"Smorgasbord" Religion, Being of a Faith, and the Personal Journey

path_of_one

Embracing the Mystery
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Under the Stars
Wow- ya learn something new everyday. Coming from the West coast, I never knew there were so many distinctions on the other coast about the term. It's like another country over there, I tell ya. Regional differences are really very striking when you think about them. When I visit relatives in the Midwest, I feel like I'm in another world.
 

greymare

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,141
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Maryland. usa. FINALLY! LOL
I think I am repeating myself, but here goes.
born and raised catholic, but rejected it all as a teenager.
I like to know what people believe and why.
Everyone.
but now i have come to the conclusion, for me, that is.
That loveing God doesnt have tobe complicated, or you dont have to know everything, because in actuality, we nver will. God knows i love him and he loves me, I go to churches of different faiths on occassion, whenever it inspires me. I try to be a good citizen of the planet and do the best i can, i think that is what i am doing, anyway.
I dont belong to any "group" persay, and yet i feel i belong to a entire family of residents on this lovely place we call home.(earth).
Thats just my personal view, so my point is, dont stress over finding the right "group" of a sense of belonging, you already have it here. You are family.
 

Nick_A

Interfaith Forums
Messages
2,264
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Hi Path
I tend to find a lot of value in the methods described by Thich Nhat Hanh- that we first develop conscious awareness of our negative emotions, and without judgment, we simply approach them like we would a fussing child. Compassionately but firmly. Over time, as we develop our awareness of our emotions, the negative ones go away on their own.
This is basically what I meant by the ability to impartially experience oneself without judgment or thoughts of change but just the experience. It is the experience itself that tends to clean one on the inside rather then thoughts of change.
Both. Creating stuff is creating stuff; the difference is in how mindful we are of our creating. Creativity is part of God's manifestation through the universe, and so is our capacity to be mindful of our creativity. It's worth noting that a person can be consciously aware of their creativity and still not mindful of the spiritual consequence of their creativity. I would say film-makers who create violent films, for example, are consciously aware of their attempt to create. They aren't just instinctively doing these big works of art. But they are, perhaps, not mindful of the spiritual consequence of creating such art... of the suffering it causes.
I'm confused here. What IYO is the difference between art and expression? For me ART has the capacity to provoke a higher emotional experience that is not usual for us. Expression just creates random emotions normal for our lives. Do you distinguish art and expression differently.
do not think anything exists outside of God. The "bad" stuff included. It is more an issue of misdirected quality than poor quality. We either move toward action/thought/feeling harmonious with love and compassion, or we move toward disharmony, but the characteristics are neutral. Self-centeredness, if properly regulated by compassion and a mindfulness of unity of all beings, sustains the physical body and is controlled by one's discipline. If not properly regulated, self-centeredness yields greed, selfishness, hate, fear, and so forth. On its own, it is neutral. It allows the survival of the physical organism. It is not bad or good, it just is. It is our mindfulness of unity that makes it harmonious with compassion and love. Or our lack of mindfulness that makes it disharmonious and disruptive, that causes suffering to others.
Since I believe that God IS outside of creation which is the domain of existence, I must respectfully disagree. As I understand it , we can experience divine love as grace and God's will as expressed in creation as well as existing conscious help from above within creation. I appreciate the sincerity of your intent but still have experienced that I am the "Wretched Man" so I see how quickly intent turns into its opposite. This is why I believe it is more practical to admit my nothingness before being too idealistic.
When I read how Tolstoy was torn up over the recognition of his own hypocrisy it just made me conclude that it is our way though not many are willing to admit it.
That is interesting. I think there are many paths in the process, but all of them that are successful seem to move people towards compassion and mindfulness or awareness of how they are connected to all other beings. I don't think our physical organism lives at the expense of our spirit (I'm not sure if that's what you meant or not), but rather being incarnated means that we can choose to either forget that we are anything other than the vehicle, or we can choose to care for the vehicle and use it as a means for our true self to explore, grow, and interact with other beings.
Our physical bodies are animal. There is nothing wrong with this. Unlike any other animal the belief is that we have the capacity to be more than the reactive animal we normally are. As I understand it, the human condition is as it is because our emotional selves that become the source of our personalities is corrupted with all sorts of unnatural acquired negative emotions. Where the emotions should provide the balance between our ideas and bodily desires, it cannot provide this function because of this corruption. Our spiritual selves or the seed of the soul is covered over by all this emotional corruption.
So we are stuck in an approach avoidance conflict. One day we approach a greater humanistic potential and the next day we are in a rage while in a traffic jam. This conflict is why everything remains as it is.
The way out IMO was described by Simone Weil but only a few I've found are open to the depth of the remark.
"Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace."
Of course secularism doesn't want to recognize it but our emotional selves need the inner cleansing that grace can provide which in turn makes our ideals possible. Without it, everything continues as it is.
I used to despair over being in a body. It did not feel natural to me as a child, and I have a lot of poetry over the years that describes my agony in this- that being in a body and in a society felt like being in prison, like chains. I longed to be free from the limitations and the constraints, the pain and suffering that came with incarnation. This was not just some sort of depression, but rather a genuine confusion that lasted from as far back as I can remember to my mid-twenties. Then I began to appreciate, after a lot of work on the matter and a lot of reflection, the value of being incarnated. If I am the wind, I cannot feel the wind...

I know what you mean and it is normal. One thing I have against a lot of New Age thought is that it seeks escape from the physical body where inner unity that leads to inner liberation can only come from mind, body, and spirit, joining in inner unity.
You'll probably appreciate this old poem by Yeats since it speaks of what you wrote.
[minstrels] Sailing to Byzantium -- William Butler Yeats
This following excerpt is a real kick in the inner butt.
"Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity."
There is a balance I believe we should have between honoring our incarnation, caring for this vehicle, which is precious, and honoring our true self, our spirit that is at one with God. I see my physical self (including my personality and intellect) as a wonderful gift I've been given to play with for a while, and this earth and society likewise. I can be honest about what sucks about it- for it comes with its pains. But it also comes with its joys. Increasingly, I think the point is to find the joy and peace in limitation, and in so doing, release much of the limitation. It is to consciously transform myself, humanity, and the earth toward an awareness of union of physicality and spirituality. I have been rambling. But hopefully that gives you some idea of where I'm currently at in thinking about this..
I agree. this IMO is what Jesus meant by distinguishing between giving to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's and establishing the balance. It is just far easier said than done.
Yet it is not expedient to ignore our personality, learning style, etc. because they will affect how we can best approach our spiritual self. A person who is an introvert will approach the spiritual life differently than an extrovert. A person who is naturally attuned to nature and learns through experience will approach the spiritual life differently than a person who learns mostly through reading. That's OK. It's just when we mistakenly think our temporary bodies and brains are really us that we run into some glitches, IMO.
In the pure sense I believe this is why Jesus had twelve apostles. They represented the essential human astrological types. In Jesus presence they could retain enough presence to experience the totality of human reaction in themselves from being open to the individuality of another rather than argue and block as we do.
So the process depends on the person- where they are at and what cognitive constraints they face. It's different for everyone and there is no one answer, so long as the method leads to mindful compassion... but we need to watch out that our temporary self does not reify the method so much that we get to that other shore and fail to get out of the boat. You know the saying: "I looked so longingly at the door that was shut to me, I failed to see the open window."
But regardless of the path, I believe at some point we must experience this inner Armageddon between our inner attraction to conscious spiritual liberation and our habitual attachment to the "world" if inner liberation is the goal.
I'm the first to admit it isn't easy but do appreciate your obvious sincerity and dedication.
 

Snoopy

zennish
Messages
5,317
Reaction score
45
Points
48
OMG!! You live in Shepards Bush? ;)
It does look like a bit of a hot spot, don't know why...but no I don't!

Though looking at a map seems to me that Buddhism is under assault on many fronts, its heartland multiply punctured. Do you think it will grow or diminish?
At the risk of showing consideration for the OP I'll rustle up a post in reply in a more appropriate place...(not sure where yet...)

s.
 

path_of_one

Embracing the Mystery
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Under the Stars
I don't mind, Snoop- post away! I so often end up tangentially rambling in other people's threads, I'm glad to provide a place for this in my own for a change. LOL
 

Snoopy

zennish
Messages
5,317
Reaction score
45
Points
48
I don't mind, Snoop- post away! I so often end up tangentially rambling in other people's threads, I'm glad to provide a place for this in my own for a change. LOL

And here's me trying to show a little respect :):rolleyes:

s.
 

path_of_one

Embracing the Mystery
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Under the Stars
I'm confused here. What IYO is the difference between art and expression? For me ART has the capacity to provoke a higher emotional experience that is not usual for us. Expression just creates random emotions normal for our lives. Do you distinguish art and expression differently.

Yes, but I don't think with the same operational definitions that you have. I think expression is any act that externalizes a human thought or feeling through symbolism. This could be language or whatever else. I think art is a conscious form of expression- it is art with a self-conscious purpose. That purpose could be beneficial or not and could invoke a range of emotions or thoughts on the part of the observer. I follow the standard dictionary definitions, more or less. Art, however, is a toughie to define really well because although there are standard definitions for it, any artist or person who has studied art realizes that art is something defined in part by the artist and in part by the audience.

Since I believe that God IS outside of creation which is the domain of existence, I must respectfully disagree. As I understand it , we can experience divine love as grace and God's will as expressed in creation as well as existing conscious help from above within creation. I appreciate the sincerity of your intent but still have experienced that I am the "Wretched Man" so I see how quickly intent turns into its opposite. This is why I believe it is more practical to admit my nothingness before being too idealistic.

We just conceptualize God differently. I'm a panentheist, so I experience God as being both beyond creation but also in and through it. Again, I really think it's an issue of semantics in the topic at hand. Whether the grace comes from within or from without, it's the grace of God. Believing that this grace is already alive in all beings, a little spark of light waiting to be fanned to flame, doesn't make it less Divine in origin. It's just the location changes. You say grace comes from above, I say it comes from within... but grace is grace.

When I read how Tolstoy was torn up over the recognition of his own hypocrisy it just made me conclude that it is our way though not many are willing to admit it.

I figure people can get beyond the hypocrisy, but it takes work and open-mindedness and self-discipline.

Our physical bodies are animal. There is nothing wrong with this. Unlike any other animal the belief is that we have the capacity to be more than the reactive animal we normally are. As I understand it, the human condition is as it is because our emotional selves that become the source of our personalities is corrupted with all sorts of unnatural acquired negative emotions.

That's interesting. I don't think our emotional selves are the source of our personality, but rather that our personality is based in an interaction of our genetics (the way our brain naturally works) and our environment. Things we think of as personality, such as our inherent talents, types of intelligence, learning styles, and basic preferences can be summed up fairly well by combining the likes of the OCEAN model of personality, Gardner's work on intelligence, etc.

Our emotional responses are informed in part by our basic personality tendencies. For example, and introverted person might experience discomfort when at a party. A person who inherently does not deal well with change might experience anxiety when he travels. And so forth. On top of this, our environment, particularly our culture, conditions us to produce certain emotions in response to certain social scenarios.

The handy thing is that we can analyze all of it and then move beyond most of it. We are remarkably plastic in how we respond to things.

Where the emotions should provide the balance between our ideas and bodily desires, it cannot provide this function because of this corruption. Our spiritual selves or the seed of the soul is covered over by all this emotional corruption.

Again, that's an interesting idea. I think the emotions are tied to our hormones and our physiological responses to stimuli. Our ideas seem to come afterward unless we train ourselves to do otherwise in order to evoke certain emotions. I never found that my emotions were corrupted, but rather I approach them in a matter of fact way. Self-reflection allows me to see where my feelings come from and whether or not they are useful or beneficial, and then I can decide what to do with them. This starts with a basic practice of recognizing emotions as we have them.

One day we approach a greater humanistic potential and the next day we are in a rage while in a traffic jam. This conflict is why everything remains as it is.

With diligent practice, I find that the number of days I'm in a rage lessens. Things are not stagnant unless we choose it to be so. Spiritual development is, to me, like developing any other capacity in many ways.

If I take up learning piano and expect to be Mozart in one day just because I bought a piano and a music book, I'll rapidly become frustrated. Rather, I have to recognize that I am embarking on a lifelong journey that requires diligence and persistence. It requires that sometimes when I don't want to, or it doesn't feel that great, I still need to put practice time in. Even when God is silent, it is not an excuse for me to be lazy. That's something that was affirmed for me in reading about Mother Theresa's work through the long silence of God in her life. The purpose isn't to make me feel good, though a by-product is joy. The purpose is transformation, and it requires my commitment. Part of this commitment is to maintain hope even when there are setbacks.

Of course secularism doesn't want to recognize it but our emotional selves need the inner cleansing that grace can provide which in turn makes our ideals possible.
Without it, everything continues as it is.

I think it's all by the grace of God. But people don't have to recognize it as such to transform. I've seen atheists that were very compassionate, loving people. If we are diligent and open-hearted to it, I believe God works in us whether we believe in it or not. The fundamental choice in service to other beings prompts transformation in ourselves and our world. I do believe this comes from God, but it isn't the belief that delivers me from what I would otherwise be... it is the choice to dedicate my life to love. Belief is not enough.

You'll probably appreciate this old poem by Yeats since it speaks of what you wrote.
[minstrels] Sailing to Byzantium -- William Butler Yeats
This following excerpt is a real kick in the inner butt.

Lovely- nice illustration.

In the pure sense I believe this is why Jesus had twelve apostles. They represented the essential human astrological types. In Jesus presence they could retain enough presence to experience the totality of human reaction in themselves from being open to the individuality of another rather than argue and block as we do.

That's an interesting idea...

But regardless of the path, I believe at some point we must experience this inner Armageddon between our inner attraction to conscious spiritual liberation and our habitual attachment to the "world" if inner liberation is the goal.
I'm the first to admit it isn't easy but do appreciate your obvious sincerity and dedication.

No, it isn't easy. I screw it up all the time. But the longer I work on it, the more frequent the times I'm not screwing it up are, and the longer they last. Give me a few more gazillion lifetimes and maybe I will get it right. :rolleyes: In all seriousness, it's a difficult task and no religion says it is easy. But most things worth doing aren't.
 

Nick_A

Interfaith Forums
Messages
2,264
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Hi Path

For me art "occurs" It occurs when a person is able to place within a work of art the means for another to experience a higher quality of emotion absent from normal everyday life, and experience the same intended emotion. The communication is art.

The sphinx for example is such a work. It can create "art" between what its designers understood and one within its presence experiences.

We just conceptualize God differently. I'm a panentheist, so I experience God as being both beyond creation but also in and through it. Again, I really think it's an issue of semantics in the topic at hand. Whether the grace comes from within or from without, it's the grace of God. Believing that this grace is already alive in all beings, a little spark of light waiting to be fanned to flame, doesn't make it less Divine in origin. It's just the location changes. You say grace comes from above, I say it comes from within... but grace is grace.

I respect this though I come from a different direction. I've always been frustrated because of partial truths. People are always arguing over partial truths. Somehow the reality within which these partial truths continue to be expressed was not felt. I never could understand why this was and it was only after my introduction to cosmology that I started to understand why it must be so. Most of what I was exposed to in education was based on a bottom up approach and by necessity it results in partial truths. Cosmology has created a skeleton that allows a top down approach to verify it by filling in the details. It is like seeing the picture on the puzzle box that allows the pieces to experientially make sense.

"I am" has become for me the relationship between God as 'One"outside of Creation and the levels of creation as the direct result of God as three manifesting as "am." I have that kind of mind that appreciates both science and religion so naturally I wish to integrate them and cosmology with its levels of reality has allowed me to do so revealing human meaning and purpose.. It works for me.

I figure people can get beyond the hypocrisy, but it takes work and open-mindedness and self-discipline.
That is what makes a good soldier. there is no doubt as to the necessity of the kill. So there is no hypocrisy created by the desire to kill and not to kill.

This isn't what you meant of course but when Paul refers to himself as the wretched man, he is referring to his hypocrisy at a level beyond our ability to cope with consciously or to be conditioned out of.


I have a simple way of looking at this. Socrates wrote: "May the outward and inward man be at one."

The outward man is our personality. it is our acquired way of doing things. it is created by a blend of the "inner man" or qualities we are born with and external conditioning.

The handy thing is that we can analyze all of it and then move beyond most of it. We are remarkably plastic in how we respond to things.
I don't know what you mean by "moving beyond." To most in modern times it means adopting a socially better personality: an acceptable conditioning. To mean "moving beyond" means becoming more conscious: moving beyond our dominant conditioning. A personality becomes a tool rather then what one calls "I."

Analysis is weak when recognizing the value of conscious awareness.. Our real power to do anything comes from the body and emotions. People can think all they want but when one is pissed, all the analysis goes out the window. The East will prefer yoga for example rather then analysis to get the body on our side rather then function as an opponent..

Again, that's an interesting idea. I think the emotions are tied to our hormones and our physiological responses to stimuli. Our ideas seem to come afterward unless we train ourselves to do otherwise in order to evoke certain emotions. I never found that my emotions were corrupted, but rather I approach them in a matter of fact way. Self-reflection allows me to see where my feelings come from and whether or not they are useful or beneficial, and then I can decide what to do with them. This starts with a basic practice of recognizing emotions as we have them.
By corrupt I mean that they are unnatural. We are not born with these negative emotions. They are learned. Animal rage for example is natural while killing egotistically is not but rather an acquired emotion that corrupts the seed of the soul. A person with practice can become able to experience the difference as part of self knowledge.

If I take up learning piano and expect to be Mozart in one day just because I bought a piano and a music book, I'll rapidly become frustrated. Rather, I have to recognize that I am embarking on a lifelong journey that requires diligence and persistence. It requires that sometimes when I don't want to, or it doesn't feel that great, I still need to put practice time in. Even when God is silent, it is not an excuse for me to be lazy. That's something that was affirmed for me in reading about Mother Theresa's work through the long silence of God in her life. The purpose isn't to make me feel good, though a by-product is joy. The purpose is transformation, and it requires my commitment. Part of this commitment is to maintain hope even when there are setbacks.
I agree that it is an excellent approach. It is the way of the good man as described in Ecclesiastes. In Christianity it leads to salvation or just being asleep in the body.

But the world also needs people capable of the kingdom or able consciously to actualize the verticality of: "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This is more then the need to be a good person but rather to respond to a calling to awaken at the expense of everything else. Simone Weil was this kind of person. Worldly truths were secondary and she would sacrifice anything for the "pearl of great price" beyond the world.

This way is also more dangerous since it attracts a greater inner opposition. Not many are worth either heaven or hell but such people can go either way. That is why I am concerned for those who dabble with things they don't understand and open themselves without preparation. One can open themselves to inner corruption that is difficult to clean.

I think it's all by the grace of God. But people don't have to recognize it as such to transform. I've seen atheists that were very compassionate, loving people. If we are diligent and open-hearted to it, I believe God works in us whether we believe in it or not. The fundamental choice in service to other beings prompts transformation in ourselves and our world. I do believe this comes from God, but it isn't the belief that delivers me from what I would otherwise be... it is the choice to dedicate my life to love. Belief is not enough.
Suppose Man no longer was on the earth. Is the earth sustained through God's grace or the laws of nature where God's grace isn't required? If we are engulfed in imagination, how can any transformation be possible that isn't just adaptation normal for nature's laws. Consider how Simone puts it:

"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it We must continually suspend the work of the imagination in filling the void within ourselves."
"In no matter what circumstances, if the imagination is stopped from pouring itself out, we have a void (the poor in spirit). In no matter what circumstances... imagination can fill the void. This is why the average human beings can become prisoners, slaves, prostitutes, and pass thru no matter what suffering without being purified."

"That is why we fly from the inner void, since God might steal into it. It is not the pursuit of pleasure and the aversion for effort which causes sin, but fear of God. We know that we cannot see him face to face without dying, and we do not want to die."

Typical Simone if we have the stomach for it. Transformation comes from hitting bottom. We don't allow it since our personalities are dominant and they don't want to be seen and die as a result normal for imagination.
This hitting bottom is our Armageddon, it is our crucifixion. Our conscious will strives for presence. Our emotions and body want no part of it. If the void is created, it invites the Spirit to help leading to re-birth.
No, it isn't easy. I screw it up all the time. But the longer I work on it, the more frequent the times I'm not screwing it up are, and the longer they last. Give me a few more gazillion lifetimes and maybe I will get it right. :rolleyes: In all seriousness, it's a difficult task and no religion says it is easy. But most things worth doing aren't.
Perhaps if we become capable of conscious presence, we may not need a gazillion lifetimes to get out of this mess and become our potential. Even though I suggest this, I screw up with the best of them. :)
This is why I find Jacob Needleman's phrase "intermediate Christianity" so interesting. Are there steps leading to conscious presence that we are oblivious of so just turn in circles?
 

Will be

Well-Known Member
Messages
157
Reaction score
0
Points
0
"Dang I wish I could read!"

Past life regression.

Future live progression.
 

path_of_one

Embracing the Mystery
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Under the Stars
For me art "occurs" It occurs when a person is able to place within a work of art the means for another to experience a higher quality of emotion absent from normal everyday life, and experience the same intended emotion. The communication is art.


I tend to just use standard definitions. I find it facilitates communication and minimizes misunderstanding.

Most of what I was exposed to in education was based on a bottom up approach and by necessity it results in partial truths. Cosmology has created a skeleton that allows a top down approach to verify it by filling in the details. It is like seeing the picture on the puzzle box that allows the pieces to experientially make sense.

Personally, I do not find it helpful to divide things into dualistic categories in spiritual thought. Above/below and within/without are, I think to use a Buddhist concept, relative truths. It doesn't make them less true... in relativity to one another. But reality isn't necessarily divided into these relative categories. We just think it is.

I am trying to get to a point of "less thought, more being."

"I am" has become for me the relationship between God as 'One"outside of Creation and the levels of creation as the direct result of God as three manifesting as "am." I have that kind of mind that appreciates both science and religion so naturally I wish to integrate them and cosmology with its levels of reality has allowed me to do so revealing human meaning and purpose.. It works for me.

It's always good to find something that works. I find that experiencing the sum totality without much mental ordering of it works for me, but I would imagine it is not for everyone.

This isn't what you meant of course but when Paul refers to himself as the wretched man, he is referring to his hypocrisy at a level beyond our ability to cope with consciously or to be conditioned out of.

I don't think there is anything that is beyond our capacity to become conscious of. I think that within us is God's grace, and that gives us the capacity to become fully conscious beings, as a limited number of humans have displayed in the past. To me, it is this capacity for creativity and consciousness that is how we are made in God's image. It isn't that God is like a human being, but rather that within the human being is the seed that could flower into full union with the Divine. We are like God. God is not like us.


The outward man is our personality. it is our acquired way of doing things. it is created by a blend of the "inner man" or qualities we are born with and external conditioning.

I just don't define the stuff this way. I use what is commonly accepted definitions in social science. Personality is an integration of qualities we were born with and external conditioning. I tend to think that is overlaid on spirit. I have ideas that get rather complex about how it all fits together, but I don't find that they are necessary, just interesting. They are thought experiments I have about the spirit, the soul, the mind/personality, and the body.

I don't know what you mean by "moving beyond." To most in modern times it means adopting a socially better personality: an acceptable conditioning. To mean "moving beyond" means becoming more conscious: moving beyond our dominant conditioning. A personality becomes a tool rather then what one calls "I."

Moving beyond to me is becoming awake, aware, conscious.

Our real power to do anything comes from the body and emotions. People can think all they want but when one is pissed, all the analysis goes out the window.

Speak for yourself. :p It isn't analysis, it is a critical self-reflection that changes one's emotional tendencies.

I choose not to abdicate my responsibility in creativity and choice. I can and do see myself as I am getting angry, and I can and do observe the anger and then dissipate it. "I" can drive this machine of my mind and body if I choose to. Sure, it has a bit of a mind of its own, but that's like saying my car has a few quirks. Maybe so, but I'm still the driver.

The East will prefer yoga for example rather then analysis to get the body on our side rather then function as an opponent..

Druidry has taught me to stop seeing my body as an opponent and instead a vehicle to be enjoyed, explored, and utilized.

By corrupt I mean that they are unnatural. We are not born with these negative emotions. They are learned. Animal rage for example is natural while killing egotistically is not but rather an acquired emotion that corrupts the seed of the soul.

I am unclear as to how human behavior can be unnatural. I am guessing you mean stuff we learn socially versus stuff that would be instinctive, based on your example. So I am guessing that you use "negative emotions" in a more limited sense than is usual. That is, that you would see anger, fear, greed, etc. as natural neutral emotions and that they are negative only when "corrupted" through social conditioning.

Problem is, humans must have social conditioning to be human. So I'm not sure of your point. I tend to look toward usefulness- what is beneficial. Social conditioning is beneficial in some ways and not in others. Awareness would allow us to discern between the two and choose our own way.

But the world also needs people capable of the kingdom or able consciously to actualize the verticality of: "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This is more then the need to be a good person but rather to respond to a calling to awaken at the expense of everything else.

I wasn't talking about just being a good person. "Good" is relatively defined in the world. Awakening reveals the goodness of things that others would not see as good. It connects one with the flows of what is, and what is goes beyond dualistic concepts.

Awakening at the expense of everything else... I think when one is ready to awaken completely, there is no expense. It's not like one is doing a ROI calculation in one's head. When the spirit is ready to unfold to that extent, there is already a pushing away from the trappings and attachments usual to a human life.

Simone Weil was this kind of person. Worldly truths were secondary and she would sacrifice anything for the "pearl of great price" beyond the world.

I find the Buddhist concept of relative and absolute truths useful, rather than primary and secondary or worldly and supernatural. I think there is more honesty in the interpenetration of truth than in dualistic ideas about it.

This way is also more dangerous since it attracts a greater inner opposition. Not many are worth either heaven or hell but such people can go either way. That is why I am concerned for those who dabble with things they don't understand and open themselves without preparation. One can open themselves to inner corruption that is difficult to clean.

I think we're all dabbling in things we don't understand. One can't really have understanding until one is consciously awake. And one can't become so without leaping off that cliff. People can have their brains somewhat fried, it seems, from trying out various shamanic or mystical techniques without preparation or a framework, but I'm not sure if that's what you mean.

I've found that my peak experiences tend to stand my world on its head, which can be disconcerting, uncomfortable, and emotionally trying... but it's also exhilerating, uplifting, and life-changing.

I don't know that anyone can really prepare for that sort of thing. On the one hand, having a community, tradition, and masters from which to learn can certainly help... so long as they are genuine in their intent. But the flip side of this is that many are not, and so it is often just as dangerous (if not moreso) to operate within a community, as cults of all sorts demonstrate.

I tend to think a balanced approach on the part of the individual is very important to not slip into things that affect some people in mysticism/shamanism- the tendency to get an over-inflated ego, the martyr complex, being paranoid (the conspiracy theorist crowd), the devotee (the cult-joiners), etc. Generally, this comes from having an imbalanced approach to one's own needs and personality, which means you enter a journey that can involve altered states and so forth without any knowledge of how it is likely to affect you and what your weaknesses are.

But then, this lack of self-understanding also gets people in trouble in normal life, too.

Suppose Man no longer was on the earth. Is the earth sustained through God's grace or the laws of nature where God's grace isn't required?

Neither. That's a dualism I don't think is true. To me, God's grace is manifest through nature. Humans have not much to do with it. We're animals, children of Gaia, but with a somewhat unique twist that we've become capable of self-consciousness. I suspect we aren't the only ones out there capable of that. I don't tend to afford humans some super-special place in the order of things. Every being is special in its own way.

If we are engulfed in imagination, how can any transformation be possible that isn't just adaptation normal for nature's laws.

Imagination is part of the creativity of humans. I don't think transformation is antithetical to normal adaptation to and with nature. In fact, I think that given where human beings are at socially and technologically, it is the next step in adapting. Without it, I suspect we'll eventually either depopulate significantly or die off altogether. We're currently like cancer on this planet. Without awareness and transformation, we continue to be so.

Typical Simone if we have the stomach for it. Transformation comes from hitting bottom. We don't allow it since our personalities are dominant and they don't want to be seen and die as a result normal for imagination.

Everyone is different. For some, transformation comes from hitting bottom. For others, not so much. I try to refrain from generalizations like this, because people are all different. I can't assume that my own or another's experience will be the same as everyone. People are not interchangeable and one person's experience cannot define the human experience.

Our conscious will strives for presence. Our emotions and body want no part of it. If the void is created, it invites the Spirit to help leading to re-birth.

That has been my experience, sort of. Of course, the body doesn't want to acknowledge it will one day die, but our emotions are more variable and once I found joy in letting go of myself, my emotions began cooperating with me. I found my emotions are not beyond my control. They are not independent of my state of consciousness.

This is why I find Jacob Needleman's phrase "intermediate Christianity" so interesting. Are there steps leading to conscious presence that we are oblivious of so just turn in circles?

I jest. To be honest, I have found that there is value in incarnation and there can be great beauty and joy in it. For all I know, we reincarnate no matter how far we go spiritually, because spiritual development doesn't necessarily change the order of things, but just our perspective.

That is, I don't disallow the idea that perhaps I have always and will always just go 'round and 'round. What might change is not what happens, but what I do with what happens. Earth can be heaven or hell... it's up to me which.

Basically, I don't focus on a goal of any particular afterlife scenario. I find it better to let go of that attachment and focus on what I'm doing with NOW. The rest is really inconsequential and exists only in my mind.
 

Nick_A

Interfaith Forums
Messages
2,264
Reaction score
1
Points
0
We have basic differences. You seem to define "being" as existence compared to non existence. I've come to appreciate "being" as relative in quality with quality being defined by its closeness to the source of being itself.

The relativity of being that manifests as the involutionary and evolutionary flows comprising creation explains a great many things to me that could not be explained in any other way including human meaning and purpose.

Right or wrong, it furthers the understanding which I pursue. The good thing about discussing with you is that you don't seem to have any animosity over our difference which is far from usual.

We would disagree on gay marriage for example because I believe that the function that heterosexual marriage serves in relation to human evolutionary purpose should be respected as a unique ideal in relation to the relative being of our species. Naturally without a belief in the relativity of being, there is no unique ideal worth respecting.

But do we have to have animosity over our differences? I don't believe so. You are a good person and that is all that matters. I've come to value this tradition of the good person as explained in Ecclesiastes. It is far more inwardly beneficial than a lot of New Age practices I know exist. You want to be a good person and more power to you.

Yet at the same time I feel for and support these ugly ducklings like Simone who cannot be defined as a cog within society but struggle for individuality in a way that seems foreign to us. Can we feel what she writes here:

"...It is not for man to seek, or even to believe in God. He has only to refuse to believe in everything that is not God. This refusal does not presuppose belief. It is enough to recognize, what is obvious to any mind, that all the goods of this world, past, present, or future, real or imaginary, are finite and limited and radically incapable of satisfying the desire which burns perpetually with in us for an infinite and perfect good... It is not a matter of self-questioning or searching. A man has only to persist in his refusal, and one day or another God will come to him."
-- Weil, Simone, ON SCIENCE, NECESSITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, edited by Richard Rees, London, Oxford University Press, 1968.- ©

It is rare to open to the reality of this emptiness. As a result, many who feel it turn to cults and escapist practices including drugs which lead to a similar but empty experience. Yet there are these exceptional few that are willing to carry their cross, consciously experience themselves, at the expense of all their acquired habits that form our corrupt egotism so as to become themselves.

When I first read this observation I was a bit taken back but after a while I began to appreciate the sense of it:

"With no matter what human being, taken individually, I always find reasons for concluding that sorrow and misfortune do not suit him; either because he seems too mediocre for anything so great, or, on the contrary, too precious to be destroyed." Simone Weil

This is what is so difficult to appreciate about the Crucifixion. It is hard to come to grips that it is precisely because Jesus was something special that his destruction was necessary. It lead to something that benefited the conscious evolution of Man. I suffer without conscious presence so my mediocrity makes it meaningless.

It goes against the grain until I see it in relation to human re-birth from one quality of being into a higher through the conscious witnessing of what I am and the help that can come through it.

Re-birth, or this change in relative quality of being doesn't seem to be based on anything real without the levels of reality natural for cosmology.

But the one thing we can have in common is the awareness of the foolishness and harm of expressions of negativity including condemnation, righteous indignation, and the whole nine yards in relation to decent people searching in their own way for "meaning."
 

path_of_one

Embracing the Mystery
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Under the Stars
We have basic differences. You seem to define "being" as existence compared to non existence. I've come to appreciate "being" as relative in quality with quality being defined by its closeness to the source of being itself.


Well, not exactly. I define "being" variously. What I mean is that different beings are different. I do not believe it is my place or capacity to judge another being's quality or closeness to Being Itself, that is to God. The only thing I feel that I can assess, and even then relatively poorly, is my own quality of being and closeness to Being Itself. This assessment is a relative truth, to use the Buddhist concept. The absolute truth is that I'm already in Being Itself. But I have failed to consistently be conscious of it, so it is irrelevant until I am beyond relative truth.

That might have been a bit difficult to understand. Sorry. It is difficult to express.

That said, I simply do not believe that I have the capacity to assess another's quality of being, so I treat all beings with as much respect as I can. And I believe I can learn from everything- from the trees, the water, the wind. I am not interested in where I or another is relative to God, because that is not something I can know, nor is it something useful for me to know. I am interested in drawing close to God, and through this, drawing close to all beings in love and compassion. I do not need to know their quality to have compassion and love them.

Right or wrong, it furthers the understanding which I pursue. The good thing about discussing with you is that you don't seem to have any animosity over our difference which is far from usual.

I see no reason to have animosity over difference. Difference makes life interesting and allows me to learn and, dare I say, sometimes to teach. I can disagree strongly with someone and still have affection for them. In fact, many of the people I deeply value in my own life are those who challenge me, respectfully but strongly. That's what aids growth for me and deepens my own experience of self-reflection.

We would disagree on gay marriage for example because I believe that the function that heterosexual marriage serves in relation to human evolutionary purpose should be respected as a unique ideal in relation to the relative being of our species. Naturally without a belief in the relativity of being, there is no unique ideal worth respecting.

I am not sure there are not unique ideals I would respect, but marriage in general is not one of them, at least not in terms of sexual orientation. It's the wrong thread to discuss that issue, but biologically there are simply more possibilities than what we think of as man and woman, and husband and wife.

I do think marriage is sacred but to me that has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but rather a relationship to another's spirit. Marriage is a spiritual commitment to me, not a social-sexual one.

But do we have to have animosity over our differences? I don't believe so. You are a good person and that is all that matters. I've come to value this tradition of the good person as explained in Ecclesiastes. It is far more inwardly beneficial than a lot of New Age practices I know exist. You want to be a good person and more power to you.

Thanks. :) I don't know that I'd say I'm a good person, but I know I try to be a good person by allowing myself to unfold more and more into compassion. I have lots and lots of flaws and faults, though.

Yet at the same time I feel for and support these ugly ducklings like Simone who cannot be defined as a cog within society but struggle for individuality in a way that seems foreign to us.

Simone doesn't seem foreign to me. I don't agree with everything she says, but I think it's a rarity for me to agree with everything anyone says. But she doesn't seem foreign or even eccentric. She just seems blunt about her observations and at times, unforgiving, though that's not the feeling I get from her. But I could see how it would come across that way.

Yet there are these exceptional few that are willing to carry their cross, consciously experience themselves, at the expense of all their acquired habits that form our corrupt egotism so as to become themselves.

I think there are more than we know. Not everyone who does so writes books or teaches workshops. There are probably a fair number of folks who have attained this sort of consciousness, but weren't in a life position to be noticed for it.

This is what is so difficult to appreciate about the Crucifixion. It is hard to come to grips that it is precisely because Jesus was something special that his destruction was necessary. It lead to something that benefited the conscious evolution of Man. I suffer without conscious presence so my mediocrity makes it meaningless.

I think you're overly hard on yourself, but for some people perhaps it is important to be for a while. While Jesus' destruction may have been necessary, I don't think it is necessary for all "special" people. Many saints and masters were not destroyed, yet their lives were very meaningful and I can learn a lot from them.

Re-birth, or this change in relative quality of being doesn't seem to be based on anything real without the levels of reality natural for cosmology.

I'm afraid I can't respond to that adequately. I am not a very complex thinker in terms of how I approach the question. I can sense when I am close to God or farther away- it is my choice. I can often sense from others their mood, their emotions, and sometimes their thoughts. I can sense when they have been disharmonious and unwholesome for a long time. But I cannot judge this issue of quality. I believe that is God's place and not mine.

I am not sure what you mean by re-birth- whether literal or metaphoric, and how much you are meaning as in "born again" in the Christian parlance. If I know what you mean, I could speak to it, but for now it's unclear to me.

But the one thing we can have in common is the awareness of the foolishness and harm of expressions of negativity including condemnation, righteous indignation, and the whole nine yards in relation to decent people searching in their own way for "meaning."

I think indignation has its place, and that place is to try to prevent unnecessary suffering when we can, particularly in environmental and social justice. But in terms of beliefs or religion or what have you, it's unhelpful. Why condemn people when you can love them?
 

Netti-Netti

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Yet at the same time I feel for and support these ugly ducklings like Simone who cannot be defined as a cog within society but struggle for individuality in a way that seems foreign to us.
Why would it be foreign? Do you live in the US? Individualism is the collectivism of American society. It's iconic, but it's about as special as apple pie. If everyone is an individualist, then they're just like everyone else with some minor, superficial variations.

A "free thinker" is just another established and widely recognized social type that has a few added narcissistic benefits, but the individual is still basically locked in competitive top-dog mind set. The Urban Dictionary defines a free thinker as "an elitist misanthrope who is infatuated with his pretense of learning." If it's really important to you to prove how smart you are, become a professional intellectual and see if you can get million dollar research grants and 100+ publications in peer reviewed journals; but don't go walking around in some fantasy of being unique when everyone else is doing the same thing.

The notion of being a self-contained individual is largely a fantasy. Initially, our developmental process involves identification with parents. We tend to identify with same-sex parents because they are more like us and this helps (to some degree) keep traditional gender role going. As we get older, our developmental process moves into the social realm where we acquire culture-bound communications skill and some basic ideas of social coordination.

Apart from our experience, evolutionary psychology, developmental social learning theory, and systems theory shows us that there is no such thing as a human situation defined in terms of Individualism/Collectivism polarities. This kind of disjunctive, dichotomous thinking ends up giving rise to a highly abstract - if not highly artificial - philosophical ideal that can pose various practical lifestyle problems of adaptation, including but not limited to virtual realities that are marginally subject to reality testing and social validation and which are for that reason cut off from involvement in a real community.
The belief in self-contained individualism, where the self is a "hermetic and self-sufficient whole, one whose elements constitute a closed system presuming nothing beyond themselves, not other utterances" ... and where one can ultimately "choose" whether or not to be in a relationship, is fundamentally erroneous. Individualism sets up an opposition between autonomy and dependence. Any trace of dependence is viewed as negative, as a constraint to one’s freedom.
CREATIVITY: BEYOND INDIVIDUALISM AND COLLECTIVISM

I would add that a negative idea of freedom is freedom from coercion and external demands for conformity. This idea of freedom includes nothing in the way of creative possibilities. Instead it puts a premium on defiance and resistance while encouraging various reaction formations against a sense of dependence which has been defined by the individual as unacceptable for purposes of their sense of identity.

It is said that the crisis of adulthood is most effectively met by those who've met the crisis of adolescence. This makes obvious sense, but sounds deterministic. The reason another person is ultimately unknowable is because they can transcend their limitations through a true and constant demonstration of your true identity as a unique child of G-d, who is actually making this journey with you. To me at least, that's what it means to have a personal relationship with G-d.

 

Nick_A

Interfaith Forums
Messages
2,264
Reaction score
1
Points
0
[/size][/font]

Well, not exactly. I define "being" variously. What I mean is that different beings are different. I do not believe it is my place or capacity to judge another being's quality or closeness to Being Itself, that is to God. The only thing I feel that I can assess, and even then relatively poorly, is my own quality of being and closeness to Being Itself. This assessment is a relative truth, to use the Buddhist concept. The absolute truth is that I'm already in Being Itself. But I have failed to consistently be conscious of it, so it is irrelevant until I am beyond relative truth.

That might have been a bit difficult to understand. Sorry. It is difficult to express.

That said, I simply do not believe that I have the capacity to assess another's quality of being, so I treat all beings with as much respect as I can. And I believe I can learn from everything- from the trees, the water, the wind. I am not interested in where I or another is relative to God, because that is not something I can know, nor is it something useful for me to know. I am interested in drawing close to God, and through this, drawing close to all beings in love and compassion. I do not need to know their quality to have compassion and love them.



I see no reason to have animosity over difference. Difference makes life interesting and allows me to learn and, dare I say, sometimes to teach. I can disagree strongly with someone and still have affection for them. In fact, many of the people I deeply value in my own life are those who challenge me, respectfully but strongly. That's what aids growth for me and deepens my own experience of self-reflection.



I am not sure there are not unique ideals I would respect, but marriage in general is not one of them, at least not in terms of sexual orientation. It's the wrong thread to discuss that issue, but biologically there are simply more possibilities than what we think of as man and woman, and husband and wife.

I do think marriage is sacred but to me that has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but rather a relationship to another's spirit. Marriage is a spiritual commitment to me, not a social-sexual one.



Thanks. :) I don't know that I'd say I'm a good person, but I know I try to be a good person by allowing myself to unfold more and more into compassion. I have lots and lots of flaws and faults, though.



Simone doesn't seem foreign to me. I don't agree with everything she says, but I think it's a rarity for me to agree with everything anyone says. But she doesn't seem foreign or even eccentric. She just seems blunt about her observations and at times, unforgiving, though that's not the feeling I get from her. But I could see how it would come across that way.



I think there are more than we know. Not everyone who does so writes books or teaches workshops. There are probably a fair number of folks who have attained this sort of consciousness, but weren't in a life position to be noticed for it.



I think you're overly hard on yourself, but for some people perhaps it is important to be for a while. While Jesus' destruction may have been necessary, I don't think it is necessary for all "special" people. Many saints and masters were not destroyed, yet their lives were very meaningful and I can learn a lot from them.



I'm afraid I can't respond to that adequately. I am not a very complex thinker in terms of how I approach the question. I can sense when I am close to God or farther away- it is my choice. I can often sense from others their mood, their emotions, and sometimes their thoughts. I can sense when they have been disharmonious and unwholesome for a long time. But I cannot judge this issue of quality. I believe that is God's place and not mine.

I am not sure what you mean by re-birth- whether literal or metaphoric, and how much you are meaning as in "born again" in the Christian parlance. If I know what you mean, I could speak to it, but for now it's unclear to me.



I think indignation has its place, and that place is to try to prevent unnecessary suffering when we can, particularly in environmental and social justice. But in terms of beliefs or religion or what have you, it's unhelpful. Why condemn people when you can love them?


The scale of "being" doesn't suggest the idea of good and evil. A staircase has steps on it. One step isn't better than another and without the steps the staircase cannot function. The universe is like an immense staircase with everything being necessary.

It is far more complex than this but just assume that the lowest level of being (it isn't) was a mineral. The next higher would be a vegetable. On top of that would be the lower animals, then the invertebrates, and then the vertebrates followed by Man which connects mechanical life below with he conscious realms above.

There is no good and bad in this but simply a necessary staircase. Man is unique in that his primary purpose is to serve the mechanical cyclical process of man on earth but with the potential to serve a conscious purpose. Man's being is then relative and spans the gap between mechanical reaction or our normal lives along with the lives of the rest of organic life on earth and conscious action which is our potential beyond the confines of the earth and beyond our conception as creatures of the earth but are called to by higher consciousness that touches are spiritual part.

I think there are more than we know. Not everyone who does so writes books or teaches workshops. There are probably a fair number of folks who have attained this sort of consciousness, but weren't in a life position to be noticed for it.

People may try but only a few can succeed just as only a few acorns can become oaks. If Thoreau is right in this following excerpt, it is far more difficult and incomprehensible then we can imagine.

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

I am not sure what you mean by re-birth- whether literal or metaphoric, and how much you are meaning as in "born again" in the Christian parlance. If I know what you mean, I could speak to it, but for now it's unclear to me.
The closest analogy to Christian re-birth is the natural process of metamorphosis where a caterpillar can undergo a change of its being and become a butterfly.

John 12

23Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

This is the transition of one quality of being into another. Paul describes it as the conscious transition from the natural body to the spiritual body in 1 Corinthians 15. it is not something we can comprehend from the point of view of the natural body. All we can feel is what the caterpillar mechanically reacts to which is the potential for a change of being. For us it is the inner awareness of something more than what lives our lives.

It has to be very rare but if the seed is good it is worth preserving in what is called salvation. However, what the spiritual body is capable of as associated with the "kingdom", if it indeed does exist, is a quality of consciousness, of inner unity, that is beyond us as we are since we are a plurality in a constant state of inner opposition.
 

Nick_A

Interfaith Forums
Messages
2,264
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Why would it be foreign? Do you live in the US? Individualism is the collectivism of American society. It's iconic, but it's about as special as apple pie. If everyone is an individualist, then they're just like everyone else with some minor, superficial variations.

A "free thinker" is just another established and widely recognized social type that has a few added narcissistic benefits, but the individual is still basically locked in competitive top-dog mind set. The Urban Dictionary defines a free thinker as "an elitist misanthrope who is infatuated with his pretense of learning." If it's really important to you to prove how smart you are, become a professional intellectual and see if you can get million dollar research grants and 100+ publications in peer reviewed journals; but don't go walking around in some fantasy of being unique when everyone else is doing the same thing.

The notion of being a self-contained individual is largely a fantasy. Initially, our developmental process involves identification with parents. We tend to identify with same-sex parents because they are more like us and this helps (to some degree) keep traditional gender role going. As we get older, our developmental process moves into the social realm where we acquire culture-bound communications skill and some basic ideas of social coordination.

Apart from our experience, evolutionary psychology, developmental social learning theory, and systems theory shows us that there is no such thing as a human situation defined in terms of Individualism/Collectivism polarities. This kind of disjunctive, dichotomous thinking ends up giving rise to a highly abstract - if not highly artificial - philosophical ideal that can pose various practical lifestyle problems of adaptation, including but not limited to virtual realities that are marginally subject to reality testing and social validation and which are for that reason cut off from involvement in a real community.
The belief in self-contained individualism, where the self is a "hermetic and self-sufficient whole, one whose elements constitute a closed system presuming nothing beyond themselves, not other utterances" ... and where one can ultimately "choose" whether or not to be in a relationship, is fundamentally erroneous. Individualism sets up an opposition between autonomy and dependence. Any trace of dependence is viewed as negative, as a constraint to one’s freedom.
CREATIVITY: BEYOND INDIVIDUALISM AND COLLECTIVISM

I would add that a negative idea of freedom is freedom from coercion and external demands for conformity. This idea of freedom includes nothing in the way of creative possibilities. Instead it puts a premium on defiance and resistance while encouraging various reaction formations against a sense of dependence which has been defined by the individual as unacceptable for purposes of their sense of identity.

It is said that the crisis of adulthood is most effectively met by those who've met the crisis of adolescence. This makes obvious sense, but sounds deterministic. The reason another person is ultimately unknowable is because they can transcend their limitations through a true and constant demonstration of your true identity as a unique child of G-d, who is actually making this journey with you. To me at least, that's what it means to have a personal relationship with G-d.

We define individuality by conditioned standards simply because we don't know what it means not to do so. So yes, the country is built on individualism but is that the limit of individuality?

The belief in self-contained individualism, where the self is a "hermetic and self-sufficient whole, one whose elements constitute a closed system presuming nothing beyond themselves, not other utterances" ... and where one can ultimately "choose" whether or not to be in a relationship, is fundamentally erroneous. Individualism sets up an opposition between autonomy and dependence. Any trace of dependence is viewed as negative, as a constraint to one’s freedom

The author doesn't understand those like Simone. It isn't self contained but rather connected to higher consciousness rather than being defined by society taking the place of higher consciousness.

Simone Weil On Society and Solitude - Articles - House of Solitude - Hermitary

According to Weil, the person's accession to society, the individual's renunciation of values to the collective as defined by a small group, is based on ignorance and fear, fear that without society (which is to say the state), people will collapse into crime and evil. The social and collective is seen as transcending individuals, as a supernatural entity from which nationalism and war is as normal as science, progress, and consumption. All of these evils are taking place simultaneously in a social context. The individual has probably never reflected on these issues at all, never acknowledged his or her degree of complicity in this system. But, say the apologist for the Great Beast, the individual need have no direct responsibility,
The collective is the object of all idolatry, this it is which chains us to the earth. In the case of avarice, gold is the social order. In the case of ambition, power is the social order.
Thus society itself is the Great Beast, not some particular product of society, not even the state, the mode of production, the capitalist class, or any other social product. The weight of humanity is a heavy and ponderous gravity, a force but a contrived force to which the individual remains oblivious.
As long as one accepts the "totem," and subordinates all values to the collective, the contrived dichotomy of good and evil will trap individuals in fear. But the solution to the dilemma Weil depicts is not Nietzsche's transcendence of morality but a simple perception of the nature of society, of the nature of the "Great Beast."
It is the social which throws the color of the absolute over the relative. The remedy is in the idea of relationship. Relationship breaks its way out of the social. It is the monopoly of the individual. Society is the cave. The way out is solitude.


Human Individuality is not defined by ones relationship to society but rather the objective quality of ones relationship to higher consciousness. without it, a person has no objective individuality but rather individuality is just ones method of adaptation rather then becoming what one IS.
 

path_of_one

Embracing the Mystery
Messages
2,906
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Under the Stars
The scale of "being" doesn't suggest the idea of good and evil. A staircase has steps on it. One step isn't better than another and without the steps the staircase cannot function. The universe is like an immense staircase with everything being necessary.


Oh, I've heard all that before and the staircase analogy and so forth. But I notice I can learn from every being, mineral, plant, or animal, so why bother thinking of myself as somehow higher or them as somehow lower? I can draw nearer to God without judging other beings' quality. For me, where I am at, so to speak, relative to other beings, is irrelevant.

I also think it's a culturally-based worldview to privilege humans in creation as something super-special. Many indigenous religions do not view the world that way, and I think there is something we can learn from them, since many of them promoted sustainable and relatively equitable human life for thousands of years. They had their problems like anyone, but I think a good deal of our sustainability problems is our tendency to see other life as less sentient and conscious than our own, which generally yields a lack of respect for it. Again, I look to what is useful, to what bears good fruit in the world. I've not seen how ordering life into higher and lower groupings does anything for anybody. It may give people a sense of order in life, but it doesn't seem to assist people in any way aside from making them feel good.

The closest analogy to Christian re-birth is the natural process of metamorphosis where a caterpillar can undergo a change of its being and become a butterfly.

How is that different from Buddhist enlightenment to you?

it is not something we can comprehend from the point of view of the natural body. All we can feel is what the caterpillar mechanically reacts to which is the potential for a change of being. For us it is the inner awareness of something more than what lives our lives.

I think Eckhart Tolle described this quite well- the awakening of the other-self that watches the body/mind self. This seems to happen in all religions, to those open to it.

It has to be very rare but if the seed is good it is worth preserving in what is called salvation.

Why does it have to be very rare?

However, what the spiritual body is capable of as associated with the "kingdom", if it indeed does exist, is a quality of consciousness, of inner unity, that is beyond us as we are since we are a plurality in a constant state of inner opposition.

Doesn't it seem that you're assuming that "we" are a plurality in a constant state of inner opposition? It seems that is a big assumption- as everyone is different. Please don't take offense, but you seem to be a bit of a pessimist. You often look toward the worst in humanity and talk in a way that seems despairing about yourself, others, the world around you. I look and see that there is joy and pain, beauty and ugliness... and figure why sit around despairing about it? Roll up my shirt sleeves and get to work...

If I feel inner opposition, reflect on that and change it so I am in harmony. If I feel opposition in the world, reflect on that and work toward peace. Any task seems enormous, but the reality is we need only to step forward one moment at a time, and that is very do-able.

Rather than focus on what I wish were different, I focus on a goal-state of being. My husband once said of mountain biking- if you focus on the rock in your path, you'll hit it. Focus on a smooth, clear part of the path out in front of you, and your body will cooperate and help you miss it. Or as my dressage trainer told me- if you wish to ride in harmony, spent a lot of time thinking about a perfect, harmonious ride. Do not focus on your mistakes you made, or you are setting your brain and body to repeat them.

If I focus on inner turmoil, I develop more inner turmoil. It can be no other way, because my brain will interpret my focus as my goal. If I focus on my inability or turmoil or what have you, it becomes my goal state in my brain. I am feeding it, energizing it, and maintaining it. If, however, I focus on the ideal state without judgment, that becomes my goal state, and my brain and body cooperate with me to further me toward that way of being, that consciousness.
 
Top