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In The Beginning There Was The Great Spirit


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The Great Spirit

The Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka, Gitchi Manitou of Native American cultures) is a beautiful example of a non-theistic belief in an active, personal, non-anthropomorphic Deity that is intertwined with the fabric of the Universe itself on the large scale and yet is personally engaged with the web of living things and the world on an earthly scale. These cultures are not completely homogeneous, and there are a variety of creation mythologies that need not concern us as (in my opinion at least) these cultures have always been aware that their mythologies are myths, that their legends are legends, that their sacred stories are stories, and thus they have avoided the curse of socially enforced orthodoxy or any sort of insistence on ``belief''. The myths themselves are intended and used as teaching stories that guide individual behavior in ways that support the individual and the community, not as metaphysical speculation. These religions also seem to lack the hellfire and damnation meme - the Great Spirit doesn't punish people for being bad, doesn't inflict eternal torment on people for ``not believing in It''. In these cultures, a life out of balance with the Great Spirit, with the earth, with the community is its own punishment.

 

I find it interesting that similar beliefs and themes were common throughout the ancient cultures of the world before the advent of organized religion with their accompanying dogmas and traditions. In the beginning mysticism was the pathway to experiencing God and that continued until God was changed into an anthropomorphic deity.

 

 

Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences

 

I have come to the conclusion that some form of mysticism is still the preferred way to experience spirituality in its many and varied forms.

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Guest r3alchild

In this day and age when you can learn the wonders of the universe or who we are on a subatomic level and never exhaust scienctific knowledge, what is so special about ignorant tribes people who thought god was the sun or some spirit, that human sacrifice was good.

 

This was our begining but it does not have to be our end.

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In this day and age when you can learn the wonders of the universe or who we are on a subatomic level and never exhaust scienctific knowledge, what is so special about ignorant tribes people who thought god was the sun or some spirit, that human sacrifice was good.

 

This was our begining but it does not have to be our end.

 

 

I am aware that rationalists tend to have little or no interest in the spiritual or spirituality. I love science and it clearly holds the key to expanding our knowledge but it doesn't function as efficiently in the realm of philosophy. Science has done a masterful job devising ways to efficiently kill large numbers of people, to identify and cure disease, and to generally make our material life much better. It doesn't have that kind of stellar record when it comes to devising ways to keep people from killing, dominating, and hating each other. I think both science and philosophy have a role to play in the human experience.

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..........what is so special about ignorant tribes people who thought god was the sun or some spirit, that human sacrifice was good.

 

 

 

 

My intent was to simply point out the similarities in the spiritual elements of ancient cultures who existed at different times and places. It would seem they were all in awe of nature's power and beautify and found similar ways to acknowledge their reverence, respect, and curiosity for that which they could not comprehend.

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  • Super Moderator
 It doesn't have that kind of stellar record when it comes to devising ways to keep people from killing, dominating, and hating each other.

 

If you find something that can do that, by all means use it. You'll be the Second Coming personified. You'll never have to buy your own drink again.

 

Hint: All the religions and other spiritual disciplines that don't like to be called "religion" have also done a piss poor job, and they've been at work longer than science.

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Guest r3alchild

Stop trolling all the spirituality posts just because you decided that science is better.

I felt the same way too, but I left my post because thats how I feel now but maybe I wont tomorrow. But no one has made an issue with it like you.
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 It doesn't have that kind of stellar record when it comes to devising ways to keep people from killing, dominating, and hating each other.

 

If you find something that can do that, by all means use it. You'll be the Second Coming personified. You'll never have to buy your own drink again.

 

Hint: All the religions and other spiritual disciplines that don't like to be called "religion" have also done a piss poor job, and they've been at work longer than science.

 

 

 

True. I can't disagree with anything you posted. I have a wide range of interest and I enjoy exploring different topics and theories. History is one of my passions and I am especially interested in ancient history and philosophy. Ancient cultures and spirituality/religion are obviously linked and that naturally leads me to explore those topics.

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Guest r3alchild

 

In this day and age when you can learn the wonders of the universe or who we are on a subatomic level and never exhaust scienctific knowledge, what is so special about ignorant tribes people who thought god was the sun or some spirit, that human sacrifice was good.

This was our begining but it does not have to be our end.

 [/size]

 

 

I am aware that rationalists tend to have little or no interest in the spiritual or spirituality. I love science and it clearly holds the key to expanding our knowledge but it doesn't function as efficiently in the realm of p[/size]hilosophy. Science has done a masterful job devising ways to efficiently kill large numbers of people, to identify and cure disease, and to generally make our material life much better. It doesn't have that kind of stellar record when it comes to devising ways to keep people from killing, dominating, and hating each other. I think both science and p[/size]hilosophy have a role to play in the human experience. [/size]

Yes philosophy (metaphysics) and science work very well together and are a great replacement for spirituality.
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Guest Babylonian Dream

The Great Spirit

The Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka, Gitchi Manitou of Native American cultures) is a beautiful example of a non-theistic belief in an active, personal, non-anthropomorphic Deity that is intertwined with the fabric of the Universe itself on the large scale and yet is personally engaged with the web of living things and the world on an earthly scale. These cultures are not completely homogeneous, and there are a variety of creation mythologies that need not concern us as (in my opinion at least) these cultures have always been aware that their mythologies are myths, that their legends are legends, that their sacred stories are stories, and thus they have avoided the curse of socially enforced orthodoxy or any sort of insistence on ``belief''. The myths themselves are intended and used as teaching stories that guide individual behavior in ways that support the individual and the community, not as metaphysical speculation. These religions also seem to lack the hellfire and damnation meme - the Great Spirit doesn't punish people for being bad, doesn't inflict eternal torment on people for ``not believing in It''. In these cultures, a life out of balance with the Great Spirit, with the earth, with the community is its own punishment.

 

I find it interesting that similar beliefs and themes were common throughout the ancient cultures of the world before the advent of organized religion with their accompanying dogmas and traditions. In the beginning mysticism was the pathway to experiencing God and that continued until God was changed into an anthropomorphic deity.

 

 

Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences

 

I have come to the conclusion that some form of mysticism is still the preferred way to experience spirituality in its many and varied forms.

You can see similar views in animism, except, everything individually has a spiritual element to it. It used to be commonplace in cultures worldwide for myths to not be seen as literal history, but to teach lessons and to carry with them ideas that might otherwise be lost. They were an entertaining tool for the spiritual.

 

The Great Spirit folklore is quite common in north america, It seems to be echoed in some native sudanese animistic religions as well. There is one God that doesn't really interfere with much, but he created the world and left it be. Then on the earth, people had to contend with spirits and stuff like that. The spirits being animistic. Like with some of the southern Bantu tribes.

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