In Christianity and Judaism, "righteousness" is had by sacrificing victims - Jesus or animals. Jesus called God behind such practice, righteous [John 17:25]. Jesus calls a scapegoating spirit a righteous father. Think of it; it could pay well.
Should smooth-tongued slave-taker-followers get the best of children in school by parroty phrases? Is there a good form of righteousness on the hook of Jesus, really? Think twice. He said the Law of Slavery and Sacrifice of innocent victims (animals) by his "righteous Father" was valid. That Mosaic Law commands such as: "Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day [i.e., Saturday] must be put to death." [Exodus 31;15-16].
You had better refrain from calling a murderous tyrant with a carrot and a whip righteous [Leviticus 26:3-46]. Also observe how inconsistently and poorly the Bible's "last-forever"-command has been carried out on Saturday workers today.
After thinking about these things and still worse parts of the Law that Jesus said was wholly valid, are you ready for something far better? You "yes", good! Mind a deep rooting is fit here too. Key ideas had better be sown in your deep mind, that is. Let they work in your deeper mind for a while. It could be good to sleep on them too.
It is a key point in higher teachings that a religion may be of little value unless lived. But for the sake of simplicity, let us sort "Religions" a bit, in agreement with the Apannaka Sutta, where Buddha tells "There are four types of individuals in the world." That means he classifies us into four groups. Groups, sects, or religious denominations seem to be loosely explained a bit by folk wisdom: "Qui se ressemble s'assemble". This French proverbs means the same as "Birds of a feather flock together".
Either the members of large groups have similar orientations from deep inside, or the orientations are pressed onto them by bad upbringing or something else. And in this light Buddh'as words about individuals may apply to sects, even. Christianity started as a very tense sect of Judaism, and became so large that it is now called a religion.
Buddha's words about individuals may apply to groups of people too, to the degree that "Birds of a feather flock together," as the proverb has it. "Like attracts like" is a part of how groups are formed. At least there are common interests and perhaps like-minded ones in a group. Conformity or group pressures comes into play too, and similarly stulted id (libido). Granted such conglomerates of loose premises we could end up getting an inkling of what sorts of sects or religions we are confronted with beyond croaking, drivel, dogmatic insistence, narcissism at play and further. Buddha discloses a way out beyond group-pressure, banding and crazy talk. The way is away from pain, dukkha, and into gladness of heart. His transposed sayings in the majestic Apannaka Sutta tell of four types of sects.
Good guys refrain from torturing and tormening others, and may be found to prefer good company (group four above) too. Such a company is not founded on torments and torture, but is fit for uplifted happiness and righteous deals over and over. Gautama Buddha speaks a lot about it.
From this you may be lucky enough to see through who your friends are, both human friends and friendly, helping religions. [Friends]. You may also earn handy ways and methods for making something of worth out of this life to become one of them, if you are not already. The eightfold path in Buddhism etches out parts of it. One has to get into such matters to understand better what life could be.
What to do according to good schools of meditation? Renew yourself by learning to dive within for a spell, repeatedly. Meditation is for that. Then you may start to bear fruits from your source and be solid and trustworthy yourself. As you go on in this way, you may set aside something for better living as time goes on. Buddha advocates it, and many other highly useful things for followers. [More]
You may be your own best friend for the wise steps you take into good order that upholds and assists you, and opens up for blossoming relationships too. Try and work for harmony and constancy as you tap your intrinsic potential. It should be within your power.
A true friend helps you to elevate yourself. A person's inmost essence is the first of friends. Keep attuned to your heart, then.
Rightousness (Dharma) is a key concept in both Hinduism and Buddhism. There are many definitions and shades of meanings as to what righteousness is. [Link]
Watch out for Babel
If you want tips, here are heart-warming ones:
1. Stick to the best you learn, and count the cost. Erich Fromm (1900-80), disciple of Sigmund Fromm, explains in his book The Heart of Man: Its Genius for Good and Evil (1964) that you can be saved to and saved from. That is easy to grasp. But seek to sort out exactly what kind of help or salvation could be involved when someone says "saved" or "helped", and you could be on the way of being duly informed.
Proselytising faith is not true evidence, and the blindness that may be into it, is of the mind. Say, "Blind is blind" and take to adequate ways instead. they are other than blind or rigid belief that is totally free from evidence.
There is reason to suspect heavily that people believe blindly in things they have need for, a libido-grounded need for. You should put no faith in what frogs seem to sing or croak like a choir in the dam together either. That is how I feel about it.
Then, what about getting laid by some Christian babe who tells you that sex with her is not only good, but saving sex on God's word as well? Ask for evidence if you can find it in your heart to be that straight.
If a nice-looking woman smiles sweetly to you at a convention, "Have you been saved by sex yet?" and does not try to keep you off her, there and then you could improve on Erich Fromm's idea about being saved from and being saved to and ponder, "Where is all this probably heading, and will this help me? Am I willing to take the risk?" All that might be better than musing: "Saved from the boredom of a rainy day?" Make a guess, make it savoury: making things savoury may help us prosper.
Now comes the tedious part: in science and in scholarship one tends to start by defining one's key terms. It is OK to look up the frequent, quite general meaning of a term in one or more large dictionaries. In the following we take off from the entry 'save':
If someone asks you, "Are you saved by something from something, and to something?" there is good reason to ask exactly what is meant, and whether 'well saved' is into the picture too. Asking, "Are you saved?" is not good enough for many other reasons too.
Further, 'saved' means 'having entered Nirvana' to the good Buddhist. You may tell others you know it once you have "been there". Ask for evidence in this case too, to avoid being hooked by common tomfoolery through blind dogmatism or whatever.
Many of the listed synonyms could help us enlarge on and elaborate on the meanings and nuances and shades of meaning inherent in 'saved'. Yet, exactly what it means to a person depends on how it is used, in what setting, and so on. The point is that Christianity has no monopoly on the word. In Hinduism, 'saved' equals liberated, freed in the great Bliss, and in Buddhism, being saved equals being Awakened, Enlightened in the joy of Nirvana. I like those terms..
Conclude: "Saved . . . how far can it be substantiated?" You can enlarge on the topic if you feel keen on it.
Suppose you are not a Mahayana Buddhist yet . . .
Now, if great-looking but wrong guys and tellings come your way, they could play on unfulfilled desires in your busom, and maybe not. How can you tell the difference? Yodeling in a choir is no good proof, remember.
Maybe professional sayings are too expensive to take into you right now. If so, hope there will be later chances. Much is determined by how you live. Not very elevated persons seek a lot of confirmation by others as to views, ways of living, and so on. If you cannot hold a good idea, it may turn too hard for you to swallow. That is a great finding of Rollo May, and I trust him on that.
There is this way of handling tall doctrine: Suppose that truly great teachings over-ride some of those you grew up under. If so, stick to the best of them and do the best you can. Healthy ones do not need Jesus, says Jesus, and encourages you to do better than he ever did. This being so, why won't you listen to him? [Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12-13; John 14;12]
Well, checking the true faith checklist too could be good for your against fooling yourself and innocent others. And here are eleven points to adjust to if you care:
2. Have shepherds that know better. As a shepherd, Jesus eulogises leaving ninety-nine sheep untended or at risk in the wild for the sake of one lost sheep. It is very irresponsible to hold on to that "policy". "Safety first" could make a difference in man-shepherding over time.
3. Don't be deceived by man-fishers and woman-fishers, for the sake of survival. And while we are at it, why do unreflective ones imagine that fishers love fish for the sake of the fish and not to make a catch and have plenty "over their dead bodies"? The encouragement: Feel free to do better than man-fishing! [John 14;12]
4. Try to see that sacrificing innocents for the sake of scumbags, means corruption. To manifest good moral, and not sacrifice victims in the steps of the Father and Jesus, try to read Buddha's heart-warming and helpful exposition and counsel and think about it: [Apannaka Sutta]
5. Go for up-to-date health-care. While we study the doings of Jesus a bit: His role as "doctor" is not all up-to-date. For example, mud in blind eyes is nowhere recommended - and adjust firmly to what helps life. Ruthless self-maiming in the name of Jesus is not much be proud of. Better healthy than maimed, better a human than a sheep, too. If you are of good health, you do not need Jesus, he says. At any rate, you should do better than him in the right Spirit, he tells too [John 9:11; 14:12, etc.]
6. Learn good gardening from gardening books. As a matter of fact, Jesus was no good gardener - definitely not up to good ways of doing it. He showed no good gardening principles, and kept spreading wrong information about mustard seeds [Matthew 13:33] and how to deal with the weeds of bad influences. Today's gardeners and farmers have to do way better to manage [Matthew 13:30]. I would have loved sound and organic acriculture and gardening all over the planet, where people live off the land.
7. Pray well enough and don't bluff. Jesus prayed on behalf of Jews while he was hanging on a cross and punished as a criminal, and showed by that than not all prayers are answered [Luke 23:34]. All the same he taught that nothing was impossible by prayer and by God. Now, to claim one thing and show it is not coming to pass in a pucker, that is menial. So don't let gospel words confuse you. You had better know there are more than a hundred of self-contradictions in the Bible too. See if you manage to better than saying things that you yourself put in a bad light by your doings. Words may not count as much as deeds. It helps to find out, but who are the best cheaters or tricsters? Not those who get caught, but the others. Among them, the worst may well be some who lots of people look up to and regularly adore. I point at a possibility here. The helpful saying, "Fair play is a jewel (British proverb)." [John 14:13; Mark 11:24; Matthew 21:22].
8. Firmly decide on what you must do to stay safe and whole, and take heart. It should be good to do one's needed, skilful work towards wholeness and integrity as the journey unfolds. That should work far better than wishing and sighing for a retreat in "heaven", based on idealised descriptions that uses jewels, gold and such things in another setting.
See that Jesus has not exclusive claim to heaven. Buddha does not make any such claim, but his guidance is aimed at setting you free, to reach gladness within. Jesus tells heaven in his days was inhabited by many persons that did not meet the person Jesus.
Second, the Bible says you can always do better than Jesus in the right spirit. It is not one of marked competition or market competition. [John 14:12].
Third, the glossolalia spirit and all the apostles decided to let Gentiles get a far less maiming fare than the original "target group" of Jesus. The apostles and the Spirit they had got, decided to dispense with such as circumcision and Saturday rest, no matter what Jesus had almost sworn in Matthew 5:17-20, and they seem to have discarded any saying of Jesus too. Mind the gospels were not written yet, so they could not have been really necessary for salvation in the first church either. [Acts 15; 21:25].
9. Let not your speech be gibberish, or just "no-no" and "yes-yes" on the dictate of Jesus, for both these approaches are unfulfilling most often I daresay. It usually helps to be articulate and nuanced enough in educated settings. If you want to pass grades in a language course, take these hints to heart and go for study with skills.
To do better works than the Bible's God seems out of hand till you understand there were lots of things the Bible's God did not do or did not do well. For example, the couple he created in Eden got out of control, and later he sent a Flood to clear up "all that mess", that is, wipe out the humans he himself was responsible for. Honour to the one on whom honour is due. Say the same for blame.
You may have read that at one time "the whole world had one language and a common speech" - and some of them wanted to build a high brick tower for their city as part of an old Mesopotamian myth. The God of the later Jews came to inspect personally, and decided that mankind had to be hampered. The means was to confuse their language so they would not understand each other. The people were scattered and could not finish their dream tower. [Genesis 11:1-9]
It has also been shown that many who believed they had the gift of interpreting tongues (glossolalia) did not agree on the meanings when one individual's ecstatic speech was tape recorded and played back separately to them. Their interpretations were quite inconsistent. Those particular interpreters were unable to extract significant meaning out of the glossolalia. - Some things allow themselves to be tested. [Link]
Further consider that many of the bigwigs of the Old Testament would be criminals today. But someheinous misdeeds were committed before the Law of Moses. So a murder by Moses was not punished, or was it? And Abraham's sex and marriage with his half-sister was not punished by death either, for the Bible's death penalty for such doings came later ... Also, the sons of Jacob violated his harem and tried to kill Joseph. Those harem-violators of attempted murder became heads of tribes and much esteemed later by the twelve tribes of Israel. David had an innocent husband killed to take his wive, and "sleeked" out of punishing himself by death too. Jesus did not get married to a perfect bride and did not fulfil a prophesy of Isaiah that he should be a father. Neither did he accomplish the mission he said he had - "for Jews only", and so on. Paul was a mass murderer and accomplice to that, and so on.
10. Get out of the tangle of Bible inconsistencies and self-contractions as fast as you can if you have been breast-fed on them and have come to think you deserve better, and that it is possible to you, and so on. Consider that there are over a hundred self-contradictions in the Bible, and even more forgery than you might like to know of.
11. Stay as classy as you can. Life tends to be easier and more affluent among successful ones, and there are more benefits there than among the depraved and mean guys. "Classy" means of high quality, that is, having or showing class, having or reflecting high standards of personal behaviour, being greatly skillful and graceful, and at times fashionable. It is not very classy to be tamed into conformity or class-ridden.
Remain intact, preferably having your own family garden
If you are too sweet, they will eat you up - if too sour, you will be spit out (Oriental).
Stereotyped and greatly conventionalised behaviour patterns (instinct-driven) are highly important to species. Learn to bulwark and remain very well guarded, and you could offer your dear ones opportunities for pleasant living and garden living, and so on.
Many vital elements of life and respect are either changing or in the act of being reshaped in our time. Global concerns start to override narrow business profit balances rooted in abuse. Then there is urban living taking over world-wide, there are many weapons in hater hands, hard technology mars minor humans already, and so on. Kind hearts that cannot follow suit in changing conditions of damage, could have shrinking options to live well the world over.
One major connection is to "I Am" deep within. Another is to others "out there", or through proxy. You need to have your inside rooting intact. Otherwise God-fear may come and get you.
You may think, "the older, the better," but it is not always like that, for example with cars. It might pay to consider who had made the laws in question and who they benefit, for example. The slaves made no laws that we know of, for example. They were not in power, even when in the majority, and might have been barred from proper education as well.
Here are ancient legal codes in chronological order:
Code of Urukagina (2,380–2,360 BCE)
Cuneiform law (2,350–1,400 BCE)
Code of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (c. 2050 BCE)
Laws of Eshnunna (c. 1930 BCE)
Codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (c. 1870 BCE)
Babylonian laws / Code of Hammurabi (c. 1790 BCE)
Hittite laws (c. 1650–1100 BCE)
Code of the Nesilim (c. 1650–1500 BCE)
Assyrian laws / Code of the Assura (c. 1075 BCE)
Law of Moses / Torah (9th–5th century BCE)
Draconian constitution (7th century BCE)
Gortyn code (5th century BCE)
Twelve Tables of Roman Law (451 BCE)
Edicts of Ashoka of Buddhist Law (269–236 BCE)
Law of Manu (c. 200 BCE)BC) (Source: WP, "List of ancient legal codes")
The Seven Laws of Noah
The "seven laws of Noah" were given by Yahweh as a binding set of laws for the "children of Noah", that is, everyone. A non-Jew who sticks to these laws is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of a place in the world to come. For now-Jewish Christians this might be vital: "On the initiative of Peter, and of James, the head of the Jerusalem church, it was agreed that acceptance of the Noachian Laws [Laws of Noah] namely, regarding avoidance of idolatry, fornication, and the eating of flesh cut from a living animal - should be demanded of the heathen desirous of entering the Church. [Jewish Encyclopedia: "New Testament - Spirit of Jewish Proselytism in Christianity".] The four requirements are in all right English in Acts 15:19:30, and Acts 21:25.
The Seven Laws of Noah - also for non-Jewish Christians:
(See WP, "Seven Laws of Noah")
The Ancient Code of Ur-Nammu
The ancient Code of Ur-Nammu is from Mesopotamia and is written on tablets in the Sumerian language. It is from ca. 2100–2050 BCE, and measures out punishments for many kinds of brutal behaviour. The laws are in themselves a bit brutal . . .
(WP, "Code of Ur-Nammu" - where the units of measurement are explained.)
The River Ordeal
What is the river ordeal, you may come to wonder. Here it is, from the Code of Hammurabi:
If anyone bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
To have learnt to swim or just to float on one's fat may both be life-savers many a time. Now, this "trial by water" is known also as the "‘swimming test". A much stricter variant of it was used to try witches during the 17th century, where a woman accused as a witch would be dragged to the nearest body of water, stripped to her undergarment, bound, and tossed into the water to see if she would sink or float. If she floated, she was guilty and would be burnt to death. If she sank, she had been innocent . . . when accidental drowning occurred.
(Source: Dhwty: "Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement". Ancient Origins, Ennis, Ireland, 12 October, 2015.)
Righteousness is a difficult subject, whith many angles of approach. Some of the oldest views on right and justice lie in the ancient Egyptian Maat. In Sanatan Dharma (lit: Eternal Righteousness; also known as Hinduism and Vedanta Dharma), some other sides are given thought. Concepts like the complex dharma, said to uphold universal order, and the general, ancient rita (truth in general, righteousness, right), go to the core of Hinduism. In ancient times, the chief god Varuna is said to be a master of rita. Once a supreme keeper of order and law, clearly related to right in several of its aspects, Varuna is less in focus in Hinduism today. There is more focus on other god-beings. [WP, "Maat"; Rta"; "Dharma"; "Varuna"]
The "righteousness" of the Old and New Testaments is bogus, lacking in fair deals and allied with old scaring, for most part. Innocents butchered and killed so that the real culpits are helped to go on sinning, is corruption made into system. We need to be tall enough to realise that.
Forem, Jack. Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Rev. ed. London: Hay House, 2012. ⍽▢⍽ A good piece of work with terms like meditation, yoga, guru, and the like. To some it might be a good introduction to TM, but the real thing, the TM technique, is to be learnt elsewhere. It is not in the book.
Knapp, Stephen. The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture. New York: iUniverse, 2006. ⍽▢⍽ A concise and easy-to-understand overview of principles and customs in the Hindu tradition that has survived for thousands of years. The book contains explanations of Hindu practices, insights of Dharmic life and how to begin. Yoga teachings include moral norms to try and stick to, and other helpful counsel along the way.
Sands, William F. "Natural Law in the Valmˇki Ramayana in the Light of Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology." In Modern Science and Vedic Science, Volume 8, Number 1, 1998.
Fairfield, IA: Maharishi University of Management, 1998. ⍽▢⍽ The goal of dharma teachings is to adjust to "Natural Law", Dharma (and Rita, or Law, Righteousness) for one's benefit and progress. Transgressing those inner laws causes pain, suffering, and in time dwindling of powers or parts, is the ancient and often scary teaching that includes various hells for evil-doers.
Shastri, Hari Prasad, tr. Ramayana of Valmiki. Vols 1-3. London: Shanti Sadan. Vol 1, 2nd rev. ed., 1962; Vol 2: 1957; Vol 3, 1st ed., 1959. ⍽▢⍽ Here is the complete, unabridged epos by Valmiki in readable English translation. Dr Shastri (1882–1956) came to London in 1929 at the wish of his teacher, and founded a centre he called Shanti Sadan (Temple of Inner Peace). He published many original works and translations, including The Ramayana of Valmiki, which has become a standard translation of the Sanskrit epic. The book is online at archive.org.
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