Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 4 days, 7 hours ago
Pierre – yes, what you just said. Worthy of a lexicon entry. 🙂
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 4 days, 10 hours ago
Ram, just to support your view on the origins of the term – In the Oxford Dictionary of World Religion under the term Nirvana we find ‘According to S.K. Belvalkar, the term [nirvana] originated in the Kāla philosophy before the advent of Buddhism.’ The entry goes on cite references in Mahabharata, the Anugita and Bhagavad Gita.
As I unde…[Read more]
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 5 days, 9 hours ago
Barbara, the general meaning of nirvana and moksha is the same in so far as both terms refer to liberation or freedom from samsara along with the removal of ignorance with regards to the nature of Reality of the world and of the self.
As you know, the term nirvana tends to be used in Buddhist traditions while Hindu traditions tend to refer…[Read more]
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 5 days, 11 hours ago
Barbara (re #5177) – that’s a very interesting and important question. Just to check that I properly understand you – are you talking about two conditions above: one where we experience ourselves as an individual that is a part of the whole; the other where we are conscious of the ‘One Life’ and the sense of individuality is attenuated?
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 6 days, 13 hours ago
Grace – yes, it is important for us to recognise we are not alone in pondering these questions, as you rightly say. To my mind, these questions are universal in nature; if we are not reflecting on them we probably need to ask, ‘why not?’
Following the teachings of Tsong Khapa, the Dalai Lama says that when practising the development of Imp…[Read more]
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 6 days, 15 hours ago
That’s a really nice way of putting it, Odin:
‘Compassion…must have individual and universal roots. . . we work from both ends to the middle, ideally, the central point which is “everywhere,” of a circle whose circumference is “nowhere.”’
I think you’ve given us another way to appreciate the Middle Way of the Buddha, avoiding the extreme…[Read more]
James – thanks for sharing that passage from Isis Unveiled. As you say, some obvious symbolism is contained therein. There’s no doubt the cave is a potent symbol used in many different ways to that of Plato. Sometimes it is associated with the feminine symbol of the womb. Another obvious association is with the tomb e.g., the pharaoh’s tom…[Read more]
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 1 week ago
“Is it possible love another individual unconditionally yet still not become attached?”
Perhaps we can only start with small steps in our own lives and practice before we are able to answer this question in a meaningful way. A good start might be to learn to extend positive-regard to people and beings outside of our usu…[Read more]
Peter replied to the topic Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Nature, Woman and Man in the forum Art of Living Study Group 1 week, 2 days ago
Can you say a little more as to what you mean by ‘attached’, Grace? I know Gerry has asked about the nature of attachment in general, which is important, but I wanted to know what you were wondering about in your question?
I enjoy a pleasant conversation too, Pavel. Thanks. I’ll look out for the Cornford translation; it’s always nice to get a recommendation. Cornford also wrote ‘Plato’s Cosmology’, a commentary on ‘The Timaeus’. Good for reference, but would need quite a bit of time to study end to end.
Yes, I take your point about the middle ages and Plato.
Grace asks: Is there a sense in which we, as students, with the understanding that the Absolute cannot be contained or conceived of, but despite this recognition, we should still try to place the mind on the idea of the Absolute, as an exercise?
Grace, This is how I understand it. If the universe and everything in it, including…[Read more]
Pierre – thanks. Just how many amazing passages are there in the Secret Doctrine!
Here’s another view about ‘experience’ which might also give another perspective on illusion and reality for members to consider.
In the Advaita Vedanta tradition ‘experience’ is normally said to belong to the three states of Waking (sthulopadhi), Dream (Sukshmop…[Read more]
Thank you for telling it in your own words, Peter!
You’re welcome, Pavel. Do I understand from your statement that the intended meaning in Plato’s dialogues isn’t as clear as it might be!? The thing with Plato’s dialogues is that he builds on ideas that he makes Socrates share over many different dialogues both in and prior to ‘The…[Read more]
Kirk, I keep meaning to say this is a really good passage you’ve shared from the SD on illusion and reality. It raises some important questions as to just what it is that counts as an illusion. Here’s an initial few that come to mind that a philosophical inquirer might consider and which group members might also wonder about. There are ple…[Read more]
James – thanks. I understand. I wasn’t referring to your analogy. If you read again what I wrote you will see that I was referring to the many pictures found “on the internet and purposefully meant to symbolise the analogy of the Cave used by Plato.” This is our current Theme for Contemplation, as Gerry notified us the other day, hence the u…[Read more]
Pavel writes: May it be assumed that the “flickering shadows” on the wall of the cave are how we experience the world through our senses, while the True Reality is more related to the life of the Mind (united with the Heart)?
I would say that is just what Plato is suggesting, Pavel. I agree.
In order to appreciate the analogy of Pla…[Read more]
Pavel – I liked your two variants. This position reminded be a little bit of Pascal’s Wager. Roughly put, he argued that if you could neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, you may as well believe in God and act accordingly. If God did exist you were in for an infinite reward, if God didn’t exist it you hadn’t lost anything.
That’s very interesting, James. I’m not familiar with that story. We also have the saptaparna cave associated with the Buddha’s teachings, which is sometimes referred to as a place of initiation and, as mentioned above, we have the Cave of Brahman which resided in the heart from the Upanishads & so on. The symbol of the cave appears to have…[Read more]
The allegory of the cave from Plato’s ‘The Republic’, Book VII (Edited)
(Note: while reading Socrates description of the Cave it may help to look at the picture provided above in our Theme for Contemplation.)
Socrates: And now, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: Behold! human beings living in a u…[Read more]
Yes, it is, Gerry. But we need to be careful not to mix up the various metaphors/analogies of ‘The Cave’.
For Plato, the cave was where the person experienced illusion (the shadows on the wall), while reality, symbolised by sun, could only be experienced on ‘escaping’ from the cave. The transition is from darkness into light, ignorance to…[Read more]
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