What does orthodoxy fear from heresy? Orthodoxy's insane response to heresy-- excommunication, denunciation, torture, execution via burning at the stake and attacks in the Colosseum by lions and wild dogs, hanging and drowning-- exposes fault lines destabilizing the foundations of orthodoxy. What does truth have to fear from the exploration of truth? Orthodoxy on all levels is the most unstable platform imaginable for viewing life and knowing truth. "See it like you are told it is" is a ridiculous imposition of blinders upon all who are "saved" by orthodoxy. Let orthodoxy answer all of the questions raised by the assertions of orthodoxy! And all of the questions its answers raise! How long into that process before we reach the place of having to "take everything on faith" because orthodoxy says so? "Take everything on faith in orthodoxy!" Orthodoxy is grounded on the assumption of God being who orthodoxy says God is "because the Bible says..." And who says the Bible is the final word in "faith and practice"? Why, orthodoxy, of course. Orthodox is a nice, tight, little circle of "It is so because we say it is so, and if you don't say it is so, also, you are a heretic and must be executed now because we say so." Orthodoxy has to go, along with its theology, and we start over again from the beginning. "In the beginning the earth was without form and void." Let's start there, with nothing, and see where it goes. It won't be long before we get into a tussle over whose view of the way things are is the right view. Whose idea of truth is the true truth? And there will be a big fight, lasting for eons, and executions, and orthodoxy will be born. Again. Disagreement about the way things are is at the heart of the way things are. The American experiment with democracy has proven that Majority Rule is no way of securing agreement about how things are and what matters most. There is no way. The best we can do is to have really large, unending, ongoing conversations about the way things are and what matters most-- with no one being excommunicated or executed because of their views. Truth Shapes Truth. This is the scientific method applied to society, culture and politics. Ask all of the questions that beg to be asked, and all of the questions their answers beg to be asked. Always and forever. And grant everyone the right to their own religion throughout time. And no one kills anyone ever. Now, how are we all going to decide to do it this way? Life is such a hoot, all the way down!
We cannot help how we see things. The way we see things is influenced by 10,000 things, put together in ways that are unique to us individually. "Individual" means seeing things as we see things and not as somebody else-- much less everybody else-- sees things. The first principle is to see things the way we see things. The second principle is to see our seeing. The third principle is to see how our seeing impacts, shapes, forms what we look at, so that we generally see what we expect to see and not necessarily what is there. We cannot hope to see until we see how our seeing creates and sustains/maintains what we see. Our parents, our point of origin, our environment, our culture create an umwelt for seeing that determines-- or strongly influences-- what we see throughout our life, by molding how we see from the start. We look through the lens of our experience/expectations when we look at anything/everything. And we cannot help how we see things. But, we can see our seeing, and look closer, particularly at our biases, assumptions, presumptions, inferences, conjectures and conclusions. The field of General Semantics is well worth exploring here. The related field of Reality Therapy is also a good source for thinking about our thinking and examining what is going on with our experience of reality. We cannot help how we see things and we all have deep convictions about how things are. This is a problem that creates problems. We believe that how we see things is the way things are-- and it is how everyone ought to see things. And those who don't agree with us are The Enemy who must be converted or ostracized, excommunicated, shunned or shot. It's a problem of world-wide proportions. We begin the process of resolving the problem by stepping back. And standing aside. Stepping back and standing aside takes the impetus to be right and destroy all opposition out of the picture. We are no longer motivated by the desire to conquer, subdue and vanquish all that stands between us and the realization of our will to prevail. Stepping back and standing aside opens the way for The Way. The Way is the way of conversation, of communion, of I/Thou, of "Thou Art That." We are one with The Way of Oneness with all things and enemies of no thing. The Way of Oneness is the way of looking and listening until we see and hear, know and understand. This requires waiting for the mud to settle and the water to clear. Within and without-- within ourselves and between/among all of us. We do not talk to argue, debate, harangue and prevail. We talk to listen, hear, comprehend and understand. By doing the work of articulating what we have to say and grasping what is being said-- by ourselves and by those speaking to us-- a shift happens, a light dawns, realization descends and transformation occurs. Not because anyone made anything happen, but because all participated equally, with sincerity and good faith, in the happening. This is the way of peace and compassion, loving-kindness, balance and harmony, and life everlasting. World without end. Amen.