What is Religion?


Anonymous said...

You raise so many good questions here... and I think a) yes religion is an idea, and a belief. ( Just as any other thought you have about yourself and the world around you -- how do you know for certain that those thoughts are true?) Beliefs are merely place holders for a "knowing" that comes later.

But IMO, there is so much fear in people, as a rule, and they employ religion (as a concept, i.e. the shallow or surface relationship I believe you are indicating) in order to provide themselves a certainty that ultimately doesn't exist. Because they can't "know" -- what will happen in the next second, breath, etc, they can only know what they know in the moment, anything beyond that is only what they've been told.

The actual latin for religion, "religiare" actually has the same root as "yoga" -- both words indicate a tethering or yoke, or union. The problem I see with religions these days is 99% of them are based on surface assumptions and heresay and many are ill equipped, frightened or uninterested in discovering what's true about themselves. But the way many go about these days lacks an understanding of the human body and the empirical spiritual research that has been done through observation.

But short answer: religion is just another thought. And some thoughts are true-er than others, but they are still just thoughts.


Casey said...

Thanks, Lindsay. As you probably suspect, I'm totally on board with your vision of spirituality needing to (re-)connect, or re-yoke, with our notions and experiences of the body.

No one would daresay we shouldn't speak about physiological truths in public education--so I just wonder why we don't speak more, and more earnestly, about "religion" in the schools.

But then, if we judge by public education's record on things like math and science, maybe we don't want to trust them with talking about religion in an effective way?

Anonymous said...

HA! Yeah, really -- do we want to trust our schools to talk about these things? :)

Personally, I think it's preposterous that we *don't* require a Comparative Religions & Ethics course for seniors in all HS across the country.

The mere fact that 77% of the US considers themselves affiliated with some sort of belief system (organized or not) is a huge issue to hurdle or just sweep under the separation of church/state rug, when it's obviously such a huge part of life for so many people.

I think if students had to wrestle and look at texts, even just as "history of thought" and not about faith, at least there wouldn't be SO much misunderstanding, ignorance and hate about the purpose of belief systems.

_ LIndsay