Saturday, January 21, 2012

Absolutely Uncertain

For lots of reasons I have spent time recently thinking about "absolutes" in faith and religion. Some, of course, is the ongoing insanity I see in the conservative -vs- liberal views of things. Some has to do with people I meet, see, or read about who are so fanatically certain that their way is THE WAY. I have to admit that I have trouble with that and don't completely understand these absolute positions.

Especially the smaller the group size and the more rigid they become in absolute stands. Pick your group, but when a single church in a single town believes it has the only right answer that everyone else everywhere is missing out on, I cringe. It makes no sense. Absolutely. When they begin to think that "No one, NO ONE EVER in all of history, has ever had the correct insight that I have now been uniquely given," I want to run the other way.

That is not as extreme as it sounds. Listen to some of the preachers of all different religious persuasions. Listen to religious-based politicians (and others). Listen to any ideologue. It is a natural extreme of their position.

What happens is they pick and choose a particular set of interpretations of belief and then they place all eternal and universal authority on that opinion. Is it that we have this human nature that has to believe that MY WAY is the ONLY WAY and if we are not 100% right on all aspects of what we say and believe then everything falls apart? We have an inability, I am afraid, to accept paradox. We have an inability to be open to the possibility that we may have only a part of the picture. We have a need to universalize our experiences and cultural norms.

I just needed to get that out of the way this early in the 2012 election cycle. I know I don't have all the answers. I know my interpretations are not the final word. All I do know is that this has been my experience. Maybe if we can continue to work on opening ourselves to greater experiences, things might begin to go better for more in our world.

And if you don't agree with me, you are obviously wrong.

No comments: