Hello. Reading up on old blogs, I noticed how much I wander in my postings. Really, mine is not an easy blog to follow. I am very long winded, and those of you who slog through and follow me as my thoughts meander, I appreciate your patience. I admit, I don't think this blog will get any sexier. Any shorter. I love too much to chase my own thoughts and wonderings to tie them to a tighter form.
I'll use the blog though on some talking points that I've worked out at times in discussions. Here is one of late, mixed in with more recent thoughts.
Religion. I believe that religions are as Yogonanda states - like different languages. What is poison to one is honey to another. Why would a black man who has never seen a white man, hold one as his God? Why would a island culture worship a Polar Bear? They would worship a fish. The one God reveals him/her/itself to us in a way that we can best understand. Through symbols, music, ideas, and values that are dear to us. To some that is music, others science, and still others literature. To some it is Jesus, Krishna, Mohammad, Moses.
All true religions are based on Love.
I view religion like math. On different continents and in different times, the mysteries of math were deduced from star observation. Math will always be discovered - again and again. God is like that. We intuit what is right and moral. I can learn more about all religions, but I intuit that if a religion is to appeal to a mass amount of people, it has to be based on simple precepts of basic decency. And those precepts be they 10 commandments or what have you, all boil down to the edict: 'Don't be an asshole.'
I first realized this in my training at Borders Books and Music. They give you all kinds of instruction on how to deliever excellent customer service: greet the customer. walk them to the book. don't argue with them. help them with other solutions if you cannot resolve their immediate problem. It boils down to - be attentive. Don't be a jerk. Don't blow off the customer, be abrubt, oblivious, condescending, or impatient.
And really, religion is like that too. Treat others as you would be treated. How would society stand if we didn't keep our word? If we all lied to one another? How would society stand if we killed others whenever our tempers rose? Or if we were forever stealing from each other.
No, these truths will come out time and again, by the grace of God. And each time it will be Holy, the expression of love, of His Love, even though we may not call it the same name or describe it as from the same source.
I grew up where it was not cool to be religious. And yet I find myself here amongst the very pious - and some of them Americans. Their customs are strange. Really - like families, all religions have something that is just wierd about them. Some belief or style that to outsiders seems just nutty. But, can anyone really understand from the outside? Such idiosyncricies - of style and personality (as any church with people as its leaders will naturally develop) will strike some as odd. And yet, their praise is sincere. Their praise humbles them. I don't care if your praise is with a saxaphone playing the 'devil's music,' with a pen scratching rhymes, what matters is if you're burning, burning, with the fire of inspiration and LOVE. You can feel if there is love in something. And that to me is the litmus test. Otherwise, it's just base prejudice or show.