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.

Original Sin and Nonduality

I had a conversation on Facebook the other day about original sin and its relationship to non-duality. I thought it was a great discussion, and I thought I'd share it again here.

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.

We WILL Surely Die

Happy Halloween! For many people, however, today is not a happy day, but it is the most disliked day of the entire year. This is when people seem to celebrate the death, the macabre, evil, darkness, the shadows, wickedness, perhaps even Satan himself. Those things are a big turn off for many people, particularly the most religious and devout.

Non-Self Reveals the True Self

When the false self dies—the ego, the old creature, the constructed personality, the illusory self, the separate independent idea of one's self, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the natural man, the carnal mind—when this is seen for what it really is, when it is revealed in truth, when it is put off, taken out of the way, when it is crucified and passes away, then the true Self is revealed in glory.

Eternal Fire "First Vision" Account

But it is only when all outward appearances are gone that there is left that one principle of life which exists independently of all external phenomena. It is the fire that burns in the eternal light, when the fuel is expended and the flame is extinguished; for that fire is neither in the flame nor in the fuel, nor yet inside either of the two, but above, beneath, and everywhere.