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October 18, 2011

Of Men and Lemmings: Spirituality v. Organized Religion in America.

P.B. Persinger: "Semele and Zeus with Thunderbolt" (2007)

Ah how shameless--the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone, they say, come all their miseries, yes, but they themselves, with their own reckless ways, compound their pains beyond their proper share.

-- Zeus

Lem·ming [lémming] 1. Small mammal with furry feet. Noted for group movements. Native to Arctic and northern regions. Genus: Lemmus, Dicrostonyx. 2. Member of group of people who blindly follow one another. Doomed conformist. Native to West, esp. North America.

--WAC/P Dictionary

Do you need religion to check hubris? Well, does it matter who or what you use to curb folly and excess? We think not. Anyway, that's Zeus speaking in the first quote above--and in a rare public appearance--in Homer's Odyssey. He's the last anthropomorphic god we ever let take liberties with us. But at least Zeus says interesting stuff and gets correctly quoted by the ancient press. Once again, we ask you to get up off your damned knees. Embrace life. No, grab it by the throat. Your religion is quite likely doing you and yours more harm than good. You're not lazy, right? You're not a peasant, correct? So how about coming up with a little spirituality on your own? It's all there inside you. Think your own thoughts. Have some self-respect. Start over.

In all things, listen to yourself. Lead a little, maybe? In short, please do your own work.

Invent your own spirituality. But work at it. Read, slow down, talk to people, travel, look at art, study the history of the world--and do crawl, pounce, creep and run around in the woods like a wild animal or angry Druid warrior on crank. Read the Gita and the 'Shads. Study Wordsworth. And Daniel Pinchbeck. Carl Jung. Some Blake. Talk to the crazy guy in Krogers. Do controlled experiments with "badness". Exercise more. Get in shape--so you can flirt with Holden Oliver's gorgeous young Tyrolean wife. Do the Antler Dance at least once like you mean it.

Martin Luther, one of our favorite madmen, and who was truly wild, would like you to do all of the above. Same with Ted Turner. Kate Hepburn. And Ben Disraeli. Strive to be authentic. However, should you view world religions as more than first-rate crowd control devices to keep you and yours in line, Zeus (pictured above in the Walmart tie) is seen practicing his aim with his lightning bolt. In that case: 1. Be "good". 2. Don't be "bad". 3. Always follow someone else's rules. 4. Listen to Huck Finn's demented Aunt Sally so she can "sivilize" you.

(from past posts beginning in late 2009)

Posted by JD Hull at October 18, 2011 11:59 PM


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