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Author Topic: Is religion born out of culture?  (Read 25070 times)
Princess Tracey
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« on: April 19, 2003, 08:20:33 PM »

Religion: Belief in a reverence for a supernatural power accepted as the creator and govenor of the universe.  A specific unified system of this expression <the Buddhist religion>.  The spiritual or emotional attitude of one who recognizes the exhistance of superhuman powers.  An objective pursued with fervor or conscientious devotion.
~websters dictionary~

I sis have pondered this often as I find miself pondering many things of this nature.  Being raised a Christian and being subjected to the typical hypocrisies of "the church"...I have for a long time been turned off by the "system" of organized religion, and reject it's institutional like harness on the minds of free thinking people to think for themselves without some kind of mediator between I self and God..using fear and guilt as a tactical means to keep it's people mentally and spiritually conditioned and bound for it's own self(ish) interests.

question: Is this a "religion" I reject? Or the mindset of a cultural institution?

For I yolk and bind with the "MIND" of Christ...just not "the church"...or at least not the "Christian church"..

Yet, I find a deep and profound respect for any and all who seek the face of God through any means of true righteous principles and precepts...and certainly one would agree...that throughout all religions...basically the fundamentals are the same and eventually lead to the same (?) ...truth is truth and stands on it's own...we all are endowed with the Holy Spirit to sight truth and discern it when we hear it.  Most religions seem to have this at their core...it's just the man-made ways of achieving the various "righteous paths" is what seems to differ ..which then brings up various cultural roots that seem to birth the various religions.. are we bound by our culture, based upon our heritage?...How do religions now transcend their origins? Is Rastafari a religion?...if not...how does it differ?..is it birthed out of the culture of Ethiopia/Africa?
...must one believe in Haile Selassie as the Christ/spiritual figure head in order to be Rastafari?...How did the vows of Rastafari originate...and exactly what are they today?

So many questions...the water has certainly broken the dam...
I finally feel free to express here....smile...thanks be!

I have danced circles around Rastafari...it keeps calling to my heart, soul, and mind.. many times I have walked away
..feeling like I didn't belong...I cannot claim Ethiopia or Africa as my heritage...i have not suffered the struggles of my black brethren and sistren..repatriation to Africa is not an issue for me...I know little of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia, and the true relation to Rastafari...yet still it calls...above and beyond, and blows any other religion out of the water fe me....why??
...what is this profound connection??...what is this power of Rastafari over I?...and how does it call to many people like I self outside of the culture??...

Can we truly/rightfully be a part of it's sacred precepts in spite of?

please help a searching sis out

(forgive I fe droning on)

thanks be for fruitful reasonings and sightful loving bredren and sistren!


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Ayinde
Ayinde
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2003, 11:45:38 AM »

There are many points in your post worth developing so I will address a few at this time.

Although the dictionary gives a 'modern' definition of religion I prefer to go back to the 'root' of the word as it shows other points worth considering.

The term religion comes from two Latin words.

"RE" which means "BACK" and "LIGON" which means "to hold, to link, to bind."

In essence religion is the process of linking back, specifically, linking back to our original source.

Culture is all the things that bind people together and as such religion is intertwined with culture. However, the process for reconciling to the original source may not be part of the culture of a people and as history has demonstrated, this process was only realized by a few.

In the search for specific aspects of culture to apply appropriately to realize this goal, people should reject being forced to accept anything. They should also consider that trekking to the heavens is something they can do here and now while in this physical body.

Our greater ancestors knew, and some people today know themselves living in the heavens while on earth. Therefore transcending the limitations of the material world is achievable while on earth and in this human body.
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Princess Tracey
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2003, 04:40:59 PM »

Blessed reasonings Ayinde,

So then...with regards to religion..all roads eventually lead to the same destination/realization..as it is a path/way back to the original source of our creation...religion being a means to take you there..at least that is it's core premise...
hmmmm..
and yet, culture is SO interwoven into religious practices, which therefore leads me to think that religion "technically" speaking,  is something created of  "man"... his ways and means to seek the face of the Almighty through the various practices and sacrements within the context of his culture...

...culture also being a means that binds people together through geographical root and livity...therefore it cannot be helped but to be mixed in with the practices of any particular religion...especially now as we experiance globilization...and religions now taking on many diverse cultural influences

though "spiritually"...religion could be considered a path to realize truth...and could therefore transcend a culture that gave rise to some of the practices associated...(?)

Can man be religious without being a part of any religion?...finding his own pathway to enlightenment?

Is Rastafari a religion?


blessed reasonings


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Ayinde
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2003, 05:34:21 PM »

These are my views on this subject. Others may hold different views.

No, all roads do not lead to the ‘same’ destination. (I’ll expand on this a bit later) Some paths are good for exploration and realizing many more questions in the search for answers. This in itself is good. But many parts if not trekked carefully can lead to great disillusionment and dangerous conduct.

People have to ask the right questions as they traverse this earth and be prepared to act on the highest truths as they understand them in order that they be lead back to the original path from whence we came, only this time conscious of ourselves.

People can be very religious and not be part of any one concept of religion. Actually, I do not know anyone who have or can make this auspicious journey while holding on to any one of those mainstream 'religions'.

In this regard, Rasta is about living within the laws of nature and wisdoms derived from such a perilous search for one's divinity. I must add that this divinity should start from a search within that should lead to the inner higher divinity. Rasta is about consciously living in that interconnected state with oneself. It is a way of living rather than a blind belief system.

The journey to the highest state of Rasta encompasses a search for our divinity by traversing time and space through our ancestry of which the highest divinity is the essence of all of life.
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Ras_Joe
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2003, 10:12:50 AM »

Ayinde your reasoning is always uplifting, but I would just like to add from INI overstanding that Rasta is about oneness. Being one with INI higher self, nature and humanity. Living righteously, and acknowledging that INI walk is in the site of Jah. Yes, Rasta is Freedom.
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RasTalawa ben-Judah
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PeaceLoveInity, from the one true Jah


« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2003, 11:02:23 AM »

Seen Ayindhe...
The Kabbalah teaches that any aspiring mystic (by definition, one who tries to "see God" or feel his direct touch) must prepare for a path full of sorrow and heartache, and be prepared to mourn (see blessed are those who mourn in submitted articles) and face it with patience gentleness and longsuffering (working on Blessed are the meek...)

The Path is not an easy one, and if you find it easy to connect with your path and co-exist with society, then perhaps it is time to reasses your path...

May the Most High watch and protect you

PeaceLoveInity
RasTalawa of the tribe Judah
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May the Light of JAH shine through all who would seek HIM, for the Glory of HIS Kingdom, and may all men wish to seek HIM.
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Princess Tracey
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2003, 07:16:11 PM »

blessed reasonings...

yes bredda Ayinde...seen ...the many paths that do indeed lead to great illusion and disillusion are many...and as such, many are the "religious paths" that obscure true visions
of holiness in search of our divine selves in relation to the Almighty...yet to the true sincere heart that strives fe truth and overstandings, wisdom and knowledge, amongst the various paths...I would venture that in the end...life would once again meet it's true ONE source of creation...
consciousness being on many levels of progression...sincere heart booming on ONE... either it is...or isn't

Many people I know...who have chosen the various main stream religions...Islam, Christianity, Hindu, Sikh, etc...
are in fact...incredibly BEAUTIFUL people of whom  journey with such a genuine sweetness and heartical loving heart, who give of themselves to lift up bretheren and sistren through their chosen path...who am I to say wether they be on the right/wrong path? (seems to work for them) ?
though clearly fe many...it is a misty veil obscured by external influences.

I suppose one's journey is from the consciousness of the heart...and only there can it be determined...fe what is right fe one...so be it...that is what they choose and must live by the fruits thereof ...the realms of their own inna consciousness and overstandings made manifest...

As fe me, mainstream religions limit, as there is always A LINE as to HOW far one is WILLING to think...fear seemingly embedded deep in the roots...yet still, lovely are many spirits...and so must I embrace and love such and such irregardless...for judge not I,  lest I be judged.. but rather use judgement for my own overstandings within mine own walk...and listen with sincere honesty, reflecting pon what my own spirit/heart/mind guide I..which really has been a little something from ALL...I see Jah holy light in ALL...and when I hear it, see it, feel it...I resonate with it...irregardless the source from whence it came...even if it be but a blip that only peaks out from time to time...yet Rastafari resonates in such a way))))))...mere words do it no justice...it beats a riddum of it's own in my heartical heart..I yield...and dance effortlessly...opening up...inviting in....in spite of my thousand head questions.....a way of life that flows consciously with my loving inna being..

ya, the path to righteousness is not an easy one...is seen...for it flow counter-current to mainstream world thought systems ...ALL that have lived and stood for truth and justice bear testimony to that!!!


blessed love....blessed reasonings
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Princess Tracey
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2003, 08:13:47 PM »

Ras Tyehimba shared some good things on the general board today...this was one that fit nicely here....

"I don't observe any religious practice. I was born in the Hebrew religion, but I
don't practice the Hebrew religion, Christianity or Judaism."
"I practice my own interpretation. In my concept it includes a goddess and a
god. I have no religion by name. I have no affiliation to any religion, one is
as good as the other."

Dr Ben
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Ayinde
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2003, 01:33:54 PM »

When I speak of "the path", I am not speaking about the many paths people traverse towards "personal self-realization". Of course along these many paths there will always be good people. I am speaking about the path to self-reconciliation, to fly, to Absolute Unity with one’s inner higher self.

There are many who have the potential to become masters ‘with ONE’ after trekking their diverse paths.

Masters are not the people who experience bouts of euphoria but people who live in that state of harmonious bliss on a permanent basis, conscious of everything in the Universe while at the same time going through reasonable paces with others on this earthly plain.

People should develop to reach the state of self-elevation when one's personal self lifts off and makes contact with the inner universal self. When one does this one starts experiencing themselves functioning on all plains at the same time. This path takes one to heights where there are no illusions, where perceiving any one thing is always done in relation to the whole. This is the path that is unlike all other paths. This is the path to absolute unity.

This is religion at its highest. Where truth is sweet and freedom is unlike anything one can imagine on this earthly plain.

This is the reality that awaits those who diligently pursue righteousness. Of course, people need help and the developed ability to grasp many truths to climb this ladder. Many are already feeling that something is going to happen. Some are already getting these heightened anxiety feelings not like the regular anxiety attacks but new ones as if they are about to enter the unknown.

When a man or woman reaches that personal elevated state through maximizing their own goodness, only then are they ready for the path to absolute unity.

The path is clear, the experiences real but only for those who have made that decision to surrender all for their salvation/liberation. They must have the strength of character to put into practice every truth realized to reach the highest heights. They must be courageous.

And for those who CHOOSE this above every earthly desire, all their senses would be tested as they awaken. All the ideas of themselves will be tested as they confront new realizations. The preparation is the molding that is fashioning one for this great experience.

This is the path I speak of where all comes to one.

Yes, all of life goes back to the source but individual selves can only do this consciously. Many are evolving towards this state but there are still others who will not reach and will degenerate to become the building blocks for others who will reach CONSCIOUSLY.
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Princess Tracey
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2003, 02:54:43 PM »

dear bredda Ayinde....who are you??

certainly you must be an elder of about 200 yrs old
who live way up in the hills!...or an angel that come to meditate on high reasonings to help guide us wayward souls

thy wisdom do slay me....!

I sis pick-up the bits of mi brain off the ceiling and walls as you done smashed it into smitherines (again) with this holy manna of Jah Consciousness!...true missiles to the head!!

I have heard you referred to as a youthful student???

how can this be so?!

certainly these truths are gleaned from years and years of life experiances...

...but then Jah DO have his way....smile

do share some resources of inspiration....please?
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selassieilive
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2003, 03:42:13 PM »

Ras Tafari Greetings bredren
I will have to concur with Warrior Princess.  Give thanks for the wordsound.

Iron sharpens Iron!
selassieilive
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Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
John_Pancakes
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2003, 07:50:26 AM »

My opinion is that all religions are made up of "exteriors" and "interiors." The interiors are timeless and potent... what I feel constitutes real religion.

The exteriors to me are mainly cultural. For example, if one wanted to become a Buddhist, it is important to absorb and apply the interiors - meaning study of the Dhammapada and its ethics. What is not important is shaving your head, wearing robes and beads, and trying to make a statement with your exoticism. This is what Chogyam Trungpa called "spiritual materialism."

In my opinion, the exteriors of religion are clearly born of culture, the interiors are born of God.

Peace to you.
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RasTalawa ben-Judah
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PeaceLoveInity, from the one true Jah


« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2003, 10:10:51 AM »

Ayindhe,

This is a blessed topic...

Iman can do naught but give thanks for the enlightenment theI blesses us all by sharing.

May the LORD Jah bless and keep thee my brother.

PeaceLoveInity
RasTalawa
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May the Light of JAH shine through all who would seek HIM, for the Glory of HIS Kingdom, and may all men wish to seek HIM.
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JahLight and Protection Idren
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