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 · >>
dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Sep 19, 2020 @ 09:12:28
From an Introduction to the Rig Veda:-

The hymns are meant to puzzle, to surprise, to trouble the mind; they are often just as puzzling in Sanskrit as they are in English. When the reader finds themself at a point where the sense is unclear (as long as the language is clear), let them use their head, as the Indian commentators used theirs; the gods love riddles, as the ancient sages knew, and those who would converse with the gods must learn to live with and thrive upon paradox and enigma.


Good stuff.
dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#2New Post! Sep 19, 2020 @ 09:15:21
Further:-

The riddles in the Rig Veda are particularly maddening because many of them are Looking Glass riddles (‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’): they do not have, nor are they meant to have, answers. They are not merely rhetorical, but are designed to present one half of a Socratic dialogue through which the reader becomes aware of the inadequacy of his certain knowledge.
4d4m On October 30, 2020




4dforum.org,
#3New Post! Sep 19, 2020 @ 19:47:53
It is my opinion to understand the Rig Veda, the Tanakh or any other religious text one needs to also be viewing the grand theater that not all can see. This play is acted out over and over in with small changes because those that put it on, though powerful, are not enlightened. Accompanied by the stories the true picture begins to emerge.
chaski On October 29, 2020
Stalker





Tree at Floydgirrl's Window,
#4New Post! Sep 19, 2020 @ 23:26:54
@4d4m Said

It is my opinion to understand the Rig Veda, the Tanakh or any other religious text one needs to also be viewing the grand theater that not all can see. This play is acted out over and over in with small changes because those that put it on, though powerful, are not enlightened. Accompanied by the stories the true picture begins to emerge.



Or read the holy text yourself... pay attention while reading it... bring along a dictionary... maybe read it more than once....

Understanding the "holy" is simple.

You just have to take the responsibility to read "it"... all of "it"... in order from 1st word to last word... and pay attention.
chaski On October 29, 2020
Stalker





Tree at Floydgirrl's Window,
#5New Post! Sep 19, 2020 @ 23:35:39
@chaski Said

Or read the holy text yourself... pay attention while reading it... bring along a dictionary... maybe read it more than once....

Understanding the "holy" is simple.

You just have to take the responsibility to read "it"... all of "it"... in order from 1st word to last word... and pay attention.


Example: "The Four Feathers".

There was an original book, and at least 7 movies. The core point of the book is found within each of the 7 movies. However, not one of the 7 movies is fully accurate to the book.

So, "you" can depend one or more of the movies to give you the broad story. However, you will not have the complete (true and accurate) story. You can only get the complete and accurate story by reading the book.. Sure, "you" might prefer one of the movies... but that takes you away from the original book.

Such it is with "holy" books.

You can either go to the course (i.e. the book), or you can trust what someone else tells you about the book, but be wrong (however slightly... or greatly).

And "The Four Feathers" is a very simple story... do "you" really want to trust various variations of a "holy" book?

If you are a Christian, or Muslim, or... etc.... your very soul could be at risk... if you don't read "it" yourself, but rather choose one of the various plays as acted out over...BUT with small changes because...

And there is now worry about getting it wrong if you read it yourself... You simply ask (pray) for your god's guidance in reading "his" own "holy" word. Any god that would not guide you in this endeavor is a false god.
dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#6New Post! Sep 20, 2020 @ 08:06:53
Anyone interested in deciphering a "holy" book has plenty of choice these days. Untold numbers of ancient texts, most in various translations. And translation is very pertinent - you only have to read a few variants to see the problem. Once, for instance, ancient Hebrew has been translated into Greek, then into Latin, then into English, you tend to get a little bit of confusion. It makes me sympathise with a Church of England lady, who said:- "There should be no translations. If English was good enough for St Paul, it should be good enough for all."

Anyway, for me the idea/view/promise that we are "saved by grace lest anyone should boast" is sufficient, the rest is gloss. The idea can be found (sometimes well hidden I admit) in countless texts.

Alas, along comes:- "We are not saved by grace alone, but by works also" and the fireworks start. The professional theologians and other would be saviours of the world step up to the plate and begin to create interpretations that "must be believed" and various sects arise, each self-identifying as "the elect". The only way to avoid this is if ALL are elected.

For me, Pure Land Buddhism is the best expression of Universalism/Grace. I'm not really in the market as an evangelist, I have enough trouble on my own hands. The sufficiency of grace alone can prove tricky at times, but it does me.

Just as an added word, to add gravitas to this rambling post, here is Thomas Merton speaking of any book of meditations:-

"The purpose of a book of meditations is to teach you to think and not to do your thinking for you. Consequently if you pick up such a book and simply read it through, you are wasting your time. As soon as any thought stimulates your mind or your heart you can put the book down because your meditation has begun. To think that you are somehow obliged to follow the author of the book to their own conclusion would be a great mistake. It may happen that their conclusion does not apply to you. God may want you to end up somewhere else. He may have planned to give you quite a different grace than the one the author suggests you might be needing"

(Some might say that such advice does not apply to any "word of God" itself. I would disagree)

And finally, a little poem by Philip Larkin:-

What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.
Jennifer1984 On about 6 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#7New Post! Sep 20, 2020 @ 08:52:57
Any religious text can be made to say whatever you want it to say because it is all pure conjecture, myth, fantasy, politicking and smoke and mirrors.

None of it is ever proven and when entering into any debate on the subject it is the ultimate spin doctor's wet dream. Going around and around and around in circles for hours and hours with nobody prepared to budge an inch on their interpretation and ignoring both hard evidence and / or rational analysis.

Just because The Great God Boshi is alleged to have said something to some self-proclaimed "prophet" who just happened to come across him while wandering in the desert three thousand years ago and probably half starved, thirst ravaged and stung by a dozen scorpions and therefore hallucinating like hell before his bodily systems collapse from venom poisoning, doesn't make it true.

We can't take any religious text seriously without proof that what is alleged really happened. If you want me to believe that Jesus lived, show me the body.

Being sucked up into outer space on a sunbeam doesn't cut it for me.
dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#8New Post! Sep 20, 2020 @ 09:07:34
@Jennifer1984 Said

If you want me to believe that Jesus lived, show me the body.





@Jennifer1984 Said

Being sucked up into outer space on a sunbeam doesn't cut it for me.



No, it doesn't cut it for me.

I've read a few bits and pieces of Richard Dawkins et al. They also don't cut it for me.
darkman666 On 43 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#9New Post! Sep 20, 2020 @ 17:40:20
@dookie Said






No, it doesn't cut it for me.

I've read a few bits and pieces of Richard Dawkins et al. They also don't cut it for me.



i like richard's works, too. when i was in " hogen's heroes " and the host of " family feud ".
dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#10New Post! Sep 21, 2020 @ 07:55:56
@darkman666 Said

i like richard's works, too. when i was in " hogen's heroes " and the host of " family feud ".



Dawkins not Dawson......which you probably know.

darkman666 On 43 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#11New Post! Sep 21, 2020 @ 14:36:16
@dookie Said

Dawkins not Dawson......which you probably know.




yea, i thought get the humor from it. neither richards aren't going send you a christmas card this year, either!
Jennifer1984 On about 6 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#12New Post! Sep 23, 2020 @ 03:55:58
@dookie Said






No, it doesn't cut it for me.

I've read a few bits and pieces of Richard Dawkins et al. They also don't cut it for me.



Dawkins is as much a zealot in his own way as religionists are in theirs.

The problem is.... and this is the nub of the point I've been trying to get across in my personally clumsy way....... both Dawkins and those he opposes, complicate often very simple issues unnecessarily.

The answers to most problems are quite simple when stripped down to their bare bones and looked at analytically. Yes, other questions do arise, but then the thing to do is to detach them from the original question and look at them in their own right.

Treat every question on its individual merits.

Find the answer to that question first, then deal with the sub-sets one at a time. Once you have the answer to each, compare the answers you've come up with and see what picture emerges. Analyse it. Then you find your answer(s).

But what actually happens is that we wander off into a world of 'whataboutery' and end up with a stewpot of mixed ingredients with incompatible flavours which don't compliment each other and make for a dish that doesn't taste good and doesn't satisfy our hunger for knowledge.

Nice metaphor, eh..?
dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#13New Post! Sep 23, 2020 @ 06:56:16
@darkman666 Said

yea, i thought get the humor from it. neither richards aren't going send you a christmas card this year, either!



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


dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#14New Post! Sep 23, 2020 @ 06:57:51
@Jennifer1984 Said



Treat every question on its individual merits.

Find the answer to that question first, then deal with the sub-sets one at a time. Once you have the answer to each, compare the answers you've come up with and see what picture emerges. Analyse it. Then you find your answer(s).




Sounds very complicated to me.

dookie On about 6 hours ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#15New Post! Sep 23, 2020 @ 09:10:50
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.
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   Random
Mon Jul 23, 2012 @ 14:32
1 680
New posts   Religion & Philosophy
Sat Jan 07, 2012 @ 19:30
18 1722
New posts   Religion & Philosophy
Thu Jul 01, 2010 @ 02:05
26 2611
New posts   US Elections
Fri Jul 24, 2020 @ 23:24
77 18892
New posts   Technology & Internet
Wed Nov 22, 2006 @ 22:11
1 1828