Nick_A wrote:I maintain that the most harmful effects of the cycle of war and peace can be minimized from the influences of a quality of energy people striving for conscious awakening release.
In other words, if we become better people then we're less likely to carry on like utter bastards (ie. make war). True. This has been the human project for millennia, and today is where that project is up to so far. Personally, I'm amazed at our rapid progress but most are horrified by our lack of progress. I start my assessments of our progress from 4.6 billion years ago, whereas most people's views pertain to metrics over the past few decades.
So I figure, to this end, things are probably going swimmingly as far as larger dynamics are concerned (which don't concern us, aside from the possibility that we will be superseded). The universe has been a SNAFU place for 13.8 billion years. I do not expect much different, certainly not in my lifetime.
Meanwhile, church never cared about people's development, graphically shown by the Inquisition. Only obedience would be required. It amazes me how many religious people think that a theocracy would bring freedom from tyranny. Yet in reality, theocracies in the world today are amongst the most corrupt and brutal.
Secularized religion has produced mixed results. That is why Simone never joined the church and became the “Patron Saint of Outsiders." She knew its depth was being held captive by secular influences.
It's true that religions always become corrupted. The old cliché of "power corrupts" still holds.
I note that religious people often seem to resent this harsh physical reality in which we are thrust without choice, longing for an imagined nonmaterial existence post-death without the pitfalls of this one. It's often been posited that the Earth is one of the levels of Hell. If I was living in Africa or the Middle East, I might agree!
Nick_A wrote:Simone Weil describes a human being as being analogous to a plant. The roots of the plant gets its nourishment from the ground while the leaves get theirs from the sun. When balanced the whole plant is nourished from two sources: above and below.
Good soil for human roots, its animal nature, is a culture with a healthy metaxu. Grace nourishes our higher parts much like the sun nourishes the leaves of a plant. The bottom line is that quality human being requires being nourished from above and below. We agree on the below but as anti religious as you are I don’t know if you can open even theoretically to the potential for the reality of the energy of grace essential for developing impartial conscious understanding. It raises the question of a source which is an unforgivable sin for secularism. Right now dominant secularism denies grace preferring cold indoctrination which will fail since we are as we are. But that doesn’t mean some are unwilling to admit the human condition and respect each other’s need to experience truth at the expense of being a captive to imagination, pleasure, and self justification.
I like these kinds of analogies, although I posit that our "roots" are our lungs, as we are as firmly rooted in the atmosphere as a tree is rooted into the earth - and their internal structure is rootlike.
Simone W's top/bottom analogy seems out of kilter to me. I see the duality of our nurturing needs as to be inside/outside. The old adages again hold true - all one need to is balance mind, body and spirit (define the latter any way you like). It's not complicated, just that it's hard to control oneself at times. The eternal human challenge - self control!
Secularism does not preclude grace but assumes it to the point where one's spiritual journey is generally not considered the state's business or concern. That is, the state assumes that we will follow our own spiritual journeys (or not) whether they intervene or not. People are trusted by secular society to look after our own spiritual lives in our private time while secular authorities educate us with practical information about how to navigating societal systems. This separation of church and state is what allows for religious freedoms.
You seem to wish for people to be indoctrinated by a paternalist state - "nourishing" us "from the top" with information to set us on our spiritual journey. Yes?
Many of us, however, do not want to state to indoctrinate us and prefer the current system of leaving it up to individuals to decide for themselves. I can't see why, as a right winger, you would want everyone's taxes to pay for the government to concern itself with people's spiritual lives. Surely this is a "user pays" situation?
Surely people should just be educated with the info they need to get by in life? Why should they not be left to their own devices when it comes to spirituality? Why do you think the state should involve itself in our spiritual lives?
Also, note what can happen when religions cloister themselves away to avoid secular influence. Some of secluded orders have an outrageous problem with child molesting:
Forty per cent of the members of the Brothers of St John of God had allegations of child sexual abuse made against them from 1950 until 2010, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has revealed.
Really, all this suggests to me that the best system at present involves strict separation of church, where individuals' private spirituality (or not) is treated as entirely their own business.