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Three Views of Reality and Human Potential
  Three Views of Reality
and Human Potential:

Appreciating the DIFFERENCES Among Religions, Paths, and Saints, Part 2

by Chris Tong, Ph.D.

Practical Spirituality Series, Book 8
102 pages
Publication Date: February 2001
ISBN: 0717305430

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1. Introduction

1.1. Summary of Part 1: Beyond Spiritual Correctness

1.1.1. Religious and spiritual egalitarianism

1.1.2. Religious and spiritual anti-authoritarianism

1.2. By which standards should we measure and appreciate differences?

1.3. What sources should we draw upon?

1.4. Three views of reality and human potential

1. Understanding religious and spiritual egalitarianism

1.1. The origins of egalitarianism

1.2. Egalitarianism and political correctness as an over-reactive historical phase

1.2.1. Political correctness as an over-reaction

1.2.2. Political correctness as a superficial reaction

1.2.3. Political correctness as an intolerant and unreal philosophy

1.2.4. For the appreciation of real differences, and against equal impoverishment

2. The low view of reality: materialism

2.1. Simple materialism: the naive realism of sense and “common sense”

2.2. Scientific materialism: amplifying the senses via technology

2.3. Human potential within the materialistic view

2.3.1. Materialistic self-fulfillment

2.3.2. Materialistic self-transcendence: the attainment of higher, material purposes

2.3.3. Materialistic self-improvement

2.4. Limitations of the materialistic view

2.4.1. The “obviousness” of naive realism

2.4.2. Scientific materialism limits itself to the exploration of objective reality

2.4.3. That which materialism cannot account for is the clue to what will supercede it

2.4.4. Accounting for consciousness (and the subjective altogether): the machine is in the Ghost

2.4.5. Accounting for human suffering and death; the danger of equating self-fulfillment with happiness

2.4.6. Free inquiry vs. the politically and socially enforced reductionism of scientific materialism

3. The high view of reality: esoteric spirituality

3.1. The fundamentally Subjective nature of Reality

3.1.1. The experience of unity

3.1.2. The Subjective Substratum in which material reality arises

3.2. Human potential and the multi-dimensional Greater Reality

3.2.1. Four distinct views of (and dimensions of) the Greater Reality

3.3. Esoteric practice, self-transcendence, and Realization of the Greater Reality

3.3.1. Esoteric Realization and self-transcendence

3.3.2. Self-improvement vs. self-transcendence

3.3.3. The need for Greater Help

4. The exoteric religious view: where esoteric spirituality meets public opinion

4.1. Elements of an exoteric view of God and a Greater Reality

4.1.1. View of reality

4.1.2. Spiritual mediators

4.1.3. Who has access to the Greater Reality while still alive

4.1.4. Laws of moral behavior (that augur a good life and an auspicious after-life destiny)

4.1.5. Sacred rituals and ceremonies

4.2. The forces that shape an exoteric religious belief system

4.2.1. A complex example in religious evolution: exoteric Christianity and its sources

4.2.2. The three primary sources of an exoteric religious tradition

4.2.3. The origins of exoteric religious beliefs in esoteric egalitarianism

4.2.4. The neurotic needs of the human ego and their impact on exoteric religion

4.2.5. The political and social forces that impact an exoteric religious tradition

4.3. Exoteric religions that are out of touch with their esoteric roots

4.3.1. The unfortunate consequences of a divorce between exotericism and esotericism

4.3.2. The shortchanging of human potential via an exoteric “easy sell” (but Spiritually dysfunctional) compromise

4.3.3. The inherently set-apart Creator God and the passive psychology of being a “creation”: consolation, dependency, and blame

4.3.4. The absence of a direct “feedback loop” for gauging Spiritual Reality and merit

4.3.5. Pharisaism: valuing “the God of the Book” above Real God

4.3.6. The exoteric religious taboo against communion (and identity) with God

4.4. Exoteric religions that are in touch with their esoteric roots

4.4.1. Exoteric, belief-based religion as the “outer temple” for esoteric religion based on spiritual experience

4.4.2. Transforming the body-mind into a temple: from the subhuman to the human, in preparation for the spiritual

4.4.3. Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx never came into contact with legitimate exoteric religion or genuine esoteric spirituality

5. The influence of materialism on contemporary exoteric religion and esoteric spirituality:
the primacy of self over God

5.1. The egocentrization of exoteric religion

5.2. New Age “spirituality”: A watered-down, egocentric version of the esoteric Spiritual



Appreciating the Differences Among Religions, Paths, and Saints
Part 3: Spiritual Realization and the Ego


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