Sectarianism

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Being at one is god-like and good, but human, too human, the mania
Which insists there is only the One, one country, one truth, and one way. ~ Friedrich Hölderlin
The philosophic outlook rises above all sectarian controversy. It finds its own position not only by appreciating and synthesizing what is solidly based in the rival sects but also by capping them all with the keystone of non-duality. - Paul Brunton.

Sectarianism is a form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching relations of inferiority and superiority to differences between subdivisions within a group.

See also: Pluralism ~ Sect ~ Toleration

Quotes[edit]

The cause of human sectarianism is not lack of sympathy in thought, but in speech; and this it is our not unambitious design to remedy. ~ Aleister Crowley
They may hold their meetings, if they wish, and offer prayers according to their established use … and for the future, let all people live in harmony … Men should be taught and won over by reason, not by blows, insults, and corporal punishments. ~ Julian.
  • He who does reverence to his own sect, while disparaging all other sects from a feeling of attachment to his own, on the supposition that he thus glorifies his own sect, in reality by such conduct inflicts severe injury on his own sect.
    • Ashoka, Edict 12: Toleration, in Asoka, the Buddhist Emperor of India, vol. 28, p. 128
  • From a distance you look like my friend
    Even though we are at war
    From a distance I just cannot comprehend
    What all this war is for.
  • From a distance there is harmony
    And it echoes through the land
    And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves
    It's the heart of every man
    (Every man).

    It's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves
    This is the song of every man.

  • She continued, "Theirs was a religion of freedom and joy and not pervaded by fanatical and morbid asceticism as some people would have us believe." Here again I feel she is absolutely right. The critics of Catharism fail to distinguish between the Parfait and the ordinary croyant. The latter were not required to fast and mortify the flesh any more than the average Hindu or Roman Catholic, even though both Hindu and Catholic priests may regularly practise asceticism as well as meditation and other such disciplines.
  • Being at one is god-like and good, but human, too human, the mania
    Which insists there is only the One, one country, one truth, and one way.
  • I had imagined that the prelates of the Galilaeans were under greater obligations to me than to my predecessor. For in his reign many of them were banished, persecuted, and imprisoned, and many of the so-called heretics were executed … all of this has been reversed in my reign; the banished are allowed to return, and confiscated goods have been returned to the owners. But such is their folly and madness that, just because they can no longer be despots, … or carry out their designs first against their brethren, and then against us, the worshippers of the gods, they are inflamed with fury and stop at nothing in their unprincipled attempts to alarm and enrage the people.
    • Julian, in his Edict to the people of Bostra, as quoted in Documents of the Christian Church (1957) by Henry Bettenson
  • They are irreverent to the gods and disobedient to our edicts, lenient as they are. For we allow none of them to be dragged to the altars unwillingly... It is therefore my pleasure to announce and publish to all the people by this edict, that they must not abet the seditions of the clergy … They may hold their meetings, if they wish, and offer prayers according to their established use … and for the future, let all people live in harmony … Men should be taught and won over by reason, not by blows, insults, and corporal punishments. I therefore most earnestly admonish the adherents of the true religion not to injure or insult the Galilaeans in any way … Those who are in the wrong in matters of supreme importance are objects of pity rather than of hate.
    • Julian, in his Edict to the people of Bostra, as quoted in Documents of the Christian Church (1957) by Henry Bettenson
The question has often been asked; Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? It does not matter what you call it. Buddhism remains what it is whatever label you may put on it. The label is immaterial. Even the label 'Buddhism' which we give to the teachings of the Buddha is of little importance. The name one gives is inessential....In the same way Truth needs no label: it is neither Buddhist, Christian, Hindu nor Muslim. It is not the monopoly of anybody. Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men's minds. - Walpola Rahula.
  • I’m inspired to be in this room because every single one of you is here for the same reason. You’re here because you’ve adopted as a core motivation the simple fact that this world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just 5 minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives.
  • Some foreign writers, some our own despise;
    The Ancients only, or the Moderns prize.
    Thus Wit, like Faith, by each man is apply’d
    To one small sect, and all are damn’d beside.
    Meanly they seek the blessing to confine,
    And force that sun but on a part to shine.
  • The question has often been asked; Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? It does not matter what you call it. Buddhism remains what it is whatever label you may put on it. The label is immaterial. Even the label 'Buddhism' which we give to the teachings of the Buddha is of little importance. The name one gives is inessential....In the same way Truth needs no label: it is neither Buddhist, Christian, Hindu nor Muslim. It is not the monopoly of anybody. Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men's minds.
  • One who is holy of sect is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of Gods right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities. Sectarianism is a perverse form of worldliness in the disguise of religion it breeds a narrowness of heart in a greater measure than the cult of the world based upon material interest can ever do. For undisguised pursuit of self has its safety in openness, like filth exposed to the sun and air. But the self-magnification with its consequent lessening of God that goes on unchecked under the cover of sectarianism loses its chance of salvation because it defiles the very source of purity.
  • The dark shadow we seem to see in the distance is not really a mountain ahead, but the shadow of the mountain behind - a shadow from the past thrown forward into our future. It is a dark sludge of historical sectarianism. We can leave it behind us if we wish.

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