If you saw yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I started meditating again. However, I want to consider how meditation relates to the Day of Judgement and the major Abrahamic religions. This is something I have written about in my books.
Those who meditate are seeking an experience of bliss and freedom from suffering. This is understandable, it’s what we all want. But what about the warnings concerning a Day of Judgement found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?
Yesterday, I wrote about the teaching of Ramana Maharshi, but in his teaching he never once mentions a Day of Judgement. Would he argue that the efforts of billions of faithful men and women who are committed to these religions are in vain?
God is surely a personal God with whom we can have a relationship. He is a ‘thou’ rather than an ‘it’. Anyone who does meditate is entirely dependent upon God for anything, positive or negative, that he or she experiences.
I think there’s more to life than a desire to escape from it, which is essentially what these gurus are trying to do. Their motivations may be understandable, but the Qur’an says that only the misguided deny the judgement.
I don’t think Abraham sat under a tree for years and meditated. Nor did Jesus or David, I expect. If they had done, surely such experiences would have made their way into the Scriptures.
I am an Abrahamic monotheist who identifies strongly with the teaching of Jesus, who was just a person, like you. I have said sorry to God for my meditation practice.
I find the “heaven and hell, Day of Judgement” aspects of the Abrahamic tradition to be a thorny issue with me. It just doesn’t match well with a boundlessly loving, All Compassionate, All Merciful, God.
To me, “hell” is separation from God. But if there is only God, there can never be anything separate from Him or in addition to Him. So “hell” is the person’s own illusion of self-sufficiency. By insisting on this, one raise their head from their servanthood and usurp lordship over themselves. God does not “punish” them – they in fact “punish” themselves. The punishment being a self-inflicted banishment. And as a hadith, says, “Those who are blind in this world, shall surely be blind in the next.”
Let me leave you with something that a great female, Sufi Saint, Rabi’a Basri, once said:
“I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to God. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of God.”
– Love Rahim Gee
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It’s a beautiful quote, but I find it hard to disregard the teachings of the Bible and Quran
Steven, just my two cents:
Hell (or heaven) is not of the relative realm; it is of the transcendent realm. The problem with reading the Qur’an, the Bible, or the Torah literally is that they describe things of the transcendent realm using the written word which unfortunately is limited to the relative realm. As a side note, the Torah views hell as a place that cleans the soul to eventually return to the Garden of Eden. It is not a place of eternal punishment.
I also believe that the Qur’an, the Bible, or the Torah are “living” documents not limited to the understanding rendered at the time in which they were written or revealed. They act as a spiritual guide or “map” for which a person may travel by. But as the philosopher Alfred Korzybski said, ‘the map is not the same as the territory’ and the goal is to not fixate them but to travel in God.
– Love Rahim Gee
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Interesting, thanks brother. But I think judgement is going to take place on Earth, the Scriptures describe a new heaven and new earth, what’s your take on that? Love
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