Saturday, September 1, 2012

Religions for the Masses

First, a disclaimer.  I have friends who are good, truly good people, who are fundamentalist Christians.  Never for a moment do I think to myself that they are good because of their religion, and extol the religion for having produced such wonderful people.  No, their religion is simply circumstantial to who they are in their heart, to their goodness, kindness, and warmth.  I think to myself that they are still good, in spite of their Christianity. I love those friends, notwithstanding their faith.  If this offends you, you need to self reflect mindfully.

Christianity, for example, one of the three major book-religions, like surgery, has its place in being a refuge for people whose backs are against the wall.  In desperation, they can find refuge, healing, and transcendence there.  It's like someone who needs surgery in a life or death situation.  But once the surgery is performed and the person recovers, they don't have to keep receiving that surgery over and over again.  What was medicine then would turn into something harmful.  Same thing with taking antibiotics.  You knock out the viruses good and bad as a desperate measure for, say, pneumonia.  But if you kept taking the antibiotics after the job's been done, you'll destroy your immune system.  Or people keep taking pain killers after they've healed from injury, and they become addicted to them.  And so on.  Christianity too can take a person in a dire situation to places of transcendence, but once they've reached that plateau, they must be told to move on, and keep evolving.  But instead, they become stuck and entrenched.  Deeper and deeper in a vortex of peer pressure, guilt, and when it becomes the worst case scenario: fear and psychic blackmail.    

There is an overall tendency of people entrenched in mass religion to fall into a morphic lull of believing that there could be nothing possibly more than the watered down teachings and doings of one-size-fits-all religion for the masses.  What is astonishing is that these cultures believe theirs to be the "correct" culture with respect to theological interpretation.  They respectively worship at least four distinct male war-gods, but never delve deep enough to understand that each of these war gods demands absolutely exclusive allegiance, and demands that theirs is the only way, the only "true god" who must be worshiped.  So this leads to tremendous problems.  Tremendous human problems, one of (not the only, of course) the few major, major problems of human beings on the globe.    

Even in the chaotic, ecstatic glossolaliac frenzy of Pentecostals, the zealous cutting of the body with swords, and hypnotic absorption of rocking back and forth in scripture recitation toward a wall, there is a rigid, underlying framework.  No one can take away the inner experiences of people who are absorbed in what they believe to be the ultimate (it is not, but only provisionally, seemingly so), but this religion-for-the-masses phenomenon of book-based religions (judeochristianislamic) tyrannically tries to efface all specific epiphanies, sacred objects, and sacred spaces that do not fit into their cookie-cutter scheme.

If it were said that these gods have abdicated, that they are deus absconditus, that they are in essence "dead" as Nietzsche's prophet said, who would believe it?  What if these gods have come to a realization that they are doing more harm than good, that they are messing with dangerous karmas for themselves and all beings, and want nothing of it?  What if they don't want to be worshiped any more, and ever again?  What if they have moved on to a higher, better path for themselves, having repented of their earlier sins of power-induced hubris? What if they are utterly mortified with what humans are doing in their name(s)?  What if they are actually trying to stop humans from doing what they are doing, but are powerless to do so, because religions for the masses have taken on momentum like a broken train, like Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor, that they are powerless to stop?

What if the gods know, however, that there is still an overarching teleological process at work, of which they are part and have taken part, which will bring forth wonders beyond their expectations?  If that were the case, they would have to stand aside, and let matters unfold. No more getting involved, no matter how bad it gets. Not until they receive instruction,  from an entangled hierarchy of awakened beings, to go and protect.

Buddhism and Hinduism are not immune from the above either, because there are fundamentalists in all religions.  I hope for an ingression of Novelty.  If this is my hope, I cannot settle for what's already been said and done by vehicles that are no longer serving the globe.