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EP Today – Total revision on entry about Pantheism (and on my own approach to spirituality)

I struggled a bit over this one. The weekend was slow and I’m adapting to perhaps not attending Mass any more. I love the spirituality of the Catholic Eucharist but the same ol’, same ol’ homilies from boring, burnt out priests, along with lukewarm, sometimes conflicted and annoying parishioners are just too much for me right now.

Despite that, I think this came out nicely. It’s always a relief when I take an old piece that I’m not very happy with and juggle it around, rewrite, add new material and come up with something worthy of Earthpages. That’s how I feel about this:


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EP Today – Great article about tensions between religion and individuality

Today’s Top Tweet outlines some of tensions that arise whenever a thinking person enters into a religious community. The fact that we all have different views is hardly surprising. The earliest disciples argued over doctrine and practice. Why should we be any different in the 21st century?

What often turns me off, however, is how some eggheads criticize Christianity because it has so many variations.

Umm… yeah… and your local community or faith group doesn’t?

Well, maybe if you’re in a cult. But in the free world… we like to think for ourselves.


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Number of Canadians holding favorable view of Hinduism increases

Special to earthpages.org

Forty-nine percent of Canadians had a favorable opinion of Hinduism in February 2017 as compared to 42% in September 2013, according to Religious Trends public opinion poll conducted by research organization Angus Reid Institute (ARI) and released on April four.

Quebecers having favorable opinion of Hinduism increased to 50% in 2017, as compared to 32% in 2009; while in rest-of-Canada, it increased from 45% in 2009 to 48% in 2017; poll indicated.

When asked—would it be acceptable or unacceptable to you if one of your children were to marry a Hindu—in February 2017, 54% Canadians said that it would be acceptable, as compared to 37% in September 2013; poll pointed out.

Fifty-seven percent of Canadian Liberal Party members and 54% Millennials (18-34) viewed Hinduism favorably, as compared to 49% of all Canadians; poll added.

Meanwhile Rajan Zed, congratulating the Canadian Hindu community on climbing higher on the favorable opinion scale, urged them to continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc., amidst so many distractions.

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, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

ARI, headquartered in Vancouver (Canada), “is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research organization established to advance education”.  Dr. Angus Reid is the Chairman, while Shachi Kurl is Executive Director.

This article has been edited—MC


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EP Today – Does Psychiatry reinforce people playing “good patient”?

Today’s Top Tweet (above) points to an issue that demands mature reflection. Instead of the often extreme views presented at web sites like Mad in America or, at the other end of the spectrum, the baffling ideological hegemony of the APA, there is a third stance positioned somewhere between those polarized perspectives.

With regard to today’s tweet, just because someone has a delusion or perception that a drug effectively blocks, it does not necessarily follow that the thing the person was deluded about or perceiving does not exist.

For example, say a person thinks that terrorists, the CIA or perhaps the mafia are after them. Then a drug calms the person down and, so it turns out, she or he is never murdered as previously feared.

Does it logically follow that terrorists, the CIA or the mafia do not exist? No, it means that these entities do exist but that they were probably not after that person.

Same thing with spiritual entities, good and bad, one could argue.

I applaud this man for writing about his experience but, with all due respect, it seems he is relieved to feel better and playing the role of “good patient”—and I’m sure many in the psychiatric community would approve of that.

Problem is, that kind of thing can lead to and reinforce superficial claims about the nature of reality. And THAT, in my opinion, can hurt people who actually do sense demons, angels and, who knows, maybe ETs.

Life is rarely as simple as either/or. Although some psychiatrists and members of the general public might like us to think so. I think the wisest thing the author of the tweeted story says is, “I don’t know for sure.”

MC

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 Tech sector scrambles after CIA hacking allegations (rappler.com)


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EP Today – Are we all the same? Should we be?

Today’s Top Tweet gave me pause for reflection. In the past I’ve seen some charismatic Evangelicals as not too different from, say, Superbowl or Wresting fans.

The Indian guru Sri Aurobindo talked about different levels of consciousness. I’ve rejected a lot of what Aurobindo says but I recall that he’d probably see some charismatics as operating on what he called the “vitalistic” plane—that is, vital instead of higher spiritual energy. For Aurobindo, there wasn’t a single spirituality but, instead, several different mind levels.

All very interesting. Sometimes I think a bit like this when comparing different people and different religions (or even differences within one person). To say all religions and spiritual states of mind are the same is, to me, like saying all cities of the world are the same.

Cities may exhibit some common features but obviously they differ in important ways.

Because religion is such a personal, sensitive issue for many, we run the risk in this politically correct world of getting into real trouble if we even dare suggest that religions and spiritual states might differ. And this is oppressive to free thought and, perhaps, to genuine development—in both theory and practice.

To focus a little more precisely on just one religion – Christianity – I think it’s also relevant to suggest that there could be real differences among individuals and their Christian beliefs and practices.

At the same time, we can’t know for certain what another person inwardly experiences. We may think we do. Through subtle transpersonal connections we may get glimmers. But we can’t fully know what it’s like to be them.

Image via Pixabay | Tumblr

Only God can have the final say. Although sometimes, I admit, I have wondered if God really knows what it’s like to NOT be omniscient. This opens the door for all kinds of theological reflection that I don’t have time to explore here.

Another point to consider: How do we define spirituality?

For some, spirituality is an intense nature trip. Others say watching sci-fi or fantasy shows are spiritual activities. Again, only God can say who is “spiritual” and who is not. And even if there are fundamental differences, who’s to say we should all be the same?

If the world were mostly contemplative mystics, I think we’d run into trouble pretty fast. By the same token, if the world were mostly movers and shakers, I think we’d have similar difficulties.

Bottom line?

Respect the mix.

MC

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Rigid, fundamentalist thinking goes in all directions

This is a good article (tweeted) but it overlooks the oft unspoken corollary: Too much faith in a mechanistic psychological worldview might keep some people unhappy. So many of us are impressed by the achievements of science and especially technology. And rightly so. No wonder many believe that feeling good is largely dependent on a healthy brain. Obviously brain functioning plays a huge role in our sense of well being.

But there’s more. A lot more.

Some people might be chronically unhappy because they’re stuck in a mechanistic worldview that ignores the primacy of the spiritual life. It’s almost as if we have everything upside down in the modern world. Spirituality is often seen as the icing on the cake. You can get by without it, but it’s a nice, tasty add-on.

Image via Tumblr

For me, it’s the opposite. Spirituality is top shelf and therefore my master command. Everything else is necessary and enjoyable but secondary.

By way of analogy, a society exists in its own right but needs an executive assembly and usually a national leader. Without a leader, society would become a confused, mass jumble. And so it is with spirituality and all the other aspects of life.

It’s hard for some people to appreciate this view. But I’m glad it’s mine.

The way I see it, fundamentalism is not just about religion. Fundamentalism can go in any direction. Ironically, sometimes we encounter people who are both religious and scientific fundamentalists. Instead of integrating their outlook into a mature, comprehensive whole, they compartmentalize their thinking according to religious teachings and the latest psychology studies to hit the news.

If people want to fashion their lives under the dictates of a high profile religious leader, on the one hand, and someone like John Tesh, on the other hand, that’s fine by me. But it’s certainly not my style! — MC

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What is the New Age Movement?

By L.G. Fuller

What does New Age mean? What is new about a movement that applies ancient philosophical principles and ideals to their daily lives? Why do some people sound punitive when they refer to the new age movement?

New Age is term used to describe an organization of diverse groups that share an enthusiasm for the creation of a new era or ‘New Age’ or a modern day renaissance. The arrival of the New Age will is believed to initiate the elevation of current collective consciousness. This elevation of collective levels of  consciousness will be initiated through the facilitation of: personal development, spiritual transformation, healing, and growth.

New Age groups are often distinguished by their nontraditional practices and beliefs. Members of the New Age movement believe in various natural healing practices and traditional medicines including acupuncture, herbal therapy, and spiritual healing. There is no standard doctrine within the New Age Movement but many of their teachings focus on individual autonomy, relativism, and spiritualism.

New Age ideas have many different origins from a variety of places, but most of them can be traced to Eastern religious traditions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The only thing that is new is the modern applications to ancient wisdom. New Age Movement is very broad term and can refer to anything from psychic reading, yoga, shamanism, meditation, aromatherapy and many other occult beliefs and rituals. A majority of these practices have only recently become widely accepted in Western Culture, therefore, education and credentialing is not always legitimate or even necessary.

English: Psychic reader booth at the Canadian ...

Psychic reader booth at the Canadian National Exhibition midway August 2008. (Photo: Wikipedia)

A life coach is not required to have any professional training or education before they can begin treating clients. There is an International Coaching Federation that accredits life coach certification programs also referred to as the ICF. Life coach certification is usually several hundred to several thousand dollars and can take anywhere from several days to several months to obtain certification.

Sadly, for that reason there are a lot of unethical people that take advantage of the lack of regulations so they can exploit those in need. Sadly, for that reason many people associate the New Age Movement with unscrupulous criminals and frauds. It is this gross generalization based on stereotypes and misinformation that creates a prejudice that causes resentment of a New Age movement, resulting in a punitive tone. People that are members of the New Age movement that work in some of these newly accepted professions are punished for the misinformation  and stereotypes that corrupt many people’s notions of what the term New Age actually refers to.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/new-age-articles/what-is-the-new-age-movement-6890444.html

About the Author

I am an NLP practitioner, author, speaker and personal development consultant. I founded Novum Prospectu Consulting LLC . We are a team of experts in varying fields that help clients find a new perspective to their challenges and achieve their goals. Feel free to visit  www.novumprospectu.com for more information.