Re: To continue…Why not?
Posted by Scot on 01/23/2012 15:05:41
In reply to To continue…Why not? posted by Eddie on 01/23/2012 11:28:15
Hey Eddie & All,
"Bless those that challenge us for they remind us of doors we have
closed and doors we have yet to open."
-Native American Prayer, posted on Word For The Day, 1/16/2012
Thanks so much for continuing on with the themes of the reaching for a
greater understanding of the 'big picture' that we've been exploring
recently Eddie! I love these particular discussions because they
really are the essential questions and "challenges" to many of the
beliefs that can fly under the radar and even go dormant as a form
of 'sleep' if they aren't taken out, shaken and given a good test
drive every once in awhile.
I identified many streams of inquiry in your post today Eddie, and
here's some of what seemed to jump out at me the most: What is the
essential nature of reality and our being? Does God exist as a 'being'
and if so what is God's essential nature? If God exists does that
essential nature play out in a seperate place or reality from our own
being, or is God an inextricably bound part of all things in
existence? What determines "morality" and can human beings persevere
as moral creatures without a belief in God? Is science and religion
currently incompatible and if so will these two spheres of human
influence one day evolve enough to merge as compatible, complimentary
partners of the spiritual journey? Finally, are there unanswerable
questions found within the experience of existence, and if so what
purpose do they serve?
One of my favorite films of all time is director Ridley Scott's epic
story about The Crusades titled, "The Kingdom of Heaven". The defining
moment of the film arrives when an lone Islamic soldier on horseback
rides up to the walls of Jerusalem in the darkness of night just
before the battle for the capture of the city is about to begin. The
soldier waves his sword in a defiant gesture towards his adversaries
and in a declaration of his faith shouts in Arabic, " There is no
victory except through God!"
This one dramatic scene reveals and cogently delivers the strengths
and weaknesses of the absolutist belief systems found within the
world's major religions. The contrasts are many and are found all
through human history.
The upside to religion is that it defines the sanctuary and community
and offers anawers to the frightening unanswerable questions of
existence that it claims can be discovered within an acceptance of a
belief through an unwavering faith in God. All religions (especially
the scriptural based fundamentalist sects) take those messy loose ends
of those nagging questions of "Why?", tie them up and resolve them in
a neat package that offers deliverance and purpose in a life that
often seems random, chaotic and purposeless. The major religions of
the world also do much good and often elevate the spirit by organizing
human activity around a philosophical code of 'morality' that gives
clear definitions of 'right' and 'wrong'. It's hard to knock the
message of "love and tolerance for all" of "The Golden Rule".
The primary downside of investing belief in any of the major religions
is displayed as human nature contributes to the abject failure of it's
highest ideals and divides people from community with each other by
it's demands that there is only one, absolute way to know 'truth'. All
religions claim to have cornered the market on knowing what is good,
real and true, but rather than bring people together in peace the
opposite happens when intolerance of other faiths produces strife,
conflict and war.
The Native American Prayer for welcoming challengers as 'teachers' can
lead us to open the "doors" to an authentic spirituality and may hold
the answer to the primacy of the central question of existence, "Is
that all there is?"