The human soul degrades itself:
(1) Above all, when it does its best to become an abscess, a kind of detached growth on
the world. To be disgruntled at anything that happens is a kind of secession from
Nature, which comprises the nature of all things.
(2) When it turns its back on another person or sets out to do it harm, as the souls of
the angry do.
(3) When it is overpowered by pleasure or pain.
(4) When it puts on a mask and does or says something artifical or false.
(5) When it allows its actions and impulse to be without a purpose, to be random and
disconnected: even the smallest things out to be directed toward a goal. But the goal
of rational beings is to follow the rule and the law of the most ancient of
communities and states.
Labels: Western Philosophy
Chapter 7 Verse 26
"O Arjuna, I am aware of the creatures of the past, the present, and the future;
but Me no one knows"
What does it to mean to be ‘I Am Aware’ of the creatures of past, present and the future unless both the past and the future are happening now in the present? This means that time then is an illusion and not linear as we think it is.
Moreover the reference point is creatures or the manifested world, again, the past, present and future can exist only in reference to something and creature or the manifested world as we know it is the reference.
But what if there is no reference, will time exist still? Does time exist in nothingness or is that timelessness? The answer to that is given at the end of that verse
‘But me no one knows’
We still have miles to go before we finally know it and reach the end of our sojourn.
Labels: Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism)
Chapter 1 - Verse 3-5
The key to unlock evils plaguing humanity has been staring at you in the aforementioned verses since time immemorial and yet it is missed. All that one needs is to show a tinge of self-discipline to stand against the inherent inertia of mara slumbering within to pick the key and unlock the gates of this self-imposed confinement.
Man in his power and listening to his false self has formulated all kinds of divine and secular laws to end conflict with others and self to no avail. The truth that all our problems are basically spiritual problems stemming from our hardened beliefs created from our false selves and not awareness is always lost.
The belief of ceasing hatred with love rather than eye for an eye is what needs to be adopted, if ending conflict is what we truly desire.
Further, the additional supplement belief to be ingrained is - that we are not anybody’s victim, and that we have the ability to access the higher side of our nature that is above the pleasure of petty conflicts and distress of everyday life.
The key words in the verse is ‘who harbor such thoughts’, starting today, take the first step towards liberation, control your thoughts and eventually your life. Use the master key of Buddhism listed below.
Chapter 1 – Verse 1
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought…”
Start today! Control your thoughts, control your mind and design who you are.
Section 2 - verse 18
“The knowing self is never born; nor does he die at any time.Who is the knowing self this verse is talking about? Is it that part of our self that is made in the image of God? That indestructible element within us, without beginning or an end, which some call the soul. If we have a soul then what is a soul?
He sprang from nothing and nothing sprang from him. He is unborn, eternal,
abiding and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain”
The dictonary defines the soul (noun) as:
1. the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
2. the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul.
The definition (1) points towards a principle, or an emotion or action that is a distinct entity, seperate from the body and survives it. Action and emotions come from the mind, if the mind (as part of the body) is destroyed will this soul then cease to exist? Definition (2) points towards a spiritual part subject to happiness or sorrow (emotions) post bodily death.
But the verse states that this knowing self is never born and never dies and we know that all actions, emotions and principles have a beginning and an end, so the definition as given for the soul does not pass this test! Further the verse states that this knowing self sprang from nothing and nothing sprang from him. Taking this into account he is someone who does not accumulate any kind of Karma (cause and effect) so he can see without seeing, listen without listening and speak without speaking i.e. his actions accumulate no karma but is all knowing ('knowing self').
Given the verse and corresponding definitions on soul, this 'Knowing Self' can only be one thing and that is :
"He is AWARENESS"
Labels: Vedanta (Hinduism)
What is Religion?
Religion is generally described as a belief in, or the worship of, a god or gods and also as a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny.
The American Heritage Dictionary describes religion as:
(1) Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. (2) A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship. (3) The life or condition of a person in a religious order. (4) A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. (5) A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
We thus can clearly state that religion is a model that believes in the existence of god or gods i.e.supernatural power, worships it and follows the convention of values and practises based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
The meaning of the word "God" or "Supernatural power", what does this mean and what are its connotation. The words can range from meaning 'Creator of the universe' to a 'diety that controls an element like air, water, fire' etc. which further compounds the problem. Most religions do agree that God is without gender though the words 'he' or 'father ' is ascribed for communicative purposes and does not state that God is a male or female for that matter.
We can however be sure that whoever uses the term 'God' points towards the one who:
(1) Created humans - gave them life.
(2) Created worlds (and everything within) that human can comprehend either through their senses or in their imagination.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is described as that which deals with the self or the soul aspect and what it entails in becoming a complete entity of which i.e. being human is just a cog in the wheel and in achieving closer connection with god, divinity, spirit, nature etc.
So we can say that...
Where religion focuses on the individual obeying or submitting his will before the divine will, spirituality focuses in finding the connection between the self to the one divine and in trying to unearth the difference between itself and infinity only to end up finding none but realizing that infinity is in self and the self in infinity.
There are no set beliefs or values that give spirituality a distinct identity unlike religion, hence spirtuality as a word can mean different things which have nothing in common to bind it. This is the way where one becomes his own spiritual master and one man's poison can mean other man's meat even if it enters the same stomach with the same functionality.
Spirituality is a model or a system that is designed around the self rather than the other way round as in religion, hence, there exists no path of spirituality, everything is spirituality as long as the goal is to connect with the supreme energy. Here truly the end justifies the means.
Religion and Spirituality
Religion (the creed, the dogma) has always been at loggerheads with spirituality (individual truth over creed) though the latter is the foundation stone on which the former establishes itself. Religion today is an institution that one purchases a membership into in exchange for a reward whereas in spirituality the search of the pilgrim is a reward in itself.
While the one sacrifices the self for a greater self of the morrow, the other loses the self to find the only self that ever mattered.