Immersion and Comfort


I started this on Twitter but have collected it and added to it here. Maybe it’s a little disjointed but perhaps it’s useful to somebody.

It was one of those spontaneous outbursts that prompted further spontaneous outbursts from others. Try that sometimes. Seems to bring a sense of relief to people around. We have become so afraid to speak…too afraid.

3AM religious television in India is a lot more diverse & interesting than the constant Christianity that plays in Canada.

gurus, yogis, imams, priests, monks, babas…also yoga, Krishna dancing, speaking in tongues, animated Hanuman stories… immersion

Odd that an atheist (even a Buddhist one) would feel so comfortable with all that, but there it is. 1 reason it feels so empty here…

…on the verge of running with that here…maybe to the blog so yr timelines aren’t flooded…

One correspondent called the above:

suspension of disbelief

That could well be a part of it.

[As an aside yes I do find society in North America really empty as I mentioned above. It’s like a hard shell with nothing but gears and cogs inside of it…all metallic and full of sharp edges. Isolating and compartmentalizing everything human. Often to the point of being robotic. It’s such an incredible amount of work to reach any sort of real depth. “I don’t want to get involved.” seems to be the order of the day. Anyways…back to topic]

Another wrote:

I don’t find it odd. Joyful religious exuberance is one of the best parts of humanity. I get my hit from the local gospel station! I think there is something we long for in it.

I had to agree:

"Joyful religious exuberance" -a good way to put it. I find that also in Muslim countries with the daily calls to prayer 2

We don’t even get gospel (I also like) here in Canada. It’s all either ranting evangelicals or grumpy Anglican/Lutheran stuff

There really isn’t much religious diversity available publically in Canada, particularly in the media.   [Speaking of which, as I was writing this up somebody left a very long hectoring comment on another post about meditation being the devil’s business and how Buddhists are playing with dangerous forces etc. etc. You know how that drill goes I’m sure. I left it there so I could comment about it there and here.]

Writing about this on Twitter seemed to start something of a flood of favoriting, retweets and responses. Who knew? I’ll just put them here.

Someone posted this video with the comments:

I get my hit from the local gospel station! I think there is something we long for in it. I always have high hopes for feast practice but really want the church scene from Blues Brothers.


Me: That was retweeted in case somebody’s in need of some churching (Blues Brothers/James Brown style)

That feels good. Gospel singing big part of my childhood

Me: Oh hallelujah…I seem to be having a middle of the night religious conversion…lol… c’mon I’m messing with y’all a little bit… [a couple of people actually unfollowed—really!—because of this Twitter conversation]

Me:Just because someone (me) doesn’t subscribe to a god figure in any way, shape or form doesn’t mean hating on those who do is necessary. I enjoy the fruits of the world’s religions. Music, art, mythologies & that for some people it helps them be better people & gives them comfort

You can take that to mean the human part of religions, the creative things born out of the inspiration of what may (or may not) be perceived as supernatural for some. Sometimes, even though I may not believe in the underlying premise for making such creations there is a particular feeling that comes when one is surrounded, immersed in that kind of milieu. Part of it is the communal aspect, the sense of belonging it gives people. It’s also a kind of psychological comfort. An opiate to dull the pain. Sometimes that’s necessary.

[Since I brought up the famous phrase, Marx wasn’t criticizing opiates the way we do today BTW. They were the main form of pain relief back then and valued as medicine. His point was that life in oppressive societies and capitalist society in particular with it’s exploitative elements was alienating and painful hence religion served a function there. If those elements were removed people would be relieved of such pain and religion would fade away. Not unlike things said in the Buddhist canon about rafts and the like. Returning from that digression…]

I subsequently wrote:

There is not much of comfort in the world presently. Take it where you can get it.

Then one of the correspondents put this into the mix with comment:

Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome, one day



[I note I’m not the only one having such thoughts. Harry Bradley wrote Enlightenment, THE Enlightenment, Reason, and the Religion of Being Human… and Oxford professor of Islamic Studies, Tariq Ramadan wrote DANGEROUS EMOTIONS, LIBERATING SPIRITUALITY. Both touch on similar themes]

Thanks to Twitter participants, retweeters and favoriters @JeffryGonzalez , @DeathZen, @Llimoner_ , @kaygeeuk, @BeyondMeds, @jamie_crozier, @Mz_Kiboko, @msSandy_