1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

I am Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and atheist – all at once April 15, 2010

We are becoming “multi-religious”, at least what has been observed in Europe. Disappointed in Christianity, people try to create their “own” religion, a mix of all existing religions. For instance, about 30 percent of the Austrians may be classified as “religious composers”: They put together their world-view of various elements such as Christian positions, humanistic, naturalistic, and Far Eastern thought. This is how “Kathpress” reports out in the new long-term study of religion in the lives of Austrians 1970-2000 “. Interesting, isn’t it?

The idea of mixing religions is not unusual to me, the more so I see it absolutely natural, since I could never understand how one can accept only one religion, because they all have such beautiful and deep messages!.. However I am fascinated by the fact how rapidly the society is also growing in its world understanding and  ultimately – in spiritual development.

As for me, being a realised person, I not only know that all religions are one and the same, but I actually feel it and “use” all of them in my daily life. Let me give you several simple examples (of cause it is all more complex and inter-connected, but it would take pages and pages to explain):

– If I happened to have a headache, I say the Christ Lord’ s prayer (“Our Father..”) and the headache is gone.

– If I address Ganesha (Hindu Deity with an elephant head and child’s body), I can easily manage children, and even all the adults around me start acting more innocently, it seems like a child gets awakened within them (since Ganesha is very powerful archetype of childhood and innocence). (more…)

 

An Amazing speech by a female Aboriginal elder April 6, 2010

It is a beautiful  speech by a female Aboriginal elder by the name of Bilawara Lee, about the powers of women, their place in society and the changes that are happening in the world today.  The speech was made in Darwin (Australia), march this year.  It is very insightful, and worth a read.

“Today we are facing a new Era.  The ancient Mayan culture speaks of this change, the ending of their old calendar in 2012, and the beginning of a new age.  They, along with many other Indigenous cultures, also speak that these times as one of a more feminine nature, based in the heart and unconditional love.

But women in our modern world have a problem.  We have begun to become financially and professionally empowered.  Yet the most important need, for spiritual empowerment, is often neglected or ignored. 

Our world is already in the time of transition and it will be a difficult time until the new era blossoms into an age of peace and understanding.  If our world is to survive, spiritually empowered women must take their place in helping.  It’s time for us to step up and step out.  The time of hiding is over.  

Most “aware” people know that it is necessary to heal our Mother Earth if we are to survive.  However, it is equally as imperative to also heal ourselves and each other through unconditional love, compassion and respect.   Moreover, women also need to help our men and boys develop their own feminine aspects of gentleness and sensitivity, compassion, nurturing, and kindness.  We need to help our male counterparts learn to work from the heart.

It won’t be easy but if we don’t do all of this, we can’t help our planet and humanity risks extinction.

Women you are powerful – truly powerful, with unique gifts that are far-reaching.  That is why we are considered a threat by so many male-dominated modern cultures and religious hierarchies.  Women are especially tuned to walk in both the spiritual world and the everyday world.  I have been taught that we are born spiritual; men have to strive hard to attain that state.

We are particularly adept at creating energy and change.  Our great capacity for bonding has made us especially empathic and gifted at understanding and seeing past surface levels.  Ultimately, our roles as caretakers and nurturers have opened our hearts and awareness to many levels of the universe.  Our spiritual gifts are profound.

Unfortunately, women today have begun to lose that understanding of their gifts as they have grappled to survive in the callous male dominated societies of today.  Many live tentative, cold, and fragmented lives as victims of violence, victims of unspeakable offenses against honour.  Too often, their hearts and spirit have become uncertain and lost, awash in grief and fear.  They have forgotten who they are.  They have forgotten their original instructions as human beings and as women. (more…)

 

Human beings are programed by evolution to believe in some super being March 19, 2010

Human beings are programed by evolution to believe in some super being, because it gives them a better chance at survival, researchers have claimed. This conclusion was arrived at by Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology at Bristol University after an extensive study as quoted by the Times.

An unusual experiment, conducted by Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Bristol, demonstrating that even the most rational people behave in irrational ways, became one of the star features at this year’s British Association Festival of Science. Professor Hood conducted the experiment to argue that scientists’ efforts to combat ‘irrational’ beliefs are ultimately futile.

To demonstrate his theory, Professor Hood asked members of the festival audience, if they were prepared to try on an old fashioned blue cardigan in return for a £10 reward. After receiving no shortage of volunteers, he then told the volunteers that the cardigan used to belong to Fred West, the mass murderer. On hearing this most of the volunteers put their hands down. Though a few did try it on, others moved away from them. In fact, the cardigan had not belonged to Fred West. The experiment demonstrated that the belief that it had, made even the most rational of people feel uncomfortable.Professor Hood said: “It is as if evil, a moral stance defined by culture, has become physically manifest inside the clothing.”

“Similar beliefs, which are held even among the most sceptical scientists, explain why few people would agree to swap their wedding rings for identical replicas. The difference between attaching significance to sentimental objects and believing in religion, magic or the paranormal is only one of degree. These tendencies are almost certainly a product of evolution. The human mind is adapted to reason intuitively, so that it can generate theories about how the world works even when mechanisms cannot be seen or easily deduced….Because we operate intuitively, it is pointless to get people to abandon their belief systems because they operate at such a fundamental level that no amount of rational evidence or counter-evidence is going to be taken on board to get people to abandon these ideas.” (more…)

 

Today is Forgiveness Sunday February 13, 2010

This special day is my favorite in the Christian tradition. Having an atheistic background, I have been always deeply touched by the candid Christian Orthodox celebration of “Forgiveness Sunday”.

The last Sunday before Great Lent, is the day when Orthodox Christians remember the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. “Forgiveness Sunday” received this name from the pious custom at Vespers of asking each other’s forgiveness for discourtesy and disrespect. People do so, since in the forthcoming fast they will approach the sacrament of Penance and ask the Lord to forgive their sins, which forgiveness will be granted us only if people themselves forgive each other. “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6.14, 15)”

Since the 90-s when religion slowly started getting its position back with the peoples of Russia, the tradition of Forgiveness Sunday came back. According to it, you can ask forgiveness of every person you meet this day, but especially people whom you might have really done some harm, or just your relatives and friends (we never know if by chance we could have hurt anyone!). (more…)

 

The play of Male and Female February 10, 2010

This is an incredibly beautiful and profound poem from the Hindu Tradition of Advaita (non-dualism), by Jnanadev (1275 – 1296). I love the way it shows the play between the male and female elements in the Universe…

I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.

They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.

How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.

These two are the only ones
Who dwell in this home called the universe.
When the Master of the house sleeps,
The Mistress stays awake,
And performs the functions of both.

When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.

Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.

Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe. (more…)

 

Romantic love vs. True love and why happy marriages are rare in the West February 4, 2010

This post follows Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read  and  quotes Robert A. Johnson’s bestseller “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love”  . I arranged it the way that it gives the essence of author’s investigations on the topic, but please do read the book, it’s so insightful!

Below you will find the brilliant differentiation between the so called romantic love and true love. After reading this post, be prepared for the next in which you will lean about the amazing potential of romantic love.  In the meanwhile, let’s meditate on the truthful lines below.

What is romantic love?

Romantic love is the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche. In our culture it has supplanted religion as the arena in which men and women seek meaning, transcendence, wholeness, and ecstasy…We are so accustomed to living with the beliefs and assumptions of romantic love that we think it is the only form of “love” on which marriage or love relationships can be based. We think it is the only “true love”. But there is much that we can learn from the East about this. In Eastern countries, like those of India and Japan, we find that married couples love each other with great warmth, often with a stability and devotion that puts us to shame. But their love is not “romantic love” as we know it. They don’t impose the same ideals on their relationships, nor do they impose such impossible demands and expectations on each other as we do.

Romantic love has existed throughout history in many cultures. We find it in the literature of ancient Greece, the Roman empire, ancient Persia, and feudal Japan. But our modern Western society is the only culture in history that has experienced romantic love as a mass phenomenon. We are the only society that makes romance the basis of our marriages and love relationships and the cultural ideal of “true love”.

One of the greatest paradoxes in romantic love is that it never produces human relationships as long as it stays romantic. It produces drama, daring adventures, wondrous, intense love scenes, jealousies, and betrayal; but people never seem to settle into relationship with each other as flesh-and-blood human beings until they are out of the romantic love stage, until they love each other instead of “being in love”.

Romance, in its purest form, seeks only one thing – passion. It is willing to sacrifice everything else – every duty, obligation, relationship, or commitment  – in order to have passion.

Difference between romantic love and true love

People become so wearied of the cycles and dead ends of romance that they begin to wonder if there is such a thing as “love”. There is. (more…)

 

Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read January 30, 2010

This book is a true revelation, an insight into the depth of a Romantic Love phenomenon. I would strongly recommend this book to every Westerner, but especially to men. For it makes one understand the nature of the so-called love life and how to deal with the obsessive search for love, so common for the Western mindset. The book gives brilliant answer on why relationships in our cultures are in a state of epidemic crisis.

The book is called “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love” and is written by Robert A. Johnson, a world-renowned Jungian analyst and one of 20th century’s most popular depth psychology scholars. The uniqueness of Johnson’s approach is backed up with his long-term visits of India and Japan, profound study of the Eastern philosophy and lifestyle. In his bestsellers Johnson delivers comparative analysis of Western and Eastern approaches which is still a rare take among scholars. Needless to say I am fascinated by him, for his works mirror my own views.

I’d love to share with you here the main idea of the book, but please keep in mind that by no means will my quotation replace the reading of it!

Catharism, the pure love

Psychologically our modern era began in the 12th century. At that time one of he most powerful of the early religions was the Manichean movement, in Europe called “Catharism” (the pure). One of their basic beliefs was that “true love” was not the ordinary human love between husband and wife but rather the worship of a feminine saviour, a mediator between God and man, who waited in the sky to welcome the “pure”  with a holy kiss and lead him or her into the Realm of Light. By contrast with this “pure” love, ordinary human sexuality and marriage were bestial and unspiritual. Many Christians at that time saw Catharism as a reform movement, a reaction against the corruption and politics within the religious hierarchy. The pope declared Catharism heresy, but like every powerful idea, the teachings of Catharism suddenly reappeared in the cult of courtly love (a worship of a lady fair by a knight), in the songs and poems of troubadours and in the “romances”. Some cultural historians belive that ladies and knights who first practiced courtly love were Cathars continuing their religious practice under the guise of a secular cult of love.

 

Courtly love

Thus the ideal of courtly love swept through the feudal courts of Europe and began a revolution in our attitudes towards the feminine values of love, relationship, devotion, spiritual experience and the pursuit of beauty. That revolution finally matured into what we call romanticism. The Western men began to look on woman as the embodiment of all what is pure, sacred and whole, woman became the symbol of a anima, “My Lady Soul”. (more…)

 

 
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