Thursday, 18 July 2013

God is sneaky III: All Nor Nothing

By James Kyle

Having looked at the problematic side of religion here and here, it is important of course to acknowledge the good aspects. Parts of the bible are are beautiful and inspiring and indeed offer words of wisdom. Consider this updated translation of Matthew 12:31 from "The Hidden Gospel" by Neil Douglas-Klotz. :

All types of tangled behavior,

the missing and falling,

the rips and tears-

all the ways you cut yourself off,

break your connection, or 

disrupt the pattern-

can and will be mended.

Sooner or later, you will be freed from error,

your mistakes embraced with emptiness,

your arrhythmic action returned to the original beat.

But your state cannot be mended or repaired,

when you cut yourself off from the Source of all rhythm-

the inhaling, the exhaling

of all air, wind, and atmosphere, seen and unseen-

the Holy Breath

However a key to true spiritual progress is in the use of discernment. Because there are some truths in this ancient book does not mean it is 100% true. I confess I sometimes cannot keep myself from laughing out loud when I see some bible belt preacher on TV declaring with glee that the mention of some obscure geographical point in the bible has been proven by some recent archaeological find. Yes, of course, runs the implied logic, if one thing is true in the holy book, such as the discovery of a minor goat track through the barren dessert, then inevitably it means that it is all true. And that would go for the numerous contradictions within the book I assume. But then perhaps because it is divine it gets an exemption for any need for internal consistency. The Lord moves in mysterious ways indeed.

May I suggest that this all or nothing way of thinking leads us astray on many different levels. For example, we think of food as "good" for us. OK it may mean we put on weight, but something we explicitly label as food, in moderation, certainly cannot do us any harm. Consider this, it would probably be better to think of sugar as white poison, that for some, wheat is a destructive toxin, and for many, milk products have deleterious side effects. Yes, "food" is another example of a mental construct, a short cut label, hiding the true underlying nature of reality. Depending on the individual there are good foods and bad foods. And for many individuals, without discernment and empirical trials the general lethargy and dis-spiritedness they experience in everyday life may be a direct result of that toast and jam, accompanied by that mandatory milk laden caffeinated beverage.

So when you are examining your world view to ascertain what may be disempowering you and leading you astray, whether this is in the domain of your diet or the philosophical foundation of your way through life please remember, with respect to your current belief system, it is not all or nothing, but a case of partial truths - and therefore discernment is required to separate the wheat from the chaff. Now where have I came across that expression before?