I’ve been clear in this space that I’m not a fan of Christianity. At one point in my life, I was SUPER into it. But that time in my life was also my teen years, and in my mind I feel like that’s indicative: While a teen, I practiced a religion that is itself pretty much a teen. But that’s just my opinion. For various reasons, those who are practicing Christians find the religion to be fulfilling. It’s not something I understand, and may never, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not my place to make sense of something that I outgrew or to make sense of something that no longer applies to me.
When I think about Judaism and Islam, my feelings are similar but a bit less concrete or strong. I have very little first-hand experience with those two paths and feel less qualified to speak about then to any great depth. Still, I have an opinion on them and, generally speaking, that opinion doesn’t differ much from the opinion I hold on Christianity. The truth is, these three are WAY more alike than they aren’t and so it seems logical that to see much of the same coming from those three, very different directions is natural and not at all surprising.
Other religious hats I’ve tried on include Buddhism and the Baha’i faith. I don’t feel the same about these two religions as I feel about the other three – but I’ve enough experience with them both to know surely that, like the other three, neither of these two are a good fit for me either. Like Christianity and the others, I’m sure I’ve written to some extent on Buddhism and Baha’iism. Regardless of what I write here or how I feel, or what Truth I think I’m seeing from where I sit on my current path – none of it matters. Not really. And luckily, despite how critical I can be of one religion or the next, I’ve never actually hated someone for their religion. I’m fortunate enough to have many friends, family members, and friends who are like family that adhere to a religion I don’t agree with – and every time we get together things are amicable and lovely. This difference between us simply doesn’t factor in.
And it occurred to me today that hating someone because of their religion is not terribly different from hating someone because they have a preferred Saturday morning cartoon that you don’t like to watch (assuming Saturday morning cartoons are still a thing – I honestly don’t know). My brothers and I used to LOVE watching X-Men on Saturday mornings. I mean, we loved X-Men in general but I recall making sure I never slept beyond 10:00 or 10:30 on a Saturday morning, no matter how late I was up the night before, because that’s when X-Men came on and I wasn’t about to miss an episode – even a rerun.
But what is a cartoon, truly? It’s a fancy and colorful concoction that serves a variety of purposes depending on the audience. For some, it’s merely a distraction. For others, it’s even less – hardly good for background noise. And yet others use cartoons to convey lessons to whomever might be watching or listening. (For me, one cartoon was THE best part of Saturday. That 30 minute part of the whole day was a part I wanted never to miss.) The cartoon doesn’t change. Often the content or elements of it like characters and back storyline don’t change. The bulk of all that changes is who might be paying attention. Right? Did you watch cartoons this Saturday? Or were you watching last Saturday? Both? Neither?
Religion really isn’t different and it’s not inherently any more consequential. For some Christians, Christianity is a distraction. For others it’s not even got that value – they just do it. For some, it’s everything and is THE axis upon which all of reality rotates. But those distinctions don’t matter. At all. And none of them really have anything to do with the Christianity so much as with the Christian, and I think that’s important to know and remember.
Things like that are, I think, a big part of why the Sahaj Masters tell us that religion is like kindergarten. It might have a use and good purpose at some point, but otherwise simply doesn’t matter and can be used in a million different ways like any dumb hammer or spoon. Religion is like Saturday morning cartoons and just about as important. And guess what? I no longer watch Saturday morning cartoons. Do you?
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti