Friday, October 23, 2015

Holistic Religions and One-Book Religions

One of the fundamental logical mistakes the human mind does is that you extrapolate beyond the facts provided. For example when someone says: "There are two doors A and B and door A is open" many people consciously or unconsciously assume that door B must be closed. Though to most thinking people it is clear that the state of door B is indeterminate.

When you find something good, you can just state that A is good. But many people immediately draw the conclusion that everything else but A is bad.   Not doing that unconsciously requires a certain degree of maturity and training of the mind.

The religions that have reached that state - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Shaman-religions of Africa and so on, have a holistic view of life. They are pluralistic, tolerant, non-violent. They state the truths they have experienced in a simple way and invite people to experience them and improve their life.

This does not mean that they don't say anything is bad.. or accept everything. All it means is that they don't condemn others just because they found something great. They condemn things on their own merit.

However, the modern and typically western religions, suffer from this logical fallacy given that the civilizations that gave rise to them did not have much time to evolve. All of them - Christianity, Islam, Communism/Atheism - state that theirs is the only truth and everyone else must be converted or killed.  These one book religions have each caused innumerable wars and suffering. Christians have killed close to 900 million people through crusades and colonialism. The Islamists whose spread from Mecca to India was filled with mass genocide and brutal torture have directly caused the death and torture of 700 million people or more. The atheists, whose attempt to spread through the world, was the cause for the cold war post colonialism have been responsible for a similar number of deaths in Russia, China, Afghanistan and so on.

When people rebel against religion what they mostly complain about are these one-book religions.

These religions not only destroy others, but they also destroy their own people by their suffocating laws and impractical and hypocritical moralities. 

These one-book religions should be forced to declare that there are other paths to the truth. That alone will remove much of the misery that the people that suffer from them - both those that are a part of the religion and those who are not.

It is the one-book religions that have made people mistake and fear the power and vocal declarations of the eastern religions for intolerance rather than as the tremendous celebration of their own experience which is what they are.

Pluralism is LIFE. Even the material scientists have multiple theories of the cosmos and fight over which one fits the facts better. Such a debate and conflict is healthy and right. Religion and spirituality needs that kind of debate. And science needs to have that conversation with the people who have experienced things beyond what modern science has experienced..

But before that happens, the word religion needs to be saved from dogmatism of one-book religions. One-book religions are not religions at all, but political movements.