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earl

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About earl

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  • Birthday 02/21/1954

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  1. OA, sorry to hear of your depressive struggles.Sounds like your psyhcologist is working with you via basic cognitive therapy-a standard practice and a good one. Sometimes, though, working directly with thoughts is not enough and learning to step outside of mental loops is important. One of the biggest rends in therapy has ben the incorproation of Buddhist mindfulness practices and there is now an approach to cognitive therapy based on mindfulnes: http://www.mbct.co.uk take care, earl
  2. Interesting view. So many mystical or contemplative spiritual traditions speak of an individual attaining a core awareness of an unconditioned state without bounds wherein we do indeed sense a unity comprised of a oneness with all creation. Because the core sense is of an uncondioned state it feels unchanging, not to mention timeless and trans-spatial. Also theologies traditionally speak of a "constant, unchanging" God. So at the end (if there really is such a thing) of one's spiritual journey do we find all sense of individuality meld into a Oness or does there remain a vestige of individuality? Seems as if this distinction is at the heart of differences between Western and Eastern spiritual views. Does God change? If so, in what ways might that be true? Interesting metaphysical questions. Earl
  3. It is an unfathomable tragedy and our prayers are with all. Nice to see you back. earl
  4. Hi fatherman. Your views here seem to dovetail my own. Just thought I'd add that there is a belief among Tibetan Buddhists that for some highly realized individuals, when they die over a period of days their body dissolves into a "body of light."Of course, while those tradiitonal Tibetans have offered many anecdotal accounts of witnessing such, nobody's gotten that one on tape. have a good one, earl
  5. Ed keep on trucking. Certainly no creaky institution can evolve if all of its leavening leaves it. On other hand, there are many reasons why I'm not drawn to a church and this sort of theological difference is 1 of the reasons. Cannot relate to what is typically preached in churches. Though am also more contemplative, so even with a progressive theology, I also don't tend to relate to typical church services in general. Do often miss the community aspect that goes with a church however. Best wishes, earl
  6. Well I've never understood the traditional notion of God walking in the guise of Jesus. So this makes perfect sense to me. I've gotten into a few debates in the past by pointing out that Jesus saying "I and the Father are one" did not imply "I and God are the same entity." If so, Jesus would not have had that moment on the cross when he ostensibly cried out to God-that implies non-identity. To me Jeus' story is more inspiring as "doable" to the rest of us temporary mortals as wo/man searching and sacrificing (the false self) to find God then God sacrificing to find wo/man. Of course, accepting that version might really upset the established Christian applecart. Speaking of which, for you Sylvia Brown fans out there, I see she has a new book out all about "channeled" info re the "real" Jesus from the other side which takes this point of view. In fact takes the view Jesus didn't even die on the cross. Take care, earl
  7. It is indeed easier said than done not to get caught up in the ego/mind's story lines-as a good of description of ego I've heard is stories bound together by fear/insecurity. It's very useful to have a practice that allows us to take a step back from any story we're telling ourselves in order not to get swept up in them and associated negative feelings. That, of course, is why I've long been a fan of Buddhist mindfulness practices. One of my problems is I think too much literally. I love to speculate on metaphysics but that too for me anyway can be one more subtle way to distance myself from simply, open-hearted and open-minded moment to moment trustful living. Lately I've had some interesting quasi-"dream-like" experiences-"messages," "voices" that speak to me in the netherwrold between sleep and everyday wakefulness. Most recent one as I was awakening said to me "no theologies for you." I took its advice to mean stop speculating and simply live and live simply. Easy for Him/Her to say have a good one, earl
  8. Hi Jen. I appreciate your sharing. Hadn't heard that re her. That's sad-kind of reminds me of the Icarus myth. Sure I'm interested in all the unknowns/mysteries-who isn't? But you have a very good point re that "horse & cart" stuff. I'm of the belief that all the world's religions are essentially "this worldly," not other worldly despite their claims. That is the essence of them is to provide various means to live open-heartedly in this world. It's fundamentally relaxing into a very deep trust in the life we've been given-answering in the positive Einstein's question whether the universe is a friendly place. So I don't think that all those mystic paths are either necessary to nor necessarily will lead us to such a deeply trusting open approach to life. When it's all said and done the only thing that seems to matter is how well we've lived and loved. Take care, earl
  9. I appreciate you sharing your experiences, DavidD. I admit to ambivalence on the subject of "revelations" & "God talk." I don't dismiss the possibility but remain a tad skeptical of ultimate source-personally I believe we each "hear" the divine message in the way most personally relevant for each of us both in content and mechanism. Don't know we can ever be entirely sure how much of any message is simply colored by our own subconscious.Overall, though I don't sweat the authenticity of such much. I'm sort of a "by their fruits" kind of guy-that, the issue is does the message result in worthwhile fruits? So we have the Course in Miracles & Neil Walsch stuff whose messages seem pretty fruitful. At any rate would be interested in dialoging with you re some of the actual revelations you received. take care, earl
  10. OK, this is what I get for not stopping in in recent months. Gee, I really liked Fred's posts. So what was so outside the bounds of PC? -or is that too un-PC to ask Earl
  11. Thank you for sharing your interesting experience David. You mentioned something earlier re wanting to discuss the nature of what "Christ" is. Must say that as I'm actually more interested in that than the nature of Jesus per se, once you get around to that, I'll probably be tempted to join you all in that one. Besides can't seem to log out anymore anyway literally. (also seem to be prevented from simply adding a reply without piggy-backing onto another post.) Afterall, seems that Christianity is about Christ more than Jesus perhaps for similar reasons that Buddhism is about Buddha not Gautama have a good one, earl
  12. Actually David one of your earlier posts inquiring into how we know what we know is of course part of the central foci to any religious philosophy and a darn good question. What actually led me into study of the religions I've studied was actually psychology and, in particular transpersonal psychology. They make a useful distinction between prepersonal knowing, (what may apply to fundamentalistic thinking) and trans-personal knowing, (which may apply to the mystic). Since both employ a reasoning or knowing that seems to not be based upon logical, deductive, discursive thought processes alone, it may seem you can't dialogue with either. But a true transpersonalist hasn't abandoned that ability behind so you can discuss things productively with them Fundamentalists on the other hand.... Frankly, though, I have my doubts as to how far theorizing about metaphysics, though I enjoy doing so myself, will take one in their spiritual journey. The modern religion writer, Karen Armostrong, had written that to her religion wasn't about what you believed, but how you were changed. Whether one is talking about Christian or Buddhist journies, I personally believe that, though they have their metaphysical theorizers, the real meat of the journey-kenosis or enlightenment-is about getting over ourselves to allow Truth to live in us and through us, a truth that is probably not a cognitive one so much as a cardiac one, (about the Heart which when closed keeps many truths from dawning on us). But I don't want to detract from what looks like a good philosophy discussion, which really ain't my thing so I'll bow out. Have a good discussion, though. Take care, earl
  13. Hi David. My fingers wish to share some of the words of Ikkyu 1 of my favorite Zen rapscallions-long dead, (the best zen masters are all dead) which gives a good flavor of what zen is about on matters life & death: "On the sea of death and life, The diver's boat is frightened With 'Is' and 'Is not'; But if the bottom is broken through, 'Is' and 'Is not' disappear." have a good one, earl
  14. I hadn't stopped into say hi for awhile, but this thread caught my eye. While typically Christian folk including many of its mystics have tended to frame their experiences in terms of a relationship between 2 entities, Meister Eckhart was unique-& more to my liking in his "zenness." I probably posted this 1 when I first joined here, but here's 1 of his gems that captures that flavor: "When I subsisted in the ground, in the bottom, in the fount of Godhead, no one asked me where I was going or what I was doing; there was no one to ask me. When I was flowing, all creatures spake God. If I am asked Brother Eckhart, when went ye out of your house? Then I must have been in. Even so do all creatures speak God. And why do they not speak Godhead? everything in Godhead is one, and of that there is nothing to be said. Godhead does no work, there is nothing to do, in it is no activity. It never envisaged any work. God and Godhead are as different as active and inactive. On my return to God, where I am formless, my breaking through will be far nobler than my emanation. I alone take all creatures out of their sense into my mind and make them one in me. When I go back into the ground, into the depths, into the well-spring of Godhead, no one will ask me whence I came or wither I went. No one missed me, God passes away." So we do have 1 great Christian mystic who framed things at depth as "oneness." However, my "Christian theology" has been deeply influenced by my love of Buddhism. I am only conversant with Buddhism among the Eastern religions, but it's a bit of a misnomer to believe they see Reality as "oneness." Non-dual, ya know simply means not two-doesn't necessarily imply one. I tend to view all levels of being via the line by Shunryu Suzuki, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center when speaking to students re their question whether the mind and body were one or entirely separate: he said "not one, not two." I am not my fumbling fingers, nor am I separate from them. I as leaf of the vine, am not the vine, but am not separate from it. So is Reallity two or one? Not one, not two. Hope that clears up any confusion. Now it's on to the next koan. take care, earl
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