Religion questions - and (some of) my answers

I will have to start with a bit of explanation going back a long time. I considered myself to be roman catholic during my early school years. During high school years I realised that significant part of this doctrine is in conflict wit current science and as a result I turned over to atheism.
A few years later I found out that atheism is not the answer either. Fortunately I had access to information about spiritual system based on teaching of English author P. Brunton.  I decided, that its ideas are sound enough to be acceptable.

It is an unusual story in itself. I was living under communist regime where any religious or spiritual activity was considered to be subversion. Most people had no access to anything like this at all. At the same time there was a family among our friends who became personal pupils of Dr Brunton in the thirties, during very short period when he accepted personal pupils/followers. They met him a few times, he himself visited Czechoslovakia once or twice. As a result of this I gained access not only to his � under circumstances priceless � books but also to their personal explanations and to some private records about his person and his quite extraordinary abilities. It all formed a very impressive account.

I decided that I will accept his system. Later, shortly before he died I sent him a letter and accepted him as my Teacher. Since than all my important decisions were checked against yardstick of this spiritual system.

Spiritual life doesn't require many changes in general behaviour and seldom requires outward manifestation. At the same time, there is a very important need to prefer positive behaviour and avoid negative things. I do not believe that this should be dogmatic or unreasonable but I based many decisions on this.

A few examples � It is obvious that vegetarian food is more positive than meat, which requires killing of animals. At he same time, to avoid meat completely would create lot of difficulties for other people and these days even vegetarian food is paid by the lives of a lot of animals. I decided that if I substantially cut intake of meat I will achieve most of what can be achieved without going to extremes. Another example is evaluation of contraception. I believe that it is acceptable, unless it interferes with new life, new incarnation of somebody. That excludes not only abortion or "next morning pill" but also IUD.

Logic of this spiritual system leads to conclusion, that everything has three main aspects � material, mental and spiritual. Material level is crude and primitive and there is no great difference between humans and other animals on this level.  We differ much more on mental level and we can expect that only humans can get involved in sophisticated spiritual activity.

Q: When a war can be called "holy war"?

A: Never. War is most primitive, most materialistic (and often more or less "animal") attempt to solve a conflict. It involves cruelty, destroying of values of all sorts and brings low karma to anybody responsible, icluding all communities. As such it is antithesis of spiritual advancement and progress.

There is no such thing as "Holly War" - but there are situations from time to time when pure pacifism is not practical. War may be only realistic response to brutal aggression led on primitive, materialistic level. If this is the case war becomes just and justifiable but other solutions have to be always attempted if at all possible.. If spiritually advanced person has a sad duty to participate is such war he/she may do so but he/she must not participate in hatred and unnecessary cruelty and destruction.

Q: Which spiritual movements to avoid?

A: if/when you will be deciding on this matter, give serious consideration to the following points �

* whoever tells you, that you should give up your personal will and accept ready-made explanations or ideas is suspicious

* whoever tells you, that he is always right is almost certainly lying

* whoever tells you, that his way to god/spirituality is the only one which is right is almost certainly wrong

* whoever tells you, that you have to pay for spiritual advancement is highly suspicious

* whoever tells you, that you should give your wealth to him or his spiritual/religious group is � or will be � almost certainly crook

* whoever tells you, that drugs can provide a short-cut to spiritual advancement is almost certainly wrong

* whoever tells you, that you should join his spiritual system because of material benefits of any sort is almost certainly spiritually less advanced than you are

Whoever fails on two or more of above mentioned points should be avoided ...

In Czech language - fictive dialogue "Poutník a Skeptik"

Last changed: 21.11.2007
Petr Baum