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Monday, November 13, 2006

All is flux, nothing stays still

It is interesting how we can create the ideal way of expressing our beliefs in our mind, and I think this is what organized religions do, collectively, they create the ideal, as though life were a nice tidy flowchart, yet life is anything but that, life is not "me" moving through time and space, but life is what the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "All is flux, nothing stays still" with the example that one cannot step into a river twice exactly the same, for time passes, the river flows, and everything may 'look' the same, but everything isn't the same. Everything is constantly in motion, or change. So I find in Japan that even though someone may call themself a Buddhist, they may in everyday talk exclaim, "Oh! God help me to pass this exam." Or they may address deceased ancestors, as though they were in heaven. The Koreans at graveside talk to their deceased parents, telling them their current earthly situation. But so too Christians, they may speak outloud at a graveside, understanding that the loved one is in heaven, and their hope is that the loved one is listening (and watching?). I suppose my point is that theologians may come up with tidy religions, yet the everyday folk are simply trying to survive in their constant changing material and spiritual environment, and more often than not, this includes a theology that is in flux.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this piece, it chimes with an idea I'm mulling over about the little earthy chapels and shrines and saints in the Brittany countryside where I live, and how they seem much more heartfelt than the bigger churches which represented the theological correctness of the time. Liked the Max Planck quotes too...