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Spiritual Progressives

Discussion in 'Politics & World News' started by enkidu, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    And here is the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives, a project which came out of Tikkun (Hebrew word for "to heal, repair, and transform the world") Community. It's an alternative to the Religious Right. And to the hostility / insensitivity to religious and spiritual concerns in the Left.

    http://www.tikkun.org/community/spiritual_activism_conference/document.2005-04-27.5780162886

    It's for people interested in: (in their own words)
    1. Changing the Bottom Line in America. Today, institutions and social practices are judged efficient, rational and productive to the extent that they maximize money and power.That's the Old Bottom Line. Now Here is the NEW BOTTOM LINE for which we advocate: We believe that they should be judged rational, efficient and productive not only to the extent that they maximize money and power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity and behavior, kindness and generosity, non-violence and peace, and to the extent that they enhance our capacities to respond to other human beings in a way that honors them as embodiments of the sacred, and enhances our capacities to respond to the earth and the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement.

    2. Challenging the misuse of religion, God and spirit by the Religious Right, and educating people of faith to the understanding that a serious commitment to God, religion and spirit should manifest in social activism aimed at peace, universal disarmament, social justice with a preferential option for the needs of the poor and the oppressed, a commitment to end poverty, hunger, homelessness, inadequate education and inadequate health care all around the world, and a commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, environmental protection and repair of the damage done to the planet by 150 years of envrionmentally irresponsible approaches to industrialization, investment, trade, energy and transportation.

    3. Challenging the many anti-religious and anti-spiritual assumptions and behaviors that have increasingly become part of the liberal culture, and challenging as well the extreme individualism and me-firstism that permeate all parts of the global market culture. We will educate people in social change movements to carefully distinguish between their legitimate critiques of the Religious Right and their illegitimate generalizing of those criticisms to all religious or spiritual beliefs and practices. We will help social change activists and others in the liberal and progressive culture become more conscious of and less afraid to affirm their own inner spiritual yearnings and to reconstitute a visionary progressive social movement that incorporates the spiritual dimension.

    I think I found my soul-mates in this group of people, a collection of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and other "spiritual but not religious" faithfuls.
     

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  2. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    I basically agree with your goals but I don't think there is a god, at least how most people define it.
     
  3. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    Ah, then I can count on you as "spiritual but not religious" soul-mate! (as if we really have to label our friends and foes.)
     
  4. fluff

    fluff Monkey Turbo

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    Do you think there is a god defined otherwise?

    And enkidu - you're a neo-hippy.
     
  5. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    <with flowers and a guitar in my arms> PEACE! SILIM-MA, fluff!
     
  6. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    mmmm, Kool-aid!!!




    (Just teasing, have fun changing the world.)
     
  7. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Turbo Monkey

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    That is a wonderful list of Christian vitures, too bad it's not put into action by more Christians.
     
  8. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    The universe itself is the closest thing to a 'god'. It's massive and all powerful and amazing, and can be a channel for all things, but it is not sentient in the way we recognise sentience, nor does it give a **** about you.
     
  9. ghostrider

    ghostrider 7034 miles, still no custom title

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    Dude, can I quote that?
     
  10. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    So this is the new hippy party huh?
     
  11. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    You are made of star-stuff.......
    {I never liked Sagan very much, He was a real mean when he got his drink on. I remember this one time at the L5 convention......... :D }
     
  12. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    Uh, sure. Nobody normally asks before they quote me... :D
     
  13. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    "Changing the world" sounds too glamorous. I'll be content just to delineate the difference between the politically manipulative "Religious Right" and the time-honored traditions of daily pursuit of the spiritual yearnings within each of us.
     
  14. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    And, Andyman, isn't it encouraging to know that the list is also considered as that of "wonderful virtues" or "essentials" by Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Native American and many other traditions at their best!?
     
  15. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    Nah, but maybe a neo-hippy movement in each of the parties. (Actually it's not "neo-" at all. They consist of mostly 5000, 3500, 3000, 1400 years old traditions.)
     
  16. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    The gap between "the deep thoughts" and "the daily actions" is a credibility-breaker alright. Which branch of Buddhism do you practice? What is the daily requirement for its practice?
     
  17. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    I was making a joke, and I hope I haven't offended you, I was joking. I think it's extremely cool that you've found a group of people you can bond with spiritually. You should also look at beliefnet.

    To answer your question, I am/was a Zen Buddhist. I daily (most of the time) practice zazen. I do a variety of things to stay mentally active, and I try to correct myself when I do something out of line with my beliefs. Since I lack a teacher I read as much as possible, people like Thich Nhat Hahn, Dalai Lama, Philip Kapleau.

    My wife is trying to convert me to Theravada Buddhism.

    For those you who might not know, Carl Sagan was an astronomer who had several books and a TV series called Cosmos. He use to say "you are made of star stuff" to point out how interconnected everything is. Our solar system is a third generation system, so it's true, you are made of material that probably came from other stars. I used the phrase to point out that most people/religions are interelated, and all basically want the same things. People are people. I'm sorry if anyone was offended.
     
  18. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    The real joke was that Carl Sagan was really straight laced, to the point that many people considered him to be prim & proper and even uptight. I doubt he had more than a cup of wine on any single day of his life.
     
  19. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    I wouldn't put too much faith in the Dalai Lama, considering how poorly he and his order treated the people of Tibet.
     
  20. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    Not offended at all. I was only familiar with Sagan's book and not his private life, straight laced or otherwise. So the joke just didn't have the full "bang" on me. :D

    Yes, I'll visit beliefnet and explore what's there to see. Thanks for the intro.

    Of the three writers you mentioned I've read only a couple of books by Dalai Lama. I have to amazon.com Thich Nhat Hahn and Philip Kapleau.

    Tenchiro, are you talking about how he sat on top of the hierarchic social structure before the Communist Chinese took over the land? Are you saying that he is personally responsible for the shortcomings of the centuries of feudal theocratic society?

    Ah, the Hinayana, the more "scriptural" and "liturgical" branch?
    The placing of Dukkha ("suffering, discontent, stress") as the first step to the path of enlightenment always struck me with awe the way the images of crucified Christ does to me.

    I guess the question Changleen presented above is "Does the Universe talk to us individually?" How? Why? When? Where?
     
  21. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    Certainly not through burning bushes or commandments etched in stone tablets.

    However, by observing the universe and applying our brains to what we see, we may grow in our understanding of it. And I'm not just talking about pure 'science'.

    I think we learn the most when we use all our faculties - emotion, logic and intuition to explore our surroundings. We must ground ourselves with reason however, to prevent us losing sight of actual reality.
     
  22. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    All I am saying is that he did nothing to put and end to it, and since his removal has done everything in his power to reclaim that position. While is isn't solely responsible of course, he certainly isn't innocent.
     
  23. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    Three Pillars of Zen is a classic. Thich Nat Hahn has written quite a bit, and is more understandable than most.

    He was just a boy, even fairly enlightend and experienced people can make mistakes.

    She's a recovering Catholic. ;) It's less abstract than Zen, and easier to understand.
     
  24. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    Certainly? Don't we constantly see images in our minds to "observe the universe" and "apply our brains" to "grow in our understanding" of them?

    You yourself said:
    Why exclude only the images in the Bible from the potential sources, from which to garner our understanding of the universe?

    And I do fully agree with you when you write:
     
  25. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    As Reactor mentioned Dalai Lama was "chosen" by the priestly authority when he was only a young boy. It was a position he accepted in obedience to the theocratic dictates as a boy and had to grow into it even through the political and social upheaval of his country and society. I would imagine that a lesser man would have fled his position with whatever silver and gold he could grab to live in comfort (perhaps in some western county where luxury abounds) as an anonymous exile.

    What is so repugnant to you that he is doing "everything in his power to reclaim that position" (of spiritual leadership in a theocratic society)? Because it's not Bush's brand of "Democracy"?
     
  26. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    He did, to India actually. Him and many of the priests, with all the riches they could carry.

    A Theocracy is something that I will never agree with. Especially one with a record of brutality and slavery. The Lamaist theocracy was simply a parasite on the general population of Tibet.

    The fact that he seeks a return to this lifestyle proves that he cares for nothing but his own comfort.
     
  27. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    Oh, my bad. We have that book at home. I just haven't read it yet.

    True, the Hinayana chanting is reminiscent of the Gregorian chants and the solemnity of their rituals are somewhat akin to the Catholic liturgical rites. I can see how she would be drawn to Hinayana rather than Mahayana branch.

    I personally would just miss the Eucharist too much to leave the Catholic Christian rites. Your short note on MU reminded me of how receiving the Eucharist (the body and blood of Christ) physically through our mouth enables us to be ONE with the Universe. . . not only in our mind conceptually, but physically as well. And how we, the smallest dots in the universe, are fed by the Whole. It's really still mind-boggling to me every time I attend the Holy Mass.

    (And Andyman, I do have scriptural quotes to back up how Christ himself wants us to eat his body and blood in the form of humble mundane species of bread and wine. After all, he was born in a "manger" in "A house of Bread (Bet-Lehem)". . . He was preparing to be eaten and absorbed from the moment he was born!)
     
  28. valve bouncer

    valve bouncer Master Dildoist

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    Is nothing sacred? This is the Dalai Lama for buddhas sake. What's next? Mother Theresa the dirty whore? :confused: ;) :D
     
  29. pterodactyl

    pterodactyl Monkey

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    I think I had this conversation when I was tripping hard on shrooms back in college.

    Sounds like this thread is a competition to see who read the most books from people you never met, never will meet, have nothing in common with you, etc. Do you guys even ride bikes?

    I read some books once, but then realized that thoughts coming from people that have nothing in common with me are useless.
    I've learned a lot more from my kids, wife, parents, siblings, and friends about what is important and spiritual understanding than some guy who lived a bazillion years ago or spends all day sitting in a shack on top of a mountain pontificating.

    Religion is religion is religion. It is something you either subscribe to or not and you can pick from all kinds. I thought this was a political forum.
     
  30. Silver

    Silver find me a tampon

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    Or, as I like to think of her, the bitch who was against birth control and letting people in pain die with morphine.

    Anyone else? :D
     
  31. valve bouncer

    valve bouncer Master Dildoist

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    Actually it's worth a thread. Who else can we put to the sword. Tenchiro has laid waste to the Dalai Lama, frothers have done a half decent job on Bono, was it Ohio that put Mother Theresa in an indifferent light? (Apoligies if it wasn't Ohio). OK, Nelson Mandela....had a good barney with me mum about him....new hread people?
     
  32. Silver

    Silver find me a tampon

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    Nelson Mandela?

    Poor choice in a first wife, maybe? That one is tougher.
     
  33. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    Yes, but we must use logic and reason to determine which of them has merit and which are illusions.
    I don't discount the Bible 100%, however I feel 90% of it is crap. Most of the Ten commandments are still good ideas, as I've said before, but 'god' didn't give them to us, a clever leader used his brain to figure out what was good for society. How he choose to present them may have been appropriate at the time, but it was a lie, and look where that lie has got us today. People actually believe in great beardy dude in the sky watching over us. Sheesh.
     
  34. Tenchiro

    Tenchiro Attention K Mart Shoppers

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    I skewered Mother Theresa in another thread.

    Actually I watched an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t that was on this exact subject, then I did alot more reading on some of the people they talked about.

    For example, did you know that Ghandi was an incredibly intollerant racist? He hated African's.
     
  35. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    He blew up people when he was younger.
     
  36. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    You are retarded.
     
  37. enkidu

    enkidu Guest

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    To tell the truth I'm just a primitive road biker, well a "hill"-biker, because we live in a hilly back country. But I live among authentic mountain bikers, who have been referring to RM for years. . . for mt. biking gears & events and for introducing us to some neat RM characters that they like. (I'm familiar with a lot of mt. biking trail heads, because I chauffeured for them for many years until they reached their driving age.) I signed up earlier this year only to be able to PM to one of those intriguing RM characters.

    Glad to hear that you learn a lot from your family and friends around you. This thread was started as an introduction of a "spiritually inclined progressives" who are against so-called "Religious Right"/Neo-con/Left-behinders.

    Sorry, if that wasn't too clear.
     
  38. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Turbo Monkey

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    Not a concept of Him found anywhere in the Scriptures mind you......
     
  39. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Turbo Monkey

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    LOL............I guess you could "feel" my response to that..........too funny.

    My major problem with transubstantiation is that it would render one "unclean" according to the Torah - remember until Acts 10 the church was almost entirely made up of Torah observant Jews. Also note that the "requriements" from Acts 15 (essentially the Noahcide laws) prohibit the ingestion of blood. With all due respect I think you'll find the origins of that concept stem from pagan Roman rites.........but anyway.

    But hey that's cool, if that idea make you feel closer and connected to the Creator of the universe great run with it. I'm coming to grips with the whole rabbinic "binding and loosing" that Jesus gave His disciples authority to do (Matthew 16) - which I believe we do today. This refers to the authority to "bind" (prohibit) or "loose" (permit) certain aspects of Torah, thus a "new" interpretation of the Scriptures. I prefer to focus on what we have in common (faith in Jesus as the Messiah, and the desire to follow Him in how we live) rather than a steel caged theological death match............unless of course you're a Mormon or a JW, then the "fight" is on.................LOL :D
     
  40. Andyman_1970

    Andyman_1970 Turbo Monkey

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    This is where I argue true Christianty, true spiritual Christianity has nothing to do with religion but has to do with being connected to the creator of the Universe is some mysterious mystical way..................hold on let me relight my incense...........LOL (j/k).