Friday, December 30, 2011
Many Christians are confused on the date of Jesus Birthday. We seem to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Dec 25th. More likely this is the date that the Magi arrived, bringing gifts to the young baby known as Yeshua bar-yosef, Yeshua ha-moshiach and Yeshua ha-notzri (Jesus the Nazarene) from the Hebrew word "Netzer", Branch of David and root of Jesse. It is more likely that Jesus was born during the month of October, at the time of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot and the stable or manger was actually the traditional Sukkah. It doesn't matter the actual date of Yeshua's birthday. December 25th was chosen because it approximates the 25th of Kislev, the Jewish Festival of Lights that commemorates the miracle of Hanukkah but more importantly the original construction of the Mishkan, the Holy Sanctuary of the Divine Presence .... as Yeshua was the fulfillment of that creation of the Divine Light coming into the World to teach us that we are all "One with the Father" as he was One with the Father. Ein od Milvado. God is One, there is nothing other than God. A Light has come into the World. Rejoice and be glad. Ameyn. Ameyn. Ameyn.
Posted by shvt at 9:14 PM
Monday, December 26, 2011
Blessing over Candles
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us
l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)
to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen)
Blessing for Chanukkah
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
she'asah nisim la'avoteinu bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein)
Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time
Shehecheyanu (first night only)
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)
25 Kislev - (1312 BCE) - Mishkan completed
The vessels, tapestries, wall sections and other components of the Mishkan (the portable sanctuary or "Tabernacle" which was built under Moses' direction to house the Divine Presence during the Israelites' journeys through the desert) were completed on the 25th of Kislev of the Hebrew year 2449 (1312 BCE). However, the Mishkan was not assembled until 3 months later, when, beginning on Adar 25 of that year, it was set up and taken down daily for a 7-day training period prior to its dedication on the 1st of Nisan. The Sages said that Kislev 25 was compensated 12 centuries later, when the Maccabees dedicated the Holy Temple on Kislev 25, 3622 (139 BCE).
25 Kislev - (162 BCE) The Greeks make pagan sacrifices in the Temple
"Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God." (1 Maccabees 1:59)
25 Kislev - (164 BCE) - The Hanukkah miracle
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Through most of the New Testament Jesus calls God simply Father. In Hebrew the word is abba.
The word abba derives ultimately from one of the simplest words in one of the world's oldest languages, ancient Hebrew, or Aramaic. The root of abba is av, the Hebrew word for father. It is one of the simplest words in the world because it is formed from just two letters, and those two are the first two letters of the Hebrew alefbet. Aleph and Bet (also spoken as vet), In the image above the letters are read from right to left. Alef looks like an "X" and bet (vet) looks like a backwards "C"
Jesus usually spoke in parables and metaphor, did this word have another hidden or secret meaning ? Probably.
What does the Aleph-Bet mean ?
In Hebrew and Aramaic these letters are also numbers. Aleph being One and Bet being Two.
1. Aleph: is the supreme living Energy. It is One, but it is also hidden in multiplicity. Aleph is immeasurable. And the mathematical symbol for "infinite"
2. Bet: the Hebrew definition of bet is house, container, support of the eternal.
So together the letters Aleph + Bet (av) represent the "Infinite" living Energy that is contained in all things.
"Bet is any support of Aleph. Aleph with everything, everything with Aleph, Bet with everything, everything with Bet. This means that the eternal is everywhere, in all that is." - Suares
When you read the gospels as they are written and you place this idea wherever you see the word Father, and think "av" the infinite within all things, the words become illuminated.
When you say the words "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name ".... and think "av".... "The Infinite Energy and Life within all things...." You begin to realize and remember that yes, God is not separate from the Universe in heaven somewhere, God is simply everything that exists, and does not exist. Everything is made of energy, and so are you. Energy never dies, and neither do you. Energy is neither made nor destroyed. It just is. Another way of thinking of this concept would be to imagine a burning bush that is on fire yet does not consume itself, and sings "I am that I am" ... That is all there is. Amen.
Posted by shvt at 5:25 AM
Monday, October 10, 2011
God is the most obvious thing in the world. He is absolutely self-evident - the simplest, clearest and closest reality of life and consiousness. We are only unaware of him because we are too complicated, for our vision is darkened by the complexity of pride. We seek him beyond the horizon with our noses lifted high in the air, and fail to see that he lies at our vary feet. We flatter ourselves in premeditating the long, long journey we are going to take in order to find him, the giddy heights of spiritual progress we are going to scale, and all the time are unaware of the truth that "God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves." We are like birds flying in quest of the air, or men with lighted candles searching through the darkness for fire - Alan Watts (p. 91 Behold the Spirit)
Behold the Spirit - The Necessity of Mystical Religion
Behold the Spirit - The Necessity of Mystical Religion
Posted by shvt at 10:18 AM
Monday, September 26, 2011
Adam: Creation is Beautiful !
Science: Yes, creation by natural selection.
Adam: Yes, Nature is beautiful, and awesome ! - The "God" of Spinoza (and Einstein) at work.
Science: We are part of nature, so we see it as beautiful. It is a reflection of ourselves.
Adam: Exactly correct. We are Nature. There is no difference, no separation whatsoever. What we do to Nature, we do to ourselves.
Science: We are the part of nature that is conscious of itself.
Adam: I wonder if there are any other parts also conscious of themselves ....
Science: It's entirely possible, but we have no direct or compelling evidence at this time. We should keep looking.
Adam: Maybe rocks... how would we know ? Maybe fermions ...
Science: Not likely. Look for something alive.
Adam: After grade 11 Chemistry I see everything at the sub-atomic level... everything is spinning and dancing in space.
Science: Right, but it's not conscious.
Adam: Maybe they are only dreaming. Some other level of Consciousness.....
Science: There is no reason to think so.
Adam: Maybe some will eventually evolve.... like we did. It's just a matter of time.
Science: It's entirely possible that some did, somewhere else. But, again, we have no direct evidence at this time.
Adam: But WE are evidence that Consciousness evolves out of nothing. What more evidence do you need ?
Posted by shvt at 6:43 PM
Monday, May 30, 2011
I was in a discussion with an Atheist and I was explaining my understanding of "God" and they sent me this. And it is EXACTLY how I understand God. We come from the Fire. Moses saw it as a burning bush, and the burning bush was afire yet not consumed by the fire. Everything is made of that same fire. At least I know "I AM" (so are you) Turn the World around .....
Posted by shvt at 4:36 PM
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Christian Teaching is correct : Jesus is God. The Jewish Teaching is correct : Jesus was a rabbi. The Muslim Teaching is correct : Jesus was a prophet. How can all 3 be correct ?
The Christian Teaching is correct : Jesus is God.
The Jewish Teaching is correct : Jesus was a rabbi.
The Muslim Teaching is correct : Jesus was a prophet.
How can all 3 be correct ?
The Hindu Upanishad Teaches : Everything is Brahman. The One supreme, universal Spirit (God=Allah=HaShem=ALL)
The plurality we perceive, we experience, we objectify is not "hiding" or "covering" Brahman - it IS verily Brahman.
sarvam khalvidam brahma
Every leaf, every drop of water, every cloud in the sky, every object, animate and inanimate, is all Brahman.
Whatever you perceive at any time at any place is only Brahman and nothing but Brahman. אין עוד מלבדו
In the immortal verse from the mANDUkya upaniShat:
turIya is not that which is conscious of the inner (subjective) world, nor that which is conscious of the outer (objective) world, nor that which is conscious of both, nor that which is a mass of consciousness. It is not simple consciousness nor is It unconsciousness. It is unperceived, unrelated, incomprehensible, uninferable, unthinkable and indescribable. The essence of the Consciousness manifesting as the self in the three states, It is the cessation of all phenomena; It is all peace, all bliss and non-dual. This is what is known as the Fourth (turIya). This is the Atman and this has to be known.
So Jesus was a jewish rabbi prophet who mysteriously understood the teaching of the Hindu Upanishad and said "Before ABrahm ...I AM (Yod-heh)" (John 8:58) and the Kingdom of God is also within YOU. - Luke 17:21
Peace and Peace also be with You. Namaste. Ein od Milvado. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman
Posted by shvt at 2:06 PM
Sunday, May 15, 2011
“…Being is without beginning and indestructible; it is universal, existing alone, immovable and without end; nor ever was it nor will it be, since it now is, all together, one, and continuous.” ~ Parmenides
Love transmutes all to celestial light.— Rumi
"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul." ~Saint Augustine
Dropping your facades, what remains? Just Being. ~Ezra Bayda
The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time. ~ T.S. Eliot
Only one way to understand & discover the nature of thinking—by arriving at the standpoint of stillness that lies beyond thought. ~Kingsley
Each separate being in the universe / returns to the common source. / Returning to the source is serenity. - Lao-Tzu
In the Silence is where all the power is. In the Silence is where all the answers are.
Calmness is the living breath of God's immortality in you. — Paramahansa Yogananda
At times we look around with sudden awareness and wonder where we have been.
No rush to find any answers, because we are the answer; no hurry to go anywhere, because there is absolutely nowhere to go. ~ Peter Kingsley
Nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. ~ACIM
The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. ~Yasutani Roshi
You are hidden from me. But it is You who keeps me alive. ~Rumi
"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." ~ Dalai Lama
Posted by shvt at 12:29 PM
You are already the transparent presence of Awareness. Why do you want to go somewhere ? ~Rupert Spira
Oh, the joy of another mysterious new Today to unwrap! ~Cheri Huber
The whole of existence is a mirror whose essence you are.— Rumi
Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Go out of your house like a shepherd. ~Rumi
Listen to what you know instead of what you fear. ~Richard Bach
Everything exists for the purpose of joy in the moment. – Abraham Hicks
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. -Joseph Campbell
The only longing to follow is the longing to know Who you are. ~Leonard Jacobson
There is only LIFE ..... Open your heart. Embrace the freshness & newness of life. Because this is it. This is everything. ~Scott Morrison
Feel your Reality in the stillness, when there is no mind, no thoughts. Who are you then ? You just are. ~Robert Adams
Everything that you call the world is a sensation inside yourself. - Deepak Chopra
Everything is available for you in the here & now. Love, compassion, silence, bliss, Oneness. ~Leonard Jacobson
All I want is to be born, now, into this Goodness. ~Byron Katie
Posted by shvt at 6:49 AM
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sanatana Dharma recognizes that the Ultimate Reality, which is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization, cannot be limited by any name or concept. The potential for human wholeness (or in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, liberation, transformation, blessedness, nirvana, moksha) is present in every human being. No race or religion is superior and no color or creed is inferior. All humans are spiritually united like the drops of water in an ocean. Therefore: Give a person freedom to think, freedom to believe, freedom to disbelieve and freedom to adopt a way of worship, which suits his/her temperament. After all, what is important in worship of God is the sincerity of heart, not the outer form of worship. Don’t divide the human race into conflicting armies and camps of Holy believers and Unholy Others. Sanatana-Dharma.tripod.com
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"God is One, there is none other", can also be interpreted as "There is nothing else" Not that there is only One God (Monotheism) ... rather, there is only One Infinite Everything, and you and Jesus and Buddha and your neighbor are part of that Oneness. It is not Atheism it is called Monism. Huge Difference.
Some, like Baruch Spinoza say that "Everything is God" That is Non-dual thought. There is Only One. Nothing else.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
They used to call him Jesus
Long time ago
They're still calling him Jesus
don't you know
They crossed the wood and hanged him
A long time ago
They still misunderstand him
Those who don't know
And in the evening his love will lead the blind
In every secret corner there in your mind
They called him Gautama Buddha
Oh long time ago
He turned the world to order
Don't you know
He used to sit knowing
Oh long time ago
Where you and me were going
And in the evening his love will lead the blind
- Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is LIKE it: ‘Love your neighbor as your SELF. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:36-40
In this exchange Jesus illuminates the most important Commandment/Law/Way (TAO) when he uses the word "SELF". When he says the 2nd is LIKE the 1st.
When he says Love your neighbor as your "SELF", combined with the 1st Way (Tao) Love Allaha (Brahman/SELF) with all your heart, with all your soul, all your mind, all your strength and Love your neighbor as your "SELF" - it completes the circle. Allaha (Brahman/SELF)=neighbor=SELF
"Love your neighbor as your SELF" was the EXACT CENTER VERSE OF THE BOOK OF THE TORAH. As his teacher, Rabbi Hillel, said: "All the Commandments are within this command."
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
However,this prize has rules, just as any game has certain rules. The first set of rules would be:
Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
You may only spend it.
Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day. The second set of rules:
The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, Its over,the game is over! It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all people you love, right? Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right?
ACTUALLY This GAME is REALITY!
Each of us is in possession of such a magical bank. We just can't seem to see it.
The MAGICAL BANK is TIME!
Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
What we haven't lived up that day is forever lost.
Yesterday is forever gone.
Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time....WITHOUT WARNING.
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.
Think about that, and always think of this:
Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!
Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Love everyone, always. Happy Valentine's Day
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Way-nah-boo-zhoo held up his hands to make them stop making such a noise and said, “You have all puffed yourselves so full of air to make everyone think you are great. Because of this you could not swim to the bottom of the waters. In a new earth you must remember that you are all connected. Not one of you is more important than another. You must learn to love, honor, and respect each other in the circle of life. Each of you has some energy to share with the others of the circle. And the circle finds a way for each to make a contribution. These are the Original Instructions that you have forgotten. Perhaps Wazhusk, the muskrat, can do what all of you wish. Would you be happy to live on the new earth if the muskrat brought the first mud from the bottom of the waters?”
“The Eighth Fire is a term arising from the teachings of the Seven fires prophecy. The teaching suggests that if enough people—of all colors and faiths—turn from materialism and instead choose a path of respect, wisdom and spirituality, environmental and social catastrophe can be avoided, and an era of spiritual illumination will unfold.”
Saturday, January 22, 2011
And Jesus said " Hear, O teacher, the ordinance of the first letter and pay heed to this, how that it hath lines, and a middle mark, which thou seest, common to both, going apart; coming together, raised up on high, dancing, of three signs, like in kind, balanced, equal in measure]: thou hast the rules of the Aleph." - Infancy Gospel of Thomas (80 Ad)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the mystical Aleph-Bet
I found a part in the "Secret" Infancy Gospel of Thomas (80s C.E) that suggests that Jesus had a mystical understanding of the Aleph-Bet.
VI. 1 And on the morrow he took him by the hand and led him to a certain teacher, Zacchaeus by name, and said unto him: Take this child, O master, and teach him letters. And the other said: Deliver him unto me, my brother, and I will teach him the scripture, and I will persuade him to bless all men and not to curse them. 2 And when Jesus heard that he laughed and said unto them: Ye speak that ye know, but I have knowledge more than you, for I am before the worlds. And I know when the fathers of your fathers were begotten, and I know how many are the years of your life. And every one that heard it was amazed. 3 And again saith Jesus unto them: Marvel ye because I said unto you that I know how many are the years of your life? Of a truth I know when the world was created. Behold, now ye believe me not: when ye shall see my cross then will ye believe that I speak truth. And they were astonished when they heard all these things.
VII. 1 Now Zacchaeus wrote the alphabet in Hebrew, and saith unto him: Alpha. And the young child said: Aleph. And again the master said: Aleph, and the young child likewise. Then again the third time the master said: Aleph. Then Jesus looked upon the teacher and said: Thou that knowest not the Aleph, how canst thou teach another the Bet? And the child beginning at the Aleph said of his own accord the two and twenty letters. 2 And thereafter saith he: Hear, O master the ordinance of the first letter, and know how many incomings and lines it hath, and marks, common, going apart, and coming together. And when Zacchaeus heard such designations of the one letter he was amazed and had nothing to answer; and turning about he said unto Joseph: My brother, this child is of a truth not earthly born: take him away therefore from me.
Another version also discovered:
VI. 1 Now a certain teacher, Zacchaeus by name, stood there and he heard in part when Jesus said these things to his father and he marvelled greatly that being a young child he spake such matters. 2 And after a few days he came near unto Joseph and said unto him: Thou hast a wise child, and he hath understanding. Come, deliver him to me that he may learn letters. And I will teach him with the letters all knowledge and that he salute all the elders and honour them as grandfathers and fathers, and love them of his own years. 3 And he told him all the letters from Aleph even to Tav clearly, with much questioning. But Jesus looked upon Zacchaeus the teacher and saith unto him: Thou that knowest not the Aleph according to its nature, how canst thou teach others the Bet? thou hypocrite, first, if thou knowest it, teach the Aleph, and then will we believe thee concerning the Bet. Then began he to confound the mouth of the teacher concerning the first letter, and he could not prevail to answer him. 4 And in the hearing of many the young child saith to Zacchaeus: Hear, O teacher, the ordinance of the first letter and pay heed to this, how that it hath lines, and a middle mark, which thou seest, common to both, going apart; coming together, raised up on high, dancing, of three signs, like in kind, balanced, equal in measure]: thou hast the rules of the Aleph.
VII. 1 Now when Zacchaeus the teacher heard such and so many allegories of the first letter spoken by the young child, he was perplexed at his answer and his instruction being so great, and said to them that were there: Woe is me, wretch that I am, I am confounded: I have brought shame to myself by drawing to me this young child. 2 Take him away, therefore I beseech thee, my brother Joseph: I cannot endure the severity of his look, I cannot once make clear my (or his) word. This young child is not earthly born: this is one that can tame even fire: be like this is one begotten before the making of the world. What belly bare this, what womb nurtured it? I know not. Woe is me, O my friend, he putteth me from my sense, I cannot follow his understanding. I have deceived myself, thrice wretched man that I am: I strove to get me a disciple and I am found to have a master. 3 I think, O my friends, upon my shame, for that being old I have been overcome by a young child;- and I am even ready to faint and to die because of the boy, for I am not able at this present hour to look him in the face. And when all men say that I have been overcome by a little child, what have I to say? and what can I tell concerning the lines of the first letter whereof he spake to me? I am ignorant, O my friends, for neither beginning nor end of it (or him) do I know. 4 Wherefore I beseech thee, my brother Joseph, take him away unto thine house: for he is somewhat great, whether god or angel or what I should call him, I know not.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Albert Einstein said over and over again ..... “I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists.... "
What then, is this "God" of Spinoza ?? In his work called "Ethics" Spinoza says "Nothing can come into being or exist without God.
Spinoza's Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata (Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order) is based on a deductive method derived from Euclidean geometry. Spinoza maintains that the validity of ethical ideas can be demonstrated by mathematical argument or proof. Spinoza asserts that ethics can be based on a geometric model in which axioms and propositions follow each other with logical necessity. This reflects the view that ethical truth has the same logical necessity as mathematical truth. Spinoza sees ethics as a rational system corresponding to the rational nature of the universe.
The Ethics is divided into five parts: Part I. "Of God;" Part II. "Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind;" Part III. "Of the Origin and Nature of the Emotions;" Part IV. "Of Human Bondage, or Of the Strength of the Emotions;" Part V. "Of the Power of the Intellect, or Of Human Liberty."
Each of the five parts of the Ethics consists of several definitions and axioms, followed by a series of propositions and corollaries.
The propositions of Part III are followed by forty-eight definitions of the emotions, including desire, pleasure, pain, love, hatred, hope, fear, despair, joy, disappointment, humility, pride, anger, shame, cruelty, benevolence, etc.
Spinoza begins by describing what can be known about God. God is infinite being, according to Spinoza. God is infinite substance, consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses God's eternal and infinite essence (I, Prop. XI).1
God necessarily exists, argues Spinoza, because God's essence is existence. God's essence is perfect, and therefore God's perfection implies that God must exist. God's essence and existence are the same (I, Prop. XX). Each attribute which expresses God's essence also expresses God's existence.
According to Spinoza, infinite substance is indivisible (I, Prop. XIII). If infinite substance were divisible, it could either be divided into two finite parts, which is impossible, or it could be divided into two equally infinite parts, which is also impossible. Thus, there is only one infinite substance.
Since God is infinite substance, Spinoza argues, no attribute which expresses the essence of substance can be denied of God (I, Prop. XIV). Every being has its being in God. Nothing can come into being or exist without God.
According to Spinoza, the will and the intellect are modes of thought. The will is the same as the intellect. In God, intellect is actual and not potential, because in God intellect is fully actualized. This means that things must necessarily occur in the manner in which they occur, because the intellect or will of God is fully actualized.
For Spinoza, God is the necessary cause of all things. All things by nature proceed from necessity. All things are predetermined by God, and for anything that exists, some effect must follow.
Spinoza argues that thought is one of the attributes of God (II, Prop. I). God can think an infinite number of things in an infinite number of ways. God�s infinite intellect comprehends all of God�s attributes.
According to Spinoza, God is the essence of substance. Thought and extension are attributes of God. Thus, God is the essence of thinking substance (i.e. mind) and of extended substance (i.e. body).
Substance is defined by Spinoza as a mode of being which implies necessary existence. God is infinite substance, and outside of God no other substance is possible. Thus, Spinoza�s philosophy is pantheistic, in that it claims that God is present in all things.
Spinoza argues that the human mind is a part of the infinite intellect of God (II, Prop. XI, Corollary). All ideas are present in the intellect of God. Ideas are true and adequate insofar as they refer to God. Ideas that logically follow from adequate ideas are also adequate. Ideas are false and inadequate insofar as they do not express the essence of God.
According to Spinoza, an idea is adequate and perfect insofar as it represents knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God. Spinoza says that, since the idea of anything actually existing must come from God, the human mind is capable of knowing God (II, Prop. XLV).
For Spinoza, the will cannot be separated from the intellect. There is no such thing as free will, because the human mind is determined in its willing by a cause other than itself. God�s will, which has no cause other than itself, reveals itself by necessity rather than by freedom. Thus, Spinoza explains that the will can only be a necessary cause of action, and not a free cause of action (I, Prop. XXXII).
Spinoza also argues that from any idea, an effect must necessarily follow. Insofar as an idea adequately refers to God, its effect is caused immediately by God. Insofar as an idea inadequately refers to God, its effect has intermediary causes and is not caused immediately by God.
Spinoza explains that the human mind may have both adequate and inadequate ideas. The mind is active insofar as it has adequate ideas, and is passive insofar as it has inadequate ideas. The mind may have more or less adequate ideas, according to whether it is more or less subject to reason. The mind may have more or less inadequate ideas, according to whether it is more or less subject to emotion.
According to Spinoza there are three primary emotions: desire, pleasure, and pain. All emotions arise from desire, pleasure, or pain. Desire may arise from either pleasure or pain. Pleasure may be produced by a transition from a lesser to a greater state of perfection. Pain may be produced by a transition from a greater to a lesser state of perfection.
For Spinoza, perfection is the same as reality II, Def. VI). The more perfect a thing is, the more real it is. Inasmuch as God is absolutely perfect, God is also absolutely real. God is infinitely perfect and infinitely real.
Spinoza claims that the more perfect a thing is, the more active and less passive it is. The more active a thing is, the more it becomes perfect (IV, Prop. XL). Perfection and imperfection are modes of thought.2 The mind is most perfect when it knows God.
Spinoza argues that knowledge of good and evil arises from the awareness of what causes pleasure and pain. The greatest good of the mind, and its greatest virtue, is to know God (IV, Prop. XXVIII). To act with virtue is to act according to reason (IV, Prop. XXXVI). If we act according to reason, then we desire only what is good. If we act according to reason, then we try to promote what is good not only for ourselves but for others. Freedom is the ability to act according to reason. Freedom is not the ability to make free, undetermined choices. Freedom is the ability to act rationally and to control the emotions. Servitude is the inability to act rationally or to control the emotions.
Spinoza admits that all emotions may not necessarily conflict with reason. Emotions which agree with reason may cause pleasure, while emotions which do not agree with reason may cause pain. Inability to control the emotions may cause pain.
According to Spinoza, pain is the knowledge of evil. Pain arises from inadequate ideas, i.e. ideas which do not adequately express the essence of God. Knowledge of evil is thus inadequate knowledge (IV, Prop. XIV). Pleasure is knowledge of what is good. Pleasure arises from adequate ideas, i.e. ideas which adequately express the essence of God. Knowledge of good is thus adequate knowledge.
Spinoza argues that to live according to reason is to live freely, and is not to live in servitude to the emotions. If we act according to reason, then we are guided by love and good-will and not by fear or hatred.
Spinoza maintains that reason can control the emotions. Reason is virtue, and virtue is love toward God. The more we love God, the more we are able to control our emotions (V, Prop. XLII, Proof). The better we can control our emotions, the better we can understand God.
For Spinoza, the more active the mind is, the more adequately it knows God. The more passive the mind is, the less adequately it knows God. The more active the mind is, the more it is able to avoid emotions which are evil. The more passive the mind is, the more it accepts emotions which are evil.
The question arises as to whether Spinoza�s philosophy is able to reconcile the existence of good with the existence of evil, or the existence of truth with the existence of falsehood. If God is infinite substance, then how can any kind of evil or falsehood occur? If God is perfect, then how can God allow the existence of evil or suffering? Spinoza�s answer is that evil is a lack of good and that falsehood is a lack of truth. Error and falsehood arise from inadequate knowledge of God. Knowledge of evil arises from inadequate ideas, i.e. ideas that do not adequately refer to God. Knowledge of good arises from adequate ideas, i.e. ideas that adequately refer to God.
Spinoza argues that all ideas are found in God, but that ideas are true only insofar as they adequately refer to God. Truth is adequate knowledge, but falsehood is inadequate knowledge.
Friday, January 14, 2011
In an interview published by Time magazine, with George Sylvester Viereck, Einstein spoke of his feelings about Christianity. Viereck was a Nazi sympathizer who was jailed in America during WW II for being a German propagandist. But at the time of the interview Einstein thought Viereck was Jewish.
Viereck began by asking Einstein if he considered himself a German or a Jew, to which Einstein responded that it was possible to be both. Einstein further elaborated that he considered nationalism to be "the measles of mankind."
Viereck moved along in the interview to ask Einstein if Jews should try to assimilate, to which Einstein replied that, "We Jews have been too eager to sacrifice our idiosyncrasies in order to conform."
Einstein was then asked to what extent he was influenced by Christianity, to which Einstein replied as follows, "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."
Einstein was then asked if he accepted the "historical existence of Jesus," to which he replied, "Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." TIME
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Isha (Yhsha) Upanishad
Translated and Commentated by Swami Paramananda From the original Sanskrit Text This volume is reverently dedicated to all seekers of truth and lovers of wisdom
This Upanishad desires its title from the opening words Isha–vasya, “God–covered.” The use of Isha (Lord)–a more personal name of the Supreme Being than Brahman, Atman or Self, the names usually found in the Upanishads–constitutes one of its peculiarities. It forms the closing chapter of the Yajur–Veda, known as Shukla (White). Oneness of the Soul and God, and the value of both faith and works as means of ultimate attainment are the leading themes of this Upanishad. The general teaching of the Upanishads is that works alone, even the highest, can bring only temporary happiness and must inevitably bind a man unless through them he gains knowledge of his real Self. To help him acquire this knowledge is the aim of this and all Upanishads.
OM! That (the Invisible–Absolute) is whole; whole is this (the visible phenomenal); from the Invisible Whole comes forth the visible whole. Though the visible whole has come out from that Invisible Whole, yet the Whole remains unaltered. OM! PEACE! PEACE! PEACE!
The indefinite term “That” is used in the Upanishads to designate the Invisible–Absolute, because no word or name can fully define It. A finite object, like a table or a tree, can be defined; but God, who is infinite and unbounded, cannot be expressed by finite language. Therefore the Rishis or Divine Seers, desirous not to limit the Unlimited, chose the indefinite term “That” to designate the Absolute. In the light of true wisdom the phenomenal and the Absolute are inseparable. All existence is in the Absolute; and whatever exists, must exist in It; hence all manifestation is merely a modification of the One Supreme Whole, and neither increases nor diminishes It. The Whole therefore remains unaltered.
I - All this, whatsoever exists in the universe, should be covered by the Lord. Having renounced (the unreal), enjoy (the Real). Do not covet the wealth of any man. We cover all things with the Lord by perceiving the Divine Presence everywhere. When the consciousness is firmly fixed in God, the conception of diversity naturally drops away; because the One Cosmic Existence shines through all things. As we gain the light of wisdom, we cease to cling to the unrealities of this world and we find all our joy in the realm of Reality.
The word “enjoy” is also interpreted by the great commentator Sankaracharya as “protect,” because knowledge of our true Self is the greatest protector and sustainer. If we do not have this knowledge, we cannot be happy; because nothing on this external plane of phenomena is permanent or dependable. He who is rich in the knowledge of the Self does not covet external power or possession.
II- If one should desire to live in this world a hundred years, one should live performing Karma (righteous deeds). Thus thou mayest live; there is no other way. By doing this, Karma (the fruits of thy actions) will not defile thee. If a man still clings to long life and earthly possessions, and is therefore unable to follow the path of Self–knowledge (Gnana–Nishta) as prescribed in the first Mantram (text), then he may follow the path of right action (Karma–Nishta). Karma here means actions performed without selfish motive, for the sake of the Lord alone. When a man performs actions clinging blindly to his lower desires, then his actions bind him to the plane of ignorance or the plane of birth and death; but when the same actions are performed with surrender to God, they purify and liberate him.
III - After leaving their bodies, they who have killed the Self go to the worlds of the Asuras, covered with blinding ignorance. The idea of rising to bright regions as a reward for well–doers, and of falling into realms of darkness as a punishment for evil–doers is common to all great religions. But Vedanta claims that this condition of heaven and hell is only temporary; because our actions, being finite, can produce only a finite result. What does it mean “to kill the Self?” How can the immortal Soul ever be destroyed? It cannot be destroyed, it can only be obscured. Those who hold themselves under the sway of ignorance, who serve the flesh and neglect the Atman or the real Self, are not able to perceive the effulgent and indestructible nature of their Soul; hence they fall into the realm where the Soul light does not shine. Here the Upanishad shows that the only hell is absence of knowledge. As long as man is overpowered by the darkness of ignorance, he is the slave of Nature and must accept whatever comes as the fruit of his thoughts and deeds. When he strays into the path of unreality, the Sages declare that he destroys himself; because he who clings to the perishable body and regards it as his true Self must experience death many times.
IV - That One, though motionless, is swifter than the mind. The senses can never overtake It, for It ever goes before. Though immovable, It travels faster than those who run. By It the all–pervading air sustains all living beings. This verse explains the character of the Atman or Self. A finite object can be taken from one place and put in another, but it can only occupy one space at a time. The Atman, however, is present everywhere; hence, though one may run with the greatest swiftness to overtake It, already It is there before him. Even the all–pervading air must be supported by this Self, since It is infinite; and as nothing can live without breathing air, all living things must draw their life from the Cosmic Self.
V - It moves and It moves not. It is far and also It is near. It is within and also It is without all this. It is near to those who have the power to understand It, for It dwells in the heart of every one; but It seems far to those whose mind is covered by the clouds of sensuality and self– delusion. It is within, because It is the innermost Soul of all creatures; and It is without as the essence of the whole external universe, infilling it like the all–pervading ether.
VI - He who sees all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from It (the Self).
VII - He who perceives all beings as the Self’ for him how can there be delusion or grief, when he sees this oneness (everywhere) ? He who perceives the Self everywhere never shrinks from anything, because through his higher consciousness he feels united with all life. When a man sees God in all beings and all beings in God, and also God dwelling in his own Soul, how can he hate any living thing? Grief and delusion rest upon a belief in diversity, which leads to competition and all forms of selfishness. With the realization of oneness, the sense of diversity vanishes and the cause of misery is removed.
VIII - He (the Self) is all–encircling, resplendent, bodiless, spotless, without sinews, pure, untouched by sin, all–seeing, all–knowing, transcendent, self–existent; He has disposed all things duly for eternal years. This text defines the real nature of the Self. When our mind is cleansed from the dross of matter, then alone can we behold the vast, radiant, subtle, ever–pure and spotless Self, the true basis of our existence.
IX - They enter into blind darkness who worship Avidya (ignorance and delusion); they fall, as it were, into greater darkness who worship Vidya (knowledge).
X - By Vidya one end is attained; by Avidya, another. Thus we have heard from the wise men who taught this.
XI - He who knows at the same time both Vidya and Avidya, crosses over death by Avidya and attains immortality through Vidya. Those who follow or “worship” the path of selfishness and pleasure (Avidya), without knowing anything higher, necessarily fall into darkness; but those who worship or cherish Vidya (knowledge) for mere intellectual pride and satisfaction, fall into greater darkness, because the opportunity which they misuse is greater. In the subsequent verses Vidya and Avidya are used in something the same sense as “faith” and “works” in the Christian Bible; neither alone can lead to the ultimate goal, but when taken together they carry one to the Highest. Work done with unselfish motive purifies the mind and enables man to perceive his undying nature. From this he gains inevitably a knowledge of God, because the Soul and God are one and inseparable; and when he knows himself to be one with the Supreme and Indestructible Whole, he realizes his immortality.
XII - They fall into blind darkness who worship the Unmanifested and they fall into greater darkness who worship the manifested.
XIII - By the worship of the Unmanifested one end is attained; by the worship of the manifested, another. Thus we have heard from the wise men who taught us this.
XIV - He who knows at the same time both the Unmanifested (the cause of manifestation) and the destructible or manifested, he crosses over death through knowledge of the destructible and attains immortality through knowledge of the First Cause (Unmanifested). This particular Upanishad deals chiefly with the Invisible Cause and the visible manifestation, and the whole trend of its teaching is to show that they are one and the same, one being the outcome of the other hence no perfect knowledge is possible without simultaneous comprehension of both. The wise men declare that he who worships in a one–sided way, whether the visible or the invisible, does not reach the highest goal. Only he who has a co–ordinated understanding of both the visible and the invisible, of matter and spirit, of activity and that which is behind activity, conquers Nature and thus overcomes death. By work, by making the mind steady and by following the prescribed rules given in the Scriptures, a man gains wisdom. By the light of that wisdom he is able to perceive the Invisible Cause in all visible forms. Therefore the wise man sees Him in every manifested form. They who have a true conception of God are never separated from Him. They exist in Him and He in them.
XV - The face of Truth is hidden by a golden disk. O Pushan (Effulgent Being)! Uncover (Thy face) that I, the worshipper of Truth, may behold Thee.
XVI - O Pushan! O Sun, sole traveller of the heavens, controller of all, son of Prajapati, withdraw Thy rays and gather up Thy burning effulgence. Now through Thy Grace I behold Thy blessed and glorious form. The Purusha (Effulgent Being) who dwells within Thee, I am He. Here the sun, who is the giver of all light, is used as the symbol of the Infinite, giver of all wisdom. The seeker after Truth prays to the Effulgent One to control His dazzling rays, that his eyes, no longer blinded by them, may behold the Truth. Having perceived It, he proclaims: “Now I see that that Effulgent Being and I are one and the same, and my delusion is destroyed.” By the light of Truth he is able to discriminate between the real and the unreal, and the knowledge thus gained convinces him that he is one with the Supreme; that there is no difference between himself and the Supreme Truth; or as Christ said, “I and my Father are one.”
XVII - May my life–breath go to the all–pervading and immortal Prana, and let this body be burned to ashes. Om! O mind, remember thy deeds! O mind, remember, remember thy deeds! Remember! Seek not fleeting results as the reward of thy actions, O mind! Strive only for the Imperishable. This Mantram or text is often chanted at the hour of death to remind one of the perishable nature of the body and the eternal nature of the Soul. When the clear vision of the distinction between the mortal body and the immortal Soul dawns in the heart, then all craving for physical pleasure or material possession drops away; and one can say, let the body be burned to ashes that the Soul may attain its freedom; for death is nothing more than the casting–off of a worn–out garment.
XVIII - O Agni (Bright Being)! Lead us to blessedness by the good path. O Lord! Thou knowest all our deeds, remove all evil and delusion from us. To Thee we offer our prostrations and supplications again and again.
Here ends this Upanishad
This Upanishad is called Isa–Vasya Upanishad, that which gives Brahma–Vidya or knowledge of the All–pervading Deity. The dominant thought running through it is that we cannot enjoy life or realize true happiness unless we consciously “cover” all with the Omnipresent Lord. If we are not fully conscious of that which sustains our life, how can we live wisely and perform our duties? Whatever we see, movable or immovable, good or bad, it is all “That.” We must not divide our conception of the universe; for in dividing it, we have only fragmentary knowledge and we thus limit ourselves.
He who sees all beings in his Self and his Self in all beings, he never suffers; because when he sees all creatures within his true Self, then jealousy, grief and hatred vanish. He alone can love. That AH–pervading One is self– effulgent, birthless, deathless, pure, untainted by sin and sorrow. Knowing this, he becomes free from the bondage of matter and transcends death. Transcending death means realizing the difference between body and Soul and identifying oneself with the Soul. When we actually behold the undecaying Soul within us and realize our true nature, we no longer identify ourself with the body which dies and we do not die with the body.
Self–knowledge has always been the theme of the Sages; and the Upanishads deal especially with the knowledge of the Self and also with the knowledge of God, because there is no difference between the Self and God. They are one and the same. That which comes out of the Infinite Whole must also be infinite; hence the Self is infinite. That is the ocean, we are the drops. So long as the drop remains separate from the ocean, it is small and weak; but when it is one with the ocean, then it has all the strength of the ocean. Similarly, so long as man believes himself to be separate from the Whole, he is helpless; but when he identifies himself with It, then he transcends all weakness and partakes of Its omnipotent qualities.