Had a great class this evening. Tuesday evenings I spend my time in a comparative religion class (part of the Philosophy stream at CCCC). Tonight we discussed Ghandi, and his views on many things, including other traditions (read, religions). Firstly, we are discussing Ghandi, because we are studying Hinduism. Ghandi was Hindu (just in case you couldn't make that connection).
Anyway, we go to discussing some of Ghandi's words (beliefs), and all of a sudden we are discussing whether church organizations shoudl pay property taxes, and discussing why it was so important to have such large, ornate buildings to worship in. It was truly a fascinating discussion, and was kind of free flowing, with the occasional reminder of the topic to bring us back in line.
I've never read much of Ghandi, and was suprised by a lot of what he wrote. Suprised in a good way (obviously). One of the interesting things I've learned about Hinduism is that it is not a selfish religion, in that believers consider themselves to be tolerant of all religions. The belief that “their religion/tradition” is not the only one, or the best. (Well they might think it is the best, as they need to believe in to attain their destiny in the Hindu cycle.) In reading this, I find it to be very tolerant of other beliefs (traditions), however in other areas (for example, the position of women in the “food chain”) it is very similar to most other male-developed traditions.
Next week we discuss death in teh Hindu tradition, and I'm looking forward to understanding more the cycle of reincarnation, and the calmness that Hindus demonstrate when faced with death (death to Hindus means that they are progressing closer to God [Brahma]).
In my other classes, spanish continues to be learnt; happiness being the reason for gaining knowledge, is still being debated in Ethics; and lines, shapes, mass and color are still bouncing all over the place in art appreciation.
A funny side note. In my ethics class, when we are discussing happiness = knowledge = wisdom = truth, I keep hearing the Pet Shop Boys song, “Happiness is an option” play in my head. I wonder if that is Socrates trying to get a message to me.