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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Preacher

I’ve never been “religious,” but I’ve always been spiritual. It’s the dogma that bothers me. Religions, like other structured institutions, are designed to control the masses. Maybe this is a cynical view, but I don’t give a shit because my opinion is not controlled by any of them.

Here’s the annoying thing: I preach all the time. I can’t help it. Because I see things differently than people who are programmed by their favorite organization, I feel the need to spout off about my beliefs. It’s terrible, I know. And, entirely hypocritical. I’ve just never been good at keeping my thoughts entirely to myself. I could justify it as some deep-seated need to be helpful, but who am I kidding? I’m not going to change the world.

So, I preach on. This blog has given me an outlet for some of my preaching, but my poor friends and family probably get the brunt of it. I guess I don’t really mind if people buy into my point of view or not. What I’m really after is for people to try to step away from the dogma that has been systematically programmed into their thinking over what has usually been a very long time. From my experience, this is an almost hopeless cause.

Still I preach on. Like I said, I can’t help myself. I’m reminded of the beginning of the book Life of Pi. The hero became a member of the three major religions, one after the other. In the end, he quit them all. By experiencing the similarities and differences between the religions, he was able to separate the dogma for the true spirituality that each had to offer. In the end, one doesn’t really need an organization for true spirituality.

Krishnamurti, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of modern times, distinguished between teaching and preaching. The difference is subtle. Preaching is a much more coercive affair. That may not be the intention of the preacher, but it is the nature of the act. Teaching is about a journey of self discovery. I suppose that whereas preaching focuses primarily on the message, teaching focuses primarily on the learner.

My pledge is to try to do less preaching and more teaching. To that end, my writing should have more facts and questions and fewer conclusions. Blogs tend towards preaching because the whole point is to publish your beliefs and experiences. I won’t be able to leave those things out completely, but maybe I can be more self-aware.

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