I once claimed to believe in nothing, but I actually (very much so) believed in something and this belief manifested itself as the STEADFAST discrediting of religious beliefs (this is how I ‘practiced’ my ‘faith’). See, in order for me to keep on non-believin’ critical elements of religious faiths COULD NOT be true. Especially the miraculous stuff; because if ANY of it is/was then that would create doubt which could POSSIBLY mean that some of the other off-the-wall craziness could be POSSIBLY true. To avoid this doubt I either arrogantly dismissed the other-worldly bits outright or pedantically dissected them until practical explanations presented themselves, but sometimes they never did. And I would be left wondering: What if divinity simply IS aberration? There are some things that—by virtue of their hyper-aberrant nature alone—become undeniable yet sublimely (and contradictorily) undefinable at the same damn time (there’s no EASY explanation; just awe, wonder). It doesn’t matter what we do or do not believe, incredibly peculiar events magnetically draw our attention and WHY this happens is simple and gorgeously universal: We ain’t never seen no crazy shit like that before???!!!
Religion isn’t the problem with us, WE are the problem with US. Religions are the result of wonder, and like wonder they are meandering, disjointed and all-over-the map. In other words: SUBLIME manifestations of US1. But really, we aren’t even practicing religion, we’re worshiping TIME2. Just peep how new or new-ish religions take a beating (read: Mormonism, Scientology)—they are dismissed as cults full of crazy delusional idiots—yet what they propose isn’t really any ‘crazier’ than what the other long-standing religions propose.
As I said in another post: We know too many details about their origins. We can tie them to REAL, flawed, flesh-and-blood individuals. But the origins of the older, more established religions are shrouded in mystery and mystery is sexy as hell to us; it’s magical…and since there is no way to ABSOLUTELY prove the magic false we are left to WONDER if it is true. And these magical origins have been with us for ages! That means your father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father (and then some) ONLY knew of the magical origins and not the TRUE origins, thus the magic BECAME their truth. You can find a corollary in comic books; some people have no idea who the creator of Batman is which makes Batman REALER than his creator: a man who may one day be completely forgotten, but more than likely Bats will still be kickin.’ What this means is that RIGHT NOW we can create a God, send it out into the world and it could potentially EVOLVE into reality. Some may view this as complete bullshit and just further proof of why we need to do away with all the god-and-religion gobbledygook, I on the other hand, as a storyteller, find it sublime3.
1. When you come to terms with the utter nakedness of our experience in this universe it is both sublime and terrifying. Speaking of which: It’s a bit ironic how some atheists ‘deify’ religion, turn it into a malevolent being who must be excised from the world, while ignoring the fact that religions are manifestations of our inability to reconcile with the psychic entanglement of two seemingly divergent forces: fear and love; our universal bipolar disorder.
Most of us who talk about this heady stuff (self very much included) have not yet PERSONALLY reconciled with these forces which makes it damn near IMPOSSIBLE to get others to heed our words…unless we give them something to fear or hate. Speaking of which: I’ve noticed the media personalities (both online and off; big and small) that get the most attention are those with a consistent boogeyman. Doesn’t matter who or what it is. It could be white people, black people, religion, long division—doesn’t matter. We will converge from points far-and-wide—like warm water particles to a cold glass of Kool-Aid—to either defend ourselves against the hate or join in the hate…either way it’s the HATE that GOT us.↩
2. We receive information from nebulous ancient sources better than contemporary ones. For example, ‘some deep shit’ with an ancient sounding name attached to it seems MORE profound to us than if the same bit had Steve Harvey’s smiling-ass attached to it. The less we know about the originator of the information the more disembodied it seems. The more ethereal. The more ‘divine.’
There is a carnality to ‘new’ information that causes us to quickly dismiss it. An immediacy that makes it seem trivial. It is too ‘now.’ And this goes to show you just how much we are all ‘time cultists.’ We worship the tick-tock. Just peep how we elevate our ancestors to gods. We forget that they ate, shat and fucked just like us. We strip them of their senses of humor too. They’re not allowed to be ironic, satirical. They’re all stoic king and queen types who were REAL men and REAL women who possessed unshakable resolves. We don’t allow them to be human. How boring is that? Oh, and watch. Our descendants are gonna do the same thing to us. In a few thousand years when these contemporary* religions become the new REAL religions and all the religions we currently practice get downgraded to myth status (kinda like how we did Zeus and his homies) we’re gonna become boringly romanticized. Oh, the irony.
* It doesn’t have to be something we recognize NOW as a religion that becomes the next big thing in faith. It could be Apple. Just think of what a Steve Jobs figure will become once we forget all the details of his carnal life and focus on the revolution of human connectivity he led. Right now WE see this as a technological revolution. A future civilization may see it as a SPIRITUAL one. Especially if it gives way to broader, deeper connections between humans. I’m talking when the ‘phones’ vanish and the tech becomes PART of us. I know it’s hard to fathom this now. Seems like a joke now. But the funny thing is: this VERY post MAY be construed as prophetic if anything CLOSE to this happens. And to me that is beautifully and divinely hilarious.↩
3. …and also a form of ancestor worship.↩