Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Opus 2014-111: The Revival of Paganism, part 3 of 7, Karma and the Force

Western paganism is Saturday Morning Cartoons gone amuck. 

The predominance of western paganism is diminishing and being eclipsed by the eastern variations.

Eastern paganism can be divided into two general groups.  The first tends to take more impersonal avenues.  They were not originally religions although that has changed over time.  They were philosophies that govern behavior in this life.  Confucianism and Buddhism started out as philosophies, not religions.  

The other Eastern trend is impersonal but eternal.  Eastern pagan gods tend to be forces rather than persons.  They are not gods as we think of them but eternal principles.  Thus the ultimate goal of both Hinduism and modern Buddhism is Nirvana.  Western Christians do not understand how different this concept is from what they believe.  This is not a version of heaven.  It is totally different.  In heaven you are aware of your personhood and God’s personhood.  In Nirvana you cease to be aware and are absorbed into what Star Wars called the Force.  Eastern gods have names but they are viewed as all being a part of the same ultimate force.  The purpose of those segments of the eternal is to move you toward absorption.

To the Buddhist life is misery.  Being aware of self is misery.  There is nothing ultimately but pain and suffering.  Thus the goal is to earn the right to be absorbed and stop being aware of your misery.  There is no real joy or purpose in this existence.  Thus you have the wheel of life and repeated incarnations that move you up toward oblivion or down toward more suffering.

This leads to a culture that believes in karma.  It means you get what you deserve.  If you are a slave working in a salt mine it is because you were a real stinker in a previous life.  If you are a prince, you did a good job last time around.  It leads to a belief that the suffering classes are getting what they deserve and the only way they can get better is to suffer compliantly.

Obviously this means that upward mobility and prosperity for the masses is undesirable.  This is one reason why pagan societies have such an aversion to free enterprise, equal rights before the law and an acceptance of almost universal poverty.

Is that a world we see?  With the increase of paganism we see our underclasses swelling.  We see more violence and abuse. 

To be continued...

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.