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stellaluna

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I think that Christianity straight from the Bible would be pretty uncomfortable to deal with as a female. I wouldn't be able to cope with practically any of the ways females are dealt with in the text, history, or culture. Its bad enough as it is how people have been taught to treat females and think of them and how they are depicted to confirm these ideas just for having the slightest differences in biological structures and hormones.

I don't even know how you've gotten as far as you have carrying it, but I think its definitely scary knowing only one thing mostly and not trusting or knowing outside of it or even having the strength to defy a structure that has been present from the earliest age and was part of the mechanism by which you communicated and related somewhat to your family through and community as well.

I grew up going to a Christian school that held services often inside the school, but what feels bad and wrong I've become practiced in being vocal about, even if its natural stuff. If I'm to worship a God, then it will be a God of Justice too, and a lot of the stuff in the Bible seems not quite right to me, much more than other religious books even which seem to have better ideas that are at least more fair and ethical and just seeming in comparison, making the Bible in large swathes look frankly vile.
Thank you for this. I made sure in one of my posts that "I'm trying to decide if Christianity as I know it is compatible with being female." Indeed I was taught at home, at church, and (briefly) at school that female is less, that women must be subject to men, that men decide what is feminine and what isn't, that women should only care about matters inside the home, that education and career and on and on are for men and women are intruders upon these spaces. There is a lot of practical ridiculousness in all of that and I was no fragile flower--I fought every step of the way. But I was also held in by the idea that straying would send me straight to hell. (Is there even a hell? Another topic for another time.)

Another woman has already sent me a quote by a teacher that says, "...patriarchy is not the Bible’s message; it is the cultural backdrop that sets off in the starkest relief the radical gospel nature of that message." But what difference does that make if a little girl is brought up to believe it is the message? And if those that would perpetuate it are those that have the power to apply it to public policy?
 
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The Artis Magistra

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The other group of writings which really takes a dump on women are the Buddhist writings and it has a pretty formal and institutionalized official suppression of female authority and rank and all that. The third and fourth most women hating are the Zoroastrians and Hindus in whichever order is more accurate, there is a lot of disdain in Zoroastrian writings about women or female figures at times even though Persian women may have had more things we consider cool today like serving in the military or whatever. Hindus have women expected to burn themselves or else being burned by their families so l clearly developed in a bad direction for women's rights and protection and care for widows. For the Old World the Qur'an made leaps in women's rights even though the cultures that represent Islam today are known as some of the worst in that regard.

Even modern Western secular standards for Women are not as good as some might think, and the expectations and restrictions and judgments imposed by social expectations, pressures, competition with male fantasies and pornography, its basically pretty horrible, even as seen by clothing options made available between those men are pressured into and those implied for women, there isxa major unfairness and disparity which is pretty grotesque but totally tolerated by most or not even noticed much and women are brainwashed to think these are the best things and the best way.
 

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RJM

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The Artis Magistra

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I'm not saying you should.

So to recap what I wrote: Resolve to pray, then pray.

Don't fall asleep.

Pray silently if it helps you to let go of that sense of being in control.
Pray with urgency as RJM describes if it helps you to let go of that sense of being in control.

Whatever spins your prayer drums...

But there is no "what" to pray "for" or "who" to pray "to"? Thus making the activity being mentioned here barely comprehensible to me?

Talk to God? Talk to myself? Silent would mean no talking though. So staying awake silently not saying anything or thinking anything much. As a result, feeling relaxed or something? Sorry that the idea just seems so puzzling to me, but its good if at least everyone else "gets it" and maybe they can help how and why the word prayer is even involved in this activity. Perhaps due to some mistranslation? I've had more success with Dharani recitations which I can still understand as prayers communicated and received and replied to.
 

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But there is no "what" to pray "for" or "who" to pray "to"? Thus making the activity being mentioned here barely comprehensible to me?
Well, if you don't want to pray, don't do it. Is anyone saying you have to? If you don't want to pray, don't do it. But please stop asking the same question repeatedly, and then completely ignoring the answer. It's your life.

Deliberate misunderstanding is usually the sign of intellectual dishonesty (for want of the stronger word) imo. I'm not saying you're doing it.
 

The Artis Magistra

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What about the I Ching?

I Ching is a totally different thing, also very hard to process without lots of context, since its about Chinese magic stuff.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching

Its basically not really very conducive to deriving much ethical policy or religious hope for salvation or psycho-spiritual direction from since its a book or collection of Chinese divination and magic and shamanism stuff that would pretty much make no sense on its own or sound like a total looney. It doesn't even qualify for my list because its mostly useless to people seeking religion and very hard to extract sense or value from as far as it is lost in translation and with a lack of context. Its like reading names and numbers of horses at historical horse races and trying to make some big thing out of it.

"
The basic unit of the Zhou yi is the hexagram (卦 guà), a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines (爻 yáo). Each line is either broken or unbroken. The received text of the Zhou yi contains all 64 possible hexagrams, along with the hexagram's name (卦名 guàmíng), a short hexagram statement (彖 tuàn),and six line statements (爻辭 yáocí). The statements were used to determine the results of divination, but the reasons for having two different methods of reading the hexagram are not known, and it is not known why hexagram statements would be read over line statements or vice versa.

The book opens with the first hexagram statement, yuán hēng lì zhēn (元亨利貞). These four words, translated traditionally by James Legge as "originating and penetrating, advantageous and firm," are often repeated in the hexagram statements and were already considered an important part of I Chinginterpretation in the 6th century BC. Edward Shaughnessy describes this statement as affirming an "initial receipt" of an offering, "beneficial" for further "divining". The word zhēn (貞, ancient form
) was also used for the verb "divine" in the oracle bones of the late Shang dynasty, which preceded the Zhou. It also carried meanings of being or making upright or correct, and was defined by the Eastern Han scholar Zheng Xuan as "to enquire into the correctness" of a proposed activity.

The names of the hexagrams are usually words that appear in their respective line statements, but in five cases (2, 9, 26, 61, and 63) an unrelated character of unclear purpose appears. The hexagram names could have been chosen arbitrarily from the line statements, but it is also possible that the line statements were derived from the hexagram names. The line statements, which make up most of the book, are exceedingly cryptic. Each line begins with a word indicating the line number, "base, 2, 3, 4, 5, top", and either the number 6 for a broken line, or the number 9 for a whole line. Hexagrams 1 and 2 have an extra line statement, named yong. Following the line number, the line statements may make oracular or prognostic statements. Some line statements also contain poetry or references to historical events. "

See? So it doesn't count for me. I can make something out of it for sure, but it was used as a game of chance divination tool and not really a religious text or even a ritual liturgy or formula of words or incantations which are still more religiously useful (Vedas and Avesta for example are basically just the words of rituals but one can sort of extract or back-formulate what the religion may have been that brought them about and how they were intended to be used and what it might say about the beliefs of those people).
 

stellaluna

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Whoever said "patriarchy is not the message" sounds like they are just having trouble getting rid of that book. There is practically no book more clear on patriarchy and disdain for women as a type and class than the Biblical collection.
Yeah, we'll see. I'm keeping this in mind as part of a "keeping-an-open-mind" exercise, but the woman in question was brought up in a different faith tradition and these things matter.


You might enjoy exploring other religious texts though to compare to the Biblical texts, reading a bit of each little by little until you can see the differences in style and message and implications.

The ones to read are:
The Bible (multiple translations for each verse at www.bible.cc)
The Qur'an (multiple translations for each verse at www.islamawakened.com/quran)
The Bhagavad Gita
The Dhammapada
The Avesta
The Vedas
The Upanishads
The Buddhist Suttas of the Pali Canon
The Jain writings
The Guru Granth Sahib
Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible
The Book of Mormon and other LDS scripture
I have read the full bible in King James, American Standard, New International, English Standard, and New Living Translation. I read a chronological version in NLT (I think).

I've read about a third of the Qur'an translated by Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Not sure how reliable that translation is.

The rest of your list would be new to me.
 

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The Artis Magistra

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Well, if you don't want to pray, don't do it. Is anyone saying you have to? If you don't want to pray, don't do it. But please stop asking the same question repeatedly, and then completely ignoring the answer. It's your life.
I didn't say I don't want to pray or I do want to pray. The question was, how the heck do you "pray" without trying to deliberately transmit anything to anyone. It defies not only logic but the meaning of the word. The reason that question came up is because cino or someone brought up the idea and seemed to use the word "pray" while suggesting or implying that it can be performed not towards anything and without any reason or words or transmission. So I was and continue to be like "what the heck? How?". Meanwhile, you seem to be suggesting an entirely different practice of divine posession or something, whereas such should not be possible in cino's paradigm as anything that they might consider "truly real" since it is unlikely they believe in anything which exists capable of doing that, and also are atheists so don't believe in God. Their use of the word prayer is even more alien than yours since their version seems to lack a target and context/reason or even a process really. Yours has God as the target of the transmitted desire which can be non-verbal, to be possessed and do as God wills. For you, I asked, when does anyone or anything not really do God's will, even if they do everything we consider wrong? This makes it clear that you believe in a system where God has a separate will and people have their own separate wills which can go against and in conflict with God's desires or will and oppose God and God's will can fail to be met and slip from God.

Its a common idea coming out of late chains of Christian influenced Western European theology, but differs from the fatalism and occassionalism believed in by some both ancient and much less frequently modern.

In my worldview, God is already posessing everyone and animating all experiences it generates and destroys and generates and none can defy this chaotic Overwill or singular moving, generating, change inducing, animating power, which freely brings about our experiences which see bad and good and we have no real power or part in it except an illusion of self-control and determining agency while we are really just dead puppets pushed around and made to watch "our(empty)selves" act out however we do and think we do, and not even the thoughts which pop into our heads or our eventual process and "decision" is really our own.

If we pray we really do so because of God making us do it, just like the Power makes criminals do harm and gives them the experiences of their lives and actions seen through their view or at least ours which is the only we can know really exists in its form as is.

Likewise, when people basically make certain terms mean something different than they usually do and make them work in ways they usually can't or don't, the ultimate blame goes towards this same One Power bringing about the whole experience and pointless trouble.

Its an unpopular view though, and people find it more comforting to think there isn't a divine tentacle up their hole puppeting their digital (as in illusory) corpse.
 

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If we pray we really do so because of God making us do it,
That's the whole point. God can't make you do anything.

God gave you free will to do anything you want. God offers divine/angelic assistance if you ASK for it. It really works. It's hugely powerful. But all scriptures and teachings say it's done in quietness and humility. So don't blame God.

Whatever. The point is that it's you who's asking. No-one's trying to make you believe anything.
 
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The Artis Magistra

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Oh, crap!

So you quickly wikied that up, now you're the authority? Where did the yin/yang concept originate? Sorry, I know the I Ching well, and I'm getting bored now ...

I didn't quickly wiki it as my basis for what I said, I wikied it to show you what wikipedia says it is.

Anyway, if you're sure this is what you read rather than the Tao Te Ching mistitled perhaps as I Ching, then feel free to discuss how you derived anything much from the hexagram numeric game I am talking about which you asked about by its common title.

Its more than likely you're talking about the Tao Te Ching which you read, which is where the Yin Yang thing hits home more. There is no way that looking at a bunch of six point hexagrams for bone oracle divination is going to suddenly inspire the Yin Yang, you're probably thinking of the Tao Te Ching and calling it I Ching and then seemingly mocking me for it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

Here comes wikipedia again, it mentions the Tao Te Ching for Yin and Yang:

"
In Daoist philosophy, dark and light, yin and yang, arrive in the Tao Te Ching at chapter 42. It becomes sensible from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and continues moving until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. Further, whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.

It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite, since yin and yang are bound together as parts of a mutual whole (for example, there cannot be the bottom of the foot without the top). A way to illustrate this idea is[citation needed] to postulate the notion of a race with only men or only women; this race would disappear in a single generation. Yet, men and women together create new generations that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to survive. The interaction of the two gives birth to things, like manhood. Yin and yang transform each other: like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall. Thus, a seed will sprout from the earth and grow upwards towards the sky—an intrinsically yang movement. Then, when it reaches its full potential height, it will fall. Also, the growth of the top seeks light, while roots grow in darkness.

Certain catchphrases have been used to express yin and yang complementarity:

  • The bigger the front, the bigger the back.
  • Illness is the doorway to health.
  • Tragedy turns to comedy.
  • Disasters turn out to be blessings. "
"
The Tao Te Ching, also known by its pinyin romanization Dao De Jing, is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi. "

"
In the I Ching, originally a divination manual of the Western Zhou period (c. 1000–750 BC), yin and yang are represented by broken and solid lines: yin is broken (⚋) and yang is solid (⚊). These are then combined into trigrams, which are more yang (e.g. ☱) or more yin (e.g. ☵) depending on the number of broken and solid lines (e.g., ☰ is heavily yang, while ☷ is heavily yin), and trigrams are combined into hexagrams (e.g.䷕ and ䷟). The relative positions and numbers of yin and yang lines within the trigrams determines the meaning of a trigram, and in hexagrams the upper trigram is considered yang with respect to the lower trigram, yin, which allows for complex depictions of interrelations. "

So are you talking about some commentary on the I Ching? Since its not what you seem to be thinking or saying that it is.

"
The principle of yin and yang is represented in Taoism by the Taijitu (literally "Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate"). The term is commonly used to mean the simple "divided circle" form, but may refer to any of several schematic diagrams representing these principles, such as the swastika, common to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Similar symbols have also appeared in other cultures, such as in Celtic art and Roman shield markings. "

You would need to be referring to a commentary on the I Ching markings and seem to be most likely referring to the Tao Te Ching and Taoist materials which deal more clearly on the subject than a bunch of lines and numbers for divination which is the I Ching. Similar titles which people mix up.
 

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Just over the years, starting with NIV when I was about 12.
Yes, I do apologise. This your thread.

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about questioning fundamentalism, is losing the guilt about exploring other scriptures, beyond the scriptures of one's own faith, and finding many of the same ideas expressed in different ways.

I have learned after much wandering that Christ contains all truth. But not in any rigid sense. Your points raised on these forums are very thought provoking and, as others have said, not open to easy answers.
 
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