Oh. My. GOD.

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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  Fermin Liu on Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:38 am

What do you think is main difference between cult and religion?

Love the question! Laughing When I hear the word 'cult,' I often think of a covenant--witchcraft and the way pop culture has portrayed cults with unusual rituals. Yet, to me, a cult is something that is more like a family than religion is. Like you said, many religions were established so long ago that they are part of history, that they ARE history. So, I perceive religions as more like firm laws and beliefs that people kind of acknowledge (even if they have their own inner doubts and disbeliefs) as part of a culture or a something that is so essential of a part of the world. Thus, maybe the main difference is what you have already pointed out--religions are more historically influential with certain practices and rituals that have been passed down for ages, whereas cults seem to be more recent and more specific (less broad than religion), and sometimes even more unbelievable and extreme. Laughing

On dictionary.com, one of the definitions for 'cult' is the following: a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. On the other hand, most of the definitions for 'religion' are encapsulated by this following one: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Thus, it does seem like religion is much bigger than a cult--like Christianity involves Roman Catholicism, Protestants, and Lutherans, and many sub groups under these main three branches--which makes religion really broad. For cults, they tend to seem more ritualistic with a lot of symbols--Paganism--and they seem to not be as influential as religion in terms of the government and politics of any era in history. Very Happy

Even with their differences, I think that both cults and religions have certain rituals, morals, and fundamental beliefs that followers commit to, and in this way, both things call for faith. For Christians, we believe in that God is the only God in the world, that Jesus is His son, and we follow the Ten Commandments and try to be more like Christ with our Bible studies, church sermons, prayers, etc. For Wiccans or Pagans, they believe in the five elements of the natural world, they too chant and have their own prayers, and they follow the rule of the good witch of not hurting other witches without the others hurting them first. Very Happy All this is because they have passion, devotion, and faith in these set of beliefs and rituals that someone or something established a long time ago. And this leads to the question of blind faith...

Well, if you can't see the unicorn, how can you know that it's a unicorn and not the Loch Ness monster?

Most religions and cults seem to make sense logically with the need to believe a little without proof. That's like the law of attraction and the secret in some ways, you can't really prove it, but somehow you just HAVE to BELIEVE it wholeheartedly for it to work. And when you DO believe and it DOES work, you associate correlation with causation. But how do you know it was really YOUR god that bestowed the gift upon you? How does anyone know? For instance, I'm Catholic, and thus, I believe in God and Jesus Christ. There is much sense and logic in that belief because how else do we explain the creation of this earth if it wasn't due to a Higher Being--God? There is also faith--believing that God is good and loves us while we see disasters happening all the time. And those two elements basically constitute religions and cults--we do the rituals and pray because we have faith that our gods are going to favor us, and we think it is all so logical because why else would we be created for...to suffer? Laughing

That leads to your third question...Gosh, it's so cool how one answer leads to the next answer in this really coherent way! Smile Nice, Hannah! Laughing

Can there ever be a religion without it having to scare it's followers with pain and suffering if they don't behave in this life?

I really want to say "yes, there is" because I'm just extremely positive and I want to believe the best of religions, but I think that the right answer may actually be "NO." How else will people believe and obey without punishments? Like laws for murder, if people didn't get punished in Hell or in some other way for not believing in God or not being morally righteous, then who would actually go through all the trouble to be GOOD? Laughing Hmmm... But I'm pretty sure some people still would, so give me a little bit of time to think about this more deeply? I'll be back in two hours or eight! Laughing Smile Very Happy
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  Hannah Park on Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:28 pm

If the mind and soul are separate, and when we die the soul goes somewhere else (reincarnates, goes to heaven, whatever you believe in) where does the mind go?
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  John on Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:12 pm

Hannah Park wrote:If the mind and soul are separate, and when we die the soul goes somewhere else (reincarnates, goes to heaven, whatever you believe in) where does the mind go?

The soul is the memory for all that you are, your essence. The mind is an aspect of that. The mind is always a part of the soul and goes with it, as I see it naturally.

John
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  Fermin Liu on Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:27 pm

The soul is the memory for all that you are, your essence. The mind is an aspect of that. The mind is always a part of the soul and goes with it, as I see it naturally.

John,

I had never really though of the mind in that way--something that is part of essence and thus, will never die. Very Happy When I first read Hannah's question, I thought "the mind will of course just die with the body because the mind or the ego-mind is only something that we develop when our energy is encaged in a physical embodiment." But then after reading what you wrote, I understand that the mind--the one that you're talking about--is not the superficial, classifying, scientific mind. It is rather the INTUITION--if the soul is the memory or Essence of what we are--the inner being inside of us (the gut-feeling) that makes us just KNOW certain things.

Therefore, this 'mind' or intuition is the reason for cellular memory and deja vu. Because we can REMEMBER with our souls and intuition our past lives, past life regression is possible. Very Happy

But to the general question...

If the mind and soul are separate, and when we die the soul goes somewhere else (reincarnates, goes to heaven, whatever you believe in) where does the mind go?

If we are talking about the classicist mind that functions to help us survive on the physical plane and can sometimes go into overdrive, I think that this mind simply 'dies' like our physical body. Like how our senses die when the body dies, the mind, which is essentially a part of the physical, also dies when the physical embodiment of energy is shedded. Yet, when our energy reincarnates into another physical form, the physical form will then again develop a mind or consciousness to fit its survival needs in the physical world. Thus, if the body does not go anywhere when it dies, I think neither does the mind--they simply transform on the energy level into energy of another frequency.

So, does that mean that trees also have minds to help them with surviving--to accomplish the processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis? In the case of how seeds need the RIGHT environmental conditions to start sprouting, can this be a reaction that is processed through the mind--that the mind classififes if the conditions are just right--or is this more of a reflex (something of the body that doesn't have much to do with the mind)? Laughing Smile Very Happy
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  John on Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:23 pm

I make a distinction between the brain and the mind.

The brain has a left and right hemiphere. Left is logical and the right is intuitive. As I see it, this is like the core memory of a computer. When the power is on, it is active. Its purpose is to process information that is brought to its attention from a focus.

The mind is like the hard drive. After the body dies, when the power is off, it works with its essence to set up another lifetime and continue it evolution of physical form. I see the mind as the human consciousness. It moves from lifetime to lifetime.

John
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  Andy.S on Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:24 pm

Oh my, you are indeed very wise Mr.John

In one of my psychology print-up packets, it proposes the same idea/implantation as you did.
Man. You have just summarized half a dozen page worth of information into a few sentences. Very impressive.

Also, this idea generally bases off the dualistic view (mind not identical to brain/soul not identical to brain).
Its easy to agree with what John just said since most of us believe in Universal Being..etc, but still... I think we should also question the other perspective (The monolistic view is the exact opposite) because this "debate" thing for mono/dual started a long time ago. Maybe we can synthesize the two points of views to make things a lot clearer?
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  Hannah Park on Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:20 pm

Suppose I invent a religion, and I'm inventing it for no other reason but social control. What would be the point in making people wear the same type of underwear? How does that benefit me in the slightest?


(Sikhs have to wear a specific type of underwear as part of their religion...How does that strengthen the sense of community, when it isn't even visible? Or is it about tradition...)
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Re: Oh. My. GOD.

Post  Fermin Liu on Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:48 am

(Sikhs have to wear a specific type of underwear as part of their religion...How does that strengthen the sense of community, when it isn't even visible? Or is it about tradition...)

Underwear...hmmm...that's a very interesting way of looking at religions' rituals and practices! Laughing Like wearing a cross around your neck, I think that the underwear provides a sense of security and protection to the believers who wear it. This is so in that because they have to wear it according to the commandments of the religion, they feel as though they are obeying their god by wearing this specific kind of underwear, and that by doing so, their god will then favor and bless them in return. Therefore, even though the underwear is clearly not visible in public, it makes the wearer feel safe and good about him or herself because this is a demonstration of the person's faith that is more tangible than simply saying that he or she believes. And when a whole community of people believing in the same religion thinks that they have done a good job in following their god, this will definitely strengthen the community as a whole. People will start to feel good about themselves--no longer doubting their own faith--and they will not fear anyone else's accusations of them being a hypocrite or unbeliever because they will have the underwear to prove it. Laughing Smile Very Happy

Really, a pair of underwear is just the same as a Bible or a rosary--they are all just symbols or tokens of the god one believes in. People carrying these tokens around will feel closer to their god, and thus, feel a sense of protection and power that is shielding them from the evils as described in their religions.

However, why would the person that 'invented' the religion want everyone to wear the same type of underwear? Isn't this then a show of power--a sign of authority and conformity in having people conform to ONE's laws and ideas? The law of 'one must wear silver underwear or whichever type of underwear' will then be a way to control believers through their fears. The believers will think that since it is a law, "If I don't wear the underwear, then something bad will definitely happen! This is why it was made into a decree...to protect me! Because God wants to protect me from the dangers of the world!" Thus, even though the silver underwear will not benefit the inventor of the religion directly, it will, however, give him or her control over the people. He or she will soon understand that as long as the laws are made in the name of god, the people will follow. "And thus, I can get them to do whatever I want by making religious laws! Muahahahahaha!" Laughing Smile Very Happy
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