Curious question...

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by PainfullyAmeric, May 28, 2009.

  1. Hey, I have been having a crisis of faith for a long time. Being brought up only mildly religious (exclusive to holidays), I have pushed myself out of the traditional systems of faith in America (catholicism, christianity, etc.)

    So I got to thinking about what other people might personally practice or derive their spirituality from.

    I recently have started reading the Bhagavad-Gita to get some insight on part of the Vedic perspective.

    Having read the Bible before (terribly boring near the middle old-testament) I have taken some basic moralities from the scripture. But having only read maybe...60-100 pages into the Gita, I already want to dismiss most of what is talked about in the Bible.

    So, what do you other people on GC think? What tangent of spirituality do you follow or are influenced by?
  2. I used to be into new age spiritualism, buddhism, hinduism and just about every vain philosophy of man.

    And have came to find my lord
  3. I believe that the world is what you make of it, not something set up by some higher power.

    The way I see it, the way you affect everything around you most directly affects how things come to pass around you, but you are in contact with many people, so what everyone does around you also affects everything around you.

    If it seems like some magical karma belief its not, I see in more of a physical sense than i think it may be interpreted, but still with similar views of how religions that believe in karma do so.

    Ultimately, its most important to find what you believe, because almost everyone who believes something different will tell you you're wrong.

    Like, while Christianity is currently the worlds most popular religion, at around 30%, they believe the other 70% is wrong, how can so few be right and so many wrong?

    All these people claim there lives are changed through various religions, people will say they were saved by Jesus the same as some other prophet or messiah. Why could it not be just the general betterment of ones life that in actuality brings about these changes?
  4. These are true words, my friend.

    I think whatever helps you most in life is perfectly acceptable, as long as you don't try to shove it down my throat; Jesus helps some, Buddha helps others; Allah, Vishnu, the list goes on.

    And some (like me) are content with cold, hard science.

    Figure out what works best in your life; remember to keep an open mind, or at least don't be preachy, and you're good to go. ;)
  5. I myself won't dismiss a higher power. I do believe that in one shape or form, we are indirectly influenced by a higher power whether it the Christian god, Buddhist God, etc. I think that throughout history, there has been a tainting of religion through self-motivated practices and ideologies of what is truly the message. Like the old game "telephone". You try and pass a message from one end to the other, at some point, there is going to be miscommunications which can lead to mutations of what the original message was supposed to be.

    I don't particularly know if my theory is sound, but then again, with religion, everything is but a theory since there is no single absolute answer to be found in the physical world and anyone who claims they know that answer is more than likely full of shit. But my theory is this: In nearly every scripture spanning all religions, perfection is attained by only one entity, the Lord by whatever name, which therefore means that man is flawed. Seeing as how man was charged with the task of writing there scriptures, then it can only be of sound judgement to assume that within these scriptures, there are imperfections. I just attribute most of these imperfections to self-motivated prophecies.

    The biggest turn off to Christianity for me is the fact that it seems that especially in America, the "moral majority" has been using the Bible as a weapon of their own devices instead of a tool for advancement. Namely, it seems that a lot of people like to preach of the new testament and how goodness, caring, and selflessness and would like those attributes to stick, yet they seem to sort of pick and choose parts of the Old testament that they like, rather than accepting the whole doctrine for what it is.

    For instance, the whole gay marriage topic. In the new testament, the Bible teaches caring for all mankind of all creeds. So everything is honky dory up until this topic for people, and when this topic comes up, caring goes out the window because people want to take on the role of the God of the old testament and adhere to the principles put forth regarding homosexuality and completely throw out caring for these people of a different creed by taking away certain rights and freedoms which are not exclusive to any one sect of religion, but are inherent in all men and women.

    JbrodyA- One of the biggest detterents to me in Christianity is that fact that they have the mindset that the other 70% is wrong. According to the few hardliners that I used to talk to, the sad part of the what I term close-mindedness is the fact that they also believe that other 70% is not just wrong, but condemned to hell for eternity based solely on the fact that their beliefs don't make them accept Christ as their one and only savior.

    I do believe in karma, granted I wish it were more black and white than it appears to be.

    Pseudonym- I am a firm believer in sciences. I have always prided myself in keeping a very open mind, and find that my roots touch more with science than with any other topic. But in-line with science, I do believe that there has to be an answer for the unknown. Whether it be a higher power or the simple fact that we are not yet intelligent enough to comprehend these hidden truths will show itself to us someday in some form. And to the people who find science inherently evil because it looks to "disprove" their belief system I feel it is total nonsense and a rather irrational statement, it's just providing more information for allowing people to make a more founded choice in what they believe to be true and right.

    The Vedic perspective according to the Bhagavad-Gita is that attainment of the absolute truth, and based on how much we advance/evolve in life by getting past the material, helps to determine our perception of the absolute truth, which is the ultimate goal leaves a wide range of interpretation for the "wedge issues". Or so I'd like to think.
    I just feel that it provides us with more of a gray area which relies on us to discover the truths of the world around us, rather than having so many set guidelines determining how people perceive the world around them.

    I will say that the Buddhists have come closest to having the ideology that I would like to believe the most, and they summed it up in less than a paragraph. To paraphrase the most important part of it, it's "One sage by many names" which I believe to be the most absolute of truths. And based on my previous theory of man being flawed, I find it's only fair to assume that throughout history, we have been allowed to mistranslate the teachings so badly (also through self-serving motivations) that it has actually spawned other religions.

    Anyone have any input on this?

  6. really long post man, but I wanted to throw in that Buddhism doesn't really have a god, or a creator. Its more or less irrelevent to them. The Buddha is seen as a perfect example of enlightenment and self peace, not a god.
  7. Thanks for that notbakedenough. I therefore recind my comment regarding a buddhist god-head.
  8. I wouldn't say I'm a spiritual person, unless you consider it spiritual to have a deep commitment and desire for rationality and sense to direct our minds as much as possible. But we should probably define spirituality anyways. What does that mean? To think? concentrate? rest? meditate? worship? I suppose without a definition I couldn't give you an honest opinion. Do I worship conscious entities? No. However, I do think, ponder, dwell, concentrate, explore my mind, observe others, listen closely, watch closely, question my beliefs, investigate whether I'm trapped in a wrong pattern of thinking, et cetera. If any of these qualify me as spiritual, then there you have it.

    . . .

    What has the Bible done for you that wasn't already a part of you? What "right" model of behavior did it open your eyes to? Being good to others? Not murdering or stealing? Just curious, as the above seems to me -- intentionally or not -- to be akin to the claims that there exists a thing such as the often-mentioned "Christian values." I don't understand what values Christianity has exclusive claim to that billions of others on this planet are lacking. If I'm misunderstanding you then I shall stand corrected.
  9. According to the latter question, where I'm from, you'd be hard pressed to find any religious outlets besides that which currently flood the market (christian, mormon, lutheran, etc.) Plus the upbringing from my family both immediate and extended seems to come back to the catholic/christian based faiths. As I grew up, I wasn't really pushed into the religion thing very hard, but I find that my moral compass does run akin to the Bible (most notably the ten commandments), and for me to deny that the Bible had anything to do with it would be a falsehood. For example, going to church at a young age I came across the commandment deeming it sinful to kill, therefore, I do not intentionally kill.

    The essence that I derive from the Biblical scriptures are simply that they help to aim the moral compass especially at a young age when our minds are incredibly susceptible to being impressioned by what is fed to us by our peers.

    That is not to claim either that these principles are exclusive to ANY religion. Just because someone kills someone, does not necessarily mean that they aren't religious, just as it would go to say that someone who wouldn't kill someone is tethered to being called a "Christian".

    There are certain principles to all religions that aren't really exclusive, but they are the basic principles or foundation of said religion. But in a traditional small town, we are drilled more specifically on the religion of our parents or peers with nearly no outlet at the time. As I've grown older, I've come to interpret certain facets of the Bible differentl, which is what prompts me to actually question it. When I was younger, simply put, I digested whatever religion put in front of me, kept the nutrients and let the rest pass through my system.

    And to answer the question what has the Bible done for me that wasn't already a part of me, to that I have no answer. I cannot go back in time, erase my memory, and start with a clean slate to accurately pose a solid answer to your question. Since I was brought up semi-religious, I can't rightly give a response to how I would be given I hadn't been immersed into it, you know?

    I don't know any better answer to give to you than that.

    And to define spirituality, that's all subjective. Ask me what I think spirituality is and it's trying to understand the bigger picture. To step outside of myself and examine. Trying to find out the ultimate truth's in life. Not depending on a factual and concrete answer for everything. It's ultimately a very hard idea to put into words truly. According to what you deem spirituality as, I would say that you are a spiritual person to an extent, much like myself.

    I do not pray to a God. I try to meditate to find a middle ground. To center myself pretty much.
  10. I personally have a spiritual understanding that rests outside of a dependency on God. I'm not saying that God does or does not exist, but I am merely saying that it does not matter to me whether or not he exists and what role he plays. To me, the universe is so infinitely complex and diverse that I find wonderment, awe, and contentment just to think about the state of the universe. One does not need to be superstitious to be spiritual. There's something about the scale and unity of things in the universe that makes me feel connected to Nature in a spiritual way. But that's just me.

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