Thursday, January 06, 2005

A riddle

A riddle of time, A riddle of space. A riddle of self, A riddle of place. Strip yourself of religion.

What do you have left? What have you removed – have you removed faith? Or, was it symbolic trappings of faith – meaningless icons?

Icons, a carried symbol, a relic – something that, in a different context, would be called garbage; a manmade structure or sculpture, bowed to, knelt or prostrated before. Is this religion?

Is it “Sunday-go-to-meeting” clothes? A funny little round cap? A beard, or long sideburns? Is that how religion is defined? Or maybe it’s declaring holiness through denunciations of others.

Hey, if they’re infidels, pagans or anti-whatever it is that symbolizes “the true faithful” – why not deny them rights, deny them love, torture em’, drown ‘em, burn ‘em at the stake. Is this religion?

Denounce lifestyles that don’t conform to a standard ignored by those who claim and advocate it. Who? Bin Laden? You? Me? That person over there? Was that centuries ago, or today?

Which is the pearl, which the swine? To know, we need to look inside ourselves ... not outward at others. We need accept that ... what is denied others shall lead to our being denied.

Strip yourself of “religion”. Remove the trappings and labels. What do you have left? Islamists, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Atheists and Agnostics – did the Tsunami care? They were all one before the power of ...

Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, Atheist and Agnostic – did they care when they reached into their hearts and wallets? Or, did they come forward naked – stripped bare of symbols, their hearts fully exposed?

Find that room, that closet, not in your home, but within your heart. Speak softly to the one you wish will hear. Look into your heart – striped of iconic references, or institutionalized structures and practice; and then turn you eyes to the world. Do you see a world where your heart can live?

You are spoken to as a child, because a child listens – they have ears and they hear, their eyes see the wonders of the universe in every small detail. Look as a child, see as a child, feel as a child.

Solomon, asking, was granted wisdom. Roaming his father’s library, ancient scripture revealed he had violated sacred law. Worried for his soul, he requested his wisest counselors to confer.

After much study, they concluded: ignorance allows redemption, if the action was done in pursuit of that believed lawful and proper. It is only when one is deceptive of purpose, and knowingly distorts or subverts the law, that they are without redemption. It is the Rule of Solomon.

The sin offering is due for an act done of ignorance – for redemption. Once a deity made it’s own offering – one asked of Abraham – all deeds done of ignorance forgiven. The law applies to all.

All species evolve, and grow – or become extinct. It is a natural part of the evolutionary process for the majority to oppose the evolution of the minority. But if the evolutionary step is beneficial to the species, evolution will occur and the new will eventually replace its progenitor.

With the dawning of the New Year, as a child, look into your heart, naked of religious reference – what remains brings you closer to solving your riddle.

Turn you eyes to the world – static, or changing? Examine core values – they are universal. But conditions change; when they do, symbolic superficial values or identities no longer make sense.

We are at war with one who cherishes a feudal age – as Jihad. We are being lead by those who cherish the same feudal era – as Crusade. Both hate the term “evolution”, so use it often – we evolve, or die at the hands of those who refuse to evolve.

Both have followers who assert actions justified by faith rather than law. Both are advocates of doctrines they ignore, thus taking actions that threaten society and humanity – but to what end?

While Pondering ... give praise to: our troops in Iraq undergoing tremendous stress; the marines with my brother Jim in Afghanistan; and those bringing a promise of life to the survivors in Asia.

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