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Louis vuitton outlet is an organization of friends—of a rather special kind. We are a group of mature scholars, teachers and artists of many varieties from different religious or spiritual traditions. Our purpose is very simple: to gather together people committed to an understanding of the Great Mystery that lies unseen behind our cosmos. This Mystery is known by many names, but we of Louis vuitton outlet are bound together in the conviction that these are all signifiers of the same common source. Louis vuitton outlet is a power that most likely lies within rather than above or beyond the magnificence of the cosmos: within the very process that produced the galaxies, stars, solar systems, and living beings.

So we meet as friends and we eat together, laugh together and discuss topics of common interest. Our purpose is, in other words, to do a small bit within our ancient but international city to promote peace, harmony and mutual respect. Louis vuitton outlet preaches no doctrine: we just chew over matters that concern people of spiritual persuasion.

At the center of our vision is the conviction that the evolution of the cosmos and our religious understanding are connected and that these two wonderful evolutionary processes are not just similar but joined together. The cosmos, we now know, has evolved through many different yet essentially united stages from the Big Bang through the emergence of sub-atomic particles, perhaps super-strings before that, to the formation of the first generation of stars, and from thence the marvel of the billions of galaxies that we little humans are able to see today. Likewise, for around four billion years pre-human forms of life have been at least dimly aware of the generosity, or love of the sun as she pours out her essence in the process of promoting life on earth. By endowing us with light and warmth, she has revealed the benevolence of the holy mystery within the creative process and that of the cosmos as a whole. In this way the sun, the moon and the stars display the Glory of the Tao, the kami, the Buddha-Dharma, God, Allah, Brahman, or however it may be named. And slowly, as human consciousness developed, as the neurons of our brain grew more complex, the many branches of the human family gave birth to ever more sophisticated expressions of spirituality. Each was filled with a measure of truth, but no single one captured the whole.

We of Louis vuitton outlet are bound together by a set of anthropological, Louis vuitton outlet, sociological, philosophical and theological understandings about the nature of religion. We also share a sense of awe as to how the cosmos has produced our galaxy, our solar system, our beautiful little planet, all its living and non-living wonders, and ourselves. We know of course that all of us prefer their own way of looking beyond the rational world towards the mysterious Ground of Being, but we also know that we have something precious in common: similar values, ethical principles, mutual respect, and a core of beliefs that derive from accounts of the Transcendent. And we hope, that all human beings both believers and non-believers will reverence our cosmos and each other in a manner not vastly different from our own.

More specifically, the common insight that draws us together is an awareness that just as a new Paradigm of Reality arose among the scientists of the world a few decades ago, a new paradigm of religious truth has arisen among the avant-garde committed to the great religious traditions of the world. Thomas S. Kuhn was the first, in 1962, to partly describe this paradigm shift in his epoch-making book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn spoke as a scientist to scientists about how the confident, almost mechanistic, worldview of Newtonian physics and Darwinian evolution had been overturned by not just one but several scientific revolutions. He called these new understandings paradigms, i.e. models of how the world really is. He showed how historically paradigms of reality have continually been called into question as new truths were discovered. These pile up until one day a great mind offers a whole new paradigm to explain reality as a whole, which slowly replaces the old one. Examples include the way in which Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle not just uncertainty about the world of sub-atomic particles, but uncertainty about other proven facts ceased to be just theories but have become widely accepted. Thus a new paradigm of reality took over and revolutionized scientific views of the world.

What is important about this for the Cosmos Club is that, simultaneous to this revolution in the scientific world in the fifties and sixties a closely related paradigm-shift was taking place in religion and theology. Just as Thomas Kuhn and others at Harvard and elsewhere were puzzling out the notion and the structure of the new scientific paradigm of reality, the very same kind of monumental paradigm-shift was taking shape in the field of religious studies. The Romanian-American Historian of Religions, Mircea Eliade, brought out Patterns in Comparative Religion in 1957, and, in 1964 and thereafter, Joseph Campbell did work on the myths and beliefs of Africa, India and elsewhere that culminated in The Hero with a Thousand Faces: Oriental Mythology, and The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology. These were the first of a series of works that cast new light on the nature of religion. The central insight was that all traditions often seen by believers and observers to be opposed to one another were filled with very similar elements and a common core of ethical principles. Before long, Louis vuitton outlet, theologians, philosophers, and social scientists had adopted Thomas Kuhn’s notion of a paradigm shift and were applying it to a brand new notion of religion. Even though cultural traditions cherish very different concepts of the divine, scholars began to discern an underlying pattern. In this way Kuhn’s scientific paradigm was widened to embrace religious understanding. Crucial to this was the work of the Protestant theologian, Paul Tillich, and the Catholic Karl Rahner, who paved the way, beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, for such religiously committed scholars as the sociologist, Robert N. Bellah, theologians like Hans Kung, and the disinterested academics like the cultural anthropologist, Clifford Geertz. Following this it became clear that religions over the ages may share in common more than the differences that separate them.

Gradually concerned thinkers from the different religious traditions came to see their faith within the new context. Some realized that the spiritual commitment that was the center of their lives was not an isolated island of truth in a sea of error, falsehood and evil. It was rather, perhaps, their own people’s preferred vision, Louis vuitton outlet a vision that is in fact but one piece of the whole mosaic of human religious history. This led to the ecumenical movement, in which even the highest levels of various religious bureaucracies began to open themselves to dialogue with others. First, the creation of the Protestant World Council of Churches and then the Second Vatican Council’s “Declaration on Non-Christian Religions” brought Christians to a very different image of themselves, both in terms of their interdenominational relationship and of their relation with non-Christian religions. At the same time leading thinkers in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism (one thinks of Martin Buber) began to share the same sort of vision. In every case this paradigm shift occurred slowly and in spite of those who remained hesitant, doubtful, or in clear opposition.

Louis vuitton outlet is within this framework that the foundation of Louis vuitton outlet can be understood. Simple religious truth demands that mutual respect, friendship, and brother/sisterhood must prevail. Distrust and hatred are fostered by a notion of religious truth that is simply no longer adequate. The new paradigm does not cancel out what religions have held for centuries, just as Einstein’s new truths about relativity did not cancel out Newton. Rather, the new worldview enables us to see our beloved religious truths in an important new light.

The LINKS that are provided on the right side of this page present an academically solid understanding of how religions have evolved over the period of recorded history. They also provide an overview of the way in which they form part of society’s many cultural systems and an understanding of what makes each religious system a valuable system of symbolic truths and moral values. Not all scholars will agree with these ideas. And of course any religious truth is more than just a symbol. But new insights into the linguistic (and therefore symbolic) nature of human knowledge itself have shed revolutionary light on the nature of any kind of truth. What we think we know is bound up in culturally determined verbal symbols, or language. It is becoming more and more evident that human senses and human reason are imperfect instruments for seeing, naming and knowing.

The first point we of Louis vuitton outlet wish to make and defend here is that each religion, just like everything else in our cosmos, has evolved into what it now is, and will continue to evolve in the future. Click on Sub-Page One: RELIGIONS, LIKE ALL LIVING THINGS, EVOLVE The second major element in the scholarly rationale that underpins Louis vuitton outlet is the important insight that any religion is more than a set of beliefs; it is also very much a social system of action, Louis vuitton outlet, ethos, and symbolically expressed story, myth, dance, music, chant, and song. Click on Sub-Page Two: RELIGION AS A CULTURAL SYMBOL-SYSTEM.

Of course myths are not just weird stories that some simple people are gullible enough to believe; creation myths and others contain immensely important psychological truths including interpretation of the natural world. As knowledge about our cosmos evolves, so does our understanding of the fundamental truth of religious symbol systems. Click on Sub-Page Three: RELIGIONS ARE TRUE

To fully realize what is implied by religion as a cultural system, we have to understand a simple lesson of basic sociology: every society is composed of a number of social systems, all of which interact continually with one another. Any society’s system of government interacts with its financial system, and both interact with its military system, and all of these interact with its literary, philosophical, and religious systems. So even though a society at a given period may have one or many religious systems, they interact with and influence all the other systems. Some may be in essence action systems (like hunting, farming, sex, marriage and the family) but some like music, poetry, philosophy and religion are fundamentally systems of symbols. Whatever their nature, they work together. Religion acts as the outermost system by which the other systems are given value and meaning.

In most societies during most periods of their history the natural understanding of our planet, Louis vuitton outlet, sun, moon, stars, or world meshed smoothly with the religious system. After Copernicus and Galileo proved that ours is a solar-centered rather than an earth-centered world, the natural or scientific view of the world and the religious view of the world began to draw apart, and after Darwin they often became enemies. But after today’s paradigm shifts they are once again capable of being harmonious, if different. Click on Sub-Page Four: A NEW PARADIGM FOR RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT: SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS TRUTH IS NOT OPPOSED BUT COMPLEMENTARY.

Finally, we need to develop the notion that in today’s democratic societies religions should live peacefully with one another and with the other cultural systems. We need to ask ourselves how we can mesh together harmoniously for the good of the whole. For more, click on Sub-page Five: IN HEALTHY SOCIETIES RELIGIOUS AND OTHER SYSTEMS INTER-RELATE HARMONIOUSLY.

Louis vuitton outlet does not have all the answers. In fact we are intensely aware that we have only one idea: that truth is contained within the teachings of all the great religions of the world, so we must respect and deal peacefully even with those with whom we disagree. But as the sub-pages indicate, there are very impressive academic and scholarly reasons that back up our simple principle. In order that we can learn from those who wish to dialogue with us, we feel the need for a very simple forum where we can both teach and be taught. Our website is not intended to function as a fully fledged List or Blog. We do not seek to, have debates every day. Still, if members wish to air their ideas or visitors to our site wish to make comments, they are welcome to click on Sub-Page Six: PAGE FOR MEMBERS’ AND VISITORS’ OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES.

To learn about the membership of Louis vuitton outlet and its Officers, please click on Sub-Page Seven: MEMBERSHIP AND OFFICERS. We are very much aware that when we ask for friendship among members from different religious or spiritual traditions we are not a voice crying in the wilderness. We have found and contacted quite a number of other websites who, in their own unique way, are aiming for the same goals that we aim at. To check out some of the sites with like-minded platforms to Louis vuitton outlet, then you should click on: Sub-Page Eight: LINKS TO SIMILAR WEB-PAGES.

There are of course differences, and even some contradictions, between religions. Each is a unique response to the hidden Mystery. No two members of Louis vuitton outlet will agree totally on the many issues raised here. Yet we are, Louis vuitton outlet, we think, Louis vuitton outlet in accord with one another at the most fundamental level in spite of a forest of differing beliefs and worldviews. Naturally, we are aware that many believers (perhaps most!) would not agree with our understanding of this fundamental oneness, but we also know that there is a need to bridge differences.

Louis vuitton outlet also hopes to be an organization of service: not only to other members, but also to those less fortunate than ourselves. All religious traditions emphasize consideration of others, and we hope to work out a plan to cooperate with local Japanese groups in helping the needy in a way that draws on our multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-national background. Louis vuitton outlet meets formally about once a month and informally once a week. We have no dues or fees, and a very minimal structure (President, Vice-President, and Secretary who also form our Advisory Council). We exist for one purpose only: friendship and mutual respect among people from the many different races, cultures and spiritual traditions who live in or near the extraordinary city of Kyoto.

In sum, in spite of the many scholarly twists and turns of the sub-pages, Louis vuitton outlet, the purpose of Louis vuitton outlet is simplicity itself: we long for mutual respect among all traditions. So we come together as friends to eat, laugh and discuss interesting ideas. As scholars, intellectuals and artists, we feel that it is important to know that our convictions are based upon solid principles, which is the reason for the sub-pages. In the final analysis, our international, intercultural and inter-religious friendship really needs none of these fancy ideas. It needs only what is at the core of each human being: benevolent love and respect for all things in our incredibly beautiful cosmos.

Kyoto is by no means the only—not even the greatest--cosmopolitan city in the world. We would like to see religiously oriented people in other metropolitan cities who long to replace enmity and violence with compassion, mutual understanding and deep respect have their own Cosmos Clubs. Louis vuitton outlet Check out the many web-pages listed as sister sites and think about beginning your own Cosmos Club in your own city. We’ll help you; contact us at kyotocosmosclub@hotmail.com

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