LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby David Quinn » Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:47 pm

maestro wrote:
Kevin Solway wrote:Yeah, I think that's great fun, and I don't have a problem with it. There's no point in repressing things. And I also wonder how much of it was showmanship - in a huge and very popular temple. The Indians are not averse to putting on a good show.

I think you and David seem to differ in this respect, I imagine that he will chastise you for getting involved in the emotional drama of the crowds. You seem to have a predilection for the worldly enlightened man, which is an Indian figure too (for example Krishna).

I don't have a problem with Ramakrishna's brand of antics. The dressing-up-as-a-woman stuff is great. The only problem I have with Ramakrishna is that he tries to be all things to all people (in the guise of providing different types of people with different types of teachings), which only serves to dilute his deeper teachings.

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:05 pm

Not sure this is entirely relevant to the discussion of Ramakrishna here, but those who know of him might find this dialogue from Genius News interesting: Beyond Ramakrishna
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby David Quinn » Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:33 am

It looks like Dan has scared the good Father off .....

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:51 am

It does. I would have liked to see an explanation of how one differentiates valid from invalid experiences. It's pivotal to his entire spiritual approach and teaching.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Father Peter » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:05 pm

David, Dan and Kevin asked me to describe my opinion of what determines what is valid or invalid in spiritual experience.
I cannot say that I care much if something can be verified with the cognitive process. What is valid is what works.
If it works, then it is useful for what it is designed to accomplish.
I am interested in spiritual experience, not cognitive sense. Most of my spiritual experience does not make any sense to a logically constrained mind. That kind of mind is interested in one thing: pridefully compartmentalizing ideas into appropriate postal slots to be used against people in the future who don't know what slot to put those ideas in. It is a mind game. There is a slot for the logical, for the non-dual folks, for the personalizers of God, for the ridiculous, for the believers, for the deluded, for the stupid and for many kinds of people that will get new names shortly if we are patient.
My spiritual experiences are valid, but not justifiable to you perhaps, and certainly not defensible. They are valid because they produced profound changes in my consciousness and a Realization of God. A healing of my body, emotions and mental state is valid by virtue of the change, not by whether the explanation fits into some confining mail slot in someone's head. Does something work is the question.

Even if something does not work for everyone, still does not make it invalid.
So these questions are really infantile. What is the state of your heart? Do you care about anyone? Do you love anyone? Does anyone know that you love them? Can you feel anything or do you rebel against feeling because it hurts sometime? Can you see in the spiritual world? If you can't, then you are limited to the three dimensional world. Communication between people who have such experience and those who are bound in the three dimensional world of sense is almost impossible because they speak different languages.
If Jesus is valid because he said he was or you say he was, why don't do what he says? If Jesus' experience of oneness with God is something you respect, why is it so hard to respect anyone else who might be having that experience?
You all seem to treat everything as mental scraps that you pounce on like ravenous dogs to tear and shred and devour, but I don't see any openness for experiences that are not like what you expect, or any apprecation for devotion to God that does not fit into your picture.
That makes you aggressive and angry and mean from an intellectual point of view. I don't actually want to use that much energy to figujre out where your heads are at, so I can't even go so far as to disagree. I just feel there is nowhere to connect because everything is deciphered and chopped up and dissected and rejected. Kevin rationalizes everything into meaninglessness. Dan scoffs at most everything. And the others do whatever gnarling on the scraps of what's left that makes sense to them.
There is no celebration of life or love or heart or humanity in these interactions. Where is your peace?
Are you mad at God for taking a loved one away?
Are you scared of letting people in so you stay in the tower of your mind?
Those are sad postures in a world with so many people to love and so many people who are capable of loving you.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:21 pm

Peter,

Thanks for making the effort to return and respond. I personally have nothing to offer to any of that.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby The Dude » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:27 pm

My father is incapable of love, but what is worse than that is I am incapable of loving him because of this failure. I therefore do not love all of humanity.

That I cannot be a Buddha due to this causes me so much grief that I don't even cry in my pillow, and I'm sure as hell not fucking crying to you.

When a father abandons a child, that child can never obtain Buddhahood, which is something most people take for granted.

Since I am perpetually trapped in the hell realms due to this inability, I have decided to be a bodhisattva, and instead enlighten others. They will never be able to enlighten me.

And that causes them so much grief that the only way I can console them is by hating everyone, so that I am a despicable man.

I tell you the truth for one reason, and one reason alone: because I don't believe you are smart enough to figure this out on your own. You love humanity too much. You will use these words wisely, and obtain unparalleled levels of enlightenment due to your own efforts, and I will not.

And I will hate you forever because I am fucking jealous.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Laird » Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:43 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:Thanks for making the effort to return and respond. I personally have nothing to offer to any of that.


Dan, it is deeply troubling to me that your subtle delusions prevent you from recognising (and decisively correcting) the greater delusions in a fellow spiritual seeker. Father Peter clearly is suffering from a deep spiritual malady, and yet you let him on his way with nary a second thought. Please, think more carefully about the karmic affects of your actions.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:47 pm

Father Bowes wrote:

"There is no celebration of life or love or heart or humanity in these interactions."

I am no fan of Castaneda, necessarily, given his deviation into strange psychological mire, but his character Don Jaun, in one of the earlier books which had some nice philosophy, talked about 'the path with a heart', and said that many people who were on a contrary path, usually because of their fear or avarice, did not realize that the path without a heart was harmful until the path itself rose up to kill them, until it became obviously fatal, but then it was often too late, because they didn't have the energy or the strength to choose another path.

Strangely enough, what I perceive here as a sort of emotional shipwreck and a peculiar heard-headed negation of heart, provide me with an ideal platform for another round of looking into the way that people can go so easily astray. It is all a peculiar male problem as it plays out here, and though I realy do believe that women's ways are not for men, and it is absolutely critical that men really be men, come back to that, find that, define it, live in it, I am not even slightly convinced that is happening here. Here, more than anything, you seem to get lessons in how to establish mental illness and separation from self. But you do it thinking you're on a rare path to the summit of attainment.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Nick Treklis » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:30 pm

Father Peter wrote:Does something work is the question.

That's right, but nobody was questioning whether or not a particular experience can change your life for the better. Rather, it's the way in which you try to use a sensual experience to determine what is absolutely true that has caused some of us to challenge you on this. It should be glaringly obvious how unreliable our senses can be. To use them to uncover truth and discover the nature of God is just plain foolish.
Father Peter wrote:Those are sad postures in a world with so many people to love and so many people who are capable of loving you.

I have too much respect for humans to love them.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:08 pm

Father Peter wrote:What is valid is what works.

We know that placebos work. So does that mean that placebos are valid?

Valid for what?

A placebo is of course, essentially, a false belief. In medical practice a placebo is a "medicine" one gives to a patient that actually does effectively nothing, but the patient thinks they are taking a real medicine, and their physical and mental health markedly improve as a result.

So a placebo is a case where a lie "works".

Are we going to call that "valid"?

I don't think so.

There is of course the classic story where a person does a deal with the devil in order to prolong their life, or their love, or the life of their child, etc. In this transaction they sell their soul to the devil.

This is something that "works". But is it valid?

I would say that something is only valid if it is true, or if it results in a consciousness of truth.

For the most part, believing things that are not true does not lead one closer to truth, despite how much they "work". The devil himself depends on people trusting their experience. He couldn't exist if people didn't believe their experience unquestioningly.

With regard to "love", this is only possible for those who are in possession of the deepest truth (God, Emptiness). Without this, there is no real love.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby tooyi » Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:58 pm

The moment the heavens above and hells below open up before you, you are looking at it from the purgatory. The purgatory is also the Christian church manifesting on earth. There is need for comfort so that all hope is not lost, but it is the Judgement day.

Following the Christian Maya there is an apparent need for firewood to heat up the place. All of our belongings will go there. It is not possible to go to the kingdom of heaven before going through hell first, because if you want to follow Jesus, that is where he went, at first.

Even Jesus cursed. But to whom and what reason? There is no way for the other to assign blame directly to the mouth where the words are coming from. Without sight there is no way to take it by word alone. Taken by word the silence afterwards reverberates in infinite combinations. The way, truth, and life has been set. If you take the logical one, it is still maya; The way to hell is paved with good intentions.

If there is a sense of resistance in sharing experience it is not because there is need for possessions of any kind. It is only to make sure water is not sold as wine.

Here me speaking to you, if trust is what you need, then understand this, that there is no way for me to slander you or your experience, without at the same time me burning in hell for the sin of thinking to know better and not being sure enough. Without maya, I am still with you.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby divine focus » Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:17 pm

divine focus wrote:[The core understanding is a mode of operation that allows those thoughts their accuracy. The Son and Holy Spirit are the two aspects of that mode, and the Father is the Source, the All, which is somehow personal. It must be some kind of you.

I agree that Jesus dying for our sins is illogical. The original understanding may have been the Son dying because of our forgetfulness of the Trinity.

For those who might care, I see that the Son is actually the I, the One, the Creator, while the Father provides His direction. This direction seems to be personal and unique to each focus of the Son, and the Source of the direction is unknown but trustworthy beyond doubt. The Holy Spirit is invisible and can't be seen except for its effects: primarily, a Lightness that fills perception from the Heart up.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:05 am

Kevin,

The problem with your 'placebo' argument is that it is wedded to biological and material conceptions and science is rather inept in dealing with consciousness, though it is certainly making the effort to scale that mountain. The 'truth' in this sense is a compound that has been proven to work, that produces a specific and physical result. Again, your views seem intimately tied to scientific conceptions, to the material sciences, to a materialistic logic, and the absolutes you seek, it seems, must mirror the 'truths' of science and biology.

A very problematic request, I'd say...

The problem with this should be obvious: that almost all of what takes place in human consciousness is in se nearly completely subjective, and so in that, I propose, all of these certainties of yours, all of the assertions of 'truth' (truths that do things) are nothing more than another version of a placebo, but it is your pet placebo. You have no language, other than pure subjective abstractions, to refer to 'enlightenment' or 'higher consciousness' and you yourself say that the only way to know your truth is to already possess that truth, but this is ridiculously invalid an incommensurate with material sciences, and your whole argument collapses, as I see things.

You, as much as any religionist and mystic, construct a belief-system on a group of intangibles, on a psychological and subjective platform, but seem to remain blinded by your own sophistry.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:51 am

Alex Jacob wrote:The problem with your 'placebo' argument is that it is wedded to biological and material conceptions

I don't know how you arrive at this "material" angle, since my example of the "placebo" is entirely psychological. People are saved by an idea - and in the case of the placebo, or 99.9% of existing religious belief, it is a false idea - and consequently they are saved into the hands of the devil at the price of their souls.

The 'truth' in this sense is a compound that has been proven to work, that produces a specific and physical result.

I'm not the slightest bit interested in science for that very reason, and that's also why I abandoned science twenty-five years ago to become a philosopher and a sage. The beliefs of science are not much different to our so-called religions . . . "Whatever works is valid". It is of course rubbish of the most despicable kind.

That's what Jesus meant when he said: "What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight."

God despises "what works", but what is not true.

If you read carefully, you will notice that all of my writings are only psychological and spiritual in nature. Pure intangible logic is the essence of genius (the mind of God), and "man" and "woman" are only spirits that dwell in us all.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Greg Shantz » Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:28 am

tooyi wrote:It is not possible to go to the kingdom of heaven before going through hell first, because if you want to follow Jesus, that is where he went, at first.

We know so little about the most sorrowful and confused period of Jesus’ life because he himself, full of pain, was constantly silent about it – until the answer he gave the angel who addressed him “Good Master”: “Why do you call me good? Nowhere is there Good!” – - Weininger
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby maestro » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:16 am

David Quinn wrote:I don't have a problem with Ramakrishna's brand of antics. The dressing-up-as-a-woman stuff is great.

Would you have a problem if Kevin for example dressed up as a woman and started dancing in the temple of Krishna. What if he started to talk to Krishna and their intimacy and love grew deeper with time.

Would you not say say these are his delusions causing him to leave masculinity behind and behave in this ridiculous fashion.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:59 am

I think it would hinge on the motives behind the behavior. If it was some sort of justifiable teaching device I'd have no problem with it. But I reckon I'd take a bit of convincing of its viability.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby David Quinn » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:59 am

maestro wrote:
David Quinn wrote:I don't have a problem with Ramakrishna's brand of antics. The dressing-up-as-a-woman stuff is great.

Would you have a problem if Kevin for example dressed up as a woman and started dancing in the temple of Krishna. What if he started to talk to Krishna and their intimacy and love grew deeper with time.

Would you not say say these are his delusions causing him to leave masculinity behind and behave in this ridiculous fashion.

It would be out of character for Kevin and, given his understanding and level of wisdom, wouldn't serve much purpose. Ramakrishna was at a much lower level when he engaged in that kind of behaviour and was probably working through a number of unresolved issues inside him. I'm really commending his sense of the absurd and his willingness to behave unconventionally in a child-like manner, and not really thinking of it as a universal prescription for wise behaviour.

Having said that, Kevin often behaves like a child in his own way. I mean that in a good way. He too has that sense of absurdity and innocent joy in expressing his individuality, regardless of convention.

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:06 am

When a person stops speaking the truth in an uncompromising manner is the time we can say that a person's behaviour has strayed somewhere unwholesome.

In the case of Ramakrishna, he fairly consistently spoke the truth.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby David Quinn » Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:37 am

Father Peter wrote:David, Dan and Kevin asked me to describe my opinion of what determines what is valid or invalid in spiritual experience.
I cannot say that I care much if something can be verified with the cognitive process. What is valid is what works.
If it works, then it is useful for what it is designed to accomplish.
I am interested in spiritual experience, not cognitive sense. Most of my spiritual experience does not make any sense to a logically constrained mind. That kind of mind is interested in one thing: pridefully compartmentalizing ideas into appropriate postal slots to be used against people in the future who don't know what slot to put those ideas in. It is a mind game. There is a slot for the logical, for the non-dual folks, for the personalizers of God, for the ridiculous, for the believers, for the deluded, for the stupid and for many kinds of people that will get new names shortly if we are patient.
My spiritual experiences are valid, but not justifiable to you perhaps, and certainly not defensible. They are valid because they produced profound changes in my consciousness and a Realization of God. A healing of my body, emotions and mental state is valid by virtue of the change, not by whether the explanation fits into some confining mail slot in someone's head. Does something work is the question.

Even if something does not work for everyone, still does not make it invalid.
So these questions are really infantile. What is the state of your heart? Do you care about anyone? Do you love anyone? Does anyone know that you love them? Can you feel anything or do you rebel against feeling because it hurts sometime? Can you see in the spiritual world? If you can't, then you are limited to the three dimensional world. Communication between people who have such experience and those who are bound in the three dimensional world of sense is almost impossible because they speak different languages.
If Jesus is valid because he said he was or you say he was, why don't do what he says? If Jesus' experience of oneness with God is something you respect, why is it so hard to respect anyone else who might be having that experience?
You all seem to treat everything as mental scraps that you pounce on like ravenous dogs to tear and shred and devour, but I don't see any openness for experiences that are not like what you expect, or any apprecation for devotion to God that does not fit into your picture.
That makes you aggressive and angry and mean from an intellectual point of view. I don't actually want to use that much energy to figujre out where your heads are at, so I can't even go so far as to disagree. I just feel there is nowhere to connect because everything is deciphered and chopped up and dissected and rejected. Kevin rationalizes everything into meaninglessness. Dan scoffs at most everything. And the others do whatever gnarling on the scraps of what's left that makes sense to them.
There is no celebration of life or love or heart or humanity in these interactions. Where is your peace?
Are you mad at God for taking a loved one away?
Are you scared of letting people in so you stay in the tower of your mind?
Those are sad postures in a world with so many people to love and so many people who are capable of loving you.
Blessings
Father Peter

There are all sorts of people on this forum who are here for different reasons, but I suspect that a lot of them are the type who don't want to be deceived by false attainments. They would prefer to be dissatisfied in a relationship to truth, rather than at peace in a relationship to what is false. Although this isn't ideal - the ideal would be perfect satisfaction in a life of truth - it nevertheless displays some real hunger for truth.

My main concern with you is whether you have settled too easily for a more superficial attainment - one that boosts the ego and gives it confidence and peace - and whether this has closed your mind and soul from the highest that life has to offer.

As an illustration, imagine that you meet a young man who has just discovered the joys of sex and has become utterly bewitched by the experience of orgasm. Imagine that the experience overwhelms him so much that he has become utterly convinced it is the highest that life has to offer. You might say to him, "Yes, it is certainly a pleasurable experience, but there is so much more to life than this. It is a long way from the being the highest." And he might reply, "For you to say that, you cannot have experienced what I have experienced. I have experienced orgasm at its most intense and nothing whatsoever can beat it."

Imagine further that he starts a religion which focuses upon the experience of orgasm. He starts wearing a special uniform and adopts the title of "Master", appoints a select few to be his special helpers, develops techniques for inducing intense orgasms, writes books, creates retreat centers, and gathers together a substantial following. Everywhere he goes he is praised for his special techniques, which gives him a warm glow and makes him feel at peace with the world. Indeed, the peace and happiness that he feels convinces him even more, if that were possible, that he is on the right path.

But note that his peace and happiness doesn't really come from the experience of orgasm itself (or in your case, the experience of "God"), but from the conviction that he is on the right path. That, at root, is what gives him the warm glow. It is a psychological happiness borne out of settling for a limited attainment and closing oneself from what is higher.

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby David Quinn » Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:41 am

Kevin Solway wrote:When a person stops speaking the truth in an uncompromising manner is the time we can say that a person's behaviour has strayed somewhere unwholesome.

In the case of Ramakrishna, he fairly consistently spoke the truth.

What about his teaching certain kinds of people to worship Truth in the form of a personal god? That could be considered a compromise on his part.

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Jamesh » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:18 pm

Would you have a problem if Kevin for example dressed up as a woman and started dancing in the temple of Krishna.


Isn't that what he did when he went to visit Elizabeth?

(just joshing)
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby maestro » Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:07 pm

Kevin wrote:I am equally attracted to the passionate side of his teachings - which is to say the "bhakti", in addition to the "jnana".

David Quinn wrote:What about his teaching certain kinds of people to worship Truth in the form of a personal god? That could be considered a compromise on his part.

That is the path of bhakti, it is what he himself did, the passionate worship of a personal goddess (kali). In fact some say it is the fastest lane to enlightenment, choose a personal god and surrender your will or ego to him/her, but unfortunately not doable by intellectual western types (which Ramakrishna was not).

For me people such as Bodhidharma and Nagarjuna make more sense, the path of knowledge (jnana), which is the least error prone.

Of course the paths converge in the end and eventually the will has to be surrendered to God.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:30 pm

David Quinn wrote:
Kevin Solway wrote:When a person stops speaking the
truth in an uncompromising manner is the time we can say that a person's behaviour has strayed somewhere unwholesome.

In the case of Ramakrishna, he fairly consistently spoke the truth.

What about his teaching certain kinds of people to worship Truth in the form of a personal god? That could be considered a compromise on his part.
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Yes, provided he meant "personal god" in the physical and literal sense. For example, worshiping a statue and believing that the statue, and the statue alone, was truly God, would be complete madness, and if he was teaching that kind of thing then he was indeed compromising the truth.

That is the path of bhakti, it is what he himself did, the passionate worship of a personal goddess (kali). In fact some say it is the fastest lane to enlightenment, choose a personal god and surrender your will or ego to him/her, but unfortunately not doable by intellectual western types (which Ramakrishna was not).

Bhakti essentially means loving devotion (to God), but it certainly does not require that one has a single, personal representation of God. It just requires that you are lovingly devoted to Truth - to God.

Ultimately there is no difference between bhakti and jnana, since you can't have loving devotion to God without having an intellectual knowledge of God, and you can't have an intellectual knowledge of God without loving devotion. The two are different aspects of the same thing.

In the words of Ramakrishna, "Knowledge and love of God are ultimately one and the same. There is no difference between pure knowledge and pure love." (from "Venom Crystals")
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