Religion, Atheism, Buddhism, Christianity and fear…

Atheists are adamant about denying the existence of God, without making it clear exactly ofIMG_0387 what they are denying the existence. I get the feeling that denial is the important act. They seem to not be able to get past the fact that our God and gods are created by us ourselves, first person plural possessive reflexive. Does that make them any less real or efficacious? I mean: I don’t think anyone really believes that there is a Superman sitting up there on a cloud somewhere sipping espresso, do they? Okay, so never mind, the important thing is how you live your life…

…and definitions of God have long been shifting, subject to a sliding scale of current events, and ultimately are secondary to their utility in our lives. My own suspicion—totally unprovable—is that gods have their origin aboriginally in the deaths of powerful leaders and family members. Where did they go? What just happened? So where did we come from, anyway? Just like early Texan settlers felt the need to “Remember the Alamo!” others must have long felt the need, or desire, to remember their ancestors. Ancestor worship seems to confirm this. From there it’s a short hop to postulated deities…

It’s simple: to fight harder, you invoke the spirit of one who excelled at it, ‘channeling’ his spirit, so to speak, in order to win the ultimate victory. This is just like the motivational speeches that coaches give to players before each game, best summarized in the phrase, “Let’s win this one for the Gipper (R.I.P. Nancy).” Organized religion changed all that, literally organizing the growing number of gods into a pantheon, a hierarchy, or a team, so to speak, the better to assign particular functions to particular gods, presumably with dedicated priests—and their motivational speeches…

The prophets then changed all that again, and their new religions reduced the pantheon of gods back to a single figurehead or concept. The plan of Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad—all of them—was to take a further step in refining the religious experience, away from personal gods and toward universal good, away from a tribal god to a universal figurehead. Unfortunately they didn’t get it far enough away from the battlefield, both Christianity and Islam guilty of bearing the book along with the sword, mostly against each other…

The challenge now is to further redefine the concept of God to reflect modern circumstances. That means a god independent of place or race, independent of time or time-keepers. The world is at a crucial point in history where ‘Mad Max’-like scenarios are not so far-fetched. Only if we can somehow perform the ultimate miracle of seeing each other—all of us—as bros and sistah’s, then our fate is sealed and we are all doomed. We need to chill, and ASAP, bro…

Advocating conformity and conciliation in modern-day live-for-the-moment in-yo-face America is probably not a good business plan, but there’s more to life than business. Ellen Degeneres says she gives stuff away on her show, because that’s what people want. Great, so we dumb each other down with comfort food and sweet nothings, playing to our lowest common denominators, OR…

…we play to our highest common denominators, truly refining our religious concepts and experiences to accommodate people of all previous faiths in a system that is inclusive by design, and that stands up to scientific scrutiny, too. First we need to find some peace among us, and then maybe we can move forward into the future. Religions don’t need to follow the shifting tides of science, but they shouldn’t be at odds with it, either. Buddhism’s strength is that it has no problem with the ultimate ‘changing-ness’ of the world, but deals with how to resist the grasping, clinging and the desire to possess it.

The Earth can be a scary place, as our ancestors long knew, and it’s arguable that that is the foundation of religion. The first person to look around, like what he saw, and imagine himself master of it all, was arguably the First Civilized Man and the last religious one—if religion is based on fear. If so, then it’s time to change all that, and proceed to the next phase of humanity. C U there…

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