I am fortunate to have a grandson who comes to me when he has questions about the ways and means of the world and, when he does, I must make sure that I am answering him in a manner that will help him get a firm perspective of the world, without any of my undue influence.
Question: Hey Pop, what do you think of religion, god, etc. I just looked at Chapter 11 in the Shogun’s Scroll, and I understand the take on it in regards to conquering except to appease the followers after or during the regime change. How can these ideals be implemented today with the rising power of violent and hate filled religious groups? Specifically, how can we respect any faiths and simultaneously realize that it is one of the driving factors and, in some cases, the entire cause of an inconceivable level of sadness throughout human existence? I’ve felt a lot of personal pressure to speak out against religions, but I don’t want to alienate people or be overly brash with them. I want to have a career in music, and I don’t want to alienate my audience because of my beliefs. However, I don’t want to just stay silent in the face of many people who I feel need perspective. I know I’ve rambled a bit; I hope you can sort through this.
Answer: Let me see if I can put some cogency into your rambling, though I know where you are coming from. The confusion of your questions is based on the inability of humanity to make logical sense out of the conditions we are being forced to live with, through misdeeds of our own. No one is exempt, and we are all responsible for the morass of confusion and frustration. Without getting into a go nowhere rant on religious fervor, suffice to say it is because of the lack of godliness in the world. That said …
An easy and simplistic answer would be by having in control a firm but just government that seeks to quell the fears of all of its citizens, without showing favor to any one group in particular and without trying to directly influence outside cultures. Historically, that doesn’t work, especially in a polyglot or a multi-racial society where constantly opposing factions seek to dominate other factions of the group in order to curry favor for their own agendas. The result is generally a form of anarchy, which also doesn’t work and leads to chaos until and unless there is total domination of one group over another, but that can only last for a finite time. Then, of course, comes war and all of its attendant vexations. War is merely an extension of man’s fear of the unknown based on presumed arrogance; therefore, we invent methods of additional control called democracy, socialism, communism, fascism, hippiism…. whatever.
When taking over control of an entire culture, whether by military force, societal castigation, or by levying economic difficulty, it must be done with such force that any aspect of the remaining culture hides away in an effort to survive until enough resources are available for an uprising. All global societies are running rampant today, along with the obnoxious terror perpetrated on us from all corners of the world as part of instant communications that hardly ever allows actual conditions to be reported in an objective format. Add to that the controlling forces seeking to enslave all of humanity for their own purposes, which go beyond the speculation of this writer and the absurd notion of miniscule catastrophes created to deter the masses from knowing what actually is happening on a broader scale.
Horrible things such as the Orlando massacre, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the Holocaust, the internment of Japanese in WW2, the usurpation of the Palestinians by their own kind, unmitigated hatred toward Israel, American decomposition of the middle East, etc., on and on and on will continue to occur until sanity takes the helm of humanity and respect for another idea or thought can prevail. I randomly picked these examples with no ulterior motive. The Romans are gone; the Greeks are gone; the Aztecs are gone; the Nazis are gone; probably the Klingons are gone … you get the drift. (Curiously, the Jews are still here even after the travails suffered and who appear to be the conscience of the world. Save that for another discussion in its own time.) It remains within the leadership of any culture to acknowledge the alleged rights and non-violation of everyone else. Difficult at best, because each individual group foists its mythology on all others, even those who are in agreement with them.
To speak out against religion has always been the province of the young in their attempt to alleviate the disparities between cultures and societies, and so I won’t waste time involved with a pissing contest on that subject. The old adage about the grass being greener on the other side is always prevalent, especially when looking back at the grass just left.
The result of concerted frustration is mass confusion in an attempt to bring order to a situation that relishes its own demise. Government is essential to maintain order in whatever form it takes. The problem is that governments are run by those with the financial strength to perpetrate their own inconsequence and insignificance on a mass of people who simply want something to eat, a blanket to cover their children at night, and the ability to stand tall and proud in front of their women. (Yeah, I’m sexist and, while we are at it, I’m also racist, exactly to the extent as every other living creature on the planet since time began.) Even giraffes and water buffalo have conflicting issues.
You are asking me for an answer to a question that has always plagued humankind. The only intelligent answer I can give you is to maintain focus on what it is you want to accomplish and, at the same time, do what is required of you to maintain your own celibacy of conscience.
You will invariably make enemies; you will invariably make mistakes; you will invariably cause pain to others, and you will invariably bring joy. That is the way of the world, and that is the way of life until you connect with your own true higher self that only you can define. Your salvation will be your art and not your opinion. (That is my opinion – ;-))