The salt of the soul

religion

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Yesterday, I was skimming a borrowed Jehovah’s Witness journal called “Awake” and was intrigued by an article, “Is Atheism on the March?” The article defends against an assertion which is believed by most atheists.

Historically and currently would the world be a better place if religion never existed?

The authors of the journal referred to mass murders in Cambodia and Russia under atheist Communist rule and used bible verses to prove their point. I chuckled a little when I read it because the debater in me immediately saw the irony of an un-winnable argument. The other thing that caught my attention was that my friend, a Jehovah’s Witness pastor, chose to underline certain (anti-atheist) statements in the article.

Being an antagonist, I asked her, “So what do you think about the article?” Paraphrased, her answer was “The Bible is right and everyone who doesn’t believe in the bible and/or literally follow its teachings is wrong.” I thought to myself, “That sounds like something a fundamental Islamic extremist would say on CNN about the Quran.”

The old angry me would have attacked her with hurtful terms like arrogance and ignorance, but instead I decided to reword her statement accentuating the extremes and recite it back to her, to ensure that we both understood what she said. “So you are saying that all other religious and non-religion people of the world who believe differently than you are wrong?” She replied, “Yes!” I then asked, “Why must it be right or wrong? Why can’t it be just different?” Her answer, “It’s stated plainly in the Bible.” I sighed loudly and ended the discussion there.

This morning I “awoke” with this analogy in mind: A cup of understanding, 4 tablespoons of wisdom and a teaspoon of faith is the recipe for a healthy spirituality. In this analogy, faith is the salt of your spirituality. Too little salt/faith leaves your meal/existence bland, boring, and unfulfilling; Too much is overpowering and poisonous literally and figuratively; But with just the right amount… your meal/existence is enhanced and in harmony.

Many of us struggle with our own spirituality, especially those of us who are inquisitive and analytical by nature. We ask questions like “why” and “why not.” These questions are usually answered to our dissatisfaction with “have faith.”

I have read that understanding is the supreme goal and the tool needed to reach that goal. Understanding is gained through wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge and experience applied. The wise are able to extrapolate (create metaphors of) life’s lessons to explain the complexities of life in which they cannot comprehend. This is the basis of their faith.

“As above, so below. As below, so above.” – The Kybalion

What do you think? Have you ever heard “have faith” used in place of “I don’t know?” Is there a right or wrong when it comes to faith, religion, and spirituality?

6 Replies to “The salt of the soul”

  1. Princesss Leyah says:

    I have lots to say on this matter, so I’ll comment later. Gotta finish my work & head to class. Good job on not belittling your friend for her limited views.

  2. Nunya says:

    Very big of you not to attack her. Will respond further later. Good read.

  3. Abeni H. says:

    Very good read. Being a former Jehovah’s Witness I can see where she is coming from…I truly believe that there is no right and wrong. We were all created equally and have the right to have our own spirituality. Who has the right to judge or speak on what’s right and wrong. My mom still practices the religion, but I don’t argue with her. We just have separate beliefs…I leave it at that. No matter what it is that you believe, we all have the same goals…

  4. BAnjeeB says:

    As a Christian who questions things, it is difficult to try and find a balance. But being true to my faith means that I HAVE to accept that people have a different faith base than I do.

  5. Jackie Z. says:

    Is there a right or wrong when it comes to religion?? When you say right or wrong do you mean ..is one the correct way and the rest wrong? In my view I believe no…there is no one correct way. Every belief, faith and religion has it rights and wrongs..and if you are following the good acts of any beliefs and you are good morally in character and in value..then each religion or belief is there to play on to a persons personality or where they are in their lives (mentality). We come in so many different shades, views, backgrounds…which can explain not one religion being relevant to all people.

  6. PoeticComplications says:

    Your analogical concept that was used in reference to the cup of understanding is an excellent way of breaking down one’s “faith” whether it be geared towards their spirituality or their religion. (In my opinion there IS a difference) I do not believe that their is a right or wrong when it comes to faith, spirituality and religion however my personal opinion is HOW they apply it and if they apply it for the right reasons. One person may indeed use faith in place of “i don’t know”, and another uses faith because they truly believe. And sometimes by putting your faith in a certain thing, you can gain understanding or by understanding you can gain faith

    Sometimes I feel like in life in order to understand things, we must use the combination you stated above which is experience, knowledge and wisdom (in whatever formula, depends on the person).

    The fact of the matter is, people don’t use it which I feel like leads to ignorant statements

    All in all, people just need to educate themselves more….to gain understanding.

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