Thursday, October 12, 2006

The attraction - and repulsion - of religion

Had I been born in any other context, I would surely have adopted a troublefree, unquestioning materialist-atheist position. (Unless my parents would have been militant materialist atheists on the make for new converts...) But I happened to be born in the middle of quiet, unproselytyzing, universal tones of Finnish Pietism. As a concequence I have never been able to totally dismiss religion - especially as our secular culture so stubbornly refuses to infuse our inexclicable experience in the world with any mystical dimension. This is really not to say anything about any literal interpretation of any religious tradition. Those truly are opium for people - and tools of power and aggression for the random elites and organizations. There is no way that we can talk meaningfully about our human experience within those traditions. For the fundamentalists we are not autonomous human beings but obedient "children" in a self-evidently "empirical" context. No matter that this "empirism" is totally based on scared, wishful thinking, on fiction. But to say this does not dispose of religion, not even close.

Strange that without my personal exposure to a mystical local Christian tradition, I would probably never had realized this. Religion begins where primitive fundamentalism ends. Not to posit anything about an empirical, pre-existing God (a concept I find very esoteric and non-essential). We lack a proper language to talk about these issues: religious dogma does more harm than good in its attempt to do so (being anyway coincidental to temporal power struggles). At some level I would no doubt like to fuse art, philosophy and religion into one universal world view. Surely our experience of being in the world does require such a universal vision - the only problem being that we lack the words, the wisdom to have one... So, I am constantly disgusted by almost all actual religious practice and thought but still can't dismiss religion as one of the most serious, if not the most serious, attempt to formulate a worthwhile response to this astonishing fact of our being in existence, to our being in the world. "Käy isänmaataan kohti ain..."

2 comments:

Meiji said...

Körttiys on niin hottii. Ooh ja aah! Oikeesti. Mikä ihana viileys ja intohimo uskonnon suhteen samassa paketissa!! Meitsi diggailee.

stockholm slender said...

Se on omalaatuinen virtaus tässä maisemassa: ei sovi nykyisiin laatikoihin millään, liberaali olematta rationaalinen, mystinen olematta konservatiivinen... Nykyään kun ei ole muita kategorioita kuin vettynyt virallinen kirkko ja kiihkosuvaitsematon lahko.