Monday, November 23, 2015

Down With Progress

I wish I had one of these flags.

When I was a young man, I was tangentially involved with a community of Sufi Muslims.  They were cool.  They were ecstatic worshipers, complete with whirling dervishes, the call to prayer, the elbow to elbow prostration, and the whole nine yards.

Yes.  I have done this.

 You might be surprised to discover, if you have never prostrated yourself to Allah before, that it's a little bit of a workout.  You get about as sweaty as you would following along to a Rodney Yee beginner yoga video.

I've also done this.  It's about the same.  Both are pretty good.

To my way of thinking, getting sweaty and breathing a little is a big plus.  I was raised Roman Catholic, and when you're Catholic, mostly you just sit there and daydream.

The Sufis I knew were good people.  They were fun.  They did a nice community meal after service.  The thing with the women in the back and the men in the front was a little weird, but sometimes you have to take the bitter with the sweet.  It's not like Sufis are the only ones who do that. 

They are, on the other hand, the only ones who do this:


Whirling dervishes are awesome.

Anyway, I liked it so much, and I liked the people involved enough, that I briefly considered joining up and becoming a Muslim.  But I didn't.  You know why?

Because religion is a hobby.  That's where it belongs, in the corner with the tennis rackets and the watercolors and the old Rodney Yee dvds.  That goes for Islam, Christianity, Judaism, whatever you like.  

Spirituality is one thing.  Religion is something else again.  The minute you take religion too seriously, bombs start going off and people start getting burned at the stake.  

Religion looks backwards.  As far as religion is concerned, the answers were revealed hundreds or even thousands of years ago, so any forward progress is a threat.  We can't afford that kind of thinking.


  1. Amen. That's all I can say, brother (but tongue in cheek). Spirituality has religion beat in my book, too. And yeah, I see the ancient religious beliefs as providing little good. And taken too seriously, it either stops progress or creates violence.

  2. i not sure about taking religion as a hobby is an option, when apparently people treat people in way his/her faith is much contrast compared to his/her life, personality, job, hobby,etc.

    it's quite annoying.


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