Religion & Spirituality

At it again

Recently I was reading an interesting book, and it advised one to wake early one morning (in the dead of night, around the 3.30am mark) and quietly ask what is really important in one's life. As was explained in my Letting go post, I've drifted in recent years, not exactly sure how I can best be of benefit and service to people.

Anyway, I did as the author suggested, waking early this morning around 3.00 am-ish, and the immediate and easy answer or strong natural sense of purpose was my work to uncover and 'mend' the old-paradigm thinking and beliefs that beset and bedevil our world — in other words, and for want of a better description — to be a good Belief Doctor. As I've explained elsewhere1, the old-paradigm is rooted in 'either-or' thinking: right or wrong, pure or impure, good or bad, us versus them. It's the basis of tribalism, which within the context of the emerging need for great collaboration on a planetary scale, makes such beliefs a danger to the survival of our race.2

Category(s): 

All God, all good

Yesterday had an interesting, somewhat intense discussion with someone who confessed to being a Christian.

It seems to me that there are some very simple, fundamental errors in thinking by Christians (as a general rule — and don't get me started on rules, systems, probabilities, and individuality. "We're all individuals"  yeah, yeah, I'm not. Kudos to Monty Python. But i digress).

Category(s): 

Rest-stops in the sky

[update, October, 2016: see below]

Over the years I've come to more fully appreciate the extent to which many people seek refuge in illusory ideals ... be it religious perfection, or scientific certainty.

As I've explained elsewhere on this and the Belief Institute website, the ideal of perfection (and of perfect scientific certainty) was born around the time of Plato, and has persisted ever since. In spiritual new-age teachings and practices, it's the seeking of spiritual perfection — of transcending one's ego and finding one's perfect higher self1; in religion it's the perfection of God and of the Pope's infallibility; in science it is the certainty and control of life expressed through some equation or theory, perhaps most tellingly exemplified by the incorrect and unsupportable assumptions surrounding the solutions to Zeno's Paradoxes that date back nearly 2,500 years.

Category(s): 

An ego by any other name still smiles like one

Last night while enjoying a wonderful dinner I had the pleasure of engaging conversation with a number of intelligent men on matters philosophical.

It became evident that some held beliefs that were rooted in the ideal of perfection: the age-old belief that when we get 'over there' or perhaps 'up there' everything will be 'perfect' (at which time, we'll have 'transcended' the troubling, fault-ridden ego).

Category(s): 

Sex, and fear of the feminine

One of the ongoing issues we can observe and experience in life is the repeated 'war of the sexes'.

We see it so many different forms .. of left-wing and right-wing politicians1 arguing over the virtues of privatisation of public infrastructure, nasty divorce settlements, inequality of pay for men and women, lower life expectancy for men and particularly black or indigenous men, and so on.

It seems to me however that the ongoing issues surrounding sexual harmony is one of the most important for the majority of the populace.

As explained, the failure to understand the nature of 'masculine' and 'feminine' results in "immensely destructive" behaviours, both personally and socially.

Category(s): 

Spontaneity

Some years ago during my avid-reading phase when I couldn't wait to get home from work to read more, or postponing going to work in order to read, I came across one quote which has stuck with me ever since.

"Spontaneity knows its own order."

It's a quote from one of Jane Roberts' Seth books, which I highly value as wise, profound sources of information into the deeper rhythms and systems of life.

But the idea that 'spontaneity knows its own order" is one that I've resisted. It's not easy to ignore the expectations of, and commitments to others - financial, social or otherwise - to simply follow one's intuitions.

And yet, early into my desire to 'let go' and see where life takes me, I'm getting a glimpse of the immense depth to the possibilities and experiences that might ensue.

Category(s): 

Come to the edge, he said

In my previous article, "Calling Gurus to Account" I mentioned a blind-spot that affects all of us. I inferred that sometimes we get carried away with the idea of possibility and endless happiness, forgetting about those we may leave behind.

That blind-spot sees us ignoring the systems and communities that support us. It's the community and technical infrastructure that enables us to achieve our goals – imagine being dropped into war-torn Somalia, without cells phones, money or an embassy to hide in. What things might we expect to 'attract' in that environment?

Those who do our plumbing, our carpentry, cooking and care-taking all play a vital role in each of us achieving our dreams.

It's the integration and marriage of dreams, desires and potentials with the inherent limitations of systems that is my primary work as a belief doctor. My work involves understanding and explaining how this integration is ignored or denied. It's this lack of integration of supportive systems with individual desires and potentials that is the primary cause of the growing epidemic of depression in the world today. It's people's expectations exceeding the capacity of the present community to support individual dreams and aspirations that causes the upset.

Category(s): 

Calling Gurus to Account

There appears to be a large and significant blind-spot in the awareness of many people. This blind-spot can’t usually be seen or recognised directly. Like a galactic black-hole, we usually only learn of its presence by how it sucks the life and light out of surrounding bodies — in this case, ourselves and others in our communities, cities and world.

We can learn of its presence by the high and growing incidence of depression which is now recognised by the World Health Organization as “the leading cause of disability.”1

To some extent this black-hole, or blind-spot can be ignored by being busy, taking drugs, acquiring wealth or enjoying ourselves … but it remains in the background, sucking the energy and light from all. And no more importantly is its effect felt, than in the area of health and wellbeing .. the main focus for my contributions to this column.

It’s about time

I recently learned of this ‘blind-spot’ after reading about a self-development teacher who had achieved success; met and positively influenced world-leaders, and done or achieved many other wonderful things.

Why then did I feel deflated after reading about this person? Was it that, by way of comparison, I was left feeling inadequate, or a failure? Was it because I felt I hadn’t achieved great things?

No, I realised it went deeper and after sitting quietly and reflecting on the cause, recognised it … the blind-spot that many of us, if not most, don’t seem to notice. Part of the reason it is not recognised is that it is so simple to feel – it’s too obvious and taken for granted. So we ignore it.

Category(s): 

Do Atheism and Religion rely on ignorance?

Last night I attended a philosophers' meeting, in which the merits of atheism was discussed.

There was a talk given on "The new atheists" - as the email alert of the event explained, "The new atheists are Dawkins along with Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris. The Four Horsemen they call themselves and they can be found on the web. Adding in Michel Onfray and his recent publication, The Atheist Manifesto only extends the concern that they are all barking up a dead end canal."

Category(s): 

What's wrong with science, religion & new-age

In the midst of the 'swine-flu' scare a while back it struck me ... how science, religion and various new-age philosophies are very similar.

The swine-flu scare has gained considerable media coverage, despite 30+ years of research confirming that physical things (bugs, bad genes, obesity, bad diet) account for a minority of the cause of disease, disability and premature death. We now know it is poor 'psycho-social eco-systems' that are the majority cause of early death and illness. But still the panic, or at least the media hype.

It's clear ... they each (in a strikingly similar manner) place the 'cause' of life 'out there' -- with religion it's God, with science it's 'chance' and new-age it's the planets, or some set of numbers or some reclusive soul that never seems to show up when it counts.

Category(s): 

Pages