Monday, May 27, 2019

The Varieties of Religious Indifference

There is William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience and then there’s just the varieties of religious indifference which most human beings confront on a daily basis. First off there's cosmic indifference, otherwise known as a cosmic yawn, which describes puny man seeking a transcendental connection over some sort of spiritual transom or gap. Next there's obviously social indifference. This experience relates to the awareness (part of the developmental process) that one is just furniture and not the center of anyone’s universe, including one’s own (in the case of depressives). Religious indifference should however be differentiated from just plain indifference. If the cosmos or another human being is religiously indifferent to you, there is intention and agency involved. They are actually performing the equivalent of a regimen, something which is more easy for a cosmos to which this comes naturally than a person for whom such activities require a certain degree of effort. Some people have been known to attend seminaries and retreats where they're able to develop the kind of awareness and concentration that enables them to be religiously indifferent. There are even clergy (some of whom belong to the highest levels of certain orders) who occupy what might be termed dioceses of indifference, in which pledges, hazing and other rites of passage accompany the transformation required to become a religiously indifferent human being.

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