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Is religion born out of culture?
Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

Posted by warriorPrincess
on: Apr 19th, 2003, 10:20pm

Religion: Belief in a reverence for a supernatural power accepted as the creator and govenor of the universe. A specific unified system of this expression 'the Buddhist religion'. The spiritual or emotional attitude of one who recognizes the exhistance of superhuman powers. An objective pursued with fervor or conscientious devotion.
~websters dictionary~

I sis have pondered this often as I find miself pondering many things of this nature. Being raised a Christian and being subjected to the typical hypocrisies of "the church"...I have for a long time been turned off by the "system" of organized religion, and reject it's institutional like harness on the minds of free thinking people to think for themselves without some kind of mediator between I self and God..using fear and guilt as a tactical means to keep it's people mentally and spiritually conditioned and bound for it's own self(ish) interests.

question: Is this a "religion" I reject? Or the mindset of a cultural institution?

For I yolk and bind with the "MIND" of Christ...just not "the church"...or at least not the "Christian church"..

Yet, I find a deep and profound respect for any and all who seek the face of God through any means of true righteous principles and precepts...and certainly one would agree...that throughout all religions...basically the fundamentals are the same and eventually lead to the same (?) ...truth is truth and stands on it's own...we all are endowed with the Holy Spirit to sight truth and discern it when we hear it. Most religions seem to have this at their core...it's just the man-made ways of achieving the various "righteous paths" is what seems to differ ..which then brings up various cultural roots that seem to birth the various religions.. are we bound by our culture, based upon our heritage?...How do religions now transcend their origins? Is Rastafari a religion?...if not...how does it differ?..is it birthed out of the culture of Ethiopia/Africa?
...must one believe in Haile Selassie as the Christ/spiritual figure head in order to be Rastafari?...How did the vows of Rastafari originate...and exactly what are they today?

So many questions...the water has certainly broken the dam...
I finally feel free to express here....smile...thanks be!

I have danced circles around Rastafari...it keeps calling to my heart, soul, and mind.. many times I have walked away
..feeling like I didn't belong...I cannot claim Ethiopia or Africa as my heritage...i have not suffered the struggles of my black brethren and sistren..repatriation to Africa is not an issue for me...I know little of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia, and the true relation to Rastafari...yet still it calls...above and beyond, and blows any other religion out of the water fe me....why??
...what is this profound connection??...what is this power of Rastafari over I?...and how does it call to many people like I self outside of the culture??...

Can we truly/rightfully be a part of it's sacred precepts in spite of?

please help a searching sis out

(forgive I fe droning on)

thanks be for fruitful reasonings and sightful loving bredren and sistren!

Posted by Ayinde
on: Apr 20th, 2003, 1:45pm

There are many points in your post worth developing so I will address a few at this time.

Although the dictionary gives a 'modern' definition of religion I prefer to go back to the 'root' of the word as it shows other points worth considering.

The term religion comes from two Latin words.

"RE" which means "BACK" and "LIGON" which means "to hold, to link, to bind."

In essence religion is the process of linking back, specifically, linking back to our original source.

Culture is all the things that bind people together and as such religion is intertwined with culture. However, the process for reconciling to the original source may not be part of the culture of a people and as history has demonstrated, this process was only realized by a few.

In the search for specific aspects of culture to apply appropriately to realize this goal, people should reject being forced to accept anything. They should also consider that trekking to the heavens is something they can do here and now while in this physical body.

Our greater ancestors knew, and some people today know themselves living in the heavens while on earth. Therefore transcending the limitations of the material world is achievable while on earth and in this human body.

Posted by warriorPrincess
on: Apr 20th, 2003, 6:40pm

Blessed reasonings Ayinde,

So then...with regards to religion..all roads eventually lead to the same destination/realization..as it is a path/way back to the original source of our creation...religion being a means to take you there..at least that is it's core premise...
and yet, culture is SO interwoven into religious practices, which therefore leads me to think that religion "technically" speaking, is something created of "man"... his ways and means to seek the face of the Almighty through the various practices and sacrements within the context of his culture...

...culture also being a means that binds people together through geographical root and livity...therefore it cannot be helped but to be mixed in with the practices of any particular religion...especially now as we experiance globilization...and religions now taking on many diverse cultural influences

though "spiritually"...religion could be considered a path to realize truth...and could therefore transcend a culture that gave rise to some of the practices associated...(?)

Can man be religious without being a part of any religion?...finding his own pathway to enlightenment?

Is Rastafari a religion?

blessed reasonings

Posted by Ayinde
on: Apr 20th, 2003, 7:34pm

These are my views on this subject. Others may hold different views.

No, all roads do not lead to the 'same' destination. (I'll expand on this a bit later) Some paths are good for exploration and realizing many more questions in the search for answers. This in itself is good. But many parts if not trekked carefully can lead to great disillusionment and dangerous conduct.

People have to ask the right questions as they traverse this earth and be prepared to act on the highest truths as they understand them in order that they be lead back to the original path from whence we came, only this time conscious of ourselves.

People can be very religious and not be part of any one concept of religion. Actually, I do not know anyone who have or can make this auspicious journey while holding on to any one of those mainstream 'religions'.

In this regard, Rasta is about living within the laws of nature and wisdoms derived from such a perilous search for one's divinity. I must add that this divinity should start from a search within that should lead to the inner higher divinity. Rasta is about consciously living in that interconnected state with oneself. It is a way of living rather than a blind belief system.

The journey to the highest state of Rasta encompasses a search for our divinity by traversing time and space through our ancestry of which the highest divinity is the essence of all of life.

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