Re: The Eastern Religions

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Posted by Kendal on October 15, 2101 at 09:54:50:

In Reply to: The Eastern Religions posted by Scott on October 15, 2101 at 05:51:13:

You raise an excellent point. I have thought a great deal about this over the years. I agree with Jonah's recommendations on the subject, but he is also being modest in that he himself wrote an interesting article on the Baha'i Faith and Buddhism. I have just a couple of thoughts in addition. First, the Baha'i writings make the point that Messengers of God express their teachings in the language and symbolism of the people to whom they come. Also, the concepts they are attempting to convey are fundamentally abstract. God, spirit, and life after death are all realities that can only be expressed through symbolic imagery. That the Messengers used the symbols most available to them should not be surprising. That those symbols differed dramatically from culture to culture also should not be surprising. Baha'u'llah himself used imagery that was most accessible to the people of his time. His creativity with that imagery, however, was remarkable. Indeed, in some cases, Baha'u'llah's expression of various concepts has more in common with Eastern understandings of the world than a traditional Islamic, or Judeo-Christian worldview. My second point is that we don't have a great deal of access to these religions historically. Hinduism is really a collection of religious traditions spanning many centuries. The teachings of Buddha weren't written down until hundreds of years after his death. This is a fascinating topic and my own personal study of it has given me a much greater appreciation for the Faith. It helps you transcend traditional symbols and get to the spiritual teachings behind them. In conclusion, a very interesting non-Baha'i book is Karen Armstrong's "A History of God". You might enjoy it, if you havent already read it. Much love, Kendal

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