Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by poolking, Aug 10, 2003.
Which ones and why?
What should one cling to, I wonder ...
so as a what if,
What if one of those traditions was THE truth? is it no longer useful to cling to it? I don't buy the "there is no absolute truth" garbage that is spread all over for people to feel better about each others differing opinions. There is, logically speaking, 1 truth. If that is somewhere between 2 traditions, so be it, same as if it were yet to be discovered, but that doesn't alienate the fact that no singular truth exists. So how does cherry picking what makes you feel good any better of a thing to cling to than an established tradition (or religion)? I'm saying this because there are a lot of ideas out there, and that is a fact. Not all of those ideas are true, which is a fact. Noone should be subjected to force for their belief or to change it, but that doesn't mean we all have to accept that there is no singular tradition in Truth.
Indeed. Or what if those Traditions are in themselves intrinsically 'true' in that in and through the Tradition one can aspire to and attain the Transcendent?
Well I might not phrase it as strongly as that, but those who make that argument tend to make a number of assumptions:
The first and most obvious is, the statement is claiming to be absolute. So the statement is false according to its own argument.
The second, and this is provisional, is that many who make that argument also deploy science as an absolute ... forgetting that there are scientists, and leaders in their field, some of the greatest minds of their day, who hold a religious conviction. So the idea that science is opposed to religion is false, and depends on certain false but popular assumptions regarding both science and religion.
Actually as I write, more and more reasons to dispute these assumptions come to mind...
I disagree. You're putting a quantitative value on something that cannot be quantified. There are 'hierarchies of truth' in the sense that some truths are dependent on 'higher' truths, but quantifying that which cannot be quantified. Such hierarchies are only there because the mind likes order. There are the 99 Names of Allah. Can we put these in order of priority? Can we dispose of the other 98 if we cleave to the one? Does that mean there cannot be 100 names? No ... and yes.
Good question. Usually it means you're doing the stuff you like doing, and not doing the stuff you don't like doing. It's accommodating one's weakness.
I believe there is one truth, but God has chosen to reveal it in such a way that it'd be perceived differently by different cultures and individuals. When the time's right though, we'll finally see how it all fits together. Meantime, just believe. We can work-out the rest later.
Kind of like the way some Christians dismiss Genesis and The Book of Revelations.
Well that is kind of a silly statement seems to me. Shall we all decide to agree that Thomas' truth is the one absolute truth? No? Shall we all agree to decide that your truth is the one absolute truth? Don't think so. My truth is the one absolute truth? That ain't gonna happen.
If everyone's absolute truth is different from everyone else, then, by definition there cannot be one absolute truth! Contrarily, if there really is one absolute truth, how do we in all our differences of opinion decide which one is IT?
This at least makes sense to me.
I'll just comment on what was disagreed upon, if that's ok. To address this particular one we must first ask "What is Truth?" It is actually a summation of all questions pertaining to existence. Such as "Is there a God?" "Is there more than one God?" "Did this God create this existence?" "Did this God create this world?" etc. there are millions (or more) of questions one could ask. In terms of what most (IMO of course) people would consider 'Truth', One would have to get all of these questions correct. Is there a correct answer? Yes. There is in fact either a God or not. There is either a path he specified or not. There is 1 God or Multiples. These are all possibilities, compounded over and over until the Statistics show it is near impossible to randomly choose a completely correct 'Truth'. Does that mean there are multiple truths? No. What if a few questions (Such as your question of the 99 Names (aka attributes)) have multiple true answers, well we must break them down. Of those 99 names, are they true, if yes that tradition remains true, if not then it becomes not completely true. There can be more, and that doesn't mean that the 99 aren't true. It simply means we could have searched and defined even more, and it would have still been true.
But that has nothing to do with truth, that is simply your preference. I'd prefer to drink beer, but I've been told it is not ok for me to do so. IF my view of truth is in fact true, my preference is not bearing any weight to it.
Furthermore this is discussed as the day Isa (Jesus (PBUH)) will return and correct those who follow him incorrectly in his time as the Messiah. (Just saying basically the general consensus in Islam agrees with you )
You make the error of thinking it is something that can be decided. It is already there. We can choose what to do with our time alive on this earth, which may or may not be adhering to the "True way". A believer who truly believes they are following the "True path" will be resolute that they are doing so. No need to decide for others, as they must realize it and accept it (or not if they find something else to be the actual truth).
again we don't decide, it just is. This isn't a strategy game where Muslims are trying to get more people to think like us because that means we will be more correct. It simply means we BELIEVE we know the TRUTH and are TRYING TO FOLLOW THE TRUE PATH.
It's a false statement when someone says 'my truth is absolute' with the implication that another's isn't, and as you say, we ain't gonna agree, and there's been a lot of conflict because if it ... But equally, the statement 'there is no absolute truth' is equally silly for the same reason – no-one is qualified to make that statement, because they'd have to know 'the truth' absolutely, perfectly and infallibly – as we as creatures are neither absolute, perfect or infallible, then there's the stumbling point.
Well there can, because the truth is independent of us. There is truth out there that we are entirely unaware of, nevertheless it is true.
So my answer would be 'Truth is One', but not 'There is one Truth' – the former is a qualitative statement, the latter is quantitative.
Our Lord nailed this one (dreadful pun, Guv'nor, sorry about that) when someone called Him good. To which He replied "Why callest thou me good? None is good but one, that is God" (Luke 18:19, Mark 10:18). Too many read this in a quantitative sense. That God is good, ergo everything else isn't, we're all sinners, yadda, yadda, yadda. And yet we all experience the good in our lives. Is Jesus saying He's not good? No, of course not ... but he's making an ontological point which needs be understood if the next part of his discourse is to be understood. The 'give up everything and follow me' which you and I, agreeing on certain environmental issues, know ain't gonna happen either.
The point is that God is not good because He's a really nice guy, nor is He good because He is the perfect moral agent. Morality doesn't apply to God. Actually you can't say 'God is good' because that implies either, God has a choice, or God is under some obligation, whereas the closer truth is the good is that which is of God. That which we see as Godlike we see as good.
Aquinas made this point about the rich man giving alms to the poor. If he does it to be seen to be good in front of his neighbours, then there's no good in the act. If he does it because his religion obliges him to, then he's so-so. If he does it to relieve the suffering of the poor man, then its good.
Philosophers, metaphysicians etc, can sometimes get hung up on absolute and relative truth. Some westerners who pick up on Asiatic teachings love to play the kind of 'real vs unreal' mindgames, the world is real, and yet it isn't, that kind of thing. It's trivia. The world participates in the real, and is real by virtue of its participation. Only God is real by virtue of Itself. Everything else is real by participation. If we actually loved our neighbour, the world would be transfigured in a moment, and being Catholic, I use that term with everything that comes with it. Instead, we look for what's different ...
Hare Krishna people believe that if they're chanting hare krishna at the moment they shuffle off this mortal coil, then whatever it is they hope for is guaranteed, because they are vibrating with the frequency of the Divine Name when they die. There's more to that, perhaps, than many might allow. It's there in all Traditions. The acid test however, is, is 'Hare Krishna' there in the heart as well as on the lips? Ah, there's the rub!
Now whilst I endorse the interfaith idea that no way is exclusively correct, that does not mean I endorse the opposite opinion that any way one cares to walk is as correct as any other way!
Not so sure on this one. I agree no one is qualified to make the statement 'there is no absolute truth' because none of us are perfect or infallible. The rub is the suggestion that even though we are not capable of seeing it because of our mortal fallibilities, there IS an absolute truth. If we cannot, by the very definition of our existence as mortal beings, ever discover absolute truth, how can we know for a fact there is one? Equally possible there isn't one. We have no ability to say one way or the other.
See previous reply. Again I ask how one can state 'nevertheless it is true' if it is something we are entirely incapable of knowing.
This seems very similar to the 'real vs unreal' mind games type of philosophical thinking you were inveighing against. 'Truth is One'
is one of those comments that sounds profound; and actually says nothing. One what?
Hi DA –
No, you're right, you got me there. My argument was hoist on its own petard, as the saying goes, and you were quite right to point out the massive flaw in my assumption.
Exactly. It's not one what, it's one. Or ... it's not a numerical one thing, its a conditional one thing. All truth has at least one thing in common – that it is true. And it has that in common no more nor no less than any other truth.
But when someone says 'all truth is one' what he cannot say is what it is, other than it is true. Does that make sense?
Truth is what remains when all beliefs and opinions are dropped.
This is why it is important to look at it from many aspects though, if you are sticking to only one system, it is bound to remain restricted to a mental activity.
One should not cling to anything.
You can only cling to what is not real, the real is self evident.
This is a huge hint about truth...
Is it right to "try" other religions?
Of course it is ... if yours doesn't "work."
So we must correlate work with try. And the simplest approach I know is to look at the Latin root of the word `religion.'
It means "to tie" or "to bind back" [religare]. Some theologies, including esoteric traditions, affirm and teach that Humanity, as a Kingdom, is "fallen" ... although esotericism suggests that - as with much else in ancient traditions - this is an Allegory.
Allegory deserves capitalization, as does Mythology, because these are presentations of the Truth. One cannot really argue that each has his or her OWN truth, because this much is obvious. It only needs mentioning when we forget the words of William Blake:
"Now I a fourfold vision see
And a fourfold vision is given to me
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
And three fold in soft Beulah's night
And twofold Always.
May God us keep From Single vision & Newton's sleep."
The entire quotation is worthwhile, because it invites us to appreciate our Humanity [Ezekiel's Vision, the 4th Kingdom, after animal, vegetable and mineral] ... our Divine heritage [the Triune Deity, not anthropomorphic, but Abstract - or at least formless, since it was God that created Mankind in the former's image, and not vice versa, notwithstanding Voltaire's commentary and insights] ... and even our experience of the distinction(s), while Cosmos remains manifest: that we consist of Spirit, highest, and Matter [or Mater, from the Latin for Mother], lowest - with Consciousness in-between, being the S*N of Father-Mother God's Creation [or Emanation].
We know, if we have been around a time or two, that there as many approaches to Truth as there are Human beings upon our planet. A more broad-minded appreciation will include the Devic [or Angelic] Realization, as well as the likelihood that for every planet of Intelligent and Loving Beings, striving Purposefully toward expression of the Higher [Divine] Will, as indeed is our own Planet, Earth, surely there are also a veritable Host of approaches to the One Truth. In simple terms, we are not alone. Our Humanity is not the only Humanity!
A man or woman is foolish indeed, to think that s/he has captured the highest realizations, or insights into Divine Mind. An affirmation of Tradition is exactly that, and by no means necessarily more. There are as many bloodthirsty, primitive practices affirmed in some ancient traditions ... as there are affirmations of practices appropriate or helpful for today. What extreme shortsightedness and narrowness of vision ["Single vision," as Blake has it] to think that: Because it is old, even ancient, it is appropriate!
One cannot pour new wine into old vessels. And of course, Honoring one's father, one need not drink of his cup.
But here we appeal to the Inner senses, however *practical* the Wisdom might be - and obvious, for some. What is more useful to us, than "clinging to the Saving Hand" that we have always known? For those who have yet to know, to Discover or to even begin their Perennial Quest in earnest, it is not simply appropriate, it is vital that they "try" whatever practices are being offered to them - as part of the new Karmic cycle, the New Dispensation as it is sometimes called.
What use to affirm a `New World Order' if we are equally blind to the incipient, Inspiring Agents, and Agencies on the one hand, and the true sources of, and reasons for distortion of this Noble, this Divine imperative, on the other?
Curiously enough, some do not even realize that they already "choose" and try a new approach to religion, even daily. There is a level upon which I really do mean, "I'm taking it day by day." This does not change, or negate the fact, that I continue to - and always will - cling to a Saving Hand. Here again, anthropomorphisms can be burdensome, if not altogether offensive.
My suggestion is, Consider: Why do some react so strongly & negatively to the consideration of trying a different approach?
Perhaps they cannot see, and understand the obvious: That their path, their choices, and their answers, are not right for everyone else - and possibly for anyone except themselves. Then again, it's tough to accept - that we may also have been wrong about some things ... all along! Pride, it is said, is the Cardinal Sin - among the Seven Deadly!
With Humility, then, and earnest aspiration, We may All be invited & encouraged to patiently, persistently, Seek the Truth! Those Who have been around the longest, and gained more insight than ourselves ... tend to do this *regularly* - with Renewal of Faith and effort in each passing Season!
Everybody is in town for the holidays!
Wow! Maybe it's the end of the world!
Sounds like a topic for a new thread
It's the end if the world as we know it... And I feel fine...
I can't even remember when I first heard that song, but I've listened to it thousands of times since then.
Separate names with a comma.