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ambelamba

Key to understand religion in general

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I am currently reading a review of a book written by a Korean Buddhist monk, who studied...a lot. :D

He uses interdisciplinary approach to analyze religion in general. Two key words that he presented to understand religion in general are...Capital and Power.

The conclusion is that religion should never be a goal. It is strictly supposed to be the tool.

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My understanding of Buddhism is, after you "get it", you don't need Buddhism anymore. Buddhaism is the tool, when the problem is fixed, you no longer need the tool.

I think this is a problem with religions in general in that one is always a stdent who never graduates. One aspect of Christianity that bothers me is, there is only one Jesus, and you can never become a Jesus. In Eastern religions this is not true. Anyone has the potential to become a Buddha, for instance.

In Christianity, because Jesus is set up to be perfect, and we can never reach this perfection, we will always be sinful and need to be saved from our sins by this unique perfect one, but this redemption will only be achieved after we die.

I choose the possible liberation from my shortcomings as a human being while I'm still alive. This seems a more practical way of life for me.

I would agree conventional religion is about Capital and power. If one must spend one's life a captive of a religion in which the major doctrine is that one can never achieve the goals of that religion, that religion has you in its iron grip of authority forever.

I would rather the possibility of a freedom from that kind of captivity.

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My understanding of Buddhism is, after you "get it", you don't need Buddhism anymore. Buddhaism is the tool, when the problem is fixed, you no longer need the tool.

I think this is a problem with religions in general in that one is always a stdent who never graduates. One aspect of Christianity that bothers me is, there is only one Jesus, and you can never become a Jesus. In Eastern religions this is not true. Anyone has the potential to become a Buddha, for instance.

In Christianity, because Jesus is set up to be perfect, and we can never reach this perfection, we will always be sinful and need to be saved from our sins by this unique perfect one, but this redemption will only be achieved after we die.

I choose the possible liberation from my shortcomings as a human being while I'm still alive. This seems a more practical way of life for me.

I would agree conventional religion is about Capital and power. If one must spend one's life a captive of a religion in which the major doctrine is that one can never achieve the goals of that religion, that religion has you in its iron grip of authority forever.

I would rather the possibility of a freedom from that kind of captivity.

It depends on how you look at it. A christian can both 'get it' and graduate on to a different level of thinking and all the while still call himself a christian. There are some institutions that teach all are sinners and not worthy etc.. but you will not find that in all religious institutions. I do not agree that religion is about capital and power but I do agree it has been used in that way and can see how it can be seen as that way. True religion is NOT about that, but indeed it is only a tool used, and improperly so to achieve those goals which have their own name. Religion is corporate as we are a community type of people and function within groups, but also individial as we all are also unique and internalize all for ourselves and by ourselves. Religion serves a great purpose for an individual but it happens for a collection and usually in a group. They key to it is the graduating, the continuous graduating. Please know that not all christian teaching encourages its members to be stuck and only there to fund their pastors or to not speak up or to blindly serve or to hate and descriminate. Also there is a way of thinking that does not say we cannot achieve Jesus status as a matter of fact the bible tells us we can. Many christian institutions, teachers and individuals are interested in freedom from oppression, helping those who need healing and using spiritual practices that actually have real power.

Edited by SpiritWriter
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Religion (notice I didn't say 'faith') is a man made construct designed to explain the how and why of the way the world/universe operates and functions. Religion can also be used by the unscrupulous as a way of gaining/maintaining power, control, and/or wealth over those who believe. Religion can also bring a sense of security to the true believer, since all religions purport to provide evidence that somewhere, somewhen, there is a being with his/her finger on the pulse of the world, and that everything is a-ok.

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Religion is mankind's attempt to organize spirituality. As a human endeavor, it is susceptible to man's self-interest and so it is rife with corruption and confusion.

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And Christianity is not a non-religion. :D

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I love all the responses so far and the OP's point. To me, it kind of goes along my personal path of my own spirituality and religion. Makes me wonder if what I believe in can be called a religion. I think it is, because of how I have it organized my life, and I will say I could be wrong how I look at religion in my life. I do believe in my spirituality and I love how it guides me. Using it as a tool, yes, I can see that for me, and I agree. As a goal, that yes, I don't see. For my belief system, I can't help ask myself, goal for what?

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I love all the responses so far and the OP's point. To me, it kind of goes along my personal path of my own spirituality and religion. Makes me wonder if what I believe in can be called a religion. I think it is, because of how I have it organized my life, and I will say I could be wrong how I look at religion in my life. I do believe in my spirituality and I love how it guides me. Using it as a tool, yes, I can see that for me, and I agree. As a goal, that yes, I don't see. For my belief system, I can't help ask myself, goal for what?

Getting a cozy place in the afterlife.

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I love all the responses so far and the OP's point. To me, it kind of goes along my personal path of my own spirituality and religion. Makes me wonder if what I believe in can be called a religion. I think it is, because of how I have it organized my life, and I will say I could be wrong how I look at religion in my life. I do believe in my spirituality and I love how it guides me. Using it as a tool, yes, I can see that for me, and I agree. As a goal, that yes, I don't see. For my belief system, I can't help ask myself, goal for what?

Anything, especially concerning spirituality that a person has put into practice and is 'religious' about is religion. You do not need to ascribe to anyone elses religion or definition of religion. Religion is the practice, ritual, dedication and work you put into your spiritual life. Religion works for people because it lays a concrete foundation, it adds an urgency, a strictness and a code that heightens its psychological substance which aids in the belief and allows spiritual manifestation.

I agree, whatever you have formed as your religion IS religion. Thank you so much for making this point.

I would never have discovered this formula if it wasnt for the church.. there is a wealth of spiritual ancestry attached to what so many people ridicule.

Edited by SpiritWriter
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I love all the responses so far and the OP's point. To me, it kind of goes along my personal path of my own spirituality and religion. Makes me wonder if what I believe in can be called a religion. I think it is, because of how I have it organized my life, and I will say I could be wrong how I look at religion in my life. I do believe in my spirituality and I love how it guides me. Using it as a tool, yes, I can see that for me, and I agree. As a goal, that yes, I don't see. For my belief system, I can't help ask myself, goal for what?
Getting a cozy place in the afterlife.

Yeah, in my view if religion or spirituality is considered as something to be used for some future benefit, then it is a form of greed. In my opinion, religion or spirituality is an end in itself. It is a way to live here and now, and that should be enough. I read an Islamic poem once that said, you love God because you love God, there is no other purpose to this love.

In my understanding of Buddhism, you are already Buddha. If you study Buddhism with the goal in mind to become enlightened, you will never become enlightened. The concept you have of what enlightenment is (your thought created goal) itself will prevent it, because enlightenment itself is not a concept, is not a thought.

This is one reason I don't care for religions. There is always some purpose to them, some reward. I think the reward of a spiritual life is living that spiritual life itself, without adding extra purposes to it.

We may have to study to come to a realization of what one's preferred religion or spirituality is about, of course.

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I love all the responses so far and the OP's point. To me, it kind of goes along my personal path of my own spirituality and religion. Makes me wonder if what I believe in can be called a religion. I think it is, because of how I have it organized my life, and I will say I could be wrong how I look at religion in my life. I do believe in my spirituality and I love how it guides me. Using it as a tool, yes, I can see that for me, and I agree. As a goal, that yes, I don't see. For my belief system, I can't help ask myself, goal for what?

Getting a cozy place in the afterlife.

That is not what I was trying to say, and that is the point of what I don't understand about that thought. Why is that the main reason of religion, mostly so my 'religion' if I'm using it to attain something that is not a proven fact. In fact, my belief system strongly believes we're not suppose to know, maybe just hints, so we can live strongly in this life and having this life be the end of our religious practices. I think having lived a strong positive life from my belief system's practices might encourage something for me afterwards, but how can I factually live a life for something that is not proven factual?

Anything, especially concerning spirituality that a person has put into practice and is 'religious' about is religion. You do not need to ascribe to anyone elses religion or definition of religion. Religion is the practice, ritual, dedication and work you put into your spiritual life. Religion works for people because it lays a concrete foundation, it adds an urgency, a strictness and a code that heightens its psychological substance which aids in the belief and allows spiritual manifestation.

I agree, whatever you have formed as your religion IS religion. Thank you so much for making this point.

I would never have discovered this formula if it wasnt for the church.. there is a wealth of spiritual ancestry attached to what so many people ridicule.

You're welcome, and thank you for your post. You pretty much centered what I was trying to say, and it's helped. Thank you for understanding.

Yeah, in my view if religion or spirituality is considered as something to be used for some future benefit, then it is a form of greed. In my opinion, religion or spirituality is an end in itself. It is a way to live here and now, and that should be enough. I read an Islamic poem once that said, you love God because you love God, there is no other purpose to this love.

In my understanding of Buddhism, you are already Buddha. If you study Buddhism with the goal in mind to become enlightened, you will never become enlightened. The concept you have of what enlightenment is (your thought created goal) itself will prevent it, because enlightenment itself is not a concept, is not a thought.

This is one reason I don't care for religions. There is always some purpose to them, some reward. I think the reward of a spiritual life is living that spiritual life itself, without adding extra purposes to it.

We may have to study to come to a realization of what one's preferred religion or spirituality is about, of course.

Bingo, exactly my point, (and what goes on in my spiritual journey) Thank you.

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And Christianity is not a non-religion. :D

It is a nun-religion though :innocent:

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My understanding of Buddhism is, after you "get it", you don't need Buddhism anymore. Buddhaism is the tool, when the problem is fixed, you no longer need the tool.

I think this is a problem with religions in general in that one is always a stdent who never graduates. One aspect of Christianity that bothers me is, there is only one Jesus, and you can never become a Jesus. In Eastern religions this is not true. Anyone has the potential to become a Buddha, for instance.

In Christianity, because Jesus is set up to be perfect, and we can never reach this perfection, we will always be sinful and need to be saved from our sins by this unique perfect one, but this redemption will only be achieved after we die.

I choose the possible liberation from my shortcomings as a human being while I'm still alive. This seems a more practical way of life for me.

I would agree conventional religion is about Capital and power. If one must spend one's life a captive of a religion in which the major doctrine is that one can never achieve the goals of that religion, that religion has you in its iron grip of authority forever.

I would rather the possibility of a freedom from that kind of captivity.

Thats not my understanding of christ. As a man, christ had all our flaws and imperfections, but he controlled them. eg he was tempted by satan but resisted.

He showed us what any man or woman can do, and provided a very real and achievable template for how a human can and should, live their life on earth .And once you do live as christ lived, you achieve the kingdom of heaven here on earth.

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I must have been involved with tte wrong religions. Ive never seen religion as being about power or weakth or control. Religions are just a written down way which some people have found to improve their lives; and they then explain to others how they also can improve their lives. It is like a manual teaching you how to play football, written by a panel of past players and coaches

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The thing about Enlightenment in Buddhism (the "getting it" part) is that you are still a Buddhist, just of a different sort. Now you understand the great mysteries -- figuring them out is what Buddhist practice (meditation, compassion, and so on) are about, but you don't stop doing those things once you have figured it all out. Indeed, then you see more clearly why you do them.

By the way, I think Buddhist practice is good and helpful, but I think the goal is a bit out of reach for most of us in even a million lifetimes. Who knows?

I think Buddhism may be unique in putting knowledge and understanding in such an important place, and in teaching that wise compassion comes automatically with understanding.

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