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From wordlessness to words to wordlessness – the gift of Transcendence as the ultimate context of our faith

Presentation for Crawley Interfaith Network – by Roger – Dr Roger E Prentice

“Like the bee gathering honey from the different flowers, the wise person accepts the essence of the different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions.” attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

INTRODUCTION:   We begin with Rumi, the 13thC Sufi mystic poet; “Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”  I’m told someone once said to Rumi, “If you believe in silence, why have you done nothing but talk and talk, and write and sing and dance?”  He laughed and said, ”The radiant one inside me has never said a word.”  Father Thomas Keating added. ….”In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God.  Perhaps learning to rest in God is resting in Awareness?

Spirituality & ReligionSpirituality  is what we ultimately are.  It is the life-force that through us flows. It is our capacity to reflect virtues, and the Names and Attributes and Qualities of God – in our acts as well as in our being.  We are a being within Being. For all of us our message to the world is what we actually do. Religion is the institutionalization of the spirituality that fountains from the Revelations of the Messengers of God – or, if you are a very modern theologian, around and from Ultimate Reality. Spirituality exists everywhere, including outside of religions.  Some parts of some religions, some of the time, show very little of the sweet water of spirituality that was the intention of the Messengers or High Prophets that founded those great Traditions.

Outline of this presentation – Realizing Oneness is the means to peace. We are enriched if we look for sameness in other Traditions – The Oneness is best illustrated by the great seers; Lao Tzu to Socrates and Heraclitus, from Plotinus and al-Hallaj to Meister Eckhart and St. John of the Cross and up to and including contemporary spiritual teachers such as Rupert Spira and Reza Shah-Kazemi.

They teach us to let go our egoic self and sense the presence of God – through the Messengers of God.  The Messengers enable four things.  Firstly they repeat the eternal spiritual truths. Secondly they give a set of social teachings. Thirdly they act as ‘Transformers’ of God’s Infinite power into ‘potential and manifest capabilities’ – for us humans. Fourthly they act as Perfect Mirrors, or exemplars, so that we learn to reflect in the mirrors of our hearts their perfect reflection of the qualities of God.

Because of the constraints of time I focus on how in all great Traditions we are challenged to realize the Oneness behind the great traditions as evidenced by teachings from the seers and other outstanding teachers. In particular I present teachings concerning the two realms – the dual and the Nondual.

What is  Nonduality in a nutshell? – ‘Nonduality is, when we stop ‘self-ing’ enough, to be surrendered within the Whole, out of which the ‘I’ appears.  Then we shall see that ‘I = Awareness’

The Interspiritual Way is the same as e.g. the Taoist Way except inspiration is drawn primarily from seven Traditions.  Nonduality is the ‘center pole’ or ‘backbone’ of the One Garden interspiritual reading of self & life. From the teachings of the various Traditions I hope we come to see that we are all set the same challenge in life.  The briefest description of that challenge that I’ve ever seen is from a Zen Master, “No self; no problem.”  Now let’s see what the seven Traditions say about Nonduality & duality. Each Tradition points to the insight of the two realms but provides a different aspect on the subject;

FROM JEWISH TEACHINGS: The great Jewish poet, philosopher & activist Rebbe Abraham Joshua Heschel describes the two worlds exquisitely ;

“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh.

We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore.

Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another.  Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap.

They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”Abraham Joshua Heschel, in Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion.

A simpler way of presenting the key idea is to be found in  this metaphor: “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of mystery.”  Notice that even reason stops at the shoreline of mystery. The key is that to realize Nondual Reality we have to surrender to the impossibility that language, words, concepts, even mind and reason  can play no part. We either feel the Nondual whole or we don’t. But the good news is that we can clear away the inner clutter that comes with the ‘dual world’ and find that our true Self is there all the time. This is Awareness, but Awareness is us only when we have stopped ‘selfing’. Then, relatively, we sense that God is closer to us than our life-vein as in We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (Qur’an 50:16).  As in the one set of footsteps in the sand God carries us, even when we are not fulfilling our covenantal obligation.  To transcend we have to get our false egoic self sufficiently surrendered to allow our true Self to be reflected from our heart.

FROM BUDDHIST TEACHINGS: – The two realms are pointed to in this ancient Zen teaching telling us that the great Master Dogen taught, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and  to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”……… To be enlightened by the 10,000 things is to recognize the unity of the self and the 10,000 things.

FROM SUFI ISLAMIC TEACHINGS:  Rumi in one of his poems says; “Not Christian or Jew or Muslim. Not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system.  I am not from the east or the west. Not out of the ocean or up from the ground. Not natural or ethereal. Not composed of elements at all. I do not exist. Am not an entity in this world or the next.  Did not descend from Adam & Eve or any origin story. My place is the placeless, a trace of the traceless – neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one & that one call to & know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath, breathing, human, being.” – Rumi – 13thC  Sufi mystic – (C Barks).

FROM HINDU TEACHINGS:

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the

individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

self same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree;                                                    the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his

glory, he grieves no more.”   -0-     SOURCE This trans. is in ‘The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal’, by Swami Prabhavananda.

FROM CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS:

Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” The Gospel of Thomas HERE

Fr. Richard Rohr comments; “Western Judeo-Christians are often uncomfortable with the word “nonduality.” They often associate it (negatively) with Eastern religions. I am convinced, however, that Jesus was the first nondual religious teacher of the West, and one reason we have failed to understand so much of his teaching, much less follow it, is because we tried to understand it with a dualistic mind.”  – Fr. Richard Rohr, in The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See.

FROM BAHA’I TEACHINGS:  “The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence.” – Bahá’u’lláh – Gleanings XXIX

The goal for the individual is to; “Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.” – Bahá’u’lláh – Persian Hidden Word No 40

FROM TAOIST TEACHINGS: The first chapter of the Tao Te Ching says; The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things. Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations. Yet mystery & manifestations arise from the same source…..  

This speaks of the two realms & of the ‘Way’ as being beyond what we take as being the normal or real world. The (Nondual) Way cannot be described in words or concepts.  With mind you always end up with your own limitations. The key, whether you’re a sage or a Mr or Mrs J Bloggs, is to overcome or transcend ‘self’. Why? Because self as an autonomous, self-subsisting entity is an illusion & as our Buddhist teachers show us is the source of all of our self-created suffering. Only God is Self-subsisting.

  1. This all sounds very deep – is there a simpler way to understand Nonduality? Some beauty or goodness or truth, or breath meditation, or art, ‘takes us out of our ‘egoic-self’.  We all have had some experiences such as this – as captured by the 8thC Chinese poet known as Li Po;

“The birds have vanished from the sky, / & now the last clouds slip away. / We sit alone, the mountain and I, / until only the mountain remains.”  

Yes we kick ourself when we realize how simple Reality is . What is your true self?  It’s what we already are –  if we only we can get our egoic self out of our way – & out of The Way.  

FROM CONTEMPORARY SPIRITUAL TEACHERS WE HAVE:  “Every thought in consciousness has been born into form, a temporary form and then it dies and goes onto another form……..the whole world is consciousness having taken birth as form, manifesting as form temporarily, and then dying which means dissolving as form. What always remains is the “essence” of all that exists – consciousness Itself.” – Eckhart Tolle.  We must avoid exclusivism & making the ‘other’ the enemy.  Self is the only enemy.

What then is The Interspiritual Way?  instead of drawing on just one great Tradition, the One Garden worldview draws, primarily, upon 7 Traditions. At the heart centre of them all is the magnetic force of love – love makes of us, & every ‘thing’ the Transcendent Whole. Love makes a group of people into a family. The Interspiritual Way is the same as the Taoist Way but draws in the transcendent heart-centre of the other Traditions.  Love is what enables us to transcend our egoistic self and ascend to the heaven of our true self. Our sole theology = “All in God; God in all.” ( panENtheism). Each of us a being within Being.

Our true Self is love, & our place to be is the One Garden. Love is the spirit, the energy, the life-force, the ‘chi’ – the river of life that through us flows. You don’t ‘get a life’ – you are life. Love is the magnet of compassion that unites, makes of parts wholes. It is peace & the bringer of peace. We need the spirit of love but we also need forms through which love may flow. Love is the reality, the hub, the mystic heart around which all can centre. As Ibn ‘Arabi says; “I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love’s camels take, that is my religion & my faith.”  From Rumi there is an ocean of inspiration concerning love & gardens.

‘One Garden’ for us is the ‘state of being’ in which we realize Oneness behind all Traditions, & it is also the chosen name of our face-to-face groups. Other metaphors include many pathways but one summit, many rivers; one Ocean. Intellect & the ‘word’ are God’s gift. However as Rumi says “Silence is God’s first language,” so all our words are merely ‘pointers’ that might gift us insights with which to transform & see the Nondual, the light of heaven, Nirvana or bliss. There’s no need to change our ‘faith community’ to realize the Oneness behind all. It’s there in all great Traditions.

 

Being interspiritual I suggest is to walk the path of life Awakening, Detaching & Serving others better …. the perennial framework, also taught by all great Teachers – and it is our spiritual legacy, ancient but perpetually new.  With love as the’ river ‘& ‘perennial wisdom’ as the ‘river-bank’ of structure we have another metaphor for the Inter-spiritual Way.

Our primary purpose as people on the spiritual path, & members of various faith traditions, is to live in the presence of God, or Nowness i.e.in Nonduality – as sages & mystics have taught as a golden thread down through the ages. In so being we can become agents of unity, & crafts-people for peace-building.  The ‘key’ lies in resisting any claims of ‘exclusivity’ instead we can ‘centre on the Oneness at the heart of all great traditions’. When a religion loses its mystic heart The Interspiritual Way & interspiritual living, engender “recovery of ‘the shared mystic heart’, beating in (us & in) the centre of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions”Rabbi Shapiro.

You are what you seek- You cannot possess awareness because awareness is not a thing. Awareness is not an object. You cannot become aware or develop awareness because you already are awareness. The only thing that is required of you is to stop identifying who you are with the many forms that awareness takes. As soon as you stop identifying with form, which is the “content” of awareness, then all that is left is pure awareness. YOU.

Awareness is open, transparent, and always aware of itself. Awareness is absolute spaciousness, and this spaciousness includes everything, keeps everything within its embrace, and lovingly lets all things exist in whatever way they choose. What happens in this space does not corrupt or debase it. Everything in existence emerges from and falls back into this pure, immaculate, and incorruptible space; be it emotions like pain and anger, battles and armed conflicts, despotic dictators, all manifestations of weather including rain, wind, snow, and the clouds that float across the sky, as well as the people in our lives whom we cherish the most. The “you” that you think you are also arises in this space that you are.

Close your eyes and take a moment to simply be aware of the vast space that is immediately within and before you and which surrounds you. It has no beginning or end, yet it always has, always is, and always will, exist as this changeless, eternal, still, and immediately available ground of beingness.

There is an aspect of you that has accompanied you through all of your life experiences as your very nature. Can you identify what this is that is perpetually unmoving and always present? Wise men and women from time immemorial have talked about an “all-embracing ultimate reality,” which is none other than your very own ordinary present awareness. Try not to stray from this profound simplicity.

Just be aware of a sense of presence that is always here. Now, don’t think about what you have just read. Simply notice the presence that is seeing the world through your eyes now and is always seeing the world through your eyes. This seeing is timeless and never leaves you. What is looking, the watcher in you, is this pure awareness, this ultimate presence. The truth of who you are is that actual awareness, which has always been free. You are that freedom.    -0-

IN SUMMARY: All the great traditions teach the same core truths.  At the deepest level our life-journey takes us from ‘apparent reality’ to ‘true Reality’.

We realize our true Self as shown by Rumi and all of the great Sages and Teachers. How? We find that we are citizens of two realms that in the final analysis are One.  “God in all; all in God.” This is the paradox that Reality, God, is wholly Immanent and wholly Transcendent.  Ultimately we need to transcend our lower selves in order to be faithful to our Tradition, and to attract God’s good pleasure.

From the dual realm we need to realize as Albert Einstein did that, “Reality is merely an illusion,’ However he added, “albeit a very persistent one.”

In the Nondual realm we have to realize as Rumi did that no words suffice for what is ineffable

Our unity, and therefore the peace of the world, and the longing in all peoples for justice as well as truth, beauty & goodness, depends on the transcendence of realizing the Oneness behind our Traditions

Rumi and all of the other great teachers are teaching us that ‘Nonduality is, when we stop ‘self-ing’ enough, to be surrendered within the Whole, out of which the ‘I’ appears.  Then we shall see that ‘I = Awareness’

Realizing Oneness is the means to peace.  Inner peace is the way to national and international peace.

Rumi by the way teaches us to transcend.  One way he does this is by ending many of his poems by pointing us back to silence i.e back to the Nondual – as in;

“Be silent now…………                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let yourself become living poetry.”       from ‘Rumi – Bridge to the Soul’

 

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It’s always great when a new idea bursts in your mind – or simply a new slant that puts in focused place long-held but vaguer ideas.

 

This for me was such an idea;

 

‘What you do is what you you’ve got’.

 

It came from here;

 

 

 

With Eckhart Tolle however I would say that having, knowing, being and doing have more than complex interactions, they have the context of silence – from which their truths arise.

 

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True achievement, success and happiness lie in being fully and positively human –

through our caring our creativity and our criticality –

developed via service to the communities to which we belong.

All postings to this site relate to the central model in the

PhD. Summaries are HERE

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On this site there are 1000+ ideas that you can put to work straight away.

Why not use the SEARCH, CATGORIES or INDEX to find the ideas for you?”

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What’s the difference between spirituality and religion?

What's the difference between spirituality and religion?

What's the difference between spirituality and religion?

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How do you answer the question above?

Below is how far I have got with this issue.

Spirituality is how we relate to the unknown and unknowable – to Ultimate reality – and the meaning and motivation we derive therefrom.

Our worldview, as a consequence, is how we ‘read’ the world. Our worldview includes that of which are conscious, plus that which derives from enculturation.  Becoming more fully conscious of Oneness, and acting accordingly, is our purpose.

Religion is the agreed set of relationships, teachings and customs held in common with any religious group of which one has membership.

Progress in spirituality is measured by regularly bringing oneself to account – in relation to the standards of your spirituality, world-view and religious group/s (if any).

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Etymological issues:

The English word “religion” is derived from the Middle English “religioun” which came from the Old French “religion.” It may have been originally derived from the Latin word “religo” which means “good faith,” “ritual,” and other similar meanings. Or it may have come from the Latin “religãre” which means “to tie fast.”

Doing your own research:

A very good starting point is provided by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.  See HERE

The definitions I like best from this source are;

George Hegel: “the knowledge possessed by the finite mind of its nature as absolute mind.”

Paul Tillich: “Religious is the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern”

Others are;

The Religious Tolerance group tell us that David Carpenter has collected and published a list of definitions of religion, including:

Anthony Wallace: “a set of rituals, rationalized by myth, which mobilizes supernatural powers for the purpose of achieving or preventing transformations of state in man or nature.”

Hall, Pilgrim, and Cavanagh: “Religion is the varied, symbolic expression of, and appropriate response to that which people deliberately affirm as being of unrestricted value for them.”

Karl Marx: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

Don Swenson defines religion in terms of the sacred: “Religion is the individual and social experience of the sacred that is manifested in mythologies, ritual, ethos, and integrated into a collective or organization.”

Paul Connelly also defines religion in terms of the sacred and the spiritual: “Religion originates in an attempt to represent and order beliefs, feelings, imaginings and actions that arise in response to direct experience of  the sacred and the spiritual. As this attempt expands in its formulation and elaboration, it becomes a process that creates meaning for itself on a sustaining basis, in terms of both its originating experiences and its own continuing responses.”

He defines sacred as: “The sacred is a mysterious manifestation of power and presence that is experienced as both primordial & transformative, inspiring awe & rapt attention. This is usually an event that represents a break or discontinuity from the ordinary, forcing a re-establishment or recalibration of perspective on the part of the experiencer, but it may also be something seemingly ordinary, repeated exposure to which gradually produces a perception of mysteriously cumulative significance out of proportion to the significance originally invested in it.”

He further defines the spiritual as: “The spiritual is a perception of the commonality of mindfulness in the world that shifts the boundaries between self and other, producing a sense of the union of purposes of self and other in confronting the existential questions of life, and providing a mediation of the challenge-response interaction between self and other, one and many, that underlies existential questions.”

My final question – “Why are there so many religious intolerance groups?”

To read the full article by the Religious Tolerance group go HERE

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True achievement, success and happiness lie in being fully and positively human –

through our caring our creativity and our criticality –

developed via service to the communities to which we belong.

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All postings to this site relate to the central model in the

PhD. Summaries are HERE

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goldenrule-poster

An open letter to all who recognize Oneness

 

Dear Fellow Travellers

 

1) Like your lives my life, (in a modest way), has (for the last 45 years), been dedicated to;

 

‘the advancement of education in the consideration of the basic unity of all religions, in particular by the provision of courses to provide an understanding of the relationship of man to the universe, the earth, the environment and the society he lives in, to Reality and to God.’

 

and right now the global and local opportunities, and dangers, strike me as unparalleled.

 

2) The great challenge seems to me to concern ‘the how’ of getting wider acceptance of Oneness and oneness as in Perennial Philosophy and the The Golden Rule – raised consciousness that will positively affect decision-making in all of the vital arenas of human concern.

 

3) A great shift in consciousness is taking place.

 

The great shift in consciousness is evidenced by two events.

Firstly in just the last few years what was esoteric is now open and freely available to to all.

 

Secondly millions are responding – in some way shape or form.

 

I have in mind especially the work of Ken Wilber, Karen Armstrong and most recently Eckhart Tolle.

 

Tolle’s writing is highly accessible – in the UK most Sun and Daily Mirror readers could handle it.

 

Of course functional literacy and level of consciousness and not directly correlated! But eleven million had by Week 3 tuned in to Tolle’s course run by Oprah Winfrey – see HERE

 

….. Oprah went further with Eckhart Tolle than she has ever gone with a previous author picked for her book club. She chose to present, with Tolle, a 10-week series of “webinars” – online seminars – with one chapter of the book (which she puts on the bedside table of all of her guest rooms) discussed each week. In the first webinar, transmitted on 3 March, Tolle led Winfrey and the millions of viewers who logged on in several different countries in silent meditation; viewers were then encouraged to submit questions to Tolle via Skype. By the third week, 11 million people were logging on.

 

This surely has no parallel in the whole of humankind’s spiritual history. The course is HERE

 

Not only are ‘the books open’ but there is more than Maslow’s 2% willing a new earth.

 

The question is how can their energy be harnessed and focused for the common good – or do we have to wait until the first nuclear war, simply because those who ‘know’ can’t find ways and means to influence those who actually ‘do the doing’ and make our world as it is.

 

4) We need to be thinking ‘outside of the box’. The old ways may not be sufficient. Keeping the candles of light and hope and truth is something that the precious few have done down through the ages, but now the challenge is to shift up to a larger stage.

 

For example inter-faith dialogue may well be effete (and for some cunning PR) compared to the people who really operate at the ‘hot interfaces’ – e. g. diplomats and business-people.

 

5) Absorbing and responding to this fact seems to me to be the challenge that might bring forth balm for suffering being borne by untold millions.

 

A sufficient proportion of America has said ‘Yes we can’ but even more critical than the decisions Obama will be making over the next 4 or 8 years is how can the light of Oneness be brought into the darkened hearts of religious haters and racists. That Oneness is the Tipping Point. The

‘tipping-point’ is realization of that Oneness – and it needs more than abstract assent.

 

6) My personal experience has led me to realize that individuals need something real and living and breathing through which to connect with ‘foreign’ wisdom traditions.

 

I believed in the oneness of religions long before I came across

a) Jane Clark’s article on Ibn al-Arabi – which created for me a living connection to Islam – and

b) the Bhagavad Gita Chanted in English HERE using a text of the Bhagavad Gita in English HERE

NB Try listening to the chanting whilst reading the text – wonderful! – transporting!

These gave me a living connection to Hinduism.

 

7) Starting points:

 

Perhaps looking very closely and deeply at ‘reverse fundamentalism’ is the way to generate programmes of positive action.

 

Karen Armstrong as you probably know is being given the opportunity to raise up the principle of the Golden Rule via her ‘Charter for Compassion’ campaign see HERE

 

Perhaps making celebratory programmes free to all on the internet…..

 

Perhaps Golden Rule materials free online for Heads and school…….

 

Perennial philosophy and the ‘federal’ Golden Rule – the ‘world language’ to be taught, in addition to their own religions, so that all can communicate with those of other faiths ……

 

What do you think?

 

We who have striven to keep the candles alight have to contribute to ways and means of reaching a sufficiently wider audience to get established some of the foundations for a new earth.

 

All blessings on the further development of your work.

 

Roger

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coexist-perennial-philsoophy-inter-faith1

 

 

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The campaign Charter for Compassion are asking for contributions for the final charter.  Here is my first draft contribution;

Compassion and Peace: ten ways to bridge and transcend racial and religious hatred

 

1 See the Golden Rule as the equivalent to a language in addition to your own – “My ‘mother tongue’ is Islam/Christianity/Buddhism etc but I also speak ‘the Golden Rule’ – so that I can be a sister/brother to peoples of all religions and none.

 

2 Implore people like Barack Obama to spend money on deepening cultural understanding – say 10% of the military budget switched to Arabic/Islamic, Chinese and Russian studies. Generate an ‘open data-base’ of experience learned.

 

3 Encourage all countries to massively increase exchange programmes.  Send everyone with a ‘We’ve got these problems how are my host country dealing with them’ pack – and require a thorrough de-briefing upon return to home country – we must see that the most important problems are held in common, and that we must pool answers.

 

4 Use the knowledge as a data-base for university and school respect for other cultures courses – instead of allowing our societies to continue falsely claiming that the mad fundamentalist minority = the reality of the whole communuity.

 

5 Get celebrity goodwill ambassadors for the GR – include business people , they have more interchange with ‘foreigners’ than any other group.  Get pop groups talking and singing about it.

 

Get Barack Obama talking about it – and Nels Mandela, and Archbishop Tutu etc.

 

6 Start teaching the Golden Rule – one school at a time – everywhere.

 

7 Generate badges, widgets and bling for websites, windows, clothing that conveys messages such as – ‘I speak oneness and diversity’. ‘We support the GR’, etc (Get some adverstising agencies working on it).

 

8 Support studies of fundamentalism – focus on ways and means antidotes and prophylactics.  The best writers on fundamentalism may not be in obvious academic fields – the best I have found is 

 

9 Look for ‘out of the box’ solutions such as brilliant comedians such as Omid Djalili and Shazia Mirza.

If you don’t like strong comedy don’t go – but I suspect that Omid, and the others have ‘lanced more religious boils’ for the general population than all of the politicians and academics put put together!

 

10 Support ways and means for deeper applications of the Golden Rule – we need courses from nursery to university epecially based on the brilliant writings and work of a) Eckhart Tolle, b) Ken Wilber and c) Karen Armstrong.

Eckhart Tolle article HERE

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The branches of a tree don't make war on each other!

The branches of a tree don't make war on each other!

I added this post to an earlier piece but I think it is worth posting and developing because it contains an idea that is new to me!  The difference is that I place it here in the discussion concerning the recent massacre in Mumbai.

The suggestion is that the idea of federalism – politically it works well in many countries – could and should be popularized as a key to the peoples of the world relating more successfully at the religious ideological level.  Perhaps this could be termed ‘Federalism of spirit’ – the harmony that cherishes diversity.

How can we prevent massive amplification of hatred?  What would be a starting point forward?    The teaching of the Golden Rule in all schools would be a great step forward – (SEARCH articles on the Golden Rule on this site).  But I’m suggesting that we teach, step-by-step, a Universalist world-view in addition to whatever is the majority religion.   Just as I am British, Chinese or Kenyan I am also first and foremost a human being.  Similarly I am proudly and faithfully a Christian/Moslem/Buddhist, or whatever, but I can also be a Universalist through recognizing;

1) The Golden Rule,

2) the essential Oneness of the mystical core of religions – Perennial Philosophy – and that

3) we are simply all emanations of one Source.

The deal at the moment for many is this – if I have a strong faith I am compelled  because of ‘exclusivity of truth’  to hate all deemed to be ‘other’.  If we all were Universalists as well as being of a particular tradition we could dialogue more profitably instead of killing each other.  Federalism works – even without oceans of blood as precursors.

Of course there are other elements and needs in the mix – the  need for greater political justice, the prevention of plain old crime etc. but shifting the world’s mind-set through teaching the Universal alongside the particular would improve matters enormously.

Eckhart Tolle is probably the most accessible proponent of Perennial Philosophy – the United nations should emply him and Karen Armstrong as Goodwill Ambassadors!

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Perennial Philosophy, or mysticism, in one sentence

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“We can be happy, and serve others well,

if we realize our true Self

by detaching ourselves from the egotistic lower self –

through our step-by-step becoming aware

of the stillness beneath the noise.”


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This is the mystical core of all of the great world wisdom traditions.


If you don’t have the time to delve deeply into one or all of the religions read Eckhart Tolle’s The New Earth and do this course presented by Oprah Winfrey – HERE


Roger’s ver as at Nov 30th 2008


What’s your version?

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