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View Full Version : Question for Recons: Are you inspired by other religions other than your own?



David19
March 7th, 2009, 03:07 PM
This is something I'd like to get some other opinions on, but, are there any recons who are inspired by other religions, other than their own, by, that I mean, do you like certain teachings in other religions, and mix it to your personal practice (I'm not talking about mixing religions, but, you're own daily life), or believe in certain things that you're religion may not have mentioned?.

For myself, even though, I'm a Sumerian recon, I do quite like certain teachings of Buddhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity, Ba'hai and quite a few others. I don't mix any religious elements together (e.g. setting up an altar to Ereshkigal, with Zoroastrian elements, etc), but, I do like certain teachings and practices of other religions, for example, some of the things the Buddha said, or some aspects of Christianity (especially the Christians that are concerned with social justice, which isn't too seperate from some areas of the Sumerian religion, as the Sumerian Gods do look favourably to charity work).

I, personally, do think that studying other religions can enrich your own religion, maybe even adapting certain mystical practices of another religion (whether it be meditation, or whatever, etc).

Anyway, what about you?.

*~Amora~*
March 7th, 2009, 07:55 PM
I am rather enamored with Buddhism and with Feng Shui (although not a religion per se it is a belief system that is foreign to the ancient Hellenes). On the other hand, they were not adverse to incorporating other gods into their belief system, so I don't feel it changes who I am or Who I follow.

David19
March 7th, 2009, 08:13 PM
I am rather enamored with Buddhism and with Feng Shui (although not a religion per se it is a belief system that is foreign to the ancient Hellenes). On the other hand, they were not adverse to incorporating other gods into their belief system, so I don't feel it changes who I am or Who I follow.

That's similar to how I feel, the ancient Sumerians didn't tend to adopt the Gods of other peoples (well, in some circumstances, they did), but, I don't feel adopting certain practices, or philosophies to my own personal practice/outlook (again, emphasizing that I don't mix practices at all) makes me any less of a Sumerian recon, or any less devoted to Ereshkigal.

Like I said before, I think, in some cases, it might even enrich your spiritual life, for example, a Christian might try and immitate some of Jesus's life and teachings, and I've been thinking of doing something similar, just with Sumerian Gods, like, maybe, trying to do something similar for the God Utu (the Sun God, quite similar to Apollo), he defends the poor, promotes justice, civilization, the order of the universe, and, probably, goodness as well (he was one of the influences behind the Zoroastrian Good God, Ahura Mazda), I'd like to try and follow his example of doing similar works (although, I'd do it anyway, religion or not, as it's just the type of person I am). Hope that made some sense and didn't just sound like some ramblings.

Seren_
March 7th, 2009, 08:26 PM
I have a soft spot for Roman religion and some Roman deities, but I'm not really syncretic in that sense. I don't incorporate it into my practices, but when in Rome, so to speak...Or Sri Lanka...or in Church...I'll pay my respects to the gods of where I'm at, if I encounter them and/or it's appropriate.

What I understand of other religions, I see a lot of sense in them along with a lot of things I don't agree with. I don't see anything from other religions (the bits I agree with) as really contradicting my own beliefs; I probably wouldn't agree with them otherwise. These days I don't really go out of my way to understand other religions either, though. I'm at a stage where I'm beyond the seeking stage and I'm too busy trying to figure out my own path from without(ETA:within, I meant) its own cultural context to really sit down and have deep thoughts about other beliefs at the moment, I think.

Having said that, there are some things that conflict directly with the pre-Christian beliefs of the cultural beliefs I'm reconstructing. But the point of reconstructionism is to bring an ancient religion into the modern day, so there you have to adapt to your current circumstances. Apparently the Celts were quite keen on human sacrifice, for example, but these days it's a big naughty no no, and the laws and morals of this country that dictate this sort of thing are largely influenced by or originating in Christianity. So directly or indirectly my sensibilities are influenced by that, at any rate. Personally I'm not lamenting the fact that I can't sacrifice the odd prisoner of war here or there. The Celts moved on, and I'm happy to follow suit in that sense.

Rick
March 7th, 2009, 08:59 PM
No.

David19
March 8th, 2009, 10:43 AM
I have a soft spot for Roman religion and some Roman deities, but I'm not really syncretic in that sense. I don't incorporate it into my practices, but when in Rome, so to speak...Or Sri Lanka...or in Church...I'll pay my respects to the gods of where I'm at, if I encounter them and/or it's appropriate.

What I understand of other religions, I see a lot of sense in them along with a lot of things I don't agree with. I don't see anything from other religions (the bits I agree with) as really contradicting my own beliefs; I probably wouldn't agree with them otherwise. These days I don't really go out of my way to understand other religions either, though. I'm at a stage where I'm beyond the seeking stage and I'm too busy trying to figure out my own path from without its own cultural context to really sit down and have deep thoughts about other beliefs at the moment, I think.

Having said that, there are some things that conflict directly with the pre-Christian beliefs of the cultural beliefs I'm reconstructing. But the point of reconstructionism is to bring an ancient religion into the modern day, so there you have to adapt to your current circumstances. Apparently the Celts were quite keen on human sacrifice, for example, but these days it's a big naughty no no, and the laws and morals of this country that dictate this sort of thing are largely influenced by or originating in Christianity. So directly or indirectly my sensibilities are influenced by that, at any rate. Personally I'm not lamenting the fact that I can't sacrifice the odd prisoner of war here or there. The Celts moved on, and I'm happy to follow suit in that sense.

I understand completely, although I'm still in a beginner stage (learning more about the religion, Gods, trying to think about to practice better, etc), I can understand what you mean by being too busy with your own path, to deal with other paths. I also agree that the purpose of reconstructing a religion is to bring it into the modern world (the Sumerian's did, like every ancient culture, sacrifice animals, it's unlikely I'm going to be doing that, etc). I personally think the mystical parts of some religions can aid my own personal practice (but, then, I tend to keep those types things, whether it be magic, or whatever, seperate from my actual religion). I don't think it conflicts with the Sumerian religion, as they were a practical people, and, if they came across something that worked, I think they would have adopted it, or adapted it to suit their needs.

Son of Goddess
March 8th, 2009, 04:20 PM
No.

Haha! *high five*

:crown:

Twinkle
March 10th, 2009, 05:32 PM
No.

What he said.:hahugh:

Malcolm
March 11th, 2009, 12:19 AM
The Celts have pretty pictures but other than that..nope.

Deerwoman
March 11th, 2009, 01:01 PM
No, but sometimes I research other religions that are related to my own - the cultures which were neighbours, so intermarrying and sharing of traditions and beliefs occurred. As I follow a Scottish path, those related would be Irish and Norse/Scandinavian.

Morgaine_cla
March 12th, 2009, 02:27 AM
All authentic paths to enlightenment and spiritual growth are inspiring to me. That doesn't mean I want to follow them (my own path is more than complete), and I never mix and match things from different paths, but I find the quest inspiring, whatever form it may take.

LavenderLady
July 3rd, 2009, 03:48 PM
My religion is Aztec Reconstructionism. Meaning, my religion is strictly Aztec. Some practices have to be modified for the modern world and my living situation.

When it comes to magic, however, I don't even tie that in to my religion. Aztecs practiced their religion without practicing magic. Some did practice magic, but I've found it very hard to find anything about Aztec magic. It isn't necessary in my religion.

Because of this, I do use magical practices from other times and traditions. I do not claim this is part of my reconstructionist path. To me,magic is more of a tool and not religious. I do not call my gods into my magic (I don't think they would appreciate that anyways).

I do not even let my religion and magic touch, so it is not syncretic. :hahugh:

Now, I do like reading about other cultures and their gods, but I do not incorporate them into either my religious or magical practices. The only exception would be if there's a missing part in my religious practices, I can take a hint from cultures neighboring the Aztecs who worshipped the same gods. Gotta be careful though!

Ara
July 4th, 2009, 04:44 AM
yes, sure. I'm inspired by the ancient Greeks, Syrians, and Persians. Perhaps the Romans too. Why? well because they help me understand the old beliefs I'm seeking out a little better. As an Armenian polytheist, I understand that the ancient Armenians were inspired by certain foreign religious ideas and concepts, and so they mixed a little of those beliefs with their own. The syncretism wasnt really major enough to affect Armenia's pagan religious system, just modified it a bit probably to suit the needs of the time. If anything probably made it more stable and endurable.

Voluspa
July 6th, 2009, 08:34 PM
I think 'inspired' is the right word. In practice, I'm probably entirely heathen, yet I can't stop myself from being influenced by other schools of thought--religious or not. My influences can come from anywhere. I love to learn. My ancestors didn't have all the knowledge in the world, so I don't look to them for everything. I suppose that my path isn't capable of fulfilling everything I need as an individual, though it may be for others. If I find a great idea outside of heathenism that suits me, then I'm ecstatic about it.. I think that's what makes spirituality personal and unique.

I also think Osho's The Book of Understanding had a big influence on me when I finally realized I didn't owe anything to any religion. I only owe it to myself to gain knowledge and my own spiritual growth. Religion can do much harm to individual growth when you get too caught up in it. I think it's important to be critical of one's own religion, even if you choose to stay with it 100%. I just choose to learn from everyone who I think helps me.

odubhain
July 27th, 2009, 08:08 AM
I am constantly finding things to inspire me in other religions. Since the basis of my own religion are truth and knowledge, I would be supporting neither if I did not continue to search everywhere. Truth is the basic power that creates everything. Knowledge is how we are aware of it. Questing for them is how they both live within us and the worlds around us. These are the three deities of Draíocht.

Searles O'Dubhain

C. Iulia Regilia
April 7th, 2010, 07:06 PM
I'm mesopotamian, and I draw from the wisdom of some other religions in that area. Since the rise of Christianity and Islam in Iraq, the temples have been destroyed, so I do tend to "barrow" semetic solutions to that difficulty. My solutions are to pray in the general direction of Babylon (basicly eastward, depending on where you are) and placing more emphasis on good deeds and charity -- do good in the world in the name of the Gods, offerings taken in a chapel or the like should be given to charity, etc.

Also, I tend to treat the myths and the code of Hammurabi as sacred texts probably moreso than other trads. There are things that the code requires, and since Hammurabi's code was given by the gods, we should live by it. Again probably not as "orthopraxic" as most recons, but it works for me.

electricpeppers
April 22nd, 2010, 03:24 PM
I love learning so I read whatever I can about other Pagan religions and their roots in history. Even though I'm kind of in denial, I am basically a Heathen -- despite my profound admiration of ancient Greek religion.

I'm deeply influenced by a lot of the initial study I did (and still do) into Greek Polytheism. The mysticism and philosophy outside of the popular religion also influences me; especially pre-Socratic philosophy. I think the traditions of the Greeks will always resonate with me, but despite growing up loving the myths it has not as deeply permeated my worldview like Germanic mythology has. Even though the civilised, rational, beauty-loving part of me wishes I was a Hellene.

I also read about Persian religious history because I'm half Iranian. I'm not particularly interested in Zoroastrianism because it's too dualistic for my liking. As difficult as it is, I try to look more at pre-Zoroaster beliefs. I study Persian religion because it's a part of me and one half of my bloodline... I think it's important to honour that even if it is only in study and not in practice. I'm also very interested in Gnostic ideas and am influenced by Luciferian streams in magic traditions.

Indeed, I have a great interest in all Indo-European traditions -- especially where they came from, how they developed, and the various similarities of belief that exist between them.

That said, I do not mix cultural traditions. Although, I'm not above adapting things that I feel can be so.

Heart of All
April 22nd, 2010, 05:23 PM
I think it's impossible for recons not to be inspired by religions other than their own. Culture is so heavily influence by other cultures. We live in a cultural and religious melting pot. People of all religions in America are influenced by and inspired by the other religions they regularly interact with. Perhaps I don't purposefully take ideas from other religions out of an attempt to be historically accurate, but those ideas do influence and inspire my own thinking about and interaction with my own religion.

David19
April 22nd, 2010, 09:44 PM
I love learning so I read whatever I can about other Pagan religions and their roots in history. Even though I'm kind of in denial, I am basically a Heathen -- despite my profound admiration of ancient Greek religion.

I'm deeply influenced by a lot of the initial study I did (and still do) into Greek Polytheism. The mysticism and philosophy outside of the popular religion also influences me; especially pre-Socratic philosophy. I think the traditions of the Greeks will always resonate with me, but despite growing up loving the myths it has not as deeply permeated my worldview like Germanic mythology has. Even though the civilised, rational, beauty-loving part of me wishes I was a Hellene.

I also read about Persian religious history because I'm half Iranian. I'm not particularly interested in Zoroastrianism because it's too dualistic for my liking. As difficult as it is, I try to look more at pre-Zoroaster beliefs. I study Persian religion because it's a part of me and one half of my bloodline... I think it's important to honour that even if it is only in study and not in practice. I'm also very interested in Gnostic ideas and am influenced by Luciferian streams in magic traditions.

Indeed, I have a great interest in all Indo-European traditions -- especially where they came from, how they developed, and the various similarities of belief that exist between them.

That said, I do not mix cultural traditions. Although, I'm not above adapting things that I feel can be so.

Very cool post, I'm similar, although, I don't actually have a path right now (I know when I started this thread, I was a Sumerian Recon, but, I've since moved on), but, really love learning about different religions and traditions, not just Pagan.

I just also wanted to ask, where did that H.R. Davidson quote come from, if you don't mind me asking?, it's quite a cool one.

Erebos
April 22nd, 2010, 09:59 PM
I'm really interested in Hinduism as an unbroken, living polytheistic religion. My religious interests lie mostly with Hellenic and Kemetic polytheism (emphasis on Hellenic), but I think Hinduism provides a good model for polytheistic religious devotion and theology in the modern age.

David19
April 23rd, 2010, 09:35 PM
I'm really interested in Hinduism as an unbroken, living polytheistic religion. My religious interests lie mostly with Hellenic and Kemetic polytheism (emphasis on Hellenic), but I think Hinduism provides a good model for polytheistic religious devotion and theology in the modern age.

That's very true, although, I think Hinduism can provide a good model for those of any religion (or even none), as there's a lot of wisdom in it, and some very cool practices (e.g. Yoga). Also, not to get OT or anything, but, I think it's a mistake to call it a Polytheistic faith, or even a Monotheistic one, it can be both Monotheistic, Polytheistic, Pantheistic, etc. One of the great things about Hinduism, from my understandings anyway, is that whether you're a Monotheist, Polytheist, Pantheist, Animist, whatever, etc, it's all considered valid and true, there's not this "my way is correct, you're wrong" that some people get stuck in (e.g. Fundamentalist Christians saying they're way is the best, or Pagans saying Monotheism is wrong, etc).

Erebos
April 23rd, 2010, 09:57 PM
That's very true, although, I think Hinduism can provide a good model for those of any religion (or even none), as there's a lot of wisdom in it, and some very cool practices (e.g. Yoga). Also, not to get OT or anything, but, I think it's a mistake to call it a Polytheistic faith, or even a Monotheistic one, it can be both Monotheistic, Polytheistic, Pantheistic, etc. One of the great things about Hinduism, from my understandings anyway, is that whether you're a Monotheist, Polytheist, Pantheist, Animist, whatever, etc, it's all considered valid and true, there's not this "my way is correct, you're wrong" that some people get stuck in (e.g. Fundamentalist Christians saying they're way is the best, or Pagans saying Monotheism is wrong, etc).

Yeah, Yoga is popular with a lot of non-Hindus now, no matter what religion people follow.

Ancient Pagan religions were similar to Hinduism and how it could be polytheistic, monotheistic, animistic, pantheistic, and so on. Some ancient Hellenic philosophical groups viewed Zeus as the World Soul, and certain cults viewed their particular deity as supreme. I think it is still polytheistic because the tradition as a whole embraces diversity when it comes to deities, as some may believe in one, while some people believe in others, and the gods are usually seen as personal manifestations of Brahman. There isn't as much distinction between these terms, as a Hindu can be all of these things at once. I think of it mainly as a polytheistic monism, where there are many gods who are manifestations of Brahman, the divine power that permeates the universe.

I think Shaktism is a really interesting sect. Brahman is viewed as a mother goddess (Devi), whose ultimate form is Parvati, yet Parvati herself has many forms (I can't remember if it's 7 or 9), including Kali, Durgha, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. They are distinct goddesses, but are also forms of Parvati. The distinction between one god and many is very blurry.