Interesting panel discussion on Guru Ethics

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Cino, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    What's more I guarantee such advanced souls refuse to take any money for passing on their enlightenment ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  2. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Starting to sound like yet another attempt by man to go it alone and create his own salvation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Sorry @Namaste Jesus For repeated editing.

    Perhaps there's an issue here, that one should not deny man the right to try to 'go it alone and create his own salvation.' Sure, give it your best shot. See how you go. But these people are not at all trying to do it alone.

    They are constantly searching for a newer human teacher/guru. An 'enlightened being' to guide them, switching and changing whom they pay for enlightenment.

    Classes and 'spiritual breathing' weekends and paid retreats and satsangs. Tea and cookies included in the price. I do find it all a bit sad, really.

    Take your pick. 5000 pages:
    http://www.nonduality.com/index.html

    Nonduality seems like the new word ...

    (post edited)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  4. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Sure, we were given the freedom to choose from the start. When I say 'go it alone' I mean bypassing God's word in favor of man's.

    Just skipping around, some of those teachings aren't bad. Pretty good actually. The few I read tend to reinforce a lot of Biblical ideals, though from an entirely different cultural perspective in some cases.

    I have no problem with Priests, Guru's, Sages, Mystics and the like. Many's the time I've sought counsel. My issue comes when rather than promoting greater understanding of God's word, their teachings supersede what is written and God is left out of the equation. Like, "Hey, look what I just came up with, follow me, listen to [my] word...." etc, etc, etc.
     
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  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I don't know if there's a single acronym. They are part of the "spiritual but not religious" thing for sure. Baby boomer generation are the founders here, but the tradition (very loosely understood) has had a couple of generations worth pf continuity now. The outlook is mainly based on non-dualism in its Western reception of Advaita Vedanta.

    The demographics you mention are spot on.

    So here is a movement which is fiercely individualistic and non-hierarchical. They feel the need to establish some common rules of conduct. I think it is fascinating to see this federation-driven approach to forming consensus, in a spiritual, and in my opinion, very religious setting, no less.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, inclined to disagree. I'm more in line with RJM and NJ above.

    I think the heart of the problem is that the fashionable 'techniques' and 'methods' of a traditionally spiritual discipline (prayer, on the other hand, is not fashionable), have been co-opted and repurposed for the physical and mental benefit of the individual.

    Like the yogas, which are stripped of their contextual meaning and are co-opted and repacked to the west as 'feel-good', 'health-beneficial', etc.

    Same with meditation, again contextually removed from its setting, and again is marketed as a means of relaxation, self-fulfilment, well-being, fitness, etc.

    As NJ says, there's a lot of wisdom on the site, but then that's been cherry-picked from the great traditions, so really there's plenty to choose from. I have a suspicion that the term 'spirituality' is being used erroneously, or rather, re-defined to suit a contemporary notion of 'enlightenment'.
     
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  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    ... hey, I watched it, and so am I!
     
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  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Praise the lord! And all it took was a short video!
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    And a mouthful of snappy and cool-sounding aphorisms
     
  11. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I was being tongue-in-cheek about the "spiritual but not religious" thing. Some of these organizations are more hierarchical, larger, more full of priests and monks and scribes, and more dogmatic, than your average Protestant Christian denomination.

    Regarding the cherry-picking feel-good superficiality: yes. Agreed. And yet, Christianity arose out of Gentiles cherry-picking from a Jewish messianic group and Greek philosophy and Roman mystery religion. Judaism cherry-picked from Mesopotamian an Persian religions, and for a time, Levantine ones as well. Buddhism ... oh my. Islam also helped itself on the smorgaspord, picking up greek philosophy, and in some schools, persian clerical authority and messianic ideals, and christian and indian taste for crazy wisdom teachers/hermits.

    To look down on cherry-picking is to look down on the historical origins and heritage of religions.

    That said, newage anything-goes mush religion gets on my nerves just as much as venerable ossified joyless tradition and new-atheist reductionism.
     
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  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    If I don't pick my cherries I get tart ones and rotten ones...
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Interesting viewpoint. Not sure scholarship would endorse it, but there you go.

    I regard cherry-picking from its philosophical viewpoint, the equivalent of children in a sweet-shop.

    LOL
     
  14. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Feel free to correct me! I'm not a scholar, and not Christian, but always interested to learn more.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    OK. I suppose it depends how one views 'cherry-picking'.

    The Perennialists of the 20th century Traditionalist School regard Christianity as the manifestation of the inner, esoteric component of Judaism, and as such should have remained as an esoteric school within Judaism. (But that's another story, there was also the opinion that Buddhism was a corrective of, or is a Hindu heresy)

    Rather than saying Christianity cherry-picked Judaism, one could also argue that:
    a) Jesus was the Messiah the people had been promised and
    b) Jesus brought into the light a spiritual disposition inherent within Judaism.

    The relationship of Christianity to Greek philosophy is simply that the early theologians believed the faith was reasoned and rational, Koine Greek was the lingua franca of the region, and certainly the language of ideas. If the religion could be expressed reasonably and rationally, then Greek (and the principles of philosophical discourse) was the language to do it in.

    Having said that, the schism between Christian and Hebrew cost the Tradition, I believe. John used the Greek word 'logos', and the analogy of light and dark figures in the Johannine texts, so they were assumed to be Greek and, basically, Gnostically inspired. Later scholarship realised that light and dark were common figures of Hebrew mystical speculation, and that the Hebrew term 'memra' would have been better, had the word been known in the wider world, but it wasn't. It's a shame, because memra in the Hebrew commentaries signifies something closer to the Christian idea of Incarnation than Logos does.

    As for Rome, well Roman mystery religions were largely derivative, and all over the place, and anyone raised a Jew would have nothing to do with them.

    As for Christianity, if we look at the earliest known Creed:
    "I believe in God, the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth."
    Show a clear Hebrew origin.

    The rest is a potted history of the Incarnation:
    "I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the Virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried;
    he descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again;
    he ascended into heaven,
    he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
    and he will come to judge the living and the dead."

    Then another Christian assertion:
    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. Amen.

    The Arian dispute (which the Creed had hoped to settle) arose because of the interpretation of Christian beliefs through Greek philosophy, rather than the revisions of Greek speculative ideas corrected by Biblical revelation.
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I've heard it said you can't be a good Christian without first being a good Jew... But you seem to be implying to be a good Jew one would be a Christian?
     
  17. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Thanks, that was interesting!

    I was specifically thinking of the abrogation of most of the Jewish law by Paul and a grudging Peter, which made early Christianity more attractive to the Greeks. The Acts of the Apostles document this plainly. Picking the proverbial cherry of being in a contract with God, but not picking the contractual obligations like circumcision, or having to decline gyros with tzatziki sauce, or seafood, or bacon...

    I like these innovations a lot. But how they can not be seen as cherry-picking is beyond me.

    As to philosophy: Christian theologians over millennia have drawn on some, but not all of classical Greek philosophy. To pick something at random: The figure of Socrates is a favorite. He was admired as an example, even by Christians. And it makes sense: Greek philosophy was part of a good education, alongside the epics and so on. Of course Christians had to choose what to keep and what to abrogate. Again, how is that not cherry-picking?

    Religious traditions do not exist in splendid isolation. Early Buddhism (and Jainism and a host of other movements that have since died out) and Vedic Religion, later Buddhism and Puranic Hinduism, Buddhism and Central Asian Religions, Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Chinese religion... They all cherry-picked from each other, even when they were not direct descendants.
     
  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    And our Baha'i friends would say, to be a good Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Krishna devote and so on, one would be a good Baha'i?

    I am not Jewish, but grew up learning some things about Judaism, and my wife's ancestors are Jewish. In my experience, Jews have very different concerns from Christians nowadays, and the mystical dimensions of each of these two, though similar in their thrust as mystical traditions tend to be, draw on very different symbolic foundations. The cross, the Passion is not a joyful symbol to Jews but one of oppression and torture. The Law is not the central concern of Christian mystical exercises, but an old, oppressive contract that was happily superseded by the Good News.

    It's a good thing that nowadays, in many places on earth, we can follow our conscience to that religion, or lack thereof, which stirs our hearts.
     
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  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    The whole point is that Christ came to do away with outer forms of piety and to replace blood sacrifice etc. He said it's what comes out of a man's mouth, not what goes in.

    He called the religious leaders of the day whited sepulchres and whipped the money lenders out of the temple. He dined with tax collectors and preached the sermon on the mount. His whole ministry and message was to do away with the dead dry wood of traditional religion.

    However someone who thinks it's all just a made-up story and does not believe Christ said and did these things, or that he even existed, has to search out obscure links to other religions and traditions to explain it -- especially the spread of Christianity.

    Can we skip Constantine here as the answer to that last phrase? Constantine helped the spread of Christianity, but was not responsible for it. Christianity caught on because people liked it, once the early lies about it were dismissed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    JP on new atheists:

     
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