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Walking in Another's Shoes

  1. mythbuster profile image84
    mythbusterposted 6 years ago

    If you were able to experience a different set of beliefs than the ones you currently hold, which religion/traditions would you choose?

    If you could walk in another person's shoes for about day, a week or a month, which sort of shoes would you step into?

    Personally, I keep being drawn to Jainism - for the non-violence aspects of the religion...

    In Western Canada where I'm from, I've mentioned Jainism often lately to my friends and they're questioning my sanity, I'm sure lol

    About a week ago, I decided to try and walk in another's (Jain) shoes for just one day, trying to adhere to just one principle (of non-violence) for one day... this meant I had to blow a couple of mosquito bugs off me instead of slapping at them, walk around some beetles and centipedes that were on the sidewalk, and - late in the day, I tried to incorporate further "no-harm" principles and take all sarcasm out of my speaking for several hours (that last part was very difficult)... It was a very interesting day.

    It took me about 3 days afterward to resume being "me" and I found I didn't like going back as far to "me" as I thought I would... I notice sarcasm more now and at least one friend has said/asked, "You're so 'mindful' lately - what's up?" (a lot of the jokes I might have laughed at last week... no longer seem funny - I can hear the "harm" in them).

    Perhaps we really do spend too much time stuck in defending our beliefs...

    Comments?

    1. the pink umbrella profile image73
      the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I personally feel i know myself well enough not to have to wander

      1. mythbuster profile image84
        mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The exercise wasn't so much for me to know myself better... but to try and understand the beliefs of other people, the pink umbrella...

        I suppose, to your way of thinking, it was "wandering." Never thought of that before...

        Interesting.

        Maybe I'm more curious about other traditions than you are. Then again - sometimes my curiosity gets me into trouble lol

    2. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I think this is an interesting way of challenging one self. I do it occasionally, but - really - what you did is not what you tried to. What you did is try to do no harm.

      Which is interesting in itself - but the true goal of Jainism - as i Understand it - is non-attachment, which is extremely hard to achieve in a day wink - And I would like to bet you did not give all your possessions away. lol

      A day is too easy. Changing your habits - that is where it gets interesting. When you do it long enough to re-write your habitual actions.

      There are many ways to do this kind of exercise. Try doing everything left handed (assuming you are right handed) for a week. That really makes you realize how many of your daily actions are on auto pilot. lol

      My most interesting experiment was to go vegetarian for a year. After listening to so many vegetarians crow about how great they felt and how "natural" it was - I decided to suck it and see. I learned that it can be really very difficult to find a selection of meals when you are eating out, and you need to be really creative to avoid getting bored. But - aside from feeling less full all the time - I was not impressed with the so-called benefits. 

      I personally have no hankering to adopt any religious beliefs - but I do like to try some of the rituals, because that is where the heart of the matter tends to be.

      1. mythbuster profile image84
        mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Hi Mark!

        I admit, I didn't give all my possessions away or challenge myself very much for one day - however - it did take a great number of reminders to myself to behave with "no-harm" intended and such... I wouldn't be able to, at this point, incorporate full Jain principles of living into my life but I wanted to understand something - even if only a small something - of how another person might view the world.

        What struck me most was the point late in the day when I realized that "non-violence" goes with "no-harm" and that the no-harm principle also targets "sarcasm," and that to move forward more with Jainism, I would have to watch my words, not just my actions... made me have to be careful about my thoughts, be mindful.

        Definitely challenging - I wasn't a very good Jain, that's for sure lol

      2. mythbuster profile image84
        mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Rituals... such as???

        1. Mark Knowles profile image61
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Drumming
          Chanting
          Rocking your body
          Burning incense
          Ritual bathing
          Sitting surrounded by burning candles and thinking about life

          Rituals

          Varies, but many belief systems have similar rituals - some of them think they are special and get you in touch with a invisible super being. Some of them think they are perfectly normal and get you in touch with everything around you.

          The ones with the invisible super being call the rituals of any one else - "pagan rites."

          And then they build gold statues, burn incense and chant Latin. lol

          1. mythbuster profile image84
            mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I like drumming - Djembe drums - and find drumming circles are a great experience but I haven't thought much about rituals.

            The drum circles I've participated in are pretty much "beginner" groups and I'm just learning but maybe I'll check out your list of ritual items... haha practice my Wheelock Latin at the next drum circle!

    3. profile image67
      paarsurreyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hi friend mythbuster

      There is no harm in studying other religions and faiths but oly accept that which is reasonable , rational and is based on Word of Revelation from the Creator-God Allah YHWH.

      Since you have studied Jainism; can you state who started it and on what basis?

      I respect your freedom of religion; just want to know for my knowledge.

      Thanks

      I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

      1. profile image60
        Anicholposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You dont respect others freedom of religion

        http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/50168

      2. mythbuster profile image84
        mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Paarsurrey,

        Though there are thought to be 23 Tirthankaras that came before him, the one called Mahavir (559-527 BCE) is the one most people refer to as being the main example of living Jain lifestyle and principles. The lifestyle is one of asceticism and of renouncing material items, of incorporating non-violence principles into every thought and action - of reverence for all life.

        Mahavir was allegedly a prince who renounced a life of power and comfort in order to learn to live as "unattached" to material things.

        1. profile image67
          paarsurreyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hi friend  mythbuster

          Thanks for your answer. I think it is impossible to live without killing the creatures that the Creator -God Allah YHWH has made for our consumption. Now we know that even Botanical things are living; then there are germs, useful ones, in everything we drink and eat. Water, milk, honey etc; so the concept is not practical if extended to its logical conclusions.

          The humans could eat and drink things allowed by the Creator-God Allah YHWH with His name; and not eating or drinking things which he has commanded us not to eat.

          Thanks

          I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

          1. mythbuster profile image84
            mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I get what you're saying, paarsurrey, but would you step outside of whatever comfort or belief zone you've been accustomed to in order to try and see something in a different belief system/tradition?

            1. profile image67
              paarsurreyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Hi friend mythbuster

              I don't mind that; if it is done as a research; otherwise it is not practical in our era; in ancient times man did no know that everything has germs, useful germs, in it.

              Thanks

              I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim

    4. profile image67
      paarsurreyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I am always comfortable in my own shoes.
      I would convert to any other religion or irreligion if I am convinced that they have got the absolute TRUTH. I am with the truth whereever it is.

  2. Cagsil profile image61
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    It is a very difficult task, as you've found out already.

    However, when I was younger, I was raised by my mother and father who were Catholic, not devout, but believed in god. Thus, Jesus was part of my daily life. I honored my mother and father by participating within the Catholic community, trying to learn as much as I could.

    It wasn't until I was 22, when I decided to take it more seriously and began to study more in-depth about it. Thus, I learned to walk the path "doctrine" teaches.

    The main focus was to understand the Major 3 Doctrines of Catholicism and maintain it within my life. As my study continued, I discovered my life became even more difficult, because the Bible itself did very little to explain, as to what extent or manner, the doctrine was to be handled.

    After about 10 years, I realized the doctrine couldn't be fulfilled by any living human being on Earth. Thus, was false.

    I suffered many setbacks, because of the undefined nature of the Doctrine as indicated within scripture and explained by Priests/Teachers/Nuns and the like.

    Doctrine #1) To be selfess is false and unattainable. Because, it turns one into a very selfish person, which is diametrically opposite of the teachings.

    Doctrine #2) To oppress all desires is false and unattainable. Because, it leads one to go insane. Scientifically proven.

    Doctrine #3) To believe in god is false and unattainable. Because, it is impossible to convince or circumvent the nature of man or woman, with regards to complete faith not based on what can be proven to oneself. And, anyone stating otherwise is dishonest, because science can proven that doubt still exists regardless of mentality.

    Thus, a revelation comes to self- there is no god. Once, self realizes the true nature of meaning "god", then one realizes that they are "god" in their life and have complete control.

    End of story. smile

    1. the pink umbrella profile image73
      the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Cagsil, are you trying to seduce me?

      1. Cagsil profile image61
        Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        On that question.....I plead the 5th. lol

        1. the pink umbrella profile image73
          the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          lol wink

          1. Cagsil profile image61
            Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            LOL! tongue

            1. the pink umbrella profile image73
              the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              ok, now i feel like your making fun of me... sad

              1. Cagsil profile image61
                Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Now, why would you feel such a thing. Don't you like it when people laugh with you. And, I'm pretty sure that you don't mind being "licked" in certain spots...especially erotic places. lol

                *honestly, not making fun of you* smile

                1. the pink umbrella profile image73
                  the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  ,,,woah! ok then...at least im not the only one feeling randy tonight! lmao

                  1. Cagsil profile image61
                    Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Well, I guess I tipped my hand...and should have stayed with pleading the 5th?

                    lol lol lol

    2. mythbuster profile image84
      mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Wow, Cagsil, your "walk" was very in-depth.

      I like how you've itemized 3 points of doctrine... I will think on those awhile but I can see how the results of your walk into Catholicism led to bad results for you.

      I'm glad I just tried one or two principles of my choice for just a short time...

      1. Cagsil profile image61
        Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I am who I am today, because of that walk. It's was not an easy walk to take, to say the least.

        Because, when constantly adhering to being "selfless", it became evident that others would take advantage of my willingness to help them, which lead me to help certain people more often than possible and left no time to help others. So, I ended up becoming selfish with my time and picky about who I helped. wink

        The second one, requires you oppress the desires, all of which, was emotional draining to the point, where I was not able take pleasure in any emotional release.

        The third one, always left a nagging feeling(hope) based on faith, that there was a god. Thus, could not reach 100% belief.

        I hope that helped explain it. smile

      2. the pink umbrella profile image73
        the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        you only "walked" for a day, how can you even come close to realization after only one day? So you avoided killing bugs, wow.

        1. mythbuster profile image84
          mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I can't come close to realization of too many things after just one day, the pink umbrella, but, I definitely DID attempt to suspend some of my own beliefs and very mindfully adhere to other beliefs, behavior and thinking for one day.

          The point I was trying to make that even in 1 day, the realization that my regular habits were questionable (sarcasms in speech that aren't really necessary to use, mindless killing of small creatures just 'cos they're in my way when I can choose to walk around them, etc), was a surprise to me.

          1. the pink umbrella profile image73
            the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Ugh...you know im going to be all aware of bugs and things, and what i say all day tommorow now...im so impressionable...sheesh!

            1. mythbuster profile image84
              mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Cool. Let us know how that works out for you.

              1. the pink umbrella profile image73
                the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                recently got rid of a bad flea infestation, lucky im not doing it with fleas arond, can you imagine not killing those little sukers...lol

                1. mythbuster profile image84
                  mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I can relate... My recent "Jain" day ideas aren't going over too well with the fact that I left an old lunch bag sitting on the floor near the door...

                  *shakeshead*

                  Thought I had finished the whole lunch "that day"

                  But there was a banana I forgot about lol

                  You know what THAT means?

          2. raisingme profile image91
            raisingmeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            If one was to follow that way for a day one would not only have to refrain from responding in a sarcastic manner one would also have to refrain from responding to the sarcasm of others.  In order to practice a "way" - it must be done from both being at cause over or going the effect of. 
            Sarcastic comments are just that, comments and it is not necessary to respond to a comment only to an origination.

            I gave up sarcastic remarks only after I realized how truly cutting they are and how they gum up communication and harm relationships. 

            So, in response to pink umbrella's comment, there is no need to respond to it only to get at cause by asking yourself, "Have I ever done that?"  Sure fired way to keep you from being at the effect of others negative comments and it enables you to own and take responsibility for your own "stuff". 

            I think what you did was an interesting experiment on the effects of adhering to a specific belief system - even if you only dipped your toe into the proverbial waters.

            1. mythbuster profile image84
              mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks for your response, raisingme.

              Your words on sarcasm are interesting... I have to say, it was strange to me that at the end of my day of trying to adhere to some unfamiliar principles, it ended up being a more "abstract" aspect (use of words and thinking) of my day that stuck with me the most - not the behaviors/actions around walking around bugs.

              1. raisingme profile image91
                raisingmeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                That makes total sense considering you would have to get the "being" in place before the doing.  So the be-liefs would be where the struggle or the strangeness would kick in as the do only follows the be.  I have experimented with "what would it be like if I" but have never applied that process to different belief systems. 

                Funny the places our curiosity takes us...n' some places not so funny at all.

                1. mythbuster profile image84
                  mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Yeah - I didn't find it funny at all to realize that, along with having probably killed a bazillion pesky flies, mosquito and other bloodsucker bugs - moreso, my words have probably harmed in the past...

                  So I think I'm still watching more carefully about "words" these days. I'm no stranger to "switching principles" tho'...

                  I am a recovering addict, so I stepped into some new principles pretty quickly and fully not so long ago...

                  *ouch*

            2. the pink umbrella profile image73
              the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Sarcastic...who's being sarcastic, i was asking how he got any enlightenment from one day, that is all...there was no sarcasm in that...it was a question.

              1. the pink umbrella profile image73
                the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Would you mind leaving me out of your negativity bubble please??

                1. Cagsil profile image61
                  Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't think she was directly addressing what you specific said as sarcasm. I only think that Raisingme was expanding on what you said- "one day" type experiment. wink

                  1. the pink umbrella profile image73
                    the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    i dont know, the way i read it, it was that there was no need to respond to my comment because it would make him thing negatively about only doing this experiment for one day...can you really avoid your own negative thoughts that well?  I mean, especially if the question asked of you is in no way negative? Do you really not answer for fear that your answer will cause you negative thoughts? Weird to me, maybe im not understanding this well.

              2. mythbuster profile image84
                mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You may be confusing quality with quantity, the pink umbrella. I didn't set out to become a Jain - I set out to try and understand some things I'd never thought much about before.

                The fact that I only worked with one or two new principles for a day didn't lead me to enlightenment, that's true but I am more mindful of certain things and found some of my previous beliefs to be questionable. I'm glad I found this out but wouldn't have found anything out if I hadn't been willing to try something new.

  3. Rishy Rich profile image79
    Rishy Richposted 6 years ago

    If I were to put into this question a year ago, I would have said 'Buddhism' & the true teachings of Buddha. But many things has changed in last one year... smile

  4. Cagsil profile image61
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    OH WOW! Before this gets anymore out of hand. I'm off to bed. Good night everyone. smile lol

  5. mythbuster profile image84
    mythbusterposted 6 years ago

    Good night, Cagsil - thanks for sharing your experience! Sleep well.

  6. bohica profile image61
    bohicaposted 6 years ago

    To which of form of Buddhism Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, Zen do you refer to? The practice of any religion requires more than one day. It is the continual practice that causes a change in one's self; internally first that becomes manifested externally into your daily life.

    1. mythbuster profile image84
      mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      If you were willing to walk with some different principles for a day than you normally hold, which principles/religion or tradition would you choose?

    2. the pink umbrella profile image73
      the pink umbrellaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yea, i get what your saying, but just the mindset of something even of for a blip like a day might be able to make you think differently, even if just a little. I dont know, i think a 1 day blip is kinda short, but what do i  know? I need not venture from myself!

    3. Rishy Rich profile image79
      Rishy Richposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I would suggest Theravada...but I believe even that is not the actual form Buddha's teachings.

      1. mythbuster profile image84
        mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Could you explain Theraveda a little bit, Rishy Rich?

        I just know a bit about Buddha-tales, mythology around the personality known as Buddha/Siddhartha Gautama.

        1. Rishy Rich profile image79
          Rishy Richposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Well Im not an expert of Buddhisim but I will try to portray my understaings as much as possible. I believe Theravada Buddhism goes closest to Buddha's actual teachings. Theravada does not talk about worshipping God or the Buddha. Rather than having blind faith it focuses on REASONING & INVESTIGATION. They take the world as a place of suffering & stress almost like the Hell of other religions. Theres a term called 'Maya' which can be compared to the word 'Illusion'. Love, sex, money, greed, fame, respect...everything that we value in this world is actually the outcome of the Maya. Its the goal of every human to break through this illusion & attain Nirvana by following certain paths.

          However, the concept of Nirvana is very complex. Most people confuse nirvana with connecting with God or becoming a part of God. But Buddha never taught anything like that. Nirvana is actually a state of non-existence. But to understand the non-existence state of Buddha, we need to realize it in a positive way. Buddha also tried to taught the bright sides of non-existence (although I havent read that part yet). Buddha taught that if there are Gods, they are also sufferers in this MAYA & attaining Nirvana is also their destiny. But being all that powerful & with all that pleasure (Gods mentioned in Hinduism), it is quite impossible for them to attain enlightenment. Thus Buddha actually gave humans a higher status than God & mentioned it is the best form or state for a species to attain Nirvana. Other than that, Buddha didnt talk much about God, in fact he made fun of Gods in many instances just like the atheists & philosophers of 18th century. In short, everyone must get free from this cycle of rebirth, get banished & end these universe full of sufferings...yeh I think this is pretty much what they believe.

  7. salt profile image65
    saltposted 6 years ago

    right now, I could do with walking in the shoes of someone who lives in a lovely home, that is warm and clean and has all the mod cons without any hassles, with that feeling of safety and love.

    1. mythbuster profile image84
      mythbusterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I hear this loud and clear, salt

  8. profile image60
    Merlinclancyposted 6 years ago

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