Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Virtue does not require wealth.

Today I was thinking that somewhere along the line, virtue was confused with material wealth. The common misperception is that those who are 'worthy' have their wealth by divine design.

I think the root of that is the bit in the bible "to him who hath, more shall be given" and the twisting of Christs words to materialism which appeals to peoples wants, making it easier to sell their 'vision' to others.

Nobody wants to be a beggar, penniless, at the whims of fate but historically, who are the virtuous?

Jesus to the rich man:
"Sell everything you have and give it to the poor to be worthy to follow me"

You have a better chance of separating a fanatic from his beliefs than a miser from his gold.

The path of the Buddha involves 'going forth into homelessness'. One very hard attachment to break is materialism. (another is the opposite sex) If you have possessions then you need somewhere to store them, you need to maintain them and protect them. These are all distractions (major obstacles) from concentration and upon understanding and meditation.

Gandhi spun his own wool.

Mother Theresa spent her life helping the poor.

Countless people in every nation and what is the difference? Some people spend their lives trying to accumulate wealth, others spend their lives trying to make the world a better place. Sometimes, these two meet and the world can change.

The real problem with allowing religion to creep into politics is that should one ever gain dominance, it would act to restrict others. Certain beliefs have proven to be imcompatible with the real world, beliefs based in predjudice more than scripture. Also, I do not agree with the current set of beliefs that passes for mainstream christianity, the interpretations are far too removed from what the words actually say. Many religous people carry on, pious on one day a week, prosletyze, wail, bow and scrape, wave their hands in the air, follow leaders that misrepresent the bible, display intolerance, treat adults like children...

So, if I don't agree with a particular set of beliefs yet these beliefs start to make rules we all have to live by, then my freedom may be threatened. It is one thing if said beliefs are based in fact but religions seem to be shifting sands, many people with many different sets of beliefs and they all can't be right.

Well the high preists of our society are the economists. The state religion is neo-con wealth creation and corporatism. Unless we want to step back into time, we all are at the whims of the economy in a far more intimate way than any belief systems 'god'. The dollar buys anything, including the bullet for those people that the dollar does not buy. I guess they bought up the religions too.

We need the state to be secular to tolerate the range of beliefs that people hold, from the tooth fairy to some faceless creator sitting on a throne waiting to toss the unworthy into the lake of fire.

The one common thing between all the worlds religions is us. If there is any 'truth' to be found, it is up to us to find it.

The only war that is holy is that against war.
Should we hate, we should hate to hate;
Should we love, we should love to love.
Should we have greed, we should have greed for kindness;
Should we have aversion, we should have aversion for cruelty.


Colin

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