Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Egg of Dogma

“Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those that a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.”  Buddhist adage.

Its theory of the outside world may be quite naïve, but without some theory of the outside, the chick would have no motivation to break its shell.  Once outside of its shell, the chick can expand its theory of the world through experience.  Similarly, we need some theory, however naïve, to break through the shell of our egoism.  Once we have broken through to some experience of the Enduring, we can expand our sense of the Enduring through that experience.

The great problem with fundamentalism is that it forms a shell (of dogma) somewhat larger than the shell of the ego, but still a shell.  It may help one break through the shell of egoism, but only into a kind of shell of group egoism.  And it deters any further motivation to break through that shell.  It replaces faith in individual experience with faith in dogma.  The faithful stay safely inside the shell.

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