I have been AWOL for a couple of weeks, please accept my abject apologies, I have several thoughts on the “boards”, just couldn’t seem to get them put together well enough for a post.
I have been thinking about a lot of things, “magic”, delusions, compassion, principles, and, unfortunately, it’s just been a bit of a jumble, and wouldn’t come out of my fingers onto the board as a readable comment. It’s too late to worry about losing my mind, that is already gone, so, well, I guess I’ll just have to fake it in the meantime.
According to several sources on the “web”, delusions are firmly held beliefs in the presence of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Most do couch that in terms that excuse those of us with some sort of spirituality, but then, the implication is that even the belief in the spiritual side of life is delusional.
Delusions are pathological beliefs which persist despite clear evidence that they are actually false. They can vary widely in content, but are always characterized by the absolute certainty with which they are held. Such beliefs reflect an abnormality of thought processes; they are often bizarre and completely unrelated to conventional cultural or religious belief systems, or to the level of intelligence of the person suffering from them.
Of course, the key word there is pathological, i.e. harmful, beliefs. Unfortunately, there are many harmful beliefs that are part of this or that religious system that are allowed to remain part of the overall culture, just because they have been expressed in religious terms. Christianity’s many sects have those who believe, in spite of the teachings of Y’shua regarding compassion and treating one’s fellows as one would be treated, that one does not need to forgive a non-believer, or even a believer if they do not ask for forgiveness. That isn’t how it’s said in the Book, in fact, the Book can be quoted as teaching that if we do not forgive, (no matter who) we will not be forgiven, but it is how it’s taught by more than one denomination.
The sadness there is that the teachings of one who would have us treating all others with some respect, at least, for their humanity, indeed, for the common ground they hold with us, are then skewed and made into the bylaws of a “them and us” club. So, here, in this little practice that should not be present in the path of the Nazarene at all, is a delusional teaching that allows those with an inclination to believe the preacher over the words in the Book, to practice something so anathema to the original teacher as to bring about such harmful acts as the Inquisition and the Crusades, neither of which fall anywhere in the principles taught in the Book.
One of the most harmful of delusional states is the is one that allows the believer to feel that they could or should control the lives of others. This happens so often it is simply accepted as a matter of that person’s faith, yet, beyond the laws that govern peaceful cohabitation with our fellow travelers none of us has the right to attempt to control the lives of other, and each of us has the obligation to love others as they are. Hm, perhaps that is exactly why we get sidetracked with all the other stuff. Allowing someone the freedom within the law to be themselves, and loving them too is a pretty tall order.