surprisingly, ME TOO
and devoutly so but not in any way the average punter would understand. As an agnostic atheist I can be as religious as I like without offending anyone but the religious—especially those who devoutly believe that their own particular franchise gives them the sole monopoly on Truth.
AND I CAN
with totally serene conscience invoke religious works—of any religion— to illustrate my points. Sue me (better yet, curse me) …
WHO AMONG US
hasn’t emerged from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and felt a presence in the room?
Disquieting, isn’t it?
Especially to those who know better. Tut. Ol’ Ebeneezer Scrooge had the answer, he bluntly told his ghost “You’re just a piece of undigested beef~!”. A statement which he hoped would close the book on any further metaphysical discussion (but the ghost won the point).
Abou Ben Adhem
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made all of sweet accord
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men.”
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!
— James Leigh Hunt
A real cracker. The message is powerful. In just a few brushstrokes Hunt cuts through all the cant and hypocrisies of the Abrahamic religions: on the same canvas he fires a full broadside at all such religions evincing in theory a ‘love of fellow man’ but practising otherwise.
calls it as he sees it. Nicely, but without mincing words. He’s also telling us to ignore petty partisanship (and to my mind that stupid injunction “judge not lest ye be judged“) and to damned well get out there, judge for ourselves, and follow paths that we know to be true.
ABOU and HUNT …
… may their tribes increase!