Posts tagged ‘god’

First of all, I begin with a simple postulate, that all men are fallible; that is to say, all human beings are capable — and even given to — declaring a falsity beit knowlingly or not. More simply put, we are all capable of being wrong by virtue of being human. Secondly, I observe that all religious teaching is passed along by and through humans, and furthermore that all religious knowledge comes to each of us from another human beit a pastor, a parent, a teacher. Thirdly, the first two points being made, one must conclude that the entirety of religious knowledge is capable of being false being that it is handed down from human to human and humans have the capability — and even the propensity — for being fallible. Therefore, I ask: how can I trust this knowledge? How can I be sure that it is true? How can I know that it was not misinterpreted in some way having been marred by the hands of history. How do I know that these are indeed the words to escape the lips of God?

Imagine Moses atop Mount Sinai receiving he Ten Commandments. One can say that God made Moses’s ears ripe for the listening. One can say that the words in and of themselves are such that their anunciation creates the perfection of their understanding, that is to say, the words are so powerful that they cannot be misintereted or falsified. And yet how am I to know what is and isn’t the word of God? Because I am told so? How do I trust THAT? And so we return to our dilemma.

One could also say that religious knowledge is true by virtue of one’s knowing it is true. In other words, it is true because I know that it is true and, through free will, I am able to distinguish between truth and untruth. And yet what is often the case is that one man’s truth is nonsense to another. You see, when we say this, we step away from reason and into the realm of faith. And in so doing we circle back to our original dilemma.

We are left with the simple conclusion that all religious knowledge is fallible. If this is true, then whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, you must ultimately ask yourself the question: Can one speak for God? In fact, wouldn’t it be a sin to speak on God’s behalf? Couldn’t it be the greatest sin of all?

Baby KrishnaGrowing up Hindu, I was surrounded by the folklore of Krishna. For those of you who are not familiar with Krishna, he was an incarnation of God, an Indian prince, that blue-skinned dude in old Indian paintings. You could say is the equivalent of Jesus although that does neither him nor Jesus any justice.

I won’t get into details about Krishna since it goes beyond a mere blog post, so I’ll leave it to Wikipedia to get your started. Growing up learning about the life of Krishna, one thing had always struck me as peculiar. You see, unlike Jesus, there are many stories of Krishna’s childhood. Through old stories in the Mahabharata, we see Krishna grow up. And unlike Jesus, we see this child, this god-incarnate, as a mischievous little bastard.

Yes, folks, little Krishna gots himself into a mess o’ trouble. He’d steal butter. He’d tie people up. He’d steal the clothes of young women. And with godlike acuity and magic, he just as easily got himself out of trouble. Which of course always struck me as odd. Because this flies in the face of everything we know about God. God, the creator, the all-powerful, the all-knowing, etc., etc. So why would God manifest Himself as a mischievous child? What does that say about Hinduism?

I simply ignored these tales as rubbish for many years until I had an epiphany, and the epiphany was this: It does say something about Hinduism. In many pagan religions, gods are looked up to as one would look up to a mother or a father. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, God is the father. Even Freud said that our feelings about our parents are transferred to that being we call God. And we want to be like children again with an ever-loving God to protect us.

And yet in Hinduism, we have this God-child, this Krishna, who with all of his wiles, all of his mischief, Hindus accept and worship. Because while in other religions, people are taught to love God as one would love a mother or a father, Hindus — through Krishna — are taught to love God as one would love a child. Unconditionally. Without fear or remorse. With acceptance and care. Like a mother or a father would. Like a grownup.

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It is well known that oxygen inhaled in pure form is an intoxicant. In fact, pure oxygen in excess can cause brain damage. And that is the irony, for although we need oxygen to live, it is oxygen itself that can kill us. Oxygen — clean and pure — is a poison.

In the name of God, country, religion, ethnicity, community, what-have-you, people have always echoed the cry for purity. Individuals of different ethnic origins have been hunted down. Marriages between different races have been denounced. Even ideas borne of a different perspective are eradicated. All on a mission for purity.

But purity is neither the way of nature nor the way of God. Indeed the inherent yearning of all life is towards impurity. Children bred of small gene pools have a smaller survival rate. We all come from dust and return to dust. Our very bodies, in fact, are inhabited by millions of bacteria that we rely on to live. No, mixing is the way or nature, mixing is the admonition of God. We are meant to mix.

So when people cry for purity, I think of oxygen. A little bit of pure oxygen creates euphoria, blurs your vision of reality, makes you think and behave in irrational ways. And so it is with purity itself. It intoxicates. And those intoxicated by it see the world not as it is, but as their delusions demand it to be. And this is how prejudice breeds, crimes are perpetrated, and wars are begun — out of the insanity of purity.

But purity is a poison. It is unnatural. It snubs its nose at the world. And it is misunderstood. Pure white light is not pure at all. White light — pure and natural — is actually a mixture of all the colors of the spectrum.

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