my meditation on the sacred
I do see the attraction of religions such as Bhuddism, but as I said, it is eminently self centred and the true expression of love for others is to deny self and serve them not to be engrossed with relieving our own suffering. One thing I have noticed in those who follow these type of religions is that they become sort of less moral. dreambirdie told us about a Bhuddist orgy she walked in on. I am sure that these people do not intend to become less moral and that their intentions are good but this is just what I have noticed. Once you deny Christ, then you can get into some very dark places.
Hi Brenda and Gracenote--
Interesting conversation here, which I came upon as I crawled momentarily out of my hibernating crash.
JUST TO CLARIFY: I did write in one thread about how the poet Robert Bly, in the midst of the first poetry reading I ever attended, at the age of 19, confronted the Naropa Buddhists in Boulder about their orgies. It was at that reading, that I first heard Bly tell the story of how these same Buddhists had attempted to force W S Merwin and his wife to participate in an orgy against their will, during one of Rinpoche Trungpa's Buddhist retreats. I also wrote about a Buddhist orgy I accidentally walked in on during this time, on the way out of an apartment building, after a class I was taking there. Sad to say this is ALL very true. Back in the late 70's, the Boulder Buddhists had QUITE the reputation. Rinpoche Trungpa, who is responsible for "bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West," was a known drunk and womanizer, and his "crew" were completely out of control in regard to their sexual indulgences. They excused their own behavior by calling it "crazy wisdom."
HOWEVER, and UNFORTUNATELY, the Buddhists are NOT THE ONLY ONES that I have seen to demonstrate immoral and out of control behavior. I grew up Catholic, attended parochial school for 8 years, and witnessed PLENTY of immorality and outright brutality there. Some of those nuns, especially the principal MOTHER ANASTASIA, were absolutely vicious and sometimes unconscionably cruel. They believed in corporal punishment--spanking and paddling, which they angrily inflicted with great self righteousness at a couple of the boys in my class, bringing them to tears and then parading them in front of the class to prove how "BAD" these kids supposedly were. Though I was never subjected to the beatings myself, it sickened me to watch them take place--it was one of the ugly things that ultimately led me to swear off Catholicism and Christianity forever.
In my teens I quit the Church quite dramatically, by writing my own letter of excommunication to the Pope! This was after I read all about the Inquisition and the witch burnings of close to 9 million of our European ancestors, most of them women, many of them herbalists and midwives! ... and the slaughter and outright genocide of millions of native people all over the globe. I was absolutely disgusted that this kind of crap was being done in the name of "GOD."
After I fled the fold of Christianity, during my early 20's and at the peak of my CFS, I studied and participated in many spiritual traditions: Buddhism (Zen, Tibetan and Vipassana), Sufism, Native American ceremonies, and a Hindu-Indian oriented meditation group. I found hypocrisy and shadowy behavior in ALL of them: abusive behavior, sexual impropriety, boundary violations. I found holier-than-thou and more-enlightened-than-thou attitudes in ALL of them. I found many members of most of these groups to be judgmental, shaming, blaming and even outright contemptuous about illness. I had been reading Jung's volumes during this time too and studying various forms of mysticim--the Gnostics, the alchemists, the transcendentalists, trying to find exactly where I fit in to the spiritual scheme of things. After a LOT of soul searching, many disappointments and some VERY BIZARRE experiences, I finally concluded that the only "GOD" I could ever really worship was the great spirit of NATURE, and that the only spiritual guidance I was willing to receive would have to be one that came through the DIRECT PIPELINE of MY DREAMS. It was and is in the presence of nature, that I find my peace, that I tune in to the "sacred" and the sublime. And it is through my dreams that I connect with the guidance of my soul. If anyone asks me about my spiritual inclinations now, I tell them I am a dreamer (in the TRUE sense of the word) and a mystic transcendentalist. I have no more interest in spiritual groups of any kind, and hallelujah for that!