Here's a couple of comments on Church of the Churchless posts that I particularly enjoyed today. Understand, I like all the comments people leave here, even the ones I disagree with.
Dialogue, discussion, debate -- that's what this blog is about. (Religious people would add another "D" word, damnation.)
But some comments strike me in a special way, making me think, ah!, nicely said. This one is from Gene:
"...remove the foundation of faith that supports their religiosity."
The foundation of faith is the 'meaning' one finds from their very own life experiences. The only way to remove this would be to end their life - something I would be against, because I have no religious faith nor rabid insanity to justify such an action.
What we experience in life is 'meaning'. We experience the meaning of life events, relationships, the physical world. We experience the meaning of the setting sun melting onto the horizon.
This meaning comes from our beliefs and values - not the physical, external world (external to ourselves). And this meaning, thought to be coming from the physical, external world, creates the illusion that our beliefs and values are real, true, and absolute.
A Christian man watches the setting sun melt onto the horizon and he experiences the awesomeness of his Christian Gods' handiwork. A Muslim man watches the same setting sun and he experiences the majesty of Allah. An atheist sees the same setting sun and is awe inspired by the incredible workings of our physical universe and the process of evolution among life forms.
All three men are NOT experiencing the setting sun. They are experiencing the meaning of the setting sun. And that meaning comes from their beliefs and values.
1. This is why religious beliefs can be so contradictory, convoluted, nonsensical, and even absurd.
2. This is why people of religious faith are able to justify, rationalize, minimize, and even deny what to others, who have no similar beliefs, is obvious.
3. And this is why beliefs are real, true, and absolute to the believer. Does God exist? Yes - within the mind of the believer. Does Santa Clause exist? Yes - within the mind of the child who believes in Santa Clause.
Whether it is a religious person, an abject racist, or a child who believes in Santa Clause, our beliefs appear real to us because we experience meaning in our lives that we think comes from the physical, external world (external to ourselves), but is actually coming from our beliefs.
In addition to this illusion that the meaning of life's events comes from the physical, external world, religious believers also find tangible benefits to their religious beliefs, such as a sense of community, belonging, purpose, validity, uniqueness, etc.
How do you cure an addiction to faith?
You can pray for the believer, light a candle, or sprinkle some holy water on your cat? These would be just as ineffective as using logic, reason, or pounding them over the head with facts.
God will cease to exist for a particular person when that person no longer has beliefs that such a god exists - exactly the same way that Santa Clause ceased to exist for many of us.
Help a religious person to see that the meaning they are experiencing in life is coming from their beliefs, and not the physical, external world, and the foundation holding up their god will begin to crumble.
And this one is from Sukhbir Singh. "Satsangs," for those unfamiliar with the term, are spiritual talks. "Sach Khand" basically is heaven. "Satpurush" is God.
HANDBOOK FOR THE NEW SATGURU (SUPREME TEACHER) OF THE RSSB (RADHA SOAMI SATSANG BEAS).
In my inner journeys up to Sach Khand, I happened upon a library. I decided there was still an eternity left to go and worship Satpurush so I went to look at the books in that library. I came across a pamphlet. It was called THE HANDBOOK FOR THE NEW SATGURU.
HERE are some tips for the aspiring Sant Satguru from the pamphlet:
1. Use all existing sources (scriptures, books, etc) to cement the belief that God comes in human form. If they believe this, you've got them by the balls and can do anything.
Once by believe CLAUSE 1, you move on to the next clause.
2. Play the "Heads, I win. Tails you lose." Game. In this situation, since you are "GOD IN HUMAN FORM", you are perfect. Therefore any errors are due to the incomplete, imperfect human beings. Any good things that may happen to them are then attributed to the Mercy, Grace, Daya, of the Master.
When sufficient guilt and slave mentality has been achieved by playing the game in CLAUSE 2, you can move to CLAUSE 3.
3. Do whatever the hell you want. Why? Because your ass is covered by CLAUSE 1 AND CLAUSE 2.
Enjoy your Satguru-hood.
DON'T LET YOUR AUDIO SATSANGS BE RECORDED BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF SHIT YOU'LL HAVE TO CONTRADICT LATER. THE POINT IS TO KEEP THE PEOPLE CONFUSED AND IF THEY HAVE EVIDENCE TO IMPLICATE YOU, THEY MIGHT SUSPECT CLAUSE 1 AND 2.
Then I came out of my meditation, drank my beer, ate my burger, and smiled my ass off.