I doubt any religion was ever started by the deity at its center, if any. I must have skipped the class on comparative religion because I don’t have a clue. The enlightened one or the son of God wanders the countryside teaching. Somebody writes down some of what they say and thru many translations it eventually reaches us as kaons and snippets of scripture. The parable of the loaves and fish or the rotation of the lotus flower between the fingers of the Bodhisattva bringing a flash of understanding. These days I wonder about how a faith starts. They must start, because there was a time they were unknown. Seems humanity can’t keep a few simple precepts clear. Like, don’t kill one another. Relieve the suffering of others. Be kind and humble. Complex stuff like that. Even in big type half a page could carry the message. So religions start like camel caravans laden with baggage. Beasts of burden and jockeys and hanger’s on snaking thru deserts, crossing trackless waste between watering holes. Their cargo, when unpacked, is that half page which basically says…be nice, play nice, don’t hurt people. Well, no. Really its says – “God all mighty says….be nice”. The implication being if you are not nice the next lightning bolt might have your name on it.
Why am I looking now at spiritual stuff? Because it just so happens I know someone designing a brand new religion. This inventor has a history of trying to get people to be nice so founding a religion is the logical extension for him. He calls it, “The church of faith in Humanity”. I will shorthand it as “CFH”. The part I particularly liked when I first heard of his idea was the monastery. He wants acolytes. I want a cheap place to live in my old age. The only way you are going to get basic affordable housing in our little town is in the cells of a monastery. Seems there is a loop hole in the patchwork of rules and regulations. Its called religion. Religion might be tax breaks and a route thru the zoning codes. A monk who commits to a simple monastic life of meditation could afford to live in the town. His little cell and access to communal kitchen and bath with a dozen others might cost him a couple hundred a month. Maybe less. As a worker at a service job paying minimum wage he simply can’t live in the town where he works. The town needs money. It can’t allow anyone to skimp on property tax, the town’s life blood. The town’s money need drives its indulgence for affordable housing. But thru ancient tradition those with a spiritual bent may get a break. Well, I hope they do, we shall see.
a word about VHEMT: The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Haven’t figured out what the “T” is for. Simply put, the movement thinks the Earth is being trashed by having to host too many people. It would solve this problem by our not producing more people. Sex would be ok but procreation not. The end goal would be zero people or at least a huge reduction in the human population. We must look logically at something very illogical, the programming at all levels in us to produce new humans. It is not just sex it is existence so nature takes sexual propagation seriously. But, nature also balances among the various inhabitance of the biosphere. But humans….at their current level of development, are growing on Earth like a culture in a petri dish demonstrating geometric progression, covering the surface before our eyes. So there isn’t going to be any balance. Trouble is we humans game the system. We learn tricks to maintain the imbalance….if its to our advantage. If its to the disadvantage of the other residents of the planet, fuck ’em, basically. Not something mother nature historically allows for long. In artificially dense populations of chickens (ya, I’m talking to you mister perdu) disease like virus can wipe out many individuals. Its just nature exercising an ancient control regulator, the virus. Large system, Gia, servo loop. Like the thermostat turning the heater on and off. Might be getting ready to turn us off. If not, we should save it the trouble. We should add ourselves the long and illustrious list of Earth’s extinct animals. Joining Steller’s Sea Cow and the Galapagos Giant Rat. If they’ll have us.