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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > General Beliefs

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  #21  
Old 09-11-2017, 01:50 PM
Moonglow Moonglow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
Y'know, you have to take the good with the bad, but most of all, be able to see the structure of it, and seeing as people are people foremost, their various religious identities are mere asides. However, the immense importance afforded to these 'named things' is disproportionate, and we start to see significant problems arising from that.

Hi Gem,

I feel that is the cautionary tale. When a group or individual becomes to rigid in their/his/her belief and/or outlook and feels or insist it is the only and " true" for everyone and act out in oppressive ways, in this mind set. (if you will) problem do arise, IMO

Thank you
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  #22  
Old 09-11-2017, 02:34 PM
Kioma Kioma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelyen
... With the world in its current state it's impossible to guarantee there'll be no repeat of the religious past...
There is no shortage of people, religious or secular, waiting for even the slightest opportunity to take advantage of others. That is physicality.

That is the real problem - religion in this context is just a pretext, so with that in actuality it has nothing to do with 'religion', other than taking advantage of such precepts as blind faith, and as I said I agree with Lorelyen that the reality of organized religion leads inevitably from focusing on spirit to focusing on power. It's a pretext - they will always have the rhetoric down of whoever they are trying to sucker, but by carefully observing cause and effect, rather than listening to their spiel, their real agenda makes itself apparent.

Those who crave power are drawn to places of authority, religious or secular, like moths to a flame, and it takes people who actually care about principles over power to be constantly vigilant and constantly fight against them. If they were to stop at any moment, all would be quickly overwhelmed.

This is the age-old fight of good versus evil.

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  #23  
Old 09-11-2017, 07:11 PM
Molearner Molearner is offline
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These discussions of religion and spirituality seem to often digress from any sense of reality. The fact is that, in reality, they can comfortably co-exist. There is a naivete based on the assumption that we live our lives in a transparent and totally honest way without hypocrisy. This is simply not true. People who profess honesty when faced with starvation will steal to survive...they will cheat on their taxes, their spouses, they will praise dictators that they detest, they will declare that all is well when they are in tremendous pain and under great stress. In regards to religion they will belong to churches that dictate no birth control, no abortions and secretly follow neither dictate. None of these aberrations precludes them from having a genuine spirituality. There is no one that is all good just as there is no one that is all evil. People co-exist in bad marriages whether it might be a marriage to an individual, a religion, a relationship, a set of stated beliefs or a particular political party, form of government or a country.

There is a great amount of hypocrisy among advocates of spirituality as opposed to religion. It is this: they wish to make themselves separate from religion and in their next breath tell one that they must be accepting of and charitable to everyone that differs from them.....e.g. Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, fundamentals, black, white, Democrats, Republicans, rich, poor, the criminal, those that live in ivory towers.....etc. the list in endless. The greatest test, IMO, for anyone that aspires to be spiritual is to not allow themselves to be drawn into a philosophy of separation that seemingly elevates themselves into something that is nothing more than an elevation of their individual egos. And the greatest commandment is this: (you finish the blanks).......:)
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  #24  
Old 09-11-2017, 08:42 PM
blossomingtree blossomingtree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelyen
That may be the case these days but in former times things weren't quite as simple. People don't study history so they can't spot the dangers prevailing today in certain "faiths". We no longer burn witches or flail recalcitrant slaves because most religions have lost their power. But there remain faiths that if they have their way will stamp on an individual's right to their personal spiritual development. (I see this happening in the UK and Europe, anyway). With the world in its current state it's impossible to guarantee there'll be no repeat of the religious past.

The point is that religion is a package deal that takes over an individual's spirituality; it becomes responsible for it, limiting that individual's chance of self development. Even the occult has its religious tendencies.

The aim is that one has to follow the doctrine - or one isn't part of that religion. The follower obeys the creed. That's how it is.
Sure, there are breakaways from the hub of most faiths but they are no less religious. You don't own your spirituality while you're "believing in" someone else's doctrine.

I appreciate that it's difficult for many to comprehend. Most of us were brought up from birth with some kind of "faith" and shaking that off can be a problem. Such shaking off usually happens when an alternative is presented prompting an individual to question the whole edifice of religion.

I don't agree with this:

a) Lumping all religions into one type of modus operandi
b) Ascribing negative and limiting repercussions to people of all faiths in religions across the world
c) Not recognizing the reality and greys of a situation - who are you or I to say what works best for each person and what door will lead them to which path?

Often posts like these - including the huge trend of anti-guru "you don't have to do a thing and you are enlightened already" posts on this forum - have another implicit baseline - that is, that the poster's view and "spiritual religion" (of no religion or no path or no teacher) is the superior one.

i.e. they cannot posit inferiority of a sect/religion without trying to imply that their "freewheeling" "free thinking" "unguided" path is the better - i.e a newer better mousetrap or religion.

You say that things could happen again. Yes they could, and yes they do. This is life. All patterns re-engage and re-emerge, including in this latest fad of "you don't have to do a thing or follow anyone else but my own thoughts" thing.

Speaking to some traditions I am familiar with e.g. Buddhism, Sufism, some Christians, there is wide and immense range of freedom of thought so again, please do not cast all your stones in one direction, when you have no realistic understanding or experience of how they actually operate.

BT
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2017, 08:58 PM
blossomingtree blossomingtree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonglow
I was raised in a Catholic household. My disagreements are in regards to some of the church policies, so feel it is hypicritical of me to attend and support the church.
Just what I work through with myself.

It does bring up some wondering and couriosity in regards to religion because it is so much a part of this human experience. Meaning in the sense of how many may interact with one another.

So, explore a bit different sides and realize it can be a personal area to enter for some.

Hi Moonglow

In complete respect of your position and your feelings. I don't go to Church nor could blindly just accept whatever is "told to me".

i.e. I could not subscribe to beliefs just because I am told, or because I want to believe it, or because it sounds sexy

What I do subscribe to and respect is that - even on these forums - there are many paths into Truth. People on this forum have reported instances of Light and Grace that came to them - opened their eyes to something new/different in this world.

Truth and Grace is unbeholden to, nor limited by, any dualistic forms or sects. Therefore, a Christian can come to know the true meaning of Jesus's message "seek and ye shall find", "the meek shall inherit the Earth", "heaven is within" - just as much as a lone hermit reflecting by the poolside.

Religions which encourage open reflection, meditation, prayer, silence, contemplation and kindness to the fellow wo/man is a good step in my books.

Of course there are sects or religions which aim to keep people from Truth - which is why I said we would probably have to filter at a more granular level before condemning all religions as out of touch and out for power. IMO.

BT
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  #26  
Old 09-11-2017, 10:05 PM
Molearner Molearner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blossomingtree
What I do subscribe to and respect is that - even on these forums - there are many paths into Truth. People on this forum have reported instances of Light and Grace that came to them - opened their eyes to something new/different in this world.

Truth and Grace is unbeholden to, nor limited by, any dualistic forms or sects. Therefore, a Christian can come to know the true meaning of Jesus's message "seek and ye shall find", "the meek shall inherit the Earth", "heaven is within" - just as much as a lone hermit reflecting by the poolside.

Religions which encourage open reflection, meditation, prayer, silence, contemplation and kindness to the fellow wo/man is a good step in my books.

Of course there are sects or religions which aim to keep people from Truth - which is why I said we would probably have to filter at a more granular level before condemning all religions as out of touch and out for power. IMO.

BT

blossomingtree,

Thank you for your words of wisdom. Condemnation of others, both as groups or individuals, is usually based on the viewing of the lowest common denominator. It is the squeaky wheel that catches our attention and wrath. How do we judge those that keep their counsel? Too often, I am afraid, that we rely on guilt by association. Yet it is the ignorant ones who catch our attention. Would our judgement of Christianity be different if our exposure to it was through some fundamentalist or Christ? In a sense, the ones that irritate us and enrage us, are bestowing a gift on us as much as the ones we admire and find agreement with. Why? Because they offer a direct challenge to us. They challenge us to understand, forgive and love. How we respond becomes a measure of our spiritual development. Can we conclude as Christ did to say "forgive them for they know not what they do"? There is a lot of room for 'light' in enlightenment.....:)
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  #27  
Old 09-11-2017, 10:56 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by Lorelyen
True indeed however my views were in response to the position set out in the opening post.

I didn't mean you personally, but used 'you' generically.
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  #28  
Old 09-11-2017, 11:16 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by Moonglow
Hi Gem,

I feel that is the cautionary tale. When a group or individual becomes to rigid in their/his/her belief and/or outlook and feels or insist it is the only and " true" for everyone and act out in oppressive ways, in this mind set. (if you will) problem do arise, IMO

Thank you

Yes, as dogmatism means being fixed in belief and that's obviously problematic.I think what people miss is there is a difference between what is true and what is known in that the truth is momentarily perceived and knowledge is a symbolic representation. In the case of religion, if the symbols, iconography, rituals were removed, it would cease to exist - because religion can't actually be observed apart from its symbols and practices. The universe would not cease to be because it is immediate and primary to experience - like, no one has to do it. We become confused in thinking what we say is about nature is true of nature. That's the primal problem with 'knowledge'. We think our mental ways of understanding nature are the truth, and don't even realise they are our own imaginary productions. This makes it all but impossible to be religious and truthful at the same time - Though the religion could be a cultural practice which expresses the communal spiritual aspect of human beings.
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  #29  
Old 09-11-2017, 11:41 PM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by blossomingtree
I don't agree with this:

a) Lumping all religions into one type of modus operandi
b) Ascribing negative and limiting repercussions to people of all faiths in religions across the world
c) Not recognizing the reality and greys of a situation - who are you or I to say what works best for each person and what door will lead them to which path?

Often posts like these - including the huge trend of anti-guru "you don't have to do a thing and you are enlightened already" posts on this forum - have another implicit baseline - that is, that the poster's view and "spiritual religion" (of no religion or no path or no teacher) is the superior one.

i.e. they cannot posit inferiority of a sect/religion without trying to imply that their "freewheeling" "free thinking" "unguided" path is the better - i.e a newer better mousetrap or religion.

You say that things could happen again. Yes they could, and yes they do. This is life. All patterns re-engage and re-emerge, including in this latest fad of "you don't have to do a thing or follow anyone else but my own thoughts" thing.

Speaking to some traditions I am familiar with e.g. Buddhism, Sufism, some Christians, there is wide and immense range of freedom of thought so again, please do not cast all your stones in one direction, when you have no realistic understanding or experience of how they actually operate.

BT

Well, religions do all have the same basic structure, and they can be lumped together in that regard.

Indeed there is all grey areas, so we take the good with the bad in that sense.

We can't be free thinkers and religious believers at the same time, but that's not to say free thought is unguided. It's requires honesty rather than obedience.

I think we get led into the 'superior path' mentality, where self-determined discernment is the only 'way', so if people want a guru or a religious sect, then they needn't overlook their ability to discern honestly what actually motivates that direction, rather than be persuaded by others that it is the 'one true direction'. Self discernment is a primary essential freedom that enables any number of life directions, and freely discerned changes to such directions.

In the humanities there is a principle of informed consent, and consent only applies in the absence of coercion, so attempts to persuade others into conversions and so forth contravene the principle. I don't think religious orders can be sustained without coercion...
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  #30  
Old 10-11-2017, 12:15 AM
blossomingtree blossomingtree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
Well, religions do all have the same basic structure, and they can be lumped together in that regard.

Please kindly enlighten me as to what you mean by basic structure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
We can't be free thinkers and religious believers at the same time, but that's not to say free thought is unguided. It's requires honesty rather than obedience.

Disagree on that point....... Let's talk about Yoga - yoga encourages discipline, practice, deepening of spiritual awareness. In what way does that discourage free thinking?

Buddhism. Buddhism starts with the premise - know for yourself. That is, take this body of knowledge and apply/utilize it until you know what the Buddha knew. No need to worship, just practice. Until then, keep working. Meditation - beyond belief. Beyond thought, emotion, practice, or belief. How is that not free?

And how is that not free-er than "free thought" where the ego most often is the arbiter of what is right and not. To transcend ego, limited self, small self, selfishness, idiocy, whatever we want to call it, requires ascension beyond the limited self. In that way, to suggest that a person still mired in partial ignorance or/and delusion is capable of seeing through that themself - well it's possible, but it's also a long shot sometimes (Big caveat: depends on the individual)

Further, I want to be clear that I am not discounting nor would ever argue against aspirants who discover Truth for themselves - there are many. i.e. I don't disagree with you on that point either, and agree also that people should keep investigating for themselves and be honest in themselves.

On the flipside:

As to honesty, well certainly, this is also possibly related to an individual aspect of self. How many on here don't think they themselves are honest and how many on this forum seem to imply (implicitly or explicitly) that they are at a peak and there is no more to do, or/and they are in no need of a genuinely realized Master because let's face it, only "I" am the true arbiter of Truth.

Well as attractive as that is, that ain't the gold standard in genuinely realized traditions - whether they be religion based or not. (for similar reasons as above)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
I think we get led into the 'superior path' mentality, where self-determined discernment is the only 'way', so if people want a guru or a religious sect, then they needn't overlook their ability to discern honestly what actually motivates that direction, rather than be persuaded by others that it is the 'one true direction'. Self discernment is a primary essential freedom that enables any number of life directions, and freely discerned changes to such directions.

Indeed, agreed that joining a religion is not the one true direction. But if someone is throwing gold my way, I wouldn't discount that value either. I guess we might be talking about different cultures (yet you argue above that all religions can be "lumped together") as I see no disunity between freedom of thought and spiritual traditions. I also avoid and steer clear of any that don't support principles of freedom of thought, meditation, Gnosis, and kindness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
In the humanities there is a principle of informed consent, and consent only applies in the absence of coercion, so attempts to persuade others into conversions and so forth contravene the principle. I don't think religious orders can be sustained without coercion...

There is also the same that you could apply for all these arguments that religions are to be avoided, teachers are to be avoided, and even more strongly, that all religions want is to control people.

Granted I don't doubt that many do. It depends on the person and the teacher and the organization - there are specious individuals and many who have no spiritual insights, but claim status. But this is not everyone.

So again, the one sided arguments need balancing, in my opinion, as they are unfair - unfair to whom? Unfair to anyone who is genuinely interested in plumbing the depths of a religion whether that be Buddhism, Yoga, Neo-Advaita, Sufism, Spiritual Christianity (please don't mention the US Christian fundamentalists who scare me)

As to your last statement, you believe that all the people in Sufism, in monasteries around the world, in Buddhism, in Neo-Advaita, Yoga, are all coerced, Gem?

Ending with again - I don't disagree that not all people need religion by any means, or a teacher but it's so circumstantial and dependent on causes and conditions and the individuals' own propensity/spiritual insights/personality etc. that I wouldn't go all out for one path or the other. And I wouldn't discount that there are deeply realized teachers who have insights which could benefit. As to who/where that gold is, I guess I can only put that down to karmic causes and conditions. Nor would I disrespect people who have found their own Truth and happiness in even more belief based religions, so long as those contribute to inner peace, joy and care for people other than myself.

BT
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