THIS IS AN EFFORT TO OBJECTIVELY SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT
ALL PATHS TO SOUL GROWTH
"Birth and Death are but the Book Ends of our Lives . . . Soul Growth resides between" !
With YOUR HELP . . . we will make this listing COMPREHENSIVE !
CURRENTLY: 54 PATHS LISTED !
THANK YOU to ALL who have made constructive suggestions.
Some of the descriptions below are rudimentary and in need of expansion, rewriting, and editing.
Where did all of the time go ? No offense intended to anyone.
PLEASE CLICK TO HELP US IMPROVE OR EXPAND ANY PATH(S) ON THIS SITE
We owe a debt of gratitude to Catherine Beyer and her remarkable Alternative Religions site.
Some of our definitions borrow elements from her hard work and that of Faithology.com ! Please visit those sites.
THERE ARE AS MANY PATHS TO GOD AS THERE ARE PEOPLE ON EARTH
~ Old Sufi Proverb
~~ FAITH ~~
What astonished me most is that the sword is always beaten by the spirit. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
We are undeniably of ONE DNA . . . ONE Source . . . ONE Sister/BrotherHood . . . ONE, very little, Planet . . .
ONE RACE . . . . . . no matter WHAT we may think.
I AM YOU . . .
AND YOU ARE ME . . .
SO IT EXISTS FOR ETERNITY
CLICK to read more about FAITH, below
Trace their origins back to Abraham, who, according to tradition, gave birth to the Jewish and Muslim peoples. His story is featured in the Torah, Bible, and Koran. The Abrahamic religions include Judaism, Christianity and Islam, along with any religions related to or branching off from these three religions, such as Rastafari. Also Known As: Judeo-Christian Religions
From anthropo, which relates to human beings, and morphe, meaning form, anthropomorphism is the process of ascribing human form to inhuman things. In religion, anthropomorphism is commonly applied to deities and forces of nature. The most obvious expression of this process is assigning human appearances to these entities, although other human characteristics such as behavior and emotion can also be included.
Classical gods such as Zeus, Athena, and Aphrodite are well known examples of anthropomorphism. They are commonly depicted as human in appearance, and they generally behave like humans, displaying jealously, love, pride, anger and so forth.
In comparison, the monotheistic gods tend to be much less anthropomorphic. Judaism and Islam never visually depict their god. This is because the god in question is a god of everything and thus cannot be limited by form or appearance. Doing so is considered blasphemy. While Christianity also views their god as a god of all things, they have a far more varied history as to the appropriateness of depictions of him. The portrayal of Ahura Mazda, the monotheistic god of Zoroastrianism, appears to be similarly varied, although current practice avoids such representations.
Animism comes from the Latin word "anima," which means soul or spirit. Its followers believe that all things and events have a spiritual significance. Animism believes that the world is divine and everything in it - trees, animals, mountains, and people are considered to be part of god.
Of the Age (or sign) of Aquarius. The Age of Aquarius is the age of light, air, communication and consciousness. Many believe we are entering that "Age" as of 2012 or '13.
The Age of Aquarius is an astrological term denoting either the current or upcoming astrological age, depending on the method of calculation. It has been called the "Golden Age" by many. Astrologers maintain that an astrological age is a product of the earth's slow precessional rotation and lasts for 2,150 years, on average. In popular culture in the United States, the Age of Aquarius refers to the advent of the New Age movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
Father Yod taught that the "Golden Age" would begin September 17, 2001. Giving time for the cusp . . . that would mean that we are pretty much in it now. He named all of this Spiritual Sons and Daughters with the last name Aguarian in order to prepare them for this great transition and transformation of WoManKind. E Aquarian said: It is important that we all understand that the Golden Age does not mean perfection for everyone. Far more important is "What will YOU do with YOUR Golden Age" ?
There are various methods of calculating the length of an astrological age. In sun-sign astrology, the first sign is Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, whereupon the cycle returns to Aries and through the zodiacal signs again. Astrological ages, however, proceed in the opposite direction ("retrograde" in astronomy). Therefore, the Age of Aquarius follows the Age of Pisces.
Not necessarily related but of interest to many:
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, Levi H. Dowling  - This book is an extensive reworking of the Jesus story with strong Theosophical and Spiritualist influences. Of interest is the attempt to fill in the two decade gap in the Jesus's traditional biography. According to Dowling, Jesus spent a lot of time in the mystical East where he learned esoteric methods from the masters, while rebelling against the caste system. The narrative, unfortunately, has numerous historical inconsistencies, including Jesus meeting historical figures who lived hundreds of years before or after the first century, e.g. Mencius. The book has Jesus studying in India in the Orissa area; while this is an historically important ceremonial area, it didn't come into prominence until nearly a millenium later. In addition, this work appears to be derivative of The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ.
(from Icelandic for "Æsir faith", pronounced [auːsatruː], in Old Norse [aːsatruː]) is a form of Germanic neopaganism which developed in the Iceland in 1970, was recognized as an official religion a year after and then spread to the United States. It focuses on historical Norse paganism of the Viking Age as described in the Eddas, but proponents also take a more inclusive approach, defining it as "Northern European Heathenry" not limited to a specific historical period.
The Bahá'í Faith
BRIEF HISTORY: Bahá'ísm revolves around three central Figures, the first of whom was a youth, a native of Shíráz, named Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad. Known as the Báb (Gate), in May 1844, at the age of twenty-five he advanced the claim of being the Herald who, according to the sacred Scriptures of previous Dispensations, must announce and prepare the way for the advent of One greater than Himself (Bahaullah), whose mission would be, according to those same Scriptures, to inaugurate an era of righteousness and peace and initiate a new cycle in the religious history of mankind.
Mírzá Husayn-'Alí, surnamed Bahá'u'lláh (the Glory of God), a native of Mazindarán, whose advent the Bábhad foretold, was imprisoned in Tihrán, then banished, in 1852, from his native land to Baghdád, and thence to Constantinople and Adrianople, and finally to the prison city of Akká, where he remained incarcerated for no less than twenty-four years, and in whose neighborhood he passed away in 1892.
His eldest son, 'Abbás Effendi, known as 'Abdu'l-Bahá (the Servant of Bahá), was appointed by him as his lawful successor and the authorized interpreter of his teachings. Since early childhood he had been closely associated with his Father, and shared his exile and tribulations, and remained a prisoner until 1908.
BASIC BELIEFS: The Bahá'í Faith upholds the unity of God, recognizes the unity of His Prophets, and inculcates the principle of the oneness and wholeness of the entire human race. It proclaims the necessity and the inevitability of the unification of mankind, asserts that it is gradually approaching, and claims that nothing short of the transmuting spirit of God, working through His chosen Mouthpiece in this day, can ultimately succeed in bringing it about. It, moreover, enjoins upon its followers the primary duty of an unfettered search after truth, condemns all manner of prejudice and superstition, declares the purpose of religion to be the promotion of amity and concord, proclaims its essential harmony with science, and recognizes it as the foremost agency for the pacification and the orderly progress of human society. It unequivocally maintains the principle of equal rights, opportunities and privileges for men and women, insists on compulsory education, eliminates extremes of poverty and wealth, abolishes the institution of priesthood, prohibits slavery, asceticism, mendicancy and monasticism, prescribes monogamy, discourages divorce, emphasizes the necessity of strict obedience to one's government, exalts any work performed in the spirit of service to the level of worship, urges either the creation or the selection of an auxiliary international language, and delineates the outlines of those institutions that must establish and perpetuate the general peace of mankind.
BRIEF HISTORY: Buddhism was founded in 580 BC by Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. The Buddha was born in Nepal and his followers spread this means of attaining enlightenment all over the eastern world. The practice of Buddhism differs in the several dominant forms in which it is found: Mahayana, Tibetan, Zen, etc.
BASIC BELIEFS: The Buddha described the Four Noble Truths: (1) The truth of suffering (dukkha) (2)The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya) (3) The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha) (4) The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)
The Five Skandhas comprise what we think of as our individuality: (1) Form (2)Sensation (3)Perception (4)Mental formations (5) Consciousness.
Following the EightFold Path as laid out by the Buddha: (1)Right View (2)Right Intention (3)Right Speech (4)Right Action (5)Right Livelihood (6)Right Effort (7) Right Mindfulness (8) Right Concentration, leads to freedom from suffering and the attainment of Enlightenment.
See Vajrayāna Buddhism below.
Candomblé (Portuguese pronunciation:[kɐ̃dõˈblɛ])
A religion based on African beliefs, is particularly popular in Brazil. It is also practiced in other countries, and has as many as two million followers. Its rituals involve the possession of the initiated by Orishas, offerings and sacrifices of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdom, healing, dancing/trance,and percussion. It is practiced mainly in Brazil by the "povo do santo" (people of the saint). It originated in the cities of Salvador, the capital of Bahia, and Cachoeira, at the time one of the main commercial crossroads for the distribution of products and slave trade to other parts of Bahia state in Brazil. Although Candomblé is practiced primarily in Brazil, it is also practiced in other countries in the Americas, including Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama; and in Europe in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The religion is based in the anima (soul) of the natural environment, and is therefore a kind of Animism. It was developed in Brazil with the knowledge of African Priests who were enslaved and brought to Brazil, together with their mythology, their culture and language, between 1549 and 1888.
The rituals involve the possession of the initiated by Orishas, offerings and sacrifices of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdom, healing, dancing/trance,and percussion. Candomblé draws inspiration from a variety of people of the African Diaspora, but it mainly features aspects of Yoruba Orisha veneration.
Caodaism originated in Vietnam and has adopted beliefs and practices from many different reliigions like Buddhism, Confucianism and more. It is the third largest religion in Vietnam whose main religious center is called Tay Ninh.
Catholicism (from Greek καθολικισμός, catholikismos, "according to the whole")
Is a broad term for describing specific traditions in the Christian churches in theology and doctrine, liturgy, ethics and spirituality. For many the term usually refers to Christians and churches, western and eastern, in full communion with the Holy See, usually known as the Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Church. However, many others use the term to refer to other churches with historical continuity from the first millennium.
BRIEF HISTORY: The world's largest Christian church, Catholics constitute about 1/6 of the world's population. Its foundation is based on the Holy Bible, based particularly on Matthew 16:18: "Simon from now on I will call you Peter, Peter means rock and upon this rock I will build my Church."
BASIC BELIEFS: Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as three facets in one God. At the center of catholic belief are the belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the holy sacraments, communion, and confession. The Holy See in Vatican, Rome, is the center of Catholic Church headed by the Pope (Head of Catholic Church ) and the College of Cardinals.
In the sense of indicating historical continuity of faith and practice, the term "Catholicism" is at times employed to mark a contrast to Protestantism, which tends to look solely to the Bible as interpreted on the principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation as its ultimate standard. It was thus used by the Oxford Movement.
For some, however, such as the priest and theologian Richard McBrien, the term refers exclusively and specifically to that "Communion of Catholic Churches" in communion with the Bishop of Rome. In its Letter on Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stressed that the idea of the universal church as a communion of churches must not be presented as meaning that "every particular Church is a subject complete in itself, and that the universal church is the result of a reciprocal recognition on the part of the particular Churches". It insisted that "the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches".
According to McBrien, Catholicism is distinguished from other forms of Christianity in its particular understanding and commitment to tradition, the sacraments, the mediation between God, communion, and the See of Rome. According to Orthodox leaders like Bishop Kallistos Ware, the Orthodox Church has these things as well, though the primacy of the See of Rome is only honorific, showing non-jurisdictional respect for the Bishop of Rome as the "first among equals" and "Patriarch of the West". Catholicism, according to McBrien's paradigm, includes a monastic life, religious institutes, a religious appreciation of the arts, a communal understanding of sin and redemption, and missionary activity.
(The above description was taken from Wikipedia.org: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholicism )
BRIEF HISTORY: Christianity originated in Israel shortly after the death of Jesus of Nazareth in 30 A.D. Starting as a small sect within Judaism, it was spread by St. Paul and other disciples across the known world and broke with Judaism. It remained a small, often persecuted religion until the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in the early 4th Century A.D.
BASIC BELIEFS: Essential to almost all forms of Christianity is the divinity of Jesus Christ, who is considered to be the Son of God. Jesus' death by crucifixion (and subsequent resurrection in the body) redeemed humanity from the original sin of Adam and Eve and brought the promise of heaven to those who believe in His divinity.
Confucianism started in China in the 5th Century B.C. and is based on the philosophy of Confucius. Sometimes viewed as a philosophy, sometimes as a religion, Confucianism is perhaps best understood as an all-encompassing humanism that neither denies nor slights Heaven. Confucianism remains at the center of spiritual and political life in China and is also found in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
Discordianism Sacred Chao of Discordianism
(Created by Trent Buck, modified by AnonMoos, Public Domain)
The publication of the Principia Discordia in the late 1950's signaled the birth of Discordianism. The "Patron Saint" is Eris, the Greek goddess of discord. She is the mythological foundation of this "Religion" and her presence emphasizes chaos - which, of course, leads to miscommunication and difficulty. If there is a "Rule of Discordianism", it is that there are no rules. Discordians are often also eponymously known as Erisians.
Many have thought of Discordianism as a "Parody religion". Let's be frank, if you have two guys who call themselves "Malaclype the Younger" and "Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst" - and who publish the "Principia Discordia" . . . I mean, c'mon ! And they claim to have been inspired by hallucinations in a bowling alley ! What'd they expect ?
are a monotheistic ethnoreligious community, found primarily in Syria, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Shia Islam. Druze beliefs incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism and other philosophies. The Druze call themselves Ahl al-Thawid "the People of Monotheism" or al-Muwaḥḥidūn "the Unitarians."
Elián Gonzalez, The Religious Movement
This cult emerged after a story of a cuban boy who miraculously survived a sea accident. Because of the intensity of controversy in the year 2000, a group formed named after the boy Elian Gonzalez.
Literally meaning "the study of the last," eschatology is the study of the end of the world. It is generally addressed in a religious context, describing a particular system of belief's expectations on how the world will eventually end. For example, the Rapture, Second Coming, emergence of an anti-Christ, Armageddon and Judgment Day are all common components of Christian eschatology. Zoroastrian eschatology also features a Judgment Day, when all souls are submitted to fire and molten metal to purge all wickedness. Ragnarok is the Norse tale of the end of days, where several gods will die and natural disasters will kill all but two humans, who will rebuild. The growing popular notion that the world will end on December 21, 2012 might be described as New Age eschatology, based on a misunderstanding of ancient Mayan beliefs.
Gnosticism: Ancient and modern
A philosophical and religious movement which started in pre-Christian times. The name is derived from the Greek word "gnosis" which literally means "knowledge.". Gnosticism involves the relational or experiential knowledge of God and of the divine or spiritual nature within us. A visitor to this web site wrote: "...we believe that gnosis-knowledge requires ultimate transcendence of the merely intellectual to be actualized." 1
Gnostics believe that they have secret knowledge about God, humanity and the rest of the universe of which the general population was unaware. It became one of the three main belief systems within 1st century Christianity, and was noted for four factors by which differed from the two other branches of Christianity.
Hermeticism And Hermetic Beliefs
As used in religious and occult studies - A system of theological and mystical philosophy that developed around the second century, although believers came to accept that the texts were much older than they really were, possibly even predating Moses of the Old Testament. The Hermetic works are assigned to the authorship of Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes Thrice-Greatest" - aka Toth, The Atlantean). Toth claimed o be the last person t live for a thousand years. But some thought these texts were composed by several anonymous individuals.
The Hermetic texts stress the unity of God and humanity's attempt to return to that unity. This context made it appealing and acceptable to many Christians when the texts were rediscovered during the Renaissance, although the texts are not specifically Christian in nature.
BRIEF HISTORY: Hinduism is India's most prominent religion. It consists of thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BC. It is now considered as the world's third largest religion. The term "Hinduism" was named after the Indus Valley of Pakistan.
BASIC BELIEFS (The following description is taken from http://www.himalayanacademy.com/readlearn/basics/nine-beliefs where you can go for more information):
- There exists one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
- The divinity of the four Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
- The universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.
- Karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
- Reincarnation of the soul (atman), evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be deprived of this destiny.
- Divine beings exist in unseen worlds and temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.
- An enlightened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation and surrender in God.
- All life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore Hindus practice Ahimsa (non-injury) in thought, word and deed.
- No religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets of God's Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.
The religion of Yoruba people. Ifá refers to the system of divination and the verses of the literary corpus known as the Odú Ifá. Yoruba religion identifies Orunmila as the Grand Priest, as he who revealed Oracle divinity to the world. Such is his association with the Oracle divinity; in some instances, the term "Orunmila" is used interchangeably with Ifá.
Ifá originated in West Africa in the form of a stringent Yoruba religious system, and is celebrated in traditional African medicine, Santería (referred to as Lukumi), Candomblé, West African & Diaspora Vodou, and similarly in Orisa'Ifa lineages all over the globe.
In Togo, Ifá is known as Afa, where the Vodou deities come through and speak. In many of their Egbes, it is Alaundje who is honored as the first Bokono to have been taught how to divine the destiny of humans using the holy system of Afa. Both male and female are initiated as bokono, and the Amengansi are the living oracles who are higher than a bokono, and the Amengansi are traditionally female. A priest (male or female) who is not a bokono is known as hounan. Also there is a ritual for those who are to be a medium for the spirits.
In the Yoruba religion, divination gives priests unreserved access to the teachings of Orunmila. Esu, is seen as being in charge of justice and order and the transportation of ebo. Esu is the one said to lend authority (Ase) to the oracle during provision of direction and or clarification of counsel. Esu is also the one that holds the keys to ones Ire (blessings), thus acts as Oluwinni (ones Creditor), he can grant Ire or remove it read more about this Yoruba concept of Oluwinni here. Ifa divination rites are claimed to provide an avenue of communication to the spiritual realm and the intent of ones destiny. Oshun is known to be the first apetebi/iyanifa, although some teach that Yemoja was the first.
BRIEF HISTORY: Islam was founded by Muhammad during 632, believed to be one of the messengers of Allah (God) for Muslims. Muhammad started preaching Islam at Mecca, an Arab country which is now a known destination of Pilgrimage for Muslims.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world; its adherents are called Muslims. Islam began in Arabia when Muhammad, Islam's final and most important prophet, proclaimed that the angel Gabriel had visited him and instructed him to preach on behalf of the one God, Allah. The revelations Muhammad claimed to have received were later recorded and compiled in the Quran, Islam's most sacred text. Muhammad moved from to in 622 CE, an event Muslims refer to as the Hijrah. This date marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, 1 AH. Since that time, Islam has grown to over 1.5 billion followers worldwide, all of whom accept Allah as the one God and Muhammad as his final and most important prophet. There are two major divisions within Islam, Sunnism and Shi'ism, which disagree, among other things, over the proper succession of leadership after the death of Muhammad.
Muhammad is said to have received the first revelation of the Quran, as well as his calling as Allah's messenger, in 610 CE. He began preaching publically in Mecca in 613.
Rejected by the polytheistic culture of Mecca, Muhammad and his followers moved to (present-day Medina) and established the first Islamic state. Islam became both a religious and a political organization.
As a religio-political body, Islam quickly expanded to become a world empire. Throughout the centuries, the ruling power of Islamic empires changed hands, and various factions emerged within Islam, but Islam maintained political and religious ties that transcended modern-day national boundaries.
With the fall of the Empire after World War I and the emergence of present-day Arabic nations, Islam lost a great deal of its political unity, though the governments of individual Arabic nations often still rely heavily on Islamic religious law.
Islam is now the world’s second largest religion, with adherents numbering more than 1.55 billion. Followers of Islam live in almost every country of the world.
The Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- The Five Pillars: The Five Pillars of Islam comprise the core of both and Shia beliefs: Sacred Texts: The sacred text of Islam is the Quran. Commonly transliterated Quran or Koran, it comprises 114 chapters. The Sunnah and Hadith, which are accounts of Muhammad's traditions, sayings, actions and deeds, are also regarded highly by Muslims.
- Declaration of Faith: To become a Muslim, one must declare, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Apostle of God."
- : Muslims are expected to offer set prayers at five set times throughout the day.
- Alms giving: Muslims are expected to pay 2.5 percent of their wealth and assets to the poor annually.
- Fasting: Each year during the month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to fast each day from dawn to sunset.
- Pilgrimage: Every Muslim who is physically and financially able is expected to visit Mecca at least once during his or her lifetime.
- Prophets: Messengers and prophets were sent by Allah from the beginning of the world to warn all mankind. Muhammad is the last and principal of these prophets.
- Deity: Islam is a monotheistic religion. Muslims Allah, creator and master of the universe.
BRIEF HISTORY: Jainism just like Hinduism, is originated in India. Mahavira, believe as the founder of Jainism is one of the Jinas or conquerors in ancient East India.
BASIC BELIEFS: Jains believe that every living creature is divine and must be regarded with respect. They beleive that the universe and all that is in it is eternal. 3 Main Levels of Jain: (1) "the Realm of the Jinas" is reserved for liberated souls. (2) the realm of the gods (3) "Continent of the Rose-Apple Tree"
Jedi believe in "The Force", a specific energy that flows through all things and binds the universe together. They also believe that humans can tap into or shape the Force to unlock greater potential. Many Jedi also view themselves as guardians of truth, knowledge and justice, and actively promote such ideals.
Members of a Christian-based religious movement probably best known for their door-to-door evangelistic work. Jehovah's Witnesses call God "Jehovah," believing he is the one true God. They do not accept that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are parts of God. Instead, they believe that God created Jesus and that the Holy Spirit is a force and not a person. They believe Jesus died on a punishment stake and not on a cross, they do not display crosses in Kingdom Halls, and they believe that only 144,000 people will ascend to Heaven, while all other saved humanity will live forever on a paradise on Earth.
Judaism was based in the history of the Jewish people from the beginning of the book of Genesis to the entire book of the Old Testament.Abraham was said to be the founder of the Jewish religion. The followers of Judaism are the Jews. The book of Tanakh, otherwise known as the Hebrew Bible, tells the history of the Judaism. Although there are still many other religious texts aside from Tanakh which the Jews are required to read like Torah (advance study of Tanakh), Talmud, Responsa and the Rabinnic Literature.
Judaism is currently the seventh largest religion, with over 13.4 million adherents worldwide. Their sacred text is called the Tanakh, and it acts as both a compendium of Jewish history and a guide for daily life. According to the Tanakh, Judaism began when a was declared between the Jewish God and a man named Abraham. Judaism was later codified when God revealed laws and commandments to a man named Moses, who led Abraham's heirs to establish the nation of Israel. Scattered and persecuted for centuries, Jews have since built synagogues in almost every part of the world.
- : The creator and sustainer of the universe, Yahweh is incorporeal, eternal, , and , just and merciful, holy and perfect.
- : A great prophet will eventually come to the Jews to end evil in the world, rebuild the Temple, restore the ten lost tribes of Israel, and establish an age of worldwide peace.
- Scripture: The Tanakh comprises prophecies as well as history. Originally written in Old Hebrew, most modern versions derive from the Masoretic texts compiled somewhere around 600 CE.
- Teachings: The Books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) describe a series of ceremonies, sacrifices, and a diet that Jews still practice (as best they are able) to the present day.
- Prophets: The Books of the Prophets contain the messages of many men whom Yahweh appointed to speak on his behalf.
- Writings: The Tanakh also includes a wide range of books that document the lives of Jewish kings and events occurring during their rule. Other writings are religious songs or poetry.
Timeline of Judaism
- Abraham was estimated to have been born around the 21st century BCE. He was known for making a covenant with God, and is generally considered the patriarch of Judaism.
- Sometime after Abraham’s death, the were taken captive by the Egyptians and enslaved there.
- Moses, born around the 16th century BCE, was raised as an Egyptian prince until age forty. He was then exiled when he killed a man. At about age eighty, God called Moses to lead the descendants of Israel from Egyptian bondage. After spending forty years as nomads, they settled in Canaan and established the nation and religion of Israel.
- Following Moses's death, judges and kings held secular power in Israel. Prophets that were called by God functioned alongside a hereditary priesthood to oversee religious life. Records of both are contained in the Tanakh.
- The nation was eventually divided: The Northern Kingdom (Israel or Ephraim) was conquered and ten of the Israelite tribes vanished from history. The Southern Kingdom was comprised of the two remaining Israelite tribes, Judah and Benjamin, but it became known simply as Judah. This kingdom was also eventually conquered, and most inhabitants were exiled to Babylon. Returning seventy years later, Judah existed as a semi-independent kingdom until the Roman Empire scattered the people during the late 1st century CE. These events were the greatest contributors to the dispersion of the Jewish people.
- The state of Israel was founded in 1948 CE as a homeland for Jews, and many flocked to the new nation from all parts of the world.
Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), The International Society for
Is the religious organization for devotees of Krishna (also spelled Krsna). Their religion is commonly known as Hare Krishna, because of the first two words of their principle mantra: Krishna means "The All-Attractive," Hare addresses the energy of God, and Rama means "The Greatest Pleasure." These names of God and the Hare Krishna Mantra are derived from ancient Indian texts of knowledge called Vedas.
The Tilaka mark appears on the foreheads of all followers of Hare Krishna. The two stripes signify the lotus feet of Krishna; the leaf in the center represents holy basil, or Tulasi which traditionally adorns His feet.
K'ung Fu Tzu
BRIEF HISTORY: K'ung Fu Tzu was founded by a great chinese philosopher, Confucius(latin name for K'ung Fu Tzu) during 551 BC. Confucius was a well known adviser of great chinese rulers. He was in the family of Chou Dynasty in China. He was a teacher of morality and ethics, a combination of Taoist faith and Buddhist faith.Confucians are mostly found throughout China and the rest of Asia.
BASIC BELIEFS: Li - includes ritual, propriety, etiquette, etc, Hsiao- includes love within family: love of parents for their children and children for their parents, Yi: righteousness, Xin:honesty and trustworthiness, Jen- benevolence, humaness towards others, the highest Confucian virtue, Chung -loyalty to the state, etc.
Lutheran adheres to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ. With millions of members worldwide, the church is composed of numerous self governing ecclessial bodies each body is guarded by a Synod of independent bishops whose duty is, to teach the Apostotlic and patristic traditions. All of its bishops have a traceable lineage of the twelve apostles.
It is considered as the revival movement of the Church of England. This is a Protestant Christianity religion with different denominations and organizations. The methodists spreads throughout British Empire to the United States and now they are worldwide.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 19th Century America and has over 12 million members world-wide, including 190,000 in the UK. The Church is centered on Christ, but has substantial differences in belief to the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.
A set of stories, commonly called myths, belonging to a people and addressing their origin, deities, ancestors, or heroes. While people today sometimes use the term "myth" to denote a falsehood (i.e. "That's just a myth. It didn't really happen that way."), the term here makes no inherent judgment. Nearly every religion has its own set of myths.
Mythology here generally also denotes information that cannot be classified as history. The historical record simply cannot prove most mythology as factual, although it frequently cannot disprove mythology either. The existence of the Greek gods, for example, simply cannot be proved or disproved. There are numerous mythological stories about them, but there is nothing that proves or disproves whether these events actually happened. Mythology is generally accepted on faith rather than fact.
Native American Spirituality
Many followers do not regard their spiritual beliefs and practices as a "religion" in the way in which many Christians do. Their beliefs and practices form a integral and seamless part of their very being. Estimates of the numbers of Native North Americans at the time of the European arrival/invasion in what is now the United States and Canada vary between 1.2 to 12 million. By the end of the 19th century, the number of Native
A modern non-Judeo-Christian faith which deliberately draws upon or imitates older pagan practices. Such faiths may strive for an accurate recreation of a single older faith, or they may be highly syncretic, borrowing from a variety of ancient traditions and fashioning them into a modern context. Neo-pagan religions include Wicca, Druidry, Asatru, goddess worship, Religio Romana and Hellenismos.
The term neo-paganism was coined by Isaac Bonewits, himself a neo-pagan. The term distinguishes this modern branch of pagan religions from older and often indigenous forms of paganism that he refers to as paleo-paganism and meso-paganism.
A system of theological and mystical philosophy founded in the third century by Plotinus, and developed by a number of his contemporaries or near contemporaries, including Iamblichus, Porphyry, and Proclus. It is also influenced by a variety of other systems of thought, including Stoicism and Pythagoreanism.
The teachings are heavily based upon the works of Plato, a philosopher in Classic Greece. In Plotinus's time, they would have simply been termed "Platonists." Modern understandings have led us to create a new word to separate this system of thought from the one taught by Plato.
While the early Neoplatonists were pagans, many Neoplatonists ideas influenced both mainstream Christian and Gnostic beliefs.
Neoplatonist beliefs are centered on the idea of a single supreme source of goodness and being in the universe from which all other things descend. Every iteration of an idea or form becomes less whole and less perfect. Neoplatonists also accept that evil is simply the absence of goodness and perfection. Finally, Neoplatonists support the idea of a world soul, which bridges the divide between the realms of forms and the realms of tangible existence.
Such writers as Marslio Ficino, Giordano Bruno, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola revived Neoplatonism during the Renaissance.
New Religious Movement
The term new religious movement evolved in part to replace the term cult, which has colloquially taken on many negative connotations. New religious movements need to possess substantial differences from older, more traditional religions. However, the amount of difference required varies from user to user. Some academics attribute the term only to unique religions, while others include movements such as the Church of Latter Day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses – both of which are non-mainstream denominations within the religion of Christianity.
Even the requisite age of a movement varies from speaker to speaker. The term frequently applies to post-World War II religions, but it also is commonly applied to religions created within that last two hundred years. A few even extend the definition to anything originating since the 17th century. There is agreement that the term does not make sense for religions or denominations dating to before the 17th century. For example, mainstream Protestant denominations are not included among the new religious movements.
Orthodoxy as opposed to Orthopraxy
Religions generally focus on one of two things, orthodoxy (correct belief) or orthopraxy (correct behavior). While both are frequently present, one is usually considered more important than the other, leading to very different ways different people can approach religion.It's important to remember that many people engaged in paranormal activities do not necessarily consider what they are working with to be unnatural. These forces are seen as being a part of nature but simply not well understood by science. In fact, some practices such as astrology and alchemy are commonly called "pseudo-science" because they do not hold up under current scientific standards but were once commonly accepted as scientific.
There are probably dozens of different religious belief systems and practices that have been called "Satanism." Depending upon the precise meaning given to the word, the total number of Satanists in the world can be anything from a few thousand to four billion individuals. Dialog on the topic is almost impossible because there is such variability in the meaning of "Satanism" and "Satanist."
In this section, we describe seven main activities which have been commonly referred to as Satanism: religious Satanism, and six forms of pseudo-Satanism -- practices that either don't exist or are unrelated to any worship of Satan as a deity.
A believer of the spirit world. Their beliefs and practices focus on the spiritual aspect of their lives. Shammans think believe they are able to treat illnesses with their spiritual powers and are capable of supernatural realms to answer humans.
BRIEF HISTORY: Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. It is known as the official religion of Japan aside from Buddhism. The term Shinto was derived from chinese word, "shin tao" which means "The Way of Gods". Unlike most other religions, Shinto has no real founder, no written scriptures, no body of religious law, and only a very loosely-organized priesthood.
BASIC BELIEFS: The Shintos call their gods and godesses as"Kami". Kami reveals itself mysteriously in the form of nature. Shintos believe that a person owes his life from the Kami which they consider sacred.
BRIEF HISTORY: Sikhism was founded by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, (1469-1538). At Sultanpur, he received a vision to preach the way to enlightenment and God. He taught a strict monotheism, the brotherhood of humanity. He rejected idol worship, and the oppressive Hindu concept of caste. The name of the religion means learner. It is often mispronounced 'seek' It should be pronounced 'se-ikh', with the final 'kh' sound like the 'kh' in Mikhail Gorbachev.
BASIC BELIEFS: Sikhism being the world's fifth largest religion. Shikhs believe that God exists in nature and in ones self. They do not believe in heaven or hell instead a person needs to experience the spirit of God. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, is the golden scripture of the Sikhs which contains hymns authored by the Sikh's gurus.
A school of thought in Hinduism that is often traced to the ideology of Shankara (8th century CE). It was fully recognized as a branch of Hinduism during the Gupta and post-Gupta periods (ca. 320-ca. 700 CE). Smartas generally worships five central deities: Vishnu, Shiva, Surya, Ganesha, and Devi. However, any other deity or group of deities may be worshiped by individual members of this sect. While many Hindus technically follow Smarta practice, few actually identify themselves as Smartas.
- The Hindu deities are each considered to be equals and individuals
- Despite the above, one deity may be individually exalted above all others according to the individual practitioner’s preference
- Rules of ritual conduct as collected in the sutra literature are obeyed
- Smartas practice a non-dualistic ideology
The Hindu god Ganesha is often worshipped by Smartas.
Religious textsSmartas accept all epic and Puranic literature. Identified traditionally as "Smriti," these texts are believed to have been composed by humans rather than revealed by deities. The term Smarta literally indicates "those who follow Smriti. Smartists consider the Vedas and Shastras as their gods. However, they also acknowledge other gods or philosophers. they are known as polythieists.
The Source Family
BRIEF HISTORY: An Aquarian Tribe who all took Aquarian as their last names - and many still use it. They helped to birth the consciousness of the era of the '60's and '70's - helping to insure that it was more than just sex, dope, rock & roll and communes . . . but that it also begat THE SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION. Jim Baker was already a Hollywood legend when he opened The “Source Restaurant” in 1969, on Sunset Strip. It was among our nation’s first true “Health Food” Restaurants. We called Jim “Father”, then Father Yod and, later, he recognized ~ and Named Himself ~ “Ya Ho Wha”.
BASIC BELIEFS: YHVH (YOD HEH VAU HEH) are the consonants of the ancient and Sacred Name of God. The Jews have hidden the Name behind these letters for thousands of years. They represent The FATHER / GOD and YHSVH IS THE SON/JESUS (YOD HEH SHIN VAU HEH). Father could see that we were approaching a time during which humankind’s tests would be so great that he would need every tool we could get, so Father made it his life’s work (and now, ours) to share this name with common man. You may read much more about this at YaHoWha.org and order the story of the Family in our AwareHouse ("Goods" & Services).
It seems that – at this “End Time” – many Religions, Secret Societies and Indigenous Peoples have finally begun to make available their “Inner Teachings” to the many “Seekers of Wisdom”. And it continues . . . indeed, it is about time that this takes place, to help enable the “Quantum leap of Evolution” that will be needed on this planet.
The process of combining multiple beliefs into one system. Sometimes the result is a completely new religion. Sometimes the result is one religion embracing new ideas or practices from another religion or the surrounding culture. All religions experience some degree of syncretism, but some religions intrinsically depend upon it...
BRIEF HISTORY: Taoism originated in China. It was founded by a great historian Lao Tse. Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are the three great religions in China.
BASIC BELIEFS: Taoism has provided an alternative to the Confucian tradition in China. The two traditions have coexisted in the country, region, and generally within the same individual.
Thelema (Copied from ThelemaPedia -- http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Thelema )
Thelema is the name of the philosophical school and religious matrix established in 1904 with the writing of Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law) by Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) and stands on the central axiom, the Law of Thelema. The Law is summed up in two phrases from the Book:
- “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (AL I:40) and
- “Love is the law, love under will” (AL I:57).
The central goal of a Thelemite (as adherents refer to themselves) is to discover and perform his or her True Will, which is generally defined as the innermost Nature or proper life course of the individual. The techniques used to achieve this goal fall under the heading of Magick.
There are also strong political, ethical, aesthetic, and cultural aspects to Thelema. Although there is no strict literal doctrine concerning these matters, Aleister Crowley wrote many articles and essays regarding his ideas about the proper behavior of individual Thelemites and for an ideal Thelemic society. These ideas have continued to develop into modern times. However, the primary themes involve personal freedom, a recognition that men and women have an inherent divine nature, and that Love is the basis of the Great Work.
- See the article on Religion for an examination of the "religiosity" of Thelema.
Different views of Thelema
Not all adherents of Thelema consider it a religion or subscribe to the philosophy of True Will as outlined in Aleister Crowley's writings. Thelemites may or may not believe in the necessity of Canon or Theology as outlined in this article. Many require nothing more than an acceptance of the message of The Book of the Law as interpreted by the individual, each for him/herself.
The following is a list of various non-obligatory doctrines that are found in the Thelemic literature. First among these is the doctrine which describes the "Holy Books" of Thelema, where many of the other doctrines can be found.
Just as interpretation of Liber AL is a task left to the individual, so is the ethical system of Thelema a matter of personal choice. That being said, there are some common themes within the writings of Crowley and other Thelemic philosophers. Arguably the central Thelemic ethic is one of individual liberty and the personal freedom to fulfill one's Will. Social restriction—such as laws that make illegal certain sex acts between consenting adults—is generally seen in a negative light by most Thelemites.Thelema in the Bible
Thelema appears in the Holy Bible referring to divine will, human will, and even the will of the Devil. One well-known example is from “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come. Your will (Θελημα) be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” Some other quotes from the Bible are:
- “He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” —Matthew 26:42
- “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” —John 1:12-13
- “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” —Romans 12:2
- "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created." —Revelation 4:11
- "…and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” —2 Timothy 2:26
Originated in India and very much related to Buddhism. It spread over Southeast Asia in countries like Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand. In Sri Lanka, this religion is the most prominent.
Founded in North America, the religion of Universalism whose members were converted from different other religions. It's beliefs focus more on social justice and service to humanity, equality and more freedom for homosexuals and bisexuals.
Is very much related to Hinduism. They consider Vishnu as their god. They acknowledge and worship only one god and practices Yoga, and other traditions of Hindus.
Is known for its mantra prayers in different languages. Although it is related to Buddhism, they have diffferent practices and philosophy.
BRIEF HISTORY: Vodun was originally founded in Africa by West African Yoruba people during 18th century. The term Vodun also known as Vodoun, Voudou, Voodoo, Sevi Lwa is commonly called Voodoo. It was originally called the religion of slaves of Africa.
BASIC BELIEFS: Vodun is considered by many to be a evil religion. Among its practices are human sacrifice, cannibalism and the likes. It is known to influence making of horror films. It has awakened the imagination of filmmakers in doing horror movies.
Wecca was first introduced by Geral Gardner during 1950's. It was kept a secret during those times. The cult is odd and eccentric and practices mysticism.
This cult are the ethnic Kurds of Iraq. It spreads throughout Russia, Iran and Syria. Yazdi does not publicly pronounce their beliefs and traditions.
A group of cultures linked by a common language. They occupied an area bounded by the Niger River, and including what is now known as the Benin Republic, southwestern Nigeria, and part of Togo. They held a belief system in common: the Ifa religion. Starting in the 16th century, large numbers of Yoruba natives were transported as slaves to the Caribbean and the Americas.
One of the world's oldest monotheistic religions.It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago.
Thoughts From Soul Growth
The Authors of "The Path of The Pearl"
Most of us believe that there is definitely more going on than meets the eye - on our little planet. Most people will tell you that they have experienced something in their lives that could not be explained by physical or scientific law. This is one of the great dilemmas facing most atheists. There are just too many "Coincidences, flukes, synergisms or whatever" - that can't be explained by rational thought or science. And, of course, almost everyone who has ever committed to any Belief System has experienced that neck-snapping acceleration of the "Co Ink Ah Dinks" - just as soon as you commit to that "Path" ! Not to mention the "Tests" that begin - big time - as soon as the Honeymoon's over !
During the course of our history, we have evolved many different ways to try to explain these experiences and phenomena. Early man dabbled in all manner of mysticism, beliefs, magic, voodoo, etc., and - of course - many used those experiences to serve their own power or greed. The majority of WoManKind still practices variations on those themes today (including some of the same ole power trips).
I am going to say this - partially based on all of the experimentation . . . but mostly because I believe it is true:
"Faith" is one of the most powerful forces in the universe !
We have all seen that "One who has self-confidence" (faith in the self) can do just about anything. Heck. Just look at Joan of Arc !
When one consciously chooses to put that all of the power of that "Trust" - that "Faith" - in something outside of the self . . . then the power of what that faith can do . . . literally seems to know no bounds !
What astonished me most is that . . . the sword is always beaten by the spirit.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte
That's really pretty much what it's all about. Where are we going to put our "Faith" ?
Some put their "Faith" in their work . . . some in money . . . some in sex, drugs, alchohol, whatever . . . some, even put their "All" in crime ! What goes around . . . comes around !
Many people today toy with the concept that we create our own reality - with varying degrees of success. Their success at said "Creation" depends on many different factors, including their understanding of the concept. Most important is the actual degree of faith they are able to manifest - in the face of adversity.
Some scientists have even begun to apply the theories of quantum physics to our daily lives to try to help explain some of the wild anomalies. Extreme new theories have evolved, such as infinite parallel universes, multi-verses and other explanations of experiencing, feeling or knowing things that exist outside of the normal, day-to-day realms of space, time and matter that we have come to understand. These theories make some people more comfortable within their own place in the Universe . . . while driving others deeper into their particular faith.
Many different Religions have fulfilled WoMan's need for a more constant or reliable place to put faith for thousands of years. But people are swiftly losing patience with Religions.
In order to get the most from our own, chosen Path, it's becoming pretty obvious that we are going to need to be flexible . . . and patient.
YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL "PATH" - Religion, Teachings, Beliefs, Worship - whatever you want to call it . . . might be of great magnitude in your life - and shape your life accordingly. To some, their belief system is absolutely critical to their daily function and survival. Most other people really couldn't care less about "Other people's" Faiths.
Are you ambivalent about it all ? . . . Or do you really CARE about these questions ? Do you easily rise to the level of heated discussion, or even get really jacked up about the subject of your "Chosen Belief System" ? Do you get violent ?
The Soul Growth "Vision of Inclusion" was born of Father Yod's saying - in 1973:
"Birth and Death are but the Book Ends of our Lives . . . Soul Growth resides between" !
If you are reading this, then you must have interest in at least trying to do what is right by your Spirital Growth.
We are confident that you - everyone - can attain "Soul Growth" . . . by following any genuine "Spiritual Path" . . . even if it is "The Path of Your Own Creation" . . . they are ALL VALID ! As long as you STAY on it. And Be Kind. And there is no way you can actually "Be Kind" . . . if you can't figure out how to "Be Kind to Your Self" !
So - if you agree - or at least begrudgingly accept - that ALL PATHS are valid . . . how do you feel when you hear about some of the "Alternative Religions" ? The "Communes". The "Cults" ! Oh ! My ! Many people even go as far as fearing unique groups. If you really read about groups and "Cults", etc., you will find that there are many religions you have probably never heard of . . . and literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of cults and groups and communes, etc, etc ! And see if you guess just why it is that you do not know about them now ? But of course . . . it's because they've never done anything EVIL - they never made the evening news ! Many of them are known to contribute very positively to their comminities. Heck . . . isn't Congress a cult ? !
When you think of someone else's "Point of View - Spiritually" . . . do you catch yourself not taking it seriously ? I mean, doesn't everyone sorta snicker the first time s/he hears about "Discordianism" - founded by two guys - based on "Hallucinations in a Bowling Alley" ! Seems like that's gotta be (at lease part of) the point !
And surely it has to be a good thing for us ALL to try to take Religion and Spirituality more lightly.
It seems incontrovertible that TRUE "SOUL GROWTH" - NO MATTER HOW YOU DO IT ! DEMANDS . . . that we get past our preconceptions ! And try to understand why others believe what they believe ! And - even more importantly - work to have "Empathy" and try to support what they believe ! If we can'tsupport it . . . at least tolerate it . . . as long as they are kind.
Here at Soul Growth, we do our very best to acknowledge every religion, cult, sect, belief, whatever ! We believe that people can do whatever they want to . . . as long as they are KIND ! We encourage you - and all - to respect the faith of others . . . while sharing your own beliefs, values, and the practices of your own "Path" - without trying to force them on others.
Knowing one's own Faith - in depth - and studying the basic tenets of the faiths of others - help us to respect and understand each other better. We share - after all - one very small, increasingly-crowded planet. When I was born, there were 2 billion people on this planet ! As of this writing, we are swiftly approaching 7.5 billion !
And we are undeniably of one DNA . . . of one Source . . . one Sister/BotherHood . . . ONE RACE - no matter WHAT we may think.
I AM YOU . . .
AND YOU ARE ME . . .
SO IT EXISTS FOR ETERNITY