Friday, September 19, 2008

Bridge Building

How does one maintain a sense of the Divine in a secular world? Does superstition have any place in religion or politics? What exactly does one mean by “religion?” These are questions that I have been pondering lately. Here is where my thinking is at right now.

One can maintain a clear sense of the Divine and the un-answered questions related to that in secular world. What is needed, in my unlearned opinion, is primitive view of spirituality. Some things can exist without being seen or measured, ask any astro-physicist or particle physicist. What I mean by “primitive view of spirituality” is one that comes to grips with the concept of the “bridge builder.” This Pontiff builds the bridge, or at least shows the way, to bridge the divide between that which is base to that which is divine. One will begin to understand the hierarchy in man. I shy away of the verbal gymnastics that some like to apply to this subject as they all amount to ego gratification or mental masturbation.

Superstition has no place in a thinking man’s religion or politics. Reason has an important place in a thinking man’s religion (or lack thereof) and politics.

So what is religion? It is not faith. It is a collection of ethnic and cultural items that form a tradition. This tradition is melded to a dogmatic view of faith and an organized religion is born. Spirituality on the other hand is a personal journey. The two are not mutually exclusive or mutually dependent upon each other. One can have both religion and spirituality or just spirituality or just religion. Spirituality I have learned can sometimes look like atheism. That is an odd situation to view but it is there.

Frat.·.
Brandt

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought you enjoyed ego gratification and mental masturbation?

Traveling Man said...

I am of the opinion that spirituality is one's personal experience of the Divine. Religion is someone else's experience of the Divine.

Just my $0.02

Traveling Man

John Galt said...

Oh anonymous, right on time.

Traveling Man. I am inclined to agree with you on the difference between "religion" and "spirituality." Do you think that there is a view of spirituality (I know that it is hard to pigeon-hole something so personal) that lends itself more to the Masonic experience?

Brandt

Anonymous said...

#1 Why hasn't anyone answered the previous post on "so help me God?"

#2 Religion and Spirituality are actually the same thing. Mans relationship with a Supreme Being.

#3 Don't make this stuff more complicated then it really is. And Brandt, you tend to do just that. Everything must have some deep and gnostic meaning. It doesn't!


#4 All religions have somewhat the same tenets. Love for a Supreme Being, and helping to around you that are less fortunate.

#5 Masonry has through its Degrees imporrant teachings regarding the above. Brotherly love, relief and truth.

#6 Now, if you guys would just stop the BS and do what you should be doing!!

John Galt said...

Could you please tell us two things.

1. If you have such a problem with me personally why do you keep coming here.

2. What, in your opinion, should we be doing?

Brandt

John Galt said...

excuse me, I missed a couple of items. Yes, you have asked the question before. I will address it.

"So help me god" does not exist in every ritual obligation. Regardless, an arguement can be made that one could keep his obligation by not adhering to the rules of men. Just an opinion though.

One last question. Why should we listen to a clandestine mason such as you?

Brandt

mgpierce said...

Just for fun:

re·li·gion /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ri-lij-uhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.


spir·it·u·al·i·ty /ˌspɪrɪtʃuˈælɪti/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[spir-i-choo-al-i-tee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -ties. 1. the quality or fact of being spiritual.
2. incorporeal or immaterial nature.
3. predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.
4. Often, spiritualities. property or revenue of the church or of an ecclesiastic in his or her official capacity.


Do you need special help discerning the difference, anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Brandt - I have nothing personal against you. I merely state the truth. You tend to make everything deeper and more complicated than it really is. You are spending time and energy looking for somethings that isn't there! You then make the Obligations sound like they really aren't to be taken that seriously. If they aren't to be taken seriously, why have them in the first place? What should you be doing? Read the book of James for a start. "Help those less fortunate than yourself, and keep yourself unstained by the world." What does the GO do for society? From what I can tell, not much. Alot of arguing about ritual, etc. To make matters even worse, nice guys like Tony are being sucked into this BS and his posts are nothing but parroting what Brand says. If it wasn't for Brandt, Tony wouldn't have an original thought! What a sorry bunch! Any by the way, I am not the one who is clandestine, which is another reason why you are not recognized by the GL. I occasionally check this blog just to see if there is any possiblity of you guys waking up. Apparently not. Have a good life. OH, excuse me "Travel Well"

John Galt said...

At least we are having something of a discussion now.

If you actually believe that Brother Tony does not have an original thought in his head you don't know him well at all. As to me leading others astray. Thank you for believing in my leadership skills but you grant me too much. I am not such a good leader that others will just switch off their brains and follow along.

Since we are alluding to the Bible I offer you this regarding charity. "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth" or something of that nature.

I think that anonymous posting here is going away. I think little of those that speak as if they are an authority yet won't divulge their identity. There is also the small problem of most of the anonymous posters have lowered the bar around here.

Brandt

Tony said...

"You tend to make everything deeper and more complicated than it really is. You are spending time and energy looking for somethings that isn't there!"

That is your opinion and you are welcome to it, but that doesn't make it fact.

I am of the opinion that there is much that lies unseen, much that is gnostic. To each their own.

"To make matters even worse, nice guys like Tony are being sucked into this BS and his posts are nothing but parroting what Brand says. If it wasn't for Brandt, Tony wouldn't have an original thought!"

If you are going to insult my intelligence and challenge my ability to formulate my own thoughts and opinions, at least have the courage to tell me who you are and the honesty to not present your attacks as backhanded compliments.

"Read the book of James for a start. "Help those less fortunate than yourself, and keep yourself unstained by the world." What does the GO do for society?"

The author of the book of James wasn't addressing the Grand Orient, the Grand Lodge, or any other group, Masonic or otherwise; he was addressing individuals.

It isn't the role of the lodge to be charitable, it is the role of the individual.

My individual charitable activities are, frankly, none of your business.

"Any by the way, I am not the one who is clandestine, which is another reason why you are not recognized by the GL."

Clandestine - marked by, held in, or conducted with secrecy

Your posting here anonymously makes you clandestine as far as any discussion here is concerned. You hold you identity in secrecy, therefore, you are clandestine.

We have made our identity and existence very public, we are not clandestine.

I do not dispute that, from the Grand Lodge's point of view, we are not recognized. But those are two separate issues.

And regularity is another issue all together, but I won't muddy the waters further.

Ignatius J. Reilly said...

The seeker is rarely understood by those who believe there is nothing left to find. For even one to continue the search implies there is something else to learn. To think the seeker the fool is much more comfortable than accepting the alternative. Keep seeking, keep asking questions -- there are mysteries left in this life that only the explorers will find. The rest will be happy with accidents.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

did not sarah palin build a bridge to somewhere?

SoHawaii said...

I have reasoned that religion is the method one uses to practice spirituality. Religion, in my opinion, is nothing more than a consensus amongst those who agree to practice their spirituality a certain way. I find that by viewing it in this way, I am apt not to regard one method as better than another, but rather choose what seems to ring true with me. Therefore my method is no loftier than someone else’s. Do they work hand in hand? Yes I believe they do.