What's your faith?


This post is about Life

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I’ve been doing some read­ings on a topic that most peo­ple will raise their eye­brows when they heard it — religion.

“Since when you become so reli­gious?” most peo­ple will ask.

Well, not quite. I’m not a reli­gious per­son I would say and most of the time I will try not to asso­ciate myself to any religion.

How­ever, there are times I will have to say that I’m a bud­dhist espe­cially when fill­ing out forms because there is no free­thinker or athe­ist (how they call  the irre­li­gious in west­ern coun­tries) col­umn to choose from.

Jingang Jing

But to be frank, I am not really into wor­ship­ing dif­fer­ent stat­ues or pray­ing with chock sticks. And to my under­stand­ing, those prac­tices are more Tao­ism than Bud­dhism. So how can I call myself a bud­dhist when I don’t even prac­tice buddhism?

If I’m not into reli­gion, then why am I read­ing and research­ing about them? I guess every­thing starts from a book I read around 10 years ago.

It was a book regard­ing reli­gions from the sci­en­tific point of view. Although I find it quite base­less when the author try­ing to explain reli­gious the­o­ries sci­en­tif­i­cally, but it has def­i­nitely opened up my mind to think about reli­gion from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive other than a spir­i­tual belief system.

After I did some read­ings (mostly from Wikipedia), I think (I think only) there are 2 ori­gins of reli­gion in this world — the Abra­hamic reli­gions and the Dharmic religions.

I was sur­prised to find out that Judaism, Chris­tian­ity and Islam were actu­ally cre­ated by the same per­son called Abra­ham, thus the Abra­hamic religions.

On the other hand, Hin­duism, Bud­dhism, Zen, Con­fu­cian­ism and Tao­ism are all dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions of Dharma, thus the Dharmic religions.

“Do you find it use­ful after you read all these?” Ah Max asked.

Well, yes and no.

No, because I will not grow in wis­dom even after I did all the read­ings. I am just merely read­ing their sto­ries with­out prac­tic­ing them.

Yes, because I do find them enter­tain­ing to read.

“What?! You take reli­gion as enter­tain­ment mate­r­ial?” you might shout at me.

But I have to say that I’m not the only per­son to find it enter­tain­ing. I can­not give you many exam­ples but I have per­son­ally watched a movie and an anime which the sto­ries are based on reli­gious concepts.

The first one would be the Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion, a Japan­ese anime I watched more than 10 years ago.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

It was by far the best anime I’ve ever watched even until today. How­ever, this anime wasn’t meant for kids because there are way too many bio­log­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and chris­tian­ity con­cepts such as the char­ac­ter Adam, Eva, Angel and Lilith.

The other one is a block­buster movie I think most of us watched back in the year 1999 — the Matrix.

The Matrix

I used to think that the Matrix was based on the ide­ol­ogy of com­puter pro­grams and it was meant for pro­gram­mers and com­puter geeks. But I was wrong.

The Matrix was mostly inspired by Buddhism’s teach­ings. The con­cepts of a computer-generated fake “real­ity” and Neo “fully enlight­ened” can be link to the Buddhism’s teach­ing of maya (illu­sion) and achiev­ing a dis­em­bod­ied, imma­te­r­ial existence.

How inter­est­ing isn’t it.

After spend­ing a few days read­ing books and also mate­ri­als online, after all the research on Bud­dhism, Chris­tian­ity and Islam, I have finally come to a stage of under­stand­ing, where I seem to found the answers to the the ques­tions that puz­zled me for such a long time. The myth has been solved. I have finally under­stand the true mean­ing of, ehem, the Evan­ge­lion and the Matrix!

Not much on the reli­gion itself, sorry to dis­ap­point you.

And who says read­ing about reli­gions is not useful.


This post is about Life

This post has 4 comments

CommentNo. 1

Ervin Ter14 October 20091:07 AM

Mind to share what is your answer to the ques­tions that puz­zled you so long time?

Author’s CommentNo. 2

Den­nis14 October 20091:11 AM

Hahaha… maybe I didn’t make it clear. What I meant was I finally under­stand the story of the 2 movie and anime, Evan­ge­lion and the Matrix.

CommentNo. 3

Ted14 October 20091:44 PM

Great twist on the post. You had me thinkin it was all bout religion.

Author’s CommentNo. 4

Den­nis14 October 20093:47 PM

Hahaha… I prob­a­bly wrote too much about reli­gion in the 1st half…

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