Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Towards a New Religion

Our tribe gave up much of our indigenous religion under the pressure of Christianity, but there are still some of us who practice some of the old ways along with the best parts of Christianity. yes, some is incompatible, like belief in the spirits and sanctity of nature (the old ways) and the belief that only people have souls and everything else is fallen/demonic (Christianity). But much is still compatible.

I have always thought it would be interesting and a good direction to combine the following elements into a religion of some kind:

1. Indigenous spirituality with a three-part focus on
a. various deities and/or powers of nature (with recognition of the Great Mystery that is unknowable beyond even the gods),
b. one's ancestors and families,
c. the land where you live that you must care for)

2. The religion should (must) be consistent with what is known to be true through science (evolution, the scientific method, physics, astronomy, etc.) to be consistent with truth and rationality as far as possible (short of being nihilistic or dogmatically atheistic). Superstition is to be avoided, however mythic thinking is necessary too...

3. While knowing the physical aspects of existence are best explained by science, the religion must be open to mythic thinking, to account for our needs that cannot be met otherwise, as we are not only rational beings but we are irrational creatures as well. Art, storytelling, myth, ritual need to all be part of it as well.

4. The religion should combine universals of ethic systems such as treating another as you wish to be treated (golden rule), the best of such systems as Stoicism (endure and accept, and deal with whatever happens) and Epicureanism (smell the flowers while ye may and drink wine for tomorrow we die) both with equanimity (my tribe feasted when there was food and fasted tranquilly when there was not). Hospitality and a warrior's code to defend the community should be incorporated because of what will happen during a collapse, as our society seems to be hurtling towards.

Finally, it should be flexible enough to allow for people of different backgrounds to come to some kind of understanding… "men of goodwill"..whether Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, atheist, or whatever, to be able to focus on the common ground (ethics, golden rule, honesty, family) rather than the focus on the differences, which keep us always in religion-based warfare and conflict.