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Re: Spiritual discrimination

Oct 11, 1996 03:16 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <Pine.OSF.3.90.961010220918.5484C->, Maxim Osinovsky <mosinovs@library.berkeley
.edu> writes
>Alan, I appreciate your integrity, and what follows is not in response to
>your posting,--just some stray thoughts re: general course of discussions
>on theos-l.
>Lack of effective communication between spiritually minded people today is
>partly due to the fact that the old model of the teacher-disciple
>relationship has collapsed,

.. or been superseded.

> while the habit of spiritual discipline is
>not ingrained yet.

Do you thing we really need "ingrained habits" - suppose we get it
wrong?  There would be a great amount of repair work to do, even
supposing that we recognised an error was present tobegin witn.

> Today we have at our disposal enormous amounts of
>information about yoga, etc., which perhaps entails a lot of independent
>research and practice. Under these circumstances, it is tempting to skip
>some 'unnecessary' preliminary stages and to go directly to 'advanced'

This has probably always been the case, regardless of the method of
teaching or the teacher involved.

> Nevertheless the old laws (not models) of the spiritual
>development seem to be still valid. Indeed, it does not seem like we
>have overgrown Patanjali's Yoga Sutras or Plotinus' level of
>understanding. One still needs to learn spiritual lessons step by step
>in their proper sequence unless one wants to be periodically thrown back
>to basics. (This sequence is well known from Yoga Sutras.)

Yes, that is probably true in broad terms; and it can be verified
empirically by each ine of us as we travel on our individual journeys.

>This is what happens oftentimes on theos-l. We get thrown back repeatedly
>to ABC of spirituality. As a matter of fact I feel myself uncomfortable
>repeating some well known things,

They may not be well known to everyone who drops by on the list. People
come and go, though there are a few of us who doggedly persist in
hanging around to put our 2 cents' worth in.

>I wonder if we might agree on some basic things
>like these: the things spiritual are not expressible in the ordinary

Some are, some aren't.

> a finger pointing at the moon is not the moon; there are worlds
>of form and formless realms; nothing clothed in words is true;

All the Teaching has ever done is point the way, if that is what you
mean.  The same is true of teachers, who cannot do their students' work
*for* them.

> as below
>so above; and so forth.

A point of order for clarification here, as this idea is so often
misquoted. "That which is above is like unto that which is below" is a
slightly archaic approximation of the original aphorism.  "Like unto it"
- not the same as it.

> It would save our time and effort. Then we maybe
>will be able to agree somewhat on such issues as evil, black magic vs.
>white magic,

I do not see these as *versus* each other: to take such a view, IMO,
leads to a kind of evil in itself by setting up a confontational model
(or paradigm if you want to talk posh) when we would surely be better of
by seeking the middle way.

> the role of the Masters, etc.

Define "Masters" - I have an item on this among my web stuff somewhere.

Making progress ....

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