newprotest.org: SHIFTING RELIGION

SHIFTING RELIGION

May 23, 2008
by: jovial_cynic
I've got two religion sections on my site - one is titled religion is under the "criticism" category of my site, and is a list of criticisms of mainstream western Christianity, and the other is titled theology and it sits under my "projects" heading. The theology section is a study of the Christian text, and is meant to open up a dialogue about how the text can be understood.

I have to shuffle some of the articles around, because once upon a time, I just threw every post that had anything to do into the religion category -- that was before the theology post existed. Eventually, I plan to fully enable some tagging onto my posts, so the categories will be less limiting.


Also, sorry for the lack of posts recently. My new job has kept me pretty busy lately, and since I write most of my blog posts while at work (shame on me, I know, I know), the blog has taken a hit.
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COMMENTS for SHIFTING RELIGION


Kristen said:
I might have missed it...how has your job changed?

RYC-Yep, they say the lush hair is a combo of prenatal vitamins and pregnancy hormones. :)

May 23, 2008


jovial_cynic said:
Kristen - a couple of months ago, I moved out of the web/communications department and into the underwriting department. I'm a fire underwriter, currently training on how to underwrite rental dwelling policies, but I think I'll end up learning to underwrite all kinds of business policies. It's a different world on this side of the building. And it's all production work, as opposed to project work... which is less exciting for me, but cranking through insurance policies does make the days go by quickly, which is nice.
May 23, 2008


Mark said:
May I suggest reading Joseph Campbells "The Power of Myth". He was a professor of comparative religions and the author of many books including "The Hero With 1000 Faces". The Power of Myth was a PBS series where he was interviewed by Bill Moyers. I have a copy of it (book and DVD) but I am loath to give it up because books and DVD's never seem to make their way back to me. My most recent missing examples was Gore Vidals "Lincoln", and Robert Caros "Master of the Senate", probably the greatest piece of political biography I have ever read. And the longest too. I thought my sister in law would appreciate it since one of the focus' of the book was the struggle for civil rights. 4 years running and I still have not seen it. You can ask Suzanne about the book. I think she was impressed by it.
May 23, 2008


The Conservative Manifesto said:
Speaking of religion.
May 23, 2008


jovial_cynic said:
Mark - I'll have to take a look at it. I've got quite a few books on my reading list, though...

TCM - thanks for the reminder. I'll go follow up.

May 23, 2008


Mark said:
This is a taste from the DVD/book on the virgin birth:

MOYERS; What about the virgin birth? Sudenly the Goddess reappears in the form of the chaste and pure vessell chosen for God's action.

CAMPBELL: In the history of Western religions, this is an extremely interestig development. In the Old Testament, you have a God who creates a world without a goddess. Then when you come to Proverbs, there she is, Sophia, the Godess of Wisdon, who say, "When He created the world, I was there, and I was His greatest joy." But the Hebrew tradition the idea of a son of God is repulsive, it is not considered at all. The Messiah as the son of God is not actually God's son. He is the one who in his character and dignity is worthy to be likened to the son of God. The virgin birth comes into Christianity by the way of the Greek tradition.

ME: Hercules for example.

CAMPBELL: When you read the four gospels, for example, the only one in which the birgin birth appears is the Gospel According to Luke, and Luke was a Greek.

MOYERS: Bus what is the meaning of the virgin birth?

CAMPBELL: I think the best way to answer that is to talk about a system they have in India that describes the stages of spiritual development. In India there is a system of seven phychological centers of the spine. The first is at the rectum, which represents alimentation, the basic life sustaining function.

ME: He means eating. The essence of life it to kill and then eat life in order to sustain life. The serpent eating its own tails is a commen symbol.

May 24, 2008


Mark said:
continued:

CAMPBELL: The second is the sex organs, or the urge to procreation. The third is the naval, and here is the center of the will to power, to mastery and achivement. The third is an agressive function. All three are symbolicaly centered in the pelvic basin.

The fourth is at the level of theheart, and this is the opening to compassion.... It happens when you awaken at the levelof the heart to compassion, shared suffering, experienced participation in the suffering of another person. The beginning of humanity. And the meditations of religion properly are on the level.

MOYERS: You say that's the beginning of humanity. But in the stories, thats the moment when gods are born. The virgin birth - it's a god who emerges.

CAMPBELL: And do you know who that god is? All of these symbols in mythology refer to you. So you're thinking about Jesus with all the sentiments relevat to how he sufered. But that suffering is what ought to be going on in you. Have you been spiritually reborn. Have you died to your animal nature and come to life as a human incarnation of compassion?

May 24, 2008


Mark said:
So what he is saying here is that in the early stages of life you give into your animal insticts. Children usually dont think of other, but when you become spiritually compassionate, you are reborn. The first birth is physical and the second is spiritual, hence a virgin birth.

In the Jewish tradition 31 is considered the age of assention. Coincidently, this is when Jesus started his ministry. So the mythology would suggest that he experienced a sprititual/virgin birth.

Sorry for the length, I just thought you might find it interesting. I have read probably 200 non fiction books. This one goes in my top 2, number one for religion, by a mile.

May 24, 2008


jovial_cynic said:
Mark - I thought that the author's name sounded familiar. I've watched a documentary where he explains this stuff. Incidentally, I disagree with him on nearly all of his interpretations. I think that clumping all religions together forces you to ignore the exclusivity of Judaism and Christianity. Campbell seems quite comfortable picking the parts of various religions that support his claim and ignoring the parts that discredit it, and I find that to be intellectually dishonest. Or ignorant.
May 27, 2008


The Conservative Manifesto said:
"...I write most of my blog posts while at work (shame on me, I know, I know)..."

Haha. We all do it, you are just one of the few brave/honest enough to admit it.

=)

May 30, 2008


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