RELIGIOUS-MINDEDNESS I

Anyone acquainted with my writing will know that I have an issue with what I call religious-mindedness. This is not so much directed at religion per se as it is toward what purports to be non-religious and yet is. Dogmatic atheism is as religious as any religion. Rationalism is religiously-minded. And most New Age philosophizing is utterly steeped in it.

Before exploring what this means and why I find it counter-productive, it would probably be best to mention one reason why it is likely so important to me. I once became a born-again Christian. Though admittedly assisted by LSD, the experience so deeply affected me that it took many years to wear off. When it did, I was pretty much inoculated against any further outbreaks.

I hope the reader will forgive me this biographical note; but doing this kind of philosophy necessarily has a personal context, some of which needs sharing. It is intended to provide the reader with that “grain of salt” that evinces the relative character of what is said here. In a word, it helps us both avoid: religious-mindedness.

Identifying the personal nature of this perspective also serves as an opportunity to make clear that this is not about the right dao versus a wrong dao. What works best for the individual is that person’s right dao. Some do well in belief; others cannot believe. This dao is for one (me) who can’t believe and who requires a different strategy by which to address our inherent need for a guiding dao. And needless to say, at best it can only provide some raw materials for the evolution of other daos just as it is itself so evolving.

“Daos are made by walking them”, says Zhuangzi. And there are as many daos as there are pairs of feet to walk them. “Truth”, opines Kierkegaard, “is subjectivity.” It ultimately comes by way of choice, not objective certainty.

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