indrajala. I can't help but get the impression that you seem to think very low of Shinto.
No, I have the greatest respect for Shinto. I just recognize what its function really is. It is polytheism and aimed at making good relations with the kami
. This is a worthwhile endeavor.
What I am expressing is that the mind tends to be bias and fill with prejudice and thus can warp truth or reality in whichever way it pleases.
I'm expressing my opinion as a scholar.
The core essence of ancient Shinto still carries to modern Shinto, the belief that Kami exist in our surrounding and we should have respect for it, and the practice of purification.
That's only partially true. A lot of Shinto shrines do what they do because it is business. Japanese people feel obligated to carry on with archaic traditions they neither really understand or believe in, but nevertheless they pay cold hard cash for them. My friend, who is a Shinto priest, told me some priests don't even really believe kami
exist. They just do what they do because it is a hereditary priesthood and a component of the Japanese identity.
Another reason why Shinto can be practice outside of Japan.
People can do whatever they like.
I am not wishing to stir up conflict or confrontation. I see that we have disagreement and it is fine, you are entitled to your belief. However I would appreciate it if you can keep an open kind and do not downplay Shinto or being unfair in presenting what Shinto really is.
I went to a Shinto university in Japan for a year (Kokugakuin Daigaku). I also know Japanese and lived there for three years. I know what classical Shinto was and what the modern revisionism looks like. It is a lot like revisionist Buddhism in Japan which deletes rebirth, karma and other disagreeable elements.