Sunday, October 01, 2006

If you were to create your own religion, what would it be like?

If you were to create your own religion, what would it be like?

77 Comments:

Blogger daniela said...

what a funny question.
i've never thought of it before ...

8:52 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

I've never thought of it before but that could be because I'm an Agnostic secular humanist. I couldn't imagine starting a religion.

how about you Mr. P? What would your's be like?

7:41 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

No religion for mr either!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Paul F. said...

You actually expect a good answer?

8:21 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Now that's a funny question, Paul F!

Of course I expect a good answer. Why wouldn't I?

8:24 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

"...I couldn't imagine starting a religion..."

I find it very surprising that you would ever suggest that you are unable to imagine starting a religion. I would accept that you are unwilling to imagine such a thing, but I absolutely do not believe that you have an imagination deficit of any kind. Not you of all people, L>T.

I also doubt that being an A.S.H. limits your ability to imagine.

I hope you will pardon me for going off on a tangent here, but this leads me to something that has been on my mind for over 20 years. I don't know if it will be coherent, but I am going to say it anyway: I think there is something else at play here. Something, I suspect, odd about the way we all think.

For some reason, it appears to me, we defend our imaginations as if they were just as vulnerable as our realities. That is, we set up fortresses where we never trespass, and taboos that we never transgress. There are certain territories that we won't trespass or transgress in our actions--but more importantly, we also never even consider trespassing or transgressing them even in our own imaginations. Even in private. Even in the dark.

I am not talking about dirty thoughts and naughty things. Those we explore all the time. (Well I do anyway.)

Rather there are certain acts that I know I would never commit in life--some repugnant, some shame-soaked, some countrary to my public character, some that just don't seem like me--and many more that are just mundane acts that I have chosen to disassociate myself with, perhaps because of some conclusion once I came to based on some dubious interpretation of my experiences.

What is strange to me, is that I dare not explore so many of those acts even alone in the dark--in the privacy of my own imagination.

And it's not just that I don't have time because I am busy with other thoughts, though that is a factor. Rather, there is a moment of cognitive dissonance in which the mind is automatically repelled and I dismiss the whole thing, and go off thinking in another direction. What I have often wondered is "Why that should be?"

Why should I not be willing to explore anything and everything in my imagination? Why should there be any taboos, or any no trespass signs anywhere in the imagination?

Why do I care? Because I think the no tresspass zone of my imagination is the land of many blind spots.

I have no idea if I have been coherent, but for me, I have thought of some key questions that I want to ask myself.

What is it about the no-fly zone of my imagination? Why do certain acts that occur nowhere but in the imagination threaten to trigger such feelings of guilt or revulsion? And what happens to me if I defy the powerful one who forbids me to venture there?

[L>T, I have not forgotten your question.]

9:15 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

Perhaps you are right, Mr.P.

I grew up immersed in fundamental Pentocostalism. Exposed to bizzare religious rituals & theology. it was not a pleasent experience.
Then I became involved in Christian religion myself when I became an adult. It was something I had to do, some kind of door that was stuck in my head with a big sign on it that said, you'll never be happy unless you open this door & embrace christianity. To keep it short...I went in, wrangled with it for ten years, untill I realized, I couldn't make myself "Believe" that stuff. So I left & closed that door tight behind me.

So you are right, I don't go there even in my imagination.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Paul F, I just checked out your site. Seems you did answer my question, sort of.

In response to L>T's question to me (in which she turned my question back on me) I will at least try to answer my own question. To be honest, I didn't have an answer before I asked the question, so I will just stream my thoughts out here as I try to come up with an answer...

What would my religion be like?

Before I could even begin to answer that question, I think I would first need to know, "What makes a religion a religion?"

Just an aside...
I think that often when a person has had an experience with a religion--and I am basing this on my own experience after having been involved with a fundamentalist group in my younger days--the word religion ends up getting a narrow definition to mean 'the thing that they experienced' (and not 'the range of things that religion actually might be'). They might pay lip service to the fact that it can mean many other things, but it's often hard for them to go beyond acknowledging it with words. I think there is a tensing up of the mind when they hear the word 'religion'. That was the case for me, anyway. Why is that a big deal? Well, I think that as long as there is that tensing up of the mind, they are still trapped by their experience, even though they think they have left it behind.

Anyway, I was starting to ask, "What makes a religion a religion?"

Normally, people think of religion as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism--perhaps even Buddhism--and so on. Then there is the wacko stuff started by the Jim Jones types and Messiah wannabees.

But I have heard some people refer to Communism as a religion. Atheism, too.

I also once read an interesting book by Dr. Edward de Bono called, "The Happiness Purpose" in which De Bono describes the religion that he would invent. [Hmmm, I just realized that his book might have inspired my post--oh, so many years later.] Anyway, his imaginary religion was not about God or anything. I think the central purpose of his religion was happiness. And, his religion didn't insist on loving others. But it did say that respect was extremely important. I don't know if I was crazy about his formulation, but I did find it intriguing, with some good ideas.

Anyway, I am not sure exactly what makes a religion a religion. But from De Bono's book, and from some of the other things I have heard called religions, I think I know what isn't necessarily a part of religion, even though most people might think otherwise: It's not necessarily about God, or even God-like beings. And it doesn't even have to have anything to do with faith. Or even dogma. Or even believing anything in particular.

I am not sure about this, but I believe the word religion means something about tying things together.

So what makes a religion a religion?

Well, it seems to me that a religion, in this sense, must just be a personal practice. A deeply held discipline that one tries to tie as closely to one's inner self as one imagines possible. And all the rest is just decorations.

If there is any faith that is important, it's just the faith that this discipline is worthwhile. And worth surmounting great obstacles to achieve.

Hmmm, I think I have hit on my definition for religion.

I will have to take a run at the bigger question "What would my religion be like?" another night. Tomorrow, if I can swing it.

Hopefully, that'll give me time to figure it out.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

A little something crossed my mind a minute ago. I think it could be watchacall an epithet or something.

"It's impossible to be free of our old experiences if we're still wrestling with them on the inside. We're only free of them when we find a way to make peace with them in our own minds."

8:38 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

Mr P; I think you are manipulating the word "religion" a little.

Any dictionary definition will tell you that it does mean belief in a divine or superhuman power.

and also, any object of conscientious regard or pursuit (as pursuing cleanliness as a religion, for example)<---this meaning harkens back to the first one though.

You want to define religion from the Latin religare, to bind back:re-, & ligare, to bind together. Most of us are used to our religions being defined for us.

That's a vague concept to grasp.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Paul F. said...

It's really just a coincidence that I answered that question. Yeah, I guess I do have my own religion in a sense. I don't really think of myself as religious. I don't go to church. I like to think of myself as spiritual. And as you pointed out, it is more of a deeply held discipline that I try to tie closely to my inner self. BTW, I think your views on imagination are very insightful.

9:40 AM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

@MP - Your question on imagination and our limitations to certain areas (topics) for imagination was excellent.

However, I agree with L>T that you are using your own definition of religion, to answer your question.

Such an argument cannot be accepted, because the basic premise differs for us and we cannot debate the issue. As per your definiton, everyone is 'religious' one way or the other, as there is likely to be one discipline close to each person. I would plumb for the commonly held understanding of the word religion, as relating to, minimally at least, faith in something (God or dogma or whatever).

2:16 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@L>T, @Visitor

I must confess that my definition of the word 'religion' is somewhat at the edge of what is normally taken to be the meaning of religion. Still, I am not yet convinced that it is invalid. It seems to me this is borne out by various dictionary definitions.

For example, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary includes the following alternate definition: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

You would be justified in pointing out that faith has crept back in. As it happens, I also checked the Free Online Dictionary, and they include the following:3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
No mention of faith.

Dictionary definitions aside, it seems to me there is at least one major religion that is closer to my definition that one concerned with God and the supernatural. Of course, I am thinking of Buddhism, which is commonly considered a religion. If we allow that it is a religion, I would argue that it seems more like a religion by my definition than one characterized by belief in God and so forth.

Not surprisingly, there is a supernatural cosmology (e.g.: reincarnation) often associated with some formulations of Buddhism, but I belief these are incidental. And they don't have the same significance as the cosmological elements of Christianity. They are not critical to Buddhist practice: a Buddhist could disbelieve in these things and still be a Buddhist. Compare this to a Christian, Jew or Muslim who must belief in God and in the afterlife. Also, the Buddha is not someone to be worshipped as Jesus is for the majority of Christians. As far as I know, Buddhism can easily be pursued without any belief in the supernatural.

For my part, what interests me in religion is what I would consider spiritual discipline, but not belief in the supernatural.

@Visitor, you said:

"...As per your definiton, everyone is 'religious' one way or the other, as there is likely to be one discipline close to each person..."

I don't think this is problematic. I suspect just about everybody probably would be religious by my definition, though each person in varying degrees--some in very tiny parts of a degree. Many people would, of course, deny that they are religious at all, but I suspect their denials center around the assumption that religion equates with faith in the supernatural.

Anyway, after all this, I still have not said what my religion would be like, and I apologize for dragging this out. It's mostly owing to difficulty in finding the time. I will try to get to the point as soon as I can.

Tomorrow, always tomorrow...

10:55 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Awaiting your next installment. :)

1:57 AM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

nice question...
a religion is sumthin which bids a person(by using as "god" a medium.)
IT needs to be authentic and true to serve all the needs without loopholes 4 ppl to take advantage of....
so mine would be based on the vedas
(im not just saying..i have understood this from proper sources{not by reading-idont no sanskrit})
but i would refine it in such a way that every1 understands it n ppl r able to experience themselves in themself....
i would future remove idol worship
(intro by vyasa to help the society which was getting complicated to be able to seek the unknown)and go back to either the worship(preferable) of sun or another natural power and bind the ppl to follow the path of buddha...
though this seems to based on hinduism....originally all the religions were based on this..
and the major principle would be peace, vegism,understanding the world n surving ur purpose...
ppl would be thought to hear their heart(4 more details refer the book "alchemist"n other books by coehlo) and nothing would be imposed on it would be want it follow it...

3:33 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

A thought provoking post for sure.

And you are right. I don't think I've ever seperated "religion" from my experience. (or from the usual western concept of religion)

what interests me in religion is what I would consider spiritual discipline, but not belief in the supernatural. that is an interesting way to look at it. As a matter of fact I just picked up a book on Buddhism at a book sale. I havn't seriously read it yet, but in looking it over One of the first things I thought was how weird not to have the concept of God in heaven stuck in your brain. That is so alien to my way of thinking.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@Iamvisheshur, welcome! Thank you for your contribution. Would you be up to telling us about the Vedas?

I, for one, have heard of them, but know very little about them. I would very much like to be relieved of my ignorance.

@L>T, glad you're still in the dialogue. Hope you find something worthwhile in the book on Buddhism. I would always like to know more on that topic as well.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Well, I said I would get to the point and try to answer what my religion would be like, if I were to create one.

I would like to say from the outset, that this will not be a complete description of my imaginary religion, since that would probably be too big a task, so, from the outset, please understand that this will just be an outline of a few ideas that I thought would be interesting.

In the first place my (imaginary) religion would have 2 parts: an exterior (or exo-)religion and an interior (endo-) religion.

The exo-religion would be the shared aspect of the religion. It would be the part that belongs to all adherents. It is the ideas that participants would share.

The endo-religion would be the inner religion, the part that belongs to the individual alone. It would be something that the individual adherent takes responsibility for and builds for him or herself.

That is one of the fundamental concepts of this religion: the individual is responsible for creating and developing their own religion.

The exo-religion would really be a conceptual structure, some general rules would apply. Anybody who wishes to adhere to these rules may consider themselves and adherent of the religion. The word adherent is an important word, as it is more important to be an adherent than to consider oneself a member. What I mean by that is that you do not benefit so much by being a member, as by participating in personal change. Any benefit comes through doing and through trying to live the principles--by adhering. In some religions it often seems as if it is more important to be a member of the group than to actually live and do what the religion teaches.

The exo-religion would have a few rules. Among them might be something like the following:
1) Anybody may consider themselves an adherent to the extent that they make a sincere effort to try to adhere to the general principals of this religion.
2) Adherents may passively offer others information about their religion, but they must not proselytize or aggressively attempt anybody to believe, convert or adopt our values.
3) Adherents are encouraged to share the exo-religion and ideas about their endo-religion with anybody who actively indicates that they wish to know more, but should desist if the other party loses interest.
4) The chief responsibilty of the adherents is to take responsibility to construct and develop their own personal (endo-) religion.
5) Adherents are encouraged to share ideas and experiences about their endo-religion with each other.
6) There are to be no status distinctions among adherents. There can be no spiritual leaders (though there may be administrative leaders, if institutions are created for the sharing described above). Likewise, there is no provision for sainthood, enlightened status, etc.
7) Each adherent must accept ultimate responsibility for the development of their own endo-religion--though each may get ideas from others, or from anywhere, none should claim that I believed this because so-and-so said I should.
8) There is no intercession. There is no other being who can achieve our religious goals for us, or upon whom our religious development depends.
9) This religion is essentially an anonymous one, and there is no honoring of individuals (or groups). Even the founder has no status, and it is preferable not to use his or her name in such a way that it might long be associated with the religion. Let it fade with time. The same applies to the labelling of ideas in the religion: If so-and-so suggests a new idea or concept, it is the idea that is important. The name of the person who invented it should be allowed to fade away and not be associated with the idea. One important consequence of this is that the religion should never be named after any person.
10) This religion is completely on the honor system. There is no compulsion in this religion. If you did not adhere, the only "punishment" is that you may not enjoy the benefits of personal growth that you might otherwise have. Likewise, the exo-religion makes no provision for the concept of sin.
11) It is understood by all adherents that the endo-religion is never complete and is never perfect: it is always a work in progress. The endo-religion entails a process of growth, and a process of evolution. Even though the adherent is responsible for developing their own endo-religion, it is a given that they will do so imperfectly. They will aim to grow and modify their religion as they grow and learn. Nobody will ever achieve perfection, though they may still aim for it. It is the journey that matters--the destination is not a place, but a direction.
12) The purpose and methods of the endo-religion are the responsibility of the adherent. Of course, they should try to pick well, but they will almost certainly have to redefine these things as they mature in their religion.

There are probably more rules, and much discussion, that would need to be added to the exo-religion, but hopefully the above gives some of the flavor.

As already mentioned, when it comes to the endo-religion, the adherent is responsible for building their own personal religion.

This would mean deciding for themselves what it is about--what the purpose of their religion is. That decision might actually take a long time, and might involve many abortive attempts. But that is okay. It is the journey that counts. They might also make their own use of many features found in more traditional religions, such as:
-Reverence,
-Sanctification
-Ritual
-Contemplation,
-Supplication,
-Codification and rulemaking
-Edification
-Offerings
-Observances
-Holy days
-etc.

For example, take reverence. In traditional religions, people learn to act with reverence towards God, for religious images, for saints, deacons, bishops, etc. Eventually most of them feel reverence as well. This has distinct effects on their behavior. Some would say these feelings of reverence enhance their religious experience, and also cause some desirable (or not, depending on your point of view) ways of acting, such as respect and deferrence towards religious authority. In traditional religions, these have the effects that somebody else has decided. In the personal (endo-)religion, it would be done to achieve the ends that the adherent seeks.

Well, it's getting late, so I will stop here for now. I don't know if I have said enough yet about the generalities of the religion, but I would like to try to discuss my personal endo-religion, but that will have to wait til my next installment.

Please feel free to comment, criticize, suggest, etc.

9:07 PM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

i agree with ur religion.....
it is more or less as evry religion is started..
u have considered the basics...but u have not taken into account the general nature of human beings....
u say that sacrifies are optional..
but if u ask a person to share his/her ideas and and not be credited for they would have to go a long way to do that...
it would be treated as a sacrifies from their view..
though some of us are there who can do it...
i accept with ur idea of endo-religion....
but once u say endo or inside their is no religion...
a religion wont be the perfect term...
i will write abt the vedas after i have verified my understanding with a person who has read it..
i dont want ot mislead ppl...
i also would like u to start a blog 4 the endo religion....
it would be a fruitful 1 ...
i want to see what way ppl think...

3:17 AM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

Interesting, interesting, very, very interesting. Lets see where this goes.
Vishesh already seems to have ideas.

I would like to cite a parallel - the guru-shishya tradition in Hinduism.
Many (hindus included) consider that hinduism is not a religion; they say it is a way of life. With this general definition of hinduism, I would venture to say that hinduism does ahve several elements of your exo-religion.
Having said that, let me elaborate.

Hinduism today is a collection of beliefs, rituals, traditions of several disparate groups.
There is no specific book that prescribes 'what-to' or 'how-to' do things in life.
There is no founder for the religion.
There are a multitude of personal gods, each person free to choose his/her own.
There are multiple philosophies of religion co-existing in hinduism - Advaita, Dvaita, shakthi worship and so many more. Some even include, Buddhism and Jainism as part of Hinduism. Hinduism accomodated multiple philosophies of religious thought, ritual and ways of life.

One of the important aspects has been the concept of a guru for each person. (see guru-shishya tradition)Each person can have his or her own guru and follow the guru's guidance in religious/non-religious matters. The role of a guru is to guide.

I would go so far as to say that in ancient India, philosophy was much more of questions on life, self, nature of God and the like, whereas in the West (includes Europe) the focus was on science and scientific principles relating to the physical world. (This is just my own opinion).

Defining hinduism as, "it is this is" difficult, because there would always be differing perspectives. In that sense I'd say (my opinion) that hinduism was a conglomeration of multiple philosophies (endo-religion) of life and its only role was to provide the common framework (much like your exo-religion) for their co-existence.

I am not sure if I have exactly conveyed what I had in mind, but I hope you get the gist.

4:49 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

Since I closed the door on Christianity I haven't thought about having a religion or any kind of so called "spiritual life".
I did go to a Universalist Unitarian Church for a while.
I'd say their philosphy is close to what you are talking about.
Your idea is the most attractive I've seen so far.
Something a person can incorporate without losing themselves in the process.
Maybe it is time to look at 'religion' from a different angle?

Of course it means opening another door,though.

MrP; you did it again. Got me thinking about something I didn't think I wanted to think about. :)

8:21 AM  
Anonymous thinking girl said...

when I first saw this question, when it was first posted, I didn't think I could answer. I, like L>T, had a bad time with christianity, and have closed that door entirely. As a Re result, I have just what you describe - a tendancy to think about religion, and even spirituality, in relation to christianity. and I reject it. I can't get past it in my gut - it is completely a visceral reaction.

and so my answer to your question would probably be, "I have no desire to create a religion, for either myself or others to follow."

Re: your religion - the only thing that quickly came to mind here is that with your proposal Mister P, a person could develop his/her own endo-religion to be one that involved just about anything, including being really cruel and nasty to other people, being selfish, killing people, torturing children and small animals - all of the things that society typically looks upon as "immoral" acts.

and so, my quesiton is, is there a moral code aspect to your religion?

11:41 AM  
Blogger The Kid said...

Very simple:

1. Obviously, I will be the only God.
2. Everyone has to believe that to see realize the obvious.
3. If you follow other religions you will go to hell.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@Iamvisheshur - You make a good point about human nature and how they would feel about not getting credit for their ideas. I recognize that this would be a turn off for some people. In all honesty, even though I would consider this religion open to all who might want it, I don't realistically expect all would want it. No doubt that would be a dissuading factor for many.

@Visitor - I thank you for your comments about Hinduism and the points of similarity. You have given me much to think about. As it is, I am very poorly read on Hinduism--a knowledge gap I would like to rectify soon.

@L>T - You are an inspiration to me!

@TG - You bring up an important issue, and an important question. Elsewhere, in the past, I have said that prejudice, ignorance, arrogance and narrowmindedness (the core stupidities) are not caused by religion--it's a human problem--but religion often tends to have a multiplier effect on those stupidities.

I would go further and add that the other perversions and evils of which you speak (cruelty, nastiness, selfishness, murder, torture, etc.) are also not religious inventions--they are inventions of humanity and will persist independantly of religion. Still, I do not deny the power of religion to magnify their effect and multiply their force. Rather than deny it, I would add to it by saying that all ideologies--not just religion--have a tendency to multiply and magnify these evils.

My aim in saying what I am saying is not to exonerate religion of its share in the evil done by humans, but to point out that the insistant tendency to identify religion, or any other species of ideology (politics, social movements, communism, capitalism, liberalism, conservatism, reductionism, cubism, etc.) as the root causes of these evils very often distracts us from seeing a more important truth--namely, that these evils start with humanity, not with humanity's inventions. Until we see, and do something about, the fact that every human shares these tendencies--until we see that the real problem is that they live in us--we are doomed to suffer them repeatedly.

I remember seeing a bit of a movie that touched me. It might have been about Anne Frank. Anyway, there was a young girl in a prison camp who was talking with another prisoner--an older woman, if I recall. Anyway, the second person was describing the Nazis as monsters or something. It was the only way she could seem to explain their behavior. Then the girl (Anne Frank?) replied that it was a mistake to think of them as monsters. We must seem them as humans, otherwise we miss the whole point and learn nothing from our experiences. They are humans, just like us, she said. We need to understand that so we can realize that under like circumstances we would behave just like them. It is important to know that. And it is important to see when we are acting like them.

I have probably embellished the dialogue somewhat, but I hope the point is clear: Everything that people hate in religion, or in any ideology--every awful misguided thing that some religious people and ideologues do in the name of their religion is something that occurred first in the heart of a human before it occurred in the mind of the ideologue.

All that said, the implied question remains: What does my religion do about the fact that a would-be adherent might develop a perverted or evil religion?

And so does your explicit question:

"Is there a moral code aspect to your religion?"

One answer to the implied question is that I probably could not do anything to stop people from doing such things. No matter what the moral code, there will always be people who twist and misrepresent things--both to themselves and to others. Certainly it is imaginable that if the religion got big enough, it would eventually start attracting the kinds of mixed up people who would do those things. Whatever they touch--any ideology, for example--they would probably pervert and turn to evil.

That said, my religion would have some things to say on the subject of a moral code--though hopefully, not too much. My immediate problem, since I am inventing both the exo- and endo-religions at the same time, is to figure out how much of the moral code belongs in my personal endo-religion, and what portion belongs in the exo-religion.

One thing that I would like to include in the exo-religion would be a statement to the effect that a religion can not be the sole determinant as to what constitutes acceptable moral conduct. In other words, one's religion can say much about what is acceptable moral conduct, but it specifically does not assume the authority to declare itself to supercede all other norms of morality.

@Kid - You're God?! Boy are you in big trouble. There are a lot of people from around the New Orleans area whose lawyers will be wanting to contact you for a certain act you did a year or so back.

Is there an address where you can be reached?

9:09 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Unfortunately, it took me so long to get through my replies that I didn't get down to the job of describing my personal endo-religion.

Sorry, about that. I will try to find time tomorrow.

9:16 PM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

@visitor:visitor you have been at work..(can see ur wiki links)but there is more to understand...
4 1 hinduism as u said was a way of life untill a few centuries ago...everything in hinduism has a scientif explanation behind it..so we are at a greater height than the west(actually there r two ways to get close to the supreme one is through meditation adn reflecting the other is through science...).
and hiduism has a founder as far as im aware his name his bharata(hence bharat)..and the differnt philosophies r inter linked they are not coexisting....and yes buddhism is a part of hinduism..(buddha is one of the avatars of vishnu)it is good to know that ppl are responding in a proper way...
i think what i wanted to tell ppl is opened through this blog..
so thank u mr.p

6:33 AM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

@MP - It is my own interpretation of Hinduism. I am sure every hindu would his own interpretation. I am not an authority on Hinduism, but you could look up wikipedia for an idea.
@vishesh - I could be wrong in my understanding of Hinduism.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

So, tonight I thought I would take a run at describing my ideas about what my personal endo-religion might consist of.

I will admit from the outset that I probably can't do this idea the justice that it deserves. I hope you will just think of this as an early draft--or better yet, a draft of a draft.

There would be a few central concerns to my religion. One of them would be 'Identity'.

We humans--Westerners, at any rate--are very adapted to a strong notion of self-as-individual. We have a strong sense of 'I-ness'.

Many years ago, I began to challenge this concept and it occurred to me that the thing that I call "I" is potentially knowable through a lot of identities. I don't just mean as different names for the same individual, but rather there are many different ways to perceive identity itself.

For example, it is built right into our language--most languages, I suppose--that I can be an element of a larger identity often referred to as 'we' or 'us'. And that could mean that I am a member of a compound identity made up of two people (such as me and my spouse), or three people (as in a small family), or 10 people, or 100 people, or the country, the world, etc.

Then it occurred to me that we have a strong tendency to think of our bodies as being a natural boundary of our sense of identity, so that our accepted, language-based, identities are determined by the boundaries of bodies, and by the nature of our bodies.

[I had a shock a couple decades back when my oldest brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to have a biopsy that involved passing through a language area of the brain. After he came out of surgery, he could no longer read normally. He could identify some written words, and even write some, but could not read or write in logic sequences of words. I went into a brief state of shock because I had implicitly understood reading to be part of one's very self--somehow fused to our very identities.

Anyway, that experience and others led me to question the relation of identity and body. Not to say that there is no relation--it's just that I realized our way of thinking about these things was due for rethinking.]


I then began to wonder why there shouldn't be a notion of self that joins me to my surroundings, whether animate or inanimate. I kind of we-ness that includes all perceivable surroundings.

Then, at that point, I began to wonder what our sense of identity could really encompass. Why couldn't there be a sense of self as just an element of the grand 'us' that is the universe.

Now, if I had ever previously heard anybody talk in the past about being 'one with the universe', I would have just thought that they were being twits. But after that, it occurred to me that there might be something to this.

The whole issue has to do with the difficulty humans have with managing their perceptions. We generally take our perceptions for granted, rather than challenging them, and making something new, and hopefully better with them.

In this case, it is the problem of switching our perceptions between our different identities. It has always been difficult for me to switch between being 'I' to being part of 'we'--as in a member of a family. Perhaps because I grew up as a very individualistically minded person in a society that values and promotes individualism, I discovered that I have a hard time switching from my perception of myself as 'I' to the realization that I am just as much part of 'we'--my family. And even when I make the conceptual switch, I can only do so in a rather unstable fashion--I have a tendency to abruptly switch back to identity as an individual.

But, I suspect, if I could switch more easily and more stably into my identity as a member of 'we' (ie: as part of a family), I might find it more natural to act in a way that is less self-centred, and more beneficial to my family. Furthermore, to the extent that I truly perceive my dominant identity as being part of 'we' (family member) I will not suffer the discomfort of being the 'I' identity that would perceive any time effort and resources spent on the family as something 'I' have been deprived of.

But, as difficult as it is for me to perceive of my dominant identity as part of 'we' (part of family), it is still much easier than it is for me to perceive of my dominant identity as part of 'we' (part of the entire world, or universe). If I could improve my ability to perceive of myself as a part of the greater whole--the world, the universe, nature--then I would presumably find it natural to do better things for the world--and not feel that the 'I' is deprived as a result.

I should mention that our goals and objectives in life tend to be formed in terms of our sense of identity.

So, one of the goals of my endo-religion might be to reshape and retrain my ability to perceive of my identity as being part of much larger groupings than the mere individual. The ultimate goal might be to 'become one with the universe' so to speak. But that doesn't mean that I would actually expect to achieve that goal. Still, it may be an inspirational notion. Oh, heck! If the Zen boys can do it, why couldn't I?

Another central concern of my personal endo-religion might be to come to grips with truth. And I would probably adopt the habit of writing the word with a capital: Truth. At least when I was using the word as I currently am thinking about it. Capitalizing words helps us to feel that they are special, honored, perhaps even sanctified words.

But, "What truth?", you might ask. That might be a bit harder for me to explain. But it wouldn't be about every truth. It would be about the kind of Truth that people have the worst trouble with: the Truth about reality that our minds tend to want to dodge. The Truth about ourselves. The harsh truth about ourselves. The Truth about what happens when we die. (We don't exactly know all the details, but we are pretty sure it has something to do with holding our breath for extended periods of time.) The Truth I am talking about is the kind of Truth that people need to face up to. The kind that makes a person want to believe something false--perhaps just to comfort themselves--but if not faced, leads to folly. And the kind of Truth that can help us overcome our prejudices, and to see where we were previously blind.

I would make a practice of some form of supplication before such Truth. Perhaps a ritual to help remind myself. Perhaps I would create some good myths to help me remember about them. And, perhaps most importantly, I would make a practice of regular comtemplation on the qualities of Truth that I most need to know.

Along with Truth, I would want to include homage to the importance and value of Mistakeness. In my endo-religion, Mistakeness would be spoken of in special terms. Throughout history, Mistakeness has been reviled as a failure. But in my religion, Mistakeness is a mulifaceted thing. A thing to be careful of, but a source of great learning and success.

I have learned in my life that Mistakeness is something I must relate to correctly, and when I do, I learn much and benefit much. But when I treat mistakeness with fear or disrespect, I bring folly on myself.

I should mention that Perception would be a key item in my religion. Developing perceptual control would a key responsibility of this adherent. Mistakeness plays a key role in developing perceptual control. Mistakeness is plays a key role in providing the setting for us to experience perceptual changes, and thus helps us to achieve perceptual control. People who are never mistaken, or don't examine their mistakes, don't experience perceptual change as they should, and so tend to lack perceptual control. (IMHO).

Another much-maligned one, who would be a hero in my endo-religion would be Fear. Fear is a great teacher, but most do not relate well to it. In my religion, it would be important to learn to face Fear and benefit from it.

It is getting too late, and I am afraid that I have put too little order to my endo-religion. I have no idea if I have even told you anything worth knowing.

In the end, discovering my endo-religion would probably be more a process of discovery--more like an artist chipping away at a block of stone, until he discovers the sculpture within, than an archictect building a building.

Things that I would not concern myself about in my religion are things like: questions of who created the universe; questions whether the stories of my religion scientifically verifiable; miracles; life after death; etc.

I would expect my endo-religion to never achieve perfection, and to go through many radical changes before my life ends. But it would be about the journey, not the destination.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Afterthought: there is a lot more to my would-be endo-religion than what I wrote above, and most of it I will never get around to mentioning, I suppose, but there was one thing that I did want to mention, and that is Defiance.

Defiance doesn't tend to get a lot of good press in most traditional religions. Usually, it's Obedience that gets all the praise. Defiance is generally treated as one of the bad guys.

In my religion, Defiance can be one of the heros. It certainly isn't a given that Defiance is in the right, but from the view of my endo-religion, there can be no worthwhile Obedience without Defiance. Defiance is necessary for change and for growth. Defiance is necessary for the religion to grow.

Okay, off to bed now.

10:09 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

Mr P; interesting. I'll have to think about it more but, I esp. liked the part about truth:
It would be about the kind of Truth that people have the worst trouble with: the Truth about reality that our minds tend to want to dodge. The Truth about ourselves. The harsh truth about ourselves.

right now in the middle of my idenity crisis, Truth about myself seems to be the most important thing.

3:41 PM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

hm...
u seem to be thinking on endo-religion....
anyway see this poem...on sprituality...in my blog..
u may be interested..

5:27 AM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

@Mr P - I have a basic question - one aspect, on which I would like to be clear on is, can religion be defined in terms of what it aims to achieve or in other words, what is the need for religion (for a person of society). Keeping this in mind can you explain how the endo- and exo- religions fit in?

11:04 AM  
Blogger Phil Plasma said...

Wow... some interesting stuff. Great posting from all of you. If I were to create my own religion it would be tied to nature. Once a year (not once a week), adherents (to copy your use of the word) would be required to spend at least five days in a natural setting with no television, no radio, no cellphone, no method of communication. Part of this time should be spent in absolute silence while another part could be with other people to discuss where each of you fit in the world in terms of eachother and of everything else.

I'd give this religion a name, maybe Doug. If you are a Doug practitioner, than you really dig nature and what it can provide to you in terms of a spiritual/enlightening experience.

All of that endo-exo stuff is well thought out, but sounds like too much work for me.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@Everybody, I would just like to apologize for the length and lack of structure to my comment describing my (would-be) endo-religion. Unfortunately, the best I could do at the time was to take a meandering stream-of-thought approach. I admire you for your patience if you actually got through it all--or even half, for that matter.

@Visitor, if I understand your question (...can religion be defined in terms of what it aims to achieve...), I think you are asking me if we can define the purpose and value of religion. Is that correct?

If that is it, it's a tough question. I think I will offer 3 answers, each of which is complete of itself, though each is completely different from the other:

1) The purpose is to provide people a framework for exploring, discovering and perhaps even trying to achieve certain transcendent goals.

By transcendent goals, I mean things that are so huge that they may appear almost incomprehensible, and possibly unattainable, when perceived from outside of the religious framework.

Examples of transcendent goals might be:
-to make oneself one with the Universe;
-to aim for moral excellence, or even perfection;
-to aim for altered states of consciousness;
-to aim for eternal life;
-to aim for elightenment (whatever that is)
-to aim for world peace;

But they may also include more modest goals, that nonetheless seem daunting without a highly disciplined framework:

-to improve one's ethical foundation
-to achieve peace of mind
-to put oneself in harmony with nature
-to express thanks
-to gain personal insight

2) Religions "serves" not just the individual, but collective as well by providing "guidance". Of course, many people would also be very suspicious of the kind of "guidance" that many religions seem to provide. In providing guidance, many religions play a role in controlling society--for better or for worse.

The "guidance" provided by much of the larger roles may start out with limited purposes, but has a tendency (as does any ideological institution) to acquire multiple purposes.

For example, a religion's initial purpose (in it's role of providing guidance to the masses) might be just to keep people unified in their pursuit of the transcendent aims that I spoke of earlier, but eventually may evolve into an enormous entanglement of purposes--many of which may be incompatible with others.

For example, a church can become entangled in politics and provide "guidance" that furthers its political aims. It can likewise become involved in civil freedom and anti-poverty movements; while at the same time lobbying against abortion and being a major shareholder in a high-rate loan business that preys on the poor.

In other words, the purpose of the religion as a provider of collective "guidance" may be benign, but can grow exponentially into an entanglement of purposes that may or may not be mutually compatible.

3) The third answer to whether we can nail down the purpose of religion is "maybe not".

For some, religion could be likened to a poem. Poetry can be beautiful to some, confusing to others, and hideous to still others. Nobody likes every poem. Nor should they. Not everybody can make sense of every poem. Nor should they.

Unfortunately, many people hear one poem they hate (usually in their formative years) and make up their minds that all poetry is stupid, useless, or boring. Still, I suspect, if a person were to listen closely enough, patiently enough, they would eventually discover that there is a poem that calls out to them. If there mind works that way.

But the question still remains...

What good is a poem?

[Maybe we should ask Vishesh.]

9:11 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

"What good is a baby?"
-Michael Faraday

9:16 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

I apologize for triple posting, but I realized @Visitor, that I did not answer the question with respect to my exo- and endo-religions. I will try to tackle that tomorrow if I am able.

I would also like to say that my answer on the multiplying of purposes painted a rather negative picture. In fact, there are circumstances in which the multiplicity of purposes can be very positive. Even at the individual level there can be an inextricably tangled muliplicity of purposes that a religion might serve--only some of which are directly related to transcendental goals. This can be a very positive thing. But it can also make for a lot of confusion about one's religion.

I would like to say more about this, but I don't know that I will.

9:26 PM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

@mr.p:a poem has a lot of things in it..
infact it is easier to write poetry and put across ur message..
a few though r pictured by a poet..
n ppl may not understand it...
(i think visitor couldnt understand my last poem)
poetry containswords in a order to provide power..
any this religion question has got the hold on me and i have started to write a book(poetry)to explain it...hope it will cum good

8:43 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@Visitor, In my comments yesterday, I tried to answer your question about purpose and religion, but I had neglected to answer the 2nd half of your question, which was where the exo- and endo-religions fit in.

As I see it, the purpose of the exo-religion would be primarily to provide support for those who wish to try to build their own personal religion. It would provide some guidelines for the adherents--such as the 12 rules mentioned above, but there would be no relgious leadership as such, and rules would be kept to a minimum. There would be NO religious or moral leaders in the exo-religion.

The exo-religion might also provide for community--perhaps through an online forums, for example. I expect there would have to be some administrative trustees--who would be chosen, hopefully, for their administrative competence, but absolutely not as any type of moral or spiritual leadership. (I expect a significant portion of the people who might be attracted to this religious option would be leary of dealing with anybody smacked of moral or spiritual authoritarianism. I certainly would be among them.)

Anyway, the administrators, whoever they be, would be responsible for things like organizing forums in which adherents could share ideas, etc.

Unlike with many of the mainstream religions, I would prefer that the exo-religion did not acquire such an entanglement of purposes, so I would try to design it so as to only have a limited number of purposes--namely, make the basic framework available to any who were interested, and provide the basic support structure for adherents to share ideas. It should not become a social force in its own right. It should simply make it possible for interested individuals to design and pursue their own religions, based on their own sense of what is important to them.

As for the purpose of the endo-religion, that would largely be up to the individual. Of course, there would be some initial guidelines passed on via the exo-religion, but the purpose of the endo-religion would essentially be what the individual adherent chooses it to be.

I expect many would consider a theme of transcendency to provide the purpose to their religion. Others might might see a multiplicity of purposes: for example, one adherent might feel that their religious purpose encompasses morality, community, sense of spirituality, personal freedom, peace and harmony with nature. Meanwhile, another adherent might feel their religion is so imbued with a sense of mystique (like some poetry) that they consider the question of purpose unanswerable with words.

As for my personal endo-religion, I think it would touch on the transcendental, but the deeper purpose would be a combination of self-discovery and (a special kind of) growth and self-discipline.

Well, that's it. I have babbled on long enough about my imaginary religion. I hope I have answered your question, @Visitor. At least, I learned some things about myself while trying.

To all of you who have had the patience to follow me through this, a deeply felt thank-you.

8:21 PM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

gud to hear your a penny richer after this...
anyway now that u have mentioned ur idea fully..this is similar to jainism...though i dont know much abt it i have read a little...
anyway after ur full explanation for both i think you drop the term endo-religion(i didnt want to say this earlier,i wanted to see ppl's response..)when it comes to the personal self the principle is this..
you must have heard of the word OM..it can de divided into A(as A in at)u(said like ho in who)ma(as in man)
A stands for the supreme power
u for the self
and ma for the power..
this is the basic of self development..
though im not able to get a proper term for the endo-religion it now needs to be droped calling it self development would be better..
the reason for the exo to is quite a good 1...as i said it is similar to jainism...
but as times move on it would be tough to maintain such an order as the word religion itself attracts ppl with a want for power..
anyway it is good to hear your a penny richer after this..
i think every1 else would be to..

9:56 PM  
Blogger L>T said...

I caught the gist of this post, Mr P. (how it related to me anyway)

Thanks! You certainly gave me food for thought.

one comment about "transcendental". That's what it is all about. :) Moving ahead & moving beyond...transcending.

4:52 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

That is so easy, that we are God, in evolution.

The stumper for me though, is how can I bookmark your page when I lose the menu at the top of the page when I came to your site?

First visit BTW, but I will be back.

8:35 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Never mind, I figured it out. :-)

8:36 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Buddhists. Now there are some weird people.

BTW, you people talk to frigging much. But I love ya anyway. :-)

8:44 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

"...we are God, in evolution..."

Hi BBC, welcome aboard.

So, what exactly does it mean to be a God in evolution?

4:29 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

"Why should I not be willing to explore anything and everything in my imagination?"

I'll tell you why my friend. Because you have to learn to walk a tightrope over a pit of insanity, or fall into it. That is just too scary of a prospect for most souls/people.

"So, what exactly does it mean to be a God in evolution?"

Come on now, don't make it complicated. As Einstein said, keep it simple. I'll point you to a few of the posts on my blog that should help you understand why I say that. Soon, but right now I'm busy.

I don't call it a religion though, just a spirituality.

7:01 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Mister Pregunto, to read me, is to understand me, or not. I suggest that you read these past posts on my blog, starting at the bottom link and working up. BBC

http://bbc98362.blogspot.com/2006/10/port-townsend.html

http://bbc98362.blogspot.com/2006/10/sunday-fellowship.html

http://bbc98362.blogspot.com/2006/10/fine-tuning.html

8:01 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@BBC, I checked out the links you provided. Thanks.

Call it spirituality, or call it religion. Sounds to me like, at the base of it, there is some overlap in what we are talking about, even if we go about it differently.

The feeling I get is that, for you, irrereverence is an important component of reverence. Is that the right way to look at it?

On the Einstein quote, it was actually: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler."

So, at the risk of pissing off a deity-in-the-making, I would like to press my question again:

"What exactly does it mean to be a God in evolution?"

[PS: I am not trying to be a wise-guy, it's an interesting concept and I would really like to know what it means to you.]

9:44 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

"So, at the risk of pissing off a deity-in-the-making, I would like to press my question again:

What exactly does it mean to be a God in evolution?".....

Exactly what does it mean to be a tadpole in evolution? It means that we have not evolved far yet.

It doesn’t matter that some of us think that we are God. What is needed is that mankind collectively believes it. And lives and governs himself accordingly. As you can see, we are a long way from that. For starters, it would require dumping all the old religious beliefs and adapting one common one.

And don’t tell me that we should honor all old beliefs, that hasn’t worked for thousands of years, and it isn’t going to in the future. It’s just not in mans nature to honor others beliefs, especially if they appear to be stupid beliefs.

I understand that I only gave you half of the Einstein quote. It was the only half you needed. :-)

Have a great day.

1:09 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

"That about sums it up for my little personality disorder. Three voices in one head do make a crowd."

O'come on, you can do better than that. I can think of at least five in your head.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

"...It doesn’t matter that some of us think that we are God. What is needed is that mankind collectively believes it. And lives and governs himself accordingly..."

What is important is that mankind collectively believes it. Now THAT is an interesting thing to say. I shall have to think on that awhile.

[Really, you can hear the voices in my head, too? I was only consciously aware of one new voice--it just started the other day. It reminds me a lot of George Burns. That would be voice #4. Who is voice #5?]

5:28 AM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

good to hear u can hear ur voices no need of any1 else now to ans ur q now
it ll guide u..n yes i belive im god..

6:42 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Voices: Lets go back to our basic psychological profile that everyone seems to keep forgetting about.


Voice 1: Child
Voice 2: Adult
Voice 3: Parent
Voice 4: Teacher
Voice 5: Spirit

Then of course there is all the other voices out there, your so called mentors and teachers and all the foolish things they taught you as you grew up. Depending on where that was at, you were taught different beliefs, different histories, etc.

Now, think about what must be THE major cause of wars and greed. The child component in a person that is controlling his/her thinking. It’s three year olds that are wanting and needy, it’s three year olds that are doing all the fighting and warring.

Sadly, the Spirit component in a person has little chance of developing properly because of all the brainwashings of our ancestors and them making up all those religions and continuing to promote them. The Catholic church for one is still causing great harm with all its nonsense. Think about it.

8:03 AM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

@bbc:ppl who teach us are not poor things..in India we celebrate teachers' day(after our late prisedent DR.RADAKRISHNAN)and Vyasayapornima(belived to be the first teacher)
as for the cause of war ihave already written abt it in my blog in one of the past posts though not in detail.The voice is the same every where its form keeps changing(a good book saying this is THE ZAHIR by PAULEO COHELO)

8:43 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

I'm not done with this subject. I will be back tomorrow with more,iamvisheshur, and Mr. P

2:57 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

"...The child component in a person that is controlling his/her thinking. It’s three year olds that are wanting and needy, it’s three year olds that are doing all the fighting and warring..."

@BBC, you seem to have some very interesting ideas, although I am still trying to put them together.

I sounds to me like you saying:
1) That people have a need to develop their spiritual nature, but that development is hindered by a lack of emotional maturity?
2) That in order to overcome the obstacles to emotional maturity, people must first make a practice of challenging the reactions, assumptions and belief systems that have been thrust upon them from various authorities and (so-called) teachers?

I have been thinking about this all day, but now I just have to ask: "Why is it important that we (collectively) think of ourselves as Gods in evolution?"

7:33 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Good morning friends, lets rock and roll some. Lusty, I just like to bug you some because you keep saying that you didn’t think about some things, yet here you are being sucked up in them. :-)
….
Imavisheshur said… @bbc:ppl who teach us are not poor things..in India we celebrate teachers' day(after our late prisedent DR.RADAKRISHNAN)and Vyasayapornima(belived to be the first teacher)
….
Well friend, it doesn’t mean that they are teaching us the right things though. They are only teaching what they ‘think’ is true based on their upbringing and location and what their mentors taught them. You live in India, I was born and raised in the Western US, basically a Christian country. Things have changed somewhat here since I was a child, but basically they tried to get me to embrace Christianity, something I could never do. I contend that the teachings here, and where you are, are full of untruths. Because they don’t teach us that we are God in evolution. They teach us about a lot of false Gods.
….
I just have a basic overview of India, I’m not an expert on it. But a quick review shows me that they have plenty of problems there. The caste system is bullshit for one thing. The poverty and so many people dying of starvation is bullshit. There is plenty of warring there. I could go on and on about what is wrong with that country and its beliefs, just as I can my country.
….
Mister P said…. @BBC, you seem to have some very interesting ideas, although I am still trying to put them together.
….
It’s a journey my friend, we are not at the end of it yet. And along the way, we have to have to relax and have some fun also.
….
It sounds to me like you saying: 1) That people have a need to develop their spiritual nature, but that development is hindered by a lack of emotional maturity?
….
You are part right, but what takes someone to proper emotional and spiritual maturity? Or I should say, who is responsible for that? You shouldn’t have to go looking for it in adulthood. You should be raised by the proper mentors and teachers. By proper mentors and teachers I mean all of them the world over teaching the same thing, instead of so many different things. As far as what the spirit is, there can only be one truth, and it needs to be a common collective belief. Or mankind will never get along over all the nonsense out there.
….
2) That in order to overcome the obstacles to emotional maturity, people must first make a practice of challenging the reactions, assumptions and belief systems that have been thrust upon them from various authorities and (so-called) teachers?
….
Pretty much, that’s what I’ve taking to doing. At some point in this journey I started taking Einstein’s advice, “At some point in time you have to stop reading and start thinking for yourself.” You have to get out of all the boxes so to speak, books are just others boxes. You have to go on your own strange and difficult journey, have your own experiences, and become a good shit filter as I call it.
….
I have been thinking about this all day, but now I just have to ask: "Why is it important that we (collectively) think of ourselves as Gods in evolution?"
….
Look around you, what do you see? Wars, greed, disagreements about what God is, disagreements about what is the proper religion, all kinds of insanities. Now if all children the world over where taught that they are ‘God’, part of the spirit of Mother Earth, do you think things would be the way they are now?
….
As I keep saying, this is a journey. One I don’t think any of us picked, I know I didn’t. I was drawn into it after a powerful dream ten years ago that resulted in my moving here and starting on a strange journey that I hadn’t planned on. I thought I was moving here to be a bum and live on a boat. If anyone at the time had told me that I would become a New Age Spiritualist I would have told them they where full of shit. Yet, that is exactly what is happening.
...
Have a great day friends. I do make folks think differently don't I?

6:32 AM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

@bbc:when u dont know anything abt my country u better not insult it...i never have said my feelings abt ur country......and my country is not flooded with miseries...if u got that image wipe it ....america cant match INDIA in anything ur history is soooo small that it is surely not enough to compare to my country...
and im sorry if u r forced to follow any religion..
and in my country ppl know what is to be said and how to guide us..
I LOVE MY INDIA!!

8:39 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Iamvisheshur..... My friend, you are fifteen years old, meaning that you don't know shit yet. Got that? You don't know shit yet !!!!!

Get back to me in sixty years my friend.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Hmmm. Not sure if we have been talking about the same thing after all.

What exactly do emotional and spiritual maturity mean to you, BBC?

7:48 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Umm. What do you mean, what do I mean?

7:21 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Oh, maybe I do get it after all.
"What exactly do emotional and spiritual maturity mean to you, BBC?"

Don't I keep saying that it's in evolution? That it has to be a collective thing? Or maybe you don't like it that I seem to jump on others at times? Well, fifteen year olds think they know everything, when they really know so little. :-)

7:24 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

"i never have said my feelings abt ur country.."

Fair enough you little twerp. Just what are your feelings about my country? Go ahead, give me both barrels. Have you been here? Do you know that no one here starves to death unless they are really stupid?

And I know a lot more about your country than I let on. Like I said, get back to me in sixty years, because at this point in your life.

Well, you really don't know crap. Ah geez, did I just insult you? Well too bad, but I've been over many more roads than you have. and not all of them where paved.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

So, just how far along the evolutionary path to being a god would you say you are, BBC?

10:14 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

"So, just how far along the evolutionary path to being a god would you say you are, BBC?"

Oh, about as far as you are. About as far as we all are collectively.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

Okay. So, based on our collective antics, I guess that means not very far at all. Seems like we are not even at the amoeba stage yet.

"...Look around you, what do you see? Wars, greed, disagreements about what God is, disagreements about what is the proper religion, all kinds of insanities. Now if all children the world over where taught that they are ‘God’, part of the spirit of Mother Earth, do you think things would be the way they are now?..."

I guess, for the sake of argument, if all children were taught they are Gods in evolution, that might take care of disagreements about God and religion--theoretically, anyway--but I don't see how it would stop greed, wars and "all kinds of insanities".

Is that something you care to elaborate on?

Also, would it help stop people from being disrespectful to others, and going on the attack over the slightest provocation?

5:27 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Right, not very far at all yet.

"I guess, for the sake of argument, if all children were taught they are Gods in evolution, that might take care of disagreements about God and religion--theoretically, anyway--but I don't see how it would stop greed, wars and "all kinds of insanities. Is that something you care to elaborate on?"

Umm, not really, evolution can go in any direction, and I have no control over it. But!! If children were raised to not be greedy, needy, not to listen to the three year old in them at times so that they stopped warring, Don't you think that might help?

6:13 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Mister Pregunto. I know that I'm insulting at times. Why? It makes others think harder. It isn't anything personal, it's just a way of making them think.

And if it insults them too much, they haven't evolved enough to handle it is all.

Every great person, thinker, can take the insults and come back for more. And then go have drinks with each other.

6:19 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

This has last exchange has been an interesting. I learned alot by just by staying out of it & observing it.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@BBC, this philosophy of helping people to think more by insulting them is pretty revolutionary, to say the least.

I would like to know more about the ways in which you have helped people through this approach. Who has it helped? And how? Can you elaborate?

Also, what about the folks who "haven't evolved enough to handle it"? Do we just leave them to sulk and nurse their anger? Will that help world peace?

6:46 PM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

@L>T, I am glad to know you are there.

6:48 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

"@BBC, this philosophy of helping people to think more by insulting them is pretty revolutionary, to say the least."

Ah come on, this is really old hat. All great thinkers love a good insult. Do you think Churchill, Einstein, and the like where put off with insults? Hell no, they loved them.

"I would like to know more about the ways in which you have helped people through this approach. Who has it helped? And how? Can you elaborate?"

I'm not looking for it to help anyone, I'm looking for those that get it. The others aren't worth talking to.

"Also, what about the folks who "haven't evolved enough to handle it"? Do we just leave them to sulk and nurse their anger? Will that help world peace?"

Will it harm it? Look, you and I are dust in the ruts of time and space. Generation Y will be the next generation taking a stab at fixing this world.

I have mixed feelings about them though. Many of them are great and involved already, many don't seem to care. You have to wonder if some things ever change.

But the bottom line is, it's in their hands now and all we are really doing is muttering.

7:47 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

I might add, that what we are trying to do is...... Heal ourselves.

7:48 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

That's odd, you have never given me a reason (or a chance) to insult you. LOL

7:52 PM  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

i would apperciate if ppl would stop commenting about my country..
in think mr.p it is time u deleted the posts..

6:01 AM  
Blogger Mister Pregunto said...

"...All great thinkers love a good insult..."

Interesting generalization. Does it seem to you the love of insults plays an important role in making great people great?

Or could it just be that some great people are indulging their inner 3-year olds, and were great despite their propensity for insults.

[Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by the number of questions I want to ask. This is one of those cases. It is sometimes difficult to reduce it to a key few.]

6:04 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

This is what i think...

I think insults are negative, & never a good idea, not that i don't indulge in them myself, I'm far from perfect that way. It's one of the things I'm working on. I guess my inner child is still trying to grow up. (Blogging seem to be a great forum for throwing around insults)Now lively debate & challeging peoples thinking is much better & alot more productive. (blogging can also be a great tool for that)

I choose to believe that human beings are capable collectivly of evolving into a higher consciencness. I feel that individually we have to work on ourselves to identify with the rest of mankind in a positive way, to get there. ( You know what? I'm almost afraid to put this down on paper(?) because it means i'll have to do it. :) well here goes.

7:27 AM  
Blogger SUMI said...

I have thought of this quite a few times and not really arrived at a concrete conlusion, but I will try to debate with myself if necessary and come up with a semblance of an answer to the question here.

In order to anwer the question of what a religion created by us will be like, we need to first establish the goal of religion. According to some, the goal of religion is to attain social sanity by making the world a more livable place- since it instills morals and the idea of virtue and sin and reward and punishment for one's deeds, thereby making people do the "Right" or "moral " thing. Another dimension to religion is exploring oneself spiritually. This holds meaning to some and not to others.

In this day in age since we have elaborate legal systems to take care of punishment for crimes, which deters people from committing them, the social sanity aspect that I mentioned above is largely covered. So I do not find religion very compelling in that regard. Moreover, ethics are very subjective. And if legal systems are different in different parts of the world, so are religions.

With respect to the second part of exploring oneself spiritually, if I were to create my own religion I would first feel the need for some good methodical exploration of the science of consciousness, and also some empirical basis for prescribing techniques/ways to live/whatever to people who are interested in exploring what's "beyond" our normal perceptions/*if* there is anything beyond. Other than this, my religion would prescribe passion in something... *anything*. Religions prescribe detachment and being dispassionate but that is possible only through passionate attachment to the cause of detachment. Along those lines, I believe that in order for life to go on and seem meaningful and enjoyable, passion towards something is important - of course I don't mean passion born out of hatred - that would justify wars and concentration camps and Jihaads. I mean passion born out of love, passion born out of curiosity and intellectual appetite, and passion born out of the desire to live larger than life. It is impossible to answer the question of the purpose of one's life. The best one can therefore do is to define a purpose for their own life, be it art or music or mathematics. My religion would in this sense, glorify passion.

As for the inescapable topic of 'God', I think that is a matter of personal faith and is often based on one's experiences. Religion does not necessarily have to be about God.

9:18 PM  

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