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The Spook of Kryasst who is also somehow magically Him magically inspired me to post this glorious topic!

 

I have had an interest in Eastern spirituality since I was a teenager. That interest was interrupted when I had the misfortune of getting sucked into the fundamentalist Christian cult. I can't say that I ultimately found fundamentalist Atheism all that satisfying either. But, that is just my opinion... :shrug:

 

I wrote this not too long ago for posting to Facebook, but I thought it would be worth sharing here too:

 

The following is taken from a talk Eknath Easwaran gave at the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation circa 1992. It is the truest, must accurate description of who God is that I have ever heard expressed. I find a great deal of truth in the Hindu belief that God is the only reality and that because we are all a part of God and cannot be separated from him we all possess that divine spark which is, in reality, our consciousness. God exists at the core of every living thing and as Eknath Easwaran expresses that reality in his introduction to the Bhagavad Gita:

 

The image of God is found essentially and personally in all mankind. Each possesses it whole, entire and undivided, and all together not more than one alone. In this way we are all one, intimately united in our eternal image, which is the image of God and the source in us of all our life.

 

I'll let Eknath Easwaran take it from here: :)

 

When we use the word "Lord" or "God" we are not talking about some extraterratorial (extraterrestrial) figure in an entirely different galaxy. On the other hand, when I say Lord, because of my personal experience of it, I am referring to somebody who is closer to me than this body, who is dearer to me than my very life. If you remember that simple definition of God, you can avoid the misunderstanding even great philosophers like Bertrand Russell have fallen into. Not only is this the simplest definition that I can give but we are all come into this world -- in all countries, in all religions -- to make this simple discovery: that God, whom we may call Krishna or Christ or the Buddha or Shiva or Allah or the Clear Light, is present in the depths of our consciousness. This has been reiterated for us many, many times during the march of civilization by rare people in every religion -- Sri Krishna, the Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Ansari of Herat, Sri Ramakrishna, and in our own time, Mahatma Gandhi.

 

[...]

 

God has no form, no color, no sex, and it is for the convenience of communication that we say, "Our Father which art in heaven" or as they say in India, "Our Mother which art in heaven." The Sanskrit term for God is Tat, "That". That indescribable, incomprehensible being from which thoughts and words come back frightened. They are beyond the reach of the senses, beyond the reach of thoughts, and the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is a road map showing all the guidelines which will take us to the goal. It is also a total way of life.

 

prayerofstfrancis.jpg

 

My greatest spiritual desire is to align my life and my responses to others and the situations of life with the way of life described in this wonderful prayer.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

As far as Christianity goes, I'm not happy at all about being involved in it or with the severely negative effect it had on me, but I'm done with being angry about it. I stayed there for far too long and the only person it was hurting was me. The last anti-Christian rant I wrote which is posted here, really got a lot of stuff out and I finally was able to LET GO. So I have moved on. Bashing fundamentalist Christian beliefs can be fun for me for a short time and I might take an occasional jab at somebody on Facebook just for a brief laugh at their expense, but my heart isn't in it anymore. And I am really happy to be there.

 

I do have a website going at http://www.spiritualitydaily.com, which anyone interested is welcome to check out. :)

 

I have not officially embraced Hinduism or any other religion, but I do greatly appreciate the spiritual wisdom and knowledge I find in the Bhavagad Gita and the Upanishads. I also enjoy reading the writings of mystics from other religions such as (non-fundamentalist) Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam.

 

This is where I'm at now. It feels right for me and it makes me happy.

 

Glory!

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I like the hindu story of creation. There was a one-ness, they call it the god parusha, and the oneness was lonely, and started ripping apart his body, and everything that was formed came from that oneness. We are all the same thing. We are all "god". The whole point of the yogas is to get past this illusion of multiplicity and to lose your SELF, and recognize the oneness. It's a very nice story, yes? I find Hindu texts to be very good at getting me to a new level of experience.

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Personally I don't see any percentage in exchanging the Christian concept of trying to fool myself into thinking an omnibenevolent Orchestrator permeates everything and watches over it (and me) for the Eastern concept of trying to fool myself into thinking that I'm one with the universe so that it doesn't seem so vast and distant and I seem less alone. They are just coming at the same thing from opposite directions or emphases, IMO. I sense the same levels cognitive dissonance either way. But if it works for you, by all means have at it. I can't claim to have a better alternative. Glory, indeed!

 

For now, I'm stuck with what I can buy into, which is, all this stuff just is, the end.

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Personally I don't see any percentage in exchanging the Christian concept of trying to fool myself into thinking an omnibenevolent Orchestrator permeates everything and watches over it (and me) for the Eastern concept of trying to fool myself into thinking that I'm one with the universe so that it doesn't seem so vast and distant and I seem less alone. They are just coming at the same thing from opposite directions or emphases, IMO. I sense the same levels cognitive dissonance either way. But if it works for you, by all means have at it. I can't claim to have a better alternative. Glory, indeed!

 

For now, I'm stuck with what I can buy into, which is, all this stuff just is, the end.

 

But western science is definitely catching up to the eastern idea of thought. The idea that everything in the universe is one is definitely true, at least as far as we can tell.

 

From the perspective of physics, everything IS COMPLETELY interdependent and interconnected.

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But western science is definitely catching up to the eastern idea of thought. The idea that everything in the universe is one is definitely true, at least as far as we can tell.

 

From the perspective of physics, everything IS COMPLETELY interdependent and interconnected.

I don't see the practical value of this knowledge. If I am a gnat drowning in the middle of a puddle of water, my need is to escape the water, not join with it or acquire occult knowledge that the water lies atop some dirt which is part of the crust of a planet that orbits a sun that is in a galaxy whizzing through space.

 

I'm looking for actionable data that impacts my life for the better, not a way to feel warm and fuzzy while I continue to drown.

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From what I understand, the core of Hindu practice is self-realization. That is, to see that you, the "I" are not who you think you are. This is a compelling idea to me, because there is something about existence, particularly human existence, that seems to be somehow off kilter in a major way.

 

I have particularly enjoyed the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. This resonates with me like almost nothing else. I really love sections of the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Vasistha's Yoga.

 

I am glad you have found this path, Jeff.

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But western science is definitely catching up to the eastern idea of thought. The idea that everything in the universe is one is definitely true, at least as far as we can tell.

 

From the perspective of physics, everything IS COMPLETELY interdependent and interconnected.

I don't see the practical value of this knowledge. If I am a gnat drowning in the middle of a puddle of water, my need is to escape the water, not join with it or acquire occult knowledge that the water lies atop some dirt which is part of the crust of a planet that orbits a sun that is in a galaxy whizzing through space.

 

I'm looking for actionable data that impacts my life for the better, not a way to feel warm and fuzzy while I continue to drown.

 

If everything is completely interdependent and interconnected then there can be no salvation and no damnation. You can't be hurt by someone else, and you don't want to hurt them either. It allows to better appreciate and understand the temporary aspect of the now. You are no longer a single autonomous being, you are a part of the whole, and you should act as such. Thus this belief will cause you to act and think and feel quite differently from holding a belief of multiplicity.

 

I don't see how this wouldn't impact your life. Whether it impacts it positively or negatively, is up to you. If you're content where you're at right now, then this information won't help you. But the point in time in which you realize these things, suffering stops. Because suffering doesn't exist.

 

Monks can walk on hot coals. Yes, they do burn their feet, but it doesn't HURT them. Don't you want that? In all aspects of your life?

 

In the context of hinduism, this breaking of the mental process (sansara), is called moksha.

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Hey Noggy, to my surprise, I find that you and I are on the same page :grin:.

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Hey Noggy, to my surprise, I find that you and I are on the same page :grin:.

 

And to my surprise I am no longer blocked!

 

Oh, Noggy, I unblocked you weeks ago. I don't hold grudges.

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It allows to better appreciate and understand the temporary aspect of the now.

It's always now. What is temporary about something that you are always in?

 

All things are impermanent and letting go of your attachments helps, but the now is eternal.

I don't see how this wouldn't impact your life ... the point in time in which you realize these things, suffering stops. Because suffering doesn't exist.

Suffering stops for me when suffering stops -- or when I cease to care about things I used to care about. The latter is all I have control over. I've had mixed success with it. It amazes me what I have accepted over the years. Some things are easier than others to let go of.

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This is where I'm at now. It feels right for me and it makes me happy.

 

Glory!

 

You are in a good place. To a fundy Christian, you are probably atheistic, and to an atheist, they also think your crazy and making up your own crap, so that sounds like the middle of the road to me. FrogsToadBigGrin.gif

 

As I told Margee the other day:

 

As people, we are certainly not "one size fits all". Fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist atheism both try to make us "one size fits all". You don't have to be able to prove anything to anyone because you can't and neither can they. Study and think it all over, and come to a workable solution for you. You already have your own perspective on events, people, buildings, towns, etc., so you can also have your own perspective on God.

 

 

Have missed you around here and was hoping that you were okay. May Krysst continue to fart mightily through you!

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I like the hindu story of creation. There was a one-ness, they call it the god parusha, and the oneness was lonely, and started ripping apart his body, and everything that was formed came from that oneness. We are all the same thing. We are all "god". The whole point of the yogas is to get past this illusion of multiplicity and to lose your SELF, and recognize the oneness. It's a very nice story, yes? I find Hindu texts to be very good at getting me to a new level of experience.

 

It is a nice story, but to me it also has a strong ring of truth to it. I love the Hindu texts too.

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Also, you should read the Tao Te Ching.

 

I do actually have it on my Kindle, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I have 170+ books on the Kindle, most of which are spirituality-oriented, and I haven't read most of them yet. Something about my online addiction and life otherwise getting in the way... :grin:

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Personally I don't see any percentage in exchanging the Christian concept of trying to fool myself into thinking an omnibenevolent Orchestrator permeates everything and watches over it (and me) for the Eastern concept of trying to fool myself into thinking that I'm one with the universe so that it doesn't seem so vast and distant and I seem less alone. They are just coming at the same thing from opposite directions or emphases, IMO. I sense the same levels cognitive dissonance either way. But if it works for you, by all means have at it. I can't claim to have a better alternative. Glory, indeed!

 

For now, I'm stuck with what I can buy into, which is, all this stuff just is, the end.

 

Everybody goes with whatever makes sense to them. There's no cognitive dissonance here and I don't expect that there will be. What Eastern religion has been teaching for thousands of years is finding validation in modern Western science. That is nice, but it ultimately doesn't matter to me all that much. But the same obviously cannot be said for Christianity. Their beliefs have been soundly refuted by modern science repeatedly, which leaves them no choice but to look foolish opposing science in favor of their beliefs and promoting absurd pseudoscience in its place.

 

So, Bless the Lard, Brother! Glory!

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From what I understand, the core of Hindu practice is self-realization. That is, to see that you, the "I" are not who you think you are. This is a compelling idea to me, because there is something about existence, particularly human existence, that seems to be somehow off kilter in a major way.

 

I have particularly enjoyed the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. This resonates with me like almost nothing else. I really love sections of the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Vasistha's Yoga.

 

I am glad you have found this path, Jeff.

 

Self-realization or God-realization, but both are really the same thing. We are not God, but we are of the same essence as God, gods within God. We are not our minds, bodies, wills, or emotions. We are the eternal, unchanging Self, the Atman, and the goal of life is to realize that truth.

 

The teachings of Advaita Vedanta resonate with me too. I also am strongly attracted to Vaishnavism and Shaivism. I find something in the teachings of all of the major Hindu sects to appreciate.

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This is where I'm at now. It feels right for me and it makes me happy.

 

Glory!

 

You are in a good place. To a fundy Christian, you are probably atheistic, and to an atheist, they also think your crazy and making up your own crap, so that sounds like the middle of the road to me. FrogsToadBigGrin.gif

 

As I told Margee the other day:

 

As people, we are certainly not "one size fits all". Fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist atheism both try to make us "one size fits all". You don't have to be able to prove anything to anyone because you can't and neither can they. Study and think it all over, and come to a workable solution for you. You already have your own perspective on events, people, buildings, towns, etc., so you can also have your own perspective on God.

 

 

Have missed you around here and was hoping that you were okay. May Krysst continue to fart mightily through you!

 

To fundy Christians I have been deceived by Satan and am on my way to burning in Hell forever. :rolleyes:

 

His Wind still blows mightily through me, Brother! Glory!

 

Oh, and I totally agree with what you said to our glorious Sister in Kryasst, Sister Margee.

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I do actually have it on my Kindle, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I have 170+ books on the Kindle, most of which are spirituality-oriented, and I haven't read most of them yet. Something about my online addiction and life otherwise getting in the way... :grin:

 

You know, I think there is something extra difficult about reading books on Eastern Spirituality, no matter if its Hindu or Buddhist. I have many, many books and even though I have read them, and in many cases re-read them many times, I still feel sometimes I haven't got it. Some western philosophy is this way too, but I think the main block is the different terminology. I feel like i need to know Sanskrit and Tibetan really, really well sometimes, and I have no facility with languages!

 

I have a Kindle and one of my recent acquisitions is "You Are The Eyes of the World" by Longchenpa. Its really great, but I think there is commentary and the beginning and commentary at the end and the actual text is some few pages in between! I still recommend it anyway.

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What Eastern religion has been teaching for thousands of years is finding validation in modern Western science ... But the same obviously cannot be said for Christianity.

I don't know that I'd say Eastern thought has found validation in Western science exactly but it's fair to say that Christianity has not and that circumstantial evidence at least seems to lean toward Eastern thought. I think that popularized versions of Eastern mysticism play fast and loose with terms like "quantum physics" though, and make excessive claims regarding "validation" by same.

 

If anything, "spooky action at a distance" and similar discoveries suggest the possibility that physical reality is a mere perceptual quirk rather than an actual concrete reality. As a software developer, the idea for example that consciousness is a sort of glorified computer and reality is just the code it runs, is a particularly compelling idea. But I am wary of it for precisely that reason. Humanity has always projected what it knows onto what it doesn't know, and is influenced to see it through that lens. So far as I know, there's nothing to say that there's any more of a connection between ancient thinkers from the East and modern science than a common bias that has arisen because a century of quantum physics and string theory have temporarily placed a lot of fundamental assumptions about reality into an area of uncertainty. Religion and metaphysics always thrive on uncertainty.

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Self-realization or God-realization, but both are really the same thing. We are not God, but we are of the same essence as God, gods within God. We are not our minds, bodies, wills, or emotions. We are the eternal, unchanging Self, the Atman, and the goal of life is to realize that truth.

 

The teachings of Advaita Vedanta resonate with me too. I also am strongly attracted to Vaishnavism and Shaivism. I find something in the teachings of all of the major Hindu sects to appreciate.

 

Yes, I can agree with this. If you do meditation or even just for a few minutes - meaning you stop thinking about everything and anything under the sun, you can see there is something really great and indestructible there. Some essence, if you will, that is beyond thought, feeling, body, and anything else. It exists but it cannot be described.

 

Self-realization is the only thing that matters. The Tibetan Buddhists have got it in their teaching on the Buddha nature being inherent in every person (the Tathagatagarbha) and of course the Hindus have it with the Atman. I can't distinguish much difference between the two. The word "god" can get in the way sometimes because the eastern concept is so different from the western.

 

I am very attracted by the image of Shiva dancing. It is a wonderful image and I think it is great that destruction, as well as creation, is equally honored. This is appropriate, since they are intimately connected, as is everything.

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I do actually have it on my Kindle, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I have 170+ books on the Kindle, most of which are spirituality-oriented, and I haven't read most of them yet. Something about my online addiction and life otherwise getting in the way... :grin:

 

You know, I think there is something extra difficult about reading books on Eastern Spirituality, no matter if its Hindu or Buddhist. I have many, many books and even though I have read them, and in many cases re-read them many times, I still feel sometimes I haven't got it. Some western philosophy is this way too, but I think the main block is the different terminology. I feel like i need to know Sanskrit and Tibetan really, really well sometimes, and I have no facility with languages!

 

I have a Kindle and one of my recent acquisitions is "You Are The Eyes of the World" by Longchenpa. Its really great, but I think there is commentary and the beginning and commentary at the end and the actual text is some few pages in between! I still recommend it anyway.

 

The problem with asian texts is the use of language.

 

"I", "you", "we", "it", its impossible to express that you and I are one, without talking of separateness.

 

Our language breeds multiplicity.

 

This is why the enlightened never speak.

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This is why the enlightened never speak.

 

Yes. It is unteachable.

 

Its absurd to ask a person if they are "enlightened". They can only answer "no".

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Guest Babylonian Dream

What Eastern religion has been teaching for thousands of years is finding validation in modern Western science ... But the same obviously cannot be said for Christianity.

I don't know that I'd say Eastern thought has found validation in Western science exactly but it's fair to say that Christianity has not and that circumstantial evidence at least seems to lean toward Eastern thought. I think that popularized versions of Eastern mysticism play fast and loose with terms like "quantum physics" though, and make excessive claims regarding "validation" by same.

 

If anything, "spooky action at a distance" and similar discoveries suggest the possibility that physical reality is a mere perceptual quirk rather than an actual concrete reality. As a software developer, the idea for example that consciousness is a sort of glorified computer and reality is just the code it runs, is a particularly compelling idea. But I am wary of it for precisely that reason. Humanity has always projected what it knows onto what it doesn't know, and is influenced to see it through that lens. So far as I know, there's nothing to say that there's any more of a connection between ancient thinkers from the East and modern science than a common bias that has arisen because a century of quantum physics and string theory have temporarily placed a lot of fundamental assumptions about reality into an area of uncertainty. Religion and metaphysics always thrive on uncertainty.

You seem dismissive. It could be said that the ancient greeks were wrong, and their "atomic theory" has little to nothing to say about our understanding of atoms. However, it does, as that's what it's arisen from, even if our conception of atoms is very different from theirs. If Democritus, with no ability to see nor have any reason to suspect they'd exist (that we know of), could reason that they'd exist, how couldn't the ancient peoples of India and China do likely with other areas of physics?

I like this philosophy, it seems interesting. It does seem like the current trends in hindu mysticism, which has tended towards plastering science onto their religion though.

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