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PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT

Pages 1027 - 1041

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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:51 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT


[Introduction]



P.1027 - 1 The early teachers of the Salem religion penetrated to the remotest tribes of Africa and Eurasia, ever preaching Machiventa's gospel of man's faith and trust in the one universal God as the only price of obtaining divine favor. Melchizedek's covenant with Abraham was the pattern for all the early propaganda that went out from Salem and other centers. Urantia has never had more enthusiastic and aggressive missionaries of any religion than these noble men and women who carried the teachings of Melchizedek over the entire Eastern Hemisphere. These missionaries were recruited from many peoples and races, and they largely spread their teachings through the medium of native converts. They established training centers in different parts of the world where they taught the natives the Salem religion and then commissioned these pupils to function as teachers among their own people.





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[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:33 AM

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Fraternal Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

Welcome to OPAD's opening presentation of Paper 94. This is the third in a straight series of fifteen Papers "presented" by an unnamed Melchizedek. A Melchizedek commission of twelve holds Urantia in receivership ever since Adam and Eve defaulted almost 40,000 years ago. One of them incarnated 4,000 years ago to fan the flame of truth until Michael of Nedadon could arrive and live out the role of Jesus of Nazareth 2,000 years ago. In all they authored 30 Papers in Parts II, III and IV.

The fifteen:

092. The Later Evolution of Religion . Melchizedek
093.
Machiventa Melchizedek . Melchizedek
094.
The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient . Melchizedek
095.
The Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant . Melchizedek
096.
Yahweh — God of the Hebrews . Melchizedek
097.
Evolution of the God Concept among the Hebrews . Melchizedek
098.
The Melchizedek Teachings in the Occident . Melchizedek
099.
The Social Problems of Religion . Melchizedek
100.
Religion in Human Experience . Melchizedek
101.
The Real Nature of Religion . Melchizedek
102.
The Foundations of Religious Faith . Melchizedek
103.
The Reality of Religious Experience . Melchizedek
104.
Growth of the Trinity Concept . Melchizedek
105.
Deity and Reality . Melchizedek
106.
Universe Levels of Reality . Melchizedek

This Paper is relatively long--fourteen pages. Its title reveals its main themes:
Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]


Synopsis of Paper 94:

The strength of the Brahman priests and their rituals prevented the people of ancient India from accepting the Melchizedek idea of salvation through faith alone. The Brahman priests had invested so much in being at the top of the caste system that they could not allow people to believe that faith was the only requirement for a relationship with God. The Rig‑Veda, one of the oldest sacred books on earth, was written by the Brahmans in an attempt to combat the teachings of the Salem missionaries.

The rejection of the Melchizedek gospel was a major turning point in the civilization of India. As people rejected mortal ambitions and embraced reincarnation, they fell into a sense of spiritual hopelessness. Nevertheless, Brahmanism was a noble human effort into philosophy and metaphysics. It came close to the concept of an all‑pervading Absolute, the IT IS rather than the I AM. Brahman teachings about universal overcontrol were very close to the truth about the Supreme Being.


The idea of karma bears some similarity to truth about inevitable repercussions of one's actions. The teaching of the soul being the indwelling of the Brahman approaches the concept of the Thought Adjuster, even including the point that the soul returns to Brahman as the Adjuster returns to the Father. The Hindu religion today is a composite of the Brahman teachings, ancient Vedic rituals, Buddhism, and Jainism. Hinduism is the most tolerant religion on earth and has survived as part of the social fabric of India.


In China, the Salem teachings led to an early form of Taoism, a very different religion than that which exists today. Early Taoism encompassed the monotheistic teachings of Singlangton, a version of the Melchizedek teachings, and the Brahman concepts. In Japan, this version of Taoism was known as Shinto. In both Japan and China, Taoism eventually became mixed with ancestor worship.


In the sixth century before Jesus' bestowal, an unusual coordination of spiritual agencies influenced a great number of religious teachers throughout the world. Lao‑tse taught about One First Cause, the Tao, man's destiny of being united with Tao, the Trinity as the source of all reality, and returning good for evil. Lao-tse's teachings about nonresistance later became perverted into the erroneous belief of seeing, doing, and thinking nothing. Today's Taoism has little in common with the teachings of Lao‑tse.

Confucius' chief work was a compilation of the wise sayings of ancient philosophers. His writings were not widely known or accepted during his lifetime, but became a great influence ever afterward in both China and Japan. Confucius put morality in the place of magic, and taught about the Way of Heaven, the patterns of the cosmos.


In India, Guatama Siddhartha formed the beginnings of Buddhism. He fought against the growing caste system by teaching a gospel of universal salvation, and freedom from sacrifice, rituals, torture, and priests. He taught that divine nature resided in all men, and that we could attain the realization of this divinity. His ideas were surprisingly similar to the Salem gospel.


Modern Buddhism is no more the teachings of Siddhartha than modern Christianity is the teachings of Jesus. The farther Buddhism spread from India, the more it was mixed with other religions; it was affected by Taoism, Shinto, and Christianity. Buddhism today is a growing religion because it conserves high moral values, promotes calmness and self‑control, and augments serenity and happiness.


Source: http://urantiabook.o...s/a_soe_94.html

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Tomorrow's reading begins recounting the intriguing history of Urantia's great cosmopolitan culture renowned for fearless spiritual exploration, wandering mendicants and (relatively) peaceful co-mingled religions. Section 1 is titled: THE SALEM TEACHINGS IN VEDIC INDIA

Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host

***

Previous OPAD Presentations and Discussions:

Pages 1-17 ~ The Foreword
Paper 1 ~ The Universal Father
Paper 2 ~ The Nature of God
Paper 3 ~ The Attributes of God
Paper 4 ~ God's Relation To The Universe
Paper 5 ~ God's Relation To The Individual
Paper 6 ~ The Eternal Son
Paper 7 ~ Relation of the Eternal Son to the Universe
Paper 8 ~ The Infinite Spirit
Paper 9 ~ Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe
Paper 10 ~ The Paradise Trinity
Paper 11 ~ The Eternal Isle of Paradise
Paper 12 ~ The Universes of Universes
Paper 13 ~ The Sacred Spheres of Paradise
Paper 14 ~ The Central and Divine Universe
Paper 15 ~ The Seven Superuniverses
Paper 16 ~ The Seven Master Spirits
Paper 17 ~ The Seven Supreme Spirit Groups
Paper 18 ~ The Supreme Trinity Personalities
Paper 19 ~ The Co-Ordinate Trinity-Origin Beings
Paper 20 ~ The Paradise Sons of God
Paper 21 ~ The Paradise Creator Sons
Paper 22 ~ The Trinitized Sons of God
Paper 23 ~ The Solitary Messengers
Paper 24 ~ Higher Personalities of The Infinite Spirit
Paper 25 ~ The Messenger Hosts of Space
Paper 26 ~ Ministering Spirits of the Central Universe
Paper 27 ~ Ministry of the Primary Supernaphim
Paper 28 ~ Ministering Spirits of the Superuniverses
Paper 30 ~ Personalities of the Grand Universe
Paper 31 ~ The Corps Of The Finality
Paper 32 ~ The Evolution of Local Universes
Paper 33 ~ Administration Of The Local Universe
Paper 34 ~ The Local Universe Mother Spirit
Paper 35 ~ The Local Universe Sons of God
Paper 36 ~ The Life Carriers
Paper 37 ~ Personalities Of The Local Universe
Paper 38 ~ Ministering Spirits of the Local Universe
Paper 39 ~ The Seraphic Hosts
Paper 40 ~ The Ascending Sons of God
Paper 41 ~ Physical Aspects of the Local Universe
Paper 42 ~ Energy--Mind and Matter
Paper 43 ~ The Constellation Headquarters
Paper 44 ~ The Celestial Artisans
Paper 45 ~ The Local System Administration
Paper 46 ~ The Local System Headquarters
Paper 47 ~ The Seven Mansion Worlds
Paper 48 ~ The Morontia Life
Paper 49 ~ The Inhabited Worlds
Paper 50 ~ The Planetary Princes
Paper 51 ~ The Planetary Adams
Paper 52 ~ Planetary Mortal Epochs
Paper 53 ~ The Lucifer Rebellion
Paper 54 ~ Problems Of The Lucifer Rebellion
Paper 55 ~ The Spheres Of Light And Life
Paper 56 ~ Universal Unity
Paper 57 ~ The Origin Of Urantia
Paper 58 ~ Life Establishment On Urantia
Paper 59 ~ The Marine-Life Era On Urantia
Paper 60 ~ Urantia During The Early Land-Life Era
Paper 61 ~ The Mammalian Era On Urantia
Paper 62 ~ The Dawn Races Of Early Man
Paper 63 ~ The First Human Family
Paper 64 ~ The Evolutionary Races Of Color
Paper 65 ~ The Overcontrol Of Evolution
Paper 66 ~ The Planetary Prince Of Urantia
Paper 67 ~ The Planetary Rebellion
Paper 68 ~ The Dawn Of Civilization
Paper 69 ~ Primitive Human Institutions
Paper 70 ~ The Evolution Of Human Government
Paper 71 ~ Development Of The State
Paper 72 ~ Government On A Neighboring Planet
Paper 73 ~ The Garden Of Eden
Paper 74 ~ Adam And Eve
Paper 75 ~ The Default Of Adam And Eve
Paper 76 ~ The Second Garden
Paper 77 ~ The Midway Creatures
Paper 78 ~ The Violet Race After The Days Of Adam
Paper 79 ~ Andite Expansion In The Orient
Paper 80 ~ Andite Expansion In The Occident

Paper 81 ~ Development Of Modern Civilization
Paper 82 ~ The Evolution Of Marriage

Paper 83 ~ The Marriage Institution
Paper 84 ~ Marriage And Family Life

Paper 85 ~ The Origins of Worship

Paper 86 ~ Early Evolution Of Religion
Paper 87 ~ The Ghost Cults
Paper 88 ~ Fetishes, Charms and Magic
Paper 89 ~ Sin, Sacrifice And Atonement
Paper 90 ~ Shamanism--Medicine Men And Priests
Paper 91 ~ The Evolution Of Prayer
Paper 92 ~ The Later Evolution Of Religion
Paper 93 ~ Machiventa Melchizedek
Paper 94 ~ Melchizedek Teachings In The Orient

Reader Tools, References & Links


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#3 Alina

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:10 AM

Hi Rick! Thanks OPAD! :)

Not much to say, but it's amazing perfection Machiventa mission to prepare the coming of Jesus.
How to transform the evolutionary ideas and these are then propagated by so many places!
It was not easy to change the ideas of many deities, combined and recombined by the one God:
Father Universal.
Extraordinary Melchizedek! :rolleyes:

(1052.1) 96:0.1 IN CONCEIVING of Deity, man first includes all gods, then subordinates all foreign gods to his tribal deity, and finally excludes all but the one God of final and supreme value. The Jews synthesized all gods into their more sublime concept of the Lord God of Israel. The Hindus likewise combined their multifarious deities into the “one spirituality of the gods” portrayed in the Rig-Veda, while the Mesopotamians reduced their gods to the more centralized concept of Bel-Marduk. These ideas of monotheism matured all over the world not long after the appearance of Machiventa Melchizedek at Salem in Palestine. But the Melchizedek concept of Deity was unlike that of the evolutionary philosophy of inclusion, subordination, and exclusion; it was based exclusively on creative power and very soon influenced the highest deity concepts of Mesopotamia, India, and Egypt.


(1052.2) 96:0.2 The Salem religion was revered as a tradition by the Kenites and several other Canaanite tribes. And this was one of the purposes of Melchizedek’s incarnation: That a religion of one God should be so fostered as to prepare the way for the earth bestowal of a Son of that one God. Michael could hardly come to Urantia until there existed a people believing in the Universal Father among whom he could appear.



Love...

Alina
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#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:54 PM

Right Alina,

And the more we read the more it becomes apparent just how difficult. Our Father and out Angels are patient aren't they? Never mind the Midwayers :wub:

Good quotes to complement this.

#5 Alina

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:53 PM

Rick, all Sons of God are very important and immensely patient! :)
Just to give an example:


(1250.1) 114:0.1 THE Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men through many celestial forces and
agencies but chiefly through the ministry of seraphim.


(1250.3) 114:0.3 Seraphim and their associated cherubim have much to do with the details of the superhuman government of a planet, especially of worlds which have been isolated by rebellion. The angels, ably assisted by the midwayers, function on Urantia as the actual supermaterial ministers who execute the mandates of the resident governor general and all his associates and subordinates. Seraphim as a class are occupied with many assignments other than those of personal and group guardianship.


Alina
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Edited by Alina, 23 May 2012 - 06:57 PM.


#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:57 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT



1. THE SALEM TEACHINGS IN VEDIC INDIA



P.1027 - §2 In the days of Melchizedek, India was a cosmopolitan country which had recently come under the political and religious dominance of the Aryan-Andite invaders from the north and west. At this time only the northern and western portions of the peninsula had been extensively permeated by the Aryans. These Vedic newcomers had brought along with them their many tribal deities. Their religious forms of worship followed closely the ceremonial practices of their earlier Andite forebears in that the father still functioned as a priest and the mother as a priestess, and the family hearth was still utilized as an altar.

P.1027 - §3 The Vedic cult was then in process of growth and metamorphosis under the direction of the Brahman caste of teacher-priests, who were gradually assuming control over the expanding ritual of worship. The amalgamation of the onetime thirty-three Aryan deities was well under way when the Salem missionaries penetrated the north of India.

P.1027 - §4 The polytheism of these Aryans represented a degeneration of their earlier monotheism occasioned by their separation into tribal units, each tribe having its venerated god. This devolution of the original monotheism and trinitarianism of Andite Mesopotamia was in process of resynthesis in the early centuries of the second millennium before Christ. The many gods were organized into a pantheon under the triune leadership of Dyaus pitar, the lord of heaven; Indra, the tempestuous lord of the atmosphere; and Agni, the three-headed fire god, lord of the earth and the vestigial symbol of an earlier Trinity concept.

P.1027 - §5 Definite henotheistic developments were paving the way for an evolved monotheism. Agni, the most ancient deity, was often exalted as the father-head of the entire pantheon. The deity-father principle, sometimes called Prajapati, sometimes termed Brahma, was submerged in the theologic battle which the Brahman priests later fought with the Salem teachers. The Brahman was conceived as the energy-divinity principle activating the entire Vedic pantheon.


P.1028 - §1 The Salem missionaries preached the one God of Melchizedek, the Most High of heaven. This portrayal was not altogether disharmonious with the emerging concept of the Father-Brahma as the source of all gods, but the Salem doctrine was nonritualistic and hence ran directly counter to the dogmas, traditions, and teachings of the Brahman priesthood. Never would the Brahman priests accept the Salem teaching of salvation through faith, favor with God apart from ritualistic observances and sacrificial ceremonials.


P.1028 - §2 The rejection of the Melchizedek gospel of trust in God and salvation through faith marked a vital turning point for India. The Salem missionaries had contributed much to the loss of faith in all the ancient Vedic gods, but the leaders, the priests of Vedism, refused to accept the Melchizedek teaching of one God and one simple faith.

P.1028 - §3 The Brahmans culled the sacred writings of their day in an effort to combat the Salem teachers, and this compilation, as later revised, has come on down to modern times as the Rig-Veda, one of the most ancient of sacred books. The second, third, and fourth Vedas followed as the Brahmans sought to crystallize, formalize, and fix their rituals of worship and sacrifice upon the peoples of those days. Taken at their best, these writings are the equal of any other body of similar character in beauty of concept and truth of discernment. But as this superior religion became contaminated with the thousands upon thousands of superstitions, cults, and rituals of southern India, it progressively metamorphosed into the most variegated system of theology ever developed by mortal man. An examination of the Vedas will disclose some of the highest and some of the most debased concepts of Deity ever to be conceived.



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[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:58 AM

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Good Day Alina, Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

Andites were a mixed race of Adam's progeny and the people that existed during and after his times, and most had Nodite blood as well. From Paper 73:1:


...The Nodites were the descendants of the rebel members of the Prince's staff, their name deriving from their first leader, Nod, onetime chairman of the Dalamatia commission on industry and trade.... P.821 - 6


And you may recall the "Ayran Andites" from earlier reading, this is in Paper 79:4:


...When the Aryans entered India, they brought with them their concepts of Deity as they had been preserved in the lingering traditions of the religion of the second garden.... P.882 - 7


About the "Vedic cult" of north and west India:

...The religion of the Vedic period (1500 BC to 500 BC[1]) (also known as Vedism or Vedic Brahmanism or, in a context of Indian antiquity, simply Brahmanism[2]) is a historical predecessor of Hinduism.[3] Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites.


Posted Image
Map of northern India in the late Vedic period.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia...._Vedic_religion

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About Dyaus pitar:

...In the Vedic pantheon Dyauṣ Pitā or Dyauṣpitṛ or Dyaus Pitar is the Sky Father, divine consort of the Prithvi and father of Agni, Indra (RV 4.17.4), and Ushas, the daughter representing dawn. In archaic Vedic lore, Dyauṣ Pitṛ and Prithivi Matṛ were one, single composite dvandva entity, named as the Dyavaprthivi. He was cursed by Vasishta maharishi for hurting Nandini, the sacred cow with a thorny stick. He is believed to have taken rebirth as Bhishma and die according to his Karma, after being pierced by many arrows, for inflicting wounds on Nandini. In Rig Veda, the abode of Dyaus Dyulok is regarded as Fountain-head of God - the Primeval Purusha.

...According to one version of Creation as embodied in the Rigveda (RV), mortal life emerged from the procreation by Dyauṣ Pitā, whereby the mother Earth, goddess Prithivi was impregnated by the Dyauṣ Pitṛ by way of rains.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Dyaus_Pita


About Indra:

...Indra (Devanagari: or Śakra is the King of the gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall and is associated with Vajrapani - the Chief Dharmapala or Defender and Protector of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha who embodies the power of all primordial or Dhyani Buddhas.

Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases dawn (Ushas) from the Vala cave, and slays Vṛtra; both latter actions are central to the Soma sacrifice. On the other hand, he also commits many kinds of mischief (kilbiṣa) for which he is sometimes punished. He has many epithets, notably vṛṣan the bull, and vṛtrahan, slayer of Vṛtra and maghavan "the bountiful'. Indra appears as the name of an arch-demon in the Zoroastrian religion, while his epithet Verethragna appears as a god of victory.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra


About Agni:

...Agni is a Hindu deity, one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire[1] and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, and also immortal.

...In Hindu scriptures, Agni is depicted with two or seven hands, two heads and three legs. He has seven fiery tongues with which he licks sacrificial butter. He rides a ram or in a chariot harnessed by fiery horses. His Agni is represented as red and two-faced, suggesting both his destructive and beneficent qualities, and with black eyes and hair, three legs and seven arms. He rides a ram, or a chariot pulled by goats or, more rarely, parrots. Seven rays of light emanate from his body. One of his names is Saptajihva, "having seven tongues".[11] Another one of his epithets is Abhimani (from Sanskrit: abhi towards + the verbal root man to think, reflect upon) meaning dignified, proud; longing for, thinking.


Posted Image
Agni with his consort Svaha.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agni

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Henothism defined:

Henotheism (Greek heis theos "one god") is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshipped.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Henotheism

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About Prajapati:

...In Hinduism, Prajapati "lord of creatures" is a Hindu deity presiding over procreation, and protector of life. He appears as a creator deity or supreme God Viswakarma Vedic deities in RV 10 and in Brahmana literature. Vedic commentators also identify him with the creator referred to in the [1] Nasadiya Sukta.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prajapati

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The only italicized words in today's reading:


...The Brahman was conceived as the energy-divinity principle activating the entire Vedic pantheon.... P.1027 - 5


...In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.[1] Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead[2] which is the Divine Ground[3] of all being. Brahman is conceived as personal ("with qualities"), impersonal ("without qualities") and/or supreme depending on the philosophical school.

The sages of the Upanishads teach that Brahman is the ultimate essence of material phenomena (including the original identity of the human self) that cannot be seen or heard but whose nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge (atma jnana).[4] According to Advaita, a liberated human being (jivanmukta) has realised Brahman as his or her own true self (see atman).




Sacrificial efficacy residing in Brahman:

...In the early Vedic religion Brahman was the name given to the power that made the sacrifice effective, namely the spiritual power of the sacred utterances pronounced by the vedic priests who were by virtue of this known as brahmins. Connected with the ritual of pre-Vedantic Hinduism, Brahman signified the power to grow, the expansive and self-altering process of ritual and sacrifice, often visually realized in the sputtering of flames as they received the all important ghee (clarified butter) and rose in concert with the mantras of the Vedas.



Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman

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...and this compilation, as later revised, has come on down to modern times as the Rig-Veda.... P.1028 - 3


...The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns.[2] It is counted among the four canonical sacred texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas.[3] Some of its verses are still recited as Hindu prayers, at religious functions and other occasions, putting these among the world's oldest religious texts in continued use. The Rigveda contains several mythological and poetical accounts of the origin of the world, hymns praising the gods, and ancient prayers for life, prosperity, etc.[4]

It is one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. Philological and linguistic evidence indicate that the Rigveda was composed in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, roughly between 1700–1100 BC[5] (the early Vedic period).

The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age (c. 10th c. BC) collection that established the core 'family books' (mandalas 27, ordered by author, deity and meter [6]) and a later redaction, co-eval with the redaction of the other Vedas, dating several centuries after the hymns were composed. This redaction also included some additions (contradicting the strict ordering scheme) and orthoepic changes to the Vedic Sanskrit such as the regularization of sandhi (termed orthoepische Diaskeuase by Oldenberg, 1888).

As with the other Vedas, the redacted text has been handed down in several versions, most importantly the Padapatha that has each word isolated in pausa form and is used for just one way of memorization; and the Samhitapatha that combines words according to the rules of sandhi (the process being described in the Pratisakhya) and is the memorized text used for recitation.

The Padapatha and the Pratisakhya anchor the text's fidelity and meaning[7] and the fixed text was preserved with unparalleled fidelity for more than a millennium by oral tradition alone. In order to achieve this the oral tradition prescribed very structured enunciation, involving breaking down the Sanskrit compounds into stems and inflections, as well as certain permutations. This interplay with sounds gave rise to a scholarly tradition of morphology and phonetics. The Rigveda was probably not written down until the Gupta period (4th to 6th century AD), by which time the Brahmi script had become widespread (the oldest surviving manuscripts date to the Late Middle Ages).[8] The oral tradition still continued into recent times.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigveda

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The four Vedas are:

Rig Veda

Rig Veda is the first Veda of the four Vedas. Rig Veda means a Veda of praise. This Veda has several verses (hymns). These hymns praise a number of gods. This Veda is also the oldest Hindu holy book.

Yajur Veda

Yajur Veda is the second Veda of the four Vedas. Yajur Veda means the Veda of the Yajus. Yajus were mantras sung during religious activities. Yajur Veda is divided into two parts. The name of the first part is Black Yajurveda, called Taittiriya. The name of the second part is White Yajurveda, called Vajasaneyi.

...The Yajurveda Samhita consists of archaic prose mantras and also in part of verses borrowed and adapted from the Rigveda. Its purpose was practical, in that each mantra must accompany an action in sacrifice but, unlike the Samaveda, it was compiled to apply to all sacrificial rites, not merely the Somayajna.

Sama Veda

Sama Veda is the third Veda of the four Vedas. Sama Veda means the Veda of sacred songs. This Veda also has many hymns. They were sung by the Hindu priests and other Hindus during religious activities.

Atharva Veda

Atharva Veda is the 4th Veda out of the four Vedas. Atharva Veda means the Veda of knowledge.

All these books are considered by Hindus to be of ultimate knowledge on both types of education: spiritual and mental.



Source/more: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas

***


...An examination of the Vedas will disclose some of the highest and some of the most debased concepts of Deity ever to be conceived.... P.1028 - 3


From Wikipedia:

...According to the Purāņas, Brahmā is self-born in the lotus flower. Another legend says that Brahmā was born in water. A seed that later became the golden egg. From this golden egg, Brahmā the creator was born, as Hiranyagarbha. The remaining materials of this golden egg expanded into the Brahmānḍa or Universe. Being born in water, Brahmā is also called Kanja (born in water). Brahmā is said also to be the son of the Supreme Being, Brahmān, and the female energy known as Prakŗti or Māyā.

The image depiction displaying the connection by lotus between Brahmā and Viṣņu can also be taken as a symbolism for the primordial fetus and primordial placenta. The placenta is generated upon conception, but only the fetus continues into the world afterward. Likewise, Brahmā is involved in creation, but Viṣņu continues thereafter.

...He is clad in red clothes. Brahmā is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. With each head, He continually recites one of the four Vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard (especially in North India), indicating the nearly eternal nature of his existence. Unlike most other Hindu gods, Brahmā holds no weapons. One of his hands holds a scepter. Another of his hands holds a bow. Brahmā also holds a string of prayer beads called the 'akṣamālā' (literally "garland of eyes"), which He uses to keep track of the Universe's time. He is also shown holding the Vedas.

There are many other stories in the Purāņas about the gradual decrease in Lord Brahmā's importance. Followers of Hinduism believe that Humans cannot afford to lose the blessings of Brahmā and Sarasvati, without whom the populace would lack creativity, knowledge to solve mankind's woes.



Posted Image

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma


Tomorrow's reading is the first of three Sections that look even deeper into post-Machiventa teaching in India. Section 2 is titled: BRAHMANISM

Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

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***

#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:07 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT



2. BRAHMANISM



P.1028 - 4 As the Salem missionaries penetrated southward into the Dravidian Deccan, they encountered an increasing caste system, the scheme of the Aryans to prevent loss of racial identity in the face of a rising tide of the secondary Sangik peoples. Since the Brahman priest caste was the very essence of this system, this social order greatly retarded the progress of the Salem teachers. This caste system failed to save the Aryan race, but it did succeed in perpetuating the Brahmans, who, in turn, have maintained their religious hegemony in India to the present time.

P.1028 - 5 And now, with the weakening of Vedism through the rejection of higher truth, the cult of the Aryans became subject to increasing inroads from the Deccan. In a desperate effort to stem the tide of racial extinction and religious obliteration, the Brahman caste sought to exalt themselves above all else. They taught that the sacrifice to deity in itself was all-efficacious, that it was all-compelling in its potency. They proclaimed that, of the two essential divine principles of the universe, one was Brahman the deity, and the other was the Brahman priesthood. Among no other Urantia peoples did the priests presume to exalt themselves above even their gods, to relegate to themselves the honors due their gods. But they went so absurdly far with these presumptuous claims that the whole precarious system collapsed before the debasing cults which poured in from the surrounding and less advanced civilizations. The vast Vedic priesthood itself floundered and sank beneath the black flood of inertia and pessimism which their own selfish and unwise presumption had brought upon all India.

P.1029 - 1 The undue concentration on self led certainly to a fear of the nonevolutionary perpetuation of self in an endless round of successive incarnations as man, beast, or weeds. And of all the contaminating beliefs which could have become fastened upon what may have been an emerging monotheism, none was so stultifying as this belief in transmigration--the doctrine of the reincarnation of souls--which came from the Dravidian Deccan. This belief in the weary and monotonous round of repeated transmigrations robbed struggling mortals of their long-cherished hope of finding that deliverance and spiritual advancement in death which had been a part of the earlier Vedic faith.

P.1029 - 2 This philosophically debilitating teaching was soon followed by the invention of the doctrine of the eternal escape from self by submergence in the universal rest and peace of absolute union with Brahman, the oversoul of all creation. Mortal desire and human ambition were effectually ravished and virtually destroyed. For more than two thousand years the better minds of India have sought to escape from all desire, and thus was opened wide the door for the entrance of those later cults and teachings which have virtually shackled the souls of many Hindu peoples in the chains of spiritual hopelessness. Of all civilizations, the Vedic-Aryan paid the most terrible price for its rejection of the Salem gospel.


P.1029 - 3 Caste alone could not perpetuate the Aryan religio-cultural system, and as the inferior religions of the Deccan permeated the north, there developed an age of despair and hopelessness. It was during these dark days that the cult of taking no life arose, and it has ever since persisted. Many of the new cults were frankly atheistic, claiming that such salvation as was attainable could come only by man's own unaided efforts. But throughout a great deal of all this unfortunate philosophy, distorted remnants of the Melchizedek and even the Adamic teachings can be traced.

P.1029 - 4 These were the times of the compilation of the later scriptures of the Hindu faith, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. Having rejected the teachings of personal religion through the personal faith experience with the one God, and having become contaminated with the flood of debasing and debilitating cults and creeds from the Deccan, with their anthropomorphisms and reincarnations, the Brahmanic priesthood experienced a violent reaction against these vitiating beliefs; there was a definite effort to seek and to find true reality. The Brahmans set out to deanthropomorphize the Indian concept of deity, but in so doing they stumbled into the grievous error of depersonalizing the concept of God, and they emerged, not with a lofty and spiritual ideal of the Paradise Father, but with a distant and metaphysical idea of an all-encompassing Absolute.

P.1029 - 5 In their efforts at self-preservation the Brahmans had rejected the one God of Melchizedek, and now they found themselves with the hypothesis of Brahman, that indefinite and illusive philosophic self, that impersonal and impotent it which has left the spiritual life of India helpless and prostrate from that unfortunate day to the twentieth century.

P.1029 - 6 It was during the times of the writing of the Upanishads that Buddhism arose in India. But despite its successes of a thousand years, it could not compete with later Hinduism; despite a higher morality, its early portrayal of God was even less well-defined than was that of Hinduism, which provided for lesser and personal deities. Buddhism finally gave way in northern India before the onslaught of a militant Islam with its clear-cut concept of Allah as the supreme God of the universe.



***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:25 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

India is thought of today, and yesterday, as a nation of spiritual seekers, of deep devotions and divine aspirations. But its varied religious thinking has always been vague and indefinite about who and what God is. Both Hinduism and Buddhism failed to answer the most fundamental of all theological questions: Is the maker of a Universe of persons and personalities not a person? Even the First Person?

***

About Dravidian and the Deccan:

...The identity of Ancient Dravidians is a matter of much debate. It has been challenged and contested by some as a conspiracy by colonialists to 'divide-and-conquer' South Asia,[1] yet to others the Dravidians were the originators of the Harappan civilization.[2] as it not only explains the linguistic difference in South Asia but also explains the origin of a matrilineal culture.[3] In a ruling, the Supreme court of India ruled that there can be little doubt that Dravidian languages were actually flourishing in the western regions of Northern India at the period when languages of the Indo-European type were introduced by the Aryan invasions from the north-west, although the ruling also pointed out that the Pre-Dravidian aborigines must be regarded as the primitive existing race, as opposed to the later Dravidians.[4]

The extent of Dravidian culture has a presence in South India, Sri Lanka, the Malbars and Malabars of Réunion, Chitty of South-east Asia, emigrant indentured communities in Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa and Fiji, as well as modern emigrant communities across the world.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....avidian_culture

...The Deccan Plateau [1] is a large plateau in India, making up most of the southern part of the country. It rises a hundred meters high in the north, and more than a kilometer high in the south, forming a raised triangle within the familiar downward-pointing triangle of the Indian subcontinent's coastline.[2]

It extends over eight Indian states and encompasses a wide range of habitats, covering most of central and southern India.[3]

It is located between two mountain ranges: the Western Ghats form its western boundary, and the Eastern Ghats its eastern boundary. Each rises from their respective nearby coastal plains and nearly meet at the southern tip of India. It is separated from the Gangetic plain to the north by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges, which form its northern boundary.


Posted Image

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia..../Deccan_Plateau

***

The Indian Caste System:

...Historically, the caste system in India consisted of four well known categories (the Varnas):[30]

  • Brahman (priests)
  • Kshatriyas (warriors)
  • Vaishyas (traders)
  • Shudras (workmen)
Some people were left out from these four caste classifications, and were called panchama (literally, the fifth). Regarded as outcastes or untouchables, these were shunned and ostracized. The varnas themselves have been further subdivided into thousands of jatis.[31]

Ancient Indian text on laws, such as Manusmṛti suggest a caste system was part of Indian society. These laws in ancient India discriminated between castes. For example, the laws of Manusmṛti declare sexual relationships between men and women of different castes as illegal,[32] in a manner similar to anti-miscegenation laws in the United States before 1967 that considered intermarriage and sex between races as illegal.

Other Indian scriptures suggest ancient Indian law was not rigid about endogamy within varnas, its castes. For example, Nāradasmṛti, another text on ancient Indian law, written after Manusmṛti, and dated to be 1400 or more years old, approves of many, but not all marriages across caste lines. According to Richard Lariviere, twelve statutes of Nāradasmṛti set out categories of approved marriages between castes.[33] Several statutes recognized offsprings of mixed castes, much like casta system of colonial Spain.

Ancient Indian texts also suggest that the India's social stratification system was controversial, a topic of profound historical debates within Indian community, and inspired efforts for reform.[34]


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....te_system#India


More about the Brahmin Caste:

...Brahmin (also called Brahman; from Sanskrit brāhmaṇa ब्राह्मण) is a name used to designate a member of one of the four varnas (castes) in the traditional Hindu societys of Nepal and India.

Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self. Brahmin or Brahmana refers to an individual, while the word Brahma refers to the creative aspect of the universal consciousness. The English word brahmin is an anglicised form of the Sanskrit word Brāhmana.

...Brahmins, basically adhere to the principles of the Vedas, related to the texts of the Śruti and Smriti which are the foundations of Hinduism, and practise Sanatana Dharma. Vedic Brāhmaṇas have six occupational duties, of which three are compulsory — studying the Vedas, performing Vedic rituals and practicing dharma. By teaching the insights of the Vedic literature which deals with all aspects of life including spirituality, philosophy, yoga, religion, rituals, temples, arts and culture, music, dance, grammar, pronunciation, metre, astrology, astronomy, logic, law, medicine, surgery, technology, martial arts, military strategy, etc. By spreading its philosophy, and by accepting back from the community, the Brahmins receive the necessities of life.

Brahmins practice vegetarianism or lacto-vegetarianism which has been a custom for centuries, dating back to the pre-Christian era. However, some Brahmins inhabiting regions of Mithila, Punjab, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Nepal, are non-vegetarian.

Most Brahmin sects wear the Yagnopaveetham (or sacred thread) that is a symbol of initiation to the Gayatri recital. This ritual is often referred to as Upanayana. This marks the learning of the Gayatri hymn. Brahmin sects also generally identify themselves as belonging to a particular Gotra, a classification based on patrilineal descent, which is specific for each family and indicates their origin.

...Due to the diversity in religious and cultural traditions and practices, and the Vedic schools to which they belong, Brahmins are further divided into various subcastes. During the sutra period, roughly between 1000 BCE to 200 BCE, Brahmins became divided into various Shakhas (branches), based on the adoption of different Vedas and different rescension Vedas. Sects for different denominations of the same branch of the Vedas were formed, under the leadership of distinguished teachers among the Brahmins.

...In 1931, Brahmins accounted for 4.32% of the total population of the subcontinent. Now it comprises 3% of the total population.[6] .In West Bengal the figures stand at 5 %, whereas in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Orissa the Brahmin population is quite near 10%.


Source/much more: http://en.wikipedia....min_communities

***


...This belief in the weary and monotonous round of repeated transmigrations robbed struggling mortals of their long-cherished hope of finding that deliverance and spiritual advancement in death which had been a part of the earlier Vedic faith.... P.1029 - 1


It may be a while before the majority of humanity lets go its ancient and erroneous beliefs in reincarnation, it having been a sacred part of so many old traditions. But what a relief to know my next life will not be as a weed. But think not reincarnation is solely a Hindu belief:

...Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical belief that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life's actions. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions[1] and is a belief that was held by such historic figures as Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates. It is also a common belief of pagan religions such as Druidism, Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia.[2]

Although the majority of sects within Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the mainstream historical and contemporary followers of Kabbalah, the Cathars, and the Shia sects such as the Alawi Shias and the Druze[3] and the Rosicrucians.[4] The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of the Neoplatonism, Orphism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism and Gnosticism of the Roman era, as well as the Indian religions, is unclear.

In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation.[5] Feature films, such as Kundun, What Dreams May Come and Birth, contemporary books by authors such as Carol Bowman and Vicki Mackenzie, as well as popular songs, regularly mention reincarnation. Some university researchers, such as Ian Stevenson and Jim B. Tucker, have explored the issue of reincarnation and published reports of children's memories of earlier lives in peer-reviewed journals and in books such as Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation and Life Before Life. Skeptics are critical of this work and many have stated like Carl Sagan that more reincarnation research is needed.



Posted Image

Reincarnation in Hindu art

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....i/Reincarnation

***

About Brahman:

...In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.[1] Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead[2] which is the Divine Ground[3] of all being. Brahman is conceived as personal ("with qualities"), impersonal ("without qualities") and/or supreme depending on the philosophical school.

The sages of the Upanishads teach that Brahman is the ultimate essence of material phenomena (including the original identity of the human self) that cannot be seen or heard but whose nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge (atma jnana).[4] According to Advaita, a liberated human being (jivanmukta) has realised Brahman as his or her own true self (see atman).

The Isha Upanishad says:


Auṃ - That supreme Brahman is infinite, and this conditioned Brahman is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. If you subtract the infinite from the infinite, the infinite remains alone.



Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman


***

The only mention of the Upanishads in the UB is in today's reading. From Wikipedia:

...The Upanishads are philosophical texts considered to be an early source from the Hindu religion. They are also called Vedanta, the end of Vedas. In the purest sense, they are not Sruti (of heard). Upanishads explain the essence of vedas. The Upanishads are found mostly in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and in the Aranyakas.[1] All Upanishads have been passed down in oral tradition.

More than 200 are known, of which the first dozen or so, the oldest and most important, are variously referred to as the principal, main (mukhya) or old Upanishads. With the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutra (known collectively as the Prasthanatrayi),[2] the mukhya Upanishads provide a foundation for several later schools of Indian philosophy (vedanta), among them, two influential monistic schools of Hinduism.[note 1][note 2][note 3]

Historians believe the chief Upanishads were composed over a wide period ranging from the Pre-Buddhist period[6][7] to the early centuries BC[7] though minor Upanishads were still being composed in the medieval and early modern period.[8]

However, there has been considerable debate among authorities about the exact dating of individual Upanishads. The Upanishads were collectively considered amongst the 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written by the British poet Martin Seymour-Smith.[9] Their significance has been recognized by writers and scholars such as Schopenhauer, Emerson and Thoreau, among others. Scholars also note similarity between the doctrine of Upanishads and those of Plato and Kant.

Metaphysics

The three main approaches in arriving at the solution to the problem of the Ultimate Reality have traditionally been the theological, the cosmological and the psychological approaches.[44] The cosmological approach involves looking outward, to the world; the psychological approach meaning looking inside or to the Self; and the theological approach is looking upward or to God. Descartes takes the first and starts with the argument that the Self is the primary reality, self-consciousness the primary fact of existence, and introspection the start of the real philosophical process.[45] According to him, we can arrive at the conception of God only through the Self because it is God who is the cause of the Self and thus, we should regard God as more perfect than the Self. Spinoza on the other hand, believed that God is the be-all and the end-all of all things, the alpha and the omega of existence. From God philosophy starts, and in God philosophy ends. The manner of approach of the Upanishadic philosophers to the problem of ultimate reality was neither the Cartesian nor Spinozistic. The Upanishadic philosophers regarded the Self as the ultimate existence and subordinated the world and God to the Self. The Self to them, is more real than either the world or God. It is only ultimately that they identify the Self with God, and thus bridge over the gulf that exists between the theological and psychological approaches to reality. They take the cosmological approach to start with, but they find that this cannot give them the solution of the ultimate reality. So, Upanishadic thinkers go back and start over by taking the psychological approach and here again, they cannot find the solution to the ultimate reality. They therefore perform yet another experiment by taking the theological approach. They find that this too is lacking in finding the solution. They give yet another try to the psychological approach, and come up with the solution to the problem of the ultimate reality. Thus, the Upanishadic thinkers follow a cosmo-theo-psychological approach.[45] A study of the mukhya Upanishads show that the Upanishadic thinkers progressively build on each others' ideas. They go back and forth and refute improbable approaches before arriving at the solution of the ultimate reality.[46]



Posted Image

Adi Shankara Bhagavadpada, expounder of Advaita Vedanta and commentator (bhashya) on the Upanishads

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Upanishads

***

About Allah in Islam:

...According to Islamic belief, Allah is the proper name of God,[27] and humble submission to His Will, Divine Ordinances and Commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith.[5] "He is the only God, creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind."[5][6] "He is unique and inherently one, all-merciful and omnipotent."[5] The Qur'an declares "the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures."



Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah

***

So if ancient Brahmanism doesn't teach that God is the Absolute Person and Father of All, what does it teach? That's the focus of tomorrow's reading. Section 3 is titled: BRAHMANIC PHILOSOPHY


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

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***

#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:39 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT



3. BRAHMANIC PHILOSOPHY



P.1030 - §1 While the highest phase of Brahmanism was hardly a religion, it was truly one of the most noble reaches of the mortal mind into the domains of philosophy and metaphysics. Having started out to discover final reality, the Indian mind did not stop until it had speculated about almost every phase of theology excepting the essential dual concept of religion: the existence of the Universal Father of all universe creatures and the fact of the ascending experience in the universe of these very creatures as they seek to attain the eternal Father, who has commanded them to be perfect, even as he is perfect.

P.1030 - §2 In the concept of Brahman the minds of those days truly grasped at the idea of some all-pervading Absolute, for this postulate was at one and the same time identified as creative energy and cosmic reaction. Brahman was conceived to be beyond all definition, capable of being comprehended only by the successive negation of all finite qualities. It was definitely a belief in an absolute, even an infinite, being, but this concept was largely devoid of personality attributes and was therefore not experiencible by individual religionists.

P.1030 - §3 Brahman-Narayana was conceived as the Absolute, the infinite IT IS, the primordial creative potency of the potential cosmos, the Universal Self existing static and potential throughout all eternity. Had the philosophers of those days been able to make the next advance in deity conception, had they been able to conceive of the Brahman as associative and creative, as a personality approachable by created and evolving beings, then might such a teaching have become the most advanced portraiture of Deity on Urantia since it would have encompassed the first five levels of total deity function and might possibly have envisioned the remaining two.

P.1030 - §4 In certain phases the concept of the One Universal Oversoul as the totality of the summation of all creature existence led the Indian philosophers very close to the truth of the Supreme Being, but this truth availed them naught because they failed to evolve any reasonable or rational personal approach to the attainment of their theoretic monotheistic goal of Brahman-Narayana.

P.1030 - §5 The karma principle of causality continuity is, again, very close to the truth of the repercussional synthesis of all time-space actions in the Deity presence of the Supreme; but this postulate never provided for the co-ordinate personal attainment of Deity by the individual religionist, only for the ultimate engulfment of all personality by the Universal Oversoul.

P.1030 - §6 The philosophy of Brahmanism also came very near to the realization of the indwelling of the Thought Adjusters, only to become perverted through the misconception of truth. The teaching that the soul is the indwelling of the Brahman would have paved the way for an advanced religion had not this concept been completely vitiated by the belief that there is no human individuality apart from this indwelling of the Universal One.

P.1030 - §7 In the doctrine of the merging of the self-soul with the Oversoul, the theologians of India failed to provide for the survival of something human, something new and unique, something born of the union of the will of man and the will of God. The teaching of the soul's return to the Brahman is closely parallel to the truth of the Adjuster's return to the bosom of the Universal Father, but there is something distinct from the Adjuster which also survives, the morontial counterpart of mortal personality. And this vital concept was fatally absent from Brahmanic philosophy.

P.1031 - §1 Brahmanic philosophy has approximated many of the facts of the universe and has approached numerous cosmic truths, but it has all too often fallen victim to the error of failing to differentiate between the several levels of reality, such as absolute, transcendental, and finite. It has failed to take into account that what may be finite-illusory on the absolute level may be absolutely real on the finite level. And it has also taken no cognizance of the essential personality of the Universal Father, who is personally contactable on all levels from the evolutionary creature's limited experience with God on up to the limitless experience of the Eternal Son with the Paradise Father.


***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


.


#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:28 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

Today's reading is not the only UB text that addresses Indian theology's lack of recognition of the Father's personality as both actual and primal. In Paper 132:7, the Midwayers tell about a conversation that took place in the Swiss Alps between Gonod and Jesus:


...Said Gonod: "I would really like to know what you think of Buddha." And Jesus answered:

"Your Buddha was much better than your Buddhism. Buddha was a great man, even a prophet to his people, but he was an orphan prophet; by that I mean that he early lost sight of his spiritual Father, the Father in heaven. His experience was tragic. He tried to live and teach as a messenger of God, but without God. Buddha guided his ship of salvation right up to the safe harbor, right up to the entrance to the haven of mortal salvation, and there, because of faulty charts of navigation, the good ship ran aground. There it has rested these many generations, motionless and almost hopelessly stranded. And thereon have many of your people remained all these years. They live within hailing distance of the safe waters of rest, but they refuse to enter because the noble craft of the good Buddha met the misfortune of grounding just outside the harbor. And the Buddhist peoples never will enter this harbor unless they abandon the philosophic craft of their prophet and seize upon his noble spirit. Had your people remained true to the spirit of Buddha, you would have long since entered your haven of spirit tranquility, soul rest, and assurance of salvation.... P.1466 - 4



Still, it is astounding that Indian theology was able to reach as high as it did! No others have even conceived of anything approaching the Absolutes or the Supreme Being. The Salem teachings must be credited, eh?

***

About "Narayana":

Narayana Sukta


The Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute;
Narayana is the Supreme Reality;
Narayana is the Supreme Light;
Narayana is the Supreme Self;
Narayana is the Supreme Meditator;
Narayana is the Supreme Meditation.


...The Narayana Upnaishad states that Narayana is the eternal being: and therefore Narayana is Brahma. Narayana is Shiva. Narayana is Indra. Narayana is time. Narayana is the primary directions. Narayana is the subdirections. Narayana is above. Narayana is below. Narayana is within and without. Narayana is certainly everything; past, present and future. He is 'nishkalam' without material parts [although all beings are part of Narayana]. Being free from all falsehood, matter, He is 'niranjanah' or Brahman. He is without any master 'nirvikalpah.' He is 'nirakhyatah' invisible to the masses in general [even though He is everywhere]. Narayana is the pure effulgent Supreme Personality of Godhead: no one else, without a second to compare. He, Lord Narayana, manifests in this world as Shri Vishnu. Certainly, He appears as Shri Vishnu.


Posted Image

Lakshmi with Vishnu-Narayana at Vaikuntha

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narayana

***

About Hinduism's karma concept:

...Many Hindus see God's direct involvement in this process; others consider the natural laws of causation sufficient to explain the effects of karma.[27][28][29] Followers of Vedanta consider Ishvara, a personal supreme God, as playing a role in the delivery of karma. Theistic schools of Hinduism such as Vedanta thus disagree with the Buddhist and Jain views and other Hindu views that karma is merely a law of cause and effect but rather is also dependent on the will of a personal supreme God. A summary of this theistic view of karma is expressed by the following: "God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve."[30]

Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. Karma means "deed" or "act" and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, that governs all life. The effects experienced are also able to be mitigated by actions and are not necessarily fated. That is to say, a particular action now is not binding to some particular, pre-determined future experience or reaction; it is not a simple, one-to-one correspondence of reward or punishment.

Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will creating their own destiny. According to the Vedas, if one sows goodness, one will reap goodness; if one sows evil, one will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate response.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

***


When Melchizedek cites the seven levels of "total deity function", I think he is referring to this list in the Foreword:


...Deity functions on personal, prepersonal, and superpersonal levels. Total Deity is functional on the following seven levels:

1. Static--self-contained and self-existent Deity.

2. Potential--self-willed and self-purposive Deity.

3. Associative--self-personalized and divinely fraternal Deity.

4. Creative--self-distributive and divinely revealed Deity.

5. Evolutional--self-expansive and creature-identified Deity.

6. Supreme--self-experiential and creature-Creator-unifying Deity. Deity functioning on the first creature-identificational level as time-space overcontrollers of the grand universe, sometimes designated the Supremacy of Deity.

7. Ultimate--self-projected and time-space-transcending Deity. Deity omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Deity functioning on the second level of unifying divinity expression as effective overcontrollers and absonite upholders of the master universe. As compared with the ministry of the Deities to the grand universe, this absonite function in the master universe is tantamount to universal overcontrol and supersustenance, sometimes called the Ultimacy of Deity.... P.2 - 3


***

The idea of "universal oneness" is not unique to Indian theology. From Wikipedia:

...In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. The general idea of divine simplicity can be stated in this way: the being of God is identical to the "attributes" of God. In other words, such characteristics as omnipresence, goodness, truth, eternity, etc. are identical to God's being, not qualities that make up that being, nor abstract entities inhering in God as in a substance. Varieties of the doctrine may be found in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim philosophical theologians, especially during the heyday of scholasticism, though the doctrine's origins may be traced back to ancient Greek thought.

...In classical Christian theism, God is simple, not composite, not made up of thing upon thing. In other words, the characteristics of God are not parts of God that together make up God. Because God is simple, God is those characteristics; for example, God does not have goodness, but simply is goodness.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....vine_simplicity

***



...there is something distinct from the Adjuster which also survives, the morontial counterpart of mortal personality.... P.1030 - 7


Like no evolved theology Melchizedek reveals, defines and affirms the existence of the soul, that part of us that "feels", the entity we collaborate with the Adjuster to create during our life on Urantia. From Paper 111:3, The Evolving Soul:


...Mind knows quantity, reality, meanings. But quality--values--is felt. That which feels is the mutual creation of mind, which knows, and the associated spirit, which reality-izes.... P.1219 - 5



***

So, the essential question: Is the creator of personality not the greatest and first personality? is ignored even today by all traditional religions. Personality in the West is conceived as a psychological, perhaps even a physiological, contrivance:

...Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns of an individual. Different personality theorists present their own definitions of the word based on their theoretical positions.

...The study of personality started with Hippocrates' four humours and gave rise to four temperaments.[2] The explanation was further refined by his successor Galen during the second century CE. The Four Humours theory held that a person's personality was based on the balance of bodily humours; yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood. Choleric people were characterized as having an excess of yellow bile, making them irascible. High levels of black bile was indicative of melancholy and pessimism. Phlegmatic people were thought to have an excess of phlegm, leading to their sluggish, calm temperament. Finally, people thought to have high levels of blood were said to be sanguine and were characterized by their cheerful, passionate dispositions.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality

***

Tomorrow's reading takes a final and penetrating look at this ancient theology that grew up in the Indian subcontinent, in the wake of the second and third epochal revelations to Urantia, Adam's and Machiventa's. Section 4 is titled: THE HINDU RELIGION

Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host


Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

Reader Tools, References & Links


***

#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:47 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT



4. THE HINDU RELIGION



P.1031 - §2 With the passing of the centuries in India, the populace returned in measure to the ancient rituals of the Vedas as they had been modified by the teachings of the Melchizedek missionaries and crystallized by the later Brahman priesthood. This, the oldest and most cosmopolitan of the world's religions, has undergone further changes in response to Buddhism and Jainism and to the later appearing influences of Mohammedanism and Christianity. But by the time the teachings of Jesus arrived, they had already become so Occidentalized as to be a "white man's religion," hence strange and foreign to the Hindu mind.

P.1031 - §3 Hindu theology, at present, depicts four descending levels of deity and divinity:


1. The Brahman, the Absolute, the Infinite One, the IT IS.

2. The Trimurti, the supreme trinity of Hinduism. In this association Brahma, the first member, is conceived as being self-created out of the Brahman--infinity. Were it not for close identification with the pantheistic Infinite One, Brahma could constitute the foundation for a concept of the Universal Father. Brahma is also identified with fate.

P.1031 - §6 The worship of the second and third members, Siva and Vishnu, arose in the first millennium after Christ. Siva is lord of life and death, god of fertility, and master of destruction. Vishnu is extremely popular due to the belief that he periodically incarnates in human form. In this way, Vishnu becomes real and living in the imaginations of the Indians. Siva and Vishnu are each regarded by some as supreme over all.

3. Vedic and post-Vedic deities. Many of the ancient gods of the Aryans, such as Agni, Indra, Soma, have persisted as secondary to the three members of the Trimurti. Numerous additional gods have arisen since the early days of Vedic India, and these have also been incorporated into the Hindu pantheon.

4. The demigods: supermen, semigods, heroes, demons, ghosts, evil spirits, sprites, monsters, goblins, and saints of the later-day cults.



P.1031 - §9 While Hinduism has long failed to vivify the Indian people, at the same time it has usually been a tolerant religion. Its great strength lies in the fact that it has proved to be the most adaptive, amorphic religion to appear on Urantia. It is capable of almost unlimited change and possesses an unusual range of flexible adjustment from the high and semimonotheistic speculations of the intellectual Brahman to the arrant fetishism and primitive cult practices of the debased and depressed classes of ignorant believers.

P.1032 - §1 Hinduism has survived because it is essentially an integral part of the basic social fabric of India. It has no great hierarchy which can be disturbed or destroyed; it is interwoven into the life pattern of the people. It has an adaptability to changing conditions that excels all other cults, and it displays a tolerant attitude of adoption toward many other religions, Gautama Buddha and even Christ himself being claimed as incarnations of Vishnu.

P.1032 - §2 Today, in India, the great need is for the portrayal of the Jesusonian gospel--the Fatherhood of God and the sonship and consequent brotherhood of all men, which is personally realized in loving ministry and social service. In India the philosophical framework is existent, the cult structure is present; all that is needed is the vitalizing spark of the dynamic love portrayed in the original gospel of the Son of Man, divested of the Occidental dogmas and doctrines which have tended to make Michael's life bestowal a white man's religion.






***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:03 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

It's too bad Jesus' revelation to Urantia became a "white man's religion" (cited twice in today's reading). But even as a white man, who grew up in white Christian America, I rejected Jesus. To me the Bible was full of confusion, myths and childish ideas of God, hell and heaven. And so was ever other religion. Looking into Hinduism was very confusing. How could any religion create and contain hundreds of thousands of gods?! So I rejected them all until the clarity and authority of a true revelation came along.

Melchizedek deftly dispels the massive confusion of every evolved religion with his cosmic perspective. He easily identifies the triune association at the top of Hinduism: Brahma, Siva (now better known as Shiva) and Vishnu. And from them comes a descending order of gods, saints and heroes.

About Agni, Indra and Soma:

...Agni is a deva, second only to Indra in the power and importance attributed to him in Vedic mythology, with 218 out of 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda dedicated to him. He is Indra's twin, and therefore a son of Dyaus Pita and Prthivi.

...Agni represents the cultivated, cooked and cultured aspects of Vedic ritual. Together with Soma, Agni is invoked in the Rig Veda more than any other gods.

...Agni, the Vedic god of fire, has two heads, one marks immortality and the other marks an unknown symbol of life has made the transition into the Hindu pantheon of gods, without losing his importance. With Varuna and Indra he is one of the supreme gods in the Rigveda.


Posted Image
Agni, God of Fire

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agni



...Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases dawn (Ushas) from the Vala cave, and slays Vṛtra; both latter actions are central to the Soma sacrifice.

...In Puranic mythology, Indra is bestowed with a heroic and almost brash and amorous character at times, even as his reputation and role diminished in later Hinduism with the rise of the Trimurti.

...Aspects of Indra as a deity are cognate to other Indo-European gods; they are either thunder gods such as Thor, Perun, and Zeus, or gods of intoxicating drinks such as Dionysos. The name of Indra (Indara) is also mentioned among the gods of the Mitanni, a Hurrian speaking people who ruled northern Syria from ca.1500BC-1300BC[2] .


Posted Image
Indra as depicted in Yakshagana, popular folk art of Karnataka

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra


Curiously Soma is three things, a god, drink and a plant:

...In Hindu art, the god Soma was depicted as a bull or bird, and sometimes as an embryo, but rarely as an adult human. In Hinduism, the god Soma evolved into a lunar deity. Full moon is the time to collect and press the divine drink. The moon is also the cup from which the gods drink Soma, thus identifying Soma with the moon god Chandra. A waxing moon meant Soma was recreating himself, ready to be drunk again. Alternatively, Soma's twenty-seven wives were the star goddesses, the Nakshatras - daughters of the cosmic progenitor Daksha - who told their father that he paid too much attention to just one of them, Rohini. Daksha subsequently cursed Soma to wither and die, but the wives intervened and the death became periodic and temporary, and is symbolized by the waxing and waning of the moon. Monday is called Somavāram in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages, such as Hindi, Bengali, Kannada Marathi and Telugu, and alludes to the importance of this god in Hindu spirituality.

...The Rigveda calls the plant [Soma] the "God for Gods" seemingly giving him precedence above Indra and the other Gods (RV 9.42[1])

It is described as prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a certain plant. In both Vedic and Zoroastrian tradition, the name of the drink and the plant are the same, and the three forming a religious or mythological unity.

There has been much speculation concerning what is most likely to have been the identity of the original plant. There is no solid consensus on the question, although most Western experts outside the Vedic and Avestan religious traditions now seem to favour a species of Ephedra, perhaps Ephedra sinica.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma

***

Hinduism, like Christianity, has become so locally oriented, so circumscribed, strange and undesirable to all but its most devoted adherents, as to be easily rejected by thoughtful seekers outside the cults of their origin. This is interesting because Hinduism is the most inclusive and Christianity is one of the most exclusive religions to have evolved on confused and benighted Urantia. Therefore must we thank God for the clarification of revelation!

Comparing Vishnu and Jesus:


Hindus believe that Krishna was the eighth "avatar" or incarnation of the god Vishnu - one of the Hindu deities in the Hindu trinity. Hindu scriptures state that Krishna "appeared in all the fullness of his power and glory." Krishna was born sometime between 900 and 1200 B.C. and his religious teachings can be found in the Bhagavad-Gita, one of the sacred texts in Hinduism. The karmic similarities between Jesus and the Hindu messiah named Krishna (1200 B.C.) are many. There over one hundred similarities between the Hindu and Christian saviors which could easily fill a volume. Some of these similarities are apocryphal which means their source comes from the extra-canonical scriptures of Hinduism.


Identical Life Experiences

(1)Krishna was miraculously conceived and born of the Virgin Devaki ("Divine One") as a divine incarnation.

(2) He was born at a time when his family had to travel to pay the yearly tax.

(3) His father was a carpenter yet Krishna was born of royal descent.

(4) His birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds, and he was presented with gifts.

(5) He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants who feared that the divine child would supplant his kingdom.

(6) His father was warned by a heavenly voice to flee the tyrant who sought the death of the child. The child was then saved by friends who fled with them in the night to a distant country. When the tyrant learned that his attempt to kill the child failed, he issued a decree that all the infants in the area be put to death. Writing about Krishna in the eighteenth century, Sir William Jones stated, "In the Sanskrit dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago, we have the whole history of the incarnate deity, born of a virgin, and miraculously escaping in infancy from the reigning tyrant of his country." (Asiatic Researches, Vol. I, p. 273).

(7) The Bible states that Jesus and family fled to Egypt afterward to escape from King Herod. According to the Christian apocryphal text "the Gospel of the Infancy," the family traveled to Maturea, Egypt. Krishna was born in Maturea, India, hundreds of years earlier.

(8) He was baptized in the River Ganges.

(9) The missions of Krishna and Jesus were the same - the salvation of humanity.

(10)Krishna worked miracles and wonders such as raising the dead and healing lepers, the deaf and the blind.

(11) Krishna used parables to teach the people about charity and love.

(12)Jesus taught his disciples about the possibility of removing a mountain by faith. According to tradition, Krishna raised Mount Goverdhen above his disciples to protect his worshipers from the wrath of Indra.

(13) "He lived poor and he loved the poor."

(14) Krishna washed the feet of the Brahmins and transfigured before his disciples.

(15) Krishna's teachings and Jesus' teachings were very similar. The celebrated French missionary and traveler, Evarist-Regis Hucv, who made a journey of several thousand miles through China and Tibet, stated, "If we addressed a Mogul or Tibetan this question, 'Who is Krishna?' the reply was instantly 'The savior of men." According to Robert Cheyne, "All that converting the Hindoos to Christianity does for them is to change the object of their worship from Krishna to Christ." Appleton's Cyclopedia says this about the teachings of Krishna: "Its correspondence with the New Testament is indeed striking."

(16) There is an extra-canonical Hindu tradition which states that Krishna was crucified. According to some traditions, Krishna died on a tree or was crucified between two thieves.

(17) He descended to hell, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven which was witnessed by many.

(18) Krishna is called the "shepherd god" and "lord of lords," and was considered "the redeemer, firstborn, sin bearer, liberator, universal Word."

(19) He is the second person of the trinity, and proclaimed himself the "resurrection" and the "way to the Father."

(20) He was considered the "beginning, the middle and the end," ("alpha and omega"), as well as being omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

(21) His disciples bestowed upon him the title "Jezeus," meaning "pure essence."

(22) Krishna is to return again riding a white horse to do battle with the "prince of evil," who will desolate the Earth.


"How, if you hear that the man newly dead is, like the man newly born, still living man - one same, existent Spirit - will you weep? The end of birth is death; the end of death is birth: this is ordained!" - Bhagavad Gita (The Song Celestial: 2)

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again ... no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." - Jesus Christ (John 3:3-8)

Source/more: http://www.near-deat.../origen047.html

***

Tomorrow's reading outlines the spread of the Salem teachings north and east of India. Section 5 is titled: THE STRUGGLE FOR TRUTH IN CHINA


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host


Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

Reader Tools, References & Links


***

#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:43 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT



5. THE STRUGGLE FOR TRUTH IN CHINA




P.1032 - §3 As the Salem missionaries passed through Asia, spreading the doctrine of the Most High God and salvation through faith, they absorbed much of the philosophy and religious thought of the various countries traversed. But the teachers commissioned by Melchizedek and his successors did not default in their trust; they did penetrate to all peoples of the Eurasian continent, and it was in the middle of the second millennium before Christ that they arrived in China. At See Fuch, for more than one hundred years, the Salemites maintained their headquarters, there training Chinese teachers who taught throughout all the domains of the yellow race.

P.1032 - §4 It was in direct consequence of this teaching that the earliest form of Taoism arose in China, a vastly different religion than the one which bears that name today. Early or proto-Taoism was a compound of the following factors:


1. The lingering teachings of Singlangton, which persisted in the concept of Shang-ti, the God of Heaven. In the times of Singlangton the Chinese people became virtually monotheistic; they concentrated their worship on the One Truth, later known as the Spirit of Heaven, the universe ruler. And the yellow race never fully lost this early concept of Deity, although in subsequent centuries many subordinate gods and spirits insidiously crept into their religion.

2. The Salem religion of a Most High Creator Deity who would bestow his favor upon mankind in response to man's faith. But it is all too true that, by the time the Melchizedek missionaries had penetrated to the lands of the yellow race, their original message had become considerably changed from the simple doctrines of Salem in the days of Machiventa.

3. The Brahman-Absolute concept of the Indian philosophers, coupled with the desire to escape all evil. Perhaps the greatest extraneous influence in the eastward spread of the Salem religion was exerted by the Indian teachers of the Vedic faith, who injected their conception of the Brahman--the Absolute--into the salvationistic thought of the Salemites.



P.1033 - §1 This composite belief spread through the lands of the yellow and brown races as an underlying influence in religio-philosophic thought. In Japan this proto-Taoism was known as Shinto, and in this country, far distant from Salem of Palestine, the peoples learned of the incarnation of Machiventa Melchizedek, who dwelt upon earth that the name of God might not be forgotten by mankind.

P.1033 - §2 In China all of these beliefs were later confused and compounded with the ever-growing cult of ancestor worship. But never since the time of Singlangton have the Chinese fallen into helpless slavery to priestcraft. The yellow race was the first to emerge from barbaric bondage into orderly civilization because it was the first to achieve some measure of freedom from the abject fear of the gods, not even fearing the ghosts of the dead as other races feared them. China met her defeat because she failed to progress beyond her early emancipation from priests; she fell into an almost equally calamitous error, the worship of ancestors.


P.1033 - §3 But the Salemites did not labor in vain. It was upon the foundations of their gospel that the great philosophers of sixth-century China built their teachings. The moral atmosphere and the spiritual sentiments of the times of Lao-tse and Confucius grew up out of the teachings of the Salem missionaries of an earlier age.





***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:22 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

See Fuch must have another spelling, it doesn't show up in a Google search. I'll ask around the community today for ideas on where it might be/have been.

About Taoism:

...Taoism (pronounced and also spelled Daoism; Chinese: is a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (Chinese: 道; pinyin: dào). The term Tao (or Dao, depending on the romanization system used) originally means "way", "path" or "principle", and can be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes an obscure metaphysical force which is ultimately ineffable: "The Tao that can be named is not the absolute Tao."[1] In Taoism, the Tao is the source and essence of everything that exists.

The keystone work of literature in Taoism is the Daodejing, a concise and ambiguous book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, or "the Old Teacher". Together with the writings of Zhuangzi, these texts build the philosophical foundation of Taoism. This philosophical Taoism, individualistic by nature, is not institutionalized. Institutionalized forms, however, evolved over time in the shape of a number of different schools, often integrating beliefs and practices that even pre-dated the keystone texts – as, for example, the theories of the School of Naturalists, which synthesized the concepts of yin-yang and the Five Elements. Taoist schools traditionally feature reverence for Laozi, immortals or ancestors, along with a variety of divination and exorcism rituals, and practices for achieving ecstasy, longevity or immortality.

Taoist propriety and ethics may vary depending on the particular school, but in general tends to emphasize wu wei (action through non-action), simplicity, spontaneity, harmony between the individual and the cosmos, and the Three Treasures: Compassion, Moderation, and Humility.

Taoism has had profound influence on Chinese culture in the course of the centuries, and clerics of institutionalised Taoism (Chinese: 道士; pinyin: dàoshi) usually take care to note distinction between their ritual tradition and the customs and practices found in Chinese folk religion as these distinctions sometimes appear blurred. Chinese alchemy (especially neidan), Chinese astrology, Zen Buddhism, several martial arts, Traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, and many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Beyond China, Taoism also had influence on surrounding societies in Asia.


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism

***

Apparently Shang-Ti (Shang-Di) was part of a dynasty that eventually became deified:

...Shangdi (Shang Ti, lit. "High Sovereign"), also known as Di in Oracle Bone inscriptions and Thirteen Classics, refers to the supreme god or a divine power regarded as the spiritual ultimate by the Chinese people from the Shang Dynasty. He controlled victory in battle, harvest, the fate of the kingdom, and the weather. Shang Di ruled a hierarchy of other gods controlling nature, as well as the spirits of the deceased.[1] Shangdi was probably more transcendental than immanent, only working through lesser gods.[2] During the Zhou Dynasty, Shangdi was associated with Heaven (天 Tiān).[3] By the time of the Han dynasty, the influential Confucian scholar Zheng Xuan explained that "Shangdi is another name for Tian." Dong Zhongshu said that "Tian is the ultimate authority, the king of gods who should be admired by the king."[4] Shangdi remains chiefly synonymous with Heaven since Zhou Dynasty. Emperors of China are sons of Shangdi, i.e. Son of Heaven. Shangdi was considered too distant to be worshiped directly by mortals. Shang kings claimed that Shangdi made himself accessible only through the souls of their royal ancestors.[5]


Posted Image
Shangdi in Daoism

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shangdi

***

Singlangton is not known to historians. He was re-introduced to humanity in seven UB paragraphs, first cited in Paper 45:4:


...Singlangton, the first of the yellow men to teach and lead his people in the worship of "One Truth" instead of many. Thousands of years ago the yellow man knew of the one God.... P.513 - 11


***

About Shinto in Japan:

...Shinto or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi,[1] is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the people of Japan. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past.[2] Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified "Shinto religion", but rather to disorganized folklore, history, and mythology.[3] Shinto today is a term that applies to public shrines suited to various purposes such as war memorials, harvest festivals, romance, and historical monuments, as well as various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian Periods.[3]

The word Shinto ("Way of the Gods") was adopted from the written Chinese (pinyin: shén dào),[4] combining two kanji: "shin", meaning "spirit" or kami; and "", meaning a philosophical path or study (from the Chinese word dào).[3][4] Kami are defined in English as "spirits", "essences" or "deities", that are associated with many understood formats; in some cases being human-like, in others being animistic, and others being associated with more abstract "natural" forces in the world (mountains, rivers, lightning, wind, waves, trees, rocks). Kami and people are not separate; they exist within the same world and share its interrelated complexity.[3]

There are currently 4 million observers of Shinto in Japan,[5] although a person who practices any manner of Shinto rituals may be so counted. The vast majority of people in Japan who take part in Shinto rituals also practice Buddhist ancestor worship. However, unlike many monotheistic religious practices, Shinto and Buddhism typically do not require professing faith to be a believer or a practitioner, and as such it is difficult to query for exact figures based on self-identification of belief within Japan. Due to the syncretic nature of Shinto and Buddhism, most "life" events are handled by Shinto and "death" or "afterlife" events are handled by Buddhism—for example, it is typical in Japan to register or celebrate a birth at a Shinto shrine, while funeral arrangements are generally dictated by Buddhist tradition—although the division is not exclusive.


Posted Image
Shinto priest and priestess.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto

***

About ancestor worship in China:

...Ancestral veneration in some cultures (such as Chinese), as well as ancestor worship, seeks to honor and reminiscence the actions of the deceased; the ultimate homage to the dead. The importance of paying respect to parents (and elders) lies with the fact that all physical bodily aspects of one's being were created by one's parents, who continued to tend to one's well-being until one is on firm footings. The respect and the homage to parents, is to return this gracious deed to them in life and after, the ultimate homage. The shi ("corpse, personator") was a Zhou Dynasty (1045 BCE-256 BCE) sacrificial representative of a dead relative. During a shi ceremony, the ancestral spirit supposedly would enter the personator, who would eat and drink sacrificial offerings and convey spiritual messages.

Sacrifices are sometimes made to altars as food for the deceased. This falls under the modes of communication with the Chinese spiritual world concepts. Some of the veneration includes visiting the deceased at their graves and making offerings to the deceased in the Spring, Autumn, and Ghost Festivals. Due to the hardships of the late 19th- and 20th-century China, when meat and poultry were difficult to come by, sumptuous feasts are still offered in some Asian countries as a practice to the spirits or ancestors. However, in the orthodox Taoist and Buddhist rituals, only vegetarian food would suffice.

For those with deceased in the afterlife or hell, elaborate or even creative offerings, such as servants, refrigerators, houses, car, paper money and shoes are provided so that the deceased will be able to have these items after they have died. Often, paper versions of these objects are burned for the same purpose. Originally, real-life objects were buried with the dead. In time these goods were replaced by full size clay models which in turn were replaced by scale models, and in time today's paper offerings (including paper servants).


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....r_worship#China


Tomorrow's reading has biographies of two highly influential, now iconic, men who were born in China six centuries before Jesus: LAO-TSE AND CONFUCIUS


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host



Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

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#16 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:26 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT



6. LAO-TSE AND CONFUCIUS



[Part 1 of 2)




P.1033 - §4 About six hundred years before the arrival of Michael, it seemed to Melchizedek, long since departed from the flesh, that the purity of his teaching on earth was being unduly jeopardized by general absorption into the older Urantia beliefs. It appeared for a time that his mission as a forerunner of Michael might be in danger of failing. And in the sixth century before Christ, through an unusual co-ordination of spiritual agencies, not all of which are understood even by the planetary supervisors, Urantia witnessed a most unusual presentation of manifold religious truth. Through the agency of several human teachers the Salem gospel was restated and revitalized, and as it was then presented, much has persisted to the times of this writing.

P.1033 - §5 This unique century of spiritual progress was characterized by great religious, moral, and philosophic teachers all over the civilized world. In China, the two outstanding teachers were Lao-tse and Confucius.

P.1033 - §6 Lao-tse built directly upon the concepts of the Salem traditions when he declared Tao to be the One First Cause of all creation. Lao was a man of great spiritual vision. He taught that "man's eternal destiny was everlasting union with Tao, Supreme God and Universal King." His comprehension of ultimate causation was most discerning, for he wrote: "Unity arises out of the Absolute Tao, and from Unity there appears cosmic Duality, and from such Duality, Trinity springs forth into existence, and Trinity is the primal source of all reality." "All reality is ever in balance between the potentials and the actuals of the cosmos, and these are eternally harmonized by the spirit of divinity."

P.1033 - §7 Lao-tse also made one of the earliest presentations of the doctrine of returning good for evil: "Goodness begets goodness, but to the one who is truly good, evil also begets goodness."

P.1033 - §8 He taught the return of the creature to the Creator and pictured life as the emergence of a personality from the cosmic potentials, while death was like the returning home of this creature personality. His concept of true faith was unusual, and he too likened it to the "attitude of a little child."

P.1034 - §1 His understanding of the eternal purpose of God was clear, for he said: "The Absolute Deity does not strive but is always victorious; he does not coerce mankind but always stands ready to respond to their true desires; the will of God is eternal in patience and eternal in the inevitability of its expression." And of the true religionist he said, in expressing the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive: "The good man seeks not to retain truth for himself but rather attempts to bestow these riches upon his fellows, for that is the realization of truth. The will of the Absolute God always benefits, never destroys; the purpose of the true believer is always to act but never to coerce."

P.1034 - §2 Lao's teaching of nonresistance and the distinction which he made between action and coercion became later perverted into the beliefs of "seeing, doing, and thinking nothing." But Lao never taught such error, albeit his presentation of nonresistance has been a factor in the further development of the pacific predilections of the Chinese peoples.

P.1034 - §3 But the popular Taoism of twentieth-century Urantia has very little in common with the lofty sentiments and the cosmic concepts of the old philosopher who taught the truth as he perceived it, which was: That faith in the Absolute God is the source of that divine energy which will remake the world, and by which man ascends to spiritual union with Tao, the Eternal Deity and Creator Absolute of the universes.





***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#17 Rick Warren

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:19 AM

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Good Day Fellow Students, Forum Members and Visitors,

No luck locating See Fuch, mentioned in yesterday's reading. Will keep looking/asking.

***

Today's reading contains a fascinating mix of Lao's life and wisdom, brought about by this "unusual co-ordination":


...And in the sixth century before Christ, through an unusual co-ordination of spiritual agencies, not all of which are understood even by the planetary supervisors, Urantia witnessed a most unusual presentation of manifold religious truth.... P.1033 - 4


To me, this is saying highly experienced Thought Adjusters were injected into the Urantia experiment-gone-wrong, in 600 BC. It was an act of Providence as they took up life in Lao and Confucius (and probably others since it happened "all over the civilized world"). It's just a guess, but what else could unusual co-ordination mean here? Whatever the case, it saved Machiventa's emergency mission and kept the light of truth alive until Michael could arrive.

***

Unfortunately we do not find the Trinity in what remains of Lao's teachings. Even the spelling of Lao's name has morphed to Laozi. And Tao is not seen as the Supreme God, but rather the fundamental nature, and impersonal "Way":

...Tao or Dao (Chinese: Dào) is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion (Wade–Giles, Tao Chiao; Pinyin, Daojiao) and philosophy (Wade–Giles, Tao chia; Pinyin, Daojia) referred to in English with the single term Taoism. The concept of Tao was later adopted in Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general. Within these contexts Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe. In the foundational text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Laozi explains that Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe. Tao is thus "eternally nameless” (Dao De Jing-32. Laozi) and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations.

In Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism, the object of spiritual practice is to 'become one with the tao' (Tao Te Ching) or to harmonise one's will with Nature (cf. Stoicism) in order to achieve 'effortless action' (Wu wei). This involves meditative and moral practices. Important in this respect is the Taoist concept of De (virtue).

In all its uses, Dao is considered to have ineffable qualities that prevent it from being defined or expressed in words. It can, however, be known or experienced, and its principles (which can be discerned by observing Nature) can be followed or practiced. Much of East Asian philosophical writing focuses on the value of adhering to the principles of Tao and the various consequences of failing to do so. In Confucianism and religious forms of Daoism these are often explicitly moral/ethical arguments about proper behavior, while Buddhism and more philosophical forms of Daoism usually refer to the natural and mercurial outcomes of action (comparable to karma). Dao is intrinsically related to the concepts yin and yang (pinyin: yīnyáng), where every action creates counter-actions as unavoidable movements within manifestations of the Dao, and proper practice variously involves accepting, conforming to, or working with these natural developments.

The concept of Tao differs from conventional (western) ontology, however; it is an active and holistic conception of Nature, rather than a static, atomistic one. It is worth comparing to the original Logos of Heraclitus, c. 500 BCE.


***

This concept of evil begetting good:


"...Goodness begets goodness, but to the one who is truly good, evil also begets goodness...." P.1033 - §7


...is presented in may other places, other ways, in the book:



...Fatherly love delights in returning good for evil--doing good in retaliation for injustice.... P.1575 - §9

...But the survival character of a soul is not fostered by attempting to secure peace of mind at any price, by the surrender of noble aspirations, and by the compromise of spiritual ideals; rather is such peace attained by the stalwart assertion of the triumph of that which is true, and this victory is achieved in the overcoming of evil with the potent force of good.... P.1480 - §4


"...Do not to others those things you would not wish done to you. Pay good for evil; overcome evil with the good...." P.1447 - §3

"...I say to you: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. And whatsoever you believe that I would do to men, do you also to them...." P.1571 - §2


...Jesus did not advocate the practice of negative submission to the indignities of those who might purposely seek to impose upon the practitioners of nonresistance to evil, but rather that his followers should be wise and alert in the quick and positive reaction of good to evil to the end that they might effectively overcome evil with good.... P.1770 - §2

"...Why not assert your mastery of evil by virtue of the power of goodness and thus become the master of all relations between the two of you? I predict that the good in you could overcome the evil in him if you gave it a fair and living chance...." P.1430 - §2


...Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil.... P.2018 - §1

...True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it.... P.2018 - §1


...The part profits or suffers in measure with the whole. The good effort of each man benefits all men; the error or evil of each man augments the tribulation of all men.... (138.6) 12:7.11

"...Remember, every act shall receive its reward. Evil results in sorrow and sin ends in pain. Joy and happiness are the outcome of a good life...." (1447.2) 131:3.5

...There is good to be derived in the universe from this technique of patience in dealing with sinful rebels. While it is all too true that good cannot come of evil to the one who contemplates and performs evil, it is equally true that all things (including evil, potential and manifest) work together for good to all beings who know God, love to do his will, and are ascending Paradiseward according to his eternal plan and divine purpose.... (616:6) 54:4.7

...To realize providence in time, man must accomplish the task of achieving perfection. But man can even now foretaste this providence in its eternity meanings as he ponders the universe fact that all things, be they good or evil, work together for the advancement of God-knowing mortals in their quest for the Father of all..... (1306:7) 118:10.18


...The Melchizedeks now teach that the good resulting from the Satania rebellion is more than a thousand times the sum of all the evil.... (619:3) 54:6.6

...Pentecost, with its spiritual endowment, was designed forever to loose the religion of the Master from all dependence upon physical force; the teachers of this new religion are now equipped with spiritual weapons. They are to go out to conquer the world with unfailing forgiveness, matchless good will, and abounding love. They are equipped to overcome evil with good, to vanquish hate by love, to destroy fear with a courageous and living faith in truth.... P.2064 - §3

"...There is mighty power in the expulsive energy of a new and sincere spiritual affection. And again I say to you, be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good...." P.1739 - §0



***

Regarding "the attitude of a little child". This concept is also cited several times:


...It is not strange that he once said, "Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom...." P.2089 - 2

"...Verily, verily, I say to you, whosoever receives not the kingdom of God as a little child shall hardly enter therein to grow up to the full stature of spiritual manhood.... " P.1840 - 0

...Therefore must the kingdom of heaven--divine sonship--be received as by a little child.... P.1621 - 2

"...But I say to you in all sincerity: Unless you seek entrance into the kingdom with the faith and trusting dependence of a little child, you shall in no wise gain admission.... P.1536 - 5


***

This statement has meaning and value beyond imagination, and corresponds to the counter intuitive spiritual concept that one receives by giving away:


"...The good man seeks not to retain truth for himself but rather attempts to bestow these riches upon his fellows, for that is the realization of truth...." P.1034 - 1


One of Lao's teachings that I best remember best says that 'the softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest'. Presumably love is the softest.

***

What does history have to say about Lao?

...Laozi (Chinese: Lao Tzu; also romanized as Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Laocius, and other variations) was a philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi).[1] His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of philosophical Taoism (pronounced as "Daoism"). He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of Taoist philosophy, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or "One of the Three Pure Ones".

According to Chinese traditions, Laozi lived in the 6th century BCE. Historians variously contend that Laozi is a synthesis of multiple historical figures, that he is a mythical figure, or that he actually lived in the 5th–4th century BCE, concurrent with the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Period.[2]

A central figure in Chinese culture, both nobility and common people claim Laozi in their lineage. He was honored as an ancestor of the Tang imperial family, and was granted the title Taishang xuanyuan huangdi, meaning "Supreme Mysterious and Primordial Emperor". Throughout history, Laozi's work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.

...The earliest reliable reference (circa 100 BCE) to Laozi is found in the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji) by Chinese historian Sima Qian (ca. 145–86 BCE), which combines a number of stories. In the first, Laozi was said to be a contemporary of Confucius (551–479 BCE). His surname was Li ("plum"), and his personal name was Er ("ear") or Dan ("long ear"). He was an official in the imperial archives, and wrote a book in two parts before departing to the West. In the second, Laozi was Lao Laizi ("Old Master"), also a contemporary of Confucius, who wrote a book in 15 parts. In the third, Laozi was the Grand Historian and astrologer Lao Dan ("Old Long-ears"), who lived during the reign (384–362 BCE) of Duke Xian of Qin).[6][7]
By the mid-twentieth century a consensus had emerged among scholars that the historicity of Laozi was doubtful or unprovable and that the Tao Te Ching was "a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands."[8] The oldest known text of the Tao Te Ching that's been excavated, written on bamboo tablets, dates back to the late 4th century BC.[1] Alan Watts (1975) held that this view was part of an academic fashion for skepticism about historical spiritual and religious figures, arguing that not enough would be known for years, or possibly ever, to make a firm judgment.[9]

According to popular traditional biographies, he worked as the Keeper of the Archives for the royal court of Zhou. This reportedly allowed him broad access to the works of the Yellow Emperor and other classics of the time. The stories assert that Laozi never opened a formal school, but he nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples. There are numerous variations of a story depicting Confucius consulting Laozi about rituals and the story is related in Zhuangzi (though the author of Zhuangzi may have invented both the story and the character of Laozi).[10][11]



Posted Image
Laozi, depicted as a Taoist god.


About the ever popular book (east and west) attributed to Lao, the Tao Te Ching:

...Laozi is traditionally regarded as the author of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), though the identity of its author(s) and/or compiler(s) has been debated throughout history.[22][23] It is one of the most significant treatises in Chinese cosmogony. As with most other ancient Chinese philosophers, Laozi often explains his ideas by way of paradox, analogy, appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm.

The Tao Te Ching, often called simply Laozi after its reputed author, describes the Dao (or Tao) as the source and ideal of all existence: it is unseen, but not transcendent, immensely powerful yet supremely humble, being the root of all things. According to the Daodejing, humans have no special place within the Dao, being just one of its many ("ten thousand") manifestations. People have desires and free will (and thus are able to alter their own nature). Many act "unnaturally", upsetting the natural balance of the Dao. The Daodejing intends to lead students to a "return" to their natural state, in harmony with Dao.[24] Language and conventional wisdom are critically assessed. Taoism views them as inherently biased and artificial, widely using paradoxes to sharpen the point.[25]

Livia Kohn provides an example of how Laozi encouraged a change in approach, or return to "nature", rather than action. Technology may bring about a false sense of progress. The answer provided by Laozi is not the rejection of technology, but instead seeking the calm state of wu wei, free from desires. This relates to many statements by Laozi encouraging rulers to keep their people in "ignorance", or "simple-minded".

Some scholars insist this explanation ignores the religious context, and others question it as an apologetic of the philosophical coherence of the text. It would not be unusual political advice if Laozi literally intended to tell rulers to keep their people ignorant. However, some terms in the text, such as "valley spirit" (gushen) and "soul" (po), bear a metaphysical context and cannot be easily reconciled with a purely ethical reading of the work.[25]

Wu wei, literally "non-action" or "not acting", is a central concept of the Daodejing. The concept of wu wei is multifaceted, and reflected in the words' multiple meanings, even in English translation; it can mean "not doing anything", "not forcing", "not acting" in the theatrical sense, "creating nothingness", "acting spontaneously", and "flowing with the moment."[26]

It is a concept used to explain ziran, or harmony with the Dao. It includes the concepts that value distinctions are ideological and seeing ambition of all sorts as originating from the same source. Laozi used the term broadly with simplicity and humility as key virtues, often in contrast to selfish action. On a political level, it means avoiding such circumstances as war, harsh laws and heavy taxes. Some Taoists see a connection between wu wei and esoteric practices, such as the "sitting in oblivion" (emptying the mind of bodily awareness and thought) found in the Zhuangzi.[25]


Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozi



More about Taoist teachings:

...Taoism (pronounced and also spelled Daoism; is a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (Chinese: 道; pinyin: dào). The term Tao (or Dao, depending on the romanization system used) originally means "way", "path" or "principle", and can be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes an obscure metaphysical force which is ultimately ineffable: "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao."[1] In Taoism, the Tao is the source and essence of everything that exists.

The keystone work of literature in Taoism is the Daodejing, a concise and ambiguous book containing teachings attributed to Laozi, or "the Old Teacher". Together with the writings of Zhuangzi, these texts build the philosophical foundation of Taoism. This philosophical Taoism, individualistic by nature, is not institutionalized. Institutionalized forms, however, evolved over time in the shape of a number of different schools, often integrating beliefs and practices that even pre-dated the keystone texts – as, for example, the theories of the School of Naturalists, which synthesized the concepts of yin-yang and the Five Elements. Taoist schools traditionally feature reverence for Laozi, immortals or ancestors, along with a variety of divination and exorcism rituals, and practices for achieving ecstasy, longevity or immortality.

Taoist propriety and ethics may vary depending on the particular school, but in general tends to emphasize wu wei (action through non-action), simplicity, spontaneity, harmony between the individual and the cosmos, and the Three Treasures: Compassion, Moderation, and Humility.

Taoism has had profound influence on Chinese culture in the course of the centuries, and clerics of institutionalised Taoism (Chinese: pinyin: dàoshi) usually take care to note distinction between their ritual tradition and the customs and practices found in Chinese folk religion as these distinctions sometimes appear blurred. Chinese alchemy (especially neidan), Chinese astrology, Zen Buddhism, several martial arts, Traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, and many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Beyond China, Taoism also had influence on surrounding societies in Asia.

After Laozi and Zhuangzi the literature of Taoism grew steadily and used to be compiled in form of a canon – the Daozang, which was at times published at the behest of the emperor. Throughout Chinese history, Taoism was several times nominated as state religion. After the 17th century, however, it fell much from favor. Like all other religious activity, Taoism was suppressed in the first decades of the People's Republic of China (and even persecuted during the Cultural Revolution), but continued to be practised in Taiwan. Today, it is one of five religions recognized in the PRC, and although it does not travel readily from its Asian roots, claims adherents in a number of societies.[2]


Posted Image
The world renown, universally recognized Taoist symbol.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism

***

Tao has indeed taken a turn from being, "the Eternal Deity and Creator Absolute of the universes" to a body of thinking and acting, a philosophy of wisdom, harmony and cooperation (non-coercion), 'the way' of the Yellow Race, who have always leaned toward community unity, individual subjugation, and family loyalty.

***

Tomorrow's reading is part 2 of: LAO-TSE AND CONFUCIUS wherein Melchizedek tells of Lao's younger contemporary, "Kung Fu-tze", who became a compiler of wisdom, also a moralizer and an advocate of order, in the 6th century BC in the Orient.


Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host


Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

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***

#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:26 AM



Welcome to UAI Forum's One-Page-A-Day Online Study Session

Today's Presentation:


PAPER 94 - THE MELCHIZEDEK TEACHINGS IN THE ORIENT


6. LAO-TSE AND CONFUCIUS



[Part 2 of 2)



P.1034 - §4 Confucius (Kung Fu-tze) was a younger contemporary of Lao in sixth-century China. Confucius based his doctrines upon the better moral traditions of the long history of the yellow race, and he was also somewhat influenced by the lingering traditions of the Salem missionaries. His chief work consisted in the compilation of the wise sayings of ancient philosophers. He was a rejected teacher during his lifetime, but his writings and teachings have ever since exerted a great influence in China and Japan. Confucius set a new pace for the shamans in that he put morality in the place of magic. But he built too well; he made a new fetish out of order and established a respect for ancestral conduct that is still venerated by the Chinese at the time of this writing.

P.1034 - §5 The Confucian preachment of morality was predicated on the theory that the earthly way is the distorted shadow of the heavenly way; that the true pattern of temporal civilization is the mirror reflection of the eternal order of heaven. The potential God concept in Confucianism was almost completely subordinated to the emphasis placed upon the Way of Heaven, the pattern of the cosmos.

P.1034 - §6 The teachings of Lao have been lost to all but a few in the Orient, but the writings of Confucius have ever since constituted the basis of the moral fabric of the culture of almost a third of Urantians. These Confucian precepts, while perpetuating the best of the past, were somewhat inimical to the very Chinese spirit of investigation that had produced those achievements which were so venerated. The influence of these doctrines was unsuccessfully combated both by the imperial efforts of Ch'in Shih Huang Ti and by the teachings of Mo Ti, who proclaimed a brotherhood founded not on ethical duty but on the love of God. He sought to rekindle the ancient quest for new truth, but his teachings failed before the vigorous opposition of the disciples of Confucius.

P.1034 - §7 Like many other spiritual and moral teachers, both Confucius and Lao-tse were eventually deified by their followers in those spiritually dark ages of China which intervened between the decline and perversion of the Taoist faith and the coming of the Buddhist missionaries from India. During these spiritually decadent centuries the religion of the yellow race degenerated into a pitiful theology wherein swarmed devils, dragons, and evil spirits, all betokening the returning fears of the unenlightened mortal mind. And China, once at the head of human society because of an advanced religion, then fell behind because of temporary failure to progress in the true path of the development of that God-consciousness which is indispensable to the true progress, not only of the individual mortal, but also of the intricate and complex civilizations which characterize the advance of culture and society on an evolutionary planet of time and space.





***





[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us!]


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#19 Rick Warren

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:27 AM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Members and Guests,

Quite a bit has been written about this famous man, one of a few Chinese luminaries well known outside China. These writings confirm what Melchizedek says about his focus on morals and order, without the encumbrances of formalized religion. But, apparently, morality and order without the person of God is a recipe for retrogression.


...China, once at the head of human society because of an advanced religion, then fell behind because of temporary failure to progress in the true path of the development of that God-consciousness which is indispensable to the true progress.... P.1034 - 7


***

About Confucius' in recorded history:

...Confucius (551–479 BC)[1] was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history.

The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.

Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.

Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children (and in traditional interpretations of husbands by their wives), and family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", an early version of the Golden Rule.

...Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, arguments continue over whether it is a religion. Confucianism discusses elements of the afterlife and views concerning Heaven, but it is relatively unconcerned with some spiritual matters often considered essential to religious thought, such as the nature of souls.

In the Analects, Confucius presents himself as a "transmitter who invented nothing". He puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the Chinese character for study () that opens the text. Far from trying to build a systematic or formalist theory, he wanted his disciples to master and internalize the old classics, so that their deep thought and thorough study would allow them to relate the moral problems of the present to past political events (as recorded in the Annals) or the past expressions of commoners' feelings and noblemen's reflections (as in the poems of the Book of Odes.

...Politics

Confucius' political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He argues that the best government is one that rules through "rites" () and people's natural morality, rather than by using bribery and coercion. He explained that this is one of the most important analects: "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of the shame, and moreover will become good." (Translated by James Legge) in the Great Learning . This "sense of shame" is an internalisation of duty, where the punishment precedes the evil action, instead of following it in the form of laws as in Legalism.

Confucius looked nostalgically upon earlier days, and urged the Chinese, particularly those with political power, to model themselves on earlier examples. In times of division, chaos, and endless wars between feudal states, he wanted to restore the Mandate of Heaven that could unify the "world" ("all under Heaven") and bestow peace and prosperity on the people. Because his vision of personal and social perfections was framed as a revival of the ordered society of earlier times, Confucius is often considered a great proponent of conservatism, but a closer look at what he proposes often shows that he used (and perhaps twisted) past institutions and rites to push a new political agenda of his own: a revival of a unified royal state, whose rulers would succeed to power on the basis of their moral merits instead of lineage.These would be rulers devoted to their people, striving for personal and social perfection, and such a ruler would spread his own virtues to the people instead of imposing proper behavior with laws and rules.

While he supported the idea of government by an all-powerful sage, ruling as an Emperor, his ideas contained a number of elements to limit the power of rulers. He argued for according language with truth, and honesty was of paramount importance. Even in facial expression, truth must always be represented. Confucius believed that if a ruler were to lead correctly, by action, that orders would be deemed unnecessary in that others will follow the proper actions of their ruler. In discussing the relationship between a king and his subject (or a father and his son), he underlined the need to give due respect to superiors. This demanded that the inferior must give advice to his superior if the superior was considered to be taking the course of action that was wrong. Confucius believed in ruling by example, if you lead correctly, orders are unnecessary and useless.


Posted Image
A portrait of Confucius by the Tang Dynasty artist Wu Daozi (680–740)

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius


About Mo Ti:

...Mozi (Chinese: pinyin: Mòzǐ; Wade–Giles: Mo Tzu, Lat. as Micius, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC), original name Mo Di, was a Chinesephilosopher during the Hundred Schools of Thought period (early Warring States Period). Born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province, China, he founded the school of Mohism, and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism. During the Warring States Period, Mohism was actively developed and practiced in many states, but fell out of favour when the legalistQin Dynasty came to power. During that period, many Mohist classics were ruined when Qin Shi Huang carried out the burning of books and burying of scholars. The importance of Mohism further declined when Confucianism became the dominant school of thought during the Han Dynasty, until mostly disappearing by the middle of the Western Han Dynasty.[1] Mozi is known by children throughout Chinese culture by way of the Thousand Character Classic, which records that he was saddened when he saw dyeing of pure white silk, which embodied his conception of austerity (simplicity, chastity).

...Like Confucius, Mozi idealized the Xia Dynasty and the ancients of Chinese mythology, but he criticized the Confucian belief that modern life should be patterned on the ways of the ancients. After all, he pointed out, what we think of as "ancient" was actually innovative in its time, and thus should not be used to hinder present-day innovation ("Against Confucianism, Part 3" in the Mozi). Though Mozi did not believe that history necessarily progresses, as did Han Fei Zi, he shared the latter's critique of fate (mìng). Mozi believed that people were capable of changing their circumstances and directing their own lives. They could do this by applying their senses to observing the world, judging objects and events by their causes, their functions, and their historical bases. ("Against Fate, Part 3") This was the "three-prong method" Mozi recommended for testing the truth or falsehood of statements. His students later expanded on this to form the School of Names.

Mozi tried to replace what he considered to be the long-entrenched Chinese over-attachment to family and clan structures with the concept of "impartial caring" or "universal love" (jiān ài). In this, he argued directly against Confucians who had argued that it was natural and correct for people to care about different people in different degrees. Mozi, in contrast, argued that people in principle should care for all people equally, a notion that philosophers in other schools found absurd, as they interpreted this notion as implying no special amount of care or duty towards one's parents and family. Overlooked by those critics, however, is a passage in the chapter on "Self-Cultivation" which states, "When people near-by are not befriended, there is no use endeavoring to attract those at a distance."

..."Mozi" is also the name of the philosophical text compiled by Mohists from Mozi's thought. This text originally consisted of 71 chapters. During the Han dynasty Confucianism dominated China. As Mohism is against Confucianism, the text "Mozi" was neglected. During the Song dynasty, only 61 chapters were left. Today, we have only 53 chapters through which we attempt to understand this school of thought, as compiled by Sun Yirang. Because Mohism disappeared as a living tradition from China, its texts were not well maintained, and many chapters are missing or in a corrupted state. For example, of the three chapters "Against Confucianism", only one remains.

The collection of texts from "Mozi" is a rich source of insight into early Chinese dynastic history and culture. Much of Mozi's arguments are supported by the historical claims of even earlier records. His conversations with other renowned philosophers of that era are also recorded. From them, we can distinguish Mohism from other schools of thought more clearly.

Mohism was suppressed under the Qin and died out completely under the Han, which made Confucianism the official doctrine. However, many of its ideas were dissolved into the mainstream of Chinese thought and re-examined in modern times. Sun Yat-Sen used "universal love" as one of the foundations for his idea of Chinese democracy. More recently, Chinese scholars under Communism have tried to rehabilitate Mozi as a "philosopher of the people", highlighting his rational-empirical approach to the world as well as his "proletarian" background.

Some views claim that Mozi's philosophy was at once more advanced and less so than that of Confucius. His concept of "universal love" embraced a broader idea of human community than that of the Confucians, but he was less tolerant than Confucius in his condemnation of all that is not directly "useful," neglecting the humanizing functions of art and music. Zhuangzi, who criticized both the Confucians and the Mohists, had this in mind in his parables on the "usefulness of the useless". Of course, this insistence on usefulness comes from a time when war and famine were widespread and could well have made all the royal pageantry look frivolous. However, others would say the above view is not entirely accurate, and that in fact "universal love", as well as "the world as a commonwealth shared by all" advocated by Sun Yat-Sen are Confucian ideas.[9] "Universal love" (Boai) in Confucianism is a little different from Mozi's "universal love" (Jian'ai): in Confucianism it tends to emphasize it as naturally befitting human relations, while in Mozi's ideas it tends to be community oriented and non-differentiated according to individual. Some modern-day supporters for Mozi (as well as Communism) make the claim that Mohism and modern Communism share a lot in terms of ideals for community life. Others would claim that Mohism shares more with the central ideas of Christianity, especially in terms of the idea of "universal love" (in Greek, "agape"), the "Golden Rule", and the relation of humanity to the supernatural realm.



Source/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo_Ti


About Ch'in Shih Huang Ti:

...Qin Shi Huang (259 BC – 210 BC),[1][2] personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period.[3] He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC.[3] He ruled until his death in 210 BC at the age of 49.[4]

Calling himself the First Emperor after China's unification, Qin Shi Huang is a pivotal figure in Chinese history, ushering nearly two millennia of imperial rule. After unifying China, he and his chief advisor Li Si passed a series of major economic and political reforms.[3] He undertook gigantic projects, including building and unifying various sections of the Great Wall of China, the now famous city-sized mausoleum guarded by a life-sized Terracotta Army, and a massive national road system, all at the expense of numerous lives. To ensure stability, Qin Shi Huang outlawed and burned many books and buried some scholars alive.[4]

...Another historian, Ma Feibai , published in 1941 a full-length revisionist biography of the First Emperor entitled Qin Shi Huangdi Zhuan, calling him "one of the great heroes of Chinese history". Ma compared him with the contemporary leader Chiang Kai-shek and saw many parallels in the careers and policies of the two men, both of whom he admired. Chiang's Northern Expedition of the late 1920s, which directly preceded the new Nationalist government at Nanjing was compared to the unification brought about by Qin Shi Huang.


Posted Image
Qin Shi Huang

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....i/Qin_Shi_Huang


Recently discovered life-size statutes, thousands of them, are thought to be a product of Huang Ti's times:

Posted Image
The armies of Ch'in shih-huang-ti.

Source: http://www.molniyafi...m/newpage2.html

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Lao Tse and Confucius are cited several times in the book, Mo Ti and Huang Ti only once each. Buddha and Buddhism are mentioned many more. Tomorrow's reading begins to relate "the Buddha" story: Section 7 is titled: GAUTAMA SIDDHARTHA

Thanks for reading. Forum Member's thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today's OPAD presentation are invited. Join the Forum

Much love, Rick/OPAD host


Overview of Paper 94: The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient


1. The Salem Teachings in Vedic India
2. Brahmanism
3. Brahmanic Philosophy
4. The Hindu Religion
5. The Struggle for Truth in China
6. Lao-Tse and Confucius
7. Gautama Siddhartha
8. The Buddhist Faith

9. The Spread of Buddhism
10. Religion in Tibet
11. Buddhist Philosophy
12. The God Concept of Buddhism


[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.]

Reader Tools, References & Links


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#20 Rick Warren

Rick Warren

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:49 PM

This is interesting, about the influence Confucius had outside China.

Source/more: http://en.wikipedia....ki/Confucianism




Influence in 17th-century Europe


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"Life and works of Confucius, by Prospero Intorcetta, 1687

The works of Confucius were translated into European languages through the agency of Jesuit scholars stationed in China.[21] Matteo Ricci was among the very earliest to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and father Prospero Intorcetta wrote about the life and works of Confucius in Latin in 1687.[22] Translations of Confucian texts influenced European thinkers of the period,[23] particularly among the Deists and other philosophical groups of the Enlightenment who were interested by the integration of the system of morality of Confucius into Western civilization.[22][24] Confucianism influenced Gottfried Leibniz, who was attracted to the philosophy because of its perceived similarity to his own. It is postulated that certain elements of Leibniz's philosophy, such as "simple substance" and "preestablished harmony", were borrowed from his interactions with Confucianism.[23] The French philosopher Voltaire was also influenced by Confucius, seeing the concept of Confucian rationalism as an alternative to Christian dogma.[25] He praised Confucian ethics and politics, portraying the sociopolitical hierarchy of China as a model for Europe.[25]


Confucius has no interest in falsehood; he did not pretend to be prophet; he claimed no inspiration; he taught no new religion; he used no delusions; flattered not the emperor under whom he lived...
Voltaire[25]



Influence on Islamic thought

From the late 17th century onwards a whole body of literature known as the Han Kitab developed amongst the Hui Muslims of China who infused Islamic thought with Confucianism. Especially the works of Liu Zhu such as Tianfang Dianli(天 方典禮) sought to harmonize Islam with not only Confucianism but Daoism and is considered to be one of the crowning achievements of the Chinese Muslim culture.[26]


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