Discussion Are Sects also religious organizations?

Discussion in 'Novel Discussion' started by Devshard, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Devshard

    Devshard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    601
    Reading List:
    Link
    I've been wondering about this since the Grand Selection arc on SOTR (Sovereign of the Three Realms).

    The MC is someone that hasn't joined a Sect and is participating in the Grand Selection to find cultivators with the most potential. Throughout that entire arc, he's referred to as a "secular" cultivator because he isn't affiliated to any of the four major sects in the story so far.

    The use of the word "secular" isn't a one-off thing either. It's used to refer to the MC's independent status by everyone in the story. That's a specific word to use, especially considering 'independent' or 'unaffiliated' would be the more expected word choice. In most stories, we never really find out anything about how different sects function beyond cultivation. Different sects focus on specific aspects of martial arts, and they do have an overarching philosophy relating to their individual paths. Does that mean that a sect is essentially a religious organization?

    'Nine Cauldrons' is another story where you can get a more nuanced understanding behind the various sects. The MC in that story respects the teachings and beliefs of other sects and Masters but is unwilling to let them corrupt his own understanding of Martial Dao.

    My interpretation is that they function as branches from the overarching philosophy/religion of Martial Dao. The Ancestor/Founder finds something specific in the vague, nebulous Martial Dao and creates a religious organization based on that. Sort of like the various denominations of Christianity.
     
    ultragunner likes this.
  2. ultragunner

    ultragunner Self-taught Mage

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    448
    Reading List:
    Link
    Yeah, now that you mention it a lot of the sects have their own tenets which can either be philosophical or religious. Maybe religion in China is just different from what we are used to?
     
  3. Alvastar

    Alvastar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2015
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    605
    Reading List:
    Link
    While religion and beliefs are not mutually exclusive, they are far from being inclusive. Secular refers to not being affiliated with a sect or organization. A sect's focus and core beliefs are often fanatical, largely because their members spend so much time and effort to prove their own worth for benefits. It'd lessen their own achievements if others obtained benefits without having to go through what they did. So, they'll go out of their way to ensure others go about something a certain way to ensure that they don't feel cheated.

    If you were in a sect that taught that a spoon was better able to contain a liquid based on someone's understanding of the Dao of Wind, then provided the steps to obtain a higher understanding of the Dao of Wind in the form of some religion, you'd attribute most of their gains in the Dao of Wind to ensure that more liquid remains while doing exercises and holding the spoon to that religion. Even if you later learned that there was nothing to really back up the claims, you'd still want to not jinx it by testing it out. This is another reason that you'll see more fanaticism.

    In a world where someone can have heart devils, why would you let people risk threatening your beliefs by saying that something you cemented into a core value wasn't actually how you based your foundations on?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    xalienxgamerx likes this.
  4. asriu

    asriu fu~ fu~ fu~

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    16,986
    Likes Received:
    16,635
    Reading List:
    Link
    hoo for me the sect is kinda like martial art school~ they have their own philosophy if they have any~ based different root~
     
  5. Guradu Gilgida

    Guradu Gilgida 【Gentleman】【Tembikar Demon】

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    1,497
    Reading List:
    Link
    Like... F5 Sect?
     
  6. Obsoleete

    Obsoleete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    91
    Reading List:
    Link
    Secularism can mean anything that has no religious or spiritual basis according to the definition on google. So, I think it's more so the spiritual aspect that is denoted in these novels. Therefore, an MC that does belong to any particular sect is a secular cultivator, since he does not follow any of the established spiritual methods that these sects are based on.

    Meaning of spiritual: relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul.
    Each sect has different methods that affect or guide the spirit or soul. So by not being a part of any of these sects, essentially rejecting their beliefs, would make you a secular cultivator.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  7. Danis

    Danis {(Harem Sect Leader)}{Trickster}&{Lurker}

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    4,127
    Likes Received:
    2,864
    Reading List:
    Link
    for me sect is like school who teach their disciple to take drugs when they take enough drugs they will become immortal slaying god budha and devil in their dream ................................................
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    Lokumi likes this.
  8. mcmunhuu

    mcmunhuu [Got rejected by LaDyViL] [T_T] [No Game No Life]

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    227
    Reading List:
    Link
    Sect is holy place for cultivation
    Cultivate dao
    Cultivate heart&mind
    Plunder resources
    Team up again plunder
    Divide the resource teach how to plunder and kill
    Teach how to survive
    This step repeat grow and grow thats my understanding anout sect
     
  9. Devshard

    Devshard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    601
    Reading List:
    Link
    I see it more as a path to a universal understanding of Dao. If we run with your example, the Dao of Wind is a universal concept. You can understand the Dao of Wind by standing on a mountaintop, watching a bird fly, falling from a cliff, meditating in a windy cave, or from a spoon with liquid. No one has that universal understanding of the Dao of Wind when they start. A sect uses a defined path based on a spoon with liquid to lead you all the way to the Dao of Wind, at which point it becomes universal.

    The protagonists in most of our stories have an extraordinary amount of luck and are beyond intelligent, so they don't require the hand-holding approach that most people do in order to get to a place where they begin understanding the Dao in a real way. So the belief is only important in the beginning, when you don't really know what it is you're heading towards.
     
  10. Lawlyeth

    Lawlyeth [Gorrila Warfare Expert]

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2016
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    366
    Reading List:
    Link
    Wait..
    It's not philosophical or anything like that about beliefs and whatelse..
    It's simply everyone is cultivating ki , weilding elements and flying around while the MC is imitating animals while saying "lookatmy I'm a tiger roar" , there's not more to look for

    I've read a lot , and almost nowhere did I saw sects teaching their members beliefs or whatnot (well when there were it was clearly called "church")
     
  11. Jarrow

    Jarrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    984
    Reading List:
    Link
    It's mostly just the translation of the terms.

    The western concept of 'religion' is not at all equivalent to the chinese concepts.
     
  12. Devshard

    Devshard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    601
    Reading List:
    Link
    Agreed. It's not possible to equate Abrahamic religions to Karmic philosophies. But if you reduce it down to its most functional level, it's about understanding something greater than yourself, be it 'God' or 'Dao'.
     
  13. RozenKristal

    RozenKristal NUF gender bender Emperor -> Queen

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    754
    Reading List:
    Link
    If you read Wuxia, Sect isn't all about religious as always, but some built on the beliefs that found by the founders.
     
  14. Jarrow

    Jarrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    984
    Reading List:
    Link
    Yep, pretty much.
    Of course, the OP's title question used the term 'religious organization' which has one heck of a lot of western baggage. : D
     
  15. Devshard

    Devshard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    601
    Reading List:
    Link
    I be the OP.

    There's still a decent bit of Western 'religious organization' baggage when it comes to Sects. Things like "My Sword of the Rising Sun cannot lose to your Swirling Water Spear!" or "Fuck your Dhyana body cultivation! The Way of the Sword is the only REAL path of Martial Dao!".

    Most of the sects we read about have the understanding that all rivers flow to the ocean i.e every path eventually ends up at the Dao, but they're determined to prove that their river is faster than other rivers.
     
  16. Jarrow

    Jarrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    984
    Reading List:
    Link
    In that case, I'd say that sects are (for the most part - Buddhist and similar exempt) absolutely not religious organizations. Faith is not a part of their doctrine.
    PS: My Cantonese friend laughed when I asked. 'Religious Organizations' are not well respected in China. : )
     
  17. Devshard

    Devshard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    601
    Reading List:
    Link
    'Religious Organizations' are not well respected in most countries, especially in this day and age. Everyone's become too educated to buy the whole "Don't do this because a magical being in the Sky told me, so I'm telling you." argument.