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HISTFINAL - Zachary Zeid HIST-100 Rogers HIST-100 Final...

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Zachary Zeid HIST-100 Rogers December 18, 2007 HIST-100 Final Exam A. How did Muhammad, the Buddha, and Teresa of Avila experience the sacred? Review their stories. How were these experiences alike and different? Have you, or has someone you know personally, had experiences like these? What is your honest assessment of such religious experiences? Experiencing the sacred can come in many different forms, Moses saw a burning bush speak to him, to lead his people to the Promised Land. Others, like Muhammad experienced the sacred in a dream, which is exactly how Teresa of Avila had her sacred experience. Buddha, depending on which story you have read and believe in varies. In this case we will go with “Buddhacarita”, where while meditating, the Buddha experienced dreams in which not only Mara, the god of passion and desire tempted him, but it was in these dreams that he experienced enlightenment and was able to find the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. All these experiences were revelational, and individualistic in their nature. All of these different experiences of the sacred has led the people who had them to change the world as they knew it. It is here where the broad similarities disappear. The differences between the experiences that Muhammad, the Buddha and Teresa had differ in context with each other. Muhammad had a reveleational, individual experience, where he was told to go forth and teach his people the “recitations” of Allah. His experience was exemplary. Teresa of Avila’s experience was an ecstatic experience, where she had visions of
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spritiual unity with Christ, not unlike a marriage of love. What she experienced was mystical in nature, and later on, she had a feeling of divine presence, with the tri-unity inside of her, a responsive experience. The Buddha’s experience was a more individualistic revelation, similar to Teresa’s experience by the mystical unity that he felt within himself, though it was within him that he felt the unity with, not a supreme force within him. In comparison to Muhammad, the major similarity there was that when the experience was over with, it began a journey to spread the word of which that they learned.
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