Re: Ancient principles and practices
- Thanks for your post Jeff.
I think it contains a fine summary of the development in re.
oriental philosophy as wella s Western response.
Being a small letter "theosophist" I attempt to find ancient or
original statements of the spiritual science. I find a lot of them in
Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism... not all the time, just a lot!
To me Christianity and more specifically heretical types such as
found in the Nag Hammadi library are also rich in the ancient
I teach a traditional Yoga not divorced from it's cultural
antecedents, so in my classes we study Patanjali as well as
elements of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jain, even sometimes
Sikh material that relates to Yoga...
I would say 70 % of the class is from Christain traditions and
when correctly presented they seem to appreciate the
- Arthur Gregory
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, jla <pacbay@h...> wrote:
> What you say is true, up to a point. Its also curious that in the
> lecture cycle collection First Steps in Inner Development,
> Steiner says essentially the same thing in a lecture in 1904. Of
> this was during the conciliatory Theosophical period of his
work when he
> was still recommending the Gita and Light on the Path by
> as sources of inspiration guidance. He eventually moved more
> Christian sources or created his own meditations and
> spiritual development later in life like in Calendar of the Soul.
> I think the point to Yoga and other ancient practices like Tai Chi
> even Zen is time and place. Some of the principles for spiritual
> development have endured over time but the practices for
> the body and especially the soul are ineffective for the most
> has happened to Yoga (the yoga that most know today) is that
it has been
> divorced from the Eastern temple or ashram Tradition and
made into a
> shell of what it once was. Yes, having well being and feeling
> energy in the body is fine but this is not spiritual work on the
> and directly transformative to the spirit. These methods simply
> clear blocks and reveal what is already existing within us but
> not necessarily growth.
> I recall once when listening to the early talks from Maharishi's
> teachers on TM how they compared Mantra meditation with
> states of nirvana and natural samahdi. The next year the talks
> curiously devoid of any references to Hinduism or Buddhism
and I asked
> why. Behind the scenes they admitted that the West did not
> want to hear about foreign religions and perhaps they
> experiences comparing TM with higher meditation (they had
> criticized by other Teachers for this claim). The point is: most
> methods have been "down sized" to fit American and European
> temperament and often do not work directly on the soul as
> some Western Schools. By working on the soul, we mean,
> senses of perception, organizing it as a free and stable "body"
> which to experience the spiritual worlds directly out of body;
> developing discrimination in the field of psychic research,
> of unconscious influences affecting objectivity etc..
> Additionally, If one reads the Gita or Sutras or the Iliad one is
> transported back to mythological wars, gods, goddesses and
> unknown. Perhaps a better example are the monumental
> and shrines in Cambodia or Burma or the great architecture of
> "craftsman/slaves" who built and carved these monuments
> religious devotion that is unimaginable today or why else
> commit their lives and deaths to building such monuments.
Who among us
> who spend 20-30 years working on such a project out of belief.
> Church is even having a hard time attracting Priests.
> My point is: though some of the spiritual requirements for the
> path are time honored ( the morally pure life, truthfulness,
> mind, egolessness, kindness, etc.) the methods used in India,
> Persia, etc. led to very different experiences. These
> both the product of the culture and consciousness of that time.
> concept of maya is a case in point. This may be understood by
> and even experienced as a "real" insight about the nature of
> but its nonsense to the West. "Matter is real and solid not the
> Are we in error, they not. Maybe both positions are in error and
> result of the times. Truth endures but knowledge changes.
> arthra999@y... wrote:
> > The ancient principles found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
> > still viable today, in my view... The principles are also found in
> > Buddhist teaching and the Sermon on the Mount. These
> > principles are mutually supportive.
> > When one is truly nonviolent, then truthfulness, continence
> > purity will follow. Non aquisitiveness also implies not
> > for outward things or exploiting the environment.
> > Note how Patanjali says these principles "become a great
> > universal, being unrestricted by any class, locale, or time
> > considerations.
> > 30. Ahimsa (non-injury), Satya (truth), Asteya (abstention from
> > stealing), Brahmacharya (continence) and Aparigraha
> > (abstinence from avariciousness) are the five Yamas (forms
> > restraint).
> > 31. These (the restraints), however, become a great vow
> > they become universal, being unrestricted by any
> > of class, place, time or concept of duty.
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