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Featured Experience or What You Are Told?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I was recently questioned in a discussion forum on why there is no gap between what I feel (believe) and what I know.

    I do not form my worldview from what others have written or what I'm told to believe, but from what I've experienced.

    From what do you form your worldview?

    Is your worldview based on personal experience or do you derive your worldview based on Scripture and what you are told by religious leaders what to believe?

    Which is better? Why?
     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Nice thread topic, Salix,

    Both, but primarily experience. I'll retell the farmer on the side of the road story to illustrate. Imagine a farmer before a hill, and you pass by him every day to say a quick hello. First day he says," there's an elephant over that hill." Doubting, you proceed, and indeed there is an elephant. Same thing next day ... "a broken wagon with 3 stranded people" and then your experience confirms this. The pattern continues, and he is always right. Eventually you learn to trust him. So you learn to believe what he says.

    But of course your experience confirms it. If he hadn't have been there, you would have only experience to go on, and it is totally trustworthy. So yes I trust certain scriptures, if I trust the source of that scripture. Experience for sure. And I certainly don't trust any scripture that doesn't have my experiences to back it up.
     
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  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Well-Known Member
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    Very early, actually high school, I began a view of philosophical skepticism of negation to question scripture severely, because at the time skeptical views of scripture were becoming more apparent in theological literature in the 1950'. and chasm began to grow between the minimalists and the maximalists concerning the degree of accuracy, source, authorship, and reliability of scripture.

    I have gone with a combination, the understanding of the scripture I was raised with, liberal Protestant and the Roman Church, which was rolling in conflict over Vatican II controversy.This background encouraged intellectual curiosity in the current literature on Biblical archaeology, philosophy and theology. It was a t this time I began read the works of Allen Watts. His works were very personally influential, but the guy was an egocentric groupie jerk.
     
  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    From experience and scripture (suttas and sutras). When I can, I go to the temple. I cant go often since its so far. Forms of tradition helps put things in communal perspective as well. As for going by others, Im uncomfortable with that. I rather find my own place in spirituality and expression.

    Experience mostly through everyday life, art, and such. I finally started with my novel; so, thats spirituality and good life long goal for me (my bucket list of sorts) Experience is overated, though. Its the same pet phrase people use journey and not the destination.
    We all learn from some sort of written text (say in education or collecting our mothers memior and family albums). We do go by authority and tradition by our laws and social standards of behavior. Military is a huge influence of tradition and such.

    Experience is my driving force. Knowledge is second. Sutras third. I have to have some sort of nudge etc to continue with my spiritual journey. I have to know something of what I believe. The suttas help put what I cant figure out into perspective and it goes back in a circle. Suttas arent idols so I dont go to them often as I would going back to my journal or finding ways to tell my story by canvas.

    Which is better? Depends on how you learn. Experiences from the heart can make you jump every which a place. Too much knowlege you would be studying and talking more than you practice. Too much scripture, you loose site of finding spirituality in yourself before you look towards others.

    Knowledge gives you facts. Scripture guidence. Experience the actual Dharma to which the other two depends.
     
  5. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Experience. My worldview is empirical, not faith based. My beliefs are those that have been useful in predicting and at times controlling outcomes. Ideas that don't do that are discarded.
     
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  6. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Experience, because it seems everyone else (including science) have a vested interest in getting you to believe absolute bull****. The less you trust anyone, the better off you will be.. and probably the more accurate your worldview will be as well...

    Trust should never be given through any criteria but personal relationships where someone has demonstrated their loyalty to you. Does that make life harder? Yes, because if you receive a piece of news or a bit of scientific information or even a spiritual claim your immediate response is to distrust them without acceptance. You are only going to accept what you can verify, and put everything else in the "holding pen." :D You can't even completely trust a good friend, because it's doubtful they've done the work you will do to confirm the information.

    Does this take a hell of a lot more time? Yes... :D
     
  7. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I tend to rely on my own experience informed by -- and sometimes negated by -- the sciences and/or other sources (such as history, the accounts of others, etc).
     
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  8. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg A World Citizen
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    I would see that the diversity we have in this world is because Faith is founded on both those experiences.

    I would see the more we can give our nature and nurture experiences over to what God has asked us to be, the more we will accept the oneness of humanity and that all people deserve a fair and just chance in life.

    Regards Tony
     
  9. atanu

    atanu Member
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    I feel that there is no static 'this is better' thingy. Regarding 'experience', nyaya, the Hindu logic system recognises mundane sensual objective experience and supra mundane subjective experience as different.

    There is epistemology of knowledge in both eastern and western worlds. In my school, the common steps are: perceptual observation; inference, analogy, and reliance on expert knowledge.

    For all objective knowledge, it is the commonly known scientific process that is recommended. But for the subjective knowledge of Atman-Brahman, the veda pramAna (proof) followed by supra mundane experience are critical. Sensual perception never informs us that self is essentially the infinite Brahman of the nature of existence-consciousness-bliss. No amount of objective investigation will reveal this subjective non dual truth. So,Veda pramAna, guru's guidance and the final advaita anubhuti (non dual experience) can only reveal the truth.
     
    #9 atanu, Sep 4, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  10. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Experience on almost all the important things, but I also like to know what great minds have put forth and entertain those ideas.
     
  11. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Realitarian

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    My worldview is based majorly around my personal experience and reason, but I'm also aware that I can't experience everything, so at times it is healthy take notes from others that you trust if the information doesn't contradict anything you experience.
     
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  12. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    My personal experiences precedes scripture reading by about 10-15 years. I believe the stuff that gels well with my own experience and am "open but non-commital" towards other aspects. If I have not experienced something, its not really "alive" to me and I can't really grasp it with any confidence. So those ideas will be "idle" for me.
     
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  13. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I form my worldview from teachings of Vedic (Hindu/India traditions) and western esoteric teachers of the Advaita (nondual = God and creation are not-two) school as after years of study I am convinced that they have delved deepest into the nature of reality. I am very appreciative of these many teachers as they bring a wisdom I certainly do not feel I could have ever come up with on my own in this lifetime.

    I am curious to know how you can learn from your own experiences and label your beliefs 'nondual'. Perhaps you have an ability to explore the nature of reality that is beyond mine?
     
  14. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a human who does not utilize both their own wisdom and that of external source. We cannot escape ourselves, thus there is no turning off our experiences as teachers. Nor can we escape our surroundings, thus there is no turning off the impact of others on our paths. Much of the stuff of life is the interplay between what we consider subjects and their environments. Both are integral and both are necessary; I could not say one is better or worse than the other. They are both, inevitably, part of our lives.

    That said, there are personal differences in how much one wishes to defer to one source of wisdom versus another in a given matter or another. Some folks like an organized, institutional approach to various things in their lives, others not so much. Both have their merits and drawbacks. Institutionalization provides a solid framework for exploration and a rich source of tradition, but can be prone to corruption and abuse through obedience to perceived authorities. The absence of institutions provides freedom to explore as one sees fit, but the lack of a roadmap can lead to poor pathfinding to the point of depressive listlessness. I'd say find what works for you. Do that until it stops working, then find something else.

     
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  15. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    My identification with nonduality has little to do with "belief."

    I cannot answer your question intelligently, as I do not know the extent of your ability to explore the nature of reality.
     
  16. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    For being the thread starter you don't seem very interested in discussing things. Oh well.
     
  17. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Interesting (and ironic) response. I engage you in responding to your post prompting an elaboration from you and with a dismissive retort, you accuse me of being dismissive. Who is it that isn't interested in discussion here?
     
  18. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Mine was about 5 years. I had no idea at the time there even was a philosophy or religion that matched my perceptions. But then when I did encounter it was 'Wow, maybe I was onto something." I later learned it was a glimpse into 'Sat-chit-ananda' or Brahman as energy existing in all things. And no, I wasn't on hallucinogenic drugs when it happened. Nor was it a near death experience. It was an ordinary day, lol. One of the neatest things about 'experience' is that others often have the same or similar ones, but it's hard to find out, because many don't share much.
     
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  19. lukethethird

    lukethethird Active Member

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    Whatever, I just do what I want, it's got me this far, it's the best way for me.
     
  20. atanu

    atanu Member
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    In the matter of ‘self’, which is the subject, both ‘knowledge of’ or ‘experience of’ lose meaning. Experience and knowledge (jnana) both are same in case of non dual experience-knowledge.
     
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