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Evaluating TM Login/Join 
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http://www.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html

mm9 as of 1-25-06 (and reserving the right 2b wrong)

Hinduism 100%

Jainism 88%

Baha'i Faith 87%

Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestant 83%

Orthodox Quaker 82%

Mahayana Buddhism 81%

Seventh Day Adventist 79%

Liberal Quakers 78%

Theraveda Buddhist 77%

Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant 76%

Eastern Orthodox/ Roman Catholic 71%

If I'm a Jainist, can anyone tell me where to get a cheesecloth to wear over my mouth to prevent swallowing a gnat? Wink

My RCC quotient has been dropping some, from 80% to 75% to 71%, but it'll be back up there by next year. Too much Aurobindo. Frowner Smiler

76% bible-thumper. I used to be 85 or 90%.

Staying away from the Watchtower, so JW was not even in the top ten. First time for everything.

Award to Phil for 100% Catechetical accuracy! Smiler

Award to Virya and Soma for Krishna consciousness!

(Please remain in the back chair from now on and
raise your hands if you have a question) Wink

love, mm <*))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I will try.

Jesus was crucified between the polar opposites and was left hanging between the positive and the negative aspects of life. In the midst of fear he proclaimed faith, and at the center of uncertainty he proclaimed belief. Then he resurrected so he could appear at anytime because he is no longer bound by space and time. When we know the truth of our being, the Word within us, we also know the truth in the world outside, and become a part of the all-pervading consciousness of God imo. We become aware that we are one with the macrocosm and live, move and have our being in God's pure consciousness. This is redemption because to discover the Word of God within us is to feel the Father's Divine Presence in everything, and this sets us free from the senses and the material world.

The Word of God is not linear; therefore, it is not possible to express at the same time a unity of all the diverse systems of the universe with only our minds and one bit of information because our linear assertions are incapable of expressing this unity. Our minds show this limitation when they attempt to regard objects, relationships and concepts as absolute because these things are not eternal, but are in eternity. They are values in an individual mind, which is linear and fixed on temporary things and not their relationship to the whole; consequently, the all-pervading God consciousness cannot be discovered. This is an obstacle in the mind that has to be overcome in the unit consciousness. Our linear mind is a slave that is never stable, never secure and is always at the mercy of change. The mind cannot rest because it can�t see the whole picture, but when it makes spiritual choices to live by its reason and consciousness as a man over its instinctive, animal, blinding passion then the mind starts to live not only by the linear, earthly, physical life inherited from Adam, but by the harmonious spiritual life that is experienced in the consciousness of Christ. Therefore, we must have images of the earth and Adam, but also of heaven and Christ consciousness to build a world of success, happiness and health. If we are not satisfied with our condition we only have to train our minds to visualize a consciousness where that condition can be changed. In Christ consciousness there is nothing that our minds cannot have, if we learn to conceive of our consciousness in the limitless pure consciousness of God that surrounds us. We reap what we sow in exact accord with our thoughts and actions.

In war both sides think they have God on their side, in politics both sides think they are right, in societies we have different cultures where something polite in one is rude in another so do we go back and forth like a ping pong ball or rise above it. When we rise above we can serve both sides with the intensity we have inside because we see God everywhere directing our actions. Jesus was a great example healing the untouchables, sinners, prostitutes and their rulers.

Christ all-pervading consciousness, the true self of the universe redeems individual consciousness from dispersion in time and space because it unites all the diverse tendencies in one body of love. This makes it seem like the universe is one thing playing at being many. I think this is what the Trinity is trying to express, which is how we have duality in one God and in one God we can have duality.

We can let life be dictated by the circumstances outside such as pride, hypocrisy and selfishness, but they force one outside the inner word or world, and they breed isms, hatreds and attachments that strain and put great pressure on the mind. As we think of Christ the mind the mind is cleansed of thoughts hostile to the greater good and stays clear of self-centered actions for only selfish reasons, then the abundance of creation can again starts to fill every moment and the joys of life again well up inside us.

Pauline you know this that is why you dance and want to be alone so you can reconnect to the inner word. Your dancing is sharing the inner joy while wanting to be alone or in nature is reconnecting, filling up to once again give. On this forum we are sharing our joys and trying to reconnect at the same time. The Matrix....."Why do you live? Because I choose to." MM your name is too long, but thanks for putting everything in balance. Phil thanks for keeping us on our intelectual toes because we can't dance flat footed.
 
Posts: 65 | Registered: 12 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow....fantastic try Soma!

I had a sense of fire works inside reading that. Actually I want to read it several times to absorb it all. But I liked what I could grasp from my first reading.

I especially like that you concluded with honoring everyone Soma. That felt very kind and loving..

If you care to share, and if it is not too personal, I am curious to know more about your own journey. You were raise Catholic, what happened after that...?

It doesn't much matter to me how we get to where we are all headed, only that we get there,and as soon as possible.

Peace, Love and Joy,
Pauline
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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sorry needs more editing phil
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Virya108 /Pauline
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quote:
Originally posted by mysticalmichael9:
[qb] http://www.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html [/qb]
Great link MM...recommened to all here!

I think I took this test once before MM and will do it again..I was closest to some kind Buddhism! Interesting..as several Buddhist oriented people have shown up in my life....I get very integrating insights from them that are like missing pieces to my understanding of it all.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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soma, I enjoyed your reflection and resonate with much of it. What you're describing is what I've come to call in other writings "Christian enlightenment." It is a blending of Christian teaching and insight with Eastern experiences of enlightenment consciousness.

In my experience, the kundalini process moves toward non-dual, advaitan enlightenment -- what you're calling "unity consciousness," while Christian faith moves toward mystical contemplation, which is inter-subjective, relational, and "dualistic." These two movements are not opposed, but neither are they the same. And I appreciate how difficult it can be to try to articulate the theological and metaphysical implications of either experience, and, so much the more difficult: both-at-once.

Christ all-pervading consciousness, the true self of the universe redeems individual consciousness from dispersion in time and space because it unites all the diverse tendencies in one body of love. This makes it seem like the universe is one thing playing at being many. I think this is what the Trinity is trying to express, which is how we have duality in one God and in one God we can have duality.

Yes and no, imo, as this is the area where "Christian enlightenment" struggles with and needs help from revelation to clarify. That experience you're describing does end up incapable of seeing much more than a kind of metaphor in the Trinity, while Christian faith views it as the supreme Reality and guarantee that the inter-subjective, relational aspect is a permanent structure in the nature of things. IOW, God is really -- not just metaphorically -- Trinity, precisely because God is Love, and Love requires at least Two for relationship. When Christ says he is One with the Father (as you are so fond of quoting) he does not mean to say that He is the Father made visible, but that he and the Father are One in love and in their possession of the divine nature. You and I both possess a human nature, but we are different individuals; same with Christ and the Father. There is duality in the Trinity: Three real Persons who equally possess the one divine nature. In and through Christ, the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity, human nature is brought into the life of the Trinity and made able to know and love the Father as Christ does. The duality implicit in relationship is preserved.

As I say, it can take awhile to clarify these experiences, and the temptation is to collapse one into the other. Abishiktananda (Fr. Henri La Saux) spent a lifetime holding the two (enlightenment and contemplation) in tension to see what he could learn, and it was not until the end of his life that he could articulate the similarities and differences. Some of what you're saying resonates well with Christian mystical theology and is clarifying, other parts seem strained, and a premature drawing of conclusions about what Christianity is really about.

(Again, none of this has much to do with the issues I raised about TM . . . which is apparently a "dead horse" about now. Wink )
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mysticalmichael9:
[qb] http://www.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html

[/qb]
1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Eastern Orthodox (99%)
3. Roman Catholic (99%)
4. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (97%)
5. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (88%)
6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (85%)
7. Seventh Day Adventist (80%)
8. Jehovah's Witness (71%)
9. Bah�'� Faith (70%)
10. Liberal Quakers (69%)
11. Orthodox Judaism (67%)
12. Sikhism (65%)
13. Islam (59%)
14. Unitarian Universalism (51%)
15. Reform Judaism (42%)
16. Jainism (41%)
17. Hinduism (39%)
18. Mahayana Buddhism (36%)
19. Theravada Buddhism (35%)
20. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (35%)
21. Neo-Pagan (31%)
22. Taoism (30%)
23. Secular Humanism (28%)
24. New Age (27%)
25. Nontheist (20%)
26. New Thought (19%)
27. Scientology (12%)

--------

So happy to see I'm not a Neo-Pagan! Big Grin

And "whatever" to "orthodox Quakerism." That's kind of an oxymoron, imo. One "Strongly Agree" on the priority of non-violence put me over the top on that one, I guess.

Some of the questions were poorly worded, however, with one having to choose between options that are both equally important in a tradition, for example. Still, kind of fun in a "parlor game" kind of way. Smiler
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil: [qb]

Phil: This is a somewhat clumsy medium for communication, and so I know how difficult it is to express oneself without conveying the wrong message. In the absence of non-verbal cues, one is left only with the written word, and something of the "spirit" it conveys.

Pauline: Smiler Yes, it is clumsy and tiresome, and the 'spirit's does not translate very well for me through these more heady analytical posts, not in the way my more spontaneous, creative posts might, (though you might disagree with that too
****************************************
Phil(from previous thread): OK, fine, but those aren't very sound principles for discernment, imo. "Doing no harm" isn't exactly the criterion used to discern where Christ is found, and isn't. Something can look and feel good for awhile, but slowly lead one away from Christ in the long run.

Pauline: Based on the content of your posts Phil, and the link you started this thread with, it is increasingly apparent to me that we have a very different approach to discernment and spiritual discourse. I touch upon some of my own discernment down below. Perhaps a thread on Methods of Discernment and discouse would be helpful to all?
I often find others use methods that help my own proscess, so if there is interest, others could post some of the criteria they use. My preference would be their short version, in their own words, as oppossed to links to long articles..What is their process in the moment, in other words.


Phil: Closing the door only the TM discussion, which isn't really going anywhere, imo.

I am sorry you feel that way Phil. I've learned a whole lot just through the process and Somas posts are helping me connect some cosmic dots I didn't even know were there.

Noticing how much my mind really does just naturally want to focus more on the positive then the negative in others, when in situations where there are seemingly extreme points of veiw, tells me TM has been much better for me than I have realized. That is one of it's benefits and part of the knowledge. "Focus on the positive, Be careful what you think about, Do not oppose"

Pausline:
Looks like all those years of 1 to 2 hours of daily meditation and Sidhis paid off [/i]

Phil: Yes, yes, yes. Would you PLEASE talk about TM, now?

Pauline: I am confused, do you want to continue or don't you?

We seem to have a fundamental disconnect in our styles of writing and spiritual discourse Phil. The questions I use for discernment are concerned with spiritual principles found in every major religion, all of which would be consistent with the teachings of Christ, and maybe even Catholic dogma, some part of it I may be unfamiliar with. I might eventually be open to hearing more about Catholic dogma, but for now would prefer to just connect soul to soul with those who have embraced and practiced it, or any other tradtion for a long time. This way our dogma and our walk can speak for themselves.

One of the most basic tenets of TM teachings is to look for and focus on the positive.

That one principle has very much fed and DEEPLY nurtured my path or personal "dogma" The regular practice of TM, increases ones ability to do this because it is very purifying to the physiology, and the mind. And keeping our mind on the positive very much feeds the soul. So, I resonate with Soma words that focusing on the positive is fundamental to growth in Christ. And with practice, accompanied by regular, purifying meditation, it becomes 2nd nature and changes one perceptions about life.

For the purposes of analysis and discernment however, it is sometimes necessary to use criteria which may appear negative, but are in actuallity tools of discernment

The first five paragraphs of the link that started this thread had a very negative slant about things that would be flat out positive and impressive to most people. This in and of itself, made me question both the authors intention, discernment and spirit. And Phil, the fact that you chose this particular article to start the thread with, makes me wonder how wide the river is between us, in the criteria you use for discernment.

So lets start with just the first five paragraphs. I have added my own comments about the content, tone and spirit of this guy. And then have some questions below for you to answer, which might help me understand how and why you think the way you do. If we can get to some kind of common ground about our discernment process, then we can continue. If not, it won't do any good to continue because our discernemt processes will be too much in conflict. OK? My comments are capitalized. [/I]

Transcendental Meditation:
Hinduism in a Scientist�s Smock
Article from the 1976 book, �The Mystical Maze� by Pat Means.
Copyright �1976 by Campus Crusade For Christ, Inc. pp 133-145

Increased energy, heightened creativity, reduced stress, lowered blood pressure � the graphs and slogans on Transcendental Meditation (TM) posters across the nation boldly proclaim Nirvana on earth. Television talk shows, the news media, state legislatures � all are paying homage to the little guru from the Himalayas and the mushrooming movement he heads. Some 17 years after he brought Transcendental Meditation to the West, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi today finds himself atop a following of more than a million meditators in the U.S., with 30,000 new initiates joining each month.

VERY INTERESTING. THAT MANY WAY BACK IN 1976 !!

" a million mediators in the U.S., with 30,000 new initiates joining each month."

THAT�S MUCH HIGHER THEN I NEVER KNEW. CONSIDER THAT THE TRUE MEASURE OF A TEACHERS SUCCESS IS HOW WELL THEY ARE WALKIN� THEIR TALK, AND DELIVERING WHAT THEY PROMISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT THEIR OWN LIVES DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTH OF WHAT THEY TEACH. THESE STATISTICS WOULD THEN STRONGLY SUGGEST MAHARISHI WAS TRUTHFUL AND INTEGROUS ABOUT WHAT TM COULD OFFER TO IT�S PARISHIONERS. BASED ON RESULTS IT WAS CLEARLY WORKING FOR HIM. AND MANY TM�rs HAVE ALSO DONE VERY WELL IN THEIR AREAS OF EXPERTICE.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAT MEANER AND I (AND THE MIND OF A DISTURBING NUMBER OF CHRISTENS) IS THAT AFTER READING SOMETHING LIKE THAT, I�D BE THINKING �NOW THAT�S A SUCCESS STORY!� (AND IT'S LIKELY THAT PAT WOULD THINK THAT TOO, IF A CHRISTIAN HAD STARTED SOMETHING LIKE TM)
SOME OF THE THINGS GOING ON IN MY HEAD BASED ON THE FACTS ABOVE ALONE WOULD BE:

1. I'D BE WONDERING HOW A PENNILESS MONK CAME TO THE US AND WAS ABLE TO BE SO SUCCESSFUL IN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, SELLING SOMETHING THAT WAS ACTUALLY 'GOOD" FOR PEOPLE.

2. HE SUCCEEDED IN MAKING WHAT HE HAD TO OFFER, ATTRACTIVE ENOUGH TO GET PEOPLE TO LEARN AND REGULARLY PRACTICE. MANY DRUG USERS GOT CLEAN.... REAL FAST TOO

3. MANY OF THESE VERY BRIGHT MINDS AND SOULS FELT TM OBVIOUSLY FOUND THE BENEFITS OF IT AND THE KNOWLEDGE THEY GAINED TO MAKE ENOUGH SENSE TO THEM THAT THEY WILLINGLY GAVE UP BUSINESS AS PLANNED TO WORK FOR SMALL STIPENDS, OFTEN BARELY GETTING BY. BUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH TM AND SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD MEANT MORE TO THEM. 1000'S WENT ON TO BEING CELIBATE. (YOU'D THINK THE CHURCH MIGHT WANT TO PICK HIS BRAIN A LITTLE MORE, BEING THAT VOCATIONS ARE SO LOW. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA !!! i WONDER WHY THEY DON'T THINK OF THESE THINGS...)

4. HE DID ALL THIS BY FIRST GIVNG PEOPLE AN EXPERIENCE OF SOMTHING THAT MADE OBVIOUS, SOMETIMES RADICAL DIFFERENCES IN THEIR EXPERIENCE OF THE WORLD AND THEIR PERCEPTIONS. THNE HE GAVE THEM THE KWOWLEDGE WITH WHICH TO UNDERSTAND AND INTERGRATE THEIR EXPERIENCE. hE DID ALL OF THIS WITH OUT ONE BIT OF BLOODSHED, PENANCE, COERCION, GUILT, SHAME, SELLING OF INDULGENCES, WITCH BURNING, TORTURE OR INQUISITIONS.

BUR INSTEAD OF PONDERING "THE GOOD AND THE POSITIVE " THAT MAHARISI DID, PAT SEEKS AND FIND BAD AND NEGATIVE EVEN IN WHAT IS GOOD, IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. AND DOESN'T JESUS CHRIST, CALLS US TO LOOK INSIDE FIRST AND FOREMOST?

PAT IS ALSO BEING HIGHLY CRITICAL OF SOMETHING HE HAS HAD NO PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH,
WHICH IS A FORM OF PRE-JUDICE, WHICH IS NOT A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN MY BOOK.

HE IS CRITICAL AND JUDGEMENTAL OF MAHARHISHI'S SUCCESS. THIS LOOKS GREEN TO ME...
ONE OF THE MANY FACES OF ENVY. THE OPPOSITE OF ENVY IS NON-INTERFERENCE.

Though originally just a fad for the jet set and the counter-culture, then a phenomenon found basically among collegiate, the TM ranks today have been swelled by educators, politicians, sociologists, businessmen and military personnel � all looking for the ultimate elixir for a profusion of societal problems, from drug abuse to employee inefficiency.

AGAIN, HOW DOES KNOW IF IT WAS jUST A FAD FOR THESE PEOPLE? IT WASN'T FOR ME, OR THE COMMUNITY OF 1000'S OF OTHERS I HAVE MET AND SEEN AT WORLD PEACE ASSEMBLIES, NOT TO MENTION THE MANY 'CLOSET' TM PRACTIONERS I HAVE MET.

THIS IS A GROSS GENERALIZATION, AND VERY LIKELY A PROJECTION OF PATS', WHICH IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF PRE-JUDICIAL MIND SETS...

BUT YES.... IT IS TRUE. SOME OF THE BRIGHTEST MINDS IN THE COUNTRY HAVE AND STILL DO PRACTICE TM.

WHAT I DON�T UNDERSTAND IS: WHY DOES PAT SEEMS TO FIND THIS FACT TO BE AN INDICATION OF TM BEING A POTENTIAL THREAT TO CHRISTIANITY? THE IMPLICATION IS THAT THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH BEING INTELLIGENT! IT DOES MAKE ONE WONDER.

AND NOTE THE CYNICAL, ALL KNOWING USE OF HIS LANGUAGE HERE.:

"ALL LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE ELIXER FOR A PROFUSION OF SOCIETAL PROBLEMS, ETC�

HOW IN HEAVEN'S NAME DOES HE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR?

AND I WONDER IF HE KNOWS THAT TM REALLY DOES HELP ALL THOSE THINGS.

IT CERTAINLY HELPED ME AND MOST OF THE PEOPLE I KNOW IN THOSE AREAS.

Nevertheless, the practice of TM continues to increase on college campuses throughout the U.S. Students� International Meditation Society chapters meet on 95% of all public universities, and more than 100 campuses and adult education programs offer the Maharishi�s academically oriented Science of Creative Intelligence course for credit.

YOU SEE IF I WERE PAT (OR EVEN THE POPE) I�D BE TRYING TO LEARN FROM MAHARISHI HOW TO CREATE A BETTER OUTREACH PLAN. FOR MY OWN ORGANIZATION. AND GIVEN HIS VERY NEGATIVE, CRITICAL, JUDGEMENTAL MIND SET, HE MOST PROBABLY WAS NOT ANYWHERE NEAR AS SUCCESFUL AS MAHARISHI.

Why would so many college students � in fact, westerners of every race, creed, color and profession � be attracted to something as occult-sounding as Transcendental Medittion.

WELL, IF ONE CAN BRING THEMSELVES TO LOOK AT SOME OF THEIR OWN CULTURAL CONDITIONING FROM AN OUTSIDERS PERSPECTIVE, TM DOESN�T SOUND NEARLY AS OCCULT AS EATING AND DRINKING THE BLOOD OF ONES GOD, IMO. AND IT IS NOT MY INTENTION TO DISCREDIT THE SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION, BUT IT IS A �CULTURALLY' INHERITED WESTERN HOLY TRADITION.

Probably because TM claims to offer a low-commitment, non-religious way to experience inner peace. And, TM appears to deliver on at least part of its promises; many Americans will attest to being more relaxed after beginning meditation.

NOW THAT�S MORE LIKE IT PAT! THAT�S FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE IN A LIFE AFFIRMING WAY!

BUT TM HELPED ME AND MILLIONS MORE, WITH A WHOLE LOT MORE THEN THAT FOLKS...
A WHOLE LOT MORE THEN THAT !


***************************

OK PHIL,

SO, IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO CONTINUE ON THIS THREAD, I WILL ALSO CONTINUE IF, AND ONLY IF, YOU ARE WILLING TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS .....SOUL TO SOUL.

1. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW FEAR, CRITICISM, JUDGMENT, PRE-JUICE AND INTERFERENCE CONTRIBUTE TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN CHRIST?

2. WOULD SUCH NEGATIVITY HINDER OR HELP SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN ANY SPIRITUAL TRADITION ?

3. IF SO, HOW AND WHEN HAVE THEY CONTRIBUTED TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN YOUR LIFE ?

4. AND IF THEY DON'T, AND YOU AGREE THAT THEY ARE NOT USEFUL IN SPIRITUAL LIFE, I AM INTERESTED IN HEARING WHICH PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT YOU WERE EMPLOYING WHEN YOU DECIDED TO START THIS LINK WITH SUCH A BLATANT NEGATIVELY BIASED ARTICLE?

**************************

Phil: So here are a few things that seem condescending:

Pauline: Different souls may need different things at different times , some of which might go beyond our finite understanding. Gods ways can be much bigger then the four walls of the Church.

PHIL: D'oh, Pauline Wink You seem to think you're talking to a child and so must point out the most elementary facts. Like these:

Paulne: Phil I am only asking you because in your posts you come across sounding very worried about it..
like there is some grave spiritual danger to people practising TM. The whole article you started with suggests that. It's a warning to Christians to be wary, even adviseing them on how to talk to TM practioners so as to 'save their soul'....when their won eyes still have huge logs in them.

Pauline: Why all the worry and concern about something you cannot control...There is a higher power at play you know?

Phil: I DO know.

Pauline: So why are you sseem so worried about it? I am asking because you concern and worry suggests that you forget sometime, that it eally is ultimatley all in His and Her hands.

Pauline: Faith in God also means having faith that God is working in your brothers and sisters wherever they are called as well.

Pauline: Phil I said that because several of your posts to me sound like you think of me a lost sheep....like you don't have faith that Goddess/ God is very much with me, and She is, in a big way.
I may have come here to SP to integrate some things, and I have and am doing that, but I other then feel lost, I' m just in process.

Pauline: Just think about that...Reflect on your own life. From believing in Santa Claus, to a God with a Flowing White Beard...to watching your children grow.... from the light of "Knowledge in structured in consciousness"

Phil: Gee, I never thought of that. Reflect on my life? What a novel idea! Perhaps I shall give it a go sometime, since you recommend it.

Pauline: Phil, I'm into the process of the journey. its the journey that has lead me, much more then dogma, thus far anyway. I ask you the question above to help me understand how YOU "process" things, and you seem to be recieving that as me judging you for some reason. I like talking soul to soul, not to dogma to dogma. The purpose of the dogma is the journey to the destnation, it's how we are doing iwth the how's and why 's of our journey that I need to relate to ....

So, Sister Florid Pointed Rose Petal has asked 2x, and is now asking once again, if you reflect on your life experiences, and the Church history of dogma, in light of "Knowledge in structured in consciousness" does it shift your understanding to see that the big movement towards eastern stuff is very likely part of God plan ? Or do you see that and just have yet to express it?

If so, in terms of Catholic doctrine how do they see it in the long range evolutionary scheme of things

Phil: Maybe you see the condescension? Unintended, I'm sure, but you might keep in mind that you're not talking to a total dork.

Paulne: Phil this made me LOL..Here's the diliema...If I admit that I don't see it, you and w.c. and maybe a few others out there, will have me forever labeled as a New Age Narcissist. Roll Eyes
And if I say that I did see it, I'd be lying.... Confused

So hmm...... I'm going to stick with the truth , the truth is what sets us free.. Cool ..and hope you two are wrong and MM and Soma are right. That maybe I am close to Christ consciousness or Krishna consciousness...

But just between you and me, I am not making any claims about being in Christ or Krishna consciousness, and doubt I ever would even if I thought I had reached it. It' seems to be an ever unfolding process, and once there, claiiming such a thing would seem unwise to me.

" So.....No Phil.... I really don't see how these statements or my questions are condenscening, and my former boss and most people that know me would find it absolutely hysterical that you think so."

Of course I could use the same logicJesus used with his accusers, "That's what you say I am"
And that would be a great reflection of the truth inherent in one of those spiritually dangerous TM Science of Creative Intelligence Principles:

Outer Depends on Inner.....
or as "the little children who cometh unto Me" know so well:
"Twinkle, twinkle little star, what you say is what you are" Razzer

I am sorry you feel that way Phil. I truly am just trying to connect with you...
I need to ease up to the dogma. It was the dogma that bit me, and split my soul in two in the first place, and the scar tissue is still a little sensitive. Smiler D Wink

[/qb]
Peace, love and joy, Pauline

Admin edit: removed asterisks that were stretching page width.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]
[QB] [QUOTE]Originally posted by mysticalmichael9:
[qb] http://www.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html QUOTE]

Interesting!

1. Liberal Quakers (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (98%)
3. Neo-Pagan (97%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestant(91%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (88%)
6. New Age (87%)
7. Orthodox Quaker (82%)
8. Taoism (80%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (79%)
10. Hinduism (72%)
11. Reform Judaism (71%)
12. Secular Humanism (70%)
13. Sikhism (65%)
14. Jainism (63%)
15. Bah�'� Faith (51%)
16. Seventh Day Adventist (50%)
17. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (49%)
18. New Thought (46%)
19. Scientology (45%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (44%)
21. Eastern Orthodox (40%)
22. Roman Catholic (40%)
23. Orthodox Judaism (37%)
24. Nontheist (36%)
25. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (35%)
26. Islam (28%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (27%)
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the sound of Christian enlightenment, thank you I am going to use those terms.

I think Jesus does not look up to God and devote himself to Him as an object. He said, "I and the Father are one", I really like this phrase because it shows his attention is not extroverted, but in the deepest and innermost levels of his own consciousness. God to Jesus is the internal subject, not the external object because his consciousness is united internally in perfect harmony with the divine will of the Father. He loves God as his subject and the world as his object because God created the world and is in it as the base for everything. Jesus led an active life of charity because the external world is the object connected to the subject by verbs and actions. Jesus knows that the God's all-embracing pure consciousness incorporates and pervades the material universe so with this knowledge he transcends dualism. He summed it up when he said, "Let Thy will be done." He was requesting the part of the mind that deals with dualism to get out of the way and let pure consciousness flow through him.
Pauline, I think we are similar and our journey has been similar in that we look into everything as a message from God, we want to follow that message without question with all our heart. We are trying so hard to be true to the big picture we follow without thinking too hard on the subject. That is where the contrast comes Phil as an intellectual disects everything into small pieces and in those pieces he finds the message of God that he has to follow. I don't think it matters if we go from the big picture to the small or the small picture to the big. God is watching and guiding us all. It doesn't matter if we go out to the universe and beyond or into the smallest atom, He is there.
 
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Yes I see that too Soma, and you put that very nicely about the different ways people approach our understanding of God. I think that is a study in itself and I have found astrology to be very insightful about it.

What suprises me about your writing is that it seems to be a very intergrated understanding of some studies I had in Concept Therapy. Long story about all it covers and saved for another time. But the content of what you say is like something a very advanced teacher of it would say...It's profound yet simple and at the same time.

I will ask one more time, and will understand if you don't respond to my request that you simply choose to other then do so....

What influences have most formulated your mind and consciousness? Prayer, meditation reason, philosohy theology, mathematics?

I will post later this evening on your earlier post and maybe more on this one..but I have other duties to tend to right now.

Happy you are here!

Pauline
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Actually, I'm an INTJ (Jung type) -- big picture guy, more than capable of macro-conceptualization, and quite at home with contemplative spirituality and deep silence. None of the disagreements I'm expressing are about a reductionistic dissecting things into small pieces, but are based on more substantive issues.

E.g., I think Jesus does not look up to God and devote himself to Him as an object. He said, "I and the Father are one", I really like this phrase because it shows his attention is not extroverted, but in the deepest and innermost levels of his own consciousness. God to Jesus is the internal subject, not the external object because his consciousness is united internally in perfect harmony with the divine will of the Father.

This seems a little confusing: first, putting the matter in terms of introversion vs. extraversion, then re. Jesus experiencing God the Father to be the internal subject of Jesus' own consciousness. That's not the traditional understanding; the internal subject of Jesus consciousness is his human/divine Self, the divine person being the Word, or Second Person of the Trinity. The Trinity is not about the Persons relating to one another as "external objects," but as personal subjects united in one nature (not only will). They are no more "objects" to one another than my wife is to my own consciousness. Just because she is "other" doesn't mean she is merely "object;" she is subjective presence-to-me as well. This inter-subjectivity is the essence of relationship, and although it involves "two," their manner of relating in love isn't as subjects to objects, but as subjects to subjects.

If my making these kinds of distinctions seems nit-picky "intellectualizing," then what can one say? I believe that the intellect does indeed play a vital role on the spiritual journey, as its primary contribution is to try to discern the truth. As Christ identified himself with the truth (the way, the truth and the life) and told us that the truth will set us free, then it seems that understanding truth is an integral part of spirituality, and that understanding divine revelation, in particular, has profound implications re. Christian spirituality. In the end, intelligence (including the intellect), awareness and volition are all part and parcel of the one human spirit and its manner of being.

- - -

Pauline . . . what a profile! Wink Pretty much confirms what I've been seeing.

I've read your apologetic for TM and Maharishi and your response to my post about your condescending remarks. We have major disagreements not just in style, but substance. I've expressed mine, you've expressed yours. Readers can decide for themselves what they see going on.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (93%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (87%)
4. Eastern Orthodox (81%)
5. Roman Catholic (81%)
6. Seventh Day Adventist (81%)
7. Liberal Quakers (73%)
8. Orthodox Judaism (60%)
9. Reform Judaism (59%)
10. Unitarian Universalism (56%)
11. Sikhism (55%)
12. Bah�'� Faith (54%)
13. Islam (53%)
14. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (51%)
15. Hinduism (42%)
16. Neo-Pagan (36%)
17. Taoism (36%)
18. Theravada Buddhism (35%)
19. Mahayana Buddhism (33%)
20. Jehovah's Witness (29%)
21. New Age (28%)
22. Jainism (27%)
23. New Thought (27%)
24. Secular Humanism (26%)
25. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (24%)
26. Nontheist (24%)
27. Scientology (23%)

So now I know. Must go look for the directory to find my nearest orthodox quaker hall!
 
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"I think Jesus does not look up to God and devote himself to Him as an object....... God to Jesus is the internal subject, not the external object because his consciousness is united internally in perfect harmony with the divine will of the Father."
Soma

"This seems a little confusing........The Trinity is not about the Persons relating to one another as "external objects," but as personal subjects united in one nature" Phil

I think we are saying the same thing.

Prayer, meditation, reason, philosohy, theology, mathematics were the steping stones to where I am now, but if I look back the major steping stones were experiences that nudged or forced me into directions I at the time didn't want to go. Those experiences and experiences encountered on different paths have molded me more than my degrees.
 
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Originally posted by Phil:

Pauline . . . what a profile! Wink Pretty much confirms what I've been seeing.

I've read your apologetic for TM and Maharishi and your response to my post about your condescending remarks. We have major disagreements not just in style, but substance. I've expressed mine, you've expressed yours. Readers can decide for themselves what they see going on.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


And sadly, your comments above confirmed what I've been feeling ...judged and labeled.

Despite what Phil's BELIEFS or anyone else's BELEIF"S are about TM ,due to lack of experience with it and'or short sighted experience and understanding of it, Marharishi's simple yet profound knowledge continues to serve as an important, scientific bridge between eastern and western minds for millions of people. How we choose to love God and others is, was and will always be every individual's freechoice. If our religions were not able to give us the autonomy, faith and courage to practice our faith where ever we go, ans to trust ourselves to know what best serves our abiltiy to love and serve God and others to the greatest of our ability, within the first 25 years of our spiritual development, then they are other then succesfully fulfilling their mission.

Christ's most important message to us and which gratefully has stayed with me through out the years is profound and simple:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

And lets not forget ...."Love Your Enemies"..
(This is a profound, metaphysical, alchemical principle in my experience, that leads to deep inner, transformation and insight into ones' own heart and understanding. of life. How many times have those who we've perceived as enemies ended up being our greatest teachers? It does not include, for me anyway, creating safe distance with pre-jucicial labels and generaliztions.

TM has helped me and millions of others, do all of these, to greatet degrees then I ever could have imagined. It has been through embracing these principles, that I have been able to safely open my heart to and be so deeply fed by some of the teachings of various spiritual teachers from other traditions, who many Christians seem so threatened by. Are they not also to be loved and understood? Love Casts out Fear, And this is especially true if we perceive them as an "enemy " Most of the spiritual teachers I have come across from other traditions however, are people whose words much more consistently reflect their teachings, then most of the representatives in the church of nmy birth. They live by their words. And amongst such teachers, I often find many sincere, spiritually dedicated peaceful people, who live their lives in simple, loving and usually joyful service. Teachers who don't live by their words, I don't stay around too long.

That said, I'd like to remind you Phil, it was YOU who chose to start this thread on Evaluating TM, not me.

You did so in response to my spontaneous sharing of my own journey with Sasha. It was not my intention to promote TM, but merely to share my journey with it. This other then felt like wisdom or love TO ME,, despite what might have been your sincere efforts to spiritually guide others away from TM, which is rather pointless,and in this case biased,imo. People are led where they are led for a reason, we can't control them.. And it is this bias and mistrust of Gods Divine Intelligence that I want to address.

If it hadn't been for my regular practice of TM, I'd most likely be overweight, depressed, highly co-dependent and struggling with addictions like other members of my family. I went to my first lecture of my own accord at 16. I was BORN to meditate, and if the Church had given me that experience,I would have most likely been happy and content with it, but it didn't.

So, in your need to be RIGHT about YOUR vast intellectual understanding of Catholic dogma, you only succeeded in castihg yet ANOTHER shadow of shame and fear on one of the most imortanat things that helped pull me up and out of the darkness from clergy sexual and spiritual abuse. Fortunately for me Phil, I am quite vigilant at noticing when others resort to using shame and fear to convince me or others of the supposed supremacy of their knowledge, dogma or other ideologies. It simply does not work on me anymore. People who choose to teach or act this way towards me or others in the name of love are my greatest teachers, as they teach me patience...but eventually I choose to love them from a distance.

In light of all this, I feel all of the questions I asked above are not only fair, but deeply insightful for ANY ONE that chooses to earnestly ponder them. I have found asking such questions to be very revealing for myself and of others. Everyone one of "Laws of the Mind' I asked about above, can lead us closer to Christ, when used at the right time and for the right reasons. They can also lead us a way from Christ, and it's up to each soul to discern for themselves their own unique relationship to these principles.

Your refusing to even consider the possible merit to my own discernment process, confirmed to me that you not only feel you already have all the answers to what is ultimately a Great Mystery for us all, no matter what corner of the world we are born in, but that there is not any real respect or reciprocity from you, suich is absolutely necessary for the kind of spiritual dialogue that leads to a deeper understanding and wisdom for me. Most of your posts on this thread, have made it increasingly clear that you have a very closed mind to TM, based one what are to me, surprisingly superstitious beliefs and misunderstandings, rooted in a lack of experience with the very thing you seem to think you have the authority to criticize. This is absurd to me, especially for a man of your intellect and education. It's rather scary frankly. And only goes to support the need for a commonality in experience for true knowledge of anything to be shared. A closed mind is not at all conducive to an honest, discerning EVALUATION of anything, in my experience.

You started this thread with an obvious and even blatant intention of discrediting both TM and most likely some of my posts at SP, because in your mind and the mind of many Christians influenced by teachers like you, TM is anti-thetical to YOUR experience, and YOUR experiential and culturally inherited dogma of who Christ is.

Yet there are many Catholics and Christians who practice TM. I myself know several:
I met a TM practitioner last year who is a practicing, devout Catholic, studied Divinity at Catholic University
I know 2 other TM practionorers with similar profiles.

One of my best friends is a teacher of TM, active with the Natural Law Party, who recently became a Catholic and has brought two others into the Church. She still loves TM. She loves the Eucharist.
(There are no Hindu DEITIES in her mind either..its ALL in how we hold it!

Knowledge is Structured in Consciousness

Another friend who still does TM, was once a novice nun.
I know 3 other Catholic TM'rs;

Not bad odds for one TM'r to personally know 8 happy functioning TM practicing Catholics.

And we all shake our heads in disbelief and sometimes even grief.... asking Why?

Why do so many Christians look for the BAD, in something that is so relatively GOOD, and look for the GOOD in what is relatively BAD? like war for instance,....and focus so much of their attention on who and what is NOT of God, in our limited and finite minds, instead of just DOING GOOD, like being as creative, healthy, awake and loving as we can be in service to the life of others?

The article you started with was written by a man who I assume shares YOUR BELIEFS. why else would you have posted it.

1. A man who like yourself never experienced TM yet BELIEVED it to be anti-thetical to Christianity as he understood it.
2.. His BELIEF led him to seek and find reports to support his Beliefs.
3. He also found a few people who had negative or short sighted experiences with TM.
4. He didn't wonder why or interview any of the millions of others across the planet who not only still practice TM 1 to 4 hours a day, or the ones who joyfully gave up traditional notions of material security to teach it, or Maharishi himself.
5. Nor did he share any of the positive reports about TM, of which there are many, which have been accepted by scientific journals.

I had and have no intention of getting into an 'information war ' with you or anyone else about TM. The multi-faceted positive results in my life and 100's of people I personally know speak for themselves. I am not even very regular in my practice anymore, because there is less and less difference between the silence I experience in the waking state and that of the inner state. ..

Because my experience Christ is different and more liberal then your own, you judge me and feel that TM, a simple, life enhancing meditative spiritual practice developed by a VERY wise man, who happened to grow up in India in a Hindu culture, has somehow tainted rather then deepened my experience Christ. A practice which thousands, maybe even a million Christians across the planet still practice and enjoy to this day. And I'd say at least 70 to 80 percent of them are living much more Christ-like lives then many non-meditating Christians do.

About the seeming deception of teaching TM without being upfront about the Mantra:

Maharishi saw that much of the suffering in people was being caused by people's ignorance of Natural Law. They had an imbalance in their relationships to life. Their Gods had become their addictions, their desires for more success, more money, more, more, more.
HE wanted to do something to help them realize something deeper in themselves, rather then judge and condemn them for it. He KNEW that TM or something like it, could raise consciousness was what was needed on the planet. He was part of a Holy Tradition which had formed his own being and thinking, so of course he wanted to honor what had fed him, what had brought him to this place within himself. When he realized this was something the west would resist out of fear due to their religious upbringing. He knew it needed to be "packaged" in a way that would not trigger their fears,hence the "relaxation technique."

He did this fully knowing that what they were searching for was much deeper inside and that once they tapped into it their lives would balance out, and their desires would naturally shift to less dense, more life supporting things. Their minds would focus more on the positive then the negative. Their eyes would be opened. He gave them an experience that should and could have been given to them by their religion, which at the time, was very rooted in shame and guilt, which is what caused millions to rebel and leave their religions in the first place. He wanted to give them what their religions should have given them.

He did what any good mother in her wisdom might do for a sick or growing child. She knows that her child needs a particular medicine or food to getter better or grow stronger. In her love for the child, she finds a way to make the medicine or food taste better. When the child gets better and/or grows stronger from taking the medicine or food, does he go back later to the mother angry that he was deceived by her? Or do other people condemn her? Of course not. He thanks her and others are happy to see the child grow up healthy.

About TM Mantras:

Contrary to Phil's BELIEF, TM IS NOT A CONCENTRATION FORM OF MEDITATION, but rather quite the opposite. It is receptive in nature. The instructions,minus the initiation ceremony are EXACTLY THE SAME as Centering Prayer, as per my surprise when Father Keating himself guided us in a group Centering Prayer one day. One says the mantra, if thoughts come fine. When one realizes it, just go back to the mantra. Some negativity may come up, feelings of anger sadness. worry, we let it come, and go back to the mantra. I have hundreds of tracts on Centering Prayer that I give to the prisoners. TM instruction is EXACTLY the same as Centering Prayer..

This eventually, sometimes, takes us to a deep place of " pure awareness, pure consciousness" where the mind is silent, and still. There is no thought, only "pure awareness" It increases the experience of "witnessing the self.' in waking life. But regular practice whether one FEELS they reach this quiet settled space is important no matter what. If one prays AFTER resting in this settled place, the prayer is much deeper, more enlivened and rich, more relational, because we are in a deeper place within.

The only exception is that the mantra comes from a Holy Tradition, which includes a ceremony of thanksgiving for it. This was a truly precious and sacred gift in my experience of it. Maybe a relaxation technique does do the same thing.

If you are one that REALLY believes that a sound is a deity with a will of it's own, , or that other deities exist outside of your mind, then TM is definitely not for you.. It certainly is more expensive, There is also a lot of very helpful grounded knowledge from 3 tapes about the various stages of consciousness to help you understand the differences in your perception as it changes over time.

Mantras form my understanding and experience with them are in essence sound vibrations with various frequencies that create healing resonances with in our body and mind. Each mantra produces subtle differences or flavors in the physiology and mind that are tangible, and purifying.

If one is cognizant of it's meaning and the mantra is said with devotion it could possibly stimulate the imagination, producing visions perhaps, depending on the individual own inclinations and power of imagination. I'm fairly imaginative, but non visual but never once to that happen to me.

In my experience, if a mantra is said with out knowledge of the meaning of the mantra, each mantra produces the qualities associated with the meaning of the sound of the mantra..Name and Form are one. This is the great gift of the Sanskrit language...There are many mantras for various aspects of the Divine Mother, for instance, each produces an opening or awareness of different aspects of our consciousness, on very subtle finer and finer level: Compassion, friendliness, receptivity, wisdom, creativity. naturally spontaneously begin to become more and more a part of our nature. Because we connect to the deepest place of pure inner awareness or consciousness, over time there is a growing awareness of our connectedness to all life, and others.

Life's lessons unfold more easily with fewer hard bumps and kinks. We feel more support from Nature. Life becomes more effortless, all of life is more enriched,and yet refined more and more subtle levels, including prayer life. Prayers for me have become less and less expressions of need but more expressions of gratitude and contemplation.

There was never any talk of Hindu deities in my 35 years of experience with TM, while on courses. In fact, it was considered a form of "mood-making".fir a long time,.. When someone had flashy or dramatic spiritual experiences of any kind....., light, visions, angels, celestial music etc..they were reported on intake forms before retreats, for safe measure, so that no one was going too fast for their own good. We were encouraged to not to put attention on them, but to stay with the practice. There was NEVER any instruction to drop ones religion nor was there ever a demeaning of Christianity or the Jewish religion.

Knowledge is Structured in Consciousness.

All Maharishi was trying to do, has done and is still doing, was to raise consciousness in as many people as He could on this planet of ours. It beats ignonance and God knows we need all the help we can get to stamp that out.
"
You can't solve the problem on the level of the problem"

"The fact that I love you is no concern of yours"

Peace, Pauline
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That said, I'd like to remind you Phil, it was YOU who chose to start this thread on Evaluating TM, not me.

You did so in response to my spontaneous sharing of my own journey with Sasha. It was not my intention to promote TM, but merely to share my journey with it.


No, it wasn't about you, Pauline. Shasha had shared in one of her testimonials how she had come into contact with a lot of negative, hostile energy directly connected with the TM mantra she had learned. We discussed that a bit, and you got in on it as well, so I decided to move the discussion about TM to its own thread as we'd never had an open discussion on it here, and I didn't want it to take over Shasha's thread.

----

I've never denied that you've had a favorable experience of TM, nor that it's helped to deepen your sense of Christ in your life. I don't doubt that this has been the case with others as well. I've met people with the opposite experience, and you've shared extensively how your experience of Church (even dogma, for heaven's sake!!) was very negative. (I'm sure I could dig up a few people who would say that Christianity and Church have been a boon in their lives, btw.) So anecdotal accounts count for something, especially re. spiritual practice, but there's also a level of inquiry that is more intellectually focused. The questions I've raised are more along that line, but they do have implications for practice as well.

Having read your last two posts, and knowing the time and energy you must have taken to write them, I can only say that I hear you, but I also get the message that no matter what I write, it's discounted before I begin because:
1. I don't practice TM.
2. My focus is more intellectual than experiential and anecdotal.
3. You consider me close-minded, superstitious, judgmental, etc.

So why should I engage you on the many points you raise?

E.g., you don't believe TM is a concentrative form of meditation, and that it's like CP? Fine. But Thomas Keating disagrees, and I pointed you to a web page where he discusses that. I could also point to other web pages where the distinctions between concentrative and receptive meditation methods are spelled out, but I think you've got your mind made up.

E.g., I still don't think you've addressed the issue of deception with Maharishi and TM. You passionately argue in defense of his approach and methods, and I understand what you're saying and why. But the plain fact is that he required a dedication service to his guru, didn't advertise this in advance, put Christians who'd paid good money for the training on the spot to decide whether to do this or not, then gave them a mantra invoking a Hindu deity and didn't tell them he'd done that either. As almost any sound would do, and this has been known from the research for decades now, TM's continuing bond with Hinduism is inexcusable. Courts have ruled that it isn't really a religiously neutral approach, so this is not just my opinion.

FWIW, I do not consider the "experience" issue to be very important. I've never used cocaine, but I don't hesitate to point out the problems with it based on research and others' experiences. Same goes for a lot of other things in life. You can draw valid opinions without having the direct experience yourself. I grant you no intellectual, moral or spiritual "higher ground" on this topic because you have practiced TM and I have not. As I've noted, others have shared with me how it negatively impacted them; this was the case with Shasha, for example.

So we disagree on a number of issues about this topic ( like the supposed religious neutrality of the sounds used in the mantras). That's been obvious since page one of this thread. I'm OK with that. You've made a good strong case for TM, and that's made for a better discussion on the thread than if I'd just cited a few web pages and no one came along to debate them. Readers can puruse our responses and decide what they think. Hopefully, some will take the time to share their own thoughts and experiences as well.

Shalom . . . Smiler

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pauline and others, if you still have much heart for this, I'll post a few other thoughts in response to your post above:

This eventually, sometimes, takes us to a deep place of " pure awareness, pure consciousness" where the mind is silent, and still. There is no thought, only "pure awareness" It increases the experience of "witnessing the self.' in waking life. But regular practice whether one FEELS they reach this quiet settled space is important no matter what. If one prays AFTER resting in this settled place, the prayer is much deeper, more enlivened and rich, more relational, because we are in a deeper place within.

I do know this "pure awareness," and I'd say it's the human spirit awake to itself and its existence. I've written of this all over this board, so there's no need to do that again. And I can certainly vouch for the efficacy of praying from that kind of clarity.

What I wonder about is if TM or any concentrative meditation doesn't actually move one away from relational prayer? It seems to, in my experience with Christian meditation (mantra-based), zazen, and vipassana. These techniques are dynamically and intrincially unrelational, and the enlightenment-like states they lead to are also somewhat impersonal, even while being enormously satisfying. So the tendency is for Christians to say that they have somehow "awoken" at a deep level of Christ-consciousness, and that TM (or other Eastern methods) have taken them to the place that Christianity had promised, but was unable to deliver. That one would choose to move into relational prayer from a quasi-enlightenment state would indeed be an exercising of Christian faith. Unfortunately, I think the general trend is not to move in that direction. Hard to back that up with data, of course . . . just coming out of my own experience and from dialoguing with others.

If you are one that REALLY believes that a sound is a deity with a will of it's own, , or that other deities exist outside of your mind, then TM is definitely not for you..

That's a straw man argument, as neither I nor the authors of the sites I noted hold that the sound or mantra is a deity with a "will of it's own." Additionally, I do believe "deities" (spirit-entities) have ontological reality outside of my mind.

n my experience, if a mantra is said with out knowledge of the meaning of the mantra, each mantra produces the qualities associated with the meaning of the sound of the mantra..Name and Form are one. This is the great gift of the Sanskrit language...There are many mantras for various aspects of the Divine Mother, for instance, each produces an opening or awareness of different aspects of our consciousness, on very subtle finer and finer level:

Exactly! And that "opening" you refer to might not simply be to one's own deeper levels of awareness. As I noted above, spirit-entities could well attach themselves as well.

There was never any talk of Hindu deities in my 35 years of experience with TM, while on courses.

Anecdotal, and besides the point. They're invoking them; Maharishi is a Hindu; his guru is a Hindu; his writings are filled with Hindu references and teachings. That's all indisputable.

There was NEVER any instruction to drop ones religion nor was there ever a demeaning of Christianity or the Jewish religion.

Anecdotal again. And this overlooks the pedagogy that comes from practice itself. I grant that TM isn't about trying to "convert" people away from their religious traditions, of course. But there are several reputable organizations that have classified TM as a cult. Maybe we can talk about that some more.

The positive effects of TM have been noted by you and by some of the research I cited on the "relaxation method," but the picture is far from rosy, as this site notes:

quote:

* 76% of long-term meditators experience psychological disorders -- including 26% nervous breakdowns
* 63% experience serious physical complaints
* 70% recorded a worsening ability to concentrate
* Researchers found a startling drop in honesty among long-term meditators
* Plus a detailed examination of the history, culture, and secret teachings of the TM movement.
Read on! There's a lot on this site.

See also this page summarizing research. E.g.,

quote:
STUDY: Castillo, Richard J. Depersonalization and meditation. Psychiatry; Interpersonal and Biological Processes. May 1990, pp158-168.

A study of six long term TM practitioners that reveals their acceptance of depersonalized states of existence because they were led to believe this shows spiritual growth from the TM program.

From a review of the literature on meditation and depersonalization, and interviews conducted with six meditators, this study concludes that: 1) meditation can cause depersonalization and derealization; 2) the meanings in the mind of the meditator regarding the experience of depersonalization will determine to a great extent whether anxiety is present as part of that experience; 3) there need not be any significant anxiety or impairment in social or occupational functioning as a result of depersonalization; 4) a depersonalized state can become an apparently permanent mode of functioning; 5) patients with depersonalization disorder may be treated through a process of symbolic healing -- that is, changing the meanings associated with depersonalization in the mind of the patient, thereby reducing anxiety and functional impairment; 6) panic/anxiety may be caused by depersonalization if catastrophic interpretations of depersonalization are present.
Given what I was stating earlier about the impersonal nature of the "pure awareness state" to which TM is dynamically and intrinsically oriented, that makes sense.

What I'm sharing isn't from my experience, I'll grant you, but I hope you and others can see that "evaluation" entails more than simply consulting one's experience. That's a rather narrow paradigm, when you get right down to it, especially for recommending in favor of or against a spiritual practice.
 
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This "letting go" in mantra meditation is, in fact, a letting go into something that may be inadequate for the particular person, but overlooked as long as one is being gratified. In my experience of Buddhist and Hindu meditation (took refuge, received Shaktipat), the focus is often not on receiving the presence of the other, except where one is treating the Guru as a Divine Being. There is potential trouble here, as regardless of how loving the guru is, he or she is simply not able to operate/respond outside the human faculties, as the guru is dependent upon kundalini, however awakened this creaturely faculty may be.

OTOH, opening in a simple way to the intimacy of another human being without losing the honesty of oneself in relation to a peer can mollify the risks of meditation, keeping it grounded in relational presence. In this case, we have "I-Thou," but also "I-you," and "I-it," "You-me," all honest moments of naturally unstable human awareness. These openings are often lost, or overpowered, in the guru-disciple relationship.
 
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<w.c.>
posted
And so too much subtlty in meditation can easily obscure, or hinder, the development of a prayer life where one is graced, yet increasingly in less control of the relationship. Meditation operates in the opposite direction, where one becomes so subtle to oneself that it seems prayer would be easier, but in fact the self is increasingly seeking control, but of a kind that seems perfectly acceptable. However, the dryness of a true prayer-based relationship wouldn't be tolerated, especially where narcissistic tendencies have been polished into the charms of meditation.
 
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<w.c.>
posted
Our being is in God, but His being isn't in us. I don't have my being in an intimate other, and she/he doesn't have being in me. This is also the case with the guru-disciple relationship. If we don't accept this, we're not in a receptive position to accept God on His own terms in His own way of knowing us which we can't understand.
 
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<w.c.>
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One of the ultimate signs which differentiates meditation from prayer is what I think I observe in doing hospice work:

Nobody dies meditating, but in prayer, where "Thou" is doing most of the work beyond the person's capacity for self-direction. This probably behooves us to prepare through a commited life of prayer as distinct from the self-directed purposes of meditation.


Perhaps the more we feel known by "Abba" beyond ourselves, there will be less of an attraction to meditation. One can only know that the endowement of natural grace in the self isn't truly Divine except by being known by God beyond our faculties.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by w.c.:
[qb] And so too much subtlty in meditation can easily obscure, or hinder, the development of a prayer life where one is graced, yet increasingly in less control of the relationship. Meditation operates in the opposite direction, where one becomes so subtle to oneself that it seems prayer would be easier, but in fact the self is increasingly seeking control, but of a kind that seems perfectly acceptable. However, the dryness of a true prayer-based relationship wouldn't be tolerated, especially where narcissistic tendencies have been polished into the charms of meditation. [/qb]
You're on a roll tonight, w.c., and I especially liked this point above. All of which is to say, too, that "higher consciousness" is not really the "point" of the Christian spiritual journey so much as relational union -- not that the one is necessarily opposed to the other, but that they are not the same thing. That all resonates with some of what I was saying in my post above.

quote:
Our being is in God, but His being isn't in us. . .
Shades of St. Thomas Aquinas . . . Wink

For St. Thomas, our "natural state" is such that even in the deepest depths of the soul, we do not come upon God except indirectly and inferentially as the "Ground" of our Being -- the One from whom our existence is "received." We are creatures . . . contingent beings. There is no "divine center" or "Christ consciousness" that we can "tap into" using any kind of method. "Christ consciousness" is the consciousness of Jesus Christ, who is an-Other person, existing beyond our faculties and our being. God's indwelling presence is the Holy Spirit, Who is given as Gift. That's pretty much the understanding of all the Churches -- not just Catholic. And what this understanding does is affirm the following:
1. That we really aren't God, but creatures.
2. That the terms for interacting with God are primarily relational.
3. That we are inherently relational, and our greatest good is to love God and one another.

Not very complicated, when you get down to it. Wink
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's all very insightful reflection, w.c. I think you put your finger on some of the primary differences between Eastern and Christian approaches.

I suppose re. TM and similar methods, one could use the technique to "let go" of patterns of thinking and feeling that seem to just be kind of "stuck," then one could move to a more relational form of prayer. That seems to be what Pauline has described, and I've heard others do so as well. I wonder how you might view TM and similar practices as helpful for "letting go" in the sense you describe it, then moving toward "letting in."

I like your three L's. Kind of reminds me of an approach I've described as the 4 R's. Wink
- http://shalomplace.com/res/fourrs.html
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
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Phil:

Yes, technically any such method could lead one to some degree of letting go, to letting in, and then to letting God. However, if the false self is already being reinforced in the guru-disciple relationship via cultural incompatibility where the disciple projects the affects of all-good/all-bad splitting, then everything gets distorted. The acid test would probably be to stick it out in therapy and let oneself be seen in ways that don't support the false self system (assuming the therapist knows how to identify such things, let alone navigate the intervention), yet the false self is hardly a self-referring mechanism for such painful revelations that would effectively put it out of business.

But with TM, or any technique, a step in the direction of really letting go might be:

STOP DOING IT, and then see what cravings/aversion/loneliness come up that have been anaesthetized by the false self trancing, and take that pain into psychotherapy. But again, the false self system in operation simply isn't going to really let anyone "in," to any significant degree. That's why the guru-disciple relationship is so attractive, as the false self gets to deepen itself through projections onto another human being.
 
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Now that Phil is growing weary of fighting the windmills, there seems to be different feeling on this thread.

I very much agree with some of what WC has posted, especially the following: (Imagine that WC ! Smiler )

"Letting go, Letting in, Letting God"

When we can really let ourselves do that, it has a way of keeping our focus on what is most life giving to ourselves and those we are in relationship with. I know I have many ways to be more creative and life giving to myself and others, then spending long hours in front of a computer searching for seemingly endless, useless information to educate others who might not even read what I post, about something that I ultimately know and absolutely trust does not need my defense or influence. There is a Higher Power directing each of our live to exactly where it is that we need to be. We each are now and have always been our own best deceivers.

It's enough to simply trust in God and Divine Law. Anyone who truly seeks with a sincere heart will find their way if they let their hearts lead with love and use their minds to when needed to integrate and to test the teachings of ANY teacher from ANY spiritual tradition, whether they are born into it, or led to it.

As I mentioned before Phil, you were the one who started this thread. Contrary to your post above where you cite your reason for starting a thread on TM, as being because Shasha reported having had some 'hostile' experiences with her TM mantra....Shasha did not learn TM, Phil, but rather Siddha Yoga at age 25. (This just demonstrates how easy it is to distort and/or use facts to support our beliefs in the relative world, when approaching understanding from the intellect alone. I wonder if anyone has ever tested the honesty or psychological stability of devout Catholics ? Some of the headlines of recent years would warrant one, imo, but you don't see de-cultifiers testing them for some reason....some Christians think it's a cult)

I do not mean any of what I have to say next to offend or demean Shasha or her experiences, as I know her experiences were very real to her. She was very courageous to share them and I honor her journey and her responses back to me. But it was apparent to me, from the nature of her posts, that she had not had the benefit of MANY lectures from Maharishi available on residence courses.

If Shasha had the benefit of them, she MIGHT have prevented some of her experiences and would have been able to integrate any negative experiences that might have come up as a result of deep purification or unstressing, with a more objective, scientific and integrated, understanding. She would have learned some basic principles, which if successfully applied to her life, would have greatly reduced and even prevented her extreme negative experiences.

The mind can get more powerful in the subtle realms, especially in Siddha Yoga. When new consciousness of anything is gained whether it is in the relative, or in more subtle realms of the new frontiers of consciousness, it is VERY important for the mind to have the proper knowledge to integrate and name it. With out that, it's very easy to make mistakes. Unfortunately, Shasha is another one, who believes very strongly that Hindu deities are real, and that mantras.... simple Sanskrit sounds..can be "evil". C minor can sound scary, relative to other notes on the musical scale, but do we call it 'evil.? Shasha seems to have found her way to a more integrated and relational understanding her experiences and I hope it continues.

And by the way Phil, for some one who doesn't place much stock in anecdotes, you certainly seemed invested in Shasha's. Personally, I've always found our stories to be revealing of deeper truths. After all, the Bible is filled with anecdotes. Thom Hartman, a Catholic renaissance man, radio talk show host, prolific writer, therapist, says it well : "History proves that when our stories change, the world changes"

Interesting posts you added WC. It's nice Phil has you there as back up, to help carry his torch through the darkness !

Peace, love and joy, Pauline
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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