In the middle of what would be considered "Indian Territory" in Winnipeg
is a building called "Thunderbird House".
Thunderbird House is basically a cultural center for the native people
living in Winnipeg. It really epitimizes the best of the Native people
living and working in Winnipeg. It's a place where native people try to
keep their culture alive.
I was showing an empty apartment today to a young couple, both of which
were obviously native. The guy had a jean jacket on, and on the back of
it it was embroidered in black, white, yellow and red yarn:
"You do not have a soul.
Your are a soul.
You have a body."
Black, white, red and yellow are the traditional colours of native
peoples. It's the colours they could make with the materials that were
available in nature, and you'll find that most native art is done
predominantly in these four colours.
I asked him where he got that, and he said that it's on a plaque in
Thunderbird House, and I realized that those three simple lines fully
explain the difference between traditional native "religion" and
Judeo-Christian religion. The former teaches that everything has a
spirit/soul, but those souls may inhabit bodies of different types.
Birds and animals have spirits, and so it is necessary to pay your
respects to the spirit of an animal you kill to eat because it's spirit
is no less important than your own. Judeo-Christian religion teaches
that we are basically bodies, and deep inside us is a soul which rises
to heaven or descends to he11 upon our passing. Two concepts that are
diametrically opposed, but both still provide a sound framework for
That Indian impressed me and I thought I'd share it with the others in
Our 2nd last store we sold is near a Indian reserve(T'su T'si Na Nation,
very well to do reserve operating Casino, Hotel on their land).
We had many native folks coming to our store. Never met bad man or
woman, all very gentle and honest hard working folks. Not all are lazy
"Judeo-Christian religion" teaches no such thing. Rather,
"The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the 'form' of
the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living,
human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a
single nature." [The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 365]
| The former teaches that everything has a
| spirit/soul, but those souls may inhabit bodies of different types.
| Birds and animals have spirits, and so it is necessary to pay your
| respects to the spirit of an animal you kill to eat because it's spirit
| is no less important than your own. Judeo-Christian religion teaches
| that we are basically bodies, and deep inside us is a soul which rises
| to heaven or descends to he11 upon our passing. Two concepts that are
| diametrically opposed, but both still provide a sound framework for
They're not opposed at all. Both are saying that
"the real you" is that which knows beyond physicality.
You are not the physical vehicle.
Why would Christianity posit a soul if "the real you"
were the body? In that case the soul would be
analogous to a tapeworm, merely living in you, and
what happened to that soul after death would be of
no concern to you. That's the scientific materialist
view that your being and consciousness are nothing
more than an accidental, complex chemical reaction.
To posit a soul-as-tapeworm is, at best, a band-aid
attempt to resolve J/C teachings with the current
hyper-materialistic view of reality that's resulted from
an inappropriate exalting of science.
I don't think Hinduism and Buddhism teach differently,
either. The various religions vary in the basics. Even
Judaism and Christianity are profoundly different in their
views, despite sharing many of the same writings. But
all teach that there's a truer vision veiled by the worldly
life of the body. Thus all teach some kind of spiritual path
that involves a general divesting of worldly interests.
Though Judaism seems to be primarily a tribal religion
that was adapted. It's monotheistic god started out as
a local tribal god, in a time when the Middle East was
apparently populated by various competing tribes.
["Thou shalt have no other gods but me."]
And the story of Moses' leadership, to me, reads like a
history of a culture being built out of barbarism. Moses
is mainly teaching basic tribal citizenship rather than
spiritual path. (An eye for an eye. Usury is a sin for
Christians but for Jews it's only a sin when practiced
against fellow Jews. Those are legalistic guidelines for
As can be seen in Israel now, Judaism tends to engender
not spiritual feeling but rather tribal dedication. It's also
different in that it's connected with a people who identify
tribally, while Christianity is a faith practiced by people
who are "landed", generally identifying with their land or
nation: An American might be Christian. A Jew might live in
the US. Those are fundamentally different forms of personal
When I question Jewish friends about the apparent lack
of Jewish spirituality I'm often told that the Jewish mystical
teachings are in the Cabala. But I've never met anyone who
actually knows anything about the Cabala.
| Religion can be any form, belief is the matter.
Religion for you is a practice of belief? I'm not
sure a lot of religious people would agree with that.
But I suppose if you think religion is merely blind
belief then you don't much care what religious
people think their religion is. You're already comfortably
settled in with your own belief system. I'm guessing
that you believe you're not religious. That's quite
a pickle, given your own definitions. :)
Very glad you shared.
uh, ...my Christian teaching says EXACTLY that phrase. Teachers used to
actually muse that people become too concerned with what is NOT real [life
and bodies] and forget what is real [their soul] Bsically reminding us
that we MUST always remember we are ORIGINALLY souls and only transitorily
My father said it slightly differently by asking, "Why do people get so
upset about life? Nobody gets through it alive."
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