Do believers in other religions see images of their Holy Ones in various things like Christians – mainly Catholics and evangelists – do?
I mean, it seems that every time one turns around, Christians are seeing images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary on walls, potatoes, pumpkins, in tree knots, waterfall mist, clouds, assorted vegetables, newspaper photographs of other things, windows, and so on. Thousands rush to a grotto to ‘view’ two girls communicating with a vision of the Virgin Mary that only they (the two girls) can see. Scores of people rush to view an image of Christ that appears on the glass walls of an office building.
(The image seems to be always the stylized and accepted painting of Christ created some time ago by an artist.)
Does this happen in other religions? Does Buddha appear in the mist of a fountain in India? Do Muslims rush to view Holy images appearing on a wall that is wet from a sprinkler? Do they find images of Buddha in a potato? Does Moses appear to those of the Jewish faith in a Matzo ball? Does he show up in the crust of unleavened bread? Do Holy images show up for Muslims on windows?
By the way, before I get blasted, I’m Christian. I was just wondering because the gab rags never publish anything but Christian sightings of Holy Ones, mainly here in the States and nothing about any other religion.
the alleged “moving statue” of the virgin Mary in Ireland? This was a few years back-anyway I remember lots of devout irish ladies staring at this thing for hours, hoping to see mary turn her head 9or wink an eye!). Some wag hung a sign around it, reading “out of order”!
Seriously, this seems to be a largely catholic phenomenon. As to what it means-well lots of people have active imaginations-remember childhood? i used to see all kinds of weird things in clouds!
Not all of us necessarily believe in incarnate deities. Wiccans often think of deities as immanent in everything around us. I suppose you could say that we see the God (and the Goddess) in potatos–and in rainbows and starlit meadows and laughing children… We don’t make a big deal out of it because it’s normal for us. It’s not something that happens only to a select few; it’s just the way we look at life.
Christianity combines the concept of immanence (presence of deity in everything) with beliefs about incarnate holy beings–I suppose that makes it easy for an imaginative Christian to see images in common things. Compare this to constellations–the only hunting involved with Orion is in the mind of the beholder.
It’s not a tuber! (with apologies to Schwartzenegger)
Off the subject, you might enjoy the Carl Hiassen book “Lucky You.” Tho the main theme concerns multiple winners of a lottery jackpot, a sideline concerns the denizens of a town whose sole industry is marketing itself as a shrine to religious fanatics. Every citizen has his little scheme, and appointed tasks, whether it be filling the reservoir for the weeping virgin, maintaining their miraculous stigmata, … I believe there is a holy image in an oil or tar stain on the expressway. Not great literature, but an enjoyable quick read.
One clue lies in the OP – it’s “always the stylized and accepted painting of Christ.” Thousands of years of Christian art in Europe has imprinted upon us an idea of what Christ, Mary, etc. supposedly looked like. (And no, I do not wish to hijack the thread into a discussion of how accurate that depiction is.) Thus, persons of a mind to see images in random shapes (and we all do it some of the time – our brains evolved to recognize pattern) have a “Christ template” we all can refer to.
Islam forbids images of Allah or Mohammed (pbuh). Some reject any depictive art at all. Thus, with no cultural image for these Holy figures, there would be no “template,” and thus no Allah in the hummus.
Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions do have rich artistic traditions. It would not surprise me to learn that their followers ocassionally see such images. But since these religions fall outside the mainstream in the U.S., such events (assuming they occur) would likely go unreported.
I thought I saw somewhere that in India, one of the statues of their elephant God (I’m sorry, I can’t remember his name) was drinking milk placed in front of him.
Of course, silly scientists tried to explain this phenomenon by saying “Well, milk can go up the pores in the stone with little trouble.”
What boggles my mind is the credulity of the faithful. We have a lady near Atlanta who claimed to be communing with the Virgin Mary on a monthly basis (of course you just had to take her word for it), and throngs of Catholics descended on her house from all over the country.
I think another reason Buddhists don’t have the same type of responses or experiences, is Buddhism is about the teachings of the Buddha, but not so much about Buddha himself. Unlike Jesus, Buddha was just a man who became enlightened on his own, he is not a God. But other religions who believe in a “Diety made flesh” would place importence on that diety’s image as it was created for us to view him/her.
The Catholic church has always been big on blessed visions, sightings and the like. Part of the Catholic ‘culture’. The top brass know it’s good for business and do nothing at all to discourage this kind of twittery.
As many respondents have pointed out, with some other faiths there is effectively no ‘deity’ to perceive, and certainly no culture supporting this kind of nonsense. Muslims, however, are very keen on seeeing the Arabic script denoting God’s name in sliced fruit, and declaring such to be miraculous. Likewise, many millions of Hindus honestly think that representations of Ganesh (spelling varies) the ‘elephant God’ have drunk milk offered on a spoon, in a way which constitutes a miracule. I guess in either case that’s as good a litmus test as any as to how effective the mental virus known as religion can be.
Don’t be surprised at the gullibility of the faithful. Being gullible is a pre-requisite for adhering to self-contradictory and unsupported notions. I respect everyone’s right to believe in any religion they want. But I also respect my own right to point out that what they believe in is risible, and often harmful to themselves or others.
Actually, I believe that the Catholic Church is not big on this sort of thing. In almost every story I read about seeing the Virgin Mary on a bank window or Mother Teresa on a breakfast roll, some Church big-wig gets quoted saying that the Church does not sanction it, etc. They also debunk (or at least fail to recognize) substantially all “miracle” claims submitted to them.
Thanks BurnMeUp, true. Buddha is not a god, or a diety of any sort. Buddhists regard the Buddha as the bringer of the Dharma. He was just a man that was enlightened according to them, and spread his views on how to bring peace unto the world, themselves and each other. That said, while meditating, Buddhists proclaim to see images, but of all kinds of things.
Jews have seen images as well, take any of the prophets from the Old Testament for example. But like Islam, in Judaism it is against the religion to portray images as such of “dietys” or even of poeple in general unless they are flawed on purpose.
I’ve never heard of a Buddhist seeing anything in a potato other than potato, and i’ve never heard of a Jew seeing anything in a matzoh ball other than some parsley flakes.