Monday, August 06, 2007

Creating Your Own Religion in 11 or More Easy Steps - Introduction

I've been throwing this idea around in my head for the past few days now, and I think it's time to shed some light on it for the general viewing public.

A recurring idea in all my ruminating has been how little I've actually progressed in the past 4 and a half years that I've spent actively trying to move forward in any sort of corny, humanistic, Da Vincian, Vetruvian Man kind of way. Self-study, something advised by everybody from the Ancient Greeks to the Stoics to the Buddhists all the way up to the latest self-help guru, is the order of the day. And I've been spending the past 4 and a half years totally avoiding that proscription for growth.

I mean, sure, I've picked up some neat-o things along the way. Like eating vegetarian [Buddhism]. Or occasionally meditating [Buddhism]. Or starting to do things now, realizing that you don't have to be perfect the first time, or even the hundred and first time [Ze Frank]. I've even learned some mind hacks that make learning just a little bit easier, like using the natural learning cycle 60 minutes as a cap for studying length.

But I haven't really improved in any sort of Super Man, Nietzschean way.

And now I know why.

It's because you can't learn second hand. Well, no, that's not right. You can learn second hand, but you can't live second hand. You can try to. But that just ends up with half-starts and pseudo-finishes. All the great men and women in the world have gone out of their way and created their own belief system. Either that, or thoroughly embraced an existing belief system and made it their own.

In other words, they went out of the way and thought about stuff. And in the process discovered greatness. Not because they were looking for it, but because they weren't. Because they were just looking for a way to make this world make a little more sense and hurt a little less.

And so, I present to you my attempt at creating a belief system. Well, almost. This series will be satirical, in the best way possible. It will trace the steps I'm following, but not the actual results I'm getting. Because that would be a little dry.

Without further ado, let the blaspheming begin!

For your [pre]viewing pleasure, here are the preliminary ELEVEN (+) STEPS TO YOUR VERY OWN FAITH:

  1. Become fed up with the 'real world'
  2. Discover a Higher Power
  3. Receive a Revelation from said higher power
  4. Write down some sort of Holy Text to follow obsessive compulsively
  5. Said text must contain religious edicts that no (wo)man can hopefully follow in practice
  6. Create a mythology around the reception of your Revelation and the writing of your Holy Text
  7. Gather a group of fellow followers
  8. Conscript a band of Saints [not necessarily anyone directly involved in your Religion] to exemplify the ideal practitioner
  9. Develop completely unrealistic but completely unresistible expectations for what you can get in This life and the Next
  10. Draw a symbol that will strike either Fear or Loathing in the hearts of those unlucky enough not to follow your Religion
  11. Confabulate a name, preferably ending in -ism, down to earth enough not to be confused with Scientology but cool enough not to be confused with Mormonism
I'll take them one post at a time, using as many examples from Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, Modern Religious [i.e. Mormonism, Scientology, etc.], and other sources as possible.

Until then, umbkby.


dave in the back said...

heh... yep.

Heaven's full of pussies.

dave in the back said...

nice graphic work i must say, though.