Zorananda, Demystifying Yoga |559|

This video is worth watching on how essential differences in religions played out in late Antiquity in the Greco-Roman city of Alexandria:
 
In contrast to the New Testament, notice how tolerant the Yoga Sutras are. Many different ways are suggested that one could reach the same goal.

Compare the NT again:
"No one comes to the Father except through me"

There's a vast difference there

You missed my "essential differences" descriptor. Sure, scriptures have been meddled with to some extent, maybe made up or slanted to support exoteric religions, but if you look past that to possible esoteric meaning, there are similarities in the scriptures of many of the major religions.

Did Jesus literally say "No one comes to the Father except through me", or was that a gloss placed upon something more akin to "No one comes to mind-at-large except by adopting the kind of principles and practices I adhere to"? And I maintain that those practices/principles are much the same in essential Hinduism and Christianity.

In Islam, I opine that there's a pretty sharp divide between scripture that has been meddled with and Islam's essence, as exemplified by the Sufis (though not all Sufis are Muslims). In Christianity, the divide is between the bible-thumpers and Christian mystics. Likewise in Hinduism, there's a divide between those willing to put up with a rigid caste system and Hindu mystics like Patanjali.

IMHO, Jesus didn't found Christianity as we commonly know it, nor Muhammed Islam, nor did any of the major religion's originators found their religions. No, all major religions as commonly known have been shaped by ordinary human beings with very human agendas, and so bent out of shape that they rarely get things right. They're for the most part bastardisations that miss the same essential points in different varieties of ways.
 
You missed my "essential differences" descriptor.

No, I am addressing essential differences found in the texts

Did Jesus literally say "No one comes to the Father except through me", or was that a gloss placed upon something more akin to "No one comes to mind-at-large except by adopting the kind of principles and practices I adhere to"?

Even if one uses special pleading and bends the meaning of "No one comes to the Father except through me" to "No one comes to mind-at-large except by adopting the kind of principles and practices I adhere to", it's still essentially the antithesis of what the Indian texts are saying, that there are any number of ways to reach the same goal
 
They're for the most part bastardisations that miss the same essential points in different varieties of ways.

I'm just following the evidence of what the texts say. And they are radically different from one another, in almost every way.

I do agree with you though, that ESOTERIC traditions are remarkably similar around the world. I think this is because they're describing the extended consciousness realm.

Nevertheless, what these esoteric traditions share is to varying degrees the ignoring and transforming of the literature and rituals upon which the religions are based... in some cases to such an extent it becomes almost meaningless to label it e.g. "esoteric Christianity".

One can see this by the way so many people bend the meaning of statements such as "nobody comes to the Father except through me"... or the ignoring of statements such as "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword"...

Typically it's without any supporting evidence. It's just people saying arbitrarily that it has a different meaning than what is written.
 
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Again to bring the point home: Just this one statement should have alarm bells ringing:

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword".........
 
Just watched the documentary "My octopus teacher" on Netflix. What's that got to do with This episode? First off, the filmmaker is a great fan of cold-water swimming in the sea, going so far as to say that after a while it becomes addictive. Reminds me of Alex.

Second, in my view this leads to a gripping and fascinating tale where he goes beyond the purely physical into contemplation and self-enquiry, not to mention heightened compassion. This is may be a yoga-like progression. Any way, I can higly recommend the film.
Would you have helped the octopus, well kept filming?
 
IMHO, Jesus didn't found Christianity as we commonly know it, nor Muhammed Islam, nor did any of the major religion's originators found their religions. No, all major religions as commonly known have been shaped by ordinary human beings with very human agendas, and so bent out of shape that they rarely get things right. They're for the most part bastardisations that miss the same essential points in different varieties of ways.
Hard to imagine its been any other way, right? Really appreciated your post here.

I mean if we know one thing, its that humans are apt to muck things up based on many of our less savory instincts vs our higher ones.
 
Hard to imagine its been any other way, right? Really appreciated your post here.

I mean if we know one thing, its that humans are apt to muck things up based on many of our less savory instincts vs our higher ones.

You and Michael are engaging in speculations and wild generalisations here though. What happened to looking at things in a more academic way as you both do with other topics?

When it comes to "religions", people have been so indoctrinated that they shouldn't be treated like other topics, so that black and white evidence gets twisted and ignored to fit the notion that all "religions" are essentially the same

That's about as nonsensical as saying all worldviews are essentially the same! Nobody would take that seriously. But if we substitute the word "religion", suddenly critical thinking gets shut down
 
You and Michael are engaging in speculations and wild generalisations here though. What happened to looking at things in a more academic way as you both do with other topics?
The point of interest for me was Michael's commentary on how we might truly understand what these historical figures intended and that none of them had any direct control of the religious practices that came after. Seems very academic/rational/scientific to think this way; at least to me.
 
The point of interest for me was Michael's commentary on how we might truly understand what these historical figures intended and that none of them had any direct control of the religious practices that came after. Seems very academic/rational/scientific to think this way; at least to me.

Fair enough. But we need to go some levels deeper with Christianity, to question if there even WAS a historical Jesus that matches the descriptions of the Jesus characters in the New Testament. It's clear enough from Joe Atwill's work that there are multiple Jesus characters in the NT. These Jesus characters are used as lampoons to muddy the waters regarding militant messianic Judaism and instead to instill a slave morality
 
Fair enough. But we need to go some levels deeper with Christianity, to question if there even WAS a historical Jesus that matches the descriptions of the Jesus characters in the New Testament. It's clear enough from Joe Atwill's work that there are multiple Jesus characters in the NT. These Jesus characters are used as lampoons to muddy the waters regarding militant messianic Judaism and instead to instill a slave morality
I haven't researched Atwill's claims so feel free to dismiss my view here, but are you telling me its settled "science" here on the multiple Jesus characters? I have a suspicion there are academics/researchers that might have a different view from Atwill on his claims?

Point being: I'm not sure there will ever be a way to either prove or disprove the actual existence of such an historical figure.
 
You and Michael are engaging in speculations and wild generalisations here though. What happened to looking at things in a more academic way as you both do with other topics?

When it comes to "religions", people have been so indoctrinated that they shouldn't be treated like other topics, so that black and white evidence gets twisted and ignored to fit the notion that all "religions" are essentially the same

That's about as nonsensical as saying all worldviews are essentially the same! Nobody would take that seriously. But if we substitute the word "religion", suddenly critical thinking gets shut down

Oh, pish. You seem to want to take the way that religious doctrines have been formulated as some kind of true reflection of the spiritual impulse that lay behind them, and hence say with confidence that "Christianity" is worse than "Hinduism". One can argue the point, I suppose (based solely on such documentary evidence as scriptures provide), that as we know them, this scripture is better or worse than that one. But to do so might involve accepting that scriptures are accurate renditions of the intentions of the spiritual impulse in the first place.

It doesn't matter whether or not Jesus or Buddha or Muhammed existed. The fact is, there have been periodic arisings of spiritual impulses that human beings have seized upon and, like they do with most things, have bent and formulated into doctrines that for the most part miss the essential messages of those impulses, instead pushing a particular world view as being supreme.

Is that speculation? I say, look to the mystics in various traditions and compare the documentary evidence of their works. One finds that there is a remarkable degree of concordance in what they have to say about the nature of spirituality. Collectively, their works are just as extensive as those of the dogmatists, whilst for the most part avoiding dogmatism themselves.

No one is shutting you down -- still less abandoning critical thinking. In fact, quite the reverse. You seem to want to shut down a different viewpoint than your own, trying to hand-wave it away rather than engaging with it in critical dialogue. All world views aren't the same, about that I feel quite sure. However, all world views do arise within the human condition. All world views have a dogmatic element, regardless of whether religion per se is involved. Behind all world views lie existential challenges, which a particular world view is ostensibly designed to cope with. And generally speaking, imho all world views fail to one degree or another to address those challenges.

It's not speculation to say that as a species, human beings mostly get things wrong, at least in the religio-political sense. This is usually said with the benefit of hindsight, informed not by actual truth, but present-day understandings and interpretations. In due course, it's certain we will revise those and adopt other world views, which in turn will turn out to be equally, if not even more, flawed.

The only place I have ever found a high degree of consistency is in the works of the mystics of all traditions. They say things that do not change over time and rely in no degree on partisan dogmatism.
 
I haven't researched Atwill's claims so feel free to dismiss my view here, but are you telling me its settled "science" here on the multiple Jesus characters? I have a suspicion there are academics/researchers that might have a different view from Atwill on his claims?

Point being: I'm not sure there will ever be a way to either prove or disprove the actual existence of such an historical figure.

Amazingly, even according to the New Testament itself there were more than two Jesuses. There was, for example, Jesus the Son of the Father, and there was Jesus the Anointed One. They shared a jail together and were then tried together in front of Pontius Pilate and the gathered crowd.

The New Testament says this, but later translations censored this information. Now that in itself is EXTREMELY SUSPICIOUS...

So which is the real Jesus: Jesus the Son of the Father or Jesus the Anointed One? Or is it neither of them? Or all of them?... because there are at least three(!) Jesus characters in the New Testament...
 
Just let the above information sink in,... the implications of it.........

(I'll give you evidence for this in the next post)
 
Would you have helped the octopus, well kept filming?

Hard to say. The first time, when the shark ripped off one of the octopus' arms, I might have been tempted. But on the second occasion, when the octopus won out by riding on the back of the shark, I might have regretted intervening.

I think the guy was right: this was not his natural ecosystem, and there are moral questions about intervening. Why, for instance, wouldn't he intervene to save the fishes that the octopus killed and ate? And why don't the sharks have just as much right to live as octopuses, or any other creature? Necessarily, to do so, they all have to eat other creatures, or at least exploit their environments as best they can, and not necessarily always in benign ways.

In microcosm, we can perhaps get an insight into why mind at large doesn't intervene, and why what we think of as "evil" continues to exist. It only exists because we focus on what seems to be happening in front of our faces, accepting its literal reality. But one could make the case that, if suffering and death isn't a permanent reality, "evil" is actually a mechanism for providing opportunities to evolve. There would seem to be little chance for that if everything were perfectly congenial all the time.
 
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I just discovered something mind-blowing!
Bear with this, it'll be worth it:

Matthew 27:15-17 (New International Version):

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus* Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

*Matthew 27:16 Many manuscripts do not have Jesus; also in verse 17......

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27:15-23&version=NIV

Now the original Greek from verse 16:

δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν

= 'the notable prisoner called Jesus Barabbas' (Hebrew: Barabbas = "Son of the Father")

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27:15-23&version=SBLGNT

https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Barabbas.html

Furthermore, in the original Greek, verse 17 says χριστόν = Christ = Anointed One

Now to get really Bible-geeky, the word ἐπίσημον, often translated as "notorious" in the NT passage above, is better translated as "well-known" or "notable", or even better according to one online dictionary: "serving to distinguish" ...

https://morphological_el.en-academic.com/searchall.php?SWord=%E1%BC%90%CF%80%CE%AF&from=en&to=xx&did=morphological_el&stype=

So if we give the fullest translation in English:

δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον [a]Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν

= 'the prisoner serving to distinguish called Jesus the Son of the Father'

This next level Bible-geekiness isn't in Caesar's Messiah by Joe Atwill btw, I just figured it out now.

But for those of you who have read Caesar's Messiah, you'll recognise the cheeky humour of 'the prisoner serving to distinguish called Jesus the Son of the Father'......

In other words, the Jesus the Son of the Father is serving to distinguish from the Jesus the Anointed One... which of course is irony, because these two characters are INDISTINGUISHABLE from each other!
 
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