Major Religious Texts

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by Sam_Spade, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Which ones of them can you honestly say that you have carefully and thoughtfully read?

    The Holy Bible? The Quran? The Torah? The Vedas?

    How about The Holy Piby? Dianetics? The Mahayana Sutras? The Gnostic Texts? Confucian Classics?

    Have you ever read The Avesta? The Principia Discordia? The Satanic Bible? The Daodejing?

    So many more omitted.

    What do those who claim insight into spirituality know of the history of human spirituality?
  2. I have read both the Old Testament and New, the Book of Mormon, The Zohar (although this is not a work that can be "carefully and thoughtfully read" once or twice. I've been handling it my entire life), [ame=""]this copy [/ame] of the Nag Hammadi Library, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Dhammapada and the Doctrine and Covenants of the Reorganized LDS Church.

    I derived great benefit, and insight, from each and every one of those books, and I still go back to each one from time to time.

    Currently working my way through the Koran slowly
  3. What do those who claim insight of any higher power have over others who claim insight.
  4. Depends on the veracity of the claim I suppose.
  5. #5 1Trismegistus1, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
    Old and New Testament, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Nag Hammadi Scriptures, Dianetics actually lol, as well as the one just titled "Scientology", The Satanic Bible and Satanic Rituals, some of the Zend Avesta, the Mahabhurata, Q'uran, Kabbalah Denudata, Sephir Yetzirah, bits of the Zohar (it's got 24 volumes, I don't have them to read and I hate online reading), the Tao Te Ching. There's probably more but they aren't coming to mind.

    You don't have to be a historian/scholar to know spirituality. All of those are books of theology, theology is only a small piece of spirituality. You will make more progress in understanding spirituality in 8 years of practice (and in fact understand it better than any scholar even thinks he does with the proper techniques) than you would with a lifetime of reading.

    Who do you trust more, the surgeon who went to school for 8 years and has performed many surgeries, or the guy who just read a bunch of books on human anatomy and surgery. The latter man may be able to perform your surgery just as successfully, but I can almost garuntee you would not pick him out of the 2.

    The many differences in various religions/religious texts are usually due to their various dogmas, the key principles are the same, they all lead to the same place.

    There are hundreds of diets out there, all of which have worked for various people, can you say someone doesn't have a place to speak about how dieting works if they don't know every diet? Would you rather listen to a fatass guy who DOES know every diet, or listen to a man who is a poster boy for what dieting can do for someone who only knows a few but knows them well and knows them in practice instead of just theory?
  6. You should read the Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley. Takes bits of wisdom from each of the major, and even lesser known religious texts. His style of writing is truly beautiful and insightful. Highly recommended read. Intricately weaves a framework for understanding all human religious experiences and how that relates to the ultimate nature of reality.
  7. I chose to write my own path. Does it really matter if I know the history?
  8. If you need to read 10 different holy books, and then you're still reading some more, then you're clearly not getting it.

    People who get it, they get it after reading just one.
  9. My favorite text is the story of my life
  10. Can I read it too?
  11. I've read most major books of all religions, and many others, too many to even name. I don't feel like going through all the ones I've read, but out of all of them, there are 4 that stick out above all others.

    The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, the Gospel of John, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Gospel of Thomas (a Gnostic scripture).

  12. How would you know if you "get it" if you don't actually know what knowledge they contain?

    What is "it"?

    Isn't it possible that spirituality could extend beyond your own personal experiential definition?

  13. If u get it, u get it. If u don't, u don't.

    I don't know what 'it' is coz I don't know what you're talking about.

    And certainly spirituality can extend beyond, much beyond my own personal experiential definition.
  14. Now sure if answers are based on:

    How many have you read?
    How many can you name for us?


  15. I disagree 100%. This is akin to saying "if you need to read 10 different biology textbooks, and then you're still reading other ones, you're clearly not getting it." It's patently false.

    Each spiritual tradition, just like a textbook of the sciences, explains various concepts in radically different ways. Some are more concise than others (like the Tanya, a book of Jewish scripture) and some are more confounding (like the Zohar, another book of Jewish scripture that expresses many of the same things as Tanya).

    I remember in AP calculus BC not understanding how to do Taylor series as taught by both my teacher and the awful textbook we had. I almost failed the course because of what trouble I was having with it. One day, I decided to go to the library and take a look at a few other calculus texts. The first text I picked up explained it in a way that I not only grasped immediately, but also in a way that stuck with me. After doing 2 or 3 practice problems I was set. I made up the test I failed, and passed the class with a B+. Subsequently, I got a 5 on the AP exam. I would not have been able to do either if I had not looked to another source for learning.

    Spirituality is not something you "get." It's something you acquire. Anybody who tells you that they understand, immediately, every spiritual concept they ever come across is a liar, plain and simple. Spirituality is something that is built upon, precept upon precept, and nourished throughout one's life. Just like our muscles, our spiritual perceptions must be exercised, or else they atrophy and fade away.

    Someone who reads a book of scripture, and thinks that they have learned all that they need to learn, is shutting themselves off to a vast amount of wisdom in the world. That to me is incredibly sad.
  16. It's gonna be hard to top nathann, I think he nicely summarized it.

    Either way, I owe a response.

    Maybe there is no "it", in that case.

    Exactly, and thus the invaluable aid that the study of religious texts can be.
  17. I liked GGrass and nathann's posts because they both present the truth. On one hand there are far too many people who content themselves with only reading books, they are philosophers and nothing more, but philosophy alone won't bring you to spiritual heights.

    On the other hand one should know what he is talking about as well, and know the philosophy. It is good to have a broad knowledge of things because often they can help piece the puzzle together. However, the man who practices what he reads will still be far more advanced than the intellectual masturbater, and so I will always advise practice over simple book knowledge.
  18. The old and new testament, and some of the quran, which I plan on finishing.

    I found the old and new testaments have alot of contradictions. The quran seems pretty good so far.

  19. I think the Old Testament contradictions are particularly interesting. If you're not aware of the Documentary Hypothesis of Judaism, do some reading up on it. It's incredibly fascinating to see how the faith evolved, as detailed by the 4 separate writers/compilers of the Old Testament. It outlines the major evolutionary shift that almost all religions take:

    Personal mysticism--->Group mysticism--->Denial of mysticism/mysticism only available to a few (Priesthood)--->Authoritarianism

    Likewise, it's also nice to take note to all the different Names of G-d the writers use. Most English translations don't convey this, although the Jewish Publication Society's does. Just like the Documentary Hypothesis, the Names used outline the movement from a personal mystical experience of G-d, to a G-d of vengeance and wrath (coinciding with the oppression of the Hebrews and then the Israelites) and culminating with the future hope of a political redeemer who will usher in an era of peace, justice and mercy (all of which are Names of G-d).
  20. What are you trying to say?

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