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April 27, 2007 at 5:05 pm #138409JacenParticipant
A long time ago I was reading a book by Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, an expert on mythology (he even has commented on the Star Wars mythology and the idea of Jedi being a religion that can actually work).
What I came across in that book was the idea he presented that there is no one religion that is more correct than any other. You can look at it like this: let’s say that religions are cars. Every car company makes their cars differently, and yet they all work. They function in different ways, but ultimately it doesn’t matter which one you pick because it will get you from point A to Point B.
The same, according to Campbell, is true for religions. Be you Christian, Jedi, Taoist, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim… whichever you go with, as long as you follow the traditions and “rules”, they will work for you.
I used to think this was wrong. I used to disagree completely with Christianity. But once I went through some tough times, what got me through it was Christ. I started reading my Bible and praying on a regular basis. So it worked. Being a Jedi works for me too. They both work.
So, my point is simple. Be what you will. Do what you will. Whichever path you choose, if you believe in it whole-heartedly, it will work for you.April 27, 2007 at 5:44 pm #143868Pyro1560Participant
My sentiments exactly.April 29, 2007 at 10:50 pm #143889Kai-AnParticipant
Ditto.August 25, 2007 at 2:46 am #145745Kol DrakeModerator
Religion is universal human culture. No phenomenon is more widely shared or more intensely studied, yet there is no agreement on what religion is.
Consider a possible definition — religion can best be understood as systematic anthropomorphism — that is, the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. Not that anthropomorphism is common or even universal in religion, but consider it as central. Religion consists of seeing the world as humanlike. Normally, people find a wide range of humanlike beings plausible: Gods, spirits, abominable snowmen, HAL the computer, Chiquita Banana, old dude with flowing beard and white robes sitting on a rock chair (Zeus / Christian “God”). We find messages in random events such as earthquakes, weather, and traffic accidents. We say a fire “rages,” a storm “wreaks vengeance,” and waters “lie still.”
Our tendency to find human characteristics in the nonhuman world stems from a deep-seated perceptual strategy: in the face of pervasive (if mostly unconscious) uncertainty about what we see, we bet on the most meaningful interpretation we can. If we are in the woods and see a dark shape that might be a bear or a boulder — it is good policy to think it is a bear. If we are mistaken, we lose little, and if we are right, we gain much.
So, in scanning the world we always look for what most concerns us — livings things, and especially, since we see so many more than anything else these days — human ones. Even animals watch for human attributes, as when birds avoid scarecrows. In short, we all follow the principle — better safe than sorry.
I tend to see many philosophies as a little too human-centric; human-ego-centric. You know it all — the Sun orbited the Earth since ‘we’ were/are most important in the solar system. ‘We’ were/are created in His/Her/It’s own image… because ‘we’ are that important. The ‘almost sensed’ Hand (or Finger) being poked into each moment of our Life
for obviously, being the ego/human centric beings we are… we naturally ‘assume’ that it’s ALL made ‘for us’
that ‘we’ are so important that the Creator must be taking a personal interest in every micro second of our day and working his angelic multitudes to their wing stubs to keep us all filled with angelic hosts of guardians, guides, personal observers.
Limiting some ‘thing’ (perhaps a being -or- Being but definitely NOT a human) to so low a level as to be ‘near human’ — forcing H/H/I to have typical human emotions, feelings, rationales on ‘why’ H/H/I does/did things, made things, runs things…. is just so …. well… it’s that ego thing again.
Now, I know this sounds like I am ‘down’ on religions. Well, I am not so keen on ‘structures’ which have been put in place for the sake of power over teaching the original philosophies ‘as presented’. Hierarchies and ranks and socio-corporate ‘machines’ are not what ‘religions’ should be about. Using phrases and meanings ‘out of context’ should not be a tool for driving personal decision making, manners of dress, actions, or forcing one gender as ‘more religiously significant’ (or at fault) than another.
I like hearing waves ‘roar’; the wind ‘whisper’ among the trees; the Moon ‘looking down’. I confess to adhering to that anthropomorphic failing. I also believe there is ‘something greater’… and it’s a whole LOT greater than anyone/thing can imagine. I even believe there is some infintesimal ‘divine spark’ in every bit of matter in the Universe.. as much in a rock as there is in ‘me’… so, I have a little ‘religion based’ bias as anyone…. and a little of that human centric jive going on. *shrugs*
After all, I’m only human. [tightens neck bolt with ratchet]
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