Thursday, February 17, 2005

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave.

Lately it occurred to me that I should say one particular thing. This thing isn’t the easiest thing to say because there are as many ways to say it as there are to misunderstand it. Then again, there’s no guarantee that saying it makes any difference or that not saying it will make any difference. Understanding and misunderstanding have their own way of getting to where they are going. One is always arriving and the other is always leaving, until it understands and that could be considered the moment of arrival.

There’s no way that the things I discuss on this blog are designed for general consumption. However broad and embracing the principals may be they are not a Wal-Mart product. Organized religion and the variants of the day are engaged in specific routines for specific reasons. It hardly serves the purposes of any organization if their customers don’t need them any more. It’s said that the truth will set you free. This is true but it is not good business practice.

Organized religion is a training bike with bondage regalia built in. In some cases the wheels are in grooves and you only hold on to the handlebars for balance. God forbid you should actually steer. Balance is obviously a cause of concern if you’ve got to strap yourself down for the ride.

A number of organizations, seeing the sweet deal that organized religion has are determined to get into the game. Scientology is a great example. Well, great example of a bad example. It’s all about control; all of them, new and old; all about control. The Hubbardite’s have even gone to the priestly collar. Wow! Did I just say ‘collar’? Okay, moving right along... Whether you’re considering the Raelians, the Solar Temple or any quasi-established or emerging coagulate of doctrine on little toast sandwiches with the crusts cut off, it’s about control. Freedom is difficult to control. Of course, in order to have freedom, to really appreciate freedom, you have to have control. You have to be disciplined enough to experience freedom. Because otherwise, the speed and the lack of control lead very quickly into whatever environment there may be by the side of the road and beyond.

I’m not going to say I know where I’m going. I will say I know where I’m trying to go and I’m confident about where I’m getting my directions. It would be a real horror story by now otherwise, so I think I can be confident about where I’m getting my directions. I’m not getting my directions from organized religion.

Now, my point here is not to attack organized religion. At the elementary level it serves a purpose. It exercises a control over certain forces at a particular level of mind awareness and no doubt helps in the formation of character somewhat more than, hmmm, you know, I’m not even sure about that. There are dangers to organized religion because organized religion can get you killed. They’ll send you off to war after they’ve convinced you of the imprimatur of the divine upon the conflict. The church and state work together in many ways. They channel your natural aggression toward a selected enemy and they legislate and pontificate against the expression of natural sexual force.

You might say, Les, it would be Babylon out there without the good offices of the church and state to control against immoral behavior. I’d suggest you adjust your capacity to identify Babylon. You probably know that one of the chief by products of the Afghanistan war is the renewed flow of Opium. If you were more penetrating you’d know that a particular former high office holder has had long term ties with this particular substance. Opium is against the law unless you control the application of the law. A lot of things are against the law unless you control the application of the law.

Various sexual excesses, possibly all sexual excesses, are against the tenants of organized religion. My take is that all vice is against the tenants of organized religion. For however many years you have been here you have seen to what degree the representatives of organized religion have adhered to the rules of their organization. You can see too, how organized religion has directed the attention of its fellowship.

My interests and the interests of organized religion are different. For one thing, organized religion is not about the hereafter as you might suppose. It’s about the right here awaiting a promised somehow somewhere and the containment of the collective mind toward the growth and maintenance of the organization. Of course, I’m not about the hereafter either but I’m not cutting a deal with you about how doing what you’re told here will lead to a hereafter there. You don’t get there from here. Here is all there is. If you don’t get it here you won’t get it there. As Yogananda so astutely puts it, “If you don’t look for God in the springtime of your life, he won’t be there in the winter.”

Gee Les, but isn’t that what organized religion does? Well, the thing is, thinking about God is fine. Looking for God is fine. Defining God is not fine. Speaking for God, in (grin) his imagined absence and determining for you what God wants is not fine. The priesthood has set itself up as an intermediary between God and man. Yet if the intermediary is filtering the information, or creating the information according to constructs of its own design then it really isn’t about God. Either God is a part of you or not. If God is a part of you then desire for contact is like a phone ringing in the office.

We are passing from one age into the next. A huge change, generally unseen, is sweeping across the earth. It is working within the heart of humanity and upon the environment of humanity as well. The dry texts of a former time are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the needs of the present time. Some can see this, many can’t.

It may be that some of the things you read here strike a sympathetic chord. Then again it may be that the things said here create a reaction based on an attachment to a dogmatic position of apparent safety within an established purview. I can’t resolve the seeming contradiction for those whose investment lies in being told what to do by organizations devoted to mind control. There isn’t any way that what I have encountered can be easily melded with something that works against a greater freedom of thought and action.

It’s a hard thing to speak to the riddle of existence from one position when it all flies in the face of what is generally accepted. Perhaps you believe that Excedrin is what you need for that headache. Perhaps you believe that Faith of Our Fathers is a joyful sound that sets Heaven dancing. I don’t know what you think. For some it is no problem to reconcile bingo nights with edicts against gambling. Bill Bennett doesn’t have a problem with that. It may be that one should go in silence through the contradictions and leave those who remain to the fate of what they believe. Is freedom just another word for nothing left to lose?

There are two Indian saints who come to mind; Ramana Maharshi and RamaKrishna. Both of them despaired of finding God and simply laid down refusing all food and drink, determined to find God or die. They both found God. Such intensity is necessary at some point. Anyone who would even go into a room, and spend several days ceaselessly calling out to the divine would receive a life changing experience. But who has that intensity? Who burns so with such a fire that they will go at such practices again and again? Who is driven in such a way that they ceaselessly bring their mind back to the thirst for God over and over again in every moment of every day? Such a number are very, very few. Organized religion is convenient. It gives the satisfaction of one foot in the water on certain repeating days. It allows for many things while it milks guilt and fear for the resources to maintain its presence. It’s big and it’s strong, or so it seems, and it can get pissed at you for setting up a contrast.

So this thing here, this website, is just a small thing in a backwater location of a wide internet. It’s not advertised. It’s not funded. It’s not about buildings and golden altar accoutrements or yearly celebrations of holidays that were once called pagan. It’s not about telling you what to do or even giving any more than guidelines. It’s just the personal ruminations of one who looks and the after-following reflections of that pursuit. If the water satisfies then help yourself. Otherwise, there are no lack of alternatives.

10 comments:

ciinc said...

First published in the Jul 6, 1911 edition of the Industrial Worker "Little Red Songbook" as "Long Haired Preachers,", credited to F. B. Brechler (subsequently credited to Joe Hill in Mar 6, 1913 fifth edition)


Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
CHORUS:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
The starvation army they play,
They sing and they clap and they pray
'Till they get all your coin on the drum
Then they'll tell you when you're on the bum:
Holy Rollers and jumpers come out,
They holler, they jump and they shout.
Give your money to Jesus they say,
He will cure all diseases today.
If you fight hard for children and wife --
Try to get something good in this life --
You're a sinner and bad man, they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell.

Workingmen of all countries, unite,
Side by side we for freedom will fight;
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we'll sing this refrain:


FINAL CHORUS:
You will eat, bye and bye,
When you've learned how to cook and to fry.
Chop some wood, 'twill do you good,
And you'll eat in the sweet bye and bye.

Anonymous said...

You scare me sometimes Les. You speak directly to my soul, seriously.

The training wheels analogy you made, that's not the first time I've heard it. I met a man on the street once, undoubtedly a man of God. It was a strange encounter...we talked and I asked him about church and organized religion. He used the exact same analogy. This was many years ago.

You speak the truth on this subject but make it a point to not to completely degrade it. I appreciate and respect that. It's everything you said it is but it's also a starting point for many, including myself. The seeds for that intensity, that desire that you mention were planted (in my case) with the help of organized religion.

Now I reach for God with every breath, every minute of the day.

Thanks for this, it was tremendous and I"m glad you said it.

ben

Anonymous said...

What a deft touch. You take the most difficult subjects and just make a wreath out of them. I've been reading here since day one. You've been brilliant throughout but you've gained a subtlety and grace you didn't have before. Nice work!

z a

Anonymous said...

One more excellent piece of work big guy. I think I can safely predict that one day your work will be read the world over. I am seldom impressed and never, except for you, consistently impressed.

Bruce

Anonymous said...

Splendid!

Anonymous said...

It's no small talent to remain interesting. I always feel that your essay ends sooner than I would have liked. This was a good one since I hate organized religion.

Anonymous said...

My antenna went up when you did that article on the evil British Empire. This runs into the same line. I don't know why it is so hard for people to believe they are being manipulated all day long.
It appears that they deserve it.

Erin

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that.

O

Anonymous said...

Nothing ever changes except the people going throught it.

Anonymous said...

hunter s. thompson RIP 2-20