religious eclecticism

jarrod

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the Big 3 of western religion (judaism, christianity, & islam) are noted for being exclusionary. but as i've studied various religions, i find something in many of them that appeals to me. also, many religions make accomodations for a variety of beleifs. meaning it is not nearly as unusual to observe taoist & buddhist practices side by side, as nothing in the dogma of either prohibits the other.

so i'm wondering how many people here are spiritually eclectic, what traditions do you draw from, & how do you explain your position to others? i usually describe myself as a pantheist, since that is a broad term that can apply to a wide variety of religious experiences. but the "-ism" i most relate to varies over time. the most influential over time have been so-called gnosticism, taoism, hinduism, & various western pagan traditions.

just curious about the experiences of others.

jf
 

elder999

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so i'm wondering how many people here are spiritually eclectic, what traditions do you draw from, & how do you explain your position to others?

Ooh, what do you think? :lol:

This will actually take a bit more time than I have right now-needless to say, I'm quite the syncretist.....
 

Tez3

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Ooh, what do you think? :lol:

This will actually take a bit more time than I have right now-needless to say, I'm quite the syncretist.....

Have you seen the doc about that? :ultracool

Anyway us Jews aren't exclusionist...we just don't like people joining us!!
 

Nolerama

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I'm a C&E (Christmas and Easter) Catholic... The church near my parents' home has really tasty Jeez-its (I think they were green onion-flavored last year) and really shells out for the wine on those occasions...

Growing up, it's always been Family that came before religion, and beyond that the religion was mostly a social structure that served as a medium for friends to meet.

Anything outside of that was just too much work and probably caused too much stress for those within that community, so it wasn't pursued. Besides, my parents' parish is mostly first-generation Filipino-Americans and immigrants, and for a while they had a Polish priest with a heavy accent. I think the current priest is Brazilian, with a heavy accent.

That's ENTERTAINMENT. As against as I am towards organized religions, I always have a good chuckle at trying to point out those who are dead serious on the rituals, and those who are just there for show... all attempting, but ultimately failing, to understand the heavily-accented priest.
 

Tez3

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People think Judaism is an organised religion....oh no! it may well be the most disorganised one going lol! Really! it's very loosely organised but not on a proper scale like the Christians,we don't have any one head like the Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury, each congregation is basically on its own though could be affliliated to others. For every one Jew you will have at least two opinions.
 

Nolerama

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People think Judaism is an organised religion....oh no! it may well be the most disorganised one going lol! Really! it's very loosely organised but not on a proper scale like the Christians,we don't have any one head like the Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury, each congregation is basically on its own though could be affliliated to others. For every one Jew you will have at least two opinions.


I wish people of all religions could say the same thing.
 
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jarrod

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People think Judaism is an organised religion....oh no! it may well be the most disorganised one going lol!

lately i've been studying discordianism, which prides itself on a lack of organization. not content with having no pope, they make every discordian a pope!

tez, as our resident jew, let me ask you...is there generally a conflict between being jewish & adhering to other religious practices? could you be a buddhist jew for instance? like you suggested, i'm sure it would vary according to congregation & even individual, but give us a general idea please.

jf
 
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I'm a C&E (Christmas and Easter) Catholic... The church near my parents' home has really tasty Jeez-its (I think they were green onion-flavored last year) and really shells out for the wine on those occasions...

Growing up, it's always been Family that came before religion, and beyond that the religion was mostly a social structure that served as a medium for friends to meet.

Anything outside of that was just too much work and probably caused too much stress for those within that community, so it wasn't pursued. Besides, my parents' parish is mostly first-generation Filipino-Americans and immigrants, and for a while they had a Polish priest with a heavy accent. I think the current priest is Brazilian, with a heavy accent.

That's a lot like what my family in the Philippines does. The religion is as much a social network and calender of communal events as it is an iron clad theological prerogative. I could imagine the same goes for a large number of other places.
I find that in such communities, eclecticism occurs when members encounter new religious beliefs that they personally like. For example, my mother is a Roman Catholic (gets upset if I don't also answer Roman Catholic on my census) and yet she's a big Dalai Lama fan and believes in reincarnation.
Oh yeah, on the subject of eclectic religions. What about Baha'i?
 

elder999

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lately i've been studying discordianism, which prides itself on a lack of organization. not content with having no pope, they make every discordian a pope!
jf


To diverse gods
Do mortals bow;
Holy Cow, and
Wholly Chao.


The human race will begin solving it's [sic] problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously.—Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, page 00074

Hail Eris! Hail!Hail!

:lol:

(consult your pineal gland, young man... ) :lfao:
 
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jarrod

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i just got my copy of principia discordia, & it makes at least as much sense as any other holy document.

hail eris!

jf
 

Andrew Green

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lately i've been studying discordianism, which prides itself on a lack of organization. not content with having no pope, they make every discordian a pope!

tez, as our resident jew, let me ask you...is there generally a conflict between being jewish & adhering to other religious practices? could you be a buddhist jew for instance? like you suggested, i'm sure it would vary according to congregation & even individual, but give us a general idea please.

jf

There is a "Jews for Jesus" or something like that around here... I decided not to ask questions.
 

Makalakumu

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Bring me the golden apple and their highest mysteries on top of the pyramid.

Io Pan Io Pan Pan Io Pangenitor Io Panphage!

Maybe Eris too if I feel really naughty.
 

Tez3

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lately i've been studying discordianism, which prides itself on a lack of organization. not content with having no pope, they make every discordian a pope!

tez, as our resident jew, let me ask you...is there generally a conflict between being jewish & adhering to other religious practices? could you be a buddhist jew for instance? like you suggested, i'm sure it would vary according to congregation & even individual, but give us a general idea please.

jf

You can be a Jewish Buddhist quite easily, I know of some or anything else you want, we have atheist Jews too.
People think being Jewish is about religion, it's not, it's about being a race so you can go off and believe what you like or nothing at all.
Under UK law we are recognised as being a race not a religion therefore it's illegal to discriminate aginst us on racial grounds. It's also recognised gentically that we are a race hence big campaigns in our communities to get tested for Tay-Sachs disease, an illness passed on genitically to Jewsih people no others.
Jews for Jesus are people who either started out as Christians or who have turned to Christainity and have decided they know whats best for everyone, here they will target Jewish primary schools (age 4-11 and open to all faiths, Muslims parents like sending their children to Jewish schools believe it or not) where they will harrass the children. Several schools have restraining orders on them.
The other problem with Jews converting to Christianity is that they will consider it a career and a very well known convert to Catholism not only became a priest he went on to be an archbishop!
Jewish children are taught 'why' as their first word and the way Jews study what you'd call the Old Testament is to question and argue, always looking for meaning. There are many, many commentaries and much discussion!
 
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jarrod

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well, yes, but i mean could you be a religious jew as well as a religious buddhist? & are you saying that judaism isn't viewed as a religion at all in the UK? sorry to ask so many quesitons, modern judaism is probably the mainstream religion i'm least familiar with.

i have a friend who "converted" to being jewish, but doesn't go to temple or profess faith in any god. so i'm not sure what it means to her (or to natural born jews, for that matter). really i think she just misses new york.

jf
 

Tez3

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well, yes, but i mean could you be a religious jew as well as a religious buddhist? & are you saying that judaism isn't viewed as a religion at all in the UK? sorry to ask so many quesitons, modern judaism is probably the mainstream religion i'm least familiar with.

i have a friend who "converted" to being jewish, but doesn't go to temple or profess faith in any god. so i'm not sure what it means to her (or to natural born jews, for that matter). really i think she just misses new york.

jf

I imagine you can be a religious Jew and a Buddhist, can't see why not but I think one religion is possible enough for most people lol! Judaism is both a religion and a race here and in many places in Europe.
Converting to Judaism takes at least five years and is a lot of work, you have to live with an observant family for a while, pass exams and all sorts. I doubt your friend has converted shes just decided she wants to be Jewish, odd but each to their own. One reason converting is so hard and we don't go out to convert people is that we can never imagine why people would want to join us!
I tend to avoid convertees of any religion as they are all so keen!

To know what being Jewish means to people born Jewish you'd have to ask them all, we all have different ideas about it. I can only answer for myself and that will take a long time to write out lol!
 

Bill Mattocks

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Anyway us Jews aren't exclusionist...we just don't like people joining us!!

My Jewish friend tells me that Jews don't have a problem with Jesus. They just think he was a nice Jewish boy who got mixed up in politics.

Of course, he also claims to be a "Jehovah's Bystander." He says he is pretty sure something happened, but he doesn't want to get involved.
 
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jarrod

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Converting to Judaism takes at least five years and is a lot of work, you have to live with an observant family for a while, pass exams and all sorts. I doubt your friend has converted shes just decided she wants to be Jewish, odd but each to their own.

i think her mother went through the official conversion process & she's claiming conversion by proxy. or something. i really don't know, she's an odd bird.

All Hail Discordia!

No hotdogs on Friday!

Fnord.

Here are some photos from the last Devival I attended:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wigwam/sets/72157603288701822/

We hold our religious ceremonies in bars and bowling alleys.

looks like fun! now, is it no hotdogs on friday, or compulsory hotdogs on friday but no buns? i'm confused (hey, discordianism works!)

& who is john galt?

jf
 

Tez3

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My Jewish friend tells me that Jews don't have a problem with Jesus. They just think he was a nice Jewish boy who got mixed up in politics.

Of course, he also claims to be a "Jehovah's Bystander." He says he is pretty sure something happened, but he doesn't want to get involved.

He should have listened to his mother!! All she wanted was for him to settle down with a nice Jewish girl and have grand kids for her to spoil. It's not much to ask, she spent the best years of her life on him and does he call, oi, she could be dead for all he cares, and those friends of his, all that gallivanting and does he do a miracle for her? would it hurt to cure her bunions? bread and fish? what sort of meal is that for a growing boy ( a son is always a boy even if he's over 40 or even 50) etc etc etc lol!
 

Flea

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Jewish children are taught 'why' as their first word and the way Jews study what you'd call the Old Testament is to question and argue, always looking for meaning. There are many, many commentaries and much discussion!
Going out on a limb with several hairline cracks here ... and I invite mod intervention if you feel it's warranted. I discovered that aspect of Judaism when watching a movie called The Believer. It's a very ugly film about a nice Jewish boy who breaks so far away from his childhood faith that he becomes a violent neo-nazi. There's a scene where he browses in a Jewish bookstore looking at volume after volume of ancient law and discussion dismissing it all as "stupid." Reading over his shoulder as a member of the audience, I was deeply touched at the level of sincerity and devotion that went into such a deep analysis of scripture.

(If you want a first-rate exploration of the politics and psychology of hate, this movie would be it. It was very hard for me to stomach as a person of conscience. Not for children.)

At any rate, I'm eclectic myself. I count myself a Unitarian-Wiccan-Buddhist. The shift from mainline Protestant started as teenage rebellion when I attended a local UU church. Once I was there, it felt like Home. Then in college, Wicca reached out to me. It's a long story and I won't bore people here with it ... but we had a campus group and I became very active. For a while we even had a prison ministry for a tiny group of inmates at a federal facility. That was quite the experience - it was really gratifying to reach out to people in need like that, but I don't think the prison environment is for me. Way too much angst.

After college, I went through a period of great stress in my life. It's the classic conversion scenario - I called out to the Universe for help. Kwan Yin walked into my living room, handed me a gift, and disappeared with a poof. I found out later that having visions is a very un-Buddhist thing, but no matter. It did its job by pulling me through.

There are some points where the three faiths contradict each other, but I consider it a bonus because it forces me to think critically. What would ___ do? :uhyeah: Also, to me a major definition of faith it that it has the power (grace?) to transcend reason. My primary allegience shifts back and forth from one path to another depending on what's happening in my life. I've been predominantly Buddhist lately because there are several excellent sanghas in my city, but the nearest coven requires a small road trip. There's a UU church within walking distance, but this particular one doesn't really speak to me. I make the trip for the major Sabbats though. It's also fun to have that many more holidays. Just that many more excuses to party. :)
 

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