Monday, June 9, 2014

On Faith, Religion, and Hokum

This little essay is entirely opinion, mine.  Based on my earlier essay, (An Epiphany)

Faith - a belief that is not based on proof
Religion- a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe
Hokum- false or irrelevant material introduced to arouse interest, excitement or amusement

These three concepts play an integral part of much of the world today, not only in a religious sense, but pretty much in all other aspects of politics, war, the manufacturing of money and the drive toward economic power.  Those seeking power generally are in complete and total faith in their superiority, personal religion, and ability to confer hokum to the masses.  Today, I'm just clarifying some of the things about religion that have been introduced into my life through my blog here about the nature of religion, the bible, as well as the inference that my beliefs in no way constitute a moral code, a scientifically sound explanation of the universe, nor are even soundly and consciously possible. I have a relative that tells me that the book of his religion, the bible, is inerrant.  It is the true word of his god as told to mere mortals that were at one time witness to an interview with their god, given commands and stories about specific events of the world, and then these stories were told and retold, passed down through generations by word of mouth until one day they were written down, only to be eventually turned into a comprehensive book of the faith of the religion of christianity.  And there are no errors in this book, according to those that base their lives, their religion and their faiths upon on it.

Weird, but I actually believe the first part of that.  And here is where our paths of faith diverge.  When we look at the readings of Edgar Cayce, he lets us know that the Universal Consciousness, that which we can for future reference, refer to as god; has in fact from time to time presented itself unto mortals partaking in this particular plane of existence.  The reason was to bring forth messages to provide order to the chaos of humanity and give direction toward the Universal Consciousness that humanity needed to achieve Oneness.  Basically, prophets were sent.  Where our belief diverges here is that although I believe prophets have come and delivered these important messages, those that worship the bible tell us that is not possible.  Although prophets did once receive audiences with god, they could not ever do so again and anyone claiming such, was a false prophet.  Why?  In my opinion, it's because the bible itself claims that it is without error.  If anyone were to show that real live prophets have experienced an audience with god just as prophets did in biblical times, then the whole facade of inerrancy comes tumbling down.  And no one within the community wants that.  Those that lead, want the status quo to remain as it has for thousands of years.

Let's look at the nature of religion, and entertainment.  They go hand in hand.  Religion is in reality the exercise and enjoyment of one's faith.  Generally it has been exercised as a communal gathering of people that worship in a manner that is consistent with the conventions and modes of rituals of the time period.  In today's world it means dressing up, going to the local facility that sponsors such events, and listening to a specific individual or individuals give detailed accounts of how the writings of the bible relate to the every day existence of those attending.  And there is a community aggregation of socializing involved generally as well.  Conversely for many, there is the Television that gives the same thing in essence, with big stars like Joel Osteen, Billy Graham and others, some who have fallen from the good graces of stardom for transgressions against that which they preach. (just one of my problems with religion) The difference is just that there is no socialization present, at least not a physical aspect.  This particular scenario has taken place throughout the christian world for thousands of years.  Religion has primarily been the cornerstone of the populace for entertainment.  When traveling holy men walked out among the villages of farmers and spread the stories of creation, the lives of prophets and tales of what happens when those working and slaving away at back breaking labors to raise a few crops and chickens like to sit with others of their own kind and feel that it is all worth it in the end.  That there is a reward for work, living cleanly and furthering the human race.

Here is where it gets a little complicated.  Although I admit that prophets may have at one time communed with the Universal Consciousness, or god, and been given specific stories about our existence to spread in order to lead the populace to Oneness, human nature being what it is, those stories changed.  I don't for one second believe that holy men whose very existence depended on telling stories that enthralled their listeners would be simple retelling of the same old tired tales that the last holy men came by and told.  Just as we today have our Joels and Billys giving evermore fanciful interpretations and stories to entice viewers to send in their hard earned shekels, the holy men of pre-biblical times did what they did because they were the ultimate story tellers of their day.  The better the telling, the more the reward, handfuls of grain, bread and maybe a chicken to see them on their way to the next village and audience.  And let's face it, when they told and retold those tales, all that begetting and fornicating was the porn of the day, and everyone likes a little porn.  Tame by our standards, but it was entertainment for them.  This was all given to them under the auspices of learning the religion of the day, and about how life had rewards for those that lived a good life, worked hard, and above all else, donated food and provisions to those that told them about faith.

When the bible was finally compiled, (this is what I have been told) they took the best of these stories that had been handed down by word of mouth for generations before ever being transcribed to paper.   Or papyrus.  There is no possible thing that any religious scholar, layman, pope or well, anyone, that can tell me that during this entire thousand year process, a lot of hokum was not added to the stories.  It is human nature.  Scholars as I have been told, are diligently working to give specific interpretations to the writings that they have found that are purported to be the actual writings of the original document referred to as the bible.  There appear to be discrepancies in the bible, and those that make a living from religion, as explained before, can't allow the whole thing to tumble down around them just because human nature is what it is.  

I don't have all the answers.  I have a concept of the Universe as explained by an early 20th century prophet, I have things that I have learned from those that read and live their lives according to the Vedas, I have seen wisdom in the teachings of the Buddha and Confucius, and I have spent time with some of the Dineh, and learned about Mother Earth and Father Sky.  And I have taken Deeksha, and marveled at the simplicity of our existence after achieving Oneness.  I endure the ridicule and out and out hatred and damnation from some that claim to live good christian lives because of my beliefs and my willingness to share them on the internet.  I have unfortunately been very very close to death and have so far escaped that inevitable end, and yet I don't fear it.  I understand death, I don't wish for it, but I no longer fear it.  

Isn't that what a good system of beliefs, and ultimately religion, is supposed to do?

Anyway, this is all conjecture on my part, totally and completely my opinion as to the events that led to the writings known as the bible.  But in reality, it is human nature.  And we are all humans, some of us are just better humans than others.  

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