Illusion versus pain
Thank you for the full response. On principle I try to acknowledge the effort although I often don’t with people who already have all the answers. That tends to be unproductive. But since you made the effort to say that you are interested in other positions and answers I’m writing this. Other people may also have some interest in this. In fact, if you noticed, while I’m not in the business of selling any religious products I was pleased that what I wrote was of interest and understandable in a positive way by many who clapped and with a few who contributed their own thoughts.
My primary point is that we are leaving the era of ideologies of which religions were the earliest form. I find great hope in this as do many people now. The transition is a challenge particularly for those who are susceptible to the lure of absolutist thinking. That is a major concern of mine both for the damage that these older system still do but also for the pain to those who realize that they are caught and, yet, can’t escape. This will get worse as the transition we are in continues to build a highly communal yet individual meta society that finds its strength in diversity and multiple, virtual realties. Lots of work as we all struggle to learn what this means and what potentials and threats are inherent in societies based on this.
Paradigmatic change makes a range of existing systems and languages obsolete. Ideological belief systems are the first to go although not necessarily without a fight that can be vicious. I think we are well past that threat now but that battle was actually finished about 400 years ago for Christianity and related forms.
One point I do want to make, you questioned a statement I made about the illusion of self being recognized and making the new spiritual space possible. Perhaps I didn’t state that clearly or understandably. This is very important for a large range of reasons that are very critical to our species now.
We know that self is an illusion although we have great difficulty getting beyond it. As pattern matching creatures it may be that the creation of self is critical to the development of language as we use it. This is also critical to our more sophisticated social structure as self awareness allows us to see as if with other’s eyes. But naming of patterns is malleable and our patterns shape our world. Paradigmatic change is most simply stated as replacing a foundational pattern with a different pattern that provides new benefits not available to the old pattern and how it matched each of our ‘realities’. This replacement is what we now call disruptive.
This is now being dealt with as we move from religion to spirituality. I didn’t make this definition but learned it watching for this type of change in generational differences. The rapid decline now of ‘religion’ among Millennials and GenZ is usually presented as dislike for religion as inadequate to meet their spiritual needs. This is a generalization but seems to fit the kind of change that is part of paradigmatic shifts.
What works for the new generations is, as everything now, diverse but individual so not antagonistic. People still in religious systems (almost always idiomatic) are almost invariably antagonistic even if it is passive/aggressive and driven to recite memes as rote messaging. By recognizing the illusion of self, the dynamic of language, and the inherent uncertainty of the ‘physical’ world we can build the image of connection that works for each of us. This cannot be dogmatic let alone totalitarian so it cannot be antagonistic because it is only part of my chosen illusion. I feel no need to argue over an illusion and definitely will not start a war over one. I see this as very real progress.
On a personal level I see the clinging to an illusion of self as the greatest hubris. It is the primary cause of human suffering. The illusion of self builds demands that mostly cannot be met. The logic fails at that point. Fortunately we have enough objective knowledge of this universe to know it doesn’t work that way. There is most that we will never be able to know but we do know that.
Self is an illusion. Let it go. No loss. Happiness may result.