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The point of religions is to allow people to die in peace. It never so much was about explaining the…
June 16th, 2013

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

The point of religions is to allow people to die in peace. It never so much was about explaining the world, where we come from, etc. All such explanations are indeed present, but they're present primarily to support claims on how to live one's life, and go through one's difficulties, in order to be at peace when death comes.

When people use scientific information, or logical, conventional and empirical knowledge to discard the religious myths on how the world functions, they tend to reject religion in its entirety.
The problem with such an approach is that better understanding 'causality' does visibly not teach us about 'inward' peace!

To reject a part of the religious narrative which was incidental rather than the main point, then to reject the main point too, is throwing the baby with the bath water.
Nowadays one might often know with relative precision what one dies of (a particular disease, a cancer, the consequences of radiations from a nuclear accident, badly controlled diabete, allergy, overdose, internal haemorrhage…) but the causal explanation does not give any clue on how to die in peace.

While you may not need myths to build a mobile phone, a smartphone will never alleviate one's dissatisfaction as one gets sick, ages or dies… No electronic gadget, no item from the "society of abundance" (or "shallow consumerism" depending on the interpretation), is particularly useful to learn how to live a life that allows us to die in peace.

In many 'modern' societies, temples, churches and monasteries struggle to remain 'relevant'… and while the community is quick to condemn a greedy, disconnected religious establishment, the congregation often is loosing the most by forgetting the value of myths for our minds, and by confusing the means of religion —mythical narratives— and the goals of religion —living and dying!

There are many ways to work on your spirit, some more clever than others, some more adapted to your circumstances than others, some more philosophical than others, some more compassionate than others… but the first point to realise is that working on your spirit is not really optional.

Photo: "head of the line" by © +Jeffrey Friedl