The Religion of Should

As for beauty, I am no star.
There are others more fair by far.
But my face, I do not mind it,
For I am behind it.
Its the ones in front that get the jar.


  • edited December 1969
    I use the word religion advisedly. The word religion originally (i.e., Latin roots) referred to 're-uniting'. Well, as a species we are certainly disconnected from Nature - we are 'superior', after all :wink:. I generally suspect that language lies at the foundation of our sense of disconnect. As we learn language, [chref=23]words[/chref] increasingly stand between a conscious experience of what is... and what is, until we reach adulthood and filter everything through [chref=81]words[/chref]. So our disconnection occurred long ago - perhaps 50,000 or so ago. The advent of civilization with its growing 'sophistication' only deepens this chasm. It is no coincidence that religions arose with civilization - religion is a symptom of civilization!

    'Should' is a key concept in civilization and religion. 'Should' conveys what we all 'should' do to make civilization work, e.g., we 'should' all love on another... love is all you need. The small intimate hunter gather tribe - 'family' - found sufficient common ground to exist without much, if any, sense of 'should', i.e., when intimacy is sufficient, everyone can work out tribal coexistence intuitively. With the loss of tribal intimacy, natural order becomes increasing impossible. And, an already weakened sense of connection becomes dimmer still.

    To compensate, we have turned to the ideal concept of 'should' and its implied ideal of 'free will', i.e., 'should' means nothing unless we believe we have a choice to implement the object of 'should'. Moreover, neither ideal, 'should' nor 'free will', can work unless we believe 'I', the self, exists. Okay, so far so good. But, does this actually work? Does believing that it works make it work? Does believing in an illusion help us [chref=7]accomplish [our] private ends?[/chref] As I look around me - and ponder history - I suspect that it does just the opposite. Believing in and living out an illusion can't possibly work better than dropping our preconceptions and facing Nature as it is. Of course, that's just my belief :oops: . Actually, this is not my belief, although, I long believed in 'I', free will,... the works. I finally just dropped the belief when I began to look for some actual evidence to support it, and could find none. If I've missed something, please set me straight.

    Personally, I found that [chref=40]turning back[/chref] to remember where I am brings [chref=33]contentment[/chref] now. Thinking about what, who or where I 'should' be only brings the promise of contentment tomorrow - which never seems to come. It is so [chref=64]easy[/chref]! Yet, just because it is [chref=70]easy[/chref] doesn't mean I will [chref=53]prefer[/chref] to 'do' it. Only when I remember! Simply remembering that 'should' is a by-path helps alot.
  • edited December 1969
    Living from "should" usually means living in discontent; but not always neccessarily. I tend to take it under advisement rather than something to lose sleep over or get uptight about.

    I don't see much constant in the "shoulds" so, in the sense that they are 100% reliable, they don't work. And they don't work unless each individual sees for himself/herself that it he/she "should".

    When I lose my keys, while I am looking for them, I tell myself, "When I come home, I should put my keys on the hook in the kitchen." Then I do for a while and then I come home one day, get distracted, and lose my keys again. While I am looking for them I tell myself, "Why do I do this? I know I should put my keys on the hook in the kitchen." The habit gets more ingrained but sooner or later I flub up again.

    And I can tell you that you should put your keys on the hook in the kitchen when you come home but, until you see the benefit for yourself, you will probably ignore me.
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