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August 21, 2013

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So true! And it's not just religion that is addicted to the illusion of control through security. Look at the police, the military, airline and airport security, surveillance cameras, CIA, healthy public policies and the list goes on and on. We are a society that needs to believe that we can control our destiny, our safety, and of course sometimes these policies work, like wearing seat belts. But how far can you go? How much money is too much money to spend on this illusion. There comes a point where we need to recognize as individuals and as a society we are not powerful enough to control everything. It's just not possible. It's all ego, individual and collective, stimulated by the fear of the alternative. Which makes me wonder if religious and spiritual people really believe in their doctrines, because if their faith were strong enough there wouldn't be so much fear and need to control, would there? There certainly wouldn't be so many examples of egos gone wild if people truly internalized the eastern philosophical teachings of their gurus. My experience of followers of RSSB and other paths for that matter is they have more problems with overblown egos than nonreligious people who believe you live then you die just like any other living thing.

I'm refecting on the article below about the illusion of control, the psycholigical phenomenon whereby humans tend to believe we have more control than we do, and the illusion of futility, where we don't realize how much control we actually have.

http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/02/the-illusion-of-control-are-there-benefits-to-being-self-deluded.php

Thinking about these two phenomena with regards to RSSB and other religions I can see problems at both ends of the continuum. When followers should be taking responsibilty for their lives instead they hand it over to the guru, rituals, faith, fairytales. Other times they rely on teachings that tell them they have cracked the code and have managed to control their immortal destiny.

Rational people strive to understand what they can and can't control in life and keep focused are the little piece that is worth effort to try to control and let go if the rest. The universe, and social, environmental and political systems are too complex to expect much control over. Determining just how much should be the goal. Religion takes all the useful thinking away.

Here is an interesting article about why young Americans don't fight back. One reason named is Fundamentalism.
http://www.filmsforaction.org/news/8_reasons_young_americans_dont_fight_back_how_the_us_crushed_youth_resistance/

"...[Life] is a dance, and when you are dancing, you are not intent on getting somewhere. The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance." - from the above post by Brian.

IMO, what we have to think for ourselves and understand about life is simply that the meaning and purpose of life is probably not to find out the "real" answer to the "complicated" question:

- Where did I come from and where will I go (after death)?

.... simply because ........ "this 'I' does not exist" - again quoting from Brian's post above.

IMO, life will be much simpler if we (collection of many "I"s) can satisfy ourselves with the simple and more practical answer, which could be:

"I" - which is actually my physical body with a living brain - came into being because of my parents and it is most likely that after death, "I" (again my physical body) will either be buried or cremated - unless, of course, if I die in such an accident that the body cannot be found!!
..... and even in that unfortunate case, I don't think "I" have anything to worry about .....

.... simply because ........ "this 'I' does not exist"!!!

But, I also know that it is hard to believe in this simple truth and there are a lot of religions and religious organizations around the world which ensure that people keep looking for the "real" answer to the "complicated" question.

And, that's why I agree fully with Skeptic, when he says:

"Religion takes all the useful thinking away."



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