What Holy Books Have You Read?

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Glen D 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 38 total)
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  • #33883

    jakelafort
    Participant

    It is probably fair to distinguish Buddhism from western religions as quasi philosophical. It is also true that value may be derived in reading a so called holy book as literature, as a way of understanding the contemporary power structure and beliefs.

    Nevertheless here is a good rule of thumb. If a book claims to describe reality and sell the reader promises of defeating mortality with eternal rewards (if only they will be good for Santa and thereby control little girls and boys) or eternal punishment if they depart from the demands of the system & requires suspension of disbelief and submission to authority then you should not simply look askance, rather you should reject it outright. We demand proof in all other areas and yet we accept a metaphorical Trump who says TRUST ME?

    So as soon as faith is required you are in a cesspool. You need not distinguish one turd from another.

    #33885

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Ivy,

    To answer your question, the works I’ve read that others consider sacred include: The Holy Bible (King James Version,)–actually written by a committee appointed by King James I, passages of The Mishnah (as part of a course on Judaism,) The Holy Qu’ran (as much as I could stomach; it is a boringly repetitive and violent book,) The Tao Te Ching (which actually has lots of insights on the nature of government,) plus The Book of the SubGenius and Revelation X: The “Bob” Apocryphon both by Rev. Ivan Stang of The Church of the SubGenius, “The joke that became a religion that became a joke.” “PRAISE ‘BOB’!” 🥳

    (The latter two books were for giggles and guffaws and gee-jaws and gimcracks.  The Shish’Qa’Bob’Ballah alone is a scream to contemplate! Yes, I paid my $30 to Rev. J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and his wife/matriarch Connie.)

    #33886

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Glen D,

    I am interested in getting into The Rig Vedas.  So I am led to understand, Hindus claim that the book is unauthored.

    That is probably even more bizarre than claiming a book is “The Word of God” either directly or by proxy via an illiterate shepherd memorizing the words of Allah from The Archangel Jibril.

    I mean, did the words of The Rig Vedas just float onto the pages from nowhere??? 🤔

    #33888

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis,

    Oh my God how do you hold all that information in your brain! That was crazy insane. I had to laugh out loud several times reading your response LOL…(In a good way).

     

    That concept of the mirror is very interesting. And I kind of wonder if it’s possible that all religious texts point to somewhat the same thing just in different ways? I think that’s possible.

    A business mentor of mine gave me this book called “the complete works of Florence shinn.” I had never heard of her before. To the best of my knowledge, this book is not widely circulated. It is a collection of a few of her books. The one in particular that he told me to read is called, “The Game of Life and How to Play.” I’m reading it from a psychological perspective. But it makes reference (several times) to the Bible. But it is not inherently meant to be a “religious” book. If you read it you’ll see what I mean. It’s actually written with the intention of doing that very thing: Holding up the mirror to help you see your own potential. The way I would interpret that story of the birds that travel all that way just to be shown a mirror is that our own potential is within.

    To quote Florence Shinn p. 5,
    “In reality it is man’s true destiny flashed to him from the infinite intelligence which is within himself. Many people however are in ignorance of their true destiny’s and are striving for things and situations which do not belong to them and would only bring failure and dissatisfaction if attained.”

    (Reminds me of those birds traveling all that way, wearing themselves out half to death only to realize what they were chasing was not what they expected).

    #33889

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I kind of wonder if it’s possible that all religious texts point to somewhat the same thing just in different ways? I think that’s possible.

    I think you’re talking about “The Perennial Philosophy“.

    #33890

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Jakelafort,

    You wrote:

    In the same way a dater may reject a potential date based on profiling, or a handicapper may reject upon cursory examination a prospect to win a race; so it is that the nature of purportedly holy books is enough to safely eschew its contents although it may serve well to start a fire under the stars.

    Now, now, Jake.  There’s no call for destroying even horrible books.  We humans have to know what barbarians we once were to keep from going back to that state, both now and in the future.

    Besides, so-called “holy books” have some scary stories to share with hot dogs and s’mores around that campfire. 🔥🌭👹

    #33892

    jakelafort
    Participant

    That same campfire under the stars is where it began. Fire is so fucking cool when it is not burning the house. Starting/maintaining fire is a critical function of earlier man that lends itself to ritualization and hierarchy.

    It is goddamn mesmerizing gazing at a fire in the dark of night with embers crackling. It aids our imagination. That is the place to tell stories. Fairy tales do share with holy books an interesting component. They are violent morality plays used by parents to entertain & frighten and influence children’s behavior. Parents who are religious use holy books to frighten and control their children’s behavior and perpetuate the religious fairy tales.

    I gotta get a fire going soon. Nice cold weather for it…

    #33894

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Jakelafort,

    No doubt fire-making was and still is a crucial skill of humanity.  Doing it with electricity, friction, flint-and-steel, a magnifying glass, or even with a well-placed drop of water is indeed a feat of mastery.  But for me it’s mastery over nature and my place in it, not to lord it over anybody.

    Sadistic parents do indeed use scary stories as tools of control, but kids use them with each other too.  Seen and used properly, they can inoculate against fear as well.

    #33920

    Glen D
    Participant

    I was brought up  Irish catholic and attended  only catholic schools.

    This came up when I was 16. We were actively discouraged from reading the bible ” Lest you become confused. “(truly) So naturally I went home and read the whole thing as soon as I could. It was a ‘fuck you’ gesture rather than from piety.

    I read the Quran as  background for some  papers on aspects of Islam I wrote at  university.

    The Indian, Sumerian, and Mayan books were among many I read in my 20 year journey from Catholicism to Atheism. There was no lightbulb moment for me. Rather, it was a slow, sometimes painful journey to an inevitable conclusion.

    #33929

    Davis
    Moderator

    I remember reading an article about Florence Shinn. From what I remember he writings were equal parts interesting life advice and total supernatural nonsense (especially the: the world wants you to succeed and you can do anything if you just believe in it). She was a pioneer in life advice (that can be a good thing) but also one of the people who popularised spiritual garbage. I wouldn’t mind reading her book when I have a chance. Based on the article I read I’d take the things she says with a grain of salt and try to distinguish sensible life advice from the hokey proto-new age silliness.

    #33931

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis,

    It is not trivial to think about the fact that the thoughts that go through your head and the words that come out of your mouth have an impact on your world. Scientific evidence supports the things that she is saying, even if she is seeing them in a way that may not be to your liking. I have found what she is saying to be very true, from a psychological perspective absolutely.

    #33951

    Davis
    Moderator

    I haven’t read her books so I cannot say. I just read in a review of her works that she gets into the supernatural and spooky new age ideas (stuff that cannot be verified or tested or falsified). Let me know what you think when you are done reading the book.

    #34032

    Glen D
    Participant

    @th Ecogitati

     

    “I am interested in getting into The Rig Vedas.  So I am led to understand, Hindus claim that the book is unauthored.”

     

    I have no idea, don’t quite understand  what you’re asking.  As far as I can tell, the Rig Veda forms part of the mythology of Hinduism.

    I dismiss any  claims that any book is written by god or divinely inspired,without empirical evidence.  I’m still waiting.

    Cart Sagan wrote “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.      Pretty much every claim under the broad heading of ‘woo’ qualifies as extraordinary imo.

    #34033

    Glen D
    Participant

    @davis

    “especially the: the world wants you to succeed and you can do anything if you just believe in it” .

    Yeah, that idea has been around for a very long time.  I first came across it in 1969, in “Bring Out The Magic In Your Mind” by a stagemagician called Al Koran.  He called ‘the magic’ ‘The Law Of Attraction” .It surfaces every now and then, often with a new name.    The last time of which I’m aware it was called ‘The Secret” and was given the Oprah Winfrey Seal of Approval. I’ve never understood how such an obscenely wealthy person could be so fucking gullible. (If guess it could just be an act)

    As far as I can tell, the philosophical basis for ‘The Law of Attraction/the Secret is one of the oldest philosophical ideas around; solipsism.

    #34034

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Glen D,

    I was only asking the question about The Rig Vedas rhetorically.  Of course, I do not believe there can be an authorless book.  As I said, that is even more bizarre than a book claiming divine authorship.

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