Spiritual ABC: Everyone is brother / sister Posted in: Seeing the Divine

How strange it is that cultivation of the sense of ‘other’ is prominent in so many of the religions of the world? Surely understanding that everyone (and I’m not just talking about human beings) and everything comes from God is at the very ABC beginning of spiritual vision? That being the case, we are all family … brothers and sisters so to speak.  … read more

Non-judgementalism Posted in: Freedom From Judgement

Many religions consider freedom from judgement of others a saintly quality. But how attainable is it for a person of faith? Especially when at the foundation of their existence are a number of huge personal judgements. For example

  1. What I believe to be truth IS true (I judge it to be true)
  2. My beliefs are not actually beliefs at all … they are knowns – revealed to me by God
  3. I know a lot about God … certainly enough to know that others who disagree with me are wrong
  4. The goal of life is prescribed by God

How is it possible to maintain such convictions, and at the same time whole heartedly celebrate the divinity and perfection of others – and especially when their life paths are opposed to your chiselled in stone truths? … read more

Contradictory / Incompatible Truths Posted in: Belief and Truth

So we are faced with three different truths about the shape of an object seen by three separate people. The object is a either round, square or a strange shape … surely they cannot all be correct?

You say it’s round I say no, it’s a square, another says it’s a strange shape. But imagine our seeing ability is restricted to just one eye … i.e. … read more

Four Defects of the Conditioned Soul Posted in: Belief and Truth

Anyone who embarks on an adventure with eastern thinking cannot help but come across the notion of the ‘Four Defects of the Conditioned Soul’.

  1. Imperfect Senses (Karanapatava)
  2. Illusion (Pramada)
  3. Mistakes (Bhrama)
  4. Cheating (Vipralipsa)

… and the argument that these defects prevent determination of dependable truth, especially in the matter of the meaning and/or purpose of human life.

But the widely recommended solution – submission to infallible authority of guru-sastra-sadhu* – to my mind does not automatically remove one’s personal limitations from their truth-equation. … read more

Natural Talent – Reincarnation Posted in: Divine Expression

If you accept the idea of reincarnation, then you can easily explain the natural flare and talent people have for certain things … this is simply not the beginning of their cultivation, they are picking up from where left off in previous life.

Rather than becoming disheartened … I’m just no good at such and such (i.e. compared to someone else) … instead think ‘anything is possible if I choose it’ … those who I look up to are not at the beginning. … read more

Admitting I Don’t Know Is Good For My Spiritual Progress Posted in: Faith

A follower of religion might fear that by admitting any uncertainty they risk losing their faith. Easier and safer (and certainly more cosy) to just pretend I know rather than I choose to believe … and bury deep any doubting thought as the work of a devil. That somehow it is a fundamental to maintaining and cultivating faith that one never entertains any type of doubting. … read more

Why Me? vs. How Does It Serve Me? Posted in: One And Different, The Self Divine

Achintya-Bheda-Abheda is a school of Vedanta representing the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference. In Sanskrit achintya means ‘inconceivable’, bheda translates as ‘difference’, and abheda translates as ‘non-difference’.
Achintya-Bheda-Abheda, as explained at Wikipedia

The big difficulty for me with this philosophy is how to overcome the inconceivable part. That there is a simultaneous one-ness and difference between/with God and everything (us included) that emanates from God. … read more

Abortion and the Bodily Concept of Life Posted in: The Self Divine

What if life is not something that comes about because a body in a womb has reached enough maturity to survive outside the womb? What if life exists even prior to conception? If this is true, how does it change the way we understand termination of pregnancy? Let us not cloud the discussion with religion. Let us neither cloud with rape, nor liberation and equal rights for women. … read more