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Featured Scripture or Experience?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    There are those that claim that religious truth is found in Scripture, be it the Bible, the Quran, The Bhavagad Gita, the Principia Discordia, or other sacred texts.

    My question to you is this: Is it better to learn from a subject's biographer, or from the subject Him/Her/Itself? In other words, would you trust a man's writings about God to learn about Him/Her/It, or would you rather learn from God Him/Her/Itself by way of meditation, prayer, or your own personal research?
     
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  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Experience. Though scripture is an essential guide that tells one how to have experiences (like how to meditate to do yoga or pray) and whether the experiences have some claim to being authentic.

    Same as in science. An astronomy book will tell you how to properly use a telescope and that if you use a telescope to look at Mars, you should see a reddish orb and not little green men waving their little green flippers at you.
    :p
     
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  3. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    In the thread about what would you say if you died and met a god you didn't expect, someone posted, 'Sorry, I did the best I could.' In retrospect I think that answer is brilliant. And for me personally, sort of crystallizes why I call myself apatheistic. Because I'd rather do the best I can, myself, independently of anyone (man or possible spirit or possible god or a central unified intelligence some call 'the universe') telling me what truths are. It's something I want to discover for myself, and I don't believe that comes from following other's instructions.
     
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Scripture confirmed by experience rather than experience confirmed by scripture. Without scripture I wouldnt know What to practice but experience lets me know How to practice. I dont have a mentor or teacher, so experience is all I have.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Decades ago in an issue of Psychology Today, I read this sentence: “I did not go to my zaddik to learn Torah from him, but to watch him tie his bootlaces.” That sentence has stuck with me ever since.

    That has left me with the realization that words might be helpful in pointing the way but they are not the goal. For some people a guide/teacher/guru/zaddik is helpful and some walk alone but all must walk the talk.
     
  6. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I think revealed scripture does provide us with a criteria and that is based on past revelations and experiences. We have to know enough about revealed Writings to understand them better and appreciate how they can apply to our lives. I think if you study the various scriptures you can see things they have in common or similar spiritual experiences.
     
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  7. Rye_P

    Rye_P Deo Juvante

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    Human tends to err, and it's apply to their creation (in this case their writings about God). Experiences is the best teacher for human, especially when our conscience accompany us as a judge. Result may vary, since not all people able to hear properly what their conscience said.

    Instead of meditation and/or prayer, interact more with another human. For it will expand your point of view.
     
  8. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Scriptures can be useful in providing a direction, but you need experience to determine the veracity of what's written in religious oriented material.
     
  9. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    It's an interesting thought. My first inclination is to say experience, but if you were to have an experience with no knowledge or information whatsoever from someone with similar experience, how do you figure you might understand it then? It's like suddenly speaking a language that not anyone else, or even yourself had any context with which to begin to speak about it with. So I think both are important.

    If have only the words of a teacher with no experience, you have just your own speculations, assumptions, and projections. If you have only experience without any framework or language to translate it for yourself, you struggle to see how it fits in to something you can translate into practical experience.
     
  10. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    I have to agree. I've found the concept of having reality delivered on a silver platter to be relatively revolting. I'd much rather be a participant in reality rather than an innocent bystander. Outside of Hinduism and Buddhism there is precious little in religious texts that is worth taking the time to read.

    When reality first opened up for me that cool evening in 1974, there was no one around me that could explain or even understand what I was going through. I had to muddle through it alone. It did take awhile and well after a considerable god complex, I managed to get over the bumps in the road. It wasn't easy, but I did learn from my mistakes in an indelible way. It's almost like I had to fail, just so, in order to understand more, to - dare I say it - arrive at that perfect clarity.

    I think it's less glib, really. Without the framework, when presented with things outside of ordinary experience, the conscious mind makes many automatic assumptions. It can take a great deal of time to wear out those assumption or, in some cases, validate those assumptions.

    Personally, I never found books to be particularly helpful other than to help me understand that I was not the only person to be going through these things. They answered diddly squat about my experiences. I could now label things, but those labels weren't particularly helpful, overall.
     
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  11. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    When reading scripture (assuming it's not in your native tongue or a language in which you are fluent), how do you determine if the scripture you're reading is accurate to the original if you favor this over experience? How do you know others' experiences are authentic?
     
  12. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    You have a valid point here. This being the case, I am of the opinion that research is paramount in gaining knowledge of an experience one does not understand.

    That said, do you think full knowledge of Scripture is a prerequisite to understanding experience if one has an understanding of where to find needed information? Or is it acceptable to have the experience and research parts of Scripture that are relevant to the experience?
     
  13. Mister Silver

    Mister Silver Faith's Nightmare

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    I would prefer the latter if the god could prove himself to be real. Meditation, prayer, or personal research does not prove a god's existence, after all.
     
  14. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    When you say "prove a god's existence," are you speaking of proof though subjective or objective evidence?
     
  15. Mister Silver

    Mister Silver Faith's Nightmare

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    Primarily, objective. Though both, from my personal perspective.

    I honesty view those who have subjective experiences of god as being delusional. It's from a psychological perspective.
     
    #15 Mister Silver, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
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  16. atanu

    atanu Member
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    What kind of experience are we talking about?

    Experience can be tied to mind-senses or experience can be experiencing the self itself (that which experiences).

    The former kinds are mostly tentative, provisional, subject to change and/or delusional.

    On the other hand, experience of the self that experiences may or may not come about at all. And experience of self cannot be conventional experience of an experiencer experiencing. Experience of self can only be non dual. So, in my understanding, for the ultimate experience of the self (that which experiences) one needs to abide by scripture or by a bonafide guru and the associated practices with Shraddha
     
  17. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    I am talking about both, but for my own personal purposes, I am more interested in the latter.

    By "ultimate experience," are you referring to moksha or enlightenment? Also, how did you gain this understanding?
     
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I don't personally believe that any evidence for or against the existence of any god can be objective.
    Humans are basically driven by selfish concerns. "What's in it for me" appears to be the driving force behind everything they do. Very few people ask what they can do for their god to thank him for their life and for the many ways they can enjoy what he has given them.

    For Bible believers, there are so many things in this life that show us Jehovah's generosity, his love and patience. Godless humans think they have killed him off, but he will show the world in a real and physical way just how real he is in the near future if the Bible is correct. His patience has its limits and his purpose in connection with this world is about to come full circle. This is what the Bible teaches.

    What makes the difference with the God of the Bible, regardless of how humans interpret his words, motives or actions, is that he leaves all the important decisions to us. He presents us with the details of his purpose in connection with our existence here on Earth....he told us why humans abused their free will at the start.....and what the outcome will be for those who choose to use it wisely and unselfishly in their own lives, as opposed to those who wish to impose their will on others, (as we see all too often today.)

    For those who still demand that God show himself physically so as to convince them of his existence, but are unwilling to appreciate the many ways in which he already has, will have no part in his plans for the future. He has no use for selfish people who only want what is good for them. The God of the Bible, through the example of his son, shows us the kind of people he is seeking to populate his kingdom. These are not stubborn, self willed individuals who show no regard for others, but the selfless, humble and obedient ones who will stand up for what is right without raising a finger to harm anyone. They will show themselves to be "no part of this world" in all the ways that count.

    I have never seen any god worshipped by men who can prove their existence. So our decisions about worship come from a place that is individual for each one of us. 'Birds of a feather will flock together'.....we just have to choose which "flock" we want to belong to and hope that it is the right one. From God's perspective, whatever we choose is the right one because it tells him who we are and where we belong in his scheme of things. Every single person will be where they have put themselves when the final judgment comes. This is what I believe.
     
    #18 Deeje, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  19. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    I'm not exactly sure I understand the question here. But I would say that a full knowledge of scripture is a fallacy. Scripture is full of layers of understandings that are reflections of the individuals stages of growth. There is no end to that, and no end point or "full knowledge" possible. Creativity has no limits. You can't assign a final truth to it, or anything for that matter.

    I would say this is actually the only thing that is valid. Like I said above, what one reads in scripture is a reflection of your evolving views, which are reflective of your unfolding development. This is true for everyone. So we look for 'hooks' to fit our experiences to, and it really becomes a matter of what speaks to you, at that time. At another time, something else may speak to you at that place in your life. And on and on it goes. None of this is about static truths. It's all about dynamic unfoldings of truth as we grow and our perspectives shift.
     
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  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    That's an excellent question! In my view you look at when the "revelation" occurred and how long it took to be set to print or writing.... so if you have a scripture that's composed centuries after the event it reports you have to be more circumspect. Even then there can be similarities visible with later revelations. The more accurate revelations for us would be those set to writing in the lifetime of the Prophet. There's a resource that should still be available for your study on-line called "Ocean" that I've downloaded and found valuable:
    Download Ocean - Research Library by Baha'i Education
     
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