Monday, September 27, 2010

Running rant

I've said this before and I've a feeling I'll be saying it again and maybe one day I might believe my own words. I am perplexed by the willingness of millions to part with their cash to buy a crystal or a potion or a piece of wood that is somehow going to make them better or cheer them up.

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl goes a long way to explain our innate need for meaning. I accept that unless one in an avowed atheist, one is quite likely to be seeking meaning - whether through good works, horoscopes, clairvoyants - seeking the purpose of one's existence.

I have a fridge magnet - It says "The purpose of life is to be happy" Dalai Lama - I have liked that for many years - now I'm not sure that's true. Is the purpose of this life to prepare for the next one?

Given my oscillation between no faith and small faith my preparation is rather stop and start.

In a way, people who do the new age thing have more faith than me. They believe in something. Quite often I believe in absolutely nothing.

Why is it easier for someone to take the New age route than it is to take the Christian pathway? Why do people uncritically buy all sorts from the local New age shop, visit clairvoyants, read horoscopes, clutch crystals, do reiki etc

And yet can have a visceral hatred of the whole bible without even reading it?

The same people who demand evidence for the bible willingly submit to crystals being waived above them.

The same people who dismiss Jesus' healing will allow a reiki healer to hold there hands above them?

Why are people so fearful of the bible? Why am I so fearful of submitting?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think people are fearful of the Bible. It's more that they've grown fearful, or dislike, the "in your face" kind of teaching which presents the Bible as "evidence" or "evidence which demands a verdict" ; its as if faith was some kind of intellectual argument which depended on the Bible possessing a kind of factual truth of a kind which would have astonished the ancients, who never made that kind of distinction.

    But of course there can be other kinds of truth. Parables, which were one of Jesus main ways of teaching, are fictions - there does not have to be an actual man building on sand, a sower, a good Samaritan, a persistent widow, a prodigal son. That's not where the truth of the story lies. And that's how Jesus taught - by telling stories, by engaging with people, by drawing their interest, and getting them to think about the story.

    Another example - Charles Dickens was about to write and publish a pamphlet about the state of poverty in Victorian England. It would have been full of hard facts. And if he had done so, it would be a historical curiosity. Instead, he wrote A Christmas Carol, and that - a story - still brings home its lessons today; it shapes how people look at giving generously, at how they consider the poorer members of society rather than dismissing them. There is truth in the story.

    We are the poorer if we only have one kind of truth, especially given the way Jesus taught.