Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:43 am

Of course spirituality requires discipline!


Can we just step back and see if we're talking about the same thing in terms of 'spirituality' and in terms of 'discipline'. Then at least we'll be on the same page, maybe :wink:

I found this interesting 'definition' 'perspective of spirituality that we might discuss.

Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all.


Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives.

I accept it's a broad concept with many perspectives. I apply genuine curiosity for, and acceptance of others' perspectives, whether or not I agree with them.
Do you agree? I realise that not everybody would (eg a person who follows a particular religious or rules based concept of it might based on reward and punishment ideology, not accept that others' perspectives of what is 'spiritual' are equally valid - in their personal principle).

In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life.

hmmm, I"m not so sure that everyone who is aware of connection to something bigger than ourselves need necessarily search for meaning in life - maybe it's enough to be connected and realise that.

What do others think of that statement?

As I agree with the sense of connectedness I agree to a point that it's universal - depending on our awareness, capacity & willingness, and I would not limit it to the human species.

I also really like this perspective/definition -
Spirituality becomes a conscious state when the soul awakens to its true nature.


.....
Discipline - hmmm stems from or is related to 'disciple' do you think?
a person who is a pupil or an adherer to the doctrines of someone else.


I'm not sure, in fact I'm pretty sure that one need not be a disciple in order to be aware of connectedness to something bigger than ourselves.

But let's see where that road leads....

discipline
noun
1. the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.
"a lack of proper parental and school discipline"
synonyms: control, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand; More
2. a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.
"sociology is a fairly new discipline"
synonyms: field (of study), branch of knowledge, course of study, subject, area; More

verb
1.train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.
"many parents have been afraid to discipline their children"
synonyms: train, drill, teach, school, coach, educate, regiment, indoctrinate;


eeek, what does any of the above have to do with the notion of being connected to something bigger than oneself? Of all of the above, maybe the noun idea about a branch of knowledge (?)

Let's find another one -
activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training:

I think learning from experience this would be natural without the need for punishment or reward. We lean towards what serves us, and away from what doesn't.

It's key to say here, I love the notion that humans are the only species that create rules other than those in natural expression, and then punish or reward depending on adherence to them.Then the focus is on whether we are doing or being 'right' or 'wrong' rather than participating in the dance of connectedness, awarely.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby joe » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:16 am

Good points. By discipline I mean like training. We must train ourselves spiritually or we will remain out of touch.

I think a valid reason to follow an organized religion, though one must do so critically, meaning always being aware, is that it gives you something solid. The danger of just thinking in terms of being "spiritual" without any discipline or structure is that it can just become a way of making yourself feel like you are connected, but not requiring much out of you in terms of effort and not giving you that much focus. It's easy for it to become sort of amorphous.

Plus there are reasons Christianity has been around so long that don't have anything to do with mass thinking or political ideology. How would you explain Christian mystics? Aren't their writings as profound as those by Taoists and Buddhists?
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:04 am

Thanks for sharing Joe, is your definition of spirituality inclusive, or bordered by doctrines (right/wrong) then?

For me amorphous is okay too, even as a precursor to understanding as a thing evolves in our awareness.

The danger of just thinking in terms of being "spiritual" without any discipline or structure is that it can just become a way of making yourself feel like you are connected, but not requiring much out of you in terms of effort and not giving you that much focus.

Any 'discipline' will make you connected to those that agree that that is what connectedness /spirituality is. Unfortunately many disciplines make enemy, obstacle, or means to an end of other disciplines, in which case they're missing connectedness by ....that much. (however much they are excluding).

Being aware of connectedness has little boundaries, and it doesn't (for me) require much in terms of effort, it's more a dropping of the boundaries / practices than the adherence to them. An authentic nakedness, unsolidness (ego & intellectually speaking) allows abundant focussed connectedness.

Code: Select all
Plus there are reasons Christianity has been around so long that don't have anything to do with mass thinking or political ideology.

Would you like to share them?

How would you explain Christian mystics? Aren't their writings as profound as those by Taoists and Buddhists?

I don't tend to denote profound writings by their religious leanings - either I find them profound, or I don't - totally based on my awareness, capacity to comprehend the intention and the content. So pretty much I wouldn't know which mystics' writings are which.


I just googled christian mystic to get some idea ----
To start, it is enough to understand that a "Christian Mystic" is a person who wholly accepts the lordship of Jesus through humility and finds the biblical teachings, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to present for them, the only way to grow in relationship with God.
http://christianmystics.com/basics/whatis.html

Don't get me wrong, I respect others' rights to their views and their practices, but I disagree that there is only one way, which I realise is the basis of Christianity.
(I even have a *shudder* at the connotation that things of divine connectedness are ---""Mystic - Sacredly obscure or secret"..." for those who are aware at this level its not a secret at all, albeit it may have been hidden in order to not get burnt at the stake by zealous religionists).

I agree there is a difference between thinking/feeling connected and knowing/being connectedness. I just don't think there need be a deity or religious rules involved.

I figure for those who believe they need an external 'authority' to lead them and keep them aware of their connectedness will feel that need until they don't, or stay happy in that framework. The same can be said for those outside of those parameters, we evolve with our awareness (or not) of connectedness and the cause-effect of our interactions and experiences of them.

Can I ask, have you ever viewed Monty Python's Life of Brian - and if so, what insights did it bring?
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby joe » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:08 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Thanks for sharing Joe, is your definition of spirituality inclusive, or bordered by doctrines (right/wrong) then?

Inclusive I suppose.

For me amorphous is okay too, even as a precursor to understanding as a thing evolves in our awareness.

Not what I meant.

The danger of just thinking in terms of being "spiritual" without any discipline or structure is that it can just become a way of making yourself feel like you are connected, but not requiring much out of you in terms of effort and not giving you that much focus.

Any 'discipline' will make you connected to those that agree that that is what connectedness /spirituality is. Unfortunately many disciplines make enemy, obstacle, or means to an end of other disciplines, in which case they're missing connectedness by ....that much. (however much they are excluding).

Being aware of connectedness has little boundaries, and it doesn't (for me) require much in terms of effort, it's more a dropping of the boundaries / practices than the adherence to them. An authentic nakedness, unsolidness (ego & intellectually speaking) allows abundant focussed connectedness.

I don't think this addresses my point.

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Plus there are reasons Christianity has been around so long that don't have anything to do with mass thinking or political ideology.

Would you like to share them?

That's complicated. I was addressing the dismissive attitude another poster had.

How would you explain Christian mystics? Aren't their writings as profound as those by Taoists and Buddhists?

I don't tend to denote profound writings by their religious leanings - either I find them profound, or I don't - totally based on my awareness, capacity to comprehend the intention and the content. So pretty much I wouldn't know which mystics' writings are which.


I just googled christian mystic to get some idea ----
To start, it is enough to understand that a "Christian Mystic" is a person who wholly accepts the lordship of Jesus through humility and finds the biblical teachings, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to present for them, the only way to grow in relationship with God.
http://christianmystics.com/basics/whatis.html

Don't get me wrong, I respect others' rights to their views and their practices, but I disagree that there is only one way, which I realise is the basis of Christianity.
(I even have a *shudder* at the connotation that things of divine connectedness are ---""Mystic - Sacredly obscure or secret"..." for those who are aware at this level its not a secret at all, albeit it may have been hidden in order to not get burnt at the stake by zealous religionists).

I agree there is a difference between thinking/feeling connected and knowing/being connectedness. I just don't think there need be a deity or religious rules involved.

I figure for those who believe they need an external 'authority' to lead them and keep them aware of their connectedness will feel that need until they don't, or stay happy in that framework. The same can be said for those outside of those parameters, we evolve with our awareness (or not) of connectedness and the cause-effect of our interactions and experiences of them.

But why is there such a concentration on personages in Christianity?

Can I ask, have you ever viewed Monty Python's Life of Brian - and if so, what insights did it bring?

I did years ago. What about it?
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:27 am

Hi, you might find it easier to highlight and quote in smaller bits so your responses can be seen separately. It sometimes takes a little to get the hang of it, but I think I've figured out your/my responses. :D

But why is there such a concentration on personages in Christianity?

For my understanding I'd say because that's what the doctrine demands. that only through the 'personage' can one find whatever it is folks think they find. It's the 'discipline' disciple-hood notion of following this person's example.

I guess I mentioned Monty Python's Life of Brian because it was loosely, satirically based on examining things from the 'personage's' point of view.

How many times have you said something in one context, only to have it misunderstood, or misconstrued in another?

I certainly wouldn't want any of my utterances to be taken as 'gospel' :lol: (- and certainly not 2000 years later!)

That's why I'm okay with amorphous awareness of connectedness.


Plus there are reasons Christianity has been around so long that don't have anything to do with mass thinking or political ideology.

Jen asked: Would you like to share them?


That's complicated. I was addressing the dismissive attitude another poster had.

Even so, what do you see has held Christianity around for so long that doesn't have anything to do with mass thinking or political ideology?

Maybe a practising Christian is the right person to ask this, and accept that every single practising Christian will likely have a different answer. If you are inclusive of others perspectives different is not right/wrong, it's just different.

Way back you mused ---
I guess what I am trying to understand is WHY someone would need to believe a story, with all it's areas for mis-translation, historical inaccuracies, the multiple complexities of language, etc.

I can see why people who are trapped by a belief system or are not willing to look into other traditions and methods would not get being present as a spiritual path, but the whole narrative thing seems so arbitrary and simplistic to me.

I mean, how can you trust anything as elaborate as that?


We all operate within our own levels of awareness, capacity and willingness, so the answer to the above is as arbitrary as the 7 billion plus folks on our planet, and it (each one's levels) changes all the time. Can you remember why you used to trust when/if you did? (awareness, capacity, willingness)

To want it to be any different would be to argue with reality.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby joe » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:48 am

Sorry. I don't get how to do the quoting here. Maybe you can explain.

What I've been thinking is that there are universal principles that may be recognized in myriad ways and forms. People on this forum would be examples of those who look for ways to connect to truth through a variety of means, but ways that are non-dogmatic. Religion is a structure that provides a framework for understanding truth through narrative. Each major religion has it's own narrative.

For my purposes, since Christianity is the religion of my culture and is the most familiar religion to me, it makes sense to try to connect to truth through it's forms. However, I look through it's doctrines at the truths within and that is what I respond to. By contrast, a typical Christian may believe that the structure of the religion is the only way to see the truth, or worse yet, that the structure itself is the truth. Perhaps this is at the basis of Fundamentalism in religion.

I suppose this is how I have been viewing things, but I still wonder about the insistence on the personages. Why can't Christians state that when they use words like He and Him they are using language as a pointer, as Tolle calls it? For Christians things really do hinge on the Son of God coming to Earth and saving mankind. To them, without that there's nothing.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby lmp » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:14 am

Now, to ask and pray for Jesus to save us with the promise that he will do it, is a message that is both simple to understand and easy to carry out. Through Jesus we have peace with god.

What do you think about that message? Isn't peace with god to connect to truth? Believe in Jesus and he will take care of it for you.

...I think that for some people though, to find truth for oneself independently of any previous formula or religion, is simply the mission of life. We live here a long time, believing in Jesus is perhaps too quick, too small a task, too simple. If truth is found too quickly, what to do with all the time we have left? But then again, to believe in a simple structure with clear personages makes it very manageable, easy, clear and safe.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:41 pm

lmp wrote:Now, to ask and pray for Jesus to save us with the promise that he will do it,

Save us from what?

lmp wrote:What do you think about that message?

I think it is a message of exclusion rather than inclusion. It has to do with the "only begotten Son" belief. It says not only 'I am the way' but 'I am the only way'. Life and being simply doesn't work that way.

lmp wrote:Isn't peace with god to connect to truth?

Yes, but is this it? Or is it a concept to link people to a religious belief that more serves the religion than the believer?

lmp wrote:Believe in Jesus and he will take care of it for you.

In what way? Belief creates a specific focus of energy irrespective of its underlying truth. A belief such as this creates a narrow limited focus rather than a broader more inclusive perspective. Are all those non-believers going to hell?

lmp wrote:...I think that for some people though, to find truth for oneself independently of any previous formula or religion, is simply the mission of life. We live here a long time, believing in Jesus is perhaps too quick, too small a task, too simple. If truth is found too quickly, what to do with all the time we have left? But then again, to believe in a simple structure with clear personages makes it very manageable, easy, clear and safe.

It's seems more likely that many are rejecting religion because they feel a calling to a more direct understanding of life and being. The carrot and stick approach of Heaven is our way and Hell is any other way is falling short of an unconditionally loving Spirit. People are demanding their own clarity, not that of some establishment organization that has its own agenda of power and authority.

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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby lmp » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:18 pm

Webwanderer wrote: Save us from what?


I think you will recognize the theme. By our sins we have become separated from god. But God sends his son Jesus to take upon himself responsibility for all our sins, for which he is put to death. In this way Jesus saves us from the wrath of god. By believing in Jesus act of sacrifice we don't have to face god's punishment. Merely to believe is said to be enough but of course Jesus means for us to understand what he actually said. "I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true"

Briefly in the more modern way of speaking we have become separated from our true nature and something which is false in us has to die or be seen through in order for us to put an end to the needless suffering or confusion of humanity.

Webwanderer wrote:I think it is a message of exclusion rather than inclusion. It has to do with the "only begotten Son" belief. It says not only 'I am the way' but 'I am the only way'. Life and being simply doesn't work that way.


Well the 'only begotten' son could easily be interpreted as a son 'aligned with' or 'one with'. But the more important point is the unfortunate belief in the person and not in what was said.

Webwanderer wrote:Yes, but is this it? Or is it a concept to link people to a religious belief that more serves the religion than the believer?


Clearly it has been a way to gather followers. I'm not a historian but I assume that a few hundred years ago there were few well spread sources on matters of truth. The bible was one of them and I reckon that some people felt the truth of it even if most people was drawn into religion by force and tradition and other reasons.

Webwanderer wrote:In what way? Belief creates a specific focus of energy irrespective of its underlying truth. A belief such as this creates a narrow limited focus rather than a broader more inclusive perspective. Are all those non-believers going to hell?


I hesitate to answer this one, I don't really know, it sounds to me like a sales pitch that is well recieved because believing in someone seems like a thing simple to understand and do. In some cases the believer might begin to explore for themselves what was said and so gain insight. I'm not in the habit of selling religion to people, to believe that one is going to hell is a terrible thought to have if one actually believes it.

Webwanderer wrote:It's seems more likely that many are rejecting religion because they feel a calling to a more direct understanding of life and being. The carrot and stick approach of Heaven is our way and Hell is any other way is falling short of an unconditionally loving Spirit. People are demanding their own clarity, not that of some establishment organization that has its own agenda of power and authority.

WW


Well said, organized religion deserves a lot of criticism. There is so much to be said about it.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:04 am

lmp wrote:By our sins we have become separated from god.

What is sin? I've read that the word origin comes from an old archery term that means 'off the mark'. That certainly makes sense if one considers the 'mark' alignment with one's true nature. So living in sin, or even original sin, would be living through a perspective that one is separate form God and/or their true nature.

But God sends his son Jesus to take upon himself responsibility for all our sins,

If this is not true and Jesus' mission was something else besides taking upon himself the sins of the world, would not this belief itself be a 'sin', that is off the mark? Anything, any belief that separates us from truth, would be a sin under this definition. The thing is there is nothing wrong with sin. It's simply a condition that evokes a certain experience relative to the off the mark living. But all life experience is valuable, and if we lived in a spiritual state of consciousness prior to incarnating in this lifetime, we knew that such distraction and 'sinful' living was likely. So here we are with the amazing experience of finding our way back home.

In this way Jesus saves us from the wrath of god. By believing in Jesus act of sacrifice we don't have to face god's punishment.

That's an awfully small god you cite there Imp. An unconditionally loving God is unlikely to harbor any wrath or administer any punishment to aspects of Its own Being. We are extensions of the very God that you would have us fear 'His' punishment. It's the same stick, along with the heavenly carrot, that religion has used to scare/reward its members into loyalty - along with a 10 percent royalty to the church for centuries. Wrath, anger, punishment - really?

"I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true"

Now, I don't know if this is an accurate quote or not. I wasn't there, nor was anyone else alive today that I know. (reincarnation not withstanding) Even so, there are many today born with a similar purpose. For those I don't have to question the accuracy of statements many generations and many translations removed from the original statement if indeed such a statement was even made.

We all have an inner guidance system that will lead us to truth. It seems far better to get intimately familiar with its workings, Gods own gift to each of us, whose results 'are at hand', than to live in hopes and faith that a book of questionable origin and accuracy it reliable.

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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby joe » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:26 am

lmp wrote:Now, to ask and pray for Jesus to save us with the promise that he will do it, is a message that is both simple to understand and easy to carry out. Through Jesus we have peace with god.

What do you think about that message? Isn't peace with god to connect to truth? Believe in Jesus and he will take care of it for you.

...I think that for some people though, to find truth for oneself independently of any previous formula or religion, is simply the mission of life. We live here a long time, believing in Jesus is perhaps too quick, too small a task, too simple. If truth is found too quickly, what to do with all the time we have left? But then again, to believe in a simple structure with clear personages makes it very manageable, easy, clear and safe.


I think that's a misunderstanding. Being a true Christian is not easy. Spiritual challenges within the context of religion are great. To live connected to God means to surrender oneself completely. I think an insightful Christian would argue that the discipline of religion keeps things in focus and means a more complete engagement with spirituality, as opposed to wanting to be free of religion and then ending up floating in an ambiguous "spirituality", which to me is what New Age religion is. All the problems with power that are the nature of large and powerful institutions are certainly important to keep in mind, but I am thinking of a religious person, like a mystic, who is not bound by rigid doctrines and who engages with truth deeply and genuinely, yet within the context of Christian faith and beliefs.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby joe » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:21 am

Anyone?
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:49 pm

joe wrote:I think an insightful Christian would argue that the discipline of religion keeps things in focus and means a more complete engagement with spirituality, as opposed to wanting to be free of religion and then ending up floating in an ambiguous "spirituality", which to me is what New Age religion is. All the problems with power that are the nature of large and powerful institutions are certainly important to keep in mind, but I am thinking of a religious person, like a mystic, who is not bound by rigid doctrines and who engages with truth deeply and genuinely, yet within the context of Christian faith and beliefs.

My sense is that in a larger context this human experience is about exploration of life and being. Religion is of course one area of exploration, but in the context you suggest there seems to be a preference for safety in established doctrine such as Christianity. That is not however the best thing for all explorers. For some, myself included, religion was far too restrictive. Religious leaders are far too ready to tell their followers what to think and then to threaten them with authoritative scriptural punishment for stepping out of the box. That just won't cut it for me.

Even in the days when I was closer to a religious point of view, I found some clarifying logic that said: 'on judgment day, no religious leader, nor anyone else, will be there to take the heat for my choosing to follow what another told me was true. That's on me.' It's the kind of perspective that brought a freedom to look where I would, relying on my own integrity as a guiding principle. Rest assured, it took a good deal of courage to do so. A conditioned belief in potential hell and damnation was significant challenge to work through.

It's certain some prefer the feeling of spiritual security they derive from the established points of view that religions offer. Again, everything has value. Many others however, prefer to do their own exploration, and to take on the risk to feelings of security is well worth the clarifying insight that personal exploration offers. To each his own, but for me I know I have chosen the right path.

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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby joe » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:46 am

Thank you. That was well stated.
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Re: Tolle, or Eastern approaches vs. Christianity

Postby DavidB » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:11 am

joe wrote:
lmp wrote:To live connected to God means to surrender oneself completely.


Indeed. Which means that one has no identity.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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