Monday, 31 December 2012

"At the center of our being is a point of nothingness ........ this little point of nothingness is like a pure diamond......

Thomas Merton, "At the center of our being is a point of nothingness ........... this little point of nothingness is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven."

One meaning of the dot/point at the centre of the SunWALK model is as expressed by Thomas Merton.

The grey represents the state of connection as in Om - in which we there is no no-self individuation into caring or creativity or criticality.


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The SunWALK model of holistic education, built around a model of what it is to be human, is - HERE


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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Elyn Saks: A tale of mental illness -- from the inside


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Why you should listen to her:


As a mental health law scholar and writer,  Elyn Saks speaks for the rights of mentally ill people. It's a gray area: Too often, society's first impulse is to make decisions on their behalf. But it's a slippery slope from in loco parentis to a denial of basic human rights. Saks has brilliantly argued for more autonomy -- and in many cases for a restoral of basic human dignity.

In 2007, deep into her career, she dropped a bombshell--her autobiography, The Center Cannot Hold. In it, she reveals the depth of her own schizophrenia, now controlled by drugs and therapy. Clear-eyed and honest about her own condition, the book lent her new ammunition in the quest to protect the rights and dignity of the mentally ill.

"Saks has worked for years advocating for men and women with psychological illnesses, and she wrote this brutally honest book partly to make a public statement that no one suffering from any disorder, mental or physical, should be stigmatized."
E. Bukowsky, Amazon.com reviewer

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New Discoveries re Gut Bacteria - Profound Implications for Your Health


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Story at-a-glance

  • The bacteria in your body outnumber your human cells 10-to-1. The ideal balance between these bacteria is about 85 percent “good” and 15 percent “bad.” Once harmful bacteria begin to rise above this ratio, they begin to promote disease, and prevent your immune system from working optimally
  • Bacteria communicate with each other using a chemical language called “quorum sensing.” Every type of bacteria secretes small molecules, which allow the bacteria to “count” how many of its own kind there are, as well as measure the strength of competing colonies. Once the colony reaches critical mass, the bacteria spring into action as a synchronized group, based on the group behavior programmed into its genes—for better or worse.
  • The micro-organisms living in your digestive tract forms a very important "inner ecosystem" that influences countless aspects of your health. More specifically, the type and quantity of organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases and mental health problems
  • Cultured foods like yogurt and fermented vegetables are excellent sources of natural, healthy bacteria, provided they are not pasteurized. Other examples of healthy fermented foods include: kombucha, raw milk cheeses, natto, miso, kimchee, and tempeh

From Dr Mercola

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Update of 'The Tree of Contemplative Practices' - 30+ ways to meditate

Click HERE to read the full article at The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

The Tree of Contemplative Practices

The Tree illustrates some of the contemplative practices currently in use in secular organizational and academic settings. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. Below the Tree you will find links to descriptions of many of these practices as well as a more in-depth description of the Tree and image files for downloading.

We hope to soon offer more information and resources on all of the practices listed on the Tree. Thank you for your patience!

The Tree of Contemplative Practices

 

© The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Concept & design by Maia Duerr; illustration by Carrie Bergman

Understanding the Tree

On the Tree of Contemplative Practices, the roots symbolize the two intentions that are the foundation of all contemplative practices: cultivating awareness and developing a stronger connection to God, the divine, or inner wisdom. The roots of the tree encompass and transcend differences in the religious traditions from which many of the practices originated, and allow room for the inclusion of new practices that are being created in secular contexts.

The branches represent the different groupings of practices. For example, Stillness Practices focus on quieting the mind and body in order to develop calmness and focus. Generative Practices come in many different forms (i.e. prayers, visualizations, chanting) but share the common intent of generating thoughts and feelings of devotion and compassion, rather than calming and quieting the mind. Please note that these classifications are not definitive. For example, mantra repetition may be considered a Stillness Practice rather than a Generative one.

Any activities not included on this Tree (including those which may seem more mundane, such as gardening, eating, or taking a bath) are a contemplative practice when done with the intent of cultivating awareness, or developing a stronger connection with God or one’s inner wisdom. We offer a free download of a blank Tree so that you can customize it and include your own practices.

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TAGS: 

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Monday, 24 December 2012

Instagram (owned by FaceBook) says it now has the right to sell your photos

According to CNET;                                Go HERE to read the full article

In its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the photo-sharing site, Instagram claims the right to sell users' photos without payment or notification. 

Oh, and there's no way to opt out.

 December 17, 2012 9:54 PM PST 

Update, December 18 at 2:50 p.m. PT: Instagram has backed down, as we report in thisCNET article posted a few minutes ago. Instagram says it will "remove" the language that caused a user revolt over the last day.

Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.

The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world's largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter user quipped that "Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won't have to pay youanything to use your images."

"It's asking people to agree to unspecified future commercial use of their photos," says Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "That makes it challenging for someone to give informed consent to that deal."

That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on -- without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo. The language would include not only photos of picturesque sunsets on Waikiki, but also images of young children frolicking on the beach, a result that parents might not expect, and which could trigger state privacy laws.

Facebook did not respond to repeated queries from CNET this afternoon. We'll update the article if we receive a response.

Another policy pitfall: If Instagram users continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013, and subsequently delete their account after the deadline, they may have granted Facebook an irrevocable right to sell those images in perpetuity. There's no obvious language that says deleting an account terminates Facebook's rights, EFF's Opsahl said.

Facebook's new rights to sell Instagram users' photos come from two additions to its terms of use policy. One section deletes the current phrase "limited license" and, by inserting the words "transferable" and "sub-licensable," allows Facebook to license users' photos to any other organization.

A second section allows Facebook to charge money. It says that "a business or other entity may pay us to display your... photos... in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you." That language does not exist in the current terms of use.

Google's policy, by contrast, is far narrower and does not permit the company to sell photographs uploaded through Picasa or Google+. Its policy generally tracks the soon-to-be-replaced Instagram policy by saying: "The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our services." Yahoo's policies service for Flickr are similar, saying the company can use the images "solely for the purpose for which such content was submitted or made available."

Reginald Braithwaite, an author and software developer, posted a tongue-in-cheek "translation" of the new Instagram policy today: "You are not our customers, you are the cattle we drive to market and auction off to the highest bidder. Enjoy your feed and keep producing the milk."

One Instagram user dubbed the policy change "Instagram's suicide note." The PopPhoto.com photography site summarized the situation by saying: "The service itself is still a fun one, but that's a lot of red marks that have shown up over the past couple weeks. Many shooters -- even the casual ones -- probably aren't that excited to have a giant corporation out there selling their photos without being paid or even notified about it."

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom speaks at the LeWeb conference in Paris. Click for larger image.

(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Another unusual addition to Instagram's new policy appears to immunize it from liability, such as class action lawsuits, if it makes supposedly private photos public. The language stresses, twice in the same paragraph, that "we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of content" and "Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any content you provide."

Yet another addition says "you acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such." That appears to conflict with the Federal Trade Commission's guidelinesthat say advertisements should be listed as advertisements......................................................

Go HERE to read the full article


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The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living ceasing its operations at the end of this year - reports Carl McColman

I am sad to learn that the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living will be ceasing its operations at the end of this year. You can read their announcement here. The Merton institute is an independent non-profit organization with a mission “to awaken interest in contemplative living through the works of Thomas Merton and others, thereby promoting Merton’s vision for a just, peaceful and sustainable world.” Among other initiatives, the Merton Institute ran a retreat center near the Abbey of Gethsemani, produced books and DVDs on contemplative living, and sent a weekly email featuring a contemplative quotation or two from Merton to its over sixteen thousand subscribers. The decision to cease operations arises from a very simple reason: the inability to raise the necessary funds to finance the organization.

Obviously, these are difficult times for all nonprofit organizations, so I’m not sure that we have to get overly worried that this represents a particular threat to contemplative spirituality. Other organizations, such as Shalem and Contemplative Outreach, remain actively engaged in their work to promote contemplation. Nevertheless, I think this is a somber day for the contemplative community and we all should consider what we can do to support contemplative resources like this one, before they’re all gone.

When I posted this news on Twitter, one of my friends replied, “I feel like I should do something. This is shocking and sad. A large resource for contemplation and action to disappear?” It’s a sentiment I certainly shared with him. So I replied, “We need to be creating contemplative resources in our own communities.” .................................

To read Carl's full article go HERE

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

I've asked Rumi and Heschel to speak to each other - see what they said! - (Juxtaposition 24.12.2012)

Rumi said;


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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

Heschel said

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from another of his books Man is Not Alone Heschel;

The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide.
It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. 

Neither is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore,
and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. 

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:
we sense the ineffable in one realm;
we name and exploit reality in another. 

Between the two we set up a system of references,
but can never fill the gap. 
They are as far and as close to each other…as life and 
what lies beyond the last breath.                                                              Man is Not Alone p8.

I hope they speak to you as well as, across time they speak to each other!

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TRANSLATION MATTERS

On issues of translation of course we want the best available, and of course we recognize that cultural resonances get lost - but still our spirit is fed.

On the Rumi poem there are some interesting comments HERE - including from 'Cyrus'

What the Persian verses basically try to impart is that “We human beings give meanings and judgements to everything”. Everything just is. They all exist without having any knowledge of the meaning or judgement that we attribute to them.
Now the Persian word سودا means “Trade, Exchange, barter”. The best meaning here could be Exchange.

Here is my crude interpretation of the Persian verses

Beyond the realm of heresy and faith there is a meadow
Within that space, we each have understandings to bestow
When the sage reaches that juncture, he’ll rest all his conjecture
Since neither heresy, nor faith, not even that place, any longer has a place

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Beautiful and Uplifting

Wonderful talk about 'the nature of meditation and its place in our being maturely human' - by Abdu'l-Baha

This wonderful talk by Abdu'l-Baha, from the Baha'i Faith,

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speaks volumes, for me, about 'the nature of meditation and its place in our being maturely human';

ADDRESS BY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AT THE FRIENDS’ MEETING HOUSE, ST MARTIN’S LANE, LONDON, W.C. - Sunday, January 12th, 1913


1 About one thousand years ago a society was formed in Persia called the Society of the Friends, who gathered together for silent communion with the Almighty.

2 They divided Divine philosophy into two parts: one kind is that of which the knowledge can be acquired through lectures and study in schools and colleges. The second kind of philosophy was that of the Illuminati, or followers of the inner light. The schools of this philosophy were held in silence. Meditating, and turning their faces to the Source of Light, from that central Light the mysteries of the Kingdom were reflected in the hearts of these people. All the Divine problems were solved by this power of illumination.

3 This Society of Friends increased greatly in Persia, and up to the present time their societies exist. Many books and epistles were written by their leaders. When they assemble in their meeting-house they sit silently and contemplate; their leader opens with a certain proposition, and says to the assembly ‘You must meditate on this problem’. Then, freeing their minds from everything else, they sit and reflect, and before long the answer is revealed to them. Many abstruse divine questions are solved by this illumination. 174

4 Some of the great questions unfolding from the rays of the Sun of Reality upon the mind of man are: the problem of the reality of the spirit of man; of the birth of the spirit; of its birth from this world into the world of God; the question of the inner life of the spirit and of its fate after its ascension from the body.

5 They also meditate upon the scientific questions of the day, and these are likewise solved.

6 These people, who are called ‘Followers of the inner light’, attain to a superlative degree of power, and are entirely freed from blind dogmas and imitations. Men rely on the statements of these people: by themselves—within themselves—they solve all mysteries.

7 If they find a solution with the assistance of the inner light, they accept it, and afterwards they declare it: otherwise they would consider it a matter of blind imitation. They go so far as to reflect upon the essential nature of the Divinity, of the Divine revelation, of the manifestation of the Deity in this world. All the divine and scientific questions are solved by them through the power of the spirit.

8 Bahá’u’lláh says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time—he cannot both speak and meditate.

9 It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed. 175

10 You cannot apply the name ‘man’ to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts.

11 Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit—the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation.

12 The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food.

13 Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see.

14 This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God.

15 This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.

16 Nevertheless some thoughts are useless to man; they are like waves moving in the sea without result. But 176 if the faculty of meditation is bathed in the inner light and characterized with divine attributes, the results will be confirmed.

17 The meditative faculty is akin to the mirror; if you put it before earthly objects it will reflect them. Therefore if the spirit of man is contemplating earthly subjects he will be informed of these.

18 But if you turn the mirror of your spirits heavenwards, the heavenly constellations and the rays of the Sun of Reality will be reflected in your hearts, and the virtues of the Kingdom will be obtained.

19 Therefore let us keep this faculty rightly directed—turning it to the heavenly Sun and not to earthly objects—so that we may discover the secrets of the Kingdom, and comprehend the allegories of the Bible and the mysteries of the spirit.

20 May we indeed become mirrors reflecting the heavenly realities, and may we become so pure as to reflect the stars of heaven.

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NB I have numbered the paragraphs 1 - 20 - for study purposes.

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Gorious version of Allah Hoo - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1993)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Wonderful Sufi chanting - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

An awesome song and performance of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from the album "Devotional Songs" in a super audio quality.

For more about the great man see HERE

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Tablet of Maryam or Mary revealed by Baha'u'llah in Persian.

...

To read a provisional translation of this tablet into English see HERE


TAGS: Baha'i, Baha'u'llah, chant, chanting, Tablet of Maryam or Mary.

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Wisdom Questions - some quotations from within a Perennial Philosophy framework.

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We are using these quotations in our discussions at present;

TOPIC: The Reality of Being Human on the Way to Realizing Enlightenment

QUESTION: “What is the reality of being human on the way to realizing enlightenment?


  
1 “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the

world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is

incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” …....“Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.”Abraham Joshua Heschel


2 “Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the

individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the

tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.


“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his

glory, he grieves no more.”


3 Don’t contemplate

as mere activity

Be void contemplating void.      p221365 Tao - Deng Ming-Dao


4 After scaling the high summits of wonderment the wayfarer cometh to the Valley of True

Poverty and Absolute Nothingness.

This station is the dying from self and the living in God, the being poor in self and rich in the

Desired One.

From ‘The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness’ the 7th valley in Baha’u’llah’s 7 Valleys

5 The experience of one’s own identity r “I”, is a source of great wonder........Spiritual attainment

is a fundamental transformation of the “I” from a separate, limited, and contracted identity into a

rich and infinite one.  It is a movement from separation to union.

            p85 Living Presence A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self - by Shaikh Kabir Helminski

6 You say, “I want to know myself.”  You are the “I”.  You are the Knowing.  You are the

consciousness through which everything is known.  And that cannot know itself; it is itself.

p55/56 Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle


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About religion Max Muller said, ““He who knows one, knows none.”



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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tradition and Perennialism in the Contemporary World - Dr Nasr


Dr. Nasr's talk, titled "The Recovery of the Sacred: Tradition and Perennialism in the Contemporary World", was given at the Sacred Web Conference on "Tradition in the Modern World" held in Edmonton at The University of Alberta, September 2006. In the talk, he explains central Traditionalist terms, concepts, and contributions, including "the sense of the sacred," Tradition, scientism, Beauty, metaphysics, and the important role of Tradition in current times. 


Conference 

Summary:http://www.sacredweb.com/conference06/conference_summary.html


2 disc DVD set:http://worldwisdom.com/public/products/9781933316444_Tradition_in_the_Modern_...

http://mikrotheos.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_8265.html

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What is Mysticism, Sufism - An Interview With Professor William C. Chittick

Uploaded on 27 Jan 2011

Interview 10/12/09 on the radio show "Science, Health and Healing" with host Majid Ali, MD (WBAI 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio) in anticipation of the Ibn Arabi conference in New York, November 6 2009

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Friday, 14 December 2012

The Bhagavad Gita chanted in English & The Perennial Philosophy

The extract from the  Bhagavad Gita which, for me, summarizes the core mystical heart of all of the great world wisdom traditions ( & Perennial Philosophy) is;

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the

individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the

tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.


“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, 

he grieves no more.”

We now have both the text of the Bhagavad Gita in English  HERE and chanted in English by Kumuda HERE - what a story! -  (see video below).  Enjoy them together.  

Wonderful - what a gift from Kumada and Swami Nirmalananda Giri for those interested in the cause of interfaith understanding and Perennial Philosophy.

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TAGS: Kumuda, nightlotus. Bhagavad Gita, oneness, Perennial Philosophy, mystical heart of religion, spirituality, chants, identity, self, true Self, advaita, ego, transformation, pain-body, collective pain-body, spiritual development, peace building, social justice, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism  Christianity, Islam, purpose, purpose of life, 

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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Perennial Philosophy - a defnition by a Christian professor

New Group 'Wisdom Questions', St Augustine and Perennial Philosopy

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'Wisdom Questions'

"Wisdom is the faculty of making the use of knowledge, a combination of discernment, judgement, sagacity and similar powers. If knowledge is the accumulation of facts and intelligence the development of reason, wisdom is emotional and spiritual discernment. More than knowledge, it is the right application of knowledge in moral and spiritual matters, in handling dilemmas, in negotiating complex relationships. Wisdom is nine-tenths a matter of being wise in time. Most of us are often too wise after the event! It is insight into the heart of the matter." Wise people see beyond the facts and figures. They avoid problems before they occur. Wisdom is gained through experience, patience and listening.       Definition by Evan Owens CEO of CentreSource - HERE

Some questions to 'kick-off'

Does anyone want to make out a case for the wisdom of woman being different to, or the same as, the wisdom of men?

Is science the only method for connecting to reality?

Do the great wisdom traditions really teach the same about what it is to be wholly & fully human - in the world with others - in relation to the mysterious Whole?

Are the arts a means to reality - or just self indulgence?

If we base the education of our children on whole-person leaning might they contribute toward a better world?

Do we agree with Evan Owens in his definition (see above) ?



Are (some) children wiser than many experienced adults - if yes why & how is this?

Some friends and I are starting a new group - both locally in Brighton and online.  Online details below.

The suggested group title is a play on a) the wisdom we have (should) question - ourselves, our world and reality - AND we can have fun, enjoyment and learning in framing questions to ask of 'our accumulated, or realized, wisdom'!

THE WIDER CONTEXT OF PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY

Here is an ancient poetic summation of the state of being human, and implicitly of The Perennial Philosophy -  from the Bhagavad Gita;

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the

individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the

self same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the

tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the

divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he

recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his

glory, he grieves no more.”


This so beautifully describes .... well what do you think?


Stunningly just yesterday I discovered that St Augustine wrote.......... 

"The fact, which is now called the Christian Religion," he boldly says, with the earlier Apologists, "existed among the ancients, and was never lacking from the origin of the human race."  - 

C C Martindale SJ -  SOURCE

Those who want to dig deeper can compare the above two quotations with the contemporary re-presentation of Perennial Philosophy in Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy or Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now or Stillness Speaks – or Ken Wilber or Karen Armstrong, or Wayne Teasdale, or Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thomas Merton or Shaikh Helminski etc. - each I suugest speaks in different language and cultural clothing but teach the same message?

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This is St Augustine not me! -  Lol


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Picture source and helpful list of facts on Augustine & Aquinas by Jeffrey Hays - HERE

The 'Wisdom Questions group ON-LINE

My contributions to this group's interests will go to my general blog - http://sunwalked.wordpress.com/ - along with my other core projects

1 whole-person learning, 
2 photographic art, 
3 social justice, 
4 inter-spirituality
5 transforming IPF, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis into something life-enhancing

i.e. http://sunwalked.wordpress.com/ is a metablog of all my blogs

however the dedicated site for Wisdom Questions and inter-spirituality is - http://universalistspirit.wordpress.com/ - you can comment on or add 'gems' to either or both!

All good wishes

Roger

TAGS:  wisdom, wisdom questions, Christianity, St Augustine, new group, women and wisdom, universalism, interspirituality, inter-spirituality, interfaith, Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now,  Stillness Speaks,  Ken Wilber, Karen Armstrong,  Wayne Teasdale, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, Shaikh Helminski, knowledge,  whole-person learning, photographic art, social justice, IPF,

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