Joy of Being, Part 1
The sacred nonaggression "faith" module: I
by Brian Wright

Nonaggression FaithA month ago, I wrote a column that ties in a 'religion of nonaggression' to the SNaP modules I have already written. Today's column is even more specific; it is the first of a two-part column that presents Module #7: Nonaggression Faith (due 4/1/11).

Module #7: Nonaggression Faith:
Laying the foundation for a
New Paradigm belief system

It was bound to happen eventually. In fact, I even mention the prospect of [forming a new SNaP religion] in Module #6: Productive Action, where I listed a number (24) of activities that might bring serious ducats and inner peace to individuals in the agorist business community-another word for the natural free, cooperative, benevolent, charitable economy of the New Paradigm. Here is what I wrote for creating a secular SNaP-oriented religion:

6. Religionizing the SNaP

This would be in my own bailiwick. What I envision more likely is a Nonaggression Institute, rather than a Nonaggression Religion. But it isn't too much of a stretch to sit down and establish a simple, secular religion that holds as [one of] its highest principle[s] that humans do not initiate force against one another...

... much less can we comply with a government that practices-with apparent impunity, immunity, and widespread popular acquiescence-mass incarceration, dispossession, expropriation, rape, torture, and genocide. It matters not how high the agents and puppets of the Oligarchy fly the ol' Red, White, and Blue.

Note: In the above excerpt from Module 6 I've bracketed ([ ]) some changes I would make had I written it today. The main change comes from this consideration: Even though my idea for a new religion may stem initially from a desire to deal with an emergency level of corporate-state aggression in our time, the nonaggression principle (NaP) by itself does not work as the organizing principle of a whole belief system for human living.

Old Randians[1] and logicians in general often refer to 'necessary vs. sufficient' conditions. I contend that the spirit, practice, and dissemination of the SNaP is a necessary condition for any religion worth its salt. But it is not a sufficient condition. So to turn the proposition around-according to my own discovery process-a good religion must be a whole philosophy first, to which the SNaP is vital.

As I was writing about the SNaP-coming at the subject initially as a recovering Objectivist[2]-I encountered a major spiritual message in the writing of Eckhart Tolle[3] and a major spiritual cultivation practice named Falun Dafa. This message and cultivation practice-along with natural reason and my Sacred Nonaggression Principle-form the legs of my religion.[4] Before giving the name of my 'nonaggression faith' and laying out its key concepts, let's look at general requirements for any religion. Here's what I come up with:

  1. Doctrine and creed-Doctrine consists of the key concepts or ideas of the faith and the creed is a statement of core beliefs.
  2. Benefits-What are the chief benefits that practitioners may expect to receive or acquire, e.g. physical, intellectual, spiritual well being?
  3. Practices-The general behavior for adherents, including rites and rituals; relates to core beliefs and also interface with politics.
  4. Symbols-Usually intellectuals downplay, but vital to the emotional-perceptual function. Consider importance of 'Jesus and Cross.'
  5. Assembly and community-Good religion is not practiced solo or online, fellowship of kindred souls is high motivational engine.
  6. Art-One can see the key role of paintings, sculpture, literature of course, and music. How important are hymns to many Christians?
  7. Sex and evangelism-No, not the Jimmy Swaggart Story. But no accident both are used to gain more adherents. Spreading the word.

So qua religion I want my specific 'nonaggression faith' to bear some natural attraction for people in each of the above areas. Thus I want my religion to help people realize first and foremost the essential benefit of spiritual fulfillment or enlightenment. Second, though more urgently in the material world, I want my religion to help people dispel the Barrier Cloud of tyranny and create a sane, loving, abundant, joyous, and sustainable life on earth-the New Paradigm.

The Joy of Being

... is where it starts for me, giving rise to the name of my religion, the Church of Being. Possibly, when the founding papers are assembled, I may need to pick a different name (if it's taken). But it expresses the 'supreme universal idea' I find motivating, and so it shall be. We shall believe in and revere Being. I'll let Mr. Tolle provide the words to identify this, the absolute core concept of 'my' religion.

"There is an eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. Many people use the word God to describe it: I often call it Being. The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very presence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence. So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being." - Practicing the Power of Now, pg 15.

Note I included quotation marks in 'my' religion above, to suggest that I'm claiming no proprietorship on the individual core ideas of the Church of Being themselves. Even my formulation of the SNaP is simply a different way of looking at an idea (the nonaggression principle) that comes from many old sources, ultimately unknown...

And from his location I continue by describing specifically how the Church of Being meets the seven requirements for a true religion.

[1] People who believe in the Word according to Ayn Rand.

[2] The label for Ayn Rand’s philosophy

[3] Author of The Power of Now (1999)

[4] My stipulated definition of “religion:” an integrated system of belief in, reverence for, and practice of a supreme universal principle or idea, intended to bring spiritual fulfillment.

2011 February 21
Copyright © Brian Wright | The Coffee Coaster™
SNaP Religion | Church of Being | Power of Now | Barrier Cloud | Liberty

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