Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Social Justice Coalition

by AJ/Skald

A quick recommendation for an excellent blog: The Social Justice Coalition (also see link under freedom fighters). Kris subtitles the site, "The liberal answer to the christian coalition." Its a great site with a lively ongoing dialogue about spirituality and social justice.

While the recent debate among Democrats about "values" strikes me as pathetic, the deeper issue of spirituality as a base for social movements is right on track. As I've mentioned earlier, its not by accident that MLK and Gandhi were highly spiritual people. Their power came from deep convictions and personal integrity.... something all the smug, suit-clad Democrats will never be able to spin-- no matter how much they blather on about values.

Kris' site gets to the heart of the matter. In my opinion, any "religion" or spiritual practice that does not refine the character of those practicing it is worthless. And by refine I mean to help the person become more open, more aware, more tolerant, more accepting, kinder, wiser... and to have a greater grasp of the nature of life, existence, and "the Infinite" AT AN EXPERIENTIAL LEVEL.

Only retards and idiots recite sentences from books and consider that "morality" or religion. True spirituality (the term I prefer) is about EXPERIENCE. That's why I favor Eastern and Shamanic practices, because these paths emphasize a direct encounter with the universe/Tao. Also, these paths are not obseesed with a view of some "God" who is a childish, humanlike, spoiled Dictator... who we must all kiss up to and grovel before. Is this really that different than the religions of the Vikings, the Greeks, or the Romans? Instead of a pantheon of nuerotic Gods... Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam have one. But "he" is just as arbitrary, cruel, and infantile as the Gods of the Norse and Greeks.

Haven't we evolved past this sort of childish thinking yet? Do we still need to cling to the idea of a comic book superhero ruling the universe... a ridiculous idea that breaks down with even the simplest examination. Do we still need to cling to the equally idiotic idea that this super hero wrote one (or more) "holy books" which we must obey as if they were a supernatural legal code?

The world, this life, and the universe are far, far more complex and mysterious than that.... as any decent shaman, meditator, mystic, or scientist will tell you. But, of course, these are people who have had experiences... who are dedicated to various forms of empirical investigation. But as Joseph Campbell noted, a priest/minister is a functionary-- someone who has NOT had an experience... a reciter of sentences, a performer of rituals, a politician, a fundraiser.

I think its time we put our trust in ourselves and our own experience and stop looking to these ambitious boobies for simplistic answers.

5 comments:

Kris said...

AJ/Skald,

Thanks for the encouragement. I will redouble my efforts and endeavor to improve America, and the World.

AJ said...

Mark Twain has a great quote in relation to religion... something along the lines of: "I judge a religion by whether the followers dog benefits from it". In other words, if the person is kinder and treats those weaker with more tolerance and decency... its a "good religion".

I'd say most Christians & Muslims fail this test miserably... and I've always found that the more they profess to be pious... the crueler, greedier, angrier, and meaner they are. Praise the Lord.

Kris said...

There is certainly room for improvement, among those who profess to be Christian.

AJ said...

[Also see my comment under "Shiura"]

I tend to pick on Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam because they, more than Eastern religions, claim to have an exclusive lock on "truth".

However, I'd say most Thai Buddhist fail Mark Twain's test too. They are bound up with the doctrine and tradition of Buddhism rather than its spirit. Buddhism is very clear, for example, about not taking life... yet most Thai Buddhist eat meat. They also do not ordain woman and thus over half the population is somehow "spiritually inferior" (though they would never admit this).

Anyway, I think that organized religions are a dead end. NO one has a monopoly on truth and no one human being is more of an "expert" on being human than any other.

Kris said...

I have talked to alot of people on The Internet, who are opposed to Organized Religion. I have talked to others who were opposed to Religion completely. Here is a quote that I found yesterday, that you might be interested in.

"It is not a matter of getting individuals into heaven, but of transforming the life on earth into the harmony of heaven."

(Walter Rauschenbusch)