A Serious Matter

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by davidelkins, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. davidelkins

    davidelkins Interfaith Forums

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    If someone were to ask me, ‘Where does evil come from?’, I’d respond and say, ‘It would come from blaming others and Blaming Others is not ‘some other person.’ It would come if I blamed some other person.
     
  2. AllenPapapetrou

    AllenPapapetrou New Member

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    Hi David,

    AMP (Among Other Perspectives), I hold the existence of "evil" is an incorrect delusion of Unenlightened Ones. For them "evil" is a belief which Enlightened Ones know is not True.

    Aloha.. Allen

     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Rather depends on how Enlightened these Enlightened Ones actually are, I suppose.

    When we begin explaining evil away, that's when it runs unchecked.
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Here is a quote from a Theosophist named Annie Besant, in her book The Path of Discipleship

    "We sometimes hear the question, 'Why does God allow so much evil in the world?' The author quoted below is saying that we must freely choose to be good, and at the next level of existence only good people will be allowed in. We must allow people here at this level to be good or bad, so they can make that choice freely:

    "And then the question arises - as I know it arises in many minds, for it has been put to me both in the East and in the West over and over again - why so much difficulty in the evolution, why so much apparent failure in the working, why should men go wrong so much before they go right, why should they run after the evil that degrades them instead of following the good that would ennoble them? Was it not possible for the LOGOS of our universe, for the Devas who are His Agents, for the great Manus who came to guide our infant humanity - was it not possible for Them to plan so that there might be no such apparent failure in the working out? Was it not possible for Them to guide so that the road might have been a straight and direct one instead of so devious, so circuitous?

    "Here comes the point that makes the evolution of humanity so difficult, having in view the object which is to be gained. Easy in truth would it have been to have made a humanity that might have been perfect, easy to have so guided its dawning powers that those powers might have travelled towards what we call the good continually, and never have turned aside towards what we call evil. But what would have been the condition of such an easy accomplish­ment? It must have been that man would have been an automaton, moved by a compelling force without him which imperiously laid upon him a law which he was compelled to fulfil, from which he could not escape. The mineral world is under such a law; the affinities that bind atom to atom obey such an imperious com­pulsion. But as we rise higher we find greater and greater freedom gradually making its appearance, until in man we see a spontaneous energy, a freedom of choice, which is really the dawning manifestation of the God, of the Self, which is beginning to show itself through man. And the object, the goal which was to be attained, was not to make automata who should blindly follow a path sketched out for their treading, but to make a reflection of the LOGOS Himself, to make a mighty assemblage of wise and perfected men who should choose the best because they know and understand it, who should reject the worst because by experience they have learnt its inadequacy and the sorrow to which it leads. So that in the universe of the future, as amongst all the great Ones who are guiding the universe of today, there should be unity gained by consensus of wills, which have become one again by knowledge and by choice, which move with a single purpose because they know the whole, which are identical with the Law because they have learned that the Law is good, who choose to be one with the Law not by an outside compulsion, but by an inner acquiescence. Thus in that universe of the future there will be one Law, as there is in the present, carried out by means of Those who are the Law by the unity of Their purpose, the unity of Their knowledge, the unity of Their power - not a blind and unconscious Law, but an assemblage of living beings who are the Law, having become divine. There is no other road by which such goal might be reached, by which the free­will of the many should reunite into the one great Nature and the one great Law, save a process in which experience should be garnered, in which evil should be known as well as good, failure as well as triumph. Thus men become Gods, and because of the experience that lies behind them, they will, they think, they feel, the same."

    Besant, Annie, The Path of Discipleship, paragraphs 3-4 (online)
    Theosophy : Path of Discipleship by Mahatma Annie Besant : :

    Besant, Annie, The Path of Discipleship, pages 9-11 (hardcopy)
    Quest Books
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the Romance Movement for you ...
     
  6. AllenPapapetrou

    AllenPapapetrou New Member

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    FMP, one is either Enlightened or not. It's not a matter of degree. Along the paths of Spiritual Purification, Spiritual Awakening, incorrect delusions, such as the existence of evil, drop away.

    Evil never runs unchecked because it does not exist.

    So, I must ask you now: Please define evil.

    Aloha.. Allen
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    FMP, what constitutes 'Enlightened' too often seems to be a matter of opinion.

    FMP, in this finite existence of ours, everything is a matter of degree, bar 'the one thing necessary'. Show me something that is not a matter of degree.

    I can cite too many 'Enlightened Ones' who would declare that statement itself a delusion.

    Oh, I think the history of the last century, and the start of this, tells another story.

    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me."
    Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

    Try telling the victims of the Shoa they are suffering a Grand Delusion. Or the victims of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

    Evil is the doing, with the full and prior knowledge and assent of the will, that which we know it would be better not to do.

    The evil we inflict on others, as a consequence of our wrong actions, is its matter, but its substance has not foundation in the Divine, and as such it is illusory because it can neither sustain us, nor itself. It exists only in that we feed it, and in our feeding we are ourselves corrupted. It is an addiction and, like any addiction, eventually destroys its host.

    Nature punishes us for our mistakes, heaven for our wrongs. The error of our ways is not seeing the error for what it is.

    Aristotle speaks of the Four Causes. Without getting into a protracted discussion of philosophy, I think I can say there is the First Cause, by which all things arise, and the Final Cause in which they find their rest. (The Material and Formal Causes are matters of contingency.)

    God is Good, that is a dogma of the Abrahamic traditions, if not all authentic Tradition. Evil cannot arise in God, nor rest in God, any more than darkness can rise from light, nor rest in it. So in that provisional sense it has no Real existence, as darkness has no actual existence. It is not a presence, it's an absence.

    But here, among us, in this world, that absence can be experienced – as real as we are – at every level of our being.
     
  8. AllenPapapetrou

    AllenPapapetrou New Member

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    Yous may be a finite existence, mine is not limited to just the "finite".
    Then, simply, they are not Enlightened Ones.
    I don't live in that realm.
    The perspective which frames in terms of Good and an opposite is, for me, delusional. The perspective which frames existence outside of God is. for me, delusional.

    I have entered into a resting place of Unconditional Love and Bliss. I still have my out of balance moments, for I am not an Enlightened One. My moments of delusion are becoming fewer and briefer.

    Aloha.. Allen

     
  9. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Quote:
    Thomas: I can cite too many 'Enlightened Ones' who would declare that statement itself a delusion.

    Allen: Then, simply, they are not Enlightened Ones.

    Allen it seems to me that you have missed the point. It is not simple at all. Everyone can point to themselves and say they are the truly enlightened, and everyone else is not. There is no structure to support your version of enlightenment from someone else's. And you both believe you have it right.

    You also said:
    The perspective which frames in terms of Good and an opposite is, for me, delusional. The perspective which frames existence outside of God is. for me, delusional.

    I have entered into a resting place of Unconditional Love and Bliss. I still have my out of balance moments, for I am not an Enlightened One. My moments of delusion are becoming fewer and briefer.


    This next statement is in no way meant to be insulting. And I am assuming a great deal hinted about you but not stated as fact. You have stated that you are retired, living comfortably in Hawaii. My assumption is that means you have the financial stability to do so.

    You are free to ignore reality because your little corner of it is very lovely indeed. It is a lot easier to live an unconditional resting place of love and bliss under these circumstances. Seems to me it would not be so simple to accomplish if you lived in one of the countries where ethnic cleansing is a daily horror.

    From my perspective this is much like lifetime college professors who live within a bubble of serenity; who have little experience or perspective of what life is like for those who live outside that ivory tower.
     
  10. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I don't a problem so much with there not being any support, there isn't for so many things, but more that it's based on circular reasoning. That very fact puts me off the notion that some people have come farther at being what we are suppose to be. I can see clearly because I can see clearly.
     
  11. AllenPapapetrou

    AllenPapapetrou New Member

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    For moderators:
    I'm here to discover my out of Balance areas. I am here to learn. I am going to reference my Bliss book below because I feel my reply to GK's comments require this of me. I don't care if anyone ever buys any of my books. That said:

    Ah, GK nice to hear from you again.
    A couple of definition as I generally use them:
    To Know: To directly experience.
    To Understand: To symbolically represent what you experience (know).

    In the context of the material you quoted, I know my statements are true. I know from direct experience. I know that it is very simple. Prior to the simplicity revealed by my experiences I spent years of confused searching. I am no longer searching for happiness, bliss, I've got them already.

    I am not searching for enlightenment, because I don't care. It happens fine. It doesn't happen, fine.

    Also, I no longer consciously seeking protection from anything. I repeat I am here searching for other Bliss Masters, like myself. I am also here to learn from other forum members like you, to bring into my everyday awareness any out of balance delusions I may still carry. And pass through them to the Truth and Love which I Know they rest upon.
    Could it be, GK, that I consciously created my environment in Hawaii to provide an everyday environment of joy and beauty.

    I've lived on Kauai for over 10 years, and like so many who have moved here I discovered I had emotional habits which were counter production. I am now Kama'aina - a local.

    I moved Kauai from Florida without ever having been here. I moved into a hovel of a 1 bedroom house without ever having seen it. I decided on Nov 25 2004 to move to Kauai and, on Nov 28 I returned a signed lease to my new landlord.

    In Florida I lived on a wooded 1/2 acre bordering a small lake. By the first week I sold my home to a friend and left him a house full of furniture.

    In 6 weeks or so I will be living on the Big Island. I will never have been on the property or inside the house I'm buying until after the closing. I am moving away from people I love, who love me. I am moving to people I love who will love me.

    For me, everything I experience is sacred. Every person, every action.
    I relish reality. Especially at Costco with a Polish Sausage, bun, onion, and deli mustard.

    Over 20 years ago I had an insight which translates into the following words:
    Realize that every moment of my life is the most ridiculous moment that ever was, is, or will be. Also realize that same moment is the most serious moment that ever was, is, or will.
    This insight has influenced me continually since then.

    Here come de moderator part:
    If you'd like to know more about my experiences which brought me to today then get my Bliss for Humans book at Amazon. Or don't. Doesn't matter to me, because whether you consciously know it or not (as Mike said to Jubal): "You are God!" And everyone else is too.

    Aloha.. Allen
    __________
    Know of any Living Bliss Masters, Please contact me
     
  12. AllenPapapetrou

    AllenPapapetrou New Member

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    Hi T,
    The catch is, T, the only support I know of is to directly experience it yourself. Kinda like what Prof. Leonard Smith told me 45 years ago: "Once you've got it, Advanced Calculus is simple."

    In my experience Dr. Smith was more correct than he probably ever knew.

    Aloha.. Allen:cool:

     
  13. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    Me thinks the self appointed philosophical hierarchy and pseudo intellectuals have met their match....:p
     
  14. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Pseudo-intellectuals, NJ?

    Mr. Dictionary defines the word thusly:
    pseudo-intellectual. a person exhibiting intellectual pretensions that have no basis in sound scholarship. a person who pretends an interest in intellectual matters for reasons of status. of, pertaining to, or characterized by fraudulent intellectuality; unscholarly.

    I would like to believe that most folks here rise above that level, even if we have our differences in opinion. Would you agree?
     
  15. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Allen I cannot stand relish. But replace with sauerkraut and I will happily partake right next to you.
     
  16. AllenPapapetrou

    AllenPapapetrou New Member

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    From my university days I remember a great hot dog restaurant in Tampa Florida: Lum's.

    A pitcher of beer, onion rings, and a dog. All kind of dogs. My first sauerkraut dog. I'll join you with the sauerkraut.

    Aloha.. Allen

     
  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I have tried to get to grips with know and understand, but I don't know it I got anywhere. Here is my honest attempt. http://www.interfaith.org/forum/knowledge-and-understanding-16393.html

    I'm a questioner, so I doubt could simply accept any such experience. I would try to figure out why I experienced it in as many perspectives as I could think of and never settle in in any of them. I don't...trust Bliss, it sounds too easy!
     
  18. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Wait! You think what I did was a personal attack and then you go with this?
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nor is mine, but elements of it are. I am the marriage of spirit and matter, that is my world, and 'the human margin' operates on its interface.

    The confusion between what is Universal (and infinite), and what is Particular (and finite) is commonplace in contemporary speculation in this field. My eyesight is limited by finitude; my insight is unlimited.

    Shankara? Eckhart? Rumi? Really?

    Who do you consider 'Enlightened'? By what measure do you determine it?

    Lucky you. They did. Millions still do.

    It's not enough to refute something because you've never experienced it. That's just ignorance. Marie Antionette said 'let them eat cake', not out of sarcasm, but ignorance.

    Had the case been different, you might know otherwise.

    No one's arguing otherwise. This is your assumption.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK. But do try and see that the teachings of the Great Traditions transcend the knowable and the experiential.

    You argue that you are not in or of the finite realm, but the process of experiencing is itself a finite. If one's knowledge is limited to that which is directly experienced, then the horizon is a finite one, albeit blissful and carefree.

    OK. You're at peace with that ... but that, dare I say, does not necessarily mean one is 'Enlightened'.

    Why? 'Bliss' is an experience, but the Great Traditions do not, it seems to me, define Bliss as you appear to. You've argued your right to redefine terms according to your viewpoint, OK, a tad reductive, it seems to me, but that's your bag ... but that will inevitably result in confusion, and it does rather seem to me you've made certain assumptions regarding 'bliss' that I'm not sure the wisdom literature of the world would subscribe to.

    I think you overate 'experience', and here is, for me, the nub of the issue.

    Why do you have to experience something to believe in it? And how does one come to terms with the practice of asceticism, of self-denial, and above all, if the great mystics are to be believed, detachment?

    Bliss, achieved by detaching oneself from all mental and material cares, and ignoring the world ... I have my doubts.

    Here's a serious matter.

    Do I believe in an 'afterlife' as proposed by the Great Traditions? Do I believe in 'heaven' or 'nirvana'? Well, I hope so.

    Is it necessary? No. If it proved not to be the case, would that alter your beliefs? No.

    All this discussion of a 'reward' (and it seems to me to be viewed in somewhat materialist terms these days. I'm not sure our forebears ever saw it that way) might well be what the Buddhists refer to as an upaya, an expedient pedagogy.
     

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