Reddit reviews: The best religions and sacred texts books

We found 320 Reddit comments discussing the best religions and sacred texts books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 140 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Other Religions, Practices & Sacred Texts:

u/AtheismNTheCity · 2 pointsr/CatholicPhilosophy

> This is seriously one of the weakest objection I've ever heard against the PSR. What does this even mean? Of course God is not obligated to create our universe or any anything for that matter. How does this affect the PSR? There is no explanation other than the 'because'.

It shows that the PSR is self refuting because even a god cannot satisfy it. To put it into a more logical form:


Please feel free to refute that.

> Next: the brute fact response. This still leaves our most basic thirst about understanding reality unquenched. The universe is contingent; there is no way around even when involving science, math, etc--whatever. If it is possible for it to not exist, it is contingent.

Our thirst is technically irrelevant, since we can thirst for things like the color of jealousy, which obviously has no answer. What matters is part of logic. Regarding the possibility of the universe not existing, that assumes it is logically possible that the universe not exist. But so too is god. It is not logically necessary that the god theists believe in exist because other conceptions of god are possible. Why does god timelessly and eternally exist with desire X rather than desire Y, when neither desire X or Y are logically necessary or logically impossible?

Logical necessity cannot explain this scenario. There is no way to show in principle why god had to timelessly and eternally exist with the desire to create our particular universe, and not one just slightly different, or even radically different, or no universe at all. The theist would have to show that it was logically necessary for god to desire to create our universe in order to avoid eventually coming to a brute fact. He can try and say "It's because god wanted a relationship with us," but that wouldn't answer the question at all. Why did god want a relationship with us? Is that logically necessary? Could god exist without wanting a relationship with anyone? And still, even if god wanted a relationship, why did he have to desire this particular universe? There are an infinitude of logically possible universes god could have desired that would allow him to have a relationship with someone else that for no reason god didn't timelessly and eternally exist with the desire to create. A theist can also try to argue that "our universe is the best of all possible worlds, and therefore god had to desire it." But this claim is absurd on its face. I can think of a world with just one more instance of goodness or happiness, and I've easily just thought of a world that's better.

The theist is going to have to eventually come to a brute fact when seriously entertaining answers to these questions. Once he acknowledges that there is no logically necessary reason god had to timelessly and eternally exist with the desire to create our particular universe, and that god could have timelessly and eternally existed with a different desire, he's in exactly the same problem he claims the atheist is in when he says the universe is contingent and could have been otherwise, and therefore cannot explain itself. Hence, even positing a god doesn't allow you to avoid brute facts. There is no way to answer these questions, even in principle, with something logically necessary.

> God, on the other hand, is an entirely different kettle of fish; if God exists, he must exist necessarily. Merely saying it is a brute fact does not get around this; it's getting at that the universe is not contingent. Some think that there could be an infinite chain of causes to get us here. Maybe so. But how does this help? The chain is still contingent.

Nope. If god with eternal contingent (non-necessary) desire X exists, there cannot in principle be a logically necessary reason why that god exists, since a god with another non-necessary desire is just as possible. Hence god is just as contingent as the universe, lest you want to resort to special pleading.

>This is more of the New Atheism that is pure sophistry. 'Simple Logic'. Yikes. There are good objections to the PSR; this is obviously not one of them.

Not at all. This is serious logic showing how even you cannot answer the basic questions of why does god timelessly and eternally exist with desire X rather than desire Y, when neither desire X or Y are logically necessary or logically impossible? The only possible answer must be contingent, since a necessary one is off the table.

>I am not a Catholic but here is a very sophisticated defense of the PSR. Pruss is a Catholic. Pruss is brilliant here as well.
>Timothy O'Connor has my favorite book on the topic here

It is impossible to defend the PSR and all attempts to claim otherwise depend on false arguments from consequence.

u/finnerpeace · 3 pointsr/religion

I would read SHORT but incisive texts from great religions or religious thinkers. Just one or two a day to start with.

I personally love The Hidden Words by Baha'u'llah, but there are many great interfaith collections as well. One nice one is God's Big Instruction Book, here used, which is actually many tiny delicious nuggets from different world Faiths.

I'd read one or two short interesting pieces, and meditate on them.

I think the spirit is quite easily reawakened and nourished! Also looking forward to seeing others' recommendations...

I also really like this prayer:

>O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

>O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

Here in musical form

There's also a really neat event called Soul Food that happens in several cities, with very uplifting and inspiring interfaith readings. Attending something like that might also be helpful: but really, I think short prayer, meditation, and reading are the best.

u/2ysCoBra · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

You might be familiar with some of this already, but I'm going to explain it as though you have no familiarity with this subject.

Philosophy of religion explores topics such as the existence of God, concepts of God, religious language, religious belief, miracles, and so on. Philosophyofreligion.info presents a good primer for the subject.

It seems like your primary interest is in the existence of God. Natural theology, although the approach of doing theology without the assistance of special, divine revelation, in philosophical circles is basically synonymous with arguments for the existence of God. Natural atheological arguments, as some have put it (i.e. Plantinga), are arguments for atheism.

Popular arguments for the existence of God would be the various cosmological, teleological, ontological, and axiological arguments. There's almost too many of them to keep track. Popular arguments against the existence of God would be the various kinds of the problem of evil, divine hiddenness, and attacks on the coherence of theism.

"The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology" is perhaps the best single resource on arguments for and against the existence of God, although it is highly advanced. "The Cambridge Companion to Atheism" is also a very solid resource. "The Existence of God" by Swinburne is classic, as is his "Coherence of Theism." Again, all of those are fairly advanced. Swinburne has a shorter, more popular level version of "The Existence of God" titled "Is There a God?" Stephen Davis also has a similar book titled "God, Reason and Theistic Proofs." If you're going to be reading Oppy and Sobel, I recommend reading their counterparts in any of these books above (barring the "Cambridge Companion to Atheism," of course), that way you have a good balance of perspectives.

With regards to the philosophy of religion a bit more broadly, William Rowe, C. Stephen Evans, and Brian Davies each have solid, brief introduction books. Michael Murray and Eleonore Stump have a more thorough introduction; Louis Pojman and Michael Rea have a great anthology; and William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, and Michael Rea have perhaps the greatest single resource on this subject.

Moreover, William Lane Craig has dozens of debates on topics concerning the existence of God (and other topics) available on YouTube. Here is a fantastic list of his debates with links available in the table. You'll see some popular figures in the list that aren't good philosophers (i.e. Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, etc.), but there are quite a few very high caliber philosophers on that list too (i.e. Michael Tooley, Quentin Smith, Peter Millican, Stephen Law, etc.).

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Good luck!

u/dragfyre · 7 pointsr/bahai

Hey lampshade! Welcome, and thanks for the question.

A good place to start if you're looking for Baha'i books is the Baha'i Reference Library, which has a number of authoritative Baha'i texts. You can also find all of these for purchase at the Baha'i Bookstore online, and for free in e-book form.

The order you read them in kind of depends on your own background and what you're interested in, but a good place to start is with Bahá'u'lláh's Hidden Words, which is like a distillation of the spiritual teachings that lie at the core of all of the world's great religions.

If you have a strong mystical bent, you might want to follow that up with Bahá'u'lláh's Seven Valleys and Four Valleys, or Gems of Divine Mysteries. Both of these are essentially letters to individuals who had asked about certain spiritual truths, such as the path taken by a soul on its spiritual journey.

If you're really interested in Bahá'u'lláh's teachings on the evolution of religion throughout history, and His interpretation of past religious prophecies, you should definitely read the Book of Certitude, aka the Kitáb-i-Íqán. I've known a lot of people who've started learning about the Bahá'í Faith through this book; it really delivers some penetrating spiritual insights.

There are also more general introductory books about the Bahá'í Faith that are available. Two commonly recommended books for those interested in reading about the Bahá'í Faith are A Short History of the Bahá'í Faith by Peter Smith, and A Short Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith by Moojan Momen. If you want a very quick foretaste of both books, you can check out this combined review. Smith has also published a newer book, An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith, which you might want to consider as well.

u/lie4karma · 1 pointr/casualiama

Sorry? I think you are mistaken sir. The only official secrets we have are our modes of recognition. Everything else more than fair to be shared. It makes me wonder if you are in fact a mason, and if you are, if you bothered to open up the copy of the constitution they handed you as soon as you finished your first degree.

Have you never wondered why lodges have entire WEBSITES set up explaining the things I am? How authors like these are still members:


You should apologize to me for that comment. Or even better, how about we place a wager? We both put $1000.00 In an escrow account. When I get home tonight, Ill post my certificate(s) as well as the relevant passages in our constitution. If I check out your $1000.00 goes to a charity of my choice. If I don't, my money will go to you or your charity?

But before you take my bet I would advise you to take a look around:


Here is right from the grand lodge of Albertas website:


Why is Freemasonry so “secretive”?

It really isn’t “secretive,” although it sometimes has that reputation. Freemasons certainly don’t make a secret of the fact that they are members of the fraternity. We wear rings, lapel pins and tie tacks with Masonic emblems like the Square and Compasses, the best known of Masonic signs which, logically, recalls the fraternity’s roots in stonemasonry. Masonic buildings are clearly marked, and are usually listed in the phone book. Lodge activities are not secret picnics and other events are even listed in the newspapers, especially in smaller towns. Many lodges have answering machines which give the upcoming lodge activities. But there are some Masonic secrets, and they fall into two categories.

The first are the ways in which a man can identify himself as a Mason — grips and passwords. We keep those private for obvious reasons. It is not at all unknown for unscrupulous people to try to pass themselves off as Masons in order to get assistance under false pretenses.

The second group is harder to describe, but they are the ones Masons usually mean if we talk about “Masonic secrets.” They are secrets because they literally can’t be talked about, can’t be put into words. They are the changes that happen to a man when he really accepts responsibility for his own life and, at the same time, truly decides that his real happiness is in helping others.

It’s a wonderful feeling, but it’s something you simply can’t explain to another person. That’s why we sometimes say that Masonic secrets cannot ( rather than “may not”) be told. Try telling someone exactly what you feel when you see a beautiful sunset, or when you hear music, like the national anthem, which suddenly stirs old memories, and you’ll understand what we mean.

“Secret societies” became very popular in North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. There were literally hundreds of them, and most people belonged to two or three. Many of them were modeled on Masonry, and made a great point of having many “secrets.” And Freemasonry got ranked with them. But if Freemasonry is a secret society, it’s the worst-kept secret in town.

It is literally word for word what I said in my AMAA, ONLY OUR MODES OF RECOGNITION. You should be careful pretending to know about something you clearly dont. Every once and a while someone might show up and make you look foolish.

u/Gleanings · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

>better off than the degree mill lodges that can't keep members.

California has declined from 82,318 members in 2002 to 52,096 members in 2015. Overall US masonry has fallen to 25% of its 1959 membership numbers. Where are these degree mills supposedly inflating masonry? I only see decade after decade of losses.

>>Only 20% of all masons have the talent and interest to serve in the officers line.

>Citation needed.

The Masons Words, by Robert Davis states that only 5% of membership will eventually become ritualists, but I've seen others quoting papers from The Masonic Renewal Committee of North America and more commonly saying 20%.

>If you're properly vetting your candidates during the prospect and applicant phases

How the hell do you vet for that? Short of requiring a battery of psychological and aptitude tests (which would be an illegal addition to the application form and so illegal under every grand lodge in the US), how can you select men for their ability to do the memory work necessary to be ritualists?

And why? Lodges of only bookworms already exist. They're called Research Lodges. Why would you want to exclude men of other abilities? Cooking good meals, playing the piano, woodworking, and many other skills are also important parts of a lodge. A lodge of only ritualists is still only part of a lodge.

You have multiple misstatements of the Masonic Renewal Committee of North America's recommendations, which is what CA seems to be following this year. If this is your first exposure to the ideas, don't worry, you'll be hearing them again and again.

In particular I can't believe this stupid combination of ideas from Grand Lodge CA:

>considering progressive lines that start only at the Senior Deacon or the Junior Warden's stations;

>maintaining progressive lines that don't advance annually, but instead, every two or more years.

"Hey guys! Remember how much difficulty we had finding men willing to join the officers line from Junior Steward to WM because it was a seven year commitment? Well we've now cut the progressive line to just the Senior Deacon, but now it takes twice as long in every position so it now takes eight years! See what we did there?"

>split its membership into new lodges. That sounds like a complete nightmare.

Well, given how these new UD lodges aren't recruiting any new members but only going around poaching members from existing healthy lodges and spreading membership even thinner, it'd sure be nice to see someone add people back to the community instead of just resorting an ever dwindling number of members into an apparently increasing number of lodges. But yes, the theory is healthy lodges are supposed to divide and spawn new lodges regularly like bee hives based on Dunbar's Number. It does work in England. But England only has 358,214 members compared to the USA's 1,898,130 so based on numbers the US model is the more successful. The counter argument is large urban cities like San Francisco had 10x as many lodges in the past as they do today. The counter-counter argument is smaller lodges tend to be a cult of personality, so after the split the lodge that doesn't get the favored leadership doesn't last long. Its worth investigating chartering new tiny lodges under this model (or "boutique lodges" as some people disparage them) and see how the experiment works, but I wouldn't go telling the existing established lodges they have to change as well.

>The number of prospects we have to entertain is no where near what you recommend.

I count as prospects ever time we answer the phone and respond to an email. You're counting the number of guys you actually entertain at dinner. Different steps in the process. I'm not sure we're actually that far off from each other in desired results.

u/ConclusivePostscript · 2 pointsr/Catholicism

> Fantastic, thank you. Are you saying you do believe in a systemized natural theology, and if so, whose (or does it most resemble)?

I am attracted to both Thomistic and Leibnizian cosmological-style arguments.

> what exactly did Kierkegaard mean by “Leap of Faith” and how does it relate to the common colloquial use of the term?

Kierkegaard doesn’t actually use that phrase. I believe it was Alastair McKinnon who first noted—in “Kierkegaard,” 19th Century Religious Thought in the West, vol. 1, ed. Smart et al. (1985)—that the term “leap of faith” does not occur in Kierkegaard but was an invention of his commentators. Kierkegaard does speak of “the leap,” but it is given different specifications depending on the context. Primarily it is used to refer to a qualitative existential transition (e.g., from the aesthetic to the ethical life, or the ethical to the religious life).

That said, there is still much to recommend the term “leap of faith” as naming the specifically religious transition. Some say it is more of a leap “to” faith, but both phrases highlight elements that are present in that concept—i.e., faith pertains to both the leap’s formal character and its teleological trajectory. However, faith is not the ultimate terminus for Kierkegaard; faith itself is directed to God. Thus Kierkegaard identifies “the good” with “the God-relationship” (Works of Love, p. 339); “to love God is the highest good” (Christian Discourses, p. 200).

> it seems to me he’s wanting to persuade “Christians” to be Christians, not just pay lip service.

This seems to me an accurate reading, and Tietjen’s recent book is good on that aspect of Kierkegaard.

> Yet I come across it all the time used by atheist materialists assuming it means suspending one’s reason and believing “just because”.

To be sure, it’s a versatile phrase, but for Kierkegaard at least it does not mean (and Kreeft in the above book points this out at one point, too) a leap “in the dark.”

u/SpydersWebbing · 8 pointsr/Catholicism

EDIT 2: u/valegrete attempted to talk some sense into me. I think he half succeeded? I hope? Whatever, here we go.

If you are Catholic and are shaken by the current stuff going on DO NOT JUMP SHIP TO THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. AS AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN, I AM PUTTING THIS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT. Bishops are idiots, like the rest of us. Their mistakes, unlike ours, are writ large, and while I've had quite a few nasty things to say about the Catholic hierarchy on here as of late, that is no excuse to tell someone else to jump ship. The Roman Catholic tradition is extremely rich. Get fed, focus on what you're doing, call out your bishop for being an idiot or heretic if you have to, persevere!

If you are needing an idea of where to start, I heartily recommend the following Roman Catholic works:

The Ways of Mental Prayer. I just flat out recommend this book to anybody who wants to learn to pray, regardless of which Church you're in. It's great.

The Three Ages of the Interior Life: This book is nuts. It's amazing. Read it. Consider it essential.

If, after reading those two giants of modern Roman Catholic theology, you are still dissatisfied, well, that's a different matter. But by that point that's a conversation I'm not going to be a part of, most likely. Regardless, do not despair.

I don't like the article. I think it's insulting and ill-informed. But I left the idea that it's easy to find Truth a very long time ago, out of necessity over a variety if circumstances that are best not gotten into here. The point is, if you're shaken by this, it's a call to deeper investigate the Faith, not a boot out the door. If, after praying about it and coming to the conclusion that God is calling you to the Orthodox Church, know that I sure wouldn't stop you. But do not leave because of all that is going on in Rome. You will never become what God made you to be if bishops determine your life like this, spiritual and otherwise. The rest of what's below are my thoughts on the article. I stand by them. I will continue to stand by them. I sure as hell don't like it. But do not take it as a sign that I want you to leave the Catholic Church. That would do us all a disservice.


As an Orthodox, I find the article laughable. Peter being the Prince of the Apostles is universally acclaimed and has never been a real issue. The man's entire article misses what Orthodoxy is so fundamentally that it walks into actual hysterics on my end.

EDIT 1: So, a lot of people asked for me to elucidate. Here we are. I do not begrudge the man for going Roman Catholic. I do not understand his heart and I do not know what God put there. I do not pretend to know those things. But what he's written here is just execrable and is an active stumbling block to unity, which I think God not only wants but demands. The world will suffer because of Catholic and Orthodoxy idiocy, and this man is contributing to it. My post will attempt to clear up three things: the point of Orthodoxy, how this point relates to the hierarchy, and thus why the Orthodox hierarchy the way it is. I do not pretend that modern Orthodox ecclesiology doesn't have problems, nor do I think his points about ecclesial unity are wholly without basis. But I do think he missed the point so widely as to make his comments profoundly unhelpful. And that does anger me.

  1. Orthodoxy is therapy first, with an eye toward theosis, becoming a God by grace and taking the whole of the cosmos into oneself, humanity's nature primarily. The idea of there being a perfect structure on is earth utterly irrelevant to this concept, because there is no ideal here on this earth, Church included (and especially). Man is seen as ill and in need of rehabilitation, with perfection in this life never being on the table.
  2. The hierarchy is seen closer to medical professionals, with councils and the canons thereof as to aiding in the healing and glorification process of the people more than anything. The bishop is the head doctor of his diocese, with the priests his assistant (operating under his license), and the deacons smoothing over many of the practical considerations in the ministry of healing that the Church must undertake.
  3. The idea of a Pope, therefore, as a supreme head of the Church is utter nonsense in Orthodox thinking. How can a man who does not know you aid in your healing? He can't. The bishop is as far as it can go in helping the people of that diocese heal, and spiritually speaking the bishop is the Peter of the diocese. Order in the , Church is seen as preferential but is secondary to making sure the bishops can take care of their flock first, on a personal basis. A lot of Catholic's issues (what is the teaching? How do I know for sure?) is simply not on an the typical Orthodox radar, because Orthodoxy is method first. And that method is incredibly clear and well put together.

    Now onto the actual article.

    Primacy is not the same as supremacy. Rome is prime. Yup. I said it. All you uberdox get over it. Rome has the right of final appeal, as the First Ecumenical Council teaches. But Rome's primacy does not mean the supremacy of Vatican I. He cannot shove things down everyone's throat, which is entirely what Vatican I was. No Father that was not a Pope taught the supremacy of Rome. It doesn't exist. Hell, you can't even get St. Jerome to agree to the idea that a bishop and a priest are actually different sacramentally, nevermind whether or not another bishop can be over another! The writer of the article misses how toxic that council was, and that nobody with a conscience would agree with how it was implemented (which included the Pope calling the Melkite Patriarch to sign the document and calling him troublesome for refusing to do so!) Rome can hold a primacy without Vatican I. And, honestly, with more than five minutes of looking at that miserable council, I can't in good conscience agree to it.

    The difference of focus in Orthodoxy means that clarity (or the lack thereof) is not an issue. You are there to heal. That is it. You are being drawn into the apophatic Trinity and the idea that there is clarity here in this life is something wholly alien to it. The circumstances for healing shift so greatly between people that saying "there is a universal rule" is something Orthodox are quite loathe to answer quickly (read: a few hundred years). How you heal is going to be different to another person's. It's just the way that it operates, and the writer misses that, egregiously so. By valuing clarity over healing I think a lot of harm is done. I also, personally, find it to be an immature wish for a world that frankly does not exist.

    The unity of the Orthodox is far greater than anything I've seen in the Catholic Church. There is no confusion about theosis, or liturgy. It does not exist in the endemic state that has always existed in the Catholic Church. And this is without someone trying to rule the roost. We agree because are there for healing, and certain principles heal everyone, with the rest of it necessarily needing to not be so clear.

    If you have any other questions I will update this post, as much as I can.
u/coldcraft · 1 pointr/freemasonry

The bit about having your partner's support says a bit more about the last question you had. The lodge wants to make sure that you joining isn't going to cause undue strain on your family. That includes the financial aspect of paying dues as well as being out of the house an evening or two a month (or much more if you choose to be more involved).

If you were joining without concerning your SO's opinion, I'd vote against you. We're interested in making good men better and a man who chooses not to care about the thoughts and feelings of those most close to him isn't ready for Masonry.

Don't let Freemasonry cause problems in your personal or professional life. I've told my lodge brothers that I can't take a chair in the lodge because I end up working after-hours too often and I'm at the point in my career where going the extra mile makes a big difference. I've also told them that I just want to spend some quality time with my fiance. Every single time, my brothers are very understanding.

Truth be told, little to nothing that we keep secret has remained a secret. There have been books published "exposing the masons" for about as long as we've been around. Should you choose to join, you'll better understand the 'secrecy' aspect of our order, but it's not like we've got the lotto numbers or Hoffa's body or something lol. Having said that, I'd encourage strongly that you don't seek out those 'secret teachings' if you do intend to join at some point in your life. The history of initiatic tradition deals so heavily with the aspect of shared experience that trying to get a head-start is nothing but detrimental.

I hope we haven't scared you away too much haha. If you want to take more time to dwell on it, Freemasons for Dummies by /u/chodapp is a fantastic book that answers the most common questions people have about us from the outside. Again, if you think you'll join someday, take the author's advice and skip sections as advised.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or if we can help!

u/jamescountry · 9 pointsr/bahai

To be honest, if you're interested in learning about the Baha'i Faith in broad terms, the best way to begin would be with an introductory book. The classic of this genre is Esslemont's Baha'u'llah and the New Era; other good books include those by Smith, Momen, and Bowers (this last one is targeted specifically to a Christian audience).

Of the books you mentioned, The Hidden Words is probably the most accessible (and shortest!), and it's usually what I recommend to people who are interested in the Baha'i Faith. However, it's not always useful to look at the Baha'i Faith through the same lens as we may look at, say, Christianity or Islam, as having one or two "Holy books" that are central to all understanding. The Baha'i Faith is blessed with having many pieces of writing from the central figures of the Faith, and it's not possible to gain a full picture of the religion just by reading the four texts you mentioned.

Edit to add: The other excellent way to learn about the Baha'i Faith, which I heartily recommend, is to meet with some Baha'is from your area and talk with them. There are (relatively) a lot of Baha'is in Ontario (although I don't know where you are specifically), and there are usually ways to go about contacting them via the web.

u/merikus · 1 pointr/freemasonry

I would like to suggest Kirk White's Operative Freemasonry. The book is "a manual on the art and practice of Freemasonry. By providing detailed information and advice often overlooked or forgotten on how Freemasonry 'works,' this book explores how the fraternity can actually 'make good men better' and keep them active in our lodges and chapters." (http://www.amazon.com/Operative-Freemasonry-Restoring-Vitality-Fraternity/dp/0615617158#)

Kirk is currently a District Deputy Grand Master in the Grand Lodge of Vermont, Past Most Excellent Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Vermont, has served as Illustrious Grand Lecturer for the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Vermont.

Full disclosure, he is a friend of mine. But I would suggest his book (and in person lectures) even without knowing him. He is incredibly well read and knows a great deal about the ritual and history of our fraternity.

u/crua9 · -4 pointsr/freemasonry

First off, if you really want to join I would say you need to read http://www.amazon.com/Freemasons-Dummies-Christopher-Hodapp/dp/1118412087 (more than likely, if you ask a local lodge. Someone might have a copy and may let you borrow it if they trust you)

Next, I would ask you local mainstream lodge questions.

Masons overall goal is to make good men and make them better. It is not religious, it does require you to believe in a deity, and it does take parts out to teach with from religion.

The group can and does kick out people for doing stupid stuff. Stuff like drinking in public and talking smack, someone who knowly hurts others, someone that breaks the rules, flat out lying, flat out breaking promises, and things of this nature. Basically, 1 mason represents all masons. So by being strict, you will be able to trust others in the group.

Masons treat each other as family. We can talk about our problems with another mason, but that mason doesn't talk about it to even other masons (depending on the problem). We make sure we take care of our own (say you get hurt. You may have a few masons that check in on you, and their wives might make you something to eat.) We take care of each others nearby family (say if you as a mason died. We would go out of our way and make sure the family has something to eat, someone to talk to, maybe a place to stay (some areas there is very very nice housing for mason widows), and so on).

However, being a mason will not get you a job, get you out of a ticket, or anything like that. There is a rule. Your deity first, family, and country before Freemasons. This insures no corruption or abuse in power. If someone was to use being a mason for something like this, then there is a high chance they would be kicked out.

Freemasons only have 3 degrees. There is other bodies which require you to be a mason, and the scottish rite has a 32 and 33 degree. But there is no higher degree than a 3rd degree. Everyone with the 3rd degree is on the same level, no matter how long they been in. This means your voice will matter as much as someone that has been in for 90 years.

There is fake groups. This is a huge thing to keep in mind. There is no international grand lodge. In the USA, each state as their own grand lodge, and they make the overall rules for all the lodges in the state. In other countries, they make have a grand lodge for the entire country. A good place to look to see if a lodge near you in mainstream is at http://www.ugle.org.uk/about/foreign-grand-lodges

There is Prince Hall Freemasonry. Long story short, many places see them as their equal and you will need to check your rules in your area before visiting them (giving you join a mainstream lodge first). Any race can join Freemasons and Prince Hall. But the majority (I wouldn't be shocked if it's in the 90%) in Prince Hall is black. It's kinda like a black, asian, etc church. While anyone can show up, for whatever reason people like to be with their own race more. (like I said, there is a lot of good masons that aren't white. And in many cases people would tell you to join both if you want)

To join you need to ask to be one. While masons can nudge you about it, we can't directly ask you to be one. So it's a ask one to be one. When you join you will be investigated. Most likely this will include a background check, them asking people who they know that knows you about you, and so on. This weeds out a bunch of nut jobs and people who would give us a bad name. They will also sit down and talk to you (this could be done at the lodge itself, at a nearby place, or at your place. I had my talk at a nearby fast food joint).

Giving everything is good, you will be voted on. Some places have a 3 no and it's a no. A lot of places have a 1 no and you're not in. Once you are initiated at a later date. You will have to show you are proficient in your first degree. Depending on the area, this may require you to learn your first degree mouth to ear (in this case you really need to have an hour a week or so. It takes about 30-40 hours to become proficient depending on the person.) Some places will have you write a paper. Some would have you do something of that nature. Each degree will have a ritual, and each will require you to be proficient (in some places being proficient in the 3rd is optional. But you won't be allowed to do some things).

When you talk to your local lodge. You should ask how someone shows they are proficient between the degree, and how do they learn. The reason why is if you can't meet every week during this time. I'm not sure if you have enough time to do this. (This is giving your area doesn't have 1 day referrals. This is basically where you get your 3 degrees in 1 day. Most who take it would say that you shouldn't go this route, but depending your schedule. You may not have a choice. For example, my dad might be in town for 3 days at a time due to work. I would say he should do the 1 day referral since he wouldn't be able to get it any other way.)

After you get your 3rd, you can go to stated meetings. Each lodge does there own thing, so it's a good idea to travel to other lodges when possible. But for the most part you won't have to meet every week or anything like that. In fact, some get very busy (have kids, have multiple jobs, etc) and they simply don't show up for a few months at a time. Unless if you get into an officer seat, this is normally OK.

Real quick, if you do end up joining. Before your first degree, there maybe talk of an animal. Normally a goat. This is an old joke, but there is no animals that is used during the degrees. There will be no harm that comes to you. Just know this.

u/millennialfreemason · 1 pointr/IAmA

I think you make a good point. I think writers like Chris Hodapp and S. Brent Morris have really opened up to the public what Freemasonry is, through their books Freemasons for Dummies and the Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry respectively.

There is a strong push to explain what Masonry is to the public but Freemasons find it difficult to explain our society. Freemasonry, as a topic, can be somewhat metaphysical. Even I find it hard to pin down what it is. I know I enjoy the meetings, I enjoy being a Freemason but at some abstract level, I can't be for sure why. So, for the most part, Freemasonry throws on autopilot and mentions the Shrine Hospitals, the scholarships we give to graduating seniors, our Masonic Homes, and other charities.

At the end of the day, most Freemasons I know feel that their membership is beneficial because of the focus on teaching, and learning, and being a better man through symbolism and mutual aid from your other brothers. Even this is not satisfactory as an answer to your question on openness but I think, by closing out the world without for just a couple hours and sitting in a room of men from different socioeconomic backgrounds, that have different political affiliations, and who define God in a different way, we find that our differences, although real, shouldn't keep us at a perpetual distance from others in our communities, especially when there are many things on which we can agree to work.

I hope that helps.

u/yiedyie · 1 pointr/ranprieur

Ran said:
> It's a fun metaphor, but to buy into it I'd have to see examples of how the old myths had symbiotic interconnections like species in an ecology, and how the new myths don't.

I will try to expand more and make the parallels further, symbiosis makes sure that not only there will be organisms that will be better adapted for its niche but that they can approach tougher niches, this way different organism fill as much as possible of the living-space.

Compare that what the organism of a mono-crop becomes: a product, and a product means that his life purpose is to get the attention of the buyer and be consumed as fast as possible.

If we take a simpler definition that for organisms symbiosis is a mutual improvement in life. For an ecological Mythos(world of myth) we would have a kind of synergy(symbiosis) that improves in meaning for each other.

From my experience with folklore, Hindu and budhist myths, ortodox christian myths I have a gut feeling that myths improve each other inside these traditions and myths don't get obsolete but just enhanced. Even with that experience I don't have the erudition nor the space to expand this with examples and an exposition.
Keeping the ecological metaphor is harder to see how well was a place ecology until that place is destroyed.
Since is harder to show this synergy(symbiosis) with older myths I will try to appeal to your experience with the modern incarnations of myths: the meme and the mono-myth.

The meme has the same shelf-life like any product and it competes for immediate attention, it is a modern myth by many arguments and in even in theory and in practice they are found to be selfish and replicate at the detriment of other memes or the bigger picture.

More reading on mono-myth critique, an ecology of myths and integral(hollistic) "mythos":

Giambattista Vico (1668—1744)

Wandering God: Morris Berman

Communities of the Heart: The Rhetoric of Myth in the Fiction of Ursula K Le Guin

u/TheLurkerSpeaks · 5 pointsr/bahai

The Kitab-I-Aqdas means The Most Holy Book, but I don't think it's fair to equate it with being the Baha'i Bible or Qur'an. It is one of literally hundreds of books and tablets which comprise the Writings of Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith, all of which are sacred, all of which are equivalent in importance to the Bible for Christians/Qur'an for Muslims. It's also not the best reading for someone completely new to the Faith, as it is speaking to a Baha'i audience who is asking for laws, some of which might not be understood out of context.

On top of that, the Baha'i Faith has the Writings of the Bab (the Prophet-Founder of the Bab'i Faith, Predecessor to the Baha'i Faith) and 'Abdu'l-Baha (son of Baha'u'llah, authorized interpreter of the Writings of Baha'u'llah) which are given nearly equivalent weight. That brings the total volume of sacred Writings of the Baha'is to several orders of magnitude greater than that of most any other world religion. It can be difficult to know where to start, and overwhelming when someone heaps book after book after book upon you. We're not even getting into Shoghi Effendi or the Universal House of Justice yet.

God Speaks Again by Kenneth Bowers is a great starting point for someone who knows nothing.

Baha'u'llah and the New Era by J.E.Esslemont was the starting point for decades before this.

The Hidden Words by Baha'u'llah is my choice for a first read of the Holy Writings.

The Kitab-I-Iqan/Book of Certitude by Baha'u'llah is much heavier reading, but is the core of Baha'i Theology, if you want to dive into the deep end.

Thief in the Night by William Sears is my starting point for people who are intimately familiar with Christianity and the Bible.

My advice is to start with only one book, then move to others. Have fun!

Edited for grammar

u/thehelsabot · 2 pointsr/Hypothyroidism

No need to appologize! We are all, ah, "a mess." It's the human condition. :) Also these mental health issues doctors love to slap on us are just clouds of symptoms they parcel out for treatment purposes. They are not what makes us, and they certainly aren't as separate from each other as we might think. Well let us look at the things you can change:

  • Exercise: You certainly need to move more. It will help your mental health and physical health. I also manage PTSD, depression, anxiety, and ADHD as well as hypothyroidism. Not working out makes everything ten times worse and makes me feel awful. It isn't a cure but it does help me center myself and can be a sort of active meditation. Without it, there is no outlet for my anxiety and my ADHD becomes so intense I cannot concentrate for the life of me. I have found getting a fitbit that reminds me to move every hour helps me get up and stretch during the work day. I have a desk job so I understand. If you are a college student, might your college have a rec center included with your tuition? I would look into it. If not, Planet Fitness is $10 a month, air conditioned, often open 24/7, and totally worth it. I go at night to avoid crowds and because my work schedule is pretty different than most. Even just walking for 30-45 minutes a day you will feel better.

  • Diet: Carbs are fine, they are just calorie dense. A weight loss diet is based on calories in vs calories out, and your body doesn't care too much where they are from. Getting an app that helps you count calories is great. For example, I am 5'2" and without activity my baseline calorie need is about 1400-1500 calories. To lose weight, I have to eat at a deficit and eat about 1100-1200 calories a day. When I work out I can add another 100-150 calories or so. Your doctor can help calculate what deficit you should be eating at. If your thyroid is under treated, it will take a higher deficit. The closer you get to your target weight the harder it will be. I am bout 10 lbs from my target so it's exceptionally hard for me to get there right now >_>.

  • Medication: this takes forever to get right. I am sorry to hear metaformin did this to you. I know a lot of women that it helped with their PCOS and when/if you ever want children it might help you overcome fertility issues and be worth the side effects. Certainly it is not for every day with you if it gives you digestive issues. Also, what is your current thyroid treatment getting your levels to? Are you sure you are in the right range for you?

  • Mindfulness: Just throwing this out here, but there is scientific, practice based evidence that mindfulness meditation helps people suffering from depression, anxiety, and ADHD manage their symptoms. Doing guided meditations may seem frustrating at first, but if you stick with it it could help you. It is certainly a good self care practice. Simply taking time for you and your needs every day is well worth it.

  • Therapy. A good course of CBT or DBT therapy administered by a professional can help you restructure your current thinking pattern into a more productive, less self defeating pattern. If you want to try a work book first, there are many on amazon. It is something you need to be consistent with, however, and decide you want to try. If you are reluctant at all to try therapy it will not work. I found myself in a bad place, and at a breaking point I made the decision to put my ego aside and get help. There is a stigma in this country/society that really should not exist. A lot of depression and anxiety can be managed better by therapy, but people would rather just turn to a pill. However, a pill does nothing to treat our self destructive thinking patterns and medicine is not advanced enough to really have the answers. Good treatment often requires you to do the work (but the drugs can help you while you do that work) and challenge yourself. A good therapist is worth their weight in gold.
u/Sihathor · 5 pointsr/pagan

Lucy, are you in the sky? (Sorry, I know you made this username because of the song, I had to, though.)

Also, How did you find this subreddit? Did you just type "/r/pagan" after "www.reddit.com", or did you search reddit for "pagan", or something else? I'm curious as to how people find this subreddit. :)

Seriously, though...

>My problem, however, is that my initial religious education of "one god" is pretty well ingrained. How would you suggest I get past this so that I can continue to grow spiritually?

While I come from what is often considered a reconstructionist tradition, I think the following things would be helpful even if you are not a reconstructionist:

  1. Read about how ancient polytheistic societies practiced and thought. When you read, try to get into the shoes of those people. If you've ever read a good novel and gotten into the heads of the characters, that's that sort of thing I'm kinda pointing to.

  2. Some sort of practice, especially devotional practice (i.e. worshiping a god,goddess,or gods), even if it's part of a broader set of practices that include magic, meditation, or whatnot. I find that practice, and keeping in mind what I've learned from doing #1 helps solidify what I've learned. They may also lead to religious experiences that will help you grow out of a monotheistic frame of mind.

    It's not enough to believe things, you have to do them, too. Or else it's easy to say you think one thing, but actually do another.

    For #1, I'd recommend three books off the top of my head to you:

  1. "World Full of Gods: An Inquiry into Polytheism" by John Michael Greer

  2. "The Deities Are Many: A Polytheistic Theology" by Jordan D. Paper and,

  3. "God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism" by Jonathan Kirsch.

    Since you're interested in Bast (sometimes called Bastet), I'd also suggest learning about ancient Egyptian culture and religion. Even if you never ever practice Kemeticism, I think it'd be a good place to start both unlearning monotheistic habits of thought and learning more polytheistic habits. And you'd get to learn more about Bast,to boot. But even if you don't do that, I suggest doing at least the first two things.

    If you can only borrow or find or buy one, I suggest one of the first two, but the third one is also good. The first two are written by polytheists, with Paper writing from his personal perspective, informed by Chinese religion and Native American religion, while Greer writes more generally. However, Kirsch's book is helpful, because it contrasts polytheism and monotheism side by side. Sometimes one can learn some what something is by learning what it is not.

    Sorry for the wall of text, I hope you find it helpful. It'll likely take a long time to unlearn what you've learned, but it's possible if you study and practice.
u/OSUTechie · 26 pointsr/ITCareerQuestions

This book has been suggested a few times so I finally got around to reading it. I think it has some good information in it. I'm only about halfway through it, but I like it so far.

Time Management for System Administrators

Other books would be any of the social books like "How to influence people", "7 healthy habits..." Etc.

I haven't read this one yet, but It has been suggested to me if you plan to go more into management/leadership Start with Why

Other books that have I have ear marked due to being mentioned:

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Ok, I'm on a trow-away/bug-me-not account too, and after reading this whole thead (and even commenting as I read it) I'm going vote this to be a TROLL. I too am a Past Master (in Indiana), and he is leaving out a lot of the ritual that is not posted all over the internet.

Then I visited the link that he keeps peddling (emfj.org), and he has never mentioned the wording of the Bible lecture. Also, he has not mentioned something that is mentioned in ritual too: "By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, the high and low, the rich the poor; who, as created by one Almighty Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance."

For more details you can check out Chris Hodapp's book Freemasonry for Dummies. He is a Past Master from Broad Ripple Lodge in Indiana.

Here is what I read prior to joining Declarations of Priciples -- Indiana.

I'm going back to the ritual. I've got to brush up a bit for the MM degree on Wednesday (that us PMs have to put on). Hope to see the other Reddit Brothers there!

Anyway, I wish all of you the best, and I apologize to the everyone for the username that bug-me-not has blessed me with today. For a long time I kept getting "ReverseRacism".

u/akward_tension · 1 pointr/ParisComments

comment content: Ditto for the Hidden Words. One of the best books to get a brief, yet potent idea of the profound spiritual truths that underlie not only the Bahá'í Faith, but all of the divine religions. Gleanings is the next level up IMO; it's a collection of longer passages that dive much deeper into Bahá'u'lláh's Writings. As well, I find 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Paris Talks give a good introduction to a variety of key Bahá'í principles.

Regarding introductory books about the Bahá'í Faith, as opposed to Scripture: A few commonly recommended books are A Short History of the Bahá'í Faith by Peter Smith, A Short Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith by Moojan Momen, and The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion by Douglas Martin and William Hatcher. Smith also published a newer, updated book, An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith.

subreddit: bahai

submission title: Recommended book in Amazon?

redditor: dragfyre

comment permalink: https://www.reddit.com/r/bahai/comments/5vvad2/recommended_book_in_amazon/de62dud

u/DonBoByuti · 8 pointsr/Psychonaut

Absolutely, my friend. I'm sure most of these can be found online for free but I have listed the Amazon links for familiarity (I prefer books as opposed to online).


Aldous Huxley: The Perennial Philosophy

Baha'u'llah: The Hidden Words

Baha'u'llah: The Seven and Four Valleys

The Kybalion

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching

Michael Singer: The Untethered Soul

Wisdom of the Buddha

The Bible

Two powerfully insightful Youtube Channels (many more are similar):

Monadic Media

Gary Lite


Inner/Outer Worlds

In the end, all of these (and much, much more) seem to confirm the truths we find and experience in psychedelics. I hope they bring you comfort and happiness.


-Don Bo Byuti

Nobody But I


u/TheWrongHat · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

Sorry, for some reason I didn't notice your reply.

In your blog, you don't make a combined argument. You only vaguely reference other arguments in answer to criticisms, but the criticisms aren't adequately addressed in the arguments you refer to.

Making one argument at a time should make things easier for you. If you can't even make one argument, why should I believe that you can make many? What's the point in coming to a debate forum if you just point to your website?

> What do you mean by 'natural processes that lean towards complexity'? Can you give me an example? The second law of thermodynamics would seem to suggest otherwise.

Universal processes forming in some way need not contradict the second law, even within our universe. If you consider natural forces outside our current universe, then that isn't even a concern. An example might be the discovery of more fundamental physical forces that act to constrain the other emergent laws in such a way as to lead to complexity. The more fundamental physics might be relatively free of specific universal constants, or "fine tuning".

It's easy to imagine that there is a more fundamental physics yet to be uncovered, that will unify the current forces of physics.

> Let's say that you walk into a casino, and somebody bets you that you cannot guess the number that an unknown number of dice will add up to, for a million dollars. You randomly guess 120...

But you have no reason to equate complexity with a very specific value like 120.

Let me put it this way. It seems like you're speaking about philosophical possibilities, rather than actual possibilities (or plausible differences that might have actually happened in our current reality).

If that's the case, then you have no reason to only assume the physical laws and universal constants that currently exist. It's possible that there are any number of physical laws for a possible universe, which include any number of possible universal constants. You should also take into account possible steady-state universes, and so on and so on.

You can only say that complexity is improbable by making these unfounded assumptions about known physics, and discarding other possibilities.

My argument about God not being a good explanation hasn't been addressed in your responses or your website. If I'm wrong, please show me where.

With regards to the multiverse, there are many different models, some are philosophical and some are based on actual physics. They all aim to explain reality as simply as possible. They could be considered plausible (but as yet unproven). The plausibility of some of these ideas are easily as independently supported as any conception of God is. Some of them can even be empirically tested.


I don't know if I can recommend these books, as I haven't read them myself yet. So take them or leave them I guess, but they are generally considered to be pretty good works of philosophy and they are on my reading list.

u/Bladefall · 36 pointsr/changemyview

Based on your post, I have a suspicion that you're not actually a "free thinker". Why? Because you've fallen for a marketing trick.

Back in the early 2000s, a few years after the 9/11 attacks when people were starting to use the internet much more frequently, a certain viewpoint regarding religion starting gaining popularity. This has been referred to as "new atheism". It used terms like "free thinker" and "rational" and "fallacies" and even "science" as cultural buzzwords to sell books and speaking events.

And now, over a decade later, you're looking at "A free-thinker's list of essential reads" which includes some extremely questionable books. The God Delusion is especially shit, and I say that as an atheist. Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris leave a lot to be desired.

In fact, I actually recommend that people who are interested in getting into philosophy of religion read The God Delusion. But not because it's good. Quite the opposite. It's the best book ever written for the purposes of practicing identification of poor reasoning. Seriously, there are so many flaws in it that explaining them all would take me dozens of max-length reddit comments.

If you want to be a "free thinker" regarding religious questions, you need to scrap that list and read actual philosophers. One of my favorite works of all time on the atheist side is Theism and Explanation by Gregory Dawes: https://www.amazon.com/Explanation-Routledge-Studies-Philosophy-Religion/dp/0415997380; and on the theist side, The Existence of God by Richard Swinburne: https://www.amazon.com/Existence-God-Richard-Swinburne/dp/0199271682.

Now, keep in mind that these are both academic works, and getting through them might be difficult if you're not familiar with philosophy of religion. But that's ok. Even if you don't "get" everything, they'll improve your thinking a great deal. And if you want more recommendations, PM me anytime. I am extremely well-read in philosophy of religion and can give you dozens and dozens of more things to read.

u/jz-dialectic · 1 pointr/Catholicism

I felt the same way after I first rediscovered my Catholic faith. I read a lot by the Carmelite mystics, and I even thought about the Carthusians. As I continued to discern my vocation, I eventually saw my attraction to those orders as God growing my interior life rather than a vocation (I'm now happily married with my first child on the way!). Before diving right into St. John of the Cross or St. Theresa of Avila, I recommend reading Fr. Thomas Dubay.

Or better yet, if you have some theology or philosophy background already, read Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange or Fr. Adolph Tanqueray.

Carthusians: http://transfiguration.chartreux.org/
Benedictines in Norcia: https://en.nursia.org/
More Benedictines (I think): https://clearcreekmonks.org/
Fire Within by Thomas Dubay https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Within-Teresa-Gospel-Prayer/dp/0898702631/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486491394&sr=8-1&keywords=thomas+dubay+fire+within
Three Ages of the Interior Life by Fr. Garrigou Lagrange https://www.amazon.com/Three-Ages-Interior-Life/dp/1492390976/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1486491194&sr=8-3&keywords=garrigou+lagrange
The Spiritual Life by Adolphe Tanquerey https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Life-Adolphe-Tanquerey/dp/0895556596
Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Night-Dover-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486426939/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486491335&sr=8-1&keywords=dark+night+of+the+soul
The Way of Perfection by St. Theresa of Avila https://www.amazon.com/Way-Perfection-Image-Classics/dp/0385065396

u/Dark_Knight7096 · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

Best place for you to look at would be the Lodge he was a member of. They'd likely be able to tell you a TON of information about him and there may be people there that were friends with him that could tell you tons of stories.

32nd degree means he was a member of the Scottish Rite and attained that degree within that body. Scottish Rite is an appendant body, you have to be a 3rd Degree Master Mason to join it. 3rd Degree is the highest degree, all the other degrees just "branch out" so to speak. I'd recommend hitting up a local Barnes & Noble or book store and check out this book Freemasonry for Dummies written by Bro Chris Hodapp, or if you want you can buy it. It's got a lot of great info, more than we could probably address here.

u/captainpussybeard · 1 pointr/freemasonry

Also just read this while at work, and then proceeded to browse his website. I think he has a good insight into certain areas where the craft has lessons and his writing style may appeal to a generation that needs literature to be presented in a different fashion.

My brother and I started a book club at our Lodge (there were 3 of us including ourselves for a first meeting) to encourage some change. We just read Old Tyler Talks, and are working on Operative Freemasonry: A Manual for Restoring Light and Vitality to the Fraternity. I may have to suggest some of these articles as a way for some younger (I'm 29 and feel old) guys that are coming in to make them feel comfortable.

Thanks for the find!

u/scdozer435 · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

A few months ago I got interested in this topic as well, largely due to reading Ben Morgan's On Becoming God, which talked about identity as something that we do in communities. To do this, Morgan first 'clears the ground' of contemporary thoughts about identity, which are generally isolated objects, and goes back to medieval Europe, and in Meister Eckhart finds a way of doing identity that is more communal. It's a wonderful entry into the subject, as well as a great introduction to religious mysticism as well.

Another book that's arriving in the mail tomorrow is Self, Value and Narrative, which I obviously haven't read yet, but it apparently is going to pick of the lens of Kierkegaard as a means of understanding identity. I'm super excited to read it.

u/ThaneToblerone · 4 pointsr/Christianity

I think the best thing to do here (especially if you enjoy reading) is to do some study into the good reasons why Christianity is believed to be correct. William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith is one of the best, most cohesive defenses of the reasonability of the Christian faith I've ever read but there are plenty of other good sources too (Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God and The Coherence of Theism, J.P. Moreland and Bill Craig's Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview, Paul Copan and Bill Craig's Come Let Us Reason, Craig Keener's Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts, and Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief just to name a few).

u/Usedtopioneer · 2 pointsr/exjw

I had a therapist but she really didn't get the cult dynamic. I called Steve Hassan's center and spoke to a woman there for twenty minutes and felt better than after weeks of therapy. There's also an exJW recovery workbook.

EXiting the JW Cult: A Healing Handbook: For Current & Former Jehovah's Witnesses by Bonnie Zieman http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YCJSJ5S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_udp_api_a0ClxbQYMSBQA

If you need help along the way there's no shame in that. I ultimately did benefit from therapy, and it helped me put myself back together.

u/ChuckEye · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

My most recent reads were:

u/xThistle · 0 pointsr/freemasonry

It really depends on what aspects interest you the most. Arturo de Hoyos has a good suggested reading list here or you might consider taking the Master Craftsman 3 course. It utilizes Albert Pike's Esoterika which was personally one of the most eye opening books on Craft Masonry I have read.

ETA: Hodapp's Freemasons For Dummies is a good read for new Brothers as well.

u/big_bearded_nerd · 0 pointsr/SaltLakeCity

First of all, I'm not a Mormon. The fact that I'm having to deal with that accusation really doesn't speak well for your reasoning ability. I frankly couldn't be less impressed with the "if you don't agree with me then you must be a Mormon" mentality.

So, moving on from that, the claim that you are someone who has studied western culture, especially theology, is pretty doubtful considering all of the mistakes you are making.

Someone who has studied this wouldn't define Christianity by a belief in the Trinity. The amount of nontrinitarian contemporary (as well as historical) Christian churches is not insignificant. A person who studied this wouldn't define it by polytheism either, since Christianity came from early Abrahamic religions of which some were, in fact, polytheistic. Not only that, but some theologians would define the veneration of saints or idols (which is rampant in Christian history) as polytheistic. It's kind of a weird thing to think of it that way, but it's not uncommon.

Also, defining God as truth, beauty, and love doesn't really fit a theological argument either, and very few of the people you mention would have defined the concept in that way in any of their writings.

Yes, Mormons are Christians. The only people who disagree are Mormons in the mid 20th century and people with an axe to grind.

About the whole Bacchus thing, or the idea that to Mormons God is not the fabric of reality, I can't really comment on. I don't understand where you are coming from with that. I also don't get the rant about "figures," but maybe you define that in a different way than I do.

Edit: Sorry, my link was crappy. The book does talk about Christianity and polytheism, but it might be useful also to google the author, Jordan Paper, to get his take on things.

u/gaunt79 · 3 pointsr/freemasonry

The Mason's Words: The History and Evolution of the American Masonic Ritual by Robert G. Davis is an excellent history. I really recommend not reading until after you're a Master Mason. A major part of the Degree experience is not knowing exactly what's going to happen next.

u/deadlyFlan · 0 pointsr/satanism

Sounds like you're looking for The Happy Satanist by Lilith Starr.

u/Louis_Farizee · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

Freemasonry for Dummies was a huge help for me. Just skip the chapter on the degrees.


u/sirbeast · 1 pointr/AskReddit


part of what's interesting about it is, though, is that's it's been around for a few centuries... and from my own experience - not without reason.

BTW - if you (unlikely) can't find a Masonic Temple near you, check out Freemasons for DUMMIES at your local library

(always been a fan of all the FOR DUMMIES series, BTW, regardless of the topic)

u/Meganekko_85 · 2 pointsr/exjw

It's really late where I am so I'll just be brief and say if I was in your shoes right now I would bust myself to get into college and read through Bonnie Zieman's ebook as self-therapy until you can avail yourself of the real thing. I'm doing the same thing but I'm in my 30s, seize this opportunity while it is easier.

And go you for writing your story at the meeting!

u/Drexelhand · 2 pointsr/satanism

i remember offhand the happy satanist was mentioned in this sub before. haven't read it. know there are other tst members who've written stuff.

u/DaGanLan · 1 pointr/Christianity

Sounds like you may have a pretty severe case of depression. I notice someone else asked if you were seeing a therapist and you said you can't afford it. If you could figure out a way to do it I think it would really help. But if you can't then maybe you could get a book on "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" (CBT). This book can help you retrain your negative thought patterns. I participated in a group CBT and it really helped me a lot. Then maybe as you go through the book you could discuss some of the things you've learned here on r/Christianity. OR... you would be welcome to PM me with your thoughts and questions!

u/ClydeFroggg · 1 pointr/religion





I'm very unfamiliar with Baha'i so that would be cool to read up on it. Will these texts be a harder read without any knowledge of Baha'i or should I start somewhere else?

u/jason_mitchell · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

> So different US jurisdictions wear aprons differently to identify what degree a mason is?

Yes. There's probably a very interesting historical point to be made on how variations in American Masonry were introduced into it by the arguments and antagonisms over Who Had Pure Webb Work...


I prefer to think we introduced the variations just to upset confound the English ;)

EDIT: Link, spelling, formatting.

u/tybaltknight · 2 pointsr/AMA

I wouldn't recommend that book. If you'd like a factual, well-researched look at the masonic significance of the District, I'd recommend Solomon's Builders by Chris Hodapp (who also wrote Freemasons for Dummies). I can't comment on the DVD, since the link was broken.

u/ryanrfrederick · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

I would take a look at Claudy's Entered Apprentice Manual after you're initiated and as you work on your proficiency. It gives a bit of a historical perspective on what you went through along with a bit of review of what's taught in the lectures.

I'd also recommend reading /u/chodapp 's book at your leisure along with the Idiot's Guide.

u/skas182 · 3 pointsr/freemasonry

I seem to recall you being in the US somewhere. If so: https://www.amazon.com/Masons-Words-History-Evolution-American/dp/061585382X/

It's not that long of a read, and it can pretty easily be broken down.

u/fel21217 · 3 pointsr/satanism


this book might be helpful , the author was addicted to drug and she found her inner strength in satanism. i think you are going through some similar situation.

These are copied from her site: "When she met her future husband Uruk Black in 2010, she had given up on life after 15 years of addiction. She had tried for 9 years to get clean and sober in Narcotics Anonymous, but their God-based program actually made her use more, convincing her that she was powerless and that only God could step in and save her─except that she was an atheist with no belief in God.

No matter how many times she did the twelve steps, no matter how hard she tried to quit, the addiction returned, bringing more depression. She had finally resigned herself to a slow suicide with the drugs, hoping to withdraw far enough into isolation that she would minimize the damage to others.

But meeting Uruk changed everything. She fell passionately in love with him, and suddenly she had something to fight for. Starr picked up her husband’s Satanic Bible (by Anton LaVey), and found that the philosophy resonated strongly with her. It was this Satanic philosophy of self-reliance and self-empowerment that gave her the strength to eventually beat the drugs for good and build a new life with no room for addiction."

u/Iceman--- · 16 pointsr/freemasonry

Freemasons for Dummies

The author is also a regular here in this subreddit.

u/OtisButtonwood · 3 pointsr/IAmA

You should check out the book Wandering God.
A nomadic lifestyle may lead to some sort of enlightenment.

u/Ridley200 · 2 pointsr/freemasonry

Any one of these books should ameliorate your fears.

Failing that, he really can tell you everything you want to know about what he's been through/doing apart from the secrets, which are just a couple of words and salutes.

u/tinewashere · 1 pointr/GetStudying

i think discipline alone is a bad idea to add onto depression - you need to adresse the depressive thoughts in the first place, not just repress them so you can get work done. otherwise you risk burning yourself out. depression sucks the energy out of you - discipline will suck even more energy out of you, and you will be stuck in an endless loop of trying to be disciplined, failing because your depression takes over when you burn out and then trying again. you need to adress the depression head on. look into CBT self-help - this and this book have good reviews. by learning to restructure your negative thoughts, your behaviours will change. you will be able to control yourself more, and thus also study more, if that's what you want to. ultimately it takes work though.