Sea of Faith

January 12, 2022 Open Religion No Comments

It’s an excellent idea, all religions coming together in a sea of faith. For someone outside of any organized religion, this may feel like coming home for oneself and everyone else.

It didn’t work out in the past.

On several occasions, in places as remote from each other as the Netherlands and India, attempts have been made to install a high degree of religious tolerance, centuries ago.

They failed miserably, being followed – with causality difficult to discern, but nevertheless – by more intolerance. As if pushing against something that pushed back with some more.

Any period of rapid religious change has been highly stressful. This releases much energy (deep motivation) that must be turned into something positive. If not done so, it turns negative. Not the energy is the culprit, but the lack of positive turn. Unfortunately, this currently happens in several places worldwide.

A lesson from history is no prediction of the future.

But, of course, it summons for taking care and trying to understand the difficulty. The ubiquitous character of the latter shows that the problem goes deep. Any conceptualization, therefore, runs the risk of not going deep enough to find the root and change something that may show widely.

This root is sheer poetry.

Therefore, insight into the poetry is necessary for any durable solution.

Probably most important in this is the insight into what’s inside versus outside the poem. People instinctively feel that the heart of the matter lies in the poem. Then, they mistake the poem for out-of-the-poem reality.

This also shows in other domains, such as medicine.

One may think medicine and religion are unrelated, but that is only a meager illusion if medicine itself has been sucking up the other domain for a while and without taking it seriously. The result enhances a downfall into a world of burnout and depression and an increasing number of specific conundrums generally harked together as Medically Unexplained Symptoms.

To counter this, insight is needed in the depth of the human being, deeper self, inner strength. If the inner route is blocked, many people search for outer surrogates, but still, the inner one is real. The sea of faith is an ocean inside.

All religions can migrate towards this.

I’m sure they will, one day, but not today.

Any religion contains a lot of symbolism, say, poetry. Disdaining this as ‘mere symbolism’ makes people desperate to find worth at the surface instead of in-depth. Opening this can of worthiness may provoke the loss of power of what’s inside, but not necessarily.

Here lies the main challenge and why it hasn’t succeeded yet. If people feel that the power – actually, inner strength – is in danger of getting lost, they meaningfully turn against what they see as the provoking factor of their loss of deepest meaning.

In other words, their intolerance becomes existential.

A question of life and death. Thus, turning into a plain killer or a suicide bomber is not far away. It’s about ‘your life or mine.’

Of course, this urge for life really doesn’t need to become intolerant. It can even be a source of never-ending tolerance if the involved ones see they are eventually striving for the same.

Into a sea of faith

Different religions will never come together at the surface. It is only possible in-depth, not attached to the surface. Superficially trying to get them together causes deep tears in every one of them, thereby much aggression as has been shown.

In-depth, one can strive towards one faith which is not ‘a faith,’ but ‘faith’ itself. This means relinquishing attachment to specific religious forms at the advantage of depth.

Forms are excellent recipients of content, like water in a jug. A jug is a good instrument, but the jug itself should become symbolic in taking up this function. This way, we may see all religions flow into a sea of faith once upon a time in the future.

That way, this sea will be an ocean of tolerance.

Remember history’s lessons, especially if things seem straightforward to accomplish. Again and again, the reverse may be the result. This text’s endeavor is no exception. Yet, it’s also necessary to continue striving.

Is Open Religion the answer?

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