The Perennial Philosophy

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Tadashi, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Or! She was actually turned thus!

    Very much so! I can not help but feel that cutting anything away from a shrub is still unnatural for it's development. But if it is so that we are but flowers in a garden and our Lord is it's gardener then the words fits nicely! (Or should I say 'very well', Thomas?)
     
  2. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Hmmmm. If by 'unnatural' you mean that any pruning is an outside force that changes the fate of the pruned plant, as opposed to allowing the plant to thrive or wilt on its own - I have to agree with you. Good insight.

    Your second analogy I'm not so sure of. As I understand it, God gave us free will, then stepped back to let us do our own pruning. The Lord may be the gardener, but he left the pruning to us.
     
  3. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    I think Thomas is alluding that the tree is mankind and bad branches are condemned souls that will be 'cut off' and thrown away to keep the tree (mankind) healthy. (Am I right, Thomas?)

    So, it may not be the case of an individual soul going through 'pruning' to be a better soul... But the link from tentmaker.org Skull posted (#149) explains the verse differently and I like that one better.

    As for 'against it's own nature', how about our materialistic/physical worldly desires, which are 'natural' for us to have but don't serve us well and often cause us to be selfish, get pruned to make us holier?

    I actually need to fully examine all those materials Nick and Skull have given me about Theosophy to be able to answer your question. It may take a half year or longer... will you wait?

    Tad
     
  4. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Hi Thomas,
    (Me:Black, You:Blue)

    You should hear what the Dalai Lama said when it was explained why Christians don't believe in reincarnation.

    Oh, what did he say? Someone explained to him why Christians don't believe in reincarnation? (with a similar theory you illustrated?) I'm sure with the level of high intelligence His Holiness possesses, he would 'understand' what you mean. ;) But he wouldn't change his mind about reincarnation though, would he? And you don't mind him believing in reincarnation, do you?


    ... but the point is, what happens to the stuff that is cut off or pruned?

    Am I right about 'pruning' that you picture to be what I said in the reply to ACOT (#163)?
    In your interpretation, are we (each individual) a tree that receives pruning? or are we a branch that gets cut off if it's bad?


    That's where context and metaphysics comes in.

    Care to expand on this?
    (but within the scope of a person who is only half as smart as you...)


    No. Purgatory is the process of bringing the imperfect to perfection.
    Why I favour the Christian notion of purgatory over reincarnation is the former is a conscious process, it's a 'dialogue'. I find reincarnation to be somewhat kafkaesque.

    Oh tell me, how does purgatory work in a nutshell? Or could you provide me an article (relatively short, I hope) that explains it?


    The thing is, we know the meaning of nice has changed, so we can accurately read how it was used in its original context.
    Then we compare the texts containing the word, to get a sense of its use and its meaning.
    So we're not quite so in the dark as some assume.

    I agree with you that we are not totally in the dark, I'm only saying that we can't be completely certain either.


    Well hang on. Follow that line of thought, and you're obliged to throw out everything.

    No, we don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We shouldn't distrust 'everything', but we should always keep a healthy dose of skepticism.


    That's hard for me to believe, too.

    Yay, we agree at last! :D


    Well 'conscience' covers a multitude of sins, though, doesn't it? I mean, some people 'in good conscience' believe God is telling them to murder other people. Individuals are fallible.

    You mean like the kind of atrocities that are recorded in the OT? In my view, those regretful events happened because people let their conscience become compromised by the intimidation from authorities who claimed that they understood God's will and scared the common people like, "you'd better listen to us and do as we say, 'cause you're not smart (or holy) enough to understand God yourself."


    I think 'Tradition' is the means by which the text is preserved from becoming dead writing on the page.

    'The text' Tradition has preserved includes the entire OT too, doesn't it? You know I have a big beef with the genocides (allegedly commanded by God) in the OT... but the people who upheld Tradition (early church fathers) didn't have any problems with those parts?:confused: I know Marcion did (I don't agree with his entire theology, 'cause I'm not a ditheist, but I'm with him on that the God of the OT is not compatible with the God Jesus spoke of), but he was deemed heretic and excommunicated.


    By clinging on to the notion of the self.

    Do you mean, by being selfish?
    I still don't get a clear picture of what it means to 'reject God'...


    Yes ... I call that purgatory.

    You mean, 'yes' to "everyone eventually comes to love Him"? If so then, aren't you a Universalist too, no? Also from your 'Hell is empty' theory #2 & #3, you sound like you are open to the idea of Universalism, am I mistaken?


    What makes you think reincarnation means salvation?
    Why can it not be a process of things getting steadily worse?

    No, reincarnation itself doesn't mean salvation. It only means no eternal damnation.
    Why do I think things won't get steadily worse? Because I can see that we have an ability to learn, so I believe, so do our souls.

    +++

    The problem with 'Christian Universalism', or the doctrine of apocatastasis, is that, in the end, nothing matters ...

    ... I mean, if we're gonna get there anyway, what's the fuss about?

    Let me put it this way. Suppose you're still single. You've met the woman of your dreams, she is so incredibly beautiful in every way (inside and out) and she loves you dearly. She is by far the BEST thing that ever happened to you. She makes your life so whole to the point it makes you feel your entire purpose of being born was to meet her. Suddenly your life makes perfect sense.

    Now you are meeting her this afternoon. You know that she is the most kind and also patient person on earth and will not ever get angry even if you were late, she'll wait for you until you show up for several hours or even days without being resentful. Does her leniency ever give you any kind of disincentive in hurrying to her?

    Will you ever go like, "naaa, no need to hustle, she won't get angry, she'll wait for me anyway, I wanna check out this new X-box and my fav TV show I tivo-ed first..." If so, then you really don't understand the greatness of her or love her, wouldn't you say?

    Or should she get mad at you, so that you won't make her wait? Do you think a person so wonderful such as she wants for you to come to her, with your reason being, 'avoiding her becoming angry' (iow, out of fear)?? Or does she want you to come to her, because you truly understand her greatness and can't wait to see her (iow, out of your great love and appreciation for her)??

    So, in my view, she really doesn't need to give you an ultimatum like, "if you don't show up by 3 p.m., you won't ever see me:mad:", if she has unconditional love for you:) and absolute confidence in herself.:cool:

    So, the fuss is about how incredibly wonderful and amazing she is, and not about if she gets angry and punishes you or not.

    I wonder if I was able to get my point across...?

    Tad
     
  5. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Nick and Skull,

    I realize I need to read what you guys have given me before asking more questions. You two both gave me a great outline of what Theosophy is, and I am indeed very intrigued.

    I cannot guarantee that every doctrine of Theosophy would make sense to me instantly, there may be some things I have to struggle to understand and that could take time as I'm struggling with Christianity (but just can't give it up yet because of my love for Jesus). I'll read those materials with an open-mind and try to absorb as much as I can.
    (I'll try to do more reading than writing from now on... so I'll probably slow down the posting. I have a lot to read... )

    So, if Skull is a Buddhist-Theosophist, I can become a Christian-Theosophist?
    (Sorry Thomas, I know you'd frown upon such mixture:(, but this is part of my journey...)

    Thank you again guys for your great help and insights you've given to me.:)

    Tad
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Tad,

    Yes, there are Christian Theosophists. Theosophy is one of the few philosophies that has had some success in bringing together Christians and non-Christians.

    It has not been easy. Arguments in the London group between Christian Theosophists and non-Christian Theosophists almost destroyed the London group about 100 years ago.

    But Christians are always welcome in Theosophy. Remember, the rule is, no Theosophist has the right to tell another Theosophist what to believe, and it is official Theosophical policy that both Christians and non-Christians are welcome to join Theosophy and attend Theosophical meetings.
     
  8. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    Tad:
    Of course! Also do not fuss too much about 'doctrinal' Theosophy. An open mind, along with working for universal brotherhood between all beings is the altruistic heart of a theosophist.

    Blavatsky even presented a contemporary exemplar of a good theosophist to her followers - he is now known as Saint Damien - the good Catholic father who took care of lepers.
     
  9. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I was only speculating, not wanting to disagree to much. As you both know by now, I don't have a lot of personal opinions on the subject.

    Of course I will! Looking forward to the day we look back to our first discussions.
     
  10. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Sorry to ruin very your good example, but you gave me two choices I didn't like, so I'll take another one. I don't fear her wrath, but I would not chose to hurt her. If she is patient because she isn't in any rush, she is fine with me coming when I'm ready then I would not rush if I had other things on my mind.

    It still works for my idea of a God.
     
  11. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    No, you didn't ruin my point at all.
    Yes, she will wait for any of us patiently until we have a strong inner desire to come to her.

    I know it's confusing the way I wrote the story, but 'wanting to come to her', in my view, does not mean 'recognizing God's existence'. I would put it more like 'desiring to do good', because in my belief, all the good we humans have comes from the guidance of what I call the cosmic conscience. If you want to be good, you're already guided by God, imho.

    So, you wouldn't say, "I have other things on my mind now, so I'll be a good person later...", would you? I can see that you're already a good person, that you value morals and ethics. So, to me, you've already come to her (Him), you just don't know it, but that's perfectly fine. ;)

    Tad
     
  12. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Thank you wil, for all those great quotes by His Holiness :)

    Tad
     
  13. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Thank you Nick, Skull, for your encouragement!
    You guys have opened a new door for me. I really like the magnanimous mentality Theosophy supports. :)


    Tad
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Tad, you said

    "I'm struggling with Christianity (but just can't give it up yet because of my love for Jesus)."

    --> I would like to give you my interpretation of "loving Jesus." I see "Jesus" as being our entire universe. So, what I hear you saying is, you love our entire universe. This is a good thing, and it fits nicely into my own personal belief system.

    In the same way, I do not see Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus, but a celebration of the birth of our entire universe.
     
  15. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Nick,

    That's a wonderful thought!
    最高のアイディア!

    Tad
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    He heard the line from Hebrews: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment" – he thought it spot on!

    Christ is the true vine.

    In the Perennial Tradition, the Way is fundamentally the discernment between the Real and the illusory; the Absolute and the contingent; Atma and Maya; the Word of God and the narratives of men.

    Catholic Metaphysics (Catholic in its original sense of 'Universal'), by its adamantine rigour, refers to the mystery of the Absolute and contemplates the Infinite.

    In authentic 'spirituality' (which is no different from authentic religion – the two are synonymous), the 'way' is to discern intuitively between the Absolute and the relative, and of prolonging this discernment onto planes that are relative.

    The contemplative is absorbed, in the 'ground' (to quote Meister Eckhart) of his or her being, in the consciousness of Being Itself.

    Regarding Purgatory –

    Sin is not a 'thing'. It's not in the act, it's in the intent. Sin itself has no 'substance' other than what we will. There is no Transcendent Truth in it, no Reality it it, no Beauty in it ... it's a narrative we create, or lend ourselves to.

    This narrative purports to be a 'way', whereas it leads nowhere because it's goal is imagined and without foundation in the Real. If we pursue it, the road is endless because it has no end in the eternal ... this is the symbol of ouroborus, the worm eating its tail. At some point, we run out of gas, or kid ourselves we have 'arrived'.

    Sin is most addictive, because it is empty of the essence it promises (some order of gratification), and the sinner is never satisfied, but always wants more.

    If we think of God as the Word, and Creation His song, then sin is a false narrative.

    If one seeks the good (as opposed to my gratification), then one is singing the true song, no matter how imperfectly or unknowingly.

    You die, and you meet Christ, and your eyes are opened, and you see your faults for what they are. You see that the song you were singing is perhaps not quite the song you thought it was.
    And He says "I can fix that, if you want?"
    I would look at Purgatory as a period of embarrassment.

    Like the ones going on in our name every day.

    But our understanding grow as we 'unpack' it ... It's a shame Bananabrain has stopped posting, because he could have answered this for you from a contemporary Jewish perspective.

    Short answer: God does not will evil. genocide is evil.

    Beatitude, Enlightenment, it's right here. 'You are more me than I am myself,' said Augustine. If our hearts were open, we'd know.

    Nick made the comment about the Pope 'telling Catholics what to think'.

    What I think of that, I shall keep to myself. I'm sure you can imagine.

    Our Lord said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life," but man wants to tell his own story, be the star in his own narrative. He wants to be his own way, his own truth, his own life. The centre of his own cosmos.

    So he 'needs space' to flex his autonomy, to 'do his own thing'. And in so doing he begins writing a false story, putting himself in place of God, and moving God to one side ...

    ... that today 'personal narrative', not matter how illusory or ill-founded, is more important than Truth or Reality says something about the 'Signs of the Times' that René Guénon tried so hard to alert people to.

    No, I mean everyone has the choice to open their hearts to God. But I cannot speak for everyone, it is a choice, not a predestination.

    I would rather say I am open to a Grace that transcends Necessity.

    But it goes on eternally ...

    It seems to me you're thinking of God as the exemplar of what a human being is. I don't think of God that way ...
     
  17. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Thomas,

    Thank you for your reply. You always give me food for thought.
    Although we may disagree on how we see Christianity and God, I greatly enjoy our conversation.

    I'll try to get back to you in a few days hopefully...

    Tad
     
  18. Nothingtoknow

    Nothingtoknow New Member

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    Is it OK if I ask how did you 'I came to the realization that God indeed exists.'

    Just curious, as I went just the opposite way a few years ago, and now feel I wasted a lot of time and energy in search of God and was futile.

    Will be grateful if you could share.
     
  19. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Hi Nothingtoknow,

    I just posted how I became to believe in God in another thread. So I'll repost here the pertinent part to your question.

    -- When I think about the way we developed our morality, how our conscience works, there are many aspects of it that cannot be satisfactorily explained by biology alone. This is what theists call 'moral argument' (you can google the phrase and many links will come up). This argument is what dramatically changed my worldview and how I ultimately arrived at the realization of a higher power or the law giver. --

    Of course, most atheists would dispute this, but so far I haven't heard of a cogent refutation from professional atheists (Harris, Hitchens(RIP), Krauss, Dawkins, etc.) that satisfied me. It seems to me all they do is to attack the God of the Bible, because the Bible being man-made, there are many errors and contradictions, it's an easy target. But I don't know how debunking the Bible can attest to the non-existence of God... There are other arguments for God, cosmological, ontological, etc... but I really don't care about those, because those arguments don't prove the goodness of God, but the moral argument does, so I'm sold on that one. ;)


    Tad
     
  20. Tadashi

    Tadashi New Member

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    Hi Thomas,

    Well, many of the things you wrote are again over my head and I think I'd just have to wait for me to grow spiritually more to understand them. So please think as though you scattered some seeds in my soul and some of them may germinate later in my life or in my next life or the one after that! hehe...:D So, I'll reply to you in only the parts I think I understood.

    I don't think our conversation about reincarnation will go anywhere but in circles, just like stuck in eternal reincarnations, haha... so this is my last question in regards to reincarnation(at least for now).
    What do you think of Kabbalah? Is it just another heretic belief in your view?

    Okay, I'll take this as "regardless of what we call ourselves (Christian, Buddhist, Agnostic/Atheist, etc.) we can all go to heaven" if we seek the good... Am I wrong to understand this way?

    SO, it was not God's will that those events happened, right? (I wish many more Christians would say that.) So, some of the Israelites 'misunderstood' what they thought God told them in some occasions, correct?

    I'll try to read Bananabrain's posts when I have time. Do you recommend any particular threads?

    So, how do we open our hearts to God? Is my heart not open to Him in your view, because I have the wrong theology (the wrong way of understanding God)?:(

    Because God made us in His image, God/Jesus is the exemplar of what we should be, and how we should love and live, no?

    You said God doesn't force us to love Him, which I completely agree. But if we scare people into believing in Him by the notion of hell, isn't that in a way forcing them to believe? If people believe in God out of fear of hell, is that really loving Him? :confused:

    Tad
     

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