Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wasting Time Reading, Again...

I don't know if it's just the Christmas season or having children, but I've been thinking a lot about religion lately and my relationship with it. I wasn't raised as a regular church-goer though both of my parents were. Shakey grew up being able to quote the bible (can you say Baptist?). I like the idea of being part of a church community but...

Anyway, I was drawn to an interview on Salon in an article about the best books of 2006. The interview is with Karen Armstrong who has written a number of books about religion and the history of religion. I found the last question and her answer very thought provoking--and a state to aspire to. So I thought I'd share.

I'd love to hear your reaction.

And is there an endpoint? From the cosmological perspective, was the universe designed specifically for life? Are those important questions?

Yeah, I think they can be wonderful questions. But they don't occupy me very much. I believe that what we have is now. The religions say you can experience eternity in this life, here and now, by getting those moments of ecstasy where time ceases to be a constraint. And you do it by the exercise of the Golden Rule and by compassion. And just endless speculation about the next world is depriving you of a great experience in this one.

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