In the comments area of my post on The Calling, in response to Conrad’s comment, Cheerful Monk had this to say:
“In the modern age, when the perspective and the needs are not tribal, but truly global, it seems to me that the arguments against exclusionary behavior are a natural evolution.
It amuses me that some bloggers espouse diversity yet get upset when commentators don’t fit into the culture of their little group. Ramana doesn’t do that, and that’s one reason I love him so much.”
The comments in italics are from Conrad.
In response to that comment from CM, I said that I would write a post on the subject and this post is therefore dedicated to CM for inspiring me with the idea.
To give some background, I must refer to some reading that I have done in the past, notably, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, The God Part Of The Brain by Mathew Alper, Faces In The Clouds by Stewart Guthrie, and The Evolution Of God by Robert Wright, and my own decades long study of Advaita Vedanta.
It might come as a surprise to my readers that I find no contradiction between any of the above referred to source materials and I am absolutely convinced about Conrad’s statement that arguments against exclusionary behaviour is indeed very much natural evolution and in post on my calling, I wrote in highlighted bold letters “AND I KNOW THAT I HAVE REACHED THIS STAGE OF MY EVOLUTION BY NATURAL SELECTION.” It is not a belief or faith but a clear knowledge. I know. Period. I can accept all religions, including atheism, as attempting to reach the Reality and to exclude one or more for not being the right path is regression into pre-language times.
The rationalist approach to God and Superstition arrives at the very convincing conclusion that the fear of death resulted in the evolution of our sense of spirituality or the human tendency to believe in supernatural beings is based on our projection of human qualities on the world and that we are simply programmed by the evolutionary process to seek patterns in our environment where none exists.
The common inference made by all the Western writers that I have mentioned above can be summarised by what Alper says – “Perhaps such a change in our perceptions might help us to shift our priorities from the hereafter to the here and now, to deter intolerance, antipathy and war, thereby maximising our chance of obtaining the greatest amount of happiness in life.”
My submission is that this inference is precisely what is possible to be achieved and has been achieved by many who have faith in the hereafter and shall we say for the lack of a better word, God.
So, why exclude? Just accept that in our evolution towards a better humanity, we follow different paths, due to different levels of education, historical or geographical locations or other reasons, to achieve the maximum possible happiness.
This true story was actually published in one of the humor sections of Reader’s Digest many years ago:
At an interdenominational religious conference in Hawaii, a Japanese delegate approached a fundamentalist Baptist minister and said, “My humble superstition is Buddhism. What is yours?”