The Forum Site - Join the conversation
Forums:
Religion & Philosophy

Alternatives to "understanding" Scripture and pontificating upon its "meaning"

Reply to Topic
AuthorMessage
Pages: << · 1 2
darkman666 On about 8 hours ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#16New Post! Sep 23, 2020 @ 19:00:50
@dookie Said

Just tell me what they want to hear.........I need all the cards I can get.





dookie - you get my drift pretty good for your age - you are just like chaski at his age. you know what i mean, the two of you are really old. only different between two of you live in uk, and chaski doesn't. but, god, you two really old.

you, two - remember dirt and water mix together and dry become mud.
Jennifer1984 On about 3 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#17New Post! Sep 26, 2020 @ 05:19:45
@dookie Said

Now safely settled in Costa's, I was dipping into the "History of Western Philosophy in 500 Quotes". Obviously for some, this would be 499 too many, their own sufficient for settling every question.

Well, an early one caught my eye, from Bertrand Russell, who advocated his own particular brand of dissection and analysis. Here it is, made gender inclusive by my eager eyes....

Those who have no tincture of philosophy go through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of their age or their nation, and from convictions which have grown up in their minds without the cooperation or consent of their deliberate reason.

I think it is good to question, this without dismissing the life experience of those who perhaps move through life amid rice paddies and family concerns. As I see it, it is one thing to ask questions and eventually come to see that there are no answers, another not to ask questions in the first place.

My experience is that the former option leads to simplicity. Possibly, "Love God and do what you will", but for me, "Trust Reality and let go". From that base (the "Hidden Ground of Love" as Thomas Merton once called it, or the "firm foundation of emptiness" as is sometimes said in the east) I can begin to live, without grasping at "right" and "wrong". Pure Landers call it the way of no calculation.

Reading one of the verses of the Rig Veda, I was quite taken with its speculation of "beginnings", even prior to beginnings. Even "He" who first gave birth to "reality" perhaps "does not know". It leaves "creation" to be in infinite guises. The artists brush on canvas, the sculptures hand, the mother giving birth - even each and every time we open our eyes. Creating our own unique world for good or ill.

"Religious" texts for me are life giving. Just so long as we do not systemise them, do not create a theology that "must be believed" and then begin judging others by how they measure up.

"We murder to dissect" William Blake.



Ahhhh, Bertrand Russell.... he of the famous orbiting teapot theory.

I always liked that particular metaphor in that it was quite a handy riposte to have in one's armoury when religionists played their "Just because you can't see God, it doesn't mean he isn't there" card.

"Hoist with their own petard" is such a delicious way to kill a developing line of attack stone dead.

However, on the wider points of your comment since I took the conscious decision to lapse in my adherence to the faith, beliefs and associated rituals and practices of Rome, I've tended in discussion to lean towards what I call "The Dave Allen Doctrine".

As I'm sure Dookie will recall, Dave Allen was an Irish comedian from around 30 - 20 years ago much of whose material was based on gently mocking christianity in general and the Roman Catholic faith in particular. He ruffled a lot of papal feathers (officially), but was secretly loved and followed by many a Catholic priest who enjoyed a quiet chuckle at themselves in the very Christian ideal of humility.

His closing remark at the end of every show was "Good night, and may your God go with you".

Think about that: "Your" God. Not "The" God, or just plain old "God". For him, God wasn't a single entity (or even a trinity). God was something personal. Individual. God could be whatever you wanted him (or her) to be.

To Dave Allen, belief in God was personal.... specific to each individual and every person of belief had their own concept of what God was, what they wanted from him (her) and what they were prepared to give by way of worship.

Because of this he was always able to deflect criticism of his (what they called) "attacks" on the Church by saying they weren't attacks on God, what he was really poking fun at was the silly, archaic and self-serving practices and rituals of the various Churches. But mostly at the Catholics.

After all, who needs 'em...? Churches, that is. If we all have our own individual, personal relationship with God, we can practice that faith privately, in whatever way we will, safe in the knowledge that a switched-on and wised-up God will understand all our individual needs and level of devotion.

I think Dave Allen and Bertrand Russell would have enjoyed a pint together in a bar somewhere. That could have been a conversation well worth standing to one side and just listening too without butting in. We might have truly learned a lot.


A little youtube clip of Dave Allen Jokes. Look out for the appearance of Dudley Moore in the funeral sketch.

dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#18New Post! Sep 26, 2020 @ 07:55:37
@Jennifer1984 Said

Ahhhh, Bertrand Russell.... he of the famous orbiting teapot theory.



Hey, are you trying to tell me there ain't no teapot orbiting the sun?

@Jennifer1984 Said

I always liked that particular metaphor in that "The Dave Allen Doctrine".




Oh, yes, Dave Allen. Loved his "Old Humpty" Joke, of the wake of a guy known in life as Old Humpty because of being a hunchback. He was laid out in the coffin with a strap across him to keep him straight. The priest at the gathering stood beside the coffin and berated the hypocrisy of the mourners.

"You all raise your glasses, drink, and say what a great guy he was.....but in life it was 'there's old humpty, here comes old humpty'. Only Dave Allen could capture the long monologue of the priest as he condemned the hypocrisy.

Then the strap broke, old humpty rose up in his casket and the priest cries out:- "Get off of me you humpty backed bastard!!!"
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#19New Post! Sep 26, 2020 @ 09:34:22
@Jennifer1984 Said



After all, who needs 'em...? Churches, that is.



Possibly a question of temperament. I have always loved solitude and the clarity of mind it often brings (loneliness is another thing entirely)

Also, I have a weak mind. I am easily led by a stronger voice. When reading/listening I am barely able to question or find fault with whatever is in front of me. This can have advantages.......maybe to have a natural empathy for understanding another way of "being". But more often, my weak mind is swept aside by other insistent voices, the voices of the "convinced" who seem intent upon convincing others.

I need solitude to regather my own position......even if, now, that is the "eastern" no position !

This is partly why I am attracted to Pure Land Buddhism. Historically it is very much a communal path. Fortunately, for me, there is no congregation within touching distance! Pure Land has its own sects and in-house arguments. Shinran, one of the "fathers" of Pure Land, spoke against those who claimed to "follow" him . It was the "Vow" that "saves" not any particular explication or understanding of it, which would be time-conditioned. As I understand it, simply the "nature" of Reality-as-is. I know nothing more simple.
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#20New Post! Sep 28, 2020 @ 09:32:59
Having been reassured by Donald Trump that his tax avoidance shenanigans are "fake news" (he has the sort of body language and facial features that simply screams honesty.... ) I am now able to return to scripture and its various interpretations.

I have found that the various texts contain within themselves the hermeneutical principle of leaving the actual words behind; a form of ejector seat. Christianity has the contrast of the Living Word with the word as text . Such a contrast is found elsewhere.

I like the zen assertion (I read it somewhere so you can't argue with that.... ) that the best died with each master, the rest they put into their books . And the story of a group of Buddhist monks transporting a chest full of sacred scriptures across a high mountain path from one monastery to another. Caught out in the open at night by an unexpected storm, they made a fire of the books to keep themselves warm.

Which makes me think of Nazi book burning.....and reflection upon the difference.

Well, on another subject, the UK now has its very own "world beating" App to track and trace the spread of Covid19. It has the NHS Logo in spite of it being developed by private sources ( the great British public just love and trust the NHS ) and a teething problem has been that negative test results conducted by the NHS are rejected by the software. But hey, world beating is world beating, we can trust Boris Johnson just like The Donald. Anyway, I'm told that your Android beeps loudly if someone with the virus passes close by........or not......well, it certainly beeps.
4d4m On about 17 hours ago




4dforum.org,
#21New Post! Oct 16, 2020 @ 23:48:00
Another great way to understand scripture is to compare the different versions of the stories as they have evolved through history. The Tanakh, the Old Testament, and the Koran are all the same stories. There are different versions of those stories in each. They even vary within versions of the Tanakh and the Bible. The Koran is supposed to remain changeless but I am too unfamiliar with Islam to know if that is true or not. For instance; are there different versions of the Koran?

The Bible versions claim to be "easier to read" as they are in modern English. However, they do take liberties with the stories.

The interesting thing to me is to question the intent of the changes.
chaski On about 14 hours ago
Stalker





Tree at Floydgirrl's Window,
#22New Post! Oct 17, 2020 @ 00:53:02
@4d4m Said

Another great way to understand scripture is to compare the different versions of the stories as they have evolved through history. The Tanakh, the Old Testament, and the Koran are all the same stories. There are different versions of those stories in each. They even vary within versions of the Tanakh and the Bible. The Koran is supposed to remain changeless but I am too unfamiliar with Islam to know if that is true or not. For instance; are there different versions of the Koran?

The Bible versions claim to be "easier to read" as they are in modern English. However, they do take liberties with the stories.


I get your point and it is a good one. Still I must ask:

> Have you read The Bible? (And as always when I ask that question I mean all of it from 1st word to last).

> Have you read more than one version of the Bible? (There are many.)

> Have you read the Tanakh?

> The Koran?

It really is essential to read them to understand them fully.



@4d4m Said


The interesting thing to me is to question the intent of the changes.


The "intent" is easy to determine and really obvious:

>>> Control of people <<<

You could use the word "power" if you prefer.
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#23New Post! Oct 17, 2020 @ 09:26:36
@chaski Said







The "intent" is easy to determine and really obvious:

>>> Control of people <<<

You could use the word "power" if you prefer.


I must have read the NT right through about 6 or 7 times, various versions. Loving literature and "style" I still love the cadences of the King James version. The OT, not so sure. Certainly never beginning at the start and reading right through. But also various commentaries on the texts, O & N Testaments. The commentaries on the OT by Jewish worthies are sometimes very illuminating and makes me think that they have more often recognised the Messiah than many Christians.

Having dipped into various books about the formation and writing of the two testaments, yes, "power" and the desire to control seem to have "amended" the text. But as I see it, it is more the "interpretation" of the text by "orthodox" bodies (self appointed) and the condemnation of alternative readings that invites the exercise of power, the contempt towards the true spirit that seeks only our good.

Myself, I am not really an advocate of what "must" be read, part or all, whatever. If enlightenment/salvation is the bottom line then one word can be enough, or even no word at all. Obviously its reassuring to know that whoever is pontificating upon the "true" meaning has in fact read most, if not all, of any "sacred/holy" book, but the arguments back and forth are, for me, chaff in the wind.

It's much like Finnegans Wake. One word contains all others. Grace.
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#24New Post! Oct 19, 2020 @ 13:21:58
Just dipping into a book on the Kabbalah and found the following interesting:-

There is a Mishnaic teaching, ascribed to a second-century Palestinian sage Simeon ben Zoma: ‘Who is truly wise? He who continues to learn from every person’ (Avot 4:1)......Rabbi Chaim Vital (explains) that all Israelites have a letter of the Bible which is their personal dimension of divine revelation. In order to understand what God is saying in Holy Scripture a complete picture is needed, and this can be done by assimilating other people’s insights and combining them with one’s own. The implication of all this is that wisdom is an ongoing process not a state, a journey rather than a destination. We can perhaps extend Vital’s explanation to include everyone in this teaching, in line with the universal scope of the original Mishnaic statement about learning from ‘every person’.
4d4m On about 17 hours ago




4dforum.org,
#25New Post! Oct 21, 2020 @ 20:37:26
@chaski Said

I get your point and it is a good one. Still I must ask:

> Have you read The Bible? (And as always when I ask that question I mean all of it from 1st word to last).

> Have you read more than one version of the Bible? (There are many.)

> Have you read the Tanakh?

> The Koran?

It really is essential to read them to understand them fully.


The purpose of the original, that is the Tanakh, was to find God through history. It is enshrined in religion for two reasons. The first is to make sure it would survive into the future. When you reincarnate you will not know the things you now do. Having these things written will help us
remember. The second part is it has to survive under duress. In other words it had to appeal to those it was written about but still contain the truth. That's why the gods hate the jews. It's also why it keeps getting rewritten.




The "intent" is easy to determine and really obvious:

>>> Control of people <<<

You could use the word "power" if you prefer.
Reply to Topic<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>
Pages: << · 1 2

1 browsing (0 members - 1 guest)

Quick Reply
Be Respectful of Others

      
Subscribe to topic prefs

Similar Topics
    Forum Topic Last Post Replies Views
New posts   Racism
Fri Jul 24, 2020 @ 23:19
29 4787
New posts   Politics
Fri Jan 16, 2015 @ 19:48
31 5185
New posts   News & Current Events
Fri Jul 24, 2020 @ 23:20
10 3059
New posts   Religion
Sat Jun 09, 2012 @ 03:36
10 6729
New posts   US Elections
Fri Jul 24, 2020 @ 23:24
77 18871