Common Tongues

Leave a comment

Naturally, so many people are ultimately saying the same thing, and the people who don’t see the commonalities fall into the categories of simply not grasping the similarities or into the category of being willful idiots that attempt to make themselves superior by whatever standard.

Thus, I should point out that Husserl’s concept of “bracketing” is what I’ve meant by saying “matrixing” for a while now. To behold an object without any presupposition as to what the object’s purpose is, to see it from a particular vantage point and to touch it and to take it in, to drink in its essential essence, is what I mean, and this also seems to overlap with Husserl’s idea.

Thereto in addition, this flows into Zen and mindfulness. I can see how it all interrelates, and I can see that this is a LARGE part of the Actual Freedom Trust’s method of interacting with the world in terms of one’s sensate experiences.

Just some late night thoughts.

The Black Fire is burning tonight.

Beaux


Advertisements

A Piece of the Puzzle

Leave a comment

It seems to me that every religion and spiritual path through which I’ve journeyed has inevitably carried a clue or piece of the great puzzle to overall life, and it is on this foundation that I see how my life is carried forward in the experience of the Divine.

Fundamentalist Christianity showed me first the dark side of the religion- people could easily be deluded while meaning well, people who were corrupted on one level might well be loving on another level and so on.

Paganism and Wicca showed me the virtue of ritual, symbolism, and a deep, profound love for nature and material reality- that life is something to be celebrated, that there is a cycle to everything, and that when we live in tune with the cycle, we come to a deeper harmony in ourselves. Paganism taught me that the Divine is immanent and not exclusively transcendent, and that we are capable of encountering the Divine within nature and also of using magic, of being able to cause things to happen around us without directly physically touching them with our body.

Hinduism and Buddhism taught me that reality can be broken down into philosophical abstractions, that meditation and concentrating the mind can lead to a deeper clarity of things, that insight can come from a direct experience and not simply from blind belief.

Various schools of philosophy, notably Existentialism, taught me again about the wonder of reality, but from an intellectual angle as opposed to a feeling angle (which is likely more of the Pagan influence.) I have been able to greater accept my own existence, my personality, and a search for a place in the world and how everything fits together in intellectual terms.

Sufism brought back to me the Love of God, the ease and simplicity of spirituality, how things need not be complicated and that an elaborate ritual is not necessary for everything. Sufism brought me to the true art of Zen “being in the moment,” and Sufism taught me to honor Beauty, Love, and Truth as a Holy Trinity.

Finally, Gnosticism and Catholicism have taught me again that the truth of everything can be found in Christianity, in my own backyard, in my own garden, right in front of me. The symbols, memes, and meanings inherent in Christianity that are beyond the grasp of the established orthodoxy are understood by the enlightened man. Everything makes sense now; everything lines up in a way that it did not before.

I do wonder sometimes if I’m forcing a paradigm of reality that isn’t actually real, but here again, that is the difference between the Finger and the Moon at which the Finger points. What many people fail to realize is one still needs the Finger to find the Moon in the first place- I think many people miss that part. There is a time for practices and prayers, and there is a time when they are no longer necessary.

But the question is this: is my consistent pursuit through a specific tradition a force-fitting of reality into a paradigm that isn’t necessary, or is the reflection of an honest and heart-felt seeking? The truth is that sometimes, I simply don’t have the same regards for Christianity. I already understand it all in mystical terms and in archetypal terms, and thus I am likely outside the realm of mainstream Christians; I’m not opposed to that fact, in all reality, I’m not one to want to be lumped in with the nutters of any religion.

I could write more, but I think I have spoken enough for tonight.

Beaux


How Oddly “Conservative” of Me!

Leave a comment

Under most circumstances, I don’t like to have all kinds of labels attached to me. For many years, I understood labels as being nasty constrictions on the True Soul which underlies all things, and that to label ourselves was to become “attached” to something in the world, to some aspect of our transient selves.

Laying aside the Buddhist dogma and focusing on things from a practical angle is also an option.

The reality is, practically speaking, that we must necessarily identify ourselves to others in some way if we are to live in the world. This same rule does not apply equally to a monk living in a monastery among other monks.

But I am not a monk. Have I considered it? Sure. But I am not a monk, and I cannot live my life as one.

Perhaps the middle road of labels should be taken as well- accept labels when they are useful, as in social situations, but do not sit around and twiddle your thumbs thinking about the label when you are not socially engaged. Labels are simply reference points of convenience; use them as such.

The preface being said, I’ll get to my point- under normal circumstances, someone might label me as being “progressive” or “liberal.” This holds especially true in south Alabama.

I found myself on the other side of the spectrum concerning a recent situation (early 2009) that happened in, of all places, the Episcopal Church. A woman Priest by the name of Ann Holmes Redding claimed to be both a Christian and a Muslim.

They defrocked her.

(Wait for it.)

AS THEY VERY WELL SHOULD HAVE!!!

There you are, the “conservative” statement that I was planning to make the whole time.

Whereas I feel that a person can identify with the Beauty, Truth, and Holiness of a given religious tradition that is not one’s own, and in many cases, one can adopt certain practices from that tradition and its culture that are congruent with one’s own, I think that it is also intellectually dishonest for someone who is a representative of a particular tradition and not merely a lay practitioner to try to represent multiple traditions.

The situation of the layman varies from this. Depending on the religious tradition, a layman may be able to practice more than one religious tradition. Layman represent the tradition, but not in the same way that the Priesthood does.

True, I think that the core of religious traditions are the same- the internal essence remains the same across most of them, the Holiness, Love, and Bliss that are God.

But think of it this way: Alabama elects Jane Doe to be our Senator, so she goes to the US Congress to represent Alabama.

Not Georgia.

Not Florida.

Not California

ALABAMA.

Now, some might argue that the political situation differs from the religious one, but the point I’m making is that this Priest came from a specific religious “territory” but was attempting to hypothetically represent two different religious “territories,” which in this case are separated by a wide gulf of theological opinions and commentary.

Another situation that is similar but offers a solution is the Kevin Thew Forrester, an Episcopal Bishop who has a decade-long history of practicing Zen Buddhist meditation. Having reading his statement on the matter, the difference is that Forrester was led full-circle to the mystics and contemplatives of the Christian Tradition; in essence, he took a method, found it in his own tradition, and went on his merry way. The so-called “lay ordination” he received merely means that the Buddhists recognize that he’s trying to alleviate suffering in the world, and what could be more Christ-like?

The difference is remarkable, as well- the Zen meditation isn’t exclusively owned by Buddhists, and that particular practice is not incompatible with Christianity, as meditation is a huge part of the Christian Tradition (unbeknownst to many Christians themselves who would argue otherwise.)

This is not about “my God is bigger than your God” or “my religion is better than your religion,” in case you’re wondering. Rather, it is a matter of integrity and consistency; it is a matter of the preservation of certain traditions that we already represent and finding fulfillment in our being representatives of that tradition without having to take on the traditions of others as well.

There. I’ve said my piece.