Friday, December 27, 2013

Religion and Me

I posted this as a response over at Ashok's blog to his avowed atheism coupled with appreciation of the beauty of spirit shone him by some believers:

I am not an atheist, but I do not believe in “an omnipotent person looking over you,” for there are very different ways to construct being and its roots. Indeed, I have never seen any of the descriptions of ultimate reality to match my vision in any of the religions, but I can see all of them as local representations of it, each with greater or lesser distortion and none of them complete. I am nonetheless appreciative of the truth of the serious believer when shone in love and humility.

And, I love that we all share seats in a magnificent mystery!

For once, I expressed well what I feel within.  I am like the new Pope, if a person is atheist and lives well, with compassion, caring and justice, I have embrace them.  If a person is a believer and lives poorly in terms of caring and love, I don't see salvation in their belief.


  1. Religious ones believe there is GOD & or Jesus, maybe sitting on a cloud up there somewhere, I dunno. I do envy them tho'. Makes life pleasantly peaceful & calm knowing you're "saved" as long as you're good.

  2. @Anonymous

    Tolerance is a good place to start, bhb. Given a chance and with a little consideration, it can actually become empathy, which is a little step up from simple tolerance.

  3. It is a very grey/gray area that has no easy answer...but on the other hand it is interesting from varying angles. I sit mostly in the middle, and I appreciate the sentiment that the both you and the Pope use.

  4. @cedar51

    I think it is an individual answer and always should be.

  5. We are on a very similar plane. Religions are isms of the hight order and most believe it's their way or the highway. I find that somewhat ironic considering the vast library of shared beliefs. But born beginners scorn me because I do not believe IF is more than the most fascinating and important man who ever lived nor do I consider a book that comes in two parts and the contents of which were selected by committee
    To be the literal word of God. I suppose I'll find out soon enough what is real. I find your last paragraph to be identical to what I feel.

  6. @shackman

    I thought we were pretty much on the same page on this.

  7. There is a trend in Christianity to believe that as long as you believe, you are saved. I do not believe this. As the Bible says, even the devil and husband angels believe, but they chose not to accept God. As far as I'm concerned, it's not over until we take our last breath. So until then, I will continue to try to become Christlike, and try to change and repent. Because I do think we will be judged by who we have become.

  8. I am not religious. I am spiritual.

  9. @Delirious

    In my eyes, you've become quite a fine person, Delores. You represent the finest of religious and spiritual effort as I see it.

  10. @Rummuser

    I know you are, but you present beliefs at times that come from religious traditions. I am trying to elicit your relationship to religions and religion in general, for there are those who follow religious practice worthy of our respect.

    1. If I do, they represent my people's beliefs, which can be termed religious rather than spiritual because the qualifications for a religion exist for them albeit very informally, ie without formal structures. For instance, when I refer to Ganesha, I am fully aware that I am using Him as a symbol whereas an Indian will believe that a Ganesha exists somewhere up there in space!

  11. @Delirious

    Second comment: I believe the book of James is quite controversial to many Christians who believe that it runs counter to the other teachings of salvation. I believe it is a complement to it, for it insists upon acting truly upon your beliefs, walking the walk, not just wearing the badge of salvation.

  12. @Rummuser

    Yes, I fully understand the use of the symbols and the importance of understanding them as such. Still, with an infinitely based consciousness comprising all, a Ganesha up in space is not an impossibility. Perhaps at the shedding of our mortal garments we will find ourselves laughing at many surprises as we rejoin the eternal romp!


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