• Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Being Alone

idea

Question Everything
Hi,
It is difficult to answer a question that is only partly true.

the scripture you are referring to is Mat 4:10.
It says there that Jesus withdrew to the mountains to be "all alone".

The superimposition of the adjectif "completely" is an incorrect rendering that could easily be misscontrued.

Additionally the content shows that he was alone in the sense of not being with his disciples, since verse 11 shows that he was with some angels.

My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me - he was alone.

His strength was revealed when he went through it alone.
 

Neuropteron

Active Member
My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me - he was alone.

His strength was revealed when he went through it alone.

Hi,

There are two things to consider here.
First Jesus made this comment to fullfill a prophesy.
Second Jesus "felt" that God had "forsaken" him.
The context however shows that God had never abandonned Jesus.

Additionally the scriptures shows that Christ received the strenght not through his own ability, but from God.
"For all things I have the strength by virtue of him (God) who imparts power to me."
 

JonSL

Member
It's an interesting question, but my question is on how american western society want to use those ideas? In high school, around the turn of the century, we read Siddhartha. In retrospect, I find that to be a highly unusual choice of book to promote to midwestern public school students, in a materialist culture, where the midwestern towns were dotted with churches. In other words, it was a book telling you that you could both escape materialism, and obviate the need for inner suffering, by manipulating it spiritually.

In my household, my christian parents were fixated variously on either the denial of suffering, or the need to experience it for what it was, as some kind of virtue. But in a book like Siddhartha, it might obviously question that whole foundation. And subsequently, almost every self-help article for the past 20 years has mentioned meditation, which seems to be the technique that was used to minimize suffering, to confront and minimize it, rather than to variously deny or extol it

So have a found beauty in my 'solo hike,' since some of these 'non-western' ideas have sort of influenced me? I'd say that perhaps only variously. We live in a society that obviously puts a price on everything, and there is obviously a fixation with functionality and mammon. Every bit of land here, and every action you take, seems to by weighed on the economic scale. If I don't function, what is left for me? You can't just enter the inner light whole hog, and meditate on the street the rest of your life, not easily anyway?

So then, what can we do with these ideas? Does the idea of just sampling them, or dividing them for only certain applications, just cheapen them? Are they supposed to relieve pressure that we accrue, and give us a better way to rest, in between making money? I'm confused by it.


I really would not overthink it all. Just practice. Just practice some meditation daily...see where it takes you.
 

JonSL

Member
From what I understand, in a lot of Eastern schools meditation was considered an advanced practice. One had to already master a variety of moral teachings before moving on to meditation and, when you did, this meant moving to and living in a monastery as a member of that community.

The importance of the monastic community in such lofty spiritual pursuits is extremely important to many ascetic practices, but Sangha is literally one of the three jewels of Buddhism specifically.

I don't think this "meditation for everyone" approach really makes too much sense to me.

Well, the truth is, that every single person on earth meditates. Folks just don't call it that. If you go fishing and see a nice sunset, pause a minute to reflect on it...you are meditating. If you are in an art gallery and like a painting, pause and look at it...you are meditating.

Now, those are, let us say, milder forms of meditation, but they are, meditation.

Every professional athletes meditates on their body, movement, things they have to do in the sport.

As far as perfecting morality before engaging meditation?

That is a translation that exists in the literature, but the translation is a bit off and misses the gist.

Meditation exists in all the world's major religions. In all those religions, it is taught to start meditation where you are now and not wait for some later point when you achieve some kind of perfection.

But yes, it is absolutely taught that, along with meditation, you have to try to live a very morally upstanding life.
 

amorphous_constellation

Well-Known Member
I really would not overthink it all. Just practice. Just practice some meditation daily...see where it takes you.

I have experimented with a sort of walking meditation for a number of years, which I quit eventually. There have been intermittent periods where I did some sitting meditation. I think I've kind of been there, where you're talking about. Largely, I've grown out of the way I used to do things, with meditation and superstition

This winter has been a sort of change point for me, I think. I've been experimenting with the wim hof method, and Tarot. I've tried to increase my reading speed, and time spent reading, finishing a couple philosophical tomes over the past few months. I've been able to listen to more podcasts than I had before, thanks to finally get a smartphone to hike with. It still feels like there's something missing in the puzzle however. I will find it eventually
 
Last edited:

JonSL

Member
sorry that things are rough.

I really don't trust a single human anymore.

But...just does seem the brain needs some of that interaction.

Might want to think about taking a long break, and then trying to test the waters again, but very very slowly.

I have counseled ex-offenders. And I know some things about life in prison. The folks in solitary...they pretty much all go off, at some level. And a bunch of them develop real and serious mental health problems.

I don't know the science behind what is going on, I just know it can all be very destructive.

So, I would be careful.

I mean, to me, a guy like George Harrison had the ideal. He rarely left his property. Just brought some close friends over to his house. He did go off the property a bit, here and there. But basically, most of the time, he preferred to spend alone, tending his garden.

That is probably the right balance for all of us. Long periods in quiet and alone. And short periods with a few close friends. And a bit of interaction with people outside that circle.

No.

I've been friendless and had no romantic (or sexual) partners for the last 5 years. This was voluntary on my part. I've just had too many bad experiences and I feel like it's not worth the heartache to try to connect with other people anymore. Forums like these are the closest I get to social interaction and they still make me feel a little uncomfortable. It was also a way for me to try to be "in the world but not of it."

At the same time, I realized just how true it is that humans are social creatures. There was a time when I considered myself so heavily introverted that I just didn't need other people and that God was enough to keep me company.

But our relationships with other people are what give our lives meaning. Even morality, gender, culture and art are all social constructs. In total isolation, life begins to feel completely meaningless. No amount of meditation or spiritual platitudes on my part seems to really change that. The best they can offer is to help me accept my own loneliness and find peace in the moment, even if the pain remains there.

Apart from other people for so long, it becomes hard to feel like I even exist. I understand how it can be a very spiritual experience to essentially become an outside observer, losing your sense of self and identity, but actually living it is... horrific. I made a mistake somewhere.
 
Last edited:

amorphous_constellation

Well-Known Member
I mean, to me, a guy like George Harrison had the ideal. He rarely left his property. Just brought some close friends over to his house. He did go off the property a bit, here and there. But basically, most of the time, he preferred to spend alone, tending his garden.

I like the thing that Sting showed that he had, I think in one of his music videos. He had like a hedge-maze, that was meant for walking meditation. That looked really cool
 

JonSL

Member
I like the thing that Sting showed that he had, I think in one of his music videos. He had like a hedge-maze, that was meant for walking meditation. That looked really cool

I think you mean "walking the labyrinth." I did that once. They played Gregorian Chant in the background. Was great.
 

Ella S.

Dispassionate Goth
Well, the truth is, that every single person on earth meditates. Folks just don't call it that. If you go fishing and see a nice sunset, pause a minute to reflect on it...you are meditating. If you are in an art gallery and like a painting, pause and look at it...you are meditating.

Now, those are, let us say, milder forms of meditation, but they are, meditation.

Every professional athletes meditates on their body, movement, things they have to do in the sport.

As far as perfecting morality before engaging meditation?

That is a translation that exists in the literature, but the translation is a bit off and misses the gist.

Meditation exists in all the world's major religions. In all those religions, it is taught to start meditation where you are now and not wait for some later point when you achieve some kind of perfection.

But yes, it is absolutely taught that, along with meditation, you have to try to live a very morally upstanding life.

There are a lot of different forms of meditation out there. Certainly, most people practice some form of mindfulness and contemplation every now and again. There are plenty of forms of meditation that one needs to be trained in, however, like samadhi or zazen.
 

JonSL

Member
Samadhi is an extreme state of consciousness. I believe it is said that at any time on earth, only something like 100 people have access to that experience. So, training helps, but one must simply be a great saint to have any chance of entering samadhi.

That comes from the writings of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda and other Hindu Yogis.

+++

Zazen is a meditation form. And yes, one must practice it.

People meditate in their daily lives, even if they consciously do not know that is what it is called.

We are all connected to God. God is constantly giving us guidance and instruction, whether or not we consciously seek a spiritual path.

Some people just seek weed. Some people think that there must be something beyond weed and rock lyrics.
 
Top