It is true that religion is by and large a form of prejudice. It is funny to visit my family and to see my parents and their friends. My mother declares herself an atheist. A lovely neighbor, who is a very talented musician enthuses over classical music with me - but when I broach the question of Buddhism - he goes stone cold.
I remember as a child looking for rhyme and reason in things. I found rhyme and reason in writing. I wrote my first poem at 4. I still do. I also was fascinated by the natural world and I wanted somehow to decode it. Over the years, I was given a tour of the great cathedrals of Europe and I was entertained with visits to museums and homes and studios of great artists. I remember to this day going to Beethoven's home.
As I grew - the beauty of my childhood - which was one swamped in a meticulous study of ferns and redshanks and fossils...all came together in Darwin. Evolution made intrinsic sense. God seemed to be something for madmen. And funnily enough, to this day I feel that is pretty much the truth. But there are different brands of madmen.
Organised religion is madness. And I would not recommend it to anyone. It will destroy all that is organic and valuable in a man. But evolution points to something - it points to a spiral effect; an unfolding of something. And that begs deeper questions...how does natural selection account for Beethoven? How does natural selection account for apparent acts of altruism? How does natural selection account for a saint?
I remember in my 20s a mentor (of sorts) of mine - once said: "Pearls before swine" in response to something I was harranguing over at the time. It hit me powerfully.
Some things cannot be conveyed to certain individuals. Certain individuals are totally lost in delusion - certainly most so-called "religous" people for sure. But equally - anyone who is so wound up in an ideal - be it atheism or selfish genes. Theories can clarify many things...but truth is unique in that it destroys all ideas, all beliefs, all cherished misnomers.
I don't believe in God. I don't not believe in God. What a nonsense! What is actually true is not an idea of what is actually true. It is the clock ticking on the mantlepiece; the war waging in Sudan....or wherever it might be. Truth is toothache and laughter. It is undeniable. It is what is actually there. That is not to conclude that that which cannot be seen or heard is not true...is not actual. For what if their are subtler levels which the intellect cannot verify? As silence became more important in my life - then those subtler levels began to reveal themselves to me.
Christ did not save me. Jesus is not the way and the light. Drop all of that. And look in the mirror of experience at what is. Some settle for Elvis and chocolates. And die with out looking any further. Some accept Jesus into their hearts - and cling to their own private madness. Not I.
I look at the oak. I look at the war. I look at the moments of depression and the moments of deep happiness. And I listen and try and learn from it all. I neither brush the possibility of God aside nor am I fooled by the loneliness that invents God in the first place. I stay with what I am...and go slowly into its fold...prizing sacred secrets from the realm where the frantic clammers of ego drop away and NOW takes over. Gratefulness and a strange disembodied reality is Here...and that is what I feel we are here to discover. But who am I to make definitive statements on this? What is definitive except self-discovery? Throw everything else someone tries to sell you into the garbage heal of experience! All I can do is listen and learn. And if you reckon you are any different - then I beg to differ...but I beg to differ silently - for why should I bother picking a fight with a mad evangelist who is so blinded by their own rhetoric that they have not the space to see their own delusion...Indeed, why should I pick a fight with anyone bound by any conclusion? - love is born of attention - it does not spring up from the dry, bitterness of conclusive ideation.
All of this is perhaps elementary to any sensitive human being. The question that follows though - and it is a very interesting question indeed is this: What is authority? Not the authority of external disciplinary action...not that which is imposed. But that which is born of some deeper level of insight? That question is seat of my quest in life.
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