It occurs to me that, if you take the fundamental basic starting point as belief then, in their purest form, do the many religions that exist now have much difference to paganism, witchcraft, Roman and Greek Gods etc., etc.,? And before anyone gets offended, I am asking from the point of view of concepts, the belief that if I believe it, it IS, and so we create.
In one of the C.S.Lewis Narnia books, I think it was The Last Battle, one of the characters asked Aslan why one of the 'enemy' was taken into the heavenly afterlife, and Alsan said that if anyone did a bad deed in his name it was still a bad deed and the person would be condemned for it whereas, if someone did a good deed in the name of Satan or an evil God, it was still a good deed whoever or whatever the person believed in. It has been a while since I have read those books, so I have forgotten the exact details but that concept stuck with me and, by extension, my question is based in the roots of that and also the fundamental concept of Quantum Theory.
asked 09 Oct '09, 21:17
Barry Allen ♦♦
I'm disappointed to see no answers yet, Rebecca. It's a good question, and though I should be going to bed now, I'll take a stab at it. (And I'm glad to see someone mention quantum theory!)
Paganism is a very broad term that denotes many varieties of belief systems, including neopaganism, a modern designation which also includes many varieties, including Wicca and neo-Druidism. It can include aspects of polytheism, pantheism (such as the Roman and Greek gods you mention), and animism. Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have many variations, too. Perhaps this is largely because we humans endlessly adjust things to serve our own needs. In my answer on beliefs I wrote that we believe something as long as it "fits."
So the differences between all of them? First, I think "belief" is what is common to them all, and belief is to be distinguished from "fact" or "knowledge." I suggest the community take a look at Wikipedia's article on "Belief." Just because I believe something, does that really mean it exists-- that I have created it? I don't think so, though I think the potential is certainly there under the right conditions and through the right processes. Yes, I may have created the idea and that may lead to the tangible thing.
I think the monotheistic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity are distinctive from many very ancient and modern religions and belief systems in that they basically attribute the role of creating to God alone. Belief or faith still play a part in what happens, but the decision about what happens and when remains in God's control.
Generally speaking, I think most people have eclectic belief systems-- taking a little bit from here and a little bit from there, again, whatever best "fits" their needs and desires.
answered 10 Oct '09, 05:36
Answering the question literally, No there is no difference. Think about it, the principles and concepts of creating. Any religon has its fundamental goals, objectives, or visions. (which in turn produce our thoughts, visualizations and beliefs of that religon) So does paganism and witchcraft have their goals, objectives and visions. And if the Laws of the Omnipotent are working and we create our environment according to our thoughts through the law of attraction, doesn't matter religon, paganism, witchcraft will become what we think it to be. Same principles at work just different ways of implementing. Usually through repetitive actions (rituals and ceremonies) which inturn influence our thoughts, which inturn create our realty.
answered 26 Oct '09, 12:29
Exactly my thoughts when I asked the question.
(26 Oct '09, 14:10) Rebecca
Ok, let me see how I go about this.
Most religions, including paganism and witchcraft depend on acts of magic. There is a book in Spanish entitled Misión de Sangre (Mission of Blood) by Johannes Abbas, a man that spent over 30 years in the Vatican library, that explains the hundreds of years old ritual of the mass. It has not changed. For me it is cannibalistic ritual. But, the interesting part is that women are barred from performing mass because they have their own source of energy or magic: menses.
God was born a woman because women give birth. The concept of god as a he is rather new.
There is a wonderful film about how magic saved the heart of a child: Pan's Laberynth.
The new universe approaching energies reflect a big change coming, maybe the real God will finally show its face and it is not the one religions have shoved down our throats.
Goodness from the heart can only be an accomplishment. I'm avoiding the words redemption or saving on purpose.
answered 11 Oct '09, 17:02
My comments to John's posts are too long to leave as a comment so I am posting it here:
I am coming to the idea that, whatever beliefs religions are rooted in - the belief of a God, or many Gods, current or historic - the fundamental is all based on the belief that there is an infinite power that we use to shape our lives, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Simplistically put, I think that belief in Magic gave the power to the people, but many organized religions stamped out the believers in Magic and took the power away from the people and took it into the Church, giving us guilt and unworthiness instead, and giving the power and judgement to the force that loves us and the people that 'administered' it. In some instances, they created Gods that didn't love us, that we had to appease. They gave us a God that delivered us to the world as sinners, that went to war and destroyed many cultures in the process. The concept of God was twisted to keep most of society disempowered.
The only real difference is the agenda associated with those religions, especially given translations over time, context and the manipulation of societies - any one or all of those have transformed the basic concept of God. In the removal of the power from us, along with that, the responsibility for our lives was removed in varying degrees.
Though I am FAR from being a feminist, I also have always had a problem with calling God he, as, to me, the immediate associations anthropomorphosise a spirit and make it smaller than it is. In fact whatever name we call God, other than God, has associations that I find distracting.
So, while I agree with what you say about Islam, Judaism and Christianity attributing the role of creating to God alone, this is because they see us as apart from God, which is not what I believe Jesus taught. In fact some time ago I found a YouTube of Abraham Hicks with a Christian priest saying that they were trying to distill what Jesus said apart from what the bible said he said, and what Jesus taught was exactly what Abraham Hicks is teaching. I'll try to find that again and post it as a comment.
And I think that the Quantum Theory proves God exists, as I think it is all about God! Religion is about where and how the power to create our lives has been placed by societies. The secret is that we have the power within us, and ALWAYS get what we believe and expect. This life is our Heaven or Hell - it is always up to us! Quantum theory is science coming to the same provable conclusion.
By the way, I have had a lifelong love of childrens books and fairy tales, about belief in magic of some sort, and it was only recently, after investigating Quantum Theory, that it dawned on me why. I'm not sure if it was wishful thinking, or a deep inner sense that it was the way things should be, but the magic and happy endings spoke of hope of our own creation of life. maybe clumsily put, but I hope you get my drift!
Thanks for the reply John!
answered 10 Oct '09, 15:26
Amongst other things I am a published photographer. One of my personal projects was about the use of material objects in the act of spiritual worship. I was allowed free access to this very high C of E (Church of England) Church, that Charles Dickens was married in, in London, some 15 years ago. I was allowed to work unobtrusively during their services, as a fly on the wall documentary; I was given the keys to the Sacristy and allowed to spend as long as I liked there, and took photographs of many precious things used in the service, as well as the diagrams that illustrated the choreography used to address the altar.
I had rejected formal church worship of God years earlier aged 11, because of the hypocrisy I saw. However, I was still interested in how ritual and objects were used, to create focus and strengthen belief, and I believe that this is how the rituals of Magic and any other religion or belief system through the ages has worked in some degree - Egyptians, Greeks, Romans - fill in the blanks ...
Strange, even then I was curious about the church in relation to magic rituals, and the point of focus. I wasn't aware that, all these years later, I would be seeking more answers even more assiduously, and trying to improve my understanding of and relationship with God so intently.
answered 11 Oct '09, 17:32
Rebecca, a belated thank you for all your fascinating personal background as well as your thought-provoking comments. Above, you wrote, "They gave us a God that delivered us to the world as sinners." I've been doing a little Bible research and I'd like your input on my thoughts. It is true that the Bible teaches that we were born in sin. The word is a translation of the Greek, hamartano, which literally means "to miss the mark" as an archer misses the dead center of the target. As such, it denotes something (an action, thought, pattern of living) that falls short of the ideal.
(15 Oct '09, 07:54) John
The bull's eye of the target would be union with God, a perfect connectedness that allows all the fullness of God's abundance to flow to and through us. That union with God cannot take place when we are self-absorbed. If our concerns and love are all focused inward, it necessarily cuts us off from fellowship with others. It limits our ability to let the creativity and love of God flow through us and out to others. Sin is essentially our ego-centrism that says "me, me, me" which develops through life into characteristics and patterns of behavior that inhibit our ability...
(15 Oct '09, 08:07) John
to have meaningful, fulfilling union and fellowship not only with God but with everyone. When a newborn baby cries, what is happening? Surely with no evil intent, the infant screams out at the top of his or her lungs, wails that are saying "feed me", "change me", "cuddle me." "I don't care if you're dead tired, take care of ME!" It's not sin as we commonly think of it, but in those cries are the seeds of ego-centrism which grow into a selfish self-centeredness that controls and manipulates others and withholds love in order to get our way.
(15 Oct '09, 08:18) John
These things destroy communion and fellowship with other humans and with God. They fall short of the ideal, they miss the mark. They are hamartano-- sin. When we are turned inward like that, we can't connect with others in a meaningful, loving way. Our need, if we are to be fulfilled and experience life's abundance, is to turn outward, to let the gifts of God flow through, and out to the world. Interesting that to "repent" is translated from the Greek "metanoeō", which literally means to change one's mind, to turn around. Meta=behind. Noeō=to perceive with the mind (from "Nous" meaning mind.)
(15 Oct '09, 08:45) John
To look behind. To see from whence we have come, from whence we have fallen. To go back and reconnect with God. I see within Christianity, in its purest, highest sense, the desire for us to to look behind. To see from whence we have come, from whence we have fallen. To go back and reconnect with God so we can experience the fullness of life. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10. Thoughts?
(15 Oct '09, 08:49) John
When I have more time and less tired but I have left a trail of answers in comments and answers around the site if you want to look at http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/711/religion-and-our-spiritual-evolution-what-are-your-thoughts , for example. http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/513/why-do-i-experience-these-powerful-emotions-during-meditation-and-singing/733#733 in the further comments I left yesterday.
(16 Oct '09, 02:20) Rebecca
Consider the agenda of those who wrote that we are born sinners - it plays straight into the hands of those who created a church to wield power over people and remove the power of themselves and God from the people. The book of Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 5 and 6 even suggest to pray privately...
(16 Oct '09, 02:25) Rebecca
5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. And jesus said 'where two or more people are gathered in my name, these are my church. Organized church was never part of the deal.
(16 Oct '09, 02:26) Rebecca
You wrote "Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10. Thoughts?" Yes, Jesus taught that we are as powerful as he, "These things and more can ye do" "Faith can move mountains" He taught that we are creators and that God is in and around us at all times, a loving caring God that gives us our heart's desire - good or bad! To me, it really is that simple.
(18 Oct '09, 02:26) Rebecca
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