Re: [humanism-174] Re: new member update

From: Jan
Sent on: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:22 PM

Love the text of the Dalai Lama's talk!  It is a wonderful example of how a spiritual philosophy can also be practical and in agreement with reason.  Here is an interesting Baha'i quote on the subject: 

 

"Consider what it is that singles man out from among created beings, and makes of him a creature apart. Is it not his reasoning power, his intelligence? Shall he not make use of these in his study of religion? I say unto you: weigh carefully in the balance of reason and science everything that is presented to you as religion. If it passes this test, then accept it, for it is truth! If, however, it does not so conform, then reject it, for it is ignorance!

....Put all your beliefs into harmony with science; there can be no opposition, for truth is one. When religion, shorn of its superstitions, traditions, and unintelligent dogmas, shows its conformity with science, then will there be a great unifying, cleansing force in the world which will sweep before it all wars, disagreements, discords and struggles - and then will mankind be united... "

'Abdu'l-Bah?, Paris Talks (London: Bah?'? Publishing Trust, 1969), PP. 141-2.

 
 
-------Original Message-------
 
Date: 01/23/08 22:39:47
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Re: new member update
 
The Dalai Lama makes more sense than a thousand Huckabees.
 
Spirituality & Nature
 
"I think you came here with some expectation, but essentially I've nothing to offer you. Simply, I'll try to share some of my own experiences and my views. You see, taking care of the planet is nothing special, nothing sacred, and nothing holy. It is something like taking care of our own house. We have no other planet or house except this one. Although there are a lot of disturbances and problems, this is our only alternative. We can't go to other planets. For example, take the moon; it looks or appears beautiful from a distance but if you go there and settle there it is horrible. This is what I think. So you see, our blue planet is much better and happier. So, therefore, we have to care of our own place or house or planet.
 
After all, the human being is a social animal. I often tell my friends that they have no need to study philosophy, these professional, complicated subjects. By simply looking at these innocent animals, insects, ants, bees, etc., quite often I develop some kind of respect for them. How? Because they have no religion, no constitution, no police force, nothing. But they live in harmony through the natural law of existence or nature's law or system.

We human beings, what is wrong with us? We human beings have such intelligence and human wisdom. I think we often use human intelligence in a wrong way or direction. As a result, in a way, we are doing certain actions which essentially go against basic human nature.

From a certain viewpoint, religion is a little bit of a luxury. If you have religion, very good; even without religion you can survive and you can manage, but without human affection we can't survive.
 
Although anger and hatred, like compassion and love, are part of our mind, still I believe the dominant force of our mind is compassion and human affection. Therefore, usually I call these human qualities spirituality. Not necessarily as a religious message or religion in that sense. Science and technology together with human affection will be constructive. Science and technology under the control of hatred will be destructive.

If we practice religion properly, or genuinely, religion is not something outside but in our hearts. The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion. Complicated philosophy, this and that, sometimes create more trouble and problems. If these sophisticated philosophies are useful for the development of good heart, then good: use them fully. If these complicated philosophies or systems become an obstacle to a good heart then better to leave them. This is what I feel.

If we look closely at human nature, affection is the key to a good heart. I think the mother is a symbol of compassion. Every one has a seed of good heart. The only thing is whether we take care or not to realize the value of compassion."

On Jan 22,[masked]:58 PM, Sona <[address removed]> wrote:
The Dalai Lama has explicitly stated that when his contemplative beliefs conflict with neuroscience, he's always on the side of science.  I think he even collaborates with some academic professors on neuroscience research at universities throughout the US.  Especially research on the neural underpinnings of consciousness and the basic science of higher meditative states.

Sona



On Jan 22,[masked]:29 PM, Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]> wrote:
Point taken, Jan.
Might Buddhism & certain strains of Judaism also encourage true intellectual pursuits, rather than trying to force science to fit dogma?

On Jan 22,[masked]:53 PM, Jan <[address removed]> wrote:
Greetings, All!
 
In reference to the  Wendy Kaminer quote, I'd like to point out that not all religions discourage intellectual pursuits. 
 
Check out
 
~Jan
 




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--
S. Mehandru, M.D.
"one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." - nietzsche




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