1. Joined
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    09 Dec '08 22:493 edits
    Anyone familiar with this book? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    Here's a review from an Amazon customer that I found interesting. Most of the other reviews seemed to be along the same lines:
    I found this book in a chapel library, and it had a note inside which read "in the belief that a little 'heresy' never did anyone too much harm, and with love and peace." If this book is heretical, it is because Swami Prabhavananda believes in the Sermon on the Mount far more deeply than most of the Christian world has ever done.

    He takes each section of the Sermon to represent the particular aspects of the spiritual life and expounds them in an insightful and reverent way. He sometimes quotes from Christian authors like a Kempis and Boehme, but most often from Ramakrishna and his disciples.

    This book should be considered a Christian classic. Noone has ever made Christ's immortal discourse easier to understand and live by.
  2. Hmmm . . .
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    10 Dec '08 02:30
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Anyone familiar with this book? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    Here's a review from an Amazon customer that I found interesting. Most of the other reviews seemed to be along the same lines:
    [b]I found this book in a chapel library, and it had a note inside which read "in the belief that a little 'heresy' never did anyone too much ha ...[text shortened]... ic. Noone has ever made Christ's immortal discourse easier to understand and live by.
    [/b]
    Haven’t read the book. One of the Amazon reviews said: “...written from the viewpoint of a Vedantin who also appears to have an enormous amount of respect for Christianity.”

    Okay, I’m as non-dualist as any Vedantist, I daresay (and sometimes express it in Vedantists terms). That really is one of the great divides in religious philosophy: dualism or non-dualism. Another is: formalism or non-formalism.

    Religious formalists (unlike, say, Ramakrishna), seem to display little respect for expressions outside their own (formalist) expression. This seems to me to be more true among dualists; but that may be simple prejudice on my part, and perhaps formalism is simply exacerbated in its dualistic expressions.

    You might be interested in Fritjoff Schuon’s book The Transcendent Unity of Religions, which addresses specifically formalism versus non-formalism (he, however, uses the terms “exoterism” and “esoterism”, which I find a bit problematic—but the message is there; and Huston Smith’s explanatory introduction is almost worth the price of the book just by itself).
  3. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    10 Dec '08 07:21
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Anyone familiar with this book? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.
    No, but here's a lengthy review:
    http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/christ/xt-prook.htm
  4. Joined
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    11 Dec '08 17:291 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Haven’t read the book. One of the Amazon reviews said: “...written from the viewpoint of a Vedantin who also appears to have an enormous amount of respect for Christianity.”

    Okay, I’m as non-dualist as any Vedantist, I daresay (and sometimes express it in Vedantists terms). That really is one of the great divides in religious ...[text shortened]... on Smith’s explanatory introduction is almost worth the price of the book just by itself).
    I'd think that any belief system that incorporates rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward deviation from such rituals and observances.

    Furthermore, any belief system that does directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward rituals and observances that do not directly work toward such a transformation.

    I'm thinking there's a general problem with rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. πŸ™‚
  5. Joined
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    11 Dec '08 17:30
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    No, but here's a lengthy review:
    http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/christ/xt-prook.htm
    Thanks for the link.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    12 Dec '08 09:231 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I'd think that any belief system that incorporates rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward deviation from such rituals and observances.

    Furthermore, any belief system that does directly work toward trans ansformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. πŸ™‚
    There's something here that I'm going to disagree with?

    Your smiley-face implies that you expect not... πŸ™‚
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
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    12 Dec '08 16:40
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I'd think that any belief system that incorporates rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward deviation from such rituals and observances.

    Furthermore, any belief system that does directly work toward trans ...[text shortened]... ansformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. πŸ™‚
    So why do you adamantly refuse to talk about your own transformation or your own embodiment of the truth in any shape or form whatsoever?

    What you seem to be saying is that it's about how we are transformed as people not about belief systems or religion. I would agree strongly. So just tell us about your transformation and be done with it. Your own testimony would be far more powerful than any of your criticisms of "christianity".
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    12 Dec '08 20:24
    Originally posted by vistesd
    There's something here that I'm going to disagree with?

    Your smiley-face implies that you expect not... πŸ™‚
    I wasn't looking for disagreement. Just wanted to see if our understandings were the same.
  9. Standard memberblack beetle
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    20 Dec '08 10:20
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I'd think that any belief system that incorporates rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward deviation from such rituals and observances.

    Furthermore, any belief system that does directly work toward trans ...[text shortened]... ansformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. πŸ™‚
    It seems to me that there are different levels.

    The individual of each level is aware or not aware of his level according to the degree og his personal evaluation of the mind.
    The Sermon on the Mount is quite valuable for the high leveled and for the low leveled individuals alike, and in addition an idividual with a clear mind can get benefits from every glance of It on his pathworking regardless his personal level.

    So it seems to me that over here there are not two "truths" in contadiction but pure evaluation of the mind. "Intention" as you pose it is meaningless for it is a dualistic approach, and this is the reason why your "general problem" arises
    😡
  10. Joined
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    20 Dec '08 18:454 edits
    Originally posted by black beetle
    It seems to me that there are different levels.

    The individual of each level is aware or not aware of his level according to the degree og his personal evaluation of the mind.
    The Sermon on the Mount is quite valuable for the high leveled and for the low leveled individuals alike, and in addition an idividual with a clear mind can get benefits from r it is a dualistic approach, and this is the reason why your "general problem" arises
    😡
    I'm not sure what you're saying here or how it applies to my post. I suspect that you didn't understand the context of my post in response to vistesd. My post was not about "truths in contradiction" or "intention". Maybe you can reread my post within context of vistesd's and let me know what's going on here.
  11. Standard memberblack beetle
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    20 Dec '08 21:06
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I'm not sure what you're saying here or how it applies to my post. I suspect that you didn't understand the context of my post in response to vistesd. My post was not about "truths in contradiction" or "intention". Maybe you can reread my post within context of vistesd's and let me know what's going on here.
    I am aware of both posts, yours and visteds's.

    I understood that the primal question is whether a non-dualistic approach can cope with a dualistic one, and your opinion is that it can
    -this is the reason why you concidered Prabhavananda's approach a Christian classic. Vistesd replied on this basis and he agreed with you;

    Well I saw a contradiction ("dualism/ non dualism" and "formation/ non-formation" ), so I posted my opinion replying to you over your last post and covering all the isues with a thought of mine; "intention" is the desire of the individual to embody truth, love, compassion, justice; "truhts" are the dualistic and the non-dualistic approach;
  12. Joined
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    21 Dec '08 00:322 edits
    Originally posted by black beetle
    I am aware of both posts, yours and visteds's.

    I understood that the primal question is whether a non-dualistic approach can cope with a dualistic one, and your opinion is that it can
    -this is the reason why you concidered Prabhavananda's approach a Christian classic. Vistesd replied on this basis and he agreed with you;

    Well I saw a contradicti love, compassion, justice; "truhts" are the dualistic and the non-dualistic approach;
    Let's see if we can sort this out. First off, it seems you need to realize that the bold text in my first post is a quote from an Amazon customer, so whatever you've inferred about me from that would be misleading.

    Maybe it'll help if I rephrase the point of my second post: I see the divide in religious philosophies being rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. It seems to me that such a transformation is at the core of most religious philosophies. Where they are at odds is in rituals and observances that do not directly work toward this transformation.

    Can you explain what you mean by "personal / pure evaluation of the mind"?
  13. Standard memberblack beetle
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    21 Dec '08 05:03
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Let's see if we can sort this out. First off, it seems you need to realize that the [b]bold text in my first post is a quote from an Amazon customer, so whatever you've inferred about me from that would be misleading.

    Maybe it'll help if I rephrase the point of my second post: I see the divide in religious philosophies being rituals and observances ...[text shortened]... sformation.

    Can you explain what you mean by "personal / pure evaluation of the mind"?[/b]
    I understood that the bold text of your primal post is the opinion of a person who reviewed the book. Later on, I assumed that you agree with the reviewer; is this misleading?

    Then, vistesd's first post had to do with this exact opinion of the reviewer, and your next post replied exactly to vistesd's post. Then vistesd asked you whether he had to disagree with you, and you told him that you wanted simply to understand if you both agree.

    I assumed that, both of you, you agreed that "any belief system that incorporates rituals and observances that do not directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward deviation from such rituals and observances". In my opinion this is true, and in addition such an attitude seems to my just an inclination as I posed it;

    Then you quoted that "...any belief system that does directly work toward transformation of the individual to the embodiment of truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. would engender a lack of respect toward rituals and observances that do not directly work toward such a transformation." In my opinion this is true, and in addition I said that anyway "the Sermon on the Mount is quite valuable for the high leveled and for the low leveled individuals alike, and in addition an idividual with a clear mind can get benefits from every glance of It on his pathworking regardless his personal level" (level of understanding).

    "Evaluation of the mind" is the organon as posed by Socrates and Boddhidharma alike; "personal" is the personal understanding of the individual, either he uses the organon or not, either he has done a pathworking or not, either he is low leveled or not.
  14. Illinois
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    21 Dec '08 06:39
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Anyone familiar with this book? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    Here's a review from an Amazon customer that I found interesting. Most of the other reviews seemed to be along the same lines:
    [b]I found this book in a chapel library, and it had a note inside which read "in the belief that a little 'heresy' never did anyone too much ha ...[text shortened]... ic. Noone has ever made Christ's immortal discourse easier to understand and live by.
    [/b]
    It is typical for those who espouse heretical interpretations of scripture to, as Swami Prabhavananda's publisher does, say things like, "Read in this book how Vedanta goes to the heart of Christ's teachings" (italics mine). My ears are being tickled already. Heretics always offer a supposedly "deeper" or "truer" interpretation of scripture, "going to the heart" of the text where the Orthodox missed the mark. If the Swami's publisher is to be believed, "Theologians are apt to explain away [Christ's] teachings." Which begs the question, what established and respected theologian ever built his or her career on "explaining away" Christ's teachings? Give me a break. It's the same con game the early church was accustomed to, i.e., a heretic's blatant disregard of context for the purpose of foisting a faulty, though appealing, half-truth upon any unsuspecting dupe willing to listen. "The surprise for many Christians unfamiliar with the Vedanta tradition is that we focus on what Christ actually said in the Bible, and don't worry about the theological interpretations" (italics mine). How convenient.
  15. Standard memberblack beetle
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    21 Dec '08 08:29
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    It is typical for those who espouse heretical interpretations of scripture to, as Swami Prabhavananda's publisher does, say things like, "Read in this book how Vedanta goes to the heart of Christ's teachings" (italics mine). My ears are being tickled already. Heretics always offer a supposedly "deeper" or "truer" interpretation of scripture, "go ...[text shortened]... bout the theological interpretations[/i]" (italics mine). How convenient.
    Have you actually read Prabhavananda's book? I haven't.

    But I am aware of the Sermon of the Mount, and it seems to me that the individual is not oblidged to be a Christian (regardless his denominations) in order to be able to expand his understanding after reading the text; I am an atheist, still I conceive the message of the Sermon and I think that it could be conceivable by everybody else too.

    Or you think that solely a Christian can grasp the meaning of the Sermon of the Mount?
    😡
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