I wanted to share something I wrote sometime ago, something that I’ve worked on a little here and there; but that fully describes my views on our universe, multiple religions, and my way of resolving it all. It’s a fairly long post, even by my somewhat verbose standards; but I thought I would share this anyway, along with its invitation to explore the subject further ….
On Relative Being,
by Stormwise Raven
Has it ever occurred to you that there seem to be a lot of different ideas and beliefs concerning our origin, our purpose, and our fate? And, at the same time, has it ever occurred to you that there are also a lot of ways in which we tend to react to this diversity of beliefs? It would seem, from a logical point of view, that at some point, somebody must have gotten it right by now; but how do we determine who that might have been? The truth is, there are a lot of different beliefs in our brief history; and responses to this diversity, ranging from acceptance and tolerance, to rejection and persecution abound. And someone has actually already managed to get it right: in fact every truly religious and spiritual belief, from people seeking to answer the fundamental questions of our existence (our origin, our purpose, and our fate), has managed to get it right. This work will concern itself with demonstrating how such an unanticipated scenario is possible, explore some of the ramifications of this insight, and introduce an alternative way of believing that is profound, inclusive, and universal in more ways than one. Regarding the variety of ideas and beliefs concerning our origin, purpose, and fate – fundamentally religious questions – it would help to first have a common understanding of concepts like religion, deity … and politics.
Religion, for the purposes of this writing, concerns itself with attempting to answer fundamental questions of our existence; chiefly those questions concerning our origin, our purpose, and our eventual fate. Religion is not just our attempt to answer these questions, though, religion is also our effort to connect ourselves to those answers. It is at the same time a way of perceiving and a practice of implementing that perspective into our lives. As a system of individual or collective beliefs, religion does not necessarily need to concern itself with fact; but in a system of seeking answers, facts should not be seen as harmful or threatening. Whether the search for answers to our fundamental questions results in a relationship with one or more deities, or none at all, does not affect the religious nature or status of that search. Therefore, from this perspective, it is possible for the term ‘religion’ to exist independent of deity, belief in deity, or relationship with deity.
What, then, is a deity? A deity, or even a god if you prefer, is a higher being. Specifically, a god is a being who is considered to be more powerful and hopefully – but not always – wiser than we are, and connected in some way with our religious perspective. Some gods are seen as anthropomorphic, while still others can change their shape to suit their purposes, or have no real shape to them at all. To our benefit or not, we believe that these higher beings have an interest in our world and / or development; and that they play to varying degrees a role in our origin, purpose and fate.
As humans, we are largely a social sort of being. Our history shows that we seem to invariably need some degree of social governance to achieve social order; and as far as it concerns this work and its subject, the process by which this social governance establishes and maintains both itself and its sense of order within its sphere of influence will be referred to as politics. Thus, social-based government (separate from individual government of self) is invariably intertwined with politics; and utilizes many tools to achieve its desired state of social order. That many governments in our history have employed religion as one such tool is the reason why a brief clarification of the concept is required in this work.
Now that these core concepts have been described, it is appropriate to move on to a more precise listing of the topics this work will explore:
… Separation of politics from religion
… The inclusion of science within a description of religion
… On the nature of the universe and Relative Being
… How all of this resolves itself with regards to other popular belief systems
… Why this perspective may be useful, or even necessary
… How to go forward with this perspective
It is relatively easy to arrive at completely separate, and distinct definitions for the topics of religion, deity and politics; but to actually separate these concepts in their typical real-world setting can be an interesting exercise in what at times may seem like futility. Some might even wonder why someone should even go about trying to separate these themes, as they have been intertwined throughout much of our history. The truth is, whenever people come together for a given reason, politics invariably finds itself employed for the establishment of order within the group. The same is true of people who congregate for religious purposes; and when all the politicking is done, there must usually be someone (or even a small group of someones) in whom authority is vested, even if only for the purpose of mundane organization. When individual relationships to beliefs are emphasized, however, the need for external authority is reduced: we each become the rightful authorities of our own beliefs. Our organization, in such a scenario, becomes purely socially-based, and voluntary. This allows the religion itself, along with any religious authority, to remain decentralized.
A decentralized way of believing, one that focuses on individual relationships with our religious perspectives, would also be much more difficult to be used as a regulatory tool by various politicians, and the governments they serve. This would be a good thing. Imagine a situation in which people are led by the government to believe that only red apples are good, maybe because economic situations favor the mass consumption of red apples. To amplify the shift to red apple consumption, the government finds a way to promote red apples as a goodly (or even godly) food, and simultaneously links green apples to great evils, employing various kinds of religious propaganda against their consumption. Since the government is itself assumed to be governed by the same moral or ethical systems that its people are governed by, and deception is understood within this system to be a bad thing, the people might be inclined at first to believe this absurdity about green apples and also be highly resistant (or even resentful) to anyone who insists that green apples are also good. Eventually however, as with all things, time changes the perspective: green apples are consumed anyway, and the world doesn’t end. Not only does the public trust in its government suffer from such an event, the public trust in the effectiveness of the religious beliefs inherent in its laws and system of governance is also shaken. In this scenario, the religious beliefs of the people are abused by their leaders. While the scenario of green and red apples is obviously an invented one, the concept of a government abusing the trust of its people through religious manipulation is not. One would do well to consider the once-official view of cosmology, according to the Vatican; and how that view – and also trust in the Vatican’s religious authority – was shaken with the advent of the telescope. Better would be a system in which religion and politics were truly removed from one another.
It sounds implausible, but this would enable people to pursue their own relationships with religion and deity without any fear of punishment from their peers or even from the state in general (as long as socially agreed-upon laws were being followed); and it would also strengthen the position of governments to make laws that are based firmly in what their peoples agree is good and right for their society as a whole, based on the reality that (even if we do not always act accordingly) we are far enough along in our evolution to understand the social concepts of right and wrong. Essentially, the governance of law is strengthened by an understanding that there is no need to qualify a law by its adherence to a particular religious code of conduct: a law that comes to be will do so because the people have agreed that it is right, and that it is worth following on its own merits. If we no longer have politically-minded people claiming to speak for their various gods, or representing some other religious authority besides the individual kind, threatening everyone with punishment for failure to conform to a religious perspective that not everyone may agree with or share; then people would naturally be more capable of pursuing and living their own beliefs without fear. If we are pursuing a personal relationship with and contemplation of our most profound topics, separating religion from politics is worthwhile because in the end, doing so strengthens both aspects of our lives.
While separating religion from the political world would strengthen religion; so, too, would a reconciliation with and inclusion of science within the realm of religion. Some might balk at this: while religion concerns itself with belief, science concerns itself with observable facts. One religion in particular originally saw modern science as an attack on its established dogmas, and tried in many ways to either compel scientists to endorse its own view, or stamp science out of existence outright. Science survived this, struck back against its (very political) oppressor during the Age of Enlightenment, and nowadays it seems the tables have turned: observable fact is winning a lot of hearts and minds; and religion around the world seems to find itself in a steady decline, even after some significant reformations. It is also unfortunate that some of the religious authorities of the time did such a good job at treating early scientists as rivals, as this illusory status seems to have persisted into modern times. The rivalry between science and religion, however, is really only an illusion. In its approach to answering the fundamental questions of existence, science is quite a religion within itself: the philosophy and methods may be different; but the search (and the spirit of discovery) are still alike. Perhaps a criticism of religion, from a scientific perspective, might include that most religious approaches over-value beliefs that can’t be proven or verified. From a general religious perspective, science might rely too much on observable facts, and miss the overall truth of things; or worse, engage in a reckless pursuit of knowledge without the temperance offered by wisdom. From a reconciled approach, empirical facts can stand firmly beside faith and revelation to enhance our ability to form answers to the fundamental questions of existence. Wisdom and knowledge belong together, in harmony and not in conflict. There are a number of religions, both past and present, that seem to demonstrate an understanding for this very principle.
Science has been describing the birth of a being of incalculable size and power, to varying extents, since 1927. The being referred to here is our universe, or Nature; and, with the beginning of the Big Bang theory having its start in 1927, we have been learning more and more about Nature’s birth over thirteen billion years ago. What follows is a religious perspective that presents Nature itself as the supreme being, in a system of beliefs called ‘Relative Being.’ Relative Being incorporates some traditional religious perspectives with scientific theories and observations about the nature of our existence. So if Nature is the supreme being, where did it come from?
There is good reason to believe that before the birth of Nature, there was nothing. This nothingness cannot be measured, and it cannot be ascribed an age. One cannot measure nothing: to measure it would require the presence of something to compare it to, something that wouldn’t exist if there were nothing. Additionally, time is a measurement of a sequence of events – events that simply don’t take place when there is nothing at all to take place. So to what extent this nothingness extended, we will likely never know for certain; and the same goes for how long this nothingness existed … both measures of what predated the birth of Nature must therefore remain indeterminate. It has been theorized that almost fourteen billion years ago, a singularity exploded in what is often referred to as the Big Bang. Where this singularity, and all of its material came from are still debated in scientific and other religious circles. Here is something to consider, though: as ironic as it may seem, the existence of nothingness actually depends on the existence of something … the two concepts are not mutually independent, but require one another. This something that came into being, at first started as a singularity in size, and was by the very nature of its existence also a totality, causing the explosion we now refer to either as (in most traditional religions) Creation; or (in most scientific-minded circles) the Big Bang; or (from the perspective of Relative Being) the birth of Nature … an explosion that very likely continues to push at the remains of the nothingness from which it sprang. If we understand that Nature, the supreme being (for what else can one call a being that encompasses all things, places and times within the universe?) came into being out of nothingness around fourteen billion years ago (years from our perspective, not Nature’s), that it is around this time that a light shone in the darkness for the first time and that this accounts for all the matter and energy in the universe, then we have an explanation for our origin. This account also sheds light on our purpose. We understand from this explanation that Nature’s first imperative was not only to be, but to be everything at all times.
What is easy to overlook is, whether one chooses to call it Creation, the Big Bang, or the birth of Nature, every and all things that exist and have ever existed are directly connected to this event and to each other. The law of conservation in physics demonstrates that energy cannot at any time be created or destroyed, that energy instead simply alters its form (for those who might wonder whether or not this law of physics rules out the Big Bang, time is a critical point to look at, as before the existence of something, there was no time). Scientific thinkers over the years, from Sir Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein, believed or demonstrated that energy and matter are directly related to one another. With these things taken into consideration, it’s not difficult to understand that all the energy that goes into making all the matter in the universe, along with all the pure energy radiating throughout the universe, has as its source the birth of Nature. We – or the energy that goes into our beings – all come from that very same singularity. The energy that comprises our beings has probably changed form countless times; but is still nearly fourteen billion years old. Nature came into existence for the sake of being; and through the connection all things have to Nature, Nature is capable of being all things, at all times. Our purpose, then, is not just (like the Nature from which we originally come) to be; it is through our being that Nature continues its imperative to be all things.
Since we are all echoes of the birth of Nature, and all an interconnected part of Nature, we are all sacred beings. Everything that is, is sacred and shares our origin and purpose. Everything that is, is Natural; and everything that is Natural, or of Nature, is sacred. This might be a somewhat shocking view for some, as humanity seems to assign sacredness to a select few categories of things, like higher beings, sometimes also human beings, sometimes creatures and other beings found in the wilderness (which is often, from this perspective, erroneously confused with Nature); but with the exception of some forms of animism (which perceives a soul for many natural things, but not necessarily all things), we typically do not consider all things to be sacred. From the perspective of Relative Being, a foam cup is as natural as a wild bird, or a forest, or a star, or even a black hole. All of these things share a common origin and are interconnected parts of the supreme being of Nature. Everything is connected, everything is part of the same wondrous, even miraculous event, everything is sacred.
Within the perspective of Relative Being, our origin, the fundamental question of from where we come, is described as having come from the birth of Nature itself. It is understood that the energy that comprises us, through one changed form after another, came first into being during the birth of Nature. The fundamental question of what our purpose is can be most easily explained in that we are here to simply be. It is through our being that Nature is able to increase its own being, as Nature is literally the sum of all its countless parts. Our eventual fate, the fundamental question of where we are destined to go, has also made itself clear: the energy that we are made from has existed for nearly fourteen billion years and, although it has changed its form countless times, it cannot be destroyed. When we are done with these lives of ours, and relinquish our bodies, all of our corporeal energy will continue to be, albeit in an eventually different form. Immortality may or may not be the proper word to use when discussing our fate from this perspective; but fourteen billion years is a pretty long time. Regarding the soul, there is no reason to believe that it does not pass on and continue further: energy cannot be destroyed, and the soul is seen from this perspective as a sentient form of energy. Where it goes is a matter for individual exploration and contemplation, as this is another area where everyone can be right: whether one believes the soul directly reincarnates; or remains with a higher being mainly by means of law of attraction; or something in between … we live in a universe where many things are possible all at once. While discussing the possibility of reincarnation, it’s also appropriate to consider the possibility that Nature also reincarnates in a cycle of being and non-being.
The freedom for individual religious exploration and expression is one of the hallmarks of Relative Being. This perspective has no reason to be wary of any seriously religious expression and can, in many ways, be not only tolerant but also inclusive toward any such expression. It was stated earlier that we might all have been getting it right, all along: this is a perspective that Relative Being holds to. Another scientist, Edwin Hubble, described a universe – based on his observations – where one could stand at any point, and have the distinct impression that they were standing at the center of everything. This suggests that the universe doesn’t really have a center as we are used to thinking. This observation is a guiding philosophy in Relative Being, in that the possibility for every location in the universe being able to describe itself as ‘center’ also allows for every answer to our fundamental questions to describe itself as ‘right.’ If we are truly part of a being whose purpose is to be all things, and all things within this being are interconnected; then it stands to reason that any number of perspectives regarding our fundamental questions of existence are each just as ‘right’ as the other. We are, after all, parts attempting to contemplate the greater whole to which we belong.
This perspective does not seek to mix itself with politics or social governance; therefore Relative Being does not attempt to control one’s conduct (believing that this is something more appropriately handled by social institutions) or affiliation with other religious perspectives. Relative Being does not cost anything. Relative Being is about being … if we choose to be involved with other religious perspectives, that is our own individual decision to make. Other higher beings (beings who are more attuned to and familiar with the workings of Nature – of which there are probably any number) might very well find themselves interested in humanity, and have the means and capacity to intervene in our lives. It’s unlikely that such beings would worry too much about some of our social traits: like the clothes we wear, or the food we choose to eat. It’s also unlikely from the perspective of Relative Being that a higher being would be jealous or demand a greater number of followers: if such a being wished to extend the effort to control humanity, it seems likely that they would simply extend their power and dominate us outright rather than have to depend on us to do all the dominating for them. From the perspective of Relative Being, such behaviors have nothing to do with our fundamental questions of existence, and are largely seen as unnecessary political influences rather than actual religious behaviors. Nature, to borrow from a sentiment by Carl Sagan, “seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.”
What use, then, is a religious perspective that acknowledges that every other religious perspective may very well have gotten things right? First, Relative Being, by trying to remove as much political and social governing influence as possible from not just its own structure, but also from other religious systems, allows for the focus on true, unencumbered religious contemplation. This alone, even for those who choose not to accept the religious perspective advanced in this work, provides a benefit in that individual relationships between us and higher beings can be explored without fear of ridicule or even incrimination. We all get it right. Relative Being also gives us confidence to move forward through our lives: our purpose is to be; and this is something we are already doing. We won’t fail in our purpose, even if society might suggest we somehow fail in our social lives. Relative Being also enables us to explore our universe, the world around us, and our own selves simultaneously as a means to better understand Nature and our role within it. We understand ourselves, through this perspective, to be interconnected to all things; and we understand that our own beings are equally as sacred as any other. Perhaps, by standing within the system offered by Relative Being, we also find enough distance from our social and political lives to achieve the kind of perspective needed to take stock of what we are doing to each other – often, regrettably, in the name of religion – and perhaps our view of the interconnected nature and the sacredness of all beings might give us more resolve to do what we can to generate change at social levels. Relative Being, with its tolerance, inclusiveness and even celebration of all our seeming differences, can move within any number of religious circles and help reveal connections where others might tend to overlook. Relative Being understands that the existence of a supreme being is very real. This supreme being is not understood to be jealous; and while it is called ‘Nature’ here, there is nothing to suggest that this being could not be described with other names. The probable existence of other higher beings, or ‘gods,’ is also understood as quite likely (but not always necessary). While Nature may or may not be willing or capable of developing a direct relationship with us, these higher beings may very well be both capable and willing to do just that. Wisdom they may be willing to share about our universe and our own selves is something that an adherent of Relative Being would be well-advised to seek; and so a relationship with these gods is certainly not something that would be shunned in the perspective of Relative Being.
So how does one go forward with this belief, how does one practice or apply it in his or her life? Understand first and foremost the interconnected nature and sacredness of all things. Understand that Nature’s purpose is to be; and that this is our purpose, too. When we understand that our purpose is to be, and that we are already accomplishing that purpose, we are free to seek to learn as much about our being as we can. We should do that, and we should not be shy about learning from any religious discipline that resonates with us – that resonance, a very energetic state, would be in keeping with our energetic nature and should thus be understood to be a compass of spiritual nature. Tolerance and the celebration of our differences should further define our adherence to the system of belief outlined in this work. It is, after all, difference that enables Nature to be all things. A fear of change should not find a home within our spirits: Nature’s birth brought about the first change; and Nature’s continued existence and growth relies on change. Change defines our being, as well. Finally, there is no central religious authority with Relative Being: we are all equal in the process of being; so there is no need for a high priest of being, and no need for cults of any kind. There is no monetary requirement, or requirement to sacrifice anything from ourselves or others. These may come from other religious systems that we may or may not wish to incorporate into our overall understanding of being; but there is no such requirement from the perspective of Relative Being itself. There are no symbols, no rituals, no secret handshakes. Finally, whether one wishes to adhere to the perspective of Relative Being or not, we are all engaged in the process of interconnected being … this makes us all Relative Beings just the same.
As with any new system of belief, it is likely that some might have further questions or even concerns. This is seen as a positive thing from the perspective of Relative Being, as it means people are not just contemplating Relative Being, but also contemplating being itself. In the tradition of the Christians, the New Testament encourages people to challenge their own beliefs as a means of strengthening them: (James 1:2-4, NAS) “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” So it is with Relative Being: challenging our sense of being not only strengthens our sense of being; but can reveal to us new wisdom and insight into how we might prefer to go about being. What follow are a few questions or even criticisms one might have regarding Relative Being, and subsequent responses.
“There are some established religious traditions that maintain there is only one true, supreme god; and that this god does not tolerate competition: how does Relative Being respond to such a claim; and is Relative Being in any way negated by such traditions?”
Relative Being also has, at its core, a strong belief in a supreme being. It is called ‘Nature,’ and we have been observing and discovering more about it for a very long time. Nature is not understood to have political aspirations … Nature is supreme by virtue of it being, well, the entire universe and all being. Nature is neither jealous nor competitive, as there isn’t much for Nature to compete with or be jealous of; so an adherent to the perspectives of Relative Being would not feel that the universe is threatened by the existence of other higher beings. How these traditions, or followers of these traditions might perceive Relative Being will likely tend to range from one end of the spectrum to the other. Negative claims, however, can do little to alter the fact of our existence or sacred, interconnected state to Nature. Thus, Relative Being can at the same time be, depending on the perspective of the adherent, monotheistic, pantheistic, or polytheistic, or even a combination thereof.
“Our laws are often written as a result of our morals and ethics, which are traditionally derived from religious values. If political processes are removed from religion, and religion is removed from political processes, what is to guide the creation and application of our laws?”
Simply put, we are: to assume that we cannot for ourselves determine what is right and wrong for us and our collective societies is to forget that we have already been doing this all along – we have simply been hiding or justifying our morals and ethics behind a screen of religion. This work suggests that we move our morals and ethics out from behind the screen of religion and take full ownership of them as a society, not that we do away with them in any way. This increases the strength of our laws by subjecting them strictly to our consent, without having to first legitimize them through all the existing and varying religious interpretations and politically-minded religious authorities.
“There are some religious traditions that utilize concepts of the supernatural, magic, and miracles: where do these concepts belong in the perspective of Relative Being – or do they, at all?”
In Relative Being, where Nature is not just the supreme being, but being itself, there is no concept for the supernatural: all things, no matter how mysterious they may seem to us, are still quite natural. Magic and miracles are words we apply to natural processes, and in many cases aptly so. The birth of Nature from nothingness, is nothing short of miraculous. The universe in which we find ourselves is full of magical mystery … while science and the pursuit of knowledge is a good thing, the benefit to including science within the sphere of religion is that the two can easily complement one another. We understand, for example, the process by which a star and planet form, we understand the concept of gravitation and how a planet can have orbit and rotation; but the thought that what amounts to a wet ball of iron and mud (with a massive chunk of rock spinning around it the whole time), hurtling around a roaring inferno at unbelievable speeds, and doesn’t slam into everything and can still produce utterly breathtaking sun and moon rises is undeniably magical. Life happens here on a planet that spins at roughly 0.5 km/sec, while orbiting the Sun at a speed 30 km/sec, which itself winds its way around the galaxy at a velocity of 250 km/sec, and our galaxy is itself in motion at the rate of 300 km/sec … the ability to slow ourselves enough to enjoy the life that fate has granted us is also truly magical. The biological mechanics of life are known to us; and life is miraculous just the same. Being is magical and miraculous, make no mistake; and Relative Being encourages us to contemplate these things as part of our sacred and interconnected being.
“How does Relative Being resolve the dualist positions of some other religions (like Taoism, Wicca, and also Christianity, for example)?”
Relative Being describes the universe, Nature, as the first and supreme being. It also describes the advent of polarized concepts (the first one being, to borrow from William Shakespeare, “To be, or not to be …”) that exist within Nature. Essentially, Nature is all things; therefore Nature can also be described from a dualist perspective as exhibiting any number of polarized qualities (male and female, for example, or Yin and Yang). The only dualist concept that requires some degree of special treatment is that of good and evil. Nature shows us often in our own world that good and evil are a matter of perspective: our beloved house cats are much loved by us for their willingness to rid our homes of vermin; but are much hated by mice, rats and other creatures who might also resent (if they could understand our language) being referred to as ‘vermin.’ Our house cats, in turn, often detest our beloved dogs. Nature certainly provides a capacity for both good and evil; but is itself neutral, as its composition includes all things at once. With Nature being all things at once, what polarized concepts we might take from Nature are a matter of individual choice and perspective.
Now, conversely, here are a few questions posed to the reader for consideration and contemplation:
How invested are you in your religious beliefs? Are these beliefs rigid and unyielding; or are they flexible enough to change and adapt with an evolving understanding of the fundamental questions of existence?
Is our potential best realized when we exclude all differences, leaving a strictly homogeneous set of beliefs? Or is our potential best realized when our differences are engaged and openly explored?
Faith is traditionally based on beliefs, yet we live in a scientific, technologically-driven world: how do you currently resolve this seeming contradiction for your own individual self? Would outright removal of the contradiction make the resolution of these two concepts easier, or harder for you?
Do you see yourself as being interconnected with the universe around you? If not, how do you explain your place in the universe?
If you were to sit down and independently describe our origin, our purpose, and our fate, how might that description look? Would yours be a tolerant and inclusive view? How would your description regard other attempts to describe the same things?
History shows us that our current religions were predated by other religious systems, that our current religions are the result of their original adherents being willing to embrace a change. This is true not only of religions that have shown tolerance for other beliefs, it is also true of religions that demonstrate a decided degree of intolerance toward other belief systems. They all have their roots in a change or natural evolution of beliefs. It is perhaps as a result of being aware of this that some religious systems were designed to resist any and all change: if that is the case, Nature has demonstrated that this design will eventually fail. All things must change: from the nothingness that once existed; to the evolution of Nature itself; to our religious perspectives. Religious debate (rather than meaningful examination) seems to be gripping the world tightly, and with a heady mixture of politics, is becoming more and more often a cause for war. There is a story that has to do with this theme, that demonstrates the folly of the kind of religious friction we have been experiencing for a very long time, a kind of friction Relative Being seeks to lessen if not eliminate ….
“There once lived a pair of cavemen from different clans, their names were Urg and Woof. Urg belonged to the clan of the Stone God, and Woof belonged to the clan of the Wind God. One day, it just so happened that Urg and Woof found themselves hunting a rabbit together in the forest. Urg carefully aimed one of his stones, threw it, and scored a direct hit on the rabbit, who immediately fell. When Urg and Woof arrived at the place where the rabbit lay, Urg immediately offered praise to the Stone God for having crafted such a splendid, rabbit-killing stone. Woof quickly objected to this, insisting that praise should instead be offered to the Wind God, for having guided the stone so swiftly and surely to its target. A debate ensued, which quickly turned violent, as each caveman took turns bashing his club over the other’s head while attempting to prove which of their gods was more worthy of praise. Perhaps because of all the noise that was being made, the rabbit – who was not dead, but only dazed – woke up, could scarcely believe his luck, and quickly scampered away, praising his Rabbit God the whole way home.”
The point of this story is not only that such debates are unnecessary and have the potential to turn violent very quickly. The real lesson of this story is that in engaging in such debates, we purposefully allow ourselves to miss the greater point. In our case, the greater point is being, itself. It’s something we are all already doing. Our differences are no threat to our beliefs; and the kind of variety in ways to approach being that these differences offer is something that should be celebrated, not ridiculed or persecuted. Through a tolerant exploration of our differences, we gain insights into different religious perspectives and can learn from these insights, or even discard them from our own usage … either way, when we explore and examine rather than debate and compete, we get at the point a lot more efficiently.
There are as many ways in which we can approach a religious expression of Nature, as there are ways for Nature to show itself to us. Pursuing our own relationships to Nature and higher beings provides us with yet more insights into our fundamental questions of existence. In this regard, our full potential is best approached with variety and diversity. Relative Being, with its emphasis on inclusiveness based on our interconnected nature, provides one way in which our diverse insights on being can be fostered and actually enjoyed. Relative Being maintains a healthy amount of awe and reverence for the universe around us and within us, it provides us with a non-political supreme being to contemplate and develop our relationship with, and it allows itself to grow and evolve with our understanding of Nature and our role within it. Relative Being does not foster rigidity of spirit, hate, intolerance or persecution. Being decentralized, Relative Being is also not a likely candidate for developing fanatical cult mentalities. Although our own purpose has been explained here from the perspective of Relative Being, the purpose of Relative Being itself has not been given much attention.
The purpose of Relative Being is, simply put, to provide a tolerant, inclusive framework from which to contemplate Nature and our fundamental questions of existence. Relative Being is meant to provoke thought and enable us to explore and advance ourselves through our own diversity of religious insights and observations. Relative Being is presented here, free from political or economic interests, as something that is accessible to all. Anyone can follow this framework, who so chooses; and anyone can feel free to simply be.
Thank you for reading.