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June 14, 2007


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The religion into which I was born was Mormonism. It was actually quite meaningful to me for a long stretch of my life, filling my need for spiritual growth and achievement in extraordinary ways.

However, due to some eventual metaphysical concerns (that arose from some beautiful, personal experiences through which I understood, in a way, the true nature of reality, of my existence, and of the "purpose" of life), scientific concerns, and concerns with some of the Mormon church's historical claims, I soon moved on from it.

Today, I have adopted a world view based on a mixture of values, principles, practices, and purposes I have collected from Transcendentalism (Thoreau, Emerson), Buddhism, Taoism, evolutionary biology, stoicism, and, most important, my own observations and experiences.

I don't claim to experience or know more than I do, but I love the opportunity to think deeply about life, my being, my purpose-- of existence itself! and the thrill of finding out that, not only are there no easy, pat answers, but that, ultimately, there may be no answers (or problems) at all!

Thanks for your wonderful blog. I find your depth and honesty refreshing!

I think the religion I truly follow is Sheilaism. It leaves me in charge of my own thoughts, free to engage with input from anywhere and responsible for my own actions. But the main appeal is that no one can tell me what to do, think or feel. I don't have to subscribe to any beliefs that defy rational thought and nor do I have to suppress my personality to fit a socio-religiously approved gender role.

Ultimately, however, I think I've only been flirting with religious thought. I certainly haven't got the depth of knowledge or experience that a lot of people on this blog demonstrate.

If I think about it, I am most aligned with Chan Buddhism and Taoism.

But when I observe my behavior, I am certainly a sun worshipper. I don't mean tanning. It just seems that everything that is important to me has something to do with warmth and food and solar cycles. If there is anything that I pray for or to, it is a single source of energy. All my personal rituals have this connection in them.

And as a common denominator for trying to understand what the heck other people are doing, a solar deity is a good place-holder.

There is probably a Latin word for this religion, but I would have to look it up.

Hi Brian,I was, like you, a satsangi and what Charan Singh teached was very nice when it was about love.The rest of santmat as a path of love??,I mean the doctrine?????...but it still touches me now and then..I'll never forget the devotional part.

I was thinking to go to satsang this weekend..maybe(?)just look how it feels to be there..don't know yet..

I am reading the Dao De Jing,Lao Zi.Is nice.

Also visit often the sufi's,what I enjoy a lot.

The unknowing state feels good.accepting..
Sometimes I like,or I do feel God..

Still feel some serenety in ''santmat'' at times..maybe it is not santmat,but in me..

All must be good anyway, because all must be one..???..!!!..?
Some meditation,just open up to something higher..
Something like that Brian,nice that you asked
others about it..


I apologize for not commenting on anything in particualr to this post.

I wanted to make amends to you for being inconsiderate, selfish, fearful and dishonest on a previous post. I was judging you and I was wrong.



Also, teachings of Ramana Maharshi & Nisargadatta Maharaj

All and none.

The word "spirit" comes from "breathing" and I think for a human being (and maybe not only), spirituality is coterminous with life. (Once, outside Tucson, I heard a pack of coyotes cheer the sunrise.)

I tried to express it here:


But the same forces that are stripping away the answers are equipping us as never before to live in the open questions. When you swear exclusive allegiance to no one tradition, their multiplicity is no longer a threat but a vast resource: the record of over 10,000 years of research, a grand reference library for the study of reality (not a “salad bar,” the prevailing meme that trivializes outsiders’ interest in all traditions). Like the spinning thigh bone that becomes a waltzing space station in the movie “2001,” “What?” and “How?” and “Why?” have become the Book of Genesis and the Hubble Telescope, the Rig Veda and the particle accelerator, the Origin of Species and Mitakuye oyasin (Lakota: “all my relatives”), the scientific method and zazen. These great documents and instruments, and thousands more, now belong to all of us.

And here:


Religious traditions wield such weighty authority today, we’re in danger of forgetting that they sprang from the teachings of . . . Outsiders! Look past any tradition to its source, and you’ll find someone who wasn’t building a building, but leaving one -- if not actively demolishing one. Leaving the building is the primal spiritual act. The founders of major religions would likely have been aghast to learn that that was what they were doing. They thought they were getting out under the sky, getting naked to the Truth, stripping down to the quick that had become encrusted with mystique and hierarchy.

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