May 20, 2006
Scripture. One of the words that can either raise smiles or hackles, depending on who is talking and who is listening.
What is scripture? It depends on whom you ask. But, in essence, scripture can be defined as written-down words which contain some of the basic precepts of a particular spiritual path. And based on that, even some traditions who claim that they don't bother with scripture can be shown to have scripture.
Christians have their Bible, the Buddhists have their Sutras, the Hindu have their Gitas, Islam has the Koran, Judaism has the Torah, Asatru has the Havamal and some others, et cetera. There's lots of scripture out there. And most of it is not from the path that you follow! What can you do with it?
To show what I'm trying to do, let's look at a particularly excellent piece of scripture from a spiritual path in which many followers shy away from claiming to have any scripture. Let's see if there's something in it that anyone from any path can use.
And what about the parts we don't agree with? I'll touch on that a bit, too.
If you are on a particular spiritual path, it behooves you to know the scripture associated with that path. If you are dealing with someone who is on a different path (especially if the "dealing" can be best defined as hostility, opposition, debate, or some other sort of negative, if your opponents are involing their religion on you, knowing their scripture can be helpful for you!
Regardless of your spiritual path, you deal with scripture - possibly your own, or perhaps some other person's that gets thrown into your face.
If we've got to deal with it, we might as well think of how to deal with it.