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Babel


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:10 PM


Babel

We live in a time of doubt.  Even believers, those who follow a certain religious/spiritual path are often confronted by doubt.  Perhaps one reason is that we no longer live in a culture that is ‘Christian’, that is we can’t be carried by cultural faith any more, simply doing what others are doing and in that find ourselves carried along with the others.  Today our society is filled with many different voices, each expressing their own opinion and experiences to all who will listen.  

There is atheism, which though not a large group is very vocal in where they stand.  There are the Agnostics, then those who call themselves ‘none’s’, and of course there is new age, pagans, Satanist, those who believe in some sort of ‘alien agenda/religion’….the list is endless.  Perhaps we are living in a time of ‘Babel’, a lot of noise about what is the meaning of our lives and why we are here.  

Religion has a bad name today and in the United States, it is the Christian religion that gets the most hits…..many of them are deserved, others not so much so.  There is a term used nowadays that states this stance:  “I am spiritual not religious”.   This of course can work for many, though there has to be some tradition that is tied into no matter how loosely.  Though religion is rejected, the fruits and wisdom of these traditions are used, though often mixed with this and that.  I believe one without the other weakens the one who is over balanced one way or the other.  Balance is difficult, and I am not saying I have achieved that at this time of my life.  

Most people with whom I speak to who think of themselves ‘spiritual’ in actuality do align themselves with a well worn path, even if done so loosely.  For instance many follow Buddhism, or the Christian path, they just don’t belong to a Church, Temple, Mosque or congregation.  I do think that the center that is missing is community with all that that implies.  All the wonderful gifts of fellowship, along with other things that caused many to leave their past affiliation so easily (though often with much pain and anger as well) into seeking truth on an individual basis.  I am not downplaying the pain that many have gone through from their past affiliation with religion, and at times it is best for them not to return.  However not to seek to understand what their traditions teaches may keep them from freeing themselves from its baneful influence.  Anger is relational, intimate, even if not life giving.  There is the ‘tar baby’ affect that anger can curse those who carry it throughout their life.  

Many think that spirituality should be pleasant, everyone sunny and nice, no human problems of any consequence etc.  This is often unconscious.  I find it interesting in an age where so many believe that there is really no truth, that all truths are equal, or that there is no objective right or wrong, are the ones who react in often childish and hurtful ways, not only towards themselves but also others, when confronted with the human situation; which is not pleasant, nor sunny, but in fact often painful and challenging.  

We are all on someone’s list, wherein we can cause them pain or deep frustration just by our humanity, by our inner and outer struggles and immaturity.  So people go from one group to another or end up by themselves where they gift themselves with the grace of personal infallibility.  Christians do that a lot, each the only interrupter of what is true or false in the Gospel, what is important, and most of all, who gets into heaven or best of all for many, who goes to hell.  Which are always those who disagree with them, well mostly, not all do that.

Free thinkers and atheist are not much better, at least the vocal ones.  I guess their pronouncements like those of believers of any path that over-speak, are ignored since it is known what they are going to say in advance.  Easy communication can lead to over exposure and a jaded attitude to what others will say.  

The problem is how things are said.  No one wants to be yelled at, put down, or forced to carry the insecurities of those who can’t stand others who think or believe differently than they do.  I think it is time to get over trying to change what others believe and to learn to gently, without force, or being insulting, state what we believe and why we think and believe the way we do.  Of course that will one day happen, when pigs fly, or when Glen Beck becomes a liberal, or Obama a conservative, which may take some time, a lot of time.


Edited by markdohle, 01 April 2014 - 12:10 PM.


#2    DeWitz

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:42 PM

Well said, Mark. Words from and for the wise. Productive engagement is different from mere tolerance, and both are different from blithe acceptance. We all could use more of the openness and willingness to learn of which you write.

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#3    Dark_Grey

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 01:00 PM

Anyone with a cell phone has instant access to the entirety of human knowledge at his fingertips. The age of religion is coming to a close as this access to information bears it's fruit: a single global consciousness is beginning to emerge as we all pool our thoughts instead of simply relaying them.

I like that phrase you mentioned, "I'm spiritual, not religious" - that sums it up perfectly. As we turn our gaze away from ancient desert religions and instead focus on the possibility of other dimensions, other universes, the origin of consciousness...we begin to realize there is so much more to reality than what our brain interprets through our 5 senses and that there are no "right" or "wrong" religions, simply many interpretations of the same great spirit.

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat [the fruit] thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

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#4    markdohle

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:09 PM

View PostDeWitz, on 01 April 2014 - 12:42 PM, said:

Well said, Mark. Words from and for the wise. Productive engagement is different from mere tolerance, and both are different from blithe acceptance. We all could use more of the openness and willingness to learn of which you write.

Well said my friend.

Peace
Mark


#5    markdohle

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:10 PM

View PostDark_Grey, on 01 April 2014 - 01:00 PM, said:

Anyone with a cell phone has instant access to the entirety of human knowledge at his fingertips. The age of religion is coming to a close as this access to information bears it's fruit: a single global consciousness is beginning to emerge as we all pool our thoughts instead of simply relaying them.

I like that phrase you mentioned, "I'm spiritual, not religious" - that sums it up perfectly. As we turn our gaze away from ancient desert religions and instead focus on the possibility of other dimensions, other universes, the origin of consciousness...we begin to realize there is so much more to reality than what our brain interprets through our 5 senses and that there are no "right" or "wrong" religions, simply many interpretations of the same great spirit.

It is going to become very interesting my friend.

Peace
mark


#6    Paranoid Android

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:49 PM

I wonder where the concept of "I'm spiritual more than religious" even came from? It's a theme from a couple of contemporary threads, but no one's really produced a compelling distinction. The best that can be said is that spirituality is personal while religion is communal, but that just doesn't blend with the definition of the two terms.

But with that said, I liked the general premise of this thread. Community is a big part of what it means to be human.  Organised religion (which, in my opinion is often mistakenly compared to "spirituality" as synonymous with "religion") provides one such outlet for that community, and humans grow and adapt based on this need for community.

Thanks for sharing :)

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#7    DeWitz

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:02 PM

This is just one perspective: It seems to me that spirituality refers to ways of exploring and connecting with meta-feelings and meta-ideas which may or may not be encompassed by a religion or religions. Religions are more circumscribed and self-contained, and often (not always) are mutually exclusive from one another.

Religion is almost always spiritual in a private or public manner, but spirituality is not dependent on any one established religion.

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#8    Orcseeker

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:17 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 02 April 2014 - 12:49 PM, said:

I wonder where the concept of "I'm spiritual more than religious" even came from? It's a theme from a couple of contemporary threads, but no one's really produced a compelling distinction. The best that can be said is that spirituality is personal while religion is communal, but that just doesn't blend with the definition of the two terms.

But with that said, I liked the general premise of this thread. Community is a big part of what it means to be human.  Organised religion (which, in my opinion is often mistakenly compared to "spirituality" as synonymous with "religion") provides one such outlet for that community, and humans grow and adapt based on this need for community.

Thanks for sharing :)

I think spirituality is a personal journey (I hate describing it like that but seems the easiest way to do it) to find ones true self and therefore lead to a stage of enlightenment, in turn accepting the oneness of everything.


#9    markdohle

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:04 PM

View PostOrcseeker, on 02 April 2014 - 04:17 PM, said:

I think spirituality is a personal journey (I hate describing it like that but seems the easiest way to do it) to find ones true self and therefore lead to a stage of enlightenment, in turn accepting the oneness of everything.

A good way to look at it.  I do think that belonging to a tradition and actually studying it, is also a help.  There is a lot of collective wisdom that we can all learn from......oneness being the main one I believe that we need to learn.

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#10    Marcus Aurelius

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:10 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 02 April 2014 - 12:49 PM, said:

I wonder where the concept of "I'm spiritual more than religious" even came from? It's a theme from a couple of contemporary threads, but no one's really produced a compelling distinction. The best that can be said is that spirituality is personal while religion is communal, but that just doesn't blend with the definition of the two terms.

But with that said, I liked the general premise of this thread. Community is a big part of what it means to be human.  Organised religion (which, in my opinion is often mistakenly compared to "spirituality" as synonymous with "religion") provides one such outlet for that community, and humans grow and adapt based on this need for community.

Thanks for sharing :)

I very much enjoyed reading your blog Mark, and you can count me as a fan of your writing!

I see religion as a kind of metaphysical GPS that sets us down a path and guides us to a destination; its outward forms, signs and observances are waypoints along the route. They remind us of where we are going and how to get there. One of the problems I have with those who identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious" is that they have no such GPS. Those who are "spiritual but not religious" focus on the supposed inner experience as opposed to the outward forms of religion. Simply put, in our postmodern age people find religion to be "dull" because they ONLY see the outward forms and observances, and thus they want something "more." Why sit in a "church" when you can "experience" God or some supernatural reality?

Is it any wonder that this "spiritual but not religious" idea is almost entirely a western phenomena? Because our society prizes radical individualism above all else; is it any wonder that a spirituality would be crafted to match that ideal? This is basically what you were rightly pointing out in your post, PA. Western society thrives on individuality and our pop culture spirituality mirrors that. What we have done is to foolishly attempt to divorce spirituality from religion; for if you go to a country that has strong religious views; the two are not divorced as religion AND spirituality play an integral part in daily life. For example, when I visited my wife's home country of the Philippines that is strongly Roman Catholic; the entire town where her family lives would gather to pray a dawn Rosary and then go to Mass as an entire community at sunrise. There should be a fusion between religion and spirituality; not a division.

But this is part and parcel of the new age movement. The idea of a "spiritual but not religious" is little more than a glorification of the human ego; suggesting that truth somehow comes from within rather than without. The "self" becomes the 'absolute' standard for defining what is true and what isn't; thus I make God in MY OWN image, and I can make that God look however I want Him/Her/It to because I go to the spiritual buffet table of self; pick out what I like and ignore what I don't. I don't like hell, I don't believe in it. I don't like green beans, I don't want that on my plate. I cannot help but see this new age spirituality as nothing more than ego glorification; this foolish idea that "I am the center of the universe" and all I have to do is "ask the universe" to give me what I want and I will get it. But without religion there is no structure, there is no accountability. All I have is my own arbitrary and subjective standard for determining what is true and what isn't. By following this model I would argue that we are not worshiping God at all; we are worshiping OURSELVES and calling it God. The individual, the ego, the "I" has become IT'S OWN Tower of Babel. I will make my own way and my own path to the heavens, thank you very much!!

To those who crave something "more" than what they think organised religion offers; it is in part our fault because we do not properly explain the spiritual aspects of our religions. They simply do not understand the profundity of the outward signs operating within the religious system. Take for example, the Eucharist or Communion. Communion is an outward sign of an inward grace in which Christ becomes SPIRITUALLY present in the bread and wine; the act is a supernatural one; it is God Himself breaking into space and time, into the material world. But do we EXPLAIN that? We just DO it. Some churches have gone so far as to call it simply a "memorial." In short, we have been a part of the problem; divorcing our spirituality from our religion. The "spiritual but not religious" divorce spirituality from religion, and WE divorce spirituality from religion.

My favorite Christian writers are not the pastors of today; my favorite Christian writers are the mystics of old. You will find me reading people like Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Genoa and others before you would find me reading someone like Joel Osteen. There is such a rich mystical and contemplative spirituality within our own system of Christianity and yet we have all but buried it underneath dogma, outward observances without explanation and preaching that looks more like a self-help book than one of spiritual depth. We could easily 'court' the spiritual but not religious crowd if we would but stand on our own Sacred Tradition and bring it into the 21st century.

The two should never be divorced from one another; one should not be spiritual but not religious or religious but not spiritual. One should be both religious AND spiritual.

We have to help people get out of this narcissistic self-absorption that has been branded as 'spirituality' because what good is an inward grace, an inner experience if it bears no outward fruit? As Saint Teresa of Avila rightly pointed out; one becomes wholly dependent upon these supposed experiences. Without 'consolations' as she called them, they can no longer function properly. They are like ships being tossed about in a storm at sea. This is the difference of the mystical experience from WITHIN a religious system; the experience always causes the visionary to produce outward fruit. St. John of the Cross was a teacher who founded a religious order, as did Saint Teresa of Avila. Mother Teresa had one mystical experience and from that, dedicated the rest of her life to helping the sick and the poor. Gandhi had a mystical experience and brought about a non-violent. The Buddha, after reaching enlightenment traveled extensively and taught his path to enlightenment to all who would listen.

The inner mystical experience should cause us to want to change the world; not to retreat within the self.

Edited by Marcus Aurelius, 05 April 2014 - 12:18 AM.

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#11    markdohle

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:30 PM

View PostMarcus Aurelius, on 05 April 2014 - 12:10 AM, said:

I very much enjoyed reading your blog Mark, and you can count me as a fan of your writing!

I see religion as a kind of metaphysical GPS that sets us down a path and guides us to a destination; its outward forms, signs and observances are waypoints along the route. They remind us of where we are going and how to get there. One of the problems I have with those who identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious" is that they have no such GPS. Those who are "spiritual but not religious" focus on the supposed inner experience as opposed to the outward forms of religion. Simply put, in our postmodern age people find religion to be "dull" because they ONLY see the outward forms and observances, and thus they want something "more." Why sit in a "church" when you can "experience" God or some supernatural reality?

Is it any wonder that this "spiritual but not religious" idea is almost entirely a western phenomena? Because our society prizes radical individualism above all else; is it any wonder that a spirituality would be crafted to match that ideal? This is basically what you were rightly pointing out in your post, PA. Western society thrives on individuality and our pop culture spirituality mirrors that. What we have done is to foolishly attempt to divorce spirituality from religion; for if you go to a country that has strong religious views; the two are not divorced as religion AND spirituality play an integral part in daily life. For example, when I visited my wife's home country of the Philippines that is strongly Roman Catholic; the entire town where her family lives would gather to pray a dawn Rosary and then go to Mass as an entire community at sunrise. There should be a fusion between religion and spirituality; not a division.

But this is part and parcel of the new age movement. The idea of a "spiritual but not religious" is little more than a glorification of the human ego; suggesting that truth somehow comes from within rather than without. The "self" becomes the 'absolute' standard for defining what is true and what isn't; thus I make God in MY OWN image, and I can make that God look however I want Him/Her/It to because I go to the spiritual buffet table of self; pick out what I like and ignore what I don't. I don't like hell, I don't believe in it. I don't like green beans, I don't want that on my plate. I cannot help but see this new age spirituality as nothing more than ego glorification; this foolish idea that "I am the center of the universe" and all I have to do is "ask the universe" to give me what I want and I will get it. But without religion there is no structure, there is no accountability. All I have is my own arbitrary and subjective standard for determining what is true and what isn't. By following this model I would argue that we are not worshiping God at all; we are worshiping OURSELVES and calling it God. The individual, the ego, the "I" has become IT'S OWN Tower of Babel. I will make my own way and my own path to the heavens, thank you very much!!

To those who crave something "more" than what they think organised religion offers; it is in part our fault because we do not properly explain the spiritual aspects of our religions. They simply do not understand the profundity of the outward signs operating within the religious system. Take for example, the Eucharist or Communion. Communion is an outward sign of an inward grace in which Christ becomes SPIRITUALLY present in the bread and wine; the act is a supernatural one; it is God Himself breaking into space and time, into the material world. But do we EXPLAIN that? We just DO it. Some churches have gone so far as to call it simply a "memorial." In short, we have been a part of the problem; divorcing our spirituality from our religion. The "spiritual but not religious" divorce spirituality from religion, and WE divorce spirituality from religion.

My favorite Christian writers are not the pastors of today; my favorite Christian writers are the mystics of old. You will find me reading people like Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Genoa and others before you would find me reading someone like Joel Osteen. There is such a rich mystical and contemplative spirituality within our own system of Christianity and yet we have all but buried it underneath dogma, outward observances without explanation and preaching that looks more like a self-help book than one of spiritual depth. We could easily 'court' the spiritual but not religious crowd if we would but stand on our own Sacred Tradition and bring it into the 21st century.

The two should never be divorced from one another; one should not be spiritual but not religious or religious but not spiritual. One should be both religious AND spiritual.

We have to help people get out of this narcissistic self-absorption that has been branded as 'spirituality' because what good is an inward grace, an inner experience if it bears no outward fruit? As Saint Teresa of Avila rightly pointed out; one becomes wholly dependent upon these supposed experiences. Without 'consolations' as she called them, they can no longer function properly. They are like ships being tossed about in a storm at sea. This is the difference of the mystical experience from WITHIN a religious system; the experience always causes the visionary to produce outward fruit. St. John of the Cross was a teacher who founded a religious order, as did Saint Teresa of Avila. Mother Teresa had one mystical experience and from that, dedicated the rest of her life to helping the sick and the poor. Gandhi had a mystical experience and brought about a non-violent. The Buddha, after reaching enlightenment traveled extensively and taught his path to enlightenment to all who would listen.

The inner mystical experience should cause us to want to change the world; not to retreat within the self.

This is very well written and important.  I am going to share this on my blog.

Peace
Mark


#12    Marcus Aurelius

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:43 PM

Thanks for the kind words, I very much appreciate it and you sharing it! Please add "non-violent revolution" to the Gandhi part. I made a typo there and mistakenly left that out lol. Or no worries, I just added it as a comment on your blog and for hear. The sentence should read:

Edit: "Gandhi had a mystical experience and brought about a non-violent REVOLUTION."

Edited by Marcus Aurelius, 05 April 2014 - 08:59 PM.

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#13    libstaK

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:39 PM

View PostMarcus Aurelius, on 05 April 2014 - 12:10 AM, said:

I see religion as a kind of metaphysical GPS that sets us down a path and guides us to a destination; its outward forms, signs and observances are waypoints along the route. They remind us of where we are going and how to get there. One of the problems I have with those who identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious" is that they have no such GPS.
What if the religion itself is operating on a flawed "GPS"?  If we follow religious teaching, we can just as easily lose our way through lack of discernment by blindly accepting what is taught simply because the religion tells us this is so. Worshipping at an altar of wood and stone but having no sense of what it is we are truly worshipping.

Quote

Is it any wonder that this "spiritual but not religious" idea is almost entirely a western phenomena? Because our society prizes radical individualism above all else; is it any wonder that a spirituality would be crafted to match that ideal?
I believe it is oversimplifying the issue to suggest it is about a narcissistic or egoic approach to belief.  Religion is it's own worst enemy in that the message can be lost in the personal biases and preferences of individual preachers of the faiths and their view of the scriptures.  They are human and fallible after all.  Further the churches preferred view of the nature of the scriptures can often disallow alternative views and deny a healthy scepticism of that which we have no actual proof of in our own experiences with belief thus far.

Quote

But this is part and parcel of the new age movement. The idea of a "spiritual but not religious" is little more than a glorification of the human ego; suggesting that truth somehow comes from within rather than without. The "self" becomes the 'absolute' standard for defining what is true and what isn't; thus I make God in MY OWN image, and I can make that God look however I want Him/Her/It to because I go to the spiritual buffet table of self; pick out what I like and ignore what I don't. I don't like hell, I don't believe in it. I don't like green beans, I don't want that on my plate. I cannot help but see this new age spirituality as nothing more than ego glorification; this foolish idea that "I am the center of the universe" and all I have to do is "ask the universe" to give me what I want and I will get it. But without religion there is no structure, there is no accountability. All I have is my own arbitrary and subjective standard for determining what is true and what isn't. By following this model I would argue that we are not worshiping God at all; we are worshiping OURSELVES and calling it God. The individual, the ego, the "I" has become IT'S OWN Tower of Babel. I will make my own way and my own path to the heavens, thank you very much!!
I agree that the structure of religion is necessary to disseminate the teaching but once it has been applied - do we not graduate and further explore our own "thesis" on the subject at some point? Continuing in ritual for rituals sake and partaking in repetative lectures without venturing and experiencing/testing what we have been taught is not going to progress our understanding, it is only going to make us loyal to the religion.  If we don't like hell - it may not be the existence of hell we have a problem with but peoples and the churches use of the existence of hell to control the actions of believers through fear of it and it may have more to do with our belief that fear is negative and should not be used against others the is the cause of the disquiet.  It is not so simple as creating our own God, it is a matter of understanding if we are worshipping a God created in the image of others and not God himself.

Quote

To those who crave something "more" than what they think organised religion offers; it is in part our fault because we do not properly explain the spiritual aspects of our religions. They simply do not understand the profundity of the outward signs operating within the religious system.
Here's the thing - The Kingdom of Heaven is with us, at some point the journey turns inward.

Quote

Take for example, the Eucharist or Communion. Communion is an outward sign of an inward grace in which Christ becomes SPIRITUALLY present in the bread and wine; the act is a supernatural one; it is God Himself breaking into space and time, into the material world. But do we EXPLAIN that? We just DO it. Some churches have gone so far as to call it simply a "memorial." In short, we have been a part of the problem; divorcing our spirituality from our religion. The "spiritual but not religious" divorce spirituality from religion, and WE divorce spirituality from religion.
Agreed, I had to leave my faith to discover the nature of my faith because the church was not providing me the insights with which to do so.  The journey away from religion into spirituality is not by default a negative process.  It was only by going out and discovering through personal experiences away from the dogmas and rituals of religion that I discovered a deep reservoir of faith within and with that came a true comprehension of the nature of the rituals of religious practice.  I became a religious proponent by exploring it's veracity in the world at large, not by remaining an automaton of ritual without personal insight.  Exploration of my faith awakened a sense of the sacred within me and a deep respect for the efforts of all seekers, within religious institutions and without, I finally understand the depth of integrity in the efforts of those who hold religions together against the constant waves of dissent and disbelief.

Quote

My favorite Christian writers are not the pastors of today; my favorite Christian writers are the mystics of old. You will find me reading people like Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Genoa and others before you would find me reading someone like Joel Osteen. There is such a rich mystical and contemplative spirituality within our own system of Christianity and yet we have all but buried it underneath dogma, outward observances without explanation and preaching that looks more like a self-help book than one of spiritual depth. We could easily 'court' the spiritual but not religious crowd if we would but stand on our own Sacred Tradition and bring it into the 21st century.
Yes, we could court the spiritual crowd by providing a better understanding of nature of spiritual growth within a person. Not once in my catholic upbringing were the benefits of meditation disseminated to me.  Now, you can go to most churches and they will offer meditation classes as part of the parish.

Quote

The two should never be divorced from one another; one should not be spiritual but not religious or religious but not spiritual. One should be both religious AND spiritual.
While I agree to a point, I think a period of separation is good for both.  Organised religion can often be accompanied by structures and beliefs that have become dogmatic and are deemed beyond our rights as parishoners to question according to the religious hierarchy within them.  This is not a healthy breeding ground for spiritual growth, we can fall into the trap of blindly following ritual but never comprehending a spiritual truth because the means to test and explore such things is simply not readily accessible or provided for in the particular denomination or parish we attend - at least not for the layman.

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We have to help people get out of this narcissistic self-absorption that has been branded as 'spirituality' because what good is an inward grace, an inner experience if it bears no outward fruit? As Saint Teresa of Avila rightly pointed out; one becomes wholly dependent upon these supposed experiences. Without 'consolations' as she called them, they can no longer function properly. They are like ships being tossed about in a storm at sea. This is the difference of the mystical experience from WITHIN a religious system; the experience always causes the visionary to produce outward fruit. St. John of the Cross was a teacher who founded a religious order, as did Saint Teresa of Avila. Mother Teresa had one mystical experience and from that, dedicated the rest of her life to helping the sick and the poor. Gandhi had a mystical experience and brought about a non-violent. The Buddha, after reaching enlightenment traveled extensively and taught his path to enlightenment to all who would listen.
I agree that a spiritually enlightened being will bear it's fruit best in disseminating a structured teaching within an organised setting aka: religion.  However, the arrival of a spiritual truth comes from introspection and personal experience.  It is not narcissistic to look within, it is imperative and I think we do spiritual seekers an injustice by discounting them for forging their own path toward comprehension. Each individual is the only one who is fully aware of the question they are seeking an answer to and whether or not the answer is satisfactorily supplied in the world at large or the religion they have chosen.  St Teresa's and your concern seems to stem from what to do with the fruit, do we wallow in it or use it purposefully?

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The inner mystical experience should cause us to want to change the world; not to retreat within the self.
Changing the world can also mean changing the nature of religion - as it is a part of the world as we currently know it also.  The great teachers of the past by far and large were considered revolutionaries by their own cultures and religions and to a man brought great changes and leaps in human understanding.  Sometimes we need to sweep the place clean of the pharisees.

"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."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#14    Beany

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:46 PM

I object to the notion of narcissistic self-absorption of spirituality and the idea that it bears no outward proof; a glorification of ego. You say that spiritual people lack a metaphysical GPS that provides guidance.  Do you not see how these statements cause the very division that you refer to? Is it your own metaphysical GPS that leads you to make these hurtful statements? I have always felt that anyone's time is better spent examining one's own beliefs and actions and making course corrections instead of focusing on the religious or spiritual beliefs of another. My own mystical experiences have led me to realize the importance of our words and actions on the physical plane, and indeed, those may be the only things that matter, not dogma, not theology, or cosmogony, or any organized system of belief. And I do live in community with thoughtful, aware, conscious people who are committed to being assets to the community.

I am non-religious for very personal reasons, just as those who are religious have their own reasons. But this dividing humanity, separating into groups based on religious beliefs or non-beliefs, has got to stop. It's judgmental, critical, and allows for no variations or uniqueness of the human spirit or manifestation of the divine. The very act of judging implies a manifest superiority or hierarchy on the part of the one doing the judging, a feeling of superiority that one is in the position to pass judgment, or that position has been conferred upon them by some unknown source. As I understand, say, Christianity, it's highest, most pure ideology is that of love of fellow human beings, and that only the Divine is in a position to judge. I feel no separation at all from the divine, from spirit, from the sacred, it is where I find my comfort, my inspiration, my integrity, my passion and compassion, my fellowship, it guides me every day. It dwells within me and I dwell within it. And still, there are those who would seek to affect to change me because my beliefs don't satisfy them, change me without discussion, without personal revelation, without personal knowledge. I don't judge, but simply ask that I be accorded the same respect that I give to others.


#15    markdohle

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:11 PM

View PostMarcus Aurelius, on 05 April 2014 - 08:43 PM, said:

Thanks for the kind words, I very much appreciate it and you sharing it! Please add "non-violent revolution" to the Gandhi part. I made a typo there and mistakenly left that out lol. Or no worries, I just added it as a comment on your blog and for hear. The sentence should read:

Edit: "Gandhi had a mystical experience and brought about a non-violent REVOLUTION."

Done

Peace
Mark







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'Marcus Aurelius response to my post titled "Babel"

By markdohle in markdohle's Blog, on 05 April 2014 - 08:30 PM

This is a response by 'Marcus Aurelius ' to my entry on Babel, I think it is well written and profound so  I am sharing it here with all of you.



"I very much enjoyed reading your blog Mark, and you can count me as a fan of your writing!

I see religion as a kind of metaphysical GPS that sets us down a path and guides us to a...

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