Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Perfecting the Soul

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Perfecting the Soul

    This morning I listened to a study of Spiritual Perfecting. At least this is my interpretation. The article was on National Public Radio. They examined an ancient Indian Religion known as Jainism.

    Supposedly it is older than Buddhism. One major distinction between most western religions and Jainism is the rejection of the concept of a Divine Creator. A major distinction between Buddhism and Jainism is that Jains believe all karma is bad. Followers of Jainism do believe in deity's, which to me, seemed to equate to a belief in saints. These deity's were people who had lived and personified the goals of Jainism

    The focus is entirely on spiritual existence or living one's life perfecting the soul. In Jainism there is no entity to share the responsibility with. The individual bares complete responsibility for every act that negatively affects their environment, others, creatures and the Universe(s). An example of how extreme their commitment, is the practice of Jain Nuns to sweep the ground before they take a step least they harm some tiny insect. Another example is, that unlike Buddhist Monks, they are not even allowed to beg for food. They are totally dependent upon the good will of others for their survival. While I admire the concept, I find it less comforting than monotheism. Needless to say, the population of Jains is only about four million, a small number for a population as large as India. And I think this is because the demands are severe.

    While I believe these individuals may be missing an opportunity by rejecting the concept of a creator, I do admire their dedication and commitment. Their goal of "do no harm" requires considerable sacrifice and avoidance of obsession with materialism.

    Here are a couple links to add insight into this rare religion:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

    2. http://www.religionfacts.com/jainism/index.htm

    Although I am not advocating adaption of Jainism, there is something to be learned from its' followers. Their small numbers attest to the fact that the requirements for adherence to Jainism are severe. This caused me to wonder about the commitment required to adhere to Daheshism. Quite possibly Daheshism may not be meant to be a largely followed religion such as Christianity or Islam. Maybe its' role is to provide a buffer between the major religions of the world. To provide a cadre of individuals whose selfless conduct would reduce friction in the world, enabling these religions to coexist. Consider advocating the principles of placing the Universe(s) before the self, avoidance of excess, non-material existence, avoidance of obsessions, self sacrifice for the benefit of all, etc. Consider the benefit of a neutral force of highly intelligent, motivated individuals working toward facilitating effective interfacing of religious groups. Consider a committed group of people effective at refereeing the diverse religions of the World.

    What better origin than Lebanon to start such a religious order. Lebanon, the place where many religious groups of the world interface. Could this be the ultimate purpose of Daheshism?
    Last edited by Loup Solitaire; 06-24-2010, 11:35 AM. Reason: Clarification

  • #2
    Originally posted by Seul Loup View Post
    This caused me to wonder about the commitment required to adhere to Daheshism. Quite possibly Daheshism may not be meant to be a largely followed religion such as Christianity or Islam.
    Is that because you feel the requirements in Daheshism are more demanding than those of Christianity or Islam? Please expand on that if you can.


    Originally posted by Seul Loup View Post
    Maybe its' role is to provide a buffer between the major religions of the world. To provide a cadre of individuals whose selfless conduct would reduce friction in the world, enabling these religions to coexist. Consider advocating the principles of placing the Universe(s) before the self, avoidance of excess, non-material existence, avoidance of obsessions, self sacrifice for the benefit of all, etc. Consider the benefit of a neutral force of highly intelligent, motivated individuals working toward facilitating effective interfacing of religious groups. Consider a committed group of people effective at refereeing the diverse religions of the World.
    Although Doctor Dahesh wrote (in "Words") "It is an obscenity that you die before you rise with good deeds toward humanity" he also wrote in the same book the following piece of advice: "It is insane to burn yourself in order to illuminate the path for others."

    To me, and as far as propositions go, the latter tempers the former.

    I bring that up in light of your mentioning "self sacrifice," which carries a wide range of meanings — anywhere from the simplest of acts of kindness, such as giving up one's seat on a bus, to willingly sacrificing one's life...

    Perhaps I should share the following anecdote:

    The place was Beirut. The year must have been 1979. I was visiting Doctor Dahesh at his house. I remember seeing the Doctor showing up and informing someone with whom I happened to be sitting that a Daheshist (someone I actually knew) up and resigned from his job in order to "dedicate himself fully to spreading Daheshism. "

    The Doctor, all perturbed and seemingly blindsided, said "He should not have done that. I never asked him to do that!"

    I bring all this up because I don't wish anyone to think that Daheshism equals purposely seeking poverty.

    On the contrary: if your hard work and honest intentions cause you to accumulate great wealth and acquire political as well as social power, then all the power to you.

    On the other hand, I also would like to issue a general warning against the automatic assumption that becoming a Daheshist, or a champion of Daheshism, equals financial success — whatever that may mean to them.

    You see, the difficult thing in Daheshism is that it is all about the subtleties.

    A person who might expect certain things to happen when he or she contributes (for example) money, might be gravely disappointed if whatever "reward" they would have received might fall short of their expectations.

    In other words, and for example, the fact that they would go on to live their lives in reasonable health — without having to worry about their daily bread, roof, or health insurance — might be lost on them...

    No, to these people, unless they had a certain amount of wealth accumulated (perhaps as the result of some business deal they were engaged in at the time of their "spiritual conversion"), the whole thing would have been for naught. Never mind, for example, that their children would have been spared a horrible fate, unbeknownst to them. And so on and so forth...

    So that's one issue I wanted to bring to our attention.

    Now, in regard to your theory about Daheshism's role:

    Based on what I've read, I would say that Daheshism — on the contrary — was sent in order to acquire global status.

    But then again, who knows, perhaps the "Divine Charter" was re-written in order to accommodate for certain unfortunate acts that altered the "terrain."

    On the other hand, for all we know, it doesn't matter because it's not about the players.

    In other words, whatever is scheduled to happen will happen, sooner or later, and regardless of who ultimately drops out or stays in the aforementioned game — or endgame, rather.

    Besides, I've known at least one tiny remark thrown by Doctor Dahesh (seemingly) in passing, to take on far greater meaning years after he'd thrown it.

    The kind (or level) of Daheshism we are discussing here is not for the masses. I am not saying it is above them.

    Only that it is not the kind that can be taught or absorbed after having read a mere few books.

    As David will confirm, whatever "knowledge" I might have transferred to him had nothing to do with books. I'll let him tell the rest of his story ("My Daheshist America").

    So, yes, as far as that is concerned, we're not for "the Masses." And, frankly, neither was Doctor Dahesh. His private entourage was tiny. Period. And I was very fortunate to have been hand-picked by him to be this close.

    Lastly, and I feel I must address this bit of "wisdom" to the younger generation of Daheshists: if one reduces the matter of spreading Daheshism to a numbers' game, where all that matters is how many people are converted or recruited — everyone loses.

    No one likes to feel they are a mere number.

    Now, I know that getting in touch with people and dealing with them means exchanging Spiritual Fluids to some degree.

    But like it or not, you will have to MIX with people if you have any hope of bringing the Good News to them in a manner which could benefit them as well as yourself.
    Last edited by Mario; 06-25-2010, 08:57 PM. Reason: Typographical errors — for the most part, removing them...
    "Fail, to succeed."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mario View Post
      Is that because you feel the requirements in Daheshism are more demanding than those of Christianity or Islam? Please expand on that if you can.
      This is not simple to explain. Anyone can be singularly focused and blindly give up everything for there belief in God. But it is much more complicated to lead a broadly productive life while still maintaining a commitment to the will of God. Even someone as productive as Bill Gates, limits his focus. It was not until he probably became conflicted about what he could contribute to the Microsoft Company, that he changed his focus to distributing his wealth in an attempt to alter conditions in this world for people less fortunate than himself. And even then it appears to me that he may not necessarily be making the most effective use of his wealth. I can not assume that I know the mind of God. I look for clues everyday, but I can not be certain, with my limited capabilities, that I am on the right track.

      A man and a woman that procreate to produce a number of effective persons, work a nine to five job, educate those children, charge ahead to diversify their lives, occasionally stumble, get back up and continue on, might be doing something more consistent with the betterment of the world than Bill Gates.

      It was interesting that the individual Jain Nun interviewed felt that she was a failure, because she had grown attached to another Nun. Now don't read anything into that. It was not a sexual thing. But the person died and suddenly this Nun experienced great loss. Her reaction to this loss was the fear that this attachment had been a mistake.

      The bottom line to this is that the poorest family oriented Muslim may find it easier to maintain their commitment to Allah. The zealot, Christian, Muslim, or Jew that denies himself all creature comfort may find it more complicated to maintain their commitment.

      I did not have the opportunity to meet or experience Dr Dahesh. But there is a synergy between what appears to be advocated by those who did and deep feelings that I have. I cannot claim to have great insight into what Dr Dahesh or God for that matter intended.

      I simply was impressed by the commitment. I don't intentionally injure even an ant, but if I mistakenly step on one, I'll mourn his loss, but I won't slit my wrist. And God help the bee that threatens to sting me.

      Originally posted by Mario View Post
      Although Doctor Dahesh wrote (in "Words") "It is an obscenity that you die before you rise with good deeds toward humanity" he also wrote in the same book the following piece of advice: "It is insane to burn yourself in order to illuminate the path for others."

      To me, and as far as propositions go, the latter tempers the former.

      I bring that up in light of your mentioning "self sacrifice," which carries a wide range of meanings — anywhere from the simplest of acts of kindness, such as giving up one's seat on a bus, to willingly sacrificing one's life...

      Perhaps I should share the following anecdote:

      The place was Beirut. The year must have been 1979. I was visiting Doctor Dahesh at his house. I remember seeing the Doctor showing up and informing someone with whom I happened to be sitting that a Daheshist (someone I actually knew) up and resigned from his job in order to "dedicate himself fully to spreading Daheshism. "

      The Doctor, all perturbed and seemingly blindsided, said "He should not have done that. I never asked him to do that!"

      I bring all this up because I don't wish anyone to think that Daheshism equals purposely seeking poverty.

      On the contrary: if your hard work and honest intentions cause you to accumulate great wealth and acquire political as well as social power, then all the power to you.

      On the other hand, I also would like to issue a general warning against the automatic assumption that becoming a Daheshist, or a champion of Daheshism, equals financial success — whatever that may mean to them.

      You see, the difficult thing in Daheshism is that it is all about the subtleties.

      A person who might expect certain things to happen when he or she contributes (for example) money, might be gravely disappointed if whatever "reward" they would have received might fall short of their expectations.

      In other words, and for example, the fact that they would go on to live their lives in reasonable health — without having to worry about their daily bread, roof, or health insurance — might be lost on them...

      No, to these people, unless they had a certain amount of wealth accumulated (perhaps as the result of some business deal they were engaged in at the time of their "spiritual conversion"), the whole thing would have been for naught. Never mind, for example, that their children would have been spared a horrible fate, unbeknown to them. And so on and so forth...

      So that's one issue I wanted to bring to our attention.

      Now, in regard to your theory about the Daheshist role:

      Based on what I've read, I would say that Daheshism — on the contrary — was sent in order to acquire global status.

      But then again, who knows, perhaps the "Divine Charter" was re-written in order to accommodate for certain unfortunate acts that altered the "terrain."

      On the other hand, for all we know, it doesn't matter because it's not about the players.

      In other words, whatever is scheduled to happen will happen, sooner or later, and regardless of who ultimately drops out or stays in the aforementioned game — or endgame, rather.

      Besides, I've known at least one tiny remark thrown by Doctor Dahesh (seemingly) in passing, to take on far greater meaning years after he'd thrown it.

      The kind (or level) of Daheshism we are discussing here is not for the masses. I am not saying it is above them.

      Only that it is not the kind that can be taught or absorbed after having read a mere few books.

      As David will confirm, whatever "knowledge" I might have transferred to him had nothing to do with books. I'll let him tell the rest of his story ("My Daheshist America").

      So, yes, as far as that is concerned, we're not for "the Masses." And, frankly, neither was Doctor Dahesh. His private entourage was tiny. Period. And I was very fortunate to have been hand-picked by him to be this close.

      Lastly, and I feel I must address this bit of "wisdom" to the younger generation of Daheshist: if one reduces the matter of spreading Daheshism to a numbers' game, where all that matters is how many people are converted or recruited — everyone loses.

      No one likes to feel they are a mere number.

      Now, I know that getting in touch with people and dealing with them means exchanging Spiritual Fluids to some degree.

      But like it or not, you will have to MIX with people if you have any hope of bringing the Good News to them in a manner which could benefit them as well as yourself.

      For me, it is very early in the Morning and I hope I don't make any gravely offensive statements here. This, after all, a discussion.

      These things have been discussed on Daheshville before. In the case that an individual gave up everything to spread Daheshism, I would think it would have been intelligent to have asked Dr Dahesh for guidance if that opportunity was there. To me it seems arrogant that he would think that he knew better than Dr Dahesh how to spread Daheshism. Again this comes back to the motto of the US Marines, "We Need a Few Good Men". Not necessarily an army of zealots. I think history has taught us a few lessons about this. I think that Daheshism can be global without making up the majority of the world's population. I fact, I can accept and believe that people could be a Daheshist and still a Christian, or Muslim, or Jew.

      Regarding whether it is difficult to be a Daheshist, I can't say since I don't think I have arrived yet. I don't mean to lecture others what a person should or should not do to become a Daheshist. I was, with my post, stating that commitment is a good thing as long as it doesn't become zealotry. I am guilty of speculation. Maybe, Daheshism will not turn out to be what his followers found themselves believing. And I ask the question, do we need another group of people who blindly follow leaders who may or may not be listening with their heart?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Seul Loup View Post
        Regarding whether it is difficult to be a Daheshist, I can't say since I don't think I have arrived yet. I don't mean to lecture others what a person should or should not do to become a Daheshist. I was, with my post, stating that commitment is a good thing as long as it doesn't become zealotry. I am guilty of speculation. Maybe, Daheshism will not turn out to be what his followers found themselves believing. And I ask the question, do we need another group of people who blindly follow leaders who may or may not be listening with their heart?
        Good question.

        Unfortunately, there are aspects of our reincarnation cycles that cannot be totally eradicated.

        Some people need to follow leaders — and blindly at that.

        And if some people do not get the kind of leadership they hope to get, they (I suppose) improvise — like this guy (from my story) who up and resigned from his job and told the Doctor that he was now available full-time for him, etc.

        I remember one time breaking the speed limit in a bad way (the Doctor called me and asked me to hurry and come to Greenwich).

        To me, "hurry" meant "break the speed limit"

        Well, guess what, aside from the fact I had to suffer the embarrassment of appearing before a NYC Judge, the Doctor was not happy with me. And he let me hear it all afternoon long.

        "Yes, I told you to hurry, but I never asked you to place your life and other people's lives in danger! I certainly did not ask you to break the law..."

        "What were you thinking..."

        "Have you heard what Mario did... yes, he now has to appear before a judge..."

        What that taught me is echoed in what you said above (which I will rephrase):

        It taught me to double-check and verify with him.

        For example, when we found a gold watch he had left behind at the NYC apartment and he asked me to bring it to Greenwich as soon as possible, I called him back and asked him if I was "permitted" to drive through one of the worst snow storms we happened to be pummeled with as I was speaking with him (talk about timing). And, just to give you a better picture: I drove a rear-traction station wagon. Anyway, he said "yes, go ahead."

        Still, the speeding ticket incident taught me that this meant "yes, go ahead, you will 'someone' looking out for you, but for Pete's sake don't go too fast!"

        As for you...

        You are among the very few AMERICANS who are honoring Doctor Dahesh' memory by — at least — defending him (as you have) and by discussing his ideas (which you keep doing).

        Daheshism is a process. But none of it means anything without valor.

        You and your fellow Americans have shown valor.

        Leave the rest to God...
        Last edited by Mario; 07-01-2010, 09:41 PM.
        "Fail, to succeed."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mario View Post
          Good question.
          Unfortunately, there are aspects of our reincarnation cycles that cannot be totally eradicated.
          This an interesting statement. Let's see if I understand it. When it comes to the maturation process, there are certain phases that must be experienced. Those who miss one or more of them, somehow find themselves experiencing them at a later and maybe inconvenient time. Therefore, trying to avoid one of these can be a foolish thing to do.

          I can envision spiritual maturation being a similar.

          Originally posted by Mario View Post
          Some people need to follow leaders — and blindly at that.
          If the leadership is reliable, accurate and effective, blind obedience can be a good thing. I recall passages in the Bible where such obedience was demanded.

          But when we listen deeply, we may find hints of deception in a leader with devious motives. Maybe a person with an agenda that is contrary to wishes of God.

          And sometimes, it is not an easy call. God gives most of us two types of intelligence. One that thrives on pure logic and another that I am at a lose to label. I frequently call it intuitive for lack of a more meaningful word. And all individuals are not equally endowed.

          Originally posted by Mario View Post
          And if some people do not get the kind of leadership they hope to get, they (I suppose) improvise — like this guy (from my story) who up and resigned from his job and told the Doctor that he was now available full-time for him, etc.
          Is this a problem with the leadership or that person's ability to listen?

          Originally posted by Mario View Post
          I remember one time breaking the speed limit in a bad way (the Doctor called me and asked me to hurry and come to Greenwich).

          To me, "hurry" meant "break the speed limit"

          Well, guess what, aside from the fact I had to suffer the embarrassment of appearing before a NYC Judge, the Doctor was not happy with me. And he let me hear it all afternoon long.

          "Yes, I told you to hurry, but I never asked you to place your life and other people's lives in danger! I certainly did not ask you to break the law..."

          "What were you thinking..."

          "Have you heard what Mario did... yes, he now has to appear before a judge..."

          What that taught me is echoed in what you said above (which I will rephrase):

          It taught me to double-check and verify with him.

          For example, when we found a gold watch he had left behind at the NYC apartment and he asked me to bring it to Greenwich as soon as possible, I called him back and asked him if I was "permitted" to drive through one of the worst snow storms we happened to be pummeled with as I was speaking with him (talk about timing). And, just to give you a better picture: I drove a rear-traction station wagon. Anyway, he said "yes, go ahead."

          Still, the speeding ticket incident taught me that this meant "yes, go ahead, you will 'someone' looking out for you, but for Pete's sake don't go too fast!"
          Your error was nothing more than wanting to please. This was contrary to the first guy you cited. Maturity teaches us when to hurry and how much.

          Originally posted by Mario View Post
          As for you...

          You are among the very few AMERICANS who are honoring Doctor Dahesh' memory by — at least — defending him (as you have) and by discussing his ideas (which you keep doing).

          Daheshism is a process. But none of it means anything without valor.

          You and your fellow Americans have shown valor.

          Leave the rest to God...
          I certainly wouldn't want to dishonor Dr Dahesh. Never having had the honor of actually meeting him, I must trust that other intelligence that I made reference to earlier. I confess, I get nervous about following blindly. I feel like I am struggling everyday to "read the tea leaves", to make certain I am on a proper path. I work hard to keep balance in my life, spiritually.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Seul Loup View Post

            If the leadership is reliable, accurate and effective, blind obedience can be a good thing. I recall passages in the Bible where such obedience was demanded.

            But when we listen deeply, we may find hints of deception in a leader with devious motives. Maybe a person with an agenda that is contrary to wishes of God.
            Or sometimes, these leaders are so convinced they can do no wrong and that they are so right... In other words, they would quite literally give meaning to the saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

            But I would agree with you on the issue of blind obedience. Without it, armies couldn't function and corporations would go under. It's a fact of life that — basically — we're supposed to blindly follow (to one extent or the other).

            I've had my experiences... and then some. And now, here is my declaration:

            Give me a leader worthy of my blindness and I'll poke my own eyes out!


            Originally posted by Seul Loup View Post
            Is this a problem with the leadership or that person's ability to listen?
            I tell you what, how about you be the judge yourself.

            Remember that incident with the guy who contacted me, showered me with praise, tried to solicit my assistance for what he described as "his and mine" project to promote Daheshism? And remember what happened when I explained that I already was part of a group (The Dahesh Society of America) and that perhaps he should work with us? And then remember when he eventually painted me as a person who is taking Daheshism hostage or something to that effect?

            That's the same person.

            Deliberate and render your verdict, please!
            "Fail, to succeed."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mario View Post
              Give me a leader worthy of my blindness and I'll poke my own eyes out!
              I would like to second that. There are worthy people, but it is good to maintain a sense of skepticism until you sense that they are real. Your good sense seemed to be on the mark with the following character.

              Originally posted by Mario View Post
              Remember that incident with the guy who contacted me, showered me with praise, tried to solicit my assistance for what he described as "his and mine" project to promote Daheshism? And remember what happened when I explained that I already was part of a group (The Dahesh Society of America) and that perhaps he should work with us? And then remember when he eventually painted me as a person who is taking Daheshism hostage or something to that effect?

              That's the same person.

              Deliberate and render your verdict, please!
              I don't know the precise sensation you had that urged you to proceed with caution, but it was certainly the right thing to do. I think his idea of partnership, was to use you anyway he could. And maybe he still thinks he can.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Seul Loup View Post
                I don't know the precise sensation you had that urged you to proceed with caution, but it was certainly the right thing to do. I think his idea of partnership, was to use you anyway he could. And maybe he still thinks he can.
                Actually, at the time I didn't know what to think or feel.

                Initially, my first action was to bring this matter to the attention of the board of directors. And, as per his "blessing," I shared his request with you and the rest of the board.

                And you might remember (and the letters are still there...) he was basically responsible for our deciding to call ourselves "The Dahesh Society of America," after which the logo was developed. And if memory serves me, we discussed several designs.

                And why did we do that? To offer him — and others — a more solid foundation to build upon.

                In other words, we saw ourselves as a publishing entity that would assist people like him publish his words — at no cost to him.

                In any case, and in the interest of setting the record straight, it's not as if we up and decided to have a new logo, or a board of directors, or call ourselves "The Dahesh Society of America."

                Careful planning in the face of unplanned events. No more, no less.
                Last edited by Mario; 07-04-2010, 02:01 AM.
                "Fail, to succeed."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Debate and consensus building are good things.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X