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June 05, 2006

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After all, how does religion have anything to do with God? Religions carry and use the language of power: over individuals and societies, over cultures, over the beasts of the field.

The only reason to claim that any particular religion is the only true one is to settle arguments. There are lots of opinions, some turn into doctrine, but receipt of the "divine given" is simply meant to organize the society. If we think we need one set of rules, whose will we follow? Well, the divine rules, obviously.

So, let's take the idea of one God impartial to the way we categorize our societies. Of course, this God must be impartial to time and space, since science is the refined and refining tool of our modern discourse.

Then, can it be that God is also impartial to our sense of separation from the unity of the true reality? IMO, (or should I say in my "doxa") it is equally scandalous that God buys into our belief that we are separate and therefore need strenuosly to pray and meditate to get closer. Why focus that "burning glass" on my yarmulke?

In your post re: "Be Still and Know that I am God," you aver that, "If getting an aha! feeling after reading something interesting brought you closer to God, I’d be in his lap by now. So far as I can tell, I’m not."
Ego participates in be specially chosen, and in assuming that I am not chosen. Leave that petty intellectual trick aside, and there is God and us. Together.

That unreliable and unscientific "faith" thing that I have carried around has turned into a low hum. I kinda feel like I am always in God's lap, even when I don't think so. The "aha" moments kick through the maya at play in my simple mind. I am willing to suppose the same is true for you, but I am not willing to impose.

Well Brian your point is well taken. I also was initiated by Charan Singh and follow the 4 vows of Sant Mat as best that I can. However, my personal interpretation of the idea that a saint is sent into the world to extract certain souls differs from yours.

In my view all souls are saved. The Supreme Father would be incomplete Himself without all souls returning from this grand adventure into the creation.

Also, outside of time there is no time. So if a soul returns in this life or a hundred lives from now what is the real difference?

And, how can we limit Him? Who can say what religion, or belief system He will present to an individual soul to make him/her realize God and return?

ET

The only sense I understand someone to be 'special' or a 'marked soul' in the spiritual arena is if they manifest a significant inclination towards spirituality from childhood, and seem to be significantly less burdened with the vicisitudes of ego and personality.
In this sense, sages such as Ramana Maharshi and Anandamayi Ma seem to have had a natural inclination to realise the one Self, and to been naturally free from egoic suffering.
Legends about the saints almost always describe a natural and unstoppable inclination for them to fall into rapture and Self realisation from childhood onward. This is the case east and west, Sri Chaitanya and Catherine of Siena represent this most clearly in the earliest hagiographic accounts.
For the rest of us, I guess we are not 'chosen' by whatever it is that allows such beings to be streets ahead in spiritual realisations. Call it Karma, destiny, alloted souls, DNA it is a profound mystery. The greatest of sages have stated their realisation of the Self is simply the natural state of us all, but in my experience most of us come burdened by significant amounts of 'stuff'.
Perhaps thats why Sri Ramana described the fulfilment of the path of Self enquiry as being, 'for those with little dust'.

Just a comment. If there is a God, would He have a right to make the rules? One thing people often don't think about is that the God of the Bible (whom I do believe in) is the Creator and Sustainer. Just because you and I don't understand it all doesn't mean it is meaningless. Philosophically and realistically there can be only one truth. Dave

Yes Nick, I had not thought of your important point. In my case, I was always wondering about God since I was a child. Then when I grew up I was driven to search. I went from one religion, to anlther, and then philosopy and now mysticism trying to use them as tools in my search for the One. I am still doing this today and see all of these as stepping stones not an end or the only way.

On the other hand my brother, brought up in the same environment, has no such inclination.

Is it a gift, or what?
ET

If one is lucky enough to be accepted into a University of Spirituality, or Science or Philosophy or Medicine it behooves
the student to practice hard and study,under the tutelage of
his or her chosen teachers.We chose to accept the teacher,didnt we?
We do not get a P H D by merely being accepted into the University.No under grad at med school starts practicing that day.Why criticise the teacher when the teacher offers education.
Again practice makes perfect whether in spiritual exercises or
in advanced mathematical or scientific experiments, it is not a good idea to criticise what one has never experienced first hand
especially from an undergrad who did not complete his or her finals finals.If one is so fortunate to be given a chance for self
improvement why waste time in trashing the teachings of any
respected teacher,it only reflects badly on the errant student.

To Richard. Is it truthful that being accepted to a University of Spirituality is a matter of Luck? If I am without "Luck", will I have no opportunity to be accepted?
At this University, is it truthful that all teachers actually offer education? Is it possible that many teachers do not teach, but merely lechure? May I ask, what is your definition of a Respected Teacher? Could you please give me the name of a Respected Teacher from the University of Spirituality? I am not sitting in judgement of you. I am just interested in the non-ambiguous details and answers. Many best wishes to you.

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