sunnuntai, 11. joulukuu 2016

Why did Sarah laugh?

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On the 18th chapter of the First Book of Moses, there is a verse: “Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?”

The Finnish singer Saara Aalto could cheerfully state: “Could I really win, which am often classified as a looser in Finland?”

Saara Aalto can serve as a living witness for the fact that the Finnish persistence, SISU, begins there where the normal willpower ends.

***

The same spirit – or quality of mind – is required in addition to knowledge and skill at the most demanding human competition – in driving to conquer one’s own human nature and attain “the crown of righteousness.”

In X-Factor, the floorshow is performed in front of human audience and judges. In conquering one’s human nature the floor exists deep in the soul, out of which all worldly creations should be cleaned away.

This is a very long Christmas-cleaning. As it approaches the Christmas-realisation, it takes place in a complete darkness – so that the real light could be clearly perceived and that the receptivity for the light could be properly tested.

perjantai, 15. huhtikuu 2016

Life is the road to an endless ocean

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A Road to life

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An endless ocean

One teacher (professor Ravi Ravindra) claimed that a man has first to become rich if he wants to become poor in a right, spiritual way. In this case becoming rich includes psychological wealth like knowledge, authority and honor.

Another teacher (Master Eckhart) said that all possible things are always ready in the innermost being of every man. The purpose of life is to activate these potentialities in the limits of time and space. We call this process learning. One of its problems is the tendency of the human mind to become conditioned to its own ideas, so as it does not take in anything that seems threatening to it. Luckily, eventually the human mind gets bored with its present richness and begins to search for something different.

At some stage, all the worldly things lose their power and there is nothing left for a person but a change of direction into his inner world. The prodigal son is about to turn back home!

We could talk about identifying with the outer world, things and events (as becoming rich). The detaching of oneself from temporary things (as becoming spiritually poor) will begin after that.

The road in the first photo descends gradually into a valley called life. At some faraway stage, the road starts to rise back towards “the highlands of spirit” and disappears soon beyond our “worldly eyes”.

The third teacher (Friedrich Nietzsche) described the state of consciousness, which might come ahead as soon as all the mental bonds and images of mind lose their grip. Then a man finds himself as being a question mark between two empty states.

The fourth teacher (Juan de la Cruz) stated that a man, rising high enough, cannot any more lean to such things to which he in his life was conditioned. Now it is time for the kind of faith, hope and love that has no phenomenal targets.

The second photo might symbolize an endless ocean with a freely floating, empty boat where a man cannot take anything but his mind - cleared of all temporary things.

 

Photos:

1. Death Valley, California

2. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

lauantai, 28. syyskuu 2013

Is stupidity an everlasting quality?

Religions, philosophies and political ideologies differ from each other in the ways how they name the targets of their belief, and how strongly these ideas are tied in the minds and behavior of the followers.

Fundamental religious ideas are generally proposed as necessary tickets out of this limited life to an eternal state, often called Heaven. This idea stands just as a sign of mental pressure which an organized religion uses to govern the minds of people, instead of leading their hearts towards God.

An individual religious mind is supposed to search for solid harmony and balance behind all temporal and chaotic things. This journey is executed by an individual way. Some people prefer mental activities, whereas to others sentimental devotion is natural. Many people choose active charity and concrete work in solitude or in a monastery.

It is a crime against humanity to define too strict boundaries and limitations for the thinking and behavior of people. This procedure serves as a means to strengthen the identity of a community, but it is very seldom good equipment in lifting up the general collective standard of mental and spiritual life.

The limitation of thoughts as solid forms of thinking and behavior is very characteristic for a human being. Negative consequences rise from the tendency of forcing others to accept the fixed ideas by using the power of masses or social pressure. Many of the so called holy wars, not to talk about common ones, have got their first sparks out of limitations of thinking.

Even the earliest communities built up walls around their villages and towns to protect against outer threats. That was all natural. But the building of walls in mental affairs to avoid conflicts is not all together a necessary human feature, on the contrary, it has been the source and main factor of numerous religious and political wars.

If a human mind is limited and forced into strict patterns – how could it ever be free? A human being should at least stand and accept himself, so that he does not flee from his inner and outer challenges. Facing them helps a person to tolerate other people as well.

***

Skeptics might say that talking about abstract and immaterial truths and spaces of living tells only about a common will to avoid unpleasant concrete things. Some people begin to construct and move things into imaginary level if the concrete ones are not satisfied and easily achieved.

It is certain that everyone believes in something,  otherwise  one just pretends to be completely free from all believes, but in fact most part of the content of a human mind is filled with relative inherited thoughts and patterns accepted right from ones environment.

There exist no absolute religious acts that in themselves contain ultimate life. The meaning of forms, sermons and other patterns comes out in the features that they later on develop into the mind of an individual human being – and through individuals into the collective conscience of mankind.

Natural selection or the survival of the fittest aims at a better adaptation into life in general. The same principle could stand in immaterial levels as well, so that an individual mind tends in time to accept and adapt forms that benefit life.

Maybe there is no need to bend into any fixed ideas. Why don’t we just do our best and acknowledge truth as soon as we run afoul of it – as long as we’ll find a more suitable form of truth for ourselves?

We can certainly set our final goal even to eternal level, but we should keep our heads cool enough not to think that we have reached the goal right after our first step.

The dynamics of life will take care of the fact that, in spite of fluctuations, stupidity will gradually give away to growing wisdom. 

torstai, 27. joulukuu 2012

About the dynamics of human life


 It is not a great secret that many people in western civilizations, at least in Christian circles, are not entirely content with the ideas that are presented about the purposes and dynamics of human life in general.
The essential questions concern for example the origin and end of conscious human life.

The Christian tradition considers that every personal human being stems from God Himself and returns back to Him after death, but a belief in Jesus and his atonement is a vital precondition for salvation.

***

Among Eastern religions it is often found the idea of reincarnation, or metempsychosis. They say that sooner or later after death a personal conscience incarnates into a new body and environment. The quality of the change is based on a system of reward: the better present life the better life to come.

Are there evidence enough for this kind of thinking, or could we interpret the idea in a totally different way?

Very few persons have got clear memories from their previous lives, memories that can be at least to some extent verified. If the reincarnation is a law of nature, why are the memories so rare among people?

Some scholars say that a person is an empty table at his birth, but why are people so different in nature, talents and many other abilities right from their beginning?

Is it God that made each one of us special? But why did He in His mercy and love share the qualities so unevenly among His creatures? Or did He cast Himself somewhere into the basic being of the human soul, and not into the personal being with a material body?

Everybody can see how far from perfection a common personal being stands at his present. It is also easy to notice the differences in talents and environmental qualities between people as well as in the lengths of their lives. Even the longest life is quite short for perfection. How could any right and perfect judge divide people on such grounds into two opposite categories: one entitled to heaven, the other to hell?

Maybe this question has appeared so difficult that some clever people have thought that there must be a kind of a special retribution between God and people. An old Jewish tradition gave a solution in the idea of trespass offering. In the first centuries the Christian authorities linked this to the passion of Jesus and developed the peculiar idea of full retribution for all true Christian believers, past, present and coming.

The idea of retribution aroused disputes among Christian believers even in the early centuries as it still does among the individuals who want to understand and interpret religious matters in a reasonable and rational way.

All of us cannot bend our mind to say as Tertullus, one of the fathers of the church, that I believe because it is absurd. Many others will think to themselves that they in fact do not believe at all. They just let these difficult questions be as they are.

The idea of divine mercy – even without any retribution – might satisfy some people, but there would still be many questions to solve concerning huge differences between people.

***

Would it be possible to explore the issue in a far longer period, and not only focusing at the role of a short lasting personality?
Then we should not understand a human being just as a single person, which is always found, sooner or later, to disappear.

It is often said that behind the personal being there is the soul of a human being, which is too often messed up with the spirit or the common thoughts and feelings of a person, which in fact should be called the mind.

In the bible there are notes of a soul denoting to a factor, which a person might benefit or harm with his actions (both outer and inner).
The soul might be understood as an inborn, individual basis for a personality. Most of the talents and qualities might have their origin in this mysterious inner factor. Origen, one of the fathers of the church, pointed out that a human soul has a pre-existence, a far more permanent nature than a personal human being.

Later on the church declared this statement void, but was it really wrong, or was the ban based just on political decisions of some convents?
In the bible there are a few verses that could be interpreted in the way above. Jesus himself asked: "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"  They said, "Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." (Matt. 16:13-14; Mark. 9:30). In the Psalms there is a saying: “You turn man to destruction, saying, ‘Return, you children of men.’" (Ps. 90:3), which might be interpreted in the way that a personal conscience returns after death into his inner being, the soul – or in this particular case: the individual aggregation in the soul returns to its spiritual home – uniting with the heavenly father.

Are these verses talking about reincarnation? Not necessarily. We might divide a human being – as in the Genesis – into three beings: a person, soul and spirit.
Spirit must be totally permanent and eternal in nature, and inseparable from its origin. The soul, instead, can be seen as a “layer”, which takes influence as well from the personal as from the spiritual level of the whole combination.

The combination of these three levels is an enormous dynamic field of interaction, which has its lowest pole here in time and space and the highest pole in eternity. The soul is a citizen of two worlds, having a divine innermost essence, other layers working as merging, cleaning and storing factors for temporal experience.

After physical death a personality is gradually (step by step) transferred to the subjective state or space entitled to him where he leaves all the features and qualities, gathered during his lifetime, that contain some value of spiritual nature. The personal conscience itself enters at last to some kind of heavenly sphere where he depletes all the issues that he is able to experience as good and blissful.

The harvest of the temporal life is left into the soul, which in turn forms the basis to a new and different personality that is to come to the world to fetch more qualities into the ever growing and deepening individual soul.
All the struggles and efforts of a person may bring some growth into the soul of which he is a vital and dynamic part and factor. These impulses also increase the range of abilities for the coming personalities, for the whole human development in time and space.

The new personality is not a direct continuation of the former one, but a new formation based on the resources of the individual soul in question according to divine laws of spiritual nature. The coming personality may well have some abilities and talents of the former one, but arranged in a different way to assure that the soul will by this combination have a chance to gather new impulses and experience to contribute its purposes.

The coming personality enters into a new body which contains all the genetic combinations of the parents originating from the beginning of human existence. The ultimate combination is by no means a pure chance but a result of divine wisdom with little room for mistakes.
After the birth a new person comes in physical contact with his parents and environment, which will wake up in the child the kind of features that are acceptable, and will try to reduce harmful qualities in that particular culture.

We could say that there is no reincarnation of the soul, either: the soul just gives a certain kind of combination of qualities to the coming new personality, staying as a steady and dynamic field of interaction, which gives no part to death.

If we think this way, there is no transmigration of soul, for the sphere stands rather permanent in relation to the lives of the personalities that use it as a clearing point. This sphere might contain a huge amount more qualities than all the personalities that have given it their harvest or taken in themselves some mixture of qualities from its ripened resources.

The soul might be called the inner human being, maybe even the real human being, but even that should not be defined as the ultimate goal of human life, not to talk about existence.

A human being probably proves to be threefold in nature, but normally neither the personal nor the soul is fully self-conscious on all those levels. The ultimate goal of all human life might be the union of all these three parts.

The soul could be called the son of man, for its content is mainly a result of human experience. The lifting up of the Son of Man in the Gospel of John might well denote to the union of soul and spirit.

***

There are a few things that might serve as vital means for the union.

It is necessary that there will become some harmony among all these factors. The measure and qualities of ripened impulses and experiences in a soul must probably be adequate and in harmony for greater purposes.
The personal part should at last loosen his ties into the world as a whole, so that he can drop all the temporal contents at no time, and make it possible for the spiritual part to enter the innermost part of the soul.

At the end all is depending on the spiritual spheres of existence. A personal being cannot force any real mystical things or events to happen, but he can well create better chance for it by trying to learn his lessons of life and find out which is important and which has no lasting value.
By looking at the world we can see that it is quite easy to become clever, but becoming wise is a much harder and rare quality among people. Cleverness develops by mental training and learning from outer sources. It does not inquire the active presence of soul, not to talk about the spirit.

It is obvious that the doors of the soul are closed if the qualities of a personal conscience were far too coarse.
In Christian circle some priests say that after death a good person gets a body which is made according to the model of Jesus’ resurrection body. This is of course a matter of belief, but for many of us it sounds unfair and unnatural.

A final resurrection would require a total divine self-conscience and means to act at all levels of nature, whether concrete or abstract. Very few representatives of mankind have so far gained access to that kind of ultimate states of consciousness.

Resurrection, in its real meaning, is far beyond enlightenment, which denotes only to a change in consciousness, not yet in the whole sphere and means of interaction. To become enlightened is, of course, an essential step on the way to become a master or an adept.

In many religious circles there are talks about awakening and conversion that might well have something to do with enlightenment. Unfortunately such events do not often have long-term and thorough effects on people’s consciousness, so that they could afterwards be called really wise and spiritual.

Some people get the strength to stop their drinking or other bad habits, but the kind of changes are psychological, not divine.
 
 

maanantai, 17. syyskuu 2012

About confessions


What is the aim of a confession in general? To strengthen cohesion and fellowship among people, and to give people something concrete to identify themselves. A confession is, in fact, an oath, a promise to think in a certain way especially about religious issues. There are confessions in many other affairs, too. Almost all bureaucrats and officers have their own laws and rules which to follow.


It is easy to accept that policemen and all other officers have strict regulations to be able to act somewhat similarly for all citizens. Here, too, rules are sometimes lifted in a too dominant position, so that the voice of reason is forgotten. Rules and regulations should be the aid for right actions, not a substitute for responsibility and sound thinking.


Political parties have confessions of their own which contain in written form the main aims of their activities. Sometimes these declarations lose their touch to the ever changing reality, but it is often difficult to make fundamental alterations to the statements with a long history.


If we look at the history of religions, it is quite easy to find out that confessions have often caused severe struggles – even wars. We could also notice that the differences between confessions concern the ideas that are difficult to be testified with concrete facts. Religious arguments are often based on old scriptures and tradition, but how can we be sure that this text contain the original ideas in their right forms? The confessions attained on any convent are usually compromises, thoughts of the majority, which does not guarantee their degree of truth. Why do people often think that men in the past were much wiser in religious thinking than we are today? Is it because they were closer to the original impulse? Consider that they had all gone wrong! It is no wonder that some mystic intervention of the Holy Ghost has been used to sanctify situations where fundamental decisions have been made.


In Christian Church, most quarrels have been raised up from diverging interpretation of Holy Scriptures and old confessions. It should be understood that there has never been verbal expressions of which different people could get just the same mental image. Individual mental images are based on personal experience, and every living creature has a history of his own. There are similarities in thoughts, but total alikeness is a rare quality.


In most democracies, a freedom of speech, writing and a meeting is self-evidence, in spite of that, in affairs of religion; people tend to restrict their thinking into the frames of some old confession. In Christian countries, this was understandable a few centuries ago when diverging ideas often led into serious consequences. Today we should have no reason to accommodate ourselves to any idea without thorough consideration. Some people would probably tell us that it is dangerous for a soul to take liberties like this. All ideas in religious matters are perfected long ago by holy men, for us there is nothing new to be thought.


It is hard to run over any of the religious boundaries, which are proposed as common and eternal truths. Most people keep silent if they have ideas of their own in these delicate affairs. They do not voluntarily want to face the pressure of masses. It is enough that they can get along with their own conscience, which often brings up the accusations that are born in the environment since one’s childhood.


Many people would say that it is easier to drive together on well-signed roads and highways than to walk alone in unknown forest and deserts. Maybe that suits most individuals but are those well-signed ways leading people into an advanced mental or even spiritual goal? Are they but practical means for leaders in keeping their own flog under control and together as payers?


Very few people dare to have confidence in their own thinking. It is more common to let religious matters be untouched and focus totally on ordinary and safe things. There are people who are not satisfied in common fixed ideas but who want to break all questionable barriers to see, what is behind them. They will soon find out that one can search one’s ways without confessions and other crutches. A confession may be taken as hypothesis on which it is appealing to find an experiential ground. In doing so one often gets a label of pride and arrogance, but that is not a high price for freedom of thinking – or is it? A social pressure might work as a maturity test for those who want to remove the curtains of mysteries.

Most people are quite satisfied with mysteries in their literal forms, and there is nothing wrong in that. A few individuals cannot confess anything unless they experience it by and in themselves. They think that all mysticism must reveal its extreme nature as a person manages to rise above all his mental limitations. This means the same as the old expression of “losing oneself”.  A limited way of perception finds all things and phenomenon as ever changing, separate objects. The mystic aims at the state where the extreme essence of any object can be experienced, in fact, even the extreme essence without any object, life itself, becomes known.


Maybe we could say that it is the highest time to leave behind the belief, “there is no salvation outside the church or parish”. The statement comes from Cyprian of Antioch, who derived it from a poorly grounded and justified belief that only bishops had right to forgive sins – and there were no bishops outside the church. It is not difficult to see in what purpose this devious idea has been awoken – it gives the clergy the means and power to keep their folks regimented.


In conclusion, it is possible to live in or outside any church while maintaining one’s inner liberty and freedom of thought. Even for many theologians, uniting into traditional confessions causes some trouble. They must search allegorical interpretations in order to let themselves take part in literal confessions.


It is the highest time to lower the value of words coming from the misleading rendering of a Creech word ‘logos’ into Latin ‘verbum’. We should understand that it is much more crucial what one is in his heart than what words one is thinking to believe in.