Wednesday, April 18, 2018

religion is not something to lean on

"Religion," it crossed my mind this morning, "is not something to lean on. It is something to apply."

But the moment it crossed my mind, I wondered if that actually meant anything -- as it somehow seemed to -- or if "relying on" and "applying" were actually one in the same.

In later life, I am increasingly suspicious of silver bullets -- those nostrums that promise satisfaction and gratification in a matrix of Pablum-esque vocabulary... the mom'll-kiss-it-better realm.

On the other hand, which of us has not wished for precisely such a silver bullet? "Make it go away!" It seems a bit of an understatement to suggest that the Roman Catholic Church has made a big-time cottage industry out of let's-rely-on-it.

I don't know.

Let someone smarter than I am figure it out or toss it all willynilly into the nearest rubbish bin.


  1. I long ago gave up praying that the baby Jesus would fix anything.

  2. You’d do well to exercise some due diligence before sharing your deep and profound insight from your fights with your paper tigers and stereotypes.

    But jeez did you at least check out Wikipedia?

    The RC Church has a long history of addressing prayer. Not all of it is aimed at 10 year olds or the feeble minded.

    Also you might want to try borrowing and reading books such as “The Psychology of Prayer: A Scientific Approach”
    ISBN-13: 978-1462506958, ISBN-10: 146250695X

    I was brought up and educated in the RC Catholic tradition but ultimately left. However within that tradition are many good people, advice and practices. I find your offhand dismissive attitude towards religion and the RC Church very insulting; not personally but intellectually.

    Why not address what is likely your real problem: the misunderstandings involved in and corruptions of religion. Address why you reject the sssumptions leading some to have faith. But gain some knowledge first. May be you could research a topic for a few weeks and then write something of that instead of doing what amounts to a Trump-like Tweets of a blog post.

  3. Andy -- With respect, this is a blog, not an SAT quiz.

    1. A blog meaning what you’re free write anything without respect to understanding the subject.
      I see....

    2. Btw in doing some research on what I never thought would be relevant to today’s post here I’ve come across something of interest, perhaps.

      I’ve long held the scientifically proven notion that meditation can release serotonin and dopamine. What I did not know was that certain kinds of prayer can do the same. Other things like yoga practice do the same. It seems the reverse is true. No serotonin and one gets cranky, depressed, and even develop all round negative mental states.

  4. Andy -- I've spent 50 years interested (perhaps not always logically or parsically -- in spiritual endeavor. I am fully aware there are good Christians/Catholics or whatever. I mean them no ill-will, but from my point of view, a persuasion that separates man and god has taken only some of the steps necessary to satisfaction. To say the two are one is precisely the same bullshit that saying the two are separate is bullshit. What proves the bullshit in each instance is practice.

    You want science, study science. You want understanding, practice ... that's my take. I am willing to be wrong, but I am unwilling to unfurl every nook and cranny of what brought me to that understanding/mistake.

    I dislike what makes people unhappier under the guise of making them happier. Separation is unhappier, just like ersatz unification.

    So I may be wrong, but you don't have to be.

  5. ps, Please don't get your knickers in a twist about what I label "bullshit." Bullshit is an absolutely essential ingredient to this adventure. It grows the daisies although, simultaneously, it is demonstrably bullshit. Without bullshit, no one would ever learn anything, least of all, something important.

  6. Several reactions:

    1. Still think the post lacks a broad understanding.

    2. I have long since disgarded a very high esteem for self reliance. In general, It is a good trait and practice but not without serious drawbacks begining with arrogance and ignorance.

    3. As to relying on an institution like the RC Church, yes, there may be risks but there may be benefits. It depends on the particular church community. I have on occasion been impressed stories told by those who had support provided by smaller Protestant Church communities. One would need to examine one’s personal relationships within a given church community. I do realize that for many decades the pastoral counselor role have been replaced by social worker, psychologist and psychiatrist. The job networking replaced in part by LinkedIn, As for “spiritual growth” some groups have dedicated subgroups interested in prayer, meditations and retreats.
    4. I reiterate what I said about prayer; learn about it before criticizing it.
    5. I too have some 50 years in but unlike you I know my knowledge and practice are nothing but a drop in an ocean. Too me it’s less of a badge and more of an embarrassment.
    6. I have a feeling that the so-called spiritual journey entails a lot of unfurling. While a pause or a break is likely beneficial; an adamant unwillingness may be problematic; I don’t know, but expect that is so.
    7. Again, I like critical commentary but within a clear well define context, not as offhand prejudice.
    8. This has helped me see somethings a little more clearly, so thanks for that.

  7. I AM muslim. And i know prayer is (can be) bullshit. Or shit. You need shit to make plants grow after recieving rain (mercy) from God. And produce on earth of every beautiful pairs. Before one comes to elevated stages like Genkaku and you Andy, one needs to do many mistakes. Everyone works or practises more or less, thos who practise less provides shit to the world, they do mistakes. In face of a Master they cower in shame not fear, because 10 in every 10 000 gets to become a Sensei or black belt. The black belts are tied with white belts. I agree Genkaku comes with prejudice, contributing with false beliefs, because he has no knowledge thereof though he is into something. The Quran says the believers are bretheren, so make peace between them, and if one party is agressively controlling and judgmental attack them, because peace is important. Andy you have an obligation and priveledge from God, Genkaku hasn't, you are thus equipped by God, Genkaku isn't, unless he fights you must give him way, because your equipment comes from God not you. Give honor where honor is due. God does not exist, yet we pray to the emptiness. Prayer exists, though God doesnt, and the only God is no-God. Praying is asking. Meditation is commanding. You are using asking tactics as weapon, i mean kindness and peace. To kill, to put it on the line. IMO.