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Does geography shape spirituality?

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posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 01:09 AM
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I think yes.

The monotheistic religions are all desert religions...the desert as a place of spirituality is...alien to me, personally, but it has certainly been the beloved abode of hermits and mystics of every stripe for millenia. I traveled once through part of the Rub' al Khali, the deepest desert of Saudi Arabia...one's voice and indeed every sound has a way of dying quickly in the deep desert, as if it was sucked into the sand. It took me a while to realize: The sounds were different because there were no objects to create echoes. Even in a deep forest with no human structures, there are plenty of trees and rocks to create echoes. In the deep desert, every sound merely vibrates until it expires. This has a profound effect on the consciousness.

Or what of the cthonic jungles and lush, deep frond-lands of Africa and Southern India, from which more earthy religions emerged...Yourba, Tantra. The strange winding histories of Serpent Worship.

And then there are the high, hard windswept planes of central Asia, home to generations of shamanic horsemen who beat their skin drums and called on Father Sky, the eternal Tengri....The Native American tribesmen of the Great Plains were also shamanic, in often similar ways. Later, many of the Central Asian religions took on a harder, steelier cast...the firery, vengeful chariot-man gods of the Hittites and Hurrians...the Aryan Agni, He of Fire who perhaps subdued Northern India...how different these vengeful whirling sun male dieties were from the she-goddesses like Mother Kali, garlanded with skulls, who emerged from the dark, wet forests.

And so on.




[edit on 6/10/09 by silent thunder]




posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 07:40 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I believe it shapes our spirituality in that it shapes our psychology. And what is our spirit but our consciousness? More or less.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 12:15 AM
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The expressions of understandings change from culture to culture. The culture is based largely on the geography and environment around the culture. Thus, the understanding can stay the same, but the way the understanding is expressed will change from culture to culture.

Think of it in terms of math. The understanding of math can be expressed as "A+B=C". I can't give the understanding of it to you directly. I can however express it in the hopes that you also have the understanding and then you will know what I mean. But the math is expressed as 1+1=2, 1+2=3 and so on. While each of them is a true expression of math, no single 1 is all the truth. They are simply expressions of the understanding(truth is an understanding).

So think of it as different languages. A tree is a tree no matter what you call it. A rose by any other name still smells the same. If I lived in a culture that was full of forrests and trees, and I wanted to express something that was large, I might compare it to "all the trees we can see". Take that to the dessert, and "all the trees we can see" doesn't mean the same. Over there I might say "all the sand you can see". So the way we express things changes from culture to culture, but true understanding is as universal as math.



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