Not in writing...

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by robocombot, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. robocombot

    robocombot Disciple

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    Guatama Bhudda did not want his words to be written down - only later were they collected in the Dharmphadda.

    Jesus did not write anything down, and the early church did not consider it important to write stuff down. The writings came about to counter heresy

    The Quran was not collected until after Mohammed's death - his followers were hesistant to write Surahs down because they preferred the oral version.

    Why is this? Is something lost in writing? Is it to prevent us getting into a war of words?

    (sorry if i wasnt completely historically correct :D )
     
  2. Postmaster

    Postmaster Well-Known Member

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    you bring up a good point. Funny thing is I have never read the bible and I feel like a better Christian then some pedo preists around. I have read odd bits and they read me stroies and almost all the bible as a child but that's about it. I use my own imagination after that. I think the bible is a good soruce of historical writing.. I think when something is told or read to you it has more power then merely reading it yourself because you can focus more of your mind on imagination. Movies and theater is even greater, as long it is produced by someone who will give an accurate account. But at the end of the day, it's what yourself makes of Chrsit. It's safe to say the more you believe in Christ's divinity the more you grasp the idea of Christ, his meaning and teachings.

    Actaully to think twice about what I said, this also might have a lot to do with the low literacy rate in the ancient times but this still apllies in modern days too but not to that extent :)

    That's my point of view, this could also probably apply to all religions.
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Jesus did write something down. He wrote it in the sand, while telling a parable. Too bad no one thought to read what it was He wrote....;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. Sacredstar

    Sacredstar Well-Known Member

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    well I would say too busy

    being, doing, healing, talking, feeding, teaching, travelling, praying and contemplating,

    and you know how it goes with Chinese whispers....

    being love

    kim xx
     
  5. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    I think the reason Gautama, or rather Buddha Shakyamuni did not write anything down was that all his teachings were specifically tailored to the audience to which he was speaking. This is why some of the advice in the sutras appears to be contradictory at first glance. One example that comes to mind is that of eating meat. He told some groups not to eat meat (to avoid eating a reincarnation of your mother) while encouraging others to enguage in ritual feasting including meat. He taught each group exactly what they needed to come closer to liberation.

    Perhaps this is the case with all great spiritual icons. Their words were meant for the listner only.
     
  6. ISFP

    ISFP Well-Known Member

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    i do think that the war of words when relating to religious matters is pretty dangerous, and surely those religious reformers understood this. translations get mangled, passages get taken too literally or are taken out of context to suit the speaker, while other people cite specific passages to validate their acts of violence against others.

    these reasons are generally why i don't place much authorotative power with religious texts. i believe they are meant to guide us towards God, as a raft is used to get across a river, to use a Buddhist image. the raft is just a vehicle, and it is one's personal experience that should ultimately be the crux of one's religious life, not text.

    there's a Quaker practice of reading into the spirit of a text, not taking it literally. one's dirrect experience with holiness is generally seen as more authoritative and spiritually useful than text. there's also room for fluidity and change when revelations are constant and individual, as opposed to associated with one, unchanging, written down source.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Indeed, I raised this topic a while back, and it's worth indicating the reliance on oral tradition as a means of oral communication in most of the societies these figures lived in.
     
  8. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    I think the point has been made already. The problem is that once the words are down as written words, they become extremely concrete, and open to all sorts of ridiculous arguments and tangles.

    Besides that, who can deny that speech has a different impact than a typed paragraph--or a manuscripted, scrawled, calligraphied, or lithographed paragraph for that matter? Look, if you and I are talking, or I am making a speech, everything that I say has to be absorbed and processed in the moment, as opposed to you reading my writing, as you are doing now and on this site. As long as my words are presented to you in concrete type, you can analyze them and in effect rewind them as many times as you like. You can deconstruct them and counter-argue. Endless philosiphizing can go on. On the other hand, with the direct transmission of speech and all of its quirky inflections, your response might be more immediate, as in, "Ooooooh," or "Wow!!!" or, "Girl!! He did not just say that. Uh-uh!!" Speech is a totally different medium than text, just as radio is a totally different medium than TV.
     
  9. miclason

    miclason miclason

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    Also, remember the illiteracy (sp?) rate...anything put in writing in those times simply became elitist because not everyone had access to it, as opposed to oral tradition...
     
  10. sangam

    sangam Member

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    Reading texts dose not make one knowledgable(pundit)
    Only the 4 letters of the word love(2.5 in hindi) are the source of all knowledge.


    a rough translation of a copulet by sage Kabeer (an india mystic and yogi from years goneby)
     

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