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The Two Ways to Live

Throughout the Bible and in the writings of Buddha, such as the Dhammapada, the authors describe two opposed ways to live.

1. The Way of the Mind: It is what we think of as religion. But it also includes any organization that indoctrinates people with personal beliefs.

2. The Way of the Soul: It is what many consider to be the mystical part of religion. This Way is also followed by creative people and others who make soul-knowing (intuition) primary, and reasoning, secondary.

The two ways are incompatible. Each possesses its own logic, and its own consequences. One cannot understand the Bible, the texts of Buddha, or ancient wisdom literature without distinguishing between the two Ways. One cannot also decide between helpful and unhelpful personal development methods without discerning between two opposed goals.

Many desire an alternative to dogma-based organizations and therapeutic methodologies. Many seek to end religious and social conflicts. Many also seek the way out of emotional pain and into a fulfilled, peaceful life. The good news: ancient wise people discovered how to do those things! It is the Way of the Soul.

These ancients did not distinguish between personal and group mental, spiritual and physical health. They saw the three goals as interrelated. They also recognized that behind every decision that a person or group makes, they choose between the Way of the Mind and the Way of the Soul.

The Chart below outlines the differences between the two ways. It also provides the rationale for the previous claims. Finally, you, the reader, can decide which Way you desire to follow.

The Two Ways to Live

Way of the Mind Way of the Soul
Moses, Paul the Apostle, Mohammed, and most people today. Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, and a few people today.
Authorities indoctrinate people to believe in dogma Empower everyone to discover their own personal answers.
Authorities foster blind, steadfast faith. Encourage others to develop experiential, ever-evolving faith.
Followers primarily rely on others (clergy, scripture, parents, media, friends, teachers, co-workers, etc.) to know how to think and act. Primarily rely on personal inspiration to know how to think and act.
People interpret every word and event in and outside of scripture in the same way; therefore, we can determine and teach objective, absolutely true, universal, personal truths. People interpret every word and event in and outside of scripture subjectively; consequently, it is impossible to determine and teach objective, absolutely true, universal, personal truths.
People interpret every word and event in and outside of scripture in the same way; therefore, we can determine and teach objective, absolutely true, universal, personal truths. People interpret every word and event in and outside of scripture subjectively; consequently, it is impossible to determine and teach objective, absolutely true, universal, personal truths.
Primarily uses mental reasoning and secondarily soulknowing (intuition). Primarily uses soul-knowing (intuition) and secondarily mental reasoning.
Truth is 2D, that is, it is the same for everyone no matter his level of personal development. Truth is 3D, that is, as one grows personally, the meaning of all changes. Hitler perceived things as true. Abraham, Buddha, and Jesus observed the same things and arrived at different conclusions. Thus, personal truths cannot be absolutely and universally true.
One evolves by finding and believing in true dogma. One evolves by suspending all previous beliefs to discover ever-more true descriptions of oneself and the laws intrinsic to the universe.
Followers identify with religions, political parties, and racial, sexist, nationalistic, etc. tribes. Do not identify with religions, political parties, or tribes that attempt to control one’s personal journey
Conservative conformists. Risk-taking individualists.
The objects of blind beliefs are real. Because blind beliefs are not based on experiential evidence, they are often superstitious.
Authorities create creeds and rules for everyone. Diverse thinking and behavior within civil laws.
Authorities establish reward and punishment systems to ensure conformity with official doctrine. Assist people to recognize the natural consequences of living and not living their true, love-guarded self (see * below).
The standard for thinking and behavior is in official doctrine The standard for thinking and behaving is unconditional love-guardedness of all.
Believes that letting people develop their own subjective personal truths will lead to chaos and immorality. Believes that indoctrinating people with personal truths creates uncritical, enslaved humans who conflict with other people who embrace different dogmas.
Most religions define the nature of God and the proper rituals for communicating with that Being. Empower people to continually redefine the nature of God and how they might communicate with that Being.
World peace will happen when everyone believes and acts as “my” tribes and “I” do, or when everyone tolerates the dogma of others that they have been trained to regard as “untrue” and “evil. World peace will happen when everyone is united by empowering everyone else to be their unique loveguarded selves.
Lives busily in the past and future to be accomplished. Lives still in the now to be enlightened.
One primarily finds fulfillment in his money, dogmas, job, health, friends, family, and things. One primarily finds fulfillment in being unconditional love-guarded in any situation.
The goal: Be like others in my tribes. The goal: Both be the unique person that one was as babe, and possess the wisdom to guard that self from the limitations of others.
A roller-coaster emotional life is normal. When it happens, seeks relief in distractions. A roller-coaster emotional life is not healthy. When it happens, seeks relief in self-analysis.
Takes vows and pledges to ensure stability. Vows and pledges secondary to personal development.
Results in divisions within a person and in the world, that is, in global emotional, spiritual, and physical illness (conflicts, hatred, discrimination, persecutions, murder war, and endless holocausts). Results in unity within a person and in the world, that is, in global emotional, spiritual, and physical health (cooperation, love-guardedness, solidarity, equality, and peace).
Living on the Way of the Mind was called:
By Abraham: "the wilderness,"
By Buddha: "the world," "darkness," and "slavery," and By Jesus: "the world," "darkness," and "death."
Living on the Way of the Soul was called:
By Abraham: "the land that I (God) will show you,"
By Buddha: "the Way," "light," and "freedom," and
By Jesus: "the Way," "the Kingdom," "light" and "life.".
The Old Age. The New Age.
Many people on the Way of the Soul arrive at and are guided by the following conclusions:
Primarily, bad and good things happen. Primarily, perfect-as-is things happen.
All happens through luck and coincidence except when God intervenes. All is ordered to provide what we most deeply, and often unconsciously, desire.
Satan tempts us. Every emotion and idea contains the impulse to evolve and devolve.
There is divine, human, animal and plant life.

Everything, including a rock, is a unique version of the same intelligent life at various levels of evolution.

* Many on the Way of the Soul recognize three kinds of love:
1. Naïve Love: One loves another without clearly discerning the other person’s limitations. When one does that, he sets himself up for being disappointed and/or for being manipulated.
2. Guarded Love: One is careful to love or never loves because he is aware that another can hurt him. This person may demand perfection before loving. He also may have difficulty being intimate.
3. Unconditional Love-Guarded: One affirms the soul-wonder of another, and at the same time, recognizes the other’s limitations and protects himself and others from them.


Please tell us:

  • Do you agree that the Way of the Soul is the only way to bring peace to individuals, and between individuals and groups?
  • Are their factors that you would like to see included in or eliminated from the Chart?
  • Are you teaching or do you wish to teach the Way of the Soul?

 

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