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About UniversalFriendliness

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    Religion! I guess.
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    Having given Catholicism and Orthodoxy a good long try, I think I am ready to see that there is no one 'true faith'.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I think there is a supreme Source.

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  1. That's a reference to youtube video watch?v=X_xZcD4veGc linked above. I just wanted to suggest also this channel, Burt Harding https://www.youtube.com/user/burtharding/videos He does a nice job explaining a point of view about existence, silence, stilling the mind, etc. Also he has a couple of books for Kindle priced at $0, KindleUnlimited.
  2. Here is an example I found of making sure that meditation is not hollow in its feeling: Jay Lakhani lecture at Eton. At this point in the lecture, he is about to explain a second step in meditation, which is to calm the mind by wishing well to all. Here is an example of something related: Alan Pritz talk at Theosophical Society about Param. Yogananda. He explains that meditative chanting is intended to be "soul to spirit", a kind of interaction. He gives a participatory demonstration. Here is one way Quakers describe the unprogrammed silent worship they engage in: the inner sanctuary of the soul. Or "sitting in expectant waiting." They believe everyone has a divine spark within. Here is a fascinating critique of Christianity by Quakers: "If the Church were Christian" Here is a glimpse of the Bahá'í faith, which shows how they have an experience of genuine warmth and fellowship when they gather: a visit to a Bahá'í community by SoulPancake.
  3. approximate times and quotes: @ 15:00 'There is an absolute truth that is accessible to humans. It is not accessible to the rational mind.' [good!] @ 19:10 'You are literally nothingness.' @ 20:10 'existence and nothingness are the same' [one view only] As he gets to minute 19, he goes into what seems a Buddhist interpretation. Bear in mind that the ideas that are consistent with what he says at minute 15 include more than Buddhism. For example there are also Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. In its own way, that Jesus the teacher would approve of and was trying to teach, Christianity carries (with unfortunate baggage) the better idea, namely that God is love, existence is love. Meditation can lead to love. We can have a unitive, meditative experience that is love, not nothingness. There are so many presentations about meditation, in books and on video. Some of them encourage a nothingness concept, others encourage a more unitive perspective. Through the personalities of God, known as gods, in Hinduism, it is encouraged to have a more unitive experience with God. Some perspectives, especially Hinduism and the Quakers, have the understanding that everyone carries a divine spark, and that God is in everyone. Unitive thinking and meditation flow from that.
  4. I did a double-take because I thought you meant Benny Hill!
  5. Here is a good treatment of how religions evolve from the essential initial spiritual experience, through the lenses which are used to portray those experiences, and the theology and philosophy that develops to codify them in different cultures: Jay Lakhani, Advanced Hinduism, first fifteen minutes or so. People get distracted by the superficial and culturally-specific elements, and don't have enough exposure to the deeper spiritual truths that are accessible in all traditions. -- and not only the theology and philosophy that is used to codify the experiences, but the rubbish and propaganda that is admixed. For example a lot of the OT is no doubt self-propagandizing by the Israelites to justify abusing their neighbors.
  6. Just tell them Christmas is really on January 7 and is a spiritual solemnity, not a festive one. That might give them pause for thought. Or you can say, "Yes in my Hindu group we are planning a party!" (Thanks @Jagdish)
  7. Here is a great example of how absurd the whole who-was-Jesus problem is: Richard Smoley on the Identity of Jesus What I think happened was that Jesus was a noteworthy teacher of the find-God-within school of thought, whose memory was used by others to make a composite mystery religion.
  8. Just a video about Christ in Hinduism from HinduAcademy.
  9. Jesus as a god of compassion is at odds with Jesus as a god who says that few people are going to get through the 'gates'. The crafters of the religion may have been trying to unify people for easier social control, and maybe to put an end to human sacrifice. But don't the gods always have contradictory aspects? Shiva is destroyer and restorer, dancer and ascetic. Odin is poet and warrior, breath and death. I should think that incorporating Jesus into Hinduism would not be too challenging.
  10. You don't have to pay too much attention to the Bible, beyond what it indicates about Jesus. The Bible came somewhat later, and had to be ratified in various social contexts, and actually is not the same East and West. If you like Jesus, he's yours!
  11. Apparently, "Hindus don't Hindus don't really see Jesus as a Christian at all." To blend Jesus into Hinduism may be quite harmless because "many individuals raise the possibility that the Gospels' description of Jesus' life was derived, at least in part, from Krishna's life story, and from the myths of other god-men." I think if you want to be Hindu, you can bring Jesus with you. And since by all accounts Jesus' love is perfect, he won't mind at all. In fact to see Jesus as the Hindus do may be closer to what Jesus himself had in mind, than what goes on today!
  12. Can you make Jesus one of the gods in your Hindu pantheon? I thought the Hindus were pretty flexible.
  13. I just read a post about mental health after leaving Mormonism, and it prompted me to look up this term, religious trauma syndrome. I found this web site which looks like a plausible start. They write, "There are more and more websites to support the growing number of people leaving harmful religion." Without having studied it too carefully, I would venture one way to develop a traumatized sense is the following: you spend years committing your best self for a cause, then decide the cause was less worthy than you thought. As you depart, you realize that you have invested a lot of time in it, and are still surrounded by people who believe in it. So there's a lot of coming to terms, while reshaping your life in new directions, while surrounded by people who don't get it. Something like that.
  14. We exist, and existence is, true. But our nature is to seek to make sense of our experiences: to clarify them and assign meaning to them within our understanding. I haven't come across a culture that lacked some correspondence with the other side. What we'd like is to have as safe and rational an understanding as possible, so we can know more fully who and what we are. Rejecting the religion of Christianity doesn't mean we must become materialists.
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