Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why Create?

I've asked and pondered this question numerous times before.
Why does God create?
Why does God need to create or want to create? This leads to the more pointed question of why does God need or want to create flawed (or even fallen!) beings?

If, as the major monotheistic religions claim, God is utter perfection and nothing can add or is needed to add to it, why is there this need or desire?

Search as you will, I do not believe you'll find any legitimate or logical answer within the big three monotheistic religions' theologies. You can't because it's simply not there.

I believe you need to more beyond them to even begin to get a glimmer of an answer.

Cosmic evolution - which ultimately leads to all other forms of evolution - chemical, biological, social - is a real and omni-active force in the universe.
We are God's manifest expression of it.

If Evolution was not a real and ever active force of nature within our universe, then Entropy would have to reign and rule supreme (as states the second law of thermodynamics)... yet it doesn't. (Schrödinger states that life feeds on negative entropy, or negentropy).

The Kabbalah answers this.

"We perceive there to be two types of Perfection in absolute divine Perfection: one type of Perfection is so great and complete that no additional evolution is relevant to it.
"If, however, thee were no possibility of additional evolving whatsoever, this in and of itself would be an imperfection. For Perfection that is constantly waxing greater has great advantage and is pleasurable, and is uplifting.
"For we yearn for it exceedingly, proceeding from strength to strength. Diving Perfection can therefore not be lacking the dimension of perfection, which is the evolving process of perfecting and unfolding power.
"This is why divinity has the ability to be creative, to instigate limitless kosmic being and Becoming, proceeding through all its levels and stages and growing.
"It therefore follows that the essential divine soul of Being, that which gives it life, is its constant ascending. That is its divine foundation, which calls it to be and to evolve..." Abraham Kook
Most monotheistic theology acknowledges and recognizes this first type of Perfection, but either fails to recognize the second or outright denies it.

Atheism and/or Scientism fails in this same regard, with its insistence of evolution being an absolute chaotic and random thing. There is no reason to believe this. This is nothing more than a favoured chosen belief - a statement of fundamentalism.

Evolution does not contradict the nature of the universe or "God".
("We do not need to subscribe to the old biblical worldview of a God separate from reality, guiding it from without, in order to recognize the radical intelligence that animates reality. 
The idea that evolution is a random, chance unfolding, which is not internally animated... is and absurdity. Statistically, it is billions of times less likely than a monkey typing out War and Peace." Marc Gafni, "Your Unique Self", pg. 119)

To preempt this entire question both atheist and non-atheist alike will have to revisit and re-explore their definitions of "God". In fact, maybe the term "God", in any positive or negative context, should be abandoned. It's a loaded word. Too much baggage.

The issue of Entropy vs. Evolution (Life) seriously needs to be addressed and explored (not debated. This shouldn't become an issue of who's right).

Our understanding of the universe, both scientific and theologic, is clearly missing pieces and/or flawed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Of Patterns and Paths

"Most people live haphazard lives subject to the varying winds of fortune. Many are forced by the situation in which they were born and the necessity of earning a living to keep to a straight and narrow road in which there is o possibility of turning to the right or to the left. Upon these the pattern is imposed. Life itself has forced it on them. But the artist is in a privileged position. The artist can within certain limits make what he likes of his life. In other callings, in medicine for instance or the law, you are free to choose whether you will adopt them or not, but having chosen, you are free no longer. You are bound by the rules of your profession; a standard of conduct is imposed upon you. The pattern is predetermined. It is only the artist, and maybe the criminal, who can make his own." W. Somerset Maugham, "The Summing Up"
I came across this quote recently and it both struck me and stuck with me.
...partially because it's true, partially because it's somewhat sad.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Returning to the Torn Veil

What does returning to the Torn Veil look like?

Modern day Western religions all have 2 sacred cows in common.
Membership (or proselyting) and tithing. (It's ironic that Jesus – through the Torn Veil – attempted to break or do away with these things).

We face a few difficult challenges and obstacles here.
Firstly we (collectively) must admit that part of the human condition includes Spirituality. No, not necessarily Religion. (There's a difference). Atheism is a knee-jerk reaction (and rightfully so) to Religiosity, but never-the-less just as unhealthy as Religiosity.
Atheists too have their Spiritual aspects or facets, although many are unwilling to admit it, or will choose not to label it “Spiritual”.
This is the first challenge and obstacle. Collectively admitting that Spirituality is a Human Condition.

This 'knee-jerk reaction' is to what we understand religion to be; namely, Western Modern day religion with their 2 (primary) Sacred Cows.
What are its obsession with Membership and Tithing all about?
Well, look at it like this: You want people to either desire or need what you're selling in order to create a revenue-stream.

That's a business model. That's a good Business Model.
But it's a lousy Spiritual one.

Interestingly, if we look at some large Eastern religions, we see something very different. I'll could Buddhism and Taoism. (I won't use Hinduism because, although its population or numbers are very high, it's extremely concentrated in specific geographic locals).

Now, to be fair - especially for those naysayers and those who simply love to be right and refute others - if you want to throw stones at Buddhism and Taoism there is plenty of ammo. Both are very old religions. Taoism has really two facets. What I'll call Folk Taoism and Modern Taoism. Fold Taoism is where you'll see the stories of gods and Divine people and the like. Mythology to be sure. Same goes with Buddhism. What further complicates matters is that Taoism (for example) is not structured like Western Religions and often doesn't make sharp distinctions between these two aspects. My point being, if you want to throw stones, there's plenty to throw.

But, a few points worth noting are that these two religions do not focus on proselyting, evangelizing, or membership. They are not built upon the Business Model. There's build upon a Spiritual one. (I believe that in our Western worldview and values, we have left Capitalism run amok).

In fact, the Dalai Lama says to “Stay in your own religion and mediate”, not to convert to Buddhism. Not only is this not proselyting, it is its very opposite.

Taoism promotes simply finding truth. 
Because things in the world change, there is no reason to hold tightly on to any reaching or establishment that began tow or three thousand years ago. Only the helpful principles that were taught should be followed, because principles do not change. All good principles can merge together as one good unified principle that exists prior to any of the momentary teachings that were developed." Master Hua-Ching Ni

These are not about building Empire, the growth of membership, or the amassment of wealth.

Two other (lesson) sacred cows Modern Western Religion hold onto are Doctrine and Self-identity.
The 'big' Western Religions (among others) focus on self-identity. If you are a Christian, then you are a Christian. You must self-identity as such. As with Muslim, as with Jews.

Not so with the Eastern.
Both Confucianism and Taoism complement each other, however incompatible they seem at first to be. The former places a man in his proper relation to his fellow men, the latter in proper relation to nature. A third philosophy, Buddhism, though introduced from India, deals with the problem of human suffering and with man's ultimate destiny. These three inheritances... have moulded the thinking not only of the Chinese people but of all Eastern Asian. There is truth, then, in the common saying that every Chinese wears a Confucian cap, a Taoist robe, and Buddhist sandals.Arthur W. Hummel, Former Head, Division of Orientalia Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1962, Forward to the Tao Teh Ching.

There isn't this obsession with self-identity as there is in the West.
(Ask yourself, could a Westerner readily claim to hold Christian, Muslim, Jewish values; a sort of Freelance Monotheist? Well, few do, but they aren't openly accepted. They're always accused of sitting on the fence).

The secondary minor Sacred Cow Modern Western Religion holds onto is that of Doctrine.
Although Doctrine is often held to be the glue that maintains truth, order, tradition, and structure, it sadly is not the case. It also includes inflexibility, stagnate growth, control, and simply being right; defending one's position at the expense of the truth.
Doctrine” begins in a position of having a truth and then defending it, rather than legitimately discovering and exploring the truth.
One starts at the end hypothesis and moves to defend it, while the other begins without the hypothesis and move to discover and explore it.

There's a drastic difference between these two actions. 
The "Doctrine-paradigm" sees truth backwards. It doesn't really allow for its exploration. 

The Buddha provided examples and a framework to test his teachings. Nothing was expected to be taken at face-value or carte-blanche. 

Taoism holds onto what I call Zero-Doctrine. Again, a focus on mental flexibility. 

My point in all this isn't to sell Eastern Religions, but to provide a contrast. A measuring stick to hold up against Modern Western Religions. A mirror of sorts.
What does exploring The Torn Veil really look like? I think we need to begin by looking far to the East.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Contrary to what many claim, Doctrine is not about truth, structure and order. It is about control and being right.
For those of you that know me, know that I am not a fan of Doctrine. I absolutely do not subscribe to Doctrine. But neither do I hold to chaos or anarchy. I hold value in traditions, structure and order.
Many believe you cannot hold on to tradition, structure or order without Doctrine.
You most certainly can.

I hold onto the concept of Zero-Doctrine.
The general meaning of the word zero is "nothing", so from the words "zero doctrine" you might think it means no doctrine, as in a lack of doctrine or discipline. (That is close to some Taoist teaching of the Tao, because it doesn't focus on any point of view).

Zero-Doctrine is neutral, like zero, being neither a positive nor a negative. It doesn't hold any particular point of view or worldview. It doesn't carry any prejudice. It rejects extremes.

However, if we continue along this path of understanding, we could mistakenly believe there is nothing to Zero-Doctrine; and that couldn't be further from the truth.

Ultimately, the truth is something that cannot be defined by words.

What is definable is an individual's point of view, culture, (subculture), worldview, temperament, quality of mind, education level, and emotions. All these things came together to create that individual's understanding of truth. But that's still not the truth; only an expression of it.

If you are going to define the truth, your definition does not define the truth.
Pause for a moment, reread the sentence and think about it.... It defines your point of view of the truth.
"Because things in the world change, there is no reason to hold tightly on to any reaching or establishment that began tow or three thousand years ago. Only the helpful principles that were taught should be followed, because principles do not change. All good principles can merge together as one good unified principle that exists prior to any of the momentary teachings that were developed." Master Hua-Ching Ni, Entering the Tao, pg 9
Subscribing to Doctrine - like subscribing or following most religions - is like a bus that says it'll take you to this awesome summer camp! But in reality, what it ultimately does it deliver you to a concentration camp. You need to choose where to exit this bus before it arrives at its destination.

Integral truth is not uniting all religions.
It is doing away with all religions.
It is the end of religion.

What is Zero-Doctrine?

In a school classroom there is a blackboard.
When something is taught, often the teacher will draw pictures or a diagram on the blackboard to help the students better understand... but once the blackboard is full, what does the teacher do? She wipes it clean and makes ready for the next lesson. The board - or whatever's on it - is not the truth.
The is Zero-Doctrine.

It is the empty balance point at which a clear decision can be made.
Zero-Doctrine is to return to the point of clarity and keep your mind flexible.
If you have already placed a doctrine in your mind (most religions and definitely religiosity), it means your flexibility of mind is already lost.
You are fixed (and fixated!) to that doctrine at the expense of progress and growth. That is where a person's spirit dies.

If you have Clear Mind - flexible mind - you can develop your mind, renew you mind, find a solution, or a new replacement idea... and even upgrade and interchange Doctrine(s).