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Why be a syncretist?

Discussion in 'Syncretic Religions DIR' started by Gaura Priya, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Gaura Priya

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    Just wanted to post this question to y'all,

    Why do y'all believe in syncretism? Why mix more than one religion together into your daily melting pot of practice? After all, most of the religions, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, the Baha'i Faith, Sikhism, Jainism, etc. generally do not look upon mixing practices or sadhanas as conducive to one's spiritual life.

    So why do it anyways?

    I'm a syncretist because I believe in the legitimacy of all the religions that stemmed from Abraham as expressions of God's love for us, by giving us different Covenants to live by according to the time, place, and circumstance.

    But yet, there will always be haters...

    So, why?
     
  2. *Anne*

    *Anne* Bliss Ninny

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    To be honest, I never knew the blending of religions had a label until now.

    I didn't actively choose to mix Christianity and Buddhism. It just happened. I found that I really loved Buddhism but couldn't completely drop my Christian upbringing, so I figured, "I'll just take the best of each and make 'em work for me. Done!"

    Though I single out the above two, I'm also open to the wisdom of other religions.
     
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  3. Boethiah

    Boethiah Penguin

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    If all of them or most of them have something negative to say about mixing religious ideas from other traditions in, there might be a really good idea in the works none of them particularly like. Could be, anyhoo.

    I like to read a lot about other religions. I will often find some things I agree with and some things I do not. If I take the things that benefit me and practice them, I will have some sort of hodge podge (intentional or not). One could argue that just because I don't agree with it doesn't mean it doesn't benefit me, but ah well. Happens.
     
  4. Twilight Hue

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

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    I'm not sure if syncretism is entirely beneficial at certian times, whereas it may prove useful on other occasions as it applies. I would think that a certain criteria exists irregardless involving any conflicts and distractions that may have to be resolved concerning whatever belief or practice at the time happens to be at the forefront. For me, it involves what works without causing due interference and distraction.

    Not privy either as to how syncretism applies to religions and philosophies that promote exclusivity and self-containment such as found in Abrahamic religion, yet obviously, that hasn't stopped a number of people from integrating in other perspectives. Yet I remember during my time as a Christian, I would have absolutely perished the thought of ever integrating other religions and philosophies to which it would diminish the fullness of the teachings of Christ as I viewed and experienced it during that period.
     
  5. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    It works pretty well, of course. :D

    Plus, you're more likely to think outside the confines of religious dogma if you have more than one religion to think in. ;)
     
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  6. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    If Fords had the best transmissions, Citroen the best suspension and Toyota the best engines, wouldn't you expect a superior vehicle from combining the strongest features of each?
     
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  7. Gaura Priya

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    How about the cross between a donkey and a camel? Generally that animal has been given a lower status, despite being a beautiful variation of creation. :p

    Likewise, one could generate one's own personal beliefs in a syncretic light, and yet it will be seen as ugly, as a religious monstrosity with no cadence, rhythm or euphony.

    Who knows... can religious interbreeding really truly be an acceptable form of 'religion' or just either 'ignorant' mixing and nativisation, or pick-and-choosing?
     
  8. Gaura Priya

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    That I can certainly testify to! :) You choose the best of all the worlds of God, and not limit yourself to the human limitations of God's differing revelations. :D

    You slightly have to get rid of the dogma to even think to mix religious paths together to create your own... like the present course that I'm taking at the Unitarian church: "Building Your Own Theology" LOL. :areyoucra
     
  9. Gaura Priya

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    Has anyone given you trouble about being a Christo-Buddhist? :D Or a Buddho-Christian?

    Or perhaps even a Christian Buddhist... a Buddhist with Christian influences? :)
     
  10. Gaura Priya

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    Well, the exclusivity of the Abrahamic religions, and to a lesser extent (yet still existent) in the Dharmic religions is evident by their practices. To the Abrahamic perspective, the idea of Covenanthood and allegiance to the Prophet as a Revelator of God's Will on Earth is paramount to God Himself, and thus breaking the confines of this 'Covenant' is to go against God's Will. This is readily seen in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Baha'i Faith.

    In the Dharmic religions, Hinduism prescribes to Scriptural authority, and the idea of 'good, better, and best' to assessing situations. And yet if something is not approved by the others in the community, it is considered abominable or minimally tolerated. While the dogmatism in the Abrahamic religions is largely an orthodox one, the Dharmic religions become dogmatic and prescriptive through orthopraxy. This is evident in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. One who does not ascribe to the certain practices is considered less than the one who follows the rules closely.
     
  11. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Yeah, and I think this is one of the benefits of it.

    For me, too, I have access to three different religious congregations and yet I also get to transcend above petty squabbles and differences. I get to see and learn from three different traditions, meet three times as many people, and three times as much literature than one of the onefaiths. :D
     
  12. .Frame.

    .Frame. Title pending.

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    Nobody would say to a person: 'I know for a fact that the thing you just said was wise and true, because you said something last week that was wise and true.'

    That's because even the wisest of human beings (religious figures excluded) are still considered to be fallible.

    That's how I am with religions. Wise and true as much of what they say is, I do not believe them to be infallible.

    But to say that because some of what they say is false, all of what they say is false, is the same deal. I would surely be foolish to reject wisdom and truth when I see it.

    I accept that I am only one person, and my interpretation of things can be flawed, but that is why discussion with others is so incredibly important.

    And if there is no definitive holy book, as i believe, human interpretation of the world, imperfect as it is, is all we have to go by anyway, so why not pick and choose?
     
  13. croak

    croak Trickster

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    You mean donkey and horse, right? :D

    On the subject, though, haven't various religions adopted ideas and beliefs from other belief systems throughout their history? I suppose you become a syncretist if it's just you or a small number of people that believe in a certain blend, and part of the religion if it's, say, Christmas or evil eye talismans.
     
  14. *Anne*

    *Anne* Bliss Ninny

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    Not really. Some members of my family find it weird and quietly wonder why I just don't attend Catholic Mass, but no one hassles me fortunately. Others completely understand. We tend not to discuss religion in detail, which is probably why my choices aren't much of an issue.

    It took me a while, but I found a Church last summer that likes to combine the teachings of Jesus with Eastern religions. I've come to realize that I'll always have questions, and I'll never be one of those people with rock-solid faith who believes with all her heart, but the people of this Church are comfortable with this. They honor the idea that everyone has their own path.

    And they provide doughnuts after service .
     
  15. kutulu

    kutulu Member

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    i believe that most(if not all) religions have spawned from 1 (true) religion. much in the same way christianity has been divided into many sub-divisions each holding its own pieces of the true one. by studying all religions and the history of religion itself you can then judge for yourself what you beleive to be true.
     
  16. Gaura Priya

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    Religion with doughnuts... :D
     
  17. ShadowsAndDust

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    It is a natural path simply.......the many various religions and their similarities? The Bible was written by many men all over the Midle Eastern and south European areas yet has perfect prose format. Sanatana Dharma is no different. I prefer the Islamic style of prayer but i believe in Jesus Christ and I believe in Hindu teachings.

    "On the 6th day god made a pot for all of mankind. To put in that pot whatever they desired and Adam and Eve put in that pot all that was good and all that was bad and that pot was named RELIGION"

    Religions are basically the good and bad sealed in a nice little envelopes and all we we need to do is unseal one and empty it into our hearts and minds.
    BUT why stop at one? Why stop at two? WHY STOP AT THREE! :eek:
    We can have all we want in life because life has no rules. I can change my name, what is on my birth record means nothing. My name is a word and a word is anything and everything I want it to be. Religion is no different.
    Ill take a little bit of Hindu, Christianity, Islam and pour it in a nice cup then stir it up nicely and chill it with some ice and drink it :beach:


    You ask what is it I drink? What is it I take out of my envelope? What is in my pot? What is my faith?
    And I will proudly answer
    !!!SYNCRETISM!!!
     
    #17 ShadowsAndDust, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  18. Karl R

    Karl R Active Member

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    I do not believe that a loving or just god would withhold The Truth from a portion of the global population. Therefore, I believe that god has provided that Truth to every population in the form of the various religions.

    By studying various religions to discover the universal truths common to them, I am more readily able to identify what is true and important ... as opposed to what is the product of cultural an human bias.

    My background, deepest knowledge and personal practices are christian. But I seek knowledge, inspiration and truth among all the religions I encounter.
     
  19. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard
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    For me I didn't really choose to be syncretic, it just sort of happened. After I left christianity I went looking for another religion. I would pick one up for a bit then it would fall by the wayside and I would go looking at another but would bring some of that other religion along with me. In truth it wasn't until recently that I put the name "syncretic" to what I am.

    Basically the way I see it all religions have wisdom and it would be foolish of me to ignore or discard that wisdom simply because I'm "not a member of the club". Plus I've yet to find a religion that has "fit me like a glove". I've found religions that come close but along the way I find something inherent in the teachings or the community that make me take a step back from fully calling myself a member of that religion.

    To me religion is about self discovery and I have found the best way to achieve that self-discovery for me is to explore numerous religions and numerous god relationships to see what sticks with me and what doesn't.
     
  20. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    I agree. However now I'm concerned because someone has "labeled"my belief.
     
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