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Featured Comparative Religion Overload?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Frater Sisyphus, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Frater Sisyphus

    Frater Sisyphus Contradiction, irrationality and disorder

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    I have been studying a diverse range of religions for quite some time, for a while even thinking that I identified as something specific. I was an atheist at one point, then I became an agnostic, then I became a theist (or pantheist), now back in agnostic territory. What I've found is that after a while, the detail of the information that stays in your mind decreases and it starts to feel 'samey' but not in a good academic sense, but that religion, philosophy and science just becomes a headache.
    Has this ever happened to anyone here?

    At some point, I find that I either start developing beliefs that I, myself would otherwise find absurd or conversely I start outright rejecting everything. I think I am starting to reach that point at the moment.
    Out of both of those extremes (really out-there metaphysical/cosmological beliefs and atheism), I don't think I am able to accept either.

    [But from my studies of Hinduism, I think several concepts such as Brahman, Atman, Om and some form of Karma are still heavily within my own thinking (and they sort of where to an extent before I even began studying religion and philosophy anyway). ]
     
  2. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    For me it was a revelation

    I was an artist all through child and teen years; it was my life

    I became christian as a teen and it was only out of hobby

    I had brain sugery and stoped believing in christianity; I never believed In the bible. I practiced buddhism instead for a good ten years

    I inmaturely became catholic. It was an impulse probably because of my younger years; it was still a hobby and devotion not facts: Misplaced devotion.

    I did some soul searching as I developed a writing habit again and started painting. I finished this book Healing with the arts; it helps me learn how to heal with art.

    I never got this with buddhism nor christianity.

    I am an atheist but never thought of it until I came on RF.

    Maybe list your core values/whats truely important to you. If religion isnt clicking, live by your values and passion. In my opinion, you cant go wrong.
     
  3. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Stop and do something else maybe?
     
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  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    At one time. But now I am a strong advaitist (and a strong atheist).
     
  5. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    If you've learned it during adulthood... Useful information, like meditation technique, and information that doesn't conflict with other things you know, doesn't decay fast. If you decide some line of inquiry is false, it's surprising how fast it becomes just a mess that you don't care much about.
     
  6. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    This is a good sign. I too found that all of this looking to religion, or shifting to the sciences instead to tell us the truth of reality is ultimately all just doing the same thing with different scripts, flip sides of the same coin. It's all "tell me what to believe", and placing our hopes in external authorities to give us Answers with a capital A so we can hopefully find some sense of security for our thoughts to find some degree of peace.

    When you reach the point you see it's all just doing the same thing, that's when you open the door to where you should have been looking all along. As others said, take up a meditation practice, and then the "answers" come because the questions are seen as no longer all-important as they were before. The answer is another question: are those really the point of all of this? What is important becomes a question that is a process of self-discovery, not finding that truth outside yourself in a religious concept nor in some scientific theory.
     
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  7. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Everyone has to find their own truth. Welcome to the world of the questioners.
     
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  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I've never experienced this personally about religion, but I've experienced information overload at places like teacher's conventions where every Tom Dick and Harry publisher came to sell their wares. Most often it resulted in a sense of frustration, me buying into nothing. So I can see it as analogous to your situation. I'd be doing nothing. I see it as usually an intellectual exercise, but works better as an intuitive exercise. 'Follow the signs' as they say. Many folks only have their intellect to work with.
     
  9. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Well-Known Member

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    What is a advaitist anyway?
     
  10. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    The only thing I would add to this is that I find the sameness to be positive - it shows me that the fundamental basis of all faith streams is the same. And I found that liberating. But if others find one formulation or another helpful, great. Then it's probably a good perspective to hold for them as long as it's helpful.
     
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  11. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    Yes, that's very true. There is that layer or dimension to this. How I would put this is that this is a shift of perspective from a subjective positionality, to an objective view of not only another's perspective but your own as well. When you see how you think is not ultimately different from another, even if the content is different, the context is the same, it allows you to release your hold on your own thoughts and see a greater perspective from outside of them as a participant within then. This is exactly as you say, liberating. We can not take our own positions so seriously, and respect another's perspective as our own.

    This is true. It's really not the content, but the context. If it helps to bear fruit for them, then it's valid. If they profess a truth, yet it does not lead to bearing good fruit for them, then its invalid. The other thing is that what once was valid for us, may in time no longer be valid, just like a size 5 shoes is valid when your foot is that size, but no longer valid when your foot becomes larger later on. You don't then turn around and say size 5 shoes are not valid for others.
     
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  12. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Through my experience as a theist to agnostic to atheist, I pegged it as keep doing something until you simply cannot do it anymore.
     
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  13. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Problem one: GIGO. (Garbage in - Garbage out). Studying too much and doing little will allow beliefs that are dissonant to co-exist. It's best to remember that spiritual paths often have similar underlying parallel messages and they are often more important than the minutiae. However, it is the experience or adventure of the religion that matters. The mind cannot be the judge because it's not your heart. Stop approaching the situation from an intellectual or academic view and this apparent dilemma will naturally sort itself out.

    You should not accept anything every holy book, scripture, metaphysical idea, and what not could be an outright lie. You should only integrate acceptance for anything you are directly aware of. I particularly admire eastern religions because this is a base tenet of all of them, you aren't expected to believe anything the information is simply explained, but you are to verify it through your efforts. Brahmin, Atman, and karma could be a lie... You must do the practices to know it, no amount of mental gymnastics is going to bear the truth of it. Don't trust me, don't trust anyone, only aim to find the truth. :D
     
    #13 Mindmaster, Apr 7, 2018
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  14. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Religion is like painting. You have to have an internal creative drive that makes you want to express yourself in the brushstrokes, and you study the styles of previous masters as a guide that helps you find your own unique and authentic expression. Those who merely copy or remix are not true artists.
     
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  15. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    A believer in non-duality. Brahman, the substrate of all things in the universe. Dvaita is duality. Me and a God.
    Nice. You can do some more or perhaps you have already done that. 'Anatta'.
    While I like your post, it is not necessary to stop approaching the situation from an intellectual or academic view. Hinduism mentions three ways to understanding. Devotion, action and analysis (Bhakti, karma and jnana).
     
    #15 Aupmanyav, Apr 7, 2018
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  16. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Well, the trap for westerners, IMHO, is over-intellectualizing the situation. I realize Hinduism meets the aspirant at what level they come from. In his case, I just see a lot of 'monkey brain' in the post and it was a mistake I made myself. There are a lot of ideas that appeal to us via euphony but nothing stops the caviling outside of our experiences. I was merely trying to shortcut to the solution which is engage in the processes and keep your mind open. While these things exist merely as ideas any of them is as good as any other. It's our takeaways from our subjective perspective that make them real, important, etc... Until your heart has settled a matter and you have a direct experience of a notion you will have doubts, debates, and other dilemmas. I agree with you on varied approaches (karma, bhakti, and jnana), but I was simply addressing it from the perspective presented in the OP, if you understand what I was getting to. All of those processes are based on doing something and via feedback understanding them. :D
     
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  17. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Nature... metaphysics and science are becoming silly together.
     
  18. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    I empathize with your predicament, and so many "religions" are really philosophies or sophistries with very little "God" element, and very tedious and tiresome and so make one want to give up quickly. This dry academic stuff is interesting background knowledge, and I personally could read it for hours if I had the time, as I find it quite interesting, but I don't have the time and it's not what I would term true religion, for which one needs to seek an internal faith dimension rather than merely superficial knowledge of the "Helena Blavatsky" kind.

    It makes sense to think that the true religion would be for everyone, even the little child and there is none more simple than Christianity as Jesus said "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child etc" Luk 18;17 "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." Jn 14:11. Simplicity and profundity is what one should seek in the way of religion, not philosophies that "puff up" although some may have an academic interest.
     
    #18 outlawState, Apr 7, 2018
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  19. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Would adaivatism (?) embrace the cessation of opposites?
     
  20. Frater Sisyphus

    Frater Sisyphus Contradiction, irrationality and disorder

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    As far as they go, they're not exactly faith-based concepts in and of themselves - more of an attribution(s) to aspects of the self, the universe (micro and macro) and to the logical way things effect each other. I think with Hinduism though, there is a general vagueness overall which the "religion" is known for, where such concepts are often interpreted (literalism vs metaphoricalism, divine vs mundane etc) to extremely far extents - which does make it a unique "religion" (as it's a shared pantheon of separate religions like Abrahamism), blah blah.

    I agree with you, skepticism is always a basis of my thinking - however positive or negative it may be.
     
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