Message number 191 in +quot;New Age Echo+quot; Date: 09-02-90 23:46 To: Jami Morgan Subj:

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Message number 191 in "New Age Echo" Date: 09-02-90 23:46 From: G. Adam Stanislav To: Jami Morgan Subj: Re: Messages JM > the 'truth'. At best we can believe in it. Anyone JM > who JM > really seeks the truth cannot and ought not seek it JM > under JM > the confines of one's own religion. True (or should I say good?) religion can be found by using several criteria: 1. It does not claim exclusivity any more than an art school does. Is Picasso rights and Michaelangelo wrong? 2. It sees itself as a school and means of growth. This again is opposed to exclusivity. If Harvard is a good school, does that mean UCLA is not? 3. It learns from other religions, as well as offers insights to them. 4. It does not consider its members any better than others. It does not offer automatic salvation by the virtue of joining, nor does it condemn anyone who does not join. There are probably many more criteria, but these have come to mind right now. Historically, mankind has always been separatist: My country is better than your country, my city is better than your city, my race is better than your race, my compiler is better than your compiler, my computer is better than your computer, etc. Of course, my religion is better than your religion. But it is not necessary for a religion to consider itself better than others, or exclusive to others. Even if religions disagree, they do not need to view each other negatively. Do not scientists disagree? When they do, do they deny the other scientists are "true" scientists? Of course not. The my xyz is better than your xyz attitude originated in the need of survival, the need of security. Human mind wants to know the truth so badly, it is willing to pretend it has found it. This is really more a function of the ego than of the mind. And the ego will make everything possible to preserve the illusion of having the truth, including declaring all other truths wrong. The solution is not in denying one's religion, or religion per se, but rather accepting the fact there is nothing wrong about not knowing everything. Religion is good inasmuch it has helped millions to follow a path toward pure spirituality. One may get stuck on one's path and refuse to grow and outgrow one's religion. But this is not necessarily the fault of religion (although granted, there are religions that want to tie one to themselves permanently). If one gets stuck, it is usually one's own fault. Let me show an analogy. Let us assume someone goes to college. In college he learns many things. But what if he does not want to graduate? What if he wants to stay in college forever. What if he does not want to outgrow college. Is that his college's fault? The purpose of going to college is not to need to go there anymore after some time. No college in its sane mind would want its students to stay on the same level for the rest of their lives. On the contrary, colleges are proud of their students who have become pioneers in any field. There is an important thing about colleges: College graduates, once they have outgrown their college, do not usually say that college is no good. But many people who have outgrown their religion look at religion as something negative, something bad. They are usually missing the point: They usually forget that there was a time when they learned from their religion. Look at some true mystics in our Western history, perhaps St. Theresa of Avilla, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of the Cross, and others. Each and every one of them truly outgrew their religion. Indeed, many were misunderstood, even persecuted by others in the same religion. Yet they did not turn against their religion, they saw a value in it. I think if people viewed religion as a school, they would look at many things from a different angle: They would not think about other religions as bad, they would be able to graduate from one religion to another if needed, and if the time came for them to graduate and stand on their own feet altogether, they would not become negative about their religion, they might even assume the role of teachers in their school. Adam --- FD 1.99c * Origin: Children of the Light, unite! (1:129/39)


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank