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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Interfaith

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  #101  
Old 31-03-2020, 05:12 AM
winter light winter light is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
A religious sect relies on conformity of belief and behaviour, so there is always an authority figure where the power is cited to influence those who subscribe to the religion's narrative. When the belief system is instilled, the narrative and its authority is internalised to an identity that reflects the identity of the sect. The issue then becomes, a person whose identity relies on the internalised externality of the narrative cannot let go of the dogma, and they are adversely affected when the fallacy of the identity structure is exposed. Being affected thus, there are very strong reactions that compel people to do things, just about anything, to preserve the whole identity structure including its internal and external facets.
What I see differently is that I don't believe religion causes dogma. It is a symptom of a mode of being. There are many authority power structures that have nothing to do with religion. The worst actively eliminate all existing religion and replace it with controlling or destructive patterns.

Some of it comes down to whether we trust individuals with the choice whether and how they follow dogma. With acceptance of how they choose in the end. In some people it is required for their stability until they can grow beyond it. Others take dogma to the grave and they require external authority. But I think we must allow an individual to choose what is right for them. And it is up to us to demonstrate and prove a system that is worthy of their acceptance. There is an old saying: "A man convinced against is will is of the same opinion still". Nature hates a vacuum. If we are demanding or expecting change we need to fill it with something or face consequences.

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Agreed, the names do not matter. My fundamental point is just that. There is no religion observable in nature and we can examine every nuance of the manifest universe and find no religion to notice.
Maybe the old "man vs nature" seems to be rearing it's head. I don't expect tigers to be people and I don't expect people to be tigers. We are both part of nature. Just different expressions of it. And with humans we can further subdivide into infinite categories of being. Some with religion or some without it. And Taoism is nothing if not devotion to following the ways of nature.

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Furthermore, the investigation of phenomena reveals no entity to be regarded as me, so there is no entity, I, apart from the self-referential thought, and therefore, no being who can be a Buddhist or a Christian or a Jew apart from the imagined entity that forms concurrently with the name.

This means the truth itself appears destructive because the real lived observation reveals the symbolic structure of the identity which has no foundational entity.

The dilemma is not the ideas in themselves. For example, up and down are just ideas. You point up on the north pole and that direction is down to me on the south, but since we are not identified with the symbolic structure, neither of us are right nor wrong because up and down is inherently untrue. The symbol is a statement without a truth value. Religion is also a symbolic system without a truth value. There is no entity at its core and therefore no foundation to the religious identity, there is nothing there; it is only an internally self-defining system of symbols, and that nature of it is a dire undermining to one who has internalised the essentially empty identity structure. You can imagine how important it becomes when it is myself and what lengths people will go to enforce it externally so as to preserve themselves internally. If any less important than life and death, the religion would pass momentarily just like any other thought.
I understand these concerns very well and deeply. The dilemma is when ideas become more important than people. Take a look around you at the secular corporate systems filled with dogma of money makes right, with no religion, and look at the harm they cause. To nature as well as us.

Though I don't let religions off the hook here. I agree each of them plays these issues out in their own way. And Science, supposedly our treasure of truth, is really quite a mess of blind dogma. But for the most part I've kept quiet about it because I don't even know where to begin. And it was such a betrayal and ongoing heartbreak for me and I don't wish to share that experience.

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This is nothing to do with an authority stopping the thing (though in cases of institutional abuse they should be shut down, which would leave very few standing), it's about letting the thought be free to come along and pass away as all thought is wont to do, and not creating these structures that divide people into I am and I am not. Just today I was asked if I was Buddhist. Actually it was presumed that I am not a Buddhist... and I had to explain how I didn't say anything in the first place. Other people created that identity while I did nothing at all, yet I am now impelled to self-classify in the not category so that the identified can preserve their identity in contrast against the 'others' (who are not). Do you see then how they created the us and them, and why that in itself creates the conditions for violence to arise?
Yes I was sorry to see that dilemma play out. I think you are on to something important there and hope to discuss later.
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  #102  
Old 31-03-2020, 02:55 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winter light
What I see differently is that I don't believe religion causes dogma. It is a symptom of a mode of being. There are many authority power structures that have nothing to do with religion. The worst actively eliminate all existing religion and replace it with controlling or destructive patterns.


Religion necessitates a dogma, and has to have core tenets to foster collective belief and ritualistic conformity. There are extremes of any religion and I would argue that these are necessart. The extremes are endemic to the dichotomy of the symbolic structure which needs the extremes of yin and yang.


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Some of it comes down to whether we trust individuals with the choice whether and how they follow dogma. With acceptance of how they choose in the end. In some people it is required for their stability until they can grow beyond it. Others take dogma to the grave and they require external authority. But I think we must allow an individual to choose what is right for them. And it is up to us to demonstrate and prove a system that is worthy of their acceptance. There is an old saying: "A man convinced against is will is of the same opinion still". Nature hates a vacuum. If we are demanding or expecting change we need to fill it with something or face consequences.


I agree, but from the exact opposite perspective, which makes my agreement very ironic. I accept it because no one has a choice. People didn't choose it and they can't choose to not believe it. People like to believe they are choosing, but they really are quite compelled.


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Maybe the old "man vs nature" seems to be rearing it's head. I don't expect tigers to be people and I don't expect people to be tigers. We are both part of nature. Just different expressions of it. And with humans we can further subdivide into infinite categories of being. Some with religion or some without it. And Taoism is nothing if not devotion to following the ways of nature.


Um, not sure what Taoists are into. Just an old friend gave me the Tao Te Ching as a gift many years ago... so I quote it sometimes... but couldn't go past the contrast of yin and yang and know anything about Taoism, but personally, I am a follower of natures way, remain with what I can observe and give little importance to belief structure be they mine or other people's. I often think of human nature as a divided thing, and violent tendencies are just part of human expression along with kindness and love. It doesn;t have to be perpetrated by everyone, so it's a human expression in the global sense.


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I understand these concerns very well and deeply. The dilemma is when ideas become more important than people. Take a look around you at the secular corporate systems filled with dogma of money makes right, with no religion, and look at the harm they cause. To nature as well as us.


Yes. That is problematic too... and not altogether a different subject. It's still a symbolic construct as an entity with the identity, 'legal person'... but probably the religious context is more on topic.



Quote:
Though I don't let religions off the hook here. I agree each of them plays these issues out in their own way. And Science, supposedly our treasure of truth, is really quite a mess of blind dogma. But for the most part I've kept quiet about it because I don't even know where to begin. And it was such a betrayal and ongoing heartbreak for me and I don't wish to share that experience.


Yes I was sorry to see that dilemma play out. I think you are on to something important there and hope to discuss later.


Not to worry, I'm not affected by the 'what and what isn't Buddhist' rhetoric and the associated assertions. I understand that there is no 'correct understanding' and the subtle flows occur subjectively for individuals. I like to listen to individuals' descriptions, perspectives and understandings and I don;t think that could be reduced to and particular singular narrative.
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  #103  
Old 01-04-2020, 11:03 AM
Altair Altair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJohn
Lets discuss ways we can bring about peace without conversions and ways we can get along with each other.

Religious/spiritual paths evolved differently across the world, and are uniquely 'suitable' to particular societies and the issues they had/have to deal with, be that wars, inequalities, environmental issues. Due to this unavoidable variety it appears difficult to find ''common ground''.

I would say it is about emphasizing very base and general stuff, such as mankind's quest to search for meaning, to understand what happens after death, to understand whether there are gods and what and who they are. Once we give answers to this we get into detail and culture, so emphasis should stay general, without answering the questions. Simply acknowledge that we all have questions..
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