| 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.