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Gods and Religion?
#1
GODS, RELIGION AND WHAT ELSE.
All religions have their Gods, and all the Gods in all the religions, with the possible exception of the Indian religions, have counterparts in the other religions.
If we look at early European religions, the Greeks, the Romans and the Vikings had their Gods living on mountains. Odin, Zeus, and Jupiter all have similar attributes and are the ones considered to be the great fathers, there are stories about the gods and goddesses taking sexual partners from  the mortal realms, and fathering, or giving birth to children with superhuman powers.
In one of the apocryphal books of the Old Testament we read about the Watchers, one of the leaders was an angel named Azazal, he, like Prometheus, taught mortals the secret of fire and metalwork, he taught them how to make swords and other metal things. He also taught women how to beautify themselves and the pleasures of sex.
He was one of the leaders of the group of angels set by God to watch over his creation, they are deemed to be the fallen because rather than observe they interfered, by teaching mortals things before their time of natural discovery, another, Kasdeja is said to have taught woman about abortion, the leader Shemyaza is alleged to have taught the art of enchantments, others taught science, astronomy, mathematics, and writing. All this to a people who were living in caves and tents!
They then took wives and mistresses from ‘the daughters of men’ and fathered children who were great and bold, but uncontrollable by mortals.
We have stories like this in all the early religions, myths and legends. Thor is part god part man as his father is Odin and his mother Jord (a Nordic name for the earth). This relationship also occurs in later religions, Jesus was also the result of a relationship between God and a woman, Mary!
The watchers are also mentioned in Genesis and Enoch, their offspring were called the nephalim and were supposed to have shining faces, both Noah and Jesus were alleged to be descended from the nephalim, is this why they are portrayed as having halos? Is this a way to indicate that their faces ‘shone’? or perhaps they were just light skinned.
There is a legend that tall light skinned people lived in the region of Iraq which was known as Mesopotamia a few thousand years ago, there is evidence of their inhabitancy, but what happened to them as a race is unclear, but apparently even today occasionally a fair skinned child is born!
As we look at religious practice we see so many similarities that it appears no religion today is pure. As new religions have come into being they have absorbed much of the earlier religions in order to make the new ways more palatable, and conversion easier.
If we take the Egyptian cult or religion of Isis. Isis was a goddess of the sky, the constellation of Orion was known to the Egyptians as the constellation of Isis, she married her brother Osiris, this angered the other brother Set, who promptly murdered Osiris, chopped his body into fourteen pieces and scattered them in the Nile. Isis and her maidens recovered all the pieces but his penis, assembled them together, and after three days he was resurrected, and his birthday? December 25th.
Isis and Osiris had a son, Horus, who was a Deity of the sun, in the mythology of this religion he is said to die on the night of the solstice, December 21st, and for three days, when the sun is at its lowest point on the horizon, he lies in the ‘underworld’ and on the third day, December 25th he is reborn, as the sun starts to rise higher in the sky, and the days grow longer.
Now we can see a pattern developing around the date December 25th and the three days to resurrection or rebirth.
The Cult of Isis practised a ritual depicting the death and resurrection of Osiris, the person chosen as Osiris was given a poison which feigned death, and three days later the high priestess, as Isis, administered the antidote and so Osiris miraculously rises from the dead.
It is the view of some scholars that Mary Magdalene was a high priestess of the Isis religion and that Jesus was in fact her consort, and that the raising of the dead Lazarus was in fact the enactment of  the ritual.
In order to completely eradicate the old ways the Christians demonised many of the old gods, and the popular picture of Satan was the God Pan or Cernunas. Many pagan feasts, festivals and rituals however lived on. We see that December 25th was set as the birth of Christ, we know this is incorrect as the shepherds brought lambs, lambing would have been in March or April, but December 25th was the birth date of another Deity, Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, and also of Mithras, so it was easier to change the name rather than the date.
Both Mithras and Christ were described variously as ‘the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Word, the Son of God, and the Good Shepherd’. The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god.
Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. The virgin mother was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary and Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church.
In the Celtic calendar we have the festival of Oestre, a fertility Goddess, which was celebrated at the full moon after the spring equinox. It was at this time that the earth sprang back to life, over the winter months the earth had been dormant, apparently dead, but she was really sleeping, pregnant with all the new life inside ready to spring forth at this time. Her symbol was a hare, and the people celebrated by feasting, dancing and giving decorated eggs as presents. So this festival could be viewed as a resurrection of sorts. The earth coming back to life. This was an easy and convenient time festival to change. The resurrection of mother earth became the resurrection of Christ! Of course the actual day had to change, Christians simply could not celebrate on a full moon, so it was moved to the first Sunday after the full moon following the equinox, this is why Easter, Lent and Whitsuntide are moveable feasts, and on different dates each year. One of the most sinister carryovers is the Eucharist, where people symbolically eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ, I know this is symbolic, but is also a very powerful magickal ritual and to the true believer the bread and wine is supposed to miraculously transform into flesh and blood.
This practice dates back thousands of years, and was practiced by civilisations world wide, African tribes ate the flesh and drank the blood of Lions believing that they would gain the Lions strength, tribes in Europe ate the flesh and drank the blood of their enemies killed in battle believing that they too would gain the powers of their slain foe, and if he were younger then the partaker of this rite would also gain more years of life.
 
What are gods and why do we need them
 
If we look at the gods of history they appear to fall into two categories, gods of places, things, and animals or totem gods, and gods to be feared like the watchers. If we are to believe other writers and researchers like Von Daniken, then the latter gods were in fact space visitors. This is not totally inconceivable as it would be very egotistical of us to say the least if we were to believe that we were the only intelligent beings in the whole of the cosmos, and it is easy to see how a primitive people would see others with an unknown technology as gods.
But why do we need gods? It seems that in todays modern society that a belief in traditional gods has lost favour, and the following of mainstream religion has diminished, yet people still have their gods, the difference now is that the modern gods are mortal! Sports people, film stars, pop stars etc. These celebrity types seemed to take on god like properties for their worshipping followers.
Saint Augustine said that if God didn’t exist then man would create him!
So why do we need gods, is it that we need something to worship to give meaning to our lives, or do gods need us to worship them to give them life? This latter statement would indicate that rather than god creating man, man created god! This is true in many ways, as we can elevate anything to the stature of a god. People can worship anything, wealth, property, film stars, sports people, hedonism, the list is endless, and it does seem that as the traditional all powerful, omnipotent, everlasting gods have lost favour with man, so the more transient gods have been created.
 
 
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#2
(06-30-2018, 05:33 PM)johngefnir Wrote: GODS, RELIGION AND WHAT ELSE.
All religions have their Gods, and all the Gods in all the religions, with the possible exception of the Indian religions, have counterparts in the other religions.
If we look at early European religions, the Greeks, the Romans and the Vikings had their Gods living on mountains. Odin, Zeus, and Jupiter all have similar attributes and are the ones considered to be the great fathers, there are stories about the gods and goddesses taking sexual partners from  the mortal realms, and fathering, or giving birth to children with superhuman powers.

(Excerpt from message of Shri Datta Swami)

How different religions formed …
 
The Lord is universal but the human beings in the universe differ in their attitudes. The same single Lord adopts a different procedure in a different region and such a different procedure appears as a different religion. A few people criticize the Lord of other religions. You do not criticize the Lord of your own religion.
 
The external behavior of the Lord differs due to different internal and external behaviors of the human beings in this universe. The external form, dress, language, food habits and culture of human beings differ from one region to the other.
 
Accordingly the external form, dress, food habits, language and culture of the Lord also differ to suit that particular region. The internal Lord and the internal essence of the same Lord is one and the same in His different human incarnations, which have come in different regions or religions.
 
Why other religions still exist …
 
If your religion is really the absolute truth, I shall put a simple question to you. So much time has gone since your religion appeared on this earth. By this time why have all people on this earth not followed it? Why do other religions still exist? Do you mean to say that so many people of other religions are fools and go to hell permanently? Do you think that the people of your religion alone are wise and reach God? You eat bread and jam. I eat rice. Other people eat food in some other form. You say that your food alone gives health and energy and all other forms of foods create illness.
 
You are not realizing that all the forms of food are the same chemicals like carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. This truth is realized only by chemical analysis. You say that the analysis should not be done and you insist only on your food. The same food exists in different forms to suit to the liking of the different people and every form of food is good and energetic. You must also realize that any form of food may be poisoned. Any poisoned food leads to disease or death and any good food gives health.
 
The poison is conservatism and egoism. Every religion says that it alone is correct and all other religions are wrong. Every religion says that I should accept its holy scripture without any analysis since God is beyond logic. Now please tell Me which religion should I accept? If there is only one religion, I would have simply accepted it without analysis. But there are several religions, which are fighting with each other and every religion utters the same statement. In such a case, which religion should I accept without analysis? All of you discuss with each other and come to a conclusion so that I will accept that religion which is finally concluded by all of you.
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#3
I try to keep away from religions as in essence all are true, yet all are false. We were all created in the image of our creator, or God if you wish. While there are seemingly many Gods they are really just different facets of the same God.
Religion has caused much suffering and death throughout the world, but this is not really religion, it is culture, or even politics as one culture tries to stamp its own ideas on another. Many have been killed in the name of religion, yet all religions are supposed to promote harmony, peace and love.
It is the way an individual perceives and believes their so called 'Holy Scriptures' that causes the problems. These scriptures were written by men, not Gods. Some say they are the inspired word of God, but who knows the truth. 
God does not change according to mans culture or superstitions, it is up to man to receive the Spirit of God and change his/her culture or belief to achieve oneness. 
God may not always seem fair, but did your father always seem fair? What we can all be sure of is that God is always right, as unlike us he is in possession of all the facts.
God does not take sides, nor does he show favour. He helps those who help themselves. He gives us all talents and abilities, it is up to us whether we use them or not.
I am not going to be drawn into the respective merits of various religions. I cannot, and in fact will not attempt to influence anyone in their choice. Why not? Because I am not God! He gave us free will, my only advise is use it wisely in all ways.
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#4
IMHO Humans created God’s in their own image.
Why?
Someone to prove their way of life was the right way to live, as they were the chosen people of the god they created.


Also they wanted someone to save them aka allowing them to do whatever they wanted - good or bad - as their god allowed it.

I wonder if their were wars before religions were made to justify killing each other, using the excuse that their god / gods told them to do so?
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#5
(09-09-2018, 06:32 PM)Skytiger Wrote: IMHO Humans created God’s in their own image.
Why?
Someone to prove their way of life was the right way to live, as they were the chosen people of the god they created.


Also they wanted someone to save them aka allowing them to do whatever they wanted - good or bad - as their god allowed it.

I wonder if their were wars before religions were made to justify killing each other, using the excuse that their god / gods told them to do so?

Good comments Skytiger. Man in Gods image? Not physical but spiritual. We all have Godlike qualities if we choose to investigate them. Probably everyone feels that they are special to their God, and religions propagate the myth. Certainly people would have superimposed their own wants and fears on their chosen deity.
There were wars I'm sure before religion developed, but they were probably over territory, water etc. People tend to be somewhat possessive and jealous over what they perceive to be theirs.
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#6
Man in Gods image? Not physical but spiritual.

Reply:  (Excerpt from message of Shri Datta Swami)


God is like free electrons flowing in atmosphere. These Electrons are electricity. Then can you heat water by keeping the vessel containing water in atmosphere? When these Electrons enter a medium like metallic wire, you can heat water. If the medium is human form for Lord, it is most convenient for you to clear your doubts, to love and to serve Him. If one generation was only blessed by such fortune, other generations will charge God as partial & such charge is justified. To avoid this, God comes in human form in every generation.

There are real devotees who have real love towards God and want to see, touch, talk with and live with God for no selfish advantage, either in this world or in the upper world. God, who has infinite kindness and infinite love, cannot reject such real love.
 
God is omnipotent and can satisfy the desire of such real devotees and the real devotees are crying for the fortune of His vision, touch, conversation and living with God. God is capable and the devotees deserve. Nobody can put his finger between these two. To satisfy the real devotees, God comes in human form and all these four fortunes are blessed upon the real devotees.
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#7
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring.
The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.
"It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted.
"You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."
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#8
(09-11-2018, 03:04 AM)johngefnir Wrote: A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring.
The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.
"It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted.
"You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."

Good point.

(Excerpt from message of Shri Datta Swami)

Generally every body works to maintain his family. In the name of maintenance, several luxuries are introduced, which look like essential needs and thus there is no end for your work to earn the money for the sake of your body and your family. Your blindness increases and you will be putting more and more efforts to work and earn money for the sake of the family bonds. In such a case you can never even see the human form of God, who gives true divine knowledge.
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#9
Shri Datta Swami has good teachings, surprisingly so considering his scientific background. I have been interested to hear his quotes through you and can take much of this to heart. I do not profess to know all the answers, nor perhaps even all the questions, but like a beggar I collect all the rags of knowledge dropped by the gurus and teachers through the ages and maybe one day I will have enough patches to make a coat that will shield me from my own ignorance.
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