Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Losing My Religion

Pick one. Pick the right one and you win. Pick the wrong one and you lose. Like the lottery, you pays your money and you takes your chances.
Pick any one. One's as good as the other. Like buying a car, there are differences, but you end up where you wanted to get to anyway.
Pick two (or more.) Not allowed. If you aren't with us you're against us.
Pick none. You're on your own. Now what are you going to do?

As a teenager, I wrestled with the question of religion. Not the question of faith so much, I accepted the daily miracle of existence at face value, what ever it is that's going on has been going on and will continue going on, with or without me. Try your luck, you're already in the game, you might as well play. The question of which religion to follow is harder. You can examine articles of faith, see how each faith works in the world, and try to come to an acceptable conclusion. The active faiths (Christianity, Islam) are built on bloodshed, intolerance and tyranny. I'm not saying that's bad, that just happens to be how a organized faith maintains its existence. The passive faiths (some forms of Buddhism and meditative disciplines) seem to be so disengaged from the world that there comes a time where life becomes meaningless (indeed, that is the aim). There are a few that mix 'n match and others based more on social structure (Mormons) that lacked appeal for me. The big idea that is missing is the old religion, the White Goddess, Astarte, Venus or any of the other suppressed early religions. Naturism, Animism, Paganism, ways of belief that have been nearly squelched, but whose principles underlie most of our religions. What I became aware of then, and have continued to see, is the failure of modern religion to come to grips with sexuality, and the inherent complementary equality of men and women. Through a long biological history, we have become the human organism, in two parts, but each essential to the other. Jesus was close to breaking through the emnity that had been established after the Goddess had been overthrown. Mary Magdelene, currently a very controversial figure in biblical history, could have been the completion of a unified religion. History, of course, shows otherwise. Perhaps one problem of the feminist movement is that it has been primarily political, whereas it is really a religious issue.

But men and women do meet, fall in love (is love a religious belief?), and some couples make it together, some better than others, some longer than others, some not at all. Children are born, the world is renewed. So, are you on your own? Or must you be part of a larger 'body of faith' to be complete? Whatever your choice, you have to live with it, you have to die with it.

By Professor Batty



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