Monday, March 08, 2004

The Great Maker


Foundationism is a fictitious religion created by J. Michael Straczynski, a noted atheist. It's actually less of a religion as a philosophy. Created out of the writing of Straczynski's Babylon 5, it has been assembled loosely from the quotes of that shows characters; Mostly G'Kar, Dr. Franklin, and to a lesser degree Delenn.

"Among its objectives is to get at the roots of all religions, in order to discover the elements they may have in common. Foundationism can, in some sense, be seen as a metaphor for the inter-religious dialogues of the last hundred or more years (and the pluralism, inclusivism, and syncretism which have arisen from them).
In my view, it is virtuousness, however defined, which constitutes a common thread in the major world religions. Virtues are the outward expression of the covenant (or connection) which the religionist establishes with the object (the wholly other) of a faith tradition."
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.

Every religious ideology contains similar essential precepts and fundamental edicts at their core. Such as the concept of doing unto others as you would have done to you, and a sense of being connected to a cosmic energy source or consciousness greater than ourselves.

These commonalities among separate religions indicate and signify a profound revelation: that the spiritual foundation of all of these religions is the same. And what is religion but a philosophy of spirituality that recognizes and professes a connection of the self to the big picture?

The belief known as Foundationism seeks to integrate and reconcile any differences to focus on and discover the shared points of every organized and traditional religion. It reveals that any disparity between religions is arbitrary, and superficially obscured by political dogma.

What's amazing is that I find myself agreeing mostly with the concept. Getting past the Dogma and politics to the root of the message. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. I've always been a Humanist.

GKar: If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it. Similarly, someone who does not search, who does not bring a lantern with him, sees nothing.

What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation for the light, pure and unblemished. Not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe. God looks astonishingly like we do. Or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws. And in so doing to better understand the world around us.


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