Thursday, February 02, 2006

I found our discussion on Wednesday exactly what my last blog entry was about. It just made me realize even more that I tend to do exactly what Dr. Rein was talking about. Why do we privilege internal feelings and thoughts and tend to look for these inner aspects of people in order to understand their religion? I know that I do this and during class I was trying to figure out the reasons for me trying to analyze and understand someone's personal innermost feelings for the ultimate purpose of fully understanding their religion. For me personally, I place a greater emphasis on a person's feelings than their actions because I have always believed or maybe just followed the idea that people's thoughts and emotions govern the way they act. I don't know if I am going to be able to explain what I really mean and if I do, if it's in the best possible way, but here it goes. A person centers their focus on a particular thought, feeling, event, or anything they want to think about. It registers in whatever part of their brain, the brain interprets it, and comes to a conclusion or course of action. Now, I am no scientist (at least not yet), but this is how I view what happens in our brain just from taking some psychology courses. The brain lets the person know what to do and then that person does it. Therefore, it all comes back to the brain, to the internal rather than external part of human beings, to the feelings rather than actions of people. That may sound completely whack, but that's my take on it. So, I guess what my conclusion is is that if people understand where another person's feelings come from and what they are, then they will be able to connect on a level greater than if they just acknowledged the person's actions and reinacted them. People want to be connected to others on that deep spiritual, religious, and personal level that I don't think you would get if you just looked at the person's actions. That is why people look from the inside out and not from the outside in. And, to get that connection you have to go to the source of it all, which is feeling and emotion.

I must say that I liked Dr. Rein's quote from Wednesday and I think that it says everything about what we as a class are trying to do by taking this course.
"The impulse to study and understand religion comes from religion itself." - Dr. Rein

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