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- Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
- The admin formerly known as Scott
- Posts: 5584
- Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
- Favorite Philosopher: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
I am not a Christian nor religious at all. I don't follow any religion. Mine is a philosophy of self-discipline, self-responsibility, and self-determination. I only believe in the truths that a man who lives his whole life alone on a deserted island could also find. I only believe in the truths that a man who couldn't even read and never heard of any religion at all could know with all his heart to be true. They are truths that transcend and precede words themselves. They are truths of the unspeakable. They are the truths of the wonderfully indescribable. These are truths so universal that they tend to be shared in all religions and philosophical traditions; they are shared even among the religious and non-religious alike.
They precede words and science and empirical sight itself, both literally and figuratively. They are truths you can see with your eyes closed. They are the inherently subjective truths of the inner world, the one that a philosophical zombie would have to believe doesn't even exist, because--without direct subjective (a.k.a. spiritual) access to it--it's completely outside the realm of the objective and outer. When we talk about things like inner peace and the outer world, the difference between inner and outer is not about a boundary in physical space, but rather the conceptual boundary between the subjective/spiritual/undeniable versus the objective/scientific/empirical/doubtable. The former category includes all the infinite depths of those countless things that any conscious person (i.e. any person with a spirit) knows more than they anyone can know anything thing from the latter category. It's something that a philosophical zombie (i.e. someone without a spirit) could not know at all, for it is (without a spirit of one's own) otherwise beyond the reach of empirical investigation or understanding.
However, among many other great writings and teachings that describe these wonderfully indescribable things, passed down thousands of years from wise teachers and enlightened folk, I have personally been greatly inspired by many of the teachings of Jesus as quoted in the Christian Bible.
Granted, most of the Bible is not about Jesus, and much of what modern self-proclaimed Christians preach in churches has little to do nothing to do with their bible. For example, I don't recall Jesus ever saying anything about gays or abortion. In another example, many self-proclaimed "Christians" would be the first to eagerly throw a stone at someone they see as a sinner, or to point a judgemental shaming finger at someone.
Granted, there's also many people from all religions including Christianity that practice peaceful loving kindness, unconditional forgiveness, radical non-judgementalism, turning the other cheek, not throwing stones. There are even people in remote lands who never even hard of Jesus who practice these things.
In analogy, many people have never heard of the Serenity Prayer, and yet practice its teachings.
My main point in the above is that when I say I am inspired by Jesus's words and teachings, I mean the actual verbatim quotes of things explicitly said by the person/character named Jesus as quoted in the Christian Bible.
Here are some of the things Jesus himself actually said (according to the Christian Bible) that inspire me:
"The kingdom of heaven is within you."
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"
"Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven."
"Do not judge, or you will be judged. For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Or, as I like to say it, To have hate in your heart is to be in hell. And, as I wrote in my book, "This dreamy world may be but a mirror. If you look in it with hateful eyes, hateful eyes will hate you back."
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul."
"You are the light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one lights a lamp and puts it under a clay pot. Instead, it is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven."
"Not everyone saying to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but only the one actually doing the will of My Father in the heavens."
Or, as I say it in my book, In It Together: Actions speak infinitely louder than words. In fact, I explicitly talk in my book about the hypothetical example of someone trying to trick and dishonestly manipulate one's god by giving a dishonest verbal apology.
"For what has a man profited, if he gains the whole world for the price of his own soul?"
To me, that last one, the one right above this paragraph, especially relates to my philosophy of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline, freedom of spirit, free-spiritedness, self-determination, self-ownership, self-responsibility, etc.), and by extension transcending temptation, addiction, and anything that would make one a sell-out or spiritual slave, instead of getting to enjoy the wonderful liberated gracefulness of inner peace and true happiness.
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."
I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
- Book of the Month Discussion Leader
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- Joined: February 19th, 2021, 8:12 pm
The teachings of Jesus that you've quoted, such as the emphasis on inner peace, non-retaliation, love for enemies, non-judgment, and the value of the soul over material gain, indeed carry profound philosophical significance. They align with various philosophical themes, such as the Stoic focus on inner tranquility, the Buddhist principles of compassion and non-harm, and existential considerations of authentic living.
Your approach to these teachings as timeless wisdom that can be accessed and appreciated regardless of religious affiliation is a compelling perspective. It suggests that certain truths about human existence and morality are so fundamental that they resonate across different cultures and belief systems.
And I have one question for you. Do you believe that focusing on such shared human values could foster greater understanding and cooperation among people of different backgrounds and beliefs?
– William James
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