Sunday, 3 July 2011

Spirituallity and ritual

Q. Is spiritual development dependant upon ritual?

A. To ensure that your TV picture does not degrade in to a chaos of meaningless colour, ‘sync’ (synchronistic) pulses are transmitted by broadcasters world wide. When we are attempting to purify the mind in preparation for spiritual development rituals act in the same way as a TV sync pulse.
Spiritual development depends upon opening the mind and releasing it from preconceived ideas and prejudices. It is the manifestation of absolute freedom of choice. Spiritual development’s hallmark is a lasting afterglow of joy, wellbeing and bliss. It enhances compassionate unattachment and altruistic love.
The mind first becomes truth seeking. Truth beyond the ‘ignorance of Maya’; a truth beyond the entrapping desires of the physical world. As the mind opens and relaxes the spiritual dimension of the human condition starts to make itself consciously known.
However, this process has to be treated with great care, as many types of selfish, primitive yearnings can flood the mind, distracting from spiritual development. Both negative and positive thoughts are enhanced and reinforced by invoking ritual. It is therefore vital to choose a ritual which will aid your wellbeing and reinforce joy and bliss. Such reinforcement must be free of all artificial stimulants or drugs and devoid of any form of abuse to self or to others. Such rituals are found in everyday occurrences such as hand shaking or saying ‘hello’. Spirituality infuses contemplation, meditation and prayer. Positive fulfilment is found in such as the Christian Mass or Eucharist and many other religious rites and ceremonies.

Proving God

Q. If God was real why can’t we prove it?

A. We can!

But like all advanced experiments it needs time and effort to get it right.
Most people unfortunately do not feel able to devote sufficient time but simply shoot off a quick prayer now and again for worldly things, such as asking for cure for physical or mental ills. Such miraculous cures do happen, but they are extremely rare and we do not know really why they happen.
However, the only experiment that has meaning is one that involves you, yourself looking inwards with a truth seeking eye, if you persist in seeking only the truth underpinning the mystery of life it will emerge from the thick fog of secular reasoning and mass information that clogs the natural mind. There are many paths that will lead you to the beginning of enlightenment. But I urge not to stop at the beginning but continue the climb for as you climb your deep understanding and joy will be enhanced.

Grace and Christianity

Is Grace to be found in faiths other than Christianity?
Answer:I was at a house meeting when the host suggested that, "Grace is God's riches at Christ's expense". He then went on to announce that the difference between Christianity and other faiths is, Grace.

I find this position somewhat insulting to the great spiritual understanding and expressions in other world faiths.

The Longman's dictionary defines Grace as, "unmerited divine assistance given to human beings for their regeneration or sanctification… a virtue coming from God".

Although the word “Grace” is not often used in other Religions the concept will be found. In Grace there is no link between how it is bestowed and whether it is deserved. It relates to how God can provide inner calmness to us that transcends worldly pain and suffering. This calmness is abundant in many Religions for example the feeling of Bliss in the Hindu Ramakrishna belief.

If you also consider the deeper meaning of sanctification and how the human race is set apart for a special purpose, this idea is widespread throughout other religions. For example Manmohan Singh who translated the Sri Guru Granth Sahib into English and Punjabi tells us “Blessed blessed is the Lord incarnate Guru who has very mercifully bestowed this unique service unto me”. This shows he is sanctified through Gods grace to carry out his work.

Intelligent Design

Q. Does Intelligent Design prove the existence of God?

A. There are many aspects of ID, but in essence the argument is that some form of intrinsic intelligence exists that gives rise to internal motivation which has the result of producing complexity. This ‘watchmaker’ theory has been a strong contender for verifying the existence of God for over 200 years.
Today ID focuses it arguments on such as the biological flagellum which appears to be an irreducibly complex system. In other words many of its individual complex features would have had to appear all at once for a flagellum to function and reproduce. Evolution over time would not work.
Such arguments are being eroded by opposing theories which suggest that each feature could have evolved in completely separate life forms. These life forms could have found themselves in close proximity, perhaps at death, and recombination of the desired features could then have ‘naturally’ occurred resulting in the complete flagellum.
This is the heart of the problem of attempting to use science to prove a ‘spiritual’ reality. No matter how well constructed the argument for ID counter arguments will persist. And we are back to the, somewhat overused, ‘God of the Gaps’ argument. We therefore have to accept the fact that in general science and religion are complementary forms of truth. If we wish to ‘prove’ the reality of God the best we can do is to design an experiment using scientific method, but always realising that the thing we are experimenting with is ‘spiritual’. As science doesn’t have a transducer capable of measuring ‘spirit’, science cannot show us direct results of any experiment we care to design. Fortunately we, as individuals, do have access to suitable transducer equipment, but in our fast moving technological world it is all too often ignored.
Further information concerning such an experiment can be found in Beyond All Reasonable Doubt from page 105 to page 116 and how to improve on such an experiment from page 120 to page 145 in The Thoughtful Guide to Science and Religion.