The games of religion we play
We, in society, like to play the games of religion. You have a smorgasbord of religious options to choose from. If you’re lucky, hopefully you’ll pick the correct religion! Then, all the Ultimate and Eternal Truths of the world are at your fingertips. Only you — save the other devotees — have this privileged knowledge of the depths of the Universe.
To think that all Truth can be packaged by human-constructed religions like Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity is nonsensical to me. That is not to say there are not Truths reflected in those religions, which of course there are.
Religion as an idea is merely foolish is what I’m trying to argue. At its core, religion is the acceptance of a higher authority. Why? Security. Permanency. Certainty. Knowing that all of this stuff here on earth isn’t a waste. Those things us humans love!
I’m not trying to prepose that WE — you and I — should be our own higher authority. We are specks! Stardust! (Maybe we have a soul, maybe not??) The only response to the human condition is one of infinite humility. In fact, we can never be too humble. We stand at the God of Nature — infiniteness — and are completely finite, limited, and flawed. This is why Knowledge itself is so utterly useless. If anything it gives an illusion of security when there never can be.
What is my religion?
What is my religion? In trying to define how I live my life I am doing it a disservice. Spelling it out then advocating others imitate is ridiculous. So, taking it for what it’s worth, this is a reflection of how I try to live.
Pure Living: A Manifesto
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. — Gandhi
Don’t gloss over that quote above. It is the nucleus of what a pure life is. Most people work backwards! Actions, then make my speech align, and then justify with my thoughts. Foolish!
I’d like to propose a change:
True religion is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. — Tyler Lingle
No disrespect Gandhi…
Pure living is the art of living whole. Not disparate. It is the art of living the same, always. No facades. No lies. No deceit.
Thought experiment: could you sit in bed at night reflecting on your day and be completely proud of everything you’ve done? Could you live a day without any regret? Without any lies to yourself or others? To do this, is to live a day complete — not perfect, but complete.
It’s important to ask the question: why do we not live whole lives? At its most basic, why are we not content with life? Why are we searching continuously for something more? Is life not good enough for us, or are we not good enough for life?
How you answer that last question defines you as a human. I believe the latter. Are you good enough for life? Life is life. Coming into it with expectations is the issue. We demand that life give us security, permanency, love, health, and are mad at God when it doesn’t happen. Is not the problem so obvious? The problem is you.
By placing expectations on life you are separating yourself from life.
The art of pure living is done by not confusing the present with the past or future. You can only live in the present by emptying the mind of expectation, and you can only be empty of expectation by living in the present. By expectation I mean trying to compensate for past suffering by making it right in the present. Or using the present as some means to a future end. In either way you are using the present, rather than being empty of expectation. Therefore, it is not pure living.
You will know you are living pure when there are no strings attached to your existence. When you can speak or live the truth without fear. You will know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is pure. This is because you will realize that life is life and you don’t need to twist it into something it is not.
To live pure you don’t add something on to your life. Hence why religion is so futile. It is a means of escape via positiva (addition).
Subtraction, simplification is the way towards pure living.
Pure Living = Reality — Expectations
(Think I stole a version of that from Wait But Why.)
What is it in your life that helps you avoid life as it is? Or, in another sense, what can you absolutely not conceive reality without?
Subtract these first.
If it’s religion (like a lot of people) then you must subtract it to know what’s true. If it’s a job then you need to subtract to find what you love. What’s worse: the fear of losing your job or a life devoid of meaning? I hope I know my answer.
However, subtraction should happen in ones inner, thought life. When you compare yourself to others, subtract and forget those thoughts. Since when do you have to indulge them? When you find yourself feeling like you must play a certain role, subtract and forget. In the act of forgetting you will see what is; you can love what’s really there all along.
To indulge your egocentric thoughts is to worship expectation. It is antithetical to pure living. So go to church all you want, but realize that most of the people there are simply trying to find an escape from their true salvation, which is accepting life as it is. Your context doesn’t matter, it is your orientation to your context which matters.
I hope (but don’t really care) these thoughts don’t come off as sacrilegious, because to me this is the only truly religious way to live.