Alfonsoo

Is it worth it to read the holly books and sacred texts?

17 posts in this topic

I'm talking about all texts from major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism & Islam. 

Obviously it is an overwhelming (to put it nicely) amount of content. Should I even bother? Maybe just skim through them? I am curious to peek at all these radically different world views that have many wars and history to their names. And I understand theres some value to be taken out of them, but of course you have to have a trained eye as by now they should be highly adulterated and diluted. But perhaps that's just all I should do; take a peek.

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To be honest, I don’t think books like the Bible, the Qur’an, and the Torah hold very much value. I’ve attempted to read them in the past, and found them difficult, full of linguistic snares, and filled with concepts that are not very relevant. There are exceptions, some of the stories in the Bible hold some wisdom, the Song of Solomon is nice, Mohammed’s Night Journey. But it’s not worth wading through Deuteronomy, all the begat’s, or the Qur’an’s continuous dire warnings about what will happen to unbelievers. 

You are likely to be much better off with alternative modern commentators. I’ve read Osho’s The Mustard Seed, on Christianity, and various books on what was found at Nag Hammadi. I’ve read various books on the history of the grail. I’ve read some books on what a historical Jesus might have been like, the man without the miracles. There are also a number of decent movies which tell these stories, King of Kings, Ben-hur, Kingdom of Heaven, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Passion of the Christ, Jesus Christ Superstar, Yentl. It won’t give you a Christian scholar’s in depth view of the Bible, but it will give you a basic knowledge of some of the stories without having to wade through the books. 

The books have a nasty habit of sneakily or obviously trying to browbeat you into following the religions. There’s always a thinly veiled “you’d better do this, or that will happen to you”. 


“Nowhere is it writ that anthropoid apes should understand reality.” - Terence McKenna

 

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Hinduism and Buddhism are a different kettle of fish. Buddhism holds up to a prolonged study, and has much of value to recommend it. I would suggest starting with the teachings of a modern teacher like Thich Nhat Hanh, or even more basic, picking up a copy of Buddhism for Dummies to get a feeling for the different schools within the teaching. You can’t really go wrong as a beginning student, everything has some value, just see what appeals to you. 

Hinduism I probably have the least knowledge of. I’ve listened to Osho’s commentaries on the Upanishads and read the Wikipedia articles, and I’ve done some reading on Advaita Vedanta, which seems the stream within Hinduism that most westerners connect with. Those resources I can recommend to gain some basic knowledge. It’s a big and varied religion. I’m not sure if I’d recommend hanging with a sect like the Hare Krishna’s, although their lore is basically Hindu they tend to take some things very literally. 


“Nowhere is it writ that anthropoid apes should understand reality.” - Terence McKenna

 

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Posted (edited)

About half of the meaning of those scriptures gets lost with the translation, and the other half gets lost with time. If you aren't an original speaker of the book, you will barely read 10% of what's intended with the communication. And even then, you will probably get half of that wrong. And all that assumes that the book is actually original and was not distorted over time, which is very unlikely to begin with.

As an example, the Quran was written about 1400 years ago. The language (Arabic) at the time was very different than now. Arabs read the Quran now and barely understand it, and these are the native speakers of Arabic. The first book that was written in an attempt at explaining the Quran to the common people (right now, they're called " Tafsir", aka interpretation books) was around 300 years after Muhammad's death. So, you see, in the span of 300 years people couldn't comprehend the book anymore. They needed scholars and linguists to help them crack the codes. That's how quickly wisdom loses its meaning and starts needing to get reproduced. Because language evolves over time, and wisdom has to keep up with evolution before it's forgotten.

For me, personally, as a native speaker of Arabic, it took me a lot of research and studying of the original Arabic language (literally years) before I could finally start to really comprehend anything beyond the level of intellect. And that didn't happen without a huge development in my intuitive skills after years of inner work.

So, in conclusion, no. Absolutely not worth it.

If you're looking for wisdom, you're better off watching YouTube videos and reading recent books. This forum is great too, btw! Even better, doing enlightenment work as your main source for wisdom, and then reading something or watching a video on the side as a supplement for your insights.

At the same time, there are truths that cannot be communicated no matter what, and only you can discover. So even if you listen to all the teachers in the world and understand everything they say, you're still gonna miss out on half of true wisdom if you don't do the work on your own.

Edited by Gesundheit2

Have faith.

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Posted (edited)

Yes it is worth reading scriptures. However, I think I learn faster when I read through interpretations of scriptures. 

I was not spiritual when I was young. Always been a very Science person. I never read a single religious text till I was age 25 or so. Guess that's how I did so well for my Bachelor degree with Honours.

But I need a lot of help when reading spiritual texts.

Edited by hyruga

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8 hours ago, Bodhitree said:

Hinduism and Buddhism are a different kettle of fish. Buddhism holds up to a prolonged study, and has much of value to recommend it. I would suggest starting with the teachings of a modern teacher like Thich Nhat Hanh, or even more basic, picking up a copy of Buddhism for Dummies to get a feeling for the different schools within the teaching. You can’t really go wrong as a beginning student, everything has some value, just see what appeals to you. 

Hinduism I probably have the least knowledge of. I’ve listened to Osho’s commentaries on the Upanishads and read the Wikipedia articles, and I’ve done some reading on Advaita Vedanta, which seems the stream within Hinduism that most westerners connect with. Those resources I can recommend to gain some basic knowledge. It’s a big and varied religion. I’m not sure if I’d recommend hanging with a sect like the Hare Krishna’s, although their lore is basically Hindu they tend to take some things very literally. 

This is a pretty good cross-examination. I would go a step further to state that Hinduism's main appeal to Westerners is the concept of Brahman, a single mind containing all consciousness. It appeals to our Judeo-Christian soul language TBH. Buddhism takes the opposite approach in saying that there are no minds at the absolute level. Everything is random phenomena tied together into a bundle and called "self." But at the finest level of reality, there is only the quantum dance.

If you go by orthodox Theravadin Buddhism, anyway :) 

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I believe it is wise to read them.

I had my latest awakening during a read of the book of Ecclesiastes which was written by King Solomon, earlier this year. I'm Jewish and I live in Israel so I have access to many hebrew scriptures including Kabbalistic sources, Torah interpretations and Talmud writings.

Greg


"I believe you are more afraid of condemning me to the stake than for me to receive your cruel and disproportionate punishment."

- Giordano Bruno, Campo de' Fiori, Rome, Italy. February 17th, 1600.

Cosmic pluralist, mathematician and poet.

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You can read. Sometimes it's worth it. But it's going to mislead you if your dont know what to receive from it. All great spiritual books are filled with ego which is more satisfying for a common man. Understand the core teachings by reading between the lines. 

Goal is the same but paths are different.

Psychedelics not just make you awaken for a time being but saves you from a lifetime of misinformation. Once you have a breakthrough you'll know how to research spirituality!

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On 7/18/2021 at 0:45 AM, Alfonsoo said:

Should I even bother? Maybe just skim through them?

Don't skim. Spiritually feast. Disregard the concepts, and realize the profound truths that dissolve the boundaries between superficial traditions.

1,000 holy books sped-read are of less worth than one book, Consciously realized.

The Perennial Philosophy appears in every age and civilization:

  • There is an infinite, changeless reality beneath the world of change
  •  This same reality lies at the core of every personality
  •  The purpose of life is to discover this reality experientially, that is, to realize God while here on earth

- Aldous Huxley

Various books have spoken to me, perhaps most profoundly the Bhagavad Gita, not because it is clearer than others, but because I encountered it when I was ready to receive it. It is not so much about the book, as about your readiness to hear, beyond the clamoring of the conditioned mind, in the stillness of the spaciousness that you are.

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Posted (edited)

On 7/19/2021 at 2:26 AM, Alfonsoo said:

@hyruga Didi you read form multiple religions?

Yes. I am born a Buddhist though I am not in India or China. I know some concepts and cultures of Buddhism having being born and raised in them.

I read some Buddhist scriptures but they don't get to me easily.

Later on, I also read some books and scriptures on Christianity. It was very challenging to engage the Bible so I read some interpretations of it. I told my parents that I want to be a Christian and they were open-minded about it. The concepts in Christianity are more relatable to me but in the end though I attend some Church events and stuff, I am still not baptised.

I also read Conversations with God. The book is actually anti-Christianity. It talks about how We are One and Everything is God.

I also read some other spiritual texts.

 

 

 

Edited by hyruga

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They are as worth it as reading the Harry Potter novels, you will get some entertainment and some lessons here and there.

If you want truth then practice self-inquiry, meditate or/and do psychedelic's responsibly. 

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@hyruga @Eternal Unity

I mean no disrespect, but isn't the whole task of enlightenment and consciousness work more difficult when trying to do it by religion's rules? I think consciousness work and (modern/mainstream) religion have drifted apart by a great deal and in general no longer pursuit the same ego-less objective. I' sure that it is possible to only listen to the true and non-diluted bits but why not just go directly to less diluted sources and (of course its personal preference), but why engage in all the custom and cultural side of religion (meaning not the esotericism)? It doesn't make sense to me, from the point of view of those who willingly convert in search of enlightenment. If you were born inside a religious household I guess its hard to unsubscribe to that way of thinking. Sorry if I came across as a bit  insensible but I don't know how else to ask :) 

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Posted (edited)

I don't seek enlightenment. I have some spare cash but I am still very much in the survival stages of fear, shame, guilt n hunger.

I only hope to tap in and assess more divine energy through the books and resources. I am just curious about other religions but you are right, there will be dogmas attached and these may interfere with enlightenment work.

Edited by hyruga

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@Alfonsoo I read mostly for interest, that I had an awakening wasn't planned. I guess I connected to the spiritual aspect of the bible and it influenced me into awakening based on previous consciousness work. So, I wasn't exactly following religion rules.

I search for truth. Wherever it leads me, I go there.

 


"I believe you are more afraid of condemning me to the stake than for me to receive your cruel and disproportionate punishment."

- Giordano Bruno, Campo de' Fiori, Rome, Italy. February 17th, 1600.

Cosmic pluralist, mathematician and poet.

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@Alfonsoo 🙂👍


"I believe you are more afraid of condemning me to the stake than for me to receive your cruel and disproportionate punishment."

- Giordano Bruno, Campo de' Fiori, Rome, Italy. February 17th, 1600.

Cosmic pluralist, mathematician and poet.

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