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Thread: Christianity was initially an Initiatic Path, like Sufism, Esoteric Hinduism, etc

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    Christianity was initially an Initiatic Path, like Sufism, Esoteric Hinduism, etc

    EDIT; these posts were moved from the thread "How to Revitalise the Church?"
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=110303
    If you can think of a better thread title for it all, or have any other queries, then please send a pm and it will de seen to. Thanks, Oswiu


    Originally Christianity wasn't a church or religion but strictly an initiatic path as Islamic tradition says, which is also evident in that it has no exoteric spiritual law and had to adapt Roman law once it descended into a religion. That being said, I'd much rather have a less popular religion but of a higher quality than a popular and unified religion of very low quality. Most Christians today are not even Christian, do not go past historicism, moralism or politics, and even confuse doctrine with legalistic codes. You cannot revitalize the church until the people themselves change, as the church is only a reflection of the people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    Originally Christianity wasn't a church or religion but strictly an initiatic path as Islamic tradition says
    Sufis use traditions that are questionable to back up their fringe practices. The Sufis also claim that they are preserving practices that the Prophet taught to his closest companions.. Why then do scholars say there is no evidence for Sufis back in the time of the salafiyya?

    Is not Sufism just bidah or "innovation" ?

    I've read about Sufi ideas such as wahdat ul wajud and found that it was exactly like reading the non-dualist Vedanta philosophy, which leads me to believe that Muslims in the east of the Islamicate realm blended Islam with Hindu philosophy. I cannot see how it can be otherwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    Sufis use traditions that are questionable to back up their fringe practices.
    You oppose all ascetic and esoteric practices calling them life or nature denying an idea which only stems from your ignorance of esoterism, hence your continuous propaganda like the above. You list your religion as Hindu, but there is no way a real Hindu would say such things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    You oppose all ascetic and esoteric practices calling them life or nature denying an idea which only stems from your ignorance of esoterism, hence your continuous propaganda like the above. You list your religion as Hindu, but there is no way a real Hindu would say such things.
    You don't know what you're talking about. Shaktas are the most mystical of all Hindu sects. It's just that Hinduism, unlike the Abrahamic religions readily embraces mysticism and esotericism. The esoterics among the Abrahamic religions many times come into conflict with mainline schools of thought. For example, Sufis are routinely criticized by Salafis, who are actually sticking to a literal reading of their own text. As I pointed out earlier, it would not be a far-fetched claim that Sufi ideas blended with the Hindu non-dual (Advaita) Vedanta philosophy. Wahdat ul-Wajud is not a concept championed by non-Sufi muslims. The difference is, instead of hiding behind an Islamic veil and really promulgating Vedanta, I actually go directly to Advaita Vedanta. Why is it that the Sufis are more tolerant than mainline Muslims..? It is because they adhere to a religion of love, whereas mainline Islam is a religion of tired legal codes and warfare. The Quran calls directly for a "grievous chastisement for the Infidels"... These are not the words of a loving god.

    There is a Sufi order which claims that through certain practices a member may become greater than the Prophets... To a mainline Muslim this is the utmost blasphemy.

    If Islam was truly a religion of peace, there would not be verses in the Quran like "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them, besiege them, harrass them, smite their necks..."

    Religion of Peace... Mein Arsch.

    You'll probably end up giving me some cryptic answer about how you're right without addressing any of my points logically, but I am prepared because as Tony Wakeford says "There are liars who know they are liars."
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    I'm not sure what makes you think that you are a Hindu--just because you one day decided this is what I believe? Mysticism is really only found in the West, usually attached to Christian exoterism, in cases where there is no definite method of realization. This has nothing to do with Hinduism, which doesn't even have a esoteric/exoteric structure.

    Sufism also like Hinduism is initiatic not mystical, but here it forms the esoteric core of Islam. Just because some clerics are ignorant of esoterism does not make Sufi rites--which are mental operations done privately--"fringe" or "heretical." Furthermore, just because Sufism shares common truths with Hinduism does not suggest any borrowings; on the contrary, all traditions are in total agreement in the esoteric domain and could not be otherwise lest they be false traditions.

    As regards love, peace... I really don't know what makes people think that peace and love could come without struggle, especially in this most degenerate period in time. Nor does true inner peace appear to fallen man without spiritual struggle, hence those practices which you seem to think are "life-denying."

    If you do not understand this it does not mean that I am lying or being illogical; nor is there a secret conspiracy behind everything, except in the minds of certain fantasy authors and movie producers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    Mysticism is really only found in the West
    Mysticism is having a direct experience of God... Hindus (like Adi Shankara for example) have not attempted to do this?!

    This has nothing to do with Hinduism, which doesn't even have a esoteric/exoteric structure.
    This is because Hinduism has a wide range of practices under a decentralized structure. I've heard it said Islam is a decentralized religion, but with the Muslim ulema, muftis, qadis and various others, Hindu Dharma and other indigenous traditions only are the true paragons of decentralized religion.

    Sufi brotherhoods claim their descent back to the Prophet. Scholars have shown that this is only a legendary claim not backed up by fact.

    In the Sufi brotherhoods, the relationship between leader and student, and the chain of transmission (called silsilah) is of huge import. This is the same as the relationship between guru and student, and the chain of transmission in Hinduism.

    Syed Hossain Nasr wrote about the influence of Persian and other belief systems on Sufism, then he contradicted himself afterwards saying 'There is no reason to believe that there was extra-Islamic influence on Sufism.' In saying this, he is not only being dishonest, but is not giving credit where credit is due.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    Mysticism is having a direct experience of God... Hindus (like Adi Shankara for example) have not attempted to do this?!
    You are confusing mysticism with initiation.


    This is because Hinduism has a wide range of practices under a decentralized structure.
    It is not decentralized.

    Sufi brotherhoods claim their descent back to the Prophet. Scholars have shown that this is only a legendary claim not backed up by fact.
    As if scholars would know what goes on in private!

    In the Sufi brotherhoods, the relationship between leader and student, and the chain of transmission (called silsilah) is of huge import. This is the same as the relationship between guru and student, and the chain of transmission in Hinduism.
    which is initiation...

    Syed Hossain Nasr wrote about the influence of Persian and other belief systems on Sufism, then he contradicted himself afterwards saying 'There is no reason to believe that there was extra-Islamic influence on Sufism.' In saying this, he is not only being dishonest, but is not giving credit where credit is due
    I fail to see how this is a contradiction, Sufism exists on its own as a complete esoteric tradition and does not rely on outside influences; in fact, that may be said of all esoteric traditions which are initiatic, because here we are speaking of direct knowledge. One can be influenced by outward forms but this is already something other than esoterism. I do understand what you are implying however, and you are wrong, Sufism does not take as its base exoteric traditions outside of Islam. Besides, even if a tradition had outside influence, this would not make it heretical, but merely reflect the fact that it was incomplete or in need of a reconstruction, as Christianity often is. This has never happened with Islam, for in fact muslims were the ones who preserved the Greek and Judaic texts and the Christian mysteries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    It is not decentralized.
    Name one thing which ALL Hindus believe.



    As if scholars would know what goes on in private!
    How can Sufis claim it goes all the way back to the Prophet if there is no record of it? And perhaps more importantly, if it went on in private in 600 AD then how do these Sufi Orders know about it?

    Some lineages start in the 1400s. Many Sufis do use hadith which are not authenticated.

    How can a teacher claim that the student becomes greater than the Prophets?

    How may Hellfire be interpreted as the "Fire of Allah's love.." ? I highly doubt that is what was meant in the Quran.

    Sufism advocates a doctrine which borders on (or is outright) pantheism... such as Wahdat ul wajud... A mainline Muslim would say there is nothing alike unto Allah in this world.

    Sufism in Persia and esp. in India employ meditative and breathing techniques which are Hindu in origin. Notice how such practices are not employed in N. Africa and Arabia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    EDIT; these posts were moved from the thread "How to Revitalise the Church?"
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=110303
    If you can think of a better thread title for it all, or have any other queries, then please send a pm and it will de seen to. Thanks, Oswiu


    Originally Christianity wasn't a church or religion but strictly an initiatic path as Islamic tradition says, which is also evident in that it has no exoteric spiritual law and had to adapt Roman law once it descended into a religion. That being said, I'd much rather have a less popular religion but of a higher quality than a popular and unified religion of very low quality. Most Christians today are not even Christian, do not go past historicism, moralism or politics, and even confuse doctrine with legalistic codes. You cannot revitalize the church until the people themselves change, as the church is only a reflection of the people.
    This post had nothing to do with Sufism or Hinduism and everything to do with revitalizing Christianity. I was merely referring to a historical record of which was a reality completely independent from Islam. One cannot stress this enough, the biggest problem with the Church today is that it lacks an esoteric core which alone makes the religion lawful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    Name one thing which ALL Hindus believe.
    If you admit that initiatic transmission is from master to disciple then that is not decentralized now is it?

    How can Sufis claim it goes all the way back to the Prophet if there is no record of it? And perhaps more importantly, if it went on in private in 600 AD then how do these Sufi Orders know about it?
    It's called an initiatic chain for a reason.

    Sufism in Persia and esp. in India employ meditative and breathing techniques which are Hindu in origin.
    Initiatic rites are going to be similar by their very nature but that does not imply any borrowing; on the contrary, that only proves their truth and effectiveness.

    Now, I'm not sure what your argument is, as it has gone from one thing to another. If you are implying that initiation/esoterism is heretical then you haven't made your case; indeed I fail to see how one can produce any revealed exoteric tradition without an initiatic realization, hence the prophets.

    How can a teacher claim that the student becomes greater than the Prophets?
    You'd have to ask him that, but according to a hadith, "The shariah is my words, the tariqa is my actions, and the haqiqa is my interior states." A Sufi is most definitely greater than a mere cleric which only implies the shariah or moral law; he is therefore above the law so to speak, which is why Sufis may drink wine and do other things which are forbidden in the shariah. Wine evidently signifies the higher spiritual state that a sufi has attained. Aside from this, there are non-traditional sufi groups which only implies a degeneration, but we cannot judge sufism based on degenerations.

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