"holy scriptures"

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by IowaGuy, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    One thing is for sure, you can get a good idea about universal archetypes by comparing scriptures from different traditions.
     
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I'm just reacting to the following.

    Your question is valid but, from my perspective, it is based on your judgement of the church. Or are you saying that he has to agree with the actions of every follower of his Tradition because of his commitment to that tradition?
    I just got lost in my mind, what where you trying to say?
     
  3. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Within any tradition there is room for interpretation. For instance, where I grew up I thought the Catholic Church was way cool. Heck they put their saints and crucifixes out in a wikiup on Saint's Days so the Pueblo could do their traditional dances. And still coated their Mission Churches with ox-blood (literally). And we all knew (even me a little white kid) that the real Katsinas were all enclosed in the Mission Church Walls.

    It was not until much later (about 30 years) that I came across "normal" Catholics. Our Lady of Gualdelupe still sends a little shiver down my spine.

    The point, we are all human. All groups have good and bad points like all of us have good and bad points.

    Speaking of Native Traditions... how about those Native American Church types who really believe Jesus came back as a little button of cactus? If they can forgive, I think we can.


    Pax et amore omnia vincunt.
     
  4. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I'm trying to better understand what the value of "Tradition" is. Thomas really values Tradition (and I appreciate his viewpoints as he is probably outnumbered on this particular forum). My understanding of Tradition is that it is the collective values/standards of a group of people; you are benefitting from the collective wisdom of many thinkers (be it Buddhism, Catholicism, etc), who have established guidelines for you to follow. But I'm not clear where Tradition starts and stops; if one can pick & choose within a particular Tradition's views but still claim to be part of that Tradition, how is that superior to picking & choosing between the views of different traditions? (which Thomas looks down on)

    Thomas earlier said that the Great Spirit was God's divine revelation to the native peoples (which I think is very open minded and insightful, thumbs up!).

    However, his Tradition did not see it that way in the past; and I don't think most mainstream Catholics today would agree with his statement that the Great Spirit is analogous to Jesus/God. For example, missions were set up in many parts of the world to convert native peoples from their "Pagan" beliefs (Great Spirit, etc) into Christian beliefs. This was not the action of a few renegade followers. This was the established view of that Tradition. (Wikipedia has a nice chapter on historic Catholic missions if you want to learn more.) In fact, there are still Catholic missions today across the globe which aim to convert others to Catholicism (although without the violent methods of the past).

    So, IMHO, Thomas is breaking from his Tradition with his viewpoint on the Great Spirit. And if Thomas thinks the Great Spirit was the same as his God (just delivered to a different audience), then he likely would not support the historical missions which aimed to convert believers in the Great Spirit to Christianity, since they had already received God's revelation.

    So what makes that any different from the cherry-picking that Theosophists or other "New-Agers" do when choosing what parts of Traditions they like or don't like? How much can one deviate from their Tradition before they no longer are considered a follower of that Tradition?
     
  5. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I agree these books all have some good teachings. But, how about the parts where the "great books" disagree?

    For example, some Buddhist traditions teach there is no afterlife. Hinduism generally believes in rebirth. Christianity believes in an eternal afterlife in heaven.

    If all those traditons are based upon divine revelation, and you think the divine parts can be found out by finding similarities; how do you know the truth about afterlife, which they disagree on?

    Why do you think Theosophy's view of rebirth is the truth, which is not a view shared by some world Traditions? Wouldn't it be better to be agnostic in areas where the major world Traditions disagree?
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Tell 20 people the same story....lets call them Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, Lao Tzu, Neale Donald Waslch, Deepak Chopra, Thomas Moore, Tich Nhat Han, and George Bush.

    Now to each of them you are going to tell them a story that is beyond their pay grade, above thier level of education, so fantastical that is darn near uncomprehendable, but so compelling their skin tingles, but so long and detaled they've forgotten all but the highlights that they found a way to relate to their level of acceptance and reality.

    Now these folks have got to relate their story, their revelation, their discussion with the eachness of the allness to the masses....they've got a couple of problems, they don't want to sound like a crack pot, they desire some of the story to get out, but they need to put it in a way that their public will understand and utilize.

    Lets make another example....a true story....

    The USDA scientists say we need 11 servings of fresh (uncooked) fruits and veggies a day. (Well that is based on wieght, so instead of saying that we are gonna say child, woman and man, and not embarass anyone about their wieght nor the fact that if you weigh 250 that number is over 15 according to thier calcs)

    But beyond that the Cancer Society says 13 for the average 150 pounder

    and the American Heart Association says 12....

    All pretty straight forward. What was told to the public for the past decade?

    Strive for Five.

    Why strive for five? Because studies showed if you required, insisted or mentioned 11, most would throw their hands in the air and say impossible and do nothing.

    Why strive for five? Becuase it rhymed, it would fit the pardigm, the could make a chime and get folks off the dime. fffftt fffftt ffft ffft fft.

    So that is exactly why I see we got different messages...and why NONE of them are complete.

    Oh and fresh? You mean cooked, canned aren't of any value?? well errr...no they have some value....the fiber is still good....well some of it.
     
  7. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Well, I wish you would, since I don't have much clue what you are trying to say. It sounds as if you are saying that revelation doesn't change anything, in which case it should be ignored as an irrelevancy (?).
    IS there any such "tendency"? Certainly there is a tendency for humans to talk ABOUT God in anthropomorphic terms, and to talk about such talking as if it were "God talking to man" (even if you put the word 'talk' in scare-quotes) is itself an example of anthropomorphizing.

    What I see as the "communication" from God is: the universe as an entirety. We filter it through our mental presuppositions, so we "hear" it as if a personal being were addressing us; but we have come to understand better, that the lightning isn't "trying" to burn our house down, nor is the rain "trying" to make our crops go, but these things operate in their own impersonal way which is rather alien to us, opening for us a spectrum of possibilities for good or bad. The whole "sacrifice" concept arises from a misunderstanding of Nature as operating in an essentially emotional way, differing from our emotions principally in being rather capricious: as if the State of Georgia openly said, "When a police officer is shot we need to execute somebody; and we don't care if the executed person is actually the one who shot the cop or not, just so somebody gets executed." So people thought that if you made God "mad" by something you did, killing a bull or pigeon would help, since God doesn't really care where the suffering lands when He is in a mood to inflict some suffering. Actually, of course, there were huge floodings in the Mideast in Noah's day because rapid retreat of glacial sheets pumped more water into the atmosphere and oceans; there were sulfurous ventings and quakes by the Dead Sea because there is a fault system arising from Africa's northeast velocity relative to the plates making up Eurasia; human behavior at those times was no better or worse than at any other time (do you think those dozen, on whom the tower in Silwam collapsed, were worse than any other people in the city?) and killing animals wouldn't have changed anything. You regarded Hebrews, with its description of the Georgia governor shooting himself to satisfy his irrational need to execute somebody, as a "luminous" tract, where I just see it as embedded in this primitive world-view that no longer has any plausibility as a description of how the universe really operates.
     
  8. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    The key is in Thomas' last line. See, we humans need that assurance (the positive theology which bobx points out causes sooooooo much trouble). But it is the apophatic or negative theology which one must also travel. The five senses and the "rational Western mind" must be gone beyond. You can use them to analyze traditions in a metaphysical way... but that is the study of traditions, not the entry into them. Entering requires a wisdom and understanding of the via negativa--of the tao of which nothing can be said.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes we do, and yes it does ... but what is to be done?

    Hmm, not so sure?

    If you're going to explore it, yes, it becomes useful, but not a necessity. if you're going to do it, then it's all baggage.

    Bang on! Mainly because of the desire to 'rationalise' that which lies outside the scope of the mind ...

    Bear in mind also that the 'rational western mind' is conditioned to be a materialist, a consumer and, at worst, an addict.

    "But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name." John 1:12 — No insight, no knowledge, no gnosis, no esoterica, just faith in Christ, and a willingness to act in accordance with that belief (there's the trick!)

    Actually, I think it's even more 'nagative' than that?

    There is a tendency to define the way and nature of the via negative and thus render it a positiva, it's been rationalised ...

    Whereas I dare say the real via negativa as is spoken of in the Beatitudes:
    "Blessed are the poor in spirit ... they who mourn ... the meek ... the thirst for righteousness ... the merciful ... the pure of heart ... the peacemakers ... the persecuted for the sake of righteousness... "

    Gives everything, and asks for nothing.

    The rewards are in the world to come, not this one. So those who pursue 'esoteric Christianity' or 'gnosis' or 'mysticism' or whatever, are often in pursuit of a different and more exclusive order of experience are not apophatic at all, but quite the opposite, they don't even equal the faith of the cataphatic, it's just a more exclusive form of gratification dressed up to look like something 'special' — it's all sophistry ...

    Too often those who pursue 'the Way' do so in pursuit of an order of experience — tell them that the Higher way means damned hard work, a precarious and painful ascent ... and absolutely nothing in return, and see how many line up behind you then ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  10. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    This is pretty amazing, Thomas. Thank G!d for this forum, otherwise we would never have met. Actually, all of Modernism and Post-modernism is indited when I say "rational western mind"... even though (somehow) I am a product of it. Scentism, materialism, consumerism, me-ism... things were simpler when Tom Paine and Tom Jefferson were the most radical things one had to deal with politically and economically and Newton still ruled the world of science (SIGH!).

    That being said, I do believe that current science (esp physics and mathematical theoretics and chaos-complexity-emergence theoretics) will break that kind of mold. I also beleive the only real alternative is Whiteheadean Process Philosophy (idealistic monism is, for me, as objectionable as material monism) in Philosophy. And most of the other sciences will follow "neuro-economics". As for theology, well that is the problem.

    Sometimes I do wish we could put the whole Pandora's Box back and return to the days of "do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, all the rest is commentary, go and learn". Won't work though. Now we all can read not just the Four Gospels, but the numerous non-canonical ones. Now we can relive the trials of Teresa and John of the Cross and Eckhart and Fox. Now when some president tells us that pre-emptive war is "within just war theory" we can read Aquinus on our own.

    And we can find so much information (seemingly everywhere) proving to a reasoned (and metaphysically bent) mind that receiving the Revelation and living the Redemption is something that is here-and-now not there-and-when (we do not really disagree here, I am no end-of-times claimant). It is mystifying and beautiful and wondrous and awesome.

    I yet believe in "instant karma" or "the Faith of Fatima"... we can see here and now into the beyond. No, not everyone (maybe), no not all the time (undoubtably). Yes, it, like real science is a long, hard, arduous process. But I simply must believe some have gotten there (Pio or Francis or Platonius, I do not know who or when).

    I am sorry if this seems muddled (it seems that way to me sometimes, no ofttimes).

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the nature of man, Wil ... whaddaya gonna do about it?

    That's why I always go to the source as best I can, and not to n-steps-removed notions of what the source was saying/doing.

    Actually I disagree ... the early evangelists died for their beliefs, so being thought a crack-pot was the least of their worries.

    OK, but what's the solution?

    God bless,

    Tom
     
  12. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    No, actually I think it was the greatest of their worries: they were convinced that it was vital to get other people to believe their message, and that death would not be the end for them if only they succeeded in winning over others. It will not do to ignore their "salesman" urges.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    D'you think so? Seems to me they could have come up with a saccherine and palatable message that would have been more acceptable to all parties involved, rather than the one they ended up with — a prototypical 'tough love' message ...

    Take John's Discourse on the Eucharist (ch 6), that would piss anyone off.

    Then again, if one assumes Christ to be an apocalyptic prophet with a death-fixation, then maybe His guys were actuallty watering the message down!

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  14. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    It is hard for someone who has never seen the words leap off the pages, to understand...but for those that it does happen to, no explanation is requred.
     
  15. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    I had to read that twice, I thought you said "gay parade" lol.
     
  16. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    They wanted to be taken seriously. Martyrdom gives people a feeling of being really really important; it was appealing to people who had been treated as absolute nobodies. The Roman world was in an ideological crisis, with no solid foundations for their beliefs about the world, or about moral questions. Anybody who wanted to claim to have the answers needed to say something profound, or at least profound-sounding; "saccharine" would not have gone down at all.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh it does, chum. Look around you.

    Yes, you need the 'ahh' factor, but then if you want to be accepted, you tell the people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear ... look at politics ... look at the current global problems, as we try every solution other than the only one that has a hope — making do with less.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  18. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Always water down the message, as the old song goes "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down". If I could return to those days, I would love to know which "was the truth". But just like the politicos appeal to the ideological base, so every belief system has caught more flies with the sugar of Religion than with the vinegar of religion.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt.
     
  19. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    I'm sure not seeing what you're seeing. The religious cults that spring up nowadays tend to have outrageous messages. Who do you have in mind selling "saccharine" and getting many takers?
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Every government in the West, at the moment ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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