• Are you religious / do you recommend religion or spiritual practice?
Although I have been religious in some ways throughout my life and experiences, at present I tend to see organized religion as a cult-like culture that threatens our spiritual, intellectual, relational and cognitive liberty. My explorations of religious themes on this web site comprise explorations of themes familiar to my experience, practice, and life — but I neither belong to any religion, nor claim any particular religion as wise, good, etc. I encourage everyone to make their own decisions; at the same time, it is my experience that the cult-like aspects of modern religions deploy a variety of absurd models of God and threats... which are not only unlikely, but are almost certainly invented to scare of otherwise pressure people into membership, fear, and servitude. I find such practices to be abominable.
I do believe in spiritual practice, and even in some traditional frameworks such as Zen or Tibetan Buddhism, but I am not a member, and I encourage people to maintain their personhood and spiritual quests as inviolably personal, that is to say that I am often with but not of the religious. Our sacred personhood should never be violated by memberships in cults or cultures that demean or otherwise reduce our access to our own true nature... and the astonishing features of ability, sensing, and relation there conserved.
Although some parts of this site were written when I was experiencing a more or less ‘religious’ perspective (particularly a Judeo-christian perspective), I have been through a great deal of process and learning since then. I do not trust these books or religions, and generally consider them to be highly aggressive thrisps.
This does not mean that wisdom or insight cannot be found by those who become religious. Surely the grace inherent in our human spirit can surpass whatever barriers such religions erect, and supercede even the most terrifying of obstacles. Nonetheless, it is my general position that religions such as I have mentioned are at best the toys and ladders we use in the earliest and most naive portions of our relationships with the Great Mysteries, and, usually, we are better off without them once their purposes have been adequately served. Probably even before then.
I am particularly wary of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and perhaps even more of the ‘New Age’ which tends to constantly repackage confabulations and outright nonsense as spirituality. I also eschew the use of drugs in spiritual quests because it is my common experience that we have capacities which vastly exceed anything drugs can deliver, and the use of drugs will tend to habituate us to the more superficial (but readily available) ‘intensity’ of these experiences while generally limiting or eradicating our access to the vastly more powerful and rich experiences which await us in our own transentient nature. Like a child subjected to the constant and easy stimulation of modern video games... drug use sets up a variety of habits and expectations that can severely cripple us in ways which rapidly become nearly impossible to detect. In short, I consider the idea that drug use is beneficial to spiritual practice and questing to be naive, Western, thrisp-like, and, in general, another cult. Again, this does not mean it can never be useful, but the dangers seem to me to vastly outweigh the relatively narrow possible benefits.
I am a deep believer in the power of practice. I would like to see practices which are relatively pure of content and culture, and relatively rich in endowing us with clarity and insight. Unfortunately, such practices, and the practitioners who can bring them into direct living expression are rare in our time. This fact should not dissuade us from becoming them.
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