Of course all religion teaches about some divine which instructs us. Even psychology and political philosophies recognize some higher power. Psychology follows in the teachings of Freud and Jung among others. Marx and Lenin dominate certain persuasions of Marxism. If you doubt that then prove to me that there is an Id, Ego and Superego. That proposition by Freud is a theory that you cannot prove and it is accept by faith.
Of course everybody puts their own personal slant on things. Some people put so much slant that they destroy the original intent of the teachers. Evangelical Christians are lustful for war forgetting how the Bible teaches us to remember the poor and to ‘love our enemies’. A person’s true adherence to a teaching is not proven by word of mouth but rather by their actions.
The divine or source of religion expounds upon how to live life. This breaks down into two general categories, how to control self and how to treat others.
Self is something that needs to be conquered. We need to both stop sinning and improve ourselves. We need to mold ourselves closer to the divine model that has been taught to us. This requires much work and attention upon the adherent’s part. Indeed improving self is a never ending quest.
Secondly religion sets standards on how we interact with out fellow human beings. This can be complex but generally we treat others benevolently with love. But exactly who we love and how we love could vary with various religions.
Religion sets the standards in so many countries. Unfortunately this sets the stage for intolerance and oppression. Even in religions which their doctrines have no direction to oppress other faiths this persecutions happen. That is evident from the history of the world, whether it be the crusades, the inquisition or the burning of witches or a law forbidding preaching to those of the faith.
Here is my problem with religion and that is that for the most part they all claim to be religions of peace. Yet we know historically and practically that mankind has been engaged in perpetual war on planet Earth. So the question that begets answering is what goes wrong?
I guess we can’t point the bony finger of blame at God. Many do but I find that a dodging of responsibility. After all we are all responsible for our actions. If God gave us a beautiful planet full of enough resources to take care of ourselves in a great way, why should he get blamed because we have messed everything up. It goes back to the two pillars of religion. If we just listened to the faith we would have improved ourselves to the point where we all simply got along.
One of the problems is that leaders in faiths can hold tremendous amounts of power. Power corrupts people. There is something about power that when a person craves for it they are never satisfied with number one. Everybody who lusts for control lusts for complete control. That is simply of the nature of how things are. So the waters of religion is made murky by self serving opportunists who see the calling of a minister as an opportunity to serve self.
Also most people do not approach their dogmas with complete honesty. Rather they cherry pick the scriptures choosing only the ones that fit their private ideologies. That is why a plurality of groups can adhere to the same set of scriptures while professing contrary and even opposite edicts.
So what is right? That is for you to decide based on what works for you.
Here is a book of poetry to reflect upon, “Murmurings Of A Mad Man”. http://amzn.to/2Clrzzn
Photos by Olivia Ortiz Asenita Fernandez,