Originally Posted By: samwik

Hiya TT,
Shallohm wink
...and at the risk of....

I think Revl. was speaking objectively; that is....

...of his philosophy of 'religion for others' as being accommodating of different expressions of 'religion.'
...or words to that effect.
His phrase "MY RELIGION" is only juxtaposed to the "subject to change" comment; and I see it as more of a rhetorical device, as a way to say he's open to understanding things in terms of other religions (or non-religions).
...or perhaps that his idea of what 'religion is' is to be accepting of the varying views of others.
No, that's too strong; ...but maybe that (part of) his religion is to "change" or adapt to accommodate other's religion.

...or maybe I'm projecting too much.
~ smile

No there is nothing that has been said that you can nail to one specific idea. The Rev. is attempting to cement the Good he knows exists into definition, purpose and a clear path to follow. He is a good person with a great heart but his intellect and his emotional body are at odds because what he feels conflicts with what he wants to believe.
Merely having good intentions is too nebulous and often deluded by the ego to produce results that are congruent to the expansion of good in all.
If you take the good intentions of Hitler and Mother Meara and put them together they don't add up to the same thing.
Not all people are on the same path. Knowing this comes with knowing ones self.
The Rev. applies lots of labels and accomplishments to himself to better understand how he can apply those labels to others and to do so without creating any tension.
Being that he has suffered in his own mind the trials and tribulations of growing up in an economic hostile environment he seeks the ideals of both physical and spiritual worlds and would still like to control the process in such a way as to leave free will complete. Its a paradox to know God does exist but not to understand why so much appears so separate from it.
The clarity of Knowing God comes when all illusions are dropped, rather than to find God and good within the illusions.
His focus is still heavily absorbed in illusion. Traversing the path of accumulating everything from the outside and taking it in rather than coming from the inside or from spirit moving outward. The illusions are very painful to him, and he seeks not only to cure the pain in himself but by doing so in others to accomplish it.

Obviously this is the way I experience him, and it is possible others as well. This medium is not capable of establishing whether this is the truth only how people feel about what another sees and experiences. Truth has to be established within, or beyond relative values and it can be recognized by one who stands in the same place.
Obviously the world does not reflect such an ideal or we wouldn't be trying to kill each other nor would we be clinging so tightly to our bodies and our material possessions, arranging them continuously in hopes of finding favor with God.

But on a lighter note. There are those individuals who have traversed the path of illusion and can clearly recognize the difference between illusion and truth.
Originally Posted By: samwik
I should probably find a particular quote, but....
You've talked about the difference between knowing and experiencing God. But what of religions? Are they all ways (for the right person at the right time) of "knowing," but still not necessarily of experiencing (that coming more from within, irrespective of religion?)?

~ smile


Book VII of The Republic

The Allegory of the Cave

Here's a little story from Plato's most famous book, The Republic. Socrates is talking to a young follower of his named Glaucon, and is telling him this fable to illustrate what it's like to be a philosopher -- a lover of wisdom: Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more! It's true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don't care. Once you've tasted the truth, you won't ever want to go back to being ignorant!

[Socrates is speaking with Glaucon]

[Socrates:] And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

[Glaucon:] I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.

You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

Very true.

And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?

No question, he replied.

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

That is certain.

And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -- will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

Far truer.

And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?

True, he said.

And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he 's forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.

Not all in a moment, he said.

He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?


Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.


He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold?

Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about him.

And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?

Certainly, he would.

And if they were in the habit of conferring honours among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honours and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer,
Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?

Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.

Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?

To be sure, he said.

And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

No question, he said.

This entire allegory, I said, you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.

As a comment to your question Sawmik.
Not all knowing comes from truth but from the shadows perceived through the layers of belief that are the ego.
Religion which comes from stories that are passed on from one to another when they are not of personal mastery by the story teller, become like a game of Chinese whispers.
Someone says something to one and it is passed in whisper to another, after it is passed on several times it is not the same story any more.
Many of today's religions are similar in their content. We can see by their examples how the many religions have used their beliefs to try and control the masses even by using what they justify as Holy war, to kill off those who would infect the purity of Gods word. The use of such ignorance has been the underlying current of every war, the abuse of personal belief and the twisting of Truth to manipulate power and subjugate those who are not of a majority in their beliefs, or to destroy them if they become a threat.
In the world of spiritual evolution everything serves one on their path to awakening. The realization of this does not come until one steps out of the cave of ignorance and immerses themselves in the light of Truth that is a constant within all things. Then can one understand where they have been after having been freed from the illusions of shadows. Then can one speak of illusion and truth as a master of experience.
Once one learns that the body and the beliefs are temporary, like steps of educational grades in school, right and wrong becomes more clear in understanding that right choices lead toward the light and wrong lead the other way. Because one does not slight another for their choice, which is God given, it is still possible to state the truth which is still the truth.

If someone wants to run full speed at a brick wall and someone says you will be stopped by the wall and the runner says I believe I won't, does the runners choice and knowledge come from truth or from illusion?
The inherent reality of the soul is that it is not made of molecules but it can manipulate molecules to make the body and as such could conceivably pass through walls which are also constructed of the same process as the body is constructed.
In the souls current state of mind which is anchored in knowledge of the shadows, to run at the wall carrying those beliefs will necessarily impede ones passage through solid objects.
If he knows absolutely there are no shadows then there is nothing that will prevent him. If there is the slightest bit of baggage or doubt the wall will stop him.
This is the reality of psychological barriers that are the beliefs of ego. We are only limited by those beliefs which limit us. Above and beyond the beliefs in the physical world exists an entirely different set of natural laws. Those which support our spiritual body and the experience of that. To that body no material rule has any effect.
There is a story in the Bible that illustrates this, a story of the "eye of the needle" which is based on a real place in time and space. The eye of the needle was a passageway in a rock wall between two villages in the Eastern world. One literally had to remove everything from the back of their camel and get the camel down on its knees to pass through.
The story relates to the soul and any beliefs the ego has that would allow them to pass through the very narrow opening that is only big enough for the soul to pass into the experience of itself or complete knowledge of everlasting spirit.
Religion has its purpose but its purpose is often linked to the clothing one wears to fit an occasion of ideals and belief.
If its sunny and you gear up for rain you are over dressed. If its raining and cold and you wear your swim suit you are under dressed.
The masters when they spoke of truth, it was not as a Religion or belief but as the underlying reality of the relative beliefs and the world that was contained within those beliefs.
It was those who listened and did not understand that pledged themselves to believe in the man and not the substance of his experience that led them to cling to his stories.
They would emulate the way he dressed, the way he spoke, the way he ate and slept, and that became the religion that followed in the footsteps of his knowledge.

A friend of mine once said in order to propel an arrow forward you must draw it backward to create the energy/experience needed to propel it forward.
In this way religion, no matter how far from the truth serves the evolving soul to propel it toward the truth.
The relative world is the world of opposites and it always will be and always has been. Man continues to evolve from it into spiritual awareness and in any age of scientific and intellectual development this is possible, for the development of the soul is not dependent on outside circumstance but intuitive development, free will and experience of Truth.
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!