Sunday, 25 November 2007
I'm actually all for cultivating mystical experiences, but I'm not all for pretending like they are anything but the mysteries of your own mind. To me, being a mystic is a bit like being a detective who never solves a case and I have no use for that. Further, the workings of my mind just aren't that terribly mysterious to me.
Someday when the debate isn't about us vs. them, we can actually start talking about what just makes healthy happy people. And I'm sure many of the classic meditative, inner focus, and knowledge of self things will have to be a part of that. My definition of religion is a priority relationship/emotional connection to the great unknown or at least something greater that is still pretty much patently unknown. Many people will even say the focus of their religiosity is mysterious. Of course if you have any standards whatsoever, this is a non-relationship since as far as you know for sure, you are the only one in on it. If there is someone else (or something else) on the other side...that's amoral and abusive to many individuals and humanity at large who aren't as able/willing to bullshit their way through it (because pattern recognition gets in the way). Stable religious people are filling in the blanks with arbitrary stop gaps to make it work for them.
Cultivating psychological and emotional efficiency and a center for self for the sake of greater personal edification in general (aka spirituality in raw form) really doesn't need to have anything to do with religion. Getting all your inner ducks in a row so that your every personal expression comes from deep down below and energizes all that you are does not require fake ontology. Certain inner experiences just happen to you…but cultivation is what you do with it after that…and you don’t have to wait for them to come to you as far as I know. That's a different topic for a different day.
The main theme here is having a place for everything and everything being in its place at all levels and how that obviously contributes to being a whole person that is one with all that one should be one with. And I'm going to hit up only the aspects I think we need to work on especially.
The next level of that equation is community...something that religion currently has the market on. The closest thing we have now would be Unitarian Universalist churches that apparently embrace pretty much everyone and encourage critical thinking and autonomy and every good human thing... I still haven't checked them out and I think they still have some kind of worship service that would probably make my brain lock up...and I do like sleeping in on Sundays (actually every day), but having community opportunities and not just being the amoral slaves of the economy in our own little ivory towers is certainly important.
I don't know how much world affairs drag on you, but obviously filling in the roster on that level with peace and prosperity and not a never ending war on terror might just help us realize more fully what humanity as a whole is really capable of. I don't know about the whole "New World Order" crap...I don't think that's necessary...but merely a "Peaceful World Community" would probably be a much better idea. You know, let's not set up a power stronghold for the next wave of tyranny and fascism...google forbid let's just be friends and help each other out.
And the only thing on the horizon, the icing on the cake, that I know of that would help out our collective "spiritual" states would be the proverbial Star Trekking. I'm not a mystery man...I'd just assume go look and believe the things available to believe and let those ever dangling carrots get back to me when they are ready to be knowable. But if we want all the context there is, on that tippedie top, we gotta go look for it. And it’ll be fun for a while until it sets in that abiogenesis is not as probable as Gene Roddenberry would have us believe…
So that’s the gist of the small, medium, and large avenues of spiritual development. Naturally it seems that as emotional beings we need to find ourselves in a desirable context at all levels in a way that allows us to enjoy our right measure. That's what emotions are for...to appropriate ourselves amicably in terms of mutual edification to the context of various complexities of our inner selves and each other...and the world at large. This has obvious benefits of stability for the selfish gene's investment in our lives. However…in lieu of not having a happy hearty balance…feeling scams have their open window of opportunity and in fact have become an organized staple of our community. They've played off the cultural incidence of various memes in history and like a lightning rod, the needy flock to those faith-in-nothing opportunities. The dangling carrots start looking good because of the unreliability of our natural healthy context. Thus religion has had job security because it can always promise what it never has to provide. It takes advantage of the same emotional malleability that allows us to adapt to many diverse contexts.
And if you look beyond the bare religious demographics…I think this plays out. I always say, “What is the number one complaint of the hardcore minority religious people?” We can turn their righteous indignation into testimony against the “god shaped hole”: That the vast majority of their religious brethren are interested in worldly affairs first and eternity second. I’m sure this is not a Christianity only phenomena. Thus…if you can do the general math that would indicate that most people on the whole are just interested in having a good day in the sun and not worrying about anything else. And religion is just a welcome sloppy addition to that palette to help them through the sparse times until it starts being more trouble than it's worth. Isn't that the attitude? "Faith doesn't cost you anything...you just live your good life...and God's just there...and its all cool nstuff...and then you get to go to heaven!" Um...sure.
“Shut up…your actions speak louder than your words.”
I’m not harping on religious hypocrisy…I’m pointing out our mutual humanity as emotional evolutures and how that plugs into my understanding of the world. I think people are just being the people evolution made them and imposing a more healthy attitude on their religion and that there’s nothing wrong with that (other than all of the things that are wrong with that). All we have to do is clear up some misconceptions, pray to wiki that the die hards don’t fuck the planet up for all of us…and let our species go through the long hard process of passing the religion stone.
"But I need more, WOE!"
Well we know what eventually happens on its own to those who can't adapt to reality.
Some of the moving spiritual experiences for me currently are google earth and sky, the iphone because it seems like a Star Trek interface is in my hands…lol (and it makes me feel like it is actually 2007), various exciting movie previews, and any time it seems like the world at large is able to take a good step forward cracking that "the politics of the world are going to suck forever" barrier.