Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The Art of Peace
The Art of Peace begins with you.
Work on yourself and your
Appointed task in the Art of Peace.
Everyone has a spirit that
Can be refined, a body that
Can be trained in some manner,
A suitable path to follow.
You are here for no other purpose than
To realize your inner divinity and
Manifest your innate enlightenment.
Foster peace in your own life and
Then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
- Morehei Ueshiba
How Religions Evolve from Spiritual Truth
First, you have spiritual truth and quite possibly the mystic as well, but sometimes I believe that what people refer to as mystical is simply that for which all words fall short and it has to be experienced to be understood. Religion as I am using it in this context is simply the incorporation of spiritual truth into a set of canon, tradition and dogma for the purposes of men and society. As my Uncle explained it simply and succinctly, you have a spiritual master who speaks wisdom, then he or she dies. The oral stories and parables are written down which removes some of their intended effect which is to awaken people. Then others come along who don't understand the stories fully, and in their attempts to comprehend and make sense of them, they alter or subvert* their meaning to an extent and turn them into the basis of a religion. All spiritual masters are the same master. They seek to empower people to their fullest potential without generally seeking political or financial power themselves. But the institutions that arise after they are gone are the opposite. Maybe they have to be since they are of this world. However, there were no early churches in Early Christianity. People met in houses, typically the wealthier members since they had more space. There were spiritual leaders, but everyone had a say it seemed and women were held in high regard. Then you start to see Christianity accommodate Roman society as the wealthy Roman women and their families adopted it in their households. Suddenly, slaves were admonished to obey their masters and wives their husbands. Never mind that the emperors saw Christianity differently and sought to stomp it out until Constantine embraced it possibly because of his Mother. You see this give and take as Christianity evolves from a form of Judaism to a Gentile religion in the Book of Acts and some of Paul's epistles.
I don't really care what you label it or how you label it. When I speak of spiritual truth or spirituality, I am referring to the core truths embodied in just about every major religion that each religion was spawned from. They almost all have them in common because they are all based on human experiences. They are separate from the rituals and traditions that for the most part are elaborate trappings, one could say are smoke and mirrors. Jesus and the Buddha gave sermons to people telling them the truth. They spoke simply and to the point, and it was almost intimate in a way (I lack words to describe what I am trying to convey.). How is that different from what people experience now in a church, mosque, or synagogue? I mean sometimes it happens. Sometimes the sermon hits home and you are enlightened, but often, it falls flat.
*more accurate verb for what I wished to convey
Labels: consciousness stillness
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water.
Can you personally make life or daily living a game, make it enjoyable for yourself? Can you be detached from the outcome of your life or your job? This seems to be part of the core wisdom of the sages down through the ages. The insane opposite of this playful detachment to existence is obsessive compulsion. Which is easier? Which is freer? Which is saner?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Labels: perception reality
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Was watching a CNN show about TB and the TB traveler. Didn't know that Eleanor Roosevelt lived with it. Perhaps this incident will wake up people and get our declining public health system fixed. Drug resistant Tuberculosis is a World Health problem. It was one of the diseases reported about in Rx for Survival. XDR TB is treatable, but the treatments are costly. It loves people with HIV and indeed, it's been on the rise in infected HIV populations. The reason we have drug resistant TB is that people stop taking the antibiotics after they feel better, but they haven't cleared the TB infection. The bacteria are given a second chance and the surviving germs are often resistant to the antibiotics that were used to treat the patient. It's a disease of poor people who mostly live in the third world. There's no financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to make a cheap vaccine or treatment. Throw in cheap air travel, a highly communicable, infectious disease and you have a public health nightmare. Now, was Mr. Speaker contagious? Who knows? Only time will tell, but chances are that he wasn't. But you don't want to have extremely drug resistant TB. He'll likely be cured, but for many people who contract the illness he has, it is a death sentence.
The previous paragraph has nothing to do with the quote above. If anything, it makes me seem average or small. But you'd be wrong about me. There are all sorts of ideas happening and being discussed at the moment. Michael Moore's "Sicko" may cause a national health care debate to ensue. Ron Paul is sounding like a someone who actually has read up on terrorism since he's talking about reevaluating American foreign policy and its blowback. Doctors are discovering that when they give oxygen to heart attack victims that they are actually killing them quicker instead of saving them. Chances are that the underlying cellular mechanism at work in oxygen deprived people is the same one that allows hydrogen sulphide induced hibernation to work. Astronomers are peering farther and farther from home. They are peering into the atmospheres of faraway planets and stars, measuring the mass, distance and density of dark matter. Female cheetahs are polygamous, which makes sense since cheetahs went through a genetic bottleneck thousands of years ago and cheetahs are highly genetically homogeneous (inbred). It's in their interest to have multiple cubs from multiple fathers. Stephen O'Brien has suggested that one female cheetah and her cubs survived the cheetah mass extinction and the cheetahs clawed their way back (to steal a phrase from The Register web site). Now they just have to survive us.
So, the take home lesson here is to never be average. Be passionate about something and try to make a difference. Although all life and all things are fleeting, we are all here for a purpose. Everyone and everything is equally sacred and precious. Discover yourself and who you really are.