You Are That (.org)
The resurrection of my late lamented website (mostly) on spiritual matters.

Part 1. Introduction: The Givens

Being the First Part of the article entitled "This World and That"

[This essay was originally posted to]

The Condensed Version

"This World" represents the material world, as opposed to "That," the world of spirit--which may or may not exist, but we live as if it does.

Let us start with "givens."

I take as a given the idea that there are two orders of "reality," orders which have a hierarchical relationship. The higher order is absolute; the lower is conditioned, impermanent, in constant flux--it is where we live. I will refer to the higher order as "That," and the order we in which we live and move as "This."

Let me emphasize: I take as a given that the "higher order" truly exists. [2023: This is no longer strictly true. It may exist, but I have seen no solid evidence. Frankly, I'm skeptical--at least.]

I also take as a given that the higher order can be accessed by denizens of the lower. [At least metaphorically.}

I take as a given the idea that many human endeavors--religious, spiritual, psychological, social, even financial--are attempts to access the higher order, and to bring its benefits into the lower, to join That to This, to realize the concepts of "As above, so below" and "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The first two endeavors, the religious and the spiritual, are obvious means of making this attempt. The third, the psychological, also partakes of the less-material, non-daylight side of things. That social enterprises address this issue is a harder case to make, although it becomes clearer when we talk about "utopias," or "the just society." But financial endeavors? These, too, are aimed at "a better life," even if it is conceived of in strictly material terms. The end, though, is still happiness [Huston Smith says euphoria], which is clearly one of the fruits of successfully accessing the "higher order."

Although this paper will center on religious, spiritual, and psychological topics, it must not be forgotten that--as we shall soon see with Huxley's work--many of these same ideas are applicable to the non-religious pursuit of happiness as well.

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