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What religion should I look into

I believe in one god who can go by many names. Deities to me are forms of one. No hell but I hope horrible people are punished for harming others. Perfectly okay with LGBT and witch craft. 


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Reply by Psychic Valentinaa

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I think you should follow whatever you're comfortable with. Creator, God, the Universe, Allah, they're all the same name just different religions. Whoever/whatever you feel connected to should be the best bet for you. If you feel uncomfortable, look for something new. Trust your intuition for what you're being called to. I am a Pagan but I believe in God/a creator. I was raised Catholic and still talk to Mary. She could very well be Freya though, they're all the same just different names. 


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Reply by Jesi Jones

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This one God, do you believe it to be a personale and knowable god or something like the Force, possibily and likely sentient but far beyond our notions of intellegence, such it it may appear to simply be the wellspring from which all come?

Or is is there some face to this one god?

You dont just go shopping for a religion. You dont tick off some bubbles and compute your perfect match. Before you even begin to align yourself with a specific religion we have to go over a few theological terms to figure out just what your cosmology and and larger theology looks like. 

The following are not religions but that are theological positions which give cosmological structure to religions: You may be many of these things at the same time. Likelwise you may practice a modalism whereby some of these things are depending on the state of being you are in. 

Monism: If you believe that everying emerges from and is sustained by your one god, which is the root source all distinction comes one of. Then you are a monist, believing that there is essentially only one thing from which all things come. Classical Alchemy is very monistic. 

Deism: If you believe in a higher power or divinity but do not describe human characteristics, traits or personalities to it you are a Desist. Desists dont ike speaking for God or saying God is for or against anything.. in fact they put no human position on their god. Many of the founding fathers of the United states were deists, as were many thinkers of the enlightenment era. On this note the word atheism has changed in modern culture because you could be a deist and still be an atheist, because atheism wasn't originally about not believing in a higher power so much as it was about not holding any theistic beliefs. Many deists have also, historically, taken a naturalistic view of god. 

Theism: Today it just means belief in a god or divinity but historically it is much more complex. The root word is theo, within the feminine being thea. Theo is often translated as god hence theology is the study of God. However, consider that thea is the root word for theatre and we stort to get some historical context. The Theoi, the many theo and thea, are gods of drama in that they are historically a bunch of dramatic.... er, what I mean is that thy are personified, anthropomorphized and seen to engage in the human considition for all its character flaws..and incidents.  

Now some people are both, recognizing one impersomnal and transcendent god while recognizing the various theoi. I am one one such person, in that in the highest sense I am a deist and a monist in the highest sense, yet recognize that our relationship with this divinity causes all of the various theoi to arise. Meaning, that when divinity expresses itself through the filter of the human condition, its a party. 

Modalism: The Christian Trinity is a form of modalism. One God, three aspects or modes. They are all God but all three of them have their own identity and are not eachother. Modalism was pretty much invented to make ones theology consistent with their many different religious experiences, keep scripture from being contradictory and allow for syncretism between certain emerging monotheisms and previously established polytheisms. The trinity is actually pretty badass, however unfortunately fundamentalists often assert that anything outside of the Christian imagery of the trinity is a false god not realizing the whole point of the trinity was to reconcile seemingly contradictory revelations. It represents the resolving of logic through paradox. If you like Modalism but arent sure about the Christian imagery, take a look at Plato's Trinity off of which the Christian Trininity is based, or perhaps the supernal triad in Qabbalah.

Pantheism: This is pretty straight forward, Pan means "all" all is God which is similiar and often equated with "God is in all" as Pantheists tend to hold both views  though they arent technically the same. These distinctions usually come down to the interaction within a matter-spirt duality however a monist would just say this is modalism in action. In practice and devotion, it does not really matter to most. Now view of all things being in  God (which is yet another distinction) or of God tends trevolve around or find expression in reverence of nature. Some worship nature and creation as God while others weary of idolatry say not, its an expression of God, being incredably sacred but the the same as the holy life that sustains ot.. or rather it is the same thing but hat creation is our perception and not the essence. In Pantheism divinity can be something like the force or the Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva Trimurti in Hinduism creating, preservering and destroying all things. Actually, in Hinduism both the Trimurti and a sentient chittam or one substance and force is recognized. 

Panentheism: This is just anal pantheism. It states that while all is God, the creation we know is just one small thing in God. Frankly, the way I see it if you are a Pantheist who believes in a self aware God whose sentience like ours is greater than the sum of its parts, then you would be by default a panentheist. In that owns own identiying and self-awareness of self is greater than the constituents of self. Also, if you follow a cosmology of many worlds, heavens, or spheres like we see in the Norse Tree of Life or the Qabbalistic Tree (Otz Chim) of Issac been Luria you are a panentheists in that creation 'Malkuth' is within but not the whole. Well.. unless you view Malkuth as the condensation of the whole tree.. and from the perspective of the totality of forces being the unfoldment of creation, having many states, you'd also be a Pantheist. It all depends on whether your world that you refer to here as "the pan" is Malkuth or the whole of the tree.   The only difference between Pantheism and Panentheism are our perspective models on the inner division of God. Both Pantheism and Panentheism agree that God is not distant nor set apart from creation. Pantheists tend to put their views within the context of the world or universe while panentheists often consider a multiverse or different state of being within a cosmology.  To the Panentheists the multiverse would be the pantheism with the pantheist of the smaller cosmology merely existing within a node or province of the even larger Pantheism. 

Panpsychism: A view that states that the universe is sentient or that rather, sentience itself is a fundamental constant of the of the universe and just as fundamental if not more fundamental than space-time, being the substrate.. In panpsychism, sentience is as a fundamental force that pervades the cosmos, along with any psychological imprints arising from it. Our brains provide pathways of complexity for this sentience to be come self-referenced and realized as a localized and embodied being. This sentience drives things to complexity and higher form. Just as the higgs field gives particles mass, this field of sentience is what enters into and animates all living beings. Whereas the properties of elementary particles determine how they move through the higgs field and register have their value for mass, so do neural network and other suchs networks localize awareness within the sentied field allowing for a sentient self-aware being. 

That is a lot to to consider and think about, and there are numerous types of panpsychism to consider. However we can divided panpsychism isnto two camps. Matter-Mind Dualistic PAnpsychism and Monistic Panpsychism. Dualistic Panpsychism says that you have two things, sentience/spirit and matter interacting in the ways mentioned. Whereas Monistic panspychism takes it a step further, asserting that yes we have these two dual yet entangled principled, and yet the reason they are entangled an inseparable is because they are in truth a modality of one thing. While we can argue which mode of the thing came first, Monistic Panpsychists tend to see matter as arising from from and being sustained sentience, and then that sentience animates matter allowing for living and then eventually, self-aware beings to emerge.  Regardless of which you see coming first it is an emergent system and in truth even the distiction as we thing of it is a result of our modalistic existence as that distinction implies a measure of difference which you can not actually have when you only have one thing. Its not even a thing or a point because there is nothing outside of it from which to give reference. Dont worry about any of that right now, just know that this is how deep theological discussions can get, and honestly at this point we've even gone beyond theology all depending on to what degree you think of this fundamental quintessence as God. The strength of panpsychism is that it is the only model or set of models that can give a possible explanation for the hard problem of conciousness. 

I would consider myself a Monistic Panpsychist because it is the closest western conception to by own tribal religious understanding, though  Panpsychists tend to have a purely naturalistic and strictly objective approach to interpretation which is a problem dealing with the unification of subject with object, while we, having always been a spiritual and mystical people use an entirely different language and vocabulary set to explore and understand these phenomena. 

Animism: You should realize by know Animism are far more complex and nuanced than what it is taken for in the non tribal world. It is a western term that is boradly and vaguely applied to the religious beliefes of of indigenous tribal peoples. It is essentually mystical and religious panpsychism in a way. If you look at a definition of Animism it might say something like "the primitive belief that all things are alive, or animated, having a spirit". -sure, aside from it not actually being primitive, I suppose that definition is accurate in all its crudeness. Alive in the sense that you have an animating principle sustaining what you see and it is that same principle that causes consciousness and sentience in us. It does not mean that we literally believe that a rock or a tree has the same mental capacities and faculties we do. That would be absurd. Yes, a would say a dog as a soul, and of my tribe we recognize [primarily] four different souls and that fifth animating aspect, but the soul of a dog is not the soul of a dolphin nor the soul of a [hu]man. A different kind of sentience arises in each because their psyche, the old Greek word for soul, is different. Crowley said that though God might be omnipresent and inherent, you shall not find God residing in a dog. What he meant my this is that the spirit moves all things, but it takes a very specially Ark to hold the arising of the divine presence. 

When it comes to magic and the sort, people today generally are of three minds: 
I. Those who hold to the energy model, whom are I suppose vague enough not to by wrong are are also vague enough not to be helpful. 
II. Those of the psychological model who feel than it is all in your head, internal to you. The strength of this view is that it is good for your practice in that if  you are communing with entities external to the self you you still have to deal with your own psyche in communicating with them. The worst thing about this feel is the notion is that "it is all intent". While sentience and in its faculty of influence be understood as observation and thus "all is observation" the danger of leaving things to intention is that good intentions never make up for ignorance . 
III. Those who practice traditional, classical magic and witchraft which is of the spirit model. The spirit mode recognizes exterior entities to the self. One still works with them through the psychology of correspondences and the filters of the mind yet this view focuses on the power of some spirit, holy or not, ones own or not, to accomplish works. 
 
Now consider an animistic or panpsychic model of working. It is still a spirit model, all works are accomplished through the spirt. However here, we have one monistic great spirit , of which all other animating sparks are a proxy thereof. Not only that, it also accounts for the relationship of the psyhe to all of this, and both microcosmic and macrocosmic applications of this whereby all manners of phenomena can be placed within this model. Psychic imprints, egregores and servitors set into motion. The souls or psyche are not seen as eternal in structure or inviolate, only the animating principle is eternal. These souls breakdown just as the body and become parts of other psyche-structures. As with Vedic (think Hindu) teachings, the nature of and notion of separation between self and other is not expressly clear. In this view there is only one life, having many instances. Our psyches, memories, everything we know as our selves, we are merely keepers of for a time. Even those parts of the soul not inherited, having arisen within us, return to that soil, or sea of their kind. The self is either seen then as an "illusion" or merely an experience of a self that is not anyone ourselves as the character we know than it is a chair or a jar. Yet I say illusion in "" because in a way, it is the experience itself that is the most real thing. That goes completely against the materialist views we've been taught in our Empirical era, but we know it to be true. We feel that as the greatest loss. It is the most genuine thing and certainly where we mind meaning which can not exist without an observer. Without a sentient being, existence is meaningless. Yet with the existence we live, holding on to this sense of self and of those we love there is something also deeply unnerving with the notion that our individuality or personality I should say, is nothing more than the vessel for that emergent and pathways for that emergent spirit. Everything that sets us apart is carnal, flesh, animalistic and material. None of these things are bad or evil, they are merely the means for the many of emerge. -and yet for all our virtues and ethics, we become better by giving ourselves to that life within is, stoking that fire in subservient devotion. No wonder Plato said there is no Good without God or that Christianity has said that we are saved by the grace of God. If you take these statements at an esoteric face value as many of done, misinterpreting these philosophers and theologians, they are naive, absurd statements that rob you of any locus of self control and thus in this manner are very dangerous as  coping mechanisms and tools of co-dependence. Yet when understood for what they really are, they are liberating, making one as a Jedi to the Force,  enflaming the true and free will, galvanizing the inner locus of control we do have. 

Duotheism: They belief in two deities representing a divine dualism. Perhaps the most well known in today's age, being the God and Goddess of Wiicca, as a religion. Though, there is a third aspect in Wicca transcending the two know as the Dryghten, Gardner himself said "we make little of it" meaning that it is so far above our comprehension as limited temporal beings, that we must come to understand it through its aspects. The Dryghten then is not often called or worked with in ceremony in an active theurgical or communal sense because it is too vast and en-compassing  for any one mystery to sufficiently come through. This breakdown is similar to the breakdown of the Tao into the Yin an Yang, those here we have personification. 

Kathenotheism: The belief that ruling god of a place or among a pantheon changes with time, of cycles and eras. Wicca is another good example of this with the Goddess ruling the light halve of the year and the God ruling the dark halve of the year.   Another example might be the procession of the equinoxes and the signs ruling the various astrological ages if were to correspond them to given deities. This can also refer to a sense of place, or a time when jurisdiction of place is prominent. Such as worshiping Hades in times of death or when entry to and from the underworld is seen to be easier. 

Henotheism: The worship of one god among or despite others, generally do to some notion of clan, family, culture or community. Essentially it is monolatry 'the worship of one god'  yet being more specific, makes clear that there are other gods on the radar and even in good standing yet not having dedicants within the group sense of identity or culture. Both Monotheism and Henotheism are monolatry however Monotheism says there is but one God while Henotheism acknowledges other gods, either from ones own parent culture or a foreign culture entirely. Henotheism tends to denote a trend from the polytheism of ones forefathers, moving towards a monotheism. This is linguistically confusing because both Monotheism and Henotheism mean 'one god', yet the latter is Greek I suppose we are to infer the context of the times as Hellenic culture, while not becoming Monotheistic itself, paved much of the philosophy that let to the emergence of Roman monotheism in Christianity. 


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Reply by Jinnicide

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All of them. Read all the comparative religion books you can, then decide which one aligns the closest with your own personal values. Are you into dogmatic structures? Independent thought? Etc. anything Abrahamic (judaism, christianity, islam) is gonna be dogmatic/hierarchical/etc, whereas things like animism, flavors of paganism, and witchcraft are better for solo seekers.
But you really should experiment with anything and everything, and even when you land on something, know it doesn't define you...people change over time and their spirituality should change along with them.


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Reply by BabyGirl

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The truth. Read King James Bible. From my knowledge, it's the only Bible that didn't change within time. Ask God for the truth. If you really want to know, He will tell you. Sometimes, it will put us in a uncomfortable place but it's only because He wants us to lean on Him.


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Reply by SusieQ84

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What an informative reply, Jesi! and I agree with Jinnicide. I am Jewish but I lean more Reform in approach and I don't follow all of the laws to the T. I like the rituals and holy days and festivals with my family. I also studied comparative religions and I think it is important to have a fundamental understanding of all of them.  I know plenty of people who believe in G-d but they don't like organized religion and many of them say you can just pray straight up and you don't need a middleman.  I hope you find solace in your journey of discovery.


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Reply by Jesi Jones

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@Susie You most be Jewish because you censored the wor god even though its not a name. :P

@Jinn Honestly, mainstream anything tens to be pretty dogmatic. Christianity, Islam etc. tens to be less dogmatic the more you get from the esoteric into the esoteric branches of the religion. All religions have their mystics who see beyond face value. 

On the other hand I've known the neopagan community to be pretty dogmatic at times. Ultimately, at large there will be that person somewhere. No matter what religion if any, one becomes an aherent of it is important to vett and choice wisely the group you congregate and enter covenant with. That shoul just be a given. 

@BabyGirl That is incorrect, very incorrect. That gets taught be more fundamentalists sects but its just not true. The KJV is actually one of the worse translations. In my opinnions none of the English ones are great and while I'm not sure it is fair to say the KJV is the worst of them it started the trend of poorly translated Bibles in English. 

I mean look, the fact of the matter is that anytime you translate between languages with different cultural backgrouns, you are going to lose context and accuracy. That can not be helped. Sometimes there just isnt an English word for what you are trying to describe. Even when there is a word the cultural perception and application of the thing may be entirely different. It is always good to go back and look at original and early manuscripts in the initial language. Even that isn't enough, it needs to be paire with learning of the hisorical context and views of the time. 

That is a lot of work, an I certainly dont expect someone to learn Greek and LAtin to read the NT or Hebrew and Aramaic for the OT. 

I can tell you though that the KJV has more problems than just translation errors. No, think about it a moment.  It says right there on the cover that it is King Jame's version... not his translation, work or commission, his version. IT should come as no surprise then that the work contains his biases. He ordered a lot of stuff changed. For example the word witch was never originally in there prior to the KJV. Witch isnt even a term found in Greek, Roman,or Jewish culture. Those scripures had nothing to say about witchcraft,  You have to keep in mind a cultural comparison is being made but that there's a lot of cultural in-variance. 

It gets worse because its not even a good comparison. The words he had changed are malefica 'someone who does a malevolent intent' aka 'evil eye' and Venefica 'posioner'. James was terrified of witches, thought they were always malicious and being another word fcunningfolk they had heerbal knowledge...which was generally how you poisoned someone. 

-and it is ironic because being a word for a cunning person before it became its own thing, the first witches were actually Christian.  The word oes not go back to antiquity. It does have earlier Indo-european but are more general an open-ended and dont indicate certain imagery or a practice.  

The point being, people need to take what they are told or read for face value without looking into it, esp if it comes from a role model or authority figure you look up to. IT isnt that they intentionally misled you... they themselves were told that. The more people repeat the more widely accepted it becomes. 

You can believe what you want, but I encourage you to study the arguments against the KJV and to look at earlier sources. It can be scary and it may destroy your worldview in some ways but it can ultimately make you a much better Christian. Is that worth heartache and existential crisis to you? 

Now to be fair, among English versions of the Bible, it is one of the better translations because well.. it was the first and for centuries English bibles were based off the KJV. Therefore it is going to be better in many regards simply because of drift from the source material. That is where the notion that the KJV is the best comes from. Now, today the KJV isnt aging well.. and I dont mean its language styles. We have English Bibles today that are a direct translation from Gree or Latin. Provided the translation is decent... these are so much better than the KJV. 

I cant talk to bad about the KJV though, I have a very complicated relationship with it. I'm Appalachian, the KJV Bible is part of our heritage an in so far as the Christian folk practices there (because there is also NA folk tradition), they use the KJV. The way the way people speak there. They get made fun of for how they talk abut actually it is more proper English that was preserved there.  The KJV isnt just in English it is tied to the English that because Appalachian English and its connected to our heritage we draw some. In fact many will say that it has to be the KJV if you are going to work psalms etc. I ont believe you wont get results with another Bible but they arent wrong in what they are getting at either. It is such a bad translation though.  I wish.. I wish someone would compare it to the Greek and fix while keeping the English of the era. 


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Reply by Steez

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Baha'i Faith.


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Reply by Sapience2012

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Reply by HornetSwarm

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I think "Here are my priors; Tell me what Religion most matches These" is a bad way about approaching religion and philosophy TBH.

You should be examining your Guesses relative to the truths you learn from philosophizing and examining religions. Your approach is like; "Here's all the things that I know for definite, give me a frame to justify them" which is precisely backwards.


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Reply by Ramm

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I think you might like the concept of Unitarian Universalism, have a look at that.


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Reply by Shane Victoria

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"If Christianity is false, its of zero importance. But if its true, there is Nothing more important in the entire universe." -CS Lewis

Lee Strobel: A skeptics findings on Jesus and the Bible
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67uj2qvQi_k&ab_channel=PassionCityChurch


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Reply by FRICKLE PICKLE

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Unitarian Universalism accepts ideas from all major religions and philosophies. You can decide to believe in whatever you want there’s no dogma. 


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Reply by KaYnE

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I think ultimately there is one thing, which is God, and we're it, everything is it, aka it is everything.


Taoism FTW.


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Reply by Antonio Smith

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Baha'i Faith is pretty cool. 




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Reply by KILLGAZMOTRON

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heavens gate.


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