3/08/2010

Religion Without Mysticism?


Commonweal 

 Luke Timothy Johnson

 Dry Bones: Why Religion Can't Live Without Mysticism

The great religious battle of our time is not the one being waged between believers and unbelievers. To be sure, that is an important and certainly a noisy conflict—never before have the voices of religion’s despisers been more numerous, loud, or confident than those of our proselytizing atheists today.
More significant even than that struggle, though, is the clash occurring within religious traditions. The battle within each of the three great monotheistic religions is between the exoteric and esoteric versions of each. .......more from Commonweal 



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3/05/2010

3/04/2010

New Discoveries About the Experience of Anger

Know someone with a hair trigger temper? Do those bulging veins at his temples during his raging meltdown have any other consequences, besides making you want to run for cover? What are the potential problems of daily fits?

Angry people are by nature, out of control, and this is why they are obsessed with dominating, and controlling those around them. They are attempting to make up for their own lack of control by controlling others, and their environment. This also gives them the necessary 'excuses' to act out their rage, others will never meet the anger addicts level of perfection, and the anger addict then has a reason to rage. The anger addict is covering up his own bottomless well of fear, inadequacy and insecurity, he uses the mask of rage to hide his fear, and create fear in others. Anger addicts generally have limited self awareness, due to having created fear in those around them, no one dares confront them, and their control issues make accepting 'help' nearly impossible for them.  Ultimately, the anger addict ends up alone, driving away anyone who cares, and using the caring persons  departure as another excuse for rage. The anger addicts lack of self awareness, and need to blame others makes him forget that it was his own daily rage, that came BEFORE the departure, that caused others to abandon him. People who are angry a lot also tend to have other chronic negative emotions as well, including anxiety, depression, and paranoia

New discoveries about anger explain why the majority of our elderly population are of good nature, sweet and happy people....read on for information from wikipedia, Science Daily and webMD

In modern society, anger is viewed as an immature or uncivilized response... conditioning can cause inappropriate expressions of anger such as uncontrolled violent outbursts, misdirected anger ...more from wikipedia

 Anger and hostility are significantly associated with both a higher risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in healthy individuals and poorer outcomes in patients with existing heart disease, according to the first quantitative review and meta-analysis of related studies, which appears in the March 17, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology......more from Science Daily

 Younger people, those with children and less-educated individuals are more likely to experience anger, according to new UofT research. Professor Scott Schieman from the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto has published new findings about the experience of anger. In a chapter in the forthcoming International Handbook of Anger, to be released in January 2010, Schieman documents the basic social patterns and contexts of anger....more from Science Daily


Scientists speculate that anger may produce direct biological effects on the heart and arteries. Negative emotions, such as anger, quickly activate the "fight-or-flight response." They also trigger the "stress axis," Kubzansky says. "That's a slightly slower response, but it activates a cascade of neurochemicals that are all geared toward helping you in the short run if you're facing a crisis."....Anger may also disrupt the electrical impulses of the heart and provoke dangerous heart rhythm disturbances.


Other research suggests that stress hormones may lead to higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance linked to atherosclerosis and future heart disease risk. In 2004, Duke University scientists who studied 127 healthy men and women found that those prone to anger, hostility, and depression had two to three times higher CRP levels than their more placid peers.
"CRP levels at this range are associated with inflammation that is likely to eventually increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke," ................more from WebMD


Image: Vajrapani


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3/03/2010

Alan Watts, What is Scholarship?

"Do you know what Scholarship means? What a school means? The original meaning of a scholar? 

Leisure. 

Scholarship is to study everything that’s unimportant. Not necessary for survival. All the charming irrelevancies of life. 

But you see the thing is this. If you don’t have a room in your life for the playful, life’s not worth living. 
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But if the only reason for which Jack plays is that he can work better afterwards, he’s not really playing. He’s playing because it’s good for him. He’s not playing at all!

To be a true scholar you have to cultivate an attitude to life where you’re not trying to get anything out of it. You pick up a pebble on the beach and look at it. It’s beautiful. Don’t try to get a sermon out of it. Sermons and Stones and God and everything be damned. Just enjoy it.

Don’t feel that you’ve got to salve your conscience by saying that this is for the advancement of your aesthetic understanding. Enjoy the pebble. If you do that you’ll become healthy. You become able to be a loving helpful human being. But if you can’t do that, if you can only do things because somehow you're going to get something out of it, you’re a vulture."


Alan WattsThe Tao of Philosophy/ the Love of Wisdom Series
pub posthumously in 1995 by Alan's eldest son Mark Watts.  book is available used in paperback for around $3.00
Thanks TE!
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