Do you need a master, guru or group?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by intrepidlover, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    The railway line to Truth passes through many stations. At each station a number of passengers alight and make a tour of the township. Most of those who inspect any given town are not particularly drawn to it and reboard the train.

    However a small number of people feel an affinity with the town and decide to settle there. They have found an environment in which they feel comfortable and secure and have no desire to venture further.

    Each of the stations (townships) represents a particular school of thought, usually devised by and presided over by the founder of that belief system. So the people have found a religion and guru who they are sure teaches the only truth, or the best truth.

    I have stopped at many such stations and dwelt in the town sometimes for a very short period of time, and sometimes for many years. But eventually I found something lacking and boarded the next train to Truth.

    The vast majority of people appear to remain indefinitely in the town of their choice. If they produce children, they will teach their offspring that this particular town is the only proper place to live and in most cases the children will not have reason to question their parents' judgment.

    I have decided to stay on the train indefinitely. I do not believe the railway line to Truth has any terminus. I have long since bothered to alight at any of the stations. There seems to be no religion (belief system) that is better or more correct than all others. Gurus come and go. They too are mortal just like me.

    I anticipate and hope that I will still be on the train when the time comes for me to "die."

    Who amongst you needs a master or guru to look up to, or a group with which to identify in order to feel secure in this life?
     
  2. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    What's the point in stopping at the stations? Keep going... See how far the track goes, and if it ever comes to a full stop/dead end.... Besides why hang around some small little world(town) when there is so much more out there to experince/see/hear/smell/taste/and do.... "stay in a hard town but leave before you become too hard, Stay in a soft town, but leave before it makes you too soft...." lol...

    Reference to masters... Oh we all need masters... Ourselves. :D I am my master....
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste IntrepidLover,

    I hear you, I did that. Oh I was positive that I sure no longer needed any building or congregation, anyone pontificating from the pulpit. And I completely understand. I did my stopping and testing the waters, enjoying the waves, and then finding something that didn't resonate and move on. Stopped sometimes and couldn't wait for the next train, stopped sometimes and saw what I needed to see before the one I was on left the station and was able to get back on board.

    My wife wanted something for the kids, they were a couple years old, thought we should start indoctrinating them. I was against it, I wasn't ready to put them in any station. Eventually I submitted and found someplace I liked, and low and behold I found a building, a congregation, a guru/preacher that I've been at for over a dozen years. I know this isn't the end of the line for me or my children, we've gone on short trips and vacations to other stations so they know there is a whole world out there. But I have an extreme level of comfort in satisfaction where I am currently. I don't think I'll ever stay on the train again, I enjoy the stations, and enjoy the depth of taking time to explore the country side, watch the rivers meander, take in the changing of the seasons and the different perspectives they bring. You can't get that from the train, or from the video, or from the book, you can imagine it, but stopping in for a period of time and getting your feet wet, truly testing the waters, playing with others, that is the part I enjoy. That and knowing if I don't like where I am, I've got always got a ticket, and there is always another train, and an infinite amount of stations.
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Agreed - it is not the arriving, but the journey, that enriches. When you stop to alight and remain there, you have stopped seeking, because you feel you have already arrive. When you stop seeking, you cease to grow with the universe.

    2c. :)
     
  5. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

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    Hello Intrepid,

    To echo the words of Wil, in my experience the journey doesn't stop once you get off the train - it just takes a different format. More like a jungle treck or walk into the mountains. There is a world beyond the train station. Lol!

    I've never been a person who feels a desperate need to "belong" somewhere in order to feel secure, but would say that the majority of my inspiration in spiritual life has been through meeting other people, either through their writings, or via their personal association. I have a guru who "fan's the spark" of my spiritual life and personally I believe this to be one of the most valuable relationships in my life.

    In another sense everyone is our guru because there is no-one we can't learn from.

    Those are my thoughts anyway. Thank you for sharing.

    Hare Krishna,


    ... Neemai :)
     
  6. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    my master is the reigning king The “master” obviously is Jesus Christ.
     
  7. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    I think that some of the townships and groups among us are too devoted to their idols. And they might not think of their Ideals as idols - but these words are not far apart ... and I would ask, WHAT makes the difference?

    When there is a living HERO recognized and celebrated as the Idol, or Ideal, of a township ... this is far, far better than lawlessness, disorder and materialism. Yet when that Hero becomes little more than the object of WORSHIP, we no longer have religion. We have false religion.

    So we must move beyond.

    Some townships may be fairly well integrated, and synthesized amongst themselves, as mentioned ... yet they will dispute, even with their closest neighbors, which Guru, which Master, to follow ... or which Idol/Ideal to worship. Thus, the Peace, the Harmony and the Order, is really only relative - and limited.

    If we keep riding a little farther on our train, which represents both time, and spiritual progress (in the broadest, most general sense, independent of specific religions) ... we find that the communities are less spread out, and less prone to arguments and conflict between each other, just as for even ONE Community to exist, certain dynamics must come to prevail, and Harmony must eclipse the rebellious, self-assertive spirit.

    The train travels on, and rather than communities spread out, here and there, to either side of the train, we may be likely to find One, Large Community, inclusive even of the newly arriving passengers - though this kind of inclusivity does not require allegiances, or lip service, or any kind of uniform and ritual. There is no desire, among the members of that Community, to slow the train, or to derail it, or to extract its passengers at all. The members all know, that for those who have become the path, there is nothing wrong with riding the train, or with stopping off to have a cup of coffee ... maybe live a life, if this is what is asked.

    Yes, I think there are Masters, these being our greatest Teachers in life ... though we must learn to recognize them, and hear their lessons, in everyone - and everything - around us. Meeting such a Teacher in the flesh only becomes necessary quite some way down the road ... and although the Master is always able to go where needed, WE must learn something about how to go to THEM. And that is why it will not do, to just go jumping off at the stations, one by one, even if we are looking for a Guide.

    The greatest Guide of all, is already here, within. And this Guide will instruct us, if we listen, probably with gentle encouragement to keep on keeping on, and to relax, enjoy the ride, if we currently find ourselves on that train.

    Every day, people by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands, also tune in, and learn to hear that voice ... and they begin to either question, and to realize that they are not living life the way it's meant to be lived, or they take that BOLD, first STEP - and they board the train. Something like a Journey song, I suppose. :)

    Moving down the line, as we begin, or continue our search, there are definitely challenges, yet the nature of the design we're fortunate enough to be living within, is that our Guide is always whispering to us ... and sooner or later, even if just for a moment, we catch the gist of what's being said. And we begin to embody that, whether we're sitting on the train, or getting acquainted with a new community, or learning about the bridges, the connections, between all peoples, all groups, all beings and all Life.

    Yes, eventually, for the very, final stages of our stay upon this planet, I do think we will need a Master Teacher. Yet our world has already boarded the train, as a collective, and though we are far from our destination ... I'm pretty sure that utter chaos, purposeless and fear can be left behind us, if we just learn to let go, and allow the train to take us where we're meant to be.

    It is now the case, that we must learn to live within the world, even as we learn to hear the voice within, and if we can open ourselves to the lessons that are (Intelligently, Lovingly, Purposefully) provided ... I am confident that we can find out sooner, rather than later, why we're really here - and what, truly comes next, whatever next might be (since it differs, slightly, for all of us).

    The greatest Group of all, is the one that does not force us to become a part, yet which already affirms our membership, with the WHOLE. That group is not waiting to become created. It simply is, and it is waiting on us. Yet it is right here, right now, and the train is already there. And everyone is riding it ... and none of us are.

    It is, after all, only an idea.
     
  8. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    Hello Andrew

    At the fundamentalist Christian website from which I have just fled, there was an extensive discussion -- unwittingly started by myself -- when I posted: "Let's talk about the Trinity." It went on and on, with several new threads spinning off from the original. It appears that I had inadvertently hit on the most controversial doctrine in Christianity.

    HOWEVER as all the members at that website place such heavy dependence on the so-called Word of God (The Bible) I suggested that perhaps we should put the book on equal terms with the three persons of the Trinity and have a quaternion.

    It is quite clear to me that many (probably most) members of that particular website DO worship the book with greater reverence and devotion than it's "author."

    Agreed -- emphatically.
    Also agreed. My personal Master (not to say that I am anywhere near the end of the journey) is Murdo MacDonald-Bayne.

    You can read his most important book online here:

    Beyond Himalayas

    If you just read the "Forward" to this book you will readily get the gist of it.

    Thank you one and all for picking up my "train" metaphor and expanding it in various ways. The idea came to me when I perceived ( strongly suspected) from a particular post by a particular person that this person accepted the writings of his "master" as "gospel."
     
  9. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

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    You say that like it's a bad thing(?), but for many followers of Hinduism this is one of the core teachings.

    "If one has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and the spiritual master, the essence of all Vedic knowledge is revealed to him." (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.23)


    ... Neemai :)

    P.S - If I mis-read what you said just give me friendly slap in the face. Lol
     
  10. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    this is what some of us do; we travel, we visit the different towns full of hope, wondering if this town is the town we will settle in, and yet... eventually the time comes for us to pack up and journey on again, onto the next town...

    there is always a good enough reason- the weather is not good, the ppl are not the right kind, their truths are not as true as we first thought, and yet... eventually, after u have visited all the towns on this route, you will find that they are all the same- when you first catch glimpse of them on the horizon, shrouded in heat haze, they seem to shimmer and shine and hold such promise, but up close, in the heat and stifling alleyways, with the noise and the smells and the beggars and the poor, they seem much different...

    how lonely it gets, sometimes, to confront another tired budget hotel room, alone, and feel that there is no home to return to, it's depressing that a weary traveller like us has no real place to go, and he might feel that he has no real purpose to his travels beyond the next town...

    how great it seems then, the idea that one day, we will find our ppl, that one day we will find the perfected master, the greatest guru, the God of Gods himself, even, perhaps... and so yes, we move on to the next town, looking for something which we had with our flight bag all the time... ourselves...
     
  11. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    I will answer you with a question. Do you think the Christian Bible, translated as it is from the original languages thus losing in many instances the original meaning, is absolutely and literally true in every way? Would you defend to your life the notion of infallibility of the Bible (especially King James Version)?

    But you are missing the point. You are referring to "the essence of Vedi Knowledge." You are not referring to any written Scripture and that is the distinction I am making -- attaching more value to the written words than the essence of what those words are trying to convey. In Christian terminology -- the letter of law as distinct from the spirit of the law.

    The Buddha gave the analogy of a raft -- the doctrine which the pupil needed until such time as he outgrew the need for doctrine. [Google it if you are not familiar with this parable]

    Quite some time ago I had a dream which was obviously symbolical and can be clearly seen as a parallel to the Buddha's raft. I was in a small boat some distance from the shore, and then the boat disappeared and I was in the ocean by myself. I swam to the beach and found the entrance to a great library in which was stored all the spiritual knowledge of all time.

    I am not saying that I have gained all knowledge, but I have definitely reached a point where I have no need of any dogma of any kind in order to have a strong spiritual faith.

    You have quoted from one of the Upanishads. Do you think Patanjali held this same view?

    In the last chapter of the Gita: "Give up then they earthly duties, surrender thyself to Me only. Do not be anxious; I will absolve thee from all they sin."

    Oh how I love that verse because Krishna is making the same offer as the vicarious atonement of Christ.
     
  12. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

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    No, personally I wouldn't. I respect the Bible as a sacred text (especially the new testament), but as a non-Christian it's not an important issue to me. However I wouldn't see it as incorrect for someone of a Christian persuasion to see the Bible in this way, as long as they didn't enforce their own opinion of it's infallibility onto others who weren't interested.

    I'm in full agreement with you on this one. Krishna even makes the same point in the Gita.

    BG 2.46: All purposes served by a small well can at once be served by a great reservoir of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows the purpose behind them.

    Sorry if I missed it first time round. ;) It's just that your guru comment seemed to be saying something different.

    Great. :)

    I havn't spent much time with Raja-Yoga, or writings of Patanjali so wouldn't have a clue. I consider the Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita as revealed texts, so if someone was saying something different to these within the context of Hinduism, and claiming it was some sort of 'higher truth' I would be very wary of their accepting thier opinion. How could they know more than Krishna for example?

    A brilliant correlation! Abandon all dharma, just surrender to Krishna (or God). In essence the message would appear to be the same in my eyes also.

    Hare Rama,


    ... Neemai :)
     
  13. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I have no master, guru, method, organization, sect, or safety net. It's just me.

    Chris
     
  14. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    An organization is “an organized body,” according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary. With that in mind, we understand that because the apostles organized first-century Christians into local congregations under the oversight of a governing body in Jerusalem, it is proper to speak of that “association of brothers” as an organization. (1 Peter 2:17) Jehovah’s Witnesses today have a similar organizational structure. The unity of the first-century body was strengthened by “gifts in men,” such as “shepherds and teachers.” Some of these traveled from congregation to congregation, while others were elders in local congregations. (Ephesians 4:8, 11, 12; Acts 20:28) Similar “gifts” strengthen the unity of Jehovah’s Witnesses today. but the master is Jesus christ and he is giving spiritual food at the right time matthew 24;45-47
     
  15. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    It must be pleasant to be among like minded believers. I sometimes wish for that. But I'm different.

    Chris
     
  16. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    i don’t think we need masters as such, and that we all have our own inner deity. by listening to the inner truth we can learn anything anyone else can teach us and on a more intimate level.
    however it is very helpful to have guidance as long as that doesn’t amount to a constricted perspective.

    i think humanity is moving on from thinking of others as lords etc.


    interesting topic


    _Z_ :)
     
  17. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    For me i find it very good ,

    Look! How good and how pleasant it is
    For brothers to dwell together in unity PSALM 133;1
     
  18. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Gee Chris, why couldn't you just be a non-conformist like everyone else?:D

    Seriously though, I find it interesting that we all seem to need a belief, a mental construct of some kind, believing that it reflects the universe or reality as it is. The irony being that the question " how do we stand outside of reality to view it? keeps popping up , and it is questions like this that keep me from believing anything whole heartedly.
    Perhaps there is only the question, and we can keep inquiring leaving the end open.
     
  19. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    interesting point, probably a thread in itself. i think much of it comes down to our fears, when there are groups offering a release from that, it is a way to find a release. its a shame that no one can in truth claim to offer such redemption.
     
  20. Neemai

    Neemai that's my Boss in the pic

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    Hi Chris - what's your take on life me ol' China? Or please point me to another thread if you've spelled it out somewhere already. Save your typing fingers...

    Namaste,

    ... Neemai :)
     

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