May 9th, 2007

Sinfest - The Truth

Disagreements and Divine Relationships

lupagreenwolf, a wise LJ friend, asked:
You really shouldn't matter what your relationship to the Divine is--monotheistic, polytheistic, pantheistic, even atheistic. Nor should your view of the world matter--dualistic, pluralistic, etc. Can't we all just agree to disagree and get on with our lives?
My reply was turned out to be very long. I'm posting the full version here.

We should be able to disagree and get on with our lives. In the end spirituality is a personal experience. The better question is why do people disagree? I think the biggest answer to this is that people confuse religious practices with a relationship to the Divine. Additionally, there is a guardianship aspect over religious practices. This plays out in several ways.

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Here is my summary. Religious practices are not the one-to-one equivalent of a personal relationship with the Divine. The practices are instead tools, guidelines and suggestion for good living. Disagreements occur when religious practices are equated to personal relationships. Disagreements also occur when a guardian of a religious practice perceives their system to be under attack, misrepresentation or appropriation. While there is a valid place to argue theological correctness in reference to a given word or set of actions, these should have little to do with the end results attained. In the end, the disagreements are about the 'correctness' of human constructs instead of the personal relationship with the Divine.