this blog is the continuation of a genuine mystical tradition, unless you get in daily contemplative time and abstain to a significant degree from "entertainment" then you are just wasting your time and mine !
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Jesus was just ripped off from the concept of Saoshyant from Zoroastrianism.Zarathustra most likely didn't exist either, but Mani most certainly did. There were other prominent Zoroastrians like Mazdak the Younger and etc. during Sassanian times that we have records on too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mani_(prophet) "al-biruni says that bahram ordered execution of manithen at the order of the emperor, mani's skin was flayed and filled with grass, and hung it at the gate of gundishpurbahram also ordered killing of many manicheans" ---------------now if buddha had been a real life person that is what would have happened ! :o)(Kartir Hangirpe was a nasty bit of work ! :o ( . . ! )()http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartir the existing relgions always react, usually with fatal consequences, humans are not adaptable ! :o)(
Wow... It's like a fucking fractal of pain.From Mani to Mansur-al Hallaj and then to Bahaullah .You're right about how existing religions always react, dang.
Kartir was a bit better than Mazdak the Younger though:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazdak
What do you think of Artaud's response to this koan?a monk said : “ your disciple is sick all over. please cure me ”the master said : “ i shall not cure you ”the monk said : “ why don't you cure me? ”the master said : “ so that you neither live nor die ”Artaud:"I can neither live nor die, nor am I capable of not wishing to die or live. And all mankind resembles me."
artaud is really quite interesting ! :o)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-NXNS6Ti-I
"Most contemporary scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and most biblical scholars and classical historians see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted"Moreover:"We have no indication that writers in antiquity who opposed Christianity questioned the existence of Jesus."Scholars do not question his existence. They do of course question the details of his life:"There is ... widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings."They do agree about two events in his life though:"and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate."The Jesus Myth theory is not taken seriously by academics or scholars:"Robert E. Van Voorst states that the idea of the non-historicity of the existence of Jesus ... has consistently failed to convince virtually all scholars of many disciplines ... Jesus' life was in fact "astonishingly documented" by the standards of the time - more so than any of his contemporaries - with numerous books, stories and memoirs written about him. The problem for the historian, wrote Blainey, is not therefore, determining whether Jesus actually existed, but rather in considering the "sheer multitude of detail and its inconsistencies and contradictions" ... / virtually all scholars consider theories that Jesus' existence was a Christian invention as implausible.[14 This is different from supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus, which historians tend to look on as questions of faith, rather than historical fact."
Zakaj, regardless, the whole light/dark duality and good vs. evil stuff came from Zoroasrianism and Manicaeism. Christianity is more Persian in character than anything else. This is because it found its identity through the debates the adherents had with Manichaeists, Zoroastrians, and Mazdakists. Moreover, Christianity was heavily influenced by the Mithraic Mysteries, which was based off Zoroastrian myths. St. Augustine also had tons of debates with Manichaeists, making him resort to formulating the concept of "Original Sin".This is kinda similar to how Jains, Buddhists, Hindus, and Carvakans in India would debate amongst themselves as a way to assert and solidify their positions.Christianity's spirit is much more Indo-European, Persian and Neoplatonic Greek (and later Roman, Germanic, etc.) than it is Judaic in spirit.“There is strong reason to believe that St. Paul fabricated the belief system of Christianity from Zoroastrian mythology. In order to hide Paul’s plaigerism… Christians burned the library of Alexandria in 390 A.D. Books in that library kept Mithra’s original story of what Pauline Doctrine is an almost exact copy." (George Sarton , Introduction to History of Sciences)
The "light/dark duality" is very vague and present in virtually all religions, including "Taoism". Now "Taoism", you will agree, has nothing to do with anything Persian. But even if all you say is true, what of it? I mean: shouldn't we ask what makes Christianity special, not what it has in common with other traditions? Because we know something when we know its differentia specifica. To name a few things: unlike Neoplatonism, Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. that seem to be only concerned with the soul/mind, Christianity seems to insist on the... importance of embodiment. Of the flesh. (For instance: it's important for Christians that Jesus Christ had risen in the flesh, not in some spiritual sense. Moreover, those who are God's chosen and will have eternal life will have it together with their bodies. Etc.) The second theme is that of equating a specific human being, a historical person, with the Creator of the Universe. Silly documentaries like "Zeitgeist" say it was "done before" - but it's not true. He is the son of God, and he IS God. That's not similar to any other religion. Next, Christianity is not gnostic. Gnosticism is considered a heresy. Gnosticism basically has knoweledge as the most important thing. Knowing is the goal. In that sense, Buddhism is a gnostic religion ("ignorance" is the main problem and removal of ignorance (ie. ultimate knowledge) is the goal). In Christianity, it's not like that. Knowledge, wisdom, mystical exp. - those things can't save man. Only faith in Jesus Christ can, through the work of the cross.Next, in Christianity, suffering is seen as necessary and (in a way) - something good. That's the opposite of Buddhism which seeks to eradicate suffering, or avoid it. In Christianity, one is chosen to suffer by God. This "being chosen to suffer" is seen as some kind of a gift. Buddhism overcomes suffering by "detaching" from it; while Christianity embraces suffering and overcomes it by making it meaningful, necessary, even something to be desired. And then there is St. Paul's profound idea about Law vs Gospel; and how they are different; and how Law is incapable of saving us, but is only good for revealing our fallenness and slavery to sin. All these things are quite specific and I would say unique. These are what make Christianity what it is, not the superficial stuff about light and darkness or some elements that might have been borrowed by mythologies. I find that today people are too invested in these irrelevant questions, these conspiracies, you know: Jesus was married, Jesus never existed, Jesus had a hidden family, Christianity is similar to X religion, Christianity stole from Y mythology. As if these historical remarks can explain the spiritual essence of a religion, and its appeal to so many people.Do you think the greatest saints and philosophers in European history were all just deceived by some elaborate hoax? Because most of the greatest men in European history were Christian... it's more interesting to ask: what in the tradition was so attractive to so many great men? Isn't this question more interesting to you?
I'm not trying to reduce Christianity to being a mere "rip-off". I wasn't being scholarly or whatever when I gave off that impression.However, you can't ignore the strong Zoroastrian and Manichean influences in Christianity. The 3 Wise Men were canonically Zoroastrians even.I do acknowledge the innovations in Christianity you brought up. It is its own separate thing, its own tradition.Also, I have far more respect for Christianity than I do for Pagan BS like Asatru.I would work hard to prevent the growing popularity of neopaganism, Zakaj. It runs the risk of destroying Christian culture and undermining the ethos. Stuff like nuns and Christian celibate monks have always appealed to me more than promiscuous, polyamorous pagans who can't get their shit together.
zakaj, you go into a ton of waffle at the drop of a hat ! :o)all along the same problem and same with people on reddit zen, they talk and never get any retreat time ! :o)if you are so into christianity I am sure there are monastic traditions where you live that are retreat oriented and lay person friendly!or is it easier to waffle ?i'm the one who has stayed in a Cistercian monastery and ecumenical hermitage . . .http://www.kopuamonastery.org.nz/jesus fucking Christ ! ;o)
Sepehr, yes... the Neo-Pagans / Asatru. I, too, have an aversion to that scene... It also TENDS to be connected to White Supremacy ideologies, among other things. ---Andrew, in that case... if you stayed in a Cistercian monastery, then you're probably right, Christ is a myth and all those scholars wasted their lives studying ancient documents. Since they never stayed in a Cistercian monastery, they cannot possibly know more than you about the historicity of Christ.
yeah avoid the issue of retreats and real life experience won't you !since you believe then why not move closer to christ you schmuck ! :o)and thumb your bible every night, I am sure you haven't read a word ! :o(how do you spell h y p o c r I t e ! ?
Why are you so confrontational? Just a wild guess: you spend too much time on Reddit, arguing with ewk&co. You said many times you are "done with Reddit", but you keep coming back and arguing, attacking, debating, ... what is it all good for? That is toxic for you... it's just making you... automatic, like ewk... but instead of "read Huangbo!" you have "go on retreat!" as a mantra in every situation!And about the Christianity thing: you're conflating everything... the question of the historicity of Jesus is completely unrelated to believing in his divinity. Atheist scholars agree that he existed. So if I say he existed, historically, that has nothing to do with my faith. And second: you don't know what "moving closer to Christ" even means. You presuppose it means "becoming a monk, contemplating all day". But that's not in the Gospels. The Christ of the Gospels is pretty clear about what he wants from us, and it has more to do with faith and love, than contemplation or mystical insight. Do you know how you sound when you flash your retreat CV? Kind of like someone saying "I've been to Harvard, where have you been?" as if that somehow replaces having good arguments! All I can say is... if a lot of retreats leads to you: to pride and vanity, then it seems it was all ultimately good for nothing!" And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." (Qoheleth 1:16 - 18)
zakaj, you bugger off into faith and love then . . what r u doing here, you can flush the gospels down the toilet as far as I am concerned, go and spread your wanking nonsense on some christian message board since for sure you never do anything in real life !you think talk does something, well it doesn't, you won't make space for contemplative work then bugger off, I have better things to do ! :buji is your middle name ! :o)(i'm serious just don't waste my fucking time and go be with your lord ! :o)(
zakaj replies "fair enough"it is actually, there is a huge divide between whether jesus existed historically or not, if he did my whole approach is pretty screwed and I should be lining up with all the sleaze bags like you petitioning the arsehole for redemption ! :o)(I have done my reseasch and am certain he didn't exist historically and it's all a con. you have just flicked off into some buji attitudes as usual and since you have plumbed for jesus being a real person then in fairness you should follow its logic and the different direction it takes you in life which is away from this board, though a more contemplative christianity still fits here, you have plumbed for the crass public sort ! :o(
I'm not going to become a Bible-thumping fundamentalist. There aren't just two ways to live this life, you know... as in EITHER fundamentalist buji married OR contemplative celibate mystic... Where do you place Kierkegaard, for instance? He chose the celibate life, but he never dabbled in mysticism. You need a third category that doesn't fit into the buji vs mystic dualism you set up to categorize people.The idea that only becoming a monk and a mystic is real engagement doesn't convince me. It's not only that I'm attached to things I don't want to let go (that's certainly a part of it). There's more than that. When I stayed in that temple in Japan, I had the chance to meet people who live rigorous monastic lifestyle and while I partially admired them, their way didn't convince me. I perceived something... inauthentic, for lack of a better word, at the bottom of their soul. It's hard to describe, especially in English. But they all seemed profoundly broken, joyless... and that the reason they pursued monasticism is as a kind of mortification... because the alternative (the "outside world") was too painful to them to cope with... so it's kind of a choice between mortification or clinical depression and despair. On the contrary, a few Christians I met in life seemed genuinely... healthy individuals. Maybe "healthy" or "sane" sounds like an understatement, but it's no small feat, especially nowadays. You say you would flush the NT down the toilet, so you probably don't care for it. That's surprising to me... you're a man of letters. Don't you appreciate it at least as great literature? Even when I considered myself a Buddhist I thought the NT was superior literature to all the suttas and sutras combined. The suttas are formulaic, boring, lifeless... the NT, Christ's words... have something numinous about them. It does make sense that you are anti-NT however, because the NT seems to be anti-you:"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer."Anyway, it's your blog. If you think my posts are so shitty and useless that I should stop posting, then I will! Incidentally, I'm watching this interesting guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71udA4T4u2A - he's speaking exactly about "personal mystic religion" VS "organized religion"... he's Roman Catholic, but he's a wrtier (or even editor?) for the New York Times. He starts talking about mysticism around 35th minute... when you have some free time... he goes into some of the topics of what we're talking about in this thread. (Just skip the initial introduction of the author part)
Kierkegaard was mystical !so is jaques derrida !you are just becoming wrapped up in another false system because you haven't sorted out the premise properly, that is you mistakenly think that jesus existed as an historical person if you are going to persist in that unresearched assumption, I really don't want to have to deal with what is a lot of consequence following on from YOUR LACK OF ADEQUATE RESEARCH !I have repeatedly told you of the importance of some meditative reflection and you just ignore this and try to say I am saying other things like be a monk which I am certainly not saying and agree with your observations about those japanese monastics and I had the same observation about the monks at the Cistercian monastery I stayed at in new zealand !I am doing my last posts on reddit zen, just replying to replies basically and really I don't want to have to deal with your new enthusiasm with christianity, basically you eschew the contemplative path and I have ceased to be interested in trying to make myself understood Ross Douthat makes some valid points, but basically its too tangled and comes form the "suburban perspective" . . .I just can no longer sink the energy I have in attempting to straighten others out, a foolhardy and illusory enterprise if there ever was oneanyway in your case its clear to me you have repeatedly eschewed any degree of meditative contemplation in your life and really you are moving in a different direction now so I would appreciate it if you don't post unless you feel your views have changed to be more compatible at some future time !having said that the board has no censorship policy and you are always free to post...
Thanks Andrew. I imagine how exhausting it must be to try to convey your PoV (point of view) to other people. I guess it's like that guy who escaped from Plato's Cave and returned to tell the inhabitants about what he had seen out there, but nobody would believe him, let alone go and see for themselves. That's at least how I imagine you must be experiencing it. Some of the 'prisoners' just don't want to hear about it. It challenges everything they believe. It's just too much of a hassle, they prefer the ontological security they already have. Some others - like me - are living like in a house of mirrors and even though we don't exclude the existence of an "Outside", we cannot bring ourselves to decide whether going is better than not going. Who knows, perhaps someone put us in the prison for a reason? Perhaps we're not meant to escape it?" - these questions have the power to paralyze and impede action. But again, from my PoV, it is not clear that action is better than non-action, nor is it clear what action is to be undertaken (there are so many roads...)I guess I will die at the crossroads, except if some outside intervention, divine or not, chooses to gracefully show me the way. But unless that happens, I will try to not post here anymore. Because, as you say - and I agree - my posts aren't compatible.
you are just continuing to fill your "interior space" with junk when you start to open yourself up, you are frightened by the vacuous sterility and back off ! :o)
Don't the Catholic nuns pray in a certain kind of way that induces stillness of mind? I don't know, I just got that impression from the film Black Narcissus.Zakaj, I believe all Christians say to either remain celibate or monogamous, so if you choose the latter, there will come a point the couple's lusts are dulled and you can get some more solitude in order to pray, meditate, or w/e. You can get prolonged periods of celibacy, but this doesn't mean you have to be celibate for the rest of your life. Just imagine how often people had sex in the past if they are trying to avoid having more children before contraceptives. Stuff like polyamory, swinging, etc. are incompatible with Ch'an and Christianity.And yea, I think you can swing back and forth between married vs mystic path, but you can't let the married life turn into something like a hot steamy thing. Let it be like Harvest Moon:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HIW_yaLS2UAnyways, the point of the mystic path is to use Ahura Mazda (poetic words of divinity - Cross, Jesus, Buddha, Nature, etc.) as the vehicle to Zurvan (non-differentiated time, Infinite Time, One Matter/Mind). The crazy people into Tantra or Neopaganism use Angra Mainyu to reach Zurvan:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zurvanism
Sepehr, I will stop posting here, but just to reply: I agree with your insight, and my experience is exactly that. I've always been a monogamous person, I'm kind of hard-wired to be. I'm married without children and I can say that since marrying, my sexual life has stabilized to a point that it's near celibacy. This almost asexual lifestyle is actually one of the best features of the married life! Sexual desire would disturb me before, but now it doesn't anymore. I would say marriage is the best option for some people... some people just aren't made for celibacy (just think of all the Catholic priests that become perverse as a result...)As for the rest, I cannot tell you how alien it sounds to me. The framework you're using is some kind of Neoplatonism, and you seem to have a perennial worldview, basically that all mystics/religions were "talking about the same thing using different expressions". I don't accept that. The whole idea of "different fingers pointing to the same moon" is something I doubt.I don't want to debate this, because I also plan to stop posting here... but Andrew is right; my direction is diametrically opposed. I'm doubting the whole "transcendence" business, be it in the form of mysticism, or metaphysics. The presuppositions that both mystics and philosophers share is that the whole point of it all is to realize something, to know some truth. But what if it isn't? What if life is not about gnosis, but about ethics? I'll leave it at this question.
Also, Tezuka's Phoenix (Hi no Tori) isn't that bad, Andrew. It was inspired by Stravinsky's music and you can't judge it without reading it.