Afternoon Blog: Preaching and Criticizing

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

You might notice that outside of my articles, I don’t preach about spirituality or my personal beliefs these days. I’ll share them if someone asks me to, but otherwise, I don’t push them or criticize what other people believe even if it sounds crazy to me.

When I spend time with family or friends, I refrain from talking about my beliefs or preaching some spiritual philosophy. You can read my writings if you want to know my thoughts on spirituality and other “out-there” stuff. I see no need to bring it up unprovoked.

The main reason for this is that I don’t want to be that guy who’s always preaching or hating on others’ beliefs as if I have all the answers. None of us have any clue how the universe works. Religious people, spiritual people, and atheists are all clueless.

Science has the advantage of driving innovation and finding answers to many of life’s mysteries through the pursuit of facts. I wouldn’t be writing on this computer or posting to this website without science.

Spirituality (if used for good) has the advantage of giving us the tools to overcome personal demons, create a more fulfilling life, and be a more positive force in the world.

This is all great, but neither science nor spirituality have provided solid answers to our most important questions – such as whether God exists, what happens when we die, and if this life is all we get. It’s likely that these will always be mysteries as science and spirituality will always be insufficient to answer them.

What we have, then, are millions of spiritual people and atheists yelling loudly that the other side is wrong despite that nobody really knows. The rest of us are standing in the center, watching the chaos and quietly reminding them that nobody has any idea what the hell is going on (to loosely quote Terence McKenna).

I write articles about the Bhagavad Gita because it interests me – not because I think it’s some ultimate source of truth. Being pro-spirituality doesn’t make me anti-science, as to me, they both help us get some sense of why we’re here and how we can make our time here worthwhile. In the same vein, they both fail to provide the solid answers we need. We just have to take the good with the bad.

I’m not so confident in my ideas that I’ll shoot down everything I think is crazy. Nothing about this life makes any sense, and honestly, anything is possible. By so harshly denouncing someone’s beliefs, I become no better than the religious crusader knocking on your door. Atheists fall into this trap as much as anyone else, making atheism yet another belief system founded upon ego and dick-ish behavior.

I support science and the search for truth. I also support having beliefs that give your life meaning and help you to be better. I personally need karma yoga to keep from being a much shittier version of myself. It inspires me, drives me, and teaches me the benefits of being reserved with my opinions. I know it’s not for everyone, and I see no need to go preaching it at the next family barbecue.

No matter what you are – atheist, Christian, new ager, agnostic, or anything – just try to get along with others. Not everyone will think the same way you do, and that’s okay. We’re only here for less than a hundred years before this great mystery that nobody can answer will sweep us away. Let’s be good to each other.

Much love

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