Tuesday, 16 June 2009

No Religions?

I am not eclectic when it comes to my religion; I like mine "tribal". But looking at the multitude of religious systems, attitudes, practices, and beliefs today, do we really have more to fight about than learn?

From Christianity, I learnt about loving others as one would love oneself.

From Islam, I learnt that sometimes you just have to let things go and trust in the bigger picture.

From Judaism, I learnt that a small man or a small tribe can stand the test of time, amidst rising and falling civilisations, as long as you know who you are.

From Buddhism, I learnt that everything is in flux; things come and go, be prepared to move on.

From Hinduism, I learnt that the universe has many arms and many faces that come from a single body.

From Taoism, I learnt that opposites need not oppose; harmony is a better option.

From philosophical systems such as Confucianism, I learnt that devotion to family and country can provide peace and order.

From the Stoics, I learnt that there is no fundamental 'evil' - only people who are ignorant of how to do things right.

From established nature religions such as Shinto, I learnt that our surroundings are not gifts; they are our siblings.

From the myriad of tribal religions, I learnt of how small we are in a big world and why it is needed that we realise this fact whenever we feel too arrogant.

From the rising number of reconstructionist religions such as Hellenismos and Asatru, I learnt that we have so much to learn from the past, perhaps even more than today.

From atheism, I learnt that you do not need to believe in anything to make things work; y
ou just work it.

From agnosticism, I learnt of philosophical coolness - that we can never know God or the universe fully, so why go crazy over the unknowable? Take it easy; chill.

And from many others, so many other things.

None of these things are exclusive; all are human attitudes. Pondering on this, I have often told others: maybe there are no religions; only religion in many forms.


  1. I have given up on religion a long time ago. But if I had the chance to revive my spiritual existence, I would pick Buddhism because they have an enomous respect for life.

  2. You are indeed my spiritual rudder. I share your wisdom with religions. Thanks.

  3. Ken: I gave up on the "institution" a long time ago but I didn't feel a need to give up on the "experience" itself. And yes, Buddhism has that enormous respect. I am inspired by it everyday.

    Knox: Thank you, kuya; and welcome. I'll try to live up to that, hehe.

  4. Buddhism is not about rejecting the material world to rationalize impermanence. We strive to accept the world as it is and to accept the impermanent nature of conditioned existence. We are not anti-materialists!

  5. Perhaps you misunderstand me. I don't think I said anything about Buddhism being anti-materialist (though, probably, some are). In fact, I think your view reaffirms mine. I've accepted the "impermanence of conditioned existence" thus I don't attach myself to material things beyond necessity, ie: I love my camera, but if I lose it, I get sad but move on.

    Thanks for dropping by. Come by often. :)

  6. hahaha. perhaps we are just misunderstanding each other. most schools of buddhist thought would have you inquire into the causes of the sadness and have you use sadness as the path and also why you see yourself as able to not attach yourself to material things beyond necessity (since you are an inextricable part of materiality itself). buddhism is not psychic resignation or "detachment" from materiality (beyond necessity or otherwise). it is quite the opposite. I am not an expert in the historiography of buddhist translation, but i suspect the Christian asceticism that haunts misunderstands of Buddhist materialism came from the 18th and 19th century projects of translation -- we have the same problem with misunderstandings regarding karma suddenly resembling the concept of Christian sin!

  7. You have just enlightened me. I must've been reading the wrong books on Buddhism, hehe. Are you Zen or ...? So how would you rephrase what I wrote above to fit actual Buddhist teachings? :)

  8. Oh, and I think we're on the same page re: being an inextricable part of materiality. Many pagans believe that "spirit" and "matter" are woven into each other.

  9. heheh. no I'm not Zen. Shangpa Kagyu school of Budhdism is my school although my formal study of Buddhism extended far beyond the canonical texts taught in that lineage. Let's see, if I were to rephrase (pretending to know what you meant or what you have learned or pretending I can adequately capture Buddhism in one sentence):

    From Buddhism, I learned that conditioned existence is suffering and believing in unconditioned, inherent self-existence is one of the causes of that suffering. (? sounds awkward)

  10. Haha! Thanks, line of flight. I'll try to understand that chunk of wisdom first before I rephrase it for a wider audience.

    What I wanted to say was, something like, "let go of the unnecessary". But perhaps that's not general Buddhism, no?

  11. for myself, a Buddhist question would be: "why do i perceive this as unnecessary?"

  12. Is this Drin from FF?

    This is Benj from Atheista.net

    PEXER karin pala. hehe

  13. line of flight: Alas, I have so much to learn from Buddhism, still. Thanks, eh!

    Benj: Yes, it's me. And yes, I'm a Pexer. Ikaw rin? [Duh, I suppose so.] :)

  14. my friend who practices both buddhism and christianity said that it's so simple. just be a good person and everythings going to be ok.