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Re: Theism Can't Honestly Be Dismissed

Nov 22, 2002 04:12 PM
by rnewman2003

--- In theos-talk@y..., "Steve Stubbs" <stevestubbs@y...> wrote:

>>> That is true if they are devotees of the dualistic (Dwaita) 
school. Those who study in my school (i.e., Zen) insist that anything 
which has form is intrindicsally illusory and that the ultimate 
reality is necessarily formless and void. One must therefore press on 
from any experience which has form until one arrives at the formless. 
The tesimony of hese masters is the opposite of the ones you quote.

No, with all due respect (to them and to you), it is NOT the 
opposite. Opposite in this case implies "of equal force but 
contradictory," and I maintain that the testimony of the masters of 
whom you speak, being essentially negative, cannot be of equal force 
with the "opposite" positive testimony. 

Putting my position in terms similar to yours above, for clarity, I 
would express it as, "There is a level or plane of consciousness 
characterized by form and personality (different in kind, of course, 
from the material forms and personalities with which we are familiar 
on this earthly plane), which is the ultimate stage of spiritual 
evolution. There is nowhere to "press on" to from there, nor can 
there be any possible incentive or even dream of doing so, once this 
stage is reached. Those who have described this ultimate plane have 
also clearly described the plane of absolute formlessness, devoid of 
personality (i.e., beyond all earthly forms and personalities), and 
these descriptions tally with the descriptions of the Adwaita masters 
who claim that that is the ultimate level.

>From the vantage point of the plane of formlessness (please excuse 
all this crude terminology, but by avoiding technical terms I hope to 
make myself clearly understood by people of many backgrounds and 
levels of understanding), the plane of ultimate form I mentioned is 
unknown. But from the latter vantage point, the former IS known. If 
the credibility of the givers of the two types of testimony is 
similar, logic demands the preference of the more inclusive version. 


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