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Friday, October 19, 2012

(writing by me) Athiest, or Spiritual with Non-Anthropomorphic Tendencies?

There are various ways to look at things and to structure spiritual practices.

From: - "In all mystical traditions, the "Mysterious Unknown at the Roots of All Things" is spoken of as having both inactive (impersonal) and active (personal aspects). These two aspects are called "Faces" in Qabalah."

 The impersonal, inactive aspect is called "Vast  Face" and the personal, active aspect is called "Small Face."
For example, traditional Christianity focuses on a type of intensely personal, devotional worship of the anthropomorphic, "Small Face" aspects of deity. In yoga, this practice is called Bhakti.

From: - "Bhakti is a Sanskrit term that signifies an attitude of devotion to a personal God that is similar to a number of human-human relationships (difference is that in bhakti relationships is soul-Supersoul, soul-God) such as beloved-lover, friend-friend, parent-child, and master-servant." 

From: - "The moods of the yoga of devotion to Small Face vary. Some devotees may have a strong emotional sense of being creatures in the Lord YHVH’s (or any other Small Face Chosen Ideal) dream-universe. Others may feel like servants of the Lord YHVH the Master; or like the Lord YHVH’s dear friend, sister, or brother; or like the Lord YHVH’s wife, or husband, or secret paramour. Devotional Yoga can bring to the forefront the highest fruits of each mood, and spill over into relations with family, friends, teachers, lovers, and strangers. Devotional Yoga seeks a personal, intimate relation with the Divine, infused with devotional passion and fulfilling one’s deepest emotional needs."


From: - "Some aspirants by nature do not have any attraction for the active, personal Small Face. They do not seek the consciousness of Small Face as a goal, or even as an intermediate stage up the Tree. Such aspirants focus directly on Vast Face and seek to establish a connection in their consciousness to the negatively existent substratum in the roots of the Tree. Holding on to the banner of Neti, Neti-“NOT (Lo) This, NOT (Lo) This,” they renounce all Name and Form and all experiences in the waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep states as illusory." 

 So, if you are the type of person that feels more alligned with a cosmological view that is impersonal in nature as opposed to anthropomorphic, you might just be the type of person inclined more towards "Vast Face" practices akin to Zen Buddhism which...

From: - "...cultivates dispassion and discrimination to systematically renounce and negate every experience, until the individuated consciousness dissolves in the Ayn like a “salt doll walking into the ocean.” 

 Some people get cranky when they feel that they are being pigeon holed into a form of practice that does not work for them and they feel repelled from spirituallity altogether because they are unsure of how to connect with it and how to fit it into thier world view. In such cases, it can be a relief to find that there are options and different ways of looking at things, as the examples above have shown. It might simply mean that they just are not into Small Face interpretations and their path needs to include more Vast Face concepts and other viewpoints such as science, etc.

"If at any time we feel that there is a conflict [between religion and science], we may well be sure that either we have misread our scriptures or misunderstood the Nature around us or blundered in both. We cannot possibly have understood both aright and yet found unreconcilable antagonism between the two."
—Jagadguru Shankaracharya Bharati Krishna Tirtha

 Here are some links that go over these topics in more detail:

Teachings: Vast Face/Small Face -

Moods of Devotion - Small Face -

Small Face meditation example -

Vast Face meditation example -

Also, in this video segment, Rob Gilber of the Vesica Institute furthers the discussion on the topic of the different types of approaches to spiritual work which are available, such as those that are geared towards individuals with interests that fall into the categories of thinking, or feeling, or doing, or a more general, all inclusive approach. -

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