Friday, April 15, 2011

I know you think they're special

Here is an R rated extremely offensive video, that I particularly love. Bill Hicks was starting to build a successful career just before he got a rare form of cancer and died. It is unfortunate because his commentary on the state of the world would be useful for recent events. He would sometimes preface the bit linked to here by saying, “Here’s what has kept me anonymous in this country.” So, if you don’t like it, I understand.

It really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with religion, except that, like everybody’s unique idea about theology, children are special, but only to a few people. We all know, we all hope, that your children are special to you, but that is how it is supposed to be and where it is supposed to end. We know that “children are our future”. Working toward a brighter future requires seeing all people as special and precious, not just one child.

In a similar way, all of the variations on spirituality are not special. And in the same way, people take great offense when you point that out. I’m not talking about religious wars. War is usually related to resources and religion only plays the roles of enabler. I’m talking about individual beliefs. It doesn’t matter if it is a set of beliefs that someone has determined as uniquely their own, perhaps drawing on a multiplicity of sources, or beliefs that are strongly rooted in a single tradition. If you watch two other people with different beliefs arguing it seems so clear that their differences are semantic or based on nothing but fantasy, but can you take that same objective look at your own?

If you can suspend your own attachment to your beliefs, even temporarily, it is easier to see just how much trouble is caused from having that attachment. I’m not suggesting that permanently suspending all beliefs is an answer to the world’s problems. Without beliefs, it is tough to get through the day. There are a lot of unanswered questions. If we wait for all the answers before moving ahead, we’ll find ourselves at the end of our lives having accomplished nothing. As Bill Hicks said, “let’s take a look at this whole food/air deal first.” Then later we can get back to what color your chakras are or just what the Trinity is or how quarks affect our emotions.

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