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christianity the first religion?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by dudley thoth, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. Rex

    Rex Founder

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    I won't tell
    I always thought mythraism was one of the oldest?
     
  2. blessed

    blessed Member

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    in wicca at least we aknowledge the god and godess to be a perfect balance i dont want to use the term evil or good as being wiccan i believe there is a balance- there is no purely good force and no purley evil force,

    the christian god as i precieve him would need to be a balance too, i mean if he was purley good would he be so vengeful and unforgiving in the old testament god was a source of fear -not the god that many christians refere to today.

    if there is'nt the bad with the good, how would we appreicate good? :angel:
     
  3. The Atheist

    The Atheist New Member

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    I think religion sucks. There's no proof that God exists, ***********************

    edited by Maize

    reason: While debating and discussion is fine, we will not tolerate rudeness, insulting posts, personal attacks or purposeless inflammatory posts. Our decision is final in these matters.

    Please read the Forum Rules before posting again. Thank you.
     
  4. Alaric

    Alaric Active Member

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    Well that's just... lovely. Seems like you'll be a valuable member. :killme:
     
  5. The Atheist

    The Atheist New Member

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    I'm sorry. I was feeling a little... explicit. I used to believe in God a lot, but now religion doesn't seem to apply to anything I do. I haven't seen anything to make me believe God, Jesus, Heaven or anything else exists.
     
  6. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    I think you'll find several others here who share your views. There are several topics about atheism on the forum that you can discuss your feelings and believes on, but please refrain from insulting other's religions in the future. Thanks.

    Also, if you would like, please post a little about yourself in the Introductions forum, so that we may get to know you better. Welcome to the forums.

    :mrgreen:
     
  7. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    dont be so quick to condem all spirtuality...
    we don't all believe in Jesus and/or heaven.

    and we don't all exploit.

    I've no problem with athism so long as its tolerant.
    The same criteria I have of all belief systems.

    Rex-
    I think it depends on what you consider religion. Evidence for religious practices goes back to mans origens hundreds of thousands of years ago...
    Homo sapien sapien wasn't the only relgious race either, Homo Neanderthalis was also a religous species, with burial rites and bear cults and appartently all the complexity expected of 'humanity'.

    wa:-do
     
  8. Alaric

    Alaric Active Member

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    You sure about this? I thought the major difference between Homo Sapiens and the Neanderthals were precisely that the the Neanderthals didn't have the ability of abstract thought, and therefore couldn't imagine an afterlife, and so would not have buried their dead.
     
  9. Colin_Admin

    Colin_Admin Member

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    I have heard that Jainism is the earliest religion
     
  10. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    I thought it was Hinduism.
     
  11. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    Alaric-
    more and more finds are proving this thought to be falce. Neandertals had art and burial practices much like we did.

    The shandar dig revieled more than 30 graves most notably were a young Neandertal who had be carefully burried with items and evidence that his body had been covered with flowers. It also revieled that Neandertals took care of thier injured and sick long before we did.
    to find out more check out:
    http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ha/shanidar.html

    Neandertal also had the beginings of art, though not as 'advanced' as our own it was still there.
    some examples:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3256228.stm

    There is a bunch more but I don't want to take up too much space... those should be a good start. :oops:

    wa:-do
     
  12. Alaric

    Alaric Active Member

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    Hmmm... I wonder why they couldn't compete with the homo sapiens, then? Thanks for the info.
     
  13. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    Alaric-
    we had prjectile wepons.
    It was the one advance that we figured out they never (as far as we know) did.... They always used thier wepons at close range... stabbing with spears rather than throwing them.
    If you look at neandertal injuries they suffer from the same sorts of broken bones and contusions as rodeo bull riders. They got up close and personal with some of the most dangerous animals on the planet.
    We had spear throwers and bow and arrow. This made for a deadly advantage.

    wa:-do
     
  14. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Extending upon what Lightkeeper has already said, in the words of the man himself...

    "In the primitive ritual...which is based on the viewpoint of the species rather than on that of the individual, which for us is "accident" is placed in the center of the system -namely, sudden, monstrous death- and this becomes therewith a revelation of the inhumanity of the order of the universe. And in addition, what is thus revealed is not simply the monstrousity of the just-so of the world, but this just-so as a higher reality than that normally sensed by our unalerted faculties: a god-willed monstrousity in being, and retaining its form of being only because a divinity...is actualizing itself in the entire display.
    ...And in the sacrifices through which the major themes of such a mythology are made manifest and present there is no sense of do ut des: "I give that thou mayest give." These are not gifts, bribes, or dues rendered to God, but fresh enactments, here and now, of the god's own sacrifice in the beginning, through which he, she, or it became incarnate in the world process. Moreover, all the ritual acts around which the village community is organized, and through which its identity is maintained, are functions and partial revelations of this immortal sacrifice.
    ....In a mythologically orientated primitive society...every aspect of life and of the world is linked organically to the pivotal insight rendered in the mythology and rituals of the age of the Dema. Those pre-sexual, pe-mortal ancestral beings of the mythological narrative lived in the idyl of the beginning, an age when all things were innocent of the destiny of life in time. But there occurred in that age an event, the "mythological event" par excellence, which brought to an end its timeless way of being and effected a transformation of all things. whereupon death and sex came into the world as the basic correlates of temporality." (Joseph campbell 'Primitive Mythology', 1969/2000, p.181-2)
     
  15. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Overall, the 'way back to God' (or other ultimate realities) seems to be always ethical/moral in character, which for me raises the question "is God, in actual fact, wholly good?" The path of destruction, evil, 'evil', etc, doesn't (there are minor exceptions) lead to God, which is unusual if God is Both 'good' and 'evil'. Even if we believe 'God' to be beyond 'good' and 'evil', that still doesn't account for why the religious path is overall an ethical/moral/good/right one. Also this ethical/moral/right supreme reality has been largely recognized to be the ordering principle that sustains the universe, and our social/individual welfare is maintained by our behaviour in accordence with such a principle. The supreme ethical/moral/right/eternal reality seems to underlie our perceivable/temporal reality, which, lets face it, can be really nasty alot of the time for a lot of people.
    What follows is rather untidy and incomplete. Some of the material is original, some from stuff I've written in the past, and some of it comes from memory (please forgive me for any errors). What ever your religious beliefs may be, I hope, Overall, you'll enjoy reading this, and get something out of it. God bless.

    "Let us rest our souls on the thought, that all around us is ordered and overruled by God's almighty wisdom. The course of this world may often be contrary to our wishes. the position of the Church may often be very unlike what we desire. The wickedness of worldly men, and the inconsistencies of believers, may often afflict our souls. But there is a hand above us, moving the vast machine of this universe, and making all things work together for His glory. ...The kings of the earth may take counsil together, and the rulers of the nations may set themselves against Christ. (psal. 2:2) But the resurrection morning shall prove that, even at the darkest time, all things were being done according to the will of God." (J.C ryle)

    The belief that the universe has a fixed (immovable) order, or harmony, is found in the tradition(s) of the Sumerians, the so-called "inventors of civilization", who also developed the art of writting. They called this universal order 'Me'. According to one source 'me' is derived from the verb 'to be', so it seems to mean something like 'the way things are', or 'destiny'. In their mythology, 'Me' takes the form of the 'Tablets of Destiny'. Their theft/posession determines the order of all things, and unless the are held by some stabilizing force, the universe would dissolve into chaos.
    Within 'Hinduism' the order of the universe is known as 'Rta'. Also, all Hindus, according to their place within Indian society, fit into this order only by 'obeying' their particular Dharma, which in this context means 'right conduct'. In the Bhagavad-Gita this lesson is taught by Krishna to Arjuna, as they sat together in a chariot, about to go into battle. Arjuna was distressed at the seemingly pointless slaughter that would soon take place, and began to question if it was the right thing to do. Krishna told Arjuna, that as a member of the warrior class, it was his duty, or Dharma, to fight. According to Krishna, nothing truly lives or dies, and all, eventually returns to the Absolute, the reversal of creation, returning us to the theme of the Sacrificed Cosmic Man.
    Krishna reveals himself to be the Absolute Brahmin (7.29), who dwells in the heart of all living beings and SUPPORTS the cosmos (18.61). He is the supreme unity of Shankara's philosophy (7.4-6; 11.10-32) that transcends the illusion of opposites (7.28). He is also the personal God of Ramanuja (11.3) who waits at the end of the Path of Devotion with open arms and a loving smile (7.21; 11.54). Krishna also tells us, concerning samsara (lunar), that it is a misconception (2.17-22,30), if only we would withdraw our senses and detatch ourselves from WRONG DESIRES (2.55-58), and make him our true desire (7.11), through yoga 'joining with the divine' (2.47-72), then we would achieve release (2.51) " from the dubious and vulnerable character of human existence" (sivaraman, K, in beckerlegge, 2001, p.291).

    "when the wise rests his mind in contemplation on our God beyond time, who invisibly dwells in the mystery of things and in the heart of man, then he rises above pleasure and sorrow" (Katha Upanishad. Mascaro 'trans', 1965, p.59)

    When the senses are brought UNDER CONTROL, the mind is AT REST, and the inner light has dawned, then the individual is filled with the warmth of that inner flame and finds contentment. The "unbended joy" (Blake. sic) of life is untouched by momentary delights and the blackest heartaches (Gita 2.15). Like St. Paul, the individual who has calmed his inner ocean and crossed over to the other side into "the mystery of things" has "learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4.12, N.I.V) ... Paul's method, however, and my own, was to trust in God, who time and time again is proven to keep all his promises!.. And having found his inner Atman he is ready to cross the cosmic ocean to "our God beyond time", never to return.
    Pythagoras recognized the order of the universe to be inherent in mathamatics and musical harmony. Confucius recognized that the universal order was maintained by the positive (yang) ethical/moral 'Te' (virtue/power). It could be said that the supreme human manifestation of this power was the Chinese Emperor himself. The seat of his power was understood to be the center of the world and corresponded with the immovable pole star, around which the celestial spheres harmoniously revolve. Any deviation from the code of behaviour, on the part of the Emperor, would result in chaos and destruction. It seems that he needed to be, in some way, perfect.
    "During the daytime of some Navajo healing rituals...paintings are constructed on the floor inside the ceremonial Hogan (lodge). Sandpaintings depict, as elongated humanlike forms, holy people (Ye'ii), figures identified with the life force and with the inner life forms of all living things. In this way their powers are made present. These paintings are commonly surrounded by a gaurdian rainbow, also human-like in form, with an opening aligned with the door of the lodge which is always to the east. The person whose illness is being treated sits in the centre of the painting and, in a prayer ceremony, is identified with the figures in the painting by having materials from the painting applied to the corresponding body parts from the feet to the head. Navajo sandpaintings, though elaborate and aesthetically pleasing, are destroyed in their ritual use. The destruction designates that the powers of life present in the design have been internalized by the suffering person who through this ritual is made into a beautiful, healthy human being, reflecting the surrounding world"(HarperCollins dictionary of religion, 1996) " In a ceremony for the healing of the sick, the Navajos sing of all things in the world declaring them to be perfect as when first made -the Heavens, winds, clouds, rain, lightning, rainbow, sun, moon, stars; the Earth, the mountains, the corn, and all the growing things; in sequence of holy songs all forms of life are pronounced beautiful and good. These songs are sung over the sick man, and the sufferer is thus placed in a perfect world, so that new and perfect life comes to him also. He is reborn into a state of wholeness. Thereafter he may wear a turquoise or bit of shell tied in his hair as a sign of his new birth. This song is not a medicine song but a Hozhonji-song. But like the medicine ceremony, it declares all things beautiful. It is highly revered and has great power to bless. It is a benidiction on the created world. It tells how all things go in pairs, bending towards each other, joining and helping one another, as the heavens help the earth with rain. ...The idea that, in nature, contrasting elements are complements and helpmates of one another is carried in the end of the song to the transcendent point of Everlasting life, and the happiness of all things.

    ...All is beautiful, all is beautiful,
    All is beautiful, indeed.

    Now the mother earth and the father sky
    Meeting, joining one another,
    Helpmates ever they.
    All is beautiful, all is beautiful,
    All is beautiful, indeed...

    Life-that-never-passeth,
    Happiness-of-all-things,
    meeting, joining one another,
    Helpmates ever they...

    Now all is beautiful, all is beautiful
    All is beautiful, indeed." (The Indian's Book. Natalie Curtis, 1968, p.371-373)

    According to Taoism, it is through the binary interplay of Yin (the 'feminine' principle) and the Yang (the 'masculine' principle) that all things have come into existence, breathing life (Ch'i) into the multiplicity of creation. The source of the perceivable universe is the Tao/Dao (way), the primal unity, refered to in the 'Tao Te Ching' as a perfect living thing. The way of Taoism is an instictive ethical/moral way attuned to the natural order of creation. Ultimately, both the Chinese Tao and the Upanishadic Supreme Self (atman) transcend all pairs-of-opposites.
    Concerning the ethical/moral way of Buddhism, Professor Peter Harvey, a Thai Theravadin has this to say...
    "The basis of all the precepts...and Buddhist ethics...is the recognition that all beings, human and animal, etc, are all exactly alike in disliking pain and wanting happiness; that is absolutley fundamental to being a sentient being"(Open University audio tape).
    The five precepts, basic to all Buddist practitioners, teach abstaination from; 1) Taking life; 2) Stealing; 3) sexual activity (outside procreation); 4) lying and other forms of destructive speech; and 5) the use of intoxicants.
    The inumerable previous lives (human and animal) of the Buddha illustrate that it is the ethical path that leads to enlightenment. These previous lives are known as Jataka tales. In one such tale the future-Buddha is a wise hare whose willingness to give (dana), extended as far as sacrificing himself as a meal for a passing Brahmin.
    Meditation is central to Buddhism in cleansing the mind of all such defilements that prevent enlightenment.

    Concerning Good and Evil, St.Paul wrote; " So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkeness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires"(Galatians 5:16-24. N.I.V)

    Sacred space in the bible

    The most striking use of sacred space in Judaism appears to be employed to reflect the relationship that exists between God and Israel, His chosen people. The same understanding of sacred space is also apparent in Christianity where the relationship is between God and 'spiritual Israel', through the person of Jesus Christ: "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29).
    Both Israel and the Christian Church are ideally God-centred communities which have been chosen by God and 'set apart' (lit' made holy) from the rest of the world of All Things (leviticus 29:2; Exodus 19:56; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 2:9). If it is the relationship between God and his people that constitutes 'sacred space', then the rest of humanity who live outside (by choice) a relationship with God also live beyond the boundary of sacred space and are therefore in 'Profane Space'. Think of the relationship between God and his people as a circle (God) within a circle (God's people). Outside of the circle is the rest of mankind. This conception serves as a template for the various examples of this type of sacred space found in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
    In both Judaism and Christianity this relationship between God and his chosen people is founded on a covenant, which is basically a contract or mutual agreement between two parties (HarperCollins, p.295). According to Genesis, the Hebrew book of beginnings, Adam and Eve, the primordial parents, lived within a specially created garden known as Eden (2:8). Eden (which means 'delight') can be seen to correspond with both man and woman living within its boundaries in a harmonious relationship with themselves and their Creator. However, this arangement was maintained on the basis of a divine command, that Man " must Not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" (2:17) Freewill, it would seem, only operates within a relationship with God. God never gave mankind the option not to choose him, which is understandable. Apart from God what else is there? To break the commandment meant death (2:17). When Adam and Eve disobeyed the command, the arangement was nulified and they were both driven outside the garden into profane space of the rest of the world, that really should never of existed. This new and terrible world, we are told, was cursed (3:17) and humanity was no longer in a perfect relationship with God (3).
    Both Judaism and Christianity present a way back for Mankind into sacred space (or relationship) with God. In the Jewish scriptures, the call of Abraham illustrates the transition from profane to sacred space. The Lord instructs Abraham (Abram) to leave behind the pagan influences of his fathers household and country, and travel to Canaan where he is promised to become a "great nation" (Genesis 12:1-12; Joshua 24:2-3). According to a certain Jewish commentary on the Pentateuch, this separation was necessary for reasons of spiritual cleanliness (Hertz, J.H 'ed', 1960, p.45). And so Abraham made the change from the profane realm of idolatry into the sacred realm of true worship of the One True God.
    The most memorable account from the Hebrew scriptures, concerning a transition from the profane to the sacred, has to be the story of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The Red Sea (or 'sea of reeds') can be seen to correspond with the boundary between the sacred and profane spaces. The Israelites passed through the Red sea in safety, whereas, when the Egyptians attempted to cross over the Red Sea they all perished (Exodus 14:26-30). It wouls seem that sacred space can be destructive towards those who are not permitted to enter into it (remember also the revoving sword of fire that guarded the way to the Tree of Life).
    From the dry ground on the other side of the Red Sea, the Israelites were led to another area of sacred space at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Israel willingly enter into a covenant with God (exodus 19:8). Again, the sacred can be seen to be destructive. Limits are placed around the foot of the mountain, setting it "apart as Holy" (exodus 19:23) and any unwarrented approach is to be punished with death (Exodus 19:12-13). Also, the Israelites must be ritually clean before they can approach the sacred area.
    The area around Mt. Sinai corresponds with the template of sacred space. The people must wait outside the boundary of the mountain in profane space until they are ritually pure (Exodus 19:10-11,14), only then are they permitted to cross the boundary into sacred space. The Mountain corresponds with the inner circle where God dwells and manifests himself (Exodus 19:3, 16, 18, 20). Entrance into this sacred space is regarded as "meeting with God" (exodus 19:17) further illustrating that a relationship between God and Mankind is something that takes place within sacred space, in one form or another.
    The arangement of the Israelite camp, during the forty years spent in the desert wilderness also conforms well with the template of sacred space. The twelve tribes were arranged around the Tent of Meeting (numbers 2) where God had made his dwelling (Exodus 25:8; 40:34). Inside the Tabanacle (house/temple) of God there was an area considered to be most sacred, known as the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place, which was separated from the Tabernacle by a curtain and housed the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:8; 40:34). The High Priest of Israel was alone permitteded to enter the Most Holy Place, and then, only once a year when he would sprinkle blood over the cover of the Ark making atonment for the sins of Israel (Leviticus 16). Unauthorised entrance into the Holy of Holies, as at mount Sinai, was punishable by death (leviticus 16:4) and also ritual purity was a necessity (Leviticus 16:4).
    The Israelite camp also fits with the model of sacred space. The Tabernacle, especially the Most Holy Place, corresponds with the inner circle, the surrounding camp with the outer circle, and the profane area outside the circle, with the desert wilderness. Later, the Temple of Jerusalem came to replace the desert Tabernacle, sharing the same arangement of sacred space as that of its predecessor with a Holy of Holies as its most sacred area (1 Kings 6), that served as a dwelling place for God (1 Kings 8:13).
    In the Christian scriptures, the above model of sacred space as a God centered sacred area remains diagrammatically the same, although ther is no specific sacred geographical location such as that at Mount Sinai or the temple of Jerusalem, rather, sacred space is located in invisible Spiritual space (John 4:20-24). It is now Jesus as God incarnate who occupies the inner circle, and is at the centre of all things, relative to the Lord God of the Old Testament (Psalm 141:8; Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2: 9-11). Jesus also replaces the function of High Priest as mediator and purifier, providing access for God's people into the inner circle without the threat of death (Hebrews 8:2; 10: 19-20; Romans 5:1-2). The Kingdom of God, which has connections with both Heaven and Earth (Matthew 6:9; 16:18; 18: 18) also conforms with the template of sacred space.
    In the book of Revelation, there is a symbolic representation of the Kingdom of God with the throne of god at the centre (inner circle) surrounded by 24 elders (outer circle) who have been interpreted by N.T scholar William Hendriksen as "probably representing the entire church of the old and new dispensation"(More than conquerors. 1995, p.85).
    In the gospels there is mention of a profane area beyond the boundry of the Kingdom of God that is described as a "fiery furnace" and a place of "darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"(Matthew 8:12; 13:41-42).
    Another description of God's Kingdom, also in Revelation, concerns " a new Jerusalem" descending from Heaven:

    And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with Man, and he will live with them and be their God..."(21:3 N.I.V)

    Again we have a clear representation of sacred space as an area of relationship between God and his people. At the centre of the new heavenly Jerusalem is " the Lord God Almighty and his lamb" (21:27 N.I.V). Outside the city wall, in profane space, are all those who do evil and are excluded from the sacred space of God's Kingdom (21:8; 22:15). Also access to the tree of life is restored, indicating that the Kingdom of God is a restoration of the untainted relationship Mankind had with God in the beginning, in the garden of Eden (Revelation 22:14).
    There are other ways of looking at sacred space in the Biblical texts. All, I feel, are abstract, yet truthful representations of temporal and eternal reality.

    The perception of a God who is both 'Good' and 'Evil' appears to be derived from an over-identification with the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good (male/light/solar) and Evil (female/dark/lunar), which, in the hand of God, became a weapon that brings life as well as death. It was with such a weapon that God wounded himself, and is also identified with the Old-and-New moon arms of the Mother Goddess. That the 'Mythological Victim' had both an active and passive role in his death, I have shown elsewhere.
    Mythologically speaking, it could further be said that after the primordial event (Kronos and his sickle, Pandora's box (jar), etc), the tree of life was replaced by the double-edged tree of Good and Evil, which became the standard world tree of ancient 'doctrine'. The Nordic Yggdrasil is such a tree. It is described as enduring unimaginable hardship, being continually under threat from the various forms of life it supported. It's end, however, was destined to come at Ragnarok, But it appears that even then Yggdrasil shall be renewed to support a New Creation, ready to be repopulated by Lif 'life' and his wife Lifthrasir, the human couple who shall shelter in Yggdrasil and survive the old world's end. The All-Father Odin is said to of hung himself upon Yggdrasil for nine nights (symbolic of the totality of time) while piercing himself with his own spear. It appears that he endured this self-sacrifice to gain the wisdom (compare Buddha) of the Runic alphabet (the Nordic Logos?).
    Jesus' death and resurrection can be seen as holding the universe together. In the paraphrased 'Message' Bible' it says;

    "He was supreme in the beginning and -leading the resurrection parade- he is supreme in the end. From the beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds it proper place within him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe -people and things, animals and atoms- get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross (colossians 1:17-20)

    Jesus also taught of another tree...

    Again he said, "What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade." (Mark 4:30-32)

    Jesus is talking about the invisible and eternal Kingdom that began with himself, planted within the temporal realm, and grew in the hearts of all his children, its branches extending towards the past and towards the future, and ultimately towards the eternal beyond.
    concerning the tree of good and evil, the Rabbi Dr J.H Hertz informs us that 'Good and Evil' is "a Hebrew idiom for "all things." St. Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, tells us, " and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (8:28). That God can take the greatest evil and miraculously transform it into the greatest good, is proved by Jesus' historic death and resurrection, an event in myth which is directly linked to the primordial transgression.

    But now God's way of putting people right with himself has been revealed.... God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: eveyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. But by the free gift of God's saving grace (kindness) all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. God offered him, so that by his blood he should be the means by which people's sins are forgiven through faith in him.... in this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26 GNB).
     
  16. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    I just want to say one thing, the Tao is not said to be a "living" thing as in the sense that it is born lives and dies. It is the essence that precedes everything and supercedes everything. It is more of an energy, or an essence, than a living thing. The rest is good. :)
     
  17. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    Colin_Admin-
    Janism was founded about 550 BCE and has been around for about 1200 years
    not a bad link on the history of Jamism:
    http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/jainism.html

    Maize-
    Hinduism is hard to pin down as it doesn't have any 'founding father' but best guess puts it in the indus valley at about 2500 years ago. There is evidence of several 'proto-hindu' religons before this.
    A link on Hinduism from the same souce:
    http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/hinduism.html

    wa:-do
     
  18. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    To Master Virgil

    Your right. I never meant to imply anything other than what you said.

    "That which creates the creating cannot be created: that which changes the changing cannot be changeable in itself" (Lieh-Tzu, ch. 1. 'Hutchingson Encyclopedia of living Faiths', 1959/2001, p.376)
     
  19. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! To me taoism is so straight and to the point yet mysterious and paradoxical. I love it. Its all about self wisdom and self mastery instead of scripture and worship. (I am talking about the philosophy mind you, not he religion). It is beautiful!!
     
  20. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    The most common view of Hinduism is that the Vedic religion came to India in ca. 1500 BCE. What has been found in the Indus valley can be interpreted in just about any way you wish, but to me it has nothing to do with Hinduism. (The claims for Hinduism in the Valley are mainly based on one single ceramic seal, which can be interpreted in numerous ways.) It is a very difficult matter of definitions to say from when we can speak of "Hinduism". Many very basic texts for the Hinduism of today were written only during the first centuries CE.

    It is, of course, possible to argue that the roots of Hinduism are very old. But in that case, you could argue that the roots of the three Abrahamic religions go back to Babylonia.

    It is equally difficult to give a date for Taoism/Daoism. In all probability, it is much older than 600 BC, which is the accepted date for Lao Zi, and the religion/philosophy must then have existed already for a long time.
     
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