Thoughts On My Place In Creation
Leaders, Followers, and The Self’s Place
Religion and Generic Truth;
Do Religions Possess (selectively own) The Truth,
Does The Truth Live In It’s Sacred Place No Matter What Humans, Think, Say or Do?
I begin this post over concerns I come across as some people describe “proof” of God. They often do this by association with the appearance of what are conceived of as signs. These signs are relative to shape relating to an established religious icon or symbol. I offer my perspective while being one who has received his own “sign” when not looking nor ever expecting one. Since I was effectively agnostic when a transcendent spiritual event happened to me, I found no doubt in my experience. (Here is a link for more on that event;Supernatural Encounter-)
We all are followers of religion, or else, some rational or rationalized view of spirituality, or not, as our spiritual and cosmological perspective. We all have some meaning assumed of Life; be it wants and desire, love and union, friendship and association, exploration and creativity, to know more–knowledge, or any combination of reasons we get out of bed or eat rather than not.
This meaning assumed by the metaphysical presumptions we have, may well represent our actual views, or possibly not so much, if our behavior is not seemingly in alliance with belief. Either way, we come to some operational conclusion of our doings; be they just for myself, me and my family, my tribe, my community, my nation, my friends and foes, the stuff of my life. We fit somewhere into this existence no matter how it seems to be turning out for us in our judgements. Our judgements are a key to this article.
As a child I was indoctrinated into Catholicism, attending a parochial school for 8 years. This left me with an association of Catholicism as the “real” truthful religion. Along the way I had encountered enough contrary indication to the indoctrination, to allow myself to question reality myself. Anyone who breaks with indoctrination programing can go trough a guilt and rejection phase, where you question yourself as to your own authority to challenge what others say is “The Truth”.
Eventually, I discovered that my questions were stronger than religious explanation as their answers. Classic religious question debunking usually resorts to; you are being tempted to reject God, or, don’t you think others have asked these same questions? These, however, are not good enough answers for ones own quest to know the truth, or at least those who desire a deeper perspective on being human in the universe. Such blocking of questioning is much more likely intended as Thought-terminating cliché, for these questions pose a question to a truth that is not always self evident.
Most of we humans adopt the religion, and the social ways of perceiving the existence of something Greater, from the culture we happen to be born into. This subjective bias indicates there are these questions to draw if one is free to use ones (God?) given critical thinking abilities;
1: I just happened to be born into the correct “One True Faith”; perceiving God or other deities as players in my existence because they are said to be the cause. Everyone good says so. No question need be asked. I defer to spiritual experts. Why I am the lucky one and so many others wrong? God loves me.
2: I will compare religions and then come to a reasonable conclusion as to what is true or real pertaining to the metaphysical. Independent perception toward the transcendent. Rational approach.
3: All religions have their particular understandings of real truth, so truth is in some ways culturally relative, and I cannot judge another religion only from my different perspective. Plurality of understanding by overview context.
4: I will act as if I am a just and honorable being, even though I cannot be sure of, what of the many religions is really true, especially regarding God, deities, or afterlife, so I will be a humanist, perhaps also agnostic or an atheist.
5: I see much amiss with so many religions and all their waring ways in the name of God, that I reject this God as an illusion. Otherwise, I see no Grand Intention to the universe, it is essentially inert, a happening which cause I know not. Probably an atheist, or someone who rejects even being categorized by religious perspective. A free spirit in a Process of Being that seems beyond our ability to comprehend honestly. This is a kind of existential open question.
6: I suppose some will be in a reactionary state to religion, or the idea of Divinity, and will try to behave other than people seem to indicate Divinity wished one to act. Rebellion to religion and The Divine as conceived by humans.
7: You may have more possibilities for these assumptions…
What is evident in all these perspective issues is the relativity factor in knowing “The Real Truth”. How does one accommodate the differences in perspective to most ideological frameworks in religion that promote its own exclusivity in knowing, or coming close to God or The Divine? Why do essentially subjective perceptions assume they are the One True One?
Not only that, but many beliefs actively discourage or condemn getting close to other belief systems. In some ways these belief systems seek to self replicate without other “genetic” contamination. Although I should note that much of modern religious notions were around long before the founders of their particular faith claimed to reveal The Truth in some exclusive to group identity manner.
A Firewall of Ignorance
If there is One True Faith, as many believe of their own faith, something big is being missed; why are all the other One True Faiths apparently wrong? I mention this, for even the Abrahamic traditions are at odds with one another despite many of their more liberal members proclamations of commonality compared to the rest of the world. Here in the West, some have called this the Clash of Civilizations. perhaps a veiled reference to Islam and Christendom being at apparent odds.
There are many levels to notions that can be reduced to black and white by abstract concept rendering which may not be actually factual or truthful. The Clash of Civilizations, though possibly promoted by some defensive Christians as well as commercial societies, is not so much a religious conflict as one of conservative tradition versus modern world secular materialism. This conflict is also present in the West own “Culture Wars” and others own conservative versus liberal views, using outside examples to leverage their own points of view.
The Nature of Knowing and Not Knowing, but Assuming By Appearances
Finally to the question of proof or signs from God. This question goes to the core of what one believes is truth, or true, and what is not. Where and how do I detect truth as opposed to illusion, or guesswork, or jumping to conclusion?
We seem to live inside our own consciousness seemingly attached to our bodies. You do not “know” what I believe exactly, no matter how much I express myself. There is always room for ambiguity, if not doubt. This is the human conundrum. If you assume I know more than you simply because I claim or seem to, you may or may not be right. But one thing is clear; you likely do make an assumption, deferring to a paradigm that is now in some ways defined by your choice. With ideological assumptions, this alteration proceeds across spectrum’s of perception, and with it, the kinds of questions I feel permitted to ask. Stopping questions will stop objective inquiry.
From this view, if I am seeing answers in stains on walls, or the shape of something detected in the natural world that seems to be in the shape of my own spiritual iconography, I am indeed of shallow in faith if I offer this “fact” as proof to others of my belief as truth. This also presents to others another question; if I claim the shape of an egg being round is the proof of a round universe, how do I know that? what is up with me? and how do I assume to tell you that you should know that same “truth”, or else be in denial, or being deceived?
Someone sent me an article written by someone else who I see as hoping to know Christianity as really true. I say that, for the article offered the shape of a connecting molecule as being proof of Christ as God, since it was in the shape of the cross. They went on to effectively roll around in this “proof” as the obvious nature of their own rightness, and presumably, any other beliefs wrongness. An amazingly spurious conclusion.
If truth, to me or anyone, is just how something looks, we may be superficial indeed. We often need to go beneath appearance, to such things as connection of an object and the processes it is included with. For I could look at my screen door, and see what I wish; that the cross is depicted millions of times right on my front door. A miracle or an assumption? I could go on to investigate much stitching and such to be revealed to all the many crosses, proving Christ Message is true. (*)
Belief is another way of saying I do not know, so I think something is. That is not proof of an existence of much more than my own thoughts about a symbol. I feel, or believe, many of us are convinced by experts in one thing or another, simply cause they are supposed to know.;Usually, when going to the doctor, she should know more than I about an ailment, yet it is not an absolute guarantee. Now just imagine if you listened to my ideas as the Gospel truth just because I swear to you that they are. A longer limb from which to fall.
Now take this further; I am randomly debunking the anti-religious assumptions I assume of science, by using science, cheery picking it, to show my absolute proofs of my religious correctness. OK. Maybe I do not call them absolute, but I offer them as evidence so you will assume they are true as I do. Many problems with this approach; I assume my concept of science, probably shaped by my church and all those seemingly wild scientific theories that seem to indicate my church ideas are amiss. Put these together and my evidence of proof by appearance will be highly questionable. Appearance Reality and the world of seeming being the key problematic points.
I assume that God, then, used the presumed death machinery of His Son as proof for me later to find in science? What about all the other shapes in scientific discovery, should we then so interpret all of those as well? I can look at my textured wall and see many images shapes and forms, often dependent upon how I feel and what I begin thinking about. What is one to make of these miracle assumptions? When I or anyone connect the dots from one thing to another, the reasons we are connecting them are more telling than the image we end up with is.
Is my religious assumed debunking of the concept of science correct? If science is trying to interpret the laws intrinsic to the way (God’s) universe works, are scientist not actually trying to prove operational aspects of (God’s) natural laws? Not only that, but science, unlike most religions, is willing to see other evidence as able to change ones mind, or ones view on what seems to be true, if it holds more steadfast in testing. This is perhaps a more honest and rigorous idea of defining a reality, compared to saying; I think this is this so you should too. My evidence? Well, lots of assumptions and preordained antagonisms assumed to interpreting reality, while the proof is a shape I also load with my assumptive interpretation.
The Easter Effect
The events that define Easter Sunday, are themselves loaded with assumed absolute proof of something transcendent to normal reality, as a presumed evidence of proof for belief. These may or may not have more convincing evidence than saying a cross appears on a tree, so it is a sign from God that I am right. So you better listen or even enthusiastically accept my evidence as weight in ones own belief, or else. This would be a lazy way of belief, likely with its continuous need (addiction) of ever new evidence and signs that what I believe is really true. But is what is true dependent upon my opinion or awareness of It, or is what is absolutely true independent of my awareness? This independence of whole truth is logical in all but a solipsistic identified reality.
But what of the rebirth on the continuous NOW? What of that one chance we always have for a kind of transcendence; Forgiveness? We live right in the middle of an Ever-present and ongoing Miracle, yet I can think It is not enough proof. I am not in need of a miracle event then, I am in need of a miracle transformation in the way I see and perceive Life. In a direct sense; the miracle is in you and I, and up to us to know.
I do not require a story to convince me that Life is Grand and empowered by a Higher Cause. I feel that having my own transcendent experience with God (defined here as unconditional Love), leaves me out of this debate over proof. It is in its own way lazy, in the sense that it seems most of us struggle, perhaps our entire lives looking for, or adjusting to, strongly believing in The Divine while wrestling with our perception of life. I have described my experience as my special evidence. I am fortunate to get such an empirical event not requiring any interpretation or further assumption on my part as it occurred. I may have been entitled, for some unknown reason, to this event, but it does not make my experience evidence for you to take into your spiritual bank account.
Who Are The Real Spiritual Leaders?
Jesus Christ, and those like him, are surely true leaders in my view. A mother, any mother, can be a true spiritual hero. Any woman or man can be a true spiritual leader, no special dispensation required. Those who know what is true without needing evidence or special kinds of proof to constantly reassure themselves. Not that most of us will likely struggle with self questioning at times when we forget what we know.
Anyone who lets Love triumph over doubt; love for yourself amidst rejection, love for others amidst evidence of their wrongdoing, love for Life even when Life seems to be passing one by. This stance marks the real spiritual leadership qualities. But worrying about your afterlife, or looking for signs that God will reward you for just following orders? Some so called spiritual pursuits are seemingly reeking in self centered disconnect form the Whole Wold of life and Being that we are immersed within. The “See. I told you so!” forms of sign pointing to “prove” there is a God, all seem desperately short sighted as to the Miracle we live within.
Those who live and act out of Love are the real Divine Light. Does not matter what religion, church or state they do or do not belong to. The real Saviors are these who offer Unconditional Love, not needing someone else’s sacrifice (or excuse) as dutiful proof of what is Right. This is the generic nature of Truth.
When Love is arisen, we are in the midst of our Savior. To know this, requires no conditions.
Of the 3 Roman Cross Types of the period, the minor t is thought to be the most likely one for Christ.