spirituality & ethics

:: The values and character of each Venus position ::

♈ Aries Venus: Values independence, self-satisfaction, active expression of the will through affection, clear and direct social interaction, enthusiasm and passion in interpersonal/social relations

♉ Taurus Venus: Values loyalty, resourcefulness, resilience, aesthetic perception and sensation, artistic and musical pleasures, sensual affection, patience in social interaction, and appreciation of the comforts of life

 
♊ Gemini Venus: Values cerebral stimulation, interconnecting engagement, diversity of social connection and conversation, friendliness, learning and verbal & mental affection.

♋ Cancer Venus: Values sentiments from the soul, a place or person to call home, receptivity of feelings, warm and subtle social interactions, internal security and privacy, tenacity, and comforting emotional affection

♌ Leo Venus: Values self-validation and self-love, vibrant emotional experiences, colorful activities, lively social urges, dignity of the spirit, and compassionate affections from the heart

♍ Virgo Venus: Values humbleness, helpfulness and intelligence, sophistication and self-improvement, the simple pleasures of life, small social gatherings, affection through palpable touch, subtle service & mental appreciation 

♎ Libra Venus: Values integrity and equilibrium, aesthetic and artistic sense/appreciation, interpersonal concern, social intelligence and awareness, charming intellectual affection

♏ Scorpio Venus: Values control and persistence, strong driving passions and desires, emotional mastery through regenerative intelligence, privacy in social life, powerful perception, wild and stormy affection and intimate loyalty

♐ Sagittarius Venus: Values limitless knowledge and good-natured temperaments, intuitive and spiritual intelligence, ethical concern, inner vibrancy, the constant questioning and experiencing of life, loud and friendly social urges, and expansive & colorful displays of affections

♑ Capricorn Venus: Values self-growth through reaching above self-limitations, social dignity and prestige, lawful inclinations, ambitions to further refine the self for the future, respect for reserved and cautious temperaments, self-perseverance, and patient & stable affectionate expressions

♒ Aquarius Venus: Values calm, easygoing and collected temperaments, independence, intellectual affection, social and ethical equality & concern, bonding with friends, diversity, and freedom of expression

♓ Pisces Venus: Values romantic principles, idealistic visions of a better world, sensitivity of needs, quiet social urges, compassion and empathy, musical and artistic appreciations, affections that show emotional concern and universal understanding

Tips For Those Who Are Considering Witchcraft

Deciding to practice witchcraft and magick can be equally daunting and exciting.  Here are some tips about what to do if you are thinking about becoming a witch!

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First, a few things that you should NOT do:

1.    Do not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, period.  Trust your intuition, and always stay true to yourself.

2.    Do not do anything that puts you in danger.  This includes casting a spell without protection, or opening yourself to spirits before you know what you are doing.  This also includes running out in the middle of a storm to collect rain water, or agreeing to meet a witch that you met online, alone.  Use common sense in all matters of your craft; your safety and health, both physical and mental, must come first.

3.    Do not do anything that contradicts your own personal, spiritual, moral, ethical, or other beliefs.  Unless you plan on changing what you believe, just don’t do it.  It doesn’t matter if everybody and their familiar is doing something; if it doesn’t agree with you, walk away from it.

4.    Do not start actually practicing anything witchcraft-related until you have researched it.  Do not do a spell until you have a working understanding of magick, as well as all of the ingredients involved in the spell – even ones you intend to substitute (especially the ingredients that you intent to substitute, actually).

5.    Don’t take witchcraft lightly. Your craft doesn’t need to be all serious spells and spiderwebs, but you do need to have a healthy respect for the energies and powers that you will be working with.  You shouldn’t fear them - never work with anything that makes you afraid - but you should respect them.

6.    Don’t take your studies lightly. Put yourself through witch school. Research everything; ask yourself questions and give yourself homework.  Ask others questions and ask them to give you homework!  Be creative in your studies, but still take them seriously.  You don’t have to be hunched over spellbooks all day, but you should make an effort to at least mentally review your existing knowledge, on days that you can’t find the time for more.  

7.    Do not be afraid to ask questions or for help – but do not automatically assume that everybody actually knows the answer.  Most witches around here will do their best to answer your questions, but they’ll also usually straight tell you if they don’t know something themselves; you should respect that, whether or not they point you in the direction of somebody else.  On the other hand, if something sounds wrong, trust yourself and double check.  Get a second opinion, if need be.  

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Next, a few things that you should know before you enter the world of witchcraft:

1.    Witchcraft is real, and magick is real.  Whether or not you believe in it, it believes in you (as the saying goes).  Approaching magick as if you were cosplaying Harry Potter is an attractive but ultimately unwise idea.  Approaching magick as if you were learning to operate a highly beneficial but potentially dangerous piece of machinery – now, that is a wise idea.

2.    Witchcraft isn’t inherently evil, but neither is it inherently pure good.  Witchcraft is power, plain and simple.  It is what one chooses to do with that power that gives it such meaning, and even then, the concept of good and evil is an ethical and spiritual one, and thereby tends to vary from person to person, and from witch to witch.  You have to use your own morals to guide you.  The only type of magick that should be in your witchcraft is the magick you intentionally choose to put there.  On a related note: I personally don’t agree with classifying magick as ‘black magick’ or ‘white magick’, period – not because magick can’t have precise descriptors, but because there’s no need to use terms that have such negative racial undertones.  Light can be harmful and ‘evil’, while darkness can be protective and ‘good’. Your intentions aren’t “to do dark” or “to do light”, anyway.  Your intentions are “to do harm” or “to do healing”; your intentions are “to take away” or “to give”.

3.    Witchcraft is a personal practice. You do not need to follow any one specific path, spiritual or otherwise, in order to practice witchcraft.  There are many different types of witches, and many different types of magick.  If there is not one specific path that you feel is absolutely perfect for you, don’t choose one that feels ‘close enough’ – walk your own path and mold your witchcraft into something that is uniquely yours.  

4.    Witches worship in varying ways.  Some do not worship at all, and are purely secular witches.  Some are simply spiritual and do not follow one set path. Some are polytheists and worship many gods; some are monotheists and worship one.  Some are atheists and worship none!   Some are Wiccan.  Some are Christian.  Some are Satanists.  Some worship ancestors.  Some worship the stars.  Witchcraft is a personal practice, and should co-exist with all other aspects of your life.

5.    You don’t need a whole lot to get started.  Twigs can be used as wands; rock quartz can be used as a crystal.  Tea mixes contain herbs, and your spice cabinet is basically a magick cabinet.  Most of what is in your house can be used for magick, for that matter.  While it is definitely helpful to have the proper tools and ingredients when performing magick, it is possible to DIY your way through witchcraft until you can afford otherwise.  Also, it is probably smarter to wait a second before you run out and purchase anything, anyway.  As you learn more, you’ll start to see which tools you really need, which ingredients you’ll likely be using the most, which items really call out to you.  If you run out and buy everything that you see right away, you risk wasting money on things that just don’t work for you, or that you don’t even need.

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Lastly, here are the things that you DO need to do, no matter what:

o    Be true to yourself.  Do not compromise yourself or your beliefs.

o    Be safe.  Don’t do or use anything that you do not have a working knowledge of.

o    Be educated.  Never stop seeking out new knowledge; try to learn something new daily.

o    Use common sense.  Don’t get caught up in things; think before you take action.

o    Trust your intuition and instinct.  We often know more than we consciously realize.

o    Be creative.  Write the spell that you’ve been looking for.  See what is laying around the house that you can use for your witchcraft.  Be inventive!

o    Have patience.  Learning takes time; magick takes time; developing your craft takes time.

That’s it for the moment!  Tune in tomorrow for a post regarding more tips and information on what to do when you do decide to go ahead enter the world of witchcraft ^_^

~Tari

There is always room for improvement, and in every situation there is a lesson

I am currently sitting here, working on some writing and thinking about how much I have to improve in my life, and that fills me with so much joy. There is always a reason for me to improve; always something to strive for. In your poor choices find a reason to grow, in your good choices also find a reason to grow.

Plant those seeds and care for them, they will flower into fruits that you never knew could exist.

My regards,

Sebastien

What’s It Like To Be A God?

by Samsaran

Okay, so you’re a God, a personal God in the Abrahamic mode. You are all powerful. You know everything. Everything flows from you. You have a physical body or at least you can appear in one if you choose. You have desires. You have an agenda. You have plans and presumably, you will feel satisfied if your plans work out. Wait. You’re God. Your plans have to work out. 

Since you are all powerful, omnipotent, you face no real challenges. You are immortal which means that whatever you are is forever. Infinite time. The universes stretch out through time and space but are mostly space. What isn’t space is mostly gas and dust. There are stars but they are about as complex and interesting as a campfire. The natural processes by which they operate are predictable and mechanical in nature.

Pretty boring actually. 

You are alone. Alone in this sea of time and space. Once you set things in motion there is really no need for you to interfere. It all runs like a mechanical clockwork. I suppose you could entertain yourself by changing the rules of physics just to see how things function differently. 

Maybe cook up a universe where pi equals four or where the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful or less. Maybe tweak the strong nuclear force just to see what happens. No, if you decreased it by as little as 2 percent, atomic nuclei wouldn’t hold together, and plain-vanilla hydrogen would be the only kind of atom in the universe and that’s no fun. 

You have a lot of time on your hands. In fact, you have all time on your hands. So after tinkering, around a bit, you got a good mix and made a planet to support life. You created humankind. We’re not sure why exactly but you do.  Maybe you were just lonely.

Now what?

I guess you watch what the little fellas are doing down on that blue marble. A nice zoo under the glass dome of the atmosphere. You’re like a kid who ordered some “Sea Monkeys” out of the back of a Scrooge McDuck comic book. They are just a little swimming bugs. What a rip off!  

Except instead of Sea Monkeys, you have Hairless Monkeys. After a bit, this gets to be boring too. The hairless monkeys don’t really do much. It’s all just eating, sleeping and mating. Well, this and killing each other and taking each other’s stuff. 

Bad monkeys! 

So, hey. What if we amped up their awareness? Make them fully self-aware like Gods but don’t give them immortality. They’ll know they are going to die but won’t be able to do anything about it. Now they are afraid, afraid all the time. This fear will color everything they do. They are Gods in miniature. Plastic Gods. That should create some drama. Then, slowly something happens. The little hairless monkeys begin to rise above appetite and desire. Consciousness rises. The creatures begin a transformation. They are evolving. Yes, evolving.

But into what?

Enneagram Asshole Archetypes

@humanarchetypehouse - I’m reposting them, because they’re hard to access.

5-1-2 Combos: The Insufferable Know-It-All. They think they know everything there is to know about everything, and they cannot contain their urges to share their knowledge with absolutely everyone. They correct people over the tiniest mistakes with no concern for any self-consciousness this may cause and then act disingenuously confused when others get upset.

5-1-3 Combos: The Neurotic Over-Achiever. These are the students who cry over getting a B+ or not being the best at their extracurricular activity of choice. They tend not to do very well outside of school unless they get to become doctors. Even then, they usually end up overly competitive and have hollow social and family lives.

5-1-4 Combos: The Ivory-Tower Prophet. Think they have a perfect vision of what’s best for the world based on nothing but untested theory and fantastical introspection. Needs to actually get out and talk to people in order to actually refine their ideals, but they are often unwilling to because that might involve admitting they are wrong or dealing with people they consider less than them.

5-8-2 Combos: The Armchair Shrink. Read a Psych 101 textbook once and now thinks they are qualified to give drive-by diagnoses and overly impersonal life advice. Tends to be very overbearing about it and generally refuses to listen to further information from their “patients”, particularly if it goes against their assumptions.

5-8-3 Combos: The Cult Leader. Has some bizarre philosophy that they propagate using hollow social influence and brutal aggression. Speaks in pyramid-scheme language and literally never shuts up until you are brow-beaten into submission because your own mind intimidated itself trying to figure out what the hell they were trying to say.

5-8-4 Combos: The Self-Important Jerk. Like the Cult Leader, but lazier and with fewer social skills. Turns their nose up at any preferences or modes of living other than their own and resents anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with them 100%. They’re very bossy, but their instructions are often terse and unclear, and to make matters worse, they just get mad at you when you tell them to explain because they’re over-sensitive about being misunderstood.

5-9-2 Combos: The Unsolicited Mediator. They hate conflict, but they can’t stand to stay out of it, either. If you’re having a dispute with somebody, expect them to show up spouting inappropriate objectivity and some sterile, by-the-book advice about using I-statements and whatnot. This is actually pretty effective in resolving the disputes, but not in the way they want it to - instead of being mad at the person you were initially disputing with, now you are both mad at The Unsolicited Mediator and must unite against the common enemy.

5-9-3 Combos: The Amoral Monster. Not much seems to bother them, which is nice at first until you realize their “tolerance” stems from the fact that they have no sensibilities to offend. They lack conviction and will use flimsy, pulled-out-of-ass logic to dodge responsibilities and defend their selfish decisions.

5-9-4 Combos: The Pretentious Hippie. The most reclusive of all the archetypes. You aren’t good enough to be their friend, so don’t even try. You’re not on their level and you harsh their vibes, man. They tend to be very unhappy unless they’re living in a sustainable homestead in the middle of nowhere. Bitches about how the Internet is destroying our minds but spends most of their time online anyway.

6-1-2 Combos: The Sanctimonious Sap-Addict. They talk as if they live in a Hallmark card, chain e-mail, or cheesy coming-of-age film. They probably feel really guilty about dumb things, and then you start wondering if you should, too. They tend to be religious and intolerant of those who don’t share their views or ways of life. Thankfully the ways they tend to show this intolerance are pretty harmless - panicking and crying. Nobody can stand to listen to them because, despite the motivational tone of their messages, they make everyone around them feel awful for not being as wholesome as they are.

6-1-3 Combos: The Thought Police. Similar to The Cipher (6-9-3 Combos), but more prone to forcing their boringness on others. While the Cipher avoids personality clashes by either blending in with or withdrawing from those with different priorities, those of the Thought Police archetype wage a crusade against them by asserting the moral superiority of their way of life. They have convinced themselves they are perfect so to avoid the emotional pain of having to re-evaluate their lives, but in order to maintain this illusion, they must live in an echo chamber. Don’t put them in the same room as the 6-1-2, it’s not a pretty sight.

6-1-4 Combos: The Ball of Self Hatred. Nobody wants to listen to these people, no matter how good their ideas might be, because they can’t even listen to themselves - even when they want to. They certainly have minds of their own, unfortunately, they don’t tend to use them unless it’s convenient (Spoiler Alert: it rarely is.) They ruin their own lives by repressing positive emotions, ruminating on wrongdoings (both theirs and those of others), and being unable to trust or feel good about anything unless it is completely beyond criticism.

6-8-2 Combos: The Overbearing Meddler. Anything they wouldn’t do is a bad idea that you need to be scared and bullied out of. This also goes for many things they WOULD do, because they are hypocrites. They say it’s for your own good, but they wouldn’t know the first thing about that if it bit them on the nose because they live with their heads in their asses. They tend to have plenty of their own issues, which they chronically avoid by micromanaging others. More projection than a cinema multiplex.

6-8-3 Combos: The Overworked Grouch. These are people who cannot wind down for the life of them. This tendency would generally not affect anyone other than themselves, but it does because they get mad at other people for relaxing. They see others’ satisfaction with less as an affront because it means that maybe all their overwork was for nothing, but instead of giving relaxation a chance, they choose to act like arrogant dicks in hopes that others will change to suit them instead.

6-8-4 Combos: The Extremist. Fiercely and belligerently loyal to a set of beliefs that no one else shares. Believes their pet issue (frequently something that directly affects them) to be the center of the universe and ridicules opposing viewpoints. They might be nice to you if you agree with everything they say, but even then, they probably won’t - you come second to the crusade.

6-9-2 Combos: The Martyr. No will or interests of their own. Gives their entire life up for the sake of an individual or a group - and it’s usually a dysfunctional one. They don’t even complain if they aren’t appreciated or thanked (they don’t expect it), but Heaven forbid there comes a time when they are no longer needed. They will plunge into depression and impotent rage as they search desperately for another object of their overly-submissive affections.

6-9-3 Combos: The Cipher. Your next-door neighbor who thinks the street you live on is the center of the universe. It’s not completely certain that people of this archetype actually have personalities or if their attitudes and behavior are just absorbed from their surroundings and upbringing. They may be rigidly set in their ways or they may be a perpetually-shifting chameleon (depending on the order of the numbers) - there isn’t much in between, but either way, they’re unbelievably boring.

6-9-4 Combos: The Special Snowflake. They at least try to be interesting, if only on a superficial level, but can’t keep it up for very long. They might seem endearingly quirky until you meet the people they hang out with, who are all pretty much just like them. To their credit, they’re usually pleasant enough company in that they couldn’t be cruel if they tried (though they are plenty judgmental in their thinking), but their flakiness and squirrely behavior usually prove too annoying for anyone to really keep them around for long.

7-1-2 Combos: The Wack-tivist. Thinks they’re hot stuff because they’ve helped out in a bunch of Third World countries. That’s great, of course, but it would be a lot better if they could shut up about it for five minutes. Excessively smug about all the different charity groups they participate in through their church and/or university while you just wonder where the hell they find the time and what you’re doing wrong with your life.

7-1-3 Combos: The Tweaker. Okay, so they may or may not actually use speed, but one thing is for sure; this archetype never sleeps. Ever. They have a full time job and several different hobbies, clubs, and volunteer groups, and they feel the need to excel and gain recognition within all of them. They are always on the go, but unlike the Overworked Grouch (6-8-3 Combos), they’re eerily chipper about it. In fact, they’re very sad when there’s nothing to do, because then they are forced to think about their feelings, which they are notoriously bad at. And it should be obvious how they feel about being bad at anything (Hint: it isn’t positively).

7-1-4 Combos: The Fanatic. A obnoxious mass of scatterbrained and stubborn behavior. Has their own personal brand of ethics and spirituality, which tends to involve a lot of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. They at least practice what they preach, so that’s one good thing about them - unfortunately, they don’t ever really talk much about anything else. They just find a million different ways and contexts in which to talk about it.

7-8-2 Combos: The Bootstraps Idealist. Like the Overbearing Meddler (6-8-2 Combos), but with an extra dose of irresponsibility. They think the answer to all your problems is for you to do extremely difficult or extravagant things without considering whether or not you have the time or resources. Often refuses to acknowledge health issues (both mental and physical), as well. Any reason why you can’t do the things they are telling you to do is because of your lack of positive attitude instead of actual reality. Usually has more than a few terrible habits, but will try and fool you into thinking they have all their ducks in a row by giving faux motivational speeches.

7-8-3 Combos: The Inconsiderate Douche. It doesn’t really get any worse than this. Loud, obnoxious, and hopelessly shallow, a person of this archetype may seem very popular, but their circle of friends is a revolving door because they just won’t stop screwing people over for the sake of their ambitions or disregarding their feelings. Stay far, far away.

7-8-4 Combos: The Conspiracy Theorist. Being paranoid and accusing the government of hiding all kinds of scary, exciting things from us is fun for them. Imagining that there is at least one conspiracy that targets them personally is even more fun. What they don’t understand is that it isn’t as much fun for everyone around them. If you tell them you don’t believe them or even that you’re just sick of hearing about it, they flip their lid and go off about how you’re an idiot and just want to remain ignorant.

7-9-2 Combos: The Walking New-Age Store. This complete knob of an archetype has a saying or quote for everything, but never really seems to think critically about or have anything of their own to add to the words they are repeating. Hardly anyone has the heart to tell them how canned-corny and downright unhelpful they are, because they just seem so blissful and earnest. It would be like popping a hot air balloon, on every possible level.

7-9-3 Combos: The Goldfish. Completely without any self-awareness, this archetype flits perpetually from one superficial interest to the next. Unsurprisingly, they find very little satisfaction from anything, no matter how enthusiastically they may dive into it. The creepiest part about this is that they are so numb and hollow, they barely even notice how unsatisfied they are - they’ve fooled themselves into believing this is a happy existence.

7-9-4 Combos: The Entitled Vagabond. Goes on long road trips for no real reason, couch-surfing all the way. Quite possibly has no permanent address or bank account, and they are okay with this. Does a lot of odd jobs and possibly illegal things; has never had an actual job in their life, because it just isn’t their style, man. They’re actually not too insufferable as long as you don’t expect much from them and don’t mind their mooching. Unfortunately, whatever positivity they may bring to your life will be short-lived; as soon as they pick up and leave (which they will), they will all but forget you even exist.

I don’t really post my thoughts on tumblr but I’ve been doing a good amount of research into modern South Asia and I just gotta talk about it, particularly Swami Vivekananda who I have rediscovered in a secular context during my studies.

Swami Vivekananda is a severely underutilized resource by leftists, outside the Vedantan and Hindutva traditions he is basically unheard of, which really is a shame. His perception of spiritual capacity as innate to all people and not determined by caste, faith or ethnicity was huge in its effect on the 19th century Hindu reform movements as well as the struggle against colonialism and caste discrimination, particularly the Dalit rights movement.

His rejection of colonialism using a syncretism of native Hindu thought and anti-capitalist thought influenced the majority of Indian nationalist and revolutionary thinkers and helped recover the intellectual confidence of an entire group of colonized peoples, while also remaining critical of the deep inequalities of pre-colonial Indian society and promoting a programme of the liquidation of privileges of the propertied classes and giving the toilers their due share in the national wealth.

He, in the 1890s, predicted and supported Sudra(workers/peasants) revolutions but said that Marx was wrong in where they would happen. Saying that instead of in industrialized Western European states, that sudras/workers would seize power in either Russia or China first.

In 1893 he was a delegate for Hinduism at the world parliament of religions, which in many respects was a convention influenced in equal parts by western Christian chauvinism and orientalism; the intent being to put a series of foreign religions on display and then debated into submission by westerners. But he spoke so convincingly and well that he essentially leveled the playing field and allowed for a degree of authentic interfaith dialogue at a conference designed to assert Christianity as dominant.

The intellectual and revolutionary history of India is so remarkably rich and so often ignored. Leftists tend to see India as only Gandhi, Nehru and the Naxals but thinkers like Vivekananda offer valuable historical, theological and ideological insights and contributions not only to our understanding of modern India but the effects of colonization on people’s identities, religious and social practices as well as society as a whole. Everyone from Hindutva nationalists to the Gandhians to the various Communist Parties of India hail him as a revolutionary thinker and the base of their respective ideologies.

Modern leftists should really utilize his socio-political works, as his philosophical contributions were central in the foundations of one of the largest and most impactful anti-colonial struggles in history. The CPI stated, “That there is enough food and ammunition in Vivekananda’s works to last all who are searching for India’s social, cultural and spiritual development.” Vivekananda was a revolutionary, a socialist and a proponent of state secularism, while also being a key figure in reforming Hinduism and Vedanta towards social action and inclusivity. His influences can be found in nearly every contemporary Indian political movement. I would go as far as saying that Vivekananda’s impact on South Asian intellectualism and philosophy is similar to that of Kant’s impact on the development of western philosophy, in that almost every thinker and intellectual movement after him is either based on or addresses Vivekananda’s works on spirituality, humanism, nation, and ethics.

How Augustine Screwed up Sex

by Samsaran

Augustine was a 4th Century Christian Philosopher. He was a strange guy and that’s for sure. In his youth, he was the terror of his pious Christian mother because he refused baptism and well, was having sex with just about anybody and everybody.

He finally got his jollies out and became first a monk and then Bishop of the African city of Hippo. By his time it was becoming pretty clear that Jesus was not coming back anytime soon and so the Church needed something else to explain Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Other church thinkers had tinkered with the idea that men and women were somehow born evil but that ran against the idea the God knew everything and was all powerful. Why create people just to toss them into a pit of eternal torture? This sounded just as sadistic in 417 and it does in 2017. He said God knows what choices we will make but does not make them for us, we have free will. 

So, how could an innocent baby be damned just because it had not been baptized? What sin can a baby commit? Well, here is how Augustine explains it. Adam and Eve were guilty of the sin of “concupiscence”, extreme physical lust and that sin was so bad that it sticks to everybody else from birth.

Nice. We’re all born sinners so we need the priests no matter how good we are and sex is bad. It has been this way in the Catholic Church from that day forward. So Augustine had HIS fun but denied it to everybody else.

Note: If you are in Catholic School I suggest that you bring this up to Sister Mary Ratchet in your History of Religion studies. Just make sure to hide her knuckle-rapping ruler first.

[On being truthful] It’s not a rule, it’s not a proposition that you need to adhere to like a good citizen, it’s the proper way of wending your way through the terrible world without making it worse than it already is - with the possibility perhaps of making it better. There’s no more exciting possibility than that - and no higher moral demand.
The thing is that everyone knows it - you know, when you lie according to your own conception of the truth, that there’s something shameful and demeaning about that and you know that it hurts people, and you think well, why do you do it? Despite all that and partly you do it because it’s easy. And partly you do it because there’s a crooked, horrible, hellish part of your soul that’s more than happy if part of what you do is making everything worse to pay for the sin of its existence.
—  Jordan Peterson

Vegetarianism, Veganism, and Sant Mat, by James Bean, Plus a Compilation of Veg Quotes of the East & West

It’s hard to reach more subtle states of tranquility in meditation on an animal flesh diet based on the suffering of other beings.

“I must point out that animal food, even if a single particle is eaten, is detrimental to spiritual progress.” (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

The Way of the Saints and Mystics, Getting Back to Eden: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” (Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1:29, New International Version)

Master Kirpal Singh speaking about Rumi and the other most advanced Murshids (spiritual masters) of Sufi mysticism once said: “Those who take up the practices concerning the lower centers in the body, do take meat – the Mohammedans and people of other religions also. But those who are anxious to rise above body consciousness and go into the Beyond have of necessity to eschew all that. This is the Path I have put before you. Liberation or salvation is something which starts only when you rise above body consciousness. For that reason, vegetarianism is the first essential.” (The Night is a Jungle, published by Ruhani Satsang)

The harshest words that Guru Kabir ever spoke were directed against the slaughter or consumption of innocent animals: “The man who eats meat is a demon in human form. Keep away from him – his company will ruin your meditation.”

Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Diet

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” (Albert Einstein)

The following, on the reason why we in Santmat advocate following the vegetarian diet, is by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj from the book, The Harmony of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram:

“The saints have addressed the sin of violence with particular attention to the foods which are eaten. Foods which are produced by killing living beings, as well as foods which are not pure and fresh, are considered tamasic. Consumption of these is prohibited by the teachings of the saints. This includes animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods inhibit the clarity of the mind and the health of the body. There is an old saying: 'Whatever kind of food we take in, its properties will also fill our mind.’ A parallel saying is, 'Whatever we eat, just so will our breath smell [indicates the visible effect of food].’

Further, Kabir Sahab says: 'The kind of food and drink which we consume directly influences how our mind will become. Even the quality of water which we drink will influence our speech.’ These words of Kabir Sahib are not merely rhetorical conjecture, but represent direct experience…

"A great yogi named Bhupendranath Ji Sanyal has said: 'It is preferable to always avoid the consumption of flesh and fish. This is because in the very cells of these animals there might be bad diseases. But even more significantly, the natural vibration of these creatures is absorbed into the blood. This can create agitation and even sickness, and will destroy the natural calmness of the mind. Also, one must not take intoxicants, as this is a great breach of the spiritual path and natural duty (dharma). [Under the influence of intoxicants people are unable to discern the right path of action].’

"Therefore, we must be disciplined in what we eat and drink, and by being disciplined, our wealth and spiritual path are protected. This world becomes agreeable, and so does the next world, since we won’t be incurring the karmas from killing other living beings.” (Beloved Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters)

All past and present Masters of Sant Mat, the most advanced Saints of Inner Light and Sound, advocate following the vegetarian diet. In fact, being vegetarian is a requirement in order to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sant Mat, Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God.

Sant Mat is a vegetarian Path for mystical, spiritual, ethical and theological reasons. The Masters teach that foods are of three kinds: Satvik, Rajsik, and Tamsik. This last category of foods, which includes all flesh foods, is to be completely avoided. Satvik (pure foods), the first category, includes: grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Satvik foods are considered by Mystics to promote relaxation, meditation, and spiritual experience.

The bad karma and other negative effects of flesh-eating darkens one’s vision of inner Light, interfering with concentration and meditation. It’s interesting to notice that the Satvik diet of Sant Mat, of Hinduism and the Yoga Philosophy of India is also: the life-extension diet, the anti-cancer diet, the diet for antioxidants and most of the other plant-based nutrients, AND the diet of the Light & Sound mystics, East and West.

A Young Kirpal Singh Meditating at an Early Age

“Kirpal began meditating at the age of four. When other boys and girls of his age were busy playing, he would be busy meditating. He never wasted his time with sports. He would sit quiet with eyes closed. He would see spiritual sights within and would traverse on spiritual planes. He would remain lost in ecstasy. But whenever this absorption in meditation would break after intervals of 2 to 3 months, he would feel very restless. His spiritual flights would, however, start again shortly afterwards.

Abstinence from Meat

"His family was non-vegetarian But he was averse to taking meat even as a child. While his brothers and sisters would ask for more, he would have none at all. He was content with bread and vegetables. His father asked, 'Pal, why don’t you take meat? It will do you good.’ He sweetly replied, 'It is very well, father, but is not meat dead flesh, and would you have me make a burial ground of my body?’ The father could only smile and the child had his own way.” (The Beloved Master – Some Glimpses from the Life of Sant Kirpal Singh, by Bhadra Sena)

The notion that vegetarianism is “cultural” and confined mostly to India is the inaccurate assumption of some new age or esoteric teachers in the West. It is true that many conventional world religions condone flesh-eating, but if you do some comparative mysticism you’ll soon discover that the serious esoteric traditions which have practiced Light mysticism, Sound mysticism, and Ascension mysticism through higher planes of heavens are all in agreement about the need for contemplative mystics to abstain from the flesh. The list of Western vegetarian paths includes: Pythagoreans, followers of the Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the Sethian Gnostics, Theraputae, Essenes (and other Light-mystics within Judaism), the original Jewish Christians called Ebionites (see The Gospel of Jesus – In Search of His Original Teachings, by John Davidson), the Gnostic religions, Manichaeans, some Catholic monasteries, monasteries of the Orthodox Church – including the great mystery school atop Mount Athos in Greece, and the Sufi mystics of Islam who practice Zikhr of the Spirit, Light, and Sound. Most every path that advocates a present-tense spirituality about reentering Paradise or going Back to Eden during this life teaches vegetarianism.

A Western Master of Sound & Light by the name of Pythagoras once said, “Our Earth has abundance of such pure and harmless foods and there is no need for us to partake of meals for which blood has to be shed and innocent life sacrificed.”

Pythagoras also said: “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

Just like the Pythagoreas gathered together at sunrise, so did members of a Jewish sect of antiquity known as the Therapeutae, and like the Essene branch of Judaism, they were vegetarians. Josephus and Philo wrote about the Essenes and Therapeutae. Philo of Alexandria describes meals at a Therapeutae monastic community in Alexandria: “…And the table, too, is kept clear of animal flesh, nothing which has blood, but there is placed upon it bread for food and salt for seasoning, to which also hyssop is sometimes added…”

John the Baptist Ate Locust (Carob) BEANS, NOT BUGS

“John the Baptist belonged to a group of ascetics who believed in repentance and in leading an austere lifestyle. The carob bean was seen as the diet of the lower class who normally endured hardship and exploitation from the priestly class. So we can conclude that JTB ate (locust plant) seed from the carob tree.” (Wiki Answers Website) Also according to the Gospel of the Ebionites, John the Baptist ate carob beans, bread or cakes made from carob bean (locust bean) flour.

In recent years some of us have noticed the vegetarianism and even veganism present in the original teachings of Jesus and Original Jesus Movement or Hebrew Christians (Ebionites, Nasoreans) found in the Gospel of the Hebrews, Aramaic texts, and other scriptures once used during the early centuries.  

Vegetarian Sayings of the Historic Jesus and His Spiritual Successors (Apostles) in the Original Jesus Movement (Ebionites of Israel)

“Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all who dwell upon the surface of the earth.” (Jesus, Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the Gospel of Luke)

Like the Essenes, Jesus, his family, and the original followers were also vegetarians and opposed to all sacrifice of animals in the Jewish temple.

“I am come to do away with sacrifices, and if you cease not sacrificing, the wrath of God will not cease from you.” (saying of Jesus in the Gospel of the Hebrews)

Stopping Animal Sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem

During the First Century AD, the Essenes were one of the three main branches of Judaism. They were opposed to animal sacrifices being made in the Jewish temple and they were also known to be vegetarians. The Essenes were the group that Jesus and the first Christians, the Ebionites, were closest to, sharing with them many of the same values and sacred texts. Unlike the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Essenes are never criticized in the New Testament.

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: 'Get out of here.’ (John 2:13-16)

According to the Gospel of the Ebionites, Jesus also rejected the Passover meal:

"Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?”

To which he replied:

“I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.”

The first followers of Jesus, also known as Ebionites or Nasoreans, were not only kosher, but also strictly adhered to a vegetarian diet. The largest surviving collection of Ebionite scriptures is the Clementine Homilies and the Recognitions of Clement, which are vegetarian gospels that condemn animal sacrifice in any form. For example, the Book of Homilies states that God does not want animals killed at all (3.45), and condemns those who eat meat (7.4, 7.8). And the passages below also show that the diet of the Original Jesus Movement was vegan – plant-based (no eggs, no dairy, and no animal products), as plants are the only foods mentioned in all the texts!

Peter said, “I live on olives and bread, to which I rarely only add vegetables.” (Clementine Homilies 12,6; also see, Recognitions 7,6)

“And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the Apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, hard-shelled fruits, and vegetables, without flesh.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Book 2, Chapter 1)

“John never ate meat.” (Church historian Hegesipp according to Eusebius, History of the Church II 2:3)

“James, the brother of the Lord, lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine.” (Epistulae ad Faustum XXII, 3)

“James, the brother of the Lord was holy from his mothers womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh.” (Hegesippus, quoted in The Church History of Eusebius, book 2, chapter 23)

“James was a vegetarian.” (Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Eisenman, author of, “James, the Brother of Jesus”)

The following passage is from the Recognitions of Clement, another “Book of Acts”, an important scripture of early Christianity. This Ebionite Christian author has very nice things to say about those in India who worship One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan, seeing parallels between his own religion and that of his brothers and sisters “in the Indian countries” of two thousand years ago:

“There are likewise amongst the Bactrians,
in the Indian countries,
immense multitudes of Brahmans,
who also themselves,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
and peaceful customs and laws,
neither commit murder nor adultery,
nor worship idols,
nor have the practice of eating animal food,
are never drunk,
never do anything maliciously,
but always revere God.”

(Recognitions of Clement, Book 9, Chapter 22, Brahmans, Volume Eight, in a New Testament Apocrypha Section of, “The Ante-Nicene Fathers”)

“The consumption of animal flesh was unknown up until the great flood. But since the great flood, we have had animal flesh stuffed into our mouths. Jesus, the Christ, who appeared when the time was fulfilled, again joined the end to the beginning, so that we are now no longer allowed to eat animal flesh.” (pro-vegetarian early church father Hieronymus)

Gnostic Vegetarianism and the Vegetarian Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library (Gnostic Gospels)

The ethics of Jewish and Christian Gnostic sects of antiquity included vegetarianism. The Prayer of Thanksgiving, one of the Nag Hammadi scriptures unearthed in Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal as being part of Gnostic worship. The Manichaean Gnostics were known to be vegetarians. The Prophet Mani’s parents were followers of the Elkasites, which was a Jewish-Christian sect related to the Ebionites and Essenes. They were veg. Mani was the founder of Manichaean Gnosis and was vegetarian, and his inner circle of followers or initiates were as well. A group in China known as the Church of the Light , related to the Manichaeans and Syriac-Aramaic branch of Eastern Christianity, were vegetarians. Their beautiful scriptures are known as the Jesus Sutras.

The Gnostic and Hermetic Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library, also a text found in the Corpus Hermetica of Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal or Gnostic love feast. At the end of the prayer the final verse reads:

“When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it.”*

* “Vegetarian food” — footnote from the Marvin Meyer’s translation of this in, “The Gnostic Scriptures”.

* A vegetarian meal. This passage is also found in the Epilogue of Asclepius, in “HERMETICA,” translated by Sir Walter Scott: “Having prayed thus, let us betake ourselves to a meal unpolluted by flesh [animalia] of living things.”

* The G.R.S. Mead translation of the same passage: “With this desire we now betake us to our pure and fleshless meal.”

* “With such hopes we turn to a pure meal that includes no living thing.” (Asclepius, translated in “Hermetica”, Brian Copenhaver, Cambridge University Press)

The Vegan Evolution of Humanity: Vegetarianism is Going Vegan

Traditionally, Santmat and the yoga philosophy have advocated the lacto-vegetarian diet: abstinence from meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, but allowed dairy. Vegan means complete abstinence from all animal products and strictly adhering to a plant-based diet: no dairy, eggs, or meat of any kind, or products made from animals. Based on the current cruel practices of the dairy industry in India and around the world that violate the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, plus all the scores of medical studies showing that dairy consumption adversely affects our health and well-being, I believe if they were here today, the classic Saints such as Mahavira, Guru Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tukarama, Ravidas, Tulsi Das, Namdev, Dariya Sahib, etc…  would not only be advocating a vegetarian diet, but a vegan diet. These days, many are making this transition to vegan, including a growing percentage of those following Sant Mat. This is the compassionate direction that the vegetarian movement is headed in. Vegetarianism is going vegan.

For the medical, human health aspects of veganism, see the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of, “The China Study”, and Dr. Michael Greger, author of, “How Not To Die”, and creator of the NutritionFacts dot ORG website, a great online resource.

The Reality of Dairy Cruelty – the Final Destination of Dairy Cows is the Slaughterhouse

The following is excerpted from a document called, “My Visit to a Dairy Farm”, published by Pravin K. Shah of the Jaina Education Committee of Jainism (the vegan Jain movement), Jain e-Library, and the Jain Study Center:

“I visited a dairy farm located on Route 2 north of Burlington, Vermont (USA) in May of 1995. The dairy owns approximately 150 cows. All of its milk production is used to make ice cream.

"Here is the summary of what I saw and learnt:

"It was milking time (5:00 PM) and the cows were being milked in 3.5 minutes each by a machine. This is done without regard to how hard it is on the cow. It was extremely difficult to watch the cows’ sufferings during the milking. The machine has no feeling. To extract the last drop of milk sometimes traces of blood get mixed with the milk.

"Since cows produce the most milk after pregnancy, they are kept pregnant for their entire fertile life through artificial insemination.

"Every morning hormones or drugs are injected into the cows. They are also fed a diet geared toward high production of milk. The dairy cow produces about 8 times the amount of milk a cow on the traditional family farm produces.

"The gestation period of cow is 9 months same as human does. If a male calf, of no use to the dairy industry, is born, he is shipped to the veal industry within two or three days of birth. The evening I was there, the farm was shipping three baby calves in a truck to a veal factory. The mother cows were crying when their babies were separated from them. I cannot forget the scene and can still hear the cries of the mother cows.

"The veal industry is the most cruel meat industry in the world. It produces very tender meat that is considered a delicacy. The baby calves are raised in darkness in a very confining crate, which allows practically no movements. They are fed an iron-deficient diet. This way the meat gets very tender and properly textured. They slaughter the baby calves after six months. There is much literature available about cruelty in the veal industry.

"Within two months of delivery, the cows are impregnated again. I did not have the stamina to watch the process of artificial insemination that the farm was showing off.

"About four to five times a year, this farm would take the cows outside for a walk. Otherwise, the cows are tied in one place and they have no choice but to defecate where they are confined. It badly stunk when I was there; the farm would wash the confinement areas once or twice a day, and the remaining times the cows would live in their own waste.

"The life expectancy of cows is about 15 to 20 years. However, after about 4 to 5 years, their milk production capacity drops significantly so these cows are sent to the slaughterhouse for cheap meat which is used in fast food restaurants, hot dog filler, dog & cat food and a variety of other 'foodstuffs’. The rest of the body material (by products) turns up in the products like floor wax, pet-food, medicines, insulin, gelatin, footwear, upholstery, taco filling, cosmetics, candles, and soaps.”

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

Compassionate Vegan and Vegetarian Quotes From Supreme Master Ching Hai, and Buddhism

“A true vegetarian diet is vegan: Most of the milk production causes suffering, first of all because the babies of the mother cows are taken away at birth. Deprived from mother’s milk and mother’s love, they’ll be killed as soon as they’re taken away. Then, the mother is forcefully hooked up to a machine that can cause tormenting pain along with illness, just so that humans can take her milk.”

“This killing of other beings must be stopped for humanity to evolve as a civilization.”

“Making a vegan choice is thus a true advancement in the evolution and goodness of our humanity. And then we also know that like attracts like, goodness attracts more goodness. As we share this compassionate truth with others, not only will our own humanity be further uplifted, so will the world’s.”

“It’s the high time that the human race should rise to a higher level of consciousness. They should be noble, kind and compassionate. Go veg, be green, do good, is not just for the planet, it’s for the whole human race ennobling, spiritual merit and quality. They should do it, just for the sake of being noble.”

“We have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. That’s very simple. We are that. We are compassion. We are merciful; we are caring.”

“If we truly wish to see real harmony born between humans and animals and nature and Heaven, we must be the harmony, we must live in harmony and act also in harmony, which includes the act of eating harmoniously each time we come to the table.”

“Even if the world reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the planet will take time to recover from the gases already in the atmosphere. This is why it is necessary to focus on short-lived gases, namely methane. Organic vegan will produce a beneficial, cooling effect as it will cut down methane and other greenhouse gases which are fatal to our survival.”

Change the World by Changing Ourselves: “It begins with us. Since time immemorial, evolution always begins with the individual. If we want to change the world, we change ourselves first. Now, even if the government forbids smoking or drinking or drugs, but if people individually continue, then we have not made much difference. So now, we have to change.“

“The more people who eliminate meat and, indeed, all animal products from their lives, the more we have a chance to save the planet and not only that, to actually restore our earthly home to her original grace and beauty and even more so, more than what we have known, more beautiful, more abundant, more peace, more gladness than what we have known up to now.”

– Quotes above are from Supreme Master Ching Hai, SMCH Association, from the online book: “From Crisis To Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer”

“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.” (The Buddha, “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”)

“Veganism is simply letting compassion guide our choice of food. As such, it is a basic Buddhist practice that ought to be expected of everyone who takes refuge vows.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)

“The Buddha’s teaching leads us to the realization that we must always strive to harm no sentient being, human or nonhuman, whether or not it is in our selfish interest to do so.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)

“Meat eating and a compassionate religion do not go hand in hand.” (Bodo Balsys, “Ahimsa: Buddhism and the Vegetarian Ideal”)

Vegetarian Diet, Guru Nanak, Guru Kabir, Other Sikh Gurus and Scriptures

Nanak abstained from animal food and enjoined against cruelty to animals: “Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and eat pork, he (Nanak) himself abstained from eating flesh and ordered not to hurt any living being.” (the Persian historian Mohsin Fani, DABISTAN-E-MAZAHIB)

“To take what rightfully belongs to another, is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef. Our Guru, our Spiritual Guide, stands by us if we do not eat those carcasses. By mere talk, people do not earn Liberation. Salvation only comes from the practice of truth. By adding spices to forbidden foods, they are not made acceptable. O Nanak, from false talk, only falsehood is obtained”. (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 141)

“Countless are the cutthroats who trade in violence. Countless are sinners who keep on sinning. Countless are liars, wandering lost in their lies. Countless are the impious who live on unwholesome food.” (Guru Nanak, Jap Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 4)

“Living by neglect and greed, the world eats dead carcasses. Like a goblin or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat. Control your urges, or else you will be thrown into the tortures of hell.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 723).

“Kabeer says, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent when flavored with salt. Who would cut throats to have meat with his bread?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1374)

“Kabeer: for those who consume marijuana, fish and wine, no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all be consigned to hell”. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1377)

“You keep your fasts to please Allah, while you murder other beings for pleasure. You look after your own interests, and so not see the interests of others. What good is your word? O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not think or contemplation on Him. You do not care for others, you are mad about religion, this is why your life is wasting away.” (Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 483)

“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? You call yourself the excellent sage; then whom would you call a butcher?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1103).      

Bhai Gurdaas Ji said: “They eat meat by cutting throats, what will their own condition be?” (Vaar 24, Pauree 17)

“One who does not steal, commit adultery, slander anyone, gamble, eat meat or drink wine will be liberated in this very life (i.e. Jeewan Mukt)”. (Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Sikh Guru, “Sudharam Marag Granth”)

////////

Turn The Other Cheek?

by Samsaran

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile,
go also the second mile.

– Jesus of Nazareth, Matt. 5:38-41; see also Luke 6:29.

Nietzsche hated this passage. 

He thought that this sort of passivity was a weak and only force of will made sense in a post-Darwinian world. Kampf in his native German, struggle was the engine of evolution and only struggle would create the ubermensch the superman. It is interesting to note that he used that word because if you look at its etymology it originally meant “field” as in “battlefield”.

I say interesting because in the Koine Greek of the New Testament the word translated as “resist” was ἀνθίστημι or antistenai and that word means to “stand your ground against an enemy” referencing the way Greek warriors fought with one group of men pushing against another group. 

Taken in this manner its meaning is somewhat different. It means do not fight them in their way. Good advice considering that the Romans were a brutal occupying force well armed and well disciplined.

Jesus was telling his followers not to provoke the occupying power. He knew that such provocation would spell doom for Israel as indeed it did some 33 years after his death. Jesus was neither weak nor passive. He stood up to the wealthy and powerful Pharisees and to the corrupt temple priests.

He openly preached what would be considered blasphemy at the time. He broke the Sabbath. He intervened in the stoning of an adulteress who had been tried and sentenced by the elders. Jesus was a strong man and a brave one. He was no sheep led to the slaughter but a noble lion among the jackals

Women are not created weaker but more generous than men. They are created more beautiful and less fierce, as beauty hates to hurt and harm others. That is why they seem weak to people, but in reality they are not. Angels are the strongest of created beings, and women are closer to the angelic nature than men, as they are readier than men to carry angelic light. It is the good manners and ethics of spirituality which they carry which makes them less forceful than men. Even physically, however, they are extremely strong. They undergo great upheavals in their body without flinching for the sake of childbirth, and face the direst physical conditions more successfully than men because God has enabled them to ensure the survival of generations.

They wonder what it means to “learn Religion”,
Uncertain what to study or how.
Dhamma classes and Pali language aren’t enough,
Graduate to meditation & vipassana.

Learn & learn, all you get is “learning”.
Some get sick or end up “religion crazed”,
With many things foolhardy & excessive,
Till filled up with status & gains, losing Nibbana.

The only place to learn religion is in the eyes & ears,
Whenever dukkha occurs at one sense or another.
Learn how to pull back the bridge, so
That Mara hasn’t a chance to mess with you.

Learn directly right there in the suffering,
Looking with the right method & model
Intercept the concoting process of the troubled
Mind, it can calm down & dukkha disappears.’

— 

Learning Religion by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, in ‘Ethical Poems’.

Translation by Santikaro Bhikkhu.

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan is the month of transformation in every sense (spiritual, moral, ethical, physical etc). It is greater than the abstinence of food and drink. It is about knowing Allah, knowing the Qur'an, and knowing your self.

May this month be of greatest benefit. 

Ramadan Mubarak to you all.

anonymous asked:

blythe what's your favorite television series and why so?

battlestar galactica (2003 version)! its everything that i think a good sci-fi should be- using a unique but accessible universe to explore ethical and spiritual questions with a well-written and complex cast of characters. i wish there were more shows like it