The Beautiful, Magical World of Rajput Art
7 months ago
Refuting the mystical, metaphysical concept of the existence of individual, discrete selves (while bearing in a non existent mind, that there is no universally accepted theory as to what the word "existence" means)
These sayings of Jesus circulated around the Muslim world from Spain to China, and many are still familiar to educated Muslims today. They fill out and augment the profoundly reverential picture of Christ painted in the Koran where Jesus is called the Messiah, the Messenger, the Prophet, Word and Spirit of God, though – in common with some currents of heterodox Christian thought of the period – his outright divinity is questioned.
There are also frequent mentions of his mother Mary who appears in no fewer than 13 surahs (chapters) and who is said to be exalted "above the women of the two [celestial and temporal] worlds" and, like Jesus, a "model" for Muslims. Mary is in fact the only woman mentioned by her proper name in the entire Koran, and appears more often in the Koran (34 times) than she does in the Gospels, where she is mentioned only 19 times.
- William Dalrymple
Now the real treasure, to end our misery and trials, is never far away; it is not to be sought in any distant region, it lies buried in the innermost recesses of our own home, that is to say, our own being. And it lies behind the stove, the life-and-warmth-giving center of the structure of our existence, our heart of hearts - if we could only dig. But there is the odd and persistent fact that it is only after a faithful journey to a distant region, a foreign country, a strange land, that the meaning of the inner voice that is to guide our quest can be revealed to us. And together with this odd and persistent fact there goes another, namely, that the one who reveals to us the meaning of our cryptic message, must be a stranger, of another creed and a foreign race.
I couldn’t live with myself any longer. And in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I’ that cannot live with the self? What is the self? I felt drawn into a void. I didn’t know at the time that what really happened was the mind-made self, with its heaviness, its problems, that lives between the unsatisfying past and the fearful future, collapsed. It dissolved. The next morning I woke up and everything was so peaceful. The peace was there because there was no self. Just a sense of presence or “beingness,” just observing and watching.
Of course, the individual is free to try to overcome desires and attachments and so on, but from an objective point of view it seems extremely dangerous to allow another, a guru, to take control of your own ego. Are there still many believers or ex-believers who don't recognize this?
I don't think many have thought about it properly. Gautama Buddha said: "The Self is the true master of the Self" and "Keep the Self an island, approaching nothing." In other words, Buddhist disciples practice asceticism in order to find the true Self. They find impurities and attachments, and attempt to extinguish these. But what Mr. Matsumoto (Asahara) did was equate "Self" and "attachments." He said that in order to get rid of the ego, the Self must be disposed of as well. Humans love the "Self," so they suffer, and if the "Self" can be discarded then a shining true Self will emerge. But this is a complete reversal of Buddhist teachings. The Self is what should be discovered, not discarded. Terrorist crimes like the gas attack result from the process of easily giving up on the Self. If the Self is lost, then people will become completely insensitive to murder and terrorism.
In the final analysis, Aum created people who had discarded their Selves and just followed orders. Therefore enlightened practitioners in Aum, those most steeped in Aum doctrine, are not truly enlightened people who have mastered the truth. It's a perversion for believers who supposedly have renounced the world to run around collecting donations in the name of "salvation."
The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (interview with members of Aum Shinrikyo)
For Wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. For in Her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle. For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of Her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
- The Book of Wisdom of Solomon (Volume IV)
Book of Wisdom or Wisdom of Solomon or simply Wisdom is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books of the Septuagint Old Testament, which includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), and Ecclesiasticus (Sirach).
There are instances in the book of Proverbs where Wisdom is personified as a female. Female imagery begins the book of Proverbs in Chapters 1-9 and also ends the book in chapter 31. In Proverbs 9:1-6 she is depicted as a figure with a home inviting those in need of wisdom to enter. She says "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight." In Proverbs 8:15-21, she not only identifies herself as the divine companion, but also as the source of order in society and success in life. In chapter 31:10 she is personified as the ideal woman for an Israelite man in a section titled Ode to a Capable Wife. There is debate about the status and place of Woman Wisdom in relation to the divine. Some have interpreted her as a companion to the divine, an abstraction, an extension to the divine, or a Goddess. Further information about the nature of Wisdom is found in Proverbs 8:22-30. In these verses "wisdom speaks of herself as having been created before anything else and as Yahweh's companion and even assistant at the creation of the ordered world." It has also been argued that personifying Wisdom as a woman adds a mythical nature to proverbs. This would line up with the ancient Near Eastern view that every male deity had a female counterpart.