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(Responding to Guest)
Perhaps it is time for Christianity to encourage the faithful to open their hearts and minds to the oceans of the worlds scripture. See what gifted sages from other cultures besides descendants of Abraham have seen.
India, and China come to mind.
Once familiar with contemplation and experience over millennia. The articulation of non-limited and eternal reality becomes second nature.
We learn to translate, separating wheat from chaff and the thread of gold running through the Bible rings True. This is because God is ever present everywhere. Always. Here and Now.
The tradition in question though, has maintained a particularly heavy layer of the primitive, dualistic, ethnocentric and proprietary.
And so, lain down many a false trail.
Very nicely said.I especially liked your summary.
ctcss – “Basically, trying to approach religion in a serious manner is a non-trivial undertaking.”
One critique that I will make regards an earlier statement,…
“In addition (and probably far more importantly), it would be helpful if those of us who consider ourselves to be religious did our best to develop our relationship with God, learn something of God’s nature (i.e. all-good and all-loving), and then strive to do our utmost to understand and follow God to the best of our ability.”
This is (IMO) mostly pretty solid, but when you say “(i.e. all-good and all-loving)”, it reflects one of the unnecessarily confusing side effects of God as Other. i.e. the dualistic relationship of God and “his” creation.
God as the All, is neither good or bad. Neither loves or hates. Those conditions reside in our hearts. They are diminutive polarities born from our relative experience. Which in turn gets it’s nature from the nature of God as All. (Perfectly aware of It’s own self.)
It is the process of growing close to God as All, that awakens in us the absolute prototype from which these sets of perfectly complementary pairs are derived.
If, as you say we engage the transformation in a “a serious manner”.
JedRothwell – “… The Bible was written by barbaric people. That’s all there is to it. There is no mystery. None of it has anything to do with God’s will, because God does not exist. “
Nothing that you have said actually warrants concluding that “God does not exist” (or that nothing warrants the status of God). It only shows the discerning reader that you yourself have no better grasp on things than our “barbaric ancestors” had.
What you are describing is an “attitude”. You have chosen to amplify scorn in place of reverence. This is a choice. Nothing more.
(Responding to JedRothwell)
Thank you for your direct and honest response.It seems a notch above the usual evasive surliness I’ve had to process recently.
Just for the record, I never think of myself as Christian. Just someone who looks everywhere for evidence of that Universal principal called Dharma.
I was not referring to the Bible when I used the term reverence.
As for myth. Those cultural dreams the species passes through, millennia upon millennia. They are as essential to our humanity as mastery of mathematics or reason.
However, neither grasping at them as certainties, or trying to eradicate them is helpful.
With awareness and intention, they are the catalyst by which we become integrated in the All. Shed the layers of limitation. Return to the beginning and see it for the first time.
(Responding to JedRothwell)
You have illustrated perfectly what I meant by “grasping at them (specific myths) as certainties”.
As for “they are dying off on their own”; No, they are changing. Moving on. Like a river of images and much needed meaning. They are evolving.
For instance, there is a myth currently entertained by many atheistic scientists that there is an absolutely objective reality independent of any subjective aspect.
This too will pass. Simply because it hasn’t answered the primal question.
Aaron Rational – “I think all of these religions suffer from the same issues. The scriptures, the books they all refer to are old, primitive and full of wild superstition and conjecture (even Buddhism is full of ridiculous theories about rebirth, devas, hell realms, etc).
Hinduism, the same.Sorry, but although I believe silent contemplation is valuable, I feel it is “prescriptive” not “descriptive.”
Looking to any ancient religious architecture to explain life is a mistake.”
“Looking to any ancient religious architecture to explain life is a mistake.”
The Universality of the Tao remains unchanged.
The Father and the Son. Not different. One.
Tat Tvam Asi.
Ignorant Amos – “Whaaa?
Tat Tvam Asi?
Major Vedantic schools offer different interpretations of the phrase:
Advaita – absolute equality of ‘tat’, the Ultimate Reality, Brahman, and ‘tvam’, the Self, Atman.
Shuddhadvaita – oneness in “essence” between ‘tat’ and individual self; but ‘tat’ is the whole and self is a part.
Vishishtadvaita – identity of individual self as a part of the whole which is ‘tat’, Brahman.
Dvaitadvaita – equal non-difference and difference between the individual self as a part of the whole which is ‘tat’.
Dvaita of Madhvacharya – “Sa atmaa-tat tvam asi” in Sanskrit is actually “Sa atma-atat tvam asi” or “Atman, thou art not that”. In refutation of Mayavada (Mayavada sata dushani), text 6, ‘tat tvam asi” is translated as “you are a servant of the Supreme (Vishnu)”
Acintya Bheda Abheda – inconceivable oneness and difference between individual self as a part of the whole which is ‘tat’.”
Beautiful list but what is your point?
I see many fingers pointing at the moon.
Of course, if you think the moon cannot exist, then differently punctuated digits all pointing upwards, might seem like a dance for fools.
(Responding to Ignorant Amos)
I take it that maintaining a balanced perspective is not a virtue in your scheme of things.
What are your thoughts on soup kitchens and hospice care? Outreach to gang members? Or Christmas in April?
Most people despise villainy and homicide on their own lack of merit. I would like to add generalized scapegoating to the list.