Religion….it really is a load of old tosh…
We live we die…
… says CBQ on his blog. The first is a bit of a blanket statement that needs to be substantiated in more detail than either of us would like to go into, the second an undisputable fact, the third a disputable fact.
This attitude can arise from seeing religion as a set of beliefs, unprovable and scientifically unverifiable, set down centuries ago and upheld by social and political groupings for a mixture of motives, some altruistic, some political and self-aggrandising. And that is indeed one aspect of religion – but it’s not the only one. I’d describe myself as a religious person but I don’t believe in much of it. Rather than a set of beliefs I see religion as a set of practices, things you do, which have predictable and beneficial effects on aspects of the individual’s psychology, generating emotional warmth, mindfulness, equanimity and a reduction in ego-preoccupation. In short, maturity. These practices coexist with and are shaped by belief systems but I think the belief systems are actually secondary to the recognition, repeated in every generation, that these kinds of practice are of value. The practices come first, the beliefs and the organisations second. ‘Centuries of spiritual technologies’ as Leonard Cohen once put it. Beliefs and fanatical adherence to them creates mayhem in the world, agreed, but that’s the bathwater, not the baby.
Tell Tale Songs
FREE intro to Norman Lamont's music - Tell Tale Songs mini-album