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Sep. 1st, 2007 | 04:26 pm
posted by: get_therapy in interfaith

Not too long ago I was listening to NPR and there was an interview with a Ph.D.-holding voodoo priest; I kid you not. As he and the interviewer discussed what I had assumed was a motley collection of superstitions I recognized profound truth in his words. From what is on the surface a polytheistic tradition, he spoke of God being utterly neutral, completely unaffected by good and evil; he could have been reading straight from Hindu or Buddhist scripture. He explained how his religious tradition had always held that everything in the world is composed of energy (as modern physics indeed tells us it is), described the divine as a mirror in which one sees one's own face, and told of his experience treating completely illiterate half-starved stick-hut-dwelling Negroes as gurus, explaining that though he had a Ph.D. and they could not even read, it was they who truly had knowledge. I finally understood the unity at the core of all legitimate religious tradition; all people can and must improve their situations only through their own efforts. I see this emphasis on universal potential and personal responsibility in the core of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the list goes on. Perhaps I should change the name of this journal to get_religion, as I see it as good advice for everyone, especially in the sense expressed in, among others, the book Jesus for the Non-Religious.

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from: geascian
date: Sep. 1st, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)

"I finally understood the unity at the core of all legitimate religious tradition; all people can and must improve their situations only through their own efforts."

I might well agree with the sentiment you express, but i have to say that i am rather concerned by your suggestion that a to be legitimate religion a faith has to conform your concepts.

I wouldn't suggest that Christianity for example was not legitimate because it didn't fit with one or more of my theological ideas, it doesn't, precisely because such an approach has lead to such evil in the past.

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from: get_therapy
date: Sep. 13th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)

When did I ever suggests that a religion as large as Christianity could be judged as a monolithic entity? You are making too many assumptions IMO.

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from: dremwkr
date: Sep. 5th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)

You didn't exactly say it, but it is true the underlying "metaphysics" is the same, regardless if you are a saint, a witch, a witchdoctor. The same mechanisms under lie the ritual. Think of it this way there are several schools of martial arts, but the spirit-mind-body connection and the body mechanics are the same for all, because, well those are a univeral given for mankind. Yes there is differences in style, philosphy, tradition, shaped by the forge of community real life. But under all that are the universal laws that are same, same.

The key to if such religous/spiritual practices are true or of value, is found in the question, "What is the aim of heart?"
Is it used for selfish/material/personalpower things, or is it used for alturistic/transendent/empowering others? If one is unsure about one's or other's aim, the sure test is: What is the fruit of which it bears?

I have seen christian relegion used by ministers to control others to fill holes of their riddled souls. I have seen destruction rituals used in a varity of faith traditions to hurt others in me over you issues. What your heart dwells on, reveals one's true spiritual face, good and/or evil.

The eastern traditions have taken a non-theist route, the western a theist one. I know individuals, perhaps like yourself, that have had personal issues with God that make such a relationship problematic, so a impersonal God works better for them. For others the idea of a impersonal God/Universe scares the hell out of them, so a personal one works better. I understand God as BOTH, operating within His/t's Universal Laws that are no respector of persons, AND an enity that is the living core of me as an enity, that is as intimate as my every breath.

I am just writing a stream of conscousness here, what do you dear reader's think?

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