-scale=1.0,maximum-scale=1.0" : "width=1100"' name='viewport'/> Plum Street Chili: Toxic Religon #2 - I define my terms and get a bit further along here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Toxic Religon #2 - I define my terms and get a bit further along here.

As I sat and thought about this subject, I realized I have bitten off a big chew. And I started with the fear and trembling. I am late because I was dithering and being sick too.

I worry about organizing this because there is so much that can and should be said about abusive and toxic religion and religionists. And I am no theologian. Nevertheless - ANDIAMO!

I am going to talk, eventually, about how the evil religious can be recognized in daily life so we can all RUN AWAY! when we recognize them. I need to create some order for myself.

In the first bit I wrote, I talked about the scientific definition of religion and the primacy of conscience in spiritual life. And I linked you to a blog article from which I will be taking in vitro examples of toxic religion in action. I also identified the monk Nicholas Herman as our resident expert on meditation, prayer and the love of God.

I am defining terms as I go so there will be less confusion - mine. If I say meditation I also mean prayer. They are the same. If I say toxic, I mean evil. They are the same. This is what I mean when I say GOD. And this:

25.
Something there is without form and complete,
Born before heaven and earth,
Solitary and vast,
Standing alone without change,
Everywhere pervading all things,
Mothering all beneath heaven.
I don't know its name;
I style it Tao,
And for want of a name call it great.
To be great is to go on.
To go on is to be far.
To be far is to return.
Therefore,Tao is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
The universe has four greats,
And man is one of them.
Man follows earth;
Earth follows heaven;
Heaven follows Tao;
Tao follows itself.
- Lao Tzu translated by Herrymon Maurer

Evil and The Evil
It is usual to think of good and evil as two poles, two opposite directions, the antithesis of one another…. We must begin by doing away with this convention.~Martin Buber
Buber argues we must work to be good, but we happen to be evil. Works for me. I can be real evil. Essentially, life itself is an ''occasion of sin" for everyone. There is something really democratic about that.

We must pay attention to ourselves. I am convinced that the Evil are not Special Snowflakes of Evil for the most part -- they are lazy. I mean, who really wants to do self examination unless compelled to do so by alcoholism, tragedy or intellectual peculiarities? Or perhaps impelled by love of God/Truth/Light/Art or whatever version of the Divine you may have given yourself over to.
Since the primary motive of the evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within the church. What better way to conceal one's evil from oneself, as well as from others, than to be a deacon or some other highly visible form of Christian within our culture? ... I do not mean to imply that the evil are anything other than a small minority among the religious or that the religious motives of most people are in any way spurious. I mean only that evil people tend to gravitate toward piety for the disguise and concealment it can offer them. - Martin Buber, Good and Evil, pg. 111.
To be continued...