Ancient wisdom and quantum physicists make unlikely bedfellows: In quantum mechanics the observer determines (or even brings into being) what is observed, and so, too, for the Tiwis, who dissolve the distinction between themselves and the cosmos. In quantum physics, subatomic particles influence each other from a distance, and this tallies with the aboriginal view, in which people, animals, rocks, and trees all weave together in the same interwoven fabric.
A religion made up solely of heightened religious experiences would not be a religion at all. ...The major religious traditions address the mysteries (with or without entheogens), but they have other business to do: widen understanding, give meaning, provide solace, promote loving-kindness, and connect human being to human being.
As the twentieth century began, science equaled a materialistic worldview. As the twenty-first century began, the worldview of science, at least of physics and astronomy, may have traded place with that of religion. Consider Einstein's famous equation E = mc2. Nothing of matter dies but continues on in another form, elsewhere. The church divines and theologians for two thousand years have devised arguments and "proofs" of immortality but nothing equal to this.
Institutions are not pretty. Show me a pretty government. Healing is wonderful, but the American Medical Association? Learning is wonderful, but universities? The same is true for religion... religion is institutionalized spirituality.
In mysteries what we know, and our realization of what we do not know, proceed together; the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. It is like the quantum world, where the more we understand its formalism, the stranger that world becomes.
It remained for the twentieth century to discover that locked within the atom is the energy of the sun itself. For this energy to be released, however, the atom must be bombarded from without. So too, locked in every human being is a store of love that partakes of the divine-the imago dei-image of God, it is sometimes called. And it too can be activated only through bombardment, in its case love's bombardment
Water is patient; it can stagnate and let itself be coated with scum if need be. It is as gentle as the morning's dew. It is non-confrontational, even respectful, in circumventing the rocks in a stream. It makes room for everything that enters its pools. It accommodates by assuming the shape of any vessel it is poured into. And it is humble, seeking always the lowest level. Yet along with - or rather because of these adaptive, yielding properties, it is ultimately irresistible; it carves canyons out of stone.
Seen through the eyes of faith, religion's future is secure. As long as there are human beings, there will be religion for the sufficient reason that the self is a theomorphic creature - one whose morphe (form) is theos - God encased within it. Having been created in the imago Dei, the image God, all human beings have a God-shaped vacuum built into their hearts. Since nature abhors a vacuum, people keep trying to fill the one inside them.
Love is the movement within life that carries us, that enables us, that causes us to break out of what Alan Watts calls the “skin-encapsulated ego.” Without love, we are self-centered, but love enables us to move the center of our lives outside our ego. Therefore it expands our lives and, needless to say, enriches it. Any human being would give anything to love or be loved. When it really happens, it is like heaven on earth.
...yesterday and today and tomorrow are not an arrow that shoots from past to present to future; rather all tenses, and sleeping and waking, mix and cohabit in an atemporal duration beyond clocks and calendars. The Aboriginal world began long ago when the Ancestors sang in Dreamtime the cosmic rhythms that give shape to the things we see, and it is the beginning right now, when a living Tiwi sings the Dream songs that continue, or are, the world.
I've spent the last 50 years or so steeping myself in the world's religions, and I've done my homework. I've gone to each of the world's eight great religions and sought out the most profound scholars I could find, and I've apprenticed myself to them and actually practiced each faith.
One reason education undoes belief is its teaching of evolution; Darwin's own drift from orthodoxy to agnosticism was symptomatic. Martin Lings is probably right in saying that more cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution ... than to anything else.
Modernity sees humanity as having ascended from what is inferior to it - life begins in slime and ends in intelligence - whereas traditional cultures see it as descended from its superiors. As the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins put the matter: We are the only people who assume that we have ascended from apes. Everybody else take it for granted that they are descended from gods.
Only while they are conforming their actions to the model of some archetypal hero do the Arunta feel that they are truly alive, for in those roles they are immortal. The occasions on which they slip from such molds are quite meaningless, for time immediately devours those occasions and reduces them to nothingness.
In India there was a sense of time that does not tick with modern clocks, just as there is a knowledge that is not gained through science and empirical experiments. In the modern West knowledge is of objective, finite particulars in historical time. India recognizes that kind of useful information: it calls it "lower knowledge." Higher knowledge (paravidya) proceeds differently, or rather it doesn't proceed at all but enters history full-blown on the morning of a new creation.
Modern science agrees that the universe consists of vibrations, but sound is more than vibration. Distinct from white noise, sound is vibrations in harmonic proportions, and from the billions of vibrations that are possible, the universe shows a startling, overwhelming preference for the few thousand that make harmonic sense.This is because the One, from which all things issue, is beautiful.