So, these Spiritual Systems.
First, let me say that it seems that the more fundamental one’s religious beliefs, the less likely a person is to be drawn into one of these new-fangled self-help schemes. The more immersive religions, like Islam, won’t likely lose many adherents to these programs. Allah is too unforgiving and demanding to let you have faith in anything except his word, and those who buy into the Muslim theology know full well that any kind of screw-up, even something as innocuous as momentary mental apostasy, could result in the loss of appendages, limbs, or the capacity to breathe without the aid of electronic medical devices.
And among Christians and Jews, the more fundamental, orthodox believers will likely shun anything outside of their religion that requires any kind of faith that is even mildly redolent of spiritualism.
So, these are the sheep, the believers being led by the snouts to do as they’re told, think as they’re demanded, and live as they’re directed. They, simply, are lost to the real world, the place where actions carry real-time consequences and no amount of prayer or confession or sacrifice will undo whatever wrongs they’ve done. And while I’ve only mentioned the world’s three largest religions, any follower of any religion who has muddied him or herself in the dogmatic quagmire of his or her given faith will also fall under this heading, denomination be damned.
Now, The New Earth, or The Secret, or any of these other nifty little systems, they’re now on the hot seat, at least for a few minutes. Because, I personally cannot understand how plunking down money for a book, or a seminar, or a number of audiocassettes, can fulfill me. But then, I’m not one of those breaking at least partially free from his religion, spiritually cast adrift by the burgeoning knowledge that the crap I’ve allowed to be funneled into my soul by those who actually know no more about the here and now or the afterlife than I do myself is actually toxic and unnecessarily self-deprecatory.
And that’s what’s happening here. Life-long believers are finally coming to grips with the fact that we and our world have no more to do with God or Yahweh or Allah than with Zeus or Odin. They are finding that, no matter how many hours they spend numbing their asses in those ridiculously torturous church pews, and no matter how much time they spend in a closet grinding their knees to dust in supplication before some pederast saucepot, the empty spot deep inside, the place where they should be the fullest, is growing and becoming more and more unsettling. Indeed, that spiritual hole is threatening the very grounding of their lives.
But rather than accept what they already know but have managed to tuck away in the dark corner reserved for all the things we inherently sense but are commanded to ignore, things like logic and common sense in the face of ridiculous claims, or the positive nature of self-preservation, instead they look to books and seminars and audiocassettes. Instead, they’re replacing one religion with another. And while I am so very encouraged by their partial breaks from generations-bred adherence to dogmatic idiocy, even if they don’t grasp that’s what this quest really is, they still don’t get who god really is, and they still don’t get who most deserves their faith.
You want god? Look in the mirror.
Look at your spouse, or mate, or lover.
Look at your teenaged son, or your toddler daughter.
God is within you. God is within them. All the faith you have, all the reverence you carry, should be directed inward to you, and outward to them.
Despite the outright disingenuous lies spouted by the theo-idiots among us, evolution is real. We are the current culmination of millions of years of biological tap-dancing and tangos. Ego is good. We need it to survive, to enrich ourselves, and to protect others. So when someone tries to tell you that ego and self-interest are bad things, whether it comes via book, seminar, or audiocassette, ask that person why their name is plastered all over their shit if ego and self-interest are such atrocities. Ask them why they aren’t marketing their wares anonymously, and giving it all away gratis.
Christ, people, we didn’t need a god to create all this! Considering the vast stretches of time we’re talking about, and the incomprehensible, nearly infinite oceans of space, a tidy little nook in the universe, such as the one we enjoy, is a statistical inevitability. Sure, we may not have all the answers as to how the universe was created or how the Earth came about or exactly how life formed here, but that’s no reason to give up and say Goddidit.
So, first accept the fact that you’re here because you are. There really needn’t be anything more profound than that backing up your existence. This incessant probing into Grand Purposes and Universal Reasons may be the residual shrapnel of demanding, insatiable intellects drilling into everything they sense, but we need to get it under control. Seek answers, but understand that trying to personify or deify everything is a curse, not a blessing.
And second, grasp the fact that no faith you could have will ever be more productive than the faith that’s directed inward. You should never believe in anything as much as you believe in yourself. And running a close second should be those who have earned or are inherently deserving of your faith. Your loved ones, all of them, those you trust and would do anything to protect, all need the light of your faith, just as you need theirs. So if you’re giving the most faith to some ethereal god based on some archaic, mish-mosh of a holy book, then you’re missing the mark, no matter what the people in robes and collars and funny hats insist in drumming into your head.
And if you can’t find a way to turn the gaze of your faith where it really belongs, as stated above, go back to your religion and save your money. You don’t need a Spiritual System, you need an intervention.
Next we talk about how death comes into play in this passionate production.