Spiritual fascism

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by foundationist.org, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. earl

    earl ?

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    As I understand it, in the Greek editions of the early Bible, the Greek term for "sin" meant to miss the mark. Admittedly, my interpretations of Christianity are actually heavily flavored by my study of Buddhism as i tend to look for the commonalities to both, (that's just my thing:p ) But this definition of "sin" seems to me to be rather similar to a definition i had heard for "dukkha," which, not having clear-cut English word equivalents was explained as essentially like the metahpor of a wheel not revolving well around its axle. Take care, Earl
     
  2. earl

    earl ?

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    Oops, meant to include that Greek term: "hamartia. Earl
     
  3. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    I reached that realization in my personal searching before I adopted a different religious paradigm. I guess you could say that a different religious paradigm adopted me. ;)

    Sorta. Believing they could understand good and evil is really the crux of the matter.

    And I don't use them in Christianity in the sense of them actually being anything. As with "God" and "sin", they are linguistic placeholders for a concept. Here the concept is a difficult to express notion that our minds can organize the totality of things and discern what things should be as distinguished from what things are.

    I am somewhat familiar with Vedanta, though I do not profess to be anything other than a very casual scholar of Buddhist tradition. Indeed, I should pause to give you a quick "thank you" for your many enlightening and informative posts on the topic.

    I would roughly equate my experience of "God" with Brahman. I was introduced to the similarity through the works of Joseph Campbell and see it in Taoism as well. Although I use the term "Oneness" I don't necessarily consider myself a monist either. I perceive Monism's "oneness", "Tao", "Brahman" and "God" as essentially related expressions of the inexpressible experience of being.
     
  4. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    Thanks. :)

    In general I agree with what Abogado del Diablo (also a great nickname) has said, but I'd like to respond to your questions personally. Let me first stress that my answers are in the context of the Christian tradition I was raised in and how I understood their teachings at the time. These days I dont follow any Christian tradition.

    Not at all a problem, Buddhist theology is definitely not my strong suit either.

    Well, yeah, usually. Granted, I was raised in a pretty liberal tradition (Lutheranism, for the curious out there), but what we learned is that one is not so much externally punished for sin in the sense of getting a detention at school, but that we punish ourselves through our behaviour.

    Like I said...

     
  5. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    Well said. This is similar to how I view it. When this idea of "sin" is combined with the notion that this self-imposed judgment and punishment separates us from our own selves, then you can begin to see the connections between Tao and Christianity. This excerpt from the Tao te Ching has always been one of my favorite expressions of the elementary idea. It provides a beautiful expression of the paradoxical relationship between the perception of the exisitence of duty and reason we perceive a need for the existence of duty. It also ties into what I was saying earlier about the relationship between knowledge, morality and the Way and the path leading inwards toward rediscovery of one's Self:

    When the Way is forgotten
    Duty and justice appear;
    Then knowledge and wisdom are born
    Along with hypocrisy.

    When harmonious relationships dissolve
    Then respect and devotion arise;
    When a nation falls to chaos
    Then loyalty and patriotism are born.

    If we could abolish knowledge and wisdom
    Then people would profit a hundredfold;
    If we could abolish duty and justice
    Then harmonious relationships would form;
    If we could abolish artifice and profit
    Then waste and theft would disappear.

    Yet such remedies treat only symptoms
    And so they are inadequate.

    People need personal remedies:
    Reveal your naked self and embrace your original nature;
    Bind your self-interest and control your ambition;
    Forget your habits and simplify your affairs.
     
  6. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Brilliant!

    Regards, Scarlet Pimpernel--I agree with your take on judgement, heaven, and hell too.
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    thanks for your replies, folks... some interesting views, to be sure :)
     
  8. Wong Fei Hung

    Wong Fei Hung New Member

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    I don't think anyone on this site knows what fascism is.
     
  9. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    It would help with the discussion more if you'd share with us how you define it.
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Certainly when removed directly from its core political definitions, then "spiritual fascism" is a disloyal application of the term - however, as a metaphor (or which spiritual issues often have to relate), then there is perhaps an argument to be made for the use of phrase.

    And welcome to CR, Wong Fei Hung. :)
     
  11. Vimalakirti

    Vimalakirti New Member

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    In case, you haven't noticed the slip just yet, the author you refer to is actually Chogyam Trungpa.
     
  12. dattaswami

    dattaswami Interfaith Forums

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    DIVINE DISCOURSE BY DATTA SWAMI

    Q) In the Bible Jesus told “ First will be last and last will be first”. Please explain this?

    A) The people who are treated as great devotees and scholars by their sacrifice of words and feelings and by their dramatic dress of devotion, in the eyes of world stand in the first position but such people are pushed to the last position by the Lord. The people who do not express their love in words and mind and do not expose themselves with dramatic dress of devotion and those who sacrifice practically stand in the last position in the eyes of the world. But the Lord will push such people to the first position. A gravel stone covered by a glittering paper and a diamond covered by the dust are given first and last positions by the world. But the Lord reverses these positions.

    ANIL ANTONY

     
  13. Sarutobi

    Sarutobi New Member

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    Hello, new member here. All I can say about this forum subject is WOW... because a lot of you have touched on the very thing that turned me away from Christianity in the first place. With all due respect to Christian people out there, there IS a definite superiority complex within the Christian community. In fact, it is so strong and rampant that it exists even between the different sects of Christianity! I can only speak from my experience here in America, of course, and when I have more time, I hope to read through this forum in its entirety and really get a feel for what everyone is saying. Anyway, my point is that yes, spiritual fanaticism exists and it is very prevalent in Christianity. Is it as prevalent in other religions as well?
     
  14. supercontext

    supercontext New Member

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    It's just an extension of imperialism in general, and it's no coincidence that those within any given religious community who claim religious superiority are also interested in imposing their culture on other cultures, usually through violent coercion. 'God' doesn't choose people, people choose 'God'.
     
  15. Nitai

    Nitai New Member

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    Hare Krishna

    I would like to mention here the vision of the Vedic wisdom about this topic. But first of all because we see that spiritual fascism exists that doesn't mean that spiritual life is not good when practiced with proper mentality
    * Practicing spiritual life is the unique opportunity only of human life.

    But anyway, in all religions those who practice spiritual life go through three different stages.

    ** KANISHTHA - this is a neophyte devotee with insufficient spiritual understanding
    * he is quite materialistic or has material desires
    * he don't know how to properly behave toward other devotees nor how to properly behave to other people in general
    * he easily becomes angry on others, he is envious and think himself to be very great devotee, the most important one of all
    * when little bit advanced he is very fanatical in his preaching
    * this we could say is the spiritual fascism

    ** MADHYAMA - is a devotee on intermediate stage of spiritual advancement
    * he has quite good understanding of the scriptures
    * he makes friendship with other devotees; is merciful to the innocent people who don't understand spiritual life
    * He also avoids those who are aggressive, angry and antagonistic to God and spiritual life
    * he is a devotee in good standing; nothing can shake him to deviate from the spiritual path
    * when he is preaching about God and spirituality He is not forcing others to accept religious practice but rather he is trying to inspire other to take up spiritual life
    * he is a person who appreciate others religious practice because he sees that they also cultivate God-consciousness endeavoring to attain love of God
    * therefor his behavior has nothing to do with spiritual fascism


    ** UTTAMA - is a devotee who has attained pure love of God
    * He has full understanding of the essence of all scriptures
    * He has full faith in God
    * His vision of others is that everybody is perfect
    NOTE: this vision is difficult to understand but that's sure that the seed of spiritual perfection is there in everybody; it have to be just awakened till it is fully blossomed.
    * anyway, the qualities of UTTAMA are many but just as the MADHYAM has nothing to do with spiritual fascism the same is obvious for UTTAMA devotee.

    In this way we can see that although some people are behaving not so nice still spiritual practice is good and can ultimately bear the fruit of perfection.
     
  16. j.elvira

    j.elvira New Member

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    Throught mankind from the beginning we as humans have allways tryed to be the number one being on the planet we've come up from the dinosaures and plants and such that now today we are going against eachother in superiority even though in every spiritual teachings it says we are allways created equal. We've come so far working together to be superior above everything else living that now we are trying to be superior over each other. Though in life their are such things that we can never come above i.e. religion, spirituality, and human kind. So why is it that we try so hard, why is it that we strive to be so much better than one another, when everything that has been taught to us has said that we are created equal in most if not all aspects of life?
     
  17. Steveintn

    Steveintn New Member

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    I have had an ongoing battle with Spiritual Fascism within my own family. Too bad family dynamics weren't governed by the US Constitution (freedom of religion)! I think a major part of the problem with spiritual fascism (and in turn, fanaticism) is that religious individuals often are compelled to share their beliefs with others - always expecting the other person to have an open mind. It is rare, however, for the religious fanatic (at least for fundamentalist Christians) to be open-minded to other worldviews. I choose the word "worldview" purposely, because that is exactly what every religion is - and for each one, there are others which are comparable and equally valid. For any deeply spiritual individual, he/she should rationalize their own choice of worldview in terms of what it brings to them personally, not in terms of why other worldview are "wrong." It's also difficult for me to comprehend how any practicioner of a Judeo-Christian religion could consider themselves "enlightened" when the basis of their beliefs comes from a text which is several thousands of years old - the word "enlightened" suggests "new ideas".
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste,

    thank you for the post... please, pardon my tardy reply! i lost track of the thread :eek:

    i would suspect that for the purposes of our conversation we should necessairly be general or "usual" with our responses. whilst perhaps not so much in your tradition, within the paradigm of Buddhism, one can find a wide variety of views which do not lend to a productive conversation with non-Buddhists.

    so.. having said that, you would agree that, generally, this is how the term is understood, however, your tradition explained it a bit differently. yes?

     
  19. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    DUH!!!

    :eek:

    metta,

    ~v
     
  20. earl

    earl ?

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