December 28, 2005

Batchelor on the (religious) institutionalization of 'having'

"Our religion, with its beliefs, rituals, and dogmas become another segment among all the other segments that constitute out linear and fragmented existence. It offers us another set of possible acquisitions, even more tempting than all the others: a meaning to life, immortality, enlightenment, the kingdom of heaven. Unfortunately, many organized and institutionalized religions only encourage this attitude. Heaven and hell are emphasized as particular places to which we can go. Enlightenment and eternal life are conceived as things that can be obtained by each individual. We can pay for them by accumulating sufficient quantities of the right currency, i.e. merit. Despite the efforts of their founders, the temples continue to be inhabited with those who only sell and buy. In this respect their mechandise has been accurately compared to opium." -- Stephen Batchelor, Alone With Others

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