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5/04/2008                                                                                       View Comments

The Combination Lock of Religion

By Astreja

Trying to get something of value out of religion is kind of like trying to open a locked box.

At the beginning of our experience, we are informed that the box contains something of inexpressible value, something that exists only in the box, something that we can't buy or borrow or build.

And then we see... the lock.

A combination lock forged from dogma, tradition and our own expectations. Before we can open that magic treasure chest, we have to crack the code.

Some combinations appear to be fairly simple, but the gears stiff and heavy... The actual day-to-day practice of the creed proves too arduous, and we walk away.

At other times, the lock has so many parameters that we can twirl the dial for a lifetime without actually getting anywhere. Once in the while we do hear something go 'click', which reinforces the desire to keep trying.

But, once in a while -- Sometimes totally by accident -- the lock just opens by itself.

Some people find peace, love, a sense of purpose. Others, a dime-store ring that would look great on an eight-year-old, but doesn't fit their adult hand. And some of us just stare into an empty box.

Even after all that pain and bother, there's a chance that some control-freak minister, mullah, rabbi or roshi will slam the box shut on our fingers because we didn't open it the "right" way.

Why waste precious years of our lives trying to access something that may well turn out to be worthless?

And, if it is something that humanity actually needs... What kind of idiot would lock it up?

12 comments:

AtheistToothFairy said...

"And some of us just stare into an empty box."
----
Astreja,

That pretty much sums up what I found in that magical box, after spending years of trying every-which-way to coax it open.
Okay, so maybe the box wasn't quite empty-per-se, but it contained nothing more than a lot of HOT-AIR.

Perhaps this box is much like a magicians trick.
It seems to be magical, until you discover the secret of the trick and then you realize you've been 'had'.

Very good analogy Astreja !!


ATF (Who thinks if jesus existed, he was nothing more than a magician with his own "hot-air" tricks up his sleeve)

muttmutt said...

I like your analogy, it fits all people. Locking the box, to me is about control, mind control, in my case, control of spirituality. it was locked to try to keep people ignorant and obedient.

xrayman said...

My experience with religion was like those 3D pictures that riddled shopping malls in the early 90's. You were supposed to stare at the poster a certain way and a 3D image would appear before your eyes.

I gazed into those damn things for hours and hours and never saw the 3D space ship or whatever was supposed to appear, yet many people did.

I tried so hard to get into that magic box of religion, but that damn lock barely made a click. I tried so hard to find this bliss of Jesus in which so many spoke, yet I always came up empty.

Telmi said...

Great post, Astreja.

"And, if it is something that humanity actually needs... What kind of idiot would lock it up?"

Probably an idiot incomparable, devoid of any sanity. Probably a psychotic delinquent at the height of his insanity.

Some of us can think for ourselves, some others need others to do the thinking for them, and there are those who prefer to be misled into accepting lies as truths.

Someone in this forum asked recently: When will the insanity end?

It will never end so long as there are people who are ever ready to be fed with false infomation, or who simply are unable to see the forest for the trees.

Mamushka said...

Awesome analogy Astreja. I may never have given up trying unless I "thought outside the box"...

Mamushka said...
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Mamushka said...
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AtheistToothFairy said...

xrayman wrote:
You were supposed to stare at the poster a certain way and a 3D image would appear before your eyes.
I gazed into those damn things for hours and hours and never saw the 3D space ship or whatever was supposed to appear, yet many people did

----
Hi Xray',

As one of those who was great at seeing those 3D images, maybe I can offer the secret of them, to you (and anyone else reading this).

If you ever saw one of those older type dual (side by side) 3D photo's on the web, then you realize that you have to merge the two images into ONE with your eye's.
Each L/R piece of such a photo, was taken at the position of where your L/R eye's would have been, had you been seeing that object in-person.
Your eyes merge two distinct images of a single 'live' image all the time, but they do so automatically, and you don't realize you're doing it.

However, when they produce these more modern 3D images you're citing here, two images exists within one 'plane', rather than separately and side by side); like the images on the web I spoke about.
To see the 3D effect, your eye's need to 'cross' in order to align the two different, horizontally spaced images, into one contiguous image.

To see an example of how this effect works, you only need to hold your finger in front of your nose and look at something in the distance.
What you will see are TWO fingers, not just the one, as each eye see's your finger separately.
If you then stare at your finger instead, you'll notice that the object in the distance now becomes two objects.
This has to do with the parallax movement of your twin-eyes.
i.e. Your eye's turn in or out to each other, depending on what distance you're trying to focus them.

So the idea of seeing those 3D images is to force your eye's to change their parallax, as if you were trying to focus at a different distance than the image is at.

Still, even knowing all this info, some folks just can't seem to do it, as the focusing (sharpness) of their eye's is too-locked with the parallax function and hence, they can't access one function independent of the other.

Hope that helps?


ATF (Who did not write this post cross-eyed; although some might think he did...LOL)

twincats said...

"Still, even knowing all this info, some folks just can't seem to do it, as the focusing (sharpness) of their eye's is too-locked with the parallax function and hence, they can't access one function independent of the other."

Wow. I think that's me! Thanks, ATF!

As for the analogy, I think it's a good one, except to me, religion gives everyone their very own locked box.

Some folks put their box on a shelf in a prominent place for others to see and others keep theirs stuffed in the back of a closet.

Some even carry theirs with them everywhere they go and try to convince others to go and get a box for themselves (after all, they're free to anyone who wants one!) A lot of these folks have even convinced themselves they can open the box whenever they want, even though they never have. When you ask them what's inside, they give you all kinds of conflicting answers and refer you to the box's manual!

xrayman said...

Well ATF where the hell were you all those countless hours I had spent in shopping malls staring at those fucking pictures? So now I know just what do do it those things ever become popular again.

eel_shepherd said...

And then one day it occurs to you that you weren't the one who put any lock on any box, and that if there actually is anything at all in the box, you're not losing out on it; it's losing out on you.

Bill/xrayman, another trick some people use for seeing those Magic Eye images is to think of the picture as a window and to look through that "window" at a point on the horizon. I can call up the 3D image in a couple of seconds, and that's the method I use.

Trancelation said...

Religion promises everything to you, takes everything from you, but gives nothing back to you. Throw the fucking box away.