I have often wondered at the clear division between people who see the world as it is, and those who see it from inside a book written by other people.
Last week a person who described herself as a "metaphysical consultant" and I engaged in a stimulating short exchange of personal views. I have to say I liked the views she expressed and the discussion because my blogs and articles always tend to drift towards the religious and esoteric side of things - though "metaphysical consultant" sounds awfully impressive, if not a little intimidating!
The writer referred to Mary Douglas, a renowned anthropologist and her suggestion that "dirt is matter or place." "In other words," the writer explained, "Mud is fine in the garden, but called dirt when the dogs tramp it into the lounge. In other words, human beings consider what is out of place in any particular context dirty or impure."
There is a school of thought that says fundamentalists are "best left to their folly until such times as they see the light or the shift of consciousness leaves them in the same position as the dinosaurs."
Were it not for all the other people around them who they affect negatively through their folly, I would agree with that completely. Also, the comparison of mud being "mud" outside the home and "dirt" inside it, can itself be compared to gay and straight people both being sinners and children of God at the same time - and not necessarily only inside a church - but everywhere all the time.
I suppose you could say it would be an eye-opening experience indeed, to see the carpet or the
lounge from the viewpoint of the mud/dirt - or the dog.
Ever seen Christians thrown out of church for being heterosexual? No? But yet Christians are thrown out of church for being gay. While some fundy folks would argue that no gay person could possibly also be a Christian - albeit a "true" Christian - my point is, that if they were not Christians, what would they want in a church in the first place? And also, did Christ ever differentiate between "true" Christians and those who were "just kidding" when they accepted Christ? After all, how "true" a Christian do you have to be in order to get into heaven? I can't seem to remember anything attributed to him on the topic, can you?
"I wonder," My debate partner continued, "if such religions and their adherents will ever wake-up to the fact that God is able to accommodate all possibilities, by virtue of being the source of all possibility, and realize that they have arrogantly imposed the limitations of their own human thinking (and a pretty primitive way of thinking at that) on God. I wonder if God laughs at their folly?" I would also add "I wonder if there is a God" to this paragraph, just to emphasize the point.
Those who decry human rights victories of the pink community in Letters to the Editor often claim "God must be weeping". Why? Because gay people are not being rounded up and treated like criminals anymore? Because gay people now have civil rights equal to theirs? Why must people always drag God into their narrow-minded expressions of hatred against other people? If you are crying because you hate somebody, don't drag God down to your level by pretending he/she/it hates them too and should be crying with you.
The other day, a DJ on the radio described how a fundamentalist passenger on his previous night's flight freaked out on landing at Jozi airport. Apparently he saw something outside the window on landing, or was just afraid of crashing - and started flipping out, shouting religious stuff - which is odd and annoying enough on its own, except that he was strangling the female passenger next to him at the time. Apparently it took a few hefty male passengers to subdue him and sit on him long enough for the cops to arrive and drag him away, still acting like a raving loony fundamentalist.
Bearing this in mind, as far as religion is concerned, I suppose a person's spiritual life is a journey of continued self-discovery. While I have no idea at all what this journey must be like for the terrified fundy on the aircraft (and am loathe to speculate), for me it is a relationship between myself and the god figure - whether or not this god is the god "they" talk about, and who or what he, she or it is, is still open to debate as far as I am concerned, but I have an open mind. That is part of being an agnostic - and highlights the stark difference between an agnostic and a fundamentalist - not knowing - as opposed to not wanting to know.
"Consciousness is changing; human beings are starting to see that human beings invented the categorization systems; God had nothing to do with it. Nonetheless, it is also true that as human consciousness shifts into a more mature, multidimensional understanding of what is, an understanding that can accommodate the diversity of what it means to be human, those who cling to a limited and limiting way of thinking out of fear of ambiguity, uncertainty, and expanded awareness, will cling even more to their limited understandings."
Thank you, my friend - I see now why you call yourself a metaphysical consultant.
I really have no interest in being a part of organized religion, because to me that is nothing less than a control mechanism created by people to control other people. Nor do I oppose the right of people to believe what they will - just their desire and attempts to force others to believe it as well.
I suppose the best response I can find to this heterosexuals-only-club religious mindset is to quote Groucho Marx, who said: "I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member."