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Comparative Religion Discourse 1

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I have just finished the first lesson in the Comparative Religion (Part 1) Class, taught by Rev. Kythera Ann. My first order of business was to go out and restock my library, since I had passed some books on to others over time. The Dead Sea Scrolls give so much insight to YHWH, revealing vital information not includes in mainstream Bible's. I dove into the I Ch'ing, since I do not have any foundation on Chinese belief systems. I have studied at length the Japanese and Reiki energy systems. Today I found practical use for the Interlinear Bible (Hebrew/Greek/English), which then sent me to Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, in order that I could make my point on the ULC Forum backed up by relevant research.


I enjoyed learning about the Philosophy of Religion, which touches on logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ontology, ethics and aesthetics. I would also add cosmology to this list. This sent me to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Metaphysics deals with fundamental nature of reality and being, which includes epistemology, ontology, and cosmology. WHAT??? So here you go:


1) Epistemology is the study or a theory of nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity.

2) Ontology is the abstract, philosophical study of what is outside objective experience, which is steered philosophy away from metaphysics, and toward the disciplines of natural science and linguistics. (This definition is from TIME)


The rest of that list I knew, logic, ethics and aesthetics.


This lesson also had me list the many different religious and metaphysical services around in my area. I made this list, with names, addresses and phone numbers. I am to visit these once per month during this course. As an interesting side note here, when I moved to a new town in a new state in my retirement, I did exactly this, and visited all the churches in my new area to see what was being taught from the pulpits. I was amazed at the services, from the sublime to the (shall I say) ridiculous. This is about an 8 month course. It should be interesting to see if I can get all this reading, studying commenting and assignments done in a timely manner.


I also appreciated learning who added what to the various beliefs about God; 26 well known people from Xenophanes and Plato to Radhakrishnan and Borodin.


From here, the lesson goes in to the Old Torah, Hebrew as a sacred language (not modern Hebrew) and based on ideographic glyphs similarly applied to sacred texts in Egyptian, Sanskrit, Greek, Runes (Runes!?), Chinese and several other languages. I learned that Hebrew as no vowels (which I knew), since vowels are considered "G-d's breath, therefore giving life to the "Word" (which I did not know).


The section explaining Hebrew glyphs, letters and numbers, was almost lost on me. For example, "In the beginning" would look like "BRAShYTv" (Beth, Reich, Aleph, Shin, Yod, Tav) or 2, 200, 1, 300, 10, 400. Each one of those numbers/letters has concepts associated with it. I at least get the concept, but got lost in the detail, until it was explained, and even then. Through the use of numbers, correlated to letters, and including the use of will and individuality; choice including principle, law and duality; harmony including family, spirit and understanding; and lastly, building including form and responsibility; we can better understand these letters and numbers. What I could relate to here was her conclusion about the meaning of "In the beginning," after she broke it down using these numbers and explanations. She explained that in this example, that perhaps embedded within creation, within each one of us, is the ability to become complete, to truly realize our Spiritual inheritance. And all that from those first few words, "In the beginning."


I think I am still at the beginning, even though I have been at this for years.

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