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Discussion Starter #1
After my other thread where I spout on about how angry I got because some co-workers were slamming the Catholic Church nearby, I thought it'd be nice to see if anyone has ever been inspired by the acts or beliefs of someone who doesn't share the same faith.

Here's a short story:

One day, about ten years ago, I was driving to work. After making a wrong turn, I entered a parking lot to make my way back to the proper route. Walking in the parking lot was a woman about 60 years old. Just as I noticed her, she motioned for me to stop as if she had something to ask me. I stopped the car and rolled down the window. "Would you have a moment to say a prayer with me?", she asked. "Sure", I replied. She then closed her eyes and for the next couple minutes prayed to God that I receive blessings and happiness in my life.

I thanked her and continued on to work. She made my day and I'll never forget her act of kindness and how courageous she was! :D
 

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In my personal experience, there are people of all faiths who focus more on the "love thy neighbor" aspect of their religion -which just about all of them espouse, to some degree or other. Those people impress me a lot, as they tend to live the finest aspects of their beliefs. Unfortunately, most major faiths (except maybe Buddhism) have aspects to their texts that support, however tenuously, the "holy warrior" attitude (Islam may have it more than others). I think the personalities likely to cause havoc in the name of God in one faith would do so in most others where that was an option, while the people who "love their neighbors" as Christians would probably do the same if they were Muslims, Jews or Hindus.
 

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My wife is Buddhist and I'm amazed at how resilient she is.

She easily blows off life's bs, has an enermous amount of patience (I really test it) and never, ever holds a grudge.

They always say it's healthy to argue from time to time, but in all the yrs. we've been married and lived together, we've never raised our voices.
 

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Yes, but I'm sorry to say it was a negative experience. I was in 2nd grade, and stopped with a school mate to a nice lady’s house not even a block from the school. The lady taught religious studies. After a couple of sessions there, the lady told a story. I don’t remember what the story was, but she used the story to conclude that a certain religion was miss-guided and its followers were bad people. I happen to be a member of that religion. Ever since then I've wondered how many folks use ”their” religion to advance their own agenda for no real purpose but condemning others. Harsh lesson for a 6 year old.


I don’t know why but this place has done more to dredge up old memories than.....
 

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A year ago I entered into correspondence with a group who were interested in discussing spirituality. The group was mostly Hindu, Buddhist and a couple fo Christian sects. What I learned from them was very interesting to me.

The Christians were interested in a more gregarious or interactive exploration of their faith. They sought and received spiritual reassurance from each other in scripture and reason and in profession of their faith. I'll bet this is true of most of the Abrahamic, revealed-truth sects and religions.

In contrast, the non-Abrahamic religions or philosophies were more explanatory of individual understanding. When they spoke of their spirituality it was with no particular need or desire for reassurance nor did they offer it to others.

Does this sound accurate to you? If so, I think that it could help explain why western and mediterranean civilizations are so different from Eastern civilizations.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting.

So you're saying that Christians see truth as something absolute (which is how I see it) and to be learned, while the "non-Abrahamic" people see truth as something generated from within?

So their truth can change, depending on the person's interpretation?
 

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Ah truth....

Sflori, I think you put it pretty succinctly and from a Christian/Jewish/Muslim perspective. Even those of us who are not Christians but grew-up in the western culture tend to view life from that perspective. How could we not? For thousands of years we have been under its influence in our society. So even if you're not a Christian, you know who Jesus was and you know something about his views on life. You also understand your relationships with others and with nature from that cultural perspective. It is nearly impossible not to.

In contrast, a very smalll, teeny-tiny number of us have any idea who Arjuna or Siddhartha were and in perhaps knowing, we most likely are culturally still Abrahamic. Thus, when we communicate with a Muslim or Jew or Christian, we have a shared understanding of Man's relationships. But when we speak with a Confuscian, Bahai, Taoist, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, or Hindu, we lack fundamental, common cultural sign-posts.

However, there is a global change underway. In a couple of generations I believe that almost everybody on the planet will share a common culture to a degree not seen since bipedal apes wandered central Africa. The common culture will be derived from a science. We will come increasingly to see ourselves as a coenocyte rather than collection of individuals. We will gain some benefit, perhaps a lot of benefit from that, but we will lose an awful lot of interesting cultural diversity.

The greatest change will be in the paradigmatic shift from Man as a spiritual being to Man as part of nature. One accidental outcome from a universe of probabilities. Cold comfort is the ultimate truth of a science-based society.
 

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W126 said:
They always say it's healthy to argue from time to time, but in all the yrs. we've been married and lived together, we've never raised our voices.
She's got you good doesn't she? :) :0
 

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kuan said:
W126 said:
They always say it's healthy to argue from time to time, but in all the yrs. we've been married and lived together, we've never raised our voices.
She's got you good doesn't she? :) :0
Seems that way. :) :lol:

But I've always been one to avoid conlict, so it all works out in the end.
 

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sflori said:
Interesting.

So you're saying that Christians see truth as something absolute (which is how I see it) and to be learned, while the "non-Abrahamic" people see truth as something generated from within?

So their truth can change, depending on the person's interpretation?
Here's a different spin on it. Abrahamic religions see truth as binary, and available to all. It's offered to each individual by a specific divine entity, that's pretty anthropomorphic. You have one life to accept it or reject it; if you accept it, you go to the happy place, if you reject it, you go to the bad place.

Eastern religions are more process-oriented. You never really die, your consciousness keeps coming back to work on issues until you get (and act on) the Truth, i.e. that we (and your dog, and the trees) are all part of the same unified whole. You'll just keep returning until you get it right, and you work through all the issues (e.g., if you're particularly prejudiced, you may come back as an oppressed minority). Once you do, your ego (i.e. your identity as a self separate from everything/everyone else) is effectively whittled down to nothing, your consciousness acknowledges its place as part of the whole, and you merge into that, which is supposed to be a fine experience.
 

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Ribulose Diphosphate said:
Ah truth....

The greatest change will be in the paradigmatic shift from Man as a spiritual being to Man as part of nature. One accidental outcome from a universe of probabilities. Cold comfort is the ultimate truth of a science-based society.
As long as there are elements of human nature which include anxiety, despair, love and joy, there will always be religions. Religion serves emotions.
 

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alias said:
Ribulose Diphosphate said:
Ah truth....

The greatest change will be in the paradigmatic shift from Man as a spiritual being to Man as part of nature. One accidental outcome from a universe of probabilities. Cold comfort is the ultimate truth of a science-based society.
As long as there are elements of human nature which include anxiety, despair, love and joy, there will always be religions. Religion serves emotions.
I think that is an accurate assumption. We modern mechanists believe that explains religion--its a reaction to some cluster of unresolved emotional conflict. This is a description without testable hypothesis--or what a religionist would describe as a statement of faith by mechanists.

But the other view is just as unfalsifiably true. That the reason we have "some cluster of unresolved emotional conflict" is that we lack a relationship with God. The greater our relationship with God, the less conflict we will have in our lives. This is literally the "peace which passeth all understanding."
 

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Ribulose Diphosphate said:
alias said:
Ribulose Diphosphate said:
Ah truth....

The greatest change will be in the paradigmatic shift from Man as a spiritual being to Man as part of nature. One accidental outcome from a universe of probabilities. Cold comfort is the ultimate truth of a science-based society.
As long as there are elements of human nature which include anxiety, despair, love and joy, there will always be religions. Religion serves emotions.
I think that is an accurate assumption. We modern mechanists believe that explains religion--its a reaction to some cluster of unresolved emotional conflict. This is a description without testable hypothesis--or what a religionist would describe as a statement of faith by mechanists.

But the other view is just as unfalsifiably true. That the reason we have "some cluster of unresolved emotional conflict" is that we lack a relationship with God. The greater our relationship with God, the less conflict we will have in our lives. This is literally the "peace which passeth all understanding."

Perhaps closer to Zen than God.....
 

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alias said:
Ribulose Diphosphate said:
alias said:
Ribulose Diphosphate said:
Ah truth....

The greatest change will be in the paradigmatic shift from Man as a spiritual being to Man as part of nature. One accidental outcome from a universe of probabilities. Cold comfort is the ultimate truth of a science-based society.
As long as there are elements of human nature which include anxiety, despair, love and joy, there will always be religions. Religion serves emotions.
I think that is an accurate assumption. We modern mechanists believe that explains religion--its a reaction to some cluster of unresolved emotional conflict. This is a description without testable hypothesis--or what a religionist would describe as a statement of faith by mechanists.

But the other view is just as unfalsifiably true. That the reason we have "some cluster of unresolved emotional conflict" is that we lack a relationship with God. The greater our relationship with God, the less conflict we will have in our lives. This is literally the "peace which passeth all understanding."

Perhaps closer to Zen than God.....
How do you tell whether your dealing with Zen or God?
 

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Uh oh. Here goes philosophy 101. :?

To answer the origonal question, yes I have.
It was my late teens. I had by the end of high school decided I didn't need church anymore. My folks weren't of the same faith for most of my growing up years, so not much of either was in the home. I went off to my own little world of booze(no drugs, thankfully), rock-n-roll, and sex. thot I was having a great time.
Then I met "her". What a doll! (Found out later she was a Miss Teenage Washington 1st runner-up) We hung out together alot. she had a "boy friend", but he was off to college. How nice for me :wink: anyway, she was very involved in her church. Much different from mine, but hey, we all pray to the same God. Anyway, long story shorter, she helped me find my way back, so to speak. I drifted away for awhile again some years later, but have since turned back again. I will always credit her for helping me at that time. Her influence has always been important to me, even today, almost 30 years later.
 

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[quote="Ribulose Diphosphate

Perhaps closer to Zen than God.....[/quote]

How do you tell whether your dealing with Zen or God?[/quote]


Perhaps a belief in yourself instead of someone else……..
 

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Ask a short, loaded question, get a short, loaded answer.

I ask this of people who are believers (Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Ba-Hai, everybody). How do you know that you are not talking to yourself in a delusional vacuum when you think you are communing with-------. I am not asking that you defend or argue whether or not your prayer or meditation is real, valuable, delusional, etc. These are value judgements (IMO) imposed by others on you. I am interested in how you validate it for yourself.

By answering that question, we may see a pattern of how rational people can believe taht which is irrational. Now before you go postal on me, I mean "rational" and "irrational" in the analytic sense. Rational means that which can be explained in terms of some other thing. This is why it shares its root meaning with, "ratio". A ratio can be a scale or proportion, etc. Thus, "irrational" is that which cannot be explained in terms of something else.

I believe anything transcendent is, by definition, irrational. For example, the numeric relation between a circle's radius and area or circumference is irrational--its a mathematical energizer bunny--it keeps going and going.... This is an irrational relationship and the number, Pi, is transcendental--it doesn't matter what number system you use, it is going to stay irrational if your math is complete and consistent.

Thus, that which created the universe must exist both in and outside of the creation. If you fry and egg, your handiwork created the fried egg but you exist outside of it. In a similar fashion, the creative agent of the universe, if it exists, must be both visible to the created object through its agency and also must exist apart from it.

Anybody want a toke on my pipe?

Rib
 

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I'm not even sure what you're asking now :?: I understood the first part, but got lost on the rest. Been too manyyears out of school for me I guess. :?
 
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