Personal explanations

There’s always a personal explanation for why people convert to a religion — a personal explanation, not a spiritual explanation. And most people you find these days — with strong religious, moral opinions — are converts, in some form or another.

The stronger their moral stance, the more deeply rooted — and repressed, hidden, obscured — the personal explanation behind their conversion.

There are both stereotyped and nuanced examples, found in every temple, mosque, church. I don’t need to list them: you are familiar with the type.

This is the problem with religion.

It is vitally important — if there is to be any spiritual growth — to address the personal explanation.

Not to turn away from it, or reject it. But to acknowledge it: the personal explanation is the real point of contact with the Divine, not the subsequent moral stance. There is no morality apart from the personal.

If you are religiously minded, regurgitating sermons and towing party lines — if you have a tendency to feel morally superior to others: I invite you to examine your personal reasons for this feeling, to identify the origin of this feeling of superiority. The real reason you converted, not the imaginary idea of God or flock or religion you speak of today. Maybe it was for a girl, or for love of others, for the group, because of something your parents did to you, maybe because you were high the night before — any number of reasons. But it is there that you will find Love, the kiss of the Lion, waiting all along for you — it’s there that you will find God, not in your texts and dogma.

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