The Winding Path – 017

For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.

2013-07-21 1:46 pm

From the Perspective of a Monist

Alizarin – “A mature wisdom indeed

I like the way he was able to apply the discipline of one tradition (e.g. zen) to another (Catholicism) without compromising his theological beliefs.”

Zen is good for that. Since not adding anything extra, is at the root of the practice. I think it might be harder for someone well established in it’s practice to adopt Catholicism. But I could be wrong.

It worked for Thomas Merton because he was already oriented to a mystical Catholicism. Though I don’t know, and would be curious to learn, what the differences in theology might be for someone like him and a more mainstream, devout but “by-the-book” Catholic.

2013-07-20 12:16 pm

From the Perspective of a Monist

Alizarin – “If you like Merton, I’d highly recommend New Seeds of Contemplation. Great book.

The great thing about Merton is he affirmed whatever good he found in traditions different from his own; a rare thing these days.”

Thank you. I will look for a copy.

For me, Thomas Merton represents a mature wisdom.

His ability to translate from one tradition to another was an art.

The more a religion relies on “our way or the highway”, the less this wisdom arises.

The more reliance on memorized rhetoric, the less of the empathic art in evidence.

It is a “great thing” about Fr. Merton. Because of his life, I remain open to learning from Catholics and Christians in general. Though my path emphasises considerably less of the Abrahamic storyline.

2013-07-19 11:01 am

From the Perspective of a Monist

SteveVH – “Why would you heed the words of Jung and Hesse and ignore the words of the great Christian saints?”

I just forgot to mention various inspirational readings from the lives and works of Christian Saints. I also read “Seven Story Mountain” by Thomas Merton at the same time. And have read some writings from his monastic life. I was especially interested in his interest in Zen.

SteveVH – “God draws all people to himself.”

Yes, and in Truth we only seem to be outside of “himself”. There is not even a hair’s breadth of separation.

SteveVH – “But there are also other voices out there; the voice of our own desires and the voice of the enemy.”

Spiritual practice is about cultivating a constant vigil of awareness. Learning to discern what leads to the Truth and what leads away from it.

From the smallest of routines and habits of thought, all the way to imagining God. If it casts a shadow it is the work of Coyote. The world of “otherness”, of duality, the separation from Divine Singularity.

This “enemy” that you refer to is the shadow of a lesser god.

2013-07-16 7:27 pm

From the Perspective of a Monist

SteveVH – “Very interesting, however responding is difficult. Each of these points you bring up could be a thread of its own. So I will just start at the beginning and ask you what you mean when you say that you are “guided by an intuition of enlightenment.”? What is the source of this ‘enlightenment’ and how did you acquire it?


I was ripe for it at 21. The circumstances are special enough to me that I do not wish them to become a subject of debate.

I will say that I had been feeling lost. Plagued with a death wish. Bored with myself. Never really had thought about God. Had only had cursory religious education. Though it wasn’t discussed at the time, my mother had been agnostic and possibly atheistic. We only went to church once a month or so. I think so that we would have an idea about what people were talking about. So we could decide for ourselves. Definitely not for the purpose of inspiration.

I do remember as as a younger person being unconsciously attracted to Yoga. I would get books from the library on Yoga meditation (not the exercises), bring them home and take them back when they were due. Never read them.

In college that changed. It was the seventies. I learned about the illusion of duality and the oneness of God. The role that ego plays in our isolation.

When I first heard the sanskrit word Samadhi. I knew what it was as an intuition or perhaps a memory. I began meditating and reading the classic literature from the East. Read Jung and Herman Hesse. Practicing a continual return of awareness to the eternal present.

I realized that now I had something to do with the rest of my life. I’ve never been bored or felt alone since.

I also began to understand the guidance of the Guru. Though I have never had an embodied teacher of the magnitude implied by the term, I have definitely felt taught since that time. I have always understood this to be what is meant by the Holy Ghost in Christianity.

2012-07-16 3:36 pm

From the Perspective of a Monist

I was a little flabbergasted to check out the Wikipedia entry for Monism before I undertook writing this entry. Good Grief! Let me say that I am a simple fellow, and have not read, or even been aware of much being referenced there. I also bailed on the article quite quickly. Finding it not very useful. Once one gets a feel for the basic concept, the way unfolds on it’s own. All that is required is an earnest heart.

For almost forty years I have contemplated the nature of God, guided by an intuition of enlightenment. I have been influenced over the years by Eastern emphasis on the ultimate non-dual nature of reality. Patanjali, Zen, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Jesus.

The starting point is: There is only God. This is a priori. The Absolute Truth. Even Atheists, if they took a break from their rhetoric, could not honestly argue with it. They just might not care to engage with the issue.

As one contemplates one’s life in terms of this Truth, various meditations and questions arise to fill the days.

– What is the relationship of my sense of self to this Entirety that I am calling God?

– God must be Infinite. Not infinite in the pseudo sense used in mathematics but Truly infinite. The Entirety.

– God must be Infinite Potentiality. The potential to exist as well as the manifested. So God neither exists or does not exist. God is existence and the potential to exist.

– God could be thought of as the emergent characteristic of infinite potentiality. This has the characteristic of being “Self Aware”. This is wonderful!

– From this Self Awareness, Creation as we know it emerges. The Universe, the World. The hall of mirrors that we call us.

– From this, the flux of polarities. Good – Bad, Male – Female, Light – Dark, Left – Right, Pleasure – Pain….unending.

– None of this in any way changes the Entirety that is God. This is a paradox.

– One has to get use to the Paradox if one wants to know God. The Creator and Creation are not separate. I and God are not separate. My sense of self must flow seamlessly from the prototype of Self. The Infinite “I Am”. I’ll call this Christ. What else should I call it?

– The perfection of nature reflects the perfection of God.

– Creator and Creation is a singularity. The nature of this paradox, is the heart of God.

– Our experience of a life that is ended by death, is an illusion. A fragmentary understanding. This is caused by our fundamental ignorance of the eternal nature of Life. This is “sin”.

– There is no such thing as supernatural. There can only be the nature of God expressed in time and form. If our world view does not anticipate it we call it supernatural. This is just nonsense. Part of the illusion of separateness.

– Humans anthropomorphize God. It should be the other way around. Like Jesus demonstrated.

– To know God, the personal sense of “i am” must relinquish it’s self absorption. This is “being born again”, Samadhi. Moksha. Enlightenment.

– The ignorance of the true, eternal nature of Life, is “sin”. Sin is not about morality. Not about a litany of acceptable behaviors. It is about the actions of mind and body that arise from a fundamental ignorance. The ignorance of our true nature. The nature of God.

– Redemption is aligning action and thought with the awareness of God. In doing this we align and perfect evolution to it’s absolute potential.

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