Re: Theos-World Fundamentalism, religion and reason
Aug 03, 2006 03:13 AM
Dear Cass and Pedro,
Very thought provoking !
I think its important to remember that religion plays a very
important part in many peoples lives and so the need is to try and
integrate a more tolerant and inclusive dialogue between the
Perhaps the integration of a more symbolic and mystical approach is a
possible answer away from literalist and dead letter interpretations.
Islam, Christianity and Judaism all have strong mystical and symbolic
traditions within them and this approach would also allow an opening
for tolerance not only inter-religiously but scientifically and
The more humanity can grasp that spirituality does not require below
to a religion but is more about compassionate action and
understanding the quicker humanities spiritual evolution can move
The trouble comes when `salvation' is seen as belonging only to only
certain people who belong to a particular sect or way of believing.
However another thing to consider I do think is that many of the
world's problems while they maybe dressed up in religious garb are
really underneath prompted and used by geopolitical power plays.
Power vested interests have a lot to gain by keeping people ignorant.
--- In email@example.com, "pedro oliveira" <prmoliveira@...>
> Dear Cass and Perry,
> Thank you for your views. I prefer to take a cautious approach to
> the issue of fundamentalism because I am convinced that it is not
> possible to understand it as if it were a black or white reality.
> The interview I mentioned in my earlier posting, with Professor
> Seyyed Hossein Nasr, made me think afresh about the problem.
> The issue of power in this question, mentioned by Perry, is quite
> evident. But then power-seeking placates every human organisation
> this earth and is not limited to religion. The dualism in religious
> structures/theologies, mentioned by Cass, is also evident, but I
> would faintheartedly suggest that not even science is free from it,
> and even in the broad daylight of the 21st century it still sees
> consciousness not as a primary reality but as an epiphenomenon of
> the brain chemistry!
> The Theosophical Movement is also not without its contradictions in
> its attitude to religion. We have the forceful (and convincing)
> denunciation of religion as being responsible for two thirds of
> human misery (Mahatma Letters) and yet the Founders established a
> Society to study Comparative Religion! See, for example, the
> following letter:
> GREETINGS to the Hindu, Parsee, Buddhist, English and other
> Delegates and to the Fellows herewith present.
> Remember that though of various nationalities and religions you are
> nearly all the children of one mother, India. Remember and act
> accordingly. You have to make of the Anniversary ceremony
> celebration a grand success. You have to prove to your evil-wishers
> and enemies that your cause, being strong and having taken its
> upon the rock of truth, indeed can never be impeded in its progress
> by any opposition, however powerful, if you be all united and act
> concert. Be true, be loyal to your pledges, to your sacred duty, to
> your country, to your own conscience. Be tolerant to others,
> the religious views of others if you would have your own respected.
> Sons of India, of old Aryavarta, whether adopted or sons of her
> blood, remember that you are theosophists and that Theosophy or
> Brahma Vidya is the mother of every old religion, forsaken and
> repudiated though she may now be by most of her ungrateful
> Remember this, act accordingly and the rest will follow in due
> With our sincere blessings,
> (Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series, letter 2)
> Did the Mahatmas give so much importance to religious understanding
> because they somehow knew religion would be an explosive influence
> in the twentieth century, when destituted of spiritual insight or
> mysticism? I confess I don't know. But what seems clear to me now
> that fundamentalism is not an isolated phenomenon, but an integral
> part of the cultural wars that started with the dawning of the
> modern age in the 17th century, with Cartesian and thought-centred
> world views dominating the world. Interestingly enough, this is
> the period of dramatic expansion of colonialist rules around the
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Cass Silva <silva_cass@> wrote:
> > My thinking is that all religions are steeped in good/evil,
> reward/punishment axioms coming from a personal god, who for the
> most part does our thinking for us. The rationale behind this is
> that we are no longer responsible for our actions but are
> or defenders of the faith.
> > The skepticism of science is refreshing and provides a balance
> against this ancient thinking. I would prefer to deal with a
> skeptical scientist that a bible/koran punching believer. Imagine
> trying to explain to a Muslim or a Christian that we are part of a
> quantum universe and that within that universe there are multiple
> choices that can be made. Imagine telling them that we create our
> own reality and impact on this reality with our thoughts and
> emotions and that at no point is there the notion that whatever
> choice we make will result in a reward or a punishment. The result
> of my choices, which will either quicken or slower my evolution.
> IMO, it's as simple as that.
> > One of the Masters stated that when mankind is too far in error
> nature will intervene. I can see this happening in the world right
> now. It was predicted when the door closed on this evolution.
> Those that slipped through at the last moment had the opportunity
> re-think their existence. If some of the sub-races disappear, I
> imagine it is in the normal course of events, as the foundation of
> the sixth root race must take precedence over fourth and fith root
> > What is happening in the Middle East is very sad, but
> understandable, if we are going to accept the teachings of the
> ancient wisdom.
> > Cass
> > plcoles1 <plcoles1@> wrote:
> Hello Pedro,
> > I hope you are doing well.
> > Thanks for your comments, I just thought I'd put forward a few
> > For me I think that the problem with the clash between religious
> fundamentalism and
> > reason really boils down to an issue of power.
> > I have just finished watching an excellent series
> called "Christianity the first 2000 years"
> > watching that series it really became clear how much of an
> ongoing paradox religion can
> > be.
> > Religion has been used as a means to control nations and people
> in order to maintain
> > status quo, any descent to the dogma of the religious
> establishment then becomes a
> > threat to that `order'.
> > Science and philosophy had to assert themselves in order to be
> able to evolve and
> > maintain integrity.
> > As seems to happen, things move from one extreme to the other
> so it's a constant
> > balancing act.
> > The idea to form a society to comparatively study religion
> philosophy and science was a
> > brilliant idea.
> > Its interesting that the title page of `Key to Theosophy' reads :
> > "Being a Clear Exposition, in the Form of Question and Answer,
> the ETHICS, SCIENCE,
> > AND PHILOSOPHY for the Study of which The Theosophical Society
> has been Founded."
> > Interesting that ethics is included here as well.
> > Another statement in the Mahatma letters worth noting is where
> the Mahatma say's
> > `science is our best ally', it's an interesting statement to
> ponder upon why that may be the
> > case?
> > Science without ethics is dangerous just as religion with reason
> is also dangerous and so a
> > synthesis of some kind is needed in order to try and develop a
> healthy balance.
> > Much emotional attachment can be caught up in some belief
> as well as fear based
> > mindsets which seem to maintain a very strong hold in the
> skandhas, thus they pass on to
> > the new personality perhaps for many lifetimes to come.
> > I think the purpose of the TS was to try and get people re-
> examining their beliefs and
> > attitudes in order help humanity move forward into a deeper and
> > understanding of themselves and the cosmos by refining the
> intellectual faculties by
> > tempered with compassion and tolerance.
> > Cheers
> > Perry
> > ---------------------------------
> > Yahoo! Music Unlimited - Access over 1 million songs.Try it free.
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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