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Anomalocaris

The Origins of Religion

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Parsec
21 hours ago, back to earth said:

There is a tradition here with many indigenous groups to not even  mention the name or show an image of or sound from , one deceased,  there are even warnings on the TV if there is a chance of that in an upcoming programme 

Related image

This is a pretty cool notion, thank you!

But isn't it proof of religiosity, as opposed to what you wanted to demonstrate?

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Parsec
21 hours ago, No Solid Ground said:

This is actually a very modern Western need, in start contrast to premodern people's practiced avoidance of this kind of need. This need is a symptom of modern people's alienation from the natural world / celestial mechanics ... the need is a hunger for a conscious integration with what modern people have severed themselves from. 

This is a provocation (but meant to be constructive): are you sure you can rule out the very modern (contemporary, to be more correct) atheistic bias we have today?

What if the "distorting lense" would in fact be atheism?

 

Like you said, we always have to be weary not to unintentionally project our thoughts and beliefs on others.

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back to earth
31 minutes ago, Parsec said:

Your post is surely interesting, thank you for that.

 

Although I generally agree with you on most of the points you raised, I'd like to ascertain the one about the term "religion" (that also happens to be the main point of your post).

Besides the etymology of the word religio, borrowed and modified from Christian scholars in the same way they twisted the Latin term pietas (that originally meant roughly "duty towards the country and family", especially in the form of filial piety), are you implying that before Thomas Aquina there was no supernaturalis, meaning nothing beyond the physical world?

Consirering that philosophy (and metaphysics in particular) has been developed because the mythologial explanation on how the universe came to be and works wasn't enough anymore, I find it hard to believe.

Thales (the first known philosopher) rejected the divine explanation, looking for the real origin, a single cause ("Arche") that could explain all the phenomena.

If there was no supernatural, what would have he rebelled against?

 

By the way, I like to think about the term religio, rather than "re-connected", as "tied two times" (ligo means "to tie, to bind" as well), meaning that through it people are completely subjugated to the ruling class.

of course there was a 'supernatural' .    But not a 'super natural' as we see it.  Actually, it might nit have been supernatural at all , but natural   ;)  

See, there it is again  - our idea things.   My friend's spirits are not supernatural at all ... they are totally natural -  to him .  There is no division between the material, natural , mundane  and the    spiritual, supernatural and special .

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back to earth
29 minutes ago, Parsec said:

This is a pretty cool notion, thank you!

But isn't it proof of religiosity, as opposed to what you wanted to demonstrate?

I can see the concept is still confused .  The 'objection' is to do with the associations we now give that term, using that term carries those associations back to the people we project it on and can make understanding of what they are doing or did unclear. 

..... right , I search my flash drives for my article  ( not that it may clear this up though )

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Parsec
Just now, back to earth said:

I can see the concept is still confused .  The 'objection' is to do with the associations we now give that term, using that term carries those associations back to the people we project it on and can make understanding of what they are doing or did unclear. 

..... right , I search my flash drives for my article  ( not that it may clear this up though )

I will gladly read your article, but to me it lools like it all boils down to semantics.

I know that words are important, but since words define concepts, they delimit them and cripple down our ability to either transmit and receive them correctly (ok, maybe I'm diving a bit too much in semiotics).

 

What I mean is, just choose your set of words to define these concepts and let's build from there, otherwise we can't understand each other.

 

Even if I call a chair "armpit", its function remanins intact and I'll still be able to use it to sit on it.

And I won't (shouldn't) be bothered by bad smells and hairs.

 

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back to earth

Oooooh   .... thats right ... that flash drive went through the washing machine ....

... miraculously ;

 

TOWARDS   HARMONY

- Why Study Comparative Religion?  ......   < snip >   ....

Firstly, some definitions; what is religion?

< snip ... standard dictionary definitions  .... > 

Analysing the word itself;  Religion , respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods, obligation, the bond between man and the Gods is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possibility is derivation from le-ligare, "read", i.e. re (again) + lego in the sense of "choose", "go over again" or "consider carefully". Modern scholars such as Joseph Campbell favour the derivation from ligare "bind, connect", or … "to reconnect," which was made prominent by St. Augustine.

According to Max Müller, the root of the English word "religion", the Latin religio, was originally used to mean only "reverence for God or the gods, careful pondering of divine things,   Müller characterized many other cultures around the world, including Egypt, Persia, and India, as having a similar power structure at this point in history.

What is called ancient religion today, they would have only called "law".

Many languages have words that can be translated as "religion", but they may use them in a very different way, and some have no word for religion at all. For example, the Sanskrit word dharma, sometimes translated as "religion", also means law.

There is no precise equivalent of "religion" in Hebrew, and Judaism does not distinguish clearly between religious, national, racial, or ethnic identities. One of its central concepts is "halakha", sometimes translated as "law"", which guides religious practice and belief and many aspects of daily life.

But what exactly IS religion?

 

 

Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, Some religions have organized behaviours, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture.

 However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.

The development of religion has taken different forms in different cultures. Some religions place an emphasis on belief, while others emphasize practice. Some religions focus on the subjective experience of the religious individual, while others consider the activities of the religious community to be most important. Some religions claim to be universal, believing their laws and cosmology to be binding for everyone, while others are intended to be practiced only by a closely defined or localized group.

Anthropologists John Monoghan and Peter Just state that, "it seems apparent that one thing religion or belief helps us do is deal with problems of human life that are significant, persistent, and intolerable. One important way in which religious beliefs accomplish this is by providing a set of ideas about how and why the world is put together that allows people to accommodate anxieties and deal with misfortune."

I find that definition, most apt, and I will return to it later.

One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

As stated above, preliminary studies in Comparative Religion and Divinity can include looking at questions such as; what is belief? What is the nature of belief?  What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? Even; to what extent is it possible for a given subject or entity to be known.

How do we form beliefs? Psychologists study belief formation and the relationship between beliefs and actions. Beliefs form in a variety of ways:

We tend to internalise the beliefs of the people around us during childhood.  Political beliefs depend most strongly on the political beliefs most common in the community where we live. Most individuals believe the religion they were taught in childhood.

People may adopt the beliefs of a charismatic leader, even if those beliefs fly in the face of all previous beliefs, and produce actions that are clearly not in their own self-interest. Is belief voluntary? Rational individuals need to reconcile their direct reality with any said belief

Physical trauma, especially to the head, can radically alter a person's beliefs.

However, even educated people, well aware of the process by which beliefs form, still strongly cling to their beliefs, and act on those beliefs sometimes, even against their own self-interest.

I remember years ago seeing a TV documentary on Scientology. The son of the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was being interviewed and he was asked the question; “Why did the members go along with such crazy stuff, some of them were  well educated and included professionals such as lawyers, doctors, engineers and people who were quiet intelligent. Hubbard junior’s answer was, “They were intellectually smart but they were not emotionally smart.” – I find that food for thought and a key dynamic in the process we are dealing with here. How strongly are our beliefs connected to our emotions?

 In Anna Rowley's Leadership Theory, she states "If you want your beliefs to change. It's proof that you are keeping your eyes open, living fully, and welcoming everything that the world and people around you can teach you." This means that peoples' beliefs should evolve as they gain new experiences.

To an extent we could link the purpose of belief with The purpose of religion in a personal and social context.

 ......  < snip >

Edited by back to earth
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back to earth
6 minutes ago, Parsec said:

I will gladly read your article, but to me it lools like it all boils down to semantics.

I know that words are important, but since words define concepts, they delimit them and cripple down our ability to either transmit and receive them correctly (ok, maybe I'm diving a bit too much in semiotics).

 

What I mean is, just choose your set of words to define these concepts and let's build from there, otherwise we can't understand each other.

 

Even if I call a chair "armpit", its function remanins intact and I'll still be able to use it to sit on it.

And I won't (shouldn't) be bothered by bad smells and hairs.

 

Perhaps.      My original affirmations on NSG's post were ; 

Its fairly standard anthropological or  comparative / historical  religion  , academic view nowadays .  "   -   post #8 

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Dhurfjooydig
17 hours ago, Kismit said:

Or is it that with the writting of the gentiles,  a more complete idea of what religion is was formed?

Not so much the begining of religion, but the organisation of belief as a complete theory?

Yes, this. Seldom is anything accomplished through the efforts of just one person. Aquinas organized, redefined concepts, and greatly expanded / codified ideas that were brewing in the late 12th and 13th century. Imo, it's fair to say that he invented the concept of supernatural religion based on his great effort and his prominence, even though others were moving in that direction. The idea of supernaturalis, central to the concept of ‘religion’, and important to his work, only appears a very few times in other writings of the 13th century (and not before the 13th century) … it was Aquinas that took this ball and ran with it big time. 


  
Re: Summa Theologica ... importantly, it was a blending of Catholicism with Aristotelianism. In this, Aquinas was following a trend ... in the twelfth century, Averroes, a Spanish Muslim philosopher, merged Islam with Aristotelianism. Around the same time, Maimonides, a Sephardic Jewish philosopher, wrote The Guide to the Perplexed, merging Judaism with Aristotelianism. The framework of Aristotle’s work is his influential geocentric cosmology, a conception of a solar system / universe that was essentially stable. 

This merging of Aristotelian metaphysics (of which geocentricism was central) with Catholicism (and Islam, Judaism) laid the foundation for the codification of an easily exploited alienated ‘religious’ perception of reality / existence and the idea that humans exist separate from nature. Aristotle described his metaphysics as being the highest degree of abstraction. Abstraction is the process and quality of dealing with ideas separate from place or event. This alienated / alienating abstraction, incorporated by Aquinas (and Averroes, Maimonides) into Catholicism (and Judaism, Islam) was wind under the wings of the newly invented concept of supernaturalis (separate from nature and above it ). The combination of supernaturalis / religio, Aristotelian abstraction (idea separate from place / event), and a geocentric view of the solar system / universe was the perfect trifecta needed for a ‘religious’ perception of existence and reality to flourish and spread. 

It’s understandable then that geocentrism was aggressively defended by the Church for this reason. For example, when Copernicus formulated a heliocentric model of the universe that placed the sun at the center, rather than Earth, he was mocked by the powerful clergyman Martin Luther, who is rumored to have said of him: “So it goes now. Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down”. Copernicus delayed publishing De Revolutionibus, his work on the heliocentric theory, until the very end of his life, for fear of being ostracized and punished by the Church. And in the early seventeenth century, Galileo Galilei, an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution, was interrogated by the Church’s office of the Inquisition—not because he broke with scriptural doctrine, but because he broke with Aristotelian doctrine by challenging geocentrism, supporting a heliocentric model of the universe, and defending Copernicus’s theory. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. He was also forced to “abjure, curse and detest” the heliocentric model, and the publication of any of his work was forbidden. 

What was it in the heliocentric system that caused such resistance? The problem was the uncertainty it espoused. In the geocentric system, Earth was stable, unmovable, and protected, and it allowed humans to be cast in the central role in the universe. It reinforced the fiction of separateness and by extension of solidity and certainty. The heliocentric system revealed that Earth moves, and a moving Earth is uncertain. It threatened to expose the collective repressed memory of periodic catastrophe as a result of celestial mechanics and the cultural amnesia that serves to protect this memory from becoming conscious. And importantly, it challenged the supreme authority of the Church.     

Prior to this powerful shift in collective perception, the ancient traditions were heliocentric and weren’t philosophically / perceptually alienated from place and event. Ancient people understood the universe / solar system as dynamic — as operating in patterns of orderly chaos that periodically, cyclically, result in terrestrial cataclysm. The ancient traditions were what we now refer to as ‘cultural astronomy’ … the were areligious systems of observation and data preservation that tracked and recorded cycling celestial mechanics and there effects on terrestrial systems and the patterns of the natural world. Ancient traditions were a combination of cultural astronomy and social / moral codes consistent with the patterns and processes of the natural word and celestial mechanics. The Christian church naturally waged war against these “pagan” ideas in its goal of wresting authority away from the natural world / celestial mechanics / sun in order to solidify the authority of the Church (in order to control and exploit the masses). This aggressive coup meant that the Old Story, around the globe, was forced underground, where it was nearly entirely forgotten and replaced with the abstractions of religion and the supernatural, separated from place and event. Again and again, we see that ancient cultures, which possessed the knowledge of the cycles of time and related periodic cataclysm, and which ordered society around them, continuously referred to a “way-that-must-be-followed.” This “way” was a reflection of the way of life that helped them survive and thrive in a continuously changing and periodically threatening Earth and sky. It referenced the way of the world: the wheeling way of the precessional cycle, annual seasons, the seasons of the day, and the seasons of life. It also referenced a social code that kept society balanced with the scale invariant seasons of time. Laws, protocols, rites, and scruples were all used to create a way of life that was necessary to maintain society’s health, consistent with the fluctuations and periodic jolts associated with the celestial mechanics.

To collapse some nuance in the interest of space, Christianity, prior to around the thirteenth century, is better understood as a long hijacking, distortion, and erasure of the Ancient Story, and a corruption of its corresponding social code, symbols, and rites in the service of a powerful political economic movement tied to aggressive military expansion. It was a strategic theft and retooling of the Ancient Story for the purpose of controlling the population and the flow of wealth, reinforced by a reign of terror. Thomas Aquinas’ task was to establish a long term psychological control in the form of supernatural ‘religion’. Over time, as the memory of periodic cataclysm and an understanding of the purpose of ancient oral traditions began to fade, a progressive amnesia began to form. The Ancient Story began to be regarded as myth, as Aristotle had believed, and a growing void took their place. Thomas Aquinas filled this void with the abstract concept of religion and a supernaturalized and interiorized emotional state of religiosity. Religion developed as both a symptom of cultural amnesia that forgets where we are and how this place we exist in actually works, and as a means to prevent remembering. The most effective way to control groups of people is to sever them from reality (natural world / celestial mechanics) and then brainwash them with carrot / stick narratives. This large scale political / economic coup has created patterns of thought in modern people that have had and, more than ever, are having a destructive effect on the natural world, human society, and health and wellbeing. As Lynn White writes in The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis (White 1967): “The emphasis … on a transcendence over nature in the quest of a personal salvation and otherworldy reward, a turning away from the world, and the dominion of humans over nature has led to a devaluing of the natural world and a subsequent destruction of its resources for utilitarian ends.”  

Edited by No Solid Ground
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Parsec
17 minutes ago, back to earth said:

of course there was a 'supernatural' .    But not a 'super natural' as we see it.  Actually, it might nit have been supernatural at all , but natural   ;)  

See, there it is again  - our idea things.   My friend's spirits are not supernatural at all ... they are totally natural -  to him .  There is no division between the material, natural , mundane  and the    spiritual, supernatural and special .

I agree on that.

 

Shall we go for metaphysical instead of supernatural?

Or armpit?

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back to earth

I would suggest you read CH 1

' The Historical Importance of a Theory of Impetus '

of this ;

https://archive.org/details/originsofmoderns007291mbp

It won't take long .   

There is a bit of background required to understand the concept outside of 'duality' .   Some find it ' impossible  '   regardless  < shrug > .

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Dhurfjooydig
5 hours ago, back to earth said:

Buddhism is an interesting one. A few times here I have maintained it isn't a religion, more of a philosophy and a psychology, yet that gets hotly disputed.

Yes.  Our modern understanding of Buddhism as a religion is also largely a modern Western invention. Prior to Western culture’s attempt, beginning in the late 18th century, to explain and categorize this widespread Asian version of the Old Story, there was no evidence for a concept of religion in Buddhism. Indeed, there was no sign of the odd creature we now know as ‘Buddhism.’ There was Dharma, understood as ‘the way’, referring to both the endless cycles of time and a way of life consistent with them. Not a religion with a supernatural component, it was a syncretic mixture of ancient Indian, Persian, and Egyptian cultural astronomy encoded in oral traditions, symbols, and mnemonic rites, adapted and locally embellished by the Asian cultures it flourished in, that preserved a real-time awareness of the cycles of time and a sophisticated social code and personal practices that were designed to align perception with the patterns and processes of Earth and sky. Many central symbols used in the ancient mnemotechnical language (common to oral traditions around the world) that recorded the celestial mechanics and their effects still survive in the modern construction now commonly referred to as Buddhism: the central tree (the World Tree), a snake (the fluctuations of time and space), a lion (the constellation Leo), the cross (in the form of a swastika indicating rotation), the Four Heavenly Kings that represent the four directions of the world, an iconic pillar, the cycles of time that make life nearly unbearable, the Wheel of Time, and successive world ages that end in catastrophe. If we look closely at the Buddhist Borobudur monument in Indonesia we see that served as a calendric gnomon and has precessional numbers encoded into its construction. In addition, the life story of ‘Buddha’ that’s now taught in comparative religion classes was largely constructed by Western Christian writers in the nineteenth century. This fiction was then creatively and strategically polished by Buddhist faith-based scholars within the last fifty years, and promulgated by the institutions of Buddhism today, to be included under the modern rubric of ‘world religion’, a concept that was also created and self-interestedly exported in the early nineteenth century by Christian scholars.

It’s interesting to note that the earliest material representations of Buddha as a person date to 250–150 BCE, around 200 years after the death of Greek philosopher Aristotle, and is a manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism that occurred as a result of Classical Greek expansionism into a ‘Buddhist’ culture that existed in the area that is now Afghanistan. Prior to this, the phenomenon of ‘Buddha’ was only expressed by way of symbols: a tree with a snake (the World Tree and the cycles of time), a footprint filled with cultural astronomical symbols (frequently including a wheeling swastika), an empty chair (the solar seat), a spoked wheel representing the divisions of time, or an umbrella (which represents aspects of the precessional cycle (the precessional cycle is central to nearly all premodern oral / symbolic traditions). Buddha was a cultural astronomical symbol. “He” sat under the (World) Tree and did battle with a powerful dark ‘demon’ which he defeated, claiming the golden treasure of knowledge and awareness ... reminding us of Jack, his beanstalk, a threatening giant, and a bag of gold ... (the precessional cycle anthropomorphized and encoded in 'myth') He later died, and a new ‘Buddha’ will return (similar to the way that Leo the Lion returns after it's 26k year precessional journey), joining a long list of returning personages across many cultures. It’s recorded that there are thirty-two physical characteristics of Buddha, who was originally known as the Great Man ... which reminds us of the classical Chinese “fiction” known as the Hsin T’angshu, with its  thirty-two dignitaries in the royal court of The Monarch (the sun), which represented the twenty-eight asterisms or nakshatra of Indian astronomy and the four cardinal directions. The Great Man, known as the Buddha, is sounding familiar.

Dharma records contain many clear descriptions of cataclysm, but they are now mostly ignored or regarded as allegory and metaphor. And the ‘path’ described in Buddhist stories and ritual practices, prior to the fairly recent mythification, mys­tification, and religionization of what we now call Buddhism, was a social code and a way of life designed to keep people acutely awake to the everyday reality of existing in a twirling Earth that’s affected by cycling changes. These cycling changes are referred to in sutra texts as “the endless cycles of cycles” inherent in the scale invariant “Wheel of Time”. These perpetual changes result in what is termed dukkha in Dharma records. Despite the best efforts of Buddhist scholars, it is agreed that this term still resists satisfactory interpretation. It is generally described as suffering, anxi­ety, stress, or unsatisfactoriness, but these scholars have acknowledged that these definitions don’t hit the mark. It’s my carefully considered opinion that the difficulty in translating this term is related to the erasure of the central context of Dharma records: the celestial mechanics and their continuous effects on all living beings at all levels of their existence, particularly during the degenerating seasons of time. The electromagnetic and gravita­tional effects of the “Wheel of Time”: it is these grinding cycles of change and impermanence, their hills and valleys, beginnings and endings, along with our lack of awareness of their endless effects on body and mind, that create the condition described by the term dukkha. Dukkha is the experience of being on the receiving end of re­lentlessly changing exoterrestrial influences, in every moment of life. It is a moment-by-moment uncertainty that’s the result of moment-by-moment changes taking place at all levels of our existence, internal and external, material and energetic, from subtle to catastrophic, in the absence of a conscious awareness of how this uncertainty and relentless change moves us and the environments we exist in. Dharma (now known as 'Buddhism' wasn't religion ... it was a multileveled moral / social code that encoded and was consistent with scientific data.  

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Tatetopa
1 hour ago, Parsec said:

This process meant that the (pre-religious) Old Story which was rooted in an acute awareness of the natural world and celestial mechanics, around the globe, was forced underground, where it was nearly entirely forgotten and replaced with the newly inventd abstractions of religion and the supernatural imposed on traditions. 

Please comment further on the Old Story as pre-religeous.

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Parsec
22 minutes ago, back to earth said:

Oooooh   .... thats right ... that flash drive went through the washing machine ....

... miraculously ;

 

[...]

 

15 minutes ago, No Solid Ground said:

Yes, this. Seldom is anything accomplished through the efforts of just one person. Aquinas organized, redefined concepts, and greatly expanded / codified ideas that were brewing in the late 12th and 13th century. Imo, it's fair to say that he invented the concept of supernatural religion based on his great effort and his prominence, even though others were moving in that direction. The idea of supernaturalis, central to the concept of ‘religion’, and important to his work, only appears a very few times in other writings of the 13th century (and not before the 13th century) … it was Aquinas that took this ball and ran with it big time. 

[...]

 

They are both wonderful posts, very informative and informed, thank you.

 

Surely the use of the word "religion" meant in a Christian way is incorrect, if applied to other cultures, but that's at the base of cultural relativism.

As proposed, probably it would be better using a different word, that doesn't drag with it an heavy history.

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back to earth

Hinduism !   What a beast ..... the Indians never heard of it previously !  1001 different beliefs in that !  And most dont realise that the rigid structure of the 'Class System' was actually a british invention imposed on the original 4 fold division in Aryan and pre- Vedic society . 

Then along came our  'first religion'   -  Zoroastrianism ....  what was that ?  A religion ?  It  might pay to look at the name given it by the founder himself. 

After a series of wars and battles within pre-Vedic and  Aryan Cultures ( between the ' Deva Worshippers' and the 'Asura worshippers' ), a new 'religious' movement sprung up , it was not called Zoroastrianism ,  in   Avestan ;   Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish Vidaevo Ahura-Tkaesho, that is, Zarathushtrian Mazda-Worship opposed to the daeva through the laws of the Lord .

Sounds more 'politics' than 'religion' to me   .... after that, the division into Irano-Aryans and  Indo-Aryans was secured  *

 

Battles between the devas and asuras. The cosmic wars between the deities were symbolic of the earthly wars between the two groups

 

 

 and of course, back then there would have been no distinction between those two things either ;)  

 

* this is apparent in looking at the differences between the early Vedas and the latter ones . In the earliest ones, the Asuras are the elder and beneficial ones, after a while they become the demons . In Iran, the Daeveo . becomes a word that means bad or  evil ; div and passes into our language as a root for the words devil, deviate, divide , etc 

Careful study reveals a socio-political transition behind the change in the  Vedas.

 

Edited by back to earth
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Parsec
9 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Please comment further on the Old Story as pre-religeous.

I'd like to, but those were words written by No Solid Ground, not me.

 

I don't know why it says that you quoted me, insteand of him/her.

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back to earth

Because we ' have ways '  Parsec , of making you  tell us your opinions 

 

Related image

 

 

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Parsec
10 minutes ago, back to earth said:

Hinduism !   What a beast ..... the Indians never heard of it previously !  1001 different beliefs in that !  And most dont realise that the rigid structure of the 'Class System' was actually a british invention imposed on the original 4 fold division in Aryan and pre- Vedic society . 

Then along came our  'first religion'   -  Zoroastrianism ....  what was that ?  A religion ?  It  might pay to look at the name given it by the founder himself. 

After a series of wars and battles within pre-Vedic and  Aryan Cultures ( between the ' Deva Worshippers' and the 'Asura worshippers' ), a new 'religious' movement sprung up , it was not called Zoroastrianism ,  in   Avestan ;   Mazdayasno Zarathushtrish Vidaevo Ahura-Tkaesho, that is, Zarathushtrian Mazda-Worship opposed to the daeva through the laws of the Lord .

Sounds more 'politics' than 'religion' to me   .... after that, the division into Irano-Aryans and  Indo-Aryans was secured 

 

Battles between the devas and asuras. The cosmic wars between the deities were symbolic of the earthly wars between the two groups

 

 

 and of course, back then there would have been no distinction between those two things either ;)  

If we really want to let the cat out of the bag, even the Israelitic Bible doesn't actually talk about "supernatural", nor metaphysical.

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Parsec
28 minutes ago, back to earth said:

Because we ' have ways '  Parsec , of making you  tell us your opinions 

 

Related image

 

 

Gosh.

 

Fine, fine.

 

Ya know, it's an Old Story, same ol' same ol'.

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Dhurfjooydig
20 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

Is Zen a religion?   There are mountain shrines and torii far older than Commodore Perry, in what framework did the Japanese  view these sites?

I think a better way to frame the question is "Was Zen a religion before the Western mind perceived and defined it as religion?".  

Ancient oral and symbol traditions were understood by way of a framework of time. This essay may be helpful to understand this framework:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/hamlets_mill/hamletmill.htm

 

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Parsec

I have to say that I'm learning more in one night thanks to this thread than through tens of others.

 

Thank you guys.

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Parsec
Just now, No Solid Ground said:

I think a better way to frame the question is "Was Zen a religion before the Western mind perceived and defined it as religion?".  

Ancient oral and symbol traditions were understood by way of a framework of time. This essay may be helpful to understand this framework:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/hamlets_mill/hamletmill.htm

 

I've always considered Zen and Buddhism (or Dharma, as you correctly pointed out) as philosophies, not religions.

And with me the books I've studied on.

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Dhurfjooydig
2 minutes ago, Parsec said:

as philosophies, not religions.

Yes, although the term 'philosophy' is also a Western contamination, imo. I think 'way of life' is the least contaminating and distorting ... and the most precise.  

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third_eye
23 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

I was not inferring that it they were in the same sense as current and recorded religions organized over large ares for profit. I was relating it to mans need for there to be a something more. It's why people through recorded time til now still need to be a part of something greater. I do find the venus carvings interesting because of time and geographic dispersion as well as the similar wide hip big breasted depiction. :)

jmccr8

" Venus " was the closest idea/concept that was found to be applicable in ways of description, back then it could have been nothing more than 'a girl like good ol' mom'

~

All in all it is 'spiritual' in everything, religion as we knows it today, I'm not alone in including even the origins of modern 'science' in this but that just kicks up a stink storm ...

I remember vaguely about something I read about worldly possessions and the departed, burials are somewhat a means to separating the psychological (as it is defined today) and the instances where the eyes sees what the mind wants to see. 

So in the event of someone 'seeing' dear departed old dad coming home for something that belongs to him, one can be certain that 'dad' was deceased by way of the rituals and dear emotional mom was clearly seeing "things'

Identification of individuals is not as definitive and apparent as it is today, and the possibilities of the individual is only as many people as one has ever laid eyes on where today we are aware of many more 'different' and 'unique' features than someone over the many tens of thousands of years ago.

I can't remember where I read that ... it could possibly be a Chinese article so I have no idea even where to start digging at my back ups ...

~

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Parsec
Just now, No Solid Ground said:

Yes, although the term 'philosophy' is also a Western contamination, imo. I think 'way of life' is the least contaminating and distorting ... and the most precise.  

You sure are a precise person, aren't you?

 

And my partner says I am pedantic!

I should show her this thread!

 

Jokes aside, I agree 100% with your specification.

Again, we have to remember the differencies between Western and Far Eastern cultures/mindsets, while the first is more "observational" (with exceptions, like for instance Pythagoras), whereas the latter is more "behavioural".

I don't know if I managed to express my thought correctly, but it's late here and I'm quite tired.

 

Good night and good luck.

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back to earth
38 minutes ago, Parsec said:

I've always considered Zen and Buddhism (or Dharma, as you correctly pointed out) as philosophies, not religions.

And with me the books I've studied on.

The Japanese Art of War  ..... thats a good 'religious' book .

My sword practice ...... thats a very  'spiritual'  thing .   There is a spirit in a sword   .... good or bad  ....       ;)  

A;  " That's eastern BS religion intruding into a martial practice ! "

B ;  " No , its not religious, it is actually part of art of sword ." 

... no it isnt .....   yes it is  ...

 

Related image

 

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