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Interspirituality: Following more than one sacred path: Judaism, Hinduism,Islam,etc

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  • Interspirituality: Following more than one sacred path: Judaism, Hinduism,Islam,etc

    Renowned folksinger Woody Guthrie (Arlo's father), back in the early 20th century, was interspiritual. Upon admission to the hospital, he was asked his religion. He said "All." They said: you cannot put "all," and he said "It's all or none."

    Before him and after him, many chose to follow more than one sacred path.

    Lex Hixon, who had a WBAI (NYC) public radio show [In the Light] until he died in 1995, was a naturalized citizen of 5 spiritual communities. In his last years, he led a Sufi community as Sheikh Nur, while continuing to be active in his other sacred paths. He has authored books on most of these paths.

    Louise Riskin is an inspirational Baptist Minister, a contemporary mystic and was at the feet of Sheikh Nur. She has been initiated and immersed in Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism and was a minister at Mt. Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem for the past twelve years.

    In watching those religion threads, I don't see much interspirituality. Am I missing something, or does one wheel mean one sacred path?

    Anyone juggling several paths?
    While you and I are having our cake-and-ice-cream party, the others are having a drink-the-blood-of-the-poor party in the back room. --[QUOTE=maestro8;1433130]

  • #2
    I am Mechanist/Animist/Taoist.

    I used to follow St. Benedicts Rule in conjunction with animism and Taoism.

    I think the trick is is to be able to accept multiple and seemingly contradictory truth sets simultaneously. My truth sets serve the me as follows:
    Mechanist : professional (I'm a scientist)
    Animist: Functional I live as if the whole universe is alive (Not biologically speaking)
    Taoism: provides my spirituality.

    The whole evolution debate wouldn't arrise if people would try to be less absolutist in their notion of truth. Science offers measurable truths, religion offers spiritual truths. Both are truths. Comparisons between them are just silly. Wonder what Jethro says about this. He'd certainly have a thoughtful perspective.
    http://www.frogballsjuggling.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by podzol
      I think the trick is is to be able to accept multiple and seemingly contradictory truth sets simultaneously.

      Science offers measurable truths, religion offers spiritual truths. Both are truths. Comparisons between them are just silly.
      seemingly contradictory truth sets simultaneously--That's one angle. Another is that one may move freely from one spiritual universe to another, just as one may move from nation to nation. Each nation has it's own rules, cultural perspective and language. Still, few of us say the French language and cultural contradicts the English culture and language. You simply recognize you've moved into another different area.
      While you and I are having our cake-and-ice-cream party, the others are having a drink-the-blood-of-the-poor party in the back room. --[QUOTE=maestro8;1433130]

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BillyTheMountain
        seemingly contradictory truth sets simultaneously--That's one angle. Another is that one may move freely from one spiritual universe to another, just as one may move from nation to nation. Each nation has it's own rules, cultural perspective and language. Still, few of us say the French language and cultural contradicts the English culture and language. You simply recognize you've moved into another different area.
        Sounds like a good way to juggle with different religions.
        In my case, I just believe in Humanity (quite optimistic ): I know we are just a luckier animal species and I have not a single doubt about the fact that, like every single species, we will disapear one day. I just believe that, by trying to "be good" (memories of my catholic instruction?) and think "love" rather than "hate", we have a chance to make humanity last a bit longer.
        The issue is that nobody can always think and act "lovely", but every time you and I do "something good" our species gain a few extra minutes before extinction. On the other hand, when we treat someone without respect for what he/she is, it's like smoking a cigarette, we loose a few minutes of Humanity (Hmm... I actually smoke, and I can't pretend being wyse at all)
        GILD: "You get to play every game in the world, in the finest game setting known to man, your imagination."

        One of these days I'm gonna change my evil ways.
        Till then I'll just keep riding on

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        • #5
          The book Life of Pi is about a boy who is a practicing Hindu, Muslim, and Christian.

          I guess you could say I'm interspiritual...but at the moment its more like I just don't know exactly what I believe in. I'm reading all sorts of religious texts, the Qur'an, the Bible, the Book of Mormon...just trying to find something that makes sense to me. So far, my favorite by far is the Qur'an. But I wouldn't say that I'm Muslim...not yet anyway. Though I do think it likely that one day I might convert.
          I do know that whichever religion I settle on, I'm also going to hold Buddhist beliefs. But Buddhism is really more of a philosophy than a religion.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BillyTheMountain
            In watching those religion threads, I don't see much interspirituality. Am I missing something, or does one wheel mean one sacred path?
            The problem is that most religions are set up to be an all or nothing... as an unwise man once said "You're either with us or against us."
            Gilby

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            • #7
              Originally posted by James_Potter
              But Buddhism is really more of a philosophy than a religion.
              That's what I thought until I went to some temples in Laos and Thailand. The people worshiped the buddha in a very similar way that other religions worshiped their deity or anointed... don't upset the buddha or you'll have eternal sufferage.
              Gilby

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gilby
                The problem is that most religions are set up to be an all or nothing... as an unwise man once said "You're either with us or against us."
                It's not the religions that are set up that way. All the monotheistic religions are One GOD. Christians, Muslims and Jews all worship the One GOD who spoke to Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses, among others.

                Knowing there is One GOD, some PEOPLE get caught up in the FORM of worship, they get arrogant, thinking they alone know the way to worship the One GOD. But that is not in the religions. It's in some people.
                While you and I are having our cake-and-ice-cream party, the others are having a drink-the-blood-of-the-poor party in the back room. --[QUOTE=maestro8;1433130]

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                • #9
                  I can understand multiple philosophies but not multiple religions. Don't religions conflict? Either Jesus was The Man or he wasn't. There's no middle ground. If you don't believe in Christ, then, by definition, you cannot call yourself a Christian. And if you are a Christian, then, by definition, you cannot be Jewish. The two are fundamentally mutually exclusive.

                  Philosophies are like different methods of painting a picture. They can all arrive at beauty. Which one is right for you? Finger painting? Watercolor? Pick one. Pick multiple. But religions deal with facts. Jesus yes. Jesus no. Pick ONE. Don't confuse religion with philosophy.

                  This is all obvious. So maybe I'm obviously confused. Billy?

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                  • #10
                    I reject pretty much all organized religions. There are some philosophies that I have respect for, but nothing that I'd adhere to.

                    I have a hard time following "tradition for the sake of tradition". I think it goes along with my computer nerdiness - I ask "why?" all the time and over-analyze things. Thus, I have a hard time taking many things at face value when "they have no purpose and make no sense".

                    And while I don't want to insult anyone, there's a lot of tradition and ceremony that is so far-removed from it's original intent in most religions that it has "no purpose and makes no sense" outside of "tradition".

                    All that aside, I'd still say that I'm a spiritual person, but it's through introspection and self-reflection. The better acquainted I am with who Mike is, the better Mike I can be.
                    Last edited by bmemike; 2006-04-13, 02:46 PM.
                    I dub thee Sir Phobos, Knight of Mars, beater of ass. Be a hitter, babe.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by uni57
                      Philosophies are like different methods of painting a picture. They can all arrive at beauty. Which one is right for you? Finger painting? Watercolor? Pick one. Pick multiple. Don't confuse religion with philosophy.
                      As far as philosophy goes: You cannot be a Marxist and an anarchocapitolist (ala Ayn Rand). You cannot be a Realist and an Idealist. You cannot be an existentialist and subscribe to Plato or Socrates. A staunch Behaviorist and a Psychoanalyst. An empiricist and a phenomenologist. And so on.

                      Or maybe you can. But it means moving from one realm to the next. Having the flexibility to move. And the flexibility to learn French if you want to fully live in France for a while.
                      While you and I are having our cake-and-ice-cream party, the others are having a drink-the-blood-of-the-poor party in the back room. --[QUOTE=maestro8;1433130]

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                      • #12
                        I was raised Southern Baptist (though never officially became one), am now officially a United Methodist, and was recently baptized for the first time in the James River under no church affiliation by an unordained Baptist minister. However, I often go to Quaker meetings and feel theologically closest to the Quakers (joining the Methodist church was a way to compromise with my fiancee, who was also raised Southern Baptist but goes to a Presbyterian seminary). Since joining a spiritually conscious intentional community, Zen meditation has gained my interest - but we'll see where it goes.

                        But basically I consider myself a Christian Agnostic (after reading Leslie D. Weatherhead's book by that name). By agnostic I don't mean that I'm "not sure if there's a God", but rather that I think that no person can know all there is to know about God, so don't sweat the small stuff. The kernel of Christianity is that salvation (not just in an afterlife sense, which I don't think or worry about, but in a wholeness of life sense) is given freely by grace, not by any personal achievement. Because we're imperfect (in a perfect sort of way) we're bond to have imperfect theology. But if we search God out, we get the fruits of salvation (wholeness). Basically, we get a big E for effort. So any theology I have is bond to be minimalist and very elastic. I suppose it could be summed up in this equation:

                        Wholeness = love for God. Love for God = love for people. Therefore, Wholeness = love for people. And love, I might add, must be active, not simply a thought or emotion (though perhaps a prayer, at the minimum).
                        Behaviorally, this means I seek to live my life for others, and not my personal advancement (not that I always live up to this ideal, but hey, E for effort!)

                        I don't know if that's exactly interspirituality since my faith is mostly centered around a Christian experience (though I don't necessarily count out the others, this is simply where I am). But I do think that Christians, "agnostic" or not, would do well to learn from the strengths of other world religions: the devoteness of Islam, the serenity of Hinduism, the compassion of Buddhism - none of these are contradictory to Christianity.

                        Edit: So much for not talking about theology in a public forum!
                        Last edited by hell-on-wheel; 2006-04-13, 03:23 PM.
                        "...or the confluence of rare meteorological phenomena."
                        -George Peck

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gilby
                          That's what I thought until I went to some temples in Laos and Thailand. The people worshiped the buddha in a very similar way that other religions worshiped their deity or anointed... don't upset the buddha or you'll have eternal sufferage.
                          Based only on some eastern religion classes I've taken, I tend to agree. Perhaps Buddha (like most founders of religions) didn't intend for his path to enlightenment to be more than philosophy, but a few thousand years later, it is what it is. That's not to say that you can't practice Buddha's teachings as a philosophy and toss out all the dogma added later, but then can you really call yourself a Buddhist?

                          This presents an issue more on topic than my last post...is religion personal or communal (or both)? Can you call yourself a _____ist even if the official ______ist community doesn't recognize you as one?
                          Last edited by hell-on-wheel; 2006-04-13, 03:40 PM.
                          "...or the confluence of rare meteorological phenomena."
                          -George Peck

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by uni57
                            ..And if you are a Christian, then, by definition, you cannot be Jewish.
                            That's a good example. The early Christian church (according to Acts) was quite divided over whether one had to first convert to Judaism before becoming a Christian. Christianity was seen by some as a subsect of Judaism, a fullfillment of Jewish prophesy, not as a new religion unto itself. Of course, non-Christian Jews probably didn't view them as Jewish at all. There are people today who consider themselves Jewish Christians - who see Christianity as a subsect of their Jewish faith, but they aren't really recognized by other Jews. Of course, most non-Jewish Christians heartily welcome Jewish Christians because they see it as vindication of the origins of their faith. They don't mind if they call themselves Jewish first and Christian second, if they call their places of worship synagogs and don't celebrate Christmas the same way. Hmm...sarting to sound more like politics than religion.
                            Last edited by hell-on-wheel; 2006-04-13, 03:56 PM.
                            "...or the confluence of rare meteorological phenomena."
                            -George Peck

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                            • #15
                              in another thread I described myself as a "sufi atheist" (oxymoron?)
                              I am a dyed-in-the-wool atheist with feelings that could sometimes be familiar to some religious schools such as Sufi or Quakers (or even some chamanic creeds).
                              that does not mean I suscribe to syncretic philosophies or belief. But if I can't establish contact with pure reason then I try another way.
                              There is no reason why I could not empathize with someone who follows another path (and has undoubtly qualities I can appreciate).
                              Last edited by wobbling bear; 2006-04-13, 04:16 PM.
                              One Wheel : bear necessity
                              (Abuello RodoMancat)

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