Don’t laugh at the title. I’m being serious :). Today, I had a song come to mind by the band, Cake, called “Building a Religion” or is it “Comfort Eagle?” Who knows, either way, I have some very positive memories of this song and it made me think about the work I am doing in my life through my website and to help bring guidance to others. Am I in the budding phases of building my own religion? Take a listen to Cake and then I’ll have some things to say about this.
Why Do Religions Get Started?
Tax breaks aside, why do religions get started? Cake has it pretty down pat in the song. It’s because someone is trying to build something better and give it more lanes. When someone isn’t quite satisfied with the way something works, what do they do? They roll their own and custom build it to fit what they think it should have.
This happens with businesses all over the world. Someone doesn’t like how the business they work for does things and they’re really pissed off about it. If they are pissed enough, they’ll go out and create their own business that does it bigger and better.
This is evolution to me. It’s the continuing refinement of thoughts and ideas by us humans over time. It’s like building a software program. The first versions have bugs and all sorts of shit that goes wrong with them. After a lot of work, you start to build some great software. But then someone thinks of a whole new way to do the software and now yours is crap and you have to evolve again.
The Threat To Religions
The threat to religions is the evolving state of human-kind. When a religion is first formed, chances are, the people doing the forming will say some things they claim to be divine truth. They’ll even put this in writing. But since truth is an ever widening circle of discovery, if some of those things become disproved, then what? The religion becomes threatened.
And I don’t think this is a bad thing. New discoveries and ideas should weed out the old that isn’t working any more. It’s the evolution of life. When I was younger, I used to think that there was a simple, universal truth. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that the truth is a lot more gray. Sure, some may claim that the truth is a simple way and they have the light and knowledge. But if you start to question the details and arrangements beyond the window dressing, then things always become confusing.
The Better Religion
To me, the better religion focuses on core principles like truth, love, and courage, along with the respect of others and their right to live and to own their property. It then teaches how to evolve and survive in life. If I were to take the hundreds of articles on my website, I could make my own frickin’ Bible, but I’d called it, ‘The Jerm Manifesto.’
And it would be an ever evolving set of principles. It would be the things I’ve learned from my parents, siblings, friends, basketball coaches, early church leaders, co-workers, people I’ve read from online, and more. For any religion is just the combination of existing material put together in an attempt to be more persuasive to gather followers.
And that to me is the modern religion – it is a continuous process of learning and evolving, not just staying stuck in a set of ideas and principles and the discoveries of human-kind be damned. The modern religion does not put people in classes for the after-life based on what it thinks each person should have. It does not use the after life, which we have no idea of, as a stick to drive behavior change in this life.
My religion is the sharing of thoughts and ideas among people to come to a greater collective wisdom. It doesn’t have a name, but it is very spiritual. What I’ve learned and experienced this year has been THE MOST spiritual I’ve ever felt in my life – like I’ve been catapulted light years ahead in my own spirituality and things haven’t felt so right as they do now.
A religion that has found a way to gather followers and get those followers to pay it while those followers do work for it has truly found a formula that blows all business models away. Who wouldn’t want to have employees that pay the company to work for it. I have to admit, the persuasion to do that is worth further study!
I don’t think religions of the world are bad. They teach good principle’s and help us learn not to fight and attack each other. Those are good things. But a religion should not require that people pay of their hard earned money to it. It should not use volunteer service as a condition for worthiness to it.
The tax break of a religion is very interesting. I’m very much interested what it would take to make a religion. Do you go online and fill out an HTML form and it gets submitted to some red tape Government agency for processing and then you get a certificate that says you are legit with some seal of a government official from the past on it? Hmmm.
To Build It?
That leads me to my final thought. Is it worth trying to build a religion? Or will there be so much red tape that the psychology of the effort will become more daunting than the desire to do it? Is it worth it just to say I did it? I’ll have to ponder this some more. If nothing else, taking the steps to create a religion would be something new and probably a very growth oriented experience and I’m always down for that.
As Cake would say, Some people drink Pepsi, some people drink Coke. The wacky morning DJ says Democracy’s a joke.
- Remove the Meaning From Life to Be At Peace
- What Keeps You Up at Night?
- Truth, Reality, and All That
- The Cycle of Building Up and Tearing Down
- Courage is Sexy