Friday, January 5, 2007

The Churchless Hits the Target

Over at Church of the Churchless, Brian has penned a great post, Eliminate the Middleman Between You and God. He discusses a concept you'll often often find here: The separation of beings inherent in religious belief.
My biggest problem with the God-human mediator business is this: the whole notion is founded on duality—separation. Jesus is considered to be the mediator between two estranged partiess, God and humankind. Similarly, in Sikhism (and offshoots such as Sant Mat) the guru reunites separated ones with God.

However, a central thrust of modern science is that unity lies at the heart of reality. Physics speaks of the space-time continuum and quantum connectedness. It seeks the Theory of Everything, not Theories.

So it’s difficult for me to believe that the spiritual realm, if it exists, is more disconnected than the foundation of material existence. But this is what religions would have us believe.

This idea of separation got me to thinking about a debate we're having in the Green Party of Washington State (GPoWS). Written into our bylaws is the idea that we will try to reach decisions via the consensus process. Mind you, we don't really employ the consensus process since, if there are blocks, we revert to super majority voting after two attempts to reach consensus.

A few of us would like to employ a true consensus process in our committee structure. Surprisingly, at least to me, most of my fellow members on the State Council are vehemently against this idea.

I'm surprised by their reaction simply because the Green movement worldwide stresses the concepts of community and cooperation, the very heart of the consensus process. I've tried to make this point, but I don't seem to be making any headway.

For me, majority voting highlights the separate provinces of each person. Emphasis is placed on what each person thinks is best, not necessarily what's best for the group. While people can certainly lobby each other and form voting blocks, when the secret ballot is employed, each person ultimately decides for themselves what they think is best for the group.

Utilizing the consensus process, the whole point is to arrive at a solution that encompasses the various perspectives within the group and thus, the group as a whole, renders decisions. Unlike majority voting -- which creates separation by having winners and losers -- consensus strives to create decisions that everyone participating can feel good about.


  1. The very thing that drew me to Taoism is the idea of being connected with everything. I had been ostracized by people I thought were my friends, and felt very disconnected from everyone. Traditional religions offer no recovery from that - God is always separate from the believer. I needed something that included, rather than excluded me, and so I came to the Tao. Or the Tao recovered me, as I guess I truly see it.

    I think only those whose ego has truly died for some reason or another can really find Tao. As long as you feel separated, you can't know Tao. And once you do, you are never separate again.


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