Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

On Spiritual Pathways

I began to practise Yoga fifteen years ago, and, through this path, found myself reading a lot of Eastern Philosophy, Psychology and texts from an assortment of world religions. Through the ebb and flow of this journey, I find myself, today, as being a spiritual atheist. This, of course, is a contradiction, but life is but a bundle of opposites – yin and yang, etc. I believe that I am part of a greater whole, by the nature of my being and the necessity to interact within our world. I do not claim to understand the endless boundaries of this existence, and, perhaps my sense of oneness with the greater whole is much like what the theist will call having a relationship with God/gods. Ultimately, I do not believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent and conscious deity who directs this life, but, rather, that there are laws of nature. In the end, I have a philosophy based on what I believe to be true, attached to the notion expressed in Pascal’s Wager: “It does not matter whether or not I believe that God exists”. The best way to describe how I live – a practise that is a work in progress, rather than an end – is to use the words of Buddha who stated: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it who said it... unless it agrees with your reason and commonsense”. This allows us to borrow sentiments from all religions and beliefs, without becoming dogmatic or an iconoclast.

The spiritual path that I describe is not an easy one. It causes one to challenge social and accepted beliefs, often making one seem a pariah, and, like any hard look in the mirror, can be accompanied by both joy and pain. The whole question of “what is my purpose in life” has no black and white answer, nor is it an answer we may ever truly come to comprehend. This being said, to quote from an old saying, “it’s about the journey, not the destination”. The principles of acceptance and letting go, while making perfect sense in our minds, are not one’s that are easily implemented. Societal pressures, ingrained beliefs and the fact that such work requires much work amidst hectic lives, are reasons that we may defer from the journey and allow others to push and direct us in our lives. To dwell in effortless apathy is often our choice, and we allow ourselves to float in this manner, despite how empty it leaves us. It is always easier to follow than to lead. This holds true when we join or adopt the culture and traditions of others to find our own sense of self and belonging.

I write this, not because I possess any of the answers, but, rather, to ask that you seek your own. The truth can be both universal and subjective. Finding and creating your own spiritual/life path is one that only you are able to seek. There is no “one size fits all” in this life. No one faith or system tailored to our needs as individuals. However, by living a sedated, dulled down existence, will lead us to lives without fulfillment and overall sense of meaninglessness.

In closing, I ask only that you shall seek, but give no guarantees that you will find. Read the sacred texts of the world, the philosophies of great thinkers and the findings of psychologists. Then merge these ideas with your present state of being, life circumstances and worldly experiences/observations. Your findings may evolve and change, the further you seek. This is healthy and the only way to our perceptions of the universal truths that we will try to comprehend. For this is all there really is. Life is one’s perception of existence. Existence is the fabrication of nothingness into being. “Nothing” implies “no thing” and, thus, “some thing”. Ultimately, we create our own echoes.


As an aside, if you are looking for a place to begin, visit:

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx

Not only does it give a sense as to where your beliefs lie, it will also hyperlink you to each religion and tell you what they are all about for further research. Here are my results, and they have changed over time!

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Mahayana Buddhism (95%)
3. Liberal Quakers (83%)
4. Neo-Pagan (83%)
5. Theravada Buddhism (81%)
6. Taoism (80%)
7. New Age (76%)
8. Secular Humanism (72%)
9. Hinduism (70%)
10. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (68%)
11. Scientology (66%)
12. New Thought (64%)
13. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (59%)
14. Jainism (56%)
15. Sikhism (52%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (50%)
17. Reform Judaism (45%)
18. Nontheist (43%)
19. Baha'i Faith (36%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (27%)
21. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (22%)
22. Seventh Day Adventist (22%)
23. Islam (20%)
24. Orthodox Judaism (20%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (16%)
26. Roman Catholic (16%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (14%)


2 Comments:

  • At 4:41 PM , Anonymous Dan said...

    http://kathryn.janeway.wimp.com/videos43ll/62f956158f1ea5b38e8a648cce08de0b_chopra.flv.mp4

    Check the link out.

    Cheers
    Dan

     
  • At 9:21 AM , Blogger Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

    "All belief is a cover up for insecurity"?

    Perhaps on the one hand, when it comes to faith. That is an essay unto itself!

    Thanks for sharing Dan!

     

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