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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man

October 27, 2013 2 comments

My first exposure to Jungian psychology was during my undergraduate studies, when I happened upon a copy of Dr. Carl Jung’s 1933 book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul. While up until that point I had never even heard of Dr. Jung, the title resonated with me because I myself was a modern man in search of a deeper understanding of myself, and the world around me; therefore, I was compelled to read the book. What I discovered in those pages set me firmly upon my spiritual path, so I owe a great deal to the wisdom contained in those pages.

The Swiss psychologist Dr. Carl Jung (1875-1961), founded the field of analytical psychology, which seeks to aid individuals on the path of individuation. Rather than rejecting religion as his contemporary Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) had done, Dr. Jung explored and integrated religion, alchemy, and esoteric elements into his theories. By exploring various religious and esoteric studies, Dr. Jung, integrated a great deal of ancient wisdom into his theories. Dr. Jung’s theories regarding the unconscious and conscious subparts of the psyche can be extremely beneficial in understanding the methods, rationales, and goals of the world religions, as well as esoteric and initiatic systems, including Freemasonry.

One of the final chapters of, Modern Man, is aptly titled, “The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man”, and it really sums up the issues that most of us encounter in our spiritual lives, as well as the solutions to lead a more balanced and spiritually integrated life. In this chapter Dr. Jung discusses the fact that modern people often suffer from various forms of anxiety and neurosis, because we have severed our conscious self from our unconscious subparts. Most modern people no longer reflect or partake in personal introspection, instead we are only concerned with instant gratification and that which can be validated by our physical senses. However, this causes a myriad of problems, because no matter how hard we try to divorce our conscious self from our unconscious, our unconscious will always seek to guide and gain control. Since modern people don’t partake in introspection, and thereby gain an understanding of our unconscious subparts, we are in essence trying to sail a ship without an adequate knowledge of the engine or navigation mechanics.

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Your Amazing Worth

March 25, 2013 2 comments

This is my twenty-fifth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

My son Jason loves a good fire!

My son Jason loves a good fire!

Y= Your Amazing Worth: I’ve mentioned in several previous posts that most suffering is caused by ignorance and attachment. I also believe that suffering is caused when we don’t realize our own amazing worth. Now as a point of clarification, when I refer to “suffering”, I’m not necessarily only talking about mental anguish, I’m also referring to general unhappiness, the nagging feeling of being unsatisfied, or anything that gets in your way of being truly happy.

When we don’t realize our self-worth, we naturally search for happiness from external sources. Seeking happiness from external sources is guaranteed to constantly fail and lead to disappointment, because no one will ever be the perfect friend or the perfect partner, no job will always be perfect, possessions will eventually break or go out of style, etc. Therefore, when your happiness or feelings of well-being are tied to external sources you are setting yourself up for a vicious cycle of disappointment.

This is why the Buddha, in his Four Noble Truths, taught that suffering is caused by attachment (craving), and that in order to end suffering (dukkha), one must end attachments to material possessions and the external world in general. This is also why Jesus taught to reject materialism (Matthew 6:19), and that one cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), you must choose to love God (and your true-self), or money (materialism), you cannot do both.

Every human being is an amazing creature, our bodies are made up of stardust, and we are animated by the divine spark of life from the Creator. The divine spark of life is what unites us with the Creator, and the rest of creation. We are each more precious than any gem, precious metal, or possession in the world. When we realize this fact, the draw of materialism begins to fall away, and the stresses and bumps in the road of life don’t appear to be so drastic.

Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.” – Rumi

In order to be truly happy, we must learn our true value, and live life to the fullest, live in the now, so that we can fully utilize all that is the mystery, the wonderful experience, of life. Read more…

Question Everything In Order to Find Truth

September 17, 2012 8 comments

This is my seventeenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

Q= Question Everything In Order to Find Truth: The only real way to find Truth is to question everything. This is true in our daily lives in the external world, as well as in our inner spiritual and psychological development. Questioning allows us to truly explore and examine a topic, a situation, our beliefs, and even our prejudices in a thorough manner, which can lead to surprising insights and positive changes.

In our external lives, we should always seek to question and verify the things that our political leaders, news sources, and especially social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) tells us. I can’t begin to even calculate the amount of misinformation, contextual exaggerations, and even outright lies and hoaxes that circulate on a weekly basis in digital news sources, and especially in social media sites like Facebook. What is really sad, and disheartening, is that almost all of this disinformation can be proven to be false, with a simple Google search; however, people are too eager to buy into the misinformation, to take a few seconds to verify the authenticity.

I have been especially saddened by the amount of disinformation being slung around in the current U.S. presidential race. While “truth” always appears to be a relative term in elections, truth seems to be a precious commodity in this election. Whether or not you like a candidate (or anyone in your regular life), if you have to start making stuff up, or relying on half-truths to justify your position, then your position stinks and needs to be reevaluated. Regardless of what side you are on, when a top presidential campaign aide defiantly states that, “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers” – Neil Newhouse , which is in essence, “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by truth”, you should have cause for pause.

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What do You Know For Sure


Used with Permission from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

The other day I was flipping through the channels, and I came across some sort of special involving Oprah. It was an extremely interesting segment, where Oprah was really opening up regarding her background, her spiritual path, etc. One thing that really struck me was when she asked the interviewer (and the audience at large) a very simple, yet profound question, “What do you know for sure?”

This seemingly simple question really got me to think about my own life, background, and spiritual path. It also made me ask myself several questions. First, have I really progressed, even after many years of seeking and practice? Second, have I really come to any greater understanding of myself or the universe than I had a decade ago? Third, is there anything that I can definitively say for sure?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am in the process of editing a book that I have been working on since 2004, where I really explore the teachings of the eight major world religions, and discuss how I have used those teachings in my own path. The editing process has been extremely interesting, because I can literally see how my views and thoughts have changed, sometimes drastically, regarding God, the spiritual path, and even who I really am. There have been portions that even at eight years old still remain relevant and accurate to me, while there are sections that are less than a year old, that I have heavily revised and updated. Read more…

The Importance of Love, Compassion, and Kindness


During the first day of teachings that preceded the Kalachakra, H.H. The Dalai Lama, gave what amounted to a comparative religion lecture. One of the keys to his lecture was the fact that the attributes of love, compassion, and kindness are central tenants of every world religion. Every world religion teaches these attributes because they will not only have a positive influence on yourself and those around you in this life, but they will also benefit you in whatever awaits each of the death of our physical body.

Unfortunately, too often in our technological world, these attributes are lost, because most interaction occurs without any real face-to-face interaction with one another. This makes it is easy to become disconnected with the fact that the person on the other end of the phone line, or on the other side of the internet connection is a person, just like you. These disconnected interactions allows us to feel okay about treating someone poorly, or even in an outright hateful manner. Read more…

Building a Strong Spiritual Foundation, Even if the Bible is Fallible


I ran across the following article the other day: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bart-d-ehrman/the-bible-telling-lies-to_b_840301.html?ref=fb&src=sp

The article discusses the fact that much of the New Testament is not written by the apostles and other authors that most Christians attribute to them. While this should not come as any kind of shock to anyone who has seriously studied the Bible, it may come to a shock to many Christians, who believe that the Bible is literally the infallible word of God (Jesus). As an attorney, and someone who has spent years studying the Bible, I can assure you that the Bible has enough hearsay, contradictions, and outright misinformation, that you could never have it admitted as as a literal and factual piece of evidence in a court of law.

The simple fact is that the Bible is fallible. Even if you could prove that the various books were indeed written by their purported authors, the Bible would still have been written by human beings. All humans are fallible, because each of us has prejudices, life experiences, cognitive conditioning, etc. which all help to shape how we view the world around us, as well as how we view God. Even if I had a direct revelation from God, the moment that I attempt to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys nowadays), I would have already corrupted God’s message in some way. I would have corrupted  God’s message, because 1) There is no way that I can fully comprehend the full scope of God; 2) I can only comprehend the message from God within my own cognitive framework; and 3) As soon as I attempt to convey the message, I will have put my own “spin” on what I experienced. Therefore, I can never write anything that can be construed as the literal word of God, nor could someone 2,000 years ago. Read more…

Introduction To Spiritual Development


A lifetime covers a relatively brief period of time, yet few people choose to live life to the fullest and earnestly seek spiritual development during their lives. In today’s busy and self-centered society, we are too often more concerned with the newest fashion trend, electronic gadget, celebrity faux pa, or work debacle than our personal spiritual well being and development. The most important goal that people should focus on during their walk down the path of life is their own personal spiritual development, which is gaining an understanding of your true self, the world around you, and most importantly developing a personal and meaningful relationship with the mystery that many people simply call God. Read more…

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