Monthly Archives: July 2010
In friendship an ‘openness’ of each to the other is found that can be seen as an enlargement of the self. A good friendly person is related to his friend the same way he is related to himself. He / She considers the friend as another “self” or extension of “self”. Friendship therefore opens the door to an escape from “egoism” or “belief” that the rational course of action is always to pursue one’s own self-interest. It is notable that friendship requires sentiments. Sentimentality is not always rational – but forms an essential foundation of friendship. It is a purely personal matter, requiring virtue, yet which runs counter to the universalistic requirement of impartial treatment of all. Friend is someone who is treated differently from all others always. An outstanding example for this is found in Mahabharatha – the friendship between Karna & Duryodhana!
Values that are found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following traits on a consistent basis:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other!
- Sympathy & Empathy!
- Honesty – perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth – especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart.
- Mutual understanding!
- Mutual compassion!
One problem is to reconcile these apparently diverse and occasionally conflicting requirements. Mishandling this may cause either temporary or lasting strain in relationships. But one irrefutable element in friendship is – you can talk “neutral nonsense” freely – without the fear of being seriously judged. It gives lot of freedom to be occasionally stupid – which is a release from stress! Friendship is easier to repair when spoiled, than all other relationships, as forgiveness is in-built into it.
What is Religion:
A system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe. Usually, religion concerns itself with that which transcends the known, the natural, or the expected; it is an acknowledgment of the extraordinary, the mysterious, and the supernatural. The religious consciousness generally recognizes a transcendent, sacred order and elaborates a technique to deal with the inexplicable or unpredictable elements of human experience in the world or beyond it.
Types of Religious Systems
The evolution of religion cannot be precisely determined owing to the lack of clearly distinguishable stages, but anthropological and historical studies of isolated cultures in various periods of development have suggested a typology but not a chronology. One type is found among some Australian aborigines who practice magic and fetishism but consider the powers therein to be not supernatural but an aspect of the natural world. Inability or refusal to divide real from preternatural and acceptance of the idea that inanimate objects may work human good or evil are sometimes said to mark a prereligious phase of thought. This is sometimes labeled naturism or animatism. It is characterized by a belief in a life force that itself has no definite characterization.
A second type of religion, represented by many Oceanic and African tribal beliefs, includes momentary deities (a tree suddenly falling on or in front of a person is malignant, although it was not considered “possessed” before or after the incident) and special deities (a particular tree is inhabited by a malignant spirit, or the spirits of dead villagers inhabit a certain grove or particular animals). In this category one must distinguish between natural and supernatural forces. This development is related to the emergence of objects of devotion, to rituals of propitiation, to priests and shamans, and to an individual sense of group participation in which the individual or the group is protected by, or against, supernatural beings and is expected to act singly or collectively in specific ways when in the presence of these forces.