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5 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2010 - 11:43PM #1
Gary
Posts: 18

I find the concept presented in "the course" of spirit as mind being totally seperate from nature and nature is "nothing"  quite disturbing.


It's not a new idea by any means and i have run across this deeply dualistic and patriarchal logic (or lack of logic) many times before.


It is precisely that progress means moving away from nature that characterizes all of western civilisation since the enlightenment. When you call nature an "illusion" or a product of your mind you are saying nature is not a subject we are in relationship to. Only when nature is an "illusion" can modern western civilisation acheive independance from it. This is exactly the stance of all of modern science. Nature becomes a beautiful or terifying "illusion". You can experience this "illusion" by observing an "exibit" or a "preserve" or watching a tv show.


Actual nature is to be chopped to pieces because it means nothing.


We all know that in western culture non white peoples were called "savages" precisely because they were seen as fully a part of nature. Both women and "savages" were not considered a part of the seperate realm of spirituality and mind and thus were subjected to the same brutal treatment science  reservers for "spiritless nature".  Everything considered as less meaningfull today is defined as "nature". Everything defined as more valuable is defined as "mind" or "spirit".


Not suprisingly according to Hegel women belonged to this pre-historic realm of the "savage" because they were bound up with the home and home was considered by him the "realm of death" as in biological life. Acordingly emancipation means freedom from nature. Thus "freeing" africans from nature was to rescue them into the realm of the "mind" and "spirit".


today we call this "rescue" attempt slavery.


Evelen Fox Keller and many other have argued that since the enlightenment every effort has been made to erase from our concept of knowledge that humans  are primates born from women and must die, and as we live we are in a direct dynamic and living relationship with the earth. Her water, her air, her plants and aminals, and her other human beings. All born from the earth mother.  This being emersed in life i just described Hegel called "immanence".


According to Hegel and also according to "A Course In Miracles" Spirit can only be reached by transcending "emminence". freedom only exists for Hegel, Sartre and Beauvoir, and "A Course in Mircles"  through this duality of transcendance of immanence.


I could go on and on but i think i have made my point.


"A Course in Miracles" is the philosophy of white human male supremacy over nature.


To engage in these ideas without contemplating the violence, death, and destruction they have brought on the world is wrong.


 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2010 - 2:17PM #2
Icanseethisdifferently
Posts: 2

Are you serious?

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2010 - 11:07PM #3
Gary
Posts: 18

Yes I am.


I would like to encorage people to find a concept of spirituality that fully includes biological existence.


The only way for a religion to claim to be non-dualistic is to include nature and indivduality within the larger non-dual perspective.


To paraphrase an old Zen saying: In the begining of Zen there are mountains and rivers. During Zen there are no mountains and no rivers. After Zen there are again mountains and rivers.


Once true spirituality is relized there is no longer any need to "free" oneself from natue.


There is a  way to live and experience nature as real and live in harmony with nature without being lost in our own neurotic damaged ego projections.


From this higher more healed perspective the personal and the transcendent are both present and real.   True spirituality comes only when the purely transcendant is  extended  to fully and lovingly include the personal and the seperate as a part of the one non-dual perspective.


A Course in Miracles seems to talking about a transcendental "something" spirit or something.


After reconciling the duality of this transcendental "something" with the differentiated universe into a non-dual one thing then comes the task of reconciling the duality between the transcendental "something" and what lies beyond which seems to be a limitless void or "nothing". In order for a spirituality to be non-dual at this stage. "something" and "nothing"must be seen as one unified thing.


You should try to see religion as an unfolding series of changing perspectives and i think you are drawn to the course because it represents a changing perspective for you.


But realize at the same time that these changing perspectives unfold in what seen to be a limitless way. Eveytime you get to one you realize there is another step and there is no end to it.


I would like to present here that the only real true spiritual outlook is that no one group owns a definition of "reality" and can say it is specifically true for all people.


A "version" of reality can only be true for certain groups of peoples at certain different spiritual levels. Unfortunately one of the hang ups is that people on most of the developemental rungs can't yet percieve that there are in fact different developemental rungs at all.


The real important thing is that everyone remain open minded to further transitions and the struggles of other people at different levels.


Another thing that can happen is that people at certain levels can go in negative directions and develope defenses to moving forward declairing their perspective the "one true perspective". This is what in psychology is called arrested developement.


Then the perspective from that level becomes distorted or sort of sick and malignant because it is no longer open to moving forward.


An analogy would be say if a bunch of people loooking for New York got confused and lived their lives in Jersey thinking they had made it to new york.


Another form of duality that is particularly damgerous is a  historical duality. Like an idea where historical reality would be seen as having a break at some point and in the future  then there would be a new "era" or a "new age". This is a particularly dangerous form of duality and many millions of people around the world have been killed by people trying to implement an imagined "new era".  In reality the non-duality of the universe makes suden breaks in historical continuity totally impossible.


so am i saying the course in miracles is kind of half a**. yes that's what i'm saying.


It represents at least in part a malignant closed minded defense to actually moving forward.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 26, 2010 - 5:02PM #4
Myownpath
Posts: 949

I hear what you are saying and understand your view. I also understand that you have either neither read, studied, or fully understood ACIM. Yet you have touched (in a warped way) an issue that troubled me when I was a theist at Unity and studied the Course. Some people really have trouble understanding the concept of illusion. I recall one woman stating that now that she understands that everything is an illusion, she no longer feels the need to recycle, clean off labels, sort her garbage.... Evidently she was a very dedicated recycler. I could only think OMG!


 


Several others felt that even if the world would come to an end or certain species would die off that it would be OK. Since this world is not the ultimate reality --- "It would be OK if it would be end, because here is not where it is at ...fully united with God is. OMG!  "Living in an abundant universe we would simply come up with another  solution to any resources that we would deplete." seriously they thought this. This is an incorrect view of ACIM. If we are called to love then recycling or caring for certain species would be the best approach.


 


The problem with this philosophy (ACIM) is that it is written so redundantly and complexly that the average person can easily filter old understandings onto the text. If Unity is correct that what we focus on expands the energy situtation is a result of the mass of society wanting stuff fast and convenient. Throwing a party? Get paper plates and cups so you can throw them away. Running a cafeteria. Use plastic utensils and styrofoam trays because it's cheaper than hiring dishwashers. Want to maximize profit? Go to a foreign country where environmental laws are nearly nonexistant.  You might get lead, solvent based inks, children working the factories, but it will be cheaper and you'll maximize your profits - Walmart demands the cheapest price and so do the customers -  so do it and everyone will look the other way.  You'll save a few bucks and eventually "be blessed with prosperity" by being able to buy that house with no money down. "Halleluia God is great," owning a home and only making $30K a year. A couple of years later foreclosure hits. Want want want, give me give me give me. We say it's spiritual abundance, but have been really filling a spiritual void - one that only love could really fill. The love to recognize the beauty and awesome nature that surrounds us, sustains us, provides for us. The love that uses a marriage of rational thinking with emotion to know our limits or ways that we need to improve and the interconnectedness of ourselves with nature.


 


With that being said I encourage people to look into the the origins of the Course. Listen to Schucman's voice online about hearing  the voice of "Jesus" look into her mother's history of following a Russian spiritualist and consider that this book is not the voice of Jesus. That it was written by a human being.


 


Take what is good from the course, but use your innate sense of REASON and CRITICAL THINKING!  Since the bible is "corrected" in ACIM, look into the history and origins of the bible and Jesus. Go to the source and then go to the source of that source. Talk to people who hold contrary views and ask questions. QUESTION EVERYTHING!!! You questioned the religion you were raised with - don't stop now! Question your minister, question the person who suddenly is making millions on a book after being a couch potato, question the expert or self-proclaimed guru.  Do not be afraid of what you learn even if it causes you to question your beliefs and you feel pain.  Never trust your intuition alone. Look at the facts, look at the person's life who is telling you how to live your life - not in judgement but use discernment deciding what is best for you. Decide that you can no longer live with untruth and seek out truth not only spiritually but look to science, human nature, history, art, or any other way which will cause your being to shake at the core and move you into a direction that is free of any agenda.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 26, 2010 - 5:21PM #5
Myownpath
Posts: 949

"A "version" of reality can only be true for certain groups of peoples  at certain different spiritual levels. Unfortunately one of the hang  ups is that people on most of the developemental rungs can't yet  percieve that there are in fact different developemental rungs at all.


The  real important thing is that everyone remain open minded to further  transitions and the struggles of other people at different levels.


Another  thing that can happen is that people at certain levels can go in  negative directions and develope defenses to moving forward declairing  their perspective the "one true perspective". This is what in psychology  is called arrested developement."


 


From the standpoint of ACIM you are viewing others as separate. Seeing others as advanced and others on a different rung assumes some are better than others and not "one."


From an evolutionary standpoint, some people will always be more educated, healthier, emotionally cared for, balanced, successful, etc. than others. You could do a sociological/psychological profile on people you consider "lower" on the rung and the results will not be surprising.


Which do you choose? Which is Truth? How do you know? on what basis did you decide this?

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2010 - 12:30AM #6
Gary
Posts: 18

Jun 26, 2010 -- 5:21PM, Myownpath wrote:



From the standpoint of ACIM you are viewing others as separate. Seeing others as advanced and others on a different rung assumes some are better than others and not "one."


From an evolutionary standpoint, some people will always be more educated, healthier, emotionally cared for, balanced, successful, etc. than others. You could do a sociological/psychological profile on people you consider "lower" on the rung and the results will not be surprising.


Which do you choose? Which is Truth? How do you know? on what basis did you decide this?






The main  basis of this viewpoint is my own personal mystical experiences and my personal sense of awareness.
psychology is only the beginning and things like "successful" are compleety outside of what i am saying and have no meaning for me at all.

first you heal psychological problems and then and only then are you able to even begin spiritual work.
And spiritual work is exactly that, hard work that requires lots of effort. Its a form or returning to the wholeness from a dualistic perspective to a non dualistic one.

when you say

Seeing others as advanced and others on a different rung assumes some are better than others and not "one."


see i didn't say some people were better than others i just said people were in different places.
It seems quite obvious to me that the  mass of humanity is not exactly living up to it's spiritual potential.
I guess in a way some people are better because they try harder and have not been caught in or had the courade to get out of the materialistic trap.
but it's best not to say or think better and worse because that implies a good vs bad dualism that is just dualistic choosing: "i like that and not that other thing. i want that and i don't want that thing."

The thing about non-duality is that for instance you can't really say that a dolphin is not a dolphin and a tree is not a tree and a person is a tree and a dog is a cow and a sparrow is a blade of grass. That has nothing to do with the real beautiful world  we  live in every day. I love the seperate vibration we call oak tree. both at a template abstraction and i see where there are individual oak trees all going through their little seperate oak tree lives. all a vast oneness. the spirit of the one in every aspect of all of it.

All matter in the entire universe is obviouly a part of one unified spiritual being.
but at the same time it is not true and a dolphin is a different kind of animal than a human. also obvioulsy true.
I have for instance a heart in my chest that is very different from my liver but both things are a part of the one me.

It has been my experience that there is a level of consciousness that easily embraces these  appearent contradictions.
It is a paradox. But my higher self accepts paradox just fine. but this higher self. this higher level of consciousness
sees the way you put it. as an either or equation. where we are either one or we are seperate and we have to choose one over the other and both thing canot be true. This type of either or proposition is dualistic. you are saying it's just another dualistic choice. I have to pick. we are either one or seperate. yes or no as a permanent unbreachable duality.
like i have to pick one as good and the other is bad. one is right and one is wrong. If we truly live in a non dualistic universe then this dualism you present me with has to be invalid.

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2010 - 1:00AM #7
Gary
Posts: 18

Jun 26, 2010 -- 5:02PM, Myownpath wrote:


I hear what you are saying and understand your view. I also understand that you have either neither read, studied, or fully understood ACIM.


 


 


 


 




 


this is interesting and i will try to be open to the posibility.


I tried to read it and find it just says the same few things over and over.


I found the exercises in the workbook extreemly offensive.


I will try to keep an open mind.

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2010 - 5:07AM #8
Gary
Posts: 18

Jun 26, 2010 -- 5:02PM, Myownpath wrote:


 


 Since the bible is "corrected" in ACIM, look into the history and origins of the bible and Jesus.




This is also an interesting point. The bible is such a bizzarre book. I can fully understand how people could say it needs correcting. But before you can go about correcting something you have to understand what it is in the first place. The bible  is just the surface layer in the very deep well of Judaism and Judaism is the only source we have in the west for our middle eastern spiritual roots. I read a thing by Kenneth Wapnic  all about how the bible was full of fear and  he took a few passages out of context and proceded to totally misunderstand them and basically came to the conclusion that horrible people wrote the bible.


The bible is a collection of myths. The sources for these myths are as diverse as the people that made up Israel. There are sumerian, cannanite, hittite, egyptian etc..


In the ancient middle east writing was very important and there were people who spent their whole lives memorizing and collecting mythology.


today to modern people myths seem quite strange. From any culture really. That sort of symbolic thinking is not a part of our lives generally. We do however like our stories as entertainment. We tend to think of the bible as true stories however the myths that fill the bible were originally about very fanciful and elaborate gods and goddesses in the sky going about their supernatural often half aminal half human lives some governed over this place on earth or that thing that took place on earth. The hebrew bible however took an amazing leap in the history of western literature. The hebrew people took the mythology of the middle east and framed it as history of people not as fanciful gods and goddesses in the sky. They no doubt knew full well it was still mythology but we have a tendency today to read it as if its real history which is a huge mistake and a mistake that to the writers of the bible would have most likely taken them by suprise. Its really the framing of ancient myths in terms of  humans beings instead of gods in the sky.


But to fully understand the bible you have to realize myths were only a small part of middle eastern religion. Besides the myths were elaborate rituals and mystical practices that brought people into direct contact with the heavens. The stories in the bible only contain glimpes of these rituals and meditative techiques. The meditiative techniques which are the most important part of Judaism are not written in the bible at all and were past down orally.


besides the oral traditions associated with the bible there were also traditions that were the most sacred techniques that were considered secret and generally not even talked about openly.


So its imposible to see the course in miracles as having anything to do with the bible at all.


The course is an attempt to spell out a mystical tecnique. The bible contains no mystical techniques at all. The bible is mythological stories.


To say the course is a correction of the bible is like saying a book on yoga is a correction of a william falkner novel. It just doesn't make any sense at all.

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 02, 2010 - 8:38PM #9
Myownpath
Posts: 949

Some people would say the bible is the literal truth of God, but that's not my point and I do not want to elaborate on this. Correction really isn't the right word... ACIM has sections on the meaning of the crucifiction, the sonship, the meaning of the resurrection... and supposedly ACIM was channeled by Dr. Helen Schucman who heard the voice of Jesus.


My view is that the book has some good advice from a psychological standpoint because it was written by someone with psychological training. Yet there are many flaws starting with the vagueness of the word -illusion, repetitive in nature, references to Freud, I also found some lines that could only be written by someone with a psychological background. I read some of the original unedited manuscript that was never published. Everyone was upset that Jesus was edited. I commented that I agreed that it should be edited. I've read several author friends manuscripts and it clearly this needed editing. It was very human.  I do not believe in channeling, and now have doubts about consciousness extending beyond the physical brain. But let's not go there.


see i didn't say some people were better than others i just said people  were in different places.
It seems quite obvious to me that the  mass  of humanity is not exactly living up to it's spiritual potential. You will never be able to escape making this type of judgement. It's unavoidable.

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2010 - 3:05AM #10
Gary
Posts: 18

Jul 2, 2010 -- 8:38PM, Myownpath wrote:


Correction really isn't the right word... ACIM has sections on the meaning of the crucifiction, the sonship, the meaning of the resurrection... and supposedly ACIM was channeled by Dr. Helen Schucman who heard the voice of Jesus.


 




 


yes the course starts out with it's very own mythological element often the start of new age books. The book was chaneled by jesus. This is meant to lend a measure of gravity that the truth would lack. The new testament is also full of this type of use of mythology. once we get so far down the line of the use of mythology simply to give something credability where it may not be credable otherwise we may be crossing the line into just a common lie but who knows ?


 


generally the story of jesus is made to fit with the old testament so that appears jesus fills some bill set out by the prophets of old.


 


basically the story itself in its oldest form we know about is an ancient new years ritual.


It went something like the great life goddess wanted to go visit her sister of the underworld the death goddess so she did the winter ritual just like our priestes is doing today and sat at the seven gates (chakras) to the underworld and gained entry into each.  again through ritual means involving among other things stripping off articles of clothing. then she got stuck down there and everything seemed to die up here on earth. The trees lost their leaves and everything and winter is scarry and sucks. So along comes the brother of the great life goddess the great sheppherd king who enacts gods decrees on earth and herds people like sheep. The son of the great wisdom god. And the great sheppherd god was so brave and strong that he rescued the life goddesss from the underworld by sacrificing himself and miraculously all the plants came back to life in the spring time and the calandar could go around again til everthing died next year and we act out the story again.


 


And thats what the bible is. Its actually kind of a powerfull little myth and brings up lots of cool feelings about living life on earth.

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