June 19, 2006

The soul is unstained

copithorne said... Now, you have your religious faith and out of that faith comes your conviction that the violence you suborn expresses the will of God. And you argue that anyone who doesn't appreciate your violence doesn't understand God, doesn't have a true relationship with God, is "sick" in the soul.It would be a good use of your talents if you were able to look at yourself and share an understanding of how people begin with faith and end with violence. That doesn't seem to be your interest. I can witness to you without any doubt that there does exist genuine religious faith that does not involve the belief that dropping bombs is the will of God.
Your cup seems full and you aren't taking in anything from the living saints. But truly, a lot of people of faith and spiritual attainment can witness this possibility. You still haven't come up with a "left" that you disagree with. You didn't write thousands of words because Mr. Berg said "the death of anyone diminishes me." If you come up with someone you disagree with, we could talk about that.You can see or imagine that Zarqawi is not accurately perceiving America and the Shiites but rather he is projecting his own internal conflicts onto the world. This is really the way of all violence.
Until you can show that "the left" is something outside your head, we would infer that it is an internal object. I continue to disagree with you theologically -- at the very least you are leaning to port. The soul is unstained. It is continuously brilliant just as the sun is always shining. The soul cannot be hurt or damaged or killed. It cannot be purified by you or your religious practice. This is very important to remember. Tat Tvam Asi. 12:33 PM
copithorne said... It's all of a piece. Your belief that you can purify your soul through your own effort is going to have the same structure and play the same role as your belief that you can do God's will through violence. Again, your cup is full and it does't seem that anybody is really going to be able to reach you. You won't even accept the Veda's word for it. I can only witness to you that your soul is purity. You cannot possibly purify it.Here I am, making moral distinctions and confronting evil. It isn't fitting your paradigm, clearly. But I'll still witness, that I am speaking from a religious perspective. I agree that it is immoral to conflate moral and immoral violence for it is an escape from making moral distinctions. 1:28 PM
copithorne said... The soul does not suffer. We suffer. Your question isn't about death. How can anything unconditioned have a relationship with the conditional? It's inconceivable. I know people have tried to make this concept withstand philosophical scrutiny. I might say Sankara and Advaita Vedanta --which holds that the conditional world is a realm of illusion -- is the most coherent. But I might also say that it is at this point that theistic religion leaves the domain of philosophy and metaphysics and enters the domain of mystery and paradox. The scriptures, however, are clear. They say Thou art That. They don't say Thou art All That, a bag of chips and Bob's Big But. 4:47 PM
copithorne said... I don't know how much I need to belabor the point that you are mistaken. It isn't a coherent position for you to take and it has no support in the tradition. Maybe there is some embarassment, some hot blush of making a big production and then having it turn out to be wrong. That blush would be a more auspicious place to continue your career as a spiritual aspirant and psychologist than your confidence in your vain philosophy. Because even when you are wrong your soul is still radiantly pure. 9:43 PM
copithorne said... Tusar, the holy saint Sri Aurobindo also held that "the soul of man is united with the Godhead of which it is a portion." 4:49 PM
copithorne said... When you believe that the ego can purify the soul -- rather than the other way around -- then the ego moves in and sets up concrete fortifications. The ego feels some security behind its fortifications and this feeling can mimic spiritual equananimity. But actually it is a progressively claustrophobic prison of solipsism and illusion. It can take a lot of suffering to dislodge that kind of neurosis. Your post here is a breathtakingly comprehensive projection of this dilemma onto others. One caution that can come out of this is that it is crucial in the spiritual life to be accountable to a religious community and/or a living teacher. If you think you are on the spiritual path and you are not accountable to a teacher and community you are prone to be strengthening the ego rather than surrendering it. All the teachers and traditions agree on this point. 12:36 PM
copithorne said... In his book Transcending Madness, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche has a exposition of the traditional Tibetan spiritual psychology of the Deva Realm. In the Deva realm, people achieve mystical unity with the ego. This would be the fulfillment of a spiritual practice of using the ego's effort to "improve" the soul... A wholesome prophylaxis against this condition in a theistic tradition would be devotional bahkti yoga. This would support a practice built on a foundation of service rather than a foundation of spiritual materialism. Sri Aurobindo presented Bahkti yoga as the center of his recommended practice. 6:35 PM

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