Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by TrippinBTM, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. TrippinBTM

    TrippinBTM Ramblin' Man

    Many religions seem to have a lot of symbolic ties to the east. Not like eastern philosophy, just the geographical east: Muslims face east to pray, Christian churches are (or at least were) built facing east, the Buddha was said to be facing east when he achieved enlightenment, etc. Maps used to always be drawn with east at the top, rather than north like today.

    I was pondering the possibility of there being more to this than just the symbolism of the rising sun, new day, birth, etc. Maybe there is something physically that makes us associate east with spirituality. The earth rotates in that direction, and we are on the earth, maybe there's something very subtle but concrete about us that turns our faces east. Maybe it's the subtle motion of turning eastward, maybe it's a magnetic thing, but I think it's a possibility.

    Any thoughts?
  2. atropine

    atropine Member

    dont muslims face towards.. that city.. cant remember the name.. islams holy city anyway.. i think muslims face the holy city to pray.. never heard of facing east..
  3. thumontico

    thumontico Member

    Mecca. Indeed, if you face east you are facing Mecca... and every other city in the world.
  4. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake resigned HipForums Supporter

    Perhaps there is a quite simple explanation. It seems that the east became civilized long before the west, and it was there that what we call religion began.

    Just one other point - a muslim who was east of Mecca would turn to the west to pray.
  5. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

    & a muslim in turkey would face south, and one in madagascar would face north...

    muhammada rasul l'illah...
  6. the dauer

    the dauer Member

    And Jews, we face toward Israel, and in Israel toward Jerusalem, and in Jerusalem toward the Temple Mount.

  7. TrippinBTM

    TrippinBTM Ramblin' Man

    Seriously? Damn, I thought it was always East. Well, I think my hypothesis is failing miserably. Dammit...
  8. BlackGuardXIII

    BlackGuardXIII fera festiva

    I always thought it was east as a rule, with Mecca as the intended focal point. You could be east of Mecca and still be facing it by praying east, it would just be farther away.

    I am not ready to let go my long held 'east' belief just yet, I need more convincing.
    I know that orientation, orienteering, disoriented, etc., the terms refering to finding your position, are based on the root 'orient', meaning 'east'.

    The Sphinx faces east. I can only guess why it is so common. In prehistoric times, in the dead of winter, it was likely a very happy and reassuring moment to people when the sun peeked over the horizon each morning. The idea that the sunrise is a given has not always been the case. Many ancients worried it might not do so one day, and were relieved when it did.
    Also, the stars rise in the east, too, so it is the direction to look to see any stellar objects return. In the past, stars and planets were often considered to be deities, and their rising would have been a joyous event.
    Just me pondering..........
  9. TrippinBTM

    TrippinBTM Ramblin' Man

    Right. I was just wondering if there might be more to it than the symbolism of it (which I know, in itself, is a powerful thing). Like, the earth rotates, and we rotate with it. We can't feel it, but maybe there is subtle preception somehow and things feel "better" when we face east and rotate in tandem with it, like aligning ourselves with the Earthly flow. It's far fetched, but something i was thinking about.
  10. BlackGuardXIII

    BlackGuardXIII fera festiva

    It is a common belief among many astrologers, etc. that there is a grid of energy lines all over the earth. The energy may indeed flow from the east. We can use dowsing rods to find these lines, called ley lines, or dragon lines.
    Also, our haemoglobin has chains of iron molecules that are lined up with the earths magnetic field. We are very much affected by the earth, more than most people imagine, I feel.

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