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UniversalFriendliness

caught in a web of thought?

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In reading a bunch of threads, I have come to realize that we have some difficulty separating ourselves from Christianity. (Maybe there are people who leave it behind easily, and so don't bother posting anywhere). I can see it in myself, because numerous times before I have set Christianity aside, and not easily set it aside in my mind. It occurs to me that maybe it is difficult because as people who were once tied in to the thing, in some way we still are, as a thought-form. Here is an example of how mass thought forms are studied: 

 

The Presence of Consciousness in the World | Interview with Roger D. Nelson

 

Also to the extent that people in it still think of us, we might be drawn in. 

 

This could be a frustrating experience, of wanting to leave something behind and being somehow unable. So this is why it could be helpful to have a clear idea of what to replace it with, and to consciously take steps each day or week, not feeling any frustration about the old, but just accepting that in some measure it still registers itself, recalling that something better is coming, whether a new social direction, a new field of study, or a new spiritual outlook, or a combination of these. But I hope that for me, my long-term identity won't be tied in to a big rejection period. It should be something akin to having been interested in coin collecting, but having moved on to entomology--with the exception being that there is a lot of public consciousness surrounding religion and not much in coin collecting. It's easier to shift gears in a hobby, because there are fewer thought forms there.

 

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I understand your perspective, but mine is somewhat different. I was not raised in a Christian household, but converted in college. I was a fundamentalist evangelical for six years, and have been out for nine years now. So I've been an ex-Christian for longer than I was a Christian. And yet, given how much effort I put into this faith, I have been unable to separate myself from it completely. Of course I don't attend a church, believe in Jesus, or practice the Christian religion in any way, shape or form. But I do recognize the profoundly negative effect that Christianity has had on me. For better or worse, Jesus is part of my way of thinking and will continue to be so in perpetuity, even if he remains an example of how I ought not to think. I'm glad you are able to leave this horrible deity behind. In some sense, I don't think I ever could. I am fairly certain that I will - for better or worse - always identify as an ex-Christian.

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On 9/3/2019 at 8:51 PM, UniversalFriendliness said:

But I hope that for me, my long-term identity won't be tied in to a big rejection period.

 

If we could leave christianity behind, we wouldn’t be in this forum, would we?

 

I “identified as atheist” for years; now I just say I’m not a believer.  But I don’t think I will ever get over my interest in religion in general; the best analogy I can come up with is that it is like being interested in science fiction, or some sort of cultural anthropology.  The ideas that people come up with.  Sometimes they are even good ideas.

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Big identity changes are hard to overcome, usually, in general. And being in Euope/America, Christianity is at least the cultural background of it all for so long. 

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Apparently, "Hindus don't Hindus don't really see Jesus as a Christian at all." To blend Jesus into Hinduism may be quite harmless because "many individuals raise the possibility that the Gospels' description of Jesus' life was derived, at least in part, from Krishna's life story, and from the myths of other god-men." I think if you want to be Hindu, you can bring Jesus with you. And since by all accounts Jesus' love is perfect, he won't mind at all. In fact to see Jesus as the Hindus do may be closer to what Jesus himself had in mind, than what goes on today!

 

 

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Actually, as many scholars of religion point out, christianity is pretty exclusive. Bringing Jesus into Hinduism means transforming him in something very different from what the Bible says about him. I mean the evidence from early christianity is pretty clear that christians rejected and denounced polytheism as false wherever they went.

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It’s monotheism in general that is exclusive.  When it took over the world it seems to have ruined everything, like an infection.  I wonder if that is our fate, if it is inevitable that society progresses from the tolerant to the intolerant, of if a tolerant hindu-like religion will ever catch on and take over.

 

(But I think the Jesus-as-avatar idea would have been interesting.)

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52 minutes ago, TEG said:

It’s monotheism in general that is exclusive.  When it took over the world it seems to have ruined everything, like an infection.  I wonder if that is our fate, if it is inevitable that society progresses from the tolerant to the intolerant, of if a tolerant hindu-like religion will ever catch on and take over.

 

(But I think the Jesus-as-avatar idea would have been interesting.)

I do not think there is big difference in tolerance between monotheistic and polytheistic society. I mean, Hindus have and had caste systems. Romans and Greek had slaves and were extremely xenophobic in some areas. War like tribes in Africa , Europe and all other countries, tribes as in smaller communities are by the thousands. And by the way, in India there are cases of people converting to Buddhism from Hinduism because it is more egalitarian.

 

And if you want a famous case in history, Socrates was alledgely tried and executed for blasphemy and inciting people to impiety, from what I know.

 

And monotheistic religions like Christianity had something about being universal, which also made it in some areas more tolerant than others. 

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You don't have to pay too much attention to the Bible, beyond what it indicates about Jesus. The Bible came somewhat later, and had to be ratified in various social contexts, and actually is not the same East and West. If you like Jesus, he's yours!

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30 minutes ago, UniversalFriendliness said:

You don't have to pay too much attention to the Bible, beyond what it indicates about Jesus. The Bible came somewhat later, and had to be ratified in various social contexts, and actually is not the same East and West. If you like Jesus, he's yours!

Why would one pay attention to one part of the Bible and discard the rest? Sounds very Christian! Besides, Jesus only exists in the Bible (NT) and the Jesus character himself did pay attention to the OT.

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3 hours ago, florduh said:

Why would one pay attention to one part of the Bible and discard the rest? Sounds very Christian! Besides, Jesus only exists in the Bible (NT) and the Jesus character himself did pay attention to the OT.

Exactly.Well Jesus is the Jewish messiah. If you discard the rest of the Bible then he pretty much does not make any sense anymore. If you do not pay attention yo the official narratives about Jesus or even non official narratives, it just means you invent your own Jesus how you like. So you are making your own private sect of Christianity. You can do that, but be honest about it. As in I cherry picked the Gospels, added my own imagination plus other sources and feel good about believing he was like that. 

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Like Myrkhoos said, "As in I cherry picked the Gospels, added my own imagination plus other sources and feel good about believing he was like that." And don't forget to disregard all the utterly crazy and unloving things he tells you to do in the new testament. Those were just some misquotes that always just show up in old books like the bible. He's your Jesus after all. 

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11 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

. . . it just means you invent your own Jesus how you like.

 

A cardboard christ!

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Jesus as a god of compassion is at odds with Jesus as a god who says that few people are going to get through the 'gates'. The crafters of the religion may have been trying to unify people for easier social control, and maybe to put an end to human sacrifice. But don't the gods always have contradictory aspects? Shiva is destroyer and restorer, dancer and ascetic. Odin is poet and warrior, breath and death. I should think that incorporating Jesus into Hinduism would not be too challenging.

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22 hours ago, UniversalFriendliness said:

Apparently, "Hindus don't Hindus don't really see Jesus as a Christian at all." To blend Jesus into Hinduism may be quite harmless because "many individuals raise the possibility that the Gospels' description of Jesus' life was derived, at least in part, from Krishna's life story, and from the myths of other god-men." I think if you want to be Hindu, you can bring Jesus with you. And since by all accounts Jesus' love is perfect, he won't mind at all. In fact to see Jesus as the Hindus do may be closer to what Jesus himself had in mind, than what goes on today!

 

 

In general, Hindus do not have a problem with Jesus. He is seen as just another god-man/saint like a multitude of god-like men that have been worshiped in India/Hinduism.
One of the important statements in the Vedas is - The Truth is one, the wise call it by many names. So the basic understanding that Hindus have is that Truth is not exclusive to any religion, but anyone can access it by his own means. One doesnt need religion for it.
A 'one size fits all' approach is not promoted in Hinduism since people are unique and are at various stages of awareness and degrees of consciousness.
This probably is the essence of polytheism and hence the basis of tolerance of others' ideas.

So the Hindus do not have a problem with adding Jesus on their prayer altars alongside of other Hindu deities and saints. The problem occurs when the monotheists object to this and say - In order to accept Jesus, you need to spit on and kick out Rama, Krishna, and everyone else.

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It seems to me that everyone, in a sense, creates their own religion, if so inclined.  Even in the very narrow minded group I grew up in, if you closely examined different parts of their belief, they did not agree 100 percent on every point.  In a sense, ALL religion is conceived within the human mind, even though it may have started within an "organized" train of thought from somewhere.

 

Decades ago I was in an argument with my father, and said something about his interpretation of a scripture being different from mine.  He angrily proclaimed,  "there is no interpretation.  The Bible says what it says, and means what it says."   How do you argue with a mind as sadly rigid as that?  I never again tried to have a religious discussion with him.  Such is the problem with rigid monotheism.  With rigid polarized thinking which is going on in the world today!

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Back to the original post.  I see your point of being caught in a HUGE web, and escape from it has left a vacuum for many of us, which requires developing a different frame of mind.  The overall web of religion is probably the largest superstition in the world.  How many eons of rational thinking and moral development will it take to dismantle the webb??  HA!  Not in my lifetime! 

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On 9/8/2019 at 12:18 AM, TEG said:

 

If we could leave christianity behind, we wouldn’t be in this forum, would we?

 

I “identified as atheist” for years; now I just say I’m not a believer.  But I don’t think I will ever get over my interest in religion in general; the best analogy I can come up with is that it is like being interested in science fiction, or some sort of cultural anthropology.  The ideas that people come up with.  Sometimes they are even good ideas.

 

I can identify with that.   One reason I came to this forum was to help those escaping from the "net".  And I occasionally need some moral support myself.  It can get lonely outside the net, when almost everyone you know is at least partially still inside it.  I say partially because some of them no longer go to church, and don't act like "Christians", but get really defensive if you say something against it.  

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16 hours ago, Karna said:

In general, Hindus do not have a problem with Jesus. He is seen as just another god-man/saint like a multitude of god-like men that have been worshiped in India/Hinduism.
One of the important statements in the Vedas is - The Truth is one, the wise call it by many names. So the basic understanding that Hindus have is that Truth is not exclusive to any religion, but anyone can access it by his own means. One doesnt need religion for it.

Well, even hindus believe there also lies and not everything goes.

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Back on topic. Christianity rewrites one's entire identity .  The matrix which you utilise to think the world with. So it hard if you want change.

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