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Monkey vs. Cat Religions
There are two distinct paths to salvation. The clinging monkey and the trusting kitten.
This idea distills the philosophical angle of approach of a religion and describes whether the lessons and "path to salvation" rely on the efforts of the individual or the creator or god.
Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, and Sikhism are all monkey religions — the onus falls on the individual to seek enlightenment or spiritual growth through their own efforts and understanding.
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism are all examples of cat religions — the onus for salvation relies on the grace, will, or intervention of a divine entity.
In cat religions, the believer is dependent upon the god for salvation.
The kitten has an overarching sense of dependency on its mother (god).
The divinity or force behind these religions emphasizes a need for faith and a surrender to divine will. They believe that while they can make choices and act according to the teachings of their religion, it’s ultimately up to the deity to grant salvation or blessings.
Think about how a mother cat takes care of her kitten.
She does everything for it and manipulates it however she needs to — she carries it around using her mouth and provides it with warmth, nourishment, and protection.
The kitten responds by doing nothing — it accepts the grace its mother provides.
It lays limp and motionless as the mother carries it around. The kitten places all its trust in the mother, who carries out the effort of providing sustenance and care for her baby.
The young kitten needs its mother to survive in the same way that users of a cat religion need their god for salvation.
In monkey religions, salvation is achieved by the effort of the believer.
The responsibility for attaining salvation or enlightenment is placed firmly on the shoulders of the individual.
As the mother monkey climbs around, scavenging for food, the baby must hang on for dear life. The mother barely notices the baby is there and gives it no notice at all.
If the baby lets go, it will fall off.
Just as the baby monkey must cling to its mother, followers of monkey religions must actively engage in their own spiritual journey to reach salvation.
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