Holy, sacred, people, places. Let’s consider people for this blog and save the places for another day.
Holy people, men: Men, usually, almost exclusively… which in itself is an interesting little factoid that should give one pause right off the bat but as I’ve attempted to point out often, as part of our insidious Cultural Inertia™, the Arrogance of Religious Thought™ is infused in us so deep and so unnoticed we just take it for granted that women must not be as holy in general.
Some prominent holy men past and present of varying renown and influence:
the Dalai Lama
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
Reverend Billy Graham
St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Monson LDS (Mormon) President
Reverend Ted Haggard
You get the picture.
These guys are considered holy, spiritual leaders, great thinkers, men of god, bringers of great truths, seers, men of faith, prophets, sages, “possessors of unlimited wisdom” (no shit) and in some cases are considered infallible or at least inarguable and conversant with god himself.
They consult with national leaders, run countries or have a little country of their own.
They are said to be endowed with grace or special knowledge and insight and are revered within their faith communities and given at least palpable respect as religious leaders worldwide.
They usually wear special clothes and hats (robes and elaborate headgear are heavy business for the spiritually inclined) or at very least, a nice tailored suit.
And that’s a big part of the scam… they look “special.”
I’ve done a recurrent scenario to illustrate various absurdities of religious thought in previous blogs: “What if you’re neighbor said…”
Well the analogy works really well here: these guys aren’t special, they could be your neighbor, they are your neighbor, no different than your neighbor in their knowledge.
They have a lot of grandiose ideas and elaborate explanations that sound real heavy and impressive, but their explanations are just more rehash of old words and ideas, they contain no data, no new information: they have discovered nothing.
They know no more about how the world really works than your neighbor. Despite the cool outfits and funny hats they don’t talk to god or interpret scripture the new “right” way.
They have no authority.
These men are no different. Their shit doesnt smell any sweeter and they dont know anymore about anything than you or me or the average person.
They aren’t “special“, don’t talk to god and have no secret, special, enhanced path to knowledge.
That’s the scam, that’s the lie: they are not holy.
Some might really object that I followed a great spiritual teacher like the Buddha with “just-another-TV-preacher-caught-with-his-pants-down” like Ted Haggard (only this time with the wrong kind of ass).
Yes, I did it on purpose. They are just two men of different ages trying to tell you they got it covered and know the secrets of existence. That their religion has got it down to the exclusion of all the rest. Like your neighbor, they don’t (didn’t) know anything more about how the world really works.
When the Buddha was formulating his “Middle Way” in response to his perceived overindulgence in the base desires of the common man (why are we, the lumpen proletariat, the vulgar, the local folks always denigrated for wanting material and sexual pleasures “too much“? another blog, surely) and the extreme denials of the ascetics, the other monks didn’t think much of his enlightenment ideas.
The Buddha didn’t gather any special data, discover some new phenomena of how the world works and explain it with insightful and productive theory, to be verified and expanded upon later by others, you know, real knowledge… nope, he made it up.
Beyond meditation and moderation being a fine thing, there is not a shred of evidence the Buddha’s and later Buddhist speculations about the soul, reincarnation, nirvana, and the like have any external validity.
And the Buddha’s claims are ignored by 85-90% of the folks alive on the planet today. As it is with ALL the worlds faiths, the vast majority of us seem to get along just fine without listening to most of these guys, ever. Some of us, just one, many of us nowadays, none of them at all.
And Ted Haggard and the other Xian “leaders” repeat their 2,000 year old stuff the Biblical authors made up once long ago. It’s a scam that the Bible or any supposed scripture or the guys that read it to you are somehow “holy.”
One man’s heavy thoughts, imaginative conjectures, and often auditory hallucinations become future generation’s “scripture,” and “eternal truths” and other guys millenia later don the appropriate uniforms and maybe headgear and perpetuate the nonsense… and all too often the misery: and we buy it cause they’re “holy“.
End Religion Now.