On Love in Religion

I decided a few years ago that I didn’t care anymore which religion was “the right one” or which religion was “closest to the truth.”

Instead I decided this: I will belong to whichever religion (or non-religious belief system) allows me to generate the most and deepest love in my life. Right now I’m in a kind of free-floating space where I dabble a little in this and a little in that (while grounding myself with the practices of unpastored, unprogrammed Quakers), and I’m OK with drawing from multiple, even seemingly incompatible sources, because I’m not worried (as much as I used to be anyway) about logical or philosophical contradictions. Because it doesn’t matter whether something appears to contradict itself or something I’ve experienced – if it’s a way of thinking that allows me to generate more love than I did before, then it’s beneficial and worthwhile, regardless of logic.

We’ll see where I eventually end up – and it may not be in any one place, because if there’s no one right way to love, why should there be one right way to think? Thinking is just a metaphor for reality, and while some metaphors don’t work, there are an endless number of those that do.

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4 Responses to On Love in Religion

  1. John Dunham says:

    Speaking of things I’m convinced of, I also believe that there is no “one right way” to do anything at all. My logical argument for this is that in an infinite universe, with infinite beings, every interaction with the world must be different because no finite being can contain the whole of an infinite universe, meaning a universal “right way” could theoretically exist, but could only ever be experienced subjectively. Thus, any “one right way” that everyone must be, think, act, love, live, must necessarily not apply to everyone. I also think that the obsession with standardization of philosophy and ideology (i.e., the cultural belief in “one right way”) makes all our belief systems poorer, less connected to reality, and less resilient. Belief systems that are not resilient cannot consider and incorporate feedback or new information. They cannot consider that aspects of themselves must be wrong, and they cannot adapt if it becomes clear. This leads to more and more destructive rationalization of more and more rigid beliefs until every act is proscribed and anything different is punished or destroyed. “One right way” as a social belief leads inevitably to the extermination of all other ways and the poverty of rational thought that is currently enabling the violent destruction of our entire ecosystem, ourselves included.

    • cmdrquack says:

      I do in fact owe to you that germ of wisdom in the post about “one right way.” You mentioned it in my presence some years ago, and it surfaced in my mind as I was writing this. An important concept well worth the criticism you’ve given it.

  2. John Dunham says:

    I think I’ll be devoting an entire chapter of my book to it.

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