Karen Armstrong Message Board

Nick Goldsworthy posts on 1/11/2010 5:08:21 PM Dear Karen Armstrong I have been reassuured and grateful for your work and thinking for many years. At 74 years of age I need some leads to people with whom I can discus my present 'religious' position. During our evolution we had to project our inner mystery as God in order to address and relate to it. Currently,on a good night,I can do so through dreams. However this is a one way channel. Evidently most religions offer paths to attain conscious awareness of this Atman- self-mystery. As a palaentologist I cant understand why these paths should be so very hard when the objective should be so natural. Please excuse simplification for this medium but any leads would be most important and trulyappreciated.
Harold Barre posts on 1/11/2010 1:49:07 PM I see this is the Mystery/Thriller section. I recently found a site with free audio books and every topic conceivable, and maybe 30% are free too. Anyway, they had a dozen stories about the detective/priest Father Brown. I felt like a couple of them were better than Sherlock Holmes. They brought back even more thrill to me than Holmes did in my youth. So I guess that's a recommend. No doubt Google will get you there if you're interested. I don't want to sound like an advertisement, there are many free sites. I see the posts on spiritual experiences. I think that they are relatively simple to have. It's a matter of actually doing what the masters of the past said, after intellectualizing them. A lot of ideas are good, but not practiced, how good are they? Which leads me to: The basic sayings of spirituality seem to be the key to a higher consciousness. Things like love, forgiveness, compassion, thankfulness and not being judgmental. Those things put you in sync with the whole mind and that super consciousness that everyone is talking about, or at least it did me. What was sabatoging me, and everyone else, I think, is, word choice. We try to do the teachings, but still use the same charged or otherwise debilitating words and phrases. Try dropping certain types of words and see how you see. Just dropping negative words, for instance, puts you into an entirely different mindset that remains a fairly permanent place that the subconscious can take you back to even automatically. Well, it's a long story, but if you really want to see something really different that can permanently 'change your mind', then try it. You can experiment with different word types, like the negative or other thing you want to delete. But the view is the thing. I recommend you don't miss the trip. There are a couple of caveats, though. If things are not going very well in your life, you may have to work very hard at it to come out on top, but the word change is almost magical, if you put out the effort that you require. Ninety nine percent commitment is much harder than one hundred percent anyway. May that is why many don't get it. Jesus pretty much has it all there. That's the secret. Seeing is believing. If you see it work, it will make a believer out of you. Maybe it's that the word change is the other one percent. Remember, Christ is the word and not a letter will pass away until all is fulfilled, seems to ask for commitment. I forgot to have the doubter in mind, but they have made up their minds, I think. Who hasn't. I doubt I would give a fair test to something I don't believe in either, but it is the scientific method and I so believe in that method. Even Ayn Rand had visions, while science is saying that the subconscious is a million times more powerful. All the great scientists were spiritual and or used their intuition. Its easy to look that up.
W Goulding posts on 1/11/2010 12:15:22 PM Dear Karen Armstrong, I received "The case for God" for Christmas. An mind blowing provocative read .My most important read in many years I feel. You dont specifically comment on "afterlife/immortality" in the tome.Is "transcendence " in the here and now all that we can expect.? Many thanks William Goulding

Gary Hansen posts on 1/6/2010 2:06:33 AM Ms. Armstrong, I have read quite a number of books on religion and religious history, including the Bible, Koran and 3 of your books. I remain an atheist, for quite a number of sound reasons. What I have grown to understand is this: My realization that I am an atheist was reached through years of research, reading and introspection. Most Christians I have met have not even read the Bible, and those that have chose to cherry pick what they chose and ignore the the rest. We are constantly bombarded by the religious whether we agree with their message or not, and the religious right is making headway into our secular government. My main point to you would be this: I neither believe in fairy tales or your god. I don't need to feel comforted by this invisible absentee parent of a god. I don't foist my atheism on you or your followers, please don't jam your christianity down my or my family's throats.
Jeanne Allen posts on 12/28/2009 10:04:06 AM Karen, I have read a number of your books including A Case For God, and most recently, A Short Story of Myth. That small book has given me great comfort. I left teaching in 1995 to go to Duke and become a Methodist minister. After 6 years serving churches, without "official final ordination," I left due to politics and my changing beliefs around faith. I am now in a United Church of Christ parish which is unusual in its openness and love. Your book on myth helped me to enjoy once again the Christmas story fully in its truth as story. I am able to connect with the story of my own culture and faith knowing it does not make untruth out of the faith of others. My heart has always boiled my theology down to "Love the Lord your God with sll your heart and mind and your neighbor as yourself." I thank you for making me feel my intuitive belief makes sense and that God is, whatever proofs we try, the essence of love and compassion. Jeanne Allen
Kester F. Strange posts on 12/28/2009 8:34:36 AM K. Armstrong, in interview with Robert Wright, states that she has not had a personal mystical experience. Kester
Darsh Mann posts on 12/28/2009 2:09:48 AM I am familiar with your work primarily through media interviews. I have read your book on Buddha and am aware of the all other books you’ve written. I take great interest in your ideas and therefore planning on reading some of your other work. Given your interest in all world religions, I’m wondering if you have had a chance to look at Sikhism. If so, I would be very much interested in learning your thoughts on this faith. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my message.
Robert Dugmore posts on 11/13/2009 6:55:48 AM I've read many of Karen's books, those on religion and her autobiographical works.The only thing which jars with me is her comment on the crusades. I know she is trying to be fair to Islam and to foster inter-faith understanding but sometimes I think she does this by being slightly unfair to Christianity.It is an historical fact that Islam was spread though conquest of lands which were formerly Christian by Mohammad's successors.No doubt the crusades were bloody and there were atrocities but it was a response by the Christian west to the occupation of these territories, particularly of Jerusalem.I applaud her motivation and agree with her desire to see the best in each religious tradition but do sometimes feel she should be as accommodating in her understanding of the Christian viewpoint as she is of Islam and other faiths.
Charlotte Udziela posts on 11/10/2009 6:41:19 PM Ms. Armstrong, I've read many of your books and you have been the thinker and person who has prevented me from abandoning the possibility of being religious because of three of your ideas: that to be religious (or spiritual) is to be compassionate and that we as humans are beings who both know and don't know and can't know really God and that to believe really means to commit, to love, to empty out. My son is a Baha'i and I have noticed that you don't mention the Baha'i faith in your writings. Lately the Baha'is have become quite literal and closed off, unfortunately, but at least at the beginning, the Baha'is seemed to embrace others. What do you think? Thanks for your many wonderful books. I do slog through them, but I treasure them. Congratulations for your TED award.
Vern posts on 11/10/2009 3:49:46 PM Karen, I am a Presbyterian pastor struggling with what to do for my faith support and care. I am a hospital chaplain in a very intentional interfaith setting. While my ordination is through the Presbyterian Church (USA), I am not sectarian. I cherish all the world's religions, and wish we could find a way to live and worship together. I often say, "Peace will be more possible when we stop fighting over dirt." While I am Christian, I realize this is more due to my foundation as a southern, white guy from Alabama than from any divine revelation. My question is: what do you do for your own spiritual support and care? Friends have suggested I become Unitarian, but I do have a need for the sacraments. Communion is especially important to me because it affirms the mystery of the holy in ways words can never touch. Suggestions? Ideas? Can we start a new faith community that practices all the world's religions? Thanks for your response.
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