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Old 01-04-2007, 01:26 PM   #13
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Western religion and Aikido

I always love this discussion!

Living in Bavaria Germany for the last couple of years I have found Christian religion to be a little different here than in the states. I am judging this as an outsider, so I freely admit my ignorance on this area.

Catholicism his the dominant religion in Bavaria and is pretty ubiquitous and pervasive here. Part of your taxes go to the church for the most part, there is only one church, there are no evangilical or protestant churches in our communities, everyone is catholic, my sons "public" school did prayer, and crosses hung everywhere, they did religous ceremonies and things in the school.

It is a part of their community and ingrained, it was not thought of, nor worn on the sleeve, nor were did I ever felt judged for being a "non-christian". They do not prosetylitize, or preach, it is just there and it is apart of what you do.

I am comfortable with it, and never felt put upon. I cannot say I feel the same way back home in the states where we seem to put a great deal more emphasis on religion...yet we preach separation of church and state, where in Germany there is no separation of church and state!

I am beginning to think that the U.S simply puts alot more conscious thought or attaches criticality to religion as linked to spirituality than many other cultures in the world.

Not judging this as good or bad, as I think there are tremendous issues that go along with "group think" that can develop in homogenous societies like we learned in the past from Japan and Germany in WWII. I think we have seen this a little lately in the U.S. as well, but now I am getting into politics which is a very, very dangerous area!

I personally find the Kotodama interesting, as well as yoga chanting, and benedictine monks chanting as well. I find them all analogous and based on the same thing.

I personally don't put a lot of attachment to things like bowing, kami, or pictures on the wall. I do think it is possible to take an unhealthy approach to them when you attach more meaning and significance to them than is necessary.

Something about idol worship. I know from by studies in Christianity and Buddhism that both caution against it.
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