Spirituality vs. Fundamentalism

Exploring teachings and beliefs associated with Spirituality and Fundamentalism

How Humans Began October 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Claire @ 9 p Sunday

This week we are to highlight a related blog and provide commentary on a post of the blog that demonstrates the work provided. I will be highlighting a post by Ichabod, titled: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Was the First One, Otherwise None of Us Would Be Here. The blog itself centers around the ideas of the “beginning of humanity, faith, life, religion, and thoughts”. It was an interesting post commenting on how our race began as simply as we continue, with procreation between man and woman. They continue with ideas concerning females’ own original ignorance of the fact we were containing the future of our world. But, they end with a theory that our world is a continuing cycle and the present is the past and vice versa, thus neither a beginning nor an end.

This is an interesting blog, though for myself as a historian and anthropologist in ‘training’, I find that theory hard to believe. Ignorance never occurred on such a level that women did not know when they were pregnant and how to proceed with birthing, etc. We are hardwired to biologically reproduce and know how to do so intelligibly. Though, as mentioned in the blog, there were no modern hospitals and quick medical solutions to maintain the health of the offspring. But all of those are menial in comparison to the natural response a mother has when she is pregnant. This is the same as many view faith and religion. These are continuing cycles of beliefs; many are innate to our consciousness because of how we were raised and what we innately believe of the world and God. Faith and religion is a continuing cycle, meaning the core beliefs; however, how and where we practice them changed throughout history.

The blog provided an interesting idea that our world and our existence in this world is a cycle with no beginning or end. This is quite true in how our world recovers and reproduces to sustain itself, as we humans do as well. Our bodies are continuously fighting off diseases, viruses, etc., maintaining a cycle of contraction then healing. We also reproduce to continue our genes and maintain our foothold in this world. Religion is a center for many lives, making us strive for new levels of understanding at times. It allows us to think beyond ourselves into something not quite understood, but many devoutly believe exists. As humans, we are constantly recreating ourselves in our beliefs, once again maintaining the cycle of our world. Overall, the blog is quite ingenious in how it seems to question the idea of how humans evolved, with a conclusiong that perhaps life is a continuous cycle.

 

 

Work Cited

Ichabod, The Greatest Many Who Ever Lived Was the First One, Otherwise None of Us Would Be Here. In Life, October 26, 2008

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Philosophy According to a Modern Theorist October 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Claire @ 5 p Sunday

The following video is of Ken Wilber, a modern philosophical theorist. It is quite interesting.

The following are books that might interest you by Ken Wilber:

The Integral Vision: A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe and Everything (this has great reviews on Amazon.com)

and

Integral Life Practice: a 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clairty, and Spiritual Awakening (this recieved great reviews as well on Amazon.com)

 

Christians Attacked in Mosul October 12, 2008

In the blogroll to the right of this post is a link to a Seattle Times article discussing attacks against Christians by Extremists in Mosul. Read the article before proceeding to the following blog commentary.

 

According to this article, Christians are being persecuted because they want a political position, even if minute, for the upcoming elections. Since they have been residents of that country for over a thousand years, they have that right. There is no known religion who the extremists represent, but there is a predominant belief they are Islamic extremists based on amount of crimes they commit against Christians since the invasion. However, the extremists believe it should be their government, perhaps based on ancient land disputes over religious contextualized landmarks.

 

Every religion has been persecuted throughout our world’s history, thus nothing is new with this scenario. However, with invasions such as our own in Iraq, we have instigated and inflamed many problems. Stereotypes set against why the ‘middle east’ hates us are many. The most popular being we represent democracy. Therefore many are surprised when religion becomes the focus, especially the religious territories the Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe belong to them. Since fundamentalist beliefs garner such strong views of ownership, modern day practice of killing for such beliefs has become common. Christians are being killed because they represent a minority that is in the way for the extremist belief of Islamic majority. As a country and culture, we must understand that these fundamentalist extremist groups are not representative of the whole. The majority of Islamic people revile those who belong to such groups because, through the discourse of western media, they become the focus and representation of a culture’s/countries views.

 

According to the article, the Islamic extremists have targeted Christians since the United States Invaded Iraq in 2003. This may be linked to either territorial persecutions or the perception that Christians represent the dreaded Christian United States. It will never be truly understood why religion plays such a large role in how we persecute others. Throughout history, it is known to be the true sword with which to smite the enemies who are innate sinners because they do not follow the fundamental doctrines of majority’s country and culture. It is a very powerful instigator and excuse for crimes. This article demonstrates this opinion based on the amount of killing committed in the name of religion and politics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connection to One’s Self October 1, 2008

 

 

 

Spirituality is a personal journey or belief a person undertakes. This can be tied with religion or an individualistic ideal where one has ‘faith’, but does not conform to the doctrines and rules of religion. Many who follow spirituality are those who prefer self-meditation as opposed to community-oriented practices. Many associate spirituality with those who embrace the earth and devote their lives to the basic natural elements from which they derive meaning.

 

Unlike many religions, spirituality pertains to personal growth and understanding, in comparison to religion in which the focus is personal growth in the context of becoming closer to God. Though God is the focus of both types of devotion, spirituality is a lesser and unstructured form. There are supporters to both groups; it usually depends on life experiences that lead to the singular choice of which to follow. Others are born into the religion and follow those ingrained beliefs because it is familiar and comforting.

Through research conducted on the web, I have found several types of spiritualist groups should it interest the readers of this blog. The NWSA or National Women’s Studies Association has a page on feminist spirituality that discusses festivals and rituals, celebrations, meeting summaries, etc. The National Spiritualist Association of Churches gives an idea of what the Spiritualist Church entails. This excerpt was taken from the main page of the NSAC:

 

“NSAC …The object of this Society is to effect a complete organization of the Spiritualists of the United States of America into one general association … for the advancement of those purposes, undertakings and enterprises germane to the study of the phenomena, the promotion of the Science, and the promulgation of the Philosophy and Religion of Spiritualism.

Spiritualism is the Science, Philosophy, and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World.”

 

The following are books that might interest those wanting to learn more about spirituality:

***Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind by Roger Walsh

This book has great reviews and compares many religions, such as Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Christianity, etc. It explores how they are connected through various aspects.

***A History of Christian Spirituality: An Analytical Introduction (The Library of Episcopalian Classics) by Urban Tigner Holmes and Urban T. Holmes

 

This book delves deeper into the differing spiritualities of the Christian God.

 

Work Cited

National Spiritualist Association of Churches. (NSAC) New York. 2004-2008

http://www.nsac.org/