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I'm an Animist/Buddhist. I believe in reincarnation. I leave offerings of food & tobacco for spirits

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:37 AM
Original message
I'm an Animist/Buddhist. I believe in reincarnation. I leave offerings of food & tobacco for spirits
I believe in divination of many sorts - crystal gazing, Tarot cards, the I Ching, "signs" manifesting in the natural world, dream interpretation. I believe in the possibility of communicating with the dead. I draw sacred circles in the dirt and light sacred fires on the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter sabbats, into which I offer sacred herbs specific to the season. I recite chants in Tibetan and Sanscrit and meditate on images from Tibetan Thankas and Hindu mandalas.

If any of this comes as a surprise to my fellow DUers it's because I've long prefered to keep these things to myself. I know full well that should I bring up any of these practices I will be mocked and derided as a "woo". I have no problem with that. I don't expect understanding or even tolerance from those who will not or can not countenance such beliefs.

I do not expect to be given a special pass or to be immune from criticism because these are my "religious" beliefs. I do not expect that my personal spiritual proclivities should be immune from mockery just because they are "spiritual". It has absolutely no effect on my spiritual belief system any more than someone proclaiming a preference for tall blond women effects my sense of my short, dark-haired self worth.

On the other hand, just because Christianity has many more adherents than my own blend of animist/Buddhist/pagan religious practices, why should they be given any more of pass than my own practices?

I don't want religion to be granted a special status in our social/civic/political life and discourse. I want people to be free to believe what they want to believe, without prejudice in either direction - of mockery or respect.

If it's what you believe, that should be good enough for you. If questioning or mocking that belief feels threatening to you, then maybe some self-examination is called for. What's NOT called for is for other people to be shamed into self-censoring in order to protect your personal sense of religious truth.

sw
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. +1
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AsahinaKimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. +100
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 05:52 PM by AsahinaKimi
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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
23. Nobody can force you to be rational, but I hope you're never allowed in a position of power.
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. At least you can see animals and the planet...it might be more sane that belief in a god you can't
see and that nobody has seen except one guy, thousands of years ago, who spent a day talking to a burning bush.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I'm not sure why you would respond in such a way to a post that says nothing more than "+1".
Did you mean your post to be a reply to my OP?

I only ask because it seems to me that the "rational" thing to do would be to challenge my OP directly rather than direct your disapproval to someone who did nothing more than express some support in shorthand.

sw
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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Oops! Okay, sorry. I'll post a response directly to you:
Nobody can force you to be rational, but I hope you're never allowed in a position of power.

I don't understand why you're receiving so much support here, considering how we regularly (and correctly) criticize the wacky beliefs and science denial of conservatives like Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee, to name a few. Ever since Ronald Reagan made critical decisions based on astrology-based advice from his wife, irrational belief in woo has been typically regarded as a uniquely Republican trait.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Thank you for making the correction, I appreciate it. As for the rest,
are you so certain that your judgement of me based on this single OP is absolutely correct? It's quite possible that you've read nothing else of what I've written on this site in the 10 years I've been posting here, since I'm not a particularly prolific poster.

However, I suspect that if you had read anything else I've written here over the past decade, you would have found absolutely nothing that would have led to you form an opinion of me as being "not rational" or "anti-science". You most certainly would not have found anything that would have appeared to be a "Republican trait".

The point of my OP was to make the argument that no one's "religious" beliefs should be off-limits to criticism and satire, and I stand by that point. I completely support your right to express the opinion that my own beliefs and practices are "woo".

At the same time, since you do not actually know ME - the whole person, and how I interact with the world at large - I feel that I must point out that it's presumptuous of you to declare me, as a person, not "rational".

sw



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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. .....
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adigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. I am a "lapsed" Catholic, but believe many Buddhist
principles. Possibly reincarnation, also. Not sure about a lot. But I do like the respect for life, and do not harm sentient beings, and to unattach from many things. It has helped me a lot in my recent life.
Peace,
Adigal
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I prefer to call myself an "escaped" Catholic. However, the truth is, I'm grateful for much
of my Catholic upbringing (in the 50s), especially the Latin mass which steered me toward a deep appreciation of etymology.

I also loved the ritual of High Mass (incense, bells, chants, etc.), and the devotion to Mary, "Mother of God" -- which led me inexorably to the ancient Mother Goddess, the precise pagan holdover which originally inspired the devotion to Mary in the first place! :)

sw
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I am as Peter O'Toole once said "a retired Catholic"
I loved the holiday rituals around Easter.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Especially the purple wrappings coming off the colorful statues n/t
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Incense, bells, candles and chanting are fantastic training for neopagans n/t
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Or even atheistic nature-worshipers with buddhist leanings.
:evilgrin:
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Just an FYI Buddhist don't believe in reincarnation
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 06:40 PM by FreeState
Hindu's do. Buddhism teaches a concept called rebirth.

http://www.angelfire.com/yt/fairtibet/rebirth.html

Rebirth vs. Reincarnation

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a significant conceptual difference between the two. On the whole, Buddhists believe in rebirth while Hindus, Jains, and some Christians believe in reincarnation. Strictly speaking, reincarnation means the assumption of another body by a permanent, eternal self (the Hindu notion of atman or the Christian notion of soul). Most Buddhists do not believe in a permanent self (anatman or anatta, without enduring self) but believe human consciousness (the "I" or self) dissolves at death and that only a subtle mindstream remains. The mindstream carries with it karmic imprints from prior lives (but not memories and emotions associated with prior lives, unless the person is a highly developed spiritual practitioner, in which case reincarnation is possible) and it is this subtle mindstream that conjoins with a new life-form after death. Thus, rebirth does not mean an identifiable human being assuming a new human body. Moreover, in Buddhism, rebirth is not always accomplished in human form. Depending on karmic circumstances, a human being can be reborn as an animal or as a being in any of the upper or lower realms.



It should be noted the above reference of a possible reincarnation is specific only to about 12% of Buddhism (Llamas' in the Tibetan tradition)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. As a close reading of my post ought to make obvious, I am no kind of doctrinaire.
I was grounded in Hinduism for many years before Buddhism showed up in my life.

In any case, my post was not intended to be a prcis of any particular dogma, and the point I was endeavoring to make was something else entirely.

sw
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. I was replying to a sub thread, not you
However, I have no problem with anyone's beliefs, including yours :)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. My apologies for my mistake!
:blush:

Thank you for being compassionate! :D
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #15
25. interesting--thank you!
I've used the word "reincarnation" with respect to Buddhism myself when obviously I should have been using "rebirth"--so sloppy of me!--and the other stuff about how karma works even if there isn't a permanent self is very well explained, so I thank you for your post!
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Vehl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. yes, but are the differences an illusion?
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 11:20 PM by Vehl
The definition you provided was good, however, as an Advaitin Hindu (non-dualist) I really do not see much difference between the idea of reincarnation and rebirth..especially when one really stops splitting the proverbial philosophical hair and tries to see the ultimate goal of these two systems..(btw there is no guarantee of a human-rebirth/reincarnation in Hinduism as well)

Did not Buddha himself remember his past lives? If nothing about the previous life is transferred to the next, how is this possible?

When one looks at terms like "self" (Atman) and "not self" of Buddhism..the question arises if they are speaking of the same thing, but are using different meanings. Both Anatta of Buddhism and Brahman of non-Dual Hinduism are imho the one and the same. Both transcend definition. The same goes for the Dao..is it not said that the Dao that is named is not the true Dao? Compare it to the teaching of Bodhidharma, the Buddhist founder of the school of Zen/Chan Buddhism. When he is about to pass on the leadership of his school to his students, the following happens


One day, Bodhidharma said to his four main students, I can sense my days are numbered and there is not much more I can teach you. So, I want you to tell me what you have gleaned from your studies after all these years.

Tao Fu, the last one to become Bodhidharmas student, replied first.

I believe people should not understand Buddhism through words only, because words are simply a means of propagating Buddhism.

Bodhidharma smiled and said to him, Tao Fu, you have understood the surface of Buddhism.

The second student, Tsung Chih, said to Bodhidharma, My understanding of Buddhism is like Venerable Ananda seeing the Pure Land of the Buddha: you can only see it once, because once is enough to bring enlightenment.

Bodhidharma nodded his head and said to Tsung Chih, You have understood the flesh of Buddhism.
Another student named Tao Yu then said, The four major elements of the world and we ourselves are always impermanent. Thus, I see no Buddhist teachings.

Bodhidharma said to Tao Yu, You have grasped the bone of Buddhism.

Then, Hui Ko simply stood up, prostrated himself before Bodhidharma, stood up and returned to his seat without uttering a word. Bodhidharma smiled and said to them, Hui Ko has understood the essence of Buddhism. Thus, Bodhidharma named Hui Ko the second Chan patriarch of China.


Compare the above two to the Brahman of non-Dualist Hinduism which is said to be the following

It's inexpressible. It's nowhere and everywhere. All things imply and depend
upon it. It's not a person, it's not a thing, it's not a cause.
It has no qualities. It transcends permanence and change;
whole and part, finite and infinite.


The above three definitions look identical to me. Imho they are three paths which talk about the same thing.


ps: anyways this is off topic, but I could not resist asking this question.

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ehrnst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
22. My spouse calls himself a "recovering Catholic." (nt)
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. recommend
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you. This is a message board, not a church.
The Xtians should go to church if they don't
want to see or hear other opinions.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Well Cheese-us, I must be in the wrong place.
jk
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. I saw Ken Kesey begin a speech by Consulting the Oracle
years ago in Eugene, Ore. I went out and bought a copy of the I Ching the next day. Rec'd.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. Try being a "mystic" Marxist......
:) Although it sounds like that's kind of what you are. You get shit from both sides there. The dogmatic Marxists hate you for being a "mystic" and the mystics hate you for advocating an "atheistic" system.

My attitude towards religion has ALWAYS been, keep it out of fucking public policy with the exception of using the parts of it that promote the GENERAL welfare, even of atheists. And of course, keep it away from me unless I ASK for it. After that, whatever helps you sleep with your conscience every night is OK by me.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. You might like Cuba, many mystics, Santeria followers are also Marxists! nt
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Cuba has always been intriguing to me..........
Indeed ALL of the Latin American social democracies are intriguing to me lately. They've passed through the Shock Doctrine stage and have come back to a more or less socialistic type of system. IMO, they might be the new path for the left to follow.

And as to the main thrust of your sentence, I personally don't see much against it except for dogma. As a classic heretic to ALL dogma, I'm open to all systems that work FOR the people, spiritually and materially. Even mixtures of Marx and forms of spirituality should be OK IF it benefits the working class/poor. After all, there's very little cross purposes involved in Marx and mysticism. Marx is involved with the betterment of society and mysticism is involved with the betterment of the individual. I see no problem with being both.

Unfortunately, a lot of dogmatics don't think so.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Many on the island would agree with you
sadly evangelical religions have taken hold there as in much of Latin America, BUT the Cubans insist on wearing their Santeria beads under their shirts to go to the evangelical meetings, Catholic services, and even Communist party meetings.. they see things from an inclusive, not exclusive viewpoint, it can all help..
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
20. Being a mystic Marxist isn't all that unusual.
As a matter of fact it's the norm in my circle of syncretist Gnostics and Jewiccans. Okay, a few of the Gnostics are libertarians, but they are definitely exceptions to the rule. Among my friends and acquaintances an ultra-progressive political stance almost goes without saying, even when they aren't out-and-out Marxists.

I tell everyone that I do indeed have a "religious test" for public office, and I don't care who knows it: I refuse to vote for or otherwise support anyone who isn't a secular humanist, REGARDLESS of what else they may or may not believe. The public sphere HAS to be religiously neutral in order to be a level playing field for everyone. For me the wall of separation between church and state is absolute and non-negotiable.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Agreed. See my first post in this...........
Religious beliefs are verboten in public policy as a rule. The only exception would be if the religious/spiritual beliefs inform and substantiate public policies that are general welfare based and that INCLUDES citizens that are NOT part of your religious tradition. In fact, IMO, these citizens (people who DON'T believe as you do) should be paramount. That slight bias AGAINST people who are like you should make SURE that you keep it fair for those who DON'T believe liky you.

And of course evangelicalism needs to be cut off at the knees as SOON as it become apparent that it's unwelcome.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. That sound similar to what Rand Paul did for Aqua Buddha.
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