Religious belief it doesn't seem linear

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Well it doesn't to me. I look at the most conservative and the most liberal, the most Orthodox there's this what's called blasphemers by them. And I just don't see it.

    I don't see it as linear, or even two sides of the coin. I think it is more circular, like the equator. If we go for Jews between orthodox, conservative, reformed, reconstruction, renewal or with Christians from the Orthodox to the new thought, or strict Islam to sufis ...

    I think some of the Dogma the trappings the Pomp and Circumstance changes but the underlying essence is stronger at both "ends" more than it is in the middle
     
  2. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    For the sake of accuracy - It is "Reform" not "Reformed", it is "Reconstructionist" not "Reconstruction".
    For the sake of completeness - You did not list "Secular Humanistic", the movement founded by the late Rabbi Sherwin Wine.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Poifect! Thanks for the corrections,.and the add, unfortunately I can't edit or I would revise my post.

    But is secular humanistic Jewish?
     
  4. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    Well, that might depend on who you ask. It has its own rabbis, originally drawn from other movements, and have had for a number of years their own seminary. There are several Humanistic congregations. If you want a link to scope it out I’ll be glad to provide it.
     
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  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Conservative/liberal, Orthodox/heterodox ... you end up with positions like those who supposedly stand closest to the 'received tradition' — the 'conservatives' who come in various degrees of 'uncool' and 'right wing' and, in extremis, self-righteous fundamentalisms, standing strictly by the letter but in spirit are so far removed from the message, then then those who appear 'cool' and 'right on', self-righteous liberals who embody the spirit as they see it and dismiss the letter...

    This against an increasingly anti-'mystical' background, while at the same time promoting a 'spiritual' foreground...

    Yup. It's all rather organic and, like all organic things when you get under the skin, a little bit messy ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  6. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    If there is progress, perhaps it is most easily seen in hindsight? It's hard for me to get my head around the circular model, but maybe the end is like the beginning, but more refined, more pure. The best of the beginning remains throughout, all else falls away, and the best is made better at the end?

    Job has a good beginning, then a terrible fall. When he has lost all, the idea that he is making progress would seem absurd. Then, at the end, all that was best in him was made better.

    I don't know... I love this from Thomas, though:
    "It's all rather organic and, like all organic things when you get under the skin, a little bit messy ..." Pretty much nails it for me. Like a living thing, it is a mystery, full of complexity.
     
  7. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Active Member

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    What would linear religious belief look like?
     
  8. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Orta Yol, I wasn't sure if the question was intended for Wil or just anyone, but... beginning with a simple definition of linear:

    adjective
    1.
    arranged in or extending along a straight or nearly straight line.
    "linear movement"
    2.
    progressing from one stage to another in a single series of steps; sequential.
    "a linear narrative"

    This second definition was the one I had in mind. It is belief centered around a sense of progression.
    For instance, Genesis is arranged this way, in a seven day progression, a series of progressive metaphors, each stage building on the one that proceeded it, culminating in the creation of Adam and Eve.

    Then, re-tool with new metaphors, pick up the progression again, this time beginning with Adam and Eve. A split is introduced in the way of a fall, and now two lines of progression are present: Cain and Abel. Tracing the progression(s) further, with each notable life that appears along the way, it all eventually culminates with the life of Joseph (and perhaps in some mystical sense Benjamin).

    The two lines of progression (carnal and spiritual, evil and good, etc.) are present throughout the rest of scripture, IMO.
    This is where it gets messy. If you take both those progressions, and make them a part of a single human being, you have us with all our inner conflicts and contradictions.

    Concerning that, I like this quote:

    "Who understands the wonderful contradictions which go to make up man? At times almost an angel; at times a beast or devil: now with aspirations high as heaven; now with self-love and envy low as hell. Who knows himself even as his neighbours know him? Well might the old heathen oracle say, 'Know thyself.' Well might the Psalmist again and again ask, 'Lord, what is man?' " -- Andrew Jukes, from the introduction to "The Names of God".

    (This is from a Christian perspective, I realize there are others.)
     
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  9. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Good example, dualism and Christianity. I think this is a nice illustration of Wil's point, as Christianity has been engaging the topic ever since its beginning, in wildly non-linear, turbulent fashion. Arians, Monophysites, Unitarians, Paulicians, Cathars... All of these heretical movements were rejected by mainstream Christianity for being too linear, too uncompromising...
     
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Established Member

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    Some people might think that it is about "which creed is correct", but I see it more about politics than anything else.
    For example, Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland .. Kingdoms or Republics etc.
    ..or the Arian controversy and the Roman Empire.

    Our relationship with God, the Most High, should NOT be about worldly concerns.
    It should be about our sincere devotion to His Greatness and Truth.
     
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  11. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    There have been very dark times in Christian history. I would like to believe we have moved beyond the times of inquisition, in at least it's outward forms. Nevertheless I think there is still a tendency, rooted deep in human nature, toward the thrill of a good witch hunt.

    To see it without, I believe one must see it within first. Which one of us has not been at times the witch, the heretic, and at other times the inquisitor or the witch hammer? Or felt the imaginary pat on the back which seems to say, "Good job. But now, bring me another witch."?

    If one does not see it within, it will always be "them", those out there somewhere, who are the problem. To see it within is to begin to lose the power to judge others.

    I just finished a rather gritty book by Jon Ronson called "So You've Been Publicly Shamed". It deals with another aspect of what I believe is his favorite subject: the tendency toward group madness that is constantly lurking beneath the surface in us humans. (Here the inquisitors and witch hunters are tweeters and social media commentators). Bottom line, it leaves me with the uneasy thought that perhaps the human tendencies that drove the inquisitions of yesteryear are still alive and well in us today, just in a different form.

    Regarding linear, as I see it in a religious context, means a progression. Fast, slow, full of starts and stops, at times seemingly going backwards to the point of despair, but ultimately not static. Moving not simply back to the place where we started, but to a better place. Circular, on the other hand, as I am able to grasp it, in it's most simple sense would be coming full circle back to the place we began, having made no progress.

    If one believes we came from nowhere, we go back to nowhere. If one believes we came from a primordial place of simple bliss (Eden), we return to that place. However, these beliefs render our incarnation here meaningless, as there has been no progression. I believe this life has meaning and purpose, and is intended to lift man beyond his primordial origins. Not a return to his original state, but to a better one. (Like Paul's "much more").

    Duality... I have my moments of non-duality, of non-conceptual existence, but I always come back with both feet firmly planted in duality (of the moral variety, good and evil). It's my world, it's where I live, I see it within and without, everywhere. I'm dual, but look forward to non-duality (which is really the non-conceptual, IMO). We say non-dual but really no words can describe it.
     
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  12. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Active Member

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    We are no different than our ancestors, we do not have a stronger moral compass, we are not less violent. The differences in our world, our behaviour are mostly to with technological advancements.

    If you took an infant from today and place it in a family 2000 years ago, do you think it would have a better chance of growing up to be a more reasonable person than the others of the time?


    If the place we began was near perfect and we fell from grace, coming back full circle would still be progress. I mean we didn't further regress, we didn't remain static, so it must be progress right?
     
  13. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Orta Yol, I'm not sure, it's a great question. It would be an interesting thought experiment. Considering the possibility of the two lines of development however, I would say the bad doesn't get better in the individual, it just becomes a little more insidious. The mores of the times might change for the better, but that unruly principle within will always oppose the good. As Paul personalized the legal struggle, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." And again, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." (Both from Romans 7)

    Considering that inward struggle, I would say that an infant would not necessarily grow up to be a more reasonable person than others of his/her time.

    It would certainly be okay with me if I returned to that state since it would mean a full restoration of man's original relationship to God. (Really I would be okay with anything, as a beggar cannot be a chooser.) But it is my belief that God has even higher aspirations for man. As in the case of Job, his end is better than his beginning. And what is Job other than all that is best in us?

    It is the nature of grace to always "up the ante". The evil principle within responds to the good, as Cain slew Abel, but there is always a Seth to replace him. Perhaps it is circular in that sense, in that it is a battle of sorts, and one response triggers another; but in my opinion, if it is a circular thing, that circle moves forward.
     
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  14. OrtaYol

    OrtaYol Active Member

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    what sort of aspirations?
     
  15. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Very good ones. :) The trust is in the Giver, not in ourselves. The depth of love and the power to see it through are God's alone.

    I'm thinking of something that doesn't do away with Eden, but both encompasses and surpasses it.

    Union of the highest order, beyond that which is known by angels.

    But don't mind me (as always the caveat IMO applies).
     
  16. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    As a whole, humanity is the same as it has always been. Human nature may change. to meet whatever circumstances life leads us. However, the law attraction is true our nature leads us circumstance out of compliment and need.

    I do not believe humans can regress to a former state, the past cannot accurately reproduce itself to a present or future state.

    Whatever, our life view of the after-life, heaven, resting place etc. will be as we understand it to be. Hypothetically, Christians view heaven in accordance with the Christian Bible. Native Americans have their own thoughts about beyond death experiences. The after-life reflects what we know and understand in our present understanding of the life and the world.
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Our view and understanding of the afterlife....

    Or are you suggesting our belief here on earth effects the reality that exists post mortem?
     
  18. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    Perhaps the afterlife his something that is relatable to present understanding
     
  19. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    In truth I do not know if it could be different it would, however, options are thin.
     

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