By William Markiewicz
All religions are a glorification of the power struggle with the strongest on top -- God. The Devil, in spite of his apparent power, is a tool for testing mortals' loyalty to God. Of course there exist more complex conceptions of "good God" and "evil Devil" but on the commonly accepted anthropomorphic level, God means power requiring indisputable submission. Rewards and punishment after death are twins to those we desire to obtain in this world; they are really post-dated retribution for our merits which were not rewarded here on earth. The belief in justice that gives sense to life by sustaining our hopes even if justice doesn't show up, survives, catapulted through faith to another world with its divine creatures and reigning God.
Buddhism without reincarnation and Karma would not be religion, only a teaching on how to live. Buddhism is extremely perceptive; it does not ignore the power of belief with its poetry of ritual, chanting, etc.
I'm not advocating any materialism because matter as a concept eludes me. Why seek secrets outside of matter, when matter itself offers an infinity of unanswered questions and is the greatest mystery in itself? For the quantists, philosophers and mystics matter is only condensation of the surrounding swarm of other conceptions -- energy, space, time -- ingredients in the kitchen for our supreme cook: consciousness.Back to the index of the Vagabond