Sunnie D. Kidd James W. Kidd, Ph.D. Preface Henri Bergson once said “always follow your inspiration.” We have found this to be true. Inspiration…
James W. Kidd, Ph.D. This presentation of Taoism will be placed in relation to Hermeneutic Phenomenology. It begins in San Francisco, the western…
Let me if you please begin with a quote from Ramakrishna Puligandla which succinctly sets the ground for international research in Asian and Comparative Philosophy:…
Adi Shankara’s Bhaja Govindam: An effective Stress Management Technique T.N.Sethumadhavan [This essay was originally published in the August, 2007 issue of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams’ illustrated…
Passions are raised whenever the standard universalistic Hindu position, ”All religions are valid” , is discussed. Well meaning Hindus feel, passionately no doubt, that such a claim is an unilateral surrender by Hindu religious leaders who are at best naive and at worst defeatist. Some also accuse Hindu leaders of the dreaded S word (S for sameness). Some people also claim that such a position will mean acceptance of conversions. A defence of the, “All religions are valid” position by quoting the Bible itself cuts no ice to its critics who say that while Christian scholars try to bring down the prestige of Hindu scriptures, Hindu scholars invent quotes from the Bible to show its similarity to Vedanta.
I have in this short piece put together a defence of the standard Hindu position. I hope to show that, this position has deep hidden powers not fully understood by its critics and that the statement “All religions are valid” is not the same as “All religions are same”. I also hope to show by giving one example that a close study of the Bible, specially the Gospels, does not in fact entirely support the Christian position about the teaching of Jesus.
Medha Editor’s Note: With the public hooked onto scandals where sexuality vis a vis spirituality became a central focus of public discourse, it is fitting…
We can now ask whether it is ever possible to distinguish experience from the interpretation of it. If not, it is unclear how any experience can be said to be self-assuring. The idea that the religious experience is independent of any interpretation of it can lead to the claim that there is an underlying unity of all religions, that different religions are simply different forms of truth. If religious experience is itself universal and independent of any particular religion’s interpretation of it, then not all religions are derived from the same experience but point to a dimension of existence which is beyond religion itself. This is the spiritual realm of Inbetweenness. The spiritual is the fundamental ground of religion and each religion is a different form of it.1
Since the beginning of time, human beings have been trying to understand the meaning of it all. This aspiration mainly took two paths, where some tried to accomplish such understanding through their religious perspectives and the rest joined the scientific ever developing evolution to gain such understanding. This is not to mention that the two often clashed.
When one carefully studies comparative religion, one cannot ignore the fact that there are many commonalities, even among seemingly distant religions, as if the source of them all is one.2 Of course, to a spiritual person, this is not news at all. Spirituality cuts across and goes beyond religions.3 On the other side, when one examines organized religions, one cannot ignore the fact that there are many problematics.
The impact of colonial rule by large empires on the colonised is a well known phenomenon. The spread of the Greek language in much of the ancient world and the spread of Greek cultural values and civilization, known as hellenisation,was mainly due to the enormous empire set up by Alexander the Great and his generals. Similarly the Roman Empire successfully spread Latin and Roman culture throughout the empire. The impact of Roman imperial rule was so great that Latin was the lingua franca of the educated in Europe for more than a millennium. Moreover, Roman republican ideas influenced the development of European political thought. Greek philosophers like Plato influenced Christian philosophers like St. Augustine. A whole genre of western philosophy known as Scholasticism arose which reconciled Aristotle with Christian thought. Saint Thomas Aquinas is the most prominent of the Scholastics. His greatest achievement was amalgamating Catholic doctrine with Aristotelian philosophy. The renaissance in medieval Italy seen during the reigns of Cosimo Medici and Lorenzo the magnificent also looked backwards to ancient Greek and Roman writers like Plato, Cicero and others.
Sunnie D. Kidd and James W. Kidd
If we consider consciousness as undivided the distinction between the knower and the known disappears. Experience is complete in itself and is self-assuring. Experience is not the content of a reflective act of consciousness, for then it would be something of which we are conscious; rather it is the act itself. It is something we live in and through, it is the very attitude we take toward life and in which we live.
Experience can become an object of reflection but then it is no longer immediate experience but the object of another act of encounter. Experience exists before the subject-object separation. Separation is itself a model used by reflection. Experience then is not distinguished from perceiving or apprehending itself. Experience represents that direct contact with life, which we may call immediate lived experience. Experience is a realm before subject-object, a realm in which the world and our experience of it are given together.
This is a pdf circulating among some Dharmic-types on the Internet. I thought I’d share it with the Medhavis.
I AM THAT
Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being — I am that.