Most intelligent thing on this blog…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader feels he must point out the most intelligent thing written on the blog in a long time was just posted. Sadly, your Maximum Leader didn’t write it. It was written by your Maximum Leader’s bro Kevin in a comment to the last post. Here is the good part:

It’s unsurprising that people mix and match components of religious belief and praxis; that’s been happening since the beginning, and is a ubiquitous feature of human culture. Perhaps the issue to focus on, though, is what happens when mixing and matching becomes the prevalent ethos, and depth gets sacrificed in the name of breadth. Any particular spiritual practice takes time to master, and mastery is hard to achieve when you spend all your time gawking at the over-stocked aisles, but never buy anything. A lot of “seekers” miss this about true practice: it takes deep and serious commitment, no matter which path is chosen. Every major tradition contains some form of that admonition, but shoppers — dabblers — ignore it because they’re just too enchanted with all the variety that’s out there.

Of course, many mix-and-matchers aren’t flirting with twenty different traditions at once; at most, they’re supplementing their core practice with elements from just one or two other distinct traditions. I can use myself as an example here. As much as I respect the rich inner life found in Hinduism, I know that Hinduism doesn’t hold the same charm for me that Buddhism does. For me, it’s the Zen form of Buddhism, and just Zen, that has informed (and seriously altered) the nature of my Christian belief and practice. JuBus and others are in the same boat: far from being heedlessly promiscuous in their religious explorations, they’re looking for that one tradition that gives them a Jerry Maguire-style “you complete me” feeling.

The people who creep me out are the truly eclectic ones — the loopy folks who have utterly renounced the scientific mindset in favor of a hilariously incoherent worldview that allows all pantheons and doctrines equal air time. Sense, for these people, is far less important than sensibility. Rationality has left the building.

It’s also unsurprising to see that people still cleave to magical, folkloric nonsense. Healing prayer, evil eyes, ghosts, demonic possession, ESP, ancient astronauts, crystals, blah, blah, blah– these notions fill a need, I suspect, especially in modern societies where the romantic mindset is still cultivated, making the more classically realist attitude seem like cold comfort in the face of a mysterious and dangerous world. Alien abduction fantasies and 9/11 (or moon landing) conspiracy theories all respond to that same need as well. Superstition provides the illusion of sense without actually making sense.

Your Maximum Leader understands the impulse about which Kevin writes. At many levels he feels it himself.

Your Maximum Leader hopes that in himself the impulse hasn’t made him an idiot too. Jury may be out on that count…

Your Maximum Leader will go back to gaining childish delight from the Charmin Bathrooms in Times Square now…

Carry on.

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