Monday, May 01, 2006
Spiritual Truth and Religion
Making someone a deity makes them special when in fact, if Tolle is right, Jesus and the Buddha were more ordinary than ordinary men because they didn't have egos. They wouldn't stand out in a crowd. I always wondered why Jesus wasn't noticed more during the three years of his ministry. If he was doing all those miraculous things, then he would have come to people's attention much sooner. But if he didn't stand out and call attention to himself, then it would explain why he only got into trouble when Judas turned him in.
Everything written about Jesus was written 50 to 400 years after he died from the oral traditions he left behind and some of it was embellished. "Half of writing history is hiding the truth," says Mal Reynolds in Serenity. The Bible is a historical narrative from times and cultures and places that are gone except maybe in name only. Some things are true. Some things are made up, and some things are outright lies. Every religion is tainted. It's up to each person to find the jewels of spiritual Truth buried in the Holy Books and religions. Someone like Tolle is just giving you the Truth as he knows it. He's just honest enough to tell you to not use him as a stumbling block and to trust yourself. (I was told much of what Tolle says by a relative in 1976. Tolle just made the knowledge I already had more comprehensible and confirmed what I had been told.) Truths are generally simple. Lies are usually complex and elaborate.
(Buy the truth but don't sell it. Proverbs 23:23, if I am not mistaken.)
Anyway, too much speculation is not a good thing. What he is doing doesn't seem to be relevant; trying to reconcile conflicting beliefs. I also think all religious founders, without being aware of it, founded organizations that contradicted and conflicted with each other. If we drop all beliefs especially about who this or that person or diety is, and what he did to save all mankind, would we actually be rid of so much confusion?
Most likely, because beliefs have divided and divides people, and trying to reconcile them will bring about more confusion, I'm afraid.
Perhaps, I should try to find out more what Tolle is trying to teach before I make any further comment.
People are divided. They use beliefs to enforce their division, excuses. Religion is just one of those excuses.
If Tolle's message didn't fill a need and didn't ring true, then likely his books wouldn't sell. In this society, it costs money to print books and publishers feel they need to make a profit. Are you blaming him for the way the publishing business works, or the fact he makes a living from what he does? Isn't he entitled to reap the benefits of his work. Besides, you can't walk into a bookstore and walk out without paying for a Bible.
Great observations here, John.
Cliche as it may be, most of us still spend our whole lives studying the finger which is pointing at the moon rather than the thing to which the finger is pointing.
Most good teachers (like Tolle) will tell you that they themselves or their teachings may or may not be of use to you... most bad teachers will tell you that you REALLY need what they're offering.
I don't have much time to think or talk about this now. I don't like writing long arguments. But anyway, I appreciate your attempt to pacify my soul for not believing in the diety of certain human beings. I needed that.
However, i found a weblog mentioning Tolle in one of the entries:
I haven't read all of it yet. I'll try sometime.
Thanks for the ideas.
It's too bad that people could still do that; I mean fire someone for trying to influence other people. This is something I am completely against, punishing people for what seems to me perfectly normal. You should not let this happen. Altho where I work, talking about religion and spirituality is considered almost taboo. Most people suggest that this is not good; that it can even lead to insanity. Well, I don't let people intimidate me in any way. Sometimes I pretend to be crazy, while at the same time laugh at them. Inspite of this I feel very much at home and accepted.
also.I love getting his fresh perspective (like Ram Dass was for me for a long time.)The refreshing of my knowledge and faith are so important to me. I used to pray for new ways of seeing God's presence in the world,like touching the face of God in another form.
Speaking of history, don't you get a kick out of major turning points caused by fleas, food or lack of, poisons,storms, and various diseases?
Thanks for your blog.