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Women and Religion - Open Thread

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LeeJ
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0 posted 07-26-2006 02:40 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

I'm opening this thread up to everyone, and it doesn't matter if we veer off topic, I'd like to see others express on religion, their ideas, beliefs, and how they practice...Christian or non-Christians are welcome to participate.  

Perhaps we could start with how Religion has effected your lives?  

we can discuss the Di Vinci Code, why you did or did not like it... or anything else you'd like to question...

or just rant and rave, not at each other, but about something that might be bothering you....

Lets see where we go...come on in, sit down, put your feet up and let it roll...

[This message has been edited by LeeJ (07-27-2006 06:56 AM).]

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1 posted 07-26-2006 03:13 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well...we could start with Genesis.

I happen to know this quaint little allegory...



and I'll be thinking on how to phrase my questions--frown. I sure do miss my "alone" time.

So I'll be back--my son the phone Nazi is starting to pace. Sheesh.
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2 posted 07-26-2006 03:46 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.

"22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

"23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man."


Here are a few questions I have to begin with:

What does Eve coming from Adam betoken?  

Why was Eve created differently than how Adam was (from Adam's rib instead of just taking dust from the earth)?

If man is the "whole" and woman but a "part" thereof, how is that not "androcentric" and inferiorizing to the woman?  How can woman be said to be treated equally in biblical lore if she is said only to come from a part of the body of man, instead of a body of her own, and from a small part at that?

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because women are a revision/upgrade?
Essorant
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A boost to Adam's Ego?
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5 posted 07-27-2006 12:56 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
What does Eve coming from Adam betoken?  


Two answers ... one of which contemporary thought is accepting of.  The second is very much criticized by contemporary thought (though often misunderstood, I think).

1) Since she was “taken” from Adam, it denotes that Adam and Eve are essentially "one".  They represent two complementary parts of a whole, without which the race could not be extended.  They are equal both in value and beauty, as creations of God.


2) It denotes that there is a proper authority flow within marriage, not making the woman less in value but defining roles set by God.


quote:
Why was Eve created differently than how Adam was (from Adam's rib instead of just taking dust from the earth)?


Since Eve was not made “from the dust of the Earth” as the other animals were, I think this underscores the special relationship between man and woman as “bone of Adam’s bone, and flesh of Adam’s flesh”.  Also, since she was made differently from Adam, this could denote a divinely intentional difference between men and women.  While contemporary thought makes the mistake of viewing man and women as just two more species of animals, or either the very same thing, the Bible maintains both the intimacy between men and women, AND their glorious differences.


quote:
If man is the "whole" and woman but a "part" thereof, how is that not "androcentric" and inferiorizing to the woman?


As I read the story there are no references, or even hints of Adam being “whole”, and Eve being only “a part”.  In fact I could make an argument in the other direction, since the story says that Adam was incomplete until Eve was created: “ It is not good that man should be alone” (verse 18).  So Adam would be the one who was not, at first, “whole”.

I could also ask why Adam was made from dirt, and Eve from something more palatable like a rib (there’s a joke in there somewhere).


So maybe this story is an example of Matriarchal domination and is actually feminocentric!  LOL.  


But I would never suggest such a ridiculous thing, using a few anecdotal observations from the text.  Much can be “read into” the text due to the ultra-feminist mood that’s become well known, which villifies the Bible as being a sexist text.


quote:
How can woman be said to be treated equally in biblical lore if she is said only to come from a part of the body of man, instead of a body of her own, and from a small part at that?


How can man be said to be treated equally in biblical lore if he is said only to come from dirt, instead of from a body?  LOL.  See how that works Essorant?  You’re nitpicking the text rather than taking a broad view.  Besides you fail to note that Eve was not at all a “part”, but had a complete body of her own.  And the part about bigness and smallness?  Come on, who devalues an oak tree because it came from an acorn?  Using “size” in this instance is kind of sneaky, since it implies a “small” view of womankind, but it doesn’t make sense even on your own terms ... How large was the “dust” Adam was made of?  


I would suggest you quit trifling, and get to the larger issue which is mainly the Bible’s unhidden and uncryptic teaching about the authority structure within marriage and the Church.  The Bible does not teach a lesser view of women, but it does teach a proper authority structure within marriage and the Church, and that’s what many people have a problem with.  


I will give you this positive challenge,  by stating that male-domination (the main claim and offense of feminism) has been to some degree sadly true especially in ancient history.  I explained in another thread that it has been due to sin, the misuse of both authority, and a taking advantage of the gentler and softer nature of women.  [And Yes, I note that “gentler” is a crass generalization on my part, but a true one].  This Male abuse, was rampant in the ancient world, as women were viewed as less than human, and most often as “slaves” or “property” in many cultures.  Thus, my challenge to you is in stating that though the absolute egalitarianism and leveling of men and women so popular in post-modern culture is not supported in the Bible, it’s teaching (that women as well as men were a special creation loved by God) was a very liberating thing in these ancient cultures.  Women’s “rights” have often been advanced by Biblical priniciples, and male domination has been mitigated because of the views of scripture.  It is no less liberating today, and I'll get into that later.  

LR:
quote:
because women are a revision/upgrade?

I have to laugh at that LR, since that idea would be a boost to feminism ... You may say it in jest, but that’s the same kind of reasoning that’s been used thus far to show that the bible may indeed be a “Man-Mongering-Manual from Mesopotamia”.    


More later (I get the feeling that this thread will not end anytime soon, given it’s emotional and controversial nature).  


Be “gentle” on me. (grin)


Stephen.
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6 posted 07-27-2006 05:55 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Good Grief.

I hop from one thread where there is reference to witch burning, and tsk to me already in this thread, as I should have been more specific about where I'd prefer discussion to begin.

I said there was a quaint little allegory I'd like to start with and I did say Genesis, but I should have more correctly stated, Genesis Rabbah.

That's right, before I talk about Eve, I'd um, like to hear and learn more about Lilith. (I, myself, need to learn more about the origin of this legend, as I have inadvertantly misinformed others through my sometimes playful and sometimes  vitriolic poetry. Mea Culpa)

Perhaps with the help of my more academically inclined friends (Stephan? You listening? ) we can dispel some of the nonsense written about this mystery woman that has been so little understood, reviled, and decidedly ignored.

Note that the topic is Women and Religion--not Women in The King James version of the Bible. (Sorry m'bud, but you're gonna have to step outside of the Bible box for that one.)

Please respect that some people include writings as scripture that are not necessarily Canon.

Please respect that there are agnostics and atheists who might prefer to join this discussion as light-hearted analyzation of what they would term superstition. (They might even brush their teeth left handed too.)

So, now can we proceed to hopefully educate each other in a manner of respect and tolerance, and hopefully, if not shared beliefs, then healthy curiosity.

In other words, I'll cease to participate in the thread if I think there is Christian bashing going on (some of my best friends are Christians, REALLY!   )

And I think the burning times should have ended with bra burning in the early seventies.

So no witch burning either.

I think the Jews have had enough of persecuation as well.

The atheists and agnostics don't need my protection, so you can go at 'em, I don't mind--I just want a percentage of the advance ticket sales for the fight.

(Now that was just some good-natured sarcasm for my buddy Brad.)

gleeee?

So let's proceed, and I will try to go back to sleep so that I can attempt to maintain a two day lucid streak. I will try to catch up on what has already been said in the morning when I have coffee to help stoke those synapses to firing, but I simply cannot discuss Adam & Eve with no mention of Lilith.

I hope to learn a lot from this thread, and I would love for others to join in as well with thier particular religious slants.

I also hope that this doesn't turn into a pep rally for personal religious agenda--I think that sort of thing has done enough damage both historically and in the present time.

Now if you'll excuse me, my shadow just tapped me on the shoulder, and I think I will follow her to bed. *winks to Ron*

Now go to sleep guys...Lilith awaits.

bwahahahahaha

LeeJ
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7 posted 07-27-2006 09:54 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Stephen, Question…Did you read the TDC?

Also, I want to make it perfectly clear, I’m not trying to change any one else’s belief, simply share mine, and what works for me.  

Is the Bible authentic?  I believe in an all supreme being (God), who created our world, and everything in it…but I also believe in Scientific & Archaeological theories…which to me, associates, with the Bible…along with many other religious theories.  

I do believe in Jesus, as he was referred to in many other religious accounts.  I believe there is some truth to all stories of the Bible, but is not specifically the holy truth.

Also…

Scientists, are coming on board with the insight of a God created world which does parallel Biblical stories…(Stephen, please read that statement again) but, the Bible was written by men…and men are by nature, desire driven…to include, ego, power, & tempted by material wealth.  

No human being  likes to be wrong or admit they are wrong, even when proven wrong, that is why religion is needed, along with priests, including their laws and our criminal laws are needed, which can be corrupt...

Fear of being wrong, one of the most difficult acceptances in man’s behavior, which stagnates man’s progression, when challenged, causes anger, causing men to be devoid of good sense and/or judgment…which closes doors in the mind, resulting in an inability to ascend further to a cerebral thought pattern of any other concept but theirs…which is so sadly stagnating to the growth of humans and creates man’s separation from others, society cruelly banning people from societies,  rage, murders and the dreaded wars, adding man’s need to look for the approval of others to be happy, not to mention, conditioning passed down by our parents, their parents and so forth.  We are so afraid to defy their culture and find our own ways.
  
“Who would lose, Though, full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through eternity?  Milton.”

Man possesses this incredible yearning to believe in “something” since the beginning of his origin, and is constantly searching for the ultimate truth or an ultimate and divine power, creator of himself, something above himself.   Without that man feels alone, and forlorned…pessimistic sense of inadequacy, despondent

I believe, God and Jesus, are something way beyond anything that we are able to comprehend, (we only utilize 1/3 of our brain) way beyond the Bible, due to man’s inabilities to perceive other dimensions, phenomenon’s, and believe me, there are things that go, beyond our comprehensions…why does it say, “Watch and Learn from the Beasts of the Field)?  I mean, think about their perceptions, what they can comprehend and how they communicate?  Not to mention, we all know their purpose is to propagate to continue the species.  

So,  that was the reason for the Bible…man’s interpretation of his perceptions of God’s creations and Jesus’ words, (which were metaphoric) and could only be interrupted in a limited ability back then, due to man’s intellectual comprehension…to explain what they saw.  They were very primitive in thought patterns…perspectives, and perceptions.  (And please note, I’m not totally dismissing the Bible’s words).  

TDVC paints only the story that Jesus and Mary were married, and they had children.
It accepts the possibility of Jesus and Mary’s life together as man and wife.  

Stands to reason, cultures then would have spat upon the idea of a woman being worshiped by a man of his status.  I also believe that God has come to many of us, in spirit, not only the disciples…and revealed things to us…throughout the ages.  We are a body of God/Christ

What I can’t comprehend is why, people are so afraid of the idea that Jesus not only took Mary as His Wife, but had children, and confided more in Mary then any other disciple?
He was a Man?  

Stephanoes…”Anti-Christian” statements can put a fine line on a subject or a wide open subject with no lines…I don’t believe TDC is anti Christian.  

Yes, the Bible is a great body of teachings, but has also been  intergraded in so so many other different religions…each claiming “theirs is the absolute truth and word”, adding their own man made rules…and Stephen, I apologize, but if we don’t consider other solutions and theories, how can that not be closed minded off mind, unable to consider and think for themselves?  I can’t trust totally in such a primitive concepts, and one reason is, due to woman’s persecution during time.  I believe also, that was totally man’s ego to control.  

Stephanoes,  Culture eats strategy and can make man passive/aggressive.  

My bosse’s church is a Roman/Catholic Culture…but they believed people should explore TDC and come to their own conclusion…decide for themselves…and that kind of thinking we need more of.  

And by the way, there are some very interesting concepts in the Gnostics…

And now, without insult to you, I ask you this question…who are you to make a statement that Dan Brown, or me or anyone else is not Christian…you don’t know…how a person walks his life…this is exactly a perfect example of what is not Christian to me…

Allowance and tolerance, which is love and the understanding that each needs to walk their own path both spiritually and emotionally, and mentally.  Perhaps you are further ahead then I am, but the fact of the matter is, to feel as you do is judging….isn’t it?  This is an example of conditioning by your parents culture…and you actually fear if you explore other concepts, you’ll burn in hell?????  

I think God wants (us) to explore, as long as you live your life, to the best of your ability and realize, how we are all so connected, meaning, if you say things to hurt others, your creating a grave possibility to change that person’s purpose, by hurting them so much, they may stray from their path.  And if they do, that to, could be your own hell.  

I appreciate, Stephanoes, your love and concern for me to know the truth…and believe you are not angry…just frustrated…remember, I was married to a man who was Mennonite, now reformed Baptist…so I know all of what your feeling….and you mean more then well, as you are devoted to your belief.  

I don’t consider exploring other theories akin to Eve being deceived by the serpent.  
I consider myself a Christian and I love Christ/God/people/ and you.  

I don’t believe there is a cost to consider that Jesus was given the absolute gift of knowing love between a man and a woman, that gift that God gave Adam and Eve.  And your welcome to quote the Bible to me, honestly, I understand your belief, just please love me for mine.  

You see, Christian churches and beliefs are also very political…they own their own special interest groups and they also by votes in the name of stem cell research and abortion…and vote on those issues…for the man that promises not to diverge from those laws.  

I like your motto   a lot

I believe, kiddo (wink) witches were considered to be so, if they delved from religious beliefs, or did not go along with society…and yes, I know men were also considered warlocks, but, a woman who has an opinion, well, whoa.

So, there ya go, Stephen…
Let me ask you another question…
Lets pretend, for experimental purposes that you and I are dating…we love each other very deeply…ok?

We are considerably compatible & chemically charged you and I have both been searching for each other for years...we are morally compatible, and there is great trust for one another, not to mention, we both feel confident that we have much to learn from one another, we are good for each other, love the same music, both love to read, swim, are summer people and beach and water people, we both have the same hunger for knowledge, love to dance, golf, adventure…travel, people, a great awareness beyond our comprehension…and we both share compatible dislikes for things...I mean, we're almost twins....and are willing to explore this compatibility in a marriage…

Would you hold back, because I didn’t believe in God the same way you do, or go to your church, or would you try to control me, to bring me over to your side, instead of allowing me my beliefs, would you continue to go to your church without me there, without worry, in confidence, and more so, with support and understanding that I do need my own identity?  Or would you not even consider the relationship at all because I believe in something other then you?

Note, I’m not stating your wrong and I’m right…I just know what religion and fundamentalism had done to my life in the past…some good, some bad…and I’m comfortable with God, my life, belief, and have never felt closer to God then I do now, its just in a different belief then yours, and I don’t believe I’ll go to Hell for that believe and hunger for knowledge, curiosity and open ness.  

I also suggest this, don’t worry about me, don’t worry about Brown’s concept…look at how his book brought us together to discuss this and consider, allow, and be tolerant of each other, we will both walk away richer, and so will a lot of others who discussed this book.  

Hugs to ya and thank you for this oportunity to express my feelings on the subjet....Stephenos

[This message has been edited by LeeJ (07-27-2006 11:15 AM).]

Balladeer
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8 posted 07-27-2006 10:35 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Actually, Essorant, the real story of Adam and Eve was that Adam, feeling lonely, asked God for a companion. God replied that He would create one called Woman, who would be beautiful, kind, understanding, supportive and always willing and eager to please him....and it would only cost Adam and arm and a leg. Adam replied, "Gee, that's kind of steep. What have you got for a rib??"

On the other hand, my girl claims that Man was created first because God wanted to practice before He got it right. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between?
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9 posted 07-27-2006 10:41 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze



There were parts of your argument that were downright cute. And pardon me if I don't address your exchange with Stephen, Lee--he and I already had the same argument a longgggggggggg time ago, (and I think, if I recall correctly, he agreed to stop changing the dials on my radio--grin--let Stephan explain that one to ya.)

But call me stubborn, as I am still unwilling to make the leap from Mesopotamia to the New Testament, and the teachings of Christ to Paul's interpretation to found Christianity as we know it today.

If we are going to discuss women and religion, I was really hoping to start with Goddess worship--which certainly predates both Christianity and Judaism, as well as Mithraism. (Any practicing Mithraist can hereby feel welcome to shoot the bull with us. GROAN... )

er..sorry, bout that.

Somebody please concede Goddess worship as the oldest religion that produced archeological proof, so that we might further explore when the subjugation of women was written into "spiritual law"--most conveniently by men, I might add.

Oh. I just did.

Now, if we go back to Mesopotamia legend and folklore, there we find the first whispers of Lilith and the taint of women as unclean vessels began--UNLESS they submitted to man. Um, I am open to any other theories as well here.

And?

If yer really hooked on that DaVinci Code thing, it might intrigue you to know that the Goddess is suspected to be the Goddess Venus, as represented by the five pointed star, or pentacle--neat, huh? See how that fits?

I'm afraid I'll have to recuse myself from analyzation of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code as I found it unreadable. I much preferred Holy Blood, Holy Grail. (yep, I been studying that stuff for a while)
This will be a very long thread, methinks.

And don't mind me, I tend to think by talking to myself.

Please proceed.
LeeJ
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10 posted 07-27-2006 11:04 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

HAH, you think, "you think" by talking to yourself...then we both think outloud...



Karen
I'd love to discuss Lilith, but never heard the concept before...wanted to continue the discussion with Stephen, overflowing from your thread "Women and Philosophy".

So, don't think I'm ignoring your wanton to discuss Lilith and the Godesses, Just cannot comment as I've not had to much experience with them...
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11 posted 07-27-2006 04:12 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos


"1) Since she was "taken" from Adam, it denotes that Adam and Eve are essentially "one".  They represent two complementary parts of a whole, without which the race could not be extended.  They are equal both in value and beauty, as creations of God."


I don't follow your reasoning very well Stephanos.  A rib is not equal to the rest of the body.  It is smaller on all scales.  That doesn't mean it is not important to the body, but it is not "equal" to the rest of the body.  The comparison of Adam to dust doesn't include comparing man and woman.  But comparing the body of man to the rib of man does, because one is supposedly the rib turned into a woman and the other seemingly the rest of the body.

Rib + rest of the body = the body.

But the rib seems in no means equal to the rest of the body.  

Take away a rib and the body may lack very little.  

This is how it seems unequal to me.  

God could be portrayed as doing the same thing with dust to create woman, but instead the reference is to a lesser part of the body (a rib) compared to a more part of the body or the rest of the body of Adam, or Adam himself.  

You can hardly call a rib "a half of the body"  And even if it were, Adam being treated like the original and woman just a secondary extraction thereof, plucked out of the male, and for the sake of giving the male company, treats the male as the foremost and the center and greater part, while woman supposedly should support him like a "rib" of his rib-cage.

However, I wouldn't say that the bible is "extreme" about this aspect. I don't think the bible dwells or is explicit with an expression suggesting man is more than woman.  But it is there: man is treated as the "more" part of the body, and woman the "less" part--the rib.  


"2) It denotes that there is a proper authority flow within marriage, not making the woman less in value but defining roles set by God."

That man gets primary authority and woman secondary?

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Karen:
quote:
if I recall correctly, he agreed to stop changing the dials on my radio--grin--let Stephan explain that one to ya.)



Actually I never said I'd quit trying to persuade you to change the dial yourself.    


quote:
I am still unwilling to make the leap from Mesopotamia to the New Testament



Karen, it's only a "leap" if you put it like that.  Between Mesopotamia and the New Testament lies the Old Testament.  And I thought the link between the Jews and ancient Mesopotamia is pretty well established.  And the link between the OT and NT is the easiest of all.  No one really doubts that the earliest followers of Jesus were Jews.  


I would never call you stubborn ... but I would like you to elaborate further on why you're "unwilling to make the leap", giving some reasons.


quote:
Somebody please concede Goddess worship as the oldest religion that produced archeological proof, so that we might further explore when the subjugation of women was written into "spiritual law"--most conveniently by men, I might add.




My understanding (though I may be wrong) is that the earliest religions were tribal groups who worshipped animistic, as well as both male and female "gods". Godess worship arose from an identification of the female with fertility.  And more often than not, godesses had their male counterparts.  But since these modes of worship were both male and female in expression, and since such tribes were almost always ruled by male "chieftains", I hardly think that these ancient religious practices illustrate the feminist ideal you might be looking for.


Besides that there's pretty good reason to believe that in many instances of ancient paganism, women were pretty much made to play the part of temple prostitutes, in "fertility" rites.  That doesn't sound to friendly to the sisterhood to me, but very degrading to women, and catering to male desire.      


This is an area however that I need more study in, and I would be glad to consider anything you have to say.  


Lastly, can I ask you to be more specific when you mention "subjugation of women being written into spiritual law by men"?  What exactly are you referring to?


As far as Lilith goes, as much as I understand it, she originated as a part of mesopotamian demonology.  Not much evidence exists for her "godess" status, though some later took that path.  Of course I may be wrong here, and am open to any evidence to the contrary.  


Here's a good summary of Lilith at Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith


and Lee ... I'll soon respond to your reply.


Stephen.
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13 posted 07-27-2006 05:25 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

So it's symbolist literature when the deity is a feminine face of God? How convenient. Can I bat my evil eyelashes at ya?



And I am merely trying to establish a timeline, so don't get all freaky on me already. It just helps ME to put it in perspective...

and there ARE other belief systems, and I am happy, nay, EAGER to hear about the role of women in all.

If I am not jumping with joy at the Adam and Eve thing, it is because to my point of view, is an allegory as well. What I find interesting about Lilith is her exclusion from scripture and ultimate dismissal as folklore, as well as the demonic taint given to her as though a warning as to what can happen to women who say "No."

tsk. That just reeks of a power grab to me.

Especially when Goddess was heretofore, (or is it theretofore?) the mainstream religion.

Okay, my point of view on the Adam and Eve thing, and you know this already because we have corresponded regarding this before is that it is indeed an accessible analogy for us feeble minded humans. Adam would represent not 'just' man, but the active principle of creationism--Eve would be more precisely the receptive. If you look at the Jewish Star of David, it depicts just that in the interlaced triangles. The one pointed UP, would represent Adam, or active principle, and the one pointed down, (yoni) would be the receptive principle. The circle symbolizes the holy infinite.

I do not believe (despite what I say in some of my poems) that there was any treachery involved in "Fall". I think what occurred was a natural evolution and instinct to procreate. "Go forth and multiply."

Kind of difficult to do when one is innocent in matters of sexuality. So y'see, there are parts of scripture that I dismiss as well, because interestingly enough, the allegory places shame on the sexual act.

And that's where the priests come in...

With all your wisdom get understanding?

gleeeeeeeeeeeeee

Phil + Sophia = Philosophy? (thanks for that one, Ess?)

Lovin' this stuff by the way.

And thanks for showing up, lovie.

"I was beginning to think nobody wanted to play wif me," sighed Lilith.



(and btw, I did not lift that bit from The DaVinci Code either--if you can't tell, the DaVinci Code frenzy annoys me somewhat, prolly 'cause it took ideas I have studied for a long time and made it the flavor of the month. I hate when that happens--yet I am conversely grateful for the opportunity to discuss a subject that is dear to me.)

serenity blaze
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14 posted 07-27-2006 05:43 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

OH.

And I really don't mind the framework of Goddess as symbolism for fertility. Since you brought it up, that bit about not spreading thy seed on the ground has not a thing to do with masturbation to my point of view.

It came from the incorporation of a necessary man's law into God's law. (Similar to the manner of the Hammerabi codes) in the OT as well.

What we had going on here was offering of grains to the Goddess, simply poured upon the ground, which, as society evolved from hunter and gatherer nomadic culture into the Agricultural Age necessitated some new customs. Grains spread willy nilly on the ground could and did corrupt crops, so therefore, the offerings need be contained to ensure successful yield.

And nope, I didn't make that one up either. I cite "The Babylonians"--H.W.F. Saggs, first publication in Great Britain in 1962, by Sidgewick & Jackson under the title, "The Greatness That Was Babylon."

I can find the passage for you in a bit.

and smiling, it's a very handsome book too, and was the pride of my brother, so now I'm all misty eyed too.

I almost thought I heard him pounding a table when I pulled it off the shelf.  

and folks, forgive me if you've heard this stuff from me before. I just have difficulty remembering if I posted in the forum or in one of my ramblin' emails. I hope it's not a bore.
Stephanos
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15 posted 07-27-2006 05:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
I don't follow your reasoning very well Stephanos.  A rib is not equal to the rest of the body.  It is smaller on all scales.  That doesn't mean it is not important to the body, but it is not "equal" to the rest of the body.


Essorant, you're still "reading" something into the text.  Eve is not said to be a part of Adam, but made from a part of Adam.  To your western mind, a rib may be in size "smaller" but think poetically a moment, it is also the part closest to Adam's heart.  Eve was already intended by God, and "in" Adam.  The rib to me betokens something very precious and intimate.  


Again, I'm sorry you've taken issue with the text, but I think you are only taking something anecdotal and making it into an issue.  No matter what you say, I could still do the same thing with the dust.  Adam was made from dust, while Eve was made from a rib.  Of course you find reasons to object to that, as I do too!  But my point is, is that kind of reasoning is no different than what you are doing with the text.  Look at the larger picture.  

quote:
But the rib seems in no means equal to the rest of the body.
  


To the ancient writer, it may have been the most special part ... or at least it's anatomical location is noteworthy.  A small diamond is not equal to the jeweler's box it came in.  A pendant is not equal to the necklace it hangs on, yet it is (if not the most important) a very special part.  


I think you're being too prosaic, almost coldly scientific in your estimation of this text.


quote:
Take away a rib and the body may lack very little.


Again, you seem to be imposing a western medical mindset onto the text.  I'm not sure the writer of Genesis shared your provincial view of the value of body parts.  


quote:
You can hardly call a rib "a half of the body"



Leaving the medical, you're now going to make it a question of simple mathematics.


Consider what F.W. Boreham wrote in his Essay "The Sword of Solomon":


"There is a sense in which two and two are four, the plane of ledgers and cashbooks - on which these propositions are approximately sound. But if you rise from that plane to a loftier one, you will find at once that they are untenable ... it is obviously untrue that half-a-baby and half-a-baby make a baby. Let the sword do its deadly work… The two halves of a baby make no baby at all. On this higher plane of human sentiment and experience, the laws of mathematics collapse completely. When a man distributes his wealth among his children, he gives to each a part.  But when a woman distributes her love among her children, she gives it all to each ... No man who has once fallen in love will ever be persuaded that one and one are only two. He looks at her, and feels that one plus one would be a million ... No happy couple into the sweet shelter of whose home a little child has come will ever be convinced that two and one are only three. Life has been enriched a thousandfold by the addition of that one little life to theirs. And I am certain that no pair from whose clinging and protecting arms their treasure has been snatched will find comfort in the assurance that one from three leaves two. In the great crises of life one's faith in figures breaks down hopelessly. "


Come on Essorant, where is your sense of poetry and romance, that you usually revel in?  Your "exacting" interpretation of this text doesn't at all capture what is truly intended.


quote:
However, I wouldn't say that the bible is "extreme" about this aspect. I don't think the bible dwells or is explicit with an expression suggesting man is more than woman.


Well I'm glad of that much ... though I would go further and state that it does not express such at all.  I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree if you think otherwise.  Though there is a hierarchy taught in marital authority, there is absolutely no hierarchy of value or dignity, looking at the bigger picture, man and woman are both amazing creations of God, both indispensable.  


Stephen.
Stephanos
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16 posted 07-27-2006 06:10 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Karen,

You guys are too quick.  Ponder my posts for at least a day before you respond ... that way I may have some time to eat, be with my family, and earn a living! ... And your responses will be the better for it too!


lol.  I couldn't resist that one.


Selah.

Do you know the meaning of that??
I'll be back when I get time.


Enjoying the thread,


Stephen.  
serenity blaze
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17 posted 07-27-2006 06:31 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

er..there's something wrong with my responses? grin

I LIKE 'em!

But nods to the time thing; alas, I happen to live with a teenaged phone Nazi.

So forgive me, but I have to "get it while I can".

But I'll have to give it a rest--gotta go re-shelve those books. They are all over my bed and I need to sleep in that thing.

And I had fun today--so thank you.
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18 posted 07-27-2006 07:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Eve is not said to be a part of Adam, but made from a part of Adam. "


I don't mean to go on and on, but you just said earlier that Adam and Eve " represent two complementary parts of a whole, without which the race could not be extended."  My point, is that Eve or the part that she seems expressed to represent in this passage is especially associated with the rib, and  Adam associated to the body from which the rib comes.   The analogy of diamond/diamond box doesn't seem at all parallel.  Because a diamond and a diamond box aren't the same "race" and aren't meant to be.  They are two very different things.  Nor does a diamond originally come from the diamond box. I take the bible seriously because it is a book that is said to come down from God's direction and is taken to heart by many people very seriously.  For many it, including Genesis, is far from being just "romance" and "poetry" even if it has some poetic and romantic aspects.  But it is the truth come down from God himself, even in this book Genesis, even in this line about Eve coming from Adam's rib, even in every syllable.  

Also I wonder how "metaphorical" the biblesmiths really intended it to be. How do you say it was meant to be metaphorical, and not literal, or  literal and metaphorical?  

Do you believe that Eve literally came from Adam's rib?

It sounds like you believe it in a metaphorical sense, as if it is supposed to betoken something
very abstract and spiritual.  But from the point of view of the biblesmiths that set it in words after the direction of God, I don't think it it was meant to be just abstract, spiritual, or allegorical, but also literal and factual.   To them that is the way it was.  That was the way man and woman were created.  Not just a metaphor of higher things, which indeed it may be seen as too, but also, and importantly a literal reference to the way it actually happened.  

So is Eve coming from Adam's rib to you a literal fact, or just a metaphoric suggestion?  Or both?  If one accept it as both, shouldn't he be willing to face the scientific and more unpoetic side of the debate too?  

iliana
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19 posted 07-28-2006 01:47 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Interesting thread, Lee.  I can already tell it is going to grow steadily.  

To those who would look at the Holy Bible (KJV) as the absolute literal truth, then please explain who "our" is in the following:  "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:26-28  -- That was on the sixth day of creation.  

Genesis 2:2-3 "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. "

Then we have in Genesis 2, the Lord God (now referring specifically to Lord God and not God, which I find curious and wonder why Genesis 1 didn't use the "Lord God").  The Lord God takes Adam to Eden after, it appears to me, he first created man and woman in the first six days.  Then he creates Eve from Adams' rib.  

"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.  And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground."   Genesis 2:4-5

Okay, now this is where Genesis gets fuzzy.  You see if you read closely and interpret literally,  God created everything BEFORE it was in earth...read closely.

Now, the way I read all this is that God created everything in thought and spirit in the first six days....and then Lord God executed that thought.  So man and woman were created in thought first, in the image of God to have dominion over even the birds of the air -- so they were "men/women" spirit form at that time?  

Then.....the Garden needed a manual laborer ("And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15)....so physical man is created to do the manual labor when the Lord God breathed the breath of life and created a living soul.  

  Just thought I'd add that food for thought...lol....enjoying reading this thread.  Personally, I wonder if after God created "man and woman" in what I believe was thought and spirit, some superior being (one of the our beings referred to in Genesis 1 referred to as LORD God in Genesis 2, didn't then create man in the material...that would work with some of the other religions....like Hinduism, which preceded Christianity (because in Hinduism there is one ultimate God over the other lesser Gods, right?).  Or....another thought would be, is Genesis 2 a second telling of Genesis 1 derived through a second oral tradition? -- because they are close, but they do not match.  Genesis 1 refers to God in the plural.  Genesis 2 refers to only the Lord God.  


[This message has been edited by iliana (07-28-2006 04:05 AM).]

LeeJ
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20 posted 07-28-2006 06:50 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

If the fall of man was for women to suffer birth, and procreation...then did the animals suffer to?  Meaning, God supposidly created the animals, were they not as of yet procreating?  I mean, think about it...if man and animals alike, did not procreate, the species would extinquish itself...
I just don't buy the entire apple thing which lead to sex between Adam and Eve...?

Does anyone understand what I'm asking?

Stephen, are ya there?  

LeeJ
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21 posted 07-28-2006 08:34 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Iliana,
Hi
  thanks for stopping by, wanna glass of ice tea?  

I can't answer your questions, but enjoyed reading your comment...
LeeJ
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22 posted 07-28-2006 08:38 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Ess

quote:

2) It denotes that there is a proper authority flow within marriage, not making the woman less in value but defining roles set by God."

That man gets primary authority and woman secondary?


to me, it denotes that Eve is one with Adam, one in the flesh..spirit and mind...equal, not one over the other, but equal, but if you think about society back then when the Bible was written, men ruled so?????  
Stephanos
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23 posted 07-28-2006 11:29 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LeeJ, I'm here!  Give me some more time.  And see how many MORE questions you can pile on while you're at it!  LOL.  


Stephen.
LeeJ
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24 posted 07-28-2006 12:53 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Stephanos...
Take your time

you have all weekend, far as I'm concerned...I'll BE BACK

but the others, might be more needy for an answer from you, so save my questions for last




 
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