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”

“Are More People Achieving Stream Entry These Days?” with guest Culadasa on Deconstructing Yourself

On my morning run I listened to this podcast with host Michael Taft of Deconstructing Yourself talking with Buddhist teacher Culadasa (John Yates), author of The Mind Illuminated. It was a great discussion of the deepest realizations that come through meditation, from a Buddhist point of view. Continue reading ““Are More People Achieving Stream Entry These Days?” with guest Culadasa on Deconstructing Yourself”

Ego Sacrifice & Transcendence a Common Theme in World Religions and Science

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

We see this theme repeated over and over again throughout religious history into the present day, from Judaism through Christianity, in Hinduism and Buddhism, in Islam, in Confucianism and Taoism, and even into modern day scientific studies, that the overcoming of “self” or ego is central to our flourishing in an abundance of Life and Love in the world, and in realizing higher Truths that go far beyond our typical everyday minds and consciousness. Continue reading “Ego Sacrifice & Transcendence a Common Theme in World Religions and Science”

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”

Video: Harvard Buddhist Psychologist on the Constructed “Self”

I thought this short video was a beautiful summary and illustration of Buddhist philosophy from Dr. Daniel Brown, a Harvard Psychologist and Tibetan Buddhism scholar. I believe this philosophy may similarly be found in most of the world’s religions, framed in a multitude of different symbols. This is perennial wisdom. I’ll describe some of these further down. (Transcript under video.) Continue reading “Video: Harvard Buddhist Psychologist on the Constructed “Self””

The Book of Mormon as Terma, and Joseph Smith as Tertön

I suggest that the translation of the Book of Mormon was Joseph Smith’s alchemical Magnum Opus, or “Great Work,” a transmutation of his own base desires for materialistic gold and treasure into the highest spiritual realizations of human atonement in God consciousness, and a realization or awakening of eternal life in his Self, even theosis, which he continued to preach for the rest of his life. His revelation of the Book of Mormon is similar to the ancient Buddhist tradition of tertöns who reveal terma texts through inner mystical union. Continue reading “The Book of Mormon as Terma, and Joseph Smith as Tertön”