Friday, September 08, 2006

The Sun, "The Temple of Reason," and some quick hits on religiosity

Have I mentioned lately how brilliant The Sun magazine is? If not, please allow me to do so now. If you consider yourself an open-minded person (you don't have to be a liberal, but it helps), please subscribe for a year and see what you think. If you find yourself unsatisfied with what you find, I will personally reimburse you for the subscription price. (This offer applies only to my actual friends, by the way. And it is sincere.)

Aside from the fact that the magazine operates solely on subscriptions and donations - thus, no worries about advertiser interference or influence - it's just a completely unique publication. Readers contribute as much as the magazine's staff...each issue is based around some sort of theme and said theme rarely feels forced while also being very relevant to the issues with which we're forced to deal at any given combines fiction, non-fiction, interviews, poetry, photography, a "readers write" section, and a collection of topic-related quotes at the end of every issue. I consider it a work of art on par with National Geographic, myself. A very noble enterprise.

Since most of the contributions are from "amateurs," you do have to deal with the occasional, um, really bad and/or pretentious writing. But I've yet to finish an issue without learning something about myself and the world around me.

This month's issue deals with the subject of religion. The interview is with a man named Sam Harris, whose main mission appears to be convincing the world that institutionalized atheism is our only chance of survival in a world that is rapidly becoming more and more polarized by religious extremism coming from all points on the globe. With the exception of one comment he makes that I strongly disagree with, I have to say I'm totally on board with his goal and his motives. It's so nice to get that rare feeling of validation in the form of finding out your somewhat unorthodox opinions are shared by others.

But I'm not going to get into the interview itself. Just take me up on my subscription offer, please, and read it for yourself. The remainder of this month's issue are varying contributions that also deal with religion and/or spirituality in ways that are very personal to each author. And that's what The Sun is about. Every issue is put together with one goal in mind: enlightenment. Or at least a kick in the pants toward enlightenment. And enlightenment, obviously, is a pretty nebulous concept. Which makes each month's product all the more inspiring.

What I'd like to do, though, is quote a couple comments from the "Sunbeams" section of the magazine that really, really spoke to my feelings regarding organized religion...

"What are the seven deadly sins of Christianity? Gluttony, avarice, sloth, lust...They are urges every man feels at least once a day. How could you set yourself up as the most powerful institution on earth? You first find out what every man feels at least once a day, establish that as a sin, and set yourself up as the only institution capable of pardoning that sin." - Anton LaVey

"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." - The Dalai Lama

'Nuff said, in my opinion. Not that that's gonna stop me from saying more about it again in the future...

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home