A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism [ i. Hinduism ] and Buddhism, Christianity and Mahometanism [ i. Islam ] will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts.
World Religion and Spirituality
It is well known that the first main objective for which the Theosophical Movement was founded was to bring about the actualisation of Universal Brotherhood, without distinction of race, religion, creed, colour, caste, or gender. This can only be achieved by recognising that Universal Brotherhood is not merely a noble and lofty ideal but is actually an eternal fact in Nature, due to the Oneness and Divineness of all life. It is already the case that we are all One in terms of our source and origin, our inner spiritual essence, and our ultimate destiny.
But this needs to be recognised, accepted, and acted upon. Those who are acquainted in any way with Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement are aware that it places constant emphasis on the unity of all religions. This theme has gained ever increasing recognition and publicity since the time of H.
In this respect, humanity has come a very long way in a very short time. What has just been described is something good and which should be actively encouraged but are peaceful and harmonious relations between the different religions of any real or lasting good if the souls involved are still immersed in ignorance, superstition, or inner separativeness? An outer, external, objective unity actually means very little if it is not recognised, understood, and appreciated by all concerned that all religions are the same in their esoteric essence.
To ascertain its origin, and the precise age in which it was matured, is now beyond human possibility. A single glance, however, is enough to assure one that it could not have attained the marvellous perfection in which we find it pictured to us in the relics of the various esoteric systems, except after a succession of ages. A philosophy so profound, a moral code so ennobling, and practical results so conclusive and so uniformly demonstrable is not the growth of a generation, or even a single epoch.
Fact must have been piled upon fact, deduction upon deduction, science have begotten science, and myriads of the brightest human intellects have reflected upon the laws of nature, before this ancient doctrine had taken concrete shape. The proofs of this identity of fundamental doctrine in the old religions are found in the prevalence of a system of initiation; in the secret sacerdotal castes who had the guardianship of mystical words of power, and a public display of a phenomenal control over natural forces, indicating association with preterhuman beings.
Blavatsky did not invent it; she merely fulfilled her mission and duty and transmitted it. Utilising thousands of supporting references from a multitudinous array of the most diverse and distant sources, she proved the timelessness, reliability, and universality of her doctrines, even those which seemed at first glance to be the most peculiar.
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The most ancient scripture — and most ancient book — known to the world at large is the Rig Veda of Hinduism. But this is patently not what it says. It says that there is only one Truth, which finds expression under many different forms and systems, but not that all is Truth.
The Master K. No-one need wonder, doubt, or be sceptical about this. It is all there in her books and can be discovered and verified by those who are willing to make the effort to read and study them. Partial and distorted truths are little good to anyone in the long run. The mighty rush of what facts? Or we may transfer our conscious intelligence into these devices as new substrates for living. Every one of these developments would create major challenges for the old-time exoteric religions, in terms of their cosmologies or their moralities.
Esoteric religions would have a much easier time dealing with all of these. The esoteric religions, or spiritual paths, are rooted in an ancient worldview that always included many worlds, and featured many forms of conscious life existing in them. The transfer of consciousness between different forms of embodiment is a core teaching of all esoteric spirituality.
The question of existential risks, including climate change, is of much more immediate concern. The entire earth-world is in crisis. We have literally been destroying our own home through pollution, overpopulation, and other depredations. There is no "silver bullet" technology that can undo the damage we have done and continue to do.
Humankind must change its ways of living. We consume too much, and we waste too much. We treat non-human life forms as if they exist solely for our use, not as fellow inhabitants of this planet who have as much right to live here as we do. Our abuse of the earth cannot go on much longer without severe consequences for our own continued existence. I believe we can change in time, though. We already have the technology necessary to live ordinary, pleasurable lives of comfort and security, if we simply have the will to change the current systems by which we run human affairs.
Light and Sound Meditation in World Religions
As the saying goes, there is enough to go around for everyone's need, but not for everyone's greed. We must tilt away from the competitiveness and mindless consumption patterns that characterize our current economic paradigm toward a more cooperative social and economic order. Market forces should not be the only factors determining how we live.
We need cooperative human community, where relationships can be enjoyed on the human-scale, in face-to-face living circumstance. Intimate community is required to keep us sane. Moreover, living in such communities forms an integral part of real spiritual practice. What I am describing here is a combination of the past and the future.
Call it our ancient future, where high technology and ancient forms of spiritual practice in community are combined. The other essential component of esoteric spiritual practice in addition to having a community of practitioners is to have a highly spiritually evolved Teacher. Modern people do not like this requirement.
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They want to do it all themselves, as individual egos striving to achieve some overwhelming victory. The ego cannot achieve any such victory, because the ego itself is the problem. That's why spiritual practitioners need to be in a community of practitioners in relationship with a Teacher of some real degree of Awakening. Such a Teacher can show people to themselves and point the way out of the dilemma that ego creates for itself.
We can use technologies to help in some ways. Technologies that scan brain and body can reveal the neurological and physiological correlates of the blissful states. These states exist in a complex hierarchy that was mapped centuries ago by masters of meditation.
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I imagine that we might develop technologies one day that can also induce these states. But bliss is not the same as self-understanding, transformation, and Awakening. The latter achievements require active participation by the individual consciousness. Blissful states might be induced electromagnetically in a manner similar to how euphoric states are produced by drugs.
Self-understanding cannot be induced that way, however. Awakened consciousness demands conscious participation. There are more basic aspects of the life of spiritual practice having to do with maintaining a healthy body in a benign living circumstance that would definitely benefit from technological assistance. The human species is subject to numerous diseases that either stem directly from genetic causes or are made more likely due to genetic predispositions.
Once we know exactly how these genetic diseases arise, and how to edit our DNA to fix disease genes, then I think we are morally obliged to do so. Automation that can reduce the amount of human labor needed to sustain a comfortable lifestyle would also be a boon. Right now we are suffering from a rising unemployment due to automation and this trend seems likely to accelerate. We need to change our political and economic system so that some of the profits produced by automation are given over to the population as a whole in the form of a Basic Income Guarantee.
That would put a floor of economic safety under everyone's feet. Brain and body implants might also be used to enhance our lives. I do not believe these are necessary for spiritual practice at all, and they might even prove detrimental if wrongly used. So, again, we need to move carefully down this path. But it might prove valuable to develop bio-technological hybrids, otherwise known as cyborgs, so that we and our advancing computer technology never diverge too far from an evolutionary path of common interests.
In the long run, our spiritual destiny lies beyond Man and beyond the Earth. Technology and spirituality will merge when we move out into the solar system and beyond. From the perspective of our far future descendents, whose bodily forms and modes of consciousness would be inconceivable to us today, our emergence into the cosmos will mark the beginning of the longest span of human history.
The A. George Dvorsky. Filed to: Daily explainer Filed to: Daily explainer Daily explainer interview science religion meditation science and religion atheism secularism michael latorra buddhism zen buddhism christianity scientism social science anthropology transhumanism futurism future of religion. Share This Story.
Club TV Club. A Jewish rabbi, through Tyler Lear, pointed out that community is the defining trait of Judaism:. There are many different ways to be Jewish, including atheist Jews, but the people are really what bring everything together. They share a common history and in most ways a common culture.
Bottom line: Life is about the people you're with, a sense of community with those around you; nothing else matters nearly as much. Other religions also emphasize this. Islam's five daily prayer practices, for example, bring followers together throughout the day, as do other religion's formal, regular services. My favorite part of Catholic mass has always been that "peace be with you" shaking of hands with the strangers in your pew—-I bestow peace on you, you bestow it on me, and at least in that moment everything is right with the world.
Being an active participant in the community might not come naturally to many of us, but at the very least, religion reminds us that we are not alone. Karma yoga is perhaps the central teaching from Hinduism's Bhagavad Gita. It's not the action itself that matters, but the quality of mind behind your actions that bind you. Act for the sake of acting, without desire for the rewards Getting started is everything.
If one identifies with one's actions, desiring certain results, one is bound to that action-pattern and doomed to rebirth. However, if one acts earnestly but without attachment to results, performing every action as an offering to God, knowing that God alone is the only Actor, one proceeds on the path to liberation.
All beings are the owners of their deeds karma , the heirs of their deeds; their deeds are the womb from which they sprang…Whatever deeds they do—good or evil—of such they will be the heirs. The Bible talks a lot about reaping and sowing. Job says, "As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. It is a present-day activity, and the references make it clear that the fruit you reap will be commensurate with the actions you have performed.
In addition, the sowing you perform in this life will affect your reward or punishment in the afterlife.
List of religions and spiritual traditions
Many people associate religion with indoctrination, but if you study the texts from the world's major religions, they actually advocate looking within yourself to make up your own mind—and maybe find your spiritual core within yourself. If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. John Calvin's Christian writings in Institutes proclaims :. Nearly all wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists in two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves Institutes, 1.
Calvin argued that one could not truly know God without knowing oneself and that one couldn't truly know oneself without knowing God. Calvin acknowledged the obvious dilemma in saying, "which one precedes and brings forth the other is not easy to discern. The A. Melanie Pinola. Filed to: life lessons Filed to: life lessons life lessons philosophy life religion life hacks.