Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Ashram, Dec 1: Who am I?

The December Ashram finally got to the question of how religions deal help answer the questions of "Who am I?" and "What should I do when I grow up?" We had an interesting discussion on the varying traditions of religious identity. I flung my "bomb" by asking the question as to whether or not definitions of religious identity contribute to divisiveness and discrimination. It axiomatically creates an "us vs. them" situation, and if your religion teaches it is best to be what you are (and if not, why would you want to be one), therefore, everyone else is at best second-best. The other members greeted this sally in a sporting frame of mind, and although we agreed that the more enlightened practice of modern religions was more ecumenical, this was still an issue. We then considered the question of whether or not it was possible to define a spiritual belief system in terms of action towards others so that this problem would be less likely to arise. No satisfactory answer was arrived at although we considered that non-western systems like Taoism or Buddhism might come close. The final major point of discussion asked why more (American) people don't seem to be guided by religious guidelines in their choice of life path, and agreed that in these days, more people are affected by educational and economic opportunity.
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