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People, books, or topics that have added dimension to your views of religion or mythology?

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Initial post: Feb 26, 2013 2:49:14 PM PST
Songbird says:
Quite a broad and vague question, I know. Nonetheless, who/what has added to your outlook on how religion or mythology function in life or throughout history?

At first thought, people who have added to my perspective:

Neil Gaiman
Alan Watts
Joseph Campbell
John Shelby Spong
Daniel Dennett (on memes)
Karen Armstrong
Marshall McLuhan
Alain De Botton
Terrence McKenna

This is just what I can think of at this time, and though I don't agree with all of the concepts the people on this list have publicized, they've influenced my perceptions of ontology, epistemology, mythology, and so on.

What has influenced you?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 6:53:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 28, 2013 6:25:56 PM PST
tokolosi says:
I'll avoid duplicating:

Timothy Leary
Ram Dass
Hunter S Thompson
Albert Hofmann
(bit of a theme going on here...)

Billy Graham
Jerry Falwell
Pat Robertson
Josh McDowell
Hal Lindsey
(another theme, but their influence eventually had the opposite effect intended...)

Christopher Hitchens
(a theme all by himself...)

Transcendental Meditation
Excessive amounts of time wandering alone in the woods

Matthew L. Broderick
"Doc" Skeptic, MD
Eric Pyle
Kevin Bold
Michael Altarriba
Lucy and her hedgehogs...
Micheal Huggins
Brother Niv
Here For The Music
Irish Lace
mrs exp
Whomper andhishorse...
Rachel Rebecca Riordan
Alpha Wingoov Karen
(the list goes on and on...)

Oh, and last but not least: ME
(My personal life experience has had by far the greatest influence on my views of religion, mythology and such.)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 7:23:19 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 25, 2014 12:57:03 PM PDT]

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 7:40:33 AM PST
Songbird says:
Thanks, tokolosi and MMX. I've read books similar to your list (and a top 5 would have been a good idea), and added the first book in your list to my cart.

BTW, I borrowed The Black Swan and loved it.

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 8:06:05 AM PST
People, books, or topics... You forgot to mention "chemicals." ;)

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 8:15:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 8:17:32 AM PST
J. Russell says:
Most of the above plus

Steven Batchlor
Thich Nhat Hanh
Ayn Rand
Pema Chodron
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Bob Marley
Martin Luther King

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 8:33:51 AM PST
Songbird says:
Black Swan: "You forgot to mention "chemicals."

Ha! Will this do? From my list above, Terrence McKenna's Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

And funny that I mentioned a black swan, and here you are...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 8:44:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 8:45:13 AM PST
Syncronicity I guess... :)
BTW, I've been meaning to read that Terrence McKenna one.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 9:58:59 AM PST
Songbird says:
Thanks, J. Russell. I'm curious - If you could, pick one of those and describe a manner in which you were influenced by that person?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 10:05:41 AM PST
Songbird says:
I enjoyed his "stoned ape theory of evolution." He sure had some interesting ideas. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 10:07:41 AM PST
NIV version

anything else is distracting noise

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 10:09:29 AM PST
Lugh says:
As a one time Christian, The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God? was a bit of a shock.

By the time I'd got to The Greatest Lie Ever Told I was quite relieved to see that so much that had been puzzling was falling into place.

Since then I have sampled The Cosmological Origins of Myth and Symbol: From the Dogon and Ancient Egypt to India, Tibet, and China and quite a lot of Judaism and Ancient Egyptian religion links in quite well.

For a more detailed look at how Celtic Christianity was actually Druidism under new management - it was Uffington who gave me that idea - I liked The Druids.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 10:21:42 AM PST
Songbird says:

I can't say that I believe nothing else has influenced you, but I get that you especially revere the Bible.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 10:36:24 AM PST
Songbird says:

Ooh, the Cosmological Origins looks good.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 10:37:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 10:38:03 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Songbird says:

[What has influenced you ?]

I've been influence a lot by the Edgar Cayce material. Cayce was I believe the reincarnation of the great Osiris, the Egyptian Lord Of The Underworld. So to me he was like mythology in a living form.

Homer's Iliad bloodbath story is very strange since the mythological gods and goddesses have a direct role in the Trojan War. And in fact what Homer wrote is true. The Iliad is a unique blend of eloquent and artistic mythology combined with utter savagery.

The following book has influenced me a lot:

Ufo...Contact from Planet Iarga [Hardcover]
Stefen Denaerde (Author), Wendelle C. Stevens (Author)

That book, if you can believe it, contains information provided by beings from another planet called Iarga which is 14 light years from Earth. This is interesting because recently scientists realized that there are probably Earth like planets as close as 13 light years from us.

I've read quite a few books about flying saucers, alien abductions, the Men In Black, and other strange subjects. To me this is all in the realm of the Satanic but it's a good change of pace sometimes.

There's some sort of mystical connection between the pyramids, the gods, and the stars. That's why astrology and mythology overlap in various ways. This is leading me into an interest in astrology.

The following books stand out in my mind as being particularly interesting. Not that I totally agree with everything all of those books say.

Keeping books about Satanism and demonic activity in your environment can cause paranormal activity to start happening.

Fulcanelli: Master Alchemist: Le Mystere des Cathedrales, Esoteric Intrepretation of the Hermetic Symbols of The Great Work [Paperback]
Fulcanelli (Author)

The Giza Power Plant : Technologies of Ancient Egypt [Paperback]
Christopher Dunn (Author)

The Philosopher's Stone: Alchemy and the Secret Research for Exotic Matter [Paperback]
Joseph P. Farrell (Author)

Edgar Cayce's Story of Jesus [Hardcover] by Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce's Past Lives of Jesus: An Amazing Story [Paperback]
Glen Sanderfur (Author)

Initiation [Paperback] by Elisabeth Haich

Initiation in the Great Pyramid (Astara's library of mystical classics) [Paperback]
Earlyne Chaney (Author)

Top Secret/Majic: Operation Majestic-12 and the United States Government's UFO Cover-up [Paperback]
Stanton T. Friedman (Author), Whitley Strieber (Foreword)

Secret Life: Firsthand, Documented Accounts of Ufo Abductions [Paperback]
David M. Jacobs (Author)

The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time [Paperback]
Preston B. Nichols (Author), Peter Moon (Author)

In a Dark Place [Mass Market Paperback] by Ray Garton

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 11:34:15 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 25, 2014 12:57:23 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 11:55:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 1:00:25 PM PST
J. Russell says:
Pema Chodron in one of her books talked about learning to relax with the ups and down of life, knowing that both are transitory instead of reaching for a cosmic hand holder or baby sitter. You can't know the one without the other and the need to fully embrace both understanding that both the joy and the sorrow are transitory as well as connected.

Thich Nhat Hanh in The Miracle of Mindfulness taught me about the importance of being fully present in what ever you are doing. If you are walking through a forest, but all you are thinking about is what you are going to have for dinner and how you are going to prepare it....where are you really? I learned that each moment is unique and to really try and embrace that moment. Each action you do is unique and to be more aware of it, to be present with in it.

Life is not something to be gotten through so you will be "rewarded" after you die (I do not believe in life after death in any event) it is to be experienced. I am not talking about going to the extreme, I mean the myriad of little things that happen every moment of everyday.

I don't know if that makes a whole lot of sense but spirituality, for me anyway, is a way of developing a sense of awe in the everyday.

"The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth."
― Thich Nhat Hanh

"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest."
― Pema Chödrön

"The Four Noble Truths are pragmatic rather than dogmatic. They suggest a course of action to be followed rather than a set of dogmas to be believed. The four truths are prescriptions for behavior rather than descriptions of reality. The Buddha compares himself to a doctor who offers a course of therapeutic treatment to heal one's ills. To embark on such a therapy is not designed to bring one any closer to `the Truth' but to enable one's life to flourish here and now, hopefully leaving a legacy that will continue to have beneficial repercussions after one's death."
― Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 12:29:26 PM PST
Songbird says:
Thanks, Jeff.

Interesting list and interesting views!

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 1:20:02 PM PST
People, books, or topics that have added dimension to my views of religion or mythology:

·Rudolph Otto- Idea of the Holy
·Walter Stace- Time and Eternity, Mysticism & Philosophy
·Heinrich Zimmer- Philosophies of India; Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization
·Dayananda Saraswati
·Daisetz Suzuki
·The Transmission of the Lamp
·Alan Watts
·Huang Po
·George Santayana- Reason in Relgion; Religion & Poetry; The Idea of Christ in the Gospels
·William James- Varieties of Religious Experience
·Walter Kaufmann- Critique of Religion & Philosophy
·J. B. Pratt- The Religious Consciousness
·Martin Buber- I and Thou
·Gilbert Murray- Five Stages of Greek Religion; Stoic, Christian, & Humanist

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 1:22:03 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
J. Russell says:

[― Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist]

Isn't this a contradiction of terms ?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 1:37:20 PM PST
Joe W says:
The Buddha is not a god. He is an enlightened dude.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 1:39:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 1:44:31 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Songbird says:


I've read quite a bit of Plato's stuff. I would say that many people today will find his books obscure and irrelevant. I was interested in Plato more from a biographical perspective.

I have read that Pythagoras and Plato traveled to Egypt and experienced the mysterious Egyptian initiation rites at some level. There are those who feel the Greeks took or at least were given credit for things they really learned about in Egypt such as their knowledge about astrology.

Both of those guys seemed to be interested in the mystical meanings of numbers and geometric shapes which I guess is called sacred geometry.

The initiates were sworn to secrecy about what they learned because this type of knowledge becomes very dangerous in the wrong hands. Plato may have tried to weave some of those ideas into his books but only at a very superficial level.

Plato set up an academy in Greece. So he felt his purpose in life was to bring knowledge to the world.

Plato's most controversial book is the Atlantis dialogue. There are very few historical documents that are quoted from and then immediately contradicted more often than Plato's Atlantis story.

It was Edgar Cayce who associated Atlantis with Egypt's mysterious legacy and the monuments on the Giza necropolis. Giza is a place where records are kept and according to EC those records pertain to the doomed Atlantis. The Hall Of Records was hermetically sealed in 10,500 BC and it cannot be opened until the proper time. It has remained hidden underneath the Giza pyramids for all of this time.

The legend of Atlantis is very strange including what exactly happened that could have destroyed an entire continent in a few short hours. Cayce and others say Atlantis was destroyed by the misuse of spiritual truths for greed and material gain. Black magic and sorcery in other words.

Some geologists state that there is geological evidence of something catastrophic happening about 13,000 years ago. They speculate that a comet burst close to the Earth's surface since no impact crater has been found.

But they may be seeing the result of a man made disaster. If an entire continent was destroyed this didn't happen in a vacuum and there should be some evidence in the geological record.

At the very end of Plato's Atlantis story Zeus convenes a meeting with the other immortals to discuss the impending destruction of Atlantis and some other places. Just as Zeus is about to address the other gods and goddesses at this conference Plato's story abruptly ends and nobody knows why. The theories include things like Plato never bothered to finish the story or the rest of the document has been lost to history.

But I suspect what happened was Plato did not want to write something and attribute those statements to Zeus without being absolutely sure that Zeus really said it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 2:23:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 2:24:42 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Alice A. Bailey
Helena Blavatsky
Paramahansa Yogananda
Karen Armstrong
Bishop Spong
Tom Harpur
Elaine Pagels
Joseph Campbell
HHDL (The Dalai Lama)

for starters.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 2:53:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2013 2:54:17 PM PST
why would i want to be influenced by something that is erroneous , incomplete, incorrect, or pure propaganda

i have been influenced by many textbooks on logic and math
a few on science and engineering
not so much the touchy feely soft social 'science' nonsense
and not by some doods claims about religion and why he is the only one with the real truth and we will all burn in heck unless we all absolutely agree with everything he says

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2013 3:11:46 PM PST
J. Russell says:
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  65
Initial post:  Feb 26, 2013
Latest post:  Oct 12, 2013

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