/aRqu7ZzNiMk
Chivalry-Now book review: https://youtu.be/J7wH7GqDijA

Chivalry-Now links:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/chivalrynow/
http://www.chivalrynow.net/

Election & The Jedi Code

A week after the results were announced to the world that Donald J. Trump won the electoral college the United States is still in shambles, and our counterparts across the world are just as emotionally polarized about it as we are.  Nothing is more frustrating than being on the opposite end of abuse, and that is the state of America we live in…for the time being.

If you were rooting for HIllary, you may be spinning from the knowledge that…we’re headed forward into a Trump Presidency.  You may have jumped on board for a petition to get the electoral college to change their vote come 19 December 2016, joined a protest in the streets or taken to the keyboard on twitter and Facebook to express your anguish.

If you were rooting for Trump, you are probably in a mixed state of elatedness and feeling a bit disturbed.  You might be angry at the people on the “Hillary Camp” lashing out at you for voting against them.  You might experience a sense of vindication or relief now looking at what is going on in various cities across the United States.

Some of you are simply hurt that anyone would make sweeping statements about everyone on whichever side you backed.

And then you have the very few of us that backed one, and are hurt by what they see from both sides.  Honestly, that’s where a Jedi should be.  If the Jedi Path means anything to an individual that claims to be of the Jedi Community, then they would look at what this election has done to everyone around them and not let the candidate they backed define their emotions towards either party.

The majority of you, backed Hillary Rodham Clinton.  A few of you backed Donald John Trump (yes, that’s what the “J” stands for, learned that from Nickelodeon!).  Very few of you backed a third party.  And it’s probably you 3rd party people that are sitting back laughing at the whole lot.  Which is fine, you didn’t contribute to the chaos, regardless of what anyone has to say.

Chaos, yet Harmony

What a line.  Jedi need to step outside of the chaos and look for ways to bring about harmony.  It’s not going to be easy.  People have done what they can to poke holes into the “You backed a Rapist” and “You backed a Criminal” since the election got really heated.  But here’s where a Jedi looks to another line for answers on how to cultivate harmony-

Ignorance, yet Knowledge

The reality is, if you step back from everything- this problem isn’t about HRC or DJT.  The media helped play these ideas up that one candidate was better than the other- and I’m not just talking about the Mainstream Media (commonly abbreviated to MSM), I’m also referring to polarized outlets that people ran to when the MSM showed they weren’t going to cover anything with a degree of fairness.  Occupy Democrats, RedState Watcher, Huffington Post and Breitbart News, just to name a few.

The truth is, these groups wouldn’t even be important to us if it were not for problems that existed long before this election began.  Things that existed before Black Lives Matter was a thought in the minds of it’s founders, but erupted like a volcano after the Michael Brown shooting.  These pre-existing cultural (race, sexuality, religion, etc) tensions are the root of our problem, and an excuse was to be found in the people that might one day become the leaders of the United States: Hillary and/or Trump.

Abroad, these stories circulated, and cultures banded together.  Although America is considered the free world, this isn’t about who runs the free world (well..perhaps to the leaders of every other country, but not to the average person)- it became an election that would define the very human rights that America represents.  It’s no longer about LGBT rights in America, it’s about LGBT rights.  No longer about American Black rights, it’s about Black rights.  Not about Muslim rights in America, it’s about Muslim rights.  This whole election has been turned into a platform to further world rights in various minority communities.  In order to move forward, this understanding needs to be at the center of a Jedi’s forward action to the future.

Emotion, yet Peace

Knowledge alone cannot help us move forward.  We must confront our emotions with this knowledge.  Which side are you on?  The question is not easy.  To understand the side you are on, you must recognize that your side is no more important that someone else’s.

Many on the right voted based on a belief that law is necessary for good society to function.  They wanted to protect a minority defined by choice, rather than something one cannot change about themselves.  These minorities are people of the groups such as Military, Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders.  Some on the right voted based on a belief that Trump had a stronger platform to improve the economy, rather than place any sort of emphasis on social special interests, and in the realm of improving our relations with foreign powers.

Many on the left voted based on a belief that society was in more need of assistance.  That the various cultures based on things they cannot change about themselves was necessary to improve their state of life.  Examples of these minorities are people of color, LBGT+ and women.  Some on the left voted based on a belief that Hillary had a stronger platform to deal with foreign powers abroad as they decimate cultures that are in desperate need of assistance and that Hillary represented a focus on helping break glass ceilings.

Understanding this, and moving outside of the realm that anyone sought to “normalize” criminal activity (HIllary) or bigotry (Trump) is the first step to overcoming hatred for the supporters opposite of whatever candidate you voted on.

Understanding this, and moving outside of the realm that either side is defined by Hillary or Trump is the first step in overcoming our fear for the future.  Because both sides now have something to fear from the other side if we fall prey to the rhetoric.

Death, yet the Force

The death card in Tarot symbolizes change and transformation.  A Jedi must find their role and adapt to the circumstances that shape the immediate world around them.  We must cultivate an atmosphere that inspires others to break free of chaos and move in harmony to a better world.

Passion, yet Serenity

We should seek to use our passion to aide others to help all find serenity.  To break out of the shell of condemning each other.  Helping people on both sides recognize that by calling each other names or lashing out at one another is only making things worse.  That by doing anything but trying to create a meaningful dialogue which does not call for condemnation of them or yourself, can anything be accomplished.

Here are some tips (mostly geared towards Americans, I can’t speak to other countries, but some of it is relevant where ever you are):

  1. Stop posting defamatory information about your opposite candidate.
  2. Stop listening to what the media (all of it, right-wing, left-wing, centrists, MSM, all of it) has to say about what is going on and focus on whatever special interest group you are in favor of.
  3. Express your fears without using bait words like “illegal”, “Muslim”, “racist” or “misogynist”.
  4. Research your rights and seek out solutions to the problem of ensuring your rights are protected.  An example: if you’re a woman, don’t let the media tell you that the law does not protect you against the wage gap.  But take a deeper look at what loopholes your employer might be able to exploit in order to pay you less.
  5. Join or form a group that helps and work for people in your special interest group.
  6. Support lobbyists for your special interest group, they are the ones that help push legislation through Congress.
  7. Without insulting or vilifying those in opposition to you, consider an ironclad argument that forces them to recognize they are not in control of your life.  An example: Christians often speak to death of homosexuals because it’s an abomination to God.  A member of the LBGT community can come up with a number of arguments, but the one that tends to be the most potent in my own arsenal is that converting to Christianity based on a fear that one’s lifestyle is abhorrent to the deity they follow is not sincere worship- and as such it would be the highest form of disrespect to said deity.  But if a member of the LGBT is given an entire lifetime for God to reach out to them, there will always be hope that one day God will turn them from their lifestyle. As Christians, it is not our job to condemn them for their lifestyles, but rather to open up opportunities for God to speak to them- for God is the ultimate Judge, and not man. Christ gave individuals the chance to live a Godly life despite being surrounded by those that do not follow Christianity, and it was only through that lifestyle that anyone opened up to his message via himself or his disciples.  So to, must Christians follow that example if we love God.  (okay, so this point was a LOT longer than I intended, but I don’t get enough chances to give this view, so I’m going to take my golden opportunity! 😉 XD! )
  8. And finally: Protest.  But protest when you are not so angry that you want to punch something- that sort of emotional state could lead you to doing things you regret later.  But DO protest when you can.  It helps demonstrate support for your cause.

Let your emotion tell you what is wrong, let your ignorance indicate you need to seek knowledge to bring about a sense of peace of mind.

Recognize the chaos around you and seek out guidance with the Force to transform it into harmony.

Let your passion bring about serenity around you.

Back to Basics: “Knightly Virtues” part 1-Faith

The most common virtues found within Knighthood, can be found in many different works. Movies and books, art work, philosophies, and in many religions. You will find that these virtues are shared in a way that the feeling of the virtues are there, even though sometimes they are represented and presented to us in slightly different ways.

Hello and welcome back to the Knights Of Awakening. Today will be the first of many short videos and blogs that we are going to be exploring the basic and most commonly held “Knightly Virtues” found across all lands and found in just about every time period, not to mention in most belief systems. These virtues represent values that most of us, if not all of us, strive to embody.

As a side note: You will hear this in other videos and read it in other blog posts as well, I said in a post to one of our friends over at the KOA group discussion page, that I am going back to basics. I personally will be focusing on the basics, because for me, it is time to do that. After everything that has been going on the past several years, I feel it is time to go back to what go me started on this path. I will be focusing my attention on 3 separate mini series dedicated to this endeavor. I apologize in advance if you hear and see many recurring themes throughout. If you do find them, it is because I personally feel that they need to be said more than once. We start with values and virtues, because these are the foundation that the rest of our beliefs (whatever those are for you) are built upon.

These virtues are not in any particular order. I purposely did not assign value to one over the other. The reason for this, is because I don’t find that one is more important than the other. Each of these, in whatever shape or form they come in for you, carry their own weight and strength when understood and used in harmony with each other.

Faith

Faith is simply defined as; “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” That could be faith in God, the Force, your mentors and teachers, your friends and family, or yourself. To your philosophy or religion, your martial art or other discipline, to your group or order. To have faith in all or any of these, means to have full trust and confidence in them. When we have Faith, we tend to no longer question these in our day to day lives. That is until they are tested….

Faith is one of those things about us that are tested nearly every single day. In one way or the other, we have our faith tested when we interact with the world. Some will see this testing as a bad thing. They will stand strong and steadfast against whatever comes their way without sacrificing their faith, even if it means locking themselves into a pattern, a box, or a dogmatic view of the world. Even shutting out entire groups of people for fear that they will challenge them.

Others, when tested, quickly waiver and fold in the face of adversity and challenge. They find that they have false faith in whatever or whoever it may be. Those who do this, are quick to abandon their faith and often times feel lost and defeated. They search endlessly for those things and people who will fill the “emptiness” that they perceive to have in potentially unhealthy ways.

It is not for me to judge which kind of person is better off between the two examples that I have described here. I myself have been at both ends of this spectrum at many points in my journey. But as I have said many times before, there is more than two ways to see the world and our place in it.

These days, I find myself more in-between these two extreme examples. I suspect, many of us fall in the middle. This is the most healthy place to be in my humble opinion. Maturity is the key to this. Having emotional maturity; to be able to hear or see something that you do not like or that goes against what you believe, without getting “triggered” or angry. To approach challenges to your beliefs and faith in a way that allows you to learn to be strong, but flexible enough to find a potential lesson or opportunity to grow. To have enough maturity, to treat everyone, with at the very least, a basic respect whether you agree with them or not.

This reminds me of something I have shared before; an example of emotional control over ones self that I shared with someone in the comments. Emotional control is someone who can look at another point of view without getting all worked up over it. Someone who doesn’t need others to “protect” their feelings when they see or hear something that bothers them. Someone who has enough emotion maturity to accept the fact that someone has a different opinion than you. Having enough spiritual maturity to understand that growth can take place when you are offered a different opinion or perspective.

I believe that we only grow when our ideals and beliefs are challenged. So many paths have much in common with each other, if you open up and allow discussion without prejudging a persons POV, people from different paths can find value, especially the value from the give and take discussions. When I put content out, it is not meant to be an end all be all, it is meant to be a discussion starter.

There is a certain flexibility to be had when we encounter things that are in opposition to our currently held beliefs. Don’t remove yourself from the fray and chaos of life. Roll up your sleeves and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Faith is what helps us face our “Boogeyman”. Faith has a way of helping us all past those weaknesses that we may perceive in our selves. Faith has a way of keeping going in the face of unbeatable odds. Be strong in your Faith, but not so that you become brittle. Be strong in your flexibility, this way you will be able to withstand the storm without being destroyed and broken once it passes.

I Love you all very much, Take care of yourselves and each other.  Until next time……Awaken the Knight Within!

What the hell do we do now?

Hello and welcome back to the Knights Of Awakening. This first post-election blog post from me is of course after the recent Presidential election and may come across as bleak and miserable. But please bare with me. If we take the time it requires, and open our hearts back up to each other, we WILL get thru this and offer hope to each other at the end of the day. When we learn to understand that no matter who “wins and who loses”, at the end of the day the greatest loss that many of us have faced was the loss of those we loved the most.

These days when I open my eyes and look outside, I see gloomy skies and feel a cold chill on my skin, even when the sky is lit up and on fire from the Sun. No, it is not because it is November either (even though it has been a very warm Fall season). This isn’t just a reality because of the time of year either. This has been coming for a long time. It has just finally come to a head. Given the near 50/50 split, we are more divided than ever it seems.

I see people from this split ideology fighting a fight that comes from an attitude that is unlike them. Stooping to levels of fear and mistrust that I have not seen before in my lifetime. People’s who very ideology and path guide them to live a life free from fear, hate, doubt, name calling and other behaviors. I see GOOD people from EVERY walk of life, and every possible path and ideology adopting personalities that inspire corruption that seems to seep down to their very soul. I see Brother versus Brother, Sister versus Sister. I see people who used to embrace in Love, now nearly going to blows with their fists. I see Mothers and Fathers split down the middle with their children picking sides. A “Civil War” of ideology that has corrupted our behavior. People who would once use their lips to show us Love and fill us with encouragement, now fill their mouths with poison and use their teeth to bite. If I haven’t been clear enough, I just want to make sure that you understand that when I say “corruption” I am talking about that darkness that clouds our thoughts and actions. I am not talking about political ideology.

“Perfect Love and perfect Trust are not exclusive to a lover, they extend to our Friends, our chosen Family”

-Alethea

This too, has extended to those of us on a path of Light who have looked deeper and have seen the world from the perspective of “knowing” what the world holds for us and others. Those of us who walk this path and know better. I am not, and have not at times, been immune to this corruption of my soul either. Once realized, we get back up and cleanse ourselves of this sickness. Darkness, not the dark corners of our being, which help comprise who we are, but the Darkness that infects us with Fear, Doubt, Hesitation, and Hate, seems and feels like it is prevalent in our times. This quote attributed to Plato;

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the Dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the Light”  -Plato

The Light never truly abandons us. We get to a place where we refuse to look and embrace it. We adopt personalities of Darkness that are afraid of the Light. You are a beacon. You are the warm fire in a cold world. You are the Sun breaking through the clouds. YOU Are. You and I just need to remember that. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have left.

I am not sure who said this, you can let me know in the comments below; “Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their words and actions. Holding on to Anger hurts you, not them.” We need to stop and be still in these moments. Close your eyes and reach out with your feelings, breathe and remember who you really are.

We have all lost friends over the past couple of years during this Dark and turbulent time. We have all lost people who were important to us. People who were Loved and cherished. Find them and reach out to them. Tell them you Love them, forgive them. Forgive yourself. If they hold on to the corruption and hate, then that is now their burden to bare, not yours. Free yourself.

Never hold on to resentment. Allow it to heal by forgiving others. Besides, if you are not willing to forgive and let go, how do you expect them to do the same?

I want to share with you some Lyrics from the song “The Light” by Disturbed. (Paraphrased for effect)

“The Light”

Like an unsung melody
The truth is waiting there for you to find it
It’s not a blight, but a remedy,
A clear reminder of how it began.
Deep inside your memory
Turned away as you struggled to find it
You heard the call as you walked away
A voice of calm from within the silence
And for what seemed an eternity
You wait and hoping it would call out again.
You heard the shadow beckoning
Then your fears seemed to keep you blinded
You held your guard as you walked away

(chorus)

When you think all is forsaken,
Listen to me now
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light

An unforgivable tragedy
The answer isn’t where you think you’d find it
Prepare yourself for the reckoning
For when your world seems to crumble again.
Don’t be afraid, don’t turn away
You’re the one who can redefine it
Don’t let hope become a memory
Let the shadow permeate your mind and
Reveal the thoughts that were tucked away
So that the door can be opened again.
Within your darkest memories
Lies the answer if you dare to find it
Don’t let hope become a memory

(chorus)

Sickening, weakening
Don’t let another somber pariah consume your soul
You need strengthening, toughening
It takes an inner dark to rekindle the fire burning in you
Ignite the fire within you

(chorus)
Don’t ignore, listen to me now
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness
Can show you the light

I said recently to Ally, that I was burned out. That I felt that I had nothing left to give Emotionally. That I felt tapped out. But this is because I forgot what got me to this point in my path. I remember. I move on and continue my journey.

I don’t care what your political ideology is. We all can learn to agree to disagree and go back to being respectful and loving towards one another. I forgive those who have slandered me and called me names. I forgive those who cursed me and abandoned our friendship. I hope you can forgive me too. Know that, if I loved you before, I still love you now. I can only hope that we can at least agree that love will always defeat hate.

We can do this! We can do this together, you and I. We will hold each other up with encouragement, love and understanding. We will respect each other, whether we agree on everything or not. We will not use our hands for holding onto our pride, but we will use one hand to help ourselves and the other to help each other. We will not continue to adopt corrupted personalities that belong to corrupted people, but instead, we will remember ourselves.

Very few in this world are undeserving of a chance at redemption. Luckily for us, we don’t have to decide who is and who isn’t. Serve all with Compassion, Humility, and Mercy in mind. Do this, and they will be the judge themselves. Lift each other up with encouragement and hold each other accountable to one another. Commune with your fellows and you will be more enriched and empowered. Like wise, If you see a fellow fall flat, encourage them to rise up and be better than before, do not cast them out, instead cast their corruption aside.

Always be flexible in your dealings with others. Give them an out whenever possible, and respect their right to an opinion different from yours. Misunderstandings happen when we refuse to feel and listen.

Ashla Axiom #83

Opposition hinders progress; consensus comes from an open and obstructed dialogue.

Listen and be open to compromise. Active listening requires not only open ears, but a closed mouth. A basic respect for one another.

I Love you all very much, and until next time…..Awaken the Knight Within!

Metaphors

A lot of people are constantly looking for a reason to get angry about something.  It is not exactly a recent thing that I have seen, but there are three examples off the top of my head of comparisons that these people don’t “get”.

A. Skittles/M&Ms that represent refugees.

This is a pretty easily recognized concept.  Everyone seems to think it started with Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump’s son. It didn’t, in fact before Jr used the example, it wasn’t Skittles, it was M&Ms, and back in November 2015 Mike Huckabee used Peanuts.  There was outrage then, and there’s outrage now.

B. Bleach, Coke and Water

This one might not be so well known, but it illustrates the problem: You take a cup of coke, a cup of water and a cup of bleach, and you label them after their colors.  Water-You; Coca-Cola-Sin; Bleach-Christ.  Pouring the coke into the Bleach, the coke is non-existant. If you pour the coke into the water, it becomes dark.  Pouring the bleach into the water and coke mixture, it disappears, and when you pour it into the coke, it takes awhile, but the coke becomes clear. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkfH8cmt5QI)

C. Gumballs, Ping-Pong Balls, Marbles

You can use a number of small spherical representations for numbers.  In this case, it was gum balls, to demonstrate an issue with helping people that live in poverty stricken areas of the world.  The professor takes a bunch of gum balls and demonstrate what the numbers of people that make less than $2 a day across the world.  He goes on to explain that we’re taking what we consider a large number of people into our own country.  Well, just watch, it’s easier for you to understand than me write it all out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDceLiPLHWQ

I’ve seen the same argument for all three of these: This isn’t how things work! We aren’t inanimate objects.  No, we aren’t Skittles, Gumballs, Ping-pong balls or even water filled with coke.  We are people, but what these SJWs are missing is something they should have learned in school: These are nothing more than visual aides.   A means of conveying a message in a way you can understand the message better.

What I find ironic, is that these very same people on my own friends list that detest these metaphors (rather than the argument), are the same ones that love the old Zen story of a guy visiting a master to learn about the person’s path.  But when the guy starts talking about all he knows, the Zen Master begins to pour a cup of tea until it overflows, and then explains that the man is the cup, while the master is the one that holds a particular type of “tea”.

If you don’t like being compared to inanimate objects, you probably aren’t ready for any deep level of philosophy that has made the world a better place.  If you can’t understand that something is a metaphor and not literal, you should go back to your grade school teachers and ask them why they failed you.

When you can accept that inanimate objects are great for metaphors to explain someone’s points, then you can begin arguing against the points they make.  An example is that when someone tried to use the M&Ms argument against Syrian Refugees, an artist released a cartoon explaining that the other 90% of the M&Ms were the antidote.  Essentially going with the Malala argument that the only way to combat the terrorist threat is by doing all we can to help those who are or stand to be victimized by terrorism.

Do politics have a place on a spiritual path?

By Justin Bane

We are on a fast track to November, 8 and I wanted to talk about a question that I posted a few weeks ago. I will not name those who commented, if you want to see the posts about this topic, head over to the KOA main Org page, the KOA discussion page, and the Ashla Knights discussion page to see the conversations.

I get accused of being political quite a bit in my videos and shows (even though I do not inject politics into nearly all of my videos with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 and now this one). It really seems to upset a few people that I do not talk about my political leanings more often and “admit” and to “Come clean” to whatever political conspiracy that they think I am “hiding behind”.

I asked these questions to all of you;

how important is “Political Affiliation” as it concerns your spiritual path? Do politics even play a role in your path and if so, does it guide your direction?

When looking at the leadership of a group on these similar paths, is it important to know what “side” they are on politically?”

I want to share some of the responses that I got and I will share my views on this with you….

JP: So the question was asked yesterday if politics is a part of this pages job, or of a Spiritual path.? I think the answer is obvious. Are Nazis Knights? KKK members? What is a knight, and how does one seperate their spiritual calling from the the rest of their life, or of the world. It seems to me that ones activity I. The world, ones “position” is a symptom, a result, of their belief systems, their moral and philosophical convictions, of their spiritual path. In fact, if you’re wondering where your Spiritual life is at, you might look at what it is you’re supporting, what you believe about the earths, or a countries, problems and issues.

You have to do it honestly, and ruthlessly, because we all tend to lie a little bit, or a lot, to ourselves…( one good reason for strong feedback, to actually get some perspective in ourselves from outside) Our world is small realtive to all the mythos that motivate and excite us. There are relative few issues to cull through to see where you stand on things…totalitarianism vs, democracy, oligarchy vs, republic,,,and I’ll contest that there are few better places than social justice…for a real earthbound knight to test their spiritual path, or contribute their energy. This one has posted regularly trying to dilute the Black Lives Mattwrs issue, supporting the system and even providing material that the activities we’ve seen lately in terms of racial tension and systemic discrimination and abuse aren’t really happening. I’ll suggest that this is as good a subject as Corporate deregulation or environmental pollution, for you to figure out how your spiritual life is doing…,,

JC: In regards to my path, I assign no value to political affiliation, as the majority of the qualities I see as part of my path fall outside of political affiliation (self control, self reliance, a calm mind…etc).
Political affiliation rears it’s ugly head not based on the objectives and qualities of the path, but how those objectives are reached.

DJ: I consider myself politically anti-partisan. Dividing politics into conservative and liberal separates what should be a single philosophy. We should be conservative in that we preserve what is best in our culture (not everything, but what is best). We should be liberal in that we work toward building a better world. When we separate the two, we get mired in nonsensical conflict — such as what we have today. It is up to those of us who understand this to rectify it.

VJS: Rather than politics informing the path, one’s path should inform their politics.

Perhaps to say that whatever your morals are tend to inform your political views. If your path is one of the Knight, then by the general archetype, you are a champion for the people. One who seeks not only to fight for the safety of loved ones, but strives to help heal this broken world and its broken people with kindness and compassion. Your political views should follow suit, as should all aspects of your life, I feel, or your profession of your path is only empty words

SF: Personally, I am not affiliated with any ‘Political Party.’ I always vote. I try to make an informed decision. I listen to both sides of the issues and then vote for the candidate who I believe will do the best job. It is not perfect……..but what is?

Do you think it makes a person more “knightly” than another solely based on their political affiliations or leanings?

I don’t think so. Just as a Knight’s ‘Religious Affiliations’ does not make them ‘more or less Knightly.

TTM: I have worked the ‘deep end’ of law enforcement. I have interviewed and written profiles on a lot of psychopaths and sociopaths, and various other criminals that felt they were infallible, and could do whatever they liked.

I have reached a point where, even as a Consultant in same, I seldom like to discuss it, My wife requests me to not discuss things like Politics, because I analyze each and every contestant.
I am fairly conservative, but Moderate in some areas, because I am explicitly a Constitutional.

For the most part, I support no Party. Part of this is my understanding of the patterns of human civilization, and part, because I would rather choose the “PERSON” than the party, according to the patterns the contestant shows me by their overall actions.

Today, Some in one party use words like Freedom to try to push socialism and Communism. These politicians I particularly despise as I have watched several countries fall apart due to these methods of rule. Socialism and Communism are also a great part of why I believe in the Republic, and particularly the Constitutional Republic, as it protects individual freedoms from mob rule.

Do you think it makes a person more “knightly” than another solely based on their political affiliations or leanings?

If someone is stuck believing that a political party is the whole answer, they left knightly thought behind.
The Knight thinks for himself. The Knight makes his choices based on virtues. The Knight uses Critical thinking, Adaptive thinking, Judgment of the situation, and mindfulness of cause and effect overall

JE: I am a Constitutionalist. Beyond that, I am also an Egalitarian and a little bit of a Libertarian (Constitutional Libertarianism, like what the founders set up). However, that is just political belief. It has no bearing on my following the Jedi path.

how do you reconcile the Libertarianism and Egalitarian? doesn’t one require more government and the other call for smaller ones?

My Egalitarianism is more of a social egalitarianism rather than a political, and more of a personal view. It is more the belief that everyone is equal rather than any one group is over another. I have often been called racist, sexist, and other names because I view races, sexes, genders, etc. as equal. It is not something the government can truly enforce. While I would like to see the overturning of any laws or rules that reflect one skin tone over another. However, such legislation would be called racist due to overturning such laws as affirmative action.

My Libertarianism is actually a Constitutional Libertarianism. I believe that our government should go back to the political size and consistency that our founding fathers designed. Congress is a part-time job being paid minimum wage, in session for six months and living with their constituency for the other six. During their six months in session, living with military benefits (food, lodging, doctors).

The Libertarian part also includes things such as handing some power back to the states that the federal government took through things like the Department of Education and IRS. It also includes things like a flat-rate tax and term limits for elected officials.

GT: I am right there with you on this political things do not even get any consideration where my path is considered.

A couple of people get upset that I seem to have certain slants and “political leanings” and that they see a conspiracy in all of my work. They try to label me and discredit me because I have a difference of perspective on certain topics. Even though, I opened the KOA to allow many different perspectives of those willing to come on and share.

I don’t vote with my emotions. I don’t vote with purely my heart. I vote with my mind, using common sense, reason and logic as my guides. This is my biggest problem with politics these days. People commenting using emotional knee-jerk responses anytime something political comes up. People attack and degrade each other because they do not have respect for each other anymore. People are offended that another human being would have the gall to dare challenge them on something. People are now identifying as a political party instead of what really makes them a beautiful and unique individual.

We live in an age politically where being objective is somehow wrong. Where using common sense is treated like a superpower. Where taking a middle of the road approach makes you either a racist or a traitor depending on who you are talking to. Where people are identifying with a candidate more than they identify with themselves. The problem with political seasons and elections is, that when you identify your being with one side or the other, someone ultimately loses, and with them 50% of the population loses too.

So why do I not personally talk very much about politics on the KOA? For a couple of reasons. 1. There is already a TON of commentaries and news and discussions about the topic already. 2. Politics is Ally’s thing with her “Lets Regroup” shows. 3. I like to produce shows, videos, and content that make people better, I like to focus on the individual. Governments cannot change who you are. Governments cannot walk your path. Governments cannot help you learn and grow.

Ironically, I will be joining Ally this week sometime to discuss the political climate in the country. She has asked me to join her and I will be a guest on her show “Lets Regroup”.

I don’t need to know who you are voting for before I decide to show you respect and to treat you fairly. Same goes for your religious preference, your sexual preference, your gender identity, your race, and so on. If you are respectful and fair to me, I will treat you in kind.

I love you all very much, and until next time………Awaken the Knight within!