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Maturation and the Way of Life

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.sufi,alt.islam.sufism,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.consciousness.mysticism
From: (haramullah)
Subject: Maturation and the Way of Life
Date: 16 Mar 1998 20:06:35 -0800

49980117 aa2

assalam alaykum, my kin.
compiled queries from Tariqas Elist and my response follow.

Frank Gorin  asks Michael (I answer anyway):
# you believe that the underlying force and mystery of the 
# cosmos is pressed with issues?  

only immature human beings (and perhaps other species of similar
levels of consciousness) are so 'pressed'.  the question of whether
there is an underlying force to the cosmos is impossible to answer
with any certainty, though the religious are assured.

# astronomy, Akashic readings, Jesus in India, and so forth, I see a 
# struggle over how to deal with an intellectual and theological legacy 
# formed in another age, in another climate of belief, and couched in the 
# language of that age.  Please share with me how you cope with this.

syncretism, tolerance, imagination, compassion and analytic criticism,
combined with an unswerving conservatism of mind.

# ...when you pray you believe that a being outside yourself is 
# "listening"?  I mean listening and observing inside the same 
# time and space that you understand, and processing the words and 
# feelings in more or less the same way as you?  Do you ever doubt?

belief is its own limitation.  that I may need to speak to Allah in
thought or action comes as a consequence of my separation from Hir.
devotion is often preceded by such dualistic experiences and provides
it with impetus.

doubt is the greatest liberator, the great security-destroyer.  to keep
and hold doubt can be a very painful experience, especially if this
lapses into disbelief (the greatest of travesties).

# you know in your heart that religious forms and concepts are a 
# kind of carefully wrought framework that's held up to a holy mystery and 
# that allows the deeper message to come into awareness?  

it functions in this way for those who are properly prepared and 
synched to the tradition in question such that it may have 
transformational results.  otherwise it is possibly not of any
value whatever.

# Do you feel, but 
# refrain from saying for reasons of discretion within your religious 
# enviromment, that you truly and honestly desire to pass through 
# that framework instead of resting uncomfortably on this side of it, 
# the side of puzzled, literal belief?  

one is either inside the framework or outside it.  passing through
it is somewhat like going through a car-wash.  those who truly
engage religion find it simultaneously irritating and enjoyable.
comfort is the enemy of mysticism, habit the enemy of growth.

#   Do you agree that the ones who fear most to pass through are the very 
# ones who cling fiercely and desperately to the framework and bar the 
# passage of others?

clinging occurs in a variety of contexts.  we can as much cling to
passing through as to residing within, to frameworks as to having
no framework, to open passages as to barring the passage to others.
where an individual resides (inside or outside) is not a sure
indicator of hir maturity or clingingness.  better indicators are
hir relationships with other people and the character which she
displays to those who pass most closely to hir. (Carol Woodsong):
# Several people here (and i have (un)fortunately deleted most of the
# posts) have spoken of the man Jesus--  living to the age of 63.  This
# 'information' is said to come from a reading of the Akashic Record?  --- 

"the man Jesus" is shrouded in myth and fantasy.  one might as well come
to know him through these fables as seeing Sunna on an overcast day by
looking up from the ground.  history is only served by rigorous
conservatism which religion has in many cases not been able to bear.

the Akashic Record is a spiritualist concept grafted from Indians.
typically it is employed by Westerners as a New Age replacement for
the omniscence of Allah.  few if any of these ideas stand up to
critical scrutiny.  compare and contrast the Akashic Record with
Jung's 'collective unconscious'.
# What does this mean?  How is it that the Bible seems to  me to 
# imply or outright state that Jesus (the Christ?) -- was 
# crucified-- and then-- resurrected? Did this never happen?  Is 
# this simply a 'symbolic' telling of the 'Story'?  

the Bible is a composite of historical fiction, like many scriptures,
and is not reliable historically except on larger points or as an 
important blinder for the purposes of restraint to religious dogma.  
this may be used wisely to inspire personal development and spiritual
maturity or it can be abused as a means to deceive and disempower.

# What do you see in all this?  --- in my ignorance-- help me, if you
# will--- help me see! 

ignorance is not the same as folly, stupidity or myopia.  it becomes
the first when it is perpetuated despite a desire to overcome the
unseen, the second when it is perpetuated at length despite many
indicators of error, and the third when it becomes religion.

sight is best achieved through slow, cautious steps of consideration,
denying nothing, accepting little which cannot be ascertained through
the meager filter of our personal experience and rational reflection.
of course there are times when these filters and reflections must be
set aside in order to engage the mysteries directly, but this need
not constitute a restructure of our beliefs as much as our values. (Vito Evola):
# I believe that God, Allah, YHWH is all One, the Same Creator, is this 
# not true? 

there is a coincidence of role and even some mythological 
ascriptions.  from Yahweh to the Christian God to Allah there have 
been modifications of description rendered in reflection of the
experience of the mystic and the religious.  even within each of
these traditional religious texts/communities the same name is
applied to a differently perceived myths.

the new religious often distanced themselves from the viewpoints
of the elder, sometimes in characterization of the divine.  this
takes the form of disputing the specific contents or interpretations
of the scripture of the People of the Book who came before.  

Christians deny the restrictions delegated by Yahweh to the Orthodox 
Jews.  Muslims deny the instructions about the resurrected Christ.  
in each case the historical fiction is revised so as to more closely
conform to the feelings and intellectual limitations or scrutinies
levelled by each successive religious wave.

typically all agree on the cosmic origination theory and that the
divine as perceived by their particular faction is responsible for
the coming-into-being of the entirety of the universe.  when we
delve into the details of who or what this divine IS then there
are disputes among most religious, however.

# ...what you think about interreligious prayer.

presumably this implies a diversity of form of prayer (e.g. using
the 'Our Father' prayer from Christianity and also praying in the
manner and inner dialogue or routine of the Muslim salat, probably
also some traditional Jewish prayerform -- I am very ignorant 
about this latter).  

interreligious activities of any sort will have different results
for different people.  for some it will be confusing, disorienting
and could prove problematic for those who need the stability and
structure of a single religious system and paradigm.  for others
who are able and willing to make the necessary translations and
connections between religions, interreligious activities including
prayer can be beautiful means of establishing connections to a
variety of the dedicated, coming to move beyond the forms and into
true communion with the Way of Allah.

in other words, for some 'Allah is One and there is no Other'
means that they must stick to a single form of religious observance.
for others it means that ALL forms relate to the universal and
diversified divine, and that encountering these manifestations of
the divine and the structures with which to achieve that encounter
can have a liberating and very beneficial effect.  

# ...would also like to know what is thought of St. Francis of Assisi 
# (I find it interesting that he is one of the only saints that 
# Protestants respect particularly, even naming some churches after 
# him, and that Hindus consider him a guru).

I know little of St. Francis beyond his reputation as a lover of
the wild (and I am not even sure of this).  I think there grows
around saints (from the moment at which they are placed into this
category) a body of legend and historical fiction which can be
extremely complex and convoluted as time passes.  it is very much
like the children's 'Telephone Game' in that creations, tellings
and recordings influence and add to the legends in wonderful
and confusing ways.

for this reason, and because I understand that sufis generally
are fond of saints, I would encourage a discussion of the stories
surrounding this individual.  I have heard that he lectured to or
instructed the wild, and I care less for this than ministration
of other types (such as nurturance, protection, and restoration).

this saint strikes me as an exemplary and possibly a global model
of spiritual perfection inasmuch as that he learned FROM nature,
cared for the wild beings whom he encountered, and didn't just
take an attitude of exploitation as so many other human beings
have seen fit to presume.

also some questions and comments from me: (Earl Turner):
# (thirty some odd years ago) where I practiced devotion in all the major
# 'faiths' and experienced a 'response' or 'confirmation' in each of them.

how is that possible?  does 'practiced devotion' include ignoring the
restrictions included in this variety of lifestyles?  there are certain
absolutely incompatible practical disputes between 'all the major' 
faiths.  how could you possibly resolve these without hypocrisy?

# That was puzzling because the theological frameworks appear to conflict--
# so it was kind of a humorous paradox--like a Zen koan to experience that
# insight.  Included was the recognition that no system of words and concepts
# could adequately capture Infinity, but only be a window onto the
# Inexpressible.

well said.  I agree strongly with this, though I find that religion
sets such a store of emphasis (esp. in the West) on belief and what
beliefs are included, let alone certain dietary and behavioral
differences of some magnitude, that this infinity is reduced, 
within the conventionalities of each of the 'major faiths' to but a
mere glimmer, a step-down of the voltage to manageable levels.  if
evaluated outside such a graduated framework (as is done within 
most religious cultures), this precludes involvement by those who
wish to be inclusive or syncretist -- a major weakness of religion.

# However, gradually for me it became apparent to me that I had an inner
# command to support the theological framework in which I was born--but not
# because the others were false, but because each is precious and deserves
# cherishing.  I realized that I could have been any faith in terms of
# conviction, but I was given Christianity as my birth way--so after much
# whining and rebelling, I 'submitted' and have been 'satisfied' that that
# was right for me.

we seem to have chosen the same and yet different paths.  I was given
no specific religion to follow in my family.  some suggest that this
constitutes a failure or weakness on my part.  yet my parents looked
to *me* for the inspiration of involvement, encouraging a reflective
and aware approach to anything with which I may become involved.  in
this way they were encouraging of 'making whatever worked for me',
and did not support what I now consider to be a compassionless
exclusivism that I found in so many religious groups.

# Acknowledging one label is for me a way of acknowledging that 
# I still cling to separateness--if I deny that, then the Truth 
# is not in me!  to paraphrase a line from an Epistle of John.

VERY lovely.  it is for this reason I have acknowledged and 
affirmed that I am and have always been a Satanist. (mitchell ginsberg):
# If later traditions did not criticize earlier traditions, wanting to
# prove their own value (perhaps superiority), and if earlier traditions
# did not close the door to subsequent teachings that would add depth to
# their insights and wisdom, could not the harmony beyond conflict that 
# you are looking at (for?), earl, be easier to come by? 

you are, as I understand it, pointing directly to the Way of Love
here, and I admire it.  I have largely dismissed judgement based
on historical considerations for this reason, and attempt to see
how the myths transmitted within the religious cultures I have 
had the opportunity to encounter influenced the daily life and
real practical results of the believer.

peace be with you all,

-- (emailed replies may be posted); 408/2-666-SLUG
cc me replies;;

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