Question to all

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Pilgram, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Greetings,

    I am new to the study of comparative religion and would like to know the following.

    Does anyone know of a religion or organization that INCLUDES all the beliefs agreed upon by the major religions and EXCLUDES all beliefs that two or more religions disagree upon?

    This may sound very basic to many of you but I would really appreciate any help you can give.

    Thanks
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Pilgrim,

    welcome to the forum.

    actually... yes :) the organization is called the Universalist-Unitarian Church... which is a combination of the Universalist and Unitarian sects respectively.

    they are usually in regular church looking buildings, but that's not always the case... and you can tell that you're at the right spot due to the various religious holy symbols at the pulpit...

    you'll usually see Baha'i, Christian, Taoist, Islamic, Jewish et al symbology displayed.

    here's a website that you can visit for more information:

    http://www.uua.org/
     
  3. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Do your own religion.

    I understand, Pilgram, that you are after a religion to practice. It is a very good intention. Religion has been with mankind from since the dawn of consciousness. And I for one maintain that people without any religion whatsoever is missing something in life.

    My suggestion to you is that you examine yourself to find out what is your preference in terms of rigidity and flexibility in regard to doctrines and practices and conformity with others of the same religion which you might want to join.

    From your post reproduced below, you appear to favor a flexible religion, or rather you prefer to maintain your freedom while being a religious person. Before anything else, maybe you would like to consider my definition of a religion:

    Of course you might find it unworthy of you that in religion you are seeking favors from unknown power(s). but when you observe religions and religions and more religions, that is exactly what it is all about.

    There are religious people who claim that they are not after favors from the powers they believe in, like God. They just love God without any expectation of reward from Him. Which is very ungodly, for the God they believe in is always promising to reward them.

    But just the same, ask them whether they love God without so much as expecting the favor of a smile from their God? Now, is that not intending God to react favorably to them? Or do they wish rather that in the purity of their love of God they want God to react to them with a frown? Anyway, it is still to be noticed by their God.

    Or do they insist that they do not want to be noticed by their God, even? Like the way they might feel very bad not to be noticed by anyone as they enter a room with people inside, and nobody even bothering to so much as throw a quick glance at them? Why then do they bother with God, at all? They must be crazy then.


    I think Vaj has referred you to a kind of some universal ecumenical religion. My suggestion however is to stay within your own family's religion or religious background whatever, and fashion it to your own liking, to be master of your own religious doctrines and practices, keeping to my definition of religion. Then one day you will see all the good in religion and all the evil also of men in religion. In the meantime:

    Primum non nocere;
    Ultimum non nocere;
    Interim semper non nocere.


    At the risk of self-adulation, you might pick up some useful ideas from the thread here on “What is a religion”, where I explain my ideas of what religion is all about.

    Susma Rio Sep


     
  4. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Chinese goddess of mercy?

    Dear Vaj:

    You have a new graphic in your posts. Is that not the representation of the the Chinese goddess of mercy?

    Do you pray to her?

    Many Buddhists have her picture in their homes and burn incense and pray to her for all kinds of favors.

    In which case, my definition of religion is validated in the Buddhism of the Chinese goddess of mercy school:

    Namaste, all.

    Susma Rio Sep

    PS What's 'Namaste'? I guess it can't be anything but some version of 'Peace' or something not inconsistent with it.
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi Pilgram, and welcome to CR! :)
     
  6. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Thank you, Vajradhara,

    I looked at the UU but I guess what I'm really after is a systematic study of the areas of intersection of the world's religions and the areas of non-intersection.

    Are there any books or studies that have attempted to take on such a systematic approach?
     
  7. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Do some self-thinking.

    Allow me to take the liberty to answer to you, seeing that you put your query in public.

    Reading other people's writings is useful. But you must finally do a lot of thinking of your own, taking into account also of what you read.

    There in your mind and heart and even your physiology is a vast library where you can dwell endlessly and enrich your treasure of knowledge and wisdom to guide you in life.

    Don't bury yourself in other people's writings which in many instances are just rote reproduction or rehasing of more of other people's thinking and writing and ruther re-roting.

    For the exercise of thinking on your own, try to arrive at a definition or the answer what is religion or 'a religion' as Brian puts it. I am sure you have enough materials from years of being exposed to Christmas and Valentine days to work on.

    Areas of intersection and non-intersection? Have you ever prayed in your whole lifetime so far? If not, then say this prayer:

    And see if other people of religion are praying and how they pray, from rote or from their own spontaneous promptings.

    There you will find areas of intersection and non-intersection.

    Susma Rio Sep


     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Susma,

    Namaste is an ancient Nepali greeting that roughly translates as..

    "i greet the divine in you. when you are in that place in yourself and i am in that place in me, there is only one of us."

    as for the graphic... yes, that is Kwan Yin.. though i was just playing around with other pics... hopefully, my true one will be up shortly :)

    Kwan Yin is Avoelokiteshavara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion... by the by... also known as Kannon in Japan.

    no.. i do not pray to her or him... :)
     
  9. IMSassafras

    IMSassafras A Believer

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    Welcome Pilgram,

    You're question seems to be one of truth seeking. I hope all of us here are of some help with your search.

    What you are asking for sounds familiar. You might want to give the Baha'i Faith a look at if you haven't already. The Baha'i Faith excepts all the major world religions of God in what we call "Progressive Revelations". Since the time of Adam, God has taught mankind through Prophets, or Manifestations, each time renewing the Divine message of the past and also giving new directions for mankind to advance in society.

    The exclusions that you are talking about remind me of dogma or doctrine which has been introduced by man. Thus, these beliefs would not be excepted by every religion. The Baha'i Faith believes through self-investigation we can find truth, and the suspicious doctine of any world religion can be investigated in order to find truth with the rational thinking that God gave us.

    Does this sound like what you are looking for? If not, my apologizes. If it seems like I am on the right track here are some websites:

    www.bahai.com
    www.bahai.org
    www.us.bahai.org

    I hope this will help you in your search. Feel free to ask any questions, we are all here to answer and help you in your search.

    Unity in Diversity
    Sassafras
     
  10. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Allah'u'Abha, Pilgrim,

    You may want to go to http://www.ibiblio.org/Bahai/Texts/EN/#Bahaullah and click on the Kitab-I-Iqan. This is called "The Book of Certitude". "The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf" is also a volume that deals directly with the revelation of God and His religions. These were both penned by Baha'u'llah, the Prophet/Founder of the Baha'i Faith and whom we believe is the most recent Manifestation of God.

    Actually, while you are there, you may want to browse other volumes as well. Feel free to ask questions concerning any of the documents.

    warmly,

    Mick
     
  11. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Allah'u'Abha, again Pilgrim,

    Hope I am not overdoing your welcome.

    I just read your profile and you described yourself as a eclectic/apostate/deist. Bravo! I would dare say, that many Baha'is I have met, as well as myself, would have fallen in that category at sometime in our search for the Truths of God.

    Good Luck on you venture,

    Mick
     
  12. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I have to admit, reading this thread creates an immediate concern - I do not believe that this site should be used at all to attempt to "convert" members to any particular point of view. This is a place for sharing perceptions, not for trying to define them for others.

    I appreciate that on this thread a question was asked and was answered - but the point does need making for future reference that a careful line needs to be drawn over what is regarded as sharing experiences and perceptions, and what may be construed as proselytising.

    A general point for everyone.

    I'll have to address this more properly and officially soon. New template coming which should have a new Code of Conduct clearly labelled. Suffice to say, I think for the overwhelming majority of instance of posting here, there is no issue whatsoever. However, I should create clearer guidelines for people to reference for themselves.
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Pilgrim,

    thank you for the reponses...

    everyone seems to have addressed your issues in some manner...

    to respond to your latest query...

    there is a book that you might find of interest... it's called World Religions and it is written by a fellow named Huston Smith. it's quite excellent.

    this isn't a comparative religion text book, per se, though it fully expounds the major world religions... which is a good place to start :)

    good luck in your searching!
     
  14. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Thanks to all who responded to my original question. To those of you who wonder if I've ever prayed, Yes, daily! I am not looking for a religion to follow. I asked my original question because I am contemplating writing a book that invites people to leave their DIFFERENT dogma behind and to go forward with only the beliefs, (dogma) that all major religions AGREE upon. I suspect that they would be relatively few, i.e. love god and each other (and all the subsets of these two).

    I would like to know how this idea sounds to those of you who are interested enough in religion, god and/or virtue to visit this website.

    My perception of god is GOODNESS, TRUTH AND BEAUTY, but also possibly the lack of omnipotence and possibly the evolution of god toward perfection through and with human and other beings.

    I do not understand Process Theology and Process Philosophy yet as I have only recently heard of either but there seems to be something there that has caught my interest. If anyone cares to give me the "nutshell" version of these concepts, I'd be very happy to hear from you.

    Peace and love to all,
    Pilgram
     
  15. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Pilgram,

    I told my wife that I would bet this individual was writing a paper.

    The book? Probably wouldn't read it. There are already a large amount of books written by people that are trying to reinvent religion/spirituality.
    Interested in your ideas? Sure. In the seventies, I discarded all beliefs and dogma that I had encountered and looked at what I knew. I found I knew that God existed and that He represented love to me. Because of this, I was able to spend time in college looking at all of the religions. For instance, I met some Islamic individuals and was able to spend time in prayer and discussion with them. They were very spiritual and loving individuals. Without that experience, I could be looking at the crisis in the Mid-East differently.

    The concept that God evolves and not man batters my brain. Can't make it work.

    Wish you well on your journey,

    Mick
     
  16. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Mick, thank you for your response
    **************************************************
    Mick, to answer your last comment first, I never said that I thought man does not evolve but only that god, (through man and others beings), man and other beings, all evolve together. I think that we (god, humans and other sentient beings) are all connected and/or ONE and that we are all evolving together. This is simply my belief and I have no evidence nor am I aware that anyone else believes this. I have a suspicion that I am not the first person to think this.

    Like you, I too have much in common with Moslems and others who embrace different religions. That is the point of my anticipated book. The problems in the Mid-East and everywhere else are in many ways directly related to the fact that different religions (and the people who embrace them) espouse different dogma as well as identical dogma. My thought and hope is that if people could be satisfied with the dogma that all their religions set forth (love, compassion, forgiveness, etc) and simply stand mute on the dogma that differs from religion to religion, we might be able to live in peace and harmony.

    No religion is going to "win" in the sense of converting others therefore it can only be by focusing on the agreed upon beliefs of all religions (this is the important dogma anyway, love, compassion, forgiveness) and leaving behind the areas of disagreement that lead to fear, hate, war and death, that all human beings may come together and live in peace with each other. It is the dogma that differs, no matter how old the myths and metaphors may be, that causes people to strap bombs to themselves and kill in the name of god. It is the minority dogma that leads people to kill doctors, nurses and secretaries in abortion clinics. It is this same minority dogma that causes a supreme court judge to violate the separation of church and state of which he was cleary aware.

    All beliefs are dogma. But I guess what I'm asking is that since man does not KNOW very much and since we have to make many assumptions, let us make the minumum number of assumptions that we all agree upon (love, compassion, forgiveness, etc) and leave the other assumptions (where religious dogma disagrees from religion to religion) behind. It is this dogma that differs that is causing us to kill ourselves, mutilate children and fill ourselves and our children with prejudice and hate.

    I realize that asking people to consider this is difficult. Everyone wants to be RIGHT. And to release ANY of our beliefs is a difficult undertaking. But the alternative is even more difficult.

    Many if not most people seem incapable of peacefully coexisting with others who hold different religious dogma. It is fairly clear that these differences are the main cause of much war, terrorism, greed, hate... and the list goes on.

    It is not being suggested that anyone abolish ALL their religious dogma. In fact, Jesus, Buddha and other great teachers and prophets seemed to have implied that all that was important was the BASIC teachings (love, compassion, etc.) and they encouraged people to actually DO those things instead of wasting time TALKING about the more trivial different beliefs that do not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and comfort the sick and dying.

    It is my belief that GOD and the many prophets and teachers who have been inspired by GOD, would want fewer committees and theological studies, debates and degrees and more DOING of the work of the Spirit. But until we put aside our differences, we will have a lot less time and energy to help people who really need help.

    I invite you to offer any constructive criticism that you may have. I know that many will find my ideas not to their liking and that's okay. What I'm interested in is hearing from those of you who can see what I'm proposing and have ideas about how to possibly bring this about.

    I am not putting down ANY religion or any people. I believe that we are all doing the best we can at any given moment. And since I was brought up in the Catholic religion, I know how difficult it would be for the average Catholic to leave behind all the ritual and comforting repetion. But the imporant thing to any good Catholic should be GOD and doing GOOD. And so it goes for any religion.

    Any suggestions, brothers and sisters?

    Peace and love, Pilgram
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Pilgram,

    other than the God bit... i'm in complete agreement with you...
     
  18. littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Creative Thinker

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    Pilgram...My suggestion, if you are looking for information that looks at all religions on an equal footing, would be that you look into books relating to the anthropology and sociology of religion. Comparative studies especially might be helpful to you.

    I wish you luck in your research and writing.
     
  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Pilgrim wrote:

    It is my belief that GOD and the many prophets and teachers who have been inspired by GOD, would want fewer committees and theological studies, debates and degrees and more DOING of the work of the Spirit. But until we put aside our differences, we will have a lot less time and energy to help people who really need help.

    I invite you to offer any constructive criticism that you may have. I know that many will find my ideas not to their liking and that's okay. What I'm interested in is hearing from those of you who can see what I'm proposing and have ideas about how to possibly bring this about.

    I am not putting down ANY religion or any people. I believe that we are all doing the best we can at any given moment. And since I was brought up in the Catholic religion, I know how difficult it would be for the average Catholic to leave behind all the ritual and comforting repetion. But the imporant thing to any good Catholic should be GOD and doing GOOD. And so it goes for any religion.

    My reply:

    This has already been suggested by a few other Baha'is here like Mick and Sassafras but I really think you thinking is very close to Baha'i views as the stress is on how we can build world community and world peace recognizing the same spiritual Source of the great religions.

    Baha'is believe that by delving deeply into the spiritual source of your own religion you'll find that common Source and a great fellowship with believers everywhere.

    In becoming Baha'is we accept the religions that have gone before without having to reject any....Baha'u'llah faced a lifetime of imprisonment and exile for the sole purpose of the upliftment of humanity and preparing it for establishing the foundations of world peace and unity.

    - Art
     
  20. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    Dear Arthra,

    Arthra wrote:
    This has already been suggested by a few other Baha'is here like Mick and Sassafras but I really think you thinking is very close to Baha'i views as the stress is on how we can build world community and world peace recognizing the same spiritual Source of the great religions.

    Baha'is believe that by delving deeply into the spiritual source of your own religion you'll find that common Source and a great fellowship with believers everywhere.

    In becoming Baha'is we accept the religions that have gone before without having to reject any....Baha'u'llah faced a lifetime of imprisonment and exile for the sole purpose of the upliftment of humanity and preparing it for establishing the foundations of world peace and unity.

    - Art

    Dear Arthra,

    Thank you for your kind reply. I have only perused Bahai and I will give it a good look see. Can you tell me if it contains any beliefs that Christianity, Islam and Judaism do NOT contain? I know it is different or no one would have bothered to create it. But my question is: What makes it any different from any other world religion other than beliefs that it espouses that the others do not?

    Peace and love,
    Pilgram
     

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