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Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series 
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Post Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
This could be an interesting series and generate some comments. In one clip Reza visits a Hindu cult known for cannibalism and becomes scared enough that he asks the videographers to help him get away from the leader. The series starts tonight on CNN 10 p.m. EST US.
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In this new spiritual adventure series, renowned author and religious scholar Reza Aslan immerses himself in the world's most fascinating faith-based groups to experience life as a true believer.
http://www.cnn.com/shows/believer



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Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:29 am
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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
CNN is FAKE NEWS



Just kidding..


Where can I find this part..

Quote:
In one clip Reza visits a Hindu cult known for cannibalism and becomes scared enough that he asks the videographers to help him get away from the leader.



Reza is getting a little greyer these days. I've always liked him.



Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:50 am
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 Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
I can't find direct links to the video clips, so on the link in my original post scroll down until you see a video called "Who are the Aghori?" I'd recommend watching that first because it provides a little background info. However if you need to cut to the chase, the clip you asked about is a little further down called "Face to face with a cannibalistic sect." I think both clips are about 2 minutes each.

Reza may be taking an approach similar to Huston Smith, who immersed himself in various religions then wrote about similarities and differences. Ah here we go: "During his career, Smith not only studied but also practiced Vedanta Hinduism, Zen Buddhism (under Goto Zuigan), and Sufism for over 10 years each." Smith's description of Zen Buddhism where the ego cracks under pressure of an impenetrable Koan was particularly interesting to me. Obviously Reza isn't spending that much time on this project, but the series should be interesting...



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
I'm not really a fan of Reza Aslan, he's basically the go-to politically correct religious guy that the networks use.

But this could still be an interesting show



Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
The first episode about Hinduism is a wild ride. Far from his PC reputation, Reza started by attacking aspects of Hindu religion and culture, mainly the caste system. He showed such a dark side that I expect many casual viewers changed channels and I was starting to wonder about a Muslim being able to review Hinduism objectively. However, Reza finds a group that fights against the caste system in several important ways including education and health care. By the end of the show, I think Reza was genuinely touched by what he had found...



Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
Sounds interesting, I'll see if I can find the video anywhere

Quote:
Reza may be taking an approach similar to Huston Smith, who immersed himself in various religions then wrote about similarities and differences. Ah here we go: "During his career, Smith not only studied but also practiced Vedanta Hinduism, Zen Buddhism (under Goto Zuigan), and Sufism for over 10 years each." Smith's description of Zen Buddhism where the ego cracks under pressure of an impenetrable Koan was particularly interesting to me. Obviously Reza isn't spending that much time on this project, but the series should be interesting...


Somewhat related maybe, I'm reading a book about meditation called The Science of Enlightenment, and it has a chapter about the commonalities in the mystical (i.e. meditation) traditions in all of the major religions



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
That book looks good, let me know what you find... I just started this one, has a 21 day series - I need more of a path than just sitting...
http://tharpa.com/us/the-new-meditation-handbook.html

This one comes highly recommended, may be next...
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15011 ... PDKIKX0DER



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
You have this small sect, the Aghori, within a vast Hinduism, and even so, you can't generalize about Aghori. Some are what I suppose could be compared to fundamentalists, while others have risen above the forms and rituals and distilled the meaning of the beliefs. So labels aren't very reliable guides.

Eastern religions have a reputation for being the more enlightened, but that's a poor generalization. I remember what Hitchens said: "There is no Eastern solution." He meant that we can't retreat to Hinduism or Buddhism as a way of avoiding the abuses we see in the monotheistic religions.



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
If you haven't seen the first episode you really need to. I didn't realize it was a series till I read this thread so thank you.

I especially loved when the nut on the beach started drinking his own urine and throwing it at Reza.



Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:51 am
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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
LanDroid wrote:
That book looks good, let me know what you find... I just started this one, has a 21 day series - I need more of a path than just sitting...
http://tharpa.com/us/the-new-meditation-handbook.html

This one comes highly recommended, may be next...
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15011 ... PDKIKX0DER


I'm not familiar with the first one, The Mind Illuminated is an extraordinary book, as you can see from the reviews, anyone interested in meditation needs to start reading that one (it goes into details about higher stages of meditation, so relative beginners like myself don't really need to read the whole thing, yet)



Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:42 am
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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
In the second episode, Reza visits a doomsday cult in Hawaii led by a schizoid looney who calls himself Jezus. It looked like a carefree lifestyle in paradise except for having to listen to Jezus all the time. :? It appears now that Reza will be exploring the far fringes of modern religion in this series - not what I was expecting, but it is fun...



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
LanDroid wrote:
In the second episode, Reza visits a doomsday cult in Hawaii led by a schizoid looney who calls himself Jezus. It looked like a carefree lifestyle in paradise except for having to listen to Jezus all the time. :? It appears now that Reza will be exploring the far fringes of modern religion in this series - not what I was expecting, but it is fun...

Reza does seem to go pretty fringe, but in the two episodes he has also told us when he feels moved unexpectedly by the strangeness. Reza didn't seem to feel any such attraction for the "schizoid looney" himself, though. Jezus was such an obvious charlatan that you look in amazement at the people who needed so badly to have faith in someone, that they chose him.



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
In the 3rd episode, Reza visits the very complex religious and cultural mix found in Haiti where Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism, and Voodoo coexist. Voodoo and Catholicism have found a compromise of sorts with some Voodoo spirits taking on the appearance of Catholic saints or icons such as Mary and so on. Evengelical Protestants obviously consider Voodoo as Satanic and attempt to convert those followers from demonic possession. Voodoo is a vestige of African slave religion and was part of a slave revolt in Haiti, so in part Haitians revere it for freedoms won. Reza again explores the fringe in participating in Voodoo ceremonies, etc. and comes out with a new appreciation for it...


Had to do this!


If you haven't been watching, you might want to check out the next episode where Reza explores Scientology. I don't see how that's going to work if he's expecting to be audited, take courses, spend a lot of money, etc. (It's not like Reza will get to the level of Operating Thetan III, where the story of Xenu, volcanoes, and nuclear bombs is revealed.) I predict this is one fringe area where he does not come out impressed with what he finds...



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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
I missed Voodoo and couldn't find the show online. But I did see Scientology, or most of it. It looked to me as though Aslan took the right perspective on the religion. Everyone knows about the skullduggery that went on and still does. But do we imagine that kind of stuff was absent during the formation of the great religions, way back when? Reza thinks Scientology, in being a true product of modern times, may have staying power, which he tries to show with the interviews of the renegades who nevertheless are devout followers still.

The auditing sessions looked a bit bogus to me, but obviously they're more intense when the beginner is more serious than Aslan was. Aslan might have been reluctant to say that he didn't really feel any different after the brief sessions, just to be polite. I guess that's the way I would have acted, too.



Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:24 am
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Post Re: Believer with Reza Aslan / CNN series
I just watched that one and it was quite interesting, showing there is a "reformation" within Scientology. Folks who leave the church continue to practice the technology and develop it outside of the central authority. Reza compared this to the protestant reformation and with a McDonalds franchise going rogue, continuing to sell the same burgers, but disavowing the franchise ownership system. He also made points that Scientology is indeed a religion created in America and that we should differentiate between the abuses of the church and the faith of the followers.

Tonight's episode is about Santa Muerte, or the Mexican followers of "Saint Death."



Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:59 pm
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