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Author Topic: Learning about Religions  (Read 3540 times)
Juni
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« Topic Start: March 23, 2007, 06:32:25 pm »

Though the conversation has somewhat meandered off the original topic, my thread Pagan Religions: A List has gotten me thinking. (Can you smell the smoke?)

If you were a total newbie to any religion/spiritual path, what questions would you be asking? What would be the basic questions that you'd need answered to feel like you had a pretty decent, if not general, idea of what the religion is all about? (This can be for any religion or path, not just pagan.)
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ginnflynn
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« Reply #1: March 23, 2007, 10:32:11 pm »

Hmmm, interesting question.  Probably something along the lines of "How do you see the Divine?" and "How do you contact the Divine?" And maybe some general info on ethics to round things out.  That would give me a good starting point, I think.
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« Reply #2: March 23, 2007, 11:11:20 pm »

I'd want to know what that religion's stand on certain questions that are important to me would be. I don't know if I could ever belong to a religion that saw women as totally inferior to men, for example, so if that was a crucial part of a religion's teachings, that religion would in all likelihood be right out of the running for me.

"How do you connect with the Divine" is a good question, too, as was said by ginnflynn, and I'd certainly want to read/read about any holy books that the religion used.
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« Reply #3: March 25, 2007, 07:41:48 pm »

If you were a total newbie to any religion/spiritual path, what questions would you be asking?

I'd ask, what am I looking for or need from this and what is expected of me.
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« Reply #4: March 25, 2007, 07:54:57 pm »



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« Reply #5: March 27, 2007, 09:00:08 pm »

Along with the good questions posed above me, throughout the thread, I would also ask what's the purpose of my individual life within the tenets of the faith? What am I expected to do? How am I expected to live to be considered faithful?

These are pretty important questions, imho, because how one lives one's life should be an important part of faith also.  I mean it's one thing to proclaim that you follow "Bob the Giant Cheese", but do you follow Bob's teachings, or the teachings of other of Bob's followers?  Do they live life and conduct themselves in a  way you can not only live with, but one that seems right to you?
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« Reply #6: March 28, 2007, 06:25:12 pm »

as ashirin says, my initial questions would be, and were, where do I fit into this thing??? I think its so easy to see faith as something extrinsic, spmething imposed. It is looking at how I, as an individual fit in, what makes me part of this? Domy actions have consequence? So much prganised religion is based around forgiveness, and unconditional absolution, i would be asking what makes this way of life different...why must I account for my actions.


Of couse this is all in heinsight....and the questions I SHOULD have asked at the begining.
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Ashirin
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« Reply #7: March 28, 2007, 09:27:00 pm »

Of couse this is all in heinsight....and the questions I SHOULD have asked at the begining.

*nod* Exactly. But that's ok, I think. Now, when I look at my spirituality, and my religion, I'm able to give a much more...honest, maybe, look at my direction and needs.  I'm in a much better place religiously speaking, than I was when I started on my path, but I still find myself seeking.  I'm just able to ask more questions now. *grin*

I expect though that 10 years from now, I'll be saying, 'You know, I should have seen to ask *this* question back then!'  *Snicker*
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« Reply #8: April 14, 2007, 07:18:05 am »

I'd be asking:

How is my life? Am I grounded and centred? Am I genuinely focused on growth and balance? Am I looking for escapism and fantasy, or am I accepting and working with my own realities? Why am I considering entering a world of religion? What do I expect from it? What appeals to me about this religion? Am I intrigued by its imagery and aura? Do I like the people involved? Are my attractions to it grounded and holistic? Is it appealing to my Muladhara chakra as much as my Sahasrara chakra? I.E. Is it appealing to my actual earthly reality as much as my cerebral and ethereal longings? I'd ask over and over: what do I want from this, and why do I want it? Is this wanting grounded, or will it lead me away from my totality into a partial version of myself. If I want this thing that I currently don't have, what is that telling me about where I currently am? Does it mean I'm unsatisfied with what I have? What am I lacking? Will I be gaining it, or just evading it? Why can't I make things work without this other thing? Is it a tool or an escape?

Etc. I think anyone embarking upon any religious journey should be asking a lot of very mundane questions about themselves first of all. Many, many people launch themselves into religion or occultism as a substitute for something they feel they lack within themselves, and attempt to evade the real work by immersing themselves in something they find more interesting and glamorous (and almost all of them say 'Yes, but not me!). It's interesting to remember that the word 'glamour' actually means a spell or an enchantment. It can take a long time to see through such things and listen again to the little voice telling you to remember yourself. Been there, done that, had my tower collapse. I recommend anyone pay very close attention to their foundations before building any big towers within religion. And then ask which religion is using imagery and language that you find useful and positive within your own life. What kind of images and language will help, and not distract from the process? At that point you might just recognise it anyway, as it might just feel on all levels like a challenging but welcoming way of getting home to yourself.

That's my take anyway, FWIW.

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« Reply #9: April 25, 2007, 09:16:02 am »


Etc. I think anyone embarking upon any religious journey should be asking a lot of very mundane questions about themselves first of all.

Other than asking questions of myself, I'd also be asking questions like:

How does the community of this faith relate to each other? Can I practice in private?
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