Religilution - Narrative Non-Fiction
Everything in the known universe is in motion and changing. Our galaxy, our solar system, and our planet are in constant motion. Everything is evolving. Stars are exploding and imploding like kernels of popcorn in a giant pot of boiling oil. Planets and galaxies disintegrate, and the debris from these massive detonations coalesces into new planets. Entire solar systems and galaxies are devouring one another like a hotdog eating contest at the state fair. And, human spirituality is changing.
In the beginning, some 4.5 billion years ago according to current science, our earth was a cauldron of liquefied rock, boiling oceans, and what must have been devastating earthquakes, large atmospheric events unimaginable.
Relatively speaking, and notwithstanding the continuing earthquakes that heave the continental plates, one way or another, and mighty volcanoes spewing layers of flowing lava and ash to blanket the earth as it creates a new territory. Typhoons, monsoons, tornadoes, and tsunamis change the course of rivers and wash away the land and almost everything in their path. Our earth is quiet when compared to our fiery beginnings. The adjacent image shows the world that was literally on fire.
This is the essence of evolution. Everything is in motion, planets, atoms, and ideas bumping into each other, setting off a chain reaction. Whether you believe that a god, any god, was responsible for the creation or not, it seems obvious that the first edition of that God's work was far from perfect. What might someday be the finished product will most likely be the return of our planet to the cosmic dust from whence we came.
Will another planet that supports life be formed, and our history began all over again? They tell us that whatever may happen is still billions of years into the future, but it will come.
Like our universe and our world, religion has also evolved, and like our earth and the universe, often quite violently over the course of human history. And it is this evolution of religion that I find fascinating. It is more than a bit bewildering, and it is that evolution about which I'm going to share with you some history as well as my thoughts on the topic.
Warning! If you are devoutly religious, or even casually, so and the questioning of the various teachings to which you subscribe, or the idea of someone challenging the existence of God causes you to go into an uncontrollable rage, sending you in search of high-powered automatic weapons, then I strongly suggest you read no further.
Put this book down! Don't buy it! Even better, buy it so that you can burn it (This assumes I can ever get the damned thing published). Alternatively, return it to whomever or wherever it was borrowed.
Conversely, finish your business quickly and leave it in the bathroom where you found it. And please, don't tear out any pages, even if the toilet paper roll is empty. The next person might want to read the entire book.
It may seem to some as they journey throughout this monograph that I am attacking religion. I am honestly not. What I am doing, and have spent a significant portion of my life doing, is trying to understand the grip religion has on so many people throughout the world as one of the mysteries of life.
Why does religion seem to mesmerize some and repulse others? Why do we, as a species, seem to need religion to cope with the everyday ups and downs of life, birth, death, disaster, and winning Super Bowls. "I want to thank Jesus Christ for leading us to victory." I don't think I have ever heard the loser blame Jesus Christ or God for the loss. Can it be that God, if such an entity exists, really is that interested in a damn football game?
While I may well be critical of religion, my disdain is aimed more at the people who have perverted it and utilized religion for their selfish gains rather than the religion itself.
Most religions are not the problem, but rather the people who interpret and twist the philosophy, be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or any other spirituality for their selfish interests or political aspirations.
With notable exceptions, the Old Testament of Christianity, part of the Quran, and I suspect the Torah because the Old Testament is based to a large degree on that document, seem to emphasize love and tolerance over hatred and intolerance, although I must admit I don't believe I have ever read one word of the Torah.
It might be said that what I am saying in the ensuing pages qualifies as a type of religion.
One of the definitions of religion in Webster is, "an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group". I have an interest and a belief that is very important to me, thus, my atheism would seem to be a religion.
To the best of our knowledge, the rest of the animal kingdom has no concept of religion, accepting their fate in life without relying on a higher force orchestrating their lives, or their death. There is no convincing evidence that they even have a sense of the passage of time, save reacting to daylight and darkness by sleeping, awakening and other routines in their lives.
While the cow might think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, they seem quite content to spend their day grazing in fields of grass, pooping without thinking about it, and heading back to the barn for milking.
It is obvious that animals have a sense of life, or perhaps a value of life. Why else would the antelope run like hell when one of the large cats is in the neighborhood rather than simply lay down and become a meal? Every animal that is a tasty treat for a predator seems to be very aware of the danger of losing its life. But do they consider the prospect of an afterlife? Again, there's no clear indication of this, and I doubt very much that they do.
If you are as fascinated as I am by the journey of mankind on this earth, our evolving humanity, as well as our inhumanity, our progress, and our stumbles, and the general topic of sociology ― the study of human behavior ― which has to include the story of religion and its central role in human development, then you might enjoy reading this book. You may not agree with all of my assumptions or conclusions, but hopefully, you will ponder some of what I have to say.
There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs- commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.