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Homilies

 
I recall at least Three.
 
Only Connect! (E.M. Forster)
Be True to one Another (Mathew Arnold)
Love one Another (The Bible)
 
So much for homilies.
 
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I sometimes say that Madonna might be ranked as one of the world’s great philosophers.
Why?
Because she said: Life is a Mystery.
Who could improve on that?
Even the Buddha admitted as much.
 
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Alas, the mystery of life is not resolved via homilies.
Nor is its pain, fear, and uncertainty.
But they do help make everyday living slightly more bearable.
 
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It is this mystery that allows religion an entre.
It caters to a felt-need.
In areas where neither science nor philosophy can provide certainty, it is perfectly understandable that people turn to faith.
What else is there?
Where religions overstep (and thereby undermine themselves) is when they claim certainty for their beliefs, as if they were science.
They are not.
And they would be foolish to compete with science.
The Church of Rome is remarkable in how adaptive it has been to science, across the centuries, whilst still remaining true to its ideas.
Other faiths subsist with really severe cognitive dissonance.
 
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My own definition of humans is that we are mythmaking animals.
In fact, we excel in it.
Most of our ideological struggles are clashes between our myths and theirs.
 
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Of course, we see our own myths as rational.
Consider the consecrated myths of EuroModernism, such as democracy, and equality.
Are they, in terms of realism, any different from sightings of the Loch Ness monster (a comment by H.L.Mencken).
Bears thinking.
They are idylls , at best.
In fact, they have a darker meaning.
They are means of legitimation of extant power.
Even Max Weber knew that.
 

I started out by listing 3 well known homilies.
I’d like to end by providing a synthesis of those 3.
In Two Words: Be Kind.
It may lack belletristic style: but it has ample meaning.
Besides, I feel quite sure that the Buddha probably said that, already.
I need also credit E M Forster (who follows up ‘Only Connect’ with” Live in fragments no longer”):we, in the Modern world, do live in fragments.
Another baneful gift of Euromodernism!
 

[© R.Kanth 2022]
 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda, A Day in the Life, and Expiations
 

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