Monday, June 12, 2006

Gratitude




I'm especially grateful tonight for a comment on my post on Memetics that showed me that I did not clearly convey my feelings in that post about the benefits of Christianity and all religions. Their memetic structure has nothing to do with their inherent benefit to their followers; it simply provides a means to analyze the manner in which a religion propogates throughout cultures. I have since posted two comments (and welcome much further discussion!) that hopefully clarify my high regard for the religion when it is consciously chosen as fitting a person's experience.


4 comments:

jim said...

'consciously chosen as fitting a persons experience', now, see, that is one of the real problems today, most do not choose. It is foisted on them, they have no idea. good post.

Mike said...

Jim: Thanks for the comment. I agree wholeheartedly. If we can get even 1 person to think—really contemplate—about his/her experiences, and make a conscious choice about the type of spiritual practice that is right for them (be it traditional religion or otherwise), then I believe we have done good.

Mandolina Dora said...

I'm just finding that no matter how deliberate and "conscious" the choice is, the bigger battle is knowing--and accepting--if it is the "right" choice.

We're certainly well aware of the consequences, as per fundamentalist christian principles, if you make the "wrong" choice.

Perhaps this is why it is easier to make an "unconscious" decision. Better safe than sorry?

Mike said...

Good point MD. The truth is, can we ever know if it is the right choice? The only way to ultimately find out is to die and see what happens. However, a quick death & return to life isn't enough, because the light seen at the end of the tunnel fits too many religions to be useful. Can I do that? Nope. :) The thing is, ask Rev. Billy Graham if he KNOWS through personal experience that his God is the true god, and he'll say yes. Ask the monk who I posted about here if he has personally experienced emptiness or interbeing or other Buddhist principles, and if he KNOWS that Buddhism is the ultimate path, and he'll say yes. Who are we to judge which one is actually right? Is one? Maybe they're both right. Maybe they're both wrong. Maybe they're both partially right. The last one is my guess. But truly, we cannot know. Hence enters faith. :) If you base your faith on a religion that seems to describe the universe as you've lived it, then I think you've made the best choice you possibly can. But you're right, the challenge is in accepting that that is the best choice.

Maybe there really isn't a "best" choice. Maybe there's only relatively "better" choices that each of us can make. Again, that's my take on it. Your mileage may vary. :)