Showing posts from September, 2017

Who Is This Book For?

I am aware that many of the ideas expressed in this book might be seen as too influenced by the so called New Age for most Christians and too Christian for many people interested in more modern forms of spirituality. In the same way, they could be regarded as too influenced by Eastern spirituality by orthodox Christians and too focused on Christ by those of a Hindu or Buddhist persuasion. So who am I writing for?
What I hope is that there are enough people like me who might have searched in various places for spiritual understanding, as those of the last few generations have had the opportunity to do, and then come back to Christianity, though in a somewhat unorthodox form, viewing it differently than if they had never left it. The Christianity of my childhood was largely an external thing. God was presented as out there, and the idea that he was within never really got a serious look in. It was beneath the surface if you looked but it was never brought out and explored in any depth. N…

Morality, Secular and Spiritual

It is sometimes claimed that as intelligence has increased so we have also become more moral. Setting aside whether intelligence really has increased or whether our brains and thought patterns have simply been educated into the modern technological way of thinking, good in some respects, poor in others, this assertion must surely depend on what kind of morality one espouses. For me, or anyone acknowledging a spiritual reality, morality is first and foremost about loving truth and attempting to coordinate oneself to that. And this means knowing, to some degree at least, what truth is. Hence the humanist morality, which is one referred to in the article, being largely atheistic as it either denies or ignores the spiritual reality, is almost the least moral attitude one can take. This implies that much of the perceived improvement is merely a matter of greater conformity to the prejudices and ideologies of the day.
Every society or culture must have some kind of morality or else it will c…

The Advaita Illusion

Buddhism is not the only philosophy to have influenced modern Western spirituality.  I have mentioned another occasionally in passing but in this chapter I would like to look at it a little more closely. By the way, I should say that I regard both influences as positive because they round out and develop aspects of the whole that may not have been emphasised in Christianity. I think Christianity holds the greater truth but it does not have a monopoly on truth and, though it is by no means essential, it can be helpful to explore other approaches.
Advaita Vedanta is often regarded as thene plus ultra of religion and metaphysics, the spiritual philosophy to which all others tend and for which they are only preparatory. This is because it uncompromisingly boils everything down to the One, and the One alone. Consciousness is not regarded as a property of the Absolute but its very nature. It is all there is and everything else, the world, the soul, even God, is reduced to an ultimately unrea…