A soul, aura, karma, spirit, essence, power, life-blood, the holy spirit,luck..etc.
These are a few terms for some type of energy or force that supposedly resides in one way or another within every human being (and/or creature, depending on who you ask).
What if all of these energies (lets use energies for simplicity's sake) were in fact the same thing?
But if theyre all the same then why do we use different names? Well, that is a matter of perception..
For the sake of argument lets say that this energy is real and there is indeed only one. One natural energy that is within everything would have a natural effect on people. Provide a sense of curiosity, a primal need to explain things in search of some type of higher power. Cultures feel this need and provides an answer based on surroundings and societal beliefs.
-- Indigenous religions often have spiritual beliefs revolving around nature and/or natural spirits. Their way of religion revolves around their way of life.
Although religions stem from different beginnings they all seem to have factors and traits that appear throughout cultures.
A few of the main religions of the world and their origins:
Judaism- Israel, when the prophet Abraham formed a covenant with Yahweh (god)
Christianity-Jerusalem, the introduction of jesus christ and other minor alterations to the jewish faith
Islam- Mecca, Formed by a message from god through Muhammad, the last prophet in a line of them that included Moses and Jesus. Another step from the initial jewish ideology
Hinduism- India, the synthesis of various indian cultures and beliefs that took form as one.
Buddhism- nepal/asia more of a spiritual path than a theistic religion. Siddhartha Gautama a.k.a Buddha (the enlightened one) set out to cure human suffering by giving up the vices of the world.
Confucianism- China. Another way of life rather than theistic belief. Founded by confucius a chinese philosopher. Based on rational thinking.
Taoism-China, A religion with no exact founder, it grew out of multiple beliefs. Based on the idea of living in harmony and balance between opposing forces (Ying and Yang, dark and light, push and pull etc )
Wicca- Founded by Gerald Gardner Is known as the father of modern Wicca, A Religion focused solely on nature and the dual gods. Their god and goddess.
These beliefs as well as various other faiths all have similar ideals on universal love and acceptance (although there are those of these beliefs that do not practice what is preached)
Common themes among these religions/beliefs include
-not be sexually immoral (although sexual immorality is culturally relative)
-love one another
How is it that religions from different cultures can have principle similarities yet continue to call themselves different? There are many attempted explanations for this but none quite seem to fit the answer the we are looking for. None ,that is, except the theory I am proposing. you see if every energy that various religions believe in are the same thing and the energy comes in one way or another from the deity of specified belief; Then it would be fair to assume that all of the deities in question are in fact the same entity. But what if this entity is in fact just an energy in itself? Taking the form of our will. Arthur Schopenhauer wrote a book called The world as will and idea. In this book he presents the idea that will is a universal thought and not just something that belongs to each individual person. The Schopenhauer method is also presented, the idea that if you will something to be or to happen with enough belief or intent, it will happen a.k.a mind over matter/faith/prayer/magic/rituals. Keeping the idea of universal will in mind while thinking about a universal energy/deity brings to light an interesting point. Perception of a god is all about culture and society as well as individual needs, so what if the deity of universal will took the form and power of how you perceive it or will it to be? If this were true then that would prove every religion in the world correct while simultaneously not denying any of them .
An expanded thought and side note:
With this theory in mind, what if when we die our (lets just use souls) are brought into this energy and our designated belief took over to present our spiritual minds with the preset notion of death based on belief? i.e, if you believe in heaven you go to your heaven, if you believe your corpse just rots in a hole than your spiritual consciousness is erased from existence, and if you believe in reincarnation than you flip through the cycle,etc..
There is this theory popular among new age eclectic pagans I like to refer to as the egregore theory, that all gods are merely energy given form through worship I tried to find some links for you, but very few refer to it the same way I do, so it was hard to find a bunch of links on it but if you want to discuss with others of the same or similar viewpoint id suggest checking this guys forum out http://briskrange.com/5HMu
Re: Calling all philosophers By: Spirit76 / Novice
Post # 3 Mar 06, 2018
This isn't that new of an idea, but I have personally found it to be a sensible one. It feels logical to understand that energy is at the center of things, and energy itself is considered to be formless and fluid in nature.
Meanwhile the divine is a reflection of how we perceive this energy. And like any perception it becomes by default subjective. The conscious mind needs some form or image to work with. Some way of perceiving what is around it. It is how we navigate and understand our surroundings. When we see or experience something we don't know, we are intrinsically programmed to try and define or understand it by comparison to what we -do- know.
"I don't know what I just saw but it had hands like this, a head like this, but with eyes like that, and it stood like this."
This is where culture comes in. The culture you are raised in defines many things, especially in regards to education, attitudes, and things considered as 'common knowledge'. These things in turn become a frame of reference used to understand everything else. This is in my opinion one of the reasons there can be so many different interpretations of even simple things.
For example. Someone educated in electrical engineering might explain a spiritual event in terms of magnetic fields, vibratory angstroms, comparative frequencies, and so in. While a laser engineer might explain the exact same experience by ways of wavelength, lensing, additive or subtractive overlap, and more. And even still a programmer might think in terms of payhways, logic process, and purpose-based constructs(or programs) . They are all seeing or experiencing the same thing, in the same way, but they can only drscribe it using the knowledge they already have.
This is all good in theory but there tend to be as many differences between the different religions as there are similarities. One could argue that this is regional and the concept of the people that believe in this deity more than the deity's will dictating different practices as well as fundamental beliefs yet this doesn't in my mind completely explain the differences. It is also easy to compare the similarities because some religions predate others so mimicry could be involved even on a subconscious level when these religions were formed and of course some of these concepts like no killing is today a legal concept so some of these could have been placed in religion to keep order & peace. Also, how would this be compared to creation beliefs? Seems like this theory while not denying the existence of any gods per say would go hand in hand with the big bang theory. Energy that reacts to human perception, will, and belief could not react to those factors prior to human existence therefore this energy could not have created humans. Also if by proving them correct you simply mean it may prove these various beings do exist in some form then yes I suppose it does but multiple religions contradict each other such as creation beliefs so in a way it is impossible to believe every religion is 100% correct.
(keep in mind this is a theory and does not represent my specific beliefs) Well as far as creation beliefs go every religion i've ever heard or read about starts with nothing/void/blank and then something magical/mystic/godly happens to begin the formation of everything. When talking about the many differences you simply have to examine the cultural differences between the civilizations and their respective belief systems. As far as your example of not killing being placed to establish order, I would argue that maybe those fundamental values are actual the essence of the "will of the universe" and anything added or subtracted is dependent on the representation of the "will". The energy in and of itself could be sentient which would explain how the world was created before humans existed. If you would examine the book I referenced then you would read about the concept of will that is not apart of any single person but actually a universal manifestation.
Perceptions are what shape this world in one way or another. It is an interesting concept. The only thing we can be certain of is in this world is with its vast mysterious we can never truly be certain of anything. It's these mysteries that make the world exciting.
Back in the 4th century Saint Augustine discussed this same topic, an energy from where souls emerge and come back to at the moment of their death. Although, of course, being a Christian monk he called this energy "God".
Have in mind that from here onwards I would state my personal opinion.
I agree with you in the existence of this universal energy but I think of the universe as some kind of layered existence where this energy is what in a metaphorical way surround everything. Gods and goddesses conform the next level and we are the one that follows.
As regards the similarity between religions, I think that in fact there are much less gods than religions make us think and, as someone said before, they are interpreted differently in different contexts.
Re: Calling all philosophers By: Spirit76 / Novice
Post # 8 Mar 07, 2018
I believe it was either Plato or Socratese (I can never remember which) who also posited the theory of forms. It might not quite match up with the current conversation but it is close enough I thought it worth a mention.
The explanation in a nutshell is that every thing, be it a creature, object, or idea, has a perfect conceptual representation somewhere. And every current expression we encounter is an imperfect version that copies certain qualities of that perfect concept, and it is by those similarities we recognise it as what it is.
A chair we see is not 'the' universal concept of chair... but it would have enough elements of that concept reflected in it that we can call it a chair and recognise it as such. The idea was to understand how we can see different versions of objects with the same purpose but still recognize them.
We recognise a chair as a seat with four legs and a backing and arm rests. Yet some have no backing. Some have only three legs. Others can be an amorphous stuffed bag. But we still call them chairs. The puzzle is in trying to understand what, then, makes a chair a chair. Or I guess to tie it to the current conversation what defines a god as a god. Or the divine as divine.
Personally I moved away from the idea of form and gravitated to the ideas of purpose. A chair, to me, isn't a chair because it has a number of legs or a place to sit on... but because it is there for the purpose of being used as a provider of a place of rest. It is a chair because it is a thing meant to be sat on.
This theory very much makes sense. I myself am an Omniest. There is an old Japanieese belief that by wishing for something strongly enough, a God is created to aid you. Many religions share similar thought possesses and yet despise one another for slight differences. I find it completely unessessarry. I personally believe what deities you follow and your beliefs determine your afterlife. This theory I would say is quite interesting in the fact that it basically means that the creator is our will itself. I propose this; if the power resides within every conscious being, and it created us as well, then we are all part of a collective and therefore created ourselves by willing ourselves into existence, perhaps out of a wish to have our own identity. This would mean that "God" or the Creator, is indeed us, but after we wished for individuality from ourselves. This would explain many things such as magic and miricals. The human mind is able to acomplish almost anything just be believing it hard enough. If many people get together and will for the same thing, so shall it happen. This would give credit to the theory that we all were once a collective conscious.