Neoplatonism and Mysticism

The term neoplatonism refers to a school of thought that was founded by Plotinus, a Greek philosopher who lived from 204—270 C.E. During this period cultures that had not had much contact with each other were for the first time studying and responding to each other’s sacred texts and philosophies. Gnostic, Jewish, Christian, and pagan philosophers all debated and interpreted the philosophy of Plato, attempting to reconcile their own belief systems with the cosmology it presented. Neoplatonism is known for synthesizing aspects of the speculations of these various faiths into a single cosmology. In neoplatonism, the universe can be divided … Continue reading

Discipline Meets Love

Perhaps one of the dangers of the spiritual discipline of the eastern or yogic path as compared with a western or Christian path is that the yogi may come to believe that it is through his own efforts at meditation and other spiritual practices that he has attained mastery. Many Christians probably err on the side of believing that Jesus did everything for them already–that He already attained their salvation for them. This is positive in the sense that it engenders humility but negative if it engenders laziness and entitlement. Ultimately, I would think the gift of grace must be present with … Continue reading

Perpetually in Love

lotus

We seem to have the idea in our society that some day we are going to meet someone who is going to fulfill all our needs and dreams. Pop songs and ballads are full of these sentiments. If we really believe this, then when we inevitably discover that our partner is not fulfilling all of our needs, we think that we must not be with the right person. Perhaps this is connected to the extremely high divorce rate. Then the next person does not fulfill all of our needs, either, and the cycle goes on. I know this sounds terribly unromantic, … Continue reading