The Gods Themselves

Religion

THE GODS THEMSELVES

Existence. The meaning of life. Questions only a god can answer. So man has asked. And has been asking from the beginning of time. At times he thinks he hears a faint response. On a summer breeze. In the rustle of the leaves in autumn. From the depths of silence during the darkest night in the cold of winter. In the miracle of life bursting forth in the spring, once again prepared to engage with the harsh realities of life with Mother Earth. Man asks the questions, in a million forms, and in a thousand languages. The answers are all around us, with every breath we take, and every sight we see, and every sound we hear, but there is no one to explain, or to interpret. Each man finds his own answers, from his own intelligence, his own experience, and his own philosophy. The path we traverse is a spiritual one, filled with wonder as well as danger.

The tools that we need to exist are varied and complicated. Philosophy. Religion. Politics. All are tools. All wonderful and potentially beneficial. But like all tools, they can also be dangerous and formidable. When used wisely, they have all saved lives and brought peace and calm to our hearts and souls. At other times they have destroyed countless others, with neither a second thought, or even the realization of that destruction. Be careful as you wield these tools. They can be your salvation, and the future of those around you. Or they can be our damnation, and the end of existence as we know it.

RELIGION

Religion is the extension of your personal exploration for knowledge and understanding but within the environment of a community. The questions remain relatively the same but the Conversation is now not only within yourself, and alone, but with others as well. It is a shared struggle towards growth and enlightenment. Individuals with like principles and values, who possess common ideals and common objectives.

The challenge, and the danger, is that no matter the shared commonality, even when of like mind and objectives, we remain unique. We are individuals, and by definition, individuals draw from a multitude of experience and instruction, and dare we say it, indoctrination and even propaganda. While goals can seem identical and complimentary, the means to the end can be quite diverse, and even contradictory, as well as contentious. It can be extremely difficult to resolve issues when only dealing with self. When dealing with just one other, and even more so with groups and communities, it can be next to impossible to agree with direction and purpose of action.

Religion can be a wondrous shared experience. It can devolve into an atmosphere of dogma and intimidation, coercion and submission. All the things that can only prevent the sucessful achievement of enlightenment and understanding that we all thirst for. Stay the course and continue to your destination with courage and conviction. Make wise decisions. Tread lightly as you make your way along your path of life.