Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Flush up against Nature

To me, religion is whistling in the dark. If curiosity about the source of one’s consciousness and the phenomena it senses within and upon the flesh from without is inhibited by fear of a threat yet to be personally experienced one has lost that much potential for exploratory deviation from the theme of the piper’s tune. Anyone who has ever told a bed time story to a child can’t help but have noticed how real the boogie men are with only the sketchiest of threats; how mere mention of their name the next day can elicit desired reactions to the imaginary threat, the fear of the unknown. Such observations must have occurred to story tellers down through time who had gathered large enough audiences with tales about the nature of their environment and the characteristics of its multitude of life forms, so convinced by the accounts’ relevance to their own observations as to begin naming local objects after characters from the yarns.

This reifying of fiction makes an authority of the author and disciples of his readers. Depending on the wisdom and benevolence of this powerful bard-become-priest, he can either mentor his followers on how to find their own story on their own vision quest or bind them to his new truths with imaginative threats of unimaginable punishment from the boogie man for deviation from the plot line. No variations allowed on the tune one must whistle while passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, or else. The most manipulative amongst these inheritors of abdicated authority are able to extend their sheep’s fears beyond threats of natural disasters for their heretical behavior into the abstract realm of being guilty of thinking wrong.

To posit right and wrong requires one find a purpose to be furthered, maintained or violated. While this may work when crying injustice in the court convened to apply the test of man made law designed to accomplish man made purpose, It has no application outside the enforced world of law and order. There is no justice in nature. One is either up to living with the way things are or eaten by them for refusing. Taking civilization as a body with its pollution and alteration of our environment since it was created it seems only natural that nature’s stomach is rumbling. In such a self regulating system, whence the need to posit a controller, a creator, a bequeather of earth to mankind to do as he damned well pleases, a being from whom to beg mercy for knowingly malicious acts, a granter of …

… I think I‘ve caught on to why the priests created a deity to be the banisher of man from his idyllic symbiosis with nature in Eden to scratch a living out of the earth. The mess our ownership attitude has made of this planetary nest needs someone to blame for our doing it and someone to beseech to absolve us from suffering our natural karma. So, that’s why I think religion is whistling in the dark, major portion of reality religion refuses permission to be lit and into which we are constantly crashing with no peeking, being taught to fear the unknown the way we have.

Only believers in a creator deity can turn the spontaneous, ephemeral beauty of a sunset into some created, artificial thing, while I am blown away at how the endless, carefree dissolve from one instance of beauty to the next makes a mockery of any notion of intention imaginable. And I chuckle to myself, poor babies.

I suppose I should close before I get too specific about the relative debilitation to human evolution caused by the various sects of believers in a supreme commander so I will leave you with a quote I have just put on my sidebar that seems too tidy to argue with:

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. ——— Stephen Roberts

I’ll see you on the path


Michael said...

Spoken as one who does not know God, and does not wish to, you fail to respect the personal experience of others. Believing in nothing, you insist nothing exists.

gregra&gar said...

Spoken as one who hasn't expressed an original idea in the comments yet and does not wish to, you fail to respect what the personal in personal experience means if you think my believing in your deity is the only form of respect you understand. Believing in a deity, you insist you don't exist but for Him!

I do not have to believe in anything for everything to exist, how can you keep spouting these inane declarations and expect me to respect your personal experience?

Pisces Iscariot said...

The religion/athiest argument is a case of comparing apple/oranges - neither party will change the other's view since one is, by necessity, based on faith, and the other on logic/rationality.
This does not preclude spirituality within the athiest, since to enjoy nature (for example)is, in itself, a spiritual experience, albeit one rooted withing the individual mind.
Unfortunately the breadth of experience is often not present within the realm of the faithfull since doctrine often excludes the most sublime of life's pleasures.

Michael said...

Believing in a deity, you insist you don't exist but for Him!

Really? When did I say that?

Again, we're back at the straw men. With that, I'll leave off because you don't seem to want to discuss it further.

Michael said...

One final thing, though, and I hope to end this on a friendly note.

If you replace "God" with "Universe", I'm perfectly happy to agree, understanding that I believe the Universe is conscious and self-aware.

The word "God" is unimportant to me, and that isn't the name of any particular deity anyhow. Perhaps this will smooth matters.

gregra&gar said...

Michael, I guess you didn't stop to notice, I used the same brand of presumption you did when you said I insist nothing exists. I guess you don't like your own medicine.

Straw man? Do you even know what that means?

I do not so easily swap universe with god as you, even though I too believe the universe is as sentient as its parts, just not more so. In my experience the word god is always used to denote a deity, a supreme creator of puppets and cheif string puller. Just the idea of god is more destructive to personal responsibility than any particular variety.

Just because I called you on inanity, don't go away mad.

Pisces, I couldn't agree more. There can be no debate with the faith based spewer of scriptural edicts. Nor with rational people who cannot sense the spiritual essence of physical manifestation.

Michael said...

I'm not mad, Todd, and I'm not going to stop reading your blog, but I don't know how constructive it would be to continue this dialogue at this time. Certain words have baggage for some people which is hard to set aside for the sake of communication, I suppose. I don't believe that we are puppets pulled by strings, to be sure, to the contrary we are the same as that which we are as I have said repeatedly. No words suffice, experience is needed for understanding, and the whole is always greater than the sum of parts, as we are more than a collection of cells, and existence does not begin at birth or terminate at death of the individual cell or particular organism.

gregra&gar said...

Strange that you would call my paraphrasing (god is always used to denote a deity, a supreme creator of puppets and chief string puller) the dictionary definition of the word god:

God |gäd|
1 [without article ] (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
2 ( god) (in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity : a moon god | an incarnation of the god Vishnu.

… as baggage. But one must maintain one's image of oneself despite the contortions it wreaks upon reality I suppose.

Michael said...

Yet you have no problem accepting other definitions of God (such as Minx's use of the word) when it serves your purposes. Let's move on.

A.Decker said...

Ha!Ha!Ha! Your comments section can be almost as engaging as your posts!
That new quote, tidy indeed.

I don't think anyone has ever properly understood the use of the term 'god.' I have to agree, the way it's defined, which is what most people mean when they say it ('the man upstairs', fer chrissakes), is most unfortunate.
I'm reminded of a conversation between J. Krishnamurti and the physicist Jacob Bohm, where Bohm says (to paraphrase), "I think 'god' was meant as a metaphor for intelligence, but hardly anyone took it that way." Krish says, "Of course. It's a terrific image."