QUOTE (Twilight Bark @ Nov 14 2004, 01:26 PM)
You have not addressed anything I said in any way other than the age-old cliche "God works in mysterious ways". Fine, if that's good enough for you.
Really? I think I have addressed in a logical manner. If I have missed something then please let me know what I haven't addressed adequately.
As for God working in mysterious ways, it is true in some cases and not true in other cases. At any rate that is not what I have been saying. I have been saying quite the contrary, that many things that are believed by some and referred to as mysteries and disbelieved by others as unreal nonsense, are neither mysteries nor unreal. Yoga allows one to have that knowledge where a mystery is no longer a mystery but only an application of a certain spiritual law. Spiritual laws are the bases of natural laws, and therefore natural laws can be bent (hence miracles) by an appropriate application of a spiritual law.
If mysticism's proof is the prediction of the futue, then I suggest they predict the stock market's behavior half an hour in the future, extract billions of dollars from the selfish critters running the system on a daily basis and use the money to do endless amounts of good all over the planet. Absent that, I must assume that either they don't give a hoot just as the god they presume to touch, or they fall short of their claim.
There is a common pattern of the fallacy I described before: first you assume that God is supposed to do certain things that in your opinion are good, then you observe that these things are not happening, then conclude that God does not exist. You are now using the same fallacy for mystics. But who said that a mystic would behave like a Robin Hood?
1) You are suggesting a mystic to cheat, which no true mystic will ever do.
2) A true mystic is God's conscious instrument. If God allows material inequalities then a mystic will never interfere with that order. You are assuming God made a mistake creating an unequal world where some are rich and others are poor, and you are suggesting the mystic to correct that "error". It is not going to happen.
3) Money is not what makes people happy. From a mystic's point of view, the key to happiness is freedom and detachment from the material world and desires. If there is extreme poverty the cause problem lies in human nature, not in the lack of money. You may steal somebody's money and give it to the poor and think that you did good, but in fact you did evil. Not only you didn't solve a problem but added a new problem by being a cheater.
4) A mystic will say - help the poor with your own means, and thank the poor person for the opportunity to help him and be unselfish thus changing your selfish nature, and thank God that you are able to do it.
More likely, they deal with a fairly uniform and predictable kind of person to begin with, and if they even have a 10% success rate with predicting their "future" (the 90% walking off discouraged or disgusted), that is a mighty big number of new customers.
You are again showing that you don't know about any of real mystics. Perhaps you know something about charlatans, there are many charlatans. It is a mistake to assume that everyone who calls himself a mystic is a charlatan.
The predictions by mystics that I am talking about are nothing like what you are describing. They are very precise, 100%. And very specific. I was recently reading about one such case, I suggest you read it. This passage is about Lahiri Mahasaya - a yogi (a practicioner of mysticism) with a very high level of realization. While you may still choose to disbelieve, it will help to at least talk about the same thing.http://www.crystalcl...ogananda/31.asp
One of Lahiri Mahasaya's disciples, the venerable Kali Kumar Roy, related to me many fascinating details of his life with the master.
"I was often a guest at his Benares home for weeks at a time," Roy told me. "I observed that many saintly figures, danda swamis, arrived in the quiet of night to sit at the guru's feet. Sometimes they would engage in discussion of meditational and philosophical points. At dawn the exalted guests would depart. I found during my visits that Lahiri Mahasaya did not once lie down to sleep.
"During an early period of my association with the master, I had to contend with the opposition of my employer," Roy went on. "He was steeped in materialism.
"'I don't want religious fanatics on my staff,' he would sneer. 'If I ever meet your charlatan guru, I shall give him some words to remember.'
"This alarming threat failed to interrupt my regular program; I spent nearly every evening in my guru's presence. One night my employer followed me and rushed rudely into the parlor. He was doubtless fully bent on uttering the pulverizing remarks he had promised. No sooner had the man seated himself than Lahiri Mahasaya addressed the little group of about twelve disciples.
"'Would you all like to see a picture?'
"When we nodded, he asked us to darken the room. 'Sit behind one another in a circle,' he said, 'and place your hands over the eyes of the man in front of you.'
"I was not surprised to see that my employer also was following, albeit unwillingly, the master's directions. In a few minutes Lahiri Mahasaya asked us what we were seeing.
"'Sir,' I replied, 'a beautiful woman appears. She wears a red-bordered sari, and stands near an elephant-ear plant.' All the other disciples gave the same description. The master turned to my employer. 'Do you recognize that woman?'
"'Yes.' The man was evidently struggling with emotions new to his nature. 'I have been foolishly spending my money on her, though I have a good wife. I am ashamed of the motives which brought me here. Will you forgive me, and receive me as a disciple?'
"'If you lead a good moral life for six months, I shall accept you.' The master enigmatically added, 'Otherwise I won't have to initiate you.'
"For three months my employer refrained from temptation; then he resumed his former relationship with the woman. Two months later he died. Thus I came to understand my guru's veiled prophecy about the improbability of the man's initiation."
This book has many such stories, more importantly it tells what yoga is about. Very interesting and inspiring book for many reasons.
Having said all that, I still profess ignorance, and hope that others find the humility to do the same. Oh, as an aside, I don't mind at all if my little kids start from Christianity in their intellectual journey to make sense of the world. It's ultimately up to them to find their way and find their answers. When they ask me questions of "cosmic" kind, I have always found ways to "explain" things without shattering the beliefs in their innocent minds. As a last resort I say "well, the wise men of the religion say ...".
Well, just to be sure, unfortunately Christian religion does not have much of mystic tradition, it has instead a volume of dogmas. Don't confuse theology and mysticism. A theologian can be a very ignorant person without any spirit, just hypothesizing things intellectually and creating mental beliefs and so confusing it with faith (much like Ara Baliozian).
What has become of Christian religion is unlike Jesus Christ, one of the greatest ever mystics of all times.
Edited by Sasun, 16 November 2004 - 02:53 PM.