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Re: Ancient principles and practices

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  • arthra999@yahoo.com
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2000
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      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
      spiritual science.

      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
      information given.

      - Arthur Gregory



      --- In anthroposophy@egroups.com, jla <pacbay@h...> wrote:
      > What you say is true, up to a point. Its also curious that in the
      new
      > lecture cycle collection First Steps in Inner Development,
      Rudolf
      > Steiner says essentially the same thing in a lecture in 1904. Of
      course,
      > this was during the conciliatory Theosophical period of his
      work when he
      > was still recommending the Gita and Light on the Path by
      Mabel Collins
      > as sources of inspiration guidance. He eventually moved more
      to
      > Christian sources or created his own meditations and
      recommendations for
      > spiritual development later in life like in Calendar of the Soul.
      >
      > I think the point to Yoga and other ancient practices like Tai Chi
      or
      > even Zen is time and place. Some of the principles for spiritual
      > development have endured over time but the practices for
      transforming
      > the body and especially the soul are ineffective for the most
      part. What
      > 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
      vital
      > energy in the body is fine but this is not spiritual work on the
      soul
      > and directly transformative to the spirit. These methods simply
      seem to
      > clear blocks and reveal what is already existing within us but
      that is
      > not necessarily growth.
      >
      > I recall once when listening to the early talks from Maharishi's
      > teachers on TM how they compared Mantra meditation with
      entering into
      > states of nirvana and natural samahdi. The next year the talks
      were
      > curiously devoid of any references to Hinduism or Buddhism
      and I asked
      > why. Behind the scenes they admitted that the West did not
      understand or
      > want to hear about foreign religions and perhaps they
      overstated
      > experiences comparing TM with higher meditation (they had
      been heavily
      > criticized by other Teachers for this claim). The point is: most
      eastern
      > methods have been "down sized" to fit American and European
      tastes and
      > temperament and often do not work directly on the soul as
      described in
      > some Western Schools. By working on the soul, we mean,
      developing inner
      > senses of perception, organizing it as a free and stable "body"
      through
      > which to experience the spiritual worlds directly out of body;
      > developing discrimination in the field of psychic research,
      being aware
      > 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
      worlds
      > unknown. Perhaps a better example are the monumental
      Buddhist sculptures
      > and shrines in Cambodia or Burma or the great architecture of
      Egypt. The
      > "craftsman/slaves" who built and carved these monuments
      possessed
      > religious devotion that is unimaginable today or why else
      would they
      > 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.
      The
      > Church is even having a hard time attracting Priests.
      >
      > My point is: though some of the spiritual requirements for the
      spiritual
      > path are time honored ( the morally pure life, truthfulness,
      clarity of
      > mind, egolessness, kindness, etc.) the methods used in India,
      Greece,
      > Persia, etc. led to very different experiences. These
      experiences were
      > both the product of the culture and consciousness of that time.
      The
      > concept of maya is a case in point. This may be understood by
      Indians
      > and even experienced as a "real" insight about the nature of
      reality
      > but its nonsense to the West. "Matter is real and solid not the
      ethers."
      > Are we in error, they not. Maybe both positions are in error and
      are the
      > result of the times. Truth endures but knowledge changes.
      >
      > Jeff
      >
      > arthra999@y... wrote:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > > The ancient principles found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
      are
      > > 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
      and
      > > purity will follow. Non aquisitiveness also implies not
      grasping
      > > for outward things or exploiting the environment.
      > >
      > > Note how Patanjali says these principles "become a great
      vow...
      > > 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
      of
      > > restraint).
      > >
      > > 31. These (the restraints), however, become a great vow
      when
      > > they become universal, being unrestricted by any
      consideration
      > > of class, place, time or concept of duty.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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