1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Why do people discuss what the founder of a religion or spiritual path actually meant?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by Amanaki, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    In my time within this forum, I have seen many discussions about what Jesus meant, What God meant, What other founders of religions meant. But the more I think about it. How do people of today actually know or think they know what these enlightened beings from the past actually know or think about when they were teaching? When I cultivated Buddhism I too thought i understood what Buddha was actually saying. But I realized I was far from understanding it on Buddhas level or even were close to understanding it as it should be understood. The problem I faced was that. I could not ask him. Sakyamuni, what did you actually mean? So my realization is that for us to be able to discuss on a higher level, we are in need of having the founder actually here today to be able to ask questions, Not that they going to give a fully clear answer because it is up to our own cultivation to understand the teaching. But at least we do not need to worry about the text is wrongly translated or it missing teachings, because the teacher is already here today, and this is the reason I converted to Falun Gong. And in Falun Gong I can say our master is here today in life, so even he lives in a different country then I do, technically it would be possible to get some clarification if some issue does happen.

    So my question is, Why are we discussing topics that actually are impossible to answer? would it not be better to keep the discussion within our own choice of the spiritual path? Christians discuss with Christians, Jews with Jews and so on?

    Does it really help you in your spiritual path to have a discussion with someone who says, No you get it wrong, God, Buddha, or other enlightened beings did mean it like this, then they come with their understanding of what God, Buddha or others meant? HOW DO THE KNOW? It is their own understanding of what God, Buddha or others meant, not the actual meaning. But if we do have the master/founder/ teacher alive, we can say our Teacher says this, Then we quote what the Teacher says. that means it is the true words of the teacher, not a guess of what the teacher means. But we can of course say, My understanding of the teaching is this. then we give our own understanding of the teaching. But clearly note that it might not be fully what the Teacher actually know by their wisdom.

    Note: I too have done the mistake of discussing topics I today see I was not qualified to discuss because I did not understand fully the teaching. But I realized the importance of being able to speak with the founder of the spiritual teaching, or at least be able to speak with those who are/were close to the teacher, Normally they will have a deeper understanding of what the truth of the teaching is.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2018
    Messages:
    6,074
    Ratings:
    +3,330
    Religion:
    Sanathana Dharma [The Eternal Religion]
    I gave that up a long time ago. I just read the verses and be inspired in the moment what it means to me. For me the word of God is alive, not fixed.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    7,985
    Ratings:
    +9,660
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    Yes. Your realization.

    One doesn't need to talk to a founder (or even sages) if they've experienced what the "founder" experienced. :)
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    21,054
    Ratings:
    +8,628
    Religion:
    Advaitist Sanātan Hindu and a strong atheist.
    How can one know the truth without discussions to find whether the founders were correct or not?
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    Discussion within the same spiritual path is of course of benefit to practitioners, but to discuss across spiritual teachings is not going to help us understand our own path. Example a Christian would have little help in his or her advancement if they speak with a Muslim, in the form that the reachings are different. But if Christian speak with a Christian, they will be able to discuss the same topic from a different level of understanding. No need for someone to study the text of a different path then the one they themself are on.
     
  6. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    56,144
    Ratings:
    +14,525
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    Ah... I get it. You have some "this makes my religion different, so it must make my religion better" chauvinism happening here. Right?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    No, not at all. But I think each religion would benefit from their followers discussed between themself, and let others be able to believe what they want in their chosen path. Why should it be good if people from different faiths try to tell others they are wrong and my path is better then yours? For me as a cultivator Falun Gong is the right for me, that does not mean it is right for you. And I respect that. and I can not and will not try to convert anyone. if that happened it would be their own choice and not because I say anything to make them change
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    5,531
    Ratings:
    +4,400
    Religion:
    RC (culturally at least)
    I think there is value in understanding what various cultures and religious denominations believe a founder intended. We don't have to agree, but understanding the various points of view can be enlightening. For instance, as a Catholic I have come to appreciate the tremendous spur to Western civilisation provided by some of the ideas and practices of the Protestant Reformation. And nowadays anyone with an interest in the Middle East would do well to understand a little about the difference between Shia and Sunni Islam.

    Regarding my own spiritual path, it was largely the experience of living in the Middle East, and then of visiting Buddhist temples in Thailand, that made recognise the similarities between my own religion and others - and hence to doubt the claims of any religion, including my own, to unique truth while all the others are supposedly false.

    But I agree that getting into nitpicking arguments over exact meanings can be rather unproductive, given the general lack of clarity of almost all religions.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    56,144
    Ratings:
    +14,525
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    For me, it generally comes up when people try to impose their religion on others.

    For instance, if Christian lawmakers insist that they're going to legislate laws that apply to everyone based on the teachings of Jesus, then I see no problem with judging their actions and policies against the teachings of Jesus.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  10. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    Yes and this has become a problem. Christianity is for Christians, Jewism is for Jews, Buddhism for Buddhists, and so on. Falun Gong for Falun Gong practitioners. But it is not wrong to speak about our chosen path, but it is wrong to "force others to become like us" if it is meant for someone to become example a Falun Gong practitioner, it will happen naturally, No need to proselytize actually, But answering questions are ok as long it does not become a heated debate out of it
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    56,144
    Ratings:
    +14,525
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    So why do you think Falun Gong proselytizes so much, then?
     
  12. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    Actually we do not proselyte about the teaching to get followers. But it is much speaking about the evil forces of CCP (Chinese communist party) When you see a Falun Gong stand on the street, they do not preach about it to get follower, because it is a free choice if we want to cultivate that path. But a common question you may hear on the street is. Do you know what Falun Gong is? if no. they may ask do you wish to hear what it is? if no, then they say we wish you a happy day, and you are free to leave. No forced preaching at all. Personally I have spoken a bit about the teaching here in the Forum. but not to gain followers, only to give people a chance to know Falun Gong is out there. and I also told what the principles of the teaching are. But you are totally free to listen or not to me :)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    3,201
    Ratings:
    +747
    Religion:
    Gnostic Christian
    I think we need regard that as living teaching tools, works like ascending spiral: In plan view one maybe in the same place but on a higher level of understanding.
    Judaism knows that as 50 gates of understanding, every time with increased knowledge one's understanding improves.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    My point of the OP was to say that because Jesus or Muhammad or other past enlighten beings or spiritual teachers of human beings had their teaching that long ago, it is maybe wrong to say Jesus said this, then Quote something he might have said because we can no longer be fully sure that his teaching had not been altered in some way. it would be better to say, In my understanding, this is similar to what he might have said, then say what we understand of the current teaching
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2019
    Messages:
    3,201
    Ratings:
    +747
    Religion:
    Gnostic Christian
    I understand. I say that it is intention of original design to mature studying it so understanding gradually may be improving. . 12"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    56,144
    Ratings:
    +14,525
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    I was thinking specifically about Shen Yun performances.
     
  17. Amanaki

    Amanaki Zhen, Shan, Ren.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2018
    Messages:
    6,773
    Ratings:
    +3,819
    Religion:
    Falun Gong
    Shen Yun has nothing to do with Falun Gong as cultivation practice, that rumor is put out by the Chinese government to sear the wrong statement about Falun Gong, IT maybe someone who started the dance group who were Falun Gong practitioners, but as a cultivator, I will only listen to Master Li Hongzhi. They are a dance group. And as you maybe know CCP does not like Falun Gong because our master has shown the world how evil CCP is. Other than that I do not know what Shen Yun does. and if they spread false claims about falun gong it is not good
     
  18. Iymus

    Iymus Active Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2020
    Messages:
    624
    Ratings:
    +124
    Religion:
    Abrahamic
    I don't think the answers are impossible to cultivate.I discuss mainly within the Abrahamic Faith umbrella. I believe spiritual growth at times require trying the spirits and dialogue.

    From the Quran ; I read that Issac was given prophet hood and scripture.

    From New Testament; I read Issac is the only begotten son of Abraham

    From the Old Testament; I read that the God of Issac's descendants is one alone himself.

    I hope for mastery of the simple things and understanding of the basics "foundation" which i believe helps me perceive the perplex or have an idea.

    Even if i do not know elementary arithmetic, I at least want to be able to discern the order of operations and sequence of things; then hopefully knowledge will produce more knowledge then wisdom.

    Sometimes there are also checks and balances, for example a certain faction of Christians may teach a free Salvation without Accountability doctrine but others to include Jews, and Muslims along with life experiences will correct me or say otherwise. just my thoughts and experiences.
     
    #18 Iymus, Jan 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
    • Useful Useful x 1
  19. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    25,694
    Ratings:
    +9,835
    Religion:
    Zen Buddhism
    That's why the most sensible religions acknowledge the interpretations as being on a provisional basis.

    "Thus have I heard".
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Messages:
    9,052
    Ratings:
    +3,813
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I believe each person must find truth for themselves. Each has the ability to make that decision.

    Why is it that those that are supposed to know the most about their faith are the ones in history that have rejected other Prophets from God? Why do those with this knowledge of their prophet, still reject others?

    There is not better person than yourself Amanaki, than to make these choices, you need no teacher but to ask God with your heart, it is all within.

    Regards Tony
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
Loading...