Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Map of Humanity

From Lydia's blog, On The Other Hand, comes Suggestion Saturday: September 7, 2013, The World Religions Tree.
Although the more I thought about it, the more comfortable I am with naming it A Map of Humanity.

The above picture is a link. To appreciate The World Religions Tree fully it really needs to be explored in all its minute detail. I've never seen anything quite like it before. My daughter tells me it reminds her more of a brain than a tree.

Although I would have like to see the growth of Atheism and Scientism included, I suppose by strictest definitions they are not proper religions.

After spending the weekend exploring this wondrous map of human-kind's over 6,000 year spiritual and theological journey, you begin to ponder which 'direction' to look at it from. At least I do.

Although I am sure some will attempt to hold the fundamentalist's position, it seems barely worth addressing; that one, and only one of these near-countless fibers is the truth. When I look at this map of humanity, I can not seriously even consider this option. It becomes an unsustainable joke.

But should we focus on the tree's trunk? Do we find a purer form of understanding the divine or truth the simpler we go? Or do we discover an older, less refined, more primitive, folklore, superstition based belief more in magic than science? Travel far enough and at some point we will find ourselves among cavemen.

Or do we look in the opposite direction?
When we look at the tangled fibrous edge of our most modern and current times, what are we seeing? Are we seeing mankind's splintering and division of their ulterior agendas and personal and private goals? Have we become lost in the analysis of the details?
Or are we seeing our collective evolution of over six thousand years, thousands of cultures - many totally isolated from one another - and billions and billions of people? Are we seeing humanity's collective refined perception of the truth?

Like any true "-ology", it becomes based upon previous individuals' work and understanding. It is a progressive system of learning.

I think we stumble across a conundrum.
I believe the answer is right before our eyes, yet hidden in plain sight.

Firstly we need to acknowledge that there is corruption and that there are individuals that are only out for their own good and their own personal agendas present within any and all branches. If we cannot get past this point there's no need to look any further; we've come to the end of the rope. We need to assume (even if only hypothetically) to be able to weed out and keep only the legitimate ("don't throw out the baby with the bathwater").

The problem we face is that we - each and every one of us - can only ever be a single individual. And as a single individual we can only see the world from the perspective of the single fibrous strand our culture, our background, and our beliefs come from. (and that includes atheists as well).

The richness of this map of humanity is lost on the individual.

It is only when we attain the willingness and ability to step outside our culture, our background, our belief-system, our truth - outside of our fibrous strand - that we can even begin to appreciate the absolute majestic and grand scale of our collective human insights.

Ultimately the question is, are we suffering from division and splintering, or are we progressively refining how we perceive the truth?

Personally, I tend to learn towards the latter.

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