i just got thru watching the film ( DVD) 'One Voice'.. has anyone seen it yet? what a wonderful film! it is a film about mysticism , mystics speaking from all the different world religions about love the interconnectedness of all people.. a truly inspirng film! greatly beautiful! a must see!
looking at and 'feeling' the beautiful radiant light in each who shared was.... lovely. i am deeply moved and humbled to have watched such a beautiful film!
Here is the website to the movie I think you're referring to Christine.
I've not seen it. The preview suggests there's a lot of poetry but it's rather low on logic and reason.
I took a few retreats/intensives with one of the gurus in this documentary, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. I will write up my experience of being initiated by him and concerns about his teachings, his denial of Christ, and the ethics of his "manipulating the energies of creation" as he put it.
I'm sure there's beauty and lots of truth in it, just been around the block with folks who blur important distinctions about my Faith, my Lord.
I've looked into the maker of this documentary. Matthew Flickstein seems like a genuine guy, had an enlightenment experience and got into Vipassana meditation. He founded Forest Way in VA, based on Theravada Buddhism.
One of their teachers was mentored by Barbara Brodsky, who is from Ann Arbor's Deep Spring Center. Here's what Deep Spring Ceneter says about where from Barbara gets her spiritual guidance:
Part of the teaching we offer within “spiritual inquiry” comes from a discarnate energy which calls itself Aaron, channeled by Barbara. In many previous lifetimes, Aaron has been a practitioner of many religions, including lifetimes spent as a Buddhist monk and scholar. In his final lifetime he was a Vipassana meditation master in the Theravadin tradition. His present teaching draws from this background, but he also reminds us that, like all of us, he has lived in many bodies, had many shades of skin, and followed many spiritual paths. Aaron is a being of great love, compassion, wisdom and gentle humor. His work is toward the alleviation of suffering. Those who have worked with him find him to be a very wise, compassionate and skillful teacher.
I like this part:
We realize the presence of a discarnate teacher may raise questions for some of you. We ask you only to approach Aaron’s teaching with an open mind and see if it speaks to your heart.
I think I'll pass...my experience with discarnate beings has been pretty dark!
You are such a lovely person!
I do appreciate your heart of wanting harmony and union with God for all of mankind. I think most everyone wants that, including, it appears, the movie-makers of this film. However, what Christ has to offer really is distinct from other paths.
It seems God has protected you from the darker side of k. activity/ teachings. Thank you, Lord Jesus! He's given you that pure heart and gift of knowledge and faith about focusing on your relationship with Jesus and love of neighbor.
And, contrary to the Oneness philosphy, it's not unloving to disagree with other's paths or understanding. It may be politically incorrect, but not unloving if your heart is in the right place while you seek for right knowledge and discernment.
From that preview of the film one can see Father Keating say that unless we enter this dimension of reality in which we realize our Oneness, we are pouring negative energy into the universe. Huh? If this is a PC enlightenment way of saying "loving your neighbor," OK, but if he means one needs to live in this enlightenment concsiousness, I just don't agree, but I'll have to look at that again more carefully. You don't need to reach this level of Oneness to maintain a loving heart toward mankind. Furthermore, enlightened people who discourage clear thinking and the discernment of spirits can be doing more damage to souls than good.
Thanks for saying more about yourself; it's a pleasure to get to know you.
The film-makers make the following points in the preview:
“All religions point to the same openness, total acceptance…
what if humankind could put aside their differences to begin search for enlightenment and peace…
the reason we practice a spiritual path is we are trying to get in touch with a state that is beyond the ordinary world…”
Clearly, they are proposing that enlightenment *is* the superior path, paradoxically negating their own claim to be open and accepting of all religions….
Then follows Fr Keating’s remark:
“We have a certain obligation as a human being to awaken to this level because without it we simply pour negative energy into the human atmosphere because that’s all we’re capable of if we consider ourselves separate from God.”
By “this level” Father Keating is obviously talking about enlightenment, not merely the teaching of Christ to “love God and your neighbor.”
That Fr. Keating apparently consented to his comments being used this way is disturbing to me.
Christine and Shasha--Reading your exchanges this evening just made my day (and I was having a good day already).
I can relate to going into quiet mode and not wanting to think, write, talk, or relate. So feel free to come and go as you please.
You ask a lot of good questions, most of which have been discussed here over several years. For starters, I can reply to your first question in a general way. Eastern mysticism does consider enlightenment to be the culmination of the spiritual journey. They consider it to be the pinnacle, the end of the road, absolute union with God. They believe that until you get to enlightenment, you are bound to keep reincarnating in a kind of trap.
As far as the "great saints," do you mean the Christian Saints? Were they considered to be enlightened? Phil knows more about this, but as I read their writings, the little I've done, I'd say that many do describe experiences that suggest they are immersed in certain levels of the Eastern definition of enlightenment, which is a state of consciousness marked by having the direct experience of being totally at one with creation, the sense of I AM THAT, wherein subject and object are merged. A few of them have said they see and experience God in everything around them. However, I've not ever read anything in the Christian mystics that sounds like absolute enlightenment.
The Christian mystics, like St. John of the Cross describe union with God as the "spiritual marriage" or Beatific Vision, made possible through Grace alone to a surrender Christ-follower. The spiritual marriage of the Christian is very different experience from Eastern enlightenment.
One recent discussion on the difference is that enlightenment is a change in perception/consciousness, which can be brought about by certain methods of concentration/ meditation, drugs, brain changes, and most often by a complete kundalini ascension.
OTOH, the Christian spiritual marriage is the result of God's Grace producing an alteration in one's soul as it is touched by God Himself, towards not enlightenment but a New Creation. IMO, the spiritual marriage is the promise Jesus made in John 14 and 17.
The two "paths" are often confounded as the same thing, like in the movie One and the documentary you've brought to our attention here, With One Voice. This confounding is a serious problem. The authors mean well but they are not knowledgeable about Christ Jesus
Similarily, k. is taught by many as being the same as the Holy Spirit, as you can hear from the preview of With One Voice there is a spiritual leader saying sthg like, "There is only one power, one energy, blah, blah..."
Christine, you have first-hand experience of the differences, which should serve to protect you from some level of deception. K. is a *created* energy, like our hormones and nervous system. Like every created thing, k. is broken, damaged by the Fall.
The Holy Spirit is God, uncreated, the Third Person of Triune God. Big difference.
There are a number of threads discussing these topics, as you've noticed. For instance, see Eckart Tolle, B. Roberts, the Discreet Charm of Nonduality, and many others. You can spend a lot of time here getting educated...
Hope this helps...
Feel free to jump in anybody if I need correcting of what I've shared here.
Very clear summary, Shasha, of what I've understood from reading here and elsewhere, and from my own experience. I've known God's hand on my soul and there's a distinct "color" and feel to that which has remained recognizable over almost 2/3's of my life, and I experience a deep and rich inner silence much of the time, as well as a few possibly k.-type things which I chose to not pursue further because I found them distracting, though fascinating--my streak of narcissism is a bit too susceptible to stirring up.
Again, I thought that was a very clear and worthwhile summary that organizes thinking about some important distinctions without dismissing the good of k and different states of consciousness.
Trying to be clear myself, I want to say that I certainly don't think k itself necessarily tempts anyone into narcissism. I'm just talking about my own weaknesses towards that here.
On a different note: Flickstein, Brodsky, Cohen, Levine---I've wondered for a while why I see so many Jewish names involved in this stuff. A reaction to feeling abandoned by God during the Holocaust, leading Jews to leave the practice of Judaism? Sorry, just wondering aloud...And "Aaron"???, famous for leading people into idolatry...I can't help but wonder what's up with this apparent pattern.
It's a paradox I've seen in myself too: that narcissism, the neurotic striving to be special, really does interfere with our true beauty in Christ...
It's been nice to get you to know better these days.
Hi all. I've finally had a chance to review the video preview and click around the site a bit. The message certainly seems to be a positive one, only I'd agree with Shasha that they seem to blur the distinction between the consciousness of the human spirit and that of the divine, at times. Also, at some point, one has to ask why, if all these different pathways attest to the same kind of experience, they have, traditionally, maintained themselves as distinct from one another? Why don't they all collapse into some kind of mystical synthesis? The New Age movement attempted to do just such, but it doesn't hold together very well, the main reason being that there are different kinds of experiences of God and the deep self being attested to by the world religions and metaphysical traditions. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion, but it does leave one inquiring if, among these various pathways, there is one favored by the divine? Yes, to inquire such pushes up against the inclusive spirit of the video and, indeed, of postmodern thinking, but it is an important question nonetheless.
E.g., who knows me best and is best qualified to write a biography of me? My siblings? My children? Coworkers? Friends? My wife?
- They've all experienced the common and open aspects of my life, some moreso than others. In my case, at least, only my wife would know me most fully and so would be best qualified to write my biography.
I am one man known similarly and differently by a number of people. That's true of everyone. Why should this not apply to God as well? What is this tendency to level the playing field to make it seem as though every religion is saying the same thing, only using different language? Why not respect both the testimony AND differences among them? Yes, Christianity does make claims that the others do not, but the appropriate response to this is to consider those claims and to see where one comes out with regard to them.
About being favored by the divine, well, that taps into a huge brokenness in us creatures! We all have to contend with primitive rivaly/ jealousy impulses and competitiveness. Jesus had to deal with this in His disciples too as he spoke about their competitiveness both directly and in so many of his parables.
I know I used to hate the teaching that "Jesus is the only Son of God" in the context of my male-dominated, male-favored family/ enthnicity. In my family, boys were favored and esteemed while girls were devalued. It wasn't until I got healing of this emotional abuse that I could even begin to hear that teaching without cringing and revolution. This fact largely determined my attraction to the New Age semantic leveling of all religions. Owing to my unfortunate early experiences, I couldn't stand the thought of God favoring one religion over another.
Shasha, I understand what you're saying. I had a spiritual directee sometime back who couldn't even acknowledge the fact of Jesus' historical existence because: a.) he was a male, and b.) if what Christianity says about him is true, then Christianity has the most privileged revelation of God. Needless to say, these kinds of objections bias one's search for truth.
I think one response is that Jesus' "male-ness" is not really an essential aspect of the revelation of God and the reconciliation with humanity that came through him. To become human, God had only two gender options, and the female one wouldn't have been accepted very well in those cultures. So God became human as a male, and males are no more nor less human than females. Maybe Plato would argue this point, but in Christ Jesus there is "no male or female, no slave or free, no Greek or Jew. (Gal. 8:28)
The "privileged revelation" point is a more difficult one to uphold in this emerging postmodern culture, which tends to eschew all things hierarchical. The theologian, Hans Kung, made a good contribution to addressing this point in a book he wrote on world religions years ago, wherein he noted that the founders of other religions and their saints and ours as well present us with significant revelations of God. So does the creation itself. But in Jesus Christ we encounter the decisive revelation of God. Only he has risen from the dead and only he has the authority to bless us with the Holy Spirit. This is unique among the world religions.
Yup that was the Cool movie I too saw that" one Voice" , Recently I have founded one more Interesting movie "break Code" but the issue is it's In 8MM Reel and now the technology had made a huge Advancement so just looking for the video Conversion from 8mm to DVD, let's hope for the best.
This is an old thread so apologies for resurrecting it, but I just watched the movie during the summer and it really helped me. Thomas Keating I found particularly comforting. I notice Christine's posts are missing, I presume deleted by herself, which is a shame because I think she adds an important and distinctive voice here at sp.
I just wanted to flesh out a couple of the points raised by Shasha and Phil. The first is to do with what Shasha calls the "darker side of k activity/ teachings" and indeed the references to disembodied entities, which I have experienced as pretty dangerous as well. Trouble is, I feel that any dark stuff comes at us, not because of the k path or teaching per se, or the path of any other religion or spirituality, but because of our own woundedness. The dark entities/energy latch on to our brokenness and not the fact that we follow any non Christian path. This is particularly important when facing k because it reduces the fear factor and makes us face our own wounds/ego, which are ultimately the source of all darkness. Similarly, I would suggest that k is only subject to brokenness and the Fall in that it is energy which has been displaced from its original conscious source. When it reintegrates with consciousness, it promotes the wholeness which we experience in redemption, after a process of struggle and suffering which I would relate to the cross. It is the separation of energy from conscious, that duality, which is the source of brokenness, not the energy itself which is broken. As such, I think we overplay the whole k as created energy line. In its integrated state it is perhaps divine energy. All this makes it easier for me to get on board with "the Oneness" of the movie, which in turn brings me to Phil's point.
Rightly Phil says there are all different kinds of experience of God, an infinite variety of experiences and perspectives, but in truth only one reality. My own mystical path is far from classical, and even what I'm experiencing now as a consequence of Christian prayer falls out with traditional mystical theology. I imagine this is true for a lot of folks nowadays because mystical experience is happening outside the monastic setting of Theresa and John. Infinite experience, but only one reality, God, expressed infinitely. So the need, for me at least, and most k awakened folks, to dip into other traditions, not in an attempt at synthesis, but as a way of integrating the experience. And really the infinite ways of experiencing God only helps magnify the wonder at the Oneness which underlies them all. I think then the movie was really trying to suggest a Oneness of underlying reality, a unity of consciousness, rather than a oneness of experience.
OK, old ground perhaps and many folks will have moved on. I enjoyed the movie because it helped expound the reality I'm encountering, a reality prompted by Christian prayer.
Thank you, Stephen. I enjoy your reflections, which are borne from experience and study and so convey an uncommon depth and richness.
Re. Christine (faustina): I don't know that she deleted any posts, and I have seen her name on the forum as a reader lately. So, she's still around. Perhaps she'll pop in and join the discussion again.
I see where you're going with this and agree that it is our brokenness that accounts for most of the negative experiences people report with kundalini awakenings. As we become healed, this very same energy takes on a more nurturing, empowering aspect and, indeed, seems to enable a deep integration of body, psyche and spirit. But this re-ordering of the energy of our own consciousness doesn't imply that it is a "divine energy," imo, although the divine certainly can and often does express in and through this process. We've touched on this many times, as you know, and I think it comes down to recognizing that human consciousness (K being an energy aspect thereof) is not the divine consciousness, although the two can and do interpenetrate.
That's been a concern of my own writing and teaching through the years, and it is sometimes a challenge, as you note. Nevertheless, I think it's an important point that Merton makes, and one with which I completely agree.
Yes, I agree with Merton too. That's why mystical theology needs to be fluid and progressive, not fixed. And interfaith dialogue helps this openness. I don't like the idea that Christianity is somehow superior, that achieving enlightenment through meditation is somehow not as elevated. Anyone who meditates truthfully has to have humility and has to offer their meditation to something other, rather like we offer the gifts, our toil and suffering through the symbols of bread and wine, to be united with Christ and transformed in him in the Eucharist. The meditator is transformed through the suffering of humility and denial too and the act of offering herself, and enlightenment seems to me to be just as much a grace, not to be reduced to changes in brain pattern.
The whole question of human consciousness as distinct from divine consciousness troubles me a little, because pure consciousness is undifferentiated. It's the energy that causes distinction, separation. In essence there is only oneness. In our deepest core can we really be said to be distinct from God as Consciousness or God as Being? Perhaps we are distinct from God who transcends being and consciousness, but God can't really be experienced in this way, except through a glass (very) darkly. The whole thing is ambiguous and complex. I do know I experience God as He manifests in form and nature, in me, and behind that expression of His energy lies a unity of consciousness, a oneness of all reality and being which has to be God in His imminent form, just as much as the God who transcends consciousness.
Stephen, I agree that Christian theology has to consider the experiences and teachings of those from other religions, and to a large extent we already have. In fact, some of the earliest of Christian theologians recognized the activity of the Word far beyond the activities of the Church, giving rise to a kind of cosmic Christology that is still very valid.
Sounds right-headed to me. So long as one does not deny this distinction between form and God, or consider form to be some kind of illusion, then there should be no problem.
BTW, after my post above, I was given to see clearly that K can be understood as the energetic means by which our consciousness is embodied. This is not to deny that this energy can become divinized, but it is to "locate" it on the creation side of things rather than to confuse it with the Holy Spirit. What this also suggests is that, with death, the whole K stuff is over - - finis!
I'd say! Very complex. I think at our core we are profoundly distinct from God. And only Christ Jesus can bridge the gap, not One-ness.
A few weeks ago, I was graced with a strange experience. The Father lifted me up out of my body and I was suddenly 'looking' at the world. I saw such wretched brokenness, vile, dirty, destructive, arrogant, God-rejecting human beings. The sight was horrible! It was unbearable except that being at the Father's 'side' shielded me from the magnitude of the horror, which felt like it would have crushed me to death.
The gap between us and God is immense! Unknowable. Immeasurable. Impossible. No mind can conceive of the difference. We don't like to think like that. The New Age, nonduality movement contrives a world of people whose 'divine spark' is as bright as the Almighty.
Unfortunately, that's the theme I see and object to in this "One Voice" narrative, if I'm remembering it correctly. They say our divinity is merely dormant and all religions are the same, all preaching this awakening of consciousness. We need to wake up to our divinity, see all humans as equal to one another and God, and all will be well on Earth. We're diamonds in the rough, merely in need of ego-polishing. The same energy pulsating through you, through me, through the trees and the crickets.
And it's true! It’s riveting. It’s blissful. But God has bigger plans for us than unity consciousness. Salvation through Christ.
I don't believe One-ness is the bridge that transports humans to God, as our Eternal Home in Christ. Being 'asleep' to One-ness is not our main problem. Our very souls are corrupt to the core.
We need Jesus in order to become NEW creatures. We don't need enlightenment to become AWAKENED creatures. The problem is Original sin, not dormancy to One-ness. Sin is not overcome by One-ness, as we can see.
Alterations in human consciousness will never make the human race 'clean' or 'right' or holy as God is Holy.
I think a lot of what you say needs very carefully nuanced, Shasha. It comes across strongly but lacks any subtlety or deep insight and comes down heavily on the side of separation. No one is saying, for example, that oneness is the bridge. Rather oneness is the experience, the reality. You and others have to be more precise by what they mean by salvation. It's a word, a concept, but how much of an experience is it for Christians here and now, beyond a kind of self deluding "we're going to heaven" routine. And believe me, I don't ignore the wretchedness of the world, of people. It's awfully sad, but I love them, and I love them because I see God and Christ in them.
I also think you underestimate the implicit role of the Word, Christ and his sacrifice, in realising oneness - the transformation of ego, the death of pride, the transformation of the flesh and desire. All these are integral to finding true enlightenment and all these resonate strongly with Christian teaching about the cross. "I no longer live I." Yes we need Christ to become new creatures but perhaps enlightenment, fully realised, is an aspect of that new creatureliness, and the struggle we engage in to find it is an aspect of the cross. Your experience of gurus may contradict this, but gurus are a major complication in the course of a person's struggle, a complication which involves the guru coming down heavily on the side of oneness at the expense of an individual's readiness or indeed their unique status as an expression of that oneness.
Reading Merton last summer helped me realise intellectually, alongside an experiential realisation, that we are profoundly linked to God at our core, where consciousness is crystalline, if somewhat hidden. To emphasise separation, to say original sin has corrupted our core is a profound misreading of Christian theology (Calvinist? Cetainly fundamentalist), and an ontological mistake in my view. To realise this core connection in actuality, not just intellectually, is a profound struggle which we should be offered to the Lord, at least implicitly, in union with his suffering. It is our home.
Someone is going to have to offer me a contemporary account of spiritual marriage which is fundamentally different from enlightenment (which to me btw is not just a realisation of oneness but also of the essence of love as ontological reality), an experiential account which conflicts with my own for me to see the difference.
Phil, yes, no confusion between God and form - but God manifesting form, underlying form, perhaps even emanating from it, distinctly, and with distinction?
See https://shalomplace.org/eve/for...8910625/m/4144063228 which I know you're already aware of. Spiritual marriage is a good metaphor for the way of love, which emphasizes volitional union with God. There are, of course, implications as well for awareness and intellect, which must also be transformed as love deepens, but for those whose primary pathway is love, it is sensitivity to God-as-Other predominates. Even during times of profound, experiential union, this is understood to be graced and participatory.
The way of awareness cannot proceed very far without some degree of moral righteousness (e.g., the Eightfold Path of Buddhism, The 10 Commandments), for immorality creates too much disturbance in consciousness for unitive experience to be deeply realized. It is generally beauty and wonder that compels, rather than a desire to be one with the Beloved (though both can proceed in synchronistic complementarity, as I believe your own experiences demonstrate). As one's consciousness becomes more non-reflective and silent, its distinction-making faculties of intellect and will are depleted of energy and one becomes content to simply abide in the here and now, awake to the interconnectedness of all creatures and, implicitly, to the One who gives rise to all form.
To my growing understanding of all this (still in process, of course), it is a huge mistake for any mystic or theologian to pit these ways against each other, as though one were somehow superior. They are all ways in which the divine draws us through the functioning of our human spirit. That said, it seems the way of awareness is most accessible to all and is least controversial in that it makes no claims about truth and demands little in terms of relational surrender. This is not to discount the wisdom that has been expressed by writers from such pathway, nor their emphasis on compassion.
At worst, Shasha, they make no distinction between created human consciousness (which has obvious limitations, even in its non-reflecting aspect) and that Spark.
I don't hear the part about humans being equal to God nor that ego-polishing is being recommended. Rather, they seem to be calling for a diminishment of Egoic consciousness, which clearly needs to be properly nuanced if we're to avoid some of the mistakes of the gnostics and quietists. I would also say (in agreement with you) that any kind of energetic continuum shared by humans, birds and crickets is probably not God, but "chi" (aka prana, ki), the nature of which is most mysterious indeed, but which seems to be more of the created order of things. Nothing wrong with that kind of sensitivity, imo, except that one one needs be careful about confusing it with God (who is non-energetic, formless, unmanifest, etc.).
I'd certainly prefer a human race awake on One-ness than living out of false self conditioning, as is so commonplace. It does seem that unity consciousness (enlightenment) is transformative in many ways, and may even be a means by which the Word connects us to God through its cosmic manifestation (which is a different mode than encounter with the personal, risen Christ). What we look for are the fruits of the Spirit. Do you not see them flowering in people who are drawn unto this way of awareness?
That's all immensely helpful. Thanks! Although I was really talking more about a personal testimony than an outline, so that I could compare and contrast experiences. Still helpful though .
God as non energetic and unmanifest needs a bit of considering on my part. I'm still formulating ideas about all this after a year of pretty powerful experiences, and probably will be until the day I pop my clogs, which is fine. Happy to be uncertain, though faithful and trusting.
The unity continuum as energy, I can appreciate, and enjoy. But there is that point, or rather that no point, where the conscious spark rests not in the energy, but in the Source, and finds a oneness with the created and the uncreated. Ok, still formulating, still formulating.
Shasha, you might like to listen to this. I find Merton's description, as quoted by Bishop Kallistos Ware, beautiful.This message has been edited. Last edited by: samson,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...youtube_gdata_playerThis message has been edited. Last edited by: samson,
You have to use the option "Use old imbed code."
But . . . YES! Good little video. Merton shares similar quotes in New Seeds of Contemplation, and, of course, one can find similar references by other Christian writers. Still, there is much precision in the Merton quote that is lacking in other references, and he draws a clear distinction between our human spiritual faculties and that divine spark, which might also be understood as God's indwelling presence.
- - -
Where's Ms. Ariel these days?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Phil,
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