Sunday, November 30, 2008

No More, No Less

As I wrote here a year or two ago, I grew up in the Presbyterian Church and even applied to Seminary with the intent of becoming a minister. But several nagging questions kept me from traversing that path. One of my biggest points of internal struggle was the concept of Jesus as part-man, part-God.

For me, the part-God portion mucks everything up. It negates the message Jesus' life was supposed to typify. If he was truly endowed with the omniscient self, then all the supposed trials, tribulations and suffering he went through are, in my view, severely downgraded. How can one truly suffer from human misery and terror if part of that self knows everything is going to work out a-ok in the end?

This is the precise reason why the unknown is so scary for aspies and neurotypicals alike. We simply don't know if our trials and tribulations will take us to a greater place or if we all merely wind up as heaps of dust at the end. This not knowing is the motor of fear and anxiety.

In my view, the Jewish carpenter would be worthy of all this adulation IF believers accepted the fact that he was entirely human just like the rest of us. As a mere mortal, his suffering on the cross takes on a entirely different dimension. It would show that he died for what he believed in, not knowing if what he believed was right.

More importantly, if Jesus was just some guy from Nazareth, then it means that each of us could tread a similar path. It means that we could lead a life based on the very principles he espoused.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the institutionalized Christian Church is absolutely terrified of this view. If people believed in this way, there would be no need for churches, ministers, and all the trappings that go with it. No more offerings, TV evangelists or massive property holdings. No more Focus on the Family, Moral Majority or Promise Keepers.

And let's face it, religion is big business. It has been from the very beginning -- it's one of the aspects that ticked off Jesus so (remember his behavior in the temple)!! People kill for religion. They repress and subjugate for it. Heck, we're slaughtering innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq because of it and the other side is doing the same thing to us in devotion to their depiction of the all mighty.

So, this conflict started me down the road to Taoism. What pushed me over the edge, however, was the Christian belief in knowing God. The very idea that a mere mortal could understand the breadth of the complex universe is not a sign of devotion but complete egocentrism!

Whatever it is out there -- being, process, law, principle or something else -- is so vast that what our feeble minds can comprehend is tantamount to a few pixels of a trillion upon trillion gigabyte picture. It's like holding a handful of sand and then pompously thinking we can each accurately describe a 1 million mile long beach!

Consequently, from my viewpoint, religion exists merely to provide rigid and static answers to questions that cannot be answered. It's a well-orchestrated and well-funded facade. It's not a path to enlightenment, but a road to darkness.

I think Jesus was a guy who lived and died many years ago. After he died, he went wherever everything else winds up. He was not superhuman nor was he "God" incarnate.

In his own way, Jesus definitely was a Taoist.


  1. I believe all the grat philosophers and teachers teach Tao in some form. If I read a religious text and it strikes me as "true", and I start looking at what in that statement is "true", it turns out to be a basic Tao principle. I can read all religious, spiritual, and any other text and find these points. If I "know" it is right, then it's Tao.

    "We simply don't know if our trials and tribulations will take us to a greater place or if we all merely wind up as heaps of dust at the end."

    And the answer, of course, is both. If we learn from our experiences, we are in a greater place. And yet, we still become (bodily) heaps of dust. That is the very nature of Tao. It is both more and less than it seems. Everything is.



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