Chapters in the Story of Consciousness – Lecture Series, Vol 7 . read
Religion, mysticism, yoga self-inquiry and PME
A belief or faith in a god or gods and the activities that are connected with this belief, such as praying or worshipping in a church or temple and observing other rituals. Religions in general offer salvation in heaven or after death to those that are believers, have faith, practice morality, and observe the golden rule.
Religions only require faith by the the devotees. That faith is generally invested is an ancient scripture which is either outright accepted as fact or is thought of to be metaphorical and left to interpretation of the church’s elders.
The wisdom traditions have their own scriptures but lead to the practitioner to discover for themselves, through their own life experiences the meaning of life though logic.
A mystic vision (a PME) is something seen in a dream, trance, or religious ecstasy, especially a supernatural appearance that usually conveys a revelation. Visions generally have more clarity than dreams. While mysticism is not a religion, it is practiced devotedly in different religions of the world and is a spiritual belief stating that a connection can be obtained with God or the spirits through thought and meditation. An example of mysticism is believing that a direct connection can be made with God through sitting and thinking. A doctrine of direct communication or spiritual intuition of divine truth. Mysticism is within most religious beliefs and includes meditations, and the acceptance of paranormal experiences. The mystical realm of religion is truly mysterious to humankind, which is what makes the study of mysticism a continuous one.
Hinduism, Buddhism, the Wisdom traditions
The Vedas are India’s earliest surviving texts, dating from approximately 2000 to 1500 B.C.E. These texts are made up of hymns and ritual treatises that are instructional in nature, along with other sections that are more speculative and metaphysical. Here are some of the key beliefs shared among six major houses of thought in Hinduism:
Brahman is a metaphysical concept of Hinduism referring to the ultimate unchanging reality, (consciousness) that is uncreated (does not come directly into form but is the enabler of all things to come into form), eternal, infinite, transcendent, the first cause, the foundation, the source, and the goal of all existence. Brahman is Truth and Reality, and each person can experience it in a logical way leading to the understanding we are each Brahman not the body and mind we believe in as the “I.”
Everyone should strive to achieve dharma: In Hinduism, dharma is the religious and moral law governing individual conduct. In Buddhism, dharma is the doctrine, the universal truth common to all individuals at all times, proclaimed by the Buddha.
Individual souls are immortal, and the goal of the individual soul is moksha: Hindus and Buddhists believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives (samsara) and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived (karma). Moksha is the end of the death and rebirth cycle and is the ultimate goal.
What are the basic beliefs of Buddhism? The basic doctrines of early Buddhism, which remain common to all Buddhism, include the four noble truths: existence is suffering (dukkha); suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment (Trishna); there is a cessation of suffering, which is nirvana; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering.
Yoga is one of six major houses of thought in Hinduism. It has a philosophical and spiritual meaning embedded in the Indian scriptures – the Upanishad, Vedas, and Bhagavad Gita.
The beginnings of Yoga were developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The eight limbs of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali include postures and meditation that has been popularized in the west, however the other six practices are less well known, and the totality of yoga is enlightenment and oneness. It is not just exercise and mindfulness but a comprehensive multifaceted undertaking when all eight limbs are incorporated.
What is the difference between mysticism and religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Wisdom traditions?
While mysticism is not a religion, it is practiced devotedly in different religions of the world. To have a broader view of both religion and mysticism it is important to understand they are not inseparable. Mysticism is embedded in some way within most religious beliefs, meditations, and mystical experiences.
What is the purpose of self-inquiry?
The consistent practice of self-inquiry, self-study, and intention-setting can help you deconstruct negative habits and limiting beliefs and has been practiced in the wisdom traditions for thousands of years. Meditative self-inquiry is the art of asking a spiritually powerful question. And a question that is spiritually powerful always points us back to ourselves. The most important thing in spiritual inquiry is to ask the right question. The right question is a question that genuinely has energy for you. To begin the practice of self-inquiry, sit for meditation as usual and introduce a question like “why am I feeling angry” Drop the question into the stillness of your being, wait for a response.
PME recognizes that consciousness is fundamental. The universe and we as human beings have arisen in this field of existence consciousness. Further each of us are the primordial awareness that is this field. We are a witness to it and one with it. PME is inclusive of metaphysical experiences in its teaching and practices as metaphor from which greater spiritual truth can be understood.
PME is not a religion but embraces the reality that believers of religions can reach enlightenment through their religion of choice. PME is inclusive of all systems of belief including agnostics, and atheists which are also beliefs. Anyone with any belief system can benefit from its teaching. PME strongly suggests keeping an open mind to new concepts that will surely arise in your practice and may be different from your current beliefs.
Self-inquiry is a long-practiced art form in the wisdom traditions that PME has expanded, through its greater understanding of suggestion or self-hypnosis. Self-inquiry leads to bridging another form of expanded knowing that is a teachable method and an important part of self-realization. Self-inquiry’s main benefit is its potential to identify and reduce or eliminate fears which are the greatest obstacle to the evolution of our consciousness. Eliminating fear expands mental clarity and provides a greater number of choices by which to solve problems and learn the lessons of life while reducing unnecessary pain and suffering.
Living a life with a strong moral code supports spiritual growth and conscious evolution. PME encourages living a to a higher standard i.e., the golden rule and also maintaining awareness of our individual thoughts and cultivating positive energy to share with all through fostering. The power of our own suggestion made from the MUOEC level and the power of our intention to manifest, together form the basis for the change agent that we call PME.
Each of my blogs and podcasts are designed to further your spiritual worldview. Meditate on each one or at least focus you attention and examine how you feel about what I am saying. It is not my agenda to convince you of anything, but it is my agenda to give you the tools to advance your practice.
A worldview gives you a high-level road map for fitting newfound experiences or knowledge into some area of your practice. If you have not formed one it is really quite easy. Start by asking yourself these four basic question and then answer them to the best of your ability: Who Am I, What is my purpose, What will happen after my death, What do I want. If you have a Spiritual worldview, I suggest you may be stimulated to accept at least some part of what I give you. The most important thing is that you reflect and consider the points and then take what is useful to you. Upgrade your worldview with any new information you like and read my forthcoming blogs and repeat the process.