Originally posted by jiggerj
And now, I'm offering a discussion (NOT a bashing) on how to look upon certain experiences in your life that you have credited god with, that MAY have
a rational explanation. You can still believe it any way you want, but wouldn't you feel better IF you found out that maybe you weren't thinking too
clearly on such matters?
The words God and miracle are problematic. We can't just confine ourselves to what our local culture tells us those words mean, because miracles are
found in every culture, every religion, and so is God. Behind these words is something, a powerful stimulus, that forces a culture come up with a
framework for understanding them. All such frameworks fall short. The map is never the territory.
These cultural frameworks vary to such a degree that one might think they are referring to entirely different things. But comparative mythology,
comparative religion, and comparative mysticism show that indeed they are not. All religions, all cultures, all people share a spiritual heritage,
regardless of how popular conceptions of religion make it seem to the-man-on-the-street.
"No one, as far as I know, has yet tried to compose into a single picture the new perspectives that have been opened in the fields of comparative
symbolism, religion, mythology, and philosophy by the scholarship of recent years. The richly rewarded archaeological researches of the past few
decades; astonishing clarifications, simplifications, and coordinations achieved by intensive studies in the spheres of philology, ethnology,
philosophy, art history, folklore, and religion; fresh insights in psychological research; and the many priceless contributions to our science by the
scholars, monks, and literary men of Asia, have combined to suggest a new image of the fundamental unity of the spiritual history of mankind.
Without straining beyond the treasuries of evidence already on hand in these widely scattered departments of our subject, therefore, but simply
gathering from them the membra disjuncta of a unitary mythological science, I attempt in the following pages the first sketch of a natural history of
the gods and heroes, such as in its final form should include in its purview all divine beings--not regarding any as sacrosanct or beyond its
scientific domain. For, as in the visible world of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, so also in the visionary world of the gods: there has been a
history, an evolution, a series of mutations, governed by laws; and to show forth such laws is the proper aim of science."
-Joseph Campbell, Masks of God: Primitive Mythology
That means we have to expand our notions of God and miracles from the cultural to the cross-cultural. As someone who has done that, its difficult
talking about God and miracles with people who haven't. They have no cross-cultural currency in their pocket.
The miracles that a Buddhist experiences are no different from those of a Catholic. They both share a spiritual heritage. God is one. Upon awakening,
a Buddhist and a Catholic will both recieve spiritual graces. One will call them 'charisms' and the other will call them 'iddhis'. These are
equivalent terms. Indeed there are such equivalencies in all mystical traditions. These are the 'miracles' that the science of parapsychology
"I am well aware, however, of the danger of tying spiritual belief to any scientific system. . . . This is not to say that I consider things like the
oracle and the ability of monks to survive nights spent out in freezing condition to be evidence of magical powers. Yet I cannot agree with our
Chinese Brothers and sisters, who hold that Tibetan acceptance of these phenomena is evidence of our backwardness and barbarity. Even from the most
rigorous scientific viewpoint, this is not an objective attitude. At the same time, even if a principle is accepted, it does not mean that everything
connected with it is valid. . . . . Great vigilance must be maintained at all times when dealing in areas about which we do not have great
understanding. This, of course, is where science can help. After all, we consider things to be mysterious only when we do not understand them. . . . .
Through mental training, we have developed techniques to do things which science cannot yet adequately explain. This, then, is the basis of the
supposed ‘magic and mystery’ of Tibetan Buddhism." -Dalai Lama
So, one need look no further than the massive body of parapsychological evidence, which has been accumulating for over a century, to see that yes,
that which some people call miracles are indeed real. That which some call God and others call Brahman is indeed real.
edit on 17-1-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)