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Worldview Made Practical Issue 1-7

Worldview Made Practical Issue 1-7

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Published by Freddy Davis
What is Far Eastern Thought?
What is Far Eastern Thought?

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Published by: Freddy Davis on Feb 17, 2008
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05/08/2014

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1
Introduction
Wow, it is already December! What a special time for us, as Christians, as we celebrate the coming of God to earth in hu-man form. It was this element of his work with mankind that gave us the ultimate foundation of his revelation - JesusChrist. In it, God not only revealed himself in a more profound way, but also put the crowning touch on his plan for the sal-vation of mankind.I have a special announcement to share with you. We have just received notice that our 501 (c) (3) application has beenapproved by the IRS. This has been such a long process (we applied way back in January), but having it will enhance ourability to minister on into the future. I hope that you will consider an end-of-year tax deductible contribution to the ministry.We have several projects that we are working on to provide even greater resources for those who would like to grow intheir faith and witness (a rundown of those projects can be found below). Your gifts will help us get these projects off theground.We are continually moving MarketFaith Ministries into a position to be a great benefit to believers who want to make a dif-ference for Christ in the world. We are rapidly increasing the amount of resources which are available to help folks understand and use worldview principles in life. Most of these are free and available to you in the resources section of the min-istry website. It is our hope that you are greatly benefiting from this information.
(Continued on page 2)
As you think about the worldview that dominates much ofthe Far East, you may be thinking that this is something youdon’t personally need to pay much attention to. You mayhave run across a few folks from India, China or Japan whohave Hindu or Buddhist roots, but that is hardly somethingwhich significantly intersects your circle of relationships,right?Well, you may want to think again. While you might notknow too many people who come directly out of this world-view, you certainly know people who have been signifi-cantly influenced by it. In fact, you may have some of itsinfluence in your own life without even realizing it.If you know people who claim to follow New Age practicesor have gotten into Transcendental Meditation, you interactwith this worldview. If you know anyone who believes in re-incarnation or karma, you deal with this worldview. If youknow yoga devotees, you know people who are influencedby Far Eastern Thought. If you deal with people who be-lieve that all of life is connected by a universal life force, youare dealing with this worldview. If you enjoy the Star Warsmovies or TV shows like Babylon 5 and Kung Fu, you areseeing pantheistic beliefs being literally pumped into societythrough images which bypass the intellect.Whether you like it or not, we live in a world where transpor-tation and communication technology has spread everyworldview into every corner. It is essential that Christiansunderstand the basics so we can live out our own faith andstand up for the real Truth.
(Continued on page 2)
MarketFaith Ministries is an equipping ministry which is focused on helping Christians become more effectivein living out their faith in the midst of the increasingly diverse worldview environment of modern society.
Contact MarketFaith Ministries
312 Anton Dr.Tallahassee, FL 32312info@marketfaith.orghttp://www.marketfaith.orgToll Free: 888-883-0656Phone: 850-383-9756Fax: 850-514-4571
Volume 1 Number 7 December 6, 2006
What is Far Eastern Thought?
 
2
(Introduction continued)
Now we would like to ask one favor from you. Would you please forward this issue of Worldview Made Practical to all ofyour Christian friends and encourage them to sign up. It is free, of course, and this will be a great gift to give. Subscriptioninformation is found below, or folks can go tohttp://www.marketfaith.organd sign up directly on the website.There will be one more issue before Christmas. Please enjoy this one and let us know what you think.Thanks, and God bless.
(What is Far Eastern Thought? continued)
Basic Premise
The reason we call this worldview Far Eastern Thought is because it originated, and is most prominent, in the Far East.The ultimate end of the most prominent forms of Far Eastern Thought is the absorption of individuals into an all-encom-passing, impersonal cosmos.The most basic belief of Far Eastern Thought is that all of life is composed of a single substance and is all interconnected.Adherents believe that in our earthly existence it may seem like there are independent and individual life forms, but that ismerely an illusion of our physical existence. In truth, our life form is part of a larger whole which manifests itself in numer-ous forms. We are connected at an essential level with every other living thing.When our life on this earth ends, it is asserted that this is not the end of our essential essence. Our part of the web of lifeis slowly but surely working its way to a point where the individual form we now experience merges with the whole, andwe lose our individual identity. So, when this current life cycle ends, we will reincarnate into a different form and gothrough the cycle again, always working toward our final unity with the cosmos.In Far Eastern Thought, the thing that determines our progress on this path toward oneness with the whole is karma.Karma relates to the deeds a person does in their current life. If a person does right, this goodness is applied to their livesand allows forward movement. Wrong actions apply to the life force and generate backward movement. Karma is not onlyapplied to the present life, but also to reincarnated states. Living rightly in this life allows a person to move to a higherlevel in the next life, and thus closer to the point of unity with the whole.
History
Far Eastern Thought has its foundations in Hinduism which, through the centuries, has split off into related offshoots. Itactually originated with the Aryan peoples who moved from what is now modern day Iran. They immigrated to the IndusValley in northwestern India somewhere around 1500 B.C. Over the next several centuries they conquered the entire sub-continent and brought with them the religion that was common in Iran at that time. The Aryans were polytheistic and hadan elaborate system of sacrifices which led to the formation of a priesthood (the Brahmins). This later evolved further intothe caste system.Prior to that arrival of the Aryans, the people of India had a somewhat Animistic religious tradition. This early time is usu-ally called the pre-Vedic period. At this time the people were polytheistic and worshiped a Mother Goddess and a hornedgod.The Vedic period began around 1500 B.C. when the Aryans invaded northern India and imposed their Vedic civilizationand religion on the Indians.Around 600 B.C. came the Upanishadic period when Hinduism became a more philosophical religion and developed intothe popular religion of the masses. During this time, the Vedic religion boiled all the gods down into a single pantheisticprinciple (the absolute universal soul, or Brahman) with the belief that the universe is god and god is the universe. Thiscompleted the process of evolution from which the major tenets of Hinduism emerged.There were three basic ways that the underlying themes of Far Eastern Thought morphed and spread throughout the FarEastern world. One was through various individuals who saw hypocrisy and decline in the religion and created reformmovements which were slightly different than what they left. These reform movements caught the imagination of manypeople and spread widely throughout that region of the world. Another cause of its spread happened as elements of thereligions of conquered peoples became syncretized into the Hindu ideas. This made them more acceptable to the con-quered masses. A third way was that certain individuals actually created new religious forms as a means of making thebeliefs more appealing to people in other countries or regions. These various conditions ended up creating a diversity ofreligions and groups all based on the underlying themes of Far Eastern Thought.
Belief Systems Which Come from Far Eastern Thought
There are a number of different religious traditions which have Far Eastern Thought as their core worldview. These in-clude:
(Continued on page 3)
 
3
Subscription Information
If you would like to receive
Worldview Made Practical
as afree email subscription, simply go to www.marketfaith.organd click on the sign up link.
Past Issues
of
Worldview Made Practical
are availablefree of charge in .pdf (Acrobat) format in the archives athttp://www.marketfaith.org.PERMISSION TO REPRINT: If you wish to reprint thismonth’s article in your own print or electronic newsletter,please include the following paragraph:Reprinted from
Worldview Made Practical
; a free e-zineproduced by MarketFaith Ministries featuring practicalteaching and life tools to help Christians become more ef-fective in their faith life. Discover MarketFaith Ministries atwww.marketfaith.org.
(What is Far Eastern Thought? continued)
C
Hinduism
C
Hare Krishna
C
Transcendental Meditation
C
Buddhism
C
Taoism
C
Jainism
C
Sikhism
C
New Age (though there are other elements here, as well)
How Far Eastern Thought Answers the 7 Worldview Questions?
1. What is the nature of ultimate reality?Ultimate reality is impersonal, pantheistic (god is everything and everything is god), and monistic (all of reality iscomposed of different forms of a single substance).2. What is the nature of material reality?Material reality is impersonal, illusory, and seeking oneness.3. What is a human being?Personality and individuality are illusions. Humans are simply a life force striving toward oneness.4. What happens to a person at death?At death, the life force recycles (reincarnates) into another form.5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?Knowledge is an illusion. Nothing exists as it appears.6. How do we know right and wrong?The cosmos is perfect at every moment. Good and evil are an illusion.7. What is the meaning of human history?Time, as we experience it, is an illusion. Reality moves in cycles.
Practical Implications of Far Eastern Thought
The ultimate impact of Far Eastern Thought on culture is topromote a type of passivism concerning ones place in life.It is asserted that when a person (or any life form, for thatmatter) reincarnates into this world, it is the direct result ofthe way that their life essence lived in its previous incarna-tion. As a result, their placein life is fixed and there is noth-ing that they can, or should, do to move to a differentstation. Moving up in ones life station only happens at thenext incarnation.So, if you are born in this life as a peasant, you should be-come the best peasant you possibly can. If you were borna Christian or Muslim, be the best one you can. If you do,you might possibly move up into a good Hindu culture, or ahigher level in a Hindu culture, the next time around, andbecome closer to the ultimate goal of being absorbed intothe impersonal “One.”In Far Eastern Thought there is an essential unity betweenall of life. There is no distinction between the secular andthe divine - everything is god and god is everything. All ofreality is composed of, and reducible to, a single sub-stance. Everything that exists is simply a different form ofthe same basic material that is ever moving toward an ulti-mate unity.Another implication of this worldview is that no one is ableto take seriously any kind of objective reality - whetherknowledge or sensory experience. It is acknowledged thatthere is such a thing as objective reality, but it goes on toassert that the nature of that reality is quite beyond ourability to comprehend. The goal of life, therefore, is to sim-ply recognize that reality cannot be known and to passivelylive life as best we can
(continued on page 4)
Support MarketFaith Ministries
The purpose of MarketFaith Ministries is to equip the Bodyof Christ to become more effective by sharing the practicalapplications of worldview. We are involved in developingtraining and resource materials for that very purpose. Ifyou would like to partner with us in this effort, you maysend your tax deductible contribution to MarketFaith Minis-tries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312.

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