Sunday, November 11, 2007

Screw organized religion

Aside from writing like a smurf on speed and finally doing my Buddhism homework (should have been done two weeks ago =P) I have tried out MechQuest (.com) which was fun as a waste of time for a little while, and talked to Madde on msn until her computer had the heating experience of too much Jocke-bullshit and with a smashing goodbye entered the next gigaplane of existence.

A very good quote from the buddhism papers I have:
If you understand, things are as they are. If you do not understand, things are as they are.

While I think buddhism is okay, it's like this in the end: I do not believe organized religion is the right path. Sure, it sounds great that someone finds the true purpose of life and then passes it on to the rest of us. But doesn't this sound quite reasonable too: that we all discover small parts each, and if we puzzle them together we will get to the truth? The atom bomb would never have been discovered by one single person; it was a collaboration over dozens of years, discoveries built on each other. The ultimate truth would be something like that, I imagine.

I puzzle together my own belief through what feels right in the soul, and while traditions and stuff is nice and a way to bond with people, they are just that: traditions to honor because it gives peace of mind and shows respect towards our fellow humans. Religion, on the other hand, is personal. It shall be practiced alone and in seclusion. That's what I think, anyway.

We have too few traditions in Sweden, also. For a muslim to turn to Mekka, a Japanese to pray in front of the home altar, a catholic to say the evening prayer, it focuses the mind and gives a sense of familiarity in which we can always relax no matter where or what. I think I'm going to construct my own little tradition. I will return on that.


Rik said...

"You Westerners make love in public and pray in private. We Muslims simply do it the other way around." -- TIEM Magazine

I believe organized religion has a few very good points, but your approach is certainly very sensible. Tradition and community-building, though, helps in the more mundane parts, and really, isn't that what organized religion is *mostly* about?

Most people don't want to think about the life after death, or if there is a God or not, they just want to feel safe, established, and loved. A church does a very, very good job of that - most Buddhists, after all, don't focus on meditation and ascendance, but more things like "if I treat the monks well, I will have good luck". And really, isn't that a very sensible approach to living?

Iceye said...

Well, it's approximately that I mean: all religion aims for happiness, and it has come to seem for me as if happiness is some form of organization and understanding of the world for our minds. So religion is the organization of our attempts at organizing the world.

But, dividing the two things of spirituality and tradition a little bit more clearly, even if they are of equal importance, might clean up some nasty conflicts between people. I thought.

vive_la_revolution said...

Well I would agree that organized religion is no good. In the end it is out dated and refuses to move with times, now it shows itself to be a mass controller more than ever.

There is nothing wrong with being spiritual but I don't get why you have to be in a religion and why you have to go to church, temple or whatever to show that.

So I think you are right.


Sara said...

Don't worry, I'm not here to play the smartass... But I think that what started as spirituality has now become tradition. And I don't see anything wrong with that. For me going to church is just a part of it all. And that is all about spirituality too. From my experience, the people that actually go to church are the ones that 'do' think about life after death and such things. Rikard, great quote by the way :P!

Iceye said...

I think having some sort of ritual in your life, religious or not, is going to improve it a thousand times, be it going to curch, or having a homebuilt altar to pray at, or sitting down five minutes every morning/evening to think. Maybe the confusion of today's youth is the lack of direction to turn their heads? Something must fill the blank that religion left behind, and I think people have to get aware of that!

Sara said...

I totally agree. (Maybe because it has been scientifically proven, I cheat :P). But it is also a very good point. Is anyone doing anything about it? Except perhaps Hare Krishna?

Rik said...

Indeed - in the absence of religions, we make up new religions. The pursuit of beauty, the modern obsessions with media and with democracy as a high and mighty ideal - a person with no goal in life will make a new goal, or - for most people - be fed with a new goal.

And this, my friends, is what results in the Absurd Hero: Someone willing to fight and die for something which he knows is inherently meaningless.

(sorry, just had to poke that one in there)