Esoterism and esoterica

Thomas

So it goes ...
Veteran Member
Messages
14,225
Reaction score
4,155
Points
108
Location
London UK
Just some thoughts ...

Somewhere down the line, someone made the assumption that esoteric knowledge within one given hermeneutic, immediately allows access to all esoteric knowledge in every given hermeneutic.

This is a dangerous supposition; superfically it is made by those who wish to be perceived as 'universal spokesmen on everything', but at a deeper level it indicates a failure to understand the true principle of esoterism, and the meaning of the term 'revelation'.

So what is 'esoteric' precisely?

Generally, it implies the 'interior knowledge' of a thing, something that does not disclose itself superficially, but in reality it cannot be quantified or qualified, because it is not an objective determination — much as people try and make it — it is a subjective measure. What is esoteric to me might be common sense to you, and vice versa.

My favourite example is the internal combustion engine. To me, and to most people, a mechanic qualifies as an esoterist in the domain of car engines. Part of the problem is that 'esoterica' has accrued a certain cachet, like 'mystic', and has become an object of desire, a bright cup, in its own right.

So we have Buddhist esoterism, Moslem esoterism, and so on. We even have sub-esoterisms of the different schools ... and yet someone decided that if one is a Buddhist, a daoist of Hebrew esoterist, then one 'naturally' has access to the esoterisms of every other tradition.

Why? On what grounds, precisely? A brilliant car mechanic does not assume to be a brain surgeon or a farmer ...

Again, because of the assumption that 'all truth is one' — Now this is true, at the level of Truth as such but as such Truth qualifies as a Transcendental and an Absolute — above and beyond the domain not only of appearances, but of manifestation. No apprehenable truth is in itself One — else he who knows it knows as much as God knows.

So to the human intellectus, not all truth is one, and nor is all revealed truth one, so there is a hierarchy among religions ... but this is simply too contentious to discuss ... rather one should acknowledge that the 'confessional horizons' of the various traditions differ, and each tradition is, in effect, a self-enclosed and self-sufficient world — an hermetically sealed environment — with its own spiritual ecology.

My contention then is that it is an error of assume that because one knows a lot about 'this', one automatically is an authority on 'that'.

The aspects common to all religions are, by that very fact exoteric, something can hardly be considered Christian esoterica if it is prevalent in Islam, Daoism, etc.,

But what happens is people collect all these bits of data, and present it as an esoteric key, as if because it is there in all religions, it has a profound and occult significance. What is missed is that people are people the world over, and all religions will therefore share certain commonalities because they have the same common audience.

My point is that if it is common, even if discreet, then it is not esoteric.

Likewise if one applies the esoterism of one religion to another, because of these given commonalities, one assumes that the same symbols and signifiers are subject to the same constraint ... which they are not ... and this is where meaningful esoterism comes into play ... and this is precisely where it is missed ... a Christian symbol carries an esoteric understanding that is common (its exoterism) and an esoterism that is unique ... but the modern esoterist says, 'that must mean 'X' because that's what it means here and here...' again an assumption, and in making such one misses the point completely.

So to be esoteric means to go deep into ... but today people assume it means knowing every alternative theory, not matter how far-fetched (a prime example of this is to tack the word 'gnostic' onto something).

Call it 'orthodox' and it's a dead duck. Its hierarchical, its authoritarian, and its untrue. It's doctrine and it's dogma. Call it gnostic or alternative or liberal and it's immediately a true, authentic, viable, different, individual, special ... most of all it is egoic and a glamour, in the true sense of the word.

Was it a native American who said 'walk a mile in another man's shoes' or is that an apocrypha? I know a Zen teacher who said 'you won't understand Zen until you do it' ... but to be a Christian? That's a doddle, all you've got to do is say it. And what do you have to do, exactly ... anything you like ...

Sorry if that offends anyone, but this is the esoteric thread ... no room for sentimentality ...

Thomas
 
Namaste Thomas...

Alright, first I think your example is interesting...and while we have some out there car engines like the wankel or whatever it is called most have been isolated down to similar stuff...So whether we are talking Chevy, Toyota, Ferrari, MGB, Mercedes, whatever it really doesn't matter...they all have their ideosyncracies regarding carberation, fuel injection, computer chips, bells and whistles...but when it comes to the engine, your esoterica...most any mechanic specializing in any manufacturer can utilize his knowledge of pistons, rocker arms, oil and water and combustion to figure out the engine problem without the benefit of the scripture dictated by any particular manufacturer...

The way I see it...You is the Catholic guy and believe Catholicism and the Eucharist to be your be all and end all...and I agree. But I also agree that the Hindu and his Vedas and multiple gods is viable, good and real in his way. And that BB, Dauer, MW, Bruce, Andrew, Postmaster, In Love, SeattleGal....are all on target to....ie on a path of development that will lead them to to the Father (a term I but not all may use...but I believe each will have a term for the same)

So I think when we get down to the inner workings of each and all we are visiting a common place and have more similarities which allow us avenues for deeper understanding of not only ourcellves and our beliefs...but others as well...
 
Hi Thomas :)

I can relate to much of what you say here, with a couple of exceptions or qualifications. (I’ll touch on them in a moment.)

I thought your auto mechanic analogy was pretty good. I’ve got sense enough to know that just because I happen to love metallic blue ’67 Mustangs and so does my mechanic, he has the inside scoop on how it works. Likewise, just because I happen to be interested in Roman Catholicism, I can’t really explain it fully to someone because I have never experienced it. I have not learned it. I have not been initiated. I have not delved deeply into it. Now, if there is something one would like to know about the little Baptist congregation in my community and what is taught there, then I very well may be an expert! And it can be frustrating when someone from, say, a non-denominational, nationally affiliated Christian organization comes along and assumes to “correct” my understanding of that which I can truly say I have been an initiate and into which I have over a lifetime delved quite deeply. Even if I don’t agree with all that I have been taught, that still doesn’t mean I don’t know what is involved in that tradition. (LOL, would that make me a “Baptist Esotericist”? Yeah, I thought that might make you smile! I know I did.)

You know, I don’t mind one bit if someone has knowledge about a certain tradition, new or old, and they want to share that with me. What bugs me is when they feel they have to “talk down to me” because they assume I am just a simpleton who cannot possibly interpret the deep, superior, and oftentimes secret knowledge which I could never, ever possibly understand. I mean, what’s the point? If it is only for the privileged, and I am not in that class, then why dangle that carrot in front of this poor old dumb animal? It’s cruel and egotistical. (By the way, you have never done that with me. You are undoubtedly a scholar in more than one tradition, but you at least try to explain things in a kind way. I know you get accused of being snooty or whatever sometimes, but I think many times that people read things into your words that simply are not there. And I know your bottom line, but I don’t think people see that, either, even though you have stated it more than once.)

Thomas said:
Part of the problem is that 'esoterica' has accrued a certain cachet, like 'mystic', and has become an object of desire, a bright cup, in its own right.
Hear, hear! Thank you. I am constantly amazed at the attempts to put “mysticism” into a nice, neat little box. I realize there are certain “mystical traditions”, but like esotericism, mysticism cannot be defined in just one way all across the spectrum.

Thomas said:
Call it 'orthodox' and it's a dead duck. Its hierarchical, its authoritarian, and its untrue. It's doctrine and it's dogma. Call it gnostic or alternative or liberal and it's immediately a true, authentic, viable, different, individual, special ... most of all it is egoic and a glamour, in the true sense of the word.
I can understand that this is often what happens. And I can add to this, too. Call it “fundamental” and all of a sudden it means “extreme”. That is not what fundamental means at all, but it is a term that has been misappropriated by people on both sides of the argument, and those of us who know better have had to swallow that word simply because it has come to be understood that way by the masses. But I am going to have to disagree with you about the term “liberal”. The reason I have adopted this way of describing my faith is not because I think it is fashionable or special. This would be no better than subscribing to esotericism because it is aesthetically appealing. I use the word “liberal” to communicate to others that if they want to talk about the Love of God, then I am here to do so, no matter what they have experienced in the past from people who talked about God, but made them feel unwelcome for whatever reason. And there’s no doddle or sentamentalism involved there—in fact, it ain’t easy sometimes! :)

InPeace,
InLove
 
Hi both —

Well I'd love to discuss in depth, but I am away to a week's residential in an hour, so must be brief, and maybe pick this up in a week's time.

I hope I wasn't implying a superiority of Christian esoterism over other esoterisms, quite the reverse in fact, I'm championing the right and reality of the esoterisms of every tradition to stand unaided, and be best and most accurately explained from within the esoterism itself.

Thus, in any discussion of ecumenism or comparative religion, when observing apparent parallels or similarities, one must be careful not to equate one with the other on the basis of appearances. I know of no doctrine of any tradition that can be extracted and inserted into another, without distorting the whole fabric of that tradition — likewise the error in assuming a tradition can be 'revitalised' by importing or adding from without.

Two things can occur: Either the traditions are reduced to a rather banal generality, everything becomes provisional, relative, and finally disposable, or the content of tradition becomes so abstract, its actuality so immaterial, as to cause it to receed from view altogether, as everything it presents can be explained, and explained away.

Esoterism then claims to be 'all embracing' precisely because it has lost its means of discernment, it becomes kaleidoscopic and mesmerising, but it is empty of anything it can call its own.

+++

With regard to 'liberal' yes, I was using that term in its perjorative sense, somewhat unfairly, as only yesterday I heard 'liberalism' described as a mask for fundamental secularism.

Liberal to me speaks of 'live and let live' — and surely every tradition endorses that at heart. My own, of course, I call 'catholic' in the meaning of the term — universal — but then 'catholic' has become synonymous with 'conservative' — in the perjorative sense, so we none of us can escape the abuses of language.

TTFN,

Thomas
 
Hello Thomas - interesting post!

"the assumption that esoteric knowledge within one given hermeneutic, immediately allows access to all esoteric knowledge in every given hermeneutic... is a dangerous supposition"

I agree with with your thoughts here, and would also add that it is dangerous to suppose we know everything about anything under any circumstance. To admit that actually there are many things we don't know and act from there is a more truthful and humble position in my opinion, and one which is more effective in any pursuit of religious or spiritual ideals - a sincere street sweeper is far more useful than the charlatan meditator.

On the flip side of the coin, similar to Wil's comment I also believe there are universal principles which do apply across the spectrum of humanity, and to a certain extent within different religions also. For example after practising a non-Christian religion for a number of years I then re-read portions of the Bible and found I had a vastly improved appreciation of it's message, even if not of the exact nature of that of a practicing Christian, and could directly relate to certain passages within it on the strength of experiences received elsewhere. Love of God being the universal principle.

Here's a quote from a 16th Century Vaishnava text that I wanted to share:

"On the transcendental platform everything is absolute. Yet there are also varieties in the spiritual world, and in order to taste these spiritual varieties one should distinguish between them." (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila 7.5)


All the best

... Neemai :)
 
I believe I can sum up my objections quite succinctly, believe it or not.

To assume that we cannot have access, to God's Heart, and God's Mind, is the greatest mistake of all. And things just get worse from there ... :(

~A
 
But on the bright side, I came across an email to me from a dear friend, sent in January of 2000. In it, she shares with me some insight regarding the relationship between esotericism and exoteric religion(s), and makes a few comments about her spiritual path ... and mine. I find the entire email relevant, so I'd like to share it:

The email says:

My own personal and humbly presented opinion about the Lam Rim vs Tantra debate is that if Enlightenment is your goal, the Pali cannon (and specifically the Dhammapada) is all you need. You don't need Tantra to become Enlightened. However, Tantra is an outstandingly comprehensive, well proven and deeply rooted path to the perfection of spiritual power. Alone, it is NOT a vehicle to Enlightenment. One must perfect oneself via the Lam Rim first. Otherwise, Tantra could be devastating. A strong foundation in exoteric Law is absolutely essential before one pursues a mystical path. Otherwise, one is "building a house out of sand" so to speak. Any seriously bad situation that one encounters is likely to rend one to shreds. Additionally, one's own lack of moral purity may cause one to use the power inappropriately, thus generating massive negative karma.
Morever, and of course in my humble opinion, the exact same kind relationship between exo- and esoteric could be said to exist between the Torah and Christian mysticism/Kabbalah. One must perfect oneself in the Torah first with the understanding that this is all one needs in order to attain salvation and/or right relationship with God (depending on the viewpoint). However, both Christian mysticism and Kabbalah will take you much farther in the perfection of spiritual power. Yet, one has to have the sound foundation of the Law perfected first. Otherwise, the pursuit of esoteric knowledge is very dangerous.​
I feel like many of us who have come from these traditions have "jumped the gun" in this respect. I suspect that I am a mature soul dealing with some seriously powerful energies and negative karma but unlike others who are in the same place, am in a better place about it because I had a sound foundation in the Torah first. The filter the study and practice of the Law gave me is a conglomeration of discipline coupled with understanding of one's awareness. This understanding of awareness consists of knowledge, discerning wisdom and equalizing wisdom (aka compassion) all in the proper proportions. The answer to those who have not developed this filter is to take two steps backward for awhile, so that you may have the proper foundation to take that giant step forward. One must reduce one's expectations for awhile and concentrate on the goal of the Arhat (or Sadik, Hasidim or Saint). It is only at that point that one is in a position to become a Bodhisattva, and it is here that the mystical traditions truly come into play. I quote the Buddha: "Before you save others you must first do a harder thing. You must save yourself." Most Arhats don't become Bodhisattvas, but all Bodhisattvas were Arhats first.​
On the other hand, the Torah is far older than the Lam Rim. If you need to rebuild your spiritual foundation, there is a part of me that thinks that in order to do it right you should just become a Jew. At least, find a Christian congregation where you can develop a strong relationship with the Torah. Yes, much of it will seem stupid at first, but in the long run it will make sense. As far as the mystical tradition to follow is concerned, I think it is all very personal. One steeped in Torah will surely balk at Tantra. But Tantra is much more ancient and well structured than Christian mysticism, Kabbalah, even more ancient than the Torah. Even though I feel I have come to some level of resolution with the "golden calf" issue I told you about [I fail to recall what she means here], with exception of Guru Yoga I have yet to take a tantric empowerment. My foundation in the Lam Rim is not complete, nor have I stabilized my mind enough or developed the relationship with the the guru. I also have faith that, yes, in Tibet there is a Brahman [?], and no amount of intellectual gymnastics that I've been able to do can shake that. God is my father, and at this point I love Him too much despite being in exile from Him to really believe in the Tantric archetypes the way I need to in order to become a Tantric master. I'm sure all this will shake out in time.​
[end of email]

~+~+~+~+~+~

I think some of the key points highlighted from this email include:
  • Exoteric religion (regardless of tradition) as Foundational
  • Importance of moral purity before beginning any esoteric training or Path
  • Exoteric religion is enough to attain Salvation or Right Relationship with God
  • Esotericism can increase the "perfection of spiritual power"
  • Many souls may be trying to figure out their proper place on the exoteric/esoteric path ... for some, this very struggle may be part of the karmic opportunity!
  • Exoteric can always become esoteric, "jumping the gun," however, can have dangerous, even disastrous results
  • One must first find the exoteric tradition which one feels closest to - one's "roots" (though not necessarily one's family's religion, or childhood religion - just what best fits) ... and only second will an esoteric path become clear
It's been a couple of weeks since I first wanted to share this email, which I'd filed away and forgotten several years ago. It's given me much to think about for the past week or so. This particular friend is certainly a "mature soul," and it's worth taking her commentary to heart. It helps to remind me - and I hope others - just how universal our shared Journey really is. :)

cheers,

~A
 
Dear Br.Thomas,

What are you certain about?

>Somewhere down the line, someone made the assumption that esoteric knowledge >within one given hermeneutic, immediately allows access to all esoteric knowledge >in every given hermeneutic.

I don't think the esoteric knowledge has a lot to do with Biblical exegesis. Because a certain fact may be discovered in the spiritual world and that fact is backed up in the scriptural record, well that is just a fortunate happenstance.

>This is a dangerous supposition; superfically it is made by those who wish to be >perceived as 'universal spokesmen on everything',

The esotericist doesn't claim to know everything- that is more the realm of the mystic. :)The esotericist knows that he can't know everything.

>So what is 'esoteric' precisely?

You won't learn that by looking up a dictionary. All definitions have their limitations.

Esotericism seeks to spiral inwardly to the core of a truth and travel further again. The esotericist wishes understand the hidden factors present, and seeks to know them as significance.

This is decidedly different for the occultist's perspective.
The occult scientist studies and implicates principles and powers which comprise the underpinning realities (also manifest in the Physical existence). The Rosicrucian for instance, seeks to find the spirit in Nature.

The occultist comprehends the greater and lesser cosmology in operation throughout its many examples.

Occult science is not given to opinion, when studied or presented as is. There is agreement among occultists as to occult facts, though some prefer to keep some things hidden.

Occultism is not magic, as science is not technology. In fact I have found that mostly, practical magicians know little of occultism.

We can find that some occultists have a mechanistic approach.There can be a materialistic approach and overview to the machinations of law. Also we find they can get lost in a maze of detail, without the wherewithal to know significance, aptness or distinction.

So the estoericist seeks significance in a sea of facts.

>My favourite example is the internal combustion engine. To me, and to most people, >a mechanic qualifies as an esoterist in the domain of car engines.

The mechanic is an expert or a master- he has mastered the intricacies of the engine.

The trouble with the mechanic (in the wider sense) is the he perceives the biology of all systems as system first, biology second. With pistons, cogs, computers and wheels, the maintenance of a system may well be mistaken as the nature or character of a system.

On the other hand (taking the analogy further) we have car lovers who rather the external qualities, as in big, red, fast, leather interiors and sports etc.

"Some hold to the systems of the world, in medicine, in philosophy, in all of the sciences, as being dissectably patterned (which in part is true); however also characterless. With cool concern but intrigue as to the working parts, the objective mechanic assembles and dissembles with rational perfection, with no vision as to the nature of the whole.

The Brothers "

>So we have Buddhist esoterism, Moslem esoterism, and so on. We even >have >sub-esoterisms of the different schools ... and yet someone decided that if one is a >Buddhist, a daoist of Hebrew esoterist, then one 'naturally' has access to the >esoterisms of every other tradition.

What must come first in any esotericism is the moral path- without that it is nothing. One must never underestimate the moral path.

>Why? On what grounds, precisely? A brilliant car mechanic does not assume to be a >brain surgeon or a farmer ...

No but he can know a bit about every internal combustion engine there is.

The Daoist, the Buddhist & the Sufi seeks to know the one World. They might specialize in certain areas but they still seek out the truths from the one Spiritual World. There is not really a Buddhist Heaven and and a Christian Heaven- it's the one Heaven or Devachan!


>Now this is true, at the level of Truth as such but as such Truth qualifies as a >Transcendental and an Absolute — above and beyond the domain not only of >appearances, but of manifestation.

No not really, there are the truths of mathematics and geometry. There are lots of universal truths in this world- truths of science like botany and geology.

Just because a botanist, or a geologist is well versed in the conditions in his own land doesn't mean he can't transfer his knowledge when traveling.

Truths hold one another up. What holds the stars in the heavens? Answer- they each hold one another up.


> rather one should acknowledge that the 'confessional horizons' of the various >traditions differ, and each tradition is, in effect, a self-enclosed and self-sufficient >world — an hermetically sealed environment — with its own spiritual ecology.

You are really only talking of religion and religious tradition here.

>My contention then is that it is an error of assume that because one knows a lot >about 'this', one automatically is an authority on 'that'.

I don't think anyone is saying that. But we aren't prevented form knowing about "that".

>The aspects common to all religions are, by that very fact exoteric, something can >hardly be considered Christian esoterica if it is prevalent in Islam, Daoism, etc.,

Esotericism is a way rather than a set of doctrines.
Esoteric wisdoms are present in the Church but there is no means in place to consciously re-conceive them. However this was never the objective of the Church. The objective of the Church is the saving of souls en masse.

Br.Bruce

"The properties of love free the ego-nature of the individual, releasing it sufficiently for the comprehension to increase. In order to seek out something I am required to go beyond what is already in my realm of ego and stretch it further ... it is only the love of something other than my own ego which will draw me out and overstep those limits."

The Brothers.
 
Hello Neemai —

... I also believe there are universal principles which do apply across the spectrum of humanity, and to a certain extent within different religions also.

Indeed, but the very fact that there are universals signifies their commonality and generality, and as such form no component of that which rightly might be called 'esoteric'. As I have said elsewhere, these elements are common because their audience is common, man is man everywhere.

On the one hand, given these universals, one can arrive at a notion of Deity, without the data of revelation. This is 'the God of the philosophers', and there are many examples of such, and they should not be decried. On the other, however, the doctrine of such universals is essentially no different from the doctrine of an ethical humanism which denies the Deity altogether, so the logical argument is that what is general, common and universal speaks more of man, and human endeavour, than it does of God, and if one should speak of God in this context, it can only be speculation.

For example after practising a non-Christian religion for a number of years I then re-read portions of the Bible and found I had a vastly improved appreciation of it's message,

Such is not impossible, nor unreasonable, and in my own experience certain founding epiphany in this regard was brought about at the hands of a Tibetan Buddhist. But he did not so much explain my religion to me, as say "no, you're looking in the right place the wrong way ... look like this" which, as they say, 'opened my eyes'. It is a simple 'can't see the wood for the trees' scenario, and again nothing to do with the content of Scripture, but all to do with certain presuppositions of human nature ... what was there to be found, after all, was there all along ... I have come across more than a few, for example, who thought they held a belief, and had that belief undone, along the same lines.

Love of God being the universal principle.

Is it, I wonder? Or is it something we just assume, having grown up in the echo of Christendom, and perhaps browsed some of the Sacra Doctrina of the world's great religions? Now it is something we trot out casually and somewhat glibly. We have rendered God comfortable, and amenable to our nature. If it is not immediately apparent, then it must be there in some discreet manner.

Even in the Abrahamic Traditions, it was not principial, and once could say it was absent from Judaism until the Age of Prophecy, it is not spoken of in Amos, but absolutely saturates the writings of Hosea, for example — nor did such Divine Love stay God's hand when he stripped every gift away from the people of Israel ... a people whom He loves ... a lessson we might do well to contemplate. It is not a significant part of Islam, the very meaning of the word being 'submission', which is a far cry from love.

And of course to suggest such of the non-theist traditions is pure invention.

Thomas
 
[Love of God]
Is it, I wonder? Or is it something we just assume, having grown up in the echo of Christendom, and perhaps browsed some of the Sacra Doctrina of the world's great religions? Now it is something we trot out casually and somewhat glibly. We have rendered God comfortable, and amenable to our nature. If it is not immediately apparent, then it must be there in some discreet manner.

Even in the Abrahamic Traditions, it was not principial, and once could say it was absent from Judaism until the Age of Prophecy, it is not spoken of in Amos, but absolutely saturates the writings of Hosea, for example — nor did such Divine Love stay God's hand when he stripped every gift away from the people of Israel ... a people whom He loves ... a lessson we might do well to contemplate. It is not a significant part of Islam, the very meaning of the word being 'submission', which is a far cry from love.

And of course to suggest such of the non-theist traditions is pure invention.

Thomas

Be it right or wrong, I don't really see that there is anything of an esoteric nature in the world other than these two things:

1) Love of God
The first commandment of Jesus, the submission of Islam, the 'Bhakti' and 'Prema' of the monotheistic Hindu traditions ...

2) Liberation / Detachment from selfish desire and the illusory nature of this world.
The nirvana of Buddhism, the Moksha of monist Hindu paths etc...

The submission of Islam sounds to me very much an act of love. What is love but not an act of submission and surrender?

"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." (Bhagavad-Gita 18.66)

I understand pure love to be - to love your beloved Lord, no-matter what hardship you had to endure in the process?

... Neemai :)
 
Hi Neemai —

Interesting points.

Be it right or wrong, I don't really see that there is anything of an esoteric nature in the world other than these two things:

1) Love of God
The first commandment of Jesus, the submission of Islam, the 'Bhakti' and 'Prema' of the monotheistic Hindu traditions ...
Agreed, provisionally — I don't think 'love' as a doctrine figures significantly in Islam. It does in Sufism, but then Sufism is itself a esoterism that found a home in the exoterism of Islamic doctrine, and as such is regarded with suspicion if not mistrust by many Moslem scholars. Rumi has written some wonderful love poems, but these are not mainstream.

Submission is not an act of love, but an act required by the reality of things.

And again, love of God does not figure in Buddhism, so it's not universal, in that sense.

2) Liberation / Detachment from selfish desire and the illusory nature of this world.
The nirvana of Buddhism, the Moksha of monist Hindu paths etc...

But in the Abrahamic traditions, the world is not 'illusory' but real, and the self is not illusory, but real.

The submission of Islam sounds to me very much an act of love. What is love but not an act of submission and surrender?
Because we would read 'to submit' or 'to surrender' as a condition imposed, required or demanded by God ... in the Christian Tradition Love is the acceptance of the other without question and without condition — Love is the supreme gift of one to another, is is total allowance, total 'space for the other to be' ...

"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." (Bhagavad-Gita 18.66)

I understand pure love to be - to love your beloved Lord, no-matter what hardship you had to endure in the process?

God does not submit nor surrender to His creature, but what God does do, is allow His creature to be, despite all his faults. This is love as the Christian understands it. We neither submit nor surrender ... we give, we embrace ... any hardship is accidental, it is not itself an aspect nor a measure of Love.

For me, being Christian, Love is fundamental to existence, so it is both esoteric and actual, but I do not see it prevalent in all the world's traditions.

Thomas
 
Is it any surprise that the die-hard skeptics among us will insist, with no room for falsification, that there is no universal esotericism? :eek:

Having found a comfortable spot within their own theology, how easily, proudly even, they close the door to further revelation. :(

Meanwhile, those who remain open-minded regarding this question, can see for themselves ...

Franz Hartmann's excellent work, The Life of Jehoshua - the Prophet of Nazareth, shows several parallels between the Eastern and Western teachings. And it is pointed out, that just because "they refer to the same fundamental truths is by no means an indication that the writers have plagiarized each other."

This is the case because, as Dr. Hartmann puts it:
The truth exists; it is as free as the air to all who are able to grasp it; it can neither be invented nor monopolized by man. Men may grasp and remodel ideas, and express them in new forms; but the truth is one and universal; it may be seen and described in one part of this globe as well as in another; it is eternal and does not change; and the doctrines it teaches through the mouths of those whose minds are illumined by wisdom, a million of years hence, will be the same which it taught a million of years ago. These doctrines The Spirit of Christ still teaches to those who will listen to him; for he is not dead, but lives as an immortal power whose name is Divine Wisdom, “The Word.”
I will not quote all twelve sets of pearls from Dr. Hartmann's work, which illustrate my point - that there IS a Universal Esotericsm. But I will give a couple of sets of correspondences.


Dr. Hartmann shows these parallels by taking corresponding teachings from the Bhagavad Gita, Hermes Trismegistus, the Dhammapada, and the New Testament Gospels. Let's see what he came up with, in 1888:
I)
1. “The wise man, ever devout, who worships the One, is the most excellent; for I am dear above all things to the wise man, and he is dear to me”. — Bhagavad Gita, VII. 17.​
2. “Embrace me with thy whole heart and mind, and whatsoever thou wouldst learn, I will teach thee”. — Hermes Trismegistus, II. 3​
3. “He who reflects and meditates receives ample joy”. — Dhammapada
4. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, and with all thy soul”. Matthew, XXII. 37​
II)
1. “I (Brahm) was never non-existent, nor thou, nor those rulers of men, nor shall any of us hereafter cease to be”. — Bhagavad Gita, II. 12
2. “I am that Light, the Mind, thy God, who am before the moist nature that appeared out of darkness, and that bright lightful Word is the Son of God”. — Hermes Trismegistus, II. 8.​
3. “He who has traversed this hazy and imperious world and its vanity, who is through and has reached the other shore, is thoughtful, guileless, free from doubts, free from attachment, and content, — him I call indeed a Brahmana”. — Dhammapada​
4. “Before Abraham was, I am”. — John, VIII. 58​
Of course, this has been done here at CR before, by our own posters, of every faith, tradition and background. I've rather enjoyed the results, yet I still puzzle over those who - with sophistry and casuistry - would tell us: "There is no Universal Truth," or would argue that man cannot attain to such.

I disagree on both counts.​

Certainly, to attain to a greater measure of Truth than one's fellow man entails a greater responsibility (be shouldered), and the karmic repercussions for not acting accordingly ... are tremendous.​

But by no means is Dr. Hartmann, with his Theosophical connections, alone capable of seeing what is right before his eyes. Let us look at what the best known leader of America's Civil Rights Movement had to say along these lines ...

During study for his own Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a paper entitled, The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity. I highly recommend a reading of this paper to anyone who has the slightest interest in his or her own Christian Faith, its roots, and the reasons for its success and popularity in the modern world.

In particular, I would call attention to several points that Dr. King makes, the last point he makes being very much what Dr. Hartmann says in my very first quotation of this post ...
  • "[The] Mystery-Religions, were not alike in every respect: to draw this conclusion would lead to a gratuitous and erroneous supposition. They covered an enormous range, and manifested a great diversity in character and outlook
  • However it is to be noticed that these Mysteries possessed many fundamental likenesses; (1) All held that the initiate shared in symbolic (sacramental) fashion the experiences of the god. (2) All had secret rites for the initiated. (3) All offered mystical cleansing from sin. (4) All promised a happy future life for the faithful.[Footnote: Enslin, Christian Beginnings, pp. 187, 188.]
  • It is not at all surprising in view of the wide and growing influence of these religions that when the disciples in Antioch and elsewhere preached a crucified and risen Jesus they should be regarded as the heralds of another mystery religion, and that Jesus himself should be taken for the divine Lord of the cult through whose death and resurrection salvation was to be had. That there were striking similarities between the developing church and these religions cannot be denied. Every Christian apologist had to admit that fact.
  • Christianity triumphed over these mystery religions after long conflict. This triumph may be attributed in part to the fact that Christianity took from its opponents their own weapons, and used them: the better elements of the mystery religions were transferred to the new religion.
  • It is inevitable when a new religion comes to exist side by side with a group of religions, from which it is continually detaching members, introducing them into its own midst with the practices of their original religions impressed upon their minds, that this new religion should tend to assimilate with the assimilation of their members, some of the elements of these existing religions. "The more crusading a religion is, the more it absorbs." Certainly Christianity has been a crusading religion from the beginning. It is because of this crusading spirit and its superb power of adaptability that Christianity has been able to survive.
  • In speaking of the indispensability of knowledge of these cults [Mystery Religions] as requisite for any serious study of Christianity, Dr. Angus says: "As an important background to early Christianity and as the chief medium of sacramentarianism to the West they cannot be neglected; for to fail to recognize the moral and spiritual values of Hellenistic-Oriental paganism is to misunderstand the early Christian centuries and to do injustice to the victory of Christianity. Moreover, much from the Mysteries has persisted in various modern phases of thought and practice."[Footnote: Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity, p. viii.]
  • This is not to say that the early Christians sat down and copied these views verbatim. But after being in contact with these surrounding religions and hearing certain doctrines expressed, it was only natural for some of these views to become a part of their subconscious minds. When they sat down to write they were expressing consciously that which had dwelled in their subconscious minds. It is also significant to know that Roman tolerance had favoured this great syncretism of religious ideas. Borrowing was not only natural but inevitable."
Where does all of this put us?

I'll tell you. It serves to illustrate what many of us have come to accept as a fact, so obvious that we begin to wonder why others keep banging their head against the wall. It is as simple as the Sun in the sky above. :)

sunshine.gif
The Truth, like Sunshine, beams down upon all the world, and it does not distinguish, or choose, for whom it will shine more brightly. But human beings, because we are gifted with the capacity to choose our measure of that Truth, do not always walk completely in the Light.


Sadly, some would try to force others to walk in their own, filtered versions of the Greater Sunlight. But that is not the Way.

The Truth does not need an interpreter. And THAT is the error that I think many of us make, even while we are unawares, perhaps.

I will quote once more to show the Esoteric Tradition which makes the most sense to me and to illustrate my point ... since I am not a Christian, much less a Roman Catholic, and forcefully reject all such versions of Jesus that people sometimes insist on shoving (however politely or smeared with butter and jam) down my throat. :rolleyes:


After presenting the Three Fundamental Propositions of her Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky offers the following disclaimer, and I am seconding it:
Such are the basic conceptions on which the Secret Doctrine rests.​
It would not be in place here to enter upon any defence or proof of their inherent reasonableness; nor can I pause to show how they are, in fact, contained -- though too often under a misleading guise -- in every system of thought or philosophy worthy of the name.
Once that the reader has gained a clear comprehension of them and realised the light which they throw on every problem of life, they will need no further justification in his eyes, because their truth will be to him as evident as the sun in heaven. :)
The moon reflects the sun, just as exoteric religions each embody a kernel of the Truth. The man who insists that his own religion (including religious texts, authorities, interpretations, tenets, etc.) somehow constitutes a monopoly on the Truth, and is superior to other religious systems, is an unenlightened man indeed. He has much to learn ... and will need to walk many miles, in many other people's well-worn shoes ... before he finally finds the Truth he is seeking.
For pilgrim it's a long way
To find out who you are... (Enya)
Namaskar ... to and from,
a pilgrim on the Path
 
Hi Andrew, my old friend :)

May I ask you a question? I have been wanting to ask this for so long now! Forgive me if this is none of my business, or if I am just totally daft or something.

Doesn't Theosophy give blessing to all paths? Am I assuming incorrectly by thinking that the Theosophist says, in effect, if the path you are on works for you, then it is just as good as any other?

And I just have to ask...do you think our friend Thomas thinks we are doomed to "hell" because we are not Roman Catholics? (I know, I shouldn't even get in the middle here, but here I am :eek:). And do you not see how some very sincere folks in all kinds of Traditions are very concerned about losing the essence of their belief-systems--including, say that of specific Native American practices which are becoming so overtly influenced and dispersed by New Age interpretations, or certain Protestant denominations who wish to preserve those denominational teachings in the face of today's extremely influential non-denominational trends?

I hope you don't misunderstand me--I can see both sides of the coin here. But is it necessarily arrogant to want to preserve the history of a particular Tradition, especially when the ones doing the preserving seem to hold no animosity toward the followers or pioneers of another Tradition?

I may kick myself for finally asking this, but I just can't stand it any longer. Sometimes I just gotta spit it out....

InPeace,
InLove
 
And again, love of God does not figure in Buddhism, so it's not universal, in that sense.

Hi Thomas - What I meant was that if you grouped all religious beliefs of the world together, that then these two paths become visibly distinct. Not that all religions would follow both of them, but that generally they could be seen as common threads. With some religious paths aiming for just one, some going for a mix of both. From what you've said above I understand that you disagree with Love of God being a reality that exists outside of Christianity?

I'm strongly against whitewashing everything as the same, but at the same time would see 'The Universal Truth' argument as also given above by Andrew as being the most logical perspective from what information I have at my disposal.

... Neemai :)
 
Hi Thomas - What I meant was that if you grouped all religious beliefs of the world together, that then these two paths become visibly distinct.

I think there are superior distinctions. The first would be theist and nontheist traditions. How love is understood is determined by this view. Another way of putting it is acceptance or rejection of the world.

Not that all religions would follow both of them, but that generally they could be seen as common threads.

I disgaree — at a superficial level, yes. But you cannot impose a Christian definition of love on Daoism or Buddhism, for example.

From what you've said above I understand that you disagree with Love of God being a reality that exists outside of Christianity?
Not at all — I'm saying that each tradition defines Love (or not) as a reality according to itself. What I'm trying to do is prevent a religion being determined according to the precepts of another and ending up 'not-quite-fully-Christianity' by applying a predominantly Christian aspect to them.

As I have discussed previously, Buddhist compassion is not the same as Christian love at all, as much as people try and make it so.

I'm strongly against whitewashing everything as the same,
Precisely my point — 'Love' is far too vague a term to apply with any degree of accuracy. However you define something, you're going to do it from the standpoint of one of them, the one you 'feel' suits best, and however you do it, you're going to misrepresent the others.

but at the same time would see 'The Universal Truth' argument as ... being the most logical perspective from what information I have at my disposal.

Now here you touch on a very fine point.

The saying goes 'all Truth is one' and I agree, but as One, as truly transcendant, it is beyond form, beyond definition, beyond distinction ... and it manifests itself in varying forms, across time and culture, with greater and lesser degrees of penetration or revelation.

Now modern man, gifted with global communications, suddenly arrives at the idea that because there are certain superficial commonalities, they all speak of one thing, and if one can strip away the accidental and contingent factors, then one arrives at a pure doctrine.

So you strip everything away ... and find there's nothing there.

You end up taking a position which assumes a superiority to all religion, a meta-religion, in which you define terms such as 'love', 'grace' 'submission', 'surrender' etc., according to yourself (what other means have you?) or according to your favoured sage ...

To do this, to say one can see or comprehend Universal Truth, means you know the Mind of God, absolutely.

You can say of Christ, of Buddha, of Lao Tzu, of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Koran and the Torah, the Gospels and the Pali Canon ... of all of them "I know what you're trying to say, and have come to a purer and more profound realisation than you could manage ... my way is better than yours."

It's a truly Promethian assumption, and is born of a modernist mentality that believes in material progress and applies the same dictum in the spiritual domain.

Thomas
 
No, no, I think it's good that you choose to intermediate, InLove, for this is exactly how I believe the spirit of Christ moves amongst us today, whether we call that God, or Jesus, or simply Inner Human Goodness. :)

So thanks for the question, and the observations.

Yes, modern Theosophy does acknowledge that `Truth is One, Paths are many.' :)

So a person can practice one or more of any number of spiritual traditions, and still meet with "Salvation," or what the Hindus and Buddhists call Enlightenment.

I came across an old email from an ex-girlfriend, truly a teacher in my life ... So I posted that email on this thread, above. I agree with her wholeheartedly, while I still wish to make certain points about esotericism - things I've learned, and some of which I know incontrovertibly to be true.

Now this is where I know we are told, or required, to tread lightly, because one man's truth ... is another man's blasphemy. Yet I have the crazy idealistic notion that somewhere, people can meet in the middle.

Thomas has demonstrated, clearly enough, that for him - there is no middle. Sometimes he just tosses the baby out with the bathwater. And he makes no effort to reconsider ...

Now, that is his karma. And it's not my job to change it. I'm beginning to realize that. And some recent insights - not surprisingly into some of the most mundane, or rather HUMAN matters - show me that indeed, the path is through the Heart. So to that I am seeking to turn more of my attention.

Yet I will not stand by, and see the Prophets, Saints, and even Saviors of ONE era slandered, simply because those of another era mean a great deal to someone.

Notice: While I do challenge conventional interpretations, and favored theories regarding figures like Jesus of Nazareth, Siddartha Gautama, and even Plato ... I do not say that these men were frauds, that all they taught was simply ripped off from earlier traditions, or that they were shallow, shoddy philosophers.

Now, what am I to say to a man, who insists that anything and everything advanced by modern-day Theosophists is amiss, by very virtue of the affiliation?

~+~+~+~+~+~+~

No, I don't think Thomas believes we are "doomed to hell." He may, perhaps, as some do suggest, believe that having taken the more expedient - dare I say, favored - path, they (Roman Catholics) will arrive at the desired destination/goal ahead of the rest of us.

But this is no different than what many Muslims believe, while I find that outside of Christianity and Islam (and possibly Judaism), such sentiment is not nearly so prevalent.

Native American spiritual traditions interest me greatly, yet I would counter your point by telling you that why they interest me ... is because I can see the similarities, the amazing similarites, between what I know of them, and what I have learned of other indigenous traditions.

I have never studied anthropology the way I wish I had, but it was the major of most of my ex-girlfriends, and I was always fascinated by what they had to share. Yet as a resident of North Carolina, where the town of Cherokee had become nothing more than one giant tourist trap even several decades ago, I think I know exactly what you mean about the concern that some people have regarding their religious tradition, and the possibility that something may be lost. I mean, just look at what has happened! Most people do not even realize that the Cherokee did not have the kind of pow-wows, with all the fancy feathers and headdresses, as the plains Indians. But if they can buy their Kodak disposable cameras, snap a few photos of the real live pow-wow, and buy their kids a toy tomahawk, who cares, right? :(

InLove, I often agree with what you are saying, if not 100% with the specifics, then certainly with the sentiment. Yet I would go one step further, here, and suggest that just because the Wasichu has attempted to understand the Wisdom of the Native Elders, does not mean that he has failed. Pohwaikahine would probably find it unusual, the notion that just because we are white, living in 2007, we cannot understand Black Elk (or Hawaiian spirituality, at any rate).

I know, that's not what you've said. But what I'm saying, is that if there is actually a "Great Spirit," I DARE SAY that this Supreme Deity, at least as far as our planet is concerned, is SURELY the same as the Christian God - at least, in some form or fashion, or on some "level." I think the notion that we're dealing with entirely different entities, certainly in terms of RULERS of our entire Planet, is proposterous!

Is what I say opinion? Is it really? I think we are all entitled to our beliefs ... yet when you're dealing with people such as myself and Thomas, as you know, it's not unusual to find a good deal of effort put forward to demonstrate that such beliefs actually make good sense - and good sense for everyone, rather than something like a preference for roast beef, over venison.

This isn't about what's your favorite color, and I have found that Thomas is amazingly skilled at the straw-manning of the other person's argument, suggesting that something like Theosophy is simply seeking to SYNCRETIZE all the world's exoteric religions - and kind of SMUSH them all into ONE!!! :eek:

You see? He's so good as dolling that stuff out, he's got YOU, and quite a few other people around here, running around believing it. And that, to me, is a bit disturbing. :(

But on the other hand, I do see where you're coming from, InLove, to an extent. Just because I believe that money is going to fall out of the sky, doesn't mean it will. I might WISH it would do that, but that isn't how rain, or money, works. I am well aware of the popular, New Age sentimental type of "spirituality" which is very much a feel-good religion, and isn't really about righteousness or self-transformation at all, but is in fact, quite glamorized ... and certainly no better than familiar $$-making crap like televangelism! :eek:

~+~+~+~

But when it comes right down to it, you've kind of put your finger right on the problem, Deb. You mention that "the ones doing the preserving seem to hold no animosity toward the followers or pioneers of another Tradition," but you see, there is plenty of animosity.

The animosity stems from the fact that Esotericism has ALWAYS presented another interpretation of things that the Roman Catholic Church has DOGMATIZED. And it is not just Roman Catholicism which has done this, it is EVERY system of organized religion, which - after awhile - loses touch with the originating Spiritual Impulse of its Founder.

Sometimes we still say that teachers like Jesus came to found a Great Religion. And I think that is the worst possible interpretation we can give to His life, His teachings, and His essential message. The same is true of Buddha and Buddhism, Sri Krishna and Hinduism, Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism, and so on.

Even to say that Jesus came as a reformer of Judaism, and Buddha as a reformer of Hinduism, misses the point. These men were not looking for a following. They came as LIBERATORS, as SAVIOURS, but as the movie `Life of Brian' so wonderfully illustrates, the "Lemming Effect" is really just the fallout, the unavoidable consequence of their presence in our midst.

SOME, a precious few, were able to receive the message. Some, a very, very few, could actually understand. Christ, the Buddha, Sri Krishna, and others like them ... were 3-dimensional figures, even here, in the dense physical world, of heavy, crusty, ordinary old matter. Their Light may have shone in the spiritual worlds, but we do not even have to have the Inner Eye to SEE the Truth objectively.

How did Christ move about? Do we really believe, that as in the movies, He was always followed by a mass, a throng? THIS, I'm afraid, is the image we've attached to Him. It is a glamorized one, and it is incorrect.

Christ spoke from the Mountaintop, or at least a large hill ;) ... more than once, I should say. And there were large audiences, at times. But there is a reason, and men like Thomas should KNOW it, why those close to Christ were ARRANGED around Him as they were.

Christ had His closest three, though even among these it is said that one disciple was "Beloved of Him." Beyond these, were the chosen Twelve, whose Greatest Service to us and to Christ, we should remember, was in being sent away to preach the Good News - which gives them their name, `Apostles.'

And while this Inner Group were able to receive some, some FEW, of the spiritual Mysteries from their Teacher ... we can only imagine the Wisdom which He was not able to impart, in so short a Ministry.

Less still, did the 70 Faithful Followers understand, yet they were faithful, and they constituted the next circle around Christ (or sphere, if we remember - Christ came to us in THREE dimensions - as an aura of Love and Light).

There were also an interested 500, and these plus the other two groups, together might be thought of as the few that are chosen ... though a more conservative interpretation would suggest that not even the chosen Twelve truly understood their Master.

But you see, while Jesus of Nazareth was overshadowed by the Christ, and the Christian speaks of Christ as being Universal Spirit (if Individually focused, as the 2nd `Person' of the Godhead) ... it becomes the greatest tragedy of Christianity, and the worst travesty of Christ's own Teaching, when this Universal Spirit cannot be admitted, apparently because it is not recognized, among all other of the world's great religions! :mad:

This is something that gives me MUCH distress ... and thus, while the figures in the late 19th Century Theosophical Movement, and in 20th Century related Movements, may not always bear the striking objective Beauty which Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated in his outermost appearance, Truth's Prophets are known by those who have sought to remain faithful ... in some cases, to vows long since spoken.

~+~+~

Sometimes I have challenged, quite directly, conventional Christian teachings - or rather, the interpretation which has usually been given to Christ's (supposed) words.

Yet all along, what I have attempted to demonstrate relative to Christianity, is not that Christianity is an insufficient, or failed religion, but rather, as G.K. Chesterton put it, It has only failed to the extent that it has NOT BEEN APPLIED.

And if the great, unwashed masses (pun may as well be intended) are unwilling to really APPLY Christ's Teaching in their daily life, because it is inconvenient, in so many ways ... then HOW DO YOU KNOW (you, whoever) that there are not greater Mysteries, even contained in the Gospel Teachings, than have as yet been perceived or understood by the average follower?

We need not look outside the Bible, if we cannot even understand the Wisdom contained therein! Yet it will be argued that ALL WE MUST DO is to pick up our Bibles, recite a few passages, and believe our way into Salvation?

This, to me, even if my opinion does seem to contradict my ex-girlfriend's advice, is NONSENSE. It is nonsense, because that is not what she is saying. The reason that exoteric religion "works," whether it be Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism or Santeria, is that the follower is choosing to cooperate with God, and God's Plan ... and with the Wise, Loving Custodians OF this Plan. And this is the SAME fundamental, inherent choice as that which gets so much attention in Christianity!

It is a shame that some of the theologies get things so mucked up that people can no longer recognize the natural, inherent human GOODNESS ... the fostering and development of which is given to exoteric religion as their very raison d'etre, or Purpose amidst Humanity. But so it is.

+-+-+-+

I guess that's a much more long-winded response than it should have been, because I know how sincere your post was ... and also the Spirit in which it was posted! For that reason, I hope that you will simply take up something that stands out from my response, and continue the dialogue.

Notice that Thomas, in his most recent post, has sought to push Truth beyond mankind's grasp - beyond our reach. And Love? What does he say of Love? It is "far too vague" to speak of with any accuracy.

Deb, for the first time in awhile, I feel (!) that I may have finally met someone who has something to teach me! And I don't mean dogma, or doctrine, or a new meditation technique ... I mean something about feeling, and being human.

Because NEVER, even in all my most abstract readings and studies, and ponderings with esotericists, did I think ... that I would meet someone who was so incredibly astute, and gifted, and amazingly intelligent, and profoundly learned and read ... and yet more in need of the simple realization of LOVE, which IS Truth ... than I am. :eek:

When I met my Master as an adult, I can say that my life was truly, forever changed. Not in an instant, and not overnight, but as lonely as I may have been at times, knowing that kind of Love ... changes one forever.

I may speak of it again, because I would affirm certain spiritual verities, but the least of these - is that the Masters exist, and such myths as the idea that Theosophists are out to syncretize the world's religions into one, homogenous meta-religion ... I would PLAY MY PART to dispel such glamour.

Thomas, you may spread it. I will diffuse it. And I am sternly resolved ...

The master of the straw-man, become a master of Love. It is not so easy a path. :eek:

And regardless, NAMASKAR

~Andrew
 
Andrew's position is that the Theosophical Society knows more about Christ and His mission than the Church does. And equally knows more about any and every tradition than anyone else.

This posits the Theosophical Society as the Meta-religion in sole possession of the Truth of all, and sole possession of the Truth as such.

I don't believe that. He does.

That's what it boils down to.

Thomas
 
Andrew's position is that the Theosophical Society knows more about Christ and His mission than the Church does. And equally knows more about any and every tradition than anyone else.

This posits the Theosophical Society as the Meta-religion in sole possession of the Truth of all, and sole possession of the Truth as such.

I don't believe that. He does.

That's what it boils down to.

Thomas
Namaste Thomas and Andrew...

Now I believe each is as adamant in his beliefs as you are in yours...hence my discussion about ones beliefs ending where another's begin.

I believe each believes he is right, I also believe you believe you are right. I thoroughly enjoy the discussion and points both of you bring up. We are all educated by the knowledge and dedication you both have to your studies. It appears to me that the discussion can continue but that would be by choice...

Where we don't know is to openly state what someone else thinks...we can say what we think they think, we can ask them to verify what they think...but we really shouldn't put words in each others mouth and expect to be able to continue. It seems to me if the Catholic Church or the Theosophists or anyone had the answer that was clear cut...then nobody would be leaving any of them...and the discussions wouldn't be so sharp...

It is always amazing to me that folks are surprised that when someone is backed into a corner they come out swinging...after all we aren't all enlightened and G-dly and Christlike now then are we....or we wouldn't...

we wouldn't box folks into corners...

and when boxed into a corner we wouldn't come out swinging...

hence our responses are indications of what we need to work on??
 
Hi Guys :)

I'm sorry. Like I said before, I kind of figured I would kick myself for asking. Andrew, I wasn't trying so much to intermediate. I was trying to understand the problem, and I mistakenly thought that you had overlooked something important that Thomas keeps saying. But I see that you haven't, so thanks for clearing that up for me and maybe some others.

Perhaps all this stuff is a bit over my head. And I shouldn't have asked such direct questions when I don't really comprehend the basics that you and Thomas and some others here seem to grasp so well. What I do know is that each of you is committed to your respective faiths, and both of you have much knowledge to offer someone like me. So, I think I will leave it there for now. Hopefully I did not do too much damage. Actually, I think it was mostly a lesson for me, more than either of you. I mean, at least you guys know what you are arguing about. :)

I love you both--
Deb

InPeace,
InLove
 
Back
Top