Spiritual Evolution?

lunamoth

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I'm relatively new to this forum, so please forgive me if this is ground that has already been well trampled...

Here's one (limited) example of what I mean by spiritual evolution. I just finished reading Thomas Cahill's "The Gifts of the Jews," which got me thinking along these lines:

Humanity’s collective spirit evolves over the millennia, just as individual souls evolve over a lifetime. The evolution is a combinination of gradual progress and great bounds. Individual souls undergo epiphanies, moments when greater insight is possible, and move forward in leaps, and humanity also makes spiritual leaps forward at discrete points in history. We sometimes identify these moments in history as the start of a new religion, when this enhanced insight into God’s nature, and thus our own, may be epitomized in the teachings of a single Prophet (or history records them as the teachings of a single Prophet).

Are all the religions extant today just different voices expressing an ancient unchanging Truth, or do they represent attempts separted by history to describe a Truth that is evolving? I do not mean to imply that historically later religions/belief systems are in any way better than earlier religions because a Truth I would find worth seeking raises all boats together. So, individual religions evolve as well. Religion evolution is like species evolution, not linear, but branched, with all branches ending at the farthest reaches of the tree. How else could religions started in early agrarian history still be relevant and inspiring in today's world of computers and molecular genetics (not to mention broccoli :) )?

This idea should be enlarged to include more than just monotheistic religion, although that is where I am coming from. I was just wondering what other people in this forum think. I'm intrigued by the thought that if humanity does evolve spiritually, then our physical, biological evolution is a reflection/was a foreshadowing (or maybe the first phase of) of this reality.

Boy, I sure hope I did not step on too many toes here. :)
I apologize in advance for my naivety about other religions--that's why I am here!


lunamoth
 
No toes setpped on. :)

If I make one specific highlight:

lunamoth said:
represent attempts separted by history to describe a Truth
I would suggest we see it as much in cultural terms, rather than directly historical. Rather than a simple linear progression, religions as in a complex parallel movement.

Just a quick thought. :)
 
I said:
No toes setpped on. :)

If I make one specific highlight:


I would suggest we see it as much in cultural terms, rather than directly historical. Rather than a simple linear progression, religions as in a complex parallel movement.

Just a quick thought. :)

Yes, Brian, thank you for the clarification. That is what I was trying to get at with the branching metaphor.

Actually I think I have muddied my own waters already by trying to tie together two of my pet ideas into one post. First, to find a unifying concept between religions that does not negate any or trump one over another. I'm starting to like the branching tree metaphor... :) Second, my great hope that we are getting better at this whole love thy neighbor thing, although there seems to be lots of evidence to the contrary :(

lunamoth
 
LM,

how have your two pet ideas developed since you first created this thread?

-- Dauer
 
Another blast from the past dauer! I'd forgotten this thread. :p

I still like my branching tree metaphor. I guess my current thinking is that Truth does not change but our attempts to grasp, express and live it out do evolve. Our understanding of God evolves. I've come to see God as a motive force that calls us beyond our physical evolution to a higher level of being.

As for my other pet idea, that we are getting better at loving our neighbors, I am still optimistic, but I don't see us eradicating suffering and evil and achieving peace any time soon. We still need to work toward these goal of course, and I see interfaith dialogue and relationships as an important part of this work.

oak-trees.jpg
 
I've come to see truth as whole and complete and us as needing some more information.

Today they say some of us are audible, some are visual, some tactal...

I see the various philosophies religions as hitting a percentage of people, these folks grock it and need no more information, they understand oneness with the creator with the discussions, stories, metaphor that their belief system provides.

ie lets take the Abrahamic branch of your tree. Judaism is complete, Jews understand it, but not all people did and they needed another story, some more information. Thank you Jesus. And again not all folks were able to wrap their mind around all that and along came Mohammed (pbuh). All of these as time went on broke into their various sects, denominations on the lines, branches they needed to develop an understanding.
 
Luna, beautiful words and a beautiful picture.
 
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