Sunday, September 19, 2004

Transcendentalism and Paganism

When asked, the philosophical/religious view that I express identification with is transcendentalism.

Today, I was considering that paganism and transcendentalism could be considered broad terms for the two religious/philosophical impulses. Paganism respects or worships nature -- pre-rational, pre-personal instincts and structures. Transcendentalism worships that which is beyond nature.

Most religions that call themselves Christianity consider themselves transcendentalisms, but are, in reality, paganisms. That is, they worship a mythic god, which was concieved in the ancient imagination, and is thus pre-personal.

They are not true Christianity, because they do not imitate Jesus. Jesus' message was that possessions, ego, status, and all the other things of this world must be sacrificed. When they are truly sacrificed, this world is transformed into a spiritual world.

Some Christianities are truly transpersonal. The essential characteristic of transpersonal Christianity is their consideration of the conventional idea of success. For those who consider conventional success something to be gained are pagans, rather than transcendentalists. That so many self-described Christians actually do worship worldly success -- despite their self-decribed transcendentalism -- merely demonstrates the pre-personal nature of their worship.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Recently, I have been enthralled by a certain philosophy that I have been calling Neo-advaita. It is a philosophical category in which I place Shankarycharya, The Ashtavakra Gita, Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, and Ramesh Balsekar.

My reading of what I take to be Aurobindo's explicit arguments against this perspective in Life Divine have pursuaded me.

The strange thing is that Neo-Advaita seems to be little different than what the Gita calls jnani or (in a more accurate transliteration) gyan . And the Gita grants that gyan is a legitimate, if difficult path.

I guess that Aurobindo would call Neo-Advaita an inaccurately reductive reading of gyan.

This is awesome. Found it on a google search for the text of Vasistha's Yoga

I think I'll copy-n-paste it in here just in case it disappears one day.

The Playbill

Brought to you by Vasistha's Yoga

(All words and worlds directly from the text.)

~ An Observation ~

There is value in viewing the world as a play.

That which you witness knowing that is in an illusion

does not affect your inner peace.

"I knew that I was perceiving an illusion.

At the same time, also perceived the present experience.

Though I was being carried away by the flood,

I experienced joy." --The Sage, page 630

The Play of Infinite Consciousness

In Three Acts

The Invocation:

You (Self) dwell in 'me' in a state of equilibrium as pure witness consciousness, without form and without the divisions of time and space.

Act One: Creation

The energy of infinite consciousness (without abandoning its true nature) manifests this creation. First. . .the notion of creation, then light and the division of the universe. As a particle of consciousness moves in space, it does 'there' what it did 'here' earlier; thus the sequence of time arises, as well as spatial distinctions. Then, one after the other, the diverse beings are created.

Act Two: Existence

Seeker (played by infinite consciousness who has 'forgotten' his true nature): "Who am I who speaks, walks, stands and functions on this elaborate stage known as the world? I should find this out."

Sage (played by infinite consciousness): "What is is as it is. All this is the wonderful play of the mysterious power of consciousness. Experience this in utter tranquility."

Act Three: Dissolution

The Seeker (played by infinite consciousness) of its own accord awakens itself to its own true nature. Realizing that all this is nothing but infinite consciousness, it attains equilibrium. Realizing itself as a non-entity, it is reabsorbed in the consciousness of which it is but a thought-emanation.

Running Time: One moment
During that moment itself the illusory notion that it is of very long duration arises.

About the Players

About the Author, Mind
The infinite self entertains the notion 'I am Mind' . . .

The Mind assumes it has a Body. . .
and, assumes a variety of creatures with all sorts of relationships existing between them and all subject to time.

About the Cast

Infinite Consciousness plays the roles of all beings.
Like a mirror which holds a reflection within itself, without undergoing any modification in itself, this consciousness appears as all these countless beings.

What the Reviewers Say
"It is clear that this is nothing but the play of the mind; the mind itself is but the play of the omnipotent infinite being."

About the Production

The Stage
This entire creation is like a stage. Diverse scenes arise and cease day after day.

The Lighting
The Stage is illumined by the sun and the moon and the stars.

The Music
Accompanied by the celestial music and the roaring of the oceans.

The Choreography
This delightful cosmic dance that you see in front of you. . .is but the play of the infinite consciousness. The Lord who is infinite consciousness is non-different from the dancer and the dance.

The Chorus
Delusion of the world-existence attains expansion by its repeated affirmations.

The Book
This play is an adaptation using quotations from the unabridged Vasistha's Yoga.

Be Still and Watch this Cosmic Dance

Friday, September 03, 2004

What I learned from watching the RNC

Zell Miller articulated the idea that it is treasonous to criticize the President during wartime. This was greeted with wild applause and many internet commentators expressed their agreement with Miller.

The positive response to Miller's speech proves to me that there is a surprisingly large faction of the US population that never did care for the idea of a constitutional democracy and would be happier living under a dictatorship.

I'd like to make a list of people who expressed positive reactions to the speech, because their views are forever tainted by totaliarian tendencies.

If the US makes the wrong choice in November, it may be time to part ways.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

"Earth-life is not just a lapse into the mire of something undivine, vain and miserable, offered by some Power to itself as a spectacle or to the embodied soul as a thing to be suffered and then cast away from it: it is the scene of the evolutionary unfolding of the being which moves toward the revelation of a supreme spiritual light and power and joy and oneness, but includes in it also the manifold diversity of the self-achieving spirit. There is an all-seeing purpose in the terrestrial creation; a divine plan is working itself out through its contradictions and perplexities which are a sign of the many-sided achievement towards which are being led the soul's growth and the endeavor of Nature." -- Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p. 680
This is what happens to Twenty-first century imperialistic nations -- they get held hostage. Let us learn from Russia's lesson and avoid its fate.