Coercion and Universalism

There is a tendency in the religious community to universalize spiritual experience. As if to say that when one comes to a new revelation it is imperative everyone/many/most have a similar or identical awareness. This is what most disagreements amount to and is the foundation of most wars. It is unfortunate that when one sees a glimmer of spiritual light in a different color one finds themselves looking into the stained glass window rather than out.

For some reason, human beings cannot tolerate differing viewpoints without mild to major frustration and feel the need to use coercion on those judged apart. Latent to blatant use of tactics made to impress, manipulate or force harmonized thinking are implemented to bring back those who have “fallen away.” Independent thinking and personal responsibility are sacrificed for the comfort of the larger group. Trusting one’s self to have determined a path, that for them/us is the right path, even in the face of opposing and often contrary traditional and sentimental thinking is very difficult and often results in self-doubt. Often the end result is conceding to those who, because of their greater numbers, appear to know the truth. 

I encourage exploration into one’s faith and thinking, even if it takes you on paths you never knew existed and feel unprepared to explore. Find them out for your self. Do not take the word of others, including this writer, but explore the “truth” by asking the basic questions. Finding the truth for yourself is not easy work. It will be a challenge. The easy way out is to accept what you have been told without raising questions about it. Don’t succumb to that line of reasoning as you will have nothing in the end.


About Ed Anderson

I am "non-religious", not an atheist as some suppose, since after reading what I have written many wonder if I believe in "God", I just don't have a name for the concept, "God", nor do I have an origination story or theological mystery tour to stretch your faith. (I have no proof of what I believe and I wonder if my belief in "God" is supportable as I have increasing doubts.) I just can't accept an inflexible point of view that says, "I know what you need, and I know what you should know and here it is, you can have it too." Religionists present yet another obstacle to finding "truth" as they claim to have succeeded exclusively in finding it. Having been a part of the religious scene for years it is clear to me how easily duped we are to believe in something we have no proof of, has caused an abundance of divisions, and "territorialized" people into believers and non-believers. Furthermore, my belief in "God" equates to the larger perspective which includes an awareness of "God" in everything. I speculate at times whether or not consciousness is "God" So, my belief in "God" does not necessarily match up to the Christian/Judaeo tradition of a being existing somewhere in the beyond or in one's "heart". If there is a "God" he/she/it could be anywhere and in anything. Though I believe in God, it is not a belief in the God of Scripture. Too many “holes” in Scripture to satisfy my inquiring mind. It may indeed point me in the right direction but I find it not only unreliable but full of plagiaristic thought and re-writing of some of history’s interesting solutions. I much prefer to trust the minds of men and women who conjecture on the basis of what we now know of our universe than those men and women who trust the minds of ancient spiritual guides who, in turn, contributed to a book allegedly “inspired” by God. It is all unprovable, either side of this argument, but I prefer to invest most of my thinking in current ideas rather than those that show little support in logic. Do I hear an "Amen"? View all posts by Ed Anderson

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