30 as a significant age in religion

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Modesty, Mar 28, 2022.

  1. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    Hey everyone!

    Recently I was reading an interesting text by Lewis M. Hopfe, called Religions of the World. I noticed something peculiar about several religious founders/figures he mentioned; he states that the Buddha was around 35 when he was 'enlightened' (127). Apparently, Zoroaster also went through a massive spiritual change in his thirties (218). And of course, Jesus famously started preaching at 30 and died at 33. A quick check of Muhammad's Wikipedia page mentions an important spiritual incident that happened when he was 35.

    I was really struck by this; it appears that many of the world's faiths had a founder who experienced a major/significant spiritual change in his 30s. I wanted to ask if anyone has any more examples of this, or if anyone has any thoughts about why this may be the case? I'm thinking it has something to do with the 30s being considered by many to be the time in which you are fully matured, but that's just a theory.

    - Modesty
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Interesting point.

    I think Lao Tse was an old man when he quit the public service and rode across that mountain border post where he was asked to write down his wisdom for posterity. But I don't know how old he was when he started philosophizing. I don't know when Socrates started his public ministry of philosophizing, but he was about 40 when he served in the Peloponnesian War, and about 70 when the war ended, after which he got into trouble with the Athenian authorities for subverting the youths (by teaching royalist sympathies), so again an old man.

    On the other hand, Mahavira was also about 30 when he left his life behind to become a mendicant, and ultimately become the central figure of Jainism.

    I don't know if he qualifies, but Shabbatai Tsevi was 20 when he proclaimed himself to be the Messiah. His movement was ultimately unsuccessful, but very influential at the time, and has left a lasting impression on Judaism (if only as a negative example).

    Crowley was about 30 when he wrote his "Book of the Law", the foundational document of Thelema. Check.

    Baha'u'llah was in his late 30ies when he spent time in retreat in Kurdistan, after which he became the central figure of the Baha'i faith. Check

    But Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was 23 when he started his religion.

    I don't know. Maybe the 30ies are a time when one has gained a reasonable grasp of one's own culture and religion, and is able to formulate a well-founded critique, reform, or renewal? Too young, and the basics are not solid enough; too old, and one becomes too mellow with age and wisdom to rock the boat any more?
     
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  3. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    By some Christian interpretations, everyone will be abut that age after the judgement and heaven is established here on earth. Not sure the significance or how that figure was arrived at though.
     
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  4. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    Thank you for these examples! It seems like there is a trend, although of course it could be coincidental rather than consequential. Your last comment makes sense; the 30s are arguably a kind of 'middle' state. It's interesting that this appears across cultures and eras, even in regions and spiritual traditions that would have little to no exposure to each other. I've actually also noted a similar trend with the age 12; per Wikipedia, Jesus, Mani and Muhammed (he might've been 9, apparently it's not 100% certain) all either started displaying a hint of their spiritual aptitude at this point, or were recognized as being spiritually important by others. There's a lot of overlap between the three traditions they belong to, so that's not too surprising, but it's still interesting to note!
     
  5. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    Ooh, interesting; I've never heard this before. Is there a certain tradition or denomination of Christianity that teaches this?
     
  6. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Not that I know of. Doing a quick search, appears to be just a theory some Christians subscribe to taken from different Biblical cues. One being 1 John 3:2 which states we will be like him and since Jesus was said to be 33 when crucified, theory is we'll be that age in heaven. Don't know, but I kind of like the idea.
     
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  7. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    Interesting! I've heard the opposite before- growing up in Catholicism, my mother was told that we would all be like children in Heaven (although obviously that isn't official Catholic teaching). It's fascinating seeing how much variation there is in belief within different schools of Christian thought!
     
  8. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    I think most mile markers are 7,13,21,28,37ish,44ish, after this I would say that you are not going to figure things out as much as in your youth. This is not to say that older people can not figure things out, it just means your mind did not figure you out very well.

    In meditation I find myself in fields of ourselves, doing nothing, figuring nothing out. I find no elderly or young minds they all seem to be in their 20s to 30s. Everyone I see here seems perfect, flawless.

    It is interesting to me why so many and why they did not become something again. This is one reason I try to understand these Christian interpretations. ?????

    powessy
     
  9. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Makes sense to me because it was in my late 20's, early 30's I began to seriously hone in on what truly mattered to me and when I was best able to meet my goals, both physically and mentally. Decisions made in those years served me well later in life.
     
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  10. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Oh, indeed. Even more so in the Hindu faith. Nearly as many variations in that faith as there are Hindus! Different thoughts, different perspectives. It's all good. God knows where we are and where we're coming from.
     
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  11. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    Definitely. In fact, coming from someone who was raised atheist and then converted to Christianity (AKA, having a sole background in Western religion and Western secularism), I find myself a bit overwhelmed by the diversity of religious expression and thought in religions such as Hinduism. The closest Western comparison I can think of (and this is a very loose comparison) is the extreme diversity in Christianity that you seen in 19th and early 20th century America.
     
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  12. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    It's difficult to compare Eastern and Western religions. Not that they're all that different, but because they each approach God from an entirely different vantage point.

    One member here who has since passed once likened it to watching cars pass in front of your house. To you the cars are a blur. To the people in the cars you are a blur and though you're both looking at the same road, what each sees in front of them is entirely different.

    Now, the way Christianity is practiced in some areas, the lines between east and west can get blurred a little.

    I remember when my wife first came to this country. She's a Hindu Indian from the Fiji Islands. They were showing a Christian festival on TV that had taken place in Mexico. Singing, dancing, brightly colored costumes, divine imagery. Well, the wife thought she was watching a Hindu event. :)
     
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  13. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    Just looking around the internet for ideas about the human life cycle, and found this image which kind of shows the ages we most likely go through during spiritual growth.


    I would also say that, each step is necessary to figure yourself out again and again. Each step would be a mile marker of changing in your body that is not present in the past or future you.

    9C722789-5D90-4C76-B3EB-BEC1716F980A.jpeg
    powessy
     
  14. powessy

    powessy Well-Known Member

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    I want to correct myself here.

    In our lives we go through a metamorphosis at different times. The first two steps happen in the womb. The first is “itself”, this is when our sex is determined, the second is “you” when you start to become you. The next step occurs I believe at 4 - 7 it is “me” when I understand I am me. The next step is “yourself” you are becoming yourself 11 - 15. The final stage of this metamorphosis is “himself/herself” we are who we will be 19 - 21. As we age we will continue to shed our bodies about every 7 to 10 years. The more time that we shed the more we can figure things out, so as we get older we can find more minds trying to teach us things.

    It is possible that in your 30s you have enough time to be taught in a mind that can figure things out.

    These thoughts come from minds that teach me things. The more questions I ask the more thoughts I find.

    powessy
     

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