The “Hidden Treasure” of God in Mormonism and Buddhism

In my paper “The Book of Mormon as Literary Alchemy: Joseph’s Magnum Opus and the Philosopher’s Stone,” I suggested that the “gold plates” that Joseph Smith had in his possession were not actually made of gold, and did not actually contain ancient historical records like Mormons traditionally think. But that doesn’t mean that there were not “gold plates” which were a kind of “hidden treasure” that Joseph really did discover within himself, which was the source of real divine wisdom, “ancient wisdom,” and which he taught could be found within all people as well. Such teachings can be found in other spiritual traditions too, including Buddhism. First I’ll review a few of Joseph’s writings about this “hidden treasure,” and then I’ll turn to the Buddhist concepts that seem to reflect a similar nature. Continue reading “The “Hidden Treasure” of God in Mormonism and Buddhism”

The Falling Away of Ego Consciousness in Hinduism and Buddhism

(This is the continuation of a series exploring the nature of the human ego in the world’s religions and science, beginning with this post.)

In this post I’ll discuss how the falling away of ego-self consciousness is present in the traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism.

In Hinduism, one of the highest attainments is called moksha. This word is translated as “free, let go, release, liberate.” Moksha is a freeing, an emancipation, a liberation, (a similar sense to salvation). What is one being freed from or saved from? Wikipedia notes, “In its epistemological and psychological senses, moksha refers to freedom from ignorance: self-realization and self-knowledge.” Continue reading “The Falling Away of Ego Consciousness in Hinduism and Buddhism”

Sam Harris Talks Favorably of Jesus?

Sam Harris is a noted philosopher, author, and neuroscientist. He is known for often speaking quite negatively about religion, and has been called one of the “Four Horsemen” of the New Atheism, which also includes Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. Harris has often spoken very harshly of modern Christianity, among other religions, particularly in his books The End of Faith, and Letter to a Christian Nation. What I find fascinating is where he has spoken positively about it, and Jesus in particular. This is may be a key where I think the discussion should take place for there to be a constructive dialogue between science and religion. Continue reading “Sam Harris Talks Favorably of Jesus?”

We WILL Surely Die

Happy Halloween!

For many people, however, today is not a happy day, but rather the most disliked day of the entire year. This is when people seem to celebrate death, the macabre, evil, darkness, the shadows, wickedness, perhaps even Satan himself. Those things are a big turn off for many people, particularly many religious and devout people who like to think about God only as Life and Light and Truth. Continue reading “We WILL Surely Die”