Divine Neutrality, Blog. Science, Philosophy

Fauna of Convictions

March 22nd, 2009

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Fundamentally there is no point to being alive. People live. They don’t dwell on its pointlessness.

Most fabricate a meaning for existence. They manufacture a ‘point’:  to serve God, to make music, to create art, to succor the family, to attain high speeds, to wreak vengeance … To ‘do’ something or other. The ‘doing’ is sanctified by calling it ‘the meaning of life’. But on the cosmic scale of things none of these activities qualifies as ‘meaning of life’. They’re merely expressions of human enthusiasms. Subjective passions not ultimate insight.

A few accept that the phrase “the meaning of life” has no meaning. They are the ones who delight in pointlessness.

Meaninglessness has implications. One is that there is no God. I can’t prove it. Nor can I prove that there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy. By the time of adolescence one accrues enough experience of life to relegate these concepts to charming myth. It is experience of life – awareness of natural process – that relegates God to myth.

Is existence due to will (the will of God)? If there were a God, is he interested in the trivial foibles of human affairs? The idea of God embedded in these questions is simply too primitive for a mature, reasonably educated person to embrace.

Medieval battles were preceded by fervent appeals of the combatants to God. “May God grant me victory over my enemy.” Was the outcome determined by the appeals? Surely not.

On earth, death is the release granted terrible suffering. Can there be an afterlife of interminable suffering from which not even death can offer relief? The alternative is an afterlife in which one floats around interminably happy in the presence of God.

These are such manifestly fairy tale notions that it is difficult to understand how functioning adults could believe them. But a large number evidently do believe them. And with fervor. Lives are molded by these convictions.

How charmingly diverse are the life forms among human convictions.

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Enlightenment

April 4th, 2008

enlightenment
Among many people who were not bold enough to do it, my sister, Simma, confessed to seeing no humour in this cartoon.* Wherein lies the humor?

You are a seeker. You have heard of an enlightened one. He is a hermit who lives in a cave in the side of a mountain. You must struggle to get there. The arduous climb symbolizes the struggle to attain nirvana – become enlightened. In clothes befitting the nakedness of your soul and your readiness to become a devotee you ascend the mountain. And, at last, just over the last ledge your struggle is to be rewarded. You will see the enlightened one, an ascetic bearded prophet of great age.

Instead you see a 40 year old hairy man dressed in woman’s underwear, wearing a wig and made up like a hooker, sitting in the lotus position. But then, this astonishingly silly figure speaks the words that his appearance illustrates. And these turn out to be the most profound words imaginable: Disillusionment is enlightenment!

Disillusionment, something mourned by many as the loss of innocence, is declared to be the kernel of enlightenment. By a man whose very appearance embodies disillusionment to the seeker.

The power of this cartoon is of biblical proportions. It is Michaelangelo’s David of cartoons. A masterpiece. Because it speaks profundity through humor.

The pealing away of illusion is surely enlightenment.
And the pealing away of illusion is what disillusionment means.
Disillusionment is enlightenment.

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Why Is There Anything?

March 14th, 2008

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I am thinking about the functions of religion. What does organized religion give to people that drives them to suspend reason. What is the nature of man that religion exists?

I conclude that people need guided ceremony. And they need prayer: something to offer consolation in times of despair and celebration in times of joy. There exist organizations that offer prayers. Besides the prayers of traditional religions, there are many groups offering non-denominational prayers. Unitarians do this. I googled non-denominational prayers and was led here:

theGreenBelt blogspot, Non-denominational prayer

This site gives some examples of non-denominational prayers. I find them quite poetic. What disturbs the rather astute writer of that excellent greenbelt blog is the futility of the prayer. She is not so much disturbed by the references to deity, God and Creator. Here’s one of the prayers.

Let us pray. We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky, and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.

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