While writing this, I am spending some time in Erawan Shrine before going to Svarnabhum Airport. I am now witnessing the power of storytelling. Soon I will be back to the hotel just next to it to pick up my luggage then go home.
My head is now ranting:
You can make religion and spirituality good commodity through story telling. Tell people that through your piousity and spirituality you will help them solve their problems or be close to gods or be happy or get their wishes come true; they will come to you with or without believing whether you are true or not. Don’t tell them they should pay as it is contra productive. Just tell them there will be energy exchange so logistics should be co-financed.
It is great and amazing that tourism is designed that way.
When will mosques ask visitors to pay? If they do, they’d better have a good storytelling more than cleaning cost. If not, that is great.
Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those believing with the power of religiosity and spirituality that solve life mystery. With one condition: if told in a wise and sweet way and told by a reliable person. Otherwise, they’d better eat their own sh*t (sh*t can be a lot of money from those being fooled around by them); don’t expect karma as they believe what they do is all right.
God bless gods. God bless all shrines, temples, churches, mosques, etc where people are praying. God bless storytelling.
God bless Erawan Shrine to where I will be back until I stop visiting Bangkok heaven knows when.
Where is the kitchen, Dear? Done; now dining area— Let’s dine together.
Some discussion is naturally heating and escalating. And a recent one with some friends was one of them.
Started with questions of why do those people do this and that in the name of religions? What do you think about what happen in those countries?
“Perhaps none of the things in a religion is wrong. It is the interpretation of the script, interpretation is product of thinking that can be wrong or inappropriate. Many religious people rigidly think that only their interpretation is the truth. Only they can go to heaven. They behave as if they are the committee of heaven who decide who can enter the gate. They claim this and that. They don’t give space to others to present different opinions. For example the dark face of Islam nowadays is because of the image given based on how the Holy Quran is interpreted and presented by popular groups (minor percentage unfortunately) and it might not be the real teaching.
That religious interpretation has not built in vacuum chamber. It’s been loaded with political interests and competitions among scholars who have had different thinkings and interests based on whatever their strongest points at a certain time. Things have not been purely and objectively dedicated to the welfare and safety of ummah (people). It’s been always power and money.”
To me religion is a kitchen where a host optimises cooking skills and high standards of all ingredients and processes; attitude is a dining area where the host serves the best food to the guests with kindness and respect. I harvested this wisdom from a Javanese elder years ago and since then stopped religion discussion with those who only want to create tension or force belief to me.
Acceptance that truth is layered (personal, shared/agree, absolute) and should be respected is now my standpoint. Institutional religion is not my interest anymore. All religions are unbroken chains of stages of human beings’ ethical values development on earth.
Personal truth is what one believes with all the concoction of what one holds based on one’s understanding and experiences. In this layer religions can be very private and unique, based on how one has been raised since one was fetus up to now. My truth might not be yours and the vice versa.
Shared/agreed truth is agreements about things. This agreement becomes what are believed and strived by a group of individuals be it friendship, society, organization, sect, country, etc. In this layer religions might be used (even abused) to be commodity to drive policy and power; or institution to build boundary and authority.
Absolute truth is the core truth, no bias no spectrum, the vacuum chamber. In this layer religion might be nothing but a concept misunderstood, misinterpreted, mistreated, misused by many human beings. This absoluteness never belongs to any creatures on earth even Prophets, Messengers or Saints. It is the privilege of The One who might have been misunderstood by every single believer or thinker or whoever on earth. The One will only give signs and symbols in order for human beings to clarify and verify the truth. The One gives all tangible and intangible senses as tools to decipher the signs and symbols; however, The One lets the creatures decide how the senses are used— whether the tools are well kept and calibrated to work well, it is up to them.
I don’t worry about how I practice religion. What those people think about a religion might be not right at all; of course I might be wrong either.
The Prophet said “I was sent to uphold and complement ethical values.”
How could a group of people claim they do the right interpretation of the religion by doing unethical things? Discrimination, harassment, abuse, killing, stealing (corruption included), cheating (manipulation included), etc…. Is this the right thing as what the Prophet did teach about ethical values?
I guessed not. Now I don’t believe so and I don’t think so. Sadly many read text without context— jokingly intelligent.
Some days are tough when questions about religion bother.
I’m sorry, dear friends. I can’t always agree with you.