Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by seattlegal, Sep 27, 2011.
The flesh? Mārā appears as a spirit, in the Sutras. As does Satan, in the Gospels.
Yes, Mara appears as "a spirit" as does Satan. I speak in my writing of Spirit only and nowhere of spirits as you think of them. Here I will share the Precis of my book/blog in its entirety, since it speaks to your question (I think):
Of a kind with all things living,
Man is of both
The flesh that sustains him and
The spirit that animates him.
Setting man apart and
Making him fully human, is
His awareness that
This is the case – that
He is both flesh and spirit
Deep in their hearts,
All men hear my whisperings, and
As clearly and as loudly
As one hears my voice,
To that extent is he
Ruled by spirit and
To that extent does
His desire for me
Determine the path of his life.
Alive to the flesh but
Dead to the spirit,
They that deny me
Are no less my children.
Estranged through the
Conditions and experiences –
The dispositions – of their lives,
Their spirits remain undefiled,
Returning, as do all,
To me in the end.
Hearing me from a distance,
My devotee comes to me by addition;
Believing me outside himself,
My devotee gives me a name, and
In naming me, pushes me away.
In the suffering of his isolation,
My devotee offers me his prayers and
Living a life pleasing to me
Secures his place in my eternity.
Hearing me not from a distance but
From within his own heart,
The renunciant is aware that
He IS not –
That Self is of the flesh and
Has no true being.
All that his mind thinks and
All that his hands create are
For this moment only and, like Self,
Have no true being.
Aware that I can be seen in this life
Only by subtraction,
The renunciant uproots Self and
Shuns all things temporal.
Detached from the world of the flesh and
The burdens of both heart and mind,
The renunciant grows
In love and in Charity, in
Undifferentiated and eternal
Hearing but denying my voice,
Hearing my voice but softly, or
Hearing my voice as a deafening roar,
All men walk the paths
Determined by their dispositions.
All men – non-believers, devotees, renunciants –
All men alike return, in the end,
To whence they came,
Their bodies returning to earth, and
Their spirits returning to me,
Devotees, those who hear Spirit from without, distinguish Spirit as an "other." Learning from his elders, the devotee identifies Spirit as good and identifies other spirits as evil.
Devotees are taught that Mara and Satan are "evil spirits" battling for the individual's soul.
Renunciants, those who hear Spirit from within, realize that the Self has no true being and, by renouncing Self, seek union with Spirit.
Renunciants equate "evil" with "obstructions to union with Spirit;" these are not willful entities but, rather, part of man's birthright. The struggle is to tip the balance from the flesh (in our infancy) to Spirit (in our maturity).
I get it, but let me stick to it a little bit longer. If Māro is not Spirit but a spirit, he's still not physical, not "flesh", right?
So are there three levels or categories in your cosmology - flesh, spirits, and Spirit (the latter in some non-dual sense)?
In my writing, "flesh" is used in the Biblical sense - worldly; not of Spirit. "Spirits" arise only with a duality that, seeing Spirit as "other," are part of the devotee's (and not the unbeliever's or renunciant's) world. Maro and Satan don't appear anywhere in my writing, since devotees of all faiths have enough of that in their respective traditions.
So spirits are worldly in your usage. I'll keep that in mind when reading your verses.
Next question, how isn't the difference between worldly phenomena and Spirit just the same old duality we all know? In other words, are there Spirit-free zones?
You won't find any mention of spirits in my writing. As for the "the same old duality we all know," I'm not sure just what you are referring to. Also, if you would read my book/blog in its entirety (it really isn't that long), my meaning might be clearer than looking at things piecemeal without the benefit of context.
I'm referring to this:
In what way is that not a duality? I'm not trying to trick you, this paradox is at the heart of the thing. Expressed differently, is there a Spirit-free zone (capital S in your terms)?
My context is this thread, which is about the Two Truths, abd Maro also popped up. And you brought up Spirit with an S, and non-dual poetry.
If I want to consume your blog, I'll do that, but right now I'm enjoying our discussion.
The two truths are one absolute and the other relative? The former is of Spirit and the latter of the flesh. I believe Mara "popped up" because you brought it into the conversation. Not sure why.
Please read my book/blog. If you find something in it that "resonates" with you, cool; take notes, reflect, read further from other sources which might also "resonate" on the same point, ask others who have read it (as you would any other resource) for their thoughts, repeat the process. If there is nothing there that "rings your bell," then that's cool, too. You might put it aside to read again in a few years ... or just delete it and move on.
You might want to read back a bit in a thread you're responding to. You know, for context. Also, since you encourage readers to read your blog & reflect on its content, it is not too far fetched to assume that you yourself practice what you preach, and enjoy reading.
Thanks for the invitation to learn from your blog, but so far, I'm good with what you write here. I'm not looking for a teacher.
You might enjoy the thread "Expressing spiritual or mystical things more deeply" in the "Alternative" section of the forums. Hope to see you there!
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