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Pope wants to update Lord’s Prayer

Probably some Catholics think a lot of what I’m suggesting at earthpages is “of the devil” until it gets its stamp of approval from the Vatican. As if people outside that creaky old apparatus can’t think for themselves or, for that matter, in line with what God wants.

Here’s my article Dec 6:

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The Pyramids – Afterlife portals or symbols of worldly power?

Inside the Pyramid

Inside the Pyramid: Ricardo Liberato via Flickr

Pyramids are really just a big billboard that says “the richest guy in Egypt is buried here” – Quora

In the 1976 playoffs the Toronto Maple Leafs made it to the semi-finals against the Philadelphia Flyers. This was pretty rare back then because the Leafs had been floundering for years. The fad at the time was pyramid power. All along the Leaf bench pyramids could be seen. The club thought it was bringing them good luck. They lost anyhow.

A couple of years later the British musician Alan Parsons released an album called Pyramid. Pink Floyd had already released Dark Side of the Moon (1973) with a prism – a miniature pyramid – on the album cover.

Pyramids had taken off in pop culture…

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Spirituality Advice – Are You Making Any of These 3 Deadly Mistakes in Your Search for Truth?

Image via Tumblr

By John

1 – A closed mind

A closed mind has been defined as one that is stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas and intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others. A person may incur the handicap of a closed mind because of egoism, due to not having had a liberal education or because of low native intelligence.

In this condition, all incoming knowledge is filtered through a set of rigid beliefs and whatever does not fit is jettisoned. On the other hand, whatever fits in with the habitual belief is swallowed hook, line and sinker – no matter how irrational it may be. This makes the person prone to all kinds of superstition and fears.

It takes a lot of work for a person to become aware of, let alone take off, the blinders of a closed mind. However, reading extensively on many diverse subjects and traveling to experience different cultures and viewpoints would help remedy this mistake so that the person would be better able to apprehend spiritual truth.

2 – Gullibility

This is very similar to the first mistake. It often occurs because of the human tendency to accept as true whatever we would prefer to be true or what we wish were true. Thus, without question, imaginative speculations are accepted as facts and claims that have no historical or other precedence are taken as valid.

A gullible person is a ready victim of personality cults, miracle claims and purported instant cures. Persons that have a confident, insistent manner of speaking or that are prestigious or who boldly repeat their claims over and over again pose a particular threat to gullible folks.

The remedy for gullibility is the cultivation of a healthy skepticism, so that every outrageous claim or postulation is taken with a pinch of salt. Surely, it is better to be called a doubting Thomas than be an easy victim.

3 – Mistaking religion for spirituality

Due to the fact that most of us first get introduced to the idea of spirituality through the medium of one religion or another, we associate the two concepts, sometimes to the point of mistaking one for the other.

Briefly, the difference between the two is that while spirituality refers to the quality or condition of showing great refinement and concern with the higher things in life ( in contrast to material things) religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Some of the dangers of mistaking religion for spirituality are that you never see anyone who is not an adherent of your religion as spiritual; you never agree to eclectically take advantage of beneficial practices that may originate from other religions than yours; you begin to see the doctrines of your religion as facts of spirituality rather than opinions, albeit enlightened, of the leaders of your faith.

To those who mistake religion for spirituality please consider the wisdom contained in this quote from the late eminent Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung:

‘A belief proves to me only the phenomenon of belief, not the content of the belief. This I must see revealed empirically in order to accept it…’

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/spirituality-advice-are-you-making-any-of-these-3-deadly-mistakes-in-your-search-for-truth-6879227.html

About the Author

What is the ultimate approach to excellence? Of what relevance is spirituality in your quest for fulfillment and bliss? John D’Silva’s effective-spirituality.com offers insights that would surprise and refresh you. John is happily devoted to helping You unleash Your Spirit of Excellence. Intelligence directs the universe, not chance…

Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. Original links have been left intact. 

 The Reformation Rolls On: (brothersjuddblog.com)

 The case for an artificially intelligent God (thenextweb.com)

 Trump Administration backs Michigan employer, protects religious speech (mlive.com)

 Does Religious Liberty Apply to All Religions? (washingtonmonthly.com)

 This Catholic school had a sign up saying being gay is ‘disordered’ (pinknews.co.uk)

 Is this blasphemous? (quinersdiner.com)


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What does it mean to be spiritual?

What does it mean to be spiritual?

File 20171115 19836 uy2yzs.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Increasingly, North American millennials identify as spiritual as opposed to religious. To them, part of this spirituality means being compassionate, empathetic and open-hearted.
(Shutterstock)

Galen Watts, Queen’s University, Ontario

Spirituality has become a kind of buzzword in today’s culture, especially for the millennial generation. Increasingly, North Americans identify as spiritual as opposed to religious.

What is behind the rising popularity of spirituality without religion? Some critics have suggested it is a byproduct of the self-obsessed culture of today, evidence of a narcissism epidemic. This criticism is similar to that launched at the millennial generation (born between 1980-2000) in general, what some scholars have called “Generation Me.

Although I don’t disagree with these characterizations, I believe there is more to the story. Since 2015 I have conducted in-depth research with Canadian millennials, interviewing 33 Canadian millennials who self-identify as spiritual but not religious — in order to better understand their beliefs and practices.

I believe when people call themselves spiritual they are basically signaling three things: first, that they believe there is more to the world than meets the eye, that is to say, more than the mere material. Second, that they try to attend to their inner life — to their mental and emotional states — in the hopes of gaining a certain kind of self-knowledge. Third, that they value the following virtues: being compassionate, empathetic and open-hearted.

Questions about meaning and value in the world

The origins of the word “spirituality,” in the context of Christian theology, lie in the Latin noun spiritualitas, which derived from the Greek noun pneuma, meaning spirit. Interestingly, “spirit” in its original context was not the opposite of the “physical” or “material,” but of “flesh,” or everything that is not of God. Therefore a “spiritual person,” in its original Christian sense, was simply a person within whom the Spirit of God dwelt.

Despite this, among the millennials I’ve interviewed, “spirituality” is generally contrasted with “materiality.” It therefore gestures towards that which we require to live, but which we cannot perceive or measure.

Religion, many conventionally think, attends to the field of human experience that concerns our most fundamental questions — questions of meaning, purpose and value. But since the Enlightenment, many individuals in North Atlantic countries have developed a self-understanding of themselves as secular, or modern.

For many, religion does not seem like a viable option. It seems outdated, or at odds with a scientific understanding of the world (or, at least parts of it do). Yet, despite this shift, questions of meaning, purpose and value remain.

Moreover, for many of my study participants, science is incapable of adequately answering some of life’s most crucial questions: What is beauty? How should I relate to the natural world? To whom (or what) should I commit my life? Why be just? What is justice?

Although science can provide answers to these questions, the answers rarely inspire my participants as they would like them to. And for many, science’s answers simply don’t suffice to help them live their lives as they experience them.

So when people speak of spirituality they are generally invoking some framework of meaning that enables them to make sense of that which, for them, science fails to address.

This is why atheists, agnostics and believers can all — and often do — identify as spiritual. One need not believe in God in order to have questions that scientific materialism cannot answer.

Western culture too focused on material success

The second aspect of spirituality involves a move inward, or an attention to one’s inner life, often as a means of honouring the immaterial dimensions of life. Most of my study participants think contemporary Western culture is far too outward focused, glorifying material success and procurement at the expense of the things that really matter.

They would agree with the famous cultural critic Erich Fromm, who in the 1970s argued modern societies emphasize having things as opposed to just being. Spirituality stresses the importance of attuning to our inner life — both as a way of resisting the constant pressure our culture exerts to value what lies outside of us, as well as a means of finding a place of refuge.

This is one reason why, for instance, environmentalists have often endorsed spirituality. One of the major causes of climate change and environmental destruction, these environmentalists argue, is the never-ending quest for economic growth, fuelled by a capitalist logic of acquisition and expansion.

The Dalai Lama once said, while the West was busy exploring outer space, the East was busy exploring inner space.
(Shutterstock)

The Dalai Lama once quipped, while the West was busy exploring outer space, the East was busy exploring inner space. Regardless of the veracity of this generalization, he was getting at something that many of my study participants feel: that contemporary societies in the western world are structured in such a way that silence and stillness are the exception, not the rule.

When millennials say they are seeking to become more spiritual, they are often saying that they are trying to resist this trend.

Looking inward to act more wisely

For many millennials looking inward is an ethical endeavour. Being spiritual to them implies seeking to better understand one’s inner life in order to act more wisely in the world. For many, becoming more contemplative or aware of their inner life allows them to interact with others in a way that is less reactive, less harmful and more authentic to who they think themselves to be.

Thus, there are certain virtues which have come to be associated with spirituality: compassion, empathy and open-heartedness. These virtues naturally flow out of the introspection inherent to spirituality because they ultimately require a high level of self-knowledge. That is, knowledge of why we hold the beliefs we do, knowledge of why we act in certain ways, and most importantly, knowledge of our interdependence.

This knowledge — acquired either through practices like meditation, self-reflection and (in some cases) psychotherapy — leads one to become more sensitive to the emotions of others, and even to one’s surrounding environments, both social and natural.

Many millennials believe contemporary societies in the western world are structured in such a way that silence and stillness are the exception, not the rule.
(Shutterstock)

Thus the path inward, in its best form, is not rooted in narcissism but rather based in a robust ethicality — a willingness to face one’s demons in order to better understand the human condition.

For some, this path inward is ultimately about self-transformation, or transcending one’s early childhood programming and achieving a certain kind of self-mastery. For others, it entails attuning themselves to the immaterial dimensions of life.

The framework I’ve sketched above doesn’t exhaust the full range of meanings the term spirituality invokes. Nor am I suggesting that all individuals who fit the above description are necessarily spiritual. I only mean to propose that these three characteristics cover a lot of what millennials mean when they call themselves spiritual.

What I’ve outlined should not lead readers to think that all millennials who call themselves spiritual live these ethical ideals. Our ability to realize our ethical ideals depends not only our own willingness, but also the social and economic constraints that we live within.

Thus my current research seeks to better understand lived spirituality, or, how spirituality operates in people’s everyday lives. Ultimately, more research needs to be done to better understand this emerging trend.

The ConversationAs the number of people who identify as “spiritual” continues to climb, it is likely that spirituality will come to shape North American societies in important and enduring ways.

Galen Watts, PhD Candidate in the Cultural Studies Graduate Program, Queen’s University, Ontario

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 Our Calvinism Spared Us From Modernity: (brothersjuddblog.com)

 Higher Criticism, Darwinism, & the Loss of Western Culture (patheos.com)

 The Six Commandments? Christians feel four of the ten are no longer important (telegraph.co.uk)

 Minister Fuses Yoga and Christianity (prweb.com)

 Western philosophy is racist (aeon.co)

 In Photos: Cremated Buddha Remains and Buddha Statues (livescience.com)

 Is this blasphemous? (quinersdiner.com)


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Cut toxic people out of your life

This is so true. Something I’ve been writing about for a long time. Part of the problem, I think, is that toxic people don’t know they are toxic. Just as it is perfectly natural for an animal to try to get into your garbage on a regular basis, toxic people rationalize their hypocritical activity.

Same thing with madpersons. Mad people do not know they are mad. That’s why we need a larger community to contain the disturbed ones before they do real harm to individuals or to society as a whole.

Not an easy topic but ignoring it will not make it go away.

 Evangelical quits Church of England leadership over ‘heretical’ stance on sexuality (telegraph.co.uk)


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32% Canadians feel Hinduism influence growing

English: A hindu devotee in Nepal

A hindu devotee in Nepal – Wikipedia

Special to Earthpages.org

32% of respondents say that influence of Hinduism “in Canada and Canadian public life” is growing as compared to 7% who say that it is shrinking; according to a national study “Faith and Religion in Public Life” by Angus Reid Institute and Faith in Canada 150 posted on November 16.

13% of Canadians find Hinduism benefiting while 13% find Hinduism damaging. Higher percentage of income group $100K+ find Hinduism benefiting as compared to other income groups, while higher percentage of Univ+ education group find it benefiting as compared to other education levels, the study points out.

67% Canadians “don’t know anything/understand very little” about Hinduism, while 4% “understand very well”, the study adds.

Nearly half of Canadians (48%) see religion as contributing “a mix of good and bad” to Canada today. 42% Canadians welcome “municipal government beginning with a non-denominational prayer to god”. 53% of Canadians say that Canada “does too much to accommodate” different faith practices and religious minorities, the study indicates.

Meanwhile, Hindu advocate Rajan Zed, commending the Hindu community for their contributions to the society and the nation in Canada; urged them to continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage; amidst so many distractions.

Rajan Zed pic3

Rajan Zed – Wikipedia

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, advised Hindus to focus on inner search, stay pure, explore the vast wisdom of scriptures, make spirituality more attractive to youth and children, stay away from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

The Angus Reid Institute, headquartered in Vancouver (British Columbia), is Canada’s “national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation” “committed to independent research”. Dr. Angus Reid and Shachi Kurl are Chairman and Executive Director respectively. Faith in Canada 150, headquartered in Hamilton (Ontario), is powered by Cardus—“a think tank dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture”. Greg Pennoyer is the Program Director.


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Silence of the heart

By chakravarthy

Silence usually is understood to be something negative, something empty, an absence of sound, of noises. This misunderstanding is prevalent because few people have ever experienced silence — all they have experienced is noiselessness.

But silence is a totally different phenomenon. It is utterly positive. It is existential, it is not empty. It overflows with a music that you have never heard before, with a fragrance that is unfamiliar to you, with a light that can only be seen by inner eyes. It is not something fictitious; it is a reality that is already present in everyone–we just never look in.

All our senses are extrovert. Our eyes open outside as do our ears; our hands move outside, so too our legs..all our senses are meant to explore the outside world. But there is a sixth sense which is asleep because we have never used it. And no society, culture or educational system helps people to make the sixth sense active.

In the East, the sixth sense is called ‘the third eye’. It looks inward. And just as there is a way of hearing in, and of smelling the fragrance within. Just as there are five senses moving outward, there are five counter-senses moving inward. In all, we have 10 senses, but the first sense that starts the inner journey is the third eye, and then other senses start opening up.

Your inner world has its own taste, fragrance and light. It is utterly, immensely, eternally silent. The mind cannot reach there, but you can reach because you are not the mind. The function of the mind is to be a bridge between you and the objective world, and the function of the heart is to be a bridge between you and yourself.

The silence is the silence of the heart. It is a wordless song without sound. Out of this silence flowers of love grow. Here you can find the Garden of Eden. Meditation is the key to open the doors of your own being.

The body knows its owns silence–that is its own well-being, overflowing health and joy. The mind also knows its silence, when all thoughts disappear and the sky is cloud free, just pure space. But the silence I am talking about is far deeper. I am talking about the silence of your being.

Other silences can be disturbed. Sickness can disturb the silence of your body, and death is certainly going to disturb it. A single thought can disturb the silence of your mind, the way a small pebble thrown into a silent lake creates thousands of ripples, and the lake is no longer silent. The silences of body and mind are fragile and superficial, but in themselves they are good. To experience them is helpful, because it indicates that there may be deeper silences of the heart, it will be again an arrow of longing, moving you even deeper.

Your centre of being is the centre of a cyclone. Whatever happens around it does not affect it; it is eternal silence. Whatever happens and whenever, the eternal silence of your being remains exactly the same — the same soundless music, fragrance of godliness and transcendence from all that is mortal and momentary.

Article Source: http:www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/silence-of-the-heart-5564389.html

About the Author

C.S. Chakravarthy – H. No. 12-13-301, St. No. 9, Lane. No. 1, Flat. No. 203, Satya Classic, Tarnaka, Secunderabad-500017

Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. Original links have been left intact. 

 How to Get Out of your Own F*cking Way. (elephantjournal.com)