Over the course of my three year 'fade' from the borg, I have done a lot of additional reading of all those books that we were told in the hall to avoid. You know... they are in libraries, the local book store... even on-line! It's called ... research! Every single book that I picked up increased my realization that religion feeds us only a fraction of the spiritual food available to us.
This book called the "Bible" is a filtered compilation of a select few records that is supposed to give us all that we need to make choices for our life and direct our relationship with a creator.
I have just finished reading a book: Beyond Belief - the Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine Pagels. One of the fascinating things that this book outlines is how the concept that God always had a 'true religion' on earth is a totally falacy. As Witnesses we were taught that the gospels in the Bible were accurate accounts according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What was the matter with me? Even in the All Scripture is Inspired book it clearly stated that these records were written many decades after Jesus even died. In all likelihood, these accounts were written by those that followed the interpretation of Jesus' life by Matthew... or Mark... or Luke... and John. Heavens! There were Christian sects from the minute Jesus died!... from AMONG the apostles! Matthew had a group that followed HIS rendition of Jesus' life. So did Mark! ... and Luke... Why there were even followers of Thomas's teachings and even JUDAS! Wow! It wasn't so different then from what we have today!
Even more amazing is how much contempt I have developed for this dude called "John"! What a manipulating, politically driven jerk! Why would John (and consequently the Christian Church) put so much emphasis on the diety of Jesus... that he was God made manifest in human form (John 1:1) - when the other three accounts (and most of the Gnostic Gospels found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi) outline how sprituality and "God" can be found with each of us through searching and reflection? ("We are made in God's image" - so we possess God within ourselves)
And WHO is this clown named Paul... who was a persecutor and KILLER of Christians ... then apparently sees a vision and 'converts'.... and THEN (omg!! ) ... he has the BALLS to go and say that he was "an apostle of Christ!". Whatever! Some may struggle to even call him a 'disciple' - let alone his inflated claim that he was an apostle! He never even WALKED with Jesus! Yet look at the many acounts that we give to Paul's writings! Sheesh!
I'm angry that religion has confined me to such a SMALL box! aaaargh!!!
In my mind, I feel that any organized 'religion' that wishes to help the followers find 'truth' - should present ALL written accounts and records of the life of Christ so that we can discern the validity of each record on its own merit. Further... there should not be ANY authority within that religion that could censor these records from the members. (Give me a copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi... and let's start studying THAT!)
I hate religion!
Thought for the day: "Religion is a BOX!!"