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Learning from everyone and other traditions


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:48 AM

Learning from everyone and from other traditions

It is not a secret that I do not share the disdain that many on this site have when it comes to religion.  I think religion is good, needed and is a vessel that carries traditions forward.  Most people who say they are ‘spiritual’ do in fact borrow from ancient traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation.  I am not just speaking here of my own faith, which is Roman Catholicism.  It is easy and normal, though I do not think healthy, that there is a tendency to judge any group by its worst elements.  For instance, I am tempted to judge atheist by the nonsense and contempt spouted by the “new atheist followers”.  So that is a tendency that I fight against and there are atheist on this site who are constantly reminding me that ‘new atheist’ do not speak for all, nor indeed for the majority of those who call themselves ‘free thinkers.  We find what we look for, read what backs us up and can ignore others points of view by surrounding ourselves with ‘think-a-likes’.  I am, again, speaking as one who struggles with this all the time and I sometimes lose.  

One way I have discovered to help me with this is to learn from others who come from a different perspective.  For instance, when Dawkinkind talks about how he finds a connection with all of reality through trees, I tried to listen and understand.  I think I got it, sort of, and it has helped me to see deeper the connection of all things in nature and yes the universe.  I do believe in this as well, but a different slant can be not only refreshing but deepens my own faith path.  

Then there is Beany, whose down to earth wisdom and common sense, raised to a very high level when it comes with dealing with ones inner world, has helped me as well.  “The lion (his avatar)” atheist is also balanced and he helps me to let go of my tendency to again judge atheist by the lowest denominator of the group.  There are others, but these come to mind first.

Buddhism has also been a good teacher for me.  For instance “Tonglen”, a meditation and prayer form has helped me.  Insights from other traditions can be more readily absorbed since there are no past negative associations which can be hard to overcome, since they are for the most part irrational and anger or fear based.  In Tonglen one unites themselves with all sentient beings who suffer, especially the way one who is praying this practice is suffering at the time.  It allows isolation to be forgotten, deepens compassion for others and does away with self pity.  It is true that in my faith path I do this already, but the different slant has given it a whole new meaning.  

So the only way I can even begin to overcome my tendency to deal with straw people and stereotypes is by seeking to understand and learn from…..I still struggle however.  If people here wish to look upon me as a follower, a blind one in my faith, or weak because I am a theist, or whatever straw man they need, that is ok, I understand, I do it as well.  In listening to others and learning it does not take away from my faith but deepens it and allows me to learn to talk and be present to others without fear or arguing.  

Peace
Mark


#2    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

When a person can truly step away and see it from different angles, then they have truly listened ...Not many will do this willingly

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#3    markdohle

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 07 October 2012 - 12:23 PM, said:

When a person can truly step away and see it from different angles, then they have truly listened ...Not many will do this willingly

You do, I forgot to mention you my friend in my post.  Always a pleasure when you respond... an honor actually.

peace
mark


#4    redhen

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:48 PM

One of the core concepts of Jainism is anekantavada. Wiki describes it as: 'The principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth."

I heard one speaker describe it succinctly as "it's complicated".


#5    libstaK

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:58 PM

View Postredhen, on 07 October 2012 - 12:48 PM, said:

One of the core concepts of Jainism is anekantavada. Wiki describes it as: 'The principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth."

I heard one speaker describe it succinctly as "it's complicated".
I worked with a Jainist a few years ago.  Hadn't heard of it before then, it is growing quite rapidly from what I have seen.  One thing that struck me was her compassion and time she spent on others always understanding or trying to understand where they were coming from.  I will have to read up on it now that you have reminded me of it.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#6    Beany

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:38 PM

"In listening to others and learning it does not take away from my faith but deepens it and allows me to learn to talk and be present to others without fear or arguing." This is a gift you give yourself, as well as others, to be fully present. And it's not always easy. What I've discovered about myself is that when my mind is operating without partnering with my heart, I'm not fully present and my ego takes over. What works for me is not to try so much to understand others/strawmen, but to understand myself and my reactions to them instead. I figure I'm really the problem, not them. Mostly they're strangers or passing acquaintances, and there's no reason why I should give them the power to upset or anger me. When I do react negatively, I have to first look at myself to see what I'm not understanding or what personal issues are being brought up for me that I have yet to deal with. So they become my teachers, and once again I become a student. I truly believe we are much more alike than we are different, and the better I understand myself, the more able I am to understand others and just sit with them compassion. And for me, here's the thing: we can't extend to others that which we have withheld from ourselves. So when we forgive ourselves, extend compassion & love to ourselves, only then can we do that for others.Thanks for the compliment, Mark. I honor you, as well, for your willingness to be honest and the extent to which you reveal yourself and all of your humanity.


#7    wanderer_

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:37 PM

You are very wise, and very correct. I don't mean to undermine any single religion or path by saying this, but do you believe that all religions stem from the same thing? Like, they're all various interpretations of the same common human experience? I really do. There is truth, which is true at one point and maybe or maybe not true at another point. Then, there is Truth--universal truth, that always has been, and always will be, true.

Do you believe in reincarnation? I'm curious. You seem to be very well directed on your path. I would like to introduce you to one of the most Truthful websites I've yet to find; I promise you, if you explore the articles on it in some detail, you will find things from many different beliefs, and I believe as you said it will strengthen your own faith. http://www.spiritual...e/purposeoflife I hope you find it as enlightening as I have.


#8    markdohle

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:50 PM

View Postwanderer_, on 07 October 2012 - 05:37 PM, said:

You are very wise, and very correct. I don't mean to undermine any single religion or path by saying this, but do you believe that all religions stem from the same thing? Like, they're all various interpretations of the same common human experience? I really do. There is truth, which is true at one point and maybe or maybe not true at another point. Then, there is Truth--universal truth, that always has been, and always will be, true.

Do you believe in reincarnation? I'm curious. You seem to be very well directed on your path. I would like to introduce you to one of the most Truthful websites I've yet to find; I promise you, if you explore the articles on it in some detail, you will find things from many different beliefs, and I believe as you said it will strengthen your own faith. http://www.spiritual...e/purposeoflife I hope you find it as enlightening as I have.

Not sure if this is for beany or me, but will answer anyway.  I do think that there is a common thread in all paths that seek truth.  If not, then none of us could talk here and at least understand each other enough to get alone.  I do think the Jesus Christ is the revelation of God and that the events in the NT and the resurrection of course happened and are real.  I do not pretend to know how God works in the hearts and minds of each human being, but any who seek truth and love and who seek to love and respect others, are brothers and sisters on the path for me. I tend to not believe in reincarnation, it makes no sense to me and not needed.  I believe that we continue to love and grow after we move on.  Perhaps the Catholic doctrine of purgatory deals with this.  When we die, we become seeds, our deaths are a culmination of our lives, we grow after towards love or hatred, it is a choice.  I also believe that God is personal and infinitely loving and merciful, and that while we are here we will not be able to understand the reason for all of this sh-t that we have to go through.  The death of Jesus tells something of how God interacts with the world and our suffering, Christians are not deist nor are they pantheist, but perhaps pan-en-theism would be a good word.  God is both transcendent and immanent, one without the other is absurd as for as I can see.

I will look at the website, thanks for posting it.

peace
mark

Edited by markdohle, 07 October 2012 - 08:51 PM.


#9    wanderer_

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:36 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 07 October 2012 - 08:50 PM, said:

Not sure if this is for beany or me, but will answer anyway.  I do think that there is a common thread in all paths that seek truth.  If not, then none of us could talk here and at least understand each other enough to get alone.  I do think the Jesus Christ is the revelation of God and that the events in the NT and the resurrection of course happened and are real.  I do not pretend to know how God works in the hearts and minds of each human being, but any who seek truth and love and who seek to love and respect others, are brothers and sisters on the path for me. I tend to not believe in reincarnation, it makes no sense to me and not needed.  I believe that we continue to love and grow after we move on.  Perhaps the Catholic doctrine of purgatory deals with this.  When we die, we become seeds, our deaths are a culmination of our lives, we grow after towards love or hatred, it is a choice.  I also believe that God is personal and infinitely loving and merciful, and that while we are here we will not be able to understand the reason for all of this sh-t that we have to go through.  The death of Jesus tells something of how God interacts with the world and our suffering, Christians are not deist nor are they pantheist, but perhaps pan-en-theism would be a good word.  God is both transcendent and immanent, one without the other is absurd as for as I can see.

I will look at the website, thanks for posting it.

peace
mark

I was talking to you, and whoever else could gain anything from it. We agree on many things. I find that often times, differences in opinions aren't so different. In a way, reincarnation almost doesn't matter because it takes away from the here and now. I also believe in Jesus, and the ultimate power of God as you do, but I believe we are able to tap into his power in this lifetime, and that we can understand his intentions and workings. Now, this is no small feat, but the proof to me is Jesus himself. He was the literal embodiment of God, he is the God-realized soul--the enlightened soul--that all should aspire to be. You are a testament, my good man, to the search for God, and the sharing of God with others. I think you understand God better than you give yourself credit. May you continue to grow and progress spiritually.


#10    Beany

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:51 PM

I went to the link, and found it interesting. However, I do disagree with this: "As we go deeper into Kaliyuga (the Era of Strife), the current era of the Universe, life will be mostly riddled with problems and pain," because I think energy goes where intention flows. If we practice gratitude, which is not just a spiritual practice, we might find that our problems & pain begin to diminish. As our focus begins to shift so do our perceptions & understandings about life on this beautiful planet, and our eyes begin to open to this wonderful feast we call life. Me, personally? I'd love to come back again and again and again. I love it here. There is so much diversity in people, cultures, nations, religions, philosophies, physical attributes, music, foods, literature, so many ways to express joy and thanks, so many things of beauty to admire & appreciate, whether it be in the arts, architecture, or Mother Nature. And I don't believe we are separated in any way from God or the divine, never have been, never will be, so I don't need to move from here to there to meld with God/the Divine, I'm already doing that. We always think we need to be doing something to find God, that we need to go out there somewhere; I think that's the illusion that keeps us ignorant & unhappy.

Think about your worldview. Where do you start from? Do you start with the premise that life is full of pain & misery and that we need to atone in order to find God, or do you start with the premise that we are already one with God and are here to express joy for the gift of life? Can you see how one's ideas, thoughts, goals, etc. flow organically out of the starting premise? And which one of these premises seems more aligned with God? Since I figure I get to choose my starting premise, I'm choosing the one that brings me peace, joy, and fulfillment. Some people need struggle, maybe, to move forward, but struggle has never really worked for me. What has worked is standing still, being quiet, listening to my own inner voice, yielding to and recognizing what is, and finding creative strategies that allow me to sidestep struggle, which essentially is opposement, and finding ways to be in accordance. And as I said earlier, it's never really anyone or anything that throws me into struggle, it's my own erroneous thought process or stubbornness on insisting on the rightness of my own reality that gets me.Sometimes I just need to move out of my own way and let go of wanting to be right.


#11    wanderer_

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 12:04 AM

View PostBeany, on 07 October 2012 - 11:51 PM, said:

I went to the link, and found it interesting. However, I do disagree with this: "As we go deeper into Kaliyuga (the Era of Strife), the current era of the Universe, life will be mostly riddled with problems and pain," because I think energy goes where intention flows. If we practice gratitude, which is not just a spiritual practice, we might find that our problems & pain begin to diminish. As our focus begins to shift so do our perceptions & understandings about life on this beautiful planet, and our eyes begin to open to this wonderful feast we call life. Me, personally? I'd love to come back again and again and again. I love it here. There is so much diversity in people, cultures, nations, religions, philosophies, physical attributes, music, foods, literature, so many ways to express joy and thanks, so many things of beauty to admire & appreciate, whether it be in the arts, architecture, or Mother Nature. And I don't believe we are separated in any way from God or the divine, never have been, never will be, so I don't need to move from here to there to meld with God/the Divine, I'm already doing that. We always think we need to be doing something to find God, that we need to go out there somewhere; I think that's the illusion that keeps us ignorant & unhappy.

Think about your worldview. Where do you start from? Do you start with the premise that life is full of pain & misery and that we need to atone in order to find God, or do you start with the premise that we are already one with God and are here to express joy for the gift of life? Can you see how one's ideas, thoughts, goals, etc. flow organically out of the starting premise? And which one of these premises seems more aligned with God? Since I figure I get to choose my starting premise, I'm choosing the one that brings me peace, joy, and fulfillment. Some people need struggle, maybe, to move forward, but struggle has never really worked for me. What has worked is standing still, being quiet, listening to my own inner voice, yielding to and recognizing what is, and finding creative strategies that allow me to sidestep struggle, which essentially is opposement, and finding ways to be in accordance. And as I said earlier, it's never really anyone or anything that throws me into struggle, it's my own erroneous thought process or stubbornness on insisting on the rightness of my own reality that gets me.Sometimes I just need to move out of my own way and let go of wanting to be right.
How I envy your optimism. I agree with much of what you're saying, but what they're talking about is still an accurate description of the current times. And you're taking it correctly--as a call to action. But you're missing why there's so much pain. I'm sorry but that's kind of hard to ignore. I totally agree with you about looking to the positive side, but if you look back in history there has never been so much struggle as is going on right now. Also, you're right about the illusion--but not everyone is so lucky as to have figured this out. There are people who fall for it, and that is what's meant by the era of strife. There have never been times where so many people have fallen for it at once. And it's up to people like us to help change that. So you are right. Use your positivity as a means to spread this truth, however you choose to interpret it. Positivity is positivity, and it's utterly necessary and important. I think we can both agree on that :yes:


#12    Beany

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:50 AM

View Postwanderer_, on 08 October 2012 - 12:04 AM, said:

How I envy your optimism. I agree with much of what you're saying, but what they're talking about is still an accurate description of the current times. And you're taking it correctly--as a call to action. But you're missing why there's so much pain. I'm sorry but that's kind of hard to ignore. I totally agree with you about looking to the positive side, but if you look back in history there has never been so much struggle as is going on right now. Also, you're right about the illusion--but not everyone is so lucky as to have figured this out. There are people who fall for it, and that is what's meant by the era of strife. There have never been times where so many people have fallen for it at once. And it's up to people like us to help change that. So you are right. Use your positivity as a means to spread this truth, however you choose to interpret it. Positivity is positivity, and it's utterly necessary and important. I think we can both agree on that :yes:

Really, I'm not sure I know any greater truth. I do know how to support people, how to comfort them, how to honor them, so that's what I try to do. That, and convince them that the Divine is with them & in them, and that they are worthy, sort of a calling forth of their own true nature.


#13    No-thingBornPassion

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:11 AM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 07 October 2012 - 12:23 PM, said:

When a person can truly step away and see it from different angles, then they have truly listened ...Not many will do this willingly
Right on, Beckys_Mom. It's mainly the reason why we have class structure. Although, many (not everyone, true) just go along with the ruling system, especially since life is short as it is and you have a family to feed and a particular religion/doctrine will fade in time. Why rock the boat if the order is (relatively) working for you -- if you will. Worse still, the alternative may, in fact, ruin you. When you reach a certain age, you really can't afford to be changing things around dramatically, especially nowadays when info happens so fast to track you down.

https://www.youtube....ix3pVUX86yBWWzS  (playlist)

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