Under The Sun

Thursday, September 18, 2003

"Religion is essentially an ontological issue, not a moral issue."
--Richard Rohr

This would be surprising to most people, including most religious people. But it's true: religion is essentially about, not what you should do--that's obvious; we don't need religion to tell us that--but why you should do it. That Old-Time Religion answered: because if you don't you'll burn in Hell. That served a purpose, arguably, but experience has shown that it's not, after all, the truth. The truth is that you should do it because it's the only way to be at peace with yourself and the world. That's what the Bhagavad-Gita teaches, that's what the Torah teaches, that's what the Buddha teaches, that's what Jesus teaches, that's what the Qu'ran teaches: that's the Truth. The Self must come to grips with the Other. The existence of the Other is the fundamental moral fact.

All the rest is commentary.

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