Questions from Eastern and Western Spirituality


1. Where, then, are we to find the sacred in modern times, if there even is such a thing?
2. Do we need to look to sources outside the Western tradition, perhaps to Eastern spirituality?
3. Is there anything that is fundamentally different about the traditions of the East and the West?
4. Is there an essential core to the Western tradition and does it have a future in modern times?
5. But is Eastern Spirituality, in any of its poly/atheistic/non-dual forms, the answer for Western Spiritual seekers?
6. If the goal is non-duality, what was the point of the West's individualizing journey into duality and scientific and technological development?
7. Why bother with all this development and Western individualism if we need to dissolve our egos and return to the One?
8. And what if there is some part of the Western psyche -- perhaps the part that makes it distinctly Western -- that can't be developed by Eastern forms of spiritual thought and practice?
9. And what about the swamis, gurus, and other self-qualified experts come to convert the West to the East?
10. (have they done any better than we in their social structures?) (Suares)
11. If the East is not the answer to the West's problems, what is the answer?
12. Where are our truly enlightened Jewish or Christian or Muslim masters, who embody the sacred teachings and communicate them in the structures of modern thought with relevance to our own times?
13. What do we need then? (If Perennialism isn't the answer)
14. Who has time for salvation, and anyway, aren't we already saved?
15. But do we really think that Jesus is coming back to save the souls of the most un-educated and stuck-in-the-past Christians, who in fact have already been left behind?
16. If we refuse the regression to confusing and archaic belief-systems, or the compromise of a watered-down ethical, semi-rational Judaism or Christianity, and deny ourselves an escape to the oneness of the East, where are we to look for the sacred in the West?
17. If God has a Plan, what was the purpose of the past two thousand or four thousand years?
18. If God's Plan does have a purpose, what would it look like to contemporary minds?
19. What is the purpose of modern civilization in God's design for humans?
20. And what if God is a lot smarter than we give Him credit for?
21. If we can't recognize human psychological development and real maturity in our leaders or in ourselves, how can we find it in our conceptions of God and His Plan?
22. If the first coming of Jesus was not understood -- and it really doesn't appear to have been -- are we any better prepared to understand the second?
23. Has anyone, in all this apparent time, denied themselves (rid themselves of their conditioned consciousness), taken up his cross (entered fully into the contradiction of opposites) and followed Jesus (in their unification in cosmic consciousness)?
24. To return to the crux (of matter and spirit): what if science is in God's Plan?
25. What if the development in the West of the separate, individualized self and the capacity for objective thinking and experimental science and the development of technological civilization had a spiritual purpose?
26. Why did God show Adam the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and tell him -- not Eve -- not to eat the apples of knowledge?
27. In any event, God's Plan suddenly kicks into high gear around 2000 BCE with Abraham's journey into Canaan, only to run out of gas about 2,600 years later, leaving many to wonder -- now what?
28. Are we waiting for an apocalypse, an armageddon, a Second Coming?
29. To be lifted from our airliners and convertibiles and graves into outer space?
30. Was modern technological civilization and the development of a separate, individuated self capable of analyzing its own belief systems just a meaningless diversion before the end of human evolution on earth?
31. Or is it possible that evolution is continuing in humans?
32. Or that the Plan isn't finished and modern civilization and science have a place in it?
33. Or that God is even smarter than we thought, just as we are a lot less evolved than we thought?
34. How can we even begin to think of a future evolution of humanity?
35. Why should these go together? (objective science and individual psychology)
36. Why did the East develop neither an advanced science of the objective world or an individual psychology?
37. And why are we confronted with yet another duality? (objective science and subjective individualization)
38. Why is Searle defending against a viewpoint (dualism) which hasn't had any popularity for three hundred years?
39. Why does he do such a pathetic job of representing the philosophy he is so vigorously opposing?
40. Given the nature of our observational data -- both internal and external -- are monistic explanatory theories really the best tool for the job?
41. After all, what is evolving? And what would be the qualia of understanding the hard problem (qualia)?
42. Can consciousness imagine its own evolution and begin to think with concepts it has no language for?