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  1. #41
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Dont forget Paracelsis, his mystical, magical reputation is perhaps the closest to what I was talking about.

    Perhaps the west, I'm thinking of the Christian west BTW, had a tendency to codify and create opec orthodoxy too quickly resulting in the eclipse of what I think of as Zen or similar traditions from the east by religious or canonical thinking/understanding.

    Its difficult to discuss this because I'm not thinking about the thing itself, I didnt intend to discuss Zen (and I've seen some pretty unZen like discussions of Zen here before), an example were there is equivalence could perhaps be Budo and Chivalry or Knights and Samuari but even then in the west talking about martial artistry immediately brings to mind eastern martial traditions, dont you think? It could be the different relationships to traditionalism which each society and culture has.

  2. #42
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Zen master - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Zen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Zen emphasizes experiential prajñā, particularly as realized in the form of meditation, in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct, experiential realization through meditation and dharma practice"
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  3. #43
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    my first thought was the aesthetic monks who lived in caves and wrote long manuscripts on stuff and taught other people how to be good Christians at the time... I was going on the practical basis of comparison- master of the religion as opposed to looking at mystical aspects or anything
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #44
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    I'm enjoying everyone's contributions to this conversation. May I suggest that in matters of spirituality, there's no need to follow anyone or cite authorities. We are our own authorities.
    Three replies:

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Ken Wilber is an extremely well-known philosopher and integral theorist, and much of his work dealt with finding commonalities between different meditative traditions. Like many people, I am a fan of his work, and its often easier for me to quote or reference Wilber than to try to directly quote from Vedanta, or Buddhism, or Taoism, all of which I practice btw.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    If ones definition of spirituality equates to narcissicism perhaps. If spirituality means the pursuit of inner wisdom regarding the transcendent, then an honourable attention to authority is necessary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Only someone living in a Protestant country, and taking it for granted, could say that.

    And Protestants, they tell me, are never more Protestant than when they are alone.

    No one, for instance, would ever suspect the Lone Ranger of being Catholic.

    We might suspect Shakespeare of being Catholic, but never the Lone Ranger.

    Wow. Well, that got a reaction. Probably I should elaborate on what I meant. Not that any of you have to agree, even then! You can preface everything written below with "it seems to me . . ."

    People come to the pursuit of spirituality -- or the pursuit of happiness or fulfillment or contentment or bliss through spirituality/metaphysics/etc. -- for many reasons. Perhaps they come because they've had an unexpected, overwhelming 'oneness experience' and now feel a drive to explore and to place what happened into some kind of context (or they want to know how to live in that kind of mode always). Perhaps they've had a life trauma that they need to process and get a handle on because otherwise they're going under. Perhaps they've been increasingly troubled by not being able to figure out Life, the Universe, and Everything. Etc.

    There's no problem with exploring, reading. It feels, in fact, a privilege to be able to explore parallels between countless world spiritualities -- this is a relatively new development. Although, as Tolstoy lamented, maybe it would have been easier just to be an isolated-village peasant and not know all this 'stuff'.

    But I do think that there may come a time (perhaps not for everyone -- who am I to say) when it's best to let the learning go and face the universe, or perhaps the void, while standing on the shoulders of a variety of giants if that's our modern lot, but still, in all one's aloneness.

    There's a point at which we are, in fact, our own authorities. I'll omit quoting Emerson on the subject, or citing what people said of how Jesus taught them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    The point is that there is no real Western equivalent of a Zen Master, that's why you couldn't name any examples. Hippies come closer than any subculture we have here.

    Some things about the East are unique to the East.
    I like that answer. Well, actually, a lot of the answers, but that one in particular. Western organizations enabling Zen masterhood aren't obvious, so our Zen masters (assuming of course that we have any, and in my opinion we do) would be scattered: sprinkled throughout different organizations and sometimes solitary. There are also the popular spirituality and neo-advaita crowds; I don't remember if those teachers or organizations have been mentioned in this thread, for example Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie.

    Anyway, sorry if I stepped on any toes. Go forth and read and cite! Since there appear to be some here who have an interest in Christian mysticism or Christian 'other' -- I don't know what people may prefer to call it -- I'll add a couple of modern names in case people might find their insights of interest or of use (sorry if someone has already mentioned them in this thread): Bernadette Roberts (three books now I think)

    Amazon.com: The Path to No-Self: Life at the Center (9780791411421): Bernadette Roberts: Books

    and a friend, Raymond Sigrist

    Amazon.com: In Love with Everything (9780741455994): Raymond Sigrist: Books

  5. #45
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    Hippies are more of a bastardized version of Zen masters. The closest Western counterparts would be Stoics, and there were connections made between the two traditions in wake of Alexander the Great's conquests.

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  7. #47
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I wonder about this, I recently talked to someone who about what they considered the gradual easternisation of the west, through lots of cultural imports, without hostility or anything, I love the same eastern cultural inroads and hope they continue.

    However I dont think I can readily identify the western equivalents, magicians? Mystics? Scholars?
    There is not a western equivalent. We chastize those sorts of people here and instead revere the CEO as penultimate before God Himself.
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
    Thoreau

  8. #48
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    Oh, this one's easy. The Zen Surfer Dude colonies of California. Primarily comprised of ISTP's. Zen Surfer Dude


  9. #49
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  10. #50
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    *gives up*
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